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Want to learn about the rebuilding of Tennessee after the Civil War?

From staff reports • May 3, 2018 at 11:15 PM

Next to Virginia, which state suffered the most destruction during the Civil War?

It was Tennessee.

To a large extent, the American Civil War was fought in cities and farms of Tennessee, as only Virginia saw more battles. However, Tennessee is the only state to have major battles or skirmishes fought in every single county.

Tennessee was the last of the Southern states to declare secession from the Union, as a substantial portion of the population was against secession, but it saw more than its share of the devastation resulting from years of warring armies crisscrossing the state. Its rivers were key arteries to the Deep South, and, from the early days of the war, Union efforts focused on securing control of those transportation routes, as well as major roads and mountain passes such as the Cumberland Gap. Tennessee was also considered “the Bread Basket” of the Confederacy, for its rich farmland that fed both armies during the war.

But what about when the war was over?

Learn about East Tennessee reconstruction Monday night at the Kingsport Renaissance Center when the Tri-Cities Civil War Round Table presents historian Aaron Astor.

Astor, Ph.D., is associate professor of history at Maryville College in Maryville, Tennessee. He is the author of “Rebels on the Border: Civil War, Emancipation and the Reconstruction of Kentucky and Missouri, 1860-1872,” published in 2012, and “The Civil War Along Tennessee’s Cumberland Plateau,” released in 2015.

Astor has also written 11 articles for the award-winning New York Times Disunion series, addressing such topics as guerrilla warfare; battles and campaigns in the Western Theater; popular politics; emancipation and race; and regional identity in the Appalachian South. He is currently working on a book project that explores the 1860 presidential election as a grassroots phenomenon from the perspective of four distinct American communities.

At Maryville College, Astor teaches a variety of courses on United States history, from Colonial America to the present. He also participates in numerous historic preservation groups across Tennessee, including serving on the board of the Tennessee Civil War Preservation Association and the East Tennessee Civil War Alliance.

The event starts at 7 p.m. in room 310 of the Renaissance Center, located at 1200 E. Center St. It is free and open to the public

Future TCCWRT Program Schedule:

July 16, 2018 — Fun Fest “A Civil War Evening,” “First Person Enactment of Grant (Curt Fields) and Lee (Thomas Jessee),” Renaissance Center Theatre, Kingsport

Sept 10 , 2018 — Frank O’Reilly, National Park Service historian and author of “The Battle of Spotsylvania: Two Fights at the Mule Shoe Salient,” Eastman Employee Center, Room 219

Oct 8, 2018 — John Marszalek, “The Winning Combination: Grant & Sherman,” Eastman Employee Center, Room 219

Nov 12, 2018 — Ed Bearss, chief historian emeritus NPS, “Farthest Forward: Pickett and Pettigrew at Gettysburg,” Eastman Employee Center, Room 219

Jan 14, 2019 — Jim Ogden, chief historian NPS, TBD, Eastman Employee Center, Room 219

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