Jack Mather on “A Family of Fighting Americans”
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.
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.
Dana Lombardy on “Why did World War Two happen—How were the United States and its allies able to defeat Nazi Germany?”
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.
Bob Hubbs on “Four Regiments and Four Privates”
Often 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 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”
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.
Howard Jones on “Corinth and the Battle of Shiloh”
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.
Jack Mather on “James Wolfe and John Burgoyne and The Struggle for Control of North America”
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.
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.
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
Dana Lombardy on “The Long Arm of Mr. Lincoln’s Army”
Dana presented diagrams and data to show how the artillery evolved in the Union Army of the Potomac during the American Civil War, and compares its effectiveness to the guns used by their primary opponent, Robert E. Lee’s Confederate Army of Northern Virginia. Gun types, numbers and organization, plus a look back at Napoleon’s artillery at Waterloo were also covered. Continue reading
John Herberich on “The 4th U.S. Cavalry in the Civil War”
Cavalry Orderly, Rappahannock Station, Va., by Edwin Forbes (Wikipedia)
John provided a detailed look at the regiment of his great-grandfather, the 4th U.S. cavalry, covering its history in the Western theater and a look at some of its tactics, primarily the saber.
Howard Jones on “A.S. Johnston”
The life and career of Confederate General Johnston, the Western theater commander who was killed at the Battle of Shiloh.
Albert Sidney Johnston (Wikipedia)
The following meeting summary was provided by Charlie Sweeny. General Johnston was considered the Number Two general at the time of his death in 1862. (Note by Hal Jespersen: Johnston was in fact the second ranking full general in the Confederacy, following the adjutant general, Samuel Cooper. Robert E. Lee was number three, Joseph E. Johnston four, P.G.T. Beauregard five, and Braxton Bragg six. Until his death at Shiloh, Albert Sidney Johnston was considered by Jefferson Davis to be the best general in the Confederate States Army.)
Ray Cosyn on “Flying Tigers”
R.T. Smith photo, 1942. Hell’s Angels, The Flying Tigers – China
In the early days of what was to become WWII in the Pacific, a small group of Americans began training for what was going to become one of the most heroic efforts of the war. The Chinese had been invaded and needed an air force to protect their supply lines and allow them to survive the unceasing onslaught of the Empire of Japan. This presentation covered the formation of the American Volunteer Group, the perils of Flying the Hump, and the Doolittle Raid on Tokyo. This was the American Air War in China that lasted for the time it took to defeat the Japanese. The foundations of the Sino-Japanese War was presented along with the strategy that was put in place to allow the Chinese Nationalist Government to survive the war. Continue reading
Bob Hubbs on “Holly Springs—Grant’s Worst Nightmare?”
Bob’s presentation detailed the Holly Springs Raid, which occurred in the Vicksburg Campaign, December 1862, and review Grant’s greatest challenge. Grant’s strategy, offensive and defensive, for the capture of Vicksburg and the final phase of the Anaconda Plan were introduced. The first campaign for the capture of Vicksburg and the ramifications of that effort were presented. Grant’s reaction to his Army’s incompetent response to the attack by Van Dorn and his cavalry and the capture of Union troops and the destruction of supplies and equipment at Holly Springs, Mississippi. Why the Holly Springs raid and connected events were worse than any of the other events in Grant’s up and down, always changing life.
Dr. Bob Asnard on “CSS Shenandoah”
Bob recounted the story of the C.S.S. Shenandoah from when she was the Sea King, being built in English docks, fitted-out in the Azores, her various escapades, as well as her final battle with the New England Whaling Fleet of the Arctic.