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The Ellen Payne Odom Genealogy Library Family Tree
Clan Colquhoun of North America Newsletter

First Annual Tunnel Hill Celtic Festival Held 14 Sept
Charter Clan Members of Tunnel Hill Festival Tunnel Hill, GA is a small community just south of Chattanooga, TN. It got its name from a railroad tunnel cut Charter Clan Members of Tunnel Hill Festival through a “hill” of granite in 1850. The tunnel is over 1,400 feet long and took two years to complete, the longest “horseshoe” shaped tunnel in the world. Tunnel Hill was right in the path of the Union Army as it fought its way towards Atlanta. In 1863 the Great Locomotive Chase went through the tunnel. Before the Union Army had moved out of Chattanooga a locomotive called The General was hijacked just north of Atlanta by Union sympathizers. The General was driven north at full speed to try and get behind Union lines. The Confederates gave chase at like speed. The normal safe speed for a locomotive driven through this tunnel was 10 mph. The General went through it at an estimated 60 mph. Before the heat, steam and smoke had cleared from the tunnel The Texas, another engine chasing The General, was driven through at about the same speed in reverse! Modern trains were too big to pass through the tunnel and it fell out of use.

County Commissioner Mike Cowan
County Commissioner Mike CowanAbout ten years ago a group of citizens began plans that saved the tunnel from ruin. The tunnel is now fully renovated. The next step is building a visitors’ center to complete the site as an historical tourist stop. Part of the planning includes hosting a Celtic Festival each year to be held in the spring. Whitfield County Commissioner and Society member Mike Cowan hopes a Celtic festival, to coexist with an already established Native American Festival and Civil War reenactment, will draw even more attention to the project. Society members Mike and Boyd Whitfield (Calhoun) were the game organizers. Sept. 14 was a trial day which was successful by all accounts.

Sir Iain Colquhoun Listed In Two More Books
Sir Iain (chief of the Colquhouns from 1910 to 1948) has been found mentioned in two more books. The first is Silent Night: The Story Of The WWI Christmas Truce by Stanley Weintraub (The Free Press 2001). Briefly mentioning him and misspelling his first name, Weintraub states Sir Iain allowed a thirty minute cease fire to bury the dead on Christmas 1915 near Ypres, Belgium. After blowing his whistle to signal his men to return to the trenches, an impromptu cease fire continued on both sides for the rest of the day. Sir Iain was a Captain in the First Scots Guards at the time. He was brought up for court martial 18 January 1916 for “disobeying orders”, specifically from Major General Lord Cavan to keep up a steady stream of bombardment during daylight hours and raiding trenches by night through the Christmas season to avoid “slackness” in discipline. Weintraub states it’s incorrect that Sir Iain was sentenced to death for consorting with the enemy and pardoned by King George V. This is stated as fact in the Rossdhu tour book one used to get before the manor house became the Loch Lomond Golf Course Clubhouse (can be seen at That story, according to Weintraub, was started by a folksong written by John McCutcheon entitled “Christmas In The Trenches.” Instead, Sir Iain was “reprimanded”, soon pardoned by a General Haig, “…returned to duty and rose through the war to brigadier general.” We have never heard of Sir Iain attaining this rank. So which version is true? Perhaps this can be clarified later.

Sir Iain ColquhounThe second book is For Benefit Of The Nation: The National Trust For Scotland: The First 70 Years by Douglas Bremner (published by The National Trust 2001). This book is for sale at most National Trust or Scottish Heritage Tents at Highland Games all over the States this year. A remarkable item in this book is a picture of Sir Iain (a portrait style photo possibly taken later in his life than what we’ve seen) on page 35. Sir Iain was founding chairman for the Trust (1931-46) and Vice President (1946-1948). Bremner states at the very beginning of the book that Sir Iain’s “…vision, courage and driving force helped to establish…” the organization. The mission of the Trust has been “…to conserve places of historic interest and natural beauty as an example for the future.” One of Sir Iain’s interests was Ben Lomond, across the loch from Rossdhu. Other early properties coming to the Trust were Berg, on the island of Mull; the field of Bannockburn, where Robert the Bruce defeated Edward II’s army in 1314; Crookston castle in Glasgow; and Bruce’s Stone in Galloway (saving it from being submerged by a proposed hydro-electric plan). The initial fee to join the Trust was “10 shillings or more” and not increased to a pound until 1963. Sir Iain broadcast an appeal over the radio for new members in 1934. This resulted in 385 new members, 22 of whom offered the extra dues to become life members, and more property donated for preservation. So the next time you pass that National Trust or Scottish Heritage tent at the games, stop by for a moment to honor the memory of one of your chieftains who helped start it all.

President’s Corner
Annual General Meeting for The Clan Colquhoun Society Of North America will be held at the Clan Tent of the Stone Mountain Games Saturday, October 19, 2002 at 2:00PM. The Board Of Directors will meet at 1:00PM at the same location.
Election Of Officers
Four Year Terms For Elected Officers
Credit Of Annual Dues if an individual Sponsors a Clan Tent at an Approved Game
Annual Reports
James H. Kilpatrick, Jr. FSA (Scot)

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