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When Tennessee voted on secession in June 1861, Meigs voted 481 for secession and 267 for the Union.

The district south of the Hiwassee had the fewest slaveholders and sent most of its men to the Union.

In antebellum times, commerce was linked to riverboats at landings such as Cottonport, Pinhook, and Breedenton.

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Most of the Cherokee residents were removed as part of the Trail of Tears in 1838, crossing the Tennessee in Meigs County at Blythe's Ferry.

A few Cherokee residents remained, notably John Miller, Richard Taylor, Colonel Gideon Morgan, and John Jolly.

The Meigs County High School's girls' basketball team won state AA championships in 19.

County schools consolidated in 1997 into two elementary, one middle, and one high school.

(In the 1990s, two bridges replaced the Blythe and Washington ferries, the last ferries in the eastern Tennessee River Valley.) Although a railroad was expected in the 1840s and 1850s, one would never cross the county.

There were 598 farms in 1850, chiefly raising hogs (twenty thousand head), wheat, oats, corn, and potatoes.In 1864 Owen Soloman, acting under the order of Military Governor Andrew Johnson, organized a new county court loyal to the Union.Following the war, farmers in the county resumed their lives, adding apples and peaches, beef cattle and milk cows to the production of grains.Decatur Academy, a secondary school, opened in the 1840s, and a school for African American children was established in 1869.When the academy closed in 1890, the Holston Conference of the Methodist Church set up a high school that operated until 1910, when Meigs County High School was built.The Meigs County government, Tennessee Valley Authority, National Park Service, and Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency have planned a monument near the Hiwassee inscribed with names of the Cherokees removed in 1838, as well as a walking trail along part of a removal route.

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