The Civil War that tore America in two also pit one Tennessean against another—with deadly consequences . . .
During the Civil War, Tennessee was perhaps the most conflicted state in the Confederacy. Allegiance to either side could mean life or death, as Union militia captain and longtime Tennessee resident William K. Byrd discovered in the fall of 1861 when he and his men were attacked by a band of Confederate sympathizers and infantrymen. This unauthorized raid led to the arrest of thirty-five men and the death of several others. Details of this mysterious skirmish have remained buried in archives and personal accounts for years. Now, for the first time, A Unionist in East Tennessee uncovers a dramatic yet forgotten chapter of Civil War history.
“The author does a fine job of communicating the charged political atmosphere in 1861, in isolated Hawkins and Hancock counties and in East Tennessee at large . . . [He] constructs a strong case that the planning and conduct of the raid was a local affair not ordered by Confederate military authorities.” —Civil War Books and Authors