Tuesday, October 30, 2012

October 30 - Tennessee Civil War Notes

30, A portrait of Confederate Memphis by "The Rambler."

There is a kind of knowledge that men cannot get from books. It must be obtained from intercourse with the world, from mingling with men and mixing with society.

No place is better suited to any man than a city. The country serves to study nature. There all is fresh -- the trees are standing as nature formed them, the meadows smile with rural verdure, the little streams laugh along their many courses; all is natural, and all is beautiful.

It is otherwise in the city. There nature has surrendered to art. Green trees, and vernal meadows and smiling lawns give place to huge piles of brick and mortar. The melody of sweet birds is exchanged for the rumbling of drays; the whizzing of steam, the buzz of commerce, and the varied tones of hurried and busy men. The city is a great human hive. Comers and goers, buyers and sellers, strangers and friends, natives and foreigners, soldiers and civilians, greet the vision whithersoever we turn our eyes.

This morning I felt wearied with books, and determined to take a walk, and, by way of variety, to study one chapter of men. I was soon on Main street, the principal thoroughfare of this growing city, where I entered at once upon the task I had assumed.

Look! Everybody is in a hurry. No one walks except the aged and infirm. Everybody runs. Hurry is the word On, on is everybody's motto. Truly this is a fast age. People live fast, they travel fast, they come rich or poor fast, and they die fast.

Why is that tall man, who is engaged in leading that dray, so profane! He interlards every sentence he utters with some horrid imprecation. He swears as if he had notes before him. His oaths are new-fanged and far-fetched, and they are truly grating "to ears polite." I am told that profanity is by no means uncommon in the city. It is heard not only in the streets, but at the hotels, on the boats, in the cars, on the wharf, at the depots, in business houses, and even in the private circle. And the little boys see, are imitating their seniors, cursing and swearing almost before they can articulate words with distinctness. Is this a characteristic for Memphis, this far-famed Bluff City, the expected capital of the Confederate States? Is this the city known far and wide for the number and character of its churches and Sabbath schools? Is this the city on which Providence has bestowed so many advantages? Then, why is it so profane? Why is the disgusting habit tolerated by the city authorities? Would that not only Memphis, but the entire South, while shaking of the vassalage of the North would be divorced from all vice and stand forth in virtue, peerless among the nations of the earth!

There is a female in tattered rags, leading a sickly looking child along the pavement: I see that she is weeping. Some sorrow is brooding over her, or perhaps, some care or pressing want is gnawing, like a canker work, at her heart. How easily it is to be virtuous and honest, when free from temptation; but it is quite a different ting when loved ones are crying for bread, or shivering with cold. Many a man looks with horror upon one that will steal a loaf of bread to keep his wife and children form starving, who could not himself withstand strong temptation. His wife rolls in her carriage, or moves like a queen, in her comfortable mansion. Wealth has poured upon her its abundant stores. Her table is crowded with fish, and flesh, and fowl, and whatever else the market can furnish, or her fancy crave. She worships at fashion's shrine, and is, at least, a professed worshiper at the shrine of the cross. Might not a change in her circumstances, bring about a change in her husband's standard of morals! Let down that braided hair; exchange that costly silk for the coarsest of epparedy [sic] strip those delicate little fingers of the jewels that now sparked upon them; let that little hand, so soft and fair, be stained with exposure to cold, let that loved and lovely wife want for bread, and might not her doting husband rebel against the conventionalities of live, and, at least, feel strongly tempted to take by force what he could not otherwise obtain?

Here come several men in uniform. They are soldiers, and belong to one of the regiments camped near the city. They have left home to fight for their country, and are now only awaiting orders from headquarters to march. Two of the four are intoxicated, and can scarcely move along the street. The other two are striving to get them away from the drinkshops, and out to their camp. How disgustingly noisy they are! They are in a sad condition to meet the Yankees. The foe in whose hands they now are, slays more than those who come with sword and bayonet. His attacks are more to be dreaded. Mighty heroes have fallen before him. He who subjugated almost the entire civilized world; who supplanted kings and bartered empires; who left behind him whithersoever he went, the marks of desolation and ruin. Left at last under the attacks of this insidious foe. Then let others beware.

But, this study, as well as that of books, wearies me. I musts return to my room, It is said that "variety is the spice of life," and I will seek something of this, by studying and then walking, and by walking, and then studying. I wish t wander along the streets on Sabbath evening, and jot down whatever I see that my interest the reader.

Memphis, October 26, 1861

Memphis Commercial Appeal, October 30, 1861.





From gentlemen who have arrived in the city this morning, we learn that GARRISON [sic] and NEWSOM [sic], two noted rebel leaders, are playing a highhanded game with persons and property in the upper portions of Shelby and Tipton counties. Yesterday [29th] morning they made their appearance at the residence of DR. B.R. GAITHER, in Tipton county, and took away three head of horses (all they could find) and committed other depredations upon his property. They are arresting every man they can find who is able to bear a musket, and they declare it to be their intention to take away all the able bodied men in the county to the rebel conscript camps, there to be placed in the service of JEFFERSON I, king of rebeldom.

On last Friday [23rd], as MR. HAMP GRADY was returning from Memphis to his home, he was waylaid by a man named JACK BONDS, and his sons, who shot at him. He, however, escaped being the victim of their fell intentions with only a slight wound.

Society in the counties above is represented as being thoroughly broken up, no bond or tie is held sufficiently sacred to shield a man from outrage by those who were once his friends and neighbors, but now bitter political enemies. We repeat our conviction that there is but one remedy for all this, and that is for the banishment of the disloyal, and the enrollment and arming of the State militia, and the sooner the better.

Memphis Bulletin, October 30, 1863.






Madame Belgraves, the Renowned Fortune Teller is now making her first tour in the South, and will make but a short stay in Memphis. All who wish to avail themselves of her extraordinary powers, would do well to call soon. Her manner of telling fortunes and selecting conjugal partners has astonished the most incredulous. She may be found for a few days longer at No. 18 Madison street, up stairs.

Memphis Bulletin, October 30, 1863.



Monday, October 29, 2012

October 29 - Tennessee Civil War Notes

29, Complaints about draft dodgers in Confederate Chattanooga 


The attention of our Middle Tennessee readers is directed to the proclamation of Gov. Harris in our paper of to-day, in reference to the conscript law in that portion of the State. The law will be strictly enforced, and none who are subject to it need think of escaping even if they have the desire to do so. Congress, it is true, has passed a law saying that the president may accept all companies, battalions and regiments organized in Middle and West Tennessee before the 1st of December, but whether it will be done rests alone in the discretion of the President , and we learn that he is not disposed to accept any regiments until he old o­nes are filled. But whether he does or not, that does not authorize men subject to the law to stay out of the army refusing to join either old or new regiments under the expectation that the law is not to be enforced until the first of December. Really there is nothing in the worked conscript to which so many seem to object. By the provisions of the law all men between the ages of eighteen and forty-five are conscripts, that is they have considered in the military service of the country, liable to be put in the field whenever the exigencies of the service require it to be done.. The twelve months men who organized under the conscript law, the men who have since joined old or new regiments, and the men who are enrolled are all alike in the military service of the country by operation of laws. There is no such thing as volunteering now in the true sense of the word, although we have been in the habit of using it to distinguish those who go into the army now without being enrolled and required to report themselves to an officer at a camp of instruction. All attempts at evasion of the law will be strictly watched and guarded against. We have heard of some attempts of this sorts which are alluded in a communication signed "A Tennessee Volunteer," and similar o­nes will be made, but they will be of no avail. The law must and will be impartially enforced, and especially will it not be allowed to screen such enemies of our cause as are mentioned by "A Tennessee Volunteer." We hope that all men liable to military duty will join either an old or new regiment and thus preserve the high character of Tennessee for gallantry and devotion to the cause of our country.


Chattanooga Daily Rebel, October 29, 1862



29, "'As the conscript is now upon us, and there will no doubt be a good deal of management in certain localities, and by certain men to evade it....' A TENNESSEE VOLUNTEER"

"Look for Tartans Under Contract."

As the conscript is now upon us, and there will no doubt be a good deal of management in certain localities, and by certain men to evade it, I wish through your columns to put the proper authorities upon their guard, as to o­ne trick that may possibly be played off upon them, unless they keep their eyes open.

From certain movements I believe there are men- who have voluntarily taken the oath of allegiance to the United States, and have had the address and meanness, notwithstanding their oath, to procure large contracts, at enormous prices, under the government of the Confederate States, and then employ several able bodied young men to do work that old men, or crippled soldiers could do, as well as anybody. A nice scheme indeed to weaken the southern forces, and fill their pockets with southern money at outrageous prices for their work. And now I ask: is it right is it good sense, is it prudent to suffer men to escape conscription under a government contract, who apart from such contracts area as clearly embraced in the conscript law as any man, and who as voluntarily sworn to support the government of our enemies, now a at war with us, and then under that contract employ and screen from service in the army such able bodied men as would otherwise be conscripted, when those not subject to the conscript law could do the work just as well.

Chattanooga Daily Rebel, October 29, 1862.



29, A religious revival in the Cherry Creek community


....There is a big meeting going on not far from Mr. Hampton's and his little son went one night and someone stole his mule bridle and saddle. Mr. Hampton does not believe in the way they carry on their big meetings, and I agree with him. I do not think I am an enemy to religion. I do not want to be, but I do not think if anything in the world requires calmness and deliberation, that is that thing. I think there are hundreds, especially the young, that are carried away by the excitement and understand nothing at all of the doctrines of religion.


Fiddles in the Cumberlands, p. 251.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

October 27 - 28 - Tennessee Civil War Notes

        27, Lynching and church; a day in the life a Federal soldier posted in Nashville

Monday 27th the left wing our our regiment on picket left camps at the usual time and relieved the Michigan at 8 oc [sic] last night was very cold…about 10 of our caverly [sic] run about 50 rebel caverly yesterday they found two of our cavelry [sic] hanging to a tree they were captured by the rebels a few days ago they belonged to the 1st Tennessee Cavelry [sic] it is believed they ware [sic] hung tight up when they ware taken prisener [sic] by the rebels and has [sic] remained there ever since as they ware [sic] stiff and cold hanging by the neck when our cavalry found them yesterday. I went to church last night accompanied by N. Pancher, Joseph Blackman and several others I was very much inrested [sic] in the evening service although the preachers complained of being unwell & only preached a short sermon yet the Congeration [sic] seemed to be very much interested I think the text was John 10 & 9 the house was crowded with soldiers: as usual: a report in campt of Bragg and one division of his army being captured by [sic

John Hill Fergusson Diary.




        28, "Thousands of these heroic spirits are in rags, without a blanket, and numbers of them without a coat." Excerpt from a Confederate soldier's letter while stationed in Knoxville

From Knoxville—"J. T. G."

Knoxville, Oct. 28, 1862.

Editor Enquirer: Our army is now resting from its recent retreat from Kentucky, recuperating its energies, which have been sadly impaired by the long and tedious circuit they have so recently made, for another march to relieve Tennessee of the Abolitionists. Which way and where they will go, is more than I can say. Their health and spirits are remarkable, when we consider how devoid they are of clothing, hats, and shoes. Thousands of these heroic spirits are in rags, without a blanket, and numbers of them without a coat. I saw one regiment to-day of 450 men, and only 220 of them had shoes—the remainder had not a shoe or covering to their feet. This regiment is not an isolated one—nearly every regiment of Bragg's army is destitute of clothing and shoes in the same ratio. Yet these men, barefooted as they were, have marched from Kentucky over a road, that for rocks has not its equal on the continent, with scarcely a murmur.

Why shoes were not put upon their feet, and clothes upon their backs, while in Kentucky, I cannot say. An intelligent officer tells me, however, that there were shoes and clothing enough burnt up by order of the General commanding to have supplied our whole army….

This morning the snow lay five inches deep upon the ground, so the boys to-day have indulged to their hearts' content in snow-balling each other; and every darkey that had the temerity to show his head received a liberal share.

J. T. G.

Weekly Columbus [Georgia] Enquirer, November 4, 1862.


Friday, October 26, 2012

October 26 - Tennessee Civil War Notes


There are in and near Nashville about thirty families of the members of the Burns Artillery, all in the most destitute circumstances. The husbands and fathers of these wanting women and children have now been in the service more than three months, and their families are now suffering from the want of food, fuel and clothing. Our fellow citizen, Dr. J. W. Morton, who was mainly instrumental in getting up the company, has done a great deal towards providing for the pressing needs of these families. In this respect, as well as in having the Artillery properly equiped, Dr. Morton has faithfully discharged his duties as a citizen and patriot. -- He has worked diligently to keep haggard want from the homes of these dependent women and children, freely devoting money and time to the humane and patriotic work. But, a generous and patriotic people should not let this heavy burthen rest alone upon the shoulders of one of its fellow-citizens. It is well known that Dr. Morton is not a man of wealth, and he cannot be expected to continue this drain upon his limited means. We hope those of our citizens who are able, will at once take this matter into hand, and come promptly to the assistance of Dr. Morton in the prosecution of this good work.

Nashville Daily Gazette, October 26, 1861




26, Union anti-guerrilla and conscripting scouts ordered to Bolivar, Jackson environs

No circumstantial report filed. 

Excerpt from Special Orders No. 264, October 26, 1863 

SPECIAL ORDERS, No. 264. HDQRS. SIXTEENTH ARMY CORPS, Memphis, Tennessee, October 26, 1863.

* * * * 

II. The Sixth Tennessee Cavalry, Col. Hurst, will move upon Bolivar and Jackson, covering the country east of the Memphis and Ohio Railroad, and suppressing with all necessary severity the guerrilla and conscripting parties south of Trenton. They will draw supplies from the country, giving receipts, to be settled at the close of the war. No plundering or pillaging by men or officers will be allowed. Col. Hurst will report weekly, through the commanding officer at La Grange, to the chief of cavalry. The men of this regiment will not be permitted to scatter, but will move actively in organized force. All horses fit for Government service will be taken by the quartermaster of the regiment and turned over at once to the quartermaster at La Grange, and receipts given as above. The people of the country will be informed that they must organize to put down robbers and guerrillas or be subject to the continual presence of force that will; they must co-operate with the National forces.

* * * * 

By order of Maj. Gen. S. A. Hurlbut:
T. H. HARRIS, Assistant Adjutant-Gen.
OR, Ser. I, Vol. 31, pt. I, pp. 750-751.




26, Military Governor Andrew Johnson on relief for the poor in Nashville

Nashville, October 26th 1863

John H. Smith

Mayor &c

Sir -- As winter is coming, there must and will necessarily be much suffering from cold, among the poorer classes of society. In fact, the applications to this office are, thus early in the season, becoming numerous and pressing. If you have the power, to effect arrangements for this class, I desire to make the following proposition. If you will procure the wood along the line of the North Western Railroad, I will have the same brought to Nashville free of transportation. If you have not the power you will please communicate this proposition to your Board [of Aldermen] and have their actions upon the same, or upon any other proposition, relating to the matter. I would urgently press this matter upon your body, and will heartily second, and effort in this behalf as it is getting to be a matter of embarrassment and importance.
I am Andrew Johnson Mil-Gov

Papers of Andrew Johnson, Vol. 6, p. 440.



Thursday, October 25, 2012

October 25 - Tennessee Civil War Notes


The town of Brownsville has been the scene of another disgraceful raid by guerrillas. We learn the following particulars from the place dated the 25th inst. [i.e., September 25]. It appears that about twenty of Sol. Street's men, under command of ALLEN [sic], entered that place on the 20th, got drunk, as the first part of the programme, and then commenced to rob and plunder stores and citizens indiscriminately. They entered a grocery and took all the money they could find, entered a drygoods store and carried off one thousand dollars worth of goods, and also robbed several citizens. After disgracing humanity with their outrageous proceedings, and driving all decent people from the streets by their indecent talk and behavior, they left the place, going to the direction of Wellwood, northeast from Brownsville. But after nightfall they returned and entered a store taking there from another supply goods, after which they attacked a citizen's house, firing several shots, some of which passed through and coming out on the opposite side. One shot struck the bed on which the sick wife of the owner was lying. Fortunately, no one was injured.

The commander of the gang of thieves GEORGE ALLEN [sic], is one of the worst men the world ever saw. He was raised near Whiteville, Hardeman county, and is by common report a drunkard and blackguard. He was once married, but his wife died in utter neglect, and there was strong suspicions of foul play. By her death he came into possession of several thousand dollars worth of property, but not proving capable of taking care of it, he went into open court and swore to the fact and A. J. POLK [sic] was appointed his guardian. He was compelled by the conscript law to take up arms for the rebels in the spring of '62. By cowardice at Shiloh and other places he was taken from the ranks and placed in the commissary department. Failing in this also, he was obliged to take refuge in the Union lines at Memphis. Here he stayed until he had gained information which would be beneficial to the enemy, and then took his departure for Dixie -- where, by telling large stories of his exploits, he obtained a commission to raise a company of recruits, and by the assistance of others, he succeeded in getting about 75 men; and, with the assistance of Sol. Street, he conscripted all the Union men he could find, allowing secesh sympathizers to go free. Subsequently, however, nearly all is conscripts escaped, and he has only about twenty men left - the same with which he made the attack on Brownsville. ALLEN [sic] is a good type of the class of men of which the guerrillas are composed. They care very little for the success of the Southern Confederacy, their sole object being to plunder the weak and helpless. We trust some means will yet be devised to cheat West Tennessee of the thieving bands which infest it.
Memphis Bulletin, October 25, 1863

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

October 24 - Tennessee Civil War Notes

24, Confederate States Senator from Tennessee Gustavas A. Henry's plan "for winding up this campaign gloriously for our army."

LEXINGTON, October 24, 1863.

Hon. J. A. SEDDON:

Let me give you my plan for winding up this campaign gloriously for our army.

Gen. Lee will probably not engage in any further active operations this fall. Send Ewell to Bristol by rail, thence to Knoxville, by land march where he will encounter the enemy and he will easily defeat him. Then let him march down the Tennessee River on the other side and form a junction with Joseph E. Johnston in Rosecrans' rear, cutting off his supplies of provisions and re-enforcement of men.

Johnston should be ordered to Middle Tennessee, crossing the Tennessee River at Savannah, then march via Columbia to Shelbyville or Murfreesborough, thus effectually flanking Rosecrans, relieve the whole of Tennessee from invasion, and enable us to winter our army near the Kentucky line, where we can command at moderate rates unlimited supplies. In addition to this, if we re-occupy Tennessee, we can from that State alone increase our army 50,000 soldiers, and from Kentucky as many more. The southern part of that State would rise to our support if they had an army to flock to. The enemy cannot make any effectual advance on Richmond, and the real defense of Virginia is to be made in Tennessee. Drive the enemy out of East Tennessee, and defeat or capture Rosecrans, and the war will be at an end, as I verily believe Gen. Lee, with the troops left under his command here and around Richmond, can defend the city for six months, even if the enemy should have the temerity to invest it. Before that time we could concentrate our army again in Virginia and relieve it from invasion. The enemy will not attempt to overrun Mississippi in Gen. Johnston's absence, and what if they do, if in the mean time we annihilate their great Army of the Cumberland!
You may rely on it this plan followed out will do all I here predict and close the war in a "blaze of glory."
Do think seriously of this plan, and if Gen. Lee can be spared so as to go out west and assume the chief command, it will be all the better. It is the turning point of the war, and I think the road to independence lies incitingly before us.

Ever your friend,

G. A. HENRY [Confederate States Senator from Tennessee].

Gen. Bragg, it seems, is on very bad terms with his officers. No matter whose fault it is, such a total want of harmony between a commander and his officers must lead to disaster. I wish to God Lee could be put in command of that army. It would produce a thrill through every department of it that would insure its triumph.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 31, pt. III, p 586



 24, Nashvillian S. R. Cockrill's  memorandum relative to providing fish for Confederate Army

MARIETTA, GA., October 24, 1863.


Called together as you are by the Secretary of War to aid by your actions and counsels the Subsistence Department, I hope good results may follow your deliberations. I have implicit confidence that our independence will be won by the valor of our troops, but not without much effort and privation. If there be a question about which there is danger, it is the supply of meat for the Army. While we held Middle and East Tennessee there was no danger. At present they are in the possession of the enemy, and it is now uncertain what supply of meat, if any, will be drawn from that quarter. This may interfere materially with your prices, and hence the propriety of embracing all our resources in this terrific conflict. We have men, arms, ammunition, bread, and clothes, and a supply of meat must be had, as we are resolved not to be subjugated. The infamous enemy who invades our country threatens to starve us into submission. God said: "Let the waters bring forth abundantly," and it was done. He gave to man dominion over the fish of the sea. In our rivers, lakes, and bays there is an inexhaustible supply of fish, which in our abundance we have never resorted to. It is the part of wisdom now to look to this providential supply placed beyond the reach and control of the enemy. If driven to the necessity the Army can be fed from the waters. In political economy supply and demand determine prices. The plan to diminish the price of meat for the Army is to increase the supply. As agents for the Government this becomes a legitimate question for your body. How is this to be done? The stock regions are mainly in the hands of the enemy, and in the cotton States we have not time to grow them now to meet what may become an important emergency; that is, a scant supply of meat for the Army. The most certain and ready resource, then, is to assume dominion over the fish of the sea. How is this to be done? I make the following suggestions:

First. By orders from the proper military department detail 10,000 men from the several armies, selected for their fitness for this service, such as disabled soldiers, new conscripts, and men over forty-five (if found necessary), who shall be placed under proper officers at the best fisheries to be found in the Confederacy.

Second. They are detailed as a permanent force to furnish an additional supply of meat for the Army from the waters, by all the appliances used for such purposes, to wit, traps, seines, floats and hooks, trot-lines, nets, spears, gigs, hooks, &c.

Third. The Government to furnish a supply of salt and the fish as caught to be scaled, dressed, and salted. This service can be rendered by women, either white or black, or both.

Fourth. A detail of rough carpenters should be made to make boxes and barrels, and quartermasters to superintend the transportation to depots, &c.

Fifth. Officers in attendance should make reports weekly to higher authorities.

The above is a sufficient outline of the plan. The object is to add to the supply of meat for the Army, thereby enabling you to control the price thereof. An experiment may show that it is economy in the Government thus to employ force enough to furnish half the meat required by the Army. It is the legitimate mode of effecting the price of what is to be bought. If this force should average ten pounds each per day it would give 100,000 pounds per day, which would be rations for an army of 200,000 men. We know that men can live o­n fish. We know that the supply in the rivers is abundant. We know that industry and system will get them out of the waters. It is too uncertain in the hands of individuals, hence the necessity of organizing a regular force to work at this alone by the Government. They are reliable meat growers. It develops o­ne of the hidden resources of the Confederacy at a time when it is needed. The soldiers of the Army may become alarmed about a meat supply as we are cut off from Tennessee and Kentucky. This should be relieved as soon as possible. Establish the fact that we have a supply of meat in the waters and our independence is won. We can't fail o­n any other question; we must not fail o­n this. Bonaparte passed the Alps when the world thought it was impossible. The supply is in the waters beyond doubt, large enough to feed the whole population of the Confederate States, and will we sit down and say we can't get out enough to feed 200,000 men? At many of the fisheries a large quantity of oil could be made-much needed now by the Army. The plan will not interfere with the field force, and its successful execution is recommended by the highest considerations. To insure success, however, I think that if the Secretary of War will give the orders and authority to Gen. Gideon J. Pillow that he will put the whole plan into operation sooner that any man in the Confederate States. He is practical and of untiring energy and industry. He knows how such things can be done. He can direct matters in the Conscript Bureau and attend to this meat supply also. If these views meet the approval of the commissioners I hope they will in their official capacity urge its immediate adoption upon the Secretary of War. I think we have no time to lose.

All of which is respectfully submitted.

S. R. COCKRILL, Nashville, Tenn.*


BUREAU OF SUBSISTENCE, November 10, 1863.

Respectfully returned to the Secretary of War.

The writer says correctly that our people have not paid attention to fisheries in the lakes and rivers of the interior, of which the products would scarcely support the hands employed. The shad fisheries o­n the tide waters of the rivers have been attended to, and the supply has of late years been steadily diminishing because the fish caught were o­n their way up to spawn. The results of this business have not exceeded local consumption. It was conducted by plantation negroes and by Yankees. The writer has not shown from Scripture that the promised dominion over the waters and the fishes therein will confer o­n the 10,000 Confederate invalids and exempts the skill to fabricate all the appliances necessary to catch the fish or the judgment, perseverance, and hardihood requisite to use them successfully, even if the vast amount of cord needed was obtainable. Nor has it been shown that in the absence of these facilities and endowments the promised dominion will cause in the fish a due avidity to be caught, even if the season of the year will admit the present application of the plan. It must also be shown that the promised dominion over the waters will be admitted by Mr. Lincoln in favor of the Confederates, and induce him to prohibit hereafter the boat expeditions which have been used with great activity heretofore to break up the fisheries in the waters of Virginia and North Carolina. This whole subject has long ago been carefully considered, and but little fish has been secured during the past two seasons. The impossibility of getting seines or the cord to make them has restricted our efforts and they have failed. Professor Richardson, of Marietta, made long communications o­n the subject, and the reports of Maj. White, of Florida, thereon are conclusive. Landsmen often fail in their theories o­n marine matters from want of familiarity with little details which the experience of seamen alone furnishes. If Gen. G. J. Pillow can realize the results indicated this Bureau will be greatly benefited directly.
L. B. NORTHROP, Commissary-Gen. of Subsistence.

OR, Ser. IV, Vol. 2, pp. 916-918.

*Ed. note - Cockrill was either a visionary or a crackpot. In either case, the proposal was too little too late and was never implemented.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

October 23 - Tennessee Civil War Notes

   23, Fraternization with the enemy and Federal camp life in the Chattanooga environs, excerpts from the letter of Bliss Morse to his mother

Dear Mother:
* * * *
We came off picket this morning and had a very pleasant time until it rained this morning. Our Brig. went out with us. Our boys talked and swapped papers with them also traded coffee for some of their tobacco.

Our lines are very near to each other where we picket – the banks of Chattanooga creek described the lines of our pickets.

At night every fifth man is sent down to the water's edge. It is…deep and rapid now. As o­ne of our boys went down to the waters edge he saw a reb sitting o­n a log across the stream. It was moonlight. He (the reb) halloed out "are you a vidette? Yes. Well, so am I." Two of them swam across the creek the other night, and many more of them would like to come in, judging by their actions, as they will come down and hang around the lines looking very wishfully over in to the "promised land." Our batteries shelled the rebels in the P. M., soon we heard firing in their rear and some shots during the night. All at o­nce their tents began to look rather thin….Last Monday we moved camp….It would have been quite a sight to all of you to see the Regiments moving around, - as we had to take our materials along with us. Some carried bedsteads, window sash[es], cracker boxes, pieces of sheet iron and everything you can imagine to make tents comfortable….We have pitched our tents…We have a chimney of brick to which we have sheet iron stove that we manufactured and can do our cooking o­n it – beside bake pies, cakes, and beef if we get any flour top use. We have a table to write o­n and burn a "slit" light for candles, also sleep three in a bed. Our rations are more plenty and regularly issued yet I have held my own in flesh….

Diaries of Bliss Morse



23, Brigadier-General Gideon J. Pillow's report on Confederate recruiting and conscripting activity in West Tennessee and Middle Tennessee


Gen. S. COOPER, Adjutant and Inspector Gen.:

Col. [R.V.] Richardson's command, 1,500 strong; Col. Bell's, 600 strong; Newsom's command, 600; Wilson's, 300 strong; Kizer's, 400 strong, making an aggregate of 3,300 men, all cavalry and raised in West Tennessee under my orders, constitute the nucleus of a division of cavalry which I want your authority to organize. These organizations will all soon be swelled into full regiments, and every man of them has been brought from within the enemy's lines and raised by the work of this bureau. These officers all now report to me. I am not content with my present position. I have applied to Gen. Johnson and Bragg to relieve me. This they declined upon the ground that my services in my present position are so important that I cannot be spared from them. One very serious ground of dissatisfaction with my present position is that, having no command and being an "outsider," I lose all chances for future promotion, and if I ever return to the field, no matter how long, first I will have to return with my present rank and be overshadowed by all the officers from my own State, who constituted a part of the army which I commanded and of which I organized about 45,000 before the transfer to the C. S. service took place. This is the hardship of my present position. Because I have zealously labored for the interest of the service and made myself useful, is it just that I should be thus held and debarred of all chances of promotion and of command, which follows? Another serious source of embarrassment in my present position is that the officers of my staff, taking rank from my own position, are all the pay of captains and lieutenants, which is wholly inadequate for their support, compelled as I am to have my headquarters in the towns and cities, where the cost of living has become so excessive that the is pay will not even subsist them, much less pay all the other incidental expenses of living. These are the great sources of my dissatisfaction with my present position. Though the service is most distasteful and repugnant to my feelings, I am willing to work wherever the Government considers my services most important; but for the reasons stated above I am urgent in my application to be relieved, and ask that you will, by orders, authorize me to organize the cavalry commands mentioned above, and with them proceed to the district west of the Tennessee River and increase it to a division. I make this appeal to your sense of justice.
I am, sir, with great respect, your obedient servant,

GID. J. PILLOW, Brig.-Gen., C. S. Army, Superintendent.

P. S.--I omitted to mention the command of Col. J. J. Reiley, who has a full regiment brought out of West Tennessee under like orders.

G. J. P.

Maj. Cooper has also raised a regiment under my orders in Middle Tennessee, where it now is, but will come soon.

G. J. P.

OR, Ser. IV, Vol. 2, pt. p. 884.

Monday, October 22, 2012

October 22 - Tennessee Civil War Notes

22-25, Expedition from Ft. Donelson to Waverly, with skirmishes

OCTOBER 22-25, 1862.--Expedition from Fort Donelson to Waverly, Tenn., with skirmishers.

No. 1.--Brig. Gen. Thomas A. Davies, U. S. Army, commanding District of Columbus.

No. 2.--Lieut. John B. Colton, Quartermaster Eighty-third Illinois Infantry.

No. 1.
Report of Brig. Gen. Thomas A. Davies U. S. Army, commanding District of Columbus.

COLUMBUS, KY., October 29, 1862 

SIR: I have the honor to report an engagement near Waverly with Napier's guerrillas by a detachment of the Eighty-third Illinois Volunteers and one piece of artillery and 30 cavalry, under Maj. E. C. Brott, from Fort Donelson, assisted by Lieut.-Col. Patrick, Fifth Iowa Cavalry, and infantry from Fort Heiman.

Our forces amounted to about 500; the enemy 800. We killed 122, wounded several, took 15 prisoners and destroyed 12 barges and row-boats of the enemy, who would make no further fight.

THOS. A. DAVIES, Brig.-Gen.,

No. 2.

Report of Lieut. John B. Colton, Quartermaster Eighty-third Illinois Infantry.

COLUMBUS, KY., October 29, 1862.

DEAR SIR: I am directed by Brig.-Gen. Davies to hand you a report of the late battle near Waverly between a detachment of Eighty-third Regt. Illinois Volunteers, under the command of Maj. E. C. Brott, and a part of the rebel forces commanded by Col. Napier. The official report of the same not having yet been received, having been with the expedition, I give the facts as correctly as the circumstances will admit.

The Federal force left Fort Donelson on Tuesday, October 22, at 1 o'clock p. m., consisting of 140 infantry, 30 cavalry and 1 rifled gun of Capt. Flood's battery, and proceeded toward Waverly, which, is situated 40 miles north [south] west from Fort Donelson and 9 miles from the Tennessee River.

On Wednesday afternoon when within 6 miles of Waverly our advance guard of cavalry were fired upon by 25 mounted guerrillas, but without effect. At sunset of same day our advance came upon a band of 75 mounted guerrillas stationed in a thicket, one-half mile from the town of Waverly. They fired upon us, killing, 1 private and slightly wounding 2 others. Our force returned the fire, killing 4 (as near as could be ascertained) and wounding several others. We took 1 prisoner. The enemy immediately took to fight. Maj. Brott then ordered his command to fall back 1 mile, where we encamped for the night, troops lying on their arms. From the prisoner taken we ascertained that the rebel force amounted to 700 or 800 well-mounted men, armed with muskets and double-barreled shot-guns, with two rifled Parrot guns taken from the steamer Terry.

The next morning at 5 o'clock Maj. Brott ordered his command to fall back to White Oak Springs, about 14 miles, not thinking his force sufficiently strong to proceed farther. When about 6 miles from camp, at the crossing of a creek, a band of about 300 mounted guerrillas attacked us on our rear. At the time of the attack our forces were scattered, owing to a misunderstanding of the place of camping for breakfast. The order was to camp about 4 miles farther on. The enemy dashed in upon the troops, causing considerable confusion for a time, but they rallied and fired upon the enemy, the fire lasting about eight minutes, when he enemy retired with 8 men killed and several wounded, as was reported to us by their two surgeons whom we took prisoners. We had 1 man severely wounded and 2 slightly. On the battle grounds and on the march we took 15 prisoners. Our forces were then ordered to march back to Fort Donelson, where they arrived on Friday evening, October 25.

I suppose the reason of the whole of Napier's force not attacking us was from the fact that a Federal force of about 250 infantry, and cavalry, commanded by Lieut.-Col. Patrick, of Fifth Iowa Cavalry, coming up on the opposite side of the river from the enemy's camp, and they (the enemy) fearing an attack did not send out a large force. We did not know that Col. Patrick was on the opposite side of the river. He was ordered to go out on the road from Fort Heiman to Paris to reconnoiter, and on his return to camp went over to the river opposite the enemy's camp. He succeeded in destroying twelve barges and row-boats belonging to the enemy. He also fired several shots at them.

The foregoing are all the facts of importance that would be of service.

Respectfully, &c.,

JNO. B. COLTON, Quartermaster Eighty-third Illinois Volunteers.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 17, pt. I, pp. 463-464.

22, Confederate situation report relative to flour mill operation, pickets and scouts on the Tennessee River, Igou's to Blythe's Ferry

HDQRS. 35TH AND 48TH TENNESSEE REGIMENTS, Near Georgetown, Tennessee, October 22, 1863.

Gen. STEVENSON, Cmdg. at Charleston and Loudon, E. Tennessee:


I am commanding the Thirty-fifth and Forty-eighth Tennessee Regiments at this point, numbering about 400 men. I was sent here to gather up wheat and put three mills in operation, and to gather up stock for the army. Have been very successful in both. I am also picketing the Tennessee River from Igou's to Blythe's Ferry with my infantry and a few mounted [men] whom I have in my command.

The enemy has fortified and done a good deal of ditching on the opposite side at Blythe's Ferry. They have also ditched on the island at that point to protect them while hauling corn from the island. Col. Cooper, commanding a regiment in Spears' brigade, is in command of about 400 men at Blythe's Ferry. I have a good company of infantry guarding that point stationed on this side. Spears' headquarters are located on Sale Creek. The remainder of his brigade is with him. Byrd, commanding brigade of cavalry, is located at Post Oak Springs above.

I have scouts who go across the river every night. They report that Joe Clift, owning a mill on opposite [shore], and who has been grinding for the Federals, applied to Gen. Spears on last Tuesday or Wednesday for a guard for his mill. Gen. Spears replied that they were under marching orders and liable to move at any moment, consequently he could not furnish it. Gen. Spears told Joe Clift that the Federal forces in east Tennessee were in a precarious situation; that our troops were marching on them from above and below, and that he was fearful they would be cut off. The Union men and private soldiers are of the opinion that Rosecrans is preparing for a retrograde movement; that he could not support his army where he now is very long.

Rosecrans sent 1,000 wagons across Walden's Ridge by the Poe road, loaded with sick, wounded, and other surplus, as the Yankees say, on last Monday. Tuesday and Wednesday night four or five batteries passed up by Sale Creek in the direction of Post Oak Springs or Smith's Cross-Roads as though they were hunting out a road to Middle Tennessee or getting forage for their stock or going to East Tennessee. Our scout was not able to ascertain which. They were nearly starved, as they pressed Gen. Spears' corn as they went up by Sale Creek. They had a general rip and cursing spell. They said that their horses had had no forage for forty-eight hours.

Some of the gassing, boasting officers brag that Rosecrans had received 60,000 re-enforcements and would hold his position, while others of his men and officers said that he had not received one-half that number and could not hold it.

I have thus summed up and penned down the various items of information acquired by my scouts on the opposite side of the river. You can weigh it and judge for yourself. I hope if anything of importance should occur above you will let me know, and oblige,

Your obedient servant,

B. J. HILL, Col., &c.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 31, pt. III, p. 577.

Friday, October 19, 2012

October 19 - Tennessee Civil War Notes

19, "The Names Drawn."

We learn that it is a fact that the names of twenty families having husbands or friends in the Confederate army have been drawn out, and that they will be given five days within which to leave Memphis, in retaliation for firing upon the steamers Continental and Dickey. The names have not been made public, but each will receive a special notification. The firing upon the streamer Catahoula, about four miles below the city, about nine o'clock this morning, will doubtless cause ten more to be added.

We learn that those families having husbands and brothers in the Confederate service will be taken first, and afterward those having other connections.

Memphis Bulletin, October 19, 1862.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

October 16 - Tennessee Civil War Notes

16, Confederate Colonel W. W. Faulkner's cavalry attacks itself at Island No. 10 

"Guerrillas at Island No. 10"
Skirmishing near Tiptonville
Pemisco Bayou Quiet

The steamboat Graham, from St. Louis, arrived at our landing last evening (18th), and from Captain BART. BOWEN, her gentlemanly commander, we learn the reason of the firing at the Meteor, which arrived at noon today, reported hearing as she passed the neighborhood of the celebrated Island No. 10. It appears that on Thursday (16th) two bodies of Colonel Faulkner's rebel cavalry came in there, and each mistaking the other division for enemies, the two bodies fired vigorously into each other. It is reported, however, that the consequences of the blunder had no more serious result that the wounding of two men. The noise of the firing attracted the attention of some Federal troops scouting in the neighborhood, and they pursued them and succeeded in carrying off seven prisoners.

Tiptonville it was reported that the guerrillas were active all around and full of vindictive designs. It was stated, however, that they had been met by; some Federal troops who had wounded four or five of their men. There appears to be great activity manifested at the present time by the enemy along the river. They have been encourage by the inactivity of the gunboats to believe they can close the river commerce of Memphis and starve it into submission to the Confederacy. While we are writing steps are being carried out that will show them the futility of their expectations, while it proves to them that General Sherman will not permit their unwarlike banditti proceedings to be perpetrated without bringing bitter consequences on the heads of their aiders and sympathizers.

When the Graham passed Pemisco Bayou (Arkansas), where the Continental and Dickey were fired into, a gunboat was lying there, and all was quiet. In our report of the shooting into the Dickey, we stated that she was hailed at Halle's Point, by a crowd of people. She did not answer the hail. The Graham ascertained that a quantity of cotton had been brought there for shipment, and the crowd that raised suspicion on board the Dickey was composed of a guard collected to protect the cotton.

Memphis Bulletin, October 19, 1862.

Monday, October 1, 2012

October 1 - Tennessee Civil War Notes

1, Federal Medical Report relative to the Battle of Chattanooga
Report of Surg. Israel Moses, U. S. Army, Medical Director, Post of Chattanooga.
OFFICE OF MEDICAL DIRECTOR OF POST, Chattanooga, Tenn., October 1, 1863.
SIR: In obedience to orders, I repaired to this post, and, arriving September 18, reported to the commanding officer as medical director. Receiving orders from you to prepare beds for 5,000 wounded, I found scant supplies for not more than 500, and buildings capable of holding that number built by the Confederates and occupied as a hospital, with about 150 sick already in. Also a large building, two stories high, built by the Confederates as a receiving hospital, capable of holding 150. These buildings were without doors or windows and destitute of every convenience.
A partial supply of medicines, blankets, furniture, and dressings was on hand, estimated for 1,000 men, but deficient in many articles. I selected several buildings which might be converted into hospitals.
On September 19, Saturday, an engagement took place about 7 or 8 miles distant, and was renewed with great fierceness during the forenoon of the 20th [Sunday], during which our wounded numbered over 6,000. On this and the following day [Monday], as nearly as I can estimate, 4,000 wounded officers and men were received and assigned to various buildings and private houses, hotels, and churches. The following general hospitals were established during Sunday and Monday:
No. 1. Buildings [13] on the hill, which received nearly 1,000.
No. 2. Receiving hospital at base of hill, which received about 300.
No. 3. Crutchfield Hotel, which was taken possession of, and accommodated, on beds and floors, about 500.
No. 4. Three churches, which held about 200.
No. 5. Lofts over buildings occupied as the commissary storehouses, which received about 300.
No. 6. Buildings opposite the above, which accommodated 400.
No. 7. Officers' Hospital No. 1, a large brick building on a hill, which received 100 officers.
No. 8. Officers' Hospital No. 2, a large private mansion, which received 35.
No. 9. Private houses were taken late at night, and about 150 to 200 obtained shelter.
All the severe cases were dressed the same night they arrived, and other the next day, and all received food, of which many had been deprived for two days.
This work was performed by a corps of 43 surgeons who reported to me either by your order or as volunteers (of whom 4 were Confederate medical officers).
About three-fourths of the wounds were flesh, or of a lighter character, the other fourth being of the gravest character inflicted by musketry.
Few shell wounds or by round shot were seen, owing to the fact that little artillery was employed by the enemy.
On Monday the lighter cases were sent across the pontoon bridge, and on Tuesday others to the number of nearly 3,000. The officers who could bear transportation were sent in ambulances toward Stevenson.
On Wednesday not more than 800 of the gravest cases remained in town, and many of them have since been removed to the camp hospital.
Owing to the establishment of division hospitals there remains under my charge only Hospital No. 1, the Crutchfield Hospital, and Officers' Hospital.
Into these hospitals were received, on the evening of September 29, about 250 wounded, who were brought in from the Confederate lines.
Our hospitals are at the present time crowded beyond their capacity, and should they thus continue it would render a serious fear in my mind that our operations would be unsuccessful.
I have performed a large number of amputations and resections in the several hospitals, all of which thus far promise well.
Operations have been performed by various surgeons, in charge of hospitals and on the field, with a fair amount of success thus far.
The amputations have been mostly circular mode. To this date five cases of tetanus have come to my notice, but none of hospital gangrene or erysipelas.
The general condition of the patients is good, but our hospitals are greatly in need of bunks and mattresses, at least one-third of the grave cases being still on the floor, with only a folded blanket to lie on.
In view of the increasing risk of so many patients with suppurating wounds being crowded together, I would respectfully suggest an early provision for increased accommodations by tents with flooring, and that new temporary pavilions be constructed out of some incomplete buildings south of the railroad depot.
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
I. MOSES, Surgeon, U. S. Volunteers, Medical Director of Post.
OR, Ser. I, Vol. 30, pt. I, pp. 244-245.

1, “The Right Way to Do;” a private sector skirmish with and capture of guerrillas* 
A gentleman of this city was robbed yesterday morning, a few miles from Memphis, on Nonconnah creek, by a band of ruffians, misnamed guerrillas, who spared his life on the express condition that he would decoy Mr. Spiro, a cotton buyer of this city, into their clutches. Mr. Spiro is a the gentleman whom our readers will recollect as reported in the Bulletin two weeks since, the sufferer by a couple of thieves in the same quarter, who relieved him of a valuable horse, and several hundred dollars in greenbacks. The trap was arranged to delude Mr. Spiro into the belief that a large lot of cotton was waiting for him in that vicinity, and to persuade him to bring out several thousand dollars to purchase it. But the messenger informed Mr. Spiro of the whole scheme. Burning with revenge, our enterprising friend took seven others with him, men of nerve, pluck and skill, and started out yesterday afternoon in quest of adventure. It was a bold exploit and came to a successful issue. The shearer was shorn; the trap was sprung, but caught the hand that set it.
The party struck Nonconnah some two miles below the place where Mr. Sprio was expected, and rode briskly through the woods to their appointment. Arrived at the public road, they met an elderly person who informed them that he, too, had just been robbed by the same bandits, and guided them to the place of their concealment.
Scarcely had his statement been made, when the foe came boldly into the road a little way ahead, and the forces met. The enemy were five in number, three of them being Captains in Chalmers’ (guerrilla) command, the whole commanded by Capt. Crawford. After a brief skirmish the miscreants turned tail, and our friends pursued in hot haste. One of the enemy fell from his horse, was overtaken and might easily have been killed as was so righteously deserved but for mercy’s sake was spared, this lenity he acknowledged by escaping into the brush. The remaining four ensconced behind a log hut, and gave fight, and for some minutes the popping was brisk as a champagne supper. But al such games were too exciting to last. Capt. Crawford was soon killed, one of the foe was taken prisoner, begging upon bended knees for his miserable life, and brought to Memphis as a trophy, together with a horse, ten saddles, three revolvers, and some captured friends.
It was a gallant thing, and will long be remembered in that “debatable” strip of ground which has witnessed so many robberies and murders of late, as an evidence of what a few brave men can do at guerrilla-catching. This morning we understand a company is going out to the locality to bury the scamps who lay there.
Memphis Bulletin, October 2, 1863.*Ed. note - There is no reference to this skirmish in the OR or Dyer's Battle Index for Tennessee.

1, “A Model Counsel.”
Gabriel and Ned, “brack gemmen,” [sic] staked $50 aside on a game of “seven up.” Office Smith came upon them, like the unwelcome guest, and lodged them in jail. A lawyer undertook their defense, and mustered for the occasion all the eloquence and rhetoric of which he was master. In the course of his argument he held that gambling was only a slight offense, and too trifling to demand punishment. He considered it trifling, in fact, and so innocent, he occasionally indulged in it himself, and had tried his luck only the night before. At this the Court smiled, the City Attorney laughed. The eloquent counsel had make a good hit, and, in appreciation thereof, the accused were released on paying the trifling fine of $10 each and cost. It was quietly suggested to our reporter that the legal gentleman was considerably more than “half primed.”
Memphis Bulletin, October 1, 1864.