Tuesday, March 8, 2011

3/8/65, “…she had left there some time before, I suppose for Yankeedom.”

 A house servant's taste for freedom results in former masters doing housework in Bolivar

Nothing from Lettie [a house slave] yet. Yesterday morning Sister Mary sent her to Mrs. Grey's, and upon finding at the expiration of three of four hours, she failed to return, sent for her, but she had left there some time before, I suppose for Yankeedom. Joy go with her. Sister and myself cleaned up our rooms this morning alone and before the negroes [sic] had risen. (So much for Southern cruelty). She made the fire. I made up my bed and did various other things as cheerfully as any one. Had the rooms cleaned, breakfast over and baby washed and dressed before nine. When Lettie was here the rooms were generally done about eleven. Ha! Ha! Ha! I'm very glad she's gone. The rest [of the slaves] will follow her example. The nuisances! Two women, one man and four children, all save one able to work, can't get ready for business until ten or eleven o'clock in the morning. Isn't it perfectly ridiculous! O Yankees, Yankees, what mistakes you have made in your attempt at sympathy and kindness....

Diary of Sally Wendel Fentress

3/8/64, “I am almost crazy with my spine, took a dose of Morphine, I am in so much pain it does not affect me.” A page from the Confederate smuggler Belle Edmondson’s diary

March, Tuesday 8, 1864

Cousin Mat, Frazor and Joanna went in town this morning. Joanna was to have returned this evening, did not come. We heard what the Yanks were after-old Frank the detective carried them to Felix Davis's and took him and his wife both to Memphis, they are now in the Irving Block, we did not hear the offence, only 'twas some old grudge he had against Mr. Davis. They stole a good deal from Widow Hildebrand's but she has taken the oath, and I don't care much. I pity poor Mr. & Mrs. Davis, they have been so kind to our Soldiers.

Nannie Perkins came home this morning. Joe Clayton-Memphis Light Dragoons-came on short furlough. Tate & I are going after Mrs. Clayton & Hal tomorrow. We all spent the evening in the Parlor, singing and playing. I am almost crazy with my spine, took a dose of Morphine, I am in so much pain it does not affect me-All spent day in my room sewing-Laura and Beulah in, Tip not arrived. Oh! I am so lonely, and suffering so much.

Diary of Belle Edmondson

3/8/63, Capture of forage train at Carthage

MARCH 8, 1863.-Capture of forage train near Carthage, Tenn.

Report of Brig. Gen. George Crook, U. S. Army, Carthage, March 15, 1863.

GEN.: I have awaited the return of the prisoners before making my detailed report of the capture of my forage train on the 8th instant, in order that I might get at the full particulars.

The forage train, consisting of 18 wagons, was guarded by two companies of the Eleventh Regt. [sic] Ohio Volunteer Infantry, commanded by Capt. George Johnson, of the same regiment. The escort numbered 55 men, making, with 18 teamsters, 73 men.

From the best information I can get, the circumstances of the capture were about these: The train was in a lane, near its destination, when the enemy's cavalry were first discovered. The captain got his men together, crossed over one of the fences into an open field, and drew them up in line. After the cavalry had surrounded him and commenced advancing, the captain gave the command to aim twice and then recover arms. The last time the enemy fired, and in return a few of his men fired without orders. The enemy then closed in and took them without further resistance.

Three of our men were slightly wounded, and 1 had his leg broken. There was a cover of woods a short distance in rear of our men, which they could have reached after they saw the enemy, and before the attack was made, from all accounts. The enemy were counted by several persons to be 140. The 3 commissioned officers and a few men were not paroled.

I have been in the habit of sending two companies as escort to my forage trains, and only two days previous one of my expeditions, from the direction of Rome and Alexandria, returned reporting no enemy. But, unfortunately, on the morning of the 8th, I was sick. Two companies from this regiment were ordered to escort this train. By some mistake two of the smallest companies in the regiment were sent, and, in addition, my quartermaster ordered the train some 1 ½ miles farther than it had been in the habit of foraging.

I would again report, for the information of the general commanding, my utter failure to accomplish any result here without cavalry. I have sent out several expeditions over this country without accomplishing anything. They could get reliable information of nothing only what they saw, and could only see a few scouts on distant hills.

All the suitable [stock] has been taken out of this country, so it is impossible to mount my men.

I have the honor to remain, your most obedient servant,


OR, Ser. I, Vol. 23, pt. I, pp. 140-141.


CARTHAGE, March 10, 1863.

Col. C. GODDARD, Asst. Adjt. Gen. and Chief of Staff, Army of the Cumberland:

* * * *

Sunday morning [8th] I had 18 wagons, with a guard of two companies of the Eleventh Ohio Volunteers Infantry, captured by 140 guerrillas, cavalry, just outside of my pickets. The commander of the escort, from all accounts, offered no resistance. He was a good officer, but think he must have become flurried. Owing to the on-arrival of the cavalry and gunboats, and much sickness in my camp, I shall move across the Cumberland, at least for the present, for my better safety. I can do nothing on this side without cavalry.



OR, Ser. I, Vol. 23, pt. II, p. 130.

3/8/62, Converting Church Bells into Artillery; General Beauregard’s Entreaty to Plantation Owners

HDQ'RS Army of the Mississippi

Jackson, Tenn., March 8, 1862

To the Planters of the Mississippi Valley:

More than once a people, fighting with an enemy far less ruthless than yours, for imperiled rights not more dear and sacred than yours; for homes and a land not more worthy of resolute and unconquerable men than yours; and for interest of far less magnitude than you have not at stake, have not hesitated to melt and mould into cannon the precious bells surrounding their houses of God, which had called generations to prayer. The priesthood have ever sanctioned and consecrated the conversion, in the hour of their nation's need, as one holy and acceptable in the sight of God.

We want cannon as greatly as any people who ever-as history tells you-melted their church bells to supply them. And I, your General, intrusted with the command of the army embodied of your sons, your kinsmen, and your neighbors, do now call on your to send your plantation bells to the nearest railroad depot, subject to my order, to be melted into cannon for the defence of your plantations.

Who will not cheerfully and promptly send me his bells under such circumstances?

Be of good cheer, but time is precious

G. T. Beauregard, General Commanding

Daily Picayune, March 20, 1862.

3/8/61, Honey and trouble

An Alderman in Trouble.—On Friday, Mr. P. Triplet was engaged in depositing in the kitchen of Madame Miller, some jars of honey she had ordered, when he was seen by one of the city aldermen, who gave information that he was engaged in peddling without a license. Mr. Triplet was examined on the charge yesterday morning before the recorder, but proving that the honey had been ordered, he was of course acquitted. He then entered a charge against the alderman to the effect that as he entered the kitchen of Madame Miller to deliver the honey, he found within it the alderman in question, who was in the act of hugging a negro girl. An examination of the circumstances was set for to-morrow.

Memphis Daily Appeal, March 10, 1861.