Living History: Our Place in Time

Living in such a history-rich area is exciting and gives us great opportunities to participate in some really interesting events.

The kickoff for Tennessee’s Sesquicentennial Celebration in Nashville was the weekend of November 12 and 13, with a reenactment at Bicentennial Capitol Mall on Saturday.

Then last Saturday, we attended the General’s breakfast at Rippavilla Plantation.

It was an awesome experience to know that we sat in the same room, within a few days of the anniversary, approximately at the same time of day, eating similar foods, as did the historic meeting that led soldiers into battle. We had smoked ham, cheesy potatoes, grits, eggs and homemade biscuits with preserves.

This is the table Hood sat at, located in the same spot

Thomas Flagel, author and American history teacher at Columbia State Community College, guided discussion, dispelled rumors of use of drugs and alcohol, and asked unanswerable questions, such as where were the sentries? How could 20,000 Union soldiers, spread out over about 15 miles between Columbia and Franklin, with wagons, cannons and horses “sneak” past? How could every one of the Confederate soldiers have slept within a few hundred yards of this march?

During the “Northern Agression” (or more commonly known as the “Civil War”), the Battle of Spring Hill is known to many as one of the biggest military blunders after 20,000 Union soldiers under the command of Major General John M. Schofield marched past the Confederate forces in Spring Hill on the night of November 29, 1864 (Less than a mile away from our house). When the Confederate Commander, Lt. General John Bell Hood ordered his senior officers to meet at Rippavilla for a breakfast meeting, not surprising, it turned into a heated exchange, with Hood ordering his army to march to Franklin, where one of the bloodiest battles in the conflict occurred later that day. More soldiers died in the Battle of Franklin in 5 hours than the total number of casualties in the Afghan and Iraq wars combined.

Our breakfast was followed by a one hour tour of the plantation.
We look forward to the next few years of living history events of the Sesquicentennial Celebration highlighting the historical Civil War.