Yuma, Tennessee   Leave a comment

Day 41-43

We arrived in Yuma on Memorial Day and celebrated with a hot dog pot luck. Thank goodness the cicadas were not bad in this area.

Our final day of touring was spent on a first-class motor coach with a guide who came dressed as a Confederate Soldier. Living next to Shiloh battlegrounds, he passed around many relics he acquired during his “treasure digging” days.

We headed down to Savannah, Tennessee, where we toured the Tennessee River Museum

and the Cherry Mansion.

The Cherry Mansion was not only interesting because of its history, but because it is the private residence of Anthony and Mary Ann Gilchrist, daughter of Bob and Martha Guinn who bought the house from the Cherry’s in 1935. The Guinns restored the house, a difficult task considering the years of neglect. The town actually wanted to condemn the house. Mary Ann was born and raised in the house, lived next door until her mother passed and she and her husband eventually moved back in.

Official Records of the Civil War contain correspondence about William Cherry and the use of his home for the Union headquarters because of his pro-Union views. His wife, Annie, and her sister, Mary (who married William’s brother which made her a member of the Cherry family) were supporters of the south. Generals Grant and Wallace were welcomed into the Cherry home and extended southern hospitality by the sisters.

General Wallace was mortally wounded in battle, transported to Cherry Mansion, where he died on April 10, 1862, with his wife at his side. On April 26th, General C.F. Smith died in an upstairs room, where he had been confined since March 13th with a leg injury that resulted in blood poisoning and complications.

There were blood stains on the floor in the upstairs bedroom, but they were not from the Civil War. They were from a confrontation at a church social held at Cherry Mansion. The murderer escaped and was never found.

When asked if Mary Ann had ever witnessed ghosts, she replied that she refused to recognize ghosts, therefore, she’s never seen any evidence, but went on to say that her childhood friends had experienced them.

It was such a weird feeling to walk through the bedrooms once used by Generals Grant and Wallace. It was even MORE weird to walk through these bedrooms knowing that we were walking through the bedrooms used by the current family. It was so special to be given a tour by someone who experienced the mansion first hand.

A couple of our guests enjoyed the swing on the back porch while the rest of us walked the grounds.

April 6, 1862, 100,000 Civil War troops clashed in the fields and woods near Pittsburg Landing in the first major battle in the war’s western side. 2 days later, Grant managed to push the Confederates back to Mississippi. Today Shiloh battlefield is America’s best preserved battlefield featuring 156 monuments, 217 cannons and over 6750 historic tablets. On of the monuments was in the shape of a tree trunk.

At the time of the battle, this land was owned and farmed by the W. Manse George family. When the fighting started, the family fled. Later they returned to find their home burned and possessions destroyed. After the battle, a cabin from another part of the battlefield was moved here to replace the one swept away by war.

The cabin is located along the sunken road, near the peach orchard where some of the battle took place. They say that the peach blossoms cut down by bullets reminded some observers of falling snow.

Our 43 day Civil War was a great trip!

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