The Tennessee in the Civil War Message Board

Nashville CWRT - July 2019 meeting


The next meeting of the Nashville (TN) Civil War Roundtable will be on Tuesday, July 16th, 2019, 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 - “The Massacre at Baxter’s Springs”

Bleeding Kansas began in 1854 with the passing of the Kansas-Nebraska Act which allowed for the citizens of a territory to determine if they were to be a slave or free state. This resulted in six years of warfare prior to the start of the Civil War and which lasted far into the Reconstruction period.

One of the worst tragedies occurred on October 6, 1863, when Gen. James Blunt and about 100 men were met near Baxter’s springs by the notorious William Quantrill and 450-650 quasi-Confederates masquerading as Union Troops. As Blunt’s band was preparing a musical salute the enemy fired. The surprise attack prevented organized resistance, and though Blunt escaped nine-tenths of his men were killed. The raiders also attacked Lt. James Pond and 95 men encamped at the springs. This force was likewise caught off guard but resisted until the enemy retired. This battle or massacre was indicative of how bloody Kansas really was.

Our speaker this month has been with us before – our own Mike Manning. Michael J. Manning retired in 2015 as Chief Ranger of Fort Donelson National Battlefield, Tennessee. He served with the National Park Service for 26 years. He holds a Master’s Degree in Military History from American Military University and a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice from Northeastern State University, Tahlequah, Oklahoma. He’s also a graduate of the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center. He began his historic interpretive work with two years service as a Historic Site Attendant with the Oklahoma Historical Society at Fort Gibson Historic Site. At the same time he served ten years as a commissioned officer in the Military Police Corps of the U.S. Army Reserve and the Oklahoma and Missouri National Guard and five years active service as a 2nd Class Petty Officer in the U.S. Navy Seabees (Equipment Operator). He is currently working on projects relating to the Civil War and World War I and doing singer/songwriter work in Nashville, Tennessee.

We hope you can join us for this meeting.