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

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.

TN State Library and Archives October 3, 2012

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The Tennessee State Library and Archives will conducting visits in selected sites this year all over Tennessee.  Representatives from the Tennessee State Library and Archives and the Tennessee State Museum will be in Shelbyville, October 3rd, to record and digitize Civil War memorabilia owned by local residents for a new exhibit.  If you possess anything related to the period of 1861-1865, please come to the old Fly building at the corner of South Main and McGrew St. (across the street from the Argie Cooper Library), on October 3rd (Wednesday), 2012, and there will be members of the Bedford County (Tennessee) Historical Society and the S. A. Cunningham SCV Camp #1620 to expedite the process and assist you.

If you wish to visit their site click on here:  http://www.tn.gov/tsla/

Our website is now linked to the Tennessee Division SCV website, in addition to our previously announced link to the National SCV website.

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)

Sesquicentennial

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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

Amen

Sumner Archibald Cunningham

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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.

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