July Newsletter and Meeting Notice

July 16th, 2014 – Our 124th meeting. We continue our eleventh year!
The next meeting of the Clarksville (TN) Civil War Roundtable will be on Wednesday, July 16th, 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.

OUR SPEAKER AND TOPIC: – “Canada and the Civil War”

Our great neighbor to the north, Canada, was one of the crown jewels of the British Empire in the mid-19th Century. Much is known about how Britain was outraged when one of her steamships was stopped by a U.S. Navy vessel carrying two Confederate diplomats, James Mason and John Slidell. Britain dispatched troops to the Dominion of Canada but cooler heads prevailed. The United State could not fight the Confederates and Great Britain at the same time. Somewhat less known was the activities of the Confederate Secret Service that operated out of Canada. This is about the extent of Canada’s involvement in the American Civil War that most people have heard of. But there was much more.

This month’s special speaker, Conrad Laplante, president of the Ottawa Civil War Roundtable, will bring to our meeting this month an in depth look on how Canada was affected by our Civil War, American-Canadian relations and how the Civil War actually caused Canada. The war was indeed a shared experience.

That being said, there is much that is little known about the Canadian involvement in that amazing conflict. Just look at the index of any of the major works on the Civil War and search for Canada or Canadians and you will find little mention. This program will correct that error. Many of the facts and figures that will be presented will come as quite a surprise. Without giving away too much, there were thousands of Canadians who participated. The blood of Canadians is in the ground of just about every battlefield of the Civil War. We have some heroes, villains, and untold numbers of ordinary soldiers, some of whom achieved remarkable things. All of these stories will be part of the program.

Conrad Laplante was born and raised in Ottawa, the capital of Canada. After a full career with the military (retired as chief warrant officer, Militia) and government civil service, he now devotes his time to studying American-Canadian relations. Conrad graduated from the University of Ottawa with a BA (Honours) History degree, and is the current president of the Ottawa Civil War Round Table. He is the author of a local history book, At Your Target In Front, Fire!, The Story of Connaught Range.

Please join us for what promises to be a very unique and interesting program and welcome our guest from our great neighbor.


We are massively informed and entertained last month by Chicago Police Department detective Robert Girardi, noted Civil War author on the murder of Union General William “Bull” Nelson by Union General Jefferson C. Davis. Despite witnesses to the event, and the lack of proper prosecution by the U.S. Army, tied up with the invasion of Kentucky by the Confederate armies of Braxton Bragg and Edmund Kirby Smith, Davis not only got away with the murder, but was promoted to corps command for Sherman’s March to the Sea. Nelson could be arrogant but he backed that up with solid battle performance. The speculation of how Perryville might have been had he been commanding one of Don Carlos Buell’s corps was brought out in Girardi’s program. Besides being an interesting Civil War event, Girardi’s own professional experience as a homicide detective really added tremendously to the program and the study of the case. It was delivered with complete knowledge of the topic and with humor and style. This is one of the best programs the Nashville CWRT has had and we thank Rob, and his guest Paula Walker, president of the Civil War Roundtable of Chicago, the nation’s first CWRT. We were most happy to have them both.


August 2014 – Eric Wittenberg, historian, author – topic TBA
September 2014 – Jamie Gillum, historian/Author, Franklin, TN – “Twenty Five Hours To tragedy: The battle of Spring Hill, November 29th, 1864” (based on his new book)
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)
December 2014 – Greg Wade, Franklin CWRT – “Hood’s Retreat from Nashville”
March 2015 – Mark Hoffman, historian/author – The 1st Michigan Engineers and Mechanics in Middle Tennessee” (from his book)

MEMBERS AND DUES: – DUES ARE DUE AT THE JULY 2014 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:

 Student – $10
 Single membership – $20
 Family – $30
 Military – Active duty and veterans – $15
 Military family – Active duty, veterans, and family – $25

Your annual dues for the 2014-2015 campaign are due at this meeting. Please plan on handling that this month. You will get a new membership card after the dues are paid. Thanks for your support!


More Great News From Franklin, Tennessee on Battlefield Reclamation

The news from Franklin continues to be exciting for saving more and more of that battlefield. According to the recent Save the Franklin Battlefield newsletter, a new parcel just south of the Carter House, currently home to the well known flower shop and one other building, is being purchased for $2.8 Million for the 1.6 acres. Located literally right next to the Carter farm office, this would be a key addition to the site. Funding is planned from grants, donations and other sources. STFB has also secured a strip of land along Meadowland Drive, part of the new Loring’s Advance area by the Carnton Manor. When cleared, the land will be added to that new park land.

Finally, the moving of houses from Cleburne Avenue continues with yet more homes being moved to new locations. The land will be incorporated into the planned Battle of Franklin park that is planned. Restored earthworks, trails and interpretive markers, plus a reconstructed Carter Gin will enhance the visitor experience.

If you wish to contribute to these worth causes please visit the Save the Franklin Battlefield web site at – http://www.franklin-stfb.org

Franklin CWRT Officer Releases Civil War Novel – Broken Valley

Greg Wade, founder and president of the Franklin, TN CWRT, has written a new Civil War novel. Entitled Broken Valley, the book tells of the lives of civilians in and around the Sequatchie Valley in Tennessee located north of Chattanooga. The work focuses on the Barler family and their neighbors. As Mr. Wade presents it:

“This is about “life behind the lines” in the Sequatchie Valley near Chattanooga. It follows a fictional family and the trials of being in such a divided area. It is a historical fiction but based on a lot of fact. There are scenes in Chattanooga and several other states as well. Wheeler’s Raid is described from the point of view of a civilian caught up in it all.”

Greg will be part of a local authors event at the Barnes & Noble Cool Springs is hosting a local author Meet & Greet event on Friday, July 25 from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM. Books A Million in Clarksville will also be happy to order the book for you.

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