|The San Francisco Civil War Round Table Meeting
24th March 2011
After everyone had been extracted from the bar, the meeting started with the Pledge of Allegiance,
led by Winchell Hayward.
A number of guests were introduced as Bob Bowen worked the room selling raffle tickets. A
consideable sum was raised for our Essay Contest prize.
President Doyle reported that board members had made three presentations to San Francisco
middle schools promoting the Contest.
Jeffrey Vaillant reminded members that Friends of Civil War Alcatraz will be hosting Living
History Day on Alcatraz on May 7th. (See "Events.")
After a meal of gargantuan portions of either chicken or corned beef, a large and enthusiastic
audience enjoyed one of the best Round Table presentations in recent memory. Debbie Grace and
Melani Van Patten presented their work on "Women in the Civil War: Soldiers and Spies."
Dressed in their re-enactor uniforms, the Norfolk Light Artillery Blues , Debbie and Melani gave us
the whole spectrum of female participation in the War. Using copious photographs, many of which
most people had not seen before, they introduced Nurses (Dorothea Dix, Clara Barton, Louisa May
Alcott, et al); Camp Followers, Laundresses, and Vivandieres; Spies (Rose O'Neal Greenhow, Belle
Boyd, and others); Female Soldiers; and Cross-Dressing Soldiers. Each was introduced with humor
and intelligence, with Debbie and Melani trading off in spirited fashion. At the finish, a prolonged
round of spontaneous applause indicated how thoroughly the audience had enjoyed the event.
|Melani Van Patten and Debbie Grace
|Maria Doyle, Wayne Padgett, and Paul Doyle