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Tullahoma Campaign Civil War Symposium

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One of the oldest and longest standing heritage organizations, Tennessee's Backroads Heritage, will be hosting a day-long Symposium on the Tullahoma Campaign which will chronicle the Civil War as it unfolded from the Stones River Battlefield in Murfreesboro to Chickamauga near Chattanooga, Tennessee.
The Symposium is set to be held in the quaint small railroad town of Bell Buckle, Tennessee just a short distance southeast of Nashville and will be held from 8 a.m. - 4 p.m. CST on Saturday, March 25, 2017. The Bell Buckle Banquet Hall is a state-of-the-art facility that can host conferences of this type along with providing excellent food for the event.
The cost for the day's conference is $95 per person which includes a registration packet, breakfast, lunch, an afternoon snack and free parking at the facility. Also, several lodging facilities in the area are offering discounted rates. The deadline for registration is Friday, March 17. To receive your registration information or lodging discount options, please contact the Tennessee's Backroads Heritage office at tnbackroads@bellsouth.net or call 615-613-5627.
The Symposium - Topics Explored
This Symposium will feature various components of the war and the progression of troops through this area with topics by various speakers being explored such as 1) the Campaign's Significance, 2) Migration of Troops, 3) Liberty Gap, 4) Martha Ready Morgan - From Wife to Widow in 630 days, 5) Hoover's Gap, 6) Women and Spies in the Civil War and 7) Legacy Issues - the Lingering Effect. The event will also showcase a private collection of authentic Civil War artifacts.

The Tullahoma Campaign, Its Significance
The Tullahoma Campaign (or Middle Tennessee Campaign) was a military operation conducted from June 24 to July 3, 1863, by the Union Army of the Cumberland under Maj. Gen. William Rosecrans and regarded as one of the most brilliant maneuvers of the American Civil War. Its effect was to drive the Confederates out of Middle Tennessee and to threaten the strategic city of Chattanooga.
The Confederate Army of Tennessee under General Braxton Bragg occupied a strong defensive position in the mountains. But through a series of well-rehearsed feints, Rosecrans captured the key passes, helped by the use of the new seven-shot Spencer repeating rifle. The Confederates were handicapped by dissension between generals, as well as a lack of supplies, and soon had to abandon their headquarters at Tullahoma.
The campaign ended in the same week as the two historic Union victories at Gettysburg and Vicksburg, and Rosecrans complained that his achievement was overshadowed. However, Confederate casualties had been few, and Bragg's army was strong enough to defeat Rosecrans at the Battle of Chickamauga two months later.


About Ed Bearss

Ed Bearss, a United States Marine Corps veteran of World War II, is a military historian and author known for his work on the American Civil War and World War II eras. He is a popular tour guide of historic battlefields for The Smithsonian Associates. He served as Chief Historian of the National Park Service from 1981 to 1994 and is currently Chief Historian Emeritus. Ed is very knowledgeable about the Tullahoma Campaign and has led several battlefield tours of Stones River, Tullahoma, Chickamauga, and Chattanooga.

Other Speakers


The event will be moderated by David Currey, well known historian, documentary filmmaker and principle at Encore Interpretive (Nashville, TN). . David has been instrumental in the development of the Tullahoma Campaign self-driving tour and has led many tours on the Campaign. He along with Dr. Robert Hunt of Middle Tennessee State University served as editors for the book published by Tennessee's Backroads Heritage on the Tullahoma Campaign. He has worked as both a consultant and museum director in the public history field for over 20 years. He holds a Master's degree in Public History from Middle Tennessee State University (Murfreesboro, TN) and has concentrated his work in the areas of research, planning, story development and design. In recent years, he has completed projects for the Civil War Trust, The Smithsonian, Tennessee State Parks, Metro Nashville Parks and Recreation and numerous preservation organizations and local municipalities across the country. David has also worked on documentary films for both exhibits and as independent projects. In 2014, he produced an hour long documentary on Ed Bearss, the Featured Speaker for this event. From 2012 to 2015, he was the Board Chair for the Tennessee Preservation Trust and currently serves on the Metro Nashville Historical Commission.

Thomas Cartwright
Thomas Cartwright is known as one of the leading authorities on the Civil War. He previously served as Director of the Carter House from 1997 until 2008. He joined the Carter House in 1989 and was Military Curator and Historian until he was promoted to Director. Thomas Cartwright frequently appears on various documentaries for the History Channel, A&E, Travel Channel, CNN, Discovery, and Preservation Channel. For many years, he has lectured throughout most of the United States for Civil War Round Tables, corporations, preservation groups and heritage organizations. For the last 20 years, he has guided groups throughout most of the Western Theater battlefields and authored several articles and essays in historical publications. He is currently authoring two books: Mascots in the Civil War and Battle of Thompson's Station. Cartwright began visiting battlefields as a young boy and his interest was encouraged by listening to stories about his great-grandfather, who was in the war, the Civil War Centennial, and many great historians including the late Stanley Horn.

Dr. Carole Bucy
Dr. Bucy serves as the Nashville-Davidson County (Tennessee) Historian and is a history professor at Volunteer State Community College in Gallatin, TN. Dr. Bucy has authored many books showcasing the history of Nashville and Civil War history. Dr. Bucy is a popular speaker across Tennessee because of her longstanding interests in the history of the creation of Metropolitan government, the Civil War years, women's history, and the history of Tennessee.

Dr. Vince Armstrong
Dr. Armstrong teaches in the history department at Middle Tennessee State University (Murfreesboro, TN) and was very instrumental in developing the maps for The Tullahoma Campaign book published by Tennessee's Backroads Heritage. Dr. Armstrong has been very involved with tours and writing articles about The Tullahoma Campaign.

Shirley Farris Jones
Shirley Farris Jones, Civil War historian and community activist, retired from Middle Tennessee State University, where she had been a staff member for more than thirty years. She has served as President of the Rutherford County (Tennessee) Historical Society, the Association for the Preservation of Tennessee Antiquities, Friends of Stones River National Battlefield, and the Martha Ready Morgan Chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy. She is one of the founding members of both the Friends of Stones River National Battlefield and the Middle Tennessee Civil War Round Table. A direct descendant of two Confederate great-grandfathers, Ms. Jones states that "Civil War history is more than just a hobby; it has been a passion since childhood." She has had numerous Civil War related articles published over the past three decades and is the author of six books. Ms. Jones has done extensive research on Martha Ready Morgan, including work for artist John Paul Strain in 1993 for his limited edition print, "Morgan's Wedding." She will be making a presentation on "Martha Ready Morgan: From Wife to Widow in 630 Days" at the Symposium.


About the Sponsor
Tennessee's Backroads Heritage is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization that began in the early 1990s. The southern Middle Tennessee area was identified as a heritage area that was rich in agriculture and history by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. This initiative was a three-year project under the Trust with the idea that the identified area would become self-sustaining after the project. This year the organization will celebrate being in existence for 25 years.

The development of the self-driving tour of the Tullahoma Campaign is just one of many initiatives created by this organization. The Backroads geographic area includes the Tennessee counties/areas of Bedford (Shelbyville/Bell Buckle/Wartrace), Coffee (Tullahoma/Manchester), Franklin (Winchester/Cowan), Lincoln (Fayetteville), Marshall (Lewisburg/Chapel Hill/Cornersville) and Moore (Lynchburg) and the Monteagle Mountain Area.
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