Men and Boys Go to War
When called on to fight for their country, residents of White County were early volunteers. When the U.S. War Department requisitioned the State of Tennessee for 2,500 men to serve in the war of 1812, White County contributed two full companies. Captains John W. Simpson and George W. Gibbs commanded the county's troops. Simpson was eventually promoted to the rank of lieutenant colonel and distinguished himself for bravery at the battle of New Orleans. Gibbs, who also served as state senator from Knoxville but resigned his position to join the war, became a general.
White County volunteers were also represented in the bloody war against the Creek Indians fought in Alabama and southern Georgia from 1813 to 1814. Sparta responded to Gov. Blount's call by again raising two companies.
Again, when the United States and Mexico became involved in war in 1846, and volunteers were called, White County organized and sent one company.
During the Civil War, White County raised nine full companies for the Confederacy and, during the later years, one for the federal government. Many of White County's men and boys also fought with other companies that were organized by adjoining counties.