November 28- December 8, 1861, Confederate military pacification of East Tennessee
HDQRS., Greeneville, East Tenn., November 28, 1861.
Gen. S. COOPER,
Adjutant and Inspector Gen., Richmond.
SIR: I think that we have effected something--have done some good; but whenever a foreign force enters this country be it soon or late three-fourths of this people will rise in arms to join them. At present they seem indisposed to fight and the great difficulty is to reach them. Scattering in the mountain paths they can scarcely be caught; and as their arms are hidden when not in use it is almost impossible to disarm the. Cavalry though a bad force for fighting them in case they would fight is yet the only force which can reach them. It is adequate too to disperse and capture them in their present state of morale. I am confident that a mounted regiment with two very light guns would do more to quiet this tier of counties than five times the number on foot. Twenty-two prisoners have been sent to Nashville from Carter County and we have now in confinement some five or six known to have been in arms and who will be sent to Tuscaloosa under the order of the War Department dated the 25th instant.
* * * *
Very respectfully, general, your obedient servant,
D. LEADBETTER, Col., Provisional Army, C. S., Cmdg.
OR, Ser. II, Vol. 1, p. 849.
HDQRS., Greenville, Tenn., December 8, 1861.
Gen. S. COOPER, Adjutant and Inspector Gen.:
SIR: At the date of my last letter a part of the force under my command was engaged in the pursuit of a part of insurgents moving from their camp, in the northern part of Greene, towards Cocke County. As usual, their force was dispersed and only some stragglers could be picked up. Among these prisoners were three who had been of the party that burned the Lick Creek Bridge. They were Henry Fry, Jacob M. Henshaw, and Hugh A. Self. All confessed their own and testified to the others' guilt, and also gave, as correctly as they could remember, the names of the whole party engaged in that crime. Fry and Henshaw were tried by drum-head court-martial on the 30th ultimo and executed the same day by hanging. I have thought it my duty to ask of the Department that the punishment of Hugh A. Self be commuted to imprisonment. He is only sixteen years old, not very intelligent, and was led away on that occasion by his father and elder brother, both of whom I learn have now been captured by Gen. Carroll's troops.
Hearing that the insurgents had gathered in force at or near the bend of Chucky River, and thence to the neighborhood of Parrottsville and of Newport, on the French Broad, in Cocke County, I moved the Twenty-ninth North Carolina, with two companies of the Third Georgia Battalion, in that direction on the 3d instant. Hearing that Gen. Carroll had troops on the line of railroad at Morristown, I arranged with them by telegraph to move into the enemy's country at the same time and from opposite directions.
That country consists of a tumultuous mass of steep hills, wooded to the top, with execrable roads winding through the ravines and often occupying the beds of the water-courses. A few of the insurgent scouts were seen, pursued, and fired on. One was desperately wounded and left at a cabin near by.
At the farm houses along the more open valleys no men were to be seen, and it is believed that nearly the whole male population of the country were lurking in the hills on account of disaffection of fear. The women in some cases were greatly alarmed, throwing themselves on the ground and wailing like savages. Indeed, the population is savage.
The expedition lasted four days, and in the course of it we met Col. Powell's command deep in the mountains, and our guns were responded to at no great distance by a force under Capt. Monsarrat.
These people cannot be caught in that manner. As likely to be more effective, I have detached three companies of Col. Vance's regiment to Parrottsville, with instructions to impress horses from Union men and be active in seizing troublesome men in all directions. They will impress provisions, giving certificates thereof, with assurance that the amounts will be paid if the future loyalty of the sufferer shall justify the clemency of the Government. The whole country is given to understand that this course will be pursued until quiet shall be restored to these distracted counties, and they can rely upon it that no prisoner will be pardoned so long as any Union men shall remain in arms. Three other companies of Col. Vance's command are on their way to Warrensburg, on the north side of Chucky, to remain there under similar instructions.
It is believed that we are making progress towards pacification. The Union men are taking the oath in pretty large numbers and arms are beginning to be brought in. Capt. McClellan, of the Tennessee cavalry, stationed by me at Elizabethton, reports that Carter County is becoming very quiet, and that, with the aid of a company of infantry, he will enter Johnson County and disarm the people there. I shall send the company without delay.
The execution of the bridge-burners is producing the happiest effect. This, coupled with great kindness towards the inhabitants generally, inclines them to quietude. Insurgents will continue for yet a while in the mountains, but I trust that we have secured the outward obedience of the people.
Very respectfully, &c., your obedient servant,
D. LEADBETTER, Col., Cmdg.
OR, Ser. I, Vol. 7, pp. 747-748.
28, Skirmishes at crossing of Duck River
Report of Maj. J. Morris Young, Fifth Iowa Cavalry, of operations November 28, 1864.
HDQRS. FIFTH IOWA CAVALRY, Near Nashville, Tenn., December 3, 1864.
I have the honor to report the following action of my regiment and others temporarily under my command during the evening and night of November 28, 1864:
The Fifth Iowa Cavalry, under my command, was disposed, by order of Col. Capron, commanding the First Brigade of the Sixth division, cavalry Command, in different positions on the north side of Duck River, above and below the crossing of the turnpike running from Franklin to Lewisburg, to guard the fords and prevent the enemy from crossing to this side, which was successfully performed in my command and front. At 5 p. m. my patrols and pickets reported the enemy in force in my rear and Col. Capron, commanding the brigade, gone. Hastily withdrawing my regiment, except Company A, which was posted for miles column on the pike, and was in the act of giving the command "forward," when the other regiments of the brigade, consisting of the Eighth Michigan, Fourteenth and Sixteenth Illinois, came in successively, much to my surprise, for I had supposed them gone out with Col. Capron, and reported the enemy closing in all directions.
I made the following disposition of my new forces as hastily as possible (see also map attached ).* The eight Michigan in line dismounted, to the left of and perpendicular to the head of the Fifth Iowa column; the Sixteenth Illinois disposed in like manner on the right; the led horses of both regiments to follow up at a safe distance in their respective rears; the Fourteenth Illinois was placed in column of fours, to the left and rear of the Eighth Michigan and parallel to the Fifth Iowa, which was in column on the turnpike. The left was the most exposed to a counter charge by the enemy, who were known to be in heavy force on that flank. As soon as the enemy's fire was drawn the dismounted men were to immediately fall back, mount, and follow out the Fifth Iowa Cavalry, which was to go through with sabers. In fifteen minutes, these dispositions being completed, the command was given, "forward." In fifteen minutes more we struck the enemy in acted by Col. Capron. We received their fire and instantly sounded the "charge," riding them down and scattering them in all directions. At 10 p. m. I reported the brigade entire to Maj.-Gen. Wilson.
In this charge, which was most gallantly executed, reflecting great credit on all the troops engaged, I do not think out entire loss, out of over 1,500 brought through safe, was more than thirty killed, wounded, and missing. Having been superseded in command immediately by Col. Capron, who had preceded me some two hours, I have no means of ascertaining definitely our loss. The injury inflicted upon the enemy must have been considerable. The groans and cries of their wounded, as we rode, cut, or shot them down, could be heard distinctly above the noise and din of the charge.
Permit me to add in closing the fact of the growing confidence amongst our troops that good cavalry never can be captured.
J. MORRIS YOUNG, Maj., Cmdg. Fifth Iowa Cavalry.
OR, Ser. I, Vol. 45, pt. I, p. 604.
*Not included in the OR.