November Meeting Notice and Newsletter

November 21st, 2011 – Our 32nd Meeting!!

The next meeting of the Nashville (TN) Civil War Roundtable will be on Monday, November 21st, 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: “Baptism of Fire: The Role of Federal Recruits at the Battle of Franklin”

The Battle of Franklin has been considered the five most violent hours of the Civil War. Charge after charge of Confederate infantry threw themselves at Union entrenchments with the only success, albeit temporarily, coming in the center along the Columbia Pike. Here, the Union line broke, thanks to attacking Confederates intermingling with retreating Union forces from an advance line. As has been commonly reported, the Union brigade commanded by Emerson Opdycke, posted below the brow of Carter’s Hill, rose up and counterattacked, sealing the Union line which continued to resist further attacks well into the darkness.

But was it just Opdycke’s Brigade that saved the day? Historian Eric Jacobson, in his new book, Baptism Of Fire: The Role of Federal Recruits at the Battle of Franklin, examines the role of three green Union regiments who, in their first battle, also contributed greatly to the eventual saving of the Union line. The program will focus on the roles of the 44th Missouri, 175th Ohio, and 183rd Ohio, all three of which found themselves involved in some of the worst fighting at the Battle of Franklin. These three regiments played crucial roles in determining the battle’s final outcome and until now their roles have been virtually unknown. The program will show conclusively that Opdycke’s Brigade alone did not save the Federal army at Franklin.

Eric A. Jacobson has been studying the American Civil War for nearly 25 years. A Minnesota native, Eric lived in Arizona for over a decade before relocating to Middle Tennessee in 2005. He is the author of For Cause & For Country: A Study of the Affair at Spring Hill and the Battle of Franklin, a project which encompassed nearly 10 years. Published in March 2006 the book is considered by some to be one of the most important books ever written about the 1864 Tennessee Campaign.

Eric’s second book, The McGavock Confederate Cemetery, was published in April 2007. He is currently the Chief Operating Officer and Historian for the Battle of Franklin Trust, which manages the Carter House and Carnton. His third book, entitled Baptism of Fire, which details the roles of three Federal regiments at the Battle of Franklin, was released in September 2011.

Eric lives in Spring Hill, Tennessee, with his wife, Nancy, and their two daughters.


Phil Seyfrit, Historic Properties Director of Madison County, KY, regaled us with a fine program on the overlooked Battle of Richmond, KY. Fought on August 29, 1862 between Union troops commanded by Gen. William “Bull” Nelson versus the Confederate army led by Edmund Kirby Smith, Smith ended the day shattering the Union command, arguably the closest it ever came during the Civil War of an army being destroyed on the field. The resulting victory left Cincinnati, Ohio, Lexington, KY and other places wide open to attack and gave a boost to the early stages of the Confederate invasion of the Blue Grass State. As Seyfirt operates the Battle of Richmond Visitors Center, his knowledge of the battle is immense and the program as delivered with style and humor. Often dwarfed by the bigger fight at Perryville, this battle had huge consequences and great possibilities.

Thanks Phil for the fine program!

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

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 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. 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.


Tennessee Historical Society Reissues Civil War Articles From the Tennesseee Historical Quarterly In A New Book Series

The Tennessee Historical Society has just launched the 12-volume series Tennessee in the Civil War. The first and namesake volume appeared in October 2011 and new releases will take place through March 2015. The series is an official legacy project of the Tennessee Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission. Planning was done in partnership with the Tennessee Civil War National Heritage Area. Carroll Van West, PhD, is the series editor, and title editors are specialists on their subjects. Each book features a selection of articles related to the topic along with an introductory essay.

The series examines great battles, controversial leaders, first hand accounts, occupation, experiences on the homefront, women’s roles, the triumph of African Americans, and the legacy of the Civil War. The content of the volumes is drawn from the Tennessee Historical Quarterly, now in its 70th year. The THQ has published almost 400 articles since 1942 on the Civil War in the Volunteer State. The best of these pieces — by noted Civil War historians such as James L. McDonough, B. F. Cooling, Stephen Ash, Bobby Lovett, Stanley F. Horn, Edwin C. Bearss, and many more – will be included.

Volume 1, Tennessee in the Civil War, is now available, and Volume 2, The Civil War in Appalachia, will come out in late November 2011. The books in the series are trade-quality paperbacks of approximately 230 pages in length, with maps, illustrations, and index, printed on acid-free paper. Titles in the series include:

· Tennessee in the Civil War (October 2011): Title editor, Carroll Van West, PhD

· The Civil War in Appalachia (November 2011): Spurgeon King, PhD

· The Battle of Shiloh (March 2012): Timothy Smith, PhD

· Forrest and the West Tennessee Cavalry Campaigns (August 2012): Myers Brown

· The Battle of Stones River (November 2012)

· Emancipation and the Fight for Freedom: African Americans in the Civil War (March 2013)

· The Battles for Chattanooga (August 2013)

· Tennessee Women in the Civil War (November 2013): Antoinette van Zelm, PhD

· Fort Pillow (March 2014)

· Eyewitness to the War: A Collection of First Hand Accounts (August 2014): Ann Toplovich

· Hood’s Campaign: Franklin and Nashville (November 2014): James L. McDonough, PhD

· After the War: Reconstruction (March 2015)

The books retail for $25 each (shipping and sales tax extra). Members of the Tennessee Historical Society receive a 20% discount. For more information and to order, please go to

Please also note that book shops and historical sites may purchase 10 or more copies at a 50% wholesale discount — $12.50, plus shipping. (No sales tax if a tax number is provided.)

Historian Randy Bishop to speak at the Franklin Civil War Round Table’s November 13th, 2011

Author, teacher and historian, Randy Bishop, is the featured speaker for the November edition of the Franklin Civil War Round Table. He has written extensively on Tennessee regiments, especially those that served in the Army of Northern Virginia, and his 2010 release, The Tennessee Brigade, has been well received. This work follows these Tennesseans from the Wars beginning to their dramatic last days at Appomattox in 1865. In a review of this book, Lt. Colonel Robert Lynn wrote, “This is a superb account…..Civil War unit history doesn’t get any better than this.” Bishop has also written Tennessee’s Civil War Battlefields and Mississippi’s Civil War Battlefields.

An accomplished educator, Bishop has been named as Teacher of the Year at Middleton High School and has served as adjunct for Jackson State Community College. His wife, Sharon, is also an educator. If you are interested in hearing about the average Tennessee soldier in some of the harshest fighting of the Civil War, you will not want to miss this Round Table event. The date is November 13th, Franklin Police Headquarters Community Room. The meeting begins at 3:00 PM.

Save The Franklin Battlefield Annual Dinner – Thursday, November 17th, 2011

Now is your last chance to reserve your spot for the STFB Annual Meeting which will be the evening of Thursday, November 17 at Historic St Paul’s Episcopal Church in Franklin, located at 510 W Main Street.

After dinner beginning at 6:30, there will be a short business meeting with a review of STFB 2011 activities including the recent acquisition of the Loring’s Advance 5 Acre parcel, and presentation of our annual Preservation Award. Following this, key note speaker Lee Ann Newton of Murfreesboro, will be talking about her new book on the 50th Ohio Infantry. Lee Ann had one of those eureka strokes of discovery when she found buried behind an old bookcase a lost copy of “The Civil War Memoirs of Erastus Winters Corporal Co K 50th OVI 1861-1865”. Lee Ann quickly realized its importance and had it republished. The book is a very well written 1905 account detailing Erastus’ experiences at Perryville, the Atlanta campaign, Franklin, Cahaba prison, and the Sultana disaster. Lee Ann will recount the adventures of Corporal Winters and why she was determined to republish his book. You will not want to miss hearing Lee Ann. She will have copies of her book for sale at the meeting.

Send in payment of $25 per person to be received no later than Monday November 14 to:


PO Box 851

Franklin TN 37065-0851

If you have questions, call 615-480-9539.

Filson Historical Society Civil War Lecture Series – November 20, 2011

The Filson Historical Society of Louisville, Kentucky offers a Civil War lecture series that will continue through the sesquicentennial. The next program will be on Sunday, November 20, 2011 at 5 PM EST. It will be held at Ballard High School, 6000 Brownsboro Road, Louisville, KY.

This month’s program features Adam Goodheart, author of the recent pivotal book 1861: The Civil War Awakening, a gripping original account of how the war began that has garnered rave reviews. Adam Goodheart is a historian, journalist, and travel writer. His articles have appeared in National Geographic, Outside, Smithsonian, The Atlantic, and The New York Times Magazine, among others, and he is a regular columnist for the Times’ acclaimed Civil War series, “Disunion.”

This event is free for members and $10 for non-members. Please call The Filson or visit us online to make your reservation. Send ticket requests to The Filson Historical Society, GPBL Tickets, 1310 S. Third Street, Louisville, KY 40208. Reservations are required, please go to this web site to make them –

Louisville is only 3 ½ hours from Nashville so please support this event if possible.

December Nashville CWRT Meeting – Civil War Photography

Our December speaker, John Walsh, will be bringing a selection of Civil War photographs for display during his program. If you own similar items please bring them to this meeting
and John will be happy to help you with them.


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