The Tennessee in the Civil War Message Board

Nashville CWRT = September 2023 meeting

The next meeting of the Nashville (TN) Civil War Roundtable will be on Tuesday, September 19th, 2023, 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 – “James Longstreet’s East Tennessee Campaign”

Lieutenant General James Longstreet’s deployment to East Tennessee promised a chance to shine. The commander of the First Corps of the Army of Northern Virginia had long been overshadowed by his commander, Robert E. Lee, and the now-martyred Second Corps commander, Stonewall Jackson. Lee had nonetheless leaned heavily on Longstreet, whom he called his “Old Warhorse.” Reassigned to the Western Theater because of sliding fortunes there, the Old Warhorse hoped to run free with—finally—an independent command of his own.

For his Union opponent, Maj. Gen. Ambrose Burnside, East Tennessee offered an opportunity for redemption. Burnside’s early war success had been overshadowed by his disastrous turn at the head of the Army of the Potomac, where he suffered a dramatically lopsided loss at the Battle of Fredericksburg followed by the humiliation of “The Mud March.”
Into that breach marched Longstreet, fresh off his tide-turning role in the Confederate victory at Chickamauga. The Old Warhorse finally had the independent command he had longed for and an opportunity to capitalize on the momentum he had helped create.

Longstreet’s First Corps and Burnside’s IX Corps had shared battlefields at Second Manassas, South Mountain, Antietam, and Fredericksburg. Unexpectedly, these two old foes from the Eastern Theater now found themselves transplanted in the Western—familiar adversaries on unfamiliar ground. The fate of East Tennessee hung in the balance, and the reputations of the commanders would be won or lost. Our speaker this month, Ed Lowe, will fill in all of the details for us at this month’s meeting.
COL (ret) Ed Lowe served 26 years on active duty in the U.S. Army with deployments to Operation Desert Shield/Storm, Haiti, Afghanistan (2002 & 2011), and Iraq (2008). He attended North Georgia College and has graduate degrees from California State University, U.S. Army War College, U.S. Command & General Staff College, and Webster’s University. He is an adjunct professor for the University of Maryland/Global Campus & Elizabethtown College, where he teaches history and government. He is currently working on two books for Savas Beatie. The first covers Longstreet’s First Corps from Gettysburg to East Tennessee, and the second is an Emerging Civil War Series book on Longstreet’s East Tennessee Campaign, which should be out in Winter 2023. He is married with two daughters and lives in Ooltewah, Tennessee. He serves as President of the Chickamauga & Chattanooga Civil War Round Table, reconstituted in September of 2020.