Wednesday, May 11, 2011

May 11 - Tennessee Civil War Notes

11, Pacification measures ordered in Murfreesboro by Military Governor Andrew Johnson
Nashville May 11 [1862]
Col Parkhurst
Commanding officer,
Murfreesboro, Tenn.
I have just had consultation with E. L. Jordon, G. W. Ashburn and E. D. Wheeler prominent citizens of Murfreesboro in regard to the shooting which took place last night. There was some statement made to them just on starting which induced the belief that some development would be made throwing more light upon the affair. Has any thing of the kind transpired since the left. [sic] If not and no steps be taken satisfactory to you you will at once arrest as many persons as you in your judgment may believe will have proper effect upon spirit of insubordination [which] seems to prevail in that community. Transactions of this kind must be met and dealt with as the public interest requires. Act our you judgment & you shall be sustained[.]
I omitted to send back [a] list of names for arrest leaving it to you to consult with [the] mayor.
If you desire a list of names telegraph back immediately.
Teach them a lesson they will not forget.
Andrew Johnson
Papers of Andrew Johnson, Vol. 5, p. 377.



11, A poetic story of unrequited love[1]
"Gumbo Biglip's Courtship; or The Terrified African!"
by O. K. Asional
Chapter I
Good Times for Gumbo.
On a princely farm, in Tennessee,
Dwelt the hero of our story --
Of lordly form and black was he,
And in ploughing he did glory;
But while he tilled the soil with zeal,
And sought his master's favor,
He now and then began to feel
The pang that makes a brave the braver.
The author of his painless pain,
Gumbo had ne'er made wiser;
She palled e'en Erebus train --
Her name was plain Eliza
* * * *
The old homestead in bounty smiled,
With garners full and fields all teeming,
The darkeys, in their gladness wild,
Sang away the hours while gleaning.
The laurel and the olive, then,
Were closely intertwined,
And thro' the mountain steep and glen,
The hunter's trump, not War's, did wind.
Every breeze and every bird
Joined in gleeful measure,]
To praise a reign of peace unheard --
Of guileless hope and pleasure.
No dread alarms disturbed the rest
Of Gumbo's vast plantation --
No "contrabands." the nation's pest,
Upset dark Afric's [sic] population.
O, the present truly was a feast,
Of nature's richest blessings,
The future, as at morn the East,
Glittered bright in hope's reflecting.
Here was a time for sweet content
And every fond invention --
The simple Gumbo's heart gave vent
To its unrevealed intention:
"Dat gal hav long been in my eye,
An's well nigh got my gizzard
I tink it's time dis chile should fly
An' claim de little wizzard [sic].
I feel dat she am all in all,
An' ebery day I'se gettin' older --
I lub her harder dan a maul
Kin hit a rail, and so I'll tole her."
Chapter II
Better Times for Gumbo.
When from the farm-house on the hill,
The master's tin horn sounded
It welcome call to the niggers all,
Homeward quick they bounded;
But Gumbo, mindful of his "love,"
Strolled along the shady; road,
To where his Venus, as he said,
Dropped from her high abode.
They met; and o, such a meeting!
How eloquently did they prate
Of the "tender power" to mortals given --
Their blushes did but each elate,
"Liza, de time wid me am passed,"
Thus calmly spoke our hero,
"For likin' de state ob singleness --
I gits as mad as Nero;
But when I looks at you, my lub" --
Gumbo's lips here trembled
Like an aspen, or rather more --
Twin palm-leaves they resembled!
"I feel no more dat anger,
Kase woman kin our ruffness soothe --
Won't your take Gumbo for wus or better?"
And Gumbo's tongue refused to move.
A pause, and when the modest tinge
United with their darksome cheeks,
And made them more tenebrous,
Eliza, broadly grinning, speaks:
"Gum, I like dat warm confeshun,
Ise shure dar's meanin' in it --
If here dar's what dey kall a hart,
No older "nig" [sic] but you can win it."
At this response, Gum's pliant nature
Led him into raptures foolish --
His symptoms of affection were
As soft as were "Bottoms" mulish!
Fancy's canvas, rainbow-like,
In all the gems of promise glowed:
The Rubicon of doubt is passed,
Two "nigs" [sic] in Love's elixir flowed!
"I'll drive an' sweet at massa's plow,
An' dig de taters wid m y hoe,
Troo de sun, do hot he shine,
And troo de rain will merry go;
Ebery thing I'll do dat's hard,
And' sider dat its pleasant,
For when day's gone, an' work am dun,
You Liza, will be present."
His Cleopatra showed her teeth
In smiling satisfaction --
Gum cast a glance of sparkling joy,
And left his magnet of attraction.
Chapter III
Bad Times for Gumbo and Worse A-Coming.
Fondest hopes decay -- Gumbo realized
The truth; it couldn't be disguised.
Many blissful moments he had chased
With her on whom his ardent love was placed;
His rude banjo many a night had made
The welkin chime with gallant serenade;
Of had he the luscious 'possum caught,
And, noble (!) [sic] offering to his mistress brought:
Whenever at the neighboring creek they met,
Gumbo the chance for vowing did not forget.
As glides the barque on waters calm,
So these black lovers smoothely [sic] ran!
But, lo! the tempest overtook them --
War-clouds lowered, peace forsook them.
Soon the Union host of "subjugation"
Coerced Gumbo and the old plantation!
While Liza, far more ill-fated,
Went off to Dixie--they were not mated.
Gumbo pined and sought to cultivate
Patience, as a "contraband" where, till late
He'd cultivated corn, and rye, and wheat,
And various other "vegetables" to eat!
But 'twas no use -- the more he tried to nurture
Forgetfulness, the less he liked its virtue;
So with his banjo, and little comfort,
He resolved to seek his Juliet, minus passport.
He gauntlet run the land of cotton entered,
Gumbo began to hear he' rashly venture;
But fortune smiled, at last till he had found
The object of his lonely plodding round.
It was one of Cynthia's festive nights,
When every thing in earth delights,
Because of heaven's dazzling splendor,
The tribute of its love to render --
Gumbo lightly stole beneath her casement (!) [sic]
To surprise here with a dose of Grief's "effacement."
He began the strain -- 'twould have charmed a cynic --
'Twas filed with all a nigger's [sic] love could mimic.
Alas, alas! he hadn't posted any pickets --
"Guerrillas" listened from surrounding thickets!
And ere poor Gumbo's sang and played his lay
They nabbed and hurried him away!
Liza showed her raven head in time to hear:
"Farewell, my lub! I'se ordered to de rear!"
She gave him a shriek, another shriek, and fled
To where a cheese-knife lay, then -- went to bed.
Nashville Dispatch, May 11, 1863.


11, "Sale of Condemned Horses."
HEADQUARTERS There occurred a sale of condemned horses during the past week, which afforded the citizens of the town and country opportunities to replenish their exhausted stock. Th efficient A. A. Q. M., Lieut. C. Harvin, selected the eccentric Capt. Hammer as the auctioneer for the occasion, and, as the result proved, he was the right man in the right place. The total amount of sale of 250 horses – and sorry looking beasts they were – amounted to over $6000, at an average of more than $27 each, a result the Government may well feel proud of. A stand was erected at the horse-yards of Lieut. Irvin, and the animals to be sold were led out singly to be disposed of. The captain starts the sale: "Well, gentlemen, how much am I offered for this fine blooded horse, known through the army, was sire by imported Lexington, and damned by everybody who ever rode him – start the bid – how much? Five dollars I am offered, who'll give ten? Ten, ten, who'll give fifteen? Fifteen is offered by two of you, now twenty. Twenty-five – who'll give thirty?" Thirty is offered, and the horse disappears and another led forward. "Now, gentlemen, here is a jay-bird – observe his gait – a little foundered, but that don't hurt him, though he'd be a good deal better without it – all ready; to put right before a plow and work to-morrow – start him up young man, every time he trots he increases five dollars in value" This animal ultimately sells for fifty dollars.
"Now Gentlemen, how much for this fine bay mare –sound-kind – good under saddle or in harness. Cars not afraid of her, will tie without standing. Start her gentlemen – how much? Nothing in the world aids her except the distemper – would be just as good without it – start her, how much?" Bidding runs up to $50 and the distempered mare is destined to graze in Williamson County, until she doubles in value. Men of all nationalities and occupations are present, butchers, bakers, farmers, merchants, sporting men, and officers, all desirous of investing in a broken down, good horse. One genius from Green Erin who had purchased two horses at the extravagant price of $1 each, mourned to see his property, elongated in the muddy ground with no ultimate prospect of their ever arising again, and if horses could be said to on a man's hands, the two one dollar animals perished on the palms of the unfortunate Hibernian. Many of the horses brought high prices and but few sold for less than ten dollars. Occasionally an animal would appear on whom no bid could possibly be had. This drawback on the sale was promptly remedied by the Auctioneer who would immediately call for another horse and then sell the pair. We have every reason to believe that the results of the sale meets the approbation of the authorities. Visitors to the yards were charmed with the neatness of the fences, the shops and store-houses, and the admirable arrangements for feeding and watering the large number of horses and mules under Lieut. Irvin's charge. He has, indeed, succeeded in creating a system and order, where before all was delay and confusion, and, therefore, merits the praises freely bestowed on him by both officers and citizens of being one of the mot efficient Quartermasters ever in this Department.
Nashville Daily Press, May 11, 1863.

[1] This poem's racist tone was typical of many 19th century Caucasian attitudes toward the African-American. It is posted here because it is a historical document, not to taunt or make fun of anyone whatever. It is not intended to launch a debate of the type that now engulfs Mark Twain's use of the "n" word in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. It is a historic document and is presented in that fashion only. It says more about the author and white society than it does his subject.

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