INVITATION TO ATTEND
DEDICATION CEREMONY
FOR LISTING OF
FORT ANDERSON ON
MILITIA HILL ON
THE NATIONAL REGISTER
OF HISTORIC PLACES

Scheduled for
Friday, 17 May 2013


National Register of Historic Places Plaque
 

VIEW DRAFT OF AGENDA FOR THE EVENT

VIEW DRAFT OF "TREATY OF PEACE" TO BE SIGNED
 

WHO: Briceville Elementary School students, descendants of Coal Creek War veterans, and Individuals interested in preserving Tennessee history
WHAT: Participate in a ceremony to mount the National Register plaque at Fort Anderson on Militia Hill with Tennessee National Guard personnel.  Also, award-winning author Fred Brown will interview descendants of Coal Creek War veterans for his book on Coal Creek history.
WHEN: 9:30 am until 11:00 am on Friday, 17 May 2013
WHERE: Fort Anderson on Militia Hill off Vowell Mountain Road (See map below).


Briceville students re-enacting the
storming of Fort Anderson by miners
during the Coal Creek War

The Civil War devastated Knoxville and East Tennessee.  Community leaders saw the development of the area’s natural resources as the way to rebuild, but lacked the skill to do so.  Welsh miners and industrial workers provided that expertise and they taught native Tennesseans those skills.  Coal used to fuel that reconstruction effort came from Coal Creek in Anderson County. 

Knoxville residents nearly froze to death during a mine strike in the winter of 1877, resulting in the Welsh miners of Coal Creek being replaced by convict labor.  After another strike in 1891 brought convicts to a mine in Briceville, miners captured the convict stockades, marched the guards and convicts to the train depot in the town of Coal Creek, and put them on a train to Knoxville.  Miners then sent a telegram to Gov. John (Buck) Buchanan, saying their action was “a necessary step in the defense of our families from starvation and our property from ruin,” thus starting what became known as the Coal Creek War 

Soldiers and convicts built Fort Anderson on Militia Hill as the base of operations of the Tennessee National Guard during the war. According to the Tennessee Blue Book, A History of Tennessee, “Violence in the coal fields peaked during the summer of 1892, when state militia were dispatched to the Coal Creek area by Gov. John Buchanan. The militia fought pitched battles with armed miners, arrested over 500 of them, and killed twenty-seven. The miner uprisings prodded the General Assembly to end convict leasing… making Tennessee one of the first Southern states to get rid of the system.”

As part of the festivities, the Coal Creek Marching Band will perform and Briceville students will compete in the 2013 Dixie Eisteddfod literary competition to document the oral history of the Coal Creek War.  Students and National Guard personnel will re-enact one of the confrontations at Fort Anderson and descendants of Coal Creek War veterans will be invited to share family stories about the conflict. 

During our study of Coal Creek history, we have found no formal armistice or treaty ending the Coal Creek War.  That oversight will be rectified during the dedication ceremony.

For questions about the event, please contact Carol Moore at (865) 584-0344 or clmoore@geoe.com.


Historical  Marker at
Fort Anderson on Militia Hill


Fort Anderson on Militia Hill
(Photo from Souvenir of Company "C", Coal Creek War, 1892)

Directions:  From I-75 Exit 128 exit ramp, turn right onto Norris Freeway and then left on Main Street.  Turn right at ShopRite onto Highway 116 (Fraterville Miners’ Memorial Highway).  In a sharp bend of Highway 116, turn right onto Beech Grove Road.  After crossing Coal Creek, turn left on Sharps Lane and then right onto Vowell Mountain Road.  Parking area is adjacent to Vowell Mountain Road on the left.

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