The SICWRT’s slate of 2022 programs kicks off on Thursday, January 20th, with a presentation from Michael Eisenhut on “The Iron Brigade at Gettysburg.” Eisenhut graduated from Purdue University in 1991 and lives in Monrovia, Indiana. Despite a lifelong career as a pilot and working for a major airline, he has studied the American Civil War his entire life. For the past several years, Eisenhut has focused his study primarily on the Battle of Gettysburg and also on the Civil War’s famous Iron Brigade, particularly the Nineteenth Indiana Volunteer Infantry regiment. He visits the Gettysburg battlefield many times per year, including having spent over 75 days there in 2021 alone. Eisenhut is a member of the Indianapolis and Hamilton County Civil War Round Tables and is the author of the newly released historical fiction novel titled Brothers of War: The Iron Brigade at Gettysburg.
Our February 2022 meeting will feature Krista Castillo on “Soldiers for Freedom: How Military and Pension Records Reveal Forgotten Stories.” Castillo is a native of northeastern Ohio, but moved to Fort Negley Park, a Nashville metro park, as the education manager in 2008. In 2010, she was promoted to site manager. Castillo holds degrees from Mount Union College (B.A., History) and Austin Peay State University (M.A., Military History). While completing her education, she held internships at the William McKinley National Memorial and Museum in Canton, Ohio, and at the Don F. Pratt Museum at Fort Campbell, Kentucky. Castillo has served as president of the Nashville Civil War Roundtable since 2009. In addition to published work in Civil War News, Tennessee Conservationist Magazine, and The World of the Civil War: A Daily Life Encyclopedia, she has researched and presented on Fort Negley and other Civil War topics across the country. Between August 1862 and March 1863, more than 2,700 impressed African American men enrolled as laborers with the Engineers Department on St. Cloud Hill. In just four months, they built Fort Negley, the largest inland masonry fortification constructed during the Civil War. While impressment promoted a view of people as property and exploited laborers, it also deprived the Confederacy of its main labor force while granting African Americans a sense of freedom and personal investment in undermining the rebellion and the slave system. This program traces the experiences of Jerry Jackson, an impressed laborer and veteran of the Co. F, 12th USCT, and his family throughout the war and their struggle to receive federal benefits.
Our March 2022 program will feature David Coker on Ambrose Bierce, an American short story writer, journalist, poet, and American Civil War veteran.