The 146th Meeting.
Clarksville, TN – The next meeting of the Clarksville (TN) Civil War Roundtable will be on Wednesday, May 18th, 2016 at the Bone & Joint Center, 980 Professional Park Drive, right across the street from Tennova 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: “Confederate Outlaw: Champ Ferguson” (based on his book)In “Confederate Outlaw: Champ Ferguson and the Civil War in Appalachia,” Brian McKnight tells the story of the Civil War’s most notorious Confederate guerrilla.
In his book, McKnight maintains that Ferguson, with an Old Testament mentality, fought the war on his own terms. Ferguson believed that friends were friends and enemies were enemies–no middle ground existed. Ferguson killed prewar comrades and longtime adversaries without regret, even knowing that he might one day face his own Union scout brother in battle.
In the fall of 1865, the United States Army executed Ferguson for his role in murdering 53 citizens of Kentucky and Tennessee during the Civil War. Long remembered as the most unforgiving and inglorious warrior of the Confederacy, some historians dismiss Ferguson as a cold-blooded killer.
Ferguson’s popularity led to widespread rumors of his last-minute escape from the gallows. Over time, the borderland terrorist emerged as a folk hero for many southerners.
Numerous authors resurrected and romanticized his story, and Hollywood used Ferguson’s life to create the role played by Clint Eastwood in “The Outlaw Josey Wales.” McKnight’s research and subsequent book is credited with “deftly separates the myths from reality, and weaves a thoughtful, captivating, and accurate portrait of the Confederacy’s most celebrated guerrilla.”
Brian McKnight is Professor of History and a Founding Director of the Center for Appalachian Studies at UVa-Wise. He is a specialist in contested and coerced loyalties and is the author of Contested Borderland: The Civil War in Appalachian Kentucky and Virginia, which won the James I. Robertson Literary Award; and Confederate Outlaw: Champ Ferguson and the Civil War in Appalachia, which won the Tennessee Library Award for best book in Tennessee history.
His most recent book is titled “We Fight For Peace”: The Story of Twenty-Three American Soldiers, Prisoners of War, and Turncoats in the Korean War. His other writings have been featured in the New York Times and his work on Korean War prisoners of war was profiled in the New Yorker.
Brian is currently at work on a volume of writings on guerrilla warfare in the Civil War and is coauthoring with Gary Robert Matthews a biography of Confederate General Simon Bolivar Buckner.
Brian grew up in Virginia’s westernmost county and received his undergraduate degree from UVa-Wise and his Ph.D., from Mississippi State University. When he is not teaching or researching, he is usually on his farm planting fruit trees, building fences, and keeping bees.