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Cornersville in Marshall County, Tennessee — The American South (East South Central)
 

Jake Donelson

Fighting Rooster of the Confederacy

 
 
Jake Donelson Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Duane and Tracy Marsteller, June 6, 2020
1. Jake Donelson Marker
Inscription.  Jake Donelson, a feisty game rooster and the mascot of Co. H, 3rd Tennessee Infantry (CSA), was one of the more colorful participants in the Civil War. Sgt. Jerome B. “Joe” McCanless of Cornersville purchased Jake for a silver dime from a farmer who was selling chickens to the soldiers. After realizing Jake's martial potential, McCanless spared him from the stewpot, clipped his red comb, and soon had him fighting against other companies' roosters. Jake prowled the breastworks at Fort Donelson, crowing at the enemy and encouraging his companions. He alerted the soldiers to incoming shells by sounding low guttural warnings about the dangerous missiles.

The Confederates surrendered the fort to Union Gen. Ulysses S. Grant in February 1862. McCanless, a prisoner of war, took Jake with him to confinement at Camp Douglas near Chicago. After seven months, the regiment was exchanged for Federal prisoners of war at Vicksburg. While still in Mississippi, McCanless paid an itinerant artist to paint Jake's portrait from a tintype he had made earlier. When Jake died in 1864, he was placed in a handsome casket and given a “military
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burial” by his old friends in Cornersville. His final resting place in Cornersville is unknown. In 1897 McCanless took the oil painting of Jake, “standing among the tents on the field, a veritable lord of everything in sight,” to a Confederate reunion in Nashville and exhibited it there.

“Marching through the city streets, where the populace lined the sidewalks and jeered at the ragged ‘Rebs,’ he mounted his master's knapsack and gave the old familiar ‘cock-a-doodle-doo,’ as a cheer to the downhearted boys. It was the signal for the regiment to give the old Rebel yell, and give it they did, as only brave and unconquered hearts could.”
— Buford McKinney, Confederate veteran (1897)

(captions)
Jake Donelson — Courtesy George F. McCanless, Jr.
Sgt. Jerome B “Joe” McCanless Courtesy George F. McCanless, Jr.
Confederate prisoners at Camp Douglas Courtesy Library of Congress
 
Erected by Tennessee Civil War Trails.
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: AnimalsWar, US Civil. In addition, it is included in the Tennessee Civil War Trails series list. A significant historical month for this entry is February 1862.
 
Location. 35° 21.709′ N, 86° 
Confederate prisoners at Camp Douglas image. Click for full size.
Courtesy Library of Congress
2. Confederate prisoners at Camp Douglas
50.455′ W. Marker is in Cornersville, Tennessee, in Marshall County. Marker is at the intersection of North Park Street and North Mulberry Street, on the right when traveling east on North Park Street. Marker is located in Whittlers Park. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Cornersville TN 37047, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 7 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Cornersville Methodist Episcopal Church, South (within shouting distance of this marker); Giles County / Marshall County (approx. 4.6 miles away); Abner Houston Cabin (approx. 6.1 miles away); Revolutionary War Patriots of Marshall County, Tennessee (approx. 6.1 miles away); Col. Thomas Kennedy Gordon (approx. 6˝ miles away); Polk's Law Office (approx. 6.7 miles away); Jim Nance McCord (approx. 6.7 miles away); Founding of Lewisburg (approx. 6.7 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Cornersville.
 
Jake Donelson image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Duane and Tracy Marsteller, June 6, 2020
3. Jake Donelson
Courtesy George F. McCanless, Jr.
Sgt. Jerome B. "Joe" McCanless image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Duane and Tracy Marsteller, June 6, 2020
4. Sgt. Jerome B. "Joe" McCanless
Courtesy George F. McCanless, Jr.
Jake Donelson Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Duane and Tracy Marsteller, June 6, 2020
5. Jake Donelson Marker
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 9, 2020. It was originally submitted on June 8, 2020, by Duane and Tracy Marsteller of Murfreesboro, Tennessee. This page has been viewed 446 times since then and 48 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on June 8, 2020, by Duane and Tracy Marsteller of Murfreesboro, Tennessee. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.

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Apr. 12, 2024