Quiz for February 25, 2020

Civil War Quiz: What Do You Know About President Andrew Johnson’s Impeachment Trial of 1868?

Q#1 – What policies by President Andrew Johnson began to sow the seeds for his impeachment?

Q#2 – At an impasse with Congress over Reconstruction, during the summer of 1866, President Johnson offered himself directly to the American public where he asked his audiences for their support in his battle against the Congress and urged voters to elect representatives to Congress in the upcoming midterm election who supported his policies. What name was given to this effort?

Q#3 – What was the Tenure of Office Act?

Q#4 – Johnson wanted to get rid of Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton. In an attempt to circumvent the Tenure of Office restrictions, Johnson suspended Stanton and tried to replace him with what person?

Q#5 – Who was Lorenzo Thomas and what was his role that helped influence Congress to draw up Articles of Impeachment?

Q#6 – What were the names of the two Congressmen who introduced to the House of Representatives the impeachment resolution?

Q#7 – On February 24, 1868, the House of Representatives voted in favor of the resolution to impeach the President for high crimes and misdemeanors. What was the vote tally?

Q#8 – The House of Representatives adopted eleven articles of impeachment against the President. These were group into three categories – what were the categories?

Q#9 – When the Senate convened as the Court of Impeachment, what was the name of the Presiding Officer?

Q#10 – The President’s Defense team consisted of five individuals. What was the name of the person who led the team?

Q#11 – The Senate Prosecution team issued a summons for President Johnson to appear at the impeachment trial. What was the reason he did not appear?

Q#12 – The impeachment trial was conducted mostly in open session, and the Senate chamber galleries were filled to capacity throughout. Public interest was so great that the Senate took what action in this regard?

Q#13 – During the testimony portion of the impeachment trial, how many prosecution witnesses were called; how many defense witnesses were called?

Q#14 – There were three separate votes taken during the trial, each resulting in a vote of 35 senators voting guilty and 19 not guilty. What was the breakdown by political party of the not guilty votes and why was Johnson not impeached?

Q#15 – What is Republican Senator Edmund Ross of Kansas famous for?

Meeting of March 31, 2020

Join us at 7 PM, March 31, at Holder’s Country Inn in San Jose. See the UPCOMING MEETINGS/MEETING INFO tab for specific times and meeting details. This month’s topic is

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 100 different revenue stamps that were initially created including ones inscribed Agreement, Bank Check, Certificate, Insurance, Mortgage, Playing Cards, Probate of Will, Proprietary, and more, ranging in face values 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 started collecting postage stamps when she was 10. For the past 20 years, she has focused on US 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, 14 years as Chair of PENPEX Stamp Show (www.penpex.org), and currently serving on the American Philatelic Research Library Board.

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. 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 discussed how the Gettysburg Cemetery came to be and how the union states funded the effort.

Make sure to purchase some raffle tickets at this meeting as Kristin will be donating some taxed Civil War documents (signed by Civil War Brigadier Generals) that she will be talking about into the raffle. All proceeds going to the SBCWRT.

Meeting of April 28, 2020

Join us at 7 PM, April 28, at Holder’s Country Inn in San Jose. See the UPCOMING MEETINGS/MEETING INFO tab for specific times and meeting details. This month’s topic is

Victoria Kinnear on “Challenges of One Man Trying to Reinstate His Pension”

The War is Over but the Battle Continued.

Although an initial pension for a disability was received, a Union soldier fights for decades to try to get it reinstated. An exploration of his fight and the records uncovered will be explored.

Victoria Kinnear is a professional genealogist who has worked for the television shows Genealogy Roadshow, Finding Your Roots, and Who Do You Think You Are. She has also worked on various projects including the Georgetown (University) 272, multiple forensic genealogy heir research projects, a Genealogist for Ancestry.com, and author of a monthly column in The Gettysburg Times.

Meeting of January 28, 2020

Robert Burch on “The U.S. Navy in California”

A post-war photo of the USS Lancaster, commissioned in 1859, and served in the Pacific during the Civil War

The U.S. Navy’s history in the Pacific began with the formation of the U.S. Navy Pacific Squadron in 1821. The squadron consisted of only six warships and an auxiliary vessel under Commodore John B. Montgomery in April 1861. This small force was reinforced by another three warship, two auxiliaries and a shore-based U.S. Marine detachment over the next four years. On the opposing side, the Confederates were represented by only two privateers from the Atlantic Ocean and another three privateer plots originating in the Pacific late in the war that caused widespread fear in California coastal communities. In the end, no traditional ship-to-ship naval engagement or coastal raid occurred. Additionally, the critical monthly gold ships out of San Francisco that financed the Union war effort were never interrupted. This presentation will examine the ships, bases, and operations of these two small naval force as well as the U.S.S. Sacramento, named after the state capital, and the Russian Pacific Squadron’s much publicized and extended visit to San Francisco in 1863-64. This naval action is another forgotten aspect of California’s participation in the American Civil War.

Bob Burch is a native Californian from Santa Clara County, a retired U.S. Army colonel and graduate of San Jose State University where he read U.S. military history. He is also a graduate of the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College and the U.S. Navy War College. A lifetime student of the American Civil War, he read his first Civil War book in the fifth grade. As a young boy he was mesmerized when watching John Ford’s The Horse Soldiers (1959) starring John Wayne on the television rerun channels. He has visited all of the principle and most secondary Civil War sites during his 30-year military career, including multiple week-long visits to Gettysburg, his favorite battlefield site. Like most CWRT members across the county, he desires to understand his home state’s role in the war. He collected material for this presentation for over ten years followed by several years of analysis. This series documents his research in great detail. Time allows only key points to be presented. Numerous period photographs and magazine drawings are included for visual effect with the intent of comprehending California’s role in the Civil War.

Quiz for January 28, 2020

Civil War Quiz: What Do You Know About These Obscure Facts of the Civil War?

Q#1 – While rifles and cannons were the deadliest weapons during the war, disease killed more men. Camps became breeding grounds for measles, chicken pox, and mumps. One million Union solders contracted which disease?

Q#2 – What was the age of the youngest soldier in the Civil War who came from Mississippi? What was the age of the oldest soldier in the Civil War who came from Iowa?

Q#3 – What was the original name for Memorial Day?

Q#4 – A Union prison camp had two observation towers constructed for onlookers. Citizens paid 15 cents to look at the inmates. Concession stands by the towers sold peanuts, cakes, and lemonade while the men inside starved. What was the prison camp’s name?

Q#5 – The Twenty-Sixth North Carolina Infantry at Gettysburg is known for what bloody statistic?

Q#6 – During the Civil War, more Civil War soldiers died from what disease than were killed in battle?

Q#7 – What happened to President Lincoln’s personal copy of the Emancipation Proclamation that would be worth millions if it were still in existence today?

Q#8 – General George Gordon Meade was the victor at the Battle of Gettysburg, the largest battle ever fought in North America. Where was Meade born?

Q#9 – An estimated four million slaves lived in the South by 1860. What was their estimated worth at the time?

Q#10 – What was the name of not only the first woman surgeon in U.S. Military history, but she was also the only woman in the Civil War to be awarded the Medal of Honor?

Q#11 – What was the criminal offense that produced over 100,000 Court Martials during the Civil War?

Q#12 – Although both the North and South did not allow women in the army, how many it is estimated actually fought disguised as men?

Q#13 – What were “Quaker guns”?

Q#14 – The first U.S. Medal of Honor was awarded during the Civil War on March 25, 1863. Who was it awarded to?

Q#15 – In 1860, which two states actually had more slaves than free people living in them?

Meeting of November 26, 2019

Tom Roza on “If the South Had Won the Civil War”

We all know who won the Civil War; after four years of brutal slaughter where estimates now range that over 700,000 soldiers died and hundreds of thousands of others were horribly wounded, Union forces defeated Confederate forces. And after the Reconstruction efforts ended, the United States remained one nation.

On the eve of the 100 Year Centennial of the Civil War, in the November 22, 1960, issue of Look magazine, author MacKinley Kantor published a fictional account set as a history text, entitled “If the South Had Won the Civil War.” The article generated such a response that it was published in 1961 as a book.

MacKinlay Kantor was a writer who also wrote several novels about the American Civil War as it actually happened some of which are: Lee and Grant at Appomattox, Andersonville, and Gettysburg among others. The premise for “If the South Had Won the Civil War” relies on several significant events: some a bit questionable, but others very plausible

Tom Roza has been a student of history for over 60 years. His interest in 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 publish author of the book entitled, “Windows to the Past: A Virginian’s Experience in the Civil War” that has been accepted by the Library of Congress into its Catalog and Tom is currently working on a sequel.

Meeting Minutes November 2019

Quiz for November 26, 2019

Civil War Quiz: What Do You Know About Medals Awarded in Connection with the Civil War?

Q#1 – How many Congressional Medals of Honor were awarded to US Colored Troop army soldiers during the Civil War?

Q#2 – Most of the Medals of Honor awarded to US Colored Troop soldiers were the result of valorous actions in just one battle – what was the name of the battle?

Q#3 – Which Union general nominated more US Colored Troop soldiers to receive the Medal of Honor than any other?

Q#4 – How many Medals of Honor were awarded to African-Americans sailors of the union navy?

Q#5 – Most of the Medals of Honor awarded to African-Americans sailors of the Union Navy were the result of valorous actions in just one battle – what was the name of the battle?

Q#6 – How many Medals of Honor were awarded to US Colored Troop army soldiers during the Battle of Fort Wagner?

Q#7 – In total, how many Medals of Honor were awarded to African-Americans for actions during the Civil War?

Q#8 – Why is Mary Edwards Walker significant in terms of the Medal of Honor?

Q#9 – The first Medals of Honor were awarded for action in what engagement?

Q#10 – The youngest Medal of Honor recipient was how old during the engagement for which he was awarded the Medal of Honor?

Q#11 – How many medals for valor were awarded by the Confederate States?

Q#12 – What is the Confederate Medal of Honor?

Q#13 – Was the Purple Heart awarded to any Civil War participants?

Q#14 – What medal was awarded to both Union and Confederate soldiers?

Q#15 – How many Medals of Honor were awarded during the Civil War?

2019 West Coast Civil War Conference: Civil War Leadership, 1861-1865

November 8–10, 2019, Crowne Plaza Hotel, Sacramento, Sponsored by Sacramento Civil War Round Table

Our Speakers are:

  • Chris Mackowski: A Professor of Journalism and Mass Communication at Saint Bonaventure University, and the author of more than 10 books. He works with the National Parks Service and is the founder of the Emerging Civil War Blog.
  • David A. Powell: A Vice-President of Airsped, Inc., a delivery firm. He has published many articles in magazines & historical simulations of different battles. He specializes and leads tours on the Battle of Chickamauga.
  • Sarah Kay Bierle: A Managing Editor for Emerging Civil War’s Blog. She has spent the last few years researching. writing, and speaking across the country about the American Civil War.
  • Paul Kahan: An expert on the political, diplomatic, and economic history of the United States in the nineteenth century. Dr. Kahan has published several books and is a former resident of Sacramento.
  • Jim Stanbery: A retired Professor of Political Science and History at Los Angeles Harbor College, and speaker at the West Coast Civil War Conference for more than thirty years. He is a frequent CWRT speaker.
  • Theodore P. Savas: An attorney, adjunct college instructor, award-winning author, and Partner and Managing Director of Savas Beatie LLC. He specializes in military history and the American Civil War.
  • Edwin L. Kennedy Jr.: A graduate of West Point and former Professor of the U.S. Army Command & General Staff College History Department & Combat Studies. He is the leader of staff rides, including the Battle of Chickamauga.

The Conference cost is $200 per person, which includes Friday dinner, Saturday lunch and dinner, as well as all sessions. A full hotel breakfast buffet is included for guests staying at the hotel. Partial day attendance: Friday Only is $50; Saturday Only is $125; Saturday Dinner and Lecture Only is $50; Sunday Only is $25. There will be a no-host bar set-up Friday and Saturday evenings for your enjoyment before dinner.

Download the flyer and registration form.

For more information, contact Paul Ruud at 530-886-8806.

Room reservations are available by calling the Crowne Plaza Hotel directly at 877-504-0054 or online at www.crowneplaza.com. The hotel has rooms set aside for us at $139 per night, plus tax. Please mention the Conference.

Meeting of October 29, 2019

Gary Yee on “Port Hudson and Why It Matters”

With Vicksburg’s fall, Lincoln declared the Father of Waters was unvexed to these sea. Lincoln was only partially right. One hundred ten miles further south along the Mississippi River in Louisiana stood Port Hudson. So long as it remained in Confederate hands, Union mercantile traffic could never reach New Orleans and from there, to foreign ports.

Initially overlooked by both sides, its defenses were built slowly by the Confederates and the Union neglected its strategic importance until after the Confederates began occupying it. Realizing that something must be done to capture Port Hudson, a change in command for Union land forces was necessary and Nathaniel Banks replaced the relatively inactive Benjamin Butler. Along with a change in command, new regiments were raised to ensure its success.

Like Vicksburg, Port Hudson was a joint Army and Naval effort led by Farragut and Banks. While the Confederate garrison under Maj. Gen. Franklin Gardner was cut off, it defied the larger host and established the record for the longest siege in the Civil War. Its defense would have lasting implications affecting the outcome of the war and like a Shakespearean play, it had its heroes, villains and buffoons.

Gary Yee is no stranger to the South Bay Civil War Round Table. He used to regularly attend with his uncle, Bill Yee and Helen Trimpi (dec.) and has given several talks there. Additionally, he was a member of the SFCWRT, Peninsula CWRT and the Friends of Civil War Alcatraz. With the cooperation of all the Bay Area CWRTs, Gary helped to organize the 2010 Annual West Coast Civil War Conference which, conveniently enough for him, was at his workplace at the SF War Memorial.

After retiring, Gary Yee relocated to Colorado where he attended the nation’s oldest gunsmithing school at Trinidad State. Besides earning an Associate Science degree, he became an adjunct instructor there and has led school field trips to a private gun museum near Sante Fe as well as the Civil War battlefield in Glorietta, New Mexico. Naturally, this forced him to learn about the battle and campaign; something which was he was well up to. He still enrolls in classes at TSJC and has taken engraving, relief carving, silver wire inlay to add some artistic element to his flintlocks. Most of his time though is spent researching and writing. This year he had a title on sharpshooting that was published by Osprey. Currently he is working on a short book on the Port Hudson Campaign and a book on WW II sniping.

Meeting Minutes October 2019

Quiz for October 29, 2019

Civil War Quiz: “Ripley’s Believe It or Not” About the Civil War

Q#1 – Why did the combat death of Confederate Brigadier General Ben Hardin Helm result in him becoming the only Southerner to cause conspicuous mourning in Washington during the Civil War?

Q#2 – What was the name of the very famous Union General who, coming upon the mansion of a woman he had once courted, put the place under guard and left a message for his erstwhile sweetheart which read: “You once said that you would pity the man who would ever become my enemy. My answer was that I would ever protect and shield you. This I have done. Forgive me all else. I am but a soldier”?

Q#3 – What was the name of Mary Todd Lincoln’s closest confidant during the war and her principal comfort on the death of the president, who was also a black seamstress who had once been employed by Mrs. Jefferson Davis?

Q#4 – What was the name of the Union general who in 1861 had accompanied Abraham Lincoln on his journey from Springfield, Illinois, to Washington and in 1865 accompanied Lincoln’s body when it was returned to Springfield for burial?

Q#5 – What was Union Major General William T. Sherman’s estimated dollar amount worth of damage on Georgia resulting from his “March to the Sea”?

Q#6 – Confederate General John B. Hood lost his right leg at the Battle of Chickamauga in 1863. In what country was his fine cork leg manufactured?

Q#7 – When some of his men cheered news of Lincoln’s assassination, what was the name of the Confederate general who became noticeably angry and shouted the following: “Shut those men up. If they don’t shut up, have them arrested”?

Q#8 – What wife of a most senior Union political official had three relatives that served in the Confederate Army?

Q#9 – What famous Confederate general lost 29 horses shot out from under him during the war, probably a world’s record?

Q#10 – During the War Between the States, what happened to Robert E. Lee’s hair?

Q#11 – Of the 245,000 wounds treated in Union hospitals during the Civil War, what number and percentage were inflicted by bayonet?

Q#12 – In 1860, what was the reason given by Federal ordnance officials for turning down the Spencer repeating breech-loading rifle?

Q#13 – What makes 70-year old Hugh McVey, who served in Company D, 4th Kentucky Infantry in the Confederate Army, and was killed at Shiloh an oddity in the Civil War? (Hint: Think something European.)

Q#14 – As the armies from both sides surged to and fro in the Northern Shenandoah Valley, how many times did the town of Winchester, Virginia, change hands during the war?

Q#15 – Of the 425 Confederate generals, 77 were killed or died of wounds during the war. What is the name of the last surviving general of the Southern armies who lived until 1914 and whose son and namesake was killed as a general in World War II?