January Meeting Notice and Newsletter

January 18th, 2012 – Our 94th Meeting!

The next meeting of the Clarksville (TN) Civil War Roundtable will be on Wednesday, January 18th 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 Dover Tennessee Failed Public History and How Public History Failed Dover”

The purpose of public history is not just simply preservation. Historians interpret and tell stories of American history that form the foundations of communities and the nation and shape us as a people. America is full of buildings that are of historical, cultural and architectural importance that should be saved so they can continue to contribute to American society, culturally and economically.

This presentation will examine the challenges that the small town of Dover, Tennessee encountered when confronted with issues of preserving and restoring local historical structures and the many failures they incurred and why. The program will also address how public history organizations (in this instance the park service) do not always make the best decisions in regards to preserving or restoring historical structures. With so few structures from the Civil War era remaining, thanks to much of the town being burned in August 1862, the challenge for buildings of that era is even greater. The Dover area was the site of three Civil War battles (February 1862, August 1862 and February 1863) in addition to numerous skirmishes in the region. Fewer small towns from the war suffered so much and the ultimate challenge is to preserve what remains.

Our speaker is Teresa Prober from Austin Peay State University where she is an instructor in history. She earned a BA in History from University of North Carolina at Pembroke and an MA in History from American Military University. She taught High School Social Studies for 9 years in North Carolina. She has also designed public history programs for Pennyroyal Area History Museum in Hopkinsville, KY; was an archivist who cleaned and preserved historic documents Stewart County TN and assisted in redesigning school programs for Fort Donelson National Battlefield. She has done extensive research on the Dover Hotel where CS General Simon Buckner surrendered the Fort Donelson garrison to Union Gen. U.S. Grant. She is currently working with University of Tennessee Press to publish the book, “ The Dover Hotel a Silent Witness to History in Tragedy and Triumph.”

Please join us for Teresa Prober and her program on Dover, Tennessee.


John Marler, of the Battle of Franklin Trust, presented an outstanding program offering an overview of the Petersburg Campaign, the longest campaign of the Civil War. From the time where the first defenses were built around the city through the first (and best opportunity) Union attempt to take the city when it was barely defended in June 1864, Marler wove a tale of mistakes, battles, leaders and much more. Generals who had been good before were found wanting on both sides while others rose to the occasion. Petersburg, Marler correctly argued, was the real key to taking Richmond, something that U.S. Grant figured out when he marched his Army of the Potomac across the James River. From June 1864 through the final battles of April 1865, Petersburg was a tough nut to break but Union persistence won the city after a sustained campaign of moving to the south and west side of the city taking out the vital railroads that supplied it. Marler’s style of presentation offers a full command of the facts delivered with humor at times. This is not only an excellent but an enjoyable program. The years that Marler worked for the national park there and ran his own guide service were more than evident.

Thanks John for coming to see us.


February 2012 – Greg Biggs, Clarksville CWRT – “Nashville – Siren’s Song of the Confederacy”

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

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

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

June 2012 – Gordon and Traci Belt, authors – “Onward Southern Soldiers: Religion in the Army of Tennessee”

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

August 2012 – Jack Hurst, author/historian – “Grant and Forrest: Extraordinary Ordinary Americans.”

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

October 2012 – Brian Wills, author/historian – “General George Thomas”

November 2012 – Ruth Hill McAllister, author/historian – “The Memoirs Of Sam Watkins, Company Aytch”

December 2012 – Krista Castillo, Fort Negley Park – “Christmas In The Civil War”

January 2013 – Rick Warwick, historian/author – Topic TBA (tentative)

April 2013 – William C. Davis, VA Tech University, author/historian – Topic TBA

MEMBERS AND DUES: – 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


Online Civil War Program At The US Army Heritage And Education Center, Carlisle, Pennsylvania (From the Kankakee Valley CWRT newsletter in Illinois)

If you are looking for some good online Civil War lectures you cannot do wrong by visiting http://www.carlisle.army.mil/ahec/. A search through their Media Galleries will lead you to their lecture series. Some of their presentations do have a bit of static, and some even have some distortion and focus issues. However, the material presented is of very high quality. Here’s the list of what’s currently online and expect more topics to become available as the Civil War Sesquicentennial moves along.

Devils Own Work-CW Draft Riots and the Fight to Reconstruct America Barnet Scheter 73 mins

Virginia Campaign-May-June 1864 Mark Grimsley 60 mins

Harp and Eagle Irish-American Volunteers and the Union Army, 1861-1865 Dr. Susannah J. Ural 64 mins

Role of the Constitution in the CW Mark Neely, Jr. 73 mins.

From Engineer Lieutenant to Corps Commander-The Civil War Career of Godfrey Weitzel Dr. Arthur W. Bergeron Jr. 61 mins

Generalship of Ulysses S. Grant and the American CW Dr. Richard J. Somners 81 mins

West Pointers in the Civil War Dr. Wayne Hsieh 69 mins

Other online topics range from the militia men in King Philips War through Magnificent Desolation: The Long Road Home from the Moon with Dr. Buzz Aldrin, former Apollo astronaut.

Tennessee Civil War Sesquicentennial Signature Event: Invasions By Rail and River, April 4-5 2012

The next series of Tennessee Sesquicentennial Civil War events will be held on April 4-5, 2012 at Pickwick Landing State Park. This site is not far from Shiloh National Military Park. Part of the festivities will include – Looking Back:The Civil War In Tennessee digitization project, where people can bring their letters, diaries, photos, weapons and much more to the event so that they can be documented by the state archives. Other programs include living history demonstrations; special exhibits from the Tennessee State Museum and Tennessee State Library and Archives plus musical performances and lectures by noted Civil War historians. These speakers include Larry Daniel, Wiley Sword, Stacy Allen, Tim Smith, James McDonough, John Marszalek Carroll Van West and others.

For more details on the location please visit http://www.tn.gov/environment/parks/PickwickLanding/. The hotel at Pickwick Landing is offering a special sesquicentennial rate of $75 per night and to secure that rate please call 800-250-8615. For more details on the event please call 615-741-2159 or email vionne.williams@tn.gov

Shiloh National Military Park Sesquicentennial Events – April 6-7, 2012

If you stay in the Pickwick Landing area a couple more days you can attend the additional sesquicentennial events hosted by Shiloh National Military Park just down the road. These include special extended tours of the battlefield and a grand illumination of the Shiloh National Battlefield with 23,746 luminaries, one for each American soldier killed, wounded or missing at Shiloh. If that isn’t enough, two amazing locally sponsored living history reenactments featuring 6,000+ re-enactors and hundreds of cannons will be held on March 29 through April 1st in Hardin and McNairy counties to commemorate the 150th Battle of Shiloh.

For more information on these locally organized events visit http://www.nps.gov/shil/.

Fort Donelson National Battlefield Sets Their 150th Anniversary Programs

Fort Donelson National Battlefield in Dover, Tennessee, will be having a number of events for their upcoming 150th Anniversary. Not all of the programs have been filled as yet but several known authors including Ed Bearss, Kendall Gott, Jack Hurst and Myron Smith have all been tabbed to make appearances at the park, most of them during the February events. Smith is an expert on the naval war in the west with several books to his credit while Hurst and Gott have both written books on the Fort Donelson Campaign. Ed Bearss is…well… Ed Bearss! Most of the events will be around the date of the battle, February 12-16, 1862, but there will also be events for the fall of Fort Henry and Fort Heiman around February 4-6, 2012. Many of the programs will be led by park rangers but there will also be living historians and their encampments to add luster to the affair.

For more information on all of the events please visit the park’s web site at: http://www.nps.gov/fodo

150th Anniversary Fort Donelson Reenactment – March 2-4. 2012 To Be Held At Cumberland City, Tennessee

This 2012 national event will be held 20 miles south of the actual battlefield on the Stewart-Houston County line in an industrial park. The event will feature loads of cannons, thousands of troops as well as civilian events like a ladies tea. The whole affair is sponsored by Porter’s Tennessee Battery (www.portersbattery.com) and the Armies of Tennessee (www.armiesoftennessee.com).

For more details about attending either as a spectator or reenactor please visit the event web site at – http://www.FortDonelson.org. This is an approved state of Tennessee Sesquicentennial event – visit http://www.tnvacation.com for details of all of their Civil War events.

Battle of Franklin Blog and Emailed Newsletter

Kraig McNutt, a historian residing in Franklin, Tennessee, writes a fine blog on the Battle of Franklin as well as an emailed newsletter that will offer updates, information and much
more. To get to the blog please go to – http://www.BattleofFranklin.net – and be prepared for a lot of information. If you wish to receive his emailed newsletter simply send your email address
to – BattleofFranklin@yahoo.com.

Kraig also offers a site dedicated to the descendants of those men who fought at Franklin on November 30, 1864. Please visit –


Kentucky Historical Society Gives Award to Phil Seyfrit of Battle of Richmond, Kentucky (From the Civil War News)

The Kentucky Historical Society recently presented its 2011 Frank R. Levstik Award given for professional service to Phillip Seyfrit. Seyfrit is the superintendent of the Battle of Richmond
Battlefield in Kentucky. He began working at the park in 2007 and guided most of the projects aimed to making it a viable resource and tourist destination including the new visitor
center which opened in 2008. His official title is Madison County Historic Properties Director.

In addition to running the battlefield park, Seyfrit is a member of the Kentucky Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission (appointed in 2010 by Governor Steve Breshear), as well as the
program chair for the Madison County Civil War Roundtable. He is also an officer of the Central Kentucky World War Two Roundtable. He also won a previous award, the Pinnacle
Award, given by the Kentucky Museum and Heritage Alliance.

Our heartiest congratulations to one of our past speakers!

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s