Soldiers in downtown Shelbyville during World War II maneuvers. (National Archives photo)
Over the years I've heard tales of the massive number of troops who were involved in maneuvers across Bedford County connected with the old Camp Forrest during the early years of World War II.
My elders told me of residents waking up to see their yards covered with sleeping soldiers; of the old railroad depot being used as a site to entertain soldiers; and of many people in western Bedford County being evacuated from their homes for months.
Here's a photo of troops marching from South Main onto Depot Street. For me, it's interesting seeing a location that's so familiar -- in some ways, it's hardly changed -- yet looking so different. Looks like the soldiers were getting the civilian support they deserved.
This photo, from the National Archives, was part of a press release we received for a historical society meeting. It's part of a book "In The Presence Of Soldiers,' written by Woody McMillin, who will be speaking to the Bedford County Historical Society and signing books at their meeting, next Monday at 6:30 p.m. at First United Methodist Church. It sounds like a good read for anyone who experienced -- or, like me, just heard the stories -- of those days. Supposedly the book has many more photos like this one.
Picturing the Past is featured each Tuesday in this blog. Reader contributions are welcome.