Meeting of July 21, 2015

Join us at Harry’s Hofbrau in Redwood City, 11:30 on Tuesday, July 21. See the MEETING INFO menu item for specific times and directions. This month’s topic is

Jack Mather on “World’s Fairs In San Francisco: 1894 and 1915″

man reading a speech

Jack Mather

Jack’s presentation will include such topics as Little Egypt dancing (for men only!); Germans made up to look Japanese, pulling rickshaws; ukulele concerts; and Sousa’s Marching Band.

Meeting of August 18, 2015

Join us at Harry’s Hofbrau in Redwood City, 11:30 on Tuesday, August 18. See the MEETING INFO menu item for specific times and directions. This month’s topic is

Howard Jones on “How the United Daughters of the Confederacy Saved Lee Chapel”

The story begins with Robert E. Lee’s surrender of the Army of Northern Virginia at Appomattox Court House and moves to Lee’s time as President of Washington College in Lexington, Virginia. One of Lee’s first acts as President was to plan for and construct a chapel on the campus. The chapel would be used for both daily worship and school assemblies. The chapel was completed in 1868 – just two years before the death of Robert E. Lee. The name of the college was changed to Washington & Lee immediately upon Lee’s death.

Howard Jones Commander Gen Robert E Lee Monument

On January 24, 1912, Dr. Henry Louis Smith became the President of Washington & Lee. He soon began a campaign to raze Lee Chapel and replace it with a larger and more suitable structure. Initially he received support for this project from all quarters. But a small chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy in Lexington did not share Smith’s vision. In fact, the ladies would begin a letter writing campaign that would transform the issue into a nationwide debate. The story of their valiant efforts to save Lee Chapel is the topic for this presentation.

Meeting of October 20, 2015

Join us at Harry’s Hofbrau in Redwood City, 11:30 on Tuesday, October 20. See the MEETING INFO menu item for specific times and directions. This month’s topic is

Chris Palmer on “Bleeding Kansas: A Brief look at the Struggle for Kansas Statehood and the First(?) Battles of the Civil War”

1855 Free-State poster in Kansas Territory, calling for action against slavery supporters and slavery-supporting laws (Wikipedia)

1855 Free-State poster in Kansas Territory, calling for action against slavery supporters and slavery-supporting laws (Wikipedia)

The Kansas–Nebraska Act was passed in 1854 and settlers started to move into the new territory. Neighboring Missouri was a slave state since 1820 and realized a “threat” to their possible slave expansion west. A part of the Kansas–Nebraska Act was popular sovereignty where residents could vote for or against slavery. Missouri did not want a neighboring free state and flooded Kansas to get political control of the territorial legislature. “North and South Rights” are debated for free men to vote their fate while property rights slave holders see their liberty intruded upon. If Kansas is admitted slave, slavery may expand throughout the US rendering the Missouri Compromise of 1820 moot. Things escalated as political forces built on Free-State and Border Ruffian sides with voting problems, intimidation, beatings, theft, and general mayhem. As a shooting conflict starts in 1856, will Kansas enter as a free or slave state?

Meeting of June 16, 2015

Walter Day hosts “Civil War Journal: The Commanders”, part 2

Civil War Journal Stonewall JacksonWalter hosted a video presentation, Civil War Journal from the History Channel. This episode was titled “Sherman and the March to the Sea.” This video is part of an acclaimed series from The History Channel that chronicles the American Civil War. The series uses archival photographs, diaries, articles, re-enactments, and scholarly commentary to tell the story of the War Between the States. This episode chronicles General William Tecumseh Sherman’s march to the sea. Leaving Atlanta in flames and ashes, Sherman’s troops waged a scorched earth campaign from there to the coast, disheartening the Confederacy. Hosted by Danny Glover and produced by The History Channel.

 

 

Meeting of May 19, 2015

Chris Palmer on “Invasion of the Chesapeake – War of 1812 Bicentennial Defense of Washington and Baltimore”

Bombardment of Fort Henry, 1814 (Wikipedia)

Bombardment of Fort Henry, 1814 (Wikipedia)

Chris presented an overview of the British raiding of the Chesapeake in 1813 and 1814 and the Battles of Bladensburg at Washington and North Point, Hampstead Hill, and Fort McHenry at Baltimore. Most of the land War of 1812 had been fought along the Canadian border, around Niagara and Great Lakes, with some naval actions on the Lakes. The British were trying to end the American war and to harass and to divert US forces from the real British objective of attacking Plattsburgh, New York. The British hoped that having finally defeated Napoleon, they could end the American war and perhaps take back portions of New England and secure the Canadian border by the two-prong simultaneous action in the Chesapeake and taking Plattsburgh and defeat the American army at the same time. The Chesapeake raiding forces’ goals were to harass and panic the Americans, bottle up US Navy ships, and prevent privateers from escaping Baltimore to raid British shipping. Privateers were a real irritant and the British commanders wanted to make the “den of pirates” in Baltimore pay by taking McHenry and then Baltimore.

Chris Palmer is a practicing geologist and hydrogeologist consultant working mostly on applied groundwater contaminant problems, and some engineering geology. Most of his work is in the Bay Region and at times he has worked in other states over the last 34 years. He is a life-long amateur historian, mostly American history as well as world history and history of science.

Meeting of April 21, 2015

Arthur Henrick on “And So My friends, Is This the End… 150 Years Ago”

Major Henrick

Major Henrick

Arthur discussed the end of the war and address the costs, losses, and lessons learned. He addressed the state of the USA in 1865.

Arthur W. Henrick, a frequent presenter at the Peninsula Civil War Round Table, is a Civil War, Roman, and World War II reenactor.

Meeting of March 17, 2015

Walter Day hosts “Civil War Journal: The Commanders”

Walter hosted a video presentation, Civil War Journal from the History Channel. The episode was titled “West Point Classmates: Civil War Enemies.” West Point was influential in both sides of the American Civil War, as graduates from the prestigious academy would become combatants in the fight between North and South, but the conflict could not destroy the bonds that originated in school. Hosted by Danny Glover and produced by The History Channel.

This video is also available on YouTube:

Meeting of February 17, 2015

Libra Hilde on “Native American Experience during the Civil War”

Stand Watie, Cherokee leader and brigadier general, CSA

Libra Hilde is an Associate Professor at San Jose State University. She did her undergraduate work at UC Berkeley and her graduate work at Harvard. After completing her Ph.D. in 2003, she spent two years teaching at Stanford University. Dr. Hilde’s research and teaching interests focus on 19th century America, particularly the Jacksonian period, slavery, the Civil War, Reconstruction, and women’s history. She also has a strong in background in 19th and 20th century Native American history. Her first book, Worth A Dozen Men: Women and Nursing in the Civil War South, was published in the Spring of 2012.

Meeting of January 20, 2015

Chris Palmer on “Invasion of the Chesapeake – War of 1812 Bicentennial Defense of Washington and Baltimore”

Bombardment of Fort Henry, 1814 (Wikipedia)

Bombardment of Fort Henry, 1814 (Wikipedia)

Chris presented an overview of the British raiding of the Chesapeake in 1813 and 1814 and the Battles of Bladensburg at Washington and North Point, Hampstead Hill, and Fort McHenry at Baltimore. Most of the land War of 1812 had been fought along the Canadian border, around Niagara and Great Lakes, with some naval actions on the Lakes. The British were trying to end the American war and to harass and to divert US forces from the real British objective of attacking Plattsburgh, New York. The British hoped that having finally defeated Napoleon, they could end the American war and perhaps take back portions of New England and secure the Canadian border by the two-prong simultaneous action in the Chesapeake and taking Plattsburgh and defeat the American army at the same time. The Chesapeake raiding forces’ goals were to harass and panic the Americans, bottle up US Navy ships, and prevent privateers from escaping Baltimore to raid British shipping. Privateers were a real irritant and the British commanders wanted to make the “den of pirates” in Baltimore pay by taking McHenry and then Baltimore.

Chris Palmer is a practicing geologist and hydrogeologist consultant working mostly on applied groundwater contaminant problems, and some engineering geology. Most of his work is in the Bay Region and at times he has worked in other states over the last 34 years. He is a life-long amateur historian, mostly American history as well as world history and history of science.

Meeting of December 16, 2014

Walter Day on “Assault on the Pegasus Bridge – Thwarting Rommel’s plan to roll-up the British Invasion Force on Sword Beach, Normandy, June 6, 1944″

man doing a presentation

Walter Day

Why is this operation important to study? This operation was planned and executed almost perfectly with 181 men in six gliders capturing two bridges spanning the Orne River and the Caen Canal intact!

The assaulting force suffered one fatality. Having visited the site and seen the bridges and gliders, it is very impressive what this small force was able to do.

Walter Day is a microwave engineer who has worked in the Bay Area for 45 years.  He has served as President of the PCWRT and is presently the Program Chairman. He has studied the Civil War since he was a teen and has researched his Great-Grandfather’s service with the Army of Northern Virginia. Having served as an officer in the U.S.Navy he has a more than passing interest in Naval actions of the Civil War.