Quiz for March 27, 2018

Civil War Quiz: How Did Weather Affect the Civil War?

Q#1 – What is the name of the meteorological period that the Civil War took place at the tail end of?

Q#2 – What was a well-known example where weather adversely affected Union general George B. McClellan’s Peninsula Campaign in 1862?

Q#3 – At the September, 1862, Battle of Chantilly, what weather condition helped contribute to the death of Union general Philip Kearney?

Q#4 – What battle was fought on May 15, 1864, where hundreds of Confederate soldiers’ feet became stuck in the mud as they attempted to cross a wheat field which the soldiers forever dubbed the “field of lost shoes?”

Q#5 – At the Battle of Chancellorsville in May, 1863, what weather condition helped to contribute to the element of surprise of Stonewall Jackson’s flank attack?

Q#6 – Following his dreadful defeat at Fredericksburg the previous December, what was the name given to Union general Ambrose E. Burnside’s January 1863 military maneuver involving the Army of the Potomac?

Q#7 – What was the name given to one of the most famous (and comical) weather-related incidents during the Civil War that occurred on March 22, 1864, in Dalton, Georgia?

Q#8 – What weather event contributed to the sinking of the USS Monitor off the coast of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina?

Q#9 – What was the weather like during Jefferson Davis’s inauguration for the presidency of the Confederate States of America in February 1861 in Montgomery, Alabama?

Q#10 – At the Battle of Gettysburg, Rev. Dr. Michael Jacobs, a math professor at what was then called Pennsylvania College recorded his observations three times a day during every day of the battle. What was the name of the book he created that contains very specific details on the weather at the Battle of Gettysburg and the role it may have played in battle?

Q#11 – During the Battle of the Wilderness in May, 1864, there were unseasonable high heat temperatures that adversely impacted both armies both during and after the battle. How did these high temperatures affect the armies after the battle?

Q#12 – What was the most frequent emotional comment that Union soldiers who had to endure bad weather conditions in southern locations included in their letters home?

Q#13 – Union prisoners incarcerated at Andersonville did what in an attempt to shield themselves from the rain and heat?

Q#14 – Why did a number of Confederate soldiers at the Battle of Gettysburg actually die from drowning?

Q#15 – During Union general William T. Sherman’s march into South Carolina, massive storms caused numerous rivers to flood their banks. What adverse affect did his cause Sherman’s march?

Meeting of February 27, 2018

Nick K. Adams on “The 2nd Minnesota in the Western Theater”

Nick K. Adams, great-great-grandson of Cpl. David Brainard Griffin, will describe the organization of, and first two years of action of the 2nd Minnesota Regiment of Volunteers in the Western Theater. His compelling presentation will be personalized by selected readings from the 100 letters Griffin wrote back to his young family on the Minnesota prairie prior to his death at the Battle of Chickamauga.

Those letters have been published as My Dear Wife and Children: Civil War Letters from a 2nd Minnesota Volunteer. A companion novel that tells the home front story of the family’s difficult struggle to survive while Griffin was gone has recently been published as Away at War: A Civil War Novel of the Family Left Behind. Autographed copies of both books will be available for purchase at the meeting.

Nick K. Adams grew up in Los Angeles County and now resides in Tacoma, WA, having retired from a career in elementary education. He has followed a life-long passion of interest in the American Civil War after learning of his own g-g-grandfather’s participation and sacrifice in that pivotal period. He continues to speak at schools, libraries, service clubs, and Civil War Round Tables, and is an avid Civil War re-enactor in his portrayal of Minnesota’s 1861 Governor Alexander Ramsey who sent his grandfather into the conflict to preserve the Union.

Meeting Minutes February 2018

Quiz for February 27, 2018

Civil War Quiz: Little Known Facts About the Civil War

Q#1 – Approximately what percent of the soldiers who fought for the Union Army were immigrants?

Q#2 – When black soldiers began signing up with the Union Army in early 1863, why did they refuse their salaries for 18 months?

Q#3 – True or False: Was there more than one attempt to assassinate President Abraham Lincoln?

Q#4 – Both before and during the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln advocated a policy called colonization – what was this policy all about?

Q#5 – In 1863, what justification did the United States Government use to confiscate Robert E. Lee’s Virginia estate and turn it into a cemetery?

Q#6 – During the Civil War, there were two prominent individuals named Jefferson Davis. One was the president of the Confederate States of America. Who was the other?

Q#7 – Stonewall Jackson was a well known hypochondriac. Often, Jackson thought himself “out of balance.” What physical action did Jackson perform, even under fire, to counteract this perceived medical malady?

Q#8 – Stonewall Jackson also suffered from poor eyesight. What action did he perform to attempt to improve his vision?

Q#9 – After President Abraham Lincoln died on April 15, 1865, what unusual item was found in his leather wallet??

Q#10 – Daniel Emmett, a loyal Unionist who in the 1850s was the composer of the song “Dixie,” became disgusted by the song’s popularity in the South after the Civil War began. How did President Abraham Lincoln characterize the song “Dixie”?

Q#11 – What was the original name of the holiday that is now known as Memorial Day?

Q#12 – What were the names of the seven future U.S. presidents who served in the Civil War?

Q#13 – At the Battle of Gettysburg, which Confederate unit suffered the worst regimental losses in a single battle: 708 of 800 killed, wounded, or missing?

Q#14 – Horses and other draft animals had about a 7-month life expectancy during the Civil War. Approximately how many horses died during the war?

Q#15 – What happened to President Lincoln’s personal copy of the Emancipation Proclamation?

Meeting of January 30, 2018

Abby Eller on “The History in Historic Union Cemetery in Redwood City”

A quarter century ago, Jean Cloud in Redwood City led a coalition of concerned citizens who fought hard and succeeded in saving Historic Union Cemetery from being lost forever to demolition and commercial development. What was so important about this cemetery?

Abby Eller will share some of the many stories that Historic Union Cemetery has to tell us. You’ll find out why Redwood City is called that and why it was originally called Mezesville.

Why the Grand Army of the Republic was so important to Union Civil War Veterans, and what made their burial plot in Union Cemetery distinctive. You’ll hear the story of the woman who served as national president of a nationwide organization dedicated to serving Union Civil War veterans and their families.

Last but not least, you might be curious as to why Union Cemetery is called that? So, please come to hear about these…and some more stories as well!

Abby Eller has been an American history buff ever since high school. Abby is particularly interested in exploring Civil War history, since the Civil War and aftermath was truly the beginning of modern America. So, Abby joined the Redwood City Civil War Round Table in July this year. She has been a member since 2013 of Historic Union Cemetery Association based in Redwood City. Abby and her husband Dave live in Menlo Park.

Meeting Minutes January 2018

Quiz for January 30, 2018

Civil War Quiz: What Do You Know About Confederate Government?

Q#1 – What was the motto adopted by the Confederate Congress for the Confederacy?

Q#2 – There were no official Confederate National Anthems. However, there was an unofficial anthem – what was it?

Q#3 – What was the Provisional Confederate Congress?

Q#4 – The Confederate Congress was modeled after the United States Congress with both a House of Representatives and a Senate. How many Senators and Representatives were there?

Q#5 – The Preamble to the US Constitution begins with the phrase “We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union…” What was the opening phrase of the Confederate Preamble that signified the stark difference in governmental philosophy?

Q#6 – How many articles were contained in the Confederate States Constitution? How many amendments were added?

Q#7 – In addition to the President and Vice President, what were the names of the other Confederate Cabinet Offices?

Q#8 – During the course of the Civil War, which Confederate Cabinet Offices did Judah P. Benjamin hold?

Q#9 – What famous American historical figure is on the Great Seal of the Confederate States of America?

Q#10 – The First Confederate Congress did not meet on a continuous basis. How many sessions did it hold?

Q#11 – What was the name of the politician who fulfilled the role of President of the Confederate Senate?

Q#12 – How were Confederate Senators determined?

Q#13 – In the Confederate Congress, there were three regions that were represented by non voting members of the House of Representatives. What were the names of those regions?

Q#14 – What was the name of the politician who was Speaker of the Confederate House of Representatives for the Second Confederate Congress that began session in May, 1864?

Q#15 – What was the date of the last session of the Second Confederate Congress?

Meeting of November 28, 2017

Tom McMahon on “Civil War Statues in Southern States”

Tom briefly concluded his presentation on the battle of Monocacy from the October meeting. He then introduced the subject of Civil War Statues in Southern States, Their Removal and/or Preservation. Tom has gathered information, particularly of a psychological nature, and welcomed audience input.

Tom is a third generation San Franciscan whose ancestral people came from the devastating Irish Potato Famine in the mid 1800s, miners who never set roots on the East Coast, settling in Butte, Montana, Virginia City, Nevada, and San Francisco. One great grandmother is said to have traveled by boat to the Isthmus of Panama, crossing by donkey, and sailing to the City by the Bay around 1856. The closest any of Tom’s relatives came to the American Civil War was Grandpa Alexander John McMahon’s mining much coveted silver in the Comstock mines of Virginia City, where Tom’s father was born in 1881. Maternal grandfather James Bresnahan was born in San Francisco in 1866, five years after the fall of Fort Sumter and a year after the aassassination of President Lincoln. Unfortunately none of these pioneer people were alive when Tom was born on November 16, 1928. There was once a day when Tom used this historical background with ease, yet now approaching 89 relies on a dimming memory, research, and carefully prepared written notes.

Tom has worn a variety of hats in a rich, happy, and varied life, married 40 years to Elaine with two sons and five grandchildren who live in San Bruno and Santa Clara. Best described as teacher, this talent has permeated 26 years of Catholic priesthood that includes being a commissioned officer chaplain in the U.S. Army, 70 years of kindergarten, grade, high school, college, and adult education of self and others. In 1977 Tom was licensed by the State of California as a mental health therapist working mainly with teens who had run away from home in a decades long study of the changing American family, nationwide as well as local. Tom has written weekly for 11 years a worldwide internet column out of Sydney, Australia, on religion and spirituality in the age of modern technology.

Meeting Minutes November 2017

Meeting of October 24, 2017

Tom McMahon on “The Battle of Monocacy”

Along with the help of fellow member Rene Arcornero, Tom sought audience participation to investigate the Battle of Monocacy, 1864, a local defeat for the Union Army that had tangible far reaching good results for the United States. The presentation will conclude in November.

Tom is a third generation San Franciscan whose ancestral people came from the devastating Irish Potato Famine in the mid 1800s, miners who never set roots on the East Coast, settling in Butte, Montana, Virginia City, Nevada, and San Francisco. One great grandmother is said to have traveled by boat to the Isthmus of Panama, crossing by donkey, and sailing to the City by the Bay around 1856. The closest any of Tom’s relatives came to the American Civil War was Grandpa Alexander John McMahon’s mining much coveted silver in the Comstock mines of Virginia City, where Tom’s father was born in 1881. Maternal grandfather James Bresnahan was born in San Francisco in 1866, five years after the fall of Fort Sumter and a year after the aassassination of President Lincoln. Unfortunately none of these pioneer people were alive when Tom was born on November 16, 1928. There was once a day when Tom used this historical background with ease, yet now approaching 89 relies on a dimming memory, research, and carefully prepared written notes.

Tom has worn a variety of hats in a rich, happy, and varied life, married 40 years to Elaine with two sons and five grandchildren who live in San Bruno and Santa Clara. Best described as teacher, this talent has permeated 26 years of Catholic priesthood that includes being a commissioned officer chaplain in the U.S. Army, 70 years of kindergarten, grade, high school, college, and adult education of self and others. In 1977 Tom was licensed by the State of California as a mental health therapist working mainly with teens who had run away from home in a decades long study of the changing American family, nationwide as well as local. Tom has written weekly for 11 years a worldwide internet column out of Sydney, Australia, on religion and spirituality in the age of modern technology.

Meeting Minutes October 2017

Quiz for October 24, 2017

The Civil War quiz for October has been postponed until the November meeting.

Civil War Quiz: What Do You Know About Events Leading up to the Civil War?

Q#1 – What were the names given to Article IV, Section 2, Clause 3 of the US Constitution that had an eventual effect on the Civil War?

Q#2 – What was the purpose of Fugitive Slave Act of 1793?

Q#3 – In 1807, Congress passed what law making the importing or exporting slaves a federal crime?

Q#4 – What was the objective of American Colonization Society that was established in 1816?

Q#5 – The Missouri Compromise of 1820 involved Missouri and what other state?

Q#6 – Why was the Tariff of 1828 called the “Tariff of Abominations” by its opponents in the South?

Q#7 – The 1830 Supreme Court ruling in the case North Carolina v. Mann had what effect on slave owners?

Q#8 – What was the name of the newspaper that Abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison began publishing in 1831?

Q#9 – Who was Nat Turner and what event was he associated with?

Q#10 – The Compromise of 1850 was a package of five separate bills passed by the US Congress. What do many historians argue was the net effect of the Compromise?

Q#11 – Before it was published in book form, in 1851, where did Uncle Tom’s Cabin first appear for readers?

Q#12 – How did the 1853 Kansas–Nebraska Act affect where slavery would be allowed?

Q#13 – What act of violence occurred on May 22, 1856, in the US Senate?

Q#14 – What was the purpose of John Brown’s attack on the federal armory at Harpers Ferry in 1859?

Q#15 – In the presidential election of 1860, what were the names and political parties of the other candidates who ran against Abraham Lincoln?

Meeting of September 26, 2017

Jack Nakash and Marcelo Pontin on “Civil War Reenacting”

Jack Nakash and Marcelo Pontin, Civil War Living Historians and Reenactors, discussed 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.

Meeting Minutes September 2017

Quiz for September 26, 2017

Civil War Quiz: What Do You Know About Civil War Medicine?

Q#1 – What were the main reasons infection was one of the main causes why a soldier died from his wounds?

Q#2 – During the first year of the Civil War, frequent epidemics of which four childhood diseases was rampant in Union Army camps?

Q#3 – Both Union and Confederate soldiers involved in military operations developed which four main illnesses?

Q#4 – What liquid solutions were used during amputations to partially sedate patients?

Q#5 – Today, it is known that if a wound produces pus, it means the injury is infected. During the Civil War, what did doctors think the presence of pus in a wound meant?

Q#6 – For the Union, what was the ratio of casualties dying of disease? What was the ration for the Confederacy?

Q#7 – For the Union, what was the name of the governmental agency that handled most of the nursing care of the armies, together with necessary acquisition and transportation of medical supplies?

Q#8 – Because there were no antibiotics yet developed during the Civil War to deal with diseases, what treatments did many doctors and surgeons prescribe for their patients?

Q#9 – In August 1861, what Union general appointed surgeon Charles S. Tripler as the first Medical Director of the Army?

Q#10 – In February 1861, who appointed David C. DeLeon as Surgeon General of the Confederate Medical Department?

Q#11 – During 1861 and most of 1862, why did the Confederacy employ a policy of furloughing wounded soldiers to return home for recovery?

Q#12 – At the beginning of the war, the Union ambulance service was very ineffective for several reasons: poorly made vehicles, lack of organization, and corrupt and dishonest staff that manned the ambulances and sought to steal from the wounded passengers. What was the name of the individual who made significant improvements in the Union ambulance service?

Q#13 – For both the North and South, approximately how many women volunteered to work in hospitals?

Q#14 – In addition to assisting surgeons during procedures, giving medicines, supervising the feedings, and cleaning the bedding and clothes of patients, with what two very personal tasks did women assist wounded soldiers?

Q#15 – For more than a century and a half, it has been accepted that about 620,000 Americans died in the Civil War. What is the name of the historian who in 2011 published a paper that described the use of demographic methods and sophisticated statistical analysis that produced a number of 750,000 soldiers who died in the war?