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Sumner Co., TN--In the Civil War-- TNFlag TNFlag

Sumner County, Tennessee
In the Civil War

By Edwin L. Ferguson

Privately Printed by the Author, 1972

Printed by Monroe County Press
Tompkinsville, Kentucky

Thanks to the Ferguson family, for permission to reprint this book!


The Staff of the Historical Department,
State Archives, Nashville.

My wife, who has helped in the compilation
and arrangement.

Mr. and Mrs. Porter Womack
Mr. Luther Pond
Mr. Lloyd Brown
Mr. Vernon Griffin
Mr. Allen Green

Without the aid and encouragement of whom this work would never have been completed.

Table of Contents

2nd Tennessee Infantry
7th Tennessee Infantry
18th Tennessee Infantry
20th Tennessee Infantry
23rd Tennessee Infantry
24th Tennessee Infantry
30th Tennessee Infantry - Coming Soon!
55th Tennessee Infantry
44th Tennessee Infantry
2nd Cavalry Battalion
7th Cavalry Battalion - Coming Soon!
4th or 8th Tennessee Cavalry
9th Tennessee Cavalry - See The Battle of Hartsville
In Other Commands

Note from Diane Payne:
Also see Volume II

Volume II, Compiled from later and additional information.


Dedicated to those noble patriots who left their peaceful homes and quiet firesides in Sumner County during the troubleous years of 1861 to 1865, and for four long years braved the dangers of the battlefield, endured the privations of the march and bivouac, living on scant rations, often raggedrd and barefooted, yet uncomplaining, winning for their native county of Sumner the honor of having furnished more soldiers than the county had voters. He had enlisted, not to establish the right of secession, not for love of the slave, most of them had no slaves, but just to resist the invasion of the South by the North, simply to prevent subjugation. They were not all intellectual or cultured. He cared little for politics, less for slavery. He did care for his own soil, his own little humble home, and he was willing to fight to drive the invader from it.

Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation did not stimulate him in the least. Rather the opposite. The negro, free or slave, was of no consequence to him. His quarrel was a sectional one, and he fought for his section.

Many fell under their colors, many died in northern prisons, many died in hospitals. All others have long since been summoned hence by the last tattoo. This unworthy tribute is to plead that we do not entirely forget these heroes who were fighting for a PRINCIPLE.


Having spent thirty years of my life in Sumner County schoolrooms discussing matters historical with students, we were often questioned by history classes as to what part Sumner County played in our different wars. History did not have space to devote to the private soldier, and to just what happened to him. Our great generals could not have become so if it had not been for the men serving under them. There has never been anything written giving the records of these unsung heroes. In attempting to get a service record of each individual man has taken years of time, a lot of traveling and considerable expense.

These records are taken from the State Archives at Nashville and General Service Administration at Washington D.C. If the individual record is short it merely gives the most important things connected with the veteran. If longer it usually gives, in the veterans own words, his record as stated in his application for a pension. These statements of the veteran vary in the type of information given, some going into detail more than others. Very few seem to have been exaggerating.

When the Civil War began in 1861, volunteers rushed to enlist in such numbers that it was impossible to arm and equip them. Some companies and regiments were ordered disbanded until arms could be secured. Of the early regiments, most were armed with flintlock muskets and/or shotguns. Arms were imported from Europe until the blockade of southern ports stopped importations. Thousands were captured from the Union forces.

Tennessee won the title of "The Volunteer State" in the Mexican war and sustained the title in the Civil War. Sumner County furnished 27 complete companies of 100 men each; a goodly percentage in some 25 other companies and had men in at least 50 other companies as well as in troops from several other states.

Tennessee furnished some 69 Infantry Regiments to the Confederacy besides about 20 Cavalry Regiments and a number of Independent Companies, Battalions and Artillery Batteries. These organizations numbered about 100,000 men fighting for'the Confederacy and a principle of States Rights. The state also furnished to the Union about 30,000 men, just as conscientious in their beliefs as those of the Confederacy.

Now, after a passage of well over one hundred years, too much has been forgotten, or never known, about these valiant patriots.

Very often the remark has been heard, "I had a relative in the Confederate Army but do not know anything more". Histories available to us as students in school could not go into detail about personal records, etc. Space forbade mention of the long marches, barefooted, ragged, hungry, the killed and wounded except as so many lost in battle, the ones captured and starving and dying in northern prisons, eating rats, dogs, etc. Here we try to not glorify the leaders, they already having received that honor in history, but to bring out the private and lower officers in all the detail possible.

Some records were lost in battle, some destroyed, and some very poorly kept. Infantry records are more complete than Cavalry, while Artillery records are almost non-existent. Numerous transfers were made and these records poorly kept if kept at all. Dismounted cavalry transferred to infantry were in some cases never listed as having been transferred, simply never mentioned again.

The records of Morgan's Cavalry were very incomplete and on the Ohio Raid we have to depend altogether on Union records of prisoners.

In Forrest's Cavalry records are especially hard to trace as in two instances his commands were taken from him by Gen. Bragg and he had to recruit a new command.

Sumner County furnished to the Confederacy some 3,300 men listed on the following pages in what is believed to be the most nearly complete service records ever compiled from the county in the Confederate Army. Any omission is sincerely regretted and be assured it was not intentional.

The greater part of these men received their training at Camp Trousdale on the L & N RR near the little village of Richland Station, now Portland. Here they were organized into regiments, uniformed as well as possible, armed with Flintlock Muskets and given tents. Brick ovens for baking were built, the remains of which can be found today. The camp was north-eastward from Portland and included therein was Cold Spring School. The school building was used as a hospital and has been moved to another location on the McGlothlin farm where it still stands, being used as an outbuilding. The field just across the road from the Eddie Jones farm was used as a drill field. It is said that one Regimental Band could only play two tunes, namely "The Girl I Left Behind Me" and "The Bob-Tailed Nag".

As so many men were there, lack of sanitation soon began to take its toll. Hundreds of beeves and hogs were butchered, the waste from which were thrown into a sink hole. This drained into the water supply from Cold Spring causing Dysentery and Typhoid. The open ditch latrines did not help the matter. This forced the moving of Camp Trousdale to a location west of Portland near the Gas Pumping Station. Faint traces are to be seen there. A marker will be noticed on the side of the highway giving information as to the units that were trained at Camp Trousdale, some of which is not correct. The marker will be noticed at the entrance to the Vanatta farm.

The marker mentioned as being on Highway 109 at the Vanatta farm states that McNairy's Cavalry Battalion trained at Camp Trousdale. This is an error. This Battalion was organized in Cannon County early in 1861, went to Nashville to be outfitted with shoes, which required about six days, the shoes being made at the Penitentiary. Then went northward through Goodlettsville to Thorn Hill, the home of a Mr. Thornhill who ran a saw mill. Here during the first week of July 1861 they were organized into a Battalion and elected McNairy as Lieutenant Colonel. The next move was to Camp Jackson, near Hendersonville, then to a camp east of Gallatin on the farm of a Mr. Chenault, winding up, eventually under General Zollicoffer at Fishing Creek, Kentucky. From there to the bloody field of Shiloh, after which in the complete re-organization of General Bragg's Army they were consolidated with the 7th Cavalry Battalion to form the famous 2nd Tennessee Cavalry. Richmond never recognized them as such and officially they were the 22nd Tennessee Cavalry, being in more skirmishes and battles than any other Confederate regiment. This is explained in detail under 2nd or 22nd Cavalry with service records, the 7th Battalion being from Sumner County.

A few words about the unequalness of this struggle beginning in April 1861 and lasting until April 1865.

The north had a population of 18,000,000. The south 8,500.000 of which 4,000,000 were negroes. Out of this southern population the southern states furnished soldiers to the northern Army as follows; Virginia (mostly what is now West Virginia) 30,000; Missouri, 107,773; Kentucky, 78,450; Maryland, 49,730, District of Columbia, 16,872; and our own Tennessee 31,500 (mostly from East Tennessee).

The Federal Government furnished 2,759,049 men.

The Confederate Government furnished 615,000 men.

The north had an army, a navy, the best arms and ammunition then known, a currency, credit, open markets and almost all of the nations factories.

The south had no army, no navy, few arms, no currency, no credit and a Government still to be formed.

The Northern losses from killed, died of wounds and diseases was 279,376.

The Southern losses from the same three sources were 133,821.

Desertions from the northern armies were 199,105.

From the Confederate armies 104,128.

The north lost from captures 270,000.

The south from this source 220,000.

The fact that over 4,000 more Confederate prisoners died in northern than Federal troops in southern prisons shows very plainly which received the most humane treatment and this with the south cut off by blockade from the rest of the world and unable to get medical supplies.

The northern dead are interred in over 100 well kept National Cemeteries, with marked graves and in most cases, names.

The southern dead were rolled in shallow graves, their faces covered with ragged blankets, if available with few markers or known graves.

An inscription on one such mass grave on Fishing Creek battlefield closes with these lines; "We do not know who they were, but we do know what they were".

Their comrades had to turn their backs and hurry away to fight other battles, leaving them in unknown graves to be grown up in bushes, briars and weeds.

As we have so many times referred to captured Confederate soldiers being sent to prisons to await exchange, the wars end, or the death that was the fate of hundreds, we think it fitting to locate for the reader these several prisons. Some 150 prisons were established on both the northern and southern factions of the great struggle. We herewith give the most famous of the northern prisons and something of their location.

It must be remembered that these northern prisons were much further north than the border of the two factions. The Confederate soldier soon wore out his uniform and as it was almost impossible to get another, he was very deficient in clothing when captured.

The prisons were hastily and poorly constructed, very little arrangements for heating, this coupled with the debility of the men from little food, made them fit subjects for disease. Often only one stove for 200 men or more. Blankets were seldom supplied by their captors.

Fort Warren in the harbor of Boston, Mass. near the town of Hull.

McHenry at Baltimore, Md.

Fortress Monroe in Va.

Fort Delaware on the Delaware River. One of the most hated of all prisons by its Confederate inmates.

Alton, Ill. A penitentiary about 50 miles north of St. Louis, MO, but on the Illinois side of the Mississippi.

Camp Chase was near Columbus, Ohio

Johnson's Island, Ohio. On an island in Sandusky Bay, Lake Erie, near the city of Sandusky, Ohio. For officers only but a few enlisted men were sent there.

Old Capital on Gratiot Street, Washington, D.C.

Camp Morton near Indianapolis, Indiana.

Camp Douglas, Ill. Where the southern part of Chicago stands today. Land donated by Senator Douglas of Ill. Built to accommodate 30,000 prisoners. Soon crowded by far more than that number. Contained 30 acres, enclosed by a stockade. Here the suffering was terrible, the barracks being poorly heated, if heated at all. Some of the sick actually froze to death. Prisoneers were severely punished for slight offenses being "Bucked and Gagged", hung by their thumbs, made to sit bare on the snow and ice, etc.

Elmira, New York in the south central part of the state. For privates only. Here the suffering was terrible, especially in winter.

Rock Island, Ill. on an island on the Mississippi River near the present city of Moline, Ill.

Point Lookout, Md on the southern point of the peninsula between the Potomac River and Cheaspeake Bay.

City Point, Va on the James River near the present city of Hopewell, Virginia about 80 miles south of Richmond.

Point Lookout and City Point were both very important in the exchange of prisoners.

Camp Butler, Ill. near Springfield. So notorious for prisoner deaths it was condemned by U. S. Authorities.

See report of Federal Authorities in this volume, on conditions found at Camp Butler.

We note that hundreds of men took "The Oath" to get out of prison or to avoid being sent there. This was "The Amnesty Oath", most hated by all southern men. In order to more fully understand just what such oath meant we add the following copy.

Camp Butler, Illinois
July 4, 1862

I, John Doe, private in Co. I, 30th Tennessee Infantry, a prisoner of war, do hereby swear in the presence of the Almighty God that I will faithfully support and protect and defend the Constitution of The United States and the Union of the States of the Union thereunder; and that I will, in like manner, abide by and faithfully support the acts of Congress during the existing rebellion with reference to slaves, so long and so far as not repealed, modified, or held void by Congress, or by a decision of the Supreme Court; and that I will, in like manner abide by and faithfully support all the proclamations of the President during the existing rebellion having reference to slavery so long and so far as not modified or declared void by a decision of the Supreme Court; so help me God.

Signed: John Doe
Notarized, subscribed and sworn to at Camp Butler Barracks, Ill. this 4th day of July 1862.

Description of man: The above named has fair complexion, light hair, blue eyes and is 5 ft., 9 in. high and is 29 years of age.
Signed: John Smith First Lt. & Post Adjutant

Another form of oath, called the parole oath, was in force while an exchange was being made of war prisoners.

Headquarters U. S. Forces
Thomasville, Georgia
May 4, 1865

I, the undersigned, J. B. Smith, private of the 18th Regiment of Tennessee Infantry do solemnly swear that I will not bear arms against the United States of America, or give any information, or do any military duty whatsoever against the United States of America, until regularly exchanged as a prisoner of war.
Signed: J. B. Smith

Description: Height 5 ft. 11 in., Hair dark, Eyes hazel, Complexion dark. I certify that the above parole was given me on the date written, on the following conditions; The above named person is allowed to return to his home, not to be disturbed by the Military authorities of the United States so long as he observes the parole and obeys the laws that were in effect previous to Jan. 1, 1861 where he resided. By order of Brigadier General E. M. McCook.

Signed: G. W. Burns
Captain and Provost Marshall

This parole oath seemed to be made to order for those who deserted and gave themselves up, (captured as deserters) to Union forces.

In some cases a cash bond was required in addition to the above.

Provost Marshall's Office
Gallatin, Tenn.
May 7,1863

William Perry of Sumner County, State of Tennessee has taken the oath of Allegiance to the U. S. Government and filed bond in the sum of two hundred dollars for faithful observance of the same at this office.

Signed J. J. Scurrett Provost Marshall

When the Confederate forces were surrendered at the close of the Civil War in 1865 the men were given paroles or passes permitting them to go home unmolested. As few persons have seen such document we include a copy such as was given our Sumner County men.

Appamattox Court House, Virginia
April 10,1865

The bearer, Timothy D. Elizer, private, Co. H, 44th Regiment of Tennessee Infantry, a paroled prisoner of the Army of Northern Virginia, has permission to go to his home and remain undisturbed.

Signed: G. T. Dodson
Commanding Company

This gentleman, Mr. Elizer, will be found properly listed on the roster of the 44th Tennessee Confederate Infantry, Co. H among the men from Sumner County that served in that regiment.

Tennessee troops that trained at Camp Trousdale:

3rd Tennessee Infantry - Colonel John C. Brown
The 7th Tennessee Infantry - Col. Robert Hatton
The 8th Tennessee Infantry - Col. Albert Fulton
The 16th Tennessee Infantry - Col. John H. Savage
The 17th Tennessee Infantry - Col. Tasewell W. Newman
The 18th Tennessee Infantry - Col. Joseph B. Palmer
The 20th Tennessee Infantry - Col. Joel A. Battle
The 23rd Tennessee Infantry - Col. Mathis Martin
The 24th Tennessee Infantry - Col. R. D. Allison
The 32nd Tennessee Infantry - Col. Edmund E. Cook
The 35th Tennessee Infantry - Col. Benjamin J. Hill
The 41st Tennessee Infantry - Col. Robert Farquarson
The 44th Tennessee Infantry - Col. G. A. McDaniel
The 45th Tennessee Infantry - Col. Addison Mitchell
The 55th Tennessee Infantry - Col. James A. McKoin
The 2nd Tennessee Cavalry - Col. E. S. Smith
The 2nd Cavalry Battalion - Lt. Col. Samuel H. Jones
The 1st Artillery Battery - Capt. Arthur M. Rutledge.
Morton's Light Artillery Co.- Capt. John W. Morton
Woodwards Tennessee Cavalry Co. - Capt. Thomas C. Woodward

These commands were not all there at the same time. Camp Trousdale was abandoned in February 1862 when the Confederates retreated from Bowling Green, Ky. to Nashville following defeats at Fishing Creek, Ky. on Jan. 19, 1862 and at Ft. Donelson, Feb. 16, 1862. This retreat passed through this section of Tennessee Feb. 17, 1862.

The following pages list the names of men from Sumner County known to have served in the Confederate Army with the very best known information as to Regiments and Companies to which they belonged.

A few names will be found listed in different Regiments. This is not an inaccuracy but was caused by these men being so full of patriotism that when escaping from northern prisons or being separated from their original commands they, not being able to locate and rejoin their commands, enlisted in other commands.

We must remember that they did not have means to communicate and learn the whereabouts of their old commands.

While we do not say that the following lists are accurate or complete, we will say that they are compiled from the very best records to be found. We regret more than words can express, the fact that names are omitted but we excuse ourself by the fact that the South did not have the man power to use in record keeping. Every man was needed for more important duties.

We might summarize by saying that THE SOUTH WAS LACKING IN EVERYTHING BUT BRAVERY. This proven by the fact that on men of military age, nine of every ten served in some branch of the Confederate Army, while in the Union only four out of ten saw military service.

The Civil War has been called the last romantic war. It was in reality, the first modern war, and war is just about as romantic as a hog killing.

If starvation was romantic, then the Civil War was romantic. If diarrhea, gangrene, assorted fevers, pneumonia measles, smallpox, typhus and various infections was romantic then the Civil War was romantic. If it is romantic to butcher young men by the thousands, saw off broken limbs without an anesthetic, insert maggots into wounds to eat out infections, to have them freeze and die while in prison, to have them wallow in mud in trenches without food or water, and then have no medicines available by reason of the blockade, then the Civil War was, indeed, the most romantic war the nation had been in to that date.

When the wind was right an army, Yankee or Rebel, could be smelled long before it could be seen. It was not a smell to be soon forgotten.

"War" said Sherman was "Hell". He said this in 1861 before the wholesale bloodletting, destruction and rapine of an all-out Civil War. He did not express himself after his famous "March To The Sea".

A very good example of Sherman's opinion is this description of the retreat of the Federal Army from Bull Run. "At about half past four P M. the holiday makers on the green hills instead of seeing a Confederate retreat beheld the Union Army in undoubted retreat. They rapidly harnessed their horses and drove lickety-split towards Cub Run Bridge. Civilian sightseers and soldiers reached the bridge about the same time. As the mass of retreating soldiers reached the bridge an artillery shot struck a team and wagon in the center of the bridge completely blocking it. In a very few minutes a traffic jam blocked that narrow exit. Congressmen's Landaus, Army wagons, horses pulling cannons, ambulances bearing wounded, retreating men on foot; all piled up against each other. Orders were shouted; no one paid any attention". As men yelled that the Rebels were coming fluttery female screams rent the air. Panic seized the mob. When the broken wagon and wounded horses were finally gotten off the bridge and the vehicles got in motion again, the panic increased. Congressmen were as anxious to reach and cross the Potomoc River as the begrimed volunteers. Wheels of vehicles interlocked. Riderless horses trampled men that had stumbled. Swirling dust half strangled the fugitives. With the road choked, the mass exodus spread a hundred yards to right and left, into fields and woods. A few officers, courageously attempted to form a resistant body of troops. but the men thrust them aside. A daring newspaper far-flung flag, hoisted it, and patriotically called on the men to rally. He was brushed aside and the stampede rolled on. Some frantic chaps cut the harness from horses drawing carts, etc., mounted them and rode off on them leaving the occupants of the vehicle stranded. A bunch of cowardly Zouaves from a New York Regiment dragged the protesting, pleading, wounded from an ambulance and drove off in it themselves.

"The distraught mass surged on, every man for himself. ignoring the pleas of the wounded and those who fell out from exhaustion."

The ground was now covered with arms, clothing, accouterments of all kinds left to be trampled in the dust by men and horses. The runaways ran alongside the wagons trying to force themselves in among the occupants who resisted them tooth and nail.

Perhaps Sherman had something like the above in mind. It is from a Union report. Then he did his best to add to his famous definition on his "March To The Sea".So many people do not realize, today, what the Civil War meant that we add the following account written by a southern lady.

"Like demons they rushed in" she wrote, "to her smokehouse, her dairy, kitchen and cellar, breaking locks and whatever was in their way". In a twinkling, the thousand pounds of meat was gone from her smokehouse and her flour, lard, butter, eggs, pickles and wine. Her eighteen fat turkeys, hens, chickens and pigs were shot down in the yard and hunted as if they had been Rebels themselves. The invaders took the mules and her sheep and worst of all they forced her negro boys to go, at bayonet's point, even a poor lame lad who had "crawled under the floor to escape."

Such as the above having happened over a hundred years ago are not visualized as having happened here in our own county as well as all over the southland.

Our grandparents had to recover from almost nothing and start anew. The south has never fully recovered from the financial losses incurred during the rebellion.

All credit must not be given to our fighting men alone. We had patriots that did no fighting. Our southern women are to be admired for the part they played in producing food, nursing the wounded, carrying messages, some of which were very valuable. An example is the Miss Kirby at Hartsville and a small boy who were instrumental in getting a message to Gen. Morgan when an opportune time arrived for attacking the Union forces encamped at Hartsville.

A lead mine was operated on a small scale near New Hope Church during the first year of the war. Two men near Goodlettsville made guns, a Mr. George W. Kemper and Mr. Alexander Stalcup. Only a few were produced but they were exceptionally well made.

Sumner County, Tennessee was named for Gen. Jethro Sumner of Revolutionary War fame. It's first settler was Thomas Sharp Spencer who settled at what is now Castallion Springs then called Bledsoe's Lick, in 1779.

By 1859 the L & N RR was completed and went into operation the following year with stations in Sumner County at Mitchellville, Richland, Fountain Head, Buck Lodge, Gallatin, Pilot Knob, Saundersville and Hendersonville, the United states was rapidly approaching a crisis in internal affairs caused by different viewpoints held by northern and southern sections of the nation.

When the Civil War began in 1861, Sumner County was much larger than now. The Constitution of 1870 formed Trousdale County from a part of Sumner, Macon and Smith counties. Hence, in this work, it must be remembered that it includes as being Sumner Countians, those who then lived in that territory.

The first Court House was built in 1803, the one now in use being the second one.

When the war began Gallatin had a Court House, jail, brick church used by all denominations, a Presbyterian Church Masonic Hall, two Newspapers, 12 stores, two Taverns, 11 Lawyers, four Doctors, one Cabinet Shop, one Chair Factory, three Tailor shops, two Shoemaker Shops, two Sadler shops, one Wagon Maker, one Tanyard, one Tinner and Coppersmith three Blacksmith Shops, one Hatter, one Male Academy, two Female Academies. A population of 666 of which 234 were colored. Of dwellings there were 35 log houses, 36 frame and 27 brick. A stage from Lexington, Ky. to Nashville three times weekly and one to Carthage twice weekly. A steamboat landing at the mouth of Elliott's Branch run by a Mr. Boyers.

Cairo -two doctors, church, academy, tavern, cabinet shop, cotton factory, 30 families. Incorporated in 1815. Steamboat landing.

Bledsoe's Lick (Castallion Springs) -General store, post office, blacksmith shop, wagon makers shop, Methodist church.

Hendersonville -Four stores, two schools, two churches mechanics shop, post office, depot.

Saundersville -Four stores, depot.

Mitchell -Two stores, post office, tobacco factory. (Mitchellville)

Fountain Head -Four stores, tobacco factory, depot.

South Tunnell -Store, post office (in Rodemer's Store), depot.

Richland (Portland) - Store, post office, depot.

Cottontown - Two stores, post office, saw mill, grist mill.

Bethpage -Store, post office, church.

Coat's Town (Westmoreland) -Store, post office.

Parham -Store, post office. Later Pitt & Jackson's Store.

A. B. C. (Turner's Station) -Store, post office.

Perdue (Sengtown) -Store, post office.

Witham - Store, post office. Near Liberty church, between Portland and Westmoreland.

Enon -College, school, store, post office. Near Payne's Store.

Pondville -Store, post office.

Sugar Grove -Store, post office.

Worsham (Shackle Island) -Church, store, post office.

Saundersville -Store, post office, church, depot.

Most post offices were in stores. Mitchell was in process of moving to the nearby RR and becoming Mitchellville.

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