Category Archives: Meeting archive

Meeting of October 27, 2015

Tom Roza on “The Battle of Antietam, Part 2: 12 Hours; 23,000 Casualties; 100 Yards”

Burnside's Bridge at the Battle of Antietam (Wikipedia)

Burnside’s Bridge at the Battle of Antietam (Wikipedia)

Tom concluded his study of the Maryland Campaign.

Tom’s study of the American Civil War has primarily focused on the people who fought in the war, who they were, what their role was in the Civil War, and what was it about them that made them significant characters in that great conflict. His previous presentations on John Buford, Winfield Scott Hancock, Robert Gould Shaw, Ambrose Powell Hill, US Grant, and most recently Jeb Stuart, covered their lives including their family history, education, military background, roles in the Civil War, and in the case of Hancock, life after the War. Tom has always been more interested in the study of people and relationships; why people do what they do, what were their relationships, and how these relationships helped make these individuals who they were.

While the Battle of Gettysburg has traditionally been labeled as the Highpoint of the Confederacy and the turning point of the Civil War, there is another conflict that in Tom’s years of studying the Civil War was as important, if not more so than Gettysburg; that conflict is the Battle of Antietam.

The Battle of Antietam, or as the Southerners refer to it, The Battle of Sharpsburg, has always been referred to as the Bloodiest Day in American history. That is because in approximately 12 hours of horrific combat, approximately 23,000 casualties were inflicted. But, Antietam was much more than just the bloodiest day in our military history. It was as the Civil War Historian James M. McPherson labeled it, “The Battle That Changed the Course of the Civil War.”

Tom’s research on Antietam has uncovered many critical events and factors proceeding September 17, 1862, that influenced dramatically what occurred on the outskirts of that little Maryland town by a lazy flowing creek.

Meeting Minutes October 2015

Meeting of September 29, 2015

Tom Roza on “The Battle of Antietam, Part 1: Invasion and the Battle of South Mountain”

Battle of South Mountain (Wikipedia)

Battle of South Mountain (Wikipedia)

Tom’s study of the American Civil War has primarily focused on the people who fought in the war, who they were, what their role was in the Civil War, and what was it about them that made them significant characters in that great conflict. His previous presentations on John Buford, Winfield Scott Hancock, Robert Gould Shaw, Ambrose Powell Hill, US Grant, and most recently Jeb Stuart, covered their lives including their family history, education, military background, roles in the Civil War, and in the case of Hancock, life after the War. Tom has always been more interested in the study of people and relationships; why people do what they do, what were their relationships, and how these relationships helped make these individuals who they were.

While the Battle of Gettysburg has traditionally been labeled as the Highpoint of the Confederacy and the turning point of the Civil War, there is another conflict that in Tom’s years of studying the Civil War was as important, if not more so than Gettysburg; that conflict is the Battle of Antietam.

The Battle of Antietam, or as the Southerners refer to it, The Battle of Sharpsburg has always been referred to as the Bloodiest Day in American history. That is because in approximately 12 hours of horrific combat, approximately 23,000 casualties were inflicted. But, Antietam was much more than just the bloodiest day in our military history. It was as the Civil War Historian James M. McPherson labeled it, “The Battle That Changed the Course of the Civil War.”

Tom’s research on Antietam has uncovered many critical events and factors proceeding September 17, 1862, that influenced dramatically what occurred on the outskirts of that little Maryland town by a lazy flowing creek. This is the first of a two-part presentation, to be concluded next month.

Meeting Minutes September 2015

Meeting of August 22, 2015

Jim Rhetta on “Newspapers and Open Source Intelligence in the Civil War”

Jim Rhetta

Jim Rhetta

The Civil War is called the “first modern war” due to the first use of many new and modern technologies. Often overlooked is the fact that it was also the first war that newspapers covered capable of reporting events in less than 12 hours. With the majority of the population literate, this capability produced a new and significant impact on both war efforts that politicians on both sides had not experienced before and were unprepared for. In addition, newspapers frequently printed information of high and timely military value, an action that never occurred before, which enraged generals on both sides. This information is now known as Open Source Intelligence, can be of high value, and is commonly used by all participants in current global conflicts.

See photos from the picnic meeting.

Meeting Minutes August 2015

Meeting of July 28, 2015

Ted Savas on “Lincoln and Davis at War”

Lincoln and Davis (Wikipedia)

Lincoln and Davis (Wikipedia)

Ted discussed how the presidents of the Union and the Confederacy approached the war in terms of weaponry and objectives, offering fresh and often humorous insights on Lincoln and Davis, their chief subordinates, the choices they made, and the challenges they faced as they fought the Civil War.

Theodore P. Savas graduated from The University of Iowa College of Law in 1986 (With Distinction). He practiced law in Silicon Valley for twelve years before moving to El Dorado Hills. He co-founded Savas Woodbury Publishers (subsequently Savas Publishing) in 1990 with David Woodbury, and is the owner and managing director of Savas Beatie LLC, one of the largest independent Civil War publishers in the world. He has been teaching legal, history, and business college classes since 1992, and is the author or editor of fourteen books (published in six languages) including A Guide to the Battles of the American Revolution, Hunt and Kill: U-505 and the U-Boat War in the Atlantic, and Silent Hunters: German U-boat Commanders of World War II. While in San Jose he founded the South Bay Civil War Round Table in 1989; its first meeting of four people was held in his living room.

Meeting Minutes July 2015

Meeting of June 30, 2015

Bill Noyes on “Lincoln’s Photographic Journey”

Bill has provided the following description:

Any time is a great time to consider Abe Lincoln and his story. Thus I thought as I rediscovered the book, “Lincoln: his Life in Photographs” by Stefan Lorant, done in 1941. I’d buried it away in one of my sheds many years before and after a quick read I could see what an opportunity it presented to view Old Abe’s journey from the back woods to greatest American in the District of Columbia. Soon I was putting together a digital slide show for presentation to the Round Table from the pages of Lincoln’s images which had taken him 19 years to assemble.

Lincoln was born well before photography and grew to mid age without expecting to see images of himself or most people he might meet, other than in fleeting representations in a mirror. Expensive painted miniature portraits were in vogue in the best of families, and also oil portraits and chalk drawings or engravings but average people didn’t spend hard money on such unchanging luxuries. Then things changed in 1840 when the daguerreotype came to America, but Abe was slow to take to the process.

In 50 pictures we’ll trace Lincoln’s life and accomplishments photographically as he adjusted to and learned to use the new medium. Mythic tales and questionable facts must yield to the new documentary evidence we have all come to know and expect in this digital age. Please bring your vast knowledge and ready experience concerning President Lincoln to share as each photo might warrant. We’ll see old familiar images and unusual or forgotten ones, any of which may spark unexpected comments and shared insights about Mr. Lincoln and his times.

Noyes Lincoln Photos

 

Meeting Minutes June 2015

Meeting of May 26, 2015

Robert Burch on “California in the Civil War: Background and Military Situation in April 1861”

California in the Civil War, Part 1California’s involvement in the American Civil War remains one of the great hidden facets of that conflict. Yet it is rich by the value of its unique contribution to the Union war effort and resemblance to national trends throughout that period. Background and Military Situation in April 1861 was the first of a five-part series concerning California and the war. This series considers all aspects of the state’s involvement from a military perspective. Subsequent presentations discuss Californian U.S. Volunteer Units, U.S. Navy in California, Military Bases in California, Famous Californian Generals, Military Operations and Aftermath (1861-66). This is a fresh reevaluation of an old subject utilizing new material available on the Internet supplementing numerous traditional original and secondary sources. This series reveals that our pre-war history is more complex and wartime contribution is greater than generally appreciated.

Background and Military Situation in April 1861 put these wartime experiences into perspective by highlighting key economic, military and political events within California leading up to the war. Discussion started with a condensed military history of Spanish and Mexican California culminating in the Mexican-American War of 1846. Initial political divisions and U.S. military presence in California begins in this period. Next, discussion led to the state’s political history before the war. This revealed that California entered the Union as an anti-slavery state in 1850, but strong Southern influence moved the state into the “pro-slavery” camp by 1860 as part of the Southern national agenda to defend slavery. Finally, the state’s military situation in April 1861 was highlighted. The U.S. Army, U.S. Navy, California State Militia, and Secessionist Militia were each individually summarized. Special attention was given to the obscure Santa Clara County state militia and the secessionist militia companies. This revealed that while pro-Southern politics became dominate by 1860, it was also a “house of cards” as its leadership and most-radical followers fled the state after Fort Sumter and Union patriotism blossomed in April 1861.

This topic is of special interest to the author. Bob is a native California, 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 May 2015

Meeting of April 28, 2015

Tom Roza on “Jeb Stuart, Southern Knight, and the Battle of Yellow Tavern”

James Ewell Brown “Jeb” Stuart earned his fame as a Confederate States Army general during the American Civil War. Stuart was a cavalry commander who excelled and mastered reconnaissance as well as effectively utilizing his cavalry in support of both offensive and defensive operations.

Jeb Stuart exhibited bravado unmatched by any other military person either in the Confederate or Union armies with his red-lined gray cape, yellow sash, and hat cocked to the side with an ostrich plume, and red flower in his lapel. His skills as a cavalryman earned the respect and trust of Robert E. Lee and inspired his fellow Confederate troops and Southern citizenry.

This is Tom Roza’s fifth presentation to the South Bay Civil War Round Table and his second featuring an individual who served in the Confederate armed forces (the first was A.P. Hill). This presentation on Jeb Stuart focuses primarily on his last military engagement, the Battle of Yellow Tavern, which took place on May 11, 1864, in the northern outskirts of Richmond, VA. The presentation will include important details that influenced the actual battle, how the battle was fought, and what happened to Jeb Stuart.

Meeting Minutes April 2015

Meeting of March 31, 2015

Steve Batham on “Catalina Island in the Civil War”

Catalina Island Army barracks

Catalina Island Army barracks

Just twenty-six miles off the coast of Los Angeles, Santa Catalina Island became the home of the Union Army for one mysterious year. On January 2, 1864, eighty enlisted men under the command of Captain West occupied Catalina Island and forced the evacuation of its residents. By the end of the year, they were gone as quickly as they had arrived, leaving only their barracks behind. But why? The army remained completely silent about their intentions for the island and as a result, it has led to much speculation about their motivations. This forgotten military operation seems to be an inconsequential event in the scope of the Civil War, but this occupation reveals some of the larger issues that consumed California 150 years ago.

While we may never definitively know why the Union Army occupied Catalina, the presentation outlines three plausible scenarios. Could it have been to protect the coastline from Confederate privateers? Could it have been motivated by the allure of gold and silver mining? And what could be the possible connection to Indian wars in Eureka? Heavily researched utilizing firsthand accounts and other primary sources, the presentation will attempt to answer all these questions through a PowerPoint presentation. The Union Army barracks are still standing in Catalina and although it is privately owned today, the Professor Batham was granted a rare opportunity to photograph the interior of the original structure and will be sharing those pictures with the group during the presentation.

Steve Batham grew up in Los Angeles and spent several summers in Catalina. After receiving his B.A. and M.A. in history from CSU, Northridge, he lectured at his alma mater, College of the Canyons, and with students abroad at the University of Vienna. Steve moved to the Bay area in 2012 to teach at Foothill College where he serves as a professor of U.S. and Latin American history.

Meeting Minutes March 2015

Meeting of February 24, 2015

Robert Burch on “The Battle of Big Bethel and the Struggle for Control of the Yorktown Peninsula”, Part 2

Battle of Big Bethel, sketch by Alfred R. Waud

Battle of Big Bethel, sketch by Alfred R. Waud

Nested between the Siege of Fort Sumter and the Battle of First Bull Run (aka First Manassas) during the spring of 1861 is the often overlooked action at Big Bethel church, Virginia, on June 10th, 1861. Many historians and Civil War enthusiasts consider this action the first true battle of the war. Unfolding political and military events quickly turned Virginia into the first active theater of campaigning for Union and Confederate armies. The Yorktown Peninsula soon became the first contested area within that theater. Conceived by local Union Army leaders as raid to stop Confederate pickets from harassing Union troops, Big Bethel instead became the testing ground for two citizen armies that were mustered, equipped, trained, and deployed over a six-week period following Fort Sumter. Union volunteer regiments attacked Confederates led by John Magruder and Daniel Harvey Hill for three hours. What happened that day and its results were the focus of national attention on both sides until Bull Run six weeks later.

To properly place the action at Big Bethel in perspective, the presentation begins by summarizing the political and military events that led a peaceful nation to war. The political factors that caused thousands of volunteers to fight with passion on June 10th are highlighted. Next the military factors that caused Virginia to become the first active theater of operations and Yorktown Peninsula to host the war’s first battle are surveyed. All participating Union and Confederate regiments and their leaders are concisely portrayed. Finally, the aftermath, analysis and significance of the battle are reviewed. The PowerPoint slides document the product of the speaker’s 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 bringing to life the drama and passion of the war’s first test of arms. Continue reading

Meeting of January 27, 2015

Robert Burch on “The Battle of Big Bethel and the Struggle for Control of the Yorktown Peninsula”, Part 1

Battle of Big Bethel, sketch by Alfred R. Waud

Battle of Big Bethel, sketch by Alfred R. Waud

Nested between the Siege of Fort Sumter and the Battle of First Bull Run (aka First Manassas) during the spring of 1861 is the often overlooked action at Big Bethel church, Virginia, on June 10th, 1861. Many historians and Civil War enthusiasts consider this action the first true battle of the war. Unfolding political and military events quickly turned Virginia into the first active theater of campaigning for Union and Confederate armies. The Yorktown Peninsula soon became the first contested area within that theater. Conceived by local Union Army leaders as raid to stop Confederate pickets from harassing Union troops, Big Bethel instead became the testing ground for two citizen armies that were mustered, equipped, trained, and deployed over a six-week period following Fort Sumter. Union volunteer regiments attacked Confederates led by John Magruder and Daniel Harvey Hill for three hours. What happened that day and its results were the focus of national attention on both sides until Bull Run six weeks later.

To properly place the action at Big Bethel in perspective, the presentation begins by summarizing the political and military events that led a peaceful nation to war. The political factors that caused thousands of volunteers to fight with passion on June 10th are highlighted. Next the military factors that caused Virginia to become the first active theater of operations and Yorktown Peninsula to host the war’s first battle are surveyed. All participating Union and Confederate regiments and their leaders are concisely portrayed. Finally, the aftermath, analysis and significance of the battle are reviewed. The PowerPoint slides document the product of the speaker’s 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 bringing to life the drama and passion of the war’s first test of arms. Continue reading

Meeting of November 25, 2014

Tom Roza presents the video, “Ulysses S. Grant and the Virginia Campaign in 1864”

Brooks Simpson at CWI 2014

Brooks Simpson at CWI 2014

As part of the 150th anniversary of the American Civil War, the Gettysburg College Civil War Institute hosted its Annual Summer Conference. One of the featured events was “U.S. Grant and the Virginia Campaign in 1864,” presented by Brooks Simpson, an American historian and History Professor at Arizona State University.

Simpson is the author of six books, the coauthor of two more, and the editor or coeditor of eight other books and is perhaps best known for his work on Ulysses S. Grant. At the Gettysburg College Civil War Institutes’s Summer Conference held in June 2014, Professor Brooks Simpson discussed Union General Ulysses S. Grant’s Overland Campaign, which was a series of battles fought in Virginia during May and June of 1864.

Simpson discusses numerous little known facts such as how Grant’s initial plans for taking over command in the eastern theater of the Civil War were vetoed by then Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton. The presentation discusses how Grant’s role as commander developed and evolved in the Eastern Theater of the Civil War during the 1864 period.

The presentation will be a video streamed from C-SPAN’s web site.

Meeting of September 30, 2014

Hal Jespersen on “Civil War Cartography”

CWMaps web page

CWMaps web page

Readers say that one of the most important features of a modern book about the Civil War is a good collection of understandable, accurate maps. Hal’s presentation will reveal some of the details behind the process for creating such maps. Hal Jespersen’s cartography business has produced over 800 maps for Wikipedia and numerous books, magazines, and battlefield displays. Hal discussed  the state of mapmaking during the war, reviewed the work of some famous cartographers, and described tools and processes he uses to create maps. Some of the technical concepts included were projection, elevation rendering, evaluating the accuracy of the Official Records Atlas, and plotting the courses of 19th century rivers, roads, and railroads.

Continue reading

Meeting of August 23, 2014

Jim Rhetta on “Slavery & Slave Ancestry”

Jim Rhetta and John Herberich

Jim Rhetta and John Herberich at the 2014 Picnic

Jim’s two-part presentation started with Slavery, a Socioeconomic System. It discussed the economic conditions that created slavery, the comparative value of slaves, and the emerging financial forces on slavery. The South was unaware that the increasing amount of currency in circulation, growing immigrant-fueled labor pool, and changing social values were threatening the economic viability of slavery. These emerging socioeconomic forces would have eventually made slavery unprofitable had the Civil War not been fought.

The second part was on Tangled and Incomplete, Tracing Slave Family Histories. It presented the difficulties of researching African-American family histories due to the forced illiteracy in slavery, limited census data, and paucity of travel, legal, and property records. It includes the family history of Jim’s Great-Grandfather’s slave-holders as well as both sides of his family. The value of oral traditions and histories were revealed in this 40-year search of his family history.

Meeting Minutes August 2014

Meeting of June 24, 2014

Tom Roza on “Ambrose Powell Hill, A Confederate Warrior: Gettysburg to Petersburg”

During the four year history of the Civil War, there have been a number of military leaders on both sides who exhibited a wide variety of both strategic and tactical skills as well as personal courage under fire. For the Union, there were Joshua Chamberlain, Ulysses S. Grant, William Sherman, and Philip Sheridan among others. For the South, you have Robert E. Lee, James Longstreet, Stonewall Jackson, and Nathan Bedford Forrest.

But, there is one other person who is on a par with these individuals: Ambrose Powell Hill of Virginia. Hill’s entire adult life was spent in the military and during that period, his body was wracked with a variety of medical illnesses and maladies. Despite his very poor health, which deteriorated over time, Hill rose to become the best division commander in the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia and finally the Corps Commander of Lee’s Third Corp. Hill’s exceptional battlefield tactics were nowhere better demonstrated then at the Battle of Antietam when he marched his troops 17 miles and saved Lee’s army from almost certain destruction.

Despite Hill’s exceptional qualities as a battlefield commander, he often had run-ins with his superiors that resulted in Hill being arrested on several occasions and relieved of command, only to be reinstated when the Army really needed him. Hill was involved in virtually every major military event that the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia was involved in from First Bull Run in July 1861 to the collapse of the Southern defense of Petersburg in April 1865.

The story of A.P. Hill takes numerous interesting twists and turns both in his personal and military lives. And, Hill’s interaction with his troops and his superiors reveals numerous little known insights into what made the Army of Northern Virginia the effective fighting force it became. Therefore, in order to do justice to telling the story of AP Hill, there will be two presentations:

  • May: West Point to Chancellorsville
  • June: Gettysburg to Petersburg

Tom Roza has been a student of the American Civil War since 1960 and has toured several battlefields that AP Hill participated at (Bull Run, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, the Wilderness, and Spotsylvania Courthouse). This provided Tom with the ability to see first-hand the terrain where Hill led his troops in combat and these experiences have helped shape the content of the presentations.

Tom’s previous presentations for the SBCWRT have been on John Buford, Winfield Scott Hancock, and Robert Gould Shaw and the 54th Massachusetts Regiment.

Meeting Minutes June 2014

Meeting of May 27, 2014

Tom Roza on “Ambrose Powell Hill, A Confederate Warrior: West Point to Chancellorsville”

A.P. Hill (Wikipedia)

During the four year history of the Civil War, there have been a number of military leaders on both sides who exhibited a wide variety of both strategic and tactical skills as well as personal courage under fire. For the Union, there were Joshua Chamberlain, Ulysses S. Grant, William Sherman, and Philip Sheridan among others. For the South, you have Robert E. Lee, James Longstreet, Stonewall Jackson, and Nathan Bedford Forrest.

But, there is one other person who is on a par with these individuals: Ambrose Powell Hill of Virginia. Hill’s entire adult life was spent in the military and during that period, his body was wracked with a variety of medical illnesses and maladies. Despite his very poor health, which deteriorated over time, Hill rose to become the best division commander in the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia and finally the Corps Commander of Lee’s Third Corp. Hill’s exceptional battlefield tactics were nowhere better demonstrated then at the Battle of Antietam when he marched his troops 17 miles and saved Lee’s army from almost certain destruction.

Despite Hill’s exceptional qualities as a battlefield commander, he often had run-ins with his superiors that resulted in Hill being arrested on several occasions and relieved of command, only to be reinstated when the Army really needed him. Hill was involved in virtually every major military event that the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia was involved in from First Bull Run in July 1861 to the collapse of the Southern defense of Petersburg in April 1865.

The story of A.P. Hill takes numerous interesting twists and turns both in his personal and military lives. And, Hill’s interaction with his troops and his superiors reveals numerous little known insights into what made the Army of Northern Virginia the effective fighting force it became. Therefore, in order to do justice to telling the story of AP Hill, there will be two presentations:

  • May: West Point to Chancellorsville
  • June: Gettysburg to Petersburg

Tom Roza has been a student of the American Civil War since 1960 and has toured several battlefields that AP Hill participated at (Bull Run, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, the Wilderness, and Spotsylvania Courthouse). This provided Tom with the ability to see first-hand the terrain where Hill led his troops in combat and these experiences have helped shape the content of the presentations.

Tom’s previous presentations for the SBCWRT have been on John Buford, Winfield Scott Hancock, and Robert Gould Shaw and the 54th Massachusetts Regiment.

Meeting Minutes May 2014

Meeting of April 29, 2014

Dave Wildman on “Iowa’s Martyr Regiment, The Story of the Thirty-eighth Iowa Infantry”

Dave Wildman

Dave Wildman

(From Drew @ Civil War Books and Authors)

Iowa’s Martyr Regiment: The Story of the Thirty-eighth Iowa Infantry, “is another fine unit history. But it is not a typical one. While many Hawkeye formations forged enviable battle records in the western and Trans-Mississippi theaters, the 38th always seemed to miss the action. Nevertheless, the roster of dead was incredibly high for such a comparatively meager combat history. While only two men were killed in action or mortally wounded, sickness sent over 300 of its soldiers to an early grave.”

In its battle with disease, the Thirty-eighth suffered a no less honored destiny than many regiments whose flags were covered with the names of battles. Combined with those discharged for disability and its combat casualties the Regiment suffered a fifty percent casualty rate without participating in any one of the great battles of the war. These dead are scattered along the Mississippi River from Dubuque, Iowa to New Orleans, and along the Gulf coast from Brownsville, Texas to Barrancas, Florida. Unlike other regiments, perhaps the Thirty-eighth Iowa’s battle flag should have been covered in black crepe, indicative of its fight with an unseen monster. Continue reading

Meeting of February 25, 2014

Tom Roza on ”The Swamp Angels: Robert Gould Shaw and the 54th Massachusetts Regiment”

Robert Gould Shaw (Wikipedia)

The 54th Regiment Massachusetts Volunteers was an infantry regiment that saw extensive service in the Union Army during the Civil War. The regiment was one of the first official African American units in the United States during the Civil War. They were nicknamed the “Swamp Angels” because being a “colored” regiment, they were assigned duty in the swampy lowlands of South Carolina and Florida.

Robert Gould was a military officer in the Union Army during the Civil War. And as Colonel, he was the first commander of the 54th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment. Shaw was born in Boston into a wealthy family of abolitionists parents and he was approached by his father to take command of a new All-Black Regiment. After some hesitation, he accepted the position. Shaw was deeply impressed with the dedication of the men under his command and he grew to respect them as fine soldiers.

While the movie Glory did an exceptional job of telling the story of Gould and the 54th Massachusetts, Tom’s presentation told a more complete story of the first Negro regiment and the man who led them. Continue reading

Meeting of January 28, 2014

Jim Rhetta on “Attack and Die: Cultural Impacts on Combat in the Civil War”

Jim Rhetta

Jim Rhetta

Jim presented the idea that the Civil War was also a conflict between two different cultures. These different cultures had separate traditions, values, and concepts of waging war that shaped their battlefield decisions and actions. The results of these cultural influences are evident in the Confederate Army’s preference to conduct attacks and suffer a disproportionate level of casualties that strongly contributed to their ultimate defeat.

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 global conflicts and crisis for the DoD Community. He continues to study both current events and historical subjects for their impacts on us today.

Meeting Minutes January 2014

 

Meeting of November 26, 2013

John Herberich reported on the “2013 West Coast Civil War Roundtable Conference”

John Herberich

John Herberich

John cruised to Mexico with other West Coasters for this year’s Civil War Roundtable Conference and presented a report on the program and festivities.

Meeting of October 29, 2013

Major Arthur Henrick on “Lincoln in the Telegraph Office”

Arthur Henrick

Arthur Henrick

We have all seen the movie Lincoln and can recall the scenes in the telegraph office with the young soldiers. Major Arthur Henrick presented a review of the 1907 book by Homer Bates, Lincoln in the Telegraph Office, a light hearted and interesting view of Lincoln telling stories while reading telegraphs in the War Department.

Meeting Minutes October 2013

Meeting of August 24, 2013

Ted Savas on “The Battle of Payne’s Farm, November 27, 1863: Command & Competency During the Mine Run Campaign”

David Woodbury and Ted Savas

David Woodbury and Ted Savas

Ted was the featured speaker at the August picnic meeting. He was pleased to see a surprise guest, David Woodbury. These two gentlemen were among the founders of the Round Table in 1989.

Theodore P. Savas graduated from The University of Iowa College of Law in 1986 (With Distinction). He practiced law in Silicon Valley for twelve years before moving to El Dorado Hills. He co-founded Savas Woodbury Publishers (subsequently Savas Publishing) in 1990 with David Woodbury, and is the owner and managing director of Savas Beatie LLC, one of the largest independent Civil War publishers in the world. He has been teaching legal, history, and business college classes since 1992, and is the author or editor of fourteen books (published in six languages) including A Guide to the Battles of the American Revolution, Hunt and Kill: U-505 and the U-Boat War in the Atlantic, and Silent Hunters: German U-boat Commanders of World War II. While in San Jose he founded the South Bay Civil War Round Table in 1989; its first meeting of four people was held in his living room.

Meeting Minutes August 2013

Anniversary 25 cake

Meeting of June 25, 2013

Walter Day on “The Red River Fiasco”

Walter Day

Walter Day

In March 1864, David Dixon Porter boldly started up the Red River with an overpowering naval force. Two frustrating months later, the Union admiral was lucky to re-emerge with any of his prized warships.

Walter Day is a microwave engineer who has worked in the Bay Area for 45 years. He has served as President of the Peninsula CWRT and is presently their Program Chairman. He has studied the Civil War since he was a teen and has researched his Great-Grandfather’s service with the Army of Northern Virginia. Having served as an officer in the U.S.Navy he has a more than passing interest in Naval actions of the Civil War.

Meeting Minutes June 2013