Speaking at the Houston Civil War Round Table, December 10
Thursday evening I had the pleasure of attending a meeting of the Houston Civil War Round Table, for a talk given by Rick Eiserman, an indefatigable researcher when it comes to the subject of Hood’s Texas Brigade, titled “Will the Real Private Joe Joskins Please Step Forward?” “Joe Joskins” was the author’s name on one of the earliest memoirs of service in the brigade, written at the very end of the war in June 1865. The memoir, which was long thought to have been lost, is so vivid and detailed that the late Col. Harold B. Simpson cited it twenty-nine times in his classic work, Hood’s Texas Brigade: Lee’s Grenadier Guard, even though there’s no record of a Joe Joskins serving in the brigade, or any other Texas unit. Rick’s journey in trying validate the authenticity of the memoir, and to determine the real identity of “Private Joe Joskins,” is a wonderful tale of how diligence, persistence and a little bit of good luck make for for great history writing.
I’ll be speaking next month at the Houston CWRT, on the subject of blockade running on the Texas coast. My talk will highlight the intertwined stories of Dave McCluskey and Paul Börner, whose paths crossed violently on the deck of McCluskey’s blockade-running schooner, Sting Ray, one Sunday morning in the spring of 1864 a few miles off the mouth of the Brazos River. It’s a tremendous honor to be invited to present to the Houston CWRT, given the stature of many of their speakers, folks like Ed Bearss, Caroline Janney, Gary Joiner, and Stephen “Sam” Hood. (And those are just this year!)
My talk is on Thursday evening, December 10. Meet-and-greet starts at 6 p.m., with dinner at 7 and the presentation beginning around 7:45. There is a $30 charge for dinner and the presentation, or $10 for the presentation only — but come for dinner. The meeting is held at the Hess Club, 5430 Westheimer, about a mile west of the Galleria. Allow a little extra time for traffic, but it’s worth it when you get there. Important: If you’re going to attend, please let the Houston CWRT’s Facilities Chairman, Don Zuckero, know at (281) 479-1232 or e-mail him at Reservations-at-HoustonCivilWar-dot-com by 6:00 p.m. the Monday preceding the Thursday meeting. This is important to ensure sufficient food and seating is available.
Hope to see you there!