Monday, June 19, 2017

LCWRT Special Event:
June 24, 2017
2017 Bourbon & Barbecue:
Tennessee Whiskey and Tennessee War
This year’s theme is “Tennessee Whiskey and Tennessee War”. We will welcome George Dickel Ambassador Brian Downing who will conduct a tasting of six George Dickel Tennessee Whiskeys.  We will also feature famous Civil War historian and storyteller Tom Cartwright who will speak on “Tennessee War”.  And we are very happy to once again have bourbon expert, author, and historian Mike Veach with us who will serve as our master of ceremonies. The program will begin at 4:15 on the patio overlooking the Ohio River and yes, we have a tent to protect us from the sun and any moisture that might fall from the sky. 

Immediately after the presentation at approximately 5:30, we will begin serving a buffet style BBQ picnic dinner that will be a delight to everyone’s taste buds!  Master BBQ chefs Marc Oca and Art Boerner will slow cook and smoke pork and ribs all day Saturday just for us.  

Thomas Y. Cartwright 

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Saturday May 13
Announcing Our 520th Meeting
“The Fight for the East Cavalry Field at Gettysburg”
Presented by Eric Wittenberg

Eric J. Wittenberg was born in the Philadelphia suburbs. He was raised in southeastern Pennsylvania, and made his first trip to the Gettysburg battlefield as a third-grader. By the end of that trip, he was fully hooked on the Civil War. Eric is an alumnus of Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, and also has two degrees from the University of Pittsburgh, a master’s degree in public and international affairs from Pitt’s Graduate School of Public and International Affairs as well his Juris Doctor from the University Of Pittsburgh School Of Law. 

Eric J. Wittenberg is an award-winning Civil War historian. His specialty is cavalry operations, with a particular emphasis on the Army of the Potomac’s Cavalry Corps. He is the author of seventeen published books. His first book, Gettysburg’s Forgotten Cavalry Actions, was named the third winner of the Robert E. Lee Civil War Roundtable of Central New Jersey’s Bachelder-Coddington Literary Award as the best new work interpreting the Battle of Gettysburg of 1998. Other works of his have been chosen as main selections by the History and Military Book Clubs, and his work uniformly receives good reviews. He is also the author of more than two dozen published articles on Civil War cavalry operations. His articles have appeared in Gettysburg Magazine, North & South, Blue & Gray, Hallowed Ground, America’s Civil War, and Civil War Times Illustrated. 

Eric regularly travels the country to lecture on the war, and he is frequently asked to lead Civil War battlefield tours. Battlefield preservation work is very important to him. He sits on the boards of advisors of the Trevilian Station Battlefield Foundation and the Friends of the Alligator, and has regularly worked with the Civil War Preservation Trust in helping to save battlefield land. He is an original member of, as well as past president and program chairman of, the Central Ohio Civil War Roundtable. He is the vice president of the Buffington Island Battlefield Preservation Foundation and serves as one of 18 members of the Governor of Ohio’s Advisory Commission on the Sesquicentennial of the Civil War. He maintains a popular and well-regarded blog, Rantings of a Civil War Historian, and is the owner and moderator of the popular Civil War Discussion Group Online. A native Philadelphian, he is a long-suffering fan of the Phillies, Eagles, and Flyers, and is also an avid supporter of the Columbus Blue Jackets. Eric, his wife Susan, and their two golden retrievers live in Columbus, Ohio.  

The Fight for the East Cavalry Field at Gettysburg

In his talk, “Protecting the Flank: The Fight for East Cavalry Field at Gettysburg,” award-winning Civil War historian Eric J. Wittenberg will address the critical events that occurred on East Cavalry Field at Gettysburg on July 3, 1863. However, you cannot understand these events without also understanding the fight for Brinkerhoff’s Ridge on the afternoon of July 2 that set the stage for the fight on East Cavalry Field. Come hear Mr. Wittenberg discuss these important events.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

American Civil War Monuments
Three Generals
South Loop, Kentucky Avenue, between Union and Confederate Avenues
Vicksburg Military Park

Photos Courtesy of LCWRT Member Paul Fridell
At Vicksburg, there are 4 very large busts on the South Loop of Kentucky Avenue of 4 generals, 2 CSA, 2 USA.  We already covered Ben Hardin Helm.

Left to Right:
Maj. Gen. John C. Breckinridge
Cost (by Federal Government): $565 bust, $208.91 pedestal
Sculptor: T.A.R. Kitson
Erected: 1913

Plaque reads:
John C. Breckenridge
Major General C S Army
Commanding Division
Johnston’s Army
Brig Gen C S Army Nov 2 1861
Major General Apr 14 1862
Born Lexington Ken Jan 16 1821
Died Lexington Ken May 17 1875"

“In May 1863, Breckinridge was reassigned to Joseph E. Johnston, participating in the Battle of Jackson in an attempt to break the Siege of Vicksburg. Vicksburg fell to Grant's forces on July 4, and Breckinridge was returned to Bragg's command on August 28, 1863."

Brig. Gen. William Vandever,
Cost: $550 for bronze
Sculptor: George T. Brewster
Erected: February 1915, Original Location: Iowa Circle

Plaque reads:
"Brig.General U.S.Vols
Commanding 1st Brigadier/ Herron's Division
Col.9th Iowa Inf. Sept.24 1861
Brig.Gen.U.S.Vols. Nov.29 1862
Bvt. Maj.Gen. Of Vols. June 7 1865"

“In 1861, Vandever was mustered into the Union Army as colonel of the 9th Iowa Volunteer Infantry Regiment. He was promoted to brigadier general of Volunteers on November 29, 1862 and sent to command a brigade in the XIII Corps of the Army of the Tennessee. He returned to the Trans-Mississippi Theater to command the 2nd Division in the Army of the Frontier at the Battle of Chalk Bluff. He reverted to brigade command under Francis J. Herron during the siege of Vicksburg.“
Jacob G. Lauman, Brig. Gen.
Cost: $570 for bronze
Sculptor: R. Hinson Perry
Erected: March 1914
Original Location: Wisconsin Avenue
Brig. General U.S. Vols.
Commanding 4th Division”
“In 1863, Lauman led the 4th Division of the XVI Corps during the Siege of Vicksburg. He was relieved of duty by the order of Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman shortly after the capture of Jackson, Mississippi, on July 16, 1863. He failed to properly execute orders on how to deploy his troops from his immediate superior, Ord, who accused him of wanton disregard for the orders that led to a heavy loss in casualties.”

Sunday, April 9, 2017

American Civil War Monuments
Shiloh National Military Park
Shiloh, TN
 Photos and text courtesy of LCWRT Member Charlie Moore 
On April 7, 1862, the second day of fighting at Shiloh, J.D.Putnam of the 14th Wisconsin Volunteers was killed while advancing against a Mississippi Battery.  Thomas Steele, one of the burying party, suggested that Putnam be buried where he fell, in front of an oak tree.  After he was interred his name was carved into the trunk of the tree.  In 1901 the Wisconsin Shiloh Monument Commission visited the battlefield and noticed that only the stump remained, with Putnam’s name on it.  Thomas Steele, who was present, asked for the stump, and the Park Commissioners agreed.  Steele had it shipped to the G.A.R. Memorial Hall in Madison where it remained until it was destroyed in a fire in 1904.  Luckily, Steele had had the stump photographed.  The Wisconsin Monument Commission decided to reproduce it in granite and placed it on the exact spot as the original.  It was so placed on April 7, 1906 and now represents not only Putnam but his entire regiment.  Putnam’s remains were reinterred in the Shiloh National Cemetery in 1866.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

American Civil War Monuments 
Ben Hardin Helm, CSA 
South Loop, Kentucky Avenue, between Union and Confederate Avenues
Vicksburg Military Park 

Photo Courtesy of LCWRT Member Paul Fridell
At Vicksburg, there are 4 very large busts on the South Loop of Kentucky Avenue. This one, erected in 1914, at a cost of $650 for the bronze, honors Ben Hardin Helm, and might be more in place at Chickamauga, where he died Sept. 21, 1863. Here at Vicksburg, he was not actively engaged, but “near the end of the spring of 1863, Breckenridge ordered Helm to deploy the brigade to Vicksburg, Mississippi to participate in General Joseph E. Johnston's unsuccessful attempt to break the siege”. Helm is buried in the Helm Family Cemetery, Elizabethtown, KY. Today, he is mostly remembered as Abraham Lincoln’s brother-in-law. 

Brig. General C.S. Army
Commanding Ken. Brigade
Breckinridge's Division
Johnston's Army
Cadet U.S. Military Academy 1847
2nd Lt. U.S. Army March 31, 1852
Resigned October 9, 1852
Col. 1st Ken. Cav. Oct. 5, 1861
Brig. Gen. C.S. Army Mar. 14, 1862
Mortally wd. in battle Sept. 20, 1863

Friday, March 31, 2017

Announcing Our 519th Meeting

“The Battle of Resaca”
Presented by Lee White
DATE: Saturday, April 8

William Lee White is a National Park Ranger at the Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park, where he gives tours and other programs at the Chickamauga and Lookout Mountain Battlefields.

He is the author of Bushwhacking on a Grand Scale: The Battle of Chickamauga, part of the Emerging Civil War Series, as well as several articles and essays on topics related to the Western Theater.

He also edited Great Things Are Expected of Us: The Letters of Colonel C. Irvine Walker, 10th South Carolina Infantry CSA. Over the years, he has spoken to many roundtables, historical societies, and other history-minded groups.
 Lee White has a new book coming out this October, Let Us Die Like Men: The Battle of Franklin.
"The Battle of Resaca"

The Battle of Resaca was the largest battle and the bloodiest of the Atlanta Campaign, yet it gets less attention than other battles, it was a learning experience for the soldiers on both sides that defines the rest of the campaign.

Following his withdrawal from Rocky Face Ridge, Confederate Gen. Joseph E. Johnston established a strong defensive position protecting the Western & Atlantic Railroad at Resaca, where the railroad crossed the Oostanaula River. On the 13th, Sherman's men tested the Rebel lines to pinpoint their whereabouts. Over the next two days, Sherman launched a series of attacks against Johnston's earthworks, which were largely repulsed. Confederate counterattacks by Hood's corps failed to dislodge the Yankees, who were in full force in front of the Rebel lines. On the 15th, however, a small Federal force crossed the Oostanaula River at Lay’s Ferry, effectively flanking Johnston out of his entrenchments and forcing the Confederates to withdraw.

Monday, March 27, 2017

American Civil War Monuments
East Cavalry Field
Gettysburg National Military Park

 Photos and text by LCWRT member Charlie Moore
The Michigan Cavalry Brigade at Gettysburg consisted of the 1st, 5th, 6th and 7th Michigan regiments under the command of Brigadier General George Armstrong Custer.  When Gen.Meade was given command of the Army of the Potomac on June 28th he was told he could promote those he deemed worthy without regard to their rank or time in grade.  Custer was one of 3 cavalry captains who were jumped by Meade to Brigadier General. Custer and his men were pitted against the brigade of Confederate Brigadier General Wade Hampton composed of the 1st North Carolina and the 1st and 2nd South Carolina cavalry regiments. This is where the Custer legend began, when he rode to the front of his brigade and shouted out “Come on you Wolverines!”.  He always led from the front and his men loved him for it. This cavalry battle was pretty much a draw but it did stymie the Confederate plans to hit the Army of the Potomac in the rear while the Pickett, Pettigrew, Trimble charge took place along Cemetery Ridge. The monument was erected in 1889 and is topped with a statue of BG Custer, and there is also a plaque on one side of the monument with a likeness of him.  Though he had met his end at Little Big Horn 13 years earlier, his Civil War troopers still loved and respected his memory.