Historic Travelers Rest Museum – Nashville, Tennessee

Saturday, we went to Nashville, Tennessee.  While we were there we visited the Travelers Rest Museum.

The Overton family home was named Travelers Rest  and was owned by Judge John Overton.  The plantation played a vital role during the Battle of Nashville, since battles were fought on the grounds.

After the war, the Overtones provided services for disabled Confederate veterans and founded the Confederate Soldiers’ Home.

The Overtone house is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is now a museum.

I know it sounds nerdy, but my favorite part of the museum was the old school house.

The American Civil War

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The most interesting chapter in this book was about the role of woman in the Civil War.

Women in the North had a history of participating in social and political activities.  They were also more likely to be educated and allowed freedoms women in the South were denied.

In the South, women were subservient to men.  They were seen as beings that needed to be controlled.  They were less educated and had no experience with social or political activism.

During the war, Northern women worked in hospitals and with their help soldiers were less likely to die from infections.  They also prepared food and delivered it to the soldiers.  The aid given by women in the North played a role in the Armies ability to fight and win the war.

 

Fort Gaines, Dauphin Island, Alabama

Fort Gaines was established in the 1800’s and played a pivotal role in the Battle of Mobile Bay during the Civil War.  It was also used during the Spanish American War.

The fort has been well preserved and now functions as a museum.  Visitors can learn about the battles fought at the fort and how French culture influenced the area.

Weeden House Museum – Huntsville, Alabama

I throughly enjoyed my visit to the Weeden House Museum.  There are a lot of interesting things to see and the tour guide did a fabulous job.

The Weeden House was built in 1819, by H.C. Bradford.  The intricate woodwork and the federal architectural style is stunning.  The Weeden family owned the home from 1845 to 1956.

Maria Howard Weeden (1846-1905) lived in this house her entire life.  She was a poet and an artist.  Maira was particularly interested in the lives of the black people she encountered on a regular basis.  She was bothered by the way they were treated and wanted to give them a voice in the world.

Maria Howard Weeden painted realistic portraits of the black people, instead of the cartoonish images that were popular during the Reconstruction period.

Maria also spent hours talking to the black people she painted, so she could learn their life stories.

Maria used poetry to expose the horrible circumstances of their lives.  The rhythm and cadence reflected the positive personalities of the people, in spite of their lifelong suffering.

Maria Howard Weeden was truly a woman ahead of her time.

Oakwood Historic Slave Cemetery

There is a monument at the Oakwood Historic Slave Cemetery in honor of the slaves buried on the property.

The slaves were viewed as sub-human, so they were placed in graves with no headstones or makers of any kind.  There is no way to know who is buried here or even the exact number of people buried on this land.

We all know about the horrible existence of many slaves.  They were traded like cattle, beaten by their owners, and had less rights than my dogs do today.

I like to go to the cemetery from time to time.  It helps me remember the past and what can happen when we start judging people based on their race, religion, ethnic group, sexual orientation, or anything else that may make that person different from us.

 

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Yellow Bluff Fort – Historic State Park

Thursday morning, Malia and I were ready hours before our scheduled time to board the ship, so we decided to do a little more exploring.

We went to Yellow Bluff Fort, which is a historic state park in Jacksonville, Florida.  The park is dedicated to the Confederate soldiers that fought and died trying to maintain control of Jacksonville.

The Union forces were able to seize control of Yellow Bluff, which was an encampment and not an actual fort.  This allowed the Union Military to access the ports in the area around Yellow Bluff and was an essential part of successfully take control of Florida.