Pottertown Bridge Burners

Pottertown Bridge Burners (HM1BGO)

Location: Midway, TN 37809 Greene County
Buy Tennessee State flags at Flagstore.com!
Country: United States of America
Buy United States of America flags at Flagstore.com!

N 36° 12.033', W 83° 0.826'

  • 0 likes
  • 0 check ins
  • 0 favorites
  • 807 views
Inscription

Unionists Pay the Ultimate Price

When Tennessee left the Union in June 1861, Greene County was a hotbed of divided loyalties. Several Unionists, who crafted multi-colored earthenware pottery which is still highly valued, were among the occupants of the nearby community named "Pottertown." That autumn, celebrated antebellum potter Christopher Alexander Haun conspired with other residents to cripple the Confederate-controlled rail system by burning railroad bridges. The Rev. William BlountCarter, a local minister and Unionist, devised the plan. President Abraham Lincoln approved and promised Federal forces would protect the bridge burners' families.

Capt. David Fry, Co. F, 2nd Tennessee Infantry (U.S.) came from Kentucky with orders to burn the bridges. With his help, Carter finalized the plan to burn all major railroad bridges in East Tennessee in one night. On November 8, 1861, local Unionists arrived at the home of Jacob Harmon, Jr, another local potter, and were sworn into Fry's command.

About sixty men then went to the Lick Creek railroad bridge, where they captured Confederate pickets. After burning the bridge, they released the Confederates, a decision they soon regretted. Although the president had promised military protection, Confederates later captured several men associated with the bridge burning and hanged Haunm, Henry Fry, Jacob Harmon Jr., Henry Harmon and Matt Hindshaw. Confederate President Jefferson Davis commuted Harrison Self's sentence.

The Harmons are buried here in the family cemetery. Haun's pottery kiln stood a few hundred feet up Pottertown Road to the right, and the Bridge-Burner Memorial marker and flagpole are on the left.

"I am very glad to hear of the action of the military authorities and hope to hear they have hung every bridge-burner at the end of the burned bridge." —Confederated Secretary of War Judah P. Benjamin

(captions)
Jar made by Christopher A. Haun —Courtesy Donahue Bible Collection, Mohawk, Tenn.
Capt. David Fry (left) and Sgt. John McCoy —Courtesy Donahue Bible Collection, Mohawk, Tenn.
"Execution of Jacob Harmon and His Son, Henry," from Parson Brownlow's Book (1862)
Details
HM NumberHM1BGO
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 Monday, September 8th, 2014 at 2:55pm PDT -07:00
Pictures
Sorry, but we don't have a picture of this historical marker yet. If you have a picture, please share it with us. It's simple to do. 1) Become a member. 2) Adopt this historical marker listing. 3) Upload the picture.
Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)17S E 318953 N 4008072
Decimal Degrees36.20055000, -83.01376667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 36° 12.033', W 83° 0.826'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds36° 12' 1.98" N, 83° 0' 49.56" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)423
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 1306-1510 Potter Town Rd, Midway TN 37809, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

Is this marker missing? Are the coordinates wrong? Do you have additional information that you would like to share with us? If so, check in.

Check Ins  check in   |    all

Have you seen this marker? If so, check in and tell us about it.

Comments 0 comments

Maintenance Issues
  1. What historical period does the marker represent?
  2. What historical place does the marker represent?
  3. What type of marker is it?
  4. What class is the marker?
  5. What style is the marker?
  6. Does the marker have a number?
  7. What year was the marker erected?
  8. This marker needs at least one picture.
  9. Can this marker be seen from the road?
  10. Is the marker in the median?