June Scout’s Report

KCWRT Call to Action – Help the Bethel Cemetery

The Knoxville Civil War Roundtable is assisting the Bethel Confederate Cemetery with some projects on May 30th and June 6th. The three areas they need help with are listed below along with the equipment we’d ask you to bring by project. We’ll be working from 8:30-10:30 a.m. on both days.  

  1. Headstone Cleaning: Patrick from the Mabry-Hazen House will demonstrate the proper cleaning method. Things to bring for doing this project:
  2. 2-3 buckets for wash water
  3. gentle kitchen sponges, non-abrasive
  4. 1-2 small garden sprayers for rinse water
  5. Headstone Catalogue: Another project is cataloging headstones. Where are the standing ones located? Which stones are broken or need shoring up? They also have a number of stones that have been disturbed from their original locations, which prior caretakers have lined up along one fence. Whose stones are there? Cataloging what we have on-site will assist us in figuring out where those stones belong. Clipboards, pens, and sheets for gathering information will be provided.
  6. Garden Bed Reclamation: Some assistance in the garden beds with weeding, identification, and clearance as needed. These beds are chock full of lilies, irises, and other plants that haven’t been separated in decades, and it’s quite a snarl that the cemetery has never had the manpower to focus on. Folks are welcome to take home some extra plants for their own gardens. Things to bring for doing this project:
  7. garden gloves
  8. garden tools for digging, separating, and pruning plants with rhizomes and bulbs
  9. buckets or containers to take home extra plants   

      Things to know about the cemetery:

  1. Entrance and exit to 1917 Bethel Ave is at the small gate next to the mailbox. The small gate is never locked during the day, but it can be difficult to work the latch if you don’t know the trick (which will be shown to you). The large double gates stay closed and locked.
  2. We have street parking only. Please park along our side of the road, close to our mailbox. Please do not park across the street, as this blocks our living neighbors’ street parking access. It’s recommended that the side mirror be folded.

May Scout’s Report

Chickamauga Battlefield Tour, Saturday, May 29, 10 AM

SATURDAY May 29, AT 10 AM – 4 PM

Event by Knoxville Civil War Roundtable

Chickamauga Battlefield

Duration: 6 hr

Public  Invited 

Enjoy a Battlefield Tour with the Knoxville Civil War Roundtable and Historian Jim Ogden at Chickamauga Battlefield on Saturday, May 29. Participants will provide own transportation or carpool to the battlefield. We will meet at the Visitor Center at 10 am to line up and travel through the tour. Jim will take us on a tour highlighting events of the battle.
The tour will be rain or shine (hope for shine!). We should conclude the tour around 4 pm. Please comment on this event if you would like to attend. 

Ringgold, Georgia

April Scout’s Report

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.

Source: https://www.fadedfootsteps.com/veteran/1st-lieutenant-medal-of-honor-cornelius-m-hadley-and-wife-minerva-b-hadley-company-f-9th-michigan-cavalry-union-army

Scout’s Report – December 2022