The Tennessee in the Civil War Message Board

Nashville CWRT - March 2018 meeting


March 20th, 2018 – Our 107th meeting!! We continue our seventh year. We now meet on the THIRD TUESDAY of each month!

The next meeting of the Nashville (TN) Civil War Roundtable will be on TUESDAY, March 20th, 2018, 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. Members please bring a friend or two – new recruits are always welcomed.

Our Speaker and Topic - “Walking The Line: The Civil War Defenses of Atlanta – Or Preservation Gone Badly”

In May 1864 General Sherman marched towards Atlanta, to capture the Confederacy’s economic lynch pin. It took him six weeks to accomplish that task. Why so long? Atlanta had a perimeter, not the 64-mile I-285 Interstate we have today but a 12-mile line of 36 forts that kept him out. Awed by their power, Sherman never conceived of a direct frontal assault on Atlanta’s forts instead opting for maneuver against the three railroads that ran into the city and kept it supplied. These set up the Battles of Atlanta, Ezra Church, Utoy Creek and Jonesboro, the Confederate defeat there sealing the fate of the city. These works were never conquered, only abandoned. And then they were forgotten and, in most cases, destroyed and plowed under. Few traces remain today and only one of the major forts – Fort Hood, in Grant Park.

Atlanta is a textbook case of the population doing what the conqueror couldn't do, try to erase history. Whatever happened to the 36 forts that defended Atlanta? Can you find them today? Can you visit them now and ‘walk the line’ between them? This presentation will talk about how the forts came into existence, what happened during the siege, and then the slow erasure of the forts over the next 150 years. The highlights of three walking tours to see the forts and their locations will be well-illustrated, followed by a discussion on proposals to not let the forts completely disappear into history.

The rediscovery and modern status of the forts and Line is the subject of “Walking The Line,” a book by Dr. Larry Krumenaker. He is a former astronomer, occasional college educator, and a science and history writer who in the past five years has lived in Atlanta, in Cologne, Germany (writing a guidebook on Roman ruins there), and now in Alabama.

We hope that you will attend this informative meeting and learn about the defensive works of Atlanta. Their fate was the same as those of Nashville’s after the war and much can be learned still from where they are/were today.