July Newsletter and Meeting Notice

July 20th, 2015 – Our 76th meeting!!  We continue our seventh year.  

The next meeting of the Nashville (TN) Civil War Roundtable will be on Monday, July 20th, 2015, 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    – “Yorktown: Where the Revolution and Civil War Overlapped”


Union General George McClellan and his large Army of the Potomac (121,000 troops), began its advance up the Virginia Peninsula in March 1862 when his troops were shipped by sea to the area around Fortress Monroe.  After everything was completed, his army headed towards Richmond with the thinking that the capture of the Confederate capitol would end the war.  Holding the lower Peninsula was the small (11,000 troops) of Confederate Gen. John Magruder and his Army of the Peninsula.

Magruder dug a line of entrenchments and forts across the region even using trenches built for the Revolutionary War Battle of Yorktown dubbed the Warwick Line.  McClellan drew up and prepared to lay siege in a set piece fight to drive out Magruder.  With fighting taking place at Lee’s Mills and Dam Number One in early April, McClellan had underestimated Magruder’s defenses.  These events brought a large Confederate reaction as the Army of Northern Virginia, deployed around Richmond and other towns of that area, was sent down the Peninsula to reinforce Magruder.  Eventually, the Confederates forced a siege which played more to McClellan’s strengths as an engineer officer who had brought heavy artillery with him just for that purpose.  New Confederate commander, Gen. Joseph Johnston, decided that the question was the better part of valor and, after sending his supply wagons back to Richmond, slowly withdrew his army to hold in Richmond’s defenses.

The follow up to the fighting at Yorktown, Jamestown, Williamsburg and the Confederate retreat up the Peninsula came in late May when Johnston struck back at Seven Pines.  That battle stopped McClellan but did not defeat him.  That event took place starting in late June when Robert E. Lee struck back in the Seven Days battles finally driving McClellan back from Richmond saving the capitol.

This month’s program offers the twists and turns and events of the fighting at Yorktown.  Teaching us this month is National park Service ranger Robert Dunkerly.  On the staff of the Richmond National Battlefield park in Virginia, he has led tours of Yorktown, Seven Pines sites and other Peninsula sites over the years.

Robert M. Dunkerly is a historian, award-winning author, and speaker who is actively involved in historic preservation and research.  He holds a degree in History from St. Vincent College and a Masters in Historic Preservation from Middle Tennessee State University.  He has worked at nine historic sites, written twelve books and over twenty articles on both the Civil War and Revolutionary War.  His research includes archaeology, colonial life, military history, and historic commemoration.  He is currently President of the Richmond Civil War Round Table, and serves on the Preservation Commission for the American Revolution Round Table-Richmond.  He has taught courses at Central Virginia Community College, the University of Richmond, and the Virginia Historical Society.  Dunkerly is currently a Park Ranger at Richmond National Battlefield Park.  He has visited over 400 battlefields and over 900 historic sites worldwide.  When not reading or writing, he enjoys hiking, camping, and photography.

Last Month’s meeting


We were indeed lucky to have noted Tennessee based author and speaker Randy Bishop visit with us for the June program.  As always, he informs and entertains and is about the nicest guy you could ever meet.  We look forward to having him back in the future for another program.  If you missed the meeting please check out his several Civil War books including The Tennessee Brigade, Tennessee Confederate Generals and battlefields of Tennessee, Kentucky and other states.



August 2015 – Greg Bayne, American Civil War Roundtable of the United Kingdom – “Henry Hotze and the Confederate Index; Confederate Propaganda in Britain”

September 2015 – Dr. Sybril Bennett, professor/author, Belmont University – “The Underground Railroad”

October 2015 – Wayne Motts, Director, National Civil War Museum, Harrisburg, PA – “The Civil War Through Artifacts”

November 2015 – Gene Andrews, N.B. Forrest Home/historian –“The Confederate States Marine Corps”

December 2015 – Alan Corry, pastor/historian – “Religion in the Civil War”

January 2016 – Howard Mann, Nashville CWRT – “The Alton, Illinois Prisoner of War Camp”

March 2016 – Robert Hodge, filmmaker/historian – “The Battle of Spotsylvania” (based on his recent film)

Spring 2016 – James McDonough, historian/author – “General William T. Sherman”  (Based on his new book)

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

Your dues for the 2015-2016 fiscal year are now due.  Please plan on paying them at this month’s meeting if you have not already.  Your dues go to bringing in our speakers, donating to causes, etc.  If you are current you will have four stars on your name badge.



When your dues are paid your name badge with four 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!


Johnsonville State Historic Park Event – Saturday, July 18th, 2015 Features the One and Only Thomas Cartwright

Company “Aytch” Campfire by the Lake

Johnsonville State Historic Park is proud to feature renowned Civil War historian, Mr. Thomas Cartwright of Brentwood, Tennessee, as he performs an amazing, one-man theatrical performance as Confederate private Sam Watkins in “Company Aytch: A Side Show of the Big Show.”  As a first-person performance, you will be drawn directly into the horrors and even the comedies of the Civil War and get to hear first-hand.  Watkins’ amazing experiences are seen from the eyes of a private soldier during the Civil War.  Please arrive early enough to allow for parking and to get a good seat for the “not to be missed” one time only performance.  The program starts at 8 PM but come early to explore this beautiful and historic state park on the Tennessee River.  For more information call the park at 931-535-2789

The park is located off US Highway 70 at New Johnsonville, TN.  Take I-40 west to Exit 143 and turn right following the signs to New Johnsonville.  If you go to Waverly to reach US 70 be sure to stop and visit their Civil War fort up on the hill above the town.  Then head west on US 70 to the park.


Fort Donelson National Battlefield Ranger “Battle Chats” – July 2015 Through September 26th, 2015


Join a Park Ranger and learn a bit more about the park, the stories we preserve and share, and the resources we protect for future generations.   Meet the Park Ranger at these locations:

(Program will be cancelled in case of inclement weather, intense heat, or staff shortages.)

11:00 am {Every Day} Stop #4, the River Batteries

3:00 pm {Every Day} The Dover Hotel, Stop #10

1:00 pm Sundays: The Fort Stop #3

1:00 pm Mondays: The Confederate Monument, Stop #1

1:00 pm Tuesdays: Smith’s Attack, Stop #5

1:00 pm Wednesdays: Graves Battery, Stop #7

1:00 pm Thursdays: The National Cemetery / Free-State, Stop #11

1:00 pm Fridays: Smith’s Attack Stop #5

1:00 pm Saturdays: National Cemetery/ Free State, Stop #11



Atlanta Campaign  Tour Part 2 – The River Line To Jonesboro – October 21st through 25th, 2015


Here we go again for the second portion of the Atlanta Campaign tour sponsored by the Lotz House Civil War Museum of Franklin, TN.

The new dates for the tour are Wednesday, October 21st, 2015 through Sunday, October 25th, 2015.  As with last year the tour leaves from Franklin, Tennessee and returns there with parking by the Lotz House as before.  We will tour Joe Johnston’s River Line, Roswell and the Chattahoochie River crossings, the Battles of Moore’s Mill and Peachtree Creek, the Battle of Atlanta,  Ezra Church and Jonesboro. On the way back to Tennessee we will stop at Allatoona Pass battlefield, site of the first battle of Hood’s Tennessee Campaign.

We will also include stops at the Atlanta History Center (one of the finest Civil War museums in the country), the Margaret Mitchell House, the Road to Tara Museum and more.  We will also tour some of Oakland Cemetery where John Bell Hood watched the Battle of Atlanta.  A full itinerary is forthcoming next week for you.

It looks like the prices will be the same as the tour offered in March and I will have these rates sent to you as part of the full tour email.  There is a deadline for doing the tour of September 15 – we need 30 sold and paid for seats for the tour to go.  Refunds are only by substitution of another which you find or if trip does not mature.   There will be rates for single, double and triple room occupancy so you can work that out with friends among yourselves and take the tour together.  We can also post names and contact information of those seeking room mates as well.

Tour guides, as before, will be Greg Biggs and Robert Jenkins.  Bob is THE expert on Moore’s Mill and Peachtree Creek and has done deep research on Ezra Church as well.  He helped us with the Dalton portion of the tour last year.  He has books out on Peachtree Creek and a recent one on Moore’s Mill and the approaches to the Chattahoochee River by Sherman’s army.  Greg has been giving Atlanta tours since 1993 and spent many years walking the fields and has also been published on the campaign.

We will also have three Atlanta historians to speak to us on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights.  We have tentatively scheduled Stephen Davis, noted Atlanta scholar and author (he has a great piece on the Battle of Resaca in the current Blue & Gray magazine in fact) who has written two books on the campaign and is a very entertaining speaker; Brad Butkovich, author of the recent book on the Battle of Allatoona Pass; and Charlie Crawford, president of the Georgia Battlefield Association who will speak to us on efforts to save battlefields in the growing sprawl of Atlanta and other places in Georgia.

So save the date folks!  We look forward to having you join us on the second portion of the Atlanta Campaign tour.  Proceeds will benefit the Lotz House Civil War Museum, a 501 (c) 3 organization.  If interested in the details please send an email to Greg Biggs at – Biggsg@charter.net

Updated Information On Confederate Colonels Now Online


Professor Bruce Allardice, author of “Confederate Colonels: A Biographical Register” (U. of Missouri, 2008) has posted on his website a list of updates to that book, compiled as new information and new sources have become available.  The book includes short biographies of numerous area colonels, such as David A. Lynn and William A. Forbes of Clarksville, and Randal McGavock of Nashville.  Among the new material is updates on Nashville area colonels, such as William S. Hawkins’ newly discovered place of burial.  The new research adds new detail to the book; adds a “new” colonel (John C. Tracy of MO). Bruce is always seeking new information so if you have something to share that is not in his wonderful nook or on his web site please contact him and elt him know.

Bruce’s website is www.civilwarbruce.com. The book, loaded with tremendous research and details, is available through the publisher, or Amazon.com.


Krista Castillo – President – Krista.Castillo@nashville.gov

Gary Burke – Vice President – Escaped886@yahoo.com

Philip Duer – Treasurer and Preservation Liason – pwduer@gmail.com

Greg Biggs – Program Chair – Biggsg@charter.net


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