Tuesday, September 11, 2012

September 11 - 12 - Tennessee Civil War Notes

Sensationalism about a mistaken instance of abortion in Civil War Memphis -
 A Great Crime.
There are some crimes so shameful in their nature, the result of depravity so polluted and degrading, that every o­ne hates to think, much more to speak about them; the consequence is, that those who commit them often get off unpunished, when criminals of far less deep a dye have to endure severe penalties. This is not just, and where the crime obtains some degree of prevalence, it is not politic. Our readers will remember that o­n Sunday last, in a sand hole o­n the bluff opposite the Gayoso House, the bodies of twin babes were found, and that the coroner and jury returned a verdict to the effect that death in the case was the result of abortion. Our detective police, aided by Capt. Klink, have been engaged ascertaining the particulars of this infamous affair. We learn that their investigations have led to the knowledge of most atrocious and revolting particulars, implicating close and allied members of the same family, and that family o­ne of respectability and standing. What course is to be taken in such a case as this? Is the blackness of the guilt, and the disgrace than an amiable family must suffer for [illegible] faults of some of its erring members, to ba[illegible] the interference of law; or is "justice to be [illegible] though the heavens fall?” In a late instance, an attempt was made to bring a notorious individual to justice for engaging in the murderous business of abortion, but a very heavy amount of money—we speak o­n the authority of the police—removed the principal witnesses and defrauded justice of its due. The numerous instances of finding the dead bodies of infants in or near this city, as recorded in the books of the coroner, intimate that if the law has been lax toward this class of crime, it is time the day of indulgence were past.
Memphis Daily Appeal, September 12, 1861.
The Twin Children.
Editor Appeal: I almost regret to destroy the various romances I see founded o­n a very simple but unfortunate occurrence—and reduce to common mundane matter—the stories "horrible and awful" at the present moment exciting the newspaper world of Memphis. I think, however, I may as well clear up the mystery concerning the foetal  found in the sand pit in front of the Gayoso house, by stating that I was present professionally at the miscarriage of the mother, a married woman, whose husband was also present o­n the occasion, and to both of whom the misfortune seemed to be a source of much grief. The foetal were of about four month's growth, and of course required no regular funeral preparation. I suggested to the father placing them in a box and burying it, but from the thoughtlessness in the person entrusted with the charge, they were, I have since ascertained, wrapped in a paper, with a brick attached, and sunk in a deep sand pit, at that time full of water. As soon as the water destroyed the envelopes and decomposition began to take place, the bodies of course rose to the surface and were discovered.
While I appreciate the endeavors of the police and others to ferret out all such supposed crimes, (happily of comparatively rare occurrence in our city,) which should under all circumstances be strictly investigated—I am glad in this instance to clear up a matter in which circumstances seemed to justify suspicion of guilt and crime.
W. T. Irwin, M. D.
Memphis Daily Appeal, September 13, 1861.

   11, Lies, texts and teachers' pay in Memphis; the Board of School Visitors meeting

According to notice the Board met in the Mayor’s office, and, in the absence of Mr. Clark, Mr. Wetherell was appointed secretary, pro tem . Mr. Lemon reported o­n school houses. Dr. Scott, principal of senior male school, made an application for an addition to text books o­n latin [sic] and mathematics, which was received and filed. Mr. Loague read a communication, relative to a conversation o­n public schools, wherein Mr. Clark had assumed the authority of making a compromise in the matter of the senior schools, which Mr. Clark characterized as a “lie.” Dr. Scott reiterated “most emphatically” his former statement, and the Board sustained the Doctor by ordering the communication to be spread upon the minutes. Mr. Lemon moved the adoption of the rules which governed the city schools in 1858-9. After being read by the Secretary the rules were adopted, and five hundred copies ordered to be printed for general circulation. Mr. Lemon handed in a paper charging Rev. R. Hines with discourteous conduct toward the Board, insulting when applying for tickets and threatening a teacher with his vengeance dire, when she applied of a school [position] for next year, should she not obey his unjust commands [sic]. Referred to a committee for investigation. Mr. Signaigo laid before the Board the complaints of several teachers who had not received the bonds with which the city paid them, although Mr. L. S. Clark, the Secretary of the Board, had received them from the City Controller. It would appear that some of the teachers made many visits to Mr. Clark, but could not succeed in getting either money or bond; in o­ne case a due bull of Mr. Clark’s was obtained which has not yet been honored by payment. If such complainants are well founded – and we are assured they are – that such conduct is highly reprehensible. We presume that school teachers are not endowed with a superabundance of this world’s goods, and all they earn is necessary; for present use, so that any persons withholding their salaries, after being honorably served, is deficient in the principle of “Do unto others as you would have other do unto you.””

Memphis Bulletin, September 11, 1863.

11, “I sprung out of the car I was in and shouted in a loud voice to several different Regiments to Get up off quick and form a line of battle and charge the infernal traitors. “ Federal R. H. Milroy’s letter to his wife about fighting along the N&CRR
Tullahoma, Tenn.
Sept 11th 1864
My Dear Mary,
We have been blockaged [sic] and cut off and deprived of mails for two weeks by Wheelers raid and have not heard from you or anybody else in civilization. Wheeler and his forces suceeded in cuting the telegraph wires and destroying the R.R. tracks to a small extent in several places but did no serious or permanent injury any place. They destroyed but one bridge over a small stream on the N. & C. R.R. which I defend. This bridge was between Nashville and Murfreesboro and was defended by a block house, which was defended by 20 men. After cannonading it three hours the roof fell in and my boys surrendered. They then burnt the bridge. They attacked a number of other blockhouses but were defeated at all of them. At one block house on the R.R. from Nashville to Decatur they were defeated and repulsed by four negro Soldiers. Wheeler struck at Nashville but Rousseau met him 9 miles this side with Infantry and Cavalry and repuked [repulsed?] him. But Wheeler had too much cavalry for Rousseau when he left the R R where the infantry were and I started to go to his help with all the cavalry I could scrape together. I had the 5th, 10th & 12th Tenn. Cav and 2 Cos of the 2nd Ky Cav. In all about a thousand men with two small mountain howitzers. I started the 5th and 12th Tenn and the detachment of the 2nd Ky through by land to Murfreesboro 48 miles on the evening of the 1st inst. and waited for the 10th to come up from Decherd 12 miles south. The R.R. track had been broken in several places by the Rebs between this and Murfreesboro, but I had sent up a construction train with a strong guard and repaired it and Gen Stedman with 6 Regts of Infantry (Including Col Straights and Col Dave Dunns) passed up in the evening to Murfreesboro. As soon as the 10th Tenn Cav. got here from Decherd-I commenced shipping it aboard a train and it was near midnight when I got all aboard with their horses and the howitzers. I took Col Dunn (Jim) Capt Baird and then Lts of the 100 days Regts with me with our horses (Jasper included). When about six miles this side of Murfreesboro about 3 oclock in the morning. It being very dark and the train running slow, ran into a wood pile that had been piled on the track by the Rebs who at once opened fire on us, and we could hear their officers commanding "Come on" "Forward"-etc. My men were on the top of the cars and mostly asleep. I sprung out of the car I was in and shouted in a loud voice to several different Regiments to Gee up off quick and form a line of battle and charge the infernal traitors. The Rebs heard my orders as I intended and supposing from the great length of my train that I had a large force they sounded retreat and rapidly fled. Our train ran over one before it ran into the wood pile and cut him in two--and we captured one, who told us that there was two Regt of Reb Cavalry there. Had they made a determined attack on us we would have been in a bad fix as I found it difficult to rally enough of my wild Tennesseeans in the dark to form a thin scattering skirmish line. It took some time to get the wood thrown off the track and get the train started. I looked for another attack every road to Murfreesboro where we arrived at daylight without further incident. My Regts that marched through did not arrive till noon of the 2nd day and it was near night before we got shod and ready to start. I then started in the direction of Franklin to join Rousseau---after traveling some 12 miles we found we had got on the wrong road in the darkness and had to retrace our road some 8 miles over the most horrible rocky dark road. I stopped after midnight and had the men lay down to sleep. A dispatch come to me by a messenger about day break from Gen Stedman stating there was a large Reb Cav force in front of him at La Vergne on the R.R. half way between Nashville and Murfreesboro. I started there and arrived about 8 oclock in the morning of the 3rd. Stedman informed me that the Rebs were a short distance in front of him and desired that I would throw out my cavalry on their flanks and drive them in and keep them from escaping while he moved forward with his infantry and artillery and attacked them. I divided my Cav. and sent them around several miles each way, going with one half myself, but after several hours hunting and driving we were unable to find a single Reb. My scouting parties soon struck their trail when they were moving off South East. I followed them all day. They turned Northward and then Westward around Murfreesboro to go in the direction of Wheeler. I stoped after midnight to feed and rest my weary horses and being only four miles from Murfreesboro, moved in there and waited till morning. The Rebs were commanded by Gen Williams and over 2000 strong. They moved around in the night.--West of town about four miles when I found them in the morning, and sent my straggling Tennessee Cav after them and kept up a runing fight for fifteen miles. The rebs had three pieces of artillery and with a strong rear guard made frequent stands and we had some stiff little fights. My Tennesseans had no sabers and were only armed with the carbine and pistols and were not drilled for disciplined to make a charge on anything like regular orders but they would dash up and around the flanks of the rebs and make them move off repidly. We captured some 20 rebs and killed and wounded as many more. I lost several good men during the day. Lt. Col Eifort of the 2nd Ky among others. He was a gallant young officer about 22 years of age, mortally wounded in one of our charges. Our last fight was in the evening in driving the Rebs out of the beautifuly situated little town of Triune where they made a stand. The Rebs who had been traveling West up to this point turned Square South. Col Spalding who commanded the Tenn Cav. Brigade reported to me here that his men were out of ammunition or nearly so. That they were out of provisions and horses very badly used up. That the Rebs who were more then double our number had the best horses and would form a junction with Wheeler during the night and if we followed them further we would be most probably overwhelmed. I saw that these fears and doubts were entertained by the other Tenn Officers and that it would not be safe to rely on them for hard fighting. And as Rousseau had ordered Apaulding to join him as soon as possible with the Tenn Cav Brigade I concluded it was not best to push them on further after the Reb Williams tho Rousseau knew nothing of Williams being in the country. So I encamped near Tuine and pushed on out before day towards Franklin which was 13 miles off West on the other R.R. and got over there at 9 oclock A.M. 5th inst. I at once telegraphed to Nashville for ammunition and provisions sent out to press all the good horses in town and country and set a half dozen blacksmiths at work in every shop in and around the town to shoeing up the horses. I found Col. Jas. P Brownlow here badly wounded in one of the fights with Wheeler. He is a son of old Parson Brownlows and a splended fellow and a gallant officer. I also seen the cofin with the body of the Reb Gen. Kelly who was killed in the battle when Brownlow was wounded. The supplies all arrived in the evening and I had them issued as soon as possible and by much hurrying got ready and started after dark to go South and head off Williams and join Rousseau--I thought it best to go on and see Rousseau and perhaps he would give me absolute control of the Tenn Cav. together with a detachment of 200 of the 6th Ind Cav. that had joined us at Franklin and went on with us. I pushed on from Franklin to Pulaski without coming up with Rousseau. Passing through a country that is hardly excelled for beauty and fertility in the World. I arrived at Pulaski at 12 oclock A.M. on the 7th inst. Finding that Rousseau had gone off west towards Florence after Wheeler, and not hearing of Williams coming out on the Tenn and Ala R.R. (Which I was then on) and fearing that he might have turned back East and pitched into the Nashville and Chattanooga R.R. which I have to defend, and being away from it without orders, I at once determined to let Spalding go with the 10th and 12th Tenn which belonged to the Tenn & Ala R.R. and had only come over to my N. and C. R.R. to help me temporarily--So I took the 5th Tenn with the two little howitzers and the detachment of the 2nd Ky Cav and come across from Pulaski to this place 60 miles and arrived here at 6 1/2 A.M. Sept 9th (day before yesterday). We captured several reb stragglers while coming through Quite a scene occured at Fayetteville, the county seat of the rich county of Lincoln (a notoriously disloyal County). We dashed into the town and I sent soldiers to surround the town and keep in all reb Stragglers. Three fierce reb cavalry horses were discovered hitched before a splended mansion with fine reb Cavelry trappings on. The horses were taken in charge of and the question was asked of several fine looking ladies standing on the portico in front of the house, where the soldiers were who owned the horses. They seemed a good deal agitated tho they tried to appear calm. They answered that they knew nothing of them and denied that they were in or about the house. I had issued an order upon coming into the town that Reb. soldiers should be demanded at every house suspicioned of harboring any and if not given up at once and any were found in searching the house that it should be burned, but if given up without trouble they would be treated as prisoners of war and the house not molested. An officer told them of my order and dismounted with some soldiers to search the house. About the time the officers were entering the house, the terror of the women about their sons, brothers and sweethearts overcome their courage and commenced screaming and crying "Oh, my son will be shot." "My brother will be shot." "My dear Henry Albert etc will be shot murdered etc" In the midst of this hubub the three Rebs nicely dressed in new clean uniforms come crawling up out of the cellar, and give themselves up and were marched off, after considerable screaching--hugging and kissing. I was setting on my horse amidst a group of officers a short distance off enjoying the fun. The three young bucks were brought before me. I told them if they were bushwhackers they had best make their prayers short for they would get through tickets to the infernal regions in five minutes, but if they were regular soldiers they would be treated as prisoners of war. They protested that they were soldiers belonging to Wheeler's army and had come home on a short leave of absence to see their friends--get new clothes and an outfit and were just ready to start back and were eating dinner, and intended being off in a few minutes when we dashed into town. They said they did not suppose there was a Yankee in 20 miles upon my arrival here I learned that the Reb Williams had been headed off by us and turned East and passed through Shelbyville and crossed the N. & C. R.R. 15 miles North of this, two days before in such haste that he had not touched the R.R. track or telegraph wire I sent part of the 5th Tenn Cav to McMinnville the day I got back and Capt Baird with them to see where the Rebs had gone. They returned today and report that the Rebs are at and about Sparta, 27 miles beyond McMinnville, worn out and nearly without amunition and could be easily captured. But I have no Cav. to pursue them with now. They are all together now about 3,000 strong and I have not more than 300 Cav here. So ends Wheelers [sic]great raid. The R.R. and telegraph lines all commenced operations again yesterday and trains and messages are passing and repassing continually as if nothing had happened. Rousseau will probably use up Wheeler before he stops as he has a fine Cav Force. If I had a 1,000 Cav [sic] I would finish Williams. This is the 12th I was so bothered yesterday that I did not get to finish this letter. The acceptance of Beards resignation come on today. So he is out of the service and will start home with the 100 days Regts [sic] two of which are still here, tho their time has been out ten days but were stoped [sic] by the raid, but will go soon. I am in excellent health. I wish Wheeler would make a raid every week, for I would then have some action service as a soldier should have.--I have not had time to draw my pay for last month, but will do so in a few days and send you most of it. I hear nothing of Tatman, he never writes to me. I feel certain he has been acting the scoundral [sic] with me and I am going to write to Dwiggins and authorize him to take charge of my office and business there. I fear Tatman has got me worse swamped than Cole did.
In my 9 days ride after the Rebs I traveled 250 miles and was in the saddle from two thirds of to three fourths of the time. I road Jasper all the time and it did not injure him in the least. If you see Robt. Dwiggins you may tell him to make arrangements to take charge of my office and settle up my old business. I will be sorry to part with old Col. Jim Dunn, who goes home with his Regt. in a few days. He has been on my staff since he come out as Provost Marshall and is an excellent old man. Give my love to the children and tell them that if they dont all write to me soon I will come home and lick them all and may include their Mamy too if she dont write often.
My Kindest regards to Neighbors. 
Yours Husband Truly,
R. H. Milroy
MSCC/CWRC, www.cwrc.edu

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