The seasonal celebration this weekend, for Judy and me, began in Harriman at the annual “Merry Tuba Christmas” concert. There are over 200 Tuba Christmas events held this time of year across
Harriman’s principal “Tuba Christmas” organizer, Dr. Joe Williams, has been leading this gathering for 21 years. He also formed the local Babahatchie Community Band, made up of enthusiastic musicians from all the local high schools and veterans, some of which are retired and played together in high school years ago!
This year’s event was at the
If it’s not too late, click on This Link above and find a “Tuba Christmas” event near you. I guarantee you’ll have a great, usually informal, time, singing along with the band as they play your favorite Christmas Carols! Professor MacMorran also entertained us with his musical and historical commentary between carols.
I don’t know if all events are free, but the one in Harriman is always free…as a matter of fact, the members have to register and pay in order to participate in the concert. It’s a love of music, the season, and people that drives the bunch to perform!
Later Saturday afternoon, Judy and her sisters Terri and Neena (whom we call the Dragons), accompanied by us Knights (their men folk), tour Rockwood’s homes, following the map with numbered houses and addresses, with a history of each. We were impressed with how the current owners have kept up or completely remodeled the homes. I will post more on the Rockwood home tour next time, and a follow up after we make the Harriman rounds next weekend.
But first, let me talk about the “Battle of the Cannons” that is held on the Saturday of the “Rockwood Christmas Tour of Homes” at 2:30, featuring the men of the 28th Tennessee Infantry, Company “A” “Caney Fork Mess”, and coordinated by the “Sons of the Confederacy, Camp 1750” of Crossville, Tennessee. This year they braved light snow and a very cold chill factor to portray a small skirmish of
Southern troops, in an effort to prevent the Union troops from resupplying and rejoining the larger ranks, frequently attacked the encampment. A full scale skirmish unfolded with great intensity from cannon and rifle fire. With terrifying “Rebel Yelling”, the Rebs unleashed a ferocious attack! The Yankee soldiers not killed or wounded were quickly subdued and captured.
However, I want to first talk about, and show you, the reason for the “very southern” in the post title. “What in the world does the Civil War have to do with Christmas?” Well, our country endured 4 years of a terrible War Between the States, which included 4 Christmases!
With such a grand local history, the organizers see fight to include this reenactment each year at Christmas time to coincide with the “tour of homes”! For two days and nights these brave reenactors set up camp and brave the elements, giving visitors a brief glimpse into what it was like to have been a soldier during this time.
Near the featured “Daniel Peterman House” (in background), an encampment of Union reenactors set up camp, complete with tents with straw bedding. Captain Peterman established a mercantile business after the war in Rockwood, and built this home sometime in the 1880’s, which features two staircases. It was easy to step back in time and imagine what it was like in 1863 when seeing this encampment near the old home.
My favorite shots were of the Confederate cannon atop a small rise, with a blue sky background, and that of a gentleman portraying an army surgeon showing the tools of his trade. The fake bloody leg was to illustrate where a punkin’ ball had entered a real leg during the war, and how the splintered damage of an actual displayed leg bone (click on photo with the medicine jar to see leg bone) occurred.
Later the “general” came out of the Peterman House and visited the shivering troops to boost their morale.