December Meeting Notice and Newsletter

December 14th, 2009 – Our 9th Meeting

The next meeting of the Nashville (TN) Civil War Roundtable will be on Monday, December 14th, 2009, in the visitor’s center of Ft. Negley Park, a unit of Metro Parks, Nashville, TN. This is located off I-65 just south of downtown between 4th Avenue South and 8th Avenue South on Edgehill Avenue/Chestnut Avenue. Take Exit 81, Wedgewood Avenue, off I-65 and follow the signs to the Science Museum. 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.

NOTE – since the third Monday of the month, our usual meeting date, falls on the same week as Christmas, we decided to move the date up to the 14th so more people would be able to attend.

OUR SPEAKER AND TOPIC:

“ARTILLERY IN THE FORT DONELSON CAMPAIGN”

As in many battles of the Civil War, the artillery side of things is often overlooked. The Fort Donelson Campaign is no exception. Although the guns used in this campaign for both armies were smaller calibers than what would come later in the war, they were still quite effective in doing their job on offense and defense. When you add in the larger guns of the Union Navy and the Confederate water batteries, at both Forts Henry and Donelson, then you have artillery capability of a much larger scale which both sides used very effectively.

John Walsh, a member of the Clarksville CWRT, will discuss the use of artillery by both armies and the Union Navy in this vital campaign showing its capabilities, limitations, types of ammunition used, organization, leadership and effectiveness.

John Walsh works in the medical industry. He is also a well respected relic hunter and dealer who, along with his wife Nikki, own Fort Donelson Relics, in Dover, Tennessee. John also is a collector and expert on Civil War era photography and has done a lot of research on Birge’s Sharpshooter’s (14th Missouri Infantry/66th Illinois Infantry) and their role in the Civil War. He has submitted an article to Military Images and has presented Civil War programs around Tennessee. He is also an expert tour guide for the Ft. Donelson campaign. Please join us for another outstanding and entertaining program by John Walsh.

LAST MONTH’S MEETING

Karel Lea Biggs of the Clarksville and Nashville CWRTs did her presentation on Confederate shortages and substitutions during the Civil War. Although this has been one of her most requested talks for some time, the Nashville presentation included the debut of her new PowerPoint to accompany her discussion. The program served as a nice reminder of what people under the stress of war had to do to get through their daily lives without many of the regular staples of their life. We also learned about some terrific – and not so terrific – ingenuity these people used to create substitutes for much of what was missing. The program was followed by an entertaining and delightful discussion about the topic. Thanks Karel Lea!

FUTURE PROGRAMS (please check our new web site for other events):

January, 2010 – Thomas Cartwright, historian/author – “The Battle of Thompson’s Station”
February, 2010 – Kent Wright, Tennessee Valley CWRT, Huntsville, AL – “Naval Warfare on the Western Rivers”
March, 2010 – Thomas Flagel, historian and author – topic TBA
April, 2010 – Krista Castillo, Nashville CWRT – topic TBA
May, 2010 – Greg Biggs, author/historian – “The Atlanta Campaign, Part 1 – The Road To Kennesaw”
June, 2010 – Jim Lewis, Stones River National Battlefield, “Cavalry Operations in the Stones River Campaign”
July, 2010 – Joseph Reinhart, Louisville CWRT and author – “McCook’s Dutchmen: The 9th Ohio Infantry”
August, 2010 – Tom Parsons, Corinth National Battlefield – “The Battles For Corinth”
September 2010 – Greg Biggs, author/historian – “The Atlanta Campaign, Part 2 – The Chattahoochee To Jonesboro”
October 2010 – Gail Stephens, author/historian, Baltimore, MD. – “Gen. Lew Wallace” (Based on her upcoming biography)
November, 2010 – Dr. William Glenn Robertson, US Army Combat Studies Institute, Ft. Leavenworth, KS – “A Tale Of Two Orders in the Battle of Chickamauga”
December, 2010 – TBA

MEMBERS AND DUES:

As decided by the membership, the annual dues structure for the Nashville CWRT is as follows:

Single membership – $20
Family – $30
Military – Active duty and Veterans – $15
Military Family – Active duty and Veterans – $25
Student – $10
Senior (age 60 plus) – $15
Senior couple – $20

Thanks to all of you who have paid their dues. When your dues are paid your name badge will be available at the following meeting. Our dues go to paying for speakers as well as donations for Civil War preservation causes especially those of a local nature. Please be sure to pay your dues so we can offer the best programs possible for you!

We also utilize donated items for silent auctions each month to help add to the treasury. If you have something you would like to donate for these auctions, please bring them to the meetings. Books, art, or anything Civil War, works very well. Thanks very much to all of you who have made such donations!

CIVIL WAR NEWS AND EVENTS:

TCWPA Hosts first Three-Star Battlefield Tour at Davis Bridge Battlefield!

The Tennessee Civil War Preservation Association (TCWPA) invites you to its first “Three Star Civil War Battlefield Tour “at Davis Bridge Battlefield on Saturday, December 12, 2009, 9:30 am – 12:30 pm. Tour goers will join Shiloh National Military Park historians and Tennessee Wars Commission Program Director Fred Prouty for an in-depth tour of the recently protected Davis Bridge battlefield. The tour is open to the public and there is no charge to take part. The tour will “go” rain or shine so appropriate warm and weather protective clothing and good walking shoes are recommended. Davis Bridge Battlefield is located near Pocahontas, TN.

TCWPA will launch its new Three Stars tour series at a reception the evening before in Corinth, MS at the National Park Service visitor center. You are invited to join fellow tour participants and TCWPA board members at the reception Friday evening, December 11, at 6:30 pm. There is no charge for this engagement.

If you’d like to attend the reception and tour, please RSVP by email to Executive Director Mary Ann Peckham, mapeckham@aol.com. If you would like to do only the tour, please register online at TCWPA’s web site, http://www.tcwpa.org. (Click on “Events” page). If you have any questions please contact Mary Ann at mapeckham@aol.com.

Note: TCWPA will have a block of hotel rooms held in the Corinth area for tour participants and will order box lunches for the end of the tour on Saturday at the Battlefield. For those interested in lodging or lunch, we’ll let you know the lodging cost and location, and the cost of lunch.

Group Says City Owes $250,000 for Land Preservation (Civil War Preservation Trust newsletter)
By Cliff Hightower 11/15/2009 Chattanooga Times Free Press (TN)

The Trust for Public Land says Chattanooga’s capital improvement budget is $250,000 short of what the city promised to help preserve land on Stringer’s Ridge, but city officials deny they ever made a hard-and-firm commitment to provide the money. Rick Wood, executive director of the nonprofit land preservation trust, said the city promised $150,000 last year and $350,000 this year. The 2009-10 capital improvement budget shows a commitment of $100,000.

Richard Beeland, spokesman for Mayor Ron Littlefield, said the city is doing what it can given budget constraints. “It is an extremely difficult year,” he said. “Everybody has been cut. Unfortunately, we’re only able to offer $100,000 at this time.”

The Trust for Public Land acquired 92 acres atop Stringer’s Ridge in December 2008. It borrowed almost $2.5 million from its national organization in its quest to save the land from being overdeveloped. Stringer’s Ridge is a backdrop to downtown Chattanooga’s skyline and was the site of Union artillery emplacements during the Civil War.

Mr. Wood asked the city in October 2008 for $500,000. The City Council in November approved a resolution for $150,000, records show. But there never was any written agreement committing an additional $350,000, city officials said. “Was it a formal resolution? No,” Mr. Wood said. “Was it a firm commitment? Yes.”

Councilman Andraé McGary raised the issue in a committee meeting last week. City Council members plan to discuss specifics of the capital improvement budget Tuesday. Mr. McGary said that if the city makes deals with private entities, there should be a clear understanding of what could happen if the city doesn’t live up to the bargain. In this case, the Trust for Public Land may have to sell at least five acres for development, he said. “The options are not pretty,” Mr. McGary said.

Parks and Recreation Administrator Larry Zehnder said he understood that the trust requested $500,000 and the city agreed to $150,000. “I don’t think there were any additional promises made for the $350,000,” he said.

Councilwoman Sally Robinson said she believes the city made a commitment for the additional $350,000. She said a suggestion to spread the cost over two years hadn’t been fully discussed. “I don’t know what we’re going to do to make good on our end of the promissory note,” she said.

Mr. Wood said he did not know how the Trust for Public Land would react if the city wants to make separate payments. “I have to answer to a board I owe money to,” he said.

Trust Targets Historic Parcel (Civil War Preservation Trust newsletter)
By Rusty Dennen 11/17/2009 Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star (VA)

A key piece of the Chancellorsville Battlefield associated with Confederate Gen. Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson’s 1863 flank attack is the next acquisition target of a Civil War preservation group. The Civil War Preservation Trust yesterday announced a $2.1 million campaign to buy 85 acres, known as the Wagner Tract, along State Route 3 east of Wilderness Church. The property includes 2,000 feet of frontage on the north shoulder of historic Orange Plank Road and lies within Chancellorsville Battlefield. There, on May 2, 1863, Jackson led the flanking maneuver during bloody fighting that turned the tide of the battle in favor of the South.

“This land is arguably one of the most historically significant pieces of hallowed ground CWPT has ever saved, and we have just got to get it,” said James Lighthizer, the organization’s president.

Historian Robert K. Krick said yesterday that preservationists have been talking to Frank Wagner, a Fredericksburg veterinarian, for several years about acquiring the land. “This is a big one. I’m prone to say this is the second-most-important [battlefield] land in the country” behind a tract on the Richmond battlefield, Krick said. “We’ve taken the initiative because this is so stunningly important.”

Timing is crucial, CWPT spokesman Jim Campi added. The Washington, D.C.-based preservation group is seeking $708,300 from the Virginia Civil War Historic Site Preservation Fund which expires in December. CWPT hopes for another $500,000 from the federal Transportation Enhancement Program. The remainder will come from donations from CWPT members.

The trust has preserved other significant land at Chancellorsville, including 215 acres where the battle raged on its opening day. The purchase price for that was $4 million.

The Battle of Chancellorsville began May 1, 1863, and lasted almost three days. It was considered Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee’s greatest victory. Lee divided his army in the face of superior Union forces, sending Jackson on his 12-mile flanking march around the Army of the Potomac. After the Confederate rout of the Union 11th Corps, Jackson was accidentally shot by his own men and died five days later. The Fredericksburg area has been a prime focus for CWPT’s preservation efforts.

Three years ago, in its biggest purchase ever, CWPT bought Slaughter Pen Farm for $12 million. The 216 acres east of Fredericksburg on Tidewater Trail links critical components of the Battle of Fredericksburg. Other major CWPT acquisitions in Virginia: 1,708 acres at Trevilian Station in Louisa County, for $1.9 million; Glendale in Henrico County, 566 acres for $5.6 million; Third Winchester in the Shenandoah Valley, 431 acres, $5.8 million.

For an interview by Robert Krick on the site please visit: civilwar.org/video/bob-krick-at-the-wagner-tract.html. More by Robert Krick on Jackson’s flank attack: civilwar.org/battlefields/chancellorsville/chancellorsville-history-articles/flankattackkrick.html. For a map of the property go to: civilwar.org/battlefields/chancellors ville/maps/flankattackmap.html.

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