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SULTANA DESCENDANTS REUNION - April 13th and 14th, 2007 in Athens, Alabama

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SULTANA DESCENDANTS REUNION - April 13th and 14th, 2007 in Athens, Alabama

Posted: 1171469642000
Classification: Query
Reunion is “open” to descendants of survivors and any one else interested in War Between the States history. Gene Salecker and Jerry Potter, the authors of the latest Sultana books, will be there.
Announcement by Norman Shaw below:
Come join us for our 2007 reunion held for the first time in Athens, AL. The primary reason to meet here is to visit the Union fort sites in Athens (Ft. Henderson) and Sulphur Branch Trestle where many Union soldiers were captured in the fall 1864 railroad raid by none other that Confederate Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest. Only one corner of Ft. Henderson remains, but the fortification at Sulphur Branch Trestle is well preserved with a modern home situated in the middle! However, we have very fortunate in that the owners have agreed to, even welcomed, a visit by our group to the interior (with some restrictions).

We also have the privilege of using some of the facilities of Athens State University for our events. The use of the Ballroom will be twofold: for the Friday evening talks with displays arranged around the room and for the Saturday evening banquet catered through the university. Something new has been added this year for Friday afternoon starting around 2:00 p.m.--a musical time of about 1.5 hours for singing, playing instruments, etc. to be held on the stage reserved at Athens State. Descendant Penny Lyle has volunteered to oversee the planning of this event so please contact her if you have something to offer and don't be shy. Remember, you will be amongst friends. Penny is the perfect person to take on this task as she teaches music in her home state of Florida. Some local talent may also be involved.

Again, we will have a tour on Saturday starting in the morning and ending late afternoon. Athens is not a large town so the trips between stops are short. We will commence with a short walking tour of Athens State conducted by one of it's history professors. Lunch will be at a local restaurant large enough to serve our group with each person ordering for himself/herself off the varied menu. Following our midday meal, we will travel a few miles north to reach Sulphur Branch Trestle which will be the conclusion but highlight of the tour. I am still working on the details of the tour but expect a good time.

The costs for the weekend will be amazingly low. Through my contact at Athens State (Debbi Kelley is an employee there. I went to high school with her husband, Mike, who has been to several of our reunions) there will be no cost for the use of the Ballroom and auditorium! I feel that school buses will adequately serve our purposes for the tour since the distances between stops are short and a bus coach may not make it up the steep hill at Sulphur Branch Trestle, let alone turn around there. I have reserved two school buses with a company in nearby Huntsville with the option to add another if needed. I estimate the charge per person will be $10.00 for a 48 passenger bus.

The Sat. banquet will only cost $14.95. I gave the menu in the last newsletter, but let me repeat it here: buffet of roast beef or grilled chicken with lemon and pepper, green beans, scalloped potatoes, salad, roll, tea or coffee, and dessert! (makes my month water just typing it!).

Lodging will be on your own. There are a variety of motels at the primary Athens exit (No. 351) off I-65. Here is a partial list: Best Western, Budget Inn, Comfort Inn, Days Inn, Hampton Inn, Holiday Inn Express, Super 8, and Town & Country. You might contact the local Chamber of Commerce at 256/232-2600 for more information. There are also a number of eating places at this location. As a side note, the nearest airport is at Huntsville, AL, only about 30 miles east of Athens if you want to fly in.

Let's now talk registration. The banquet and bus costs need to be prepaid for a total of $24.95. A check should be made out to me and mailed to me at P. O. Box 30372, Knoxville, TN, 37930. I will need contact information on you and any in your party and your ancestor's name, if any, and unit. You can enclose these facts with the check or e-mail me at

Before I conclude, I need to invite everyone to attend my talk on the Sultana to be given to the Huntsville CW Roundtable on Thurs., April 12th (the day before our reunion starts) at the Elk's Lodge in Huntsville. A chicken buffet meal will be available for $7.50 starting at 5:30 p.m. with the meeting to begin at 6:30 p.m. There is no charge if you wish to skip the meal and only come for my presentation.

I think our record attendance was around 140 at our initial visit to Vicksburg. Let's see if we can surpass that number. Let me know if you have any questions or need further information or have suggestions
Norman Shaw

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