The Peter Turney Chapter #1927 United Daughters of the Confederacy held its annual Christmas luncheon at the historic home of Emma Jean Carter, president of the chapter, who felt it was fitting to hold the festive occasion in the home to honor brave confederate ancestors.
During the luncheon, members were entertained by local musicians, Abe Stephens and Jim Driver who sang carols. Betty Thompson Comer of Tullahoma was presented her certificate of membership through her ancestor, Thomas Lowry Yarrington’s service with the 3rd Alabama Infantry.
History of the home
The historic Winchester home was built by William Hart Hughes and Emma Murrell Hughes, Mrs. Carter’s grandparents, on land that Emma inherited from her father, Captain William Estes Murrell.
Capt. Murrell served in the 41st Tennessee regiment Co. G as the commander of the unit, which was made up mostly of men from the Harmony and Marble Hill communities.
The captain suffered a gunshot wound to the lung in the Battle of Atlanta and was hospitalized in Way Hospital in Meridan, Miss.
He survived the wound and was able to come back to his home in Franklin County where he married his childhood sweetheart, Elizabeth Ann Gregory, on Nov. 7, 1866.
They had one daughter, Emma Murrell, born on Nov. 2, 1867.
Unfortunately, the captain’s gunshot wound led to the decline of his health and he passed at age 26 when his daughter was just 18 months old.
Emma was raised by her mother and loving grandparents. She graduated from Mary Sharp College with a degree in science and literature and was an accomplished artist and pianist, having studied under professor Charles F. Utermoehlen, a well-known music professor at the school.
As a young woman, Emma taught school at Beech Hill, which was about two miles from the Gregory home. She rode a horse sidesaddle up Galloway Lane to a one-room schoolhouse.
Emma met William Hart Hughes, son of Col. John Madison Hughes, who was in the 25th Tennessee Regiment, Co. D. and served valiantly during the war.
Emma and William were married on Dec. 19, 1888, at the Gregory home in Winchester, built around 1890. It is occupied and in good condition today.
About the UDC Chapter
On March 23, 1927, Peter Turney chapter of the UDC received a chapter listing 45 members.
The chapter had the distinction of having as two of these charter members, Col. Turney’s daughters, Aletha and Teresa Turney. The first officers were Emily Moseley, president; Teresa Turney, vice president;, Clara Norton, recording secretary; Alice Lynch, treasurer; Mrs. James R. Norton, historian; Mary V. Alexander, assistant historian; and Lena Austell, registrar.
Among the charter members were Elizabeth Gregory Murrell, wife of Capt. William Estes Murrell; Emma Murrell Hughes, daughter of Capt. Murrell; and Miss Pauline Hughes, granddaughter of Capt. Murrell.
The next luncheon meeting will be held on Friday, Feb. 21 at San Miguel’s Restaurant on the square in Winchester. The program will be about Jefferson and Varina Davis’ home “Beauvoir” on the Gulf coast.