Meeting of July 16, 2013

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.

Meeting of June 18, 2013

Walter Day on “Camp John C. Fremont, Menlo Park, California”

man doing a presentation

Walter Day

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

Meeting of May 21, 2013

Major Arthur Henrick on “How I learned to Stop Worrying about Paying for the War and Love the Greenback”

Greenbacks and PistolArthur 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.

Major Henrick

Major Henrick

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

New Meeting Location in Redwood City

In the December 2012 meeting, our members voted to change our meeting site because of expenses associated with the golf course restaurant in San Mateo. The new meeting location, effective in January 2013 is Harry’s Hofbrau restaurant in Redwood City. Click on the MEETING INFO menu tab for the new meeting times and directions.

Meeting of April 16, 2013

Dana Lombardy on “The Long Arm of Mr. Lincoln’s Army”

black-and-white headshot

Dana Lombardy

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

Meeting of March 19, 2013

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.

Meeting of February 19, 2013

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)

Howard Jones

Howard Jones

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.)

Meeting of January 15, 2013

Ray Cosyn on “Flying Tigers”

R.T. Smith photo, 1942. Hell's Angels, The Flying Tigers - China

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

Meeting of December 18, 2012

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.