Before leaving office, former Gov. Phil Bredesen urged tourism officials to look at creating a national Civil War museum here in Tennessee. It is an excellent idea, particularly in light of the unique role Tennessee played in the Civil War.
Tennessee is second only to Virginia when it comes to the number of recognized Civil War battlefields. And we must not forget residents of this state had divided loyalties when it same to cutting ties with the Union.
This year, Americans are observing the 150-year anniversary of the start of the Civil War. Many of those sesquicentennial commemorations will be held at national Civil War battlefield sites here in Tennessee — places like Shiloh, Murfreesboro and Chattanooga. Visitors can also learn more about the war by exploring one of the 150 markers on the state’s new Civil War Trail.
This trail helps make Tennessee the most logical choice for a national museum dedicated to the history of the Civil War. We hope Gov. Bill Haslam and state tourism officials take advantage of this extraordinary opportunity.