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Life Among Cades Cove TN Families During the Civil War

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July 11, 2022

The Civil War was a trying time in American history. North Carolina and Tennessee seceded from the Union in 1861, but their stance did not reflect the view of most of the community in Cades Cove. The community in Cades Cove was greatly affected and would never be the same after the Civil War. We have assembled information on the life among Cades Cove TN families during the Civil War:

Which Side?

john oliver cabinAround the time of the Civil War, Cades Cove TN had around 700 residents! Cades Cove suffered from division during the Civil War. You would find neighbors against neighbors and brothers against brothers. Many residents sided with the Union, but there were those who felt strongly for the Confederacy. One prominent person in the community, businessman Daniel Foute, backed the Confederacy. It was not common to have slaves in Cades Cove TN due to the less fertile soil. People in Cades Cove also had a history of assisting with the Underground Railroad before the Civil War.


The community in Cades Cove TN became involved in the war as did the rest of the country. Some people in the community decided to go off and fight as soldiers in the war, while others stayed behind. Children were commonly used as lookouts for incoming Confederates. They blew horns and made specific sounds to notify if troops were spotted approaching Cades Cove.


churchAs the Civil War pursued, life became increasingly tough for families in Cades Cove TN. In 1863, many raids occurred on their land which negatively impacted the families. Confederate soldiers stole livestock and grain from families in Cades Cove TN during this period. With shortages in supplies, tension between neighbors increased. Union sympathizers were targeted by the Confederate soldiers and became the main group to take supplies from.

Russell Gregory, a prominent member of the community grew tired of the raids from the Confederates and established a group of men to fight back. Gregory and his men attacked the Confederate troops around Abrams Creek and won. The luck did not continue as Gregory’s son Charles, a Confederate soldier, notified the North Carolina rebels in 1864 of the location of his father’s house. The story goes that Charles did not realize the rebels would return and kill his father by shooting him on the spot. You can find Russell Gregory and his son Charles’ graves in Primate Baptist Church Cemetery.


The outcome of the Civil War on families in Cades Cove TN was major. Many people who left during the Civil War never returned to Cades Cove, decimating the population. Because of population loss, it took decades for Cades Cove to recover. It wasn’t until the turn of the century Cades Cove became prominent again. Today you can tour Cades Cove and experience the history of this unique community!

Now you have more information on life among Cades Cove TN families during the Civil War. If you enjoyed learning about how the Civil War affected Cades Cove, check out the history of the Pearl Harbor Tree in Cades Cove TN.

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