Monday, January 18, 2010

January 2010: The 49th Anniversary Meeting

"'...have everything ready for an offensive movement...:' Thomas, the Army of
the Cumberland, and the Battle of Missionary Ridge"

This past Saturday the LCWRT was honored to have Jim Ogden as our 49th Anniverary speaker in memory of our founder Frank Rankin.

Jim Ogden has spoken to our Round Table on several occasions. He has also served as our guide on field trips to Chattanooga, Stone’s River, Franklin and Nashville, and most recently to Chickamauga in April 2008. Jim is a native of St. Mary's County, Maryland, and graduated with a degree in American History from Frostburg State College (now University), Frostburg, Maryland. Beginning work with the National Park Service in 1982, he has been stationed at Chickamauga-Chattanooga National Military Park, Russell Cave National Monument, and Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park. In November 1988, he returned to Chickamauga-Chattanooga National Military Park as the Historian, the position he presently holds.

Jim has spoken to Civil War Round Tables, many conferences and seminars, and Historical Societies. He has taught a number of Civil War history courses for the Continuing Education Department of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. He has published a number of short articles, appeared in Greystone Communications/Arts and Entertainment Network's "Civil War Journal" episode on the Battles for Chattanooga and in the History Channel’s "Civil War Combat" program on Chickamauga, and sinnce 1986, he has instructed for over four hundred groups of officers of the U. S. Army conducting Staff Rides (an in-depth analysis of a historical military event) at Chickamauga and Chattanooga. He has regularly worked with groups from such Army Training and Doctrine Command schools as the now former Ordnance Officers Advance Course and the Armor Captains Career Course (formerly the Armor Officers Advance Course) and command staffs of active duty, Reserve, and National Guard units, organizations, and activities. For ten years, his Staff Ride clients included two to six hundred student-officers annually from the British Army’s Joint Services Command and Staff College.

Jion's presentaion this month was an excellent review of the Army of the Cumberland at the Battle of Missionary Ridge, Chattanooga. The assault of General George H. Thomas' Army of the Cumberland against Missionary Ridge would one of the grand spectacles of the war and of all time. It was supposed to be a limited assault, a demonstration, but it turned out to be the blow that at last secured victory for the Union in the Campaign for Chattanooga. What had happened; why was it successful; why had a "demonstration" become the hammer blow, particularly when you look at the seemingly impregnable terrain? It is these questions and others that Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park Historian Jim Ogden addressed in his talk "'...have everything ready for an offensive movement...:' Thomas, the Army of the Cumberland, and the Battle of Missionary Ridge."

1865 Civil War Map of Lousiville with Defenses Available Online

This is a grand little website with Civil War and other information plus a link to a downloadable 1865 map of Louisville with some of the major modern roads indentified. Here's the link:

Another great source for local history information and links is the Resource page of the Louisville Historical Society at

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. Please sign up at the meeting. 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.

December 2009 Quiz Answers:
1.  In 1861, when did the Union and the Confederacy observe a day of Thanksgiving?
  Union:  Thursday, November 28,  Confederacy:  Sunday, July 28
2.  In a telegram sent on December 22, 1864, General Sherman presented President Lincoln with what he called "a Christmas gift."  What was it?
The City of Savannah with 150 heavy guns and plenty of ammunition and also about 25,000 bales of cotton. 
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?
The Proclamation of Amnesty and Reconstruction, which offered pardons and amnesty to all those who took an oath of allegiance to the United States and accepted its laws, including those concerning slavery. 
4.  Who were not included in the Proclamation?
Confederate government officials and high-ranking members of the military(as well as members of the U.S. military who had joined the Confederacy) were not included.
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? 
General Benjamin Butler, USA, whose iron-heel treatment of the citizens of New Orleans continued to cause fury among Confederates.  Davis went so far as to call for Butler's immediate execution if he were captured.

January 2010 Quiz:
1.  Where is Robert E. Lee believed to have said, "It is well that war is so terrible; we should grow too fond of it"?
 2.  What three high-ranking Confederate generals were born in January?  When?  Where?
 3.  Why did General Lee sneered at the use of spies, saying "I have no confidence in any of them"?
 4.  As president of Washington College, Robert E. Lee issued a graduation requirement that is still in effect today.  What is it?
 5.  Why was 1862 a year of great stress and sadness for the Lee family?