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

Blythe Ferry

 
 
Blythe Ferry Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Lee Hattabaugh, January 2, 2011
1. Blythe Ferry Marker
Inscription.  Around 1809, William Blythe, a Cherokee, established a ferry at this site to provide transportation for the settlers to the west and the Cherokees to the east. During the 1838 Trail of Tears, it was an important crossing, and it played a military role during the Civil War. Blythe Ferry continued in operation until replaced by a bridge in 1994.
 
Erected by Tennessee Historical Commission. (Marker Number 2B 32.)
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Bridges & ViaductsNative AmericansWaterways & Vessels. In addition, it is included in the Tennessee Historical Commission, and the Trail of Tears series lists. A significant historical year for this entry is 1809.
 
Location. 35° 24.92′ N, 85° 1.351′ W. Marker is near Birchwood, Tennessee, in Meigs County. Marker is on Hiwassee Highway (State Highway 60) 5 miles south of Rhea County Highway (U.S. 27), on the right when traveling south. Marker is located on the south side of the Tennessee River (Tri-County Veterans) Bridge near the Rhea/Meigs County
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line. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Birchwood TN 37308, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within one mile of this marker, measured as the crow flies. A different marker also named Blythe Ferry (approx. ¾ mile away); a different marker also named Blythe Ferry (approx. 0.9 miles away); "They drove us out of our house" (approx. 1.1 miles away); "Farewell to our native land" (approx. 1.1 miles away); Letters from Blythe's Ferry (approx. 1.1 miles away); "The People were over" (approx. 1.1 miles away); "Very loth to go on" (approx. 1.1 miles away); "An immense amount of suffering" (approx. 1.1 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Birchwood.
 
More about this marker. There is a second Blythe Ferry marker on the north side of the bridge in Rhea County, number 2B 33.
 
Additional commentary.
1. Tennessee Civil War Trails
The Tennessee Civil War Trails map for Southeast Tennessee has the following information: "A company of the 5th Tennessee Infantry Regiment was stationed for over a year at the ferry to guard the mouth of the Hiwassee River. The war's official records note a skirmish at Blythe's Ferry on November 13, 1863. During an artillery duel on that date, Company A, 1st Ohio Light
Blythe Ferry Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Lee Hattabaugh, January 2, 2011
2. Blythe Ferry Marker
Looking south toward the river bridge on TN-60.
Artillery of the Union forces, suffered one heavily wounded casualty. A great deal of corn was stored on Jolly's Island adjacent to the ford which, since both sides were short of forage and flour, was highly desired by Union and Confederate armies alike."
    — Submitted January 11, 2011, by Lee Hattabaugh of Capshaw, Alabama.
 
Tennessee River bridge and ferry image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Lee Hattabaugh, January 2, 2011
3. Tennessee River bridge and ferry
Tr-County Veterans bridge as seen from the Blythe Ferry site.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. It was originally submitted on January 3, 2011, by Lee Hattabaugh of Capshaw, Alabama. This page has been viewed 965 times since then and 47 times this year. Last updated on January 14, 2013, by Byron Hooks of Sandy Springs, Georgia. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on January 3, 2011, by Lee Hattabaugh of Capshaw, Alabama. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.

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Mar. 1, 2024