Tuesday, August 7, 2012

August 7 - Tennessee Civil War Notes

7, “Why History Should be Rewritten.”In the study of history we are led to conclude that -- for the following among other reasons -- it should be rewritten:
First is canonizes martial heroes too much. Is there any good reason, for example, why the son of Philip should be called Alexander the Great? If one murder makes a villain, ought thousand to make the hero? Ought a man to be immortal because he monopolizes all wickedness? And yet the pages of history are full of eulogies in honor of the valorous deeds of martial men, whose fame rests on their brave feats in war. They scarcely tell us of anything else than their many bloody wars, their great battles, their great victories, the number of their captives, and the number of their slain. The mind thrives by what it feeds on, and this has fired many with a ruinous ambition to run the same sanguinary career. History should be re-written so that the horrors of war may be properly depicted, and the characters of men of blood properly drawn, in the light of the great model, the Prince of peace.
History should be rewritten, because it traduces the martyrs of liberty. Nearly all histories except those written on American soil are subject to this indictment. Who has given us such a history as we should have of the Waldenses, or of the Lollards, or the Huguenots of the Covenanters, or of the Puritans? Are they not traduced and calumniated, noble representatives as they were for the right and the truth, in the volumes that weigh down the shelves of French and English libraries? Who has written as we would like to read, a full unvarnished history of the wrongs of Poland, of Robert Emmett and other martyrs of the Emerald Isle? O, how history, written under the shadow of thrones, has belied the noble Magyars of Hungary and the martyrs of liberty in fair Italy and sunny Greece? It is time that the martyred dead had a righteous verdict in their favor.
But again, History should be written, because it favors monarch too much. Most of the histories that we put in the hands of our youth were written by those who were either hostile to republican institutions or indifferent to them. When we read in them a few sentences favorable to liberty, we exult over these choice periods and draw a mark around them, and feel comforted by them while we read a hundred pages more which are written to reproach republics and fortify Monarchies. Rages Jure Divine is a sentiment that should be expunged from all out text books of history.
History should be rewritten because it is too slow to recognize the hand of Divine Providence in human affairs. We refer to Hildreth’s United States as defective here. The same criticism may be passed against other histories now held in high esteem as the classics of the world. Note Gibbon, Hume and Rotteck. We crowd their margins with religious cautions against the covert infidelity, and then we take them into our families and place them in the hands of our children. No wonder that so many of our public men are so unscrupulous and apparently so regardless of the Supreme Ruler. The histories they have read have ignored the Almighty, and they have never been taught to trace the relation between transgression and retribution. We need and must have more our histories written after the model of D’Aubine, somewhat after the manner of Macaulay, but more after that of Bancroft.
But once more, history should be re-written because it has too little philanthropy in it. It has canonized martial heroes whose chief boast was the number they had slain, and it has too often mentioned without the least enthusiasm names whose eulogies should be written letters of light. I lingers with delight around a Cortez and Pizarro, making them heroes of romance for centuries, and it passes over in silence those nobler and truer men who, without royal protection, almost alone, through a “night of toil” embracing years of the severest suffering and privation, went forth beyond the New World into the broad Pacific, to civilize and christianize with an open Bible the lost islands of the sea. It is often lavish of its praise on men whose lives were a burden to others, and whose death a relief. But the time has come when we demand histories redolent with of goodness and overflowing with humanity. All honor to the men who will meet this demand. All honor to those who will give us biographies and such chronicles of the past as will represent God in action as well as man, in the history of the world.
Memphis Union Appeal, August 7, 1862.

 7, “One of the Demoralized.”
A member of Breckenridge’s rebel cavalry gave himself up as a deserter to General Pane, at Gallatin, a few days ago.  He is an intelligent citizen of Maysville, Ky., and seemed well conversant with the fact of Bragg’s late skedaddle.  He substantiates all the rumors that have reached us regarding the utter demoralization of this vast arm of Tennesseeans and Kentuckians, and he further “lets the cat out of the bat: by stating that soon after the retreating policy was announced, the regiment of which he was a member, mutinied to a man, officers and all. The mutiny was advised and organized by the line officers of the regiment, and when the army of the Tennessee commenced falling back before “Rosey” and his legions, the discontents began a retreat in the opposite direction, intending to surrender in a body.  The plan was detected, however, and Bragg sent a detachment in pursuit, placed the officers under arrest, and threatened to hold them responsible for the return of the men.  One battalion of the regiment numbering two hundred, succeeded in eluding he force sent after then, and those of them who have not delivered themselves up as deserters are o­nly seeking the opportunity to do so.  The balance of the men, learning that the lives of the officers depended upon their return, followed the retreating forces, and, through their devotion to the officers who commanded them and endured hardships with them, they again joined their fate with a defeated and morally weakened army.  Such is the material now under the iron rule of Gen. Bragg.  This deserter knowingly asserts that he whole rebel army in Tennessee is as much dispirited and mutinous as was his own regiment and its utter disorganization and return to loyalty is o­nly dependent o­n the future activity of Gen. Rosecrans.
Nashville Daily PressAugust 7, 1863

7, Bigamist tried and convicted in Nashville
Capt. Bartholmew Scanlan, has been tried before the Criminal Court of Davidson County, now in session in this city, and convicted of bigamy. He has been sentenced to the Penitentiary for four years. From this judgment he appeals to the Supreme Court. In default of bail, he remains in prison until the meeting of the Supreme Court - rather an indefinite period.
Nashville Daily Union, August 7, 1863.

7, Confederate Raid in Union County
AUGUST 7, 1864.--Confederate raid in Union County, Tenn.
Report of Capt. James W. Branson, First Tennessee (Union) Infantry, Deputy Provost-Marshal.
OFFICE PROVOST-MARSHAL, Maynardville, Tenn., August 8, 1864.
GEN.: It is my painful duty to report to you one of the most shameful and disastrous rebel raids yet made in this section of the country. This raid was headed, as I understand, by the notorious Bill Gibbs, at the head of about eighty of the most villainous gang of cutthroats, robbers, and assassins with which our country is cursed. They came within three miles of this place about daylight yesterday morning. They came down from the neighborhood of Thorn Hill, Grainger County, about which place some of them may be found at any time. Their headquarters are said to be Rogersville, but they are seldom so far off. Their whole aim in this raid seemed to be to do all the devilment possible, murder and plunder their chief characteristic. Up to this time I am advised of their brutal murder of three men, and they threaten to kill all prisoners, and I greatly fear they will do so. The three men thus murdered are Scott McPhetridge, Samuel Bunch, and James Ford (citizens). They also have taken off as prisoners the following loyal citizens: Rev. William Hickle, William Hickle, jr., John Richard, A. Maj.'s (soldier), C. Dyer (soldier), H. Jones, N. Branson (soldier), F. Harsell, F. M. Buckner, Jacob Shelton and son, and Z. Nedeham, besides others whose names I have not yet learned. They were more fiendlike than any ever known in this country, robbing houses in such a wanton manner as to show that destruction was their aim. They went on shooting at any and all who tried to get out of their way.
Now, general, the Union citizens of this country call aloud for retaliation in so far as to arrest immediately as many rebel citizens as they took of ours, to be held as hostages, that the return of ours may thereby be secured. This is the prayer of this community, and they respectfully ask the same of you through me. Will you give an order to this effect, accompanied with the means to carry it out? It will be impossible to find enough in the neighborhood of this devilment who have not taken the oath, but I am of the opinion that there are some who have taken the oath whom it would not be amiss to arrest as hostages, yet there might be enough found without taking such. Would it not be proper to proceed in this way? At the same time let them know what they are arrested for, and that as our men are treated so will they be.
Your most obedient servant,
J. W. BRANSON, Capt. and Deputy Provost-Marshal.
Respectfully forwarded to department headquarters for consideration. It is recommended that a small mounted force be sent to Union County to arrest the hostages, in case the major-general commanding approves the policy. There are only about twenty infantry at Maynardville, Tenn. It is also very desirable to rid the country of the armed rebels who have committed so many depredations in Grainger and Hawkins Counties.
S. P. Carter, Brig.-Gen. and Provost-Marshal-Gen. of East Tennessee.
HDQRS. ARMY OF THE OHIO, August 16, 1864.
Respectfully returned.
This policy may and should be adopted if we have the power to execute it so thoroughly to secure protection to loyal citizens. Otherwise it will simply result in general murder, plunder, and depopulation of East Tennessee. If small bands of robbers and murderers cannot be driven out or destroyed, retaliation will only beget retaliation, by which the loyal majority of East Tennessee must necessary suffer the most. Gen. Ammen, commanding District of East Tennessee, is authorized to adopt such measures as he may deem wise and expedient for the protection of the loyal people.
J. M. SCHOFIELD, Maj.-Gen.
OR, Ser. I, Vol. 39, pt. I, pp. 460-461

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