KVMR Interview with Alan Stahler – California and the Civil War, Part 2

Alan Stahler, host of KVMR's Soundings, interviews Richard about the pre-war history of the Golden State. Part 2 covers California from Fort Sumter to the end of the war.







Recap of part 1: the state of California before the war. • Slavery in "free" California. Border state demographics and the pre-war dominance of the "Chivalry" (Southern Democrats).

The election of 1860 and the Secession Crisis. • The possibility of a "Republic of the Pacific," comprised of Oregon and California.

Tangent on Civil War tactics: the implications of the rifled musket on battle tactics. • Entrenchments at Petersburg prefigure the trench warfare of World War I.

Thomas Starr King, the "man who saved California for the Union. King, self-taught polymath, becomes master orator on the Lyceum lecture circuit. Frail, tiny – great only in heart and courage – King rallies Union forces in California and helps secure the state in 1861.

Union Volunteers in California sign up to fight Confederates, but end up fighting Indians throughout the West in a series of bloody campaigns. • The California Column marches out to repel Confederate invasion of Southwest, ends up fighting Diné, Apache, Kiowa, and Comanche instead.

The critical role of California's gold in financing the war. • Confederate campaigns to interdict, including privateering and stage coach robbery. • Southern partisans in the Santa Cruz mountains and their plans to loot San José.

A digression on John Singleton Mosby, the Confederacy's most successful partisan leader. • The role of California cavalry in containing Mosby's depredations. • Californians fight with the 2nd Mass. Cavalry and are in at the final battle that prevents Lee's escape at Appomattox Court House.

California at the end of the war. • The Union coalition of Republicans and Northern Democrats breaks apart. • Democrats reunite and take control of California politics. • Racial animus shifts to Chinese over competition for jobs.

What's next for Richard? California Educational Multimedia, a means of presenting historical content using computer-based technologies.



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California Educational Multimedia logo

Bear River Books

California Educational Multimedia logo

© 2018 Bear River Books. All rights reserved.

California Educational Multimedia logo