John M. Mitchell Civil War Questionnaire

1. Name: Jno. M. Mitchell

2. Age: 77 years of age

3. State & county of born: Tennessee, White County

4. Confederate or Federal: Confederate

5. Name of Company: I Tennessee Cavalry

6. Occupation of father: Merchant, Bank Cashier of Branch Bank Tennessee

7. Father’s name, born, & lived: Joseph G. Mitchell, River Hill, White Co., Tenn.  White, Tennessee, Sparta but at River Hill most of his life. He was known mostly as a farmer and bank cashier.

8. Maiden name of mother: Susan Parker

9. Remarks on ancestry: My Grandfather, Spencer Mitchell, came from N.C. to White Co., Tenn. about A.D. 1800 and settled at River Hill, White Co., Tenn. My Grandmother’s maiden name, Rachel Roberts, she said Grandfather, Spencer Mitchell, was married in N.C. in the year A.D. 1795.

10. If you owned land or other property at opening of the war, describe: --------

11. Did you or your parents own slaves? My father owned six slaves.

12. If parents owned land, state about how many acres: 200 acres at beginning of the Civil War.

13. State value of property owned by parents when the war opened: Approximately land and slaves $8,000.00

14. Kind of house occupied by parents: Double log house, of 5 rooms, and out building, barn, etc.

15. State kind or work done as a boy and young man: I worked on the farm and plowed mostly, but of course engaged in general farm work.

16. State clearly what kind or work father & mother did: My father never did any manual labor on the farm. He directed personally his mercantile business, and while cashier of Sparta Bank (This answers #6. lm) gave his time and attention to said official work. He was cashier of the Branch Bank of Tenn. at Sparta when the Civil war broke out, when the Sparta Branch Bank of Tenn. was removed from Sparta, he removed to his farm at River Hill and live there until his death in the year 1890. I don’t remember but little of my Mother, buy my Step Mother directed the cooking and all kinds of house work, said work embracing spinning , weaving, making of clothes for the family and slaves.

17. Did parents keep servants: There were six (6) slaves. He had and used their selves as servants etc. when necessary.

18. How was honest toil—as plowing, hauling and other sorts of honest work of this class—regarded in your community? Was such work considered respectable and honorable? Indeed it was.

19. Did white men in your community generally engage in such work? They did.

20. To what extent were there white men in your community leading lives of idleness and having others do their work for them? None that I call to mind. Every body prior to the Civil War in that section of White County worked every day.

21. Did the men who owned slaves mingle freely with those who did not own slaves, or did slaveholders in any way show by their actions that they felt themselves better than respectable, honorable men who did not own slaves? There was no difference made, slave holders mingled on the most intimate terms with those who had no slaves.

22. At churches, schools, & public gatherings in general, did slaveholders and non-slaveholders mingle on a footing of equality? They did.

23. Was there a friendly feeling between slaveholders and non-slaveholders in your community, or were they antagonistic to each other? Yes. Possible there were a few men in White County that opposed slavery.

24. In a political contest, in which one candidate owned slaves and the other did not, id the fact that one candidate owned slaves help him any in winning the contest? I don’t think it did in White County so far as I can call to memory.

25. Were the opportunities good in your community for a poor young man, honest and industrious, to Save up enough to buy a small farm or go in business for himself? Indeed it was.

26. Were poor, honest, industrious young men, who were ambitious to make something of themselves, Encouraged or discouraged by slaveholders? They were always encouraged.

27. What kind of school/schools did you attend? Free schools.

28. About how long did you go to school? About four years, of 5 months term annually. 8th

29. How far was it to the nearest school? When we lived in Sparta, the school house was in the town’s boundary. When we moved to River Hill the school house was about ˝ of a mile distant from our home.

30. What school/schools were in operation in your neighborhood? Free schools.

31. Was the school in your community private or public? Public.

32. About how many months in the year did it run? About 5 months were supposed to be the duration of the school terms.

33. Did the boys and girls in your community attend school pretty regularly? As a rule they did.

34. Was the teacher of the school you attended a man or woman? Man.

35. In what year and month and at what place did you enlist in the service of the Confederacy or of the Federal Government? I enlisted in Aug. 1864 in the Confederate service at Sparta, White County, Tenn., 8th Tenn. Cavalry Co. I.

36. After enlistment, where was your Company sent first? From Sparta, Tenn. to Readersville.

37. How long after enlistment before your Company engaged in battle? Three days, (the battle of Readersville, Tenn.)

38. What was the first battle you engaged in? Readersville, Tenn.

39. State your experience in the War from this time on to its close: My experience in the war was very short and not pleasant. I went from Readersville to Camp Chase as a prisoner. I remained in prison until about 1st March 1865 when I was exchanged. I returned to my Command at once (to Charlotte, N.C.) and remained with my Command until the surrender.

40. When/where were you discharged? At Washington, GA.

41. Tell something of your trip home: We rode horse back from Washington, Ga., to Chattanooga, Tenn., there the Federals taken our horses and we crossed the mountain and came home on foot, walking the entire distance.

42. Give a sketch of your life since the close of the Civil War: Farming. We reached home on Sunday and went to work on Monday morning.

43. What kind or work did you take up when you came back home? I have engaged in the mercantile business, farming, mill business, bought and sold lumber. I bought horses and mules and carried them South and sold them several different years. At present I am Register of White County. I am a member of the Presbyterian Church. My Grandfather was a Cumberland Presbyterian; his given name was Spencer (Mitchell). He gave the land to build a Cumberland Presbyterian Church in 1808 at River Hill, Tenn., and was an Elder in said church as long as he lived. The church was one of the first in the County. My father, Joseph Mitchell, succeeded him as said Elder as said until his death as Elder. And the writer (Jno. M. Mitchell) succeeded him and still retains said place in the church.

44. Give names of some of the great men you have known or met: -------------

45. Give names of all members of your Company you can remember: Jas. McRundels, he was Captain of our Co. I. William Warren, he was 1st Lt. of our Co. I. Simon G. Wallace, he was 2nd Lt. of our Co. I. John Swafford, Henry Chase, John Pope, Scott Tollett, John Tallet, Jessie Seagraves, arch Knap, Sr., Arch Knap, Jr., Sam Smith, Dan Smith, Ike Pollard, Cutlas Randels, Brown Hutcheson, J.C. Wallace, Woodson White, Spence Parker, James Warren, Crocket Frasure, Henry Frasure, Crocket Wilson, John Fulton, William Doyle, William Taylor, Hoesa [sic.] Taylor, Dan Richards, Laken Howard, Jim Howard, Tom Stuckert, William Gooch, James Gooch, Wm. Holingsworth, Spencer Franks, Harve Green, Bart Maners, Wm. T. Mitchell, Spencer Mitchell, Jno. M. Mitchell, J. M. Mitchell.

46. Give the name and post office address of any living Veterans of the Civil War:

J. L. Quarles Sparta, Tenn.

Henry Sims Sparta, Tenn.

W. L. Dibrell Sparta, Tenn.

Geo. Spurlock Sparta, Tenn.

Cap William Hoosier Sparta, Tenn.

Geo. Crawford Sparta, Tenn.

Spencer Frank Quebeck, Tenn.

Jno. M. Mitchell Sparta, Tenn.

William Hollingsworth Doyle, Tenn.

Tom Stuckert Doyle, Tenn.


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