While Cumberland County was not a battlefield during the Civil War, many young men marched away to serve. Both Union and Confederate units received the boys and men from the towns and farms. Now, 150 years later, the Tennessee State Library and Archives is honoring that service by documenting the memorabilia left in the care of descendants and family of those who served.
Now, as a part of an effort to promote public interest in the 150th anniversary of the Civil War in Tennessee, TSLA is offering citizens around the state the chance to contribute to a permanent record of Civil War resources.
This initiative, called “Looking Back: The Civil War in Tennessee,” will provide Tennesseans the opportunity to have their Civil War manuscripts, artifacts and photographs digitally copied and preserved for posterity. The TSLA staff will offer basic conservation techniques at the time the items are digitized. In return, the participants will receive free digitization services, copies of the digital images and the opportunity to have their Civil War manuscripts and artifacts preserved digitally for future generations.
Items must be original artifacts, such as diaries, papers pertaining to service, uniforms or parts of uniforms such as patches, buckles or buttons. Also desired are such items as flags, hand drawn sketches or maps or any other item that was utilized by a soldier, such as weapons, medical implements, letters or any other actual artifact. Photographs are important, especially when the people are identified. Please, no photocopies or reconstructions.
On Nov. 20, the TSLA staff will be at the Cumberland County Archives to document those items held by families. They will photograph or scan your items and will return them to you. Your name will not be released publicly as the owner of these items to protect your privacy and ownership. The photos and scans will become part of the state-wide collection available for viewing through TSLA and will reflect only the fact that TSLA owns the scans and photos.
For more information you can access the eligibility information at www.tn.gov/tsla/cwtn, or call the Cumberland County Archives. You may also come by the archives to pick up an eligibility information sheet, have questions answered or set up an appointment with TSLA to prevent having to wait. They are located under the brown steeple at 95 East First St., Crossville, Tn., open Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., or call them at 456-2006 during those hours.