December Newsletter and Meeting Notice

December 16th, 2009 – Our 69th Meeting!

The next meeting of the Clarksville (TN) Civil War Roundtable will be on Wednesday, December 16th, in the café of Borders Books in Governor’s Square Mall. This is located on Wilma Rudolph Blvd (Hwy 79) south of Exit 4 off I-24, then head south a bit. The mall is on the left. The meeting begins at 7:00 pm and is always open to the public. Members please bring a friend or two – new recruits are always welcomed.


“It is a Happy Thing These Days to Be Obscure – Women and Civilians in Occupied Middle Tennessee”

Many of us look at the Civil War era through lenses that are filtered by modern pop culture such as movies, television and books, as well as our own prejudices and experiences as people living in the twenty-first century. Since many of our Civil War books deal with battles and famous individuals, we often forget about the daily trials of the people on the fringes of these great happenings – the women, children and civilians who populated the area where these historic events occurred. Karel Lea Biggs takes this oversight and presents a talk on the horror and brutality that extended well beyond the battlefield and touched everyone living in the middle Tennessee area during the Civil War.

Karel Lea Biggs is a seventh grade science teacher at New Providence Middle School in Clarksville. She is also co-founder and secretary of the Clarksville Civil War Roundtable. She has researched the Civil War for nearly twenty years, often with a focus on the impact the war had on Southern Civilians. She has also reenacted and written for reenacting publications as well.

Please join us for what promises to be an interesting and informative program!


Jim Hoobler from the Tennessee State Museum in Nashville presented an entertaining and informative presentation on Civil War Nashville. His slide show featured dozens of rare and unique photographs of Nashville from the era, as well as architectural drawings of some of the city’s key buildings. Sad to say, many of these buildings are no longer standing, so Jim’s presentation was a trip back in time for many of them. Intermixed with the slides were wonderful stories of events in Civil War Nashville. Jim’s presentation was gave many of us a unique perspective on the lives of the people who lived back during the Civil War era.

This is a terrific program and comes highly recommended from us for your CWRT!


January, 2010 – Howard Kittel, Director and CEO, the Hermitage – “The Civil War In The Shenandoah Valley”
February, 2010 – Dr. Wally Cross, Austin Peay State University, “The Commanders of Ft. Donelson”
March, 2010 – Thomas Cartwright, former Director, Carter House Historic Site – “The Battle of Thompson’s Station”
April, 2010 – Minoa Uffelman and others – “Nannie Haskins’ Civil War”
May, 2010 – John Walsh, Clarksville CWRT – topic TBA
June, 2010 – Tracy Jackson, Clarksville CWRT – “Eight Southern Governors”
July, 2010 – Joseph Reinhart, Louisville CWRT and author – “McCook’s Dutchmen: The 9th Ohio Infantry”
August, 2010 – Tom Parsons, Historian/ranger, Corinth National Battlefield – “The Battles For Corinth”
October, 2010 – Gail Stephens, author – “General Lew Wallace” (based on her upcoming book)
November, 2010 – Dr. William Glenn Robertson, US Army Combat Studies Institute, Ft. Leavenworth, KS “A Tale of Two Orders in the Battle of Chickamauga”

MEMBERS AND DUES: – Your name badge will have two ribbons if you are current with your dues. If it only has the blue ribbon, please pay your dues at this meeting!

Thanks to all of you, the Clarksville CWRT continues to grow. We would love to have you join us! If you have friends interested in the Civil War, please bring them along. July is our fiscal year when dues for the current campaign were due. If you haven’t paid your dues for this season yet please do so. Our dues help us get great speakers and for historical preservation. Annual dues are as follows:

· Single membership – $20

· Family – $30

· Military – Active duty and Veterans – $15

· Military Family – Active duty and Veterans – $25

· Student – $10

To our many guests – To our guests, thank you for much for coming to see what we are about. Your dues money goes towards helping to pay the travel expenses we get to visit us so we hope that you considering joining our ranks very soon. Welcome to our new members!!!!!

Clarksville CWRT silent auction – Each month we hold a silent auction of donated items to help raise more money for the club’s treasury. If you have something Civil War related that you would like to donate please bring it to the meeting. Thanks very much to all of you who have donated items. We have a very special item coming up at this meeting!!!

Special Clarksville CWRT Silent Auction!

Clarksville CWRT member, Irene Alhgrim, has donated a lovely, framed copy of the heroic painting, The Last Meeting, This painting depicts Generals Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson at dawn on the day of the Battle of Chancellorsville May 2nd 1863. This is a copy of the painting originally done by E. B. D. Julio (the original is in the Museum of the Confederacy), and features both men astride their famous mounts. A truly wonderful donation, we have decided to offer this as a silent auction item for a period of three months (November, December, January). The high bid at the end of our meeting on January, 2010, will be the lucky recipient of this gorgeous work of art. Even if you can’t attend the meeting, feel free to email your bids to Greg at, and we can see that you are included in this very special auction to raise money for the CWRT.


TCWPA Hosts first Three-Star Battlefield Tour at Davis Bridge Battlefield!

The Tennessee Civil War Preservation Association (TCWPA) invites you to its first “Three Star Civil War Battlefield Tour “at Davis Bridge Battlefield on Saturday, December 12, 2009, 9:30 am – 12:30 pm. Tour goers will join Shiloh National Military Park historians and Tennessee Wars Commission Program Director Fred Prouty for an in-depth tour of the recently protected Davis Bridge battlefield. The tour is open to the public and there is no charge to take part. The tour will “go” rain or shine so appropriate warm and weather protective clothing and good walking shoes are recommended. Davis Bridge Battlefield is located near Pocahontas, TN.

TCWPA will launch its new Three Stars tour series at a reception the evening before in Corinth, MS at the National Park Service visitor center. You are invited to join fellow tour participants and TCWPA board members at the reception Friday evening, December 11, at 6:30 pm. There is no charge for this engagement.

If you’d like to attend the reception and tour, please RSVP by email to Executive Director Mary Ann Peckham, If you would like to do only the tour, please register online at TCWPA’s web site, (Click on “Events” page). If you have any questions please contact Mary Ann at

Note: TCWPA will have a block of hotel rooms held in the Corinth area for tour participants and will order box lunches for the end of the tour on Saturday at the Battlefield. For those interested in lodging or lunch, we’ll let you know the lodging cost and location, and the cost of lunch.

Group Says City Owes $250,000 for Land Preservation (Civil War Preservation Trust newsletter)
By Cliff Hightower 11/15/2009 Chattanooga Times Free Press (TN)

The Trust for Public Land says Chattanooga’s capital improvement budget is $250,000 short of what the city promised to help preserve land on Stringer’s Ridge, but city officials deny they ever made a hard-and-firm commitment to provide the money. Rick Wood, executive director of the nonprofit land preservation trust, said the city promised $150,000 last year and $350,000 this year. The 2009-10 capital improvement budget shows a commitment of $100,000.

Richard Beeland, spokesman for Mayor Ron Littlefield, said the city is doing what it can given budget constraints. “It is an extremely difficult year,” he said. “Everybody has been cut. Unfortunately, we’re only able to offer $100,000 at this time.”

The Trust for Public Land acquired 92 acres atop Stringer’s Ridge in December 2008. It borrowed almost $2.5 million from its national organization in its quest to save the land from being overdeveloped. Stringer’s Ridge is a backdrop to downtown Chattanooga’s skyline and was the site of Union artillery emplacements during the Civil War.

Mr. Wood asked the city in October 2008 for $500,000. The City Council in November approved a resolution for $150,000, records show. But there never was any written agreement committing an additional $350,000, city officials said. “Was it a formal resolution? No,” Mr. Wood said. “Was it a firm commitment? Yes.”

Councilman Andraé McGary raised the issue in a committee meeting last week. City Council members plan to discuss specifics of the capital improvement budget Tuesday. Mr. McGary said that if the city makes deals with private entities, there should be a clear understanding of what could happen if the city doesn’t live up to the bargain. In this case, the Trust for Public Land may have to sell at least five acres for development, he said. “The options are not pretty,” Mr. McGary said.

Parks and Recreation Administrator Larry Zehnder said he understood that the trust requested $500,000 and the city agreed to $150,000. “I don’t think there were any additional promises made for the $350,000,” he said.

Councilwoman Sally Robinson said she believes the city made a commitment for the additional $350,000. She said a suggestion to spread the cost over two years hadn’t been fully discussed. “I don’t know what we’re going to do to make good on our end of the promissory note,” she said.

Mr. Wood said he did not know how the Trust for Public Land would react if the city wants to make separate payments. “I have to answer to a board I owe money to,” he said.

Trust Targets Historic Parcel (Civil War Preservation Trust newsletter)
By Rusty Dennen 11/17/2009 Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star (VA)

A key piece of the Chancellorsville Battlefield associated with Confederate Gen. Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson’s 1863 flank attack is the next acquisition target of a Civil War preservation group. The Civil War Preservation Trust yesterday announced a $2.1 million campaign to buy 85 acres, known as the Wagner Tract, along State Route 3 east of Wilderness Church. The property includes 2,000 feet of frontage on the north shoulder of historic Orange Plank Road and lies within Chancellorsville Battlefield. There, on May 2, 1863, Jackson led the flanking maneuver during bloody fighting that turned the tide of the battle in favor of the South.

“This land is arguably one of the most historically significant pieces of hallowed ground CWPT has ever saved, and we have just got to get it,” said James Lighthizer, the organization’s president.

Historian Robert K. Krick said yesterday that preservationists have been talking to Frank Wagner, a Fredericksburg veterinarian, for several years about acquiring the land. “This is a big one. I’m prone to say this is the second-most-important [battlefield] land in the country” behind a tract on the Richmond battlefield, Krick said. “We’ve taken the initiative because this is so stunningly important.”

Timing is crucial, CWPT spokesman Jim Campi added. The Washington, D.C.-based preservation group is seeking $708,300 from the Virginia Civil War Historic Site Preservation Fund which expires in December. CWPT hopes for another $500,000 from the federal Transportation Enhancement Program. The remainder will come from donations from CWPT members.

The trust has preserved other significant land at Chancellorsville, including 215 acres where the battle raged on its opening day. The purchase price for that was $4 million.

The Battle of Chancellorsville began May 1, 1863, and lasted almost three days. It was considered Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee’s greatest victory. Lee divided his army in the face of superior Union forces, sending Jackson on his 12-mile flanking march around the Army of the Potomac. After the Confederate rout of the Union 11th Corps, Jackson was accidentally shot by his own men and died five days later. The Fredericksburg area has been a prime focus for CWPT’s preservation efforts.

Three years ago, in its biggest purchase ever, CWPT bought Slaughter Pen Farm for $12 million. The 216 acres east of Fredericksburg on Tidewater Trail links critical components of the Battle of Fredericksburg. Other major CWPT acquisitions in Virginia: 1,708 acres at Trevilian Station in Louisa County, for $1.9 million; Glendale in Henrico County, 566 acres for $5.6 million; Third Winchester in the Shenandoah Valley, 431 acres, $5.8 million.

For an interview by Robert Krick on the site please visit: For more by Robert Krick on Jackson’s flank attack can be found at: For a map of the property please go to: ville/maps/flankattackmap.html.

Carnton Civil War Seminars A Success

Eric Jacobson, Director of Operations for the combined Carnton/Carter House Civil War sites in Franklin, TN reports that their two recent Civil War seminars were a huge success. About 175 people attended each program, one being on the causes of the Civil War and the other on the generalship of John Bell Hood. Jacobson reports that other events for Carnton and the Carter House are forthcoming for 2010 so watch this newsletter for details.

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