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The Female Re-Enactors of Distinction to stage performances throughout the region


By Geneva Bell

When the Washington D.C.-based Female Re-Enactors of Distinction (FREED) come to the Clarksville area in February, members of the public, youth and adult, will have several opportunities to meet FREED, see them in their 1860s period costumes, and learn from FREED’s historical interpretations of notable African-American women of the Civil War era.

With the exception of the February 5th Freedmen’s Cotillion, the programs are free of charge.

On Friday, February 4th, the public is invited to a program featuring FREED at the Jefferson Davis State Historic Site, from 12:30pm to 3:00pm. Jefferson Davis State Historic Site is at 258 Pembroke-Fairview Road in Fairview, Kentucky. Park Manager Ron Sydnor can be reached at 270-889-6100.

Later in the day on February 4th, beginning at 6:00pm, FREED will deliver their historical interpretations at Greater Missionary Baptist Church, 450 Ringgold Road in Clarksville. Young people are especially encouraged to attend this appearance, designed to inspire as well as to educate. Adults are also welcome. Contact Senior Care Minister Travis Steele at 931-647-4643 for details.

On Saturday, February 5th, FREED will appear at Customs House Museum, 200 South Second Street, Clarksville, from 10:00am to 11:00am. At 11:00am, FREED will leave the Museum to begin a guided tour of some of Clarksville’s historic sites. Interested groups and individuals may follow along. Join FREED at the Museum before 11:00 to be part of the tour.

Saturday evening, February 5th, at 5:30pm, will be the highlight of FREED’s visit, the Black History Month Civil War-Era Freedmen’s Cotillion. The Cotillion will be held in the Riverview Inn at 50 College Street. In addition to FREED’s interpretations of important nineteenth century African-American women, the Cotillion will include musical performances and dancing, funded in part by a grant from the Tennessee Arts Commission. Adults and older youths are welcome. To purchase tickets for this dinner program, send $25 per person to Mt. Olive Society, P. O. Box 352, Clarksville, TN 37041. Include name, address, and phone number/email. For more information about Cotillion tickets, contact Beth Kasper at 931-387-3715.

Before returning to Washington, FREED will perform during Sunday worship at the Greenhill Church, 311 Walker Street, at 10:00am on February 6th. All are welcome to this kick-off of Greenhill’s Black History
Month Celebration. The Greenhill congregation dates back to1865, the last year of the Civil War. For details, contact Church Administrator Gwen Duvall at 931-648-2324. FREED is affiliated with the African American Civil War Museum.

Their appearances in the Clarksville area have been arranged by Mt. Olive Cemetery Historical Preservation Society and are made possible by charitable donations to the Society. “We hope everyone will come to at least one of FREED’s public appearances,” said Mt. Olive Executive Director Geneva Bell. “We are fortunate to be able to give our youth a new perspective on history for the Kick-Off of Clarksville-Montgomery County’s Civil War Sesquicentennial observances. We think the Cotillion will be significant in local history by bringing together people of different ages and backgrounds at one community event.”

For more information or to donate, contact Geneva Bell at 931-552-8026 or visit For more information on the Civil War Sesquicentennial, Clarksville-Montgomery County’s Civil War commemoration visit




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