Call made for Civil War artifacts, re-enactors

To celebrate the 150th (sesquicentennial) anniversary of the Civil War, the Blount County Historical Museum, in concert with the Blount County Historic Trust, the Blount County Civil War Roundtable, and the Cades Cove Preservation Association, will hold its annual Civil War Re-enactment at its normal time -- the April 15-17.

There will also be a large Heritage Fest on April 16, featuring many individuals and groups playing music and demonstrating skills needed in a poor-but-proud culture of the times. A new Civil War exhibit will display rare new photographs, weaponry, insignia, and items commonly found among both its soldiers and its back-at-the-home-front citizenry.

The museum is asking for the loan of any Civil War items preserved and honored by Blount County Citizens. All items will be treated with the utmost care and respect and will be returned promptly when the exhibit ends.

The museum also requests that Civil War re-enactment groups near and far come and set up camp, drill, and re-enact skirmishes on the grounds where General Sherman’s troops camped and skirmished at the edge of Brown’s Creek and on the lawn of the Thompson-Brown House. Suttlers are also welcome. Contact the museum at 865-454-4256 to let them know your regiment or other group is coming.

The Sesquicentennial Week-End Event ties in the timeline from the firing on Fort Sumter, the closing of the doors of Maryville College, to the actual Declaration of War-all of which occurred in mid April, 1861, and of course the Civil War then lasted until April, 1865. The Civil War unleashed tormenting divisions in Blount County as it did in the rest of America, and the exhibit will reflect those heartbreaking times.

Demonstrators of all survival and just living skills from honey production, open-air cooking, soap making, clog dancing, butter churning, to whittling pegs and buttons are welcome to participate as well. Call 865-454-4256 to arrange for a space to be saved for setting up.

Music from many groups will play at set times throughout the day. Groups interested in playing should call 865-454-4256.

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