Monday, September 8, 2008

Johnson, Morgan and Fife Bible

This is the second entry for our trip to the tri-state area.

Saturday we went to Greeneville, Tennessee, which was the capitol of the State of Franklin from 1785 to 1788. First we went to the Andrew Johnson National Historic Site. Andrew Johnson was first a tailor. Then he became Governor of Tennessee. And then he became vice-president under Lincoln and when Lincoln was assassinated Johnson became president. Andrew Johnson had slaves, but he freed them. A couple of them stayed on as hired help. He was the first president to be impeached (he was later acquitted). We toured a couple of his homes and his burial monument. Later we toured the Dickson-Williams Mansion, where John Hunt Morgan was shot and killed. The tour guide let us do things that other people couldn’t, like go behind the chains and into off-limit rooms, have a treasure hunt, hold a Tennessee long rifle and put on Morgan’s coat (a replica). The guide told this story of how Morgan was killed . . . There was a man who was forced to join the Confederacy and then got captured by the Union (who gave him the option of jail or joining . . . He chose joining). Even though he was a Union soldier now, he still had on his butternuts. When Morgan heard the clip clop of horse’s hoofs, while still in his nightshirt and slippers, he grabbed his two pistols and a pair of yankee cavalry pants. He ran outside and the Union troops did not know who he was. Morgan aimed and fired, but the guns didn’t go off. The guns misfired a second and third time. The Union soldier in the butternuts rode up and shot Morgan (Morgan had thought the soldier was a confederate). We went to the spot where he was supposedly killed. Then we met up with Pa, Bud, Vic and Scott at a distant relative’s house who has the Fife family bible. The bible was from 1811 and had Commodore Perry Fife’s name listed in it with all of his brothers and sisters. It was a real piece of history. Check back soon for part three of the trip.

1 comment:

Aunt Pee & Uncle Charlie Dog said...

Mane says - can't wait for part 3.
Pee says I got to go pee. You looked dandy in that coat!