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Call for Papers: The Battle of Nashville 140th Anniversary Symposium, Dec. 10-11, 2004

Location:  Nashville, Tennessee
Call for Papers Deadline:  December 5, 2003

Sponsors: The Tennessee Historical Society and the Battle of Nashville Preservation Society

As a commemoration of the 140th anniversary of the Battle of Nashville, the Tennessee Historical Society and the Battle of Nashville Preservation Society are hosting a symposium to present new examinations, as well as assessments of past historiography, of the 1864 Atlanta-Nashville campaign and the late Civil War experience in Middle Tennessee and the western theater.

“It is impossible to question that Nashville was a decisive battle. An examination of all the facts, it is believed, provides inescapably convincing evidence that it was the decisive battle of the war.”
– Stanley F. Horn, The Decisive Battle of Nashville (Baton Rouge,1956)

The symposium will be organized around the themes of the context of the battle, the campaign and battle themselves, and their aftermath and legacy. Prospective topics include but are not limited to: 

  • the progress of the war in 1864
  • public mood regarding the war
  • the occupation of Nashville and Middle Tennessee
  • strategy and tactics
  • soldiers and their units
  • battle leaders
  • USCT and contrabands
  • the extent of the battle’s decisiveness
  • fate of the Army of Tennessee
  • remembrance and commemoration
  • preservation efforts and issues

The Tennessee Historical Society will consider the papers presented at the symposium for publication in a special issue of the Tennessee Historical Quarterly in 2005.

Proposals are welcomed from academic, public and private historians, and from students. Please submit an abstract no longer than 250 words and c.v. or resume with complete contact information, including mailing address, e-mail address, and telephone number. Presentations should conform to a twenty-minute format.

Mail submissions to the address below. For questions and comments, please e-mail:

Ann Toplovich
Executive Director
Tennessee Historical Society
War Memorial Building
Nashville, TN 37243-0084
615.741.8934 phone
615.741.8937 fax

Park Day at Redoubt No. 1 Park Day 2003
A hard-working group of BONPS members attacked Redoubt No. 1 with lawnmowers, weedeaters, and rakes during Park Day, Sat., March 29, sponsored by the Civil War Preservation Trust. The result was a well manicured battlefield site. Thanks to all who participated!

Bob Henderson and Doug JonesNew BONPS President Doug Jones, right, presents a plaque of appreciation to outgoing President Bob Henderson in recognition of his tireless efforts during the past two years to further the goal and mission of BONPS.

BONPS Annual Dinner celebrates recent successes

The third annual Battle of Nashville Preservation Society Dinner was a tremendous success, with nearly 100 members and guests in attendance Thurs., Feb. 20, 2003 at the Hillwood Country Club. Outgoing President Bob Henderson reiterated the organization's recent preservation successes while new President Doug Jones issued the call for increased effort on behalf of preserving the Nashville battlefield.

Guest speaker Earl McElfresh, a renown cartographer and map historian, presented a fascinating glimpse into the work and the lives of Union and Confederate map makers.

Click Here for the full story!

Mayor Receives BONPS Award

Nashville Mayor Bill Purcell receives Preservationist of the Year Award from BONPS President Bob Henderson as State Rep. Steve McDaniel looks on.

City commits $2 million for Fort Negley;
CWPT names Nashville to Top Ten Endangered Battlefields

City funding for an interpretive center at historic Fort Negley and inclusion of Nashville on this year’s list of Top Ten Endangered Battlefields were announced at a recent Civil War press conference.

Nashville Mayor Bill Purcell announced that the city will commit $2 million in city parks funds to enhance the site of Fort Negley, build an interpretive center there and open the fort to the public for the first time in 60 years.

The site of the Battle of Nashville, fought Dec. 15-16, 1864, was named as one of the Top Ten Endangered Battlefields by the Civil War Preservation Trust, according to CWPT President James Lighthizer.

Click Here for the full story!

Download BONPS Newsletter for February 2003 (PDF)

For all the latest news in detail. Download, print out, and read at your leisure.
Includes announcements of the annual BONPS Dinner Feb. 20; inclusion of Nashville on the Top Ten Endangered Battlefields by CWPT; BONPS President Bob Henderson to hand over reins to Doug Jones; possible site of Fort Zollicoffer, calendar of events; and more.

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Message from BONPS President Bob Henderson:
2002 was a great year for preserving history!

The Battle of Nashville Preservation Society has just completed another great year! Among the highlights of the past twelve months were the following:

• Design, preparation and distribution of 5,000 Battle of Nashville tour brochures.

• The erection of 12 Battle of Nashville tour signs on the battlefield.

• Allocation by Metro of $1,000,000 for the preservation of Ft. Negley.

• Acquisition of $360,000 for the preservation of Kelley’s Battery at West Meade Park next to the Cumberland River.

• The tour of the Nashville battlefield, redoubts, entrenchments and Ft. Negley.

• The Society’s Second Annual Dinner headlined by the magnificent speech on the Battle of Nashville by renowned historian Ed Bearss and attended by over 100 Society members. We were also honored to have Mr. Bearss formally dedicate Redoubt No. 1, which, as you know, our Society owns.

• Tremendous press coverage of the Society in the local news, especially in the Nashville Scene, which recently contained a full page editorial in support of the preservation of the Nashville battlefield.

The future looks bright for more wonderful Society events and projects, such as the following:

On Thursday, February 20, 2003, Earl B. (Rob) McElfresh will be our guest speaker for the Society’s Third Annual Dinner at the Hillwood Country Club. Mr. McElfresh is a cartographer and map historian. He has lectured on Civil War map making at, among other places, the National Archives and The Smithsonian Institution and on C-Span.

The Society shall erect soon at Redoubt No. 1 a multi-color sign describing the action at and the importance of that site.

In the preservation area, our Society continues to exhibit foresight and strength. The Society owns not only Redoubt No. 1 but also an acre and three-quarter lot on Shy's Hill. Redoubt No. 1 is now formally open to the public. We hope to enhance and open to the public Shy’s Hill some day.

Of greatest importance to the Society, however, is the continual repayment of its debt incurred in order to purchase Redoubt No. 1 and our lot on Shy's Hill. The principal amount of this debt is still over $100,000. Through the support of our membership and several generous gifts from others, the Society continues to reduce, bit by bit, the principal owed on this debt. The Society hopes that it can continue, and even improve upon, this success in saving Nashville's battlegrounds.

Please support the Society, which is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, in preserving Shy's Hill and Redoubt No. 1 by making a generous, tax-deductible gift. All individuals giving $1,000 or more for the purchase of Shy's Hill or Redoubt No. 1 will have their names permanently engraved in stone or bronze on one or both of these sites.

If you want more information about our Society's campaign to save Shy's Hill and Redoubt No. 1, please call the Society at (615) 780-3636 or me at (615) 438-3949.

Thank you very much.
Robert W. Henderson

Message from BONPS President Bob Henderson:
City of Nashville to develop Fort Negley site
"It looks like the long-time dream of local Civil War preservationists is finally going to come true. The City of Nashville is going to refurbish Fort Negley and build an interpretive museum dedicated to the Battle of Nashville. Metro has allocated $2 million for this project, which is estimated to take two years to complete. It will be done in two phases: Phase 1 will restore, open, and interpret Fort Negley. Phase 2 will be the construction of a Visitors Center located somewhere on the Negley property. Thank you very much, Mayor Purcell.

"I spoke with the Mayor a few weeks ago, and he expressed his concern that the city has not done enough to preserve our Civil War history here and wants to do more. I believe that the Fort Negley project, and my recent appointment to the Metro Historical Commission indicate that the City of Nashville is very serious about Civil War preservation in Davidson County.

"From the newly financed approval of funds to complete the Kelley's Point project ($360,000 thanks to Councilman Bob Bogen), to the new $10 million National Civil War Preservation Act (H.R. 5125), Civil War preservation is moving in a very positive direction for the first time in decades. Much more needs to be done, but it is evident to me that the federal, state, and local governments of the United States are beginning to see the benefits of protecting these valuable sites, which are disappearing at the fastest rate in the nation's history. Let's keep it going!

"Thanks to Joe Cooper for the wonderful tour of Stones River last month. We were lucky enough to also see a demonstration by the 7th TN Cavalry CSA when we were there."

Download BONPS Newsletter for November 2002 (PDF)

For all the latest news in detail. Download, print out, and read at your leisure.
Includes announcements of earthworks tour and Annual BONPS Dinner; Message from the President; Tennessee Gains Funds to Purchase Battlefields, Historic Legislation to Protect Civil War Battlefields; Call to Action for Ft. Heiman, KY; and more.

BONPS in the News! 
The Forgotten Battle: Has Nashville lost its (potentially lucrative) Civil War heritage?
"It's like this huge alien spaceship, and no one knows or cares that it's there," says Wes Shofner, former president of The Battle of Nashville Preservation Society, of the neglected fort. "And I think that's crazy."
He's got a point. The remains of Fort Negley are startlingly evocative.
Read the Full Story, from the Nashville Scene

Civil War Trenches Discovered in Nashville Yard
Donna Hoffman has a little piece of history right in her own backyard – one of a series of Civil War earth trenches dug in 1862. The Vanderbilt professor discovered the trench at her Fairfax Avenue home after clearing some honeysuckle that had covered the entire backyard.

“The one on Fairfax is the best preserved I have seen in Nashville,” said Bob Henderson, President of the Battle of Nashville Preservation Society.
Read Full Story
Article appearing in The City Paper, Fri., Sept. 6, 2002

Neglected for years, Civil War fort may get $2 million makeover
An isolated, tree-shrouded Civil War fort near downtown could become a part of the city again with a $2 million makeover that is recommended in a proposed long-term plan for Metro parks. A visitor center and trail would be built for sightseers to walk for the first time in decades to the hilltop remains of the star-shaped FORT NEGLEY.
Read Full Story
Article appearing in The Tennessean, Fri., Aug. 30, 2002

BONPS in the News
"Nashville battle tour frustrating, fascinating"
"It's a stretch of the imagination to feel the horrors of war whlle driving in an air-conditioned car and wearing Birkenstocks," wrote columnist Gail Kerr recently in The Tennessean daily newspaper about her tour of Battle of Nashville battlefield sites using the BONPS tour brochure. "The tour was fascinating but frustrating." Read the entire article.

Download BONPS Newsletter for June 2002 (PDF)

For all the latest news in detail. Download, print out, and read at your leisure.
Includes a Call To Arms; information on the new Battle of Nashville Driving Tour and Brochure; our June meeting speaker, historian and community activist Shirley Jones; a 140th anniversary presentation at Fort Donelson; and much more.

BONPS in the News
Driving tour brochure now available
BONPS Driving Tour Brochure
THE BROCHURE for the Driving Tour and Map of the Battle of Nashville, produced by BONPS and the Metropolitan Historical Commission, is now available at nearly two dozen tour stops and local tourism facilities. Announcing the availability of the tour brochure May 23, 2002 at historic Travellers Rest Plantation and Museum were, above, l. to r., George Gause of MHC; Doug Jones, BONPS Board Director; Wes Shofner, BONPS Board Director; Ross Massey, BONPS Historian; Bob Henderson, BONPS President; and David Currey, Executive Director of Travellers Rest. The full-size, full-color brochure features a narrative of the battle, a map of the battle and battle site locations, and photos and text describing the tour stops. The brochure was designed by Mark Zimmerman, BONPS Board Director and webmaster.

More information is available on the BONPS Driving Tour web pages.

Send email requesting a copy to be mailed to you. Include your mailing address.

You can download a copy of the Brochure in PDF (expect lengthy download time) by going to the Features Page.

Want to see News older than this? Click Here.


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