Saturday, March 13, 2010

Slandered Heroes: Deserters Who Didn’t

This evening, March 13, the LCWRT welcomes Lawrence Hewitt, a native of Louisville, Kentucky. He received his B.A. from the University of Kentucky, where he studied under Charles P. Roland. Hewitt transferred to Louisiana State University in 1975 and completed his Ph.D. in 1984.
After serving as the Historic Site Manager of the Port Hudson (1978-82) and the Camp Moore State Commemorative Areas (1982-1986), he joined the faculty of Southeastern Louisiana University in 1985. He received that institution's highest honor in 1991, the President’s Award for Excellence in Research.

Professor Hewitt is a past president of the Baton Rouge Civil War Round Table, the 1991 recipient of the New Orleans Civil War Round Table’s Charles L. Dufour Award for "Outstanding Achievements in Preserving the Heritage of the American Civil War" and a life member of the Southern Historical Association and the Louisiana Historical Association.

Since relocating to Chicago, Hewitt served as Managing Editor (1997-1998) and Book Review Editor (1997-1999) for North & South, published numerous articles and book reviews, and addressed various organizations throughout the United States. He is a prolific author and editor, whose works include: Louisianians in the Civil War which he co edited with Arthur W. Bergeron, Kentuckians in Gray: Confederate Generals and Field Officers of the Bluegrass State, (2008) Port Hudson, Confederate Bastion on the Mississippi (1987), The Confederate High Command & Related Topics (1990), and Leadership During the Civil War (1992), Confederate Generals in the Western Theater: Volume 1, Classic Essays on America's Civil War,and Confederate Generals in the Western Theater: Volume 2, Essays on America's Civil War. He is currently working on Lee and His Generals: Essays in Honor of T. Harry Williams, America's Foremost Hispanic: David Glasgow Farragut, and The 14th Louisiana Infantry: the Fightingest Regiment in the Civil War.

Slandered Heroes: Deserters Who Didn’t

"Slandered Heroes: Deserters Who Didn't" deals with Civil War soldiers whose official service records conclude that they were absent without leave at the end of the war when in fact they either died in service or remained on duty. The vast majority of these were the result of bureaucratic procedures used by both sides that required soldiers who disappeared on the battlefield to be labeled as deserters on subsequent muster rolls. These same regulations enabled at least one massacre to be covered up by the North, while amendments to them in the fall of 1863 by the South required thousands of men who were present with their units to be listed as deserters. Union and Confederate soldiers representing the Eastern, Western, and Trans-Mississippi theaters are highlighted as examples of these bureaucratic injustices.

2010 Field Trip: Atlanta Campaign

Deposit Fees Are Due!
If you have signed up for the Atlanta field trip, you need to send your $125 nonrefundable deposit in now. We cannot guarantee you place on the trip if we do not have your deposit. If you have not signed up and would like to go we still have room for a few more. 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 Greg Biggs who is an expert on the Atlanta Campaign. Please sign up at the meeting.

2010 Fall Field Trip: Frankfort Ky.
Sunday October 17, 2010
We are planning on taking a one-day field trip to Frankfort this coming October 17th. We will do a walking tour of downtown to see sites associated with the secession crisis and Kentucky neutrality, the 1862 occupation of Frankfort by the Confederates including streets involved in skirmishing during their departure, Morgan's 1864 raid on the town, residences of notable personages from the Civil War era, and the Capital City Museum, which has a couple of interesting Civil War relics. We will also tour the Frankfort Cemetery, where we can see the graves of Simon Bolivar Buckner and many other Civil War soldiers and politicians, the Kentucky Military Monument, Confederate Circle, and of course Daniel Boone's grave. The high point of the day will be a tour of the Leslie Morris Park on Fort Hill, which features an 1810 log house visitor center outfitted as a Civil War era tavern, two Civil War earthwork forts, the site of an 1864 Morgan's Last Raid skirmish, and a spectacular view of downtown Frankfort. Our guide will be Nicky Hughes who is an expert on Frankfort in the Civil War. There is no charge for this trip except paying for your own transportation and lunch. We will be car pooling to Frankfort.

50th Anniversary: 50 Best Civil War Books

As part of our upcoming 50th Anniversary year celebration, the Board of Directors has appointed a committee to select the Round Table’s 50 best books on the Civil War. As part of the selection process we want every member who wishes to nominate their favorite Civil War books. The committee will use your favorites along with their own to come up with the 50 best books. The final list of the "Round Table’s 50 Best Books" will be published and distributed to the membership during our 50th anniversary year.

Future Speakers

Saturday April 10 William C. Davis "Lincoln’s Men"
Saturday May 8 Barton Meyers "General Augustus August Wild and U.S. Army Counter-Guerilla Warfare"
Saturday September 11 Greg Mertz "Spotsylvania Courthouse"
Saturday October 9 Richard McMurry "General Joe Johnston"
Saturday November 13 Thomas Mays "TBA"
Saturday December 4 Gary Matthews "TBA"
Civil War Preservation Trust Coming to Lexington

The nation’s leading Civil War battlefield preservation group, the Civil War Preservation Trust, will be in Lexington this June for their annual conference. You can join CWPT members and staff along with some of the nation’s best known historians for four days of fellowship and Civil War touring at the 2010 Battle in the Bluegrass – The Fight for Kentucky conference in Lexington, Kentucky on June 3 – 6, 2010. Tours will include the: Battle of Mill Springs; Battle of Perryville; Battle of Richmond; Historic Homes…and more! Invited speakers and scholars include Edwin C. Bearss, Kent Masterson Brown, our own Chris Kolakowski, Richard McMurray and Richard Sommers. For the full ad and schedule or to register on-line visit their web site at:

Mill Springs Print to be Auctioned at April Meeting
As part of our 2010 fund raising efforts, we will be auctioning off a donated print featuring the battle of Mill Springs. The print is entitled "Meeting at the Fence" and is a depiction of a critical moment in the battle. The artist is Robert Cull. It is a very nice print and the only modern painting done on the Battle of Mill Springs. Proceeds will go to fund the cost of bringing in speakers. You can preview the print at the March meeting.

February 2010 Quiz Answers: 

1. What governor accused President Lincoln of leading an "unholy crusade" against the South?
Claiborne Jackson of Missouri
2.  What Confederate congressman took it upon himself to meet with President Lincoln to negotiate a peace settlement?

Henry Foote, Jefferson Davis' harshest critic.  Lincoln refused to meet with Foote.

3. What city, angry at President Lincoln's call for troops, cut off its telegraph lines to Washington, D.C. and tore up rail tracks?
Baltimore, which was strongly pro-Southern.

4. What did President Lincoln plan to offer Louisiana planters who were willing to pledge loyalty to the Union?
The chance to sell cotton to the Union.  

5. What phrase, used in a January 1865 letter from President Jefferson Davis to President Abraham Lincoln, made Lincoln shut down peace negotiations?

Davis used the phrase "two nations."  From Lincoln's point of view, no peace could be had unless the Confederacy admitted that there was only one nation, the United States.