The Battle Of Kingsport was reported in the New York Times, dated Jan.8, 1865, as part of a report titled,"Stoneman's Great Raid : Details of the Great Raid into East Tennessee and Southwestern Virginia." Jonesboro received favorable print : "Jonesboro is the oldest town in East Tennessee, and a place of some historic interest. Here the first log court-house in the State was hewn out of the virgin forest, in which justice was dispensed to the hardy pioneers." Information was recorded about Bristol, the "Twin Cities:" "An officer, who participated in this expedition, and who furnished me with portions of my information, gives me the following sketch of Bristol, which was written a few years ago by that curious and very entertaining artist-traveler, "Porte Crayon:" "A straggling, half finished village, which has lately sprung up at the terminus of the Virginia and Tennessee Railroad, lying partly in Virginia, and partly in Tennessee." For someone who grew up hearing Kingsport described as the "Model City," it was rather irritating to read: "Kingsport is a frightful one-horse town, contains at present less than a hundred inhabitants, and is not worth describing."
Two Local Veterans Of The Battle Of Kingsport:
Union 2nd Lieutenant James Ratliff Companies D and I, 8th Tennessee Cavalry. (pictured here as a Corporal, shortly before the Battle of Kingsport.) His parents, Silas Ratliff and Winifred Kilgore, were descended from two of the first families to settle southwest Virginia. He was their youngest child, born March 3, 1840. In 1862, James joined his widowed mother and several older siblings in Washington County, Tennessee where he married Hannah Davidson July 9, 1862. James enlisted at Jonesboro, Sept.15, 1863. He mustered at Mossy Creek the following November 14. James was a member of one of the many divided families in upper east Tennessee. His next oldest brother, Robert joined Company C of the Confederate 60th Tennessee on Oct. 1, 1862. Robert died of disease shortly after. His Oldest brother Eli, may have served in the Union 1st West Virginia Infantry. In later years, Eli became a prominrnt Baptist Minister in upper east Tennessee. Another brother, Reuben, had migrated to Carter County, Kentucky by the 1860's. He also was a Union Soldier in the 37th Kentucky Mounted Infantry. An older half-brother, Silas Jr. served in the Union 90-day regiment, Tennessee 3rd Mounted Infantry. James was promoted to Sergeant in January, 1865. He mustered out in Knoxville a 2nd Lieuteant in July, 1865. like his brother, Eli, he answered the call to the Ministry following the war. James was counted in the 1890 census of Veterans and Pensioners. He died August 9, 1891 in Greene County, Tennessee. He's buried in New Lebanon Missionary Baptist Church Cemetery in Greene County, Tennessee. James is a 2 x great grand uncle on my mother's side. His sister, Sarah, was the mother of my maternal great-grandmother.
Confederate Sergeant John Lynn Bachman was born June 23, 1841 at “Roseland,” Kingsport, Sullivan County, Tennessee. His parents were Jonathan and Frances Rhea Bachman. He, along with brothers, Jonathan, Robert, and Samuel served in the Confederate Army. Another brother, Nathan, held to his Quaker beliefs and never took part in the war, though it's believed his sentiments were with the Union. John enlisted May 20, 1861 at Estillville, (modern-day Gate City, VA) into what would become Company D 37th Virginia Infantry. He took part in the Battle of Kingsport , while home on sick leave recovering from pneumonia at his sister's home (Rotherwood.) For a day and night after the Rebel's defeat, he hid in a small dark room on the mansion's second floor while the Federals searched for him. His brother, Jonathan served as Captain of Company G, (Sullivan County) 60th TN. Robert served as a Sergeant under his brother in the 60th. Brother Samuel died of disease contracted while with the Army at Cumberland Gap. The three surviving brothers became prominent Presbyterian Ministers in east Tennessee following the war. John in Sweetwater, Robert in Knoxville, and Jonathan in Chattanooga where he served over 50 years, becoming known as the "Pastor of Chattanooga," as well as being a UCV Chaplin for several years.