|The San Francisco Civil War Round Table Meeting
16th December 2010
The meeting began with the Pledge of Allegiance, led by Winchell Hayward.
The Ormond Eckley Memorial Award was presented to Treasurer Joan Keller in recognition of
her many notable and continuing contributions to the Round Table.
Mike McAdoo made a very moving presentation speech, recalling the early days of the group and
Joan's major role in helping the struggling organisation get started. He recalled with gratitude Joan's
invaluable support when he was President.
Our guest speaker was Don Stoker, Professor of Strategy and Policy at the US Navy War College,
Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, CA.
Professor Stoker's subject was "The Grand Design: Strategy and the US Civil War."
In his presentation, Don examined how Abraham Lincoln and Jefferson Davis identified their political
goals and worked with their generals to craft the military means to achieve them. Despite a West
Point education and experience as U.S. Secretary of War, Davis lost control of the political side of
the war. Stoker argued that his invasion of Kentucky was a turning point that shifted the loyalties and
vast resources of the border states to the Union. Lincoln, in contrast, developed a clear strategic
vision. He nonetheless struggled for years to make his generals implement it. Stoker presented
evidence that the Union could have won the war in 1862, had it followed the grand plan of the
controversial and enigmatic George B. McClellan, in whom Lincoln lost confidence.
A lively discussion followed, and there were many requests for copies of Don's book, "The Grand
Design" which won the 2010 Fletcher Pratt award for best non-fiction Civil War book.
A raffle of donated books was held, to raise funds for our Civil War Sesquicentennial High
School Essay Contest. More on this later.
|Joan Keller and Mike McAdoo