CAPTAIN WILLIAM E. McELWEE'S STORIES (Written
Abstracted by Robert L. Bailey
These articles appeared in The Rockwood Times, and were written by Captain William E. McElwee (1835-1929). His stories must be taken with "a grain of salt." However, he appears to be very accurate in his mentioning of family connections. The articles from 1902 to 1906 are transcribed fully. From 1907 to 1919, only an Index of names in the articles are presented. There were also some articles written in the 1920's. However, currently I have misplaced my Index to them.
The following information about Captain McELWEE comes from his obituary which appeared in The Rockwood Times, 10 Oct 1929: "Injuries Prove Fatal For Soldier-Historian. Capt. William Eblin McELWEE, Confederate Veteran, Member of the Roane County Court, oldest citizen of Rockwood and a member of one of Tennessee's earliest pioneer families, died Sunday afternoon at 4:30 at Chamberlain Memorial Hospital from injuries sustained last Thursday when struck by an automobile driven by J.M. King, of Hillsboro, Ala. The accident occurred on the Dixie Highway a short distance south of the city. Capt. McElwee, born April 16, 1835, the son of William and Lucinda Eblin McElwee, at Post Oak Springs, near Rockwood, and spent his entire life in this county. His grandfather was James McElwee, of North Carolina, who fought under Shelby in the battle of King's Mountain and who moved to this state while it was still a part of the "Territory South of the Ohio River." The father of Capt. McElwee was the first white child to be born in what later became Roane County, and in the War of 1812 fought under Gen. Andrew Jackson. Capt. McElwee enlisted in the Confederate Army at the outbreak of the Civil War and served four years, participating in 44 battles and skirmishes. In the early days of the struggle of his regiment the 26 Tennessee Infantry was sent to Bowling Green, Ky., and he was appointed provost marshall of the town, later being commissioned a captain. He was afterwards transferred to Dover, Tenn., and was captured by Gen. Grant's forces at the surrender of Fort Donelson. For a time he was confined in a U.S. Military prison and upon release rejoined the Confederate Forces as a member of Gen. Brown's Brigade, fighting in combat units in many battles. After the Battle of Chickamauga, which he entered into a full company that was reduced to 12 men during the fighting, he was transferred to the pioneer troops in Gen. Stewart's division. Capt. McElwee was wounded in the Battle of Chickamauga. Capt. McElwee was probably one of the best informed men in Tenn. on the subject of early history of the state and particularly of Roane County. Only a few months before his death he wrote especially for the Times a series of historical articles in which he gave many intimate incidents of the days of a century ago in Roane County. The articles attracted much favorable comment from the state press. He took a keen interest in public affairs and had personally known and shaken hands with every governor of Tennessee since Sam Houston occupied the executive mansion in Nashville. He studied law in his early days and was admitted to the Bar in 1859, later engaging in the practice of the his profession in Rockwood. He had been a member of the County Court for 24 years. He joined the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, in young manhood and was a regular attendant at the Church Services up to his death. In 1867 Capt. McElwee married Miss MARTHA BROWN, also a member of a pioneer Tennessee family. Mrs. McElwee died in 1872. He is survived by one son, Frank B. McElwee, Attorney of this city, two grandchildren, Kenneth McElwee of Chattanooga, and Mrs. Thompson Eugene Dunn, of Homestead, Fla. and a great-grandchild, THOMAS B. DUNN, JR. At his request, Capt. McElwee was buried in his Confederate Uniform and the casket was draped with the Confederate flag for which he had risked his life in so many bloody encounters. Hundreds of people from all parts of Roane County and many East Tennessee Cities and towns outside the county attended the funeral services, an unusual feature of which was an eloquent eulogy of his dead father given by Frank McElwee just before the casket was carried from the church to its final resting place in Oak Grove Cemetery."
The remaining articles were not transcribed but an Index to the names in the articles has been made.
The Rockwood Times, Rockwood, TN, Thursday, 3 Feb 1910, Vol. XXX, No. 5.
"The Christian Church at Postoak" by Capt. W.E. McELWEE. Names mentioned: John SMITH, Dr. J.C. HALEY, Rev. Isaac MULKEY, Rev. Mc. GREEN, Robert RANDOLPH, Gilbert RANDOLPH and Gilmore RANDOLPH, Sallie RANDOLPH, Samuel OWINGS, Mr. WILLARD, Mr. ERICKSON, John BILLINGSLEY, Andrew BILLINGSLEY, W.H. STEWART, Lou SMITH, Wm. SMITH, J.B. SMITH, Prof. W.D. CARNES, W.J. OWINGS, J.H. ACUFF, Mary OWINGS, John HYDEN.
The Rockwood Times, Rockwood, TN, Thursday, 17 Feb 1910, Vol. XXX, No. 7.
"Local History." by Capt. W.E. McELWEE. "The Honey Bee and the Pioneer." Names mentioned: Governor William BLOUNT, Rev. James GALLAHER.
The Rockwood Times, Rockwood, TN, Thursday, 24 Feb 1910, Vol. XXX, No. 8.
"Local History. Roane County and Andrew JACKSON." by Capt. W.E. McELWEE. Names mentioned: General JACKSON, Stokely DONOLDSON, Elizabeth GLASGOW, ___ LACKEY, Elizabeth DONALDSON, Charles McCLUNG, Thomas GALLAHER, Hugh L. WHITE, John McCLELLAN, James DeARMOND.
The Rockwood Times, Rockwood, TN, Thursday, 3 Mar 1910, Vol. XXX, No. 9.
"Local History. JACKSON Starts For the Presidency". Names Mentioned: ___ SEVIER, ___ JACKSON, ____ WINCHESTER, Capt. COULTER, Capt. OLIVER, Capt. FRANCE, Capt. SYM, Capt. WALKER, Capt. INGRAM, Thomas GALLAHER, John McCLELLEN.
The Rockwood Times, Rockwood, TN, Thursday, 10 Mar 1910, Vol. XXX, No. 10.
"Local History. Soldiers of the Revolutionary War Who Were Buried In Roane County." by Capt. W.E. McELWEE. Names mentioned: Samuel WALKER, Wm. SMITH, Jas. WOOD, Harry LEE, Gen. Robert E. LEE, Robert CROW, Uriah RECTOR, Samuel KINDRICK, Cumberland RECTOR, John BOWMAN, Col. J.W. BOWMAN, John WALKER, James WALKER, Wm. WILLIS, Cronimus ACRE, Thomas CRUMBLISS, Henry CRUMBLISS, David BLEVINS, Wm. MEAD, James McELWEE, Wm. WHITE, Richard WHITE, James McELWEE, Joseph OVERTON, John McCOWN, John HOOD, Peter AVORY, John STAPLES, Ben STAPLE, Ahiga SNOW.
The Rockwood Times, Rockwood, TN, Thursday, 17 Mar 1910, Vol. XXX, No. 11.
"Local History. Soldiers of The Revolutionary War Who Were Buried in Roane County." by Capt. W.E. McELWEE. Names mentioned: John STAPLES, Bob TAYLOR, Oliver STAPLES, J.W. STAPLES, John WOODY, Wm. CLIFT, Wm. Dobbs SPAIGHT, Jessie BLACKWELL, Zacheus ROBERTS, Mathew PRYOR, Clemons PHILLIPS, Sandford INGRAM, John SUTTON, Maj. W.S. McEWEN, L.M. WESTER, James CAMPBELL, James McNOAL, James McELWEE, David RATHER, Dr. David RATHER, Race GULLICK.
The Rockwood Times, Rockwood, TN, Thursday, 24 Mar 1910, Vol. XXX, No. 12.
"Local History. Solders of the Revolutionary War Who Were Buried In Roane County." by Capt. W.E. McELWEE. Names mentioned: Tandy SENTER, Abner SENTER, Wm. T. SENTER, Abraham McCLELAN, Col. John McCLELLAN, James DeARMON, David HENLY, Jacob GARDENHIRE, Adam SHERREL, Joseph ROBINSON, Nathan SULLENS, Nicholas NAIL, James YOUNG, Thos. MORRISON, Edward MORGAN, Mr. MOTEN.
The Rockwood Times, Rockwood, TN, Thursday, 31 Mar 1910, Vol. XXX, No. 13.
"Local History. America's First Pensioners." by Capt. W.E. McELWEE." Names mentioned: Richard ALLEN, James AIKEN, James ALLEY, William BOYD, Chief Riley, Isaiah BROWN, David BLACKWELL, Morris BRASHEARS, Laird BURNS, Carter BARNET, Robert BURK, Enoch BUSH, William CARROLL, Benjamin CHAPMAN, John CARROLL, John CRENSHAW, John COX, Ordin EVANS, William EDGEMAN, Rev. J.H. DENTON.
The Rockwood Times, Rockwood, TN, Thursday, 14 Apr 1910, Vol. XXX, No. 15.
"Local History. America's First Pensioners." by Capt. W.E. McELWEE. Names mentioned: Jared HOTCHKISS, Isham YOUNG, Solomon GEREN, Steven HANCOCK, William HARVEY, William HYDEN, Meshack HENDERSON, Chas. LAIN, David LILES, Hezekiah LOVE, Joseph LANE, Amos MARNEY, Jack MARNEY, John McNUTT, Adam MILLER, John PERRY, Benjamin SUDDATH, Ebenezer SNOW, Benjamin THACKER, Center WEES, John WOODY, Samuel WALKER, Wm. WALKER.
The Rockwood Times, Rockwood, TN, Thursday, 21 Apr 1910, Vol. XXX, No. 16.
"Local History. The HALEY Family of East Tennessee." by Capt. W.E. McELWEE. Names Mentioned: Maj. David HALEY, George HALEY, John C. HALEY, Miss RICE, John HALEY, Wm. HALEY, Ann HALLEY, W. CALLANDAR, John HALLEY, John HARVEY, Elizabeth WINTON, Dr. E. HALEY, Martha MOUNTAIN.
The Rockwood Times, Rockwood, TN, Thursday, 28 Apr 1910, Vol. XXX, No. 17.
"Local History. How Prices of Inn Keepers in County Towns Were Regulated." by Capt. W.E. McELWEE. Names mentioned: Robert KING, Dr. J.W. WESTER, Jacob GARDENHIRE, Alexander CARMICHAEL.
The Rockwood Times, Rockwood, TN, Thursday, 6 Apr 1911, Vol. XXXI, No. 13.
"Early History of Roane Co." by Captain McElwee. Names Mentioned: Capt. W.M. NIXON, Sam HOUSTON, John GARDENHIRE, Wm. LOVELY, Jos. KING, Robt. KING, John EBLEN, James McELWEE, Hugh FRANCIS, Jos. TAYLOR, Archibald ROANE, William DICKSON, Gen. James WHITE, Jesse ROYSDEN, Jos. TAYLOR, Hugh NELSON, John SMITH T., Alexander CARMICHAEL, William BARNETT Paul HEALSON, Zacheus AIRS, E.E. YOUNG, Fremorten YOUNG, Dr. John W. WESTER, Jack BLACKWELL, Mathew P. McEWEN, John McEWEN, Martin FAIN, Tom MARGRAVES, Tom CRUMBLISS, Gen. GAINES, Capt. COULTER, Capt. OLIVER, Capt. SYMS, Capt. WALKER, Capt. FRANCIS and Capt. INGRAM, James FREEMAN, Robert K. BYRD, Capt. L.M. WESTER, Richard (Dick) Waterhouse, John McCLELLEND, Joseph HARDIN, David CAMPBELL, Joseph ANDERSON, ____ VANDERGRIFF, Andrew JACKSON.
The Rockwood Times, Rockwood, TN, Thursday, 5 Jun 1919, Vol. 39, No. 23.
"The Graveyard at Post Oak." article by Capt. McElwee. Names mentioned: William SMITH, Lieut. CARRICK, Thomas McMULLEN, Col. Abraham McCLELLEN, James McMULLEN, John BAILEY, William KING, Capt. Samuel WALKER, Thomas HINDMAN, ___ HOLT, Thomas Clark HINDMAN, ___ BRISTOW, ___WAYNE, General Anthony AYNE, Maj. SMITH, Anthony SMITH, Anna BAILEY, Miss Adelia SMITH.
The Rockwood Times, Rockood, TN, Thursday, 19 Jun 1919, Vol. 39, No. 25.
"Burial Grounds." by Cap. McELWEE. Names Mentioned: Wm. ROBINSON, Riggs FORSYTHE, Col. GOFF, John RODGERS, Mrs. PRICE, F.H. CLYMER, F.K. SUDDATH, Margaret HALEY.
The Rockwood Times, Rckwood, TN, Thursday, 3 Jul 1919, Vol. 39, No. 26.
"Sassafras Corner." by Capt. W.E. McElwee. Names Mentioned: Josiah PATTY, Judge SCOOT, ___ BRANDON, Sam DILLARD, Sally DILLARD, Mark RODDY, Billy GILLENWATERS, Mary RODDY, Thos. BEAN, Robert A. BROWN, Gen. John BROWN, Dr. J.M. CLACK, Martha FLEENOR, Lige MERIDATH, Maj. David HALEY, Joseph KIMBROUGH, Wm. MONTGOMERY, Mrs TANNER, Robert BAYLEY, Martha BEAN, John MUSGROVE, ___ ELLIS, Col. John SCOTT.
About Our Ancestors by W.E. McElwee