“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

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

The Henegar House

"A bird can't live here!"

The Henegar House Marker image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, July 28, 2013
1. The Henegar House Marker
Inscription.  During the war, Henegar House’s occupants, as in many other Tennessee homes, were divided in their loyalties. Henry Benton Henegar, the owner, was a Unionist while his wife, Margaret Lea Henegar, was a secessionist. Whenever Confederates occupied Charleston, Benton Henegar left, but Margaret Henegar stayed no matter which army occupied the town. She later stated that “she never met with anything but courteous treatment from either side.”

At various times, the house served as headquarters for Union Gens. William T. Sherman and Oliver O. Howard and Confederate Gens. Marcus J. Wright and Simon Bolivar Buckner. On November 30, 1863, Charles A. Dana, assistant U.S. Secretary of War, met in the parlor with Sherman and Brig. Gen. James H. Wilson, the Army of the Cumberland’s chief engineer. Dana handed Sherman an order from Gen. Ulysses S. Grant to take command of the force en route to relieve Union Gen. Ambrose Burnside’s army in Knoxville, besieged by Confederate Gen. James Longstreet.

According to family tradition, Sherman advised Benton Henegar to take the family north for safety. The next morning on the back porch,
The Henegar House Marker image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, July 28, 2013
2. The Henegar House Marker
Margaret Henegar asked Sherman: “We have braved the dangers and endured the hardships of the war so far, why should we leave now?” He is said to have replied, “Madam, when I get through with the Southland a bird can’t live here!.”

This two-story Federal-style house was begun about 1849 on the site of Gen. Winfield Scott’s headquarters at Fort Cass during the Trail of Tears (the forced removal of the Cherokee in the 1830s) . In the same year, Henry Benton Henegar married Margaret Lea, daughter of Tennessee Representative (1833-1837) and Tennessee Secretary of State (1837-1839) Luke Lea. The house was completed in 1852 upon the Henegars’ return from Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, where they lived with Luke Lea during Lea’s service as Indian agent (1850-1851).

Gen. William T. Sherman Courtesy Library of Congress
Gen. Oliver O. Howard Courtesy Library of Congress
Gen. Marcus J. Wright Courtesy Tenn. State Library and Archives
Gen. Simon B. Buckner Courtesy Library of Congress Henegar House porch, ca 1890 - Courtesy Natalie Winningham
Erected by Tennessee Civil War Trails.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: War, US Civil.
The Henegar House image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, July 28, 2013
3. The Henegar House
In addition, it is included in the Tennessee Civil War Trails series list.
Location. 35° 17.219′ N, 84° 45.285′ W. Marker is in Charleston, Tennessee, in Bradley County. Marker is on Market Street Northeast north of Cass Street Northeast, on the right when traveling north. The marker located north of the Heneger House. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 468 Market St NE, Charleston TN 37310, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 11 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Charleston on the Hiwassee (approx. 0.3 miles away); Joseph McMinn (approx. ¾ mile away); "Chief Jack" Walker (approx. 7.9 miles away); Nancy Ward (approx. 9½ miles away); a different marker also named Nancy Ward (approx. 9½ miles away); Pushing Toward Knoxville (approx. 10.4 miles away); Old Agency (approx. 10½ miles away); Road to Chattanooga (approx. 10½ miles away).
Historic Henegar House image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, July 28, 2013
4. Historic Henegar House
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. It was originally submitted on October 14, 2013, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Maryland. This page has been viewed 699 times since then and 35 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on October 14, 2013, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Maryland. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.
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Jul. 12, 2020