"The Honeymoon Ball of
General John Hunt Morgan" is Falcon Rest's newest group entertainment.
An interactive show in the spirit of the popular "Murder at
the Mansion," it is based on real historical events here in
McMinnville, Tenn., during the Civil War.
The show takes place at a banquet
and ball, given by local poetess Lucy Virginia French, welcoming
the celebrated Confederate general and his new bride to McMinnville.
The festivities are interrupted with the April 1863 invasion of
Federal troops attempting to capture them.
The story is based on entries
from Virginia French's Civil War diary and three other local first-person
accounts. Falcon Rest's actors portray Virginia and Morgan, but
audience members themselves are the stars of the show. As in Falcon
Rest's popular "Murder at the Mansion," guests are given
information about their characters but no lines to remember. With
no pressure to participate, they're free to interact as much or
as little as they like in character.
Audience members with two left
feet don't have to worry, either.
The setting is a ball, but this is a show -- not a dance -- and
no one will be called on to waltz. Period costumes are welcome but
entirely optional. (Warn us if you'll be wearing a hoop skirt!)
Casual dress is fine as long as it has the right accessories: a
sense of humor and a good imagination.
in the midst of a war, the Morgans' days in McMinnville were happy
ones, so the show weaves humor in with history. A delicious meal
is included, inspired by Virginia French's description of the menu
for the ball in her famous diary.
A performance can be scheduled
any time at your convenience for a group or 20 or more. (We'll bring
the Civil War to life at breakfast, lunch or dinner, seven days
a week.) Call 931-668-4444 or e-mail
for information or to make reservations.
was John Hunt Morgan?
A dashing Confederate cavalry officer from
Kentucky, John Hunt Morgan was famous on both sides of the Mason-Dixon
Line for lightning raids against Union supplies and forces that
earned him the nicknames, "Thunderbolt of the Confederacy"
and "Swamp Fox of the South." In mid-1863, he began a
raid that would take his troops into Indiana and Ohio, farther north
than any other Confederate force would advance during the Civil
He wrpte that happiest days of his life were
those he spent in McMinnville in the early months of 1863. Morgan
was promoted to Brigadier General in December 1862 in Murfreesboro,
and the next day the 37-year-old general married 21-year-old Mattie
Ready of that city. When Federal troops took over Murfreesboro a
few weeks after the wedding, Morgan and his young bride took up
residence at the downtown McMinnville home of her relative, Dr.
During an idyllic three months of relative
calm, the young couple enjoyed riding in Warren County's mountains
and visiting with the locals, most notably famous poetess Lucy Virginia
French and her husband John. Virginia even threw a ball that winter
to welcome the Morgans to town.
The honeymoon ended in mid-April 1863 when
Union troops invaded McMinnville to capture the elusive Morgan,
but he and Mattie managed to escape. That summer, Morgan's Raiders
started their sweep through Union territory conceived during his
stay in McMinnville. It was designed to divert Federal troops in
Tennessee, enlist recruits in Kentucky, and take the war to the
North in an effort to erode the citizens' will to continue. In 24
days, Morgan passed through 52 towns in Kentucky, Indiana and Ohio,
captured nearly 6,000 prisoners, and damaged 10 million dollars
worth of public property before being captured.
Writing under the name of "L'Inconnue,"
Virginia was already a famous authoress when one of her stories
so intrigued Col. John French that he married her and brought
her to his McMinnville plantation, "Forest Home."
Virginia kept an eloquent diary from
1861-1865, chronicling civilian life during the war as well
as her encounters with generals from both the Union and Confederate
All shows include a delicious three-course
meal, the interactive history show, a "no-ropes or barriers"
tour of Falcon Rest Mansion, and shopping in the Victorian
Allow about three hours for a leisurely
our Group Tour Profile Sheet for Details
on all Four "Faces of Fun" at Falcon Rest
Show, Meal and Tour:
$28 per person
Show, Meal and Tour:
$30 per person
an area step-on tour for
even more fun: $2 per person
Sales tax additional.
Everything you need to plan and promote your trip
Authentic Civil War Menu
From Virginia French's diary: chicken salad appetizer, ham
in cranberry orange sauce, Southern green beans, corn pudding,
lemon snow cake, biscuits, and tea or lemonade.
Want to do more in the area? Check out our itinerary suggestions
to add fun Tennessee stops to a day trip or multi-day tour.
McMinnville is on your way to anywhere through Middle Tennessee.
Publicity poster for "Murder at the Mansion" to
present to your group as they plan their schedule.
Fill-in "Morgan Ball" Poster
Download your preferred version of this document and fill
in the blanks with your date, time, and contact info to publicize
| MS Word
Print-quality version of the photo above of Falcon Rest's
John Hunt Morgan
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Don't worry about summarizing information for your trip publicity.
Just use this text block for your article, newsletter, tour
Print-quality version of the "Murder at the Mansion"