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Colonel Felix Alexander Reeve, U.S.V.

Colonel Felix Alexander Reeve, the eldest son of Thomas J. and Rebecca Ann Earnest Reeve, was born in Eastern Tennessee, September 4, 1836. The Reeve family has been seated in Suffolk, England, for centuries. On his father's side, Colonel Reeve is descended from the Adams stock, and the Coxes of Maryland; and through his mother, from the Oliphants and Bruces of Scotland, and the Ernsts of Germany.

In 1860 he left his country home and went to Knoxville, where he resided in the family of the widely famous Parson Brownlow, and read law with Hon. O. P. Temple, having the friendship of these sterling Union men, as well as of other leaders of the patriotic people of East Tennessee, " whose faith stood firm as rocky mountains," when the life of the nation was imperiled. Their loyalty, sacrifice, and suffering will be the theme of song and story in ages yet to be!

Colonel Reeve was a Whig and Unionist; and after voting for the candidate for the Federal Congress in August, 1861, he left his native mountains for Washington City, where he was employed in the Treasury Department by Secretary Chase, until he resigned to enter the Federal army. By order of President Lincoln he was appointed a colonel and authorized to recruit a regiment of loyal Tennesseeans. Proceeding to Kentucky in 1862, he recruited the Eighth Tennessee Infantry Volunteers from the refugees who had fled from home and family to escape the rebel conscript; and so successful were his efforts, that when General Burnside started for East Tennessee, he had a thousand well officered men in line. His regiment was assigned to the Second Brigade, Second Division, Twenty-third Army Corps. Upper East Tennessee was occupied by the Federal army early in September, 1863; Colonel Reeve took an active part in that campaign, and was at Knoxville with his regiment during the siege,-from November 17 until December 5,-when it was raised after an unsuccessful assault on Fort Saunders.

On the 4th of May, 1864, he was ordered on the Georgia campaign. The first engagement was at Buzzard's Roost, the 9th of May; on the 14th was fought the battle of Resaca, the Twenty-third Corps bringing on the engagement. The battle of Burnt Hickory was fought May 26; then ensued daily skirmishing until the battle of Kenesaw Mountain, June 17. In this engagement his brother, Jesse S. Reeve, adjutant of the regiment, fell mortally wounded.

On October 4, 1864, General Thomas assumed command of the Fourteenth, Sixteenth, Nineteenth, and Twenty-third Corps, and moved northward, while General Sherman proceeded South with the remainder of his army. The Eighth Tennessee took part in several actions just prior to the battle of Franklin, November 30, and the battle of Nashville, December 1, in both of which, as well as in other engagements, it bore a gallant and conspicuous part. The Army of the Ohio having been ordered to North Carolina in January, 1865, the Eighth Tennessee was in the actions of Fort Anderson, Town Creek, and Wilmington. Returning to Nashville in the spring, the regiment was mustered out of the service.

As commanding officer of the regiment, and for a time of a brigade, he was rewarded by the commendation of General Burnside, General Schofield, and his more immediate commander, General Cox, who spoke of him as " a brave and meritorious officer."

Owing to illness contracted in the Georgia campaign, Colonel Reeve, by advice of his surgeon, resigned from the army, but with reluctance.

After leaving the service he resumed the study, and entered upon the practice, of the law at Knoxville. Without ambition outside of his profession, he has never sought political preferment. He is an independent Democrat and a member of the Loyal Legion.

Before retiring from the executive chair, President Johnson nominated him for the office of United States attorney for the Eastern District of Tennessee; but the unsolicited honor was declined.

He pursued the practice of law until January, 1879, when he removed to Washington City. In 1880 he was professionally employed in the Department of Justice. In 1886 he was appointed assistant solicitor of the Treasury by President Cleveland, a position he has continued to hold acceptably under President Harrison.

In the spring of 1865 Colonel Reeve intermarried with Wilhelmina Donelson-Maynard of Knoxville; and as a reward of this union they have been blessed with eight children.

Source: Officers of the Volunteer Army and Navy who served in the Civil War, published by L.R. Hamersly & Co., 1893, 419 pgs.

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