The Writing Proccess — Tennessee Valor (Robert Hatton)

Posted on Tuesday, January 11th, 2011

Robert Hatton was the 7th Tennessee's first Colonel

The Writing Process–Tennessee Valor

11 hours over 3 days of writing enabled me to complete a workable draft of chapter 1 (around 5,000 words), and begin chapter 2 (around 2,400 words).

Chapter 1 opens with the 7th Tennessee marching toward Gettysburg. The story is told through the eyes of some of the soldiers: Lt. Col. George Shepard, Col. John Fite, Cpt. Lafayette Walsh, Cpt. John Allen, Sgt. Billy Cato, and Pvt. Tom Halloway were introduced. This scene shows the regiment preparing for battle, and ends at 9 am, just as the 7th is ordered to advance towards Willoughby Run and McPherson’s Ridge.

Chapter 2 is backstory; the organization of the regiment in May 1861. The 7th’s first colonel, Robert Hatton is described. Also introduced are Tennessee’s governor Isham Harris, and Pvt. Archie Norris.

A brief Biography of Robert Hatton

He was born November 2, 1826 in northeastern Ohio and moved to Lebanon, TN, where he attended school and graduated from Cumberland University in 1847. He tutored and then worked as a principal in a local school before graduating first in his law class. Hatton passed the bar in 1850 and hung out his attorney’s shingle. He served as a member of the Tennessee house of representatives from 1855-1857. Then he ran for governor and lost. In 1859 Hatton was elected to Congress by the American Know-Nothing party and remained there until the war broke out. Hatton was firmly against secession and campaigned against it. He disliked Governor Harris. In fact, when they were campaigning against each other for the governor’s slot, the two got into a fist-fight during one of their debates. Hatton won the fight but Harris won the election.

He married Sophie Reilly in 1852 and they had three children.

Hatton was commissioned as colonel of the 7th Tennessee on May 26, 1861 and served in the Cheat Mountain campaign. He then was promoted to Brig. Gen. on May 23, 1862, and 8 days later led his Tennessee Brigade into the battle of Seven Pines. He was struck by a bullet in the head and died within a few minutes.

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