the Tennessee Civil War National Heritage Area
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Leigh Ann Gardner is the Heritage Area Interpretative Specialist for the Tennessee Civil War National Heritage Area, administered by the Center for Historic preservation at Middle Tennessee State University. In her current position, she assists with operations at the Heritage Center of Murfreesboro and Rutherford County and project administration. Gardner works on heritage development plans, exhibit planning, and interpretation. Gardner is also working as a field researcher on a grant that will build a digital collection concerning the period of Jim Crow segregation in Tennessee.
Gardner received her B.A. in History from Mississippi University for Women. She received her M.A. in Public History from Middle Tennessee State University. Her thesis entitled “The African American Presence at the Tipton-Haynes State Historic Site, 1784-1900,” explores the presence of African Americans at the Tipton-Haynes farm and how the historic site has interpreted that presence. Her research interests include African American history and Tennessee history.