Chattanooga Civil War Round Table Meeting August 20

Topic is disruption of the Confederate saltpeter mining efforts in the Chattanooga area

Sunday, August 18, 2013

The Chattanooga Civil War Round Table will hold its regular monthly meeting on Tuesday, August 20, 2013.  The meeting is at 7 PM 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 and Caldwell Hall). 

Cave Historian Marion O. Smith is the speaker.  Historian Smith will speak on the disruption of the Confederate saltpeter mining efforts in the Chattanooga area as the Union army advanced 150 years ago.  The meeting is free and open to the public. 

 The retreat of Bragg's army on Chattanooga in early July, 1863, had not only put the Gateway to the Deep South city essentially on the front line, but it had also made one of the fledgling Confederacy's richest resource zones a part of that front line and very likely a battleground.

Just as the city of Chattanooga began adjusting to its new status, so too did the operatives of the Confederate States extractive industries in the greater Chattanooga region.  "Removing Govt Stores to the south side of Tenn. River," "moving tools materials &c from Sauta Cave," "Hauling Nitre & Materials...to places of safety" and similar phrases appeared commonly on dozens of vouchers for services hired in July and August, 1863.  Confederate nitre works at Big Bone, Sauta, Battle Creek, Nickajack, Lookout, and a dozen other caves, potash works on Sand Mountain and at Chattanooga, the coal mines on Raccoon Mountain, the new Empire Iron Works, were all now threatened and the their product, equipment, labor, and operatives were all having to be relocated from within the now even more practical reach of the enemy.  In his talk this evening, Cave and Saltpeter Historian Marion Smith will relate this too often forgotten story that is another important impact of the Campaign for Chattanooga.  The Gateway to the Confederacy's developing military-industrial heartland changed hands, but lost too were rich resources for that vital heartland.  Come out and learn about another chapter in the vast and rich story of the events that unfolded here 150 years ago.

A native of Georgia, Marion Smith has previously spoken to the Round Table on subjects related to his topic this evening.  A researcher for years on the Papers of Andrew Johnson project at the University of Tennessee, he is now retired and pursuing his lifelong interest in caves and their historical uses on a full time basis.  He is the author of several publications including Confederate Niter Bureau Operations in Alabama (2007), Confederate Niter District Eight: Middle Tennessee & Northwest Georgia (2011), and Confederate Niter District Seven: East Tennessee (2012).

James Ogden, III, President

Chattanooga Civil War Round Table

 {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.}


Haunts of Chattanooga's Rich and Famous To Be Presented April 6

The Chattanooga Area Historical Association and the Local History and Genealogy Department of The Public Library invite you to "Haunts of Chattanooga's Rich and Famous," a program presented by John Shearer. John Shearer’s wealth of knowledge and information will make this program one you won’t want to miss.  As a former historical reporter for the Chattanooga News-Free ... (click for more)

Chattanooga History Center Announces Staff Changes

The Chattanooga History Center announces changes in its executive staff, following the resignation of Dr. Daryl Black. Marlene Payne has been promoted to the newly created position of Museum director.  Ms. Payne, with the Center for eight years, most recently has been its deputy director.  Other staff members are remaining in their positions: Caroline Sunderland as ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Police Detective Karl Fields Terminated On Code Of Conduct Charges

Karl Fields, former Chattanooga Police detective, was terminated on Wednesday, on code of conduct charges. The Chattanooga Police Department received a correspondence from the Hamilton County District Attorney’s Office o n Sept. 4, 2014,  informing them of allegations of inappropriate behavior committed by a CPD investigator during the course of a rape investigation. ... (click for more)

Autopsy Says 5-Year-Old Whitwell Boy Died Of Blunt Force Trauma

An autopsy on five-year-old Lucas Dillon of Whitwell says he died of blunt force trauma. The TBI is investigating the death, which is being treated as a homicide. The child, who lived on Jewell Lane Road. was injured on Saturday and died in a hospital on Monday. Lucas was a student at Whitwell Head Start. . (click for more)

Physicians Thank Their Patients On Doctor’s Day

March 30 has been set aside as National Doctors’ Day since 1933 as a time to recognize the contributions made by our physicians. While the recognition is appreciated, our greatest satisfaction comes from caring for our patients.  For 132 years, the Chattanooga-Hamilton County Medical Society has been the physicians’ voice as we worked together to improve health of our community. ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Look At My April Garden

On this April Fool’s Day, as I take my monthly stroll through my virtual garden, there are gorgeous flowers and there are weeds, which appear to be trying harder than the flowers. So let’s see what we find before searching for “The Prize Egg” on Sunday. A FLOWER to the New York cab driver who told a young writer, “Always remember that everyone you meet knows something that you ... (click for more)