Thursday, April 26, 2012

April 26 - Tennessee Civil War Notes

26, "Palmyra True to the South;" demagoguery and enlistment in Clarksville
The citizens of Palmyra and its vicinity met here to-day, in obedience to a call made for the purpose of raising a volunteer company, to enlist in defense of Southern Rights.
S. F. Allen was called to the Chair, and Rbt. Eldridge appointed Sec'y.
Col. W. A. Quarles, of Clarksville, then took the stand, and addressed them, with great earnestness and ability, exposing the duplicity practiced upon the South by Lincoln and his Cabinet, condemning the vile and flagrant acts of usurpation by which they seek to carry out their unholy purpose of subjugating the Southern States. He proved conclusively that the "armed neutrality" position advocated by some, for Kentucky and Tennessee to assume tended only to assist the North. His speech was marked by sincerity and patriotic zeal, was every appropriate, effective, and well received. At the conclusion of which, it was moved by A. Outlaw, Esq., and seconded, that the resolutions presented by Col. W. A. Quarles, to the Southern Rights Association, held at Clarksville, on the 13th inst., as published, be adopted by this meeting, which was agreed to unanimously. Col. M. G. Gholson, having been solicited, gallantly accepted the invitation and announced that he would take command of a company of volunteers, if a sufficient number would enlist. Faster than the Secretary could record their names, 36 of the honest and patriotic young men offered themselves, and were well received.
Liberal contributions were made to supply them with provision while on drill.
The call then for a Home Guard was responded to by every man present, in the district. Col. Quarles proceeded to organize them, by having officer elected. W. B. Russell, Esq., was elected Captain; Mr. R. M. [?] Williamson, 1st Lieutenant; H. T. Oliphant, 2nd; M. C. Powers, Ensign; and S. A. Caldwell, O.S.
On motion of Col. Gholson, it was ordered, that the Clarksville papers be furnished with a report and requested to publish the proceedings of this meeting, which then adjourned, having been conducted with the most exemplary order, particularly characterized by unanimous feelings of indignation and defiance towards the North, and unflinching devoted [sic] to Southern Rights.
Clarksville Chronicle, April 26, 1861.



26, Skirmish at Atkins' Mill 
No circumstantial reports filed. 
Excerpt from the Report of Brig. Gen. Gordon Granger, U. S. Army, commanding cavalry division, of operations from April 23 to June 10, 1862, relative to the skirmish at Atkin's Mill, April 24, 1862.

GEN.: The division which I have the honor to command is composed of four regiments of cavalry, of twelve companies each, comprising the First Brigade, under Col. J. K. Mizner, consisting of the Third Michigan and Seventh Illinois, and the Second Brigade, consisting of the Second Iowa and Second Michigan, under Col. Elliott.
* * * * 

April 24.--Col. Elliott, commanding Second Brigade, with a battalion each of Second and Third Michigan, Second Iowa, and Seventh Illinois, proceeded to Greer's Ford. On the 26th Capt. Fowler, Second Michigan, while on escort duty with his company, was fired upon by the enemy's pickets, severely wounding Private John Foster, Company G. The enemy retreated, and the nature of the ground forbade much pursuit. Four companies, same regiment, under Maj. Shaw, drove in the enemy's pickets at Atkins' Mill. Had 1 man wounded. Col. Elliott's force for several days were continually scouring the country toward Monterey.
OR, Ser. I, Vol. 10, pt. I, p. 727.



26, "River Guerrillas in the West."
The announcement from Cairo a day or two since that Gen. Ellet's Marine brigade and Gen. Fitch's gunboats had cleared the banks of the Cumberland river of guerrillas was followed yesterday by; the account of the capture of two steamboats, the Alhambra and the Hope, with valuable cargoes, by the guerrillas on the self-same river. The work of Ellet and Fitch was not so thoroughly done, then, but that it requires immediately to be done over.
So far as the Cumberland river is concerned, a little experience will teach our Western Commanders the impracticability of dislodging guerrillas from its banks so long as a disloyal population remains in the country bordering on the river, and armed bands from the rebel army are able to reach that population land stimulated it with the hope of eventual rebel success. No river in the world is better adapted than the Cumberland to the successful operations of guerrillas. The stream is narrow, and the banks on each side are mostly precipitous, ragged, rocky cliffs, from 75 to 150 feet height. It is the easiest thing for armed men to hide themselves in the glades crowning these cliffs and fire down upon passing boats. To return the fire effectively from boats, with any sort of cannon, is simply impossible; and if pursuit be assayed, a boat fired upon might have to run some miles up or down, before a suitable place to land emerge from the bluffs could be found. In the meantime, the guerrillas would have ample time to escape.
With the best intentions and the best service it is possible for men to give, it will be found impracticable to suppress the system of guerrilla warfare by attacking if from the water. The disease is in the body politic in the country through which the rivers run. It must be purged from the interior before it ceases to break out upon the rivers. And this can only be accomplished by advancing southward the lines of the Union army by successful battles -- by strengthening the lines when advanced, and connecting them closely from Memphis to Nashville, so as to make it impossible of rebel bands to appear among the population of Southern Kentucky and Tennessee, to keep alive their rebel sympathies and excite their hopes of reel success. When this result can be established, we shall be rid of guerrillas on the Tennessee, Cumberland and Mississippi Rivers -- not before.
New York Times, April 26, 1863.



26, 1864 - Entry in Alice Williamson's Diary, Sumner County
Weather beautiful. Yanks behaving like human beings with a few exceptions. Today a Yankee officer made his appearance in the school room accompanied by a Northern being whom I supposed to be a man, as he was not a gentleman; he came to look at the church saying that he was president of a school and six of his assistants had just arrived and was going to teach the "freedmen" He says he will have 3 or 400 scholars and will need the largest house in town. What a learned city - or rather yankee nest - this will be. I suppose some of us citizens will get a situation as assistant teacher in the "Freedmens University."
Williamson Diary



26, Anti-guerrilla mopping up initiative on East Bank of Holston River
HDQRS. DISTRICT OF EAST TENNESSEE, Knoxville, Tenn., April 26, 1865.
Col. J. H. PARSONS, Cmdg. Ninth Tennessee Cavalry:
SIR: If the Rogersville Branch Railroad is in such condition as to enable you to procure supplies at its terminus, I wish you to move with your whole regiment to the east bank of the Holston River. Arrived there, you will leave all your impediments on the east side, and with the mounted portion of your regiment you will cross the river and thoroughly scour and clear of guerrilla and other bands of outlaws all that portion of East Tennessee and Southwestern Virginia lying between the Holston River on the east and the Cumberland Mountains on the west. In the performance of this duty you are authorized and instructed to use the utmost vigorous and severe measures. The persons with whom you have to deal are outlaws so long as they are at liberty, and as such should be treated. When taken prisoners they must be treated as prisoners, and are entitled to trial, which takes time and entails trouble and expense. Give them to understand that no false mercy will be shown them and no prisoners taken, and that every man found in arms under whatever pretense, and acting without authority from Federal officers or the legally constituted authorities of the State of Tennessee, will be treated as a public enemy and an outlaw and killed like a mad dog by any one who meets him. See that your command does not interfere in any way, either in their persons or their property, with the peaceably disposed, and with those who stay at home and mind their own business. In case the railroad is not in running order to the Holston River you will make your depot camp at or near the Rogersville Junction, from which point you will draw your supplies. You will give all the aid and assistance in your power to all civil officers in the execution of their functions, and urge upon the people the necessity of re-establishing civil authority and the supremacy of State laws as soon as possible, and before the U. S. forces are disbanded or withdrawn from this section of the country. Make me, either by courier or telegraph, a daily report of your operations.
I am, colonel, very respectfully, &c.,
OR, Ser. I, Vol. 49, pt. II, pp. 475-476.

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