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

Irish Shanty

Only Boiling Eggs

Irish Shanty Marker image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, July 24, 2013
1. Irish Shanty Marker
Inscription.  On July 2, 1863, as Federal forces conducted a campaign to rid the Yellow Creek valley of Confederate guerrillas, a forward detachment of the 8th Kentucky Cavalry (US) rode up to a grocery store and tavern located about two miles to the west. The site, known as Irish Shanty, was rumored to be popular with guerrillas.

Several cavalrymen later claimed that about twenty men in front of Irish Shanty fired on the troopers as they approached. The cavalry charged and captured suspected guerrillas Dr. Aaron James, Euphrates Shelton, James Shelton, William Few, Jonas Spicer, and Dr. Payton Washburn. Escorted to Fort Donelson, the men were held for trial before a military commission. Attorneys for the accused claimed that their clients were not guerrillas and never fired on the cavalrymen. Instead, they were merely boiling ten dozen eggs in front of the building, and the cavalrymen mistook the smoke and crackle of the fire for discharged weapons.

The tribunal convicted James, Spicer, and Euphrates Shelton, sentencing the first two men to death and Shelton to five years’ hard labor. As regulations required, the trial record and verdicts
Irish Shanty Marker image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, July 24, 2013
2. Irish Shanty Marker
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were transmitted to Washington, D.C., where Joseph Holt reviewed them. Holt reported to President Abraham Lincoln that the evidence was insufficient for conviction and that the trial before the commission was improper. On December 12, 1863, Lincoln disapproved James’s sentence and soon also reversed the verdicts regarding Spicer and Shelton. The men were released and returned home by year’s end.

“It is however proven that while in a state of disgraceful and brutish intoxication, (James) did on that occasion utter foul and abusive threats and epithets toward the said soldiers.” — Judge Advocate General Joseph Holt, Dec. 1863

Euphrates Shelton Courtesy Shelton Family Papers
President Abraham Lincoln’s disapproval of Dr. Aaron James’s sentence Courtesy National Archives & Records Administration
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 Former U.S. Presidents: #16 Abraham Lincoln, and the Tennessee Civil War Trails series lists. A significant historical month for this entry is July 1862.
Location. 36° 5.55′ N, 87° 30.933′ W. Marker is in Dickson, Tennessee, in Dickson County. Marker is on Ferbee
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Road 0.1 miles north of Broadway of America Highway (U.S. 70), on the left when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 210 Ferbee Road, Dickson TN 37055, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 8 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Camp Gillem (here, next to this marker); Civil War on Yellow Creek (approx. 3½ miles away); Yellow Bank Trestle (approx. 6.7 miles away); Freedom Light (approx. 7.1 miles away); Dickson, Tennessee,100 Years 1899-1999 (approx. 7.1 miles away); World War I 1917-1919 (approx. 7.1 miles away); World War II 1940-1946 (approx. 7.1 miles away); 1950 Korean Conflict 1955/1964 Vietnam Era 1975 (approx. 7.1 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Dickson.
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. It was originally submitted on September 30, 2013, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Maryland. This page has been viewed 632 times since then and 68 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on September 30, 2013, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Maryland. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.

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Apr. 17, 2021