BALDWYN • A museum in Baldwyn unveiled a new exhibit that honors individual soldiers who fought during the Civil War.
Mississippi’s Final Stands Interpretive Center and Battlefields unveiled Saturday morning “They Served Here,” a digital presentation that includes a searchable database of soldiers who fought in the Battle of Brice’s Crossroads and the Battle of Tupelo/Harrisburg, which took place in June and July of 1864.
The exhibit is touchscreen, has 23 interpretive panels and two display cases that feature Civil War artifacts and related items.
Mississippi’s Final Stands Interpretive Center and Battlefields Director Edwina Carpenter hopes the new exhibit will attract younger audiences through the use of technology.
“Our goal in creating the ‘They Served Here’ exhibit is to attract younger visitors to the center through the use of technology and to better educate all visitors on the soldiers who fought in these pivotal battles and what life was like on the home front during the Civil War,” Carpenter said.
Historian experts and authors Brian Steel Wills and Stan Buckles were also in attendance at the unveiling, signing some of their books written about soldiers and the battles they fought in.
“There’s nothing about anything that isn’t in the Civil War,” Wills said. “If you like music, the Civil War has it; if you like art, if you like politics, home front, or if you want to understand race. These are all apart of the larger picture of what comes out of war.If there’s not a Civil War, a lot of the things that we are today don’t happen.”
“It was interesting, some of us had been in it for over 40 years, but we didn’t know much about what they (soldiers) really did,” Buckles said. “So that was one of my main reasons for writing the book was to get the story down. And I tried to quote original sources, primary sources, as much as possible. Because I wanted the soldiers to tell the story, not me.”
The museum staff worked with Chase Computer Systems in Tupelo to develop the touchscreen interface software application that stores the historical information on the 18,000 soldiers who fought during the battles. The digital exhibit allows staff at the center to direct visitors to the exact location where their ancestors lined up for battle or engaged in fighting on the battlefield.
The exhibit was made possible through a grant from through the Mississippi Hills Heritage Area.