‘The Court Martial of Fitz John Porter’

Matthew Borowick

Author Matthew Borowick to Speak at Southern Maryland Civil War Roundtable Oct. 9

Matthew Borowick, columnist for “Civil War News,” will present “The Court Martial of Fitz John Porter” at the next meeting of the Southern Maryland Civil War Roundtable meeting Oct. 9 at 7 p.m. at the College of Southern Maryland’s (CSM) Center for Business and Industry (BI) on the La Plata Campus. The roundtable is open to anyone interested in the Civil War.

“As in sports, the Civil War had its share of heroes and its share of men to whom blame for defeat or disaster was attached. A Union defeat at Manassas in the summer of 1862 led to criticism and a court martial for one of the rising stars of the Army of the Potomac’s high command,” said Southern Maryland Civil War Roundtable President Dr. Brad Gottfried.

“After Confederate General Robert E. Lee drove John Pope’s army back to Washington, questions were raised on who was responsible for the defeat. Fingers quickly pointed to Major General Fitz John Porter, who did not perform as Pope had expected him to because, as Porter’s enemies claimed, Porter wanted to see Pope fail,” said Borowick, who added that after the court martial Porter spent 24 years trying to clear his name.

Borowick’s presentation will focus on the events surrounding the Union defeat at Second Manassas and how rivalries in the Northern armies led to the downfall of one of the North’s ablest generals.

Dating to his days as a first-grader when he took his copy of “The Golden Book of the Civil War” to school each day, Borowick has had a lifelong interest in the American Civil War. Today, Borowick is a regular columnist for the Civil War News, serving as author of “Round Table Review,” which describes best practices of Civil War roundtables throughout the country. In 2010, Borowick wrote “The Civil War Round Table Handbook—The Indispensable Guide to Running Yours Right.”

In addition to serving as CSM’s fourth president, Gottfried is a noted Civil War historian, having written nine books about the Civil War, including “Battle of Gettysburg: a Guided Tour,” “Stopping Pickett: The History of the Philadelphia Brigade,” “Roads to Gettysburg: Lee's Invasion of the North, 1863,” “The Brigades of Gettysburg: The Union and Confederate Brigade at the Battle of Gettysburg,” “Kearny’s Own: The History of the First New Jersey Brigade,” “The Maps of Gettysburg: The Gettysburg Campaign, June 3 – July 13, 1863,” “The Artillery of Gettysburg,” “The Maps of First Bull Run: An Atlas of the First Bull Run (Manassas) Campaign, including the Battle of Ball’s Bluff, June –October 1861” and his newest, “The Maps of Antietam: An Atlas of the Antietam (Sharpsburg) Campaign, including the Battle of South Mountain, September 2 – 20, 1862.”

To view a video of Gottfried talking about his experiences writing “The Maps of Antietam: An Atlas of the Antietam (Sharpsburg) Campaign, including the Battle of South Mountain, September 2 – 20, 1862,” visit http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=hcedueoBM_w&noredirect=1#!

The Southern Maryland Civil War Roundtable hosts monthly meetings, the second Tuesday of every month from September through May. Meetings are free and open to the public, but membership to the roundtable is highly encouraged. Annual membership is $30. For information, contact Gottfried at bgottfried@csmd.edu or 301-934-7625.