Historic Markers Across Tennessee

Difficult Times ~ Waynesboro during the Civil War

Marker ID:  
Location: 110 North High Street, Waynesboro, TN
County: Wayne
Coordinates: N 35° 19.262    W 087° 45.792
  35.32103333    -87.7632
Waymark: None


Wayne County’s residents were divided in sentiment when the Civil War began. Although they had voted more than two to one to remain in the Union, many people who lived in the northern portion, including the county seat of Waynesboro, had strong Confederate sympathies. Waynesboro often served as a base for confederate Col. Jacob Biffle’s 9th Tennessee Cavalry, which skirmished frequently with Federal forces.

Services ceased here at Cumberland Presbyterian Church after the war began. Soldiers from both sided occupied the building at different times, and all of the records were lost. The first meeting after the Civil War was held in November 1866. The church’s record keeper sadly noted that for five years, the congregation could not publicly worship and that only one elder and four members remained.

The former home (ca. 1854) of Union Col. William Pl Kindrick, Jr., 2nd Tennessee Mounted Infantry, stands across North High Street. Kindrick was captured near Corinth, Mississippi while organizing the 3rd West Tennessee Cavalry. Confined in Libby Prison in Richmond, Virginia, he escaped with 108 other Federal officers in February 1864. He returned home to Waynesboro where he died the following month and was buried in the family garden behind the house.

Having recently escaped from Libby with others, I can speed advisedly. So far as the officers are concerned their treatment can be tolerated, though it is indeed bad, but the enlisted men are treated brutally, cruelly.
Col. William P. Kindrick to President Abraham Lincoln, February 2, 1864

The First Cumberland Presbyterian Church was constructed about 1840. On October 10, 1854, the congregation and a group of Masons paraded to this site and laid the cornerstone for the present building, which was completed in 1855. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1987.

Erected 2012 by Tennessee Civil War Trails.