Hospital N0. 8

Posted: January 13, 2017 in The Battle of Nashville

BNA Bucket list

Nashville Civil War Hospital

The Downtown Presbyterian Church

Revised: 13 JAN 2016

154 5th Ave N, Nashville, TN 37219

Downtown Presbyterian Church Circa American Civil War

This Church was one of many buildings used in Nashville as a hospital, during the Union occupation of the city in the American Civil War. It was designated Hospital No. 8 and housed 206 beds. The basement was used to board horses for the U.S. Army.  As Old First Presbyterian Church it is designated a National Historic Landmark. The current building was built in 1848, but the instittution dates back to 1816 with two prior structures that burned.

A very unique Egyptian Revival Architecture style Church. – wikipedia

“Presbyterians have worshiped in Nashville since 1814. In that year, the First Presbyterian Church of Nashville built their first structure. After the Battle of New Orleans, the State of Tennessee presented General Andrew Jackson with a ceremonial sword on the front steps…

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THE DAVID PHILLIPS TRAGEDY LT. DAVID L. PHILLIPS – 7TH TENNESSEE CSA “Nil desperandum” – David Phillips 1862 Revised: 07 JAN 17 06 JAN 2016 | Tennessee State Archives |  Yesterday, I held my …

Source: The David Phillips Tragedy

BNA Bucket list

Respect My Authority

The second generation of my American ancestors, resided in South Park Township, Pennsylvania.

American Immigrant Generation II – REV. DAVID PHILIPS*

“The Reverend [Captain] David Philips was emphatically the leading clergyman of the pioneer days of Peters Township (now South Park Township, PA). He was born in Wales in 1742, and emigrated from that country to America with his father’s family, settling in Chester County, PA. He married during his residence at that place, and in 1783 came into Washington county and took out a warrant for land which now lies in both Allegheny and Washington Counties. This tract of land was surveyed to him as 390 acres, under the title of ‘Norwich’, and he obtained the patent for it March 4, 1786.”

“This quotation from the History of Washington County, PA., (1882), page 891, gives an insight into the life of service of that great pioneer Baptist preacher, David Philips, eldest son of Joseph.”


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Rev. John Phillips

Posted: December 9, 2016 in The Battle of Nashville


BNA Bucket list

The Mystery of John Phillips Death

rev.-john-phillips Reverend John Phillips

John Phillips: eldest son of David Phillips (1794-1846)

“John Phillips was born on his father’s farm near Cherry Valley, Tennessee, October 23, 1821, and married Miss Rebecca Williams December 5, 1845. He joined the Round Lick Baptist church in young manhood, and on the fourth Sunday in April, 1848, was ordained a Baptist minister. Going into the work actively from the very beginning, he held pastorates at Barton’s Creek, Cedar Creek and Providence, and in June, 1852, was called as pastor of the Fall Creek Baptist church at what is now Norene, Tennessee, which position he held until his death. He also did wide evangelistic work.* John was administrator of his father David’s estate. In addition to his activities as a minister, he owned and operated a 284-acre farm in the 18th district of Wilson County. He had eight children: Mary…

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BNA Bucket list

A driveway for both: 



When I was in high school, people use to have these rolled up wads of paper delivered to their residence twice a day. They were called “newspapers.” Prior to the internet, this is how most people got their daily dispatch. I was one of many teenagers that delivered them in Nashville. Rain, sleet and snow on my little motorcycle.

In the 70’s there were two primary newspapers in Middle Tennessee: the morning paper, The Tennessean, and the afternoon paper, The Nashville Banner. The Tennessean was delivered early in the morning, The Banner in the late afternoon. At the time, The Tennessean was considered a more Democratic news source* (I remember: Pravda on The Cumberland by some), The Banner was decidedly more Republican by nature. They debated everything, political and non.

What separates news consumers from now and then?


Aside from the physical dexterity of not landing it in…

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These old family cemeteries are important registers of our past for a lot of reasons. As Nashville explodes in all directions, it’s extremely important to act now to save them. If you are interested in some Rutherford County projects, follow for upcoming projects.

Southern Rambles

By Dr. Stacey Graham, Research Professor, Center for Historic Preservation

All across Tennessee, rural family cemeteries are gradually succumbing to neglect, development, and vandalism. Because the resources available for saving these cemeteries are few, a solution can seem overwhelming and out of reach. However, no one should underestimate the power of a small group of people to make a big difference. This is what happened for the Templeton Grove Cemetery of Smyrna, Tennessee.

Just a few short months ago, this tiny family cemetery, unused since 1915, was barely visible in the dense underbrush. Many tombstones were fallen, broken, cracked, lost, or in danger of becoming so. Today, the tombstones are restored, the cemetery is cleared, a new fence stands around it, and a sign proclaims its name and importance to all visitors. The story of what happened during those few short months is the subject of this blog, and is…

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D-Day Disaster

Posted: February 25, 2016 in The Battle of Nashville

More Tennessee legends:

BNA Bucket list

D-Day heros:

LST-523.jpg Bill and Ed

It’s not often you get a chance to interview a World War II hero, especially one from the Allied invasion at Normandy, France. Bill Allen and his wife Idalee were gracious enough to spend a few hours with me today. This was particularly poignant, because my paternal uncle was with him on that fateful day.

Bill and Uncle Ed were new recruits to the Navy, and among ten’s of thousands of young Navy Corpsmen for the D-Day invasion June 6, 1944 – a mass medical mobilization for a predicted massacre.

After 6 weeks of basic training and another 6 weeks of corpsman school, they headed for Europe via Nova Scotia. Easter Sunday 1944, they left Halifax for Great Britan. Rough waters along the way were so intense, they needed bunk straps to keep from falling out of their racks. One Sunday morning they noticed it odd that there were no worship services. Since the ship…

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Henderson,-William-Eugene.jpgWilliams Eugene Henderson, Sr. of Walter Hill, Tennessee enlisted in the United States Army September 17, 1917 as a Private #1907256. At the age of 22 he had been a sales manager for the Southwestern Publishing Company. Seven months later he was headed for The Great War with Company H, 308th Infantry – 77th Division. This mostly New York division, must have been an interesting leadership experience for this former farm boy from Tennessee.

“W.E.” was assigned to the Toul Sector of France July 8th – 29th, and then to Argonne on September 5th, 1918. The Meuse-Argonne Offensive* was the largest in U.S. military history, involving 1.2 million American soldiers. It was one of a series of Allied attacks known as the Hundred Days Offensive, which brought the war to an end.

The 308th of the 77th Division was also The Lost Battalion. “The Lost Battalion is the name given to nine companies of the United States 77th Division, roughly 554 men, isolated by German forces during World War I after an American attack in the Argonne Forest in October 1918. Roughly 197 were killed in action and approximately 150 missing or taken prisoner before 194 remaining men were rescued.” – wikipedia

2nd Lt. Henderson contracted the “Spanish Flu” just prior to this offensive, possibly saving his life. Germans called it the French Flu, French called it the German Flu. It’s origin is  likely have been from America.


WWITranscription of letter dated August 18, 1918

Eugene Henderson to mother:

“I certainly do wish I could at least spend my Sundays with you home folks, but of course that is impossible – but still I want you to know that I think of you and the dear home folks often – more than I ever did before, and home means more to me now than it could have ever meant if I had not [sic] France. Now you said something about me being home by Christmas well of course mother we could get back by xmas – but while we are over here, and to keep from ever having to do the thing once over again, we are going not only to run the beastly Huns out of France, but we are going to give them such a beating that what few are left will be only too glad to stay in Germany and let the rest of the world alone – that is if we decide to leave any of Germany – we haven’t quite decided about that yet. But one thing we are decided on is not only to run the Germans out of here, but to give them the biggest beating in history. I doubt if we can whip them as much as we want to between now and xmas. We whip them now every day, but we enjoy it so well and know we are doing the world such a good turn we are going to keep on whipping them until Germany as a whole is on her knees ready to accept peace terms the allies offer. Germany doubtless will be giving out peace terms pretty soon, we don’t care for them – they started the war, we are going to end it. Peace terms will be made by us, not by Germany.

Mother I am well as can be, and doing 2 [sic] very well ended at school, am working really harder than I ever have in my life, they schedule calls for work from 5:45 o’clock in the morning until 10 at night. Of course this is allowances for meals, but we have to keep our [sic] all the time, and everything fixed in first class order, so all of our spare moments are spent doing these little things that really amount to work. The discipline is very rigid. Everything exactly so. I’ll have lot of interesting things to tell you about it when I get back. Am sorry mother that you did not get the first letters wrote you. Maybe you have before now – no I did not get very seasick – was a little sick one day. With words of love, and good wishes and [sic]. Your devoted son Gene”

A month later, he was awarded a battlefield commission. On September 29th, 1918 Sergeant Henderson was promoted to Second Lieutenant. He was transferred to the 82nd Infantry Division (later to become the 82nd Airborne Division).

My grandfather “Pop Pop” convalesced at the family farm for some time after the war.  I asked him once, if he was ever scared. He recalled a story that he apparently never shared with my father, or anyone else for that mater. Alone one night, under the cover of darkness, he infiltrated enemy lines. I imagine that’s what got him the battlefield promotion to 2nd Lieutenant.

He later rejoined his older brothers business and became the general sales manager of the Southwestern Company. He held that position until his death in 1965.


The Movie:



Image  —  Posted: December 2, 2015 in World War I

My Tennessee Yankee GGF:

I am the direct descendant of four Civil War soldiers. One fought for the North, two fought for the South and one fought for God (preacher). The one that fought for the North, had a brother fight for the Confederacy. They almost killed each other coming home. Many families were divided in DeKalb County, Tennessee. Many other counties in Middle Tennessee had a very large number of divisions as well. My Yankee had good reasons. His forefathers were highly distinguished soldiers in the American Revolution, present in many of the pivotal battles such as King’s Mountain.

Here is a perspective on a so-called “Tennessee Turncoat”:Dekalb Countypng.png

Maxwell Family History – State Library, Nashville

“During the English and Scottish Wars the Maxwell’s were loyal to Scotland and the English confiscated their lands. They could either pay heavy taxes, or could come to the Colonies, and the Maxwell’s chose to come to to America. Serving in the Revolutionary War was their revenge. Since Uncle Kai repeated this very empathatically there is no doubt that as a boy he had frequently heard it spoken in his home and family. No doubt South Carolina records could verity all this, or Library of Congress, if anyone had the time to investigate further.

During the Civil War part of DeKalb County fought on the side of the North, and part on the side of the South. Brothers often taking different sides. My Grandfather James Jarvis Maxwell* fought on the side of the North and I asked Uncle Kai why they did. He says he can hear them say:

‘I cannot take up arms and fight against the government my fore-fathers fought to establish. After that, I felt better about having Union soldiers in the family.’ ”

* Company F – 4th Regular Mounted Infantry U.S.


Beans and Bullets

Posted: November 24, 2015 in History Lessons

The Economics of War


The German Economy, 1938-1945

Much like the American experience in the 19th century, Germany ultimately lost WWII  due to it’s depletion of natural resources, labor and manufacturing. An ironic twist: German military commanders had studied the tactics of the Confederate military, but ignored it’s strategic shortcomings.

The 1939 military German machine appeared impregnable. Overconfident and recklessly ambitious, Hitlers most serious problem lay in the economics of war. In the long run, he lacked sufficient resource planing to sustain his delusional world conquest. Nevertheless, he asserted that he would lead Germany on a thousand year reign.

Nazi propaganda programs exaggerated the military firepower to the nation. Parades and military exhibitions were a frequent occurrence in the late 1930’s. Because of this over-inflated image of their relatively small air force and naval fleet, very few ac­tually doubted Hitler’s totally erroneous assertion that he had spent 90 billion Reichsmarks in military rearmament prior to September, 1939.


After the highly successful military campaigns into Poland and Western Europe, it must have appeared that Hitler’s Blitz­krieg strategy was nothing short of invincible. This illusion of omnipotent power, led to a fatally complacent sense of security. Sustained success was illusionary.

Germany had stockpiled sufficient quantities of armaments for their Blitz­krieg purposes, but had a very low potential to replace that equipment in the event of a prolonged war. They had forgone the investment necessary to produce high levels of armaments in sufficient amounts to compete with the greater mass-producing powers. They had a high degree of armament readiness, but a low degree of armament producing potential. Many military officers recognized this problem, among them General Georg Thomas was the most outspoken:

“An all out preparation for war is impossible.1 The unforeseeable duration of the war, the ex­orbitant cost of such an armaments, effort, and the danger of the equipment becoming obsolete or lost are the chief reasons for this”.2

Thomas argued repeatedly in memorandum that drastic re­forms should be taken since, in his opinion, Germany was not arming for the right sort of war. By contrast, Bormann and the Gauluters, were resistant to the idea of preparing for “total war” and were only converted when it was too late.

Contrary to popular opinion, Germany’s production of consumer goods was extremely well sustained throughout the war years. In 1938, when one would expect a high degree of priority placed on rearmament, only 18.􀂁1% of her total gross national product was made available for military expenditures.

Government expenditure on defense as% of total expenditure3 and of gross national product, 1933-38

Year % of Expenditures % of GNP
1933 8.7 3.2
1934 8.8 3.4
1935 15.8 5.5
1936 22.6 7.6
1937 28.2 9.6
1938 42.7 18.1


This policy surely created a very comfortable political climate for the third Reich. It seemed that Germany could have its cake and eat it too. However, even though the economy adapted remarkably well, in the final analysis, it was probably a very crucial element in deciding the fate of World War II. Due to the initial economic commitment of armament production in “width”, as opposed to production in “depth”, the German war offensive was quite unprepared when the bitter Russian winter of 1941-42, forced the Nazis into a situation at Rostov they had hitherto not encountered – retreat and retrenchment; a war of attrition. Ironically, on the eve of the Russian invasion the decision was taken to reduce the level of armaments production.

Even though Germany’s economic machinery was amazingly ra􀀲pid in converting its strategy towards a full war economy*, the time, energy and effort wasted, was undoubtedly costly to the total war effort. While valuable time was lost in converting German’s industry to produce armaments at high volume levels, the British by contrast, were making crucial advances in their maximum output capacity of weapons. While Germany had committed only £ 1,710,000 worth of military investment in 1938, the United Kingdom had expended £ 358,000,000 out of a gross national pro­duct of £ 5,242,000,000.4 While Hitler was pursuing his policy of “guns and butter”, the British had made the necessary expen­ditures to narrow the Nazis initial superiority gap (i.e. at the beginning of the war, German and British production of air­craft were running at about the same level􀀰, however, in Britain tanks were being produced in greater quantities, even though Germany had more tanks).

*In between February and July of 1942, administrative reforms led by Fritz Todt achieved an armament production of over 55%. Ironically, he was killed in an air crash that February.

“From 1936 onward German armaments production was probably at a higher rate, and also qual­itatively more modern, than that of the other powers, until the later months of 1939 when Britain caught up with German monthly totals in many important fields (this statement does not apply to Russian production, the levels of which remain unknown)”. 5

Germany did have the advantage of having gained considerable lead time, since they had been committed to a policy of rearmament much longer. But, in 1939, Germany had not yet pledged itself to the economic commitment that would eventually be necessary – the British of course, had.

Hitler’s strategy of fighting short intensive battles worked fine, because armament production could be collated from one type of machinery to another. When planes were in greatest demand, tank production would be throttled back and vice-versa. This could of course, work only with a commitment to a single front war. The Rostov retrenchment consigned Hitler to a struggle on two fronts. One required tanks and artillery, the other nec­essitated ships and aircraft. This to Blitzkrieg, became im­possible. Even in light of this perilous situation, it is evident that the economic machinery was not geared high enough toward maximum armament production.

Astoundingly, in 1944, when armament production was at such a high volume level, the German economy was still not tot­ally committed to the production of weapons. The production of certain consumer goods actually increased between 1943 and 1944. On October 6, 1943, Hitler’s chief economic planner, Albert Speer, addressed this issue to an economic planning committee at Posen:

“For example, we still produce in a year 120,000 typewriters, 13,000 duplicating machines, 50,000 address machines, 30,000 calculating machines and accounting machines, 200,000 wireless receivers, 150,000 electrical bedwarmers, 3,600 electrical refrigerators, and 300,000 electricity meters”.6

Ironically some of the most wasteful expenditure of mass producing resources actually went to the armed forces themselves. The Wehrmacht procurement officers were undoubtedly given consid­erable latitude in their purchasing decisions. Consequently, a large supply of non-essential luxury items depleted vital resources because of the high demand for officers’ watches, production in that industry nearly regained its peacetime level.

“At present there are still being made for the Wehrmacht 512,000 pair of riding boots a year, 312,000 pairs of officers’ boots a year, 360,000 service bags for women signal assistants, 364,000 spur straps, 250,000 rucksacks … I really don’t know what they use them for. The Wehrmacht needs 440 million of the total yearly new prod­uction of bottles of 739 millions. The Wehrmacht needs 620,000 of the new production of closets which reaches a figure of one million yearly. Out of the production of stamping surfaces for ink­ pads the Wehrmacht needs 6,200,000. The scissors production is reserved entirely for the Wehrmacht, they receive 4,400,000 a year”.7

In 1943 Germany, when production of wall paper was running at 12,000 tons, and 4,800 tons of hair tonic were being produced, the Navy had a demand for 50,000 officer daggers rejected.

Eventually reforms were undertaken by Albert Speer & Co., to eliminate much of the inessential production of such goods. Speer’s greatest achievement was in reducing the consumer good production in the textile industry, and the subsequent conver­sion of that floor space for the other more essential purposes. Much of the curtailment can also be attributed to allied bombing and raw good shortages.

The Germans were haunted again and again by the bottlenecks in production resulting from problems they should have expected. The three most common causes of low production output were: insufficient production of high grade steels; difficulty of procuring supplies of components and shortages of skilled labor.

In general, German production of steel was high, but was mostly geared toward development of low grade types.􀀹 In February, 1942, the increasing demand for high grade forged pieces and drawn tubing far surpassed the available supply. Again, the problem resulted from insufficient investment in the industry before the war. By the time the Germans realized this problem, it was of course, too late.

Procurement of small components was hampered by the geo­graphies of that industry. There were many low volume prod­ucers scattered about the countryside. As transportation prob­lems were exacerbated by fuel shortages, this became a very serious problem.

“The party however, was a victim of its own propaganda which had insisted that a woman’s place was in the home”.

One of the most serious bottlenecks, and one of the most ironic were the labor shortages. As early as 1937, German fac­tories experienced shortages of skilled labor. Most of the factories lost their most highly skilled workers to the draft. Often apprentices would be called on as soon as their training was over. Even more serious, was the consumption of supervisors and foremen, which were vital components in the development of shift-working. Local shortages of unskilled workers could have been avoided by employing more women. The party however, was a victim of its own propaganda which had insisted that a woman’s place was in the home. It was Hitler’s philosophy that this activity would be biologically harmful to the race.8  In 1942, Speer calculated that at least 80,000 women had left the industry since July, 1939.9

The serious void of labor created by constriction of laborers could have probably been offset by many resources in occupied territories, the “new orders” economic policy of “rape and pillage”, was a common method of procedure in German occupations. Certainly the civilian population of such territories might have been more efficiently utilized in supplying vitally needed goods and services.

“In most captured territories consumer goods factories were already working half-time, owing to the inability to obtain raw material. This under-employment could be eliminated if fuel and raw materials were transported for industrial production to places with good lines of commun­ication with the Reich. At the moment trans­port was being devoted to carrying people into Germany to work in German factories where they deliberately worked badly”.10

Certainly the Jewish concentration camps might have been utilized for more constructive purposes. If the SS would have relinquished its overabundant supply of labor to the Speer ministry, many economic problems would have not developed, and many lives would have been sustained. This of course is the paradox of Hitler’s inhalation program.

With the availability of an overabundant supply of labor, the SS developed an economic empire that encompassed more than forty undertakings with about 150 firms.11 Ironically, most of these operations were devoted to production of consumer goods (i.e. foodstuffs, minerals, water, textiles, furniture, pottery, etc.). Although several conversions were made to armament production, by February, 1944, the SS was still largely employing people in consumer goods production.

Certainly there can be many explanations as to the single most contributing weakness that facilitated the collapse of the 1945 German Empire. Allied bombing is thought to be one of the most debilitating elements. But when you analyze the situation closely, bombing was just a symptom of a larger disease. The eccentricity displayed by Gorings decision not to build more defensive aircraft, when it was obvious that the Germany situation was rapidly deteriorating into defensive war, illustrates the incompetence of many high level officials in the Nazi organ­ization. Surely this was the single largest liability to Germany.

“Speer calculated that between January and May, 1945, he committed about sixty separate acts of high treason”.12

Probably the only lucid mind in the Reich hierarchy was Albert Speer. Surely, if it were not for Speer’s efforts towards adopting Germany’s economic machinery to better deal with a “total war” situation, the third Reich would have imploded much sooner than it did. Speer’s position in the party repre­sented at least some rational influence over policy decisions. In the last days of the war, Speer prevented much of the “econ­omic suicide”* policy that Hitler had decreed. Speer calculated that between January and May, 1945, he committed about sixty separate acts of high treason.12

* The Fuhrer-Command of March 19, (Zerstorung) charged total destruction of economic life. This primarily emphasized the demolition of all factories and power plants.

It is almost incomprehensible that so many incompetent German radicals could have attained the prominence and political power that they did. It is chillingly terrifying that in the twentieth century, a country could be so hungry for leadership, that they would consign it lock, stock and barrel over to an ec­centric dictatorship.


Reichstagsgebäude – Wikipedia

To quote Albert Einstein: “The world is not made evil by those that commit such acts, but by those that allow such occurrences to take place.” 

– Economics Report • Bob Henderson • Belmont College 1981



1. Address by A. Hitler before the Reichstag, 1 September 1939, J. W. occurrences, “Documentary Background of World War II, 1931-41”, p.713.

2. FD 4457/45 HWA, p.4.

3. Extracted from S. Andic and J. Veverka, Op. Cit., Table A. 21.

4. W. K. Hancock and M. M. Gowing, “British War Economy”, pp.19-20.

5. A. S. Milward, “The German Economy at War”, p.15.

6. FD 3353/45 Vol.81, “Rede Reichsministers Speer”, 6 October 1943, p.11.

7.FD 1434/46 (no.168), OKW/Wiruamt.

8. FD 1434/46 (no.167), Wiruarnt.

9. Idid. , p. 2 .

10. A. S. Milward, “The German Economy at War”, p.80.

11. E. George, “Die Wirtshaftliche Unternehmungen Der SS”. 12. Speer Report no.7, p.11.