Celina During the Civil War

Celina During the Civil War (HM1ET8)

Location: Celina, TN 38551 Clay County
Country: United States of America

N 36° 33.026', W 85° 30.364'

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Hamilton's Tennessee Cavalry Battalion

During the Civil War, the residents of the eastern and Cumberland River sections of present-day Clay County (then part of Jackson and Overton Counties) were usually Confederate sympathizers, while those in the western section supported the Union. Men from this area enlisted in both armies.

Oliver P. Hamilton organized one of the first local Confederate regiments in December 1862. He was elected major (and later became lieutenant colonel) of Hamilton's Tennessee Cavalry Battalion. This partisan ranger band made its headquarters at Celina. Hamilton's men patrolled the Tennessee-Kentucky line, enforced the conscript law, and guarded army stock and supplies between Celina and Gainsborough.

As the war progressed, Hamilton's horsemen skirmished frequently with Federal cavalrymen based in Kentucky. Early in June 1862, 180 of his men attacked a detachment of the 9th Pennsylvania Cavalry and killed its commander. The Federals hotly pursued the Confederates back to Celina, where Hamilton's men scattered into the hills to evade capture.

On April 19, 1863, Union Col Felix W. Graham's 5th Indiana Cavalry attacked Hamilton's command here, routed his forces, destroyed their camp and commissary supplies, and shelled the town. A little more than a month later, the Federals again routed Hamilton's men at Kettle Creek. Union troops captured Hamilton here at Celina in March 1864 and charged him with being a guerrilla. While Hamilton was being transported to Lexington, Kentucky, for trail, his guards killed him under unknown circumstances.

(captions)
(left) Cavalry charge, Alfred R. Waud sketch Courtesy of Library of Congress
(right) Stern-wheel steamboat Henry Harley at Celina landing, ca. 1890s Courtesy Clay County Museum
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Details
HM NumberHM1ET8
Series This marker is part of the Tennessee: Tennessee Civil War Trails series
Tags
Placed ByTennessee Civil War Trails
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Monday, September 15th, 2014 at 6:07pm PDT -07:00
Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)16S E 633707 N 4046040
Decimal Degrees36.55043333, -85.50606667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 36° 33.026', W 85° 30.364'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds36° 33' 1.56" N, 85° 30' 21.84" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)931
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 203 Main St, Celina TN 38551, US
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