Archive of Past Presentations

On Tuesday, December 26 at 7:15 p.m. the Pasadena Civil War Round Table is offering you the chance to share your stuff at our annual "Show & Tell" meeting.


At our annual "show and tell" meeting, YOU are the program!  Our members and attendees will be allowed 5 minutes each to discuss an artifact or interesting item.  Bring a book, antique, photos of your travels, ancestor history, or anything you might like to share about the Civil War (or you can feel free to just listen to everyone else share).


This is a fun meeting for our members each year; and you never know what you're going to see, hear about or learn. We hope you will join us.



On Tuesday November 28 at 7:15 p.m.  -  After Thanksgiving the Pasadena Civil War Round Table will offer the exciting look at "Catalina Island Outpost: Military Possession of Catalina Island, January - September 1864" by Tara Fansler, Director of the Drum Barracks Civil War Museum and Brian Chavez, Museum Guide at the Drum Barracks Civil War Museum.

It will be given by  Tara Fansler, Director of Drum Barracks Civil War Museum and Brian Chavez, Museum Guide at Drum Barracks Civil War Museum.  

This presentation is based on the Drum Barracks exhibition, "Catalina Outpost: Military Possession of Catalina Island, January - September 1864," of which Tara Fansler was Curator, and Brian was Assistant Curator.
Using maps, archival photographs and official reports, the presentation will look at the history of Catalina Island, actions and key players leading up to the occupation, and theories about the causes of the occupation, which are still much debated today. 
The presentation will look at the Isthmus Barracks building up to the present day, and will include never before published archival photos of the building from the late 19th and early 20th century. 

October will see the Pasadena CWRT sponsor a true Round Table of discussion in which all members and guests can participate. Topics will include, but not be limited to, Confederate Monuments and their role in today's society, as well as other issues important to the history of the Civil War and the role that the Pasadena Civil War Round Table can and should play. Every member is invited to join in this discussion.

This special meeting will not be held in the auditorium but rather we’re using the Studio on the 4th level of the library. That is a very nice meeting room space, with lots of chairs and even tables.

Tuesday September 26 at 7:15 p.m. - Robert E. Lee After The War!

At the Pasadena Central Library!


Robert E Lee's exploits during the Civil War are well known. What is not so well known is what Robert E. Lee did after the war. We will explore Lee's life as a post-war civilian and his contributions to the country as well as the contro

versies that marked his life.

Was Robert E. Lee a traitor? Was Robert E. Lee for or against slavery? What did Robert E. Lee do after the Civil War to help or hinder reunification? Come get the answers to these questions, and more, on Tuesday September 26 at 

7:15 p.m. at the Pasadena Central Library!

Presentation will be given by Michael L. Oddenino, the Program Chair for the Pasadena CWRT. A regular speaker on historical topics, Michael will share his insights on an individual who is much in the news today.


Tuesday August 22, 2017 at 7:15 p.m John Beckendorf on the Civil War and the Origins of the KKK:

 "The Klu Klux Klan"  -  The Klu Klux Klan was and is a racist, white supremacist group, first and foremost.  It began in a small town in Pulaski, TN in the middle of 1866 as a secret, social club by several ex-Confederate soldiers, very much like a fraternity.  But it quickly morphed into a loose organization, spanning many similar groups to redress the loss of white southern superiority over blacks, the ills of the Freedman's Bureau, carpetbaggers and the Reconstruction. 

The Klan pretty much died down after 1872 but the lingering racism continued.  In 1905 Thomas Dixon published "The Clansman", which became a blockbuster movie in 1915 by D.W. Griffith titled "The Birth of a Nation".  It feed into the "myth of the lost cause" and help to create the 2nd Klan, a vertical marketing scheme, which became a national political powerhouse of violence and bigotry in the 1920s. 

Come learn more about the origins of this tragic legacy of the Civil War from John Beckendorf, a leading expert on the matter.






John Beckendorf is a retired commercial insurance broker and is the program chair for the Los Angeles Civil War Round Table.  He has been an avid student of history all his life and of the Civil War since the early 1990s.  During this time he has amassed a substantial collection of Civil War artifacts, which along with his lecturing, writing he enjoys sharing with other collectors, museums and the National Parks.








Tuesday, July 25, 2017 at 7:15 p.m. at the Pasadena Central Library - Dean Smith on General W.S. Rosecrans - Forgotten Hero of the Civil War


You may know that one of the longest streets in Los Angeles County is named “Rosecrans Avenue,” but you probably do not know who Rosecrans was, or why a street this far from his home, in Ohio, is named after him. 


You may think you know about General Rosecrans, but you will learn things you had not known, and hear stories that will seem hard to believe.  Come and learn about William S. Rosecrans—his life before the Civil War; his remarkable, yet overlooked record during the war; his inventions; his public service after the war; his life, and death, in Southern California; and, the way he has been completely overlooked by historians, despite his successes, that lead to the Union victory, and his astounding popularity. 


Dean Smith is a third generation Los Angeles native.  He graduated from George Washington High School in 1964, and earned Bachelor of Arts (1968), and Master of Arts (1970), degrees in Political Science, from the University of California, at Riverside.


His career in public service, with Los Angeles County, began in 1970.  Over his 34 years with the County, Dean managed a variety of administrative functions in five different departments.  After retiring, Dean held several part-time jobs, including consulting, and working on the 2010 Census.


Dean’s interest in the Civil War began on a trip to Virginia, in 1999, where he visited the Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville battlefields.  Since then, he has visited battlefields at Antietam, Harper’s Ferry, Gettysburg, and Spotsylvania Courthouse, as well as Mansfield, Pleasant Hill, and Port Hudson, in Louisiana. He is a member of the Civil War Trust; he holds three offices in the Gen. W. S. Rosecrans Camp No. 2, of the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War; and, he has been the President of the Los Angeles Civil War Round Table, for the past four years.  Most recently, he was elected to the Board of Directors, of the Drum Barracks Garrison and Society, as their Secretary.


He has given presentations to the LACWRT; the Civil Warriors Round Table; his SUVCW Camp; the Sons of the American Revolution; audiences at the “Battle Drum” play, at the Sierra Madre Playhouse; and, to P.E.O. Chapter E.  His topics include: The Largest Unknown Battle of the Civil War—Pleasant Hill, LA, April 9, 1864; Gen. W.S Rosecrans—Forgotten Hero; James Garfield—Unsung Hero and Martyred President; and, The U.S. Sanitary Commission.


Tuesday, June 27, 2017 at 7:15 p.m. at the Pasadena Central Library - Michael Sorenson on Technology Advances During the Civil War!


Michael Sorenson, an expert on Civil War artifacts, will be presenting a fascinating look at the many technological advances that were advanced during the Civil War.

During the years immediately preceding the Civil War, and through the period of the conflict, significant advancements in firearms technology occurred which would forever change how battles were conducted. The Federal Government had the ability to produce anything they wanted, and the Confederacy did a remarkable job of making do with what they had.  But a few seemingly minor factors would ultimately have real impact on the outcome of the war.
This discussion will center on how technology of firearms was changing during the dizzying influx of new ideas and inventions.  Several original arms will be on hand for study and learning.
Michael Sorenson is a nationally known collector of Civil War artifacts and is a member of the West Coast Civil War Collectors (  He has been a collector and student of the war for nearly three decades.  His written works have been published on a variety of Civil War topics, and he has given numerous presentations at universities, symposiums and educational groups on Civil War subjects.  Holdings from his collection have been exhibited at national shows and museums including an original uniform exhibit at the recent West Coast Civil War Roundtable Conference in Costa Mesa.    
Michael is active in religious and civic affairs in his community, but his greatest happiness comes from his own family.  Married for forty-two years, he and his wife Nancy have four children and four grandchildren. 

Thomas Jefferson, author of the Declarattion of Independence, third President of the United States and a list of other accomplishments too numerous to detail here, will be in Pasadena to address the Pasadena Civil War Round Table on Tuesday May 23 at 7:15 p.m. at the Pasadena Central Library.

Mr. Jefferson, as portrayed by Bill Barker, will be sharing his insights on slavery in America and will touch on many important issues related to that topic. With slavery being the prime cause of the U.S. Civil War, you will gain tremendous insight into how this "peculiar institution" came to hold such a grip on America. 

Bill Barker is the star of Colonial Williamsburg where he regularly portrays Thomas Jefferson to crowds mesmerized by his performances.  See Mr. Jefferson's website: CLICK HERE


This is a rare opportunity for us in California to see Bill Barker's amazing historical interpretation of a Founding Father of our country.  


You will be transported back in time as Mr. Jefferson shares his considerable insights into the events that transpired in America as related to slavery.  You will also be able to ask Mr. Jefferson questions about the events of those days and it is certain that you will be edified and entertained by what you learn.

There is no doubt that you will be talking about this performance for many years after you see it. Invite your family and friends as they will thank you later. 




Tuesday April 25, 2017 at 7:15 p.m. at the Pasadena Central Library - Robert D'Amato - Believe it Or Not, Civil War veterans goes from the battlefields to the Leper Colony, to possible sainthood.


Robert D'Amato brings a fascinating story about a Civil War veteran that defies belief, but it is all true. 

Believe it or not: A Civil War veteran goes from the battlefields, to the Leper Colony on Molokai'i,on  to possible sainthood.
See & hear the illustrated history of a remarkable Civil War veteran who would gain international fame and glory for his dedication and work with the lepers in the colony on Molokai'i, HI.  And more . . . 

Tuesday March 28, 2017 at 7:15 p.m. at the Pasadena Central Library - Professor Steven Woodworth of TCU will speak on "Zouaves on Little Round Top: The 44th New York and the Battle of Gettysburg"

 Professor Steven Woodworth of TCU will share his considerable insights on a fascinating part of the Battle of Gettysburg: "Zouaves on Little Round Top: The 44th New York and the Battle of Gettysburg"

The 44th New York was originally recruited as a Zouave regiment in honor of Elmer Ellsworth. Ellsworth was the popularizer of the Zouave fad in the years before the war . He also became the Union's first martyr when he was shot after hauling down a Confederate flag in Alexandria, Virginia.

By July 1863 the 44th New York, also known as the Ellsworth Avengers, no longer wore Zouave uniforms, but it was in that month that the regiment had its greatest moment--and its bloodiest battle--as part Strong Vincent's brigade with the mission of holding Little Round Top on the second day at Gettysburg. 

Professor Woodworth was a huge hit when he spoke to the Pasadena CWRT in 2015. We are fortunate to have him back with us for this exciting presentation. Don't miss it!


Steven E. Woodworth received his B.A. in 1982 from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale and his Ph.D. in 1987 from Rice University in Houston, Texas. After teaching at small colleges in Oklahoma and Georgia, he came to Texas Christian University in 1997 and is now a professor of history there. Over the years he has authored, co-authored, or edited thirty-two books, including The Tennessee Campaign of 1864 (2016), This Great Struggle, America's Civil War (2012), Manifest Destinies: America's Westward Expansion and the Road to Civil War (2010), Nothing but Victory: The Army of the Tennessee, 1861-1865 (2006), While God Is Marching On:  The Religious World of Civil War Soldiers(2001), and Jefferson Davis and His Generals: The Failure of Confederate Command in the West (1990). 

Tuesday, February 28, 2017 at 7:15 p.m. at the Pasadena Central Library.


“Land, Sea and Air: The Civil War Battles of Pasadenans”


There were many Civil War veterans whose lives interacted with what we now know as Pasadena.


What did they actuallydo during the war? What did they experience, and how did that shape the community here?


Our view of Civil War history too often focuses on the commanders and political leaders, but there are many more stories. Some have been told in various forms, at local museums and round table talks, but far from all.


Nick Smith, co-curator of “When Johnny Came Marching West” at the Pasadena Museum of History and longtime member of our round table, will tell you some of the stories that didn’t fit into the exhibit, or that have been skipped over in the accounts of history.


He will be presenting the stories of several men which highlight the widely varying experiences of these men, along with what they meant, both to history and in our local context.


Tuesday, January 24, 2017 at 7:15 p.m. at the Pasadena Central Library.

Michael L. Oddenino, Pasadena CWRT Program Chair presentation on: Appomattox - America Begins Anew

Tuesday, October 25, 2016 at 7:15 p.m. at the Pasadena Central Library.

Mark Marshall producer of Remember the Sultana shared his insights on this tragedy.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016 - Dr. Dave Schrader will tell all the secrets about the Commissary and Quartermaster Corps in the Civil War

“An army marches on its stomach” wrote Napoleon Bonaparte.  It also marches when it has mules and horses, artillery and munitions, uniforms, medical supplies, and paychecks! 

Two key units in the Civil War, both North and South, were the Commissary Corps and the Quartermaster Corps. Facing overwhelming obstacles, you’ll meet the Corps leaders and understand their frustrations.

We’ll cover leadership, supply chains, procurement and fraud, plus typical supply chain processes involved in moving an army and making sure it’s ready for battles.


Come get the answers to the questions below and more:

•    What are the responsibilities of the Commissary Corps and Quartermaster Corps?   What were they like before the War started?

•    Who led the both Corps for the North and the South?
•    What exactly were their responsibilities?
•    How many people were involved?
•    What levels of coordination were needed with Generals?
•    Which battles were impacted by supply problems?
•    What were the problems of procurement? 
•    Length of supply lines?
•    Fraud? What did the Presidents and Congresses do about it?
•    Who did the best job of supplying their troops?

This talk will be presented by Dr. Dave Schrader.  Many Civil War Round Tables have given Dave's presentations rave reviews, so don't miss this one. This will be his first time speaking to the CWRT Pasadena group. 



Tuesday, August 23, 2016 - Sarah Kay Bierle presents: "Awakened Hearts: The Power & Patriotism of Civilians"
In 1861, America was going to war. Citizen armies were formed and a frenzy of patriotism influenced both the civilian men going to war and those left at home. Following the history of the 1st Minnesota Regiment and the 2nd Virginia Regiment, this presentation explores multiple aspects of the civilian response at the beginning of the war and how they dealt with the realities of war.


Sarah Kay Bierle (last name pronounced "buy-early") graduated from Thomas Edison State College with a BA in History and has spent the last few years exploring ways to share quality historical research in way that will inform and inspire modern audiences.


Sarah's interest in history began at a young age, and, through the years, she has helped to prepare teaching activities and planning historical events for private school students. She has been involved in Civil War re-enacting for four years and more recently has enjoyed giving historical presentations for history groups and roundtables.


In 2015 - after years of research and preparation -  Sarah's first historical novel Blue, Gray & Crimson: A Story of Civilian Courage at Gettysburg was published, and it has won an award for young adult fiction.


Currently, Sarah is working on several Civil War research projects involving civilians, the conflict's effects on American maritime industry, and the citizens of the Virginian Shenandoah Valley. She is a historian and blog editor with Emerging Civil War and frequently writes articles for their website. Sarah maintains her own history blog and website at


Tuesday, July 26, 2016 - "The Battle of the Crater"


There are two ways to win a siege, methods that have changed little since the Middle Ages:


1)      By starving out your opponent, which means cutting off your opponent from supplies and waiting him out, as in the siege of Vicksburg, or


2)      Maneuvering slowly, pressing your lines closer to the fortifications or the city which is your actual objective. Eventually, you get close enough to break through the defenses. That was the siege of Petersburg.


Both of these ways to win involve some of the same actions, as the attacker wants to speed things up and the defender wants to slow things down.


The Battle of the Crater was the result of an innovative use of modern technologies to try to speed up the Siege of Petersburg and create a dramatic breakthrough…or was it?


Misunderstandings and confusion abound about the nature and results of this battle, because the battle was so tied up with political decisions, military blunders and racial beliefs. Drawing from a variety of sources from outside the usual box used to define the battle, our speaker, Nick Smith, will outline what happened, why it happened, and some of the real results of the battle, in the larger context of the war.




Nick is our Round Table president, and also the commander of the Rosecrans Camp, Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War. He is a longtime researcher on the postwar lives of Civil War veterans and on topics related to African-American troops during the Civil War. He also co-curated the exhibit “When Johnny Came Marching West” at the Pasadena Museum of History last year.


Tuesday, June 28, 2016 - "Coincidence vs. Providence"
Earl Robinson, West Coast Civil War Collectors
Personal experiences in Civil War collecting that defy probability and imply unseen forces are explored.

Earl Robinson is a lifelong Civil War enthusiast whose Civil War memories go back to visiting "John Brown's lookout" as a small boy and celebrating the War's centennial as a teen.  He is a founding member of West Coast Civil War Collectors (, owner of Reunion Civil War Antiques (, and a Director of the Drum Barracks Civil War Museum (   His wife, Cathy is a Virginian whose great-grandfather was General George Pickett's orderly.  Earl has authored articles in North South Trader's Civil War and Military Images magazines.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016 - Meet General Ulysses S. Grant!

General Ulysses S. Grant portrayed by Edward Headington
"Although a soldier by profession, I have never felt any sort of fondness for war, and I have never advocated it, except as a means of peace." - U.S.Grant, Born in 1822 in Point Pleasant, Ohio 
Ulysses S. Grant graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, spent time in Gold Rush era California and served as the Commanding General who led the Union Army to victory in the American Civil War. 
At 46, Grant would go on to serve as our 18th President of the United States— the youngest ever elected at that time. Just days before his death in 1885, he would finish his Personal Memoirs— the gold standard by which all presidential autobiographies are judged.
CLICK HERE for the Meet Grant website!
Edward Headington, 42, is a California native who grew up in America's suburb, the San Fernando Valley. He graduated from the University of Southern California and received his Master's degree from George Washington University. Edward runs a twelve year-old government relations and public affairs firm he foundedin Los Angeles. Edward has portrayed General Grant at Civil War reenactments, History Days, Presidential programs, parades, private and corporate events, school talks and ACW roundtables. He has also appeared at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library & Learning Center and is a lifetime member of the Ulysses S. Grant Association. Edward is a member of SAG-AFTRA.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016 - Learn why the Battle of Ball's Bluff was the most amazing battle of the Civil War!
The Civil War Battle That Remains with Us Today
Learn why the Battle of Ball’s Bluff is the Most Amazing Battle of the Civil War!
Michael L. Oddenino’s Ball’s Bluff presentation is a weaving together
of the tantalizing connections between the characters, the terrain, the
fighting and the chain-reaction of events that followed that battle.
Be amazed at the large number of intriguing present-day connections
to this battle. Learn about connections with Ball’s Bluff and Egypt, the
Statue of Liberty, the Golden Gate Bridge, the U.S. Supreme Court,
the CIA, George Washington, Paul Revere, Winston Churchill, and more, all connected to the Battle of Ball's Bluff.
Ball’s Bluff is truly the little battle with big consequences. It is the
battle that few people know about; but once you hear this
presentation you will be surprised how much today will remind you of
this battle that took place early in the Civil War.
Come learn about the Most Amazing Battle of the Civil War!
Michael L. Oddenino is the Program Chair for the Pasadena Civil War Round Table and a practicing attorney in the Los Angeles area.
Below are comments on Michael's Gettysburg Address presentation:
Even for an audience that has read Lincoln's Gettysburg Address a dozen times, Michael Oddenino's thoughtful deconstruction of Lincoln's remarks  provide illuminating context that helps a modern audience see and understand the speech anew.  – Dr. Craig Symonds, Professor Emeritus, U.S. Naval Academy and winner of the Lincoln Prize
Using his skills as a great orator and historian, Michael Oddenino brings the Gettysburg Address to life with insight, humor, and even a personal connection. Whether you are well-versed in Civil War history or new to the field, Michael’s captivating presentation will reinvigorate your enthusiasm for this important moment in American history. – Maria Carrillo, Associate Archivist, Lincoln Memorial Shrine, Redlands, California
Michael L. Oddenino's Gettysburg address is a captivating presentation full of stunning revelations, photos and music.   It is a fascinating historical experience I'd recommend to all followers of Americana.  Michael presented his multimedia show at the Los Angeles Adventurers' Club and was showered with enthusiastic questions afterward.  A must-see experience.  –  Chuck Jonkey, Los Angeles Adventurers' Club 
When you think you have heard all that has to be said on a high profile topic, you await to be amazed or very disappointed. No one listening to Michael Oddenino’s story of the  unfolding of the events which led up to the memorable Gettysburg Address and to the address itself will consider themselves disappointed. It was historically accurate and set into motion by his captivating style. You could feel the  buildup to Everett’s speech, and understand the quiet that settled over the crowd after Lincoln performed his 2 minute statement. All of us listening to Michael repeat those now immortal words shared in that moment what our forefathers felt 150 years ago. And we could understand. - Dr. Brian Clague, West Coast Civil War Conference organizer
Those fortunate enough to experience Michael L. Oddenino's Gettysburg Address presentation will gain an entirely new perspective of this snapshot of history.  Michael sets the stage with colorful anecdotes which convey the country's mood in November 1863.  He brings the listener to the moment with descriptions of sights, smells and the compelling music, some of which has not been recreated in the 150 years since the actual event.  Michael leaves his audience wanting more.  This is a compelling presentation. – Gary Burnett, Las Vegas
If you thought you knew everything there was to know about Lincoln ’s famous Gettysburg Address, you will come away from Michael Oddenino’s presentation with a fresh appreciation and newfound knowledge about this iconic piece of American history.  Michael Oddenino combines history, context and little-known facts to bring Lincoln’s prose and the event surrounding its historic debut to life.  His presentation to the Pasadena Civil War Round Table packed the house, and left our members wanting more.  It’s a “don’t miss” event. –  Janet Whaley, Pasadena CWRT, Treasurer
Let’s just say that if you have Michael Oddenino make a presentation to your group, you will be in for a wonderful presentation filled with information that many of you may never have heard before. While you’re at it, ask Michael about his Balls Bluff program.  It, too, is excellent. - Michael Green, President, San Joaquin Valley Civil War Round Table

Tuesday, March 22, 2016: a superb presentation by author and Civil War historian David Dixon, speaking about his book:

Few remember that two famous orators shared the stage with Lincoln at the Gettysburg dedication. The day’s concluding speech remained lost until recently, when an anthropologist stumbled upon it in a cardboard box at a remote ranch in Wyoming.
Forgotten too was the incredible true story of its author, Charles Anderson, a slave owner who risked everything to save the Union.
We accompany Anderson on his exciting journey through some of the most dramatic events of the Civil War.
Born on a Kentucky slave plantation, he struggles to reconcile a morally bankrupt slavery system that yet holds the nation together. Imagine yourself standing in the crowd as Anderson delivers a bold Union speech in San Antonio just weeks after Lincoln’s election. Imprisoned by Confederate officers, he makes a daring escape, and arrives in New York a national hero.
Anderson nearly loses his life in the battle of Stones River. He is elected Lieutenant Governor of Ohio on a ticket that defeats exiled Copperhead Democrat Clement Vallandigham. Two years later, Anderson becomes Ohio’s governor.
This is the inspiring tale of a true patriot. Charles Anderson had the courage to hold steadfast to his convictions, remaining loyal to the Union at a time when nearly all Southerners turned against their country.
CRITICAL PRAISE for The Lost Gettysburg Address:
It’s amazing that stimulating and informative Civil War books with whole new perspectives keep coming out of the woodwork. This one makes it a pleasure to be a book review editor and reviewer…This book is so well written and edited that it is hard to believe it is self-published. Don’t miss it.
 David Dixon earned his B.A. in political science and his M.A. in history at the University of Massachusetts. He lives with his wife Jeanne and his books in Santa Barbara, California. To learn more about David go to his website:

Tuesday, February 23, 2016 - Come hear a superb presentation by author and Civil War historian Jane Singer speaking about her latest book, 

Lincoln's Secret Spy: The Civil War Case That Changed the Future of Espionage

CLICK HERE for more about Jane's book.

Jane Singer is a Civil War scholar and author of fiction and nonfiction.

 Her nonfiction works include Lincoln’s Secret Spy: The Civil War Case That Changed The Future of Espionage (Lyons Press, April 2015) and The Confederate Dirty War: Arson, Bombings, Assassination and Plots for Chemical and Germ Attacks Against the Union (McFarland & Company,  August, 2005.

In November of 2006, the History Channel based a two-hour special called Civil War Terror on her book. Singer was both the historical consultant for the project as well as the primary onscreen narrator. Her writing has been featured in the Washington Post Magazine (The Fiend in Gray), The Washington Times (Felix Stidger and the Sons of Liberty). Her research and discovery of Stidger; a little-known American hero, were illuminated in a Chicago Sun-Times article. Singer is also a professional actor, voice-over artist, narrator and lecturer. Born and raised in Falls Church, Virginia, she now lives in Los Angeles, California, and is available to speak to various groups across the country about her work on Lincoln’s Secret Spy.

Singer’s fiction works include, Alias Dragonfly, the first book in a young adult Civil War spy trilogy featuring the intrepid Pinkerton agent, teenager Maddie Bradford. (Bell Bridge Books, November, 2011), andBooth’s Sister, a historical fantasy about the reckless, enchanted childhood of John Wilkes Booth and his beloved sister Asia. (Bell Bridge Books, 2008.)

Singer has written, produced and directed Green Zone Blues: Voices of War; original voices of men and women caught in the crosshairs of our troubled, modern times. A CD of the production is available. 



Tuesday, November 24, 2015 at 7:15 p.m. at the Pasadena Central Library.

U.S. Balloon Corps Presentation Announcement
The U.S. Balloon Corps is considered the forerunner of today's Air Force and paved the way for our nation's future in the sky.   Steve and Patrice Demory will present  “Thaddeus Lowe and the U.S. Balloon Corps," a little known aspect of the American Civil War.

Their presentation primarily focuses on the Balloon Corps during the Civil War and  Thaddeus Lowe's pre-war biography and activities that led to his founding of the Corps.  Also, included will be information on the technology and personalities involved with the Balloon Corps as well as the tactical use of “aerostats” in battle. The Confederates were also very interested in the tactical advantages of balloon usage, therefore,  the Confederate "Silk Dress" balloon will be addressed, as well.
The U.S. Balloon Corps was officially formed on July 25th, 1861 and was commanded by Professor Thaddeus S.C. Lowe, a scientist, inventor, aeronaut, balloon manufacturer and patriot. At the onset of the Civil War, Lowe offered his services to President Lincoln who personally appointed him as Chief of the Aeronautic Department of the Army of the Potomac. Professor Lowe made over 3,000 ascensions and became known as "The Most Shot at Man in the Civil War." 
The primary mission of the Balloon Corps was reconnaissance: To observe Confederate Army operations and troop movements and report it's findings to the command staff. During the first two and a half years of the war, Professor Lowe achieved an amazing record of innovations, which include:  
* First use of Airborne Telegraph 
* Built and operated the first Aircraft Carrier 
* Developed Mobile Hydrogen Gas Generators to inflate balloons in the field 
* Invented Aerial Artillery Spotting 
* Revolutionized the science of map making
In addition, the presentation will cover Professor Lowe's post-war achievements, including his residency in Pasadena,  his contributions to Southern California and the building of the Mount Lowe Railway.

The Demory’s reside in Anaheim and portray Thaddeus Lowe and his wife, Leontine, at Civil War reenactments, Civil War Roundtables, schools and history related events.  They appear in period attire and use an extensive PowerPoint presentation for speaking engagements.

The Pasadena Civil War Round Table is pleased to announce a special event on Tuesday, October 27, 2015 at 7:15 p.m. at the Pasadena Central Library


Not In Plain Sight:


Color Revelations in Civil War Images





Every photo tells a story, one obvious and sometimes one not so obvious. This month we will take a journey back to the Civil War and have a look at photographs that we have seen hundreds of times in history books and on TV. Now with the help of full color images and high resolution negatives we get to explore parts of our nations past that we may not have realized. Hiding within these images for the last 150 years was another world, one that tells a different story, one that allows us to connect to this earlier time.


David Richardson’s images have appeared on the History Channel, C-Span as well as numerous books and magazines.  He is the author of “Restoring and Tinting Vintage Images” as well as the owner of “History In Full” and “Civil War In” and will share some of the bits of our past that have been uncovered in the hundreds of Civil War images that he has helped to restore and colorize. This remarkable journey will allow you to see not just a single image, but several. One that tells of the struggle our nation endured and at the same time the story of the individuals that lived it.


Spend some time with us as the past comes to life again for one night. Discover the secrets that have been locked in these images all this time. Who knows, you might encounter one of your ancestors or uncover that the life they led was filled with amazing detail that is only now being seen. We hope you can join us for this special look at our shared past.




Tuesday, September 22, 2015 at 7:15 p.m. at the Pasadena Central Library.

Professor Steven Woodworth of Texas Christian University will share his insights into the Lincoln Assassination.

The Lincoln assassination was the crowning disaster of the Civil War and a profound shock to all but a few Americans living at that time. John Wilkes Booth's role as the gunman who shot Lincoln in the back is well known. Similarly notorious is Lewis Powell's nearly simultaneous knife attack on Secretary of State William H. Seward and several members of his household. But who else was involved? How far did the conspiracy go, and what was its purpose? Over the years, theories have ranged widely -- from the plausible to the bizarre, and from Washington to Richmond to Rome. In this lecture Steven E. Woodworth gives his take on this intriguing problem.

Steven E. Woodworth received his B.A. in 1982 from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale and his Ph.D. in 1987 from Rice University in Houston, Texas. After teaching at small colleges in Oklahoma and Georgia, he came to Texas Christian University in 1997 and is now a professor of history there. Over the years he has authored, co-authored, or edited thirty-two books, including Manifest Destinies: America's Westward Expansion and the Road to Civil War (2010), Nothing but Victory: The Army of the Tennessee, 1861-1865 (2006), While God Is Marching On:  The Religious World of Civil War Soldiers(2001), and Jefferson Davis and His Generals: The Failure of Confederate Command in the West (1990). 


Lincoln: A Self-Made Man

August 25 @ 7:15 pm - 9:00 pm

 | Free
Prof. Daniel W. Howe

Prof. Daniel W. Howe

The Pasadena Civil War Round Table will host Pulitzer Prize Winning author Daniel Walker Howe for an exploration of Abraham Lincoln’s life focusing on how Lincoln was very much self-taught.

Abraham Lincoln was a self-made man in a way that we no longer use the term “self-made.” In Lincoln’s time, we find the term “self-made” used in a more comprehensive way than it is today, one that does not exclude success in business, but is by no means restricted to it.

Daniel Walker Howe is Rhodes Professor of American History Emeritus at Oxford University and Professor of History Emeritus at UCLA. His books include What Hath God Wrought (2008 Pulitzer Prize winner) and Making the American Self: Jonathan Edwards to Abraham Lincoln

Reservations are limited for this free lecture. Advanced reservations are strongly encouraged and include free admission starting at 6:00 pm to the exhibitions When Johnny Came Marching West: How the Civil War Shaped Pasadena and Thaddeus Lowe: Chief Aeronaut of the Union Army.

CLICK HERE for a map to the Pasadena Museum of History.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015 at 7:15 p.m. - The Madness of Mary Todd Lincoln


Psychiatrist James Brust will share his insights into the mind and behavior of Mary Todd Lincoln and explore the impact of her behavior on President Lincoln.  

Dr. James S. Brust is a psychiatrist in private practice in San Pedro, California, and serves as Chairman of the Department of Psychiatry and Medical Director of the Psychiatric Unit at Providence Little Company of Mary Medical Center in San Pedro. He is also Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at UCLA where he teaches psychiatric residents at the Harbor-UCLA Medical Center.

In addition to full time practice, Dr. Brust is an independent historian, specializing in 19th century popular prints and photographs, though he occasionally crosses over into medical topics, the most important being Mary Lincoln. His essay "A Psychiatrist Looks at Mary Lincoln" appears in a recent compilation of essays titled The Mary Lincoln Enigma: Historians on America's Most Controversial First Lady (Southern Illinois University Press, 2012). All together Dr. Brust has written over forty-five history journal articles, five book chapters, and is coauthor of the book Where Custer Fell, Photographs of the Little Bighorn Battlefield Then and Now (University of Oklahoma Press, 2005).
     "The Madness of Mary Lincoln" was the title of the first book he contributed to on this topic.  In the more recent and extensive essay the title was changed to "A Psychiatrist Looks at Mary Lincoln." Come learn whether the term “madness” is appropriate or not when applied to Mary Todd Lincoln.
     Dr. James S. Brust will discuss the life of Mary Lincoln, whose legacy has been as controversial as her husband's has been universally admired.  While reviewing her entire life history, Dr. Brust will focus on issues concerning her mental and emotional health, her psychiatric hospitalization in 1875, and the overall question of whether or not she suffered from a psychiatric illness. 
Map to The Pasadena Central Library: CLICK HERE  

Tuesday, June 23, 2015 at 7:15 p.m. -  

Professor Christopher Bates presents: Mystic Chords of Memory: Why People Love the Civil War 


Cal Poly Pomona history professor, Christopher Bates shares his insights into why the U.S. Civil War so captivates the attention of so many people. 
What do Coca-Cola and the Civil War have in common? And how does that connection help explain the Civil War's popularity? On June 23, Christopher Bates, lecturer at Cal Poly Pomona and UCLA, will provide the answer to those questions and many more on the popularity of the Civil War.
The enormous popularity of the Civil War in movies, documentaries, and books speaks to Americans' profound and enduring fascination with the Civil War. But why is the war such a popular—indeed, beloved—part of American (and world) history? The answer is much more complicated than it might seem.
Join us on June 23 at 7:15 p.m. to hear professor Bates fascinating account of the Civil War's enduring popularity among the public and scholars alike.
A recently published essay of Mr. Bates can be found in this book: CLICK HERE
Mr. Bates garnered the enviable honor of being the number 1 student-rated professor at Cal Poly Pomona. CLICK HERE to read more about this distinction. 

Tuesday, May 26, 2015 at 7:15 p.m. - How Did Memorial Day Evolve From The Ashes of The Civil War? 


Dr. Carole Morton presents: How Did Memorial Day Evolve From The Ashes of The Civil War?


Dr. Carole Morton presents an illuminating look into the origins of one of our most revered holidays. In the month of May, on Memorial Day, we commemorate and honor the men and women of the armed forces killed in war. How apropos that our program is, “How Did Memorial Day Evolve?” This civil holiday has been observed in various parts of the country for approximately 150 years. When, where and how did Memorial Day come to pass?
Many attribute its beginnings and longevity to Major General John A. Logan, Commander-in-Chief of the Grand Army of the Republic, who on May 5, 1868, issued General Orders #11 officially proclaimed that May 30th of every year as a day of remembrance for those who fell victim to the fearful conflicts of that horrific Civil War.
Today, Memorial Day is still celebrated at Arlington National Cemetery, where it was first observed on May 30th, 1868, 147 years ago, when members of theGrand Army of Republic and others decorated graves of both Union and Confederate soldiers. The program will be presented by Dr. Carole Morton, an avid deltiologist (a person who collects postcards as a hobby).and exonumist (a person who collects numismatic items - such as tokens, medals, or scrip - other than coins and paper money) and Civil War enthusiast.
Carole will share, and have on display, ribbons and medals, along with an extensive Memorial and Decoration Day collection of postcards. Carole also shares her love of history with numerous groups around the San Fernando Valley including the Daughters of Union Veterans of the Civil War, 1861-1865 (she currently serves as National President), the Daughters of the American Revolution, and other heritage societies and is Past President of the San Fernando Valley Historical Society.
Come join us on Tuesday, May 26 for an informative and enlightening overview of the beginnings of what was commonly referred to as Decoration Day and how it grew from the ashes of the Civil War to today’s Memorial Day.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015 at 7:15 p.m. - When Johnny Came Marching West


When Johnny Came Marching West: How the Civil War Shaped Pasadena

Pasadena CWRT President Nick Smith will present with Janet Kadin of the Pasadena Museum of History, the little known stories of the Civil War veterans that shaped Pasadena and southern California when they came west after the Civil War.

This presentation is in conjunction with the exhibition of the same title at the Pasadena Museum of History from April 22 through September 20, 2015

civil war

Pasadena GAR in Memorial Park, circa 1920 (Special Collections)

When Johnny Came Marching West will highlight rare artifacts and photographs drawn from the collections of PMH, as well as private and institutional lenders including the Maine State Museum, The Autry National Center of the American West, Drum Barracks Civil War Museum, The Lincoln Memorial Shrine, Dr. Bert J. Davidson and the Southern California Medical Museum, John Beckendorf, Linn and Jean Hoadley, Dr. Carole Morton, Kathy Ralston, Michael Sorenson, and Janet Whaley.

Biographical vignettes will tell the stories of unique men and women, from General Stoneman, a decorated Northern general, to the children of the radical abolitionist John Brown (Owen Brown, Jason Brown, and Ruth Brown Thompson). Numerous veteran support organizations proliferated locally and influenced the city’s political and social climate for decades. Many rarely seen artifacts, photographs, and textiles will be shown from these organizations, including the drum from the Godfrey Post, the local chapter of the Grand Army of the Republic (G.A.R.). An Enfield rifle, a Colt Model 1860, and a cavalry saber, such as those carried by Union and Confederate soldiers, will also be on display.

John McDonald, drummer boy in the Civil War, at age 16 (Main Photo Collection)

John McDonald, drummer boy in the Civil War, at age 16 (Main Photo Collection)

Period medical equipment, including a rare amputation kit and other doctor’s tools, will illustrate the challenges of wartime care. An exploration of mourning etiquette practices and appropriate attire will include unusual 19th century mourning jewelry, accessories, and memento mori. Original correspondence will show the bond between soldiers and their loved ones. A highlight will be one of the few surviving U.S. Sanitary Commission quilts, signed by the members of the Sunday school class who sewed it and sent it to a Union soldier.


An accompanying exhibit, titled Thaddeus Lowe: Chief Aeronaut of the Union Army, will also be on display. PMH Members are invited to preview the exhibit for three days before they open to the public.  For more information on Member Preview Days, please visit the Members Events page.



Tuesday, March 24, 2015 at 7:15 p.m. - Dred Scott, Slavery, and the Origins of the U.S. Civil War

Michael L. Oddenino will present a whirlwind ride through history tracing the events, circumstances and people that led to the defining event of U.S. history. How could a civilized country fall into such a bloody and horrific civil war which ripped at the very fabric of the nation? Come learn the causes of the U.S. Civil War and be prepared to be surprised at what you learn.

Dred Scott is the infamous U.S. Supreme Court decision which is recognized as the worst U.S. Supreme Court decision ever. Come learn why it is the worst and learn how this U.S. Supreme Court decision played a role in triggering the Civil War. Dred Scott sued for his freedom in Missouri and the case made its way through the legal system while events played out in the country that made the Civil War inevitable.

You are guaranteed to leave this presentation with new insights into U.S. history and to learn exactly why the Civil War was fought.




Feedback from other attendees:


"Excellent presentation - we did not fall asleep even once!" :-)


"Great presentation, we learned a lot!"


"Wow, that was entertaining as well as educational. Thanks."


"Best visuals I have seen with any presentation."


"I didn't think I could learn so much history in one hour."



"An excellent job of relating many different events."


"An amazing presentation, I learned so much about the build up to the Civil War."


"Outstanding presentation!"


"Incredible amount of history covered in a small amount of time."

"Thank you for so much history that I had not associated with the Civil War."


"I now realize that the origins of the Civil War go back much farther than I had thought."


Wednesday, February 25, 2015 at 7:15 p.m. -  Dr. Steve Hindle, of the Huntington Library, will compare the English Civil War and the U.S. Civil War

Dr. Steve Hindle, The Huntington's W.M. Keck Foundation Director of Research, will present By Sword and Rifle Divided? The English and American Civil Wars in Comparative Historical Perspective in which he explores the similarities and differences between these two wars. 

Dr. Steve Hindle assumed the Directorship of Research at the Huntington Library in 2011, after sixteen years in the Department of History at the University of Warwick. Trained as a social and economic historian of seventeenth-century England, he is the author of two books, The State and Social Change in Early Modern England (2000), and On the Parish? The Micro-politics of Poor Relief in Rural England, 1550-1750  (2004); and editor of Remaking English Society: Social Change and Social Relations in Early Modern England (2013); and has written numerous scholarly articles on patterns of social relations in English rural communities, including one on food supply during the English Civil War.

In his presentation titled, By Sword and Rifle Divided?: The English and American Civil Wars in Comparative Historical Perspective, Dr. Hindle will unveil how both English and American society still bear the scars of the internecine strife which characterized them in mid-seventeenth and mid-nineteenth centuries. Each conflict had its martyrs, its heroes and its villains, and each still has a contested legacy. Dr Steve Hindle provides fascinating insights into how the tools of comparative history can help analyze the similarities and differences between the English Civil War and the U.S. Civil War.  


Join us at the Pasadena Central Library on February 25 at 7:15 p.m. to enjoy this superb and compelling presentation.


Tuesday, January 27, 2015 at 7:15 p.m. -  Dr. Ken Ballou on Camels in the American Southwest

Between the Mexican War and the American Civil War, the United States was rapidly expanding westward and found challenges in the overland communication with its newly acquired territory of California.  The urgency for a solution only increased with the discovery of gold at Sutter’s Mill.  Secretary of War Jefferson Davis leant his support to the effort to import camels from the Middle East to use as pack animals and possibly even as cavalry mounts.  The camels arrived in 1856. 

They proved their value in an overland march along the 35th parallel from central Texas, through what would become New Mexico and Arizona, and finally to southern California.  This expedition was supervised by Edward Beale, a hero of the Mexican War and a prominent California land owner.  Despite several other trail excursions that only enhanced the camels’ reputation as hardy dry-country pack animals, the great experiment came to an end when the country’s attention and resources were diverted with the coming of the Civil War.  Lasting reminders of the Southwest’s experience with the Camel Corps may be found even today at Fort Tejon near Bakersfield, the Drum Barracks near Los Angeles, and the Hi Jolly Monument at Quartzite, Arizona.

Dr. Kenneth Ballou was born in Lincoln, Nebraska, but grew up in Yucaipa, California.  He earned a BA in history at Loma Linda University in La Sierra, California, and later graduated from Loma Linda University School of Medicine in 1993.  After completing his residency training and serving in the United States Air Force, he returned to Southern California in 2001 to practice medicine. 





Tuesday, October 28, 2014 at 7:15 p.m. - Keith Harris on Reconciliation after the Civil War and Civil War veterans.

By the end of the 19th century, veterans of the Civil War had reformed their ranks into armies of commemoration. Organizations such as the Grand Army of the Republic and the United Confederate Veterans focused their efforts on celebrating war experiences through speeches, parades, and monument dedications. In a reunited nation, “forgiveness” appeared as a conspicuous leitmotif in veterans’ commemorative cultures. In fact, modern observers will detect a vibrant reconciliatory theme well embedded in most commemorative activity. But reconciliation notwithstanding, veterans continued to frame their commemorations in terms of the war’s most divisive issues, citing slavery, emancipation, treason, and tyranny to perpetuate the memory of their respective causes.


While claiming to be reconciled, veterans fought a war of words well in to the twentieth century. How did these seemingly antithetical positions coexist? The answer reflects the ways in which veterans perceived their place in the American historical narrative broadly defined. Each side considered itself the inheritors of the founding generation, and thus each side could resurrect the notion of unity without having to dismiss the issues of conflict, as many twentieth and twenty-first century scholars would later suggest. These men generally forgave their former enemies – they embraced reconciliation. But they not forget. 

M. Keith Harris earned a bachelor’s degree in history from UCLA and a Ph. D. in 19th century American history from the University of Virginia. He is the author of Across the Bloody Chasm: Commemorative Culture Among Civil War Veterans, which will be available November 24th from LSU Press. He is the editor of the web-based The Americanist Independent: A Monthly Journal of United States History and the host of Keith Harris History, a multi-media US History network. One can find more information on all of Keith’s work at


Tuesday September 23, 2014 at 7:15 p.m. - 
Bruce Smith - War From the Saddle: The Life of the Civil War Cavalryman
Bruce Smith calls himself an amateur historian but his presentation is very professional. Growing up on John Wayne cavalry movies and Rin-Tin-tin on Saturday mornings, he has been studying the American Civil War since grade school. Extensive research on the cavalry branch of military service provides the foundation for this fascinating presentation.  Bruce is a retired police officer and while so employed, he started  a mounted unit with his agency in 1997 which he ran for 15 years until he retired.
Bruce currently serves as a docent at the Lincoln Shrine in Redlands and is the proprietor of his own business, On-Site Living History, allowing him to bring his presentation and horse to schools.  Bruce is the First Sergeant of the 7th Michigan Cavalry, F Troop, Civil War re-enactment group which is one of two California re-enactment groups that portray mounted cavalry.
This presentation will focus on "John Doe" Yankee cavalryman.  Learn how the cavalryman used equipment, weapons (NOTE: there will not be any live ammunition so this presentation is safe), fighting tactics, mind-set, how they lived on horseback, and all things cavalry.
Come see the examples of equipment and other paraphernalia that Bruce will have on display at this presentation and experience the every day life of a cavalryman during the Civil War.

Wednesday August 27, 2014 at 7:15 p.m.

Bradley Harjehausen of the University of Redlands will be presenting a fascinating look at the conflict between Lincoln and McClellan. 

As the Civil War progressed between 1861 and 1862, the military strategy for waging the war transitioned from a nineteenth-century style to a new more hard-hitting style. General George McClellan favored the former while President Abraham Lincoln favored the latter.  Many factors were involved in these differing strategies, including  new military technologies and differing views on the appropriate manner to wage war. Join us and find out more about the civil war between Lincoln and McClellan.

Tuesday July 29, 2014 at 7:15 p.m.


Professor Kathleen Feeley of the University of Redlands will be presenting a fascinating look at the history of the U.S. Civil War as depicted in film over the years. Don't miss this exciting look at how Hollywood has portrayed the Civil War. 

Kathleen Feeley is associate professor and chair of the History Department at the University of Redlands who can offer insight into modern U.S. history and its popular and political culture. Her specific areas of expertise include Hollywood, media and celebrity culture and industry, the U.S. Civil War, and the Cold War. 
She is co-editor of When Private Talk Goes Public: Gossip in American History (2014), is author of Mary Pickford: America’s Self-Made Sweetheart (forthcoming from Westview Press in 2015), and is at work on “The Mightiest Publicity Powers on Earth”: The Rise of the Hollywood Press Corps in Mid-Twentieth-Century America. 
She was a consultant for “Paris Hilton: Not So Simple” and “Child Stars II: Growing Up Hollywood” on A&E’s Biography series. 
A recipient of the 2009 Outstanding Teaching Award at the University of Redlands, Feeley holds a doctoral degree in U.S. history from the CUNY Graduate Center and a bachelor’s degree in history and women’s studies from Colgate University.

June 26, 20114

Theodore Savas, author, publisher and founder of Savas Beatie book publishers, will be sharing his insights on the Battle of Payne's Farm.  

Come learn the intriguing story of this little known engagement of the Civil War. Although widely overlooked, the November 27, 1863, battle of Payne's Farm (part of the Mine Run Campaign) offers a fascinating series of character and leadership studies in addition to its rather unusual tactical evolution. Ted will discusses the various personalities, strategies, and tactics of this combat, together with how the author helped locate and map the battlefield for preservation and the presentation of several relics he discovered and how they fit into the course of the battle. Who were the main players? What were the leadership errors and leadership successes? What can we all learn from this battle? Come find the answers to these questions and many more on June 26, 2014 at the beautiful Pasadena Central Library in the historic Donald R. Wright Auditorium. 

Theodore P. Savas graduated from The University of Iowa College of Law in 1986 (With Distinction). He practiced law in Silicon Valley for twelve years and co-founded Savas Woodbury Publishers (subsequently Savas Publishing) in 1990. The company was sold to an East coast publisher in 2001. He taught legal, history, and business college classes from 1992 to 2009. Ted is the author or editor of more than a dozen books (published in seven languages) including A Guide to the Battles of the American Revolution (with J. David Dameron, Spellmount and SB, 2006), Hunt and Kill: U-505 and the U-Boat War in the Atlantic (Spellmount, SB, 2004), Silent Hunters: German U-boat Commanders of World War II (Campbell, 1997; Naval Institute Press, 2003) and Nazi Millionaires: The Allied Search for Hidden SS Gold (Casemate, 2002), as well as a score of articles in a variety of journals and magazines.


May 22, 2014
Rick Creese is a lecturer at UCLA Writing Programs and the UCLA Division of Honors. Rick a writer and coproducer of the documentary film THE MAN WHO LOST THE CIVIL WAR which tells the story of Confederate General Henry Hopkins Sibley who in 1862 carried out a visionary plan to conquer New Mexico Territory and to win the Civil War.

Sibley would muster his army in San Antonio, Texas and march The Sibley Brigade over 667 miles to what is now El Paso, Texas, then turn up the Rio Grande in hopes of capturing the thinly defended Union forts along with the Union stores in Albuquerque and Santa Fe.  Then he would seize the gold and silver mines of Colorado and fund the Rebellion.  And his vision was grander still.  He would turn west, rallying the people of New Mexico Territory to the Confederate cause.  Finally, when the warm weather ports of California were taken, the Union blockade would be broken and the "Second American Revolution" would be complete.   But Sibley's chronic kidney stones, the alcohol he used to treat the pain, his strategic, tactical, and logistical errors-along with a fatal dose of Romanticism-doomed his Brigade and the Confederacy's slim but real hopes of winning the Civil War.  
Rick’s film was named a finalist in the category of Best Documentary Script by the Western Writers of America.  The documentary was chosen by the Southern Lens Film Festival and was broadcast by select PBS stations.  It was distributed by The University of New Mexico Press.  Rick's Civil War pedigree can be traced back to Private John H. Creese of the 101st Pennsylvania Volunteers.  The 101st fought in the Peninsula Campaign and supported the Union Blockade of North Carolina.  At the Battle of Plymouth, N. C., the entire regiment was captured and spent the rest of the war in Andersonville-where fifty percent of them died.  But John Creese, only sixteen years old, survived and lived until 1927. 
Rick is now writing plays, including the one-man play SOLEMN MOCKERIES which was produced by the Independent Shakespeare Company in Los Angeles in 2013.  It then was chosen for the United Solo Theater Festival and played to a sold-out house in New York.  It was awarded Best Period Piece by the festival and was published by Indie Theater Now.  He has just finished another one-man play called DAMNED GLORY which is based on the historical events narrated in his documentary film. 
Narrator Morgan Sheppard is well known to Civil War buffs as the voiceover narrator of the 1993 film GETTYSBURG, in which he also plays General Trimble.  Everyone remembers his great scene with Robert E. Lee and lines like, "I said to him, sir, give me one division and I will take that hill."  Before coming to the U. S., he performed with the Royal Shakespeare Company for twelve years and is now a highly regarded actor and acting coach in Los Angeles.

April 24, 2014

Professor Joan Waugh will reexamine the three surrenders of Confederate armies conducted by Gen. U.S. Grant. After briefly recounting the ones at Fort Donelson and Vicksburg , the emphasis will be on the familiar story of the historic surrender of Confederate forces to Lieutenant General Ulysses S. Grant on April 9, 1865 at Appomattox Courthouse, Virginia. The surrender at Appomattox is generally considered the end of the American Civil War, enshrining a powerful image of a peaceful, perfectly conducted closure to the bloody conflict. Yet the details of Grant's magnanimous surrender document provoked debate, anger, and opposition among the Northern public. This mixed reception casts doubt on Appomattox as a shining moment of reunion and reconciliation, predicting the troubles that lay ahead for President Grant and the country in the postwar era. 
We are thrilled to have Professor Waugh address our CWRT again, having last been with us in 2010.   She is a Professor of History at UCLA; and this year she has the distinction of serving as the Stephen and Janet Rogers Distinguished Fellow in 19th Century American History at the Huntington Library.  Her books include “Ulysses S. Grant: American Hero, American Myth,” “The Memory of the Civil War in American Culture,” and “Wars Within A War: Controversy and Conflict Over the American Civil War.” 
Professor Waugh has also been interviewed for many documentaries, including the PBS series, “American Experience” on Ulysses S. Grant. 
Her UCLA undergraduate lecture courses on “Civil War and Reconstruction,” and “ America from 1865-1900” regularly attract from 200-400 students.  She has been honored with many prizes for her teaching, including UCLA’s “Distinguished Teaching Award.”
And, Professor Waugh is a great speaker so don't miss this presentation!
Please join us as we learn about the events put in motion by this surrender.  
12 April 1865 at Appomattox - Union General Joshua L. Chamberlain of Maine 
takes the final salute of Confederate General John B. Gordon. 
The Last Salute by Don Troiani   

The Pasadena Hastings Branch Library


March 27, 2014  

Evan Jones shared numerous insights on the Chickamauga and Chattanooga campaigns garnered from his new book Gateway to the Confederacy: New Perspectives on the Chickamauga and Chattanooga Campaigns, 1862-1863.

Gateway to the Confederacy is a bloody & inspiring tour d'horizon through the marches, battles and sieges, waged across the chessboard of war, surrounding Chattanooga, Tennessee and its "gateway" to the Deep South. 

This book reexamines Chattanooga's irreplaceable role in the Confederate economy, the campaigns' influence on American slavery, as well as the troubled memory carried by its combat survivors into the postwar years. It explores the far-reaching social and political implications of the battles and brings into sharp focus their impact on postwar literature and commemoration. 

Several chapters revise the traditional portraits of both famous and controversial figures like Ambrose Bierce and Nathan Bedford Forrest. Others investigate some of the more salient moments of these battles such as the circumstances that allowed for the Confederate breakthrough assault at Chickamauga. The first academic analysis that delineates all three Civil War campaigns fought from 1862 to 1863 for control of Chattanooga; Gateway to the Confederacy reassesses a series of events long in need of reappraisal, and breaks new ground as each contributing scholar reshapes a particular aspect of this momentous part of the Civil War.

A body of work from some of the finest Civil War historians working today, Gateway to the Confederacy is an instant classic, and will appeal to anyone interested in American history. 

February 27, 2014 

Dr. Richard Carwardine presented a fascinating lecture at the Huntington Library, Pasadena Civil War Round Table's first joint venture with the Huntington Library, oAbraham Lincoln called laughter ‘the joyous, beautiful, universal evergreen of life.’  A staple of his diet, it was a feature universally noted by his contemporaries, friend and foe alike.  But what did it signify?  This talk looks seriously at what made Lincoln laugh, exploring what it reveals about his temperament, personality, and moral values, and suggests how he made mirth and story-telling key weapons in his relations with others. 










OCTOBER 24, 2013

We are pleased to announce that MICHAEL L. ODDENINO will be joining us to speak on the topic of THE ORATORY OF ABRAHAM LINCOLN - THE GETTYSBURG ADDRESS AND ITS PLACE IN HISTORY.

Speaker Michael L. Oddenino 

The Gettysburg Address, the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution constitute the essential DNA of the United States of America. This month’s speaker will tell the story of how the Gettysburg Address came to be and why it is such a significant part of our identity as a country. Fascinating characters and events came together to enable Abraham Lincoln to deliver one of the most famous speeches in history. This presentation will allow you to hear the Gettysburg Address with new insights into its history and its meaning. This is an unforgettable story which continues to impact our lives today.

This month’s speaker is our own CWRT member, Michael L. Oddenino.  He grew up in Virginia surrounded by Revolutionary War and Civil War history. After majoring in history as an undergraduate at Virginia Tech where he studied Civil War history under Dr. James I. Robertson, Jr., (author of “Stonewall Jackson: The Man, The Soldier, The Legend” and other volumes as well as being a popular speaker on Civil War topics), Michael continued his studies and received his J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law.  He has been a practicing lawyer since 1978 while maintaining his primary affection for history. 

His interest in oratory led him to develop an interpretation of Patrick Henry’s famous “Liberty or Death” speech, which he has performed in many venues including the Las Vegas “Strip.”

Michael’s Civil War studies cover a broad range of topics; and he will be giving this talk at this year’s West Coast Civil War Conference in November.  If you enjoyed his presentation to our CWRT in May on the Battle of Ball’s Bluff, you won’t want to miss this one. 

Come join us as we get a preview of this presentation before the rest of the world. 


SEPTEMBER 26, 2013

We are pleased to announce that JENNIFER A. WATTS will be joining us to speak on the topic of A STRANGE AND FEARFUL INTEREST:  THE MAKING OF A CIVIL WAR EXHIBITION:

Camp Convalescent, Alexandria, Virginia  - January, 1864

Photo by Andrew J. Russell (1829-1902)

(courtesy of The Huntington Library; one of the many photos from this exhibit)


In late 2012, The Huntington Library hosted a marvelous Civil War exhibit called A Strange and Fearful Interest: Death, Mourning, and Memory in the American Civil War, ending after a very successful run on January 14, 2013.  Thanks to the wonders of the Internet, the exhibit and these images can still be experienced at:

Our speaker this month will address the history and growth of the Huntington’s Civil War photography collections – as well as the planning, the process, and the design – that went into the curating of the institution’s first such exhibition drawn exclusively from its unparalleled visual holdings.

Jennifer A. Watts is Curator of Photographs at The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens in San Marino, where she has worked since 1991 overseeing a collection of more than one million images. Her exhibitions and coauthored publications related to historic and contemporary photography of California and the American West include This Side of Paradise: Body and Landscape in Los Angeles Photographs (2008), Edward Weston: A Legacy (2003), and The Great Wide Open: Panoramic Photographs of the American West (2001). She is editor and contributing author to Maynard L. Parker: Modern Photography and the American Dream, about the life and career of a notable mid-century architectural and garden photographer. A forthcoming exhibition will explore the work of contemporary artists Paul Caponigro and Bruce Davidson within the context of Britain and Ireland in the 1960s and 1970s.  It will open at the Yale Center for British Art in July 2014 before traveling to The Huntington. 

Come join us to hear the behind-the-scenes story of how this exhibit came together.


AUGUST 22, 2013

We are pleased to announce that ANNETTE JAMES-ROGERS will be joining us to speak on the topic of MY GREAT-GRANDFATHER AND THE 26th REGIMENT, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES COLORED TROOPS.

  U.SW. Colorad U26th Regiment, U.S. Colored Troops at Camp William Penn

La Mott, Pennsylvania - 1865

Courtesy of National Archives


We will have the rare opportunity this month for a descendent of a Civil War soldier to tell us about her ancestor.

Henry J. James was a member of the 26th Regiment, New York, U.S. Colored Troops.  Our speaker will be sharing with us his life before the war, how he came to enlist in the U.S. Colored Troops, his time at Camp William Penn, the battle history of this regiment and Henry’s military record. 

Henry’s family was unusual, in that they were also involved with a colonization effort in Haiti before they returned to the U.S. and Henry enlisted. 

Our speaker will also share with us more about free people of color and issues of war.

Annette James-Rogers is a retired Clinical Therapist / Patient Education Specialist.  She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, and her Master’s of Science in Social Sciences from Boston University.  She is the Sr. V.P. of Daughters of Union Veterans of the Civil War, Tent 86, and also serves as Patriotic Instructor for the DUV’s California/Nevada Department.

From her grandfather, she first learned about his father’s history and enlistment in the Union Army.  This sparked her interest in Civil War history.  As an aspiring writer, she hopes to tell the story of her family’s involvement in the attempt to colonize Haiti.

Come join us to hear about this very personal history of one Civil War soldier.

JULY 25, 2013

We are pleased to announce that  STEVE LUND will be joining us to speak on the topic of AMERICAN CIVIL WAR IRONCLADS 

Speaker Steve Lund (far right) and fellow Civil War reenactors at St. Catherine’s Military Academy event - March, 2013.

Just in case you thought that the topic of Civil War ironclad ships would only cover the CSS Virginia and the USS Monitor, this month’s presentation will dispel you of that notion.

The talk will cover the genesis of the development of the ironclad warships in the US Civil War and their impact on the subsequent Industrial Revolution. 

And did you know that California had its own ironclad, the USS Camanche?  We will find out the history of this ship, and where it is today.

In addition to the talk, our speaker will have a display of model ships to illustrate the various types of ironclads.

Our speaker, Steve Lund, served 29 years of combined active and reserve service in the US Army.  He did a tour of duty in the Viet Nam War as a helicopter gunship pilot, among other assignments. Steve received the Soldiers Medal for valor, two Bronze Stars, and the Air Medal (16) for combat service.  His civilian career has included 15 years in the aerospace field, with the last 14 years flying fixed wing aircraft in law enforcement aviation, principally in counterdrug aerial surveillance.  He is currently helping run a business providing support to the Pomona Police Dept.’s Counterdrug Task Force.

   With an abiding interest in history, Lund has been an active Civil War reenactor since 1997.  He developed an interest in the subject of ironclad warships, and has constructed a dozen radio controlled models and given numerous presentations to the public.  Steve has also co-authored a book, “Modeling Civil War Ironclad Ships.”  He first gave this presentation at last November’s West Coast Civil War Round Table Conference. 

Steve Lund with his self-built replica of a German WW II

Fieseler Fi 156 "Storch" (Stork) observation plane.

Come join us to hear about the history of this technical innovation, and how it impacted the Civil War.


JUNE 27, 2013

We are pleased to announce that  DR. JON WILLEN OF THE WEST VALLEY CIVIL WARRIORS will be joining us to speak on the topic of LINCOLN'S FIRST RESPONDER

In June 2012, Lincoln researchers announced the discovery in the National Archives of a report written by US Army Capt. Dr. Charles Leale after the death of Pres. Abraham Lincoln.  Dr. Leale was the first doctor to arrive at the presidential box at Ford's Theatre on April 14, 1865 after John Wilkes Booth fatally shot President Lincoln in the back of the head with a Philadelphia derringer pistol.  

At the time, Dr. Leale was a 23-year-old surgeon in charge of the Wounded Commissioned Officers' Ward, United States Army General Hospital in Armory Square, Washington, DC.  Just six weeks earlier he had graduated from Bellevue Hospital Medical College in New York.

His intent in going to Ford's Theatre that night was to study the President's features; but little did he anticipate becoming the President's attending physician in the last nine hours of Lincoln's life. Leale's rediscovered report was the first medical documentation of these hours, later followed by testimony to Congress in 1866, and a 1909 speech detailing his treatment of Lincoln.

 Our speaker this month is a returning favorite, Dr. Jon Willen, of the West Valley Civil Warriors.  His presentation will discuss these events as well as the autopsy conducted on the President's body the following day at the White House.

Dr. Willen is a specialist in Infectious Diseases at the West Hills Hospital Medical Center. He is a reenactor of Civil War medicine and surgery.  He has produced two videos on Civil War medicine; and has presented papers at the conferences of the National Museum of Civil War Medicine, as well as the Society of Civil War Surgeons. He serves on the board of the latter organization.








"The Klu Klux Klan"  -  The Klu Klux Klan was and is a racist, white supremacist group, first and foremost.  It began in a small town in Pulaski, TN in the middle of 1866 as a secret, social club by several ex-Confederate soldiers, very much like a fraternity.  But it quickly morphed into a loose organization, spanning many similar groups to redress the loss of white southern superiority over blacks, the ills of the Freedman's Bureau, carpetbaggers and the Reconstruction. 

The Klan pretty much died down after 1872 but the lingering racism continued.  In 1905 Thomas Dixon published "The Clansman", which became a blockbuster movie in 1915 by D.W. Griffith titled "The Birth of a Nation".  It feed into the "myth of the lost cause" and help to create the 2nd Klan, a vertical marketing scheme, which became a national political powerhouse of violence and bigotry in the 1920s. 

Come learn more about the origins of this tragic legacy of the Civil War from John Beckendorf, a leading expert on the matter.






John Beckendorf is a retired commercial insurance broker and is the program chair for the Los Angeles Civil War Round Table.  He has been an avid student of history all his life and of the Civil War since the early 1990s.  During this time he has amassed a substantial collection of Civil War artifacts, which along with his lecturing, writing he enjoys sharing with other collectors, museums and the National Parks.