Tuesday, September 13, 2011

September 13 - Tennessee Civil War Notes

13, "Confederate School Books"
Dr. J. B. McFerrin, Agent of the Southern Methodist Publishing House, has placed upon our table several specimens of school books now being printed at that establishment. They are entitled "The Confederate Primer," "The First Confederate Speller," and "The Second Confederate Speller. The matter was arranged by an association of Southern Teachers, and the casual examination we have been able to give it, impresses us with the opinion that the work could not have been better done. The printing is clear, near and precise.
It affords us much pleasure to chronicle the fact that an effort is now being made in this city to supply a want long felt in Southern schools, and we hope to see the enterprise meet with the proper kind of encouragement.
Nashville Daily Gazette, September 13, 1861




13, "The Public Schools;" education in Memphis
Editor, Bulletin:
Since Monday morning, it has been a pleasant night to see so many youths of both sexes, with bright faces, light footsteps and lighter hearts, carrying armfuls of new books, wending their way to the schools newly opened.
Never did the public schools of Memphis open under better auspices. Many families that have hitherto patronized, private schools, and opposed those of the city, have taken down their colors, discontinued their opposition, and enrolled their children during the past week.
The Superintendent and sixteen teachers are daily engaged in the great and good work of instruction. Already, about one thousand youths, varying in age from six to sixteen years, are crowding daily to our city schools, and the teachers have taken hold with both hands and all their hears, and the work move bravely on. Here they are taught without money and without price, whether rich or poor, of high or low degree! May God bless the city schools.
The writer begs leave to suggest to the teachers the propriety of forming an association, and meeting regularly at stated times, to advise and assist and encourage each other in the noble work in which they are engaged. I am just from Cincinnati, and know that, there is such an association there, and that it is productive of much good. Why not enjoy the benefits here? Let all the teachers unite, both male and female, and have their regular meetings, admit members, lecture, read essays, discuss the merits of school books, etc., etc.. I am in favor of this, who will second the effort?
Gentlemen of the Board of School Visitors: Your title implies something of your duty, that is, to visit the schools. IF you will visit them all, and often, much good will result. Let all see that you feel a deep interest in the schools, for, rest assured, much depends upon you.
Finally I would say to parents, that the teachers need their cooperation. Without [it]. little good can be effected. See that your children attend regularly. Encourage them to be studious and obedient. Show that you feel some interest in the success of those who labor through winter's cold, and summer's scorching heat, to prepare the rising youth for usefulness in life. Visit the schools, speak kind words to the teachers, and let us all labor to promote the good cause.
A.M.S., Memphis, September 13, 1863.
Memphis Bulletin, September 13, 1863.



13, "Terrible Accident at Fort Pickering."
A terrible accident, by which two men were instantly killed, and four badly wounded, occurred at Fort Pickering, between nine and ten o'clock yesterday morning. The magazine of Battery A, 3d United States Colored Heavy Artillery, located immediately on the river bank, at the foot of the bluffs, suddenly exploded for some unknown cause, producing a concussion that was felt throughout the greater portion of the city. A dense volume of smoke arose, that was seen from all points, and attracted hundreds to the levee, who supposed that the noise was caused by the explosion of some steamboat. Some were so foolish as to think that Forrest was again thundering at the city gates, and bethought themselves of secure hiding places, while the professor traveled homeward to shove his "millish" uniform up the chimney, as on a former occasion.
The origin of the explosion is unknown. The door of the magazine which was of wood, had not been opened since the day previous, and sentries are always upon guard. About thirty yards from the scene of the explosion is a steam saw mill, which was fronted by the door of the magazine, and it was the general impression among the officers yesterday, that sparks from the mill entered through crevices in the door, and ignited the powder, of which there were abut 800 pounds, besides a number of shell. It is estimated that about 150 shells exploded; fragments wee found scattered in all directions of the fort. There is not a vestige of the magazine left standing, and the ground in the immediate vicinity is ploughed up to the depth of several feet. The saw mill was only slightly damaged on the roof by exploding shells. The residence of Lieutenant Colonel Harper, commanding the 3d United States colored heavy artillery [sic] which forms a portion of the garrison of [the] fort was violently shaken by the concussion all the windows (sashes and all) in the house being broken, the plastering displaced, and the furniture generally demolished. Some articles were thrown from one side of rooms to the other. Mrs. Harper, one or two children and a gentleman, beside servants, were in the house at the time, but, fortunately, none of them we in the least injured. When we visited the premises a half hour after the explosion, Mrs. Harper was busily engaged getting things to rights, as calmly and coolly as if nothing unusual had happened, not showing the least peturbation [sic] or nervousness as peculiar to her sex under similar circumstances. So much for a solder's wife. The house is situated on the bluffs, about one hundred feet above the spot where the magazine stood, and some thirty feet back from the edge. Numerous pieces of shell and fragments of the magazine were picked up in the yard. A little boy was playing in the yard when they fell, and was uninjured.
The casualties were as follows: Killed-- Private Geo. Washington, co. A, 3d U.S. C.H.A., and Thos. Knevals (white) Government employee; Wounded: -- Sergeant Rice, co. A., 3d U.S.C.H.A., David Macklin, co. C, 3d U.S.C.H.A.; Sam Rice, co. A, 3d U.S.C.H.A. and Pat Smidy (white) Government employee.
There were about twelve or fifteen soldiers and Government employees standing near when the accident occurred, who, with the exception of the above, are supposed to have escaped. It was thought that one or two more were blown into the river, but is generally discredited. Private Washington was on guard at the magazine. He was blown over a hundred feet into the air, and descended a shapeless mass, minus a leg, which could not be found. Thomas Kneavals, who was engaged repairing the railroad in the fort, in front of the magazine with several other laborers, had his head blown to atoms by a shell. His brains were scattered over the persons of his co-laborers. Smidy was wounded in both legs, and my have to supper amputation. Private Macklin was wounded in the back by a shell, and cannot possibly survive. Sergeant Rice was also wounded in the back, seriously, but it is thought, not fatally. The other is seriously wounded, but is expected to recover. The others standing near were only prostrated by the concussion. No injury was done to the armament of the fort, and the damages otherwise, can speedily be repaired.
Since writing the above we learn that it has been discovered that the explosion was caused by the accidental discharge of a musket in the hands of the sentry, the charge lodging in a box of catridges [sic].
Memphis Bulletin, September 14, 1864.



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