Chattanooga Civil War Holds Monthly Meeting On Dec. 18

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

The Chattanooga Civil War Round Table will hold its regular monthly meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 18. The meeting is at 7 p.m. and will be held in the Millis-Evans Room of Caldwell Hall on the campus of the The McCallie School (enter the campus from Dodds Avenue and follow the signs to the Academic Quadrangle).  

Historian and retiring U.S. Army Lieutenant Colonel Gerald D. Hodge, Jr., is the speaker.  Mr. Hodge will speak on Northwest Georgia Resistance & Guerilla Warfare during the Civil War.  The meeting is free and open to the public. 

While the war shocked communities throughout the country (or two countries, depending upon the time and perspective from which the view is taken), the internecine conflict shattered society in Northwest Georgia.  The region’s position as one of the portals of the “Gateway to the Deep South” ensured that the hard hand of war would be felt here to a more extensive degree than in many other places.  National, state, and local governments were all disrupted; the descent of two of the major contenting armies upon the area, with first one and then the other “supposedly” in control, resulted in government, economy, and most other aspects of civilized society being placed in abeyance to significant degrees.  

A war of resistance and guerilla conduct arose in the vacuum, a war that perhaps cast longer and deeper shadows than the larger war itself.  And for the soldiers of this Northwest Georgia region, this war within a war, this war where their home was, produced an added strain as they campaigned and battled in the bigger, more widely known war.  This “war on the home front” is the subject of the presentation this month by Historian Gerald Hodge entitled “Northwest Georgia Resistance & Guerilla Warfare.”  

As a native of the greater “Gateway” region, Historian Hodge was aware that a guerilla war of a sort at least developed in the area in the latter part of the war as he studied and learned about the events unfolded here and that his extended families had had a role in.  But, when he turned to his ancestors’ 39th Georgia and began to dig cradle to grave into the history of the men and their unit, the other war, another war, the home front war of resistance and guerilla warfare emerged more extensively.  He’ll talk about that war in his presentation “Northwest Georgia Resistance & Guerilla Warfare.”

Gerald D. Hodge, Jr. is a native of Soddy Daisy.  After a tour as an enlisted infantryman, including time in Korea, Mr. Hodge enrolled in the ROTC program at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and was commissioned into the Armor branch upon graduation.  Posted to various armored commands, including one stint as an advisor to the Tennessee National Guard’s 278th Armored Cavalry Regiment, Gerald saw promotion to captain and major and work and postings as a strategist at Headquarters, U. S. Army Forces Command (FORSCOM, then at Fort McPherson, Atlanta) and Headquarters, Joint Forces Command, Norfolk, Va.  

Subsequently promoted to lieutenant colonel and posted to the Pentagon, Mr. Hodge is now retiring with more than 25 years of service to our country.  While active service often limited his time, he pursued his interest in military and Civil War history, in recent years, focusing on the 39th Georgia Infantry and Cumming’s Brigade.  

Mr. Hodge has authored a number of historical articles and has edited the memoir of a 39th Georgia soldier, The War As I Saw It: The Civil War Reminiscences of Commissary Sergeant Newton H. Coker, Thirty-Ninth Georgia Volunteer Infantry Regiment.      



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