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Jesse Poore

Jesse Poore, my great-great-great grandfather was born in North Carolina in late 1769 or early 1770. All census reports reflect the birth range. Jesse was not listed on the 1796 tax list for Sullivan County, Tennessee, but by 1807, he had purchased land in Sullivan County, Tennessee. This area was formally part of North Carolina and was considered the Washington County district. He purchased 200 acres of land near Kingsport, Tennessee. He was 37 years old. I still wonder where he came from and where he got the money to purchase the property. This land purchase is the first official record I have found confirming his existence. Sullivan County was, at one time, a part of North Carolina and Virginia, and really did not have permanent settlements until 1769. Jesse is not listed in the North Carolina census in 1790, although Jesse Powers is. He may have already been in Tennessee, although I doubt it. The only counties not available for 1790 were Caswell, Granville and Orange. Orange County covered a large geographical area in 1790. He may have been in one of those counties. Census reports for North Carolina in 1800 and 1810 are limited and do not list Jesse Poore, but do list Jesse Powers. Census reports for East Tennessee prior to 1830 do not exist. By 1812, Jesse is listed on the tax rolls of Sullivan County. David Poore is also listed on the Sullivan County tax rolls at this time, which means that David was at least 18 years of age. The 1830 census report places David’s birth in the 1790’s. I am convinced that Jesse and David are related, but I am not sure in what way, but suspect that they are father and son. In the 1830 census David and Jesse live next door to each other, a highly unusual event without some family connection. The account books for the Pactolus Iron Works in Sullivan County suggest that David is Jesse's son.

This map shows the location of Jesse's property as it related to Cook Valley, Poor Hollow and the nail factory, iron works and boarding house. (Sullivan County, TN. near Kingsport.)

This map shows the location of Jesse's 1807 and 1828 property. The property was located where Garrett's Creek crosses Pactolus Rd. William Poore's property is located across the Holston River(Sullivan Co., TN.)

On May 1, 1813 residents of Sullivan County South of the Holston River petitioned the Assembly of the State of Tennessee:

We the humble petitioners do pray to the Assembly of the State of Tennessee for a certain favor concerning Our Battallion Muster Ground. There are certain grievances,-attending the place where We Muster at. 1st. To wit. The River to be crossed with great difficulty and at certain times not at all, also not so centrical at the place it is now held at, meaning Francis Holley’s place, as was when held at Mr. Brunstutters formerly where Mr. Walter James lived. We your petitioners further, considering your knowledge of our difficulties and also of our disadvantages we labor underrest in hopes of this our petition to be considered by no means unreasonable therefore hope it will be granted us. ( Jesse “Poor” signed this petition. The petition was denied. The petitioners were seeking to have the Battalion Head Quarters of the Militia of the Eastern District of Tennessee moved. The river got too high at times for them to cross.)

In 1819, Jesse sold 16 acres of land to Jesse Smith; he also sold 185 acres to Isaac Williams. Isaac was related to the Embrees. In the 16 acres he sold to Jesse Smith he reserved one acre to be used as a cemetery. This land transfer accounted for all of the land that Jesse owned. He received $900 for the land, a considerable amount of money in 1819. On October 9, 1828 he is listed as owning ground on the Waters of Reedy Creek including an improvement. Beginning on the Red House Branch (Survey Book P. 1003, Jesse “Poor” Survey 4A. No. 578, March 20, 1829).

In 1815, he married Mary Morris. The information concerning Mary’s maiden name comes from other family researchers. I have never been able to verify it. Although, the 1850 census in Claiborne County, Tennessee does list Jesse and his family living next to Dillila Morris and her children. Living with her are Mary17; Martha A.,13; and Caroline, 7. She is listed as having been born in North Carolina. She and her children are also living next to Jesse in 1840. Dillila was the same age as Mary. I have been told by other Poore researchers that Mary had a twin; Dillila is probably the twin. Mary was also from North Carolina. There is strong evidence that Mary was of the Cherokee Nation. Her son, Mason's middle name, Greenleaf, reflects his Indian heritage. Louisa Poore his daughter listed her heritage as Indian on her marriage application.

Jesse and Mary's marriage is verified by the family Bible in my possession. I do not believe that Mary was Jesse’s first wife. Mary was only 14 years of age when they married. He was 44. The odds that Jesse did not have an earlier family is very remote. Mary was living with her daughter Eliza Poore Hicks when she died between 1870 and 1880. In 1830, Jesse, is still listed in the census for Sullivan County, although not all of his children were living with him. I believe that they were living with one of his children from a prior marriage. He left Sullivan County between 1830 and 1839. By 1839, he is listed on the tax rolls in Claiborne County. In 1840, he purchased 200 acres of ground, in Claiborne County. The land was in Grievers Hollow in Lonesome Valley, northwest of Tazewell. He was 70 years of age at the time.

Picture above is of the Foundation of the Pactolus Boarding House.
I have wondered why Jesse left Sullivan County at such an advanced age. His known verified children went with him. A number of other citizens of Sullivan County went to Claiborne County at the same time, the Moodys, the Clines, and the Shoemakers. They all settled in Claiborne County, in Lonesome Valley.

As I explored the history of Sullivan County a possible answer as to why Jesse left Sullivan County began to emerge. The most prosperous industry in Sullivan County and East Tennessee at the time was iron manufacturing. Iron was so important that it became a medium of exchange. Money was scarce. Muriel Spoden (1991) in her book Kingsport Heritage 1700-1900 wrote that, "In about 1811, Pactolus Iron Works was in operation and owned by the Elisha and Elijah Embree brothers. Between 1815 and 1822, the Pactolus Nail Factory was built adjacent to the Ironworks...The Embrees also built a large Pactolus Boarding House near the Nail Factory. Workmen at the works lived there and visitors were boarded there for many years. From time to time, the Embree families lived in the Pactolus Boarding House." The Boarding House was an impressive structure. It was built on a hill with a full basement (after visiting the site,I found the hill to be small). The first story was made of cut limestone and the two stories above were covered with wood siding. It had a stack chimney with seven flues. On the front there was a porch level with the second floor ten feet above the ground with a latticework railing. Another porch was on the back like a galley, with the kitchen on one end. The Boarding House had six rooms on the first floor, and rooms divided by wide central halls on the upper two floors. I obtained a copy of the account books for the Embree brothers’ Pactolus Iron Works: volume one covered 1811-1815, volume two, 1816-1817; volume 3, 1821-1824; volume 4, 1825-April, 1828. I know that Jesse lived for a time in the Pactolus Boarding House. In November 1811, the Pactolus Iron Works account ledger, volume 1 has an entry that charges "22 days of board at 20 cents per day" for Elihee Embree. This would be similar to the rent that Jesse paid. Volume 1 of the Embree account ledger lists Jesse "Poor" as paying $1.41 for food allocation on August 6, 1811. If he took meals at the boarding house logic; would dictate that he roomed there as well. This was before he married Mary Morris in 1814/1815. Two entries in October 1811 have Jesse receiving $.79 and $3.00 in wages. He had to have worked in the iron works/furnace. These wages pre-dated the building of the nail factory. Another entry in September 1811 has Jesse being paid $1.25 for 5 quarts of brandy. Does this mean he made liquor? He may have been in this business to some extent. Was he a “moonshiner”? This was not unheard of in East Tennessee. Another entry in volume 4, in October 1825 lists Robert Poor purchasing "15 pounds of #10 nails at $.20 per pound for $3.00". William Poore, born in 1804, was buried as William R. Poore. I believe this is the Robert mentioned in the entry. In the 1830 census Richard, born in 1816 lived with Jesse. I believe the other children were living with William Poore, born in 1804, or with Mary who was living in her own residence.

The Embrees developed the Pactolus Ironworks and Nail Factory manufacturing operation into a prosperous business. The complex covered over 850 acres on Kendrick and Garrett Creeks on the south bank of the Holston River. Jesse originally settled on Garrett's Branch. In March 1821, David Poore received $23.22 for product at 14 cents a pound as per his "father". Official records in Sullivan County at the time only list one Poor old enough to have a son David's age. That person is Jesse Poor. By 1812, David was at least 18, placing his birth at about 1794. Jesse would have been 24 in 1794 . David's business transactions were very active with the Embree brothers. He received $33.33 in May 1821, 50- cents in June, and purchased 10 pounds of #6 nails for $1.75 in June. David also received $2.58 for 3 pounds of iron in August 1821. An entry on June 27, 1821 reads "David Poore for hauling 37 cords of wood his or by the place where he lives-$4.75." On September 20, 1822 "David Pore for hauling 24 cords wood--$ 3.12.5". He worked very hard for his money. Elisha Embree died in 1820, Elijah continued to operate the Ironworks and purchased additional land in the area. This is the same time that Jesse Poore sold his 184 acres for $900.00.

This Iron Works relationship also explains why Jesse leased his property in Claiborne County to Kelly Evans Mining Company for the mineral rights in 1856. Between 1822 and 1829 Embree met with financial difficulties and by the 1840's moved most of the iron manufacturing to the Bumpass Cove Ironworks in Washington County. This is the time period Jesse left Sullivan County. Jesse served on county juries in Claiborne County in 1842 and 1846. In 1856, he sold some of his land and also let Kelly Evans and Company lease the mineral rights to the land. It has been speculated that a member of the Evans family was the father to his daughter Eliza Jean's son, W.T. Poore, who was my great grandfather. Jesse died between 1857 and 1860. He sold property to his son Richard in 1856 and is not listed in the 1860 census for Claiborne County. His wife Mary is listed as living with her daughter Eliza Hicks in the 1860 census. The last information I have for him is a “Homestead” document signed in May, 1857 for purposes of inheritance planning.

I received information in 1997 from James Henry Poore, a direct descendent of Mason G. Poore. James lives in Claiborne County and told me where Jesse Poore is buried. This information came down through his family. He told me that Jesse was buried in the Neil Mill Cemetery near Duncan Valley Church on Dogwood Road. Dr. Clark now owns the property. Donna Poore Quinn went to the cemetery and confirmed that Jesse, Mason and Mary are buried in the cemetery. James also told me that oral history in his family maintained that Mason Poore was Indian and that his mother Mary Morris was full-blooded Cherokee.

This is a copy of a deed found in Sullivan County, Tennessee:

Deed of Warranty between Phillip King and Jesse Poor on August 27, 1807 for $400 dollars in consideration of 201 acres located in Sullivan County, State of Tennessee. Description: A certain tract or parcel of land containing 201 acres be the same more or less situate lying and being in the county and state aforesaid south side of Holston River on Jarrett's Branch bounded on the west by Benjamin Birdwell and on the South and East by Walter King and Co.
Witnesses: George Vincent, Marck Osborn.
Proven: State of Tennessee, Sullivan County, Feb. Session, 1808 in open court by the oath of George Vincent and Marck Osborn
Reg.: May 5, 1808

Looking down Poor Hollow Sullivan County, Tennessee

Location of Jesse Poore's property in present day Kingsport,TN. along Moore Drive and Pactolus Road. The road that crosses Jesse's land comes up out of the draw at the home located at 213 Pactolus Road.

Listed below is a time line that I have put together of Jesse Poore’s Life:
  • Born in North Carolina in 1769-1770. He is absent from the 1790 census for North Carolina. The Tennessee census is not available. In 1796 he is not on the Sullivan County tax list.
  • The Tennessee and North Carolina census reports are not available for 1800.
  • In 1804 Jesse Poor is listed as a juror in Surry County, North Carolina. David is tried in Surry court in 1804.
  • Purchased land in Sullivan County, Tennessee in 1807.
  • Paid $1.41 for food allocation at Pactolus Boarding House on August 6, 1811.
  • Received $.79 and $3.00 in wages at the nail factory in October, 1811.
  • Paid $1.25 for 5 quarts of brandy in September, 1811.
  • On Sullivan County tax list with David Poor in 1812.
  • Listed as a member of the East Tennessee Militia in 1813.
  • Married Mary Morris in 1815.
  • Sold 201 acres of property in Sullivan County in 1819.
  • Survey completed on land on Reedy Creek in 1818.
  • Listed on 1830 Sullivan County census with David and William.
  • Purchased 200 acres of property in Claiborne County, Tennessee in 1839.
  • Served on a jury in Claiborne County in 1842.
  • Served on a jury in Claiborne County in 1846.
  • Mineral lease with Kelly Evans mining company for property in Greavers Hollow in 1854.
  • Declaration of Homestead in 1857. He is not on the census report for 1860. Mary, his wife, is living with her daughter Eliza Poore Hicks.


Because I believe that William R. Poore, born in N.C. in 1804, is Jesse’s son Jesse must have come to Sullivan County between 1804-1807. He had $900 to purchase land. I would estimate that his father could have been 60-70 years old by 1807. The $900 may have been an inheritance. Because he had children it seems logical to assume that his first wife died between 1810 and 1815. John Poore, who I believe to be Jesse’s son was born in 1810. Because Jesse purchased food at the Pactolus Boarding House in 1811, I would conclude that his first wife had died, possibly giving birth to John Poore in 1810.

Jarrett's Branch of the Holston River

Kendrick's Creek

Jesse Poore Land Transactions

SullivanEnoch ShipleyJesse Poor12/3/183890
SullivanPhillip KingJesse Poor8/27/1807201
SullivanJessie “Poer”Jesse Smith181916
SullivanJessie PoerIsaac Williams1819185

ClaiborneJames JenkinsJesse Poore184320
ClaiborneWm. WallaceJesse Poore1840150$150
ClaiborneBenj. SewellJesse Poore184562$200
ClaiborneJesse PoorTurner Poor1847$100
ClaiborneJesse PoorTurner Poor1855$100
ClaiborneJesse PoorHenry Poor1855$100
ClaiborneJesse PoorHenry Poor1850$100
ClaiborneJesse PoorKelly Evans Mining1854Lease
ClaiborneJesse PooreDeclaration of Homestead185782

Jesse’s Children

Richard Turner Poore 1815-1897

Richard Turner was Jesse's first son. I do not know a lot about him. I do know that Jesse sold him his farm prior to his death. I know that he was a farmer. I do have some information concerning Richard's daughter, Sarah. I have been to Richard’s grave. He is buried with his wife Elizabeth Sands in the Poore Cemetery at the head of Grievers Hollow, in Lonesome Valley, Claiborne County, Tennessee.

  Sarah Poore

The following information is from a transcript of the civil war pension record of John W. Sands, husband of Sarah Poore, daughter of Richard and granddaughter of Jesse Poore. John was in D Company, 6th Tennessee Infantry Volunteers. John is also Jesse’s grandchild. He is the son of Ann Poor. The record states that he married Harriett (second wife) about June 19, 1861 and that they lived together as man and wife until April 1862. At this time he enlisted in the "U.S. Volunteers". He volunteered in Whitley County, Kentucky in April of 1862 and died of small pox in Nashville on December 24, 1864.

Sarah Poore indicates that she married John Sands on December 18, 1858, and that her daughter Mary E. Sands was born July 18, 1861. The 1870 census report lists her as 7 years of age and being born in 1863. A statement from James Shoemaker stated that John Sands stayed with Sarah for four days after the marriage, he then went back to his home in Knox County, TN.

John indicated that he would make preparations for housekeeping and would then send for or come after his wife. After six months, he returned to Claiborne County to take his wife Sarah with him to Knox County. John and Sarah started out together, but after one mile she was unable to continue. She stayed with her uncle Henry Poore. John offered to pay for her care. She remained with her uncle for about three weeks. I do not know the nature of her illness, although it must have been somewhat serious to require three weeks of care. Strange, she was only one mile from her father's home. She later went to Knox County to be with her husband from Knox County, but he refused to see her. She returned home after three days. She basically had not seen him after June of 1858. After Sarah returned home she received a letter from John 3 or 4 days later. He indicated that he did not plan to live with her anymore and suggested that she should apply for a divorce. She never filed, but heard later that he had remarried. His new wife also filed a claim on his pension for daughter Mary Ann Sands.

The official record indicates that Sarah had not been with John since June of 1858. She gave birth to Mary on July 18, 1861. He could not have been Mary's father. Sarah had not seen him for three years prior to her daughter's birth. This judgment assumes that the information contained in the pension file is accurate.

The following individuals supported the petition of Sarah Poore: R. T. Poore and wife Elizabeth, Baxter Poor, Mason Poor, P.M. Poore, Sr. T. Cline, G. Cloud, James Goodin, John Goin, and P.E. Shoemaker. The Clouds, Clines, and Shoemakers were families that came to Claiborne County at the same time as Jesse.

This incident is provided to help understand the personal nature of life for those in Lonesome Valley during the civil war.

Sarah's husband John Sands was her first cousin and the son of Ann Poore, Richard Poore's sister and Jesse Poore's first daughter born in 1819. I also believe that Richard’s wife Elizabeth Sands was the daughter of William Sands and John’s aunt on the Sands side of the family. This relationship must have made for very interesting family reunions.

Pictures of a Poore Cabin in Lonesome Valley adjacent to the cemetery Richard T. Poore is buried in.

Picture of Ross and Ryan Poore at Richard T. Poore's grave in 1981-Lonesome Valley.

Lucy Mannery Poore Clark, Richard Turner Poore's Daughter

Richard W. Poore and Abby Drummonds Poore

Back Row: Gray Poore, Jane Poore Swanson, Renny Poore Hill, Wm. Poore, Sterling Poore
Front Row: Richard Wesley Poore, on lap, George "Doc" Poore, Sibba Abby Gail Drummond, on Sibba's lap, Laura Kizzie Bell Poore Mayes

Richard and Sibba married on Dec. 24, 1888, Richard Wesley was Richrd Turner's son. Picture taken about 1888.

Mason Green Poore

Mason Greenleaf Poore

He was a handsome man. Like his brother Richard, he did not serve in the civil war. Age may have played a part in this. He was 44 and Richard 45 when the war started. His younger brothers who served in the war were 8 to 23 years younger.

My research indicates that he was a farmer. On Halloween in 1834 he married Nancy Davis. Mason is the one child of Jesse and Mary that confirms my belief that the Poore family had a Cherokee heritage. I have talked with his descendants. All of them have referred to his middle name, Greenleaf, as an example of his Cherokee heritage. They said that family oral tradition has always spoken of his Indian heritage from his mother Mary.

Mason died at a relatively young age. He was 55 at the time of his death. His wife Nancy died on March 17, 1914. They had the following children: Calvin Newton, Melvina, Pleasant H, Thomas Craig, Louisa F., Melvin D., Samuel, Andrew J., and Mary Mahula.

L to R- Sam Poore (Mason's son), Grant Poore (Baxter's Grandson), Edward Poore (Jesse's Son)

This picture was taken by Jessie Robert Poore, Edward's son in 1909 under the 300 foot high Rail Road trestle in Lonesome Valley

This picture is of Nancy Davis Poore the wife of Mason Poore. Also in the picture is her daughter Mary Poore Daniel and Mary's husband JohnWashington Daniel and their daughters L-R, Maude Annie and Docia A. Daniel. Initially I though this picture was of Sarah Poore Sands, Richard's daughter, but upon examining the picture more carefully I do not believe it is. The picture comes down through Mason's family.

Ann Poore Sands

Referred to as Sarah, Ann was born in Sullivan County, Tennessee on March 15, 1819. I do not know a lot about Ann. She married William Sands. Her son John Sands married Sarah Poore her niece. I suspect the reason for the marriage between her son and her brother Richard’s daughter Sarah was because of their farms close proximity in Lonesome Valley, Tennessee. In 1850, the farms adjoined one another. By 1869 William and Ann Sands had left Claiborne County. They are listed in the 1869 census report for Knox County, Tennessee. By 1880 they are listed in Claiborne County. This would be consistent with the application filed by her daughter-in-law for her son John’s civil war pension. Her son John, Jesse’s grandson, died of smallpox during the civil war. Ann had the following children: John born in 1839; Anderson, 1840; Martha, 1841; Jessie, 1842; Mary A., 1843; James H., 1846; Eli N., 1847, and Eliza, 1848. Her son James Henry Sands married Lucy Jane Killion on December 12, 1867. Jane was born in 1848 in Claiborne County, Tennessee. They had at least two daughters, Minnie and Sophia. Lucy Jane also married Newton Ward on February 2, 1882. He was from Boston, Arkansas. Lucy died December 14, 1918. His sister Sophia Bernette was born on July 12, 1886. Minnie Sands married Newton Ward on October 7, 1903. Minnie died on April 11, 1951 in Bixby, Oklahoma. James Henry served in the civil war in G Company, 7th Tennessee Mounted Infantry. He fought for the Union.

The 1860 census lists William Sands as born in 1812. The 1880 census lists him as 78 years of age, which places his birth as 1802. He lists his birthplace as Virginia. He also lists his parents place of birth as Virginia. Listed in the home are Ann, age 62, Samantha, 19, Lafayette, 15, Andy,26, William’s grandchildren, John, 9, Sarah J., 6, Lloyd, 5, and Willey, 2. He is listed as living next to Richard and Baxter Poor.

Baxter B. Poore

“When Johnny Comes Marching Home Again.”

Baxter B. Poor's civil war military file in the national archives lists him on a descriptive roll of the U.S. Paroled Forces forwarded from Annapolis, Maryland to Camp Chase, Ohio, assigned to Co. A, 4th Regiment Paroled Infantry. This organization was formed from paroled prisoners of war for duty compatible with their parole. Such members were returned to their commands.

Baxter was present at Camp Chase, Ohio on April 13, 1863. He is listed as being born in Sullivan County, Tennessee, 38 years of age and a farmer. He is described as having blue eyes, black hair, fair complexion, and 5 ft. 81/2 inches tall. On June 14, 1863 he was returned to his regiment under arrest. He had been "absent without authority". He continued to be under arrest as of October 31, 1863. On December 13, 1863, he was court-martialed for absence without authority. He forfeited nine months pay allowances; the same as his brother Henry. Between September 17, 1862 and May 1863 he is listed as a deserter in the area of the Cumberland Gap. From April 11, 1864, through July1he is listed as absent from the regiment due to illness. He was listed as in the hospital on August 10, 1864 near Albany, Indiana. As of this date he was unassigned due to a "dislocation of the left knee joint".

Prisoner of war records show that he was captured at "Clayborne" , Tennessee on February 25, 1863 and sent to Knoxville. The Confederate States at Richmond, Virginia confined him on March 14, 1863. He was paroled at City Point, Virginia on March 18, 1863. He reported at City Point, Maryland on March 21. He was sent to Camp Chase, Ohio on April 6, 1863.

Pictures of Baxter's family were provided by Pat Lockhart Lance.

Baxter C. Poore, Nathaniel Hugh Poore, and Ester Orlena Mathis Poore

Baxter C. Poore, son Amos, Orlena

John Tipton Poore son of Baxter, Sr. born April 20, 1876 died February 22, 1953. He built my grandfathers first home in Middlesboro, Ky..

Baxter C. Poore, wife Esther, and Chastity G. Poore, wife of John Tipton Poore

PryorPoore Baxter's son, born in 1861. He married Elizabeth Mathis October 30, 1833.

The chart below lists Baxter’s children from his second marriage to Martha Mathis:

While the exact identity of the individuals are open to discussion it is know that they are Poore's. "Poore" is written on the back of the picture. Other Poore researcher believe the site is at Samuel Patton Poore's grave (died 1919). It is thought that the two individuals are Baxter's sons-John Tipton Poore and Wiley Branscombe Poore. The individual on the right also looks like Baxter, Jr. Any exact identities are welcome.

Henry Poore

Henry Poore
Having limited information on Henry I was especially pleased to receive a copy of his obituary from Ola Keyes, an early Poore researcher. She helped me a great deal in my early research and became a dear friend.

The character of Henry Poore is reflected in his obituary:

    Father Henry Poore was born July 28, 1829 and died April 21, 1904 and was therefore 75 years, 8 months and 18 days. Father Poor was an active Baptist minister, having assumed his calling in 1865 and was admired by all religious classes as a worthy disciple of Christ.

    Father Poor enlisted in the Federal army during the rebellion and served his country as a soldier faithfully and well. However, the dark winged angel of Death came nevertheless, Jesus gave him in his disconsolate hour faith and endurance that is treasured in Heaven's above, into the association of an angelic world.

    Paralysis was the occasion of his death. He leaves behind him a wife and six children to mourn his loss, but their loss is his eternal gain.

    Funeral service was conducted at the home by Revs Jo. Evans, J.W. Branson,Thomas Poor and Marshall Duncan. Quite a number of relatives attended the funeral. To his widow and children we extend our hearty sympathies for the last audible words that came were, "This surely is my coronation day" Smoothly and softly he went to sleep in Jesus---a sleep from which we will never awake to weep.


The obituary reflects that he was a religious man, served his country, was highly respected, and died from the results of a stroke. Any of us should be pleased to have such a tribute written about us at the time of our death.

Civil War Participation

Lavina Poore
Lavina (Henry's wife) filed for his civil war pension in 1883 and in 1904. She is pictured to the left.

In his book, History of Claiborne County (1981), Dr. Edgar Holt stated, "As controversy divided the nation in the years preceding the actual outbreak of the civil war violence, the people of Claiborne County also were divided. The divisions sometimes erupted within families, and often neighbors took opposite sides.” The war divided the Poore family. Jesse Poore's sons Henry and Baxter, along with Baxter's son Isaac served in the 3rd East Tennessee Volunteer Infantry Regiment. Baxter was a private in Company J, while Henry and Isaac served in Company I. Jesse's son Edward served with the 1st Tennessee Infantry, Confederate States of America. The 3rd Regiment was organized in February 1862, at Flat Lick, Kentucky and was mustered out at Nashville, Tennessee on February 23, 1865.

In August 1862 when Confederate Major General E. Kirby Smith started on his invasion of Kentucky, one battalion of the 3rd was at London, Kentucky under the command of Colonel Leonidas Houk, the other at Richmond, Kentucky under the command of Lt. Colonel John Chiles. On August 17 the London regiment was attacked, 13 killed, 17 wounded and 111 captured. A large number of the 3rd (140) escaped and reached Cumberland Gap five days later.

Clark Poore, mother Lavina and wife Ann.

Charlie Bell and Henry's daughter Louisa

David Huffman Poore and Margaret Watt Poore

Lt. Colonel Chiles and the battalion won a commendation for the part it played in an action at Big Hill, Rock Castle County, Kentucky. The commendation indicated that the 3rd met the enemy bravely, and checked his advance. Major General William Nelson asked Colonel Chiles to "accept his thanks and convey to his officers and men his high appreciation of their gallantry and good conduct."

Reports of August 30, record that 250 men were engaged in the fight at Big Hill, the whole command scattered, some captured, some went to Cumberland Gap. On October 8, in the Battle of Perryville, Kentucky, some men were in a detachment commanded by Colonel T.T. Garrard.

The regiment later engaged the enemy at Murfreesboro, and Chattanooga. On January 1, 1864 the brigade was near Knoxville, and the 3rd at Armstrong's Ford, five miles northeast of Knoxville.

The brigade took an active part in the Atlanta Campaign, beginning with the engagement at Resaca in May 1864. By September 1, the regiment was at Jonesboro, Georgia; on September 8 at Decatur. By January 1865 the regiment was back in Tennessee. The regiment was mustered out of service at Nashville, February 25, 1865. Later recruits whose term of enlistment had not expired were transferred to the 4th Tennessee Infantry Regiment.

National Archive Record

Henry Poor's military record includes a number of instances of desertion or "absent without authority." On June 14, 1863 he was returned to his regiment under arrest. On December 13, 1863 he was court- martialed for absence without authority. He was required to forfeit nine months pay and allowances as a result of "Government Order 32" on December 13, 1863. From May, 1864 thru December, 1864 he was a patient in ward 7 and 9 at "Asylum U.S.A. General Hospital" in Knoxville, Tennessee". This was an extended confinement. The record does not indicate the medical reason. When Henry was listed as "absent" it was at the Cumberland Gap in Tennessee, an area less than five miles from his home. This behavior was very common during the war. He probably went home to see his family, or to work on his farm. History should not judge him too harshly for this.

Henry Poore Farm Lonesome Valley, Tennessee Picture provided by Evie Poore Cline, his granddaughter

Edward Poore

“I wish I was in the land of Cotton.”

dward went to Coy, Arkansas after the civil war. His son Jesse Robert Poore (buried in New London, Connecticut) made many of the early pictures that I have of the Poore family. Jesse lived in Humphrey, Arkansas. He was a professional gambler and photographer. He had three sons: William, Jessie Isaac Edward, and Charles Edward. Edward obtained a marriage certificate in Claiborne Co. Tennessee on April 5, 1856 and married Mary Morris on April 10, 1856. The service was performed by Rulen Mason. I wonder if this was the Mary Morris living with her mother Dillela adjacent to Jesse Poore in the 1850 census? She would have been 23 in 1856. It seems logical. Edward Poore's second wife was Mary Patterson.

Edward served in Co. D, 1st Battalion Tennessee Infantry, Confederate States of America, and formerly 50th Consolidated. Edward Poore had strong feelings about the civil war. His grandson, Charles, told me that he refused to wear a blue shirt up to the day he died. He would not wear "Union Blue". He was in the war fighting against his brothers, Baxter, Henry, nephew Isaac (Baxter's son), John and James Henry Sands (Anne Poore’s sons).

Much of what I have written here parallels an article written by Kenneth Elburn Byrd about his ancestor Alfred James Byrd. This information was used with the permission of the author.

Our ancestor Edward Poor, son of Jesse was enlisted as a private in Co. D, lst Battalion, 50th Tennessee Infantry, C.S.A.

Edward Poore, and his second, wife Mary Patterson are pictured below.
CSA Brigadier General Lloyd Tilghman took command of both Fort Henry (on the Tennessee River) and Fort Donelson (on the Cumberland River) in January of 1862. The 50th Tennessee Infantry reported 499 electives present for duty out of a total force of 847 on January 21, 1862. The 30th, 49th, and 50th Tennessee Infantries were formed into a brigade commanded by Colonel J.H. Head on February 9, 1862 and assigned to Fort Donelson proper and also to support its water batteries on the Cumberland River--this assignment occurred after the fall of Fort Henry on February 6, 1862. Previously, the 50th Tennessee Infantry had helped in making ready both Fort Henry and Fort Heinan across the Tennessee River from Fort Henry in Kentucky (Byrd,).

A battle between the Federal ironclads and the small garrison at Fort Henry on February 6, 1862--only 12 miles away from Fort Donelson. General Tilghman surrendered the fort after helping man the cannons. The defenders at Fort Donelson heard Fort Henry's capture and knew their turn was next (Byrd,).

Federal General Ulysses S. Grant began his assault against Fort Donelson on February 12, 1862, marching from now Federal-occupied Fort Henry through the heavily forested countryside. Periodic skirmishing took place between General Grant's soldiers and Confederate cavalry under then Colonel Nathan Bedford Forrest. The next day (February 13) three separate battles took place at Fort Donelson during the morning hours, all with no apparent benefit to the advancing Federal soldiers. U.S. Grand then gave the green light to USN Flag Officer Andrew Hull Foote and his flotilla of ironclads---victors of Fort Henry on February 6--to assault Fort Donelson by the Cumberland River (Byrd, ).

On February 14, 1862 Confederate gunners at Fort Donelson attacked the Federal ironclads. The accurate, punishing fire of the Confederate water batteries totally dominated and disabled Flag Officer Fllte's flotilla--3 or 4 of the ironclads drifted helplessly downstream after being shattered by the Southern artillery. This battle convinced General Grant that Fort Donelson, unlike Fort Henry, would be taken by infantry and not naval attacks (Byrd, ).

Also on February 14, the commanding general at Fort Donelson, Gideon Pillow convened a war council that decided to break out of U.S. Grant's encirclement and escape to Nashville, Tennessee. The attempt to escape the Federal siege began before dawn the next day on the East Road, outside the actual perimeter of Fort Donelson. The Confederate attack surprised and overwhelmed Federal soldiers camped in Bufford Hollow and along Wynn's Ferry Road in the icy darkness of early morning (Byrd,).

U.S. Grant managed to halt his fleeing soldiers and organized Federal counterattacks by the early afternoon of February 15. Seeing the Confederates had made their massive assault against his right, General Grant reasoned the Confederate lines were weak on his left; he therefore ordered General C.F. Smith to attack directly against the outer earthworks along the Eddyville Road, SW of Fort Donelson. General Smith's soldiers breached these defenses with an uphill bayonet attack and were threatening Fort Donelson itself. A Confederate counterattack by Brigadier general Simon Buckner's division against this Federal challenge was reinforced by garrison soldiers from Fort Donelson under Colonel Sigg, including the 5oth Tennessee Infantry. The bloody activity on February 15 halted at sundown with the Confederate and Federal lines returning to essentially their earlier positions---at a cost of over 3000 casualties.

That night, Confederate Generals Pillow and Floyd held another meeting with their subordinate commanders and decided to surrender to U.S. Grant. Colonel Nathan Bedford Forrest refused to do so and escaped with his cavalry about 4:00 A.M. on the morning of February 16.

Commanding Generals Floyd and Pillow escaped by steamboat on the Cumberland River, leaving behind about 15,000 Confederate soldiers to fend for themselves. At this point Grant had between 16,500 and 17,500 Confederated soldiers surrendered to him by his former West Point classmate, General Buckner. Thousands of the Confederate soldiers were loaded onto a Federal Transport at Dover, Tennessee and sent down the Cumberland, then Ohio Rivers to Cairo, Illinois. The soldiers were then loaded onto a cold, drafty railroad car and delivered to Chicago, Illinois for imprisonment in POW Camp Douglas.

Confederate soldiers arrived in Chicago on about February 20 or 21, 1862 and were marched towards a large Federal Flag hanging over the street, their ranks parted and the disgruntled rebs passed on either side with passing under the "stars and stripes".

Many of the confederate prisoners were released from Camp Douglas on September 5, 1862 and then sent to Vicksburg, Mississippi for formal exchange. Confederate authorities at Jackson, Mississippi on September 23-24, 1862, then reorganized the 50th Tennessee Infantry.

This unit was consolidated with the 1st (Colms') Infantry Battalion from November 1862 to February 24, 1864. This Battalion was designated as the 50th Infantry Regiment Consolidated.

The 50th Infantry Regiment participated in the following battles: Fort Donelson, Chikasas Bayou, Port Hudson, Vicksburg, Raymond, Jackson, Jackson Siege, Chickamauga, Chattanooga Siege, Atlanta Campaign, New Hope Church, Kennesaw Mountain, Peach Tree Cree, Atlanta Siege, Jonesboro, Franklin and Nashville.

National Archive Record

Mary Poore, her daughter, and grandchildren from her first marriage; a good example of life at the time.
I received a copy of Edward "Poor's" military record from the national archives. On January 21, 1864 he was in Dalton, Georgia time. His record further states that "said soldier is indebted to the Confederate States for one gun and accruements lost---$64.00." I wonder if he ever paid the bill? He lost his rifle in combat. I was impressed with the detailed records kept at the time. Edward Poore was buried on his 90th birthday. He is buried in Coy, Arkansas. He was present for all roll calls during his period of service. This was not the case with his brothers Henry and Baxter.

Edward Poore and grandson

This is Charles Edward Poore, Jesse Robert's son, and Edward's grandson. He provided me with most of the pictures of Edward Poore.

Edward Poore Postscript

I was able to track part of Edward’s descendants thanks to his grandson Charles Edward Poore from Pine Bluff, Arkansas. Edward had two children that I was able to track, Jesse Robert Poore and Mary Poore.

Jesse Robert was born in Arkansas February 11, 1870 and died in New London, Conn. January 9, 1955. Mary was born in 1872. She married Henry Felts when she was 14. He was 23, they married August 8, 1886. I found Mary in the 1910 federal census in Izard, Pleasant Hill Arkansas. She is listed as 35 years of age. She indicates that her father was born in North Carolina and her mother was born in Arkansas. Her father was actually born in Sullivan County, Tennessee. She is a widow. She lists twin sons, George and Robert, age 14, John M., 13, Bert L., 11 (born 11/27/1898-died 9/1979 in Tulsa), Elsie M. 9, Everett, 6, and Annie, 4. Her mother-in-law Casandra, age 79 is living in the home. She was born in N.C. In 1930, Mary is living in Tulsa, Oklahoma. She is listed as a widow and lives with her son Bert, age 31, a car salesman, along with his wife Anna and Ruth Madelin, a boarder, age 20.

Tracking the marriages of Jesse R. Poore is interesting. One of his wife’s died “accidently” when he dropped a pistol and it discharged. I found the following marriage records:

J.R. Par, age 20, m. M.E. Lyons (17) 10/25/1889
J.R. Poor, age 31, m. Fannie Murphy (30), 5/4/1902
Jessie Poor, age 38, m. Janie Nix (17), 8/11/1918

I found the following additional marriages recorded in the county:

Mary Poor (14), m. Henry Felts, 23, 8/8/1886
William Poor (22), m. Sylvia Johnson, 18, 11/20/1890
Ms. Frances Poore (25), m. John Decent, 47, 3/24/1910
Stella Poore (23), m. W.E. Duncan, 47, 6/5/1928

I found the following additional information and list it for historical purposes

1910 Federal Census Indian Bayou, Lonoke, Arkansas

  Ed Pare (PoreP
      Mary, born May, 1860, age 40
      Jessie, born April, 1880
      Fannie, (40), February 1860, boarder
      Abbie, 12, January 1888
      Harvey, 10, October 1889
      Mary, 5, 1894
      Willie, 2, 1898, the World War 1 draft registration care lists Willie Poor, born August 6, 1897, and lists his father as Jesse Poor, Humphrey, Arkansas.

1910 Federal Census, Indian Bayou, Lonoke, Arkansas

    Jesse Paar 40
    Willie Paar 12
    Janie Paar 19
    Mary Paar 64
    Edward Paar 72

    Prarie, Watensaw, Arkansas Mattie Poor (14) with her husband William McCarity (age 26). Mattie was born 2/17/1896.

1930 Federal Census, Barton, Arkansas
    Jesse R. Poore 60
    Martha (wife) 40
    Jessie Isaac. Edward 16, born 3/30/1913- died 8/14/1986
    Daisy, 14
    Johnny, 11
    Calvin E., 6 10/20/1923-12/21/1923
    Charlie E., 34/12 8/28/1926-12/28/1997 buried Cypress Memory Garden, Pine Bluff, Arkansas
    Hollis 5/12,
I spoke and corresponded with Charles E. Poore many times. I located his daughter, Margaret Jones in White Hall, Arkansas. I found Charles very willing to help with this project. He provided pictures and stories of Edward Poore.

Mary Poore

Mary had two children; Mary Jane, 1857 and Thomas born in 1870. She died on June 18, 1876 at the age of 37. I would guess that she died from complications of childbirth.

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