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Hermitage hosts ‘picnic’

Hermitage hosts ‘picnic’

Posted: Friday, July 20, 2012 8:05 pm

During the great conflict known as the American Civil War, The Hermitage in Nashville was a pilgrimage destination for soldiers in both the Union and Confederate armies.
Men flocked to Andrew Jackson’s rural retreat to pay homage to a military hero and United States president they greatly admired, respected and who they believed represented their divergent points of view.
Fortunately, The Hermitage was not touched by battle or looting during the bloody four-year conflict. In fact, after a time Union guards were stationed at the revered site to protect it.
On July 21, 1862, a Confederate cavalry brigade visited The Hermitage to pay their respects to the beloved general and his family. Upon arrival, they encountered a group of local women who were visiting to honor the first anniversary of the Battle of Manassas. The two groups met for the afternoon for a picnic. On Saturday and Sunday, The Hermitage will recreate this visit.
Visitors will have the opportunity to learn about the role of Confederate cavalry and mounted soldiers in the Civil War, the relationships between civilians and military, and the complex gender roles of the Civil War era.
Experiences will include visits to both civilian and military living history camps, recreation of a “picnic” held on the mansion grounds, mounted cavalry drills, a period church service on Sunday morning in the historic Hermitage Church, opportunities to learn about Civil War photography and performances of music from the Civil War era. Folks of all ages — from pre-school on up — will find exciting activities, educational programs and other opportunities for fun!
The activities are is free with paid admission to The Hermitage.
“The stories at The Hermitage did not end with the death of Andrew Jackson in 1845, but continue to the present time. We are pleased to illustrate how life continued at a personal level through the drama and bloodshed of the Civil War years,”said Howard Kittell, president and CEO of The Hermitage.
All events take place on the Hermitage grounds near the mansion with the exception of the Civil War era religious service which will take place in the historic Hermitage Church.

Published in The Messenger 7.20.12

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