Frederick Dent Grant at the Vicksburg Campaign

By Daniel J. Ursu, Roundtable Historian
The Cleveland Civil War Roundtable
Copyright © 2021-2022, All Rights Reserved

Editor’s note: This article was the history brief for the September 2021 meeting of the Cleveland Civil War Roundtable.


For those of you who have been following my recent history briefs regarding Grant’s Vicksburg Campaign, you know that we left off at the fall of Vicksburg on July 4, 1863. However, before we move on, there is one often overlooked aspect that I believe is uniquely interesting. During the campaign Grant was accompanied by his oldest son, Frederick Dent Grant. The young Grant sent letters and otherwise wrote about his experiences from his youthful perspective as a 12-year-old.

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New Civil War Database Goes Online

By William F.B. Vodrey
The Cleveland Civil War Roundtable
Copyright © 2005, 2007, All Rights Reserved

The National Park Service has announced that the Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System (CWSS) website is now up and running. It features basic information on the service records of over 6 million Civil War soldiers and sailors, and the database can be found at www.nps.gov/civilwar/soldiers-and-sailors-database.htm. Due to the sometimes erratic and duplicative record-keeping of the day, as well as reenlistments, the number of entries is greater than the number of those who actually served. The website also lists Federal and Confederate regiments and their battles.

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On the Set of the Movie Gods and Generals

By David R. Thomas
The Cleveland Civil War Roundtable
Copyright © 2008, All Rights Reserved

Editor’s note: This article was originally published in The Charger in February 2002.


For three weekends this fall, I was on the set for the upcoming film Gods and Generals, based on the novel by Jeff Shaara. The film covers the years from John Brown’s raid on Harpers Ferry up to the Gettysburg Campaign. I had a wonderful experience working with this movie.

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Behind the Lines: My Life as a Yankee in Franklin, TN, Part 6

By Mel Maurer
The Cleveland Civil War Roundtable
Copyright © 2004, All Rights Reserved

Part 6 of a 6-part article


When General John Bell Hood looked out from Winsted Hill in the late afternoon on November 30, 1864, the day he would lead so many men to their deaths in the Battle of Franklin, he would have seen, among other things, three miles north from where he stood, the farmhouse of Fountain Branch Carter on the immediate west side of Columbia Road just behind two lines of Federal entrenchments. The Carter cotton gin was about 100 yards from the house on the east side of the road. These structures would see some of the heaviest fighting, not only in the Battle of Franklin, but also of the whole Civil War.

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Behind the Lines: My Life as a Yankee in Franklin, TN, Part 5

By Mel Maurer
The Cleveland Civil War Roundtable
Copyright © 2004, All Rights Reserved

Part 5 of a 6-part article


Franklin had four major events each year at the time I moved there – one in each season. The last weekend in April, the town’s street were closed and filled with various booths of goodies and crafts for Franklin’s annual and very well attended “Main Street Festival.” In August stages were set up on several downtown streets for the town’s annual Jazz Festival (yes, jazz, not country music). On the closest weekend to Halloween, the streets were again closed for Pumpkin Fest with a costumed parade of young and old and various activities and booths. On an early weekend in December, the Heritage Society holds its “Dickens of a Christmas” festival, wherein townspeople dress up as Dickens characters, and the town becomes an English village, an event that attracts hundreds of visitors over its two days. (I was Batman for Pumpkin Fest and David Copperfield for Dickens, but I never had the chance to dress as a Federal or Confederate.)

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Behind the Lines: My Life as a Yankee in Franklin, TN, Part 4

By Mel Maurer
The Cleveland Civil War Roundtable
Copyright © 2004, All Rights Reserved

Part 4 of a 6-part article


In the first article in this series, I wrote that our house was in a subdivision that was in the shadow of Roper’s Knob – a hill, the top of which was used as a signal station during the Civil War. Actually, while it’s the highest hill in the area, although not by much, it’s only several hundred feet high, so “shadow” was something of an exaggeration. (We did wish we were in the shadow of something during the very hot Tennessee summers.) Roper’s Knob was just a half-mile west of our house – it was the first thing I would see when I walked out our front door.

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Behind the Lines: My Life as a Yankee in Franklin, TN, Part 3

By Mel Maurer
The Cleveland Civil War Roundtable
Copyright © 2004, All Rights Reserved

Part 3 of a 6-part article


I knew of Fort Granger before moving to Franklin from the reading I had done about the Battle of Franklin but I didn’t know until I had lived there a few weeks that Fort Granger, or what was left of it, was still there. While I had passed its location many times in our search for a home, I was unaware that the trees, on a small hill above Franklin’s Pinkerton Park right off route 96, just before the bridge over the Harpeth River as you enter Franklin from the east, were hiding the remains of a Civil War treasure. Once learning of its existence and its location, I set out one Sunday morning with great expectations to visit it.

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Behind the Lines: My Life as a Yankee in Franklin, TN, Part 2

By Mel Maurer
The Cleveland Civil War Roundtable
Copyright © 2004, All Rights Reserved

Part 2 of a 6-part article


As I’m sure you’ll realize if you stay with these articles, I came to be very fond of Franklin as one of its residents after moving there late in 1991. In fact, although born in East Cleveland and having spent most of my life in the greater Cleveland area, I never felt more at home living anywhere else. If I believed in reincarnation, and I don’t, I might have thought I either once lived there in a former life or maybe fought there wearing blue. While I never doubted what side I would have been on in the Civil War, I did come to have a much better understanding of those who fought the war defending their land.

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Behind the Lines: My Life as a Yankee in Franklin, TN, Part 1

By Mel Maurer
The Cleveland Civil War Roundtable
Copyright © 2004, All Rights Reserved

Part 1 of a 6-part article


Franklin, Tennessee is located in Williamson County – an area rich in history first occupied by Indians with a highly developed culture who lived on farms and in towns. Later, other Indians, Creeks, Chickasaws, and Cherokees, made Williamson’s lush hills, valleys, and streams their hunting grounds. The original white settlers moved into the area in the late 1700s from Ft. Nashboro in what is now Nashville about 20 miles north of Franklin. General John Bell Hood brought his Army of Tennessee into the county from the south in 1864, taking on the Federal army of John Schofield in the Battle of Franklin in what would be called “The Bloodiest Five Hours of the Civil War.” Although not likely to be noted in any history books, my wife Elaine and I arrived in Williamson County in late December 1991.

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Taking “The Gettysburg Test”

By John Hildebrandt
The Cleveland Civil War Roundtable
Copyright © 2009, All Rights Reserved

If, as William Faulkner postulated, at least once in the life of every Southern boy, it is 3 p.m. on a warm July afternoon in the shallow valley that separates Seminary Ridge from Cemetery Ridge, it is also so for every student of the Civil War. However, in the student’s imagination he is a Licensed Battlefield Guide, leading a group of spellbound battlefield visitors on the short walk from Seminary Ridge to the fields that witnessed the glory, and the horror, of Pickett’s Charge.

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