Battle of Blountville

Battle of Blountville (HM1BKG)

Location: Blountville, TN 37617 Sullivan County
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Country: United States of America
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N 36° 31.98', W 82° 19.61'

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Inscription

"?the best portion of the town was destroyed"

This is the Sullivan County Courthouse. Its interior was burned during the Union attack on Blountville on September 22, 1863, as Confederate and Federal forces vied for control of the Virginia and Tennessee Railroad, located a few miles east of here. Union Gen. Ambrose E. Burnside needed the railroad for a supply line to Knoxville; the Confederates wanted it for a supply line to Virginia. After several days of skirmishing at Blountville and along the railroad at Carter's Depot and Zollicoffer, the Confederates occupied Blountville while Federal forces held the south bank of the Watauga River.

Union Col. John W. Foster led his cavalry brigade across the river at 9 A.M. on September 22. Confederate Col. James E. Carter's 1st Tennessee Cavalry defended Blountville. For four hours in the afternoon, as Foster occupied Cemetery Hill to your left, the two sides fought an artillery duel until Foster ordered a charge that drove Carter's men out of town.

During the fight, exploding shells set fire to the courthouse and other buildings. Foster reported that "the shells of the enemy set fire to the town, and a great portion of it was consumed." Mrs. Walter E. Allen, however, later wrote that "a shell from the Federal guns entered the courthouse, setting it on fire, and soon all the best portion of the town was destroyed."

(captions)
Sullivan County Courthouse, constructed 1854, ca. 1900 photo Courtesy Hunt Library
Sullivan County commissioners, ca. 1900 Courtesy Hunt Library
Details
HM NumberHM1BKG
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 Tuesday, September 9th, 2014 at 10:33am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)17S E 381222 N 4043887
Decimal Degrees36.53300000, -82.32683333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 36° 31.98', W 82° 19.61'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds36° 31' 58.80" N, 82° 19' 36.60" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)423
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 3419 Bristol Hwy, Blountville TN 37617, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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