23, Confederate Orders No. 3 forbidding impressing of civilian property without written orders
ORDERS, No. 3. HDQRS. WESTERN DEPARTMENT, Murfreesborough, Tenn., February 23, 1862.
Under great necessity temporary possession may be taken of wagons, teams, and other property of our citizens for the use of the army; but this authority can be exercised by chiefs of the army alone.
It is positively prohibited to any officer to seize, take, or impress property of any kind except by written order of the commanding general or division commander, and this authority must be exhibited to the party from whom the property is taken.
Officers or soldiers violating this order will be arrested, proceeded against, and punished as plunders and marauders.
By command of Gen. Johnston:
W. W. MACKALL, Assistant Adjutant-Gen.
OR, Ser. I, Vol. 7, p. 903.
23-25, Evacuation of Nashville byConfederates and occupation by Union troops
No. 1.--Hon. Thomas A. Scott, Assistant Secretary of War.
No. 2.--Brig. Gen. D. C. Buell, U. S. Army, commanding Department of the Ohio.
No. 3.--Col. James Barnett, U. S. Army, of ordnance captured.
No. 4.--Gen. A. Sidney Johnston, C. S. Army, commanding Western Department.
No. 5.--Brig. Gen. John B. Floyd, C. S. Army.
No. 6.--Col. Nathan B. Forrest's responses to interrogatories of Committee of Confederate House of Representatives.
No. 7.--Col. Leon Trousdale's responses to interrogatories of Committee of Confederate House of Representatives.
No. 8.--Memorandum of Col. W. W. Mackall, Assistant Adjutant-Gen.
Report of Hon. Thomas A. Scott, Assistant Secretary of War.
NASHVILLE, TENN., February 25, 1862.
Nashville was taken possession of to-day. The mayor, accompanied by committee of citizens, met Gen. Buell this morning on the north bank of the Cumberland. Interview entirely satisfactory to all parties. One gunboat and twelve steamers at the wharf. Troops passing the river in good order.
THOMAS A. SCOTT,
Hon. E. M. STANTON.
Report of Brig. Gen. D. C. Buell, U. S. Army, commanding Department of the Ohio.
NASHVILLE, TENN., February 26, 1862.
I arrived opposite the city with Mitchell's division, about 9,000 effective, on the night of the 24th. The enemy's cavalry were still in the city in small force. I did not intend to cross until I could do so in sufficient force to run no great hazard, but during the night Gen. Nelson arrived with about 7,000 men, and landed before I was aware of it. I deemed it unadvisable to withdraw them, lest it should embolden the enemy and have a bad effect on the people, and so determined to cross with all the force at hand, and we are now crossing and taking a position some 4 or 5 miles out in the direction of Murfreesborough. The difficulty of crossing the river is very great. Notwithstanding we have steamers, the want of fuel for them is a most embarrassing matter. Our force is too small, and others a strong inducement to the enemy, only 30 miles distant, with some 30,000 men, to assume the offensive; but I have deemed it necessary to run the risk. I have dispatched steamers to bring up the force at Clarksville, and our troops are moving on from Bowling Green as rapidly as possible, but it must be two or three days before we will be able to show much force. Gen. Thomas' division ought to be here by water by the 13th of March. The troops from Clarksville may be here to-night. McCook's division will, I hope, be up to the river to-morrow, and will then have to cross. If the enemy advances, as said to be intention, we will probably meet him to-morrow. It is said here that the enemy has either evacuated Columbus or is doing so. There are no violent demonstrations of hostility, though the mass of the people appear to look upon us as invaders, but I have seen several strong indications of loyalty in individuals.
D. C. BUELL, Brig.-Gen.
Maj. Gen. GEORGE B. McCLELLAN.
Report of Col. James Barnett, U. S. Army, of ordnance captured.
HDQRS. FOURTEENTH ARMY CORPS, DEPARTMENT OF THE CUMBERLAND, Nashville, Tenn., December 5, 1862.
GEN.: Below is a report of the number and caliber of guns, mounted and dismounted, at Nashville, which were captured from the enemy:
No. 1, 24-pounder iron gun, mounted on bank of river near reservoir.
No. 2, 32-pounder iron gun (Parrott), mounted on corner of reservoir.
No. 3, 24-pounder iron gun (smooth bore), mounted on Lebanon pike.
No. 4, 32-pounder iron gun (Parrott), mounted on end of Summer street.
No. 5, 32-pounder iron gun (Parrott), mounted at Gen. Palmer's headquarters.
No. 6, 24-pounder iron gun (smooth bore), mounted under Saint Cloud Hill.
Nos. 7 and 8, 24-pounder iron guns (smooth bore), mounted on Fort Negley.
No. 9, 24-pounder iron gun (smooth bore), mounted at railroad tunnel.
No. 10, 24-pounder iron gun (smooth bore), dismounted at Fort Negley.
No. 11, 32-pounder howitzer (iron), mounted at old Lunatic Asylum.
No. 12, 32-pounder iron Parrott, mounted on floating bridge.
Dismounted at ordnance depot: one 100-pounder columbiad, two 32-pounder rifled iron guns, five 24-pounder carronades, and twelve 6-pounder iron guns, unserviceable, spiked; three 24-pounder iron smooth bores and one 18-pounder iron smooth bore, serviceable, and four 6-pounder iron guns, unserviceable.
Of the guns at the ordnance depot there are but three 24-pounders and one 18-pounder iron smooth bores that are considerable safe.
JAMES BARNETT, Col., and Chief of Artillery Fourteenth Army Corps.
Maj. Gen. W. S. ROSECRANS, Cmdg. Fourteenth Army Corps.
Report of Gen. A. Sidney Johnston, C. S. Army, commanding Western Department.
HDQRS. WESTERN DEPARTMENT, Murfreesborough, Tenn., February 25, 1862.
SIR: The fall of Fort Donelson compelled me to withdraw the remaining forces under my command from the north of the Cumberland and to abandon the defense of Nashville, which but for that disaster it was my intention to protect to the utmost. Not more than 11,000 effective men were left under my command to oppose a column of Gen. Buell's of not less then 40,000 troops, moving by Bowling Green, while another superior force, under Gen. Thomas, outflanked me to the east, and the army from Fort Donelson, with the gunboats and transports, had it in their power to ascend the Cumberland, now swollen by recent flood, so as to intercept all communication with the South. The situation left me no alternative but to evacuate Nashville or sacrifice the army. By remaining the place would have been unnecessarily subjected to destruction, as it is very indefensible, and no adequate force would have been left to keep the enemy in check in Tennessee.
Under these circumstances I moved the main body of my command to this place on the 17th and 18th instant, and left a brigade under Gen. Floyd to bring on such stores and property as were at Nashville, with instructions to remain until the approach of the enemy, had then to rejoin me. This has been in a great measure effected; and nearly all the stores would have been saved but for the heavy and unusual rains, which have washed away the bridges, swept away portions of the railroad, and rendered transportation almost impossible. Gen. Floyd has arrived here.
The rear guard left Nashville on the night of the 23d. Edgefield, on the north bank of the Cumberland, opposite the city, was occupied yesterday by the advance pickets of the enemy.
I have remained here for the purpose of augmenting my forces and
securing the transportation of the public stores. By the junction of the command of Gen. Crittenden and the fugitives from Fort Donelson, which have been reorganize as far as practicable, the force now under my command will amount to about 17,000 men. Gen. Floyd, with a force of some 2,500 men, has been ordered to Chattanooga, to defend the approaches towards Northern Alabama and Georgia and the communication between the Mississippi and Atlantic and with the view to increase his forces by such troops as may be sent forward from the neighboring States.
The quartermaster's, commissary, and ordnance stores which are not required for immediate use have been ordered to Chattanooga, and those which will be necessary on the march have been forewarned to Huntsville and Decatur. I have ordered a depot to be established at Atlanta for the manufacture of supplies for the Quartermaster's Department and also a laboratory for the manufacture of percussion caps and ordnance stores, and at Chattanooga depots for distribution of these supplies. The machinery will be immediately sent forward.
Considering the peculiar topography of this State and the great power which the enemy's means of transportation affords them upon the Tennessee and Cumberland, it will be seen that the force under my command cannot successfully cover the whole line against the advance of the enemy. I am compelled to elect whether he shall be permitted to occupy Middle Tennessee, or turn Columbus, take Memphis, and open the valley of the Mississippi. To me the defense of the valley appears of paramount importance, and, consequently, I will move this corps of the army, of which I have assumed the immediate command, towards the bank of the Tennessee, crossing the river near Decatur, in order to enable me to co-operate or unite with Gen. Beauregard for the defense of Memphis and the Mississippi.
The Department has sent eight regiments to Knoxville for the defense of East Tennessee, and the protection of that region will be confided to them and such additional forces as may be hereafter sent from the adjacent States. Gen. Buckner was ordered by the Department to take command of the troops at Knoxville; but as he was at that time in presence of the enemy, the order was not fulfilled. As it would be almost impossible for me under present circumstances to superintend the operations at Knoxville and Chattanooga, I would respectfully suggest that the local commanders at those points should receive orders from the Department directly or be allowed to exercise their discretion.
I have the honor to remain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
A. S. JOHNSTON, Gen., C. S. Army.
Hon. J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of War, Richmond, Va.
Report of Brig. Gen. John B. Floyd, C. S. Army.
KNOXVILLE, TENN., March 22, 1862.
SIR: I have the honor to submit the following report in regard to the movements, disposition, and transportation of my command from the date of my arrival at Nashville until I reported to Gen. A. S. Johnston, at Murfreesborough.
I arrived at Nashville on a steamboat, together with a portion of the
command rescued from Fort Donelson, consisting of parts if the various regiments from Virginia, Texas, Arkansas, Kentucky, and Tennessee, at 7 o'clock on the morning of the 17th of February. Immediately on coming within view of the landing at the city I beheld a sight which is worthy of notice. The rabble on the wharf were in possession of boats loaded with Government bacon, and were pitching it from these boats to the shore, and carrying what did not fall into the water by hand and carts away to various places in the city. The persons engaged in this reprehensible conduct avowed that the meat had been given to them by the city council. As soon as practicable I reported to Gen. Johnston for duty, and on the same day I was placed in command of the city, and immediately took steps to arrest the panic that pervaded all classes and to restore order and quiet. One regiment, the First Missouri, Lieut.-Col. Rich, together with a portion of Col. Forrest's and Capt. Morgan's cavalry, were added to my command, and these were principally occupied in guarding public warehouses and the streets of the city. The only other force which I could use for the purposes above mentioned were the fragments of regiments that I had brought with me, and all of which were well-night totally exhausted from the exertions and fatigues to which they had been subjected on the 13th, 14th, 15th, and 16th days of February.
I immediately stopped the indiscriminate distribution of public stores by placing guards over them, and, having thus secured them from the gaps of the populace, I commenced the work of saving the stores that were in the city. Day and night the work was continued, being only temporarily stopped at times for the purpose of feeding the teams that were at work transporting articles of Government property from the wharves and store-houses to the railroad depot. My men worked incessantly with commendable perseverance and energy under my immediate supervision. Owing to the exhausted condition of the men thus engaged, it became absolutely necessary to force the able-bodied men who were strolling about the city unoccupied to assist in the labor before me. I was greatly assisted in this arduous duty by the energy of Col. Wharton, whose brigade was principally engaged and who promptly executed the orders issued be my. I likewise would express my appreciation of the valuable services of Maj. J. Dawson, of Gen. Hardee's command, of Lieut.-Col. Kennard, and of Capt.'s Derrick, Ellis, and Otey, of my staff. I finally succeeded in loading all the cars standing at the depot at about 4 o'clock on the evening of the 20th of February.
During the interval between the morning of the 17th and the evening of the 20th of February trains were loaded and dispatched as fact as they arrived. Much more could have been saved had there been more system and regularity in the disposition of the transportation by rail. Several trains were occupied in carrying off sick and wounded soldiers. The weather was exceedingly inclement during the entire time occupied as above mentioned, and there was an excessively heavy rain on the 19th of February.
As the moment for destroying the bridges had been left to my discretion up to a certain period, I allowed them to stand until a large amount of transportation, a large number of cattle, and some troops had been brought from the north side of the river. At 10 o'clock on the evening of the 19th the destruction of the suspension bridge was commenced; the wood work was burned and the cables on the south side were cut. At 3 o'clock on the morning of the 20th the railroad bridge was destroyed. I was greatly aided in this work by Lieut. Crump and Lieut. Forsberg, of the Engineers.
During the period embraced by this report Col. Forrest and Capt. Morgan, with their cavalry, rendered signal and efficient service in dispersing the mobs which gathered in the vicinity of the warehouses containing Government property, and which often had to be scattered at the point of the saber. I had succeeded in collecting a large amount of stores of various kinds at the depot, but as I had control of the transportation by rail, and hence obliged to await the action of others, much that would have been valuable to the Government was necessarily left at the depot. Among the articles saved were all the cannon, caisson, and battery wagons of which we had any knowledge.
At 4 o'clock p. m. on the 20th February I started with my staff for Murfreesborough, which point I reached on the morning of the 21st, where I reported to Gen. Johnston in person.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JOHN B. FLOYD, Brig.-Gen.
H. P. BREWSTER, Assistant Adjutant-Gen.
Col. Nathan B. Forrest's responses to interrogatories of Committee of Confederate House of Representatives.
Interrogatory 1st. I was not at the city of Nashville at the time of its surrender, but was there at the time the enemy made their entrance into that part of the city known as Edgefield, having left Fort Donelson, with my command, on the morning of its surrender, and reached Nashville on Tuesday, February, 18, about 10 a. m. I remained in the city up to the Sunday evening following.
Interrogatory 2d. It would be impossible to state, from the data before me, the value of the stores either in the Quartermaster's or Commissary Departments, having no papers then nor any previous knowledge of the stores. The stores in the Quartermaster's Department consisted of all stores necessary to the department--clothing especially, in large amounts, shoes, harness, &c., with considerable unmanufactured material. The commissar stores were meat, flour, sugar, molasses, and coffee. There was a very large amount of meat in store and on the landing at my arrival, though large amounts had already been carried away by citizens.
Interrogatory 3d. A portion of these stores had been removed before the surrender. A considerable amount of meat on the landing, I was informed, was thrown into the river on Sunday before my arrival and carried off by the citizens. The doors of the commissary depot were thrown open, and the citizens in dense crowds were packing and hauling off the balance at the time of my arrival on Tuesday. The quartermaster's stores were also open, and the citizens were invited to come and help themselves, which they did in larger crowds, if possible, than at the other department.
Interrogatories 4th and 5th. On Tuesday morning I was ordered by Gen. Floyd to take command of the city, and attempted to drive the mob from the doors of the departments, which mob was composed of straggling soldiers and citizens of all grades. The mob had taken possession of the city to that extent that every spies of property was unsafe.
Houses were closed, carriages and wagons were concealed to prevent the mob from taking possession of them. Houses were being seized everywhere. I had to call out my cavalry, and, after every other means failed, charge the mob before I could get it so dispersed as to get wagons to the doors of the departments to load up the stores for transportation. After the mob was partially dispersed and quiet restored a number of citizens furnished wagons and assisted in loading them. I was busily engaged in this work on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. I transported 700 hundred large boxes of clothing to the Nashville and Chattanooga Railroad depot, several hundred bales of osnaburgs and other military goods from the Quartermaster's Department, most, if not all, of the shoes having been seized by the mob. I removed about 700 or 800 wagon loads of meat. The high water having destroyed the bridges so as to stop the transportation over the Nashville and Chattanooga Railroad, I had large amounts of this meat taken over the Tennessee and Alabama Railroad. By examination on Sunday morning I found a large amount of fixed ammunition in the shape of cartridges and ammunition for light artillery in the magazine, which, with the assistance of Gen. Harding, I conveyed over 7 miles on the Tennessee and Alabama Railroad in wagons, to the amount of 30 odd wagon loads, after the enemy had reached the river. A portion was sent on to Murfreesborough in wagons. The quartermaster's stores which had not already fallen into the hands of the mob were all removed, save a lot of rope, loose shoes, and a large number of tents. The mob had already possessed themselves of a large amount of these stores. A large quantity of meat was left in store and on the river bank and some at the Nashville and Chattanooga railroad depot, on account of the break in the railroad. I cannot estimate the amount, as several store-houses had not been opened up to the time of my leaving. All stores fell into the hands of the enemy, except forty pieces of light artillery, which were burned and spiked by order of Gen. Floyd, as were the guns at Fort Zollicoffer. My proposition to remove theses stores, made by telegraph to Murfreesborough, had the sanction of Gen. A. S. Johnston.
Interrogatory 6th. No effort was made, save by the mob, who were endeavoring to possess themselves of these stores, to prevent their removal, and a very large amount was taken off before I was placed in command of the city.
Interrogatory 7th. It was eight days from the time the quartermaster left the city before the arrival of the enemy, commissaries and other persons connected with these departments leaving at the same time. With proper diligence on their part I have no doubt all the public stores might have been transported to places of safety.
Interrogatory 8th. Up to Saturday the railroads were open and might have been used to transport these stores. Saturday the bridges of the Nashville and Chattanooga Railroad gave way. Besides these modes of conveyance, a large number of wagons might have been obtained, had the quiet and order of the city been maintained, and large additional amounts of stores by these means have been transported to place of safety.
Interrogatories 9th and 10th. I saw no officer connected with the Quartermaster's or Commissary Departments except Mr. Patton, who left on Friday. I did not at any time meet or hear of Maj. V. K. Stevenson in the city during my stay there.
Interrogatories 11th, 12th, and 13th. From my personal knowledge I can say nothing of the manner in which Maj. Stevenson left the city.
Common rumor and many reliable citizens informed me that major Stevenson left by a special train Sunday evening, February 16, taking personal baggage, furniture, carriage, and carriage-horses, the train ordered by himself, as president of the railroad.
Interrogatory 14th. All the means of transportation were actually necessary for the transportation of Government stores and sick and wounded soldiers, many of whom fell into the hands of the enemy for want of it, and might have been saved by the proper use of the means at hand. The necessity for these means of transportation for stores will be seen by the above answers which I have given. I have been compelled to be as brief as possible in making the above answers, my whole time being engaged, as we seem to be upon the eve of another great battle. The city was in a much worse condition than I can convey an idea of on paper, and the loss of public stores must be estimated by millions of dollars. The panic was entirely useless and not at all justified by the circumstances. Gen. Harding and the mayor of the city, with Mr. Williams, deserve special mention for assistance rendered in removing the public property. In my judgment, if the quartermaster and commissar had remained at their post and worked diligently with the means at their command, the Government stores might all have been saved between the time of the fall of Fort Donelson and the arrival the enemy at Nashville.
N. B. FORREST, Col., Cmdg. Forrest's Brigade of Cavalry.
Col. Leon Trousdale's responses to interrogatories of Committee of Confederate House of Representatives.
RICHMOND, VA., March 11, 1862.
SIR: Herewith I hand you my answers to the interrogatories propounded to me by the committee and transmitted to me by you.
To the CLERK of the Special Committee on the Recent Military Disasters of Forts Henry and Donelson.
Answer to interrogatory
1st. I am a resident of Nashville, and my occupation is that of editor and publisher of a public journal.
2d. I left the city of Nashville about 9 o'clock on the morning of February 23, just one week after the surrender of Fort Donelson.
3d. Gen. A. Sidney Johnston arrived at Nashville and took quarters in the village of Edgefield, on the opposite bank of the Cumberland River, a few days before the fall of Donelson; the precise date I do not recollect. His forces were left in the rear, and did not reach Nashville until Sunday, February 16, when they passed through the city and marched in the direction of Murfreesborough. I understand that the last brigade passed through the city on Monday. Gen. Floyd's brigade afterwards arrived from Donelson.
4th. The advance of Gen. Buell's forces arrived at Edgefield, opposite Nashville, on Sunday morning, February 23.
5th. The first report of Gen. Buell's expected advance was promulgated in the city on Sunday morning, February 16, accompanied by intelligence of the surrender of our forces at Donelson and the announcement that Gen. Johnston had determined not to make a stand for the defense of Nashville, which was verified during the day by the movement of masses of Confederate troops through the city in a south-easterly direction, on the Murfreesborough turnpike. The proximity of Buell's forces, as reported, however, was discredited during the day. As before stated, the enemy's advance did not reach the Cumberland at Nashville until the 23d.
6th. The citizens of Nashville were started and confounded by the intelligence, and by the announcement, said to have been made as the opinion of Gen. Johnston, that the gunboats would probably arrive in six hours, accompanied, as it was, by his expressed determination not to make a stand for the defense of the city. Large numbers of citizens had been drilling in companies and squads for several days, with the design of aiding the Confederate forces in making such defense as might be resolved on by the general commanding. They could now do nothing but fly from their homes or submit to the Federal despotism--virtual prisoners within the lines of the enemy, unable to write, speak, or act in any manner not in accordance with the will of their despotic enemies. Thousands chose the former alternative, however hard, and left their beautiful city, "fugitives, without a crime."
7th. I know nothing of the strength of Gen. Buell's army, now at Nashville, but I have heard it estimated, by persons from that vicinity, at 15,000 men.
8th. I do not think that Nashville could have been successfully defended after the surrender of Forts Henry and Donelson, in the incomplete state of the fortifications near the city, and with the rear and flank of Gen. Johnston's forces exposed, in consequence of the enemy having command of the Tennessee and Cumberland Rivers. But I believe that those great disasters might have been prevented by energy and promptness; and, having occurred, that the enemy might have been checked in his advance by a proper demonstration.
No troops ever fought with more gallantry and endurance than the Confederate forces at Donelson, and I have been led to believe that moderate re-enforcements in season would have secured for them the fruits of their valor and patient sacrifices. An early attention to the fortifications on the Tennessee and Cumberland and greater enterprise in panning and perfecting them, I am satisfied, would have insured a different result.
9th. I learned from officers who were with the rear guard of our army at Bowling Green that large amounts of pork and some unopened boxes of Enfield rifles and Colt's navy pistols were left at that point, in consequence of the enemy shelling the town before they could be removed; but they were burned or otherwise destroyed, as best they could be, by Gen. Hardee. Less than $1,000,000, I was informed, would be the loss of stores at Nashville. Gen. Floyd and Col. Forrest exhibited extraordinary energy and efficiency in getting off Government stores at that point. Col. Forrest remained in the city about twenty-four hours, with only 40 men, after the arrival of the enemy at Edgefield. There officers were assisted by the voluntary efforts of several patriotic citizens of Nashville, who rendered them great assistance. Among these I remember Messrs. John Williams, J. J. McCann, H. L. Claiborne, and R. C. McNairy.
Memorandum of Col. W. W. Mackall, Assistant Adjutant-Gen.
Gen. A. SIDNEY JOHNSTON:
GEN.: I heard you give the order to Gen. Floyd to take command of the city of Nashville. You said:
I give you command of the city. You will remove the stores. My only restriction is, do not fight a battle in the city.
W. W. MACKALL, Assistant Adjutant-Gen.
OR, Ser. I, Vol. 7, pp. 424-433.
23, A boxing match and wagers in the Army of Tennessee then in winter camp in Tullahoma:
“MATCHES AND OVER MATCHES”
A pair of privates of the ____ Tennessee had a grudge, and one of them also [received] a newly arrived box of provision ‘from home.’ They resolved to fight for the latter in adjudication of the former. An hour was appointed, a vast assemblage collected, both entered the ring arranged, the combatants placed in position. Intense excitement; much gambling on the result; terrible odds. Do not be alarmed, I mean no description in detail....The battle was fought, the victory won, the box of provisions paid over when lo, a second champion appeared, and offered to eat the entire contents for ‘twenty five dollars Confed., or, in default of so doing to pay down to the owner, thereof, the handsome sum of one hundred ditto.’
The wager was accepted. Bets were again offered and taken. Excitement again resumed the sway. The box (hitherto mysteriously closed) was at length...[opened]. It contained the following articles of food: One turkey, two dozen eggs (boiled), one dozen biscuits, one pound of butter, six dried peach pies, one bottle of molasses, and six onions!
The wretch won his wager!
Chattanooga Daily Rebel, February 23, 1863
23, Skirmish at Calfkiller Creek
One account of the trouble at Calkfiller Creek tells of the cruel and inhuman treatment of Federal prisoners of war by Champ Ferguson and other guerrilla leaders in the vicinity, and the retribution taken by Stokes and the Fifth Cavalry on February 23, 1864. A detachment of the Fifth Tennessee Cavalry was attacked on Calfkiller Creek by a large force of guerrillas on the 22d, and a severe engagement followed. According to one rare Federal account:
Three or four soldiers were killed in the action, and nineteen others were taken prisoners and deliberately murdered after they had surrendered and given up their arms. The heads of some of the unfortunate prisoners were riddled with balls, one man receiving seven bullets. On the 23rd pickets of the 5th were attacked, and Wilcher, a vidette, a noble young soldier, captured, carried a short distance e and cruelly murdered. Colonel. Stokes, on hearing of the savage mode of warfare practiced by Champ Ferguson and other guerrilla chiefs, issued orders to take no prisoners. A desperate contest commenced , In which our loss was seven or eight killed and but a few wounded and that of the guerrillas not less than a hundred killed and a large number wounded. Captains Blackburn and Waters, in command of a detachment of the regiment, attacked Huhges and Ferguson on Calfkiller Creek, and on of the severest battles ensued, in which several were killed on both sides, Ferguson badly wounded and the guerrillas put to flight....This victory was won by Capt. Blackburn and his men.
Report of the Adjutant General, p. 442.
Excerpt from the journal of Amanda McDowell
I have just heard nine or ten big guns. It is the Yankees at Sparta. I fear they are fighting but they fired yesterday and were not fighting there, but there was a dreadful fight up the river yesterday. Our folks tell it that they killed 35 or 40 of the enemy and got two men wounded. They lay in wait for them and I fear killed them after they surrendered. But I do hope they did not do that....We are all dreadfully uneasy. Some of the neighbors started to town today to take the oath but, hearing that those that went to the speaking yesterday did not get back, they did not go. What a dreadful pass the country has come to! It is awful to think of men being slaughtered in such a style. The people are rejoicing to think that so many of the enemy are gone to their account. I can’t rejoice. I cannot be glad at any death, at any murder, and what is it but murder? I think I love my country, but if I had my way there would never be a single man killed.
Diary of Amanda McDowell, pp. 230-231.
James B. Jones, Jr.
Tennessee Historical Commission
2941 Lebanon Road
Nashville, TN 37214