Tatum married the former Martha Daniel before 1774 and had nine children over the next 18 years. He took his oath of allegiance to the United States in 1777 and was appointed an officer in the Henry County Militia. He saw action in 1781 at the Battles of Guilford Court House, Eutaw Springs, and Yorktown. In gratitude for his service to the nation, Tatum was granted 656 acres of Virginia land in December 1783.
Even so, he moved southward with his family before 1800, spending time in South Carolina, Georgia and Lincoln County, Tennessee, where he was elected coroner in 1812. In 1819 he joined family members already living in the McCalla area, and established a home on Five Mile Creek between Cox Spring Branch and Moore's Brook. In 1822 he purchased land two miles northeast of Mt Pinson, which he distributed to his grandchildren. In 1826 he served as a Justice of the Peace and farmed the land with the help of a handful of slaves.
Late in life, Tatum moved to Pinson to be closer to his growing family and died there in January 1835. He is buried in a private cemetery near his homestead between Pinson and Palmerdale. The William Speer Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution provided a grave marker on April 27, 1977. Members of the Pinson Historical Society assisted in the restoration of the damaged grave in 2013. A new marker from the Sons of the American Revolution was dedicated in June of that year.
- Smith, Edward S. (1968) Edward Tatum: The Forgotten Revolutionary Soldier of Jefferson County, Alabama Baltimore, Maryland: Logical Products, Inc.
- Gray, Jeremy (June 13, 2013) "Ceremony, marker honor Revolutionary War veteran buried in Pinson." The Birmingham News
- Edward Tatum at Find A Grave