Author Archives: hlj

Meeting of November 21, 2017

Abby Eller on “The History in Historic Union Cemetery”

A quarter century ago, Jean Cloud led a coalition of concerned citizens in our area, who fought hard to save Historic Union Cemetery here in Redwood City, from being lost to demolition and commercial development. Historic Union Cemetery Association has worked ever since, to continue to restore and maintain this national and state historic landmark. What is so important about Historic Union Cemetery?

Abby Eller shared some of the many stories that Historic Union Cemetery has to tell. We found out why Redwood City is called that, and why it was originally called Mezesville. How a man in our area had a town and lake named after him. The Grand Army of the Republic had a burial plot in Union Cemetery. You’ll hear about their importance, and their women’s auxiliary, to Civil War veterans. There were a few other stories as well.

Abby Eller joined the Redwood City Civil War Round Table in July of this year. She and her husband Dave live in Menlo Park. Abby has been an American history buff ever since high school. In 2013 she joined Historic Union Cemetery Association based here in Redwood City.

2017 West Coast Civil War Round Table Conference

The 2017 West Coast Civil War Conference has been announced. Sponsored by Sacramento Civil War Round Table, this year’s theme is

Lesser Known Civil War Battles
November 10–12, 2017, Crowne Plaza Hotel, Sacramento

Download the flyer and registration form: 2017 West Coast Conference Flyer

The speakers will be:

  • William C. Davis: Retired in 2013 as Professor of History and Executive Director of the Virginia Center for Civil War Studies at Virginia Tech University. He is the author or editor of more than 60 books on the Civil War and Southern history, and consultant and commentator for A&E’s “Civil War Journal,” and several other television and film productions.
  • Dr. Brian S. Wills: Director of the Center for the Civil War Era at Kennesaw State University. Dr. Wills is a nationally recognized Civil War historian and author of books on Civil War topics.
  • Thomas Cartwright: Is a leading authority and author on the Battle of Franklin who conducted tours of Western Theater battlefields for 20 years. Appeared on many TV shows and is a frequent CWRT speaker.
  • Jim Stanbery: Professor of Political Science and History at Los Angeles Harbor College, and speaker at the West Coast Civil War Conference for more than twenty years. Is a frequent CWRT speaker.
  • Theodore Savas: Is an attorney, adjunct college instructor, award-winning author, Partner and Managing Director of Savas Beatie LLC. He specializes in military history and the American Civil War.
  • Ron Perisho: A member of the Sacramento CWRT and Center for Civil War Photography (CCWP), CoEditor of “Gettysburg in 3-D,” and a Soils Engineer who has collected Civil War Photography for 30 years.

Meeting of October 17, 2017

Jack Mather on “FDR and Voices in the Night”

man reading a speech

Jack Mather

Jack described Franklin Roosevelt’s interactions with Huey Long, Father Coughlin, the Bonus Army, groups Left and Right, Joseph Kennedy, and Douglas McArthur.

Meeting of September 19, 2017

Walter Day on “A Visit to Hitler’s ‘Wolf’s Lair'”

On July 20, 1944, disaffected German Army officers launched one of the most daring undertakings of WWII: An attempt to kill Adolf Hitler at the Wolfsschanze, or “Wolf’s Lair.” This was a difficult task since the Wolfsschanze was designed to protect Hitler.

By July 1944 the plotters were getting desperate. The Allies had landed in France and the end was predictable.

A young wounded officer from the North African Campaign, Oberst Claus Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg, flew to the Wolfsschanze to brief Hitler and plant a bomb, provided by the British, to kill Hitler. This is his story!

Champion Hill Preservation

The Civil War Trust has thanked us for our preservation donation:

From: Molly Nesbitt
Date: June 21, 2017 at 12:24:52 PM PDT
To: [Peninsula Civil War Round Table]
Subject: Thank You! Victory at Champion Hill!

Dear Peninsula Civil War Round Table,

Thank you, fellow preservationist! Thanks to your generosity, we have officially declared victory on our most recent acquisition at Champion Hill! This 319-acre property runs along the historic Middle Road, traversed by Jackson Creek, and brings us to a total 795 acres saved at this key Mississippi battlefield.

As renowned British military historian J.F.C. Fuller wrote: “The drums of Champion’s Hill sounded the doom of Richmond.” Champion Hill battlefield is the site of the largest, bloodiest, and most consequential action of Gen. Ulysses S. Grant’s Vicksburg Campaign. The 1863 Union victory at Champion Hill was instrumental in forcing the Confederate Army into a doomed position inside the entrenched fortress of Vicksburg.

The Trust aims to transfer this property to the National Park Service for stewardship and interpretation as part of the Vicksburg National Military Park as soon as possible. Generations to come can visit and learn from this protected land!

Outstanding! Thank you, again, on behalf of our nation’s past, present, and future!


Molly Nesbitt
Development Associate | Civil War Trust
1156 15th Street NW, Suite 900 Washington DC, 20005
CIVIL WAR TRUST | Saving America’s Civil War Battlefields |

Meeting of August 15, 2017

Dana Lombardy on “Sex… and Spies, Oh, My!”

Wherever thousands of men have gathered to fight wars throughout history, romance—and prostitution—have followed. “They didn’t want to die virgins” was a major concern of many soldiers and affected morale in nearly every army that fought in the Great War. In addition, exotic dancers and courtesans such as Mata Hari had relationships with high-ranking military officers and politicians—and in her case it led to being tried and executed as a spy. What else will be revealed?

black-and-white headshot

Dana Lombardy

Dana Lombardy is Publisher of World War One Illustrated magazine for the World War One Historical Association. He was an Associate Online Editor for Armchair General magazine and now does research, writing and design through his Lombardy Studios. Dana is recognized 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, was Publisher of Napoleon Journal from 1996-2000.

Meeting of July 18, 2017

Walter Day on “The Battle of Perryville, The Invasion of Kentucky”

Why was Kentucky important in the Civil War?

  • Control of strategic rivers (the Ohio in particular)
  • Source of manpower for armies
  • Food

Perryville was a relatively large battle for its time in the Civil War. Federals numbered about 55,000 men (22,000 engaged) under US General Don Carlos Buell. Confederates fielded some 17,000 men under CSA General Braxton Bragg.

We are fortunate to have an excellent video of this re-enacted battle*, with a Bonus Feature of Ed Bearss (pronounced “bars”), former Chief Historian of the National Park Service, describing this battle in great detail. If you’ve never seen Ed, come and enjoy this! He’s 94 now and only recently stopped leading battlefield tours. He’s a one of a kind historian whose passion has been to learn and tell anyone who’s interested incredible details of every battle fought in the US, as well as World War battles in which the US fought. Until very recently, he led many tours every year around those fields, and tour groups often had to jog to keep up with him.

*The video, “Battle of Perryville, the Invasion of Kentucky”, is provided by Wide Awake Films, LLC.

Walter Day is the Peninsula Civil War Roundtable Program Chairman. He has been a student of Civil War history since he was a teenager. He has visited most of the battlefields where his great grandfather’s unit, the Wilcox Brigade, 8th Alabama Infantry, CSA, fought. He is a retired Electrical Engineer and U.S. Naval officer. He has followed Ed Bearss around on tours of at least 8 Civil War battlefields, as well as the WWII Normandy battlefield.

Meeting of June 20, 2017

Jack Mather on “Two British Generals and the Struggle for Control of North America”

man reading a speech

Jack Mather

One died and was successful, one failed and lived: James Wolfe, John Burgoyne, and the birth of the United States of America.

Meeting of May 16, 2017

Howard Jones on “John Paul Jones, An American Hero”

Howard’s presentation was about the heroics of John Paul Jones who took the fight for American independence to the British Isles during the Revolutionary War. The epic battle between the American ship, Bonhomme Richard, and the British ship, Serapis, is legendary in naval history. His ultimate victory became the basis for the creation of a United States Naval Academy and a world-power American Navy.

Howard is a Marine Corps Veteran and a graduate of the University of Oregon. He is the immediate Past Commander General of the Military Order of the Stars and Bars. He is a former President of the Silicon Valley Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution. In addition, he served for 12 years as the Public Member of San Mateo County’s Local Agency Formation Committee, (or, LAFCo). Howard frequently gives presentations about American history to elementary grade school children and heritage groups such as the DAR, SAR and the UDC.

Meeting of April 18, 2017

Ruthanne Lum McCunn on “Hidden History: Asians and Pacific Islanders in the U.S. Civil War”

In this vividly illustrated talk, Ruthanne Lum McCunn brings to life the amazing stories of Asians and Pacific Islanders in the Confederate and Union Navies and Armies, including that of Thomas Sylvanus (Ah Yee Way), the veteran whose life she reclaimed in Chinese Yankee. Discussing the subsequent battle of Chinese veterans for citizenship, she also explores an important and virtually unknown chapter in America’s rocky yet persistent struggle towards a more perfect Union.

Ruthanne Lum McCunn is a writer of Chinese and Scottish descent whose award-winning work has been translated into eleven languages, published in twenty-two countries, and adapted for the stage and film. She is most recently the author of Chinese Yankee, the true story of Thomas Sylvanus.