Welcome to website of the San Francisco Peninsula’s own Round Table. Founded in 1972, we are a non-profit organization dedicated to the study and preservation of America’s Civil War era history. You are welcome to join us on the third Tuesday of each month to hear noted historians and authors speak on various topics related to the War and other history topics. See the MEETING INFO tab above for meeting times and directions. Upcoming meetings:
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
Charles Sweeny on “Union”
Meeting description to be provided.
Join us at Harry’s Hofbrau in Redwood City, 11:30 on Tuesday, January 17, 2014. See the MEETING INFO menu item for specific times and directions. This month’s topic is
Bruce Henderson on “Hero Found”
Bruce will describe the greatest POW escape of the Vietnam War, the story of Navy pilot Dieter Dengler.
Dr. John Edmonds Visits Redwood City’s Union Cemetery
Instead of a lecture in November, we had a walking tour of of the Union Cemetery in Redwood City, conducted by Dr. John Edmonds (our August speaker). John has been one of the leaders most responsible for the revitalization of the cemetery and has interesting stories to share about many of the residents.
Jack Mather on “The Nation’s Toughest City (James McPherson)”
Jack presented a series of vignettes about San Francisco in the 1850s and 1860s.
The streets of San Francisco: a mass of Hounds, Ducks, Republicans, Chinese, Chivs, Know Nothings, Peruvians, Irish Politicians,
The population was young, primarily male, with ready access to weapons. A city governed by corrupt officials and living in a situation of semi-anarchy.
Bob Hubbs on “Was Grant surprised at Shiloh?”
Bob answered some provocative questions:
- Shiloh – the horrible experience during which Grant became a general, and Lincoln is elevated to Commander-in–Chief – How so?
- Grant and his trial by fire – What happened to him?
- Shiloh, the never expected, the least understood, and the most painful experience of the American Civil War – Why?
- Shiloh – the battle with more myths and less facts than any major killing of American soldiers – How can this be? Continue reading
Dr. John Edmonds on “The Union Cemetery”
Meeting notes provided by Charlie Sweeny: Dr. Edmonds described not only the history of the cemetery and its connections to Civil War veterans, but also recounted the many contributions made by California Civil War volunteer soldiers.
John retired from 40 years in the Sheriff’s Office. He also retired from working as a psychologist and is presently writing books, including one on the topic of his talk. John has been very involved in the restoration of Redwood City’s Union Cemetery.
Charles Sweeny on “The Short of the Long Division: A Capsule Version of North-South Enmity”
Charles is the Secretary of the PCWRT and a long-time student of the Civil War. He provided the following meeting summary.
In short, the South in 1860 was polarized with great consuming fear of the murderous black revolts on the order of Haiti and other instances of blacks slaughtering whites. The North was taken by the religio-political maelstrom fomented by the abolition movement. Such a climate of fear colliding with roaring righteousness from New England created such clamor that reason could not be heard. The division began in the 18th century and went on and on.
Walter Day on “Camp John C. Fremont, Menlo Park, California”
Walter covered the history of this interesting military post, established to train men for fighting in the trenches of World War I, but eventually sending them to Siberia!
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.
Meeting summary provided by Charlie Sweeny: Continue reading
Major Arthur Henrick on “How I learned to Stop Worrying about Paying for the War and Love the Greenback”
Arthur W. Henrick, a Civil War, Roman, and World War II reenactor, displayed and talked about Hard and Soft Money used in the American Civil War. He passed around coins and currency from the “Great Unpleasantness.”
He explained the economic situation and the coins issued in the 1850s as the US Economy exploded in rapid growth.
He explained how the Federal Government, after using every trick in the book to keep on a Gold Standard, had to resort to Fiat (faith) paper money in early 1862.
Since 1967 when the last Silver Certificates were no longer convertible to silver coin 1:1, the current currency we use today is exactly like Civil War “Greenbacks” and not payable in gold or silver.
Arthur Henrick of Sunnyvale works currently as an Quality Engineer at Cutera, a Medical Laser company.
Charlie Sweeny provided the following summary of the meeting: Continue reading
This year’s West Coast Civil War Roundtable Conference will be held on a cruise ship! The dates are November 1–4, 2013, departing from and returning to Los Angeles. Information about the registering for the cruise, as well as details of the very impressive speaker lineup, are available at http://civilwarcruise.org/