Next at KCWRT: Jim Ogden and the Great Locomotive Chase



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The Andrews Raid in April, 1862 is the stuff of legend and with good reason. The story of the taking of the “General” at Big Shanty, Georgia by 22 Union men and the subsequent chase after the locomotive by Confederate railroaders made headlines when it happened and has been told and retold in books and movies ever since.

It is the story of Yankee intrigue and audacity pitted against Confederate improvisation and determination with heroism amply served up on both sides. But the chase itself, exciting as it was, was but the first chapter of a larger affair that combined prisons, trials, hangings, and daring escapes in a tableau that stretched from Atlanta to Knoxville and beyond and resulted in the awarding of the first medals of honor.

Come join us as our old friend Jim Ogden takes us back in time to one of the Civil War’s most iconic events. And remember to bring your favorite holiday treat. At the end of the evening there will be time and a table set aside for all the tasty delights.

Jim will be speaking at the Dec. 13 meeting of the Knoxville Civil War Roundtable. All the details of our meetings can be found on the left sidebar of the page. Call by Monday noon to make your dinner reservations.


KCWRT Scout’s Report, December 2016

KCWRT Scout’s Report, December 2016



Welcome back, Jim Ogden, lifetime KCWRT member



Jim Ogden, Chief Historian at Chickamauga Chattanooga National Military Park, is an historian, teacher and tour guide par excellence. A frequent speaker at Round Tables and historical organizations across the U.S., Jim is a longtime friend of the KCWRT and our most visited speaker. In December 2015, the KCWRT honored Jim with a KCWRT Lifetime Membership Award for his dedication to Civil War Preservation as well as his contributions to the organization.

He will be our speaker for the December KCWRT meeting.

A native of St. Mary’s County, Maryland, Jim graduated from Frostburg State College with a degree in history after spending his summers working at Point Lookout State Park and doing an internship at Harpers Ferry NHP. Jim joined the National Park Service in 1982 and served at Chickamauga and Chattanooga, Russell Cave, and Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania before returning to Chickamauga Chattanooga NMP in 1988 as historian, the position he now holds.

Jim has taught numerous history courses and written several articles on the Civil War. He also has appeared in several TV productions including “Civil War Journal,” “Civil War Combat,” and “History Detectives.” Jim, his wife Lora, and their son Jamie (born on the133rd anniversary of the Battle of Fredericksburg) live in Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia.

President’s message: Review of book of the Battle of Stones River


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Thank you to everyone who attended the November meeting to hear Ed Bearss speak on “Custer at the Little Big Horn.” There were 63 diners, ten who were non-members. Also attending were an additional 22 members and nine non-members to hear the presentation. Total attendance for the lecture was 94. Thank you once again for your outstanding support and interest in the Round Table.

Remember to make your dinner reservation by 11 a.m. December 12th to hear Jim Ogden speak on “The Great Locomotive Chase.” Don’t forget to bring a dessert to share for the “dessert social” after the speaker’s presentation.

The Battle of Stones River / Murfreesboro

I re-read Larry J. Daniel’s book entitled “Battle of Stones River: The Forgotten Conflict between the Confederate Army of Tennessee and the Union Army of the Cumberland”. The Confederacy referred to it as the Battle of Murfreesboro. This battle was of great importance to both sides and its Generals – Rosecrans for the Union and Bragg for the Confederacy. Rosecrans needed a victory to undermine the growing antiwar movement and regain the northern army’s morale after the loss at Fredericksburg. Bragg, who was defeated in Kentucky, needed to reclaim Middle Tennessee and his reputation. So at the end of December 1862 both armies are on the move in horrific conditions of severe rain and cold, lack of food and supplies, and mud ankle deep to secure Middle Tennessee. 100,000 men fought in deadly battle for three days starting December 31st, 1862 and resulted in 23,000 casualties by the two armies.

In reading Daniel’s book it is hard to understand why this battle is referred to the forgotten battle. Bragg withdrew his army from the field because he did not have the supplies or the reinforcements to continue the fight. I believe that Bragg and his army acquitted themselves well at Stones River but none the less it is considered a Union victory and another loss for Bragg.

The Battle of Stones River

The Battle of Stones River

The Union did hold Middle Tennessee and Rosecrans’s star was on the rise. Let us not forget that Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation went into effect January 1, 1863 with the support of a win at Stones River. Lincoln would write to Rosecrans: “I can never forget, whilst I remember anything, that about the end of last year and the beginning of this, you gave us a hard earned victory, which had there been a defeat instead, the nation could scarcely have lived over.” Lincoln certainly understood the importance of this battle to his cause to continue the war. This may be the best book on this battle and I would encourage you to read it. Maybe you will be able to answer the question of why this has become the forgotten battle.

In January Jim Lewis, Historian Stone’s River NMP, will do a presentation entitled

“Hell’s Half Acre” at the Round Table’s monthly meeting January 10, 2017. Lewis’ thoughts and insights on this battle.

John Stegner, President


The Battle of Stones River – Larry J. Daniel
Battle of Stones River Illustration – Kutz and Allison

Map – Hal Jespersen

Map of the Battle of Stones River

Map of the Battle of Stones River

KCWRT Scout’s Report, November 2016


The KCWRT Scout’s Report for November 2016 is here:


November 2016

November 2016

Ed Bearss returns to Knoxville Nov. 14


Edwin C. Bearss is the Chief Historian Emeritus of the National Park Service and the Director’s Special Assistant for Military Sites.

A 40 year veteran of the National Park Service and its former Chief Historian from 1981 to 1994, Ed is the winner of numerous history and preservation awards including the T. Harry Williams Award, the Bruce Catton Award, the Alvin Calman Award, the Bell I. Wiley Award, the Harry S. Truman Award for Meritorious Service in the Field of Civil War History, and an award that now bears his name, the Civil War Preservation Trust Edwin C. Bearss Lifetime Achievement Award.

Ed Bearss

Ed Bearss

Author of 20 books and countless articles on the Civil War, long-time coeditor of Gettysburg Magazine, and legendary battlefield guide, Ed was recently nominated for the U.S. Congressional Gold Medal “in recognition of his contributions to preservation of American Civil War history and [his] continued efforts to bring our nation’s history alive for new generations through his interpretive storytelling.”

Ed Bearss will lecture on the iconic battle of July 25 th , 1876: The Battle of Little Bighorn at the KCWRT on Tuesday, November 15 th , 2016 at 8PM at the Bearden Banquet Hall, 5806 Kingston Pike. Lecture only cost $5, students free. Dinner at 7 PM, $17 including lecture.

RSVP BY NOON, Monday November 14, 865-671- 9001 or visit our website

KCWRT 2017 schedule of speakers





Jan 10– –Jim Lewis, Historian Stone’s River NMP, “Hell’s Half Acre”

Feb 14– –Earl Hess, LMU Professor, Author, Historian, “Civil War Tactics”

Mar 14– Curt Fields, Historian, “Appomattox: The Days Before the Surrender”

Apr 11– Eric Wittenberg, Attorney, Historian & Author, “Brandy Station”

May 9– –Bud Robertson, Historian & Author, “The Four-Legged Soldiers”

Jun 13– –Scott Mingus, Scientist, Historian & Author, “Extra Billy Smith”

Jul 18– –George Rable, Historian & Author, “Fredericksburg”

Aug 8– –Greg Biggs, Historian, “The Question was one of supplies: The logistics of Sherman’s Atlanta Campaign”

Sept 12– –Dave Mowery, Historian & Author, “Morgan’s Great Raid: Taking the War to the North”

Oct 10– –Eric Jacobson, historian and author, “For Cause and Country: Spring Hill and Franklin”

Nov 14– –Ed Bearss, Chief Historian Emeritus/Author, TBD

Dec 12– –Jim Ogden, Historian Chickamauga/Chattanooga NMP, TBD

November KCWRT: Ed Bearss on Custer at the Little Bighorn


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Come join us as National Park Service Chief Historian Emeritus Ed Bearss takes us back in time to July 25 th , 1876 to an iconic battle and a battlefield that he knows well: the Battle of the Little Bighorn.

Ed Bearss

Ed Bearss

During the Civil War, George Armstrong Custer’s courage and audacity won him many plaudits and promotions. Ever a risk taker, he led his men from the front at Gettysburg, Yellow Tavern, Third Winchester and Cedar Creek, and it was Custer’s cavalry division that cut off Lee’s last avenue of escape at Appomattox.

Always in the thick of things, Custer emerged from one engagement after another unscathed leading others to characterize his good fortune as “Custer’s luck”.

Following the war, the bold and ostentatious Custer remained in the army. Commissioned lieutenant colonel in the 7 th Cavalry and posted in the west, he participated in several campaigns against the Sioux and Cheyenne prior to the star-crossed Centennial Campaign of 1876.

It was during this campaign at the Battle of the Little Bighorn that Custer’s audacity at long last failed him and his luck, and that of 266 officers and men in his command, finally ran out.

Edwin C. Bearss is the Chief Historian Emeritus of the National Park Service and the Director’s Special Assistant for Military Sites. A 40 year veteran of the National Park Service and its former Chief Historian from 1981 to 1994, Ed is the winner of numerous history and preservation awards including the T. Harry Williams Award, the Bruce Catton Award, the Alvin Calman Award, the Bell I. Wiley Award, the Harry S. Truman Award for Meritorious Service in the Field of Civil War History, and an award that now bears his name, the Civil War Preservation Trust Edwin C. Bearss Lifetime Achievement Award.

Author of 20 books and countless articles on the Civil War, long-time co-editor of Gettysburg Magazine, and legendary battlefield guide, Ed was recently nominated for the U.S. Congressional Gold Medal “in recognition of his contributions to preservation of American Civil War history and [his] continued efforts to bring our nation’s history alive for new generations through his interpretive storytelling.”

Fort Dickerson Living History Weekend on Saturday and Sunday, October 28-29, 2016


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screen-shot-2016-10-23-at-6-44-33-amFort Dickerson, the Civil War earthwork atop a hill on Knoxville’s southern riverfront, will once again be populated with soldiers in blue and gray as the Knoxville Civil War Roundtable and the City of Knoxville present a Living History weekend on October 29th and 30th, 2016. Local re-enacting units, historians and authors alike will commemorate the Siege of Knoxville that took place in November of 1863.

The free event is sponsored by the City of Knoxville’s Parks and Recreation Department and hosted by the Civil War Roundtable. Fort Dickerson Park is located just off Chapman Highway in South Knoxville at 3000 Fort Dickerson Road.

The Living History Weekend will run from 10 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. Saturday, October 29, and from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m., Sunday, October 30th. Activities will include living history campsites, infantry drilling with rifle firing demonstrations, a Civil War medical and surgical exhibit, ladies fashions, battle reenactments, cannon firings, and a salute to all veterans. Visitors are invited to park for free at Disc Exchange across from Shoney’s, where they can ride a free shuttle to Fort Dickerson.

Continue reading

KCWRT Scout’s Report, October 2016


Check out the October 2016 Scout’s Report: oct2016october-2016e