Thursday, December 14, 2017

Mossy Creek WInter of 1863

Mossy Creek

"Mossy Creek Tenn Dec 24, 1863: 2nd Brigade 1st Cavalry Division Army of the Cumberland Col Oscar H La Grange commanding the 2nd brigade was attacked by two small brigades of Confederates under Gen Armstrong. After a sharp fight the enemy was repulsed leaving 17 dead on the field. La Grange's brigade suffered to the extent of 2 killed and 9 wounded. 

Mossy Creek Tenn Dec 26- 27, 1863: 1st Brigade 1st Division Cavalry Corps Army of the Ohio Rain prevented more than slight skirmishing at Mossy creek, along which the Federals held a strong position on the 26th. No casualties resulted .Late on the afternoon of the 27th, the Federals attacked and drove the enemy from every position to within a short distance of Talbott's station, when the pursuit was stopped by darkness. 

Mossy Creek Tenn Dec 29, 1863: Cavalry Corps, Army of the Ohio. During the night of the 28th, Brig Gen SD Sturgis, commanding the cavalry, learned that the enemy was advancing on Dandridge, and immediately sent off the greater part of his command to intercept him. About 9 o'clock the next morning, the combined cavalry of Martin Morgan and Armstrong, about 6,000 strong, advanced in line of battle, the main effort being directed against the Federal left, but the attack was repulsed by Campbell's brigade after a hard fight. During the day an artillery fire was kept up by the enemy, with a hope of breaking the line so that a position could be secured on the bank of the stream. The attempt was unsuccessful, and later in the day when the detachments sent out during the night to Dandridge returned, the enemy was routed and driven off Sturgis loss was 17 killed, 87 wounded, and 5 missing ,while that of the enemy was not reported. 

Mossy Creek Tenn Jan 10 and 12, 1864: Detachments of 2nd Brigade Cavalry Division Army of the Ohio, Col Oscar H La Grange, commanding the 2nd brigade, reports under date of Jan 10: 'I have the honor to report that a scouting party from the 2nd brigade today surprised one of the enemy's outposts on the Dandridge road about 6 miles from Mossy creek and killed 4 including 1 leutenant, besides making 7 prisoners without loss.' Again on the 12th, La Grange reports, 'The forage detail from the 2nd brigade to day drove back one of the enemy's outposts for the purpose of foraging behind it. Killed 1 and captured 15 prisoners without loss."
(Source:The Union Army: Cyclopedia of battles, Federal Publishing Company, 1908, p.616)

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Mary Ann Emily Good

When Mary Ann Emily Good was born on January 15, 1859, in Greeneville, Tennessee, her father, Hartsell Good, was 27, and her mother, Martha Milburn, was 25. Hartsell was the son of David Good and Hannah Hartsell. Martha was the daughter of the Reverend William Elbert Milburn and Martha Frame.

Mary Ann Emily Good was called Mollie and had two brothers: William David (1855-1911) and Elbert Hartsell (1861-1929).

In 1860, the family lived in District 10 Greeneville, Tennessee. Hartsell's parents had lived next door to Andrew Johnson and his family. After David Good died, Hartsell sold the house Andrew Johnson. They attended the same church. (First Methodist, now Christ's Chapel).

Hartsell Good was a tinner before the Civil War. On 27 Jan 1863, he enlisted in the Tennessee 4TH Reg Tennessee Infantry, Union Army.

Hartsell died on July 14, 1863 and is buried in the National Cemetery in Nashville.

On June 15, 1865, Martha filed for a window's pension and soon after she moved to Rheatown with her two youngest children.

On September 15, 1877 Mollie Good and James Randolph White were married by J R Hughes.

Minnie Hartsell White (1878–1971) married James Granville Keebler
Walter White 1880–188
Martha Elizabeth White 1882–1957 married James Ruble Bailes
Isaac William White 1885–1959 married Susan Wiley Chambers
Lula Morley White 1887–1971married William Earl Thomas
Eva Franke White 1890–1968
James Henry White 1892–1918
Elma White 1896–1896
Elbert Carl White 1896–1915

Losing her son Elbert Carl to pneumonia on January 3, 1915, then James Henry in on October 10, 1918 in Chateau-Thierry, France during World War I was very hard for her. James Henry was buried in France, but after the war, his body was brought back to Rheatown to be buried in the Rheatown Cemetery.

Mollie Good White died on April 15, 1926 and is buried in Rheatown Cemetery.

The inscription says, "She was a kind wife, a loving Mother and a friend to all.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Marble Championship

Karl Witkowski [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons  

Knoxville Marble Tournament
April 1923
April12: Lonas School
April 14: Claxton
April 15: Meade
April 16: Marble City
April 17: University Ave:
April 18: Peabody
April 19: Rayl
April 21: McMillian
April 22: Griffin
April 23: Pickle
April 24: Hampden- Sydney
April 25: Staub
April 26: West View
April 28: Flenniken
April 29: Bell House
April 30: Fair Garden

May 1: McCallie
May 2: Mountain View
May 3: Beaumont
May 5: Brownlow
May 6: Mynders
May 7: Belle Morris
May 8: Lincoln Park
May 9: Van Guilder
May 10: Lonsdale
May 12: South Knox
May 13: Boyd
May 14: Oakwood
May 15: Moses
May 16: Park City- Lowry
May 17: Knoxville High

After a champion is named at all the schools, a final tournament was played at Caswell Park.
Clarence Stedman won and went on to compete in Atlantic CIty.

Monday, January 30, 2017

Prof. W E F Milburn Seriously, If Not Fatally Injured by A Runaway

A Terrible Runaway Accident

Prof. W E F Milburn Seriously, If Not Fatally Injured by A Runaway

It is with feelings of distress that we are called to chronicle the particulars, as we gather them from Mr. Gaines Harrell, of the terrible accident which befell our friend Prof. W E F Milburn last Tuesday evening, and which, in all probably, cost him his life.

He had been to Rheatown on Tuesday in a buggy, and was returning home about dark and while driving along alone his horse suddenly took fright by some means or another, and becoming uncontrollable dashed away at a fearful rate throwing the rider out and mangling him up in a most frightful manner. His entire jaw, we are informed, was literally crushed into jelly and her was otherwise seriously injured. The buggy was also smashed to pieces.

The horse, however, became detached and ran on at almost lightning speed until he was stopped by some parties in the road. They suspecting some one had been hurt by the runaway went back until they came to the place of the accident, and there they found Mr Milburn in terrible condition.
His body was taken up and conveyed to his home, when the services of Dr Morley were secured and the wounds dressed. The doctor gave the opinion that it was almost impossible for him to recover. He was, however, perfectly conscious, and although from the condition of his mouth and jaw, he could neither speak, eat or drink, still he communicated with his friends through the medium of a pen.

The next paragraph is about a premonition of death attributed to WEF Milburn prior to this accident.

We have not heard of anything for a long time that grieved us more than this sad occurrence, for Prof. Milburn was a most estimable and worthy young gentleman. He is the son of Rev Wm Milburn of the Methodist Church and lived at Milburnton, Greene County. He is a graduate of the University at Athens (Tennessee Wesleyn) and has taught very successfully at New Market, Jacksboro' and other places. Although our information is that his chances for recovery are exceedingly doubtful, we earnestly hope that he may get over it. - (Source: Knoxville Chronicle (Union and American
(Greeneville, Tennessee)
, 30 Aug 1876, Wed • First Edition • Page 3)

Friday, January 6, 2017

Reading about my Snow family on a snowy night

Snow is falling and I am reading the inventory of my ancestor Nicholas Snow's estate and it reminded me of another estate inventory.  The estate inventory of Henry Byrom.

Henry Byrom came to Virginia in 1703 as an indentured servant .  He was a gunsmith and he was allowed to bring a servant with him (his brother Peter Byrom).  I am not all sure about the status of an indentured servant's servant because this is the only time I have seen this.

Henry did pretty well.  He married Frances Mills on December 10, 1702.  She was the daughter of Robert Mills and Jane Brown.  Henry died in 1717 and his inventory is the subject of this post.  One of the things listed is a brass divider.  I shared the inventory with another researcher and she asked me how Henry Bryom would have used a brass room divider in his small house.

Since my father was an engineer, I knew this was a tool that Henry would have used to measure the distance between two points. This would have been necessary for a gunsmith during this time because this was long before standardized sizes for for gun parts would be used.  Each gun was a single piece of art. 

An antique brass divider is both a beautiful piece of art and a useful too.  I could not find a photo of an antique brass divider, but trust me, they are beautiful.

By Glenn McKechnie - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

The Tragic End of the Hugh Martin

View of Washington Landing in Rhea County (+35.53624, -84.87965) from the bridge on William Jennings Bryan Highway.

Photo from Google maps

 It was not unusual for steamboats to have accidents.  Navigating the river was a dangerous occupation, during dry seasons boats could run aground, they could sink when rain caused the creeks   to swell as the water rushed down the mountains to the river.  Also floods would push debris into the water and river men needed to be on the look out for partially sunken logs.
When boats sunk or wrecked, they were pulled up from the river and often left on the bank where it would be either sold or repaired when possible.

The steamer Hugh Martin exploded her boiler at Washington Landing, on the Tennessee River, on Saturday, causing a complete wreck of the boat. Four persons were killed. (The Times, Philadelphia, PA, 17 Aug 1875, Tue, p. 1)

Details of the Hugh Martin Disaster
A gentleman who left this city Saturday night on the Lucy Coker for Washington,and returned yesterday morning, on the same boat, furnishes the following correct list of killed and wounded by the explosion of the boiler of the Hugh Martin.
Jacob Fritz, Captain;
Ely, L , a passenger. The officers of the Hugh Martin did not remember his name, except that it was Ely and his last name began with L. He got on at Knoxville and was going to Igos landing. Oliver Henry, son of Wm. R.Henry, of Washington, owner of the landing. Oliver was standing on the landing when the explosion occurred and a piece of lumber struck him and broke his neck.
Wm. Hood, Mate, of Kingston. He had a leg broken and was burned and bruised on face and body. Injuries very serious. John Henson, Pilot, was bruised but not seriously. He went home on the M. Bishop Sunday morning. -Edward Mead, passenger, Civil Engineer on the Cincinnati Southern .Railroad, formerly on the Cumberland, now on the survey at Nashville, was bruised on face and muscles of neck, and had a shoulder strained. His injuries are not regarded as dangerous, and Mr. Wherry informs us that when he left, Mr. Mead was sitting up in bed smoking a cigar. Mr. Mead said that be heard the explosion and found himself turning somersaults in the air, and finally brought up on shore. L. D. Polston, passenger, a carpenter of Rutherford county, lately employed on the Cincinnati Southern Railroad, was burned and bruised slightly.
He came down on the Coker and left for home on the Nashville train. Jesse Benson, colored, deck hand from Montgomery,Ala., got a compound fracture of the leg below the knee. His is a bad case. Ben. Hightower, colored, deck band from Dalton, Georgia, was injured internally, probably fatally. John Black, colored, deck hand from Kingston, Tennessee, had his leg burned, not seriously. Ben. Saddoth, col. deck hand, from Roane county, got a broken thigh; Thomas Weaver, colored, deck hand, from Knoxville, Tenn., broken leg; Dan Devans, colored, deck hand, severely bruised.
All the above wounded, are at Washington, except Benson and Polston.
The following
Medical Men
have been in attendance upon the wounded; Dr Jones and others of Washington, Drs Mynatt and J T Abernathy of Rhea Springs, Dr Bevin of Decatur. These people have done everything in their power for the comfort of the sufferers by the catastrophe.

Capt. Frits's Body
was found late Monday evening at Tucker's Landing, some 17 miles below Washington, by some residents of the community, who carried the news to the news to the city of Knoxville. The City of Knoxville at once steamed down the river, took the body on board. brought it to
Chattanooga last night and placed it in a burial case and departed at once for Kingston, where the funeral must have taken place today.
The body was greatly disgured, but still easily recognized.

The Cause of the Explosion
The best authorities think that the explosion was caused by the boiler becoming red hot while the nose was resting on the bank, and the water, being too low, fell to the rear of the boiler, leaving the front bare. When the boat drew away from the bank and resumed an even keel, the water came rushing over the heated boiler and was flashed at once into steam, producing tremendous pressure. The pieces of the boiler were examined with much care. None of them would weigh over 200 pounds and they were torn across the seams (?). There were no signs of corresion.
The force executed seemed more like that of nitro glycerine than the ordinary power of steam. The engineer had started the boat and called a negro who understood engines and told him to
watch the throttle valve, while be went upon the upper deck; and the explosion occurred was on his way up. The negro said the guage showed 165 pound of steam.

Feeling Is Very Strong
against the engineer, but the fact seems to be that there was carelessness all around and the accident will be a warning to our river men for some time to come.

Nashville union and American. (Nashville, Tenn.), 18 Aug. 1875. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress. Link )

Friday, August 26, 2016

The Constitution of Tennessee

Tennessee Constitution of 1796

Tennessee constitutional convention delegates met in Knoxville in January 1796 to write a constitution for a new state. This was a requirement for requesting Congress to grant statehood. Constitutional Convention 1796: Link

Free males over 21, who owned at least 200 acres and had lived in the territory for three years could vote. 
Read it here: Link
More here: Link

Tennessee Constitution of 1834

Read it here: Link

When the Tennessee Constitutional Convention of 1834 came together, it was flooded with petitions from all parts of the State, and especially from East Tennessee, praying for immediate emancipation. Nearly one third of the members of that body voted in favor of the action requested. But the majority turned a deaf ear to all entreaties and spread upon the journal an elaborate paper written by that astute lawyer John A McKinney, who sat for the County of Hawkins, in defense of their action. The remarkable thing about the paper, which I have published in full in the Quarterly Review of the Methodist Episcopal Church South for April 1892, is that it fully and frankly concedes slavery to be a great evil, and predicts that in some way or other its abolition is sure to come. The protest of the minority which was also made a matter of record was as strong a document as Wendell Phillips or William Lloyd Garrison ever wrote. It reads as if it might have come from one or the other of those radical reformers.
But after the year 1840- perhaps a little later- slavery came to be considered a fixed thing in Tennessee. Free debate concerning it was not longer tolerated, though many persons continued to cherish in silence the conviction that it was a great evil. Perhaps the last open utterance on the subject was in an address delivered by the Hon John M Lea before the Apprentice's Union at Nashville in 1841. Judge Lea is still living as fine a specimen of a cultivated and high minded gentleman as can be found in these United States. He is a son of the Hon Luke Lea, who as Congressman from the Knoxville District, secured David Farragut his position as midshipman in the United States Navy. I may also add that he was himself a large slaveholder and treated his slaves with such humanity and consideration that when emancipation came they were all capable of making a comfortable support for themselves. By his own testimony they are now- such of them as are still living- doing better for themselves than they did when they belonged to him.
The reasons for the sudden arrest of the reform that seemed to be imminent may be set down under four heads:
1. There was a natural resentment of the interference of the North which whether justly or unjustly was looked upon as an impertinence.
2. There was a growing fear fed by such incidents as the Nat Turner insurrection in Virginia that the further agitation of the question would lead to tumult and insurrection. Men who knew something from history as to what a servile war meant, might be excused if they shuddered at the mere prospect of such a thing.
3. There was a perplexing doubt as to what woud or could be done with the slaves if they were set free. Did not this doubt have some rational foundations? Do we yet know what the final results of emancipation are to be? As late as 1866, the Hon Horace Menard predicted that it would prove the euthanasia of the negro race. Is the man alive who would now venture to give any definite opinion on the subject? One thing is certain the stroke of Mr Lincoln's pen that set these ebon millions free raised almost as many questions as it settled.
4. In consequence of the invention of the cotton gin, slavery became what it had never before been, a very profitable institution. Human greed and avarice were thereby enlisted in favor of its perpetuation. No wonder that it got a new lease of life. Let not our Northern friends be too critical of us on this score. They had no vested interests to interfere with the operation of their benevolent sentiments. The notion that if conditions had been reversed they would have exhibited a loftier and more unselfish morality than the Southerners did is one of those pleasant delusions which the attentive student of human nature does not think it worth while to consider with anything like a careful scrutiny. It were easy to be virtuous, did virtue consist in denying to another man his cakes and ale. All this is now past. Let us be thankful that it is so. Who does not rejoice in his inmost heart that no man woman or child can now be held in bondage where the flag of the Republic floats? Who does not wish that the emancipated slaves should enjoy to the full the fruits of their freedom in increasing wealth, growing intelligence, and an improved morality. To assess the responsibility of the different sections of the country for the introduction and perpetuation of the evil system from which we are now happily released, would be an impossible task. That is a matter that must be settled at a more august and impartial tribunal than has ever yet been set up on this earth. But we can nevertheless, without thinking of the errors and mistakes of the past, address ourselves to the glorious work of lifting up all the citizens of our land to the highest level on which it is possible for them to stand. The past is history. But the present is in our hands. (Source: Elihu Embree, Abolitionist, Elijah Embree Hoss, University Press Co., 1897, pp. 26-28)

Suggested Reading:AFRICAN SLAVERY AND THE TENNESSEE CONVENTION OF 1834, (Quarterly Review of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, Volume 12, Issue 1,Bigham & Smith, 1892, p 118) Article Starts on page 118 Link

Tennessee Constitution: Link

The Progress of Emancipation in Tennessee, 1796-1860 James W. Patton Justor: Link