The father of woodcraft in America, Horace Kephart, described the inhabitants of the Southern Appalachian chain, as the “most independent race on earth.” (527) One shining example of that very ideal is Quill Rose. He was a blockader, Confederate, fiddle player, farmer, logger, storyteller, hunter, blacksmith and freedomista writ large.
Aquilla Liam Rose, was born in 1841, on Anthony Creek at Cades Cove, Blount County, Tennessee.
Quill was a picturesque 19th century mountaineer. Tall for the time at 6’1”, he sported a beard and was said to always have a rifle. In 1857, Quill married Lavisa Hyde who was half Cherokee and daughter of Qua-nee-gar-na-gar (otherwise known as Ben Hyde) from the North Carolina side of the Smoky’s. He affectionately referred to her as “Aunt Vicey.”
During the conflict of 1861-1865, he enlisted in the Confederate Army at Franklin, Macon County, North Carolina. He was a Private in Levi’s Battery Light Artillery, in the very unique Thomas Legion of Highlanders and Cherokee, which would be called the 69th North Carolina during a foray to the Virginia Valley later in the war. The Legion was composed local mountain people and approximately 400 outlaw Cherokee who resisted and evaded the slave patrols of Andrew Jackson on the Trail of Tears.