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Tennessee's Cumberland Valley Civil War Sites Brochure:
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DRIVING TOUR STOPS
From the Trousdale Country Courthouse, travel 0.8 mi. south on Hwy. 141 and
turn right on Puyears Bend Road. Go one mile and turn left (still on Puryears
Bend Rd.); follow this road 1.5 mi. and take the right fork (still on Puryears
Bend Rd.). Go to the end of the road and follow the map to begin your tour.
RESPECT PRIVATE PROPERTY ALONG TOUR ROUTE,
AS MOST OF THESE STOPS ARE AT PRIVATE RESIDENCES OR FARMS.
1: PURYEARS FERRY
Arriving from Lebanon across the river at 10:00 P.M.
on the night of December 6, 1862, Colonel John Hunt Morgan assembled his troops
for their crossing of the Cumberland River. Wanting to cross in five hours, he
sent Colonel Basil Duke’s Cavalry few miles down the river to cross. Morgan,
with the Artillery, Infantry, and a small part of the Cavalry, began the
difficult task of moving horses, heavy cannons, and men across the swollen
Cumberland in two leaking flat boats that had been supplied by a local citizen,
74-year-old Oliver Goldsmith “Ollie” Dickerson. (Dickerson was sent to
prison for this, but was paroled after 6 months.). Due to the harsh conditions,
the crossing took seven hours instead of the allotted five.
(Go back the way you came and stay to the right until you reach Stop #2)
Stop 2: HOME OF COLONEL JAMES DEARING BENNETT
Commander of the 9th Tennessee Cavalry, of which many local
men were a part. Most of the 9th Cavalry were men from Hartsville,
Coatsmen (now Westmoreland), and Richland (now
Portland). Earlier in the war, Bennett had formed the 7th Tennessee
Cavalry Battalion. Col. Bennett was reported to be a fine man who was respected
by his troops. He died of typhoid-pneumonia on Morgan’s Second Kentucky Raid
in Elizabethtown, Kentucky on January 23, 1863. He brought back to Hartsville by
his faithful servant, “Jeff” and buried here. Fourteen years later his
widow, Martha (Hutchison), had his body reentered in the Hartsville Cemetery.
(See Stop #17)
Stop 3: HAGER’S SHOP
At this site was the blacksmith shop of Andrew Jackson “A.J.”
HAGER (1824-1918). This was the
planned rendezvous point for Morgan and his men. Taking 30 minutes from Puryears
Ferry, Morgan arrived about 5:30 A.M. with Colonel Thomas Hunt, commander of the
infantry. Col Duke found<having been sent further down river and having
trouble finding a place to cross) arrived only minutes before Morgan. After
arriving at this predetermined crossing (which is thought to be Averitt’s
Ferry), Duke found the river too high to cross. Therefore, his scouts directed
him to a ford that was far from any know road (believed to be the area that
became know as Watson’s Landing). A narrow bridle path was the only access to
the river. With each mount and man going down the slippery path, led by Col.
Bennett’s 9th Tennessee, the men plunged into the river from a four
foot ledge. Most of the men became completely submerged in the freezing water.
The first men across built fires to warm themselves, but 15 men were so badly
frozen they had to be left behind. By 3:00 A.M. with fewer than half his men
across the river, Duke realized he had to hurry to meet Morgan, leaving the
other half of his men on the south side of the river with orders to hurry on. So
at the spot Colonels Morgan, Duke, and Hunt prepared their final plans for their
attack on the Federal camp, just two miles away to the east.
(Continue ahead and take the first right, Lytle Drive to the end)
Stop 4: THE WINDOW HALLIBUTON
Here was the home and burial site of Letty Halliburton (1796-1865). This
lady was instrumental in helping many of the wounded after the battle. A yellow
flag was hoisted above her home, a sign for wounded that this was a place for
help. After the battle, wagons with wounded soldiers were here for case. She
used her entire supply of bed linens as bandages for the Confederate wounded, as
the they occupied every room of her home. Dr. John Orlando Scott, of the 2nd
Kentucky, and the only Confederate surgeon left after the battle, said, “It is
a grand sight to see the men in blue assisting his brother in gray in all
kindness and affection.” (Turn left out Boat Dock Road 13 mi. to old hwy. 25
and turn right 0.2 mi for stop #5)
Stop 5: FINAL
After leaving Hager’s Shop (and following the route you just drove)
here Morgan detached Col. Bennett’s 9th Tennessee Cavalry to set up
a roadblock on The Hartsville-Castalian Springs road and other points to cut off
any escape the Federals might try to find. Bennett took the rest of his regiment
to Hartsville one Mile away. Morgan and the rest of his troops crossed here
through the lowest Point and made his initial approach toward their objective,
(Go straight ahead into town)
Stop 6: TOWN OF HARTSVILLE
Here the remainder of Col. Bennett’s Cavalry made their way into town.
The 9th succeeded in capturing 450 Federals, including Co. A, 104th
Illinois, who were posted to guard the town. The soldiers had occupied many
buildings in town including the Locke Hotel on the corner of Main St. and
Broadway (at the site of the Old Back of Hartsville building). Two buildings
used as hospitals stand today. At the corner of Church and West Main stands the
Hager Building (now Total Image), built in 1838. This building housed the bed
patients. Behind here on Church Street stands the Old Methodist Church (now
Russell’s Popcorn) built in 1843. Here the soldiers with less sever wounds
were cared for.
(Get out and stretch your legs. Look
around Historic Hartsville)
(Go back to Hwy 141 S 0.6mi, turn right on Rom Lane to stop
Stop 7: THE REBELS ARE
As Morgan approached this hill from the valley between the two hills to
the northwest, (Stop 5) he sent a small force dressed as Union soldiers to
capture the pickets stationed north and west of the Federal Infantry Camp. The
reserve pickets observed this and fired the first alarm, as Morgan approached
with his main task force the artillery from the northwest. He dispatched Col.
Cluke’s and Col. Chenault’s cavalry units toward the camp while he
accompanied Colonel Hunt and Cobb’s Battery southward to occupy a position to
observe the Union Camp and adjust their artillery firing on the federals.
(Follow this drive to the end and turn left)
Stop 8: MORGAN PUSHES ON
At this point Morgan’s Infantry and Cavalry spread out and deployed on
a low ridge overlooking the Infantry camp. The cavalry dismounted (Morgan’s
Cavalry often fought as Infantry) and moved to the left to flank the Federals.
The Infantry pushed onward toward some 2,100 Federal troops who had formed a
line of defense on the hill (behind the Highway Dept. Garage). The Federal
Artillery on this hill was forced to move back to the bluff on the river. Here
the fiercest part of the battle was fought.
(Go to the river 0.4mi.)
Stop 9: COBB’S BATTERY
Here, across the ravine, (high atop this hill behind the water plant, and
to the right) Colonel Robert Cobb’s Battery set up for the artillery assault
on the Federal camp upon the hill to your left. As Col. Morgan stood there
during the battle, one caisson was completely destroyed by a direct hit from the
Federal cannons, killing David Watt who was sitting upon it. Colonel Morgan’s
young aide, William Craven Peyton, was mortally wounded. He was taken to the
home of a Mrs. Lee, where he died of blood poisoning.
(Cross the river bridge)
Stop 10: STONER’S BATTERY
Here on the south side of the river on the elevated ground to the left,
Major Robert G. Stoner set up his battery of two Mountain Howitzers. Knowing
that these guns would not reach the Federal camp, his job was to keep the
Federals wondering if they would. (turn around here and go back to the river and
pause) Afterwards, Stoner’s men forded the river several times, bringing a
prisoner back across each time. The black side of the bluff to the right was the
camp of the Union Army. The Ridge ahead and to the left is Stop #7.
(Back across the river 0.6mi.; turn right on Cemetery Road and go 0.5
Stop 11: UNION CAMP SITE
Arriving here from Tompkinsville, Kentucky via the Goose4 Creek Valley on
November 28, 1862, the Federal Garrison of the 39th Brigade, 12th
Division, under the command of Col. Joseph R. Scott, relieved Col. John Marshall
Harlan (later Associate Justice of the U. S. Supreme Court) of the tenth
Kentucky Infantry, commanding the Second Brigade, First Division, who had been
in Hartsville about two weeks. Col.
Scott’s forces consisted of the 104th Illinois Infantry, 106th
and108th Ohio Infantry, ‘2nd Indiana Cavalry, Co. E, 11th
Kentucky Cavalry, and two cannons of the 13th Indiana Battery,
approximately 2,400 men. On December 2, Col. Absalom B. Moore of the104th
Illinois, and ranking officer, relieved Col. Scoot as he was called to
Nashville. Here a large part of the
fighting and surrender of the Federal garrison took place some one hour and
fifteen minutes after the battle began.
(Go to the end of the road)
Stop 12: THE CUMBERLAND RIVER
Imagine crossing this river in chest deep water with a 4” snow on the
ground, bitterly cold, and 2 or 3 men on horseback.
It was done with such success that it still amazes not only the common
man, but military minds as well. Morgan
sent most of his men and prisoners here to cross the ford, while sending the
wagons and cannons ½ mile upriver to Hart’s Ferry. (See Stop 16)
(Turn around and go 0.3 mi. and turn right on Herod Road.)
Stop 13: The BATTLEFIELD AND RETREAT
Stop here and look to the right. In the far
distance (a clear view in winter) is the Federal Camp and Battlefield. Across
these ravines, some 4,000 men, both North and South, were making quick time to
leave this area before Colonel Harlan arrived from Castalian Springs some nine
miles away with 4,000 reinforcements. Of Course the Federal soldiers had a
little help in persuading them to do so!
(Continue on this road)
Stop 14: AVERITT-HEROD HOUSE
Atop the hill overlooking the battlefield, the
beautiful home was built about 1834 by Peter Averitt, Sr. During the battle,
Peter’s son, Richard, and his family lived here. According to tradition,
wounded confederate soldiers were brought here to be cared for after the battle,
and it was where Federal Col. John M. Harlan pardoned them. There Is a large
bloodstain resembling a man’s face in the floor on the east side of the house.
(Continue on the road)
Step 15: FEDERAL CAVALRY CAMP
Here the 2nd Indiana and Co. E. 11th
Kentucky Cavalry camped and were positioned to guard Hart’s Ferry. The entire
Calvary force moved up to support the Infantry, but participated very little in
the battle. They suffered only three casualties, and most escaped capture.
Step 16: HART’S FERRY
Located some 400 yards from here at the river,
Hart’s Ferry was started in 1798 by James Hart (for whom Hartsville was
named). From here, Col. Morgan began his exit from Hartsville with all his
captured goods, two pieces of artillery, ammunition, supplies, and wagons. Just
as Morgan was getting the last of his men across the river, Union Col. John M.
Harlan arrived and opened fire, but did not pursue them. One of the cannon shots
barely missed Morgan and his staff, a it hit a tree limb above them. The
federals destroyed three wagons in the river as the Confederates made their exit
(Go to the end of Herod Drive and turn around; go back to Cemetery Road and
Stop 17: HARTSVILLE CEMETERY
This is the eternal resting place for over 50
Confederate Veterans, among them Colonel James Dearing Bennett, commander of the
famed 9th Tennessee Cavalry. After the battle, Winslow Hart (the son
of James Hart) and other citizens buried both Federal and Confederate dead on a
knoll at the rear of the cemetery. Some of the Union dead were later moved and
returned to their homeland or reentered at the National Cemetery in Nashville.
At the rear of the cemetery, a special monument was dedicated to the southern
men who died at the Battle of Hartsville.