Louisville Civil War Round Table

Field Trips 

2020 Spring Field Trip: 1865 Carolinas Campaign

Next year’s field trip will be to North Carolina where we will study the 1865 Carolinas Campaign. This trip is one we have never done before. The dates for the trip are April 1-5, 2020 and our guide will be Wade Sokolosky. Wade is a retired Colonel and a 25-year veteran of the U.S. Army. He is a leading expert on the 1865 Carolinas Campaign and has led many tours of these historic sites. We will be headquartered in Smithfield, N.C. which is about 30 miles south of Raleigh. From our headquarters in Smithfield we will visit all the major battlefield and historic sites of the 1865 campaign including the battlefields of Wise’s Forks, Monroe’s Crossroads, Averasboro, and Bentonville. We will also visit several other historic sites and museums in the area including a visit to the C.S.S. Neuse at the Ironclad State Historic Site. There the remains of the Neuse are preserved and there is a full scale replica of the Neuse. Our Guide, Wade Sokolosky, in addition to leading battlefield tours, has lectured widely on the Carolinas Campaign at historic organizations and roundtables and has co-authored with Mike Smith No such Army Since the Days of Julius Caesar: Sherman’s Carolinas Campaign”. He is the author of “Final Roll Call: Confederate Losses in the 1865 Carolinas Campaign”. Wade’s latest book, also co-authored with Mike Smith, “to Prepare of Sherman’s Coming: The Battle of Wise’s Forks, March 1865”. We are very fortunate to have Wade as our guide and we are looking forward to another great field trip. Mark your calendars for April 1-5, 2020. We will begin 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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