Tag Archives: John H. Acuff

Roane County at the End of the Civil War

{Robert Bailey – Roane County Historian}

Even though the Civil War ended in 1865, animosities continued in every aspect of life. One of those was the petition sent in 1865 by the Paint Rock Baptist Church, located South of the Tennessee River, to all of the Baptist churches in the Hiwassee Baptist Association in which part of it stated, “Whareas some of our brethren and sisters have beene engaged in bringing about the rebellion of 1861 which has brought the deth of many of our sones and daughters made widows and their children orphans and drenched our land and country in blud” . . . “do hearby denounce discoutynence & protest Aganst the wicked Rebellion & will exclude from among us all such as may have pertisipated in said wicked Rebllion by premetated acts of aid or comfort to said so cald confedersey or to the advancment of Rebllion & Aganst Eney & Aganst enney acts of enney or our Bros. & Sisters May have commited whitch wood desfanchise & in(?) chredous n A govermentle point view & consiquuenely so soon or as fast as we may arive at proper testimony of Enney Such transgressor among us. Resolved that we will rid ourselves as A Church of all such offenders by a strict corse of diseplen ordering such offenders up for an investigation of ther wicked conduct & Apon convicttion unless an ackowledgment & satisfaction on ther parte & Exclusion shall Be ther distney.”

Not all of the records of these churches survive. The Paint Rock Baptist Church minutes are among those missing. Of those that survive, the largest number of members removed was at Shiloh Baptist Church, located South of the Tennessee River. There were 99 members removed including the minister, Rev. M.H. Sellers, who was charged with “Loaning his gun to the rebels & saying that wasent able to gaw himself but he had his gun in hands that would use it & for joining a company.” Interesting enough, Jonathan Barnard (who was pro-union), had given the land for the Church, closed and locked the door to the Shiloh Church to the members who had joined or aided the Confederacy during the Civil War. The Confederate supporters created another Shiloh Church and the two Shiloh Churches remained split until 1879 when “. . . that in the year 1865 there arose a division in the Shiloh church which remained until the present and it has long since been found that said division has not been beneficial to the cause of the Lord & master but instead thereof we feel satisfied that it has proved detrimental to the cause of Religion in the vicinity of our once happy church. Therefore we the surviving members mutually agree to rescind all our acts of exclusion. Note this is intended to embrace only those exclusions that were declared against each other for political principles or that had their origin from politics.” In the minutes of other churches, Cave Creek Baptist Church excluded four members. In the Smyrna Baptist Church minutes, there is approval of the petition but no exclusions of members. At that time the Smyrna Church only had twelve members. Also, there is mention in the Hickory Creek Baptist Church minutes of the petition but no record of any removal of members. In the Hinds Creek Baptist Church minutes, the petition is not mentioned at all. John H. Acuff, who had two sons in the Union Army and two sons in the Confederate Army (one of which died in the war), led the uniting of the Post Oak Springs Christian Church, located near Roane State Community College, by arranging for a Communion Service at the church. At the close of the service, he invited all of the people there to partake. His two sons from the Union Army and the one from the Confederate Army came forward and sat down together to have Communion. This marked the beginning of the healing of the Post Oak Christian Church. [The words in quotations are transcribed as they are written.]


Cave Creek Baptist Church (1943)

Paint Rock Baptist Church

Paint Rock Baptist Church

Originally written for the Roane County Newsletter to the Community, November 2015 and January 2016.