The Kentucky in the Civil War Message Board

Clarksville (TN) CWRT -May meeting


The May, 2007 meeting of the Clarksville Civil War Roundtable will be held Wednesday, May 16th, 2007 at 7 PM in the cafe of Borders Books store in Governor's Square Mall. This is located on Wilma Rudolph Highway (US 79) just south of Exit 4 off I-24 in Clarksville, TN. The meeting is always open to interested members of the public and you do not need to be an expert to attend!.

This month we welcome Dr. Keith Bohannon of West Georgia University and his program will be "Artillery At The Battle of Malvern Hill." The talk is taken from an essay published in The Richmond Campaign of 1862, edited by Gary W. Gallagher (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2000).

In April, 1862, Union Gen. George McClellan landed his massive Army of the Potomac on Virginia's "peninsula" and began the slow march towards the Confederate capitol of Richmond. Blocking his efforts was the Confederate army under Gen. Joseph E. Johnston. After some fighting on the lower portion, Johnston fell back towards Richmond, McClellan in pursuit. Johnston struck back in the Battle of Seven Pines in June but was wounded. His replacement would become an American legend, Gen. Robert E. Lee. Lee took the reigns of the newly renamed Army of Northern Virginia and in a series of hammer blows, known today as the Seven Days Battles, forced McClellan to abandon his hopes of taking the Confederate capitol.

The last of these battles, fought on July 1st, 1862, was Malvern Hill. The Federals had taken an excellent position on and around the hill, well--protected by their excellent artillery. In the subsequent Confederate attacks, the rebel infantry and artillery was decimated by these massed guns, setting the tone for the rest of the Civil War that Union artillery would dominate their opponents for the rest of the war. After taking heavy casualties, Lee stopped his attacks and McClellan, though he won the day, withdrew his army from the Peninsula.

Dr. Bohannon's program will discuss the power and organization of the Federal artillery at Malvern Hill and compare it to its Confederate counterpart, which was not as well organized, nor as technologically equipped having inferior guns and often defective shells.

Keith Bohannon is a Georgia native who earned both bachelor's and masters degrees in History from the University of Georgia and then his doctoral degree in History from Pennsylvania State University. He teaches several history courses at West Georgia and has also taught at Penn State. He has spoken at a number of academic conferences and other Civil War Roundtables and has been published in a number of Civil War essay books. Additionally, he has edited and co-written two Civil War books. While earning his degrees, Dr. Bohannon worked for several National park Service Civil War battlefields including Kennesaw Mountain, Chickamauga and Fredericksburg/Spotsylvania. He is considered to be one of THE experts on Georgia soldiers in the Civil War having amassed files on them since he was a teenager.

Please join us as Dr. Keith Bohannon of West Georgia University, speaks on "Artillery at the Battle of Malvern Hill."

Greg Biggs
Clarksville CWRT