Louisville Civil War Round Table

Field Trips 

2019 Spring Field Trip: Jackson’s 1862 Valley Campaign

Next year’s field trip will be to the beautiful Shenandoah Valley of Virginia where we will study the famous 1862 Valley Campaign of Stonewall Jackson. The dates for the trip are April 24-28, 2019 and our guide will be Will Greene. Will is one of the best guides we have ever had and we are looking forward to having him interpret Stonewall Jackson’s epic valley campaign of 1862. We will be headquartered in Harrisonburg from which we will traverse up and down the Valley visiting all the major sites of the campaign. It has been 25 years since the Round Table took a field trip to study this important operation. If you want to begin reading about the 1862 Valley Campaign, a good place to start is Robert Tanners Stonewall in the Valley(revised edition). Also, highly recommended are Gary Gallagher’s collection of essays The Shenandoah Valley Campaign of 1862”, Peter Cozzenss Shenandoah 1862which presents the campaign mostly from the Northern point of view, and Robert K. Kricks Conquering the Valleywhich is a very detailed study of the Battles of Cross Keys and Port Republic. There will be more information on the trip and readings in the coming issues of the Adjutant’s Call. Will Greene will be the speaker at our September meeting and in addition to speaking on The Battle of the Crater, he will talk a little about what we can expect on the field trip. We expect this trip to sell out, so you will want to make your reservations early. We will began signups at the November meeting.

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Some of our members and guests on a previous field trip.


2018 Spring Field Trip: Chickamauga and Chattanooga

Ten Observations

The forty attendees of our Chickamauga and Chattanooga field trip had a great time and learned a lot about these important campaigns and battles. Here are a few general observations about our experience there.

  1. (1)  The weather for the trip was excellent. Okay, we got a little chilly on the first couple of mornings but dry and mild temperatures made for ideal conditions for being in the fields and paths of the parks.

  2. (2)  If grading the commanding generals, both Rosecrans and Bragg get F’s. Rosecrans for exhausting himself and losing control of his judgment and emotions which led to Union disaster and Bragg for failing to communicate effectively with his commanders and failing to exploit his opportunities for a decisive victory.

  3. (3)  Jim Ogden is a fantastic guide and probably knows more about these battles than anyone who has ever studied them. He is a passionate preservationist and advocate for returning the battlefield to its wartime appearance.

  4. (4)  Our guide for Chattanooga, Anthony Hodges, was a key player in the Civil War Trust’s recent purchase of the Brown’s Ferry land. We were among the first tour groups to visit this site and it offered a spectacular view of Lookout Mountain and Moccasin Bend.

  5. (5)  Point Park at the top of Lookout Mountain offers some breathtaking views of the surrounding valleys, mountain ranges, and the city of Chattanooga. Go there if you ever get a chance.

  6. (6)  Sherman’s Reserve at the north end of Missionary Ridge should be called Cleburne’s Reserve because it was here that his 4000 man division repulsed repeated attacks by Sherman’s 15,000 men forcing them to retire early in the battle.

  7. (7)  All of our group who made the steep and long climb up to Sherman’s Reserrve on Missionary Ridge will not soon forget it. Toughest hike of the entire trip and not for the faint of heart. www.louisvillecwrt.yolasite.com

  1. (8)  Our bus driver, Scott Whitehouse, gets an A+ for the great job he did on the trip. He had to maneuver over countless tight turns and narrow curvy roads. The drive up and down Lookout Mountain was on one ofthe worst roads I have ever seen. I had to close my eyes a few times.

  2. (9)  Great stories are not always true. Nathan Bedford Forrest though disappointed in the pursuit of the Union army after Chickamauga did not confront Braxton Bragg and threaten to kill him. Nor was Leonidas Polk sitting in a rocking chair eating his breakfast and reading a newspaper when his divisions were supposed to be attacking the Union Army. He was actually trying to find D.H. Hill to find out why he was not attacking.

           (10) Chickamauga is a very difficult and confusing battle to understand. Fought largely in thick woods broken up by a few small farms and hills. It really does help to go there and have a great guide like Jim Ogden explain it to you.

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