UT’s Center for the Study of War and Society and our History Department have been awarded a contract as part of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ new Veterans Legacy Program. This program pairs local universities and local school systems to produce education materials and public outreach programs about local National Cemeteries, telling the individual stories of veterans and their service.
A team of four undergraduate researchers has already launched into investigating individual stories of veterans interred in the Knoxville National Cemetery. In partnership with the East Tennessee Historical Society and the Knoxville History Project, their research will be used for a book about the cemetery and for lesson plans, digital resources, and teaching materials for K-12 students in Knox County Schools and cemetery guides for the general public.
Knoxville’s cemetery has special significance as one of the nation’s earliest, established by Union Maj. Gen. Ambrose Burnside during the Civil War following the siege of Knoxville and Battle of Fort Sanders. Veterans from every conflict the U.S. has been involved in have been laid to rest there, with honors.
This is one of nine contracts awarded to universities across the nation to empower students at all levels to learn about veterans’ military and civic service.
UT’s Center for the Study of War and Society is working with undergraduate and graduate students to compile research on veterans’ biographies and develop the digital learning materials about veterans buried in Knoxville National Cemetery. The program will utilize the vast amount of primary sources located within the Center, its oral histories, and within the Special Collections of the University of Tennessee Libraries. It provides valuable experience for undergraduates, as they gain knowledge in historical research, analysis, and teaching the important stories of our collective past.