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Cleveland in Bradley County, Tennessee — The American South (East South Central)
 

Craigmiles House—Carmichael Annex

760 Ocoee Street

 
 
Craigmiles House—Carmichael Annex Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Duane and Tracy Marsteller, October 16, 2021
1. Craigmiles House—Carmichael Annex Marker
Inscription.  The Craigmiles House-Carmichael Annex was built before the Civil War and first served as the residence of Pleasant M. Craigmiles, his wife Caroline, and their children, Augusta, Walter, Fannie, Edward, and Frances Campbell. Sadly, only Augusta and Walter lived to adulthood.

The home's simplistic design contains eight rooms, four fireplaces, heart of pine floors, and a steep staircase with plain wooden banisters and turned spindles. Colored glass highlights the front door. Originally, it also had a bay window on the northwest facade. Handmade bricks cover the house's exterior as well as the original outdoor kitchen.

Conflicting Allegiances
In 1861, when Tennessee seceded from the United States, Bradley County's population divided into strong unionist and confederate factions. In Cleveland, a U.S. flag briefly flew in the courthouse square before Confederate forces seized control of the county. In the weeks that followed, the Craigmiles family, like so many of their friends and neighbors, split over conflicting allegiances. Pleasant and his brother William remained loyal to the Union, while two other brothers, John,
Craigmiles House—Carmichael Annex Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Duane and Tracy Marsteller, October 16, 2021
2. Craigmiles House—Carmichael Annex Marker
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a moderate rebel, and James, a violent rebel, cast their lot with the Confederacy.

The war tested Pleasant and Caroline, but they refused to abandon their loyalties or their home. Instead, they used their substantial means to support the families of Union men who had fled north rather than face conscription into the rebel armies. On several occasions Confederate troops searched the house for evidence of their Union sympathies. In one instance Pleasant reported that “…the rebels abused me, drew a pistol and presented it at my breast and threatened to shoot me in the presence of my wife and family.” On another, his daughter, Augusta, boldly handed rebel troops a six inch square American flag. It is no wonder that local rebels cursed Craigmiles as a “damned old Lincolnite.”

A Product of Determination
Through determination and resourcefulness Craigmiles and Caroline survived the war and built an outstanding Italianate residence that you can see just across the street at 833 Ocoee. The Craigmiles House-Carmichael Annex remained in private hands until 2005, when the Allan Jones Foundation, in recognition of Judge Virgil Carmichael gifted it to the city and county for the use of the public library. Judge Carmichael's portrait is hung in the entry hall. His judicial robe and gavel are displayed, along with his military service medals.

Since that time
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the Library has grown around the home, with major renovations completed in 2009.

Additional information is available at the History Branch and Archives, the Main Library Reference Desk, as well as on the Library's webpage at www.clevelandlibrary.org/explore-the-library.

Captions (clockwise from top left)
• Caroline Florence Vance Craigmiles. CBCPL History Branch and Archives photo collection
• Pleasant Miller Craigmiles, CBCPL History Branch and Archives photo collection
• The Craigmiles House-Carmichael Annex newel post and stairway. Andrew Hunt
• Postcard of the house when owned by P.H. Walker. CBCPL History Branch and Archives postcard collection
• The arched front door and original stained glass. Andrew Hunt
 
Erected 2021 by Cleveland Bradley County Public Library.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: ArchitectureWar, US Civil.
 
Location. 35° 9.8′ N, 84° 52.388′ W. Marker is in Cleveland, Tennessee, in Bradley County. Marker is at the intersection of North Ocoee Street and 8th Street NE, on the right when traveling north on North Ocoee Street
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. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 760 Ocoee St, Cleveland TN 37311, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Masonic Female Institute (a few steps from this marker); Cleveland Bradley County Public Library Facilities (within shouting distance of this marker); Hardwick-Jarnagin House (within shouting distance of this marker); Confederate Memorial (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); St. Luke's Episcopal Church (approx. 0.2 miles away); Lee College (approx. ¼ mile away); Fillauer Brothers Building (approx. 0.3 miles away); Oak Grove Male Academy (approx. 0.3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Cleveland.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on October 20, 2021. It was originally submitted on October 20, 2021, by Duane Marsteller of Murfreesboro, Tennessee. This page has been viewed 64 times since then and 32 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on October 20, 2021, by Duane Marsteller of Murfreesboro, Tennessee.

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Jun. 25, 2022