Dr. Robert Asnard on “Sherman’s Carolinas Campaign”
Dr. Robert Asnard
Our CWRT president, Bob Asnard, presented an overview of William T. Sherman’s campaign in the Carolinas, February–April 1865. He gave some background about Sherman’s March to the Sea, which captured the city of Savannah, Georgia, in December 1864, and then started off into the Carolinas with a “visit” to Columbia. Bob talked about the logistical challenges that Sherman faced in the heavy rains of that winter and also briefly about the battles of Averasborough and Bentonville. He concluded with a description of the surrender negotiations between Sherman and Joseph E. Johnston at Bennett Place.
Jeffrey Vaillant on “Chasing Your Civil War Ancestor”
Jeffrey, who is a professional genealogist, gave a presentation about how to do research on your Civil War ancestor, including information about the U.S. Census, the National Park Service online “Soldiers and Sailors System,” and finding military and pension records at the National Archives. Jeffrey has provided two papers (both Microsoft Word documents) with a number of interesting online links:
His talk provided real-world examples using one of his own ancestors, a soldier with the 10th Iowa.
Tom Christianson on “John T. Wilder and the Battle of Chickamauga”
John T. Wilder
Tom, a retired Army lieutenant colonel, gave a spirited presentation on Col. John T. Wilder, who led the Lightning Brigade in the Tullahoma Campaign and the battle of Chickamauga. He talked about Wilder’s brigade evaluating repeating rifles and procuring their own horses and mules. He discussed the battle action of the brigade, culminating in the embarrassing incident in which Assistant Secretary Of War Charles A. Dana insisted that Wilder provide him escort to Chattanooga.