If you'll be in the vicinity of America's most beautiful city in November, put some time aside for the 26th West Coast Civil War Conference (Nov. 12, 13, 14). This meeting is hosted by a different Civil War Round Table or other Civil War-related group each year, and this marks only the second time it's been held in San Francisco. The first time was about 20 years ago, hosted by the South Bay CWRT.
This year, the Friends of Civil War Alcatraz have put together what looks to be a spectacular program on the theme of Civil War Coastal Defenses, and have enlisted James McPherson and Craig Symonds as headliners. NPS ranger Rick Hatcher, who's written on Sumter and Moultrie, and the CSS Hunley, will also be on hand. I'm probably most excited about hearing historian John Martini, and not because that's my favorite cocktail. Martini's work on local installations is indispensable—at present I am reading his book on Fortress Alcatraz. He is the guy who discovered the lost Alcatraz photos mentioned in some earlier blog posts.