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

Battle of Blountville

“Öthe best portion of the town was destroyed”

 
 
Battle of Blountville Marker image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, July 31, 2013
1. Battle of Blountville Marker
Inscription. This is the Sullivan County Courthouse. Its interior was burned during the Union attack on Blountville on September 22, 1863, as Confederate and Federal forces vied for control of the Virginia and Tennessee Railroad, located a few miles east of here. Union Gen. Ambrose E. Burnside needed the railroad for a supply line to Knoxville; the Confederates wanted it for a supply line to Virginia. After several days of skirmishing at Blountville and along the railroad at Carterís Depot and Zollicoffer, the Confederates occupied Blountville while Federal forces held the south bank of the Watauga River.

Union Col. John W. Foster led his cavalry brigade across the river at 9 A.M. on September 22. Confederate Col. James E. Carterís 1st Tennessee Cavalry defended Blountville. For four hours in the afternoon, as Foster occupied Cemetery Hill to your left, the two sides fought an artillery duel until Foster ordered a charge that drove Carterís men out of town.

During the fight, exploding shells set fire to the courthouse and other buildings. Foster reported that “the shells of the enemy set fire to the town, and a great portion of it was consumed.” Mrs. Walter E. Allen, however, later wrote that “a shell from the Federal guns entered the courthouse, setting it on fire, and soon all the best portion of the town
Battle of Blountville / Heritage Trail map image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, July 31, 2013
2. Battle of Blountville / Heritage Trail map
was destroyed.”

(captions)
Sullivan County Courthouse, constructed 1854, ca. 1900 photo Courtesy Hunt Library
Sullivan County commissioners, ca. 1900 Courtesy Hunt Library
 
Erected by Tennessee Civil War Trails.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Tennessee Civil War Trails marker series.
 
Location. 36° 31.98′ N, 82° 19.61′ W. Marker is in Blountville, Tennessee, in Sullivan County. Marker is on Bristol Highway (Tennessee Route 126) west of Anderson Road, on the right when traveling west. Click for map. The marker is on the grounds of the Sullivan County Courthouse. Marker is at or near this postal address: 3425 Tennessee 126, Blountville TN 37617, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Sullivan County (a few steps from this marker); a different marker also named Battle of Blountville (a few steps from this marker); Old Deery Inn (within shouting distance of this marker); a different marker also named Old Deery Inn (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Anderson Townhouse (about 300 feet away); Ralph Blizard
Battle of Blountville Marker image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, July 31, 2013
3. Battle of Blountville Marker
The marker is on the left side of the entrance to the Sullivan County Courthouse
(about 300 feet away); The Cannonball House (about 500 feet away); a different marker also named Battle of Blountville (about 500 feet away). Click for a list of all markers in Blountville.
 
Categories. Railroads & StreetcarsWar, US Civil
 
Front view of the Sullivan County Courthouse image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, July 31, 2013
4. Front view of the Sullivan County Courthouse
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Md 21234. This page has been viewed 324 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. 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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