Robert E.: Sacagawea was so excited about her visit to the Cherokee
Reservation (Report #11)
she forgot to mention Marty and Mary attended an equestrian extravaganza
in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, called the Dixie Stampede on the evening
of July 12. It was a most impressive two-hour show featuring the
talents of 32 superb horses and their riders. Trick riding, rodeo
competitions, music, dance, comedy, dressage, buckboard races, mounted
ostrich races, fireworks, and even piglet races featuring the speedy
little Miss Scarlett O'Hamhocks were just some of the highlights.
I must add, the dinner served during the performance was delicious.
Early the following morning, July 13, Marty packed up the car, and
we headed down the road to Cookeville, Tennessee, where we were
invited to a very special luncheon.
Cookeville was founded by a man named Cooke
in the mid-1850's, and it is located approximately 80 miles east
of Nashville, Tennessee. Among other points of interest, Cookeville
is the home of Russell Stover Chocolates.
E.: Cookeville is also the home of one of the ladies whose father
is featured in Mary's book, PAPA
WAS A BOY IN GRAY.
Ulysses: That is just what I was about to
say. We were looking forward to meeting Mrs. Aurelia Hurlbert Hannon.
In fact, we were so excited, we plum forgot we crossed into a different
time zone, going from Eastern Daylight Time to Central Daylight
Robert E.: Which means we arrived in Cookeville
an hour and a half early.
Cookeville Depot Museum:
Since we had an unexpected hour to fill, Marty located the Cookeville
Depot Museum in the old section of downtown Cookeville. Photo:
Me and Robert E. atop the Museum's sign.
The Depot was originally built by the Tennessee
Central Railway Company in 1909. The preserved building is listed
on the National Register of Historic Places, and it is now open
to the public as a railway museum. The displays include a working
model railroad layout that looks like Cookeville in the 1920's.
There is a replica of the Station Master's Office inside the Depot.
You can even tap out a message on the old fashion telegraph key
-- if you know Morse Code, of course.
Mary with Robert E. and me by the historical marker at the Depot.
The marker states, "A locomotive on the Nashville-Knoxville
Railroad first steamed into Cookeville in 1890. The Tennessee Central
bought the line in 1902 and built this depot with its distinctive
pagoda design in 1909. Soon six trains daily brought visitors, shoppers,
and salesmen to town and took natives to distant places. Also, freights
loaded with lumber, poultry, hogs, corn, and tobacco rolled to faraway
Outside the Depot are two cabooses, one from
the 1920's Tennessee Central and the other from a Louisville & Nashville
Railway train in the 1960's. Both
railway cars are open for inspection, and it was very interesting
to walk through them while imagining yourself riding in them during
Railroad's Golden Age in the early part of the 20th Century. Photo:
Mary, Robert E., and me inspecting the 1920's era caboose.
The passenger service doesn't stop at Cookeville
any more, but twice a week, a freight train delivers refined sugar,
chocolate, and other materials to the Russell Stover Candy factory.
A PAPA DAUGHTER -- Mrs. Aurelia Hurlbert Hannon:
After biding farewell to Judy Duke, administer
of the Deport Museum, we hurried over to Nick's Restaurant to meet
Mrs. Hannon, age 90, and her friends.
Robert E.: Mrs. Hannon's father, Francis
Hurlbert, known as "Frank," was only fifteen years old when he enlisted
with the 3rd Florida, Company A on May 1, 1861. When the 3rd Florida
marched out of Jacksonville the following May, 1862, no one in the
regiment, least of all young Frank, realized they would never return
to Florida until after the end of the Civil War in 1865. Frank first
saw action at the Battle of Perryville, Kentucky, where he was wounded
twice but still kept fighting.
In March, 1865, Frank was again wounded and
captured at the Battle of Bentonville, North Carolina. As
he was being carried to a Union hospital tent, Federal General William
T. Sherman stopped his stretcher-bearers and proceeded to interrogate
the dazed nineteen-year-old. General Sherman wanted to know the
number of men in Frank's brigade. Frank had no idea. The average
common infantryman only had a rough idea of the number of men in
his own company, never a full brigade that comprised four or more
regiments. When Frank said he didn't know, General Sherman continued
to bombard the boy with questions. Finally, Frank mumbled some number,
hoping his answer would appease the short-tempered Sherman. At that
point, the Union general cursed the wounded soldier and called him
a liar. Then he stalked away. Frank never forgot that unpleasant
meeting. Photo: Mrs. Aurelia Hurlbert Hannon, age 90, with her
Robert E. Bear.
Ulysses: Bill Sherman may have lacked tact,
but he was an excellent officer in the field.
Robert E.: Mrs. Hannon never forgot that
story of her father's. Nor has she ever forgotten the words her
father uttered when, as an elderly veteran, he was asked to dedicate
her elementary school's new flagpole in 1920. Frank took the Stars
and Stripes in his hands and told the children: "For four years
I fought against this flag, but that is now in the past. Today,
this is my flag and my country."
E. Attends a Luncheon in Cookeville, Tennessee:
Hannon was honored at the luncheon with speeches and a bouquet of
yellow roses. Everyone wanted her autograph as well as Mary's signature
on their copy of PAPA
WAS A BOY IN GRAY.
When Mary presented Mrs. Hannon with one of my brothers, she sat
him up beside her plate for the rest of the luncheon. He now happily
resides with Mrs. Hannon in Cookeville, Tennessee.
Stops -- Gallatin and the Titanic:
Ulysses: Mary, Marty, and we had to say good-bye in the mid-afternoon
so we could make our next stop, Gallatin, Tennessee, in time for
Christopher: As it turned out, they took
a quick side trip to the fabulous Opryland Hotel in Nashville to
visit a special exhibition of artifacts from the sunken liner, the
Titanic. I will have a separate report on this side trip at a later
Robert E.: We arrived at our hotel in Gallatin
around 9:00 P.M. where we were all very happy to go to bed.
Next time I will give my report on our book
signing at the Treasure Island Bookstore in Gallatin, Tennessee
-- where we met a third Confederate Daughter.
PAPA BOOK or GIFT SETS
AUTOGRAPHED BOOK PLATE by Prize-Winning Author Mary W.
Schaller with your order of PAPA WAS A BOY IN GRAY Book or Gift
Papa Was A Boy in Gray Reports:
Papa Book Tour Main Page
| Report #1
| Report #2
| Report #3
| Report #4
| Report #5
| Report #6
| Report #7
| Report #8
| Report #9
| Report #12