Nashville History

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Friday, April 4, 2014

Henry Clay Binkley, Nashville, Tennessee

Pictures of Company B.
Nashville Banner, April 16, 1934.  
Funeral for Capt. Binkley To Be Tuesday

Forrest Cavalryman Had Enviable Career as Soldier and Citizen

Funeral services for Capt. Henry C. Binkley, 86, one of the last of Forrest’s cavalrymen, who died at his home, 902 Chickamauga Ave., Sunday, will be held from the residence Tuesday at 10 a.m. Services will be conducted by the Rev. John F. Baggett, and the Rev. T. C. Ragsdale, with burial in the family cemetery near the Hermitage.

Capt. Binkley was born and reared near Nashville, and spent his life here. He retired five years ago as assistant manager of the Security Title Company, with which he had been connected since the company organized in 1894. Survivors are a son, J. H. Binkley, and two granddaughters, Misses Gladys Ree and Mary Evelyn Binkley. Active pallbearers will be Edwin L. and S. H. Haynes, Ben Binkley, Ben J. and H. Barnett Carver, and Allen Mason. Honorary pallbearers will be members of Company B, United Confederate Veterans, and Ernest Walton, J. M. Whitsett, General Harry Rene Lee, Henry Thornton, W. W. Porter, K. T. McConnico, Carson Bradford, P. D. Houston, Paul M. Davis, J. D. Torrey, C. B. Whitworth, Sanford Duncan, George I. Waddey, John Gaffney, Jr., J. B. Daniels, R. R. McClure, W. M. Lingner, Jordan Stokes, Walter Stokes, Thomas Malone, E. B. Rucker, W. E. Norvell, Jr., S.E. Linton, W. P. Cooper, H. H. Hughes, T.G. Chase, Judge J. D. B. DeBow, Congressman Joseph W. Byrns, Mayor Hilary E. Howse, Judge Litten Hickman, James G. Stahlman, L.A. Bauman, J. W. Wagner, and Noah W. Cooper.
Enlisting at the age of 15, when the War Between the States had turned its second year, Captain Binkley served in the brigade of Col. James W. Starnes in Forrest’s division. The youth was with the remnants of Joe Johnston’s army in North Carolina just before it was captured, and then was part of the escort for Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederacy, through North and South Carolina. At Washington, Ga., he was with the last of the gray troops to be captured and was paroled. Captain Binkley was one of the last of Forrest’s troopers. 

Captain Binkley was commander of Company B, United Confederate Veterans. He was always full of old war stories and at his desk nearly every day before his retirement, could be seen some old veteran sitting, talking over old times. He always had a happy greeting for all, a word of good cheer for every old soldier and comrade. Company B is composed of veterans of many different companies and brigades. It wears the old rebel uniform to all reunions and is in demand at many public functions. It has been through the individual efforts of Captain Binkley that this company has been able to attend the annual reunions in recent years. He took great pride in his company and in different ways provided for the transportation to and from the reunions.

One of Captain Binkley’s best adventures happened when he was a boy, scarcely fifteen years old, and before he had joined the army. He was born and reared ten miles from Nashville on the Stewart’s Ferry Pike, near the Hermitage. He was at home with his father, Joseph Binkley, in 1863. His brother, Benjamin F. Binkley, had joined the army, had become a captain, and had been in many fights.

In March, 1863, great distress prevailed in the Binkley home, for they had not heard from Ben in months. Joseph Binkley then asked his son, Henry (Captain Binkley) if he would not venture through the lines and find out about Ben, whether he was dead or alive.

On this trip Captain Binkley went through many hardships, walking most of the way. He was taken to Lebanon on a horse and from there walked to Tullahoma, where he had learned that the troops were stationed. When he reached Tullahoma he was informed that his brother had been ill and had been removed to a hospital in Rome, Ga. He then took a train to Chattanooga, and from there to Kingston, Ga., he made his way in a box car full of wounded soldiers. He walked from there to Rome. He later found his brother on the outskirts of Rome after many harrowing experiences in keeping out of the way of the Federal troops, who were in possession of the town at that time.

In 1924 Captain Binkley celebrated his golden wedding anniversary. He married Miss Ree J. McGee in Chicago on August 16, 1874. Mrs. Binkley died in 1928.

Captain Binkley was born in Davidson County November 25, 1847. He was a member of the 4th Tennessee Cavalry (Starnes) and surrendered with the latter’s command. In 1861 he joined Capt. Carroll Martin’s company, but on account of his age, 13, he was not allowed to leave. In June, 1863, he joined Capt. James Payne’s company in Morgan’s Cavalry in Wilson County. It disbanded and he was attached to Company B of the Second Kentucky battallion under Capt. J. B. Harris. In Company B of the Fourth Tennessee Cavalry, he was under Col. McClemore in Dibrell’s brigade.

He took part in the Battle of Chickamauga, Rockyface Ridge, Resaca, and all of the engagements of General Wheeler’s command from Dalton, Ga., to Atlanta, and from Stone Mountain to Columbia, S.C. He was never wounded. He was paroled at Washington, Ga., on May 10, 1865 

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