Monthly Archives: June 2013

Housekeeping with John Sevier

Well, as of today, I’ve been given the honor and privilege of being associated with one of the coolest historic sites in East Tennessee.  I’m now on the Board of Directors for the Governor John Sevier Memorial Association, which oversees Marble Springs State Historic Site in Knoxville.  Sevier spent the last fifteen years of his remarkably eventful life there.

Needless to say, this is pretty exciting for an early Tennessee/King’s Mountain enthusiast like me.  Marble Springs has an extremely dedicated and talented staff, and I’m looking forward to being involved.

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Filed under Appalachian History, Museums and Historic Sites, Tennessee History

How to secure $12 million in museum funding in one easy step

Step 1: Get $12 million from Oprah Winfrey.

All levity aside, this museum is going to feature some fantastic artifacts:

Some of the highlights of the collection include a lace shawl owned by abolitionist Harriet Tubman; a Jim Crow-era segregated railroad car; slave rebellion leader Nat Turner’s Bible; and the glass-topped casket that held the body of 14-year-old Emmett Till, whose 1955 murder in Mississippi for whistling at a white woman helped spark the civil rights movement.

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Filed under Museums and Historic Sites

Random.org has spoken

The winner of the Harold Holzer book is Simon M., who picked a very round number (1000) pretty close to the one generated by Random.org.

You know, I’d always assumed that one random number was as good as any, but Random.org assures me that it generates “true random numbers,” as opposed to “the pseudo-random number algorithms typically used in computer programs.” You can therefore rest assured that the numbers used to determine winners of this blog’s book giveaways are as random as possible, spat forth from the gaping maw of an implacable digital entity who probably looks like the MCP from Tron.

We had more entries for this giveaway than the last one, so thanks to everybody who participated.

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Filed under Civil War

A reminder and a notice

Just a couple of days left to enter the book giveaway, so if you haven’t picked your number yet, better get to it.

Now, do you guys remember that article about battlefield sketch artists that National Geographic ran last year? It inspired a group of young filmmakers to produce a short Civil War film; one of them contacted me via e-mail, and it sounds like a pretty neat project.

They’ve got a Kickstarter page to raise the money they need to finish it. Here’s the scenario:

As the early days of the American Civil War begin to unfold, battle sketch artist Cale Bacall travels with a regiment of eager yet inexperienced Confederate soldiers into hostile combat, where he must come to terms with his own conflicting ideologies on war and death at the hands of his fellow countrymen. His loyalties are complicated, however, when he recognizes a long lost face from his past, fighting for the Union. It is the face of a cunning and battle hardened soldier who he hasn’t seen since he was a young boy — his twin brother.

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Filed under Civil War

Pivotal moments in the Civil War at the East Tennessee History Center

The Museum of East Tennessee History will debut a new Civil War exhibit tomorrow.  “Of Sword and Pen: Pivotal Moments in Civil War East Tennessee” features Andrew Johnson’s desk, original documents, and contemporary sketches.    They’re hosting a preview tonight with a lecture by Ed Ayers at 7:30, so if you’re in the Knoxville area you might want to check it out.

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Filed under Appalachian History, Civil War, Museums and Historic Sites, Tennessee History

Burgoyne’s surrender site is now part of a national park

Not the site where his army surrendered, but the spot where Burgoyne himself turned his sword over to Gates.

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Filed under American Revolution