VOLUME XXI FEBRUARY 17, 2004 NO. 2
F E B R U A R Y R O U N D T A B L E M E E T I N G
VISITORS & GUESTS WELCOME
DATE: TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 17, 2004 TIME: 7:00 PM
TOPIC: "DR. MARX BLOCK, UNION SURGEON AND
CHATTANOOGA BUSINESSMAN, & DR. ISRAEL
MOSES, UNION SURGEON AND MEDICAL
DIRECTOR, POST OF CHATTANOOGA"
SPEAKER: MEL YOUNG, AUTHOR
PLACE: MILLIS-EVANS ROOM
CALDWELL HALL, ACADEMIC QUADRANGLE
THE MCCALLIE SCHOOL, HISTORIC MISSIONARY RIDGE
(Directions to Caldwell Hall-Enter the McCallie School campus off of
Dodds Avenue opposite the end of Bailey Avenue. Take the main drive into the
campus and follow the signs for the Academic Quadrangle. There is a parking
area there beside the Chapel and you will have passed Caldwell Hall on the
right as you approach the parking area. Find a place and park. Caldwell Hall
will be behind you as you park. Come in either the first or second floor
doors and follow the signs to the Millis-Evans Room (on the second floor).
Beginning on Sunday, September 20, 1863, Chattanooga started to become
the vast Union hospital that it essentially would be for the rest of the war.
Dozens, then hundreds, of wounded Federal soldiers began to arrive in the city
from the Chickamauga battlefield a dozen miles to the south. In the city for
two days, Union Surgeon Dr. Israel Moses, the newly appointed Medical Director
for the Post, was struggling to prepare the recently abandoned Confederate
hospitals to receive the wounded from the engagement in the valley of West
Chickamauga Creek. Flooded with 4,000 wounded, Dr. Moses distributed them
amongst nine hastily improvised General Hospitals. Even as they arrived to be
cared for, Dr. Moses initiated transportation to send many further to the
rear. System replaced disorder.
When victories on Lookout Mountain and Missionary Ridge ensured Union
hold on Chattanooga, the "Gateway to the Deep South" became the forward base
for Sherman's drive into the "Empire State of the South" the following
spring. In addition to a warehouse and railroad repair base, Chattanooga
became the forward General Hospital center for the care of the thousands of
wounded men in blue from battles like Rocky Face, Resaca, Pickett's Mill, and
Ezra church. Dozens of surgeons worked tirelessly in the now more formalized
hospital facilities in and around the city. One member of the medical staff
was Dr. Marx Block, a man who found a home in Chattanooga and who left us a
prominent downtown landmark.
Come out and learn about these two Chattanooga medical men.
Mel Young is a previous speaker to the Round Table. A Missouri native,
Mel is a 1952 graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point who
saw service in the 101st Airborne and 5th Cavalry. He is a CPA here in
Chattanooga. He has authored two books on the Civil War, Where They Lie: The
Story of the Jewish Soldiers of the North and South Whose Deaths Occurred
During the Civil War (1991), and Last Order of the Lost Cause: The Civil War
Memoirs of a Jewish Family in the Old South (1995). He last spoke to us on
the second book.
SPEAKER'S FUND SUPPORT OF THE MONTH
There are four awards this month in support of the Speaker's Fund. The
first award is a copy of our speaker's book Last Order of the Lost Cause. The
second award is a copy of David Herbert Donald's Lincoln, a highly acclaimed
biography of the sixteenth President whose birthday we recognize this month.
The third award is a framed miniature of a Mort Kuntzler print. The fourth
award is four of the six 1998 issues of Civil War: The Official Magazine of
the Civil War Society. These issues include such subjects as Jeb Stuart's
fight at White House Landing, "Baldy" Ewell at Gettysburg, and an interview
with Gary Gallagher regarding his book The Confederate War. The second and
third of the awards were donated to the Speaker's Fund by Round Table members
and to them go our thanks. Proceeds from the Speaker's Fund go to help
pay the travel expenses of our out-of-town speakers. Your generous support of
the Speaker's Fund helps us bring in good folks from greater distances.
DAVID H. GRAY HISTORY FAIR
Saturday, March 6 is the date for this year's David H. Gray History
Fair. We've agreed to sponsor a prize for the best entry on a Civil War theme
in each of the two principle divisions. To do that, we need to find a judge.
I [Jim Ogden] can not judge this year because of a responsibility at work.
If you would be willing to represent the Round Table as our History Fair
judge, please volunteer at the meeting. The History Fair is at the Clarion
Hotel on Chestnut Street, essentially across the street from the Chattanooga
Regional History Museum. You would need to be there at 10 A.M. Check in with
the coordinator and tell them you are representing the Round Table and you'll
be judging to award the prizes for the best entries on a Civil War theme. Use
your best judgement. Go around and identify the exhibits with a Civil War
theme, look them over, try to identify if the student put some time and effort
into the exhibit and learned from it (help from parents is fine but presenting
a parent's work is not), interview the student if they are present, and then
make a choice. It's usually pretty clear after you've looked them over. I
usually carry a tablet and kind of rank them as I go. It doesn't usually take
MARCH ROUND TABLE MEETING
SPECIAL MEETING DATE
MONDAY - MARCH 15, 2004
Thanks to Ansley's suggestion and Dr. Robertson's willingness, we do get
to hear from the REAL Chickamauga expert as our March speaker. We do have to
switch to Monday night that week, but it will work. So...
OUR MARCH, 2004 SPEAKER, ON MONDAY, MARCH 15, 2004 WILL BE DR. WILLIAM
GLENN ROBERTSON, DEPUTY DIRECTOR, COMBAT STUDIES INSTITUTE, UNITED STATES ARMY
COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLLEGE, FORT LEAVENWORTH, KANSAS. FOR TWENTY YEARS
NOW, DR. ROBERTSON HAS TAUGHT THE BATTLE OF CHICKAMAUGA IN A COURSE AT CGSC ON
CONDUCTING A HISTORICAL BATTLE ANALYSIS CALLED A "STAFF RIDE." HE HAS AMASSED
A VAST COLLECTION OF MATERIAL ON THE BATTLE AND HAS SPENT COUNTLESS HOURS
DISCUSSING AND STUDYING THE BATTLE AS HE TEACHES ESSENTIALLY A GRADUATE LEVEL
COURSE. HE IS THE CHICKAMAUGA EXPERT. DR. ROBERTSON WILL ADDRESS THE ROUND
TABLE ON "THE BULL OF THE WOODS AT CHICKAMAUGA: JAMES LONGSTREET IN THE VALLEY
OF THE RIVER OF DEATH." WE ARE FORTUNATE THAT DR. ROBERTSON WILL BE ABLE TO
SPEAK TO US THAT EVENING. WE WILL MEET AT OUR NORMAL 7 P.M. TIME IN THE MILLIS-
EVANS ROOM OF CALDWELL HALL AT THE MCCALLIE SCHOOL. MARK YOUR CALENDARS!!!
9TH ANNUAL GREAT CHICKAMAUGA SOUTHERN NATIONAL CIVIL WAR SHOW AND SALE
The Dalton Civil War Show was last weekend. Did you make it there? Did
you see anything of interest? Anyone buy anything?
FUTURE ROUND TABLE MEETINGS
March 15, 2004, MONDAY--Note Special Meeting Date!!-Dr. William Glenn Robertson,
United States Army Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas,
"The Bull of the Woods at Chickamauga: James Longstreet in the Valley of the
River of Death."
July 20, 2004-"The Battle of LaFayette," Field Trip and Off-site Meeting,
Walker County Historical Society's Marsh-Warthen House, LaFayette, Georgia;
we'll arrange a car-pool convoy for this special trip to learn about one of
the smaller local battles from 140 years ago; more details later.
UP-COMING LOCAL CIVIL WAR EVENTS OF NOTE
March 6, 2004 - Chattanooga Regional History Museum's 23rd Annual
David H. Gray History Fair, Clarion Hotel, 400 block of Chestnut Street,
opposite the Regional History Museum; more details next month.
March 6, 2004 - The 1864 Atlanta Campaign: An Historical Symposium,
sponsored by the Friends of Civil War Paulding County, Georgia, Inc.,
Chattahoochee Technical College Auditorium, Dallas, Georgia, speakers include
Dr. Keith Bohannon, Dr. J. D. Fowler, Jim Miles, and John Cissell; for more
May 8, 2004 - "With Bragg from Chattanooga to the River of Death:
A Tour of Confederate Movements Leading to Chickamauga," sponsored by the
Friends of Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park, tour led by
Jim Ogden, more details next month.
November 11-13, 2004--12th Annual Symposium on the 19th Century Press,
the Civil War, and Free Expression, sponsored by the University of Tennessee
at Chattanooga's Department of Communications, more details later.
February 5-6, 2005--Northwest Georgia Trade & Convention Center, I-75 Exit 333,
Walnut Avenue, Dalton, Georgia, 9-5 Saturday, 9-3 Sunday; more details later.
REVIEW OF WHERE THEY LIE FROM CHOICE, a publication of the American
The importance of this book lies in the fact that it fills a gap in the
history of American Jews. In 1861, there were between 160,000 and 180,000
Jewish inhabitants in the US. During the Civil War, approximately 2,000 of
these joined the Confederate Army, while between 6,000 and 6,500 fought for
the Union. Like their non-Jewish comrades, these men fought valiantly for
their cause and died on the battlefields or in hospitals. Young tabulates
the casualties in Chapter 8. Throughout the book, the author describes the
various campaigns and mentions the Jewish soldiers, on either side, who have
given their lives. The number is large, when considered in light of the
Jewish population, north and south. Among the units one finds privates,
noncoms and officers, including several generals. The book also features
personal letters as well as official testimonials. Thus, Young has compiled
a record that adds to materials documenting human aspects of the Civil War.
For general readers.
[The following was a separate insert inside the February 2004 issue:]
OFFICIAL RECORDS -- SERIES I -- VOLUME XXX/1
AUGUST 16 - SEPTEMBER 22, 1863. The Chickamauga Campaign.
No. 12. -- Report of Surg. Israel Moses, U.S. Army, Medical Director,
Post of Chattanooga.
OFFICE OF MEDICAL DIRECTOR OF POST,
Chattanooga, Tenn., October 1, 1863.
SIR: In obedience to orders, I repaired to this post, and, arriving
September 18, reported to the commanding officer as medical director.
Receiving orders from you to prepare beds for 5,000 wounded, I found
scant supplies for not more than 500, and buildings capable of holding
that number built by the Confederates and occupied as a hospital, with
about 150 sick already in. Also a large building, two stories high,
built by the Confederates as a receiving hospital, capable of holding
150. These buildings were without doors or windows and destitute of
A partial supply of medicines, blankets, furniture, and dressings was
on hand, estimated for 1,000 men, but deficient in many articles.
I selected several buildings which might be converted into hospitals.
On September 19, Saturday, an engagement took place about 7 or 8 miles
distant, and was renewed with great fierceness during the forenoon of
the 20th (Sunday), during which our wounded numbered over 6,000. On
this and the following day (Monday), as nearly as I can estimate,
4,000 wounded officers and men were received and assigned to various
buildings and private houses, hotels, and churches.
The following general hospitals were established during Sunday and
No. 1. Buildings (13) on the hill, which received nearly 1,000.
No. 2. Receiving hospital at base of hill, which received about 300.
No. 3. Crutchfield Hotel, which was taken possession of, and accommodated,
on beds and floors, about 500.
No. 4. Three churches, which held about 200.
No. 5. Lofts over buildings occupied as the commissary storehouses, which
received about 300.
No. 6. Buildings opposite the above, which accommodated 400.
No. 7. Officers' Hospital No. 1, a large brick building on a hill, which
received 100 officers.
No. 8. Officers' Hospital No. 2, a large private mansion, which received 35.
No. 9. Private houses were taken late at night, and about 150 to 200 obtained
All the severe cases were dressed the same night they arrived and others
the next day, and all received food, of which many had been deprived for
two days. This work was performed by a corps of 43 surgeons who reported
to me either by your order or as volunteers (of whom 4 were Confederate
About three-fourths of the wounds were flesh, or of a lighter character,
the other fourth being of the gravest character inflicted by musketry.
Few shell wounds or by round shot were seen, owing to the fact that little
artillery was employed by the enemy.
On Monday the lighter cases were sent across the pontoon bridge, and on
Tuesday others to the number of nearly 3,000. The officers who could bear
transportation were sent in ambulances toward Stevenson.
On Wednesday not more than 800 of the gravest cases remained in town, and
many of them have since been removed to the camp hospital.
Owing to the establishment of division hospitals there remains under my
charge only Hospital No. 1, the Crutchfield Hospital, and Officers'
Into these hospitals were received, on the evening of September 29,
about 250 wounded, who were brought in from the Confederate lines.
Our hospitals are at the present time crowded beyond their capacity,
and should they thus continue it would render a serious fear in my
mind that our operations would be unsuccessful.
I have performed a large number of amputations and resections in the
several hospitals, all of which thus far promise well.
Operations have been performed by various surgeons, in charge of
hospitals and on the field, with a fair amount of success thus far.
The amputations have been mostly circular mode. To this date five
cases of tetanus have come to my notice, but none of hospital
gangrene or erysipelas.
The general condition of the patients is good, but our hospitals
are greatly in need of bunks and mattresses, at least one-third
of the grave cases being still on the floor, with only a folded
blanket to lie on.
In view of the increasing risk of so many patients with suppurating
wounds being crowded to ether, I would respectfully suggest an early
provision for increased accommodations by tents with flooring, and
that new temporary pavilions be constructed out of some incomplete
buildings south of the railroad depot.
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Surgeon, U.S. Volunteers, Medical Director of Post.
Surg. G. PERIN, U.S. Army, Medical Director, &c.
[END OF FEBRUARY 2004 ISSUE]
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