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

Niota in McMinn County, Tennessee — The American South (East South Central)

Niota Depot

Not "quiet and cozy"

Niota Depot Marker image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, July 28, 2013
1. Niota Depot Marker
Inscription.  Railroads played a significant role in the Civil War in East Tennessee. Commanders on both sides viewed the railroad as an important asset, not only as a carrier of military supplies, but also as the means of rapidly concentrating their forces. This brick depot was constructed in 1854 here in Niota, then known as Mouse Creek. It is the only Civil War–era depot surviving along the East Tennessee and Georgia Railroad line.

Mouse Creek first appeared in the official records of the war when a Union spy reported that a Confederate company was stationed there in January 1862. After Union Gen. Ambrose E. Burnside’s occupation of East Tennessee in September 1863, Union troops occupied the railroad line, including Mouse Creek. Artillery units, such as Co. C, 2nd Ohio Heavy Artillery, garrisoned the depot at different times. The superior protection afforded by the brick depot here made the usual practice of building a timber fortification unnecessary. Federal soldiers removed some of the bricks to fashion shoulder-height gun ports in the walls for defense. The ports are still visible.

In the last year of the war, both sides
Niota Depot Marker image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, July 28, 2013
2. Niota Depot Marker
continuously sparred for control of the railroad. Although Confederate Gen. George G. Dibrell’s Tennessee cavalry brigade tore up the tracks for miles on both sides of Mouse Creek in August 1864, the depot itself was not captured and remained in Union hands until the end of the war. Co. C, 1st Wisconsin Heavy Artillery, stayed here until July 1865.

“The very names, Sweetwater, Mouse Creek, speak of everything plentiful and quiet cozy. Many pleasant Union demonstrations were made along the route; in some places really superb national flags, which the ladies had wrought with their own hands…were given to the winds.” —Capt. William Wheeler, 13th New York Battery

Railroad map, East Tennessee, 1865 - Courtesy Library of Congress
Niota Depot, ca. 1902, with (left to right) Harrison B. Burn, James Lane Burn, Walter A. Burn, Stationmaster James Lafayette Burn, Clerk John I. Forrest (on horse) — Courtesy McMinn Co. Historical Society and Harry T. Burn, Jr.
Erected by Tennessee Civil War Trails.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Railroads & StreetcarsWar, US Civil. In addition, it is included in the Tennessee Civil War Trails series list.
Niota Depot image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, July 28, 2013
3. Niota Depot
35° 30.909′ N, 84° 32.777′ W. Marker is in Niota, Tennessee, in McMinn County. Marker is at the intersection of Main Street and Green Street, on the right when traveling north on Main Street. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 201 East Main Street, Niota TN 37826, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 6 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. A different marker also named Niota Depot (a few steps from this marker); Harry Thomas Burn (approx. 0.2 miles away); John Tyler Morgan (approx. 4.3 miles away); Petty-Manker Hall (approx. 5.4 miles away); The Nocatula Legend (approx. 5˝ miles away); First United Presbyterian Church (approx. 5˝ miles away); Tennessee Wesleyan College (approx. 5.6 miles away); Samuel Cleage (approx. 5.6 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Niota.
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. It was originally submitted on October 15, 2013, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Maryland. This page has been viewed 457 times since then and 22 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on October 15, 2013, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Maryland. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.
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Jul. 2, 2020