Clarksville CWRT Newsletter and Meeting Notice for September

September 21st, 2011
– Our 90th  Meeting!
The next meeting of the Clarksville (TN) Civil War Roundtable will be on Wednesday, September 21st 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 at7:00 pm and is always open to the public.  Members please bring a friend or two – new recruits are always welcomed.

          “General James Chalmers and His Cavalry Division in the Battle of Nashville”

Brig. Gen. James R. Chalmers was a veteran infantry and cavalry commander and commanding one of the divisions of Nathan Bedford Forrest’s Cavalry Corps.  Chalmers and his escort made Belle Meade Plantation their headquarters in the days before the December 1864 Battle of Nashville.  His escort provided a violinist and Selene Harding played piano to make their nights “heavenly.”  The good times ended sometime after 2:00 AM on December 15th when a courier had Chalmers awakened to learn of the impending attack by the Union army of George Thomas.  With Biffle’s Brigade detached on the far right, Chalmers only had Rucker’s Brigade in hand to fight off the Union cavalry and the U.S. Navy on the Cumberland River.  He battled both to a stalemate that day.  On December 16th, Chalmers, totally cut off from the infantry line, pulled off a perfect withdrawal and covered Hood’s retreat from the city.  His stand on Granny White Pike prevented the Union cavalry from cutting off General John Bell Hood’s retreat as it moved down the Franklin Pike thus saving Hood’s army from being trapped.  It was one of the highlights of this under-appreciated cavalry commander.


Our speaker this month is Ross Massey, historian for the Battle of Nashville Preservation Society and Nashville CWRT member.  He is the author of a guide to sites of the Battle of Nashville and has appeared on Civil War TV shows as well as lectured around the country.  Ross will be bringing his vast knowledge of this battle to this month’s meeting of our roundtable.  For those that were here when we began, he was the first speaker of the Clarksville CWRT!  This program will be an important addition to our understanding of this pivotal battle as the cavalry operations often get left out.
Please join us for this program about a very overlooked part of the Battle of Nashville.


Ross Hudgins, editor of the journal of Nashville’s Maggie Vaulx, gave us a wonderful program with great insights into the mindset of a young Nashville lady who, living with her parents, went through the displacement of the war when occupying Union troops came to town in late February 1862.  Moving with the family further out from their home, Maggie still continued her studies and her dedication to her education never waned.  Nor did her piety; she relied greatly on her religious upbringing to get her through this trying time of her life.  Lastly, her dedication to pleasing her parents in all that she did also dominates her writings.  Thankfully, these journals were saved by Mr. Hudgins who carefully edited them into his wonderful book.  If you are looking for a different program for your CWRT you would do very well in getting Ross Hudgins, whose knowledge of Maggie Vaulx and enthusiasm for the topic comes shining through in his presentation.  Thanks Ross for coming to see us!


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 – Myron Smith, historian and author, Tusculum College, “Union Navy City Class Ironclads on the Western Rivers”

March 2012 – Ltc. Harold Knudsen – “General James Longstreet – Modern General

April 2012 – Mark Christ, Arkansas Historical Commission – “Arkansas 1863” (tentative)

May 2012 – Michael Bradley, author/historian – “The Staff and Escort of Nathan Bedford Forrest”

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

July 2012 – The one and only Ed Bearss!  Topic TBA.

September 2012 – Martin Stewart, historian/author – “The 71st Ohio Infantry” (based on his revised unit history)

: Your name badge will have a ribbon and a star if you are current with your dues.  If it has neither 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


 Living History and Skirmish presented by the Friends of Fort Negley, Metro Parks and Fort Negley Visitors Center

On September 24, 2011, a Civil War skirmish and living history will be held on the grounds of Nashville’s historic Fort Negley.  There will be lots of hands-on activities for kids, military
 and civilian reenactor encampments, a miniature train ride, guest speakers and a skirmish!  Events begin at 9 AM and conclude at 5 PM.  Admission is $5 with children under age 5 
getting in free.  Fun for the whole family!  Please park and enter at the Greer Stadium parking lot from Chestnut Street.  The proceeds go for Fort Negley projects.  Last year’s event 
drew nearly 1000 people so plan on making this year’s event even bigger!

Please support this excellent local event that helps raise money for this historic site!  They are also looking for volunteers to help run the event – please call Fort Negley and let Krista know if you can help.

Atlanta Campaign Tour Led by Greg Biggs – October 21-23, 2011 – Final Call!

If you are planning on going on this tour you need to get your checks in to the Tennessee Valley CWRT of Huntsville, Alabama as soon as possible.  The tour bus is filling up and space is getting tighter every day.  This is the final call for this tour which will cover from Ringgold Gap to Kennesaw Mountain.  Please contact Kent Wright at –  The tour fee includes hotels, bus, guide, park fees and much more.


Filson Historical Society Civil War Tour – The Tullahoma Campaign of Middle Tennessee, November 3-5, 2011

This Fall The Filson Civil War Field Institute will visit the visually stunning Middle Tennessee to explore a campaign that is only just becoming appreciated by Civil War historians as an important campaign that achieved vital goals with very few casualties on either side.  The campaign began in late June and ended on July 4, 1863, the same day that Vicksburg surrendered and Lee began to retreat from his defeat at Gettysburg.  Tullahoma is overshadowed to a great degree by these other Union victories, however strategically it is in the same category as both.  It is still taught at the Military Academies and Service schools as a great example of Maneuver Warfare.


Tour guides and speakers will be Dr. Michael, who will be our Keynote speaker, and co-tour guide alongside Greg Biggs.  Sites to be visited include Fortress Rosecrans, Hoover’s Gap, Liberty Gap, Guy’s Gap, Shelbyville, TN, Oaklands Historic House Museum, The Cowan Railroad Museum and Chockley Tavern.  Dr.  Bradley will speak on Thursday night.


Fieldtrip Fee – $280 for Filson members; $330 Non-members.  This includes all admission fees to museums and parks, Chartered Bus, Two lunches, a reception and one dinner (Thursday evening).  To reserve your place, a non-refundable deposit of $50 (Due by 9/23/11) per person is required at time of registration and balance is due to the Filson by October 21, 2011.  Space is limited.  The first 25 participants that register will receive an issue of Blue & Gray Magazine (Vol. XXVII, #1) featuring the main article about the Tullahoma campaign written by Michael Bradley including comprehensive maps for the campaign. This issue also includes a two page side bar on the rise of the Union cavalry by Greg Biggs. Issue will be mailed to you by request.


To reserve your space or if you have any questions please email Scott Scarboro at – – or you can visit the Filson web site at – www.filsonhistorical.organd register and pay online.


All participants are responsible for their travel arrangements to and from Murfreesboro, TN and making their own hotel accommodations and dinner on Friday evening.  During the fieldtrip we will travel by chartered bus as a group.  The tour will be staying at the Fairfield Inn & Suites Murfreesboro, 175 Chaffin Place, Murfreesboro, Tennessee 37129 – Phone: 615-849-1150 or 800-228-2800.  Rooms are $94+tax a night – Mention FHS for a special group rate.

Battle of Nashville Preservation Society Civil War Seminar – November 11-12, 2011

The Battle of Nashville Preservation Society (BONPS) joins with Belmont Mansion and the Lotz House to bring a significant Sesquicentennial symposium on the Civil War to Middle Tennessee on November 11 and 12 to further commemorate and explore the 150th anniversary of the start of the War.


The symposium will launch with an opening night reception at the Lotz House in Franklin, Tennessee on Friday, November 11. The reception will be hosted by BONPS President Phillip Duer and Thomas Flagel, author of “The History Buff’s Guide” book series. Attendees will be able to tour the historic Lotz House Museum, meet each of the symposium speakers, and enjoy wine and hors d’oeuvres.  The formal Symposium will begin the following day at Belmont Mansion at 8:00 a.m.  Five guest speakers will focus on unique perspectives regarding the Battle of Nashville, Ft. Donelson and Shiloh. The event will be moderated by Thomas Flagel, assistant professor of American History at Columbia State Community College and serves on the boards of Franklin’s Charge, the Carter House Museum, the Franklin Battlefield Preservation Commission, and the Executive Committee for the Franklin Civil War Round Table. Panelists will include:


Thomas Cartwright– Franklin-based historian, one of the nation’s leading authorities on the Battle of Franklin

Tim Johnson, professor of history at David Lipscomb University, who has appeared on the History Channel,C-SPAN and NPT.

Carole Bucy, professor of History at Vol State Community College and the newly appointed Metro Historian.

James McDonough, noted author of Five Tragic Hours and Nashville: The Western Confederacy’s Final Gamble.

Doug Richardson, Park Ranger and Chief of Interpretation at Fort Donelson.

Dr. Bobby Lovett, long-time professor of history at Tennessee State University and author


A snack with coffee will be served in the morning and a lunch will be provided in the afternoon. Following lunch, visitors will take a guided tour of the Belmont Mansion.  Guests will also be able to videotape their comments regarding the Civil War as it relates to the Battle of Nashville, Ft. Donelson and Shiloh.  This video will be uploaded and available on various websites following the event.  An exhibit will be set up depicting Ft. Donelson, and guest speakers will be available to sign their books during this time.


Tickets are $75.00 and include the reception, the symposium, Sesquicentennial commemorative Hatch Show Print, Minie ball, and BONPS Guide to Civil War Nashville autographed by author Mark Zimmerman. This event is being sponsored by Wade and Egbert Insurance Partners and Kay, Griffin, Enkema and Kolbert.  Sponsorship opportunities are still available.  Contact for more information.  For more information including tickets, contact Mark Brown at Belmont University at, or Ellen McClanahan at the Lotz House by email at or phone at 615-804-5068.

More of Historian Bobby Krick’s Army of Northern Virginia Staff Officer Book Suggestions

We conclude the list of books from Bobby Krick written by staff officers of this famous army for your further education into their jobs and their wartime experiences.  As follows with his short reviews of each:


McHenry Howard, Recollections of a Maryland Confederate Soldier.  Another classic.  He was on the staff of several 2nd Corps generals.
Armistead L. Long, Memoirs of Robert E. Lee.  The deceptive title suggests that Lee wrote this; in fact, it Long’s memoirs of serving with R. E. Lee.
Charles Marshall, Lee’s Aide-de-Camp.  Another fine book by one of Lee’s staff officers.
G. Moxley Sorrel, Recollections of a Confederate Staff Officer.  James Longstreet’s chief of staff who is quite well known.
Walter H. Taylor.  Lee’s Adjutant:  The Wartime Letters of…. (1995); Four Years with General Lee (1878); General Lee, 1861 – 1865 (1906).  Taylor was the most important staff officer in Lee’s  army.  He wrote two books during his lifetime, and his wartime letters were published in 1995.:

There are at least 20 others that I have omitted, including books by  William Allan (Jackson), H. B. McClellan (Stuart), T. J. Goree
(Longstreet), Heros von Borcke (Stuart), Francis Dawson (Longstreet), Robert L. Dabney (Jackson), John Esten Cooke (Stuart), Joseph Brent (John Magruder), J. W. Ratchford (D.H. Hill), and Walter Harrison (Pickett), and etc.

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