November meeting – Benjamin Franklin Cooling


November LCCWRT Meeting Notice. We welcome all guests with the hopes that they will join, so please consider bringing someone to the meeting this month. We will discuss plans for the December dinner meeting in November.

Meeting time: Tuesday, November 11, 2014; 7:30 p.m.

Location: Presbyterian Church, 207 West Market Street, Leesburg, Virginia (across the street from Thomas Balch Library)

Topic: “Desperate Struggle in Tennessee: The Battle of Franklin/Nashville”

On July 17, 1864, Confederate President Jefferson Davis made a fateful military decision to relieve General Joseph Johnston of his command of the Confederate army defending Atlanta and appointed an ambitious and aggressive commander, John Bell Hood, to take his place. Rather than saving Atlanta, this critical move resulted in the capture of the South’s major industrial and rail center at Atlanta by the Union forces under the command of Major General William Tecumseh Sherman.

After capturing Atlanta, Sherman then decided to begin his famous march to the sea, effectively splitting the Confederacy in half and capturing the important port city of Charleston, South Carolina. Instead of pursuing Sherman, Hood chose to begin a major offensive into Tennessee in an effort to lure Sherman into that state, hoping for a decisive campaign that would finish the Union Army in the Western theater. However, Hood and his Confederate Army of Tennessee will meet with ignominious defeat at the hands of Major General John M. Schofield in the Battle of Franklin, Tennessee, and eventual destruction at the hands of Union Major General George H. Thomas in front of the impregnable defenses of Nashville, Tennessee.

The subject of Dr. Cooling’s talk will focus on these critical military events, which occurred in middle Tennessee in fall 1864.

Benjamin Franklin Cooling is professor of National Security Studies at the Eisenhower School, National Defense University, in Washington, D.C. A prolific author of works in military, naval, and air history, specializing in the defense economic base, he has also authored numerous Civil War studies on operations, occupation, and partisan warfare in Kentucky and Tennessee as well as campaigns in the national capital region. His most recent books include Counterthrust: From the Peninsula to the Antietam (2007) as well as four other books relating to Jubal Early’s Washington Campaign, including Jubal Early’s Raid, 1864 (1989/2007); Monocacy: The Battle That Saved Washington (1996/2000); and The Day Lincoln Was Almost Shot: The Fort Stevens Story (2013, Scarecrow Press). In addition, he is a co-author of Mr. Lincoln’s Fort: A Guide to the Civil War Defenses of Washington (1988/2010 Scarecrow Press). His latest book, Jubal Early: Lee’s Bad Old Man, was published this year.

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