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Old cabin, Morgan Co., TN East Tennessee Footsteps

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   Delaney:
    Daniel H. Delaney
    Daniel H. & John
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     Jacob & Mary Jane

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     The Civil War
     Joseph & Priscilla
     Jacob & Martha
     Julius Jr. & Sarah
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     Susan & Allen
     Betsey & James
     Alford Hacker Sr.
     Alford Hacker Jr.  

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East Tennessee Hackers & the Civil War

Editor's Note: This article is for my father and Uncle Leonard, who showed me the places of our family and their boyhood, shared their remembrances, and made it come alive for me.

All of the Hackers discussed in this article are descendants of Julius Hacker Sr., a German immigrant to the American colonies in the early 1700s. Most are descendants of his son Joseph Hacker Sr. of Roane County, or are cousins who still had ties to the family in Roane during the time period involved.

1859 1861 1862 1863 1864 1865Aftermath
Other Tennessee Hackers in the Civil War

1859

Joseph Hacker Sr. of Roane County

When the year opened in 1859, Joseph Hacker Sr. of Roane County, Tennessee, was 84 years old with only a month left to live.

The son of a German immigrant, he was 5 years old when his family waited out the King's Mountain fight at Shelby's Fort near present-day Bristol, TN and VA. His father had purchased land in Roane County when it was still Knox and they had lived on the fringes of Indian territory when fighting was commonplace. And he was a veteran himself, having served in the War of 1812.

He would have been acutely aware of the slavery debates swirling in the country; Tennessee had its share of slave-holders; and while it also had some free blacks, their life was made difficult in many way. As an example, they paid a higher poll tax than did white men.

He had outlived two of his sons, John and George; son Joel lived near him, and Julius was gone to Missouri. No doubt he knew how Joel, living next door, felt about the looming war; surely he wondered about his grandsons in Missouri and other parts of East Tennessee. Not to mention his numerous cousins in McMinn and Meigs county.

On Feb. 6, Joseph died, leaving no will.

1859 was the year that John Brown made an unsuccessful raid on Harper's Ferry.

1861

Samuel Hacker of McMinn County and William Silvey of Roane

In January 1861, the South seceded, including the State of Tennessee. On April 12, the Confederates opened fire on Ft. Sumter, which surrendered the following day. The war was on. And at least one Hacker wasn't waiting for the war to pass him by.

In McMinn County in mid-April, one Samuel Hacker, the oldest son of Alfred Hacker Sr., cousin to the deceased Joseph Hacker of Roane, joined the ranks of the Confederate 3rd Tennessee Regiment. In July of that year, marching between Wincester and Martinsburg, VA, in the line of battle, Samuel was accidentally shot in the breast by a fellow Confederate, with a ball lodging between the fourth and fifth ribs. He was hospitalized for a month, and returned to duty.

In Roane County in August, William Silvey, a close neighbor of the Hackers, made his decision to enlist. Although many East Tennesseans strongly supported the Union, the area around Roane County had more than its share of Confederate supporters and was under Southern control.

In order to enlist, East Tennesseans with Federal loyalties had to make their way secretly to Kentucky where they could enlist in the Union Army. On 20 August, William Silvey was in Barboursville, KY, where he enlisted with the 1 Reg't East Tennessee Infantry.

1862

Joel, Joseph H., and Alfred Hacker Jr.: Roane County Soldiers

On January 27, President Lincoln issued a war order authorizing the Union to launch a "unified aggressive action" against the Confederacy; and in February, Nashville was the first Confederate state capital captured by Union forces.

In that year, Joel Hacker enlisted in the 5th Tennessee Infantry, as did his son Joseph H., and a cousin Alfred Hacker Jr. (brother to Samuel Hacker serving the Confederacy). As had their neighbor Silvey, the three Roane County residents made their way through Confederate lines to Kentucky to enlist.

Joseph, Julius, and William Hacker of Claiborne County.

Also in 1862, two young men, another Joseph Hacker and his brother Julius, appeared in Roane County Court to claim their share of their Grandfather Joseph's estate. The estate and court proceedings had been advertised in Tennessee newspapers in 1859 and 1860, but the war had intervened. This Joseph and Julius were the sons of Joseph's son George, who died about 1843 in Grainger Co., TN. And they were members of Ashby's Cavalry, a Confederate unit, along with their brother William.

Silvey Goes Home

Around the beginning of December 1862, Pvt. William Silvey, received word from home that his family was being "harassed by Rebels." He sought and received permission from his commanding officer to go home to see to them.

1863

Early in February 1863, William Silvey set out from home to return to his regiment in Kentucky, heading up through Winter's Gap (present-day Oliver Springs). There he was taken prisoner and expediently shot by Rebels on Feb. 7, dying at the home of Robert Lively, who family lore says was the man who shot him. Uncle Leonard said the site was near the current high school.

Another researcher's family tradition says that when Lively saw who he had shot, he was horrified; and Silvey said to him "My God, why did you shoot me?"

Lively was not only a neighbor, but related by marriage to William Silvey. In turn, William Silvey was the father of the girl who would marry Joseph H. Hacker.

In the meantime, Joel and Joseph Hacker were suffering from the one thing that killed more men in the Civil War than bullets or shells: disease. It decimated the men of the 5th Tennessee.

Both Joel and Joseph had enlisted in 1862, but both were absent without leave for a time. Reviewing their pension files, you can see the list of diseases that plagued them: Joel with smallpox, rheumatism; his son Joseph with mumps, rheumatism. Hospitals were considered a place for soldiers to die; and many soldiers simply went home when they were sick, returning later to their units. This may have been what Joel and Joseph did, as they both later received pensions related to their service.

1863 was the year that Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation. It also was the year of Chancellorsville, Vicksburg and Gettsyburg; and the battles were raging in Tennnessee.

In September came the battle of Chicamauga, one of the bloodiest of the war. In this battle Alfred Hacker Jr. sustained a leg injury, and a 12-year-old Jacob Mayton was said by my grandmother to have stood with the wagons. The Chattanooga Campaign also was launched in September; and Gen. Hooker's corps, including the 5th Tennessee, were there.

Jacob Mayton's daughter Maude would later marry a son of Joseph H. Hacker.

In the fall of 1863, Ashby's men made up part of the Confederate cavalry carrying out Bragg's surprise raid into Kentucky. At or near Lexington, young Julius Hacker, grandson to the deceased Joseph Hacker, fell into Union hands. He and at least one other soldier in his unit were sent to Fort Delaware, DE, where they spent the remainder of the war.

1864

By 1864, Grant had formulated his plans to move on Georgia and Atlanta. On May 6, there was a skirmish at Tunnel Hill, where Joseph H. Hacker was listed on sick call.

As the Union Army moved south, it encountered resistance at Resaca, with the main fighting occurring on May 14 and 15. At some point in this battle, Alfred Hacker Jr., was shot through the neck with the bullet striking his shoulder. His injury was severe enough that he had to drop out of the march.

The Army continued Southward; and on August 2, Atlanta fell. By Fall, Alfred Hacker was home in Roane at least long enough to marry Sabie Roberts. In December, Savannah was captured.

1865

In 1865, Samuel Hacker was part of the Army of Northern Virginia under Joseph E. Johnston and was in North Carolina. On April 9, Lee surrendered; and on April 14, Lincoln was assassinated.

In Tennessee, Joel Hacker was a very sick man; and in one of the many hospitals in Nashville, he died on 23 April. But he lived long enough to know that the war was over and that his president had been killed. He must have wondered about the safety of his son and cousins and what would happen to his wife and other children. Typically, the bureaucracy couldn't get it right: They buried him as Joseph Hacker.

In May 1865, Julius Hacker was released from prison at Ft. Delaware, and after signing an oath of loyalty, was given transportation to at least Philadelphia and possibly Morristown, TN. Likewise in May, Samuel Hacker received permission to return home from North Carolina.

In July, Joel's son Joseph H. mustered out and took the train home from Nashville.

Aftermath

After returning home from Delaware, Julius Hacker married Susannah Hopper in 1865; he died in 1902. His wife drew an "indigent" Confederate widow's pension.

Julius' brother William Hacker also survived the war; he married Mary A. Goin on 26 Feb. 1865. Brother Joseph, who had married Julia Ann Rodgers about 1858, likewise survived. He eventually moved his family to the Oklahoma Territory.

On April 1, 1866, my great-grandfather Joseph H. Hacker married Eliza Jane Silvey, who died in 1881. He remarried in 1890 to Nancy Ann Boles/Balch.

Of his Civil War experience, Joe later told his son Alexander that he was out lying in the woods one night and he felt something warm against his back. He was not sure what had moved in on him. It was a pig that had snuggled up to him to get himself warm. My grandfather later narrated this story to my Uncle Leonard, who in turn passed it to my cousin Terry and myself.

In later years, Joe drew a Union pension; and in 1915, he died at the home of his daughter Maggie Morgan in Morgan Co., TN. Uncle Leonard recalled that they brought him down from Oakdale on the train and buried him at Prospect Cemetery, now called Dyllis, in Roane Co., TN.

Why he was buried at Dyllis after dying in Morgan County was a mystery to us until my cousin Gillis Morgan, whose mother was Maggie Morgan, told us that Grandpa Joe had wanted to be buried with the other "old soldiers" at Dyllis. My grandfather began work on the form to get a veteran's headstone during the 1920s, but was unable to complete it. In 2001, Uncle Leonard, Terry, and I completed the forms and finally received a Civil War headstone for Grandpa Joe, which Terry placed at Dyllis.

Alfred Hacker Jr. eventually moved to McMinn County, where his family had resided previously. His brother George, who also served in the Union Army, survived the war as well and returned to the McMinn/Meigs Counties area.

In 1868, Alfred's first wife died; and he married Nancy Taylor White in 1871. He received a Union pension for his injuries, and was in his 90s when he died in 1937. He outlived most of his children.

Alfred's oldest brother Samuel also returned to McMinn County. He appears to have married at least twice, once to a woman named Nancy, surname unknown; and second in 1887 to Matilda Irwin, born Rhoda Shannon. He never fully recovered from the wound he received early in the war; and the ball, which was never removed, resulted in the muscles wasting away. He later received a Confederate pension for his disability, and his wife Rhoda received an indigent widow's pension after his death.

In Roane County, Sally Hacker and Angeline Silvey began trying to pick up their lives without their men. Neither would marry again. Sarah received a pension and lived into her 80s, residing near many of her children and other relatives.

Angeline does not appear to have received a pension, even though she filed a pension affidavit from her husband's commanding officer, testifying that William was not absent without leave, but in fact had received permission to go home. She was listed in the 1890 Veteran's Census, as are many other Civil War widows; and an 1890 letter to the Commissioner of Pensions indicated that she was ill, worn-down, and living in poverty. She would have been in her 60s at the time.

Angeline died sometime between the 1890 pension letter and when the Roane 1891 tax list was recorded, for the entry reads, "Silvey Heirs, 37 acres, the same number of acres listed for Angeline in the 1890 tax list. Her neighbors at that time were Baker, Stubbs, Rose, and Brashears.

Other Tennessee Hackers in the Civil War

  • Alfred Hacker, probable father of Alfred Hacker Jr. and grandson of Julius Hacker Sr. Served with the Confederate 62nd Tennessee Infantry Regiment, also called Rowan's Infantry Regiment, and also called the 80th Tennessee Infantry Regiment. Confederate service records shows that he entered service in 1862 and died in a Confederate hospital in Jackson Mississippi on 28 April 1863. Son of Julius Hacker Jr. and Sarah Haggerty.

  • Julius "Pete" James Hacker, Union Army, 15th Missouri Cav., grandson of Julius Hacker Sr, married Martha Susan Hembree. Born 1815 in Roane, TN, the son of Julius Hacker Jr. and Sarah Haggerty. Died after 1870 in Stockton, MO.

  • Jasper D. Hacker, 1844 - Aft. 1920, Union Army, 3rd TN Infantry, great-grandson of Julius Hacker Sr., married to Sarah C. Bice. The son of Margaret Hacker (daughter of Jacob Hacker Sr. and Martha Register) and unknown father, he was living in Monroe Co. when he enlisted. Died after 1920, probably in Limestone Co., AL.
  • Isaac Newton Hacker, 1840 - 1923, Confederate Army, 62nd TN. The son of Margaret Hacker (daughter of Jacob Hacker Sr. and Martha Register) and brother of Jasper D. Hacker above, he was living in Monroe Co. when he enlisted. Great-grandson of Julius Hacker Sr. Married to Presha/Preshia Vasser. Died in Limestone Co., AL.
  • Isaac Newton Green Hacker, 1837-1923, Confederate Army, 5th Reg. TN Cav., great-grandson of Julius Hacker Sr., bachelor, died in the Masonic Home in Nashville. Born in Greene Co., TN, son of Isaac Hacker and Mary "Polly" Henry.

  • Grandison Hacker, brother to Isaac Newton Green Hacker above, 1844-1862, Confederate Army, great-grandson of Julius Hacker Sr.. Died from disease at Cleveland, TN, 10 Dec. 1862 in the 63rd Reg't Tennessee Infantry. Son of Isaac C. Hacker and Mary "Polly" Henry. Apparently never married.

  • John Hacker, b. bet. 1834-38 - 1862, Confederate Army, great-grandson of Julius Hacker Sr., died 10 Dec. 1862. Son of Margaret Hacker, (daughter of Joseph Hacker Sr.) and unknown father. Home listed as Kingston, TN on enlistment. Appears to have been married to Elizabeth Roberts, daughter of Elias R. "Robbie" and Mary Roberts of Roane Co.

  • Newton Hacker, 1836-1922, Union Army, Fourth Tennessee Regiment, great-grandson of Julius Hacker Sr., married Antoinette Bradley, became a lawyer and served as a TN circuit judge; died in Greene Co. TN. Son of Jacob Hacker and Sarah Lloyd.

  • William R. Hacker, brother of Newton Hacker, above; 1847-1920, Union Army, 3rd TN Mounted Inf., great-grandson of Julius Hacker Sr.; married Margaret M. Brown of Greene Co., TN, moved to Joplin, MO, where he engaged in mining; died at the National Military Home in Leavenworth, KS, and is buried in Leavenworth National Cemetery. Son of Jacob Hacker and Sarah Lloyd.

  • Henry G./Harvey Hacker, Abt. 1833 - 12 Nov. 1862, Union Army, great-grandson of Julius Hacker Sr. Died Company H, 60th Infantry Regiment Illinois on 12 Nov 1862 at Nashville, TN. Served in the same regiment as his brothers James W. and Joseph F Hacker. Born in Greene Co., TN, son of James R. Hacker and Sabra Cole.

  • Joseph F. Hacker, Abt. 1845 - 1864, Union Army, great-grandson of Julius Hacker Sr. Died Company K, 60th Infantry Regiment Illinois on 2 Jun 1864 at Chattanooga, TN. Served in the same regiment as his brothers James W. and Henry G./Harvey Hacker. Born in Greene Co., TN, son of James R. Hacker and Sabra Cole.

  • James Wilson Hacker, 1840 - Aft. 1910, Union Army, great-grandson of Julius Hacker Sr. Company K, 60th Infantry Regiment Illinois. Served in the same regiment as his brothers Joseph F. and Henry G./Harvey Hacker, same company as brother Joseph F. Married Mary E. Bridgers in Johnson Co., IL. Born in Greene Co., TN, son of James R. Hacker and Sabra Cole.

©Alexis Hacker Scholz 2002-2011.

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