Historic Markers Across Tennessee

Divided Loyalties

Marker ID:  
Location: 3824 Maynardville Hwy, Maynardville, TN
County: Union
Coordinates: N 36° 14.933    W 083° 48.2
  36.24888333    -83.80333333
Waymark: None


Divided Loyalties·
Civil War in Union County

The Civil War made civilian life in Union County difficult and dangerous. Most residents opposed secession and were staunch Unionists. men joined such Federal regiments as the 1st Tennessee Infantry and the 2nd and 9th Tennessee Cavalry. Others sided with the Confederacy. Divided loyalties splintered families and caused violence among neighbors.

Union County's proximity to Cumberland Gap, which changed hands several times, led to two military engagements here. On June 30, 1862, Union Col. Robert K. Byrd's 1st Tennessee Infantry with two companies of the 3rd Kentucky Infantry were foraging along Powell River west of Maynardville when several companies of the Confederate 1st Georgia and 1st Tennessee Cavalry regiments attacked them. Five Federals were captured, but Byrd's men captured one Confederate. Union Gen. Ambrose E. Burnside secured Cumberland Gap and occupied this area in September 1863. On December 1-2, Col. Felix Graham's 5th Indiana Cavalry skirmished with Confederate forces at Walker's Ford a dozen miles northeast of here on the Clinch river andat Blaine's Crossroads about eight miles southeast.

The Federal occupation and Confederate raids wreaked havoc on farms and market patterns. Foragers stripped crops, livestock, and fences from the landscape. Slaves and free blacks fled to the Federals in such numbers that the county's black population had fallen 20 percent by the end of the war. After hostilities ceased, former slave Samuel Smith established the county's only school and church for blacks on 110 acres that he purchased.

Tennessee Civil War Trails.