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In late December 1863, Union Maj. Gen. John A. Logan established his Fifteenth Army Corps headquarters in Scottsboro, Alabama. On January 11, 1864, by command of Gen. Logan, Brig. Gen. Hugh Ewing, commanding the Fourth Division, was ordered to guard the railroad and telegraph line from Scottsboro to Stevenson. Gen Ewing sent his First Brigade under the command of Col. Reuben Williams to Scottsboro, and it set up four separate regimental camps on either side of the Memphis and Charleston Railroad, adjacent to or within one block of the Scottsboro Depot. The regiments under Col. Williams' command included some 3000 men of the 26th Illinois, the 70th Ohio, the 12th Indiana, and the 97th Indiana, as well as an Illinois artillery battery.
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After the war, Col. Williams returned to Indiana and established the Warsaw Daily Times. Civil War memoir he included an in-depth description of the facilities created within the Scottsboro encampment and his troops' military and social activities between December 26, 1863 and May 1, 1864. In the early spring of 1864, Col. Williams coordinated a successful dance in a building located on Main Street (now Maple Ave.) that served as Scottsboro's first school and church. He wrote
that the site was "large enough for the waltz and gavotte." The dance was attended by his officers and their visiting wives, enlisted men and local ladies who were transported by "military ambulance" to the Scottsboro encampment.