John Harvey Cox's Whiskey Stamp (Barrel Branding Iron)

Joined
Dec 31, 2010
Messages
6,466
Location
Kingsport, Tennessee
#1
https://civilwartalk.com/threads/north-of-the-ohio-river.89250/#post-713551

https://civilwartalk.com/threads/th...863-the-tullahoma-campaign.85901/#post-666569

https://civilwartalk.com/threads/some-assistance-please.74766/

whiskey stamp.jpg


I've posted in the past about my maternal "reluctant rebel" 2nd great-grandpa, John Harvey Cox of Sullivan County, in East Tennessee, and his determined struggle to stay out of the Civil War. Like most husbands and father's in East Tennessee, he was a farmer. He was also a blacksmith, a trade handed down in the family since shortly after the Revolution. John also supplemented his income by making whiskey. Inspired by the great thread by @major bill titled "One item that belonged to your ancestors?", I'm posting this photo of a Clay replica of John Harvey Cox's whiskey brand ( stamp ) he would brand his barrels of whiskey with it. Family lore says his stamp was the first issued in East Tennessee if not the whole state following the Civil War, in which John had little use it seems for either side. Family yarns handed down say it was only issued after some of the Government agents almost met their demise at the hands of John Harvey and his Tennessee long rifle. The clay replica was made from the original by Brian Cox, great-great-grandson of John's brother, Ezekiel.


Like most family men in East Tennessee, he was a farmer. He was also a blacksmith, a trade handed down in the family since shortly after the Revolution, and probably last implemented by my grandfather. John also supplemented his income by making and selling whiskey. If you've read any of the links I posted with info on John, you've probably figured (and figured correctly) he was somewhat of a "character" (to put it mildly) for his day. His wife came from a strong Confederate family, two of her four Confederate brothers died in POW camps. Family lore says her father didn't care for John even before the war came but John's reluctance to join the Rebel military caused a breach between them that was never reconciled. Though surrounded by Confederate family and neighbors, he steadfastly refused to cast his lot with the Southern Confederacy, even with his life threatened. But that didn't necessarily make him a "Lincolnite" either. I recently found a Union pension application index card for a John H. Cox Company D 4th Tennessee Cavalry, There was no John H. Cox in this regiment. John was no rebel, and he wasn't above taking easy Yankee money if he could get it.
john h cox.jpg
 
Last edited:

Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!

TnFed

Sergeant
Joined
Jun 18, 2018
Messages
848
#3
My dad's foster father also made moonshine. When he got caughht he was given the choice of two years in prison or five years probation, during which he had to attend church. He said he enjoyed reading the Bible but did not want anyone telling him what to do. So he took the prison term. I think he made a mistake.
 

Zella

Sergeant Major
Forum Host
Joined
May 23, 2018
Messages
2,427
#4
My dad's foster father also made moonshine. When he got caughht he was given the choice of two years in prison or five years probation, during which he had to attend church. He said he enjoyed reading the Bible but did not want anyone telling him what to do. So he took the prison term. I think he made a mistake.
My great-grandfather was a colorful man--I am very sorry he died before I was born and I never got to meet him--but not terribly motivated to work. All he really liked to do was make liquor, drink liquor, and bare knuckle box.

When he was in his 50s, he got desperate for money and tried to apply at a local factory. He came home with the application and called my grandfather (his son) to ask if he could put down owning his own still for 45 years as a job. LOL
 



Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!
Top