View Full Version : Longstreet's Billet

Wild Rover
06-01-2006, 10:01 AM
I just received this from Dan Paterson, member of the CVG and Great Grandson of James Longstreet.

Longstreet's Russellville Headquarters Saved!
Will be Restored and made a Museum

31 May 2006

In late 2005 I’d received letters from Mr. Randy Miller, of Morristown, TN regarding Gen. Longstreet’s headquarters from 1863-1864 being up for sale and local group’s attempts to purchase it. The probability was very high that the property, zoned commercial, was going to be developed and a Dollar Store built upon the property. Mr. Miller was kind enough to send me photographs of the house which I’d never seen before. Although I had knowledge of the general location of Gen. Longstreet and his troops and their actions during this part of the war and I’d visited Knoxville multiple times in the past, I’d never ventured to the area before.

Thanks to Mr. Randy Miller I can now say that I have. Mr. Miller put me in touch with Mike Beck, the local SCV Camp’s Lt. Commander and Mike kept me informed about the progress of properties purchase. I was invited to give my program on General Longstreet in Morristown, TN; the start of what I feel will be a wonderful project upon completion.

Memorial Day weekend 2006: I can’t think of a better time, I found myself on a journey to East Tennessee to spend a weekend in the area where my ancestor’s troops spent the winter of ‘63-‘64 and near where the Battle of Bean’s Station was fought. Upon my arrival I was immediately taken on a wonderfully comprehensive tour of the area where I saw sites that I would otherwise never been able to see, thanks to Mr. Mike Beck. A relic hunter, part of the time, Mr. Beck has a detailed knowledge of the local sites and where the troops were, regiment by regiment. This was one of the most exciting tours of a Civil War site that I’ve ever been a part of and I am most grateful for the experience.

After another quick tour of some other related sites, including Rogersville, TN, we went to the house in Russellville, TN known as “Longstreet’s Billet” so identified by a state historical marker in the front yard. We had a photo opportunity provided by the local newspaper, the Citizen Tribune and CW Courier.

Saturday evening my program was well received at the local library. A full house was on hand and the formal announcement following the program that the house was purchased and saved from development by the Lakeway CW Preservation Association. The house will be restored to its wartime appearance and will serve as a visitor’s center for information on the entire area.

I thank Mr. Randy Miller for getting in touch with me initially about the house. Many thanks to Mr. Mike Beck and Bill White for touring me around the area where Longstreet’s men camped skirmished and wintered in 1863-64. This was an excellent experience and I look forward to my return September 22, 2006 for a reenactment/living history whose proceeds will benefit the project, one that has my full endorsement and support. Let us all spread the word about this project to the Civil War Community and anyone interested in battlefield preservation.

Dan Paterson
Great-grandson of James Longstreet

“I am happy to announce the recent purchase of a house in Russellville, TN. that was used by Gen. James Longstreet as his HQ during the winter of 1863/1864. The State of Tennessee has recognized this house with a State Historical Marker entitled Longstreet's Billet. The house was purchased by the newly incorporated Lakeway Civil War Preservation Association whose Board is comprised of local Civic leaders and Bradford-Rose Camp #1638 members. On Saturday, May 27, our fundraising was kicked off with a presentation by Dan Paterson, the great-grandson of Gen. James Longstreet. Attached are the ads and articles we were able to get in the local newspaper, the Citizen Tribune.

1st Lt. Commander Mike Beck

Tax deductible donations may be sent to:

Lakeway Civil War Preservation Association
P.O. Box 625
Morristown TN 37815

02-18-2007, 11:20 AM

I would like to follow-up this post with a note on our unit, 63d Tenn.

Our company has adopted the Billet and we are having our company drill here next weekend (Feb 23-24). We will camp on friday and drill on sat. I would like to invite anyone in the area to come out and drill with our company. The public is invited as well. Donations will be accepted and the Billet will be open for tours.

The Citizen Tribune in Morristown has a front page article today (18th) on the event. We will also have a live fire competion on sat after drill. We will be camping on site and will have live fire on the site where Longstreet's men camped. The 63d Tenn was with Longstreet as he camped for winter, after the Knoxville campaign.

Please come out and support the Longstreet Billet and knock off the winter rust with Hardee's Manual of Arms, drill of the soldier and company.

The Billet is located in Russellville, TN. It is directly on Hwy 11E, just outside Morristown.

See our website www.63rdtennessee.org and click on the newsletter. The second page gives more info on our "black horse" or drill.

Your Servant,

Sgt G S Barnett
63d Tenn Vol Inf