The Hanging of Peter Reece

The Hanging of Peter Reece (HM1MWO)

Location: Parrottsville, TN 37843 Cocke County
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Country: United States of America
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N 36° 0.573', W 83° 5.634'

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Swift Retribution

During the Civil War, both Union and Confederate forces accused each other of committing atrocities against prisoners and civilians. The hanging of Peter Reece, a Unionist who lived near present day Harned Chapel United Methodist Church, illustrates the vicious nature of local "wars within the war" and the years of hatred that frequently followed.

Early in the war, about 400 Unionists occupied nearby St. Tide Hollow built earthworks, and fashioned a crude cannon from a hollow log reinforced with metal bands. Local Confederate Col. Danville Leadbetter's forces attacked the cam, captured a hundred men, among them Peter Reece, and confined them in a large schoolhouse that stood on the hill above the modern town hall. According to local tradition, the prisoners were badly mistreated.

Hamilton Yett, one of Parottsville's most ardent Confederate supporters, came from his mansion north of town to the schoolhouse and announced loudly that he wanted to "look at the animals." Angered, Reece threw a brick that struck Yett's head and fractured his skull, injuring but not killing him. Leadbetter's soldiers immediately hanged Reece from a nearby tree and forbade "any man" from cutting down his body. After three days, reece's wife, Emily, and two of their daughter removed the body. They buried Reece in the Harned Chapel cemetery. A grandchild later said, "Greandmother Reece hated all Democrats (former Confederates) to the day she died because of what they did to her husband."
Series This marker is part of the Tennessee: Tennessee Civil War Trails series
Year Placed2014
Placed ByTennessee Civil War Trails
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Saturday, August 15th, 2015 at 1:04pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)17S E 311291 N 3987035
Decimal Degrees36.00955000, -83.09390000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 36° 0.573', W 83° 5.634'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds36° 0' 34.38" N, 83° 5' 38.04" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)423, 865
Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling East
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 2015-2025 TN-340, Parrottsville TN 37843, US
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