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Morristown in Hamblen County, Tennessee — The American South (East South Central)
 

Caught in the Crossfire

Morristown in the Civil War

 
 
Caught in the Crossfire Marker image. Click for full size.
By Tom Bosse, March 12, 2017
1. Caught in the Crossfire Marker
Inscription. In 1861, Morristown was a small railroad town strategically located where the East Tennessee & Virgina Railroad crossed the road to the Cumberland Gap. Although much of East Tennessee was Unionist, Morristown's residents held secessionist sympathies. Confederate Capt. Stephen M. Cocke used a marching band playing patriotic tunes to recruit his unit, encouraging men on the streets to fall in line. By the time the band reached the end of Main Street, Cocke had stirred enough hearts to raise his company.

Amid Confederate zeal, Union Lt. James A. Bird, Co. F, 2nd Tennessee Infantry (US), also recruited soldiers. He was wounded while burning bridges in East Tennessee under his commander, Capt. David Fry. Bird, discharged in 1863, opened a store in Morristown, despite wounds, illness, and persecution for his service.

At the Battle of Morristown on October 28, 1864, Union Gen. Alvan C. Gillem's men attacked Confederate Gen. John C. Vaughn's force, which retreated toward Russellville. The fight was personal, as both generals were native Tennesseans. Vaughn reported, "I regret to say that my command was stampeded at Morristown this morning...the enemy has a superior force to mine, and I lost a good many men as prisoners." Two weeks later, however, Vaughn and Gen. John C. Breckinridge prevailed against Gillem at Bull's Gap.

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The
Caught in the Crossfire Marker image. Click for full size.
By Tom Bosse, March 12, 2017
2. Caught in the Crossfire Marker
Tennessee General Assembly established Hamblen County in 1870, naming Morristown the county seat. By 1874, the county had recovered enough to erect this striking Second Empire-style courthouse.
 
Erected by Tennesse Civil War Trails.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Tennessee Civil War Trails marker series.
 
Location. 36° 12.733′ N, 83° 17.9′ W. Marker is in Morristown, Tennessee, in Hamblen County. Marker is at the intersection of North Jackson Street and West First N Street (Route 66), on the left when traveling north on North Jackson Street. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Morristown TN 37814, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 5 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Morris Cemetery (approx. 0.6 miles away); Morristown College (approx. 0.6 miles away); Erected in Memory of the 22 Hamblen County Boys Who Made the Supreme Sacrifice in the World War (approx. 1.7 miles away); Crockett Tavern (approx. 1.9 miles away); Return From Kentucky (approx. 3 miles away); Dewitt Clinton Senter (approx. 3.1 miles away); Colonel Robert McFarland (approx. 4.2 miles away); Panther Springs (approx. 4.6 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Morristown.
 
Also see . . .
Gen. John C. Vaughn image. Click for full size.
By Tom Bosse
3. Gen. John C. Vaughn
 Battle of Morristown. (Submitted on March 12, 2017, by Tom Bosse of Jefferson City, Tennessee.)
 
Categories. War, US Civil
 
Gen. Alvan C. Gillem image. Click for full size.
By Tom Bosse
4. Gen. Alvan C. Gillem
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on March 13, 2017. This page originally submitted on March 12, 2017, by Tom Bosse of Jefferson City, Tennessee. This page has been viewed 201 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on March 12, 2017, by Tom Bosse of Jefferson City, Tennessee. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.
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