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Grey and Blue Days: General Longstreet Museum offers live history lessons

Posted on Tuesday, December 1, 2015 at 8:34 am

Members of the 1st East Tennessee Battery were one of the reenactment groups taking part in the Civil War living history encampment over the weekend at the General Longstreet Headquarters Museum in Russellville. Battery members taking part in the cannon demonstration were, from left, Frank White, Hank Huff, Bill Haskins, Matthew Brown, Bill White and Mason Bradley.

Members of the 1st East Tennessee Battery were one of the reenactment groups taking part in the Civil War living history encampment over the weekend at the General Longstreet Headquarters Museum in Russellville. Battery members taking part in the cannon demonstration were, from left, Frank White, Hank Huff, Bill Haskins, Matthew Brown, Bill White and Mason Bradley.

Hundreds of history buffs and students from local schools took the opportunity to visit a Civil War living history encampment and tour the General Longstreet Museum in late October in Hamblen County, Tennessee.

The activities kicked off on Friday with school days. Museum Director Linda Lammers said students from Hawkins County toured the Bethesda Church and cemetery and then went to the museum for lunch and a tour.

In addition to seeing Union and Confederate soldiers, students were also treated to Confederate re-enactor Bill White with his cannon, Brian Green with a flag demonstration and C. Reece Sexton firing a period gun.

“The kids just ate it up,” Lammers said.

The activities continued Saturday and Sunday with the encampment featuring reenactors portraying life as soldiers during the Civil War, with the 79th New York Union Troop and the 63rd and 60th Tennessee Confederate regiments and the 1st East Tennessee Battery of the Confederate Army.

After touring the camps, visitors were able to tour the museum itself, which is located where Confederate Gen. James Longstreet made his headquarters during the winter of 1863.

The event was free, but donations were accepted for the hour tours.

Lammers said that despite the fact the encampment took place at the same time as the annual Appalachian celebration Mountain Makins in Morristown, “it turned out pretty well. It was crowded.”

For many visitors, it was the first time touring the restored home and grounds.

“Many people said ‘I’ve always wanted to come here,’” Lammers said, adding that many appeared to be surprised by the items inside the museum.

The encampment also served as the closing of the season at the museum, she said.

For more information about the General Longstreet Headquarters Museum, visit www.longstreetmuseum.com.

-By Denise Williams


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