The Tragic Deaths
of
James David Kennedy & William Nails

William N. Nails (No Maker) next to James David Kennedy both C S A Veterans

Summer of 2007 the new marker for William Nails was placed.


Kennedy, James David; C.S.A. Pvt. Not otherwise identified - Son of Robert and Cynthia Eason Kennedy. One of four brothers who fought for the Confederacy. When he returned after the war, feelings were still high. He and a brother-in-law, Bill Nails (also a Rebel soldier) got into a fight with some Guerillas some 6 miles south-west of Scotts Hill and were getting the best of it. But fortunes turned and both Kennedy and Nails were brutally beaten to death. Kennedy's father found them and his son's brains had been beaten out. He secured help gathered his son's brains into a hat the best he could, and both bodies were hauled in an ox-wagon to a corner of the Kennedy farm upon the hill which was donated for a community graveyard, later to be known as The Doe Creek Cemetery. The brothers-in-law were the first interments there - the start of the graveyard - and the graves (near the center of the cemetery on the west side) were marked only by sandstones. Incidentally, as this volume is nearing completion, plans are underway to provide and erect better markers for these two victims. A bright note: Robert Kennedy gave adjoining land later for the (log) church. Our late Jim Kennedy, grandson of Robert who died at the age 97, recalled that the names of the fine oxen which "snaked" the logs for the church were Broad and Darb. The oxen were so strong that their owner humorously remarked that Broad and Darb could pull the bend out of a creek!" Still standing but no longer in use, the old log house served also as a school house for many years. The late Elmer Duck was one of the last teachers and finished up 30-odd years in the little house.

History of Scotts Hill by Gordon Turner Pg 50

Jim Austin Wounded by Kennedy - This story seems to have fit in after Billy Hughes was killed. This was probably why Jim Austin was hunting for Jim Kennedy. It was now more important than ever to keep hidden, but Jim Kennedy had a hunting horn which he would blow each morning to let his mother know he was still alive. Jim Austin had found him and he knew what that meant; he shot the Austin man in the leg only to cripple him, it was told, but he was bleeding so badly, Kennedy thought it best to get him up on the road toward what is today Doe Creek Church, so that some one would pass and get help for him. Kennedy would have time to find another hiding place. If records are correct, Jim Austin was the youngest son of Morgan Austin & Polly Laster, half brother to Susanne Austin Clenny. This explains why a Lassiter man ( John or Bob?) finding him, or being notified of it, went to Hark Clenney's house to get help. Susanne immediately grabbed up the baby, Viola, and managed to hold her and get her mare saddled. She neared the spot where Austin was laying whithout incident, but now the mare smelled blood and reared up shying away, almost throwing Susanne and the baby. The story seems to end there. Jim Austin might have lived but little more has ever been heard about him. The Lassiters were said to have lived near Liberty at what became known as the Bob & Emmaline Eason place. There has been little else on that family. Someone (Mr. Elzer Harwell?) told that Jhn Laster later moved to the "Lower Counties" and Rufus "Ruff" Johnson married his daughter. It seems that the Calvin Austins family were strong Union sympathizers. Others in the "posse" looking for Jim Kennedy were Hamms, Winchester and a Willie.
(Not sure where this came from - I believe I read it somewhere in the Lexington Library)

Also see History of Henderson County by Auburn Powers

(The building was dismantled and restored. On July 15, 2007 the Dedication Ceremony took place Doe Creek Restoraton

The Civil War in Scotts Hill

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