Monthly Archives: August 2017

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.

 

Quiz for August 26, 2017

Civil War Quiz: What Do You Know About What Civil War Soldiers Ate?

Q#1 – Why was there never enough meat for Confederate soldiers?

Q#2 – By 1863, next to planning strategy and tactics, what did Confederate generals spend most of their time on?

Q#3 – What seasoning ingredient was sometimes added to beef and always added to pork?

Q#4 – What were the most common field rations issued to individual Union soldiers?

Q#5 – What was a major problem that affected the quality of food?

Q#6 – Condensed milk was very helpful in supplementing the rations for the Union army. Who invented it?

Q#7 – Confederate soldiers had more access to tobacco than their Union counterparts. While opposing troops were on picket duty, it was common for Union soldiers to trade what food item with the Confederate soldiers in exchange for tobacco?

Q#8 – What food item did Southern soldiers frequently substitute for coffee?

Q#9 – Due to its wide availability throughout southern North America, what item was also an important source of food for Confederate soldiers?

Q#10 – What was the name of the military unit that existed in both armies that had the responsibility to organize the feeding of soldiers during the war?

Q#11 – How was the common dish named “Skillygalee” prepared?

Q#12 – For Confederate soldiers, how was another common dish named “coosh” prepared?

Q#13 – What was a “Spirit Ration” that during the American Civil War both armies provided to their troops?

Q#14 – What was the name of the book written in 1853 by William J. Hardee that contained the guidelines for providing food rations for soldiers?

Q#15 – What were the three main reasons that hampered the Confederate government attempts to provide adequate rations for their troops?

Meeting of September 26, 2017

Join us at 7 PM, September 26, 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

Jack Nakash and Marcelo Pontin on “Civil War Reenacting”

Jack Nakash and Marcelo Pontin, Civil War Living Historians and Reenactors, will discuss their portrayals, equipment, and sources for reenacting the American Civil War.

Jack Nakash

Jack Nakash is a Civil War Reenactor/Living Historian who currently portrays a Confederate soldier in the 14th Tennessee Volunteer Infantry, Co. B. He returned to reenacting in 2016 but has done both Union and Confederate impressions for a combined twenty years. He is a member of the American Civil War Association and the National Civil War Association. Jack is a US Marine Corps Veteran, lives in San Jose, CA, and is a retail clerk. Jack has been interested in the American Civil War starting at a very young age, and has participated in numerous Civil War Reenactments both in California and back East. He is a devotee of the Civil War “common soldier” and the life and trials of that soldier.

Marcelo Pontin has been an Union Soldier Civil War Reenactor for the last three years in the 7th West Virginia Volunteer Infantry of the National Civil War Association and “represents” a Second Sergeant in that unit. He is a nine year veteran of both the United States Army and the Air National Guard in both Illinois and California. He currently lives in San Francisco, and is an engineer with AT&T. He also studies and lectures about history as a hobby.