Greene-Jones War

From: Ed Johnson <>

(Extracted From Multiple Sources)

(The first paragraph was from the Rogersville Herald abt 1890)


            The cause of the Greene-Jones War according to legend started over a hog prior to 1861.  Apparently some of the Jones’s who lived near the Greene Farm on Duck Creek were hauling logs down to the Clinch River.  The logs were to be floated down to market in Chattanooga.  Someone left the gate open after the Jones’s crossed the property of Richard Greene.  A hog belonging to Mr. Greene wandered through the fence up a hollow to a still.  The hog ate and destroyed a considerable amount of mash.  Another one of the Jones’s decided to keep the hog to pay for the damage incurred.  Richard Greene came to claim the hog.  An argument ensued and thus the start of the Greene-Jones War.

It was brought to a head during the Civil War when the majority of East Tennessee supported the Union.  A movement was launched for independent statehood similar to West Virginia’s but failed to materialize prior to secession. Tennessee sided with and joined the Confederates.

            Hancock Co had both Union and Confederate sympathizers while others wanted no part of it and they were called “Ridge Runners”.  One of those who preferred to remain neutral was Alfred Greene.  In the summer of 1863 he was hiding out on the ridges of Hancock Co to avoid being conscripted.

            On July 26, 1863 Alfred Greene was informed that his wife had just given birth and decided to visit his wife and newborn child.  Three members of the Jones’s who were Union sympathizers anticipating that Alfred Greene would return home waited in ambush. 

He was able to make his way undetected into his house.  When the Jones’s saw that Alfred Greene was in his house they started shooting.  In order to draw fire away from his family Alfred grabbed his rifle and ran towards the smokehouse for cover. He was shot multiple times in the chest and immediately died of his wounds.

            The feud lasted about 35 years and during this time approximately 30 men and

 1 youth were killed.

The Greene-Jones War was the second largest feud in US history and only superseded by the Hatfield’s and McCoy’s.   This conflict lasted until the late 1880’s when the Governor of Tennessee declared martial law, sent in the state militia to end the conflict and restore order.

            Ila Lamb-Grable said that her mother Lucy Givens-Lamb told her the following about Lincoln Greene who was married to Dorcas Lamb and participated in the feud:

1. While he was a kind and gentle man she was always afraid of him because he had

     notches on his pistol.

2. During the Greene-Jones War Lincoln Greene dressed as a woman to pass through

    the Jones’s to obtain supplies.


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