General John Crawford Vaughn Commanded the Third Tennessee Volunteers in the Civil War

General John Crawford Vaughn

He was in Charleston, South Carolina on a business trip on 12 April 1861 when General Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard fired on Fort Summer. He terminated his business and rushed home to recruit an outfit for the Southern army. He was commissioned a Colonel of the Third Tennessee Volunteers in Lynchburg, Virginia. He moved his brigade to Harper's Ferry where he joined up with General Joseph Eggleston Johnson's army. He moved Romney, Virginia, where the Third Tennessee was placed in a brigade commanded by Colonel Ambrose Powell Hill, along with the 10th Virginia Infantry Regiment. His first action was on 19 June 1861, when two companies from each regiment, under the command of Colonel Vaughn, destroyed a railroad bridge on the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad at New Creek, Virginia, and captured two pieces of artillery. This was supposedly the first artillery captured by a Southern Army.
Following the Battle of Manassas he fought Jay Hawkers in Tennessee and Virginia in the army of Major General Edmund Kirby Smith. He later was then placed in Major General Carter L. Stevenson's Division wher he formed the rear guard for John Clifford Pemberton's army on the way to Raymond, Mississippi. His brigade manned the upper trenches at Vicksburg, Mississippi untill 4 July 1863 when General Pemberton surrendered to General Grant. He was traded for Union officers and then fought with General Jubal Anderson Early. When General David Hunter began his march against Lee's communications in 1864, Vaughn assisted in repelling his advance. In the performance of this duty he was engaged in the battle of Piedmont, and after the death of General William Edmondson "Grumble" Jones assumed command and brought off the shattered forces successfully. He was with Early in his successful campaign against Hunter, and in the last advance in Maryland and the valley of Virginia. Being wounded near Martinsburg, West Virginia he was furloughed and returned to Bristol, Tenn. After the death of General John Hunt Morgan, he took command of the forces in east Tennessee. When Lee surrendered, Vaughn's command was at Christiansburg, Virginia confronting Major General George Stoneman.After General Robert Edward Lee surrendered the Army of Northern Virginia in April 1865, he was ordered to Charlotte, North Carolina where he was in charge of the escort for President Jefferson Davis when he started his run for Texas to join up with General Edmund Kirby Smith. A troop of cavalry under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Benjamin Pritchard of the 4th Michigan Cavalry captured the party while camped near Irwinville, Washington County, Georgia on 9 May 1865.

Following the war he went to south Georgia for a time and then returned to Tennessee where he was elected to the state Senate, of which he was made presiding officer. At the close of his term he returned to south Georgia, where he remained until his death, being engaged either as a merchant at Thomasville [Georgia] or in planting. He died at his residence in Brooks County, Ga., August 10, 1875.
John Crawford Vaughn born 24 Feb 1824 was the first son of Alfred James Vaughn and Mary Jane Crawford. When the war with Mexico started he entered the Fifth Tennessee volunteers as a captain and served throughout the war. At its close he returned to his home in east Tennessee and became a merchant in the little village of Sweetwater.