Linden in Perry County, Tennessee — The American South (East South Central)
Razing the Courthouse
On May 12, 1863, U.S. Navy Lt. Cmdr. Seth L. Phelps landed in Decaturville to support Lt. Col. William K. M. Breckenridge, who commanded the 6th Tennessee Cavalry, a regiment composed of Tennessee Unionists. Phelps used his gunboats to ferry 55 of Breckenridge’s men and horses across the river. They attacked the Confederate force at the courthouse around daybreak. Phelps reported that the Federals “completely surprised the place. The rebel pickets fired upon (Breckenridge’s force) and dispersed.” Breckenridge’s men killed three Confederates, captured Col. Frierson and 46 of his men, and then burned the courthouse as well as the Confederate arms and supplies. They returned to
Phelps later praised Breckinridge’s Tennesseans as “perfectly familiar with the people and country, and are admirably calculated for this kind of service, while the colonel himself is just the man.”
The wooden Perry County Courthouse constructed in 1848 stood where the present courthouse stands. Tennessee county courts were the hub of local activities related to business and government. Linden, established in 1847, was no exception—everything in town centered on the courthouse square. With the destruction of the courthouse, some of the official records were lost. The image you see here is of the courthouse that was constructed in 1868.
(left) Lt. Cmdr. Seth L. Phelps, ca. 1885 Courtesy Wikipedia
(lower left) Gunboats commanded by Lt. Cmdr. Seth L. Phelps: USS Conestoga, Lexington, and Tyler Courtesy U.S. Naval Historical Center
(upper right) Perry County Courthouse completed 1868 - Courtesy Perry Co. Historical Society
Erected by Tennessee Civil War Trails.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: War, US CivilTennessee Civil War Trails series list.
Location. 35° 37.014′ N, 87° 50.25′ W. Marker is in Linden, Tennessee, in Perry County. Marker is at the intersection of East Main Street (U.S. 412) and North Poplar Street, on the right when traveling west on East Main Street. The marker is on the grounds of the Perry County Courthouse. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 121 East Main Street, Linden TN 37096, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 6 other markers are within 11 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Cedar Grove Iron Works (approx. 4.8 miles away); Cedar Grove Iron Furnace (approx. 8 miles away); Lewis County / Perry County (approx. 10.1 miles away); Amphibious Attack on Linden (approx. 10.4 miles away); In Memoriam (approx. 10.6 miles away); a different marker also named Lewis County / Perry County (approx. 10.8 miles away).
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. It was originally submitted on July 3, 2014, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Maryland. This page has been viewed 421 times since then and 39 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. submitted on July 3, 2014, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Maryland. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.