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Lake Winni museum hosting presentation on Civil War general who never lost a battle

LACONIA — Lake Winnipesaukee Museum is hosting a presentation, "The Civil War and General Thomas", featuring Dave Decker on October 1st at 7 p.m.

Decker will deliver a presentation on the life and career of General George Thomas, with special emphasis on his unbroken string of victories throughout the Civil War.

Thomas is well known as the best commander on defense in the war. He twice saved the union army from destruction at Stone's River and at Chickamauga. After this second battle, the newspapers dubbed him "the Rock of Chickamauga," and President Lincoln called his effort the most heroic act in the history of the world.

Thomas was equally effective on offense, as was shown in the Tullahoma Campaign and then in the Atlanta Campaign. His crowning achievement occurred at the battle of Nashville, where he completely destroyed John Bell Hood's army, originally 57,000 men but reduced to 3,000 men at Tupelo, Mississippi, having been chased there by Thomas for 250 miles over three weeks. The result of this battle was the end of the war in the west in December, 1864, four months before Lee surrendered to Grant and five months before Johnston surrendered to Sherman. Now one third of the confederate states were at peace.

At the conclusion of the war and five years later at his death, at least ten of his closest colleagues, fellow generals, proclaimed Thomas to be the best general of the war, or of the 19th century, or since George Washington. Thomas was the only man who never lost a battle during the entire civil war.

Dave Decker was born in 1937 in Chicago, Illinois. He lived in Methuen, Massachusetts and Salem, New Hampshire, before moving to Laconia and Gilford, in 1963 and has continued to live there ever since. He graduated from the University of New Hampshire and majored in government and then graduated from Boston College law school.

He practiced law in New Hampshire for 28 years, retired, and then worked as a paralegal for the next 20 years—much easier on the heart and stomach.

Dave is married to his wife, Susan, has three adult children, six grandchildren, and twelve step-grandchildren. His only other resident in the house is the dog.

His interest in the Civil War began in high school and has continued uninterrupted ever since then. A member of the Civil War Round Table of New Hampshire since 1997, he has delivered presentations on the following topics: the Lincoln-Douglass debates of 1858, the third day of the Battle of Gettysburg, women soldiers in the Civil War, and General George Henry Thomas.

He has presented to civil war round tables and historical societies in Alexandria, Auburn, Epping, Farmington, Gilmanton, Hooksett, Keene, Laconia, Meredith, Milton, and Somersworth, N.H.; and seven more venues in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut. Dave's strong interest in General Thomas has been caused by the fact that Thomas is virtually unknown and wrongfully so, and in Dave's small way, he's trying to make amends. He's sure to tell you that General Thomas is a great hero of the Civil War.

This event is free for Lake Winnipesaukee Historical Society members, for non members there is a $5 fee with all proceeds going to benefit the Historical Society's ongoing renovations. The museum located on Route 3 in Weirs Beach, next to Funspot. Please RSVP to 366-5950.

Last Updated on Friday, 26 September 2014 09:27

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Campton Church hosting Harvest Supper

CAMPTON — Campton Congregational Church is holding a Harvest Supper on Saturday from 5-6:30 p.m.

The meal includes ham, harvest veggies, homemade salads, homemade rolls, beverages and homemade pies for dessert. $7 for adults and $4 for children.  

For more information about the dinner or church related inquiries, contact Pastors Russ and Cindy Petrie at the Campton Congregational Church at 603-536-2536.

Last Updated on Friday, 26 September 2014 09:21

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Next session of Camp Resilience to address wellness through lifestyle

GILFORD — The Patriot Resilient Leader Institute (PRLI), a local veterans group formed to help wounded warriors and first responders with life skills and recreational activities, is preparing for the next session of its Camp Resilience program. It will host 14-16 veterans from VA Vet Centers throughout New England and the White River Junction VA Medical Center on October 20-23.

Jake Ross, the Vice President and Lead Facilitator of the Vermont Vet-to-Vet program, has agreed to help the PRLI run this Camp Resilience session. He recently traveled to the Lakes Region to meet with the PRLI Board of Directors and discuss the upcoming session, which will run from October 20th through October 23rd.

The life skills program will include financial management and "Wellness Through Lifestyle Changes" with a focus on sleep issues, diet and exercise. The sports activities will include the Aerial Treetops Adventure course at Gunstock Mountain, mountain biking or hiking and fishing/boating on Lake Winnipesaukee. The participants will stay at the Gunstock Inn in Gilford which has an indoor pool and workout facilities to support the exercise life skills program.

The PRLI Board of Directors is currently assessing financial costs of the upcoming visit and is actively soliciting donations from individuals, businesses, civic clubs and community groups interested in helping veterans. "We estimate this visit, even with free and deeply discounted goods and services from generous merchants and vendors, will cost approximately $5,000" said PRLI Treasurer Chris Ray. "We have about half that amount in hand so we need to fund raise the remaining half" Ray added. Anyone wishing to assist this veterans' outreach program may send a tax deductible donation to the PRLI account, c/o Bank of New Hampshire, 62 Pleasant Street, Laconia, NH 03246. Donations may also be made via credit card or PayPal on the PRLI's website www.prli.us.

Last Updated on Friday, 26 September 2014 09:15

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Belmont Bandstand restoration will be saluted Sunday

BELMONT — Local leaders, state officials and members of the preservation community will salute restoration of the historic Belmont Bandstand this Sunday at 1:30 p.m.

Second District Executive Councilor Colin Van Ostern, Plymouth State University faculty member and retired State Architectural Historian James Garvin are among participants, with representatives from the Land and Community Heritage Investment Program (LCHIP) and the New Hampshire Preservation Alliance.

The family-friendly and free event features combined choruses of the Canterbury Elementary and Belmont Middle Schools directed by Carlos Martinez, with seasonal refreshments including specialties from the Student Hospitality Club of Lakes Region Community College Culinary Arts Program.

Restoration of the 1908 Bandstand began last October and continued this year, with funding for repainting and a new cedar shake roof supported by an LCHIP matching grant. Historical restoration specialist JR Graton of Northfield, painter John Thompson of Alexandria, architectural conservator Brian Powell of Building Conservation Associates, and traditional stonewall builder Kevin Fife of Canterbury - with initial help from Cullen Concrete of Tilton and Busby Contractors of Atkinson has comprised "a first rate team for the project" according to Heritage Commission chairman Linda Frawley.

Last Updated on Friday, 26 September 2014 09:09

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