Wednesday, August 31, 2011

August 31 - Tennessee Civil War Notes

31, Progress in the Printing of Bibles for Confederate Soldiers

The Word of God is Not Bound.

The first set of plates for printing pocket Bibles and Testaments ever owned and worked in the South were laid upon the press of the Southwestern Publishing House last Wednesday, and it can now be said for the first time that the South is independent of the North for the Word of God. Lincoln no longer binds the Word of God.

These plates for the Bible and Testament have cost, including tariff, ($150), freight and other expenses connected with them, some $1250. More than one-half of this sum was contributed by the brethren and citizens of West Tennessee and North Alabama to us personally—to enable the Publishing House to print cheap Bibles and Testaments for the Confederate soldiers. There is not another set of plates on which a pocket Bible or pocket Testament can be printed in the Southern Confederacy to-day.

Believing that the balance for the plates will be contributed as a voluntary offering to the enterprise, the Southwestern Publishing House offers to print Bibles and Testaments for the Confederate army at the following rates:

Pocket Testaments.—Plain $12.50 per 100—15 cts. retail; Gilt Sides $15 per 100—20 cts. retail.

Pocket Bibles.--$7.50 to $12 per dozen, according to style and binding. Fine bound copies, with name in gilt letters, from $2 to $5 per copy. Let every community that has sent out a company forward each soldier a Bible or Testament, and a package of religious tracts—price 25 cents per package of 300 pages.

Will all our exchanges in the South call attention to this enterprise, and to the fact that the Southwestern Publishing House offers to supply 100,000 Bibles and Testaments for the Confederate army at cost of material and labor?

Tennessee Baptist, August 31, 1861.



31, Camp Meetings in East Tennessee

But a few Camp Meetings are being held this season, in our country, and the few that have been held have been failures. Indeed, we think it advisable to call in such as they may have been appointed. The state of feeling in the country, is by no means favorable to religious meetings of any sort. The people are arrayed against each other, and all are on one side or the other. This might be, and produce no mischief it the people would refrain from heated discussions, and govern their temper, as they might do, and as they really ought to do. But, as a general thing, the Preachers have acted so badly, as to destroy confidence in them, or kill off all respect for them. No class of Church members have been as intemperate, as proscriptive as those Preachers who have entered into this contest. The result is, that in all the congregations of the country, there is a division in sentiment, and a portion of the congregation are  unwilling to hear these men preach. Others, who may not have entered into angry disputations, have aspired to be Chaplains in the army, and whether the people are just or unjust in their reflections upon them or not they nevertheless incline to the opinion that it is the eighty or ninety dollars per month that they are after. Believing this, though it may be uncharitable, these men can't preach profitably to the people. Upon the whole, we think it most advisable to hold as few camp meetings as possible this season.

We cannot but think that the following prophetic language from the book of Jeremiah (chap. 10th) was intended for this country and generations:

"My tabernacle is spoiled, and all my cords broken, my children are gone forth of me, and they are not: there is none to stretch forth my ten any more, and to set up my curtains. For the pastors are become brutish, and have not sough the Lord; therefore they shall not prosper, and all their flocks shall be scattered."

This is rapidly fulfilling. The Pastors are becoming brutish, advising bloodshed and death, and the flocks are scattering - Churches are breaking up - men and women are refusing to attend religious services. They say that they hear no prayers for peace - no sermons favorable to practical Christianity - no exhortations to repentance and faith - but they are annoyed with prayers against the blockade - sermons favorable to war - and exhortations making assaults upon private character. To be a member of the Church, is no longer a passport to any one, but he who can make it appear that he has no connection with any Church, is less liable to be suspected of villainy than the Church-going man. This s a sad picture of affairs, but it is nevertheless a true one!

Brownlow's Knoxville Whig, August 31, 1861.


31, "Divine Worship."

Nearly all the churches in the city, which have been occupied as military hospitals, are restored to their congregations. We were glad to notice yesterday that divine services were held in the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. The Sabbath School teachers of this and the McKendree Church also held meeting, yesterday morning, for the purposes of reorganization. It is hoped that the renovation of all the churches lately given up will soon be accomplished, that our Sabbath days may again present the holy appearance, and our people reinstate the religious influences which should ever distinguish a Christian land.

Nashville Daily Press, August 31, 1863.


31-September 2, 1863, Federal scout from Smith's Cross Roads to Kingston
HDQRS. FIRST Brig. SECOND CAVALRY DIVISION, Smith's Cross-Roads, Tenn., Valley, September 2, 1863.
Lieut.-Col. GODDARD, Assistant Adjutant-Gen., Dept. of the Cumberland:
SIR: In compliance with the requirements of paragraph 1, General Orders, No. 53, current Series, from headquarters Department of the Cumberland, I have the honor to make the following report:
I am encamped between Smith's Cross-Roads and Morganton with 1, 100 men Fourth U. S. Regular Cavalry, Fourth Michigan, and Seventh Pennsylvania Cavalry, with two pieces of artillery. My scouts traverse the country between Sulphur Springs, above Washington, and Thatcher's Ferry, below Sale Creek, daily, and constant visits are paid to the innumerable ford and ferries between these points.
A scout of 200 men which I sent to Kingston night before last [August 31] has this moment returned, bringing in 12 prisoners. We lost 1 man mortally wounded. Some of Gen. Burnside's men entered Kingston with my men, and last night there was a large force of them there.
Forrest has fallen back across the Tennessee, having first destroyed a large portion of his wagon train. The night before last three steam-boats, the Tennessee, the Holston, and the James Glover, towing six barges, came down from Loudon, and are now up the Hiwassee; the boats were all light. All the boats, barges, &c., left t Loudon were collected together for the purpose of being burned. A large fire was seen at Loudon on Sunday evening-by some supposed to be the boats, by others the bridge.
The river between here and Kingston is strongly guarded. At Blythe's and Doughty's Ferries intrenchments have been thrown up, but I think the guns have been removed within the last couple of days; the force at Blythe's Ferry is now the Twenty-eight [Thirty-second] and Forty-third [forty-fifth] Mississippi, under Col. Lowrey. Gen. Clayton's brigade arrived on the 22d from below, but on Saturday, the 29th, they moved again in the direction of the railroad.
A deserter form the Twenty-sixth Tennessee, at Loudon, states that Buckner's command has crossed the Tennessee River at that place, and are now being pushed forward as fast as possible toward Chattanooga. Eighty-seven men deserted from the Twenty-sixth Tennessee within the last ten days.
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
R. H. G. MINTY, Col., Comdg.
OR, Ser. I, Vol. 30, pt. III, p. 316.


31, Contingents of Wheeler's cavalry skirmish near Murfreesboro and Smyrna

Our squadron (Capt. Rheagan's) was ordered to move on to Murfreesboro and drive in the yankee pickets, but when we arrive we found no pickets outside the fortifications. We could see the sentinels on the breastworks, walking their beats. We remained about two hours on picket duty, within a few hundred yards of the works, and then we discovered a body of the enemy's cavalry attempting to get in our rear and cut us off. We fell back and avoided a collision. During this time our command was moving on Smyrna to destroy the railroad. We followed it up, and rejoined our regiment to night. The command captured one stockade to night. We are camped nine miles from Nashville.

Diary of William A. Sloan, August 31, 1864.



 "We fought till one o'clock when the Rebel General fired twelve pound cannon six times at us …"an account of an encounter with Wheeler's cavalry on Blockhouse No. 6 on the N&C Railroad.

Nashville, Tenn.

Sept. 9th, 1864

Dear parents, brothers and sisters,

I was sorry not to get a letter from you for so long. You perhaps heard that the Rebel General Wheeler destroyed and burned 30 miles of track.

This Rebel General with 6 or 8,000 men encountered us just as we had torn down ¼ of our headquarters, because we wanted to use the wood or material for our new blockhouse. He came at night and at seven in the morning we already shot at his cavalry which destroyed and burned the railroad. I fired the second shot and I am sure I didn't miss. We fought till one o'clock when the Rebel General fired twelve pound cannon six times at us, but he only hit the blockhouse once. [emphasis added.] Since we have lost all ground we had to give ourselves up. He burned down the blockhouse containing everything that he didn't want. He took us with him and let us go after forty miles. We did not get anything to eat except twice fat bacon or bread. I had two ears of corn and an apple besides which were very good and I wouldn't have sold them for ten dollars. The corn I had stolen from a donkey at night. Now there are 31 of us in Nashville in a very big house which belonged to the Rebel General Zollicaffer [sic].

Here now we get enough to eat. Perhaps today or tomorrow we go back to our old place. The Rebels too us with them 2½ days till [sic] our artillery and infantry were on their heels, then they let us go. But the Rebels got beaten up pretty much. Black soldier took from them 3 cannon and some 100 soldiers and horses. On our way back [to Murfreesboro] we met the ninth Ohio Cavalry….They were after Wheeler.

Will close now and write you a longer letter next time.

Miller Correspondence.


Murfreesboro, Tenn.

Sept. 11, 1864

Dear parents,

Arrived safe and sound in Murfreesboro today. We were all in the blockhouse on Aug. 31 when at 7:00 o'clock we saw about 50 men on horseback about ½ mile behind our house marching to the railroad. Then a fellow named Martin Stimmel and I went to see what they were doing and saw them start to tear up the railroad ties – we each fired 5 or 6 shots and they feet after four or five ties were torn up. As we turned to go back to our blockhouse their pistols shots rang out and we had to jump back. When be got back we saw 6,000 around our house about 1000 [sic] yards, so that we couldn't do very much with them. 8 or 10 of us went to the railroad bridge which they were trying to set afire and we made them jump. Several fell and we cold see them as they raised their hand before they fell. I am sure that I ht one of them because as soon as I shot at him, he fell. This was about noon – then five men came with a white flag and they wanted us to give up the blockhouse or they would put a cannon on it -- which later did happen. We said we wouldn't give it up and they left. In five minutes we saw that they had a 12 lb. Cannon brought out of the woods and they put it behind a little rise where we couldn't do anything to them and it was too far for our rifles. Then came shell after shell over our blockhouse -- two of them it a beam and shattered it. They shot at us six times and only hit twice -- then our Sergeant put up a white flag and they quit. You should have seen the Rebels coming out of the woods from every angle. They plundered out house and we had to stand in ranks. We burned our rifles (or twisted) so that they couldn't use them. They made us go with them for two days and two nights about 40-50 miles. Then they lest us go -- we had to leave everything behind – my pretty cane, and the picture frame I broke in two – I cut some of the design off the cane so they couldn't use it. When we were 1 1/3 miles away from the blockhouse we could see the smoke as they burned it down and they had hacked down the railroad bridge….If they would have arrived one day later, they could have taken us with one cannon shot. The log house where the other 30 men were was shot into twice, and from these 30 men there were 3 dead and 8 or 10 wounded. If we could have had an officer there instead of a sergeant there would have been more dead. The battle really went hot there. We are all very happy that we are back here again. If the Rebels come back later we will show them how Yankees can fight. They held back their Cavalry until the big dog which is a big cannon was used on us. We were very hungry on our trip but I made it well. I had to laugh when the others showed long faces and talked bad. They kept us in a house in Nashville and we walked back to our regiment in Murfreesboro some 30 miles away.

Miller Correspondence.


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