November 8-10 was the 2019 West Coast Civil War Round Table Conference. This year it was held in Sacramento, California. I had attended them for years, only taking a break when I was out-of-state. Now I go again. Besides, I had to! Emerging Civil War took over the conference!
Fearless leader Chris Mackowski turned the meeting room into the Chancellorsville battlefield a couple of times. Mr. Chancellorsville Dave Powell followed suit with his commentary, both making the argument that Chancellorsville was the REAL High Tide of the Confederacy. After all, Lee lost at Gettysburg. Lovely Sarah Bierle charmed one and all with her in-depth analysis of generalship at the Battle of New Market as well as selling out the copies of Call Out the Cadets she had brought with her.
Publisher Ted Savas was there as well, leaving not a dry eye in the house as he presented the story of the Diary of LeRoy Wiley Gresham and what it took to publish this fantastic book. To say that ECW owned that conference would be an understatement. Comments about all the presenters, including Dr. Paul Kahan, Jim Stanbery, and Edwin L. Kennedy, Jr., were positive. Hopefully, everything will translate into an even broader membership for this blog and Civil War Round Tables in general.
One of my favorite parts of this event is the ongoing raffle, auction, and bidding for Civil War stuff that takes place at the end of each segment of talk. I had heard rumors about “the quilt” this year. It was rumored to be the most beautiful and authentic one ever offered. Rumors proved to be accurate, and I hoarded my money until the quilt came up for auction. Bidding was spirited, to say the least. Nevertheless, I was victorious and am now the owner of a copy of a quilt initially made by the U. S. Sanitary Commission. One block even says “Union” on it. And–it matches the pretty tortoiseshell fur of my cat, whose name is–are you ready for it?–Thurlow Weed. Ms. Weed looks very regal on it. I certainly think so. Supporting the West Coast Civil War Round Table Conference and getting a cat quilt is, in my opinion, pretty sweet.
Check out the Civil War Round Tables in your area. You may be pleasantly surprised!