James and Sally lived near Caryville, TN. But, they left hastily in the early 1850s with their first born, Simpson, following a deadly outcome over a land dispute. James' involvement in the dispute is not clear. But, he abandoned his land and moved his family into the hills of the Cumberland Plateau near the McBroom Branch.
James purchased a large farm along the stream plus the steep hillside topping onto the ridge above. James and Sally's 6 other children were all born on this farm:
Benjamin, Harrison, William J., Lena, Emily and General Lee.
When the Civil War arrived, James was conscripted to fight for the South. In Caryville, his father and his brother, Thomas and Thomas, Jr, were conscripted to fight for the North. His father died early in the war. James was shot through the chest but returned home to recover. He died almost 10 years after the war ended.
James was buried on his land where Sally established a cemetery. James was the first to be buried in the Marlow Cemetery.
According to original TN marriage record: James married Sarah Williams on 26 Dec 1847 in Anderson, Tennessee. Sarah would be 19. Based on the birth date on his stone, James would be 13. However, in the 1850 census he reported his age at 18. So, he would have been 15 when they married and his birth year 1832. That also matches the 1870 census when he reported his age at 38. (Although, in 1860 he reported his age at 25.)
James' birth year is probably 1832 or a couple years earlier.