A Unionist in East Tennessee: Captain William K. Byrd and the Mysterious Raid of 1861

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  • Overview
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Overview
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.
Details
ISBN: 9781609492458
Format: Paperback
Publisher: The History Press
Date:
State: Tennessee
Series: Civil War
Images: 58
Pages: 192
Dimensions: 6 (w) x 9 (h)
Author
Marvin J. Byrd is a graduate of Oral Roberts University, 1974, with a bachelor's of science in business administration. Born in Oklahoma City and raised in Tulsa, Marvin has always had a deep love and appreciation for American history, especially the Civil War era. Until a few years ago, he never dreamed of writing a book, much less publishing one on the Civil War. But beginning in the 1980s, Marvin began researching his family history, starting with only the names of his grandparents written on a piece of paper found among his deceased father's personal papers. Using this information, he located his grandfather's obituary in the archives of the local paper where he learned of his granddad's birth in 1860 in Lee Valley, Tennessee. From there, it wasn't until 2002, while conversing with a newly discovered cousin living in Harrison, Arkansas, that he learned of his great-great-grandfather's death at the hands of Confederate sympathizers. With this knowledge sparking his interest, Marvin set out on what became an eight-year journey to learn all he could about the events and circumstances surrounding his great-great-grandfather‘s death. This effort culminated in A Unionist in East Tennessee: Captain William K. Byrd and the Mysterious Raid of 1861. Prior to A Unionist in East Tennessee, Marvin published two previous articles with the Hawkins County Genealogical and Historical Society, located in Rogersville, Tennessee—one on Byrd family history, “William Elliott and Susannah (Templeton) Byrd and Descendants,” and the other, “Levi Benjamin Bird,” which details the life and civil war service of Captain Byrd's youngest son. Marvin spent forty-three years working in information technology in the oil industry in Tulsa and Houston, Texas. He retired from the Hess Corporation in 2008. Marvin and his wife, Mary, live in the Tulsa area and have three children and eight grandchildren.