Public Can Digitally Preserve Civil War Memorabilia At Tennessee Civil War Sesquicentennial Signature Event

Wednesday, September 11, 2013 - by Amanda Stravinsky

The Tennessee State Library and Archives continues the successful Looking Back project at the Chattanooga Convention Center. 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 1-5 p.m., Oct. 9 and 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. Oct. 10 to digitize privately-owned Civil War records and artifacts.

“We are very excited to be coming to Chattanooga, a key place in our history and a hotbed of Civil War interest,” 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 on this scale to create an important 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 2013 Sesquicentennial Signature Event, “Occupation and Liberation,” will be held Oct. 9-12 at the Chattanooga Convention Center. During the event, the public will not only have the opportunity to have their Tennessee-related Civil War memorabilia copied, but can review 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 titled, Looking Back: The Civil War in Tennessee

Those interested in participating should refer to the schedule and call 615 253-3470 or email to schedule a reservation.

For more information on Tennessee’s Civil War Sesquicentennial, visit or download a complimentary, Tennessee Civil War 150 iPhone app, available at

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