Friday, October 16, 2009

John Brown

I would feel remiss if I didnt mention that today is the beginning of the 150th cycle with John Brown's Raid on Harper's Ferry in his failed attempt to put a swift and violent end to Slavery. That event was termed the fire bell ringing in the night and lit the fuse, although some can argue it had already been lit in Kansas. To keep it relavent though, I will share a couple of Army of Tennessee links to Old Brown.

Captain John Brown had come onto the national stage during Bleeding Kansas as a leader of a band of abolitionist forces and with great infamy for the Pottawatomie Massacre (May 24-25, 1856). The first family to be visited that night was that of James P. Doyle an immigrant from Hamilton Co, TN, Doyle and his eldest sons, William and Drury, were hacked and shot to death. Brown would spare 16 year old John Doyle. The Doyle survivors would soon return back to Hamilton County, and after Brown was captured at Harper's Ferry, young John would be offered to opportunity of pulling the lever to hang Brown. In 1861 John Doyle would enlist in the 2nd Tennessee Cavalry (Ashby's) and serve as bugler, fighting in Wheeler's Cavalry for most of the war.

A wave of fear swept through the South in the months following Harper's Ferry, headlines read "The Riot", "Invasion", and most terrifying of all to Southerners, "Insurrection". Brown proved to them that all the rumors were true in their minds, that the North wanted another Haiti for them. Throughout the south milita companies were formed, membership in pre existing militas grew and states began to allocate large sums of money for the purchase of weapons, etc. Among the groups that were formed were many companies that would soon become part of the Army of Tennessee, specifically Company A and Company B of the 10th South Carolina Infantry.

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