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

Ramsey House

A Confederate Family in Unionist Country

Ramsey House Marker image. Click for full size.
By Duane and Tracy Marsteller, February 20, 2021
1. Ramsey House Marker
Inscription.  The Ramsey Plantation illustrates the story of a Confederate family in Unionist East Tennessee. The family, who supported secession, owned two thousand acres and four to eight slaves.

Born here in 1797, James Gettys McGready Ramsey was among the state's foremost early historians and the author of Annals of Tennessee. He kept many significant artifacts and documents at his nearby house, Mecklenburg. Federal troops later burned Mecklenburg, destroying his library and a large quantity of Tennessee historical papers. Ramsey accompanied the Confederate armies as a surgeon and also served as the tax collector and disbursing officer for the state's Confederate government. He disbursed approximately $43 million from the state treasury during the war. When the war ended, he had just $42 in personal funds.

Ramsey and his wife, Margaret, fled to South Carolina in 1863. His daughter, Charlotte, died of typhus as she gathered hospital supplies for the Confederacy. His teenage daughter, Sue, was exiled from Knoxville for “disloyal” acts, including making Confederate flags and insulting Union soldiers. All five sons fought
Ramsey House Marker image. Click for full size.
By Duane and Tracy Marsteller, February 20, 2021
2. Ramsey House Marker
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for the Confederacy. His youngest son, Arthur, was wounded during the Battle of Piedmont, Virginia, in 1864 and died in captivity. Ramsey's sons, Alex and Robert, were captured at Piedmont; Alex was imprisoned at Camp Morton, Indiana. Ramsey's half-brothers, John Ramsey and Frank A. Ramsey, served as a soldier and a surgeon respectively. Almost forty of Ramsey's area relations were listed on Confederate rosters.

James G.M. Ramsey died in 1884 and is buried at nearby Lebanon in the Fork Presbyterian Church Cemetery.

Sidebar: Constructed about 1797 for Francis A. Ramsey, the late-Georgian house has a central-passage plan on both floors. Ramsey's eldest son, William B.A. Ramsey, inherited the house in 1820 on his father's death. In 1840, he sold it to his brother James G.A. Ramsey, who in turn gave it to his son Francis A. Ramsey as a wedding present in 1857. In 1952, the Knoxville Chapter of the Association for the Preservation of Tennessee Antiquities purchased the house from a subsequent owner and began to restore it. The house was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1969.

Left: James G.M. Ramsey, ca. 1850 Courtesy East Tennessee Historical Society
Right: James G.M. Ramsey House, 1934 - Courtesy Library of Congress
Erected by
Ramsey House image. Click for full size.
By Duane and Tracy Marsteller, February 20, 2021
3. Ramsey House
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 1797.
Location. 35° 58.054′ N, 83° 49.399′ W. Marker is in Knoxville, Tennessee, in Knox County. Marker can be reached from Thorngrove Pike 0.2 miles east of East Governor John Sevier Highway (Tennessee Route 168), on the left when traveling east. Marker is behind the visitor center/office building toward the rear of the property. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 2614 Thorngrove Pike, Knoxville TN 37914, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 5 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Ramsey House Plantation (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); a different marker also named Ramsey House (approx. ¼ mile away); First African American Church (approx. 4 miles away); Odd Fellows Cemetery (approx. 4.3 miles away); Confederate Cemetery (approx. 4.4 miles away); War on the Home Front (approx. 4½ miles away); St. Clair Cobb (approx. 4.6 miles away); William Francis Yardley (approx. 4.7 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Knoxville.
Credits. This page was last revised on February 21, 2021. It was originally submitted on February 21, 2021, by Duane Marsteller of Murfreesboro, Tennessee. This page has been viewed 48 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on February 21, 2021, by Duane Marsteller of Murfreesboro, Tennessee.
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Mar. 8, 2021