“Dixie” still remains topic of controversy

As published in the Murfreesboro Post, Mike West, December 31, 2006 Just like many other issues raised by the Civil War, the origins, meaning and intent of the song, “Dixie,” remains a topic of debate. Both Confederate and Union troops had their own favorite songs both patriotic and sentimental. “The…

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March to Murfreesboro began on Dec. 26

As published in the Murfreesboro Post, Mike West, Managing Editor Writer Wednesday, December 26, 2006 One day after Christmas 1862, the Federal Army of the Cumberland moved out of Nashville with the intent of attacking the Confederate Army of Tennessee near Murfreesboro. The U.S. troops were under the command of Maj.…

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Bands battled on eve of Stones River clash

As published in the Murfreesboro Post, Mike West, Managing Editor Writer, December 26, 2006 One of the most unique moments of the Civil War occurred on the eve of the Battle of Stones River. Let us set the scene. Both the Federal Army of the Cumberland and the Confederate Army of…

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Did real coffee win the Civil War?

As published in the Murfreesboro Post, Mike West, Managing Editor Writer Wednesday, December 10, 2006 When you enjoy all of those holiday treats, think about the not-so-delectable foods devoured by Civil War solders encamped outside Murfreesboro during the winter of 1862. They “dined” on the staples long associated with cowboy movies…

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‘The Wedding’ still captivates after 144 years

As published in the Murfreesboro Post, Mike West, Managing Editor Writer Wednesday, December 10, 2006 In the days before Christmas 1862, little Murfreesboro was the scene of one of the most glamorous and romantic moments of the Civil War. The war-time wedding of dashing Confederate raider John Hunt Morgan and socialite…

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When Jeff Davis came to town

As published in the Murfreesboro Post, Mike West, Managing Editor Writer Wednesday, December 3, 2006 Murfreesboro is in the midst of a joyous Christmas celebration, 2007 style. Some 145 years earlier, the jubilation was similar, but for a much different reason. The President was coming to the bustling little town of Murfreesborough,…

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Carter House Association acquires key part of Franklin Battlefield

As published in the Murfreesboro Post, Mike West, Managing Editor Writer Wednesday, November 28, 2006 FRANKLIN – The Carter House Association Inc. announces the acquisition of a key part of Franklin’s battlefield—a portion of the homestead garden of Fountain Branch Carter—from Chris Waller in a transaction that closed on Nov. 14,…

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Did the Confederates have a master plan?

As published in the Murfreesboro Post, Mike West, Managing Editor Writer Wednesday, November 26, 2006 The Union had its modified “Anaconda plan,” but did the Confederate States of America have a master strategy when it launched the Civil War? That question is even more complicated than it appears. Yes, Confederate President…

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Scott’s outline of the plan

As published in the Murfreesboro Post, Mike West, Managing Editor Writer Wednesday, November 19, 2006 Maj. Gen. GEORGE B. MCCLELLAN, Commanding Ohio Volunteers, Cincinnati, Ohio: SIR: I have read and carefully considered your plan for a campaign and now send you confidentially my own views, supported by certain facts of which…

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Anaconda helps strangle the South

As published in the Murfreesboro Post, Mike West, Managing Editor Writer Wednesday, November 19, 2006 It’s time to talk a little strategy. Just why did Union forces decide to attack on the Cumberland and Tennessee rivers and force their way into Middle Tennessee during the early part of the Civil War?…

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Rutherford troops get taste of war at Fort Donelson

As published in the Murfreesboro Post, Mike West, Managing Editor Writer Wednesday, November 12, 2006 First ordered to active duty in Bowling Green, Ky., Joseph B. Palmer’s regiment was largely inactive until one of the first major conflicts in the Western theater of the Civil War – the siege of Fort…

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Stones River: Palmer’s life illustrates Tennessee’s plight

As published in the Murfreesboro Post, Mike West, Managing Editor Wednesday, November 5, 2006 One of the stateliest houses on East Main Street does little to reveal the character of the battle-scarred general who built it. Brigadier General Joseph B. Palmer, a prominent state military and political leader, built the Italianate…

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Key dates of the Civil War

As published in the Murfreesboro Post, October 15, 2006 By Mike West, Managing Editor Nov. 6, 1860: Lincoln is elected president Dec. 20, 1860: South Carolina secedes. Feb. 9, 1861: Confederate government is formed. March 4, 1861: Lincoln is sworn in as president March 6: Confederate Congress authoritizes establishment of an…

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Putting a Face on History

As published in the Murfreesboro Post, October 29, 2006 By Mike West, Managing Editor It’s not easy to put a face on the soldiers who fought at the Battle of Stones River. Where were they from?  How did they end up here?  Combined together, the Federal Army of the Cumberland…

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Confederate cast of characters

As published in the Murfreesboro Post, October 29, 2006 By Mike West, Managing Editor Just like their Union counterparts, the Confederate Army of Tennessee had its own share of interesting characters: Maj. Gen. Daniel S. Donelson Donelson had an impressive mix of military and political connections. Born in Tennessee in…

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Union army had advantage

As published in the Murfreesboro Post, October 29, 2006, by Mike West, Managing Editor When the Civil War began in earnest, the U.S. government had one very decided advantage in the form of a trained, standing army with officers trained at West Point. But as Southern states began to succeed,…

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The Battle of Stones River: Why here?

As published in the Murfreesboro Post, October 22, 2006, by Mike West, Managing Editor Why was the little, rural town of Murfreesboro the scene of a major Civil War battle? Only 2,500 people lived here in 1862.  So why would 83,000 Federal and Confederate troops fight over such an insignificant…

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Civil War talk triggers childhood memories

As published in the Murfreesboro Post, October 15, 2006, by Mike West, Managing Editor All this talk about the Civil War tickled a few memories loose in Hammerhead’s noggin. And reminded him of a highlight of life. Nope, it wasn’t sticking bits of cotton in his ears while he unsuccessfully…

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General’s visit here was ‘farce’

Sam Stockard, The Daily news Journal, October 10, 2006 Fifty-five years ago, Martin “Marty” McCullough was working security for Gen. Douglas MacArthur’s visit to Murfreesboro when his National Guard detail grew suddenly tougher. McCullough, who was 19 at the time and serving in the Guard while attending Vanderbilt, was assigned…

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