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Carolyn Ferrell Book signing at Clarksville-Montgomery County Library Sunday, December 6th

December 2, 2015 | Email This Post Print This Post

Clarksville-Montgomery County Public LibraryClarksville, TN – Carolyn Stier Ferrell is releasing her 6th book this month entitled, Riverview Cemetery: A History. There will be a booking signing for her on Sunday, December 6th, 2015 from 1:00pm until 4:00pm at the Clarksville-Montgomery County Library.

Of the cemetery, Ms. Ferrell stated, “Riverview has existed as a cemetery for as long as humans have trod its hillsides. The indigenous people used it long before the white settlers came into the area.”

Clarksville-Montgomery County Public Library

Clarksville-Montgomery County Public Library

Once called the City Burial Ground, Riverview holds many surprises. Among those interred here are the very first settlers who came by river or foot to eke out a living in the wilderness.

There are Revolutionary War soldiers, city mayors, and state representatives buried here as well as one very despised Tennessee state senator who now lies among the very people he tried to harm.

A well-known “lady of the night” named “Belle” is beside the most notable of Clarksville’s citizens.

There is also a celebrity of sorts to the southerners who fought in the Civil War, a member of the Coleman Scouts, Joshua Brown. Brown was captured and jailed beside Sam Davis, the “boy hero of the Confederacy,” and gave the condemned young man his last bit of food to eat before he was hanged.

Carolyn Ferrell

Carolyn Ferrell

There is a mass grave for the Confederates who died in the Female Academy hospital from disease and from the battle of Fort Donelson.

Within the pages of the book are numerous photographs and an explanation of the symbols carved into the gravestones. There are the usual sad stories but there are also those that inspire, and even some that cause one to laugh. For example, one Civil War soldier buried at the top of the cemetery hill survived all four horrific years of the Civil War only to return home and die in a fight over a chicken.

The stone carvers, the undertakers, and the sextons/superintendents of the cemetery are introduced and the lives of the prominent citizens of Clarksville such as Cobb, Shackelford, Gaisser, Brown, Reynolds, Farrar, Stewart, Beaumont, Doak, Brodie, Elder, Lockert, Sullivan, and Bringhurst are examined.

“Whenever possible, I travel to locations to research my books to get a feel for the person or event I am describing. For this particular book, trips were made as close as Pulaski, Tennessee and as far away as Leadville, Colorado. I especially love the ‘why’ part of historic research. Why did they come or leave Clarksville; why did they follow the path they took? Trying to get ‘inside their heads’ is exciting. While many stories are told in the book there are so more than can be told and perhaps that is best: to let some secrets go the grave with the person. However, I do hope visitors appreciate the wonderful repository of history that is contained within these sacred grounds and will respect those interred here no matter how high or low their station in life.”

Ms. Ferrell’s other books available for sale are: In Search of Nannie Tyler, A 100 Year History of a Family Who Helped Shape Clarksville, Stories from the Queen City, Occupied: the Story of Clarksville, Tennessee During the Civil War, Franklin House, and Greenwood Cemetery: A History.

“One of my next projects,” said Ms. Ferrell, “is an in-depth look at the life of Valentine Sevier and the massacre on the bluff above the Cumberland and Red Rivers. I would love anyone who has stories or information concerning the Seviers to please contact me at or 931.980.2584 so that it may be included in the book.” Everyone is invited to the booking signing on Sunday. The book is priced at $40.00.

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