Monthly Archives: July 2019

Meeting of August 27, 2019

Join us at 7 PM, August 27, 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

Jim Rhetta and Tom Roza on “How to Write a Book”

Writing is something that people do almost every day whether it is associated with their work profession or just on a personal basis. One of the most intriguing and compelling components of writing is storytelling where the author presents their thoughts that, depending on the content, is intended to either entertain, educate, or both.

Students of history such as members of the South Bay Civil War Roundtable are exposed to numerous stories regarding events and people that are associated with the Civil War, the most significant aspect in the history of the United States of America. And, often that exposure to literally tens of thousands of events and characters can stimulate within a person the creative desire to tell a story from their perspective.

The purpose of this presentation is to share with the SBCWRT membership the personal experiences of two of its members, Jim Rhetta and Tom Roza, on how to leverage that creative desire into positive action.

Tom will share is personal experience regarding his love of writing and how that was translated into the creation of his recently published novel, “Windows to the Past” A Virginian’s experience in the Civil War.” The presentation will include a description of the actual writing effort and the advice and guidance Tom received on how to effectively write a historically-based novel. This will include the extensive work Tom preformed with an experienced fictional editor. Tom’s portion of the joint presentation will include the often-frustrating effort to get his book published.

Jim will provide guidance on the descriptive components of writing in that era to reach the reader and provide a more captivating book. Writers should be aware of and describe the wide variety of vehicles and horses on the roads in that time. The social factors of the time include the large family sizes, drinking practices, social manners, and the role of religion. Sights and sounds include the colors and styles of clothing worn, type and state of crops in the fields, the feel of travel, and conditions of the buildings and infrastructure. Descriptions of these factors can combine to take the reader back to that era and have a deeper connection to the story.

Tom Roza has been a student of history for over 60 years. 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 organizations in the Bay Area. Tom is 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, and is currently working on a sequel.

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 foreign threat systems, global conflicts and crisis for the DoD Community. His careers required him to fuse multiple data sources to write 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.

Quiz for August 27, 2019

Civil War Quiz: What Do You Know About Civil War Battlefield Preservation and National Cemeteries?

Q#1 – When did the U.S. Congress authorize the creation of military burial places during the Civil War?

Q#2 – What were the first three efforts at Civil War memorialization during the war itself?

Q#3 – What battlefield and cemetery that were established in 1862, but title to the land was not transferred to the War Department until 1877?

Q#4 – Who began erecting markers on battlefields beginning with the First Battle of Bull Run in July 1861?

Q#5 – What is the oldest surviving monument Civil War monument and where is it located?

Q#6 – In the 1890s, the United States government established five Civil War battlefield parks under the jurisdiction of the War Department. Two were: Antietam National Battlefield in Maryland and Gettysburg National Military Park in Pennsylvania; what were the other three?

Q#7 – The modern Civil War battlefield preservation movement began in 1987 with the founding of what organization?

Q#8 – In 1991, the original Civil War Trust organization was initially created in the mold of what other organization?

Q#9 – From 1987 through late 2017, the Civil Trust and its predecessor organizations saved more than 40,000 acres at how many Civil War battlefields and sites in 21 states?

Q#10 – The American Civil War was the defining event in our nation’s history. Between 1861 and 1865 approximately how many battles and engagements were fought across the continent from Vermont to the New Mexico Territory, and beyond?

Q#11 – Starting in 1991, what event caused interest in the Civil War to soar and led to major donations to various preservation battlefield organizations?

Q#12 – Whose efforts 25 years after the Civil War resulted in the creation of these national military parks: Gettysburg, Shiloh, Antietam, Vicksburg, Chickamauga?

13 – In the mid-1890s, what planned action led to a Supreme Court decision that established the government’s right to acquire and condemn land in the interest of historic preservation?

Q#14 – What was the “Antietam Plan” that was developed in the second half of the 19th Century related to how battlefield preservation specifications were defined?

Q#15 – What is thought to be the first monument to be erected on a Civil War battlefield?

Meeting of September 14, 2019

South Bay CWRT 2019 Annual Picnic Meeting

The SBCWRT annual picnic meeting will be held Saturday, September 14, 1–4 pm, at the home of Marilyn Comstock, 6574 Crystal Springs Drive, San Jose, CA 95120. The meal cost will be $10 per person. Dues will be collected: $20 Individual / $35 Couple.

The presentation will be

Jim Rhetta on “The Federal Blockade: Its Overlooked Impacts on the Confederate War Effort.”

There is no doubt that the Civil War had tremendous impact on the nation’s history. However, some Civil War enthusiast and historians have stated that the Civil War is still currently studied for examples to shape and influence modern military practices and tactical operations.

This presentation will describe the Generations of Human Warfare and that the Civil War was at a unique tipping point between the Generations of Mass and Firepower. Some initial uses in the Civil War as armored ships, submarines, and observation balloons later improved and evolved into common components of later conflicts. However technological changes quickly rendered Civil War era tactics and operations ineffective and obsolete.

A look at the three Generations of Warfare currently in practice will reveal how human conflict has evolved in directions and means beyond what could be conducted and even imagined in the Civil War.