Special Meeting With Ed Bearss!

July 16th, 2012 – Our 40th Meeting!! We continue our fourth year with the one and only Ed Bearss!!
The next meeting of the Nashville (TN) Civil War Roundtable will be on Monday, July 16th, 2012, at the Z. Alexander Looby Library and Theater which is located at 2301 Rosa L. Parks Boulevard. This is also Tennessee Hwy. 12 and US. Hwy. 41A and the Looby Theater is at the junction of US 41 A and 10th Avenue North right across from the Watkins College of Art. It is on the same side of the street as the Honda dealership. This is but a few miles north of the junction of Rosa Parks and I-65 north of downtown Nashville in Metro Center.

You can check Mapquest online for how to get there by just putting in the above address.

This event is also made possible by Nashville’s Metro Parks. The Looby Theater is one of their excellent sites and we thank them very much for their generosity.

OUR SPEAKER AND TOPIC: “General George H. Thomas Versus General U.S. Grant – Union Command In The Tennessee Campaign of 1864”
The Tennessee Campaign of November-December 1864 was the Confederacy’s last gasp in the West. John Bell Hood, after losing Atlanta in September, took the beleaguered Army of Tennessee northward back into north Georgia with Sherman pursuing. After reaching Dalton, Hood then moved into Alabama to establish a new line of supply and rest. Sherman responded by sending Gen. George H. Thomas, the “Rock of Chickamauga,” back to Nashville with a couple corps of troops. Sherman then returned to Atlanta to implement his March to the Sea.

Thomas was given the power to bolster his forces with new troops from Cincinnati, St. Louis and other places and he sent a corps of John Schofield to slow Hood down in southern Middle Tennessee. Hood moved to cut off Schofield and then fought the bloody Battle of Franklin on November 30, 1864. Meanwhile, Thomas built up the Nashville defenses bringing in more troops, gunboats and adding to the lines of defensive works. Hood closed on the city and threw out siege lines. In the meantime, the weather turned for the worse with ice, sleet and snow.

In Virginia, Gen. U.S. Grant demanded that Thomas attack. Grant, like Sherman, considered Thomas to be too slow and did not believe Thomas’ telegrams detailing the bad weather. Finally, Grant dispatched Gen. John A. Logan to Thomas in Nashville with peremptory orders to replace him if he had not attacked Hood by the time he arrived. Finally, the weather somewhat improving, Thomas unleashed a massive attack over two days that shattered the Army of Tennessee driving them back into Alabama. It was the end of Hood as an army commander.

The one and only Ed Bearss, this month’s speaker, will go into the complicated command relationship between Grant and Thomas in this campaign. Was Thomas slow or was he right in waiting until the weather improved? Come and find out with the legendary Ed Bearss.
Ed Bearss is the Chief Historian Emeritus of the National Park Service and is the most requested Civil War speaker and tour guide in the nation. Over the years, Bearss has spoken to thousands of history groups and has led thousands of tours of battlefields across the country. He has also led tours for World War 2 in Europe and the Pacific Theater. Mr. Bearss is a combat wounded Marine from the war in the Pacific. Due to his active schedule, Mr. Bearss is difficult to book for an appearance. As he nears his 88th birthday, Mr. Bearss shows no signs of slowing down. The Nashville CWRT, and our co-sponsors, Battle of Nashville Preservation Society and Metro Parks, are very lucky to have him coming to town.

Mr. Bearss has appeared as a historian in the famous Civil War series by Ken Burns as well as the TV show Civil War Journal. He has also appeared on C-Span and other television events for the Civil War. Mr. Bearss is featured in the introductory film at the U.S. Marine Corps Museum in Quantico, Virginia. Mr. Bearss has also authored hundreds of articles on the Civil War for state historical journals and other Civil War publications such as Blue & Gray magazine. He is also the author of a number of books including the definitive study (in three volumes) on the Vicksburg Campaign. His latest book, on the Petersburg Campaign, is due to be released in September.
For more on the Ed Bearss event please see below.

Traci and Gordon Belt regaled us with a terrific program based on their book on religion in the Army of Tennessee. Citing first person accounts and highlighting clergy of the period as well as common soldiers, Traci began by going over religion of the era and how the south used the Old Testament as a basis for what it was doing with regards to secession, slavery and fighting a war. Supported by a wonderful Power Point, Traci also told of he own exposure to the Civil War and, as an ordained minister and the daughter of clergy, how religion in her background helped her study of religion in the Civil War. Gordon, a professional archivist, then told of the sources that were used in their book and program offering a view of the terrific resources that can be found in libraries and the Tennessee State Library and Archives.

This would be a fabulous program for any CWRT. Thanks for coming to be with us!
FUTURE PROGRAMS (please check our new web site for other events):
August 2012 – Jim Ogden, Chattanooga-Chickamauga NMP – “The Prelude to Chickamauga”
September 2012 – Ruth Hill McAllister, author/historian – “Sam Watkins Memoirs, Company Aytch”
October 2012 – Dr. Brian Wills, Kennesaw State University, author/historian – “General George Thomas”
November 2012 – Dorothy Kelly, Knoxville CWRT and author – topic TBA
December 2012 – Krista Castillo, Fort Negley and Nashville CWRT – “Christmas In The Civil War”
January 2013 – Rick Warwick, Williamson County Historian – topic TBA
February 2013 – Kevin McCann, author/historian – “Hurst’s Wurst – The 6th Tennessee Cavalry U.S.”
October 2013 – William C. Davis, noted author/historian, Virginia Tech University – topic TBA

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 three stars on it will be available at the following meeting. If your badge does not have three stars 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!

We cannot bring in speakers without dues being paid so if you have not yet renewed for 2012-2013 please do so. Dues are due now! Thanks for supporting the Nashville CWRT.

Thanks also for bidding on the books in the silent auction and to those of you who have donated items for the auction!


Ed Bearss Meet and Greet Prior to the Ed Bearss Lecture – July 16th, 2012

The Ed Bearss lecture begins at 7 PM but before that we are having a special meet and greet event with food, drink and fun. This is open only to the members of the Battle of Nashville Preservation Society and current dues paid members of the Nashville Civil War Roundtable. Some of our food is being catered and courtesy to the wonderful members who have donated their time and efforts. Thank you all so much!

Your name badge will have three stars on it. If you do not have three stars then you are not current with your dues. You must be current in order to get into this event for free.

The Meet and Greet begins at 5:00 PM. Thanks to those of you who have volunteered to help with this event. If you are a reenactor please do dress up for this event.


More On The Ed Bearss Event

At 6:30 PM we will start letting people in for the lecture at 7 PM. The fee for the lecture is $10 per person. The proceeds are going to our contribution to the Tennessee Monument at the Battle of Richmond, Kentucky Battlefield and the Battle of Nashville Preservation Society. Nashville CWRT members who are not current with their dues will need to pay the $10 fee.

If you are not current (see the list emailed out a day or so ago for those who are) then you must mail your check to arrive by this coming Friday (July 13th) to Philip Duer, 530 Church St., Ste. 400, Nashville, TN 37219. Please make your check out to the Nashville CWRT. Thanks for your support. Thanks to those who have paid we can bring in great programs like Ed Bearss!
Battle of Nashville Preservation Society Events – July, 2012 At Travellers Rest In Nashville
Our friends at BONPS are hosting a wonderful event to be held at Traveller’s Rest on July 28th, 2012. This is the Civil War Model and Toy Soldier Show which promises to be a great time for the whole family. There are several categories of competition which can be entered with judging taking place later in the day. The event begins at 9 AM and runs through 1 PM with prizes awarded after that. For more information visit the BONPS web site (www.bonps.org) or call (615) 301-4800, the latter number the one to call if you wish to exhibit at the show. There is an admission fee and this event is a BONPS fund raising event.
If you build dioramas or models this will be a fun event for you to attend!


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