On to Gallatin,
Robert E.: The small picturesque town of Gallatin, Tennessee, is
located 30 miles northeast of Nashville. It
was founded in 1802, and was named for Albert Gallatin, Secretary
of the Treasury under Presidents John Adams and Thomas Jefferson.
Gallatin is the market center for Sumner County. Tobacco and soybeans
are the two main crops that help support the town. At the center
of Gallatin is the venerable Sumner County Courthouse where the
county's legal business has been conducted for over a hundred years.
There are nearly 30 restored buildings, many of them predating the
Civil War, located in downtown Gallatin. Read
the Gallatin -- On the Square about Mary and Robert E.'s visit.
A PAPA DAUGHTER -- Mrs. Lillie Vertrees Odom:
the afternoon of July 14, the Treasure
Island Bookstore, owned and operated by Vicky and Sam
Taylor and located in the historic Courthouse Square, hosted a book
signing for Mary and her book, PAPA
WAS A BOY IN GRAY. Among the very
special visitors to the store was Mrs. Lillie Vertrees Odom, age
86, the youngest daughter of Peter Vertrees, hospital steward for
the 6th Kentucky Mounted Infantry C.S.A.
Odom, accompanied by her goddaughter Velma, delighted everyone with
her infectious good humor that had us smiling and laughing. Mrs.
Odom recounted the story of the time her father decided he wanted
a fish dinner so he went fishing in the Mississippi River below
Vicksburg, Mississippi. After a while he thought he heard a large
bee whizz by his head, then another one came even closer. He looked
up and saw a Federal gunboat in the middle of the river, and everyone
on board looked like they were pointing a gun at him. Those "bees"
were really bullets! Peter dropped his rod, jumped on his horse
and rode back to camp as fast as he could. "He liked fish," Mrs.
Odom said with a twinkle in her eye, "but he said he liked living
better." Photo: Mary with Mrs. Lillie Vertrees Odom at the Treasure
A special historical marker in honor of Peter
Vertrees, erected by the Tennessee Highway Department, stands a
block from the home he built for his family over a hundred and twenty
years ago. Mrs. Odom still lives in the house where she was born.
front of the Historical Highway Marker states, "PETER VERTREES
(1840-1926). A prominent African-American soldier, minister, and
educator. Peter Vertrees was born December 16, 1840, in Edmondson
County, Kentucky, as Peter Skaggs. At age five he was apprenticed
to Jacob Vertrees whose name he assumed. From 1861-1865, he was
a cook and bodyguard under Dr. John L. Vertrees in the Orphan Brigade,
the Sixth Kentucky Infantry C.S.A., for which he received a pension
from the State of Tennessee. After the war, Vertrees came to Gallatin
where he began a sixty-one year Baptist ministry establishing churches
area wide. Continued [on back of marker.]" Photo: Front
of Peter Vertrees' Historical Highway Marker. Having your own highway
marker is a very special honor.
back of the Historical Highway Marker states, "PETER VERTREES
(1840-1926). In each church he established a chapter of the Sons
and Daughters of Charity to defray members' medical and burial expenses.
In 1875 he organized the East Fork Missionary Baptist Association.
Educated at Roger Williams University in Nashville, he opened a
subscription school in the 1880s and with funding from the Rosenwald
Foundation established several public schools. One block east of
here, he built a Victorian Cottage in 1888. The Reverend Peter Vertrees
died January 18, 1926, and was buried in the Gallatin Cemetery."
Photo: Back of Peter Vertrees' Historical Highway Marker.
Wright & His Paintings of American Historical Subjects:
one of Gallatin's famous citizens came by the bookstore to visit
Mrs. Odom and to buy Mary's book. He was David Wright, one of America's
leading painters of American historical subjects. Three of his original
paintings, including "A Father's Prayer" -- a portrait of Robert
E. Lee and Traveller -- were on display at Govan's Gathering Place,
the restaurant next door to the Treasure Island Bookstore, in honor
of Mary's signing. Photo: David Wright's A Father's Prayer.
Both Mary and I were very flattered by this
extra attention that was arranged by our host and hostess, Donna
and Randy Lucas. Two of my brothers went home with Mrs. Odom and
Donna. It was hard to say good-bye to the wonderful people of Gallatin.
Enjoy the following paintings by David Wright:
David Wright's Great Leaders
of the Confederacy Collection: Longstreet, Lee, Cleburne, Forrest
at Shiloh, and Stuart & Mosby. For more information, contact:
Gray Stone Press
205 Louise Avenue
Nashville, TN 37203
Toll Free: 1-800-251-2664
Stop -- Franklin, Tennessee!
Ulysses: Yes, but we had to be on the road again. Our next report
will be from Franklin, Tennessee, where one of the bloodiest battles
in the western theater of the Civil War took place.
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