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

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