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.

Quiz for April 28, 2020

Civil War Quiz: What Do You Know About Generals to Politicians and Politicians to Generals?

This quiz was created by Roundtable member Mark Costin.

Q#1 – This Civil War general was very significant in the history of the Whig party. Who was he and why was he significant?

Q#2 – This general finished second in the 1880 presidential election. Name him.

Q#3 – This former congressman was appointed as a brigadier general in the Provisional Army of Tennessee and then was commissioned a brigadier general in the Confederate States Army. He was killed commanding troops at the Battle of Mills Springs. Name him.

Q#4 – John C. Breckinridge was the 14th vice-president of the United States and became a Confederate General. He was commander at what Confederate victory and what position in the Confederate government did he hold at the end of the war.

Q#5 – Of officers without previous military experience, he was one of three to achieve the rank of lieutenant general in the Confederate army. He was elected to the South Carolina General Assembly in 1852 and served as a state Senator from 1858 to 1861. After the Civil War he narrowly won the bloody 1876 election to became governor of South Carolina. Name him.

Q#6 – This professor and Civil War general was elected governor of Maine 4 times (1866, 1867, 1868, 1869). Name him.

Q#7 – This Civil War general and author made two unsuccessful bids for a seat in Congress (in 1868 and 1870) and was appoint territorial governor of the New Mexico Territory, where he served from August 1878 to March 1881. Name him and his most successful novel.

Q#8 – This Confederate cavalry commander in 1880 was elected from Alabama as a Democrat to the United States House of Representatives. He later served as major general of volunteers in the Spanish-American war. Name him.

Q#9 – Future president Rutherford B. Hayes ended the war as a brevetted major general. In which campaigns of the war did he mainly serve?

Q#10 – Future brigadier general and president James A. Garfield only personally commanded at one battle. Name it.

Q#11– General George B. McClellan, as the democratic candidate, lost the 1864 Presidential election to Lincoln. Did ever he compete for any other political office?

Q#12 – This Civil War general was a member of the House of Representatives and an important ally to Illinois Senator Stephen A. Douglas. His commission as a general was based on Lincoln’s desire to retain political connections with the Democrats of Southern Illinois and he eventually became second in command under Ulysses S. Grant. Who was he?

Q#13 – How was General John C. Frémont, Union commander at the battle of Cross Keys, very significant in the history of the Republican party?

Q#14 – This Civil War general was a Republican member of the House of Representatives for Missouri prior to the war. He was appointed a colonel of Missouri volunteers in July 1862. He was promoted brigadier general of volunteers in August 1862 and then to major general in November. He commanded a division in the Vicksburg campaign and in the fighting about Chattanooga, and was one of William T. Sherman’s corps commanders in the final campaigns in Georgia and the Carolinas. After the war he opposed the Congressional Reconstruction policy, and on that issue left the Republican Party. In 1868, he was the unsuccessful Democratic candidate for vice president, running with Horatio Seymour. Who was he?

Q#15 – He was an attorney, the first Chief Justice of Kansas and leading free state advocate and Union Army general during the American Civil War commanding the defense of Fort Davidson at Pilot Knob, Missouri during Sterling Price’s raid. After the war he became a two-term United States Congressman from Ohio, 1877–1881 and narrowly lost the 1880 campaign for Ohio Governor. Who was he?

Meeting of June 30, 2020

Join us at 7 PM, June 30, 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”

 

Meeting of July 28, 2020

Join us at 7 PM, July 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

Tom Roza on “The Presidential Election of 1864”

South Bay Civil War Roundtable Secretary Tom Roza provides an intriguing and detailed examination of the critically important and impactful presidential election of 1864.

Throughout its history as a democracy, the electing of a President has become one of the most important decisions Americans make as citizens. We not only select a political leader to guide our country through its legislative process, but also a person who is the Commander in Chief of our military and who in partnership with Congress, is responsible for the security of our nation.

Over the 230 years as a country, some presidential elections have become more significant than others. In his nearly 60 years of being a student of the American Civil War and the history of our country, Tom has concluded that the presidential election of 1864 has become the most critically important one. A civil war continued to rage and the destiny and future of our country was at stake as at no other time before or since.

Given that 2020 is a Presidential election year, this presentation on another very important election is particularly appropriate and timely.

Tom Roza has been a student of history for over 60 years. His interest in history in general and the Civil War in particular 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 that has been accepted by the Library of Congress into its Catalog; Tom is currently working on a sequel entitled Lost Cause – Justice Found.

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 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