Civil War

When Blood Runs Thicker than Water

Jay Ricketts and John Cabage standing near the burial site of Alfred Gallatin Rickets in Cabbage Cemetery

The Bonds of Brotherhood
(When Blood Runs Thicker than Water)

The Civil War was raging and Albert Gallatin Ricketts, aka Gallie, of Cabell County, West Virginia, had turned 18. He felt compelled to join the Confederate Army. I’m sure he felt strongly that if he didn’t join he would most likely be conscripted under less desirable circumstances.

Grand Army of the Republic

Grand Army of the Republic

As the nation came apart in 1861, East Tennesseans stood strong for the Union. After the American Civil War, many of the former Union Veterans joined the Grand Army of the Republic. The Captain Daniel Meador Post, at Fincastle, Tenn. was named for my cousin Daniel Meador.

Years after the war, GAR members, would march, as best they could, from the Old Sugar Hollow Church, which also served as a GAR meeting hall, on Decoration Day to the Old Baker’s Forge Cemetery where they would decorate the graves of deceased Union veterans.


Grandchildren of Civil War Veterans are a Living Connection to a Not so Distant Past

Elsa Willoughby Aiken is the granddaughter of two Union Veterans of the Civil War

Most descendants of East Tennessee’s original settler population are also descendants of Union Veterans of the American Civil War. Closer to home, many of us are descendants of original members of Company B of the First Tennessee Infantry, the first federal unit that was formed in Tennessee for service in the American Civil War.


The Reconciliation of the Blue and the Gray

Ulyssis S. Grant

In 1861, our ancestors were facing a war, the most costly in American lives in our history. Four years later the war was over, but the scars would remain for many years. The dispute over the right of secession was ended and the country had to undergo the difficult process of reconciliation. The North and South had to learn to live and work together and to strengthen national unity. The leading group in this process of reconciliation was the veterans themselves.


A Union County Perspective on the Civil War

Civil War Map of East Tennessee

East Tennessee geographically is situated almost in the center of the late rebellious states; Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia, and the Middle and Western Divisions of the state on the west. The question arises why it should stand out almost alone in its devotion to the Union. When the state cast its fortunes with the Confederacy through the dominating influence of the civil and military authorities, a large majority of the people of East Tennessee adhered to the Union cause.


More Memories from Civil War Times

Asa Napoleon McClain

Asa Napoleon McClain’s home place was what we know as the Bruce and Pearl Rutherford home and farm on old Highway 33 at Maynardville. Asa was a carpenter and built the two-story weatherboard home. The house is gone, but the spring house is still there. Asa McClain enlisted in the Union Army at Williamsburg, KY on April 11, 1862 and served under Col. Ausmus. He died May 20, 1864, probably of pneumonia; he was buried in College Hill Cemetery at Nashville. He married Elizabeth Rooks, and they are my great grandparents.
(See also Our Union County Families, p. 111.)


Grainger County Gets Tennessee Historic Marker

Jean Underwood Fox and Harry Fox presently own the Albert Miller Lea farm at Richland, and this is the 209th anniversary of Mr. Lea’s birth. What a birthday gift, a Tennessee Historic Marker, presented by Mr. and Mrs. Fox. They have begun working with Grainger County Historian Ken Coffey to have Richland: Albert Miller Lea Farm placed on the National Register of Historic Places. This is the tenth historic marker to be placed in Grainger County. Mr. Marvin House, who restored the Richland Mill, was also helpful in this process.