Artifacts

150 Years Ago: Battle of Nashville

On December 16, 2014, in Artifacts, by Amanda
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The Mississippi Civil War Sesquicentennial continues and in the coming months we will be highlighting Museum Division collections related to 1864 and the Civil War. Special thanks to Nan Prince, assistant director of collections, for writing this series.

Flag of the Forty-Fourth Mississippi Infantry. Accession number: 1968.51.1 (MDAH Museum Division collection)

Flag of the Forty-Fourth Mississippi Infantry. Accession number: 1968.51.1 (MDAH Museum Division collection)

The Battle of Nashville was fought on December 15–16, 1864, between Lt. Gen. John Bell Hood’s Army of Tennessee and the federal force under Major General George H. Thomas. Hood began the Franklin-Nashville campaign in the fall of 1864, in an attempt to disrupt General Sherman’s supply line and draw him out of Georgia. A series of engagements led up to the Battle of Nashville, including the Battle of Franklin on November 30, which resulted in a devastating loss of over six thousand Confederate casualties. Thomas’s army soundly defeated Hood’s battered troops during the Battle of Nashville, forcing the Confederates to retreat to Tupelo, where Hood resigned his post.

This 2nd National Pattern flag of the Second Mississippi Infantry was captured at the Battle of Brentwood Hills near Nashville on December 16, 1864. Writing to Major J. Hough of the Army of the Tennessee, Lt. Col. J. H. Stibbs of the Twelfth Iowa Infantry described the capture of the flag: “The large one belonged to a Mississippi regiment, I think the Forty-fourth, and was captured by Corpl. Luther Kaltenbach, F Company, Twelfth Iowa Infantry. The color-bearer had been shot down, and as my regiment advanced Corporal Kaltenbach ran forward and picked up the flag.” The flag was returned to the state of Mississippi by the War Department in 1905.

Sources:

http://www.nps.gov/hps/abpp/battles/tn038.htm

Official Records of the War of the Rebellion, Series I, Vol. 45, Pt. 1, p. 464

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Chloe Edwards, MDAH Electronic Records archivist, brings us this post in an ongoing series celebrating Electronic Records Day and Archives Month. The series features items from the MDAH disk collection.

 

Glass fragment from window of Beth Israel synagogue, which was bombed in 1967. Accession Number: 1984.55.11 (Museum Division Collection)

Glass fragment from window of Beth Israel synagogue, which was bombed in 1967. Accession Number: 1984.55.11 (Museum Division Collection)

A  Frightening Time: The Jackson Jewish Community, Rabbi Perry Nussbaum, and the Civil Rights Movement

Call no.: Disk 0041

Format: DVD

Run time: 13 minutes

Although Rabbi Perry Nussbaum retired as the leader of Jackson’s Beth Israel Congregation in 1973, he remains very much present in the memory of the community for his outspoken role in the Civil Rights Movement. Despite the active involvement of many Northern Jews on civil rights issues, the Jackson Jewish community was far more reticent, largely because its members were fearful of drawing the attention of the local Ku Klux Klan. Rabbi Nussbaum, however, harbored no such concerns, although he restrained his activism to sermonizing on segregation until 1961, when the Freedom Riders, many of whom were Jewish, arrived in Jackson.

After the Freedom Riders were sent to the state penitentiary, Rabbi Nussbaum attempted to organize Mississippi’s rabbis to visit the inmates. When they refused, Rabbi Nussbaum began making weekly visits to Parchman alone, at his own expense, and without the knowledge of his congregation. He led a brief service and took down riders’ names and addresses so that he could write to their parents, both Jewish and non-Jewish, assuring them that their children were incarcerated, but alive and well.

As the movement grew more heated, the rabbi became more outspoken. In 1964, Nussbaum helped organize an interracial group of ministers that raised funds to rebuild churches bombed by white supremacist groups. He also presided over an interracial dedication ceremony for the synagogue’s new building in the late fall of 1967, which proved to be the final straw for the local Klan—the synagogue was bombed on September 18, 1967. Three days after the bombing of the temple, the Greater Jackson Clergy Alliance held an interracial, interreligious Walk of Penance as an expression of sorrow and solidarity with the Jackson Jewish community. Two months later, Rabbi Nussbaum’s home was bombed, although both he and his wife escaped injury (shown above). Nussbaum felt strongly that anti-Semitism, not his outspoken activism, was the reason for both attacks and sought to leave Jackson. He was unable to find another post, however, and remained at Beth Israel until his retirement in 1973. In the course of nineteen years at the synagogue, he also reintroduced elements of traditional Jewish worship and established an adult education program. Nussbaum died of cancer in San Diego, California, in 1987.

The documentary A Frightening Time, produced by Jackson’s Institute for Southern Jewish Life, discusses the bombing of Beth Israel through interviews with older congregants, and also includes archival footage of the Walk of Penance and Rabbi Nussbaum. The documentary was produced as part of the fortieth anniversary commemoration of the bombings and was shown as part of the program.

MORE INFORMATION:

To find out more about this disk, search our online catalogue for disk 0041. To browse the disk collection, navigate to the advanced search page, check the “Electronic Records” box, and type “disk” into the keyword search bar.

All catalogued disks are available to view or listen to in the Media Room; patrons should request disks from media staff using the four digit call number.

VIEWING NOTES:

Although the documentary appears to have a running time of twenty minutes, the film ends at approximately 00:13:00.

References:

“Congregation Beth Israel.” Accessed October 6, 2014 at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Congregation_Beth_Israel_%28Jackson,_Mississippi%29

“Rabbi Perry Nussbaum Dies; Activist in South during 1960s Racial Unrest.” Los Angeles Times, April 13, 1987. Accessed October 6, 2014, http://articles.latimes.com/1987-04-13/news/mn-496_1_rabbi-perry-nussbaum

Rockoff, Stuart. “Nussbaum, Perry.” Jewish Virtual Library. Accessed October 6, 2014 at http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/judaica/ejud_0002_0015_0_14986.html

Image: http://www.isjl.org/mississippi-jackson-beth-israel-encyclopedia.html

Caption: Rabbi and Mrs. Nussbaum in their home after the bombing.

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Andrew Marschalk’s Uniform Coat

On August 13, 2014, in Artifacts, by Amanda
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Nan Prince, assistant director of collections, brings us this post about interesting artifacts in the Museum Division collection.

Andrew Marschalk's uniform coat. Accession number: 1992.14.1 (Museum Division collection, MDAH)

Andrew Marschalk’s uniform coat. Accession number: 1992.14.1 (Museum Division collection, MDAH)

This Mississippi Territorial Militia uniform coat was worn by Andrew Marschalk, who was a newspaper publisher in Natchez. Marschalk was a major in the Mississippi Territorial Militia from 1809 to 1811 and became a colonel in 1811. The uniform was handed down through his family and donated to the Department of Archives and History in 1992, by his great-great-great-grandson.

Reverse of Andrew Marschalk's uniform coat. Accession number: 1992.14.1 (Museum Division collection, MDAH)

Reverse of Andrew Marschalk’s uniform coat. Accession number: 1992.14.1 (Museum Division collection, MDAH)

In preparation for its display in the new Museum of Mississippi History, this jacket was recently conserved.

Andrew Marschalk, Hall of Fame portrait. Accession number: 1978.10.1 (Museum Division collection, MDAH)

Andrew Marschalk, Hall of Fame portrait. Accession number: 1978.10.1 (Museum Division collection, MDAH)

Marschalk is a member of the Mississippi Hall of Fame and his portrait, pictured above, is currently on display in the Old Capitol Museum.

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The Atlanta Campaign: 150 Years Ago

On July 28, 2014, in Artifacts, by Amanda
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The Mississippi Civil War Sesquicentennial continues and in the coming months we will be highlighting Museum Division collections related to 1864 and the Civil War. Special thanks to Nan Prince, assistant director of collections, for writing this series.

Captain T. Otis Baker's sword. Accession number: 1960.256.10a (MDAH Museum Division collection)

Captain T. Otis Baker’s sword. Accession number: 1960.256.10a (MDAH Museum Division collection)

The Atlanta Campaign was a series of battles fought from May through September 1864. Union forces under the control of General William T. Sherman faced the Confederate Army of Tennessee under General Joseph Johnston, who was replaced mid-campaign by General John Bell Hood. With the capture of Atlanta in early September, Sherman cut off a vital supply line for the Confederacy and was able to begin his “March to the Sea.”

Captain T. Otis Baker's officer's shirt. Accession number: 1962.38.10 (MDAH Museum Division collection)

Captain T. Otis Baker’s officer’s shirt. Accession number: 1962.38.10 (MDAH Museum Division collection)

Captain T. Otis Baker of the Tenth Mississippi Infantry was wounded on July 28, 1864, during the Atlanta Campaign and sent to a hospital at Thomastown, Georgia. According to his service records, Baker was on a Register of Prisoners of War when he was paroled on May 1, 1865, in accordance with the terms of surrender negotiated between Generals Johnston and Sherman. Baker was wearing this sword and scabbard when he was wounded. Also pictured is Baker’s officer’s dress shirt. In contrast to the homespun, butternut uniform coat that he wore, Baker’s shirt was rather fancy, as was typical of well-dressed Confederate officers.

Source:

http://www.nps.gov/hps/abpp/battles/ga017.htm

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Battle of Harrisburg: 150 Years Ago

On July 14, 2014, in Artifacts, by Amanda
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The Mississippi Civil War Sesquicentennial continues and in the coming months we will be highlighting Museum Division collections related to 1864 and the Civil War. Special thanks to Nan Prince, assistant director of collections, for writing this series.

Major Robert C. McCay. Accession number:  1962.210.1 (MDAH Museum Division collection)

Major Robert C. McCay. Accession number: 1962.210.1 (MDAH Museum Division collection)

The last major battle fought in Mississippi during the Civil War was the Battle of Harrisburg, also known as the Battle of Tupelo, on July 14–15.  Still concerned about protecting his vital supply line in Tennessee, U.S. Major General William T. Sherman sent Major General A.J. Smith with fourteen thousand men down from LaGrange, Tennessee, to keep Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest in Mississippi. Eight thousand Confederate troops under the command of Lt. Gen. Stephen D. Lee and Forrest engaged Smith’s forces near Tupelo on the morning of July 14. Smith’s troops repulsed several uncoordinated attacks made by Lee and Forrest.

However the heat and lack of supplies took its toll on the Federal troops, and Smith began retreating toward Memphis on July 15, camping near Old Town Creek in the late afternoon. Confederate forces launched a surprise attack, but the Federal troops were able to form a defense and force a Confederate retreat to the town of Harrisburg. Confederates suffered a loss of 1,300 casualties, including Forrest, who was out of commission for several weeks, while Federal losses numbered 648.

Major Robert C. McCay's sash. Accession number: 1962.210.2 (MDAH Museum Division collection)

Major Robert C. McCay’s sash. Accession number: 1962.210.2 (MDAH Museum Division collection)

Pictured above is Major Robert C. McCay commander of the Thirty-Eighth Mississippi (mounted) Infantry, which fought in the Battle of Harrisburg. The Thirty-Eighth suffered heavy casualties during the battle, and Major McCay was killed. He was wearing the sash pictured above when he died.

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