Our speaker will be Dr. Lester Brooks.
He will speak on the November 1864 Battle of
A native of
Cleveland, Ohio, Dr. Brooks
earned his undergraduate degree from Indiana
University, a master's degree from Howard
University, and his Ph.D. in History from the
University of Michigan.
In 1982 he began
teaching U.S. History, Civil War Era, and
African American History at Anne Arundel
Community College. Dr. Brooks is
Program Coordinator of the Chesapeake
Civil War Roundtable and also teaches
continuing education classes on the Civil War
that combine lectures with battlefield visits.
Dr. Brooks is the author of
several brief articles and a past recipient of
the AACC Student Association
Teacher of the Year award.
Notes from the President 1/2018
Happy New Year! I hope and trust that
entered 2018 in good health and in fine spirits.
We will embark on our 2018 journey on January 23
when Chesapeake Civil War Roundtable Program
Coordinator and Anne Arundel Community College
Professor Dr. Lester Brooks presents a program
on the Battle of Franklin. This November 1864
clash was one of the most significant actions
during the later phase of the Civil War. The
meeting begins at 7:30 p.m.
Usually disguised as males, many women, on
both sides, took up arms during the war. On
February 27 historian and reenactor Anita
Henderson will introduce you to one special
female horse soldier. Author, historian Bob
O’Connor will have a ‘first person” presentation
on Ward Hill Lamon, Lincoln’s friend and
self-appointed bodyguard, on March 27.
Last September, we thought our April 24
Annual Banquet was basically arranged. Since
then, the event has turned into an adventure.
First our location, Parkville Heritage Gardens
ceased operation (we will announce a new
location in the near future). Then, to make
matters worse, our scheduled speaker, noted
author and historian Edward Bonekemper , died
last month (Requiescat
in pace). Fortunately, we have been able to
schedule National Park Service Historian
Emeritus, Ed Bearss, to be our speaker.
On May 22, author
Mingus Sr. will speak on his book, The Second
Battle of Winchester: The Confederate Victory
That Opened the Door to Gettysburg June 13-15,
IMPORTANT REMINDER: Remember, it’s time to
renew your membership for 2018. Yearly dues
are $25.00 for an individual membership, $35.00
for a family membership. If you have already
paid, Ray Atkins will have your membership card
at out next meeting. We are always looking
for new members. Invite a friend to our
meetings. The BCWRT has many good things
happening. Please spread the word.
Robert L. Ford,
Click picture to enlarge
link in Gallery - Intelligence in the Civil War
January 28, 2018 at 1 PM.
Abraham Lincoln and John Wilkes
Booth, Historian Dave Taylor will be addressing the
Archeological Society of Maryland, Central Chapter group with
some of the lesser known stories of the Lincoln assassination
saga that follow an archaeological theme (i.e. stories that
involve digging and discovery) in his talk entitled "Unearthed
Stories of the Lincoln Assassination". The talk will
be held at 1:00 p.m. on Sunday, January 28, 2018 at the Natural
History Society of Maryland located at 6908 Belair Road,
Baltimore, MD 21206. The public is welcome.
The event is free. The Natural History Society
of Maryland at 6908 Belair Road, lecture room has a capacity of
175 persons. For additional information; contact Stephen
Our January meeting was our 407th.
Our attendance was 17 (not including 3 visitors). We had
$2,053 in the bank, and no outstanding bills. We settled on a
restaurant for the banquet—Columbus Gardens, on Belair Rd.
Costs will be $35 per person, instead of $30. The banquet is
April 24 and features the incomparable Ed Bearss. Ed will be
speaking on Reconstruction.
In February, Anita Henderson will be speaking on cavalrywoman
In March, Bob O’Connor will give a “first-person” presentation
on Ward Hill Lamon, Lincoln’s friend and self-appointed
In May, Scott L. Mingus Sr. will speak on his book:
The Second Battle of Winchester: The Confederate Victory That
Opened the Door to Gettysburg June 13-15, 1863.
In June, Darlene Colon will impersonate Lydia Hamilton Smith.
Our speaker was Dr. Lester Brooks, Program Coordinator
for the Chesapeake Civil War Roundtable and a teacher at Anne
Arundel Community College. Dr. Brooks discussed the Battle of
Jefferson Davis had replaced Joseph E. Johnston with John Bell
Hood as commander of the Army of Tennessee. Hood had written
letters undermining Johnston. Robert E. Lee, however, was less
than enthusiastic about the change of generals. Sherman said
that he could accurately predict Johnston’s movements because
Johnston, unlike Hood, was a sensible man. While Sherman was
conducting his March to the Sea, instead of pursuing him, Hood
decided to march into Tennessee, with the aim of eventually
George H. Thomas was gathering troops in Nashville. Sherman
sent him XXIII Corps, under John Schofield (a classmate of
Hood’s at West Point), to join him, as well as IV Corps, under
At Spring Hill, the Confederates allowed Schofield to march
through largely unmolested. The reason for this is still not
totally clear. At 4:30 A.M. on November 30, 1864, Schofield
arrived at Franklin with Jacob Cox. He ordered Cox to hold Hood
back so the supply wagons could cross the river. The army
deployed on both sides of the Columbia Pike.
Hood had around 25,000 men. Dr. Brooks addressed the question:
Why did he fight at Franklin when he didn’t have to? Nathan
Bedford Forrest said to flank the Federals, rather than do a
frontal assault. But Hood believed he couldn’t let the Federals
get into Nashville, that they would see any flanking movements,
and that if directly attacked, they would break.
The assault began at 4 P.M. The attackers suffered terrible
casualties. They faced not just artillery and small arms fire
but, in various places, repeating rifles, bushes, and
breastworks six feet high. Francis Cockrell’s brigade found a
gap and went through it, only to run into two Napoleons. Two
sounds were heard—cannon fire and then the crushing of bones.
On the Union side, George Wagner deployed way in front of the
rest of the line. He eventually had to pull back, and in the
process many of his men were victims of “friendly fire” directed
at the advancing Confederates.
The Confederates eventually broke a 200 yard hole in the line.
Emerson Opdycke’s brigade slammed in to close the gap. There
were about 5,000 men from both sides fighting hand to hand
around the backyard of the Carter House (the house belonged to
Fountain Carter). The hole was ultimately plugged. Fountain’s
son, Tod, was shot in the head and died in his own living room.
Five Confederate generals were killed outright in the battle,
including Hiram Granbury and Patrick Cleburne, and one—John C.
Carter—was mortally wounded. Dr. Brooks said that the death of
Granbury “shakes me up.” When Granbury was killed, according to
reports, he literally sank to his knees.
Hood said that he would attack in the morning, but this never
took place. Incredibly, he believed he won the battle! His men
were not fooled, however. The official casualty figures are
quite lopsided—2,326 Union casualties to 6,252 Confederate (as
always in Civil War battles, these figures can not be presumed
to be 100% accurate). Outside the Carter House, there was a
pile of limbs six feet tall. Hood went on to lead the Army of
Tennessee at the battle of Nashville, another disastrous
Confederate defeat. He was replaced in January 1865.