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

Suffering and Survival

Civil War in Sullivan County

 
 
Suffering and Survival Marker image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, September 10, 2017
1. Suffering and Survival Marker
Inscription. Union and Confederate forces in Sullivan County battled to control the East Tennessee & Virginia Railroad and the Holston River, strategically vital transportation routes for moving soldiers and supplies. The county supported secession while most other East Tennessee counties remained loyal to the Union. Confederate Col. George Brent wrote of the Confederate army's foraging parties, which plundered local secessionists as well as Unionists, "The complaints of the citizens of Sullivan County, Tenn., are well founded. ... Robberies by soldiers in small parties have been frequent. ... No receipts were given, no money paid, and no form of law observed."

Determined to control the railroad, Union forces attacked the county seat, Blountville, on September 22, 1863. Col. John W. Foster shelled the town for four hours, burning the courthouse and forcing a Confederate retreat as terrified residents fled. The Battle of Kingsport erupted on December 13, 1864, when Gens. Stephen G. Burbridge's and Alvan C. Gillem's forces struck Confederate Col. Richard Morgan's troops at the Holston River. Morgan believed that a damaged bridge would prevent an attack, but a surprise Federal assault caused 100 Confederate casualties.

Some local Unionists found a haven on Bays Mountain. Federal chaplain William S. DePew,
Suffering and Survival Marker, on far, left at Kingsport Welcome Center. image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, September 10, 2017
2. Suffering and Survival Marker, on far, left at Kingsport Welcome Center.
8th Tennessee Calvary, preached for decades after the war at Depew's Chapel United Methodist Church, where his comrade Benjamin F. Hood served as minister and trustee. Jerome Pierce, a former slave who fled to serve with the Union army, bought land on Bays Mountain and built a log house that still stands today.

[Photo captions]
Top right: Kingsport, ca. 1910 - Soldiers foraging. - Unionist refugees
Bottom right: Blountville, looking east from near the Union position, with the Masonic Female Institute at upper right, ca. 1900

 
Erected by Tennessee Civil War Trails.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Tennessee Civil War Trails marker series.
 
Location. 36° 29′ N, 82° 32.945′ W. Marker is in Kingsport, Tennessee, in Sullivan County. Marker can be reached from James H Quillen Parkway (Interstate 26 at milepost 5). Touch for map. Located at the State of Tennessee I-26 Kingsport Washington and Sullivan County Welcome Center. Marker is in this post office area: Kingsport TN 37664, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 5 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Avery Treaty (approx. 3.1 miles away); Donelson Flotilla (approx. 3.1 miles away); Douglass High School
The Civil War in Tennessee display, inside the Welcome Center, near marker. image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, September 10, 2017
3. The Civil War in Tennessee display, inside the Welcome Center, near marker.
(approx. 3.6 miles away); Battle of Island Flats (approx. 3.7 miles away); a different marker also named Battle of Island Flats (approx. 3.8 miles away); Train Depot (approx. 4.3 miles away); Bank Of Kingsport (approx. 4.3 miles away); Kingsport Drug (approx. 4.3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Kingsport.
 
Categories. Bridges & ViaductsRailroads & StreetcarsWar, US Civil
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on September 13, 2017. This page originally submitted on September 11, 2017, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama. This page has been viewed 79 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on September 11, 2017, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.
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