War in the Mountains IV: Religion, Death Martyrdom and the Civil War

This special event culminated our remembrance of the Civil War. Click here for videos from the event.
Student with laptop


  • New Acquisitions:
    • We have received 10 donations this calendar year (4 since May)
    • The Museum staff is working to secure the purchase of two separate Civil War era archival collections for research use.  The combined collections will compromise over 500 letters from Civil War soldiers and will greatly enhance our collection for Civil War research
    • Two more purchases are being discussed presently for 500 + letters from a Civil War hospital


The Abraham Lincoln Library and Museum will undergo gallery renovation and the creation of a research center thanks to a commitment of $750,000 from a generous donor. The gift was made to honor the legacy of Dr. Robert L. Kincaid, president of LMU from 1947 to 1958, who made significant additions to LMU’s Lincoln collection.

  • The updated gallery will highlight items that were added to the collection during the Kincaid presidency and will be named the Hansel O. and Dorothy M. Kincaid Gallery.
  • The endowed research center will provide support for the study of the Judeo Christian Ethic’s Role in the Life, Leadership and Times of Abraham Lincoln. It will be named the Dr. Robert L. Kincaid Endowed Research Center and will be located inside the current Museum building. 


“Clouds and Darkness Surround Us”: The Life of Mary Todd Lincoln

FEBRUARY 12, 2015 TO NOVEMBER 20, 2015
“Clouds and Darkness Surround Us”: The Life of Mary Todd Lincoln is an exhibit examining the tragic events in the life of the woman who found herself in the Executive Mansion not so much as First Lady, but as a captive of circumstances beyond her control. Come be a part of this exciting and rare opportunity to enjoy both history and Hollywood!

Using original and replica artifacts, and presented in the Young Mr. Lincoln Gallery this exhibit will feature three costumes from Steven Spielberg’s award winning movie “Lincoln.” The items will be housed for security and visibility in a 12’ by 16’ Plexiglas enclosure in the first gallery.  

Featuring original costume props from the Oscar winning film:

  • Mary Todd Lincoln/Sally Fields Dress
  • Abraham Lincoln/Daniel Day Lewis Suit
  • Elizabeth Keckley/Gloria Rubenstein Dress
    • The display will be enhanced with artifacts and replicas from the Lincoln collection and movie memorabilia
    • Special movie showing
    • Museum exhibit talks and programs
The Museum needs further funding to support this exhibit’s implementation and programing costs. Access to these items from DreamWorks is difficult and when exhibited at other major Lincoln sites became a “blockbuster” activity for them.

For more information on this exhibit contact
  • Lincoln and the Technology of War, exhibition is being rebuilt into a traveling exhibition to be installed at the Center for Education at
  • Ford’s Theater, Washington D.C. in January, 2014.
  • ScheuerLincoln Trail of Trees opened on Homecoming weekend

Lincoln Memorial University has a long term agreement with Harrogate to allow use of designated areas to the public.  The Daniel Boone Greenway and Arboretum is one result of this agreement and strong partnership.  To provide the benefits of large canopy trees and enhance public enjoyment of the arboretum and the museum, the City of Harrogate proposes to plant trees that have an association with Abraham Lincoln, the school’s namesake. 

Interpretive signage was placed with each species grouping identifying the tree and its connection to Lincoln. A sign was erected on the greenway trail directing users to visit the Lincoln Trees.  On Homecoming weekend this past October President Dawson and representatives from the various supporters and the City of Harrogate dedicated this new trail. 


Cities of Comfort and Care: Medicine in the Civil War is a new exhibit by the Abraham Lincoln Library and Museum that interprets Civil War hospitals, surgeons, nurses, and medicinal care given to the soldiers of both sides. Battles resulted in thousands dead, wounded, or missing with limited medical staff to attend to the soldiers. While chloroform and ether were proscribed on both sides, no attempt Scheuerwas made to deal with infection. The majority of soldiers who died during the war fell victim to disease, sometimes lingering for days on end. The horror of the Civil War resulted in heroic efforts by nurses, and surgeons to provide better care for the wounded and ill.

Cities of Comfort and Care: Medicine in the Civil War uses period medical instruments, clothing, photographs, a U.S. Army pharmaceutical wagon, and other Civil War artifacts and documents.


March 23, 2012 - Harrogate, Tennessee – Lincoln Memorial University’s (LMU) Abraham Lincoln Library and Museum (ALLM) will unveil a new exhibit on Friday, March 30, 2012. “Abraham Lincoln at the Movies” is a light-hearted interpretation of the impact Abraham Lincoln has had on films from the 1912 block-buster Birth of a Nation, to the upcoming 20th Century Fox release Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (June 22, 2012).

Developed by Curator Steven Wilson, the new exhibit examines the 16th President and his relationship to motion pictures. No American president is as easily identifiable as Lincoln nor carries the cultural impact as the man known as “Honest Abe.” Dozens of actors and non-actors have played Lincoln over the past century. Pro wrestler Hulk Hogan, comedian Johnny Carson, actor Brendan Frazier and others have pasted on the mole and slipped into the beard to add their interpretation to American culture. Lincoln, in motion pictures and television, has traveled through time, beamed aboard starships, wrestled George Washington and unintentionally insulted his long-suffering wife.

This new exhibit, using photographs, artifacts, original posters and media provides a means for today’s audience to see the constant and fascinating journey of Lincoln through American culture. One of the most famous films of the genre, “Abe Lincoln in Illinois” had its southern premiere on the campus of Lincoln Memorial University in 1940. Star Raymond Massey received the Lincoln Diploma of Honor not only for his performance in the motion picture, but his role on the stage.

“Abraham Lincoln at the Movies,” including an opportunity for visitors to cast themselves as Lincoln, will run through February 12, 2013. Admission to the museum is $5 for adults, $3.50 for senior citizens and $3 for children under 12. Group rates for admission are available. For more information on the exhibit contact Wilson at (423) 869-6422 or by email at


Museum studies student April Scheuer is pictured here holding the military map recently acquired as part of a collection of primary sources from Federal troops near Cumberland Gap during the Civil War.  This addition to our collection adds a great primary source collection for our Civil War researchers.

  • 19 Civil War carte-de-visites of Union soldiers stationed at the Cumberland Gap
  • 9 letters from some of the same soldiers in the carte-de-visites
  • 3 soldiers’ diaries from same group of soldiers
  • Field recon map drawn on linen made by a Union officer of the 16th Ohio in 1862
  • A civilian pass through the military lines at Cumberland Gap
  • Federal report: Monthly Reports of Progress of National Cemeteries of the Quarter Master General’s Office, 1867. (Summary report of Cemeteries in the Western Theater (including the Cumberland Gap Cemetery)

Lincoln, Davis Highlight Civil War: Event at Wilderness Road State Park
The Abraham Lincoln Library and Museum has joined forces with the Cumberland Gap National Historical Park and Wilderness Road State Park to commemorate the 150thAnniversary of the American Civil War.  Special events are planned annually during the Sesquicentennial celebration.  Our initial project – Civil War! – will feature Dennis Boggs as President Lincoln and Phil McGourty as President Davis.  The Civil War presidents will express their philosophy of war and discuss reasons why the Civil War was fought.  A living history encampment along with a Legacy 150 project documenting and digitizing Civil War records are included in the day’s activities.  The initial event will take place at the Karlan Mansion at Wilderness Road State Park, Ewing, Virginia, with subsequent annual events located at the Abraham Lincoln Library and Museum and the Cumberland Gap National Historical Park.

The Abraham Lincoln Library and Museum recently received funding to develop five additional Civil War History in a Box units.  The original concept included following a “Civil War soldier” and his unit throughout the war.  The opportunity to develop new “boxes” will allow Museum staff to use actual diaries of a Civil War nurse and musician as well as other autobiographical materials from those living through this event.

Extant kits are already circulating to regional classrooms in several states.  We expect to reach a larger national audience within the next few years with the Civil War History in a Box. 

The Abraham Lincoln Library and Museum’s Director of Programs and Tourism worked with the American Red Cross to research and help develop a new Civil War packet for teachers.  Entitled, “The American Civil War: A Humanitarian Perspective,” the lesson booklet is available free on the Red Cross website at  This project culminated in presentation of an International Red Cross flag presented to LMU President B. James Dawson during Now He Belongs to the Ages, the Museum’s annual program commemorating President Lincoln’s death.  The Abraham Lincoln Library and Museum will continue working with the American Red Cross in developing and presenting Teacher Workshops and additional materials for schools.

Civil War at Cumberland Gap: Educational DVD
The Abraham Lincoln Library and Museum, in cooperation with Cumberland Gap National Historical Park and FamFive Productions, is in the development stage of a Civil War in the Cumberland Gap educational DVD that will include segments telling the story of the war in the Cumberland Gap area. 

The ALLM was awarded a $ 2,500 grant recently from the East Tennessee Foundation for exhibits and programs .   the award came as recognition for our consistent public service to Claiborne and East Tennessee.





The ALLM with help from professor David Worley has republished a book of Civil War and Lilncoln related poetry.   Written by Jim Worley the poetry book is titled Of My Grandfathers War is now available through the Lincoln General Store at the ALLM for $ 8.50.  Contact the Museum’s main office for information on this new publication. 423-869-6235.




The Abraham Lincoln Library and Museum, in cooperation with the American-Russian Cultural Cooperative are proud to announce a new exhibition: The Tsar and The President: Alexander II & Abraham Lincoln, Liberator and Emancipator. The exhibition will tour Russia from February 21st through July 31, 2011. This is the second cooperative exhibition mounted by the Foundation and will once again highlight the dichotomy of the Russian Tsar and the American President.  The ALLM has been privileged to cooperate with a number of national and international exhibitions over the past four years.

The Institute of Museums and Library Services, and the National Park Service established a competitive grant initiative to support the conservation of some of American’s historic treasures. The Abraham Lincoln Library and Museum of Lincoln Memorial University was fortunate to receive funds from this effort.

The project sent four items (two flags and two banners) from the Abraham Lincoln Library and Museum of Lincoln Memorial University (LMU) to American Institute for Conservation of Artistic and Historic Works (AIC) accredited conservators for evaluation, treatment, and professional remounting.



 The “1858 flag” and two accompanying campaign banners are related to Lincoln’s 1858 bid for Stephen Douglas’s senatorial seat. The famed Lincoln-Douglas Debates captivated the nation’s attention as two of the best debaters in the nation addressed the issue that threatened to drive America into civil war, the expansion of slavery. Douglas was the Little Giant, nationally known and respected. Pitted against him was Lincoln, the consummate politician but little known outside of Illinois. It was because of these debates, because of the contest between this two unrelenting giants, that the nation became aware of Lincoln.

The two banners (roughly the same size) are encased in inert structures. All items are mounted on a platform representing a speaker’s platform. A period desk behind Lincoln serves as an additional interpretive element. The composition represents Lincoln on the campaign trail in 1858. Labels and text, as well as guided tours provide additional interpretation for the artifacts.
"A house divided against itself cannot stand." I believe this government cannot endure, permanently, half slave and half free. I do not expect the Union to be dissolved — I do not expect the house to fall — but I do expect it will cease to be divided.
It will become all one thing or all the other. Either the opponents of slavery will arrest the further spread of it, and place it where the public mind shall rest in the belief that it is in the course of ultimate extinction; or its advocates will push it forward, till it shall become alike lawful in all the States, old as well as new — North as well as South.
Abraham Lincoln, June 16, 1858



The “1865 flag,” flew over Lincoln’s funeral procession as it made its way through the streets of New York. It was an expression of respect and sorrow created by common citizens of a grieving nation.                                        
Created by three women in what was then the farm community of Harlem, New York, this flag represents much more than the sum total of their efforts to honor Lincoln. Returning Lincoln’s body to Springfield, Illinois for eventual burial in Oak Ridge Cemetery created a monumental logistics problem. It was a mighty task of firsts.
The body of Abraham Lincoln and his son Tad traveled nearly 1700 miles by rail to Springfield. There were eleven funerals or events along the way in which Lincoln’s coffin was either removed to another location for separate viewings, or the train was stopped for individuals to honor the fallen president.

Viewings at towns such as Columbus, Ohio and Indianapolis, Indiana were ritualistic complex affairs of solemn marches, sermons, mourning decorations, and eulogies. The expression of the nation’s sorrow reached an unprecedented scale—reduced to its basest components it was commercial opportunity and political patronage at its worst.

But it was, as the Harlem flag was meant to show, a way to honor Abraham Lincoln.

I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crises. The great point is to bring them the real facts.
Abraham Lincoln
16th president of US (1809 - 1865)

This is essentially a people's contest. On the side of the Union it is a struggle for maintaining in the world that form and substance of government whose leading object is to elevate the condition of men; to lift artificial weights from all shoulders; to clear the paths of laudable pursuit for all; to afford all an unfettered start and a fair chance in the race of life. Yielding to partial and temporary departures, from necessity, this is the leading object of the Government for whose existence we contend.
Abraham Lincoln, July 4, 1861

The Abraham Lincoln Library and Museum (ALLM) of Lincoln Memorial University (LMU) opens the new decade with four new artifacts in its archival collection. The new additions enhance a collection that already ranks among the most diverse in private hands across the country.

Purchased at the 2009 Rail Splitter Bicentennial Auction, the selected items are rare and very relevant to the ALLM collection. Museum Director Thomas Mackie directed the museum’s participation in the phone auction, winning the bid on a pair of 1864 presidential campaign artifacts. The first acquisition was a color democrat party poster titled “Grand National Democratic Banner: ‘Peace! Union And Victory!’” The museum also won the bid for an anti-Lincoln pamphlet titled the “Lincoln Catechism: A Guide to the Election of 1864.” Written in the question and answer format of religious catechisms the publisher accused Lincoln and his allies of destroying the constitution and favoring slaves over whites. This New York City publication illustrates the extreme racial hatred that set the tone for much of the political debate of the era.

From the same time frame, the Museum also acquired an 1865 Union Loyalty Oath. The document which is in excellent condition was signed at Hilton Head, S.C. in January of 1865. Though not directly related to President Lincoln, the oath fits well into the Museum’s Civil War collection and illustrates the late phases of the conflict.

The most exceptional of the new items is an extremely rare copy of sheet music from 1888. The music entitled “Massa Linkum’s Boy,” is written in plantation dialect. The song derides Robert Todd Lincoln, the surviving son of Abraham Lincoln, in his own ill-fated presidential campaign. The piece enhances the ALLM’s already impressive catalog of Lincoln and Civil War related music.

All four items are currently on display in the ALLM Galleries.

The Abraham Lincoln Library and Museum is located on the historic campus of Lincoln Memorial University in Harrogate, Tennessee. Housing one of the top five Lincoln and Civil War private collections in the world, the Museum is open Monday-Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday from noon to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. For more information about this and other programs at the Abraham Lincoln Library and Museum, call 423-869-6235.


The Center for History in Northern Indiana is closing its Lincoln Bicentennial exhibit.  It featured several prominent items from our Museum.  At the exhibit’s closing, this joint project had reached over 16,000 people in South Bend area.

The Kentucky Historical Society's HistoryMobile is a mobile museum featuring exhibits on Kentucky history.  The 300 square-foot exhibit is housed in a 45-foot tractor-trailer.

The current HistoryMobile exhibit, "Kentucky's Abraham Lincoln," explores Lincoln's frontier childhood, his career from log house to the White House and his struggles to end slavery and lead the nation through the Civil War.  The exhibit contains artifacts and images as well as audio, video, and interactive elements to appeal to a variety of learners.