Charlie Jones & His "Rockhouse"

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One of our newest members, @Mountain Rebel, reminded me of oral Civil War history I heard as a boy from several older relatives in several branches of my family tree. They related the story of Charlie Jones and his "Rockhouse", located in Cox Hollow, Sullivan County, Tennessee. The former site of the old house was near my mom's homeplace. My maternal grandfather lost his life due to injuries in the Eastman Chemical explosion at Kingsport, Tennessee, Oct.4, 1960. Some years before, he had purchased land just below the ruins of the old Rockhouse and cemetery as a gift to my mom, with the hope she and dad could build a house there one day. They were able to do that with mom's share of her dad's insurance money.

The old Rockhouse collapsed shortly after 1910 according to the above Find-A-Grave article. I can recall well the old cemetery (especially at Halloween) where we local kids usually gathered to set off fireworks. Many of the graves were sunk-in real bad, you had to be careful in the dark, or you could fall in one! Faint traces of the old house's foundation (what little there was), one large grave-marker, long since overgrown, and several field-stones, no doubt marking the final resting place of Charlie's slaves. "Old-Timers" at the time, related to me how they were told as kids that an "Old Rebel" had lived there during and after the Civil War, and most of the un-marked graves were indeed probably those of his slaves, fascinating stuff to a barely teen-aged Civil War enthusiast!

Actually, the "Old Rebel" was Charles William (or C.W.) Jones, grandson of the original "Rockhouse Charlie". In the late 1700s, Two Revolutionary War Veterans and Indian fighters, Isaac Depew and James Boyd left the Shenandoah Valley and settled in what would become Sullivan County, in upper East Tennessee. Their families intermarried and became some of the first settlers in the area. Boyd bought 200 acres of land from another veteran Indian fighter, a Henry Clark, who was homesick and longed to return to his native, South Carolina. Boyd later sold the uncleared land to a Charlie Jones, who along with his slaves, built a house of solid limestone and he became the original "Rockhouse Charlie Jones".

Marshal's Battery.jpg

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On April 13, 1905, Charles William, (C.W.) Jones filed for a Confederate pension from the State of Tennessee. There he states he was born in Sullivan County, Tennessee in 1826. That he suffers from Rheumatism in his arms, shoulders, and back, contracted while in Confederate service, with Marshall's Battery, Confederate Artillery, the Army of Tennessee. That he enlisted "in the spring of 1863". That his command was "captured and disbanded" at Salisbury, NC, April 13, 1865. Interestingly, two of his witnesses, possibly brothers, and apparently Unionists from neighboring Greene County, Tennessee, Isaac and William McAmis stated, "We were captured by Confederate forces and taken to Salisbury, NC, and while prisoners for about 9 months, we saw the applicant, C.W. Jones with the Confederate Army all this time. He was detailed as a blacksmith". Another of his witnesses was a 3 x maternal great-uncle of mine, Charles Milburn Cox, a late-war Rebel conscript. On May 22, 1865, C.W. Jones reported to Greeneville, Tennessee as ordered, to formally surrender and take the Oath of Allegiance. He then returned in peace to live out his remaining few years in the "Rockhouse"

c.w.jones death.jpg


Marshall's Company, Tennessee Artillery (Steuben Artillery)
OVERVIEW: Jackson's-Carnes'-Marshall's Battery [also called The Steuben Artillery] was mustered into Confederate service at New Madrid, Missouri, in August 1861. The unit moved to Mississippi, then Kentucky where it was involved in the conflict at Perryville. Later it was assigned to R.Cobb's, J.Palmer's, and J.W.Johnston's Battalion of Artillery, Army of Tennessee. The battery participated in the campaigns of the army from Murfreesboro to Atlanta, moved with Hood into Tennessee, but was left as garrison at Columbia. Later it was refitted in Mississippi, reached Salisbury, North Carolina, on April 3, 1865, and was captured there ten days later. In May 1863, it contained 79 effectives, lost 7 killed, 16 wounded, and 17 captured at Chickamauga and totaled 60 men in December 1863, and 83 in April 1864. Its captains were William W. Carnes, William H. Jackson, and L.G. Marshall.

"Men often slipped off as quickly as they were gained. For example, in the summer of 1864, twenty-six East Tennesseans assigned to Marshall's Battery from the Conscript Bureau were supplied with clothing to the exclusion of the older members of the unit and were drilled until all were competent artillerymen. Unfortunately, 24 of the 26 deserted"........"Mountain Rebels" by W. Todd Groce.

Though he never mentions it in his pension application, I believe C.W. first served in the Sullivan County Reserves (Homeguard). they were organized in June 1863. He was probably detailed to the Marshall Battery in March 1864, instead of 1863. I believe this is probably his record with that unit.

Sullivan County Homeguard.jpg
 
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Mountain Rebel

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I have a photo of the family standing in front of the old rock house shortly before it's collapse. I was told that it was taken shortly after the burial of my gg grandfather C.W. Jones.

The slaves are buried with the family in the upper portion of the cemetery. Most all of my older Jones family were buried there. Great aunt Lenore said the cemetery was well maintained until the 40's. She was livid when the junkyard came and surrounded the graveyard...told the new owner that a quarter acre was supposed to be set aside for it's use. He didn't care.

Charles and most of his neighbors joined the reserves in 1863. There is also a 'note' where he said he was detailed to help make niter. I assume this was at Piney Flats as they were making it over there during the war.

The day he returned home from the war, he lost a court case involving the family slaves. Several prominent unionists, including T.A.R. Nelson had filed suit on their behalf. The slaves were awarded a considerable sum; but the greedy lawyers kept almost all of it for their legal fees. The former slaves received practically nothing and Charles was left bankrupt.

Charles was outside working in May of 1909 when he became sick. He went to his sister's house and she gave him laudinum. He died suddenly a short time later.
 
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I have a photo of the family standing in front of the old rock house shortly before it's collapse. I was told that it was taken shortly after the burial of my gg grandfater C.W. Jones.

The slaves are buried with the family in the upper portion of the cemetary.

Charles and most of his neighbors joined the reserves in 1863. There is also a 'note' where he said he was detailed to help make niter. I assume this was at Piney Flats as they were making it over there during the war.
 
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Mountain Rebel

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C.W. "was ordered to the front" in Aug. 1864. He reported to Marshall's Battery on August 15, 1864 at Lovejoy, Georgia. He served as a blacksmith until late Nov. 64 when he became ill and was sent to the hospital in Columbus, Georgia. He was confined there "about 3 months" when he was released and sent back to his command where he served until Johnson's surrender.

BTW:

"Rockhouse Charlie" had a brother named John who lived on a large farm nearby. John married Eliza Jobe and their farm was where the new elementary school was recently built.
 
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C.W. "was ordered to the front" in Aug. 1864. He reported to Marshall's Battery on August 15, 1864 at Lovejoy, Georgia. He served as a blacksmith until late Nov. 64 when he became ill and was sent to the hospital in Georgia. He was confined there "about 3 months" when he was released and sent back to his command where he served until Johnson's surrender.

BTW:

"Rockhouse Charlie" had a brother named John who lived on a large farm nearby. John married Eliza Jobe and their farm was where the new elementary school was recently built.
I'm probably related to Eliza on my mom's side. I'm also related to the Hulse family. My maternal 3 x great-grandfather, John Cox Jr. had a sister named Hannah that married William Keen Hulse. William, along with 2 sons, John & Thomas, died while in the Confederate Army. Another son, Abraham Columbus Hulse, (or A.C.) went to Macoupin County, Illinois in the 1850s. He ended the war as Captain of Company E 122nd Illinois Infantry. He returned to Tennessee long enough to retrieve his mother and remaining siblings. While doing this research on the "Rockhouse", I found A.C. (age 16) and his younger sister, Elizabeth in the 1850 census, counted with the Jones.

Wm Jones Male 66 Virginia
Charles Jones Male 24 Tennessee
Elizabeth Jones Female 30 Tennessee
Matilda Jones Female 0 Tennessee
Elizabeth Hults Female 7 Tennessee
Abram Hults Male 16 Tennessee

young a c hulse.jpg

"CAPTAIN A. C. HULSE was born in East Tennessee, September 23, 1835. His father, W. K. Hulse, was a native of Tennessee, and a carpenter by trade. At the age of eighteen Mr. Hulse turned his face westward and after traveling around some time located in Palmyra, and went into the blacksmith trade; a vocation he has since settling at that place. October 2, 1856, he was united in marriage to Miss Martha A. Ross, daughter of Robert Ross, of Macoupin Co.,. They have raised a family of four children. In 1862, when this country was at fever heat in consequence of the late civil war, Mr. Hulse turned the key on his blacksmith shop, bid his family farewell and enlisted in the 122nd regiment, under Col. Renaker. He was elected second lieutenant of Company E, a position he held until April 3, 1863, when he was promoted captain of his company. He received this promotion over the first lieutenant of his company, which position he held until the close of the war. He was in all the hard-fought battles incident to this regiment`s campaign through the war. He was never wounded, under arrest or reprimanded while he was in the service. At the close of the war, he returned to his home, in Palmyra, where he has since resided. Captain Hulse has always adhered to the principles of democracy; he cast his first vote for James Buchanan and has ever since voted the democratic ticket. He went into the war believing the "the first principle of democracy was to sustain the government." He is highly respected as an energetic and honest man, a good neighbor, and a worthy and patriotic citizen. "........A History of Macoupin County, Illinois
captain a c hulse.jpg
 
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Mountain Rebel

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If we keep talking were going to find out were 3rd cousins in law twice removed. I'm related to Hulse, Chase, Crawford and Hays.

I'll have to look it up, but I think there is a Jobe buried in the old Charles Jones cemetary. The graveyard on John's farm was destroyed when they built the school.

The Hulse children belonged to William. William Hulse and C.W. Jone wife, Elizabeth Crawford were first cousins. Elizabeth's mother Sarah Hulse Crawford and William Hulse jr. we're brother and sister.
 
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Mountain Rebel

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I was mistaken...It isn't a Jobe in the old cemetery...it's Isaac Depew Jr.

I'd like to go up to the old graveyard, clean it up and fence it off. But, the last I heard the junkyard had almost destroyed it and the owner doesn't like anyone "messing" around. Sad, both family cemeterys destroyed and very few care.
 
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I was mistaken...It isn't a Jobe in the old cemetery...it's Isaac Depew Jr.

I'd like to go up to the old graveyard, clean it up and fence it off. But, the last I heard the junkyard had almost destroyed it and the owner doesn't like anyone "messing" around. Sad, both family cemeterys destroyed and very few care.
Seems I recall hearing when they began work on the junkyard, they actually dug into some graves before they realized they were there.
 
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Mountain Rebel

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The owner knew they were there and didn't care. Gr aunt Lenore had a fit. There are more people buried there than most realize. Have no idea how many slaves, but I know the graveyard dates back to the very early 1800's.

You've got me digging through the records and I'm finding Blakely's, Jackson's and Cox's intermarried with my Jones as well. My G grandfathers older brother Richard "Dickie" Jones married Mary Hulse daughter of Abraham Hulse and Elizabeth Chase. Abraham left to join the union army and died in Marion VA.
 
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The owner knew they were there and didn't care. Gr aunt Lenore had a fit. There are more people buried there than most realize. Have no idea how many slaves, but I know the graveyard dates back to the very early 1800's.

You've got me digging through the records and I'm finding Blakely's, Jackson's and Cox's intermarried with my Jones as well. My G grandfathers older brother Richard "Dickie" Jones married Mary Hulse daughter of Abraham Hulse and Elizabeth Chase. Abraham left to join the union army and died in Marion VA.
My paternal grandmother was a Blakely, My mom and paternal great-grandmother were Cox. The mother of my maternal grandmother was a Cox and all three lines were probably cousins! I've a number of Carrolls in my family tree. I'm probably related in some way to most all the early families in the Rock Springs/Double Springs area.
 
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