Tuesday, April 24, 2012

April 23 - Tennessee Civil War Notes

23, 1862 - Confederate Proclamation to the Disaffected People of East Tennessee
The major-general commanding this department, charged with the enforcement of martial law, believing that many of its citizens have been misled into the commission of treasonable acts through ignorance of their duties and obligations to their State, and that many have actually fled across the mountains and joined our enemies under the persuasion and misguidance of supposed friends but designing enemies, hereby proclaims:
1st. That no person so misled who comes forward, declares his error, and takes the oath to support the Constitution of the State and of the Confederate States shall be molested or punished on account of past acts or words.
2d. That no person so persuaded and misguided as to leave his home and join the enemy who shall return within thirty days of the date of this proclamation, acknowledge his error, and take and oath to support the Constitution of the State and of the Confederate States shall be molested or punished on account of past acts or words.
After thus announcing his disposition to treat with the utmost clemency those who have been led away from the true path of patriotic duty the major-general commanding furthermore declares his determination henceforth to employ all the elements at his disposal for the protection of the lives and property of the citizens of East Tennessee, whether from the incurious of the enemy or the irregularities of his own troops and for the suppression of all treasonable practices.
He assures all citizens engaged in cultivating their farms that he will protect them in their rights, and that he will suspend the militia draft under the State laws that they me raise crops for consumption in the coming year.
He invokes the zealous co-operation of the authorities and of all good people to aid him in his endeavors.
The courts of criminal jurisdiction will continue to exercise their functions, save the issuing of writs of habeas corpus. Their writs will be served and their decrees executed by the aid of the military when necessary.
When the courts fail to preserve the peace or punish offenders against the laws these objects will be attained through the action of military tribunals and the exercise of the force of his command.
E. KIRBY SMITH, Maj.-Gen., Cmdg. Department of East Tennessee.
HDQRS. DEPARTMENT OF EAST TENNESSEE, Office Provost-Marshal, April 23, 1862.
To the Disaffected People of East Tennessee:
The undersigned, in executing martial law in this department, assures those interested, who have fled to the enemy's lines and who are actually in their army, that he will welcome their return to their homes and their families. They are offered amnesty and protection if they come to lay down their arms and act as loyal citizens within the thirty days given them by Maj.-Gen. E. Kirby Smith to do so.
At the end of that time those failing to return to their homes and accept the amnesty thus offered and provide for and protect their wives and children in East Tennessee will have them sent to their care in Kentucky or beyond the Confederate States lines at their won expense.
All that leave after this date with a knowledge of the above acts their families will be sent immediately after them. The women and children must be taken care of by husbands and fathers either in East Tennessee or in the Lincoln Government.
W. M. CHURCHWELL, Col. and Provost-Marshal.
OR, Ser. I, Vol. 10, pt. II, pp. 640-641.
See also OR, Ser. II, Vol. I, pp. 882, 884.



23, 1864 - Report of the capture of the Reynolds' guerrilla band at Lick Creek, Greene county
A few days ago, that most efficient of our Federal scouts, Capt. Reynolds, in command of about fifty picked men visited Greene county for the purpose of breaking up a nest of twenty five thieves and murderers, under the command of a villain by the name of Reynolds [sic], who have been for months robbing Union houses and killing Union citizens. They were an independent organization, and had done as much real and hellish work as any equal number of assassins in the rebel service. Our troops came upon them o­n the workers of Lick Creek, some ten or twelve miles from Greeneville, and killed ten, and captured the remaining fifteen with their infamous leader included, bringing them all to this city and the leader of the gang in irons.  We think our soldiers are to blame for making prisoners out of any of them – they ought all to have been executed o­n the spot.
Knoxville Whig and Rebel Ventilator, April 23, 1864.

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