Nashville CWRT Meeting Notice and Newsletter for September

September 19th, 2011 – Our 30th Meeting!!

The next meeting of the Nashville (TN) Civil War Roundtable will be on Monday, September 19th, 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 Vortex of Secession: Tennessee 1861”


Like her fellow upper South states of Arkansas, Virginia and North Carolina, Tennessee did not make a definitive move towards secession until after the firing on Fort Sumter in 
April 1861.  Governor Isham Harris tried to secure the state’s secession in February 1861 when the pot of disunion was boiling over and other states were leaving or had already left 
the Union.  The plebiscite was voted down by the people.  Fort Sumter changed things.  In May, the legislature secured a secession document that was ratified by the voters in June.  
Not long afterward, Tennessee became the final state to leave the Union.  

As a result of Tennessee’s three votes during the secession crisis, many historians have searched for clues in their results to explain the basis of Tennesseans’ allegiances during 
the conflict.  Often, the analysis has perhaps, not surprisingly, suggested that slaveholding and antebellum party preferences cast a significant influence upon the choice to render 
loyalties to either the Confederacy or the Union.  However, the recent increase in studies dealing with Tennessee’s home front, occupation, and southern Unionism have begun to 
question these traditional interpretations, especially in areas where the war was omnipresent, the occupied areas of the Upper South, like West Tennessee. Dr. Frisby will present a 
new perspective of the state on the eve of disunion.


Derek W. Frisby is an Associate Professor of History at Middle Tennessee State University teaching Tennessee, US, and military history.  He is Middle Tennessee native and US Marine Corps veteran whose research interests deal with military occupation and reconstruction strategies.  Frisby received his doctoral degree from the University of Alabama-Tuscaloosa and has authored numerous articles and essays dealing with Tennessee’s Civil War occupation and Reconstruction experiences.  He is completing his first book dealing with southerners who remained loyal to the Union during the Civil War and their role in the region’s occupation and restoration.  Dr. Frisby was a 2003 military history fellow at the US Military Academy at West Point, served six years as editor of the West Tennessee Historical Society Papers (one of three academic state historical journals), and was coordinating director of the Society for Military History’s 2009 annual conference in Murfreesboro, TN. He serves a historical consultant to the staffs of regional ROTC programs (including MTSU), Fort Campbell, and Fort Knox, frequently leading battlefield tours, conducting “staff rides,” and teaching military history courses.

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


We were very fortunate in having Greg Wade of the Franklin CWRT come and tell us of one of the battles on Hood’s retreat from Nashville in December 1864.  For some reason, the series of battles fought by Hood’s rear guard covering the retreat of the Army of Tennessee back to Alabama have been glossed over by the larger fights at Nashville and Franklin.  Yet, they saved this army from annihilation and an aggressive pursuit by Union cavalry.  They were nasty affairs with yet more men falling at their posts for both sides with the first of these, the topic of Greg’s program, being the fight at West Harpeth River.  Fought on December 17, 1864, the battle began the process of slowing down the Union pursuit.  Greg has done extensive research into this little known fight and thanks to his fine program more light can now be shed on it.  This would be a wonderful program for any CWRT.  Thanks Greg for coming to visit with us.

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

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 – Kraig McNutt, historian/author/blogger – “Robert Smalls: From Slave to Congressman.”

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”

June 2012 – TBA

July 2012 – The one and only Ed Bearss!!!!!!  We are not kidding!!!  Topic to be determined.


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.



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!  They are also looking for volunteers to help run the event – please call Fort Negley and let Krista know if you can help or do so at this month’s meeting.


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



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.  This is the final call for this tour which will cover from Ringgold Gap to Kennesaw Mountain.  Please contact Kent Wright at –  The tour fee includes hotels, bus, guide, park fees and much more.



Filson Historical Society Civil War Tour – The Tullahoma Campaign of Middle Tennessee, November 3-5, 2011


This Fall The Filson Civil War Field Institute will visit the visually stunning Middle Tennessee to explore a campaign that is only just becoming appreciated by Civil War historians as an important campaign that achieved vital goals with very few casualties on either side.  The campaign began in late June and ended on July 4, 1863, the same day that Vicksburg surrendered and Lee began to retreat from his defeat at Gettysburg.  Tullahoma is overshadowed to a great degree by these other Union victories, however strategically it is in the same category as both.  It is still taught at the Military Academies and Service schools as a great example of Maneuver Warfare.


Tour guides and speakers will be Dr. Michael, who will be our Keynote speaker, and co-tour guide alongside Greg Biggs.  Sites to be visited include Fortress Rosecrans, Hoover’s Gap, Liberty Gap, Guy’s Gap, Shelbyville, TN, Oaklands Historic House Museum, The Cowan Railroad Museum and Chockley Tavern.  Dr.  Bradley will speak on Thursday night.


Fieldtrip Fee – $280 for Filson members; $330 Non-members.  This includes all admission fees to museums and parks, Chartered Bus, Two lunches, a reception and one dinner (Thursday evening).  To reserve your place, a non-refundable deposit of $50 (Due by 9/23/11) per person is required at time of registration and balance is due to the Filson by October 21, 2011.  Space is limited.  The first 25 participants that register will receive an issue of Blue & Gray Magazine (Vol. XXVII, #1) featuring the main article about the Tullahoma campaign written by Michael Bradley including comprehensive maps for the campaign. This issue also includes a two page side bar on the rise of the Union cavalry by Greg Biggs. Issue will be mailed to you by request.


To reserve your space or if you have any questions please email Scott Scarboro at – – or you can visit the Filson web site at – www.filsonhistorical.organd register and pay online.


All participants are responsible for their travel arrangements to and from Murfreesboro, TN and making their own hotel accommodations and dinner on Friday evening.  During the fieldtrip we will travel by chartered bus as a group.  The tour will be staying at the Fairfield Inn & Suites Murfreesboro, 175 Chaffin Place, Murfreesboro, Tennessee 37129- Phone: 615-849-1150 or 800-228-2800.  Rooms are $94+tax a night- Mention FHS for a special group rate.


Battle of Nashville Preservation Society Civil War Seminar – November 11-12, 2011


The Battle of Nashville Preservation Society (BONPS) joins with Belmont Mansion and the Lotz House to bring a significant Sesquicentennial symposium on the Civil War to Middle Tennessee on November 11 and 12 to further commemorate and explore the 150th anniversary of the start of the War.


The symposium will launch with an opening night reception at the Lotz House in Franklin, Tennessee on Friday, November 11. The reception will be hosted by BONPS President Phillip Duer and Thomas Flagel, author of “The History Buff’s Guide” book series. Attendees will be able to tour the historic Lotz House Museum, meet each of the symposium speakers, and enjoy wine and hors d’oeuvres.  The formal Symposium will begin the following day at Belmont Mansion at 8:00 a.m.  Five guest speakers will focus on unique perspectives regarding the Battle of Nashville, Ft. Donelson and Shiloh. The event will be moderated by Thomas Flagel, assistant professor of American History at Columbia State Community College and serves on the boards of Franklin’s Charge, the Carter House Museum, the Franklin Battlefield Preservation Commission, and the Executive Committee for the Franklin Civil War Round Table.  Panelists will include:


Thomas Cartwright– Franklin-based historian, one of the nation’s leading authorities on the Battle of Franklin

Tim Johnson, professor of history at David Lipscomb University, who has appeared on the History Channel,C-SPAN and NPT.

Carole Bucy, professor of History at Vol State Community College and the newly appointed Metro Historian.

James McDonough, noted author of Five Tragic Hours and Nashville: The Western Confederacy’s Final Gamble.

Doug Richardson, Park Ranger and Chief of Interpretation at Fort Donelson.

Dr. Bobby Lovett, long-time professor of history at Tennessee State University and author


A snack with coffee will be served in the morning and a lunch will be provided in the afternoon. Following lunch, visitors will take a guided tour of the Belmont Mansion.  Guests will also be able to videotape their comments regarding the Civil War as it relates to the Battle of Nashville, Ft. Donelson and Shiloh.  This video will be uploaded and available on various websites following the event.  An exhibit will be set up depicting Ft. Donelson, and guest speakers will be available to sign their books during this time.


Tickets are $75.00 and include the reception, the symposium, Sesquicentennial commemorative Hatch Show Print, Minie ball, and BONPS Guide to Civil War Nashville autographed by author Mark Zimmerman. This event is being sponsored by Wade and Egbert Insurance Partners and Kay, Griffin, Enkema and Kolbert.  Sponsorship opportunities are still available.  Contact for more information.  For more information including tickets, contact Mark Brown at Belmont University at, or Ellen McClanahan at the Lotz House by email at or phone at 615-804-5068.
Please support this excellent event.


2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Peter Mullen on October 6, 2011 at 5:55 pm

    I would like to be a speaker at the Nashville CWRT – topic: “Civil War Medicine; Infectious Disease & Immunity”. I am a retired professor form Florida State college at Jacksonville now living in Callahan, FL,,,,contact me for addition information at (904) 879-4931 or

    Peter P. Mullen
    Honorable Order of Kentucky Colonels


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