Here is the announcement for the details of the 2011 CCNMP Study Group seminar. Please feel free to share it, post it, or pass it on to any who might be interested.
CCNMP Study Group 2011 Seminar in the Woods.
Mission Statement: The purpose of the CCNMP Study Group is to create a forum to bring students of the American Civil War together to study and explore those events in the fall of 1863 that led ultimately to the creation of the Chickamauga-Chattanooga National Military Park. The intent is to use the indispensable resource of the park itself as an outdoor classroom to promote learning and study of the battles for Chattanooga, and to build interest for an annual gathering that will in time examine all aspects of the Campaigns for Chattanooga. Additionally, we hope to bring students and serious scholars, both professional and amateur, to the field for to share insights and knowledge about the battles.
Tour Leaders: Jim Ogden, Park Historian, and Dave Powell
Date: Friday, March 11, and Saturday, March 12, 2011
Note: Friday’s tours will involve a tour bus. We will be charging a small fee for use of the bus. See below.
Friday All Day: 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Mclemore’s Cove
By Bus, we will explore the near-battle of McLemore’s Cove, or Davis’ Crossroads. We will trace both Union and Confederate actions between September 9th and 11th that led to two Union divisions being exposed to disaster in McLemore’s Cove, and how they escaped. We will explore the Confederate decisions of the time, and the strained command relationships that let this opportunity slip through Bragg’s fingers. We will also explore how a significant defeat in McLemore’s Cove might have effected subsequent Union movements, and whether or not the battle of Chickamauga would have been fought at all.
We will arrange for a box lunch
Start and end at the Visitor’s Center parking lot.
Saturday Morning: 8:30 to Noon. Viniard Field
Between 1:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. on September 19th, 1863, a desperate struggle surged back and forth in and around the Viniard Farmstead. Elements of seven Union and five Confederate brigades struggled for control of the woods and fields in this sector, producing some of the most confused and bloodiest fighting of the entire Battle of Chickamauga. Tracking this swirling action can be extremely difficult, and interpretations vary on the exact sequence of events.
We intend to take the group through the action step-by-step, explaining why the fighting unfolded as it did, in an attempt to see the fight through the eyes of the various commanders attempting to manage it.
Car caravan from Visitor’s Center
Saturday Afternoon: 1:30 to 5:00 p.m. Mendenhall forms a line
In the late morning of September 20th, just before disaster struck the Union lines at the Brotherton Farmstead, Major John Mendenhall assembled a line of Union cannon atop a ridge overlooking Dyer Field. Mendenhall was the Union XXI Corps chief of artillery, and had already won notable fame for his used of massed guns at Stones River. There his cannon effectively shattered a Confederate attack on January 2nd, 1863, winning him a reputation as a heroic, even visionary gunner.
On September 20th, Mendenhall’s guns would not fare as well. Lacking infantry support and forced into a last-ditch effort to stop the Confederate breakthrough, many of Mendenhall’s guns would fall into Confederate hands that day. Several of the batteries involved were the same ones whose tales we told of their fight in Viniard Field in our morning walk.
We will discuss not only the formation of this line and the tactical outcome, but spend some time exploring the larger implications it raises in trying to determine William Starke Rosecrans’ intentions for his army’s constantly shifting right flank.
Car caravan from Visitor’s Center
Cost: Beyond the fee for Friday’s Bus, there is no cost for tour participation. Meals lodging, transportation, and incidentals, however, are the individual’s responsibility.
Tour Departures: All tours will meet at the Chickamauga Visitor’s Center at the designated start time, and will depart from there after some brief overview discussion. We will board the bus or car caravan to the designated parking area, and from there, we will be on foot. We will be on foot for up to three hours, so dress and prepare accordingly. Tours will depart rain or shine. Participants are responsible for their own transportation, and should plan accordingly. All tours are designed to be self-contained, so participants who cannot attend the full schedule are still welcome to join us for any portion of the weekend.
Lodging and Meals: Everyone is responsible for their own lodging and meals. There are many hotels in the greater Chattanooga area, for any price range. The closest are in Fort Olgethorpe, Georgia, with the least expensive in Ringgold. Each tour is designed to leave at least 90 minutes for lunch, and there are several family and fast food restaurants within minutes of the battlefield. There are designated picnic areas near the Visitor’s Center, for those who wish to bring a lunch and eat on the field.
What to bring: Each tour will involve extensive walking. Proper clothing and especially footgear is essential. Dress in layers, wear sturdy, broken-in walking shoes or boots, and be prepared for some rain, as spring can be quite wet in North Georgia. We will be walking on dirt and gravel trails, uncut fields, and through stretches of woods. The ground will be wet and muddy in places. Bring your own water and snacks.
Reading up on the subject: Many people like to prepare in advance for these kinds of events. I suggest the following works might be of help.
Cozzens, Peter. This Terrible Sound. University of Illinois, 1992. The best modern study of the battle.
Powell, David with Cartography by Dave Friedrichs, The Maps Of Chickamauga. Savas-Beatie, 2009.
Powell, David. Failure In The Saddle: Nathan Bedford Forrest, Joe Wheeler, and the Confederate Cavalry in the Chickamauga Campaign. Savas-Beatie, 2010.
Woodworth, Stephen E. Six Armies In Tennessee: The Chickamauga And Chattanooga Campaigns. Lincoln, Nebraska. University of Nebraska Press, 1998. An excellent overview campaign study.
——————-, A Deep Steady Thunder: The Battle Of Chickamauga. Abilene, Texas. McWhiney Foundation Press, 1998. Concise but very useful account of the battle, designed as an introduction to the action. 100 pages, very readable.
Note: Friday’s Tours will be by Bus, as we move from site to site. While the tour itself is free, we do have to pay for the bus.
Pre-registration Fee: $35 Due by February 1st, 2011
34664 ORANGE DRIVE
PINELLAS PARK, FLORIDA 33781
Frank will hold your payments. If you pay by check, note that Frank will not cash those checks until we have sufficient entries, so that if we have to refund, Frank will simply send your checks back to you.
Please also note that this fee is NON-REFUNDABLE after February 1st, 2011. Once we are committed to the bus, we will be charged the booking fee.
On-site Sign up Fee: $40
We MUST have 20 attendees registered and Paid by Feb 1st, or we cannot reserve the bus. Once we confirm the minimum, you will be able to join the tour the day we depart, for late add-ons. If we do not meet the minimum, we will car-caravan for Friday’s tours.
Final note: Last year we raised a sizable amount of money over and above the cost of the bus, and were able to contribute a number of new titles to the CCNMP research library, mostly regimental histories of recent vintage. The park currently does not have operating funds allocated for these kinds of acquisitions, and depends entirely on donations to fund library additions. I feel that this is an ideal use for any excess funds we raise, in keeping with the “study group” mission