The Army of the Cumberland, trapped in Chattanooga for five harrowing weeks of near starvation in the fall of 1863, depended upon a single difficult road over mountainous terrain for survival.

With new information from ground breaking research,  Phillip R. Kemmerly, PhD, will present at the Franklin Civil War Round Table on Sunday March 10, accounts of men struggling to move badly needed supplies to starving troops in that critical Southern town. Suffering animals in severe environmental conditions were integrated with the physical limitations of a standard-issue quartermaster wagon going up and down rough and dangerous slopes.  More than 12,000 animals would die before the siege was broken and the famous Cracker Line established.

During this siege, General Joe Wheeler’s Sequatchie Valley attack on a ten-mile long federal wagon train destroyed 50% of their supply wagons in one of the biggest takings of Union supplies during the war.

Kemmerly is a Professor Emeritus of Geology at Austin Peay State University where he taught for 40 years.  He is a licensed professional geologist and has served as geological consultant in both the private and government sectors for more than three decades. Since retiring in 2011, Kemmerly has combined his interest in the Civil War and his scientific background to solving problems in Civil War military history.

He has published numerous Civil War articles with his latest coming out in the summer of 2019 dealing with the unsolved mystery about how the Army of the Ohio marched past Confederate Lt. Gen. John Bell Hood’s army at Spring Hill.

Kemmerly last spoke at the FCWRT in January 2017 on the topic of environmental conditions during the battle of Nashville.

The Round Table event begins at 3 p.m. on March 10 at Carnton Plantation in Franklin. The public is invited. For additional information contact [email protected]