History Leaves of the Methodist Tree – July 2017

History Leaves of the Methodist Tree

Compiled by Johnny Cordell


    In late August and early September of 1863, some of Union Major General Thomas L. Crittenden’s soldiers used Chapel Hill Cemetery as a campground.  Soldiers removed planking that covered the log church for construction of barracks at Bridgeport, Alabama.  During this time the remainder of the church was destroyed by fire.  It is unknown if it was deliberately or accidentally burned.  The following is a transcription of the original minutes by this compiler as written in 1904 seeking reimbursement from the U.S. Government by the Trustees of Chapel Hill Church.


April 16th 1904

    At a meeting of the Board of Trustees of Chapel Hill Church formerly Hennigers Chapel held at the office of Stewart & Stewart Attys. at Dunlap, Tenn. President W.T. Alley, J.H. Kell, and W.R. Thurman.  Being a quorum and majority of the Board of Trustees the following proceedings were had.


 Called to order by W.R. Thurman and on motion W.T. Alley was chosen Chairman of said board and Jas. H. Kell Secretary.


The board then discussed the matter of filing a claim against the U.S.  Government for the destruction of Church house known as Henninger’s Chapel and damages to the property of the Methodist Episcopal Church South being the same property now known as Chapel Hill in Sequatchie County Tenn.

    Where it was unanimously carried that the Chairman W.T. Alley be authorized and empowered to negotiate with L.B. James Claims Agent at Chattanooga and make such contracts and agreements with him in regard to said claim as he deems just and advisable, and to sign such agreements & powers of attorney as may be required to prosecute said Claim, for and in the name of said Board of Trustees and to do and perform all things required in the name of the board of said Trustees for the furtherance and successful prosecution of said Claim.

He is also authorized to ascertain and fix the value of said damages to be sought and file claim for such amount as he deems advisable after gathering all the facts connected therewith.

W.T Alley Pres.

J.H. Kell Secty.


Source:  “Chapel Hill”   Edna Susong Jackson


Footnote by Compiler: Claim was unsuccessful.  I do not have any evidence what claim was dismissed.  I surmise that was no collaborating testimony from Union sources, or no creditable eyewitnesses.

Last month’s question: John Wesley cracked open the door of Methodism in America, but what famous circuit rider literally kicked the door wide open for American Methodism?  Francis Asbury.  He was also the first American Methodist Bishop.


Question:  Chapel Hill Cemetery is a Church membership and community cemetery.  Community being the 5th Civil District and part of the 3rd Civil District.  What family name is most represented within the cemetery since 1849?