22, Celebrating George Washington's birthday in Federally occupied Nashville
February 23, Nashville
Today was the birth day of the great George Washington was [sic] celebrated with emence [sic] enthusiasm by the Soldiers and Cittizens [sic] of Nashville: at Sun [sic] rise a national salute of thirty four ghuns were fiared [sic] from the State Capitol and all the church bells mingled there [sic] silver live peals with the sound of the roaring cannon the military head quarters and many of [the] businesses and dwellings ware [sic] alive with the fluttering folds of the Star Spangled Banner at 11 o'clock [a] large processon [sic] of soldiers cittizens & refugees could be seen winding there [sic] way to the capital [sic] whare [sic] the celebration was to come off.
The large speakers [sic] hall crowds to overflowing and thousands ware [sic] and thousands weare compelled to remain outside the Service of the day ware [sic] opened by music from the splendid brass band of the 8th Kansas Regt: then the glee club beautifully rendered the patriotic song of the red white & blue which was received with rapturous applause & then followed a fervent prayr [sic] by the Rev. Dr. Huntington: Mayor Smith made a few eloquent remarks to a large assemblage of Ladies and Gentlemen present to prove that a large union element still existed in Nashville the declaration of independence [sic] was then read with good delivery by Lieutenant Sheriden of the Signal coprs then speeches interspersed [sic] with such strong [sic] fratrinite [sic] made ware [sic] delivivered by Parson Brownlow, Governor Crawford of Cansas [sic] & General Smith of Kentucky & Gordon Stokckes [sic] of Tennessee the speeches were frequently interrupted and shouts of tremendous applause [sic] Francer and myself was [sic] [there] about an hour [the] way trying to the vast crowd up the winding [sic] stair the great hall [illegible] was [illegible]
John Hill Fergusson Diary, Book 3.
22, Skirmish on Calfkiller River
Excerpt from the Report of John M. Hughs, on activities from January 1-April 18, 1864, relative to skirmish on Calfkiller River, February 22, 1864.
* * * *
On the 22d of February we met a party of "picked men" from the Fifth Tennessee (Yankee) Cavalry, under Capt. Exum. This party had refused to treat us as prisoners of war, and had murdered several of our men whom they had caught straggling from their command. The enemy numbered 110 men; my own force was about 60. The fighting on our part was severe in the extreme; men never fought with more desperation or gallantry. Forty-seven of the enemy were killed, 13 wounded, and 4 captured; our loss was 2 wounded.
* * * *
OR, Ser. I, Vol. 32, pt. I, p. 56.
The following report indicates a ruse de guerre on the part of Confederate guerrillas.
FEBRUARY 22, 1864--Skirmish on Calfkiller Creek, Tenn.
Report of Col. William B. Stokes, Fifth Tennessee Cavalry [Union].
HDQRS. U. S. FORCES, Sparta, Tenn., February 24, 1864.
SIR: I have the honor to report that I arrived at this place on the 18th instant with Companies A, B, G, I, K, and L, of the Fifth Tennessee Cavalry. I have occupied all of the deserted houses in the town with my men, barricaded the streets strongly, and fortified around my artillery. Since my arrival I have been engaged in scouring the country and foraging, the forage being very scarce and at some distance from the town. I have ascertained that the country is infested with a great number of rebel soldiers under Col.'s Hughs, Hamilton, Ferguson, Carter, and Bledsoe, the whole force being under Col. Hughs, a brave, vigilant, and energetic officer. There is little or no robbing being done by the guerrillas, their attention being directed toward my men. Col. Hughs' command is well armed, having secured the best of arms when on their raids into Kentucky. They number at least 600 fighting men.
On the 22d instant, two companies of my command of Hughs, Ferguson, Carter, and Bledsoe. After fighting some time they were surrounded and overwhelmed. The officers [6 in number] with 45 men have come in through the hills.
Yesterday Carter made a dash on one of my picket-posts. He had 6 of his men dressed in Federal uniform. The remainder were dressed in gray, and as those dressed in our uniform approached the vedettes they told them not to shoot, that the rebels were after them; and as those in gray appeared a few yards in the rear of those in blue hallowing to them to surrender the story appeared very plausible, and the ones in blue immediately rushed upon the reserve pickets. Four of my pickets were killed-3 after they had surrendered and the other after he had been captured. A great many of the rebels were dressed in our uniform at the time the two companies were attacked, and several of my men were killed after they were captured. Hughs himself does not allow this barbarity, but his subordinate officers practice it.
I have to fight for every ear of corn and blade of fodder I get.
Deserters from the rebel army are constantly joining Hughs. The people are thoroughly and decidedly disloyal, but a great many are taking the oath. The oath of allegiance has been found on the persons of several soldiers we have killed. The country is rocky and mountainous, and very had for cavalry to operate in. I have to fight rebel soldiers and citizens, the former carrying the arms and doing the open fighting; the latter, carrying news and ambushing.
Portions of Companies C, F, and H arrived to-day. The greater part of these companies remained at Nashville, being without horses. I earnestly urge that they be mounted as soon as possible, and ordered to report to me. Their services are needed very much here, and not at the city of Nashville. Horses are required to mount my men. There are no serviceable ones in the country, the rebels having taken all of them. The rebels are mounted on the fastest horses in the country, and they use them very much to our disadvantage. If all of my regiment were here and mounted, I would soon disperse the rebels. I again urge the necessity of mounting my entire regiment and ordering it to the field.
I respectfully ask that this communication be forwarded to department headquarters for the information of the general commanding.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully,
W. B. STOKES, Col. Fifth Tennessee Cavalry, Cmdg.
Capt. B. H. POLK, Assistant Adjutant-Gen., District of Nashville.
OR, Ser. I, Vol. 32, pt. I, pp. 416-417.
22, Skirmish at Powell's Bridge
FEBRUARY 22, 1864.-Skirmishes at Gibson's and Wyerman's Mills, on Indian Creek, Va., and at Powell's Bridge, Tenn.
Report of Brig. Gen. Theophilus T. Garrard, U. S. Army, commanding District of the Clinch.
HDQRS. DISTRICT OF THE CLINCH, Cumberland Gap, Tenn., February 24, 1864.
GEN.: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your dispatches of the 19th and 22d instant.
As I telegraphed on the 22d instant, the First Battalion, Eleventh Tennessee Cavalry, Lieut.-Col. Davis commanding, which was stationed at Wyerman's Mill, 5 miles east from the gap on the Jonesville road, was surprised at daylight that day, entirely surrounded....
Simultaneously with the surprise of Col. Davis' command the outpost at Powell's bridge, on Tazewell road, where I had 50 men of the Thirty-fourth Kentucky Infantry, in charge of Capt. Pickering, stationed at the block-house, was attacked by the enemy [a portion of Vaughn's command] three times, but without success. To prevent their being cut off, I moved Capt. Pickering, with his men, to within safe distance.
* * * *
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
T. T. GARRARD, Brig.-Gen.
OR, Ser. I, Vol. 32, pt. I, p. 411-412.
February 22.-Two companies of the Thirty fourth Kentucky infantry (A and I) were engaged in a hand-to-hand encounter of about four hours duration, [added] against superior numbers of the enemy. The rebels about five hundred strong, attacked them at Powell's River Bridge, Tenn., as six o'clock A.M., and after making four separate charges on the bridge, which were gallantly met and repulsed, the rebels were driven from their position and compelled to retreat in disorder, leaving horses, saddles, arms, etc., on the field. They took most of their dead and wounded with them.
There were a great many daring acts of bravery committed; but as the whole affair is one of the most brilliant of the war, it would be almost impossible to make any distinction. There is one, however, that is well worth recording. The attack was made by infantry, while the cavalry prepared for a charge. The cavalry was soon in line and moving on the bridge; on they came in a steady, solid column, covered by the fire of their infantry. In a moment the Nationals saw their perilous position, and Lieutenant Slater called for a volunteer to tear up the boards to prevent them crossing. There was some hesitation, and in a moment all would have been lost, had not one William Goss (company clerk of company I) leaped from the intrenchmetns, and, running to the bridge under the fire of about four hundred guns, threw ten boards off into the river and returned unhurt. This prevented the capture of the whole force.-Louisville Journal.
Rebellion Record, Vol. 8, p. 46.
22, Confederate censure of Federal martial government in Memphis
Military Rule in Memphis.
The Memphis Bulletin, of the 21st ult., contains a batch of orders from the new commander, for the government of the oppressed people of East [sic] [i.e. West] Tennessee.
The order for a more general enrollment in the militia is to be vigorously enforced; and heavy penalties are imposed upon the United State officers as well as the citizens. The former are pointedly directed to "not connive at the shirking from duty on the part of wealthy, influential or socially agreeable citizens." This will no doubt stop "wine-bibbing" by Yankee officials, at the expense of other people, and the "socially agreeable" Shirkers will have to try some other dodge.
A second order prohibits any person from entering the city, except upon other of the following roads: the Horne Lake, the Hernando road, the State line road, or the new Raleigh road.
President's island, a short distance below the city, by another order, is seized and set apart for the negroes, to be under the control of the "general superintendent of freedmen." The white residents were ordered to leave by the 1st instant.
For the purpose of raising a fund to defray the expenses of the militia, another order levies a tax on the cotton and tobacco speculators. This is comprehensive: "all cotton now in Memphis, or that may be brought into the port of Memphis, shall pay a tax of two dollars on each bale; and all tobacco of one dollar on each hogshead."
A "circular" also appears, from the same authority, of so grave (?) [sic] a character that we give it entire:
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF MISSISSIPPI,
Memphis Tenn., Dec. 19, 1864.
There is a troublesome class of persons within this department who, without any well grounded pretensions to legal attainments, assume the name of attorney, and on some frivolous pretext or other, for their own account or for that of some victimized client whose case they voluntarily agree to take charge of are constantly vexing the department at Washington, or the headquarters of the military division, by verbose petitions and complaints against the inconvenience brought on their petty private interest by necessary and just military restrictions, or by prayers for relief from well merited punishment.
This description of pests have tried rebellion, have failed, and having cloaked themselves under a too liberal administration of the amnesty oath, are now busy in troubling the Government in other ways, and they are now cautioned, once for all, that in the future, if they have any business so to trouble public functions with, they will send it to through the nearest post headquarters to these headquarters, from whence, if too frivolous to forward, it can be returned, and they and all citizens residing or doing business in this department, are admonished that if they are detected in disregarding the requirement, they will be granted the opportunity of travelling beyond the limits of this department to present their business in person, with permission not to return during the war.
By order of Major General N. J. T. Dana
T. H. Harris, A. A .Gen.
This is rather contemptuous to the legal fraternity, and is reported to have cause much swearing not provided for by statute. The brethren cared but little for the restrictions they were placed under, as these they placed under, as these were expected to find means to evade; but to be officially classed as "a troublesome class of persons," "without any well ground pretension to legal attainments," "pests," etc., was the rub. We could have enjoyed a glimpse at the crest-fallen countenances of some who Dana thus spotted, beyond a doubt.
Several parties recently from Memphis inform us that the tyranny of the military rule practiced there is felt by every citizen, with bug very few exceptions. Detectives intrude themselves into every corner, and no one dares to criticize the course of the tyrants. Even the privacy of the family circle is invaded by the paid spies who throng the city;. No business is transacted except under the supervision of government officials. The municipal government has been made utterly subservient to the military, the social condition of the city has greatly depreciated, and the old residents are restless under the yoke imposed upon them. In Memphis, as completely as anywhere else, the worse [sic] kind of tyranny now rules, and will rule, until the self constituted masters are driven out. Heaven grant a speedy deliverance.
Houston Tri-Weekly, February 22, 1865
 Fergusson was writing his account the day after Washington's birthday, the 22nd.
 See also Col. Hughs' report of operations in Middle Tennessee, January 1-April 18, 1864, attached above.
 This order is not referenced in the OR.
James B. Jones, Jr.
Tennessee Historical Commission
2941 Lebanon Road
Nashville, TN 37214