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

Clay-Kenner House

Murder in the Streets

 
 
Clay-Kenner House Marker image. Click for full size.
By Tom Bosse, September 10, 2016
1. Clay-Kenner House Marker
Inscription. John G. Bynum and his wife Nancy Bradley Phipps Bynum, owned this house during the Civil War. The value of his land and slaves in 1860 totaled $140,000, an enormous sum for the time. Bynum helped raise the county's first Confederate unit, the Hawkins County Boys. In December 1861, local Confederates killed Unionist William K. Byrd in the so-called "Byrd Raid", and Bynum was suspected of involvement. The Byrd Raid began almost four years of indiscriminate attacks between Confederates and Unionists in Hawkins County.

In 1862, Confederate supporter John D. Riley murdered Bynum in front of the Bank of Tennessee (now the Masonic Temple) three blocks west of here. According to diarist Eliza Rhea Anderson Fain, the pair earlier had "an altercation" and neither forgot: "Time passed along and each seemed to be cherishing the dark malignant passions of the heart." Riley discharged a shotgun at Bynum's chest, "tearing one lung to pieces." Bynum fired his revolver as he fell from his horse, wounding Riley. Bynum died at the scene, but Riley was not arrested.

Three years later, Nancy Bynum married Confederate Capt. Henry Boyle Clay, a grandson of the famous U.S. Senator from Kentucky. Capt. Clay served on the staff of cavalry Gen. John Pegram before transferring to the staff of Lt. Col. Basil W. Duke, one of Gen. John Hunt Morgan's
Clay-Kenner House Marker image. Click for full size.
By Tom Bosse, September 10, 2016
2. Clay-Kenner House Marker
subordinates. Clay was with Morgan on the day Morgan died in Greenville. When Union soldiers forced him to identify Morgan's body, Clay cried out, "You have just killed the best man in the Confederacy."

(sidebar)
John A. McKinney, a prominent attorney, constructed the Clay-Kenner House in the Italianate style about 1845. The house was modified in the 1870s with the interior woodwork and the Victorian porch on the eastern side. The front portico, in the Greek Revival style, replaced an 1870s veranda in 1962. (captions)
Clay-Kenner House - Courtesy Rick Lewis
Nancy Bynum Clay Courtesy Rick Lewis
Henry Boyle Clay Courtesy Rick Lewis
Henry Boyle Clay in old age Courtesy Shelia Johnson and Frank R. Netherland
 
Erected 2016 by Tennesse Civil War Trails.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Tennessee Civil War Trails marker series.
 
Location. 36° 24.517′ N, 83° 0.233′ W. Marker is in Rogersville, Tennessee, in Hawkins County. Marker can be reached from the intersection of East Main Street and Clay Street, on the left when traveling east. Click for map. Marker is in this post office area: Rogersville TN 37857, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within
Clay-Kenner House image. Click for full size.
By Tom Bosse, September 10, 2016
3. Clay-Kenner House
walking distance of this marker. Tennessee's First Newspaper (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Alexander Peter Stewart (about 600 feet away); Hawkins County, Tennessee (approx. 0.2 miles away); Rogersville Town Well (approx. 0.2 miles away); Dr. William Henderson Franklin (approx. 0.2 miles away); St. Marks Presbyterian Church (approx. mile away); Swift Memorial College (approx. mile away); Old Cemetery - First Presbyterian Church of Rogersville (approx. mile away). Click for a list of all markers in Rogersville.
 
Categories. ArchitectureWar, US Civil
 
Clay-Kenner House image. Click for full size.
By Tom Bosse, September 10, 2016
4. Clay-Kenner House
Clay-Kenner House image. Click for full size.
By Tom Bosse, September 10, 2016
5. Clay-Kenner House
Clay-Kenner House image. Click for full size.
By Tom Bosse, September 10, 2016
6. Clay-Kenner House
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Tom Bosse of Jefferson City, Tennessee. This page has been viewed 144 times since then and 28 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on , by Tom Bosse of Jefferson City, Tennessee. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on September 12, 2016.
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