Tuesday, April 30, 2013

April 30 - Tennessee Civil War Notes

30, Special rates on the Nashville & Chattanooga Railroad
N. & C. Railroad Company
Superintendent's Office
Nashville, Apr. 30, '61
To Whom this may Concern:-
The Nashville & Chattanooga Railroad Company will transport FREE OF CHARGE [sic] against the company, all volunteer companies, supplies and munitions of war, intended for the defence of the South. The commanding officer will be required to furnish the forwarding agent with a certificate showing them number of men and tonnage of freight so transported.
This proposition will not apply to individuals, but is confined to organized companies.
Nashville Daily Gazette, December 12, 1861.[1]

30, Excerpt from a newspaper report on threats of the Chattanooga Vigilance Committee and admonitions of Federal reprisals in kind
~ ~ ~
The following is from the Nashville Patriot of recent date:
We learn from a gentleman of veracity, direct from Chattanooga, that the Vigilance Committee of that place recently held a meeting and determined to put to death fifteen or twenty of the prominent Union men of that vicinity upon the approach of the National army.
Most certainly the approach of the Federal army to Chattanooga or anywhere else will not be prevented or retarded by any such hellish device as that. Our armies will assert and exercise the rights of war. If it be found that the  Vigilance Committee are really determined, in the event of the marching of our troops upon their place, let that number or twice that number of prominent rebels of Nashville or some other city be seized and sternly held as hostages for the safety of  the threatened victims. If the rebels will insist upon making this a war of barbarism, a war of extermination, a war shocking to the  moral sense of the world, they have unquestionably the power to do so, but the consequence, whilst terrible on both sides, would  be far most terrible to their  own,
Never in all the history of hostilities among nations, was any war prosecuted on higher and juster and nobler and more merciful principles than this has been on the part of the United States. Our Government and our people have alike seemed to bear in mind the great truth, that, whilst the legitimate object of the war is to preserve the greatest country of the age against the most atrocious rebellion of any age, it still a war of brethren.
Louisville Daily Journal, April 30, 1862. [2]

30, Excerpt from the Case of Asa Hodges, Suspected of Disloyalty to the Confederacy, Relative to the Memphis Committee of Safety
~ ~ ~
Gen. James A. Carnes states that he has known Mr. Asa Hodges for the last four or five years and has regarded him as a good citizen and a reliable and trustworthy business man; that he never heard his loyalty questioned, and regarded him as entirely loyal to the South; that the witness was a member of the committee of safety of the city of Memphis from its first organization and that his opportunities for getting the names of suspected persons was very good, [emphasis added] and the witness is of the opinion that had Mr. Hodges been suspected he would have heard of it; that gentlemen in whom he had implicit confidence informed him that he talked and evinced the right spirit in the Southern cause.
~ ~ ~
OR, Ser. II, Vol. 2, p. 1552.

30, Favoritism in the execution of Confederate conscription in Union county[3]
The following unique letter was handed us by Capt. Webb, of the Enrolling Office of this Department;
UNION COUNTY, April 30, 1863
To Col. Blake, Comeding Cornscripts and so fourth:
Now Sur, I beg leeve to make a few remarks. Are the cornscripts ov ower cownty liable and ordered to be arrested. And delivered over at Knocksville to who has the collection ov them. Are the cornscripts officers aloud to seez one man and send wurd to anuther to cleer out and hide hisself? And then Kernel ar we kumpelled to have rollin officers who send men and buoys ove the mountings, telling the young men not yet 18 that the C. Gov. had abanderud ages under 18, and was ketchin corncripts by weight. And by this they have actery sceered off sum who ar not 17 years old-one in particler Elber Dawl, near me wus told that ef he weighed 124 lbs, he sertinly must go into the service of the C. S., and that nite he left for Ky., and is over thar now. We has in this cownty every enrollin offiser for the very wust cort of Likninite, & every one relatives ov the Cheerman or Cownty Court Clerk & this clerk was Thornberg's 1st Lieut. & the Cheerman is no better. Can we not have these stowt young men cauld into the servis or let them run off as sum ov them will do & have men over, 45 appointed or appint ower justices ov the peas & uther persins exempt from Concript this would at once put amazingly formydable foarce ov young men into the field & leave them who now have nuthin to do offishally to attend to the enroaling clerks sheriffs justices & other exempts. I have ritten to Congress asken them to pass a kempulserry law on the cownty coarts to make up the rollin officers entirely ov the exempt whether you have the power to change the appointments I know not, but this ere you can do, put them into the army a foarce the cownty courts to make other appointments for the pressant incumbenters in moast of the cownties in East Tennessee is a burlesk on the military but I kno that we has sum very good uns if I can get an order I will arrest a phew bad men & who ar lyin out steling everything in thar reach I have extended my few disjointed remarks much further than I espceted at first yours truly
We are inclined to believe that the publication of the foregoing patriotic letter will result in important reforms in the enforcement of the Conscript act, and we accept in advance the thanks of Col. Blake for the invaluable suggestions presented.

Knoxville Daily Register, May 21, 1863.

30, 1864 - Elvira Powers remarks on the progress of her contraband students at the Refugee farm[4]
The aptness of the pupils, as a whole, is really surprising. Some have learned the alphabet, I am told, in three days, and others in a week.
It is said that all northern people who visit the school, very soon fall a victim to that fearful disease, known by the southern chivalry and northern copperheads, as "niggar [sic] on the brain." And I will confess my belief that were I to teach in this school very long, I might become so interested in some of my pupils I should sometimes forget that they were not of the same color as myself, and really believe that God did make of one blood all nations of the earth.
They present every shade of color from the blackest hue to a fairer skin than my own. It is often necessary to find out who the mother is before you know whether the person is white of black. The age [of the student body] varies from four to thirty.
The progress of some is really astonishing. One little black girl of seven years, and with wooly head, can read fluently in the Fourth Reader, and studies primary, geography, and arithmetic, who has been to school but one year. I inquired if any one taught her at home, if she had not learned how to read before that time. "Oh, no, I learned my letters when I first came to school, and I live with my aunt Mary, and she can't read. She's no kin to me, and I haven't any kin, but I call her aunt."
Perhaps she never had any, or is related to Topsey, and if questioned farther, might say she "'spects she grew." A boy about twelve, who has been to school but nine months, and who learned his letters in that time, reads in the Third Reader and studies geography. Some are truly polite. The first day of my taking charge of one of the division, a delicate featured, brown-skinned little girl of about nine years came to me and said with the sweetest voice and manner: --
"Lady will you please tell me you name?"
I did so, when she thanked me and said: --
"Miss P_____ can you please hear our Third Reader this morning." It was not an idle question either, for the school is so large that now, while two of the teachers are absent, from illness, some of the classes are each day necessarily neglected. And so eager are the generality of the pupils to learn, that most of them are in two or three reading and spelling classes at the same time.
One might now not only exclaim with Galileo, "The world does move," and we move with it. For though but a little time since the negro dared to say :I think," lest the master might exclaim,-- "You think, you black neggar [sic]-never you mind about that, I'll do your thinking for you." But would instead, say 'deferentially, with bent head and hand in his wooly hair, "Wall, massa, I'se been a studyin' about dat dar," is now learning to stand erect and confess that he does think; as well as learn to read and write.
One of the more advanced pupils told me that her father taught her to read and write before it was safe to let anyone know that he did, or that he could himself read.
Powers, Pencillings, pp. 61-63.

[1] The date is correct. The notice was reprinted in the December 12, 1861 issue.

[2] As cited in PQCW.

[3] All spelling and grammar original.

[4] Powers had agreed to teach negro children at the "Refugee farm", or the "Eweing farm" on Friday, April 22, 1864. See: Powers, Pencillings, p.58.

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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