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