Historic Markers Across Tennessee

Civil War in Anderson County

Marker ID:  
Location: 2121 Norris Freeway, Norris, TN
County: Anderson
Coordinates: N 36° 12.728    W 084° 4.378
  36.21213333    -84.07296666
Waymark: None


Civil War in Anderson County
"Skulking bushwhackers"

Divided loyalties in Anderson County, as elsewhere in East Tennessee, often erupted in violence. It was commonplace for guerillas on both sides to raid farms and capture opposing sympathizers. In the county seat of Clinton, Confederates established a conscription center to draft men into military service. Many Unionists, trying to avoid conscription, stole across the border into Kentucky to join the Federal army. They used "Eli's Cabin," built by county resident Eli Lovejoy Ward, as a safe house to rest and eat before heading over the mountains.

A small engagement occurred in the county on July 25, 1862, when a Federal foraging party fired on Confederate cavalry pickets at Clinton Ferry. Confederate forces moved quickly to establish control of the area. An East Tennessee correspondent for the Atlanta Intelligencer reported, "The number of [Confederate] troops gathering here renders this a place of some interest ... situated on the Clinch river, twenty miles north of Knoxville. ... Cooking utensils, baggage and tents, have been given up, and large supplies of ammunition are being collected. There are no armed enemies near us, except the skulking bushwhackers, and they are getting extremely cautious in their movements." Even after the war ended, resentments lingered.

Lower right box
Norris Dam State Park, built in 1933 as the first Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) project, features 4,000 acres along the Norris Reservoir, which furnished electricity and controlled flooding in the Tennessee Valley. A corn and wheat mill, constructed in Union County by James Rice in 1798, was dismantled in 1935 and reassembled on Clear Creek. The building has served as a sawmill, cotton gin, and source of power for the Rice homestead. The nearby Old Emery Road, "cut and cleared" in 1787, was the first authorized road connecting Kingston to Knoxville and Nashville. Travelers stayed in the David Hall Cabin, a tavern built in 1799. Confederate soldiers occupied it during the war.

A photo of this marker can be found on HMDB.org