Fayetteville hosts War of 1812 Symposium


March 11, 2014


1812 Commission logo

“The Road to New Orleans” is the topic for the third official symposium for the Tennessee War of 1812 Bicentennial Commission, to be held in the auditorium of Lincoln County High School in Fayetteville on Saturday, March 22.

The event, which will get underway at 9 a.m., is free and open to the public.

“This year in Fayetteville the bicentennial commission,” notes chair Myers Brown of the Tennessee State Library and Archives, “focuses on the campaigns in the south that led to the pivotal battle of New Orleans in 1815.  This year’s symposium takes place within days of the bicentennial commemoration of one of the most significant battles, the Battle of Horseshoe Bend in Alabama, where Tennesseans and their Native American allies gained a decisive victory.”

The symposium begins with remarks from Dr. Carroll Van West, the Tennessee State historian who is also the director of one of the symposium’s primary sponsors, the MTSU Center for Historic Preservation.

“MTSU is pleased to support these statewide symposiums,” West emphasizes, “because the War of 1812 was an international conflict that shaped our state’s history for the rest of the century. What happened in those years and by those Tennesseans needs to be remembered and commemorated.

“Fayetteville is the perfect place for the symposium in 2014, because here at Camp Blount, Gen. Andrew Jackson gathered thousands of Tennesseans for the fighting in Alabama, Florida, and Louisiana.”

The first featured speaker is former University of Tennessee head football coach, John Majors. Coach Majors, who is an avid Tennessee history buff and grew up in nearby Huntland, will speak about “What It Means to be a Volunteer,” both in 1814 and today.

Next Dr. Mark Cheathem from Cumberland University, a recognized expert on Jackson and Tennessee history, will discuss “Old Hickory, Horseshoe Bend, and the Treaty of Fort Jackson.”

Then Dr. Tom Kanon of the Tennessee State Library and Archives, who also has written the key book on Tennessee and the War of 1812, will review another key southern battle in  “A Forgotten Chapter in a ‘Forgotten Conflict’: The Battle of Pensacola – November 1814.”

The final session focuses on “Tennessee Gunmakers and the Guns of 1812,” led by experts from different approaches, Ben Nance of Tennessee Division of Archeology, and Fred Prouty of the Tennessee Wars Commission.

The day ends with afternoon tours and living history demonstrations at the Camp Blount historic site in Fayetteville, beginning at 1:30 p.m. The tours and demonstrations will be led by Myers Brown, Fred Prouty, and Ron Westphal of the Tennessee State Museum. The tours and demonstrations are also free and open to the public.

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