Objects of Love and Memory

The Secret Life of Objects by Dawn RaffelI have recently read a book of short essays called The Secret Life of Objects by Dawn Raffel.  The author reflects on objects around her home that have significance.  These are things she inherited from her mother who recently passed away, that were given to her by her grandparents and that she has collected as an adult.  She writes about her memories of the objects and what she was doing when she acquired them in various stages of her life.  I have thought how marvelous that her children will have this book to refer to when going they are going through her belongings when she dies.

Why do we hold on to certain objects and what memories to they possess? As we all attempt to declutter our own houses and deal with aging/deceased parents, what is kept and what is given away? To know what was important to our loved ones and why, makes the decision so much easier.  Would your children and descendants know what is important to you in your home and why you kept it?  Shouldn’t we write it down?

I have started to look around my house and see what I have collected in my 50+ years and to think seriously about what I would want my children to save when I am gone. Of course there are the photos of ancestors and treasures that I have inherited from the great-grandparents via my grandmother and my mother. There are very few items, when you consider that I have 30 direct ancestors from the previous 4 generations, most who died less than a hundred years ago.  I have said that I have come from ancestors that were “movers”, not “stayers” and with that comes a mentality of looking forward and not holding onto land, memories, stories or “things”.   So, true “antiques” are at a minimum, but I am working on documenting each one and what I know about their history.

Springer Spaniel and Books

But what about the things from my generation? I have tried to be thoughtful about what I kept from my own life when I packed and moved across the country, already thinking about what my children would potentially need to deal with when I go.  These are the things that aren’t necessarily old, but are attached to memories from my life.   My children will be lucky in one way; I do not collect nick knacks and hate things that require dusting regularly.  With that said, I hold on to the English Springer Spaniel statues that my grandmother brought back from at trip to England, because they remind me of her and seeing them on her fireplace mantel when I was growing up.  They are next to the old books that she gave me, some we bought together at an antique bookstore in downtown Los Angeles and a few from my great-grandparents.  (Dear children, if you are reading this…I promise to haunt you if you give away any of the old books on my shelves.)

Dad’s Tommy Bahama Shirt

Then there is one of my Dad’s Hawaiian shirts. When my dad died, my step mom had us all pick out one of his Hawaiian shirts to remember him by and to wear at his wake.  When I see this Tommy Bahama shirt, I picture him in it, cooking fish stew or some new recipe he was trying out from the Food Channel.  I cannot bear to part with it.

Mom’s Beaded Spoons

These serving spoons are a gift from my mother.  She was glass artist and made jewelry among other crafty pursuits.  She went through a period where she decorated serving utensils with glass beads and gave them as wedding and house warming gifts.  I commissioned Mom to make numerous sets for me to give to give to friends who got married because they were beautiful and a way to support my mom’s business.  I couldn’t seem to find a full set of mine when I was taking pictures.  Wonder where they are?

My Rocking Chair

My Rocking Chair

This is my rocking chair from when I was a child.  It was part of an all white bedroom set that included a dresser, a bed frame and a rocking chair.  It is a miracle that I have this chair (I don’t have very much from my childhood, but that is another story).  Somehow my Dad and my step-mom had it and she painted it dark brown.  When I was married and started to have children, she sent it to me.  At least that is what I think it is from….

So what objects do you keep and what would you want your children to hang on to? Perhaps it is time to start taking pictures of them and writing why they are important to you.  Leave a little bit of yourself behind to remember.

Posted in Books, Genealogy General | Tagged , | 2 Comments

Sesquicentennial Celebration of the Civil War and Reconstruction Revisited

1st Colored Heavy Artillery Color Guard

1st Colored Heavy Artillery Color Guard

I was privileged to be able to attend events here in Knoxville this last weekend to celebrate the Sesquicentennial (150 years) of the ending of the Civil War.   The “Blue & Gray Reunion and Freedom Jubilee” events were all over the city to help people remember the Civil War’s significance in our history and how we still feel the impact of it today.   We think of the “glory” of the battles, the generals, the loss of family members, but we don’t spend as much time on what followed to address the issues that started the war.  “Reconstruction” has become a distasteful term and it was glossed over in my history books (or at least that is how I remember it) because of its failures and how difficult it was to implement.

I attended 3 events that all attempted to continue the discussion about Reconstruction.  Perhaps if we keep looking at it, we can truly accomplish the promised changes it was supposed to bring.

Remembering the Civil War by Dr. Caroline E. JanneyDr. Caroline E. Janney gave Thursday’s opening night’s lecture based on her book “Remembering the Civil War: Reunion and the Limits of Reconciliation.” Her speech discussed three basic themes: 1) how Unionists and Confederates saw “Reconciliation”…it was not as friendly as it is depicted 2) the issue of slavery and how both sides saw it post war 3) the role of women in Civil War societies and how different it was in the south vs. the north (surprise…bigger role for women in the south.)

Friday was the official commemoration with local political officials, representatives of the Sesquicentennial Commission and the state historian.  Following that was a panel discussion of historians on “Reconstruction Tennessee.”  They covered the successes and failures of reconstruction and why.  The successes were the Emancipation Proclamation, the 14th amendment which makes all people born in America citizens, and the 15th Amendment giving all men the right to vote.  Sadly the successes were overshadowed by racism, violence and the negative reputation of the “Northern Carpetbaggers.” The historians of the William Dunning School perpetuated the ugly image of Reconstruction, as did popular culture through such films as “Birth of a Nation” and “Gone with the Wind.”   We see “Reconstruction” continued with legal battles against segregation, the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and how we will deal with racism today.

My final and favorite event was the Color Guard demonstration of the 1st U.S. Colored Heavy Artillery and the presentation of their transcribed military records to the Beck Cultural Exchange Center.  This was momentous because the 1st U.S. Colored Heavy Artillery soldiers, who had served in Knoxville during the Civil War (and many settled here after the war), were not invited to the 1890 and 1895 Blue & Grey Reunions in Knoxville.  They had served their country with distinction and then were not allowed to attend the all white events to share in the camaraderie and remembrance.

African American Civil War Memorial (Picture taken by David in Flicker https://www.flickr.com/photos/65193799@N00/15536729/)

African American Civil War Memorial (Picture by David on Flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/65193799@N00/15536729/)

The presentation was followed by a lecture by Dr. Frank Smith, Executive Director of the African American Civil War Memorial and Museum in Washington, D.C.. Dr. Smith reminded the audience that there were over 200,000 black men that served as soldiers in the Civil War.  He told some wonderful stories about individuals who had escaped slavery in order to serve, including Michelle Obama’s ancestor.  Descendants of soldiers come into the museum seeking to know more about their ancestors and some even bring their own original documents. (Video) The Museum is one of the sponsors of the “Grand Review Victory Parade” on May 17th in Washington, D.C., where they are expecting that over 10,000 reenactors will march.  It’s important that Regiments of the United States Colored Troops (USCT) participate, as they weren’t allowed to be there at the 1865 Grand Review celebrating the end of Civil War.  It’s time to see them march for their ancestors and be honored for their contribution.

Note: If you would like to know more about the USCT in the Civil War there is a lecture by Hari Jones on the Civil War Trust website.

Also, Tennessee is not forgetting Reconstruction either – Middle Tennessee State University Center for Historic Preservation has published a driving tour brochure with over 100 locations in Tennessee that played a role in Reconstruction.  History is alive and well…it gives you hope!

Posted in Civil War, Knoxville Tennessee, Tennessee Genealogy Records | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Jennie Gammon Part II – What happens to the Gammon Family after the Civil War?

General Lee surrender to Gen. Grant - Library of Congress

General Lee surrenders to General Grant – Library of Congress

The war was a life altering experience for the Gammon Family, as it had been for everyone in the country. After 9 months in the prisoner of war camp in Indianapolis, George is released in a prisoner exchange in February of 1865.  He wastes no time hooking back up with a unit of the Tennessee army.  On their way to Virginia, they find out that Lee has surrendered at Appomattox on April 9th. George makes his way back to Jonesboro, Tennessee and joins his brother Hammy at their uncle’s house. George and Hammy are finally able to return to Knoxville in June of 1865. George writes in his memoir “We met your grandfather, Aunt Jennie and old Billy at the depot and went home.  As we walked down Gay Street with our ragged clothes, we were recognized by a few and jeered by some.”1   Soon after George had to go to Chattanooga to take an oath of allegiance to the United States, a step that all Confederates were required to do to begin the process of uniting the country.

Baker_Abner Tombstone Knoxville TN

Abner Baker’s tombstone in front of his former home in Knoxville, TN. Do look at the inscription!

Unfortunately, efforts of reconciliation for Knoxville residents were not easy.  The effects of civil war on the populace brought out the worst in people as they settled scores from before and during the war.  They were also dealing with the deaths of family members, the loss of property and fear of what life be like after the war.   It was in this atmosphere that two ex soldiers, Confederate Abner Baker (a college friend of George) and Unionist William Hall, got in a fight and Hall was shot and killed by Baker.  A mob formed and took Baker from jail and lynched him. There is still arguments today about who was at fault and the motivations 2, but the end result was that ex Confederate soldiers did not feel safe in Knoxville and many left the city, including George and Hammy.  George moved to Memphis and stayed with Col. Robert Fain Looney (an extended family member), until the early part of 1869.  Joseph “Hammy” Gammon moved to London, Kentucky and stayed there until he died in 1873.

Nathan Gammon appears to have remained in Knoxville and applied for amnesty directly to his old Tennessee friend, President Andrew Johnson, in late July of 1865.  His world had literally turned upside down in just 5 years.  In 1860, he had been a clerk of the District Court of the United States, with a large family and moderate wealth. He is indicted for treason by a Grand Jury in 1864 related to his service in the Court of the Confederacy.  At the end of the war, he is obliged to appeal to the President for a special pardon, so as to be able to do any type of business and provide for his family.  It is not surprising that he died within a few years on June 14, 1869.

Nathan Gammon Amnesty Letter 27 Jul 1865 - Accessed on Ancestry.com

Nathan Gammon Amnesty Letter to President Johnson on 27 Jul 1865 – Accessed on Ancestry.com

I haven’t been able to find the family in the 1870 census or the 1869 city directory, but according to the Pritchett book, Jennie, George and their mother Mary were living in Knoxville in reduced circumstances.  The next available city directory is not until 1876, but there I found George working as a bookkeeper.  George eventually marries, owns his own insurance company and is elected to local political offices.  Jennie is listed in the 1882 city directory working as a teacher at the Bell House School.  Knoxville started the free public school system in 1871 and in 1876 a teacher’s salary was $44.05 per month.3   Jennie is the principle of the school by 1888 and continues in that role through 1892.  She returns to being a teacher in 1893 and seems to retire by 1899.  Through the years the family is able to recover financially and build a new life with respect from their community.  Jennie never marries and lives with her mother Mary, her brother and his family for most of her life. Mary dies in 1895 and George dies in 1915.

In December of 1925, Jennie is in a car accident with her family on Christmas Eve and dies the next day of complications. The articles about the car accident and her obituary all mention how much Jennie was admired and loved by former students.  I bet she was a tough teacher, but loyal and loving…just as she was with her family.

Note:  I relied heavily on Margaret Gammon Pritchett’s book, The Gammons of East Tennessee, to help fill in the gaps when records were missing.  She mentions in her introduction that she was left many letters and first hand accounts of the Civil War from her father’s family. This is a reminder (again) of how important it is to document our family’s history, as this might be the only way for their story to be told and heard by following generations.  Thank you Ms. Pritchett for taking the time to write it all down!

1 Margaret Gammon Pritchett, The Gammons of East Tennessee (Jacksonville: M.G. Pritchett, 1992), 101.

2 Amy McRary, “Ex-Confederate Abner Baker was hanged by mob,” (Knoxville) News Sentinel, 12 Apr 2015, p. 8E, cols. 1-5.

3 Knoxville City Schools, A history of the Knoxville public schools. (Knoxville: Knoxville Public Schools, 1952).

Other Records used:

  • Census and slave schedules – Ancestry.com
  • Nathan Gammon’s Confederate amnesty request – Ancestry.com
  • Obituaries – Gammon Family File, McClung Collection, Knoxville, TN
  • Knoxville City Directories – McClung Collection, Knoxville, TN
  • Jennie’s Death Certificate – Ancestry.com
  • National Park Service Civil War Soldiers Database
  • Library of Congress Digital Collection – Photographs from the Civil War
  • McKenzie, Robert Tracy. Lincolnites and Rebels: A Divided Town in the American Civil War. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006.
Posted in Civil War, Knoxville Tennessee, Southern Ancestors, Tennessee Genealogy, Tennessee Genealogy Records | Tagged , | 2 Comments

Jane (Jennie) Letitia Gammon (1834-1925) – Heroic Daughter, Nurse to Confederate Soldiers and Educator

Jennie Gammon (1834-1925)

Jennie Gammon (1834-1925)

I was first intrigued by Jennie, when I saw her name on the notable persons list at Old Gray’s cemetery with the description “Helping nurse the wounded, CSA”.  We don’t often know the stories of the women who lived through the Civil War and I was curious about what I could find out about her.

Early Years

Jennie was one of 6 children born to Mary Hamilton and Nathan Gammon in Jonesboro, Tennessee. The family already had deep roots in the area; Nathan’s grandfather Richard Gammon signed the Tennessee State Constitution in 1796. Nathan moved his family to Knoxville in the 1850’s where he was a merchant responsible for transporting goods from the Tennessee River to the interior.  When the railroad came to town, he served as the first freight agent.  He later became Clerk for the District Court of the United States (Court of the Confederacy in 1861-1863).  It is reported that Jennie helped her father with transcribing documents for the court. The family owned 5 slaves (3 adult males and 2 children), according to the slave schedules of 1850 and 1860.

Civil War

Jennie would have been 26 years old when the Civil War started.  Her three brothers William, Joseph Hamilton (Hammy) and George joined the Confederate Army.  At first this would have been a heady, high-spirited, patriotic time when the Confederate Army was in control of Knoxville, but it must have quickly became more stressful as the tides of war turned.  William was wounded in the arm and unable to stay in the army.  He was released from service in the spring of 1863.  It appears that Hammy served the Confederate cause until the war ended in 1865. He must have had some perilous experiences as suggested from family letters that tell of his near escapes from capture. Unfortunately, George was not so lucky and he was taken prisoner by the Union Army in the summer of 1864 and taken to Camp Morton in Indianapolis.

Camp Morton Indianapolis 1862-1865 (Library of Congress)

Camp Morton Indianapolis 1862-1865 (Library of Congress)

In September 1864, William traveled to Indiana to see George at the Confederate prisoner of war camp.  He was unable to see him in person, but left him gifts and money from the family.  Afterwards, William went north to New York and New Jersey.  It is not clear from his letters if he was there on family or military business.  And then he disappears…….  His father, Nathan, looked for him after the war, but without success. The family assumed that he was murdered. (I have some very un-genealogically supported theories on this one….but perhaps I have read too many mystery/conspiracy books.)

Univ of TN Knoxville 1903 (Library of Congress)

Univ of TN Knoxville 1903 (Library of Congress)

Meanwhile, Knoxville was occupied by the Union Army by the fall of 1863 and the Union sympathizers had their revenge on the Confederate supporters.  According to family stories (I haven’t been able to get a copy of “Reminisces” presented to the Daughters of the Confederacy in 1899 which might confirm these), Jennie was small but a “veritable storehouse of energy.” She protected her family from angry mobs and went to court with her father when he was arrested for treason for his role as Clerk for Court of the Confederacy.  She fed and nursed Confederate Soldiers that were at the temporary hospital at the University of Tennessee.  She even received a bullet wound in her leg by a stray “minnie” and refused to be seen by a Union doctor.  She sounds like a spitfire!

More about Jennie’s life after the Civil War in Part II

Posted in Civil War, Tennessee Genealogy, Tennessee Genealogy Records, Women Ancestors | Tagged , | 6 Comments

Genealogy Conferences and Seminars – Preparing in Advance for the Trip

It’s that time of year when there are many upcoming genealogy conferences and seminars. It has me thinking about all the things I need to do ahead of time to make sure I make the most of the time I am there.

Luggage - Saturday Evening Post 1933 pg 892  Flicker Commons

Luggage – Saturday Evening Post 1933 pg 892
Flicker Commons


  • Registration for the event – register for the event, meals and any special activities.
  • Hotel reservations – make reservations well in advance to ensure I get a room and see if any of my genealogy buddies want to join me!
  • Packing – sometimes this is the hardest part
    • Clothes – What will the weather be like? If you are attending the Northwest Genealogical Conference in Washington…layers are always recommended! Also with air-conditioning, a light weight sweater is good to stick in your bag.  Do I need to dress up for any evening functions? I will be sure to pack my go-to black pants that pack well and work for multiple types of occasions.
    • Will I need a computer or not? Will my iPad be sufficient?
    • Will I be doing any research when I am there? Bring research plan and documents I need to reference (preferably on my computer)
    • Conference staples – bag, water bottle, protein bars, pens, notebook and whatever must-have’s I need. Lately it’s been peach gummies.
    • Pack camera or will my phone be enough?
  • Restaurant reservations – I am a foodie, so I do research on restaurants in the area and make reservations in advance, especially if they are popular.

Conference Schedule:

  • First pass at the schedule – I do a quick review of the schedule to see the overall design of the conference so that I know if there are particular tracks that I want to focus on.
  • Selection of classes – I print out the schedule and make my selections based on 1) my educational goals for the year 2) speakers I just can’t miss and 3) classes I may not have a chance to take in the near future. This year I trying to fill in some gaps I have regarding land records and how to use DNA results to help my research.  There are so many good speakers at the NwGC, attendees are going to have tough choices to make!
  • At the conference – I reserve the right to make a different choice on classes when I get to the conference.

Genealogy Research in the Area:

  • Do I have any ancestors that lived in the area? This is great chance to go to libraries, genealogy societies and archives in the area.
    • I determine the best location to get the most information I can, especially if I am on a time limit.
    • Confirm days and times they are open. Do I need to make an appointment?
    • Develop a detailed research plan well in advance. I have paid dearly in the past by not having a comprehensive plan and I have to return to Texas because of it. It was a very expensive lesson. Do this!

      Current Research Log (Modified from Thomas MacEntee's)

      My Current Knoxville TN Research Log (Modified from Thomas MacEntee’s)

    • Are there any cemeteries, houses, sites where significant events took place for my ancestors? I will create a strategy to get to as many as I can and map them with addresses, directions and any identifying markers about the place.
Seattle - Space Needle, Ferry, Pike Place Market anyone?

Seattle – Space Needle, Ferry, Pike Place Market anyone?


  • What are the historical and “must see” sites in the area? – Review “top ten” sightseeing websites to determine if I can manage the time to go see some of them.

I am sure I have forgotten something, so please let me know if there is something I should add!

Posted in Genealogy General | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Genealogy Do Over: Week 7 and 8

Week 7 and 8 haven’t been too bad as I made some changes in 2014 related to the topics.

Week 7

Reviewing Genealogy Database Software

Like many genealogists, I have gone through many different genealogy programs. Our needs change as we develop our abilities as genealogists and as new products come out to meet the demands of the community. I have used Reunion, Family Tree, RootsMagic and most recently Legacy.  I am currently using Legacy because it most closely meets my citation citing process and requirements, but choosing a program is a personal decision that everyone must analyze for themselves.

On-Line Trees – well this always sparks a huge debate on message boards as genealogists try to protect the integrity of their data. Being a relatively “new” genealogist, I started my genealogy search on Ancestry.com.  I am admitting my sins of the past – I have an old tree that has errors on it from accepting hints that at the time seemed accurate and have since been proven wrong with research.  I have been steadily cleaning my own tree up, but I haven’t even tried to correct others who have the same errors unless I am contacted about that line. I made the decision to stay on Ancestry, because I have connected with so many “cousins” that have provided photos and details about our family.  I can’t imagine cutting off that line of potential communication and I remain ever hopeful that someone will help with some of my brick walls.

Digitizing Photos and Documents

HP Officejet 7612When I found out that I was going to move across the country last summer, I was filled with dread about my bad digitizing habits.  I realized that I was going to have to send all my genealogy research on a moving truck and hope that it didn’t get lost or in an accident.  No way was I going to lose years worth of documents I had tracked down traveling to archives, libraries and courthouses…not to mention all my family photos!  I quickly went out and bought HP Officejet 7612 scanner/copier/printer that could also scan 11 X 17.  Best buy ever!  I copied all my original records that I couldn’t get on-line, stored them on computer, back-up drive and Dropbox.  I was a little better off with photos, since I have been a long time scrapbooker and had digitized most of my photos. Though now I see that the standard is to put them in 600 dpi TIFF files. Guess I have another project to convert the jpg’s to tiff’s…    The good news is everything arrived in the moving truck, so I can start my scanning picture project anytime I find the time!!!

Week 8

Conducting Collateral Research

Tom MacEntee’s definition of collateral research is:  “A search for those who are not direct line ancestors, but who are considered part of the same family. These include siblings, half-siblings, in-laws and others through marriage. Example: take time to look at the siblings of a woman’s husband or her husband’s parents and who they married, as well as their children.”

I have done collateral research on quite a few lines of my family, but I haven’t been thorough.  I use the technique when I get stuck or when I become enthralled with a particular family like my Mattson Family that just keeps giving amazing documents and details. So, I will be reviewing my families again and see where my gaps are.  I have some big ones for those few families that had 10+ kids.  For once I am grateful for my one direct line that only had 1 child for the last 5 generations. I am not sure I will change my approach to collaterals, but I will at least highlight where I could do more in-depth work when I am in the research location.

Reviewing Offline Education Options

States surrounding Tennessee using http://m.maploco.com/

States surrounding Tennessee using http://m.maploco.com/

I feel like I really have this one handled.  I belong to a quite a few genealogy organizations and attend national, regional and local events.  This year I will be going to NGS in St. Charles, MO and IGHR in Birmingham, Alabama. Now that I am in Tennessee and I am centrally located to quite a few states, I have new opportunities to be able to go to conferences in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia etc. Exciting!

Good luck to those of you doing your Genealogy Do Over!  Let me know how it is going for you.

Posted in Genealogy Do Over, Genealogy General | 2 Comments

Tennessee: A Very Short History of Their Civil War

To understand who the people were that I found in Old Gray Cemetery, I need to know what their Civil War experience might have been.  Most of my education about the Civil War is oriented towards the battles in Virginia and Gettysburg, because that is where my Pennsylvania and New Jersey ancestors were. In my research, I was surprised to find that Tennessee had the 2nd largest number of battles fought on its soil after Virginia.  It was also perhaps the most contentious state with its people divided in allegiance between the Union and the Confederacy.

Tennessee Battlefields Civil War

Tennessee Battlefields Civil War

The eastern part of the state (where Knoxville is located) was primarily Unionist and the western part of the state (that includes Nashville and Memphis) was mostly Confederate. To make matters worse, the Union Army had taken over Nashville and Memphis by early 1862 and the Confederate Army held Knoxville until the fall of 1863.  So that meant that both sides of the state experienced “occupation”, martial law, and all that it entails.  Both areas had rebel groups launching counter attacks and sabotage that resulted in hangings, imprisonment and a general state of unrest.  There were 38 battles fought in Tennessee; the battle of Shiloh was the most well known with 23,746 casualties (US 13,047; CS 10,699).  And finally, while the Federal and Confederate armies managed to keep the cities relatively safe and the people fed, the countryside had gangs (loyal to no one) roaming and terrorizing farmers.  They stole their food and money and at times killed them.  Many of the county people left their farms and came to the city for safety creating additional stress on limited resources of food and housing.  Tennessee was the embodiment of Civil War.

Nashville - The First Union Dress Parade 1862  (Library of Congress)

Nashville – The First Union Dress Parade 1862 (Library of Congress)

Abbreviated Timeline:

  • Lincoln elected President – Nov 6 1860
  • Tennessee’s voters rejected Referendum to succeed from the Union – Feb 9 1861.
  • Confederate States of America formed with Jefferson Davies as the President – States include South Carolina, Louisiana, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi and Texas – February 18 1861
  • Lincoln inaugurated – March 4 1861
  • South Carolina fired on Fort Sumter and Lincoln sends Union troops to defend the fort – April 12 1861
  • Tennessee voted to succeed from the Union by Referendum. The total vote is 69% to 31% to leave the Union, but in Eastern Tennessee the percentages are flipped with 69% against to 31% in support of succession. – June 8 1861
  • Tennessee Unionists held convention in Greeneville that denounced succession and petitioned the legislature to have Eastern Tennessee become separate state – June 17-20 1861
  • Tennessee joined Confederate States of America – July 22 1861
  • Eastern Tennessee Unionists burned 5 of 9 railroad bridges that helped to supply the Confederates with provisions– Nov 8 1861
  • Confederate Army “occupied” Eastern Tennessee, implements martial law and executes many of the “bridge burners” – November 1861
  • Battles at Fort Henry and Fort Donelson. Confederate troops surrendered to Gen. Ulysses S. Grant – February 16 1862
  • Federal troops occupied Nashville – Late February 1862
  • Battle of Shiloh – April 6 1862 (Federal victory)
  • Battle of Stone River – December 31 1862 – January 2 1863 (Federal victory)
  • Federal troops under Gen. Burnside took possession of Knoxville – September 1, 1863
  • Battle of Chickamauga, Georgia (Confederate victory) – caused Federal troops to retreat to Chattanooga, TN and Confederates surrounded the town – September 1863

    Fort Sanders, Knoxville, TN -  Col. Orlando Poe and Col. Orville Babcock 1863? (Library of Congress)

    Fort Sanders, Knoxville, TN – Col. Orlando Poe and Col. Orville Babcock 1863? (Library of Congress)

  • Battles of Lookout Mountain and Missionary Ridge – Gen. Grant lead Federal troops to victory and siege of Chattanooga ends. Confederates return to Georgia – November 25 1863
  • Battle of Fort Sanders (Federal victory) and Knoxville are finally free of Confederate occupation – November 29 1863
  • Battle of Franklin (Federal victory) December 15-16 1864
  • Surrender of General Lee – April 9 1865
  • President Lincoln assassinated – April 15 1865
  • President Johnson declares war ended – August 20 1865

All of these events were important and had an effect on the people who are buried in Gray’s Cemetery.   Next you will hear about the Gammon Family and what they were doing before, during and after the Civil War.


  • Bergeron, Paul H., Stephen V. Ash, and Jeanette Keith. “The Civil War”. In Tennesseans and their history. Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 1999. 132-157.
  • “CIVIL WAR TENNESSEE.” Civil War Traveler: Tennessee. Accessed March 17, 2015. http://www.civilwartraveler.com/WEST/TN/index.html.
  • “Tennessee Civil War National Heritage Area.” Tennessee Civil War National Heritage Area. Accessed March 19, 2015. http://www.tncivilwar.org/.
  • United States. National Park Service. “Civil War Battle Summaries by State.” National Parks Service. Accessed March 17, 2015. http://www.nps.gov/abpp/battles/bystate.htm#tn.
  • United States. National Park Service. “Civil War Timeline.” National Parks Service. March 4, 2015. Accessed March 17, 2015. http://www.nps.gov/gett/learn/historyculture/civil-war-timeline.htm
Posted in Civil War, Knoxville Tennessee, Tennessee Genealogy | 6 Comments