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

Wolf River Valley

Wolf River Valley Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Tom Bosse, October 13, 2016
1. Wolf River Valley Marker
Inscription.  Sgt. York in World War I
The Wolf River Valley is connected to the very origins of Tennessee history. Indians hunted this valley, fished in the river and blazed trails centuries before Europeans explored the region. Daniel Boone and his brother, Squire, spent the winter of 1769 in a cave in Pall Mall and named a number of places in the Upper Cumberland. Scores of longhunters followed the Boones, as did Coonrod Pile (buried here), a German ancestor of Alvin C. York and the first permanent settler of Pall Mall around the time Tennessee became a state.

Mark Twain
One of Coonrod's neighbors and contemporaries was John Marshall Clemens, credited with naming the area "Pall Mall" after an elite London, England, neighborhood. Clemens held numerous positions in early Fentress County and was the father of Sam, better known as "Mark Twain", who wrote about the area calling it the "Knobs of Obedstown" in his book The Gilded Age.

Civil War
The Civil War divided the region, and families literally did fight and kill each other. Tinker Dave Beaty and Confederate Guerilla Champ Ferguson used the
Wolf River Valley Marker (left) image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Tom Bosse, October 13, 2016
2. Wolf River Valley Marker (left)
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war to settle personal scores. Governor Isham Harris established a training camp in Pall Mall near Rotten Fork. Camp McGinnis was home to more than 10,000 soldiers, the most people this valley has ever seen at once.

On Sept. 29, 1961, the first military action of the war in Tennessee took place at Travisville, five miles north of here. 100 Soldiers from Camp McGinnis led a raid into Kentucky in one of the first invasions of the north by Confederate troops. They caught Federal troops unaware, stealing hundreds of pounds of gunpowder, and headed back to Tennessee. Thinking they had outrun the enemy, they made camp around the Travisville Methodist Church along Caney Creek. Soon Federal troops descended on them. Four Confederates were killed in the clash while the remaining retreated into the surrounding hills.

"Uncle Billy" Hull, father of Secretary of State and Father of the United Nations Cordell Hull, was left for dead after being shot in the face. He lived to track and kill the would-be assassins.

Coonrod Pile's grandson, Rod, was hauled out of his home, shot 13 times and left in the road to die by six of Champ Ferguson's men. His mother Rebecca, recognized his assailants and vowed revenge. ive of the six were pursued and killed by Rod's brothers long after the war ended.
Erected by Tennessee State Parks
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- Sgt. Alvin C. York State Historic Park. (Marker Number 8.)
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Settlements & SettlersWar, US CivilWar, World I.
Location. 36° 32.883′ N, 84° 57.25′ W. Marker is in Pall Mall, Tennessee, in Fentress County. Marker is on Cemetery Road, 0.1 miles north of Wolf River Loop, on the right when traveling north. Marker is located on the northwest boundary of the Wolf River Cemetery near the Alvin C. York memorial and grave site. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Pall Mall TN 38577, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Sgt. Alvin C. York's Personal and Spiritual Life (here, next to this marker); Wolf River Cemetery (approx. 0.2 miles away); Sgt. Alvin C. York Educational Legacy (approx. 0.4 miles away); Sgt. Alvin C. York - America's Greatest Civilian Soldier (approx. half a mile away); Alvin and Gracie York's Home and Farm (approx. half a mile away); Sgt. Alvin C. York State Historic Area (approx. half a mile away); Sgt. York at Work (approx. 0.6 miles away); The York Grist Mill (approx. 0.7 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Pall Mall.
Credits. This page was last revised on November 11, 2016. It was originally submitted on October 17, 2016, by Tom Bosse of Jefferson City, Tennessee. This page has been viewed 494 times since then and 133 times this year. Last updated on November 5, 2016, by Byron Hooks of Sandy Springs, Georgia. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on October 17, 2016, by Tom Bosse of Jefferson City, Tennessee. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.

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Oct. 2, 2022