Wednesday, August 15, 2012

More Tennessee History from Ginger

Since I was born and raised in California, the natural disaster of most concern was, of course, an earthquake.  We've all heard that California is going to drop off into the ocean one day, and I believe it, so moving far inland, was fine with me.

What could possibly happen in Tennessee?

 I'd seen the aftermath of Tornadoes on TV, but when you live less than a football field away from the destruction left behind by one, they tend to become much more real.  On February 5th, 2008, Castalian Springs not only lost friends and family, pieces of history were literally ripped away, but unlike the living, a prominent spot was recently restored and returned to the community.  The pictures above borrowed from William's blog at shows the previous state of theWynnewood Inn and the results of the tornado in 2008.  You'll notice the aged oak is missing in the "after" pic.

I set out yesterday to take some pictures of my own to show you that I live but a "crow hop" from some of the most memorable spots germane to the very genre I love...historical set in the 1700-1800s right here in my new home state.  Of course, you'll have to forgive the glare...I'm not a professional photographer, and I used my i-phone. 

 Wynnewood was originally built in 1828, intended as a stagecoach inn on the Nashville-Knoxville Road (I talked about the forts visited by pioneers along this trail in an earlier blog).  In 1834, after purchasing a shared interest from a friend, Wyhnne moved his family into the inn and lived there until his death in 1893.   Guests to the inn were attracted by thge medicinal powers of the mineral waters and beauty of the surrounding land.

View Taken from The Official Website showing the green and grandeur.

The "New Wynnewood."

 What this sign says:  Col. Alfred Royal (1800-1893) was a trade and merchant in
Castlian Springs.  In 1828 he built this stagecoach inn along the Knoxville road.  Although Wynne was a slaveholder and a Democrat, he also was a staunch Unionist and strongly opposed sucession.  When Tennessee left the union, however Wynne ended his former allegiance and supported the confederacy.

In contrast to many older Southerners who struggled to remain loyal to the Union, their children favored sucession.  Soon after Abraham Lincoln was elected president in 1860, two of Alfred and Almira Wynne's Sons, Andrew and Joseph Wynne enlisted in the 2nd Tennessee Infantry under the command of their neighbor William B. Bate.  Their younger sons, Valerius and William Hall Wynne also enlisted.  William died of disease the next year.

Early in 1862, Confederate cavalry raids designed to interdict Federal supply and communication lines were launched in northern Middle Tennessee.  Col. John Hunt Morgan command operated in the area, and on occasion, signed the guest register for one of Wynne's daughters.

By April, the Union army had set up a military post in the southwestern corner of the Wynne farm and surrounded the fortified camp with log and stone earthworks.  Although Federal troops generally behaved themselves, the harm they did the trees, fences and fields was extensive.  After the war, Wynne filed a claim for damages in the amount of $6,546.00.  The government disallowed it since Tennessee remained loyal to the union.

Pictures taken on 7/25/12    

Just a little further down the road from Wynnewood, we came across the house Col. William Bate was born in.  Remember, he's the neighbor that led Wynne's sons in battle.  Here's the sign designating the spot and what it says:

William Brimage Bate was born here in 1826 and during the Civil War, he rose to the rank of major general.  He left home at the age of sixteen to be a clerk on a steamboat.  During the Mexican war, he served as a lieutenant and became a journalist, a lawyer, and a state legislator.  As the Civil War approached, he raised a militia company in Castalian Springs and was soon elected colonel of the 2nd Tennessee Infantry.  Arriving in Virginia with his regiment in time for the First Battle of Manassas, he captured a Congressman from New York who had come out to see the action.  In February 1862, he and his men reenlisted and returned to Tennessee.  In the Battle of Shiloh on April 6-7, he received a severe leg wound that incapacitated him for several months.  Commissioned brigadier general in October 1862 and major general in February 1864, he led a brigade and than a division in the Army of Tennessee in all the major battles in the western theater, including Stones River, Chickamauga, Franklin and Nashville.  Bate declined the offer of a nomination for Tennessee governor, saying "I would feel dishonored in this hour of trail to quit the field:--a commitment to duty that voters later remembered.

Bates surrendered with his old regiment at Greensboro, South Caroline, in April 1865.

After practicing law in Nashville, Bate was elected governor of Tennessee in 1882 and held office for two terms.  In 1886 he was elected United States Senator and served until his death in 1905.  

Note from Ginger:  Just further proof that only death can get someone out of Congress.  :) Also, I left out the little bit about his cousin who became a countess and had a plantation in Mississippi though she resided in Italy.  Do we really care?

Taken just a few feet from Wynnewood, is a commemorative sign for Bledsoe's Lick.  I pass over Bledsoe Creek every day, and it only took me a few years to actually stop and ready the sign.  Here's what it says: 

     The spring to the north was a rendezvous for salt-seeking game in the pre-pioneer days.  First settlers came in 1779.  In 1787, Isaac and Anthony Bledsoe and their father settled here.  The two brothers were killed by Indians and buried in the family plot 500 yards northwest.  Bledsoe Female Academy was also near here.

 Amazingly, I live in Castlian Springs on Wynnewood Drive.  Can't get much closer to history than that.  *smile*  Thanks for visiting.  I may have just found the inspiration for a new novel.  Of course I have to finish the three I have lined up already.  :)


Caroline Clemmons said...

Ginger, my mom was born in McMinnville, Warren County TN, and my grandmother in Spencer, Van Buren County. My ggggrandparents were one of the first anglo families in the Van Buren/White County area of TN. I've only been there once, but agree that it's beautiful.

Jacquie Rogers said...

Since I don't know a thing about Tennessee history, I always appreciate your posts, Ginger.

Devon Matthews said...

Ginger, I live one state north of you and there's tons of history here. But, for some reason, I've never delved into it. There was a battle fought here during the Civil War--there's one of those historical markers standing out front of the courthouse in town--but I have no idea what it was because I've never stopped to read the sign. Don't know what that says about me. I do extensive research and could tell you much, much more about other parts of the country.

gumbala said...
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