Wednesday, November 25, 2009


The following is probably one of the more moving tributes to a member of our family that has ever been published. It was written by Daisy Rice Spradling, and appeared in the Daily Post-Athenian Monday, December 2, 1935, the day after “Uncle Jack” passed away.

Taps were sounded today for John "Uncle Jack" Hart, 94, Confederate veteran who answered to the last roll call Sunday. He passed away peacefully at 1 o'clock Sunday afternoon at his home in the Rogers Creek Community, 10 miles west of Athens. He had been ill several weeks, ascribed to the infirmities of age.

Funeral services, attended by a large number of relatives and friends, were held at the Rogers Creek Baptist Church at 2 o'clock this afternoon. Grandsons were pallbearers.

Burial took place in the family plot in the church cemetery, located on a sloping hillside, overlooking Rogers Creek Valley, where "Uncle Jack" had spent most of nearly a century.

He was born April 16, 1841, a son of the late John Hart, among the earlier settlers of McMinn county. He was married three times. After the death of his first wife,formerly Miss Henrietta Amelia Snyder, who was the mother of his children, he married Miss Martha Ann Ziegler.

Fate decreed he be left again without a mate and in the third step into matrimony, he took as his wife, Mrs. Nancy Elizabeth Dillard Spradling, widow and second wife of Robert Spradling, a close friend and war comrade of Mr. Hart.

Since her death several years ago, he spent part of the time at his home in McMinn county where he was cared for by a son, John Hart, and the remainder of the time with two sons, Will and Charlie Hart and their families in Hamilton county.

When he returned to his old home in McMinn county for the last time, he told his children "I intend to remain here for the remainder of my life."

Children surviving are: Mrs. Will (Rosa) Small, Mrs. J. G. (Lizzie) Wattenbarger, John Hart 3rd., of Rogers Creek, Will Hart of Hixson and Charlie Hart of White Oak, Hamilton county. Four children are dead, Mrs. John (Ernie) Benton, Lewis, Franklin and Jimmy Hart. There are 29 living grandchildren and 12 great grandchildren.

"Uncle Jack" had no fear of passing into the great beyond and when the final summons came he met his death without a tremor. Since early manhood, he had been a member of the Baptist church, and was regular in attendance when health and weather would permit.

Mr. Hart joined the Confederate army August 19, 1861/ Company A, 29th Regiment Tennessee Volunteers at Loudon, but about the first of November, the same year, he was transferred to another unit, joining the A. W. Hodges Company at Decatur, and was mustered into service by Col. James Gillespie as a member of Company D, 43rd Tennessee Regiment of which Gillespie was Colonel and D. M. Key was Lieutenant-Colonel.

He went through the siege of Vicksburg, and was in several other battles. His regiment did service in several states, all the way from Mobile, Alabama up east to Maryland.

Those terrifying days were depicted by "Uncle Jack" when in a reminiscent mood, as he was interviewed by the writer at his home last spring. As he recited "The Yesterdays" he told of the grim moments of the conflict in which brother fought against brother.

In the quiet of that spring afternoon, as he sat in his old armchair in his room, it was most interesting to listen to the "boy who wore the gray", whose hair had lightened until it was the color of the uniform he wore when Dixie called.

His speech was halted some, but as he lived once more in the long ago, his eyes would light with the spirit, the courage and the fire of the patriotic youth, as tribute was phrased for such officers as Jackson, Early, Vaughn, and Gillespie, under whose leadership he fought.

A striking tribute was paid to Stonewall Jackson he told how, when General Early, in command of Jackson's old Army Corps at that time, marched through the cemetery at Lexington, Va., where the mortal remains of the great leader were buried. It was a solemn scene, Mr. Hart said. No words were spoken as the whole army marched around Jackson's grave with arms reversed as though attending a funeral.

A Southern flag floated over his grave. Federal soldiers had been there a few days previous to this on their way to Lynchburg, he said, and had almost used up the flagpole, cutting chips out of it as mementos, never offering to take the flag down.

Mr. Hart was discharged at Kingston, Ga., May 10, 1865, after serving three years and nine months.

The mother of John Hart III (1841-1935) was the sister of Louisa Spradling, wife of James Wade. Four of the eight children of W. D. and Jane Owen Wade married descendants of Uncle Jack.


BORN: 04/16/1841 PLACE: McMinn County, TN.
MARRIED: 12/19/1866
DIED: 12/01/1935 PLACE: McMinn County, TN.
FATHER: John Hart, II
MOTHER: Mary Elizabeth Spradling
WIFE: Henrietta Amelia Snyder
BORN: 02/14/1847 PLACE:
DIED: 06/19/1888 PLACE: McMinn County, TN.
FATHER: Moses Snyder
MOTHER: Phoebe Roddy
Rosa Lee Hart
BORN: 11/03/1867 McMinn County, TN.
MARRIED: William Harvey Small 12/01/1889
DIED: 06/25/1966 McMinn County, TN.
William Alexander Hart McMinn County, TN.
BORN: 01/01/1870 McMinn County, TN.
MARRIED: Ada Lee Sanders
DIED: 11/19/1956 Hixson, TN.
Theodosia Ernestine Hart
BORN: 01/13/1872 McMinn County, TN.
MARRIED: John F Benton
DIED: 11/11/1911
Mary Elizabeth Hart
BORN: 02/05/1875 McMinn County, TN.
MARRIED: James Grant Wattenbarger 08/19/1894
DIED: 12/29/1959 McMinn County, TN.
John Moses Hart
BORN: 07/26/1877 McMinn County, TN.
DIED: 05/04/1956 McMinn County, TN.
James Mortimer Hart
BORN: 12/30/1879 McMinn County, TN.
DIED: 10/23/1883
Lewis Benjamin Hart
BORN: 02/21/1882 McMinn County, TN.
DIED: 10/18/1883 McMinn County, TN.
Charlie G Hart
BORN: 08/12/1884 McMinn County, TN.
MARRIED: Ocea Delra Wade 12/17/1905
DIED: 09/06/1956 Hamilton County, Tenn.
Franklin Roddy Hart
BORN: 07/22/1887 McMinn County, TN.
DIED: 08/16/1887 McMinn County, TN.

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