Allegations of Confederate Postal Service Discrimination against the Knoxville Whig
The Mails and the Whig.
The following correspondence will explain itself, and is deemed by us of sufficient importance to be published. Our motives for addressing a note to our city Post Master were, to give him an opportunity to acquit himself and deputies of blame. Our belief was, when we wrote the note to him, that justice was done us in this office, but we wanted his evidence to aid in fixing blame elsewhere, which it does.
It occurs to us, that if Attorney Ramsey, and Judge Humphreys, would devote a part of the time they spend in arresting Union men, in such cases of abuse and corruption, as are disclosed in this correspondence, they should render the people real service:
Knoxville, August 7th, 1861
C. W. Charlton, Post Master: - As my subscribers at various points in East Tennessee, no greater distance from here than Union, Blount, Roane, Anderson and Sevier counties, adjoining, inform me that they have not received a copy of my paper for three weeks past, while the Register is regular in its arrival, the object of this note is to ask you if the Whig is started out from your office in the mails, regularly? Next, I desire to know if the Confederate authorities, at Richmond have forbid [sic] the transmission of my paper through their mails. Your prompt answer will much oblige.
W. G Brownlow.
Knoxville, Aug. 7 1861
Rev. W. G. Brownlow: - Dear Sir – Your note, just received. I have had no authority, from Richmond to "forbid the transmission of my (your) paper through their mails." – It is certainly remarkable that your paper does not reach your subscribers in East Tennessee, for, this far, I have tried to do my whole duty in properly distributing your paper. It has been done in no office, and [I] challenge proof to the contrary.
C. W. Charlton, P.M.
Knoxville, August 20, 1861
Hon. Mr. Regan, P. M. General, & c. – The Route Agent on the Road from here to Bristol, has stated in one of our principal Stores, that he would throw my newspaper packages out of the car as the train might be passing, on the ground of its being an incendiary sheet. The Packages have been seen cast out of the window as the train was crossing the Bridge at Loudon, on the Road below this, floating and sinking. In various instances the Post Masters refuse to hand them out, and, suppress them, contrary to the wishes of the people they reside among, and profess to serve.
I respectfully enquire of you, if there is no remedy for these evils? There are nine [sic] newspapers published in East Tennessee, and claim to have more subscribers than the other eight, all put together. M subscribers all pay postage, and pay the Confederate rates. – Is it fair that they should be treated in this way? Are these up-starts, Route Agents, Deputy Post Masters, to decide what papers are incendiary in their character? – rather, should the not the Authorities of Tennessee determine this grave question, under or laws, which are ample? Here the paper is published, and here it proposed to circulate.
It is late for me to publish a paper if I am denied the facilities of the mails for its circulation. And if these are refused by the employees of the Department, it is idle to talk about the freedom of the Press.
I write to you in no captious spirit, but having been thus treated for months, I would like to have your views on the subject, and know the purposes of the Department. –
Meanwhile, I am
Your obliged servant,
W. G Brownlow
CONFEDERATE STATES OF AMERICA.
POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT
Richmond, September 10th, 1861
Sir: - Your favor of the 30th ult., complaining that Post Masters have refused to deliver the "Knoxville Whig" to its subscribers and that a Route Agent has declared that he would throw all packages of the paper from the Mail Car while in motion – is received.
The Post-Master General desires me to say to you that, deeming it to be entirely within the province of State authorities to suppress incendiary matter published or circulated within their limits, has, though frequently urged to do so with reference to the "Knoxville Whig": and other journals, invariably refused to authorize any Agent or Officer of the Post Office Department to decide what shall or shall not pass through the mails, or interfere with the circulation of any newspaper in any way whatever.
If you will give to the Department the name of any person so offending, the matter shall be investigated, and the party dealt with according to his guilt; the terms of your letter being of such a general character that a charge is not made against any particular Officer.
I am, sir,
B. N. Clement, Chief Appointment Bureau.
KNOXVILLE, September 17, 1864
Hon. B. N. Clement: - Your letter of the 10th inst., is before me, and is satisfactory as to the course of your Department. The instances in which Post Masters refuse to hand out my newspaper, and numerous, are dispersed throughout the country. The one at Red Clay, on the State line, has obstinately refused to hand out m y paper for some time, and boasted that he took the responsibility to suppress it. The one at Wytheville, Va., has done the same thing. The one at Murphey, N. C., has been doing so, and been opening other men's letters. His name is Stewart [sic]. The one at Ringgold, Ga., is doing so at this time. The one at Memphis, in this State, has been doing so for months. And gentlemen tell me who have at Bristol, that my packages were thrown aside there, and suffered to lie over when they should have been sent forward. The citizens of Sevier county, have been sending a special messenger for many weeks, after my paper, because it could not get through by mail. The distance is some thirty miles, and I am unable to say which of the several Post Masters on the route commits the outrage of destroying my packages.
On the Railroad going south from here, there are m ore Route Agents than one, and I am not able to say who was on the train at the time the packages were thrown over board from the Loudon bridge. The Agent on the Road leading to Bristol, who boasted of his purpose to throw packages over board, while the cars were in motion is a Mr. Cawood [sic].
I will add, that the pretended letters of Andrew Johnson [sic], address to Amos A. Lawrence of Boston, were forgeries of the most base and palpable character, and the forgery was committed in this town, and is susceptible of proof, if our city Post Master and Deputies will tell to whom they handed out the letters, addressed by Lawrence to Johnson. [sic] This they must do before they can exonerate themselves. Let Gov. Johnson be what he may I consider an investigation of this abuse of the Confederate mails, alike due to him, and to the Government of the Confederate States. It is a very bas case and of palpable corruption, and is so regarded by all honest men, of all parties, familiar with the case.
I am, sir,
Your obliged servant,
W. G. Brownlow.
Brownlow's Whig and Independent Journal, September 28, 1861.
28, Conditions inside the Confederate hospital in Chattanooga; an entry from the diary of Kate Cummings
Have been very busy all week, too much so to write in my journal. Three men died in the course of the week. On the 26th, John Wilkinson, a member of the Fifth Mississippi Regiment, from Neshobo [sic] County; on the 27th, D. W. Jarvis, from Coffeeville, Alabama, a member of the Thirty-second Alabama Regiment; same date, John Cotton, member of Sixteenth Louisiana Regiment, of Rappee Parish, La. These men were in a very low state when first brought in from the camps.
Diarrhea [sic] is the prevailing disease among the patients. I have been so busy that I have not taken time to visit Mrs. M's ward. She has many sick men, as has also Mrs. WS. They both have a great deal of trouble. The stove smokes as badly ever. I have the use of one that belongs to the surgeons. (They all mess together; their kitchen and dining-room are near my ward.) It answered for what little I have to cook -- beef-tea, toast, sago, and arrow-root. I have a nice little distributing room in the ward, which the head nurse, George Bean, has fixed up very neatly.
The great cry of our sick is for milk. We could buy plenty, but have no money. We get a little every day for the worst cases, at our own expense. I intend letting the folks at home know how many are suffering for want of nourishment, for I feel confident that if they knew of it they would lend us means.
Last week, in despair, I went to Dr. Young, the medical purveyor, and begged him to give me some wine; in fact, any little thing, I told him, would be acceptable. I did not come away empty-handed. He gave me arrow-root, sago, wine and several kinds of spices, and many things in the way of clothing.
In every hospital there is invariable a fund, there is not at present in this [one]. The reason, we have been told, is because the hospitals at this point are in debt to the government, by drawing more money from it than their due, and until it is paid we will get no more. The fund consists so money drawn instead of the soldiers['] rations.
Mrs. W. and myself went to the Episcopal Church this morning. There were very few present. The pastor's, Rev. Mr. Denniston, sermon was a political one.
I went to give my sick men their dinners, and found that the food I had cooked for them was spoiled. I asked Huldah, the negro woman who cooks for the surgeons, who had ruined everything. She told me the steward's wife had bee over there and put handfuls of salt into the beef-tea and other things. She had done the same before, but I did not know who did it. My poor men had to go that day dinnerless. I do not know when I have felt so badly about any thing [sic]. I am afraid the next thing she does will be to attempt my life. We had made up our minds, if Dr. Hunter did not put an end to these persecutions, it would be impossible for us to remain here. One of the assistant surgeons came to me, and told me that if Dr. Hunter did not put a stop to them, he and the other assistant surgeons would do so. But I have been informed that Dr. H. has told the steward, that if his wife comes over to this side of the hospital he will then her out altogether. It seems we will never get rid of troubles of this sort.
When we first came here Dr. H. told us that there was another lady coming to assist us; we found out who she was, and concluded if she came we would not remain. We told Dr. H. what we knew of her, and he said that was strange, as he had certificates from our first surgeons. I told him there were some of them whose certificates I did not value as much as the paper they were written on. He said on no account would he have her come.
Had a visit a few days ago from Dr. Flewellen, he congratulated us on our admission to the hospitals. He is one of those surgeons who approves of ladies being in hospitals. We went to see him when visiting this place, and he told us the ladies did good in may; ways; the principle good was, that where they were the surgeons and nurses were more apt to attend to the patients than they would otherwise be.
We have a good deal of trouble about servants; the soldiers do the coking, in fact all the domestic work. We have a few free Negroes, and they give us no little trouble. For this reason the slaves here are not near so respectful as they are with us; although they seem to have great contempt for the free Negroes. The other day I heard the doctor's servant indignantly say that some one had spoken to her as if she was free, and had no master to care for her.
There are quite number of soldiers in the place who can not get on to their commands, as the country is filled with bushwhackers, and it is dangerous for them to go through it unless in very large bodies.
I am a good deal worried about my brother, as I have not heard from him since the army went into Kentucky.
Cumming, A Journal of Hospital Life, pp. 46-47.
28, Confederate sharpshooters' targets near Chattanooga
No circumstantial reports filed.
HDQRS. THIRD DIVISION, TWENTY-FIRST ARMY CORPS, Chattanooga, September 28, 1863.
Capt. E. A. OTIS, Assistant Adjutant-Gen.:
SIR: Our picket line has been undisturbed within the last twenty-four hours, except by a few sharpshooters at a house and in trees; as is usual, they fire at officers and bodies of men only. Two pieces of artillery were seen moving through the woods yesterday. Last night about tattoo two bands were playing and there was a great deal of cheering in the enemy's, convincing me that the force was not so insignificant as I at first supposed. The pickets report that speeches were made and caused the cheering.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
P. T. SWAINE, Col., 99th Ohio Vol. Infantry, Comdg. Advance Forces.
OR, Ser. I, Vol. 30, pt. III, pp. 916-917.
28, "Nashville Refugee Hospital."
To the Editor of the Nashville Dispatch
This institution call loudly upon the flourishing community for help. Help for the friendless, dejected, despairing females and helpless infancy [sic], prostrated by sickness and infirmities, caused by privations incident to war, with scarcely a hope, but in the dark silence of the grave. Few are aware that hundreds of this class are daily to be cared for, or left to sufferings to horrible for contemplation.
How striking the works of One, who said; "I was a stranger and ye took me in, naked and ye clothed me, sick and in prison, and ye ministered unto me; inasmuch as ye have done it unto the last of these, ye have done it unto me.
Some contributions have been received from the North; Government has kindly done, and is doing, but this institution must fail in its Heavenly mission unless this community extend its timely assistance. Ladies, gentlemen, you and old, can you not, will you not spare something for those who are ready to perish that their blessings may fall on you? The "Nashville Ladies' Aid" -- which about one year ago ran into existence at Mercy's call -- has done what she could; and now, with exhausted treasury, calls through her committee upon our citizens for contributions of money or clothing, all of which will be thankfully received and duly acknowledged through the daily papers.
Mrs. H. G. Scovel, Residence, Summer st.
" Dr. Fletcher " "
" Capt. Allen No 75 North Market st
" Rev. R. H. Allen "
" Major Hopkins No. 6 North Vine st.
"" A. P. Shankland " 9 " "
" James Cameron " 85 North College st.
" Perrine South College st
" Rev. Goodfellow 162 South Cherry st.
" E. A. McGinnis S.W. corner College and Line sts
Nashville Dispatch, September 28, 1864.
28, Confederate raiders destroy telegraph lines and railroad track near Tullahoma
Report of Maj. Gen. Robert H. Milroy, U. S. Army.
HDQRS. DEFENSES NASHVILLE AND CHATTANOOGA, R. R., Tullahoma, Tenn., October 20, 1864.
MAJ.: In obedience to the telegraph order this day received from the major-general commanding the District of Tennessee to furnish a report of the operations of the troops under my command during recent movements of the enemy against our railroads, I respectfully submit the following brief statement of the very brief operations of my command during recent movements of the enemy against our railroads:
I learned on the 28th [ultimo] [September] that the rebel forces under Forrest were moving east from Pulaski in the direction of this railroad. I kept cavalry scouting parties well out on the various roads leading west, to ascertain at what point he aimed to strike. On the night of the 28th ultimo, a small scouting party of rebels cut the telegraph wire, tore up and burned the railroad track to a small extent three miles north of this place. I sent out a construction train early in the morning of the 29th, with a guard, and soon repaired the break in the track and wire. In the afternoon of the same day a scouting party of the Twelfth Indiana Cavalry met Forrest's advance eleven miles out, a short distance from Lynchburg, and had a sharp skirmish with them. I confidently expected an attack at this place the next morning, the 30th ultimo, but to my great disappointment and disgust they failed to come, and my preparations for meeting them were useless, and my expected opportunity for wiping off the trust of fourteen months' comparative inactivity was lost.
Forrest turned back immediately after the skirmish above mentioned, and this railroad has not since been disturbed by his or any other rebel forces.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
R. H. MILROY, Maj.-Gen.
OR, Ser. I, Vol. 39, pt. I, p. 512