Monthly Archives: June 2017

Tom Roza’s Civil War Novel Published

Here is an announcement from our group secretary, Tom Roza:

It is with great pleasure and deep humility that I announce that my historical novel on the American Civil War entitled Windows to the Past: A Virginian’s Experience in the Civil War is now available on Amazon.com!

I have been a student of the American Civil War since 1960. I have conducted extensive research on this great conflict and toured numerous battlefields to see firsthand where millions of Americans fought our Civil War. But, through my over 50 years as a student of this significant event, it was not the battles, not the politics, and not the armaments that piqued my interest – it was the people; the everyday men and women from all parts of the country that dealt with and/or fought for what they believed in. And, those brave young soldiers on both sides that found the indescribable courage to give their lives for the values that made them who they were.

Windows to the Past is the story of one man’s journey through one of the most turbulent, yet fascinating periods in the history of our Country. The main character’s life story, told to his great-granddaughter, embraces all the meaningful periods of his life from childhood through to his twilight years as he searches for the answer to the question: “Did I make a difference in the lives of the people I touched and loved?”

I would be honored if you considered purchasing my novel. Here is a link to the listing: Amazon.com.

Or, once you are in the Amazon.com web site, you can enter the title ““Windows to the Past: A Virginian’s Experience in the Civil War”.

I pray that my storytelling efforts regarding family, friends, dealing with conflict, and finding peace of mind in some small way resonates with you as the reader.

Tom

PS: An electronic version has been developed in conjunction with Amazon.com and is now available. Purchasing this version of my novel will allow readers to use a variety of handheld devices (Kindles, smart phones, etc) . Here is a link to the electronic version: Amazon.com

2017 West Coast Civil War Round Table Conference

The 2017 West Coast Civil War Round Table 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 July 25, 2017

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

John Paul Jones 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 the United States Naval Academy and a world-power American Navy.

Howard is the President of the Peninsula Civil War Round Table. He 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. Howard frequently gives presentations about American history to elementary grade school children and heritage groups such as the DAR, SAR, and the UDC.

Quiz for July 25, 2017

Civil War Quiz – What Do You Know About Confederate Railroads During the Civil War?

Q#1 – Prior to the Civil War, what was the primary purpose of railroads in the South?

Q#2 – At the outset of the war, the Confederacy actually possessed the third largest set of railroads of any nation in the world. Approximately, how many miles of railroad track existed in the South?

Q#3 – At the beginning of the Civil War, what action by the Confederate government had an adverse impact on the profitability of Southern railroad companies?

Q#4 – Lucrative government contracts were doled out to rail operators with lines supplying men and arms to the front line of Tennessee and Virginia. What was the payment rate railroads charged?

Q#5 – What were the two key railroad deficiencies the Confederacy suffered from?

Q#6 – What condition significantly crippled the ability to transport troops and supplies in the South?

Q#7 – Built in 1862, what was the name of the 5.5-mile railroad spur built off the Orange and Alexandria Railroad at Manassas Junction to supply the Confederate defenses in northern Virginia?

Q#8 – In 1863, what action did the Confederate government take regarding the railroads?

Q#9 –What other legislation passed by the Confederate Congress had a significant adverse impact on railroad passenger traffic in the South?

Q#10 – As the war progressed, the problem of railroad supplies had become increasingly acute, especially with respect to the already small supply of engines and cars. Stressed by overuse, lacking material to make repairs, and the conscription of men who could make them, where did railroad operators turn to for these supplies and equipment?

Q#11 – What was the main reason Confederate railroad operators did not seek, nor build, alternative sources of iron for rail construction and repair?

Q#12 – Where did the Confederacy get the rails for replacement track?

Q#13 – When the Confederate government attempted to rectify the problem of the absence of rail connections, what problems did it encounter?

Q#14 – What action by retreating Confederate forces further exasperated the South’s railroad capability?

Q#15 – Attempts were made to enlarge the Confederacy’s rail system by adding or connecting lines. Of the three major rail projects the Confederate congress proposed and funded, only one of them was completed – what was the name of that project?

Meeting of August 26, 2017

SBCWRT 2017 Annual Picnic Information

The annual picnic meeting will be held Saturday, August 26, 2017, 1–4 PM, at the home of Bill and Judy Noyes, 1035 Hazel Ave., Campbell, CA 95008. The meal charge will be $15 per person. Annual dues will be collected: $20 per individual or $35 per couple. The presentation will be:

Bob Burch on “California in the Civil War: Other California Units”

In June we took an unplanned detour to explore the Secessionist and Confederate units raised in California as well as a look at several biographies from private to general officer from Californians who served in the Confederate Army. This contribution was much larger than acknowledged among historians, but too small to affect the outcome of the war. This was truly a “lost cause” within the Southern “Lost Cause” experience.

This upcoming presentation will explore the history of those Union units that served in the Eastern Theater during the American Civil War that enlisted a good portion of their recruits from California or had that state’s name in their unit designation. Nearly ten percent of Californians who volunteered during the war did so into units from other states. They did so for a variety of reasons including the desire to represent their state during the war to preserve the Union. Consequently these “other California units” represented their state continuously from the Battle of First Bull Run until General Lee’s surrender at Appomattox four years later.

Eventually Californians served in five other states’ volunteer regiments. On the West Coast these units were the 1st Washington Territory Infantry and 1st Oregon Cavalry Regiments. On the East Coast these were the 32nd New York Infantry Regiment (aka “California Regiment”), Baker’s Brigade (aka “California Brigade”) of four regiments, and the 2nd Massachusetts Cavalry Regiment’s “California Hundred” and “California Battalion”.

Along the way we will meet several forgotten Californians who served their country well. Colonel Roderick Matheson from Healdsburg who fought at First Bull Run and later died from wounds received at the Battle of Crampton’s Gap. Colonel Francis Pinto of San Francisco who commanded regiments during the Peninsula, 2nd Manassas, Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville Campaigns. Major Archibald McKendry who commanded the California Battalion and eventually the 2nd Massachusetts Cavalry Regiment when only a captain. Captain James Sewell Reed of the California Hundred who died while leading his unit against Mosby’s partisans and Captain Hugh Armstrong who replaced him and led that company from Battle of Fort Stevens until Appomattox. And Captain Henry Crocker of San Francisco who participated in nine battle and was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for valor at the Battle of Cedar Creek.

Except for the “CAL 100” Cavalry, these units have disappeared from history despite the presence of the California Regiment’s monument on Cemetery Ridge at Gettysburg and mention in many original source documents from newspapers to the Official Records. This presentation will attempt to remember and honor their contribution to the Union cause.

Bob Burch is a native Californian, born and raised in Santa Clara County. He is also a lifetime student of the Civil War. He had the opportunity to visit many Civil War sites from Florida to Pennsylvania to New Mexico during his 30 year military career. Like many California CWRT members, he desires to understand his home state’s role in the war. He started collecting material for this presentation ten years ago and initiated a serious study 15 months ago. This series documents his research in great detail. Time allows only a few key points from each slide 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.

 

Meeting of June 27, 2017

Bob Burch on “California in the Civil War: Other California Units”

This is the fifth of a twelve-part series on California and the American Civil War. This presentation will explore the history of those units that served in the Eastern Theater during the American Civil War that enlisted a good portion of their recruits from California or had that state’s name in their unit designation. Nearly ten percent of Californians who volunteered during the war did so into units from other states. They did so for a variety of reasons including the desire to represent their state during the war to preserve the Union. Consequently these “other California units” represented their state continuously from the Battle of First Bull Run until General Lee’s surrender at Appomattox four years later.

Eventually Californians served in five other states’ volunteer regiments. On the West Coast these units were the 1st Washington Territory Infantry and 1st Oregon Cavalry Regiments. On the East Coast these were the 32nd New York Infantry Regiment (aka “California Regiment”), Baker’s Brigade (aka “California Brigade”) of four regiments, and the 2nd Massachusetts Cavalry Regiment’s “California Hundred” and “California Battalion”.

Along the way we will meet several forgotten Californians who served their country well. Colonel Roderick Matheson from Healdsburg who fought at First Bull Run and later died from wounds received at the Battle of Crampton’s Gap. Colonel Francis Pinto of San Francisco who commanded regiments during the Peninsula, 2nd Manassas, Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville Campaigns. Major Archibald McKendry who commanded the California Battalion and eventually the 2nd Massachusetts Cavalry Regiment when only a captain. Captain James Sewell Reed of the California Hundred who died while leading his unit against Mosby’s partisans and Captain Hugh Armstrong who replaced him and led that company from Battle of Fort Stevens until Appomattox. And Captain Henry Crocker of San Francisco who participated in nine battle and was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for valor at the Battle of Cedar Creek.

Except for the “CAL 100” Cavalry, these units have disappeared from history despite the presence of the California Regiment’s monument on Cemetery Ridge at Gettysburg and mention in many original source documents from newspapers to the Official Records. This presentation will attempt to remember and honor their contribution to the Union cause.

Bob Burch is a native Californian, born and raised in Santa Clara County. He is also a lifetime student of the Civil War. He had the opportunity to visit many Civil War sites from Florida to Pennsylvania to New Mexico during his 30 year military career. Like many California CWRT members, he desires to understand his home state’s role in the war. He started collecting material for this presentation ten years ago and initiated a serious study 15 months ago. This series documents his research in great detail. Time allows only a few key points from each slide 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.

Meeting Minutes June 2017