Elam Huddleston was one of the names listed in the indictment of Champ
Ferguson in Nashville, Tenn.; for which he was charged with murder. The bad blood
though between Huddleston and Ferguson went back to prior to the war.
Ferguson had been swindled in a business transaction concerning some hogs by
some men who lived in Fentress County, Tenn. Ferguson received a judgement of
sorts to reacquire his property.
In the meantime, Ferguson's brother, Jim, and another man took a horse
belonging to Alexander Evans (one of the Fentress Co. men) as attachment to
Champ Ferguson, unaware of this, went to a Camp Meeting near the Lick River in
Fentress Co., and there was beset upon by a group of men, including Elam
Huddleston. Ferguson physically fought off these men, cutting up Floyd Evans
with his knife. Champ later turned himself in to get a trial and to prevent
Huddleston vowed to kill Champ Ferguson, and when war broke out he joined a
regular Union army unit.
However, before long he had withdrawn and formed his own
guerrilla band to operate in the Cumberlands. Of the Union guerilla bands in
this section during the War, he and Tinker Dave were probably the strongest
and most feared.
On New Years Night, 1863; Champ Ferguson, along with some of John Hunt
Morgan's men, caught up with Elam Huddleston at his home in Adair County,
Ky. Huddleston fired upon the men from the unfinished cabins garret,
they in turn set fire to the back of the cabin, and in the ensuing skirmish,
Huddleston was shot. He was brought outside, and Champ Ferguson shot him once
One of Morgan's men claimed Huddleston's horse, a splendid bay mare that could
run very fast.
After his death, Huddleston's men became a part of "Tinker Dave" Beatty's