The Scout’s Report, March 2017
The Scout’s Report, March 2017
The Scout’s Report, March 2017
Curt Fields will be the speaker at the Knoxville Civil War Roundtable on Tuesday, March 14, at 7 p.m. (See details for the dinner on the left side of the page.
Dr. E. C. (Curt) Fields, Jr., is an avid and lifelong student of the American Civil War. His interest in portraying General Ulysses S. Grant was driven by that study and his deep respect and admiration for General Grant. Dr. Fields is the same height and body type as General Grant and therefore presents a convincing, true-to-life image of the man as he really looked. He researches and reads extensively about General Grant to deliver an accurate persona of the General. His presentations are in first person, quoting from General Grant’s Memoirs, articles and letters the General wrote, and statements he made in interviews.
Dr. Fields holds a Bachelor and Master’s degrees in Education from the University of Memphis. He later earned a Master’s degree in Secondary Education and a Ph.D. in Educational Administration and Curriculum from Michigan State University. He is a career educator who taught for eight years at the junior and senior high school levels and then served for 25 years as a high school administrator. He also has taught as an adjunct Sociology Professor at the University of Memphis and in Education for Belhaven University’s Memphis campus.
Dr. Fields is now an educational consultant and living historian. As a consultant, he has worked in leadership development as espoused and practiced by General Grant with several corporate and civic groups. As a living historian, Dr. Fields portrayed General Grant at the 150th Sesquicentennial observations of Fort Donelson, Shiloh, Raymond, Vicksburg, and at Appomattox Court House in 2015. He has portrayed the general on film as well staring as General Grant in the Visitor Center film shown at Appomattox Court House National Historic Park and in the Discovery Channel’s three-part documentary series “How Booze built America.” Dr. Fields also was featured as General Grant, giving his life story, on the Civil War Trust website.
A frequent contributor to “The Civil War Courier” (A Civil War monthly newspaper), Dr. Fields is a member of The Tennessee Historical Society, The West Tennessee Historical Society, The Shelby County Historical Society, The Nathan Bedford Forrest Historical Society, The Tennessee Civil War Preservation Association, The Appomattox 1865 Foundation, The 290 Foundation (dedicated to the Civil War Navies), The Civil War Trust, and the Ulysses S. Grant Association.
In the last days of March, 1865, Lieutenant General U. S. Grant had planned to assault General Robert E. Lee’s thinly-manned lines around Petersburg, Virginia.
He felt that enough time had dragged by in the nearly year-long campaign and that Lee could not withstand a simultaneous attack all along his lines. However, General Lee, anticipating the assault, attacked Grant first. That attempted break-out failed, and Lee began to fall back, abandoning Richmond in the process. The next few days were a blur as one savage battle after another was fought by a far- from-dead Army of Northern Virginia. But Lee was running out of time and food.
On April 7th, Grant sent the first letter to Lee of what became a short series of exchanges between the two generals, a series that culminating in the surrender meeting in the most unlikely of places for such a momentous event.
At the next KCWRT meeting, General Grant (played by historian Curt Fields) will talk of those letters and what was transpiring during the two days they were exchanged.
The General will also speak about the actual meeting between himself and General Lee, what was said, and what happened in the 75 or so minutes they were together in Wilmer McLean’s parlor. He will address what he said in the surrender letter he wrote to General Lee effectively ending the war, and why he wrote what he did. He will also touch briefly on the unintended ramifications his letter later had on President Andrew Johnson’s Cabinet and administration.
The next KCWRT meeting is Tuesday, March 14. Details are at the left of this page.
The East Tennessee Historical Society (ETHS) invites nominations from across East Tennessee for Awards of Excellence in the field of history. Each year, the society recognizes individuals and organizations that have made significant contributions to the preservation, promotion, programming, and interpretation of the region’s history. The awards have been presented each year since 1982.
Awards are in five categories:
The Award of Distinction recognizes a special project, such as publications, building preservation, or special program, such as a conference, heritage event, publication, lecture series, or other.
Community History Award recognizes excellence in community leadership, specifically in promoting the preservation of local/regional history and heritage.
History in the Media Award is presented to someone in the field of television, radio, newspaper, magazine, or Internet for outstanding contributions to the promotion of our region’s history.
Teaching Excellence Award is for outstanding or innovative teaching of history at any level, grades one through adult education.
The Society’s most prestigious recognition is the Ramsey Award for Lifetime Achievement. This award is reserved for one who, over the course of a lifetime, has made outstanding contributions to the understanding and preservation of East Tennessee history. It is named for ETHS founder and early historian, Dr. J.G.M. Ramsey, author of The Annals of East Tennessee to the End of the Eighteenth Century.
ETHS Awards of Excellence recipients will be recognized at the East Tennessee Historical Society Annual Meeting on May 2. For more information about the awards or to request a nomination form, please contact the East Tennessee Historical Society by phone at 865-215-8824 or visit the website at www.eastTNhistory.org. The deadline for submission is April 17, 2017.
New this year is the Dorothy E. Kelly Preservation Grant, sponsored by the Knoxville Civil War Roundtable. This annual grant, not to exceed $500, will be awarded to a group, individual or organization for a Knoxville Civil War preservation project, which can include site preservation, new or replacement signage, site clean-up or rehabilitation, or other Knoxville effort. The grant award will also be announced at the ETHS Annual Meeting on May 2. Grant applications are available at the Knoxville Civil War Roundtable website www.kcwrt.org and on the ETHS website.
Headquartered in the East Tennessee History Center, the East Tennessee Historical Society was established in 1834 and is a regional organization covering 35 counties and has 2,000 members across the United States. ETHS presents a variety of public programs, including the Museum of East Tennessee History, a lecture series, genealogy workshops, East Tennessee National History Day, and the family history programs, “First Families of Tennessee” and “Civil War Families of Tennessee.”
2017 DOROTHY E. KELLY PRESERVATION GRANT
In December 2015 the Knoxville Civil War Roundtable (KCWRT) created the to honor Dot Kelly for her many years of service to the KCWRT and her tireless efforts towards the preservation of Knoxville’s Civil War history and historic sites. This annual grant, in an amount not to exceed $500, will be given to a group, individual, or organization for a Knoxville Civil War preservation project. Beginning in 2017 and in future years, the annual grant information and application will be included with the East Tennessee Historical Society (ETHS) Awards of Excellence announced each February.
All applications for the Dorothy E. Kelly Preservation Grant are to be submitted in writing on this application mailed to the KCWRT, P.O. Box 52232, Knoxville, TN 37950-2232. Please mark the envelope “2017 Dorothy E. Kelly Preservation Grant”. Submissions will be reviewed and awarded by the KCWRT. The winner will be announced at the ETHS annual meeting on May 2, 2017.
Click below to download a copy of the grant application:
In December 2015 the Knoxville Civil War Roundtable (KCWRT) created the Dorothy E. Kelly Preservation Grant to honor long-time Roundtable member and Past President Dot Kelly for her many years of service to the KCWRT and her tireless efforts towards the preservation of Knoxville’s Civil War history and historic sites. This annual grant, in an amount not to exceed $500, will be given to a group, individual, or organization for a Knoxville Civil War preservation project. Beginning in 2017 and in future years, the annual grant information and application will be included with the East Tennessee Historical Society (ETHS) Awards of Excellence which are usually announced each February.
The grant information and application is now available through the KCWRT, the KCWRT website (KCWRT.org), our Facebook page, or the East Tennessee Historical Society. All applications are to be submitted in writing to the KCWRT and mailed to P.O. Box 52232, Knoxville, TN 37950-2232, marked “2017 Dorothy E. Kelly Preservation Grant”. Submissions will be reviewed and awarded by the KCWRT. The winner will be announced at the ETHS Annual Meeting on May 2, 2017. The application submission deadline for 2017 is to be postmarked no later than April 17, 2017.
Questions should be submitted by email to Past President Dennis Urban, email@example.com
Click below to download a copy of the application grant:
From the Knoxville News Sentinel:
During the Civil War in the fall of 1863 Union soldiers built a small fort west of downtown Knoxville near the railroad line that now runs through Third Creek Greenway.
The encampment was discovered about 10 years ago by local archaeologist and former University of Tennessee professor Charlie Faulkner. Thursday afternoon the site was commemorated by Knox County and Knoxville city officials with a bench and a plaque detailing the site’s significance.
Read the entire story here: http://www.knoxnews.com/story/news/local/2017/03/02/civil-war-fort-recognized-west-downtown-knoxville/98636480/
A number of Knoxville Civil War Roundtable members attended the dedication of the site last week. Thanks to Dennis Urban for these photos:
Dr. Earl J. Hess will be our speaker at the monthly meeting of the Knoxville Civil War Roundtable on Feb. 14 (details on the left of this page).
Dr. Hess has been a student of Civil War history since he was a teenager, growing up in rural Missouri. He completed his B.A. and M.A. degrees in History at Southeast Missouri State University. His Ph.D. in American Studies, with a concentration in History, was awarded by Purdue University in 1986. He has taught at a number of institutions, including the University of Georgia, Texas Tech University, and the University of Arkansas.
Since 1989, he has been at Lincoln Memorial University, in Harrogate, Tennessee, where he is Associate Professor of History, past director of the History Program, and holds the Stewart McClelland Chair.
Dr. Hess has published more than twenty books, over thirty articles, and more than a hundred book reviews for academic history journals. He has conducted numerous manuscript evaluations for academic presses and article reviews for academic journals and is widely recognized as a leading scholar and author on Civil War history.
Dr. Hess has also published and is working on books on the history of making classic film musicals.
If you believe that the use of Napoleonic tactics was outmoded at the time of the Civil War, you are not alone. If you believe that the advent of the rifle musket changed the landscape of warfare in a way that was underappreciated if not misunderstood by Civil War combat leaders, again, you are not alone.
Conventional wisdom buttressed by reams of scholarship has long maintained that the horrendous casualty rates incurred by Civil War fighting units were directly attributable to advances in tactics not keeping pace with advances in weaponry. How else can one explain the bloodiness of the whole affair?
Our speaker, Dr. Earl Hess, argues that there is another explanation. After intensively studying the three tactical manuals available to Civil War officers (written by Winfield Scott, William J. Hardee, and Silas Casey) and thoroughly reading the battle reports to be found in the Official Records, Dr. Hess maintains that the linear system in use during the 1860s not only was highly effective but it was the true system to be used with the rifle musket.
He also argues that most regimental commanders North and South quickly learned the drill, taught it to their subordinates, and effectively used these tactics on the battlefield.
Please join us as Dr. Hess shares the conclusions of the research that informed his recent book Civil War Infantry Tactics: Training, Combat, and Small-Unit Effectiveness and marvel as he turns conventional wisdom on its head. Details of the meeting are are the left of this page.