Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Augusta Inge

My story is hospitality.

I am Augusta Inge. In April 1862, Confederate General Albert Sidney Johnston made his headquarters in my home, Rose Cottage. I was so happy to have the leader of the Confederate Army at my house as a guest! On the day the Army left for Shiloh, I gave the General a lunch for the journey. He refused it saying that he, like his soldiers, traveled light. I slipped two sandwiches and a piece of cake in his pocket anyway. When I heard the horrifying news from Shiloh that General Johnston had been killed, my heart just ached. They brought his body back to my house for preparation for the last journey home. In his pocket, I found crumbs from the lunch I had prepared. Perhaps it was his last meal. I took the liberty of taking three locks of his hair from his head (one of which I sent to his widow) before they placed his body in one of the white pine coffins that he had ordered before leaving the City for Shiloh.

Don Blasingame

My story is baseball.

I am Don Blasingame. They called me “Blazer.” I played second base for the St. Louis Cardinals. My friends from Corinth caught the train to come see me play. I also played for San Francisco and won the World Series playing for Cincinnati in 1962. One of the highlights of my career was playing in the 1958 All-Star game with the likes of Stan Musial, Hank Aaron, Willie Mays, Yogi Berra, Mickey Mantle, and Ted Williams. When my career ended in the United States, I became interested in Japanese baseball where I was a manager, coach and scout for several years. I never missed the opportunity to play ball.

Unknown Soldier

My story is unknown.

I have no name…none marked in a book or on a tombstone somewhere. I came from a farm in south Alabama. During the War, I marched to Corinth just in time for the Battle of Shiloh. Soldiering was no child's play in Corinth or at Shiloh. I was wounded but not seriously. Once we saw that victory at Shiloh would not be, we hightailed it back to Corinth. I was taken to a hospital that wasn't really a hospital at all. It was Corona Female College. General Beauregard had asked the special permission of Mrs. Susan Gaston, one of the few citizens who chose to remain in town after the hostilities began, to use the college as a temporary hospital for us. By the time I got back from Shiloh, Corona was so full of the wounded and dying that I had to take my treatment outside. With my wounded arm, I wasn't nearly as bad off as many of the other poor boys. The docs decided the best thing for my arm would be to take it off. I fussed and argued to save my arm...I wish I hadn't. The nurses, those angels of mercy, did everything they could to make us comfortable in our tents on the grounds. It did me no good. Lacking so much: medicine, attention from the overworked doctors, good food, and warm shelter did me in. My life could probably have been saved but it was not to be. I wasn't in Corinth long until I made it my final resting place.

Ruby Elzy

My story is one of discovery and fame.

I am Ruby Elzy. I was born in Pontotoc, Mississippi, but my family moved to Corinth when I was young. A gentleman discovered me while I was singing in a kitchen at Rust College. He and his family helped me get an education and I was able to attend Julliard. My voice carried me far. Mr. Gershwin wrote the part of Serena in Porgy and Bess just for me and I starred in the movies, Birth of the Blues and Emporer Jones. I traveled all over the United States when it wasn’t so easy for African Americans to do so. I died suddenly in the 1930s. The world will never know what greatness might have followed.

Henry Moore

My story is one of adventure and opening the world to my friends in Corinth.

I am Henry Moore. I was born in 1852 and was trained as a mining engineer. I had the fortune to meet Cecil Rhodes while working on projects in South America. He introduced me to the diamond industry in South Africa, which brought me great riches. I purchased several buildings on Waldron Street and land in the area of Liddon Lake. In one of my buildings, I filled glass cases with preserved monkeys, lions, zebras, tigers, and water buffalo. Animals that no one else in Corinth had ever seen! There were also collections of birds and butterflies. Sadly, all of these artifacts were lost in the Great Fire of 1924. My property, Moore’s Park, was a sight to behold. There was a live bear, deer, buffalo, and many exotic birds. Later, I donated many of these animals to the Smithsonian Institute and the Memphis Zoo. I helped show Corinth the world and would like the world to know what a great place it is to visit.

Roscoe Turner

My story is
about speed.

I am Roscoe Turner – aviator, showman, movie star, barnstormer, and entrepreneur. In the ‘20s and ‘30s, I broke every speed record and won the Harmon, Thompson, and Bendix trophies. I was the Number One American Speed Pilot. I also had a pet lion, named Gilmore, who traveled with me until his weight in the plane slowed me down. “Stuffed”Gilmore, my trophies, and my planes are now at the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C., but my memory lives on in Corinth.