Finding Rutherford (Working title) Act II
Opening
Moonlight String Band plays overture


Mayor: Let's gather round here... Welcome back everybody...come on down.. they's extra room down here for another chair ... let's see...where did we leave off...that's right ..well about 1831 it was proposed that we needed a railroad. And the towns and the people of Rutherford County agreed... It didn't come in until 1851, but... Let me just read here from this eye witness account. "When it finally was completed , a big celebration, a grand barbeque was put forth on July 4, 1851, with 500 feet of table laden with barbeque of meat, of breads and another of confections and other food, 3,000 people gathering...and near the hour of 12 noon, a strange noise is heard in the distance, as of a coming of a storm. And just then a Locomotive comes into sight, belching steam and smoke, filled to the brim with anxious visitors, all waving little flags, each car also had banners fluttering in the breeze, everywhere was jubilation. The cars arriving at the depot ground, the signal given, the trundling noise hushed."

Music: Mad about Trains

All out on the new railroad
Hear that whistle whine
All out on the new railroad
On that N and C Line
All out on the new railroad
Down that Nashville track
Take you away for a dollar boys
Dollar will carry you back
They are mad about trains
Those boys are mad about trains
Every boy that anyone knows
Won't leave the track till they see how it goes
They are mad about trains, simply mad about trains

All out on the new railroad
Fireman yellin' for coal
All out on the new railroad
Rumblin' as she rolls
Board her down in the Boro boys
Next stop at Laverne
All the way to Nashville boys
You can't help but learn
They are mad about trains,
Simply mad about trains
Every boy that anyone knows
Won't leave the track till they see how it goes
They are mad about trains, simply mad about trains

All out on the new railroad
Belchin' smoke and steam
All out on the new railroad
Faster than a dream
Carryin' people dressed so fine
Carryin' cotton too
You can bet that wagoners lad
Don't have nothin' to do
But they are mad about trains,
Simply mad about trains
Every boy that anyone knows
Won't leave the track till they see how it goes
They are mad about trains, simply mad about trains
Every boy that anyone knows
Won't leave the track till they see how it goes
They are mad about trains, simply mad about trains

Cast applauds
Soldiers march in to the audience, take places on each side as drummers mark time


Mayor: Much could be said about the period of the history of this county during the years of 1861 to 1865. Most of it was filled with heartbreak.

Music: Civil War Song by Jeremy McConville and Jarrell Reeve, Candace Corrigan and Janne Henshaw

YouTube Video


In 1861 the civil war had just begun
On April 12, it is remembered, the South did fire and Fort Sumpter surrendered
Hard hard hard so hard
The war was fought in the rebel's back yard
Hard hard when it was done
So many died and the Yankees won

At Bull Run Gettysburg and Baton Rouge
Franklin Vicksburg and Antetiem too.
Chicamauga Kennesaw and Shiloh
Murfreesboro, Nashville and Tupelo
The war was fought in the rebel's back yard
Hard hard when it was done
So many died and the Yankees won

They fought their fathers and their brothers too
In the terrible war of the grey and the blue
At Appomattox in '65 the war did end and the Union survived

The war was fought in the rebel's back yard
Hard hard when it was done
So many died and the Yankees won
In 1861 the civil war had just begun


Cast applauds

Mayor: During the year of 1862, our town was "occupied, unoccupied, preoccupied and generally run over by this army, that army, or no army at all". There was much excitement of course, before the war came to our county...

Music: Bonnie Blue Flag
Mary Kate in costume walks up, a young flirtatious spy on the arm of a Confederate veteran.


Mayor: Mary Kate, now tell the people here...were you really a spy?
Note: Author will finish this with a few more sentences. - Needs a little more research

Mary Kate: Well... Sure I used to run cross county lines. Every man who was near and dear to me had volunteered for the Southern Cause. Shameful situation, we couldn't even have medicine for our wounded...I was able to hide packages under my skirt, sometimes as much as 3o pounds of medicine. And I wasn't above letting myself be courted by a handsome Yankee. Oh the information you could get out of them... Easy as pie, really. I was never afraid...well maybe that one time... Somehow the soldiers on either side never gave me a speck of trouble.

Mayor: But Mary Kate...what weren't you afraid that you would get caught? What you were doing was a capitol offense! You could have been hung as a spy! They could have demanded that you tell everything that you knew.

Mary Kate: Well... I just think of what dear Sam Davis said... "I would rather die a thousand deaths than betray a friend."

Drew and Candace play 2 Old Timey Civil War songs
Southern Soldier Song
Old Yeller Dog


Southern Soldier Song

I'll place my knapsack on my back
My rifle on my shoulder
I'll march away to the firing line
And kill that Yankee soldier
And kill that Yankee soldier
I'll march away to the firing line
And kill that Yankee soldier

I'll bid farewell to my wife and child
Farewell to my aged mother
And go and join in the bloody strife
Till this cruel war is over
Till this cruel war is over
I'll go and join in the bloody strife
Till this cruel war is over
If I am shot on the battlefield
And I should not recover
Oh, who will protect my wife and child
And care for my aged mother
And care for my aged mother
Oh, who will protect my wife and child
And care for my aged mother


and then

The Old Yeller Dog

Old Yeller Dog
Trottin' through the meeting house
Trottin' through the meeting house
Trottin' through the meeting house
Old Yeller Dog trottin' through the meeting house down in Alabam
brave boys here, brave boys there, brave here down in Alabam
old joe hooker won't you come out of the wilderness
come out of the wilderness
come out of the wilderness
And fight the boys in grey


Cast applauds

Sgt. Bennet and Widow Lewis

Note Rhea Cole and his wife Anne are noted reenactors who will do their recollections ...are expecting to fill 10 minutes time

Mrs. Lewis: at the end of her speech she is talking about the aftermath of the Morgan /Ready wedding.

The town was strangely serene and quiet. Everyone was aware that out on the cold ground, soldiers were camped, readying themselves for battle. And then it began. The sound of a lone brass instrument playing the old favorite Home Sweet Home,
Music ... Home sweet home
and then another, I've been told from the other side, took up at the same song, and then another and so it went down the line of camps, astounding all who heard it.

Music ... Home sweet home

Music: Virginia French begins

Mayor: Let me read something from our local paper the next day about that battle:

Mayor reads: "The sun rose clear glistening the seried line of steel, bathing the banners, which floated in the front. As far as the eye could reach stood the two vast armies, silent and motionless. It almost seemed, instead of foes drawn up for battle to be some brilliant holiday parade, but at length a volley of musketry from the extreme left told too plainly that the work of death had in reality begun."

Candace Sings Virginia French in 1862 costume
Virginia French


The Ballad of L. Virginia French written by Candace Corrigan, from L. Virginia Diary

Looking back on this evening all these many years
To the bride I was ten years ago
When my Darlin' and I were commencing our lives
Down the river of life we did go
And Darlin' and I are now ten times in love
More devoted than ever before
But I pray that this radiant love can survive
In this terrible climate of war

When Nashville surrendered I'll always remember
Was the first day I thought we were lost
I shouted to show Southern powder and steel
Now I shudder to think of the cost
The Yankee invaders are worse than the plague
Eating all that's in sight till it's gone
All we have left to live on is rumors and fear
And the difficult times to go on

I was waiting one day by the rock on the hillside
My Darlin' was comin' up to
With the tenderest tears in his eyes as he saw me
Into his arms I flew
Reluctant to leave me and more like a lover
I noticed his gold wedding band
His fingers so thin that the ring that I gave him
Was slipping right off of his hand

One night in our parlor came soldiers in gray
And a beautiful banner was shown
In the finest of silk it was taken in battle
By ladies up North it was sewn
The flag that I once loved not so long before
and would cheer it in any parade
And I started to weep at the thought of it's capture
And the foolish mistake we have made, And the foolish mistake we have made


Cast applauds
Music changes: to Mary Wallace


Mayor: The war was a nasty business, no respecter of class or wealth, as terrifying as any other war, but of course, worse, because it was here. At the same time that Mrs. French was writing, a young wife with two small children confides in her diary in the countryside of Michigan, longing for her husband who was to be wounded here in the 9th Michigan infantry.

Janne sings Mary Wallace in 1862 Costume

Mary Wallace written by Candace Corrigan from diary

My name is Mary Wallace, Calhoun County is my home
My husband Robert's off to war and I run the farm alone
With the proud 9th of Michigan trained at Dowagiac
He's nine long months away at war and how I wish him back
Oh, but the long war rages on.

My father thought it foolish, my mother thought so, too
When I took the train to Dowagiac in the fall of '62
And Bruce, he took me to his tent, I sewed a pocket on his coat
We stayed all night at the campground, so early we awoke
He gave me thirty dollars, said he'd send another five
And if he thought, he never said, he hoped he'd be back alive
And the cars rolled out to Ohio in the morning about five
Oh, but the long war rages on.

Dear Diary, I write to you these minutes that I've found
I gathered wood and done the chores, getting ready to turn the ground
Turned Harrisons' pigs from the cornfield, fixed the fences all around
And watched my young son run and play as the sun was going down
Oh, but the long war rages on.

It's my first spring, so many things I'd never done before
I know I'm not the first young wife to see her man go off to war
But the summer nights are comin' and I will lie alone
The worrying it troubles me, I never would have known
I'm tryin' hard, but Bruce my dear, how I wish you home
Oh, but the long war rages on.

The papers tell of battles and brave women who are there
Like Major Pauline Cushman with her curly chestnut hair
Or a Lansing girl, they say that she has run away from home
Dressed up like a man to fight and marchin' right along
But me, I'll stay and work the farm and fight my wars alone
Oh, and the long war rages on
The long war rages on.


Cast applauds

Mayor: And of course you know what happened. Over 25,000 men lost their lives in that three day battle, stubbornly clinging to the ground won that contained the bones of early settlers, who had fought in the Revolutionary war.

Music : Gospel choir sing The crossing and Free at Last



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