Clarksville, TN – The next meeting of the Clarksville (TN) Civil War Roundtable will be on Wednesday, September 20th, 2017 at the Bone & Joint Center, 980 Professional Park Drive, right across the street from Tennova Healthcare. 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 – “General Charles Ferguson Smith: Teacher of Civil War Generals”
In the pantheon of Union generals, few, other than those who have studied the depth of the Federal command structure, will know of General. Charles F. Smith.
And yet he was considered at the war’s start to be one of the very best who wore a star and his reputation preceded him.
He was held in awe by Grant, Sherman and others. Sadly, he died in early 1862 before Shiloh, where his presence on that field might have made a big difference.
From the training field at West Point to the entrenchments at Fort Donelson, Charles Ferguson Smith was the soldier’s soldier. The call of duty was a magic sound for which he was always ready to make every sacrifice. He was the very model of a soldier, calm, prudent, self-poised, and bold.
During his 40-year military career, these qualities earned him the respect and admiration of his peers. However, his story is more than an account of battles fought and victories won. Through his correspondence, we discover a man who combined the qualities of a faithful officer, an excellent disciplinarian, an able commander, and a modest, courteous gentleman.
Our speaker this month is Allen Mesch. He is a Civil War author, educator, and historian. He has written three books on the Civil War: Teacher of Civil War Generals: Major General Charles Ferguson Smith, Soldier and West Point Commandant; Your Affectionate Father, Charles F. Smith; and Charles A. Marvin – “Two Years, Six Months, and Eleven Days.”
Allen’s latest project is Preparing for Disunion, which is about the role West Point commandants played in preparing Civil War generals. He teaches classes on the Civil War in Collin College’s SAIL program. Allen also manages a web site, Civil War Journeys, which contains over 4,000 battlefield photographs and the Civil War Blog Salient Points.
Allen earned a master’s degree in chemical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He has extensive experience in both technical and management positions in engineering, economics, and planning with major multinational petroleum companies. He will have copies of his Smith books for sale at the meeting.