Our house is located on the eastern portion of land that was known as Holt's Campground. Here is a little history about that land . . . .
"HOLTíS CAMP GROUND" IS LOCATED ON LAND FROM 1788 NORTH CAROLINA GRANT
Grant No. 21 - Warrant 2267, 2000 acres to Robert McCamick (to Mary Parker, to Joshua Holt) Granted July 10, 1788. Surveyed by Robert Weakley September 1785.
Bedford County Deed, July 19, 1809 between Mary Parker late of the town of Petersburg and Common Wealth of Virginia, and now of Nevenham, that part of the United Kingdon called England, of the one part and Joshua Holt of the County of Orange, State of North Carolina, where as the said Mary Parker for and in consideration of the sum of two thousand dollars, current money of the United States, etc., do grant, bargain and sell unto said Holt, a parcel of land containing 2000 acres lying on the south side of Duck River and east side of Sugar Creek. Beginning at a sugar tree on the point of a ridge, James Bradshaw, Charles McCommons and Amos Balch's corner and runs with George Martin, Amos Balch and Richard Martin's line, north one hundred and twenty chains (480 poles) to a lynn, thence, east 166 chains, south 120 chains, thence, west 166 chains to beginning. This being the same tract that was granted by the State of North Carolina, bearing date July 10, 1788 to Robert McCamek (McCamee), said McCamee conveyed to Hugh Hunter of town of Petersburg and said Hunter on Aug 22nd 1796 did assign all his rights and title in said land to Elias Parker of the same town of Petersburg and formerly husband of said Mary Parker and which the said Elias Parker by his lawful will, did devise said property to his widow Mary Parker, etc.
Signed - Mary Parker
by - George K. Taylor
1807 to 1812
THE ORIGIN OF TENNESSEE CAMP GROUNDS
Camp grounds were established in Bedford County as early as
1807/8. The Methodist and Cumberland Presbyterians were the most aggressive
denominations in promoting these camp grounds. These two often merged in union
camps that lasted for weeks, drawing large crowds from miles around. They were
great religious as well as social events for the early settlers.
The more prominent Cumberland Presbyterian camp grounds in the county were, The Three Forks, and Hastings Camp Ground, Presbyterians at Bethsalem and Union Ridge. The Methodist at Holts, Knights, Steels and Old Salem and a union camp with the Cumberland Presbyterians at Unionville.
The popularity of the camps were greatly enhanced by the frightening earthquake at Reelfoot Lake in Northwest Tennessee in 1811-1812. Large segments of the populace took this terrifying event as a sign from God, expressing his deep displeasure at the wickedness of man, resulting in an unheard of great revival through out the region.
HOLT'S CAMP GROUND
From Page 883 of Goodspeed's History of Tennessee 1886 Holt's Camp Ground was built in 1823 in the Twenty-First Civil District of Bedford County. One early document mentions a Holt's Campground Methodist Church. This probably refers to the campground where church meetings were held. The following two documents support this theory.
1830 to 1870
FROM MARY PARKER TO JOSHUA HOLT TO HERROD HOLT
wife ELIZABETH GREER HOLT, Tenter
The land originally belonged to Joshua Holt who we believe to be the father of Michael, Hiram, Herrod F., and Jordon C. Holt , Sr. He bought two thousand acres from a Mary Parker who had come to America with her husband. He had died after receiving the land in Bedford County, Tennessee. She returned to England about 1808 and was having her lawyer see about selling the property. It was through this means that Joshua bought the property. He died in 1839 and left it to his several children. It is indicated that the family insisted the property be turned over to the care of the church and the enclosed deed will explain the formal donation of the property to the Methodist Episcopal Church. Herrod F.Holt in turn gave Michael Holt twenty acres of his own property in return for Michael giving the land for religious use. Herrod F. Holt's wife, Eliza Greer (a daughter of Jacob Greer ) professed religion at the Camp ground in 1830. On this site she served as tenter at thirty-one different meetings. At her death her funeral service was held in the tent. This imformation is taken from her obituary which appeared in a local paper sometime in the 1870s and the clipping is in possession of a decendent in Oklahoma today.
The above from a letter as written by a historian, Sally Moulder in 1966
DECEMBER 19, 1840
MICHAEL HOLT TRANSFER THE LAND TO THE METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH
A copy of the Bedford County Deed Book KK, page 149-150 gives the detail of the agreement concerning the transfer of ownership and the use of the land. Look at the full page image of that 1840 handwritten deed.
CIVIL WAR HISTORICAL FACTS
From the Diary of Marcus Bearden concerning his experiences during the Civil War is the notation that he attended a Chaplain's meeting in May 3, 1863. This important religious meeting was held at Holt's Camp Ground (no mention of a church building) in Bedford County. Marcus Bearden was a Presbyterian minister and he was impressed with making the acquaintence of Dr. C.T. Quintard who was a medical doctor as well as a minister. He was physician and Chaplain of Turney's First Regiment of Tennessee Infantry, C.S.A.. He later became the second Bishop of the Episcopal Church of T.nnesee He is buried in the University cemetery at the University of the South at Sewanee.
Two gentlemen from the Tennessee Department of Conservation - Division of Archaeology visited the farm for the purpose of investigating an earthwork trench rumored to have been dug by soldiers during the Civil War. The trench is at least a quarter mile in length and lies parallel but 10-20 yards on the eastern bank of the creek. They were unable to confirm the origin of the trench but did provide the diary page above.
Civil War researcher Hank Boyd and Friend Jerry ___ from
Chattanooga provided further information about the soldier who kept the diary.
Oliver P. Tucker enlisted 1/13/1862 in Pocotaligo, S.C. and was captured during
Battle of Nashville as a sergeant on 12/16/1864. He was sent to a Camp Chase. He
was paroled 2/17/1865 and transferred to Maryland for exchange. He took that
oath on 3/31/1865.
Further information about the 16th Regiment-
The 16th Infantry Regiment was organized in June, 1861, at Camp Harris located at Allisonia near Tullahoma, Tennessee with 952 officers and men. Its companies were drawn from the counties of DeKalb, Coffee, Warren, Putnam and White. Sent to Virginia, the unit was active in Lee's Cheat Mountain Campaign and later moved to South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, then Kentucky. After fighting at Perryville, it was assigned to M.J. Wright's Maney's and Palmer's Brigade, Army of Tennessee. The Regiment participated in the campaignsof the Army from Murfreesboro to Atlanta, endured Hood's winter operations, and saw action in North Carolina. It reported 199 casualties at Perryville and lost fifty-two percent of the 402 engaged in Murfreesboro. Of the 242 at Chickamauga, twenty-eight percent were disabled and in December, 1863, it totaled 212 men and 157 arms. The unit surrendered on April 26, 1865.
These are samples of artifacts that were dug on the farm.
MARTIN'S CAVALRY DIVISION
Farm, April 21, 1863. (Received 11.40 p.m.) Maj. THOMAS M. JACK,
Adjutant-General, Folk's Corps, Shelbyville :
MAJOR: I am
instructed by Brigadier-General Martin to inform you that the enemy retired
from our front on this pike this evening, after having remained in position
five hours. Scouts have just returned and report that the citizens state this
force consisted of five regiments of infantry., six pieces of artillery, and
one regiment of counted infantry, with three days' rations, cooking utensils,
wagons, tents, and ambulances, under command of General Jefferson [C.] Davis;
that it was a grand advance. "They were checked because Cheatham's
division was in the cedar, not on this pike." We have also information
that a large force of the enemy moved down on the Middleton road. From our
last dispatches they had not retired.
has reached us that another heavy column (not estimated in numbers) moved down
on the Manchester and Murfreesborough pike. No news of this latter column
retiring. Information also received that 1,500 cavalry are moving on the
Manchester and Woodbury road. No information concerning the enemy, either from
Unionville or the front [illegible] received of the advance and [illegible]
the force of the enemy consisted of infantry, artillery, and cavalry, attended
with wagons and ambulances. Owing to the fact that no forage was to be
obtained, he (the general) conjectured it was an attempted advance.
I am, major,
very respectfully, yours,
mentioned in the message above must have been reported and may be the reason
the 16TH TN. was moved to Holts Campground for surveillance of troop movement. (The earthwork was located about
one quarter mile from and parallel to the highway. It is also Hankís opinion
that only sentinels were in the trench and the remainder of the troops were
camped near where our house is located.)
1941 WWII TRAINING
Much of the surrounding countryside was utilized in a training operation for a armored division located near Tullahoma, Tennessee. General George Patton also brought tanks up from Alabama to participate in what was referred to as "maneuvers" in preparation for WWII. The army was allowed to cut fences and cross farms with little complaints in an environment much different than would be experienced today. The local homemakers would even cook chicken and biscuits and gravy for the visiting troops. The picture below is that of a WWI vintage tank crossing US231 from what is today Center Church Road. From what I understand it was quite a common event.