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Quiz for March 26, 2019

Civil War Quiz: What Do You Know About Foreign Involvement in the Civil War?

Q#1 – Why were the vast majority of European nations extremely cautious when dealing with the United States of America during the Civil War, usually attempting to remain neutral during its duration?

Q#2 – What global decree did the United States Government issue at the beginning of the Civil War?

Q#3 – What was the main reason behind Great Britain’s considering to become involved in the American Civil War?

Q#4 – On May 13, 1861, what proclamation was issued by Great Britain’s Queen Victoria regarding the American Civil War?

Q#5 – Where was a vast majority of the Confederate Navy built?

Q#6 – During the early period of the Civil War, there was increasing sentiment for Great Britain to join the American Civil War in favor of the Confederate States of America. What event prevented this?

Q#7 – What action did the Confederate government threatened England and France with if they did not assist them in the war?

Q#8 – What was the official position of France regarding any possible involvement in the Civil War?

Q#9 – Why did many French industrialists and politicians wish for a quick Confederate victory?

Q#10 – Under the orders of Emperor Napoleon III, French troops landed in Mexico in December 1861 for trade and plans of a transoceanic canal. What was the position of the Federal government regarding the French action? What was the position of the Confederate government regarding the French action?

Q#11 – What deal did the Confederate delegate in Paris, John Slidell, offer to Napoleon III in exchange for French recognition of the Confederate States and naval help sent to break the blockade?

Q#12 – The Confederate delegate John Slidell succeeded in negotiating a loan of $15,000,000 that was used to buy ironclad warships as well as military supplies that came in by blockade runners. Who loaned the Confederacy the money?

Q#13 – What was the name of the ironclad that in keeping with its official neutrality, the French government blocked the sale of to the Confederacy in February 1864?

Q#14 – Czarist Russia initially showed support for the North. What military action did they perform in support of the Northern war effort?

Q#15 – What action did the Federal government attempt to pursue that involved the Netherlands?

Meeting of February 26, 2019

Mike MacDonald on “Civil War Swords”

Mike McDonald is a sword collector with over 200 in his collection. He will cover the different sword patterns, designs, and manufactures of the Civil War era. The foreign influence on US sword designs was strong and due to a continuous shortage, foreign manufacturers supplied many of the swords used on both sides in the conflict. Although they accounted for a very small percentage of casualties, they were a highly visible item in the war due to regulations that officers carry them as a symbol of rank and authority.

Quiz for February 26, 2019

Civil War Quiz: What Do You Know About the Causes for the Civil War Other Than Slavery?

Q#1 – Historically, why did southern slave-holding states have little perceived need for industrialized mechanization?

Q#2 – Why were the Northern states generally opposed to the South’s right to sell cotton and purchase manufactured goods from any nation?

Q#3 – When the Southerners Democrats controlled Congress in the 1830s, 1840s, and 1850s, what legislative actions did they take to favor the Southern economy?

Q#4 – In the 1850s, what legislative actions did the Republican-controlled Congress take to protect Northern industrial interests?

Q#5 – What was the constitutional rationale the South argued to support a state’s right to secede?

Q#6 – What was the Northern response to the Southern rationale that each state had the right to leave the Union?

Q#7 – In the early 19th century, famous spokesmen such as Andrew Jackson and Daniel Webster were advocating what philosophy regarding the country?

Q#8 – As the 19th Century evolved and time passed, what philosophy regarding the country did Southerners hold?

Q#9 – What was the main reason most of America’s premier entrepreneurs such as Cornelius Vanderbilt and Samuel Colt based themselves in the North?

Q#10 – What action in 1832, where military action was threatened by the Federal government against South Carolina, helped to plant the initial seeds of secession?

Q#11 – What important factor was changing the political balance of power that increasingly was adversely affecting the South?

Q#12 – Why was the “American System” (which was an economic plan) advocated by Henry Clay in Congress and supported by many nationalist supporters, whose purpose was to develop American industry and international commerce, opposed by the South?

Q#13 – What was a mitigating social factor that pushed upper-class white Southerners to support secession from the Union and eventually Civil War?

Q#14 – What economic event occurred in 1857 that strengthened the Republican Party and heightened sectional tensions?

Q#15 – Thomas Prentice Kettell, former editor of the Democratic Review, in the late 1850s gathered an array of statistics published in his book on Southern Wealth and Northern Profits. What premise did Kettell’s book advance that convinced many Southerners their only option for economic fairness was secession?

Meeting of January 29, 2019

Jim Tortorici on “Federal Ironclads and Their Technology”

During the Civil War, the CSS Virginia, a captured and rebuilt Union steam frigate formerly known as the USS Merrimac,engaged the USS Monitor in the first battle between iron-fortified naval vessels in history. The ironclad warships proved their value in battle. No longer would wooden ships be viable in war. The battle had changed the course of naval warfare.

USS Cairo

The Union built a formidable force of river ironclads, beginning with several converted riverboats and then contracted engineer James Eads of St. Louis, Missouri, to build the City-class ironclads. These excellent ships were built with twin engines and a central paddle wheel, all protected by an armored casement. They had a shallow draft, allowing them to journey up smaller tributaries, and were very well suited for river operations. They were not as heavily armored as the ocean-going monitors of the Union, but they were adequate for their intended use. More Western Flotilla Union ironclads were sunk by torpedoes (mines) than by enemy fire, and the most damaging fire for the Union ironclads was from shore installations, not Confederate vessels.

Jim’s presentation will cover the armor, engine, and guns of the federal ironclads, focusing on the USS Cairo.

Jim Tortorici was born in 1946 in Chicago, IL. He spent much of his youth in Chicago and Westchester, IL, Ogden, UT, and moved to San Jose, CA, in 1960. He attended Campbell and Blackford High Schools graduating in 1964. In 1969, Jim graduated from San Jose State University with a BS in Industrial Arts specializing in Business and Industry. Jim received his MA in Industrial Technology in 1976 from San Jose State University.

Upon graduation from San Jose State University in 1969, Jim served on active duty for three years in the US Marine Corps and then entered the Reserves retiring as a Lieutenant Colonel in 1995. Upon release from active duty, Jim was hired as a Design Draftsman in 1972 at Ford Motor Co in Milpitas, CA. In 1974 Jim was hired by IBM in San Jose retiring as an Advisory Engineer in 2001.

Jim has been married for 50 years to his wife Barbara. They have three children, eight grandchildren, and six great-grandchildren.

Jim’s interest in ship modeling began in his youth building plastic and wood models. This interest broadened to flying scale model aircraft and scale model railroad trains as an adult. Later Jim began specializing in ship models with his affiliation with the South Bay Model Shipwrights Club. Some of his more detailed projects include the HMS Victory, HMS Halifax, the 1678 Grosse Jacht, the USS Monitor, and currently the USS Cairo.

Quiz for January 29, 2019

What Do You Know About Civil War Prisons and Prisoners?

Q#1 – In July 1862, Union & Confederate armies agreed to formalize the prisoner exchange system. What was the title of the agreement that was named for the two officers who developed it?

Q#2 – The formal prisoner exchange system established a scale of equivalents for the exchange of military officers and enlisted men. What was the scale for a navy captain or an army colonel versus army privates or ordinary seamen?

Q#3 – Did the formal exchange agreement include non-combatants?

Q#4 – What were the specifications that captives had to agree to before they were paroled or exchanged?

Q#5 – Why did the prisoner exchange system collapse in 1863?

Q#6 – Starting in 1863, how many Union soldiers were sent to Confederate prison camps? How many Confederate soldiers were sent to Union prison camps?

Q#7 – Starting in 1863, approximately how many Union soldiers died in Confederate prison camps? How many Confederate soldiers died in Union prison camps?

Q#8 – Which Union prison was sometimes described as “The North’s Andersonville”?

Q#9 – What was the official name assigned by the Confederacy to the prison located at Andersonville, Georgia?

Q#10 – Approximately how many Union prisoners were imprisoned at the Andersonville Prison?

Q#11 – Nearly 13,000 Union prisoners died at Andersonville. What were the three chief causes for the deaths?

Q#12 – What was the name of the Confederate prison where a majority of Union officer prisoners were incarcerated? Where was it located?

Q#13 – What was the name of the Confederate general who escaped from the Ohio Penitentiary in 1863?

Q#14 – What was the nickname Confederate prisoners gave to the prison located at Elmira, NY?

Q#15 – What was the name of the first Federal military installation seized forcefully by a Southern state government that eventually was used as a Confederate prison?

Meeting of November 27, 2018

Jim Rhetta on “Paying for the Civil War”

A very significant and invariably overlooked component to any conflict is that fact that it has to be paid for. Historian focus on tactical and strategic decisions and actions and commonly ignore the revenue sources necessary to maintain an effectively military force. Two examples will be presented of cases where Nations ran out of funds to continue a conflict, and the impacts of one to this day.

This presentation will cover how both sides funded their forces in the Civil War from the only three sources still available to nations today – Taxes, Bonds, and Printing Money. Both sides used a mix of these three sources in different ratios and faced social and economic limitations on how much could be extracted from each funding source. The amount of funds raised and management of the National economies involved had a strong correlation to the tactical results of the Civil War.

Meeting Minutes November 2018

Quiz for November 27, 2018

What Do You Know About Sherman’s March to the Sea?

Q#1 – Initially, Sherman’s March to the Sea had a more formal and official name; what was that name?

Q#2 – What was the primary objective that Grant & Sherman hoped to accomplish with Sherman’s March to the Sea?

Q#3 – The terrain of southeastern Georgia between Atlanta and Savannah was swampy and criss-crossed with numerous rivers and streams. What was the name of the man who was Sherman’s Chief of the Bridge Building Team?

Q#4 – For the campaign, Sherman’s force consisted of 62,000 men: 55,000 infantry, 5,000 cavalry, and 2,000 artillerymen manning 64 guns. What marching formation did Sherman establish for his troops?

Q#5 – Confederate John Bell Hood had taken the bulk of his forces in Georgia on his campaign to Tennessee in hopes of diverting Sherman to pursue him. What was Sherman quoted as saying in response to Hood’s maneuver?

Q#6 – What was the name of the military unit that served as Sherman’s personal escort on the march?

Q#7 – The 300-mile march began on November 15. The first real Confederate resistance was felt by Union General Howard’s right wing on November 22. What was the name of this battle and the results?

Q#8 – In what order did Sherman align his troops as they marched through Georgia?

Q#9 – What orders did General Sherman give to his foragers?

Q#10 – Southern civilians with property in the line of march, before Union troops reached their properties attempted to hide their food and valuables. What two groups of people did the Union troops rely on to help them find these hidden items?

Q#11 – On the few occasions when Union foragers were captured by Confederate troops while they were taking goods from Southern citizens, what was usually their fate?

Q#12 – As Sherman’s march continued towards Savannah, they were joined by a group of approximately 25,000 people. Who were these people?

Q#13 – On December 8, 1864, what tragic incident occurred at a place called Ebeneezer Creek located about 20 miles north of the city of Savannah?

Q#14 – When Sherman’s armies reached the outskirts of Savannah on December 10, what actions did they find that Confederate General William Hardee had performed which blocked Sherman from linking up with the U.S. Navy as he had planned?

Q#15 – On December 17, 1864, Sherman sent a note to Confederate General Hardee demanding the surrender of the city of Savannah. What were Hardee’s and the City of Savannah’s responses?

2018 West Coast Civil War Roundtable Conference

The Trans-Mississippi Theater: The Not So Glamorous Step-Sister of Civil War Historians

Hosted by the San Joaquin Valley CWRT and the Inland Empire CWRT

November 9–11, 2018: Wyndom Garden Hotel, Fresno, California

REGISTRATION FEE $200. For registration form & info see website: SJVCWRT2.com

Nov. 9 – 11, 2018 CONFERENCE SCHEDULE

FRIDAY
4:00–REGISTRATION BEGINS
5:00-5:45–SOCIAL HOUR
5:45—6:45- DINNER (President’s Welcome, Invocation)
7:00—INTRODUCTION TO THE TRANS-MISSISSIPPI THEATER: Ron Vaughan
7:30 -8:00—TRANS-MISSISSIPPI COMMAND OVERVIEW: THOMAS CUTRER
8:00 –9:00– RED RIVER CAMPAIGN: Parker Hill

SATURDAY
8:00-8:50–: SECESSION CRISIS IN THE TRANS-MISSISSIPPI: Jim Stanberry
9:00-9:50: BATTLE OF WILSON’S CREEK: Richard Hatcher III
10: BREAK
10:15-11:10– SIBLEY’S CAMPAIGN: Thomas Cutrer
11:15-11:45– CALIFORNIA IN THE CW: Ron Vaughan
LUNCH– 11:45—1:00
1:00-1:50– BATTLE OF PEA RIDGE: Richard Hatcher III
2:00-2:50– BATTLE OF PRAIRIE GROVE: Ron Vaughan
3:00 BREAK
DINNER 4:45 – 5:45
5:45—6: JERRY RUSSEL AWARD
6:00-6:50– PRICE’S 1864 RAID: Thomas Cutrer
7:00-7:50— STEEL’S CAMPAIGN: Parker Hills
8:00–RAFFLE

SUNDAY
8:30-9:20– NATIVE AMERICANS IN THE CIVIL WAR : Jim Stanbery
9:30-10:00– MEDICAL CARE IN THE T.M.: Brian Clague
10:00-10:30– BATTLEFIELD ARCHEOLOGY: Parker Hills
10:30-10:45– SJVCWRT DONATIONS TO RAYMOND BATTLEFIELD: Mike Green
10:45-10:50– BREAK
10:50-11:45–

Meeting of October 30, 2018

Robert Burch on “California in the Civil War: Defending the State 1861–1865″

Wartime photo of Camp Babbitt at Visalia, an alleged center of Confederate partisan activities

California’s involvement in the American Civil War remains one of the great hidden facets of that conflict. Many amateur historians and journalists in recent years have published articles in magazines or on the Internet discussing alleged Civil War events across California between 1862 and 1865. This presentation combines all documented events into one forum for a clear, concise and complete operational picture of what happened within the state during the last four years of the war. In hindsight, none of these events has any connection with the war. However, at that time they were so considered and reflect California’s involvement in the great struggle to preserve the Union. The story ends with the post-war return of Regular Army regiments.

The U.S. Army transitioned from combat to stability operations upon successfully securing the state for the Union in late 1861. The Army also transferred operational responsibly at the military district level to various California Volunteer regiments. These units conducted what we today call “military support to civil authority.” These ranged from operations against hostile Indian “war bands” to assistance to local law enforcement to counter common criminal gangs disguised as partisans. Concurrently the state militia supported local law enforcement agencies in some of the “California Squatter Wars” during this period. This story is presented in rough chronological order:

  • Background – Military Situation in January 1862
  • Events Shift North
  • San Jose, Healdsburg and Vallejo
  • Bald Hills Indian War (Omitted)
  • Owens Valley Indian War (Omitted)
  • Northeast California Indian Wars (Omitted)
  • Visalia
  • Santa Clara County
  • Preparation for War with France (Omitted)
  • Victory: End of California Secessionism & Return of Regular Army

This presentation omits discussion of the various Indian Wars and preparation for war with France to focus on alleged Civil War-related events. Omitted parts are part of the California wartime experience, but excluded due to time constraint. They are listed above simply to offer a complete outline of wartime military events within the state during the war.

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 October 2018

Quiz for October 30, 2018

Civil War Quiz: Do You Know Who These Civil War Generals Are?

Q#1 – Before the Civil War, this Union general was the Speaker of the House in the US House of Representatives. What’s his name?

Q#2 – This Confederate general gave Thomas J. Jackson his nickname of “Stonewall”. What’s his name?

Q#3 – This Union general commanded the Army of the Ohio at the Battle of Shiloh in 1862. What’s his name?

Q#4 – At the Battle of Gettysburg, this Confederate general was captured by a Union soldier, Private Patrick Maloney of the 2nd Wisconsin, where he was taken behind enemy lines and briefly met an old colleague, Union General Abner Doubleday. This Confederate became the first general officer to be taken captive from the Army of Northern Virginia since General Lee assumed command. What’s his name?

Q#5 – This Union general fought in the Seven Days Battles at Gaines’ Mill on June 27, 1862, where he was wounded but demonstrated the bravery that was eventually recognized in 1892 with the Medal of Honor. What’s his name?

Q#6 – Before the Civil War, this Confederate general who was born in Ireland enlisted in the 41st Regiment of Foot of the British Army. During his three years there, he subsequently rose to the rank of corporal. What’s his name?

Q#7 – This Union general requested reassignment after quarreling with General Joe Hooker after the Battle of Chancellorsville. He then commanded the newly created Department of the Susquehanna during the Gettysburg Campaign in 1863. What’s his name?

Q#8 – Before the Civil War, this Confederate general was a member of the Whig political party and strongly opposed secession at the April 1861 Virginia convention. However, he was soon roused by the actions of the Federal government when President Abraham Lincoln called for 75,000 volunteers to suppress the rebellion. What’s his name?

Q#9 – After the Civil War, this Union general was elected as the 20th President of the United States in 1881 and became the second president to die by assassination. What’s his name?

Q#10 – This Confederate general was court-martialed by Stonewall Jackson for his actions in command of the Stonewall Brigade at the First Battle of Kernstown, and was subsequently killed during Pickett’s Charge at the Battle of Gettysburg. What’s his name?

Q#11 – This Union general led the XX Corps competently in the 1864 Atlanta Campaign under Sherman, but asked to be relieved before the capture of the city because of his dissatisfaction with the promotion of Maj. Gen. Oliver O. Howard to command of the Army of the Tennessee, upon the death of Maj. Gen. James B. McPherson. This general had seniority over Howard. What’s his name?

Q#12 – This Confederate general’s first field assignment was commanding Confederate forces in western Virginia, where he was defeated at the Battle of Cheat Mountain and was widely blamed for Confederate setbacks. He was then sent to organize the coastal defenses along the Carolina and Georgia seaboard and appointed commander, “Department of South Carolina, Georgia and Florida” on November 5, 1861. What’s his name?

Q#13 – This Union general on November 25, 1862, was arrested and court-martialed for his actions at Second Bull Run. By this time, McClellan had been relieved by President Abraham Lincoln and could not provide political cover for this general who was McClellan’s protégé. This Union General’s association with the disgraced McClellan and his open criticism of Union General Pope were significant reasons for his conviction at court-martial where he was found guilty on January 10, 1863, of disobedience and misconduct, and was dismissed from the Army on January 21, 1863. What’s his name?

Q#14 – This Confederate general was the son-in-law of Union Brigadier General Philip St. George Cooke. Also, the general’s wife’s brother was John Rogers Cooke. What’s his name?

Q#15 – On October 16, 1863, this Union general was assigned command of the newly formed Division of the Mississippi, including the Armies of the Ohio, Tennessee, and Cumberland. His first order was to put General George Thomas in charge of rescuing the Army of the Cumberland, which had retreated into Chattanooga where they were trapped. What’s his name?