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Blountville in Sullivan County, Tennessee — The American South (East South Central)
 

Old Deery Inn

Refuge from the Storm

 
 
Old Deery Inn Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Don Morfe, July 31, 2013
1. Old Deery Inn Marker
Inscription.  In September 1863, Confederate Gen. Samuel Jones’s command and Union Gen. Ambrose E. Burnside’s forces contested control of the Virginia and Tennessee Railroad a few miles east. On September 22, Union Col. John W. Foster’s brigade engaged the forces of Confederate Col. James E. Carter at Blountville. When the firing began, the women and children gathered the sick and elderly and sought refuge in the cellars of the most solid buildings; the St. John residence and the Old Deery Inn. “In the thick of the fight and more dangerously exposed than the soldiers of either side were the fleeing women,” historian Oliver Taylor wrote in 1909. “In the confusion of such a hasty departure distracted mothers became separated from their children; cavalrymen dashed across their path, while bullets and bombs whistled above them. They went through Brown’s meadow and finally found a safe retreat beyond the hills.” Exploding shells set much of the town on fire.

William Deery constructed this trading post and tavern, later known as the Old Derry Inn, early in the 1800s. As Deery prospered, he added to the building, including a three-story
Battle of Blountville / Heritage Trail map image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Don Morfe, July 31, 2013
2. Battle of Blountville / Heritage Trail map
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hewn stone structure in the rear. After his death about 1845, his widow lived here until the Cate family purchased it after the Civil War.

Although Deery’s children had left Sullivan County years before, they did not escape the war’s effects. Eldest daughter Martha married Col. William Churchwell, who died at Cumberland Gap in 1862. Seraphina, the youngest daughter, married Col. Randal McGavock, a colonel in the 10th Tennessee Infantry Regiment (CSA) who was killed at the Battle of Raymond.

(captions)
Old Deery Inn, 1927 — Courtesy Hunt Library
The dining room in the stone section of the inn where town residents took refuge during the Battle of Blountville
 
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. A significant historical month for this entry is September 1863.
 
Location. 36° 31.987′ N, 82° 19.57′ W. Marker is in Blountville, Tennessee, in Sullivan County. Marker is on Bristol Highway (Tennessee Route 126) west of Anderson Road, on the right when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 3397 Bristol Highway, Blountville TN 37617, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker
Old Deery Inn Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Don Morfe, July 31, 2013
3. Old Deery Inn Marker
. A different marker also named Old Deery Inn (a few steps from this marker); Brick Kitchen (within shouting distance of this marker); 1840 Smokehouse (within shouting distance of this marker); Anderson Townhouse (within shouting distance of this marker); Sullivan County Veterans Memorial (within shouting distance of this marker); King Ironworks Cabin (within shouting distance of this marker); Ralph Blizard (within shouting distance of this marker); Battle of Blountville (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Blountville.
 
Old Deery Inn image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Don Morfe, July 31, 2013
4. Old Deery Inn
National Register of Historic Places plaque image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Don Morfe, July 31, 2013
5. National Register of Historic Places plaque
Old Deery Inn plaque image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Don Morfe, July 31, 2013
6. Old Deery Inn plaque
These original gates, designed by Adolph Cluss, hung at the Smithsonian Institute from 1879-1910. They were brought to Blountville by Virginia Caldwell in the 1940's.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. It was originally submitted on October 25, 2013, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Maryland. This page has been viewed 647 times since then and 39 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on October 25, 2013, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Maryland. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.

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Jul. 1, 2022