March 14, 2020

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Clarksville Academy - Promoting Academic Excellence, Moral Integrity, Physical Growth, and Civic Responsibility

Winterim–History & Government

Over the next two weeks, students will explore local history and learn more about government right here in Montgomery County.  Each day will be filled with interesting presentations and local trips to visit historical sites.

 

Day 1: The group welcomed CA Alum Mr. William Parker from Fort Defiance. Mr. Parker discussed importance of the Fort during the Civil War. Our afternoon was spent discussing guest speakers and trips scheduled during our two week adventure.


Day 2: The group hosted Mr. Don Horton, Civil War scholar who arrived in full frontiersman attire carrying a 12 pound musket! He discussed Land Grants, local historic figures and important sites in the Montgomery County area. Susan Hawkins, Park Ranger from Fort Donelson briefed the class on the importance of Fort Donelson and the impact of the Union’s capture of the Fort and taking control of the Cumberland River. Ranger Hawkins brought a traveling trunk of Civil War memorabilia, including a Confederate Uniform and various accessories carried by soldiers in the day. Student Thomas Wilson was kind enough to model one of the uniforms.  The group begins preparations to visit Fort Donelson on Day 3.


Day 3: Our Local History Group had a beautiful day to be outside as we visited Fort Donelson National Battlefield! Our guide was awesome, and we had an amazing time. Tours of the National Battlefield, the Upper and Lower Battery sites where the Confederacy launched artillery attacks on Union ironclad ships was a real highlight. Also, a refurbished Dover Hotel on the banks of the Cumberland river was an interesting stop. The Dover Hotel was the site where the Confederates surrendered Fort Donelson to Ulysses S. Grant. What a great day!

 


Days 4 & 5:

The group toured Fort Defiance and learned of the Fort’s importance to Clarksville and the war effort. Earthen mounds, cannons and a breathtaking view of Downtown Clarksville were the highlights of the trip. Local Relics and Treasures presented by Mr. Collins gave students the opportunity to see “vintage” collectibles from days gone by. CA Alum, Mr. William Parker visited our classroom and presented “A Soldiers Burden”, which depicted a day in the life of a Civil War soldier. What a great first week! Looking forward to learning more about local and state government next week!

 

Day 6:

Dr. Dewey Browder, Professor Emeritus from Austin Peay State University, and WWII scholar visited our group to discuss WWII and the Holocaust. Thanks to Dr. Browder for his awesome presentation! After the lecture, the group returned to Fort Defiance to help clear brush and tree limbs from the Park entrance. We are having a great time learning about history and participating in community service!


Day 7:

The Local History and Government Group participated in a City/County Government presentation led by EDC Director Jeff Truitt, Clarksville Mayor Joe Pitts, and County Mayor Jim Durrett.

Mayor Pitts and Mayor Durrett focused on City/County Government, and Mr. Truitt discussed the Economic Development of Clarksville and Montgomery County. Students learned how our local governments interact with one another to provide the people of Clarksville/Montgomery County the many services that we use and experience on a regular basis. Special thanks to Mr. Truitt for organizing this educational opportunity for our students!

Day 8:

What a Day! The group traveled to Nashville to tour the Tennessee State Capitol. The State House, Senate and Supreme Court Chambers were awesome. We were hosted by District 67 State Representative Jason Hodges, who extended the tour to include the Cordell Hull Offices and Committee Hearing rooms. As a special treat, each student received a copy of this year’sTennessee Blue Book, which honored the 100th anniversary of Women’s Suffrage in Tennessee! Many thanks to Representative Hodges for taking time out of his busy schedule to show our students around the State Capitol.

Day 9: Our group visited the Montgomery County Election Commission. Elizabeth Black presented information about the Election Process and how Elections are administered. Voter Registration and the upcoming elections were also discussed. After our visit to the Election Commission, we walked over to the Montgomery County Archives to learn about the many historical documents and manuscript collections that are housed within the archives. Students learned about the document preservation process as well. Finally, we toured the Public Library where students were shown the many services offered by our Library, as well as the many technological upgrades that have been installed. Many thanks to all of these agencies for the time taken to educate our group on the services offered by our County Government!
Day 10: The last day of Winterim. The group toured the Pratt Museum at Fort Campbell. We enjoyed seeing the many exhibits that focused primarily on WWII and the Vietnam War. We have had a great two weeks together. I hope that our students learned something about our local history, and understand the importance of all the many treasures that we have right here in our surrounding areas! Thank You to our presenters, students and parents for allowing me the opportunity to spend the past two weeks with these fine students.

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