Clarksville, TN – The next meeting of the Clarksville (TN) Civil War Roundtable will be on Wednesday, October 16th, 2019 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.
Our speaker this month is Dr. David E. Gregg. His topic is – “John Bell Hood’s Muscle Shoals, Alabama Encampment, 1864”
Taking command of the Confederate Army of Tennessee in mid-July, 1864 with that army’s backs to the city of Atlanta was daunting for any commander. Despite Hood’s efforts Atlanta fell on September 2nd, 1864.
Hood then proposed to refight the Atlanta Campaign in reverse and head towards Chattanooga hoping to draw out Sherman, bust his line of supply and perhaps defeat him in battle in north Georgia forcing his withdrawal. Sherman gave chase with most of his army eventually sending two corps back to Nashville along with Gen. George Thomas to solve the problem. Sherman, tiring of the chase, returned to Atlanta and prepared for his march to Savannah.
Failing to cross the Tennessee River at Guntersville, Alabama Hood’s troops moved to Decatur which he failed to capture and the rail line that ran from there to Nashville had been destroyed up into Tennessee in September by Gen. Forrest so would have been useless as a line of supply. Hood then moved to the Muscle Shoals area of Alabama – Tuscumbia, Florence and Muscle Shoals, where the 40 miles of shoals in the Tennessee River would protect his pontoon bridges from Union gunboats.
However, Hood was very low on food and spent some three weeks gathering supplies to continue the campaign. These three weeks probably proved fatal to his hopes as it gave much needed time for Thomas to call in more troops and prepare Nashville’s defenses.
Our program this month will be presented by Dr. David E. Gregg, a Baptist minister in Florence, Alabama and local historian of the Civil War in the Shoals area who has written extensively on the war in the Shoals which has contributed greatly to their local history.
The meeting is always open to interested members of the public.