18, Capture of Unionists at the Doe River
JOHNSON STATION, November 19, 1861.
Hon. J. P. BENJAMIN:
Yesterday we dispersed the insurgents, 300 strong, at Doe River. Took thirty prisoners in the neighborhood; none very prominent. What shall be done with them? Are those not known as criminals to be released on their oath of allegiance? Those known to have been insurgents I recommend be sent to Richmond and kept there. Please telegraph to Jonesborough, Tenn.
OR, Ser. II, Vol. 1, p. 845
18, "Rebel Specimen of Integrity."
The following order, by the Rebel leader of a mounted corps of horse thieves and house-burners, teaches Union men some wholesome lessons:
Headquarters, Forrest's Cavalry Corps
Athens, [Tenn.] Sept. 28, 1863
General Order No. 80
I Notice is hereby given to all citizens who have been forced to take an oath of allegiance to the Federal Government, and in consequence thereof have fled the country and left their homes, that all such oaths and obligations are only binding so long as the Federals hold the country. All such citizens are advised to return to their homes, be quiet and peaceable; the Confederate authorities will not molest them.
II. All citizens aiding or abetting the Federals, pointing out Southern men, to have them oppressed and persecuted, or guiding or piloting them through the country, will, when arrested, be tried and later hung as spies and bushwhackers.
II. Notice is given to all prisoners captured at Vicksburg that they have been exchanged; and are expected to rendezvous, and rally again around their flag. Our army has been recently victorious at Chickamauga -- capturing 6,000 prisoners, 2,600 stand of small arms, and 41 piece[s] of artillery -- the enemy flying from the field leaving their dead and wounded in our hands. Your are relieved from all oaths and obligations to the Federal Government, of every character and kind, and will be unmolested in returning to your respective commands. As brave soldiers and Tennesseans, you are called upon to join you commands with delay.
N. B. Forrest, Brig. Gen. Commanding Forrest's Cav. Corps.
Forrest releases all rebels from the obligations of the Federal oath, and pardons their reasons for violating it. What an assumption of Divine power by a Memphis livery-stable keeper, an negro trader! But he did not need to grant them pardon, for nine-tenths of them had no intention to observe the oath when it was administered.
All citizens who made demonstrations in favor of the Union cause, upon the arrival of our forces, are to be shot or hung as spies. This the murderers and scoundrels have been carrying out. We should profit by their example and at least imprison rebel spies, and this city is full of them, both male and female spies. Let us send these spies and mail-carriers to prison; and after hearing the evidence in each case. let us send those of the male persuasion North, and those of the female gender South!
The notice given to prisoners captured at Vicksburg, that they have been exchanged is simply a lie, [sic] and this Memphis negro-trader knew it when he issued his order. They had not then been exchanged, nor have they yet been. There were then, a balance of more than forty thousand in our favor. This forcing of their paroled prisoners into ranks, under a false pretence [sic], shows to what extremes they are driven for the want of men and honor.
Brownlow's Whig and Independent Journal and Rebel Ventilator, November 18, 1863.