Tag Archives: bridge burners

East Tennessee’s Unionist insurgency

The Knoxville News Sentinel has an article on the “bridge burners,” the Unionist insurgents who tried to wrest control of their homeland away from the Confederates in 1861.  The plan was to destroy the railroad bridges connecting East Tennessee with the rest of the Confederacy, and then rise up to join Union forces coming down from Kentucky.  They managed to torch some of the bridges, but the Yankees didn’t come.  The bridge burners who didn’t manage to escape to Kentucky ended up facing the wrath of Confederate authorities on their own.  For some of them, it meant death at the end of a noose.


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Filed under Appalachian History, Civil War, Tennessee History