Interesting Civil War Broadside from East Tennessee

A broadside was a printed poster used to report news, announcements of importance, and advertising. They were usually of normal paper thickness and similar to current 8-1/2” x 11” size though they could be larger or smaller. These broadsides would be tacked or nailed to bulletin boards, posts, trees, buildings or other areas where a bold headline would catch the eye of the passing public so that they would stop to read the full content. During the Civil War, broadsides were commonly used for recruiting purposes. Because of their fragility, few survived into modern times.

At the beginning of the war, the Knoxville Guards, a military and fraternal group formed in 1859, was offered to Governor Isham Harris for Confederate service. The Guards became Company E of the 19th Tennessee Infantry. It is unknown if they utilized a recruiting broadside but it is doubtful as they already had greater than company level strength within the group.

While East Tennessee had a significant population of Union sentiment, Confederate recruitment certainly took place. As evidence of that, a Confederate recruiting broadside from the Morristown area which did survive was duplicated on a postcard, The postcard, which appeared to be from the early 1900s, recently came up for auction on E-Bay. A picture of the full broadside, nailed to a wood backing, was the front of the postcard. The broadside was dated May 17, 1861. It makes for interesting reading.





The Yankee War is now being waged for “beauty and booty.” They have driven us from them, and now say OUR TRADE they must and will have. To excite their hired and ruffian soldiers, they promise them our lands, and tell them our women are beautiful – that beauty is the reward of the brave.

Tennessans !   your country calls !   Shall we wait until our homes are laid desolate;  until sword and rape have visited them ?   NEVER !   Then


and let us meet the enemy on the borders. Who so vile, so craven, as not to strike for his native land ?

     The undersigned propose to immediately raise an infantry company to be offered to the Governor as part of the defense of the State and of the Confederate States. All those who desire to join with us in serving our common country, will report themselves immediately.

J.B. Murray

                                                                        H.C. Witt

May 17, 1861


There is no mention of state’s rights, preserving the southern economy, or maintaining the current agrarian way of life (i.e. slavery). Instead, the poster mentions hired ruffian soldiers, land being taken from them, and their beautiful women being raped; hardly an inspiring message. It is unknown of this strangely worded broadside attracted enough recruits to actually form an infantry company as was desired by the two recruiters. Neither man is listed among the 1,435 men of the Confederate 19th Tennessee Infantry regiment.

The results of this broadside would be interesting to determine. Perhaps one of our readers from that area of East Tennessee can shed additional light on this curiously worded recruiting poster.

February Scout’s Report

January Scout’s Report

Grant’s First Courier to Knoxville

Nine days before Mary Love was General Grant’s courier to General Burnside at Knoxville, Union Sgt. Cornelius M. Hadley, Company F, 9th Michigan Cavalry, carried a different message from Grant to Burnside and carried Burnside’s messages back to his command. Not only did Sgt. Hadley’s harrowing trip occur nine days before Mary Love’s, but he went from Cumberland Gap while Mary left from Kingston, TN. His actions were related years later and were those which won him the Medal of Honor which was awarded on April 5, 1898. This writer was alerted to Hadley’s daring trip by an heir of Sgt. Hadley who read the Mary Love posting.

Grant knew that Burnside was besieged and isolated at Knoxville. He was determined to reinforce him if he could. Grant sent the following message to General Orlando Willcox, commanding the Union forces in and around Cumberland Gap, approximately fifty miles north of Knoxville: “I shall attack Bragg on the 21st (at Chattanooga), and if successful, will start immediately to the relief of Knoxville, if you can hold out. Grant. “

General Willcox had his subordinate choose 4 sergeants, two from the 9th MI Cavalry and two from the 7th OH Cavalry to carry the dispatch to Knoxville. The Michigan Sergeants were Cornelius M. Hadley and William B. Rowe. They started their journey together on November 20, 1863. Sgt. Rowe took sick near Knoxville and Sgt. Hadley completed the trip alone. The message was successfully delivered after 9:00 pm on November 20. Burnside had four dispatches he wanted returned to General Willcox, so Hadley began his return trip the following morning. Sgt. Hadley hooked up with Sgt. Rowe and they began the return journey together. While descending Clinch Mountain, they were discovered by the rebels and separated to escape. Sgt. Rowe was captured and was imprisoned first at Richmond and later at Andersonville. Sgt. Hadley made it safely back to General Willcox headquarters. He had ridden and walked over 100 miles and wore out two horses to successfully deliver all messages in both directions.

Sgt. Hadley’s account of the trip, written years later, is as follows.  “My bunkmate, brought me a Confederate uniform that we had captured a few days before… We met at Clinch River, a mile out of camp, and I was disappointed to see that the Ohio boys were wearing full uniform. They could not get a disguise, and neither could Rowe. We crossed the mountains and Holston River together and then separated, the Ohioans taking one road and Rowe and I another. Hard riding had used up my horse at 2 P. M., and I had to borrow another from a stable nearby, the owner protesting. At four o’clock (PM) we passed New Market, and were now within sound of our artillery, but with two rivers and one range of mountains to cross, and twenty thousand rebels to pass. We succeeded in crossing Bull Mountain and French Broad River, then going south of the city, we reached our lines near Knoxville. Here Sergeant Rowe was taken sick, and I rode alone into the city, reaching General Burnside’s headquarters at 9 P. M., after having been continually in the saddle for nineteen hours. I expected to remain in Knoxville until the siege was raised, and was surprised when General Burnside asked me to undertake to return with dispatches at four o’clock in the morning. Taking me into a private room, he produced four dispatches written on tissue paper, one to General Wilcox, one to General Grant, one to the Secretary of War, and one to Mrs. Burnside, in Rhode Island, and placing them in my revolver, he said: ‘Sergeant Hadley, if captured, be sure to fire off your revolver before surrendering.’ After passing the last picket, I found Sergeant Rowe better and determined to return with me. I cannot tell how long we maneuvered before we got through the enemy’s lines, but all at once, about two o’clock in the morning, as we were descending Clinch Mountain, we discovered the camp fires of some rebels, and had gone out but a few steps when we were ordered to ‘Halt.’ We turned to retreat, but a volley was fired at us. Our horses being jaded, the rebels gained on us, so we determined to dismount, and foot the rough mountain. Rowe thought he could evade the rebels by lying down, but they stumbled over him, and he was captured and sent to Andersonville. As for me, I could take no chances, for I was wearing a Confederate uniform and I knew I would be executed as a spy if I was caught. I kept on around the side of the mountain till I was exhausted and could not go a step farther. I found a big hollow log that had been split open, and I lay down in that with my revolver under my head. When I awoke it was daylight and I could hear the rebel pickets talking close by me; they had captured our horses and were looking for me. I was relieved when I heard their officers calling them in. Watching my chance I crept down the mountain, passed between their pickets, and crossed the road about eighty rods from their main camp. I came to a house which fortunately was occupied by a Union woman… She pointed out a ravine, by following which I could get across the valley without being seen, and strike the timber. I followed her directions and came to a road at the other end of the timber. While I was considering which direction I should take, a rebel horseman came riding slowly along. I dropped on one knee and drew my revolver on him, but he passed within ten feet of me without seeing me. I got to the Clinch River at last and found it too high to swim across. There was no ferry and no one was willing to row me across, as one bank was lined with rebels and the other with Northern troops. Finally I got a man to attempt it, and as we got to the other shore, a squad of Union soldiers came down to meet us. I told them who I was, and they gave me a horse. I rode to General Wilcox’s headquarters, where I delivered my dispatches. I was completely exhausted, for I had ridden and walked over 100 miles and had tired out two horses, but was thankful to have escaped with my life, and accomplished the purpose of my journey.”

Mary Love’s message from Grant to Burnside, assuring him that help was on the way, was sent nine days later and was dated on the same day as the Battle of Fort Sanders. Cornelius M. Hadley survived the war and went back to farming in Litchfield, MI. He passed away at the age of 63 on March 22, 1902.


Scout’s Report – December 2022


Fort Dickerson Living History Weekend

Everyone is invited to attend Weekend of November 12 and 13, 2022

We need volunteers for the Fort Dickerson weekend on November 12th and 13th. You can work just 2 hours or less. The time for the event on Saturday, 10 am till 4:30 pm and Sunday 11 am till 4:30 pm. If you would like to volunteer, please call Tom Wright, 865-621-2093.

The Living History Weekend runs from 10 am until 4:00 pm on Saturday, November 12, 2022, and from 11 am until 4:30 pm on Sunday, November 13, 2022. Activities will include living history campsites, infantry drilling with rifle firing demonstrations, a Civil War medical and surgical exhibit, ladies fashions, battle reenactments, cannon firings, and a salute to all veterans including an American flag retirement ceremony.

Visitors are invited to park for free at “Wee Care Shoppe” parking lot at 2537 Chapman Highway, across from Shoney’s, where they can board a free shuttle to Fort Dickerson courtesy of the Knoxville Department of Parks and Recreation.

Special Note: Bring your American flags that are no longer in condition to be flown or displayed to the event so the members of the 8th Tennessee Volunteer Infantry can properly retire them. There will be a public flag retirement ceremony after the skirmish on both days of the event. We encourage everyone to bring their weathered flags.

For more information on the event as well as Civil War History in Knoxville, go to Or contact Event Coordinator Tom Wright at 865-482-1680,, or Re-enactor Coordinator Perry Hill at 865-283-1691.

List of activities:

Saturday, November 12, 2022:  Opening at 10:00 AM

Sunday, November 13, 2022: Opening at 11:00 AM

10:00 AM: Opening Ceremony, Saturday only

11:30 AM: Mustering in/Infantry Drill

2:00 PM: Civil War Skirmish

3:00 PM: Pass and Review; Plus Flag Retirement Ceremony

3:30 PM: Medical and Surgical Demonstration

4:00 PM: Camps Closed to Public

Other Activities throughout both days: Ladies Fashion Exhibit, Civil War Arms Exhibit, Medical Demonstration, History of Fort Dickerson and other interpreters talking to the public about their historic character.


November 2022 Meeting Date Change

**Please note: Due to Election Day on November 8, the next meeting is on the third Tuesday, November 15th**

The KCWRT will have its monthly meeting on Tuesday, November 15th, 2022, at the Bearden Banquet Hall, 5806 Kingston Pike, Knoxville, TN. 

If attending the buffet, please call (865) 671-9001 for reservations prior to 10 AM on the Monday before the meeting so that we can let Bearden Banquet Hall know how many meals to prepare. Anyone attending only the lecture does not need to call in reservations.

06:30 P.M. – Buffet begins

07:15 P.M. – KCWRT Business meeting and announcements

07:30 P.M. – Speaker is Chris Mackowski. He will be discuss Fredericksburg: The Fourteen Critical Decisions That Shaped the Action and Defined the Battle

Special Note: We will be having a Holiday Auction at both the November and December meetings. The items are listed in the Scout’s Report.

New Civil War History Booklet

The Knoxville Civil War Roundtable (KCWRT) just released a newly expanded version of its 2015 booklet, Civil War Comes to Knoxville, Tenn. Containing 12 fully researched articles, the booklet provides fascinating stories and little known facts about our town during its most desperate years. The booklet will be used to better inform the public of our unique Civil War history and heritage. It will be available for the first time at the upcoming November Living History Weekend at Fort Dickerson as well as at KCWRT meetings, speaking engagements, and other public events. Speakers, at no cost, for your organization can be requested through our Facebook page or website (   

A Tribute to the Late Dewey Beard


Our Ole Friend Dewey

By David Chaltas and Steve Lundberg

We all thought we knew Dewey, but we were mistaken. William ‘Dewey’ Beard was like an iceberg in that we only saw the surface. He was a man of many hats and possessed talents beyond our wildest imaginings. He was a reenactor, historian, musician, singer, author, and actor. He performed in Operas, stunned the audience in karaoke impromptus, and churches. But most of all, he was a true friend and a strong Christian. His smile radiated throughout the room and when you met him on the field, his genuineness, gentleness, and kindness always made you feel welcome and important. He had a heart of gold and humble in nature. And who could forget that smile and impish prankster nature he possessed.

What can we say about Dewey? His life and his memories speaks volumes about the man. Lance Dawson, one of Dewey’s dear friends stated that trying to define Dewey was like needing an undiscovered color for a coloring book or art project. We agree, he was one of a kind and unique as that yet to be defined color. How can we define Dewey’s legacy? Maybe it is best to share some Dewey Tales and let them define the man.

One of the numerous stories that we have gives you a glimpse into his character. In order to recreate the Battle of Ft. Sanders, a replica of the earthen fort was built. One bright morning as the mist meandered over the field, we were awakened to the sound of Amazing Grace. When we looked upon the fort, there stood Dewey praising God in that voice that the angels coveted. He didn’t do it for show, but rather for the simple joy of praising God in the early day break light.

Jerry Patterson of the 63rd Tennessee, shared a story about Dewey at Fort Dickerson. Dewey had played and sang a few period songs. A man approached him and asked Dewey if he could sing any of AC/DC music. Dewey replied, “Which singer?” and proceeded to amaze the man with his range and musical abilities. Many recalled the many different characters he portrayed. At times he put on the

uniform of a World War I Veteran, and on other occasions, he wore a World War II uniform. During highland games he dressed in his plaid tartans. One story was that he was to meet in Knoxville with a few of his friends. They looked everywhere and didn’t see him until the ‘band’ came marching along playing. Right in the middle of the group was ole Dewey playing and marching away!

He was a Civil War reenactor that honored both blue and gray. He wore his Confederate uniform with the same dignity that he wore his Union one. But he didn’t just dress in different uniforms, he was a walking encyclopedia of knowledge. If you got him started on a historical subject, you were in for a full explanation of the significance of events that transpired.

While talking with our mutual friend, Ken, he made a very important observance. During the service paying homage to Dewey, there were several videos with Dewey performing. At the very last, he played taps at a cemetery. Noting that, Ken stated, “Dewey is the only man who sang and played taps at his own funeral.” That summates our beloved friends last gift to us all.

Our friend Steven Lundberg offers the following tribute to our good ole friend Dewey. William “Dewey” Beard suddenly left this mortal coil by God’s grace on August 21, 2022, much to the dismay of everyone he has ever loved and touched in his fifty-seven years among us. His loving sweetheart Ann Martin, lifelong friend Dana Rice and others so accurately and emotionally conveyed that they have a hole in their hearts that could only be filled by one man – Dewey. The rest of us nod in agreement.

We are honoring to the best of our ability a man who we and countless others knew was a dear friend, an historical scholar, author, actor, musical performer, and musician and who he personally characterized as, “Your good ole friend Dewey.” We think his most cherished moniker is being known as the latter; “Your good ole friend Dewey.” That is how we remember him. We attempt to pay tribute to a man we knew and who enriched our lives and so many others just by knowing him. No life so lived can be summarized in a short article. Dewey Beard had a curiosity of a great many things and devoted his time and energy in pursuit of everything that piqued that curiosity with zeal and his utmost effort. He was a Renaissance man on many levels. Whatever he was interested in, he pursued with unbounded passion.

Dewey never met anyone who was not his friend. Your first meeting with Dewey meant that you were part of his extended family. You just knew that immediately. Dewey was the finest example of a man of service and selflessness. He put everyone above himself and there was nothing he would not sacrifice or do for someone else regardless of the situation. You were always happy to have been with Dewey and felt your time was better and life enriched spent in his presence.

As for his passions, they were many. No one put himself more into the details and depths of things that interested him in or had a talent for than he did. Dewey Beard was an historical author and scholar in his own right particularly related to East Tennessee and the Civil War. If you had a question about anything, he was someone you went to and he would either have the answer or knew how to get it. Einstein said that genius was not knowing the answer is but knowing how to find it. For many of us Dewey was our “go to” if we wanted to know something or gain historical perspective on a person or event. What a treasure and blessing he was to all of us.

Dewy Beard was also a singer and first-class performer and musician on a professional level. He had an opportunity to sing opera professionally. Dewey chose another path but that meant we were blessed with his talents, singing in our Civil War reenacting camps, playing bugle, or singing on the WBIR Heartland Series, at his church on the stage, or to his friends including Ann Martin who recalled a particular snowy Christmas eve, The power was out, and Dewey, wearing his stocking cap picked up his mandolin and sang Christmas songs to Ann including a favorite, “O Holy Night.” He wanted to make the moment special, focused on the meaning of the night and make his dear Ann happy. That was who Dewey was.

All of us who knew Dewey wish to say, “Thank you Dewey for the lessons you taught us on and off the field. Your Christian testimony, your wisdom, your kindness, that amazing voice and musical talents, and that humorous ‘pixie’ demeanor that brought us so much joy will be missed. But we are a better people because of you. We will do our best to embrace life on life’s terms and be kinder, more understanding, and show love through our actions because God graciously allowed our paths to cross.”


William Arley (DEWEY) Beard III, age 57, of Knoxville, TN and longtime resident of Strawberry Plains, Tennessee, passed away suddenly on Sunday, August 21, 2022, at his residence in Knoxville. He was a member of the 79th New York Highlanders, Kyle Masonic Lodge #422 F&AM, Lakeway Civil War Preservation Association, General Longstreet Museum, and Knoxville Civil War Roundtable. His many personal accomplishments included acting/singing (UT and Knoxville Opera Companies, Dollywood, Encore Theater); Historian (appearances on the History Channel, PBS, The Heartland Series, local tours) along with invited lectures (local colleges and high schools). Dewey was also a published historical author (“Blue Springs,” “History of the 79th New York Cameron Highlanders 1859-1876”, and “Strawberry Plains Tennessee 1861-1865.”)

A tremendous voice is now silent, but his legacy will live on in the hearts of all he touched and through his expansive collection of rare historical items. A Foundation for these items will be established to share with Museums and Historical Organizations. Preceded in death by father, William Arley (Bill) Beard II. He is survived by his loving mother, Stella Beard of Baton Rouge, LA; special longtime partner, Anne Martin of Knoxville; sister, Kim Beard Pollard (Brian) of Knoxville; niece, Chelsea Pollard of Knoxville; and nephew, Alex Pollard of Murfreesboro. There are also several aunts, cousins, and one remaining uncle. Central to his life were his numerous friends met through acting/singing, schools, reenactments, and karaoke.

A Memorial service was held at 3:00 p.m. Saturday, August 27, 2022, at Central United Methodist Church, 201 3rd Avenue, Knoxville, TN 37917 with Rev. Jimmy Sherrod officiating. Family received friends from 1:00 until 3:00 p.m. prior to the service. Family and friends gathered at 1:45 p.m. Sunday, August 28, 2022, at Beaver Creek Baptist Church Cemetery, 845 Beaver Creek Road, Strawberry Plains, TN for a 2:00 p.m. graveside service.

Special Live Presentation July 12; Public Invited

The Knoxville Civil War Round Table is proud to announce that the premier living
historians portraying Generals Grant (Curt Fields) and Lee (Thomas Jessee) will be on
stage for one very special performance on July 12, 2022 at 7 PM at Faith Lutheran
Church in Farragut. “Meeting at Appomattox Court House: The Last 48 Hours” is not
to be missed! Ticket price is $10. Children undere 12 are free. Doors open at 6 PM. Period musical presentation ar 6:30 PM. Costumed reenactors will be present.

Dr. E. C. (CURT) FIELDS, Jr., is an educational consultant and living
historian. A lifelong student of the American Civil War, his interest in
portraying General Ulysses S. Grant was driven by that study and his deep
respect and admiration for Gen. Grant. Dr. Fields is the same height and body
type as Gen. Grant and therefore presents a convincing, true-to-life image of
the man as he really looked.  His presentations are in first person, quoting
from Gen. Grant’s Memoirs, articles, letters, and interviews. As a living
historian, Dr. Fields has portrayed Gen. Grant at battlefield reenactments and
commemorations across the U.S. He has portrayed the general on film as
well, staring as Gen. Grant in the Visitor Center film shown at Appomattox
Court House National Historic Park and in the Discovery Channel’s three-
part documentary series “How Booze built America.” When not on the road
as Gen. Grant, Dr. Fields lives in Collierville, TN with his wife Lena.

THOMAS LEE JESSEE is a native Virginian who became interested in
military history as a boy growing up in Hamilton, Virginia in the heart of
Mosby’s Rangers’ country. He has been reenacting since the age of 18 starting
out as a Private and working his way up to General. He has attended
reenactments of all the major War Between the States battles throughout the
U.S. and has commanded troops at many of the national events. As a longtime
student of General Robert E. Lee, Mr. Jessee has portrayed the general in
various venues for many years and was chosen to portray General Lee at the
Sesquicentennial of Appomattox reenactment in Virginia and for the new
Appomattox Visitors Center film shown daily to the public. A retired
Electrical Superintendent and an active member of the Sons of Confederate
Veterans, Mr. Jessee currently lives in Lakeland, Florida with his wife Gail