THE CAPTAIN OLIVER WENDELL HOLMES, Jr. AWARD was originally created by the combined Executive Boards of The Civil War Round Table of Greater Boston and The Civil War Round Table of Central Massachusetts in 1987. It was created to Honor someone in the Civil War Community who has achieved major efforts in the Education, Preservation, and Perpetuation of The American Civil War, and has grown in stature and significance with each passing year and with each recipient. Just as Captain Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. performed "above and beyond" during The Civil War, so too have all of the recipients done to preserve The American Civil War in the hearts and minds of all Americans.

Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. was born in Boston in 1842, and graduated from Harvard University in 1861. He immediately enlisted in the Mass. 20th, 2nd Corps, in the early moments of the War. He rose to the rank of Captain, and was promoted to the rank of Brevet Colonel while assigned to General Horatio Wright, serving as Aide-de Camp. Holmes was seriously wounded three times at Ball's Bluff, Antietam, and Fredericksburg. He served almost to the very end of the War, terming his service as a "mission to save the Union".

After The Civil War was over, Holmes went on to serve as The Chief Justice of The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, and later as an Associate Justice of The United States Supreme Court, serving from his appointment in 1902 until his death in 1932. He now rests in Arlington Cemetery among his fellow soldiers of the War, which he always claimed was the single most profound event of his life, and upon which he based many of his views. In the true tradition of Jefferson and Jackson, he considered himself an ordinary soldier and a citizen in the fight to maintain the rights of the people. As an Associate Justice on The U.S. Supreme Court, Holmes would render more dissenting opinions, many of which would later become our way of life.

So too, in that same tradition, have each of our recipients earned the right to this prestigious Award, and to have their names attached to it. When the ROLL CALL is heard, the names of Jerry Russell (06/20/87), Edwin Cole Bearss (09/30/88), Annie Snyder (09/30/89), James Fahey (11/03/90), Ken Burns (09/28/91), John Hennesey (10/30/92), Dennis Frye (10/16/93), Robert E. "Ted" Turner (04/20/96), James I. "Bud" Robertson (04/10/99), Dr. Robert Pamplin, Jr. (04/13/02, The Civil War Preservation Trust (04/02/05), Professor James McPherson, in abstentia, (04/26/2009), and Frank Williams(11/09/2013).


On Satuday evening, Novemver 9, 2013 at Ken's Steak House in Framingham, The Civil War Round Table of Greater Boston hosted the 2013 Captain Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. Awards Dinner, with our Honored Recipient (former) Chief Justice of The R.I. Supreme Court, and noted Lincoln Authority Frank J. Williams.

The evening began after a short Social hour with CWRT of GB President David L. Smith calling for the Posting of the Colors by members of The Mass Sons of Union Veterans of The Civil War and The Mass. 54th Vol. Regiment (Co. A "Glory Brigade".

He then asked our recipient to lead us in the Pledge of Allegiance and for the audience to remain standing for a Moment of Silence for  members which he will speak about shortly.
After this, David listed the many members of our CWRTs who have passed away recently, and who were the foundation of the organization that we are today.

He listed Preson Sturdevant, Bill Bernache,Joe Geden, Betty Zschokke, Barbara Phillips, Charles Franco, Sr., Ed Flannery, and Jim Broome. He followed this with a welcome to the members of our Head Table. After this, David read the Civil War poem "The Vacant Chair" by Henry Washburn and George Root. David then gave us his idea of who the "real Frank Williams is' besides his listed biography.He spoke of Frank's belief of his amateur Chef status, and his many, many Military Awards and Commendations.Then we began our evening meal. 

After our meal we began the official ceremonies beginning with an Introduction of Professor Tom Turner of Bridgewater State U. who told us all of who Frank Williams was and why he was receiving this Award. He then introduced Frank Williams who then gave us a wonderful presentation for the next 40 minutes on Lincoln.

After this, David introduced lifetime CWRT of GB member Bob Hall who gave us the background of how this organization began and how this Award came to be. This was followed by Bob presenting Frank with the Holmes Award.

The evening concluded with Frank presenting Dave Smith with a special Challenge Coin that he made, and then Dave returning this gift with  another special gift to Frank, which was the story and a copy of The Last Photo of Abraham Lincoln that was taken by a Waltham Photographer Henry F. Warren. Dave Smith then called for the Retiring of The Colors and called the evening to a close.

Pictures From 2013 Holmes Dinner
Bob Hall & Frank Williams Bob Hall
Bob Hall & Frank Williams with Holmes Award and special Bob Hall Holmes photo that he gives to Frank Bob Hall
Frank Williams Tom Turner
Frank Williams Tom Turner
Holmes  Dinner Crowd Holmes  Dinner Crowd
Crowd at Holmes Dinner