Meeting of December 17, 2019

Join us at Harry’s Hofbrau in Redwood City, 11:30 on Tuesday, December 17. See the MEETING INFO menu item for specific times and directions. This month’s topic is

Tom McMahon on “The Battle of Monocacy”

Also known as Monocacy Junction, the Battle of Monocacy was fought on July 9, 1864, approximately 6 miles (9.7 km) from Frederick, Maryland, as part of the Valley Campaigns of 1864 during the American Civil War. This was just one year after Gettysburg, and 13 months before R.E. Lee’s surrender at Appomattox. It is a key rag tale battle that becomes the defense of Washington, and a great contributor to the continuance of the Union.

Tom McMahon, now in his 90s, is a third generation native San Franciscan whose great grandparents came as Irish immigrants in 1858 directly to the City, more than likely via the Isthmus of Panama, and then by boat up the West Coast. Tom is a member of the South Bay Civil War Round Table.

Meeting of November 19, 2019

Abby and David Eller on “Cotton”

The production and consumption of cotton textile products was a major part of the global economy in the 19th century. By the outbreak of the Civil War, Southerners had become quite confident in Cotton as King. But Cotton had some surprises in store for its loyal subjects. Learn more about the fascinating history of cotton, and how if influenced the course of the Civil War.

Although they make no pretense of being professional historians, Abby Eller and her husband David are enthusiastic history buffs. They are fascinated by how the Civil War transformed the course of American history. Abby and David have lived in Menlo Park for over forty years. They are active members of both the Peninsula Civil War Round Table and the South Bay CWRT. They also volunteer at San Mateo County History Museum’s second-hand bookstore in Redwood City, where Abby curates the military history book section.

2019 West Coast Civil War Conference: Civil War Leadership, 1861-1865

November 8–10, 2019, Crowne Plaza Hotel, Sacramento, Sponsored by Sacramento Civil War Round Table

Our Speakers are:

  • Chris Mackowski: A Professor of Journalism and Mass Communication at Saint Bonaventure University, and the author of more than 10 books. He works with the National Parks Service and is the founder of the Emerging Civil War Blog.
  • David A. Powell: A Vice-President of Airsped, Inc., a delivery firm. He has published many articles in magazines & historical simulations of different battles. He specializes and leads tours on the Battle of Chickamauga.
  • Sarah Kay Bierle: A Managing Editor for Emerging Civil War’s Blog. She has spent the last few years researching. writing, and speaking across the country about the American Civil War.
  • Paul Kahan: An expert on the political, diplomatic, and economic history of the United States in the nineteenth century. Dr. Kahan has published several books and is a former resident of Sacramento.
  • Jim Stanbery: A retired Professor of Political Science and History at Los Angeles Harbor College, and speaker at the West Coast Civil War Conference for more than thirty years. He is a frequent CWRT speaker.
  • Theodore P. Savas: An attorney, adjunct college instructor, award-winning author, and Partner and Managing Director of Savas Beatie LLC. He specializes in military history and the American Civil War.
  • Edwin L. Kennedy Jr.: A graduate of West Point and former Professor of the U.S. Army Command & General Staff College History Department & Combat Studies. He is the leader of staff rides, including the Battle of Chickamauga.

The Conference cost is $200 per person, which includes Friday dinner, Saturday lunch and dinner, as well as all sessions. A full hotel breakfast buffet is included for guests staying at the hotel. Partial day attendance: Friday Only is $50; Saturday Only is $125; Saturday Dinner and Lecture Only is $50; Sunday Only is $25. There will be a no-host bar set-up Friday and Saturday evenings for your enjoyment before dinner.

Download the flyer and registration form:

For more information, contact Paul Ruud at 530-886-8806.

Room reservations are available by calling the Crowne Plaza Hotel directly at 877-504-0054 or online at www.crowneplaza.com. The hotel has rooms set aside for us at $139 per night, plus tax. Please mention the Conference.

Meeting of October 15, 2019

Dana Lombardy on “Secret Turning Points of the American Civil War”

Dana Lombardy was an Associate Online Editor for Armchair General and now does research, writing and design through LombardyStudios.com Dana is best known for his multiple award-winning Streets of Stalingrad board wargame (three separate editions since first released in 1979), and for his nearly twenty television appearances, including multiple episodes of The History Channel’s “Tales of the Gun” series. He has contributed as an editor, cartographer, graphic artist and designer on many books, games and magazines, was Publisher of Napoleon Journal from 1996-2000 and published nine issues of World War One Illustrated.

Meeting of September 17, 2019

Dana Lombardy on “How to Evaluate & Review a History Book (With a Handout Guide and Free Books!)”

Author, editor, and publisher Dana Lombardy presents 10 steps that can be used to help decide whether a history (on other non-fiction) book is worth buying. In addition, Dana will present eight steps that are crucial to submitting a book review on Amazon, Goodreads, or your favorite magazines and websites. FREE BOOKS: Dana will hand out a checklist guide and historical books at the end of this talk.

Dana Lombardy was an Associate Online Editor for Armchair General and now does research, writing and design through LombardyStudios.com Dana is best known for his multiple award-winning Streets of Stalingrad board wargame (three separate editions since first released in 1979), and for his nearly twenty television appearances, including multiple episodes of The History Channel’s “Tales of the Gun” series. He has contributed as an editor, cartographer, graphic artist and designer on many books, games and magazines, was Publisher of Napoleon Journal from 1996-2000 and published nine issues of World War One Illustrated.

Meeting of August 20, 2019

Dennis Kohlman on “J.E.B. Stuart and His Ride Around the Union Army at Gettysburg”

J.E.B. Stuart was the cavalry commander of the Army of Northern Virginia. His division was composed of five brigades. Stuart’s plan was to leave two brigades to watch and report on the activities of the Army of the Potomac and take three brigades on his ride. Who to take and who to leave?

Dennis’s interest in the Civil War started during the Vietnam War, where he saw similarities between the two conflicts: unpopular war, draft riots, a president vilified in the newspapers. He started his research with the Life/Times book series and went from there. He is currently the president of the Sacramento Civil War Round Table and has given numerous talks to Civil War clubs.

Meeting of July 16, 2019

Howard Jones on “Marines Fighting Marines – The Battle of Drewry’s Bluff”

The Battle of Drewry’s Bluff took place on May 15, 1862. It was a small but significant part of General George B. McClellan’s Peninsula Campaign that began on March 17, 1862. It might have been the difference in the battle if it had been successful. Essentially, McClellan’s advance towards Richmond had stalled on the outskirts of the Confederate capital. Plans were then made to send a flotilla of ships up the James River and break the deadlock by shelling Richmond.

The only obstacle to this plan was Drewry’s Bluff, located just 7 miles downstream from Richmond. Here the river made a sharp turn and a massive bluff rose 110 feet above the river. The bluff was heavily defended by the Confederate States Marines Corps. A flotilla of 5 ships, including the indestructible Monitor, was sent upstream to blast its way through the defenses and capture Richmond.

The Battle of Drewry’s Bluff is unique because it is the only battle in the history of the United States Marine Corps where U.S. Marines and former Marines, (now the Confederate States Marine Corps), met in direct combat. Many of these men would have known each other from before the war.

Howard Jones is the President of the Peninsula Civil War round table and an amateur historian.

Meeting of June 18, 2019

Monika Trobits on “San Francisco in the Mid-19th Century”

San Francisco in the mid-19th century, an instant city, geographically isolated in the West, yet fated to be the gateway for a worldwide migration in search of golden dreams. Hundreds of thousands made the arduous journey to the fledgling city, including Argonauts who rushed west from the Northern and Southern states. They had seemingly left behind the political, economic and other slavery-related tensions of the period only to find that it had all traveled west with them. Monika’s presentation will explore the remnants of the antebellum and Civil War eras as they played out in old San Francisco, a boom town fraught with daily dramas, political rivalries and heated battles over pending statehood.

Monika Trobits has lived in San Francisco for 37 years. A New York City native, she has been studying local history since the mid-1980s. She established her tour company in 2011: www.sanfranciscojourneys.com and developed a walking tour in conjunction with her first book: Antebellum and Civil War San Francisco: A Western Theater for Northern & Southern Politics (published 2014). Nowadays, she also teaches walking history classes for OLLI, based at SF State. Her other nonfiction works include, “Dashiell Hammett’s San Francisco in the 1920s” an article that was published in the winter 2011 edition of the Argonaut and her second book, Bay Area Coffee: A Stimulating History, published in February 2019. Monika earned a B.A. in political science/history from SF State and lives down the road from the site of the 1859 Broderick-Terry duel.

Meeting of May 21, 2019

Bernie Quinn on “Three Men Who Could Have Ended the Civil War in 1862”

Over 750,000 Americans did not have to die in the Civil War! Three men who could have commanded the Army of the Potomac and crushed Robert E. Lee at Antietam, never got the chance. Because they were removed from the chessboard so early, you probably don’t even know their names.

Bernie Quinn is a member of the Elk Grove CWRT.

Meeting of March 19, 2019

Joan Larrabee on “The Civil War Veterans Section of the Alta Mesa Cemetery in Palo Alto”

Joan Larrabee grew up in a military family; her great-grandfather served  in the Union Army as a teenager at the end of the Civil War. She earned a BA in History at Stanford University and a Master of Urban Planning at San Jose State. She worked for the City of San Jose in the fields of recreation, community services and transportation.