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The Civil War and Reconstruction were monumental times of conflict and change for the people of Tennessee. Featured artifacts and stories in this exhibit document a period that forced Tennesseans to take sides and make sacrifices. Visitors will learn how Tennesseans determined to secede from the Union and how the state remained divided on the issue throughout the war. The major battles and personalities are featured including the experiences of common soldiers. African Americans are highlighted as they seek their own freedom, and some eventually fight for the Union. Finally, Tennesseans struggled to find a place in a world without slavery during the era of Reconstruction.
Letter sewn into Flag of the 154th Senior Tennessee Infantry, C.S.A. (Tennessee State Museum collection, 2016.86.1.1)