The story that I can remember goes like this.
One of the St. Clair county community famlies who lived close to Beason's Cove had a son home on Furlough from the Confederate Army. When they heard that the Confederate Quarter Master was sweeping the County taking all live stock for use by the CSA, he took the family stock to Horse Pens 40 (an infamous Indian hide away) at the foot of Chandler Mte. The military killed him and took the stock.
Within a few days "about" 20 or so neighborhood young men left for Nashville to join the Federal Army. They were from several of the most prominent famlies. I recognize most of the names from my childhood days visiting my grand parents south of Steele. The politics of the time was mixed and neighbor loyalties were stronger than government.
All of the boys joined the 3RD REGIMENT COMPANY K TENNESSEE VOLUNTEER CAVALRY. after several months of combat in Northern Alabama near Athens, they were guarding the Sulphur Branch Trestle (a key railroad property for the Federal armies to re-supply their troops.
In Sept 1864 CSA General
Hood [Nathen Bedford Forrest] captured the
Federal site wth all troops and they entered the CSA
system of POW Camps ending up in Cahaba. When the war was over a prisoner
Exchange resulted them traveling to Vicksburg and boarded the great river boat
"Sultana." Thus, the explosion and history Thererafter. In my younger days (B. Jan. 1,1926 in
Attalla) around Steele and Ashville I sensed strained relation between certain
families but never knew the reason until I was an adult and my Aunt ------------
started helping me with Genealogy of the family.I did
not know the story of the Sultana until about 15 years ago. If i'm not mistaken Lewis Deerman
was at one time during reconstruction days the Tax Collector. My Grandaddy’s family were holders of large acreage, with a very nice antebelum home that still stands on Beason
Cove Road. My parents spent the last 35 years of their lives living in Steele
below Chandler Mte.
ps THERE IS AN INTERESTING DAY-BY-DAY RECORD IN "LOYAL MOUNTAIN TROOPERS" of the exploits of the 2nd and 3rd Tn. Vol. Cav. leading up to their capture at the Trestle. by Charles McCammon. I got my copy from The Blount Co. Genealogical and Historical Society, PO Box 4986, Maryville,Tn 3782-4986.
Many of the Tn. members of the 3rd were from East Tn.