Civil War: Hundreds of Slaves May Be Buried Under Nashville Baseball Stadium

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tags: slavery, Civil War

An abandoned baseball field in Tennessee might cover hundreds of Civil War-era slave graves. The Tennessean reported that an archaeological inspection of Greer Stadium in Nashville found a “high likelihood of human remains.”

A preliminary revieworiginally contracted in October by Megan Barry, mayor of Nashville, by Tennessee Valley Archaeological Research incorporated ground-penetrating radar to image underneath the stadium field. The Tennessean, which obtained a summary of those initial findings, completed in November, through a public records request, reported that a team is returning to the site with “ground-truthing” equipment. These tools, often used in map making and remote sensing, will allow them to dig beneath the surface and make a more detailed assessment. The researchers are scheduled to issue a final report later this month.

The mayor’s office is considering the minor-league stadium, once home to the Nashville Sounds, for redevelopment. According to The Tennessean, the plan is contentious because Greer Stadium is situated just downhill from Fort Negley, which slaves and former slaves built during the Civil War. The mayor intends to replace the stadium with the proposed Cloud Hill development, a project co-led by music producer T Bone Burnett and that would include housing, retail, entertainment and park space. Opponents to the project suspected that the site held the remains of hundreds of buried slaves, according to The Tennessean. They are advocating for Greer to be repurposed instead as a public park honoring the fort’s African-American builders. The redevelopment work is on hold pending the results of the archaeological review.

Read entire article at Newsweek

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