The next meeting of the Clarksville (TN) Civil War Roundtable will be on Wednesday, July 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 Red River Campaign - Politics, Cotton and Failure”
At this month’s meeting we will cross the Mississippi River to explore a land and water mission for which the Union hoped to claim Louisiana, Arkansas, and Texas to end Confederate control of the entire Southwest. Taking place between March 12 and May 20, 1864, the campaign has been written off as militarily insignificant, but Lincoln and his planners had much more in mind than battle. France’s emperor, Napoleon III, had renewed ambitions for a Western empire in an extremely cotton-rich region and with the Monroe Doctrine on hold, he felt free to invade Mexico. In one of the most complete victories of the war, one bright young Confederate tossed a large Union army AND navy out of the region and dominated the field for the remainder of the war. Complete entrapment narrowly missed, the Union saved a major wing of military and naval power whose loss might have meant starting over in the lower Mississippi Valley, perhaps even giving up New Orleans and Mobile. Sadly, the campaign tied up a large number of troops that would have been with Sherman in Georgia.
Returning to speak to us is Kent Wright. Kent is a member and former program chair of the Tennessee Valley Civil War Round Table in Huntsville, AL. A degreed Mechanical Engineer, Kent was a startup test engineer and trainer for nuclear plant operations for the General Electric Company. For the final 17 years of his career until retirement he was a nuclear training instructor for TVA. He was also a former nuclear navy steam propulsion specialist who has taken an interest in the steam navies of the mid-nineteenth century. Kent has devoted at least 30 years to research and writing of naval aspects of the American Civil War. He has given several round table talks on various Union and Confederate naval topics including ironclads, blockade and counter-blockade operations, river warfare, and international affairs associated with Civil War naval operations.