As we find a hand of Scotch-Irish grouped around William Campbell at Kings Mountain, so we find in the second period of Tennessee history,
Whose father came from Carrickfergus, Ireland, to North Carolina, becomes the central figure of all the military movements of the southwest. Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, Florida and Louisiana alike, find in him and the Tennessee volunteers, who come at his call, their deliverers from Spanish, Indian, and British foes. The leaders who are the arms of his power are of his own race. Generals Coffe and Carrol, General Winchester, General William Hall and Colonel Henderson. In the fiercest hours of the struggle others of the race arrest the pen of history at the battle of Horseshoe. The Thirty-ninth regiment, under Colonel Williams, the brigade of East Tennesseeans, under Colonel Bunch, marched rapidly up to the breastwork and delivered a volley through the port-holes. The Indians returned the fire with effect, and, muzzle to muzzle, the combatants for a short time contended. Major L. P. Montgomery, of the Thirty-ninth, was the first man to spring upon the breastwork, where, calling upon his men to follow, he received a ball in his head, and fell dead to the ground.
At that critical moment, young ensign Houston mounted the breastwork. A barbed arrow pierced his thigh; but, nothing dismayed, this gallant youth, calling his comrades to follow, leaped down among the Indians, and soon cleared a space around him with his vigorous right arm. Joined in a moment by parties of his own regiment, and by large numbers of the East Tennesseeans, the breastwork was soon cleared, the Indians retiring before them into the underbrush. The wounded ensign sat down within the fortification, and called a lieutenant of his company to draw the arrow from his thigh. Two vigorous pulls at the barbed weapon failed to extract it. In a fury of pain and impatience, Houston cried, "Try again, and if you fail this time, I will smite you to the earth." Exerting all his strength, the lieutenant drew forth the arrow, tearing the flesh fearfully, and causing an effusion of blood that compelled the wounded man to hurry over the breastwork to get the wound bandaged. While he was lying on the ground under the surgeon's hands, the general rode up, and recognizing his young acquaintance, ordered him not to cross the breastwork again. Houston begged him to recall the order, but the general repeated it peremptorily and rode on. In a few minutes the ensign had disobeyed the command, and was once more with his company, in the thick of that long hand to hand engagement, which consumed the hours of the afternoon. Toward the close of the afternoon it was observed that a considerable number of the Indians had found a refuge under the bluffs of the river, where a part of the breastwork, the formation of the ground, and the felled trees, gave them complete protection.
Desirous to end this horrible carnage, Jackson sent a friendly Indian to announce to them that their lives should be spared if they would surrender. They were silent for a moment, as if in consultation, and then answered the summons by a volley, which sent the interpreter bleeding from the scene. The cannon were now brought up, and played upon the spot without effect. Jackson then called for volunteers to charge: but the Indians were so well posted, that, for a minute, no one responded to the call. Ensign Houston again emerges into view on this occasion. Ordering his platoon to follow, but not waiting to see if they would follow, he rushed to the overhanging bank, which sheltered the foe, and through openings of which they were firing. Over this mine of desperate savages he paused, and looked back for his men. At that moment he received two balls in his right shoulder; his arm fell powerless to his side; he staggered out of the fire, and lay totally disabled. His share in that day's work was done. After being elected governor of Tennessee, this man became the Washington of Texas.
of General Jackson, which I have not seen in print, was given me by Judge Thomas Barry, of Sumner county, who knew the general well. The judge himself is a fine specimen of the race. General Jackson, after his popularity had given him a large number of namesakes through the country, was invited to a public dinner in his honor at Hartsville, now in Trousdale county. After dinner, the fond parents claimed the privilege of a hand-shake for the namesakes. Judge Barry said that at a little distance he noted the fact that to each of the boys the general gave a silver coin, accompanied by a remark he could not hear. Selecting one of the larger boys, he asked him what the general had said to him. The boy replied, "He put his thumb-nail on the word liberty, and said, 'For this our country fought through seven years; never give it up but with your life.'" To him liberty had a meaning. Men who followed him adored it. There was a sacredness and awe in the tones in which they spoke of it, showing its profound impress upon the strong mold of their natures. Jackson not only delivered the south-west, but gave us much of what is distinctive in the principles, and all of what is marked in the methods of the Democratic party, affecting the life of the nation as no man after Washington and before Lincoln has done.
in the formation of which he took a prominent part, was pronounced by Thomas Jefferson the "most republican of all the constitutions adopted by the states." Jackson's love of liberty and of the Union atone for much of his personal tyranny when in office. His force of will brooked no opposition; his intensity allowed no friendship beyond the bounds of agreement; his fiery temper was an exaggeration of true Scotch Irish devotion to principle and enthusiasm for right.
Besides the prominent soldiers who co-operated with Jackson, we have among his contemporaries of Scotch-Irish blood Hugh L. White, who in one of Jackson's greatest extremities left the judicial bench to lead a party of volunteers to the rescue. A man who was brave as Jackson, as deeply enamored of his country's freedom, but one who knew no arts to win popular applause beyond lofty adherence to principle, the man who as a candidate for the Presidency of the United States won the vote of his own state over Jackson's active opposition, one of the purest and ablest of American statesmen, second only as a statesman to one Tennessean—John Bell.
The father of John Bell, Samuel Bell, came from North Carolina to Tennessee. His wife was Margaret Edmonson, of a family largely represented in the battle of King's Mountain, and in all subsequent military expeditions from Tennessee—Scotch-Irish on both sides.
was a student with Craighead in his boyhood; elected to Congress over Felix Grundy, who was supported by the warm personal influence of General Jackson; a warm admirer of J. C. Calhoun, but of such thorough independence of character, that he was placed as chairman of the committee in the House before which it was supposed Mr. Calhoun's resolutions would come for consideration; elected speaker of the House over James K. Polk; supported Hugh L. White for President, and while White carried the state, Bell carried the Hermitage district over the whole force of the administration and the indomitable exertions of General Jackson; entered the Senate, where he stood for the Union through every change of administration; favored the right of petition on the part of the abolitionists when the whole South and many of the northern statesmen refused them the privilege; was secretary of war under Harrison; resigned when he could not agree with Tyler; declined the offer of re-election to the Senate, on the grounds that E. H. Foster deserved it at the hands of his party—rare man; was re-elected at the next vacancy; stood for the compromise of 1850; opposed the doctrine "to the victor belongs the spoils." One of the best, most independent of American statesmen, who through all his career loved the American Union more than he loved party or power.
Before leaving John Bell, duty to the race whose place in American civilization we are seeking to indicate, demands a reference to the remarkable attitude held by him and Stephen A. Douglas at the second most critical juncture in American history. We have seen our ancestral part in the earlier era; again, in the trying epoch of the nation, when the hour came to test the power of the Union to hold in one the states which had been gathered under the constitution, the race stands out with a prominence that I have seen accorded them in no annals of the times.
In the Presidential contest of 1860, Lincoln represented the extreme opinions of the North, Breckinridge the extreme opinions of the South. The Scotch-Irish Bell and Douglas stood for the Union under the constitution. They represented, the one, the conservatism of the old Whig party, the other, the conservative element in the Northern Democratic party. Whatever of honor there is in love of the Union, we claim that honor for the Scotch-Irish, as represented by these two sons in the hour of our country's greatest peril.
The chronological order of events demands that wo turn back to the period of the last Indian war, with the Seminoles in Florida, when Tennessee again is found with her volunteers in the fore-front of the fight. General Robert Armstrong, Colonel Wm. Trousdale, and Captain Wm. B. Campbell, leading spirits of the hour, were all from Scotch-Irish ancestors. These we have traced; many, perhaps all others, were of the same blood, but the proof has not come to us, though asked for again and again.
We ought to mention that pure man, Mr. Sommerville, cashier of the bank at Nashville, by whose indomitable energy the money was raised that enabled General Carrol to reach New Orleans at the critical moment for the battle of New Orleans, where Jackson, with two Scotch-Irish general officers and an army of like blood, won deathless fame. The world has kept the name of the warrior, but allowed to be almost forgotten the name of the quiet patriot who "handled millions, but died poor."
We have found the first President Tennessee gave to the United States of Scotch-Irish blood, so we find the second, James K. Polk. It is said by a historian that the most brilliant career of any man in the White House was that of James K. Polk. About his early career gather White, Bell, Cave Johnson, Catron, and the great Socratic lawyer, John Marshall, of Williamson county. They, with his first opponent for governor of the state, Newton Cannon, were of the same race. In this canvass the latest historian of Tennessee says: "Polk opened the campaign on his side by an address to the people of Tennessee perhaps the ablest political document which appeared in this state up to the time of the war."
His agency in adding the boundless West to the domain of the United States needs no eulogy at this late day. Without the Pacific coast, as we have it, the United States would have been one of the great nations of the world; with it, she inevitably must hold at no distant future an unrivaled pre-eminence. The time is now on us when the world must realize that in potency we can be classed with no other nationality.
In the Mexican war again we look for the Tennessee volunteers, and in addition to the names of Trousdale and Campbell, that of B. F. Cheatham, who had gone as captain in the First, when that regiment was disbanded at the close of the year for which it was enlisted, raised another regiment, of which he was made colonel. Cheatham had the blood of James Robertson in his veins. He proved in the war between the states a veritable thunderbolt of war; a man of the staunchest integrity. All the men from Tennessee prominent in the Mexican war were of Scotch-Irish blood, with, perhaps, the exception of General Gideon Pillow. I believe him to be of the same blood, from his relation to Colonel Wm. Pillow, of whom Ramsey says: "Among other emigrants from North Carolina to Cumberland was the father of William Pillow. He came through the wilderness with the guard commanded by Captain Elijah Robertson, and settled four miles south of Nashville, at Brown's station. The son, William Pillow, was in most of the expeditions carried on against the Indians, from the time of his arrival in the country to the close of the Indian war."
He was the hero and victor of Fort Donelson in the recent war. He has never been accorded his due for his brilliant fighting there. The Mexican war showed the volunteer spirit of Tennessee undimmed.
Ten men volunteered their services for one accepted. Phelan's history thus speaks of two of Tennessee's soldiers in this war:
whose popular sobriquet was the "War Horse of Sumner County," was born September 23, 1790, in Orange county, North Carolina, and was of Scotch-Irish descent. In 1796, his father removed with him to Davidson county, Tennessee. When a boy at school he had joined the expedition against the Creek Indians, and was at Tallahatchie and Talladega. During the Creek war, in pursuance of some duty, he swam the Tennessee river, near the Muscle Shoals, being on horseback, although unable to swim himself. He was also at Pensacola and New Orleans during the War of 1812. In 1835, he was in the state senate, and in 1836 major-general of the militia. He fought through the Seminole war of 1836. In 1837, he was an unsuccessful candidate for Congress. In 1840, he was a Van Buren elector. He fought through the Mexican war with great bravery, and was twice wounded at Chapultepec. He was made brigadier-general by brevet in the United States army for gallant and meritorious conduct in that engagement. Trousdale was a man of sound understanding and pure character, and intellectually not inferior to his competitor. He was elected by a majority of 1,390.
who opposed Trousdale in the next gubernatorial race, was descended from a line of distinguished Revolutionary heroes. He finished his education, which was solid and liberal, under his uncle, Governor David Campbell, of Virginia, under whose supervision he studied law. He returned to Tennessee, and in 1829 was elected attorney-general. In 1836, he resigned his seat as a member of the legislature, and as captain entered the Florida war, through which he fought with honor. In 1837, he defeated General Trousdale for Congress, and again in 1839. In 1841, he was elected without opposition. He fought gallantly through the Mexican war as colonel of the First Regiment, whose desperate bravery won for it the sobriquet of "The Bloody First." Campbell himself led the charge at Monterey, and his troops hoisted the first flag on the walls of the Mexican city. This was perhaps the most brilliant feat of arms accomplished during the war. The form of Campbell's command to charge, "Boys, follow me," became historic, and was also the favorite battle-cry of the Whigs during the campaign that elected him governor. In 1848, he was elected circuit judge by the legislature, and in 1851 he was nominated by acclamation for governor by the Whigs. Trousdale and Campbell were cast in the same mold. Both were men of pure character, of high purpose, of stern integrity, possessing sound practical sense, without brilliancy of parts or fluency of tongue, and both were conservative and courageous. "Two gamer cocks," says one writer, "were never pitted against each other in a canvass for governor."
"Virginia and Massachusetts are the only states which have furnished more names that stand higher on the national roll of honor than Tennessee. Not to mention Tennesseans who, like Tipton, of Indiana; Houston, of Texas; Benton, of Missouri; Garland and Sevier and Hindman, of Arkansas; Claiborne, of Louisiana; Henry Watterson, of Kentucky; Sharkey and Yerger, of Mississippi; Gwin, of California; and Admiral Farragut, have attained influence and celebrity either local or national in other states, Tennessee has given the national government a number of
entirely out of proportion to its wealth and population. George W. Campbell was secretary of the treasury under Madison. Andrew Jackson was President from 1829 to 1837. John H. Eaton was secretary of war under Jackson. Felix Grundy was attorney-general under Van Buren. John Bell was secretary of war under Harrison and Tyler. Cave Johnson was postmaster-general under Polk, and Polk himself was President from 1845 to 1849. Tennessee has furnished the House of Representatives two speakers, Bell and Polk, and the Senate one presiding officer, in the person of H. L. White, in 1832.
"In addition to this, Tennessee has had two unsuccessful candidates for the Vice-presidency, James K. Polk, in 1840, and A. J. Donelson, on the ticket with Fillmore, in 1856, and two unsuccessful candidates for the Presidency, H. L. White, in 1836, and John Bell, in 1860. John Catron was on the supreme bench of the United States from 1837 to 1865. Joseph Anderson was the first comptroller of the United States, from 1815 to 1836. William B. Lewis was the second auditor from 1829 to 1845. Daniel Graham was register of the treasury from 1847 to 1849, and A. A. Hall from 1849 to 1851 and 1853.
"In addition to this, Tennessee has furnished innumerable representatives to the diplomatic service abroad, two of them, George W. Campbell and Neil S. Brown, to the same court—Russia."
"The quaintest, the most striking, the most original figure in south-western history was David Crockett. Brownlow, the fighting parson, the caustic writer, the politician, was a Tennessean—governor and senator. The filibustering expeditions, just preceding the war, were full of romantic episodes. The leading figure in them was William Walker, the 'Grey-eyed Man of Destiny,' whose exploits in Nicarauga for a time attracted the gaze of Europe and America, and whose sad and tragic fate has been described in the glowing and sensuous verses of Joaquin Miller. The war between the states brought to the surface many men of strong character and pronounced individuality, but the most brilliant, the most original, the most attractive, the most dashing of all, was
a Tennessean. Joe C. Guild, the odd wag and the quaint humorist, whose memory still lives in the traditions of the story-teller and the anecdote-monger, was a Tennessean. Bailie Peyton, the peripatetic politician and brilliant orator, was a Tennessean. The period from 1836 to 1860 was an era of great men and great orators. The style of oratory was characteristic, and nearly always brilliant—full of fire and gorgeous flights of fancy and rhetorical adornment. Gus Henry was the eagle orator. James C. Jones was a figure of national prominence, and was frequently suggested as a candidate for speaker. M. P. Gentry was a leader in Congress, and an orator of the first magnitude. After his first speech in Congress, John Quincy Adams, who took pleasure in observing new members of Congress, declared that he was 'the greatest natural orator in Congress.' Landon C. Haynes, the Confederate senator, was also noted for the dazzling brilliancy of his rhetoric." The Irish-Scotch William Walker, here mentioned, was descended from the McClellans, a family whose genealogy is traced back through many of the early settlers of Virginia, Tennessee, and North Carolina to the north of Ireland, and thence to Scotland in the twelfth century, where they held noble position. To the same family belongs Prof. A. H. Buchanan, of Cumberland University. The record involves many of the best familes of Lincoln and Giles counties, and of North Alabama. It will be filed with the historical papers.
From a sad, comfortless childhood Giles Truelove developed into a reclusive and uncommunicative man whose sole passion was books. For so long they were the only meaning to his existence. But when fate eventually intervened to have the outside world intrude upon his life, he began to discover emotions that he never knew he had.
A touching story for the genuine booklover, written by an Irish bookseller under the pseudonym of Ralph St John Featherstonehaugh.
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