Meeting Notice and August Newsletter

August 15th, 2011 – Our 29th Meeting!!

The next meeting of the Nashville (TN) Civil War Roundtable will be on Monday, August 15th, 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 December 17, 1864 Retreat From Nashville and the Battle of the West Harpeth River (Medals of Honor, Fascinating Personalities and an Agricultural Giant)”

On December 15th and 16th, 1864, the Union army under General George Thomas delivered hammer blows to the besieging Confederate Army of Tennessee under General John Bell Hood, driving them back from their prepared defenses south of downtown Nashville.  Too weak to recapture the city itself, Hood’s men dug in and waited.  The weather turned ugly with snow, ice and sleet as men shivered in the cold with little fuel for fires.  After the weather cleared, Thomas, under threat from Gen. U.S. Grant of being relieved if he did not attack, pulled the trigger.  The result shattered the Confederate army – at no time during the war was a major army so smashed in battle.  What remained broke for the Alabama border.  Unlike many Civil War generals, Thomas ordered an aggressive pursuit lead by the rampaging cavalry of James Harrison Wilson.  This phase of the battle is very well known.

What is not so well known are the series of rear-guard battles that kept the retreating Confederates from being over-run.  These ended at Sugar Creek, just above the Tennessee-Alabama state line when Nathan Bedford Forrest and an attached infantry division, drove back Wilson’s troopers.  The first of these actions was along the West Harpeth River on December 17, 1864.  The results will slow down the Federals and generate a Medal of Honor.  The fight also features a well known Confederate artillery battery and a hollow square, typically formed for anti-cavalry purposes.

This month we have Greg Wade, founder of the Franklin, TN Civil War Roundtable, who will inform us of this smaller but no less important part of the Tennessee Campaign of 1864.  Greg works for Traveler’s Insurance and is also a writer for Civil War News.  He has also been published in North-South Trader, Blue & Gray magazine, the Williamson Herald and other places.  He has also written Sequatchie County in the Civil War and Tennesseans In World War 2 among other books.  Greg is also heavily involved in saving battlefield land in Franklin, Tennessee serving with Franklin’s Charge and the Save The Franklin Battlefield groups.

We look forward to this fine program for our August meeting.


We were very fortunate in having noted National Park Service historian Bobby Krick from the Richmond (VA) National Battlefield offering his program “Standing the War on its Head: The Pivotal Seven Days Battles Outside Richmond.”  Backed up to the very gates of Richmond, the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia, then under General Joseph E. Johnston, turned to strike back along the Chickahominy River at Seven Pines.  Johnston was badly wounded, and while the attack served notice to the Federals that the Confederates would retreat no more, it was delivered in a near-piece meal style and was not nearly as effective as it should have been.  Johnston’s wounding, however, brought the rise of a giant of American military history – Robert E. Lee.  Formulating his plan of attack, Lee delivered a series of telling blows over the course of what has been called the Seven Days Campaign, the culmination of which drove the Federal Army of the Potomac back to the James River landing where they were withdrawn.  While sometimes flawed, Lee’s plan was enough to work and it saved Richmond from capture in the early summer of 1862.  This was an outstanding program and the Nashville CWRT was lucky and happy to have Bobby Krick visit with us.

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

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”

January 2012 – TBA

February 2012 – Myers Brown, Tennessee State Museum/author – “Tennessee’s Confederates” (based on his recent book)

March 2012 – Jim Brooks, Austin Peay State University – “Jefferson Davis”

April 2012 – Mark Christ, historian/author – “The Civil War In Arkansas 1863” (based on his recent book)

May 2012 – Nancy Baird, Western Kentucky University/author – “Josie Underwood’s Civil War; A Union Girl in Bowling Green, KY”

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 two stars on it will be available at the following meetingIf 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.  We cannot bring in speakers without dues being paid so if you have not yet renewed for 2011-2012 please do so.  Thanks for supporting the Nashville CWRT.


Help Conserve The 6th Tennessee Cavalry Battle Flag at the Tennessee State Museum

Ronny Mangrum is well known to many in Middle Tennesse Civil War circles.  An ardent member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, he is passionate about conserving battle flags in the Tennessee State Museum.  He has already worked to conserve the silk flag of the 20th Tennessee and has now turned his sights to conserving the 6th Tennessee Cavalry banner, made at the Augusta Depot in Georgia and issued in early 1864.  To help raise money, he holds an annual “Ronnaroo” music and food event at his home near Peytonsville, Tennessee featuring bands, fellowship and much more.  This year’s event is Saturday, August 13th, 2011.  Tickets are just $20 and the money goes to conserve the flag.

The event will be held at the antebellum Smithson home located at 4762 Peytonsville Road, off I-840 southeast of Franklin.  The doors open at 3 PM and the music begins an hour later.  For more information please contact Ronny at or by calling (931)374-8368.

Franklin Civil War Round Table Programs

Sam Davis Elliott will be speaking on his recent book on Tennessee’s Civil War governor Isham Harris. A Chattanooga resident, he presented a well received Keynote speech, The Coming of the War at the Tennessee Sesquicentennial kick off held at the Tennessee capital complex last November.  Mr. Elliott’s intriguing presentation begins at 3:00, August 14th at the Franklin Police Complex Community Room.  This is a new meeting place for the Franklin CWRT and it’s just down the street from the old library location.

On September 11, the Franklin CWRT will host Chris Kolakowski, director of the Gen. George S. Patton Museum at Fort Knox, Kentucky.  His topic will be on the Perryville Campaign of 1862 of which he is an acknowledged expert and author.  The meeting begins at 3 PM in their new home at the Franklin Police Department.

Please support Tennessee’s Civil War Roundtables!

New Tennessee Civil War Roundtable Begins This Month In Dover

The Fort Donelson Civil War Roundtable begins operations on Thursday, August 18th, 2011.  Their debut speaker will be Jimmy Jobe, noted historian of Fort Donelson National Battlefield.  The meetings begin at 7 PM at the Stewart County Visitors Center on Highway 79 which is located right across the highway from the main entrance to Fort Donelson National Battlefield.  This will be yet another Tennessee Civil War Roundtable that will meet on a Civil War battlefield along with Franklin, Middle Tennessee, Chattanooga and the Nashville CWRTs.  Not that many across the country are so privileged.

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

If you are planning on going on this tour you need to get your checks in to the Tennessee Valley CWRT of Huntsville, Alabama as soon as possible.  The tour bus is filling up and space is getting tighter every day.  Please contact Kent Wright at –  The tour fee includes hotels, bus, guide, park fees and much more.

Lots of Civil War Events in Kentucky – September–December 2011

Our neighbors to the north have lots of events for the Civil War Sesquicentennial.  Here’s just a small sampling of things, most of which are within 3 hours of Nashville.  So head up I-24 or I-65 and have some fun in the Bluegrass State.

Hart County Civil War Days – September 9 – 11, 2011

Events include battle reenactments, living history camps, guided tours, ceremonies, games, historical presentations, food, music, booths, period dancing, period church service, and more.  Munfordville is the site of two Civil War battles.  For information call (270) 524-4752 or (270) 524-2892 or go to

Bowling Green’s Remembering the Civil War – September 17, 2011

Multiple sites in Bowling Green, including the Kentucky Museum, the Historic Railpark and Train Museum, Riverview at Hobson Grove, and the Lost River Cave and Valley are partnering to present a multitude of activities related to Bowling Green and the Civil War.  This is a wonderful opportunity to visit several historic sites in Bowling Green.  For information, see

Ongoing exhibition – “Lexington During the Civil War” – Through January 1, 2012

Location: Lexington History Museum.  For information, see

Ongoing exhibition – “Lincoln and His Wife’s Hometown” – Through January 1, 2012

Location: Lexington History Museum.  For information, see

Ongoing exhibition – “Relics of the Past: The Forgotten Story of Confederate Camp Beauregard” Through January 1, 2012

Location: Market House Museum, Paducah

For information, see

Living History and Skirmish presented by the Friends of Fort Negley, Metro Parks and Fort Negley Visitors Center
On September 24, 2011, a Civil War skirmish and living history will be held on the grounds of Nashville’s historic Fort Negley.  There will be lots of hands-on activities for kids, 
military and civilian reenactor encampments, a miniature train ride, guest speakers and a skirmish!  Events begin at 9 AM and conclude at 5 PM.  Admission is $5 with children 
under age 5 getting in free.  Fun for the whole family!  Please park and enter at the Greer Stadium parking lot from Chestnut Street.  The proceeds go for Fort Negley projects.  
Last year’s event drew nearly 1000 people so plan on making this year’s event even bigger!
Please support this excellent local event that helps raise money for this historic site!

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