The Bleak House (Confederate Memorial Hall), Knoxville, Tennessee

Buckeye Bill

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#1
The Bleak House (a.k.a. Confederate Memorial Hall) is lovingly maintained and cared for by the United Daughters of the Confederacy (Chapter 89). The Bleak House was built as a wedding present for Louise Franklin and Robert Houston Armstrong. It was designed as a Tuscany-style (Italian) Villa and named Bleak House after the famous Charles Dickens novel.

During the War Between the States (American Civil War) this beautiful home served as the headquarters for the beloved Confederate Lt. General James Longstreet and Major General Lafayette McLaws during the Siege of Knoxville from November 17th, 1863 thru December 4th, 1863.

This house still bears whispers from the past, visible through the bullet holes in the outside, as well as other fascinating remnants you'll find inside.

During the Seige of Knoxville, Confederate sharpshooters harassed the troops of Federal Brigadier General William Sanders from the tower of the house. Most historians concur that these sharpshooters inflicted the fatal wound that killed Sanders (Fort Sanders Namesake). A drawing, sketched by an unknown soldier of these three sharpshooters can still be seen today inside the tower walls.

Nowadays, the home serves a decidedly more peaceful and happy role as one of Knoxville's premier wedding venues and the home of Chapter 89 of the United Daughters of the Confederacy. This house is listed on the National Register of Historic places. @KLSDAD

* The Bleak House (Just West of the University of Tennessee Campus).

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* The Bleak House Tennessee State Historical Marker.

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* Confederate Lt. General James Longstreet (Old Pete).

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* The Civil War Trails Marker.

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* The Bleak House - Confederate Memorial Hall Marker.

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* The Bleak House Front Door with Confederate Soldier Grave.

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* Confederate Private Ephraim Shelby Dodd's Grave.

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* A Pontoon Bridge Anchor from the Siege of Knoxville (Bridge crossed over the Tennessee River).

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* The Bleak House Tower.

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* Sketch of Three Confederate Soldier Sharpe Shooters (Drawn on Tower Wall).

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BlueandGrayl

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#4
Cool.

East Tennessee may have had significant pro-Union sentiment but don't forget even it was quite divided. Places that were close to rivers such as Knoxville were a bit more pro-Confederate.
 

lelliott19

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* Confederate Private Ephraim Shelby Dodd's Grave.

View attachment 210141
A while back, I created a thread about 25 year old Ephraim Shelby Dodd Co D 8th Texas Cavalry here. https://civilwartalk.com/threads/hung-at-knoxville-ephraim-shelby-dodd-8th-texas-cavalry.139817
He was hanged to death, after a botched attempt, on January 8, 1864 - the same day 17 yo David Dodd was hung in Arkansas. Its pretty tough to read the description of the botched attempt but it is included later down in the thread. There is a link in the post to his diary which was the main evidence used to convict him. Also down in the thread, a letter he wrote home to his father:
Knoxville Jail, January 6, 1864
Mr. Travis Dodd, Richmond, Ky
My Dear Father:
Under far different circumstances from those by which I was surrounded when I last wrote you, I write this letter. I am under close guard, and under sentence of death, pronounced against me by a court-martial held in this city. I was captured in Sevier County while on my way to join my command with Longstreet.
After relating the story of his capture, he continues:
I was charged by the court-martial as a spy, but the charge and specifications could not be sustained; yet they have condemned me to be hung as a spy, the execution to take place the day after to-morrow. I feel prepared to meet my fate as a soldier, and firmly rely upon God's promises to save the penitent .... I am treated as kindly by the guard as could be expected. The Rev. Mr. Martin, of the Presbyterian Church, is visiting me and affording me much consolation. I feel, dear father and mother, that if I suffer the penalty to-morrow the exchange of worlds will be for the better ..... Do not grieve for me, dear parents, for I am leaving a world of sin and misery for one of perfect bliss. I can say no more.
Your loving son,
E. S. Dodd"
 

Buckeye Bill

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#7
A while back, I created a thread about 25 year old Ephraim Shelby Dodd Co D 8th Texas Cavalry here. https://civilwartalk.com/threads/hung-at-knoxville-ephraim-shelby-dodd-8th-texas-cavalry.139817
He was hanged to death, after a botched attempt, on January 8, 1864 - the same day 17 yo David Dodd was hung in Arkansas. Its pretty tough to read the description of the botched attempt but it is included later down in the thread. There is a link in the post to his diary which was the main evidence used to convict him. Also down in the thread, a letter he wrote home to his father:
Knoxville Jail, January 6, 1864
Mr. Travis Dodd, Richmond, Ky
My Dear Father:
Under far different circumstances from those by which I was surrounded when I last wrote you, I write this letter. I am under close guard, and under sentence of death, pronounced against me by a court-martial held in this city. I was captured in Sevier County while on my way to join my command with Longstreet.
After relating the story of his capture, he continues:
I was charged by the court-martial as a spy, but the charge and specifications could not be sustained; yet they have condemned me to be hung as a spy, the execution to take place the day after to-morrow. I feel prepared to meet my fate as a soldier, and firmly rely upon God's promises to save the penitent .... I am treated as kindly by the guard as could be expected. The Rev. Mr. Martin, of the Presbyterian Church, is visiting me and affording me much consolation. I feel, dear father and mother, that if I suffer the penalty to-morrow the exchange of worlds will be for the better ..... Do not grieve for me, dear parents, for I am leaving a world of sin and misery for one of perfect bliss. I can say no more.
Your loving son,
E. S. Dodd"
Thanks for sharing, Laura!

Bill
 



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