February Meeting Notice and Newsletter

February 17th, 2010 – Our 71st Meeting!

The next meeting of the Clarksville (TN) Civil War Roundtable will be on Wednesday, February 17th, 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.

OUR SPEAKER AND TOPIC:

“The Commanders of the Fort Henry – Donelson Campaign”

L to R: Generals John Floyd, U.S. Grant, John McClernand and Simon B. Buckner

The study of the commanders of the Ft. Henry-Donelson Campaign makes for some interesting observations in both the style of command to the quality of each officer. From the top levels of the protagonist presidents, Lincoln and Davis, down to the brigadier generals of both sides, the commanders in this campaign offered glimpses of great things to come for some and portents of bad things as well. For U.S. Grant, it was commander in chief of the US Army in the war; for John Floyd, it was a trial for treason if captured and removal from command after the forts fell. In between there were some solid officers like John Logan, Simon Buckner, Jacob Lauman, Augustus Mersy and many more. For Charles Smith, grizzled Army regular held in high esteem by Grant, it was the critical performance of his career.

For most officers in this campaign it was the first time that many had ever commanded anything larger than a company and there were certainly learning curves to overcome. Some were political officers with no military training at all and of this grouping Logan and Lew Wallace, who initiated the Union counterattack on his own accord, showed great promise.
But others, like John McClernand, who hated West Pointers, it was the beginning of long feuds with his fellow officers.

Members of the Clarksville CWRT are pretty well informed as to what happened between February 6th and February 16th, 1862. So this program, presented by Austin Peay State University history professor Dr. Wallace Cross, will be an analysis of these commanders more than the nuts and bolts of the campaign. If you are familiar with Dr. Cross’ works or have heard him speak before, you know that he is an astute observer of history and is unabashed in his historical views. This combination of the commanders and Dr. Cross will make for a very interesting program indeed!

Dr. Wallace Cross earned a Master’s Degree in History in 1975 from Austin Peay State University in Clarksville and his PhD from Vanderbilt in British Empire and English history.
>From 1983 to 1987 he was employed as a scholar in residence with the Tennessee Humanities Council in a project funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Dr. Cross then joined the APSU History Department as an Assistant Professor of History. In 1990, he took over the History program at APSU’s Fort Campbell satellite campus.
He has published three books, two of which are regimental histories on the Civil War and a bibliography of local Tennessee history and is presently teaching on the APSU main
campus.

LAST MONTH’S MEETING

Howard Kittell, CEO and director of the Hermitage, the presidential home of Andrew Jackson, gave us a wonderful program on the many successes of saving battlefield land in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. Mr. Kittell was formerly in charge of the Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation and was responsible for saving hundreds of acres. Their often novel approach of working directly with land owners, and coming up with conclusions that the owners desired, was the preferred methodology and it proved a tremendous success. We all have a lot to be grateful for with regards to saving this land and Mr. Kittell and this organization deserves our praise for a job more than well done!

Other CWRTs getting this newsletter – this is a terrific program and you would do very well to get Howard Kittell to your CWRT for a program.

FUTURE PROGRAMS:

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 – “Civil War Artillery”
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”
December, 2010 – speaker TBA

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:

Ö Student – $10

Ö Single membership – $20

Ö Family – $30

Ö Military – Active duty and veterans – $15

Ö Military family – Active duty and family – $25

To our many guests – Thank you for much for coming to see what we are about. By joining us your dues money goes towards helping to pay the travel expenses for the speakers 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 another special item coming up at this meeting!!

We’ll have another special item going up for bids with this month’s meeting. Member Max Hochstettler donated a wonderful set of period maps of the Civil War Mississippi River that ran in Harper’s Weekly in January, 1862! We will carry this wonderful item for two months with proceeds to benefit the CWRT treasury.

Last month’s donated auction item was won by Eric Good. Thanks again to Irene Ahlgrim for the beautiful donation.

CIVIL WAR NEWS AND EVENTS:

Some Civil War Book News

Author Russell S. Bonds, who spoke to us in September on the Great Locomotive Chase, was just awarded the honor of having one of the Ten Best History Books of 2009 by Amazon.Com for his current title, War Like The Thunderbolt: The Battle and Burning Of Atlanta. If you have not gotten this book, it is one of the very best Civil War books done in quite some time. Bonds is an impeccable researcher and a terrific writer and his prose pulls you into each battle and person involved in this critical phase of the Atlanta Campaign. This is an excellent mixture of military and civilian history from the Civil War.

Don’t forget Russ Bonds’ excellent debut book Stealing The General about the Great Locomotive Chase and the first Medals of Honor ever issued to American soldiers. Congratulations Russell! Borders has both books in stock.

For those that are Chickamauga fans, historian David Powell of Chicago, one of the best experts on this pivotal battle, has released his first book. Entitled, The Maps Of Chickamauga: An Atlas of the Chickamauga Campaign, Including the Tullahoma Operations, June 22-September 23, 1863. Since the campaigns for Tullahoma and Chattanooga, both fought in Tennessee, lead directly to Chickamauga, author Powell wisely includes them in this study. With a page of text for each detailed map, the reader will be able to see the movements of troops as well as the fighting which makes the volume a must for taking to tours of each field. The maps, done by David Friedrichs, are beautiful and in full color. They are clean and easy to read. This book is the product of ten years of work and it shows. The publisher, Savas-Beatie, has pioneered the study of battles of the war using text and full color maps broken down to these tactical levels and Powell’s volume is the third of the series, which also includes Gettysburg and First Manassas. This is a more than worthy addition to your Civil War library and our friends at Borders can order this book for you!

Looking For Some More Civil War Reading? Try Some Civil War Roundtable Web Sites With Essays

Many CWRTs across the nation have web sites and some of them even post articles and essays written by their members or guest speakers. One fine example of this is the web site of the Cleveland, Ohio CWRT. Just visit http://www.clevelandcivilwarroundtable.com and be prepared to see dozens upon dozens of articles and essays written about battles and campaigns, the naval war, politics of the era, leaders and much more. There is pretty much something here for every interest. One of their members, John Fazio, has spoken to the Clarksville and Middle Tennessee CWRTs on the fabled fight between the CSS Alabama and the USS Kearsarge, and his essay on that fight is one of several he has written that can be found here. So give our friends in Ohio a visit and take some time to read the essays that are posted on their fine web site. They were even nice enough to post one written by our own Greg Biggs!

Tennessee Civil War Sesquicentennial web site is up and running

2011 brings the 150th Anniversary of the start of the American Civil War. As the states that were involved prepare for re-enactments, seminars and much more to commemorate this pivotal moment in our history, Tennessee has named its commission and launched a web site where you can go to find out about their programs and much more. Please visit http://www.tncivilwar150.com and check back often as more material is uploaded.

Ft. Negley’s Silver Screen Saturdays series resumes this month!

Ft. Negley Park will continue its wonderful Silver Screen Saturdays starting on Saturday, February 27th, 2010. This series, which has featured Civil War movies over the past year, will begin anew with the famous Ken Burns series on the Civil War. Part One will debut at 2 PM on the 27th and successive months will feature other episodes. Ft. Negley has a wonderful video and sound system in its theater so this will be a most enjoyable experience for the whole family. For more information please call (615) 862-8470.

Noted Civil War author Peter Cozzens to speak to the Franklin, TN CWRT – Sunday, March 14th, 2010

Those interested in the Civil War in the West will recognize the name of Peter Cozzens. Author of fine books on Stones River, Corinth, Chickamauga and Chattanooga, and a recent volume on the Valley Campaign of 1862, Cozzens has made a name for himself with more detailed studies of these battles than many of his predecessors. He will be speaking to the Franklin, TN CWRT on Sunday, March 14th in an afternoon session.

Watch this space for further details.

Editorial: Preserve And Protect History (CWPT newsletter and Chattanooga Times Free Press)

U.S. Sen. Jim Webb, a Virginia Democrat, wants to more than triple the size of his state’s Petersburg National Battlefield. He’s proposed legislation that would allow the National Park Service to acquire 7,200 acres to add to the nearly 2,700 acres currently at the Civil War site. Doing so, he says, will protect it from residential and commercial development. His proposal has merit.

“Petersburg saw nearly one quarter of the Civil War fought in its surrounding area, and the preservation of these battlefields is important for future generations to understand and appreciate the significance of our nation’s history,” Sen. Webb says. “Next year marks the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, and this legislation serves as an appropriate and timely means to commemorate this significant historical event.” That’s certainly so, though finding the funds to underwrite the expansion will be tough given the nation’s current economic situation.

The Petersburg National Boundary Modification Act, if approved, would provide funding to purchase the additional acreage — which includes 12 surrounding battlefields — that is appraised at $29 million. It would also enable construction of a new visitors center. The expanded park, Sen. Webb says, would not protect historically significant land; it would also serve as an economic engine for the area. Tourism already generates millions of dollars annually in communities near the current park, and the expansion likely would attract additional visitors and revenue.

Metro Historical Commission Plans Civil War anniversary in Nashville (CWPT newsletter and Nashville Tennessean)

The Metro Historical Commission has formed a committee to gear up for the 150th anniversary of the Civil War in Nashville. The war began in 1861 when 11 states, including Tennessee, seceded from the United States and formed the Confederacy. The Battle of Nashville was fought over two days in December 1864 on land now known as Green Hills, destroying the Army of Tennessee, the second largest Confederate force.

Historical Commissioner Joan Armour said this is the commission’s first attempt to observe an anniversary of the War Between the States and study its affect on Nashville. During their Jan 25 meeting, commissioners discussed teaming with Metro Nashville Public Schools to teach students how Tennessee was instrumental in the war.

“I was shocked to find out they no longer teach Tennessee history, because I taught it to seventh graders eons ago,” said Armour, who is working to create a central calendar of events for the sesquicentennial. “Students need to know about their state. It’s part of their history and part of who they are.”

Commissioners are considering forming a group of speakers to lecture to schools, civic groups and at public events; partnering with a local theater group to present living history tours; producing public service announcements to broadcast on Metro Channel 3; and updating brochures. Huntington said she is working with school system administrators to
increase the number of field trips to local historic landmarks like Fort Negley and the Hermitage.

Editorial: Preserve And Protect History (CWPT newsletter and Chattanooga Times Free Press)

U.S. Sen. Jim Webb, a Virginia Democrat, wants to more than triple the size of his state’s Petersburg National Battlefield. He’s proposed legislation that would allow the National Park Service to acquire 7,200 acres to add to the nearly 2,700 acres currently at the Civil War site. Doing so, he says, will protect it from residential and commercial development. His proposal has merit.

“Petersburg saw nearly one quarter of the Civil War fought in its surrounding area, and the preservation of these battlefields is important for future generations to understand and appreciate the significance of our nation’s history,” Sen. Webb says. “Next year marks the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, and this legislation serves as an appropriate and timely means to commemorate this significant historical event.” That’s certainly so, though finding the funds to underwrite the expansion will be tough given the nation’s current economic situation.

The Petersburg National Boundary Modification Act, if approved, would provide funding to purchase the additional acreage — which includes 12 surrounding battlefields — that is appraised at $29 million. It would also enable construction of a new visitors center. The expanded park, Sen. Webb says, would not protect historically significant land; it would also serve as an economic engine for the area. Tourism already generates millions of dollars annually in communities near the current park, and the expansion likely would attract additional visitors and revenue.

Ft. Henry Hike

Hello everyone,

The folks at Land Between the Lakes are having a Civil War hiking tour of Ft. Henry’s outer works this coming Saturday, February 6th. The tour begins at 1 PM and concludes by 4 PM. There is no cost for the tour. February 6th, 1862 is when Ft. Henry surrendered to Union Army and Navy forces under Gen. Ulysses S. Grant and Flag Officer Andrew Foote.

Everyone will meet at the Ft. Henry Hiking Trail parking lot beforehand. Take HWY 79 west through Dover, TN and go until you reach Ft. Henry Road (the last road to the right into LBL before you reach the Tennessee River). Take that a few miles (pass Piney Creek Campground) until you see the signs for Boswell Landing and turn left there. At the gravel road go straight (the road to Boswell turns right here) and it takes you to the parking area. Please wear proper clothing and good walking shoes or boots.

For more information call (270)924-2020.

This will, of course, be dependent on the weather conditions.