CENTENNIAL CHRONICLE. 1905 article on “Uncle Dick Flynn.” CLOUDS OF WAR. When the first gun boomed over the head of Major Anderson at Fort Sumter, he felt that the doctrine of Jefferson had been violated. “He stood not on the order of his going, but went.”
He at once espoused the Constitutional Union party, holding that all the states should have free and equal rights; but the ways to secure them, was to remain inside of the Federal Compact. He at once threw himself physically, mentally and financially into the cause of the Union of all the states. Believing in the advice of Washington, “United we stand, divided we fall.”
GREAT PILOT AND SCOUT. He has been a great hunter all his life, never was excelled by anyone, except Nimrod, the founder of Nineveh, where a man by the name of Jonah was told to go and preach, and because he went another way he got into trouble with a big fish. Uncle Dick knew all the country from Chattanooga to the Kentucky line, the darkest night that came.
When the conscript act was being put in force by the Confederacy, he conceived the 'underground' railroad in order to assist union refugees from north Georgia and Alabama and the country around Chattanooga, Cleveland, and Athens, in getting through the Confederate lines. Now, the modus operandi was this: A, B, C, and D, residing at Chattanooga, wanting to reach the Federal lines in Kentucky, steal a canoe and cross the Tennessee river at night, and go to the house of Peter Thundergudgeon on Walden's ridge.
Peter is a conductor on Uncle Dick's road. Peter gives all the signs and pass words sufficient for the journey, he then raises steam, and calls out, “All aboard for Y C. Sniprips,” which is the next station in Sequatchie valley. After good Mrs. Sniprip has provided food for the refugees, Conductor Sniprip calls “All aboard for Red Fox Station on Big Laurel Creek, in the Third district.”
It would sometimes happen that the Red Fox, as Uncle Dick was called, would be gone to Kentucky with a train load of men, and under such circumstances, the refugees would give the signs and passwords to his son, W. L. Flynn, who would feed them until the return of the Red Fox. Next night he would shoulder his rifle, called “Old Hickory,” and call out, “All aboard for Possum Creek, Kentucky,” which station was inside the Federal lines.
Uncle Dick is of Celtic extraction and is possessed of all the good traits, of that nationality, being broad minded and conservative in all things.
HABITS OF LIFE. He was never intoxicated, never used profane or obscene language, is of a kind and communicative disposition, attends church and Sabbath school regularly, visits the sick, helps the needy contributes liberally to the church and his fellow man in need. He is the father of nine children five of whom are dead. Four sons, Capt. A. L. Flynn, T. S. and P. S. Flynn. This is history and is written that others may emulate the patriotism and virtues of this grand and noble couple. April 19, 905.