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.}


Chester Martin Remembers Ann Hoge Kelly And How Her Family Survived WWII

First, a brief introduction: Ann Hoge Kelly has been well known as a n Independent Sales Director with Mary Kay Cosmetics in both Savannah, Ga., and Chattanooga for many years. (She has had one of those famous free Mary Kay cars for 36 years!) Her father, R. Ted Hoge, Sr., died in December, 1948 - at age 48 - while she was still unmarried and in her teens. Her brother, Ted ... (click for more)

Chester Martin Remembers Dr. Hal McAlister, Astronomer

Several years ago Southern California was all ablaze - again. This latest forest fire episode only got my attention because the famed Mt. Wilson Observatory was directly in the flames' path! As a one-time amateur astronomer I was immediately caught up in the significance of this story and followed it closely. It was only on the very edge of my memory that I recalled that Dr. Harold ... (click for more)

Spiegel Says Walker County Could Make Payments On $8,705,000 Hutcheson Debt; James Says Letter is Heavy-Handed

Erlanger Health System CEO Kevin Spiegel has written Walker County Commissioner Bebe Heiskell to say that Erlanger would consider taking payments on the $8,705,000 Hutcheson debt. Stuart James, special counsel for Walker County, called the overture "heavy-handed." Walker County earlier offered a $1.3 million "global settlement" that was rejected by Erlanger. Catoosa County ... (click for more)

Customer At East Ridge Gas Station Shoots And Kills Robber; He Had Been Trying To Take Female Clerk With Him

East Ridge Police said a customer at an East Ridge gas station early Thursday morning shot a robber, who was then found by police lying outside the station and was arrested.  The robber has died.  His name is being withheld pending the notification of next of kin. At 1:47 a.m., East Ridge Police responded to 4011 Ringgold Road, the Marathon Service Station, on ... (click for more)

A Disturbing Trend At Exit 11 - And Response (5)

So, am I the first to notice a trend?   How many wrecks does exit 11 need before anyone asks "whats up with that?"  I have lost count of the wrecks that continue to happen, even after last year's awful loss of life (which I believe 51 percent of the blame should fall on the THP officer on duty).  The problem with this section of interstate are sight lines ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: My Garden This July

I can never remember a day in July when my garden, my lawn, my dogwood tree, and my ferns are all wilting for lack of rain. Right now we are more than eight inches under our average rainfall for the first six months and, on this wonderful weekend, those who love firecrackers are urged to keep a pail of water in case a spark could cause a fire. On the other hand, every July 4 th ... (click for more)