The Tennessee in the Civil War Message Board

Nashville CWRT - July meeting

July 17th, 2017 – Our 100th meeting!! We continue our seventh year.

The next meeting of the Nashville (TN) Civil War Roundtable will be on Monday, July 17th, 2017, in the visitor’s center of Ft. Negley Park, a unit of Metro Parks, Nashville, TN. This is located off I-65 just south of downtown between 4th Avenue South and 8th Avenue South on Edgehill Avenue/Chestnut Avenue. Take Exit 81, Wedgewood Avenue, off I-65 and follow the signs to the Science Museum.

The meeting begins at 7:00 PM and is always open to the public.

Our Speaker and Topic - “Daniel Govan’s Arkansas Brigade in Patrick Cleburne’s Division”

Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia had a single Arkansas regiment, the 3rd, in their ranks. They made history as part of the famous Texas Brigade of that army. The western Confederate Army of Tennessee, however, had two brigades of Arkansas troops. The first was under Brig. Gen. Daniel Reynolds, a part of Leonidas Polk’s Army of Mississippi (later III Corps, AOT). The more famous of the two was under Brig. Gen. Daniel Govan.

Originally from North Carolina, Govan moved to Mississippi with his family while young. He later joined the famous California Gold Rush but came back to Mississippi before moving to Arkansas in 1861. He was colonel of the 2nd Arkansas Infantry after the war began and took over brigade command from St. John Liddell in 1863 and he would command the brigade for the rest of the war. This Arkansas brigade had its fortunes tied to the best Confederate infantry division in the Western army and wherever Patrick Cleburne fought so did the Razorbacks. In the Atlanta Campaign, Govan’s men were crucial to smashing the Union attack at Pickett’s Mill. However, at the Warren House in Jonesboro in early September 1864, Govan and most of his brigade were captured in a crushing Federal assault. Despite the orders being in place stopping prisoner exchanges, Govan and his men were back in the army’s ranks for the ill fated Tennessee Campaign. At Winstead Hill, on November 30th, Govan and his commanding officer Cleburne, surveyed the Federal line with Govan making the remark, “not many of us will make it back to Arkansas.” Cleburne replied, “then let us die like men.” And indeed they did.

Giving us a biography and analysis of the role of Daniel Govan and his brigade and its help in making Cleburne’s Division the formidable force of was in combat witll be Park Ranger/historian and author Lee White of the Chickamauga-Chattanooga National Military Park. Lee is an acknowledged expert on Govan’s Brigade during the war. He is also an accomplished editor and author. His first book, which he edited, was Great Things Are Expected Of Us: The Letters of Colonel C. Irvine Walker, 10th South Carolina Infantry. His latest book is, Bushwhacking on a Grand Scale: The Battle of Chickamauga, September 18-20, 1863. Lee’s next book, “To Die Like Brave Men:” The Battle of Franklin, will be out this Fall. He has also authored several essays.