January Meeting Notice and Newsletter

January 19th, 2011 – Our 82nd Meeting!

The next meeting of the Clarksville (TN) Civil War Roundtable will be on Wednesday, January 19th 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: “They Fought Like Veterans: Honey Springs and the Civil War in the Indian Territory”

The Civil War in the Indian Territory, now the State of Oklahoma, is very much overlooked despite the number of battles fought there. The Five Civilized Tribes (Cherokee, Choctaw, Chickasaw, Creek and Seminole) were split in their North-South sentiments. The Choctaw and Chickasaw were openly pro-Confederate and the larger percentage of the Cherokee was also in that camp. Their battle flags bore red stars in addition to the white stars for the Confederate states. The Seminole and Creek were more pro-Union.

The war in this region began before the Trail of Tears and the secession of the Southern states only exacerbated the sentiments for all sides. Much of this was based on the civil war within the Cherokee Nation. The Creeks and Seminoles also experienced a split of sorts between them and the Cherokee and Creek were also in argument – over slavery. Many of the US Government Indian Agents were from the South and they brought their beliefs with them which carried great influence. Among them was Elias Rector, who resigned and joined the Confederacy along with Albert Pike, the Confederate government’s Indian Agent.

Treaties were signed and sides were chosen and Indian units were raised for both sides. Confederate Indians would fight with Ben McCulloch and Albert Pike both inside the Indian Territory as well as in other states like Arkansas. Confederate Indian cattle would help feed Southern armies for a time. The resulting choices the tribes made affected them greatly for the next four years. A number of Union campaigns invaded Indian Territory with the goal of forcing it back into the Federal camp and several battles were fought like Honey Springs. These campaigns and battles will be the focus of this month’s program by our own Michael Manning, Chief Ranger of Fort Donelson National Battlefield.

Michael Manning is a 21-year veteran of the National Park Service. He previously served in various other NPS areas including Horseshoe Bend National Military Park, Alabama, Fort Larned National Historic Site, Kansas, and Scotts Bluff National Monument, Nebraska. He previously served as the military-related National Historic Landmarks coordinator for the NPS in Oklahoma. He holds a BS degree in Criminal Justice from Northeastern State University, Tahlequah,Oklahoma and an MA degree in Military History from the American Military University. He served five years with the U.S. Navy Seabees as well as another seven years as a First Lieutenant in the Military Police Corps of the U.S. Army Reserve and National Guard. He is also a graduate of the Land Management Police Training Pr

ogram at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Glynco, Georgia. Mike began his historic interpretation work while still a student at Northeastern State University by first volunteering then becoming a part-time Historic Site Attendant with the Oklahoma Historical Society at Fort Gibson Historic Site.

Please join us as Michael Manning of the Clarksville CWRT tells us much more about the Civil War in the Indian Territory.


As the membership knows, snow forced the cancellation of the December meeting; the first we have lost in our history due to bad weather. We have John Marler set for this coming August. Do not miss this program as it is excellent!


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 – James Swan, author, – “Chicago’s Irish Legion In Dixie – The 90th Illinois Infantry.”

July 2011 – Bobby Krick, historian, Richmond National Battlefield – “The Staff Of Robert E. Lee”

August 2011 – John Marler, Battle of Franklin Trust – “The Siege of Petersburg”

September 2011 – TBA

October 2011 – TBA

November 2011 – Eric Jacobson, Battle of Franklin Trust – “Baptism of Fire: The Role of Federal Recruits at the Battle of Franklin”

December 2011 – TBA

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! 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!!


Major Richard “Dick” Winters, Easy Company, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division, passes away

While not Civil War related at all, this notice will be appreciated for everyone that watched the amazing series Band Of Brothers, about Easy Company of the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment of the 101st Airborne Division. One of the “stars” of the series was Richard Winters who rose from platoon leader to company commander to the staff of the regiment. The series followed the recruiting of Easy Company from Toccoa, Georgia and Mount Currahee to war’s end at Berchtesgaden with Normandy, Arnhem and the Battle of the Bulge in between. The bulwarks of the company through thick and thin, were the “Toccoa men” who held them together when the chips were down and men were falling around them. Dick Winters was a key player in that. It was Dick Winters’ tactical plan that captured the German guns at Brecourt Manor in Normandy, still studied today at West Point. It was Dick Winters who prayed that if he survived the war all he wanted was a nice and peaceful place to live life. He got that near Hershey, Pennsylvania and although he was placed back in America’s limelight with Band of Brothers, it was not something he eagerly sought. The World War 2 generation always knew that they had a job to do and they did it to the best of their abilities. We know that they saved the world from tyranny.

Major Winters passed away January 9, 2011 at the age of 92. Currahee Major Winters!

Austin Peay State University in Clarksville Offers Civil War Play – Friday, January 21, 2011 at 7:30 PM

Elizabeth Davidson, a noted Nashville based actress, will be performing a one-woman play, Harriett Beecher Stowe: A Literary Soldier. Directed by Robert Keifer, the play will offer a look into the life of the noted abolitionist and author of Uncle Tom’s Cabin. A discussion will be held after the performance. The play will be held at the Trahern Theater on the APSU Campus. For more information please call (931)221-6767. The play is free and open to the public.


The Civil War Preservation Trust is pleased to announce that it has successfully completed a $1 million fundraising effort to permanently protect 49 acres at the very heart of the Wilderness Battlefield. First announced in October 2010, the effort will set aside a portion of historic Saunders Field immediately north of State Route 20 for eventual incorporation into Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park. “Saving critically important landscapes like this is precisely why this organization exists,” said CWPT president James Lighthizer. “Generations of Americans will now have the opportunity to walk this hallowed landscape and gain a fuller understanding of the horrors of war experienced by the soldiers fighting in the Wilderness.”

Acquisition of the Middlebrook Tract has long been a priority for the preservation community, both for the intensity of the fighting that occurred there on May 5 and 6, 1864, and for its unique location, entirely surrounded by land owned and protected by the National Park Service. The terms of the acquisition contract placed the purchase price at $1,085,000, if closing occurred before the end of 2010. While the transaction will be finalized in 2011, a year end fundraising surge means that CWPT has collected enough in donations and firm pledges to cover the base price and an extension fee. More information about current fundraising efforts is available at http://www.civilwar.org/saveabattlefield.

University of Mississippi Puts Civil War Documents Collection Online

One of the latest Civil War documents collections to be placed online is that held by the University of Mississippi’s Special Collections Library at Oxford. This large collection features letters, accounts, diaries and much more both soldier and civilian. If you visit their web site at – http://clio.lib.olemiss.edu/archives/civil_war.php – you can follow their catalog in an easy manner and begin working with the collections they offer. While it is mostly Confederate in nature, they also hold a number of Union military items. It is always great news when such collections are placed online which makes them easier for everyone to work with.

Civil War Events This Winter At Fort Donelson National Battlefield

Tourism this winter may be slow due to the cold weather but that is not stopping Fort Donelson National Battlefield from holding several events in February 2011. February is their anniversary month with the siege and battle beginning on February 12, 1862 and ending with the Confederate surrender on February 16th. The calendar of events features encampments by troops, Lincoln’s 1861 inauguration and much more. Included is the debut of new exhibits in the park’s museum as well as events at the Dover Hotel which is typically only open in the summer months. For all of the details please visit this link to the events portion of the park’s web site – http://www.nps.gov/fodo/planyourvisit/events.htm?month=2&year=2011

Confederate Gunboat Found – Possibly the CSS Pee Dee

The recent discovery of what is believed to be a Confederate gunboat scuttled by its own crew in the Civil War’s waning days could yield valuable knowledge about the South’s sputtering attempts to maintain its own Navy, South Carolina’s state archaeologist said Wednesday. In November, Jonathan Leader — state archaeologist and researcher at the University of South Carolina — worked with fellow researcher Chris Amer to explore the Pee Dee River. Using sonar to search underwater, the team found large bolts in a straight line, evidence Leader says likely means they’ve found a ship.

“You are actually able to paint a picture,” Leader said, of the equipment the team used. “You don’t find a lot of straight lines in nature. You find bolts in a straight line, you have something.” Leader believes that the team has found the CSS Pee Dee, a Confederate naval gunboat being sheltered inland, away from Union blockades on nearby sea ports. In mid-February 1865, after an upriver skirmish with a Union ship, the crew frantically worked to destroy the Pee Dee so it wouldn’t fall into enemy hands, Leader said.

The discovery comes a year and a half after the duo discovered two cannons belonging to the ship. Researchers won’t be certain they’ve located the CSS Pee Dee until the wreck is raised and examined. But Leader says evidence like the guns already known to have belonged to the ship make researchers confident they have found their prize.

Stones River National Battlefield Places Regimental Documents Online

Continuing the growing online trend to help researchers, Stones River National Battlefield has placed some of its documents online. Drawn from their large regimental files covering
the units that fought in the battle, the files are a wealth of information and detail. You can access them at – http://www.nps.gov/stri/historyculture/regfiles.htm

Clarksville CWRT Member Opens Italian Restaurant in Russellville, Kentucky

Deborah Hirsch of Russellville, KY and our roundtable, has opened a new Italian restaurant just off the square in downtown Russellville. Ariella Italian Restaurant offers fresh recipes based on Northern Italian cuisine with favorite dishes like pastas with marinara sauce as well as Alfredo sauces. Other dishes include Chicken Marsalla, Lobster Ravioli and Shrimp Scampi as featured menu items. Sandwiches, salads, fresh baked bread, soups, appetizers and more complete the bill. Everything is made fresh and to order. At a recent dinner there this reviewer, who was born and raised in the Chicago area and knows good Italian food, found his order excellent! The meatballs and Italian sausage were perfect as was the Linguini with marinara sauce.

The food is reasonably priced and the remodeled historic building that serves as the establishment offers an excellent atmosphere especially in the upstairs room. Ariella Italian Restaurant is located at 183 South Main Street. Head to Russellville on Highway 79 and when you get into town turn left at Main Street (there is a traffic light there and the Crittenden House is on the right) then go a couple blocks. The restaurant is on the right. For more information please call (270)731-004 or visit their web site at – http://www.ariellarestaurant.com. This is only about 30 minutes from Clarksville and well worth visiting. After dinner you can stroll the historic town square with several Civil War markers.

Clarksville has a lot of fine places to eat but no Italian restaurant in this style. So for some great home-style Italian food, and to help support one of our members, please visit soon. This reviewer looks forward to his next dinner there.

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