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Clarksville Civil War Roundtable’s next meeting is July 18th, 2012

 

The 100th meeting with Ed Bearss

Clarksville Civil War RoundtableClarksville, TN – The next meeting of the Clarksville (TN) Civil War Roundtable will be at 7:00pm on Wednesday, July 18th at the Customs House Museum, 200 South 2nd Street in downtown Clarksville.

The Customs House Museum is our partner for this event and we thank them for their help. This is a special fund raising event for the Clarksville CWRT with the proceeds going to help build the Tennessee monument at the Battle of Richmond, Kentucky.

The Meetings topic is “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.

General George H. Thomas

General George H. Thomas

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 30th, 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.

General U.S. Grant

General U.S. Grant

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 II 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 Clarksville CWRT, and our co-sponsor, Customs House Museum, 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 this summer.

Please join us for another informative meeting of the Clarksville Civil War Roundtable.


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