Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Historic Maps of Tennessee and Beyond: Digital Maps at the Tennessee State Library and Archives

"I need to look at a map to understand it."

How many times have you said that? Tennessee's largest collection of historical maps is ready to be explored at the Tennessee State Library and Archives (TSLA). Maps are invaluable components of historical and genealogical research, and documentary records often cannot be fully understood without referring to maps.

Map of Tennessee (1818), by John Melish and John Strothers, Jr.
Tennessee Virtual Archive (TeVA) Historical Map Collection

In an effort to increase use of this tremendous research resource, TSLA is digitizing original maps and making them available in the Tennessee Virtual Archive (TeVA). An initial collection of more than 100 maps has just been released, and TSLA will continue adding its maps to this digital online collection to bring more of them to a wider public.

Davidson County, Tennessee soil map (1903), by Julius Bien & Co.
Tennessee Virtual Archive (TeVA) Historical Map Collection

On Tuesday, Jan. 27, the State Library and Archives and the Nashville Public Library will host a presentation on the collection, "Historic Maps of Tennessee and Beyond: Digital Maps at the Tennessee State Library and Archives." Dr. Wayne Moore, assistant state archivist, will lead the discussion.

Route of the Memphis-Nashville-Bristol highway (1911).
Tennessee Virtual Archive (TeVA) Historical Map Collection

The presentation is free and open to the public and will begin at 11 a.m. in the auditorium of the Nashville Public Library, 615 Church Street in downtown Nashville.

Map of the British American Plantations (1754)
Tennessee Virtual Archive (TeVA) Historical Map Collection

Visit the Historical Map Collection on TeVA's website at http://tn.gov/tsla/TeVAsites/MapCollection/index.htm to view more digital copies of maps at the Tennessee State Library and Archives.

The State Library and Archives is a division of the Tennessee Department of State and Tre Hargett, Secretary of State.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Reluctant Warrior Alvin York Subject of Next TSLA Workshop

He was a reluctant warrior who was denied conscientious objector status and agreed to combat duty only after a commander convinced him that doing so wouldn't conflict with his religious beliefs. He later helped lead one of the key offensives during World War I, earning a Medal of Honor and numerous other commendations for his efforts.

Sergeant Alvin C. York
aboard the S. S. Ohioan, 1919
Library Photograph Collection
Alvin C. York is one of Tennessee's most celebrated war heroes - and he'll be one of the main subjects of the next workshop sponsored by the Tennessee State Library and Archives (TSLA).

The workshop, titled "World War I and Alvin York: Tennessee's Service in the 'Great War,'" will be held in TSLA's auditorium from 9:30 a.m. until 11 a.m. Jan. 24. Dr. Michael Birdwell, a history professor at Tennessee Tech University, will lead the free session on World War I documents and photographs available at TSLA. Dr. Birdwell is curator of the Alvin C. York papers in Pall Mall and is considered an expert on World War I and York.

Although the workshop is free and open to the public, reservations are necessary due to limited seating in the auditorium. To make a reservation, email workshop.tsla@tn.gov or call (615) 741-2764.

The State Library and Archives building is located at 403 Seventh Ave. North, directly west of the State Capitol building in downtown Nashville.

The State Library and Archives is a division of the Tennessee Department of State and Tre Hargett, Secretary of State.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

"The Glorious 8th of January"

The Tennessee State Library and Archives remembers the Battle of New Orleans on its 200th anniversary.

For nearly two weeks the drama unfolded. At stake was the important port city of New Orleans, the economic life line of the growing settlements of the Cumberland, Tennessee, Ohio, and Mississippi river valleys. American and British forces clashed several times from Dec. 23 until Jan. 7. The ultimate control of New Orleans was decided 200 years ago, on Jan. 8, 1815. The outcome also determined the fate of our nation and the respective fates of the opposing commanders in this consequential battle.

This engraving of the battle dates to the 1850s and depicts the Tennessee militia standing behind Line Jackson on January 8. Noteworthy is the fact that free black soldiers are shown within the ranks.
Library Collection.

By Jan. 8, 1815 the young nation had grown war weary. It had been nearly three years since British interference with American trade, impressment of American sailors, and perceived instigations of Indian attack on the frontier had spurred President Madison to ask for a declaration of war. Congress granted the declaration on June 18, 1812.

American war efforts focused on seizing British Canada. Repeated efforts to invade Canada failed and, in some cases, the British and their Indian allies successfully counterattacked and occupied U.S. territory. Although the U.S. Navy achieved some spectacular victories over its numerically-superior foe, for the most part American forces accomplished very little.

In the midst of the War of 1812, a civil war erupted within the Creek Nation (modern day portions of Alabama and Georgia). The Red Sticks allied themselves with Tecumseh, an avowed ally of the British. The Red Sticks attacked Fort Mims, Alabama, in August, 1813. As word of the Red Stick attack spread, the Tennessee militia mustered to contend with the threat. After months of difficult fighting, General Andrew Jackson and his army of Tennesseans, U.S. Regulars, and allied Creeks and Cherokees soundly defeated the Red Sticks at Horseshoe Bend. [see blog post from March 27, 2014). General Jackson’s victory earned him a promotion to major general in the regular army and the responsibility for defending the Gulf Coast.

Jackson’s victory over the British at New Orleans made him a national hero and his moniker “The Hero of New Orleans” would propel him to the presidency in 1828. This engraving of General Jackson dates to the early 1850s.
Library Photograph Collection.

In August and September of 1814, the British attacked and burned Washington and moved to attack Baltimore. Repulsed at Baltimore, the British turned their attention to New Orleans.

The British hoped to strike New Orleans by moving overland from Spanish-held Pensacola. General Jackson, however, raided into Pensacola in November 1814, despite the fact that the United States was not at war with Spain. Jackson’s attack spoiled the British plan and after being turned away again around Mobile, the British moved directly on New Orleans.

The British Navy defeated a small U.S. Navy force on Lake Borgne on Dec. 14, 1814, providing them the opportunity to land south of New Orleans on Dec. 23rd. The news of the British landing soon reached American headquarters and Jackson readied his troops to attack.

In a bold move, General Jackson launched a night attack on Dec. 23rd. The attack caught the British off guard. With an American ship bombarding the British positions from the Mississippi River, Jackson’s soldiers pushed into their camps. The arrival of British reinforcements and the fact that several of Jackson’s units got lost in the dark, forced the American withdrawal. While the night battle proved indecisive, it provided Jackson’s men with combat experience and confidence.

The next day, Jackson established his defensive line behind the Rodriguez Canal on the east bank of the Mississippi River. Jackson’s troops, augmented by local slaves, proceeded to build a sizable parapet with the canal serving as a moat. Over the next two weeks the line transformed into a strong defensive position dubbed "Line Jackson." The right end of Line Jackson rested on the Mississippi River while the left anchored on a nearly impassable cypress swamp. Eight artillery positions boasting twelve cannon bristled along the line. Troops also built additional defensive works on the west bank of the Mississippi to provide flanking fire on any force attacking Line Jackson.

U.S. Army Regulars, sailors, marines, volunteers and militia from Tennessee as well as the militia of Louisiana, Kentucky, and the Mississippi Territory (modern day Alabama and Mississippi) defended the city. A small group of pirates, Choctaw Indians, and two battalions of Free Men of Color recruited in the city of New Orleans further augmented Jackson’s force. This motley American force prepared to meet the veteran professional soldiers, sailors, and marines of the British crown.

Letter from General William Carroll to General James Winchester, January 3, 1815 In this letter General Carroll describes the actions of the Night Battle of December 23, 1814 and the construction of Line Jackson. At the time of the letter, General Winchester of Sumner County, Tennessee was stationed at Mobile.
James Winchester Papers, Tennessee Historical Society Collection.

On Christmas Day, Lord Edward Pakenham arrived to take command of the British land forces. Over the next week, Pakenham instigated probing attacks to determine weaknesses in the American Line. On Jan. 1, he ordered an artillery barrage to breach Line Jackson which ultimately failed. On Jan. 7, Pakenham laid out his plans for the imminent attack on the American positions.

Pakenham’s plan called for a combined force of sailors, marines, and soldiers to paddle across the Mississippi and move up the west bank. These troops were to capture the American artillery and then turn them down the length of Jackson’s line. Meanwhile, British soldiers on the east bank were to attack in three separate columns. One column, under the command of Colonel Rennie, planned to move along a levee on the east bank of the Mississippi and storm the American redoubt. Another column, under the command of General Gibbs, was to attack the American center. The center was perceived to be the weakest point in the American line due to the fact that it was manned by Tennessee militia under General William Carroll and supported by Kentucky militia. A third British column would launch a diversionary attack into the swamp.

William Carroll served in the Creek Wars as General Jackson’s Inspector General. Wounded severely at Horseshoe Bend on March 27, 1814, Carroll rose to command all of the Tennessee militia upon Jackson’s promotion into the Regular Army and proved a capable leader at New Orleans. Carroll later served as governor of Tennessee longer than any other person.
Tennessee Historical Society Picture Collection.

In the middle of the night, British soldiers, sailors and marines prepared for their passage across the Mississippi to the west bank. The fast current of the river quickly swept the boats down river. The attack on the west bank would be seriously delayed.

On the east bank, fog draped the fields as British soldiers prepared for the assault. Colonel Rennie’s command pushed silently along the levee and rushed the American redoubt. The British gained the outside wall and leapt into the American works. The Americans, initially stunned by the British audacity, quickly regained their composure and a counter charge by the 7th U.S. Infantry and Beale’s Louisiana Rifles reestablished the American line and killed Colonel Rennie in the process. The British attack on the American right failed.

Meanwhile, as the fog vanished from the field, the British attack on the center came into full view. Exposed to deadly artillery and rifle fire, the British attack faltered. Furthermore, the ladders needed to scale Line Jackson were inadvertently left behind and had to be retrieved. The British 93rd Regiment of Foot faced a deadly predicament. Ordered to support the attack on the center, the regiment marched diagonally from the British left toward the center exposing its flank to artillery and rifle fire. The regiment was decimated.

Lord Pakenham rode into the midst of the chaos within his attacking force to reinvigorate the assault. His horse was felled by an American artillery round. As he tried to mount a second horse, rifle and artillery fire mortality wounded the British commander. General Gibbs, Pakenham’s second-in-command, also received a death wound. The British attack on the American center collapsed. The diversionary attack on the American left proved useless as well.

Lord Pakenham commanded the British land forces attacking New Orleans. During the attack on January 8, 1815 Pakenham received a mortal wound and died within the hour.
Library Collection.

On the west bank, British soldiers, sailors, and marines, delayed by their unexpected trip down river, attacked. The British overwhelmed the lightly-armed and poorly-led Kentuckians and Louisianans and captured the American line. Their success on the west bank, however, proved too little, too late. As the British soldiers on the west bank looked across the Mississippi they saw Line Jackson firmly in American hands and their comrades withdrawing from the field. With little to gain, the British withdrew and recrossed the Mississippi River.

The battle lasted less than two hours. In that short time, the British suffered more than 2,000 killed, wounded, and missing. American losses were less than 60 with only 13 killed. The British completely abandoned the areas around New Orleans by the first week of February with nothing to show for their efforts but a lengthy casualty list, including Colonel Rennie, General Gibbs and Lord Pakenham.

“The Glorious 8th of January” went down in history as the greatest American victory of the War of 1812. Indeed, up until the Civil War, Jan. 8 joined July 4 and George Washington’s Birthday as the only nationally celebrated American holidays. General Jackson’s victory brought with it national prominence and public recognition as the “Hero of New Orleans,” a moniker that propelled him to the presidency of the United States.

This artist rendering illustrates the gold medal presented to General Jackson for his victory at New Orleans on January 8, 1815. Congress awarded medals such as these to victorious American generals and naval officers.

The legacy of the Battle of New Orleans and the War of 1812 remained strong within the state of Tennessee and is mixed with pride and controversy, providing lessons for future generations in understanding the state’s rich history.

A new exhibit, “Answering the Call: Tennesseans in the War of 1812,” which recently opened at the Tennessee State Library and Archives, not only explores the Battle of New Orleans in greater detail, but also examines Tennessee's important role in the War of 1812. With 16 panels full of images and information on this fascinating period in our history, this exhibit explores the political and military actions of Tennesseans in the War of 1812.

We invite you to come explore this important episode in Tennessee's history through this new exhibit, on display now at the Tennessee State Library and Archives. Click HERE here to learn more.

The State Library and Archives is a division of the Tennessee Department of State and Tre Hargett, Secretary of State.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

New TSLA Exhibit Explores Tennessee’s Role in the War of 1812

The War of 1812 represents a pivotal period in Tennessee’s history. Congressional leaders like Felix Grundy made the nation aware of “western” interests and concerns. Andrew Jackson provided overwhelming victories in the Creek War, and the astonishing triumph at New Orleans propelled him to national acclaim and the presidency. The legacy of the War of 1812 remains strong within the state — nearly one-third of the counties are named for men who were connected to the war. The nickname, “Volunteer State,” had its roots in the volunteer spirit displayed by the thousands of Tennesseans who participated in the war.

"Drawing of the Battle of New Orleans by Hyacinth Ladott, 1815"
Tennessee Historical Society Picture Collection

Military campaigns of this war led directly to treaties with southern Native American tribes that ceded native territory, including the rich lands of West Tennessee. The war catapulted Tennessee and its leaders to a position of unprecedented influence on the national stage. The legacy of the War of 1812 in Tennessee is mixed with pride and controversy, providing lessons for future generations in understanding the state’s rich history.

"General Jackson at the Battle of New Orleans"
TSLA Photograph Collection

A new free exhibit, “Answering the Call: Tennesseans in the War of 1812,” opened January 6 at the Tennessee State Library and Archives. With 16 panels full of images and information on this fascinating period in our history, the exhibit explores the political and military actions of Tennesseans in the War of 1812. The public is invited to come explore the role Tennessee played in the War of 1812. The exhibit will remain open until mid-April.

The State Library and Archives is located at 403 Seventh Avenue North, just west of the State Capitol building in downtown Nashville. The exhibit, free and open to all visitors, is located in the building's lobby directly behind the main entrance.

The Tennessee State Library and Archives is open Tuesdays through Saturdays, from 8 a.m. until 4:30 p.m., with the exception of state holidays. Parking is available in front, behind and beside the building.

The State Library and Archives is a division of the Tennessee Department of State and Tre Hargett, Secretary of State.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Letters to Santa...

Did you ever wonder if Santa was able to deliver presents during the Civil War or what children asked him to bring them in the 1800s? Well, wonder no more. Let items from the Tennessee State Library and Archives answer your St. Nicholas questions.

In her diary entry of December 28, 1862, Lucy Virginia Smith French wrote:

"We had to be “Santa Claus” ourselves this season, for cakes, apples, a little candy, & some picture books were all that could be procured for the children. We had to tell them Santa Claus couldn’t get thro’ the pickets, - Jessie wanted to know why “the old fellow couldn’t go to his Quartermaster & get him a pass?” They seemed to enjoy their Christmas quite as well as usual however, notwithstanding that Santa Claus was blackheaded."

Lithograph portrait of Lucy Virginia French from Women of the South Distinguished in Literature (1865) by Mary Forrest. She appears to be seated, looking directly ahead while wearing a dress. The printed letters, G. R. Hall, (presumably the engraver), rim the bottom of the portrait, while the name L. Virginia French is written beneath the portrait. According to the preface, the portraits in the volume were made expressly for the book and "with one exception, from life."
Library Collection, TSLA

Lucy Virginia French (1825-1881) was born in Accomack County, Va. In 1848, she and her sister moved to Memphis, where they became teachers. While living in Memphis, she began writing for the Louisville Journal under the pen name "L'Inconnue," and in 1852 became the editor of the Southern Ladies Book. In 1853, she married Col. John Hopkins French and relocated to McMinnville, Tenn., where they had 3 children, 1 boy and 2 girls. She kept detailed diaries during the Civil War, including this diary entry from December 28, 1862...

Lucy Virginia French diary entry, December 28, 1862.
Lucy Virginia French Diaries, TSLA

In another example from our collection, the Boyd Family Papers, 1838-1947, contain letters from Franklin Boyd and Amie “Dovie” (Boyd) Nicholson. Both letters are dated Dec. 22, 1896, and are on J. F. Boyd stationery. The letters were written from Shelbyville, Tennessee.

In Franklin Boyd’s letter, he asks for a long list of items, including a horse, roman candles, and firecrackers. He also asks Santa not to forget his sister. Dovie asks for multiple things as well, including a doll trunk and a set of wooden dishes. She signs her letter, “your little friend Dovie Boyd.”

Dovie Boyd's letter to Santa, Dec. 22, 1896.
Boyd Family Papers, 1838-1947, TSLA

We hope you receive all you have asked for from Santa Claus this holiday season. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from all of us at the Tennessee State Library and Archives.

"Christmas Gifts" sheet music cover from the Kenneth Rose Music Collection, TSLA

The State Library and Archives is a division of the Tennessee Department of State and Tre Hargett, Secretary of State.

Monday, December 15, 2014

The Battle of Nashville: 150 Years Ago Today

Beginning on this day 150 years ago, the Confederate army launched a desperate assault on federal forces in Nashville as part of Confederate General John Bell Hood's attempt to threaten Union-held territory and lure General William T. Sherman away from Georgia. Despite the Confederate bloodletting at Franklin on November 30 of that year, the Confederates pursued their federal counterparts toward Nashville. Arriving on the south side of Nashville around December 2, 1864, the Confederates entrenched in an unlikely effort to besiege the strongly-fortified city. The thin Confederate lines stretched from the Cumberland River on the west to another bend of the river on the east. With perhaps 20,000 effective troops, the Confederates lacked sufficient manpower to complete the encirclement.

Major General George H. Thomas commanded Union forces during the Battle of Nashville.
Tennessee Historical Society Picture Collection

Inside the city, Major General George H. Thomas enjoyed the advantage of strong fortifications and earthworks which had been built in anticipation of a potential Confederate attack. With concentrations of African American refugees in the city available for military labor, and as many as 18,000 civilians employed by the army, Nashville was one of the strongest fortified cities on the continent. Thomas’s army, with a three-to-one advantage in numbers over Hood’s army, was primed for a major victory.

View of south Nashville from the campus of the University of Nashville. Fort Negley can be seen in the distance. Nashville had been occupied by the Union since 1862.
TSLA Photograph Collection

President Lincoln and General Grant pushed the cautious Thomas to destroy Hood’s army as quickly as possible. Thomas, however, refused to move until everything was in order and delayed further when a major ice storm hit the area on December 12. While the Confederates sat in frozen trenches with little or no food, few overcoats, and suffering low morale after the fiasco at Franklin, Thomas’s men prepared for the attack.

Written “in the field near Nashville” December 5, 1864, this receipt of medicines and hospital stores was issued to Senior Surgeon Robert W. Mitchell, Vaughan’s Brigade, CSA, 10 days before the Battle of Nashville. It includes alcohol, morphine, surgeon’s needles and silk, opium, and a large amount of whiskey.
Looking Back: The Civil War in Tennessee

Finally on December 15, the weather broke and the federal advance began. Thomas sent his cavalry out Charlotte Pike in an effort to envelop the Confederate left flank. On the Confederate right, federal infantry, including a brigade of United States Colored Troops seeing combat for the first time, advanced to hold the Confederates in place. By the evening of the 15th, the Confederates had been forced to give up their positions and had fallen back to a shorter defensive line from Peach Orchard Hill on the far right, to Shy’s Hill on the left. There they sat, awaiting the next day’s attack.

This two sided hand-drawn map of Nashville, probably drawn for Army of Tennessee commanders by a Confederate spy, includes many features of wartime Nashville. Signed by “J.C.,” it shows “64-pounder” gun emplacements on the Cumberland River, the Brennan Foundry, and the stockade and fortifications around the State Capitol. The reverse side shows sentry houses and firfle pits on St. Cloud, Cathy’s, and Overton’s Hills, and military “graveyards” to the east.
Looking Back: The Civil War in Tennessee

The federal plan of attack for December 16 was much the same as the day before—hold the Confederate right in place with a diversionary attack while also pressuring the center and flanking on the left, using cavalry. Confederates entrenched on Peach Orchard Hill inflicted heavy losses on the advancing United States Colored Troops, but the Confederates atop Shy’s Hill crumbled under the weight of attacks from three sides. The collapse of the Confederate left flank put the rest of Hood’s army in flight. It was only the brave rearguard actions by some Confederate units that prevented the complete destruction of the Army of Tennessee.

Pre-Civil War cased tintype of Col. William Shy, 20th Tennessee Infantry, CSA. Shy was killed at the Battle of Nashville on December 16, 1864, defending a hilltop position that now bears his name.
Looking Back: The Civil War in Tennessee

The Battle of Nashville was the most complete federal victory of the Civil War and ended any Confederate threat to the state. Amazingly, those Confederate soldiers who remained with the defeated Army of Tennessee would fight again before the war finally ended in May 1865.

Dr. William H. Givens, an assistant surgeon attached to the 1st Division, detached from the 14th Army Corps, USA, wrote this letter to his wife on December 18, 1864 from the Rains House in Nashville. “We have suffered severely in the loss of men, but have gained one of the greatest victories of the war. We have captured large quantities of guns, small arms ammunition and prisoners . . . The fighting was quite severe all around here, and just in sight of here dozens of dead men have lain in the rain . . . nearly every one had been stripped of some article of clothing, all of them of their boots and shoes, most of them pants and many of coats, hats and all.”
Looking Back: The Civil War in Tennessee

TSLA’s current exhibit “1864: War Rages in Tennessee” features the Battle of Nashville and will be up in our Memorial Hall through the end of the year.

Many of the images come from Looking Back: The Civil War in Tennessee: http://www.tn.gov/tsla/cwtn/index.htm.

The Tennessee Virtual Archive (TeVA) has several other Civil War collections: http://teva.contentdm.oclc.org/.

Other Civil War Resources at TSLA: http://www.tn.gov/tsla/resources/index.htm#civilwar.

The State Library and Archives is a division of the Tennessee Department of State and Tre Hargett, Secretary of State.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Tennessee's starring role in Elia Kazan's "Wild River"

In Tennessee today, it is not unusual to see film crews around the state, whether filming a TV show like ABC’s “Nashville” or making movies like “The Green Mile,” “The Firm,” or “Walk the Line.” In 1959, however, the filming of an entire major Hollywood movie in Tennessee was a momentous occasion, especially in a small town. That year, director Elia Kazan and actors Montgomery Clift and Lee Remick were among the stars that descended on Bradley County to make “Wild River.” Most of the filming took place in the Tennessee towns of Charleston and Cleveland and on Coon Denton Island in the Hiwassee River. More than 40 local residents had speaking parts, and dozens more served as extras.

In a scene from "Wild River," Miss Ella (Jo Van Fleet) attempts to illustrate her determination to keep her land by pretending to force field hand Sam Johnson (Robert Earl Jones) to sell his beloved hunting dog "Old Blue." Sam offered to give her the dog, if she was going to stay on the island.
Department of Conservation Photograph Collection
Image online: http://tnsos.org/tsla/imagesearch/citation.php?ImageID=24121

The film dramatized the plight of rural landowners who lost their homes and farms when the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) built dams that flooded their land. Assistant State Archivist Dr. Wayne Moore notes, "In one of the largest uses of eminent domain power in American history, tens of thousands of Southerners had their property taken from them by the Federal government in order to build these dams and create the lakes.”

The Garth Island field hands leave the farm as the lake begins to rise.
Department of Conservation Photograph Collection
Image online: http://tnsos.org/tsla/imagesearch/citation.php?ImageID=24120

If you are interested in learning more about the people who lost their lands to the lakes created by TVA dams, TSLA has many resources to explore. Borden Deal's novel Dunbar's Cove (1957) was one of two novels on which the "Wild River" screenplay was based. Two academic studies of the subject are TVA Population Removal : Attitudes and Expectations of the Dispossessed at the Norris and Cherokee Dam Sites (1995) by Michael Rogers, and TVA and the Dispossessed : the Resettlement of Population in the Norris Dam Area (1982) by Michael J. McDonald.

TVA's trouble shooter, Chuck Glover (Montgomery Clift), and eminently worth-the-trouble Carol Garth Baldwin (Lee Remick) find romance amidst the drama in "Wild River." In the end, they have to join hands with the law.
Department of Conservation Photograph Collection
Image online: http://tnsos.org/tsla/imagesearch/citation.php?ImageID=24123

To see more images from the Department of Conservation Photographs Collection related to the movie, search "Wild River" in the TSLA Photograph Database: http://tnsos.org/tsla/imagesearch/index.php.

The movie set used as the "Garth family homestead," in the motion picture "Wild River," 1959.
Department of Conservation Photograph Collection
Image online: http://tnsos.org/tsla/imagesearch/citation.php?ImageID=24134

More about “Wild River”

The Library of Congress selected "Wild River" for preservation in the U.S. National Film Registry in 2002. http://www.loc.gov/film/essays.html

Allison Inman directed a documentary, “Mud on the Stars: Stories from Elia Kazan’s Wild River“ (2011) about how the making of “Wild River” affected people in Bradley County. View a trailer for the documentary here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a2LIssesvQw.

These notes from the Turner Classic Movie website are informative: http://www.tcm.com/tcmdb/title/95886/Wild-River/notes.html

At right, "Garth Island," reached by a current-pushed ferry. This location, at Coon Denton Island, a few miles up the Hiwassee River from Calhoun and Charleston, Tennessee, was chosen as typical of bottomland before the TVA dam was closed.
Department of Conservation Photograph Collection
Image online: http://tnsos.org/tsla/imagesearch/citation.php?ImageID=24117

The State Library and Archives is a division of the Tennessee Department of State and Tre Hargett, Secretary of State.