published Monday, May 30th, 2011

Civil War guide highlights Rhea County Spartans

By Kimberly McMillian
The Rhea County Spartans, a prominent league of women who fought home-front battles during the Civil War, are featured at the Spring City Museum and Depot in Spring City, Tenn.
Photo by Kimberly McMillian
The Rhea County Spartans, a prominent league of women who fought home-front battles during the Civil War, are featured at the Spring City Museum and Depot in Spring City, Tenn. Photo by Kimberly McMillian

SPRING CITY, Tenn. — After nearly 150 years, a group of Rhea County women will have their story of bravery and rebellion shared nationwide in the spring issue of American Heritage magazine.

The Appalachian Regional Commission announced last month that the “Civil War: The Home Front” map guide would feature historic monuments and attractions that commemorate the war’s 150th anniversary.

The Spring City Museum and Depot, which features the Rhea County Spartans, is included in the map guide.

The Spartans came from prominent families and had relatives in the Confederate army, according to the Southeast Tennessee Tourism Association’s website and other sources. Their initial meetings of support and friendship led them to provide food and clothing to troops, and later they were accused of spying for the Confederacy.

Tourism association Director Cindy Milligan said earlier this month that she was excited about the exposure and thought it was “great for Spring City.”

Louis Segesvary, spokesman for the Appalachian Regional Commission, said in a phone interview that 500 Civil War sites were nominated in the 13 Appalachian states.

Each of the 150 sites featured in the travel guide had to have a “compelling human story on the home front” and an accessibility to visitors, Segesvary said.

The Spartans supported their troops, he said, and fought a battle closer to home.

Milligan said Tennessee had nine sites included in the map guide.

For more information, log onto www.visitappalachia.com or call Milligan at 423-424-4267.

Kimberly McMillian is based in Rhea County. Contact her at kdj424@bellsouth.net.

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