Everyone is welcome at our monthly meetings

NOTICE: Due to the covid-related meeting restrictions, the May 8th and June 12th Meetings have been CANCELLED
Next Meeting: Sept. 11th. See You Then!

September 11th
Fergus Bordewich on Congress at War

"Congress at War" tells the story of how the oft-maligned U.S. Congress helped win the Civil War–a new perspective that puts the House and Senate, rather than President Lincoln, at the center of the conflict. This perspective on the Civil War overturns the popular conception that Abraham Lincoln single-handedly led the Union to victory and gives us a vivid account of the essential role Congress played in winning the war.

Building a riveting narrative around four influential members of Congress–Thaddeus Stevens, Pitt Fessenden, Ben Wade, and the pro-slavery Clement Vallandigham–Fergus Bordewich shows us how a newly empowered Republican party shaped one of the most dynamic and consequential periods in American history. From reinventing the nation’s financial system to pushing President Lincoln to emancipate the slaves to the planning for Reconstruction, Congress undertook drastic measures to defeat the Confederacy, in the process laying the foundation for a strong central government that came fully into being in the twentieth century.

FERGUS M. BORDEWICH is the author of eight non-fiction books, including CONGRESS AT WAR: How Republican Reformers Fought The Civil War, Defied Lincoln, Ended Slavery, And Remade America, (Alfred A. Knopf, 2020); AMERICA'S GREAT DEBATE: Henry Clay, Stephen A. Douglas, and the Compromise that Preserved the Union (Simon & Schuster, 2012. Winner of the 2012 Los Angeles Times History Prize); and BOUND FOR CANAAN: The Underground Railroad and the War for the Soul of America (Amistad/HarperCollins, 2005). He lives in San Francisco, CA with his wife, Jean Parvin Bordewich.

For our 2020-2021 program year, we proudly welcome these outstanding speakers:

Sept. 11th, 2020: Fergus Bordewich on Congress at War
Oct. 8th: Stuart Sanders on Perryville
Nov. 12th: John R. Scales on General Nathan Bedford Forrest
Dec. 10th: Dave Powell on Union Command Failure in the Shenandoah
Jan. 8th: Jennifer Murray on General George Meade
Feb. 12th: Leslie Goddard presents Mary Todd Lincoln
Mar. 12th: Greg Biggs, The Nevin-Freeman Address
Apr. 9th: Ron Kirkwood on Too Much for Human Endurance: The Spangler Farm Hospitals
May 14th: Michael Hardy on General Lee's Immortals
June 11th: TBD

Copies of recorded meetings are available for a small charge. Click here for a printable list of recorded meetings. More current meetings can be viewed on Youtube.

Our meetings are held at:

Holiday Inn O'Hare
5615 N. Cumberland, Chicago, IL 60631
Parking at the Holiday Inn is FREE
Map and Directions

Dinner $40.00 Members and Non- Members
Cocktails at 5:30, Dinner at 6:30

Presentation only is $10 per person.
Payable at the door, cash or check. Be there by 7:15. For those attending the presentation only, your reservation is appreciated but not required.
Dinner reservations should be received by Sunday evening prior to the meeting.
Please make your reservation in advance by emailing DinnerReservations@ChicagoCWRT.org with the names of your party or by calling (630) 460-1865
Cancellations: email us at DinnerReservations@ChicagoCWRT.org  or call (630) 460-1865

Dinner choices. The CWRT has gone to a buffet style dinner. The buffet will include caeser salad, pasta, garlic bread, two meats (grilled chicken, meat balls, or Italian sausage) and dessert.