Puget Sound Civil War Roundtable

Civil War Education, Remembrance and Preservation

SPEAKERS 2017-18

SEPTEMBER 14, 2017 Richard W. Etulain, Professor Emeritus, University of New Mexico, will discuss Abraham Lincoln and the American West, with special attention to the Pacific Northwest. He is the author of more than 100 essays and the author or editor of more than 50 books, including Lincoln Looks West: From the Mississippi to the Pacific; The American West: A Twentieth Century History; Conversations with Wallace Stegner on Western History and Literature; and The Life and Legends of Calamity Jane. He has served on the Board of Editors of several journals and lectured in more than ten foreign countries. Reared on a sheep ranch in eastern Washington, he now lives in the Portland, Oregon area. .
OCTOBER 12, 2017 Wayne Wei-Siang Hsieh, Associate Professor of History, United States Naval Academy, will discuss the Civil War and the origins of modern warfare. Professor Hsieh is the co-author of A Savage War: A Military History of the Civil War and author of West Pointers and the Civil War: The Old Army in War and Peace, and many articles and essays. Detailed to the State Department in 2008-09, he served as the senior civilian US Government official assigned to the Tuz district of Iraq, where he worked on ethnic political issues. A Savage War evaluates the strategies of the key leaders, the different cultures of the major armies, the turn to “hard war” and attrition by 1864, and many other issues. Professor Hsieh’s talk will consider the connections between A Savage War and recent American wars.
NOVEMBER 9, 2017 Richard A. Hanks will discuss the book he edited, Vermont's Proper Son: The Letters of Soldier and Scholar Edwin Hall Higley, 1861-1871. Higley served as a lieutenant with the 1st Vermont Cavalry, Army of the Potomac, 1861-1865.  Mr. Hanks has taught American History and Native American Studies at community colleges, and is the author of This War Is for a Whole Life: The Culture of Resistance among Southern California Indians, 1850-1866.
DECEMBER 14, 2017 Professor Lesley J. Gordon will discuss A Broken Regiment: The 16th Connecticut’s Civil War. The 16th Connecticut was badly bloodied at Antietam in 1862 and surrendered en masse in North Carolina in 1864. A Broken Regiment focuses on this regiment of Union volunteers who struggled in many ways before, during and after their actual encounters on the battlefield. Over time competing stories emerged of who they were, why they endured what they did, and how they should be remembered. Uncovering the fascinating tale of this imperfect group of Northern soldiers, A Broken Regiment examines the dynamic interpretive process that emerges when competing perspectives and disparate memories are put in the service of commemorating a powerful civic legacy. Lesley J. Gordon is the Charles G. Summersell Chair of Southern History at the University of Alabama. Her publications include General George E. Pickett in Life and Legend (1998), Intimate Strategies: Military Commanders and their Wives (2001), and This Terrible War: the Civil War and its Aftermath. She served as editor of the academic journal Civil War History from 2010-2015.
JANUARY 11, 2018  John McKay will discuss Civil War and Civil Liberties--A Painful Legacy?, including President Abraham Lincoln's suspension of habeas corpus, the reasons for the suspension, and its later reflection in the decision to set up Guantanamo Bay.  Mr. McKay served as U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Washington, 2001-07. He has served as a team chief for certain US State Department Projects, as a White House Fellow, and as President of the Legal Services Corporation. At both the state and national level he has held many leadership positions and received awards for his work furthering the cause of access to equal justice for all. He teaches at Seattle University School of Law and is Chair of Government Investigations and Crisis Management at the law firm Davis Wright Tremaine.
FEBRUARY 8, 2018 Karen Meador will discuss the Fort Steilacoom to Fort Bellingham Road (still known as Military Road in South King County), a road linked to Jefferson Davis, Ulysses S. Grant, George Pickett, George McClellan, Joseph Hooker, and other Civil War figures.  Ms. Meador has  lectured throughout the Pacific Northwest and her articles have appeared in numerous publications, including Columbia: The Magazine of Northwest History.   She was the recipient of the 2015 Association of King County Historical Organizations Long-Term Project Award for the brochure, Military Road:  A Lasting Legacy.   This brochure is the first comprehensive examination of the Fort Steilacoom to Fort Bellingham Road, built in the late 1850s on the eve of the Civil War.   Long active in the heritage community, she has served on several boards and was a member of the Citizen's Advisory Committee for the King County Historic Preservation Program Strategic Plan.   She is currently the Activities and Administrative Coordinator at the Historical Society of Federal Way.  
MARCH 8, 2018 SHORT TOPICS: 1) Jeff McLaughlin on his great-grandfather Daniel Joseph McLaughlin, Wagoner, 17th Wisconsin (aka the Irish Regiment), February to December 1862, with discussion of the challenges of medical records and serendipitous genealogical finds; 2) Nick K. Adams on Away at War: A Civil War Story of the Family Left Behind by a soldier of the 2nd Minnesota;  3) Ed Malles on Jackson in the Shenandoah and McClellan on the Peninsula, 1862, considered as one combined campaign, with Lee and Jackson controlling Union decisions through their superior strategy and brilliant tactics; 4) Lou Berquest on the letters of his grandfather Francis Bergqvist, 4th Minnesota Infantry, 1861-65, at Corinth, Iuka, Vicksburg, Atlanta, and the March to the Sea and the Carolinas.
APRIL 12, 2018 Rick Solomon, PSCWRT Past President, will discuss Longstreet’s Winter of Discontent, 1863-1864, including the Knoxville Campaign and evaluating Longstreet’s clashes with three longtime subordinate generals: his childhood friend and First Corps Division Commander, Lafayette McLaws; Evander Law, the excellent brigade commander in Hood’s Division; and Jerome Robertson, the commander of the Texas Brigade.  Why did “old Pete” have a falling out with these generals, how did the three disputes end, and how did they damage Longstreet’s reputation?  
MAY 10, 2018 Stephen Murphy will discuss the book he has edited, The Perfect Scout, the first-person narrative of George Quimby, detailed as a scout for Sherman's March to the Sea.  While delivering dispatches to the blockading fleet through Rebel lines and surviving close escapes from Confederate forces, Quimby encountered plantation owners and slaves, sometimes receiving assistance from them, and even meeting his future wife.  The long-lost manuscript was finally found after a family death followed by a house-cleaning. Raised in Washington and educated at the University of Washington, Steve is a retired small business consultant and has traveled extensively.