The Tennessee Valley Civil War Round Table, a non-profit educational organization, engages throughout the region to develop a deeper, informed understanding of the issues, personalities, and events of the American Civil War era. Our goal is to learn, understand, and communicate the history of the American Civil War.
We study and strive to stimulate interest in the American Civil War to better promote and understand this seminal event in American history.
The preservation of Civil War battlefields and structures is a pre-eminent consideration of our operations. We give priority to regional needs but are willing to contribute nationwide as needs warrant.
We are a non-partisan organization. Whatever our emotional allegiance to the particular side of an issue or topic, our activities and publications carefully examine the documents, the sites, and other sources in order to understand and present a well-rounded synopsis concerning the facts about any event, person, and locale.
We seek to create, strengthen, and expand a network of neighboring Round Tables and other, history-based area organizations with whom we can cooperate and synergize our efforts in order to accomplish more than if we worked individually (i.e., believing in that old adage of the total being greater than the sum of the parts).
We strive to expand our membership, both in total numbers and demographic diversity.
We seek to educate those in the broader Tennessee Valley area about the American Civil War. We do this through our monthly meetings (i.e., presentations), field trips, seminars, publications, public relations, and community outreach and events.
Our Board of Directors
David Lady, President
David Lady is a native of Washington, D. C., and grew-up in northern Virginia during the Civil War Centennial. David’s branch of the Lady family lived in eastern Tennessee and southwestern Virginia during the Civil War, and ancestors fought on both sides during the war. His interest in the era began as a child, thanks in part to visits to Gettysburg and Virginia’s battlefields, and partly due to his reading Bruce Catton’s “A Stillness at Appomattox,’ and Fletcher Pratt’s “Ordeal by Fire.’
David graduated from Wittenberg University, in Springfield OH, with a degree in History. He enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1974, and during his thirty-three year military career served as an Armor and Cavalry soldier and later as the Command Sergeant Major (CSM) of the U. S. Army Armor Center, the U. S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command, and the U. S. Army Europe.
David and wife Ellen live in Huntsville, where he is employed on Redstone Arsenal. He has contributed articles in the Huntsville Historical Review as well as Army Professional Journals, and has contributed articles to two TVCWRT publications. He has led groups of soldiers and civilians on battlefield tours and military ‘staff rides’ of Gettysburg, Fort Donelson, and Chickamauga. He is currently serving as President, Tennessee Valley Civil War Round Table, and as Secretary/Facilitator for the Little Round Table Discussion Group.
Beth Altenkirch, Treasurer
Beth Altenkirch joins the board as the Treasure. Beth is originally from the Midwest, is a Purdue alumna, has lived in various parts of the country, and moved to Huntsville six years ago from New Jersey. She’s always had an appetite for history, joined the TVCWRT last year and thoroughly enjoys the monthly programs. While she can contribute nothing to the “historical” aspects of the Round Table, she is a bean counter and can handle the treasury. Her husband Bob is president of UAH and together they spend most of their time in the wealth of activities on campus.
Jonathan Creekmore, Secretary and Website Manager
Jonathan Creekmore is originally from Mississippi but has spent his adult life living right here in the Tennessee Valley with his wife and daughter. He has a Master’s degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering and has made a career out of securing defense software systems. His passion for American history in general, and the Civil War specifically, began when the Ken Burns documentary first aired when he was a lad of ten. Since then, his studies have been tracing the threads of the sectional conflict forward from the founding of the nation, with the goal of seeing how those threads still resonate today. He has been a member of the Tennessee Valley Civil War Round Table since mid-2017 and is currently serving as the Secretary of the Board and Website Manager.
John Scales, Former President, Field Trip Coordinator and Acting Programs Officer
General John Scales attended the University of Alabama 1966-70, graduating in 1970 with a degree in physics and a commission as an infantry lieutenant in the U. S. Army. He graduated from infantry officer basic, airborne and Ranger schools before being assigned to the 82nd Airborne Division. Later he led a rifle platoon in combat in Vietnam and joined the 101st Airborne upon return to the US. Leaving active duty in 1975, he joined the 20th Special Forces Group of the Alabama National Guard while getting a master’s degree at the University and becoming Special Forces qualified. Over the years, while first teaching and later working as a scientist in Huntsville, he commanded a Special Forces A Detachment, company, battalion, and the 20th itself. He was selected for promotion to general and assignment to US Army Special Forces Command, where he was first deputy commander and later acting commander. After 9/11 he was assigned to the Joint Special Operations Command and led a Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force in Afghanistan. General Scales retired from the military in late 2002 and continued his career as a scientist in Huntsville, being granted five patents and publishing three military history books, the latest of which is on the military career of General Forrest. He is program director and past president of the Tennessee Valley Civil War Round Table.
Edwin “Ed” Kennedy, Communication Officer
Ed Kennedy is an Army brat whose family is from Mississippi and South Carolina. He is the descendant of Confederate soldiers from South Carolina, Mississippi, and Alabama. He grew up interested in the military history of his family whose members have served in every conflict beginning in the Revolutionary War. Two of his sons have served in the military in the Persian Gulf (Navy) and in Iraq (Army).
Enlisting during Vietnam, Ed subsequently graduated from West Point as an infantryman. He retired in 1997 as an assistant professor in the history department of the US Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth where he taught graduate history on the War Between the States. He was the senior military instructor on the Army’s staff ride team.
Over the years Ed has taken, and continues to take, military leaders to campaign sites and battlefields to study including those of: Charleston (S.C.), Gettysburg, Chickamauga, Kennesaw Mountain, Vicksburg, Wilson’s Creek, Elkhorn Tavern (Pea Ridge), Lawrence (Kansas), Centralia (Missouri), Little Bighorn, Task Force Smith (Osan, Korea), and Raid on Hammelburg (Germany). He is a frequent speaker and contributor of articles in professional military journals. He is the Communications Officer for the TVCWRT.
Robert Hennessee, Preservation Officer
Robert Hennessee became interested in the Civil War when his family moved to the Richmond, VA area when he was six. They visited local battlefields and the Confederate White House. Later, they moved to Maryland and visited the Antietam and Gettysburg battlefields. As an adult, Bob lived in Charleston, SC where he visited Ft. Sumter. Later, he moved to Washington, DC area where he visited Bull Run, Chancellorsville and other Civil War sites. During that time, he joined the Stuart-Mosby Society. He is particularly knowledgeable about Stonewall Jackson, Mosby and Stuart. Bob joined the TVCWRT in 2014.
He recently retired from the Army Corps of Engineers and operates an energy consulting business, Hennessee Associates.
Kevin Rodriguez, Membership Officer
Kevin Rodriguez was born at Scott Air Force Base, IL and by age 12 had already spent half his life in Germany. He has a Bachelor’s Degree in Business and a Master’s Degree in Logistics. He has been a civil servant with the Department of Defense since 1986, having first worked with the Air Force’s Defense Mapping Agency in St. Louis, MO before going to work for the Army. He and his family moved to Madison, AL to work at Redstone Arsenal in 1997 when the Base Realignment and Closure Act closed the Army Troop Support Command in St. Louis, MO. For the last three years he has lead the Sustainment Logistics office for the PATRIOT missile system. Prior to that he held the same position for five years at the Apache Attack Helicopter office. He enjoys taking ranger led battlefield hikes and went on over 10 anniversary events at various National Military Parks during the 150thanniversary of the Civil War, starting with Shiloh and ending with Appomattox. He has been a member of the TVCWRT since 2010 and is currently serving as the TVCWRT Membership Chairman.
Arley McCormick, Newsletter Editor
Arley McCormick is originally from North Missouri. He has a Master’s Degree from George Washington University, Washington D.C. in Public Administration and he is a former soldier and consultant. His articles have appeared in the U.S. Army Military Review published at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, and the Old Tennessee Valley Magazine and Mercantile Advertiser and he contributed to the Tennessee Valley Civil War Round Table’s first book “13 Wore Gray and the Rest Blue”. He is currently serving on the Board of Directors of the Tennessee Valley Civil War Round Table, the Board of Directors of the Huntsville-Madison County Historical Society as the Huntsville The Early Works Board of Directors, and is a member of the Huntsville-Madison County Alabama Bicentennial Committee. He and his wife, Lynda, a native of New Hope, Alabama, live in the Huntsville, Alabama area.
Emil Posey, Former Vice President, Stage Manager
Emil Posey retired from NASA/George C. Marshall Space Flight Center on December 27, 2013. He has a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Hood College, Frederick, Maryland; is a former president of the Huntsville chapter of the National Contract Management Association, and is a life member of the Special Forces Association. His work history spans almost 45 years of military and civilian service to our country. He is a member of Elks Lodge 1648 (Huntsville, Alabama) and the Tennessee Valley Genealogical Society. He is a dedicated bibliophile, and is a (very) armchair political analyst and military enthusiast.
April L. Harris, Academic Outreach Advisor
April L. Harris is an Associate Vice President, the University of Alabama in Huntsville responsible for the president’s events, academic ceremonies, and protocol. An expert on academic traditions, she is the author of three books including Special Events: Planning For Success, Etiquette and Protocol A Guide for Campus Events, and Academic Ceremonies A Handbook of Traditions and Protocol. She teaches etiquette and consults through her own company, Harris Etiquette Events Protocol. A journalism/public relations graduate of Bowling Green State University she also earned a certificate at The Protocol School of Washington and is a member of Protocol and Diplomacy International-Protocol Officers Association.
John A. Allen, Former President
Carol Codori, Former President
John Mason, Former President
Kent Wright, Former Programs Officer
Mark Hubbs, Former Preservation Officer and co-founder