Wednesday, December 12, 2012

December 11 - Tennessee Civil War Notes

11, Tennessee Adjutant General Washington Curran Whitthorne to General A.S. Johnston relative to difficulties in raising volunteers in Tennessee

EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT, Nashville, Tenn., December 11, 1861

Gen. A.S. JOHNSTON. Cmdg. Western Department
The Governor in calling for the militia of the State in obedience to your wishes stated that he preferred and was anxious to organize a volunteer force in lieu of the militia. Not only from the increased length of service, but in every other view of the question, was this force the desirable one. In order to secure every man who was disposed to volunteer, he authorized volunteers to be sent forward to rendezvous in squads. Again, it not unfrequently [sic] happens that full companies, by voluntary assent of its members, are made and reported to the Governor, and as such accepted and ordered to rendezvous, but when marching orders are being executed some of these members decline, from sickness or other reasons, to come forward, thus reducing the company below the minimum required by law. In both cases the men are here, or rather at rendezvous. The officers appointed to muster under existing orders from you do not feel at liberty to inspect and muster these incomplete organizations, and hence the force is without any controlling authority, there being no authority in the State laws to hold them, the only power being to return them to their homes, recognize them as militia, and govern them accordingly, a result to be avoided if possible. Beside the disastrous influence of a return home, we could only secure a force inferior in time of service. The Governor has proposed that these troops be mustered in. If squads, then consolidated into companies as soon as it many done. [sic] If near in number to a full organization, that such time be allowed to bring up the absent as will insure a perfect company, and on failure that their organization be ignored, and that then they shall be treated and consolidated as squads. If allowed to remain without being sworn in, then, because of the utter absence of military or other authority to detain them, it is apprehended that their numbers will be decreased by voluntary absences, some returning home, others seeking service in regular mustered troops. In fact, to speak frankly, the Governor has serious apprehensions, if some such expedient is not adopted, that his high hopes of filling your call with twelve-months' volunteers will be wrecked, and the state of things involved in very serious embarrassment to him and the service. He is aware that the course suggested by him is one involving a great deal of labor upon the part of the inspecting officer, as well as his constant attendance at rendezvous. Beyond this no very serious objection can be offered to it. On the other hand, infinite trouble, expense, confusion, annoyance to both Governments, and possibly a harassing failure in securing the desired number of volunteers. A strong illustration so conceived is laid before the general. A full company is accepted and ordered to rendezvous , and in full in its numbers reached there, but then and there a sufficient number to reduce it below the minimum refuse to be sworn into service. The oath cannot be forced. Shall the seventy who remain be disbanded and sent home? In such a case is it not better for all interests - State, local, public, and Confederate - that the seventy [companies] be mustered, time given to fill up (and if the company fail, to have it filled by proper details), or in any other practicable way secure the seventy;, than to send them all home to breed discontent or become dissatisfied? True, they might join other companies; but volunteering is built upon and sustained as much buy association of men from same neighborhoods, and the fact that they make their own immediate officers, as from other considerations. But without argument, the state of affairs now existing to some extent, and which will by possibility continue from day to day, is submitted to the general by the Governor, assuring him of his determination to co-operate with him to the extend of the power with which he is clothed, asking, however, every assistance that it may be possible for the general to grant. He request that you will give such orders as the emergency of the case may require, and that if the plan proposed by him be not approved, some other equally safe and efficacious [system of raising troops] be adopted. He requests this and an early answer, to the end that the disastrous and unfortunate result which a strict adherence to the letter of the law and instructions heretofore given would surely bring about may be averted.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 52, pt. II, pp. 235-236.



11, "…and by an order of General Forest [sic] wee [sic] have to uniform ourselves;"Lieutenant A. J. Lacy's letter to his wife
State of Tennessee

The 11th 62 [sic]

Murray [sic] Co [sic] December

My Very Dear and most affection [sic] wife
I seat myself this beautiful morning to write to you to let yoou know that I am reasonably well at this time, hoping that these few lines will find you enjoying good health

Wee [sic] are camped 1 mi from Collumbia [sic] on the north side of Duck River. Goods of all kinds is very costly here. Boots is worth from 30 [sic] to sixty dollars a pair. I expect that wee [sic] will leave here before many days but where wee [sic] will go to I can not tell.

Elisabeth I got my blanket stole a few days ago and I am left rather slim in the blanket line but still I don't suffer with cold in camps like I expected to before I left home. I would like to see you all one time more in life [sic] Here Elisabeth is a belt and buckle that I send to you and here is a half a paper of pins that I sent to you and Mother and I also send you this lady s [sic] box with a thimble a pare [sic] of smawl sick scissors and several other trick [sic] suitable for a lady's use[.]

I have all my provision to by [sic] now and by an order of General Forest [sic] wee [sic] have to uniform ourselves.

Capt [sic] Woolsy has bought cloth at 50 dollars to have him a coat made. I have to spend a right smart [sic] of money here. I drew $267. I drawed [sic] up to the 21 day of October 1862 here. Father I have not sent you anything yet sher [sic] I will send you one hundred and sixty dollars in Confederate money and I want to pay L G [sic] off. I owe him 82 dollars. I have sold my watch. I want you to keep some clothing ready for me at anytime if you can for I don't know when I might sent [sic] for them.

I am in hopes that I can get to come home a gaints [sic] the 1st of April. I want you all to remember me I often think of you all[.] When I am far away from you in a distant land.

Father I believe that I could beat Capt Woolsy for an office in our Co[.][.] I dont [sic] want you to say anything about it[.]
I must close for the present

A J Lacy to Miss Margaret E. Lacy

When this you see remember me

Write to me evry [sic] chance Write write write


TSLA Confederate Collection, Box C 28, folder 17, Letters – Lacy, Andrew Jackson, 1862-1863.



11, Bridge construction and scouts along the Ocoee

HDQRS. ARMY OF THE TENNESSEE, Athens, December 11, 1863--9 a.m

Gen. JEFF. C. DAVIS, Columbus:


* * * * 

I am doing all I can to get you some sugar, coffee, salt, and shoes, and hope I will succeed....In the mean time finish your bridge, scout up the Ocoee and forward, grind all the meal you can, collect good hogs, sheep, and beeves, and generally take care of yourselves. I want all the geographical information possible for immediate and future use, especially of the river and country between Columbus, Cleveland, and Charleston.

Yours, truly,


W. T. SHERMAN, Maj.-Gen., Cmdg.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 31, pt. III, p 376-377.


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