Sunday, July 8, 2012

Video and Photos from Salem Cemetery and Battlefield Visit

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Gate to the Old Salem Cemetery in Jackson, TN

A few months ago, I ran across this Web site about the Salem Cemetery and Battleground so, when my family and I were headed east on I-240, we stopped in Jackson, TN to check it out.

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Entrance to Old Salem Cemetery

Originally owned by the Woolfork family, the land was donated around 1800 for use as a public park, campground, and cemetery. According to the sign, the cemetery was established in 1825. Methodist camp meetings and revival services were held there throughout the early 1800s.

Many of the founders of Madison County, TN are said to be buried in the cemetery but the graves are unmarked today because of vandals removing the stone markers and deterioration of tombstones that were made of wood.

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Adam Huntsman

One such founder who made an interesting mark in southern history is Adam Huntsman. He is the man who defeated Davy Crockett for Congress in 1836 and inspired Crockett's famous quote, "Tennessee can go to Hell, I'm going to Texas." I blogged a while back about running into old Davy in Austin. I feel a close connection to Crockett since he is the father-in-law of the wife of my third great grandmother's first cousin.

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Headstone of Adam Huntsman, upper right

Huntsman served five terms in the Tennessee state senate and one term in the U.S. House of Representatives representing the 12th Congressional District. He had a wooden peg-leg as the result of losing a leg in an Indian fight during the Creek Indian War. He died 23 Aug 1849 and is buried at Salem Cemetery with all three of his wives.

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The cemetery also has a Civil War connection. On 19 Dec. 1862, a battle took place between General Nathan Bedford Forrest and some of his Confederate cavalry and the Union troops of Colonel Adolph Engelmann.

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Monument at Salem Cemetery and Battlefield

About 1,000 men were engaged in a four-hour battle resulting in the Union troops withdrawing to Jackson. By the time the Union back-up arrived, Forest and the Confederates were headed to Humboldt, TN.

Although I have no way of knowing if he took place in the battle, my second great grandfather, T. J. Castellaw, fought in the war as member of Duckworth's Tennessee Calvary so it's certainly possible he was there. It's on my list to research.

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Confederate Monument at Salem Cemetery and Battlefield

When the smoke cleared, 65 of the Confederates were killed, wounded or missing while the Federals had only two soldiers killed and six wounded.

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Monument to Union Soldiers at Salem Cemetery and Battlefield

The site includes several historical markers and monuments and even has a covered area which has lots of information about the area via articles inserted in plastic sleeves and pined to a bulletin board; low tech for sure...but it works.

Below is a short video of the area I grabbed while there. For some reason, I used a funky filter I had on my ipad which made it look like I shot the video in 1965.

In case you want to check it out youself, the address of the New Salem Cemetery and Battlefield is 58 Cotton Grove Rd., Jackson, TN 38305.

For more blog entries, visit my Blog Home Page or to check out the genealogy research about my specific family lines, go to Haywood County Line Genealogy Page.

1 comment:

  1. Nice post on Salem Cemetery! If you're interested in learning more about Adam Huntsman, I've written a biography of him that's available at