John M. McGinnis served in the 19th TN (Biffle’s) Calvary Co. K (Gen. Forrest Division)

1.   Full names of soldier.

John M. McGinnis

2.   Rank, unit served with, etc

4th TN Infantry Regiment Co. K ( Strahls)

Jackson’s 7th Calvary

15th TN (Stewart’s) Calvary Co. C

19th TN (Biffle’s) Calvary Co. K (Gen. Forrest Division)

3.  Any personal info about the soldier that you’re aware of.

Yes, see

4. Was he wounded at Franklin?  Captured?  Missing?  Killed?


5. Survive Franklin?  Survive the war?


6. Your exact relation?

Great Grand Son

7. Burial place?

Dyersburg, TN

8. Any pictures of the soldier:  in uniform?  Before or after the war?

Not in uniform, post-war yes

9. Surviving letters, diaries, or documents you’re willing to share?

10. The email address for you to be contacted?

More info

My Great-great grandfather was named John M. McGinnis and he was born and raised in Dyer Co. of North West Tennessee.  He lived in both Newbern TN and Dyersburg TN prior to entering into the civil war.

He fought at Franklin under General Forrest and even met his future wife there while engaged in the battles in and around Franklin.

I have written a detailed biography of my great-great grandfather of his life and his family since their arrival in Dyer county Tennessee in 1841. The web page can be found at:

The following are a couple of excerpts from that biography:

John was placed into the 9th (later 19th) Tennessee Cavalry Regiment, Company K., as a 5th Sergeant under Captain R.M. Sharp.  This was a pretty high rank for an enlisted man and he now drew $17.00 a month.

The 9th Tennessee Cavalry regiment was placed under Colonel J.B. Biffle who was attached directly to General Forrest’s staff. How proud John must have been, he was riding for one of the most famous and respected Generals of the Confederate service.

This unit was involved in a lot of action, although most were not as significant as the major battles that shaped the outcome of the Civil war.

It is also interesting to note here that during the many battles/skirmishes John’s unit was involved in and around Franklin, TN (in 1863 and 1864), that John’s future wife (Carrie Doughty) was born and being raised there in the Franklin, TN area.  She would have been about 14 or 15 years old at that time.  It is highly likely that they may have met during this period.

COMMENT: They would wed six years later, after the war, in 1870.

In April 1901, John went to the cemetery at Ashwood, TN near Columbia, TN to retrieve General Strahl’s body (as you may remember this was John’s commander when he enlisted in May 1861 in the 4th TN infantry, as a Dyer Guard).  General Strahl was killed in the battle of Franklin on 30 Nov. 1864 and his body had been buried at Ashwood, TN.   John was there at that Battle.

There was some discussion by the people of Columbia, TN to move his body to the Confederate burial cemetery in Columbia.  John and a comrade (Mr. David Shaw – also from Dyersburg) had gone to Ashwood to escort and take home General Strahl’s body for reburial. When John returned the General’s body to Dyersburg TN, there was a surprisingly large attendance of veterans at the public service held in Dyersburg for this General. The General was and is currently buried in the same cemetery where John is buried

In 1905, John (and I suspect his wife) visited the Franklin, TN battlefield and removed some timber from the siding of an old Gin house (I suspect it may very well be the one pictured at the top of this Franklin Face Book web page) where he had fought during the battle of Franklin.  From this wood, he made some ceremony gavels (quantity unknown) and sent one to the Egbert F. Jones camp (#367, UCV, Huntsville, AL,) for their use. Other gravel locations are unknown.

On 21 February 1907, John died in his hometown of Dyersburg and is buried in the old Dyersburg cemetery near the downtown area.

Please click on the following link to this web page and I sincerely hope you enjoy reading it.  It took me five years of extensive research to develop this man’s story.  I would greatly appreciate any feedback on it.  My email address is:

New John Paul Strain painting debuting this Saturday

A new John Paul Strain painting is debuting this Saturday, February 25th at Stonebridge Gallery in The Factory in Franklin. The new work is called “Charge Across the Harpeth” and features none other than the Confederate cavalryman, Nathan Bedford Forest.

The print is in the Battle of Franklin, Series-Print II collection. The first print in the series is General Forrest at Carnton.

The debut will take place from 10:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. at Stonebridge Gallery.

Mr. Strain signs one of his paintings for me at the debut.


Henry Clay Smith, Co G, 4th TN Cav

Circa 1920 picture of Confederate veteran Henry Clay Smith, Co G, 4th TN Cav from Lebanon, Tennessee.

Henry Clay Smith, from Lebanon, Tenn.

Smith mustered in as an 18 year old in early December 1861. He was a prisoner of war during a part of the war, but records indicate he was released an likely served at Franklin in November 1864 (under Nathan Bedford Forrest / Chalmer’s Division).

His daughter, Corrine Davenport (below), just turned 96 years old and lives in middle Tennessee.

Ms. Corrine Davenport, living Confederate daughter

Henry Clay Smith is buried in Mount Olivet Cemetery.


June 18th event at Forrest Boyhood Home to honor Larry Cockerham

On June 18th at the Forrest Homecoming, members of the Civil War Talk message board will present to the management of the Forrest boyhood home a check in honor of Larry Cockerham. The funds collected will go to the preservation projects that Larry was involved there on the property. Because Larry was deeply involved in helping people learn about the ACW and sharing of knowledge about the war in Tennessee, a plaque will presented also. There will be several people from the Civil War Talk board that will have traveled from several states to be there. This will all take place June 18 at the Nathan Bedford Forrest Boyhood Home in Chapel Hill, Tn.

Richard Young
Martinsville, Indiana