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.

2014 West Coast Civil War Conference Announced

2014 West Coast Civil War Conference Announced

Craig L. Symonds and Harold Holzer

The Sacramento CWRT will host the West Coast Civil War Conference, November 7-9, 2014. The theme will be “1864” and the fun and learning will start on November 7th (Friday afternoon) with a late afternoon social hour, dinner, and speech. As usual, the activities continue on Saturday with another social hour, dinner, and speech at night. The Conference will continue until Sunday noon when we will all return to our homes.

2014 Conference Registration Form

2014 West Coast Conference Program

We have the commitments of two very well known Civil War historians to provide much of the action over the weekend. Craig Symonds and Harold Holzer will be doing the heavy lifting. We are evaluating along with them a new format for them at some time over the weekend. This would be a “conversational” format where Craig and Hal would sit in easy chairs in front of the room and carry on a conversation about the events of 1864 – giving their views on issues beyond just relating the facts. What an innovation this could be!!! There will be other speakers and activities as well and a detailed agenda will be released in the near future. Hotel rooms including a hot breakfast buffet will cost $99 for up to two people per room. Stay tuned for more! For questions, email Paul Ruud at, George W. Foxworth at, or Don Hayden at

Crowne Plaza Hotel (a Holiday Inn Hotel)
5321 Date Avenue
Sacramento, CA 95841-2512

For reservations, please say Sacramento Civil War Round Table to get the $99 block of rooms.

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


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.