History of the rebellion in Bradley County, East Tennessee
The following work, like many other books is forced into existence by circumstances. Regardless of the previous plans, previous and present wishes or present fears of the author, it arbitrarily assumes its present form. A believer in special Providence, he is compelled to accept it as one of the Providential tasks, if not one of the Providential afflictions of his life.
Having prepared to publish the history of the 9th Indiana, under the present high rates of printing, it was found that upwards of $4000 were necessary to issue 2,000 copies — a book to be properly illustrated and finished, and to contain 600 pages. Only $1,900 had been contributed for this purpose. The scheme must therefore be abandoned, or some method invented to save it from an entire failure. If the sale of the present work does not obviate the difficulty, the enterprise will be relinquished and the subscriptions refunded to all who desire them. The long and heart-rending delay of this work, more heartrending to the writer than to all others concerned, is as unavoidable on his part as it is afflicting, and the only present consolation is the hope that the sequel may yet be to some extent an atonement for past disappointment.
In regard to the present work, many things suggest themselves that might be said; but in any case, it is bad taste, bad economy, and in principle very suspicious to re-wriie a book in. its preface. The principles entertained and views expressed in the following pages, morally, politically and socially, as general laws, are principles and views for which our only regret is that circumstances have militated against their being expressed more pungently and more at length. No person is fit to write upon the subject of our great rebellion who does not feel that it was at war with every principle of justice, every principle sacred to God and humanity, and that his pen is a two- edged sword put into his hand to wield in defense of his own life and of the life of posterity, as the sword and the musket were wielded at Shiloh and other battle-fields of the war — wielded to the death — by the friends of God and of human rights.
The mournful and costly victory in the field has been obtained, but the triumph is lost if the principles for which the bloody ordeal was endured are not, hence forward, unequivocally made the basis of our national action; and the unequivocal and unobstructed triumph of these principles in the nation cannot be maintained, only as writers and speakers upon the subject write and speak from a corresponding^ sense of the moral obligation divinely lain upon us as a people, and from an undying: sympathy with, and an agonizing remembrance of, the bloody sacrifices which, in the Providence of God, was willingly poured out upon the field in defense of universal liberty and universal justice.
The only argument we have for those who think that we have been too severe with rebels, is to ask them to become intimately acquainted with the feelings of those Union people in East Tennessee who were the greatest sufferers — whose bereavements were the most terrible from the rebellion. The trials, sufferings and insults endured, for instance, by the families of Drs. J. G. Brown and Wm. Hunt of Cleveland, and the persecutions and abuses, for instance, heaped upon the family of Gov. Brownlow of Knoxville, would not be accepted the second time by these families for the treasures of the State. These, with hundreds and thousands of other and similar cases in Tennessee, with very many still more disastrous and terrible, are the only arguments which we care to offer in justification of the severity that, by some, will be complained of as attaching to this volume. To ignore such a state of things in any country, and especially in our country, would be as false to the legitimate and vital objects of history as the rebellion itself was monstrous and cruel; and we feel that the spirit in which rebels are dealt with in the following pages, will be sustained by those who, from bitter experience or from theory alone, are able to comprehend the depths of the malignancy of the spirit that originated and sustained the rebellion.
Much of the valuable and interesting matter that was obtained and prepared for this work, and that many readers in Bradley will expect it to contain, we have been compelled to lay aside for want of space. The Gatewood raid through Polk county, and the raids into Bradley from Georgia, in the winter of '64-'65 we have had to abridge to infinitesimal statements, while many other very interesting and important incidents, with historic matter relating to the movements of the two armies in and about Bradley, have necessarily but very reluctantly and with deep mortification to the author, been omitted altogether.
Table of Contents
PRETENSIONS OF THE REBELS TO DIVINE FAVOR 20
ELECTION FOR CONVENTION AND NO CONVENTION 29
THE ELECTION FOR SEPARATION AND NO SEPARATION 46
UNION FLAG RAISED AND LOWERED 59
FIRST CLIFT WAR 66
CAPT. WM. L. BROWN AND THE FIFTH DISTRICT ELECTION 83
UNION PEOPLE ROBBED OF THEIR PRIVATE ARMS 96
MONEY EXTORTED FROM UNION PEOPLE UNDER THE PRETENSE OF PROVIDING FOR THE FAMILIES OF REBEL SOLDIERS 105
THE TUSCALOOSA PRISONERS 113
CAPT. BROWN'S WHIPPING OF THE CAMP WOMEN
THE CLEVELAND BANNER 135
THE STONECYPHER FAMILY 146
CASE OF MR. WILLIAM HUMBERT 165
CASE OF LAWYER A. J. TREWHITT 172
TRIALS AND DEATH OF S. D. RICHMOND 185
REV. ELI H. SOUTHERLAND 191
BRADLEY COUNTY COURT 197
RED FOX 213
WM. LOW 224
MURDER OF FANTROY CARTER 236
MURDER OF THE TWO CARTERS 245
ARTIFICIAL CAVES 257
MR. AMOS POTTS 264
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Bradley is one of the most southern counties of East Tennessee, bordering upon the State of Georgia. It is bounded north by McMinn Connty, east by Polk, south by Georgia, and west by the counties of Hamilton and Meigs. From Cleveland, the county seat, which is in north latitude, thirty-five, it is by rail, twenty-eight miles west to Chattanooga, one hundred and twenty-eight south, to Atlanta, and eighty-two east to Knoxville. The county is twenty-three miles north and south, by nineteen east and west, consequently, it has an area of about four hundred and forty square miles.