Cherokee County, Alabama
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Stories from the 1860's
If there are any war stories to come out of Cherokee County other than the chase and surrender of General Streight by General Forrest, it hasn't come to my attention. Here are some accounts of that event. On a separate page are stories of the ride of John Wisdom and of the brief fame of Emma Sansom. I welcome contribution of other stories from the 1860's that contain names of people -- someone's ancestors.
There was no doubt dire hardship in the whole county due to the absence of fighting men to plow crops, chop wood, and the like, and general destruction by the enemy (if any preceeded Straight's). Some stories in this section tell about those hardships. They might be called war stories, too.
Early Reaction to the Beginning of the War Between
the States By Col. Robert N. Mann
The War in this Area by Col. Robert N. Mann
Miss Lena Sue Neely of Cedar Bluff, Alabama, furnished the Cherokee County Historical Society the following letter written by her father, Charles Neely regarding Col. Abel D. Streight's capture by Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest.
Referring to your letter of the 16th relative to Streight's raid and Gen. Forrest's pursuit and capture, beg to advise that the surrender was three and one half miles east of Cedar Bluff exactly 24 miles from Turkeytown, Ala.
I give below a statement of the facts in the case as near as I can recall them from a bit of history written by Mrs. Pattie Stone, wife of our late State Senator Stone. This history was also verified by my father, Mr. John M. Neely, who knew of the circumslances fully, and who has shown me the exact spot of ground upon which the terms of the surrender were made.
After being set across Black Creek near Gadsden, Ala., by Miss Emma Sansom nothing of interest happened until Forrest overtook the rear guard of Streight at or just beyond what is now known as the Blount farm and a yankee private was killed in the flat just west of the Blount residence and he was buried there and taken up after the war by the Government. My father showed me about the spot where the soldier was buried.
Next Forrest overtook them three and one half miles east of Cedar Bluff, just a half mile or hardly so far this side or west of the Old Lawrence home which is standing to this date almost unchanged from what it was the day the surrender occurred. Col. Streight was just sitting down to eat breakfast that Mrs. Lawrence wife of Col. Lawrence - who were all Confederates - had prepared, when a flat of truce from Gen. Forrest approached the house from the west and Col. Streight arose from the table of ham and eggs without finishing breakfast and rode his horse back down the road to where the Gaylesville and May's ferry road crossed the stage coach road from Gadsden to Rome, and after Forrest demanded his surrender he flatly refused. About that time there came one of Forrest's soldiers from toward Gaylesville and saluted Gen. Forrest and told him there was a regiment of men just north of him and awaited his orders. He was told by Gen. Forrest to lay upon his arms and at the report of his signal gun to charge from the north upon Streight's army. No sooner than this soldier left, another came from the south on the May's Ferry Road with a like report of a large number of men awaiting orders from him from a half mile to the south. He was told the same thing -- to listen for the sound of a signal gun and charge from the south. At this Col. Streight surrendered to Gen. Forrest and they marched past the Lawrence house where Streight had previously ordered breakfast. The army of Col. Streight was two and one half miles further east and a runner was sent ahead to tell them to stack arms which they did upon a round hill at or near Farrill, Ala., just this side of Dr. Paul Farrill's residence at present.
As a matter of fact, Gen. Forrest had no one from the north or south at those cross roads. That was one of his stunts of make believe. He only had about 350 worn out men who were right with him there in the road where Streight saw most of them. But the bluff worked and showed Gen. Forrest's superior generalship over the yankee.
Older citizens say there was a post office about one and a half mile further east of where the surrender at the Cross Roads was effected called Guthries. It was a stage coach station, but you might say the surrender was near Cedar Bluff as that was an established post office here at Cedar Bluff, Ala., and the surrender occurred three and a half miles east of Cedar Bluff.
Lawrence, Ala. was not known of at that time, having only been established about forty two years ago at the time the Rome and Decatur Raid Road was built by there, now known as the Southern Railway. As stated above the post 0fice at Guthries was about or close to two miles east of the Lawrence house near the cross roads where Streight met Forrest under a flag of truce. Guthries served what is now known as Farill and Lawrence, Ala. with mail. It was about half way between where Streight surrended to Forrest and where they finally stacked arms.
The point at the old Blount residence where the Federal soldier was killed was about three and a half miles east of Turkeytown. But the actual surrender was three and a half miles east of Cedar Bluff, about twenty four miles east of Turkeytown.
Glad to have heard from vou and glad to furnish the information. And you can depend upon it being absolutely correct as there are several older citizens living here at present that were here at the time and remember it well. Mr. John P. James, Miss Martha James both remember it distinctly. Also Mr. J. A. Stone was a good size boy at the time.
John McEntire Neely, the father of Mr. Charles Neely, was born May 24, 1844 at Larkinsville, Alabama and died October 30, 1926 at Cedar Bluff, Alabama. 0n June 9, 1862 he enlisted in the Confederate Army at Fort Payne Ala. First joined the Cavalry, Third Confederate Regiment, under Captain L. W. Lynch, Colonel W. .M. Estes, Co. B., but later Small's Co. B. He was transferred to the Artillery, White's Battery, Captain B. F. White - Robinson's Battalion - in March 1863. He served two years ten months and twenty-one days being paroled May 1,1865 at Augusta. Ga. He participated in the battles of Ferryville, Ky., Murfreesboro, Tenn., Chickamauga, Ga., Knoxville, Tenn., Kennesaw Mountain, Ga., Resaca, Ga., New Hope Church, Atlanta, Ga., and Aiken, Columbia, and Camden, S. C.
This article was provided by J. T. Bishop of Rome, Georgia.Go to top
Cherokee County Heritage
Cherokee County Heritage Volume VI, No.3, July 1977
By Col. Robert N. Mann
The War in this Area Troop Movements. Militarv Orders, Gen. Sherman. Gen. Grant. President Lincoln. March to the Sea Planned
Uncredited. Probably by Col. Robert N. Mann
Gen. Sherman's Troops (six armies - 60 000 troops at Cedar Bluff, Gavlesville, Little River, Blue Pond, and Leesburg
Following the end of the war on April 26,1865,
military rule was immediately imposed on the stricken south. Maj. Gen.
Wager Swayne at Montgomery was military commander of the Alabama
Sub-District. It was his assignment to administer the Military
Reconstruction Bill passed by the Congress on March 2, 1867. Generally
speaking, there was little trouble in the state and none in the Cedar
Bluff area that the writer has found. It is true that many citizens
objected to the terms of the oath of allegiance they were required to
take to vote or hold any civil office. The terms of the oath were
rather all embracing and the writer doubts that any southerner in good
conscience could take it unless he was at heart an Union sympathizer -
and there were many.
The organization was active in the state in
promoting registration in the "Great Republican Party" but
the writer, can find no record of their operations in this area. Gen.
O. O. Howard, who was commissioner of the Bureau, had been active in
this area during 1864. Although this Bureau was created for only one
year by Act of Congress on March 3, 1865, it was continued by later
Acts until 1872. It's establishment was due to the fear of the
north that the south if left to deal with the Negroes would attempt to
reestablish some form of slavery and the need for a bureau to take
charge of lands confiscated in the south.
This article was provided by J. T. Bishop of Rome, Georgia.
Note by the webmaster: All scanning and
conversion errors in the previous articles are mine, and I welcome your
pointing out errors. The authors' errors are printed unchanged. Let
the reader beware of the last paragraph above in particular.
|An article as it apeared in the Cherokee
County Herald, date unknown, probably 1960's.
Column title:CHEROKEE COUNTY HERITAGE
by Mrs. Robert N. Mann, Secretary, The Cherokee County Historical Society
A member of the Society, Mrs. Samuel Cate Lawrence, has recently discovered in a trunk in the attic, a little leather bound book which the Society believes will be of general interest because of the date, names and indication of the plantation operations at the time. This little book contains a list of residents of Cherokee County who subscribed to the "Peoples Salt Fund" and commissioned Mr. John Lawrence, the father of Mr. Samuel Cate Lawrence, to order salt from Major Stuart Buchanon of Abingdon, Virginia in May 1862.
The War. Between the States had started on April 12, 1861 with the firing on Fort Sumter. Many plantation supplies which usually came from the north ceased to be available. Salt had been imported by boat from the great salt mines of Pennsylvania and New York. The salt mines of the deep south in Texas, Louisiana, and Oklahoma were as yet undiscovered or undeveloped.
Salt was an indispensable item on the southern farm or plantation since it was used in meat curing, salting cattle, curing skins, making soap, seasoning food, and in preserving certain vegetables. So when the local supply became exhausted something had to be done. Some individuals even at this early period in the war had begun to boil the dirt on the smokehouse floor to obtain even a small amount for table use.
Mr. John Lawrence had heard that Major Buchanon of Abingdon had opened a small mine and had salt for sale. Abingdon is 15 miles northeast of Bristol, Virginia-Tennessee, or 136 miles northeast of Knoxville, Tennessee, and just west of the Blue Ridge mountains and at the extreme southern end of the famous Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. Mr. Lawrence made a trip to Abingdon to investigate and arrange the purchase. He bought 321 bushels of salt or 13,251 pounds for the account of the following people who were residents of Cherokee County.
J. T. Finley----- 20
|J. M. Witt------- 3
Madison Strawn--- 3
J. W. Starling--- 3
Mrs. L. Griffin-- 1
Wm. M. Hall------ 3
Sallie Owens----- 1
J. R. Bates------ 6
David S. Law----- 6
Jos. Smith------- 1
Jesse Webb------- 2
Joel Arthur------ 2
J. B. Camp------- 6
Jno. Shoemaker--- 6
Therose Crowder-- 3
Mrs. M. Angle---- 6
David Pickle---- 10
Jno. Mosely----- 10
Wm. Tallant----- 10
E. G. Bradley--- 10
Ebenezer Leath--- 3
Jas. Pinkston--- 10
Jas. Merdith---- 10
Jno. Helms------- 3
G. D. W. Lawrence 5
S. W. Robbins---- 3
J. W. Bishop----- 5
Jno. Chesnut----- 5
P. H. Lawrence--- 5
R. A. Russell---- 6
L. Bowers------- 10
Wm. N. Collins--- 3
R. J. Gentry----- 3
Mrs. B. Paty----- 3
J. S. Hampton---- 3
J. C. Bullard--- 12
Samp. Clayton--- 10
A. L. Blackwell-- 3
Hiram Wilcox----- 6
Jacob Hoss, Esq. 10
E. W. Johnson Esq.5
Mrs. C. Lawrence 20
A. M. Harton----- 5
Aaron Clifton--- 10
J. P. Smith------ 3
Mrs. J. C. Doyle- 3
Thos. Greenway--- 3
J. W. Coker------ 6
J. B. Gamble----- 8
Wm. McGhee------ 11
Danl. Wilson----- 6
B. Arthur-------- 3
E. Cunningham---- 3
S. J. Kelly------ 3
P.G. May--------- 3
Jas. Bradford-- 114
The above salt, delivered by rail and boat to Cherokee County cost
$2,248.08. It sold for a dollar for 5.7 pounds.
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