Unionists Within the Confederacy

Unionists Within the Confederacy (HM18OI)

Location: Pigeon Forge, TN 37863 Sevier County
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Country: United States of America
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N 35° 47.312', W 83° 33.23'

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Sevier County Home Guard

When the Civil War began, Sevier County Unionists at first operated quietly in secessionist Tennessee. In 1861, they set up a secret garment factory in the second floor of this mill and made cloth for uniforms. They also made shoes for Federal soldiers and Unionist Home Guards with leather from Newton Trotter's nearby tannery. According to local tradition, the third floor was later used as a hospital. Captain William Trotter, son of mill owner John Trotter, commanded Company H, 9th Tennessee Cavalry (US).

After Tennessee's vote for secession on June 8, 1861, East Tennessee Unionists formed Home Guard units. Sevier County loyalists established their unit in August 1861. The Home Guard was a militia-type group that protected the lives and property of local Unionists. The Guard initially drilled openly, but when Confederates occupied the county, many members went underground. They gathered intelligence, served as couriers and guides, and harassed the Confederates.

When the Union army took control of the region late in 1863 after the Battle of Knoxville, the guardsmen actively engaged Confederate forces. Early in December, they captured several soldiers in Confederate Colonel William H. Thomas's Legion - a North Carolina unit composed of mountaineers and Cherokee Indians that was camped at Gatlinburg - and jailed them in Sevierville. Thomas raided the jail, freed his men, and disarmed the guardsmen. The Home Guard quickly regrouped and a month later helped Federal cavalry capture Confederate raiders and their commander, General Robert B. Vance (brother of North Carolina governor Zebulon B. Vance), at the foot of the Smoky Mountains.
HM NumberHM18OI
Series This marker is part of the Tennessee: Tennessee Civil War Trails series
Historical PeriodCivil War
Historical PlaceOther
Marker TypeOther
Marker ClassBoth
Marker StyleMounted
Year Placed2014
Placed ByTennessee Civil War Trails
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Monday, October 13th, 2014 at 9:38am PDT -07:00
Photo Credits: [1] PIGEONFORGEIYVC  
Locationbig map
Directions InformationLocated in front of The Old Mill General Store at 175 Old Mill Ave.
UTM (WGS84 Datum)17S E 269191 N 3963503
Decimal Degrees35.78853333, -83.55383333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 35° 47.312', W 83° 33.23'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds35° 47' 18.7200" N, 83° 33' 13.8000" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)865
Can be seen from road?No
Is marker in the median?No
Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling East
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 175 Old Mill Ave, Pigeon Forge TN 37863, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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