Tennessee Trails Shelbyville Tennessee

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The Tennessee Trails Sesquicentennial marker dedication at Shelbyville, Tennessee, October 30, 2013, 10:30 A.M., at the Bedford County, TN., Courthouse (south side).  Pictured immediately below is the marker dedicated.

Civil War Trails Marker

The following are some other markers located in Shelbyville.  Below is a Tennessee Backroads Heritage marker from the Willow Mount Cemetery Confederate Section.

Tennessee Trails marker at the Confederate Section of the Willow Mount Cemetery

Marker at the Confederate Section of the Willow Mount Cemetery

There is a three sided marker display, located one block away from the courthouse square, by the old Fly Manufacturing Building & Museum at the corner of South Main and McGrew Streets (across from the Library).

Side 2 or 3 sides

One side of the 3 sided marker next to the Fly Bldg.

Side 3 of 3 sided marker

2nd side of marker display located by the Fly Building

Tennessee Trails 3 sided marker located by the old Fly Manufacturing Bldg. & Museum

Tennessee Trails 3 sided marker located by the old Fly Manufacturing Bldg. & Museum

War Crimes Against Southern Civilians (Part 2)

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Down in Franklin County (TN) sometime in late December 1864, a Unionist named Moses Pittman handed Major General Milroy a list of “disloyal” men and women, all apparently personal enemies of Pittman. Beside each name was a “narration of their crimes.” Milroy went down the list, marking with his own hand “what punishment they shall suffer.” By the names of Joel Cunningham and Green Denison he wrote “KILL.” Next to the name of Curtis McCullum was the order “HANG AND BURN.” Charlotte, the sister of Curtis, had “BURN EVERYTHING” written by her name. “SHOOT IF YOU CAN MAKE IT LOOK LIKE AN ACCIDENT,” the general wrote next to the name of Cynthia, Curtis’s wife. There were fifty-three other names on the list. Orders to carry out the murders & other depredations were given to Capt. William H. Lewis on January 7, 1865, with detailed supplemental instructions on destroying and plundering the property of the victims.

Milroy added the names of four other civilians in neighboring Coffee County whom he also wanted executed. Captain Lewis later apprehended three of this group, unarmed, at one of their homes. Leroy Moore and Thomas Saunders were both old men. William Saunders was only fourteen. Each had his hands bound behind his back, was forced to wade into the pond at Huffers Mill, then was shot. Only after three days did soldiers allow families to retrieve the bloated bodies from the water for burial.

On February 7, 1865, Milroy issued more orders, specifying eighteen individuals who were to have their homes and property burned.  Included were the names of thirty-four he wanted shot. Four other names were listed, these to be “hung to the first tree in front of their door and be allowed to hang there for an indefinite period.” The final sentence of Milroy’s order read: “If Willis Taylor is caught he will be turned over to Moses Pittman and he will be allowed to kill him.”                                                                             From War Crimes Against Southern Civilians by Walter Brian Cisco

Major General Robert Huston Milroy served in the eastern front in Virginia against the Confederate corps of Lt. General Richard S. Ewell during the Gettysburg campaign and is most known for his defeat at the Second Battle of Winchester in 1863. He was VIII Corps 2nd division commander under Union General Robert C. Schenck. General Milroy’s harsh mistreatment of Winchester (VA) citizens had been such that even many pro-Unionists had changed their sympathies. This served to further isolate Milroy’s ability to gather intelligence around him. He failed miserably against General Ewell, was relieved of his command, and was called before a court of inquiry to answer for his actions, but after ten months the charges were dropped.

Later General Milroy was transferred to the Western Theatre, “recruiting” for Maj. Gen. George Henry Thomas’s Army of the Cumberland in Nashville in the spring of 1864. He also was in command the defenses of the Nashville and Chattanooga Railroad in the Department of the Cumberland until the end of the war.

Major General Milroy USA

Major General Milroy USA

War Crimes Against Southern Civilians (Part 1)

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“Of all the enormities committed by Americans in the nineteenth century-including slavery and the Indian wars-the worst was the invasion of the South, which destroyed some twenty billion dollars of private and public property and resulted in the deaths of some two million people, most of whom were civilians-both black and white” –David Aiken, editor of A City Laid Waste: The Capture, Sack, and Destruction of the City of Columbia

Let us look at the state of Tennessee starting in 1862: former U.S. Senator Andrew Johnson was appointed the military governor of Tennessee on March 2, 1862, by President Lincoln.

The clergy in Nashville were among the first to feel Johnson’s wrath. A group that included Methodist, Baptist, Presbyterian, and Christian Church ministers and educators was ushered into the governor’s office, where he demanded they declare allegiance to the country at war with their own. When they refused, the pastors were jailed. “They are the enemies of our government,” Johnson explained to the provost marshal, “and should receive such consideration only as attaches to a person guilty of so infamous a crime.” Episcopal rector George Harris was arrested by military authorities and told he must “pray for the President of the United States or be hung.” Harris was able to escape into exile. His church, Holy Trinity on Sixth Avenue South, was seized by the U.S. Army and used for the storage of munitions. The Methodist publishing house was commandeered for the printing of government documents. First Baptist Church was converted into a hospital before being destroyed.

Holy Trinity Church Nashville Tennessee

Holy Trinity Church Nashville Tennessee

One fall day in 1862, Dr. William Bass was leaving the Nashville home of William Harding when passing Union soldiers demanded he halt. When the doctor kept walking, they shot him. The controlled press concocted a story about his death being the result of a guerrilla raid, but it soon retracted that tale when confronted with the facts. “The brutality exhibited by the Federal soldiers in this affair awakens the intensest indignation,” wrote another physician. “I never witnessed its like.” He went on to express surprise that military authorities did not interfere with the victim’s funeral.

From War Crimes Against Southern Civilians by Walter Brian Cisco

Sumner A Cunningham

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Sumner A. Cunningham, founder of the "Confederate Veteran"

Sumner A. Cunningham – The founder of the “Confederate Veteran” magazine. Our Shelbyville, TN. Camp #1620 was named in his honor.

Sumner Archibald Cunningham was born in Bedford County, Tennessee on July 21, 1843. When the war erupted he enlisted in the 41st Tennessee Infantry Regiment. As Fort Donelson fell in 1862, Cunningham was captured and later sent to Camp Morton as a prisoner-of-war. He was exchanged at Vicksburg and returned to his command where he served until the end of the war. After the war he engaged in several businesses including the ownership of the Chattanooga Times, which he edited for two years. In 1883 he edited a magazine in New York entitled Our Day; however, his fame was secured in January, 1893 when the first issue of the Confederate Veteran appeared. In the next forty years, the Veteran became the voice of the South and officially represented the United Confederate Veterans, the United Daughters of the Confederacy, and the Sons of the Confederate Veterans. This article & picture were reprinted from the 1984 Confederate Veteran, written by Ronald T. Clemons, Editor-In-Chief.

In the words of General Patrick Cleburne…

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“Every man should endeavor to understand the meaning of subjugation before it is too late… It means the history of this heroic struggle will be written by the enemy; that our youth will be trained by Northern schoolteachers; will learn from Northern school books their version of the war; will be impressed by the influences of history and education to regard our gallant dead as traitors, and our maimed veterans as fit objects for derision… It is said slavery is all we are fighting for, and if we give it up we give up all. Even if this were true, which we deny, slavery is not all that our enemies are fighting for. It is merely the pretense to establish sectional superiority and a more centralized form of government, and to deprive us of our rights and liberties.” – General Patrick Ronayne Cleburne C.S.A., 2 Jan 1864.
“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it”-Jorge Agustín Nicolás Ruiz de Santayana y Borrás

As I contemplate the thoughts of General Cleburne, I find myself thinking also of George Santayana’s words. I wonder if the last three and one-half years our country has been suffering a modern ‘Socialist Reconstruction’, quite similar to the one the South suffered approximately 145 years ago.

Willow Mount Walking Tour of 30 April

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On 30 Apr 2011 SCV Camp#1620 conducted a historical walking tour in the Willow Mount cemetery.  Dressed mostly in War Between the States (Civil War) period costumes of military and civilians, our camp re-enactors and historians represented a variety persons buried in Willow Mount.

Willow Mount 30 Apr 20111 walking tour

Willow Mount Walking Tour

This tour is planned as a twice a year fund raiser for our camp,  and a fall  tour is expected sometime in late late Sept-early Nov.

Polk Arnold

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Who was Polk Arnold?  Les Marsh, our camp Commander has been researching Polk Arnold for some time.  After some controversy has surfaced recently about Polk Arnold, Les has decided to publish his research.  Click on Polk Arnold if you want to know something about a Black Confederate from Shelbyville, Tennessee in Bedford County.  Added note:  Polk Arnold applied for and received a Confederate Pension in 1921.

He who does garrison duty is as much a soldier as he that is in the fighting line” ~Seneca, Roman Philosopher (4 BC – 65 AD)

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