"That hallowed spot!" Commemoration and Memorialization at Chattanooga's Confederate Cemetery

Last week, my wife, Traci, had the honor to be a part of a panel discussion on the topic of "Commemoration and Memorialization" at the Tennessee Civil War Sesquicentennial Signature Event in Chattanooga. The whole four-day symposium was outstanding, with my professional colleagues and friends from the Tennessee State Library and Archives playing a critical role in the festivities. Traci and I were grateful to have the opportunity to attend this historic event.

Traci's presentation on the last day of the symposium focused on the Confederate Cemetery in Chattanooga, and how religion influenced commemoration ceremonies held there over the years. The topic tied in quite nicely with themes documented in her book, Onward Southern Soldiers: Religion and the Army of Tennessee in the Civil War. Traci provided an overview of the history of the cemetery, and shared insights about how the soldiers buried there were remembered throughout the years.

For those who did not have an opportunity to attend the session, I am pleased to share Traci's slide presentation here on The Posterity Project. I also want to publicly thank Tennessee's State Historian, Dr. Carroll Van West, members of the Tennessee Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission, and the Chattanooga Convention and Visitors Bureau, all of whom helped make Traci's appearance at this Signature Event possible.

Traci Nichols-Belt is the author of Onward Southern Soldiers: Religion and the Army of Tennessee in the Civil War, published by The History Press. Traci is an ordained and licensed minister and holds a master's degree in history from Middle Tennessee State University and a bachelor's degree in political science from Anderson University.

During her academic career at MTSU, Traci worked for the Tennessee State Museum and wrote two National Register nominations for the Johnsonville Historic District in New Johnsonville, Tennessee, and the Historical AME Church and Cemeteries in Alexandria, Tennessee. Traci has also worked as a historical consultant and grant writer for the Clement Railroad Hotel and Museum in Dickson, Tennessee.

Traci's article "Chaplains in the Army of Tennessee, CSA: Warring Disciples Carrying the Gospel" was published in the Winter 2004 issue of the Tennessee Historical Quarterly. Additionally, she wrote a review of Sam Davis Elliot's book, Doctor Quintard Chaplain CSA and Second Bishop of Tennessee for the Spring 2004 issue of the Tennessee Historical Quarterly. Traci has also appeared on radio and television to speak about the role of religion in the Civil War. In June 2012, Traci was among several religion and history scholars interviewed for the Nashville Public Television documentary, "Crisis of Faith," part of NPT's "Tennessee Civil War 150" series, a multi-part project coinciding with the Sesquicentennial anniversary of the Civil War. In July 2012, Traci and Gordon co-authored an article also titled "Onward Southern Soldiers" for The New York Times Civil War blog, "Disunion."