The War Around Sparta

The War Around Sparta (HM1B7L)

Location: Sparta, TN 38583 White County
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Country: United States of America
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N 35° 55.517', W 85° 27.867'

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Inscription

Divided Loyalties

"Brother against brother" sums up the divided loyalties families faced in White County during the Civil War. In 1862, Confederate Gen. Braxton Bragg's troops marched through the Sparta town square en route north to invade Kentucky. Later, an estimated 600 Confederated guerrillas operated in the area, and Sparta served periodically as a Federal base under Union Col. William B. Stokes, 5th Tennessee Cavalry. In February 1864, Stokes wrote that "It will take some time and continued scouting to break up these bands, but you may be assured no time will be lost and no effort spared to rid the country of them."

The notorious Confederate guerrilla, Champ Ferguson, is buried north of Sparta in France Cemetery. On February 22, 1864, 60 partisans including Ferguson overwhelmed two of Stoke's companies ten miles northeast of here in the "Battle of Dug Hill." After the war, Federal officials arrested Ferguson, then tried and convicted him for war-time atrocities. He was hanged on October 20, 1865.

The Federals utilized a high point in Sparta, the historic City Cemetery, as a post for observing river, rail, and turnpike traffic. Confederate Gen. George Gibbs Dibrell (1822-1888) is buried there. Dibrell formed the 8th Tennessee cavalry on September 4, 1862, with 921 men, mostly farmers, from White and adjoining counties. The White County Heritage Museum houses the Colt revolver that Dibrell's "friends and citizens of Sparta" presented to him in 1862.

Tom Burgess operated a gristmill at present-day Burgess Falls State Park, located north of Sparta, during the war. The mill served the community there for more than a century.

"Little thought have I had that I should ever live to see civil war in this, our goodly land, but so it is! ... There will be many a divided family in this once happy Union. There will be father against son, and brother against brother." — Amanda McDowell, Sparta, 1861

(captions)
Gen. George Gibbs Dibrell Courtesy Library of Congress
Gen. George G. Dibrell's presentation pistol — Courtesy Sparta-White County Chamber of Commerce
Civil War veteran' reunion, ca 1900 — Courtesy White County Heritage Museum
Details
HM NumberHM1B7L
Series This marker is part of the Tennessee: Tennessee Civil War Trails series
Tags
Placed ByTennessee Civil War Trails
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Sunday, October 19th, 2014 at 3:25am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)16S E 638531 N 3976750
Decimal Degrees35.92528333, -85.46445000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 35° 55.517', W 85° 27.867'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds35° 55' 31.02" N, 85° 27' 52.02" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)931
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 5 W Maple St, Sparta TN 38583, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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