Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Battling for the Bluegrass: The Perryville Campaign

The Louisville Civil War Round Table was delighted to host our speaker Chris Kolakwoski on Dec. 5. Chris returns to Louisville from a year's stay in Atlanta, and we were very happy to welcome him back to the Round Table and to Kentucky.

Christopher L. Kolakowski was born and raised in Fredericksburg, Va. He received his BA in History and Mass Communications from Emory & Henry College, and his MA in Public History from the State University of New York at Albany. Chris has spent his career interpreting and preserving American military history with the National Park Service, New York State government, the Rensselaer County (NY) Historical Society, the Civil War Preservation Trust, and Kentucky State Parks. He has written and spoken on the Civil War, American Revolution, Napoleonic Wars, and both World Wars. The Civil War at Perryville: Battling for the Bluegrass State is his first book and is now available in bookstores and through Amazon (click here) Chris just finished a year as Chief Curator of the National Museum of the Army Reserve in Fort McPherson, GA; on 25 October 2009 he became Director of the General George S. Patton Museum of Leadership in Fort Knox, Kentucky.

More links to information on the Battle of Perryville:

2010 Field Trip: Atlanta Campaign“From Chattanooga to the Chattahoochee”

We will be going to Georgia April 14-18, 2010 to study the Atlanta Campaign of 1864 from its commencement south of Chattanooga until the crossing of the Chattahoochee River north of Atlanta. This will include several major battlefields and sites associated with this decisive military campaign. Our guide will be Gregg Biggs who is an expert on the Atlanta Campaign. For those looking to read up on the Atlanta Campaign before the trip, Albert Castel’s Decision in the West: The Atlanta Campaign of 1864 is far and away the best book available. For a general overview of the campaign, Richard McMurry’s Atlanta 1864: Last Chance for the Confederacy is a great book.

Bud Robertson Will Be Our 50th Anniversary Speaker
At the Novemebr meeting, we were happy to announce that Bud has accepted our invitation to be the speaker at our 50th anniversary meeting that will be held January 22, 2011. Go ahead and mark this date on your calendar, as it will be a very special celebration for our Round Table.

Preservation News:

Congress Approves $9 million to help Preserve Civil War Battlefields
(From the CWPT newsletter)
Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star (VA)
Last week, Congress approved a $32 billion appropriations bill for the Interior Department. Hard as it is to swallow that big megillah, in the middle is a sweet spot: about $9 million in matching funds to help preserve Civil War battlefields.
The Civil War Preservation Trust, just one of the groups fighting to rescue battlefields threatened by development, says it has saved over 28,000 acres in 20 states. Our own Central Virginia Battlefield Trust has preserved almost 900 acres. Their efforts, and others like them, have saved much more than land--they have preserved history and, in doing so, have honored the sacrifice of all who fought in that terrible struggle.

But much remains to be done. Preservationists assert that 30 acres of battlefield are lost each day. With the 150th anniversary of the Civil War hard upon us, this is the time to focus our efforts (and our dollars) toward keeping important battlefield land from the bulldozers.

Sen. Jim Webb was on the front lines of the effort to get the $9 million commitment in the Interior bill. Now it will be up to state and local governments and preservation groups to find the matching funds. When a battlefield is lost, it's lost for good. We have much to learn from the Civil War, and much yet to contemplate. There's no better place than a grassy field, ground hallowed by the sacrifice of those who fought there, to start that process.

December 2009 Quiz:
1.  In 1861, when did the Union and the Confederacy observe a day of Thanksgiving?
2.  In a telegram sent on December 22, 1864, General Sherman presented President Lincoln with what he called "a Christmas gift."  What was it?
3.  Encouraged by the Union victory at Chattanooga, President Lincoln decided the time was right to begin to look further into the future.  What Proclamation did he issue on December 8?
4.  Who were not included in the Proclamation?
5.  What military governor of a Union-held Southern City did President Jefferson Davis call a felon and an enemy of mankind in the fourth week of December 1862 and why? 

November 2009 Quiz Answers:

1.  Near what city did about 16,000 Confederates keep about 72,000 Federals at bay in October 1862?  Perryville, Kentucky (only about 20,000 Union troops were involved in the battle)

2.  What was the size of the railroad trestles at Muldraugh's Hill, KY, destroyed by John Hunt Morgan,CSA during his Christmas Raid?   They were eighty (80) feet tall and five hundred (500) feet long.

3.  What city was the hub of every railroad linking Richmond, VA with the eastern Confederacy?   Petersburg, Virginia

4.  Who said, "Somewhat like the boy in Kentucky who stubbed his toe while running to see his sweetheart. The boy said he was too big to cry and far too badly hurt to laugh."?  When?  Why? Abraham Lincoln made the comment when asked how he felt about the results of the New York elections of November 1862.

5.  Who supposedly said, "Major, we haven't taken Washington, but we scared Abe Lincoln like hell!"?  When? According to CSA Major Henry Kyd Douglass, on July 12, 1864, Lieutenant General Jubal Early, CSA, made the comment to him after the Confederate raid on Washington, D.C.