Austin Civil War Round Table

Our Next Meeting

When: Thursday, May 20, 2021

Who: Ron Kirkwood

Where: Chez Zee Restaurant banquet room, 5406 Balcones Drive


Those who toiled and suffered at the Army of the Potomac's XI Corps hospital at the George Spangler Farm in Gettysburg have long since departed. But Ronald D. Kirkwood, a journalist and George Spangler Farm expert, shares their stories--many of which have never been told before.

Ron will share a wealth of firsthand accounts, re-creating the XI Corps hospital complex and its people--especially George and Elizabeth Spangler, whose farm was nearly destroyed in the fateful summer of 1863. A host of notables will make an appearance, including Union officers George G. Meade, Henry J. Hunt, Edward E. Cross, Francis Barlow, Francis Mahler, Freeman McGilvery, and Samuel K. Zook. Pvt. George Nixon III, great-grandfather of President Richard M. Nixon, would die there, as would Confederate Gen. Lewis A. Armistead, who fell mortally wounded at the height of Pickett's Charge.

We are thrilled to welcome author and historian Ronald D. Kirkwood to our Round Table. Ron is retired after a 40-year career as an editor and writer in newspapers and magazines including USA TODAY, the Baltimore Sun, the Harrisburg (PA) Patriot-News, and the York (PA) Daily Record. Ron edited national magazines for USA TODAY Sports and was NFL editor for USA TODAY Sports Weekly. He has won numerous state, regional, and national awards for his writing and editing and he managed the copy desk in Harrisburg when the newspaper won a Pulitzer Prize in 2012. Ron is a native of Dowagiac/Sister Lakes, MI, and a graduate of Central Michigan University, where he has returned as guest speaker to journalism classes as part of the school’s Hearst Visiting Professionals series. Ron has been a Gettysburg Foundation docent at The George Spangler Farm Field Hospital Site since it opened in 2013, and he explores the Gettysburg battlefield dozens of times a year. Ron and his wife, Barbara, live in York. They have two daughters, two sons-in-law, and three grandchildren. Please join us for a great evening!

Program Location and Details

Please RSVP to David White at by Tuesday, May 11. If you wish to receive a meal, there will be a limited dinner menu available for $25, including tip. The selections are New Orleans Pecan Chicken, Gorgonzola Jalapeno Pasta (Vegetarian) or Pecan Crusted Salmon.

A cash bar will be available but you will need to open a tab with the restaurant for that.

If you do not wish to take a meal, please RSVP to David by noon Tuesday, May 11, as well. We can accept non-meal guests up until 5 p.m. on the 17th of May. The venue has asked that no one bring any outside meals or drinks into the restaurant.

Dinner will begin at 6:30 p.m. The program will commence at 7:15 p.m. Meeting and meal is $25.00 and meeting only is $5.00 for members.

If you have any questions, please call David White at (512) 497-4832 or Mike Watkins at (512) 970-5548.


Meeting Schedule for 2020-2021

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