Tullahoma, Tenn., events recall Civil War battle

Tullahoma, Tenn., events recall Civil War battle

June 29th, 2013 by Ben Benton in Local Regional News

The Beech Grove Confederate Cemetery in northern Coffee County, Tenn., is where some soldiers from the opening battle of the Tullahoma Campaign are buried. Tullahoma officials and organizers are planning a two-day celebration in late June to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Tullahoma Campaign during the Civil War.

Photo by John Rawlston /Times Free Press.


The schedule below lists events planned today at the South Jackson Civic Center and Warren Auditorium in Tullahoma. All times are Central Daylight Time.

• 9 a.m.: Flag raised at South Jackson Civic Center on the front lawn; a re-enactor camp, headquarters and medical tents will open for the day along with a campaign map display, craft demonstrations and concession stands on the south lawn. Artifacts display opens for the day in the front reception room, and the "Trains of Time" display opens for the day in the Mitchell Museum, Warren Auditorium.

• 9:30 a.m.: Infantry drill, south lawn

• 10 a.m.: Artillery demonstration, south lawn

• 10:30 a.m.: "Soldier Come Home" one-hour play begins, Warren Auditorium

• 11:30 a.m.: Dance demonstration and musician Sarah Crawford Young plays, front lawn

• 12 p.m.: Infantry drill, south lawn

• 12:30 p.m.: UDC Fashion Show, Warren Auditorium

• 1:30 p.m.: Dance demonstration, front lawn

• 2 p.m.: Artillery demonstration, south lawn

• 2:30 p.m.: "Soldier Come Home," Warren Auditorium

• 4 p.m.: Skirmish, south lawn

• 5 p.m.: Flag lowered at South Jackson, front lawn, followed by a concert by the Tennessee Fiddle Orchestra, Warren Auditorium.

Source: Tullahoma Campaign Sesquicentennial Commemoration committee

Folks in Tullahoma, Tenn., are ready for battle this morning on South Jackson Street.

That's the site of today's commemorative event for the 150th anniversary of the Tullahoma Campaign, one of the pivotal actions in the Civil War that helped open the door to the Deep South for the Union.

An all-day schedule of events starts at 9 a.m. CDT today at the South Jackson Civic Center with the opening of a re-enactment camp, headquarters and medical tents, Tullahoma Community Coordinator Winston Brooks said Friday.

Visitors can see a walk-through display that includes descriptive, historical maps assembled to give visitors an idea of the theater of action in the campaign before Tullahoma grew up over it, Brooks said.

Some unexpected surprises for the commemoration include a cavalry group from Shelbyville, Tenn., and a brass cannon for demonstrations at the center, he said.

The Tullahoma Campaign was somewhat overshadowed by engagements at Gettysburg and at Vicksburg that draw attention away from the Union push into Middle Tennessee.

But the face-off between Union Maj. Gen. William Rosecrans and Confederate Lt. Gen. Braxton Bragg at Tullahoma doesn't escape history's eye, according to Michael R. Bradley, chairman of the commemoration committee and a Civil War historian. He's also a descendant of Andrew Jackson Bradley, a Confederate soldier in the 1st Tennessee Infantry.

Armed with the new Spencer repeating rifle, Rosecrans' victory over 11 days in a Tennessee downpour demonstrated a brilliant strategy marked by some as his greatest achievement, Bradley said in May during planning for the commemoration.

Officials said historical society members erected signs in surrounding neighborhoods indicating important sites in the campaign.

"It's going to be a big day," Brooks said. He said some estimate the event could draw as many as 4,000 people, but there should be plenty of parking.

A Civil War fashion show is planned after lunch, and the award-winning one-hour play, "Soldier, Come Home" will be presented twice, officials said.

Closing events include a re-enactor skirmish, followed by a flag-lowering ceremony and a concert by the Tennessee Fiddle Orchestra.

"The Fiddle Orchestra alone is worth the trip," Brooks said.

Contact staff writer Ben Benton at bbenton@times freepress.com or 423-757-6569.