The San Francisco Civil War Round Table Meeting
15th October 2009
After a lively cocktail hour, the meeting opened with the Pledge of Allegiance. New Program Chair,
Bob Bowen, was introduced. Bob thanked out-going Program Chair, Gary Yee, for making his job

Following dinner (Roast Beef or Sole Amandine),
Ted Dolton presented his work on
"The Path of Patriotism: Civil War Letters of George Edwin Dolton"

Ted discovered a treasure trove of letters and diaries written by his great-grandfather. He carefully
copied them and assembled the writings into a format that addresses many topics:
What were the feelings of one Union soldier during the height of battle in the Civil War? How did he
express pride he felt when meeting his personal battle conduct standards? What did he observe in
the reactions of the impoverished and disheveled residents to a Union unit marching through their
town? What were his reactions to the assassination of Abraham Lincoln? How did he maintain his
strong faith in God in the midst of the extreme conditions of war?
George Edwin Dolton ("GED"),
1840-1906, a corporal with Battery M of the 1st Illinois Light Artillery, wrote of his struggles to find
the answers to these and other questions. Many of the issues he faced are as relevant today as they
were in the 1860's, in the Civil War. The letters, written to his newly-wed wife, are set apart from
those of other soldiers by his vivid prose in which he articulates observations and feelings, with
almost faultless grammar and spelling. Ted  also provided descriptive information about Dolton's and
Battery M's role in the war, and Dolton's post-war contributions to the nation.
Speaker Ted Dolton and his grandson, Nate