published Thursday, June 27th, 2013

Play offers glimpse into Civil War life - June 29


* What: "Soldier, Come Home."

* When: 10:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. Saturday, June 29.

* Where: South Jackson Civic Center, 404 S. Jackson St., Tullahoma, Tenn.

* Admission: Free (donations accepted).

* Phone: 931-455-5321.

"Soldier, Come Home," a play by Frank Wicks based on his family's Civil War letters, will be performed twice Saturday, June 29, in Tullahoma, Tenn.

The production is part of an ongoing series of events marking the sesquicentennial commemoration of the Tullahoma Campaign.

The letters were written between 1859 and 1865. Mary Luke Pringle wrote to her husband, Philip W. Pringle, from Armagh, Pa., while he and other family members corresponded from several major Civil War battle sites, including Chancellorsville, The Wilderness, Spotsylvania, Cold Harbor, the Siege of Petersburg and Appomattox.

The long-forgotten letters were discovered in 1950 in a shoebox in the attic of the playwright's grandparents. Wicks' father began transcribing the letters. After his death, Wicks continued the project and began work on the play. Wicks is a great-grandson of the Pringles.

"I was struck from the beginning by the powerful content of the letters," Wicks says in a news release. "They were filled with complicated relationships, humor and struggles for survival. I felt that the energy of the letters, plus their historical importance, would make an interesting dramatic presentation."

"Soldier, Come Home" premiered in Brunswick, Maine, in 2002. The play has been performed throughout America, including Etowah, Tenn. Terry Mayo directs the seven-member Tullahoma cast.

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