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JIM: Rev. Hadley recollects, 100 years ago, nigh this day of year

Rev. Thomas Hadley, shortly before his demise later in 1915, recalled the the battle of Stone River, Tenn., including the fate of Columbia, Kentuckians, Col. Sam McKee, and Dr. Heck Owens. Rev. Hadley was a minister in the United Brethren Church, and is remembered favorably for his great posts to the Adair County News of the day.
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Several community newsletters graced the pages of the January 13, 1915 edition of the News. Most of the items dealt with who had visited whom, who had entertained whom, and which parties had taken up the mantle of married life during the Christmas season. However, Rev. Thomas Hadley, long time correspondent for Rowes X-Roads in Russell County, devoted a goodly part of his allotted space to recollections, penned on New Year's Eve, 1914, to events of more than half a century earlier.

Wrote the good man of the cloth:

"52 years ago to-day, I was wounded and captured at the battle of Stone River, Tenn. I was a member of Co. G, 3rd Ky. Infantry. Capt. [sic; should be Col.] Sam McKee, of Columbia, was in command of the regiment when we went into the fight. He was killed in a little while.

(The official battle report states, "Col. McKee fell at 11 o'clock, after he had been engaged half an hour, and when the contest was at its height...a truer patriot, a braver man, or better Christian never fell infighting in defense of truth and liberty." He was an early faculty member of the Columbia Male & Female High School; his brother, Rev. John Lapsley McKee, was the school's first principal. - jim)

"Dr. Heck Owens, also of Columbia, was taken prisoner with me. We were captured at the Field Hospital across the river. Dr. Owens had just taken off a leg for a lieutenant of Co. F, I think his name was Dan Servants, when the 3rd Georgia cavalry made a charge on the hospital, and took us in. This was on Dec. 31, 1862. The 3rd Ky., lost in that battle 117 killed, wounded and missing, so says our history.

"There is still 10 or 12 of old Company G living yet. I am the youngest. I am 71. So, you see it will all soon be a thing of the past. Boys, meet me in glory."

Five months and eight days after Rev. Hadley penned these lines, this good man of the cloth "passed over the river and entered into the rest of the other shore," following an illness of about twelve weeks' duration. Wrote the News of their late correspondent, "He wrote like he talked, and his blunt way of expressing himself, made his letters quite enjoyable...He was minister in the United Brethren Church, was a gallant Union soldier in the War Between the States, was a kind hearted man, one who will not only be missed by the surviving members of his family, but by all his neighbors and friends."


This story was posted on 2015-01-11 07:43:48
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