Discussion Reluctant Rebs & "Homegrown Yanks": East Tennesseans in the Civil War

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EAST TENNESSEE'S BRIDGE BURNERS :



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Engraving from Harper's Weekly showing members of the East Tennessee bridge-burning conspiracy swearing allegiance to the U.S. flag. Originally entitled: "A Thrilling scene in east Tennessee—Colonel Fry and the Union men swearing by the flag."

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Union Colonel and "Bridge-Burner" David Frye (left), and John McCoy, 2nd TN Infantry and 8th TN Cavalry.

https://civilwartalk.com/threads/reluctant-rebs-homegrown-yanks-east-tennesseans-in-the-civil-war.129343/page-4#post-1570333

The bridge-burning operations, were planned by Carter County minister William B. Carter (1820–1902), and authorized by President Abraham Lincoln, they called for the destruction of nine strategic railroad bridges, followed by an invasion of the area by Union Army forces from southeastern Kentucky, led by George H. "Pap" Thomas, who had remained loyal to the Union, even though being from Virginia. Five of the bridges were destroyed, but the Union Army, over-all commanded by William T. Sherman, failed to move. The destroyed bridges were quickly rebuilt and there was little or no military significance. what did change, was the way the Confederate authorities went from a policy of "tolerating", and trying to win over the support of Unionists, to that of martial law. Dozens of Unionists were arrested and thrown in jail. Several suspected bridge burners were tried and hanged. There was no invasion of east Tennessee until September 1863.

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Isham G. Harris Confederate Governor Of Tennessee
In February 1861, 54 percent of the state's voters voted against sending delegates to a secession convention, defeating the proposal for a State Convention by a vote of 69,675 to 57,798. If a State Convention had been held, it would have been very heavily pro-Union. 88,803 votes were cast for Unionist candidates and 22,749 votes were cast for Secession candidates. With the attack on Fort Sumter on April 12, 1861, followed by President Abraham Lincoln's April 15 call for 75,000 volunteers to invade the rebelling States and restore the Union, public sentiment turned dramatically against the Lincoln government. On June 8, 1861, approximately 105,000 Tennesseans voted for secession, while only 47,000 voted against, but East Tennesseans voted more than two-to-one (33,000 to 14,000) to stay with the Union, indicating an enormous anti-secession and anti-Confederacy pocket east of the Cumberland Plateau,while West Tennessee returned an equally heavy majority in favor. The deciding vote came in Middle Tennessee, which went from 51 percent against secession in February to 88 percent in favor in June. Having ratified by popular vote its connection with the fledgling Confederacy, Tennessee became the last state to formally declare its withdrawal from the Union. At the Greeneville session (June 17–20) of the East Tennessee Convention, the region's Unionist leaders condemned secession and petitioned the Tennessee General Assembly to allow East Tennessee to become a separate state and remain in the Union. The legislature rejected the petition, and Governor Isham Harris ordered Confederate forces under General Felix K. Zollicoffer into East Tennessee.

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Felix Kirk Zollicoffer

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East Tennessee Confederate State Senator Landon Carter Haynes

The East Tennessee and Georgia (ET&G) and East Tennessee and Virginia (ET&V) railroads were vital to the Confederacy, since they provided a connection between Virginia and the Deep South that did not require going around the bulk of the Southern Appalachian Mountains. Both Union and Confederate leaders realized the railroads' importance. In July 1861, Confederate politician and East Tennessee native Landon Carter Haynes warned of the railroads' vulnerability, stating that at any moment he was "looking to hear that the bridges have been burned and the East Tennessee and Virginia Railroad torn up". William B. Carter revealed his plan to destroy the region's main railroad bridges to pave the way for a Union invasion to George Thomas and William Sherman at Camp Dick Robinson, a Union recruiting depot in Kentucky, where a number of east Tennessee Unionists had fled. Thomas liked the plan, and although Sherman was initially skeptical, he agreed after a short discussion, but later nixed the invasion, after the bridges had already been burned. Carrying a letter from Thomas, Carter travelled to Washington, D.C., to meet with President Lincoln, Commanding General George McClellan, and Secretary of State William H. Seward. Lincoln, under immense pressure from Senator Andrew Johnson and Congressman Horace Maynard to provide some sort of aid to East Tennessee's Unionists, agreed with the plan. He allotted $2,500 for the operation, and Carter returned to Camp Dick Robinson to begin making arrangements.

The nine bridges targeted were, from northeast to southwest: the bridge over the Holston River at Union (modern Bluff City); the bridge over the Watauga River at Carter's Depot (modern Watauga); the bridge over Lick Creek, near modern Mosheim in Greene County; the bridge over the Holston at Strawberry Plains; the bridge over the Tennessee River at Loudon; the bridge over the Hiwassee River at Charleston; two bridges over Chickamauga Creek in the vicinity of Chattanooga; and the bridge over the Tennessee at Bridgeport, Alabama. Captains David Fry and William Cross, two officers who had been assigned to the operation, were tasked with burning the Lick Creek and Loudon bridges, respectively. Alfred Cate (1822–1871) of Hamilton County, would oversee the destruction of the bridges in southeast Tennessee, and assigned the two bridges in northeast Tennessee to Daniel Stover, a son-in-law of Andrew Johnson. For the Strawberry Plains bridge, he recruited former Sevier County sheriff William C. Pickens. Each of Carter's "Lieutenants" in turn recruited reliable men to assist them. Cate assigned R.B. Rogan and James Keener to the Bridgeport bridge, William T. Cate (his brother) and W. H. Crowder to the Chickamauga Creek bridges, and personally led the attack on the Hiwassee bridge, with the assistance of Thomas Cate (another brother), Adam Thomas, and Jesse and Eli Cleveland.[1] Fry chose Greene Countians Jacob and Thomas Harmon, Jacob Hensie, Alex Haun, and Harrison and Hugh Self. Pickens recruited several fellow Sevier Countians, among them David Ray, James Montgomery, and Elijah Gamble.

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Union Colonel Daniel Stover
 
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In February 1861, 54 percent of the state's voters voted against sending delegates to a secession convention, defeating the proposal for a State Convention by a vote of 69,675 to 57,798. If a State Convention had been held, it would have been very heavily pro-Union. 88,803 votes were cast for Unionist candidates and 22,749 votes were cast for Secession candidates. With the attack on Fort Sumter on April 12, 1861, followed by President Abraham Lincoln's April 15 call for 75,000 volunteers to invade the rebelling States and restore the Union, public sentiment turned dramatically against the Lincoln government. On June 8, 1861, approximately 105,000 Tennesseans voted for secession, while only 47,000 voted against, but East Tennesseans voted more than two-to-one (33,000 to 14,000) to stay with the Union, indicating an enormous anti-secession and anti-Confederacy pocket east of the Cumberland Plateau,while West Tennessee returned an equally heavy majority in favor. The deciding vote came in Middle Tennessee, which went from 51 percent against secession in February to 88 percent in favor in June. Having ratified by popular vote its connection with the fledgling Confederacy, Tennessee became the last state to formally declare its withdrawal from the Union. At the Greeneville session (June 17–20) of the East Tennessee Convention, the region's Unionist leaders condemned secession and petitioned the Tennessee General Assembly to allow East Tennessee to become a separate state and remain in the Union. The legislature rejected the petition, and Governor Isham Harris ordered Confederate forces under General Felix K. Zollicoffer into East Tennessee

The East Tennessee and Georgia (ET&G) and East Tennessee and Virginia (ET&V) railroads were vital to the Confederacy, since they provided a connection between Virginia and the Deep South that did not require going around the bulk of the Southern Appalachian Mountains. Both Union and Confederate leaders realized the railroads' importance. In July 1861, Confederate politician and East Tennessee native Landon Carter Haynes warned of the railroads' vulnerability, stating that at any moment he was "looking to hear that the bridges have been burned and the East Tennessee and Virginia Railroad torn up. William B. Carter revealed his plan to destroy the region's main railroad bridges to pave the way for a Union invasion to George Thomas and William Sherman at Camp Dick Robinson, a Union recruiting depot in Kentucky, where a number of east Tennessee Unionists had fled. Thomas liked the plan, and although Sherman was initially skeptical, he agreed after a short discussion, but later nixed the invasion, after the bridges had already been burned. Carrying a letter from Thomas, Carter travelled to Washington, D.C., to meet with President Lincoln, Commanding General George McClellan, and Secretary of State William H. Seward. Lincoln, under immense pressure from Senator Andrew Johnson and Congressman Horace Maynard to provide some sort of aid to East Tennessee's Unionists, agreed with the plan. He allotted $2,500 for the operation, and Carter returned to Camp Dick Robinson to begin making arrangements.

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Camp Dick Robinson

The nine bridges targeted were, from northeast to southwest: the bridge over the Holston River at Union (modern Bluff City); the bridge over the Watauga River at Carter's Depot (modern Watauga); the bridge over Lick Creek, near modern Mosheim in Greene County; the bridge over the Holston at Strawberry Plains; the bridge over the Tennessee River at Loudon; the bridge over the Hiwassee River at Charleston; two bridges over Chickamauga Creek in the vicinity of Chattanooga; and the bridge over the Tennessee at Bridgeport, Alabama. Captains David Fry and William Cross, two officers who had been assigned to the operation, were tasked with burning the Lick Creek and Loudon bridges, respectively. Alfred Cate (1822–1871) of Hamilton County, would oversee the destruction of the bridges in southeast Tennessee, and assigned the two bridges in northeast Tennessee to Daniel Stover, a son-in-law of Andrew Johnson. For the Strawberry Plains bridge, he recruited former Sevier County sheriff William C. Pickens. Each of Carter's "Lieutenants" in turn recruited reliable men to assist them. Cate assigned R.B. Rogan and James Keener to the Bridgeport bridge, William T. Cate (his brother) and W. H. Crowder to the Chickamauga Creek bridges, and personally led the attack on the Hiwassee bridge, with the assistance of Thomas Cate (another brother), Adam Thomas, and Jesse and Eli Cleveland.[1] Fry chose Greene Countians Jacob and Thomas Harmon, Jacob Hensie, Alex Haun, and Harrison and Hugh Self. Pickens recruited several fellow Sevier Countians, among them David Ray, James Montgomery, and Elijah Gamble.
While Carter recruited conspirators, Union forces at Camp Dick Robinson prepared to march south to Knoxville. A raid into Kentucky by Zollicoffer, though repulsed, changed the timing of the invasion, however, and following Confederate excursions into the western part of the state, Sherman became concerned that his line was stretched too thin. Thomas arrived at Crab Orchard, Kentucky, about 40 miles from Cumberland Gap, on October 31, and pleaded with Sherman to give the go-ahead. Sherman was unconvinced, however, and called off the invasion on November 7.

The bridge burners, unaware of the shift in strategy in Kentucky, proceeded with their plans on the night of November 8. The Chickamauga Creek and Hiwassee bridges were poorly guarded, and Cate and his men burned them with minimal effort. The Bridgeport, Loudon, and Watauga bridges were heavily guarded by Confederate soldiers, and conspirators abandoned their attempts to destroy them. The Lick Creek and Union bridges were guarded only by one or two sentries each, whom the conspirators easily overpowered before setting fire to the bridges.

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James Keeling
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At the Strawberry Plains bridge, Pickens and his crew encountered a lone Confederate guard, James Keeling (also spelled Keelan in some sources). When Pickens attempted to light a torch, Keeling spotted him, and attacked. In the ensuing melee, both Keeling and Pickens were badly wounded. Keeling fled, leaving the bridge exposed, but Pickens had lost the group's matches in the chaos and darkness. Unable to light a fire, the group aborted their mission and returned to Sevier County.

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A Union sentry guards the bridge at Strawberry Plains, ca. 1864

Among the conspirators, the Lick Creek bridge burners suffered the greatest number of executions. Jacob Hensie and Henry Fry were both tried and hanged in sight of the railroad at Greeneville on November 30, 1861. Alex Haun was tried and hanged at a gallows just north of Knoxville on December 10. Jacob Harmon and his son, Henry, were both hanged on December 17. Harrison Self was tried, convicted and sentenced to hang, but was released hours before his execution after his daughter, Elizabeth, obtained a last-minute pardon from President Jefferson Davis.
 
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"All men taken in arms against the Government will be transported to the military prison at Tuscaloosa, and be confined there during the War. Bridge burners and destroyers of Rail Road track are excepted from among those pardonable. They will be tried and hanged on the spot."

Nov. 30, 1861, proclamation of Confederate Col. Danville Leadbetter

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Before he died, he wrote to his wife regarding the disposition of his pottery business and concluded:

I have the promise that my body will be sent home to you.
O live for heaven,
Oh my bosom friend and children,
Live for heaven I pray.
My time is almost out, dear friend, farewell to this world — farewell to earth and earthly troubles
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Actual Muster Roll For Company G (Sullivan County) 60th Tennessee Infantry Confederate Volunteers. Most of my relatives in this regiment were in Company E, but a few are among these.


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Their Captain Jonathan Waverly Bachman, commissioned 10/1/1862. He is pictured with three grandsons, Veterans of WWI. Dr. Bachman was a Presbyterian Pastor in Chattanooga for several years, and Chaplin General for the UCV.

My relatives, either direct or by marriage.

Private John Bowser

Private Andrew Jackson Cox

Private John H. Cox

Private Noah Cox

Private William Cox ( captured at Black River Bridge, died at Camp Morton)

Private Ira Greenberry Hale

Private John C. Hale

Private James McCully
 
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My fourth great grandfather, Lewis Shaw, was from Jonesborough, Tennessee. He served with company D of the 8th Tennessee Volunteer Calvary. I've researched his service records and was finally able to find his grave site. It was not easy at first, due to his name being misspelled.

I then happened upon a significant document. It is from his pension file with the United States National Archives. It is a handwritten letter from one Captain George McPherson, commanding officer of Company D, 8th Regiment of the Tennessee Volunteer Calvary. His written words leave little doubt as to this being Lewis Shaw's final resting place. This document came about due to my 4th great-grandmother having to hire lawyers out of Knoxville, Tennessee. She had to sue the federal government for her husband's pension. All because his name had been misspelled.

I petitioned the Veterans Administration to replace his headstone. I just want a proper memoriam befitting the sacrifices made by this man. He fought in the Mexican-American War with Co.L, of the 5th Tennessee Volunteer Infantry Regiment and was disabled due to his service. Although disabled, he volunteered to be a scout with the 8th Regiment of the Tennessee Volunteer Calvary in 1864. He was captured in Morristown, Tennessee and died in captivity in the Confederate prison in Danville, Virginia.

Another letter that I came across from Captain George McPherson, described Lewis Shaw as "an uncompromising Union man." This was not a very popular stature to have in the mountains of upper East Tennessee at the time. In fact, he had to hide out in the woods for a long period of time, due to his neighbors persecuting him for his beliefs. A true Tennessee Volunteer and devout American.

Lewis Shaw enlisted in the Union Army (Company D, 8th Tenn Cav) in September, 1863. Went missing in action at Morristown, TN on or about Nov. 13, 1864. Was captured by Confederate forces of Major Gen. Breckenridge and later confined in the Confederate POW prison in Danville, VA. Was admitted to the prison hospital in Danville, VA. Dec. 21, 1864 and died there on feb. 26, 1865.

Has anyone had any experience with the VA replacing a headstone? Also, any information anyone has on the 8th Tennessee Volunteer Calvary would be greatly appreciated.

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Joined
Dec 31, 2010
Location
Kingsport, Tennessee
My fourth great grandfather, Lewis Shaw, was from Jonesborough, Tennessee. He served with company D of the 8th Tennessee Volunteer Calvary. I've researched his service records and was finally able to find his grave site. It was not easy at first, due to his name being misspelled.

I then happened upon a significant document. It is from his pension file with the United States National Archives. It is a handwritten letter from one Captain George McPherson, commanding officer of Company D, 8th Regiment of the Tennessee Volunteer Calvary. His written words leave little doubt as to this being Lewis Shaw's final resting place. This document came about due to my 4th great-grandmother having to hire lawyers out of Knoxville, Tennessee. She had to sue the federal government for her husband's pension. All because his name had been misspelled.

I petitioned the Veterans Administration to replace his headstone. I just want a proper memoriam befitting the sacrifices made by this man. He fought in the Mexican-American War with Co.L, of the 5th Tennessee Volunteer Infantry Regiment and was disabled due to his service. Although disabled, he volunteered to be a scout with the 8th Regiment of the Tennessee Volunteer Calvary in 1864. He was captured in Morristown, Tennessee and died in captivity in the Confederate prison in Danville, Virginia.

Another letter that I came across from Captain George McPherson, described Lewis Shaw as "an uncompromising Union man." This was not a very popular stature to have in the mountains of upper East Tennessee at the time. In fact, he had to hide out in the woods for a long period of time, due to his neighbors persecuting him for his beliefs. A true Tennessee Volunteer and devout American.

Lewis Shaw enlisted in the Union Army (Company D, 8th Tenn Cav) in September, 1863. Went missing in action at Morristown, TN on or about Nov. 13, 1864. Was captured by Confederate forces of Major Gen. Breckenridge and later confined in the Confederate POW prison in Danville, VA. Was admitted to the prison hospital in Danville, VA. Dec. 21, 1864 and died there on feb. 26, 1865.

Has anyone had any experience with the VA replacing a headstone? Also, any information anyone has on the 8th Tennessee Volunteer Calvary would be greatly appreciated.

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https://civilwartalk.com/threads/children-grandchildren-of-the-civil-war-my-heritage-of-blue-gray.94630/#post-792276

http://tngenweb.org/civilwar/8th-tennessee-cavalry-regiment/

Welcome ! I'm a native of Sullivan County, east Tennessee. I had numerous relatives on both sides. My paternal great-grandfather came here from Wilkes County, NC. Most all his family were Confederate, including his father. Both grandfathers of my paternal grandmother were in Company G Union 8th TN Cavalry. Both died in prison at Danville. One is buried there, another was reportedly shot while attempting escape, burial place, "unknown". Thanks for adding your research and great photos. hope you'll stick around !

Here's a photo of one of your ancestor's comrades in Company D :

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2nd Lieutenant Josiah Mahoney Company D Union 8th Tennessee Cavalry

Enlisted on 7/1/1864 as a 2nd Lieutenant age 27
He was Mustered Out on 9/11/1865 at Knoxville, TN.
 
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https://civilwartalk.com/threads/children-grandchildren-of-the-civil-war-my-heritage-of-blue-gray.94630/#post-792276

http://tngenweb.org/civilwar/8th-tennessee-cavalry-regiment/

Welcome ! I'm a native of Sullivan County, east Tennessee. I had numerous relatives on both sides. My paternal great-grandfather came here from Wilkes County, NC. Most all his family were Confederate, including his father. Both grandfathers of my paternal grandmother were in Company G Union 8th TN Cavalry. Both died in prison at Danville. One is buried there, another was reportedly shot while attempting escape, burial place, "unknown". Thanks for adding your research and great photos. hope you'll stick around !

Here's a photo of one of your ancestor's comrades in Company D :

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2nd Lieutenant Josiah Mahoney Company D Union 8th Tennessee Cavalry

Enlisted on 7/1/1864 as a 2nd Lieutenant age 27
He was Mustered Out on 9/11/1865 at Knoxville, TN.
I'm originally from Jonesborough, Tn. as well. All of my family still resides in East Tennessee. I'll always call East Tennessee home.
If you ever get an opportunity to travel to Danville, I would highly recommend it. It was an amazing trip for me. The National Cemetery is adjacent to to Green Hill Cemetery. Green Hill is full of Confederate soldiers...a true Civil War history bonanza. Finding the prison downtown was truly a somber moment.
 
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Location
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Hugh Lawson White Cansler was born March 26, 1835 in Monroe County,(east) Tennessee. Following the Civil War, he was a well-known Wheelwright in Knox and Blount, Counties, employed for a number of years by Frank H. Post & Co. His mother, Catherine was the grand-daughter of German immigrants who migrated from York, Pennsylvania to Lincoln County, NC. Her father Conrad, owned several slaves but reportedly had a reputation of treating them very well. Conrad and his daughter settled in Monroe County during the early 1830's. After arriving in Tennessee, over the years, Catherine gave birth to at least 5 sons. According to a Monroe County deed book, pages 201 and 202, dated 6/13/1850, Catherine purchased a Negro slave from her father Conrad, the slave's name was Appuis. He became well-known in Monroe County as "AP". It's believed he was the father of her sons.

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Hugh married Laura Ann Scott, who became Knoxville's first African-American schoolteacher. Like her husband, she was also free-born. Her parents along with Laura and brother William, also came to east Tennessee from North Carolina. Settling in Knoxville after the start of the Civil War. On September 1-4, 1863, Yankee troops entered Knoxville. By the end of 1863, they controlled most of east Tennessee. Laura asked Union Gen. Ambrose Burnside if she could open a school to teach former slaves. Granted permission, she started "The Burnside School" in 1864 on Detroit Avenue.

October 21, 1921, Hugh Lawson White Cansler filed Colored Man's Pension #122 in Knoxville. To the question, "When did you go with the army"? He answers, "In June, 1862, I was asked to go by Lieutenant-Colonel David M. Key, and Colonel James Gillespie".(43rd TN Infantry) To the question, "Who was your owner"? Hugh replies, "I was a free man". He further explains, "About October 10, 1862 “...one of Col. Gillespie’s horses threw my shoulder out of place and I was released to go home.” Later he was given a personal release to remain with the family of James Karnes, a 45 year-old conscript who went into the Confederate army's 2nd Tenn. Cavalry. Hugh married Louisa Ann “Laura” Scott March 1862. Hugh had two brothers, Henry, was duly enlisted in Company E, 59th TN Infantry. He was paroled at the surrender of Vicksburg, and apparently never rejoined the army. Another brother, James served as a Cook in Company B, 59th Tennessee Infantry, enlisted October 6, 1862, last listed present on the June 30, 1863 muster at Vicksburg, however, there was no parole document in his file, and nothing in either man's record regarding their race. In April, 1865, James made his way to Greene County, where he enlisted in Company K, 40th Infantry, USCT.

Col. W. L.Eakin, 59th Tennessee in a letter to W. T. Rigby, Chairman, National M. P. Commission, Vicksburg, Miss., dated March 12, 1904 from Chattanooga :

"I had a freeman [believe James Cansler] who did the cooking for my mess. A Yankee sharp shooter, who we supposed was in a tree, succeeded in striking one of the vessels he was using on the fire. He did not stop - only cursed the 'Yankees' went on preparing such meal as we were able to indulge our appetites. He was a brave fellow. I was unable to get permission to bring him away after the surrender. There were some five or six colored men attached to my regiment. We left some of them shedding tears; they all overtook us, before we reached Meridan. Said they told the Yankees that the rebels had impressed them and they much desired to visit their wives and children, and were given rations".

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Charles Warner Cansler
(May 15, 1871 – November 1, 1953) was an American educator, civil rights advocate, and author, active primarily in Knoxville, Tennessee, USA. A grandson of William Scott, a pioneering African-American publisher, and the son of Knoxville's first African-American teacher, Cansler was instrumental in establishing educational opportunities for the Knoxville's African-American children in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. His 1940 biography, Three Generations: The Story of a Colored Family in Eastern Tennessee, remains an important account of Black life in 19th century East Tennessee. While Principle of Knoxville's first "Colored High School", he personally wrote to the Tennessee Pension Board on behalf of his father, but to no avail. Hugh was denied a pension.

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One of my direct ancestors -

James J. Voyles, Private, G Company, 3rd Tennessee Mounted Infantry

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Great photos ! McMinn,, Monroe, and Roane Counties, were rough places to be ! I had relatives from there on both sides, and several in the Union 3rd Mtd Infantry. I'm related to Captain Joseph C. Gray of Company H. He was killed at home by the Kirkland Bushwhackers. The father of my maternal great-grandmother was in Company F. He began as a Confederate and helped fire the big guns at Vicksburg in the 3rd Maryland Artillery.
 
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Great photos ! McMinn,, Monroe, and Roane Counties, were rough places to be ! I had relatives from there on both sides, and several in the Union 3rd Mtd Infantry. I'm related to Captain Joseph C. Gray of Company H. He was killed at home by the Kirkland Bushwhackers. The father of my maternal great-grandmother was in Company F. He began as a Confederate and helped fire the big guns at Vicksburg in the 3rd Maryland Artillery.
Interesting information! Very unfortunate what happened to Joseph, sounds like a cowardly way to kill someone while at their own home...

So far I came up with a few mentions of James.

"James enlisted for the service at Loudon, Tennessee on the 9th of July 1864 as

a Private in Company G, 3rd Regiment of Tennessee Mounted Infantry Volunteers.

He was discharged at Knoxville, Tennessee on 30 November 1864. His pension

was approved at the rate of $20 per month commencing on 24 May 1911. He served

in the battles of Loudon, Knoxville and Cumberland Gap. His captain was E.

Voyles and he names one of his comrades as James Voyles."

Apparently, all the Voyles in that regiment were siblings. James Voyles came from Cherokee County, North Carolina.
 
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Location
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Interesting information! Very unfortunate what happened to Joseph, sounds like a cowardly way to kill someone while at their own home...

So far I came up with a few mentions of James.

"James enlisted for the service at Loudon, Tennessee on the 9th of July 1864 as

a Private in Company G, 3rd Regiment of Tennessee Mounted Infantry Volunteers.

He was discharged at Knoxville, Tennessee on 30 November 1864. His pension

was approved at the rate of $20 per month commencing on 24 May 1911. He served

in the battles of Loudon, Knoxville and Cumberland Gap. His captain was E.

Voyles and he names one of his comrades as James Voyles."

Apparently, all the Voyles in that regiment were siblings. James Voyles came from Cherokee County, North Carolina.
I noticed several men with that surname and figured they were kin. I wasn't aware they were in any battles. They were just a 90-day regiment. A large number were Rebel deserters. Not many organized Confederates still in upper east Tennessee by the fall of 1864. Some "hangers-on" under John Vaughn, and Thomas Legion maybe ? Probably some scattered skirmishes here and there.

The report of Adjutant General J. P Brownlow, State of Tennessee, dated March 1, 1866, stated this was a three-months organization, and did no service, never being fully organized. Dyer’s Compendium mentions a skirmish at Lee’s Ferry on September 6, and at Greeneville, on October 12, 1864. No reference to the regiment was found in the Official Records.
 
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I noticed several men with that surname and figured they were kin. I wasn't aware they were in any battles. They were just a 90-day regiment. A large number were Rebel deserters. Not many organized Confederates still in upper east Tennessee by the fall of 1864. Some "hangers-on" under John Vaughn, and Thomas Legion maybe ? Probably some scattered skirmishes here and there.

The report of Adjutant General J. P Brownlow, State of Tennessee, dated March 1, 1866, stated this was a three-months organization, and did no service, never being fully organized. Dyer’s Compendium mentions a skirmish at Lee’s Ferry on September 6, and at Greeneville, on October 12, 1864. No reference to the regiment was found in the Official Records.

At first I was pretty confused because of all of those 3 battles mentioned occurred well before the 3rd was even formed. Until I found something very startling:

https://www.nps.gov/civilwar/search-soldiers-detail.htm?soldierId=67376ADC-DC7A-DF11-BF36-B8AC6F5D926A

Voyles , Enoch
BATTLE UNIT NAME:
39th Regiment, North Carolina Infantry
SIDE:
Confederacy
COMPANY:
C,G
SOLDIER'S RANK IN:
First Sergeant
SOLDIER'S RANK OUT:
Second Lieutenant


I did a look up of the 39th North Carolina Infantry, and found that they were involved in the battle of Cumberland Gap. On top of that, the 39th recruited mainly from Cherokee County, NC, where the Voyles were from. My conclusion would be that it is certain, the Voyles siblings deserted the Confederate army and enlisted in the Union. Enoch must've referred to the battles they were involved in whilst in the 39th NC.


Enoch Voyles:

EnochMaryVoyles.jpg
 
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Location
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At first I was pretty confused because of all of those 3 battles mentioned occurred well before the 3rd was even formed. Until I found something very startling:

https://www.nps.gov/civilwar/search-soldiers-detail.htm?soldierId=67376ADC-DC7A-DF11-BF36-B8AC6F5D926A

Voyles , Enoch
BATTLE UNIT NAME:
39th Regiment, North Carolina Infantry
SIDE:
Confederacy
COMPANY:
C,G
SOLDIER'S RANK IN:
First Sergeant
SOLDIER'S RANK OUT:
Second Lieutenant


I did a look up of the 39th North Carolina Infantry, and found that they were involved in the battle of Cumberland Gap. On top of that, the 39th recruited mainly from Cherokee County, NC, where the Voyles were from. My conclusion would be that it is certain, the Voyles siblings deserted the Confederate army and enlisted in the Union. Enoch must've referred to the battles they were involved in whilst in the 39th NC.


Enoch Voyles:

View attachment 150266
Good find !

"North Carolina Troops 1861-65, A Roster" says he enlisted 9/24/1861 as a Sergeant in company C 39th NC. He transferred to company G on 5/1/1862. Commissioned Lieutenant 5/19/1862. He resigned 12/6/1862.
 
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Location
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david preston sherfy.jpg

Photo courtesy our own Mike Serpa on Find-A-Grave (thanks Mike !)

David Preston Sherfy was born Oct 19, 1839 in Jonesborough, Washington County
(east) Tennessee, to John A. (The Woodsman) Sherfy and Catherine Garber. He ran away from home at age 16, to escape the cruel treatment of a stepfather. At that time there were no railroads in the northeastern corner of Tennessee nearer than Bulls Gap so he set out on foot to a married sister's home in Arkansas. Having but little money, he worked at several places as he went along until finally arriving at Memphis. The last 40 miles to where his sister lived was in his words, "like a jungle" and he walked the entire distance. The 1860 census of Black River Township, Independence, Arkansas, lists 20 year-old David as part of the household of his 50 year-old sister Jane, her 49 year-old husband, Andrew Gold, along with their two sons, William 23, and H.T.,18.

Being a Union man, David fled Confederate Arkansas at the outbreak of the Civil War. He was captured by the Union Army and accused of being a Rebel spy. A scout attached to a new Union Brigadier, told the General of the young man's plight. His name was placed on a list of prisoners to be exchanged at the direction of no less than Ulysses S. Grant.

David enlisted using the name George W. Garber, (Garber, being his Mother's maiden name) on 7/10/1861 as a Private into "H" Co. IL 1st Cavalry at Cairo, Illinois. He was promoted to Corporal before mustering out on 7/5/1862. David (or George), re-enlisted 8/21/1862 as a Private into "C" Co. IL 11th Infantry. He would re-up again on 1/22/1864. On 3/1/1864 he transferred into "M" Co. US CT 3rd Cavalry, and promoted to Sergeant.

From Jan.26 to Feb.11, 1865, the 3rd U. S. Colored Cavalry took part in a raid into Southeastern Arkansas and Northeastern Louisiana. During the raid into Confederate territory, swamps in the area were nearly impassible. Many of the horses mired down in the mud and had great difficulty getting through the swollen streams. As Sherfy's brigade waited for stragglers and the rest of the command to catch up, he fell from his horse while crossing a swollen stream. After being rescued from the muddy banks, Sherfy was put on a horse and continued with his command. His leg was later set by a surgeon, but he refused to stay at a wayside house, fearing for his life if he were captured by Confederate forces. Sgt. Richard Johnson was detailed to look after Sherfy, a duty he carried out faithfully.

sergt dick johnson.jpg

Sgt. Dick Johnson,
3rd US Colored Cavalry (USCC), detailed to David Preston Sherfy. Enlisted 12/1/1863. Sgt. Johnson was detailed to look after Sherfy. It was said of the men of the 3rd U.S. Colored Cavalry that they "ranked as one of the finest cavalry regiments in The Army of The Tennessee," and "displayed the highest degree of discipline, courage and aggressiveness in battle, while never violating the laws of honorable warfare." Sergeant Johnson mustered out in Memphis, TN June 26, 1866.

David returned to Washington County, east Tennessee following the war. On August 26, 1869, he married Mary Catherine Miller. Mary was an epileptic and accidentally drowned. After her death, he married Isabel Krouse on February 14, 1889. In the 1890 census of Union Veterans, while a resident of Johnson City, Tennessee, probably living around former Confederates, as well as Union veterans that wouldn't have appreciated the fact he served with the USCT, David incorrectly states, (probably intentionally), that he served in Co.C 13th TN Cavalry. David died in Washington County, Tennessee, Sep. 29, 1923.

david sherfy pension.jpg


P1248753.gif

Embury Durfee Osband, Colonel of the USCT 3rd Cavalry during the raid that brought David Sherfy & Dick Johnson together.

His report of the raid from the OR :

http://ehistory.osu.edu/books/official-records/101/0068
 
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james harvey walker.jpg


James Harvey Walker of Polk County, (east) Tennessee. Enlisted and mustered in the Confederate Army on 12/1/1861 as a Sergeant into "A" Co. TN 43rd Infantry. he was paroled at Vicksburg, July 9, 1863.

Back in Tennessee, James then enlisted and mustered on 1/1/1864 as a Private into "D" Co. Union TN 10th Cavalry. Promoted to Sergeant on 1/25/1864. He was Mustered Out on 8/1/1865 at Nashville, TN

Henry Lineback.jpg

Henry Lineback of Mitchell County, NC enlisted at Carter County,(east Tennessee), on 1/25/1864 as a 18 year-old Private. On 6/3/1864 he mustered into "C" Co. Union 13th TN Cavalry. Promoted to Corporal 6/16/1865. He was Mustered Out on 9/5/1865 at Knoxville, TN. Applied for a pension June 30, 1880. Died in Butler, Tennessee, March 8, 1924.


Confederate John Newton Sligar Co.C 5th TN Cav.jpg


John N. Sligar enlisted at McMinn County, (east Tennessee) and mustered on 12/1/1862 as a Private into "C" Co. Confederate 5th TN Cavalry. Captured at Nickajack Creek, GA. July 5th, 1864. Sent to Camp Douglass, Illinois. Released June 16, 1865
 
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Location
Kingsport, Tennessee
Divided Families In East Tennessee

Knight family relatives of mine from Wilkes County NC migrated to upper east Tennessee between the 1830's, to a few years following the war. Two were brothers of my paternal 2 x great-grandmother, Rebecca Knight Land. Ambrose Knight married Malinda Bradley in Wilkes County on Dec.10, 1830. Shortly after, they along with her parents and brother, settled in the area of Greene/Washington Counties in upper east Tennessee. Shortly after the birth of a son they named John, Malinda died. Ambrose returned to NC, leaving John with his Bradley grandparents who apparently raised him.

Robert Burton Knight married Francis Livingston in Wilkes County, NC Oct. 5, 1835. They settled in the
Greene/Washington Counties area of east Tennessee in the mid-1840's, shortly before the birth of their 6th child.

John Knight was conscripted into the Confederate Army and reported at Bristol, TN/VA, April 4, 1864. He was assigned to Company D 7th TN Infantry of Archer's (Tennessee Brigade) of the Army of Northern Virginia, and soon found himself a POW at Elmira Prison in NY.

Robert Burton Knight sold produce and beef cattle to the Confederates in east Tennessee, while his oldest son, Greenville Knight served in the Union 1st TN Cavalry. another son, William died of disease while serving in Company I Confederate 29th TN
Infantry.

4b65a264-fbee-4ec7-b83a-a173ced9edb0.jpg

John Knight Company D 7th TN Infantry, was a conscript in the Confederate Army. He reported for duty at Bristol, TN April 4,1864. He was captured on the South Anna River,near Hanover Junction, Virginia May 22,1864. John Became a POW at the beginning of the Overland Campaign that would eventually bring about Lee's surrender and the end of the war. Took the Oath of Allegiance and was released May 17, 1865 at Elmira, NY. Record states place of residence " east Tennessee " Florid complexion, dark hair, hazel eyes, 6 ft tall. Buried in Pilot Knob Cemetery, Greene County, TN

5ccc77cf-f104-4744-993c-65e22ca4c330.jpg

Union Soldier Greenville Knight Co.K 1st Tn Cav.
Enlisted July 12, 1862 at Greeneville,Tn. mustered at Cumberland Gap Aug.16,1862. age 22, " fell out sick on the march from Cumberland Gap." Dec.31,1863 to June 4,1864 Greene was part of a detail to guard baggage Federal 1st Cav.Div. Described as 5'8" dark complexion, blue eyes, black hair. Born in " Wilkes County in NC. " served toward the end of the war as a wagoner and cook. Mustered out at Nashville,Tn. June 5, 1865............. These men were 1st cousins, living in the same general proximity of one another, about the same age, were no doubt acquainted, and probably boyhood friends.

John Knight

john knight.jpg
Greenville Knight

Greenville Knight.jpg

f63b917c-1c9e-4867-841f-696a299bbd1d.jpg

Sept.1863

Greeneville, Tennessee

Burton Knight sells 2 beef cattle to the Confederate Army for $190.00

f81f7a08-ce00-459c-8157-88e9d6fc9e12.jpg


July 16, 1863

Greeneville,Tennessee

Receipt for 43 lbs of bacon to the rebel army sold to them by Burton Knight. These papers are in the " Confederate Citizen's Files "at the National Archives.

92a20284-d3ba-4729-9cdf-c6859b2c1d94.jpg


Burton Knight sells 43 lbs of bacon & salt to rebel army
Sept 1863

Greeneville, Tenn.
 
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abb7dd95-8249-4ae4-9659-15e4e296c99a.jpg


Union 2nd TN Cavalry drilling near Cades Cove

Second Cavalry
TENNESSEE
(3-YEARS)

ices%2Fimage.ashx%3Fdomain%3Dwww.knoxnews.com%26file%3D420111103145939001_5237638_ver1.0_640_480.jpg


Second Cavalry. -- Col., Daniel M. Ray, Lieut.-Col., William
R. Cook Majs., George W. Hutsell, Charles Inman, William R.
Macbeth, William F. Prosser.

This regiment was organized at Cumberland Gap in the months of
Aug. and Sept., 1862, and was composed of loyal citizens of
Knox, Blount, Sevier and surrounding counties, numbering in
the aggregate about 1,175 men.

Shortly after the organization of the regiment, Gen. Morgan
began his retreat to the Ohio River and the 2nd cavalry,
although dismounted, rendered efficient service in protecting
the flank and rear of the retreating column. Not long after
its arrival at Gallipolis, Ohio, it was ordered to Louisville,
where it was mounted and armed, and pushed on to join
Rosecrans at Nashville.

It arrived in time to participate in the battle of Stone's
River, where it lost several officers and men. From that time
until June 23, 1863, with the remainder of the Federal cavalry
under Gen. Stanley, it was employed on the front and flanks of
Rosecrans' army, doing severe duty. At the latter date it
moved with the army from Murfreesboro to Tullahoma and pursued
Bragg across the Cumberland Mountains.

About July 10 it was ordered to report to Gen. Sheridan for
special duty, and was employed in the vicinity of Bridgeport,
Ala., and Chattanooga until the early part of September when
it rejoined the cavalry under Gen. Stanley and participated in
the battle of Chickamauga. After doing some escort duty it
was ordered to Washington and Kingston and assisted in the
defense of the latter place against Gen. Wheeler.

It was then ordered to Nashville, hastily refitted and
forwarded to Gen. William S. Smith at Memphis for an
expedition into Mississippi, in the course of which it
participated with credit in engagements at Okolona, West
Point, the Tallahatchie River and elsewhere.

In June, 1864, the 2nd, 3rd and 4th regiments of Tennessee
cavalry, with Battery A of the 1st Tenn. light artillery, were
ordered to northern Alabama and remained on duty in that
district until the end of the year.

In the numerous engagements with the Confederate cavalry
during that time the 2nd cavalry displayed great gallantry and
received the commendation of all the general officers under
whom it served. In the pursuit of Hood's retreating army from
Nashville the command to which it was attached marched 280
miles in 7 days and nights of unusually severe weather, and
during that time were engaged in six different actions,
capturing a large number of prisoners and material of every
description.

From Jan. to July 1865, the regiment was on duty at Vicksburg
and New Orleans, and was then mustered out.

Source: The Union Army, vol. 4, p. 382

**********************************************************************************

Chickamagua after battle report:

Report of Col. Daniel M. Ray, Second Tennessee Cavalry.

HDQRS. SECOND EAST TENNESSEE CAVALRY,
August 31, 1863.
COL.: I have the honor to report to you that, in pursuance to orders
received from Maj.-Gen. Reynolds, I proceeded to Shellmound to report to
you. I commenced crossing my regiment about dark, and by 10 o'clock my
regiment was all safely landed on the south side of the river. At 10. 30
o'clock I moved out on the Chattanooga road. I proceeded to within 2 miles
of Chattanooga without meeting with any opposition. At this point I came on
the rebel pickets. I drove them before me to the of Lookout Mountain,
where I came in sight of a battery of artillery and infantry. Not thinking in
prudent to go any farther I moved back in the direction of Shellmound. On
my return I captured R. L. Hawkins, a Confederate agent, with $2,736. 50
of Confederate money.

I am, colonel, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

D. M. RAY,
Col. Second East Tennessee Cavalry.

Col. E. A. KING,
Comdg. Second Brig., Fourth Div., 14th Army Corps.

Source: Official Records
PAGE 911-50 KY., SW. VA., TENN., MISS., ALA., AND N. GA. [CHAP. XLII.
[Series I. Vol. 30. Part I, Reports. Serial No. 50.]

****************************************************************************************
 
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denton.jpg


Military life didn't sit well with John Denton of Monroe County, (east) Tennessee. He first enlisted as a Confederate in Company B 3rd TN Infantry on May 23, 1861. Almost immediately after organization the regiment left for Virginia on June 2, 1861. Once in Virginia it was placed in a brigade commanded by Colonel Ambrose P. Hill, along with the 10th Virginia Infantry Regiment. It first saw action June 19, 1861, when two companies from each regiment, under the command of Colonel John Vaughn, destroyed a railroad bridge on the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad at New Creek, Virginia, and captured two pieces of artillery. It then participated in the Battle of Manassas on July 21, 1861. John was still present for duty as of February 1862, but on May 7, 1863, he decided he'd had enough "southern rights". John enlisted for three years at Lebanon, KY in Captain John C. Wright's Company D, 11th Tennessee Cavalry, Union Army Volunteers. That didn’t last long either. By July Denton was listed as a deserter from Camp Nelson, KY. The following month’s muster rolls reported Private John Denton absent from recruiting duty.

While on the run from both armies, he was captured by rebel guerillas or bush-whackers in a part of east Tennessee notorious for such men. They took John's clothes, tied a rope around his neck, threw it over a tree limb and pulled him off the ground until he would be close to death, let him down and then repeat the process. While they amused themselves this way, word came that a Union patrol was in the area. The plan was then to take John deeper into the woods and kill him. he managed to escape, made it to a cabin occupied by two women whose husbands were in the Union Army. They dressed him in women’s clothes, put a bonnet on his head and managed to smuggle him through the lines.

Some years after the war, being acquainted with some his captors, he killed two of them and was sent to prison, eventually being pardoned.

John & his brother, Charles Denton, were arrested by Union troops on October 3, 1865 in Roane County,TN. but by February 1865, they’d been released at Knoxville.

John was imprisoned for the murder of his antagonists from 1873 to 1880 before being pardoned. He had the gall to file for a Government pension in 1890, but was rejected in 1891 because he’d served less than the required 90 days of service, and because he did not have an honorable discharge.

He died of natural causes on Aug 12, 1912.
 
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