|The San Francisco Civil War Round Table Meeting
15th March 2012
An enthusiastic gathering of members was finally extricated from the bar and the meeting
commenced with the Pledge of Allegiance, led by Winchell Hayward.
Jeffrey Vaillant gave a reminder of the "Living History" event to be held on Alcatraz on Saturday
April 14th. More information here.
The indefatigable Bob Bowen conducted the Book Raffle, raising a record amount for our
Sesquicentennial Essay Contest. Members have been most generous in their contributions to the
Our subject this night was the book "Letters From The Storm: The Intimate Civil War Letters
of Lt. J.A.H. Foster of the 155th Pennsylvania Volunteers." The presenter was the author,
Linda Foster Arden, who is the great-great-granddaughter of Lt. Foster, and who spoke dressed
delightfully in period costume.
Linda took us through the development of the book, starting with the discovery of her ancestor's
letters. With a background in Mathematics, she had to educate herself in the minutiae of the Civil
War, and she and her husband even moved to Pennsylvania for an extended period in order to be
closer to the research sources. In a most engaging fashion we learned of the many paths followed
and the frequent serendipitous discovery of relatives. Many members who had been through similar
exercises could be seen nodding their heads as they recognised familiar obstacles and solutions.
After a spirited question and answer session, Linda gracefully autographed copies of her book.
Program Chair Bob Bowen reminded the gathering that the April 19th presentation will be "The
Cruise of the Shenandoah," given by the dynamic duo Debbie Grace and Melani van Petten.
The President wished everybody a Happy Saint Patrick's Day, and the meeting adjourned.