CHANCELLOR BEARDEN

Posted: September 21, 2017 in The Battle of Nashville

CONFEDERATE OFFICER AND CHANCERY JUDGE

Birth: January 10, 1843 in Lincoln County Tennessee
Death: Dec. 15, 1919 Shelbyville, Bedford County, Tennessee

Before the dawn of the American Civil War, Tennessee was deeply divided. Tennessee voted down secession at the outbreak of the movement. Shelbyville, Tennessee, in particular, was referred to as “Little Boston” for it’s anti secession sentiment. Like many, once a state resolved it’s direction, the oath of many civilians followed the allegiance to their state.

Walter was the son of Benjamin Franklin and Susan Blake Bearden, wed in 1841. He was descended from Thomas Bearden and his wife Abigale Hammock in Spartanburg, S.C. He was married to Marguerette C. Whiteside in 1874. They were sometimes referred to as W.S. and Maggie. He was Chancery Judge. He was said to have kept a Bible with records of the Bearden family history.

CAPTAIN WALTER SCOTT BEARDEN

SHELBYVILLE, TENNESSEE

This ripe scholar, successful lawyer, ex-soldier, and popular gentleman, was born in Petersburg, Lincoln county, Tennessee, January 10, 1844. As a child he was fond of study, was an apt scholar, and by the time he was twelve or thirteen years of age was in the leading classes in mathematics and the classics in the academy he attended. At fifteen he began to assist in teaching, always choosing the advanced classes, and began to support himself before there was a hair upon his face. Since fifteen years of age he has cost no man a cent. At sixteen, he carried a class through Davies’ Bourdon (algebra), having himself solved every problem in it. He had mastered the curriculum in the schools near his home before he was old enough to go to college, and continued to assist in giving instruction till the fall of 1860, when he entered Emory and Henry College, Virginia, and remained till the following spring, when the college closed on account of the war. He returned after the war (1865-66).

 

From his earliest years he has been a great reader and studied with keen interest a great variety of misccllancous works. Often he and his brother would lie in bed at night and read until 2 o’clock. In this way he acquired a valuable stock of information on many subjects, besides cultivating facility of expression and becoming familiar with the language of standard writers. Returning to Tennessee in the spring of 1861, he taught a country school near Petersburg a few months.

He next assisted in raising a company for the Confederate service­ – Company E, Forty-first Tennessee regiment – and was made second­ lieutenant, although not quite eighteen years old. At the battle of Fort Donelson he was captured with his regiment and imprisoned several months at Camp Chase and Johnson’s Island. After the exchange and reorganization of his regiment he was elected first-lieutenant, and during the last two years of the war was captain of his company. He saw war in all its vicissitudes – ­cavalry fights, infantry fights and fights with gunboats – the field, the march, the camp and the prison. He was in the campaign around Vicksburg, during which his regiment formed a part of Gregg’s famous brigade, and went through one of the toughest campaigns endured by any body of troops during the struggle. He was in the Dalton and Atlanta campaign from New Hope church to Jonesborough, during which time his company suffered severely, and Captain Bearden was three times wounded. He was at Peachtree Creek, Georgia, on July 20, 1864; on the right of Atlanta in the same month, and at Jonesborough, Georgia, August 31,1864, where he received a severe wound in the thigh, which disabled him and put him on crutches for the rest of the war (family legend has it that he was shot in the upper thigh, he was presumed beyond survival. A young nurse from Shelbyville, Tennessee attended to his wounds, saving his life. They married in 1874). After the Jonesborough battle he went to Aberdeen, Mississippi, and there remained till the surrender.

During the latter part of the war Captain Bearden organized a body of men and protected the cotton in a large section of the country from persons who were trying to get it away before the arrival of the Federal troops, who expecting to find it would probably have laid waste the country if disappointed in what they regarded as war booty. Hearing that the planters would be held accountable for all of the cotton that ought to be in that region, Capt. Bearden and the men whom he drew around him, protected it until the arrival of the Federals and thus saved many plantations from pillage and destruction. At the close of the war he went to Meridian, Mississippi, to get his parole, and was pressed into service by the Federal commander to assist in preparing paroles, and made them out for nearly five thousand Confederate soldiers. His twin brother, Edwin R. Bearden, who was a lieutenant in his company, and had commanded it at Chickamauga (Brotherton Farm), where he was severely wounded, was with him on this occasion, and was also pressed into the same service of paroling Confederates.

Captain Bearden returned to Petersburg, Tennessee, after the war was over, and being in very poor health took to doing all sorts of hard work, such as cutting and hauling wood, in hope of restoring his health. In the later part of 1866, he moved to Shelbyville and assisted Maj. Randolph in Dixon Academy several months, teaching a part of each day and spending the rest of his time reading law in the office of Samuel Whitthorne, Esq. Early in 1867 he was admitted to the bar by Judge Henry Cooper and Chancellor Steele, and at once began practice in partnership with Mr. Whitthorne, continuing with him a little more than a year, since which time he has practiced alone, always doing a large business and leading a very active life.

Previous to the war all of Captain Bearden’s political predilections were in favor of the Whig party; in later years he has been a Democrat, but never an “offensive partisan.” He has been chairman of the Bedford county Democratic executive committee, has presided at numerous political meetings and attended various conventions, but while taking a lively interest in politics, and freely expressing his opinions on whatever questions came up, he has steadily refused to become a candidate for any office whatever, though often solicited to do so.

Captain Bearden became a Mason in Mississippi during the war, and was made a Royal Arch Mason, under a special dispensation from the grand Masonic bodies of Mississippi, about one month after he was twenty-one years old. He became High Priest of Tannehill Chapter, No. 40, R. A. M., at Shelbyville, about 1870, and: held the position for ten years. He became a Knight Templar in Murfreesborough Commandery, No. 10, in 1877, and attended the Triennial Conclave of the order at Chicago in 1880. He has taken a great interest in Masonry, and has collected many rare and valuable books on that subject.

Captain Bearden has at different times taken a considerable part in newspaper work, and during 1870 and 1871, wrote for the Nashville Banner over the nom de plume (pen name) of “To Date,” and contributed a column or more each week, which formed a complete history of Bedford county during those years. He also took a warm interest in newspaper work in his own town, and though not officially connected with any of the papers, assisted greatly in establishing the Shelbyville Commercial, and wrote for it about one year during its infancy. He has always been esteemed a ready, pointed and effective writer.

He has been interested actively in fire insurance (his son Walter, Jr. would found National Life & Accident Insurance, founder of WSM Radio and the Grand Ole Opry) for a number of years, representing the Liverpool, London and Globe, the Home, of New York, the Phoenix, of Hartford, and for a while the old Franklin, of Philadelphia, as well as numerous other companies, and has done a large business for them in his part of the State. He has been attorney for the Nashville, Chattanooga and St. Louis railroad for several years. He was one of the promoters of the Sylvan mills, near Shelbyville, and has been a director in the company since its organzation; is also a director of the Charter mills at Wartrace.

Capt. Bearden’s father, Dr. B. F. Bearden, a native of South Carolina, came to Tennessee in his youth. He was a man of great breadth of mind, a leader in his profession, a thinker, and a man of learning, but withal very modest. He died in 1870. All of the Beardens in this country are related, and are supposed to be descended from the early French settlers of South Carolina. As a family they have been remarkable for their sound, practical, common sense. Capt. Bearden’s mother was Miss S. M. Blake, of Lincoln county, a lady of Scotch blood, and a sister of Rev. Dr. T. C. Blake, of Nashville.

Capt. Bearden married in February, 1874, Miss Maggie C. Whiteside, daughter of Thomas C. Whiteside, a well-known lawyer of Shelbyville. Her mother was Miss Robinson, of Winchester, Tennessee. To this union have been born two sons and three daughters.

Capt. Bearden has been a member of the Presbyterian church about twelve years.

He began life with nothing in the way of capital, but with a good education, backed by industry and energy, punctual attention to business and an earnest desire to succeed. He always strikes while the iron is at welding heat. His methodical arrangement of his business, as well as his information on a great variety of subjects, has contributed largely to his success. Every paper is kept in its proper place, every stray bit of information is carefully noted down. He has ever striven to check litigation. Conservative in disposition, he aims to get the rights of his clients and then stop the case, and loves justice for its own sake. But whenever there are hard blows to be given, whenever wrong-doing is to be crushed, he goes in to deal sledge hammer blows. Striving to do justice to all men, he never changes his clients according to what they are worth, but for the value of his services and no more.

He is now said to be a candidate for the chancellorship of the Fourth chancery division of Tennessee, at the next judicial election.

From: Sketches of Prominent Tennesseans: Containing Biographies and Records of Many of the Families who Have Attained Prominence in Tennessee

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Obituary:

“Judge Walter Scott Bearden, eminent jurist of Tennessee, died at his home in Shelbyville on December 15, after an illness of several months. at the time of his death Judge Bearden was Chancellor of the Fifth Division of the State, and previous to his election to this office he had been judge of the Chancery court of the Fourth Division since 1886, making a total service on the chancery bench of thirty-three years.”

Judge Bearden was a native of Petersburg, Lincoln County, Tenn., where he was born on January 10, 1843, the son of Benjamin Franklin and Susan Margaret Blake Bearden. He received his education at Emory and Henry College, which he left before graduation to enter the Confederate army, in which he served with distinction, becoming a captain in 1864.

In 1874 Judge Bearden was married to Miss Margaret Cooper Whiteside, who proceeded in him in death. He is survived by two sons and two daughters.

He was a prominent Mason, being a Knight Templar and a member of the Scottish Rite, holding membership in the Murfreesboro and Nashville Lodges. He was a member of the Presbyterian Church and a man held in the highest esteem throughout the scenes of his long and honorable judicial service.

SOURCE; Confederate Veteran Magazine, January,1920 Courtesy of David Lacy

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41st TN CSA Reunion

In 1900, the household included: W.S. and Maggie, son: Ed W. age 25, his wife Juliet, age 20, their 4 month son, Edwin R., Daughters: Mary H. age 20, and Sue age 16 son: Walter S. age 18 and James F. Whiteside, age 46, druggist, most likely related to Maggie. The undertaker F. R. Bearden determined the cause of death to be abdominal aortic aneurism with myocardarditis.

Books:

The beleaguered forty first Tennessee

Reminiscences of the 41st Tennessee: The Civil War in the West

By Bob Henderson: Former Metro Historical Commission member. Native Nashvillian, served as an officer in the US Navy and Tennessee Air National Guard. I am a direct descendent (G3) of Captain Walter Scott Bearden, 41st Tennessee CSA , Private James Jarvis Maxwell, 4th Tennessee Cavalry USA, John Bond Henderson, 3rd Tennessee Cavalry CSA, John D. Kerr, McKenzie’s 5th Cavalry, CSA | Uncle (G3) Lt. David Phillips 7th Tennessee CSA, and Great (G3) Cousin Major Shelah Waters 4th Tennessee Cavalry USA

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Hospital N0. 8

Posted: January 13, 2017 in The Battle of Nashville

BNA Bucket list

Nashville Civil War Hospital

The Downtown Presbyterian Church

Revised: 13 JAN 2016

154 5th Ave N, Nashville, TN 37219

Downtown Presbyterian Church Circa American Civil War

This Church was one of many buildings used in Nashville as a hospital, during the Union occupation of the city in the American Civil War. It was designated Hospital No. 8 and housed 206 beds. The basement was used to board horses for the U.S. Army.  As Old First Presbyterian Church it is designated a National Historic Landmark. The current building was built in 1848, but the instittution dates back to 1816 with two prior structures that burned.

A very unique Egyptian Revival Architecture style Church. – wikipedia

“Presbyterians have worshiped in Nashville since 1814. In that year, the First Presbyterian Church of Nashville built their first structure. After the Battle of New Orleans, the State of Tennessee presented General Andrew Jackson with a ceremonial sword on the front steps…

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THE DAVID PHILLIPS TRAGEDY LT. DAVID L. PHILLIPS – 7TH TENNESSEE CSA “Nil desperandum” – David Phillips 1862 Revised: 07 JAN 17 06 JAN 2016 | Tennessee State Archives |  Yesterday, I held my …

Source: The David Phillips Tragedy


BNA Bucket list

Respect My Authority

The second generation of my American ancestors, resided in South Park Township, Pennsylvania.

American Immigrant Generation II – REV. DAVID PHILIPS*

“The Reverend [Captain] David Philips was emphatically the leading clergyman of the pioneer days of Peters Township (now South Park Township, PA). He was born in Wales in 1742, and emigrated from that country to America with his father’s family, settling in Chester County, PA. He married during his residence at that place, and in 1783 came into Washington county and took out a warrant for land which now lies in both Allegheny and Washington Counties. This tract of land was surveyed to him as 390 acres, under the title of ‘Norwich’, and he obtained the patent for it March 4, 1786.”

“This quotation from the History of Washington County, PA., (1882), page 891, gives an insight into the life of service of that great pioneer Baptist preacher, David Philips, eldest son of Joseph.”

“Following…

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Rev. John Phillips

Posted: December 9, 2016 in The Battle of Nashville

My GGGF

BNA Bucket list

The Mystery of John Phillips Death

rev.-john-phillips Reverend John Phillips

John Phillips: eldest son of David Phillips (1794-1846)

“John Phillips was born on his father’s farm near Cherry Valley, Tennessee, October 23, 1821, and married Miss Rebecca Williams December 5, 1845. He joined the Round Lick Baptist church in young manhood, and on the fourth Sunday in April, 1848, was ordained a Baptist minister. Going into the work actively from the very beginning, he held pastorates at Barton’s Creek, Cedar Creek and Providence, and in June, 1852, was called as pastor of the Fall Creek Baptist church at what is now Norene, Tennessee, which position he held until his death. He also did wide evangelistic work.* John was administrator of his father David’s estate. In addition to his activities as a minister, he owned and operated a 284-acre farm in the 18th district of Wilson County. He had eight children: Mary…

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BNA Bucket list

A driveway for both: 

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AND
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When I was in high school, people use to have these rolled up wads of paper delivered to their residence twice a day. They were called “newspapers.” Prior to the internet, this is how most people got their daily dispatch. I was one of many teenagers that delivered them in Nashville. Rain, sleet and snow on my little motorcycle.

In the 70’s there were two primary newspapers in Middle Tennessee: the morning paper, The Tennessean, and the afternoon paper, The Nashville Banner. The Tennessean was delivered early in the morning, The Banner in the late afternoon. At the time, The Tennessean was considered a more Democratic news source* (I remember: Pravda on The Cumberland by some), The Banner was decidedly more Republican by nature. They debated everything, political and non.

What separates news consumers from now and then?

MOST PEOPLE THEN READ BOTH

Aside from the physical dexterity of not landing it in…

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These old family cemeteries are important registers of our past for a lot of reasons. As Nashville explodes in all directions, it’s extremely important to act now to save them. If you are interested in some Rutherford County projects, follow https://southernrootsandbranches.wordpress.com. for upcoming projects.

Southern Rambles

By Dr. Stacey Graham, Research Professor, Center for Historic Preservation

All across Tennessee, rural family cemeteries are gradually succumbing to neglect, development, and vandalism. Because the resources available for saving these cemeteries are few, a solution can seem overwhelming and out of reach. However, no one should underestimate the power of a small group of people to make a big difference. This is what happened for the Templeton Grove Cemetery of Smyrna, Tennessee.

Just a few short months ago, this tiny family cemetery, unused since 1915, was barely visible in the dense underbrush. Many tombstones were fallen, broken, cracked, lost, or in danger of becoming so. Today, the tombstones are restored, the cemetery is cleared, a new fence stands around it, and a sign proclaims its name and importance to all visitors. The story of what happened during those few short months is the subject of this blog, and is…

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D-Day Disaster

Posted: February 25, 2016 in The Battle of Nashville

More Tennessee legends:

BNA Bucket list

D-Day heros:

LST-523.jpg Bill and Ed

It’s not often you get a chance to interview a World War II hero, especially one from the Allied invasion at Normandy, France. Bill Allen and his wife Idalee were gracious enough to spend a few hours with me today. This was particularly poignant, because my paternal uncle was with him on that fateful day.

Bill and Uncle Ed were new recruits to the Navy, and among ten’s of thousands of young Navy Corpsmen for the D-Day invasion June 6, 1944 – a mass medical mobilization for a predicted massacre.

After 6 weeks of basic training and another 6 weeks of corpsman school, they headed for Europe via Nova Scotia. Easter Sunday 1944, they left Halifax for Great Britan. Rough waters along the way were so intense, they needed bunk straps to keep from falling out of their racks. One Sunday morning they noticed it odd that there were no worship services. Since the ship…

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Meuse-Argonne:

Henderson,-William-Eugene.jpgWilliams Eugene Henderson, Sr. of Walter Hill, Tennessee enlisted in the United States Army September 17, 1917 as a Private #1907256. At the age of 22 he had been a sales manager for the Southwestern Publishing Company. Seven months later he was headed for The Great War with the 82nd Infantry Division (in WWII, this became the 82nd Airborne).

“W.E.” was assigned to the Toul Sector of France July 8th – 29th, and then to Argonne on September 5th, 1918. The Meuse-Argonne Offensive was the largest in U.S. military history, involving 1.2 million American soldiers. It was one of a series of Allied attacks known as the Hundred Days Offensive, which brought the war to an end.

“He was drafted into the 82nd, became a Sergeant and then went to OSC while in France, sometime in the summer of 1918. He was then assigned as a 2nd Lt. to the 308th 77th Division. Oct 9 he went over the top with others to rescue the Lost Battalion. The Meuse-Argonne offense was already on. He caught the flu in the next couple of days after returng to his trench works. Someone there had stolen his rain gear and books. Going to OSC, he missed the St. Mihiel offense and the begining of the Argonne offense, as well as missing the rest of the Argonne offensive due to the flu* probably saved his life. From there, he went to Nice France to recover. He was a Town Major of two small French villages from about Jan to April of 1919.” – Blake Henderson

The Lost Battalion

This mostly New York City division, must have been an interesting leadership experience for this former farm boy from Tennessee.

“The Lost Battalion is the name given to nine companies of the United States 77th Division, roughly 554 men, isolated by German forces during World War I after an American attack in the Argonne Forest in October 1918. Roughly 197 were killed in action and approximately 150 missing or taken prisoner before 194 remaining men were rescued.” – wikipedia

* 2nd Lt. Henderson contracted the “Spanish Flu” just prior to this offensive, possibly saving his life. Germans called it the French Flu, French called it the German Flu. It’s origin is  likely have been from America.

 

WWITranscription of letter dated August 18, 1918

Eugene Henderson to mother:

“I certainly do wish I could at least spend my Sundays with you home folks, but of course that is impossible – but still I want you to know that I think of you and the dear home folks often – more than I ever did before, and home means more to me now than it could have ever meant if I had not [sic] France. Now you said something about me being home by Christmas well of course mother we could get back by xmas – but while we are over here, and to keep from ever having to do the thing once over again, we are going not only to run the beastly Huns out of France, but we are going to give them such a beating that what few are left will be only too glad to stay in Germany and let the rest of the world alone – that is if we decide to leave any of Germany – we haven’t quite decided about that yet. But one thing we are decided on is not only to run the Germans out of here, but to give them the biggest beating in history. I doubt if we can whip them as much as we want to between now and xmas. We whip them now every day, but we enjoy it so well and know we are doing the world such a good turn we are going to keep on whipping them until Germany as a whole is on her knees ready to accept peace terms the allies offer. Germany doubtless will be giving out peace terms pretty soon, we don’t care for them – they started the war, we are going to end it. Peace terms will be made by us, not by Germany.

Mother I am well as can be, and doing 2 [sic] very well ended at school, am working really harder than I ever have in my life, they schedule calls for work from 5:45 o’clock in the morning until 10 at night. Of course this is allowances for meals, but we have to keep our [sic] all the time, and everything fixed in first class order, so all of our spare moments are spent doing these little things that really amount to work. The discipline is very rigid. Everything exactly so. I’ll have lot of interesting things to tell you about it when I get back. Am sorry mother that you did not get the first letters wrote you. Maybe you have before now – no I did not get very seasick – was a little sick one day. With words of love, and good wishes and [sic]. Your devoted son Gene”

A month later, he was awarded a battlefield commission. On September 29th, 1918 Sergeant Henderson was promoted to Second Lieutenant. He was transferred to the 77th Infantry Division.

My grandfather “Pop Pop” convalesced at the family farm for some time after the war.  I asked him once, if he was ever scared. He recalled a story that he apparently never shared with my father, or anyone else for that mater. One night, under the cover of darkness, Sgt. Henderson infiltrated enemy lines leading a small squad. I’s possible that’s what earned him a battlefield promotion to 2nd Lieutenant.

He later rejoined his older brothers business and became the general sales manager of the Southwestern Company. He held that position until his death in 1965. He was also a Mason and Rotarian.

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The Movie:

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Image  —  Posted: December 2, 2015 in World War I
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My Tennessee Yankee GGF:

I am the direct descendant of four Civil War soldiers. One fought for the North, two fought for the South and one fought for God (preacher). The one that fought for the North, had a brother fight for the Confederacy. They almost killed each other coming home. Many families were divided in DeKalb County, Tennessee. Many other counties in Middle Tennessee had a very large number of divisions as well. My Yankee had good reasons. His forefathers were highly distinguished soldiers in the American Revolution, present in many of the pivotal battles such as King’s Mountain.

Here is a perspective on a so-called “Tennessee Turncoat”:Dekalb Countypng.png

Maxwell Family History – State Library, Nashville

“During the English and Scottish Wars the Maxwell’s were loyal to Scotland and the English confiscated their lands. They could either pay heavy taxes, or could come to the Colonies, and the Maxwell’s chose to come to to America. Serving in the Revolutionary War was their revenge. Since Uncle Kai repeated this very empathatically there is no doubt that as a boy he had frequently heard it spoken in his home and family. No doubt South Carolina records could verity all this, or Library of Congress, if anyone had the time to investigate further.

During the Civil War part of DeKalb County fought on the side of the North, and part on the side of the South. Brothers often taking different sides. My Grandfather James Jarvis Maxwell* fought on the side of the North and I asked Uncle Kai why they did. He says he can hear them say:

‘I cannot take up arms and fight against the government my fore-fathers fought to establish. After that, I felt better about having Union soldiers in the family.’ ”

* Company F – 4th Regular Mounted Infantry U.S.

#tennesseeyankee