J. C. Henley
28th Tennessee Cavalry Company C

Submitted by Greg Curtis




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James Campbell Henley was born in Marion County to a Melinda and Campbell Henley. His father was a farmer and made rail fences. His mother did the housework as well as milking the cow and did the family's sewing. While James was young, he helped by plowing and hoeing the fields. His parents didn't own any slaves and at the beginning of the war had $4,500 in property. During his childhood he attended a public school that was one forth of a mile from his home. He attended school four months out of the year for a total of fifty-five months all together.

In September of 1864 James enlisted with the Confederate army. He was assigned to company C of the 28th Tenn. Cavalry. His unit had the task of scout duty inside the Federal lines. His first taste of action against the enemy happened in McMinnville where he and his company skirmished with the Yankees. On the night of November 29, he and five others were below Fayetteville, TN. when they were surrounded by the enemy. James ran to the river and began to swim across he landed 400 yards down stream. He then ran for a mile before he stopped and slept under some sycamore bushes. At daybreak he made his way back to his command. During later fighting his Company was able to charge the enemy and divide them. This enabled them to capture nine prisoners.

James kept up arms until May 16, 1865. Afterwards he was paroled by the Federals. He made his way home by riding on top of a box cart until he reached Decherd then he walked the rest of the way. After the war James generally did farming, ginning cotton, merchandising, stilling apple brandy, and surveyor for many years. He held the office of justice of the peace for six years. J.C. Henley was seen parading down Union Street in Nashville. He is buried at the Warren (Red Hill) Cemetery.


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