Monday, May 11, 2009

Who mourned their deaths?

Who mourned their deaths? Who knows of this tragedy? Save for this bit of research the entire affair would still be lost to the incredibly and increasing expanding base of historical knowledge. Just because it took place in a remote location in Tennessee over a century ago, it is important if for no other reason that a professional historian found the tale. [Do not try this at home.]

At Jacksboro, Campbell County, Tennessee, a duel took place, prompted by a political matter – each of the two had differing opinions about the candidates running for sheriff of Campbell County. [ca. July 27, 1880.] Both protagonists, John W. Bibee and B. F. Roach, were killed instantly. According to the report from the Chattanooga Times:

They first met on the streets of Jacksboro, and a heated discussion ensued, followed by blows, when the combatants were separated by bystanders. They agreed to meet Tuesday (July 20 or 27) night a few miles from town, when they would end their difficulty with pistols. The particulars of the duel are as yet unknown, it being believed that no one witnessed the tragedy. Bibee was shot through the neck and Roach through the breast. Their instant death followed. Bibee was about 19 years of age, the son of a very prominent citizen of Jacksboro. He was for a number of years a student at the University of Tennessee, and intimately associated with a classmate of the local editor of the [Chattanooga] Times. We can testify to his many good merits, his honest, straightforward character, and his dauntless bravery. When not unduly excited, he was as mild and gentle as a child, but his nature was fiery, his spirit hasty and impetuous. Roach was a married man, and leaves a large family.[1]

[1] New York Times, July 28, 1880.

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