Monday, November 7, 2011

November 7 - Tennessee Civil War Notes

7, Major-General William T. Sherman explains to Mrs. Valeria Hurlbut
his policy of sending certain Memphis families south of Union lines as
a consequence of supporting Partisan attacks on ships [see also
October 19, 1862, Attack by Confederate guerrillas on U.S. steamships
Gladiator and Catahoula o¬n the Mississippi near Memphis]HEADQUARTERS
Memphis, November 7, 1862
Your letter of October __ [sic] was duly received. I did not answer it
at that time, as I had already instructed Colonel Anthony,
provost-marshal, to suspend the execution of the order expelling
certain families from Memphis for fifteen days, to enable them to
confer with the Confederate authorities upon the cause of that order,
viz, the firing from ambush on our boats carrying passengers and
merchandise by bands of guerrillas in the service of the enemy.
In war it is impossible to hunt up the actual perpetrators of a crime.
Those who are banded together in any cause are held responsible for
all the acts of their associates. The Confederate Government, in
resisting what we claim to be the rightful prerogative and authority
of our Government, by armies in the field and bands of armed men
called guerrillas or partisan rangers, claims for these latter all the
right of war, which means that the Confederate Government assumes the
full responsibility of the acts of these Partisan Rangers. These men
have, as you know, fired o¬n steamboats navigating on the Mississippi
River, taking the lives and endangering the safety of peaceful
citizens who travel in an accustomed way, in no wise engaged in the
operations of war. We regard this as inhuman and barbarous, and if the
Confederate authorities do not disavow them, it amounts to a sanction
and encouragement of the practice. We must stop this, and no measures
would be too severe. The absolute destruction of Memphis, New Orleans,
and every city, town and hamlet of the South would not be too severe a
punishment to people for attempting to interfere with the navigation
of the Mississippi. I have commenced mildly by requiring the families
of men engaged in this barbarous practice to leave and to their own
people. Certainly there can be no hardship for the wife and children
going to their won husbands and families. The ought to be glad of the
opportunity, and the measure, instead of being severs, is very mild.
How would they like it if they were to fire through the houses of
their wives and families. If any person will look at this question who
feels for our people, he or she will perceive that the measure of
retaliation is mild, and I do not promise by any means that in future
cases I will be so easy. Misplaced kindness to these guerrillas, their
families, and adherents is cruelty to our people. Were you to travel
o¬n a boat and have the bullets whistle and hear the demon yells of
these Confederate partisans, you would not feel so kindly disposed to
those who approve the act.
I have given them [the families, i.e.] time to disavow the attack o¬n
the Gladiator; they will have not done it. They therefore approve, and
I say not only shall the families go away, but all the Confederate
allies and adherents shall feel the power of an indignant Government.
OR, Ser. I, Vol. 17, pt. II, p. 860.

7, Governor Johnson's travel permitHeadquarters Mil. Div. of the
Miss.Nashville, Tenn. Nov 7,1863Permission is hereby given to Hon.
Andrew Johnson, Military Governor, State of Tenn. To pass, with
personal baggage, to any point within this Military Division, until
further orders. Military Rail Roads and Chartered steamers in
Government service will furnish Gov. Johnson free transportation. By
order of Maj. Genl. U. S. GrantW. R. Rowley, Major &Provost Marshal
GeneralPAJ, Vol. 6, p. 462.

7, Federal report on construction of pontoon bridge across the
Tennessee river HDQRS. NINTH ARMY CORPS, Lenoir's, Tennessee, November
7, 1863.Maj. Gen. J. G. PARKE, Chief of Staff, Knoxville,
Tennessee:GEN.: I have the honor to submit the following statements
for the information of the general commanding:One week ago to-day I
commenced the work given me by Gen. Burnside, and to-night I have
thirty pontoon-boats ready for the water, and can put the bridge in
to-morrow, unless my steam-engine fails. I have had the greatest
obstacles to overcome, for not a log was cut at the mill when I
commenced. I had nothing but mules to haul with, and no chains. I have
made cable of telegraph-wire for anchoring, and made nearly enough
small rope for lashings. I have found five yoke of oxen and put them
at work, and borrowed several chains. My work has been delayed for
want of carpenter and black-smith tools, as none are left in the shops
suitable for this work, and none of those taken from the shop have
been returned.There are a sufficient number of oxen in the country,
but the owners have safeguards from Gen. Carter* and will not allow
their cattle to work. One Mr. Grant, near here, has two yoke of cattle
and some blacksmith tools, but will not allow them to be used, and he
has protection papers, though he is a notorious rebel, and I am
informed has not taken the oath of allegiance. If I could get a
bellows and anvil to put into the blacksmith-shop, I should be much
better off. All the field-forges are busy with Government work, and it
is only after a long routine and much annoyance that I can obtain the
smallest jobs. But, against all these, I think I have as fine a bridge
as you could ask in eight days. It will take until Sunday noon to
complete my sawing for the flooring and balks, after which the mill
should lie still some two or three days for repair.The general wishes
me to go on making boats. I have not a nail to put into one, and
unless our capacity for blacksmithing is increased some way, I shall
not be able to go on for a number of days. If you can give me a few
days [three, say] to repair my machinery, have the tools of the shop
sent back here, and furnish me some nails, I can go on and make 100
feet of bridge complete in a day, and will do so. Of course I shall go
on as fast as I can under the circumstances, but the nails will be a
great delay. If I could have several blacksmiths at work making nails
of the seize of the ten penny nails, I could go on much faster.If the
people having cattle, blacksmith-shops, &c., about here could be made
to allow the Government the use of them, it would be of great service.
They decline when I offer to pay for the use, and to buy their cattle.
I am much in need of saws, saw-files, and like instruments.I can run
the cotton-mill and spin the cotton, and make as large a quantity of
rope as the general may need. I have enough ready spun to make a large
quantity. There is no regular rope-walk, but we can put one up out of
doors, and make rope of any length we please. Of course the longest
kind will be slow work. I find every kind of mechanic in the ranks
that I can ask.I shall be pleased to know the general's wishes about
my going on with the boats, and unless you want them at once, I will
construct a neat train.I send you a specimen of the rope I am making.
I can increase the size, but the size I send is sufficiently large for
lashings. We can make the cable of moderate size.I am, general, very
truly, your obedient servant,O. E. BABCOCK, Lieut.-Col., Asst. Insp.
Gen., Ninth Army Corps.OR, Ser. I, Vol. 31, pt. III, pp. 76-77.* Ed.
note - Upset that so many East Tennesseans were being victimized by
roaming Federal units, Brigadier-General S.P. Carter, the U.S. Provost
Marshall for all of East Tennessee, took measures to prevent casual
and summary appropriation of private property. In this fashion he was
working against the movement of his own army but in favor of his
fellow Unionist East Tennesseans.

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