“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Cookeville in Putnam County, Tennessee — The American South (East South Central)

Civil War In Putnam County

A Divided Land

Civil War in Putnam County-A Divided Land Marker image. Click for full size.
By Darren Jefferson Clay, May 16, 2020
1. Civil War in Putnam County-A Divided Land Marker
Putnam County was a divided land during the Civil War as local residents enlisted in either Federal or Confederate units. It also was a crossroads, as both armies passed through the county numerous times over such important historic roads as the Walton Road (east-west route) and the Old Kentucky Road (north-south route). Although no major engagement by army regulars took place in Putnam County, forage raids, conscript sweeps, bushwhacking and small skirmishes were typical occurrences.

During a reconnaissance expedition, Union Col. Henry K. McConnell's troops killed 23 Confederate partisans and captured another 40 near Cookeville. The Battle of Dug Hill on February 24, 1863, was the most famous engagement in Putnam County. Confederate Col. John M. Hughs's rangers ambushed a detachment of Col. William B. Stokes's 5th Tennessee Cavalry along the Calfkiller River and killed more than 40 men.

Most of the harm the citizens suffered was due to the continuous guerrilla activity in Putnam and the surrounding counties, and many residents from both sides endured privations from the destruction of lives and property. The upheaval
Dibrell, Hon. Rep. George Gibbs of Tenn. Lt. Col. of Infantry C.S.A. image. Click for full size.
By Brady-Handy, circa 1865
2. Dibrell, Hon. Rep. George Gibbs of Tenn. Lt. Col. of Infantry C.S.A.
Library of Congress [LC-DIG-cwpbh-04933]
caused by the conflict created wounds and animosities that took decades to heal.

The Johnson and Calfkiller caves near Monterey provided saltpeter for gunpowder, and the 4th Confederate Cavalry mustered in the Calfkiller Valley. White County's Confederate Gen. George G. Dibrell, 8th Tennessee Cavalry, once used Dry Valley as his headquarters. Union Gen. John T. Wilder of the famed "Lightning Brigade” made Monterey his home after the war.

"Prosperity seems to pervade Putnam County, but there we found nine tenths of the people loyal & for Johnson & Lincoln. In my father's district of Putnam there were but four votes for separation and two hundred and four against Secession." —Union Gen. Alvan C. Gillem to Gov. Andrew Johnson, August 8, 1864

Gen. George Gibbs Dibrell Courtesy Library of Congress
Gen. John T. Wilder 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.
Location. 36° 9.854′ N, 85° 30.532′ W. Marker is in Cookeville, Tennessee, in Putnam County. Marker is at the intersection
J.T. Wilder, Bv't.-Brig. General image. Click for full size.
circa 1865
3. J.T. Wilder, Bv't.-Brig. General
Library of Congress [LC-USZ62-113167]
of Depot Street and North Cedar Avenue, on the right when traveling west on Depot Street. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 116 W Broad St, Cookeville TN 38501, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Tennessee Central Depot (within shouting distance of this marker); Richard Fielding Cooke (approx. ¼ mile away); Cookeville Confederate Memorial (approx. 0.3 miles away); Putnam County's Only Public Execution (approx. 0.4 miles away); Town Spring (approx. 0.4 miles away); Veterans Statue (approx. half a mile away); Putnam County Courthouses (approx. half a mile away); Site of WHUB Radio's First Studios (approx. half a mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Cookeville.
Credits. This page was last revised on November 3, 2020. It was originally submitted on November 3, 2020, by Darren Jefferson Clay of Duluth, Georgia. This page has been viewed 70 times since then and 5 times this year. Photos:   1. submitted on November 3, 2020, by Darren Jefferson Clay of Duluth, Georgia.   2, 3. submitted on November 3, 2020. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.
Editor’s want-list for this marker. Wide shot of marker and its surroundings. • Can you help?
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Jan. 28, 2021