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Fannin County Historical Markers

The Madden Branch Massacre


  • Source: David Seibert
  • Marker: The Madden Branch Massacre
  • Location: Blue Ridge Drive just north of the Toccoa River, McCaysville

The Madden Branch Massacre: Anti-Confederate activity in North Georgia

North of here on Madden Branch in Polk County, Tennessee, on November 29, 1864, during the American Civil War, six Georgians trying to enlist in the U.S. Army - Thomas Bell, Harvey Brewster, James T. Hughes, James B. Nelson, Elijah Robinson, Peter Parris, and Wyatt J. Parton - were executed by the notorious Confederate guerilla John P. Gatewood, “the long-haired, red-bearded beast from Georgia.” The Madden Branch Massacre was one of several atrocities that occurred as the mountain counties divided into pro and anti-Confederate factions. Many Georgians resented the Confederacy’s strong central government measures such as conscription, impressment, and taxation and resisted by enlisting in the 5th Tennessee Mounted Infantry (U.S.), the 1st Georgia State Troops Volunteers (U.S.), or forming their own guerilla units.

2011.11 Erected for the Civil War 150 Commemoration by the Georgia Historical Society and the Georgia Department of Economic Development 55-1