Uncovering history without unearthing bodies was the topic of a recent “MTSU On the Record” radio program.
Host Gina Logue’s interview with Dr. Derek Frisby, a lecturer in MTSU’s Department of Global Studies and Human Geography, first aired July 3 on WMOT-FM Roots Radio 89.5 and online at www.wmot.org. You can listen to their conversation above.
Frisby is one of two recipients of the 2018 James E. Walker Library Digital Seed Grants. The library awards the stipends to fund either research or teaching projects that incorporate digital tools and platforms into their scholarship.
About 6,850 bodies, including 2,562 unidentified remains, are interred in the 20-acre cemetery northwest of Murfreesboro’s Public Square. The battlefield memorializes the Battle of Stones River, which occurred Dec. 31, 1862-Jan. 2, 1863.
The Civil War battlefield site covers more than 3,000 acres along both sides of the original Nashville Pike, now known as the Old Nashville Highway and U.S. 41-70; less than a fifth of that acreage is preserved as a park.
Students will use geographic information systems, or GIS, technology to connect spots on the battlefield with various historical sources to help tell the stories of the soldiers buried there.
“One of the things that has struck me is how little the cemetery itself figures in the interpretive framework of the battle,” Frisby said, “so I wanted to bring the cemetery back into the narrative of the battle and … the memory of the battle.”
Frisby, a distinguished MTSU professor whose research has examined the Civil War and how cultures memorialize military conflict, was a 2003 military history fellow at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. The MTSU alumnus and former U.S. Marine has written numerous articles and essays dealing with Tennessee’s Civil War occupation.
To hear previous “MTSU On the Record” programs, visit the searchable “Audio Clips” archives at www.mtsunews.com.
For more information about “MTSU On the Record,” contact Logue at 615-898-5081 or WMOT-FM at 615-898-2800.