Everyone is welcome at our monthly meetings

NOTICE: We've been moved back (by the hotel chain) to the Holiday Inn Oakbrook for our meetings. Meetings for the 2023-24 Year will be in-person. but will also be simulcast on Zoom. Zoom details for each meeting will be emailed to members via the newsletter.

May 10th
Julianne and Lynn Herman on The Allegheny Arsenal Explosion

The Allegheny Arsenal, near Pittsburgh, produced ammunition for the Union army. By 1862 the workers turned out some 128,000 cartridges daily by working six days a week, twelve hours a day. The arsenal employed one hundred fifty-six ladies and girls. In the summer of 1861, the arsenal had dismissed over one hundred young boys when they discovered their careless behavior with matches and tobacco. They discovered replacing the boys with girls was just as efficient and by 1862 had employed many young girls and women using their small hands and fingers to pack the cartridges at a rapid rate. Although they all are aware of the danger working with black powder, the chief ingredient in making the ammunition, they continue on filling the cartridges as fast as possible depending on the supervisors to keep them safe.

On September 17, 1862 (the day of the Battle of Antietam), a spark from a horse's shoe ignited that powder. The resulting explosion and fire saw 78 workers lose their lives, 72 of whom were women. The Allegheny Arsenal explosion was the worst civilian disaster during the Civil War.

Julianne Herman worked for 45 years as a Registered Nurse in the operating room. She has long been drawn to the study of historical events, both nationally and worldwide. Her interest in the Civil War increased during the 125th Anniversary commemorations, and she began reenacting and studying various aspects of the war. As a civilian reenactor (with her husband Lynn), she became increasingly interested in women's roles during that time period, including the seemingly unlikely role of women working in a military arsenal. She is secretary of the Central PA CWRT.

For our 2023-2024 program year, we proudly welcome these outstanding speakers:

Sept. 8th, 2023: Al Ovies on "The Boy Generals. George Custer, Wesley Merritt and the Cavalry of the Army of the Potomac"
Oct. 13th: Carleton Young on "Two Vermont Brothers in the Army of the Potomac"
Nov. 10th: Ernest Dollar on "Hearts Torn Asunder: Trauma in the Civil War"
Dec. 8th: Scott Mingus on "Texans at Chickamauga"
Jan. 12th, 2024: Pat and Dylan Brennan on "Gettysburg in Color" (zoom only)
Feb. 9th: Carolyn B. Ivanoff on "We fought at Gettysburg. The 17th Connecticut"
March 8th: Chris Bryan on "The Union XII Corps"
April 12th: Will Greene on "The Cracker Line in the Battle of Chattanooga"
May 10th: Lynn and Julianne Herman on "The Allegheny Arsenal Explosion"
June 14th: Tim Smith (Nevins-Freeman Award) on "Vicksburg"

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 Oakbrook
350 W 22nd St., Oakbrook Terrace, IL 60181
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 generally include salad, pasta, garlic bread, two meats and dessert.