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

Old Deery Inn

Refuge from the Storm

 
 
Old Deery Inn Marker image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, July 31, 2013
1. Old Deery Inn Marker
Inscription. In September 1863, Confederate Gen. Samuel Jonesís command and Union Gen. Ambrose E. Burnsideís forces contested control of the Virginia and Tennessee Railroad a few miles east. On September 22, Union Col. John W. Fosterís brigade engaged the forces of Confederate Col. James E. Carter at Blountville. When the firing began, the women and children gathered the sick and elderly and sought refuge in the cellars of the most solid buildings; the St. John residence and the Old Deery Inn. “In the thick of the fight and more dangerously exposed than the soldiers of either side were the fleeing women,” historian Oliver Taylor wrote in 1909. “In the confusion of such a hasty departure distracted mothers became separated from their children; cavalrymen dashed across their path, while bullets and bombs whistled above them. They went through Brownís meadow and finally found a safe retreat beyond the hills.” Exploding shells set much of the town on fire.

William Deery constructed this trading post and tavern, later known as the Old Derry Inn, early in the 1800s. As Deery prospered, he added to the building, including a three-story hewn stone structure in the rear. After his death about 1845, his widow lived here until the Cate family purchased it after the Civil War.

Although Deeryís children had left Sullivan
Battle of Blountville / Heritage Trail map image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, July 31, 2013
2. Battle of Blountville / Heritage Trail map
County years before, they did not escape the warís effects. Eldest daughter Martha married Col. William Churchwell, who died at Cumberland Gap in 1862. Seraphina, the youngest daughter, married Col. Randal McGavock, a colonel in the 10th Tennessee Infantry Regiment (CSA) who was killed at the Battle of Raymond.

(captions)
Old Deery Inn, 1927 — Courtesy Hunt Library
The dining room in the stone section of the inn where town residents took refuge during the Battle of Blountville
 
Erected by Tennessee Civil War Trails.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Tennessee Civil War Trails marker series.
 
Location. 36° 31.987′ N, 82° 19.57′ W. Marker is in Blountville, Tennessee, in Sullivan County. Marker is on Bristol Highway (Tennessee Route 126) west of Anderson Road, on the right when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 3397 Bristol Highway, Blountville TN 37617, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. A different marker also named Old Deery Inn (a few steps from this marker); Anderson Townhouse (within shouting distance of this marker); Ralph Blizard (within shouting
Old Deery Inn Marker image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, July 31, 2013
3. Old Deery Inn Marker
distance of this marker); Battle of Blountville (within shouting distance of this marker); Sullivan County (within shouting distance of this marker); a different marker also named Battle of Blountville (within shouting distance of this marker); The Cannonball House (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); a different marker also named Battle of Blountville (about 400 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Blountville.
 
Categories. Railroads & StreetcarsWar, US Civil
 
Old Deery Inn image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, July 31, 2013
4. Old Deery Inn
National Register of Historic Places plaque image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, July 31, 2013
5. National Register of Historic Places plaque
Old Deery Inn plaque image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, July 31, 2013
6. Old Deery Inn plaque
These original gates, designed by Adolph Cluss, hung at the Smithsonian Institute from 1879-1910. They were brought to Blountville by Virginia Caldwell in the 1940's.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on October 25, 2013, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Md 21234. This page has been viewed 398 times since then and 32 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on October 25, 2013, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Md 21234. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.
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