Category Archives: Military

WWII Mother’s Poem

My Grandmother, Evalena LUTHER, daughter Jack LUTHER and Amanda TATE-LUTHER, of Burns, Dickson County, Tennessee, penned the following poem to her son, Orville Matthew BROWN. At the time he was stationed at Adak, Aleutian Islands, on his 25th birthday:

My Dear Son Orville,

“Just a word or two this morning,
we’re sending on the way;
To let you know we’re thinking of you
on your twenty-fifth birthday.

May it be a year of pleasure,
and bring victory to us all;
We’ll work and fight together..
Can’t let our country fall.

You often dream of home you say,
sun shining in your face;
When mother wakes you from your sleep..
may reality the dream replace.

Those few short years have passed away,
when once you sat in our laps,
But you’re a brave, strong man today..
against those dirty Japs.

Submitted by her Grandson,
Michael David Brown

WWII Deaths

World War II Supreme Sacrifices

  • ADAMS, Carl
  • ADCOCK, Curtis
  • ASHWORTH, Fred W.
  • BAKER William N.
  • BELLAR, Robert
  • BLACK, James L.
  • BONE, Thomas
  • BRADFORD, Elmer
  • BROWN, Joe H.
  • BROWNING, Archie
  • BOAZ, Robert E.
  • BRUNET, Frank
  • BUCHANAN, Allen
  • BURGESS, Larry L.
  • CANNON, Newton
  • CAPPS, Charles T.
  • DANIEL, Robert E.
  • DICKSON, Nolie
  • EDGIN, James W.
  • EDWARDS, Phillip M.
  • FIELD, Minor
  • FOSTER, Wesley B.
  • FRANKLIN, Howard
  • FINCH, Austin
  • GENTRY, Allie G.
  • GRAY, John L.
  • HALL, James E. (Col.)
  • HOOD, John F.
  • HOOD, William R.
  • HOPSON Nelson (Col.)
  • KELLEY, Woodrow W.
  • LAMASTUS, Dudley B.
  • LAMB, Mike
  • LANKFORD, James D.
  • LARKINS, John M.
  • LOWE, James Y.
  • LUTHER, Delbert G.
  • LUTHER, John W.
  • McELHINEY, Cecil R.
  • MARTIN, Oscar L.
  • MILLER, William T.
  • MITCHELL, Van J.
  • MURRELL, Harry
  • OSBORNE, James
  • OSTRANDER, Andy L.
  • PATEY, Randall
  • SENSING, Arnold
  • SENSING, Benjamin C.
  • SIZEMORE, William E.
  • SKEGGS, George
  • SPAHR, Raymond
  • STINSON, Roy L.
  • TAYLOR, Clyde M.
  • TIDWELL, Lamdon C.
  • TUGGLE, Joe W.
  • UNDERWOOD, Leamond
  • VETTER, Adrian F.
  • WALTON, Mack

WWI Deaths

World War I Supreme Sacrifices

  • ADAMS, McKinley (Col.)
  • ASHWORTH, Richard
  • BERRY, Lucian
  • BREEDEN, Lawrence
  • BROWNING, Wm. Luther
  • BUCKNER, Clyde I.
  • BUTTERY, Dorsey
  • CARTER, James L.
  • CARTER, William C.
  • CARTER, Jeff T.
  • CLIFTON Samuel J.
  • DUNNAGAN, Sam R.
  • DONALDSON, Rawleigh
  • ENGLAND, Zuma
  • FIELD, Thomas C.
  • GOODWIN, Sam Virgil
  • HERBISON, Ellie T.
  • HOOPER, Pearlis
  • HUDGINS, Walter T.
  • HUTTON, John Brady (Col.)
  • JAMES, Hugh S.
  • LYLE, Justin
  • McCOLLUM, George K.
  • MANLEY, Walter C.
  • MARTIN, William E.
  • MARTIN, Roy
  • MOORE, Elijah
  • NESBITT, Athie
  • OAKLEY, Frank
  • OAKLEY, James
  • OUTLAW, Grover
  • PACK, Phillip
  • PEELER, William E.
  • SHAWL, Dudley
  • SHELEY, James C.
  • SPICER, Ulysses (Col.)
  • STUART, Olin D.
  • TAYLOR, Aretus
  • TIDWELL, George L.
  • WELCH, Mark
  • WOODARD, Selkirk

Dickson County Revolutionary & Military Pensioners in 1840

Pensioner Age In the Home of:
Benjn Clear Waters 92 Benjn C. Waters
Abraham Hogins 85 Arcchibald H. Hogins
Willam Willie 90 Reddick Myatt
James Daniel 54 Head of House
George Clark 94 Benjn Clark
Christopher Strong 80 Head of House
John Nesbitt 84 Allen Nesbitt
Robert Nesbitt 80 Robert Nesbitt, Jr.
Simon Deloach 57 Head of House
William James 45 Head of House
Gideon Car 70 John B. Car
John Maybourn 97 Howell Underwood
Isaac Walker 85 Head of House
Gustavus Rape 77 Head of House
Willliam Tatom 80 Head of House
Mary Thompson 71 Head of House
Benjn Darrow 78 Head of House

Danville Confederate Prison

Federal Soldiers and MARTYRS 

‘TENNESSEE MARTYRS’……………………………. This article was published in the Nashville Daily Union, 18 March 1865, and was headlined: “TENNESSEE MARTYRS—those who died at the Danville Confederate Prison.” (Editor`s note; this newspaper was a Union newspaper and very bitter toward the Southern cause.)(note: These are Federal Soldiers)

J. Killgore, Co. K, 19th East

Tennessee…………. F.M. Madden, Co. I, 13th

Tennessee…………….. A.C. Whaley, Co. E, 13th

Tennessee…………….. W. Fletcher, Co. A, 3rd

Tennessee………………… L.B. French, Co. I, 1st

Tennessee…………………. J. Bolton, Co. I, 9th

Tennessee…………………….. J. Dyson, Co. E, 13th

Tennessee………………….. D. Cole, Co. E, 13th

Tennessee……………………. J. Quinn, Co. G, 1st

Artillery…………………………. Jacob Can, Co. H, 9th

Tennessee…………………. S. Keyhill, Co. K, 13th

Tennessee…………………. G. Messer, o. K, 8th

Tennessee……………………. Thomas Shipley, Co. E, 1st

Tennessee………….. J. Griffin, Co. E, 1st

Tennessee…………………….. W. Carter, Co. D, 9th

Tennessee…………………… William Marks, Co. F, 1st

Tennessee…………….. W.A. Foster, Co. A, 1st

Tennessee……………….. S. Brown, Co. C, 3rd

Many thanks to our friend, Faye Wilson for this contribution!

Federal and Guerrilla Conflicts

Excerpt from: History of Dickson County, Tennessee Civil War and Readjustments, 1861-1870 

Some weeks after the battle of Fort Donelson and the resulting Forrest march through the county, a group of about sixty Federals visited the county on a raiding party, and engaged in a bitter hand-to-hand encounter. By the summer of 1862 guerrilla warfare was at its peak in Dickson and the surrounding counties and a prison was established by the Federals on the public square of Clarksville, which lay some thirty miles north of Charlotte. By the fall of 1862 there were seven guerrillas from Dickson County in the prison facing charges such as “Rebel Agent or Spy”. In nearby Humphreys County considerably more guerrilla activity was transpiring and several men were shot and others were hanged by the vengeful Federals.

By March 1863 Colonel Sanders D. Bruce who was in command of the ‘Twentieth Kentucky Infantry’, United States Infantry was in complete control of Clarksville, and his men visited Charlotte not infrequently. On March 13, He wrote his commanding officer of a foray in that vicinity. “My Calvary found another party of rebel cavalry yesterday near Charlotte,” he wrote, “captured 13 prisoners with horses. Five are new conscripts who claim to be Union men, and desire to take the oath. Instruct me.” In the late fall or early winter of 1863 a portion of two Federal regiments numbering around four hundred took Charlotte and remained there until March, 1864.

They established headquarters in the courthouse, pitched tents in the courtyard, and built makeshift barracks. The Cumberland Presbyterian Church was taken over and used as a hospital. Much damage was done to the public buildings, and some of the public records were destroyed. Smokehouses were raided, stores were taken over and much property was destroyed in a wanton manner.

To combat this activity the people of Dickson County went underground and engaged the invader in guerrilla warfare. According to one source, “a continuous fight was kept up between the Federals and the guerrillas, and not a few lives were sacrificed as a result.” Several weeks before they broke camp, the Federals captured a Charlotte citizen named William D. Willey and shot him as a guerrilla. He allegedly killed John Lindsey, a Dickson Countian who cooperated with the Federals. Another citizen named Demps Dobson was shot about the same time by the Federals, who paced a scrap of paper in the dead man’s hand on which had been written, “Shot in retaliation for the killing of John Lindsey”. This Federal contingent was under the command of a Major Kirwine and a Lieutenant Donnehue. After Kirwine’s men evacuated Charlotte another group of Federals passed through the town in going from Johnsonville to Nashville. They had been led to believe that General Forrest was on his way to Johnsonville intent upon wiping out the Federals, and they were said to have reached Charlotte “in a state of demoralization, having left behind them a trail marked by guns, ammunition, blankets, flour, meal, meat, and in fact everything they found unhandy to carry in their flight.” Upon reaching Charlotte they learned that the crafty Forrest had shifted his command in such a manner as to block their flight from Charlotte to Nashville. At Charlotte the Federals decided to join other Federals at Clarksville rather than to risk and encounter with Forrest.

This is additional information on the same people:

William Willey 1750 in Salisbury Dist of NC, either in Halifax or Guilford, on the Haw River..died ca 1842 in Dickson was receiving a Rev War pension at that time. Have been unable to obtain RW pension record but it must be there. A plaque on the courthouse lawn in Charlotte, Dickson Co shows names of RW veterans buried in Dickson Co. and he is listed there.

This story is written by Jewell Willey Beakley , who was born in 1895 and died in 1994.


Civil War Story about William Daniel Willey

In the fall of 1863, Nov. to be exact, a Federal troop under Major Kirwine (not sure of spelling) took possession of Charlotte, Tenn, which is the county seat of Dickson County. and he did a lot of damage to the town. He took over the courthouse and not only destroyed the furniture and county records but stripped the country side of all food and supplies.

Our grandfather, Felix Empson Willey, had a relative William Daniel Willey (not sure if an uncle,nephew or cousin) who was at Fort Donelson with Nathan Bedford Forrest’s Cavalry when Ft Donelson fell to General Grant.. Nathan Bedford Forrest and his Cavalry made their escape although Grandpa Felix was captured. William Daniel was discharged in early 1864 due to his age, which was approximately 64 years and that being very old for that time. He managed to make his way home on his cavalry mount, coming through the Federal lines, He was so incensed when he got home and saw what was being done that he began harassing the enemy at every opportunity..Since he was familiar with every hill and valley he would mange to elude the local troops. A number of times he would escape and taunt them with waving his cavalry hat and giving the “Rebel Yell” But later in 1864 he and another man, whose name I can’t remember, were captured by a troop of Federals under Lt Donohue and shot in retaliation for allegedly killing John Lindsey, a northern sympathizer and collaborator. I suppose you would now have classified Dan as a guerrilla for he was a discharged soldier. I was told this story as a young child by Ida Willey Pack, daughter of grandfather Felix E. Willey, but did not remember “Uncle Dan” was captured and executed., She was born before the Civil War and remembered everything vividly. Later I found the account of this happening in an early history book in the Dickson Public Library. It is told that a song was composed and sung locally about Dan Willey and the legendary black stallion. Later I read that another man, Demps Dobson, was also implicated in the Lindsey man’s death. Dobson was shot to death and left lying where he was shot. While he was being prepared for burial a note was found on his body saying ” shot in retaliation for Lindsey’s death.”

A researcher on the Lindsey family said that it was found Dan was innocent of any part of Lindsey’s death. It was also found that the Federals executed him due to harassment he had inflicted on them.

End of Story

This is most interesting as it is possible that Susan Willey, wife of Demps Dobson, was the sister of William Daniel Willey. She had to be related to him someway A thorough research should be done of that possibility and was probably the cause of Demps death. He may have been trying to avenge William Daniel’s death. William Willey 1750 in Salisbury Dist of NC, either in Halifax or Guilford, on the Haw River..died ca 1842 in Dickson was receiving a Rev War pension at that time. Have been unable to obtain RW pension record but it must be there. A plaque on the courthouse lawn in Charlotte, Dickson Co shows names of RW veterans buried in Dickson Co. and he is listed there.

A researcher on the Lindsey family said that it was found Dan was innocent of any part of Lindsey’s death. It was also found that the Federals executed him due to harassment he had inflicted on them.

This information provided by a friend of Dickson County, Lee Hoover.

Civil War Regiments

Even though your ancestor was “said” to be in ie: Company “K”… it is wise to also check other Companies within that Regiment. If you have no luck finding him, broaden your search. Companies AND Regiments were ‘attached, renamed or disbanded with regularly.’ Frequently, a Volunteer would cross the county line from his county of residence to enlist. So, your soldier could be on an adjacent County’s Roster. Your ancestor may not be where logic would have you look!


  • E.D. Baxter’s Battery, 2nd Organization
  • 11th Tennessee Infantry Regiment, Companies “C”, “E”, and “K”
  • 49th Tennessee Infantry Regiment, Companies “B”, and “D”
  • 50th Tennessee Infantry Regiment, Company “A”


  • NONE

Explanations of Military Groupings (e.g. Company,Divisions)

Most Civil War Units in the field varied between 25% to 60% of their full strength. In theory, a full-strength company contained 100 men, but disease, desertion & battle casualties would rapidly decrease their numbers. So while to full strength sizes are given, please remember to decrease those numbers when reading about units engaged in battle.


A COMPANY at FULL STRENGTH consisted of 100 men that would be commanded by a CAPTAIN. A COMPANY would be broken down into the following sub-divisions.

100 men = 2 platoons = 4 sections = 8 squads


Organizing COMPANIES and together formed BATTALIONS and REGIMENTS. In the State volunteer organizations (Union and Confederate) 10 COMPANIES would be organized together into a REGIMENT . This regiment would have 1,000 men at full strength. In both the Union and Confederate armies, individual states were given the task of raising regiments for the armies. Thus the Regiments would be designated by the number in order or organization followed by their state name. Such as the “19th Tennessee Volunteer Infantry”, or the 125th Ohio Volunteer Infantry. A COLONEL normally commanded these regiments. There were also volunteer organizations containing less than 10 companies, if they contained from 4 to 8 companies they were called BATTALIONS, and usually were commanded by a MAJOR or LT. COLONEL.


The Union Regular regiments organized before the war (1st through 10th) were 10 company regiments in strength like the volunteer counter-parts. But, when theNEW regular army was authorized, a different organization was used. The New regular infantry was organized to 8 companies to a battalion and two battalions to a regiment. Thus, NEW regular regiments contained 16 Companies. These regiments frequently fought as Battalions rather than as a single regiment.


A BRIGADE is formed from 3 to 6 regiments and commanded by a Brigadier General. So if a brigade had 4 regiments in it at full strength, it would number 4,000 men (not including staff) The South tended to use more regiments than the North. Each brigade would also have a varying number of staff officers.


A DIVISION is commanded by a MAJOR GENERAL, and is composed of from 2 to 6 brigades. In the North usually 3 or 4 , but in the South normally 4 to 6. An average Infantry Division might number around 12,000 men at full strength. Occasionally some Artillery or less often Cavalry might be attached.


A CORPS is commanded by a MAJOR GENERAL (Union) or a LT. GENERAL (Confederate) and is composed of from 2-4 divisions. Again the North tended to have two or three, while the south would have 3 to 4. So an average Infantry Corps might average around 36,000 men at full strength. Each corps would also have a varying number of staff officers.


Corps within a geographic department was aggregated into armies. The number of corps in an army could vary considerably, sometimes an army would contain only one corps and often times as many as 8. Armies were commanded by MAJOR GENERALS in the North, and usually by FULL GENERALS in the south. Corps and Armies usually had Artillery and Cavalry attached. Each Army would also have a varying number of Staff Officers. Armies of the north were named after major river systems, such as:

The Army of the Ohio
The Army of the Cumberland
The Army of the Tennessee

Armies of the South were normally named after geographic areas, such as:

The Army of Tennessee
The Army of Northern Virginia

This information has been generously donated by the: TENNESSEE MUSEUM OF THE CIVIL WAR, CHATTANOOGA, TENNESSEE.


Tidwell Civil War Letters

Confederate Veteran of Dickson Co. Tennessee

John B. Tidwell interviewed by Whitney, Hill Co. TX. Newspaper writes: I was born the 22nd day of August in 1829, in Dickson Co., TN. Was raised on a farm and for two or three years was a stock drover, driving stock down into the Mississippi before there was any railroads in that country. Was married on the 24th of February, 1853 to Miss Winnie Richardson who is still living. I then farmed until the time I went in the Confederate Army which was in the fall of 1861; was mustered into the service at Ft. Donaldson on the Cumberland River. I was a member of Co. D., 49th TN. Captain Coden Commanding. Was taken sick before the fall of Ft. Donaldson and was in the hospital at Clarksville, TN. and escaped capture. I was sent from there to Nashville, put in the hospital and from there was taken home.

I stayed till I got well, joined Napier’s Cavalry and stayed with them until my command was exchanged at Vicksburg. I then went back to my old command and stayed with the army till the war was closed. Was in the Kenesaw campaign back into Georgia to Jonesboro, was in the three days engagement around Atlanta, Ga., on the 20th, 22nd, and 23, of July 1864. We were then taken back to Nashville, TN. and was in the fight at Franklin, TN. I was in the engagements around Nashville. After the war I came home and was elected Magistrate and served eleven years. I then moved to west TN. and from there I moved to Missouri and lived there one year, from there to Arkansas and lived there one year. In the fall of that year I moved to Bentonville, Ark. and in February following I sold out all my traveling outfit and moved to Hillsboro, Texas, arriving there in 1884; bought in Whitney, Hill county and lived there till the fall of 1887, moved back to Ark. up in the country where they didn’t know that the war was over. Sold out that fall, came back to Texas where I left, lived there two years and moved to Paluxy, Hood Co. TX. and rented Uncle John Meek’s place, lived there five years. I bought out J. H. Brewington, known as the Pate place, and have been there ever since. I am still at said place in good health and am thankful to my Maker for it. I am a Mason, was made one in 1851 in Charlotte Lodge, No. 97, TN. I am a member of the Christian Church. This was an article in my parents trunk. Janna Harlan Johns.

 Silas Tidwell Civil War Letter

The following letter was written by Silas Tidwell, December 3, 1865, to his son John Benton Tidwell at the close of the Civil War. ( I have taken the liberty of correcting some of the spelling in parentheses).

Dear Son: I drop you a few linds (lines) to inform you that we are all well at present and hoping when these few linds (lines) comes to hand they may find you enjoying the same blessings. Your folks are all well and getting along very well. We received your letter and was glad to hear from you. I have not sold your mair (mare) yet. We kild (killed) your hogs in a few days after you started and the 6 weighed 940 lbs. We put up the 4 that you wanted put up and they are a mending fine. They will be ready to kill in a few days. I have nothing of much importance to write to you at present more than the connection is all well. We received a letter from Benja (Benjamin) and he was well and well satisfyed (satisfied) also and said that they sot (sat) back in their houses like they was a going to stay thar (there) always and would be glad if you was thar (there) with him. As I wrote to you about your mair (mare) I have took your mule colt and am a taking care of it. You must excuse me for not writing sooner but I expected you home every day from what I heard. As I wrote to you that the connection was all well. What them that was sick are on the mend. I must come to a colose (close) by giving my respect to all of the boys and reserve a share for yourself.

Respecively (Respectfully), yours, Silas Tidwell

This letter was written close to the end of the Civil War from Silas Tidwell to his son John Benton Tidwell, who was serving in the Confederate Army at the time.

Silas b. 1805 in SC was the son of Edmond Tidwell, Sr., 1758 in VA. and a brother to Edmund Tidwell, Jr. b. 1787 in SC.

John Benton Tidwell was my paternal great-grandfather, his daughter Missouri Kansas Tidwell b. 8-12-1857 was my father’s mother.

Janna Johns

 Janna, thank you for submitting this history.


11th Tennessee Infantry Volunteers (1861)

The situation was bleak in the spring of 1861. The threat of war due to Northern invasion inched ever closer to Tennessee. Just a few weeks earlier however, February 9 to be exact, Tennesseans had voted 557,798 to 69,675 to remain in the Union. Then, on April 12, 1861, the batteries around South Carolina’s Charleston Harbor belched forth their fury against the beleaguered United States’ garrison, Fort Sumter. Five days later, President Lincoln called for 75,000 volunteers from different states to march into the South and put down the “rebellion.” Tennesseans would not stand idly by and allow what she perceived as aggression to go unchecked. Immediately, Governor Isham G. Harris responded to Lincoln’s call for troops by stating that his state “would not furnish a single man for coercion, but 50,000 if necessary for the defense of ‘our rights and the rights of our southern brethren’” (Benjamin F. Cooling, Forts Henry and Donelson: The Key to the Confederate Heartland. Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 1987, 4). With this, many companies of volunteers came forward to enlist in the service of their state. On June 8, 1861 a second vote was held to determine Tennessee’s stance with the Federal Union. This time, the vote would be much different. Tennesseans voted 105,000 to 47,000 to leave the Union (Thomas L. Connelly, Civil War Tennessee: Battles and Leaders Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 1979, 3-4).

Troops were now being raised all across the state, particularly in Middle and West Tennessee. Companies of men consisting of about 100 men each were being organized in the various counties. Ten companies were then organized together to form a regiment.

One regiment in particular, the 11th Tennessee Infantry Volunteers, was comprised of men from several Middle Tennessee counties. Davidson County furnished three companies, Dickson County furnished three companies, Hickman County furnished one company, while Humphreys supplied two companies, and Robertson County furnished one company. With the companies formed, the men left their various communities and traveled to Nashville to the present day location of Centennial Park. Here they where sworn in to military service and issued uniforms. On the afternoon of May 14, after being sworn into the service of their state, all of the companies except the company from Robertson County were moved by rail to Camp Cheatham, near Springfield, Tennessee. Here, the men would receive their military training. Not long after the boys were at Camp Cheatham, they were joined by the Robertson County company.

On May 22, the companies were joined together to form the 11th Tennessee Infantry Regiment, and an election was held to choose field and staff officers. James E. Rains, the former editor of the Nashville Banner and the district attorney general for Davidson, Williamson, and Sumner Counties, was elected colonel of the new regiment. The lieutenant colonel was Thomas P. Bateman, a Mexican War veteran and a lawyer from Centerville, Hickman County, Tennessee. Hugh R. Lucas from Humphreys County was elected major. Thus with the regiment organized, the structure was as follows:

Field and Staff:

  • Colonel James E. Rains
  • Lieutenant Colonel Thomas P. Bateman
  • Major Hugh R. Lucas
  • Surgeon Dr. J. M. Larkin
  • Assistant Surgeon Dr. William B. Maney
  • Chaplain Rev. Fountain E. Pitts
  • Company A – “Waverly Guards” from Humphreys County; Captain Josiah Pitts.
  • Company B – “Cheatham Rifles” from Davidson County; Captain J. Richard McCann.
  • Company C – from Dickson County; Captain William R. Green.
  • Company D – “Hermitage Guards” from Davidson County; Captain John E. Binns.
  • Company E – from Dickson County; Captain William J. Mallory.
  • Company F – from Robertson County; Captain James A. Long.
  • Company G – from Davidson County; Captain Samuel C. Godshall.
  • Company H – “Hickman Guards” from Hickman County; Captain P. V. H. Weems.
  • Company I – “Ghebers” from Humphreys County; Captain John D. Woodward.
  • Company K – from Dickson County; Captain William Thedford.

The men spent their time at Camp Cheatham drilling day in and day out, preparing for the moment of battle that would eventually be upon them. While at Camp Cheatham, a case of the measles broke out and several men of the 11th Tennessee died due to the disease. Among the deceased were Aaron Brown, John T. Cannon, Ambrose N. Chamberlain, T. C. Chandler, Harry Dudley, Edward Fitzgerald, and A. W. Grenille among others. In a letter home, one private in the 11th said that there were over two hundred of the regiment that were sick and they were not able to drill as a result.

By the end of July the men had been properly trained and were ordered to East Tennessee to garrison a strategic point at the Kentucky, Virginia, and Tennessee borders where a Union invasion was expected. As the regiment passed back through Nashville on its way to East Tennessee, it was drawn up in the midst of a great concourse of people who had gathered for the occasion and was presented a new regimental standard. Speeches were made by significant people, and Southern patriotism ran high among both soldiers and citizens. Soon, the soldiers were again on the march with orders to report at Cumberland Gap, Tennessee where they would become a part of Brigadier General Felix K. Zollicoffer’s Brigade. By the beginning of September the regiment had arrived at Cumberland Gap. A few weeks later, the regiment with most of Zollicoffer’s Brigade was ordered fifteen miles into Kentucky where camp would be established at Cumberland Ford, Kentucky. On September 26, the 11th Tennessee with support from other units was to move against a small force of the enemy at Laurel Bridge, Kentucky. Colonel Rains was placed in command of the force. The attack against the enemy’s encampment was executed with favorable results. After the skirmish Rains returned with his men and the spoils of war to Cumberland Ford. The 11th Tennessee suffered no reported casualties in this engagement.

The 11th Tennessee remained in camp for about the next month, when Zollicoffer moved with his brigade against a much larger force of the enemy encamped in the Rockcastle Hills. The 11th Tennessee moved out with the remainder of the brigade on October 16. The brigade marched over rough Kentucky roads for the next several days and finally engaged the enemy on October 21, 1861. In this minor battle, the Confederates were repulsed with insignificant loss, but were forced to retreat back to Cumberland Ford. A few days after their arrival at the Ford, Zollicoffer fearing an advance on the part of the enemy, ordered the abandonment of the camp. Hence, the brigade was moved back to the much stronger position at Cumberland Gap.

Soon, Zollicoffer departed on his ill-fated campaign that resulted in his death at in the Battle of Fishing Creek, Kentucky. While he was absent on this campaign, Zollicoffer left the 11th Tennessee and various other units to garrison the Gap. The overall command of this position was left under the command of Colonel James E. Rains of the 11th Tennessee Infantry. The 11th Tennessee continued fortifying and strengthening the positions at Cumberland Gap through the beginning of the new year.

We would like to include as much information in our forthcoming regimental history on the 11th Tennessee Infantry as possible. If anyone has additional information regarding the members of this regiment such as photographs, wartime diaries, letters, or other memorabilia please send an email to:

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