From Days Past This information being taken from a book written by Arahwana Hendren Ridens named the Dyer County and Newbern Tennessee, A history of the 39 earliest families in Dyer County. Part of this information was extracted from this publication, along with other documents and related stories and oral family histories.
We continue with the entries of the McCorkle Diaries and what was entered about the Civil War from soldiers perspective from Newbern. We pick up late in the year of 1965, One hundred fifty years ago.
A familiar Civil War hero, Gen. Tyree H. Bell was seen in Newbern. (General Bell’s farm or plantation was near the Church Grove Cemetery in the area of the Newbern Community Church.)
In Dec. of that year McCorkle bought 1 sow and 6 shoats (just weaned piglets) from T. Minton for 21 barrels of corn. McCorkle bought 470 lbs. pork from Mr. Davidson as he did not have enough for his family for the year. He salted down 2,450 lbs. for the winter.
James B. Thomas of Wilson County visited him, and there was another sale at the home of R. L. Crafton. In January 1865 J. T. Burrow of Carroll County moved to lithe Montgomery Place". Also, during January, McCorkle sent 5 bales of cotton to Dyersburg to be shipped to Bell Harris and Company of New Orleans; He made trips to Rutherford and Dyer where he saw James B. Thomas of Wilson County, he swapped horses with Jim McLeskey and recorded the last of the month that "H. Thompson raised his house".
The next month, A. F. McCorkle raised his house. February was the month for Circuit Court in Dyersburg and Capt. Craddock's writing school let out. Even in the bad weather months McCorkle kept on the move. He went to Rutherford to the Masonic Celebration and to Newbern and to Dyersburg. He also sowed 25 Acres in clover. When March came he set out 4 pear trees and 20 apple trees.
March was also the month for county elections for District 9 of Dyer County. Elected for Magistrates were McCorkle and Strawn; Constable, Prichard; Sheriff, Tarkington; Clerks, Benton and Sampson; Register, Silsby; Trustee, McCoy; Tax Collector, York. "All radicals" recorded McCorkle. There was also an election in Dyer County and Lauderdale County for Representative with John F. Sinclair and W. P. Scales running but McCorkle did not say who won. J. D. Light had small pox.
When April 1866 arrived farming was in full swing. They planted clover, corn, cotton and never missed going to preaching on Sunday. Miss Purdy commended school again. The saw mill, cotton gin and tan yard in Dyersburg burned. McCorkle had a fine stable of blooded stock. In May 1866 he recorded "mare show here. Robert Johnson won the premium".
Later that month he wrote, "Priss Hamilton's colt foaled named Woody Craig, rather small colt for a fine horse, 3 ft. 1/2 in . Fell in the old well 50 feet deep and stayed 2 hours. We let down a rope with a large hook on the end and caught the colt on the leg just above the knee and hauled it up . It was very nearly dead. We gave him some whiskey and he revived some." The Colt lived. We have had the adjacent photo for several years. We could not determine why this photo was taken. Maybe this is the colt in the above entry. Notice the height of the foal to the man’s waist.
In June, McCorkle made three trips to Dyersburg on business. Twice he delivered the mail from Rutherford to Dyersburg. Once on his way to Dyersburg he saw John F. Evans. In July 1866 Capt. W. E. Copelan was hired to teach at Bethesda for $50 per month.
There was an odd fellows procession at Newbern with Dr . Stith Richardson and George W. Tally as the "orators". Among those sick in the community were Andrew Cole, John McCorkle, and the diarist himself, H.R. A. McCorkle. No mention of the cause.
We will continue next month with more about Newbern picking up with McCorkle’s trip to Mississippi and more exciting news from the latter 1860’s.