Astor to co-lead Great Smoky Mountains Civil War tour

Dec. 2, 2013
Contact: Chloe Kennedy, Assistant Director of Communications

Dr. Aaron Astor, associate professor of history at Maryville College, will co-lead a tour of the Great Smoky Mountains’ Civil War sites on Dec. 13-14.

The “Three-Star Tour of the Great Smoky Mountains” is free and open to the public, although space is limited, so registration is required.

“The Civil War was a defining moment for the people of Cades Cove, bringing conflict and chaos to a peaceful community,” Astor said. “This tour will explore how the residents of Cades Cove endured four difficult years of guerrilla war, raids and privation.”

The tour, sponsored by the Tennessee Civil War Preservation Association, will start on Fri., Dec. 13 at 4:30 p.m. with a presentation in Fayerweather Hall, Room 205 (on the Maryville College campus). Astor will present a program about the Civil War in East Tennessee and will provide background information the next day’s tour. After the presentation, tour participants are invited to dinner at Barley’s Taproom and Pizzeria in downtown Maryville.

On Sat., Dec. 14, tour participants will meet at Maryville College at 8 a.m. to depart for Cades Cove (carpooling is recommended). From 9:15 a.m. until 12 p.m., the group will tour backcountry sites at Cades Cove. Tour leaders include Astor; Cades Cove Preservation Association members Gloria Motter and Dorothy Sutton; Smoky Mountain National Park Ranger Mike Maslona; and park volunteer Tom Harrington. The group will return to Maryville College at 1 p.m.

Astor, a Civil War scholar who recently authored Rebels on the Border: Civil War, Emancipation, and the Reconstruction of Kentucky and Missouri, holds master’s and doctoral degrees in American History from Northwestern University. He is a frequent contributor to the New York Times’ online series “Disunion,” and co-chairs Maryville College’s Civil War Sesquicentennial Committee, which was formed in 2011 to put together programming that explores how the Civil War affected multiple populations in East Tennessee, addresses traditional narratives and myths of the war, and examines the war’s lasting legacy in the region.

Participants are encouraged to dress for the weather, and hiking boots or sturdy shoes are recommended. While most of the hike will be on level ground, there is an optional steep climb to one site.


Maryville College is ideally situated in Maryville, Tenn., between the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and Knoxville, the state's third largest city. Founded in 1819, it is the 12th oldest institution of higher learning in the South and maintains an affiliation with the Presbyterian Church (USA). Known for offering its students a rigorous and highly personal experience that includes an undergraduate research requirement, Maryville College is a nationally ranked institution of higher learning that successfully joins the liberal arts and professional preparation. Total enrollment for the fall 2016 semester is 1,198.