Hidden in the hills of Tennessee, far away from any city, is a tradition of gravestones accompanied by an a frame style grave. Called tent or “comb” graves, historians can only guess as to why they were built.
One theory is that without modern technology, graves may not have been dug as deep. The construction could have kept out local critters and even grave robbers. Some also hypothesize that the stone kept water off of the graves helping preserve them.
Interestingly, this cemetery is the resting place of Champ Ferguson. Ferguson, a confederate, was confirmed to have ruthlessly killed dozens of men– some of them former family friends – during the war. He once proudly claimed he was responsible for the deaths of more like 100. In 1865, Ferguson was found guilty of war crimes and sentenced to hang in Nashville.
There is a current push to have these graves maintained for historical purposes, yet sadly, that fight is not faring too well. Before long, these may be a relic that is forgotten.
Closest Supercharger Cookville TN 21 mi
377 W Jackson St, Cookeville, TN 38501
Mt Gilead Cemetery
Sparta, TN 38583