Today in Milligan History (11/8)

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Today in Milligan History

an ongoing project of Phi Alpha Theta History Honor Society

Good day, Milligan!

Proverbs 8:12 – [Wisdom says:] “All the words of my mouth are just; none of them is crooked or perverse.”

This is Thursday, November 8, 2012, and on this day in Milligan history . . .

1861    Carter County Bridge-Burners. Part IX – Morning. George W. Emmert of Carter County, TN, intentionally missed his train connection from Bristol, TN, to Carter’s Depot. This gave him the excuse to walk home, which would take him through Sullivan County and Zollicoffer (now Bluff City, TN). On his pedestrian way, he looked for the presence of Confederate soldiers, and discovered that only two soldiers guarded the Zollicoffer Bridge which carried the East Tennessee and Virginia Railroad.  “The goal is achievable,” Emmert reported to Daniel Stover. “The guard is small. The bridge can be burned just as planned.” Cameron Judd, Bridge Burners: A True Adventure of East Tennessee’s Underground Civil War (Johnson City, TN: Overmountain Press, 1996), pp.36, 39

1861    Carter County Bridge-Burners. Part XI – Evening. Colonel Daniel Stover of Carter County led some thirty conspirators across the Watauga River at Drake’s Ford, and along Indian Creek. He administered the oath of loyalty common to Union soldiers, and moved on toward Zollicoffer in Sullivan County to destroy the East Tennessee and Virginia Railroad bridge. Following Stover that night were Carter Countians John Burchfield, John F. Burrow, Jackson Carriger, Landon Carter, Gilson “Ollie” Collins, Watson Collins, James Davenport, Sam Davenport, Daniel Ellis, William Gourley, Mark Hendrixson, Jonas Keen, George Matson, B. M. G. O’Brien, Berry Pritchard, James Scott, Elijah Simerly, Henry Slagle, Ben Treadway, James Williams, and Pleasant Williams. Cameron Judd, Bridge Burners: A True Adventure of East Tennessee’s Underground Civil War (Johnson City, TN: Overmountain Press, 1996), p. 41.

1861    Carter County Bridge-Burners. Part XII – Late Evening. Confederate soldier Corporal Isaac N. Hacker, 24-years old, stood on the East Tennessee and Virginia Railroad Bridge at Lick Creek in western Greene County. Rumors of Unionist plans to burn the bridge were rife.

In the meantime, at the Zollicoffer Bridge in Sullivan County, Colonel Daniel Stover sent eight conspirators across the span where they surprised two Confederate guards; one ran, one surrendered. The bridge burners spread turpentine, piled pinewood on the bridge, and set the structure afire. Cameron Judd, Bridge Burners: A True Adventure of East Tennessee’s Underground Civil War (Johnson City, TN: Overmountain Press, 1996), pp. 50-51.

1947    Carolyn Roberts Walker (1948) received her crown as Homecoming Queen from none other than her husband, “M” Club Vice-President Duard Walker (1948) during half-time ceremonies of the Milligan-Tennessee Wesleyan football game. Queen Walker’s attendants were junior Lois Neely (1949), sophomore Kitty King (1950), and freshman Jane Vest (1949).  And, by the way, Milligan won the game 13-6. The Stampede, November 7, 1947 and November 21, 1947,

1984    A memorial service for Mrs. Frances Seeger, wife of the late Ura Seeger, who had died in December 1960, was held in Seeger Memorial Chapel. The Seegers’ gift had contributed substantially to the construction of the chapel.

2011    Vice President for Enrollment Management and Marketing Lee Fierbaugh (1995; Milligan since 1995) announced that Courtney Kieslich would assume leadership of the Graduate and Professional Studies Office on January 1, 2012. Campus-wide e-mail on November 8,  2011.

2011    Milligan College seated Professor Carolyn Carter (Milligan since 1984) in the Don and Clarinda Jeanes Chair of Servant Leadership during convocation ceremonies at 11:00 a.m. in Milligan’s Mary B. Martin Auditorium of Seeger Memorial Chapel.

Birthdays: In 1656 astronomer Sir Edmond Halley in Haggerston, England . . . in 1900 author Margaret Mitchell in Atlanta, GA . . . in 1921 basso profundo Jerome Hines in Hollywood CA . . . in1991 Milligan College junior Meghan Eller Wymer, currently spending the semester in Oxford, England . . . and in1993 Milligan freshman Kayla Marie Redding.

Elsewhere . . .

In 1864 Abraham Lincoln was elected to his second term, defeating Gen. George McClellan; in 1892 it was Glover Cleveland’s election victory over incumbent President Benjamin Harrison. In 1904 Theodore Roosevelt, in 1932 Franklin Delano Roosevelt, in 1960 John F. Kennedy, and in 1988 George Herbert Walker Bush all enjoyed election victories.

In 1889 Montana became the 41st State.

In 1895 Wilhelm Röntgen discovered X-rays.

In 1904 Emile Combs introduced a bill for the separation of Church and State in France, which would nullify the Concordat of 1801.

In 1966 actor Ronald Reagan became governor of California.

In 1979 ABC-TV’s Frank Reynolds hosted “Iran Crisis: American Held Hostage,” which ran weeknights for the balance of the entire 444-day Iranian hostage crisis; eventually host Ted Koppel moved in and the show became “Nightline.”

Do you know of an event in Milligan’s history that deserves mention here? Drop a note to