Tag Archives: Sgt. York

ETHS goes into the trenches and in search of Sgt. York

I highly recommend you visit In the Footsteps of Sergeant York, the new special exhibit from the Museum of the American Military Experience at the East Tennessee Historical Society.  It strikes a neat balance between an intimate portrait of York himself and a broader examination of Tennesseans’ mobilization in the Great War as a whole, and takes you from York’s rural Fentress County home…

…to the trenches of the Western Front.

The exhibition also chronicles the Sergeant York Discovery Expedition’s use of GIS and archaeology to pinpoint the precise location of his famous attack at Hill 223 near Chatel-Chéhéry.  (You may recall that the Tennessee State Museum’s Military Branch hosted this part of the exhibit a few years ago, although ETHS has augmented it with additional material.)  The machine gun below is reportedly one of the weapons York captured, while the rounds in front of the helmet are among the artifacts the SYDE recovered from the battleground.

Fire from the machine gun nest York took out cut down six of his comrades, and artifacts excavated from their original burial site are also on display.

As fascinating as the Chatel-Chéhéry items are, though, the object that struck me the most is this canteen carried by Fred O. Stone.  Like my great-grandfather, he was a Claiborne County, TN native who graduated from Lincoln Memorial University’s old medical school in Knoxville.

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

Some Sgt. York news

…from the Museum of Appalachia near Norris, TN.  They’ve had a small Sgt. York exhibit for some time now, but it’s nice to hear that it’s getting an update.

If you can’t make the special event on Sunday, try to budget some time to visit the museum when you’re passing through East Tennessee.  It’s got a fine collection of original buildings and artifacts.

While I’m making recommendations, let me encourage anybody interested in Alvin York and the movie based on his exploits to read Michael Birdwell’s Celluloid Soldiers.

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Filed under Appalachian History, Tennessee History