Wednesday, October 26, 2011

150th Anniversary of U.S. Civil War at Fort Duffield Nov. 6, 2011

From our Friends at Fort Duffield in West Point, KY: 

This year marks the 150th Anniversary of the construction of U.S. Civil War Fort Duffield. On Sunday, November 6, 2011, a special commemoration program will take place as part of the four year long Civil War Sesquicentennial taking place across the country.

Fort Duffield was built in the fall of 1861 to protect Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman's supply base in West Point at the confluence of the Salt and Ohio Rivers.

Re-enactors will set up camp on the hallowed grounds of Kentucky's largest and best-preserved Civil War earthen fortification which sits 300 feet above the small river town of West Point, in Northern Hardin County, Kentucky just across the Jefferson County line off U.S. Hwy 31W/Dixie Hwy.

The sounds of muskets and cannon will once again echo across the hills and across the Ohio River into Southern Indiana.

Events will open at noon with the posting of the colors by the 9th Michigan Vol Inf Re-enactors.

Local Historian Richard Briggs and members of the Fort Duffield Heritage Committee will share the rich history of this nearly forgotten Civil War site. Visitors will learn about the construction of the fort, the 61 soldiers who died at West Point and how the Civil War impacted the people of this small river town.

This intimate living history event offers visitors a unique opportunity to talk with re-enactors and local historians."

150th Anniversary of U.S. Civil War Fort Duffield
Sunday, November 6, 2011
12 Noon - 4 PM

12 Noon - Opening Ceremonies
1 PM - Skirmish
1:30 - 2:30
Commemorative Program
3 PM - Skirmish

$3.00 per person or $7.00 per family (parents and all children under age 18)

Fort Duffield is an all volunteer historic site and park with no paid staff.
All proceeds benefit the continuing restoration, maintenance and interpretation of Fort Duffield.

The entrance to Fort Duffield is on Dixie Highway (U.S. 31W) at Salt River Dr. just 7.5 miles south of the Gene Snyder Freeway (Hwy 841) and 9 miles north of the main entrance to Fort Knox.

Shuttle service is available for those unable to walk the 1/4 mile trail to the fort.

Take a virtual tour of Fort Duffield on line at

For information or to arrange group tours, contact: Fort Duffield Heritage Committee (502) 922-4574 or  

Visit historic West Point, Kentucky on line at

Saturday, October 15, 2011

New book on The Stones River and Tullahoma Campaigns is Coming

A heads up for those of you who want to read up on the Army of the Cumberland, William Rosecranz, and the Civil War in Tennessee. We are pleased to note that current LCWRT President Chris Kolakwoski's second  book, The Stones River and Tullahoma Campaigns: This Army Does Not Retreat is now available for pre order on 

From " After the Battle of Perryville in October 1862, the focus of the Civil War in the West shifted back to Tennessee. The Union Army of the Cumberland regrouped in Nashville, while the Confederate Army of Tennessee camped 30 miles away in Murfreesboro. On December 26 the Federals marched southward and fought a three-day brawl at Stones River with their Confederate counterparts. The Confederates withdrew, and both armies spent the winter and spring harassing each other and regrouping for the next round. In the Confederate camp, dissention corroded the army's high command. The book will use letters, reports, memoirs, and other primary sources to tell the story of the battles for Middle Tennessee in late 1862 and 1863. The critical engagement at Stones River (by percentage of loss the Civil War's bloodiest battle) and the masterful Tullahoma operation will receive detailed attention "

Chris currently the Director at General George Patton Museum, and formerly the Chief Curator at National Museum of the Army Reserve,Executive Director at Perryville Enhancement Project and Policy & Transportation Coordinator at Civil War Preservation Trust.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Davis and Stephens: A Marriage Made in Hell

Saturday, October 8 :Thomas Schott

The LCWRT welcomes Thomas E. Schott October 8. He was born in Vicksburg, Mississippi and raised in New Orleans and Baton Rouge, Louisiana. He earned a Ph.D in American History from Louisiana State University where he studied under famed historian T. Harry Williams.  He has written a prize winning biography of Alexander H. Stephens, and is co-editor of two upcoming publications: Confederate Generals in the Trans-Mississippi, vol. 2  & Robert E. Lee and His Generals: Essays in Honor of T. Harry Williams, both future publications of the University of Tennessee Press.
He recently retired from a long career as a historian for various Air Force organizations and the U.S. Operations Command. He lives in Norman, Oklahoma, where his grandkids are.

                 Jefferson Davis and Alexander Stephens: A Marriage Made in Hell

Political expediency dictated the selection of Alexander H. Stephens as vice president of the Confederacy. A former Whig from Georgia, a  state which could not be ignored for top offices in the new nation, he vehemently opposed secession right up until passage of the secession ordinance. Jefferson Davis was his political opposite: a Democrat who favored secession. The two men did share some personality traits, but this only served to exacerbate the differences between them. The period of cooperation between them after their election lasted only a few months. Thereafter, Stephens stayed mostly at his home in Georgia and away from Richmond.

For Stephens, the war was about "constitutional liberty" above all else. Therefore he opposed virtually everything the Davis administration did in its efforts to win the war: conscription, impressment, financial policy, and especially suspension of writ of habeas corpus. In 1864, the vice president delivered a speech to the Georgia legislature publicly attacking the administration's policies. He actively supported various peace plans being proposed in the South in the latter stages of the war. He was probably the worst possible choice for the office he held in the Confederacy.

 The 149th Commemoration of the Battle of Perryville

The Battle of Perryville was fought 149 years ago on October 8, 1862. The battle was significant nationally as the CSA defeat at Perryville helped Lincoln issue the Emancipation Proclamation.  During the summer of 1862, five Confederate armies began an offensive that would eventually end at Perryville, Kentucky. Never again would the Confederate military forces be able to launch such an offensive. The Confederate defeats at Corinth, Antietam and the stalemate at Perryville gave Abraham Lincoln the political clout he needed to issue the Emancipation Proclamation.
The Battle of Perryville was Kentucky’s largest and bloodiest Civil War battle.  Over 40,000 men engaged in a desperate struggle that raged throughout the day of October 8, 1862. The battle left in its wake 7,500 men killed and wounded, a countryside ravaged by war and a civilian population in serious distress with a tremendous lack of food and water.  Today the preservation efforts at Perryville Battlefield are a great success. The park has over 750 preserved acres and the Civil War Trust recently entered into an agreement with several local land owners to purchase 248 more acres. The annual Commemoration of the Battle of Perryville will occur this year on October 1-2, 2011 and will feature numerous activities that can be enjoyed by both families and serious Civil War historians and enthusiasts. You can find more at for more information.

October 2011 Quiz:

1.  During October 1861, Jefferson Davis was besieged by requests from unhappy Confederate soldiers.  What did they want?

2.  CSA General Thomas Jackson's map maker was a native of what state?

3.  In what battle did the charging troops of Winfield Scott Featherstone, CSA, push their foes back so that they fell to their deaths over a steep cliff?

4.  Why, after the above battle, were neither USA Brigadier General Charles P. Stone nor CSA Brigadier General Nathan G. "Shanks" Evans promoted?

5.  This Georgia politician served as a U.S. Representative both before the Civil War and after Reconstruction.  Who was he and what did he do during the Civil War?

Monday, October 3, 2011

The LCWRT Season has Begun

Sept. 10, 2011: Joe Reinhart

September 10, the LCWRT welcomed author and LCWRT member Joe Reinhart. Joe has been actively researching and writing about the Civil War for the past 17 years. He is the author of a history of the Union’s 6th Kentucky Volunteer Infantry Regiment, and the translator and editor of three books containing letters from German-born soldiers fighting for the Union. His most recent book, A German Hurrah!: Civil War Letters of Friedrich Bertsch and Wilhelm Stängel, 9th Ohio Infantry, was the runner up for the Museum of the Confederacy’s 2010 Founder’s Award for outstanding editing of primary source documents. Joe is a Louisville native, a retired C.P.A. and has degrees from Bellarmine College and Indiana University.

Joe discussed the 1861 Union invasion  of Western Virginia, with a focus on the 9th Ohio Infantry, aka McCook’s "Dutchmen", including the battles of Phillipi, Rich Mountain, and Carnifex Ferry. The presentation will also include some of the experiences of the in western Virginia. The 9th Ohio was a German regiment organized in Cincinnati, and is credited with being the first three-year regiment organized in the West.

Many of Joe's books are available at

Fall Field Trip: Lexington October 23

We will be traveling to Lexington for our annual one-day Fall Field Trip on Sunday October 23.  We will meet our guide, Sam Flora, at 9:30 at the gates to the Lexington Cemetery at 833 West Main St.  From there we will begin our tour  which will include stops at the John Hunt Morgan House, Lexington History Museum, the Fayette County Courthouse, Ashland, and a few other interesting places.  Plan on car pooling and bring money for lunch and house tours.

Spring Field Trip: April 25-29,2012

We will be going to Shiloh April 25- 29 for our Spring Field Trip.  Our tour guide will be Tim Smith, historian at Shiloh Military Park.  More details will be announced soon. 

2011 – 2012 Meeting Dates

Oct. 8      Thomas Schott  “Jefferson Davis and Alexander Stephens:A Marriage Made in Hell”

Nov. 12   Glenn LaFantasie    “The Rise of U.S. Grant in 1862”

Dec. 3      Sam Elliot        “Tennessee Governor Isham Harris”

Jan. 21     Saxton’s Cornett Band    “Civil War Music”

Feb. 11    Michael Bradley    “TBA”

Mar.10     Gary Gallagher  “The Real Lost Cause: Union in the Memory of the Civil War”
Apr. 14    Ari Hoogenboom    “Gustavas Fox of the Union Navy”

May 12    Brian McKnight     “Contested Borderland”

Help the Civil War Trust Save 141 Acres at Perryville

The Civil War Trust has launched a campaign to save 141 acres of core battlefield at Perryville.  Here is the scoop from Trust President James Lighthizer:
  "Today, you and I have the chance to save 141 absolutely crucial acres that go a long way toward completing this tremendously significant battlefield. 
This ground saw horrific fighting during the afternoon of October 8, 1862, with hundreds of casualties occurring on this land.  This property surrounds on three sides the historic Bottom House, and contains the site of Henry Bottom’s Barn which burned during the battle, killing many wounded men who had crawled in there for shelter.
By the end of the day, both sides would suffer a total of approximately 7,400 casualties, and local experts on the battle estimate that about 500 of those occurred in just a few afternoon hours of fighting on the 141 acres we are working to save. If we can raise $181,250, we can save this critically important land valued at $725,000 – that’s a $4-to-$1 match of your donation dollar". 

Follow this link to donate:

Contributions may be mailed to:
Civil War Trust, P.O. Box 1477, Hagerstown, MD 21741-1477.