Uriah R.Gillihan from Jackson Co. Tn and T.W. Phillips from Overton Co. Tn had
been members of the 28th Confederate Infantry and had fought in several majors
battles such as, Shiloh, Fishing Creek, Stone's River. Both had been either
wounded or sick and were furloughed from the army. Gillihan and Phillips met
in Putman Co in spring of 1865 while on the way home. Lee had surrendered in
April but they were not aware of it. They attended a dance at Buffalo Valley
and became involved in a dispute. Fearing for their lives they left Buffalo
Valley and went to the home of Charles F. Burton, arriving about daylight. Mr.
Burton being a Southern Sympathizer fed the two boys and sent them to hide in
a cabin down in the Tom Hollow. They were discovered by the Home Guard who marched
them around the area, then physically tormented them with bayonets. They were then!
tied to seperate trees and shot by the Union men.
When the two bodies were discovered Charles F. Burton had them wrapped in blankets
and buried. Mr. Burton had a rock wall built around the graves which he kept clean
and decorated with flowers for the remainder of his life. There are descendents of
the Burton family, and the Lewis Fletcher family, who helped bury the soldiers, still
living in the Chestnut Mound area who are knowledgeable about this event.
In the 1970's Guy Boyd grandson of Lewis Fletcher, that helped build the wall around
the graves in 1865, was instrumental in getting stone markers placed at the graves.
In Vol.V. No. 1 of the Smith County Historical & Genealogical Society newsletter is a article
by Katheryn Frye Dickens titled TOM HOLLOW REVEALS CONFEDERATE HISTORY.
This is a well researched and interesting account of this event.
Listed in Smith County Cemeteries - South of the Cumberland River Pg.186.