Notice any Resemblance?
If you’re a regular viewer of the NBC celebrity genealogy program Who Do You Think You Are?, you know that Lionel Richie recently discovered his great-grandfather was a resident of Chattanooga. Mr. Richie isn’t the only celebrity with Chattanooga ties. Actor Montgomery Clift (1920-1966), star of such classic films as Alfred Hitchcock’s I Confess and George Stevens’ A Place in the Sun, and 1953’s From Here to Eternity too has ancestral ties to the Scenic City. Mr Clift’s grandfather, Moses H. Clift (1836-1911) was a major in the Confederacy during the Civil War, serving under Nathan Bedford Forrest’s Cavalry Corps and subsequently under General George G. Dibrell. He spent his latter years as a prominent Chattanooga attorney.
In the UTC Special Collections, we have a collection of various items related to Moses H. Clift, including correspondence among various Civil War veterans spanning from the 1860s to the early 1900s. Other interesting items include Moses H. Clift’s documents detailing his involvement in the United Confederate Veterans, various medals and banners bestowed on Mr. Clift at Civil War veteran reunions, and decades of personal family documents and periodicals spanning to the mid 20th century. Take caution when viewing these materials, though, and remember that they come from generations that thought of the Civil War as “The War of Northern Aggression.”
Everyone knows about Reggie White’s, Samuel L. Jackson’s, and Usher Raymond’s Chattanooga roots. However, when visiting our Special Collections, you may be surprised how many famous people have/had relatives in our own back yard. Who knows, you may find a common link to one of this town’s famous residents.
Posting by Paul Wilson, student intern.