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BONPS 2006 Annual Banquet

CWPT Director speaks at BONPS Annual Banquet

BONPS members and their guests met at Richland Country Club on Thus., Feb. 9, 2006 for their Annual Banquet and Membership Meeting. The guest speaker was Mr. James Lighthizer, Executive Director of the Civil War Preservation Trust. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., the CWPT is the nation's largest organization fighting to save Civil War battlegrounds from development. Emphasizing the need to become involved in local politics and fundraising, Mr. Lighthizer said it is only a matter of approximately ten years before all Civil War battlefield property will either be saved and preserved or lost forever to development.

Pictured above at the banquet are, left to right, State Rep. Steve McDaniel, James Lighthizer of the CWPT, and BONPS Past President Doug Jones.

The Civil War Preservation Trust has helped save more than 21,000 acres of Civil War battlefields in 19 states, including 110 acres at Spring Hill. The CWPT, represented by Mr. Lighthizer, has also been a strong supporter of BONPS and the reopening of Fort Negley and the preservation of battlefield acreage at Franklin, Fort Donelson, and Parkers Crossroads. The CWPT held its annual national conference in Nashville in 2004.

Dr. Anne Bailey speaks to BONPS

Left to right, author/historian James Lee McDonough, PhD, professor emeritus of Auburn University; Dr. Anne Bailey, featured speaker; Jim Kay, vice-president of BONPS; and Ann Toplovich, Executive Director of the Tennessee Historical Society.

Professor Anne Bailey speaks on "The Tragedy of John Bell Hood"

Dr. Anne J. Bailey of Georgia College & State University spoke on the "Tragedy of John Bell Hood" at a joint meeting of BONPS and the Tennessee Historical Society at Shamblin Theater on the campus of David Lipscomb University, Thurs., Sept. 15, 2005.

Speaking to an attentive audience of more than 100, Professor Bailey detailed the life of Gen. John Bell Hood, commander of Confederate forces at the Battle of Nashville and assessed his numerous victories and failures. She noted that history's verdict on the life of Hood is still very much the subject of debate.

Bailey is the author of six books on the Civil War, including The Chessboard of War: Sherman and Hood in the Autumn Campaigns of 1864; In the Saddle with the Texans: Day-by-Day with Parsons's Cavalry Brigade, 1862-1865 and Between the Enemy and Texas: Parsons' Texas Cavalry in the Civil War. She serves as the editor of the Georgia Historical Quarterly and the SCWH Newsletter, and is a professor of history at Georgia College & State University in Milledgeville, Georgia.

BONPS wins Metro Commissioners' Award for preservation efforts!

The Battle of Nashville Preservation Society received the Commissioners' Award from the Metro Nashville Historical Commission at the 31st Annual Preservation Awards on Thurs., May 26, 2005 at the Metro Public Library. Making the award at the public presentation were MHC Chairman Gary Everton and MHC Executive Director Ann Roberts. Accepting the award for BONPS was President J.T. Thompson, accompanied by Susan Andrews Thompson, Doug Jones, Jim Kay, Jim Broemel, Wes Shofner, and Mark Zimmerman.

View the Awards Ceremony Program (PDF)

Michael E. Emrick won the Achievement Award for his work on Nashville's historic structures, including historic Fort Negley, which was opened to the public for the first time in 60 years last December.

The judges for the awards, which also included commercial and residential awards, were Leslie Sharp, assistant professor at the Center for Historic Preservation at Middle Tennessee State University; Brian Tibbs, AIA, an associate with the architectural firm Moody-Nolan, Inc.; and Shanon Wasielewski, Preservation Planner for the City of Franklin.

The Commissioners' Award citation reads: "The Battle of Nashville Preservation Society was founded in 1993 to protect the remaining battlefield sites and promote an understanding of life in Davidson County during the American Civil War. Since its founding, the BONPS has been instrumental in the preservation of Shy's Hill, Redoubt No. 1, and Kelley's Point sites, as well as actively involved in the preservation of the Battle of Nashville Monument and the rehabilitation and interpretation of Fort Negley. To commemorate the 140th anniversary of the Battle of Nashville, the BONPS co-sponsored a series of lectures culminating with two symposia featuring nationally known Civil War historians. The Battle of Nashville Preservation Society has played an integral role in the promotion, protection, and interpretation of the sites important to our city's role in the Civil War."

Congratulations, BONPS officers, members, and supporters!

Lenette Taylor and J.T. Thompson Author Lenette S. Taylor speaks on role of Union Quartermaster at Nashville

Historian/author Lenette Taylor of Ohio spoke to the BONPS membership May 19, 2005 at Belmont Mansion on the role of quartermasters during the Civil War, specifically that of Capt. Simon Perkins, Jr., the subject of her new book, "The Supply for Tomorrow Must Not Fail" by Kent State University Press. Working from a newly found collection of quartermaster records, occupying 26 cubic feet and bound literally in government red tape, she wrote the book about a 24-year-old Ohioan who found himself in charge of $20 million worth of Union materials at the captured city depot of Nashville. Perkins served as one of the 900 quartermasters appointed by President Lincoln and commissioned by Congress. Like most quartermasters, Perkins kept meticulous records, all in quadruplicate. An organized microfilm version of the collection is available at the Tennessee State Library and Archives for any historians interested in the subject. BONPS thanks Ms. Taylor for presenting such an interesting Civil War topic. At left, she poses with her book and BONPS President J.T. Thompson.

Mark Brown Speaks at Belmont Mansion Exec. Director Mark Brown discusses
Belmont Mansion during the battle

Belmont Mansion Executive Director Mark Brown, pictured with BONPS Secretary Sherry Male, expounded on the history of the stately manor and estate during the Battle of Nashville at the April 21st, 2005 meeting of the Battle of Nashville Preservation Society at Belmont Mansion. The owner of Belmont, Adelicia Acklen, was one of the wealthiest women in America at the time. During the war she traveled to her plantation in Louisiana and played the Yankee and Confederate officials against each other in order to ship 2800 bales of cotton to England and sell them for nearly $1 million in gold. After the war, she went on a European shopping spree.

During the battle the mansion served as the headquarters for Union Gen. Thomas J. Wood of the IV Corps. Despite its proximity to the battle lines the mansion survived unharmed, along with the estate's brick water tower. Many trees and outbuildings on the estate were destroyed however.

On Sun., May 22 from 1-4 p.m. Belmont Mansion (website) will host a "behind the scenes" look at the magnificent structure, which is open for tours on the Belmont University campus.

Historian Bearss expounds on Shy's Hill at BONPS Annual Banquet

J.T. Thompson begins term as new BONPS President

More than 100 members and guests attended the 2005 Annual Banquet of the Battle of Nashville Preservation Society at Hillwood Country Club on Thurs., Feb. 24. Mr. Edwin Bearss, Historian Emeritus of the National Park Service, presented a rousing speech on the historical significance of Shy's Hill, one of the society's preservation projects.

Outgoing BONPS President Doug Jones, left, is honored for his leadership and work the past two years by new President J.T. Thompson at the BONPS Annual Banquet, Feb. 24, 2005.

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The new BONPS Board of Directors for 2005-2007 were announced: J.T. Thompson, President; Doug Jones, Immediate Past President; Jim Kay, Vice President; Sherry Male, Secretary; Ross Massey, Historian; Dr. James Atkinson, David Broemel, Michael Kilbane, Mac Mellor, Bob Notestine and Wes Shofner. New members of the board are Atkinson, Broemel, Kay, and Kilbane. Leaving the board and recognized for their service were Harry Klinkhamer and Mark Zimmerman.

New President Thompson vowed to maintain the momentum generated by BONPS over the past year with several preservation projects (Shy's Hill, Fort Negley, Redoubt No. 1, Kelley's Point) and special education programs and symposiums. Outgoing President Doug Jones was thanked for his impressive work leading the Society the past two years, and in appreciation was presented a bust of Gen. Stonewall Jackson by Thompson.

Thomas Cartwright, curator at The Carter House museum and Civil War site in Franklin, was presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award for his tireless efforts on behalf of Civil War preservation and history education.

BONPS Historian Ross Massey was presented the President's Award by Doug Jones, who noted that Massey was personally responsible for locating the Battle of Nashville sites of Kelley's Point Battlefield and Granbury's Lunette, in addition to work on several other historical preservation projects.

Mark Zimmerman was presented the "Member of the Year" Award for 2004. In addition to duties as webmaster, Zimmerman authored the Society's new book, Guide to Civil War Nashville.

Mr. Ken Flies of the Twin Cities Civil War Round Table and the Minnesota State Historical Society read aloud a proclamation by Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty designating Thursday, Feb. 24 as "Battle of Nashville Preservation Society Day" in that state. Flies noted that more Minnesotans were killed or wounded at the Battle of Nashville, particularly Shy's Hill, than in any other conflict in the history of the republic.

Remember Fort Negley for historical, tourism value

By BONPS President Doug Jones:

Last December, a landmark of national reputation was resurrected from 75 years of neglect. Mayor Bill Purcell rededicated Fort Negley to the citizens of Nashville.

The city, under the vision and leadership of Purcell, Parks Director Roy Wilson and Metro Historical Executive Director Ann Roberts, has done an excellent job in restoring Fort Negley for historical interpretation.

That same weekend, the Battle of Nashville Preservation Society (BONPS) along with the Tennessee Historical Society, hosted a national symposium on the Battle of Nashville. Our symposium was sold out with people traveling from Minnesota, New Mexico and New England.

Read the Full Story

Panel Expounds on Peach Orchard Hill--BONPS Meeting--Jan. 20, 2005

Severe fighting at Peach Orchard Hill on the second day of the Battle of Nashville was the topic of discussion by a panel of experts at the Jan. 20, 2005 meeting of the Battle of Nashville Preservation Society at historic Travellers Rest Plantation and Museum. Speaking to an audience of about one hundred Civil War buffs were BONPS Historian Ross Massey, Carter House Curator Thomas Cartwright, and Travellers Rest Executive Director David Currey.

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Symposium commemorates 140th anniversary of Battle of Nashville

In commemoration of the 140th anniversary of the Battle of Nashville (Dec. 15-16, 1864), the Battle of Nashville Preservation Society and the Tennessee Historical Society hosted a symposium to present new examinations, as well as assessments of past historiography, of the 1864 Atlanta-Nashville campaign and the late Civil War experience in Middle Tennessee and the western theater.

The symposium drew more than 200 history buffs to the Nashville Public Library on Dec. 10-11, 2004. Co-sponsors included the Nashville Public Library, Metro Nashville Historical Commission, and Tennessee Civil War National Heritage Area/Middle Tennessee State University.

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Fort Negley opens on 140th anniversary of Battle of Nashville

On Fri., Dec. 10, 2004, Nashville Mayor Bill Purcell formally re-opened historic Fort Negley in Fort Negley Park after being closed to the public for the past 60 years. Walkways and interpretive signage have been constructed in and around the historic ruins. About two hundred citizens attended and examined the fortifications. For more information and photos on the re-opening Click Here. To view detailed information on the historic fort Click Here and Click Here.

Fort Negley Southwest Bastion
Visitors view the southwest bastion of Fort Negley during dedication ceremonies Dec. 10, 2004. The 1864 Battle of Nashville was fought about two miles in the distance in this view.

BONPS elects new Board members, President for 2005-07
Elections for the Board of Directors and President of the Battle of Nashville Preservation Society were held Thurs., Nov. 18th, 2004 at Belmont Mansion at the regular membership meeting. The new Board members for 2005-2007 are Mac Mellor, Sherry Male, Wes Shofner, Ross Massey, Bob Notestine, David Broemel, Jim Kay, and Michael Kilbane. Newly elected as BONPS President is J.T. Thompson. Immediate past president will be Doug Jones. The new slate of officers will take office at the BONPS Banquet in February 2005. The excellent program for the night was presented by Thomas Cartwright, Executive Director of the Carter House, on the events between the end of the Battle of Franklin and the beginning of the Battle of Nashville.

Tree Planting at Battle of Nashville Monument Landscaping at the Monument

Volunteers plant American beeches at the Battle of Nashville Monument Park on November 20,. Larry Wolford, vice president of the Hillsboro-West End Neighborhood Association, wielded the shovel.

"A Beech is, in any landscape where it appears, the finest tree to be seen," wrote naturalist Donald Culross Peattie. "It is a tree deep-rooted in the history of our people…."

The new trees were planted at the monument in recognition of the 140th anniversary of the Battle of Nashville, December 15-16, 2004.

The Friends of the Battle of Nashville Monument are dedicated to the maintenance of the historic site.

(Photo courtesty of Jim Summerville.)

Symposium Panel
Distinguished panelists debate Battle of Nashville
The Battle of Nashville Symposium at Travellers Rest, Fri.-Sun., Oct. 29-31, 2004, drew a crowd of 60 Civil War buffs and a distinguished panel of experts, including, above left to right, author Wiley Sword, historian Thomas Cartwright, and author Sam Davis Elliott. Also speaking were James Lee McDonough, whose new book on the Battle of Nashville has just been published; State Historian Walter Durham, State Museum Curator James Hoobler; and Vol State professor Dr. Carol Bucy. Assisting Travellers Rest Director David Currey were BONPS President Doug Jones and Historian Ross Massey, who served as moderator. A new video of the battle was shown at Friday night's reception, and participants toured the battlefield on Sunday.

Kelley's Point Battlefield Dedicated at Brookemeade Greenway on Cumberland River, Aug. 28, 2004.
Dedication of Kelley's Point Battlefield Local historian Bob Henderson explains the historical significance of Kelley's Point Battlefield at the river overlook during formal dedication ceremonies Aug. 28, 2004. Bob is the immediate past-president of BONPS and a member of the Metro Historical Commission. Looking on is BONPS Vice President J.T. Thompson, far left, and, at right, State Rep. Steve McDaniel and Nashville Mayor Bill Purcell.

Kelley's Point Battlefield was the location of the first engagement in the Battle of Nashville in early December 1864, which was the last major battle of the Civil War. It was also the largest battle of the Civil War between the US Navy and the Confederate Cavalry. The battles at Kelley's Point resulted in two Medal of Honor recipients from one the US Navy's ironclad monitors that fought there.

Bob Bogen and Mayor Purcell Mayor Bill Purcell looks on as former City Councilman Bob Bogen cuts the ribbon officially opening Kelley's Point Battlefield at Brookemeade Greenway on the Cumberland River in west Nashville. Bogen was instrumental in saving the property from commercial development and preserving the property as one of the few remaining remnants of the Battle of Nashville.

The parkway site features a parking lot, paved trail with bridge down to a scenic river overlook, and park and historical signage. The battlefield is named after Confederate Col. David C. Kelley.

Federal Grant Sought to Clean Battle of Nashville Bronze Statue

Giuseppe Moretti’s great bronze sculpture of the horses and Youth, the centerpiece of the Battle of Nashville Monument, have suffered long years of neglect--and positive abuse. If a new grant proposal to the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) is successful, that great wrong will be righted, said BONPS President Doug Jones.

BONPS has requested funds to hire Shelley Reisman Paine Conservators to recreate the original sheen and luster that Moretti gave to this huge casting. The proposal to NEA was prepared by James Summerville, a member of the Society and a long-term community volunteer for the restoration and preservation of the Battle of Nashville Monument.

Moretti designed these bronzes and oversaw their fabrication from cannon used in the Great War (World War I, 1914-18). He set them as the central figures in the Battle of Nashville Monument, commissioned by women civic leaders, and erected on Franklin Road in 1927.

The bronzes were badly damaged by a tornado in 1974. The Tennessee Historical Commission, owner of the sculpture, hired E. Karkodulias, Cincinnati, Ohio, to restore the work. This firm repaired the physical damage but treated the surface with inappropriate methods, leaving it rough in texture, dull, and black .The result was not undone with mere pressure washing, which the sculpture received in May 1999 at the hands of another State contractor.

“The Monument was declared officially restored that spring,” said Summerville. “But the job isn’t finished--and it won’t be until Signor Moretti’s stunning Youth and yoked horses glow in the sunlight.” If funded, the project will take place in the spring of 2005.

The victorious Union commander at the Battle of Nashville, Gen. George Thomas, was often questioned as to his loyalty, as he was a native Virginian, according to author Brian Steel Wills, right, who spoke to the BONPS recently. Also pictured is BONPS Program Director Mac Mellor.

Read the entire story here.

David Currey and Fort Negley Historic Union FORT NEGLEY will reopen to the public in December 2004 after a ten-year development effort and 140 years after its guns opened the Battle of Nashville. At its May 20th meeting, the BONPS learned about the history of the fort, and its future, from David Currey, a local historian working on the interpretation of the fort.

Read the entire story here.

Nashville and BONPS receive national attention at conference of Civil War Preservation Trust
Above, BONPS member Terry Komp explains preservation efforts at Shy's Hill to visitors at the BONPS booth.

Right, noted historian and tour guide Ed Bearss explains the Battle of Nashville action at Confederate Redoubt No. One, preserved by BONPS. Many visitors were amazed at the number of sites still remaining on the battlefield.

NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE was the place to be for Civil War enthusiasts and historians during the annual conference of the Civil War Preservation Trust, “Hood’s Last Hurrah—The Fight for Middle Tennessee,” April 22-25, held in conjunction with the nearby meeting of the American Battlefield Protection Program.

The event focused attention on Nashville and the Western Theater and on local preservation efforts. Many favorable comments were heard from conference attendees and officials.

The Battle of Nashville Preservation Society manned a booth at the Exhibit Hall, offering information on historical sites, local preservation projects, and society membership, as well as selling copies of BONPS’s new book, “Guide to Civil War Nashville.”

BONPS President Doug Jones addressed the CWPT membership with a status report on BONPS projects, which include Shy’s Hill, Redoubt No. 1, and Fort Negley.

At the concluding banquet, CWPT President James Lighthizer presented Nashville Mayor Bill Purcell with the State Leadership Award for his efforts in preserving Fort Negley. The city has authorized $2 million to develop the historic site into a tourist attraction and open it to the public, probably in December 2004.

Guide book author Mark Zimmerman was honored to accompany Edwin Bearss and Jim Ogden on a nine-hour bus tour of Nashville’s Civil War sites with 50 participants. Mr. Bearss, preeminent Civil War historian and tour guide, provided a fascinating running dialogue of Nashville’s history and was very complimentary of BONPS preservation efforts and its guide book. Mr. Bearss is Historian Emeritus of the National Park Service. Mr. Ogden, who read excerpts from wartime accounts about Nashville, is the Staff Historian at Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park.

Other noted speakers and tour guides at the conference included Thomas Cartwright, Benjamin Franklin Cooling, Brooks Faulkner, Jim Jobe, Richard McMurry, Richard Sommers, Wiley Sword, and Brian Wills.

Emphasizing Nashville’s role as the hub of regional Civil War tourism, the CWPT conducted tours of other local sites, including Fort Donelson, Franklin, and the activities of Nathan Bedford Forrest.

During 2003, the CWPT preserved 2109 acres of Civil War battlefields, including parcels at Fort Donelson, Parker’s Crossroads, and Shiloh.

Next year, the CWPT national conference will be held in Washington, D.C. and will focus on Gettysburg and Antietam.

BONPS blazes new trail up historic Shy's Hill

BONPS members have been constructing a new, gentler trail up the slope of Shy's Hill. On Sat., March 27, National Park Clean-up Day, workers led by Project Director Bob Brown and BONPS President Doug Jones made good progress on the lower portion of the new trail. A path was leveled up the side of the hill and railroad ties placed to stabilize the soil. The new path will replace the very steep old trail, thus enabling more visitors to climb to the top of Shy's Hill.

BONPS donates to USCT statue project

The Battle of Nashville Preservation Society donated $250 towards the dedication of a statue commemorating the United States Colored Troops who fought in Tennessee and who lay at rest in Nashville's National Cemetery.

Read the full story

Will the Negro fight?

That's the question asked by army officials during the Civil War and the question tackled by Norm Hill, Chairman of the Tennessee Historical Commission and special speaker at the March 18th meeting of the Battle of Nashville Preservation Society.

Read the full story

Battle of Nashville, BONPS featured prominently in spring issue of Civil War Preservation Trust magazine!

The Battle of Nashville and the Battle of Nashville Preservation Society are featured prominently in the Spring 2004 issue of Hallowed Ground, the magazine of the Civil War Preservation Trust (CWPT).

The cover features a full-page photo of Confederate Redoubt No. 1, with liner note stating, “The lot-sized site has been saved by the Battle of Nashville Preservation Society."

Read the entire article!

BONPS Annual Dinner kicks off year of events
commemorating 140th Anniversary of Battle of Nashville!

The fourth annual Battle of Nashville Preservation Society Banquet and awards ceremony was conducted Thurs., Feb. 19th, 2004 at the Hillwood Country Club. President Doug Jones welcomed all members in attendance and their guests and distinguished visitors. Although the Society made great strides the past 12 months, events planned for this year--the 140th anniversary of the 1864 Battle of Nashville--will be unprecedented in their scope.

Click here to view the BONPS Calendar of Events for 2004.

Preservationist of the Year Award David Curry, left, Executive Director of Travellers Rest Plantation and Museum, is presented the Preservationist of the Year Award by BONPS President Doug Jones in recognition of his efforts to promote heritage tourism throughout Middle Tennessee. Travellers Rest, an outstanding tourist attraction, served as Confederate Gen. John Bell Hood's headquarters just prior to the Battle of Nashville.

The guest speaker at the banquet was Dr. Christopher Losson of St. Joseph, Missouri, the author of Tennessee's Forgotton Warriors: Frank Cheatham and His Confederate Division.

Click here for more details and photos of the banquet!

James Jobe, left, Park Historian at Fort Donelson National Battlefield, pictured with BONPS President Doug Jones, spoke on The Role of Fort Donelson in the Fall of Nashville at the January meeting of the BONPS at Belmont Mansion, the first in a series of major events planned for 2004, the 140th anniversary of the Battle of Nashville.

"You cannot overstate the advantage the Union gained with the capture of Nashville," Jobe stated, adding that the city became the major supply center for military operations in the Western Theater.

Read the full story here

Dedication of Signage at Redoubt No. 1

New Signage at Redoubt No. 1
On the 139th anniversary of the Battle of Nashville, Dec. 15-16, 1864,
approximately 50 preservationists and history buffs
dedicated new interpretive signage at Confederate Redoubt No. 1
on Benham Lane. Funds for the sign, designed by BONPS Historian
Ross Massey, were donated by the Joe Johnston Chapter of the
Sons of Confederate Veterans. The historic site was preserved
a decade ago through a generous loan from BONPS founder Wes Shofner.
BONPS President Doug Jones took the
opportunity to announce a host of events planned by the Society
during the year 2004, the 140th anniversary of the Battle of Nashville.
For a partial list of events, see our Calendar page.

At the Redoubt No. 1 sign dedication Dec. 15th were, left to right, William Shofner; Wes Shofner, founder of BONPS; Doug Jones, BONPS President; State Sen. Douglas Henry (District 21); J.T. Thompson, BONPS Vice-President; Ward DeWitt, former Chairman of the Tennessee Historical Commission; and BONPS Board Member Ross Massey, who designed the sign.

Editorial from The Nashville Scene: Issue of Dec. 18-24, 2003

Killing Fields and Life's Finer Things

The human enterprise hasn't always gone well.

On this very week, in 1864, in the city of Nashville, Union and Confederate troops met in what are now our front yards and shopping malls and parking lots and commenced killing one another. On the same ground where we now purchase loaves of Tuscan bread and try on expensive loafers and watch European films was a battle of equal parts desperation and madness that effectively ended the Civil War.

Read the rest of the Editorial by Clicking Here (PDF: 20K)

Left to right, Ann Toplovich, Executive Director of the Tennessee Historical Society; Doug Jones, President of the Battle of Nashville Preservation Society; Jeanne Marszalek and John Marszalek; and Mac Mellor, BONPS Program Director.

Gen. William T. Sherman and the Birth of Destructive Warfare in Tennessee, by Historian John Marszalek

The destructive warfare waged on Georgia and the Carolinas in 1864-65 by Gen. William Tecumsah Sherman was formulated during his earlier experiences in Tennessee, according to one of the general’s biographers.

About 70 people attended the Nov. 20, 2003 lecture on “Sherman and the Birth of Destructive War in Tennessee” by noted historian John Marszalek at Lipscomb University’s Shamblin Theater. The lecture was sponsored by BONPS, the Tennessee Historical Society, and the university’s Dept. of History, Politics and Philosophy.

Read the entire story

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