Sewanee in Franklin County, Tennessee — The American South (East South Central)
University of the South
Erected by Tennessee Historical Commission. (Marker Number 2E 8.)
Location. 35° 12.483′ N, 85° 55.03′ W. Marker is in Sewanee, Tennessee, in Franklin County. Marker is on University Avenue, on the right when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Sewanee TN 37375, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 7 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Edmund Kirby Smith (about 600 feet away, measured in a direct line); Rebel's Rest (approx. ¼ mile away); Army of Tennessee (approx. 1.3 miles away); Allan Gipson (approx. 1.4 miles away); Monteagle Sunday School Assembly (approx. 5 miles away); Passing Through Cowan (approx. 6.1 miles away); Tullahoma Campaign (approx. 6.1 miles away); Cowan Railroad Museum (approx. 6.1 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Sewanee.
Also see . . . University of the South (Submitted on December 13, 2009, by Tom Gillard of Tullahoma, Tennessee.)
1. Another founder.
Arthur Middleton Rutledge was born in Tennessee in 1817, one year after the family relocation to Chilhowee. On July 1, 1833, sixteen-year-old Arthur Middleton Rutledge received an appointment from Andrew Jackson to the military academy at West Point. He graduated as a Second Lieutenant in 1837 and served for two years in Florida's war against the Seminole Indians in 1837 and 1838 before returning to the life of a planter. In the late 1850's, he became active in the founding of the University of the South at Sewanee by the Episcopal church structure in the South. He made the church a gift of a valuable 410 acre parcel of land long known as the site of Rowe's Cabin, a long-standing stagecoach stop at the intersection of the Nashville to Atlanta and Virginia to Mississippi stage routes. That tract had been conveyed to Rutledge by a neighbor whose slave had killed one of Rutledge's slaves, so the compensation was substantial. The school's fitness center and athletic fields are located on that land today. Arthur was also the Marshal of the Day and was responsible for the details of the program when the school cornerstone was first laid in
The cornerstone was a giant pink marble slab that required a team of thirty-two oxen to transport it to the mountaintop. Between four and five thousand attended the ceremony, including bishops from several states and 400 other top clergy and lay leaders, a brass band, and guests arriving on two special trains ITom Nashville. History tells us that a Yankee regiment camped nearby in July, 1863, while in pursuit of the Confederate Army of Tennessee that had just retreated from Tullahoma and moved on to Chattanooga as a result of the Tullahoma Campaign and its superior maneuvering by the Union Army of the Cumberland during the Second American Revolutionary War, blew the school's cornerstone into small pieces with dynamite.
During that war, Arthur formed and led as Captain a company of Confederate artillery, named Rutledge's Battery, which became part of the Army of Tennessee, in the corps commanded by Episcopal Bishop and General Leonidas Polk, the leading figure in the founding of the University of the South. Sadly, that war resulted in the ruin of the Rutledge family fortune in this part of Tennessee, and the Rutledge Falls land was sold in 1871 to wealthy Coffee Countian Lytle D. Hickerson, whose home was about two miles from Rutledge Falls. According to the book, the Chilhowee home site was sold to the Sherrill family in
— Submitted December 25, 2014, by Tom Gillard of Tullahoma, Tennessee.
Categories. • Education • War, US Civil •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on December 13, 2009, by Tom Gillard of Tullahoma, Tennessee. This page has been viewed 1,505 times since then and 27 times this year. Last updated on December 21, 2012, by Byron Hooks of Sandy Springs, Georgia. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8. submitted on December 13, 2009, by Tom Gillard of Tullahoma, Tennessee. • Kevin W. was the editor who published this page.