Sons of East Tennessee

Civil War Veterans Divided and Reconciled


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About the Book

Two aging Civil War veterans mourned the death of their sons at a joint funeral in Knoxville National Cemetery. One, a cavalry general, had fought for the Union. The other had served as surgeon/major of a Confederate cavalry regiment. They met for the first time at the graves of their sons—two army lieutenants and University of Tennessee graduates killed together in Cuba during the Spanish-American War. Newspaper accounts presented the encounter as an example of reconciliation between North and South.

This book recounts the meeting of two families from opposing sides of the war—both rooted in East Tennessee, a region harshly divided by the conflict—placing their story in the context of America’s reconciliation narrative at the end of the 19th century.

About the Author(s)

Jack Brubaker, a journalist for 50 years, writes a weekly column on local history and culture for LNP, the daily newspaper in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. He has written more than a dozen books and magazine articles, and has given more than 150 lectures. He lives in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

Bibliographic Details

Jack Brubaker
Foreword by Jack Neely
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 237
Bibliographic Info: 54 photos, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2022
pISBN: 978-1-4766-8414-7
eISBN: 978-1-4766-4430-1
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Foreword by Jack Neely 1
Preface 5
Prologue: Nashville, Tennessee (Memorial Day, 1899) 11
1. Reuben Bernard (1832–1865) 21
2. Wartime East Tennessee (1861–1865) 31
3. William McCorkle (1830–1865) 46
4. Post-War East Tennessee (1865–1868) 56
5. Separating the Dead (1865–1868) 66
6. Memorializing the Dead (1868–1898) 77
7. Monuments to the Dead, Reunions for the Living (1868–1898) 89
8. Reuben Bernard and William McCorkle (1865–1898) 104
9. Henry McCorkle (1867–1898) and John Jay Bernard (1872–1898) 115
10. Preparing for War (Winter 1898) 126
11. Sailing from Tampa to Cuba (Spring, 1898) 138
12. The Battle at El Caney (July 1, 1898) 149
13. Burial and Memorial (July 1898–Winter 1899) 162
14. Reburial and Reconciliation (April 2, 1899) 174
Epilogue: Knoxville, Tennessee (Memorial Day, 1899) 184
Chapter Notes 199
Bibliography 213
Index 221

Book Reviews & Awards

• “Packed with interesting and unfamiliar material…very well written…I recommend it very highly”—Bowling Green Daily News

• “One of the most readable, well-organized and extensively researched history books I’ve read.”—Maryville (TN) Daily Times