CWRT Congress: Failure is Not an Option

“Battle of Cedar Creek” illustrated by Kurz & Allison, c. 1890 (Library of Congress)

By Carol VanOrnum, Civil War Round Table Congress VP

On October 19, 1864, as Major General Philip Sheridan was returning to camp, he found himself riding against a steady stream of his soldiers who’d been badly routed by Lt. Gen. Jubal Early’s Confederates earlier in the day.  Sheridan quickly rallied his troops, turned them about, and subsequently swept the Rebels from the field.  This singular event deemed the famous “Sheridan’s Ride,” proved to be a crucial turning point in President Lincoln’s re-election and subsequent victory for the Union.

For many Civil War Round Tables around the country, the battle to survive is very real.  Many do not know that there is help available. And that help comes from the resources offered by the CWRT Congress. 

For those unfamiliar, the CWRT Congress is not a Round Table, nor does it study the Civil War. CWRT Congress is a resource center, an active organization that seeks to help, inspire, inf

orm, instruct, guide, and consult with local Round Tables, serving both the healthy and the struggling. The CWRT Congress provides a multitude of resources which can all be found for the taking on its website, And, CWRT Congress doesn’t have memberships or charge dues.  It relies on donations to continue their good works.

Videos of online classes for CWRT leaders is located at Online Classroom, which began in October 2021, and cover subjects such as improving websites and newsletters, member retention techniques, creating and maintaining a strong board of directors, networking, and more.

Another tab offers video lectures and the ever-popular Fridays With Grant, featuring Curt Fields. Most of the videos were developed because of the pandemic – helping to keep local Round Table members involved and invested.

There are surveys and analyses called “Proven Practices” of what works and what doesn’t in operating a Round Table.  There are examples of some of the most successful Round Tables’ Constitution and By-Law Examples. Click here.

Running out of good speakers? The Speaker Registry offers over 120 Five-Star speakers who were nominated by Round Tables for their excellent presentations.  Current and past issues of the CWRT Congress’ quarterly newsletter, The Light Post, share success stories from Round Tables across the nation and around the globe.

Maybe you’re traveling and want to attend a local CWRT meeting, or you want to connect with another Round Table. There is an entire section of schedules, locations, histories, websites, and Facebook pages called the CWRT Registry. Click here.

The CWRT Congress’ mission is to provide new and existing Civil War Round Tables with time-tested tools to remain or become sustainable.  The CWRT Congress wants your Round Table to thrive and survive.  The CWRT Congress’ catch phrase Improvement through Education and Networking tells the story in a nutshell.

Like Sheridan’s Ride, it’s never too late to rally and change direction.


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