Wednesday, June 6, 2012

June 6 - Tennessee Civil War Notes

6-10, Matters in Memphis
Union Sentiment
From the Memphis Argus of June 10
If any Union sentiment exists in Memphis, today, other than among a few of the lowest classes, it has not yet been developed. The almost utter abhorrence of anything akin to sympathetic feeling for the old Union cannot fail to be remarked by the Federal rulers themselves, while it has only proved what we have said time and again. Our people, unable to resist force to force, quietly submit to a power at present too strong for them, and in doing so conduct themselves with that calm, quiet dignity, so benefiting their condition. Thus far the Federal commanders and soldiery have conducted themselves in a manner unexceptionable to the people. So long as their present conduct is maintained, there will be no clashes with the citizens. A spirit of riot existed in Memphis, and can only be called into life by persecution.

From the Avalanche of the 10th.
There has been but little Union sentiment expressed, or manifestations of partiality for our present rulers exhibits, since the occupation of the city. Even less feeling has been displayed than was expected by them we doubt not, and by many of our own people.
It is due to frankness to state that our present rulers have acted with marked propriety since their arrival in our city. They are orderly, disciplines, and well behaved. In this respect our people have been much disappointed.

An Important Order.
From the Avalanche of the 10th.
We direct the attention of our readers specially to the order of Gen. Fitch, upon the subject of slaves. This is a step in the right direction, and cannot fail to quiet the apprehensions of many of our people upon a subject of vital interest to the South. With candor and truth we can say that Gen. Fitch, while in the councils of the Nation, always stood by the constitutional rights of the South.

General Order [sic] No. 19
Headquarters on Steamer Von Paul
Second Brigade, Third Division, Dist. Miss.
Memphis, Tenn, June 8, 1862
All negroes, except those who came with the command to this place, and of whom descriptive lists are filed at these headquarters, will be excluded from the lines and boats.
Any officer or soldier violating, or conniving at a violation of this order, will be severely and promptly punished.
This order will be read at the heads of companies to-morrow, 9th inst., and at guard mounting every morning for a week.
G. N. Fitch, Colonel Commanding Brigade

Correspondence of the Chicago Tribune.
Memphis, Tenn., Monday, June 9 -- 10 A.M.
Matters at this point remain in much the same condition as reported yesterday. The citizens continue quiet, and although they do not as a city welcome the National representatives, they do not comport themselves in a cold or disrespectful manner. There is none of the hauteur and insolence which characterized our entrance into Nashville. The men are courteous, except in rare instances, where whisky has usurped all the functions of manhood. The women are curious and inquisitive, but thus far perfectly respectful in demeanor and language.
On the part of the Federals there have been rare instances of bad behavior, confined principally to the mortar-boat men and common soldiers. These have been promptly punished by Col. Fitch. A Northern man connected with the fleet in a subordinate capacity was, on Saturday, found in a state of intoxication, walking in a public street, with a colored woman hanging of each arm. Of course the populace followed him. The man was arrested and most severely castigated by the proper officers. As a general thing the men have done themselves credit for forbearance and good behavior when on shore.
No soldier is allowed to land unless when on duty as provost guard. The absence of all liquors and the strict law made and enforced by the authorities against this traffic have had much to do in attaining the desirable end.
* * * *
The people of the city are to be left to arrange their currency matters for the present as suits them, and they will probably do this in a few days. Meanwhile, some of the business houses are beginning to open, and there will be no lack of customers.
Rev. Dr. Grundy, a Presbyterian minister, who has all the past year advocted the evils of war, and defended the actions of our General Government, preached at Odd Fellows' Hall yesterday to a large audience. He was particularly earnest in counseling submission to his people. He prayed zealously for the ending of strife, and the triumph of whichever party was in the right, and whichever side the Almighty in His wisdom chose to have prevailed. He was listened to with marked attention. Several navy officers and gentlemen connected with the flotilla were present, as well as many of the best citizens. Mr. Grundy has been sustained covertly and open by subscriptions, sometimes from men professing secession sentiments almost equal to the salary he lost by adopting a conservative course in the pulpit. He is an eloquent and able divine, and his influence has been and will be felt for the good of our country.
The prisoners captured in the gunboat fight off Memphis on Friday morning, were yesterday sent to Cairo on the Champion No. 3, to the number of over one hundred.
New York Times, June 15, 1862.

James B. Jones, Jr.


Tennessee Historical Commission

2941 Lebanon Road

Nashville, TN  37214

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