Looking Back: The Civil War in Tennessee

We in Montgomery County were fortunate to have already had a visit from the folks at TSLA, as they documented the Civil War artifacts in our county. If you missed it, take a look at this video shot on their visit to Fort Negley, in Nashville!

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August Newsletter and Meeting Notice

August 18th, 2010 – Our 77th Meeting! Our fourth in our new home – the Bone & Joint Center!

The next meeting of the Clarksville (TN) Civil War Roundtable will be on Wednesday, August 18th in our new home at the Bone & Joint Center, 980 Professional Park Drive, right across from Gateway Hospital. This is just off Dunlop Lane and Holiday Drive and only a few minutes from the mall. 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 Battle of Corinth, October 3-4, 1862”

August through early October,1862 was the only time during the Civil War where the armed forces of the Confederacy were on the offensive in all theaters of war. Robert E. Lee was
operating in Maryland; Braxton Bragg and Edmund Kirby Smith were moving into Kentucky and Confederate forces in the Trans-Mississippi were also marching forward. This period
was indeed, in the words of noted historian Ed Bearss, the true high water mark of the Confederacy.

Also on the offensive in northern Mississippi was the Army of the West, troops brought over from Arkansas for the Shiloh campaign (but arriving too late), under Generals Earl Van
Dorn and Sterling Price. The original plan was for them to move into west Tennessee and prevent Grant from sending reinforcements to Kentucky. Instead, these forces moved into
northern Mississippi fighting battles at Iuka and Corinth. Corinth was a vital railroad junction and it was hoped that if the Union army stationed there could be destroyed before the
Confederates could move into Tennessee. But it was not to be. Corinth was a Confederate defeat with the retreating army being pursued and almost cut off by aggressive Union
troops. Corinth is also the biggest battle of the Western Theater that most people know little about.

That will indeed change this month as Corinth Civil War Interpretive Center ranger Tom Parson joins us for his program on this pivotal battle. A new visitor’s center opened there a
few years ago and more interpretation of the area has been done enhancing the experience for the Civil War buff.

Tom Parson is from southern California and a U.S. Navy veteran of 20 years. In 1999, he joined the National Park Service at Shiloh National Military Park and in 2004 became the
park ranger assigned to the new Corinth Civil War Interpretive Center. Tom is interested in historic preservation and works with the parks across the country in that aspect. He is the
author of Bear Flag and Bay State in The Civil War: The Californians of the Second Massachusetts Cavalry as well as “Hell On The Hatchie,” about the Battle of Davis Bridge in
Tennessee just after Corinth, for Blue & Gray magazine. Tom has an upcoming Blue & Gray article on Gen. Earl van Dorn’s Holly Springs raid of December, 1862. He lives in Corinth,
Mississippi with his wife Nita and daughter Sarah.

LAST MONTH’S MEETING

Joe Reinhart, noted author and historian, presented a well-researched program on the 9th Ohio Infantry, also known as the 1st German Regiment of Ohio. The program was based on his new book of letters of two members of that regiment. An interesting aspect of the program was his accounting of how the German immigrants perceived themselves in their new land, one they were more than willing to fight for. There was prejudice against them, which was often returned, and it served to create a self-imposed xenophobia on the German community of America. This would not dissipate until the early 20th Century. And yet more Germans than any other immigrant group served in the Union Army during the war fighting not only Confederates but also the often perceived image of being cowards thanks to the sometimes lack-luster performance of the 11th Corps of the Army of the Potomac, in particular at Chancellorsville.

Reinhart is probably the expert on the Germans of the Civil War and this program was one of the more enlightening this reviewer has ever heard. The depth of his research showed throughout the presentation. The 9th Ohio was a fascinating unit and the words of the men of the regiment added a distinctly human element to his fine program. Thanks very much for coming to visit with us!

FUTURE PROGRAMS:

September, 2010 – Michael Manning, Ft. Donelson National Battlefield – Honey Springs Campaign, Indian Territory
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 – John Marler, Battle of Franklin Trust/former Petersburg National Battlefield – “The Petersburg Campaign”
January, 2011 – Greg Biggs, Clarksville CWRT – “How Johnny Got His Gun: The Confederate Supply System”
February, 2011 – Krista Castillo, Ft. Negley Park, Nashville – “From the Pages of Harper’s Weekly: The Illustrations of Thomas Nast, Reconstruction Politics and Popular Consciousness”
March, 2011 – David Simpson, Robert Hatton Camp, SCV, Lebanon, TN – “Ellis Harper – Guerrilla or Partisan?”
April, 2010 – Thomas Flagel, Columbia State Community College – “Great Panic Prevails: How The Press Reported The Battle Of Nashville”
May, 2011 – Kent Wright, Tennessee Valley CWRT, “Ellet’s Rams”
June, 2011 – TBA
July, 2011 – Bobby Krick, historian, Richmond National Battlefield – “The Staff Of Robert E. Lee”
November, 2011 – Eric Jacobson, Battle of Franklin Trust – “Baptism of Fire: The Role of Federal Recruits at the Battle of Franklin”

MEMBERS AND DUES: – Your name badge will have a white ribbon if you are current with your dues. If it only has ribbons of other colors, please pay your dues at this meeting! July is our dues month so please make your plans to pay them 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:

Tennessee Division SCV and the N.B. Forrest SCV Camp Annual Forrest Conference – “Forrest at Chickamauga” – Saturday, 25, 2010

The annual Nathan Bedford Forrest Conference will be held in the Chattanooga, Tennessee area with the this year’s focus being “Forrest at Chickamauga.” The event will be held on Saturday, September 25, 2010. The event begins at 9 am and concludes at 5 pm. The cost is only $45 and will include lunch and the afternoon tour of the battlefield where Forrest fought in September, 1863. The seminar will be held at the Colonnade Event Center, 264 Catoosa Circle, Ringgold, GA. This is off Battlefield Parkway, I-75, Exit 350, just east of the Chickamauga Battlefield.

Speakers include – Professor Brian Steel Wills, University of Virginia. Author of: “The Confederacy’s Greatest Cavalryman: Nathan Bedford Forrest;” James H. Ogden, III, Historian, Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park; and Morris M. Penny, NASA Aerospace Engineer (retired) Marshall Space Flight Center. For more information please contact: Terry Siler at (423) 842-5963, or by email at: tenncoastie@aol.com.

We hope you will support this fine event which is a production of Tennessee Division Sons of Confederate Veterans and the NB Forrest SCV camp of Chattanooga. This promises to be a great one!

2010 Southern Civilian Conference – Belmont Mansion, Nashville, Tennessee – August 20-22, 2010

The next Southern Civilian conference is set for Friday-Sunday, August 20-22nd, 2010 for Belmont Mansion in Nashville, Tennessee. These three days are for Civil War historians and civilian re-enactors and are filled with seminars and workshops to help educate you on your impression or just to learn about life during this era.

The event begins Friday morning at 8 am and concludes that evening with a reception at Belmont Mansion complete with period music and a one-act play on Sam Davis and Mary Patterson. Saturday features 6 seminars and Sunday offers two more. All of the details can be obtained by email to Linda Massey at MasseyLA@aol.com. You can also write for details to LSFS Conference, 7465 Indian Creek Road, Nashville, TN 37209. If you register by August 1st the event is only $145; after that it rises to $175. There are student discounts and fees for single events. Period vendors will be in attendance.

Speakers include Janet Hasson (retired Belle Meade curator), Thomas Flagel (Columbia State University), Jennifer Lamb (Belle Meade), Al Nippert, Mark Brown (Belmont Mansion), Barbara Sullivan (Grassmere Historic Farm) and Karel Lea Biggs (Nashville and Clarksville CWRTs). Workshop instructors include Mary Canavan (Victorian Christmas decorations), Pat Bridges (Theorem painting), Chrissy Davis (period dance) and Chris Roberts (Gourmet campfire cooking). The workshops have extra but nominal fees.

This ongoing conference is sponsored by the Ladies Soldiers’ Friend Society and Belmont Mansion. We hope you support this wonderful event!

Ft. Negley, Nashville, TN Living History and Military Demonstration – Saturday, September 25, 2010

The Friends of Ft. Negley, in conjunction with Metro Parks and the Ft. Negley Visitors Center, present a Civil War living history and military demonstration. The event will be held on Saturday, September 25, 2010 and will begin at 9 am concluding at 5 pm. There will be civilian and military encampments with Confederate and Union troops; artillery and small arms demonstrations, a dismounted cavalry raid and much more! Union Gen. George H. Thomas, the “Rock of Chickamauga,” will also be there!

All of this great family fun costs only $5 per person with children 5 and under getting in free. For more information please contact the Ft. Negley Visitors Center at (615)862-8470 or by email at: fortnegley@nashville.gov

Tennessee Civil War License Plates Still For Sale – Help Save Tennessee Battlefields!

The Official Tennessee Sesquicentennial License Plate is available for purchase at the Tennessee Civil War Preservation Association web site. Please go to – http://www.tcwpa.org/license-plate – and all of the pertinent information will be there for you.

TCWPA will receive $15.62 of the $35.00 fee – and those funds will support battlefield preservation with a portion of the proceeds will go to agencies or organizations in your county for the purchase or maintenance of the Civil War trails signs. What a great way to help our state’s history!

Tennessee Civil War Preservation Association 3 Star Battlefield Tour – Knoxville, November 6, 2010

The Tennessee Civil War Preservation Association works very hard to preserve the sacred battlefields of our state. To help bring awareness to these sites, they conduct guided tours utilizing experts on that field to help bring the story to life. This year’s tour will at sites for the Battle of Knoxville. Guides include Dr. Joan Markel, of the University of Tennessee (and the Knoxville CWRT) and documentary maker Steve Dean (who made the excellent DVD on the Battle of Fort Sanders available from the Frank H. McClung Museum at the University of Tennessee).

Participants will visit privately owned sites – some newly identified remnants of Fort Higley, a long-forgotten military road, and the coves and ridges where the little known Battle of Armstrong Hill pitted Confederate veterans of Gettysburg and Chickamauga against completely green troops of the 103rd Ohio. Learn about the Siege of Knoxville and Orlando Poe’s brilliant defensive fortifications in this “behind the scenes” tour. The tour will begin Saturday morning and finish by noon. Times, locations, and other events will be posted online as they are finalized. The events are free and open to the public, however, participants must register by visiting http://www.tcwpa.org: go to the “Events” page, click on “3-Star Battlefield Tour” and submit the online registration form.

Participants are encouraged to wear comfortable, weather protective clothing and good walking shoes. Site visits will include some walking on unimproved trails and access roads. Because of the limited parking at the sites, participants are encouraged to car-pool from the starting point at the Frank H. McClung Museum in downtown Knoxville where an overview of the events of 1863 will augment participants’ appreciation of the physical evidence of this city’s violent past.

Civil War Preservation Trust Web Site has a wealth of battle field information

The Civil War Preservation Trust is the nation’s leading organization devoted to the purchase of Civil War land for preservation. Over the years, they have saved thousands of acres of battlefields, some under direct development threat. We encourage you to join their ranks when you can as your dues will help preserve these sacred fields.

In addition to news about their projects, their excellent web site – http://www.civilwar.org – offers details on battles with great color maps (some animated) as well as recorded tours and interviews with noted historians. Recent battles added to the site are Glendale in Virginia, Bentonville in North Carolina and Davis Bridge in west Tennessee (which will become the state’s newest battlefield park). You can literally spend hours on their site!

There’s also places where you can donate to save specific battles as well as join their ranks. They feature an online book store along with other articles for sale from which they derive funding for their great cause. Have fun!

Franklin, Tennessee Civil War Roundtable

Our neighboring CWRT down in Franklin, Tennessee has been going strong for nearly three years. They bring in great speakers of local, regional and national stature, and have been a real help to the Franklin’s Charge battlefield preservation group as well.

This CWRT meets the second Sunday of each month at the Williamson County Library, which is on the Columbia Pike in Franklin just south of the Carter House. Meetings begin at 3 PM. For more information please email president Greg Wade at: greglwade@yahoo.com, or visit http://www.franklinscharge.com/round-table. Greg is also the area writer for the Civil War News covering events in Middle Tennessee.

New Issue of Blue & Gray Magazine on Middle Tennessee’s Tullahoma Campaign

The current issue of Blue & Gray magazine, which features an excellent article on this overlooked campaign by Michael Bradley, also has a two page article on the rise of the western Union cavalry by our own Greg Biggs. If this campaign is of interest to you, then stop by your local newsstand, Borders or Books A Million and pick it up. Blue & Gray not only features great articles on battles or campaigns often by noted authors, but also detailed directions on how to go see the sites – many off the beaten path – and the best battlefield maps you can ever hope for.

If you have never been on a tour of this campaign, it evolved in some of the prettiest scenery of our state and is well worth taking the time to visit Hoover’s Gap, Bell Buckle, Wartace, Tullahoma, Sewanee, Cowan and more. Be sure to take the magazine with you!

Murray State University’s 9th Annual Banquet to Benefit the Dr. James Hammack Jr. Scholarship

The 9th Annual Dr. James Hammack Jr. Scholarship Dinner will be held at 7 PM on Saturday, September 25th, 2010 at the Curris Center Ballroom on the campus of Murray State University in Murray, Kentucky. The keynote speaker will be Dr. G. Kurt Piehler, Associate Professor of History at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville. His program will be, “The Religious Life of the GI During World War 2.” The event is open to the public and reservations are $40 per person. For more information and to make your reservations please call 270-809-2234 or email kay.hays@murraystate.edu

The event’s proceeds go to the Dr. James Hammack Jr. Scholarship fund which helps students attend Murray State University. We know that many of our members are interested in other areas of military history and we thank Murray State for letting us know about this event.

Fort Negley Event!

The new Friends of Ft. Negley are having a kick-off event on Thursday, August 12, 2010. This is a fund-raiser to help with things for Ft. Negley Park in Nashville, Tennessee. If you have something to donate for the auction please contact the number below – everything helps! We hope you will support the event, the first of many to come.

You and a guest are cordially invited to attend a

wine reception and silent auction

to benefit

Friends of Fort Negley

Thursday, August 12, 2010

5:30 – 7:30 p.m.

Fort Negley Visitor’s Center

Nashville, Tennessee

Special Guest speaker

Thomas Flagel

author and historian

Friends of Fort Negley

in partnership with Metropolitan Board of Parks and Recreation

RSVP (615) 804-5068