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"De Bow's Review: The Antebellum Vision of a New South"

August 27th, 2015 in Uncategorized by Huntsville

Tennessee Valley Civil War Round Table
“De Bow’s Review: The Antebellum Vision of a New South (New Directions in Southern History)”
By Dr. John F. Kvach, Associate Professor of History at UAHuntsville
Thursday, September 10, 2015
Elks Lodge, 725 Franklin St. Huntsville, AL
No Charge for the program; optional chicken buffet at 5:30 pm for $8.85
Visitors welcome. For more information call 256-278-5533


“David Todd: Mary Lincoln’s Huntsville brother”

July 1st, 2015 in Uncategorized by Huntsville

Tennessee Valley Civil War Round Table

“David Todd: Mary Lincoln’s Huntsville brother”
By Jacque Proctor Reeves, the editor of North Alabama’s Valley Leaves, associate editor of Old Tennessee Valley Magazine, and author of 10 books.
Thursday, July 9, at 6:30 pm
Elks Lodge, 725 Franklin St, Huntsville
No Charge for the program; optional chicken buffet at 5:30 pm for $8.95
Visitors welcome. For more information call 256-278-5533

By Jacque Proctor Reeves, the editor of North Alabama’s Valley Leaves, associate editor of Old Tennessee Valley Magazine, and author of 10 books.
Thursday, July 9, at 6:30 pm
Elks Lodge, 725 Franklin St, Huntsville
No Charge for the program; optional chicken buffet at 5:30 pm for $8.95
Visitors welcome. For more information call 256-278-5533


Reconstruction in Alabama

June 1st, 2015 in Uncategorized by Huntsville

“Reconstruction in Alabama.”
By Richard Bailey, Alabama author/historian
Thursday, June 11 at 6:30 pm
Elks Lodge, 725 Franklin St. Huntsville
No Charge for program; optional chicken buffet at 5:30 for $8.95
Visitors welcome. For more information call 256-278-5533.

Reconstruction was one of the most significant periods in Alabama history. Coming at the close of the Civil War in 1865, the period was filled with paradoxes and promises. Alabama found itself having to cope with a reordered society as fostered by the Thirteenth Amendment in December 1865. Labor relations became one of the most pressing issues of the period. Then, in 1868, Alabama had to contend with its first Republican governor. This presentation focuses on the rise and fall of the Alabama Republican party and the accompanying black officeholders during Reconstruction. It addresses the successes and shortcomings of Reconstruction in Alabama by focusing on the social, economic, educational and political issues of the period.

For more information call 256-278-5533 or visit www.tvcwrt.org or our
Facebook page for details.


“John B. Hood: The Rise, Fall, and Resurrection of a Confederate General” by Stephen Hood

April 27th, 2015 in Uncategorized by Huntsville

Tennessee Valley Civil War Round Table presents:

“The Rise, Fall, and Resurrection of a Confederate General”
By Stephen Hood, descendant of General John Bell Hood, C.S.A

Thursday, May 14 at 6:30 pm
Elks Lodge, 725 Franklin St. Huntsville

No charge for program; optional chicken buffet at 5:30pm for $8.95

Visitors welcome. For more information call 256-278-5533, visit www.tvcwrt.org or see our Facebook page


Robert E. Lee 1865: From Petersburg to Appomattox

March 31st, 2015 in Uncategorized by Huntsville

TN Valley Civil War Round Table, “Robert E. Lee 1865: From Petersburg to Appomattox”

By A. Wilson Greene, Executive Director of Pamplin Historical Park in Petersburg, VA

Thursday, April 9 at 6:30 pm

Elks Lodge, 725 Franklin St. Huntsville

No charge for program; optional chicken buffet at 5:30pm for $8.95

Visitors welcome. For more information call 256-278-5533, visit www.tvcwrt.org or see our Facebook page

April not only brings spring, but also the beginning of the War Between the States on the 12th (1861) and what is popularly believed to be the end when General Lee surrendered on the 9th four years later (1865). Lincoln’s assassination took place on April 14. April 27, 1865, the worst steamship disaster in U.S. history occurred on the Mississippi River as an explosion aboard the Sultana killed nearly 2,000 passengers, mostly Union soldiers who had been prisoners of war at Cahawba, AL, and were returning home.

On April 9th of this year, our guest speaker will be A. Wilson (Will) Greene, and his topic will be “Robert E. Lee 1865: From Petersburg to Appomattox”. This is an account of the military events that led Lee and Grant from the trenches at Petersburg to the parlor of the McLean House.
He will explore General Lee’s leadership during the final four months of the war with particular emphasis on the final week at Petersburg and Appomattox. He will bring this campaign to life and share with us his detailed knowledge of the final days General Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia, from the early morning breakthrough southwest of Petersburg on the morning of April 2, to the Confederate evacuation of the city that night, and on to the denouement at Appomattox Court House on the exact 150th Anniversary of Lee’s surrender at Appomattox.

Will Greene received his BA at Florida State University and did his graduate studies at Louisiana State University. He served with the National Park Service for 15 years before leaving to serve as the first executive director of the Association for the Preservation of Civil War Sites (now the Civil War Preservation Trust). In January 1995, Will became the president and CEO (and currently the Executive Director) of the Pamplin Historical Park and the National Museum of the Civil War Soldier in Petersburg, Virginia.

Will Greene has authored numerous books on the Civil War. Civil War Petersburg: Confederate City in the Crucible of War was awarded the Austin Civil War Round Table’s Daniel M. & Marilyn W. Laney Book Prize for 2007. This award is given for distinguished scholarship and writing on the military and political history of the Civil War. Another very well received work, Breaking the Backbone of the Rebellion: The Final Battles of Petersburg went into its second printing in 2008. Will is currently under contract with the University of North Carolina Press to write a three volume history of the Petersburg Campaign.

Presented by the Tennessee Valley Civil War Round Table, this free program will be held Thursday, April 9, beginning at 6:30 p.m. at the Elks Lodge, 725 Franklin St., Huntsville. And don’t forget: A scrumptious chicken buffet hosted by the Elks is available at 5:30 p.m. for $8.95, if you so choose. All are welcome. For more information, phone 256-278-5533, visit our website at www.tvcwrt.org, or see us on Facebook.


"Gettysburg requiem: the life and lost causes of Confederate Colonel William C. Oates."

March 9th, 2015 in Uncategorized by Huntsville

Tennessee Valley Civil War Round Table presents “Gettysburg requiem: the life and lost causes of Confederate Colonel William C. Oates.” By Dr. Glenn LaFantasie, Professor of History at Western Kentucky University.
Thursday, March 12 at 6:30 pm
Elks Lodge, 725 Franklin St. Huntsville
No Charge for the program; optional chicken buffet at 5:30 pm for $8.95
Visitors welcome. For more information call 256-278-5533


“What the Yankees Did to Us: Sherman’s Bombardment and Wrecking of Atlanta”

February 2nd, 2015 in Uncategorized by Huntsville

“What the Yankees Did to Us: Sherman’s Bombardment and Wrecking of Atlanta”
By Dr. Stephen Davis, attorney, historian, and longtime Atlantan
Thursday, February 12, 6:30pm
Elks Lodge, 725 Franklin St., Huntsville
No charge for the program; optional chicken buffet at 5:30 p.m. for $8.95
Visitors welcome. 256-278-5533 for info.
Not only will many of us be celebrating Black History and Abraham Lincoln’s birthday this month, but we will also be harkening back to General Sherman’s fight for Atlanta when the Tennessee Valley Civil War Round Table hosts Dr. Stephen Davis on February 12. Dr. Davis will present “What the Yankees Did to Us: Sherman’s Bombardment and Wrecking of Atlanta”, from his book of the same title.

This book is Dr. Davis’ latest. In it he tells the story of Atlanta’s wartime ordeal from a Southerner’s perspective. In a review published in Civil War News, Ted Savas calls Steve’s book “by far the most well-researched, thorough, and detailed account ever written about the ‘wrecking’ of Atlanta.” His presentations include details not only about events at the street level, but also about people, well known and not, that were involved – people such as Solomon Luckie, a well-known African-American barber, killed by a shell in August of 1864. There is no monument to Sol in Atlanta, but Dr. Davis believes would support construction of one.

Dr. Steve Davis has been a Civil War buff since the 4th grade. He attended Emory University and studied under the renowned Civil War historian Bell Wiley. After a Master’s degree in American history from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, he earned his Ph.D. at Emory, where he concentrated on the theme of the Civil War in Southern literature. He presently serves as Medical Relations Director for MAG Mutual Insurance Company in Atlanta, the professional liability insurer for Georgia physicians. Last year the Georgia Writers’ Association recognized Dr. Davis with its Georgia Author of the Year Award in the category of History.
The Round Table will also have an extra treat at their February meeting:
a Jewelry Sale Preservation Fund Raiser hosted by Dawn Hagstrom and her Premier Designs Jewelry. This will be at the same location – the Elks Lodge on Franklin Street, same date and time. There will be a line of fine jewelry, for men as well as for women. The Round Table’s proceeds from this sale will be applied towards its 2015 preservation goals.
(There may even be some books for sale, too!) Note that the TVCWRT is a certified 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.

Presented by the Tennessee Valley Civil War Round Table, this free program will be held Thursday, February 128, beginning at 6:30 p.m. at the Elks Lodge, 725 Franklin St., Huntsville. And not to be forgotten: A scrumptious chicken buffet is available at 5:30 p.m. for $8.95, if you so choose. All are welcome. For more information, phone 256-278-5533, visit www.tvcwrt.org, or see us on Facebook.


“Fighting and Food: Chancellorsville and Suffolk”

December 18th, 2014 in Uncategorized by Huntsville

Tennessee Valley Civil War Round Table presents “Fighting and Food: Chancellorsville and Suffolk”
By Dr. Brian Steel Wills, historian, author, and Director of the Center for the Study of the Civil War Era and Professor of History at Kennesaw State University in Kennesaw, Georgia
Thursday, January 8, 6:30pm
Elks Lodge, 725 Franklin St., Huntsville
No charge for the program; optional chicken buffet at 5:30 p.m. for $8.95
Visitors welcome. 256-278-5533 for info.
By the spring of 1863, several points were apparent to all who cared to see concerning the American Civil War. Despite almost two full years of increasingly bloody combat, the conflict showed no signs of abatement.
The battles of Sharpsburg (Antietam) and Perryville, had closed the 1862 Maryland and Kentucky campaigns unsuccessfully for the Confederacy, but neither side appeared closer to capitulation or accommodation, even as the war itself underwent a fundamental transformation. Before 1862 was finished, President Abraham Lincoln was prepared to make slavery a critical factor, as Union leadership also shifted toward a policy that would wage war on the whole South, including its civilians, as well as its soldiers. This movement away from a more limited “gentleman’s war,” would ensure that both sides would require maximum use of their resources in the days ahead as the opposing governments and their citizens sought to increase their commitments to the demands of modern warfare.

The winter of 1862-63 proved distressingly difficult, especially in the heavily traversed region of Central Virginia. Foodstuffs ran in short supply and inflationary prices plagued the Confederate capital of Richmond, where a disgruntled citizenry engaged in a bread riot that compelled the intervention of the mayor, the governor of Virginia, and the president of the Confederate States to terminate. The commanding general of the Army of Northern Virginia, Robert E. Lee, had to take extraordinary measures to disperse his animals so that they could be fed sufficiently to meet the requirements of a new season of campaigning, and directed some of his best fighting officers and men, under the command of James Longstreet, to approach southeastern Virginia and northeastern North Carolina to obtain food and forage located there.

Thus, the armies of generals Lee and Joseph “Fighting Joe” Hooker faced each other in April-May, 1863, across the Rappahannock River and near a thickly-wooded region known as “the Wilderness” west of Fredericksburg.
Although, it had become increasingly clear that no single battle was likely to end the conflict, generals still sought to achieve such a battle of annihilation anyway. The ultimate winner might have to wear down its opponent—breaking the capability, if not the will, to continue, but hope remained for a decisive engagement. With the absence of many of his veterans at Suffolk, Virginia, and in the presence of an aggressive Union commander, Lee would have to depend upon his talented lieutenant, Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson, to assist him in staving off such a signal defeat.
Fighting around the Chancellor mansion and amidst the tangled growth and rare open ground of the surrounding area would soon tell the tale in the Eastern Theater in 1863.

Dr. Brian Steel Wills is the Director of the Center for the Study of the Civil War Era and Professor of History at Kennesaw State University in Kennesaw, Georgia, after a long tenure at the University of Virginia’s College at Wise. He is the author of numerous works relating to the American Civil War, including a new volume – The River Was Dyed with
Blood: Nathan Bedford Forrest and Fort Pillow. His other titles include:
A Battle from the Start: The Life of Nathan Bedford Forrest (reprinted as The Confederacy’s Greatest Cavalryman: Nathan Bedford Forrest). This work was chosen as both a History Book Club selection and a Book of the Month Club selection. He also authored The War in Southeastern Virginia, released in October, 2001, and No Ordinary College: A History of The University of Virginia’s College at Wise, (2004), both by the University Press of Virginia. Gone with the Glory: The Civil War in Cinema appeared in 2006. In 2012 and 2013, Dr. Wills authored George Henry Thomas: As True as Steel and Confederate General William Dorsey Pender: The Hope of Glory. In 2000, Dr. Wills received the Outstanding Faculty Award from the state of Virginia, one of eleven recipients from all faculty members at public and private institutions across the state. He was named Kenneth Asbury Professor of History and won both the Teaching award and the Research and Publication award from UVA-Wise.

Presented by the Tennessee Valley Civil War Round Table, this free program will be held Thursday, January 8, beginning at 6:30 p.m. at the Elks Lodge, 725 Franklin St., Huntsville. And don’t forget: A scrumptious chicken buffet is available at 5:30 p.m. for $8.95, if you so choose. All are welcome. For more information, phone 256-278-5533, visit www.tvcwrt.org, or see us on Facebook.


“Lincoln and His Admirals”

October 31st, 2014 in Uncategorized by Huntsville

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE!

Abbreviated news blurb….

Tennessee Valley Civil War Round Table presents
“Lincoln and His Admirals”
By Craig L. Symonds, historian, author, Professor Emeritus and Chairman of the History Department at the US Naval Academy
Saturday, November 15, 6:30pm (doors open at 5:30pm)
Cooper House, 405 Randolph Ave, Huntsville SE
No charge for the program; with a cookies-and-punch reception prior to the presentation
Craig Symonds’ book will be available for purchase and signing
Visitors welcome. 256-278-5533 for info.

When he took office in March 1861, navies and naval matters were utterly foreign to Abraham Lincoln. Yet as president he would preside over the development and deployment of the largest naval force in American history to date, a force that would not be eclipsed in size or number until the emergence of the gray steel armadas of the world wars. From virtually the first day of his presidency when he had to consider dispatching a naval expedition to rescue the garrison of Fort Sumter, Lincoln was compelled to become a student of naval warfare.

And what a war at sea it was! Most histories of the Civil War focus on the grand campaigns, battles, and commanders on land, but the war at sea has just as grand in breadth, scope, and personalities. Spanning the entire war, it encompassed rapid expansion of the navy (personnel, vessels, systems, and infrastructure), establishing and maintaining a naval blockade of the entire Confederacy, river operations reaching far inland in support of ground forces, capital ship engagements on the high seas, the development and harnessing of radical new technologies, and interactions with foreign navies worldwide. As Lincoln said in a public letter in 1863, “Nor must Uncle Sam’s Web-feet be forgotten. At all the watery margins they have been present. Not only in the deep sea, the broad bay, and the rapid river, but also up the narrow bayou, and wherever the ground was a little damp, they have been, and made their tracks.”

Craig L. Symonds is Professor Emeritus at the United States Naval Academy where he taught naval history and Civil War history for thirty years. A native of Anaheim, California, he earned his B.A. at UCLA, and his Masters and PhD from the University of Florida. In the 1970s he was a US Navy officer and the first ensign ever to lecture at the prestigious Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island. After his naval service, Symonds remained at the War College as a civilian Professor of Strategy from 1974-1975. He went to the Naval Academy in 1976.

Craig is the author of twelve books and the editor of nine others. He has written over one hundred scholarly articles in professional journals and popular magazines, as well as more than twenty book chapters in historical anthologies. He was a Trustee of the Society of Military History, and serves on the Executive Committee of the Lincoln Forum, and the board of Directors of the Admiral Nimitz Foundation. He was a member of the Lincoln Prize Committee and chaired the Jefferson Davis Prize Committee.
He is a member of the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Committee. From 2005
to 2007 he was Chief Historian of the USS Monitor Center at the Mariners’
Museum in Newport News, Virginia, helping oversee the opening and promotion of that exhibit. Now retired, Craig and his wife, Marylou, live in Annapolis, Maryland.

Presented by the Tennessee Valley Civil War Round Table, this free program will be held Saturday, November 15, at Cooper House, 405 Randolph Ave, SE, Huntsville. Doors will open at 5:30pm, and a cookies-and-punch reception will precede the presentation that begins at 6:30pm. All are welcome.
For more information, phone 256-278-5533, visit www.tvcwrt.org, or see us on Facebook.


“Quantrill’s Raiders and the Massacre at Lawrence, Kansas”

October 1st, 2014 in Uncategorized by Huntsville

Tennessee Valley Civil War Round Table presents: “Quantrill’s Raiders and the Massacre at Lawrence, Kansas”
By David L. Lady, a distinguished speaker and member of the Tennessee Valley Civil War Round Table
Thursday, October 9, 6:30 p.m.
Elks Lodge, 725 Franklin St., Huntsville
No charge for the program; optional chicken buffet at 5:30 p.m. for $8.95
Visitors welcome. 256-278-5533 for info.

Kansas and the north-western counties of Missouri had been rent by violence since 1854, when the U. S. Congress passed the Kansas-Nebraska Act. This act implemented the concept of ‘popular sovereignty,’ by which the settlers in a federal territory would decide for themselves whether the territory would enter the Union as a free or slave state. In the case of Kansas, the result was violence between ‘free-soil (anti-slavery) and pro-slavery settlers. Between 1854 and 1861, the citizens of ‘Bleeding Kansas’ endured open warfare between militant free-soilers known as ‘Jayhawkers’ and militant pro-slavers known as ‘Border Ruffians’ or ‘Bushwhackers.’ As the Secession crisis degenerated into civil war, many Missourians resorted to irregular war in order to resist pro-Union forces, and large bands of Unionist Kansans often crossed the border to ‘pacify’
and plunder the slaveholders of Missouri and settle old grudges.
Throughout the Civil War, Missouri and eastern Kansas were burning with irregular warfare, and between 1861 and 1863 this conflict became progressively more brutal toward the civilian population.

The cross-border violence between Missourians and Kansans peaked in August 21, 1863 with the massacre and plundering of Lawrence, Kansas. The raid on Lawrence by Confederate Captain William C. Quantrill’s band of Missouri bushwhackers is remembered as one of the most shocking episodes of the American Civil War. Sweeping into this notorious center of the free-soil movement and the home of several notorious anti-slavery leaders, a force of perhaps 400 obeyed their commander’s order to “…kill every man big enough to carry a gun.” By late morning some 150 male citizens of Lawrence were killed, many of their families plundered, and most of the town burned to the ground.

David Lady is a native of Washington, D. C., and grew-up in northern Virginia during the Civil War Centennial. His Tennessee forebears served on both sides of this war. David graduated from Wittenberg University in Springfield OH with a degree in History. He enlisted in the US Army in 1974, and enjoyed a 33 year military career. David and his wife Ellen reside in Huntsville, and he is employed on Redstone Arsenal with the US Army Space and Missile Defense Command. He is locally recognized as a researcher, writer, speaker, and battlefield tour guide. David serves on the TVCWRT Board of Directors as the membership chairman, and is an enthusiastic participant in the Little Round Table and the Round Table Brigade.

Presented by the Tennessee Valley Civil War Round Table, this free program will be held Thursday, October 9, beginning at 6:30 p.m. at the Elks Lodge, 725 Franklin St., Huntsville. And don’t forget: A scrumptious chicken buffet is available at 5:30 p.m. for $8.95, if you so choose. All are welcome. For more information, phone 256-278-5533, visit www.tvcwrt.org, or see us on Facebook.