Dr. Jon Willen 

Dr. Jon Willen is a retired infectious disease specialist in Washington, DC.

 He has been a Civil War medical reenactor and lecturer for over 27 years.

 His interest in the Civil War began at age 12 when he visited the Gettysburg battlefield for the first time. 

 He began medical reenacting in 1997 because infectious diseases killed more men in the American Civil War than battlefield wounds. Therefore, he could offer a unique perspective as an infectious disease specialist who has treated most diseases that afflicted Civil War soldiers. 

Dr. Jon Willen's expertise has been recognized by the Society Of Civil War Surgeons conference, the National Museum Of Civil War Medicine conference, and numerous Civil War groups and roundtables. Originally based in Southern California, he has since shared his knowledge in the Washington DC area, solidifying his reputation as a respected presenter.

Dr. Jon Willen's dedication to the Civil War community is evident in his past presidency of the Civil War Round Table of the District of Columbia. This role not only showcases his leadership skills but also his deep-rooted passion for the subject.

He is a docent at the National Museum of American History and The National Museum Of Health and Medicine.

He served as a technical advisor for season 2 of the PBS series Mercy Street, set in a Civil War Hospital in Alexandria, Virginia, and he has led medical museum tours for the Smithsonian Associates.


Our next  Zoom Presentation Monday, June 17, at  6:15 PM Pacific Time


Dr. Jon Willen


Civil War Medicine Primer on diseases, surgeries, surgeons, nursing, transporting the wounded, the Sanitary Commission, and African-American surgeons.


During the Civil War more than twice as many soldiers died of disease as in battle. As for amputations, despite the vast number, the survival rate approached 75%. Retired infectious disease physician Dr. Jon Willen will share knowledge acquired over more than two decades as a medical reenactor for an overview of Civil War medical and surgical practices. His talk will include a discussion of the American Civil War's medical advances and the role nurses played in the care of the sick and wounded. He will also explain why the Sanitary Commission was established and what it accomplished.

Furthermore, the talk will also shed light on the often-overlooked contributions of African-American surgeons during this period.


Our next  In-Person and Zoom Presentation Wednesday, June 26, at  6 PM Pacific Time


Dwight T. Pitcaithley, former National Park Service

chief historian, will address ‘Slavery and Secession’ at

June 26 program commemorating Juneteenth

The Lincoln Memorial Shrine, in partnership with the Inland Empire Civil War Round Table and the African Americans in the Civil War Era Round Table, will present a June 26 program on Slavery and Secession by Dwight T. Pitcaithley, Ph.D., former chief historian for the U.S. National Park Service --

where he will share his extensive research into the records from the secession

winter of 1860-61; and answer “Why did the South secede?”

The free program, which is open to the public, will take place at 6 p.m. (PDT) at the Contemporary Club of A.K. Smiley Public Library, 173 S. Eureka St., Redlands; and via a live Zoom webinar.

Dwight T. Pitcaithley, Ph D.

Dr. Pitcaithley, who is Professor Emeritus of History at New Mexico State University in Las Cruces, will summarize

his two-decade examination of the secession movement’s official records, which he says “clearly reveal the

motivations of the South’s promoters of disunion.”

This documentation includes elected officials’ speeches and debates recorded in the Congressional Globe, and

proceedings of state legislatures, secession conventions, and the Peace Conference held in February 1861 in

Washington, D.C.

Bill Gwaltney, president of the new African Americans in the Civil War Era Round Table, calls Dr. Pitcaithley “a riveting presenter,” who “is a rare combination of wit, deep knowledge, humor, focus, and passion.”

Mr. Gwaltney, who has been “in and around the world of public history for decades,” served 35 years in a variety

of positions with the National Park Service.

The AACWERT is a nonprofit, educational organization, which provides a virtual forum on the history of African

Americans during the period 1850 to 1877, as it relates to enslavement, enlistment and emancipation.

Dr. Pitcaithley worked for the National Park Service for 30 years; he retired in 2005, after serving a decade as

chief historian. He is author of: U.S. Constitution and Secession: A Documentary Anthology of Slavery and White

Supremacy (2018); and is a co-editor of The Antiquities Act: A Century of American Archaeology, Historic

Preservation, and Nature Conservation (2006).

He also has contributed chapters to numerous publications, including: Slavery and Public History: The Tough Stuff

of American Memory (2006); Preserving Western History (2005); Myth, Memory, and the Making of the American

Landscape (2001); and Seeing and Being Seen: Tourism in the American West (2001).

Dr. Pitcaithley has received numerous honors, including the Organization of American Historians Distinguished

Service Award. He also is an elected member of the American Antiquarian Society, and a recipient of an honorary

Doctor of Laws degree from the University of North Carolina. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in

1970, and a Master of Arts degree in 1971, both from Eastern New Mexico University in Portales; and a Ph.D. in

History in 1976 from Texas Tech University in Lubbock.

“The Inland Empire Civil War Round Table is excited to be a contributing partner of the June 26 program celebrating Juneteenth,” says IECWRT President Mike Hoover. “Together, with the Lincoln Memorial Shrine and the African Americans in the Civil War Era Round Table, we welcome Dr. Dwight Pitcaithley, and look forward to his presentation on ‘Slavery and Secession.’”

The presentation’s recording will be posted within a few days at: inlandempirecwrt.org. For more information, call the library’s Heritage Room at (909) 798-7632; or email:heritage@akspl.org.