Jacob Madison Hinshaw

                         ┌── William Hinshaw
                         │    1808-1885 
Jacob Madison Hinshaw ───┤
B: 1840                  │
D: 1861                  │
                         └── Roda Parson
M: Almarinda Walker
   ├── William A. Hinshaw (1860-1867) 1,2,3
   └── Jacob Madison Hinshaw, Jr. (1862-1941) 1,2,4,5

Jacob Madison Hinshaw     [ID 03549] Click here to switch to Ahnentafel view: Ahnentafel View

Jacob Madison Hinshaw1 [Jacob Madison Hensie2, Jacob Madison Hinchey2,6,7,8, Madison J. Hinchy9, Matt Hinshaw1, Matt Hincher2].

Born Dec 8 1840, Tennessee.1,3,4,10,11  

He married Almarinda Walker1,2,4,6,7,8 [Almarind Walker2,3, Lorinda Walker2,6,7,8,12, Rinda Walker13], Sep 22 18581,2,4,6,7,8, Hawkins County, Tennessee1,2,4,6,7,8.  (Elias Beal, Security).12  Almarinda, daughter of Gabriel "Gabe" Walker & Rebecca Jane Hinshaw, was born Nov 17 1843, Hawkins County, Tennessee.2,5,11,13,14  

Jacob and family were shown in the 1860 census (Jul 13-16 1860), Greene County, Tennessee:3

Jacob M. Henshaw, age 19, born in Tennessee; farmer; $50 personal property.
Almarind Henshaw, age 17, born in Tennessee.
William A. Henshaw, age 4 months, born in Tennessee.
Living next door in 1860 was Jacob's father, William Hinshaw, and family.15  

Jacob Madison Hinshaw died Nov 30 1861, Greene County, Tennessee; age 22.1,11  

Jacob was hung for his Union loyalties.  Tennessee voted for secession on June 8, 1861, with residents of eastern Tennessee voting two-to-one against secession but losing the vote to the state's larger western population.  Rev. William Carter, who had been a delegate to an early 1861 convention of pro-Union loyalists at Greeneville, devised a plan to burn down the railroad bridge over Lick Creek, near Potterstown in Greene County.  Carter went to Washington and met with President Abraham Lincoln, General George McClellan and Secretary of War William Seward.  Lincoln gave his personal approval for the plan and assured Carter that the Union army would invade eastern Tennessee from Kentucky immediately after the bridge burning to protect the Union loyalists.1  

Carter returned to Green County and, with the help of David Fry, assembled a party of 40 to 60 loyalist men.  The men gathered at the home of Jacob Harmon on the night of November 8.  In a corner of a large room was placed a small wooden table, over which was spread a United States flag.  Each man stepped forward, one at a time, and placed his left hand on the flag, raised his right hand, and took an oath to "do what was ordered of him that night and to never disclose what he had done.".1  

After midnight, the raiders set out on horseback for the two-mile ride to the wooden railroad bridge across Lick Creek.  About 2:00 A.M. on November 9, they captured several Confederate guards inside a tent at one end of the bridge.  Some of the men set fire to the bridge, while others gave the guards a choice: swear loyalty to the United States or die on the spot (none of the guards chose to die that night).1  

By the next day (November 10), Confederate authorities had tracked down five of the conspirators, including Jacob Hinshaw.  The promised invasion of Union soldiers never happened.1  

On November 11, Confederate Colonel W.B. Wood sent a dispatch to General Samuel Cooper requesting instructions.  Colonel Daniel Leadbetter, Provisional Army, was assigned to the command of troops to rebuild the bridge.1  

By November 25, time was running out for Jacob and his co-conspirators.  That day, J.C. Ramsey, district attorney for the Confederate District of Tennessee, sent a dispatch to Confederate War Secretary Benjamin: "The military authorities in command at this post have determined to try the bridge-burners and other men charged with treason by a court-martial.  What shall I do?  Answer.".  Benjamin sent an immediate and abrupt reply: "I am very glad to hear of the action of the military authorities and hope to hear they have hung every bridge-burner at the end of the burned bridge".1  

On November 30, a dispatch from Colonel Leadbetter was sent from Greeneville, Tennessee: "Two insurgents have to-day been tried for bridge-burning, found guilty, and hanged.".  The two insurgents were Henry Fry and Jacob Madison "Matt" Hinshaw, who were both hanged from a large tree near the old railway depot in Greeneville.  Colonel Leadbetter ordered their bodies be left hanging on display for hours, as a warning to others.1  

Jacob left his wife with 18-month old son William, and two months after Jacob was hanged Almarinda gave birth to another son, who was named after his late father Jacob.  After Jacob was hanged, his father William enlisted in the 2nd Illinois Light Artillery at age 53.1  

In 1862, the U.S. Congress passed a special act that made Jacob and the other executed bridge-burners posthumous members of the Union Army.  They were enrolled in Company F of the 2nd Tennessee Infantry.  The act allowed the men's widows and their nearly 20 fatherless children to draw small pensions from the government that had abandoned the loyalist raiders it had promised to protect.  The act also allowed the men's graves, all of which are in Pottertown-area cemeteries, to be marked with official U.S. government markers.1  

In 1865 Almaranda Hinshaw applied for a Civil War Pension as widow of Jacob M. Hinshaw, Company F, 2nd Tennessee Infantry.16  She also listed minor child James Hinshaw [sic].16  On Jan 31 1867 the U.S. Congress passed Seante Bill 467, granting a pension to William A. Hinshaw and Jacob M. Hinshaw, minor children of Jacob Madison Hinshaw17 (see scan below).  

Almarinda ("Rinda") remarried on Jun 15 1865 to William B. Jenkins.1,5,12  

Almarinda and family were shown in the 1870 census (Aug 11 1870), Hawkins County, Tennessee:5

Jenkins, William, age 31, born in Tennessee; farm laborer; $174 personal property; cannot read or write.
Jenkins, Almarinda, age 26, born in Tennessee; keeping house.
Jenkins, John W., age 2, born in Tennessee.
Jenkins, Hugh R., age 8 months, born Dec [1869] in Tennessee.
Henshaw, Jacob M., age 8, born in Tennessee.

Almarinda and family were shown in the 1880 census (Jun 8 1880), Hawkins County, Tennessee:14

Jenkins, William, age 40, born in Tennessee; parents born in Tennessee; farm hand; cannot read or write.
Jenkins, Marinda, wife, age 37, born in Tennessee; parents born in Tennessee; keeping house; cannot read or write.
Jenkins, John, son, age 12, born in Tennessee; parents born in Tennessee; farm hand; attended school; cannot read or write.
Jenkins, Hugh, son, age 9, born in Tennessee; parents born in Tennessee; attended school.
Jenkins, Mary, daughter, age 7, born in Tennessee; parents born in Tennessee; attended school.
Jenkins, Horace, daughter [sic], male, age 5, born in Tennessee; parents born in Tennessee.
Jenkins, Gabriel, son, age 3, born in Tennessee; parents born in Tennessee.
Living three houses away in 1880 was son Jacob living with Almarinda's parents:18
Walker, Gab, age 59, born in Tennessee; parents born in Tennessee; farmer.
Walker, Rabeca J., wife, age 46, born in Tennessee; parents born in Tennessee; keeping house.
Hinchey, Jacob, grandson, age 18, born in Tennessee; parents born in Tennessee; farm hand.

Almarinda died Oct 28 1913, Hawkins County, Tennessee; buried Long and Berry Cemetery (Long Family Cemetery>, near Bulls Gap, Hawkins County, Tennessee.2,11,13

(photo)Photo: Artist's rendition of Jacob Madison Hinshaw's hanging 1

(photo)Photo: Jacob Madison Hinshaw family gravestones l-r: Jacob, son William, wife Almarinda; Long and Berry Cemetery 11

(photo)Photo: Jacob Madison Hinshaw gravestone Long and Berry Cemetery 11

(photo)Photo: Jacob Madison Hinshaw gravestone Long and Berry Cemetery 11

(photo)Photo: Almarinda "Rinda" Walker gravestone Long and Berry Cemetery 11

(photo)Photo: Jacob Madison Hinshaw posthumus pension grant 39th Congress, Session II, Senate Bill 476, passed Jan 31 1867 17

See also - "The Pottertown Bridgeburners" narrative on the events leading to the hanging of Jacob Madison Hinshaw: http://www.rootsweb.com/~tngreene/potter.html

See also - "Civil War Times", December 1997: http://www.britannica.com/bcom/magazine/article/0,5744,25823,00.html

See also - Dave Mathews' study of the 2nd Tennessee Infantry: http://home.fuse.net/damathew


  1. "Civil War Times", December, 1997, pages 48-54 & 86-87, Contributed by Jeff Hatfield ().
  2. Letter from Donahue Bible, historian and author, discussing Hinshaws of eastern Tennessee.
  3. 1860 census, 23rd Civil District, Blue Spring P.O., Greene County, Tennessee; page 413A, line #36, dwelling #1405, family #1405.
  4. Family history information contributed by James C. Henshaw.
  5. 1870 census, White Horn P.O., District 14, Hawkins County, Tennessee; roll M593-1535, page 183, line #36, dwelling #107, family #107.
  6. "Early East Tennessee Marriages", Sistler, 1987.
  7. The Church Of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints (LDS) International Genealogical Index (IGI) - Tennessee.
  8. "Tennessee Marriages, 1851-1900"; http://www.ancestry.com.
  9. 1850 census, 9th Division, Greene County, Tennessee; roll 880, page 164, dwelling #387.
  10. 1850 census, 9th Division, Greene County, Tennessee; roll 880, page 168, dwelling #443.
  11. http://www.findagrave.com.
  12. "Tennessee Marriage Records - Volume 2, Hawkins County 1789-1865",
    by Prentiss Price; 1958, Clinchdale Press, Knoxville, Tennessee;
    microfilm #0469471 Item 1 in the LDS Family History Library.
  13. Contribution from Andra Walker Clark () citing: records of genealogist Prentiss Price.
  14. 1880 census, District 14, Hawkins County, Tennessee; roll T9-1260, ED 75, page 168C, line #11, dwelling #147, family #147.
  15. 1860 census, 23rd Civil District, Blue Spring P.O., Greene County, Tennessee; page 413A-B, line #39, dwelling #1406, family #1406.
  16. National Archives and Records Administration. "General Index to Pension Files, 1861-1934":
    "Civil War Pension Index". [database] Provo, UT: Ancestry.com, 2000.
  17. Library of Congress, "The United States Statutes at Large"; Volume 14, 39th Congress, "List of Private Acts", Chapter XXV, page 618:
  18. 1880 census, District 14, Hawkins County, Tennessee; roll T9-1260, ED 75, page 167B, line #46, dwelling #144, family #144.

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