Unpacking History One Discovery at a Time
I’m enjoying learning about the Civil War through the eyes of a Yankee now living in the South. Well, she’s not really a Yankee, but a northern and would have stood with the Union. Thanks to Rachelle Joy.
To understand who the people were that I found in Old Gray Cemetery, I need to know what their Civil War experience might have been. Most of my education about the Civil War is oriented towards the battles in Virginia and Gettysburg, because that is where my Pennsylvania and New Jersey ancestors were. In my research, I was surprised to find that Tennessee had the 2nd largest number of battles fought on its soil after Virginia. It was also perhaps the most contentious state with its people divided in allegiance between the Union and the Confederacy.
The eastern part of the state (where Knoxville is located) was primarily Unionist and the western part of the state (that includes Nashville and Memphis) was mostly Confederate. To make matters worse, the Union Army had taken over Nashville and Memphis by early 1862 and the Confederate Army held Knoxville until…
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