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

Maryville During the Civil War


Maryville During the Civil War Marker image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, July 29, 2013
1. Maryville During the Civil War Marker
Inscription. During the antebellum period, Blount County supported abolitionism. In 1822, local Quakers and other residents formed an abolitionist society, and in the decades following, local clergymen preached against the evils of slavery. When the county considered secession in 1861, residents voted to remain with the Union, 1,766 to 414.

Fighting directly touched Maryville, the county seat, in August 1864. Confederate Gen. Joseph Wheeler’s cavalrymen attacked a small detachment of the 2nd Tennessee Infantry (U.S.) under Lt. James M. Dorton at the courthouse. A federal officer later reported that the Confederates, “not caring to hazard lives by storming the place, very foolishly, and I may say criminally set fire into the court-house and burn the enemy out; but instead of doing so the fire spread in all other directions and left the garrison uninjured. The result was all the business property and a great deal of residence property was destroyed, and the people turned out homeless. The fire did not injure the court-house, being isolated from the other buildings.” A Confederate soldier, William Sloan, confided in his diary: “A shameful feature of this fire is that nearly all the victims are people of southern sympathies, and many of their sons are away in the Confederate Army.”

Maryville During the Civil War Marker image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, July 29, 2013
2. Maryville During the Civil War Marker
Lt. James M. Dorton commandeered the courthouse as Union headquarters, the county records were moved to James Toole’s Main Street store. As the fire that the Confederates set spread to the store, former slave Polly Toole ignored the danger, entered the building, and saved the records. A statue of Polly Toole, honoring her bravery, stands in the courthouse today. Maryville recovered after the war, in part with the help of the Freedmen’s Bureau, which funded the construction of Anderson Hall at Maryville College.

Blount County Courthouse, 1842-1879, by John Collins, ca. 1870 - Courtesy Friends Historical Collection, Guilford College, Greensboro, N.C.
George Toole House, used as Union headquarters, 1864 Courtesy The Daily Times, Dean Stone Collection
Samuel Pride House, occupied by officers of each side. Missing two-story porch burned during the war - Courtesy The Daily Times, Dean Stone Collection
Polly Toole by Sculptor Joyce McCroskey
Erected by Tennessee Civil War Trails.
Marker series. This marker is included in the Tennessee Civil War Trails marker series.
Location. 35° 45.369′ N, 83° 58.454′ W. Marker is in Maryville, Tennessee, in Blount County
Bicentennial Greenbelt Park image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, July 29, 2013
3. Bicentennial Greenbelt Park
. Marker can be reached from the intersection of McCammon Avenue and McGhee Street, on the left when traveling east. Click for map. The marker is located along the Maryville-Alcoa Greenway in Bicentennial Greenbelt Park. Marker is in this post office area: Maryville TN 37801, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. New Providence Church (approx. 0.2 miles away); Where Houston Enlisted (approx. 0.2 miles away); Montvale Springs (approx. 0.3 miles away); Pride Mansion (approx. 0.3 miles away); Relief of Knoxville (approx. 0.3 miles away); William Bennett Scott, Sr. (approx. 0.3 miles away); John Craig's Fort (approx. half a mile away); Maryville College (approx. 0.6 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Maryville.
Categories. Abolition & Underground RRAfrican AmericansWar, US Civil
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Md 21234. This page has been viewed 505 times since then and 123 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on , by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Md 21234. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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