November Meeting Information and Newsletter

November 20th, 2013 – Our 116th meeting.
The next meeting of the Clarksville (TN) Civil War Roundtable will be on Wednesday, November 20th, 2013 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.

   “The Arkansas Post Campaign”

The confluence region of the Arkansas, White and Mississippi rivers was a wealth of historic importance and activity long before the American Civil War had begun to rumble across the southeastern Arkansas landscape.  Established in 1686, this “Poste de Arkansea,” the earliest European settlement of the lower Mississippi Valley, was key to the southern French and Spanish region militarily, politically, and economically.  The remote outpost and surrounding community was a participant in European and American expansion, the last engagement of the American Revolution, the Louisiana Purchase, the establishment of the Arkansas Territory, the rise of the era when “cotton was king,” and, lastly, an 1863 battle between Union and Confederate forces that fully destroyed any semblance of the community.  151 years later, this remains an engagement of questionable importance and purpose.

In late 1862 and early 1863 the impressively constructed Fort Hindman served as a base of leadership and supply for Confederate disruption of Union shipping on the lower Mississippi River.  Though largely as much because of ego and politics over military necessity, Union Major General John McClernand under took a campaign to mitigate the threat of further rebel disruption.  While in the end a Union victory, the intense two-day combined land and naval engagement came at a high cost in casualties for the invading army.  The intended capture of the southern fortress indeed mitigated the threat of future Confederate interference upon the Mighty Mississippi, questions and accusations quickly emerged from all directions.   Was the Battle of Arkansas Post/Fort Hindman a vital and strategic Union victory and Confederate loss that impacted the war on a wider spectrum; an engagement that served more as a “morale boost” for the then demoralized Union force; or, simply a “wild goose chase” on the part of McClernand and his cooperating Union Navy?

In the years following the engagement, veterans of both armies, military leadership and, later, historians continued to dispute the resulting importance of the battle.  More than a century and a half later, though largely unfamiliar to all but the most astute Civil War aficionados, the importance of events at Poste de Arkansea often remains one more of varying personal opinion, and likely will for generations to come.

Our speaker is Brian McCutchen, superintendent of Fort Donelson National Battlefield in Dover, TN.  McCutchen began his National Park Service career in 1992 at Shiloh National Military Park.  During his seven years at Shiloh, McCutchen served as the park’s cultural resources ranger.  In 1999, McCutchen accepted a position at Arkansas Post National Memorial to serve in the capacity of park historian and lead ranger where he documented and mapped the site from 1686 to the present day; placing special focus upon the “lost” landscape of both the American Revolutionary War engagement of 1783 and the Civil War battle of Fort Hindman of 1863.  In 2001, McCutchen moved to the Midwest Regional Office in Omaha to accept a position as a regional historian.   In 2007 McCutchen became superintendent of the Knife River Indian Villages National Historic Site, near Stanton, N.D.  In 2010, McCutchen was invited to return to the national park “cannon ball circuit,” to serve as superintendent of the George Rogers Clark National Historical Park, the site of the 1779 revolutionary war battle of Fort Sackville, a legendary victory by Colonel George Rogers Clark.

A native of southeast Missouri, McCutchen earned both his bachelor of science in historic preservation in 1992 and his master’s degree in history-historic preservation in 1995 from Southeast Missouri State University.  He conducted graduate research on Civil War monuments, their history, and preservation and has led workshops on monument and cemetery conversation.  He has written several articles, journal pieces, book reviews, and is co-author of the book Shiloh National Military Park; part of the Arcadia Publishing “Images of America” series.  McCutchen is married to Sharon (Cummings), a native of Savannah, Tenn. They have a 9-year-old son, Noah.



We had a terrific program by a fine historian and gifted speaker Brian Allison.  Brian detailed the fate of Gen. William Quarles’ Brigade at the Battle of Franklin and Nashville in November/December, 1864.  Quarles was from Clarksville and his brigade included men of the 49th Tennessee, some of whom were also from Clarksville. Brian detailed the experiences of the men of the brigade on the march to Middle Tennessee, their fates in the battles and the long suffering retreat back to Alabama.  Utilizing an excellent Power Point, Brian’s program was full of humor, tragedy and heroism.  This would be a fine program for any CWRT out there.  Thanks Brian for a wonderful evening!



December 2013 – Linda Barnickle, historian/author – “The Battle of Milliken’s Bend”

January 2014 – Ron Sydnor, superintendent, Jefferson Davis State Historic Site – “Jefferson Davis: The Man”

February 2014 – Dr. Michael Bradley, historian/author – “The Raiding Winter: Confederate Cavalry Operations in the Winter of 1862-1863” (This will be from his new book of similar title.)

May 2014 – Doug Richardson, park ranger, Fort Donelson National Battlefield  – “Lincoln and McClellan”

June 2014 – Robert Girardi, historian/author, Chicago Police Detective – “The Murder of Union General William “Bull” Nelson”

July 2014 – Conrad Laplante, Ottawa, Canada CWRT – “Canada and the American Civil War”

September 2014 – William C. Davis, noted author and historian – Topic TBA

: DUES ARE DUE AT THE JULY 2013 MEETING.  WHEN YOU ARE CURRENT YOU WILL GET A NEW CWRT MEMBERSHIP CARD FOR THE NEXT FISCAL YEAR.  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


Clarksville CWRT Annual Christmas Party – Wednesday, December 18th, 2013


We have now finalized the details for our December Christmas meeting and program.  We will be having a dinner at Ariella Italian Restaurant in downtown Russellville, KY once more.  I know everyone really enjoyed the food and great atmosphere there.  Things will be a little different this year.  We will still be upstairs but that site has been enlarged by the removal of the upstairs bar.  The whole floor will be for the Clarksville CWRT.  We are very pleased that our member Debbie Hirsch was able to work this out again for us.

Our program will be Linda Barnickel of Nashville who has a new book on the Battle of Milliken’s Bend, part of the Vicksburg Campaign and how some new black Union troops stopped a Confederate attack on U.S. Grant’s supply base.  Linda will have copies of her book for sale at the meeting and it has received great reviews to date.


The whole dinner will be $25 per person which includes tax and gratuity.  To make things easier there will be no paying at the door.  We will sell tickets for the $25 per person starting at this month’s meeting.  If you cannot make the meeting you will need to send payment to Greg Biggs, 2600 W. Henderson Way, Clarksville, TN 37042.  The Christmas meeting date is Wednesday, December 18th.  If you want to go your payment must be in hand no later than Friday, December 13th.  I will then have the final count to pass along to Debbie at Ariella.

Please make your checks for the dinner tickets out to the Clarksville CWRT and mark your checks “Christmas Dinner.”  The CWRT will then write one check to Debbie the evening of our program.  This is a much simpler way than last year.  We will have the entire upstairs of the restaurant as we did last year.

50th Tennessee Infantry Christmas Ball December 7th, 2013

Our local reenactment unit, the 50th Tennessee, will be holding their annual Christmas Ball on Saturday, December 7th, 2013.  The location is the Milliken Memorial House in Elkton, KY.  To get to Elkton take US Hwy 79 to Guthrie and then take KY 181 to Elkton.  The music for the evening will be provided by the Red River Band.  Tickets are $20 in advance and $30 at the door and period dress is required.  For more information please email – the50thtn@yahoo.comThis sounds like a terrific time for all!

Friends of Fort Defiance Annual Ball – January 11, 2014

The Friends of Fort Defiance is holding our Annual Civil War Ball on January 11, 2014, at 6:00 PM at the First United Methodist Church in Clarksville.   The event is a production of the Friends and the Clarksville Civil War Sesquicentennial Committee.  The event starts at 6:00 PM.  The Madison Street United Methodist Church is located at 319 Madison Street, Clarksville, Tennessee 37040 .  Tickets are $ 35 per person and period dress or evening Clothes required.  To purchase tickets by Paypal please visit – more information please contact Roger Tenney at – 615-406-2697.     


Save the date – Atlanta Campaign Tour – March 27-30, 2014.  Sponsored by the Battle of Franklin Trust


Tour guides Greg Biggs and Thomas Cartwright, in a fund raiser for the Battle of Franklin Trust, are conducting a tour of the Atlanta Campaign.  The tour will cover Ringgold Gap through Kennesaw Mountain including such sites as Dalton, Snake Creek Gap, Resaca, Calhoun, Cassville, Dallas/New Hope Church and Pickett’s Mill and the first and second Kennesaw Lines.  Some sites have several stops.  The tour will be by bus and leave from Franklin, TN on Thursday, March 27th and return on Sunday, March 30th.  Cost details are forthcoming with proceeds going to the Battle of Franklin Trust and will cover any museum fees, hotel rooms, guides and map sets for the tour.  Keep your eyes here for more details as they develop.

Lotz House in Franklin, TN has two events

The Lotz House Museum, 1111 Columbia Avenue, across the road from the Carter House in Franklin, TN. is having two events.  On Saturday, November 30th, they are having a blood drive in conjunction with American Red Cross.  This will be held from 10 AM until 3 PM.  To make an appointment please call (615) 790-7190.  Please support this worthy event.


Secondly, on the same date, the Lotz House is sponsoring a 149th Anniversary of the Battle of Franklin tour with Thomas Cartwright and John Marler.  Both are experienced guides and this tour will focus not only on the battle but also stories of the men that fought on both sides.  The tour is limited to 50 people and costs $75 per person.  The tour starts at 10:30 AM and ends at 2:30 PM.  To secure your spot call (615) 790-7190 or email –

149th Battle of Nashville Event, Belle Meade Plantation, December 14, 2013, 10 am – 4 pm


The 149th Battle of Nashville event will be held on Saturday December 14, 2013. Speakers will include Dan Woodard, Greg Biggs, Cornelia McDonald, and Dr. Brian Wills.  The 7th Tennessee Cavalry will be encamped and will lead cavalry demonstrations throughout the day. All events will take place on the grounds of Belle Meade Plantation from 10:00am-4:00pm. Admission to the event is free. Mansion tour tickets will be available for sale for all interested. For more information contact us at 615-356-0501 ext 148 or

151st Anniversary Programs, Stones River Battlefield Park, December 26, 2013 – January 2, 2014

Park Rangers and volunteers will conduct a variety of tours and presentations telling the story of the bitter struggle at Stones River. In addition to these presentations, living history demonstrations will help to show conditions under which soldiers on both sides had to deal.  For more information call the park’s visitor information line at (615) 893-9501.


Dinner at Travellers Rest with speaker Ed Bearss Friday, December 6, 2013:   6:00 – 9:00 p.m.; $100 per person ($175 per couple)


The Battle of Nashville Preservation Society and Historic Travellers Rest Plantation & Museum will host a Friday evening dinner from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. on December 6, 2013. Ed Bearss, expert on the Civil War and WWII eras, will be the guest speaker. Cost of the Bearss dinner at Travellers Rest is $100 per person. ($175 per couple) For reservations email Cryssa Hulsey at or call 615-8328197.   Mr. Bearss is the former Historian for the National Park Service and has authored several battlefield guidebooks and works on Civil War subjects. At age 90, Mr. Bearss shows no signs of slowing down.


Battle Of Nashville Bus Tour – Saturday, December 7, 2013; 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.; $70 per seat

Historic Travelers Rest and the Battle of Nashville Preservation Society will sponsor a bus tour beginning at Travelers Rest at 10 am, Saturday, December 7. The tour will visit seven major Battle of Nashville sites with narration by Ed Bearss and Nashville Preservation Society board members Jim Kay and John Ally. Stops include Granbury’s Lunette, Redoubt #1, Redoubt #3, John Trotwood Moore Middle School, Fort Negley, Nashville City Cemetery and Shy’s Hill.  Cost of the tour is $70 per seat.  A box lunch will be provided. For reservations email Carissa Hulsey at or call 615-8328197.


Tennessee Historical Society Releases Two More Volumes in the “Tennessee in the Civil War” Series


The Tennessee Historical Society is releasing a series of books over the sesquicentennial of the Civil War. The series consists of collections of articles from the Tennessee Historical Quarterly about the Civil War and its impact on Tennessee. Volume Six, “Emancipation and the Fight for Freedom: Tennessee African Americans”, 1860-1900” and Volume Seven, “The Battles for Chattanooga” have been released. The volumes in this series sell for $25 each and can be purchased from the THS website ( or you can pick one up at the Fort Negley Gift Shop at the next Roundtable.


Titles for the preceding five volumes are, “Tennessee in the Civil War”, “The Civil War in Appalachia”, “The Battle of Shiloh”, “The Battle of Stones River” and “Forrest and the West Tennessee Cavalry Campaigns.”   These are really nicely done and are great assets to Tennessee’s Civil War History.


150th Anniversary of Gettysburg Address: Fort Negley, Saturday November 23, 10 am to 3 pm

A celebration of the 150th anniversary of the Gettysburg Address will be held at Fort Negley on Saturday, November 23rd. The celebration will feature Dennis Boggs as President Lincoln. Mr. Boggs is a much sought after Lincoln re-enactor and always gives a convincing portrayal. The 13th United States Colored Troops Living History Association will be on hand to handle the military aspects of the program. This group is very much in demand and participates in Civil War events around the mid-south. They have been at Fort Negley many times and always manage to delight visitors. A representative of the National Cemetery system and will give a presentation about the history and future of the system. The event is free and open to the public.


Nashville Civil War Show, Williamson County Ag Expo Park, December 7-8, 2013 – America’s Largest!

The Nashville Civil War Show will be at the Williamson County Ag Expo Park on December 7, 8, 2013. This remains the largest Civil War show in the nation!  Saturday hours will be 9 am to 5 pm and Sunday hours 9 am to 3 pm.  Admission is $8 for adults, children under 12, free.  The Ag Expo Park is located at 4215 Long Lane, Franklin, TN 37064.  Take I-65 south of Franklin and get off at Exit 61. If you wish to participate in the show as a vendor, table cost is $85. For more information email:, or phone: 770-630-7296


Civil War Roundtable News – Cleveland, Ohio CWRT and the Las Vegas, NV CWRT

On November 13th, 2013, the Cleveland CWRT celebrates its 500th meeting with a program on Civil War Zouaves by Patrick Schroeder.  This venerable CWRT has had a “who’s who” of Civil War speakers over the years and continues to serve the northeast Ohio area with fine scholarship and fellowship.  Their excellent web site offers numerous essays by members and guests.  You can visit this site at – www.clevelandcivilwarroundtable.combe prepared to spend quite a bit of time here reading all that they offer.  The Cleveland CWRT is one of about 30 CWRTs in the Buckeye State, which is more than any other state in the nation.  The Clarksville CWRT congratulates our fellow CWRT on 500 meetings.  May there be many, many more!


It has been said that what happens in Las Vegas stays in Las Vegas.  Well, on your next rip to Vegas you might drop in on the Las Vegas CWRT. They were organized in 2002 and meet on the fourth Tuesday of each month at 7:00 PM at the Best Western located at Main and Washington Streets.  In 2014 they will host the Western States Roundtable annual convention.  Their 40-plus members include Civil War reenactors, teachers, retirees, college professors and a couple of students.  Their oldest member, who gave the June 2013 program on Gen. Forrest, is 84 and a WWII veteran.  For the past three years all of their monthly programs were given by Roundtable members.   They have a monthly book raffle and all donations are sent to Civil War Trust.   Like our CWRT, they have an annual Christmas Party in December.   After meetings, members and guests gather downstairs at the Pallazio Restaurant, which is open twenty-four hours so they can sit around and chat as long as they want.  If Clarksville CWRT members are in the area during the time of their meeting they are invited to attend and even to give a program.  By doing so this makes the trip tax-deductible as the Las Vegas CWRT is a 501(c) 3 organization.  We thank Las Vegas CWRT president Pete Carnes for the information.  Pete’s email is –


New Book On The Tullahoma Campaign

Tennessee’s Backroads Heritage has published a new book of essays on the Tullahoma Campaign.  Offering full color photos and maps, plus other illustrations, the coffee table style book contains six essays by James Lewis (Stones River NBF), Dr. Michael Bradley, Dr. Robert E. Hunt (MTSU), Vince Armstrong (MTSU) and our own Greg Biggs.  The book was edited by David Currey and Dr. Hunt and has been in the works for many years.  In addition to the essays there is a driving tour with maps of the campaign.


For copies please contact Dianne Murray at – tnbackroads@bellsouth.netGreg will have some copies for sale at this month’s meeting.


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