Skip to comments.The Battle Of Athens Or How Common Citizens Removed A Corrupt Government From Their County.
Posted on 05/20/2013 5:53:15 PM PDT by don-o
The Battle of Athens (sometimes called the McMinn County War) was a rebellion led by citizens in Athens and Etowah, Tennessee, United States, against the local government in August 1946. The citizens, including some World War II veterans, accused the local officials of political corruption and voter intimidation.
Here is what happened:
Following World War II in 1946, violence erupted when returning American soldiers discovered their Tennessee county had been taken over by political corruption. Their plan to take it back involved bulletslots of bulletsand dynamite.
Why Athens in McMinn County, Tennessee became a battleground was due to Paul Cantrell, a Democrat running for sheriff in the 1936 election. He won over his Republican opponent, although the victory was tainted by rumors of fraud. Cantrell was a corrupt sherifffor example, since state law allowed his office to collect fees for each person booked, jailed, and released, deputies boarded buses passing through the city and arrested passengers on bogus charges of drunkenness, forcing them to pay fines. Prostitution, gambling, and kickbacks from illegal drinking establishments were commonplace.
The tide began to turn in 1945 when GIs returning to Athens were subjected to arrest on the flimsiest excuses and heavily fined. When the fed up soldiers attempted to support their choice for sheriff against Pat Mansfield (by then, Cantrell had been elected to the state Senate and backed Mansfields bid), matters boiled over into direct conflict on Election Day 1946.
Mansfield hired several hundred armed deputies to patrol the voting precincts in Athensand no doubt to assist in the typical ballot stuffing and voter intimidation. The volatile situation escalated when Walter Ellis, an ex-GI and volunteer poll watcher, was arrested by Mansfields deputies and held without charge. A black resident, Tom Gillespie, was refused the right to vote, beaten, and shot. More GIs were arrested and threatened with violence. By the end of the day, the former soldiers had enough.
They broke into the town armory for weapons and besieged the jail, where Mansfield and his deputies had taken the ballet boxes. Battle continued sporadically throughout the night, resulting in wounded on both sides. When the GIs ran out of bullets around dawn, they began throwing dynamite. The deputies inside the jail surrendered.
The highly publicized Battle of Athens not only ousted corruption from one county in Tennessee, the lesson learned would ultimately lead to great reforms in Southern politics.
I know you patrol in here. Thought you would like this. Not my blog, but I posted it all. How’s that?
And how about them Volunteers!?
Walking Tall, the prequel.
You know.. I'm kind of OK with that.
Same here, except I read about it here at FR a few years ago.
Somebody needs to make a big-budget movie about this!
I patrol everywhere.
Why in the world would you want (or trust!) Hollyweird to do this right?
A perfect example of why BLOAT rulz.
Have heard humble plays possum or carries a possum with him. Can never figure out which one it is.
There was a "B" version movie made....
There were some clips/links on the earlier post you ref'd above.
Not a big-budget movie, but still good.
Gatorgrenades do more damage but they are harder to throw safely and are apt to snap at your elbow or knee when you swing them.
Best one is a raccoongrenade, the fur flies when they hit and teeth and claws strike everywhere all at once, but you cannot use these as easily when you are drunk because they can climb their own tails and turn your arm into hamburger.
I once saw an old movie featuring something similar, where a returning GI gets involved against an entire corrupt town/county. A black man was killed and a number of other citizens are either killed or beaten up and threatened with death or the death of their families.
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