Saturday, April 30, 2011

April 28 - Tennessee Civil War Notes

      28, "The performance of divine service is rare in jail." A plea to bring the Gospel to city jail prisoners

A Visit to Jail.

Many of our readers will remember that some two years ago the Appeal took the initiative in calling attention to the horrible state of our city jail. The portion appropriated to the chain gang was especially a dark, noisome division of dungeons, filthy in the extreme, almost deprived of air, and altogether unfit for anything but the receptacle of lost souls in the dominions of man's direst enemy. The upper portion of the edifice was little better, the disadvantages of the place necessarily arising from its ill construction—the result of a plan the grossest ignorance could alone ever atone for having been adopted—were increased by the gloom arising from walls covered with cobwebs and almost innocent of contact with a whitewash brush. A day or two ago, for the first time since Mr. Jackson has filled the office of jailor, we went over the place, and never was our gratification more complete than when we saw the change that had taken place. The chain gang were no longer barred within the confines of dismal and loathsome dungeons, but were in roomy, clean, light and airy quarters, from windows of which there is a splendid view up and down the river. These rooms were formerly the residence of the jailor; Mr. Jackson gave them up to the use of prisoners, so that they might be rescued from the living tomb in which "man's inhumanity to man" had beforetime enclosed them. The whole jail is now clean—every board of the floors is well scrubbed, the cobwebs are banished, the walls are well white-washed, the dreadful stench that used at times to make even the turnkeys vomit, as they themselves have assured us, was nearly imperceptible. The narrow corridors, confined gratings and scanty supply of air, together with the bad sewerage and miserable provisions for some important points of cleanliness, make it impossible that the present building can ever be all that it ought to be in this respect. We were not only impressed with the difference in point of cleanliness and the arrangement of the different articles in the various cells, but also, and to even a greater degree, with the respectful and orderly behavior of the prisoners, which afforded a great contrast from what we have, in former times, seen in the same place. We saw evidences that a firm but kind hand held the rule. We regretted to learn that no systematic effort is made by the religious portion of the public of Memphis to supply the spiritual wants of the prisoners. The weary days pass on, the tedious nights roll slowly by, and the Sunday passes like the rest, except that "the sound of the church-going bell" tells the incarcerated that the followers of him who loves those who visit the distressed that are sick and in prison, are going where they will pray for "all prisoners and captives" whom they rarely help. The performance of divine service is rare in jail. A Sundays since, the Rev. E. E. Porter, of Chelsea, held a service, and there is every reason to believe that it was acceptable to the prisoners. Good order was preserved, and most of the men manifested an attention and reverent demeanor. Mr. Thomas, a colporteur, has visited the prison and promised to supply it with books. We hope the promise will be kept. We respectfully suggest to the religious public, that men who lie in jail for months, and even one or two years, should not be left without religious ministrations. Cannot some effort be made in their behalf? Shall negroes, Indians, and orientals learn from our missionaries the glorious news of salvation, and the poor prisoner in our midst be left to perish in the midst of Christians and churches? Mr. Jackson's assistants in h is important duties are Messrs. J. F. Meyers, A. J. Ward and D. L. Porter, who are kind in their behavior to those beneath their care. We hope the time will come when Memphis will tear down the place in which her prisoners are confined, and rear a building that shall possess the requisites of air, light, comfort and safety, not one of which is secured in the present edifice. In the meantime, we are gratified to find that the present jailor is doing the best for the comfort of his prisoners that the existing miserable abortion of a building will admit.

Memphis Daily Appeal, April 28, 1861.


            28, Skirmish near Monterey

APRIL 28, 1862.-Skirmish near Monterey, Tenn.

Reports of Maj. Gen. John Pope, U. S. Army.


[SIR:] Both roads are good; need short bridges and corduroys in places.

Sent out five companies of cavalry this morning; met 150 of enemy's cavalry foraging; brisk skirmish[1] and chase. Enemy lost 5 killed (1 major) and 19 prisoners. Our loss none. Small force, about 2,000, at Monterey, with one or two light batteries. My whole force up and in hand. I do not know exactly the position of Buell's force. My pickets connect through Elliott with Thomas. Am all ready to move forward.

Have you received my dispatch of this morning in relation to movement on Farmington with strong force? I think there is no considerable force of enemy on any road this side of Corinth.

JNO. POPE, Maj.-Gen.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 10, pt. I, p. 453.


            28, General Joseph E. Johnston's continued anxieties relative to procuring food for the Army of Tennessee

TULLAHOMA, April 28, 1863

Hon. JAMES A. SEDDON, Secretary of War:

SIR: I have had the honor to receive your letter of the 17th instant. The difficulty of procuring subsistence stores in the country is increasing fast. Corn is still abundant 40 or 50 miles to the west, but its transportation requires much time. Meat is procured in small quantities beyond the enemy's flanks, but at great risk, over routes lying near his positions. This risk is becoming greater daily, the enemy's entrenchments and superior numbers enabling him to make detachments safely. The large Federal force now approaching Decatur will probably increase these advantages very soon.

It would be very difficult I think, to make purchases in Kentucky with cotton, on account of the long distance from our railroad to the Kentucky line. Where that exchange is permitted, it should be under such circumstances as to enable the Government to keep it out of the hands of individuals. That trade has subjugated our people where-ever the they have engaged in it.

Should this army be compelled to abandon Middle Tennessee, its position for the defense of East Tennessee will be extremely unfavorable, as its communications will be from the flanks instead of to the rear. Such a defense would be impossible against an enterprising enemy; hence the great importance of Gen. Bragg's holding his present position, and hence my applying, more than once, for re-enforcements for him.

I have been informed that a considerable quantity of bacon may be procured for sugar. An officer has therefore been sent to attempt to make the exchanges.

In writing to the President on the 11th instant, being then, as now, unfit for service in the field, I suggested that if conference with Gen. Bragg was still desired, a confidential officer should be sent to his headquarters for the purpose.

* * * *

Most respectfully, your obedient servant,


OR, Ser. I, Vol. 23, pt. II, pp. 799.


            28, Report of the Office of Inspector-General of Fortifications, Military Division of the Mississippi, relating to Middle Tennessee

NASHVILLE, TENN., April 28, 1865.

Brig. Gen. W. D. WHIPPLE, Assistant Adjutant-Gen. and Chief of Staff:

GEN.: I inclose, for the information of the major-general commanding, my inspection report of the defenses of Bridgeport and of the railroad line thence to Nashville, with accompanying drawings.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Brig. Gen. and Insp. Gen. of Fortifications, Mil. Div. of the Miss.



Nashville, Tenn., April 28, 1865.

Maj. Gen. GEORGE H. THOMAS, Cmdg. Mil. Div. of the Miss. West of the Allegheny Mountains:

GEN.: I have the honor to submit the following inspection report of the defenses of Bridgeport and of the railroad line thence to Nashville:

* * * *


Is thirty miles from Stevenson and eighty-two from Nashville and about seven miles from the dividing ridge through which the tunnel passes. The country from Stevenson is closed in by high hills and almost without inhabitants. Decherd is the principal intermediate stopping place between Nashville and Chattanooga, but has no military importance further than that which arises from the necessity of distributing forces at intervals along the line of railroad. One redoubt with a block-house keep would have been sufficient for this place. Its defenses consist of two polygonal breast-high inclosures, respectively 20 feet and 100 feet in diameter, and of a square stockade. These structures are not entitled to the appellation of redoubts. Decherd requires no additional works now.


Five miles from Decherd, the largest stream between Bridgeport and Nashville, is spanned by a bridge 480 feet long, resting upon four stone piers and four wooden trestles. The bridge is protected by two double-cased block-houses, which are sufficient. On a hill about 800 feet distant is a large redoubt with good ditches, built by the soldiers. It has no keep, however, and uncles strongly garrisoned would be rather prejudicial than otherwise to the defenses of the position. Although this bridge could be quickly replaced if destroyed, much inconvenience would have resulted from two days' delay during the Chattanooga campaign. It was necessary, therefore, to protect so large a bridge against raiding detachments and guerrilla bands.


Is six miles from Elk River and sixty-nine from Nashville. Being a large village, a garrison was necessary to control it and the guerrillas of the vicinity. It also covered to some degree the crossings of Elk and Duck

 Rivers, a few miles distant on either side. Near the station is a small stockade, and half a mile distant is a large bastion fort, nearly 300 feet square on the curtain lines, built by the rebels. This fort stands on the general level of the table-land. It has no bomb-proof keep, and its magazines was badly constructed. At each salient and each shoulder angle there is a gun platform, and on the parapet merlons have been raised to cover the gunners. With an interior block-house it would have been a very strong work.


Across Duck River is a bridge 353 feet long resting on twelve trestles. It is protected by a double-cased block-house. For greater security to this important bridge another block-house was commenced last winter. From Tullahoma to Murfreesborough the road required protection from the numerous guerrillas that infested the country. Small garrisons at the stations and in the block-houses at the numerous river crossings guarded the road. The towns being small, no forts were built to control them.


The city of Murfreesborough is situated about one mile and a half southeast of Stone's River. The country round about is generally level, and was formerly populous. One large fort near the city and depot, garrisoned by a regiment, would have controlled the place and neighborhood. A double-cased block-house would have been sufficient to protect the trestle bridge across Stone's River, 218 feet long. While Gen. Rosecrans' army was encamped in the vicinity, Fortress Rosecrans, inclosing 200 acres on either side of Stone's River, was constructed under the direction of Gen. St. Clair Morton, of the Corps of Engineers. This large work is composed of a series of bastion fronts, with small, irregular bastions and broken curtains; or more properly it may be described as consisting of lunettes connected by indented lines, having in the interior four rectangular redoubts, and one lunette as keeps to the position. In large permanent works, with high scarps, the ditches are swept by guns in the flanks, because the depression of the guns prevent the canister-balls from rising above the parapet. In field forts, with ditches only six feet deep and long curtains, opposite flanks cannot fire in the same manner as in permanent works without risk to the defenders; but by breaking the curtain line the ditches are swept by close musketry. This is the manner of flanking the ditches of Fortress Rosecrans. Its lines give powerful cross fires and direct fires, both of artillery and infantry, on all the approaches. Placed on the crests of the elevations, they not only command the distant country, but effectually sweep the gentle slopes within canister-range. This fortress could not be taken except by siege, if properly garrisoned and well defended. The parapets have high commands and when built were well revetted with fascines. The work has many traverses, covering against ricochet fire. Most of the guns are in embrasures, made with gabions. Lunettes Thomas and McCook and the four interior redoubts have large block-houses in the form of a cross. The magazines, except in Fort Brannan, are small. That in Lunette Mitchell is subject to being flooded, and is consequently useless in the wet season. The ditches of the redoubts are not so well preserved as those of the main lines. In fact the exterior slopes of the parapets and the scarps have taken the natural slopes, about 45 degrees. These redoubts, however, are strong against attack, being defended by large keeps, which deliver their fire upon every part of the interior. It requires much labor to keep so large a work in repair; small portions of the parapets have sloughed off, due to frosts and heavy rains. These effects were especially noticeable in Lunettes Mitchell and McCook. Some thirty feet of the parapet revetment of Lunette Thomas had fallen down, when I inspected March 10. Parts of the revetted traverses in Lunette Negley were badly broken down, and I have been informed that the heavy and uncommon rains since have caused some further damage. Temporary field-works are liable to frequent injury by storms. The garrison should keep them in order. Those that have been built for two or three years, of perishable material, must necessarily require repairs; gabions, fascines, boards, and nails, in contact with wet earth and exposed to the air, will decay rapidly, and in consequence parapets and embrasures crumble down and magazines leak. This large work, originally built as a refuge for the army in the event of disaster, is not needed in the present condition of the rebellion. The interior redoubts ought to be kept in order. A small garrison sufficient to hold them will control the neighborhood. At the date of my inspection Fortress Rosecrans was occupied by three artillery companies and mounted fifty-seven guns. The city was held by infantry. The depots were not within the fort. The accompanying drawing is well executed, and shows the positions and lines better than they can be described.


Is fifteen miles and a half from Nashville. It has a redoubt which has not been garrisoned for a long period. In truth the town is desolate and requires no defenses.


Before Hood's invasion there were seven block-houses between Nashville and Murfreesborough to protect the railroad bridges across the streams; six of these were abandoned to avoid the capture of the garrisons, and were in consequence burned by the enemy; the seventh, at Overall's Creek, stood a heavy attack until the enemy were driven away by a sortie from the garrison of Fortress Rosecrans. Between Murfreesborough and Bridgeport there are twenty-nine railroad bridges protected block-houses. These are mostly double-cased. Two large artillery block-houses defend the south bridge over the Tennessee, and ten have been erected to protect the bridges between Bridgeport and Chattanooga. Thus in the line between Nashville and Chattanooga the bridges and trestle-works, whose preservation was essential to the running of the road, have been effectually protected against guerrillas and raiding parties of cavalry by forty-seven block-houses, mostly double-cased. These block-houses always resist and drive off the infantry. Field pieces, unless in numbers, and of the caliber of 12-pounders, cannot reduce them. They have performed a most important service, and it was a very happy application of the double-cased block-house. Had they not been used it would have been necessary to have built small redoubts with single block-houses inside as keeps. The rectangular form of the block-house is defective, as the fire on the capital is a single musket. Those now in process of construction are octagonal. No new defensive works are required on this line. Drawings of Bridgeport, Stevenson, and Murfreesborough accompany this report.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

Z. B. TOWER, Inspector-Gen. of Fortifications, Mil. Div. of the Mississippi.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 49, pt. II, pp. 499-503.


[1] i.e., at Middleton.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

April 27 - Tennessee Civil War Notes

Tennessee Civil War Notes - APRIL 27  


April 27, 1862, After the Battle of Shiloh

Camp of the Fifty-Third Regt., Ill. Vols.

Gen. McClernand's Division,

Near Pittsburg, Tenn., April 27.

To the Editor of the Chicago Times:

.…For miles around the Landing it is a wilderness of woods, mostly oak, with here and there, at long intervals, a dilapidated log house with outbuildings in keeping--old cotton fields and orchards, which, though hanging full of young fruit, look long neglected, and as though the few inhabitants who lived here had been years from home....while the sending here of this multitude of sanitary committees, physicians, and nurses was prompted by the most humane of motives, the plan was necessarily a hasty and imperfect one, and many of the individuals sent, or, coming on their own account, particularly the medical gentlemen, were not only indiscreet, but in some cases gave very decided evidence of a want of good manners. A word or two will explain wherein. In the first place, the urgent necessity for additional assistance, beyond that with which each regiment is provided within itself, was immediately after the battle, while the multitudes of wounded were lying upon the ground for miles, almost covering it. Of course the immediate exigencies would be, in such manner as possible, provided for before strangers from abroad could arrive. After which, under the direction of medical officers, the important immediate operations were performed, and the survivors provided for in the hospitals prepared before hand at Savannah, or were placed on board hospital boats for transportation to different points North. To all of which hospitals and boats, competent medical officers, with nurses and attendants, were assigned, and who were personally responsible for their proper care, and whose duty it was to give them their personal attention and observation. Of course no part of these duties could be assigned by the medical officers, separately from the rest, to volunteer physicians while, even if these were desirous of accepting the positions of subordinate attendants, which, if any, they would necessarily be obliged to take, the business of supervising and instructing them in their duties so that these should be done in accordance with those inevitable "regulations" would of itself constitute a heavy additional burden to medical officers under the circumstances, with no compensating advantage. Moreover, in this wilderness of woods, in this broken country, amid this multitude of regiments, covering miles and miles of country,--amid this multitude of boats, and hospitals, and officials in charge, new-comers are, of course, confused and confounded, lose their way, get fagged out with fatigue, and, finally, for the most part, and except in special cases, expend their energies fruitlessly. Surgeons have, uninvited, thronged about the camps of different regiments, not only proffering their services, but have even had the effrontery to intrude into their hospitals, making prescriptions, administering medicines, and even severely criticising [sic] and condemning the practice of the authorized Surgeons!

Chicago Times, April 29, 1862.



April 27, 1863, One woman's complaint about war profiteering in White County

....Mr. Stone is troubled with the cavalry all the time. Four eat [sic] dinner there today. The first two that came were riding and seemed to be very intelligent gentlemen. They said they stayed at Carold [sic] Johnson's last night and said he was boasting how much he had made since the war commenced, and that he would not have it to stop for anything. He was making money so fast. I do not know what ought to be done with a man who can have it in his heart to wish everybody so much evil, just that he make money. It seems perfectly shocking....

Diary of Amanda McDowell.


April 27, 1864, Entry in Alice Williamson's Diary, Sumner County

Sis has just come from Mrs. Lane's: while there she visited the grave of the stranger soldier who was shot Friday. The yankees took his coat and boots off and put him in the grave without coffin or wrappings of any kind.

Williamson Diary


April 27, 1865, Capture of guerrilla leaders near Rutledge

RUTLEDGE, TENN., April 27, 1865.

Maj.-Gen. STONEMAN, Cmdg. District of East Tennessee:

GEN.: I have the honor to report that I have been scouting the country on both sides of the mountains; that I have captured two very notorious characters--Dr. J. P. Legg and P. H. Starnes--and sent them to Knoxville by Lieut. Henry E. Jackson, of the Ninth Tennessee. Since I captured Legg and Starnes the remaining guerrillas want come in and give themselves up, but they are afraid that they will be executed for what they have already done. I have five prisoners who gave themselves up, and they say all the rest of them would come in if they knew that I would spare their lives.

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

J. W. HARRINGTON, Capt. Company G, Ninth Tennessee Cavalry.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 49, pt. II, pp. 490-491.



Wednesday, April 27, 2011

April 26 Tennessee Civil War Notes

            26, "Palmyra True to the South;" demagoguery and enlistment in Clarksville

The citizens of Palmyra and its vicinity met here to-day, in obedience to a call made for the purpose of raising a volunteer company, to enlist in defense of Southern Rights.

S. F. Allen was called to the Chair, and Rbt. Eldridge appointed Sec'y.

Col. W. A. Quarles, of Clarksville, then took the stand, and addressed them, with great earnestness and ability, exposing the duplicity practiced upon the South by Lincoln and his Cabinet, condemning the vile and flagrant acts of usurpation by which they seek to carry out their unholy purpose of subjugating the Southern States. He proved conclusively that the "armed neutrality" position advocated by some, for Kentucky and Tennessee to assume tended only to assist the North. His speech was marked by sincerity and patriotic zeal, was every appropriate, effective, and well received. At the conclusion of which, it was moved by A. Outlaw, Esq., and seconded, that the resolutions presented by Col. W. A. Quarles, to the Southern Rights Association, held at Clarksville, on the 13th inst., as published, be adopted by this meeting, which was agreed to unanimously. Col. M. G. Gholson, having been solicited, gallantly accepted the invitation and announced that he would take command of a company of volunteers, if a sufficient number would enlist. Faster than the Secretary could record their names, 36 of the honest and patriotic young men offered themselves, and were well received.

Liberal contributions were made to supply them with provision while on drill.

The call then for a Home Guard was responded to by every man present, in the district. Col. Quarles proceeded to organize them, by having officer elected. W. B. Russell, Esq., was elected Captain; Mr. R. M. [?] Williamson, 1st Lieutenant; H. T. Oliphant, 2nd; M. C. Powers, Ensign; and S. A. Caldwell, O.S.

On motion of Col. Gholson, it was ordered, that the Clarksville papers be furnished with a report and requested to publish the proceedings of this meeting, which then adjourned, having been conducted with the most exemplary order, particularly characterized by unanimous feelings of indignation and defiance towards the North, and unflinching devoted [sic] to Southern Rights.

Clarksville Chronicle, April 26, 1861.

26, Observations on Confederate Fortifications from Fort Wright to Memphis

Down the Mississippi, from Fort Wright to Memphis.

The old story is to be re-enacted; barriers and hindrances, new Gibraltars and impregnable positions, new obstructions, new boastings; to be succeeded by new quests b the Government troops, as they steadily press onward to clear the Mississippi, and open its waters, without hindrance or danger, from Lake Itaska to the Gulf, once more uniting the North and South by the remover of Mr. Bright's geographical objection against disunion.

Fort Wright, called, we believe, Fort Pillow, until that famous General became infamous even in Rebel eyes, lies on the east bank of the Mississippi, upon an eminence, giving it an extensive command. Connected with it, artificial obstructions are placed across Tie River, and swept by the batteries. Just back of the fort is the town of Fulton, and just below it, in the river, Island No. 34. The fort is about eighty miles from Memphis. It has already been attacked, but the exact character of the defence is not yet known. To judge from the names of runs and bens between Fort Wright and Memphis, the river here must bear a particularly diabolical character. Just below Island No. 35 is the "Devil's Race," a sort of crevasse which cuts off the inner projection a bend; and below Island no 37 is the "Devil's Elbow," an ugly and tortuous bend, about twenty miles above Memphis.

Fort Randolph, the second serious obstruction below Fort Wright, and not more than ten miles distant from it by land-the Hatchie river flowing in between-is situated upon high sand bluffs on the east bank, directly parallel to the river. Its guns also sweep artificial obstructions in the cannel of the river. The next impediment will be found at Fort Harris, on the same bank. It is just below the Devil's Elbow, and the river obstructions are natural ones, in the shape of Island No. 40, and an extensive sand-bar, between which the channel of the river is unusually narrow. The true Fort Pillow, the real "Richmond" of the six or more, lies just north of Memphis and commands the river.

To move directly down a stream thus formidably defended and obstructed, would be difficult indeed; but when we reflect that every point referred to, even Memphis itself, is really already taken in flank and rear, and the vast numbers of splendid troops assist and combine with the gunboats in the movements, there can only be a small delay-the issue cannot be doubtful.

Philadelphia Inquirer, April 26, 1862.

            26, Engagement, U. S. N. and Brigadier-General Alfred W. Ellet's Mississippi Marine Brigade at Duck River Island.[1]

Report of Lieutenant-Commander Fitch, U. S. Navy, transmitting report of commanding officer of U. S. S. Emma Duncan regarding engagement at [Duck River Shoals] Green Bottom Bar, Tennessee River.


Hamburg Landing, April 28, 1863


* * * *

[On the morning of the 26th]....I cruised on up leisurely, keeping a good look out for the enemy along the right bank, but saw no signs of them till I arrived at Duck River Shoals, when I heard musketry and artillery a short distance (not a mile) ahead. I pushed on over the bar and met General Ellet's fleet just at the head of the shoals engaging the rebel battery. I was then in good range and at once opened fire on the enemy. There was not room for his boats to round to or to back out of the channel. He was compelled to push on over the bank before he could effect a landing.

I took the battery side and moved on up to cover his boats as much as possible, at the same time raking the bank without heavy guns. The ram Monarch by this time came in range and opened fire also.

As soon as I rounded the point the enemy fired a farewell shot at one of the brigade goats, limbered up and were off. Some few sharpshooters remaining behind fired a few shots at a transport having on board sick and wounded.

Several of the enemy were found dead on the bank, and many more were dragged off in the woods. I should suppose that their loss in killed and wounded is about 25 or 30.

I believe General Ellet lost 2 killed and 1 wounded on his boats, also some horses killed.

About 11 p. m. I left General Ellet at the foot of the bar and proceeded on up the river with his boat and the Emma Duncan to communicate with the fleet above. I arrived at Eastport (Mississippi) in the afternoon of the 27th....

[On the 28th] I...returned to Hamburg....

LeRoy Fitch, Lieutenant Commander

Navy OR, Ser. I, Vol. 24, pp. 85-86.



No. 1.-Brig. Gen. Alfred W. Ellet, U. S. Army, commanding Mississippi Marine Brigade with itinerary of the command for April, 1863.

No. 2.-Lieut. William F. Warren, Acting Signal Officer.

No. 1.

Report of Brig. Gen. Alfred W. Ellet, U. S. Army, commanding Mississippi Marine Brigade, with itinerary of the command for April, 1863.

CAIRO, ILL., April 30, 1863.

I have the honor to report that, in compliance with instructions received from Admiral Porter, I proceeded with my command up Tennessee River to Eastport, Miss., without interruption from the enemy. Returning in consequence of low water, I made several raids into the country, and destroyed a number of important mills and considerable amount of subsistence and supplies belonging to the enemy. At the mouth of Duck River my boats were attacked by 700 cavalry, with two pieces of artillery, commanded by Maj. [R. M.] White, of Sixth Texas Rangers. The fight was spirited for a few moments only. The enemy were driven back and pursued some 12 miles in the interior, with the loss of Maj. White, mortally wounded and left near the field, and 1 lieutenant and 8 men killed. They carried off a large number of wounded in wagons and on horses. We buried their dead. Our loss was 2 men killed and 1 wounded. The west bank of the Tennessee River was lined with refugees, who have been driven from their homes for love to the old Union. I exhausted my supplies in providing for their necessities.

The Tennessee River is too low for my boats to operate in with safety. My orders from Admiral Porter do not provide for this emergency. I shall hope to receive instructions from the Department.

ALFRED W. ELLET, Brig.-Gen., Cmdg. Mississippi Marine Brigade.

Excerpt from the Itinerary of the Mississippi Marine Brigade for April, 1863.

* * * *

On the morning of the 26th, was attacked below the mouth of Duck River by the enemy, 700 strong, commanded by Maj. [R. M.] White, of the Sixth Texas Rangers, with three pieces of artillery. Landed and pursued the enemy 12 miles, killing 10 men, including Maj. White, and wounding many more. The enemy escaped, in consequence of the utter impracticability of effecting a landing at the point of attack. Our loss was 2 men killed and several wounded, only 1 seriously.

* * * *

No. 2.

Report of Lieut. William F. Warren, Acting Signal Officer.

HDQRS. SIGNAL DETACHMENT, MISS. MARINE BRIGADE, Flag-ship Autocrat, April 26, 1863.

CAPT.: I have the honor to report that the signal detachment of the Mississippi Marine Brigade has had an opportunity to test its efficiency and make itself useful, to some extent, in the following manner:

At a few minutes past 8 o'clock this morning, while passing a point on the Tennessee River, a few miles below Duck River, where the direction of the current compelled us to run within 50 yards of the land, our fleet was opened upon by a field battery of four guns and a regiment of cavalry. The Autocrat, being in advance, was the first to receive the fire. The Diana came next, followed by the Adams, each receiving a raking fire at close range, but with very slight casualties. The Autocrat replied instantly with musketry, the Diana and Adams with musketry and field artillery. Our fire becoming too hot for the rebels, they immediately limbered up and fell back in great haste, out of musket range. The general discovering this, ordered me to signal the other boats to land their forces at once. The order was instantly understood, both by J. Q. Adams, on the Diana, and Lieut. Wilson, on the Adams. This order was immediately followed by instructions about the position in which they should land. As a result of this signaling, the troops were ready to march out almost at the instant the landing was made. We have officers on each of the five large boats who are able to read signals quite readily, and I have the honor to say that I am reliably informed that they were all upon the hurricane deck during the engagement, with glasses and equipments, on close lookout for signals. The Diana and Adams were both hotly engaging the enemy at the time their signals were given, and the Adams was receiving the fire of his battery.

Officers and men deserve commendation for their coolness and close attention to duty.

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

W. F. WARREN, Lieut. and Acting Signal Officer, Mississippi Marine Brigade.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 23, pt. I, pp. 278-280.



CORINTH, April 29 [Wed.], 1863--5.30 p. m.[2]

Maj.-Gen. HURLBUT:

Scouts in from Hamburg report that all the gunboats (five) and all transport (nine) left Hamburg at 11 o'clock to-day to descend river, to return no more. The Marine Brigade left last Friday [24th]. Had severe fight at mouth of Duck River. Three gunboats, that came up with the order for Stanley and gunboats to go out, had also encountered light battery, and had fight at same place. [24th]. Dodge took rations of bread and meat; balance of stores were taken back on transports. This leaves river open again. I shall have to communicate with Dodge through country, 50 miles. No other information to-day.


OR, Ser. I, Vol. 224, pt. III, p. 247.

            26, Education of the freedman; an entry in Alice Williamson's Diary, Sumner County

Weather beautiful. Yanks behaving like human beings [sic] with a few exceptions. Today a Yankee officer made his appearance in the school room accompanied by a Northern being whom I supposed to be a man, as he was not a gentleman; he came to look at the church saying that he was president of a school and six of his assistants had just arrived and was going to teach the "freedmen" [sic] He says he will have 3 or 400 scholars and will need the largest house in town. What a learned city-or rather yankee nest-this will be. I suppose some of us citizens will get a situation as assistant teacher in the "Freedmens [sic] University."

Williamson Diary.

            26, Capitulation of the Army of Tennessee near Durham, N. C.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 47, pt. III, pp. 312-315.

            26, Anti-guerrilla mopping up initiative on East Bank of Holston River

HDQRS. DISTRICT OF EAST TENNESSEE, Knoxville, Tenn., April 26, 1865.

Col. J. H. PARSONS, Cmdg. Ninth Tennessee Cavalry:

SIR: If the Rogersville Branch Railroad is in such condition as to enable you to procure supplies at its terminus, I wish you to move with your whole regiment to the east bank of the Holston River. Arrived there, you will leave all your impediments on the east side, and with the mounted portion of your regiment you will cross the river and thoroughly scour and clear of guerrilla and other bands of outlaws all that portion of East Tennessee and Southwestern Virginia lying between the Holston River on the east and the Cumberland Mountains on the west. In the performance of this duty you are authorized and instructed to use the utmost vigorous and severe measures. The persons with whom you have to deal are outlaws so long as they are at liberty, and as such should be treated. When taken prisoners they must be treated as prisoners, and are entitled to trial, which takes time and entails trouble and expense. Give them to understand that no false mercy will be shown them and no prisoners taken, and that every man found in arms under whatever pretense, and acting without authority from Federal officers or the legally constituted authorities of the State of Tennessee, will be treated as a public enemy and an outlaw and killed like a mad dog by any one who meets him. See that your command does not interfere in any way, either in their persons or their property, with the peaceably disposed, and with those who stay at home and mind their own business. In case the railroad is not in running order to the Holston River you will make your depot camp at or near the Rogersville Junction, from which point you will draw your supplies. You will give all the aid and assistance in your power to all civil officers in the execution of their functions, and urge upon the people the necessity of re-establishing civil authority and the supremacy of State laws as soon as possible, and before the U. S. forces are disbanded or withdrawn from this section of the country. Make me, either by courier or telegraph, a daily report of your operations.

I am, colonel, very respectfully, &c.,


OR, Ser. I, Vol. 49, pt. II, pp. 475-476.


[1] Dyer's Battle Index for Tennessee refers to this incident as an action. This engagement was between the 6th Texas Rangers (cavalry), at Duck River Island, [a.k.a. Little Rock Landing], west of the mouth of the Duck River, on the Tennessee River. After the Texans fired a few cannon bursts and rifle volleys at the Navy boats, the Marine Brigade landed and scattered the Texans into the surrounding marshland. The use of such amphibious tactics was both relatively new as well as rare and was repeated on the Tennessee River during the war

[2] As the following correspondence indicates, there is some inconsistency concerning the actual date of the fight at the mouth of the Duck River, although since the naval forces were closer to the action than Major-General Hurlbut it seems safest to conclude the fight took place on the 26th, not the 24th.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

April 25 - Tennessee Civil War Notes

25, Actions of the Nashville Vigilance Committee; Mr. Elwell's and Mr. Kelly's Hegira from Nashville

A Western Reserve Man Thinks the Weather Rather Warm in Nashville, Tenn.

Mr. William H. H. Elwell, a young journeyman printer, who left Cleveland two years ago, and well known here, has just returned from Nashville, where he has been for the last year. We have gathered from him the following reliable statement.

Being a Northern man, and expressing himself firmly for the Union under all circumstances, and in defence of the patriotism and bravery of the Northern people, and the sanctity of the American flag, he was warned that such sentiments were treasonable, and would not be tolerated in the South. Though he had man personal friends in the city, they had no power whatever to protect him against the mob, that governs there and elsewhere in the South. No Northern man is safe either in person or property unless he avows himself a secessionist, and declares himself ready to go the full length of the Southern bloody programme.

Mr. Kelley, editor of the Nashville Democrat, a Douglas paper, left at the same time for the same reasons. He was threatened by the Vigilance Committee with the destruction of his press if he continued his treasonable Union paper, and the mob gathered for the purpose of the destruction of himself and press-

The office was put in a state of defence, and the American flag ran up. Finally, however, the friends of the editor persuaded him to let them take down the flag, and the office went into the hands of the Vigilance Committee. The life of the editor being in great danger, he came North, declaring he would return again with a regiment of New York volunteers and settle the account. He is from New York city and leaves all his property. Senator Johnson is in Washington and his friends dare not have him return to the State-his life would be taken. The State is completely in the hands of the secessionists, and will, without doubt, secede immediately.-The idle masses and demagogues completely crush out the Union men. Hangman Foote, Zollicoffer, and the like, constantly harangue the masses and the people seem to be insane on the subject of Southern rights. They believe that Jeff. Davis is near Washington, assisted by Ben McCulloch, and that the Capital will be in their hands in less than twenty days. They think, and openly proclaim, that all the chivalric and military spirit is in the South, that one Southern man can whip a dozen Northern men. There seemed to have been a great change of sentiment, however, on this point last week,-the surprise being great at the sudden rush to arms throughout the North at the call of Lincoln.

The Daily Cleveland Herald, April 25, 1861.



            25, Report of steamers fired into by insurgents on the Tennessee River

Steamboats Fired at by Guerrillas.

Cairo, April 25.-The Steamers Belle, of Memphis, and Choctaw from Pittsburg Landing, which they left on Thursday morning, arrived here last night. They were fired into, thirty-five miles below Pittsburg, by a band of guerrillas from behind a dwelling on the left bank of the Tennessee river. The Choctaw received seven shots. Her mate was killed. The Belle, of Memphis, received twelve shots, wounding one negro boy on board.

~ ~ ~

Philadelphia Inquirer, April 26, 1862.



            25, GENERAL ORDERS, No. 91 changes in flag insignia and unit designations for the Army of the Cumberland


Murfreesborough, Tenn., April 25, 1863.

It having been found that the flags prescribed by General Orders, No. 41, from these headquarters, December 19, 1862, to designate the headquarters of the various brigade, divisions, and corps of this army, are not sufficiently marked to be readily distinguished from each other, those herein described will be substituted.

General headquarters.- The national flag, 6 feet by 5, with a golden eagle below the stars, 2 feet from tip to tip.

Fourteenth Army Corps.-A bright blue flag, 6 feet by 4, fringed with black eagle in center, 2 feet from tip to tip, with the number "14" in black on shield, which shall be white.

Twentieth Army Corps.-A bright red flag, same as that for Fourteenth Army Corps, except the number on the shield, which shall be that of the corps.

Twenty-first Army Corps.-A bright red, white and blue flag (horizontal) same as that for Fourteenth Corps, except the number on the shield, which shall be that of the corps.

First Division, Fourteenth Army Corps.- The flag of the corps, except the eagle and fringe, with one black star, 18 inches in diameter, point 2 inches from staff.

Second Division, Fourteenth Army Corps.- The flag of the corps, except eagle and fringe, with two black stars, each 18 inches in diameter, inner point 2 inches from staff.

Third Division, Fourteenth Army Corps.-The flag of the corps, except eagle and fringe, with three black stars, each 18 inches in diameter, set equally along staff, the inner point being 2 inches from staff.

Fourth Division, Fourteenth Army Corps.-The flag of the corps, except eagle and fringe with four black stars, each 18 inches in diameter, three of them along staff as before, the other set equally on the flag.

Fifth Division, Fourteenth Army Corps.-The flag of the corps, except eagle and fringe, with five black stars, each 18 inches in diameter, three of them along the staff, the other two equally distributed on flag.

The division flags of the Twentieth and Twenty-first Army Corps will correspond with the above, that is the corps flags (without eagle and fringe), with one, two, three, &c., stars, according as they represent the first, second, third, &c., divisions.

The headquarters flags of all brigades will be the flags of their divisions, with the number of the brigade in white, 8 inches long, in center of each star.

The Regular brigade will have the corps and division flag but the stars shall be golden instead of black.

Artillery reserve.-Two bright red flags, each 4 feet by 2, one above the other.

Batteries.-Each battery shall have a small flag, corps colors and arrangement (but 1 foot 6 inches on staff, by 2 feet fly), with the letters and numbers of the battery inscribed thereon in black, 4 inches long, thus, "B, First Ohio."

Cavalry headquarters.-A bright red, white and blue flag, 6 feet by 4 colors running vertically, red outermost.

First Cavalry Division.-A bright red, white, and blue flag, 6 feet by 4, like last, with one star, 18 inches in diameter, black, the point 2 inches from staff.

Second Cavalry Division.-Same as last, except two black stars, each 18 inches in diameter.

As for infantry, the headquarters flags of brigades will be the flags of divisions, with the number of the brigade in black, 8 inches long.

Engineer Corps.- A white and blue flag, blue uppermost, and running horizontally, 6 feet by 4.

Hospitals and ambulance depots.-A light yellow flag, 3 feet by 3, for hospitals and the principal ambulance depot on the field of battle, 2 feet square for the lesser ones.

Subsistence depots and storehouses.-A plain light green flag, 3 feet square.

Quartermaster's depots or storehouses.-Same flag, with letters Q. M. D. in white, 1 foot long.

Ordnance department, general headquarters.-A bright green flag, 3 feet square, with two crossed cannon in white, set diagonally in a square of 3 feet, with a circular ribbon of 6 inches wide and 3 feet greatest diameter (or diameter of inner circle 2 feet), with the letters "U. S. Ordnance Department", in black, 4 inches long, on ribbon, and a streamer above flag, 1 foot on staff by 4 feet long, crimson color, with words "Chief of Ordnance" in black, 6 inches long.

Division ordnance.-Same flag, with cannon and ribbon, but no streamer.

All these flags will be made according to a pattern to be furnished from the quartermaster's department.

By command of Maj.-Gen. Rosecrans:

C. GODDARD. Assistant Adjutant-Gen.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 23, pt. II, pp. 275-277.


            25, Forrest's command conducts conscript sweep and arrests deserters from his command in West Tennessee

HDQRS. FORREST'S CAVALRY, Jackson, April 25, 1864.

Lieut. Col. THOMAS M. JACK, Assistant Adjutant-Gen.:

COL.:...My entire command is engaged conscripting and arresting deserters. They are scattered in all directions, but are moving toward this place; will have all concentrated here by the 30th, and will reach Tupelo by the 5th or 6th proximo. I shall move myself via Bolivar and Ripley, and nay dispatches for me will meet me on the road.

I would be glad if the cars would run as far above Tupelo as possible, as I have about 30,000 pounds of bacon which I shall carry in wagons to Corinth, and send it down for my command on hand-cars until it meets a train.

I am, colonel, very respectfully, yours, &c.,

N. B. FORREST, Maj.-Gen.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 32, pt. III, pp. 821-822.


            25, Anti-guerrilla expedition to Bigg's Cross-Roads, Williamson County ordered


Brig. Gen. R. W. JOHNSON, Cmdg. Post of Pulaski:

GEN.: The bushwhackers are investing the neighborhood of Bigg's Cross-Roads, upper end of Williamson County, out on the Nolen pike, thirty-two miles from Nashville. The major-general commanding is informed that they are committing all kinds of depredations, and directs that you send to that neighborhood a sufficient force of cavalry to drive them out of the country. You will please refer to Mr. Alfred Ogilvie for further information.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

WM. D. WHIPPLE, Brig.-Gen. and Chief of Staff.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 49, pt. II, p. 465.



Thursday, April 21, 2011

April 22 TN Civil War notes

            22, Anxious telegram communication between Governor Isham G. Harris and L. P. Walker, Secretary of War, relative to need for arms in Tennessee

NASHVILLE, April 22, 1861.


Have you any arms that you can spare to Tennessee? If so, of what character? I know of no market at which they can be procured immediately.


MONTGOMERY, April 22, 1861.

Governor ISHAM G. HARRIS, Nashville, Tenn.:

Some days ago I ordered 1,500 muskets and some heavy guns to Memphis. In my dispatch to-day I propose to furnish the three regiments asked for. If more can be done for you, you may rest assured it shall be.


NASHVILLE, April 22, 1861.


Can you send me an experienced ordnance officer to supervise, for a short time, the casting, testing, &c., of ordnance? It is indispensable.


MONTGOMERY, ALA., April 22, 1861.

Governor ISHAM G. HARRIS, Nashville:

Will send you ordnance officer as soon as one can be had. You may rely on this.


OR, Ser. I, Vol. 52, pt. II, pp. 63-64.



            23, Confederate Proclamation Tennessee


The major-general commanding this department, charged with the enforcement of martial law, believing that many of its citizens have been misled into the commission of treasonable acts through ignorance of their duties and obligations to their State, and that many have actually fled across the mountains and joined our enemies under the persuasion and misguidance of supposed friends but designing enemies, hereby proclaims:

1st. That no person so misled who comes forward, declares his error, and takes the oath to support the Constitution of the State and of the Confederate States shall be molested or punished on account of past acts or words.

2d. That no person so persuaded and misguided as to leave his home and join the enemy who shall return within thirty days of the date of this proclamation, acknowledge his error, and take and oath to support the Constitution of the State and of the Confederate States shall be molested or punished on account of past acts or words.

After thus announcing his disposition to treat with the utmost clemency those who have been led away from the true path of patriotic duty the major-general commanding furthermore declares his determination henceforth to employ all the elements at his disposal for the protection of the lives and property of the citizens of East Tennessee, whether from the incurious of the enemy or the irregularities of his own troops and for the suppression of all treasonable practices.

He assures all citizens engaged in cultivating their farms that he will protect them in their rights, and that he will suspend the militia draft under the State laws that they me raise crops for consumption in the coming year.

He invokes the zealous co-operation of the authorities and of all good people to aid him in his endeavors.

The courts of criminal jurisdiction will continue to exercise their functions, save the issuing of writs of habeas corpus. Their writs will be served and their decrees executed by the aid of the military when necessary.

When the courts fail to preserve the peace or punish offenders against the laws these objects will be attained through the action of military tribunals and the exercise of the force of his command.

E. KIRBY SMITH, Maj.-Gen., Cmdg. Department of East Tennessee.

HDQRS. DEPARTMENT OF EAST TENNESSEE, Office Provost-Marshal, April 23, 1862.

To the Disaffected People of East Tennessee:

The undersigned, in executing martial law in this department, assures those interested, who have fled to the enemy's lines and who are actually in their army, that he will welcome their return to their homes and their families. They are offered amnesty and protection if they come to lay down their arms and act as loyal citizens within the thirty days given them by Maj.-Gen. E. Kirby Smith to do so.

At the end of that time those failing to return to their homes and accept the amnesty thus offered and provide for and protect their wives and children in East Tennessee will have them sent to their care in Kentucky or beyond the Confederate States lines at their own expense.

All that leave after this date with a knowledge of the above acts their families will be sent immediately after them. The women and children must be taken care of by husbands and fathers either in East Tennessee or in the Lincoln Government.

W. M. CHURCHWELL, Col. and Provost-Marshal.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 10, pt. II, pp. 640-641. [1]



            22, Coercing loyalty

At order of Brigadier-General R. B. Mitchell, all white persons over the age of eighteen years residing in the lines of his command were compelled to subscribe to the oath of allegiance or non-combatant's parole, or go South.

Rebellion Record, Vol. 6, p. 66.

            22, "Military Items."

Twenty-three Federal deserters were forwarded to their regiments this morning.

Geo. Smith, of the 4th U. S. Cavalry, was arrested yesterday and sent to the Penitentiary for forging discharge papers.

Sergeant G. Sanderson, company B, 4th Iowa Infantry, was stabbed in the neck yesterday by a guard at the barracks. The guard will be tried by court [sic] martial today.

Three prisoners of war were brought in yesterday, and will be forwarded this morning.

A. M. Bailey, a rebel soldier, charged with murder and highway robbery, is being tried by the Military Commission.

W. C. Raylor is released upon bail, to be tried by the Court at Murfreesboro next month.

Nashville Dispatch, April 22, 1864.

            22, "Counterfeit Hundreds."

Jacob Hanlon, who keeps a store at No. 4 Market street, a few night's ago sold a pair of shoes to a man named Geo. Kelly, and received in pay a hundred dollar bill, which proved to be bogus. He charged but three dollars for the shoes, and therefore gave in change ninety-seven dollars. Hanlon was before the Provost Marshal yesterday, but no Geo. Kelly can be found.

Nashville Dispatch, April 22, 1864.