Welcome to the April meeting of the Loudoun County Civil War Roundtable, at which time we will be discussing a topic just a bit afield from Virginia. Members: If you haven’t paid your dues yet, please bring a $25 check to Gary Mester. Note: The Board of Directors will be holding its annual election after the meeting. Anyone who wishes to serve on the Board, please stay after the meeting, or give your name to President Pamela Tilson anytime before the meeting.
Meeting time: 7:30 p.m., April 10, 2018
Location: Thomas Balch Library, 208 West Market Street, Leesburg, Virginia
Topic: How The West Was Lost: The New Mexico Campaign of 1861–1862
Most people today are unaware that troops from Union and Confederate armies clashed in the territories of New Mexico and Arizona in 1861 and 1862. Probably the main reason for this lack of knowledge is that the campaign was fought more than 2,000 miles west of Vicksburg and Gettysburg, among others. Why New Mexico and Arizona? Arthur Candenquist will examine how and why troops from the North and the South came to be locked in mortal combat in the far Southwest; how close the Confederacy came to achieving its objectives; and how some participants gained fame and others, infamy.
Arthur Candenquist retired after 33 years of railroad service in 2007 as Amtrak’s Manager of Emergency Preparedness. He attended Temple University and has a BS in Communications. After college, he served with the U.S. Air Force for six years and saw service in Vietnam. He is a member of the Virginia Emergency Management Association and was appointed Deputy Emergency Management Coordinator of Rappahannock County, Virginia, in 2006.
Candenquist has been a serious scholar of the War Between the States for over 60 years, since 1956, and focuses his attention on the more unusual and lesser-known aspects of the war. He has published two articles on keeping time during the Civil War (there was no Standard Time during the 1860s); an article on Stonewall Jackson’s “appropriation” of B&O Railroad equipment in 1861; and an article on the world’s first military railroad—the Centreville Military Railroad, constructed in 1861 between Manassas Junction and Centreville. He conducts field trips on various aspects of the war and has lectured extensively on wartime railroads, the role of the Masons during the war, the Kilpatrick-Dahlgren Raid on Richmond, the War in Virginia, and the New Mexico Campaign of 1861–1862.
He is a member of several historical organizations, including the Civil War Trust. He is a life member of these organizations: Sons of Confederate Veterans and of the Virginia Division, S.C.V.; the Summers-Koontz Camp m 490 S.C.V. in Luray, Virginia; the Surratt Society; the Confederate Military Lodge of Research; and the Civil War Lodge of Research m 1865 (two Masonic organizations). He is a member of the Virginia Historical Society, the Museum of the Confederacy, the Lincoln Group of the District of Columbia, the Society of Civil War Surgeons, the Titanic Historical Society, and a number of other historical organizations.
Candenquist, a 32o Mason, served as District Deputy Grand Master for the 3rd Masonic District of the Grand Lodge of Virginia in 2017; he is also a Past Master of Washington Lodge m78 in Washington, Virginia, serving as Master of the Lodge in 2011, 2012, and 2013. He is a Life Member of the Grand Lodge of Virginia.
In 2006, he was awarded the Jefferson Davis Medal by the United Daughters of the Confederacy for his historical research and knowledge of the War Between the States.
When not dabbling in history, Candenquist serves his community as a volunteer firefighter and EMT with 56 years of fire/rescue service. He currently serves as Safety Officer with the rank of Captain, and as Secretary of the Company. He lives near Amissville, Virginia.