"Tinker Dave" Beatty

(Ca. 1860)

"Tinker Dave" Beatty was born February 19, 1817, in Boatland, Fentress County, Tenn. He was the son of George Beatty and Lydia Ann Wilson Beaty. Beatty lived in the Glenobey Community during the Civil War.According to reports General Hawkes came to Fentress County in 1860 and organized a company of men and elected "Tinker Dave" as captain. Later the men became known as Independent Scouts. Their purpose was to protect the mountain community from invasion by the Confederates. President Andrew Johnson invited Beatty to Washington at the close of the war. After the war Beatty took up farming and lived peacefully until his death August 22, 1876. He was buried in the family cemetery on his farm (Lynn Cemetery, Boatland, Fentress County,Tenn.)

Sources: A Fentress County Newspaper clipping from the early 70's, provided by Paul Beatty.

Photograph and genealogical data from: Smith, Bowers, Hull and Beaty Family History, published by Jack Masters and used with permission. Jack Masters Genealogy Home Page


JANUARY 1-APRIL 18, 1864.-- Hughs' operations in Middle Tennessee.

Report of Col. John M. Hughs, Twenty-fifth Tennessee Infantry, CSA.

DALTON, GA., April 28, 1864.

SIR: I have the honor to submit herewith the following report of my operations in Middle Tennessee : During the very cold weather in January, 1864, it was impossible to operate on a large scale and our time was occupied in hunting down the bushwhackers and tories, and for that purpose my command was divided; a portion under Major Bledsoe, of the Fourth Tennessee Cavalry (this officer had been cut off from Major-General Wheeler's command and had reported to me for duty) operated in White County, and the part commanded by myself remained in Overton. During the month of January a great many tories and bushwhackers were killed and some slight engagements with the enemy occurred. On the 14th of February I was rejoined by Major Bledsoe, and on the 15th we attacked and defeated a party of bushwhackers and tories, numbering some less than 100, under Captains Dowdy and Beaty, killing 17, capturing 2, and effectually dispersing the whole gang...

Guerilla and Scout - "Tinker Dave" Beatty with Dr. Hale

( From: Photographic History of the Civil War, Vol. VIII, p.275)

General Crook writing to General James A. Garfield, chief of staff, Army of the Cumberland, in March, 1863, asked,"Who is "Tinker Dave" Beatty?" One would like to learn what Crook had heard about the tinker. There is no record that Garfield ever replied to the question, and perhaps he, too, knew very little of this famous character. David Beatty was the leader of an irregular band of guerillas working in the Federal cause throughout middle Tennessee. The Confederate officers, to whom they gave constant trouble, refer to them as "bushwackers" and "tories.

Especially annoying were Beatty and his men to Captain John M. Hughs, commanding a small detachment from Bragg's army. Hughs attempted to stop Beatty's marauding expeditions. On September 8, 1863, he attacked Beatty, killing eight of his men and putting the rest to rout. Again on February 14, 1864, Hughs fell upon Beatty, who this time had a band of about one hundred. The Confederate troops killed seventeen and captured two of the band, and the remainder disappeared.

Beatty continued his irregular activities from time to time. He often worked in connection with Dr. Jonathan P. Hale, who was the chief of scouts of the Army of the Cumberland under Rosecrans and Thomas. Both leaders valued Hale's services highly. He kept special watch on Morgan, Forrest, and Wheeler when they were in his neighborhood, making constant reports as to their strength and location.

Note: The photograph was copyrighted in 1911 by Patriot Publishing Company.

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