Hal Jespersen on “Civil War Cartography”
front page of CWMaps.com
Readers say that one of the most important features of a modern book about the Civil War is a good collection of readable, accurate maps. Hal’s presentation revealed some of the details behind the process for creating such maps. Hal Jespersen’s cartography business has produced over 800 maps for Wikipedia and numerous books, magazines, and battlefield displays. Hal discussed the state of mapmaking during the war, reviewed the work of some famous cartographers, and described tools and processes he uses to create maps. Some of the technical concepts included were projection, elevation rendering, evaluating the accuracy of the Official Records Atlas, and plotting the courses of 19th century rivers, roads, and railroads.
Arthur Henrick on “Civil War Pistols and Rifles”
Arthur Henrick, Civil War reenactor and collector, explored the workings and production issues of Civil War pistols and rifles. He brought the following (unloaded of course):
Original 1851 Colt Navy (made 1852),
Remington Navy – old Model Elliot type (made June, 1862),
Remington Army – old model (made August, 1862),
Colt 1861 Navy (made June 1863)
He also brought reproductions (modern) of the following:
Giswold Gunnison Navy (CSA)
Colt Navy 1861 model
Remington New Model Army (Circa 1864)
Enfield Long Rifle
1860 Henry Repeater
Dana Lombardy on “The Waterloo Myth: How Napoleon Nearly Won the 1815 Campaign”
Many historians discount the Waterloo campaign as irrelevant—a French victory in Belgium could not prevent an eventual Allied triumph due to overwhelming numbers, the same way it happened in 1813 and 1814. Was Napoleon desperate and out of touch with reality? Or, was the entire 1815 campaign, not just the battle on 18 June, more of a “close run thing” than assumed?
Dana Lombardy was an Associate Online Editor for Armchair General magazine and now does research, writing and design through Lombardy Studios. Dana is best known 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, and was Publisher of Napoleon Journal from 1996-2000.
Bruce Henderson on “Hero Found: The Greatest POW Escape of the Vietnam War”
The latest national bestseller from the #1 New York Times bestselling author, Bruce Henderson, Hero Found is the incredible but true story of Dieter Dengler, with whom Henderson served aboard the aircraft carrier USS Ranger during the Vietnam War. This amazing story of triumph over seemingly insurmountable odds has been filmed by Werner Herzog as both a documentary (Little Dieter Needs to Fly) and a motion picture (Rescue Dawn, starring Christian Bale).
Charles Sweeny on “Union”
Meeting description to be provided.
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?”
Battle of Shiloh by Thure de Thulstrup (Wikipedia)
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.