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Unionists Within the Confederacy - Pigeon Forge, TN
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member DougandSandra
N 35° 47.317 W 083° 33.237
17S E 269181 N 3963512
Quick Description: This Civil War Trail plaque is at the Old Mill & General Store located at 175 Old Mill Avenue in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.
Location: Tennessee, United States
Date Posted: 3/22/2015 9:37:38 AM
Waymark Code: WMNJ9J
Published By: Groundspeak Regular Member Math Teacher
Views: 0

Long Description:
From website:
(visit link)

Unionists here opened a secret garment factory in the mill early in the war, making cloth for uniforms and shoes for Federal soldiers. Driven underground during Confederate occupation of the area, local Union home guard reemerged after the Battle of Knoxville in 1863, capturing several Confederate raiders.
From the plaque:
When the Civil War began, Sevier County Unionists at first operated quietly in the secessionist Tennessee. In 1861 they set up a secret garment factory in the second floor of this mill and made cloth for uniforms. They also made shoes for the Federal soldiers and Unionist Home Guards with leather from Newton Trotter's nearby tannery. According to local tradition, the third floor was later used as a hospital. Capt William Trotter, son of the mill owner John Trotter, commanded Co H,9th Tennessee Cavalry (US).
After Tennessee's vote for secession on June 8 1861, East Tennessee Unionists formed Home Guard units. Sevier County loyalists established their unit in August 1861. The Home Guard was a militia-type group that protected the lives and property of local Unionists. The Guard initially drilled openly, but when Confederates occupied the county, many member went underground. They gathered intelligence, served as couriers and guides, and harassed the Confederates.
When the Union army took control of the region late in 1863 after the Battle of Knoxville, the guardsmen actively engaged Confederate forces. Early in December, they captured several soldiers in Confederate Col. William H. Thomas's legion -- a North Carolina unit composed of mountaineers and Cherokee Indians that was camped at Gatlinburg -- and jailed them in Sevierville. Thomas raided the jail, freed his men and disarmed the guardsmen. The Home Guard quickly regrouped and a month later helped Federal cavalry capture Confederate raiders and their commander, Gen Robert B. Vance (brother of North Carolina governor Zebulon B. Vance), at the foot of the Smoky Mountains.
Type of site: Other

175 Old Mill Avenue
Pigeon Forge, TN United States

Admission Charged: No Charge

Website: [Web Link]

Phone Number: Not listed

Driving Directions: Not listed

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