Category: Military

Civil War Diary of William Stringfield

By , April 18, 2015

The diary of William Stringfield, native of Strawberry Plains in Jefferson County who enlisted as a private in the Confederate Army and mustered out as an officer, is available in text form on-line.  It contains notes and additional transcriptions as well.  Those with an interest in the East TN campaigns, especially, will want to read the text.

The Webmistress is not a Civil War researcher, but she thoroughly enjoyed his travelogue around the region she knows very well and his personal observations on the events he witnessed.

Click here to read the transcription.

Civil War Battle of Bean’s Station

By , August 26, 2014

Battle of Bean’s Station

Other Names: None

Location: Grainger County

Campaign: Knoxville Campaign (1863)

Date(s): December 14, 1863

Principal Commanders: Brig. Gen. J.M. Shackelford [US]; Lt. Gen. James Longstreet [CS]

Forces Engaged: Cavalry Corps, Department of the Ohio [US]; Confederate Forces in East Tennessee [CS]

Estimated Casualties: 1,600 total (US 700; CS 900)

Description: Lt. Gen. James Longstreet abandoned the Siege of Knoxville, on December 4, 1863, and retreated northeast towards Rogersville, Tennessee. Union Maj. Gen. John G. Parke pursued the Confederates but not too closely. Longstreet continued to Rutledge on December 6 and Rogersville on the 9th. Parke sent Brig. Gen. J.M Shackelford on with about 4,000 cavalry and infantry to search for Longstreet. On the 13th, Shackelford was near Bean’s Station on the Holston River. Longstreet decided to go back and capture Bean’s Station. Three Confederate columns and artillery approached Bean’s Station to catch the federals in a vice.  By 2:00 am on the 14th, one column was skirmishing with Union pickets. The pickets held out as best they could and warned Shackelford of the Confederate presence. He deployed his force for an assault. Soon, the battle started and continued throughout most of the day. Confederate flanking attacks and other assaults occurred at various times and locations, but the Federals held until southern reinforcements tipped the scales. By nightfall, the Federals were retiring from Bean’s Station through Bean’s Gap and on to Blaine’s Cross Roads. Longstreet set out to attack the Union forces again the next morning, but as he approached them at Blaine’s Cross Roads, he found them well-entrenched. Longstreet withdrew and the Federals soon left the area. The Knoxville Campaign ended following the battle of Bean’s Station. Longstreet soon went into winter quarters at Russellville. Their success meant little to Confederate efforts except to prevent disaster.

Result(s): Confederate victory

CWSAC Reference #: TN026

Preservation Priority: IV.2 (Class D)


World War II Veterans’ Histories

By , January 24, 2014

In 1996, the Tennessee State Library and Archives began collecting information about World War II veterans.  The information is kept for research and learning purposes at the state archives.

Many World War II veterans’ records were lost when a federal building in St. Louis burned in the 1970’s.   The State Library & Archives recognized the need for an information survey to replace those records.   A similar project for the state’s Civil War veterans provided a unique window into the past.

Participation was sought from veterans who were living in Tennessee at the time of WWII or who resided in the state in 1996.   Relatives were encouraged to complete forms for deceased veterans.

Commenting on the project, former State Librarian Edwin S. Gleaves said, “Ths project exists to honor the memory and valor of service by the veterans of Tennessee while preserving that legacy for future generations.  The contributions of all our veterans, men and women, are important in the history of Tennessee and the U. S.”

Approximately 7,500 questionnaires were returned.  They are contained in Record Group 237, which is divided into five series:

  • Series I contains approximately 7,500 completed questionnaires arranged alphabetically.
  • Series II consists of photographs, copies of veterans’ discharge/separation papers, diaries and memoirs, clippings, books, and related military service materials.
  • Series III contains donor agreements that transfer ownership of supplemental materials to TSLA.
  • Series IV is the office files of the project coordinator.
  • Series V has a small file of World War II questionnaires from an earlier survey.

Click here to view the detailed Finding Aid for this record group (in PDF format).

TN Civil War Soldiers’ Service Records On-Line

By , October 21, 2011

Added on in September, 2011: Tennessee Union and Confederate Service Records



Diary of Kate Livingston, 1859-1868

By , October 20, 2011

Thanks to the generosity of research Al Baumbach, the WPA transcription of the diary of Kate Livingston, dating from 1859-1868, is available as a free, downloadable PDF file.

The Livingstons resided in Grainger and Jefferson Counties during the period covered by the diary.

Click here to learn more.

Bridge-Burning in Tennessee, 1861

By , July 7, 2011

Source: The Weekly Raleigh (NC) Register, November 20, 1861

The Troubles in Tennessee — The Burning of the Bridges

The Knoxville Register of last Tuesday gives the following account of the bridge burning in Tennessee by organized bands of traitors:

The deep-laid schemes to destroy the railroads in East Tennessee on Friday night last, by an organization of Lincolnite traitors, extending from Bristol to the Georgia line, resulted in the burning of the following bridges:

The bridge over the Hiwassee river, at Charleston, on the East Tennessee and Georgia Railroad.

The bridge over Lick creek, on the East Tennessee and Virginia Railroad.

The bridge over the Holston river, at Union, on the East Tennessee and Virginia Railroad.

Two small bridges on Chickamauga creek, on the Western and Atlantic Railroad.

The telegraph wires were cut at various places between Knoxville and Chattanooga, and Knoxville and Bristol.

No attempt seems to have been made upon the bridge at Loudon, that being well guarded by a cavalry company.

The attempt to burn the bridge at Strawberry Plains was unsuccessful, and its preservation is due to the courageous conduct of the watchman.

We learn that his name is James Keelan, and are glad to hear from persons who came down yesterday, that notwithstanding his sever injuries, there is strong hope of his recovery. It is known that the man whom he shot in the act of applying the torch to the bridge was William Pickens, son of the late State Senator from Greene, Cocke, Sevier and Blount counties, who was carried by his fellow-conspirators to Sevier county, and is reported to have died yesterday. Another man was also wounded by Mr. Keelan, whose fidelity and courage, as well as the injuries he has suffered, have gained him the admiration and sympathy of the whole country.

The Lick creek bridge was guarded by several soldiers attached to Captain McLinn’s company, encamped near Midway. They were approached by a gang of ruffians, who first engaged them in friendly conversation and then suddenly attacked and overpowered them, and executed their hellish incendiarism. They carried the captured sentinels, we are told, to a house at some distance, and after forcing them to take the oath to support the Lincoln Government, released them. They hurried to their camp and gave such information as led to the immediate arrest of six of the incendiaries, who were yesterday brought to this city, and safely lodged in jail. We learn that they have made confessions which will probably lead to the capture of all engaged in this extensive conspiracy.

This diabolical plot does not seem to have been participated in by the great body of the East Tennessee Union men, but seems to have been confined to a number of desperate and reckless traitors, who confidently believed that before they could be brought to justice, the lincoln forces from Kentucky would have forced their way through the mountains to their rescue. The have again experienced how little dependence is to be placed upon the boasts and promises of Maynard and Johnson.

The cowards who were reported to be approaching Jamestown and Big Creek Gap, have retreated back into Kentucky, to escape from Hardee and his brave forces, leaving their duped and misguided co-labourers here to their merited fate. — There is no early probability that any of Lincoln’s troops will ever be able to force their way into East Tennessee, and all such attempts as the late incendiary one must only result in bringing a terrible retribution upon the heads of the foolish perpetrators.

Large reinforcements are now on the way to this point, both from the East and the West, and such guards will, no doubt, be placed along the railroad route as will be effectual to frustrate any similar attempts in future.

News having been received of the bridge burning at Jacksborough, Colonel Powell’s Regiment was immediately ordered by General Zollicoffer to this place, and arrived here yesterday morning. Several companies of this regiment will start this morning for various points along the road.

It is rumored that large numbers of Union men are arming and mustering in Blount and Sevier counties, for the purpose of protecting the incendiaries who attempted to fire the Strawberry Plains bridge, all of whom, numbering some sixteen, were from Sevier county.

We have rumors also of the uprising of about fifteen hundred Lincolnites in Bradley and Hamilton counties. They are rushing upon their own destruction.

Six of the incendiaries who burnt the bridge over Lick creek, and who were captured by Capt. McLinn’s cavalry, were brought to Knoxville, on a special train, yesterday afternoon. The names of five of them are, Looney McDaniel, _____ Hann, and three brothers Harman. They were marched, bond, through the streets, followed by a large crowd, to the city jail, to await an examination before the Confederate States Commissioner, which will probably take place to-day.

McDaniel is one of the Lincolnites who was arrested and brought before the Confederate Court in September last, and who, after being released, voluntarily took the oath to support the Southern Confederacy.

The Knoxville Register says:

The whole affair exhibits, beyond cavil, perfect concert of action between the traitors from Chattanooga to Bristol.

We are advised that there have been emissaries of the Lincoln army in Kentucky passing and repassing, through by-paths across the mountains, between the forces there and Andy Johnson’s myrmidons in East Tennessee.

Although they have done much damage to the railroads, fortunately, for us their blow has been premature. we have reliable intelligence from Jimtown that the Lincoln troops which were in force at Monticello are retreating instead of advancing, and thus the Tennessee Vandal insurrectionists have been disappointed in the support they anticipated from that quarter.

The avenger is on their track. They have again been deluded, and this time to their ruin, by that arch traitor to his country — Andrew Johnson.

The American Civil War Homepage

By , June 20, 2011

In 2011, the United States is observing the Sesquicentennial of the Civil War.

Probably the most-comprehensive collection of links to Civil War information on-line is Dr. George Hoemann’s site at the University of Tennessee.

Spend some time there. You will add much to your knowledge base.

Click here to view Dr. Hoemann’s site.

Record Transcriptions in the USGenWeb Archives

By , June 18, 2011

Note:  Cemeteries and Census transcriptions are in separate posts on this Web site.  Please use the "search" feature.


Court Minutes


Military Records





Your $1.50 Can Preserve Civil War History

By , June 14, 2011

The History Channel is matching every $1.50 donated to preserve our Civil War battle and other historic locations. Please consider donating.

Click here for more details.

War of 1812 Pensioners in 1883

By , May 19, 2011

These tables were electronically converted from a typewritten transcription. Therefore, numerous opportunities for error are present. You should consider this a finding aid. Check original source documents for War of 1812 pensions for complete details. If you have additions or corrections to these tables, please contact the Webmistress.

Grainger County

Source: “Ansearchin'” News, Vol. VII, No. 2 (April, 1960), page 45

Certificate # Name PO Address Status Monthly Rate Date Allowed
32,733 Leanchner, Rebecca Ball Point Widow $8 Nov. 1882
17,771 Knight, Elizabeth Bean’s Station Widow $8 Feb. 1879
9,433 Murray, Sarah Bean’s Station Widow $8 Sep. 1878
17,325 Blair, Rhoda Bean’s Station Widow $8 Feb. 1879
26,779 Harris, Mary Bean’s Station Widow $8 Sep. 1879
11,331 Epps, Frances Bean’s Station Widow $8 Nov. 1878
7,121 Millikan, Cynthia Blain’s Cross Rd. Widow $8 Jul. 1878
14,848 Needham, Nancy Clear Spring Widow $8 Jan. 1879
29,960 Leffau, Jane Clear Spring Widow $8 Jul. 1880
10,190 Cardwell, Sarah Clear Spring Widow $8 Oct. 1878
7,091 Flora, Maris Rutledge Widow $8 Jun. 1879
25,922 Stevens, Martha Rutledge Widow $8 Jul. 1879
12,853 Sunderland, Mary C. Rutledge Widow $8 Dec. 1878
9,015 Roach, Milley Rutledge Widow $8 Sep. 1878
10,153 Oakley, John Rutledge Survivor $8 Dec. 1871
107,258 Shaver, Sarah Rutledge Widow $8 Jan. 1868
15,058 Allsup, June Spring House Widow $8 Jan. 1879
23,685 Mitchell, Martha J. Spring House Widow $8 May 1879
28,717 Jarnagin, Jane Spring House Widow $8 Feb. 1880
10,506 Hightower, E. Spring House Survivor $8 Jan. 1872


Claiborne County

Source: “Ansearchin'” News, Vol. VII, No. 2 (April, 1960), page 40

Certificate # Name PO Address Status Monthly Rate Date Allowed
4,118 Hooper, Jesse Big Barren Survivor $8 Sep. 1871
115,646 Honeycutt, Martha Big Barren Widow $8 Dec. 1868
112,577 Hooper, Anna Big Barren Widow $8 Jan. 1869
101,062 Daniel, Louisana Big Barren Widow $8 Nov. 1868
96,863 Goin, Rebecca Big Barren Widow $8 Dec. 1867
6,772 Hicks, Susan Cedar Fork Widow $8 May 1867
23,309 Williams, Catherine Clairfield Widow $8 Apr. 1879
11,428 Gain, Tempie A. Compensation Widow $8 Nov. 1878
11,126 Davis, Parkie Compensation Widow $8 Nov. 1878
17,119 Maddox, Nancy Compensation Widow $8 Feb. 1879
25,923 Jones, Martha Compensation Widow $8 Jul. 1879
30,332 Montain, Elizabeth Head of Barren Widow $8 Mar. 1879
14,229 Edwards, Artimacy Kick’s Chapel Widow $8 Jan. 1879
21,904 Jones, Sally Old Town Widow and 2 children $8 Apr. 1879
5,153 Thomas, Isaac Old Town Survivor $8 Oct. 1878
5,950 Lynch, Nancy Speedwell Widow $8 Feb. 1874
3,678 Rogers, Polly Speedwell Widow $8 Aug. 1872
13,350 Mason, Rhoda Spring Dale Widow $8 Dec. 1878
25,959 Mumm, Ollie Spring Dale Widow $8 Jul. 1879
20,247 Willis, Elgin Spring Dale Survivor $8 Mar. 1879
8,220 Day, Nancy Spring Dale Widow $8 Sep. 1878
12,854 Ferguson, Lavinia Tazewell Widow $8 Nov. 1878
143,729 Smith, Elizabeth Tazewell Widow $8 Dec. 1878
3,114 Dodson, Samuel Tazewell Widow $8 Aug. 1871
12,597 Clay, Permelia Tazewell Widow $8 Dec. 1878
12,353 Cloud, Mary Tazewell Widow $8 Nov. 1878
2,657 Leabolt, Lewis Yellow Spring Survivor $8 Aug. 1871
2,147 Estis, John R. Yellow Springs Survivor $8 Aug. 1871


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