Champ Ferguson was born 1821 in Clinton County, Ky. He earned a reputation for violence and reportedly, in 1858, led a group of men who viciously murdered Sheriff James Read of Fentress County, Tenn. During the Civil War, East Tennessee, a mostly mountainous region, was divided over secession from the Union. At the start of the war, Ferguson organized a unit and started attacking civilians believed to support the Union. Ferguson 's guerrilla band occasionally cooperated with Confederate military units led by Gen. John Hunt Morgan and Maj. Gen. Joseph Wheeler. Ferguson 's men were seldom subject to military discipline and frequently violated the normal rules of warfare.
After the war, Ferguson returned home to his farm and was promptly arrested by Union troops. He was tried in Nashville for 53 murders, and his trial attracted national attention, thus becoming a major media event. On Oct. 10, 1865, Champ was found guilty and sentenced to hang.
For further details about this Civil War presentation sponsored by the Tri-Cities Civil War Round Table, please call Wayne Strong at (423) 323-2306.
For additional upcoming events, please visit www.historicsullivan.com/events.htm.