Saturday, December 17, 2011

December 16 - Tennessee Civil War Notes

U.S.N. gunboat
16, U.S.N. gunboat captures pig iron on Cumberland river

No circumstantial reports filed. 
Excerpt from the Report of Fleet Captain Pennock, U.S. Navy, transmitting prize lists of certain vessels of the squadron
Mississippi Squadron, Flagship Black Hawk
Mound City, September 21, 1864
Sir: I have the honor to enclose herewith prized lists of the following vessels belonging to this squadrons:
U.S.S. Brilliant, for the capture of a lot of pig iron at Betsytown Landing, Tenn., December 16, 1863.
* * * *
A.M. Pennock, Fleet Captain and Commandant of Station
NOR, Ser. I, Vol. 26, p. 562.

ca. 16, Report of Lieutenant-Commander Fitch, U.S. Navy, regarding the destruction of distilleries on the Cumberland River.
U.S.S. Moose
Dover, December 17, 1863
I have the honor to report that on my way down the river I landed at Seen-Mile Island and went out back about 2 miles with a force and destroyed a distillery belonging t Dr. Lyle. This distillery has been the means of causing boats to be fired into to, being a sort of rendezvous for guerrillas. There were several guerrillas at the distillery at the time, but, being mounted, they escaped us.
At Palmyra I also landed with a force and destroyed another distillery about 5 miles back. Guerrillas had staid [sic] here the night back. The latter distillery was owned by a man by the name of Nolan.
Le Roy Fitch, Lieutenant-Commander
Navy OR, Ser. I, Vol. 25, p.p. 641-642

16, Circus benefit for the poor during the battle of Nashville
The Circus will give a performance to-night for the benefit of the poor of the city. This fact alone ought to crowd th tent, and there can be no doubt but the proprietors will be rewarded generously.
Nashville Dispatch, December 16, 1864.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

December 15 - Tennessee Civil War Notes

15, "Aid to the Poor."

Mayor's Office, November 14, 1861.
A Free Market has been established by the City, and benevolent and liberal hearted farmers in the country and citizens in the city, are earnestly appealed to contribute to the same, by sending in wood, meal, flour, & c and such articles as they may deem proper, to aid in sustaining the worthy poor. The poor are always with us, and it is the dictate of humanity and a religious duty, so see that none suffer if in our power to prevent. It is a God like duty our people are called upon to perform. The aid which the city corporation can extend is comparatively limited, and the Robertson Association, which has been so useful in previous winters, having ceased to act at present, on account of so many members being in the Army, makes an appeal of this kind necessary.
An officer can be found at the Work House, to receive all articles which may be sent in, and who will see to its proper distribution. Money can be donated by those who prefer to do so.
R. B. Cheatham, Mayor
Nashville Daily Gazette, December 15, 1861



15, Affair near Pulaski
No circumstantial reports filed. 
Excerpt from the Report of Major-General George H. Thomas, January 15, 1864, on activities from December 1 to 31, 1863, relative to the affair near Pulaski, December 15, 1863.
* * * * 
December 15, a small party of rebels, under Maj. Joe Fontaine, Roddey's adjutant, was captured by Gen. Dodge near Pulaski. They had been on a reconnaissance along the Nashville and Chattanooga Railroad and the Nashville and Decatur Railroad. Measures were immediately taken to guard against an attack on either railroad.
* * * * 
OR, Ser. I, Vol. 31, pt. II, p. 125.

PULASKI, Tennessee, December 15, 1863.
Maj. Gen. U. S. GRANT, Chattanooga:
I captured a party of rebels to-day under command of Maj. Jo. Fontaine, Gen. Roddey's adjutant. They have been on a reconnaissance along line of Chattanooga and Nashville Railroad, and along line of this. They tapped the telegraph and took off a number of dispatches, and I guess got pretty well posted. Their orders were to examine thoroughly the railroad between Columbia and Nashville, and also to endeavor to capture a train loaded with prisoners from Chattanooga. They are evidently posted on weakness of force between Columbia and Nashville, and no doubt will endeavor to burn those bridges. I have a man in from Montgomery, Ala., eight days on road. All troops in Alabama picking up conscripts are ordered to Hardee. All men between sixteen and sixty are called out to replace them. Two brigades last of November went through to Bragg. This is all the force that so far has gone up. The boys met large numbers of deserters left since last fight.
G. M. DODGE, Brig.-Gen.
OR, Ser. I, Vol. 31, pt. III, p, 412.
CHATTANOOGA, December 15, 1863--11.30 p.m.
Maj.-Gen. SLOCUM:
Gen. Dodge captured a party of rebels to-day who have been reconnoitering the Nashville and Chattanooga Railroad and were then reconnoitering the Nashville and Decatur Railroad. Caution your troops to keep a bright lookout for such characters. They have tapped the telegraph and taken off messages.
WM. D. WHIPPLE, Chief of Staff.
NASHVILLE, December 15, 1863.
Maj. Gen. U. S. GRANT:
The condition of affairs on the railroad from here to Bridgeport seems to me to demand an immediate and thorough inspection and I respectfully recommend that orders be given to Brig.-Gen. Dodge to make such an examination at once, and report to you the condition of the road, the energy with which repairs are pushed forward, and the urgency of repairs, as well as the administration of the road generally having in view the speed of trains, the frequent and unnecessary delays, the condition and police of the cars, and the matter of fares collected and accounted for. Very many cars have been run off the track and upset, and no attempt to have been made to get them back into service, and I think everything and everybody connected with the road need overhauling.
WM. F. SMITH, Chief Engineer, Military Division.
OR, Ser. I, Vol. 31, pt. III, p. 414.


15, "The Poor."

Councilman Sayers distributed food and fuel to about three hundred poor people yesterday, whose smiling countenances in a measure compensated him for the loss of his dinner.
Nashville Dispatch, December 16, 1864.


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

December 13 - Tennessee Civil War Notes

13, Belt buckles, native intelligence, friction matches and scarcity in Nashville
"Buckle Manufactory."
Messrs. Bibb & Tuttle have commenced the manufacture of buckles in this city, as will be seen by advertisement in another column.
This may seem in the eyes of some but a small business; but such remember that it fills, or will help to fill, a desideratum in the South, the want of which must otherwise soon be felt by all whom may have occasion to use them and that if the public should find that they can only obtain buckles in Montgomery Messrs. B. & T. would soon have a very extensive factory, and could not fail to make an independent fortune on buckles.
They are a thousand and one little mechanical contrivances which are getting scarce in the South, the manufacture of which would employ very many; worthy people who are not comparatively idle. For instance, a very small capital would be required for the manufacture of friction matches. These are almost indispensable, and we doubt if any are made in the Confederacy; [emphasis added] and if we should ever obtain another supply from aboard after the blockade ceases, a duty will have to be paid upon.
We trust that the mechanics of the country who may not have all their time employed will commence thinking; if they will, we doubt not almost every one can suggest something useful which may as well be manufactured in the South as elsewhere. We wish to see the mechanical genius of the country finally brought out. Each one should remember that __ 
"Large streams from little fountains flow;
Tall oaks from little acorns grow,"
and that everything must have a beginning.
Nashville Daily Gazette, December 13, 1861.



13, Advertisement seeking hands to work in a slaughter house in Chattanooga
WANTED -- One hundred hands wanted [immediately] to slaughter and pack pork for the Government at Chattanooga. Negroes or white men will be employed. Negroes will be under military guard and safe. All men employed will be exempted from military duty by its proper authority. Liberal wages and good boarding
S. R. McCaney & Co., Chattanooga
Murfreesboro Daily Rebel Banner, December 13, 1862.



13, Scout from Gatlinburg to Dandridge via Sevierville to Smoky Mtns. Rd.
HDQRS. ANDERSON, CAVALRY, Dandridge, Saturday, December, 13, 1863--9 p.m.
Brig.-Gen. SPEARS, Comdg. U. S. Forces, at or near New Market:
GEN.: I have the honor to communicate to you that I reached Dandridge from Gatlinburg, on the road from Sevierville to the Great Smoky Mountains, this evening at 5 o'clock with my command.
The marauding party of about 100 rebel cavalry which had been infesting this neighborhood and the south side of French Broad River, near Evans' Ford and Flat Creek, left Dandridge day before yesterday evening, having received an order by courier from Morristown that the headquarters of their command had been removed to the mouth of Chucky Creek, on the Warm Springs road, about 12 miles from Dandridge. From all the information I can get here, I am led to believe that Martin's brigade of rebel cavalry is located near the mouth of Chucky Creek and Franklin's, and that it is possible this force may be intending to cross the mountains into North Carolina by the Asheville road through the French Broad Gap, although they may be intending to go to Greenville by way of Warrensburg.
Will you please inform the bearer what your position and line of march are, as yours is the nearest communicating force to me, and also give him what information you can concerning the position of the rest of our army and of Gen. Burnside's headquarters, also of the rebel infantry and cavalry.
Will you also have the goodness to transmit this dispatch to Gen. Burnside, as I do not know where to communicate with him.
I am, general, yours, very respectfully,
WM. J. PALMER, Col., Cmdg.
OR, Ser. I, Vol. 31, pt. III, pp. 398-399.



13, Action near Rotheswood, Hawkins County, at North Fork of Holston River, and capture of Rebel guerrilla leader
Excerpt from the MEMORANDA of the Eighth Regiment Cavalry (US):
December 13, 1864.-Reached Rotheswood, Hawkins, county - Eighth Regiment in front; found the enemy in front on the opposite side of the North Fork of the Holsotn River, and under cover. Colonel. Patton was ordered to cross the river, up the stream, and to drive the enemy from under cover, so as to open the ford for the remainder of the command, which orders he obeyed, attacking and routing the enemy, and capturing the rebel Dick Morgan and a portion of his command. 
Report of the Adjutant General, pp. 522-523.



Sunday, December 11, 2011

December 10 - Tennessee Civil War Notes

10, "Darkness."

The gas-works, having exhausted the supply of coal in the city, Nashville last night was without a solitary gas jet. The gas-works have suspended operations and our city will be in a state of darkness until a supply of coal reaches us. In the meantime our denizens will have to go back to first principles and use candles and lamp-oil.

Nashville Daily Press, December 10, 1863


10, Predicament of black and white refugees in the Murfreesboro environs, excerpt from a letter by Major-General R. H. Milroy to his wife in Rensselaer, Indiana

January 1, 1865

My Dear Mary,

* * * *

It rained snowed sleeted [sic] till on the 10th when the whole country was a glare of ice....There were thousands of poor negroes [sic] and their families who had been living and working on the R.R. cutting wood-taking care of horses-cattle etc [sic] and there were about 2000 refugees-mostly white men who had run away from the Reb [sic] conscription in the surrounding counties. All these were deprived of the means of substance [sic]. Several hundred of these refugees had come in on good horses for which they would obtain no feed. I got Rousseau to issue an order authorizing my Qr Master to purchase all these horses for Cavalry and artillary [sic] horses that were fit, which helped them along very much. But the poor darkies [sic] suffered very much for both fire wood and food. The Rebs [sic] were so near our own pickets that it was unsafe to go out for wood and all the stumps, logs, fences, and shade trees inside the pickets were mostly used up-and everything in the way of provisions became very scarce and could hardly be had for any price. I frequently seen [sic] the poor darkies greedily grabbing the entrails of hogs and beef cattle that our butchers had killed for food-There is a fine steam mill in the town that kept us from starving. We sent out our forage trains to the country for corn. All our cavalry with a brigade of Inf. and a section of Artillery accompanied each train and though they had skirmishing with the Reb [sic] Cav [sic] they always succeeded in bringing in a train loaded with corn. Part of this corn was taken to the Mill, shelled and ground, and the meal issued to all of us for bread, which was all the kind we had for ten days....

Papers of General Milroy, pp. 477-478.


10, The Plight of Refugees in Nashville

There are large numbers of indigent refugees remaining in our city, and many destitute citizens, who have before them the gloomy prospect of intense suffering, if they remain here this winter. The prices of clothing, provisions, fuel, and everything else necessary for the support of human life, have attained an altitude which renders it impossible for those, in what might have heretofore been esteemed easy circumstances, to maintain their families, without the most pinching economy. With every disposition to extend the hand of assistance to the needy, they find themselves unable to render material aid. It is upon this great middle class that the expense of all our public and private charities have principally fallen heretofore. The wealthy, wrapped up in their conceit and self importance, and regarding the poor as not fit to breathe the air they do, have never done much, and never will, unless from the vainglorious motive of having their alms published to the world. [Emphasis added.] During the present winter, therefore, it will be as much as the really benevolent can do to take care of themselves. It would, then be better for all those who have not the means of subsistence to avail themselves of the notification of the Mayor of Nashville, published this morning, and go north where there is peace and plenty. Our city is too full; and we fear if the number of non-producers is not greatly lessened, they will pay dearly before the blossoms of another Spring gladden our vision.

Nashville Daily Union, December 10, 1864

Friday, December 9, 2011

December 9 - Tennessee Civil War Notes

9, Skirmish at Dobbin's Ferry near La Vergne

DECEMBER 9, 1862.--Skirmish at Dobbins' Ferry, near La Vergne, Tenn.


No. 1.--Maj.-Gen. Thomas L. Crittenden, U. S. Army.

No. 2.--Surg. M. C. Woodworth, Fifty-first Ohio Infantry.

No. 1.

Report of Maj.-Gen. Thomas L. Crittenden, U. S. Army.

HDQRS. LEFT WING, December 9, 1862.

COL.: I am this moment in receipt of a note from your headquarters, asking me if Gen. Stanley has come in yet. I presume this must refer to the foraging expedition of Col. Stanley Matthews. As soon as I arrived at camp I sent an order to Gen. Van Cleve to return to me a full report; but it has not yet been sent. As soon as it comes in it shall be forwarded. Eight wagons from my headquarters accompanied the party. They have all returned, well filled, but report that Col. Matthews had a sharp skirmish, having quite a number killed and wounded, but that the wagons were filled and none lost. Since your orderly arrived, the inclosed note from Col. Grose has been received through Gen. Smith. I declined to permit him to attack, for fear it might interfere with the proposed reconnaissances. Should you think differently, advise men, and I will yet direct the attack to be made.

A prisoner, taken by some of our troops and brought to me, reports that the attack was made by six regiments of cavalry, under Wheeler, who fought principally as infantry, being armed with Enfield rifles and navy revolvers; that the regiments are, however, greatly reduced, and do not number, all together, over about 1,500 men, and that this is the only force about La Vergne; also that Bragg left last week for Richmond; that Johnson is in command, and is camped some 4 miles this side of Murfreesborough; that his force numbers about 35,000 men. I will send him to you in the morning.

Most respectfully, your obedient servant,

T. L. CRITTENDEN, Maj.-Gen., Cmdg.

No. 2.

Report of Surg. M. C. Woodworth, Fifty-first Ohio Infantry.


CAPT.: Pursuant to orders just received, I have the honor to report the result of my journey within the enemy's lines, under a flag of truce, to recover our wounded in the skirmish of the 9th. I left our outpost, accompanied by Drs. Russell and Mills, with an orderly and three ambulances, about 10 a.m., on the road passing from the Murfreesborough and to the Chicken pike, about 1 mile beyond the insane asylum.

I passed about 5 miles on the Chicken pike, in the direction of Stone's River, to a house where we had left one of the enemy's wounded-he being too severely wounded to move-which we left on the evening after the engagement. I found that a flag of truce had just removed his body to the enemy's lines. I left the Chicken pike just this side of the burned bridge crossing Stone's River, leaving the road to my left, and passed on about 1 1/2 miles, to a house where I had left 6 of our men, who were wounded when the enemy made their last attack on the rear of our train. I found that the enemy had buried one of our dead left upon the field, also one of our wounded, who had died from a wound of the abdomen. I sent the remaining five in two ambulance and passed on about 1 mile in the direction of La Vergne, where I came to the enemy's outposts. I here waited one-half hour for the arrival of a proper officer to receive the flag, when Lieut. Col. William S. Hawkins, of Gen. Wheeler's staff, came and escorted me to the house of Dr. Charlton, where I found one of our wounded, also one of the enemy's wounded, fatally.

They spoke of it as battle rather than a skirmish,* and admitted a loss of 8 killed upon the field. The picket at the outpost said they had carried away a large number of wounded, but would not state how many. I took our wounded man in the ambulance, and left their lines to return about 4 p.m. Col. Hawkins assured me they had but one of our men prisoner, a lieutenant of the Eighth Kentucky Volunteers, who was slightly wounded in the back, and that he had been well cared for by their surgeons, and would soon be sent to our lines. The wounded on the field were all from the Eighth Kentucky Volunteers, and had all been paroled the day previous. Col. Hawkins accompanied me about 2 miles from their lines on my return. I saw no force of the enemy this side of their outposts.

I am, captain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

M. C. WOODWORTH, Surgeon 51st Ohio Vols., Acting Medical Director 23d Brigade.

OR, Ser. I, Vol 20, pt. I, pp. 73-74.

*Ed. note - comments of this kind illustrate the difficulty in trying to catagorize the kinds of fights that took place during the Civil War. How a skirmish differed from a battle may seem at first obvious to twenty-first century readers, but was not a critical element in nineteenth century thinking. Thus, "they" thought differently about things than we do today.



9-13, Skirmishes at and near Bean's Station
RUTLEDGE, December 10, 1863--4.30 p.m.
GEN.: Maj. [William] Cutting reports from Bean's station at 2 p.m. that a portion of the brigade sent toward Morristown took the Russellville branch, and met the enemy at the river; found them in too great a force to dislodge, and remains facing the enemy at Moore's Ferry, about 10 miles from Bean's Station, guarding wagon trains. Two strong divisions of their infantry had left there the morning previous. One hundred of the enemy's cavalry have attacked a company of ours on river 6 miles from here. A number of small parties are reported on other side river. Gen. Shackelford is in communication with Willcox, at Tazewell; the road had not been obstructed by the enemy. Willcox is about forwarding supplies and repairing the telegraph.
JNO. G. PARKE, Maj.-Gen.
OR, Ser. I, Vol. 31, pt. I, p. 326.

TAZEWELL, December 9, 1863--6.40 p.m.
GEN.: Gen. Longstreet and staff passed Bean's Station yesterday morning about 10 o'clock. Some of his infantry is with infantry passed on the Bean's Station and Rogersville road. They retired from Clinch Mountain late last evening and this morning, leaving two pieces of artillery and one regiment of cavalry; pickets of the enemy are still in the gap. I have no doubt this information is substantially correct.
Very respectfully,
O. B. WILLCOX, Brig.-Gen.
OR, Ser. I, Vol. 31, pt. I, p. 400.

HDQRS. CAVALRY CORPS, Bean's Station, December 9, 1863--12.30 p.m.
GEN.: I have just reached this place with my advance. We drove the rebel cavalry for 4 or 5 miles. We found them in position, with artillery planted, at this place, but they left in considerable haste at our approach. A large body of cavalry went down the mountain road. The infantry was passing this point on yesterday until 4 p.m., and from the best information I can get, Longstreet encamped last night near Rock Spring, 4 miles on the Rogersville road.
I have sent scouts out on all the roads, and will feed before moving any farther.
I am, general, yours, truly,
OR, Ser. I, Vol. 31, pt. I, p. 411.

HDQRS. CAVALRY CORPS, Bean's Station, December 10, 1863--3 p.m.
GEN.: I have just received report from Col. Adams, commanding reconnaissance on Rogersville road. He had gone as far as Mooresburg, 3 Miles this side of Red Bridge, when he came up with the enemy In considerable force guarding wagon train. He was then skirmishing with them. He represents that the enemy was dismounted and in a gorge, and that he would withdraw soon, as he could not dislodge him. Col. Adams says that the last of the infantry left Mooresburg yesterday morning; that his cavalry encamped within 1 1/2 miles of the point at which they were skirmishing. His dispatch was sent at 2 p.m. No further news from reconnaissance on Morristown road since Maj. Cutting left.
I am, general, yours, &c.,
HDQRS. CAVALRY CORPS, Bean's Station, December 10, 1863--8.10 p.m.
GEN.: Your dispatch just received. Col. Adams, commanding reconnaissance on Rogersville road, has returned. Not a word from Col. Garrard, commanding reconnaissance on Morristown road, since Maj. Cutting left. Artillery firing reported in the direction of Morristown late this evening. I have just ordered 100 men to go out to forks of road, one-half mile of ford on Morristown road, and to send patrol to the ford to learn something from the reconnaissance. Col. Adams reports that the enemy in considerable force, after he withdrew, came out and occupied the ground he held during the skirmishing. A prisoner from this command, Fourteenth Illinois, who escaped from the enemy last night, says that he marched 21 miles day before yesterday and 9 miles yesterday; that he left the rear of the enemy's infantry last night 3 miles this side of Rogersville; that their train was in front and their cavalry in the rear; that their encampment extended 8 miles. Immediately on hearing from reconnaissance on Morristown road I will report.
I am, general, yours, &c.,
HDQRS. CAVALRY CORPS, Bean's Station, December 10, 1863.
GEN.: I have just received a report from the brigade sent out on the Morristown road under Col. Garrard. He found rebel brigade, under Gen. William E. Jones, at Morristown, occupying the fortifications built by our forces, engaged him, and drove him out of the works and out of the town. The brigade will come back and encamp at the river to-night. We lost several men, but the enemy's loss is reputed much heavier than ours.
I am, general, yours, truly,
HDQRS. CAVALRY CORPS, Bean's Station, December 11, 1863--9.25 a.m.
GEN.: The engagement of Col. Garrard's brigade with Jones at Morristown on last evening was a gallant affair. The enemy held every advantage in the ground, yet our men dashed into their midst and drove them from the fortifications and the town. Between 40 and 50 rebels are reported killed and wounded. Our loss, 6 wounded, none killed. It is thought that the rebels who went via Morristown will move on across the mountains into North Carolina. Col. Garrard had the pleasure of defeating the same or a part of the same command that defeated him at Rogersville. Nothing heard from the enemy this morning.
ours, &c.,
HDQRS. CAVALRY CORPS, Bean's Station, December 12, 1863--6.30 p.m.
GEN.: The reconnaissance under Col. Graham upon the Rogersville road came upon the enemy at Mooresburg, drove them back about 1 mile into a position from which he could not dislodge them without bringing on a general engagement. He withdrew his troops this side of Mooresboroug. A prisoner from Fifty-first Virginia Regiment states that he left the rebel infantry 8 miles beyond Rogersville last night; they had stopped and were foraging. He states that the principal part of the rebel cavalry were at Russellville. The reconnaissance to Morristown, under Col. Pennebaker, found no enemy at that place but found their pickets beyond town, on the Russellville road, and drove them in; came upon line of battle, and they retreated up the road.
I am, general, yours,
HDQRS. CAVALRY CORPS, Bean's Station, December 13, 1863--6 p.m.
GEN.: I would have communicated with you before this to-day, but did not know where the communication would reach you.
In pursuance with your orders, I ordered 200 men to proceed to Morristown this morning, for the purpose of examining telegraph wire. They met enemy's pickets on this side of Morristown, and from statements of citizens in relation to there being rebels in the town and a heavy force at Cheek's Cross-Roads, the officer in command did not attempt to go to the town. Col. Garrard, WITH his brigade, was sent to Morristown on yesterday [12th], With orders to make Reconnaissance upon the Russellville road. He found no enemy at Morristown, but found the enemy in considerable force at Cheek's Cross-Roads. He says he saw In line 2,000 or 2,500 rebels; he had heavy skirmishing with them. Our loss 4 killed and number wounded. Col. Garrard says the enemy had 5,000 men at that point. It was Wheeler's command, under Martin. A prisoner captured from Third Alabama states that Wheeler's force was at that point. He gives their number at 5,000 or 6,000. I ordered a reconnaissance of 200 men up the Rogersville road this morning. They were attacked and driven in by the enemy, the enemy following up to our picket stand. Col. Wolford's command lost three or four wagons that were on that road foraging. We met them at the picket stand, and drove them back 4 1/2 miles.
Prisoners captured from the Fourth Kentucky (rebel) Cavalry stated that there were two rebel regiments, the Fourth and Tenth Kentucky. One of the prisoners stated that the Fourth Kentucky and one battalion of the Tenth were out there, making 600 men. One of the prisoners, who seemed to speak the truth, stated that Longstreet's command was at Red Bridge; that Longstreet's headquarters were 5 miles above Mooresburg; that Ransom's command had gone across the river at Rogersville, but that all of Longstreet's command was on this side of Rogersville. He also stated that all the cavalry, except that we were fighting this evening had gone this morning over to Cheek's Cross-Road; that they were sent down to feel our forces while that movement was being made. The statement in relation to Longstreet's headquarters is corroborated by a citizen who got through this evening, who lives 13 miles above this. Gen. Willcox states that 3 prisoners were brought into his headquarters on last night who belonged to a Georgia regiment--Hood's division. All 3 had written passes up to 2 o'clock yesterday. They stated that their command was 7 miles below Rogersville, and that Bushrod Johnson's command was in the rear. It may be that the enemy is concentrating his cavalry at Cheek's Cross-Roads with the view of attacking me at this point, as he could much more easily attack from that direction than from the road leading to Rogersville. His movements this evening in both directions seem to indicate some such purpose.
I have ordered the troops to stand at arms at 6 a.m. to-morrow. I would suggest that if the enemy was to throw a considerable force of his cavalry over Clinch Mountain, he could seriously damage the trains from Cumberland Gap. If you have leisure, I would ask for you to ride up early in the morning.
I am, general, yours, truly,
P. S.--I have been quite sick for two or three days.
Since writing the above Col. Bond, who was in command of my advance, this evening reports that citizens who have come through since dark report that the cavalry on the Rogersville road was supported by infantry and artillery at Rock Spring, 5 1/2 miles from here.
Since writing the above, Col. Capron reports the rebels on the other bank of the river up and down; that his commissary and 6 of his men were at a mill on the other side of the river this evening; his men, except the commissary, were captured. I would suggest the propriety of an infantry force being moved up to-night to cover the road leading off to Turley's Ford, about 1 mile this side of Rutledge.
December 13, 1863--10 p.m. Gen. FORSTER, Knoxville:
GEN.: I have just arrived, and...I have ordered a force of infantry to march in the morning to the road indicated by Gen. Shackelford. Gen. Potter has pickets at Turley's Ford, at Turley's Mill, and on the road this side of there. The indications are that Longstreet has halted, and probably turned back a portion of his command, possibly all. To-morrow will probably develop his plans.
Yours, &c.,
HDQRS., Bean's Station, December 14, 1863.
GEN.: Since my report on last night, there has been no demonstrations on the part of the enemy. Reconnaissance on Rogersville made before daylight this morning ascertained that the enemy had fallen back from the position he occupied where the skirmishing closed at dark last night. The glare of the enemy's camp fires could be seen 2 or 3 miles from the position he occupied at dark last evening. The patrols on the roads to the river saw nor heard nothing of the enemy.
Respectfully, yours,
OR, Ser. I, Vol. 31, pt. I, pp. 412-416.



9, "Howe's & Norton's Champion Circus."
We are happy to state for the information of the lovers of exhibitions of muscular energy and daring feats of horsemanship, that the interruption to their gratification has been removed; the famous trick horses having been returned, all in good order. The mammoth circus is again in full blast. Little Alice, the fairy equestrienne, is the wonder of the circle; ho one so young can accomplish so many daring feats with such evident coolness is the astonishment of all beholders; Madame Agnes'' performances on the slack wire is always well received; Master Charles Fish and James Madigan are unsurpassed as graceful and daring riders. Messrs. Lawlow, Aymar, and Davenport, keep the immense throng convulsed with laughter by their grotesque posturing and witty saying, and their jokes are not the stale abortions we were accustomed to hear, abut entirely original, and show that they are not only humorous, but educated and refined., Mr. TR. O. Howe, by his wonderful success in the training of that intelligent quadruped, Gen Grant, has proven himself to be the prince of trainers, and almost convinces us that horses have reason. But what shall we say of Lester, the contortionist, "are you man or demon?" We sincerely doubt whether it is possible for him to be burthened with the calcareous substance denominated bones; whalebone has been suggested, but even whalebone cannot be vent to a right angle without cracking; and comes the right single, isosceles, and all other angles triangle, circles, ovals, oblongs -- well, to Trotter's geometry for the balance of his shapes. Trick horse, comic and acting mules, are additional features. We cannot conclude without writing a few words in praise of the splendid cornet band, led by Prof. Peters, that adds so much to the magnificence of the entertainment. In short, if you want to study, go to the Circus; if you want to be astonished, go to the Circus; if you want to laugh, go to the Circus; if you want to -- well, go the Circus by all means.
Nashville Dispatch, December 9, 1864.


December 8 - Tennessee Civil War Notes

8, Letter by William S. Thomas, a wounded Confederate scout, to his wife at Mulberry Gap, Tennessee
Sullivan County, Tenn.
Dec. 8, 1863
Dear Companion,
I think likely you are anxious to hear from me for I know that I am very anxious to hear from home. I can inform you that I am improving slowly -- my hip is gaining strength though it continues to run and is very sore. There have been as high as eight different places running on my hip and back at one time. I went to Doctor Murphy and he split my hip nearly to the bone -- a place two inches long and probed it but could find nothing. He says that the ball or some particles of bone would have to work out before it will get well. My back is very weak and it is so tiresome for me to ride though I have just returned from Bristol. I go there every other day in order to see if I cannot get a letter from you. I know you would like to know something of Ewing. I wrote to him as soon as I got out of the Yankees [sic] reach, which was on the 18th of November. I received a letter from Capt. Bishop from Sweetwater informing me that Ewing was wounded in the Battle of Chickamauga and was in the hospital in Marietta[,] Georgia. He states that my letter came to the Company and he lifted it and answered it and then closed it and sent it to Ewing. He says that his wound is a flesh wound and through the thigh -- he hears from him every day or two and he is doing well. His letter was dated the 4th of November and that he has been on crutches for a month. He stated that he could get a furlough if he had any place to go -- I though that when he learned I was here he would come. I wrote to him to do so. Bishops [sic] letter was short and unsatisfactory from the fact that while he was writing they received orders to march back to Chattanooga. Said that he would write again as soon as he was stationed. He did not say a word about any of his company except Ewing. I have not been able to learn anything about Isaac. I wrote you and enclosed Bishops [sic] letter and sent it by Squire Gillenwaters -- I doubt whether you received it or not. I would have gone to see Ewing if I had been able to ride so far but I would have to travel 1500 [sic] miles and my back is so very weak I was afraid I would break down on the road and then I did not know but what I might miss him. I thought that as he was doing well I could wait and see it he did not come to write to me. When I left Lee County I went to Russell to Brother Thads from the fact that the Yankees were in Washington and Sullivan Counties. I found Joseph there and in about two weeks W. Thomas and James Bishop came. Soon after that Joe and I left for Sullivan. Joe stayed two weeks and went back to Russell. I stayed on in order to see if I could not get more news from Ewing or meet him if he came through. Here it is over a month since I received Bishops [sic] letter and nothing since. I wrote Ewing -- Bishop -- John Barb and Fleenor, that if they knew anything about Isaac to write me. I wrote Ewing to write two letters to me as soon as he received my letter, to direct one to Bristol and one to Mulberry Gap so that if I got home I could hear [from him]. I thought then that I could go home in a short time but at this time the prospect is gloomy. I fear that the darkest day since the war commenced was when Bragg was whipped back from Chattanooga with heavy losses. I think Longstreet will have to abandon the siege of Knoxville for the news here is that Grant has sent heavy reinforcements to relieve Burnsides. [sic] If that is true we may expect trouble in our country soon. I fear our country is to be ruined entirely -- for if the Federals hold Cumberland Gap and Knoxville I'm sure that we will have nothing left to eat or wear. I would be glad if it were so that I could be at home and share the suffering with you and the children if the Yankees do rob us of everything. If they will only leave you enough to eat and clothes to wear to keep you comfortable and we could have peace and I could come home and be able to work and we could live.
But no human can tell what the result of this unholy war is to be or when it may end. I hope it will not be long, for if it is, our army will starve for grain and meat is very scarce here. Flour is selling for $20.00 at Bristol -- corn $2.00 per bushel -- pork $1.25 per pound -- apples from $9 to $10 per barrel -- Eggs from $1.00 to $3.00 per dozen.
I was at Uncle Johnson's the other day and saw a young lady from Abingdon who is teaching school there. She told me that o'possums [sic] were selling at $8.00 apiece. Squirrels from $1.00 to $1.50 apiece and everything else in proportion. So you may guess the persons who live in town have their troubles in these war times. $5.00 is a common bill in the country for staying all night and from $6.00 to $10.00 in town.
I learned from Mr. Gibson that Bishop has been in and that Billy lost both of his eyes in the Chickamauga fight. It has been though to be the heaviest since the war began. I am sorry that you have to be exposed to the worries of the bushwhackers and be insulted by them though we cannot help it.
I would be very glad to know how things are going on at home. If you have a chance to write, do so. Perhaps you may have a chance to sent a line by one of our scouts. A line from [you] would give me great pleasure. You will have to do the best you can. If I am able to run -- I will come down as far as I can in order to hear a word if possible.
WPA Civil War Records, Vol. I, p. 62-63.*

*Ed. note - Tennessee, Records of East Tennessee, Civil War Records, Volume I, Prepared by the Historical Records Survey Transcription Unit, Division of Women's and Professional Projects Works Progress Administration, Mrs. John Trotwood Moore, State Librarian and Archivist, Sponsor, T. Marshall Jones, State Director, Mrs. Penelope Johnson Allen, State Supervisor, Mrs. Margaret H. Richardson, District Supervisor, Nashville, Tennessee, The Historical Records Survey, June 1, 1939, pp. 62-63.



8, Reconnaissance from Nashville to Ashland near Shoals of Harpeth River
HDQRS. SEVENTH OHIO CAVALRY, December 9, 1864--4 p.m.
Capt. W. B. SMITH, Actg. Asst. Adjt. Gen., First Brig., Sixth Div., Cav. Corps:
CAPT.: I have the honor to report that I sent three companies, under command of Capt. R. C. Rankin, on the reconnaissance down the river ordered last night. They were ordered to proceed as far as Ashland, a point twenty miles below here, near Harpeth Shoals. Capt. Rankin reports that night before last a party of fourteen dismounted men crossed the river near Bell's Mill, in Anderson's Bend, near where the boats were captured last Saturday night; that on reaching this side they pressed horses and a guide and struck out for Kentucky. They were probably deserters. He could hear of no other parties on this side of the river. He went down below Ashland one mile and a half to where some guerrillas were said to be, but could find nothing of them. The Hyde's Ferry pike strikes the river about eight or ten miles below here, and for two miles takes its course along the bank of the river under the cliff. This exposes a force traveling the road to fire at a short range from the southern shore. Capt. Rankin followed this route both going and coming without attracting any fire from the opposite bank. If the enemy had crossed as stated in the communication of the officer commanding U. S. steamer Neosho, it is quite probable that I would have heard of it while scouting down within twenty miles of Clarksville for horses, and that Capt. Rankin would have ascertained it by the scout of to-day. It is his opinion, as it is my own, that no cavalry force of the enemy had crossed the river.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
ISRAEL GARRARD, Col. Seventh Ohio Volunteer Cavalry.
OR, Ser. I, Vol. 45, pt. II, p. 125


December 7 - Tennessee Civil War Notes

7, "Recruits Wanted for the McCann Zouaves."
Thirty or forty Recruits are wanted to complete this company. The company is to be attached to Col. Anglade's Zouave Regiment, to be armed with the latest and most improved rifles, and will be drilled in the regular Zouave drill; to go into camp immediately.
Persons wishing to enlist in this Company may do so by calling on the undersigned, on College street, two doors north of Broad street.
M. O. Brooks, Captain
Formerly of Col. Raines Reg. Tenn.
Nashville Daily Gazette, December 7, 1861


ca. 7-9, Combined Navy/Army reconnaissances on Tennessee River, from Ft. Henry to Duck River and scouts in Ft. Henry environs
FORT HENRY, December 10, 1862
Your dispatch of 4.45 p.m. yesterday just received 3.30 p.m. Hear nothing yet of the approach of the enemy, though I have scouts out in every direction, in some instances as much as 25 miles. Have made a reconnaissance up the Tennessee River with gunboat as far as Duck River, and yesterday sent a scouting party to within 12 miles of Waverly. Killed 1 rebel picket and captured another. Force at Fort Donelson is Eighty-third Illinois Infantry, tolerably strong; one light battery, four pieces, and one company of my regiment, Fifth Iowa Cavalry. I have everything else ready to move at a moment's warning, and have been so for two days. A line of scouts is established between Donelson and Henry, by which I can communicate readily in case telegraph should be cut. By this I have just received a message through in fifty-eight minutes. What few troops I have are in grand fighting trim, and everything that can be done has been done. You shall have a good account of us if attacked. The quantity of stores at Donelson is very small. I keep the bulk at Fort Henry.
W. W. LOWE, Col., Cmdg.
OR, Ser. I, Vol. 20, pt. II, pp. 151-152.



7, "Merchants' Home Guard."
The soldierly bearing and correct execution of evolutions, in obedience to orders, by the "Merchants' Home Guards," on the occasion of their mustering in, on Monday the 7th instant, in the presence of General Veatch, was deserving of much praise. When the order was given, "Prepare to open Ranks"--"To the Rear--Open Order"--"Front," the promptness and precision of compliance to the word of command elicited the warm approval and admiration of all who were present. Much credit is due the commissioned officers, Captain Harvey S. De Young, First Lieutenant, J. C. Cohen, Second Lieutenant, David C. Loewenstine. Their first dress parade will take place on New Year's day."
Memphis Bulletin, December 9, 1864.


December 7, 1864, Reconnaissance and engagement, Wilkinson's pike near Murfreesborough, a.k.a, "Battle of the Cedars"
Report of Major-General LOVELL H. ROUSSEAU, on activities December 5-8, 1864.,
HDQRS. DISTRICT OF TENNESSEE, Murfreesborough, December 12, 1864.
Dispatches form Gen. Thomas of the 5th and 8th instant received last night. Railroad train to Stevenson for supplies will take this dispatch to be forwarded. Wires down between this and Stevenson. On the 8th instant I dispatched by courier by way of Gallatin reporting operations her on the 4th instant. The enemy attacked the block-house at Overall's Creek, fired seventy-four shots, doing no damage. I sent three regiments, under Gen. Milroy, to its relief. The enemy (Bates' division) were routed and driven off. We took some prisoners, near thirty, but no guns. Loss of the enemy unknown, as night closed in before the fight was over. Our troops, new and old, behaved admirably. We withdrew at night. The next evening [6th] Bate returned, skirmished with and drove in our pickets, and threatened the fortress; pretty heavy skirmishing till the 7th, when the enemy moved around on the Wilkinson pike, northwest of the fortress. He was re-enforced by Forrest with 2,500 cavalry and two division of infantry. On the evening of the 6th he made a breast-work of logs and rails on Wilkinson's pike, from which he was driven on the 7th by Gen. Milroy with seven regiments of the garrison here; a pretty severe engagement, lasting perhaps three-quarters of an hour. The rout was complete, infantry and cavalry running in every direction. The fight was well conducted by Maj.-Gen. Milroy, and the troops behaved most gallantly. We took 207 prisoners, including 18 commissioned officers, 2 pieces (12-pounder Napoleons) of artillery, which were at once placed in position in the fortifications, and 1 stand of colors belonging to the First and Third Florida. Our loss in the fight at Overall's Creek was 5 killed and 49 wounded, and on Wilkinson's pike more fully in my dispatch of the 8th, which may not have reached you. I am subsisting off the country, which I think I can do. Before the fight on the Wilkinson pike, Buford's division of cavalry took possession of about one-half of the town of Murfreesborough, shelling it vigorously and destroying many of the houses, . With a section of artillery and a small force of infantry, I drove them, wounding and killing 30 and taking 25 prisoners. A captain of artillery left his boots, letters, sponges, staff buckets, on the ground. We lost one man wounded. The enemy's cavalry all around, but I think in small bodies. We forage without molestation. No enemy near here that I know of. Cheatham reported coming this way through Triune. All right here, and will endeavor to keep it so.
OR, Ser. I, Vol. 45, pt. I, pp. 614-615.
Report of Major-General R. H. MILROY, relative to the engagement at Wilkinson's Pike, or the "Battle of the Cedars," or, "Second Battle of Murfreesborough," December 7, 1864.
FORTRESS ROSECRANS, Murfreesborough, Tenn., December 10, 1864.
GEN.: I have the honor to report that, in obedience to your order, I proceeded on the 7th instant to make a reconnaissance and feel the enemy in the vicinity of this post. I took with me, by your direction, seven regiments of infantry and a six-gun battery, under the and a small detachment of the Fifth Tennessee Volunteer Cavalry. One hundred and seventy-seventh, One hundred and seventy-fourth, One hundred and seventy-seventh, One hundred and seventy-eight, first Illinois volunteer Infantry, Eighth Minnesota Volunteer Infantry, and Twelfth Indiana Volunteer Cavalry (dismounted). For convenience, I divided these regiments into two brigades (pro tempore), as follows: First Brigade, Col. Thomas, of the eighth Minnesota, commanding, consisted of a six-gun battery, eighth Minnesota Volunteer Infantry, Sixty-first Illinois Volunteer Infantry, One hundred and seventy-fourth and One hundred and eighty-first Ohio Volunteer Infantry, 1,973 strong. The Second Brigade consisted of the One hundred and seventy-seventh, and One hundred and seventy-eight Ohio Volunteer Infantry, and Twelfth Indiana Volunteer Cavalry, 1,326 strong. Total strength of my infantry, artillery, and cavalry combined, 3, 325. I started on the Salem pike about 10 a. m., and threw out the detachment of the Fifth Tennessee Cavalry in advance, who struck the rebel vedette in less than half a mile after passing our pickets. The rebel cavalry fell back rapidly before my advance. I threw out a portion of the sixty-first Illinois Volunteer Infantry as skirmishers, to assist the cavalry in driving them. Upon arriving at Stone's River, two miles out, a body of about 300 rebel cavalry were discovered across the river. I brought up a section of Capt. Bundy's battery and shelled them a few minutes, when they retreated rapidly, and I crossed the bridge and continued my march. Upon arriving at Mr. Spence's fine residence, for miles out, I learned from his accomplished lady that there were two brigades of rebel cavalry, under Gen.'s Jackson and Armstrong, at Salem a mile farther out, and that Gen.'s Forrest and Bate, with a large force of infantry, artillery, and cavalry, were north of me, on the Wilkinson pike, three miles from Fortress Rosecrans. I deemed it best to turn my attention in that direction, but before doing so I detailed a company and sent them back with a drove of sixty fine, fat hogs, belonging to Mr. Spence, that would have fallen into the hands of the rebels if left. I proceeded north till within half a mile of the Wilkinson pike. My skirmish line encountered that of the enemy, and in a few minutes afterward they opened on me with much rapidity from a six-gun battery stationed in the edge of a wood on the opposite side of a field in my front. I at once ordered forward Capt. Bundy's battery, which artillery ammunition that could be carried in the limbers of the guns, the shell and solid shot of my supply was exhausted in about thirty minutes. Finding that the enemy would not come across the field to attack me, and not being able to ascertain his strength, and the left of his line, extending parallel with the Wilkinson pike, was as near Fortress Rosecrans as my right I deemed it prudent not to engage them with my infantry without having the fortress in my rear, and accordingly fell back through the forest until out of sight of the enemy, and then moved by the right flank in a northeasterly direction until my lines were partly across the Wilkinson pike, where I formed them to the front in two lines of battle, Col. Thomas' brigade forming the front line and Col. Anderson's the second line. The Sixty-first Illinois was deployed as skirmishers in front of the first line. In this order I advanced upon the enemy, through the brush, cedars, rocks, and logs, under a heavy fire of artillery. I had sent my artillery back to the fortress for ammunition before commencing my last advance, and consequently had no artillery. I had sent my artillery back to the fortress for ammunition before commencing my last advance, and consequently had no artillery to reply to that of the enemy. Skirmishing with small-arms began very soon after commencing my advance, but my skirmish line advanced rapidly, bravely, and in splendid order, considering the nature of the ground, driving the rebels before them for about one mile, when coming to a cotton-field I found the enemy strongly posted in a wood on the other side behind a line of works constructed of rails and logs. The enemy's fire of small-arms here became so strong that my skirmishers withdrew to the flanks of my line of battle, opened on the enemy a terrible fire, while it still advanced in good order to the middle of the field, when the line halted and the fire from both sides was most furious and destructive for about ten minutes, when I ordered an advance, and the front line moved forward into the edge of the wood, where for a few minutes the roar and fire of musketry was like the thunder of a volcano, and the line wavered as if moving against a hurricane. Fearing that my front line would fall back, I ordered the One hundred and seventy-eight Ohio Volunteer Infantry to move on the double-quick from the left of the front line, and the balance of the rear line to advance to support and relieve the front line, and he balance of the rear line to advance to support and relieve the front line; but before this could be fully executed the gallant regiments composing the first line, seeing themselves supported, advanced with a yell and darted over the enemy's works, capturing many prisoners and putting the enemy to a hasty flight. A rapid pursuit of half a mile resulted in the capturing of many more prisoners, one battle-flag, and two fine pieces of artillery (12-pounder Napoleons), with their caissons. The ammunition of some of the regiments being exhausted, I ordered the m to halt and replenish from the ammunition wagon that overtook us at that point.
While this was going on, I received your dispatch, general, admonishing me of the report of a large rebel infantry force from the north, and directing me to return to the fortress, if I could do so with safety. My artillery, which I had sent back for ammunition, arrived at this time, and a large body of the enemy's cavalry being in plain view I directed the artillery to open on them rapidly for a few minutes, when they rapidly disappear out of sight.
I cannot speak too highly of the bravery exhibited by my troops especial by those in the front regiments, under the gallant Col. Thomas. Never did troops fight better for the time they were engaged. Every officer and man performed his duty with the most unflinching bravery and promptness. The conduct of the Second Brigade, under Col. Anderson, also deserves much praise; for, though the regiments of the brigade did not take much part in the firing, yet their coolness and promptness in supporting the first line added greatly to its confidence and morale, and did much to discourage the enemy by the appearance of two lines of battle moving on them. I regret deeply the death of the brave men killed, and added their country. Particularly among the killed do I regret the death of Maj. Reed, of the One hundred and seventy-fourth Ohio Volunteer Infantry, who fell while gallantry leading on his regiment to victory. The history of his services and adversities in the present war is stranger than fiction.
My total loss in killed and wounded amounts (as per inclosed reports) to 208, of whom 22 were killed. I have no means of arriving at a knowledge of the loss of the enemy, but from the number of dead and wounded observed on the field it must have been greater than mine. Among their dead on the field were observed two lieutenant-colonels. We captured and brought in 1197 prisoners, among whom 21 were commissioned officers. Forty-three different regiments are represented by the prisoners. The enemy were commanded by Gen. Forrest and Bate, and about 5,000 strong.
I am much indebted to the gentleman of my staff for their prompt, gallant, and efficient assistance throughout the day; and I avail myself of this opportunity to tender to the major-general commanding kindness in affording me the two late opportunities of wiping out to some extent the foul and mortifying stigma of a most infamously unjust arrest, by which I have for near eighteen months been thrown out of the ring of active, honorable, and desirable service.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your most obedient servant,
R. H. MILROY, Maj.-Gen.
OR, Ser. I, Vol. 45, pt. I, pp. 617-619.

I skirmished around within two or three miles of the Fortress for several hours, when I struck their main force under the Comd of Gens. Forrest and Bates. Forrest being the senior officer had the Comd. They opened on me with a full battery at short range. My battery replied nearly an hour when my artillery was exhausted. Finding that the enemy were strongly posted and fortified and near double my strength I concluded to shift my position around and got between them and the Fort. I did this and attacked them with great rapidity and the fighting for near an hour was most terrific, but I rolled them on and drove them in confusion capturing 220 prisoners including 2 majors and 28 other Comd. officers, killing a large number among whom were two Cols. and taking 2 pieces of artillery. I drove them over two miles and returned to the Fortress after dark, bringing in all my killed and wounded. I only had 25 men killed and 187 wounded. The Rebs got more reinforcements and still kept around the country mostly in sight until the 16th when they left....
Papers of General Milroy, p. 400.

Excerpt from the Report of Major-General Nathan Bedford Forrest, C.S. Army, commanding cavalry, of Operations November 16, 1864-January 24, 1865, relative to the engagement at Wilkinson's pike (a.k.a. "Battle of the Cedars") and the shelling of Murfreesborough on December 7, 1864. General Forrest's description of Buford's actions vary considerably with the remarks of Union commanders.
* * * *
On the morning of the 7th I discovered from the position occupied by Col. Palmer the enemy moving out in strong force on the Salem pike with infantry, cavalry, and artillery. Being fully satisfied that his object was to make battle, I withdrew my forces to the Wilkinson pike, and formed a new line on a more favorable position. The enemy moved boldly forward, driving in my pickets, when the infantry, with the exception of Smith's brigade, from some cause which I cannot explain, made a shameful retreat, losing two pieces of artillery. I seized the colors of the retreating troops and endeavored to rally them, but they could not be moved by any entreaty or appeal to their patriotism. Maj.-Gen. Bate did the same thing, but was equally as unsuccessful as myself. I hurriedly sent Maj. Strange, of my staff, to Brig.-Gen.'s Armstrong and Ross, of Jackson's division, with orders to say to them tat everything depended on their cavalry. They proved themselves equal to the emergency by charging on the enemy, thereby checking his farther advance. I ordered the infantry to retire to Stewart's Creek, while my cavalry encamped during the night at Overall's Creek. The enemy returning to Murfreesborough, I ordered my cavalry to resume its former position.
OR, Ser. I, Vol. 45, pt. I, p. 755.


Tuesday, December 6, 2011

December 6 - Tennessee Civil War Notes

 6, 1861, A letter from home, Frederick Bradford, in Davidson County, to his sons with the 20th Tennessee Regiment
We hear so many conflicting statements of our difficulties, it is difficult to know how this war will terminate, but as our cause is just, I have an abiding faith, with the help God, we will conquer.
Our country is in a powerful mess at this time o­n a count of the Governor having called for all of our private arms and o­ne half of the militia Since the call a good many have volunteered and each militia company is credited with volunteers from it. Therefore, there was but seven to go from our company and several of them have volunteered since....All the rifles and double barrel shotguns have been sold or loaned to the government. I loaned the twin sisters [i.e., his double barreled shot gun] until the end of the war but I never expect to see her again.
I had no idea until the militia was called that we had so many afflicted persons in our community. The lame and the blind, the halt and the deaf, and indeed almost every disease the human family is heir to have presented themselves to the surgeons for certificates of exemption. [emphasis added] I fear this calling of the militia is rather a bad move. I think three months' volunteers would have been preferable.
There is very little news, except war news and not much of that, that can be relied o­n.
The neighborhood is generally healthy. Crops are good and everything high. Corn is selling from 3.50 to 4.00 per bushel. Potatoes are 1.00 per bushel. Pork from 10 to 12 1/2 cents per pound. Salt is selling $12.00 to $14.00 per sack, Barrel salt from #.50 to $4.00 per bushel, coffee $1.00 to $1.50 per pound and everything and everything else in proportion.
We are not using much coffee in this neighborhood, a good deal of wheat and rye are used in its stead. We have had a very wet fall. I have not gathered more than half of my corn. I expect to have four hundred barrels to sell. I have killed thirty hogs, which weighed 5470 pounds. I have twenty-seven shoats to kill which will weigh 100 [sic] apiece. If we could have an honorable peace, we could live well. Your uncle Skelt....will start his distillery soon.
Frederick Bradford Papers, TSLA



6, Report of a draft riot in Nashville
"A riot occurred at Nashville, Tenn., Occasioned by the authorities resorting to drafting soldiers to supply the rebel army. The boxes used for this purpose [i.e., "draft lottery"] were broken up, and during the excitement two persons were killed and several wounded. Governor Harris was forced to keep his room, and was protected by a strong guard."
New York Times, December 8, 1861.



December 6, 1864 - Changes in the Nashville environs as a consequence of the approach of Hood's army; an entry from the Journal of Maggie Lindsley's Journal December 6, 1864 - 
The Forrest panic yesterday was unfounded it seems, but still the soldiers are here, and still destruction at least goes bravely. Barns, stables, fences all gone now, and the sound of the cutting and falling of our glorious forest trees heard from morn till night! Beautiful Edgefield no longer! Her beauty and her pride laid low in these her superb forest trees! For from the river to the Springside here is not a grove left! The bareness and the bleakness are simply intolerable, and make me sick. Whenever I go out o­n the balcony from my room, I just break down at seeing all those ugly stumps where were out beautiful "woods," with its wonderful sycamores, and its wealth of wild grape vine; where we swung, and climbed and played under a veritable bower of green until we reached the river banks! What shall we do without our "Woods" when the summer comes again? And the children! What a loss to the older, who have been accustomed to live the long summers there, and to the baby tots never to have know that Paradise! What will Springside be without its "Woods!" O! But I am tired of devastation, devastation and nothing but! It is difficult for me even now to recall Edgefield as it was four years ago – when I spent so much time cantering throughout the lanes and groves o­n horseback – where will I ever find shady roads now when the summer sun comes in all its intensity!
General Webster rode out this morning – in high spirits, and is sure of Hood's retreat or capture. Pray Heaven it may be the last, and we may be rid of this unsettled, horrible life. Colonel Mussey rode out, dined with us, and after dinner I rode with him – – down to Mr. Hobson's where we had a fine view of the whole (Union) army – our fortifications and the rebel lines. Nap was gentle, stood quite still - and behaved as if he were as inured to all his surroundings as they Colonel's horse, - while I viewed the whole scene leisurely through the Colonel's fine glasses. And what a grand sight it was! Forts Negley, Casino, and Camp Webster, great lines and masses of troops drawn up in battle array in every direction, flags flying, bands playing, bugles sounding, at intervals the cannon roaring, belching forth fire and smoke at every roar – very grand the scene! Colonel Stewart was at the head of his regiment, but I did not see Colonel Johnson. (Two years ago about, I saw General Rosecranz [sic] review 30,000 troops from this hill, and then in our enthusiasm and pride, we thought the war must surely be near it s close, and yet today we seem no nearer than then!) The Rebel works are just behind Mr. Rains's, in front of dear old Belmont, and they occupy Mr. Vauly's house. Mr. Edmundson's house is General Chatham's Headquarters – some other General is at Mrs. A. V. Brown's.
Dr. de Graw and Lieutenant Novel were here an hour this afternoon. They had learned that Mr. Gale's house had been burned.

Maggie Lindsley's Journal, December 6, 1864


Saturday, December 3, 2011

November 28- December 8, 1861, Confederate military pacification of East Tennessee

November 28- December 8, 1861, Confederate military pacification of East Tennessee
HDQRS., Greeneville, East Tenn., November 28, 1861.
Adjutant and Inspector Gen., Richmond.
SIR: I think that we have effected something--have done some good; but whenever a foreign force enters this country be it soon or late three-fourths of this people will rise in arms to join them. At present they seem indisposed to fight and the great difficulty is to reach them. Scattering in the mountain paths they can scarcely be caught; and as their arms are hidden when not in use it is almost impossible to disarm the. Cavalry though a bad force for fighting them in case they would fight is yet the only force which can reach them. It is adequate too to disperse and capture them in their present state of morale. I am confident that a mounted regiment with two very light guns would do more to quiet this tier of counties than five times the number on foot. Twenty-two prisoners have been sent to Nashville from Carter County and we have now in confinement some five or six known to have been in arms and who will be sent to Tuscaloosa under the order of the War Department dated the 25th instant.
* * * *
Very respectfully, general, your obedient servant,
D. LEADBETTER, Col., Provisional Army, C. S., Cmdg.
OR, Ser. II, Vol. 1, p. 849.

HDQRS., Greenville, Tenn., December 8, 1861.
Gen. S. COOPER, Adjutant and Inspector Gen.:
SIR: At the date of my last letter a part of the force under my command was engaged in the pursuit of a part of insurgents moving from their camp, in the northern part of Greene, towards Cocke County. As usual, their force was dispersed and only some stragglers could be picked up. Among these prisoners were three who had been of the party that burned the Lick Creek Bridge. They were Henry Fry, Jacob M. Henshaw, and Hugh A. Self. All confessed their own and testified to the others' guilt, and also gave, as correctly as they could remember, the names of the whole party engaged in that crime. Fry and Henshaw were tried by drum-head court-martial on the 30th ultimo and executed the same day by hanging. I have thought it my duty to ask of the Department that the punishment of Hugh A. Self be commuted to imprisonment. He is only sixteen years old, not very intelligent, and was led away on that occasion by his father and elder brother, both of whom I learn have now been captured by Gen. Carroll's troops.
Hearing that the insurgents had gathered in force at or near the bend of Chucky River, and thence to the neighborhood of Parrottsville and of Newport, on the French Broad, in Cocke County, I moved the Twenty-ninth North Carolina, with two companies of the Third Georgia Battalion, in that direction on the 3d instant. Hearing that Gen. Carroll had troops on the line of railroad at Morristown, I arranged with them by telegraph to move into the enemy's country at the same time and from opposite directions.
That country consists of a tumultuous mass of steep hills, wooded to the top, with execrable roads winding through the ravines and often occupying the beds of the water-courses. A few of the insurgent scouts were seen, pursued, and fired on. One was desperately wounded and left at a cabin near by.
At the farm houses along the more open valleys no men were to be seen, and it is believed that nearly the whole male population of the country were lurking in the hills on account of disaffection of fear. The women in some cases were greatly alarmed, throwing themselves on the ground and wailing like savages. Indeed, the population is savage.
The expedition lasted four days, and in the course of it we met Col. Powell's command deep in the mountains, and our guns were responded to at no great distance by a force under Capt. Monsarrat.
These people cannot be caught in that manner. As likely to be more effective, I have detached three companies of Col. Vance's regiment to Parrottsville, with instructions to impress horses from Union men and be active in seizing troublesome men in all directions. They will impress provisions, giving certificates thereof, with assurance that the amounts will be paid if the future loyalty of the sufferer shall justify the clemency of the Government. The whole country is given to understand that this course will be pursued until quiet shall be restored to these distracted counties, and they can rely upon it that no prisoner will be pardoned so long as any Union men shall remain in arms. Three other companies of Col. Vance's command are on their way to Warrensburg, on the north side of Chucky, to remain there under similar instructions.
It is believed that we are making progress towards pacification. The Union men are taking the oath in pretty large numbers and arms are beginning to be brought in. Capt. McClellan, of the Tennessee cavalry, stationed by me at Elizabethton, reports that Carter County is becoming very quiet, and that, with the aid of a company of infantry, he will enter Johnson County and disarm the people there. I shall send the company without delay.
The execution of the bridge-burners is producing the happiest effect. This, coupled with great kindness towards the inhabitants generally, inclines them to quietude. Insurgents will continue for yet a while in the mountains, but I trust that we have secured the outward obedience of the people.
Very respectfully, &c., your obedient servant,
D. LEADBETTER, Col., Cmdg.
OR, Ser. I, Vol. 7, pp. 747-748.



28, Skirmishes at crossing of Duck River
Report of Maj. J. Morris Young, Fifth Iowa Cavalry, of operations November 28, 1864.
HDQRS. FIFTH IOWA CAVALRY, Near Nashville, Tenn., December 3, 1864.
I have the honor to report the following action of my regiment and others temporarily under my command during the evening and night of November 28, 1864:
The Fifth Iowa Cavalry, under my command, was disposed, by order of Col. Capron, commanding the First Brigade of the Sixth division, cavalry Command, in different positions on the north side of Duck River, above and below the crossing of the turnpike running from Franklin to Lewisburg, to guard the fords and prevent the enemy from crossing to this side, which was successfully performed in my command and front. At 5 p. m. my patrols and pickets reported the enemy in force in my rear and Col. Capron, commanding the brigade, gone. Hastily withdrawing my regiment, except Company A, which was posted for miles column on the pike, and was in the act of giving the command "forward," when the other regiments of the brigade, consisting of the Eighth Michigan, Fourteenth and Sixteenth Illinois, came in successively, much to my surprise, for I had supposed them gone out with Col. Capron, and reported the enemy closing in all directions.
I made the following disposition of my new forces as hastily as possible (see also map attached ).* The eight Michigan in line dismounted, to the left of and perpendicular to the head of the Fifth Iowa column; the Sixteenth Illinois disposed in like manner on the right; the led horses of both regiments to follow up at a safe distance in their respective rears; the Fourteenth Illinois was placed in column of fours, to the left and rear of the Eighth Michigan and parallel to the Fifth Iowa, which was in column on the turnpike. The left was the most exposed to a counter charge by the enemy, who were known to be in heavy force on that flank. As soon as the enemy's fire was drawn the dismounted men were to immediately fall back, mount, and follow out the Fifth Iowa Cavalry, which was to go through with sabers. In fifteen minutes, these dispositions being completed, the command was given, "forward." In fifteen minutes more we struck the enemy in acted by Col. Capron. We received their fire and instantly sounded the "charge," riding them down and scattering them in all directions. At 10 p. m. I reported the brigade entire to Maj.-Gen. Wilson.
In this charge, which was most gallantly executed, reflecting great credit on all the troops engaged, I do not think out entire loss, out of over 1,500 brought through safe, was more than thirty killed, wounded, and missing. Having been superseded in command immediately by Col. Capron, who had preceded me some two hours, I have no means of ascertaining definitely our loss. The injury inflicted upon the enemy must have been considerable. The groans and cries of their wounded, as we rode, cut, or shot them down, could be heard distinctly above the noise and din of the charge.
Permit me to add in closing the fact of the growing confidence amongst our troops that good cavalry never can be captured.
J. MORRIS YOUNG, Maj., Cmdg. Fifth Iowa Cavalry.
OR, Ser. I, Vol. 45, pt. I, p. 604.
*Not included in the OR.