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1861 James Cartwright Warner

JC  WARNER 1861(Lived August 20, 1830 – July 21, 1895)

Born in Gallatin, Tennessee, James Cartwright Warner worked for a hardware store in Nashville before moving to Chattanooga in 1853 to open his own hardware store.  Warner became an officer of the Bank of Chattanooga, and a leader in the development of the Wills Valley Railroad. 

Mayor Warner’s term in office was one of great trial for Chattanoogans, as the nation was on the brink of war.  Soon after Warner took office, future Confederate President Jefferson Davis visited Chattanooga on his way from Washington to Mississippi, the state took its first vote on the issue of secession and the city began planning for what seemed to be an impending crisis.  In April, the mayor and alderman oversaw the establishment of an armory and “Home Guard” unit.  Worried about the effect northern sympathizers might have on the city the mayor also ordered the organization of a “Vigilance Committee” to watch for persons hostile to secession.     

On June 8, 1861, the state of Tennessee voted to secede from the United States of America and join the Confederate States of American.  Though Hamilton County voters overwhelmingly voted to remain loyal to the Union, Chattanoogans voted 421 to 51 to secede. 

After his term of service Warner became president of the Bank of Chattanooga when the bank closed in 1863 Warner moved his family to Nashville where he remained until his death in 1895.

Photo by Phillip Stevens and Matt Lea