Off John T Reid Parkway
Scottsboro, Alabama 35769
The Sauta Cave National Wildlife Refuge was once called the Blowing Wind Cave National Wildlife Refuge and is located on the western edge of Scottsboro Alabama. The cave itself is locked and is a protected area primarily for bats and a couple of endangered salamanders. The location in and around the cave was mined for saltpeter (used in gunpowder) by the Cherokees and than American Soldiers during both the War of 1812 and the Civil War. The Cave actually served as the Jackson County Courthouse before a Courthouse was built around 1819.
The land around the cave was purchased by Joseph Sanders in 1831 and became the Sanders Farm. During the American Civil War the county became lawless as bands of Union soldiers, Confederate soldiers and Deserter bandits robbed and murdered it's citizens. One of these victims was Joseph Sanders said to be a unionist who was shot to death in one of his fields on April 13, 1863. There are many stories passed down that he and his horse were shot and that he was forced to dig his own grave and was buried with his horse. Other versions tell of a Union patrol hunting down and killing the bushwhackers and forcing them to dig a grave for Sanders horse and themselves. Some stories say that Sanders was not shot, but instead was hanged or hanged and shot. Regardless of which version is true, this area has a history of violence and was even a bar and nightclub from 1919 until 1956. It comes as no surprise that it's eerie and spooky reputation only adds to the mystery.
While the stories are an oral family tradition, the grave site of Joseph Sanders is located across the street from the cave and is thought to be a family grave site that contains at least two graves including the infant child of Joseph Sanders. Relatives of the Barbee family have an oral tradition that a family member named Jeff Barbee was one of the killers and have also named Thomps Houston, and John Teeters as the other culprits. We have researched the names of these men and have not found grave sites for any of them. However, we have found a J.T. Teeters, Aaron T Houston and T.P Barbee all serving together in Company K of the Jackson County Rifles, 2nd Infantry Regiment, Jackson, Alabama.