The Civil War Round Table of the District of Columbia 
The City College of New York (CCNY)
Alumni Association Washington DC Chapter  
 jointly and proudly sponsored

who spoke about

 Tuesday, June 13, 2017


 A copy of the PowerPoint to his presentation is available at
Stan Schneider tells the remarkable story of Union General Alexander S. Webb. Scion of an illustrious family, Webb was a hero (arguably the hero) of the battle of Gettysburg, chronicler of the Civil War in its aftermath and an honored participant in post war veterans’ societies. Webb lived a gilded life in late 19th century New York and became President of the City College of New York, a post he held for 33 years. 

Webb’s grandfather, Samuel Blatchley, was aide-de-camp to George Washington, crossed the Delaware with him, was wounded at the battle of White Plains and Trenton, and eventually appointed as Brigadier General commending Washington’s light infantry.  Webb’s father, James Watson Webb was a soldier, newspaper publisher, diplomat and confidant and ally of William H. Seward.  He also served as ambassador to Brazil during the Civil War.

Alexander Webb, the youngest of six children, graduated from West Point in 1855. Except for a nine month stint fighting the Seminoles in Florida, he spent the six years before the Civil War as a math instructor at West Point.  At the war’s outbreak, he was appointed assistant to the artillery commander of the Army of the Potomac and served in a series of staff positions during the first two years of the war.  He was credited with sighting the Union guns at the Battle of Malvern Hill and can be seen bare headed in the famous photo of Lincoln visiting McClellan in the aftermath of the Battle of Antietam.  Webb thought his slow promotion was punishment for his association with Generals McClellan and Fitz John Porter, both of whom were relieved of command and booted out of the Army in late 1862. 
At Chancellorsville in May 1863, Webb performed courageous service as Chief of Staff to General Meade’s Fifth Corps, guiding a brigade to a critical position to defend against a Confederate assault. As a reward, he was promoted to Brigadier General, the orders coming through just three days before the Battle of Gettysburg.   He was appointed to command the Philadelphia Brigade, a mostly Irish outfit recruited from the dockyards, and an incongruous position for the patrician New Yorker.  Together Webb and the Philadelphia Brigade achieved immortality at Gettysburg.  Posted at the “angle," in the wall on Cemetery Ridge and adjacent to the “copse of trees” which was the target of Pickett’s Charge on the last day of the battle, they stood firm and repelled the Confederate assault on their front, killing Confederate General Armistead after his unit momentarily achieved a break-through.  Webb would eventually receive the Congressional Medal of Honor for his actions that day and his exploits and that of the Brigade are marked by numerous statues and markers on the battlefield. 

Webb would go on to successfully lead a division at the battle of Bristoe Station and to serve with distinction at the Wilderness. At Spotsylvania Court House, he was shot off his horse and was critically wounded.  The New York Times reported him dead. But he survived, being promoted Major General during his seven month recuperation. 

Webb returned to the Army of the Potomac in January 1865, as its Chief of Staff, a position he held until Lee’s surrender at Appomattox in April of that year.  He remained in the Army until 1869. When he was ordered to join a regiment forming in the west to fight Indians, he resigned instead to become a president of the City College of New York, serving until 1902.
Webb regularly took part in reunions and dedications and authored books and articles about Gettysburg, the Peninsula campaign, and the Wilderness.  Ever the loyal subordinate, he defended the records of General McClellan and General Meade against all critics.  He advocated to the Secretary of War for an African American graduate of CCNY to be admitted into the U.S. Army Signal Corps, over the objections of its commander.  Webb founded the Westminster Kennel Club and then served as its President for the first 10 years.   He was also close to his four brothers, who would become bankers, financiers, philanthropists, and (in one case) marry into the Vanderbilt family. 

Webb died in 1911, two years, before the 50th Reunion of the battle of Gettysburg, and he is buried at West Point.  A holiday was declared in Gettysburg, and the Governors of New York and Pennsylvania were both in attendance, when a statue to Webb was dedicated on the battlefield in 1915.  Two years later, a duplicate statue was dedicated at the City College of New York.  General Webb was portrayed by the renowned re-enactor and historian, the late Brian Pohanka, in the 1993 movie “Gettysburg.”
Stanley R. (Stan) Schneider is a past Board Member, Vice President, and two term President of the Civil War Round Table of the District of Columbia (CWRTDC), the third oldest such organization in the United States. He is a graduate of the City College of New York (CCNY) and its ROTC program.  Commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, he eventually became a Lieutenant Colonel in the Army Reserves and is an Honor Graduate of the Army’s Command and General Staff College. 
Mr. Schneider's civilian career began with stints at the National Academy of Science and Naval Intelligence, followed by 36 years of service with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and NASA working in positions related to management of weather and earth observing satellites. He retired from NASA in 2010 and is currently a consultant to aerospace companies.

Mr. Schneider has had a lifelong interest in the Civil War.  As a freshman at CCNY, he was inducted into Webb Patrol, an ROTC fraternity named after the College’s 2nd President and Civil War hero.  As a senior, he was elected Commanding Officer of Webb Patrol.  On active duty and subsequently the Reserves, Mr. Schneider was stationed at a series of U.S. Forts named after Civil War Generals---Lee, Pickett, and A.P. Hill--- and read Douglas Southall Freeman’s “Lees Lieutenants” to learn more about the personages mentioned on the ubiquitous signs and road side markers.  His senior thesis at Command and General Staff College was on “Lee’s Lieutenants” and its relevance to the (then) modern Army. 

For many years, Mr. Schneider was a member of the Army’s 310th Theatre Army Area Command (TAACOM) with headquarters at Fort Belvoir’s John Singleton Mosby U.S. Army Reserve Center.   The 310th unit crest consisted of Mosby’s plumed hat superimposed on the southern (St. Andrews) cross. Mr. Schneider is currently Vice President of the 310th Alumni Association known as the “Mosby Rangers."
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