Clarksville Civil War Roundtable
Founded March, 2004 – Clarksville, Tennessee
April 21st, 2010 – Our 73rd Meeting!
The next meeting of the Clarksville (TN) Civil War Roundtable will be on Wednesday, April 21st, 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:
“NANNIE HASKINS’ CIVIL WAR – The Diary Of A Clarksville Woman Under Occupation”
In the 1990s, Ken Burns introduced Nannie Haskins to the American public through his PBS series, The Civil War. Nannie was a Clarksville teenager when Union soldiers occupied
the city after the fall of Ft. Donelson in mid-February, 1862. Two of her brothers fought for the Confederacy and she was passionate in her hatred of the Yankees. As a talented writer
she chronicled her experiences and observations in an artfully written diary. Civil War historians have used the unpublished diaries in their studies because of her wonderful prose
which provide excellent quotes. Most recently, Drew Gilpin Foust quoted Nannie in her recent study of Civil War death and grieving. Nannie’s diary talks about the difficulty of obtaining
reliable news, Union pickets and colored soldiers, the difficulty in getting passes and restrictions on religious practices. She also wrote about the violence and guerrilla warfare that
exploded in the Clarksville area but did not ignore the social life that developed during this time of crisis. She describes the pain of losing a brother who died in a northern POW camp
after being captured at Ft. Donelson. Another brother was captured after Gettysburg. Both events reinforced her well-known hatred of Yankees.
Her Civil War years remembrances are historically significant but they only chronicle a short period of her sporadic journaling. When her descendents donated her diary to the
Tennessee State Library they did not see the value of the entries after the war and excluded them. In fact, Nannie’s story did not end with the Civil War and she wrote periodically in
1869, 1871, 1880-1883, 1885-1890. These entries belie the southern belle image. She chronicles her life as she matures, marries, settles across the state line in Kentucky and
struggles with the challenges of rearing four step children and six of her own. In 1870, twenty-two year old Nannie married widower Henry Williams, a farmer. By choosing a farmer
she secured a fate of financial uncertainty and faced rearing her family on the whims of the fickle tobacco market. Yet, throughout the sixteen years she kept the diary she expressed
no regret at her choice and recorded instances of loving attention Henry paid her such as gathering bouquets of wild flowers. Nannie Haskins Williams died in 1930.
Nannie’s diary, in its entirety, describes her life not only in the Civil War context, but also marriage, economic struggles of farm life in the Reconstruction and post Reconstruction South.
The Williams farm grew dark-fired tobacco unique to Western Kentucky and Middle Tennessee. The diary contains entries recording her worry over debt and mortgage payments.
One concern was that her children, including her daughters, obtain good educations in the changing South.
The wonderful story of Nannie Haskins will be presented this month by Dr. Minoa Uffelman, associate professor of history at Austin Peay State University. She will be ably assisted
by Phyllis Smith and Ellen Kanervo who are part of the team that are transcribing Nannie’s diary. It is hoped that the completed project will be published by the University of Tennessee
Press. With the growing interest in the civilian and especially female side of the war and Reconstruction, this would be a most valuable contribution. Anyone familiar with the Ken
Burns series will know of Nannie’s whit as well as her poignant pen.
We very much look forward to hearing about the talented young lady who, through her words and modern media, has helped to put Clarksville on the Civil War map.
LAST MONTH’S MEETING
The one and only Thomas Cartwright gave a wonderful and impassioned program on the Battle of Thompson’s Station, March 5th, 1863 which involved a nasty fight between Confederate cavalry forces under Generals Earl Van Dorn and Nathan Bedford Forrest against a Union brigade under Col. John Coburn. The end result was the capture of Coburn’s brigade as well as a split between Forrest and Van Dorn and a further threat to the Union supply base at Nashville. With personal stories and accounts as well as tactical details, Cartwright brought a lot of lot on a little known battle in Tennessee. Thanks Thomas for a terrific program!
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”
September, 2010 – Michael Manning, Ft. Donelson National Battlefield – TBA
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!!
CIVIL WAR NEWS AND EVENTS:
Parker’s Crossroads Battlefield Association Fund Raising Rummage Sale – May 15th, 2010 – plus Dr. Lonnie Maness and battlefield tour on May 1st
The Parkers Crossroads Battlefield Association will sponsor a rummage sale/flea market style fund raiser on Saturday, May 15th from 9am -3 pm. Proceeds will assist the June Living History expenses. The “rummage sale” will be held in the field adjacent to the Log Cabin Visitors Center at 20650 Highway 22 North. Po Boy’s (Pizza Place) of Parkers Crossroads has offered the use of their large and COLORFUL special events tent for the event.
The event organizer is Deborah Teague. Should you have items to donate or can help with the sale, do call 731-845-3114 or email email@example.com Donated items can be left at the Visitor’s Center on weekends during regular operating hours of 9am to 5pm. Parker’s Crossroads is just off I-40 at Exit 108 west of Nashville.
On May 1st, there will be a lecture and discussion, entitled “Forrest’s First West Tennessee Campaign – December 1862,” by Dr. Lonnie E. Maness. Dr. Maness is the author of the
only book covering Forrest’s West Tennessee Raid and is a known scholar of the general. Immediately following the lecture, State Representative and battlefield historian Steve
McDaniel will host a short walking tour of the battlefield highlighting locations significant to the battle. The event, free to the public will be on Saturday, May 1st at 2:00. It will be held
in the Parkers Crossroads City Park Activities Building. For more information, contact the Parkers Crossroads Visitors Center at 731-968-1191.
Chickamauga/Chattanooga National Military Park Civil War Symposium – April 24th, 2010
The Face of Battle: The Secession Crisis
In commemoration of the pivotal events that occurred 150 years ago during the volatile year of 1860, Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park will present a symposium about the critical events of 1860 and how they affected the Chattanooga area as the country slid toward civil war. The event will occur at the Chickamauga Battlefield Visitor Center Theater on Saturday, April 24, 2010 beginning at 8:45 a.m.
Speakers will cover a variety of topics related to the Secession Crisis in the local area and the country as a whole. As we enter the 150th anniversary of the beginning of the American Civil War, we look to the events that led to the firing on Fort Sumter in 1861. Who were the men that led the way to this event? What thoughts went through the people’s minds as their country began to tear itself apart? Why did they feel it was no longer possible for them to remain part of the United States? We will look at the men and the challenges that they faced during this critical time as the Union began to dissolve.
Speakers and their topics include:
8:45 a.m. Welcome
9:00 a.m. Dr. Daryl Black, “Christian Newspapers and their Coverage of the Secession Crisis”
9:45 a.m. Patrick Lewis, “High Private: How Sam Watkins’ Sideshow Obscured the Big Show of American History”
10:30 a.m. Dr. Keith Bohannon, “Secessionists, Cooperationists, and Unionists: North Georgians Debate the Creation of a Southern Republic, 1860-1861.”
11:15 a.m. Sam Davis Elliott, “Tennessee Governor Isham G. Harris and the Coming of the Civil War”
12:00 p.m. Question and Answers with the speakers.
Reservations are required. Please contact the Chickamauga Battlefield Visitor Center at (706) 866-9241 to reserve a space by the afternoon of April 23, 2010. For more information about programs at Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park, contact the Chickamauga Battlefield Visitor Center at (706) 866-9241, the Lookout Mountain Battlefield Visitor Center at (423) 821-7786, or visit the park’s website at http://www.nps.gov/chch.
More Civil War era Newspapers Come Online
The newspapers of the Civil War are a vast treasure trove of wonderful information on the war from various perspectives. Political, military, home front and much more were covered and some of the bigger papers, north and south, had embedded reporters within armies. When coupled with the letters to the papers from soldiers, these papers remain tremendous research avenues for modern historians should they choose to take the time to go through them. The New York Times has its own historical online site but two new sources are worth reporting here. Iowa newspapers are now online thanks to: http://iowaoldpress.com. The site is fully searchable and easy to use.
Several Georgia Civil War newspapers are also now online. The Digital Library of Georgia is pleased to announce the availability of a new online resource: The Atlanta Historic Newspapers Archive: http://dlg.galileo.usg.edu/atlnewspapers. The Atlanta Historic Newspapers Archive provides online access to fourteen newspaper titles published in Atlanta from 1847 to 1922.
The archive includes the following Atlanta newspaper titles: Atlanta Daily Examiner (1857), Atlanta Daily Herald (1873-1876), Atlanta Georgian (1906-1911), Atlanta Intelligencer (1851, 1854-1871), Atlantian (1911-1922), Daily/Georgia Weekly Opinion (1867-1868), Gate-City Guardian (1861), Georgia Literary and Temperance Crusader (1860-1861), New Era (1869-1872), Southern Confederacy (1861-1864), Southern Miscellany, and Upper Georgia Whig (1847), Southern World (1882-1885), Sunny South (1875-1907), Weekly Constitution (1869-1882).
The Atlanta Historic Newspapers Archive is a project of the Digital Library of Georgia as part of the Georgia HomePLACE initiative. The project is supported with federal LSTA funds administered by the Institute of Museum and Library Services through the Georgia Public Library Service, a unit of the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia.
Other newspaper archives available through the Digital Library of Georgia include the Macon Telegraph Archive (1826-1908), the Columbus Enquirer Archive (1828-1890), the Milledgeville Historic Newspaper Archive (1808-1920), the Southern Israelite Archive (1929-1958, 1984-1986), and the Red and Black Archive (1893-2006). These archives can be accessed at: http://dlg.galileo.usg.edu/MediaTypes/Newspapers.html
Tennessee Civil War preservation Association and the Tennessee State Library and Archives seeking photos, letters and more from the Civil War for preservation
The Tennessee Civil War Preservation Association and the Tennessee State Library & Archives combines for the Tennessee Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission’s project “Looking Back: The Civil War in Tennessee.” This will provide an opportunity for Tennesseans to preserve their family’s Civil War Heritage and have digital copies of their ancestor’s writings and belongings become part of a virtual exhibit commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Civil War in Tennessee.
TSLA will send teams of professional archivists and conservators to communities across Tennessee. People can schedule an appointment and the team will digitally copy and help preserve your Civil War era manuscripts, artifacts and photographs. All digital imaging (scanning and photography) is done on site and all materials will be carefully handled and returned to their owners. The project begins in April, 2010 and will continue through 2015. Advance publicity will let people know when they will be in specific communities.
The following are being sought: Civil War letters, photographs, diaries, weapons (swords, knives, etc), military passes and discharges, hand-drawn maps and sketches, and uniforms. All items must be original (no photo copies) and owned by the person who is bringing them in for digitization. Those who participate will receive basic conservation supplies for their items, digital copies of the images and the opportunity to have their Civil War memorabilia preserved, digitized, and shared online for future generations! For more information please call 615.253.3470, email: firstname.lastname@example.org or visit http://www.tn.gov/tsla/cwtn.
Resaca, Georgia Battlefield Rebirth – Chattanooga Times Free Press (Courtesy of the CWPT newsletter)
A few weeks ago, Ken Padgett was ready to sound the bugle and retreat from Resaca Battlefield. After 20 years of fighting, he thought he’d lost the effort to create a park at the site, where about 150,000 Union and Confederate troops waged war in 1864. “We thought everyone was going to walk away,” Mr. Padgett said, standing where the entrance to the park would be off Resaca-LaFayette Road near the Interstate 75 interchange. “We feel if that were to happen, (the park) was never going to happen.”
But a letter drafted by the Gordon County Commission and sent to the state Department of Natural Resources has breathed new life into the project. Last Tuesday, the Gordon County Commission agreed to ask the state to get started on the 540-acre site with plans to expand it when state revenues pick up. Under the proposal, the Department of Natural Resources would use allotted funds to build a road, parking area and interpretive trails at the site, according to Gordon County Commission Chairman Alvin Long. Kim Hatcher, a spokeswoman for Georgia State Parks, said building the road, trails, outdoor exhibits and restrooms is possible, but nothing has been agreed upon.
On top of that, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers required the county to reapply for permits to build in a flood plain, which the state already had granted. Getting new permits would have delayed the project at least six months, and officials want the park open for the 150th anniversary of the Civil War beginning in 2011.
Belmont Mansion presents “Hacking and Hewing: The Tale of Civil War Triage” – May 7-8, 2010
On Friday, May 7, at 5.30 pm, join Civil War historian, Dr. James Hayden, for an hour lecture on “Civil War Medical Practices Through the Eyes of a Modern Physician.” On Saturday, May 8, and Sunday, May 9, during Belmont Mansion’s regular tour hours, Dr. Hayden will answer questions and present his extensive collection of Civil War era medical equipment. Dr. Hayden will describe, in depth, the steps a wounded Civil War soldier would have gone through from the battlefield to the operating table and beyond. The practices and procedures used by the medical core and its officers will be described and explained from Surgeon to medical steward. The procedures developed and used during the American Civil War are still used on battlefields and in hospitals throughout the world today.
Dr. Hayden is a practicing doctor and Civil War historian and he has given programs for several National Civil War parks as well as the National Museum of Civil War Medicine. Belmont Mansion, in Nashville, is open daily for guided tours, Monday-Saturday from 10am-4pm and Sunday from 1-4pm. For general inquiries and inquiries related to the Civil War Medical Lecture, please visit http://e2ma.net/go/6646573878/208162335/212209841/1401421/goto:http://www.belmontmansion.com or call 615-460-5459.
CLARKSVILLE CWRT OFFICERS – The membership voted last month to retain the current slate of officers. The officers thank the membership for their votes of confidence.