Saturday, February 9, 2013

February 9, 2013 - Tennessee Civil War Notes

     9, "Display of Flags" - the morning after

The stars and stripes have been thrown to the breeze in every section of the City. The display is equal to that made in the late Presidential campaign, and revives reminiscences of the zeal and earnestness evinced by the workers in that canvass.

Whatever may be the result of the difficulties which at present agitate our country - whether we are to be united in our common destiny or whether two Republics shall take the place of that which has stood for nearly a century, the admired of all nations we will still bow with reverence to the sight of the stars and stripes, and recognize it as the standard around which the sons of liberty can rally and truthfully exclaim "Thou art the shelter of the free."

And if the remonstrances of the people of the South - pleading and begging for redress for years - does not in this critical moment, arouse her brethren of the North to a sense of justice and right, and honor demands a separation, we would still have the same claims upon the "colors of Washington, great son of the South, and of Virginia, mother of the States." Let us not abandon the stars and stripes under which Southern men have so often been led to victory.

Nashville Daily Gazette, February 9, 1861.
Note: Considering the vehemence of the secessionist lobby this reaction to the failure of the initiative to hold a secession convention is mild and conciliatory. Hotheads would later prevail.

9, "Cavalry are scouting all over the country, stealing money, clothes, foraging, pressing horses and capturing 'Secesh' soldiers." 

I have been visiting all day, ought to mark it a day lost. A Federal force is at Franklin. Cavalry are scouting all over the country, stealing money, clothes, foraging, pressing horses and capturing "Secesh" soldiers.

I am fearful Robert will be taken prisoner. Not a dog barks but what I think, "The Yankees" are coming.
Oh! when will it end? I told Mag tonight I felt as if I should go crazy.

Oh! that we could conquer a peace.

I almost doubt the efficiency of a republican for of government. Ours has not yet lasted a century.
It is humiliating to reflect upon our glorious past and then compare it with the present.

Oh! for A Washington, a Jefferson, a Hamilton or a Jackson or some e such might spirits [sic] to guide us aright and bring and end to this devastating war. At times I proudly imagine Jeff Davis our talented forbearing President in the man. God grant he may be. My thoughts are confused. Have lost all command of diction, can scarcely clothe my thoughts in the most ordinary language. This is the principle reason for my writing. To try to improve myself in composition [sic]. I wonder if I could compose a passable letter now.

I read but it makes but little impress [sic] upon my memory. In an hour after I close my book I can but with a mental effort quote a sentence. Often while sewing I endeavor to quote from memory and frequently have to get the book and re-peruse it. It alarms me. Yet what can I do? Resolutions and plans avail me not. Having no room of my own, my reading is done in the family room except at night after they retire, I read and study or try to. Frequently my eye is upon the page, my thoughts are far away lingering upon some recent bloody field or with my soldier friends.

The faces of the loved and dead come up before me. Every shadow seems a spirit and the low sighing wind seems a whisper of lips not closed forever. They are with me in dreams. I feel the clasp of loved hands, meet again eyes beaming with love.

Passionate, burning words fall upon my ear, words that I once heeded not. With a stark I awoke. Wretched, oh so desolate. Yet I make my own desolation and they say broke the truest heart that ever loved woman. I will not believe it, dare not believe. It is only the beautiful that can wound like that. No one ever called me handsome.

He acted wrong, so did I. Why? I write this I know not. Am always remembering it, always feeling a presence and a shadow even in my gayest hour.

I fear it is morbid. I never thought even after mature reflection that I cared for him more than a brother. If I did not, why? this eternal consciousness of an unseen presence [sic].

If H. could only come home, I would cease to feel so. Oh, that he would, but is he alive? I know not even that. "Randolph when in agony of despair he exclaimed, "Alone, all alone." Expresses what I often feel, even with a loving brother and sister.

They do not understand me. But one never did. Alas! That one of all others.

I will perhaps tear this out tomorrow. I write as a relief. I never talk thus – never.

Diary of Mary L. Pearre

9, Skirmish near Memphis

FEBRUARY 9, 1865.--Skirmish near Memphis, Tenn.
Report of Lieut. Col. Hugh Cameron, Second Arkansas Cavalry (Union), commanding Fourth Brigade, Cavalry Division, District of West Tennessee.

COL.: I have the honor to report that the escort having charge of the wood train from this brigade was attacked this morning at 8 o'clock about the time it arrived in the wood-yard one and one-quarter miles outside the pickets by a party of rebels believed to be seventy-five in number. The escort comprised seventeen mounted Second Arkansas Cavalry, twelve dismounted Second Missouri Cavalry, and eleven dismounted First Iowa Cavalry, making forty men, commanded by Second Lieut. Laban N. Garrett, Company A, Second Arkansas Cavalry. At 8.30 o'clock I received information by messenger that the escort had been driven back and the train captured. I at once sent messengers to division headquarters with the information and for orders and immediately ordered out al the cavalry of the brigade. My messengers, returning, met me near the Carr avenue picket about 9 o'clock, bringing orders for me to pursue the rebels some distance beyond where the train was captured. I pushed forward as fast as possible ten miles on the rebel trail, but did not overtake any of any of the party. Had my men been mounted on serviceable horses I might have overtaken and severely chastised them. The trail was through the woods in the direction of Hernando, as I followed it. Doctor Raines, living about one mile west of the Hernando road and ten miles from the City of Memphis, informed me that the rebel force passed his house on the way to the wood-yard at 4 a. m. and returned with the captured mules at 9.15 a. m. in a hurry; that they divided just before they reached his place, thirty-five or forty passing his house, and the remainder turning to the right and making for a skirt of timber southwest of his house, though which the Mississippi and Tennessee Railroad passes.

I abandoned pursuit, satisfied that I could accomplish nothing with my broken-down horses, and determined to return. Dividing my detachment of sixty-six men, I ordered Capt. O'Brien back over the road we came with thirty-three men, and with the remainder I returned by the Hernando road. On reaching the Hernando road I captured Doctor Gabbert, who said he lived in the vicinity of Hernando, and supposing that he might give important information I brought him along. I have turned him and the property captured with him over to the provost marshal. A negro moving his family to Memphis told me that he passed a rebel force having a large of mules with them about twelve miles from Hernando; he supposed about 11 o'clock . In the encounter at the wood-yard our casualties were 1 sergeant, Second Arkansas Cavalry killed; 1 man, Second Missouri Cavalry, mortally wounded, and 3 slightly; 1 man, of the first Iowa Cavalry, severely wounded; 1 man, of the Second Missouri Cavalry, prisoner; also 5 teamsters, Second Arkansas Cavalry, prisoners. Loss of property, 111 U. S. mules in harness. Rebel casualties, as far as ascertained, 1 man killed, from whose person was taken, it is reported, a cotton pass dated February 8, 1865, and a letter containing valuable information. I have delayed this report, expecting to be able to get said cotton pass and letter and forward them with it, but have failed. I have placed the lieutenant commanding the escort in arrest for neglecting to take possession of said papers, and have no doubt that he deserves to be punished for carelessness and inefficiency; for the result of his operations in the woodyard, it seems to me, proves him to be both careless and inefficient.

I have the honor to be, colonel, respectfully, your obedient servant,

HUGH CAMERON, Lieut. Col. Second Arkansas Cavalry, Cmdg. Fourth Brigade.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 49, pt. I, pp. 37-38.

James B. Jones, Jr.
Public Historian
Tennessee Historical Commission
2941 Lebanon Road
Nashville, TN  37214
(615)-532-1550  x115
(615)-532-1549  FAX

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