LOOKING BACK PHOTO

The Willow Grove log home of Revolutionary War soldier Marcus Rickman is one of the oldest homes in Trousdale County. The home is still in the Rickman family and has recently been restored.

On Sept. 17, there will be an American History Celebration recognizing the soldiers of all wars fought by the United States, from the American Revolution to the present.

The event will be held at the site of the Battle of Hartsville, behind the Trousdale County Emergency Medical Services (EMS) building just off of River Street. It will last from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. and will feature costumed re-enactors, displays, speakers, food and more.

In keeping with that event, we will be spending this month recognizing our local veterans who have put their lives on the line to defend our soil … and, we too will start with the American Revolution.

Of course, when the War for Independence from Great Britain was being waged, no one lived in what is now Trousdale County.

The land was held in a form of common ownership by several Native American tribes who used it for a hunting ground. They took turns and were not especially happy to see the arrival of the white man in the years after the war.

So, what led those first hearty pioneers to come to the frontier … free land.

The state of North Carolina decided to lay claim to all of the land west to the Alleghany Mountains to the banks of the Mississippi and then gave that land away to the men from their state who had served in the Revolution.

Having the chance to lay claim to 640 acres — a square mile — tempted many of those former soldiers to move to the frontier.

As we have pointed out in the past, none of the Native American tribes agreed to the arrangement, and the first settlers had to fight off hostile Cherokee, Shawnee and Creek Indians.

Yet, they persevered, built their log homes and plowed the fertile river bottoms to plant their corn.

The Trousdale County Historical Society has worked to make a list of those men who served in the American Revolution and who lived here and are buried here.

We are aided by the research done by others in the past, especially that of the late Webb Ross, the first president of the historical society.

We also have a map from 1930 that may have been drawn out by a member of the Garrett family. The 1930 map locates the graves of each of the veterans who they were aware of at the time.

So, below is a list, made by combining the map and the list made by Mr. Ross, in addition to the historical society’s own findings:

  • John Shelton, who built the old rock house alongside the original immigrant trail. That house was torn down in the 1940s.
  • Captain William Alexander, a horse breeder and the father-in-law of Tennessee Gov. William Hall.
  • Rev. John McGee, an early Methodist preacher who was part of the Great Awakening, a religious movement in the early 1800s. His grave was on the site of the nuclear plant. His remains were dug up and moved to Hartsville First United Methodist Church.
  • Capt. James Hart, an officer in the militia. He is also the founder of Hartsville.
  • Hallery Malone, who crossed the Delaware with George Washington. He famously refused to accept a pension for his service saying, “Every man owed service to his country.”
  • Charles Donoho, who was related to the Donoho family, whose land grant is exactly where downtown Hartsville is today.
  • Daniel Mungle, whose name is on the map as Mungle’s Gap.
  • James Lauderdale, whose son would be the namesake for Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.
  • Skelton Smith, who gave one of his sons the name, Bushrod Washington Smith.
  • Mark Rickman, whose restored log cabin sits beside the old Willow Grove Cemetery and is one of the oldest homes in Trousdale County.

Others include Greenberry Lowe, James Hibbotts, William Carter, Andrew Greer, Bartholomew Stovall, Solomon DeBow, John Brevard, Frank Weathered, William Corley, John Mill and Henry Ross.

The list is a work in progress, and if anyone knows of others, they are encouraged to contact the historical society.

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