Greetings Cosmic Americans!
Yesterday I attended the monthly meeting of the Civil Warriors Round Table in the West San Fernando Valley of Los Angeles. The featured speaker was Greg Taylor, whose great, great grandfather served in a Pennsylvania heavy artillery unit at Ft. Lincoln - part of the Washington defenses.
Greg gave us a nice narrative on the scant defenses of Washington before the war, the anxiety felt by northern citizens concerning the potential capture of the capital, the process by which Union engineers constructed elaborate defenses after the embarrassing Union defeat at 1st Bull Run, and Confederate General Jubal Early's famous 1864 raid on the city.
What's more, he provided first hand accounts from his ancestor, William Beynon Phillips, an artillerist who was pulled from the defenses and ordered to join Burnside's IX Corps - Phillips was later captured at the Battle of the Crater in July 1864.
It goes to show that a presentation can be thoughtful and informative without being overly analytical.If you are ever in the LA area around the first Wednesday of the month, I strongly suggest you stop in for a visit. You are sure to hear a good speaker and the discussion afterward is always pretty heated.