Author Archives: hlj

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

Quiz for August 24, 2013

Based on “The Monitor and the Merrimack” by James Hollabaugh

Q#1 – How many guns did the Merrimack have?

Q#2 – What was the water draft that the Merrimack required?

Q#3 – What unique characteristic did the Monitor possess for its guns?

Q#4 – What was the water draft that the Monitor required?

Q#5 – What standing order governed the firing capability of the Monitor’s guns?

Q#6 – What was the date when the Monitor & Merrimack fought?

Q#7 – What happened to the ram on the bow of the Merrimack after it rammed the Union ship Cumberland?

Q#8 – After attacking the USS Cumberland, what was the next Union ship the Merrimack attacked?

Q#9 – In what Union Navy Yard was the Monitor constructed?

Q#10 – When the Monitor & the Merrimack engaged in battle, which ship fired the first shot?

Q#11 – What hampered both ships’ ability to accurately gauge their firing range?

Q#12 – During the battle with the Monitor, how many Confederate sailors were killed?

Q#13 – What injury did Captain Worden of the Monitor suffer?

Q#14 – What was the result of the battle between the Monitor & the Merrimack?

Q#15 – After the battle, the Monitor sailed up river to Richmond. Why did this maneuver fail?

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

Meeting of May 28, 2013

Dana Lombardy on “The Long Arm of Mr. Lincoln’s Army”

man posing in library

Dana Lombardy

Dana presented diagrams and data to show how the artillery evolved in the Union Army of the Potomac during the American Civil War, and compare its effectiveness to the guns used by their primary opponent, Robert E. Lee’s Confederate Army of Northern Virginia. Gun types, numbers and organization, plus a look back at Napoleon’s artillery at Waterloo were also covered.

Tom Roza provided the following summary of Dana’s talk.

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Quiz for June 25, 2013

Based on “The Long Arm of Mr. Lincoln’s Army” by Dana Lombardy

Q#1 – What famous European general did all West Point students study?

Q#2 – At Gettysburg, what was the ratio of cannons to troops?

Q#3 – During the Civil War, what was the average number of troops required to operate a cannon?

Q#4 – What was the name of the British artillery engineer who invented case shot?

Q#5 – What was the shape of the shell used in a civil war rifled artillery cannon?

Q#6 – What was marked on each paper fuse plug used in Civil War artillery?

Q#7 – What phrase was used to describe the volume of artillery smoke that covered a battlefield?

Q#8 – At the battle of Gettysburg, what weapon caused the most casualties?

Q#9 – At the beginning of the Civil war, where did the Confederates get the majority of their cannons?

Q#10 – What was the tactical advantage to having more batteries with fewer cannon in each?

Q#11 – What was the number of cannon Union General Henry Hunt positioned along Cemetery Ridge in advance of Pickett’s Charge at the Battle of Gettysburg?

Q#12 – During the Confederate artillery barrage that proceeded Pickett’s Charge at the Battle of Gettysburg, what event E. Porter Alexander observe that made him advise General Longstreet to commence Pickett’s Charge?

Q#13 – On July 1, the first day of the Battle of Gettysburg, how many more cannons did the Confederates have when compared to the Union?

Q#14 – What was the term used when one side has more artillery than the other side?

Q#15 – Why was there no artillery reserve in Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia?

Meeting of April 30, 2013

René Accornero on “William Henry Seward, Secretary of State”

Early Years

William Henry Seward (Wikipedia)

William Henry Seward was a politician who was born in 1801 in the state of New York. Seward studied law at Union College, graduating as a member of Phi Beta Kappa and was then admitted to the New York State Bar. In 1821 he met Frances Adeline Miller and they married 3 years later and raised six children.

In 1846 Seward defended an African American who was accused of stabbing four people to death. Seward was an advocate of prison reform and better treatment for the insane, and won a verdict for the defendant using the defense of insanity. Many whites felt bitter toward Seward for defending a black man who had killed whites.

Seward encountered a problem while traveling and a stranger named Thurlow Weed stopped to help out. That was the beginning of a life-long friendship and Weed helped Seward enter politics and was instrumental in this role throughout Seward’s political career. Seward first served as a member of the New York State Senate. In 1839, he won election as the 12th Governor of New York. And from 1849-1861, he served as US Senator from New York. Continue reading