Civil War Round Table Meeting Nov. 21

Program is on southern portion of the Battle of Missionary Ridge

Thursday, November 16, 2006

The Chattanooga Civil War Round Table will hold its regular monthly meeting on Tuesday, November 21, 2006. The meeting is at 7 PM and will be held in the Millis-Evans Room of Caldwell Hall on the campus of the McCallie School. Enter the McCallie School campus on Dodds Avenue and follow the signs to the Academic Quadrangle.

Historian, author, and attorney Sam Elliott will be the speaker. Mr. Elliott will speak about the little understood portion of the Battle of Missionary Ridge from Rossville Gap northward to Bragg Reservation. The meeting is free and open to the public.

The outline of the Battle of Missionary Ridge on November 24 & 25, 1863--U. S. Grant launches W. T. Sherman against the north end of the Confederate line on or along Missionary Ridge but is thrown back by William J. Hardee and Pat Cleburne, Fighting Joe Hooker moves over from Lookout Moutain to attack the Confederates on the ridge at and north of Rossville Gap, George Thomas’s Army of the Cumberland is sent forward in an intended limited attack against the Confederate rifle pits at the base of the ridge but without orders they go charging straight up the side of the ridge and break the Confederate line and send Braxton Bragg and the Army of Tennessee flying into Georgia.

But, what do we really, collectively, know about Hooker’s attack? Who did he attack? How did that action unfold? Where did the action occur? You might be able to answer some of those questions to a degree. But, do we really know a lot?

The portion of the Battle of Missionary Ridge on November 25, 1863, from Rossville Gap northward is one of the most poorly understood of the actions in the Chattanooga area; particularly from the Confederate side. Take a look at Peter Cozzens’ The Shipwreck of Their Hopes or Wiley Sword’s Mountains Touched By Fire. How much space do they give to the Hooker portion of the Battle of Missionary Ridge vs. the number of pages for the Sherman or Thomas portion?

One of the big reasons why the southern portion, the Hooker portion, of the Battle of Missionary Ridge has not received as much attention in the past is a lack of Southern sources on that portion of the engagement. But that’s not the case any longer really. And with that change, a more in depth treatment of what happened on Missionary Ridge south of the Army of the Cumberland’s sector, particularly for the Confederates can undertaken.

Attorney, author, and Round Table member Sam Elliott has done that. Using recently discovered sources, he has produced a narrative of the events that unfolded in the A. P. Stewart-Joe Hooker sector of the Missionary Ridge Battlefield, illuminating for the first time, many of the details of that fight. Sam’s narrative has not yet been published but we’ll get a peek at what he learned in his presentation tonight.

Sam Davis Elliott is a native Tennessean and is a partner in the Chattanooga law firm of Gearhiser, Peters, Lockaby, Cavett, and Elliott. He is the author of Soldier of Tennessee: General Alexander P. Stewart and the Civil War in the West and the editor of Doctor Quintard, Chaplain, C. S. A., and Second Bishop of Tennessee: The Memoir and Civil War Diary of Charles Todd Quintard.

The Chattanooga Civil War Round Table is a group of area citizens interested in the study of the American Civil War. The Round Table meets on the third Tuesday of each month, normally in the Millis-Evans Room of Caldwell Hall on the campus of The McCallie School on Missionary Ridge (enter off Dodds Avenue at Union Street).

At each month’s meeting, a historian or author from the region or from across the nation, or a member, makes a presentation on some aspect of the conflict. The meetings are free and open to the public and membership in the Round Table is open to all with an interest in the era of the War Between the States.

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