The Kentucky in the Civil War Message Board

Clarksville (TN) CWRT June meeting


The June, 2007 meeting of the Clarksville Civil War Roundtable will be held Wednesday, June 20th, 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 back historian and author Morris Penny of the Tennessee Valley Civil War Roundtable in Huntsville, AL. His program will be "Did John Bell Hood Disobey An Order At Gettysburg?" The talk is taken from his book, "Struggle For The Roundtops: Law's Alabama Brigade At The Battle Of Gettysburg," which has been recently republished in paperback form.

July 2nd, 1863 saw the second full day of fighting at Gettysburg, PA. On this day, Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee sought to smash the Union center and the strong position on Cemetery Hill and ordered an attack by Gen. James Longstreet's Corps up the Emmitsburg Road to accomplish the mission. Longstreet's subordinate, Gen. John Bell Hood, commanding one of the divisions involved, demurred, seeking to use the moment to turn the Union left flank between the two Round Tops. Lee said that the orders stood and the two other generals deployed for the attack as Lee intended. Or did they?

Analyzing Hood's attack, he did not place the full force of his division against the lower end of Cemetery Ridge along the road just north of the Round Tops. Instead, he deployed part of his division against this line and one brigade, Law's Alabamaians, to attempt to turn Little Round Top. This attack set up the famous confrontation with Union Col. Joshua Chamberlain of the 20th Maine Infantry and the 15th Alabama, well known to all students of this battle. But by doing this did Hood disobey his orders?

Author and historian Morris Penny will analyze this attack from its planning stages through its execution and, using a Power Point presentation, will detail the tactics involved and determine if Hood did, in fact, disobey his orders, perhaps even causing the failure of the Confederate assault. This has been one of the great controversies of the battle which has been debated over the years without any sign of letting up. On this evening, we will be informed by one of the great experts on this attack.

Morris Penny is an Alabama native who earned business and engineering degrees from Auburn and Alabama A & M Universities. He retired after 40 years in the aerospace industry based in Huntsville, AL. Penny researched and wrote two Civil War books "Law's Alabama Brigade" and "Struggle For The Round Tops" after working on his ancestors in the famous command. In 1999, he received the Jefferson Davis Historical Gold Medal from the Alabama UDC for his work as a historian. He is an experienced Civil War speaker and tour guide and this is his second appearance before the Clarksville Civil War Roundtable.

Please join us as Morris Penny speaks on "Did John Bell Hood Disobey An Order At Gettysburg?"

Greg Biggs