San Francisco Civil War Round Table Meeting
Thursday 18th December 2014
at the United Irish Cultural Center
2700 45th Avenue, San Francisco
Following the Pledge of Allegiance and the introduction of guests, Bob
Bowen conducted a raffle of a fabulous selection of books which he had
President Patrick Doyle reminded members
that the raffle is an important contributor to
SFCWRT finances, which are always slender.
Members responded generously and some
very fine books went to new owners in record
It was most appropriate that the 2014
Ormond Eckley Award for valuable contribution
to the SFCWRT was presented to Bob Bowen.
Our guest speaker was SFCWRT member Bruce Castleman, seen below
here on the right with SFCWRT Vice President David Hargrave.
Bruce related how, in early 1864, a Confederate officer convinced Jefferson
Davis of the possibilities for irregular warfare against the Union using Canada as
a base. The Confederate president sent two diplomats to the British provinces
and provided them with considerable funding for their activities. During the next
year, the Confederates hatched ten plans to liberate Confederate prisoners in
Ohio and Illinois, three schemes to lead Copperhead rebellions against the
Lincoln administration, two plans to capture the only U.S. Navy warship on the
Great Lakes, a plan to disrupt the November 1864 presidential elections by
burning New York City, one raid on a Vermont town, and one operation to
kidnap Vice President-elect Andrew Johnson. They also attempted to
destabilize the U.S. dollar. These little-known operations achieved varying
degrees of success.
Following a brief question and answer period, Patrick Doyle announced that
next month's speaker will be Bob Conner, speaking on "General Gordon
Granger: the Savior of Chickamauga." He then wished everyone a Merry
Christmas and a Happy New Year and the meeting concluded.