Monthly Newsletter and Meeting Notice

November 18, 2013 – Our 56th Meeting!!  

The next meeting of the Nashville (TN) Civil War Roundtable will be on Monday, November 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:    “The Memoirs of Erastus Winters, 50th Ohio Infantry”


At age 19 Erastus Winters volunteered for the 50th Ohio Volunteer Infantry. In later life he wrote his memoirs and told of his service at Perryville, Atlanta, and Franklin, his experience as a POW in Cahaba Prison in Alabama after he was taken prisoner at Franklin and his survival of a maritime disaster.  On April 27, 1865 winters was a passenger on the paddle wheeler SS Sultana with other POWs that had been released. The boat’s old and worn out boilers exploded on the Mississippi River near Memphis and went down with the loss of 1700 lives. Of this great maritime disaster Winters wrote, “At the time the boat blew up I was asleep on the cabin deck but when I came to wake up I found myself on the lower desk & then went out on the Bow of the Boat and helped through [i.e. throw] the gang plank out and get on it and drifted to land after being ducked about 15 times while hundreds of my comrades were lost… “(Quoted from “Civil War Archive of Corporal Erastus Winters, 50th O.V.I.”)


Lee Ann Newton will be our speaker at the roundtable this month. Ms. Newton is a historical commentator for Public Radio and a freelance writer. She co-wrote the Civil War novel, “Beneath the Shadows” with James A. Benson; and wrote the foreword for “The Memoirs of Erastus Winters, 50th Ohio Infantry.” Ms. Newton will lead us on an intimate journey through a life of hardship and adventure experienced by Mr. Winters. We hope you’ll come and join us for this informative program.



Nashville based Greg Wernke gave an interesting and enjoyable presentation on Henry and Spencer rifles in the Civil War.  In addition to detailed information about each weapon he had on display, Greg also passed the rifle and rifle parts around for each one present to handle and inspect. The program turned out to be a very enjoyable meeting. Several questions were asked by audience members and Greg answered every one clearly and in detail. We’d like to thank Mr. Wernke for a first-class presentation.




December 2013 – Michael Bradley, author/historian – “The Raiding Winter: Western Confederate Cavalry Operations in December 1862” (Based on his new book.)

January 2014 – Linda Barnickel, historian/author – “The Battle of Milliken’s Bend” (Based on her new book)

February 2014 – Dr. Steven Hoskins, Trevecca University – “Music Of The Civil War”

March 2014 – Antoinette Van Zelm – historian - "'Great Excitement Up': Women and Military Occupation in Murfreesboro During the Civil War."

June 2014 – Robert Girardi, historian/author, Chicago Police Detective – “The Murder of Union General William “Bull” Nelson”

July 14, 2014 (second Monday meeting) – Conrad Laplante, Ottawa, Canada CWRT – “Canada and the American Civil War”

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 meetingIf 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 Trust Announces Completion of $1.4 Million Fundraising Campaign to Protect 109 Acres at Reed’s Ridge

Civil War Trust announced the successful completion of a $1.4 million fundraising campaign to protect 109 acres of battlefield land associated with Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park (NMP).  The newly preserved land is located at historic Reed’s Bridge, site of the opening salvo of the battle of Chickamauga. The announcement was made at the Tennessee Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission’s annual signature event in downtown Chattanooga. Trust President James Lighthizer said, “The Civil War Trust once again has helped our efforts to preserve key Civil War battlefields and to tell the whole story of a conflict that changed our nation forever,” said Van West. “The leadership and contributions of the Civil War Trust continue to help Tennessee and other states preserve and highlight the countless heritage treasures from the Civil War era.”


The veterans who established Chickamauga and Chattanooga as the first national military park in the late 1900s wanted Reed’s Ridge to be a part of the park. However, the land was private property and the finances couldn’t be arranged to purchase it. As far back as 1998 officials at Chickamauga and Chattanooga Military Parks and the Civil War Trust have given the purchase of the Reed’s Ridge property top priority.


In August 2013, the Trust announced a national fundraising campaign to protect Reed’s Bridge.  The campaign was substantially aided by matching grants through the American Battlefield Protection Program and major contributions from the Lyndhurst Foundation of Chattanooga, the Williams Family Foundation of Georgia and the Georgia Battlefields Association, as well as the generous contributions of numerous individual donors. The necessary funds were raised in a matter of two months. The final disposition of the property will be to make it a part of the national park. Until this transfer is in place the property will be the responsibility of, and under the care of, the Trust.


Without question the acquisition of the Reed’s Ridge property will be helpful in the study and interpretation of the Chickamauga and Chattanooga battlefields. We look anxiously forward to the addition of the site into the national battlefield program. The battle of Chickamauga began there and it will add significantly to the tour of the Chickamauga field.


Tennessee Historical Society Releases Two More Volumes in the “Tennessee in the Civil War” Series

The Tennessee Historical Society is releasing a series of books over the sesquicentennial of the Civil War. The series consists of collections of articles from the Tennessee Historical Quarterly about the Civil War and its impact on Tennessee. Volume Six, “Emancipation and the Fight for Freedom: Tennessee African Americans, 1860-1900” and Volume Seven, “The Battles for Chattanooga” have been released. The volumes in this series sell for $25 each and can be purchased from the THS website or you can pick one up at the Fort Negley Gift Shop at the next Roundtable.


Titles for the preceding five volumes are, “Tennessee in the Civil War”, “The Civil War in Appalachia”, “The Battle of Shiloh”, “The Battle of Stones River” and “Forrest and the West Tennessee Cavalry Campaigns.”


Tennessee Historical Society Lecture Series at Fort Negley, November 7 and 14

The two Tennessee Historical Society Lecture Series topics for November are “Chronicles of the Cumberland Settlements” by Paul Clements to be given on November 7th, and “Looking Back: The Civil War in Tennessee” on November 14th by Myers Brown. Both lectures will run from 5:30 – 7:00 pm and will be held at the Fort Negley Visitors Center.


150th Anniversary of Gettysburg Address: Fort Negley, Saturday November 23, 10 am to 3 pm

A celebration of the 150th anniversary of the Gettysburg Address will be held at Fort Negley on Saturday, November 23rd. The celebration will feature Dennis Boggs as President Lincoln. Mr. Boggs is a much sought after Lincoln re-enactor and always gives a convincing portrayal. The 13th United States Colored Troops Living History Association will be on hand to handle the military aspects of the program. This group is very much in demand and participates in Civil War events around the mid-south. They have been at Fort Negley many times and always manage to delight visitors. A representative of the National Cemetery system and will give a presentation about the history and future of the system. The event is free and open to the public.


Illumination at Carnton and March to the Carter House, Franklin, November 30, 2013

The 2013 Illumination will be held at Carnton near the Confederate cemetery on November 30th. Commemorating the nearly 10,000 Americans killed, wounded or captured at the Battle of Franklin, 10,000 candles will be displayed at the illumination. Each year the Illumination is a public reminder that the cost of the war was great in lives and suffering of those who fought it.


Approximately 100 volunteers are needed to paint the dots on Thursday, November 29 at 10 am and four setting up and lighting candles at noon on the 30th. To get on the volunteer list email Leigh Bawcom at Leigh@Battleof Pickup trucks will be needed on Saturday to assemble and pick up the Illumination materials. For more details go to


On Saturday, November 30, Union and Confederate reenactors and civilians in period attire will honor all who fought at Franklin with a march to the Carter House. Organized by the SCV Sam Davis Camp 1293 and the SUVCW Fort Donelson Camp 62, the march will originate at two locations and converge on the Carter House. At 4 p.m., Nov. 30, 2013, men and women will assemble on Winstead Hill to be led by men in butternut or gray carrying the Confederate flag for a march to the Carter House. At the same time, another group will assemble at the Fort Granger sign in Pinkerton Park to be led by men in blue carrying the U.S. flag for their march to the Carter House.


The public is invited and encouraged to attend this important commemorative event.

Dinner at Travellers Rest with speaker Ed Bearss Friday, December 6, 2013:   6:00 – 9:00 p.m.; $100 per person ($175 per couple)


The Battle of Nashville Preservation Society and Historic Travellers Rest Plantation & Museum will host a Friday evening dinner from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. on December 6, 2013. Ed Bearss, expert on the Civil War and WWII eras, will be the guest speaker. Cost of the Bearss dinner at Travellers Rest is $100 per person. ($175 per couple) For reservations email Cryssa Hulsey at or call 615-8328197.


Mr. Bearss is the former Historian for the National Park Service and has authored several battlefield guidebooks and works on Civil War subjects. At age 90, Mr. Bearss shows no signs of slowing down.


Saturday, December 7, 2013:  Battle of Nashville Bus Tour; 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.; $70 per seat


Historic Travellers Rest and the Battle of Nashville Preservation Society will sponsor a bus tour beginning at Travellers Rest at 10 am, Saturday, December 7. The tour will visit seven major Battle of Nashville sites with narration by Ed Bearss and Nashville Preservation Society board members Jim Kay and John Ally. Stops include Cranberry’s Lunette, Redoubt #1, Redoubt #3, John Trotwood Moore Middle School, Fort Negley, Nashville City Cemetery and Shy’s Hill.  Cost of the tour is $70 per seat. A box lunch will be provided. For reservations email Carissa Hulsey at or call 615-8328197.


Nashville Civil War Show, Williamson County Ag Expo Park, December 7-8, 2013,


The Nashville Civil War Show will be at the Williamson County Ag Expo Park on December 7, 8, 2013. Saturday hours will be 9 am to 5 pm. Sunday hours 9 am to 3 pm. Admission is $8 for adults, children under 12, free. The Ag Expo Park is located at 4215 Long Lane, Franklin, TN 37064. If you wish to participate in the show as a vendor, table cost is $85. For more information emaill:, or phone: 770-630-7296


149th Battle of Nashville Event, Belle Meade Plantation, December 14, 2013, 10 am – 4 pm


The 149th Battle of Nashville event will be held on Saturday December 14, 2013. Speakers will include Dan Woodard, Greg Biggs, Cornelia McDonald, and Dr. Brian Wills.  The 7th Tennessee Cavalry will be encamped and will lead cavalry demonstrations throughout the day. All events will take place on the grounds of Belle Meade Plantation from 10:00am-4:00pm. Admission to the event is free. Mansion tour tickets will be available for sale for all interested. For more information contact us at 615-356-0501 ext 148 or


151st Anniversary Programs, Stones River Battlefield Park, December 26, 2013 – January 2, 2014

Park Rangers and volunteers will conduct a variety of tours and presentations telling the story of the bitter struggle at Stones River. In addition to these presentations, living history demonstrations will help to show conditions under which soldiers on both sides had to deal. For more information call the park’s visitor information line at (615) 893-9501.


Annual Battle of Chickamauga Seminar in the Woods – March 7-8, 2014


Noted Chickamauga historian Dave Powell  and Chick-Chat National Military park historian Jim Ogden hold another of their annual Seminars in the Woods, a tactical tour and study of different aspects of the three day Battle of Chickamauga.  The purpose of the Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park Study Group is to create a forum to bring students of the American Civil War together to study and explore those events in the fall of 1863 that led ultimately to the creation of the Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park … “for the purpose of preserving and suitably marking for historical and professional military study the fields of some of the most remarkable maneuvers and most brilliant fighting in the war of the rebellion.”  The tours begin on Friday, March 7 continuing on Saturday, March 8, 2014.  Friday’s tours will involve a tour bus. We will be charging a small fee for use of the bus.  The tours are:


Friday: 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 – George Thomas and the XIV Corps advance to Chickamauga.

In the morning, we will explore the XIV Corps crossing of the Tennessee, visiting Shell mound, Jasper, and Trenton between roughly August 30th and September 9th; much of this exploration will also include following Rosecrans and army headquarters since Rosecrans and Thomas spent much time together during these movements

Park at the Visitor‘s Center. The bus will depart and return from there.  On Friday afternoon we will cross Lookout Mountain, and follow Thomas’s corps into McLemore’s Cove and then on to Crawfish Spring, in the town of Chickamauga.


For Saturday morning: 8:30 a.m. to Noon – The tour covers where Union Gens. Baird and Brannan Engage, September 19th.  This tour will be part walking and part car caravan.  The tour will return to the vicinity of Jay’s Mill and Winfrey Field, to explore the developing fight on September 19th.  The primary focus will be on Brannan’s engagement with Wilson’s and Ector’s Brigades of Walker’s Confederate corps, Baird’s entry into the fight, and Liddell’s counter-attack.  We will meet at the visitor’s center, and then car-caravan to Jay’s Mill Road.  Saturday Afternoon: 1:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m -.Gordon Granger and the defense of Horseshoe Ridge.  The tours finish on Horseshoe Ridge, following the Union Reserve Corps onto the battlefield and describing the ensuing action. It will focus primarily on that part of Horseshoe Ridge beyond Hill 3, out to the end of the Union line.  Meet at the visitor’s center, and then car-caravan to Snodgrass Hill.


Cost: Beyond the fee for Friday’s Bus, there is no cost for tour participation.  Meals lodging, transportation, and incidentals, however, are the individual’s responsibility.


Tour Departures:All tours will meet at the Chickamauga Visitor’s Center at the designated start time, and will depart from there after some brief overview discussion.  We will board the bus or car caravan to the designated parking area, and from there, we will be on foot.  We will be on foot for up to three hours, so dress and prepare accordingly.  Tours will depart rain or shine. Participants are responsible for their own transportation, and should plan accordingly.  All tours are designed to be self-contained, so participants who cannot attend the full schedule are still welcome to join us for any portion of the weekend.

Lodging and Meals:  Everyone is responsible for their own lodging and meals. There are many hotels in the greater Chattanooga area, to fit most any price range. The closest are in Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia, with the least expensive in Ringgold. Each tour on Saturday is designed to leave at least 90 minutes for lunch, and there are several family and fast food restaurants within minutes of the battlefield. There are designated picnic areas near the Visitor’s Center, for those who wish to bring a lunch and eat on the field.


What to bring:  Each tour will involve extensive walking. Proper clothing and especially footgear is essential. Dress in layers, wear sturdy, broken-in walking shoes or boots, and be prepared for some rain, as spring can be quite wet in North Georgia. We will be walking on dirt and gravel trails, uncut fields, and through stretches of woods. The ground will be wet and muddy in places. Bring your own water and snacks.  For more details go to –


Lotz House in Franklin, TN has two events

The Lotz House Museum, 1111 Columbia Avenue, across the road from the Carter House in Franklin, TN. is having two events.  On Saturday, November 30th, they are having a blood drive in conjunction with American Red Cross.  This will be held from 10 AM until 3 PM.  To make an appointment please call (615) 790-7190.  Please support this worthy event.


Secondly, on the same date, the Lotz House is sponsoring a 149th Anniversary of the Battle of Franklin tour with Thomas Cartwright and John Marler.  Both are experienced guides and this tour will focus not only on the battle but also stories of the men that fought on both sides.  The tour is limited to 50 people and costs $75 per person.  The tour starts at 10:30 AM and ends at 2:30 PM.  To secure your spot call (615) 790-7190 or email –


Save the date – Atlanta Campaign Tour – March 27-30, 2014.  Sponsored by the Battle of Franklin Trust


Tour guides Greg Biggs and Thomas Cartwright, in a fund raiser for the Battle of Franklin Trust, are conducting a tour of the Atlanta Campaign.  The tour will cover Ringgold Gap through Kennesaw Mountain including such sites as Dalton, Snake Creek Gap, Resaca, Calhoun, Cassville, Dallas/New Hope Church and Pickett’s Mill and the first and second Kennesaw Lines.  Some sites have several stops.  The tour will be by bus and leave from Franklin, TN on Thursday, March 27th and return on Sunday, March 30th.  Cost details are forthcoming with proceeds going to the Battle of Franklin Trust and will cover any museum fees, hotel rooms, guides and map sets for the tour.  Keep your eyes here for more details as they develop.


In closing – we would like to give our thanks to John Cummins for handling our newsletter.  Due to his career he has stepped down and Ron Crabtree has picked up the mantel.  Thanks for the good service John!   Thank you Ron as well.



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