A Wonderful Civil War Art Exhibition

Today I drove up to Russellville, TN for the opening reception of a Civil War Art exhibition. The collection consisted of a number of really beautiful original paintings by Marie Merritt covering the civil war, and included one painting of General Longstreet Marie painted for the museum and which was unveiled at the showing. And you could not have a better location for the showing than an antebellum American house that General Longstreet occupied during the winter of 1863-1864.

The historic Nenney House served as the winter headquarters for General Longstreet just after the Battle of Bean’s Station in December of 1963. Russellville became the winter camp for his Confederate army. The house has been painstakingly restored by the Lakeway Civil War Preservation Association to serve as a museum. It is the centerpiece of the Civil War Trail in the Lakeway area. The museum’s gift shop also contains an excellent Tennessee Civil War history reference library and Civil War related souvenirs and publications. The museum hosts several special events throughout the year. A reproduction of an 1860’s era tailor shop features both Confederate and Union uniforms and other period dress. It is a perfect setting for an exhibit like this one.

Paintings by Marie Merritt

That is Marie Merritt standing on the staircase in the Nenney House with some of the “reenactors” who were present for the event. I first met Marie at a gallery on Gay Street in Knoxville, TN through my friend, Vicki Goforth. I met Vicki back in my ballroom dancing days and we have remained friends over the years. I enjoyed Marie’s paintings at the gallery, so when I received an invitation to attend the exhibition at the General Longstreet Museum, I had to go. I am a military history buff after all. To be honest, I had no idea this little gem of a museum even existed. What a great surprise. It is definitely worth a visit and I recommend stopping by if you are in the area.

Here is a picture of several of the paintings mounted on a wall in what was probably the sitting room of this historic old house. That is my friend, Vicki, in the red jacket.

One of my personal favorites was this painting below of a Confederate sharpshooter.

Sadly, I must confess that at the time I was taking pictures, I did not know about the special painting of General Longstreet Marie did for the museum which sat to the side on an easel. And somehow, I missed getting a picture of it. But on the bright side, that gives me an excuse to make another trip up to this great little museum in the not-to-distant future.

And here is one picture that might be a little off topic, but I still had to share it. General Longstreet’s staff probably sent messages on this very telegraph. This is probably one of the earliest known predecessors to the smartphone!

8 thoughts on “A Wonderful Civil War Art Exhibition”

    1. Me too, although I have actually been to more Revolutionary War sites and battlefields than Civil War. I find it always seems to sharpen my sense of who we are as a Nation. I think we could use a little more of that these days.

  1. Very well-written! I thank you for writing about history and keeping it alive because so many today are trying to erase and rewrite history and it’s scary!

    And I love the pictures! I remember when my grandmother, brother and I stopped at Shiloh on our way home from Alabama in 1984 and the place was awesome! And I’ve heard people say that, at night, you can still hear the cannon’s and muskets going off. I don’t know if this is true because I’ve never been there at night. But that’s what a few people have said.

    Please don’t stop writing about The Civil War and our history! I just followed your blog because we need people like you to teach us the truth about our ancestors and history.

    1. Thank you for the follow and the very kind words. I do what I do because, like you, I worry about our country and the direction it is headed in. I will never give up the fight to keep America free.

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