Category Archives: Meeting archive

Meeting of November 17, 2015

Jack Mather on “What Happens to the Generals When the War is Over?”

Jack’s presentation looked at the post war experiences of John B. Gordon, Joseph Wheeler, Jubal Early, William Rosecrans, Oliver O. Howard, and Benjamin Butler.

man reading a speech

Jack Mather

Jack Mather is a long-time member of the PCWRT and is well read on broad historical topics. Jack is a retired teacher of history at both the high school and college level.

Meeting of October 20, 2015

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 September 15, 2015

David Moore on “William S. Rosecrans and the Union Victory”

Rosecrans Moore bookDavid described how General Rosecrans fought in our theaters of the war: West Virginia 1861, Northeast Mississippi 1862, Tennessee 1863, and Missouri 1864. He explained why relatively few people today know much about him and about the political machinations that caused him to be removed from command four times. He raised the question of whether Rosecrans deserves to be more remembered today and what should be done to achieve that. David also touched on the general’s personality. He has been called the only general of genius on the Union side and his interests ranged from engineering to theology.

David Moore has been a history guide on the east coast with a particular concentration in his native Washington DC/mid-Atlantic region for more than 35 years. He accidentally came upon the story of General Rosecrans while looking for the grave of Mary Surratt, and has spent more than 20 years researching and writing his book.

Meeting of August 18, 2015

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 July 21, 2015

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

man reading a speech

Jack Mather

Jack’s presentation included 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 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.

Meeting of November 18, 2014

Jack Mather on “A Family of Fighting Americans”

man reading a speech

Jack Mather

A family of fighting Americans: Valley Forge, War of 1812, Second Seminole War, Mexican–American War, and the Civil War. At least four family members were killed in action. One member created an important American Historical Symbol (celebrated this last weekend), another is a figure in a famous battlefield painting that we all know.

Meeting of October 21, 2014

Fred Bohmfalk on “A Personal Look at the Lives of Generals Grant, Sherman, and Sheridan”

The talk explored the West Point careers, married lives, and civilian careers of these very different men, and dealt with topics seldom explored by historians.

Grant, Sherman, Sheridan

Meeting of August 19, 2014

Dana Lombardy on “Why did World War Two happen—How were the United States and its allies able to defeat Nazi Germany?”

black-and-white headshot

Dana Lombardy

Dana described  how the “sudden” cease-fire in November 1918 was later used by Nazi propaganda to as proof that Germany’s “unbeaten armies were “stabbed in the back” by their political leaders. In addition, the 1919 Treaty of Versailles worried many important people at the time that the treaty’s harsh terms would only lead to another war. But what was the treaty’s real impact on World War Two? What does this mean to Americans today? What lessons can we learn from the mistakes of the past?

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 to 2000.

Meeting of September 16, 2014

Bob Hubbs on “Four Regiments and Four Privates”

Bob HubbsOften CWRT presentations are prepared based on an important Civil War battle, a famous Civil War person, a famous regiment or unit, or a special Civil War site or location. Bob’s presentation was prepared without any special fame and any famous leaders, but by selecting four unknown or little known regiments and an unknown or little known private from regiment and then doing research. Selection of the regiments and how the privates were selected will be presented and why they were selected. The four regiments will be followed from their formation until the end of the Civil War, and the movements, battles, and actions they encountered during that period. What happened to “their” private during the Civil War period? Why select only four regiments and four privates?

There were unexpected challenges is finding information about the regiments and the privates who were selected—several of those challenges will be introduced and discussed. It was a surprising search, discovering more information than expected, and it was much later after several years of research that Bob realized that he had material to give a presentation.

Bob Hubbs is active in the following Round Table groups: San Francisco, Peninsula, and South Bay. He has presented to each of those groups multiple times over the years. He has also served as the Program Chair for each of those groups.

From 1956 he has been active in research and laboratory work. During that period he has been called chemist, teacher, educator, Professor, Dean, and Historian. His Civil War interests are Grant, Lincoln, and he has been called on several occasions “A Dam Yankee”.

Meeting of July 15, 2014 – CANCELED

MEETING CANCELED. THE FOLLOWING PRESENTATION WILL BE RESCHEDULED.

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

Jack Mather on “San Francisco World Fairs, 1894–1940”

man reading a speech

Jack Mather

These World Fairs were technological marvels and “set the bar” for such events for decades to come. Don’t miss Jack’s talk.

Jack Mather is a long-time member of the PCWRT and teacher of history.

Meeting of June 17, 2014

Howard Jones on “Corinth and the Battle of Shiloh”

Howard Jones

Howard Jones

April of 2012 marked the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Shiloh. In this battle over 65,000 Federal troops and 43,000 Confederates engaged in two bloody days of warfare. Total casualties from this battle exceeded 25,000. The battle was fought at Shiloh, but it was not about Shiloh – it was always about Corinth. In fact, the Shiloh Battlefield is only 20 miles north of the City of Corinth.

Corinth was of great strategic importance to both armies. It was a key railroad center and served both the (east/west) Memphis & Charleston railroad and the (north/south) Mobile & Ohio railroad. It was also just 20 miles from Pittsburg Landing on the Tennessee River. In 1861, the Federal government developed its strategy for invading the Confederacy in the West. The object was to attack and capture key rail centers and waterways in the South.

In April, 1862 General Henry Halleck ordered the Army of the Tennessee under General Ulysses Grant and the Army of the Ohio under General Don Carlos Buell to converge on Pittsburg Landing for the purpose of attacking and capturing Corinth. As General Grant waited for the troops under General Buell to arrive he was attacked by 43,000 Confederate troops under the Command of Albert Sidney Johnston. The two day battle that ensued is the subject of this presentation.

Howard Jones is a long time member (and current president) of the Peninsula Civil War Roundtable and a student of the Civil War.

Meeting of May 20, 2014

Jack Mather on “James Wolfe and John Burgoyne and The Struggle for Control of North America”

man reading a speech

Jack Mather

Jack Mather told the story of two British generals, one of whom enjoyed poetry and the other a noted playwright. One a military success, the other judged a failure.

Jack Mather is a long-time member of the PCWRT and is well read on broad historical topics. Jack is a retired teacher of history at both the high school and college level.

Meeting of April 15, 2014

Hal Jespersen on “Civil War Cartography”

front page of CWMaps.com

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.

Continue reading

Meeting of March 18, 2014

Arthur Henrick on “Civil War Pistols and Rifles”

Major Henrick

Major Henrick

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

Meeting of February 18, 2014

Dana Lombardy on “The Waterloo Myth: How Napoleon Nearly Won the 1815 Campaign”

black-and-white headshot

Dana Lombardy

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.

Meeting of January 21, 2014

Bruce Henderson on “Hero Found: The Greatest POW Escape of the Vietnam War”

Bruce Henderson

Bruce Henderson

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).

 

Meeting of November 19, 2013

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.