The San Francisco Civil War Round Table Meeting 20th October 2011
Following the Pledge of Allegiance, led by Winchell Hayward, several members introduced guests who were warmly welcomed.
A reminder about the 2011 West Coast Civil War Conference in November was given. More about this here.
The President announced that non-profit status had been granted by the State of California. Some additional paperwork needs to be processed (of course) and members will soon receive full information on the benefits of this development.
Following dinner, Program Chair Bob Bowen conducted a rapid fire raffle of books which was very generously supported by all present.
Our guest speaker was David Savadge, former US Air Force Lt. Colonel, who held members spell-bound as he spoke eloquently on "Gems of Confederate Philately." Dave's in-depth knowledge of this arcane (to most of us) topic was quickly evident as he introduced us to the mysteries of covers (envelopes), perforations, and postmarks. He illustrated his presentation with stunning slides of selected Confederate postal history pieces from the collection of the late Marc Haas, one of the premier collectors of pre-1900 US postal history. We learned about the transition of the Southern postal system from the Union to the Confederacy and the difficulties caused by shortages of materials. Considerable ingenuity was used in fabricating envelopes out of wallpaper and old documents. Some recycled by turning the envelopes inside out. When stamps ran short, especially in Texas, correspondents made ten-cent stamps by cutting twenty-cent stamps in half, usually on the diagonal. The tortuous procedure for Confederate prisoners of war mailing letters home from Union prisons was a revelation. A spirited question and answer session rounded out a very enjoyable evening.