December Meeting Notice and Newsletter

December 19th, 2011 – Our 33rd Meeting!!

The next meeting of the Nashville (TN) Civil War Roundtable will be on Monday, December 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: “Civil War Photography”

While photography existed before the Civil War, that war gave it a powerful boost in not only popularity, but also as a method of documenting war for the first time. A coterie of photographers, many of whom were protégés of Matthew Brady, followed the armies as they marched taking pictures of officers and men during the down times and battlefields after the shooting had stopped. Both styles of images were powerful and brought home to the public at large for the first time just what war was.

Photographs of the period came in several types including cartes de visite; tin types, daguerreotypes, stereo types and glass images. All of them had their strengths and weaknesses and each was processed in a different manner. Cartes de visite were the “baseball cards” of their day, often cheaper and easier to get into the hands of the people while the other styles often came in ornate frames. Smaller versions of images often went off to war with soldiers, they often featuring the wife and any children. Each type of image was different and had their own unique manners of development.

John Walsh, owner of Fort Donelson Relics, and an avid collector of Civil War images, will be speaking about Civil War photography. His program will cover all of the types of images and how each differed from the other. The program will also have a short history of photography prior to the Civil War as well as show how it greatly expanded during the war with more and more photographers taking to the fields from the various Northern and Southern cities. Lastly, he’ll also review some of the tips and attributes to look for in an image when looking at or purchasing such images for your collection.

If you own Civil War images, you might want to bring them to this meeting where our speaker can help you with their care and perhaps answer some lingering questions for you. John lives in Dover, Tennessee with his wife Nikki and two sons. They own Fort Donelson Relics just down the road from the national park. John also works for a clinical products firm.


We were blessed with a terrific program by Eric Jacobson, director of the Battle of Franklin Trust. Based on his new book, Baptism Of Fire, about the three green Union regiments whose first engagement was the Battle of Franklin, the 44th Missouri, 175th and 183rd Ohio Infantry were crucial to stopping the Confederate breakthrough in the Union center. Jacobson’s program detailed the formation of these units, where their men came from and how they ended up in Middle Tennessee just in time to partake in Hood’s Tennessee Campaign of November-December 1864. Jacobson argued that these three regiments were more critical in stopping the Confederates than Emerson Opdycke’s Brigade, who typically gets much more credit. Not only was this program filled with outstanding battle details, but it also contained very powerful human interest accounts. Jacobson has become a master of melding the two styles together which takes real talent as a historian. All of this was delivered with full knowledge of the topic and with grace and some humor. This is simply an outstanding program! Civil War Roundtables across the country would do VERY well in getting this program!

Thanks Eric for coming to see us.

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

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 – Gordon and Traci Belt, authors – “Onward Southern Soldiers: Religion in the Army of Tennessee”

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.


Civil War Trust to Save 267 Acres at Fallen Timbers in Tennessee – Shiloh’s Aftermath

As the defeated Confederate Army of the Mississippi fell back from Shiloh on April 8, 1862, they were pursued by William T. Sherman’s infantry division. Their objective was the
Confederate hospital area but he was not aware that this was being protected by Confederate cavalry under Colonel Nathan Bedford Forrest. As Sherman’s men marched down the
Ridge Road and began to deploy, Forrest, with but 300 men, charged. His troopers broke the Union skirmish line and moved towards the main line. The Federals fired a volley that
dropped a number of Forrest’s men. Forrest himself was badly wounded. The Confederates turned and moved away to the west. Sherman’s troops then captured the hospital site.
Sherman later stated, “I am sure that had he not emptied his pistols as he passed the skirmish line, my career would have ended right there.” Imagine, indeed, what would the war
have been like had Sherman or Forrest been killed at Fallen Timbers?

Now the Civil War Trust is stepping forward to save 267 acres and they are having a fundraising campaign that will be matched $3.50 for every dollar donated. If you wish to contribute
please visit the Civil War Trust web site at and click on the Fallen Timbers section. There you can find the history of the fight and a terrific color map showing the action
as well as the field being sought. This will protect about 75 per cent of the battlefield if successful.

More Civil War Trust Western Battlefield Campaigns

In addition to Fallen Timbers, Civil War Trust is also raising funds to add more land to Parker’s Crossroads Battlefield in West Tennessee and Perryville in Kentucky. The land at Parker’s Crossroads, another battle that involved Nathan Bedford Forrest, is right along the north side of I-40 just east of Exit 108. In this area two of Forrest’s regiments and most of his artillery were deployed. As Forrest was taking the surrender of the Union brigade commanded by Cyrus Dunham, another Union brigade under John Fuller advanced on his rear. This caused Forrest to order his men to, “charge both ways!”

The land at Perryville, fought on October 8, 1862, is along Doctor’s Creek in the southern end of the field that surrounds the Bottom Hose. These 141 acres are where the Confederate brigades of Bushrod Johnson, Patrick Cleburne and Daniel Adams crossed the creek and advanced on the Federal line held by Lovell Rousseau’s Division. The Trust is only $10,000 shy of their goal so please visit the Trust’s web site at and see how you can help secure this great piece of history.

Just recently, the Trust announced the saving of some acreage for “Walthall’s Advance” at the Battle of Franklin. This important land being saved will add to the story of how that important battle played out. This 5 acre parcel of land is just west of the Carnton Plantation. So far the fine efforts of the Civil War Trust and the generosity of the American people have combined to save 30,000 acres of Civil War land preserving these acres for future generations.

Fort Donelson National Battlefield Sets Their 150th Anniversary Programs

Fort Donelson National Battlefield in Dover, Tennessee, will be having a number of events for their upcoming 150th Anniversary. Not all of the programs have been filled as yet but several known authors including Ed Bearss, Kendall Gott, Benjamin F. Cooling and Myron Smith have all been tabbed to make appearances at the park. Smith is an expert on the naval war in the west with several books to his credit while Cooling and Gott have both written books on the Fort Donelson Campaign. Ed Bearss is…well… Ed Bearss! Most of the events will be around the date of the battle, February 12-16, 1862, but there will also be events for the fall of Fort Henry and Fort Heiman around February 4-6, 2012. Many of the programs will be led by park rangers but there will also be living historians and their encampments to add luster to the affair.

For more information on all of the events please visit the park’s web site at:

New Monument to General Patrick Cleburne Recently Dedicated in Wartrace, Tennessee

A new monument to Irish-born Confederate General Patrick Cleburne’s Division was dedicated on December 10, 2011 in Wartrace, Tennessee. This marker is part of the memorial park in Wartrace and it lies just west of the Nashville & Chattanooga Railroad tracks (now run by CSX Transportation). The park is across the road from the Chockley Tavern, which served as Cleburne’s headquarters in the Tullahoma Campaign. Within this park, in addition to the monument remembering the fight at Liberty Gap north of town by Cleburne’s Division in June 1863, are also markers for the dead Arkansas soldiers killed in the fighting. General St. John Liddell’s Brigade, part of Cleburne’s Division, held off a powerful Union infantry attack on June 24-25, 1863. This all-Arkansas command fought tenaciously until finally forced to the southern end of the gap by superior numbers.

This is the second monument raised in recent years to General Cleburne or his men. A monument of the general was placed at Ringgold gap in Ringgold, Georgia a few years ago to honor the stand his crack division made against Joseph Hooker’s Corps in late November 1863. This stand allowed the defeated Army of Tennessee, shattered at Missionary Ridge, to retreat safely back to Dalton, Georgia. Cleburne won the thanks of the Confederate Congress and became known as the “Stonewall of the West.”

Battle of Nashville Commemoration at Fort Negley – Saturday, December 17, 2011

The critical Battle of Nashville, fought on December 15-16, 1864, was the only Civil War battle in which a major army was nearly destroyed on the battlefield. The two day hammer
blows of Union General George Thomas, smashed the Confederate left flank forcing them from one line of defense to a second. Then Thomas smashed the flank again this time
with his cavalry encircling the Confederate left forcing a rout. The Confederate retreat was aggressively pursued and hundreds of prisoners were captured as rear guard actions
sought to stem the Federal tide.

On Saturday, December 17, 2011, the Fort Negley Park in Nashville, will play host to a Union living history encampment featuring the 13th and 44th United States Colored Troops. The
event begins at 9 Am and continues until 4 PM. At 2 PM, the Fallen Drummer Boy ceremony will take place to honor all fallen American soldiers in all of our wars. Other events include
children’s programs, civilian living history events and more. Lastly, President Abraham Lincoln, and Generals Ulysses S. Grant and George Thomas will also be in attendance.
Everything is free to the public.

The event is hosted by the Fort Negley Visitors Center, the 13th USCT and the Living History Association & Ladies Auxiliary.

Historian Revises Civil War Death Numbers (From Civil War Times)

J. David Hacker of Binghamton University in New York, has gone through years of Census data for before and after the Civil War and found that far more men died in the war than had
been previously thought. The figure before was 620,000 men for both sides, most of disease. Using the figures between 1850 and 1880, Hacker’s research concluded that the more
accurate figure is actually 750,000, which is a 20 per cent increase. What prevents this study from being even more accurate is the fact that neither side kept great records. Also
hindering is the fact that many records, in particular Confederate, are missing, destroyed during the war or lost afterwards. Historian James McPherson believes that most of these
new deaths were, indeed, Confederates.

This new revelation just adds to the horrors that the Civil War brought to America – a greater combination of men killed than all other American wars combined.


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