Preserving history at Nash Farm Museum

Photo by Heather Middleton

Photo by Heather Middleton

History enthusiasts will soon have a new place to surround themselves with memories of the past.

Nash Farm Battlefield, located at 4361 Jonesboro Road, in Hampton, will celebrate the grand opening of its museum on Saturday, from 9 a.m., until 5 p.m. The ribbon-cutting ceremony officially opening the museum will take place at 12:30 p.m..

Activities are planned throughout the day, beginning with a book signing from 11:30 a.m., to 1 p.m., when authors Dr. George Colletti, and Kelly Barrow will autograph their publications, according to a press release.

Nash Farm Battlefield was designated the National Park Service (NPS), in 2010, as one of 384 core battlefields in the Civil War. What took place there in August 1864 has been called "the most desperate, most dramatic cavalry charge of America's Civil War," continued the release.

Visitors will be able to stroll from room to room, to view Civil War artifacts, some of which were recovered in an archaeological dig at the battlefield site in 2007.

"Each room has a different theme. We have an artifact [and] archeology room, that displays relics that were found on the property, authentic guns and swords, artillery shells, minnie balls and bullets, and much more," said Cassie Barrow, President of Friends of Nash Farm Battlefield, which operates the museum.

"The farmhouse, [like] all of the property included at the park, is owned Henry County, and under [the] Parks and Recreation Department, said Barrows. "Friends of Nash Farm Battlefield volunteers our time, resources, and money to run the museum. Our motto is "Preservation of history through volunteers."

Artifacts at the museum have been donated and others are "on loan" from numerous private individuals, according to Barrow. She said there are many intriguing exhibits among the Nash Farm collection. During the second half of 1864, Nash Farm was the scene of considerable military activity, including Kilpatrick's Raid, infantry battles and skirmishes that marked the end of the Atlanta Campaign, as well as the campsites belonging to Confederate General Stephen Dill Lee's Army Corps, she added.

"The most interesting thing, in my opinion, in [one of the] rooms, is the Union cavalry soldier about to mount his mule," said Barrows. "The mule and soldier [are] completely outfitted in authentic [items] or replicas, so that you can visualize what Kilpatrick's men looked like galloping toward you.

"The other is a drummer boy's zouave outfit, drum and a picture of three boys in similar outfits," she continued. "There is a room with women's fashions for the upper, middle, and lower class during civil war era."

There are areas of the museum designed to peak the curiosity of children, such as the children's educational room, said Barrows.

"The Children's Education Room is my favorite, even though it will not be entirely complete for the grand opening," she added. "This is where children can try on outfits similar to those of the time, color pictures of soldiers, have tea, and hear a story about the past. It will be an engaging area for the children and hopefully make history fun and alive."