Today is the 150th anniversary of the Confederate attack on Fort Sumter, the opening salvo of the U.S. Civil War. Although California saw little military action during the conflict, the state played a significant part in the war by supplying volunteers and gold in the service of the Union. It also provided future historians with a goodly share of political and military intrigue.
There may be few battlefields in California, but as described in the San Francisco Chronicle, there are at least five sites in the state of interest to Civil War buffs.
Locally, interested people can connect with the Sacramento Civil War Round Table, a forum established in 1961 to share and discuss knowledge about this important period in U.S. history. The group meets monthly, the second Wednesday of each month (public welcome). Tomorrow's meeting features a lecture by Sacramento City College instructor Sherri Patton, speaking on "Women in the South."
Next month, May 20-22, the Civil War Experience returns to Gibson Ranch Park, recently reopened after a five month closure due to budget cuts. Events include a day-long program for school children, battle reenactments, living history demonstrations, period music and dancing, lectures and speeches.
Down the road, Nov. 11-13, the Sacramento and Elk Grove Civil War Round Tables will host the West Coast Civil War Conference at the Sacramento Doubletree Hotel. Speakers will address "1861: The First Year."
PHOTO CREDIT: Confederate troops fire on Union soldiers during a Civil War reenactment at Gibson Ranch in 2004. Sacramento Bee photo by Brian Baer