September Newsletter and Meeting Notice

September 15th, 2010 – Our 78th Meeting! Our fifth in our new home – the Bone & Joint Center!

The next meeting of the Clarksville (TN) Civil War Roundtable will be on Wednesday, September 15th in our new home at the Bone & Joint Center, 980 Professional Park Drive, right across the street from Gateway Hospital. This is just off Dunlop Lane and Holiday Drive and only a few minutes east of Governor’s Square 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: “How Johnny Got His Gun: The Confederate Supply System”

It is a popular notion that the industry rich north fought the agricultural and industry-poor south and because of that industry crushed the southern hopes for independence. While some of that is indeed true, the north was heavily industrialized, the south did not lack for industry. If it had been as the myth follows, the war would have been over in six months. Instead, thanks to massive industrial growth in the 1850s, in particular Virginia, Georgia and Tennessee, but also northern Alabama, the Confederacy would outrank some European nations in terms of industrial output and eclipse all of them in terms of railroad mileage.

This program, by our own Greg Biggs, will examine the four major Confederate supply departments; quartermaster, commissary, ordnance and mining and nitre, and detail how efficient most of them actually were despite shortages and sometimes poor leadership. While there were indeed failures, most of it due to shortages of raw materials like lead and copper as well as rolling mills for rolling rail and iron plate, the Confederate supply bureaus performed miracles outfitting the military as needed. No Confederate army ever lost a battle due to a shortage of supplies or weapons. One true genius, Chief of Ordnance Josiah Gorgas, was the cream of the leadership in the supply system while the Davis Administration went through five Secretaries of War thanks to the micro-managing style of the Confederate president. Confederate supply policy and finances will also be examined.

Greg Biggs is president of the Clarksville CWRT and program chair of the Nashville CWRT. He has written several articles for Civil War publications including a recent issue of Blue & Gray magazine and has given lectures across the country. He also leads Civil War tours of the Fort Donelson Campaign, the Tullahoma Campaign and the Atlanta Campaign. He is currently writing Volunteer Banners: The Civil War Flags of Tennessee for the Tennessee State Museum and has contributed to several other books on Confederate flags.

Due to the passing of Mike Manning’s mother, his program will be moved to January, 2011. We all extend to Mike our deepest condolences and wish him and his family the best in this very sad time.


Tom Parson, park ranger from the Corinth Civil War Interpretive Center, gave an excellent program on the siege and battles for Corinth which took place between May and October, 1862. For whatever reason most Civil War students, even those of the Western Theater, overlook Corinth and its strategic importance in the war. Sitting astride the most important railroad of the Confederacy, the Memphis & Charleston, which intersected in town with the Mobile & Ohio Railroad, Corinth was a vital transportation center for the region. The town was the base for the Confederate Army of the Mississippi which fought at Shiloh and a target for the three armies under General Henry Halleck after that battle. Corinth was also a target for the Confederate Army of the West under Generals Earl Van Dorn and Sterling Price, who, in October, attacked the town seeking to pull Union troops away from the Kentucky Campaign that was ongoing at the same time. The fighting was savage with no holds barred. So close to victory, the Confederates were forced to fall back in defeat only to fight another battle the next day at Davis Bridge in Tennessee. Tom’s program was supported by excellent visuals and his command of the topic was exemplary and often delivered with humor and good personal accounts.

This is the most overlooked battle of the Western Theater. If you would like to learn much more about it then getting Tom Parson to visit your CWRT is the way to go. You will not be disappointed. Thanks Tom for coming to be with us!


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 – Mike Manning, Fort Donelson National Battlefield, “The Honey Springs Campaign, Indian Territory”

February, 2011 – Krista Castillo, Fort Negley Visitors Center – “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! Thank you if you have already done so.

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, veterans, 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!!


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 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:

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!

Events at Jefferson Davis State Historic Site, Fairview, Kentucky – October 9, 2010

Located only 20 minutes north of Clarksville is the Jefferson Davis State Historic Site. This marks the birthplace of the former U.S. Senator, Secretary of War and president of the Confederate States of America. New director Ron Sydnor (and Clarksville CWRT member) has plans for a number of programs for the park through the fall and winter and they begin on Saturday, October 9, 2010.

A number of family events are planned beginning at 11 AM and continuing through the day. Noted author Lester V. Horwitz will be speaking at 2 PM that afternoon. He is the author of the book The Longest Raid of the Civil War which is about General John Hunt Morgan’s raid through Indiana and Ohio in the summer of 1863. The day concludes with an evening tour of the Jefferson Davis monument. For more information please call (270)889-6100. Please support our fellow CWRT member and our neighbors in Kentucky!

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 beginning 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 age 5 and under getting in free. For more information please contact the Ft. Negley Visitors Center at (615)862-8470 or by email at:

Nation’s Oldest Civil War Monument Arrives at the Frazier Museum, Louisville, KY August 18, 2010 (Louisville, Ky.)

The nation’s oldest existing Civil War memorial arrived at its new home Wednesday, the Frazier International History Museum. Known as the “Bloedner Monument,” the 3,500-pound limestone memorial is of exceptional national and historical significance, especially as the country approaches the Civil War’s 150th anniversary in 2011. The Bloedner Monument, whose official name is the 32nd Indiana Infantry Monument, was carved in the weeks following the 1861 Battle of Rowlett’s Station near Munfordville, Ky., and recently was conserved following decades of exposure at Cave Hill National Cemetery where it had been since 1867. It now is on display in the Frazier Museum’s lobby, where visitors can see it for free.

The Battle of Rowlett’s Station was a one-hour skirmish on December 17, 1861 during which the 32nd Indiana Infantry, a regiment of German-Americans, warded off a Confederate attack. Union Pvt. August Bloedner used a natural outcrop of limestone to fashion the monument to honor 13 of his fellow soldiers killed in battle. It was placed on the graves at Munfordville before the infantry marched on. In 1867, the remains of 11 of the soldiers and their monument were moved to the northwest corner of historic Cave Hill National Cemetery in Louisville.

In December 2008, the fragile Bloedner Monument was transported to a curatorial facility at the University of Louisville where it was conserved by Conservation Solutions, Inc. A new monument designed to pay homage to the original will be returned to Cave Hill next year with informational markers. The Bloedner Monument is on loan to the Frazier Museum for a minimum of 10 years.

The museum was selected to house the monument based on its Civil War exhibition plans, controlled environment, financial stability and annual visitation, according to its owner, the National Cemetery Administration, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. The Frazier Museum currently is developing a new Civil War exhibition that will be on display starting in the fall of 2011. The original exhibit, entitled “My Brother, My Enemy,” will center around Kentucky’s unique experience as a border state and how its physical and political positioning lead to deep divisions among families and friends

(Editor’s note: With the removal of this monument from Rowlett’s Station some years ago, the oldest Civil War monument still on the same site is the Hazen Monument at Stones River National Battlefield. This monument was built in 1863.)

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 go to the “Events” page, click on “3-Star Battlefield Tour” and submit the online registration form.

Filson Historical Society’s Civil War Field Institute Tour of Franklin and Nashville – October 14-16, 2010

The Battles of Franklin and Nashville destroyed the Confederate Army of Tennessee as an effective fighting force. What was left of the command returned to Alabama and would spend the rest of the war fighting at Mobile and in North Carolina. The Filson Historical Society of Louisville, KY, and their Civil War Field Institute, is offering a two day tour of these sites lead by the incomparable Thomas Cartwright, former historian and director of the Carter House in Franklin. Keynote speaker for the Thursday evening reception and dinner will be noted historian and author James McDonough.

The cost for the tour for Filson members is $280 and $330 for non-members. This will cover the tour, all fees for sites, two lunches, an evening reception and the Thursday evening dinner. All tours will be on a chartered bus. For more information please contact Scott Scarboro at (502)635-5083 or you can send payment to:

The Filson Historical Society

c/o Scott Scarboro CWFI

1310 S Third Street

Louisville, KY 40208

Tours by the Filson Historical Society are well-organized and they work very hard to make sure their guests get a lot of value for the money. Your editor has been privileged to lead tours for them and can attest to how good this organization is.

Franklin, Tennessee Battlefield News (From the Save the Franklin Battlefield newsletter)

Our friends of the Save the Franklin Battlefield are busy trying hard to save hallowed ground for this pivotal battle. Recently, the city’s aldermen, in a unanimous vote, approved $369,000 to design and build a driving loop for the Eastern Flank Battlefield Park. This new road is needed to relieve congestion from neighboring residential streets and to enhance the visitor’s tour experience. This is great news indeed and our thanks to go the leadership of Franklin, Tennessee for being so far-sighted and appreciating their local history.

News of two other land parcels coming up for sale is also exciting. One 5 acre parcel and an 11 acre parcel, near the Collins Farm, are being offered for sale and STFB is working with the land owners to secure them for posterity. Both are close to the Federal trench line and on land where Loring’s Confederate Division crossed into a storm of fire. If you wish to help STFB and their efforts please send donations to: Save the Franklin Battlefield, PO Box 851, Franklin, TN 37065-0851

Please visit their web site at: They also have news on the site for the upcoming Battle of Franklin, October 15-17 at Franklin’s Harlinsdale Park, just north of downtown Franklin.

Civil War Encampment at Historic Mansker’s Station, Goodlettsville, TN

Mansker’s Station park will hold a Civil War encampment along with their regular fall history events on Saturday, October 2nd, 2010. The site is dedicated to preserving the colonial history of Tennessee and besides the reconstructed fort for the period, the Bowen House, one of the first built with bricks in Tennessee, is also onsite. The day will feature encampments from 1780 to 1862 along with tours of the Bowen House and the fort along with skirmishes. Tickets can be purchased at the park visitors center; children under 5 are free. For more information please see: Mansker’s Station is also part of the Tennessee Civil War Trails program.

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