February meeting notice and Newsletter

February 20th, 2012 – Our 35th Meeting!!

The next meeting of the Nashville (TN) Civil War Roundtable will be on Monday, February 20th, 2012, 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:                                                               “Tennessee’s Confederates – Their Story.”

Tennessee was the last state to secede in June 1861.  The vast majority of her manpower that joined the military became Confederates and each of them had a story to tell.  From the lowest privates to the generals, Tennessee produced some of the finest Confederate fighting units who served from the Army of Northern Virginia to Vicksburg.  Her officers were politicians, lawyers, professors, businessmen and also bore rings from West Point while the enlisted ranks came from farms and cities.  All helped maintain the state’s nickname of the “Volunteer State.”  These soldiers fought and died on fields from Virginia and Pennsylvania to North Carolina, Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi.  Many of her officers and men fell within the boundaries of Tennessee itself from Fort Donelson to Shiloh, Murfreesboro, Chattanooga, Franklin and Nashville.  After the war, those that survived went back to pre-war pursuits.  Some became state legislators, even governors, while others became professors, and prominent businessmen.


Their story will be told by Myers Brown, one of the finest historians in Tennessee.  A native of Nashville, Myers holds a B.A. in History from Oglethorpe University and an M.A. in Public History from Middle Tennessee State University.  Myers served as the curator of military history at the Atlanta History Center and as the curator of Pond Spring, the General Joe Wheeler Home in Courtland, Alabama.  He joined the staff of the Tennessee State Museum as curator of extension services in 2005.


He serves as a Governor of the Company of Military Historians and was elected as a Fellow in May 2008. He also serves on the advisory committee for the American Association of State and Local History’s Military History group.  He has wide ranging interests in military history, but is particularly interested in Civil War cavalry, the Mexican War and the War of 1812.  He has published articles or book reviews in Military Collector & Historian, Blue and Gray, History News, Tennessee Historical Quarterly, The Georgia Historical Quarterly, Atlanta History, Civil War: A Journal of the Middle Period, and The Historian.  He authored Tennessee’s Union Cavalrymen from Arcadia press in 2008.  His most recent work is Images of Tennessee’s Confederates published in April 2011. He, his wife Angie and their daughter Morgan live in Old Hickory, TN.


Myers will have copies of his book for sale at the meeting.


Kraig McNutt presented a wonderful program on Robert Smalls who began life as a slave who later rose to be a member of the United States Congress.  In between, Smalls, an accomplished boat pilot around Charleston, SC, escaped, becoming the first black Captain of the US Navy warship.  He later bought the home of his former master and lived out his days there.  This amazing story was presented with full command of the topic and in the very folksy style of McNutt who brought a display of items related to the story.  This was an interesting and informative program and would be a very good event for any CWRT getting this newsletter.  Thanks Kraig for coming to see us.

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

March 2012 – Mike Manning, Fort Donelson NBF/author – “The Civil War In The Indian Territory”

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.

August 2012 – Jim Ogden, Chattanooga-Chickamauga NMP – “The Prelude to Chickamauga” (tentative)

September 2012 – Ruth Hill McAllister, author/historian – “Sam Watkins Memoirs, Company Aytch” (tentative)

October 2012 – Dr. Brian Wills, Kennesaw State University, author/historian – “General George Thomas” (tentative)

November 2012 – Dorothy Kelly, Knoxville CWRT and author – topic TBA (tentative)

December 2012 – Krista Castillo, Fort Negley and Nashville CWRT – “Christmas In The Civil War”

January 2013 – Rick Warwick, Williamson County Historian – topic TBA (tentative)


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.



Fort Donelson National Battlefield – 150th Anniversary Programs Have Begun!

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, Jack Hurst and Myron Smith have all been tabbed to make appearances at the park, most of them during the February events.  Smith is an expert on the naval war in the west with several books to his credit while Hurst 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.    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.


Included in the events will be the ceremonial signing of the deed between the Civil War Trust and Fort Donelson National Battlefield for the transfer of the acreage saved by CWT to the park service.  This will, in effect, double the size of the park.  How many other Civil War parks can say that?  This takes place on Saturday, February 11 at 11 AM in the park visitors center.


For more information on all of the events please visit the park’s web site at: www.nps.gov/fodo and please support our wonderful neighbors!

New Blue & Gray magazine on Fort Donelson and Dover now in stock at Books A Million, Clarksville

For those that did not order the new issue of Blue & Gray magazine from our CWRT, with a cover story on the Fort Henry-Donelson Campaign written by park historian Jimmy Jobe, it is now in stock at Books A Million in Clarksville.  The store is located on Wilma Rudolph Boulevard across from Governor’s Square Mall.  The magazine also features an article on the battles of Dover, Tennessee written by John Walsh, one of our former members and owner of Fort Donelson Relics.


For those that did order the issue we will have them for you at the meeting this month.

150th Anniversary Fort Donelson Reenactment – March 2-4. 2012 To Be Held At Cumberland City, Tennessee 

This 2012 national event will be held 20 miles south of the actual battlefield on the Stewart-Houston County line in an industrial park.  The event will feature loads of cannons, thousands of troops as well as civilian events like a ladies tea.  The whole affair is sponsored by Porter’s Tennessee Battery (www.portersbattery.com) and the Armies of Tennessee (www.armiesoftennessee.com).


For more details about attending either as a spectator or reenactor please visit the event web site at – www.FortDonelson.org. This is an approved state of Tennessee Sesquicentennial event – visit www.tnvacation.com for details of all of their Civil War events.

Civil War Conference to be held at Fisk University in Nashville – Saturday, February 18, 2012


On February 18, The Metropolitan Historical Commission of Nashville is hosting the second Civil War Sesquicentennial symposium.  It will take place at Fisk University, in the Little Theater, located on Dr. D. B. Todd Boulevard, near Jackson Street.  This building was built as a Union Army barracks, and was one of the first structures used by Fisk University as it began after the Civil War.  This most fitting place will host the event.  The program begins at 8:30 AM with opening remarks by Mayor Karl Dean.


Speakers include Tim Smith, UT-Martin and former historian at Shiloh National Battlefield; Carol Bucy, Volunteer State Community College and Davidson County Historian and Thomm Jutz, with the musical 1861 Project, a collection of Civil War songs.  For more details contact Fisk University.  The event is free and open to the public.

Civil War Conference at Lincoln Memorial University, Harrogate, TN – April 21, 2012

Lincoln Memorial University at Harrogate, TN will host a one day Civil War conference.  This is located close to historic Cumberland Gap.  Speakers include moderator Dr. Charles 
Hubbard (Lincoln Memorial University); Dr. Earl J. Hess (noted author, Lincoln Memorial University); Dr. John Inscoe (author and University of Georgia) and Dr. Steven Nash (East 
Tennessee State University).  For additional information please contact Carol Campbell 423-869-6439 or www.lmunet,edu/museum.html

Fourth Conference on the History of Louisville, Kentucky, and the Ohio River Valley in the Civil War — "Louisville and Louisvillians During and After the War." – March 8-9, 2012 

This reoccurring Civil War conference will be held the weekend of March 8-9, 2012.  It will start with a continental breakfast at 8:30 a. m. on March 8th and 9th and continue until around 3:30 p. m. each day.  There will also be a panel discussion on Lincoln and the Constitution at 5:00 p. m. on March 8, followed by dinner at the Frazier History Museum and a chance to see the exhibit “My Brother, My Enemy.”  The cost is $65 and includes 2 continental breakfasts, one lunch and dinner.  To register call Janna Tajibaeva at 502-852-2247 or email Janna at janna.tajibaeva@louisville.edu


Some of the speakers are: Nikki Taylor, University of Cincinnati; Glenn Crothers, U of L; Anne Marshall, Mississippi State University; Luke Harlow, Oakland University; Carol Janney, Purdue University; Barbara Gannon, University of Central Florida; Mary Jean Wall, University of Kentucky; Mark Wetherington, Filson Historical Society; and Joe Reinhart, independent historian and noted author.  The event will be held at the University of Louisville’s Chao Auditorium, Ekstrom Library, Lower Level West.  Louisville is only 3 ½ hours north of Nashville.

 Tennessee Civil War Sesquicentennial Signature Event:  Invasions By Rail and River, April 4-5, 2012

The next series of Tennessee Sesquicentennial Civil War events will be held on April 4-5, 2012 at Pickwick Landing State Park.  This site is not far from Shiloh National Military Park. Part of the festivities will include – Looking Back:The Civil War In Tennessee digitization project, where people can bring their letters, diaries, photos, weapons and much more to the event so that they can be documented by the state archives.  Other programs include living history demonstrations; special exhibits from the Tennessee State Museum and Tennessee State Library and Archives plus musical performances and lectures by noted Civil War historians.  These speakers include Larry Daniel, Wiley Sword, Stacy Allen, Tim Smith, James McDonough, John Marszalek Carroll Van West and others.


For more details on the location please visit www.tn.gov/environment/parks/PickwickLanding/. The hotel at Pickwick Landing is offering a special sesquicentennial rate of $75 per night and to secure that rate please call 800-250-8615. For more details on the event please call 615-741-2159 or email vionne.williams@tn.gov


Shiloh National Military Park Sesquicentennial Events – April 6-7, 2012


If you stay in the Pickwick Landing area a couple more days you can attend the additional sesquicentennial events hosted by Shiloh National Military Park just down the road.  These include special extended tours of the battlefield and a grand illumination of the Shiloh National Battlefield with 23,746 luminaries, one for each American soldier killed, wounded or missing at Shiloh.  If that isn’t enough, two amazing locally sponsored living history reenactments featuring 6,000+ re-enactors and hundreds of cannons will be held on March 29 through April 1st in Hardin and McNairy counties to commemorate the 150th Battle of Shiloh.


For more information on these locally organized events visit www.nps.gov/shil/.


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