April Meeting Notice and Newsletter

Nashville Civil War Roundtable

Founded April, 2009 – Nashville, Tennessee

Visit our web site: http://www.nashvillecivilwarroundtable.wordpress.com

April 19th, 2010 – Our 13th Meeting!!

The next meeting of the Nashville (TN) Civil War Roundtable will be on Monday, April 19th, 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.


“The Atlanta Campaign, Part 1 – The Road To Kennesaw”

It can be stated with a great degree of surety that the capture of Atlanta by Union Gen. William T. Sherman on September 2nd, 1864, was the pivotal event that gave the Northern public
the confidence to re-elect Abraham Lincoln to a second term and to prosecute the war to its conclusion. Admiral David Farragut’s capture of the forts at Mobile Bay in August coupled
with Union victories at Third Winchester and Cedar Creek in September and October, 1864 certainly helped Lincoln’s cause as well, but none had the power of Atlanta in the minds
of the Northern public.

By 1864, Atlanta had become the symbol of Confederate defiance. Its armories, factories, depots and the railroad system allowed the Confederates to ship supplies and food from
the vast growing areas of the Deep South to other regions. Lee’s besieged army in Virginia, in particular, was getting the majority of its food and most of its ammunition from Georgia
which the Gray Fox acknowledged when he said, “without Georgia, Virginia cannot hold.” If Richmond was the Confederacy’s brain then Atlanta was surely its heart. With Gen.
Ulysses S. Grant’s army bogged down in Virginia and taking horrendous casualties, the Northern hopes rested on what would happen in north Georgia.

The Atlanta Campaign, which began in May, 1864, featured two commanders who eschewed bloody battle preferring, especially in Sherman’s case, to maneuver. Confederate
commander Joseph E. Johnston, a controversial appointment and no friend of Confederate President Jefferson Davis, utilized Fabian strategic planning, hoping, as he stated
during and after the war, to catch Sherman at a disadvantage and strike back. Sherman gave Johnston several such opportunities but Johnston only tried once at Cassville.
Sherman also made blunders in the campaign. One was his failure to destroy Johnston at Resaca when he had the chance to do so and indeed, his vision of the campaign
changed after that. Marches in the heat and rain, fighting battles large and small on a daily basis and maneuver characterized the campaign and in only a few weeks, Johnston
had been forced back over two thirds of the way to Atlanta which caused problems in Richmond.

All of this and more, especially the massive Union logistics for the campaign which involved shipping tons of food and supplies from Louisville to Nashville to Chattanooga and into
Georgia, will be discussed at this month’s meeting of the Nashville CWRT by author/historian Greg Biggs. Sherman was simply the finest logistician of the war and his preparations
along these lines are still studied by professional soldiers today. The program will cover the time frame of March, 1864 through the first Kennesaw Line in June and will conclude in
September with the rest of the campaign then.

This month’s speaker, Greg Biggs, has been a student of the Atlanta Campaign for nearly 30 years and has lived a good portion of his life in Georgia. He has led numerous tours of the campaign for CWRTs and others over time. Greg is Program Chair of the Nashville CWRT and president of the Clarksville CWRT. He is a member of the Company of Military Historians, serves on the Clarksville Civil War Sesquicentennial Committee and is past president of the Friends of the Ft. Donelson Campaign. He has spoken to CWRTs across the country as well as at numerous Civil War conferences and has been published in Blue & Gray magazine, Civil War Regiments journal and several other publications. He is currently writing a book on Tennessee’s Civil War flags.

We hope you will join us for this informative program.

Our president, Krista Castillo, gave a wonderfully poignant and well-researched program on famous Civil War cartoonist Thomas Nast. Some of the most well-known cartoons of the era were drawn by Nast and most people never knew it. Supported by an excellent Power Point presentation, Krista deftly wove how Nast used his pen to identify and, quite often, cry out against what he saw as things gone wrong. Nast took on generals, presidents, politicians and more during the war as well as during Reconstruction and rarely missed his target.

Thanks Krista for a wonderful and very informative program!

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

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.”

MEMBERS AND DUES – The membership has decided that every May will be our fiscal year.

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!


Parker’s Crossroads Battlefield Association Fund Raising Rummage Sale – May 15th, 2010

The Parkers Crossroads Battlefield Association will sponsor a rummage sale/flea market style fund raiser on Saturday, May 15th from 9am -3 pm. Proceeds will assist the June Living History expenses. The “rummage sale” will be held in the field adjacent to the Log Cabin Visitors Center at 20650 Highway 22 North. Po Boy’s (Pizza Place) of Parkers Crossroads has offered the use of their large and COLORFUL special events tent for the event.

The event organizer is Deborah Teague. Should you have items to donate or can help with the sale, do call 731-845-3114 or email deborahteaguetn@yahoo.com Donated items can be left at the Visitor’s Center on weekends during regular operating hours of 9am to 5pm. Parker’s Crossroads is just off I-40 at Exit 108 west of Nashville.

Chickamauga/Chattanooga National Military Park Civil War Symposium – April 24th, 2010

The Face of Battle: The Secession Crisis

In commemoration of the pivotal events that occurred 150 years ago during the volatile year of 1860, Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park will present a symposium about the critical events of 1860 and how they affected the Chattanooga area as the country slid toward civil war. The event will occur at the Chickamauga Battlefield Visitor Center Theater on Saturday, April 24, 2010 beginning at 8:45 a.m.

Speakers will cover a variety of topics related to the Secession Crisis in the local area and the country as a whole. As we enter the 150th anniversary of the beginning of the American Civil War, we look to the events that led to the firing on Fort Sumter in 1861. Who were the men that led the way to this event? What thoughts went through the people’s minds as their country began to tear itself apart? Why did they feel it was no longer possible for them to remain part of the United States? We will look at the men and the challenges that they faced during this critical time as the Union began to dissolve.

Speakers and their topics include:
8:45 a.m. Welcome
9:00 a.m. Dr. Daryl Black, “Christian Newspapers and their Coverage of the Secession Crisis”
9:45 a.m. Patrick Lewis, “High Private: How Sam Watkins’ Sideshow Obscured the Big Show of American History”
10:30 a.m. Dr. Keith Bohannon, “Secessionists, Cooperationists, and Unionists: North Georgians Debate the Creation of a Southern Republic, 1860-1861.”
11:15 a.m. Sam Davis Elliott, “Tennessee Governor Isham G. Harris and the Coming of the Civil War”
12:00 p.m. Question and Answers with the speakers.

Reservations are required. Please contact the Chickamauga Battlefield Visitor Center at (706) 866-9241 to reserve a space by the afternoon of April 23, 2010. For more information about programs at Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park, contact the Chickamauga Battlefield Visitor Center at (706) 866-9241, the Lookout Mountain Battlefield Visitor Center at (423) 821-7786, or visit the park’s website at http://www.nps.gov/chch.

More Civil War era Newspapers Come Online

The newspapers of the Civil War are a vast treasure trove of wonderful information on the war from various perspectives. Political, military, home front and much more were covered and some of the bigger papers, north and south, had embedded reporters within armies. When coupled with the letters to the papers from soldiers, these papers remain tremendous research avenues for modern historians should they choose to take the time to go through them. The New York Times has its own historical online site but two new sources are worth reporting here. Iowa newspapers are now online thanks to: http://iowaoldpress.com. The site is fully searchable and easy to use.

Several Georgia Civil War newspapers are also now online. The Digital Library of Georgia is pleased to announce the availability of a new online resource: The Atlanta Historic Newspapers Archive: http://dlg.galileo.usg.edu/atlnewspapers. The Atlanta Historic Newspapers Archive provides online access to fourteen newspaper titles published in Atlanta from 1847 to 1922.

The archive includes the following Atlanta newspaper titles: Atlanta Daily Examiner (1857), Atlanta Daily Herald (1873-1876), Atlanta Georgian (1906-1911), Atlanta Intelligencer (1851, 1854-1871), Atlantian (1911-1922), Daily/Georgia Weekly Opinion (1867-1868), Gate-City Guardian (1861), Georgia Literary and Temperance Crusader (1860-1861), New Era (1869-1872), Southern Confederacy (1861-1864), Southern Miscellany, and Upper Georgia Whig (1847), Southern World (1882-1885), Sunny South (1875-1907), Weekly Constitution (1869-1882).

The Atlanta Historic Newspapers Archive is a project of the Digital Library of Georgia as part of the Georgia HomePLACE initiative. The project is supported with federal LSTA funds administered by the Institute of Museum and Library Services through the Georgia Public Library Service, a unit of the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia.

Other newspaper archives available through the Digital Library of Georgia include the Macon Telegraph Archive (1826-1908), the Columbus Enquirer Archive (1828-1890), the Milledgeville Historic Newspaper Archive (1808-1920), the Southern Israelite Archive (1929-1958, 1984-1986), and the Red and Black Archive (1893-2006). These archives can be accessed at: http://dlg.galileo.usg.edu/MediaTypes/Newspapers.html

Tennessee Civil War preservation Association and the Tennessee State Library and Archives seeking photos, letters and more from the Civil War for preservation

The Tennessee Civil War Preservation Association and the Tennessee State Library & Archives combines for the Tennessee Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission’s project “Looking Back: The Civil War in Tennessee.” This will provide an opportunity for Tennesseans to preserve their family’s Civil War Heritage and have digital copies of their ancestor’s writings and belongings become part of a virtual exhibit commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Civil War in Tennessee.

TSLA will send teams of professional archivists and conservators to communities across Tennessee. People can schedule an appointment and the team will digitally copy and help preserve your Civil War era manuscripts, artifacts and photographs. All digital imaging (scanning and photography) is done on site and all materials will be carefully handled and returned to their owners. The project begins in April, 2010 and will continue through 2015. Advance publicity will let people know when they will be in specific communities.

The following are being sought: Civil War letters, photographs, diaries, weapons (swords, knives, etc), military passes and discharges, hand-drawn maps and sketches, and uniforms. All items must be original (no photo copies) and owned by the person who is bringing them in for digitization. Those who participate will receive basic conservation supplies for their items, digital copies of the images and the opportunity to have their Civil War memorabilia preserved, digitized, and shared online for future generations! For more information please call 615.253.3470, email: civilwar.tsla@tn.gov or visit http://www.tn.gov/tsla/cwtn.

Resaca, Georgia Battlefield Rebirth – Chattanooga Times Free Press (Courtesy of the CWPT newsletter)

A few weeks ago, Ken Padgett was ready to sound the bugle and retreat from Resaca Battlefield. After 20 years of fighting, he thought he’d lost the effort to create a park at the site, where about 150,000 Union and Confederate troops waged war in 1864. “We thought everyone was going to walk away,” Mr. Padgett said, standing where the entrance to the park would be off Resaca-LaFayette Road near the Interstate 75 interchange. “We feel if that were to happen, (the park) was never going to happen.”

But a letter drafted by the Gordon County Commission and sent to the state Department of Natural Resources has breathed new life into the project. Last Tuesday, the Gordon County Commission agreed to ask the state to get started on the 540-acre site with plans to expand it when state revenues pick up. Under the proposal, the Department of Natural Resources would use allotted funds to build a road, parking area and interpretive trails at the site, according to Gordon County Commission Chairman Alvin Long. Kim Hatcher, a spokeswoman for Georgia State Parks, said building the road, trails, outdoor exhibits and restrooms is possible, but nothing has been agreed upon.

On top of that, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers required the county to reapply for permits to build in a flood plain, which the state already had granted. Getting new permits would have delayed the project at least six months, and officials want the park open for the 150th anniversary of the Civil War beginning in 2011.


The membership voted last month to retain the current slate of officers for another year’s term. The officers thank the members for their vote of confidence!


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