RCHS Publication No. 12, 1979 (Winter)

Publication No. 12

If variety is the spice of life, the Publication No. 12 of the Rutherford County Historical Society is a fitting intercalation to an afterpiece for Publication No. 11 and an exordium for Publication No. 13.

This edition of the historical records of Rutherford County contains an Apostle John-like account of one who “saw and heard and touched” those associated with the establishment and mission of Sewart Air Force Base. Adeline King, a member of the civilian staff of the Smyrna installation from its inception until 1952, has compiled a significant factual record interpreted with the keen insight of those incidents that make a story readable.

Ernie Johns has supplemented “The Smyrna Air Base” chronicle with a record of the major tragedies resulting in casualties on the Base as recorded in contemporary accounts.

Virginia Gooch Watson has added to the significance of the Smyrna narrative with the story of Goochland, a typical Rutherford County plantation from its founding by Dr. John C. Gooch to the time that the engineers’ bulldozers pushed down the mansion walls to start the major runway for Sewart Air Force Base.

For those related to the pioneer families the extensive and laborious work of Sue Daniels in compiling the Index of Wills for Rutherford County wills from 1803 through 1883 is of inestimable research value.

Just as the articles in this volume provide an interlude between the legend of Ben McCulloch, the nostalgic Country Store, and the factual record of Murfreesboro as the State Capital and the journal of Soule College in Publication No. 11, it will serve to whet the literary appetite for such stimulating reading as Mabel Pittard’s The Coleman Scouts (another Smyrna-related epic), an eye-witness account of Forrest’s raid on Murfreesboro, a tome on new stones in the City Cemetery, and other features scheduled for Publication No. 13.

Gene Sloan

History of Smyrna (Sewart) Air Base 1 by Adeline King
Goochland by Virginia Gooch Watson
Index to Some Actual Wills of Rutherford County by Susan Garretson Daniel

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