Tennessee residents are invited to bring their Civil War relics to the Chattanooga Convention Center this week for documentation.
Continuing its "Looking Back: The Civil War in Tennessee" project, the Tennessee State Library and Archives is offering the rare opportunity to have Civil War manuscripts, artifacts and photographs digitally preserved free of charge.
As part of the commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, a team of professional archivists, curators and conservators from TSLA will be on hand 1-5 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 9, and 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 10, to digitize these privately owned Civil War records and artifacts.
Dr. Wayne Moore, assistant state archivist, believes next week's turnout should yield exciting results, as Chattanooga is "a key place in [Tennessee Civil War] history and a hotbed of Civil War interest."
The Looking Back project will eventually digitize records and artifacts from all 95 counties. So far, Moore says, "the quality of the photographs, documents and artifacts that people are bringing out is just extraordinary. No other state has done a Civil War digitization project on this scale to create an important legacy for future generations of students and Civil War scholars."
The files are maintained by TSLA and will become part of a virtual archive to be used by the general public as well as K-12 teachers and students.
The documentation will take place during the state's Sesquicentennial Signature Event, "Occupation and Liberation," which starts Wednesday. Area residents also are invited to view relics related to the Battles for Chattanooga. Items include:
• A map of Chattanooga saloon district (1911)
• Maj. Gen. B.F.Cheatham's military map of Chattanooga and North Georgia
• "Bird's Eye" Map of Chattanooga, 1888
• Report of Maj. Gen. Patrick Cleburne on the operations of his division in the Battle of Chickamauga Sept. 19-20, 1863
• Confederate Surgeon William B. Maney's report of killed and wounded at Battle of Chickamauga
• Photograph of the Snodgrass House on Chickamauga Battlefield
• Panoramic photograph of Chattanooga during siege
• "Capture of Missionary Ridge" colored engraving
• Photograph of Gov. William B. Bate funeral
• Photograph of General Hooker at Lookout Valley headquarters
• Photograph of General Grant on Lookout Mountain in 1863
• Folio of George Bernard images
Many of the digital records are featured in an online exhibit, "Looking Back: The Civil War in Tennessee," which may be viewed at tn.gov/tsla/cwtn/index.htm.
Those interested in participating should refer to the schedule www.tn.gov/tsla/cwtn and call 615-253-3470 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a reservation.
For more information on Tennessee's Civil War Sesquicentennial, visit www.tncivilwar150.com or download a complimentary iPhone app, available at www.itunes.apple.com/us/app/tennessee-civil-war-150.