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Harve Roach
Michigan to Henderson County TN

" A Michigan Recruiter "

Immediately after Tennessee seceded, Lincoln attempted to hold as many people loyal to the Union as possible. One Sunday afternoon in September of 1861, a man named Harve Roach appeared at the home of Asa "Black Hawk" Hays, perhaps the county’s most colorful war leader. At the age of 15, Hays ran away from home to join the army and to fight in the Black Hawk Indian War. While in Illinois, he met a company of soldiers commanded by a Captain Abraham Lincoln, who quickly became attached to Hays. Twenty-six years later, President Lincoln sent Roach as an emissary to seek Hays’ assistance in bolstering Union support and to disrupt Confederate efforts in the county. Hays agreed to help his former commander and rode with Roach throughout most of Henderson and Decatur counties.

On one occasion Roach was captured by Confederate sympathizers who planned to take him to Columbia for court-martial as a Union spy. While riding enroute to Columbia, Roach managed to maneuver an escape that resulted in his being shot in the back. Eventually, he made his way to the home of an Austin family near Scotts Hill who were Union sympathizers, where he was nursed back to health. After almost a month, Roach traveled by night to the home of Hays who succeeded in leading Roach to the Kentucky border. Roach eventually made his way to Paducab, where he successfully crossed the Ohio River into Illinois and to safety.

Source: From "Henderson County TN - Lost Tranquility: 1861-1865" http://jack0204.tripod.com/gen/flinn/henderson_county_tennessee.htm

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A union recruiter from Michigan, Harve Roach, became well known in Henderson and Carroll counties, then largely anti-South and heavily Republican in politics. Harve ventured too far out of his circuit. Hear the old Hoad Lowery place just east of Scotts Hill, Harve was captured by some of the Kennedys. They started with him to Pulaski, a gathering point for prisoners to sent to Andersonville. But night came and Harve elected to run for his freedom when the group split up to get around a very bad stretch of road. It seemed to be a better chance for him than possibly facing a firing squad.

By the time the Prisoner had gone some distance a shot or two was fired at him but missed. However, the light of the rifle blaze showed up Harve so that another of his captors fired at him. The ball passed entirely through his body but missed vital organs. He stayed on his horse with difficulty but escaped the Rebels and rode back to old Warren's Bluff where Dr. Warren treated him to complete recovery and for which he was paid $1000 in U.S. currency. Yankee friends then led Harve to safety and he returned to his home in Michigan.

"Civil War Times Around Scotts Hill" Gordon Turner


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