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


Shelbyville In The Middle

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“Shelbyville In The Middle”

Civil War Sesquicentennial 1863

June 22nd and June 23rd

Mark your calendars for June 22 and June 23. It all begins in Shelbyville, Tennessee, at the H. V. Griffin city park, from 9 A.M. to 5 P.M. on Saturday, June 22, and from 9 A.M. to 3 P.M. on Sunday, June 23. This first time walking history event for our city commemorates the sesquicentennial (150th) celebration of the city’s modest involvement in what historians are calling the Tullahoma campaign. The Civil War or War For Southern Independence had a dramatic affect on Tennessee, and probably more on Shelbyville and Bedford County.

Shelbyville In The Middle is the result of  the efforts of the city of Shelbyville Parks & Recreation department, & our SCV Sumner A. Cunningham Camp #1620.

Some examples of the many events planned are:

Flags of the Period (Presentation & Flag Displays)

Confederate & Union Infantry, Calvary, and Artillery Encampments    

Civilian Refugee Camps

Children’s Games

*Musicians (Coleman’s Scouts, Ross Moore, Tennessee Fiddle Orchestra) with the Flat Creek Contra Dancers-

*Artisans/Crafters such as Spinners (Fleece On The Duck Fiber Guild), Weavers, Quilters, and more…

**Also a Sunday 1 PM 1863 church service will be conducted by Loyd Warren (June 23rd).**

This is THE EVENT for the Summer in Shelbyville, Tennessee!

Bring your friends, family, and church groups!


Last state to secede from the Union

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While Tennessee voters approved secession on June 8, 1861, I wish to use this as my reasoning that Tennessee was the last state to secede. There is an argument for a state other than Tennessee, but I believe it is considered by most that Tennessee was the last. Tennessee was greatly divided over this decision as most scholars will attest, and the town of Shelbyville (location of our SCV Camp 1620), in Bedford County, Tennessee, was heavily Union in its sentiments. The county of Bedford (smaller today than it was back in 1861-1865) was more evenly divided, but still contained numerous Jacksonian Democrats. Many of them were slave owners, but did not want to part ways with the Union. Of course, Tennessee was not the only Southern state with great differences on this matter.  There were several, but we need only look to northern Georgia, northern and central Alabama, and northern and central Mississippi to find large populations of pro Union families that wanted no part of secession. The hill country of northeastern Mississippi and northerwestern Alabama was a magnet of pro Union men who traveled to Glendale, Mississippi (Camp Davies-outside of Corinth, MS) to join the !st Alabama Union Cavalry. They rode or walked to get to Corinth after the battle of Pittsburg Landing (Shiloh) in April 1862 to enlist.

An interesting read that expounds on some Unionist Southerners is a book by Don Umphrey entitled Southerners in Blue – They defied the Confederacy.

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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Sesqui = one and one half     centennial = one hundred years

The time is almost upon us.  One hundred and fifty years ago, our divided country was about to embark on a journey that would in 4 years decimate it’s resources, land, and population.  It would take many subsequent wars for over a hundred years in all parts of the globe to equal the loss of life caused by this great tragedy.  Many have written eloquently the many reasons why this needless war begun.  It is now history.  Let us try to tell some of it here, where much of it manifested itself on the fields, in the towns, and cities.

To all who served and died in battle

To those who witnessed and lived to tell

To those who lost a brother or father

To all here on earth who lived the hell


Sumner Archibald Cunningham


Sumner A. Cunningham

Our SCV camp is named in honor of S. A. Cunningham.  Who was Sumner Archibald Cunningham?

S. A. Cunningham b-July 21, 1843 in Bedford County, Tennessee   d-Dec 20, 1913 in Nashville, Davidson County, Tennessee-He was buried in Willow Mount Cemetery in Shelbyville, Bedford County, Tennessee.

S. A. Cunningham was the founder, owner, and editor of the Confederate Veteran magazine. It is still being published today, and is considered the “Official Journal of the Sons of Confederate Veterans“.  S. A. Cunningham served in Co. B, 41st Tennessee Infantry (Confederate) and obtained the rank of Sergeant.

Welcome to SCV Camp 1620 located in Shelbyville, Tennessee

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Les Marsh-past Camp Commander 2006-2011 & Rod Lindsey-current Camp Commander 2012-2013

We welcome visitors, friends, and members of the Sons of Confederate Veterans to attend our meetings on the 2nd Thursday of each month at 6:00 P.M. located at the New China Buffet on Madison Street (old Shoney’s building).

Larry Morphis, Ronnie Stafford, and Rod Lindsey are on the committee to get SCV Camp 1620 on the web.

If you just beginning your genealogical search and need a little help, notice our links listed under Blogroll, or look at our Researching Ancestors page on the bar above.

Currently you can contact SCV Camp 1620 by email: the current address is: