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, 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

KCWRT welcomes Civil War historian Frank O’Reilly


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The next meeting of the Knoxville Civil War Roundtable will be Tuesday, Oct. 11, at 7 p.m. at the Bearden Banquet Hall. The speaker will be Frank O’Reilly, historian of the Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania national military park.

Welcome back to Knoxville, Frank O’Reilly.

Frank A. O’Reilly received both his BA and MA in American History with a concentration in Early American Military History and Civil War Studies. After graduating from Washington & Lee University in 1987, he joined the National Park Service at the Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park.

frank-oreillyLater he worked with the Park Service at Independence Hall in Philadelphia before returning to Fredericksburg in 1990 as the park’s permanent historian. He has also served as an historical consultant for the City of Fredericksburg.

O’Reilly, who has lectured extensively on military history to audiences around the world, has written numerous articles on the Civil War and Mexican War and has appeared on CSPAN and in several video documentaries. He is the author of Stonewall Jackson at Fredericksburg and The Fredericksburg Campaign: Winter War on the Rappahannock which garnered a number of awards including a nomination for the Pulitzer Prize in Letters.

Currently he is researching a book on the Battle of Malvern Hill and the Seven Days’ Campaign around Richmond.

Marching Out of Step: Robert E. Lee After Appomattox



The next meeting of the Knoxville Civil War Roundtable will be Tuesday, Oct. 11, at 7 p.m. at the Bearden Banquet Hall. The speaker will be Frank O’Reilly, historian of the Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania national military park.

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Following the surrender at Appomattox Court House, General Robert E. Lee’s life was fraught with uncertainty.

The man of war who had had thousands of men marching with him for four years now was a man alone.

Robert E. Lee after the war

Robert E. Lee after the war

Without a job, without a home, and without a country, Lee faced indictment for treason and was betrayed by his own failing health.  Despite these setbacks, Robert E. Lee felt a greater obligation to the United States than ever before.  He dedicated the rest of his short life to restoring peace in his own way—through education and personal example.

Turning his back on his military past, the general made a point of “marching out of step” to follow a path of reconciliation. Only then did Robert E. Lee achieve true greatness as a man and as an American.

Come join us as Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania NMP historian Frank O’Reilly introduces us to “the lion in winter,” and we explore a Robert E. Lee few of us know.

John Stegner: President’s message, September 2016


Speaker Meeting Attendance and ETHS Fair

A thank you to everyone who attended the August meeting. There were 69 diners, five who were non-members. Also attending were an additional 20 members and two guests to hear the lecture. Total attendance for Dr. McMurry’s lecture was 91. Thank you for your attendance and support.

Remember to make your dinner reservation by 11 a.m. on September 12th to hear Professor Brian Steel Wills speak on “George Henry Thomas”. Please plan on attending.

A special thank you to Jim Doncaster, Dick Heisser, Dennis Urban, Jerry Patterson, Dave Terwell, Bill Lawhon, Stan Sech and Eric Wayland for their representation of the KCWRT at the East Tennessee History Fair on August 20th. I encourage all of our members to volunteer for KCWRT events as opportunities are presented. It is a very rewarding experience.

Hans Henry Danielson

Hans Danielson was born December 18th, 1832 in Norway and immigrated with his parents to Dane County Wisconsin. He married Elizabeth Anderson and settled in a newly established settlement in the area of Red Wing, Minnesota in August of 1856. Six years later Hans and his brother John were called to service in Company G, 7th Minnesota. Hans and Elizabeth were my Great Great Grandparents and Hans served in the Union Army. This is a brief account of a Norwegian immigrant who first saw action in the Great Sioux Uprising and later in the American Civil War.

Hans Henry Danielson,  picture taken at the 7th Minnesota 1905 Civil War Reunion

Hans Henry Danielson, picture taken at the 7th Minnesota 1905 Civil War Reunion

The 7th Minnesota Infantry Regiment was formed in response to President Lincoln’s calls for an additional 600,000 Northern troops in the summer of 1862. No sooner formed and the 7th was called to respond to the Sioux Uprising in the areas of Morton and New Ulm in Southern Minnesota. Hans served under Colonel Henry Sibley and fought against the Sioux at Birch Coulee and the Battle of Wood Lake in Southwestern Minnesota. He participated in expeditions against the Sioux Warriors that took him as far north and west as to the Missouri River near what is present day Bismarck, North Dakota.

With the defeat of the Sioux, the 7th Minnesota was sent south under the command of General A.J. Smith first to St Louis and later to the Memphis. In the summer and fall of 1864 Hans and the 7th took part in battles at Tupelo, Mississippi against Southern Armies commanded by General Nathan Bedford Forrest and General Sterling Price in Arkansas and Missouri. The defeat of Price marked the end of the Southern organized military operations west of the Mississippi.

Late in November, the 7th Minnesota as part of the Sixteenth Corps, arrive in Nashville commanded by General George Henry Thomas. Confederate General John B. Hood was in position and threatening the Union lines south of the city. The Battle of Nashville begin on December 14th and on the 16th it changed Hans Danielson’s life as he suffered an extremely serious wound to his leg from fragments of a cannon shot. Hans was transported to a hospital in Louisville where his leg was amputated at the hip. Most men who suffered this type of wound did not survive. Hans returned home to Minnesota and was mustered out of the Union Army in August of 1865.

Upon his return home, the future looked bleak with a wife, four small children, his handicap and a homestead in need of attention, but with courage and fortitude he and Elizabeth overcame all of these problems. They were frontier people that rebuilt their lives building up a Midwestern farmstead and erecting a large machine shop. His shop became his pride and joy and as modern as any in nearby towns in those days. Hans and Elizabeth had twelve children. Hans Henry Danielson died on March 6, 1908.

Hans H. Danielson picture taken at the 7th Minnesota 1905 Civil War Reunion

I know that many of you have similar stories of relatives that served in the Civil War. If you would like to share their story, please send in an article about them and their service in the Civil War so their stories can be shared with the membership in the Scout Report.

John Stegner, President


Anderson Amundson von Krogh Family, Complied by Lester W. Hansen Minnesota Historical Society
Hans H. Danielson Diary