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Thursday, July 10, 2014

On the trail of history

Thursday, October 24, 2013

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There will be a dedication ceremony Wednesday for this Civil War Trails marker on the south Courthouse lawn.
(T-G Photo by Jason Reynolds)
Bedford County is acknowledging its Civil War heritage with hopes of increasing tourism.

The county is dedicating a Civil War Trails marker on the south courthouse lawn during a ceremony at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday.

"The marker is a good way for our community to increase tourism," Bedford County Mayor Eugene Ray said. "Bedford County has a significant amount of history from the Civil War."

Dr. Carroll Van West will be the keynote speaker, according to a press release from the Bedford County Historical Society. West is Tennessee state historian and executive director of both the Center for Historic Preservation at Middle Tennessee State University and the Tennessee Civil War National Heritage Area.

Representatives from the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development will join local officials for the ceremony.

Shelbyville did not play a significant role in the war but it was a "side action," said Al Simmons, president of the Bedford County Historical Society. The city was wedged between larger battles in Murfreesboro and Tullahoma, he said.

A little action

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Minor skirmishes happened throughout Bedford County, Simmons said, including in Flat Creek, Unionville and Farmington.

According to the Courthouse marker, on June 23, 1863, Union Gen. William S. Rosecrans "feinted toward Shelbyville ... and then captured Hoovers and Liberty Gaps the next day. A mounted infantry brigade captured Manchester on June 27." The marker details more skirmishes that followed in this region before Confederate forces retreated to Chattanooga on July 3.

Bedford County is one of 270 Civil War Trails sites in Tennessee and one of more than 1,000 such sites in five states, according to the Historical Society.

The public is invited to attend the ceremony Wednesday. Shelbyville Central High School's Chorus and Wind Symphony will provide accompanying music.

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