May Meeting Announcement and Newsletter

May 16th, 2011 – Our 26th Meeting!!

The next meeting of the Nashville (TN) Civil War Roundtable will be on Monday, May 16th, 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 Bodyguard and Staff of Nathan Bedford Forrest”

Few Civil War commanders elicit as many responses today as the controversial Nathan Bedford Forrest.  Love him or hate him, he was arguably the finest cavalry commander of the war, north or south.  His record in combat was one of the best during the war in terms of victories and his reputation was such that he tied down two full Union corps in 1864 during the Atlanta Campaign.  General Sherman called him, “that devil Forrest.”  What is not known are the men behind the man including his escort/bodyguard and his staff.   Forrest was not a professional solder and for the technical aspects of running his command he needed a competent staff to keep his men equipped.  While most Civil War generals had escorts, most were not used in combat whereas Forrest often used his as Napoleon used his Old Guard – the final strike force designed to win the day.  Forrest’s escort was recruited from picked men who stayed with him for the whole war.  Even after the war, veterans of Forrest’s staff and escort attended reunions as late as 1909.

Historian, author and retired history professor Michael Bradley, a well-known speaker in Tennessee, has written a fine book on Forrest’s escort and staff and this program will be drawn from that book looking at the men, their exploits and reunions.  Dr. Bradley is also the author of a book on the Tullahoma Campaign and a forthcoming biography on David C. Kelly, one of Forrest’s subordinates.  He is past commander of the Tennessee Division, Sons of Confederate Veterans and lives in Tullahoma, Tennessee.  He will be bringing copies of his books for sale at the meeting.

Please join us for what will prove to be an informative program.


Michael Panhorst, a historian of art and architecture from Alabama, turned his considerable skills to Civil War monuments for this excellent program delivered to the Nashville CWRT.  Using a number of slides to back up his points, Panhorst documented the early monuments made in what he termed the “heroic” style through modern monuments, some of which leave much to be desired on several levels (like the Longstreet Monument at Gettysburg).  The program depicted the spread of monument styles from the 19th through 21st Centuries and while the styles changed, the reasons for them remain the same – honoring those who fought the Civil War.  This was a most interesting program and Panhorst delivered it with humor and a full command of the topic.

If you are tired of the same style of programs then the Nashville CWRT heartily suggests getting Dr. Panhorst to speak.  Look for his forthcoming book on the monuments at Vicksburg.

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

June 2011 – Dr. Tim Johnson, Lipscomb University – “Civil War Officers in the Mexican War”

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)”

September 2011 – Derek Frisby, Middle Tennessee State University – “Tennessee’s Secession Crisis”

October 2011 – Phil Seyfrit, Richmond KY Battlefield, “The Battle of Richmond, Kentucky”

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

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

MEMBERS AND DUES – The membership has decided that every May will be our fiscal year.  Please plan on taking care of your membership renewals at this meeting.  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

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!

Dues for the 2011-2012 campaign are due at this month’s meeting.  Thanks for supporting the Nashville CWRT.


It was decided that the elections would be postponed to the May meeting.  The officer positions are listed below if you would like to run for one of them.


Cave City, Kentucky Civil War Relic Show and Civil War Reenactment – May 27-29, 2011

Cave City, Kentucky, located just east of Exit 53 off I-65 north of Bowling Green, Kentucky, is having a combination Civil War Relic Show and Reenactment on the weekend of May 27-29, 2011.  This is Memorial Day weekend.  The event will be held in the Cave City Convention Center.  The relic show is on Saturday and Sunday only and the hours are 9 Am to 9 PM and on Sunday, 9 Am to 5 PM.  For more information call Cave City City Hall at (270)773-2188 or visit their web site at:  Cave City is less than 2 hours from Nashville.

You can make this an additionally fun weekend by also going up US 31 to Rowlett’s Station and Munfordville and see more Civil War history on the wonderful walking trails they have developed.  These sites are only a few miles north of Cave City.

The Filson Historical Society Tour – “Cumberland Gap: The Confederacy’s Corridor To The North”

The next trip Of Louisville’s Filson Historical Society will be June 2-4, 2011.  The theme will be “Cumberland Gap:  the Confederacy’s Corridor to the North”.  The Filson Civil War Field Institute will focus on the Cumberland Gap’s pivotal role in the War Between the States and how the area’s significance laid in its routes north and south, the topography and geography, and the divided nature of its citizenry.

Some sites that we will visit include: the Abraham Lincoln Library and Museum, Harrogate, TN; Cumberland Gap National Historical Park; Camp Wildcat, London, KY; Richmond, KY Battlefield; White Hall, home to Cassius Marcellus Clay and Camp Nelson, Nicholasville, KY.  The tour guide and keynote speaker is Dr. Brian McKnight, an Associate Professor of History at the University of Virginia’s College at Wise.  He is the author of “Contested Borderland:  The Civil War in Appalachian Kentucky and Virginia” (Kentucky, 2006) which one the James I. Robertson Literary Prize in 2006.  His newest book is “Confederate Outlaw:  Champ Ferguson and the Civil War in Appalachia.”  Filson Historical tours are open to anyone wishing to go and are very professionally run.  If you join their organization your tour fee will be lower than for non-members.

If you wish to register online please go to:

Atlanta Campaign Tour Led by Greg Biggs – October 21-23, 2011

The Tennessee Valley CWRT of Huntsville, Alabama is having a three day guided tour of the first phase of the Atlanta Campaign led by our own Greg Biggs.  This tour begins at Ringgold, GA and ends at Kennesaw Mountain.  The CWRT is opening the tour up to anyone who wishes to attend.  The tour begins out of Huntsville and people can park either there or in the Chattanooga area where others will be picked up.  The tour fee includes hotels, bus, guide, park fees and much more.  For more information please email Kent Wright at – kdwrt@netzero.netGreg has been leading Atlanta tours since 1993 and has been walking these battlefields for many years.

Speakers at the Clarksville and Franklin, TN Civil War Roundtables – May/June 2011

Franklin, TN CWRT will not meet in May but their June program will be, “The Mystery Of Ulysses S. Grant,” presented by Dr. Glenn LaFantasie of Western KY University.  Dr. LaFantasie has spoken to Clarksville before so we know how good he is.  The Franklin CWRT meets at the Williamson County Library just south of the Carter House off US 31.  The meeting is Sunday, June 12 at 3 PM

Clarksville CWRT, who meets at the Bone & Joint Center by Gateway Hospital off of Exit 4 (I-24), has Kent Wright, Tennessee Valley CWRT.  His program will be the “Ellett’s Rams” about the most interesting Union unit raised during the war – a fleet of ram boats commanded by the Army!  They were instrumental in winning the Battle of Memphis in June 1862.  The meeting is Wednesday, May 18th and begins at 7 PM.

Tennessee Historical Society Spring Speaker Series To Be Held at Fort Negley In Nashville

The Tennessee Historical Society continues offering some Civil War programs to be held at the Fort Negley Visitor Center at 1100 Fort Negley Boulevard in Nashville. Each speaker will have new books from which their programs are based for sale at the events.

Thursday, May 19, 2011 – 5:30 – 7:00 pm.  THIS Annual Membership Meeting & Address:  Confederate Outlaw Champ Ferguson and the Civil War in Appalachia, Brian McKnight, University of Virginia’s College at Wise

Civil War Events at Jefferson Davis State Park, Fairview, Kentucky – June 2011

Jefferson Davis State Park will hold several days of Civil War events from Friday, June 3rd through Sunday, June 5th, 2011 on the park grounds.  Friday events include tours of the Davis monument and registration for the reenactors attending and an evening Civil War movie.  More events ensue on Saturday including monument tours, reenactments, period music by Red River Breeze, a period tea, author Tom McKinney on Jack Hinson, and much more – a full day of events.  That evening will see a firing of cannons.  Sunday’s events include a period church service, lectures on Jefferson Davis and more.  The weekend is made possible by the Jefferson Davis State Park, John Hunt Morgan UDC Chapter and the Jefferson Davis Reenactors Camp.  For more information please call 270-889-6100 or visit the park website at –  There is a small fee for the tours.

To get to the park from Nashville take I-24 into Kentucky to Exit 89 (KY Highway 115).  Turn right and take that to Fairview and the park will be on the right.  It is about 90 minutes away from Nashville.

Battle Of Nashville Preservation Society and the Lamlighters Theater Present “The Andersonville Trial,” June 2011

The famous Civil War play and movie, “The Andersonville Trial,” based on the trial of camp commandant Captain Henry Wirz, will be presented at Nashville’s downtown Presbyterian Church in three performances on Friday, June 17 (one performance) and Saturday (two performances), June 18, 2011.  The play will be performed in the historic sanctuary of the antebellum church which is located on the corner of 5th Avenue and Church Street.  The Friday performance begins at 7:30 PM while those of Saturday will be 3:00 PM and 7:30 PM.  Tickets are $15 and can be bought at the door or through  For more information please visit or call (615)969-9273.

This is a wonderful opportunity to view a famous Civil War play in a Civil War era church which was built in 1851 and has a famous interior and sanctuary.  The church was designed by the same man who designed Tennessee’s state capitol.


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