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New Kennesaw Mountain film features Emma's story

10:17 AM, Sep 22, 2013   |    comments
"Kennesaw: One Last Mountain" will feature the story of Emma Stephenson, a freed slave who served as a nurse to Union Solders in 1864.
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KENNESAW, Ga. -- A special film premiere is scheduled for Sunday Night at Marietta's Earl Strand Theater.

It's called "Kennesaw: One Last Mountain," and it's new film for visitors to Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park.

The film by Great Divide Pictures is designed to tell as much of the complete, rich history of the Civil War and Kennesaw Mountain as possible in 35 minutes.

RELATED | Historian discovers bravery, tenderness of former slave

The film will feature the story of Emma Stephenson, a freed slave who served as a nurse to Union Solders in 1864.

She is buried with the soldiers she cared for in the Marietta National Cemetery.

"Whenever I come out to the national cemetery and talk about Emma, I always bring a rose and place it by her headstone," said research historian Brad Quinlin.

Quinlin has traced her history back to Tennessee, where she was freed by Union soldiers. She then decided to join their fight.

"She could have gone to safety. She didn't have to come on and become a nurse, put herself in peril and in danger," Quinlin said. "But she chose. For the first time in her life, maybe, she had an opportunity to choose what she was going to do, and she chose to become a nurse."

Quinlin wanted to know more, so he traveled to the National Archives in Washington, D.C. in 2011.

That's where he found a letter from William Walls.

"It was just a gem," he said.

Walls was a wounded soldier who wrote a letter to his mother from the 17th Army Corps Hospital in Marietta on July 9, 1864.

"Do not worry for me, because we have this slave nurse," Walls wrote. "She is taking care of us, and she takes care of us with the same tender hands that you would."

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