150th Anniversary Of A Confederate Railroad Raid On Cleveland Observed

Monday, August 18, 2014
Brenda Ramsey, standing, represented Sarah Smith, a union supporter who was among those evacuated from Cleveland during the raid. Shana Haynes, waits to read Myra Inman's diary entries about the raid.
Brenda Ramsey, standing, represented Sarah Smith, a union supporter who was among those evacuated from Cleveland during the raid. Shana Haynes, waits to read Myra Inman's diary entries about the raid.

The 150th anniversary of a Confederate railroad raid on Cleveland was observed Sunday by a crowd that filled the old Cleveland depot.

Bryan Reed, president of the Bradley County Historical and Genealogical Society, said this Cleveland encounter between Union and Confederate forces was part of a larger, unsuccessful Confederate raid through Tennessee attempting to distract General Sherman who was approaching Atlanta. The event ended with the booming of a cannon placed on Fort Hill Cemetery that could be heard across downtown.

Sunday's program included several people who dressed in period uniforms and dresses and read from the writings of those who took part in the raid or were affected by those Cleveland events.

The observance was one of many over the past four years marking Civil War events that happened in Cleveland. Melissa Woody, tourism vice-president of the Cleveland/Bradley Chamber Of Commerce, said the final 150th anniversary event will be in October, 2015. In October, 1865, Cleveland held a city barbecue to mark the end of the war.

There is one more Civil War-related event this year. The annual Fort Hill Cemetery walk, on Oct. 20, will feature local actors in period dress standing beside the graves of some local personalities from 150 years ago. They will tell modern visitors how the war affected their lives.

Since 2011, the annual Fort Hill walks have featured local Civil War era families. The renovated depot building where Sunday's event was held was not the Civil War era depot. The building was constructed early in the 20th Century then renovated in recent years to house the city bus service offered by the Southeast Tennessee Human Resources Agency.

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