Monthly Archives: May 2021

Meeting of June 29, 2021

Join us at 7 PM, June 29, for an online ZOOM meeting. Login information will be emailed to all members. This month’s topic is

Mark Costin on “1864 General Sterling Price Raid”

By 1864 Missouri had been in Union control for two years. Believing that Missourians wanted liberation from Union forces, the Confederates made a desperate to divert Union forces from other war theatres; the Confederates attempted to retake Missouri. The campaign, often referred to as a raid but much larger in actuality, was led by General Stirling Price, former Missouri Governor, and consisted of 11 major and minor engagements. The campaign was ultimately a disaster for the Confederacy.

This talk will outline the strategic situation in Missouri in 1864 as well describe the personalities and battles of the campaign.

Mark Costin is an engineer living in Sunnyvale, CA working on functional safety for automated and autonomous vehicles. A long time history buff, this is Mark’s first presentation the SBCWRT. He holds a Ph.D. in Systems Engineering from Case Western Reserve University, an M.Eng from McMaster University, and B.Eng from McGill University.

Quiz for June 29, 2021

Civil War Quiz: What Do You Know About the Gettysburg Address?

Q#1 – Who invited President Lincoln to speak at Gettysburg?

Q#2 – On the train trip from Washington, D.C., to Gettysburg, Lincoln was accompanied by three members of his Cabinet: William Seward, John Usher, and Montgomery Blair, along with several foreign officials and a man servant. What two other individuals who worked closely with Lincoln also made the trip?

Q#3 – The first page of the speech was written by Lincoln in ink on Executive Mansion stationery. What was the second page written with and on what?

Q#4 – How many words are contained in the Gettysburg Address?

Q#5 – What are the last 18 words of the Gettysburg Address?

Q#6 – Lincoln’s last words in the address were inspired by whom?

Q#7 – On what date and day of the week was the Gettysburg Address given?

Q#8 – Who took the only known and confirmed photograph of Lincoln at Gettysburg?

Q#9 – What was the title of the 13,607-word oration given by Edward Everett that preceded Lincoln’s address?

Q#10 – Regarding the crowd in attendance at the ceremony, what is generally known about their reaction to Lincoln’s address?

Q#11 – In a letter to Lincoln written the following day, Edward Everett praised the President for his eloquent and concise speech, saying, “I should be glad if I could flatter myself that I came as near to the central idea of the occasion, in two hours, as you did in two minutes.” What did Lincoln write back to Everett?

Q#12 – National reaction to the Gettysburg Address was mixed. What was the reaction of the Chicago Times Newspaper?

Q#13 – How many known manuscripts of the Gettysburg Address in Lincoln’s hand are in existence?

Q#14 – Three copies of the address were written by Lincoln for charitable purposes well after the event at Gettysburg. These were given to Edward Everett, George Bancroft, and Alexander Bliss. Who received the other two copies?

Q#15 – What happened to Lincoln on his trip back to Washington, D.C., after the event at Gettysburg?

Meeting of July 27, 2021

Join us at 7 PM, July 27, for an online ZOOM meeting. Login information will be emailed to all members. This month’s topic is

Alan Sissenwein on “The Worst Generals of the Civil War, Part IV”

This is a continuation of previous meeting presentations.

Most authors of the Civil War have focused on presenting the best Generals of the Civil War and their traits that led to that status. They focus heavily on Lee, Grant, Sherman, and Jackson as books on them abound. This focus overlooks the fact that there were generals at the opposite end of the leadership spectrum who were ineffective leaders.

For this presentation Alan Sissenwein will present more of the worst Federal generals. What made these generals selected for that status include bad leadership, bad battlefield results, poor decision-making, abrasive personalities, and abuse of subordinates. This will also cover the factors that allowed for bad generals to emerge and in some cases the inability to remove them from senior leadership positions.

Alan Sissenwein, a native Californian, is a professional writer who has been a member of the South Bay Civil War Round Table since 1997. He has a bachelor’s degree in history from UC Berkeley and a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University. Although he has been fascinated by history since he was a teenager, his interest in the Civil War only took root during his last semester of graduate school, which was spent in Washington D.C. He likes to say that in California the Civil War is an abstraction but on the East Coast it’s a presence. He has previously given talks to the South Bay Civil War Round Table on such subjects as George Armstrong Custer and George Brinton McClellan.

Meeting of August 31, 2021

Join us at 7 PM, August 31, for an online ZOOM meeting. Login information will be emailed to all members. This month’s topic is

Abby Eller on “King Cotton”

The Confederacy was confident that a cotton embargo would induce Britain and France to ally with the Confederacy. Why was the South so confident of this? Cotton was indeed King,… but not in the way the South thought it was. Come hear the fascinating story of cotton and its importance in the world economy since the 19th century.

Abby Eller has long been a history lover, American history especially, because history explains how we got to now. Abby is fascinated by the Civil War as the single most transformative event in American history.