Secession in Tennessee

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larry_cockerham

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Having known a couple hill country people, however, I'm willing to concede that their independent nature is not to be discounted.
My wife simply claims I'm hardheaded.

Flatlanders were considered a lesser breed when I was a boy living in the hills. For instance the time the National Guard sent in helicopters with hay bails to feed the poor starving mountain cattle trying to get to the nearby haystacks for their feed during a particularly heavy snow storm in the 1960s. Many of the cattle were standing in front of open barn doors when the hay from heaven fell on their backs. Local lawyers are still smiling when they remember that one.

Mountain folks have always been independent out of necessity.
 

Will Posey

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My great-great-great grandfather lived in Polk County, Tennessee in the flatland area. He owned one slave, whom he freed before the war. In a mostly secessionist county of East Tennessee, he remained a staunch Unionist because, as he stated, he had fought for the USA in the War of 1812 and he had no intention of abandoning her. As I've mentioned here before, his six sons served the Union, his six sons-in-law served the Confederacy.

Will
 

ole

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Will: I'm guessing that there were a great many like your antecedent scattered over the coutryside. Conversely, there were a number of secesh among the states that didn't go out. It couldn't have been a fun time for any of them.

I've discovered that my GGfather had a "hired man." Obviously, in Minnesota, he wasn't a black. Possibly an Irishman or a Norwegian who came with nothing. But the guy most likely got a corner of the barn as his own, and he was fed. And a few coins were dropped on him after the harvest.

Maybe he was passing through, earning passage to a place where he could make his claim. I don't know. This was the time of the homestead. And it was a time of when immigrants could do something with their lives. Many of them did. Many of them were hired hands.

It could not have been a time of great fun. GGfather got here when land was cheap, although looking at his homestead is quite suspect. But he got here before the homestead act. He had to buy the land he settled on. And his sons had to buy the land they settled on in Dakota Territory.

It's kind of amusing to see the number of Ole Olesons in Houston County, Minnesota, in 1860.

I'm rather certain that your folks did at or about the same. And Blue's, and Elennsars's, and Gary's, and M.E.'s and diddy's, and Clewell's and BBF's and Miss Susan's, and mobile's.

These were Giant's on the Earth. (Did I mention that Ole Rolvaag was a cousin?)

Whatever else happened, this country was peopled by some rather determined people. This is our heritage. The Civil War was but a bump in the night. As it turns out, we were all looking for the same thing: a chance to get a piece of the pie.

"Give me your tired, your poor Your wretched refuge yearning to breathe free." That resonates. (And here, I'm squinching my eyes really close and bailing.) Mine worked his butt off to make a family. His worked their butt off to make more families. And it was my task to work my butto off to make another. And so it goes.

Hat's off, Will Posey! We ain't all that different.

Ole

Ole
 
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larry_cockerham

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Hat's off, Will Posey! We ain't all that different.

Ole

Ole

I suspect that if everyone recognized that fact, this civil war could be over in a week, and we could all study history.
 

TerryB

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I recently found the blacksmith account book of a direct ancestor who had been a Confederate and a POW at Camp Chase. The book dates from the 1890s about the time he was applying for a pension. I checked up on all the names I could, and found that he was doing business not only with the men he had soldiered with, but Union men and African-Americans, too. Tennessee was very divided, but what surprises me is that, given the brutal nature of the guerrilla war, these men had gone back to business as usual by the 1890s.
 

5fish

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Here is a map ;;;;

1563080385977.png


Link:http://archive.knoxnews.com/news/local/east-tennessee-largely-opposed-secession-but-lost-the-battle-ep-404199226-357773481.html

Here:

Tennessee was not as enthusiastic about secession as its sister states were.

And East Tennessee was mostly openly hostile to it. Here, support for secession was found mostly in cities and towns. In rural areas, Union sentiment prevailed.

"East Tennessee's Civil War experience (is often told) in terms of the region's Unionists and their stand against secessionist sentiment," and the region itself portrayed as a land of farmers and mountaineers who saw the war only as promoting a "Confederacy dominated by aristocratic slaveholding cotton planters," author Todd Groce wrote in his book "Mountain Rebels: East Tennessee Confederates and the Civil War."
 
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5fish

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The Smokey mountains were union country...

https://www.visitmysmokies.com/blog/gatlinburg/civil-war-in-gatlinburg-tn-and-pigeon-forge-tn/

With war on the horizon in 1860, the Smoky Mountain area found itself at odds with much of the South. Historical records show that fewer than 20% of voters in Sevier County supported secession from the United States.

The pro-Union sentiment in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge can be attributed to a number of factors. While slavery was commonplace in wealthy areas of the antebellum South, the majority of Smoky Mountain residents did not own slaves. Additionally, many folks in the Smokies were suspicious of the powerful Southern elites who were leading the push for secession. If a conflict were to break out, East Tennesseans feared that it would be a “rich man’s war but a poor man’s fight”. Finally, some people in the Smoky Mountains simply wanted to be left alone.


Here:

Although he had the most famous name in the Smokies, Radford Gatlin was constantly feuding with his neighbors. When Gatlin started to express pro-Confederate sentiments, the town officially turned against him. In 1859, a group of Unionists gave Gatlin a beating before forcing him out of Sevier County.

Here:

One of the Smoky Mountains’ most iconic landmarks was an asset to Union forces in East Tennessee during the Civil War. The Old Mill in Pigeon Forge was owned by John Sevier Trotter, a local businessman and ardent supporter of the Union. To help the war effort, Trotter had looms installed in the mill to make uniforms for Union volunteers. The third floor of the mill was also used as a makeshift hospital for wounded soldiers.
 

5fish

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The Smokey's were union lands...

https://www.nps.gov/grsm/learn/historyculture/civil-war-1.htm

In 1860, as the threat of war mushroomed, voting records indicate that fewer than 20% of residents of the three Smoky Mountain counties in Tennessee (Blount, Cocke, and Sevier) supported secession. In the Smoky Mountain counties of North Carolina (Cherokee, Haywood, Jackson, and Macon counties) about 46% of the population favored secession.

This:

https://www.smliv.com/stories/the-un-civil-war/

There’s no better place to start than with the historical sites and museums that dot the Smokies and offer many perspectives. Involvement started in the fall of 1861, when Union sympathizers burned several key railroad bridges in East Tennessee to pave the way for a Federal invasion. A memorial to the bridge-burners stands in Mosheim, Tenn., near the graves of two participants.
 
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