John James Dunn

John James Dunn was born May 13,1846 in Trigg County, Kentucky. He was a son of John Dunn and Sarah A. of Trigg County. At age 17, he enlisted in the Union Army on October 25, 1863 and served in Co. F 48th Regiment Volunteer Infantry. This regiment was organized and mustered into service in Princeton, Kentucky by Captain Charles H. Fletcher of the 13th U.S. Infantry on October 26,1863 for a period of one year. He served as a private under Colonel Hartwell T Burger.
Colonel Hartwell T Burger, Lt. Colonel William W Hester, and Major William H. Hoyt commanded the 48thRegiment.  This was a mounted infantry regiment that enlisted men principally from the counties of Trigg, Lyon, Livingston, Crittenden, Union, Christian, Caldwell, Muhlenberg, Breckinfidge and Grayson Counties. The regiment was distributed along the line of the Louisville & Nashville Railroad, the details being very efficient in duty, and so well were their garrisons defended against many attacks made by the enemy, that the road was never broken during the time they defended it.

 The regiment, in detachments, joined General Hobson’s at Calhoun, KY about August 19, 1864, and participated in the movements and actions of that command until August 22, when at Canton, KY, the retreating Confederate command was overtaken and dispersed. Many of the Confederates were either killed or captured. Detachments of the regiment were then placed in the counties bordering on the Cumberland River and in the interior region, where they kept scouting and capturing guerillas until they were ordered to Bowling Green to be mustered out for reason of expiration of term of service.

 On August 7, 1864, Captain Hiett, with 35 men detailed from Companies B and C, was attacked at Salem, KY by 300 Confederates and guerillas, and suffered a loss of 2 men killed and 3 wounded, including Captain Hiett.

On August 31, 1864 Colonel Burger with a scout of 20 men, came upon a camp of 60 guerillas in Union County. Colonel Burger and his men captured the camp with a large amount of stores and provisions, killing 1 and capturing 7 prisoners without any losses.

 On November 6, 1864 Captain Jarrett, with 41 men of Companies F and K, was attacked by a force of 580 men under General Lyon. Jarrett’s losses were I man killed and 2 wounded. On November 18th, this same Confederate force attacked Captain Hiett with 37 men at Eddyville. The Confederates were being pursued by Lt. Colonel Hester and 180 men from Princeton and were overtaken in camp near Providence the night of the 21st.  A skirmish ensued, resulting in the capture of the camp, some stores and prisoners.

 Captain Bush with one company at Smithland, was attacked several times during July, August and September by superior numbers of the enemy, but always defended the post and saved the large depository of army stores and supplies there.

 On December 1, 1864, by direction of Brigadier General Hugh Ewing, the regiment was marched to Bowling Green, KY for the reason of mustering out. Its term of service had expired on October 26, 1864. But owing to the active campaign of the Confederates under Hood at Nashville, Tennessee, the regiment was kept under marching orders until December 19, 1864.  It was then mustered out by C.A. Wainwright, captain 13th U. S. Infantry. The veterans were transferred to the 3rdKentucky Cavalry and the 26th Kentucky Infantry. Source: The Union Army, Volume 4, page 342.

Private Dunn was severely wounded in the hip during one of the battles and walked with an ornate walking cane. The cane was especially made for veterans wounded in battle. After his service he returned home to Trigg County near Roaring Springs where he farmed and continued to raise a family. He drew an army pension until his death. He died of “flint balls” December 6, 1918 and is buried in the Darnall family Cemetery near Roaring Springs.  

 Submitted by: Colonel James G Sholar for Jewell Dunn Simmons – granddaughter


Richard Aubrey Dunn (right) and his brother, Hugh Darnell Dunn, were called to service in World War 1 to fight German aggression in Europe. Richard Aubrey is the father of Trigg County resident Jewell Simmons. Both men served at a US Army post near St. Augustine, Fla.

Although her father, Richard A. Dunn, never fought in Europe or ever saw battle, Simmons said he was lucky to escape the military service with his life. Simmons' uncle, Hugh Darnell Dunn, served alongside his brother.

Dunn did his basic training at Camp Taylor, Kentucky near Louisville and was later was stationed at a US Army post near St. Augustine, Florida with an Army cavalry division. While training, Dunn contracted the flu, which killed millions around the world and the US during the early 1900's. He also suffered from tuberculosis and was hospitalized in St Louis before being discharged from the Army. After returning home from service he married Dorothy Myrtle Choate, daughter of Gideon Choate and Emmie Jackson, on August 01, 1920. All were natives to Trigg County.


Dunn Store
Aubrey Dunn , Sheri Sholar and Mr. Darnall.

Dunn was also a lifelong Trigg County native and owned and operated the R. A. Dunn grocery Store on South Road for 55 years. The store was popular place for many years and served as a meeting place for many of the locals. They would come and talk about the price of crops, the weather, politics, and the local gossip. It was built when he returned home from service with the help of long time family friend and neighbor, John "Bud" Sholar. Sometimes some of the men folks would spend an entire afternoon whittling on pieces of wood to pass the time. Jewell's father kept a pile of wood handy on the side of the store just for "whittlin'".

"My father was so proud of being a veteran. He was a member of the American Legion and never reportedly missed a meeting," Simmons said. "He had an outstanding personality and people just loved him. At his funeral I think he had about 200 or 300 floral arrangements. He died September 13, 1974 in Trigg County, KY. His wife, "Misses Dunn" passed away February 13, 1885 in Trigg County.

Simmons and her husband W. J. still live on land that belonged to both men. The land was once sold to Camp Campbell and troops used to train in the area. However, the Dunn family was allowed to repurchase some and not all of the land later.

"This whole area was covered with foxholes," Simmons said. "My father loved the soldiers and they would come up to the store in their tanks and we would take a ride in tanks. They would also come in their airplane and they would stop out here on the road." Jewel said, '" Momma would make large pots of coffee for the soldiers to drink."

Simmons said information about her grandfather, father and other members of the family who served in World War II and Vietnam will be added to the new Trigg County Veterans History Book, which will be published next year. The book will feature the veterans that make up Trigg County distinguished military history.

Dunn's other living descendents include Simmons' three sisters: Ethelene Wallace, of Cadiz; Eunice Carr, of Memphis and Dorothy Darnell, of Beaumont, Texas. She also has a cousin, Ruth Nunn, of Sellersburg, Indiana.

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