Monthly Archives: March 2023

Quiz for May 30, 2023

Civil War Quiz: What Do You Know About the Use of Railroads During the Civil War?

Q#1 – After fighting broke out in 1861, the country had a rail network totaling more than 30,000 miles. Approximately how many miles were in the North and how many in the South?

Q#2 – From the beginning of the war, what was the Confederate government’s policy regarding which type of traffic received priority on its railroads?

Q#3 –What was the name of an American civil engineer and railroad construction engineer and executive who, as a Union Army General, played a key role in the Civil War where he revolutionized U.S. military transportation, particularly the use of railroads?

Q#4 – From an overarching policy perspective, how did the South view the use of its railroad and train system?

Q#5 – What basic engineering and design flaw plagued the South in being able to more effectively utilize its railroads that did not exist in the North?

Q#6 – In 1862, why did the Baltimore and Ohio (B&O) Railroad rescind its Southern support severely impacting Confederate military operations in Virginia and Tennessee?

Q#7 – What event occurred a month prior to the war’s first major engagement at the First Battle of Bull Run regarding the use of the railroad that initially caught Southern forces off-guard?

Q#8 – What use of the railroad by Confederate forces was critical to the southern victory at the Battle of Chickamauga in early September of 1863?

Q#9 – There were six railroads serving Richmond, VA. What were these six railroads unable to do that limited their effectiveness?

Q#10 – What was the number of new locomotives produced in the South after the war began?

Q#11 – During the Civil War, the amount of new railroad mileage laid in the North was 4,000 miles. What was the amount for the South?

Q#12 – On January 31, 1862, the U.S. Congress passed legislation authorizing President Lincoln as Commander in Chief to do what regarding the railroads?

Q#13 – What risky venture regarding locomotives did Union commanders sometimes employ to gather information on Confederate forces?

Q#14 – What did the term “railroad monitors” refer to?

Q#15 – What were “Rifle Cars”?

Meeting of April 25, 2023

Ron Vaughan on “The Franco-Mexican Conflict”

Ron will present on the first year (1862) of the French Intervention in Mexico. Mexico’s civil war is related to ours in several ways (topic of another of his lectures): There was concern in the USA that the French could intervene on behalf of the Confederacy; Mexican volunteers fought on both sides, and at the end of our war; Union and Confederates volunteered in the armies of both the Republic and the Imperials; historians often overlook that the Rio Grande River was a large hole in the Union Navy ‘s blockade; while the US Sanitary Commission held fund-raisers, many Northern cities also formed “Juarez Societies” to raise money for the Mexican Republican armies; Cinco De Mayo is a big holiday among US Hispanics.

Ron Vaughan, MA, graduated from California State University Fresno in 1970 with a BA in history and a Secondary Teaching Credential. After an interlude of teaching, he earned a MA in history in 1978. At this point he decided to keep history as a hobby and served as a Social Worker for 33 years (last 9 in HIV-AIDS Case Management), until 2008. Since then he has volunteered for various community boards, especially as head docent at the Tulare City Historical Museum. He has been a member of the San Joaquin Valley Civil War Round Table Since 1995, and currently is the Secretary-Treasurer and newsletter editor. He has given lectures on the Mexican War, Trans-Mississippi Civil War: Wilson’s Creek, Pea Ridge, Prairie Grove, Sibley’s New Mexico Campaign, and the history of African American Soldiers. He has had magazine articles and books/booklets published on African Colonial Warfare, the Spanish Civil War of 1930s, the Mexican War, and “Viva Juarez” on the French Intervention in Mexico. He has been a re-enactor of many historical periods from Ancient Rome to WW II. Also, he is an avid participant in historical miniature war games and a 2018 Jerry Russel Award winner.

Quiz for April 25, 2023

Civil War Quiz: What Do You Know About American Civil War Army and Navy Connections?

Q#1 — Alonzo Cushing was awarded the Medal of Honor defending the Union position on Cemetery Ridge against Pickett’s Charge during the Battle of Gettysburg. What was his younger brother famous for?

Q#2 — Continuing with Alonzo Cushing, the current US warship, the USS Gettysburg, honored him in a special way in 2014. What was this honor?

Q#3 — What is the connection between the Battle of Gettysburg and the USS Monitor?

Q#4 — What was the first combined operation of the Union Army and Navy in the American Civil War and what was the outcome of the operation?

Q#5 — Ranald Slidell Mackenzie was a career United States Army officer serving in the Union Army during the American Civil War and the following Indian wars. His Uncle John Slidell was involved in a serious naval related diplomatic event. What was it?

Q#6 — Brigadier General Henry Hayes Lockwood was a brigade commander during the Civil War. What was his connection to the Navy?

Q#7 — Union General John Pope built his reputation based on this combined operates victory on the Mississippi River. Name it.

Q#8 — United States Ram Fleet was active in the battle against the Confederate River Defense Fleet for control of the Mississippi River and its tributaries. What was unusual about this fleet?

Q#9 — The United States Ram Fleet was commanded by a well-known civil engineer. Who was he and what happened to him during the Civil War?

Q#10 — Burnside’s North Carolina Expedition was part of Winfield Scott’s Anaconda Plan. The first battle of the expedition was an amphibious operation. Name it.

Q#11 — The Battle of Sayler’s Creek, the last major battle before the surrender of Lee’s Army at Appomattox. What was its significance with respect to the Confederate navy?

Q#12 — This Civil War land battle saw a “boarding party” attack made by 1,600 sailors and 400 marines. Name it and what was the outcome?

Q#13 — On March 14, 1862, the Union undertook an amphibious operation. What battle resulted?

Q#14 — Union Major General John A. McClernand successful led a combined operations assault. What was the name of the battle?

Q#15 — The army unit was initially commanded by navy officers. Name it.