February Newsletter and Meeting Notice

February 15th, 2012 – Our 95th  Meeting!
The next meeting of the Clarksville (TN) Civil War Roundtable will be on Wednesday, February 15th 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.

          “Nashville – Siren’s Song of the Confederacy

The fall of Fort Donelson on February 16, 1862, set off a chain reaction of events in Middle Tennessee that culminated with the capture of Nashville, the Volunteer State’s capital some days later.  The last state to secede (June 1861), the loss of Nashville was a major blow to state morale as well as Confederate hopes for independence.  Nashville then became the focus of no less than five Confederate offensives to capture it either directly, or indirectly, which dominated Confederate strategy in the west for the rest of the war.  In essence, this telegraphed the Southern playbook to the Union Army so that they were able to make their own plans to retain hold of the city.  Beginning in April 1862 and ending in December 1864, with the Confederate Army of Tennessee literally on the doorstep, Nashville remained in Union hands, becoming the major supply depot for all western campaigns conducted by their army.


Our speaker, CWRT president Greg Biggs, will detail the importance of Tennessee and Nashville before going into each of the campaigns to retake the city by the Confederates.  Some of these offensives might be a surprise considering where they went, but part of their goal was getting Nashville back.  The program will analyze these movements and the corresponding events after they failed.

Greg Biggs, president of the Clarksville CWRT, is also a flag historian, tour guide and research historian for some notable authors.  He has lectured across the country to CWRTs, conferences and other history groups and has lead tours for many of them as well as the US Army.

Please join us for Greg Biggs and his program on the attempts to retake Nashville, Tennessee.



Teresa Prober, an instructor of history at Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, gave us a very informative program on Dover, Tennessee and how the town has grappled with its Civil War history.  She has spent numerous years researching Dover and its history which will culminate in a book for the University of Tennessee Press.  Tremendously set back from the start by the loss of 17 wartime structures in 1862, what was left in Dover came under assault by modern development in the 20th Century.  Fortunately, some images of these buildings have survived and were included in her supporting Power Point program.  It was evident that the program struck a chord because a long period of questions and answers followed; the mark of a program that got deeply into the interest level of our CWRT.  For something different from the typical Civil War program our fellow CWRTs would do well to get Teresa Prober to speak to them.


Thanks Teresa for coming to see us.


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

: 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


Civil War Events In Clarksville, Tennessee – February 2012 – Civil War Sesquicentennial

Fort Donelson fell on February 16, 1862 and Clarksville was captured by the Union Navy a few days later.  To help commemorate this time of our history three events will be taking 
place in town and they deserve your support.  As follows:
  • Local author Carolyn Ferrell will have a book signing at Ft. Defiance for her recently published book Occupied: The Story of Clarksville, Tennessee During The Civil War on Saturday, February 18, 2012 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Books will be available for purchase. Fort Defiance Civil War Park is located at 120 Duncan Street.


  • “Surrender of Clarksville.” Commemoration ceremony on Sunday, February 19, 2012 at

2 p.m. at Ft. Defiance Civil War Park & Interpretive Center. The ceremony will include a 20-minute re-enactment of events pertaining to the surrender. The event is free and open to the public.


  • “General Grant’s Briefing”by Grant impersonator Dr. E.C. Fields will be presented on Monday, February 20, 2012 at 11 a.m. in the theater of the Customs House Museum.  A one-person, one-hour program on Grant’s role during the war in Tennessee.  Free and open to the public.  Limited seating.
The events are sponsored by the Clarksville-Montgomery County Civil War Sesquicentennial Committee.  There are three other events coming in March and April courtesy of Austin 
Peay State University, the Roxy Theater and Fort Defiance Interpretive Center.

Fort Donelson National Battlefield – 150th Anniversary Programs Have Begun!
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.    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.


Included in the events will be the ceremonial signing of the deed between the Civil War Trust and Fort Donelson National Battlefield for the transfer of the acreage saved by CWT to the park service.  This will, in effect, double the size of the park.  How many other Civil War parks can say that?  This takes place on Saturday, February 11 at 11 AM in the park visitors center.


For more information on all of the events please visit the park’s web site at: www.nps.gov/fodo and please support our wonderful neighbors!

New Blue & Gray magazine on Fort Donelson and Dover now in stock at Books A Million, Clarksville

For those that did not order the new issue of Blue & Gray magazine from our CWRT, with a cover story on the Fort Henry-Donelson Campaign written by park historian Jimmy Jobe, it is now in stock at Books A Million in Clarksville.  The store is located on Wilma Rudolph Boulevard across from Governor’s Square Mall.  The magazine also features an article on the battles of Dover, Tennessee written by John Walsh, one of our former members and owner of Fort Donelson Relics.


For those that did order the issue we will have them for you at the meeting this month.

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 – www.FortDonelson.org. This is an approved state of Tennessee Sesquicentennial event – visit www.tnvacation.com for details of all of their Civil War events.

Fourth Conference on the History of Louisville, Kentucky, and the Ohio River Valley in the Civil War— "Louisville and Louisvillians During and After the War." – March 8-9, 2012 

This reoccurring Civil War conference will be held the weekend of March 8-9, 2012.  It will start with a continental breakfast at 8:30 a. m. on March 8th and 9th and continue until around 3:30 p. m. each day.  There will also be a panel discussion on Lincoln and the Constitution at 5:00 p. m. on March 8, followed by dinner at the Frazier History Museum and a chance to see the exhibit “My Brother, My Enemy.”  The cost is $65 and includes 2 continental breakfasts, one lunch and dinner.  To register call Janna Tajibaeva at 502-852-2247 or email Janna at janna.tajibaeva@louisville.edu


Some of the speakers are: Nikki Taylor, University of Cincinnati; Glenn Crothers, U of L; Anne Marshall, Mississippi State University; Luke Harlow, Oakland University; Carol Janney, Purdue University; Barbara Gannon, University of Central Florida; Mary Jean Wall, University of Kentucky; Mark Wetherington, Filson Historical Society; and Joe Reinhart, independent historian and noted author.  The event will be held at the University of Louisville’s Chao Auditorium, Ekstrom Library, Lower Level West.  Louisville is only 3 ½ hours north of Clarksville.

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 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 www.nps.gov/shil/


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