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06-08-2006, 11:09 AM
I am happy to announce the recent purchase of a house in Russellville, TN. that was used by Gen. James Longstreet as his HQ during the winter of 1863/1864. The State of Tennessee has recognized this house with a State Historical Marker entitled Longstreet's Billet. The house was purchased by the newly incorporated Lakeway Civil War Preservation Association whose Board is comprised of local Civic leaders and Bradford-Rose Camp #1638 members. On Saturday, May 27, our fundraising was kicked off with a presentation by Dan Paterson, the great-grandson of Gen. James Longstreet.

Mike Beck

Tax deductible donations may be sent to:

Lakeway Civil War Preservation Association
P.O. Box 625
Morristown TN 37815

AAR from East Tennessee 31 May 2006
In late 2005 I’d received letters from Mr. Randy Miller, of Morristown, TN regarding Gen. Longstreet’s headquarters from 1863-1864 being up for sale and local group’s attempts to purchase it. The probability was very high that the property, zoned commercial, was going to be developed and a Dollar Store built upon the property. Mr. Miller was kind enough to send me photographs of the house which I’d never seen before. Although I had knowledge of the general location of the general and his troops and their actions during this part of the war and I’d visited Knoxville multiple times in the past, I’d never ventured to the area before.

Thanks to Mr. Randy Miller I can now say that I have. Mr. Miller put me in touch with Mike Beck, the local SCV Camp’s Lt. Commander and Mike kept me informed about the progress of properties purchase. I was invited to give my program on General Longstreet in Morristown, TN; the start of what I feel will be a wonderful project upon completion.

Memorial Day weekend 2006: I can’t think of a better time, I found myself on a journey to East Tennessee to spend a weekend in the area where my ancestor’s troops spent the winter of ‘63-‘64 and near where the Battle of Bean’s Station was fought. Upon my arrival I was immediately taken on a wonderfully comprehensive tour of the area where I saw sites that I would otherwise never been able to see, thanks to Mr. Mike Beck. A relic hunter, part of the time, Mr. Beck has a detailed knowledge of the local sites and where the troops were, regiment by regiment. This was one of the most exciting tours of a Civil War site that I’ve ever been a part of and I am most grateful for the experience.

After another quick tour of some other related sites, including Rogersville, TN, we went to the house in Russellville, TN known as “Longstreet’s Billet” so identified by a state historical marker in the front yard. We had a photo opportunity provided by the local newspaper, the Citizen Tribune and CW Courier. It was not only a thrill to walk through this house where I my ancestor once did but also that another notable Civil War landmark has been saved from the developers!

Saturday evening my program was well received at the local library. A full house was on hand and the formal announcement following the program that the house was purchased and saved from development by the Lakeway CW Preservation Association. The house will be restored to its wartime appearance and will serve as a visitor’s center for information on the entire area.

I thank Mr. Randy Miller for getting in touch with me initially about the house. Many thanks to Mr. Mike Beck and Bill White for touring me around the area where Longstreet’s men camped skirmished and wintered in 1863-64.This was an excellent experience and I look forward to my return September 22, 2006 for a reenactment/living history whose proceeds will benefit the project, one that has my full endorsement and support. Let us all spread the word about this project to the Civil War Community and anyone interested in battlefield preservation.

Dan Paterson
Great-grandson of James Longstreet
Chesapeake Volunteer Guard
7th Maryland Volunteer Inf.