The new Upper Cumberland Civil War Round Table has scheduled an organizational meeting for 6:30 p.m. Feb. 12 at the First Presbyterian Church, 20 N. Dixie Ave. in Cookeville.

Upper Cumberland resident Jack Hurst, author of the current Men of Fire: Grant, Forrest and the Campaign that Decided the Civil War (published by Basic Books of New York last August), will offer a brief introduction of his book at the meeting. Plans for establishing the Round Table, as well as a meeting schedule, permanent meeting place, election of officers, and other appropriate matters will be discussed.

"Our initial appeal for people interested in becoming founding members of an organization of this kind brought replies from Putnam County and most of the counties around it," said Cookeville businessman Ed Copeland, who is spearheading the project. "We have heard from people in Crossville, McMinnville, Livingston, Sparta, Smithville, and other communities."

Membership is open to men and women school-age and up who have Confederate or Union heritage, an interest in either, or simply a desire to learn more about the Civil War period. Monthly programs are expected to feature regional and national authors, scholars, and other authorities on the war, as well as discussions of relevant books, manuscripts, and movies.

Hurst's Men of Fire is available from bookstores nationwide. A resident of DeKalb County, Hurst also wrote Nathan Bedford Forrest: A Biography (Alfred A. Knopf, 1993), which continues in print as a Vintage Civil War Library paperback. A native of Maryville, TN, Hurst is a former longtime newspaperman who worked on the staffs of the Maryville Daily Times, the Tennessean, the Philadelphia Inquirer, and the Chicago Tribune.

Men of Fire describes the battles of Fort Henry and Fort Donelson on the Tennessee-Kentucky border in early 1862, the Confederate evacuation of Nashville, and the rise of Union General Ulysses Grant and Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest on the strength of their exploits in these battles.

Anyone interested in becoming a founding member of the Upper Cumberland CWRT is invited to the Feb. 12 meeting. Further questions should be directed to Copeland at 1-800-800-7184 or (931) 520-0778.