|Birth: ||Jul. 23, 1837|
|Death: ||Mar. 12, 1913|
Susan Brownlow was the daughter of "Parson" William Gannaway Brownlow (1805-1877). In October 1856 she married Dr. James Houston Sawyers, who practiced medicine in Knoxville. Doctor Sawyers died on May 26, 1858, and less than four months later, Susan gave birth to their daughter. She gave her the name Lillie Brownlow Sawyers. Susan was a young widow, with her baby, when the Civil War erupted. According to HARPER'S WEEKLY (Dec. 21, 1861): "When a mob of secessionists attacked her father's house in his absence and insisted on the Union flag being hauled down from where it floated, this young lady seized a rifle and told them she would defend it with her life. The first who approached would be shot. They threatened her for some time, and tried in every way to frighten her. But she was firm, and after a time the ruffians withdrew, leaving the flag still flying." At least one other source says that it was a revolver, rather than a rifle, that she displayed in that incident. Regardless of the weapon involved, she became a heroine in the Union, largely due to the HARPER'S WEEKLY article, which included an engraving of her portrait (it was based on the photograph included here). However, it did not give her full name, but only as "Miss Brownlow, the daughter of the intrepid Parson Brownlow, of Knoxville, Tennessee." In 1865, she married Dr. David T. Boynton (1837-1888), who had served as an Assistant Surgeon in the 104th Ohio Volunteer Infantry, and was a Pension Agent in Knoxville after the war. Dr. and Mrs. Boynton had several children. Susan died at the home of her son, Dr. Emerson Boynton, in Pennsylvania in 1913.
Sources: HARPER'S WEEKLY, Dec. 21, 1861; THE PICTORIAL BOOK OF ANECDOTES AND INCIDENTS OF THE WAR OF THE REBELLION... by Frazar Kirkland (Hartford, 1867), p. 26; FAMILY HISTORY OF COL. JOHN SAWYERS... by Madison Monroe Harris and William R. Carter (1913), pp. 79-80.
William Gannaway Brownlow (1805 - 1877)
James H Sawyers (1832 - 1858)
Daniel Tucker Boynton (1837 - 1888)
Lillie Brownlow Sawyers Long (1858 - 1897)*
Emerson Boynton (1873 - 1935)*
Old Gray Cemetery
Created by: Leon Edmund Basile
Record added: Aug 21, 2008
Find A Grave Memorial# 29218211
Added: Oct. 25, 2014
Added: Mar. 1, 2011