March Meeting Notice and Newsletter

March 16th, 2010 – Our 12th Meeting – HAPPY ANNIVERSARY TO US!!!!!

(Webmistress note: Sorry for the late update but the flu has hit!)

The next meeting of the Nashville (TN) Civil War Roundtable will be on Monday, March 15th, 2010, 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.


“From the Pages of Harper’s Weekly: The Illustrations of Thomas Nast, Reconstruction Politics and Popular Consciousness”

The period of Reconstruction remains a point of contention among scholars, academics and amateur historians largely due to the biases and opinions passed down through the
generations. It is not until we step back and view the period from the context of the time that we can begin to understand the complexity of the issues involved. The illustrations of
Thomas Nast prominently displayed in Harper’s Weekly reveal popular attitudes towards Reconstruction politics and emerging radical ideologies. Nast successfully illustrated
complicated political issues for illiterate members of society. His semi allegorical decorative drawings touched the souls of those suffering through the horrors and sorrows of war
both North and South. Through patriotic illustrations during the Civil War, Nast boosted enlistment numbers and ultimately Harper’s Weekly subscriptions. In 1864, Nast played a
major role in the presidential election. During the turmoil of the Reconstruction period, Nast revealed the corruption of New York City’s Tammany Hall deposing Boss Tweed. Although
Thomas Nast’s reputation as an illustrator, caricaturist and political cartoonist faded into obscurity over the past one hundred years, most Americans easily recognize the symbols he
created such as the Democratic Donkey, the Republican Elephant and the most popular representation of Santa Clause. Nast’s deeply rooted convictions and skill transformed his
pen into a weapon poised to eradicate injustice, characteristics that remain unmatched in his craft to this day.

Krista Castillo, raised by a history buff, grew up near Fort Laurens a Revolutionary War fort in Northern Ohio. An archaeological dig witnessed at eight years old, remaining vividly in
her memory, ultimately set the course for her future. In 2000, Krista graduated from Mount Union College in Alliance, Ohio with a BA in History/Art History Minor. One year later, she
moved to Fort Campbell with her husband Lee then a soldier with the 101st ABN and their daughter Vanessa. In 2002, Corrinne was born in Tennessee becoming the first
Southerner in a family of Yankees. Krista completed coursework for a MA in Military History in 2009 and hopes to graduate in the fall. Krista came to Fort Negley in November 2008
where she develops public programming and promotes the site. Recently, she was asked to serve on the Metro Historical Commission’s Nashville Sesquicentennial Committee.
Krista resides in Clarksville with her family which has grown to include two spoiled dachshunds Morton and Roscoe. She is also the first president of the Nashville Civil War


The Nashville CWRT was treated to a wonderful and informative program on Naval Warfare on the Western Waters by Kent Wright of the Tennessee Valley CWRT in Huntsville, Alabama. Kent, a former naval officer, has done extensive research on naval affairs in the Civil War and his program reflected the research and was delivered in a wonderful style. The naval aspects of the war enabled the Federals to make substantial gains in the west early on with Fort Henry and Fort Donelson and continuing into 1863 with the capture of Vicksburg and Port Hudson, thanks, in part, to the US Navy. Sadly, there are not many speakers out there that do naval programs and this is one of the best.

Thanks very much Kent for coming up to speak to us.

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

April, 2010 – Greg Biggs, author/historian – “The Atlanta Campaign, Part 1 – The Road To Kennesaw”
May, 2010 – Thomas Flagel – Columbia State Community College – “The Press Reports The Battle Of Nashville”
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 – John Marler, Carnton Plantation and former Petersburg NBF – “The Petersburg Campaign.”


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!


Development Threat to Ft. Stevens in Washington, DC. (From Susan Claffey, Civil War Roundtable of the District of Columbia)

Ft. Stevens is part of the defenses constructed by the Union Army to protect Washington DC during the Civil War. It was built in 1861 on land partially owned by Elizabeth Thomas, a free woman of color and a farmer. It was originally named Ft. Massachusetts and built to protect the Seventh Street Turnpike into Washington. It was later expanded and renamed Ft. Stevens.

Fort Massachusetts/Stevens was actually built on the location of Emory Chapel and the church building was incorporated into the fort and was used as a barracks, a hospital, a jail and a healing station to support Fort Stevens. Ft. Stevens claim to fame was when it became the point of attack as Confederate General Jubal Early approached Washington from the north via the Seventh Street Turnpike. President Abraham Lincoln came out to observe the battle from the fort and came under enemy fire while viewing the fighting on July 12, 1864. This is supposedly the only time in our nation‘s history when a sitting President came under fire during battle. (Editor’s Note: Future US Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes tackled President Lincoln to prevent him from being shot. There is a marker on one of the fort’s walls showing where this happened.)

In 1870 the Emory Church building of the Civil War era was torn down and rebuilt. In 1922, it was again torn down and rebuilt and this is the church’s present building. The church property’s uniqueness is due to its distinct topography and it has become known as, “Church on a Hill.” It has long had a historical association with Fort Stevens. The existing church structure sits on a 14-foot high berm which is considered a remnant of Fort Stevens.

The church has a lofty and laudable goal. They want to help revitalize their neighborhood, which indeed needs help, by building a mixed used development of affordable housing and retail spaces. They are open to including an interpretive center for the fort in their project. The problem Civil War buffs have with this is that they want to do their own design. It is planned to be five stories tall and will be built right up to the property line with the Ft. Stevens property owned by the NPS. The five story development will have the loading docks and dumpsters, etc. for the project and be in full view of visitors to the fort because the fort is, in essence, the back yard of Emory Church.

Here is link to the plan: Here is an aerial view showing the church and Ft. Stevens:,&sll=38.964389,-77.028767&sspn=0.001376,0.002401&ie=UTF8&radius=0.06&split=1&rq=1&ev=zi&hq=emory+church,&hnear=&ll=38.964389,-77.028767&spn=0.001376,0.002401&t=h&z=19

The plan is to build right up to a little strip of road between the two. It has been suggested that the front of Fort Stevens become green space and a front yard to the project and put the busy side of the development on Georgia Avenue or Quackenbos.

The NPS has neglected Ft. Stevens and the rest of the remaining fortifications around Washington that are in their care for decades. They fell asleep at the switch on this one and were unaware until the final hour of Emory’s plans. Had they been active with the community and the Church, they would have known far in advance and perhaps could have influenced those plans. Emory had to file for a zoning variance from DC to build their project. They received that variance on February 23. Thus Round One has been lost as an opportunity to alter the plans. The Church rejected any suggested changes during this process as infeasible. Preservationist’s only hope now rests on them receiving Federal funding of some type that might bring the National Preservation Act to bear.

From Gail Stephens, our October speaker, “the only thing I’d add is that the church is open to some kind of a visitor center in the new retail spaces but only if the NPS will do it. The big issue, as Susan state in her last paragraph, is NPS commitment to the site. The NPS in DC has so many important spaces, (the Big Kahuna is the Mall), that a CW site, even if it is the place where a Confederate army came within a hair’s breadth of seizing the Union capital, falls way down their list of priorities. As folks who understand the importance and the “draw” of CW sites, roundtables need to be in the front line pushing the NPS.”

Parker’s Crossroads Spring Lantern Walk – Saturday, March 13th, 2010

The Parkers Crossroads Battlefield Spring Lantern Walk is scheduled for Saturday, March 13 to begin at dusk. Groups will be guided thru the battlefield by lantern light, with each walk lasting approximately 45 minutes. Scenes of soldiers and civilians sharing stories taken from the letters and diaries of the period will highlight the tour. Visitors are asked to register at tour stop 7 which is located south of I-40 at Exit 108. Turn east onto Federal Lane traveling approximately 1/4 mile to the battlefield parking area. The event is free to the public. Trails are wheelchair accessible. For more information call the battlefield visitors center at 731-968-1191 or visit

Lt. Col. Tom McKinney, Author of “Jack Hinson’s One-Man War” at Ft. Negley, March 20th.

Union Man Turned Confederate Sniper

Jack Hinson, a prosperous and influential plantation owner, from Stewart County, supported the Union until a Federal cavalry officer murdered his sons. Hinson, nearly sixty years old, began a one-man war against Grant’s army killing more than one hundred men and capturing an armed transport. Pursued by infantry, cavalry and a task force of Marines, Hinson evaded capture. After fifteen years of research, Lt. Col. Tom McKenney reveals the story of Jack Hinson for the first time.

Lt. Col. McKinney will offer a program on Hinson and sign his book. The event is free and open to the public and begins at 2 PM.

Ft. Negley’s Silver Screen Saturdays series continues this month!

Ft. Negley Park will continue its wonderful Silver Screen Saturdays starting on Saturday, March 27th, 2010. This series, which has featured Civil War movies over the past year, will begin anew with the famous Ken Burns series on the Civil War. Part Two will be run at 2 PM on the 27th and successive months will feature other episodes. Ft. Negley has a wonderful video and sound system in its theater so this will be a most enjoyable experience for the whole family. For more information please call (615) 862-8470.

Civil War Living History Event in Montgomery County at Port Royal State Park

The March to the Past will take place on April 18, 2010, between 1:00 and 5:00 pm. This will be a Civil War living history event that will include the firing of reproduction Civil War cannons, demonstrations of camp life, and examples of the every day skills needed to survive in the mid-1800’s. There will also be exhibits of medical instruments from this time period along with discussions of their uses. The event takes place on Old Clarksville-Springfield Road adjacent to Port Royal State Park. From Nashville, take I-24 towards Clarksville and get off at Exit 11 and turn right. Follow the signs for the park.

The event is free to the public.

Noted Civil War author Peter Cozzens to speak to the Franklin, TN CWRT – Sunday, March 14th, 2010

Those interested in the Civil War in the West will recognize the name of Peter Cozzens. As the author of fine books on Stones River, Corinth, Chickamauga and Chattanooga, and a recent volume on the Valley Campaign of 1862, Cozzens has made a name for himself with more detailed studies of these battles than many of his predecessors. He will be speaking to the Franklin, TN CWRT on Sunday, March 14that 3 PM at the Williamson County Library. This is located on Columbia Pike in Franklin, just south of the Carter House.

March 20th, 2010 – the annual “Legacy of Stones River” conference in Murfreesboro, Tennessee

“The Legacy of Stones River: Why They Fought” symposium will take place on Saturday, March 20, 2010, from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. in Murfreesboro, TN. The program features programs by Keith Bohannon, Sam Davis Elliott, and Kenneth Noe at the historic Rutherford County Courthouse in the morning, followed by park ranger-led programs at Stones River National Battlefield in the afternoon. The courthouse is in downtown Murfreesboro. The fee for the day is only $10 and the event is sponsored by Stones River National Battlefield and the Tennessee Civil War National Heritage Area

Bohannon of the University of West Georgia, has written extensively about the war, including essays on John Bell Hood and the Battle of Chickamauga. Elliott, an attorney in Chattanooga, is the author of the forthcoming Isham G. Harris of Tennessee: Confederate Governor and United States Senator as well as the biography of Tennessee CS General Alexander P. Stewart. Noe is the Draughon Professor of Southern History at Auburn University and has authored books on Perryville and other topics. His latest book, Reluctant Rebels: The Confederates Who Joined the Army After 1861, will be published this year.

The $10 registration fee includes continental breakfast. Call 615-893-9501 or visit or to download a registration brochure. When you are on the TCWNA’s website be sure to click on the “Calendar of Events” button for other great programs that are coming up over the winter and into spring.

Nashville CWRT – election of officers?

March, 2010 is the 1st anniversary of the Nashville CWRT. For many CWRTs this is when officers are elected to run the organization. This CWRT was begun without any set rules for such an event and it needs to be discussed in the business portion of our meeting this month. Many CWRT officers serve for a year’s term and then new elections are held. So please plan on contributing your ideas and, if you wish to run for an officer’s position, you can let us know as well.

This is your CWRT ladies and gentlemen and the officers serve only at your pleasure.


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