Wartburg in Morgan County, Tennessee — The American South (East South Central)
Wartburg in the War
Tennessee ratified secession in June 1861, but Morgan County, like most East Tennessee counties, voted to remain in the Union. Bitter divisions occurred as many residents supported the Confederacy, including George Gerding, founder of Wartburg. Soon, Confederates in East Tennessee threatened Unionists here. Many fled to Kentucky to avoid the Confederate draft or to enlist in the Federal army. The Rev. John Wilken, Lutheran pastor and Wartburg Unionist, fled the region until Federal forces regained control.
Both armies contended for the communication and transportation lines in the county. On February 2, 1862, Confederate Col. J.W. White's 1st Tennessee Cavalry clashed near Wartburg with the Union Home Guard, which retreated after five were killed. On March 28, Confederate Gen. Kirby Smith reported another "sharp skirmish" at Wartburg: "The entire population of these counties is hostile to us, those able to bear arms being regularly organized as Home Guards. All loyal citizens have been expelled from the country." In June 1863, Union Col. William P. Sanders's troops marched through Montgomery and Wartburg, capturing a Confederate
Constant foraging by both armies devastated farms. Local government collapsed, leaving isolated families vulnerable to law lessness and guerilla raids. After the Knoxville Campaign, the Confederates abandoned most of East Tennessee, and the Federals restored stability. The county seat was relocated here from Montgomery after the war, a new courthouse was constructed (this one replaced it in 1904), and communities were rebuilt.
"Refugees Leaving the Old Homestead"
All images courtesy Library of Congress
Gen. Kirby Smith
"Military Map of Middle Tennessee"
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 date for this entry is February 2, 1862.
Location. 36° 6.343′ N, 84° 35.875′ W. Marker is in Wartburg, Tennessee, in Morgan County. Marker is at the intersection of Court Street and Maiden Street, on the left when traveling west on Court Street. The marker is located near the intersection at the Courthouse. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 415 North Kingston Street, Wartburg TN 37887, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other Morgan County Courthouse (within shouting distance of this marker); Morgan County World War II Memorial (within shouting distance of this marker); Morgan County World War I Memorial (within shouting distance of this marker); George Frederick Gerding (within shouting distance of this marker); Morgan County Korean War Memorial (within shouting distance of this marker); Morgan County Vietnam War Memorial (within shouting distance of this marker); Morgan County All Wars Memorial (within shouting distance of this marker); Dixie Lee (approx. 11˝ miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Wartburg.
Also see . . . Civil War Trails. (Submitted on May 25, 2021, by James Hulse of Medina, Texas.)
Credits. This page was last revised on May 25, 2021. It was originally submitted on May 25, 2021, by James Hulse of Medina, Texas. This page has been viewed 321 times since then and 158 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on May 25, 2021, by James Hulse of Medina, Texas.