Monthly Program: Richard Hurley, “Campaigns of the California Volunteers”
Sunday, May 16, 2:00 pm, Monthly Program, via Zoom. Richard Hurley presented:
Campaigns of the California Volunteers
This multimedia show chronicles the adventures (and misadventures) of the nearly 17,000 young men who volunteered for the Union army during the Civil War. Moved by passionate patriotism, these men (mostly from Northern California) enlisted to fight Rebels, in California or back East. Most were keenly disappointed when the War Department assigned them instead to the thankless task of replacing the regular U.S. forces throughout the West.
Indian tribes were swift to take advantage of division among the whites and during the war years pushed back against the settlers encroaching on their lands. California Volunteers ended up fighting hard campaigns against native peoples as far afield as Idaho and Texas. Californians were, however, also used to thwart Confederate attempts to invade New Mexico, and a select few made it back East to cross swords with John Mosby, the famed Confederate guerrilla.
The presentation, based on Richard’s book California and the Civil War,
features over 100 period photos and illustrations, plus animated campaign maps he created.
Institute member Richard Hurley received his undergraduate degree from Harvard College and wrote for The Harvard Lampoon. He worked for three years in the history division of the Oakland Museum of California. Richard earned a master’s degree in architecture from UC-Berkeley, then moved to the Sierra foothills and a career in computer-based multimedia. He is co-author of the award-winning historical fiction Queen of the Northern Mines. He has authored multimedia shows and guest-curated a museum exhibit on California and the Civil War. His California history page
offers more about the states’s wartime experience.