Retyped by Diane Payne and Danene Vincent
THE PEYTON FAMILY AND HOME- The first home on the north side of the pike after passing
the entrance to Fairview is forever connected with pioneer and political history in
John, Ephraim, and Thomas PEYTON were among the first who came and among the few more than seventy who stayed. John and Ephraim PEYTON were twin brothers and has served together in the Revolutionary War.
Peyton's Creek, in Robertson County, indelibly associates their name with a fight near Kilgore's Station in 1782, in which several settlers were killed.
Defeated Creek, near the line of Smith and Jackson Counties and Peyton's Creek in the same section indelibly associate their name with an attack led by Fool Warrior and sixty followers on the camps of John, Ephraim and Thomas PEYTON and several companions one night in February, 1786, when the ground was covered with a deep snow. The camp was on an island in Defeated Creek. All the members of the party were wounded except Ephraim PEYTON and he sprained his ankle running through the creek. "In his naked and mangled condition they had to grope their way in crusted snow through a pitiless wilderness of cane-clad mountains alone (for no tow ever came together) for four days, bare-headed, bare-footed, without food, fire or any garments, except a shirt and pantaloons, marking all the desert with their blood." But they all arrived safely at Bledsoe's Lick, a distance of about seventy miles by the circuitous route they came, recovered of their wounds and fought many more Indian battles. (Note- Tennessee Gazetteer, 1834; account given by John PEYTON to the Gazetteer Writer.)
The name of PEYTON is also indelibly associated with the guerrilla warfare waged by the Indians around Bledsoe's Lick, as the following incident, vouchsafed by a member of the PEYTON family, will attest:
"After the death of his wife in Virginia Robert PEYTON came to Tennessee to live with his son John PEYTON, whose home is now called "Peytona" but always called "Station Camp" while the PEYTON family owned it, being situated between the two creeks by that name. Robert PEYTON owned a great many cattle and told his son that he was going to "Bledsoe's Lick" next day to look for them. His son urged him to remain at home, saying it was dangerous to go, that the war had not ended and that the Indians were just waiting to surprise them, but the old man could not be dissuaded from his purpose. The next morning, June 7, 1795, Robert PEYTON went to the fort on the hill east of Bledsoe's Lick, left his horse and was counting the cattle at the spring when the Indians rushed upon him. He ran towards the fort; the men at the fort saw him, got their guns, attempted to rescue him, but were too late. He was found dead with a knife sticking in his neck - the last man killed by Indians in Sumner County."
John PEYTON died in 1833. His two sons, Balie and Joseph H., represented this district in Congress- Balie as a Democrat in 1833, 1835 and Joseph H. as a Whig in 1843, re-elected in 1845 and died that year.
Balie PEYTON purposely opened his campaign for Congress in the Defeated Creek section and made such use of his opportunity and talents that his opponent, although a popular and able veteran of the hustings went down. PEYTON removed to New Orleans, became a Whig - too much JACKSON; campaigned many States; was U. S. District Attorney; declined appointment as Secretary of War; rendered distinguished service in the Mexican War as Chief of Gen. WORTH'S Staff; Minister to Chile; in California for five years; returned to Station Camp in 1859; was Bell and Everett elector; spoke against secession at Gallatin, 1861, and was State Senator 1869-70. He died August 18, 1878.
Station Camp was well known in its day and time among the lovers of the thoroughbred. It produced (among others) Fanny McAlister, Muggins, Satterlite, who ran successfully in England; Chickamaunga, Rosseau and Richelieu.
DR. REDMOND DILLION BARRY, SURGEON, LAWYER, HORSE BREEDER, AND
FARMER, FRIEND OF PACKENBAM AND JACKSON- On the bluff, south of the pike where
it crosses upper Station Camp Creek, Dr. Redmond D. BARRY once lived. This residence, a
two story brick, was recently torn down and a brick cottage built on its site. Dr. BARRY was a
native of Ireland, a descendant of the nobility, and a schoolmate and friend of Gen.
PACKENHAM at Dublin University. Through the influence of Charles James FOX he secured a
position as surgeon in the British navy, but his sympathies being with the colonies, he resigned,
settled in North Carolina, practice medicine and made a fortune. He then studied law in the office
of John BRECKENRIDGE (Attorney-General in Jefferson's Cabinet) in Louisville, removed to
Gallatin, married Jane ALEXANDER of the Mecklenburg (N. C.) ALEXANDERS, and became
a successful lawyer. But he is first known to local fame as the man who brought the first
thoroughbred stallion, Gray Medley, and the first blue-grass seed into the country west of the
Cumberland Mountains. So "The Blue-grass Line," running by the first home of the blue-grass in
Tennessee, and in a blue-grass section, is no inappropriately named.
Gray MEDLEY was purchased from the famous stables of Gov. WILLIAMS, of Virginia, and was bought to the BARRY farm about 1799 by a negro hostler, ALTAMONT by name, purchased from the Mt. Vernon estate to have charge of the horse here.
The horse was kept in a log stable east of the residence. He was a vicious animal and only ALTAMONT could handle him. He was a great success in the stud and was the great grandsire of "the Four Tennessee Brothers" of the Tonson family, which defeated the best horses of their time in races of all distances.
Racing was inaugurated at Gallatin in the fall of 1804, the grand stand being where the L. & N. Depot now is and the track between the Blythe and Water Streets, running north from the depot. A large crowd was present from Sumner and adjacent counties. The chief event of the first day was a contest between Major-General Andrew JACKSON'S Indian Queen and Dr. BARRY'S "Polly" Medley, so named from Mrs. William HALL, a sister of Mrs. BARRY. Polly Medley won. That evening at Dr. BARRY'S residence Gen. JACKSON and Mrs. HALL, then a bride, opened the ball given in celebration of the occasion.
"Could these old walls speak," and a descendant of Dr. BARRY, in writing of the house that stood here, "they could tell of many a mid-night revel when the wit of GRUNDY, HOUSTON, JACKSON, HAMILTON, and others was sparkling as the wine they sipped. It was at this place the first court in the country was held, the judge presiding in a long robe, and the lawyers were required to were cockade hats."
While standing at his front yard gate one day in 1815 Dr. BARRY saw a horseman galloping down the road and through the creek and heard him shouting, "Peace, peace has been made." He was a courier ono his way to Gallatin, and in passing handed Dr. BARRY a letter. His face beamed with joy as he read of JACKSON'S victory at New Orleans, but when farther along he read that the friend of his school days had been killed his eyes filled with tears. Knowing PACKENHAM as he did he had "no patience with those who believed the "beauty and booty" reports."
His reputation as a farmer, race horse breeder and lawyer firmly established Dr. BARRY was not without opportunity to show his skill as a surgeon in this section. Going to Nashville in response to a message brought by a rider whose horse fell dead of exhaustion at his gate, Dr. BARRY trepanned the skill of a prominent citizen - the first time this operation had been preformed in Tennessee. None of the Nashville doctors would attempt it. The patient lived for thirty years.
In the old stone stable which stood until recently north of the pike Dr. BARRY kept Polly Medley and other racers. A small detachment of MORGAN'S men, concealed in this stable, put to rout a Federal regiment stationed at the railroad bridge to the north. But not before the old barn had been pierced by a Federal cannon ball.
Judge Thomas BARRY, son of Dr. BARRY, also lived at this place. Judge BARRY, early in life, fell under the magnetic influence of JACKSON, which was manifest in his devotion to the turf and in his political views throughout his career, even in his Unionism long after JACKSON'S death. Among the writer's earliest recollections of Gallatin (in the 70's) is an old man sitting in the shade on West Main Street talking JACKSON to a group about him. The Judge had always been prominent in State politics, knew intimately all the big men of the State in ante-bellum days, and entertained his listeners by the hour. Opie REID pictured the BARRY home in "The Tennessee Judge."
GREENBERRY WILLIAM AND HANIE'S MARIA. - Greenberry WILLIAMS lived in a brick
house torn down to make room for the present fair grounds in the western suburbs of
The mention of Greenberry WILLIAMS brings back to life the days, previously referred to, when Gallatin rivaled Nashville as a turf center.
The following table shows the white population of Davidson and Sumner, respectively, for the years named:
A MONUMENT TO MEXICAN WAR SOLDIERS. - Sumner County furnished three companies
for the war with Mexico - the Tenth Legion, Capt. William BLACKMORE; the Polk Guards,
Capt. Robert A. BENNETT; Legion Second, Capt. Williams HATTON - about three hundred
young men in all. The first two of these companies were in CAMPBELL'S Regiment; the third
belonged to CHEATHAM'S (the Third Tennessee) Regiment.
At the battle of Monterey CAMPBELL'S regiment won distinction and the soubriquet, the "Bloody First," by which it has ever since been know. Of the one hundred and twenty Americans killed in this battle eight were Sumner Countians. Forty-five Sumner Countains died of disease. In the cemetery in the western suburbs of Gallatin stands a monument erected by citizens in 1848 in memory of these forty-seven soldiers who died in the service of their country in this war. The monument contains the names and dates of birth and death of each of the men. The visitor will be impressed with the fact that most of them were under twenty-five years of age when they voluntarily put themselves in Death's way and won for Sumner County the name of the "Volunteer County of the Volunteer State."
THE TROUSDALE PLACE. - On the south side of West Main Street, half way between Town Bridge and the Pubic Square, is a small tract of land that is closely associated with every war in which this country has been engaged, down to the war with Spain. North Carolina gave this land to James TROUSDALE as part of a 640 acre tract for services in the Revolutionary War. It was next the home to James TROUSDALE'S son, William, who was a soldier in the Nickajack expedition, in the Creek Campaign and at New Orleans; a private in the first Seminole War and with JACKSON at Pensacola; a colonel in the Seminole War of 1836 and a colonel in the Mexican War. It was next the house of the last and greatly beloved Julius A. TROUSDALE, a Confederate soldier, and is now the site of a Confederate monument. No more fitting use could have been made of this property than to set it aside for the preservation of historic records and to keep fresh in the minds of coming generations the story of the valor and patriotism of Sumner County in times of public stress. Through the generosity of Mrs. Julius A. TROUSDALE, Clark Chapter, U. D. C. , now owns the old TROUSDALE homestead.
FIRST HOME IN GALLATIN.- The entire tract of forty acres set aside for the Gallatin town site, under an Act of 1801, was, in fact, a part of the TROUSDALE grant. TROUSDALE reserved one acre on the south side of the square and upon this acre lot built the first house erected in Gallatin.
"FOR GOD'S SAKE, COLONEL, SURRENDER." - An incident on the square on the early
morning of July 12, 1862, is historic because it shows warfare reduced to a science, or how to
capture a regiment of six hundred with only ten men.
Thomas R. LOVE, a Gallatin boy at home to recuperate, piloted ten of MORGAN'S men, under Capt. Jo DESHA, to the square, put the provost under arrest while he was asleep and proceeded to the old Johnny Bell hotel on Main Street. Placing nine men about the outside DESHA and LOVE went to the room of Co. W. P. BOONE, of Kentucky, who got out of bed half asleep and opened the door, looked down the barrels of two pistols and then - woke up almost speechless. MORGAN and five hundred men were encamped a mile east of town on the Hartsville pike, but DESHA and LOVE told Col. BOONE that MORGAN and his men then surrounded his (BOONE'S) regiment at the Fair Grounds and that he could avoid attack only by surrendering. Then the Colonel's wife, throwing her arms about his neck, exclaimed, "For God's sake, Colonel, surrender," and the Colonel surrendered for her sake as well as his own.
MORGAN TO THE RESCUE.- About daylight of July 21, 1862, while encamped two miles out
the Hartsville pike from Gallatin, MORGAN learned that all the male citizens too young of too
old to serve in the Confederate army - all the others were in the service - had been started to
Nashville at 9 o'clock the night before. "Also that the Federal commander had left for Nashville
on the hand-car, after giving orders that if attacked by MORGAN or FORREST, the citizens were
to be killed and the Federals were to cut their way through to Nashville. MORGAN, when he
heard this, took his men down the Nashville pike and had a running fight with Pilot Knob to
Edgefield Junction, about sixteen miles. He killed or captured nearly the entire Federal force and
returned to Gallatin about 11 o'clock that night with his prisoners and a big part of the citizens."
(T. R. LOVE, Gallatin)
The Federal commander referred to above was General PAYNE, who terrorized Gallatin for several years. Among this captives started toward Nashville afoot was Mr. John J. WHITE, an eminent lawyer, then 70 years old; John L. BUGG, a brother-in-law of Gov. TROUSDALE and County Court Clerk for thirty or forty years; Samuel BLYTHE, Henry BUGG, and Robert HALLUM.
GALLATIN'S MOST EXCITING DAY.- Election day, 1866 is credited with being the most
exciting day, not only in the history of Gallatin but in the history of all Sumner County men who
had fought in the Confederate army, who took part in the events of the day.
The BROWNLOW administration had sent a man to Gallatin to register the "loyal" men so that MCKINLEY, a carpet bagger, would be returned to the Legislature from Sumner County. In three days the registrar has registered a sufficient number of the loyalists to return to MCKINLEY, and started back to Nashville with is books on the 7 p.m. train. He was accompanied on the train by two strangers - the Klan had not been asleep - and when the train stopped at Saundersville the registrar accepted the very urgent invitation of his two companions to alight, get into a carry-all held in waiting by two more of the Klan, and ride back to Gallatin. Here, by persuasion, he reopened his books, registered all the Johnny Rebs and let for Nashville that night.
A few days before the election the carpet bagger captain of a negro military company stationed on the first "rise" north of the L. & N. depot got orders to attend the polls and prevent the rebels from voting. The captain announced that he would carry out his instructions. The Klan got Mayor William WRIGHT, a Union man, to issue an order that the militia would not be allowed to come to the polls armed and in a body, and if they did he would see that they were ejected. James J. TURNER, Colonel of the 30th Tennessee, was appointed Chief of Police, with carte blanche in the naming of deputies. The word went down the line; there was no end of volunteer deputies; squads and companies were posted in houses along every possible route of the negro militia to the square. Instructions were given that no shots should be fired without orders. Spies and scouts were sent out to report the movements of the enemy. The tension, high all morning, rose to a dangerous degree about noon as the guns of the negro company flashed in the sunlight upon leaving their camp. They took a round about way of reaching the square from the south. On the first street south of West Main they marches toward Water Street, which would lead them to the square. When they got to Water Street they were confronted with Chief TURNER and his 200 men, all with guns presented, eager for the order to fire. The carper bagger captain threw up his arms; the negroes broke for the livery stable nearby; the Chief, with great difficulty, restrained his deputies ;the Captain put up a white flag and asked for a parley. The Mayor was called and it was agreed that the militia should march back to camp as they had come; leave their arms in camp, go to the polls two at a time, vote and go straight back to camp. MCKINLEY was defeated and then seated. (Note - Capt. Geo. B. GUILD, in American Historical Magazine.)
A GALLATIN COCK FIGHT. - "Just back of the Examiner office was, until it fell down through the age, a long brick stable were JACKSON had a fight with the game cock of Col. Edward WARD," wrote the American correspondent after Judge BARRY'S death in 1891. "The chickens were gaffed and the prize was $500 in gold. JACKSON'S chickens stuck his gaff in the hard ground and the question whether it should be pulled out was submitted to the judges. They decided that is could not and JACKSON lost his $500. Judge BARRY did not say whether he saw the "main," but vouches for its truth."
HOWARD FEMALE COLLEGE, on the East Main Street, is the only college in the State owned and controlled by the Independent Order of Old Fellows. It was chartered in 1837. United States Senator FOWLER was at one time President of this institution.
WHERE MAJ. WINCHESTER WAS KILLED.- Eastwardly from the college, at the junction of the Scottsville and the Hartsville pikes, at 9 a.m. August 9, 1794, Maj. George WINCHESTER, brother of Gen. James WINCHESTER, was killed by Indians while riding along the Buffalo trail that ran from present site of Gallatin to Bledsoe's Lick. He was a member of the County Court and was on his way to attend a meeting of that body.
SPENCER'S CHOICE.- Among the hunters who came to this section prior to the first settlement
were Thomas Sharp SPENCER and John HOLLIDAY. They, in company with others, stopped
at Bledsoe's Lick in 1778 and there raised the first crop of corn grown west of the Cumberland
Mountains by an American. All left bu HOLLIDAY and SPENCER, and finally HOLLIDAY
decided to go. SPENCER went with him as far as the Barrens in Kentucky, broke his knife into
halves, gave HOLLIDAY one half, returned to Bledsoe's Lick and set up housekeeping in a
hallow tree twelve feet in diameter. The shell stump of this tree was still visible as late as 1823,
near the present post office of Castalian Springs.
While living in this hollow tree, or later, SPENCER located several tracts of land which he desired to possess of himself, but upon learning that he was entitled to only one under the law, he decided to keep the 800 acre tract adjoining the present Gallatin corporation limits on the south. From that time this tract has been known as "Spencer's Choice."
After SPENCER'S death David SHELBY acquired 640 of the 800 acres and in 1798 built a residence which is still occupied.
One of SPENCER'S peculiarities was his habit of wandering through the forest alone, lest a companion; talk might make him a mark for an Indian's bullet. He was a man of enormous size and huge strength. A Frenchman, helping at DEMONBREUN'S trading post, is said to have fled to Illinois after seeing SPENCER'S tracks near Eaton's Station.
On one or two occasions the Indians, awed by his powers, or, perhaps, thinking he had a charmed life, let him get away when they could easily have killed him. A log that required the strenght of three ordinary men to lift SPENCER could handle without apparent effort. He "was the stoutest man I ever saw," says John CARR; and Gov. William HALL pays him a still higher compliment: "With all his extraordinary strenght and courage there was no bluster about him, but he was one of the most kindly disposed men I ever knew. He has a fine face, as well as a gigantic form, and the broadest shoulders I ever saw."
SPENCER was killed in 1794 while returning from Virginia, whither he had gone to get some money due him from an estate. The place where he met his death is called Spencer's Hill, in Van Buren County. The county site is named for him, also Spencer's Creek and Spencer's Lick.
There must of been some room for doubt as to whether SPENCER was killed by Indians or white men, for James MCKAIN, conversant with the circumstances, always contented that he was killed by white men. The Indians, MCKAIN said, never took paper money; SPENCER'S money was in paper and was taken by those who killed him. The murder of SPENCER was similar to that of Col. John DONELSON.