Tennessee: State Library Digitizing Civil War Relics

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn — Tennessee residents are invited to bring their Civil War relics to the Chattanooga Convention Center this week for documentation.

Continuing its “Looking Back: The Civil War in Tennessee” project, the Tennessee State Library and Archives is offering the rare opportunity to have Civil War manuscripts, artifacts and photographs digitally preserved free of charge.

Men dressed as Union and Confederate soldiers engage in mock hand-to-hand combat Saturday during a reenactment commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Ringgold Gap at Clark Park in Ringgold, Ga.

Men dressed as Union and Confederate soldiers engage in mock hand-to-hand combat Saturday during a reenactment commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Ringgold Gap at Clark Park in Ringgold, Ga.

As part of the commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, a team of professional archivists, curators and conservators from TSLA will be on hand 1-5 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 9, and 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 10, to digitize these privately owned Civil War records and artifacts.

Dr. Wayne Moore, assistant state archivist, believes next week’s turnout should yield exciting results, as Chattanooga is “a key place in [Tennessee Civil War] history and a hotbed of Civil War interest.”

The Looking Back project will eventually digitize records and artifacts from all 95 counties. So far, Moore says, “the quality of the photographs, documents and artifacts that people are bringing out is just extraordinary. No other state has done a Civil War digitization project on this scale to create an important legacy for future generations of students and Civil War scholars.”

The files are maintained by TSLA and will become part of a virtual archive to be used by the general public as well as K-12 teachers and students.

The documentation will take place during the state’s Sesquicentennial Signature Event, “Occupation and Liberation,” which starts Wednesday. Area residents also are invited to view relics related to the Battles for Chattanooga. Items include:

• A map of Chattanooga saloon district (1911)

• Maj. Gen. B.F.Cheatham’s military map of Chattanooga and North Georgia

• “Bird’s Eye” Map of Chattanooga, 1888

• Report of Maj. Gen. Patrick Cleburne on the operations of his division in the Battle of Chickamauga Sept. 19-20, 1863

• Confederate Surgeon William B. Maney’s report of killed and wounded at Battle of Chickamauga

• Photograph of the Snodgrass House on Chickamauga Battlefield

• Panoramic photograph of Chattanooga during siege

• “Capture of Missionary Ridge” colored engraving

• Photograph of Gov. William B. Bate funeral

• Photograph of General Hooker at Lookout Valley headquarters

• Photograph of General Grant on Lookout Mountain in 1863

• Folio of George Bernard images

Many of the digital records are featured in an online exhibit, “Looking Back: The Civil War in Tennessee,” which may be viewed at tn.gov/tsla/cwtn/index.htm.

Those interested in participating should refer to the schedule www.tn.gov/tsla/cwtn and call 615-253-3470 or email civilwar.tsla@tn.gov to schedule a reservation.

For more information on Tennessee’s Civil War Sesquicentennial, visit www.tncivilwar150.com or download a complimentary iPhone app, available at www.itunes.apple.com/us/app/tennessee-civil-war-150.



Tennessee: Cavalry Prepares for Rogersville Skirmish

ROGERSVILLE, Tenn. — Heritage Days festival guests are invited to witness an authentic display of local history when Civil War enactors, B Company of the 12th Tennessee Cavalry Battalion, perform at Crockett Spring Park.

Cavalry saber drills. Photo by Frank Proffitt.

Cavalry saber drills. Photo by Frank Proffitt.

The Rogersville Heritage Association is excited to host returning Civil War enactors of the B Company of the 12th Tennessee Cavalry Battalion,” says RHA and Heritage Days Director, Angie Proffitt. “The event is a popular and educational attraction and for all ages.”

B Company will set up an authentic 1863 encampment at Crockett Spring Park (South Rogers Street) on the evening of Friday, October 11 and Saturday, October 11, “The Bluebirds of Battle” will perform war skirmishes, Cavalry and artillery demonstrations, saber drills, and practice maneuvers from 9 a.m.- 5 p.m. The RHA reminds guests to bring folding chairs to the performance and all other outdoor exhibitions and shows.
Saturday’s Schedule is as follows:
9 a.m.- Camp Opens – Weapons Demonstration  10 a.m.- Infantry Drill 11 a.m.- Cavalry Drill 12 p.m.- Skirmish  1 p.m. –  Medical Demonstration2 p.m.-  Infantry Drill 3 p.m.-  Cavalry Drill 4 p.m.- Skirmish 4:30 p.m.- Weapons Demo 5 p.m.-  Camp Closes

“People will see a camp set up as it would have been in 1863,” says 1st Sgt Richard Northington of B Company, 12th Tennessee Cavalry. �All of our clothing, equipment, and weapons are authentic, and our horses� saddles and tack are period-specific.�

Northington says he and the members of B Company appreciate speaking to visitors, and especially enjoy answering children’s questions about the Civil War and the cavalry. After Heritage Days, B Company will join units from all over the South the first weekend in November to re-enact the entire Battle of Big Creek at its original location on McKinney Chapel Road in Rogersville. The re-enactment will be held to celebrate the 150th anniversary of The Battle of Big Creek. See future editions of The Rogersville Review calendar for more information.

Company B, 12th Tennessee Cavalry, formed in 1990 by Commander, Major Kent Arnold, is comprised of 12 regular and 7 associate members who serve in mounted, dismounted, and artillery detachment positions. Company B, 12th Tennessee Cavalry is committed to the preservation of history and recruitment of like-minded individuals.

Like the original Unit, members of the battalion hail from Hawkins, Sullivan, Washington, Grainger and Greene Counties. Members participate in most local reenactment, as well as the major reenactment such as Gettysburg, Shiloh and Chickamauga.

Major General E. Kirby Smith organized the original battalion on September 1, 1862 while preparing to invade Kentucky. Members were scouted from Hawkins and Hancock counties and led by Major T. W. Adrian. For more information about the original Co B, 12th Tennessee Cavalry, visithttp://www.tngenweb.org or Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/12thTNCAV.

-Sarah Proffitt, The Rogersville Review


North Carolina: Civil War History Comes to Life at King’s Mountain

KINGS MOUNTAIN, N.C. – A soldier picked up another log to throw on the cooking fire.

A group of people listened as the camp doctor demonstrated the process of amputation. Others listened in on a lecture by Steven Hancock, a member of the 49th North Carolina Troops re-enactment group.

SPHRS as the 49th North Carolina Troops/

SPHRS as the 49th North Carolina Troops/

The group came for the Kings Mountain Historical Museum’s Civil War Living History event Saturday and provided demonstrations on firearms, cooking and drills.

More than 70 people, including students from local high schools, came to the event to learn about life during the American Civil War.

Hancock presented his lecture on the shared experiences of the 49th North Carolina Troops and the 21st Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry.

“Soldiers on both sides of the war had similar experiences, in terms of drills, campaigns and casualties,” Hancock said.

The re-enactment group had just returned from Chickamauga, Ga., to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the battle, said Ron Lamberth, re-enactor.

“It’s a hobby that’s not for everybody, but we have fun doing it,” he said.

What is the Southern Piedmont Historical Reenactment Society?

-The SPHRS is a non-profit, family oriented, historical society composed of people who are interested in preserving our nation’s rich heritage.

-The main emphasis of the society is in portraying as accurately as possible the common Civil War soldier of 1861-65.

-By striving to create a historically accurate impression during living history events, school programs and battle re-enactments, they hope to give a glimpse of the common Civil War soldier to the public.

-For more information, visit www.49NCT.org.

-Molly Phipps, Halifax Media Group


Mississippi: Starkville Remembers Civil War History

STARKVILLE, Miss. — One-hundred-fifty years ago, Union general Benjamin Grierson made his way through Starkville. Last Saturday, Starkville residents dedicated a historical marker in Walgreen’s parking lot to honor the American Civil War sesquicentennial.

Grierson's Raid: A marker was dedicated in honor of Tom Williams and his role in the Civil War during a ceremony next to Walgreens on Saturday. This year is the Civil War's 150th anniversary.

Grierson’s Raid: A marker was dedicated in honor of Tom Williams and his role in the Civil War during a ceremony next to Walgreens on Saturday. This year is the Civil War’s 150th anniversary.

The ceremony included the marker dedication and a panel discussion at the Greensboro Center.

Mayor Parker Wiseman, John Marszalek, executive president of the Ulysses S. Grant Presidential Library, and C.J. Johnson, former president of the Golden Triangle Civil War Round Table, spoke at the marker’s unveiling.

Marszalek said it is necessary people acknowledge Mississippi was the center of the Civil War.

“I think it’s important to realize that a small place like Starkville that was really off the beaten path in those days still was influenced by this war,” Marszalek said.  “Starkville had a role in, a small role, but it had a role.”

In 1991, a historical marker commemorating Grierson’s Raid was erected in Starkville in honor of Tom Williams, a member of the GTR Civil War Roundtable. About a year and a half ago, the marker broke.

Duffy Neubauer, operations coordinator at the Humphrey Coliseum and a founding father of the GTR Civil War Round Table, said this marker will hopefully last longer than 18 years, and the Walgreens location is better than the last one.

“I had the advantage of looking at all kinds of signs and historical markers, and I was always interested in history. Someone else put those up for me to read,” Neubauer said. “I felt it was part of the cycle, and my responsibility is to put something up that the next generation could read.”

Although Walgreens was not around during Grierson’s Raid, he did make his way through the Golden Triangle Area.

Anne Marshall, MSU associate professor of history, said Grierson and his troops played a very important role in the Civil War.

“It was Grant (cmdr. of the Union force)] who had ordered this guy Grierson to go on this raid,” Marshall said. “Grant had been in trying to capture Vicksburg, which was really important for the Union war effort. The only Confederate stronghold preventing them from controlling the entire Mississippi River was Vicksburg. The idea behind Grierson’s raid was for Grierson to divert attention from what Grant was doing at Vicksburg.”

Marshall said the raid lasted only a few weeks but was successful.

“What Grierson did was basically start in LaGrange, Tenn., and he went south through Mississippi. The goal was to destroy railroad lines and destroy enemy Confederate equipment that could go to Vicksburg,” Marshall said. “Grierson was supposed to sidetrack some Confederate troops from Vicksburg.”

Marshall said Grierson and his 1,700 cavalry men made their way through Starkville on April 21, 1863. They entered the city near what is today Miss. Highway 389, which becomes Louisville Street. They commandeered a wagon load of hats they thought were being delivered to Confederate soldiers in Vicksburg and passed them out to area slaves.

“It’s kind of a cool thing. It’s a great story,” Marszalek said. “ It’s probably true that when the hats were captured and given to the area slaves, the next day, the local newspaper allegedly wrote a column castigating all the Starkville men for allowing this to happen. It said, ‘All we can say now is that we that we have the best hatted slaves in the Confederacy.’”

Other Civil War sites in Starkville include Odd Fellows Cemetery, where Confederate and Union soldiers are buried, the Jackson House and the Carpenter House. The Montgomery House marks where Confederate Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest and his troops camped before the Battle of West Point.

The Civil War Artillery Museum also focuses on the Civil War, and Neubauer owns the museum. It is open to the public by appointment.

Members of the GTR Civil War Round Table and other local historians believe the marker and what is represents along with the Civil War is still relevant to modern Starkville.

“If you want to understand what America is like today, and since that time, you have to know the Civil War,” Marszalek said.

-Mary Kate McGowan, The Daily Reflector