Pre-Civil War cased tintype of Col. William Shy, 20th Tennessee Infantry, CSA. Shy was killed at the Battle of Nashville on December 16, 1864, defending a hilltop position that now bears his name. Looking Back: The Civil War in Tennessee
According to military records, Hurt enlisted when he was eighteen years old, as a private in the 6th TN Infantry, Company H (Southern Guards), in Jackson, TN, in May 1861. In October 1863 Hurt became an adjutant for the 46th/55th TN Infantry at Mobile, Alabama. His regiment joined Quarles Brigade in the defense of Atlanta. He somehow managed to escape the disaster at Ezra hurch his regiment saw, however, he would not be so lucky at Franklin (30 November 1864).