March Newsletter and Meeting Announcement

March 16th, 2011 – Our 84nd Meeting! OUR SEVENTH ANNIVERSARY!

The next meeting of the Clarksville (TN) Civil War Roundtable will be on Wednesday, March16th 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: “Ellis Harper: Guerrilla Or Partisan?”

On November 22, 1861 a young man enlisted in the 30th Tennessee Infantry at Tyree Springs while the regiment was on the move to Fort Donelson. After the surrender of the fort’s garrison, Ellis Harper was one of the many privates loaded onto boats and sent to Camp Butler, near Springfield, Illinois. Unlike so many of his brothers in arms, he did not die, take the dreaded oath or be sent to Mississippi to be exchanged. Instead, he escaped and made his way back home where he joined a detachment of Quirk’s Scouts, Commanded by Captain Columbus A. Peddicord. From that day until May 9, 1865, he and his men slowed the supplies of two Federal Armies in two states for three years and served their community as police, judge and jury.

This story of Captain Ellis Harper includes the lives, pictures and stories of his men, both during and after the war. Also part of the story is the notorious Union general Eleazar E. Paine, a friend of Lincoln and murderer of young boys, who ruled in Gallatin and Sumner County, Tennessee. Several Federal fought against Harper and his men and their service is also part of the story which answers the question; was Harper a Guerrilla or a Partisan?

This month’s program is presented by Dave Simpson from Lebanon, Tennessee. Mr. Simpson, an amateur historian, is a salesman for Kimbro Oil Company in Nashville. He is also First Lieutenant Commander of the General Robert H. Hatton Camp #723, Sons of Confederate Veterans, in Lebanon, and a member of the Military Order of the Stars and Bars Mr. Simpson also belongs to the Morgan’s Men Association and chairs the committee that maintains the Battle of Hartsville Park and Driving Tour. He is married with two children and two grand-children. Lastly, Ellis Harper is Mr. Simpson’s great-grandfather.


Last month’s program on cartoonist Thomas Nast and his work from the Reconstruction Era by Krista Castillo serves as a reminder of how much work on the Civil War era has been done on top of the mountains of study that has come before. There is simply no shortage of interesting material for historians. Krista deftly maneuvered through Nast’s career as a cartoonist and the images she showed brought out his growth as an illustrator. Where his early cartoons were busy in terms of backgrounds, his later work was simplified. Always poignant and very edgy when necessary, Nast could also poke fun at others along with himself. His works went from downright anger to very funny and they depended on his wit and pen to bring these aspects alive. This program comes highly recommended to other Civil War Roundtables looking for something very interesting and different from often typical CWRT fare. Well done Krista!


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, Huntsville, Alabama – “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 – Ross Hudgins, author, “The Civil War of Nashville’s Maggie Vaulx, April 1861 to March 1862”

September 2011 – Ross Massey, historian and author, “General James Chalmer’s Cavalry Division in the Battle of Nashville”

October 2011 – Phil Seyfrit, Richmond, KY Battlefield – “The Battle of Richmond, Kentucky“

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

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

January 2012 – Teresa Prober, Austin Peay State University, “The Dover Hotel and Dover, Tennessee in the Civil War”

February 2012 – Kraig McNutt, historian and author – “The Civil War Letters of Addison Lee Ewing, 63rd Indiana Infantry, Late Summer 1864-January 1865”

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 Civil War Roundtable Elections

As March is our anniversary it is also when the elections for officers takes place. The Clarksville CWRT has a president, vice president, secretary and treasurer. If you wish to run for any of these positions please make it known during the March 2011 meeting.


Cave City, Kentucky Civil War Relic Show and Civil War Reenactment – May 27-29, 2011

Cave City, Kentucky, located just east of Exit 53 off I-65 north of Bowling Green, is having a combination Civil War Relic Show and Reenactment on the weekend of May 27-29, 2011. This is Memorial Day weekend. The event will be held in the Cave City Convention Center. The relic show is on Saturday and Sunday only and the hours are 9 Am to 9 PM and on Sunday, 9 Am to 5 PM. For more information call Cave City City Hall at (270)773-2188 or visit their web site at:

You can make this an additionally fun weekend by also going up US 31 to Rowlett’s Station and Munfordville and see more Civil War history on the wonderful walking trails they have developed. These are only a few miles north of Cave City.

Battle of Nashville Preservation Society Membership Banquet Saturday March 26, 2011

The Battle of Nashville membership drive and auction will be held at Traveller’s Rest in Nashville on Saturday March 26th, 2011. It is open to anyone wishing to attend and hopefully join the fine preservation organization that has done so much to save Civil War sites around Nashville. The organization is also planning for a symposium along with other programs so keep your eyes open for more announcements as they become available. For more information on this banquet please email Ellen Duer McClanahan at – – or call (615)804-5068. If you wish to join them, the dues are $ 20.00 for an individual and $ 25.00 for a family. Your check should be mailed to Battle of Nashville Preservation Society, Inc. or BONPS, P.O. Box 190493, Nashville, TN 37219. Your payment is tax deductible as BONPS is non-profit corporation.

Bowling Green, Kentucky Civil War Roundtable Kicks Off This Month

Located only an hour from Clarksville, historic Bowling Green, Kentucky now has a new Civil War Roundtable. The debut meeting is Thursday, March 17, 2011. The meetings will always be the third Thursday of each month. This night was chosen to allow them to line up with the Clarksville, Murfreesboro and Nashville CWRTs in Tennessee over consecutive nights thus enabling them to join in sharing speakers from longer distances. The debut meeting will feature Clarksville CWRT president Greg Biggs as the speaker. The program will be, “Nashville: Siren’s Song Of the Confederacy,” about the five efforts made by the Confederates to retake Tennessee’s capitol city either directly or indirectly.

The members of the Clarksville CWRT welcome the Bowling Green CWRT to the family of Civil War Roundtables. Plans are afoot for a joint meeting at Ariella Italian Restaurant in Russellville, Kentucky at some point.

A note to other CWRTs across the country – why not line up your CWRT with others in your region to share long distance speakers? We have been doing it for six years and it works very well and has enabled our CWRTs to bring in some of the bigger names in Civil War history without breaking any budgets. One thing you can count on; the cost of getting speakers will be going up almost yearly. It is not hard to do and you will wonder why you have not done it before!

Austin Peay State University Civil War Lecture – March 24, 2011 at 5 PM

Our good friends at Austin Peay are offering another fine Civil War lecture on Thursday, March 24, 2011 and it is free to the public. The event will be held in the Gentry Auditorium at 5 PM. The featured speaker is Caroline Janney, history professor at Purdue University in Lafayette, Indiana, and her program will be – “Clasping Hands Over the Bloody Chasm: Civil War Veterans’ Reunions and the Path to Reconciliation.” This program and speaker come highly praised by the Indianapolis Civil War Roundtable, among others.

To find the Gentry Auditorium, continue south past the mall on Wilma Rudolph Blvd/Highway 79, into Clarksville. As the road turns right towards downtown (the name changes to College Street), the Austin Peay campus will appear on the right. At Ford Street turn right. The Hemlock Semiconductor Building is on this corner. Turn left on Marion Street and park in the large lot on the right across from the Music/Mass Communications building that houses the Gentry Auditorium. You will see the football stadium to the west of the lot. Please support this fine program and don’t forget – it is free!

Special Women’s History Month Film at Fort Donelson National Battlefield Highlights Some Untold Stories

Dover, Tennessee—A special film will be shown as part of Women’s History month at Fort Donelson National Battlefield.

On Thursday, March 10, 2011, a film entitled, “The Forgotten Grave: Women Soldiers of the American Civil War” will be shown at the visitor center, along Highway 79 in Dover, Tennessee, at 6:30PM. The film highlights the many roles that women played during the war, including serving as nurses, spies, cooks, and even soldiers. The stories of Loreta Velazquez, Lizzie Compton and others are brought to life through the use of their letters, journals, and memoirs. In some cases, many of these stories have almost been lost to history.

The National Park Service preserves and interprets the site of the 1862 Battle of Fort Donelson, which includes the Civil War fort, earthworks, monuments, historic Dover Hotel, national cemetery, and historic and cultural resources at Fort Heiman, Kentucky. Please contact the Park Ranger Doug Richardson for more information at (931)232-5706, ext. 108.

New Woman’s Diary Published – Nashville’s Own Maggie Vaulx

The book, Maggie: The Civil War Journals of Margaret Nichol Vaulx, has been released and already at the book stores. Part of the ever-growing number of books covering the female side of the Civil War, Maggie Vaulx (pronounced Voss), was the daughter of a staff officer of Confederate General Benjamin Cheatham. The Vaulx family was prominent in Nashville. The book can be found on the and sites or our friends at Borders can order it for you. Editor Ross Hudgins will be bringing Maggie’s story to the Clarksville CWRT later this year. Don’t miss this program.

Nashville’s Metro Historical Commission Kicks Off The Civil War Sesquicentennial, April 9, 2011

The Metro Historical Commission’s Civil War Sesquicentennial Committee has planned a kick-off event for April 9, 2011. It will be held at The Downtown Presbyterian Church, at the corner of Fifth and Church in downtown Nashville. The event is free and the general public is encouraged to attend. The event will last from 8:30 AM until Noon.

The day will begin with welcoming remarks from Mayor Karl Dean, and a brief history of the Civil War use of the church as a Federal hospital. The first speaker will be Dr. Jonathan Atkins (Berry College) speaking on “Parties, Politics, and the Sectional Conflict in Tennessee 1832-1861,” in which he describes the causes in Tennessee leading to the Civil War. At 10 AM, Dr. Kristopher Ray (Austin Peay State University and editor of the Tennessee Historical Quarterly) will describe how the leaders in both north and south reinterpreted the actions of the nation’s founding fathers to suit their own political, social, and economic purposes. The Fisk Jubilee Singers will perform at 11 AM, presenting spirituals and other songs appropriate to the Civil War period. This is the first of a planned series of events for the Civil War Sesquicentennial in Nashville, Tennessee.

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