John Scruggs
35th Tennessee Infantry
Company D


Submitted by Greg Curtis





John Scruggs was born to Lucinda and Carter Scruggs, in Marion County. His father was a farmer, a wagon maker, blacksmith, shoemaker, and worked in a saddle shop. His mother did the housework, sewing, weaving, and cooking. John would help his parents by hoeing and plowing the garden. He lived in a log house that was made up of two rooms. The schools that he attended were public. John was in school for ten years of his life. His parents had $500 in property and didn't own any slaves or servants before the war broke out.

John was seventeen when he joined the Confederate army. He enlisted with the 35th Tenn. on Sept. 6, 1861 at Camp Smartt. He was sent to Bowling Green, KY. with his unit to be placed in the army that was being formed for General Albert Sydney Johnston. While in Kentucky he was sent home February 12, 1862, because of the measles. While traveling through Nashville, the Battle of Fort Donaldson was being fought along the Cumberland River to the West. John was on furlough at his parent’s home in Altamont until August 9, 1862. Fearing of being captured by Union raiding parties, he decided to return to the army. His first fight was the Battle of Perryville, KY. then he followed his command into the Battle of Murfreesboro. While in the military his unit suffered through short rations, light clothing, poor shelter, and exposed to disease. In July of 1864 he was captured by a Yankee soldier and taken to the headquarters of Gen. McPherson. After an investigation they promptly returned him to his command under a flag of truce. During his career he rose to the rank of First Sergeant of Company D of the 35th. He participated in the battles of Perryville KY., Murfreesboro, Chickamauga, Missionary Ridge, and the Atlanta Campaign. He was in many battles that ranged from Kentucky to his final surrender at Greensboro, North Carolina before his return home. John started his way home on May 3, 1865.

After the war he engaged in teaching, store clerking, and the Court Clerk for Grundy County. He was married twice and had eight children with his first wife. After the death of his wife in 1889 he married a German woman named Bertha O' Leary. During his life he had the opportunity to meet the most respected man of his time, General Robert E. Lee. John was a member of the Methodist Church and a Mason. He died on March 29, 1931.
He is buried at the Altamont Cemetery.