By Ruby Y. Pruett / Chronicle contributor

The boyhood home of General Nathan Bedford Forrest is located in Chapel Hill, TN on land that was originally a Revolutionary land grant. It is a simple three-room log cabin with an additional loft.

The Sons of Confederate Veterans (SCV) now owns the property and is in the process of restoring it and its outbuilding. One of the fundraisers to help finance this project is an annual "Forrest Homecoming" held on the site the last weekend of June each year. The weekend is filled with family activities for all ages .

This year’s program included marbles shootout, horseshoes competition, and pony rides for children. Adult activities included story telling, dramatic portrayals of Civil War characters, a cavalcade, a mint julep ceremony and toast to General Forrest, a silent auction, a garden tea party, and a dinner and dance with music provided by the 52nd Regimental String Band of Memphis.

Elizabeth Coker, president of Mary Kate Patterson Order of Confederate Rose Chapter #7 (OCR), was in charge of all children’s and women’s activities. Several OCR chapters from around the state participated in the events. In the Southern Ladies Historical Review, Jan Hensley, president of the Mariam Beck Forrest OCR Chapter #5 in Dresden, portrayed General Forrest’s mother, Mariam Beck Forrest; Brenna Russell, OCR member from Crossville, portrayed Robbie Woodruff, who assisted her cousin, Mary Kate Patterson, in smuggling medicines and other vital supplies through Union lines in Nashville and delivering them to the Confederates; Ruby Pruett, president Tennessee Society OCR, portrayed Lucy Holcombe Pickens, a native Tennessean whose bewitching beauty resulted in her being known as the Queen of the Confederacy.

As a prelude to the afternoon tea party, Linda Gupton, member of the United Daughters of the Confederacy (UDC) from Columbia, made a presentation on proper tea etiquette. Then Pruett and Carolyn Hedgecoth, both OCR members from Crossville, assisted in hosting the garden party. The guests were served scones, chicken salad sandwiches, and various sweets plus their favorite tea selected from among the many varieties offered.

© 2006, Crossville Chronicle

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