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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Carthage in Smith County, Tennessee — The American South (East South Central)
 

Smith County Courthouse Square

A Major Federal Base

 
 
Smith County Courthouse Square Marker image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, July 22, 2013
1. Smith County Courthouse Square Marker
Inscription. Carthage’s historic courthouse square was the control center of a major Federal base from 1863 to 1865 in the fight to control the Upper Cumberland River region. When Union Gen. George Crook arrived in Carthage to stay in 1863, he commandeered the courthouse for his headquarters. From here, Crook and subsequent commanders directed the work necessary for the construction of the earthworks on Battery Hill and organized excursions into the countryside. In June 1863, Col. William B. Stokes, 5th Tennessee Cavalry (US), replaced Crook and waged a determined war against the many partisan units in the region. In September 1864, Stokes asked permission to “clear the country” of Confederates so “to prevent them from bush whacking.” The last officer in command here, Col. Abraham E. Garrett, led the 1st Tennessee Mounted Infantry, a 400–man unit largely recruited in Carthage and Nashville. Garrett wrote some of his morning reports in the county’s will books. After the war, he remained in Carthage, where he was an attorney and also represented Smith County in the Tennessee General Assembly.

At the northwest corner of the square is the historic Carthage City Cemetery, which contains the remains of both Confederate and Federal soldiers and officers. Confederate Col. John A. Fite is buried there, as are Union
Smith County Courthouse Square Marker image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, July 22, 2013
2. Smith County Courthouse Square Marker
Cols. Abraham E. Garrett and William B. Pickering. The square also includes a Confederate monument erected in 1930 by the Henry W. Hart Chapter of United Daughters of the Confederacy.

(Inscription under the photo in the lower left)
The first courthouse was built in 1805. It was fifty feet square with four offices and a hall on the first floor and two offices and courtroom on the second floor. The present courthouse was built a few years after the Civil War and is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

(Inscription under the photo in the lower right)
Thirteen Civil War veterans gathered at the Smith County Courthouse in 1926. By this time, the number of Civil War survivors had dewindled to merely a handful. – Courtesy of Lecil McDonald, Smith County resident, WWII Veteran

Smith County Courthouse
 
Erected by Tennessee Civil War Trails.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Tennessee Civil War Trails, and the United Daughters of the Confederacy marker series.
 
Location. 36° 15.077′ N, 85° 57.142′ W. Marker is in Carthage, Tennessee, in Smith County. Marker is at the intersection of Main Street and 2nd Avenue, on the left when traveling north on Main Street. Click for map. Marker is in this post office area: Carthage TN 37030, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers.
Smith County Courthouse Square Marker image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, July 22, 2013
3. Smith County Courthouse Square Marker
At least 8 other markers are within 10 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Captain William Walton (a few steps from this marker); Benton McMillin (a few steps from this marker); Bragg Invades Kentucky (a few steps from this marker); Upper Ferry (approx. 0.6 miles away); Rome Ferry (approx. 6.6 miles away); Civil War in Granville (approx. 8.8 miles away); Granville, Tennessee (approx. 8.8 miles away); Deford Baily (approx. 9.3 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Carthage.
 
Categories. War, US Civil
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Md 21234. This page has been viewed 337 times since then and 17 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on , by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Md 21234. • Al Wolf was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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