December News and Meeting Information

December 16th, 2015 – Our 141st meeting.   We continue our eleventh year!
The next meeting of the Clarksville (TN) Civil War Roundtable will be on Wednesday, December 16th, 2015 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
 – “The U.S. Army in the Civil War”


Hundreds of volunteer regiments – infantry, cavalry and artillery – were raised to fight in the Civil War by the Union Army.  Most of these men had not had any pre-war militia or military service of any kind as the concept of a large standing professional army was anathema to some fearing such an entity as a threat to liberty.  Some had served in the volunteer regiments raised for the Mexican War while others had some militia experience.  But many today forget that the U.S. Army of some 16,500 officers and men was a very well trained and led professional force with lots of experience fighting Indians from Florida to Texas and the Western Plains.


Our speaker this month, retired Chief Ranger of Fort Donelson National Battlefield, Michael Manning will inform us of the makeup of this small force and its exploits in the Civil War.  Units fought in the east and west as well as remained in action in the far west during the war.  Included is a brief survey of the Regular Army establishment in the Civil War focusing on the decisions regarding the use of Regular forces during the conflict.  The various staff departments and the use of Regular Army regiments in the different theaters will be examined.


Michael Manning recently retired after 26 years with the National Park Service (NPS) having served as the Chief Park Ranger at Fort Donelson National Battlefield, Dover, Tennessee. He previously served in various other NPS areas including Horseshoe Bend National Military Park, Alabama, Fort Larned National Historic Site, Kansas, and Scotts Bluff National Monument, Nebraska. He previously served as the military-related National Historic Landmarks coordinator for the NPS in Oklahoma. He holds a BS degree in Criminal Justice from Northeastern State University, Tahlequah, Oklahoma and an MA degree in Military History from the American Military University. He served five years with the U.S. Navy Seabees as well as another seven years as a First Lieutenant in the Military Police Corps of the U.S. Army Reserve and National Guard. He is also a graduate of the Land Management Police Training Program at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Glynco, Georgia. Mike began his historic interpretation work while still a student at Northeastern State University by first volunteering then becoming a part-time Historic Site Attendant with the Oklahoma Historical Society at Fort Gibson Historic Site.  He currently resides in Woodlawn, Tennessee.


Last Month’s Program


Out of the mouth of babes – we had one of the most entertaining programs in the history of our CWRT when 4th grader Jonathan Walsh gave his fine program, complete with power point, on what happened to the Carter family during the Battle of Franklin.  Inspired by a tour he took there, Jonathan really worked hard on his fine program and had the crowd in his hand the entire time with his historical facts and hilarious comments about his brother Alex and the size of certain things (note – it was not done with typical words covering the size of things).  We really enjoyed having Jonathan with us and hope he works up a new program soon so we can have him back with us.  Thanks Jonathan!





January 2016 – Dr. John Steinberg, Austin Peay State University History Department Chair – “Lincoln and the Russians”

February 2016 – Ross Massey, author/historian – “General William Bate of Tennessee”

March 2016 – Dr. Anthony Hodges, historian – “Civil War Medicine”

April 2016 – Tom Parson, Corinth National Battlefield, author/historian – “Work For Giants: The Battle of Tupelo” (based on his recent excellent book)

May 2016 – Brian McKnight, University of Virginia/Wise, author/historian – “Champ Ferguson”

October 2016 – Allen Mesch, historian/author – “General Charles F. Smith” (Based on his recent book.  Smith fought at Fort Donelson and his troops took Clarksville.)

: DUES ARE DUE AT THE JULY 2015 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

Please plan on paying your dues at this month’s meeting.  If you cannot attend please send payment to Greg Biggs, 2600 W. Henderson Way, Clarksville, TN 37042.




Tennessee Civil War Preservation Association Announce Next Three Star Tour – December 12, 2015


The Battle of Sugar Creek


TCWPA’s next Three-Star Battlefield Tour will be on Saturday morning,  December 12th.  Join Dr. Kevin Gray and Joe Fowlkes for an exciting tour of the site of the last major Civil War battle in Tennessee: The Battle of Sugar Creek, December 26, 1864.  The tour will begin in Pulaski and on the way to the privately-owned Sugar Creek Battlefield we’ll visit at least two other Civil War sites.  Sugar Creek is where the rear guard of the Army of Tennessee under Nathan Bedford Forrest, with attached infantry, drubbed the pursuing Federals allowing the army to cross into Alabama and safety.  This tour will be through some very pretty parts of Tennessee on a little known but nearly pristine battlefield.


Here is the link for online registration:

Tour Details

  • 8:00-8:30 am:  Check-in and Welcome in downtown Pulaski
  • 8:30 am:         Tour departs Pulaski
  • 1:00 pm:         Tour concludes
  • Car-pooling from Pulaski recommended
  • Rain or Shine – the tour goes.
  • Walking distance:  approximately 1 mile (total) at Sugar Creek on level pastureland.

Additional tour information will be sent to participants prior to the tour.  


The tour is free and open to the public.  Pre-registration will be required as the number of participants is limited.    For more information and to reserve your space contact TCWPA at –  Visit their web site at –


71st Anniversary Battle of the Bulge Seminar at Fort Negley – Saturday, December 19th, 2015


On Saturday, December 19, 2015, Fort Negley will host a daylong seminar honoring the 71st anniversary of the Battle of the Bulge, the largest battle of the European Theater involving American and British troops.  On December 16, 1944, Adolf Hitler, hoping to destroy the Allied armies in the Ardennes, to capture Antwerp, and to regain a foothold in the west, launched Germany’s final major offensive on the Western Front.  Although the German advance created a bulging wedge in the lines, American troops refused to break.  After ten days of heavy fighting, Allied reinforcements arrived.  The costly counterattack prevented the Germans from reaching their first objective, regaining captured ground.


This free seminar will begin at 9:30 AM and last until 4:30 PM with a one-hour break for lunch.  Attendees are encouraged to bring a sack lunch and tour Fort Negley during the break.  The seminar at Fort Negley will be a condensed version of the eight-part Battle of the Bulge series created by local Clarksville historians and Austin Peay State University history department faculty that took place earlier this year.


Related displays will include memorabilia and uniforms from the 106th Infantry Division, which had two regiments cut off and captured by the Germans in the Bulge, as well as World War II scale models crafted by members of a Nashville-based group.  World War II veterans are especially invited to share their experiences at the Battle of the Bulge.


9:45 AM – The U.S. Army From D-Day to the Ardennes, presented by William Parker, professor,

Austin Peay State University; director, Fort Defiance Interpretive Center, Clarksville, TN


10:45 AM – Wacht Am Rhein: The Germans in the Battle of the Bulge, presented by Greg Biggs,

military historian, Clarksville, TN


11:45 AM – Lunch on Your Own


12:45 PM – My Experience in the Battle of the Bulge, presented by Michael Freeland, veteran, 82nd

Airborne Division; author, Hopkinsville, KY (Mr. Freeland will have copies of his book for sale at this event)


1:45 PM – The 106th Infantry Division: The Golden Lions in the Battle of the Bulge, presented by John

Schuler, veteran, U.S. Army Special Forces; historian, Clarksville, TN


2:45 PM – The Conquest and American Occupation of Germany, presented by Dewey Browder, PhD, Lt. Col. US

Army (Ret); Professor Emeritus of History, Austin Peay State University, Clarksville, TN


3:45 PM – Panel Discussion


Seating is limited.  To make reservations or to receive more information, please contact Fort Negley Visitors Center at 615-862-8470 or


Confederate Battle Flag Captured at Franklin, November 30th, 1864, Goes On Display at Carnton in Franklin For One Year


The battle flag of the 7th Texas Infantry, captured at Franklin in late November 1864 by the 24th Wisconsin Infantry and brought back to Wisconsin, is now on display in the museum at Carnton Plantation in Franklin.  The flag, part of a private collection, has been loaned to Carnton by its owner.  It was brought back to Wisconsin after the battle and remained there for many years being placed on display in the home town of the captor, a former captain of the 24th Wisconsin.  Thought to have been lost, the banner turned up in 2014 and was purchased and has now been conserved.


Although part of Patrick Cleburne’s Division, famous for their blue and white battle flags, the 7th Texas reverted to a flag issued to them in either late 1862 or early 1863 after their exchange from their capture at Fort Donelson.  This flag bears the Southern Cross (or saltier in flag terminology), the unit designation and a series of battle honors.  Unique to this flag is its fifteen white stars, a trademark of several flags associated with units and officer stationed in Mississippi where the Fort Donelson POW exchanges took place.  The flag is identical in style and construction to that of the 50th Tennessee Infantry at the Tennessee State Museum.  According to its history, the flag last flew at Missionary Ridge before being replaced by a Cleburne battle flag when the 7th Texas joined that division in 1864.  That flag remains missing today.


Brig. Gen. Hiram Granbury, killed leading his Texas Brigade at Franklin, was originally a company commander in the 7th Texas and was captured with the regiment at Fort Donelson.  The regiment arrived in the Tennessee theater in late 1861 and was first posted to Hopkinsville, KY where their ranks, and those of the Mississippi troops stationed there as well, were decimated by measles and other diseases.  The regiment fought in the Vicksburg Campaign at Raymond and other battles before coming back to Tennessee after Chickamauga.


This is a great chance to see a banner captured at Franklin that is not part of any museum collection.


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