Shakers in the Civil War

My literary/historical novel, Kindly Welcome: A novel of the Shakers in the Civil War, is now available on Netgalleys, should you be interested. With the extraordinary help of historians such as Julia Neal and Shelby Foote, the book is based on the fascinating and virtually unknown diaries of Shakers living at South Union, Kentucky, during the conflict. I’m easily contacted at the above email address, should you need additional information.

Linda Stevens (

Shop AmazonSmile and Support the CCWRT

Every time you shop at you’ll be helping out the Cincinnati Civil War Round Table. 

Amazon has a program known as AmazonSmile, which allows you to direct 0.5% of the price for items purchased on Amazon to the CCWRT.  This is a simple and automatic way for all of us to support the CCWRT at absolutely no cost to you.

If you currently shop using Amazon, please shop at AmazonSmile instead.  If you do not currently shop at Amazon, consider trying it out.  When first visiting AmazonSmile, you will be prompted to select a charitable organization from almost one million eligible organizations. Please select the Cincinnati Civil War Round Table.  

If you spend $100, CCWRT will receive 50 cents. That may not seem like a lot at first, but many of us buy much more than mere books. The purchase of electronics, household items, and even food on AmazonSmile all qualify for CCWRT to receive a donation. These contributions can add up and will provide funds to the CCWRT to aid in helping our programs.  


You’ll feel good about supporting the CCWRT with things you would buy anyway.  

So, remember, shop at and support the CCWRT.



Ulysses S. Grant Presidential Library and Williams Lincolniana Collection unveiled at new MSU facility with Nov. 30 grand opening

STARKVILLE, Miss.—A $10 million addition to Mississippi State’s Mitchell Memorial Library, home of the Ulysses S. Grant Presidential Library and the prestigious Frank and Virginia Williams Collection of Lincolniana, will be unveiled with a Nov. 30 celebration at the land-grant university.

The 21,000-sq.-ft. library addition contains a state-of-the-art museum chronicling Grant’s life and his significance in American history and a gallery dedicated to the Frank and Virginia Williams Collection of Lincolniana, a recent donation considered the largest privately owned Abraham Lincoln collection in America. With hundreds of thousands of historical documents and items housed on site, the new addition makes Mississippi State a leading destination for research on the Civil War and two presidents who shaped the course of American history.

            A 2 p.m. ceremony at the Grant Library on Thursday, Nov. 30, will officially open the new space. Invited guests include Archivist of the United States David Ferriero, Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden, Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant, Speaker of the House Philip Gunn and U.S. Rep. Gregg Harper. The celebration program is open to the public.

            “Mississippi State University is proud to manage and showcase the treasure trove of vital American history contained in the Ulysses S. Grant Presidential Library. The university and new state-of-the-art addition to Mitchell Memorial Library provide an appropriate and beautiful home to such prestigious and revered collections, including the Frank J. and Virginia Williams Collection of Lincolniana and MSU’s Congressional and Political Research Center,” said MSU President Mark E. Keenum. “With the help of many visionary and hard-working leaders and scholars, MSU has become one of the nation’s foremost repositories for research into the Civil War era, a pivotal period in our nation’s history.”

            MSU is one of six universities housing a presidential library. The Grant Library is managed by the Ulysses S. Grant Association and MSU under the direction of John F. Marszalek, Grant Association managing editor and executive director, and Frances N. Coleman, MSU dean of libraries.

            Skip Wyatt of FoilWyatt Architects in Jackson, planned the overall facility expansion, and Washington, D.C.-based HealyKohler Design created the interior museum and gallery spaces. The Grant museum contains artifacts and interactive media that allow visitors to engage with the context of the times and discover intimate details of Grant’s personal life and beliefs. Brooklyn-based StudioEIS created four life-size statues to highlight different phases of Grant’s life—his time as a cadet at West Point, commanding general of the U.S. Army, the nation’s 18th president, and a statesman writing his memoirs in the final days of his life.

            The gallery for the Frank J. and Virginia Williams Collection of Lincolniana displays, on a rotating basis, more than 100 of the 17,000 priceless artifacts and 12,000 books included in the Williams Collection, which the former Rhode Island Supreme Court Chief Justice and his wife, Virginia, have amassed over several decades. The gallery exhibit includes commentary from Williams on the relevance and importance of featured items.

            The new addition to Mitchell Memorial Library also contains MSU’s Congressional and Political Research Center, which houses nine congressional collections, including cornerstone anthologies on MSU alumni and former U.S. congressmen Sen. John C. Stennis and Rep. G.V. “Sonny” Montgomery. Other collections include those of U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn, former U.S. Reps. David Bowen and Alan Nunnelee, former U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Mike Espy, former Mississippi Lt. Gov. Amy Tuck, State Rep. Steve Holland and State Senator Jack Gordon. 

            Prior to the Grant Library’s grand opening, leading Abraham Lincoln authority Harold Holzer will deliver the inaugural Frank and Virginia Williams Lecture on Abraham Lincoln and Civil War Studies. Holzer’s lecture, open to the public, will take place at 10 a.m. in the Old Main Academic Center’s Turner Wingo Auditorium. Free parking will be available at the Old Main Parking Garage and behind the Longest Student Health Center. 

            For more information, see the Ulysses S. Grant Presidential Library website at, the Frank and Virginia Williams Collection website at and the Grand Opening events website at

MSU is Mississippi’s leading university, available online at

Battle of Bentonville Symposium – Sept., 2018

In September 2018 Bentonville Battlefield and the Friends of Bentonville Battlefield will host “Two Weeks of Fury” a symposium and whirlwind tour of the Carolinas Campaign.

The schedule includes tours of Wise’s Forks, Civil War Fayetteville, Averasboro, Bentonville and a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see the Monroe’s Crossroads battlefield on Fort Bragg. Historians taking part in the program include Craig Symonds, John Marszalek, Eric Wittenberg, Mark Bradley, Wade Sokolosky, and Mark Smith.

Further information and registration can be found at


Battle of Bentonville Symposium

Morgan’s Raid Tour – May 18 & 19

Dave Mowery will be leading a tour of Morgan’s great raid from Sunman, IN to Williamsburg, OH on Friday, May 18 and Saturday, May 19th.  Tour will be caravan style and is free.  More details to follow.

Cynthiana Battlefields Foundation

Please consider becoming a member of one of the newest battlefield groups in the United States, the Cynthiana Battlefields Foundation.

It is the mission of the recently formed Cynthiana Battlefields Foundation, to preserve, interpret, and increase awareness of Cynthiana’s Civil War story.  There are opportunities on the far horizon to preserve battlefield ground, and in the interim more interpretation through tours and signage will help the battlefield visitor understand both engagements more fully.  The Foundation welcomes new members and donations via their website (  Help become a part of a true grassroots movement in the Bluegrass. 


Not familiar with the Cynthiana story?  Then read on!


Cynthiana and surrounding Harrison County, Kentucky, located just sixty miles south of Cincinnati along the Kentucky Central Railroad, was the scene of two engagements during the Civil War.  During the early summer of 1862, John H. Morgan led his small band of Kentuckians, Georgians, and Texans on a raid that had a direct impact on the Kentucky Campaign later that same summer and fall.  Morgan led his men to Cynthiana in mid-July, the town called later as the “best Rebel town in our Native State.”  Indeed, of the initial eight infantry companies raised in Harrison County in 1861, six went south to join the Confederacy.  The northern portion of the county, being of small hardscrabble farms and consisting of terrain that was not conducive to horse breeding, supported the North.  The citizenry of Cynthiana proper was a mixture of sympathies, while the southern portion of the county, with its more open and rolling terrain allowing larger farms, mostly supported the South.

The 1862 battle saw Morgan’s men go up against a few hundred home guards supported by small detachments from the 7th and 18th Kentucky Infantry Regiments.  The fighting took place within town, with Morgan’s main command trying to force its way across the Licking River at and near the covered bridge on the south edge of town while other parts of his command were dispatched to the west and east to surround the Union troops.  This tactic allowed the Confederates to surround the Federal forces, and resulted in fighting at the rail depot as well as near the court house (which still stands today). 

The 1864 battle is composed of three distinct and separate phases:  a town fight early in the morning of June 11th (with similar results to the 1862 battle), a later morning battle that same day a mile north of the town near Keller’s Bridge, and a third engagement to the east of town on the early morning of June 12th.  In the first two phases the Confederates faced mostly Ohio “Hundred Days Men” from the 168th and 171st Ohio National Guard with some home guard and Kentucky volunteer support from the 47thand 52nd Kentucky Infantry Regiments.  In the final phase Morgan faced seasoned units totaling 2,400 men under the command of the controversial yet effective Stephen Burbridge.

Those who are not serious students of the war may not be aware of the two battles that took place in town and the surrounding areas, or the noticeable qualitative difference of Morgan’s 1862 soldiers as compared to his 1864 force.  In 1862 Morgan led a smaller force, but the troops were more disciplined and he had his brother-in-law, Basil Duke, to assist with operational planning.  After the Great Raid in the summer of 1863, many of these experienced troopers were in Northern prisoner of war camps, including Duke and other important officers. 

When Morgan went to Joe Johnston in early 1864 to obtain the core of his remaining experienced troopers for his new command, Johnston balked and would release them, and quality of troops that Morgan recruited was far inferior to his 1862 and 1862 soldiers.  This lack of quality and discipline led to bank robberies, stealing from local citizens (many of whom were sympathetic to the Southern cause), and even burning Cynthiana’s business area which resulted in the loss of thirty-seven buildings (3.7 million in 2016 dollars).  The raiders’ complete collapse on June 12th dealt by the Federals under Burbridge showed that Morgan was perhaps more focused on glory than adhering to the dictates of military order, and perhaps more desirous of reuniting with his wife than conducting a successful campaign.


Development Threat to Nashville’s Civil War Fort Negley



Dear fellow CWRTs,

Fort Negley, just south of downtown Nashville, TN, on St. Cloud Hill, is the largest limestone fort built during the Civil War.  The Union engineers that designed it were heavily influenced by the 17th Century French military engineer Sebastien Vauban; the fort remains a classic example of that style.  It was the anchor of the Union defense lines built to protect the city after its capture on February 25th, 1862 by the Army of the Ohio under Gen. Don Carlos Buell.  The lines ran in a curve with both flanks being anchored on the Cumberland River.  Fort Negley was filled with numerous heavy cannons, along with other forts and redoubts built for the defenses and it is the only such fort remaining from the entire double line of fortifications.

The crucial Battle of Nashville was fought just south of the fort on December 15th and 16th, 1864.  The first Union shots fired in the battle came from the fort, which had also fired on the first Confederate defense lines prior to this while they were being built.  Additionally, the labor of hundreds of former slaves was used to build this fort along with the rest of the defenses of Nashville and a Freedman’s Camp was close by.  The fort fell into disrepair until the WPA era of the mid-20th Century when it was rebuilt.  However, Nashville let it get grown over with trees and brush again until the 2000s when it was cleaned up and became a unit of the Nashville Metro parks Department.  An interpretive center was also built onsite and today Civil War tourists from all over come and enjoy walking through the fort and seeing the amazing views of downtown Nashville and the Brentwood Hills to the south, where the first day of the Battle of Nashville was fought.

Like many Southern cities, Nashville is booming thanks to a great Tennessee economy.  Construction cranes dot the skyline as one high rise after another goes up in downtown.  The projections for growth for the next 20-25 years calls for 1 million new residents in Middle Tennessee, centered around Nashville.  This massive growth has already created large scale problems like traffic and housing shortages and developers left and right have been drawing up plan after plan to hopefully solve that.  One such developer has his sights set on Greer Stadium, the old home of the minor league baseball team the Nashville Sounds (who have a new stadium).  Built just east on what is technically Fort Negley property with a large parking lot, the city has been trying to decide what to do with the stadium for three years.  Green space, mixed use developments and more have been brought forward.  Naturally, the historic preservation community prefers green space which would allow for a greater interpretation of Fort Negley’s large footprint.  Some Civil War trenches remain behind the stadium as does a historic cemetery.  No archeological survey of the grounds of Fort Negley has ever been done for either the fort , the Freedman’s Camp site nor remaining earthworks.

In a recently revealed plan, one developer seeks to use part of Greer Stadium and turn it into an open air market as the centerpiece of a new mixed-use development with condos, allegedly low cost housing, stores and more.  This planned monstrosity will basically dwarf Fort Negley on three sides and with the high rise buildings as part of the plan, obfuscate the views looking south.  There is to be no, much needed, expansion of the Fort Negley parking lot. 

It has been proven time and again that history tourism brings in far more money than any other – people have more to spend, stay longer, etc. if you give them something to see and promote it so they know about it.  The traffic count for the area will explode making it even more difficult to get to the fort to visit.  Don’t believe me?  Look at what has happened at the Museum of the Confederacy in Richmond, VA with the massive growth of Virginia Commonwealth University around it; their attendance has fallen off to the point that they are moving to new quarters down on the James River.

Traffic comes with big cities.  But traffic also drives people away from doing things just so they do not have to deal with it.  People spend enough time in traffic just going to and from work five days a week; they do not want to deal with it on weekends when they want to do something fun.

Ms. Phillips’ article also brings out the tremendous loss of historic ground upon which sits the fort and its surrounding area, which was all part of the fort’s footprint.  Shall Nashville follow the same mistaken path that Atlanta did many years ago by paving over its history from the Civil War?  How does this travesty being proposed in Nashville compare to what is happening just a few miles down the road in Franklin where they lead the nation in reclaiming lost Civil War land and restoring it to how it looked over 150 years ago?  It is a pathetic failure on Nashville’s part.

Like so many other cities, Nashville has lots of places that are basically blight that can be redeveloped into something like in the above drawing; places that are not historic Civil War lands.  How about moving this thing there instead and leave Fort Negley be?

If you want to help stop this development, please contact the Mayor of Nashville, Megan Barry (, and the Nashville Metro City Council.  You should also contact the City of Nashville Metro Parks department and let them know how you feel about this.  Their email is –  The city’s web site is www.nashville.govLet them hear the voices of the Civil War community of America and stop this development.

By Greg Biggs (The above is the opinion of Greg Biggs, a member of the Nashville CWRT and not necessarily the opinion of the Nashville CWRT as a whole or the staff of Fort Negley Park, a unit of Nashville Metro City parks.)

Ladies and gentlemen of the Civil War Roundtables of America – if you would like to come to Nashville and do something historical besides the antebellum homes, President Andrew Jackson’s Hermitage or the nearby battlefields of Nashville, Franklin and Stones River, and would like to see America’s only surviving limestone fort left uncluttered, PLEASE, take the time to send emails to the metro government of Nashville and the parks department.  Parks should know better than this as it is owned by them.  We NEED your help quickly so I am asking you to put this into your newsletters, send out to your membership, and PLEASE help us stop this development!!!  The clock is ticking and a lot of money is on the table with this.  Nashville has other blighted places that could be redeveloped other than Fort Negley so help us here in Middle Tennessee stop this nonsense!  Please let the people running Nashville hear loud and clear from America’s great Civil War community!

We appreciate any and all help you can render by sending those emails out today!  Thanks for your time.

Greg Biggs

President, Clarksville, TN CWRT

Program Chair, Nashville CWRT and Bowling Green, KY CWRT




Cincinnati Civil War Round Table – 60th Anniversary Celebration

At the March 16, 2017 meeting, the CCWRT celebrated its 6oth anniversary. Happy Anniversary to us, and here is hoping for many more anniversaries to come!

Celebrating the 60th anniversary with a birthday cake.  Pictured from left to right are Tom Williams, Dave Stockdale, Dan Bauer, William Davis, Lester Burgin, and Dave Mowery

Patriot Fair in Mason, OH – Sept 23

September 23, 2017, 9-5, Mason Municipal Center, Mason Ohio                                 

The American Spirit Education Alliance, in conjunction with The Sons of American Revolution ( Cincinnati Chapter), The Children and Daughters of American Revolution (John Riley Chapter), Sons of Union Veterans Auxilliary (Sister Anthony O’Connell Chapter), and the Veterans Memorial Museum Foundation (Germantown Ohio) and many other history lovers will present the Seventh Annual Patriot Fair. It will beday full of adventure, discovery, patriotism, learning, fun and good things to eat. This day will celebrate our American History & Heritage, honor our military, and provide unique ‘Living History’ experiences.


  • The day will begin with Alfreda Green, vocalist and Dr. Michael George as he tells the story of our National Anthem. The Fair will be hosted by James and Dolley Madison

  • Learn how early Americans lived as you visit with period artisans, storytellers and period entertainers.

  • Visit with Three Feathers, Yellow Flower and the All Nations Drum group of Native American dancers.

  • Step back in time to the birth of our country and meet some of the brave and determined patriots who fought for our independence: Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, and Abigail Adams.

  • Meet soldiers from the Civil War, Abraham & Mary Lincoln, Jefferson Davis, General and Julia Grant, Allan Howey (camp singer) and abolitionists from the era. 
  • Recognize the American contribution to WWI as you meet and listen to General JohnPershing.
  • Credit-worthy history programs benefiting area students are provided by seasoned re-enactors and storytellers. Visit to learn more.

  • Many speakers will help you to better understand and appreciate our Constitutional Republic.

  • Visit with soldiers from yesterday and today. They will familiarize you with their vehicles and weapons and the military conflicts in which they were involved.


As one walks through the building and grounds there will be games, activities and crafts for the children and opportunities to train with the troops, observe artisans at work and meet and talk to historical figures. All are invited to dance with All Nations Native American dancers and Forget-Me-Not historic dancers. One can talk to representatives from historic and civic organizations and many history lovers who want to share a piece of history with the community as well as stories rarely heard.

 Mason American Legion Post 194 will sponsor a Classic Car Show to benefit “Homes for Heroes”.

We continue, rain or shine. This event is free of charge, thanks to our many generous sponsors.


For additional information:

or call Denise (513)284-3600, Rich (513)405-6962

Mt. Healthy Living History Day – Oct 7

Come See Mt. Healthy history come to life.

Living history will be included as Mt. Healthy’s celebrates its bicentennial.  One of the persons to be portrayed is one of the five men from Mt. Healthy who enlisted in the 54th Massachusetts.  Also featured will feature Marshall P.H. Jones, who gave the closing address for the disbanding of Cincinnati’s Black Brigade, and who presented the sword and company flag to Cmdr Dickson.  Jones was a resident of Mt. Healthy. 

The event takes place at the Mt. Healthy Historical Society Museum at 1546 McMakin St. and goes from 1 – 4 pm.  Guides will walk you to Mt. Pleasant Cemetery.

Two hundred years of Mount Healthy history will come alive on Saturday afternoon, Oct. 7th from 12 noon to 4 pm.  Tours start at intervals from 1 to 3 p.m., beginning at the Mt. Healthy History Museum, 1546 McMakin. It will be an afternoon filled with history, heritage and culture as we turn back the clock and celebrate Mt. Healthy’s rich past. Costumed actors will share the personal stories of Mt. Healthy settlers, farmers, abolitionists, artists, and soldiers through the first person voices of the notable individuals or their families. Sponsored by Mt. Healthy Historical Society. Of note : one of five Mt. Healthy men to enlist in the 54th Massachusetts Regiment, and Marshal P.H. Jones, who served in the Cincinnati Black Brigade and who is memorialized at Smale Park presenting the company flag and sword to Colonel Dickson at the disbanding of the unit. Jones’ oration at that occasion was recorded in Peter Clark’s history of the brigade.
More information on our Facebook page Mt. Healthy Bicentennial: Day of Living History.

If anyone specializes in the 54th Massachusetts or the Cincinnati Black Brigade, please contact Karen Arnett at 513-377-1976.  The  Mt. Healthy Historical Society could use assistance and consultation to make sure the best preparation is done for depicting the two men connected with these two groups.