Quiz for June 25, 2019

Civil War Quiz: What Do You Know About These Civil War Authors and Historians?

Q#1 – Who was the American historian, noted for his writing on the American Civil War, who was widely acclaimed for his book on The Origins of the Republican Party, 1852-1856, which is still considered one of the most important books ever written on 19th-century American politics?

Q#2 – Who was the author who, in 1988, published his Pulitzer-winning book Battle Cry of Freedom?

Q#3 – This famous Civil War author and historian was inspired by his planter grandfather, who had died two years before his birth. Who was he?

Q#4 – After the publication of Captain Sam Grant (1950) by historian and biographer Lloyd Lewis, who wrote the second and third volumes of this trilogy?

Q#5 – Who is this author who has long been considered a leading authority on the Reconstruction Era of American history as evidenced by his seminal essay in American Heritage in October 1982?

Q#6 – The founding executive director of the Virginia Center for Civil War Studies research and education center is also considered the preeminent scholar on Confederate Lieutenant General Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson. Who is he?

Q#7 – What well renowned Civil War historian made this profound quote: “I don’t want to call it a conspiracy to ignore the role of the Blacks, both above and below the Mason-Dixon Line, but it was definitely a tendency that began around 1910”?

Q#8 – This famous author and Civil War historian won the 2005 Lincoln Prize (for the best book about the American Civil War) for her 2005 book about Abraham Lincoln’s presidential cabinet. Part of the book was adapted by Tony Kushner into the screenplay for Steven Spielberg’s 2012 film Lincoln. Who is she?

Q#9 – Who is the Bay Area author who wrote Brady’s Civil War Journal: Photographing the War, 1861-65?

Q#10 – This famous Civil War author’s initial interest in the history of the Civil War first began after an eighth grade school field trip to the Gettysburg battlefield. Who is he?

Q#11 – Who is this now deceased famous Civil War author and historian who is attributed to this quote: “The point I would make is that the novelist and the historian are seeking the same thing: the truth – not a different truth: the same truth – only they reach it, or try to reach it, by different routes?

Q#12 – This famous Civil War historian was named Chief Historian of the National Park Service, a position he held until 1994. From 1994 to 1995, he served as special assistant to the director. After his retirement in 1995, he received the title Chief Historian Emeritus, which he holds to this day. What is his name?

Q#13 – Civil War Times (formerly Civil War Times Illustrated) is a history magazine published bi-monthly that covers the American Civil War. It was established in 1962 by whom?

Q#14 – Who is this American documentarian known for his style of using archival footage and photographs in his films?

Q#15 – Which Civil War historian served for nine years as co-chairman of the United States Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission, appointed to the commission by President Bill Clinton in 2000, and elected co-chair by his fellow commissioners?

Meeting of May 28, 2019

Libra Hilde on “African American Soldiers and the Civil War”

The talk explores the recruitment of African American men into the Union Army, their motivations for fighting, who fought, treatment and experiences in the army, and exemplary service. Although the talk given by Dr. Hilde in her university class only considers African American soldiers in the Union, she hopes to add information on the proposed recruitment of enslaved men into the Confederate Army, a plan that never came to fruition (the war was essentially over) and did not have the support of slaveholders.

Dr. Libra Hilde is a professor in History at San Jose State University. She received her Ph.D. at Harvard University in 2003. While she teaches a broad array of undergraduate and graduate courses, her research focuses on race and gender in the 19th century U.S., with a particular emphasis on the Civil War and slavery.

Quiz for May 28, 2019

Civil War Quiz: What Do You Know About the Presidential Election of 1860?

Q#1 – Why didn’t incumbent President James Buchanan run for re-election in 1860?

Q#2 – The Republican Party replaced what then defunct political party as the major opposition to the Democrats?

Q#3 – The Constitutional Union Party replaced what two political parties?

Q#4 – The Republican Party held its nominating convention in Chicago. What was the name of the temporary wood-frame assembly hall it was held in?

Q#5 – Lincoln’s nomination at the Republican Party’s convention was a surprise. Who was the favorite before the convention was held?

Q#6 – There were two Democratic National Conventions in 1860; why?

Q#7 – In what city were the two 1860 Democratic National Conventions held?

Q#8 – Abraham Lincoln was the Republican Party nominee; Stephen Douglas was the Northern Democratic Party nominee. Who were the nominees for the Southern Democratic and Constitutional Union parties?

Q#9 – Hannibal Hamlin was Lincoln’s VP running mate. What was the name of Stephen A. Douglas’s VP running mate?

Q#10 – What were some of the critical key differences between modern presidential elections and those of the mid-nineteenth century?

Q#11 – What was the main campaign platform that Stephen Douglas, the Northern Democrat’s presidential candidate, ran on?

Q#12 – What was the only state in which Stephen A. Douglas won the Electoral College vote?

Q#13 – Percentage wise, the voter turnout for the 1860 presidential election was the highest in American history up to that time; what was the percent?

Q#14 – What percentage of the popular vote did Lincoln win?

Q#15 – Abraham Lincoln, the endorsed Republican candidate for President, didn’t even appear on ten states’ ballots in 1860. What were those states?

Meeting of April 30, 2019

Nick Adams on “A Civil War Story of the Family Left Behind”

What was the Civil War like for the families of those who chose to fight?

Nick Adams will be telling one such story in a thematic outline of his new book: Away at War: A Civil War Story of the Family Left Behind. This will be a follow-up to his presentation last year which focused on the 100 letters his great-great-grandfather wrote back from the Western Theater battlefields (My Dear Wife and Children: Civil War Letters from a 2nd Minnesota Volunteer).

He will share with us the terrible impact, the pain and anxiety, and the untold suffering war can cause the families of soldiers. With the winter of 1861 approaching, Minerva Griffin and her three young children are alone on the Minnesota prairie, for the husband and father of the family has left them for the fight to preserve the Union. She is now responsible for preserving both farm and family for his hoped-for eventual return. It is a true tale, developed from his letters home, of the difficult struggle to survive experienced by those left behind.

Nick Adams

Nick Adams’s passion for the American Civil War began at the age of nine, when his mother first told him about her great-grandfather, David Brainard Griffin, who had fought with the 2nd Minnesota Regiment of Volunteers, and had been killed at the Battle of Chickamauga. What she didn’t tell him about at that time was the 100 preserved letters he had written back to his young family on the Minnesota prairie … because she didn’t know about them, for they had been passed down in another branch of the family. When they were finally shared with her some forty years ago, she was permitted to make a single copy, which she graciously gave to Nick because she knew of his life-long interest. The originals are presumed no longer to survive, but his copies have been deposited with the Minnesota Historical Society.

Following post-graduate studies in Church History (Abilene Christian) and Sociology of Religion (University of Iowa), Nick spent 30 years in Pastoral Ministry and Social Justice, then returned to teaching, this time at the Elementary School level, and completed 20 years in the classroom. It was during those classroom years that the letters were given to him. By reading his personal account of involvement in the conflict, they became the perfect instrument for creating student interest in the period.

Since retirement, Nick has authored three books about the letters. Last spring he presented to our roundtable his story, as related in the letters (My Dear Wife and Children: Civil War Letters from a 2nd Minnesota Volunteer). This year he will tell his family’s story: Away at War: A Civil War Story of the Family Left Behind.

Quiz for April 30, 2019

Civil War Quiz: What Do You Know About the Funeral and Burial of Abraham Lincoln?

Q#1 – After being assassinated, where was Lincoln’s body first laid in state?

Q#2 – A catafalque was hastily constructed to support the casket of Abraham Lincoln while the president’s body lay in state in the Capitol Rotunda in Washington, DC. What happened to that catafalque after Lincoln’s body was removed?

Q#3 – At the funeral service in Washington DC, who offered the sermon and also a prayer and benediction, which moved many listeners to tears?

Q#4 – Lincoln was laid in State in 12 locations; which two locations that were located in the same state are missing from this list: Washington, DC, Baltimore, MD, Harrisburg, PA, Philadelphia, PA, New York City, Albany, NY, Buffalo, NY, Indianapolis, IN, Chicago, IL, and Springfield, IL?

Q#5 – What name was given to Lincoln’s funeral train which had his portrait fastened to the front of the engine above the cattle guard?

Q#6 – What was the purpose of the pilot train that preceded Lincoln’s funeral train?

Q#7 – Why did Lincoln’s funeral train take the 1654 mile route that it did?

Q#8 – Why was Lincoln’s funeral train limited to 20 miles an hour?

Q#9 – In addition to Lincoln’s body, there was a second body on the funeral train; whose body was it?

Q#10 – Why did Lincoln’s wife Mary Todd Lincoln remain at the White House and not travel on the funeral train?

Q#11 – The funeral procession in New York City had the most number of horses of all the processions used to draw Lincoln’s hearse – how many horses were used?

Q#12 – During Lincoln’s funeral procession in New York City, what future US President watched the procession with his grandfather?

Q#13 – What was the name of the cemetery in Springfield, IL, where Lincoln was interred?

Q#14 – What happened to the railroad car that so famously carried Lincoln’s body to its final resting place?

Q#15 – In November 1876, why did Chicago counterfeiter James “Big Jim” Kennally plan to steal Lincoln’s body?

Meeting of March 26, 2019

Tom Roza on “American Revolution vs. the Civil War: Similarities and Differences”

The two most momentous events in the history of the United States of America occurred less than a century apart; the Revolutionary War occurred in 1775-1783 and the Civil War in 1861-1865. The objective of the Revolutionary War was to create United States of America; the objective of the Civil War was to preserve it. Being a student of history for over 60 years and having conducted extensive research into the root causes for each of these two conflicts, there are numerous social, economic, and political similarities – as well as some differences.

From a high level, people living in the Thirteen Colonies, because of the vast geographical distance from England and Europe in general, and the mixing of different ethnic cultures, with each passing day, were drifting further apart from their European ancestors. In the United States, the North had become more urban, industrialized, and its citizens were more migrant that produced a philosophy that America was a “Union of States”. Conversely, the South was more rural, agrarian, and its population was more sedentary; generation after generation grew up and lived in the same towns and counties; that produced a philosophy that America was a “Collection of Independent States”.

From a social perspective for the period leading up to the Revolutionary War, while most of the people living in the thirteen colonies were of English ancestry, cohabitating with other European ethnic groups as well as being in close proximity to Native American Indians produced a vastly different set of values from those living in England and other European countries. The American colonists saw themselves as more independent and were creating a more homogenous society. For the period leading up to the Civil War, American citizens living in the North had retained that homogenous society perspective that resulted in a more inclusive citizenry. American citizens living in the South sociologically had evolved into a more exclusive society that supported slavery and viewed non-Caucasians and those from non-Protestant religions as foreigners.

From an economic perspective, the British Parliament used its power to impose numerous trade tariffs, barriers and regulations that retarded the economic growth of the colonies. Similarly, the United States Congress imposed numerous trade tariffs, barriers, and regulations that retarded the economic growth of the Southern States.

From a political perspective, the thirteen colonies had no representation in Parliament and were denied the same individual rights that were granted to citizens living in England. With the abolitionist movement in the North attempting to prevent slavery from being allowed in the new states being formed in the western territories, Southerners feared they would lose political power in Congress that would both perpetuate the imposition of unfair economic laws but also eventually result in the abolition of slavery throughout the United States.

The presentation “American Revolution vs. the Civil War: Similarities and Differences” takes in-depth look at these two momentous events.

Tom Roza has been a student of history for over 60 years. His interest in both the Revolutionary War and the Civil War began with his elementary education in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and has evolved ever since. As an officer and the Secretary of the South Bay Civil War Roundtable, Tom has made numerous presentations on the topic of the Civil War to both his roundtable organization and other historical organizations in the Bay Area. Tom is also a published author of the book entitled Windows to the Past: A Virginian’s Experience in the Civil War, which has been accepted by the Library of Congress into its catalog. Tom is currently working on a sequel.

Quiz for March 26, 2019

Civil War Quiz: What Do You Know About Foreign Involvement in the Civil War?

Q#1 – Why were the vast majority of European nations extremely cautious when dealing with the United States of America during the Civil War, usually attempting to remain neutral during its duration?

Q#2 – What global decree did the United States Government issue at the beginning of the Civil War?

Q#3 – What was the main reason behind Great Britain’s considering to become involved in the American Civil War?

Q#4 – On May 13, 1861, what proclamation was issued by Great Britain’s Queen Victoria regarding the American Civil War?

Q#5 – Where was a vast majority of the Confederate Navy built?

Q#6 – During the early period of the Civil War, there was increasing sentiment for Great Britain to join the American Civil War in favor of the Confederate States of America. What event prevented this?

Q#7 – What action did the Confederate government threatened England and France with if they did not assist them in the war?

Q#8 – What was the official position of France regarding any possible involvement in the Civil War?

Q#9 – Why did many French industrialists and politicians wish for a quick Confederate victory?

Q#10 – Under the orders of Emperor Napoleon III, French troops landed in Mexico in December 1861 for trade and plans of a transoceanic canal. What was the position of the Federal government regarding the French action? What was the position of the Confederate government regarding the French action?

Q#11 – What deal did the Confederate delegate in Paris, John Slidell, offer to Napoleon III in exchange for French recognition of the Confederate States and naval help sent to break the blockade?

Q#12 – The Confederate delegate John Slidell succeeded in negotiating a loan of $15,000,000 that was used to buy ironclad warships as well as military supplies that came in by blockade runners. Who loaned the Confederacy the money?

Q#13 – What was the name of the ironclad that in keeping with its official neutrality, the French government blocked the sale of to the Confederacy in February 1864?

Q#14 – Czarist Russia initially showed support for the North. What military action did they perform in support of the Northern war effort?

Q#15 – What action did the Federal government attempt to pursue that involved the Netherlands?

Meeting of February 26, 2019

Mike MacDonald on “Civil War Swords”

Mike McDonald is a sword collector with over 200 in his collection. He will cover the different sword patterns, designs, and manufactures of the Civil War era. The foreign influence on US sword designs was strong and due to a continuous shortage, foreign manufacturers supplied many of the swords used on both sides in the conflict. Although they accounted for a very small percentage of casualties, they were a highly visible item in the war due to regulations that officers carry them as a symbol of rank and authority.

Quiz for February 26, 2019

Civil War Quiz: What Do You Know About the Causes for the Civil War Other Than Slavery?

Q#1 – Historically, why did southern slave-holding states have little perceived need for industrialized mechanization?

Q#2 – Why were the Northern states generally opposed to the South’s right to sell cotton and purchase manufactured goods from any nation?

Q#3 – When the Southerners Democrats controlled Congress in the 1830s, 1840s, and 1850s, what legislative actions did they take to favor the Southern economy?

Q#4 – In the 1850s, what legislative actions did the Republican-controlled Congress take to protect Northern industrial interests?

Q#5 – What was the constitutional rationale the South argued to support a state’s right to secede?

Q#6 – What was the Northern response to the Southern rationale that each state had the right to leave the Union?

Q#7 – In the early 19th century, famous spokesmen such as Andrew Jackson and Daniel Webster were advocating what philosophy regarding the country?

Q#8 – As the 19th Century evolved and time passed, what philosophy regarding the country did Southerners hold?

Q#9 – What was the main reason most of America’s premier entrepreneurs such as Cornelius Vanderbilt and Samuel Colt based themselves in the North?

Q#10 – What action in 1832, where military action was threatened by the Federal government against South Carolina, helped to plant the initial seeds of secession?

Q#11 – What important factor was changing the political balance of power that increasingly was adversely affecting the South?

Q#12 – Why was the “American System” (which was an economic plan) advocated by Henry Clay in Congress and supported by many nationalist supporters, whose purpose was to develop American industry and international commerce, opposed by the South?

Q#13 – What was a mitigating social factor that pushed upper-class white Southerners to support secession from the Union and eventually Civil War?

Q#14 – What economic event occurred in 1857 that strengthened the Republican Party and heightened sectional tensions?

Q#15 – Thomas Prentice Kettell, former editor of the Democratic Review, in the late 1850s gathered an array of statistics published in his book on Southern Wealth and Northern Profits. What premise did Kettell’s book advance that convinced many Southerners their only option for economic fairness was secession?

Meeting of January 29, 2019

Jim Tortorici on “Federal Ironclads and Their Technology”

During the Civil War, the CSS Virginia, a captured and rebuilt Union steam frigate formerly known as the USS Merrimac,engaged the USS Monitor in the first battle between iron-fortified naval vessels in history. The ironclad warships proved their value in battle. No longer would wooden ships be viable in war. The battle had changed the course of naval warfare.

USS Cairo

The Union built a formidable force of river ironclads, beginning with several converted riverboats and then contracted engineer James Eads of St. Louis, Missouri, to build the City-class ironclads. These excellent ships were built with twin engines and a central paddle wheel, all protected by an armored casement. They had a shallow draft, allowing them to journey up smaller tributaries, and were very well suited for river operations. They were not as heavily armored as the ocean-going monitors of the Union, but they were adequate for their intended use. More Western Flotilla Union ironclads were sunk by torpedoes (mines) than by enemy fire, and the most damaging fire for the Union ironclads was from shore installations, not Confederate vessels.

Jim’s presentation will cover the armor, engine, and guns of the federal ironclads, focusing on the USS Cairo.

Jim Tortorici was born in 1946 in Chicago, IL. He spent much of his youth in Chicago and Westchester, IL, Ogden, UT, and moved to San Jose, CA, in 1960. He attended Campbell and Blackford High Schools graduating in 1964. In 1969, Jim graduated from San Jose State University with a BS in Industrial Arts specializing in Business and Industry. Jim received his MA in Industrial Technology in 1976 from San Jose State University.

Upon graduation from San Jose State University in 1969, Jim served on active duty for three years in the US Marine Corps and then entered the Reserves retiring as a Lieutenant Colonel in 1995. Upon release from active duty, Jim was hired as a Design Draftsman in 1972 at Ford Motor Co in Milpitas, CA. In 1974 Jim was hired by IBM in San Jose retiring as an Advisory Engineer in 2001.

Jim has been married for 50 years to his wife Barbara. They have three children, eight grandchildren, and six great-grandchildren.

Jim’s interest in ship modeling began in his youth building plastic and wood models. This interest broadened to flying scale model aircraft and scale model railroad trains as an adult. Later Jim began specializing in ship models with his affiliation with the South Bay Model Shipwrights Club. Some of his more detailed projects include the HMS Victory, HMS Halifax, the 1678 Grosse Jacht, the USS Monitor, and currently the USS Cairo.