Sunday, March 31, 2013

3/31/13 Tennessee Civil War Notes = TCWN

31, Capture of Union City[1]

UNION CITY, TENN., April 1, 1862.


GENTLEMEN: Perhaps it may not be amiss for me to give you some of the particulars of the Lincolnitish [sic] advent into this City. On yesterday morning at early breakfast time, and before our cavalry had time to finish their morning repast, Mr. Charley Gibbs came in haste from his house and gave information that the enemy were in force making their way to our camps. They enemy were so close upon his heels that neither cavalry nor infantry had time to make any preparation for battle and a general flight took place, and many of the cavalry did not have time to saddle their horses and ran and left them tied. The infantry took to their heels. The flight became general. The enemy fired many volleys of musketry. They had but four pieces of light artillery and discharged them several times. None of our men killed or wounded. Two horses were killed on the field. Lieut.-Col. Tillman deserves a good deal of praise for his endeavors to rally and form his fleeing soldiers. He three times formed two companies of American-born soldiers in line of battle away from the field. The Irish element of his command would not and did not form in line of battle, but fled precipitately in such directions as offered the greatest safety to themselves. What went with the cavalry I cannot tell. One wagon and team was taken by the enemy, that I know of. I think about thirty horses and mules fell into their hands. From the best that I could see I think between thirty and forty of our men fell into their hands. The whole affray did not last over one hour or one hour and a half before they all left. The last that I saw of Col. Pickett he was making speed to the field of battle. What became of him and Maj. Woolfolk after they passed me toward the field I cannot tell. The enemy, I think, could not have been over 1,500 or 2,000 all told. The enemy first formed near the railroad in the woods and along the open field on the left of our entire encampment. They moved their cavalry and artillery into the field and began their fire on our men. They advanced and formed in the valley below, between the (our) cavalry and infantry, and would not (did not) ascend the hill or elevation on which our infantry were quartered. They moved north in the valley and field so as to get beyond to the north of our entire encampment. There they formed in line of battle. Their artillery, as soon as they found that our soldiers had not formed in line east of our encampment, moved up to the top of the elevation of which our cavalry were quartered and opened fire again with their cannon, the balls and shells whistling overhead.

Soon the entire encampment was enveloped in one sheet of smoke and flame, the soldier's houses being set on fire by the enemy. The tents of the cavalry were also nearly all burnt to the ground. The railroad cars, say some half-dozen, were at the depot here, and two locomotives, one of which had steam up, the other not. The one that had steam up backed up to the one near the depot and hitched to her and put steam [on] and off they went south. The enemy seeing this turned loose one of their cannon after fugitive train, but they had to elevate their gun so high that the balls did no harm to the train, I think. This brought the enemy down to the depot. They found two cars there still, one a passenger car, and the other perhaps not but was reported to contain clothing for the army. This car was set on fire by the enemy, and after it was well on fire the enemy left. This burning car was loosened from the passenger car and run down on the track to the end of the switch and burnt up the all its contents. After the tents and camps were well on fire the enemy formed in a large body in the valley near where the cavalry had been quartered, and, as I think, held a consultation of some fifteen minutes. Then they all moved off and went back the road they came to Hickman. The position that I occupied at the south side of the field gave me a full view of all that was passing. As Soon as the enemy started to leave the field I immediately went in amongst the burning camps and tried to save as much as possible of the soldier's effects from the flames. I succeeded in saving six boxes of cartridges that had not been opened, and have them, I hope, safe and subject to your order. A great variety of things were saved from the flames by the citizens. I think the enemy took a good many of our arms, but how many I don't know. Tents, soldiers' clothing, arms, and ammunition were destroyed. One case of surgical instruments was rescued in good order by a citizen. A gold watch, I think, was taken by some person. I think I can find out who, if I had orders to do so. If ordered to do so, I will take charge of such effects as the authorities may order. The order must be positive for any one that has any articles to deliver them up. I think that many guns were thrown away by the soldier that may be recovered. There was a great destruction of property by the enemy. All our soldiers must have been left destitute of everything except what they had on. I directed several tents to be taken down before the fire reached them; some were saved. The enemy must have been piloted through to our camps by persons who knew the country well. The telegraph instruments were broken, but not taken away; can soon be repaired, I suppose. Excuse this hasty sketch.

Respectfully, yours.


P. S.-No private property interfered with.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 52, pt. II, pp. 294-295.




31, Skirmish near Franklin

MARCH 31, 1863.-Skirmish near Franklin, Tenn.

Report of Maj. Gen. Gordon Granger, U. S. Army.

FRANKLIN, TENN., March 31, 1863.

GEN.: Our cavalry moved out on the Lewisburg and Columbia pike to-day, encountering the rebels some 7 miles out, and, skirmishing for several hours, took 5 prisoners from them. I learn that Van Dorn is still in our front, and that a part of his force is somewhere on a scout. Can learn nothing of rebel movements in any quarter. Orders were given last night for cooking four days' rations for a scout. Jackson, Armstrong, and Cosby were in front to-day.

G. GRANGER, Maj.-Gen.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 23, pt. I, p. 199.




31, Detailed Account of Life in a Federal Army Encampment; William Betnley's letter home to his sister in Ohio from Mossy Creek

March 31st 1864

My dear sister….

Maybe thee will be interested in an account of the manner that we spend our time in camp. I will try to give you some idea of my doings. Today is a pretty good sample- I was waked out of a sound nap at 5 ½ o'ck by "drummer call," pulled on my boots & got my traps on, said traps consisting of cartridge box, haversack and rifle. Fell into line for roll call and after the roll is called by the Orderly Sergt. open ranks and the Lt. Inspects every gun and cartridge box, then drill for a few minutes in the Manual of Arms, then break ranks and get breakfast. Which means in this case, a dish of fried crackers with gravy made with flour and water with a cup of strong coffee, not a bad meal when you get used to it. After breakfast comes policing (cleaning up). Then Guard Mounting at 8 ½ o'ck that takes 3 men from a Co. each day and I wasn't one of them this morning. Then we are off duty till 10 o'ck when we have Co. drill for ¼ hour, after this we have nothing to do till 12 p.m. when we have roll call again, then eat dinner. By the way, I had a rare dish for dinner viz. Oyster Soup. I bought a can of dove oysters for only $2.00 which made me an excellent dinner and I have some left for breakfast. This is pretty expensive you will think, but it don't happen more than once a year, for we can't get them often. At 2 o'ck we went on Battalion Drill, lasting till 4 o'ck when we came in and brushed up for Dress Parade which came off at 3 ½ o'ck. I can't tell you how it appears but is a pretty sight to anyone who has never seen a Parade.

After it is over, we get supper, fried crackers. I have just finished a plateful of them with sugar and I feel exactly as if I'd had my supper. We got plenty of rations now. We drew clothing today, I drew a pair of shirts, shoes & blouse and I am well provided for in the way of clothing…

I want thee to write to me often, even if I don't answer them every time in thy name. Be a good girl and help mother all thee can. I know thee will without asking.

Believe me ever, Thy Bro – W.

Bentley Letters.




31, Chief of Army Police William Truesdail's investigation relative to the guerrilla raid on Wartrace, February 20, 1865

I…proceeded on Friday March 31st with Mrs Kate Gannoway of Tullahoma to the above mentioned place. After arriving there I was introduced by Mrs Gannoway to a Mrs Thomas Tarpley being introduced as Mrs Kate Gannoway as an active rebel who also has a husband in the Rebel Army as a good Rebel myself I was at once made a confidant as to the secret operations of Rebel sympathizers in that locality. Upon my alluding to Captain Van Houten's being killed by the Yankees at Wartrace Mrs Tarpley at once dropped into a chair & remarked that it was one of the unfortunate moves of the Confederates at the present time and Doctor Simms was really the instigator of the raid into Wartrace, an explanation to my surprise. Mrs Tarpley said that Genl Forrest had some two moths ago sent word to Simms & other past scouts of his between Nashville & Chattanooga to aid in capturing telegraphic instruments for the use of his department. She (Mrs Tarpley) said that Doc Simms thought the proper time had come and had arranged with one of the Tell operators at Wartrace to have everything in readiness on a give[n] day so as to enable the raiders to accomplish their own object without suspicion or danger to any of the parties engaged. Unfortunately however Van Houten the Rebel officer in command of the squad drank a little to [sic] much rot gut and in consequence disregarded the instructions given him Doc Simms which resulted in the death of Van Houten and complete failure of the scheme.

Mrs Tarpley also stated that the same night that Van Houten was killed three of his (Van Houten's) men came to her house to ascertain the road to Mr. Ransoms, a noted secessionist as perhaps (according to their own expression) Head Quarters for all good Rebs [sic].

On Monday April 2d I made business to the Telegraph for the purpose of learning which operator at that post was cognizant of and connected with the above-mentioned raid. I met Mr. Ware in the office and introduce myself and business (pretended) sending a dispatch to some one in Tullahoma and while waiting for an answer the news of Richmond came over the wires he told me of the news whereupon I seemed gloomy and sad over the misfortune which had just befallen the Confederacy. He seemed to sympathize with me and denounced in the most abusive language Maj Genl Milroy Major Billings Provost Marshal & all Officers Commanding in the Sub Dist. He alluded to the arrest of one Mr Elkins in particular & citizens generally threatening what he would do in case he was a citizen and said if Elkins was punished for killing Negroes he would be avenged. I spoke of obtaining a pass to Tullahoma for Mrs Tarpley & Mrs Gannoway when he said he could have them brought on a freight train without any pass and said he was doing a good underground business shipping from eighteen to nineteen persons every day to Nashville & other points on the line of the N&CRR. Just at this moment some one came in and we dropped the subject of passes.

After this I introduced the subject of the raid and asked him is he one of the number captured to which he replied he was and gave a full account of the whole affair, laughed at the good joke on the parties captured and made a good deal of fun about the expression of Mr. Thomas face as he woke up in the night of the raid and found a face as he woke up in the night of the raid and found a rebel standing over him with a revolver drawn at his head demanding his watch & money. While we were conversing Mrs Kate Gannoway and Mrs Tarpley went to the Post Office. Learning the above after they had gone I spoke in a confidential manner to him (the operator) asking if he could [tell?] how it was the Captain (meaning Van Houten) happened to be so foolish as to make such a bold attempt at robbery in Wartrace at that time and he told me that the plan adopted was well arranged and would have a perfect success had they stopped when they had accomplished what they intended to do. Said he had pleasure of removing the instruments from the table and handing them over to Van Houten and also said that even Thomas thought he seemed satisfied in being so fortunate as to get off with his live [sic] was willing to regard the thing as a joke rather severe on them. But when they went elsewhere they made the things so public that he found it necessary to give the alarm to save himself. Said if he had not given the alarm he would have been suspect himself but if they had gone back improper time with the instruments alone to Doctor Simms the scheme would have been a perfect success. The Ladies about this time returned and the subject was dropped. After the Ladies again came in I asked him in case I was unable to get a pass from Gen Milroy for Mrs. Gannoway and Mrs. Tarpley if he would be so kind as to pass them over the road to Tullahoma. He replied that he would secure the passage at either eight o'clock in the morning or at four in the evening. He proposed to Mr. Thomas to send them in the Express car as it would be more comfortable than riding in the freight cars or flats, explaining that Mrs Gannoway was a relative to express Agent in Tullahoma and Mr. Thomas declined saying it was unsafe and he thought it was not proper to do so.

The next day we went to his office between three and four o'clock P.M. for the purpose of securing passage through his agency on a freight train. This took place April 4th. A few minutes before the train from Nashville came alone which he said he would send us on Mrs Elkins and daughter arrived on a freight train from Tullahoma. He (operator) told us that he had sent Mrs Elkins and daughter up to Tullahoma in the morning & then back. We were put on the second train from Nashville by him and came to Tullahoma. No passes were called for by the conductor, before leaving however for Tullahoma the operator spoke of having set traps by which he was going to catch the miserable wharf rats in the shape of Dutch soldiers belonging to the 188th O. V. I. stationed at Wartrace and stated a mode by which he had caught three.

Blood and Fire, pp. 151-153.

[1] Union City changed hands three times during the Civil War, yet it was not occupied for long periods of time by either side. This account was made by a Confederate citizen of Union City.

James B. Jones, Jr.

Public Historian

Tennessee Historical Commission

2941 Lebanon Road

Nashville, TN  37214

(615)-532-1550  x115

(615)-532-1549  FAX


Thursday, March 28, 2013

3/28/2103 Tennessee Civil War Notes = TCWN

28, Editorial exhorting reluctant young West Tennessee men to enlist in the Confederate Army

Young Men! You who remain at home, while your more patriotic and chivalrous companions are fighting for their homes and liberties-attend to the following paragraph and take warning:

We wish our stay-at-home young men, and would-be-neutral, if there are any to know that the Federal commanders took all young men they could finding Benton and Washington counties, put arms in their hands, and them placed them in the front ranks and told them they must fight. they [sic] were compelled to take the oath, and informed that if they flinched they would be shot.

Between the two armies the poor fellow are almost sure of death.

Young Man! You have but one life before you! Each day is lost kin [to] the irrevocable past! What do you? Let not a dull regret of a wasted opportunity press you down the balance of your days, with a sense of inferiority! Bitterly may you pray some day to recall the past. It is the only prayer the Almighty refuses inexorably, to answer.

Will you sit hereafter humbly by and hear it told by others how they rushed to our country's aid in time of peril, and kept her free? Or shall your children in after time, flush with pride and glow with honest patriotism to hear the rustling of the flag under which their father fought, and mayhap bled, to make them proudly free? [1]

Jackson West Tennessee Whig, March 28, 1862.




28, A Negro teamster escapes execution during the battle of Stones River, an excerpt from the letter of Amandus Silsby to his parents

March 28

Camp near Murfreesboro, Mar. 28

My dear father and mother [sic]:

….Gen. "Rosy" has not organized any negro regiments, I do not know whether the rebels killed all the negroes teamsters they were enabled to carry off with them. I saw them shoot two of them. I saw one of the poor fellows make his escape but Sambo [sic] thought a moment before his time was up. Seeing them coming, he tried to escape, but two of the rebels riding up, commanded him to stop! He stood trembling, while one of them asked him what he was doing there with the Federals. "I-I-I- was only go'an 'long wid de a'mee" "Well come along with us, we'll soon teach you what it is to be caught among the Yankees." Shortly after they were obliged to leave Sambo [sic], and Skedaddled [sic] from our cavalry, much to the joy of the negro, who jumping up and down shouted "Go it Bully! Give 'em H__ll!" [sic] I was glad to get away took for it went very much against the grain to hear their boasting talk, which riled my temper considerably….

Silsby Correspondence, March 28, 1863.




28, "CLEANLINESS." Strict public health orders in Nashville

Capt. Wm. D. Chamberlain, the Chief of the Military Police of this post, has issued a very important order-one which interest every citizen, and which we hope every person will aid the Chief in carrying out. The following is the order we allude to. Read it carefully, and file it away:

Office, Chief of Police

Nashville, Tenn., March 28, 1864

In accordance with Special Order No. 76, dated March 22, it is hereby ordered:

I. That occupants of Stores, Restaurants, and Dwelling Houses, will be required to clean their yards and cellars, and have the offal removed, within forth-eight hours from the date of this order. No garbage or dirt of any kind will be allowed to accumulate on any premises within the city limits.

II. All dirt to be removed in barrels and boxes from the back yards and alleys by the persons occupying the same. No rubbish will be allowed to remain more than twenty-four hours without being removed.

III. Offal, the accumulation of Restaurants, must be removed by the occupants each day (Sundays excepted) before 10 A. M. All ashes and rubbish will be set in barrels on the sidewalk before 10 A. M. each day.

IV. Hereafter occupants of Stores and Houses will be required to have the rear of their premises clean, and the side-walk swept before 9 A. M. each day.

V. Any violation of the above Order will be punished by a fine of Five Dollars ($5,) to be collected by the Provost Marshal.

VI. As cleanliness is one of the first requisites to health, it is hoped the citizens will do all in their power to assist in removing one of the first causes of disease. As soon as a sufficient number of carts can be procured, notice will be given, and the dirt and rubbish removed without cost to citizens.

VII. As it is my intention to remove all filth from the city proper, whether in the shape of dirt, rubbish, or dead animals, all information that would facilitate the above will be thankfully received and immediate action taken in the premises.

Wm. D. Chamberlain, Capt. and Chief of City Police

Nashville Dispatch, March 29, 1864.[2]




28, "Operations of the 'Forty Thieves;'" juvenile gang crime in Civil War Nashville

In the career of the juvenile gang of thieves from Louisville, now infesting our city, it was not an unfrequent occurrence for them to pick the pockets of the night police of that city while on their beats. We simply mention it in order to place our guardians of the night on the qui vive [sic], lest the "precious youths" should give some of our worthy policemen such an unenviable notoriety. If one of them ever gets into our work house, we may expect to hear of that institution being "extensively delivered," if not stolen completely, with all its inmates. An instance occurred once in the police court at Louisville in which one of the gang stole the stolen property which had been brought to the Court to convict another who was on trial. The venerable Judge was about to pass sentence on the "incorrigible little thief" before him, regardless of the "stolen evidence" of his crime, and as was his usual custom, took out his pocket handkerchief to wipe his spectacles before adjusting them on the nose of the Court, but judge of his amazement when he discovered that they had been stolen by the accomplice of the one on trial. This amazement than the Court could stand, and an adjournment was ordered immediately, in order to clear the room of thieves. One of them picked the pocket of a local editor on one occasion, while he suppose he was getting an item from the young rascal.

Nashville Dispatch, March 28, 1865

[1] This document indicates that some young West Tennesseans had no sympathy for the Confederacy and so refused to enlist. This contradicts a popularly held notion that all of Tennessee's young men eagerly flocked to the banner of the Confederacy without question.

[2] See also Nashville Dispatch, April 10, 1864, and Nashville Union, March 29, 1864.


James B. Jones, Jr.

Public Historian

Tennessee Historical Commission

2941 Lebanon Road

Nashville, TN  37214

(615)-532-1550  x115

(615)-532-1549  FAX


Wednesday, March 27, 2013

3/27/2013 Tennessee Civil War Notes = TCWN

        27, Confederate orders for an immediate and secret expedition to neutralize Union population in Montgomery and Huntsville, Scott County


Brig. Gen. D. LEADBETTER, Kingston, Tenn.:

GEN.: If your camp is established near Kingston the town should be taken in charge by the military authorities, liquor establishments closed, and such other measures taken as you may deem necessary for keeping up the discipline of your command.

You will organize immediately and secretly and expedition to Montgomery, and if possible to Scott County and Huntsville. Let your force be as large and effective as you may judge necessary; but it must be so organized as to move lightly and without impediments. The force in that section, as well as I can learn, is not over 600, principally the Tory population of the country. They are reported to have thrown up some defenses 16 miles beyond Montgomery. A rapid march of infantry in their rear may effect something. I give you carte blanche, and will sustain you in any course you may find it necessary to adopt in those counties.

Supplies should, as far as possible, be withdrawn or destroyed in Scott County. All self-constituted Tory organizations summarily dealt with; all the arms removed from that neighborhood. When you find any friends to our cause you may make exceptions in their cases.

In your move on Scott County from Montgomery observe the road to Jamestown. There have been rumors that East Tennessee was to be threatened from that direction. Spare no money in obtaining reliable information by that route from Kentucky. It will give security to your flank in your operations in Scott County. I inclose you a report of Capt. Eblen's.[1] You will find him active, intelligent, and patriotic. He can give you information regarding that country.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

E. KIRBY SMITH, Maj.-Gen. Cmdg.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 10, pt. II, p. 369.




        27, "If the fugitives now lurking about Memphis could return to their homes in the city and vicinity, and their former owners would receive them and treat them kindly until the final determination of their status, much of the misery and vice which infest the city and vicinage would be removed." Major-General S. A. Hurlbut asks President Lincoln for assistance for a solution to the contraband and farming crisis in West Tennessee and Memphis

HDQRS. SIXTEENTH ARMY CORPS, Memphis, Tenn., March 27, 1863.

ABRAHAM LINCOLN, President of the United States:

SIR: I avail myself of the fact that Mr. Leatherman, a prominent citizen of Memphis, is about to visit Washington, to lay before the Commander-in-Chief the serious difficulties which embarrass the citizens of this region, as well as the army, in relation to negroes. There are within the limits of my command about 5,000 negroes, male and female, of all ages, supported by the Government, independent of those regularly organized and employed as teamsters, cooks, pioneers, &c., and enrolled as such. Most of these, say, from two-thirds to three-fourths, are women and children, incapable of army labor-a weight and incumbrance. In addition, there is a very large number, not less in Memphis alone than 2,000, not supported by the Government, crowded into all vacant sheds and houses, living by begging or vice, the victims of fruitful sources of contagion and pestilence. Pilfering and small crimes are of daily occurrence among them, and I see nothing before them but disease and death. At the same time many valuable farms and plantations within our lines, despoiled of fences from the necessities of a winter campaign, deprived of customary servile labor, stripped of horses and mules, either from the needs of regular service or by marauding guerrillas, lie waste and desolate. The owners are ready to cultivate, but have no labor. It is spring, the time to put in crops, either of cotton or of corn, or, what is not least in a military point of view, those garden vegetables, the free use of which is so singularly beneficial to the health of an army. None of these things are down, except on a limited scale. The land is here, ready, the labor is here, but I know no authority which I possess to bring them together. There are many who point out and desire to hire those who were their slaves. I have no power to permit it, or, rather, none to enforce the contract if entered into. There are no civil or criminal courts, and, hence, the responsibility of the commanding officer, already heavy enough, is enhanced by the want of aid from legal tribunals.

I believe, from careful examination and partial reflection, that the condition of the fugitives would be improved in every respect by causing them to be hired, either for wages or for clothing, subsistence, or an equivalent in the crops, to such persons as would give bond to take care of them, and put them at such work as they can do, and enforcing the contract of hire on the parties. It is, however, not to be denied that a very serious risk must be run in so doing. The spirit of marauding and robbery, which gave rise to guerrilla parties, grows by use, and there is danger that they may be seized and run off to some portion of the South as yet not under our control, or it may be that parties obtaining them may misuse their power over them, although I feel less apprehension of the latter. If the fugitives now lurking about Memphis could return to their homes in the city and vicinity, and their former owners would receive them and treat them kindly until the final determination of their status, much of the misery and vice which infest the city and vicinage would be removed.

In the present anomalous situation of the State of Tennessee--neither exactly loyal or altogether disloyal, but yet wholly deprived of all the machinery by which civil government operates--it is impossible for any one to say whether the state of slavery exists or not. The laws of Tennessee recognize and establish it, but the law is in abeyance; no judges to interpret and administer, no sheriff to execute, no posse to enforce. The State is exempted from the effects of the proclamation, but the military authorities, both from choice and under orders, ignore the condition of slavery. If they come within our lines, we allow them to do so, if they voluntarily go out, we allow; and all this works no difficulty when troops are in the field in their limited camps; but when the lines inclose a vast space of country, or fence in, as here, a great city, this incursion of ungoverned persons, without employment and subject to no discipline, becomes vitally serious. Especially the police and administration of justice are thrust upon officers of the army. The evil is pressing, the necessity for prompt action paramount, both from feelings of humanity to the people around us and to relieve the army from this burden. I have not considered myself at liberty to adopt any course. Id is difficult for me to reach my department commander, and it is doubtful whether his pressing duties would leave him time to decide. It was hoped Congress would adopt some plan of the kind. This has not been done. The question is one not purely military, and I respectfully submit to the President the establishment of some general rule by which this difficulty may be overcome.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


OR, Ser. I, Vol. 24, pt. III, pp. 149-150.




        27, "General Orders, No. 17." appointment of Nashville Public Health Officer

Headquarters, U. S. Forces

Nashville, Tenn., March 27, 1864.

I. Pursuant to orders from the Assistant Surgeon General U. S. A., Surgeon L. A. James, 4th O. V. C., is announced as Health Officer for the Post of Nashville. He will be obeyed and respected accordingly,

By order of Brig. Gen. R. S. Granger

Nashville Dispatch, March 30, 1864.

[1] Not found.


James B. Jones, Jr.

Public Historian

Tennessee Historical Commission

2941 Lebanon Road

Nashville, TN  37214

(615)-532-1550  x115

(615)-532-1549  FAX


Monday, March 25, 2013

3/25/13 Tennessee Civil War Notes = TCWN

25, Military Governor Andrew Johnson demands Nashville City Council members take the oath of allegiance to the United States

Secretary's Office

Nashville, Tenn., March 25, 1862.

To the Mayor, Members of the Common Council, Police, and other Officials of the City of Nashville: [sic]

Gentlemen -- In pursuance of the first section of the 10th article of the Constitution of the State of Tennessee, each of you are required to take and subscribe the oath herewith enclosed; and said oath, when so taken and subscribed, you'll return to this office by Friday next.

Yours, etc.,

Andrew Johnson, Gov.

Edward H. East, Sec'y of State.

Papers of Andrew Johnson, Vol. 5, p. 244



25, "The Conscription in Tennessee;" Rumor of "galvanized" Rebels in the Federal Army

The Nashville Union, a fierce radical journal intimates that the conscription act will be enforced in that State after the following fashion:

The Conscription act will very likely be enforced in this State within the Federal lines with certain restrictions. We hear that it is contemplated to raise a regiment of rebel conscripts exclusively in this city. No loyal man will be allowed to join it. The officers, of course, will be of the true blue, and the privates will be either forced to fight, or in case they refuse to do so, they will exchanged for the Union conscripts in the rebel army. It strikes us that this outrage of conscripting loyal men to fight under the flag of treason has gone fare enough, and that it should be checkmated. Let two regiments, composed of the fiercest rebels in the city be drafted immediately, for duty in the Federal army, and if they refuse to coerce, subjugate and demolish their Southern brethren, let them be swapped off forthwith for the Union conscripts now at Tullahoma. We know of no place where the conscription law would be enforced with better effect than Nashville. Its enforcement would free the city of many fierce and stubborn foes of the Government, and it would [be] a joyful deliverance to thousands of loyal citizens who have been dragooned into the rebel service.

Memphis Bulletin, March 25, 1863.[1]



25, "Sprinkle the Streets."

We have been somewhat surprised that the streets should be allowed to remain in such a dusty condition for so long a time, without resorting to the old method of sprinkling with hose; but took it for granted that the scarcity of water in the reservoir was the cause. Yesterday morning we were informed that such was not the fact, the engineer stating that he can supply water in abundance for any purpose. Section 7 of Chapter 8, City Laws, provides the manner of obtaining water for sprinkling purposes. It says:-

The water shall be supplied to those applying, from and after the date of the application, until the first of the succeeding January, at the rate of sixty cents [by a law passed 24th of April, 1863, raised to $1.20] per lineal foot for each foot of hose, used, including length of nozzle, which tax shall in all cases be paid in advance to the Water tax collector, the said tax, in all cases, to be paid before the water is supplied by the superintendent.

Section 10 of the same chapter provides that sprinkling shall be done between the houses of seven and ten in the morning, and four and six in the evening, and imposes a fine of $5 on anyone violating the provisions of the act.

Nashville Dispatch, March 25, 1864.



        25, "The Negro Celebration;" Nashville's African-American community demonstrates its support for the constitutional abolition of slavery in Tennessee

The negroes, old and young, of every hue, shade and color, turned out yesterday to ratify the amendment to the State constitution abolishing slavery in Tennessee. The procession formed on Capitol Hill, at about 10 o'clock, and came down Cedar street with streaming banners, headed by a brass band, discoursing sweet strains to the slow and measured march of the "regenerated contrabands." A dense cloud of dust enveloped the procession and it was only visible at intervals. As they passed up College street, we caught a glimpse of the motley throng. The soldiers were in the van, followed by the "Order of the Sons of Relief," wearing "yaller [sic] regalias." Next came the "free American citizens of African descent," in their Sunday clothes, followed by the female portion of the colored procession. The juvenile darkies [sic] brought up the rear of this moving panorama, and at intervals the air resounded with shouts of glory from the enthusiastic crowd. The Marshals of the day were mounted, and highly decorated with all the colors of the rainbow. Among the devices or mottos born aloft, we noted the following"

"Will Tennessee be among the first or last to allow her sable sons the elective franchise?"

"United we stand, divided we fall."

"Nashville Order of Sons of Relief."

"We ask not social, but political equality."

"We can forget and forgive the wrongs of the past."

"We aspire to elevation through industry, economy, education and christianity."

After marching through the principal streets of the city, the procession wended its way to Walnut Grove, in the western environs of the city, where the were addressed by several able orators. The principal theme of the different speakers was the elective franchise, which right they emphatically claimed, and would petition the Legislature for it at its first session. If it was not granted by that body, they would thunder at the doors of the Capitol until their voices were heard, and the political equality of their race established.

The procession called to mind the familiar old melody[2] of "Old Joe kicking up behind and before, and the yellow gal is kicking up behind old Joe."

Nashville Dispatch, March 25, 1865.


[1] See also: Milwaukee Daily Sentinel, (Milwaukee, WI) Wednesday, March 25, 1863.

[2] Not identified.


James B. Jones, Jr.

Public Historian

Tennessee Historical Commission

2941 Lebanon Road

Nashville, TN  37214

(615)-532-1550  x115

(615)-532-1549  FAX


Friday, March 22, 2013

3/22/2013 Tennessee Civil War Notes = TCWN

22, Juvenile crime in Memphis

Juvenile Stealing.—A system of stealing from packages about the bluff and in other parts of the city, by children sent out by their parents with bags in their hands daily for the purpose, has of late been persistently pursued in this city. This proceeding is not only causing heavy loss to our merchants, but it is breeding up thieves and prostitutes in our midst. In order to do something to check the evil, officers O'Brien, Brannan and Hickey, furnished with search warrants, yesterday entered a number of houses from which they recovered a considerable quantity of hams, bacon, and sugar, which the owner can obtain by applying at the station house. They were taken from the homes of the following children, which children were arrested: J. O. Day, Maryam Magione, also Mrs. Brown, of the Navy Yard, and J. D. Spain, R. Sheean, and Maggie Coveny, residing on the corner of Main and Jackson streets. The night police deserve credit for their activity in this matter.

Memphis Daily Appeal, March 22, 1862.





22, Women in McMinnville talk about the progress of the war in Middle Tennessee

….Everybody was full of "the movement" whatever it might be. Bragg had telegraphed Wheeler that the enemy was either falling back or changing his base and in either case to press him. Wheeler left very early Thursday morning – and his staff during the day, nearly all of them very drunk – it is said. Dr. Read told the Col. So, and it so disgusted him that he said he would give up the idea of getting up an entertainment for them. And I was surprised at it for we all thought Wheeler's "staves" such gentlemanly men. Well, there's no telling who, or what you entertain these days. – Our hopes in reference to the retreat of the Yankees have all proved fallacious; more's the pity. It is now reported an advance, instead of a retreat. Morgan fought the Yankees at Liberty on Monday [19th] – repulsed them and took many prisoners – they fell back until re-inforced, and when they compelled Morgan to retire with a loss it is said, of a hundred of his best men. This is sad news indeed – and yet I fear it is not the worst. I expect nothing else now but that Bragg will fall back from Tullahoma – and this country be left – now to the ravages of the Vandals. At any moment I should not be at all surprised to see a Yankee force come in. What we shall do then or how we are to live it is impossible to conceive. If I were the Col. I would leave here – I would have been gone long since to a place of safety, at least, but he will not move, and when the oppression comes we will be stripped of everything, and he will regret it when it is too late to see a remedy. We look for some news of a reliable character today. Cannonading we heard in the direction of Liberty on Friday[1]-and when Morgan left of Thursday it was with the intention of attacking the Yankees on Friday morning. On yesterday he sent in a courier with a dispatch for Bragg, stating that the enemy was advancing. Mrs. Morgan was very greatly disappointed – When Gen. M [sic] left she expected soon to meet him at home in Murfreesboro. I can feel for, and sympathize with her now – in her anxiety…..In the afternoon Mary Talley, Mary Holmes, and Mary Armstrong all rode out here. M.T. said that the Yankees burned up all their ploughs and farming utensils and took all their corn. Their meat and fouls [sic] they did not take because their house was made head-quarters for officers. Every horse, mule, cow, pigs, sheep, etc. were taken. There is not a fence she says on the place, or a fence or shade tree in eight miles around Murfreesboro. The country here she says don't look as if any armies had ever visited it at all, compared with theirs. But soon it will be just as bad – if the enemy get in here again, as I am confident they soon will – everything here will be desolated even as it is there. Before this was is over I feel convinced that our grove will be destroyed and out building here burned down. I feel a presentment of the evil day coming, when we shall be driven out of house and home – and [I] am endeavoring to prepare myself for that trial. If it must come – as I am persuaded it must – let us try to meet it calmly. Oh! I felt so much encouraged on Thursday – when the news came that they were evacuating Murfreesboro. I felt how joyful it would be to go out in this fresh Spring weather, to plant our gardens, to nurse my flowers, to listen to all the thousand waking voices of the new blooming time – and to know that we could sit under "our own vine and fig-tree" with none to molest or make us afraid. But it can not be so – suspense – wearing [? Suspense is still upon us- we are not better off than before – nay, we are worse, for I look for a raid from the enemy daily – almost hourly. – Mrs. Talley's negroes [sic], Mary says, have closed not to go with the Yankees, tho' [sic] they have been persuaded and teased to do so time and again. One old woman she says just stands out and abuses them for everything she can think of, every time she gets an opportunity. – M. Tally says the demoralization of Rosecran's [sic] army is very great – she knew on Captain who had one man in his company and she used frequently to ask how his company was getting on? The Capt. Said he wised that one man would desert, and he would too. Of a body of 150 she knew at Readyville 100 deserted. The troops are exceedingly weary of the war and no wonder. Still I fear that the Northwest will at last give in to Lincoln's abominable rule, and keep up his armies. Without the men of the Northwest the East could do nothing – and we of the South would only laugh at the Abolitionists. Oh! How do I wish the Northwest could be made to see its true interests! The trees down by the river are taking the first tinge of green….

War Journal of Lucy Virginia French.





22, Confederates destroy private ferries on the Obion River

UNION CITY, March 23, 1864.

Brig.-Gen. BRAYMAN, Cmdg. District of Cairo:

My private scout has just arrived and brings the information that Gen. Forrest is at Jackson with a large force, estimated at from 6,000 to 7,000. On Tuesday [22nd] they were destroying private ferries on the Obion, doubtless with the view of preventing information from crossing. Detachments had reached Milan. The above is entirely reliable.


OR, Ser. I, Vol. 32, pt. III, pp. 130-131.


[1] Most likely the fight at Milton.


James B. Jones, Jr.

Public Historian

Tennessee Historical Commission

2941 Lebanon Road

Nashville, TN  37214

(615)-532-1550  x115

(615)-532-1549  FAX


Thursday, March 21, 2013

3/21/13 Tennessee Civil War Notes = TCWN

21, Hostile Nashville Belles


Pistolical [sic] Ladies.-The Black Flag. The Nashville correspondent of the Cincinnati Gazette, writing under the date of the 10th instant, says:


We have some very obstreperous young ladies in Nashville, whose hearts have been fired to such an intense heat, it is strange they don't set the river on fire. They are all raised ladies, but the wicked talk of politicians and preachers has unsettled their minds. One of them, when the Federal soldiers entered our city and passed down the street on which she resides, armed herself with a pistol and bowie-knife, and expressed a determination to dispatch the first man who molested her-Poor girl! No opportunity presented itself.-Another hung the black flag from her window as the National soldiers passed under. This succeeded so far as draw a rough remark from a thoughtless man in the ranks. Said he looking up at the damsel, "I could cut your head off just like a cow's." If his officers had heard his language, he would have been punished as he deserved. A man who cannot bear with the foolishness of women, and hold his tongue, needs discipline. These valiant young ladies, I am now assured, are well armed with pistols. How much better would a battery of bright eyes and sweet smiles become them!


Boston Herald, March 21. 1862.




21, A Funeral, Confederate Attack and Incorrigibles; Excerpts from the letter of Captain Gershom M. Barber from Murfreesboro


Head quarters 1st Battalion O. V. S. S.

Murfreesboro Tenn. March 21 1863


My Very Dear Wife

….At 12 we attended the funeral of a private of the 7th Company Capt. Sqire. He died of congestion of the lungs induced by cold and measles. It is the first funeral in the battalion and was very impressive. Chaplins Harker of the 86th Ind. performed the ceremony and the escort was furnished by the 10th O.V.I. We have had heavy skirmishing on the front the last two days. Rosecrans sent in his pickets on a particular route and directed [?] [in a] hurry forces on the flanks and thoroughly enticed the enemy's cavalry with[in] about five miles of our camp and then gobbled them up. They say hear it is an old friend of his. We rendered this morning hospital preparation for 150 secesh wounded. We had one killed and 30 wounded. A captain of a Tennessee regiment left his company and chased a rebel who turned on him and shot him dead. The booming of cannon and explosion of shells we hear heard distantly yesterday and the day before. Today all is quiet along the front. The health of the Battalion is generally good except measles. We have about twenty cases in the hospital most of them doing well… two [are] dangerous….


….We have a few incorrigibles who are homesick and want to get discharged and lie around and pretend to be sick and are very angry because we won't discharge them. We will put them on the front line trenches as work before long when they will get enough to do duty mighty quick. One man [who has been] lay[ing] in his tent for days and groaned and took on a terrible sight [?]. Would get up about once a day and come to my quarters and cry and beg me to get him discharged as he would die in a month and he wanted to see his family once more. I got the Surgeon to give him a through [sic] examination and he pronounced him as well as he ever was in his life. Surgeon told him he was pretending to be sick and if he didn't do duty he would give him medicine that would make him sick to death earnest. I induced him to duty and he has been well enough since. Another one who has been groaning all the time the surgeon has cupped and blistered half over his body until the poor fellow can hardly walk. I understand he says now he will now try to play off again. Most of the boys….are perfectly satisfied. We have a few cowards and I heartily wish the surgeon would discharge them. But it is a hard place to play "old soldier."


Barber Correspondence




        21, General Joseph E. Johnston reports on food collection work for Army of Tennessee


TULLAHOMA, March 21, 1863.

Hon. JAMES A. SEDDON, Secretary of War:


SIR: On the 4th instant I reported to you that Maj. Cumming, assistant commissary of subsistence, had the orders of Col. Northrop to assume the direction of the purchase in Middle Tennessee of provisions for Gen. Bragg's troops, and was about to obey those orders.


I learn here that he has not given this important subject his personal attention, further than by sending agents into some of the neighboring counties, without reporting the fact to the chief commissary of the department.


These agents have a list of maximum prices, authorized by you, which have been published, announced rather, as ordinary. These are about double those given by the quartermaster's and commissary departments of this army-prices which satisfied the people of the country. These agents are furnished with State money also. In the single article of corn, our expenditures will be increased by at least $18,000 a day, on account of these changes.


I have just suggested to you, by telegraph, to annul the list of prices, and forbid the use of any but Confederate money within the country we hold.


The persons who still hold provisions are, of course, less friendly to us than those who have been supplying the army, so that the disloyal and least loyal will receive about twice as much for the same articles as we have paid our true friends. Allow me to say, most respectfully, that fair prices of the products of this district can be better ascertained here than in Richmond.


I hope that Maj. Cumming may be punished for disobedience of the orders of Col. Northrop.


The feeding of this army seems to me a matter important enough for the services of some of the most efficient officers of the Subsistence Department. If they cannot be spared for such duty, I hope that the agents of Maj. Cumming may be recalled. They have furnished nothing as yet.


Most respectfully, your obedient servant,




OR, Ser. I, Vol. 23, pt. II, pp. 718-719.




21, "General Orders, No. 11;" disposition of abandoned farm property in the Nashville District


Headquarters District of Nashville

Nashville, Tenn., March 21, 1861


Commandants of Posts in this District will leave abandoned farms lying in their respective counties on reasonable terms, all things considered, taking security for payment of the rent, and reporting their action to these Headquarters. Preference will be give to those in present possession of these farms. The rent will be made payable at such times a may be agreed upon, and in money or a party of the crop.


By command of Major-General Rousseau.

Nashville Dispatch, March 23, 1864.



21, Anti-guerrilla expedition ordered, Athens environs, for the duration



Knoxville, Tenn., March 21, 1865.




SIR: You will proceed with all the effective armed force of your regiment from Athens, Tenn., and distribute it at the several passes through the mountains east of that place. All enlisted men not armed will be left at Athens under charge of a commissioned officer, who will report to Capt. W. H. H. Crowell, Second Ohio Heavy Artillery, commanding post at Athens. With your effective force you will take measures to guard the mountain passes mentioned, and to prevent the incursions of guerrilla bands, and will be held responsible for any failure to do so. You must enforce strict discipline in your command, and under no circumstances permit the men to leave their companies, or to straggle in the march or from their camps, and all depredations and all cases of absence without authority of the major-general commanding the department must be severely and summarily punished. Your command will subsist upon the country, but all supplies taken must be receipted for on the proper blank forms used by quartermaster's and subsistence departments, whether obtained from loyal and disloyal persons. You will appoint a discreet officer to perform the duties of regimental quartermaster and commissary, who will alone have authority to provide the necessary supplies for your command, and you will be held responsible that his duty is faithfully and strictly performed. You will procure a full supply of ammunition before starting from Athens, and see that your men have at all times forty rounds of ammunition ready for use, and also that their arms are always kept clean and free from rust. You will send your tri-monthly report promptly, in time to have it reach these headquarters by the 10th, 20th, and last days of each month. You will also forward your monthly report promptly on the last day of each month, and be very careful that all returns and reports are correct before they are sent. You will provide yourself with the necessary blanks before starting.


Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


H. G. GIBSON, Col. Second Ohio Heavy Artillery, Cmdg. Brigade.


OR, Ser. I, Vol. 49, pt. II, pp. 46-47.



James B. Jones, Jr.

Public Historian

Tennessee Historical Commission

2941 Lebanon Road

Nashville, TN  37214

(615)-532-1550  x115

(615)-532-1549  FAX