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

Cumberland County Families

Divided by War

Cumberland County Families Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Karen Emerson-McPeak, June 25, 2017
1. Cumberland County Families Marker
Inscription.  When the war began, the residents of the Upper Cumberland Plateau were divided in their loyalties. In Cumberland County, for instance, the numbers of Confederate and Union enlistments were about equal.

Some Confederate supporters joined Co. B, Hamilton’s Tennessee Cavalry Battalion, and Co. A and Co. B, 28th Tennessee Infantry. Many Unionists enlisted in Capt. Robert C. Swan’s Co. D, 2nd Tennessee Infantry.

Confederate training camps included McGinnis in Fentress County and Myers and Zollicoffer in Overton County. Eldridge Myatt, 65-year-old former member of the state legislature who had introduced the bill forming Cumberland County, served in the Confederate army, was captured at the Battle of Lookout Mountain in 1863, and died in prison in 1864.

Union recruits trained at Camp Dick Robinson in Kentucky. Azariah Dorton, who enlisted in August 1861, dodged Confederate pickets to get there by taking a 200-mile route through the mountains “in such a circuitous course that it took some sixteen days.”

The war split some Cumberland County families apart forever. Elizabeth S. Ford divorced her
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husband, Christopher Ford, when he enlisted with the Confederacy. It resulted in a long custody battle over their two daughters and violence between their families.

After the war, Tennesseans faced the challenges of reconciling their differences and rebuilding their communities. The residents of the Upper Cumberland Plateau found it especially difficult given the vicious, personal nature of the wartime violence they had experienced.

"Little thought have I had that I should ever live to see civil war in this, our goodly land, but so it is! … There will be as many a divided family in this once happy Union…father against son, and brother against brother."—Amanda McDowell, Sparta, White County, May 4, 1861

Preparing to Drill Courtesy Library of Congress
Sunday Service - Courtesy Library of Congress
Erected by Tennessee Civil War Trails.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: War, US Civil. In addition, it is included in the Tennessee Civil War Trails series list. A significant historical year for this entry is 1861.
Location. 35° 54.044′ N, 84° 59.845′ W. Marker is in Crossville, Tennessee, in Cumberland County. Marker can be reached from the intersection of Office Drive and Pigeon
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Ridge Road (Tennessee Route 419). Located in Cumberland Mountain State Park. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 24 Office Drive, Crossville TN 38555, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 4 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Cumberland Mountain State Park Bridge (within shouting distance of this marker); Cumberland Homesteads Historic District (approx. ¾ mile away); Veterans Memorial (approx. 2.3 miles away); In Honor Of George Washington (approx. 2.3 miles away); Built in 1935 by Wm. Garrison (approx. 3½ miles away); Built in 1938 (approx. 3.6 miles away); Cumberland County at War (approx. 3.6 miles away); Mandy Barnett (approx. 3.6 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Crossville.
Credits. This page was last revised on August 17, 2017. It was originally submitted on August 15, 2017, by Karen Emerson-McPeak of Triune, Tennessee. This page has been viewed 547 times since then and 106 times this year. Last updated on August 16, 2017, by Karen Emerson-McPeak of Triune, Tennessee. Photo   1. submitted on August 15, 2017, by Karen Emerson-McPeak of Triune, Tennessee. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.

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Dec. 10, 2023