Monday, June 27, 2011

Third Tennessee Infantry

This post could be entitled "Don't believe every thing you read on the Internet." More on that later.

For my birthday I received  a couple of books that are out of print. One of them was a book on a Civil War era unit titled "Holding the Line: The Third Tennessee Infantry, 1861-1864."

This particular unit was of interest to me because of its rosters included several people who were connected to the Cane Creek Massacre directly or indirectly. One of the most prominent names was William James "Jim" Conder, at whose home the massacre occurred, and whose sons were killed there. The other name most closely associated with the massacre is David Hinson. Both of these men served in company H of the Third Tennessee Infantry.

The book is based almost entirely on the writings of Flavel C. Barber, an officer with the Third Tennessee Infantry. He kept a journal and wrote letters, but the most important source for me were two rosters that Major Barber took, one in 1862 and another in 1864. In each he noted the names of men who had served and if they were no longer serving (due to death, capture, discharge, ect.) he noted why.

I was fascinated to find on the list the Conder brothers. Actually it was the older Conder brothers: Jim Conder, and his brothers to be exact. Along with David Hinson, all of them fought and surrendered at Fort Donaldson, were imprisoned at Camp Douglas in Illinois, and exchanged September 23, 1862.

Conder, G. H. [George Henderson Conder]: Fought at Springdale, fought at Chickasaw Bayou, Fought at Port Hudson, Captured at Raymond Miss, escaped and deserted 1863. [Henderson later joined the church and emigrated to Colorado]

Conder, J. W. [John Wesley Conder]: Fought at Springdale, fought at Chickasaw Bayou, Fought at Port Hudson, Wounded at Raymond Miss, Absent from Jackson, Chickamauga, and Missionary Ridge due to injury. [John was among the wounded who were left behind during the retreat. He died from his injury at Raymond, but Major Barber didn't know that.]
Conder, M. L. [Martin Luther Conder]: Fought at Springdale, AWOL from Chickasaw Bayou, Fought at Port Hudson, Captured at Raymond Miss, escaped and rejoined unit on July 30, 1863, deserted Sept 6, 1863.

Conder, W. J. [William James Conder]: Furloughed home Sept 30, 1862 from Jackson, Miss., and deserted. [Jim joined the Church in 1879 but never left Tennessee]

Hinson, David: "Discharged or disability" from Jackson in October 1862. [Killed at Cane Creek Massacre Aug 10, 1884]

This last entry was a bit of a surprise for me. I had until now relied upon the research of Charles Hinson, a descendent of David Hinson and a prominent member of the Maury County Historical Society. In his biography of David he wrote among other things the following sentence.
David fought in every battle the 3d Tennessee took part in for the remainder of the war. He was paroled after the Confederate surrender in North Carolina in April, 1865 [see here]
I had not been able to find any evidence for this statement so far. But I trusted his statement because of his reputation. Now given that I have found evidence to the contrary, I have to say I am a little disappointed. I should have known better. I should not have taken his research for granted. It may be that I will find that David joined some other unit where he served out the war. There were also several guerilla units that operated during the Civil War, the membership of which we know very little. But it really doesn't matter. What I will take away from this is that I assumed someone's research was correct, a mistake I don't intend to repeat.


Ardis E. Parshall said...

I suppose it's to be expected, given geographical proximity, that these men and their families would have had a long association. Still, reading their names together like this, and realizing that their association had gone back 20 years or more, adds something to the horror of the massacre. That men (because surely Hinson wasn't the only member of the attacking mob whose families knew the Condors) who had known each other so long and so intimately were willing to invade a neighbor's home and threaten his family and guests is beyond understanding.

BruceCrow said...

You are absolutly right Ardis. I first noticed this from census records, but they tells the same story. These men and others knew each other as toddlers, teens and older. They lived and grew up within a stones throw of each other. And as this book shows, they joined the military, and were held as prisoners of war together as well.

Jim even told Tom Garrett that he knew and recognized every one of the mob despite their disguises.