TSLA Continues The Looking Back Project On April 4 At Pickwick Landing State Park

Civil War Items Will Be Digitally Preserved

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

The Tennessee State Library and Archives continues the successful Looking Back project on April 4 at Pickwick Landing State Park. This event is a rare opportunity for all Tennessee citizens and visitors with Tennessee Civil War manuscripts, artifacts and photographs to have the items digitally preserved free of charge.

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 starting at 10 a.m. to digitize privately-owned Civil War records.

“The great strength of this project is that it reaches out to families and communities around the state and taps into that rich vein of interest in the Civil War that exists in Tennessee,” said Dr. Wayne Moore, assistant state archivist. “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 of this magnitude. It allows us to create a virtual archive that will be a resource and legacy for future generations of students and Civil War scholars.”

The goal of the Looking Back: The Civil War in Tennessee project is to digitize records and artifacts from all 95 counties in Tennessee and promote public interest in Tennessee’s Civil War history. 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 state’s 2012 Sesquicentennial Signature Event, “Invasions by Rail and River: The Battle of Shiloh,” will be held April 4-5 at Pickwick Landing State Park in Pickwick Dam. During the event, the public will not only have the opportunity to have their Tennessee related Civil War memorabilia copied, but can review some of the 7,500 relics that have been captured by in recent months.

Some of the digitized items include:

·       The Winfield McGrew diary describing Confederate cavalry exploits under Gen. Forrest in West Tennessee and northern Mississippi

·       The half boot of a soldier wounded during the Battle of Franklin, who wrote in his pension application they he wore the boot the rest of his life and “it hurt him every step he took”

·        The diary of Moscow Carter, Gen. Zollicoffer’s aide-de-camp and older brother of Tod Carter of the Franklin Carter House

·        The surrender sword of the CSS Shenandoah, famed naval raider and the last Confederate military force to surrender from the Civil War

·        The letter requesting Robert E. Lee’s admission to West Point

·        A hand-drawn map of the fortifications of Fort Donelson and a photograph of the man who showed Gen. Forrest the way out of the Union encirclement there

·        The diary of an Indiana artilleryman who describes his battery taking the lucky shot that killed Gen. Leonidas Polk at Kennesaw Mountain

·        Gen. Gideon Pillow’s personal sword-cane


Many of the digital records are featured in an online exhibit titled, Looking Back: The Civil War in Tennessee.

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.

To download a complete Signature Event agenda, visit www.tncivilwar150.com Seating is limited, please register today to vionne.williams@tn.gov or call 615-741-2159.

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