February Meeting Notice and Newsletter

The next meeting of the Clarksville (TN) Civil War Roundtable will be on Wednesday, February 19th, 2014 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 Raiding Winter: Confederate Cavalry Operations – December 1862 to January 1863”


From December 12,1862 through January 3,1863, Confederate cavalry raids led by Generals Nathan Bedford Forrest, John Hunt Morgan, Earl Van Dorn, and Joseph Wheeler exploded in Tennessee and Kentucky.  These raids delayed the Union advances on Chattanooga and Vicksburg by five months while capturing supplies needed by the Confederates.  The loss of these supplies hurt the Union war effort as each of the armies involved lost valuable time trying to replace these losses.  Additionally, more time was lost to the Federals due to having to repair broken railroad lines and bridges over which these supplies flowed.  With the Confederates outnumbered and a major Union offensive pending in Tennessee, these raids helped offset that balance of numbers allowing the Confederates to place forces to stop the Union incursion.  These raids showed what cavalry could do under bold leadership.


Michael R. Bradley is an established Civil War expert and author of many books on the Civil War and Tennessee, including They Rode with Forrest and Nathan Bedford Forrest’s Escort and Staff, both published by Pelican. He received his bachelor of arts degree from Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama, his bachelor of divinity degree from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, and both his master’s degree and doctorate from Vanderbilt University. Bradley taught US history at Motlow State Community College in Tennessee for thirty-six years before retiring in 2006. In 1994, he was awarded the Jefferson Davis Medal in Southern History. He is a member of the Southern Historical Association, the American Society of Church History, the Great Smoky Mountains Natural History Association, and the Society for Military History. In 2010, Gov. Phil Bredesen appointed Bradley to serve on the Tennessee Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission.


This presentation, based on his new book and presented by an expert on the Tullahoma Campaign and the exploits of General Nathan Bedford Forrest, promises to be informative and enjoyable.  Mark your calendar and don’t miss this one – the program packed the house at the December 2013 Nashville CWRT meeting!  Dr. Bradley will have books for sale at the meeting.




Ron Sydnor, site manager of the Jefferson Davis State Historic Site in Fairview, KY and member of the Clarksville CWRT, gave us a wonderful program on Jefferson Davis, the man.  Focusing on the man and his accomplishments in life before he became the president of the Confederate States of America, Ron gave us some wonderful views into what made the man.  He was quite accomplished in life before his February 1861 selection as the Confederate president.  Among these were Secretary of War, a noted attorney, United States Senator from Mississippi and much more.  This was a most informative program, and we thank Ron for its presentation.



March 2014 – Kent Wright, historian/author – Tennessee Valley CWRT – Conflicted Friendships: John Bull, Uncle Sam and King Cotton; The British Influence Upon Union and Confederate Naval Strategies”

April 2014 – Rob Cross, historian, Belle Meade Plantation – “The Affair At Spring Hill, TN” (tentative)

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”

August 2014 – Eric Wittenberg, historian, author – topic TBA

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

October 2014 – David Mowery, historian/author – Cincinnati CWRT – “John Hunt Morgan’s Great Indiana and Ohio Raid”

November 2014 – Shirley Farris, author/historian – “Fort Donelson: One Soldier’s Story” (CS Surgeon, 41st Tennessee)

March 2015 – Mark Hoffman, historian/author – The 1st Michigan Engineers and Mechanics in Middle Tennessee” (from his book)

: 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


Fort Donelson National Battlefield Commemorates a Significant Anniversary – February 13th-27th, 2014


On Thursday, February 13, 2014, beginning at 6:00 pm, Fort Donelson National battlefield will start paying tribute to soldiers and sailors who took part in the epic battle. The 13th will be a tribute to Confederate soldiers and U. S. Navy gunboat crews.

The 14th will be a commemoration of the naval-shore batteries battle that took place on February 14th, 1862 – the Day of Iron Valentines..


February 15th will mark the 152nd anniversary of the “Confederate Breakout” with a special caravan tour. (Reservations for this program are required, and may be made by calling (931)232-5706, ext. 108). At 2:00 pm, Sam Davis Elliott with discuss his book, Isham G. Harris of Tennessee: Confederate governor and United States Senator.  The 9th Kentucky Infantry (USA) living history group will be at the Fort Donelson National Cemetery where discussions of various subsequent engagements in the area will be discussed.


On Sunday, February 16, 2014, the Fort Donelson Book Club (Murray, KY group) will meet at 3:00 PM to discuss Emmy Werner’s Reluctant Witnesses: Children’s Voices from the Civil War. We will meet at the Calloway County Public Library, where a limited number of copies are available for participants.


On Thursday, February 27, the Fort Donelson Book Club (Dover, TN group) will meet at 6:00 PM to discuss Charles B. Flood’s “1864: Lincoln at the Gates of History.” A limited number of copies are available for participants at the park visitor center, where the discussion will be held.


All programs are free and open to the public. Schedule is subject to change in case of inclement weather or unsafe conditions. Updates will be made to the park’s website at www.nps.gov/fodo.  Fort Donelson National Battlefield is located in Dover, Tennessee on US Highway 79.  This is about 90 minutes from Nashville.

“RAISING THE HUNLEY” movie – Johnsonville State Historic Park, February 17th 2014


150th Anniversary of one of the greatest unsolved mysteries of the American Civil War as National Geographic goes in search of the truth about the ill-fated Confederate submarine H.L. Hunley.  Discover the desperate ingenuity behind the creation of the first submarine ever to sink an enemy ship in battle.  Witness researchers’ attempts to learn why the Hunley sank and what became of its crew.  Join the mission to raise the primitive “hand-powered” sub and be there as the Hunley is opened for the first time in more than a century.


The film is showing at 11:00 a.m., 1:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. in the Johnsonville State Park, Civil War Museum-Visitor Center. For more information call 931-535-2789.  The park visitors center is located on US Hwy 70 just before the Tennessee River.  You can also get there by I-40 west, then get off at Exit 143 and turn right.  Follow the signs to New Johnsonville.

11th Annual Kennesaw State University Civil War Symposium, “1864, The Western Theater”, March 21-22, 2014


An outstanding group of presenters will lecture on a variety of topics having to do with the war in the Western Theater during 1864. These include, William C. Davis who will speak on General John C. Breakinridge, “Trying to Remain a Gentleman in the last gentlemanly theater of the war;” Richard McMurry, “The General in the Jar, Joseph E. Johnston and the Atlanta Campaign.” Steve Woodworth; “A. J. Smith’s Guerrillas and the Battle of Nashville;” Jim Ogden, “Inflicting All the Damage You Can, ‘Sherman’s War Resources’ Target;” and Craig Symonds, “Cleburne’s Memorial, Confederate Emancipation and the Meaning of War.”  All are noted Civil War historians and authors.

The program begins on Friday, March 21, at 6 pm with a reception and entertainment by the 97th Regimental String Band. The festivities will be held at the Kennesaw State University Center.  The symposium will get under way at 9 am on Saturday, March 22.  This program will also be held at the KSU Center, 3333 Busbee Dr, NW, Kennesaw, Ga.  This is located at Exit 271 right off I-75 in Kennesaw, GA north of Atlanta – only about 4 ½ hours from Clarksville.  They put on a fine seminar so please be sure to support it if you can.

War In Georgia: The 150th Anniversary of the Atlanta Campaign: Ringgold Through Kennesaw – March 27th-30th, 2014


A 150th Anniversary of the Atlanta Campaign tour will take place on March 27th-30th, 2014.  The tour is a fund raiser for the Lotz House Museum in Franklin, TN.  The fees are:  Single person per room – $495 , Double per room – $390 each, Triple per room – $360 each


Only 22 seats remain for the tour as of this week.  The tour will cover all battlefields from Ringgold Gap through Kennesaw Mountain national Battlefield.  Included will be newly opened sites at Resaca, GA. There’s also some exciting new additions to the tour!


Tour payments – The Lotz House Museum of Franklin, TN is the new sponsor and proceeds will go to them so they can continue telling the story of the Lotz family and the Battle of Franklin in November 1864.  They will handle all payments for the tour, and a portion of your fee is tax deductible as they are a non-profit 501(c)3 agency.


To pay by credit card or debit card – call the Lotz House at (615) 790-7190.  Just state that you are registering and paying for the “War In Georgia: The 150th Anniversary of the Atlanta Campaign,“ tour.  They will take your name, address, phone number, card info and email address.  Please be sure to inform them of how many are attending – single, double, triple.  You will receive an email confirmation.  If you do not have email, then give them your phone number in its place.


To mail in payment by check please send to – and be sure to put “Atlanta Tour” on the check and for how many people as well:


Lotz House Museum – 1111 Columbia Ave. – Franklin, TN   37064




  • Four days of tours with Greg Biggs and Thomas Cartwright.  Greg, president of the Clarksville TN Civil War Roundtable and an officer of the Nashville CWRT, grew up in Georgia and has led Atlanta tours since 1993.  He also leads tours of the Fort Donelson Campaign, the Tullahoma Campaign and Where the River Campaigns Began: Cairo to Columbus/Belmont.  Thomas is a well known tour guide and historian who is the expert on the Middle Tennessee Campaign of 1864 but also has experience in leading tours of Stones River, Shiloh, Parker’s Crossroads and other Civil War sites.  He has also appeared on Civil War television programs and various documentaries.                                                                          


  • Three nights of hotels – Hampton Inn (Ringgold, GA, one night and Marietta, GA, two nights).  These have free breakfasts each day.


  •  Cavalier Tours escort services who will handle almost everything you need for the tour including your luggage.  The tour will be on a bus company coach who works with Cavalier on a regular basis


  • Admission fees to the Tunnel Hill Civil War and Railroad Museum; the Southern Museum for Civil War and Locomotive History and the Pickett’s Mill State Battlefield Park (which is one of the most pristine battlefields in America).


  • A complete set of tour maps for each battlefield.


  • There will also be a Wednesday night program (March 26th) in Franklin with a tour and reception at the Lotz House Museum in Franklin.  There will also be an orientation on the tour.


  • Three excellent Civil War speakers for Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights of the tour.  These are Richard McMurry, noted author and speaker; Brian Wills, another noted author and speaker and director of the Civil War Center of Kennesaw State University; and Michael Shaffer, also an author and speaker and assistant director of the Civil War Center of Kennesaw State University.  All three are included in the tour fee!


The tour will leave from and return to Franklin, TN.  Lotz House is working on a secure place to park your vehicles while the tour is away.  There is also a confirmed hotel in Franklin with a discounted rate for tour participants (not included in the tour price) for Wednesday night, March 26th.  All of these details will be sent to tour participants as they develop.

For any questions, etc. please email J.T. Thompson of the Lotz House at – jtt@lotzhouse.com.  You can also email Greg Biggs at Biggsg@charter.net or call his cell phone at – (931)217-4265.


Lotz House Civil War Museum in Franklin, TN. Adds To Its House Tour


Readers of this newsletter will recall the numerous artifacts discovered in the basement of the Lotz House in Franklin, Tennessee.  Owner J.T. Thompson and historian John Marler, have been unearthing numerous items from the Civil War era buried in the basement of this historic home.  These items are now part of a DVD and book that have been produced for sale that tells the story of the Forgotten Treasures Of A Forgotten battle: The Lotz House Cellar and the Battle of Franklin.  Both items, along with other books, DVDs and more, can be purchased at the Lotz House.


The Lotz House is pleased to announce the new open cellar for private tours as part of this year’s Sesquicentennial commemoration of the Battle of Franklin.  If you have any questions about the new tour or would like to speak to J.T. Thompson, please call 615-790-7190.  The Lotz House is located on Columbia Pike right across from the Carter House in historic Franklin, TN.  Stay tuned for more information about the events they will be holding for the 150th Anniversary of the Battle of Franklin coming in November 2014.


Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Begins Series Of Programs On The Atlanta Campaign – 150th Anniversary


The 150th Anniversary of the Atlanta Campaign officially begins in early May 2014 and continues into early September.  A load of events are being planned for this time frame from reenactments to tours to lectures and other programs.  Towns from Dalton, Georgia to Jonesboro, GA are all involved.  Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield is front and center of many of them including a series of lectures.


The first lecture begins on Saturday, February 22nd, 2014 with a program on The Atlanta Campaign presented by Michael Shaffer, Assistant Director of the Civil War Center at Kennesaw State University.  Mr. Shaffer is a regular speaker on the war in Georgia and is part of the River Line board seeking to preserve the remains of the Confederate defenses along the Chattahoochee River.  The lecture begins at 2 PM.  As Kennesaw Mountain is now the most visited Civil War battlefield, parking can be problematic.  However, there is a special parking area for lecture participants that will be marked at the park visitors center.  Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield is located off I-75 at the Barrett Parkway exit.  Turn right and then follow the signs to the park.


Civil War Seminar At Georgia Tech University in Atlanta – Saturday, April 12, 2014 – in the Student Center


Technology as it was applied to the Civil War — in weapons, military operations, medicine, equipment, communications, and transport — will be the focus of the symposium. Technological changes remote from the battlefield also shaped the conduct of war. Photography and new signal devices improved communications, both military and civilian. It was a period of transition to the full-fledged industrialized warfare of World War I: horses still mattered more than steam engines in the nineteenth century and more soldiers still died from disease in the Civil War than from wounds sustained. This symposium will examine the technological innovation and impact on warfare.   Visit www.hts.gatech.edu/civilwar for information and registration or contact John Miller for information canoe4ever@gmail.com. There is no cost for this symposium, but please register.  Accessible parking is available at the Student Center.   The agenda tentatively includes:


Command, Control, and Communications during the American Civil War: Information Flows and Field Armies, Seymour Goodman (Georgia Tech)

Naval Technology, Kenneth Johnston (National Civil War Naval Museum, Port Columbus)

Emerging Photography and Its Impact, David Vaughan (Civil War Round Table of Atlanta)

Photographing Medicine: Clinical Photography, Photomicrography, and the Development of New Investigative Techniques during the American Civil War, Shauna Devine (Western University, Ontario)

A Sorrowful War: Veterinary Medicine during the War of the Rebellion, Mary-Elizabeth Ellard (Georgia Battlefields Association)

Panel Discussion: Artifacts of the Industrial Revolution, Curating Civil War Technology, featuring Gordon Jones (Atlanta History Center) and Kenneth Johnston (National Civil War Naval Museum) with display in the adjacent Student Center Piedmont Room

Walking Tour: The Georgia Tech Campus in 1864, Charlie Crawford (Georgia Battlefields Association)

The 150th Anniversary of the Civil War in the Western Theater will have a great number of events in Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi starting in April 2014.  Stay tuned here for details of the many events that will be taking place.  The two primary campaigns that are being covered are the Atlanta Campaign and the Tennessee Campaign of 1864 but there will be other events.  For the Eastern Theater, the Overland Campaign and the beginnings of the Petersburg Campaign will be the primary focus but also events in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia.  There will be lots of things to see and do.  Please support these events if you can.

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