Puget Sound Civil War Roundtable

Civil War Education, Remembrance and Preservation

Featured Article


By Jeff Rombauer
As Richard W. Etulain notes in his bibliographical essay in Lincoln Looks West, there are thousands on books on Abraham Lincoln, but only a few are concerned with his dealings with the Far West. For those seeking more information on this our speaker’s topic, the following works are recommended.

Etulain. Richard W. Lincoln Looks West: From the Mississippi to the Pacific: Edited by Richard W. Etulain. Carbondale and Edwardsville: Southern Illinois University Press, 2010. Pp. xi, 262.
A Collection of nine essays which deal on topics from Lincoln and the Indians, territorial patronage, and Lincoln and Washington territory.

Higham, Carol L. The Civil War and the West: The Frontier Transformed. Santa Barbara: Prager, 2013. Pp. xii, 152.
One of Prager’s Reflections on the Civil War series, this work examines the West during the period up to 1862 and how internal conflict and divisions influenced the response to war.

Johannsen, Robert W. Frontier Politics and the Sectional Conflict: The Pacific Northwest on the Eve of the Civil War. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1955. Pp. xiii, 240
An old standard work which looks at Oregon and Washington Territory in the 1850’s.

Journal of the West. The Western States in the Civil War. Los Angeles. Volume xiv, #1. January 1975. Pp. viii, 214.
Nine essays by various historians covering all the Trans-Mississippi states during the civil war. James F. Carson writes on Oregon: Patrolling the New Northwest.

Journal of the West. The Western Territories in the Civil War. Los Angeles: Volume XVI, No. 2, April 1977. Pp. 120.
Eight essays covering all the Trans-Mississippi territories during the Civil War written by graduate students.

McArthur, Scott. The Enemy Never Came: The Civil War in the Pacific West. Caldwell: Caxton Press, 2012. Pp. xviii, 268.
From Indian wars, to economics, to soldier life, to copperheads in the Northwest, McArthur . covers the Civil War in Oregon and Washington.

McGinnis, Ralph Y. & Smith, Calvin N. Abraham Lincoln and the Western Territories. Chicago: Nelson-Hall Publishers, 1994. Pp. x, 222.
Yet another series of 15 essays by various historians on all the Territories west of the Mississippi during the Civil War.
Scharff, Virginia. Empire and Liberty: the Civil War and the West. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2015. Pp. xv, 224.
A series of eleven essays written in conjunction with an exhibit in 2015 covering topics such as California’s native cavalry, the Fremont’s , the Cherokee Nation and Memory and Memorabilia in the far west.
Who are the people on the PSCWRT Board of Directors? What are their backgrounds, interests and passions? Over the course of the next several issues of the Washington Volunteer, we will be offering short biographies of your board.


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Jeff Rombauer

A native of Seattle, Jeff graduated from Nathan Hale High School in 1966 and Washington State University in 1970 with a BA in History. After serving in the Air Force during the Vietnam War, he took an accounting degree and worked for 33 years in the accounting department of Puget Sound Energy, retiring in 2014.

His interest in the Civil War dates back to 1958, when he was given his first Civil War book, A Picture Life of Lincoln by Stefan Lorant. From there it was on to reading all of Bruce Catton’s books as well as Carl Sandburg’s works on Lincoln. It was a simple matter from reading about the Civil War to collecting books on the war, especially in Seattle, where a number of used book stores had relatively “cheap” books for sale in the 1960’s. [His first copy of the original edition of Grant’s Memoirs cost only a dollar] Using his small allowance Jeff managed to build up a collection of about 400 books on the war by the time he graduated from high school. Even overseas for two years in Thailand, he was able to add to the collection. Now after almost 60 years, his collection of over 16,000 pamphlets and books, along with manuscripts, documents, prints and photo’s will eventually serve as a special collection at Washington State University.

Jeff joined the Puget Sound Civil War Roundtable at its third meeting in 1985. He has served either on the board, or as an officer for over 30 years. He has been president, newsletter editor for seven years, and currently treasurer for five years. Besides being a member of PSCWRT, he is also a lifetime member of The Southern Historical Society, and the Ulysses S. Grant Association, as well as the Abraham Lincoln Association, the Lincoln Forum, and the Society of Civil War Historians

Jeff has numerous relatives who served in the Civil War including:
• Gustave Koerner – great-great grandfather. A political associate of Abraham Lincoln, was briefly on the staff of John C. Freemont in St Louis in 1861, before being appointed as Ambassador to Spain [1862-1864]. Koerner was one of Lincoln’s pall bearers. His book, Memoirs of Gustave Koerner 1809-1896 is considered a primary source on Lincoln in the 1850’s
• Robert J. Rombauer – great uncle, one of 4 brothers who served in the War. Was Colonel of the 1st Regiment U.S. R. C. Missouri. Author of The Union Cause in St. Louis in 1861
• Raphael G. Rombauer- great uncle. Major, Battery G 1st Regiment Illinois Light Artillery. In 1864 was detailed as Chief of Artillery, District of East Tennessee
• Roland Rombauer – great uncle. Served as Sgt. Co. B, 1st Light artillery, Missouri. Wounded at Wilson’s Creek. In 1862 was appointed 1st Lieut. Battery E, 1st Regiment, West Virginia Light Artillery. Fought at Strasburg, Cross Keys and Second Manassas. In 1864 appointed Captain, 1st Regiment U.S. Florida Cavalry. At the end of the war was District Provost Marshall for the District of West Florida.Roderick E. Rombauer –great grandfather. Enlisted as a private in the First Regiment of Missouri Volunteers, later a Captain in the First Regiment of United States Reserve Corps of Missouri. Elected a Judge in St. Louis in 1863.
• Maximilian Hugo von Starkloff – great grandfather. Born in Germany, in 1832 at Ulm. Served as an officer trainee in the 5th Infantry Regiment in Stuttgart, but changed to the study of medicine. Immigrated to the U.S. in 1854 and was appointed as a physician of the American Fur Company. Before the war also was an assistant surgeon in the 3rd U.S. Cavalry Regiment. In 1861 he became the surgeon of the 43rd Illinois Infantry regiment. At war’s end he was the Division Surgeon of the 7th Army Corps in Little Rock, Arkansas. His daughter Irma, married my grandfather Edgar R. Rombauer in 1899 and after his death in 1931 went on to write
The Joy of Cooking.

Jeff and his wife Loretta have been together since 1978, and enjoy college football, college basketball, movies, as well as travel. They have been to every state in the United States, visiting book stores and antique malls, battlefields and museums. They both like reading mysteries and watching British mystery series. In addition to his interest in the Civil War, he also has a lifetime interest in the H.M.S. Titanic, and Silent Movies. While he has no children of his own, he is an Uncle to 7 nephews and nieces