Hal Jespersen – Member Profile

two men talking on a battlefield

Hal Jespersen conversing with Ed Bearss

Hal Jespersen is a retired computer industry executive who has a strong interest in studying the Civil War. Hal was a U.S. Army Signal Corps officer in the 1970s and then held a variety of computer software jobs in Silicon Valley until his retirement in 2010. Although he studied some military history and visited some battlefields as an ROTC cadet, Hal’s overriding interest in the war was triggered recently by a specific event— reading Michael Shaara’s The Killer Angels in 2003. That led to a period of voracious reading about the Battle of Gettysburg and to the first of a number of trips to that hallowed ground.

In 2004, Hal began to make significant contributions to the Civil War articles on Wikipedia, and is the principal author of about 130 battle and campaign articles as well as an equal number of biographical articles about Civil War generals. In addition to the text of the articles, Hal has published a large number of Civil War battle maps, which are starting to appear in other online sites and some recently published books. Hal focuses his interests primarily east of the Mississippi, and although he loves the Army of the Potomac, feels that the war was substantially won in the Western Theater. Now that he has retired, Hal is operating a small cartography business, CW Maps, that specializes in Civil War campaign and battle maps.

Hal’s personal website, http://www.posix.com/CW/, contains links to his important Wikipedia articles, and a large number of travelogue articles, recording his visits to Civil War battlefields and seminars over the years. Hal is the webmaster for the Old Baldy Civil War Round Table, the San Francisco Peninsula Civil War Round Table, and the South Bay Civil War Round Table.

Hal and his wife Nancy live in Redwood City, California.