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“Nineteenth Century City,” video by University of Alabama students (KatieMcComber)

The world premiere of the music video “Druid City” occurred at the historical Jemison Mansion on December 3, 2014. Following the premiere of the music video, which featured the city of Tuscaloosa and its many historical sites, guest speaker Dr. Robert Mellown talked about the historical significance of many of the buildings in Tuscaloosa.

Although no huge battle was fought in Tuscaloosa, the Civil War certainly had a presence in the community. This was in large part because Tuscaloosa was home to a Confederate Prisoner of War camp. Union soldiers that were held here during the war faced numerous problems including lack of food and disease, which made this a very deadly place for those who inhabited it. Additionally, Tuscaloosa was home to a Confederate arsenal that stored ammunition and supplies.

When word got out that Union soldiers were headed to Tuscaloosa, Confederate troops burned down the arsenal to prevent the Union form taking their materials. In addition, Union troops burned down many other buildings in Tuscaloosa, including a large part of the University of Alabama. Even though Tuscaloosa had several buildings that were related to the Civil War, very few are still around today because of the large amount of burning that occurred.

Furthermore, a burning that occurred after the Civil War was the previous state capitol building that was in Tuscaloosa. Although the area where it stood remained empty for decades, it was recently rebuilt as a sort of monument made out of its old ruins. There was much thought and decision-making put into making this monument much like many other monuments put up as discussed in Horowitz’s Confederates in the Attic.

Overall, the lecture was very informative about the city of Tuscaloosa during the Civil War and how the city decided to remember the previous state capitol building by making a monument out of it.