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HomeEventsClarksville Civil War Roundtable's next meeting is June 18th, 2014

Clarksville Civil War Roundtable’s next meeting is June 18th, 2014

The 123rd meeting.

Clarksville Civil War RoundtableClarksville, TN – The next meeting of the Clarksville (TN) Civil War Roundtable will be on Wednesday, June 18th, 2014 at the Bone & Joint Center, 980 Professional Park Drive, right across the street from Gateway Medical Center. This is just off Dunlop Lane and Holiday Drive and only a few minutes east of Governor’s Square mall.

The meeting begins at 7:00pm and is always open to the public. Members please bring a friend or two – new recruits are always welcomed.

Topic: “The Murder of Union General William “Bull” Nelson”

Union Civil War General William "Bull" Nelson.
Union Civil War General William “Bull” Nelson.

In the summer of 1862, a Confederate invasion of Kentucky threatened to destabilize the Union war effort.

As Major General Don Carlos Buell raced north with the Army of the Ohio, he entrusted the safety of Louisville to his most trusted subordinate, Major General William Nelson. Confederate forces were threatening to march to the Ohio River, and new recruits were racing to the front to protect Louisville and Cincinnati.

Nelson assembled a makeshift defense of Louisville, and was gratified to get assistance from a regular army officer whom he knew and respected, Brigadier General Jefferson C. Davis. But Davis, a soldier with a solid combat record, resented his assignment to organize raw recruits.

In a heated exchange with Nelson in the Galt House, he was relieved of command and ordered out of the city.

Davis returned a week later, and in full view of witnesses in the Galt House, confronted Nelson, provoked a confrontation and shot him dead. Although he was taken into custody and indicted, Davis was never tried for the crime. Instead, he was released from custody, and eventually rose to corps command in the Army of the Tennessee.

Historian and Chicago Police Detective Robert Girardi will examine the facts and circumstances of this Civil War Homicide case.

Robert Girardi earned his M.A. in Public History at Loyola University of Chicago in 1991. He is a past president of the Civil War Round Table of Chicago, a fellow of the Company of Military Historians and is an associate member of the Sons of Union Veterans.

He is on the Board of Directors of the Illinois State Historical Society as well as the editorial review board of the Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society. He has consulted for the Chicago Historical Society and the Bureau County Historical Society on their Civil War exhibits.

In 2013 he joined the Board of Directors for the Camp Douglas Restoration Foundation, and was awarded a research grant by the Friends of Andersonville.  He was the 2010 recipient of the Chicago CWRT’s Nevins-Freeman Award for service and scholarship. In 2014 he was awarded the Iron Brigade Association Award for Civil War Scholarship by the Milwaukee CWRT.

Robert has a lifelong interest in the Civil War and has studied all facets of the conflict. He speaks to groups of all ages and levels of expertise on multiple aspects of the Civil War, especially the experience of the common soldier, and the role of Illinois in the war.

He has written numerous essays and book reviews and was the guest editor for the 2011- 2014 Sesquicentennial of the Civil War issues of the Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society.

In his spare time, he is employed as a homicide (violent crimes) detective by the Chicago Police Department. He has been a policeman since 1986, and a detective since 1992, on the South Side of Chicago.

Robert I. Girardi has authored or edited ten books: The Soldiers’ General: Major General Gouverneur K. Warren and the Civil War (2014); The Civil War Generals: Comrades, Peers, Rivals, in Their Own Words (2013); Gettysburg in Art and Artifacts (2010); The Civil War Art of Keith Rocco(2009); Campaigning with Uncle Billy: The Civil War Memoirs of Sgt. Lyman S. Widney, 34thIllinois Volunteer Infantry (2008); The Soldier’s View: The Civil War Art of Keith Rocco (2004); The New Annals of the Civil War (2004); The Memoirs of Brigadier General William Passmore Carlin, U.S.A. (1999); The Military Memoirs of General John Pope (1998); Captain H.W. Chester: Recollections of the War of the Rebellion (1996)


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