January Meeting Notice and Newsletter

January 17th, 2011 – Our 22nd Meeting!!

The next meeting of the Nashville (TN) Civil War Roundtable will be on Monday, January 17th, 2011, 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.

OUR SPEAKER AND TOPIC: “The Civil War of Nashville’s Maggie Vaulx, April, 1861-March, 1862”

In 1862, a 17 year old girl growing up during a time of great national strife spoke these words, “that I may be in after years an ornament to society and the delight of my dear parents.” Margaret Nichol Vaulx came of age during the American Civil War and left writings which are that very ornament which she so prophetically spoke of. Margaret, also known as Maggie was indeed the delight of her dear parents. Maggie’s journals have been described as both national and state treasures and as one Belmont University literary professor said, “she can be compared to a civil war Anne Frank.” Even though Maggie identified her journals as private, their emphasis is on a difficult 3 week period known in Nashville as “the Panic.” Nashville came under Federal control in February 1862 and remained occupied by the Union army throughout the rest of the war. Great hardships were placed upon the citizens of the city including the children. Maggie began her journals 2 week after the war began and she continued to write well beyond the surrender.

Our own Ross Hudgins will bring Maggie’s story to life at this month’s meeting. There is a fascinating story as to how he came to find these journals that he will share with us this month but the main event will be Maggie and her perceptions of what was going on around her. Ross Hudgins is a military veteran as well as a former Tennessee Valley Authority employee. He will offer a Power Point with his presentation. Please join us for the story of Nashville’s Maggie Vaulx at this month’s meeting of the Nashville Civil War Roundtable.

LAST MONTH’S MEETING

John Marler of the Battle of Franklin Trust gave us a fascinating and outstanding program on the Petersburg campaign. Beginning in June 1864 and ending with the fall of the city in April 1865, the war’s longest siege brought about the end of the Civil War in the East. Mr. Marler included concise analysis of the commanders and their decisions, the overall plans for both sides and details about the numerous battles for the city. The real key to Richmond, Marler asserted, was not Richmond itself, but Petersburg and the Federal campaign, once it crossed the James River, focused on that for the rest of the war. Delivered with full command of the subject and with style and humor at times, the program, supported by Power Point, covered what can be a complicated series of events in an easy to follow manner. The gift of the good historian is not so much what they find in research but how it is presented and this program ranks with one of the best ever seen by this reviewer.

Thanks so much John for your excellent program!

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

February, 2011 – John Walsh, Ft. Donelson Relics – “Civil War Photography”

March, 2011 – Dr. Glenn LaFantasie, Western Kentucky University/author, “Heroes Of Little Round Top”

April, 2011 – Michael Panhorst, Auburn, AL – “Civil War Battlefield Monuments”

May, 2011 – Dr. Michael Bradley, historian/author – “The Bodyguard and Staff of Nathan Bedford Forrest”

June, 2011 – TBA

July, 2011 – Bobby Krick, Historian, Richmond National Battlefield – “The Seven Days Campaign and the Rise of Robert E. Lee”

August, 2011 – Greg Wade, Franklin CWRT, “The December 17, 1864 Retreat from Nashville and The Battle of the West Harpeth (Medals of Honor, Fascinating Personalities and an Agricultural Giant)”

November, 2011 – Eric Jacobson, Battle of Franklin Trust – “Baptism of Fire: The Role of Federal Recruits at the Battle of Franklin”

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 with a star on it will be available at the following meeting. If your badge does not have a star on it then you are not current. 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:

Major Richard “Dick” Winters, Easy Company, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division, passes away

While not Civil War related at all, this notice will be appreciated for everyone that watched the amazing series Band Of Brothers, about Easy Company of the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment of the 101st Airborne Division. One of the “stars” of the series was Richard Winters who rose from platoon leader to company commander to the staff of the regiment. The series followed the recruiting of Easy Company from Toccoa, Georgia and Mount Currahee to war’s end at Berchtesgaden with Normandy, Arnhem and the Battle of the Bulge in between. The bulwarks of the company through thick and thin, were the “Toccoa men” who held them together when the chips were down and men were falling around them. Dick Winters was a key player in that. It was Dick Winters’ tactical plan that captured the German guns at Brecourt Manor in Normandy, still studied today at West Point. It was Dick Winters who prayed that if he survived the war all he wanted was a nice and peaceful place to live life. He got that near Hershey, Pennsylvania and although he was placed back in America’s limelight with Band of Brothers, it was not something he eagerly sought. The World War 2 generation always knew that they had a job to do and they did it to the best of their abilities. We know that they saved the world from tyranny.

Major Winters passed away January 9, 2011 at the age of 92. Currahee Major Winters!

CIVIL WAR PRESERVATION TRUST COMPLETES $1 MILLION CAMPAIGN TO SAVE BATTLEFIELD LAND AT WILDERNESS (CWPT newsletter)

The Civil War Preservation Trust is pleased to announce that it has successfully completed a $1 million fundraising effort to permanently protect 49 acres at the very heart of the Wilderness Battlefield. First announced in October 2010, the effort will set aside a portion of historic Saunders Field immediately north of State Route 20 for eventual incorporation into Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park. “Saving critically important landscapes like this is precisely why this organization exists,” said CWPT president James Lighthizer. “Generations of Americans will now have the opportunity to walk this hallowed landscape and gain a fuller understanding of the horrors of war experienced by the soldiers fighting in the Wilderness.”

Acquisition of the Middlebrook Tract has long been a priority for the preservation community, both for the intensity of the fighting that occurred there on May 5 and 6, 1864, and for its unique location, entirely surrounded by land owned and protected by the National Park Service. The terms of the acquisition contract placed the purchase price at $1,085,000, if closing occurred before the end of 2010. While the transaction will be finalized in 2011, a year end fundraising surge means that CWPT has collected enough in donations and firm pledges to cover the base price and an extension fee. More information about current fundraising efforts is available at http://www.civilwar.org/saveabattlefield.

University of Mississippi Puts Civil War Documents Collection Online

One of the latest Civil War documents collections to be placed online is that held by the University of Mississippi’s Special Collections Library at Oxford. This large collection features letters, accounts, diaries and much more both soldier and civilian. If you visit their web site at – http://clio.lib.olemiss.edu/archives/civil_war.php – you can follow their catalog in an easy manner and begin working with the collections they offer. While it is mostly Confederate in nature, they also hold a number of Union military items. It is always great news when such collections are placed online which makes them easier for everyone to work with.

Civil War Events This Winter At Fort Donelson National Battlefield

Tourism this winter may be slow due to the cold weather but that is not stopping Fort Donelson National Battlefield from holding several events in February 2011. February is their anniversary month with the siege and battle beginning on February 12, 1862 and ending with the Confederate surrender on February 16th. The calendar of events features encampments by troops, Lincoln’s 1861 inauguration and much more. Included is the debut of new exhibits in the park’s museum as well as events at the Dover Hotel which is typically only open in the summer months. For all of the details please visit this link to the events portion of the park’s web site – http://www.nps.gov/fodo/planyourvisit/events.htm?month=2&year=2011

Confederate Gunboat Found – Possibly the CSS Pee Dee

The recent discovery of what is believed to be a Confederate gunboat scuttled by its own crew in the Civil War’s waning days could yield valuable knowledge about the South’s sputtering attempts to maintain its own Navy, South Carolina’s state archaeologist said Wednesday. In November, Jonathan Leader — state archaeologist and researcher at the University of South Carolina — worked with fellow researcher Chris Amer to explore the Pee Dee River. Using sonar to search underwater, the team found large bolts in a straight line, evidence Leader says likely means they’ve found a ship.

“You are actually able to paint a picture,” Leader said, of the equipment the team used. “You don’t find a lot of straight lines in nature. You find bolts in a straight line, you have something.” Leader believes that the team has found the CSS Pee Dee, a Confederate naval gunboat being sheltered inland, away from Union blockades on nearby sea ports. In mid-February 1865, after an upriver skirmish with a Union ship, the crew frantically worked to destroy the Pee Dee so it wouldn’t fall into enemy hands, Leader said.

The discovery comes a year and a half after the duo discovered two cannons belonging to the ship. Researchers won’t be certain they’ve located the CSS Pee Dee until the wreck is raised and examined. But Leader says evidence like the guns already known to have belonged to the ship make researchers confident they have found their prize.

Stones River National Battlefield Places Regimental Documents Online

Continuing the growing trend to help researchers, Stones River National Battlefield has placed some of its documents online. Drawn from their large regimental files covering the
units that fought in the battle, the files are a wealth of information and detail. You can access them at – http://www.nps.gov/stri/historyculture/regfiles.htm

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