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Parrottsville in Cocke County, Tennessee — The American South (East South Central)
 

The Hanging of Peter Reece

Swift Retribution

 
 
The Hanging of Peter Reece Marker image. Click for full size.
By Tom Bosse, August 14, 2015
1. The Hanging of Peter Reece Marker
Inscription. During the Civil War, both Union and Confederate forces accused each other of committing atrocities against prisoners and civilians. The hanging of Peter Reece, a Unionist who lived near present day Harned Chapel United Methodist Church, illustrates the vicious nature of local "wars within the war" and the years of hatred that frequently followed.

Early in the war, about 400 Unionists occupied nearby St. Tide Hollow, built earthworks, and fashioned a crude cannon from a hollow log reinforced with metal bands. Local Confederate Col. Danville Leadbetter's forces attacked the camp, captured a hundred men, among them Peter Reece, and confined them in a large schoolhouse that stood on the hill above the modern town hall. According to local tradition, the prisoners were badly mistreated.

Hamilton Yett, one of Parottsville's most ardent Confederate supporters, came from his mansion north of town to the schoolhouse and announced loudly that he wanted to "look at the animals." Angered, Reece threw a brick that struck Yett's head and fractured his skull, injuring but not killing him. Leadbetter's soldiers immediately hanged Reece from a nearby tree and forbade "any man" from cutting down his body. After three days, Reece's wife, Emily, and two of their daughters removed the body. They buried Reece in the Harned Chapel cemetery.
The Hanging of Peter Reece Marker image. Click for full size.
By Tom Bosse, August 14, 2015
2. The Hanging of Peter Reece Marker
A grandchild later said, "Grandmother Reece hated all Democrats (former Confederates) to the day she died because of what they did to her husband."

Captions:
Peter Reece • Courtesy Peter Reece Family

Union Prisoners in a Confederate town, Harperīs Weekly, June 13, 1863

The hanging of Peter Reece - Courtesy Joan Beaver, artist
 
Erected 2014 by Tennessee Civil War Trails.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Tennessee Civil War Trails marker series.
 
Location. 36° 0.573′ N, 83° 5.634′ W. Marker is in Parrottsville, Tennessee, in Cocke County. Marker is at the intersection of Old Parottsville Highway (Tennessee Route 340) and Parrotts Circle, on the right when traveling east on Old Parottsville Highway. Touch for map. Marker is located in the Parrott-LaRue-Myers Greenway and Recreational Memorial Park. Marker is in this post office area: Parrottsville TN 37843, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 10 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Johnson's Parrottsville Slaves (approx. 0.2 miles away); Swaggerty Fort (approx. 1.4 miles away); The War Ford (approx. 5.9 miles away); Kiffin Yates Rockwell
Harned's Chapel United Methodist Church image. Click for full size.
By Tom Bosse, August 14, 2015
3. Harned's Chapel United Methodist Church
(approx. 6.1 miles away); Governor Ben Walter Hooper (approx. 7.6 miles away); John Floyd Arrowood (approx. 8.1 miles away); Bright Hope Industries (approx. 8.9 miles away); Grace Moore (approx. 9.7 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Parrottsville.
 
Also see . . .  Tennessee Civil War Trails. (Submitted on August 15, 2015.)
 
Categories. War, US Civil
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on August 14, 2015, by Tom Bosse of Jefferson City, Tennessee. This page has been viewed 274 times since then and 52 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on August 14, 2015, by Tom Bosse of Jefferson City, Tennessee. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.
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