Before the rebellion, there resided in Carter County, Tennessee, two families named Hetherley and Tipton, who were on the most intimate and friendly terms. When the troubles came upon the country, the male menbers of the Hetherley family organized a Federal company for home protection, while the Tipton boys espoused the rebel cause, and joined the Confederate army in Virginia. After an absence of a year, the elder Tipton returned to his native county with a Lieutenant’s commission, and a squad of soldiers, and immediately set to work to clear the neighborhood of all the Unionists. Tipton was brutal and unscrupulous in the course he pursued towards his former friends. Learning that one of the Heatherleys was lurking in the vicinity, and failing, after a thorough search, to discover his whereabouts, he took Hetherley’s widowed mother from her house in the night, carried her to an adjoining wood, and putting a rope around her neck, threatened that if she did not instantly reveal her son’s hiding-place he would hang her. This she refused to do, and Tipton, as good as his word, had her suspended to a tree until life was nearly extinct. When she came to, he assured her that unless she told where her son was concealed, he would surely kill her. But the old lady was not to be intimidated, and again and again was she strung up, when Tipton, convinced that he could not wring her secret from her, left her lying on the ground more dead than alive. Heatherley heard of the outrage perpetrated upon his mother, and sent word to Tipton to look out, for the avenger was on his track. That very night, as Tipton was making preparations to leave the country, he was surprised at his father’s house by Hetherley’s company, and taken to the mountains. Here he was compelled to pay the penalty of death for his cruelties. Hetherley, maddened at the cruelties inflicted upon his helpless old mother, had him stripped and bound, made him kneel upon a coffin and take the oath of allegiance to the Federal Government, and then compelled the negro servant to blow his brains out with a revolver.
Originally posted 2008-10-13 01:54:15.