A Threat to Nashville’s Ft. Negley Park

by Brett Schulte on November 6, 2009 · 0 comments

German-Americans in the Civil War expert Joseph R. Reinhart recently wrote to us about a threat to Nashville’s Fort Negley Park.  Fort Negley’s museum specialist Krista Castillo is in danger of losing her job, and the park would see a replacement with no Civil War experience.  Greg Biggs of the Clarksville, TN Civil War Round Table asked Mr. Reinhart to pass the following email along, and we’re happy to do our part here at TOCWOC:

Fellow CWRTs,

Please read and react to this accordingly.  Two days ago a proposal from the Nashville Metro Parks to layoff several employees to help balance a budget for the department was leaked to the Nashville Tennessean newspaper.  It seems that the Parks director bungled $1 Million of his budget by overspending and the word has gotten out about it.  One of the employees proposed to be let go is the museum specialist who runs Ft. Negley Park.  Ft. Negley is the largest remaining Civil War fort of its kind in the nation and was to have been a centerpiece of Civil War tourism for Nashville.  If the museum specialist, Krista Castillo, is let go she would be replaced by a transfer from one of the other parks sites of the city who knows nothing about Civil War history.

Not only is the current director of Ft. Negley a good friend of mine, she is also about to graduate with her Masters of Military History from Austin Peay State University and has worked as a museum registrar.  She is highly competent, experienced and a dedicated Civil War historian who has done some fine things since starting at Ft. Negley a year ago. Through more tours, programs like Silver Screen Saturdays where old Civil War movies have been shown to Haunted Ft. Negley, Krista has done an outstanding job trying to put Ft. Negley into the Civil War spotlight of Middle Tennessee.  She has built a lot of support from  the Civil War groups of Middle Tennessee.  She is a member of the Clarksville CWRT and is president of the Nashville CWRT, which currently meets at Ft. Negley and would probably have to move to a new location if she loses her job.

A backlash in the local historical community is building but I think it would be great if the Mayor of Nashville, Karl Dean, would get some emails from you and your members letting him know that Ft. Negley is not just a local or Middle Tennessee Civil War site – but one with national interest and support.  The more the mayor gets from folks out of state the more he will come to understand that the national historical community values its slowly vanishing treasures and does not take lightly a slipshod manner of running such sites.  Krista is the first Ft. Negley director to really connect with the Civil War community and that will probably stop if she is laid off.

Please send this around to your members and ask them to take a few moments to email Mayor Dean.  His email is: mayor@nashville.gov

Please be polite but firm in your emails and let him know how much you value Ft. Negley as a Civil War site for the entire nation.

Thanks for your support.

Greg Biggs
Clarksville Civil War Round Table

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