35th Tennessee Infantry
Submitted by Greg
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.