Category Archives: Meeting announcement

Meeting of September 29, 2020

Join us at 7:00 PM on Tuesday, September 29, for an online web conference (no physical meeting). Members will receive ZOOM dial-in instructions via email. This month’s topic is

Differing Viewpoints: If Jackson Was at Gettysburg, Would the CSA have Won the Battle? YES: Tom Roza; NO: Jim Rhetta

To enhance the experience and enjoyment for South Bay Civil War Roundtable members who attend the monthly meetings, a new format for presentation topics has been developed to augment the more traditional formats. The new format is entitled “Differing Viewpoints”.

For a specific Civil War related topic, two views are presented on whether a critical component or element was present or occurred that would have changed the outcome. The two views are: YES – the outcome would have been different; NO – the outcome would not have been different. Each view can be presented by one or more members with each view taking up no more than 15–20 minutes. Slides or other visual aids can be used to support a view. This is NOT a debate—just a presentation of differing views.

For the September 29, 2020, SBCWRT meeting, the presentation topic is, “If Jackson was at Gettysburg, would the CSA have won the battle?”

The vast majority of Civil War historians have concluded that the Battle of Gettysburg was the high water mark of the Confederacy’s effort to become an independent country. Over the nearly 160 years since the battle was fought in July 1863, there have been numerous discussions on whether the outcome of the battle would have been different if Confederate General Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson had not died in May 1863 from wounds suffered at the Battle of Chancellorsville. Tom Roza will present the YES view; Jim Rhetta will present the NO view.

Jim Rhetta retired from Lockheed Corp, and from the USAF Reserve as a Colonel in the Intelligence Community. In both careers he monitored, analyzed and reported on global conflicts and crisis for the DoD Community. His careers required him 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. He has made several presentations on social, economic, and military subjects of the Civil War.

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, which has been accepted by the Library of Congress into its Catalog; Tom is currently working on a sequel entitled Lost Cause – Justice Found.

Meeting of October 27, 2020

Join us at 7:00 PM on Tuesday, October 27, for an online web conference (no physical meeting). Members will receive ZOOM dial-in instructions via email. 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.

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