March 18th, 2013 – Our 48th Meeting!! Our fourth birthday!!!!
The next meeting of the Nashville (TN) Civil War Roundtable will be on Monday, March 18th, 2013, 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: “Johnsonville, TN: The End of the Line, November 4, 1864”
The Tennessee River town of Johnsonville, Tennessee, was developed as a major supply depot for the Union Army to help supply the massive Nashville Depot. Its creation came about due to Confederate raids on steamboat traffic on the Cumberland River (which was smaller in size) and the Louisville & Nashville Railroad. Both were quite vulnerable and both were often closed to Union supply traffic.
Fortifications and massive docks and warehouses were built to handle the huge volume of supplies coming in from up north. It is because of the importance of the town and its supply hub that it drew the attention of famed Confederate cavalryman Nathan Bedford Forrest in November 1864. Forrest believed that William T. Sherman, then embarking on his March to the Sea, drew his supplies from Johnsonville and Nashville and if he could smash this depot Sherman would be forced to retire. Forrest attacked the depot on November 4, 1864 and while destroying millions of dollars in supplies, sinking transports and doing other damage, it did not stop Sherman, who had cut himself off of the supplies coming from Tennessee.
Our speaker this month is Jerry Wooten, Park Manager of Johnsonville Historic Park. His program will illustrate the significance of Johnsonville, Tennessee, and its impact upon the Union war effort in Tennessee in 1863-65. Wooten will discuss details about the troops involved in this late-war Tennessee River campaign, provide descriptions of the Union depot at Johnsonville, and share photographic images of the Union’s largest supply operation in the western theater during the Civil War. A discussion of the events leading up to the Battle of Johnsonville, Tennessee, on November 4, 1864, will also be highlighted during the program.
Jerry Wooten is originally from Clarksville, Tennessee. He received his Bachelor’s degree in American History from Austin Peay State University in 1992 and his Master’s Degree from Murray State University in Public History in 1994. Currently, Jerry is finishing his Ph.D. in Public History at Middle Tennessee State University concentrating in heritage tourism and Civil War battlefield preservation. Jerry’s dissertation topic focuses specifically on Union army operations on the Tennessee River and the Union supply depot at Johnsonville, Tennessee during the American Civil War. From 1994 to 1996, he helped open the Pamplin Historical Park in Petersburg, Virginia, where he served as Park Historian. After a stint with TVA in Kentucky he accepted the position as Executive Director of the River Heritage Museum in Paducah, Kentucky, where he remained until 2002. He then accepted the directorship of Kentucky’s Shaker Museum and stayed there until 2003 when he returned to Tennessee and went to work for the Tennessee Historical Commission in Nashville as Director of State Historic Sites. In this role, Jerry was responsible for all 191 state-owned historic buildings and sites in Tennessee.
In 2009, Jerry accepted a position with Tennessee State Parks at Nashville’s Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park as program director. In April 2011, Jerry accepted the position as Park Manager of Johnsonville State Historic Park located in Humphreys County in New Johnsonville, TN, where he is currently employed. Jerry is married to Robin Wooten who also works for Tennessee State Parks and serves as the area manager for East Tennessee. When not “doing” history or working in parks, Jerry enjoys painting, watching movies, playing music, and spending time with his wife and their dog “Flash” at their Nashville home.
LAST MONTH’S MEETING
Historian and author Kevin McCann regaled us with a very interesting program on the 6th Tennessee Cavalry (U.S.). What had begun as research into a possible Confederate ancestor turned out to be a soldier of this Union regiment. Led by staunch Unionist Fielding Hurst, of McNairy County on the Tennessee River, the regiment developed an unenviable reputation for both sides. Laced with first person accounts and a fine power point program in support, McCann wove a unique tale. One of the things his program proved was that Unionism in Tennessee was not limited to the eastern portion of the state. A most enjoyable program that was well delivered and received by the membership as evidence by the number of questions afterwards. Thanks Kevin.
April 2013 – David Bastian, author/historian – “Grant’s Canal in the Vicksburg Campaign”
May 2013 – Rhea Cole, historian/Middle TN CWRT –“General Rosecrans’ Signal Corps; the War Winning Secret Weapon Nobody Has Ever Heard Of”
June 2013 – Dr. Carole Bucy, Volunteer State Community College – “The Secession of Tennessee”
July 2013 – Dr. Mark Lause, University of Cincinnati – “Price’s Missouri Campaign” (tentative)
August 2013 – Brian Allison, Traveller’s Rest historian – topic TBD
September 2013 – Stewart Cruikshank, historian/author – “Major General James Scott Negley and Mutiny at Camp Negley”
October 2013 – William C. Davis, noted author/historian, Virginia Tech University – topic TBA
Coming soon – dates to be determined: Lee Ann Newton
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!
CIVIL WAR NEWS AND EVENTS
Nashville CWRT Loses Another Member
On February 11, 2013, member Gloria Wells passed away. Originally from Atlanta, Georgia, Gloria moved to Nashville in 1966. She was a member of the United Methodist Women and the Bellevue Women’s Club as well as the Daughters of the American Revolution. She was buried in the Middle Tennessee Veterans Cemetery. Her husband Jeff will continue to remain in our ranks for which we are grateful. We will all miss seeing her at our meetings.
New Editor for the Nashville CWRT Newsletter
A big “thank you” goes to member John Cummins who will take over as the newsletter editor for the Nashville CWRT. Anyone getting this newsletter who would like to have their events published in our newsletter please send details to John at: john.cumminsIII@mnps.org
Civil War Exhibit At Fort Negley Starting March 13, 2013
Starting on March 13th, Fort Negley will host an exhibit called “Voices of the battlefield.” This multi-panel exhibit is the product of Brian Allison of Traveller’s Rest in Nashville. The panels will tell the stories of the Battle of Nashville and preservation of area Civil War sites. The exhibit will remain at Fort Negley into September so be sure to drop by to see it.
Nashville Civil War Sesquicentennial Symposium – April 13, 2013
The next symposium sponsored by the Nashville Civil War Sesquicentennial Committee will be held on April 13, 2013 at the Holy Trinity Episcopal Church. The church is located at 615 6th Avenue South in Nashville. The event begins at 8:30 AM. The speakers will be Dr. Bobby Lovett and Dr. Susan O’Donovan with period music by the 1861 Project.
Civil War Symposium, March 23rd, 2013 Sponsored by Kennesaw State University in Kennesaw, Georgia
The tenth installment of the annual Civil War Symposium, sponsored by the Civil War Center of Kennesaw State University in Kennesaw, Georgia, will be held on Saturday, March 23rd, 2013. This year’s conference goes under the theme, Civil War East and West – 1863. Speakers included Dr. Richard McMurray, Larry Daniel, Brian Steel Wills and Larry Hewitt. All are well know authors and highly respected Civil War historians. The symposium begins at 9 AM and it will be held at the KSU Center, 3333 Busbee Dr. NW on the Kennesaw State campus. This can be reached at Exit 271 off of I-75 and the center is located behind the Cracker Barrel. For further information please email Michael Shaffer at: email@example.com. Their web site is – http://www.kennesaw.edu/civilwar era
Civil War Tours In Murfreesboro, Friday March 29th and Saturday, March 30th, 2013
Join Stones River NPS park ranger Jim Lewis for guided tours of Fortress Rosecrans on Friday, March 29th, and of the Vaught’s Hill/Battle of Milton battlefield on Saturday, March 30th, 2013. Confederate raider John Hunt Morgan attacked a Union brigade on Vaught’s Hill at Milton, Tennessee on March 20, 1863. Despite having twice as many men as the Federals, Morgan, after a pitched fight, and with reinforcements coming from Fortress Rosecrans, suffered a punishing defeat. Morgan was defeated three times in a row in the late winter of 1862-1863 which greatly tarnished his reputation. The result of these defeats was Morgan’s creation of his famous Ohio Raid designed to get his name back into the headlines of Southern newspapers. They also gave William S. Rosecrans, commanding the Army of the Cumberland, ideas as to where to attack Braxton Bragg in the Tullahoma Campaign of late June/early July, 1863.
Vaught’s Hill battlefield is privately owned as is an antebellum home used as a hospital and Ranger Lewis has access to both. The event for Saturday begins at 9 Am at the Rutherford County Visitors Center for an orientation before tour participants drive to the battlefield. There is no cost for the tour other than what you buy for lunch and dinner. The Friday Fortress Rosecrans tour begins at 5 PM and it will be followed by a reception at the Stones River park visitors center that evening. For more information and to reserve your space for the tour, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also visit the Tennessee Civil War Preservation Association web site at – http://www.tcwpa.org.
Civil War Land Under Development Threat in Atlanta at Peachtree Creek Battlefield (Civil War Trust)
Atlanta’s massive development over the last 100 years has swallowed up most of the three battlefields that decided the fate of the Gate City of the Confederacy. The first of these, Peachtree Creek, fought on July 20, 1864, was John Bell Hood’s first battle as the new commander of the Army of Tennessee. While this neighborhood was developed many years ago with stately homes and a large golf course, a few pockets of pristine land remain.
In Atlanta, just minutes away from city offices and downtown attractions, 14 acres of brush and woods have caught the eye of apartment housing developers. That in itself is nothing new. But what makes those 14 acres special is this: The prime piece of in-town real estate is also a part of Civil War history. A Confederate army brigade encamped there during the summer of 1864, ahead of what became the Battle of Peachtree Creek — which soon after led to the decisive and costly Battle of Atlanta. The non-profit Civil War Trust says nearly 20% of American Civil War battlefields have been destroyed and, of those that remain, only 15% are protected as national parks.
Many of the battlefield sites are now in urban or suburban communities, on valuable land. And there have been some highly publicized skirmishes in recent years as preservation groups fought to keep large companies from developing the sites. In the case of 14 acres of Atlanta woods, the property’s owner wants to break ground later this year on a 236-unit apartment complex. But local residents would like the grounds to be looked over before the bulldozers start their work. “If there were some archaeological or historic significance to this particular area, I think that would definitely add some value to the neighborhood,” Wyatt Gordon, president of the local neighborhood association, told WXIA-TV.
Newsletter and Web Site for the Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina Civil War Heritage Trails
The states of Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina have banded together to form a Civil War Trails association. This co=promotes Civil War sites in these three states. Their web site is full of interesting information on the Civil War sites of the three states as well as events, their newsletter and much more including Sesquicentennial events. To access this please go to – http://www.civilwarheritagetrails.org and be prepared to spend some good times there.