Hiram 'Pomp' Taylor Kersey (Kearsy Keirsey Kersy)
A Company and
Confederate Guerrilla

He was born 13 November 1847  in Mechanicsville, 17 miles east of Murfreesboro, Cannon Co, TN. (Its possible that the tombstone showing 11/13/1847 is incorrect as Census Records and the date of death of his father, 24 July 1864, show that it could be 1841).

He was the youngest son of Hiram and Margaret “Peggy” (Hill) Kersey and the brother of Calvin Kersey. His older brother and two cousins were also in A Company, 16th Tennessee Infantry.

He enlisted 18 May 1861 at Camp Harris, Estell Springs, Franklin Co, TN, and if the tombstone is correct only 13 years old at time of enlistment.

He was absent without leave 15 days prior to the 1 January 1863 - February 1863 muster.

Feeling that his home was unprotected from Federal guerrillas, his mothers home had been raided, he up and walked away from the war on 4 August 1863 and returned to the Short Mountain area of Cannon and DeKalb Counties, TN.  Here he gathered about a dozen others who though as he did and became a celebrated leader of Confederate irregulars, known as the 'Short Mountain Bushwhackers', that protected Confederate families.   Who appear to have operated mainly in DeKalb County, with Smithville and Liberty receiving most of their attention.  (This band numbered 10 to 15, with some as young as 13.  Also he might have been joined by his brother Calvin, also a member of the 16th Tennessee, who deserted 14 October 1863.)

The band was caught sleeping, on the 24 July 1864, two escaped, five were killed in the first volleys, another killed while trying to escape.  Kersey tried to mount his horse, but halter was tied.  A Lieutenant Thomas Bratten put his rifle against Kersey's back and pulled the trigger, it failed to fire. Kersey jumped into the bushes pulling out his pistol but was shot simultaneously by Bratten and Captain William Hathaway.

His body was publicly displayed in Liberty, and along with his men, was buried at Daniel Smith's farm, Liberty, TN. After the war his remains were exhumed from the original resting place after the war by friends and relatives and reburied in Melton Cemetery near Short Mountain, (just south of the Short Mountain Road), Cannon County, TN.

His tombstone reads:

He Died for his Country
H. T. KEIRSEY
Born Nov. 13, 1847, Joined the Confederate Army May 1861
Associated himself with a Tenneesse Guerilla band Aug. 1863
and was murdered near Short Mountain July 24, 1864


A song that became popular in that area began :

We had a little party
On the banks of Canal,
Along came Pomp Kersey
And whipped us like Hell!
We routed, we scouted
All half the next day,
And found the bushwhackers
By scatters of hay!

Chorus:
Huzza! Huzza!
We're a nation so true,
Three cheers for Abe Lincoln,
The red, white and blue!

An historical marker 2E 67 is erected in Cannon County, TN, entitled 'Confederate Guerrilla.'


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