I am just back from an outstanding conference (November 7 - 9, 2008) in Clovis (Fresno), California. The theme this year was the Shenandoah Valley, and the two premier speakers included old friend Robert K. Krick and Jeffry Wert. You can read a write-up of the event here.
Contrary to what many on the East Coast believe, the Civil War is and has been alive and well here on the Left coast. The conference was well attended and the talks were generally outstanding. I have only missed three West Coast events since 1988, and seeing everyone each year is a wonderful experience. For the last decade or so I have acted as the conference's bookseller. I stepped in when Bob Younger of Morningside (who wore that hat for many years), could no longer easily travel so far.
San Joaquin Valley Civil War Roundtable hosted this event, as they have many others. Were it not for this hearty bunch of great people, this important conference may have faded away after the passing of its founder, Jerry Russell. Thanks guys and gals for all your hard work.
Next year, the San Jaoquin bunch is hosting the November West Coast conference again, with Chickamauga front and center as the major topic. (Coincidentally, our The Maps of Chickamauga is slated for a September release.) The speakers they have lined up are strong and thus far include Wiley Sword, Glenn Robertson, Jim Ogden (historian at the park), and many others. I urge everyone reading this to give serious thought about attending. The talks are always good, the facility is top-rate, the food is more than passable, and . . . and a side tour to Yosemite is being planned.
And we will be there with loads of signed books for sale.