JOHN WESLEY SLIGER
25th TENNESSEE INFANTRY
Born: 14 February 1836 in Washington County, Tennessee
Died: 21 November 1912 in Putnam County, Tennessee
Buried: Sliger Cemetery, Putnam County, Tennessee
Parents: Charles and Polly (Markes) Sliger
1st Married: Elizabeth Davis Wassom Abt 1868 in Putnam County, Tennessee
Born: about 1836 in Tennessee
Died: 18 January 1895 in Putnam County, Tennessee
Parents: John C. and Martha (Tubb) Davis
Widow: Elizabeth is the widow of Benjamin Wassom.
2nd Married: Louisa Deering 6 November 1899 in Putnam County, Tennessee
Born: about 1870 in Putnam County, Tennessee
Died: after 1910 in Putnam County, Tennessee
Parents: Noah and Mary (Goss) Dearing
RELATIVES WHO SERVED
- Brother: William Trusten Sliger - 25th Tennessee Infantry Regiment - CSA
- Brother: Andrew Robinson Sliger - 4th Tennessee Mounted Infantry Regiment - USA
- Brother: Christopher (Kit) Sliger - Captain Farris Battery - Missouri Light Artillery - CSA
- Brother: James Solomon Sliger - 4th Tennessee Mounted Infantry Regiment - USA
- Father-in-Law: Noah Deering - 1st Tennessee Mounted Infantry - USA
- First Wife's First Husband: Benjamin W. Wassom - 13th Tennessee (Gore's) Cavalry - CSA (died in the war)
25th Tennessee Infantry
- Entered the service as a Private and left the service as a Private
- Age: 25 (1 October 1861)
- Enlisted 25 July 1861 at Tullahoma
- 1 October 1861: Present
- 25 July - 31 October: Not Stated
- September & October 1862: Absent; Parolled by Yankees at home
- June 30 - November 1, 1862: Left on retreat from Perryville, KY and parolled by Yankees
- November & December 1862: at home; parolled by enemy
- January & February 1863: parolled in KY 10 October 1862
- 6 April 1864: Deserted 15 October 1862
PENSION APPLICATION ABSTRACT
- Filed October 9, 1905
- Resident of Cookeville, TN
- Enlisted in 25th Tennessee Infantry Regiment Company E on 25 July 1861
- Born: Washington County 1836
- Battles: Battle of Perryville, KY and was cut off from his command
- Married: Wife is 40; No Children
- Attest: John W. Goodwin and Charles Lafayette Burgess
- 1850 Census: White County, TN, Page 76
- 1860 Census: White County, TN, Page 79
- 1870 Census: Putnam County, TN, Page 117
- 1880 Census: Putnam County, TN, Page 104A
- 1900 Census: Putnam County, TN, Page 4B
- 1910 Census: Putnam County, TN, Page 43A
- The Daily American, 22 January 1895, Page 5
Mrs. John Sliger, 81 year old, the wife of John Sliger, 8r., a prosperous farmer of Putnam County, was assassinated Friday night about 7 o'clock as ber home, four miles south of Cookeville. John Sliger, Jr., the murdered woman's second cousin, and John Sliger, Sr., her husband, are under arrest for the murder.
Mrs. Sliger was sitting in a room reading. Her seat was almost immediately in front of the window and a bright light was burning. Her husband came into the room from a short stay in the yard and drew down the shade. An instant later there a load report and the entire front of Mrs. Sliger's head was blown of by. heavy charge of No. 2 buckshot, which came crashing through the window.
THE NEIGHBOR'S AROUSED. The gun's report aroused the immediate neighbors, news of the cowardly assassination spread rapidly, and search was instituted for the assassins, the authorities being assisted by a posse of citizens. From the window through which tho shot was fired footprints, those of a man wearing heavy boots, were retraced to the home of Mrs. Boyd, near by, where John Sliger, Jr., had eaten supper half an hour before.
Just how the killing was planned and executed the evidence so far gathered fails to indicate, but the circumstances are rich material for detecting skill.
After the shooting young Sliger went to party at a house two miles away, where he remained until a late hour.
THROUGH A WINDOW - Mrs. John Sliger, Sr. Assassinated Near Cookeville
Her Head Blown Off by a Worthless Kinsman
ALLEGED MURDERER ARRESTED. He was arrested the following morning at his home near the scope of the tragedy. He was still in bed and loudly denied having been near the Sliger home the night before. But a circumstance had developed which pointed almost conclusively to his guilt and had aroused the people of the vicinity to a heat that boded no good for him. In the tracks leading from Mrs. Boyd's home where young Sliger had eaten supper, to the window of tho Sliger home through which the fatal shot was fired, was found a clew. It was the print formed by a flap of the sole of one of the boots, bent somewhat back.
THE TELL-TALE CLEW. An examination of Sliger's boots revealed the tell-tale flap. The boots were fitted to the tracks and fitted to a nicely, as did also the flap. Stronger circumstantial evidence could hardly exist. But there was more. It was known that no love was lost between young Sliger and the murdered woman. He had formerly lived at her home, but about a year ago she had him arrestod for stealing money. He is a worthless drinking character und continued to hang around the house, going in when he could gain admission.
The circumstances which have developed to implicate the husband are very damaging.
THE HUSBAND'S ALLEGED LIAISON. In addition to the fact that there was no warm affection between him and his legal wife, it was known that intimate relations existed between him and young girl of 16 or 17 years, living in the neighborhood, as a result of which, it is alleged, the girl is now in an interesting condition. He is 60 years old, but seemed possessed of a great passion for his youthful paramour.
On the afternoon before the killing it is said, the two Sligers and the girl were together about the place, and late in the afternoon the three were engaged in handling corn at the barn, where, it is supposed, the alleged conspiracy to murder the old lady was formed.
WAS THE YOUNGER SLIGER A TOOL? It is the general supposition that young Sliger was a tool and that he was willing to commit tho deed in revenge for past grievances.
That the old man know more about the tragedy than he will tell, is indicated by the fact that the murderous shot is supposed to have been fired from a shotgun belonging to him, which was found in the house after the killing. The suspicious fact of his going into the yard a few moments before tho shot was fired, and then returning and drawing down the window shade, which action was followed instantly by the report, is also regarded as significant.
SUSPICIOUS CIRCUMSTANCES. In fact, the authorities believe that his mission into tho yard was to meet tho assassin, and that the weapon was either slipped into the house by young Sliger or was picked up and carried buck by the elder Sliger in tho excitement which followed the shooting.
When the authorities passed by the house the following morning with young Sliger a prisoner the older man loaned him a horse to ride to town. His own arrest followed soon after.
There is much excitement in the neighborhood for miles around, growing out of the cowardly and bloody affair, and there is strong talk of lynching. The men are being heavily guarded at Cookeville.
- The Cookeville Press, 24 January 1895, Page 5
MRS ELIZABETH SLIGER KILLED. One of the foulest murders in the history of Putnam county, was committed about four miles south of Cookeville on the Sparta road last Friday night at 6 o'clock, at the house of John Sliger. The facts in the case as we learned them from John Sliger, the husband are about as follows: Mr. Sliger says that he, his wife Elizabeth Sliger, and Altha Crabtee, the later a young girl who was living with them were sitting before the fire. Mrs. Sliger and the girl were knitting. A table with a lamp on it was between them. Mrs. Sliger to the right of the table facing the fire place the girl was on the left, and he Sliger to the left of the girl, that a window was a little to the right facing Mrs. Sliger. He says that he and Mrs. Sliger had been smoking and that be had his boots off, and just before the fatal shot he had gone to the door which opened to where they kept the drinking water and got a drink, while there he saw a light in the South-East, like house on fire which he called the attention of the women to, and that both of the women came to the door to see it. He says he turned and went back in the house, passing the window and noticing the curtains were up or drawn side he stepped to the window and let down the curtains, and from there went to the seat he had been occupying. The women returned their former positions around the table when all of a sudden he heard a great crash of broken glass and the loud report of a gun or something. He said he thought he was shot, but in an instant he saw the head of his wife, Mrs. Elizabeth Sliger, fall forward on the table aud also saw a speck of blood on her temple. He says he sprang forward and caught her and screamed for help but she was already dead. Her head was literally crushed to pieces, three buckshot was taken from her head next day. Sliger says he saw no one, nor heard any one. A jury or inquest was impaneled by Coroner J. A. Countiss, who investigated the case for three days, and we learn, although we have not been able to so it, that they reported that she came to her death by the hands of John Sliger (aka John Messenger) and that there was a conspiracy between said Sliger or Messenger, and John Sliger the husband, to commit the dastardly deed. As we go to press John Sliger, alias John Messenger, is on trial before a committing magistrate charged with the offense. It was a black, foul murder without an apparent excuse or provocation.
- The Daily American, 26 January 1895, Page 2
COOKEVILLE, Jan. 25.- [Special.] -- The coroner's jury in the Sliger murder case, after four days' deliberation, have rendered a verdict to the effect that Mrs. John Sliger, Sr., came to her death from a shotgun wound from the hands of John Sliger, Jr., aided and abetted by John Sliger, Sr., husband of the murdered woman.
Immediately after the verdict was rendered a preliminary trial was had before J. C. Kerr, Esq. Every inch of ground was hotly contested on each side. It was proved that the tracks around the premises corresponded exactly to those made by the side of them with Sliger's boots, and that he had threatened to kill her. It was proved that her husband went out of the house into the yard just before the killing, and stayed an unusually long time and Mrs. Sliger called him. He came in, went directly to the window at which Mrs. Sliger was sitting, pulled down the blind and returned to his seat. Immediately Mrs. Sliger's head was almost blown off by a shotgun explosion.
All parties stated that the killing took place half an hour after dark, and the defense proved that on the night of the killing young Sliger was at one Mrs. Boyd's, and that he stayed there till one hour and a half after dark, when he left and went to party about one mile away.
Other arrests will soon follow. It is certain that some scoundrel committed the cowardly deed, and no effort will be spared by the relatives and friends of the deceased to bring the guilty to justice.
Esq. Kerr bound Sliger over to the higher court.
The prosecution is represented by A. Allgood, Bryant & Finley and J. Watson, and the defense by A. W. Boyd, E. H. Jared and Capt. Walton Smith.
- Sliger and Related Families by Della Pat Franklin, Page 448.