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

For the Union

Historic Roane County Courthouse

For the Union Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Duane and Tracy Marsteller, May 30, 2020
1. For the Union Marker
Inscription.  On June 7, 1861, future president Andrew Johnson spoke forcefully against secession on the steps of this building, the Roane County Courthouse. Along with many others in East Tennessee, a majority in Roane County opposed separation from the Union, and its citizens voted 1,568 to 454 against secession the following day. Nevertheless, the state as a whole voted to join the Confederacy.

Kingston was important strategically during the Civil War because of its location near the confluence of the Clinch and Tennessee Rivers and the roads leading from Knoxville to Nashville. At different times both armies occupied the town. Although no major battles were fought here, scouting, skirmishing, and foraging took place throughout the county on a regular basis. Because of its size, the Roane County courthouse was commandeered and used as both a military headquarters and a hospital at various times. The U.S. Signal Corps employed the cupola as an observation post because the soldiers could view the roads and rivers from there at a great distance. An anonymous Union soldier scribbled graffiti inside the building: "4th East. Tenn. Infantry Vol. this
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Sept. 4, 1864.” In 1880, County Clerk J.C. Pope, while making a search for a marriage record to support a pension application, stated that during the late war his "office was used for a hospital by the soldiers and a great many of the papers were destroyed."

“On the morrow after the close of the canvass, thirty-four thousand and twenty-three of the Union men of East Tennessee, with no fear, no hesitation, went to the polls and cast their ballots in favor of the government of their fathers.”
— Oliver P. Temple

The former Roane County Courthouse is one of only seven antebellum courthouses still standing in Tennessee. Augustus O. Fisher and Frederick B. Guenther designed the Greek Revival-style building, which was completed in 1856.

Returns from polling stations, Roane County, 1861, showing votes for and against secession
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 Former U.S. Presidents: #17 Andrew Johnson, and the Tennessee Civil War Trails series lists. A significant historical date for this entry is June 7, 1861.
Location. 35° 52.329′ N, 84° 30.953′ W. Marker is in Kingston
For the Union Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Duane and Tracy Marsteller, May 30, 2020
2. For the Union Marker
, Tennessee, in Roane County. Marker is at the intersection of East Cumberland Street and North Kentucky Street (Tennessee Route 58), on the left when traveling west on East Cumberland Street. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 119 Court Street, Kingston TN 37763, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within one mile of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Kingston (a few steps from this marker); Capitol for a Day (a few steps from this marker); Roane County Revolutionary War Monument (a few steps from this marker); Roane County War of 1812 Memorial (within shouting distance of this marker); Southwest Point (approx. 0.4 miles away); Cherokee Cabin (approx. one mile away); The Lewis and Clark Expedition (approx. one mile away); Site of Southwest Point (approx. one mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Kingston.
Credits. This page was last revised on May 31, 2020. It was originally submitted on May 31, 2020, by Duane and Tracy Marsteller of Murfreesboro, Tennessee. This page has been viewed 224 times since then and 15 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on May 31, 2020, by Duane and Tracy Marsteller of Murfreesboro, Tennessee. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.

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Mar. 3, 2024