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  • Richard Matthews
    The War Between the States was a terrible time for Jackson County, Alabama, as it was in many other places, but even more so here. There were very mixed
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 1, 2003
      The War Between the States was a terrible time for Jackson County, Alabama,
      as it was in many other places, but even more so here. There were very mixed
      feelings about secession in the Tennessee Valley, even to the point of
      trying to make an independent state of this region that would not secede,
      but much of that feeling changed early in the war.

      By April 1862, Union forces were already occupying northern Alabama. Union
      Gen'l O. M. Mitchell occupied Huntsville on April 11th, 1862. A few weeks
      later Union Col. John Basil Turchin lead raids into northern Alabama and
      lead his troops to burn and loot widely. He was a Russian, "The Russian
      Thunderbolt" he was called, who had little regard for American civility. He
      encouraged and then turned his back while his troops committed many
      atrocities in north Alabama. Many area residents gave their support to the
      Confederates after seeing and hearing of his actions. Our county seat, along
      with most of its records, were burned during these raids. That is why few
      genealogy records exist for the years prior to the war.

      In Jackson County, the dividing line was the Tennessee River, Throughout
      most of the war, north of the river was held by the Union and south of the
      river was Confederate, with each side making raids into the others
      territory. Many southern men camped on Sand Mountain while their families
      and homes were across the river in enemy hands . . .hard times indeed for
      all concerned. There was a huge build up of Federal troops in Jackson
      County, in the Stevenson/Bridgeport area, prior to the Battle of Chattanooga
      and most of the county was razed by the troops for timber, food, and other
      needed supplies. General Sherman himself spent some time in this area before
      burning his way through Atlanta and to the sea. Hardly anything remained
      standing in our county by wars end . . We were completely ravaged. I have
      always thought that is why so many families moved on after the war. Nothing
      but bad memories and bad times held Jackson County for years after 1865.

      There were renegades, blacks as well as whites, from both sides that helped
      make life more miserable during those years. Many local families had loved
      ones killed by the hostilities of those years. Scottsboro's founder, Robert
      Scott, lost his life during those times just a short time after founding the
      rail stop at Scottsboro.

      Check out http://www.tarleton.edu/~kjones/altimeline.html#1860 for some
      information about the war in Alabama.

      Richard (Proud to be the GGgrandson of Jackson Countian Lt. James Matthews
      CSA who fought and lived through the WBTS, while his family was in Union
      territory in Big Coon Valley, Matthews Cove)

      -----Original Message-----
      From: Arvinell [mailto:arvinell@...]
      Sent: Friday, January 30, 2004 9:40 PM
      To: jacksongenealogy@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: Re: [jacksongenealogy] Maynard's cove

      I appreciate Mr. Matthews taking the time to write about Maynard's Cove in
      the 1800s.

      Another question that I have concerns Maynard's Cove, Jackson Co. during the
      Civil War. Family stories told by Isaac Newton Foster (1852-1929) told
      about seeing his father Anthony Wayne Foster gunned down by criminal
      renegades who were neither Confederate nor Union soldiers. This happened
      on April 4, 1862. These ruffians traveled in front of an approaching army
      and plundered. Anthony had gone to the front door and opened it when he
      was shot. Does any one have a source for Jackson County events during
      the war?
      Soon afterward General Upchurch (Union Army) arrived and heard about
      Anthony's death, he offered safe passage for young Isaac and his mother to
      White Co., Illinois. They did go to Illinois at some point. I have heard
      that John Franklin Tinney and his family also went. John Franklin had
      believed that Alabama should not succede, nor go to war over slavery. I
      can imagine that life was not easy for those people in Jackson Co., who did
      not support the Confederacy and succession.
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