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History of Fentress County, Tennessee:
the old home of Mark Twain's ancestors

by, Albert Ross Hogue
Published by Williams Printing Co., Nashville, Tenn., 1916
Transcribed by, Jan Stypula


Fentress County is a great county in many respects. Few countries furnish grander scenery. Many countries of wide fame have less attraction and less merit than our own county. One will travel far to find more balmy, invigoraring breezes than bless this land. This, with the pure, cold, health-giving waters, make this county an ideal place for a home, or for a health resort.

The inhabitants of the county are nearly all pure Caucasian blood, and are descendants of noble ancestry. Some of them are descendants of some of the greatest characters of the nation's history. Fentress County has been represented in every great movement in the State or Nation by some of its citizenry, or by their ancestors.

The purpose of this history is to place before the people of the county and their children a history of the part their county has played in State and national affairs, and to inspire a higher order of citizenship, by acquainting all with what their people have already done, and the readiness they have always displayed in performing their part in affairs which have become historic.

The author regrets that some sketches in this history are very brief, and regrets more that some families are not represented at all on account of the failure of those concerned to furnish the necessary information to make up sketch. The thanks of the author is extended to all who may have in any way contributed to this arduous but pleasant undertaking.

Logging - Mouth of Indian Creek

Cedar Rafts on East Fork, Genoby


Fentress County is located in the northern part of Tennessee, east of the center of the State, and lies principally on the Cumberland Plateau. It originally bordered on Kentucky, but Pickett County was formed partly from its northern territory in 1881.

Fentress County has an area of 486 square miles, or 311,000 acres. It was created by an act of the legislature in session at Murfreesboro in 1823, from territory carved out of Overton County. It was named for James Fentress, a prominent Tennessee legislator for many years, and later an officer in the Confederate army.

Its county seat, Jamestown, is situated near the center of the county on the Cumberland Plateau. The site was no doubt selected on account of the fact that it was near the geographical center of the county, and the fact that several fine springs of water bubble up from the sand here. The place was once called Sand Springs, later it became the Obedstown of the "Gilded Age", by Mark Twain. This place is on an Indian trace and was an Indian resting place on their trips from the east to the Cumberland River region. It also possibly furnished them a camping ground while hunting on the plateau. This region has always been a good range for deer, bear, turkeys, and other wild animals. There are still a few of these animals to be found on the plateau.

When the first courthouse was built, in 1828, there were only five families living in the town. Their names are given elsewhere in this book. The town was incorporated in 1837. The act of incorporation was not repealed until a few years ago. Its growth has been slow until within the past few years. The population of the town, according to the census of 1910, was 350. All are white. This is practically true of the entire county, there being only ninety-eight colored people in the county, and 7,348 white.


The area of Fentress County, according to the census of 1910, is 311,040 acres. The surface presents a great variety of features. The greater part lies on the Cumberland Plateau. This part is practically level. There is also considerable level land in the East Fork and the Wolf River valleys. These are the three principal natural divisions of the county.

The western part of the county is broken by many small streams. The East Fork, the most important stream, flows from south to north through this part. High cliffs and peaks and deep hollows are common. Wolf River flows across the northern part.


The soil of the county is usually fertile, and produces good crops without the use of fertilizers. This is especially true of the valleys.

The soil of the plateau is sandy, and isolate easily cultivated, and yields large returns when properly cultivated.

Among others, W. J. Gaudin has successfully and fully demonstrated the great possibilities of the plateau as a farming area. In 1913 he sold 7,200 pounds of watermelons at one cent a pound from a little over a half acre, after using a part of the crop for the family and neighbors and feeding a great many to his stock. He probably raised 10,000 pounds on the lot. The same year he gathered fifty bushels of first - class onions from one-eighth of an acre.

He raised forty bushels of corn to the acre on a tract of land that had been in corn the two years previous.

In 1912 he dug and cellared 202 bushels of fine Irish potatoes from three-fourths of an acre. He used very little commercial fertilizers. His land is typical Cumberland Mountain land.

All the cereals and legumes have been produced successfully on the plateau.

The Germans at Allardt have demonstrated this land to be suited to horticulture as well as general farming.

One of the great natural advantages of the plateau is the fine wild grass which grows so abundantly during the spring and summer. Twenty-five thousand head of cattle could be fattened on this range every summer.

Good water for man and beast abounds everywhere.

Lumbering is an important industry of the plateau, as well as in other parts of the county. Fifteen carloads were recently shipped from here to Canada. Nashville, however, is the leading market for logs and lumber from this section.

The forests contain nearly all the varieties of hardwood. Poplar, cedar, cherry and walnut are found principally in the valleys.


The Wolf River region is one of the finest farming regions in the State. It also contains some of the finest forests of timber in the South.

This valley was once popularly called the heart of Fentress County. It was then the source of supply for agricultural products for many parts of the county. At that time the mountain people were engaged in shipping tar, turpentine and rosin, and paid little attention to farming.


Among the pioneers in this valley were Coonrod Pile, Pearson Miller, Arthur Frogge, John Riley and Moses Poor.

Pearson Miller, one of these pioneers, baked his bread on a hoe and drank his milk from a terrapin shell in regular pioneer fashion.

The first county court ever held in this county met in the Horseshoe Bend of Wolf River.


Obey's River is said to have been named by the "Long Hunters" in honor of one of their number-Obadiah Terrill. (One of these hunters-Bob Crockett-was killed by the Indians in Overton, an adjoining county.)

The East Fork is a very rapid stream and would furnish an immense amount of water power if harnessed. Thousands of logs are carried down the river every winter to the Cumberland and to Nashville, where they are marketed.

For many years this has been the chief source to supply money to the people. Stock raising and other farm products are taking the place of the timber industry and proving more profitable to the people generally.


Rock Castle Creek rises near Jamestown and drops over a high cliff about one and a half miles southwest of Jamestown with a roar that can be heard for a long distance.

Rock Castle is almost surrounded by precipitous walls of rock. In this natural enclosure cattle, sheep and hogs thrive and fatten on grasses, acorns and various nuts that abound.

The Castle also contains fine coal and timber.

The falls and Cudjo's Cave are two of the many natural curiosities in this valley.
In concluding this geographical description, in which only the principal natural divisions of the county have been mentioned, it may be said that the county is rich in coal, and has some iron, oil and gas. Several paying oil wells have been struck by drillers. Other minerals have also been found. The author regrets that he must at this time omit further details of the resources of this great county. Later he hopes to publish in another volume a complete geology and geography of the county.

Jamestown, Tenn., March 17,1893

A horseback ride through the mountain county affords the best means for examining the undeveloped resources of this part of the State, and at the same time giving an insight into the real home life of the people not to be obtained in any other way. Such a ride will give a glimpse of many strange nooks and corners never discovered by the regular tourist. One may pass through a number of quaint old towns, which have seemingly remained unchanged since the days of Jackson, when the stage coaches, with their loads of dusty passengers, rumbled up to the doors of the same old tavern which is still the resting place of the tired traveler. Such a town is Jamestown, the county seat of Fentress County, familiarly called Jimtown. It is one of the oldest towns in the State, and until the last twelve months, was also generally regarded by the outside world as the deadest.

It is said for the past sixty years the sound of the hammer or saw has not been heard there, and not a single nail has been driven into any new building. Only about a year ago a visitor would have seen nothing but historic old buildings. One of them, the former home of the parents of Mark Twain, whose book, the "Gilded Age", describes the town and the surrounding country as it then appeared.
The old brick courthouse, with its large yard and tall pine trees, the ancient jail, which from its very age should command the respect of evil doers; the curious old store and hotel of Uncle Wade Ervin, renowned throughout all the mountain country, and most of the other old buildings are still there.

But a great change has already taken place in the town, and other changes are rapidly following, so that perhaps in another twelve months the old landmarks will have almost disappeared. Some of the old buildings have been improved and remodeled. Modern houses are going up, the business houses are being enlarged and improved, and the old town will soon lose many of the relics of antiquity to which it has clung so long.

The most important building now going up is the Masonic Hall, which will be one of the finest buildings in this section. It is to be nearly forty feet by seventy, two stories, each fourteen feet in height. The lower floor will be used as a church, the upper floor being reserved for a lodge room. The walls will be panelled in ten-foot squares, each panel to be of different variety of native wood finished in the natural color.

The building is located on a beautiful knoll just at the edge of the old town and a fine view will be obtained of the town. The work on the building is well under way, and the committee in charge intend to have it completed by the last of June, when it is to be dedicated by the Masonic lodges of Fentress and neighboring counties with appropriate ceremonies.

The building is to cost about three thousand dollars when completed. The people of Jamestown deserve credit for their enterprise in erecting such a building.

The business men of the town seem a live, progressive lot of very clever men, and one is led to wonder why the town has been allowed to lie asleep so many years. This has been due to its situation remote from railroads or any but the most primitive means of transportation, which has discouraged everyone from any attempt at improvement.

The old Ervin House is always pointed out to the visitor as one of the curiosities of the town. It is in some one of the many buildings which comprise this ancient hostelry that Mark Twain passed some years of his boyhood, but which particular houses or room was the one occupied by the celebrated author seems to be one of the things past finding out.

The hotel consists of fifteen or twenty small houses-some log and some frame-all of them very old, which have been built at different times, and are joined together by a number of covered passageways and dark corridors in which one almost needs a guide.

Mr. Ervin (Uncle Wade, as he is known far and wide), keeps a general store in one end of this building, which in itself would be worth a long ride to see.

Many stories are told of the proprietor's eccentricities, but for all that, he is a genial old gentleman, who sticks to his old fashioned ways, and has many interesting stories to tell of the good old times.

There are several other stores, and a steam saw mill lately located here seems to be doing a thriving business. A weekly newspaper, started nearly a year ago, has already become one of the fixtures, and will no doubt strive to create a boom for the town. Among the improvements talked of for the coming summer are a new stone jail, some repairs for the moss-grown courthouse, and many private dwellings.

The survey of the N. & K. railroad is watched with the greatest interest by the citizens who hope to see it built to within fifteen miles of the town. At present the nearest railroad point is Sedgmoor on the Cincinnati Southern.

Already one hears considerable talk of the present and prospective values of real estate, and some of the most sanguine holders of town lots are prepared to advise speedy purchases, assuring the prospective customers, like Col. Mulberry Sellers, that "There is millions in it."

The above article, which appeared in the Chattanooga Times March 29, 1893, was furnished the author by Mrs. Maggie Burns, a niece of Wade Ervin. It serves to show how visitors have been impressed with the town, and furnishes some history. The writer was mistaken in regard to Mark Twain having spent part of his boyhood here. His parents left here a few months before Mark was born.

The church building was completed on time. The Masons and the Odd Fellows use the upper floor, the lower floor is used by the church. The Baptist's are building a nice church in the corner of the lot just north of the present church.

Within the past few years many nice residences have been built. Among them are the following: Judge W. R. Case, Supt. W. E. Mullinix, Mrs. Ada Sussner, M. F. Hurst, Capt. E. M. Shelley, Register B. L. Brier, W. J. Gaudin and Travis Smith. The county has also erected a nice building on the Poor Farm north of town. B. A. Greer, Mark Greer, B. F. Voils and Sylvanus Crowley have also erected nice buildings, and there are perhaps others.

A high school building, costing over three thousand dollars, has been built and equipped with modern equipment.

A courthouse and jail of native stone have been built within the past few years. Both are modern up-to-date buildings in appearance as well as service and durability.

A first-class hotel has been provided for the traveling public by the proprietor, W. M. Johnson. It is called the Mark Twain House, this being the second to go by that name.


Rev. J. L. Garrett has in his possession the original draft of plans and specifications for the first courthouse and jail ever built in Fentress County. It was written by John M. Clemons, one of the commissioners. He was the father of Mark Twain. The following is a copy of plan presented to the county court:

The Commissioners of the Town of Jamestown prepare the following as descriptions of the public buildings to be let to the lowest bidder on Tuesday the 20th day of March 1827 to wit, for a jail, a house of loggs hewed a foot square, twelve feet in the clear, two stories high, and this surrounded by another wall precisely of the same description, with a space between the two walls of about eight or ten inches, and that space filled completely with scinned hickory poles, the ground floor to be formed of sills hewed about a foot square and laid closely, the second floor to be formed of two sets of logs of the same description and laid transversely, and the third or upper floor to be the same as the first, the logs composing each of the floors to extend through the inner wall of the building, and those composing the upper floor to extend across both walls and set on the outside ones as girders, a good substantial shingle roof, two small windows strongly grated to the lower room, to the upper room one outer door, with three shutters fixed with locks bars &c. in the most substantial manner, with two windows each at least two feet square to the upper room, also strongly grated, and a trap door to go down from the upper into the lower room, with a strong shutter and a lock, all the locks to be of the strongest and best description in common use for jails, and to be completed by the first day of May 1828, the inner wall of the jail may be of pine, but the other must be of chestnut or more durable wood. Mill stairs to the doors on the outside.

Winter Scene in Rock Castle

Courthouse and School

For the courthouse they will offer both of the following descriptions to be bid for, reserving to themselves the right of choosing which they will take after the bids are made, to wit, for the one they propose a one story brick house 40 feet long and 27 feet wide in the clear with a brick partition across so as to make a court room thirty feet square, and another brick partition running from the middle of the other to the end of the house so as to form two jury rooms thirteen and one half by ten feet each, one chimney with a fireplace in each of the jury rooms in the corner. Doors, one door to each jury room opening into the court room, two outer doors one on each side about the center of the building-the court bench to be situated at the opposite ends from the jury rooms, and to be put up as well as the bar, Sheriff and clerk's boxes, jury benches &c. all in good stile, and finished in a workmanlike manner, two windows in the end over the court bench, one on each side, over the sheriff boxes, and one to each jury room, all of the usual size filled with glass 10 by 12, and shutters. A good shingle roof to be painted and all the wood work to be painted of suitable colours and the inside plaistered, a brick floor to all the rooms, the house from the floor to the ceiling to be fourteen feet high.

The other a hewed log building of the same dimensions and with partition walls, fireplaces, doors and windows as described for the brick building-a shingle roof-the floor to be formed of large timber say eight inches thick, the walls pinted with lime, all the joiner work to be in about the same order as described in the other building, except that it is not to be painted, whichever building the commissioners may prefer is to be completed by the first day of May 1828.

P. S. A foundation to the brick house to be laid of rock on a solid foundation under the surface and raised so high as to be of the height of eighteen inches above the surface of the ground at the highest part-the walls to be 18 inches thick, the partition structure of the bar, clerks and sheriffs boxes &c to be under the particular direction of the Commissioners hereafter, or if no directions to be on the plan of those at Gainesborough.


Squire Hawkins sat upon the pyramid of large blocks called the stile, in front of his house, contemplating the morning. The locality was Obedstown, East Tennessee. You would not know that Obedstown stood on the top of a mountain for there was nothing about the landscape to indicate it-but it did. A mountain that stretched abroad over whole counties and rose very gradually. The district was called the Knobs of East Tennessee and had a reputation like Nazareth, as far as turning out any good thing was concerned.
The Squire's house was a double log cabin in a state of decay; two or three gaunt hounds lay asleep about the threshold, and lifted their heads sadly whenever Mrs. Hawkins, or the children, stepped in or out over their bodies.

Rubbish was scattered about the grassless yard, a bench stood near the door with a tin wash basin on it, and a pail of water and a gourd; a cat had begun to drink from the pail, but the exertion was overtaxing her energies, and she had stopped to rest. There was an ash hopper by the fence and an iron pot for soft soap boiling near it.
This dwelling constituted one-fifteenth of Obedstown. The other fourteen houses were scattered among the tall pine trees, and among the cornfields in such a way that a man might stand in the midst of the city and not know but that he was in the country, if he only depended on his eyes for information.

Squire Hawkins got his title from being postmaster of Obedstown-not that the title belongs to the office, but because in those regions the chief citizens always must have titles of some sort, and so the usual courtesy had been extended to Hawkins.

The mail was monthly and sometimes amounted to as much as three or four letters at a single delivery. Even a rush like this did not fill up a postmaster's whole month, though, and therefore he kept store in the intervals. * * * * (The next few pages of "Gilded Age" describes a scene at the postoffice, where all the citizens of the town are represented as waiting for the mail. Hawkins receives a letter from a friend asking him to come at once to Missouri, which is described as "the grandest country, the loveliest land," etc. Later he tells his wife of his intention to buy a wagon and team, put her and the children in it and move to Missouri, but tells his wife he has a fortune awaiting his children in land that he had taken up in the country.)

"Do you see these papers? Well, they are evidence that I have taken up seventy-five thousand acres of land in this county-think what an enormous fortune it will be some day! Why, Nancy, enormous don't express it-the word's too tame! I tell you Nancy-" "For goodness sake, Si-" "Wait, Nancy, wait-let me finish-I've been secretly boiling and fuming with this grand inspiration for weeks, and I must talk or I'll burst! I have not whispered to a soul-not a word-have had my countenance under lock and key, for fear it might drop something that would tell even these animals here how to discern the gold mine that's even glaring under their noses.

"Now, all that's necessary to hold all this land and keep it in the family is to pay the trifling taxes on it yearly-five or ten dollars. The whole tract would not sell for even over a third of a cent an acre now, but some day people will be glad to get it for twenty dollars, fifty dollars, a hundred dollars an acre. (Here he dropped his voice to a whisper and looked anxiously around to see that there were no eavesdroppers-a thousand dollars an acre!)

"Well, you may open your eyes and stare, but it's so. You and I may not see the day, but they'll see it. Nancy, you have heard of steamboats, and maybe you believed in them-of course you did. You have heard these cattle here scoff at them and call them lies and humbugs; they are a reality, and they're going to be a more wonderful thing some day than they are now. They are going to make a revolution in this world's affairs that will make a man dizzy to contemplate. I've been watching-I've been watching while some people slept and I know what's coming. Even you and I will see the day that steamboats will come up that little Turkey River to within twenty miles of this land of ours, and in high water they will come right to it! And this is not all, Nancy; it isn't even half! There's a bigger wonder-the railroad? These worms here have never even heard of it-and when they do they'll not believe in it. But it's another fact. Coaches that fly over the ground twenty miles an hour. It makes a man's brain whirl. Some day, when we are in our graves, there will be a railroad stretching hundreds of miles all the way down from the cities of the northern states to New Orleans-and it's got to run within thirty miles of this land-maybe even through a corner of it. Well, do you know they've quit burning wood in some of the eastern states, and what do you suppose they burn? Coal! (He bent over and whispered again.) There's whole worlds of it on this land. You know that black stuff that crops out on the bank of the branch? Well, that's it. You have taken it for rocks. So has everybody here. * * * One man was going to build a chimney out of it, Nancy. I expect I turned as white as a sheet. Why it might have caught fire and told everything. I showed him it was too crumbly. Then he was going to build it of copper ore-splendid yellow forty per cent ore. There's fortunes upon fortunes upon our land. It scared me to death. The idea of this fool starting a smelting furnace in his house without knowing it and getting dull eyes opened. And then he was going to build it of iron ore! There's mountains of iron here, Nancy, whole mountains of it. I wouldn't take any chance, I just stuck by him-I haunted him -I never let him alone until he built it of mud and sticks, like all the rest of the chimneys in this dismal country.

"Pine forests, wheat land, corn land, iron, copper, coal- wait till the railroads come, and the steamboats!

"We'll never see the day, Nancy, never in the world-never, never, never, child. We's got to drag along, drag along and eat crusts in toil and poverty, all hopeless and forlorn, but they'll ride in coaches, Nancy; they'll live the princes of the earth; they'll be courted and worshipped; their names will be known from ocean to ocean.

Bledsoe House Jamestown

Fentress High School

Yellow Creek Falls

"Ah! well-a-day, will they ever come back here on the steamboat and say: 'This, our little spot, shall not be touched, this hovel shall be saved, for here our father and our mother suffered for us, thought for us, laid the foundation of our future as solid as the hills.' * * * *

"I have a letter from Beriah Sellers-just came this day- I'll read you a line from it. * * * *

"'Come right along to Missouri. Don't wait and worry about a good price, but sell out for whatever you can get, and come along or you might be too late. Throw away your traps if necessary and come empty handed. You'll never regret it. It's the grandest country-the loveliest land-the purest atmosphere-I can't describe it; no pen can do it justice, and its filling up every day-people coming from everywhere. I've got the biggest scheme on earth, and I'll take you in, and I'll take in every friend I've got that's ever stood by me, for there's enough for all, and to spare. Mum's the word-don't whisper -keep yourself to yourself! You'll see. Come, rush-hurry -don't wait for anything.'" * * * *

And with an activity and a suddenness that bewildered Obedstown, and almost took away its breath, the Hawkins' hurried through with their arrangements in four short months and flitted out into the great mysterious blank that lay beyond the knobs of Tennessee.

(The above chapter is copied from the "Gilded Age", by permission of Harper Bros. & Co., New York City, the publishers of the complete work of Mark Twain in twenty-five volumes.

The Si Hawkins referred to in this chapter is said to have been John M. Clemons, the father of Mark Twain. Clemons entered and obtained grants for nearly all the lands in Fentress County in the 30's. He was the first Circuit Court Clerk in Fentress County. Also a practicing attorney at Jamestown. The Turkey River was Obeds River, and Obedstown, Jamestown.



The history which follows is intended to give the important movements in the Civil War in which Bledsoe's Company participated. Much of the time they fought under General Joe Wheeler, and a history of Wheeler's raids is also a history of the part Fentress County played in the Confederate service. It also necessarily shows the battles in which the regiment composed of soldiers from Fentress, Marshall, Sullivan, Smith, Wilson, DeKalb, Cannon, Rutherford, Hamilton, Sumner, Davidson and Knox counties were engaged.

Much of the information was gathered from Maj. George B. Guild's history of the Fourth Tennessee Cavalry Regiment. Some has been picked up from old citizens and soldiers in Fentress and adjoining counties, and from records in the State Capitol.

Commissioned Officers Fourth Tennessee Cavalry, 1862- Colonel, Baxter Smith; Lieut. Colonel, Paul F. Anderson; Major, W. Scott Bledsoe; Adjutant, J. A. Minnis; Sergeant Major, W. A. Rushing; Quartermaster, Marcellus Grissim, with assistants R. O. McLean, Bob Corder and John Price; Captain Bone Commissary, with Lieut. J. A. Arnold and Captain McLean, assistants; Surgeon, Dr. W. T. Delaney; Assistant Surgeon, Dr. Tom Allen; Chaplain, Rev. W. W. Hendricks; Ord. Officer, Finney; Buglers, J. A. Stewart, James B. Nance; Wagon Masters, Bob Gann, Bennett Chapman.

After the battle of Fayetteville, N. C., 1864, Major Scott Bledsoe, of Jamestown, Fentress County, was placed in command of the regiment and Eb Crozier became adjutant of the regiment.

Officers Company "I", Nolensville, Tenn., 1862 - Captain, Bob Bledsoe; Lieutenants, William Hildreth, John W. Story, Foster Bowman and Elliott.

Recruited at Jamestown, in Fentress County, in 1861.

This company became Company "I" of the Fourth Tennessee Cavalry at Nolensville, Tenn., October, 1862. Was, after this time, under Joe Wheeler. Up to this time the Bledsoe Company was with General Bragg in his Kentucky campaigns. Scott Bledsoe, during this campaign, was captain of the company. Col. Baxter Smith commanded the regiment to which they belonged.

Company "I" killed in battle-Fentress Atkins, at McMinnville, Tenn., 1862; Cullom Jewett, at McMinnville, 1862; Jas. Padgett, Fort Donaldson, 1863; Elias Owens, New Hope Church, Ga., 1864; Capt. Robert Bledsoe, Sparta, Tenn.- Wheeler's raid-1863; A. Bledsoe, Sparta, Tenn.-Wheeler's raid-1863; Lieut. Foster Bowman, Sparta, Tenn.-Wheeler's raid -1863; Acting Adjutant Eb Crozier, killed on return home in 1865 in East Tennessee; William Beason, Pleasant Poor, John Smith, Mike Hill, Lafayette Hill, Robert Brown, were killed during Wheeler's raid in 1863. Steve Richardson was killed while on a visit home in early part of the war. Fayette Allen was killed at the Dr. Hale place on Wolf River in 1862. W. Allen, W. F. Cummings, J. J. Linder and John Poor are reported as killed in action, on Confederate records in the office of State Pension Board.

Wounded in Company "I" (partial list)-Lieut. J. W. Story, at McMinnville and at New Hope Church, Ga.; B. Porter Harrison, at Fayetteville, N. C., 1865; James Singleton, at New Hope Church, Ga., 1864, had arm amputated; William Beason, wounded in hand and side during a visit home in Pickett County.

Survivors of Company "I", 1912-Lieut. John W. Story, Forest City, Ark.; B. P. Harrison, Jamestown, Tenn.; Joel Brown, Glasgow, Ky.; Zack T. Crouch, Bellbuckle, Tenn.; Dr. Henry Signet, Oliver Springs, Tenn.; John Hall, Tennessee; Isaac Ford, Rome, Tenn.; Judge Orville I. Moate, Washington, D. C.; Lieut. W. H. Hildreth, Alvarado, Texas; John N. Simpson, Dallas, Texas; Wm. Wallace, , Texas; Jeff Boles, Phoenix, Ariz.; Henry Gatewood, Ennis, Texas.

(This list is taken from Guild's history. It is reported that Wm. H. Hildreth has since died.)
Commissioned officers of companies in Fourth Tenn. Cavalry:
Company A-Captain, D. W. Alexander; First Lieut., Rice McLean; Second Lieut., J. N. Orr; Third Lieut., Chas. Beard. Recruited in Marshall County.

Company B-Captain, C. H. Ingles; First Lieut., Joe Massengale; Second Lieut., Joe Massengale; Third Lieut, G. W. Carmack. Recruited in Sullivan County.

Company C-Captains, Frank Cunningham, George C. Moore; First Lieut., James Hogan; Second Lieut., R. S. Scruggs; Third Lieut., Sam Scoggins. Recruited in Smith County, Tenn.

Company D-Captain, J. M. Phillips; First Lieut., Bob Bone; Second Lieut., J. T. Barbee; Third Lieut., J. A. Arnold. Recruited in DeKalb and Wilson counties.

Company E-Captain, H. A. Wyly; First Lieut., H. L. Preston; Second Lieut., W. S. Sullivan; Third Lieut., John Fathera. Recruited in Cannon County.

Company F-Capt. J. R. Lester; First Lieut., C. S. Burgess; Second Lieut., W. H. Phillips; Third Lieut., James Williamson. Recruited in Wilson County.

Company G-Captain, J. W. Nichol; First Lieut., Dave Youree; Second Lieut., McKnight; Third Lieut., J. A. Sagely. Recruited in Cannon and Rutherford counties.

Company H-Captain, Sam Glover; Lieuts., Green Light, William Gaut and William Fields. Recruited in Hamilton County and Bridgeport, Ala.

Company I-Fentress County; given elsewhere.

Company K-Captain, James Britton; Lieuts., W. Corbett and Dewitt Anderson. Recruited in Wilson, Sumner and Davidson counties.

Company L-Captain, J. J. Parton; Lieuts., Henry, Russell and Tillery. Recruited in Knox County.


This company of Confederate cavalry was made up in Fentress County at the beginning of the war. In August, 1861, the Twenty-eighth Tennessee Confederate Regiment was formed at Camp ZollicofFer, in Overton County. This regiment was at first commanded by Col. John P. Murray, who was soon afterward elected to the Confederate Congress, and S. S. Stanton succeeded him as commander of the regiment. Other officers of the regiment were Lieut. Col. John Eatherly, Major James H. Talburt, Dr. Clay, Surgeon; Dr. Eli Hawthorne, Assistant Surgeon; Joshua Hale, Asst. Q. M. and J. B. Anderson, Asst. Com.

The regiment was made up of companies from White, Wilson, Putnam, Jackson and Smith. This regiment, with the Twenty-fifth Tennessee, Capt. Nat Sanders' company of cavalry, and Capt. W. Scott Bledsoe's cavalry, was ordered to report to Albert Sidney Johnson, at Bowling Green, Ky. In obedience to this order they marched from Camp Zollicoffer to Bowling Green. Finally they were attached to General Bragg's army and served under him in his Kentucky campaign, Col. Baxter Smith commanding the regiment to which they belonged. They took part in the battle of Munfordville, Ky., Murfreesboro, Tenn. (June, 1862), and at Mill Springs, Ky., Bardstown, and at Perryville, October 8, 1862.


In October, 1862, Bledsoe's company became a part of the Fourth Tennessee Cavalry Regiment, under Col. Baxter Smith, and was called Company "I", being reorganized at Nolensville, Tenn. This regiment was made up at first of ten companies, designated as companies A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I and K. These were all recruited in Middle Tennessee, except Company B, which was recruited in Sullivan County, and Company H, recruited in Hamilton County and northern Alabama, at Bridgeport. Company L, from Knox County, was attached to the regiment just before the battle of Chickamauga. This regiment, with the Eighth Texas, Eleventh Texas, First Kentucky and Malone's Battalion (Alabama), formed a brigade. Col. Tom Harrison, as Senior Colonel, commanding the brigade, Maj. Gen. John A. Wharton commanding the division. (Gen. Joe Wheeler's Corps, Army of Tennessee.)
Their first service under this organization was at Franklin, Tenn., on outpost duty, Gen. Rosecrans at that time holding Nashville for the Union.
From October, 1862, to January, 1863, this company, with the regiment, remained a few miles from Nashville, watching Rosecrans and preventing, as much as possible, Rosecrans' army from leaving Nashville and from foraging upon the country.
Several engagements were had with portions of Rosecrans' command. Men were constantly being lost upon each side.
Finally, Rosecrans attacked the Confederate forces at Murfreesboro. Several thousand were lost to each side in this battle in killed, wounded and captured, but it is generally conceded that the Confederates had the victory won if Bragg had kept up the fight, but a few days of inactivity on his part gave the Union army a chance to collect their forces and fortify themselves on a knoll on Stones River. Here the Confederates attacked and were repulsed and Bragg retreated to Shelbyville. According to the records I have before me Fentress Adkins and Cullom Jewett were the only soldiers in Company "I" to be killed in 1862. They are both reported to have been killed at McMinnville, Tenn.
J. F., or Fentress, Adkins had served as a soldier in the Mexican War and was a brave soldier, as his comrades knew him. His widow, Nancy (Choate) Adkins, died a few years ago. His son, Dud Adkins, who has served as constable and as Justice of the Peace of his district, lives near Glenobey, in Fentress County, Tenn. Two other sons, Thomas and Francis Adkins, are still living, Francis in the west and Thomas in Cumberland County, Tenn.
After Bragg retreated to Shelbyville the Fourth Tennessee, under Wheeler, was sent to Ft. Donelson to try to retake it. Wheeler made an unsuccessful attempt to do so and lost a number of men. Among them was James Padgett, of Bledsoe's company. This was in January, 1863.
The Fourth Tennessee then returned to Shelbyville. The regiment was then detached and sent to Woodbury to relieve a portion of General Morgan's command under Captain Hutchinson, who was killed here. (One Capt. Hutchinson was killed in a skirmish with Tinker Beaty's company, near the Katy Boles place in what is now Pickett County, or at least it is so understood by everybody in this section. Guild's history gives it as stated above.)
The Federals at this time camped at Murfreesboro, and the Fourth Tennessee had several engagements with parts of that command. After some weeks they were sent to Trousdale's Ferry on Caney Fork, and from there to Edgefield Junction, where a train load of horses was captured and the train destroyed.
Some Federal officers and men were captured by them at Smyrna and paroled. Soon afterward the regiment returned to Tullahoma. They then crossed the Cumberland Mountains to near Chattanooga, and on to Rome, Ga., where they remained for about two months, feeding and resting their horses as well as themselves. After doing duty for a short time in and around Chattanooga, they participated in the battle of Chickamauga, September 19 and 20, 1863. Rosecrans commanded the Federal army and Bragg the Confederates. The Fourth Tennessee took a prominent part in this battle, losing about forty men in the engagement.


Immediately after the battle of Chickamauga, Bragg ordered Wheeler into Tennessee to cut off all supplies from Rosecrans, who was then in possession of Chattanooga. They forded the Tennessee River at Cottonport, about thirty miles above Chattanooga, the Fourth Tennessee leading the way. This regiment was fired upon just as they reached the north bank of the river by a small body of men. The fire was returned and the attacking party disappeared. The command continued on to the Sequatchie Valley. Here they found seven hundred and fifty wagons loaded with supplies for Rosecrans. These were guarded by about twelve hundred men, who were captured after a short resistance. They also captured about twenty-six hundred mules. The wagons were loaded principally with provision which had loaded at McMinnville, then in charge of the Federal army. Rosecrans fearing to try to bring them further on the train had his supplies unloaded there and sent through by heavily guarded wagons. Everything was destroyed that could not be taken along by a cavalry force. The wreckage included wagons, mules, harness and provisions, and it is said covered acres of ground.
They went from here with their prisoners to McMinnville, which Dibrell had already retaken, capturing 400 Federals. Dibrell had also captured an immense amount of clothing and stores intended for shipment to Rosecrans at Chattanooga.
The sixteen hundred soldiers captured by Wheeler and Dibrell were paroled and started toward Kentucky. Wheeler's mission to cut off supplies from Rosecrans did not afford an opportunity to hold prisoners, so the best he could do was to parole them and let them go.
From McMinnville they went to Murfreesboro, tearing up several miles of railroad. One hundred Federals were captured and paroled at Christiana. They then went to Pulaski by way of Shelbyville. On their way they encountered a Federal force at Farmington. Here the Fourth Tennessee, under Maj. Paul Anderson, and the First Kentucky, under Col. Cheneyworth, were cut off from the regular command. They forced their way through with the loss of only a few men. John P. Hickman, Secretary of the present State Pension Board, was captured here and held a prisoner till the close of the war.
At Richland Creek, near Pulaski, the Fourth Tennessee was detailed to hold the bridge across that creek until sundown, so as to prevent the Federals from pursuing. Here they watched and waited for sundown, expecting to be fired upon every minute. However, the Federals did not pursue them. Shortly after the sun disappeared for the day they followed their command, overtaking them the next day. They crossed the Tennessee near Bainbridge, Alabama. Only about four weeks before they had crossed the river at Cottonport and started on this celebrated raid. During this raid Wheeler killed, wounded and captured three thousand men, burned and brought out one thousand wagons, captured thirty-five hundred horses and mules, half of which they lost in the fight at Farmington. They also destroyed many miles of railroad then in possession of the Federals and much clothing and provisions that would have reached Rosecrans.
This raid began about the last of September and ended in October, 1863. From the information gathered it appears that nine of Bledsoe's company lost their lives during the raid. Captain R. H. Bledsoe, Lieut. Foster Bowman and A. Bledsoe were killed at Sparta; Pleasant Poor on Mill Creek in Overton County; William Beason, John Smith, Mike Hill, Fayette Hill, Robert Brown, W. Allen, J. J. Linder, John Poor and W. F. Cummings are reported on Confederate records and from other sources as having been killed in action, but the author has not been able to locate where each was killed.



When Sherman began his march from Chattanooga to Atlanta he met his first resistance from the Fourth Tennessee, who were holding a position at Tunnel Hill, Ga., a short distance below Chattanooga. From here to Atlanta fighting continued more or less every day, in all of which this regiment took part. George B. Guild, in his history, says: "The distance from Dalton to Atlanta is about seventy five miles. The contending armies were seventy-five days in covering the distance-a little over a mile a day. It was a great battle scene from its beginning to its close. At night the camp fires of the two armies were visible one from the other. A number of large battles were fought, and many were killed and wounded on both sides. The daytime was an incessant crash of musketry from the skirmishers and heavy cannonading from batteries. In fact from the number killed and wounded in many of these skirmishes they would be called battles at the present time." * * * *
After the fall of Atlanta, July 27, 1864, Wheeler, with the Fourth Tennessee Cavalry as part of his corps, was ordered by Hood to go below Atlanta to intercept the commands of McCook and Stoneman respectively, who had been sent by Sherman to release the Federal prisoners at Andersonville, Ga., and to capture stores, etc., on their way. Wheeler sent Gen. Dibrell after Stoneman, and with his own command he followed McCook, overtaking him at Jonesboro. After some fighting he retreated to Newnan, followed by Wheeler. After a battle lasting about two hours McCook, with fifteen hundred soldiers, surrendered.
Gen. Dibrell was also successful in capturing Stoneman. Soon after these successes, Wheeler's corps rendezvoused at Covington, Ga., for a few days, and was then ordered back to Tennessee. He came by way of Dalton to Strawberry Plains, near Knoxville, where they met and defeated a Federal cavalry force, driving them back into Knoxville with the loss of a few men.
From Knoxville they again went into the Sequatchie valley, where the Fourth Tennessee Cavalry was detached and sent to Tracy City for the purpose of capturing a force at that place, who were said to be occupying an unfinished fort. An unsuccessful attempt was made to take the place, but it proved too strong for the attacking force. Lieut. W. H. Phillips was severely wounded. Several other Confederates were also wounded.
From Tracy City the Fourth went to Lebanon to again join Wheeler. As most of this regiment necessarily passed near their homes, "many of them were allowed to visit their homes to remount themselves, pick up absentees and obtain recruits if possible." Several of Bledsoe's company were killed while on visits home. Among them were Pleasant and John Poor, Fayette Allen and Steve Richardson. Pleasant Poor was killed on Mill Creek in Overton County, Fayette Allen was killed at the Dr. Hale place on Wolf River, Steve Richardson was killed near Chanute.


The next engagement in which the Fourth Tennessee participated was probably Woodbury, where some of them were killed, some wounded and a few taken prisoners. Next they went to Sparta, and from there, by way of Crossville, to Saltville, Virginia. Here they encountered some negro Federal soldiers, the first they had met. About six hundred men are said to have been killed on each side. Breckenridge was the Confederate and Burbridge the Federal commander. Each side had about three thousand men. Burbridge made an unsuccessful attempt to take possession of the salt works at this place. Much of East Tennessee and eastern Kentucky depended upon this place for salt supply.
General Guild says of this battle: "That night we pursued the enemy, passing over the mountains to a gap with the view of cutting them off. They had to travel over a distance of forty miles on a well built macadamized road. The mountain path to the gap was only twelve miles in length, and the men had to dismount and lead their horses.
"The night was very dark and it was hard to discern the path. Occasionally a horse would make a misstep and tumble down the steep mountain side. You could hear the noise of falling stones for minutes afterwards as they rolled down and down the precipitous mountain side. We were told afterwards by some of these soldiers, that they found their horses miles below where they fell. I have occasionally met an old soldier who was at Saltville, and about the first thing he would say would be: 'Did you ever experience anything like that dark night ride at Saltville, Virginia?' And the wonder is that a number of men were not dashed to pieces down the steep slope below. We reached the gap at daylight. Burbridge's rear guard was passing through and we killed and wounded a few of them.


"When General Williams left Sparta for the Army of Tennessee at Atlanta all of the independents and bushwhackers in that part of the State went out with him. It got so hot thereabout, and the Federals were swarming so in Tennessee (like bees), that they concluded the better part of valor was to get away. Champ Ferguson on the one side and David Beaty on the other, both I believe from Fentress County, were the respective leaders. A warfare had been raging in this part of the State and in southern Kentucky since the beginning of the war.
"Champ Ferguson and his followers participated actively at Saltville. After the battle was over a Lieutenant Smith of the Federal army was left with others wounded. He was taken to Emory and Henry College, which was made a hospital for both armies. When Ferguson heard the fact, he went over and killed Lieutenant Smith. It was said that during the war Smith had killed a Colonel Hamilton, who was a comrade, neighbor and personal friend of Ferguson; that Smith had captured Hamilton after a fight between members of the two clans and had been ordered, with a squad of soldiers, to take him to headquarters over in Kentucky; but that after starting with his prisoner, and going a short distance, he ordered his men to take Hamilton to the side of the public road, where he was stood up by a tree and shot to death."


General Guild, continuing, says: "A short time after the Confederates had returned from the surrender, in May, 1865, Ferguson, who had surrendered to the Federals, was undergoing trial by court martial at Nashville.
"He had been arrested at Saltville, Virginia, by order of General Williams, the Confederate commander, for the alleged killing of Smith and sent to Richmond, as we understood it, and we saw him no more afterwards. The war terminated a short time after this. I presume, in the confusion of things, he was permitted to return to his home in Tennessee. I was told that frequent attempts had been made to capture him, but finally, after being advised, and on being assured by Federal authority that if he would surrender he would be given the same terms that had been extended to other Confederates, he gave up. After this he was placed on trial by a military court martial at Nashville to answer various charges of murder. Among them was the charge of the murder of Lieutenant Smith, at Emory and Henry College in Virginia. He was convicted and executed by hanging at Nashville."
Champ Ferguson was in jail at Jamestown when the war came up, awaiting trial on the charge of murder. Both he and his victim had lived near Chanute, in what was then Fentress County, now Pickett. When the war broke out he was released and was never tried for this offense.


Sherman was about five weeks in the celebrated march from Atlanta to Savannah. The Fourth Tennessee Cavalry, under Wheeler, followed him in obedience to orders from General Hood. They were engaged with a part of Sherman's army at Macon, also at Waynesboro. Several were killed in these engagements. At Buckhead Church, Wheeler attacked Kilpatrick's Cavalry, losing several men and more horses than in any other battle of the war.
After Sherman had taken Savannah, and began his march through South Carolina and North Carolina, Wheeler's command followed and did what it could to prevent Sherman from destroying the property along the line of march.On February 16, 1865, a battle was fought near Fayetteville, N. C., known as the Kilpatrick fight. (Kilpatrick was the Federal commander.) Several were killed and wounded on each side. Among them were Lieut. Paul Anderson, of the Fourth Tennessee. B. P. Harrison, of Company I, was also wounded. Lieut. Massengale, of Co. B, was among the killed.
After this battle Major Scott Bledsoe became the commander of the Fourth Tennessee, succeeding Paul Anderson, who was severely wounded. Lieut. Eb Crozier was made adjutant of the regiment.


The battle of Bentonville was fought on March 20, 1865. The Fourth Tennessee was ordered forward at the opening of this engagement. They were fired upon by Sherman's men and returned the fire. Several of the regiment fell before they received orders to fall back. In this battle it is said that the Fourth Tennessee and the Eighth Texas saved Johnson's army from capture by a successful charge upon the Federals, driving them back several hundred yards from a bridge that spanned Mill Creek, and kept them back some time, thus making it possible for the Confederate army to cross the bridge and escape.


The Fourth Tennessee, which at first had about eleven hundred men, at its surrender at Charlotte, N. C., on May 3,1865, had only two hundred and fifty men. More than half of these were battle-scarred. Many of them had been wounded more than once and in different engagements.
When the news came that the Confederates were to surrender, the Third Arkansas and the Eighth and the Eleventh Texas left the brigade for the West, where they intended to join another command for the purpose of further fighting.
While the news was being circulated that an armistice had been agreed upon, pending arrangements to allow all to return to their homes, the sad news came one night that Lincoln had been assassinated and that the armistice was over. The Fourth was ordered to Rufin's Bridge to guard the road to Raleigh. Silently, it is said, they moved to their post of duty. After placing their pickets for the night, a courier came with the news that another armistice had been agreed upon. So again they went to their camp and were never again called to do duty in the field. In a short time they received their discharges and were soon on their way homeward. The infantry were discharged at Greensboro, North Carolina, the cavalry at Charlotte.


Headquarters Cavalry Corps, April 28, 1865.

Gallant Comrades:
You have fought your fight, your task is done. During a four years fight for liberty you have exhibited courage, fortitude and devotion. You are the victors of more than two hundred strongly contested fields; you have participated in more than a thousand conflicts of arms; you are heroes, victors and patriots. The bones of your comrades mark the battlefields upon the soil of Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi and Virginia.
You have done all that human exertion could accomplish. In bidding you adieu, I desire to tender to you my thanks for your gallantry in battle and your devotion at all times to the holy cause you have done so much to maintain. I desire also to express my gratitude for the kind feelings you have seen fit to extend towards myself, and to evoke upon you the blessings of your heavenly father, to whom we must always look for support in the hour of distress.
Joe Wheeler, Major General.


When the war broke out, Scott Bledsoe was practicing law at Jamestown. He and his brothers were all prominent as well as their father, Wm. M. Bledsoe. They held various official positions in the county before the war. The old house in which the Bledsoe's lived is still standing. This family is related to the Bledsoe's of Sumner County.
Bates Bledsoe was killed in the Mexican War, and Captains R. H. and A. Bledsoe were killed at Sparta during one of Wheeler's raids, in which they were participating. Scott made up a cavalry company at Jamestown early in 1861 and was elected captain. Later he became a major. He took part in all the engagements in which the Fourth Tennessee Cavalry took part, and received his discharge at Charlotte, N. C., May 3, 1865.
Scott Bledsoe died at Cleburne, Texas, a few years ago a highly respected and well-to-do citizen.
Very few of this company ever returned to Fentress County to make their homes after the war, owing to the local warfare that existed for some years. The feeling was very bitter in this county between the Confederate and Union sympathizers, the Union side being greatly in the majority.
At present all evidences of the old feeling is entirely gone, and members of Bledsoe's company, on recent visits to the county, have found their old enemies among those who made them feel welcome back in their native county.
One of the survivors, B. Porter Harrison, has spent most of his time for several years at Jamestown with his son, G. E. Harrison, and his daughter, Mrs. E. M. Shelley.
Robert H. Bledsoe succeeded his brother as captain of the company at Nolensville, Tennessee, in October, 1862, when the regiment was reorganized, and served in this capacity until he was killed at Sparta the next year.


In addition to those who served in the Confederate army under Bledsoe, several enlisted in other commands. Among them were the following who served in Capt. Calvin E. Myer's company, known as Company D of Eighth Tennessee:
Robt. Boles, Third Sergt.; Van Huddleston, Dode Stephens, Miles, Nick and Elijah Stephens, and Hilery and Peyton Smith.
(There were probably others in this company from Fentress, these are all I could find.)
Nick, Miles and Elijah Stephens and Peyton Smith were reported as killed in battle. Dode Stephens was killed while at home near the close of the war. His widow, "Aunt" Sally Stephens, lived on Indian Creek, and drew a State pension until her death in 1913 at the age of about one hundred.
Company D took part in the following battles: Cheat Mountain, Va., Port Royal, S. C., Corinth, Miss., Perryville, Ky., Murfreesboro, Chickamauga, Missionary Ridge and Kings Mountain, near Dalton, Ga.; Resaca, New Hope Church, Burnt Corner, Powder Springs, Marietta, Atlanta, Eastport and Jonesboro, Ga., Franklin, Tenn., and Nashville, and surrendered at Asheville, N. C., in 1865.


Capt. Myers of Company D, Eighth Tennessee, resides at Livingston. He was a soldier in the Mexican War, and was a comrade of J. F. Adkins and the Bledsoes and the other Fentress countainians in this war. He is one of the few survivors of the war.
Sergeant Robert Boles lived at the Andy Garrett place south of Jamestown when the war came up. His widow now lives on Spring Creek in Overton County.


Captain Millsaps was a native of Fentress, being a son of Hiram and Marsha Millsaps. On the 10th day of August, 1861, he was made captain of a company of infantry for the U. S. A., which he recruited in Fentress County. His company became a part of the Second Tennessee Infantry. After serving until November, 1863, they were captured at Rogersville. An account of their services appears elsewhere.
He resided in the Poplar Cove and followed farming and logging until his death several years ago.


David Beaty, known as Tinker, was a native of Fentress County, and a son of George Beaty, who came from North Carolina with his brothers, John and David Beaty, in pioneer days, and settled on the East Fork, George Beaty settling what is now known as the Richard Smith place. Here David was born in 1823, and lived near the old home all his life and died in 1883.
He formed a company early in the Civil War, known as David Beaty's Independent Scouts and was made captain. Their purpose was to protect the mountain country from invasion by the Confederates. The author is indebted to C. Beaty, son of Tinker Beaty, for the information in regard to skirmishes herein described.
Tinker Beaty's Company-In 1861 they had a skirmish with Bledsoe's men, near the Albertson schoolhouse. Lieutenant Riddle, who lives near Monterey, and another man was wounded. The next engagement was near Glenoby, also near the home of Captain Beaty. Two or three were wounded in this engagement.
This company met and defeated a Confederate force of fifty or sixty men at the Wash Taylor stand, nine miles south of Jamestown, about 1862. Two wagon loads of drugs and paper for striking Confederate money were being smuggled through from Kentucky with the intention of taking it to the Confederate government. The Confederates were forced to run off and leave the plunder in the hands of the attacking company. A man named Baldwin was seriously wounded.
In 1863 they fought a battle with some Confederates under Captain Hutchinson, near the George Boles place, in what is now Pickett County. Captain Hutchinson was killed and two or three others wounded. Among them was W. E. Linder, who was with Hutchinson. He was shot, a minnie ball passing through his body. Although the wound was a very dangerous one, he still survives, and lives near Poteet, Tennessee.
Another skirmish took place near Van Buren Academy in Poplar Cove. The Confederate lieutenant, Wm. Goggins, was killed and a few others wounded.
In 1864, Beaty's company attacked Col. Hughes' company, which had come up from the lower counties into Fentress on a foraging expedition. This fight occurred in the Buffalo Cove. Thomas Culver and Jop Moody of Tinker's company were killed and several Confederates wounded.
This company was engaged in many other skirmishes in Fentress, Overton, Clay, Pickett, Cumberland and White counties in Tennessee, and in southern Kentucky.
After the war was over Champ Ferguson came to Jamestown and attempted the arrest of Capt. Beaty. Beaty mounted a race horse and ran off and left him, receiving three wounds, from which he soon recovered. He was a leader in Fentress during reconstruction days and until his death in 1883. He was a very clever, hospitable man among his neighbors and was generally liked by them.


Rufus Dowdy lived on Wolf River at the breaking out of the war. He was forty-three years old at the opening of the war. He assisted in recruiting a company for the Union service. It became Company D of Eleventh Tennessee. He was made lieutenant December 4, 1863, and captain February 20, 1864. The roster of officers and men appears elsewhere.
His son, O. P. Dowdy, resides now in Pickett County.
At first he was captain of a company known as the Home Guards. Their principal service in this capacity was in opposing Confederate forces entering their territory.


This regiment was recruited at Camp Dick Robinson in Kentucky, September 28, 1861, and left there October 18, 1861; fought the Confederates at Wildcat, Ky., London, Somerset and at Mill Springs. Left Mill Springs January 21, 1862, and marched to Cumberland Ford, Ky. On the 7th of March they left Cumberland Ford and marched across the mountains via Boston, Ky., to Big Creek Gap, where they routed and captured a Confederate force under the command of Lieut. Col. J. F. White, destroyed a large amount of quartermaster and commissary stores, captured eighty-nine horses and mules and a large amount of small arms, ammunition, etc. Remained at Cumberland Ford till the first of June, 1862, then marched back to Cumberland Gap, reaching there June 18th, and remained there till September 17th, when the Federal forces, under George W. Morgan, evacuated the gap and marched through the eastern part of Kentucky to the Ohio River, then through southern Ohio to Saline Salt Works in Kanawha Valley, W. Va. Left there November, 1862, and marched to Point Pleasant on the Ohio River; then they went by water to Louisville, Ky. From Louisville they went by land to Murfreesboro and took part in this battle. Remained at Murfreesboro till March 10, 1863, then returned to Kentucky for the purpose of being mounted, which was done about the first of June, 1863. Remained in Kentucky and participated in divers engagements with the Confederate forces under Pegram, Scott and others, until the Fourth of July, when they left Somerset in pursuit of the Confederate, General Morgan, in his raid through Kentucky, Indiana and Ohio. Was present at Salineville, W, Va., when Morgan was captured. Returned to Kentucky by way of Cincinnati, joining General Burnside's forces at Stamford, Ky., for the East Tennessee campaign. Led the advance forces at Wolf Creek and at Loudon. Went from Loudon to Knoxville, and to Cumberland Gap, where they defeated the Confederate forces under General Phrasier. Returned then to Knoxville and took the advance of the column that moved into upper East Tennessee. This regiment brought on and participated in the battle of Blue Springs, pursued the retreating Confederate forces under Gens. Jones, Williams and Jackson until it drove their pickets in at Abingdon, Va.; destroyed a large amount of stores, etc.; also destroyed the railroads about Bristol; returned to Rogersville, where the regiment was captured on the 6th of November, 1863, by the forces under the Confederate General Jones.
A few of the regiment escaped and reported at Knoxville, taking part in the siege. All that was left of the whole regiment (106) was mustered out at Knoxville October 6, 1864.
Officers and enlisted men, Fentress and adjoining counties, 1861 to 1865. (Partial list) U. S. Army:

Capt. John C. Wright, Co. D, 11th Tenn. Cav. Reg.
Lieut. Lemuel C. Wright, Co. D, 2d Tenn.
Lieut. David F. Huddleston, Co. D, 2d Tenn.
Lieut. J. W. Gaudin, 11th Tenn. Cav., later became Q. M. of Reg.
Lieut. Elias Carroll, Co. B.
Lieut. Wm. Stone, Co. D.
Capt. Wiley C. Huddleston, 11th Tenn. Cav.
Lieut. Wm. H. Williams, Co. H, 10th Cav.
Chap. Sam Greer, 11th Tenn. Cav. Reg.
Lieut. Joseph S. Chatman, Co. A, 11th Tenn. Cav.
Lieut. Wm. J. Norrod, Co. D, 1st Tenn. Mtd. Inf.
Lieut. Elijah Garrett, 1st Tenn. Mtd. Inf.
Lieut. Wm. A. Overstreet, Co. A, 11th Tenn. Cav.
Maj. Abraham E. Garrett, 1st Tenn. Mtd. Inf., Pro. Lieut. Col. 3/20/64.
Capt. Wade Jones, Co. C.
James W. Wright, Sergt. Maj. 1st Regt. Mtd. Inf.

Lieut. Col. A. E. Garrett, Pro. Lieut. Col. 3/18/64, Maj. 6/28/64.
Maj. Francis M. McKee, Pro. 8/19/64.
1st Lieut, and Adjt. L. P. Martin, 3/24/64.
1st Lieut, and R. Q. M. Luke P. Gillem, 1/31/64.
Burg. Chas. C. Shoyer, 3/7/64.
Surg. Lem. A. Robeson, 2/19/64.
Surg. Chris. C. Clements, 4/16/64.
Sergt. Maj. Jas. W. Wright, 9/25/63.
Com. Ser. James S. Palmer, 10/21/63.
Hosp. Steward Joseph A. Pendarvis, 1/21/64.
(Copied from Military Records)
Name Age Enlisted Promoted
Capt Rufus Dowdy 43   12/4/1863
1st Lieut Lem C Wright 26 9/10/63 in this County 2/20/1864
2d Lieut Wm J Norred 26 10/10/1863 2/20/1864
Sergt Geo W Franklin 23 9/1/1863 2/20/1864
Sergt Joel L Reagan 22 9/25/1863 2/20/1864
Sergt Oliver P Dowdy 19 1/1/64 Cor 2/20/64 8/31/1864
Sergt James P Gunnels 21 8/20/1863 2/20/1864
Corp Thomas P Mathews 32 10/10/1862 2/20/1864
Corp Joel G Huddleston 18 1/25/1864 2/20/1864
Corp Freeling H Ogletree 19 8/1/1863 2/20/1864
Corp James A Ashburn 23 2/8/1864 2/20/1864
Corp Anderson Jones 18 1/25/1864 2/20/1864
Corp George W Taber 21 10/10/1863 2/20/1864
Corp James A Hunter 18 2/10/1864 8/31/1864
Musc Charles H Marshall 18 2/12/1864  
Musc James Wright 18 2/12/1864  
Corp Preston B Robbins 20 2/9/64 Killed in Overton Co 6/15/64  
Private Soldiers, Co. D.      
Name Age Enlisted Mustered in
Franklin Ausbern 27 8/29/1863 1/23/1864
Sam Bowman 24 8/10/1863 1/23/1864
William Bowman 27 8/10/1863 1/23/1864
John H Burton 42 12/27/1863 1/23/1864
Thomas Breeding 17 12/26/1863 1/23/1864
Jas K Beaty 20 1/25/1864 3/18/1864
Andrew J Beaty 18 1/25/1864 3/18/1864
Elijah Brummett 30 2/12/1864 3/18/1864
James Clark 23 1/1/1864 3/18/1864
Isaac Derwese 18 1/1/1864 1/23/1864
Jack Franklin 29 2/25/1864 3/18/1864
Ambrose M Grace 19 9/10/1863 1/23/1864
Jesse Garner 20 12/23/1863 1/23/1864
Elijah Garrett 18 1/23/1864 3/18/1864
J W Huddleston 22 8/10/1863 1/23/1864
Wm E Huddleston 20 8/10/1863 1/23/1864
Sandy E Hicks 21 12/23/1863 1/23/1864
Thos Huddleston 34 1/25/1864 3/18/1864
David Hall 43 1/25/1864 3/18/1864
Thomas C Jackson 20 1/3/1864 6/23/1864
George W German 20 1/21/1864 6/23/1864
Sperry C Jacckson 18 2/12/1864 3/18/1864
Wm Jones 18 2/12/1864 3/18/1864
John A Lewis 19 1/3/1864 1/23/1864
Nathan Mainers 23 12/31/1863 1/23/1864
James Millins 23 8/10/1863 1/23/1864
Wintan Millinax 18 1/25/1864 3/18/1864
Andrew J Maxfield 22 8/21/1863 1/23/1864
Alex Norred 33 10/10/1863 1/23/1864
Lewis Norred   10/10/1863 1/23/1864
Benj Norred 18 10/10/1863 1/23/1864
Thos Norris 20 10/10/1863 1/23/1864
Francis M Padgett 19 10/10/1863 1/23/1864
Sam Prior 18 8/19/1863 1/23/1864
Moses Phillips 27 1/25/1864 3/18/1864
Geo W Polston 19 2/15/1864 3/18/1864
James Pennycough 18 1/25/1864 3/18/1864
William Ritch 44 8/10/1863 1/23/1864
Thomas Reagan, Jr 18 2/12/1864 3/18/1864
John Reeder 21 8/12/1863 1/23/1864
John Smith 18 8/23/1863 1/23/1864
Henry Stewart 19 12/31/1863 1/23/1864
Thos Spyey 20 10/20/1863 1/23/1864
Francis M Smith 19 2/10/1864 3/18/1864
Oliver Spencer 23 1/23/1863 3/18/1864
Thomas Harrison 18 1/23/1863 6/23/1864
Thomas Henderson 30 12/18/1863 6/23/1864
Alex Whited 26 10/10/1863 6/23/1864
William Way 18 12/31/1863 6/23/1864
James Willis 18 12/27/1863 6/23/1864
Mantin Woolbright 19 12/10/1863 6/23/1864
Wm Whited 19 1/3/1864 6/23/1864
Joshua Wright 18 2/12/1864 3/18/1864
James K Zachary 18 8/10/1863 1/23/1864
Chas C Burton 45 12/27/63 Killed 4/28/64 at Carthage, accident  
Francis M Derewese 34 12/31/63 Killed 5/7/64 by guerrillas in Smith Co  
William H Garrett 28 10/10/63 Died 6/2/64 of disease  
Thos McDonald 19 9/15/63 Died 5/30/64 of disease  
Geo H Owen 18 2/20/64 Captured and killed 6/15/64, Overton Co  
James K Reagan 18 9/25/63, 1/23/64, Died 10/16/64 of disease  
Robert White 27 10/10/63, 1/23/64, Killed in action 2/13/64  
Joseph Brummett 23 8/10/1863  
Andrew J Fletcher 18 2/12/1864  
Daniel Gibson 18 12/23/1863  
Jasper Phillips   10/10/1863  
Robert White 37 10/10/63, 1/23/64, Killed in action 2/13/64  
Joseph Brummett 23 8/10/1863  
Thos Franklin 18 1/25/1864  
Andrew J Flether 18 2/12/1864  
Daniel Gibson 18 12/23/1863  
Jasper Phillips   10/10/1863  
ROLL CO. D 2n TENN      
Name Age Enlisted  
Capt Sam C. Honeycutt 30 9/23/1861  
Serg, David H. Walker 5 6/19/1862  
Corp. Sam Thompson 18 11/17/1861  
John Barger 18 3/10/1862  
Jas. M. Beaty 25 12/15/1861  
Hubbert Blalock 18 6/10/1861  
William Brannon 29 12/15/1861  
John K Brient 18 3/9/1862  
John Burk   7/16/63 not mustered in  
Wm E Brient 16 3/9/1862  
Pleas M Burk   7/16/63 Not mustered in  
Jas M Chilebass   2/11/1862  
*Philip Conatser   1/10/1862  
Thos C Conner 20 1/3/1862  
Willis W Cope   1/20/1862  
Robt Dobson   8/15/1863  
+Samuel Evans 33 12/15/1862  
Hiram Lindley 21 65/11/63  
Anderw J Garrett   Discharged for disease 8/10/63. Rejected for reinlistment  
Nathan Halbert 21 12/15/1861  
Marion Hix 21 12/21/1861  
David C Honeycut 17 3/7/1862  
Joel G Huddleston 44 12/15/1861  
George W Jones 36 5/11/1863  
Silas Jones   5/11/1863  
Jas W Keer 19 5/11/1863  
Jas F King 18 5/11/1863  
Thomas Knight 18 5/11/1863  
John Looper 34 7/10/1862  
Emison Looper 39 7/20/1862  
Zach Lord      
Nathaniel Mullinix   12/15/1861  
William Mannon   12/1/1861  
John L Narramore 20 2/18/1863  
James L Narramore 24 7/16/63 Rejected  
Andrew Owen 28 12/15/1861  
Robt Renfree 39 3/7/1863  
Sol Ringley 22 1/3/1862  
Wm H Ringley 21 2/20/1862  
John Ragon   12/15/1861  
William Sells 38 12/15/1861  
Sam Sells 28 12/15/1861  
William Smith 22 1/25/1862  
Thos Stephens 21 5/11/1863  
Stephen F Walker 27 6/3/1862  
George Walker 18 6/10/1862  
Peter Weaver 23 2/24/1862  
John Weaver 19 3/30/1862  
Pleasant Weaver 21 2/24/1862  
Jesse L Wright 19 5/6/1863  
Isaac White 18 8/30/63 Not mustered in  
Micager York   4/10/1863  
John W Gordon, 2d Lieut   6/19/1863  
Joseph H Wright   12/13/61 Discharged for disease 1862  
Abner Davidson   12/15/61 Died Jan 19, 1862  
David C Beaty   12/15/61 Died Feb 17, 1862  
Wm R Beaty   12/15/61 Died March 12, 1862  
John Gawney   12/15/61 Died June 27, 1862  
John Holbert   12/15/61 Died March 16, 1862  
Thomas King   67/16/63 Died Feb 20, 1864  
Andrew Poor   3/10/62 Died May 20, 1862  
James M Robbins   12/15/61 Died April 6, 1862  
James S Scarborough   Died March 5, 1863  
Tollett Barger   3/10/1862  
Alfred Barger   3/10/1862  
B F Elliot   3/10/1862  
John Y Hix   3/10/1862  
Jesse Hix   3/10/1862  
John Holloway   3/10/1862  
William Patton   3/10/1862  
Henry Liles   3/10/1862  
William Ragon   12/15/1861  
Capt Mitchell R Millsaps   8/10/1861  
Lieut Ezra H Duncan   3/29/1862  
A L Barger 18    
Jonathan A Beaty 28 10/11/1861  
Wm H Beaty 20 4/11/1863  
Jacob Cooper 30 10/11/1861  
Council Cooper 27 10/11/1861  
Jas R Davis 24 4/16/1863  
Eli Eastridge 24 3/25/1863  
Daniel Garrett 27 3/25/1863  
Garrett Hall, Sr 55 10/10/1861  
Preston O Holloway 27 5/12/1863  
Henry Hoover 28 10/11/1861  
Benjamin S Jack   6/4/1863  
Henry Langley 18 5/12/1863  
Nathan J Melton 20 3/7/1862  
Sampson Mullinix 18 2/1/1862  
J C Regan   6/16/63 Not mustered in  
George Roberson 18 5/16/1863  
John Scott 18 5/28/1863  
Jas Shannon   6/3/1863  
Wm R Silvey 26 4/16/1863  
Joseph Stonecipher 18 6/30/1863  
Jas Ellis 20 12/31/62 Killed at Rogersville  
Powhatan Stringfield 19 5/3/1863  
Wm Wright 28 10/1/1862  
Sam W Goddard 19 3/20/1863  
Thomas Winningham   6/10/1863  

+Samuel Evans remained a prisoner at Bells Island for thirteen months, was released and died in the service at Murfreesboro, 1865.
*Philip Conatser of Co. D died in prison at Andersonville, Ga., on March 28, 1864, and was buried in grave No. 216.

All of this company except four were mustered in June 5, 1863, in Kentucky. Joseph Stonecipher was mustered into the regular command June 30, 1863; P. Stringfield, on May 3, 1863; Thos. Winningham, June 10, 1863, and Wm. Wright on March 11, 1864. This company was attached to the Second Tennessee Mounted Infantry, according to information at hand, and surrendered with the regiment at Rogersville, Tennessee, November 6, 1863, and were placed in Confederate prisons. Honeycutt's company was mustered in at the same time, served in the same regiment, and shared the Same fate, being captured at Rogersville by the Confederate General Jones.
What is known as "Battery B" was raised by Capt. R. C. Crawford at Lexington, Ky., and defeated a body of Confederates at Jamestown, Tenn., under S. P. Carter, according to U. S. A. Adjt. Gen.'s report, made in 1866.

Chapters 01 - 16
Chapters 17 - 24