September Newsletter & Meeting Notice

September 19th, 2018 – Our 170th meeting.  We continue our fourteenth year!  A Special fourth Wednesday meeting date!

The next meeting of the Clarksville (TN) Civil War Roundtable will be on Wednesday, September 19th 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  – “Combat Loads and the Myth of Sunny Dixie?”


According to many historians, the Federal soldiers who marched on Fort Donelson either cast away their blankets and overcoats, or decided not to carry them in the first place. This was on the assumption that such things wouldn’t be needed in “Sunny Dixie” and the weather was reasonably warm in early February 1862 even with the rains.   They would regret their improvidence when the weather changed into a snowy Hell the next day. Temperatures plummeted to just above zero, snow and sleet pelted the region with howling winds.


Is that what really happened? There were legitimate tactical reasons for the men to travel light, and it was usually the officers, not the men, who made the decisions.  Historians would conveniently overlook that one of those decision makers was their commander, Brigadier General Ulysses S. Grant.  This month’s program will examine the events of the march from Fort Henry, which fell on February 6, 1862, to Fort Donelson on February 12th.  The program will examine if the historians are always right about certain events.

Our speaker this month member James Glick.  He is a military retiree whose master’s thesis explored how historians “make” history, using examples from the Battle of Fort Donelson. He now lives in Clarksville.

We hope you join us for this informative program on an event in our area.

Last Month’s Speaker


Nancy McEntee, perhaps one of the most fascinating speakers we have ever had in terms of her personal accomplishments, regaled us with the story of Union Quartermaster Captain Webster Colburn and his time in Tennessee and the Civil War in general.  Presented with knowledge of the topic, and based on a large collection of letters from Captain Colburn in the hands of a personal friend who is his descendant.  Humor, sadness, frustration and more permeated Captain Colburn’s time in the Union Army and all of this and more was presented to us last month.  We thank Nancy for coming to speak to us.




October 2018Gerald Augustus – author/historian – “The Battle of Campbell’s Station, Longstreet’s East Tennessee Campaign”

November 2018Dr. David Gregg, pastor, historian – “John Bell Hood In Muscle Shoals, Alabama, 1864”

December 2018 – TBA

January 2019 – TBA

February 2019 – David Deatrick, Louisville CWRT – “Kentucky Union General Lovell Rosseau”

March 2019 – Ed Sneed, Clarksville CWRT, retired teacher – “Grant And Vicksburg”

June 2019 – Brad Butkovich, historian/author – “The Battle of Allatoona Pass: The First Battle of Hood’s Tennessee Campaign”


Some of our speakers are authors and bring books to sell at our meetings.  Please support them by buying their books.

IMPORTANT –  MEMBERS AND DUES: DUES ARE DUE AT THE JULY 2018 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.



Russellville, Kentucky Member Wants To Share Rides to the Clarksville CWRT

Nora Lacayo attended our meetings as a guest of the late Irene Ahlgrim.  She really would love to keep attending and would like to share rides to our meetings.  If you can help her please call her at – (270) 725-8695.  She lives in Russellville, KY.


Vetfest – A Celebration of American Military Veterans – Franklin, TN, Saturday, November 10, 2018

This year’s Vetfest will take place at historic Harlindale Farm in Franklin.  Located at 239 Franklin Road just north of downtown Franklin and the Harpeth River, this annual event celebrates American military veterans.

This year the whole family can attend and see entertainment, veterans owned businesses, a Kid’s Zone and much more.  Food trucks will be on hand.  The event begins at 9 Am and ends at 5 PM.  For more information please visit their web site –

Southern Kentucky Pastfinders Announce September 2018 Meeting

The Southern Kentucky Pastfinders will meet Saturday, September 15th, 7PM at the Logan County Public Library. The speaker this month will be Barry Duvall from Greenville, Kentucky and his topic will be The Civil War in Muhlenberg County Kentucky.  This county rests north of Hopkinsville and Russellville and troops from both sides moved through it during the war.


An author of two books, Barry is civil war historian and collector. He is currently working on compiling a publication of soldiers and units from Muhlenberg Co. The public is invited, and admission is free, so don’t let history be a mystery and come learn with us.


The beautiful new Logan County Library in Russellville is located at 225 Armory Drive. To get there head to Russellville on US Highway 79.  At Main Street (traffic light), turn left and go through the square to Armory Drive (McDonald’s on the corner) and turn right.


Before the meeting you can have a great Italian dinner at Ariella Italian Restaurant on the square owner by Clarksville CWRT supporter Debbie.  It is the best Italian food in our area!


A Message From Jim Lighthizer, American Battlefield Trust


Dear Friends,


My name is Jim Lighthizer — and it is my privilege to serve as president of the American Battlefield Trust, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to preserving America’s hallowed battlegrounds and educating the public about what happened there and why it matters today.


Since the founding of the Trust’s first predecessor organization — the Association for the Preservation of Civil War Sites — in the summer of 1987, we have successfully saved more than 50,000 acres of American battlefield land in 24 states.


But we have not reached this milestone alone.


Preservation is a partnership — and our success is rooted in working together with partners at all levels of government and individuals from across the country and around the world who share our passion for American history.


Suffice it to say: I would be hard-pressed to name a group of people more passionate about that history than the men and women of the Civil War Round Table community.


And, now more than ever, the Trust needs your help.


Earlier this year, Congressman Jody Hice of Georgia introduced H.R. 6108, the Preserving America’s Battlefields Act, a bipartisan bill to reauthorize the Battlefield Land Acquisition Grants Program — a successful, dollar-for-dollar, federal matching-grants program that promotes the preservation of battlefields from the Civil War, Revolutionary War and War of 1812.


The grants provided by this program, competitively awarded by the National Park Service’s American Battlefield Protection Program, encourage state and private-sector investment in battlefield preservation. It is impossible to overstate here just how essential these grants have been, and remain, to the success of the Trust’s mission.


The battlefields saved as a result of the Battlefield Land Acquisition Grants Program are among the most famous in American history, including Antietam, Md.; Appomattox and Fredericksburg, Va.; Charleston, S.C.; Chickamauga, Ga.; Gettysburg, Pa.; Princeton, N.J.; and Shiloh, Tenn.


Currently, the program is authorized at $10 million per year; the Preserving America’s Battlefields Act would double that amount to $20 million annually. This figure includes up to $2 million a year for the restoration and interpretation of high-priority battlefield sites, helping to transform these battlegrounds into genuine heritage-tourism destinations.


I have attached a copy of the bill to this e-mail, with space at the top for supporters to be able to print and personally sign on as citizen cosponsors. I and all of us at the Trust would be grateful if you could circulate this attachment in turn to the members of your Civil War Round Table, then collect the signed copies and send these back to the Trust in a single batch for us to utilize in our ongoing advocacy effort to ensure the successful passage of this legislation.


Thank you for your consideration as well as your support — and we look forward to hearing from you. Please do not hesitate to contact Paul Coussan of my staff with any questions regarding this effort via e-mail at or via phone at 202-367-1861, ext. 7218.


Sincerely,  Jim Lighthizer


Braxton Bragg Tries Again: Another Chickamauga (Mis-ad) Venture – Tour of the Early Phases of the Chickamauga Campaign – November 3, 2018


The wonderful folks at the Kennesaw State University Civil War Center in Kennesaw, GA have developed another fine tour for Civil War buffs and this one is really good with a great guide – Chickamauga/Chattanooga National Military park Historian Jim Ogden and center director Dr. Brian Wills.  Here’s the details:


It was an angry Braxton Bragg who rode out of McLemore’s Cove on the evening of September 11th, 1863.  Recalcitrant subordinates had frittered away an opportunity to have crushed a significant portion of George Thomas’ Fourteenth Corps!  But while the 11th had proved to be (another) day of frustration, intelligence had been gathered that more clearly showed how widely separated were the major elements of the enemy’s force.  Perhaps there were still offensive opportunities.  Even before the 11th ended, orders began to stream from Bragg’s LaFayette headquarters to units unengaged in McLemore’s Cove—be ready to march at daylight.

There’s essentially a week between the missed opportunity of McLemore’s Cove (September 10-11, 1863) and what became the Battle of Chickamauga (September 18-20, 1863).  In this day long bus tour, we’ll look at Bragg’s second try for a battle in the West Chickamauga Creek watershed and set the stage for what did become the Battle of Chickamauga as we know it.  We’ll return to Bragg’s LaFayette headquarters and then ride with the North Carolinian as he went to join Leonidas Polk for a strike on Tom Crittenden; we’ll see ground of the Rock Spring-Lee & Gordon’s Mills venture and visit the surviving post-war Lee & Gordon’s Mills where the Assistant Commissary of Subsistence will provide us with our mid-day repast catered by Oakwood Cafe, the Dalton eatery that supplied our delicious meal in April!  We’ll then transition to an exploration of what became Bragg’s plan that does bring on the Battle of Chickamauga we know, in no small part thanks to the accurate intelligence gathered by the “Wizard in the Saddle” Nathan Bedford Forrest’s cavalry.  We’ll visit sites like Leet’s Tanyard and Peavine Church that take us to the eve of the history book’s clash in the valley of the “River of Death.”  It will be a day that further illustrates that there’s much more to the Civil War than just the big battles and that as it was lived, it might have been a very different war.  Join us as BRAGG TRIES AGAIN!  – Jim Ogden


The fees are:  $69 for General Admission – $59 for Kennesaw Corps Members.  The fee covers the bus, tour guides and lunch.  The tour runs from 8 AM to 5 PM and leaves from 3391 Town Point Drive in Kennesaw.  To register online please go to –


Two Weeks Of Fury – The War in the Carolinas Campaign and Symposium – September 28-30, 2018


The Civil War in the West ended in the Carolinas when William T. Sherman took his veteran army that had marched from Atlanta to Savannah crossed over into South Carolina aiming to link up with Union forces under U.S. Grant in Virginia.  Facing Sherman was a ragtag Confederate army, veterans of what was left of the Army of Tennessee after the Tennessee Campaign and such forces as could be cobbled together to stop him under General Joseph Johnston, Braxton Bragg and others.


If you have never been to these sites then this tour is for you.  You will see the following battlefields – Monroe’s Crossroads (in the middle of Fort Bragg), Wise’s Forks, Averasboro and Bentonville.  Sponsored by the Friends of Bentonville Battlefield and others the tour also comes with a symposium featuring nationally known speakers Dr. John Marszalek and Dr. Craig Symonds.  Tours are led by veteran tour guides Eric Wittenberg, Wade Sokolosky, Mark Smith and Dr, Mark Bradley, all of whom have been published on this campaign.


For details and more call (910) 594-0789 Ext. 203 or visit the web site –




Civil War on the Internet?  Try the Cincinnati Civil War Roundtable’s Web Site


We all enjoy messing about on the Internet looking for Civil War and other historical things.  Most Civil War Roundtables have web sites but not that many offer what can be found on the site of the Cincinnati CWRT.  Articles of interest, presentations from their learned members, upcoming events in the Ohio/Kentucky region, book reviews, interesting people and much more can be found at –


Cincy is only 5 hours from Clarksville so if you find something on the site that you would like to visit, like Ohio troops training Camp, Camp Dennison, or the James Ramage Civil War Museum across the river in Kentucky, then this site will be fun and informative.


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