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Crab Orchard in Cumberland County, Tennessee — The American South (East South Central)
 

Champ Ferguson

Confederate Partisan of the Cumberlands

 
 
Champ Ferguson Marker image. Click for full size.
By Tom Bosse, October 13, 2016
1. Champ Ferguson Marker
Inscription. Samuel "Champ" Ferguson was the most notorious Confederate guerilla leader in the Upper Cumberland mountains. In 1861, he formed a company and began attacking Unionist partisans. Such irregular forces were common on both sides during the war, especially in areas where opinion was divided between Unionists and secessionists. They protected the property of civilians on their own side while looting and killing those on the opposing side, and harassed enemy troops and supply lines.

In official military correspondence, Ferguson held the rank of captain although he usually operated independently. At other times, however, he acted in concert with regular forces. In 1862, Gen. E. Kirby Smith authorized him to raise a cavalry company and operate along the volatile Kentucky-Tennessee border. That same year, Ferguson guided Gen. John Hunt Morgan's first Kentucky raid. In August 1864, Ferguson served in Georgia under Gen. Joseph Wheeler to harass Union Gen. William T. Sherman's army during the March to the Sea. That fall, Ferguson fought in the Battle of Saltville, Virginia, and was later charged with involvement in the massacre of U.S. Colored Troops prisoners.

Ferguson surrendered to Federal authorities in May 1865, supposing he would be treated as a Confederate soldier and paroled. Instead, he was tried in Nashville for war
Champ Ferguson Marker image. Click for full size.
By Tom Bosse, October 13, 2016
2. Champ Ferguson Marker
crimes including 53 murders, was convicted of many of them, and was hanged on October 20, 1865. He is buried in White County near Sparta. Capt. Heinrich H. Wirz, commander of the notorious Andersonville prison camp, was the only other Confederate prisoner was executed.
 
Erected by Tennesse Civil War Trails.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Tennessee Civil War Trails marker series.
 
Location. 35° 55.7′ N, 84° 54.817′ W. Marker is in Crab Orchard, Tennessee, in Cumberland County. Marker can be reached from Interstate 40 2.8 miles from Exit 329 (Interstate 40), on the right when traveling west. Click for map. This marker is located at the Cumberland County 1-40 West Rest Area. Marker is in this post office area: Crab Orchard TN 37723, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 5 other markers are within 14 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Kemmer Stand / Tavern (a few steps from this marker); Thomas "Big Foot" Spencer (approx. 5.1 miles away); Cumberland County's First Steam Engine (approx. 6.4 miles away); Cumberland County at War (approx. 6.4 miles away); Grandview Normal Institute (approx. 13.5 miles away).
 
Also see . . .
1. Champ Ferguson: Hero & Martyr, or Something Else?. (Submitted on October 17, 2016, by Tom Bosse of Jefferson City, Tennessee.)
2. Champ Ferguson: An American Civil War Rebel Guerrilla. (Submitted on October 17, 2016, by Tom Bosse of Jefferson City, Tennessee.)
 
Categories. War, US Civil
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Tom Bosse of Jefferson City, Tennessee. This page has been viewed 129 times since then and 12 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on , by Tom Bosse of Jefferson City, Tennessee. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on October 18, 2016.
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