Wearing justly the proud title of the "Volunteer State," and every citizen of hers feeling that in the future as in the past, Tennessee will still deserve and bear the high distinction won by her chivalric and patriotic sons in former wars, in the number and character of troops she sends into the field, nothing would at this time so much mortify the feelings of Tennesseans or disparage their reputation abroad, as a resort to compulsory means to induce those now remaining at home to enter the military service of the country. We have never thought compulsion would be necessary, and do not think so now. In furnishing men and money for the prosecution of this war, the patriotism a liberality evinced by Tennessee, will safely bear comparison with that shown by any other member of the Confederacy's population and means taken into the account. Realizing the dangers with which the State is now threatened, and feeling that the services of every man who can possibly leave his home, will be necessary to stay the march of the invaders, the people of Tennessee, with an unanimity hardly to be expected at this time, are flocking to arms, and volunteering their service for the common defense. The number of enlistments required can be obtained in good time, probably before arms are ready to be placed in their hands, and we regard it as peculiarly unfortunate, both for the character of the State and the cause we are we are struggling to sustain, that any portion of our people should be threatened with the compulsory process indicated by that hated and infamous term drafting.
The mere suggestion that such a resort would be made in a certain contingency was not only premature and in bad taste, but will prove, we fear, the source of such harm to cause it was designed to aid. Tennesseans needed no such threats to make them sensible of their duties as patriots in this hour of their country's peril. Needless alarm in high places, misapprehension of the temper of our people, or probably an inordinate desire upon the part of certain little men to wear big honors, has had a good deal to do with the indelicate hast and bad judgment displayed in this matter, and it is especially desirable that the patriotic spirit being evinced by the people of the State to enter the service as volunteers, should no longer [be] dampened by threats of compulsion.
Nashville Daily Gazette, November 28, 1861.
28, Confederate guerrillas kidnap prominent Union men at Troy
UNION CITY, November 28, 1862.
I have reliable information that three of the most prominent Union citizens of this country were last night captured at or near Troy, in this county, a town noted for the treason of its inhabitants. They were captured by guerrillas, who infest the Obion Bottom, near that town, and are daily carrying off Union citizens and robbing them of their property, especially their horses.
Troy is a hot-bed of traitors; not a Union man living in the town. The 3 men captured have been our main stand-by for five months past, one of whom is Col. Bradford. I propose, if it meets with your approval, to give the authorities of the town notice that if the 3 men captured are not returned in five days that I will burn up the town. Gen., as unwell as I am, if you will give me the command at Trenton, which is a central point, I will have this country from the Memphis and Ohio Railroad to the Hatchie cleared of the last guerrilla in it before the return of my papers, as I know every district of the country. This will be a pleasure to me, as I have done so once before.
THOS. W. HARRIS, Col. Fifty-Fourth Illinois.
OR, Ser. I, Vol. 17, pt. II, pp. 365-366.
28, "O! That I could kiss them sweet lips of lovely Susan Ann and little children;" Jesse P. Bates' letter to his wife Susan Ann in Hickman County
McMinnville, Warren County, Tenn.
Nov. the 28th 1862
My Dear wife, I take this opportunity of writing you a few lines to let you know that I am well and I hope that these few lines may find you enjoying the same. We come here 2 weeks ago from Tullahoma. There is but 2 Regiments of troops her and I expect that our Regiment will stay here all winter. Our regiment is in tolerable good health at this time. Jo Steele, the 2 Morgans and Jo Loflen are well. Tom Jackson is in the hospital and he is either crazy of something else is the matter. He is not rational. Sexton left us on detail at Knoxville and he has not returned yet. Dan and A. L. Hamilton was at Chattanooga when we last heard from them. A.L.H. was sick and Dan went to wait on him and Louis Miller was near Chattanooga at a hospital and we had heard that A.L. and Louis was furloughed and gone home. I saw Baird the day before we feet Tullahoma, and he was well. You said you wanted his likeness, but there has been no chance to have it taken as yet. We are expecting a battle near Nashville and it may be going on now as there was a cannon heard in that direction yesterday. I have not heard anything from our folks in Hickman only that Beverly B. Bates was in the army and Sam is exchanged and was in Miss. When heard from. I can't hear nothing from you mother. I wrote to you from Knoxville and Tullahoma and I hope you have got both letters by this time. I sent you $250.00 by J. M. Lindly from Knoxville and now I sent you $100.00 by J. J. Moore who is discharged by reason of old age. I wrote to you to buy you a mare if you had money enough after supporting yourself.
My dear, I want you to be cautious and not let no cut throats and swindlers cheat you out of your money. Get Isaac Moore or some other good man to trade for you. I know you have a hard time and my prayers goes up to god every day sick for you and the day may soon come when we will have peace and all return to our loved ones at home. My dear, you had a hard time and a great deal more than one would put up with, if I could help my self, [sic] but you ought to be thankful that your condition is no worse than it is. There is thousands of women and children that the Yankees have stripped of everything in the world and insulted and abused in the most outrageous and in [page torn] manner. My lovely Susan Ann, I want you to try to console your self the best you can. Put your trust in God and pray without ceasing for there is some hopes of peace at this time and I hope that instead of a furlough, that we will all be discharged and come home crowned with independence and blessed with sweet peace. Our fare here is meat and bread, only when we by potatos and dryed fruit and other things; the weather has been very fine so far, but it has been intolerable cold and it not looks like it mite snow. I have got me a new pair of shoes and pants and some new socks and drawers though we generally sleep [out in the cold] and then I pray to be with you. Tell frank and Sarah to be good children and kiss ma for Pa. May the God of heaven bless and protect and comfort my loved ones. Give my love and respects to they that enquire after me. I send my love to you and our little ones. Write every opportunity. So farewell until I hear from you again.
Jesse P. Bates
O! That I could kiss them sweet lips of lovely Susan Ann and little children.
TLSA Confederate Collection. Box C 28, folder 11, Letters, Muster Roll & Officers' Pay Accounts -- Bates, Jesse P., 1861-1864