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October 14, 2016




State Archives Speaker Series: Dr. Blaine Lamb, Ph.D. Will Discuss the Life of Civil War Soldier Charles Pomeroy Stone


The California State Archives Speaker Series continues Thursday, October 20. Dr. Blaine Lamb, Ph.D. will present “Soldier, Surveyor, Pasha, Engineer: Writing an Extraordinary Life,” a discussion of his book The Extraordinary Life of Charles Pomeroy Stone

As the secession crisis came to a head in the winter of 1861, an obscure military engineer, Charles Pomeroy Stone, emerged as the rallying point for the defense of Washington, D.C. He was protector of the president and right hand man of the army’s commanding general. Nevertheless, just a year later, this same hero sat in prison branded as an incompetent soldier and likely traitor. 

Readers of Civil War history know Stone best for his disgrace and imprisonment. His story, however, goes far beyond this unfortunate occurrence – all the way from the Halls of the Montezumas to Gold Rush California, and from the pyramids of Egypt to the Statue of Liberty. In his book, The Extraordinary Life of Charles Pomeroy Stone, historian Blaine Lamb weaves a narrative of adventure, exploration, war, and intrigue that involves a cast of characters ranging from the dour William Tecumseh Sherman to the flamboyant Ismail the Magnificent. But piecing together this account was not easy, since the protagonist left no collection of letters, diaries, or reminiscences. In his presentation, Dr. Lamb explores Stone’s “extraordinary life” and the convoluted, and at times frustrating, path he followed in bringing the story to light. 

Dr. Blaine Lamb served as an archivist at the State Railroad Museum and later joined the State Archives as a senior archivist. In 2007, he became Chief of the Archaeology, History and Museums Division of the California State Parks, until his retirement in 2012. In addition to his Charles Pomeroy Stone biography, Dr. Lamb’s publications include articles and reviews in California History, Journal of Arizona History, Western Historical Quarterly, Journal of America’s Military Past, Journal of the West, and Overland Journal. 

The speaker series is sponsored by the Friends of the State Archives.  

This is a free, but ticketed event. 


The event is open to media, but an RSVP is strongly recommended. 


California State Archives Speaker Series 


Dr. Blaine Lamb, Ph.D. 


Thursday, October 20, 2016

5:15 - 6:30 p.m. 


California State Archives

1020 O Street, 4th Floor

Sacramento, CA 95814 


Nancy Lenoil – State Archives, (916) 653-7715

Sam Mahood – Secretary of State, (916) 653-6575