Meeting of August 15, 2023

Ken Habeeb on “Civil War Guns, Artillery, Ammunition, and Their Accuracy”

Ken Habeeb is a history researcher and writer with an interest in US exploration and culture, including the Civil War as represented in maps, books, early photography, and various ephemera. Ken likes research that brings to life personalities and events that often converge to form fascinating connections.

Meeting of July 18, 2023

Nick Marinaro on “The CSS Hunley Part 3 of 3”

In the third of his three part series on the Confederate submarine Hunley, Nick Marinaro will discuss the latest scientific theory about what likely caused the submarine and crew to be sunk and lost until it was recovered and examined in our time.

Nick Marinaro, a Fresno native, has been interested in Civil War history since elementary school. He graduated from Clovis High School and Stanford University. In 2010 Nick retired as Fire Chief after a 38 year career with the Stanford University and City of Palo Alto Fire Depts. Nick has been a Lions Club member and officer for 21 years. He is also on the board of the Palo Alto-Stanford PAST Historical Assn. Nick has been a member of the Peninsula Civil War Round Table for the past 2-1/2 years and serves as the PCWRT treasurer.

Meeting of June 20, 2023

Kristin Patterson on “United States Tax Stamps Used to Raise Funds for the Civil War”

The United States Government enacted its first Federal Tax on October 1, 1862, to raise money to support a Civil War that had been going on much longer than President Lincoln had anticipated. This presentation will talk about the different revenue stamps that were created including ones inscribed Agreement, Bank Check, Certificate, Insurance, Mortgage, Playing Cards, Probate of Will, Proprietary, and more, ranging in face value from 1¢ to $200. These stamps are gorgeous pieces of history with many still attached to the item for which they collected the tax.

Kristin Patterson started collecting postage stamps when she was 10. But changed her focus 22 years and started collecting U.S. Civil War tax stamps and documents with revenue stamps. She has been very active in the philatelic community, serving 4 years as President of Sequoia Stamp Club, 17 years as Chair of PENPEX Stamp Show (, and served on the American Philatelic Society and American Philatelic Research Library Boards.

Kristin has authored two books. In 2003, she self published It’s a Wrap! U.S. Revenue Stamps Used on Playing Cards, 1862–1883. This colorfully illustrated book highlights fifteen U.S. Playing Card Manufacturers who used the first U.S. tax stamps. In 2010, she published her second book, WESTPEX – The First 50 Years, about the most successful stamp show in the U.S.

Kristin has also written many articles for philatelic journals, including the Soldiers’ National Cemetery at Gettysburg. This article discusses how the Gettysburg Cemetery came to be and how the States, with volunteers who fought in Gettysburg, funded the effort during the Civil War.

During the presentation, Kristin will have with her some original Civil War documents to show.

An 1865 receipt for salary payment to Brigadier General Lucius Fairchild who at the time was Wisconsin Secretary of State. In 1866, Fairchild was elected Wisconsin Governor.

Meeting of May 16, 2023

Magnus Akerblom on “The Battle of Gettysburg”

“Hancock at Gettysburg” by Thure de Thulstrup, showing Pickett’s Charge

General Robert E. Lee’s military career had reached its zenith, and he wanted to bring the war to the North and away from Virginia.

The Union army was aware of Lee’s intention, so they moved North to meet his challenge. This resulted in the largest and bloodiest war ever on U.S. soil. Careful planning was required in order to have enough food, equipment, ammunition, medical
supplies, etc. to sustain such a long campaign.

A group discussion is planned after the presentation.

Magnus Akerblom was born in Sweden and immigrated to the U.S. with his family in 1957. They lived in Lake County for three years and then moved to San Mateo. After graduating from Burlingame High School, Magnus served three years in the U.S. Army. He attended the College of San Mateo where after taking a class in U.S. history, Magnus developed a life long interest in the Civil War.

One of Magnus’ favorite pastimes is off road wheeling in his Jeep. He belongs to the Esprit De Four club, and conducts a class on how to drive off road.

Magnus has been a member of the Peninsula Civil War Round Table for three years.

Meeting of April 18, 2023

Nick Marinaro on “The CSS Hunley Part 2 of 3”

1864 painting of H. L. Hunley by Conrad Wise Chapman (Wikipedia)

Nick Marinaro will present the second of his three-part series on the Confederate submarine the H. L. Hunley, the first underwater vessel to successfully sink a warship, the USS Housatonic. The Hunley was also sunk in the attack, then finally raised in year 2000, thanks largely to generous funding by the adventurer and novelist Clive Cussler. The Hunley has been painstakingly researched and restored ever since, by scientists at the Warren Lasch Center in Charleston South Carolina.

Nick Marinaro, born and raised in Fresno, California, since elementary school has been interested in Civil War history. Nick graduated from Clovis High School and Stanford University. In 2010 he retired as Fire Chief after a 38 year career with the Stanford University and City of Palo Alto Fire Depts. For 21 years Nick has been a Lions Club active member and officer. He also services on the board of the Palo Alto-Stanford PAST Historical Association. Nick has been a member of PCWRT for 2-1/2 years and currently serves as the PCWRT Treasurer.

Meeting of March 21, 2023

Tom Roza on “New York City Draft Riots”

One of the ugliest events to occur during the Civil War was the Draft Riots that took place in New York City in July 1863. The riots exposed deep rooted racial, political, and ethnic divisions that existed in New York City; these prejudices were fueled by massive numbers of immigrants fleeing Europe to escape famine, political division, and war. The riots were driven by several root causes:

  • Draft requirements that allowed wealthy white men to avoid the draft
  • Pervasive racial hatred directed at Negroes
  • Political corruption and division

Tom’s presentation delves into these root causes, what they caused, and the aftermath of the riots.

Tom Roza has been a student of history for over 60 years. His interest in history in general and the Civil War began with his elementary education in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and has evolved ever since. As an officer and the Secretary of the South Bay Civil War Roundtable, Tom has made numerous presentations on the topic of the Civil War to both his Roundtable organization and other historical organizations in the Bay Area. Tom is also a published author of the book entitled Windows to the Past: A Virginian’s Experience in the Civil War, which has been accepted by the Library of Congress into its

Meeting of January 17, 2023

Jim Rhetta on “Attack and Die, the Cultural Differences on Conflict in the Civil War”

“Attack and Die, the Cultural Differences on Conflict in the Civil War” is based on the book of that title. It covers and identifies the fact that both sides in the Civil War were in one nation but actually from two different cultures. The cultural backgrounds of both sides shaped how both sides viewed the start of the Civil War, conducted combat operations, and resulted in disparate numbers of casualties.

Jim Rhetta retired from Lockheed Corp, and also retired from the USAF Reserve as a Colonel in the Intelligence Community. In both careers he monitored, analyzed and reported on global conflicts and crisis for the DoD Community. His careers required him to write and present Daily Intelligence Briefings, threat assessments, weekly activity reports, and publish classified documents. He continues to study both current events and historical subjects for their impacts on us today.

Meeting of November 15, 2022

Chuck Seekamp on “The Iron Hat Brigade”

The Iron Hat Brigade was an infantry brigade in the Army of the Potomac made up of regiments from Wisconsin, Indiana and Michigan. The term “iron hat” referred to both the distinctive black hats they wore, and to their fighting prowess. They fought in the Second battle of Bull Run, Antietam, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, and Gettysburg, and suffered the highest casualty rates of any Civil War brigade.

Chuck Seekamp first became interested in history in the 8th grade, thanks to a good teacher. He is an active member of the National Civil War Association and the North Bay Civil War Round Table.

Meeting of October 18, 2022

Mark Costin on “Confederate Campaign to Invade New Mexico, Battles of Valderde and Glorieta Pass”

The New Mexico campaign of 1862 was the only major Confederate campaign to expand the boarders of the Confederacy. Confederate Brigadier General Henry Hopkins Sibley invaded the northern New Mexico Territory in an attempt to gain control of the Southwest, including the gold fields of Colorado and the ports of California. The talk will cover the campaign with particular attention to the two major battles of the invasion, the Battles of Valderde and Glorieta Pass.

Mark Costin is an engineer living in Sunnyvale, CA, working on functional safety for automated and autonomous vehicles. A long-time history buff, this is Mark’s third presentation the SBCWRT about the war in the Trans-Mississippi. He holds a Ph.D. in Systems Engineering from Case Western Reserve University, an M.Eng from McMaster University, and a B.Eng from McGill University.

2022 West Coast Civil War Conference Announced

2022 West Coast Civil War Conference: “Grant vs Lee: Combat Strategy & Tactics in 1864 Virginia”

(On October 8, the conference organizers confirmed that the conference is going ahead as scheduled.)

November 4-6, 2022

Hosted By The San Joaquin Valley CWRT. Speakers include Gordon Rhea, Eric Wittenburg, Chris Mackowski, Jim Stanbery, and Brian Clague.

Wyndham Garden Hotel Fresno Yosemite Airport, 5090 East Clinton Way, Fresno, CA 93727-1506, (1-559-252-3611 or 1-866-238-4218), $103.00 per night, or

To register, send in the registration form.