The Tennessee in the Civil War Message Board

Clarksville, TN CWRT - April meeting


The next meeting of the Clarksville (TN) Civil War Roundtable will be on Wednesday, April 19th, 2017 at the Bone & Joint Center, 980 Professional Park Drive, right across the street from Tennova Hospital. This is just off Dunlop Lane and Holiday Drive and only a few minutes east of Governor’s Square mall. The meeting begins at 7:00 pm and is always open to the public. Members please bring a friend or two – new recruits are always welcomed.

Our Speaker and Topic - “The Battle of Spotsylvania Courthouse – May 1864: An Overlooked Battle”

It Is May, 1864. Just a day after The Battle of Wilderness ended a 13-day engagement erupts at nearby Spotsylvania Court House. The highest ranking Federal General to be killed in the Civil War will be slain here. Robert E. Lee will personally lead his Rebels into combat three times at Spotsylvania – something unheard of. In this warfare Lee’s Confederates will fight against Federal black troops for the first time.

Along a 6 mile front 175,000 Americans will commit fratricide in a series of sub sect battles that raged all around Spotsylvania C. H. from May 8th at Laurel Hill; May 10th at Waite’s Shop and Po River, Laurel Hill again, Upton’s Mule Shoe attack, and Fredericksburg Road; May 12th The Mule Shoe assault; May 14th Myer’s Hill; May 18th the Harrison House; May 19th Harris Farm; to Grant disengaging May 21st.

Spotsylvania is known as the fifth bloodiest battle of The Civil War. A veteran of the famed Union Iron Brigade said Gettysburg was a mere skirmish compared to Spotsylvania. Historical researcher and documentarian Robert Lee Hodge will discuss the often overlooked May 1864 Battle of Spotsylvania Court House, Virginia.

Our speaker this month is Robert Lee Hodge. Born on Stonewall Jackson’s birthday he has had a keen interest in The War Between the States since age 4.

For almost 30 years Robert has worked on several history-based films – from dramas like ABC's North and South and TNT’s Gettysburg and Andersonville, to many programs on The History Channel, Arts and Entertainment Channel, and the National Geographic Channel, to his own Civil War documentaries that have won 5 Telly awards and a regional Emmy in 2007.

Hodge has been featured on National Public Radio's Talk of the Nation and Soundscapes, NBC's Late, Late Show, The New Yorker, The Wall Street Journal, the PBS program Going Places, and C-SPAN II’s Book TV. Robert has also written for The Nashville Tennessean, America’s Civil War magazine, The Washington Post, and North and South magazine. He played a major role in, and appears on the cover of, the New York Times' 1999 best-seller Confederates in the Attic — hosting Pulitzer Prize-winning author, Tony Horwitz, on an eclectic and memorable Civil War tour-de-force of historic sites.

Robert has been a historical researcher, primarily at The National Archives and Library of Congress, working with nationally-recognized experts. He also was principle researcher on Time-Life Books 18-volume series Voices of the Civil War and The Illustrated History of the Civil War.

Hodge’s interest became preserving historic greenspace when he interned with the National Park Service's Civil War Sites Advisory Commission in 1992. Robert has organized battlefield preservation fund-raisers that have garnered over $150,000 for the purchase of endangered battlefield land. He serves on the board of directors of the Central Virginia Battlefields Trust; an organization that has protected over 1,000 acres at Chancellorsville, Fredericksburg, The Wilderness, and Spotsylvania, Virginia.

More recently Hodge was featured on the National Geographic Channel and Time magazine, and has written on the Civil War for The Washington Post and researched for the U.S. Army. Robert had ancestors that fought under Forrest in Roddy’s 4th Alabama Cavalry, Archer’s 14th Tennessee Infantry, and Cleburne’s 16th Alabama Infantry.

Robert will have his Telly award-winning documentaries on the battles of Spotsylvania; Perryville; and the Emmy-ward winner on Franklin available for purchase.