Historic Markers Across Tennessee

Battle of Blountville - Confederate Position

Marker ID:  
Location: on Franklin Drive 0.1 miles east of Tennessee Route 394, Blountville, TN
County: Sullivan
Coordinates: N 36° 31.931    W 082° 19.526
  36.53218333    -82.32543333
Waymark: None


Battle of Blountville
Confederate Position

You are in the former schoolyard of the Masonic Female Institute, where Confederate troops stood as they defended Blountville on September 22, 1863. Col. James E. Carter's 1st Tennessee Cavalry withdrew that morning of 1863 from the Watauga River to positions such as the one here that had already been prepared to block the Union Col. John W. Foster's cavalry brigade after it crossed the river. Foster took up a position on Cemetery Hill on the western end of town early in the afternoon, and a destructive artillery duel ensued. After four hours of fighting and shelling, the Confederates withdrew to Carter's Depot on the Virginia and Tennessee Railroad a few miles east of here as Federals charged through the town near dusk.

Carter lost a cannon and about fifty men captured in battle. The next day, he evacuated the depot, leaving it in Foster's hands.

White Side Lodge No. 13 constructed the Masonic Female Institute in 1855 “to promote female education.” Jefferson Academy, the boys’ school, which stood near Cemetery Hill, contributed funds for the construction of the girls’ school. The academy was closed about 1900, and the girls’ school then became the Masonic Institute for both girls and boys until 1919.

Erected by Tennessee Civil War Trails.