I call upon your assistance as I set out to write a scholarly book about Captain Daniel Ellis, the East Tennessee Unionist who led thousands of refugees through the Tennessee, Virginia, Kentucky, and North Carolina mountains to the Union lines during the Civil War. Near the end of the war, Ellis was captain of Company A of the 13th Regiment, Tennessee Volunteer Cavalry, USA, and served in various capacities for General Davis Tillson, Col. William C. Bartlett’s 2nd North Carolina Infantry, USA, and General Alvan C. Gillem.
Finding information on Ellis is difficult, stemming largely from the surreptitious nature of his work, as well as the general paucity of documentation regarding the activities of irregulars in the war at that particular time and in that particular place. I am calling upon anyone who may be able to help me to locate information, images, artifacts, and so forth.
I am proceeding with the firm belief that there is a treasure of information “out there,” yet to be found. My research into secondary sources is possibly somewhere near complete. Most of the information I have found to date is represented on my web site, Captain Daniel Ellis, the Old Red Fox of East Tennessee, 1827-1908, at <http://www.nku.edu/~ellisa/danielellis>.
My goal is to write a complete, fair, and balanced account of Ellis’ life (as opposed to Ellis’ own book, Thrilling Adventures of Daniel Ellis, Harper & Brothers, 1867). I recently spoke with a fellow who is adamant that Ellis was a phony, and that no serious scholar would take his book seriously. Some of you who know about Ellis probably know that such viewpoints exist, and perhaps you share them; but be assured that, despite my surname, I am not averse to hearing them, and will take them seriously.
Allen W. Ellis
Professor of Library Services
W. Frank Steely Library
Northern Kentucky University
Highland Heights, KY 41099-6101
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