Our July speaker was William F.B. Vodrey. He argued that while the South was blessed with inspired military leadership throughout the war, all of its principal commanders had previously served in the U.S. Army, and had sworn oaths to the United States. Did this make them guilty of treason? Vodrey proved that legally and constitutionally, they were indeed traitors to the United States, although the issue itself was quite complicated.
William F.B. Vodrey, a magistrate of Cleveland Municipal Court, is a former president of the Cleveland Civil War Roundtable. He has long been interested in the Civil War, and has spoken on the subject to such organizations as the Andersonville Society, the Cleveland Grays, the Tuscarawas County Historical Society, the Western Reserve Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution, and numerous Civil War roundtables. His essay “George Washington: Hero of the Confederacy?” appeared in American History magazine. A graduate of Oberlin College and Case Western Reserve University School of Law, Vodrey lives in Cleveland with his wife Susan and their three boys.