Historic Markers Across Tennessee

Violent Clashes

Marker ID:  
Location: intersection of Briceville Highway (Tennessee Route 116) and Andy's Ridge Rd, Lake City, TN
County: Anderson
Coordinates: N 36° 0.746    W 084° 15.461
  36.01243333    -84.25768333
Waymark: None


Violent Clashes
“Flying...in the wildest disorder”

With the threat of war looming, Anderson County residents voted overwhelmingly against secession in 1861. When Confederate forces occupied East Tennessee and established a conscription center at nearby Clinton, Unionists slipped into Kentucky to evade the draft and join the Union army. Many used nearby "Eli's Cabin", built by county resident Eli Ward, as a safe house.

Although fortunate to escape the state's most devastating battles, soldiers clashed at nearby Wallace's Crossroads on July 15, 1862. Union Gen. George W. Morgan wrote of the fight, "On Tuesday noon [Union] Gen. [James G.] Spears, with a party of infantry, attacked 500 of the enemy's cavalry at Wallace's Cross Roads, near Clinton. A citizen reports that at 2 p.m. of that day he net about 300 of the enemy flying toward Knoxville in the wildest disorder; some were on horses, but without coats or arms; others were bare-headed and no arms. It was a complete panic, and they had gone at full run for the distance of 9 miles and were still flying."

As the war progressed, loyalties remained divided. Guerilla violence increased as unionists and Confederate sympathizers clashed. Years of deprivation and violence took a toll on local residents. After the war, the county gradually recovered, aided by the construction of the Knoxville and Ohio Railroad in 1867.

In 1942, the Army Corps of Engineers began acquiring land around Oak Ridge for the Manhattan Project to develop the atomic bomb. Many communities that had survived the Civil War, such as Wheat, Scarboro, and Robertsville, were moved or demolished. A small slave cemetery in the Wheat community, (believed to be part of the Gallaher-Stone Plantation) remains nearby and contains 90 marked graves with no inscriptions.

Tennessee Civil War Trails