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The President's Corner

A Letter from the President January 2021

What Happened in January?  

Dear Members,
While we wait for the COVID-19 pandemic to be brought under control, I thought it would be worthwhile for us all to think about what has happened during the month of January in American Military history.

This is by no means a comprehensive list, but it is certainly an interesting one. I invite any and all of you to write me at goldrobert1999@gmail.com if you would like to suggest an important event not mentioned below. 

Moreover, I invite you to write to me about that event and explain its historical importance. We will certainly include it here on our Society’s website.

Our Stories 

In 1876, a little over a decade after the Civil War ended at Appomattox, John Codman Ropes helped found our Military Historical Society of Massachusetts. The purpose of the Society, as written in our bylaws called for encouraging “studies connected with the military history of our own and other countries, the maintenance of social meetings for the discussion of the same…”  

In that spirit, we direct your attention to our website as we begin a new feature: writings and papers from our membership. These can be found by going to the “Featured Articles” box on the front page or in the main menu under the Membership tab. I invite all of you to submit for consideration both scholarly works and personal histories. 

We begin with the latter: It is the story of my wife’s family and two boys who joined the Union Army and marched off to war. Their story reaches through the ages and directly connects to our Society. Another member, Midge Seibert, had a great, great grandfather who served under Stonewall Jackson and fought against my wife’s great, great grandfather at Chancellorsville in May 1863. 

Midge’s relative was part of Jackson’s flank march on that May day and when they attached Howard’s 11th Corps, he may have looked into the eyes of my wife’s relative, who served in Howard’s Corps. They were both at the same spot at the same time, yet stood on opposing sides of the battle lines. 

Our Civil War does not lie in the dusty shelves of a library. It is in the DNA of all of us. In both, my wife’s family and in Midge Seibert’s The Civil War is alive in family memories of their stories. Please read the story on mhsm.org and I invite you all to comment. I hope many of you, like the original founders of our Society, have stories to share both of your families and of your own military experiences. I know the other members would love to read them. After all, it is the stories of our lives which constitute our history. 

Grants from Your Society

To keep you appraised of the most recent activity of the Society, during the January 2021 meeting, your board voted to authorize a grant of $2931 to the Military Order of the World Wars to purchase a display case for their facility. When installed, the display case will include a plaque to note the MHSM’s contribution. 

Thank you all.
Best wishes this New Year to you and your families. 

Robert Gold

Robert Gold
MHSM President

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