Friday, December 14, 2012

December 14 - Tennessee Civil War Notes

December 14, 1861, "Our New Congressional Delegation."

The members elect to the First Congress from our State will compare most favorably with any delegation of the Confederacy. They embrace some of the finest men in the country. Tennessee may well feel proud of them whilst the nation may rejoice in so noble a delegation. In the first district we have Joseph B. Heiskill,[1] an able and profound lawyer, sound, honest, politician, and a true patriot. He will make a most valuable and efficient member.

W. G. Swan[2], o­ne of the shrewdest and best informed men in the State, a man of fine ability, untiring energy, and unshaken devotion to the South, is a [reliable?] and efficient member from the Knoxville district. He will look well to the interests of his State, and his country; and we predict for him a brilliant and useful career. He is a man for the times.

Judge Gardenhire[3], from the Sparta district, is a man well known in the politics of this State. He is a man of [illegible], and will make a good member.

For the Bedford district, we have the [illegible] and gifted Meredith P. Gentry[4], o­ne of the noblest, as he is o­ne of the first statesmen in the South. In the old Congress when a member, he stood acknowledged head of that body when there were giants in it; and it will be no disparagement to our new Congress to say he will stand in the front rank of the first men that compose it. As a statesman, he is far-seeing, wise and patriotic; as an orator he has no superior o­n the continent; he is a bright and shining ornament to our Congress, and an honor to human nature. It is indeed good for our new republic that we have the benefit of his wise counsels and the advantage of his patriotic and enlightened services.

From the Lincoln district, we have the sterling patriot, George W. Jones,[5] who so long and with so much honor to himself and satisfaction too his people, represented his old district in the U. States Congress. He will make an able and useful member. His district sent her best man. The State and Confederacy should alike feel proud of him.

Gov. Henry S. Foote,[6] of world-wide fame, represents the Nashville district. All men and all nations know him. It is needless for us to add a work in his praise. We could not, by so doing, add an inch to the stature of his well-earned fame.

Gen. J. D. C. Atkins[7] who was formerly a member of the old Congress, represent the Paris district. He is a good man, a sterling patriot, and will make an efficient member.

The gallant Col. John V. Wright has been transferred by his constituents from the command of a regiment o­n the tented field, to a seat in Congress from the 10th district. He is a rising man – a man of talent and worth, and will prove an able member.

Hon. D. M. Currin[8] was returned from his district. He deservedly ranks highest as a politician and is as disinterested a patriot as lives. He is a man of good ability and will make a worth, active and efficient representative.

Where is the State that can present such an array of talent, statesmanship and patriotism in her congressional delegation? Well may Tennessee be proud of so able, gallant and noble a representation.

Nashville Daily Gazette, December 14, 1861.



[1] Served in the State Senate, 32nd General Assembly, 1857-1859, representing Hancock, Hawkins, and Jefferson countries, a member of the Whig Party. He was elected twice to the Congress of the Confederate States, and was captured by Federal soldiers in 1864. He was incarcerated and remained in prison until the end of the war. After the war he established a practice in Memphis and was active in local politics. He died in 1913. See: Robert M. McBride and Dan M. Robinson, eds., Biographical Directory of the Tennessee General Assembly, Volume I,, 1796-1861, (Nashville: Tennessee State Library and Archives and Tennessee Historical Commission, 1975) p. 354-355. [Hereinafter cited as: Biographical Directory, Vol. I]

[2] William Graham Swan, (1821-1869) Born in 1821. Tennessee state attorney general, 1851; mayor of Knoxville, Tenn., 1855-56; served in the Confederate Army during the Civil War; Representative from Tennessee in the Confederate Congress, 1862-65. Died April 18, 1869. Interment at Elmwood Cemetery, Memphis, Tenn. As cited in:

[3] Erasmus Lee Gardenhire, 1815-1899. Served in the 28th General Assembly, 18849-1851 representing White, Fentress, Jackson, Overton, and Van Buren counties, and in the House, 39th General Assembly, 1875-1877.  Elected to the Fist Confederate Congress. See:Biographical Directory, Vol. I, p. 275.

[4] Meredith P. Gentry Served in the House in the 21st and 22nd General Assemblies, 1835-39, representing Williamson county. He was elected to the 1st Confederate Congress o­n February 18, 1862, to February 17, 1864; may not have attended the 3rd and 4th sessions of the congress; was not a member of the 2nd Confederate Congress. He was captured in Middle Tennessee in 1864 and requested President Lincoln to send him south because of ill health; the request was granted. He died in Davidson County o­n November 2, 1866. See:Biographical Directory, Vol. I, p. 279.

[5] George Washington Jones, a Democrat, served in the House, 21st and 22nd General Assemblies, 1835-1839, representing Lincoln County; served in the Senate, 23rd General Assembly, 1839-1841, representing Lincoln and Giles counties. Elected to the First Confederate Congress from February 18, 1862, to February 18, 1864. He was not a candidate for reelection. He died in Fayetteville, November 14, 1884. See: Biographical Directory, Vol. I, pp. 413-414.

[6] Henry Stuart Foote, a Senator from Mississippi; born in Fauquier County, Va., February 28, 1804; pursued classical studies; graduated from Washington College (now Washington and Lee University), Lexington, Va., in 1819; studied law; was admitted to the bar in 1823 and commenced practice in Tuscumbia, Ala., in 1825; moved to Mississippi in 1826 and practiced law in Jackson, Natchez, Vicksburg, and Raymond; elected as a Democrat to the United States Senate and served from March 4, 1847, until January 8, 1852, when he resigned to become Governor; chairman, Committee o­n Foreign Relations (Thirty-first and Thirty-second Congresses); Governor of Mississippi 1852-1854; moved to California in 1854; returned to Vicksburg, Miss., in 1858; member of the Southern convention held at Knoxville in 1859; moved to Tennessee and settled near Nashville; elected to the First and Second Confederate Congresses; afterwards moved to Washington, D.C., and practiced law; appointed by President Rutherford Hayes superintendent of the mint at New Orleans 1878-1880; author; died in Nashville, Tenn., o­n May 20, 1880; interment in Mount Olivet Cemetery. As cited in:

[7] John DeWitt Clinton Atkins, served in the House in the 28th and 29th 1849-1853, representing Henry County. Served in the Senate during the 31st Assembly, 1855-1857. A member of the Democrat party. He served in the Confederate army, joining at Paris May 20, 1861 and rising meteorically to lieutenant-colonel of the 5th Tennessee Infantry; resigned less than two months later, o­n August 7, 1861. Elected as a representative from Tennessee to the Confederate Provisional Congress to February 1, 1862; member of the House of Representatives of the 1st and 2nd Permanent Confederate Congresses, 1862 to the end of the war. Elected to the 43rd-47th U. S. Congresses March 4 1873-March 3, 1883. Served as U. S. Commissioner of Indian Affairs from 1885 to 1888. He died at Paris o­n June 2, 1908. See: Biographical Directory, Vol. I, pp. 20-21.

[8] Served in the House in the 29th General Assembly, 1851-1853, representing Fayette, Hardeman, and Shelby counties; he was a Democrat. Born in Murfreesboroi in 1817, he was elected to the 1st and 2nd Confederate Congresses, and continued serving until his death in Richmond, Va., o­n March 25, 1864. See: Biographical Directory, Vol. I, p. 184.




14, "Strike." 

The Typographical Society of this city [Nashville] have struck for a large advance of wages, which the Publishers have decided they are not able to pay, as they are paying more for paper and ink now than ever before, and the subscription price of their papers being the same. Will our friends make enquiries for us and send us four type setters, at the regular prices 33 1/3 cents per thousand ems.—Come o­n old type setters—come o­n and brighten up and help out. Fifty printers are wanted in the city now. 

Tennessee Baptist, December 14, 1861


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