8, "Another Political Demonstration – Minute Men Torchlight Procession."
This has emphatically been a week of political demonstration. Two torchlight processions for the Union forces have already taken place, and this evening the advocates of secession make the last public demonstration prior to the election to-morrow [sic] for delegates to the State convention. The "minute men and the friends of the South: will form on the west front of [the] Exchange building at eight o'clock, and under the direction of W. R. Hunt, chief Marshal, assisted by numerous assistants, take the following route: Out Poplar street to Main, down Main to Union, out Union to Desoto, thence to Vance, and to Shelby, up Shelby; to Union, out Union to Main, up Main to Madiso9n, out Madison to Second up Second to Market, out Market to Front row, down Front row to Exchange building, where a number of speeches will be made. Parties on horseback are requested to meet at Whitney's stable, on Main street, thence proceed to Exchange building, and form the rear of the line. Messrs. A. H. Douglas, J. M. Crews, J. J. Wicks, T. J. Finnie, J. F. Strange, C. W. Frazer, W. W. Walker, J. H. Edmonson, Dr. W. C. Cavanaugh, J. Brett, J. Logwood, T. J. Foster, Capt. J. Hamilton, Dr. J. H. Erskine, J. A. Williamson and Col. Tilman have been appointed marshals to escort the ladies who may join the procession. We presume there will be a large turn out, as immense preparations have been made to secure one.
Memphis Daily Argus, February 8, 1861.
9, Brigadier-General Gideon J. Pillow pledges "Liberty or death" in defense of Fort Donelson
SPECIAL ORDERS, No. 1. HDQRS., Dover, Tenn., February 9, 1862.
Brig.-Gen. Pillow assumes command of the forces at this place. He relies with confidence upon the courage and fidelity of the brave officers and men under his command to maintain the post. Drive back the ruthless invader from our soil again raise the Confederate flag over Fort Henry. He expects every man to do his duty. With God's help we will accomplish our purpose. Our battle cry, "Liberty or death."
By order of Brig.-Gen. Pillow:
GUS. A. HENRY, JR., Assistant Adjutant-Gen.
OR, Ser. I, Vol. 7, pp. 867-868.
Effects of the War on Tennessee -- Destruction of Property Through Hood -- Restitution -- Death's Doing Since Dec. 15 -- A Good Sanitary Exhibit for 1865 -- A Parting Word.
Nashville, Tenn, Sunday, Jan 29, 1865.
The citizens of Nashville will long remember Hood. The sense of the injuries inflicted on them and their city by his recklessness and folly, will have more than a passing poignancy. Before Hood came on his quixotic errand, the condition of the city was anything by seemly and desirable. It had long ceased to challenge praise from visitors of the ground of its beauty. The marring hoof of war had trodden too deeply for that. But it retained, in spite of three or four years incessant trampling of iron heels, many bright signs to show what it had been in it palmiest day. A number of its fairest edifices, lying without and around the city, had been but slightly touched by war's deforming fingers. And though the citizen, as speaking to the stranger of Nashville now, and contrasting it with Nashville as before the war, sighed as some old Trojan, exclaimed, ""Ilsum fuit" [sic] might do, there were yet attractive points, here and there, to greet the eye, and give assurance that the city's former claims to admiration were not placed a little too high.
Hood's coming, and the effects it brought, made the little remnant less. The huge gaping trench and rifle-pit cordon around the city, stands a hideous disfiguration. It will stand thus for long, for these ghastly cuts, like those upon animate bodies, require time to cure. Right through many a smiling yard and fruitful garden, as the summer showed them, these remorseless gulches too their way, the fences on every side being town down, and wept in to aid and finish the defences. Houses on the outskirts stood in all directions, and stand yet, bare of post or picket, as if a fence were thought a superfluity, and the people loved to have all things in common.
Many fences were carried away by the soldiers and burnt for fuel, on the biting cold days just before the battle. It was a "military necessity" for which it would be hard to blame the brave fellow who were shivering on the icy ground, and found nothing else to warm them. Even a part of the cemetery fence as demolished, as all would have been by the troops in their strait, had not the most energetic measures been restored to, to protect it. Hood's forces around the city kept fuel from getting into it, and hence the pressure. A considerable section of Nashville, adjacent to the cemetery, is lying fenceless to-day.
Outside of the city limits, the havoc and desolation are more strikingly seen. Not only are the fences utterly swept away, but in many instances houses are burned or partially demolished by shells. From a stand-point half a mile beyond Fort Negley, and in the direction of the Franklin Pike, along which the most desperate fighting of the two days took place, the eye takes in numbers of houses that once lay nested in the bosom of tasteful shrubbery or rich forest growths, now denuded and bare as if planted in the heart of some Western prairie. I rode out to the house of Mrs. A. V. Brown, two miles and a half from the city, and just beyond the first line of rebel rifle-pits. The pits remained just as the rebels left them, and very artistically finished structures they were. The ran in front of Mrs. Brown's house, which, with the fences around it, were not molested, though reported at one time burned. A strong rebel guard kept the premises from harm, and the family did not leave the house during the battles, nor while the rebels lay around. It is marvelous that the fast-falling shells from our forts and batteries did the house no injury, while others in its vicinity were dismantled. It has been Mrs. Brown's singular good fortune to find protectors in both belligerents during all the rebellion. The sister of Gen. Pillow and the widow of one of our former Cabinet officers, her relations, added to her amiable and benevolent character, and the charms of her hospitable home, have seemed to make loyal and rebel rival each other in acting toward her the part of friends and guardians. Mrs. Ackland's house, also, one of the most elegant in Nashville, situated just within our lines, and the headquarters of Gen. Wood during the battle of the 15th and 16th of December, enjoyed similar immunity. Some others near the battle-ground, and with shot and shell flying all around them, had an equally fortunate escape.
The destruction of property, however, was immense all around the city. It would be hard to write down the sum accurately in figures. Greater values were absorbed and sunk through the last abortive struggles of Hood than the rebellion ever inflicted on the State before. A good deal of these parties will seek to recover from the Government. Where private property was taken from Union citizens for the purposes of the Government, a claim may be put in, and a competent tribunal will decide how far restitution shall me bade. It will be a slow process, and a difficult one, to decide truly between the many and conflicting claims which by and by will press upon the proper court. This will prove one of the troublesome sequels to the rebellion. The greater matter settled, however, the lesser ones will adjust themselves in due time.
The number of deaths in the various hospitals here since Dec. 15, is a trifle under 1,300, far the greater part have been wounds received in battle. The soldier's cemetery contains a total of 11,500 of our heroic men, who devoted life for the country -- a number equaling the entire population of many pretentious towns. This is but a fraction of the stupendous necrology that this dire rebellion has written up; and what an appalling picture does war present looked at in this aspect. To counterbalance this, the gains from the struggle must be great indeed. And they will be. Given the death of slavery alone, as the fruit of these frightful throes, and who will say that all these sacrifices have not been amply repaid?
The Winter mortality among the black people and the enlisted soldiers in colored regiments is large. It has averaged for this month and part of December, twenty deaths a day. Fifteen of these are from contrabands, about five from soldiers. The cold weather is hard upon the half-clad, half-fed and half-housed blacks, who have sought the asylum of the city in crowds. With all the considerate aid the Government can give them the condition of many is wretched enough. Freedom however, they sigh for, and will have when attainable; any lowly and suffering lot as freeman, in preference to slavery, though the chains may sit easily in some exceptional cases. The colored soldiers have good care in the hospitals provided for them. The numbers brought in wounded show how gallantly they performed their part in the recent battles. But wintry exposure in the field, affects them more than it does those of the more fortunate race. They suffer more from sickness proportionably [sic], and sickness seizes them with [a] stronger and more tenacious grasp. Field service, however, in the sultry season deems to harm them less. Their claim to being good soldiers, to rendering signal service to the cause they love to fight in, is established beyond dispute.
The Sanitary Commission's work for this department during the year ending Jan. 1, 1865, deserves a glance. The number of articles distributed among our soldiers in hospitals and in the field, for this period reached the total of 1,021, 433 -- one bushel, one pound, one gallon, and so on being counted as one article. There were disbursed 150,000 pounds of canned fruit, 114,655 pounds crackers, 72,823 pounds condensed mils, 35,446 bushels of potatoes, 25,484 bushels of onions, 36,397 bottles of wine and liquors, 51,854 gallons of pickles, and other articles of highest value to the needy soldier, on a like liberal scale. The streams of the people's show, have continue to flow to with the steady and unimpeded current. It is one of the most marvelous spectacles that the eye has witnessed. It is a splendid record that will challenge praise from the coming ages, in behalf of a great Christian people, whose sentiments and acts proved them worthy of the trust which God devolved upon them.
Your correspondent, assigned to another department, closes with this letter the series addressed to the Times from Tennessee, but of fifty-two letters written since June of 1863, not one has failed to reach its destination, nor to appear in due time to afford perchance a transient interest to some of your many readers. A twenty months' observation from a very interesting standpoint has enabled me to aid a little, I hope, in illustrating certain phases of the war, its effects on the border states, and especially Tennessee, the steadiness with which the great principles involved in the issue have advanced, and the sure and probably speedy triumph to crown the struggle for Union and Freedom. It has been pleasant to speak words of hope and good cheer in regard to the brightening future through the columns of a paper which, and has been, in full accord with the grand progressive movements of the age, and has hopefully stood by the righteous cause of nation unity and a sorely tried Government in the darkest hours. The worst danger is overpast [sic]. The nation will live. Its path, like that of the just, will grow brighter and brighter. And to have contributed something to his august and inestimable result, will be to the humblest helper a life-long glory and joy.
New York Times, February 8, 1865.
James B. Jones, Jr.
Tennessee Historical Commission
2941 Lebanon Road
Nashville, TN 37214