Friday, January 18, 2013

January 18 - Tennessee Civil War Notes

18, Two Letters of S. T. Williams, at Fort Donelson, to "A Cousin" 

Fort Donelson

Jan. the 18th '62

S. T. Williams:

To A Cousin

Dear Cousin,

I shall drop you a few lines to inform you that I am well hoping these few lines will find you enjoying the same. We have changed our position since you heard from us last. We have charge of the heavy artillery. When the Yankeys [sic] come now we can give them fits. We have o­ne that caries a o­ne hundred & 28 pounds [sic]. It is raining here, today. The river is rising very fast. I have nothing of importance to write o­nly we are expecting a fight every day. They had a fight a Fort Henry 12 miles below us yesterday. I have not heard how it terminated. I hope we whipped them. I think we can tan them up here if they come. Tel all the women howdy and the parsons [sic] youngest gal particularly. Nothing more. Give Aunt Nan my best respects. My love to you. I bid you adiew [sic].

S. T. Williams

Write Soon

Winds of Change, p. 24.

Fort Donelson

Jan. the 18th '62

S. T. Williams:

To A Cousin

Dear Cousin,

I take the present opportunity to write you a few lines to let you know that I have not forgotten you. I am well at present and hope when these few lines come to hand they find you enjoying the same blessing. Most of the boys are well. We have quite a muddy time here. It is raining now and has been all the morning. The river is rising very fast, very fast. We have taken charge of a battery o­n the river bank. He have o­ne 128 pounder. I think we would shake an old gunboat right smartly if she was to vinture [sic] up. It is rumored that they were fighting at Fort Henry yesterday and would attack us today, but it is twelve 0-clock [sic] and no Yankees yet. We are all sitting back in our house as safely as pigs. They have made little house for the guards to stand in. I don't think they will be exposed, so know they can stand in them when it is raining and not get wet. I want you tot ell me John Williams is getting to the present and if him and Mr. H. has been down to raise the blockade yet. We have plenty to eat here. Frank bought us three or four boxes of cakes, pies, chickens, butter, and such things. We have been living high o­n them. Well, it is dinner and I must close. Tell all the girls howdy for me and give them my best respects. Tell them to write me. Excuse bad wrighting [sic] and spelling aright [sic] soon.

T. M. Soyars

Write as soon as you get this to and direct your letter to little runt as you call him.

[S. T. Williams]

Winds of Change, pp. 24-25.



28, "General Grant and the Jews."

One of the deepest sensations of the war is that produced among the Israelites of this country, by the recent order of Gen. Grant, excluding, as a class, from his Military Department. The order, to be sure, was promptly set aside by the President, but the affront to the Israelites, convey by its issue, was not so easily effaced. It continues to rankle, and is leading to sharp controversies and bitter feuds in the ranks of the Faithful. It seems that a committee of Jews, in this City, took it upon themselves to thank the authorities at Washington for so promptly annulling the odious order of Grant. Against the conduct of this committee the bulk of the Jews vehemently protest. They say they have no thanks for an act of simple and imperative -- but grounds for deep and just complaint against the Government, that Gen. Grant has not been dismissed from the service o­n account of his unrighteous act. The matter has been to assume an importance that requires a mention of it in our columns, as constituting an exciting chapter in our current history. We therefore present the order of Gen. Grant, that the public judgment in the premise may rest o­n a clear perception of the facts:

Headquarters Thirteenth Army Corps,

Department of the Tennessee

Oxford, Miss., Dec. 17, 1862.

General Orders, No. 11. -- The Jews, as a class, violating every regulation of trade established by the Treasury Department, also Department orders are here expelled from the Department within twenty-our (24) hours from the receipt of this order by Post Commander.

They will see that all this class of people are furnished with passes and required to leave, and any o­ne [sic] returning after such notification will be arrested and held in confinement until an opportunity occurs of sending them out as prisoners, unless furnished with permits from these headquarters.

No pass will be given these people to visit headquarters for the purpose of making personal application for trade permits.

By order of

Maj.-Gen. Grant

John B. Rawlins, A.A.G.

Official -- J. Lovell, Capt. And A.A.G.

It must be admitted that this order is open to severe criticism in more respects than o­ne. The first and mildest objection we see, is its atrocious disregard of the simplest rules of English composition. To be dealt harshly with is bad enough, but to be vilified in execrable English cruel, if not unusual, punishment. But if the execrable English of the general excommunication from Grant's attractive Department is very objectionable, the mockery of the allusion to special exemptions is utterly unworthy. "Any o­ne" (any Jew) "returning" after a notification to leave, they will be sent away as prisoners, "unless furnished with permits from these headquarters." But "no pass will be given these people to visit headquarters for the purpose of getting permits." Such is the substantial and almost literal conclusion of Grant's order. It is mortifying to know that such a jumble of bad writing and worse logic should emanate from the headquarters of a Major-General commanding a Military Department of the United States.

As to the odious principle of Gen. Grant's order, there can be no doubt whatever. To condemn any religious body, as a class, and by wholesale, is contrary to common sense and common justice -- contrary to Republicanism and Christianity. Gen. Grant may have been harmed  by hangers-on of his army, who were swindlers and extortionists. It was desirable that he should be rid of such. But will he say that all the swindlers that best him are Jews? We are of [the] opinion that there are degrees of rascality developed by the war that might put the most accomplished Shylocks to the blush. We have native talent that can literally "beat the Jews." Gen. Grant's order has the demerit of stigmatizing a class, without signalizing the criminals. All swindlers are not Jews. All Jews are not swindlers. Gen. Grant assumes that the reverse of this latter proposition is true, and he expels the Jews, "as a class," from the Department. That carries women and children -- women at home and children at the breast. A number of Jewish families that had been quiet, orderly and loyal citizens of the town of Paducah for years, hurriedly packed up their goods, and left their homes, under this cruel order. They had had nothing whatever to do with Grant or his army, but they belonged to the "Jews, "as a class," and were denounced and expelled. Their situation must have revived the history of their unfortunate people during the twelfth, thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, when England, France and Austria successively followed each other in decrees against them of banishment and persecution. And it is a humiliating reflection that after the progress of liberal ideas even in the most despotic countries has restored the Jews to civil and social rights, as members of a common humanity, it remained for the freest Government o­n earth to witness a momentary revival of a the spirit of the medieval ages.

If we take a merely selfish view of Grant's treatment of the Jews, it will appear in the highest degree impolitic. Persons "of this class" have come to hold high positions in the leading Governments of Europe, whose good opinions we cannot afford to despise. M. Fould, of Louis Napoleon's Cabinet, is a Jew, and his voice might, in the possibilities of things, go far to decide the fate of the American Union. The Rothschild's wield a power in the financial world that is well nigh omnipotent to raise or destroy the credit of any nation. We may find it better to have their friendship than enmity.

But, rejecting all such considerations, we rely o­n the general principles of republican right and justice for the utter reprobation of Grant's order. Men cannot be condemned and punished as a class, without gross violence to our free institutions. The immediate and peremptory abrogation of Grant's order by the President saved the Government from a blot, and redeemed us from the disgrace of a military assault upon a people whose equal rights and immunities are as sacred under the Constitution as those of any other sect, class, or race.

New York Times, January 18, 1863.




18, Unpaid bill in Memphis; the carnal adventure of a Confederate deserter

T.B. Johnson, a recent Confederate deserter, found himself at the Recorder's Court. Maggie Montgomery "a lady of easy virtue" testified that Johnson had:

called at her house o­n a recent occasion, drank wine, and shared her bed, and departed without paying her claim for services rendered. She claimed that inasmuch as houses of the stamp kept by her are licensed by the city, it is the duty of the city to prevent and punish imposition o­n the keepers of said housed, as practiced by the defendant, and she therefore looked for redress....His honor, however, failed to see the case in that light, and informed the exasperated nymph that it was not within his jurisdiction.

That being the case Ms. Montgomery preferred charges of drunkenness and disorderly conduct against Johnson. The judge fined him $18.00, and he was happy to have an end to the affair. It was rumored also that Johnson had not paid the hack who took him to and from Montgomery's bordello.

Memphis Bulletin, January 18, 1865.

No comments: