Monthly Archives: May 2017

2017 West Coast Civil War Round Table Conference

The 2017 West Coast Civil War Conference has been announced. Sponsored by Sacramento Civil War Round Table, this year’s theme is

Lesser Known Civil War Battles
November 10–12, 2017, Crowne Plaza Hotel, Sacramento

Download the flyer and registration form: 2017 West Coast Conference Flyer

The speakers will be:

  • William C. Davis: Retired in 2013 as Professor of History and Executive Director of the Virginia Center for Civil War Studies at Virginia Tech University. He is the author or editor of more than 60 books on the Civil War and Southern history, and consultant and commentator for A&E’s “Civil War Journal,” and several other television and film productions.
  • Dr. Brian S. Wills: Director of the Center for the Civil War Era at Kennesaw State University. Dr. Wills is a nationally recognized Civil War historian and author of books on Civil War topics.
  • Thomas Cartwright: Is a leading authority and author on the Battle of Franklin who conducted tours of Western Theater battlefields for 20 years. Appeared on many TV shows and is a frequent CWRT speaker.
  • Jim Stanbery: Professor of Political Science and History at Los Angeles Harbor College, and speaker at the West Coast Civil War Conference for more than twenty years. Is a frequent CWRT speaker.
  • Theodore Savas: Is an attorney, adjunct college instructor, award-winning author, Partner and Managing Director of Savas Beatie LLC. He specializes in military history and the American Civil War.
  • Ron Perisho: A member of the Sacramento CWRT and Center for Civil War Photography (CCWP), CoEditor of “Gettysburg in 3-D,” and a Soils Engineer who has collected Civil War Photography for 30 years.

Meeting of June 20, 2017

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

Jack Mather on “Two British Generals and the Struggle for Control of North America”

man reading a speech

Jack Mather

One died and was successful, one failed and lived: James Wolfe, John Burgoyne, and the birth of the United States of America.

Meeting of August 15, 2017

Join us at Harry’s Hofbrau in Redwood City, 11:30 on Tuesday, August 15. See the MEETING INFO menu item for specific times and directions. This month’s topic is

Jim Balassone on “George Henry Thomas”

George Henry Thomas, called “The Virginian” by Abraham Lincoln, is one of the most remarkable general officers of the Civil War. He was never defeated when he was in command of the Union’s forces, was a brilliant strategist and tactician, and was adored by his troops. He suffered the lowest casualty rate and inflicted one of the highest casualty rates on his opponents. Consider the following:

  • George Henry Thomas, the Most Successful Union General of the Civil War. Why hasn’t he been given his due? Why is he buried in Troy, NY? His bust resides in Grant’s Tomb!
  • Thousands of Southerners fought for the Union but Thomas, born in Virginia, is the focus of the most resentment because he was…. a better general?
  • At Chattanooga, he oversaw construction of the Union cemetery; grave layouts were usually organized by States: “Mix them up. Mix them up. I am tired of states’ rights.”
  • “We must be as considerate and kind as possible, or we will find that in destroying the rebels we have destroyed the Union,” after the Battle of Atlanta.
  • “Just twice was a major CSA army driven from a prepared position in complete rout—at Chattanooga and at Nashville” …Bruce Catton
  • Bottom Line: Casualty Rates– Commanding General’s Average (Opponent’s): Thomas 5.0 % (23.3), U S Grant 18.1% (31.0), R E Lee 20.2% (15.4)

Jim Balassone has studied General Thomas for several years. He has read his two primary biographies, walked his “Rock of Chickamauga” stand in Georgia, and generally been infatuated by the man’s character and grace. Jim spent a 45-year career in high-tech marketing, working for IBM, Hitachi, and several smaller firms in Silicon Valley, Europe, and “back East”, and then 12 years teaching business ethics at Santa Clara University before retiring in 2015.

His mother’s great uncle was a member of the Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry. Jim has been a student of the Civil War for thirty years, visiting most major battle sites, and voraciously reading the military and biograph masterpieces of this seminal American conflict.

Meeting of May 16, 2017

Howard Jones on “John Paul Jones, An American Hero”

Howard’s presentation was about the heroics of John Paul Jones who took the fight for American independence to the British Isles during the Revolutionary War. The epic battle between the American ship, Bonhomme Richard, and the British ship, Serapis, is legendary in naval history. His ultimate victory became the basis for the creation of a United States Naval Academy and a world-power American Navy.

Howard is a Marine Corps Veteran and a graduate of the University of Oregon. He is the immediate Past Commander General of the Military Order of the Stars and Bars. He is a former President of the Silicon Valley Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution. In addition, he served for 12 years as the Public Member of San Mateo County’s Local Agency Formation Committee, (or, LAFCo). Howard frequently gives presentations about American history to elementary grade school children and heritage groups such as the DAR, SAR and the UDC.