January Meeting Notice and Newsletter


January 18th, 2017 – Our 153rd meeting.  We continue our eleventh year!

The next meeting of the Clarksville (TN) Civil War Roundtable will be on Wednesday, Jauary 18th, 2017 at the Bone & Joint Center, 980 Professional Park Drive, right across the street from Tennova 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  – “Camp McDonald – Training Camp for Georgia Troops”


Big Shanty, Georgia got its name because of the railroad worker shanties built there when the Western & Atlantic Railroad was being built in the 1850s.  The town is now better known as Kennesaw, Georgia.


During the Civil war, two major events took place here.  The first and most important was the site of Camp McDonald, which became the largest training camp for Georgia troops in the state.  Numerous regiments formed and trained here before being sent off to fight in the Eastern and Western Theaters of the Civil War.


The second event was the taking of the famous locomotive, “The General,” by Union spies while on its breakfast stop in Big Shanty in April 1862.  The mission was to burn the railroad bridges north of here on the run to Chattanooga to prevent Confederate reinforcements from being sent to help that city, then under threat from a Union offensive in northern Alabama.


While most of Camp McDonald has been built over, efforts have been made recently to preserve portions of the training camp for interpretation and public visitation.  It has been opened for some time now and is part of the Civil War history of Kennesaw along with the Southern Museum for Civil War and Locomotive History nearby.


Our speaker this month is Michael Shaffer from Kennesaw, Georgia.  He holds BA and MA degrees in Military History and serves on the board of the Chattahoochee River Line Historic Area as well as being a member of the Society of Civil War Historians, Historians of the Civil War Western Theater and is the consultant for the Friends of Camp McDonald.  Michael writes a regular column for Civil War News and is also an instructor at Kennesaw State University in the Civil War field and lectures across the country.


He is also the author of the book, “Washington County, Virginia in the Civil War,” and will have copies of his book for sale at the meeting.


Last Month’s meeting


Unfortunately, Dr. James McDonough had to cancel due to illness last month and we hope to have him later this year.


Our own Krista Castillo gave us a fine program comparing and contrasting women in the Civil War era and World War One.    The changes in American society in the Civil War with so many women going to work in ordnance and quartermaster facilities in addition to becoming nurses changed the social structure of the time.  Women indeed showed they could do a number of jobs outside of the home – and this did not count the women who ran family farms while their husbands were in the military.  It set the tone for World War 1, where women not only did many of the same jobs as those in the Civil War, but they also served in the military itself in a number of positions that freed up men for the combat arms.  The program was well detailed with slides including a number of World War One propaganda posters that featured women urging them to step up to the defense of their nation.  Well researched and presented, Krista did a fine job of connecting the women of the two eras.  Thanks for stepping in on very short notice.




February 2017 – Robert Hodge, historian, film maker – “The Battle of Spotsylvania” (based on his recent film)

March 2017 – Brian Allison, historian/author – “Murder And Mayhem in Nashville” (based on his new book)

April 2017 – Allen Mesch, author/historian – “General Charles F. Smith” (based on his book)

IMPORTANT –  MEMBERS AND DUES: DUES ARE DUE AT THE JULY 2016 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

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.




Want A Tour of the Shiloh Battlefield?  Try David Stewart.


If you are heading to Shiloh National Military Park and want something much more than driving around that wonderful site with the Park Service brochure, then a personal guided tour is the thing for you.  David Stewart, of Collierville, TN, offers guided tours of this wonderful battlefield and has been doing so for quite some time.


For information about his tours, which include more than Shiloh (like Gettysburg, Brice’s Crossroads and more), what they entail and costs, please visit his web site at – www.shilohcivilwartours.com.  A schedule of group tours and their locations is also posted on the web site.


The Civil War On Television (Courtesy of the Cleveland CWRT newsletter)


Here’s some Civil War TV programs for your enjoyment.  Nice to see these – hope we can get even more!


Antiques Roadshow: The Civil War Years – Artifacts: PBS Monday, January 23, 2017 (7 PM and 3 rebroadcasts)


Lincoln Assassination: American Experience (PBS.org) will broadcast “The Assassination of Abraham Lincoln” on January 17, 2017 at 8 PM (ET).


More Civil War Television That You Can Watch On Your Computer (Courtesy of the Des Moines, IA CWRT newsletter)


C-Span does regular interviews with all sorts of authors including noted Civil War historians.  Please find here a link to the broadcast of Dr. Earl Hess, noted author and professor of history at Lincoln Memorial University in East Tennessee on “Civil War Weapons and Tactics.” This is based on his recent book on the topic which continues the trend of challenging the myth of the rifle musket as being the cause for so much slaughter in the war.




You might spend some time on their web site for other Civil War programs they offer.


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