Tuesday, June 28, 2011

June 27 - Tennessee Civil War Notes

27, A Readyville mother's plea to free her son from the Federal prisoner-of-war camp

[Readyville, Rutherford County]

June the 27th 1862

Mr [sic] Andrew Johnson. Govner [sic] of Tennessee

I have a request to make of you which I hope you may grant[.] The favour I have to ask is that you will let Alley Abernathy come home on a parole of honor and stay 2 months as a prisoner at home, [sic] he is my oldest child I hav [sic] a living[.] his [sic] brother got killed in blowing rock in a sister [sic] two years ago. my [sic] husband died 15 months ago, the only son I have with me had his thigh broke, and his breast bone broke and twisted out of its natural placed, and is injured inwardly so blood passes from him whenever he fatiuegs [sic] himself [sic], he is disabled for life.. it [sic] was done by falling from a swing 2 years ago, I have three little girles [sic] to rase [sic], if you would grant my requst [sic] it would confer a great favour on me, [sic] I will not sate the character of Alley[.] He is a study [sic] kind hearted boy and if he has an enimy [sic] on earth I do not know it. Profeser [sic] Jarmon says he is the best boy that ever went to school to him in Murfreesboro[.] he [sic] is also a Christain, and you must remember that the privates did not cause the war, theay [sic] were forced to take up arms on one side of the other and theay [sic] made their choice to go with the south[.] As to Alley he said had [sic] rather be in his grave it was the lords [sic] will than to go to war, but he said he would not go as a drafted man, [sic]

As to my own part I am not bitter at either party, as I think it a fulfillment of the bible [sic]. as [sic] the learned of all denominations admit that their [sic] is some important event to take place between this and 1866 the melenial [sic] year is to ursure in it is expected by a grat maney [sic]. and [sic] if that be a correct opinion we all should be ready to appear before the juge [sic] to receive our final doom. That [sic] knows no change, [sic] here we hope for a change of our prisnors [sic] or pease [sic], that they may return to their homes. but [sic] one hope I have for my child if we meet hear [sic] on earth no more [sic] that I will meet him around the throne of god [sic] whear [sic] no harm can reach him [sic],
Mr. Johnson you have power now but recollect the bible says whatsoever measure we mete out it will be measured back again, but I must stop for perhaps I have written more than you will read by remember [sic] the feeling of a parent and grant my requst [sic].

Please answer this, and I will ever be under many obligations to you, if you would let all the boys come home on a parole of honor it is my opinion that theay [sic], would return when called for, and I do not think it would be any injury to the north for theay; [sic] are escaping, and coming home and as theay [sic], cannot stay at home, theay [sic] are forced to go to the southern army, but if theay [sic] were permitted to come home on a parole of honor they would be glad to remain at home in a [sic] honorable way[.] no [sic] more at present.

Yours with respet [sic]
Narcissa R. Hall

This letter I wish to be kept private[.]

The Prisoners that I wish released was taken at Donolson [sic][.] theay [sic] are at camp Butler near springfield [sic] Illinois[.]

Papers of Andrew Johnson, Vol. 5, pp.509-510.








27, Voting Early and Often in Memphis Municipal Election

Illegal Voting.

We referred yesterday to the large amount of illegal voting practiced all over the city, in the election of Mayor. "A Citizen of the Fourth ward, who was present at the election, sends us the following communication. He thinks that those who voted in that ward were legally qualified. We are free to say, that from all we have learned, the election in that ward was conducted in a fairer and more lawful manner than in some other places, and this is seen in the result wrought out. And yet, as our correspondent admits, illegal voters made an attempt to carry the election there as elsewhere. Hundreds of illegal voters – foreigners just landed here, with nothing but their oath of allegiance – tried to vote, and if the judges there had been as derelict as some of them were, they would have exercised the right of suffrage without let or hindrance. These same men, thus refused a vote because the hand no right to vote, desired to compromise by voting only for general officers magnanimously proffering to pretermit the electing of Aldermen. But one of the judges of the election succeeded in making these fresh friends of misrule understand that they couldn't vote at all, and more, that they attempt to do so was illegal, and that if they attempted it again he would present their names before a grand jury for indictment! This quieted the persistent patriots, and they left, avowing their determination to vote elsewhere, where the officers were not so particular.

We cordially indorse what our correspondent says about the responsibility for illegal voting resting upon "the city authorities," who make this appointment of judges of election! The responsibility does not rest with them; but who believes that the primary object with them, under existing circumstances, was to prevent [sic] the lamentable disregard of the election law, which was everywhere so patent and shameless?
Editor Bulletin:

In your paper of yesterday, on the subject of illegal voting, you say that fraud was practices all over the city. Now, so far as the Fourth ward is concerned, allow me to suggest that you are probably in error, for in that ward only one hundred and thirteen votes were polled under the provision of this city charter, which makes it necessary that every voter shall be a citizen of the United States, a bon fide citizen of Memphis six months – and of the ward in which he offers to vote thirty days next preceding the election. It is true a good many did try to vote in the Fourth ward, by showing their oath of allegiance merely, allowed to vote early and often in the other wards, as was probably the case, merely upon showing that paper, which did not entitle them to a vote at all, but faulty was with those who conducted the election, and who were sworn to hold it according to law; and the fault also lies with the city authorities in not appointing competent judges and clerks to hold the election according to law, as the charter requires

Citizen of Fourth Ward.[1]

Memphis Daily Bulletin, June 27, 1863.

[1] Corrupt machine politics were not limited to the cities of the northeast, as this document testifies. It may be possible likewise to see in this story an example resistance by Confederate partisans to Federal rule of the city on the part of the incumbent Mayor and Board of Aldermen.





27, Orders No. 28, Office of Inspector of Fortifications
Headquarters District of Tennessee
Office of Inspector of Fortifications
Nashville, Tenn., June 27th, 1864
Order No. 28
Quartermasters of troops garrisoning the blockhouses along the lines of the railroads, will make requisitions immediately for the tools and materials necessary to complete the block houses, and to keep them in good order.
Each block-house commander will draw the tools from the proper quartermaster.
Every block-house must be considered as depending wholly upon itself in case of an attack. Every block-house will have a permanent garrison and commander assigned to it who will be held responsible for its safety and condition. The practice which prevails at some points of sending a new guard and relieving the old none every day from some other point will cease.
The work on the block-houses will be carried on by the garrisons under the direction of the Assistant Inspectors who will give all necessary instructions to that end.
The work on the block-houses will be carried on by the garrisons under the direction of the Assistant Inspectors who will give all necessary instructions to that end.
The Assistant Inspectors will make reports to this office on the 1st and 15th of each month stating the amount and kind of work done since last report. In case there is any infraction of the rules and regulations, the Assistant Inspectors will report the name, rank, &c. of the officer responsible therefor and state the particulars.
The following list will serve as a guide to the tools required in each block-house:
3 Shovels 3 spades
3 picks 1 adze
2 broad axes 1 large cross-cut saw
1 hand saw 1 rip hand saw,
2 axes 1 hammer (claw)
1 hatchet 10 lbs. each, 10-penny and 20-penny nails
1 2-inch auger 1 2-inch framing chisel
1 1-inch auger 1 1-inch framing chisel
2 mallets 2 Wheelbarrows
1 lb. chalk 2 chalk lines
1 steel square
By command of Maj. Gen. Rousseau
Jas. R. Willett, 1st Lt., 88th Ill. Inf'ty, Inspector of Fortifications, Dist. Tennessee
Nashville Daily Times and True Union, July 28, 1864


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