Saturday, April 20, 2013

4/20/13 TCWN

20, "The Reported Mutiny at Nashville."

We have heretofore noticed reports brought to this city, of mutinies among the Federal troops at Nashville. Here is another report, which we find in the Knoxville Register, to which paper it was telegraphed from Chattanooga on the 3d [Thursday]:

A distinguished Missourian, just from Middle Tennessee, brings important intelligence.

He reports that a Kentucky regiment rebelled near Nashville a few days since on account of Lincoln's recent message. Two Indiana regiments were drawn out to suppress them. The Kentuckians ordered them to halt at a distance of sixty yards. The Indianians [sic] refused, when the Kentuckians fired upon them, killing and wounding four hundred. The remainder ran.

They buried, he says, two hundred and eighty who died in six days, last week, near, Columbia from small pox.

He reports the Federal army rapidly becoming demoralized on account of the constant killing of their pickets, and the approach of summer. This is reliable.[1]

Memphis Appeal, April 20, 1862.





20, Lt. Albert Potter's opinion of negro troops; an excerpt from his letter to his sister

Headquarters Co "H" Near

Columbia Tenn Apr 20 [1863]

Dear Sis

*  *  *  *

….I don't believe I think more of the negro…but I do believe and say they ought to have their freedom and they shall have it – not only because they are human and have souls, but because their masters have forfeited all right to them and their loss is our gain – And again they make good soldiers, good Fighting soldiers, and I say let them fight. They are no better to stop a ball than I am --- If working men are so opposed to arming the negro let them take the musket out of their hands and come along.

Show one a man, who is down on our negro soldiers and who keeps hanging back and shirking and I will show you a coward. Yes a moral coward and I believe God hates a coward.

*  *  *  *

Potter Correspondence.




20, "The "Disorganizers:" Union Secessionists in East Tennessee

Political Movements in East Tennessee.

We have already noted the call of a few disorganizers and traitors in and around Knoxville, for a convention of that place, which purported to be issued "by authority," but was in reality only another effort of the officers of an old and [illegible] convention that met in East Tennessee in 1861. Under this call, however, a meeting was held in Knoxville on the 17th of March, which resulted in a decision to reassemble the old convention at Knoxville on the 12th of this month, where it was expected by the leaders in the movement most of the counties and districts in the disaffected portion of the State would be represented.

As the purposes of these traitor accords with the designs of the Federal Government at Washington, we presume a most important and momentous movement, involving great changes in the political position of the State, were inaugurated. It was expected the Knoxville meeting, on the 12th, would assume all the functions of a constitutional convention, and assert its power and capacity to alter the organic law, as it now stand, divide the State, and in general to exercise unrestricted control of East Tennessee, and organize it into a separate State government. And, to coincide with the programmed of its fanatics at Washington, slavery would be abolished of course, though Tennessee was exempted from the operations of Lincoln's emancipation proclamation.

Another feature of the plans of the schemers engaged in this revolutionary movement is the repudiation of all the debts contracted in the name of the State, by the executive and legislative authorities, for the purpose of arming and equipping men for the armies of the Confederacy, and of placing the state on a war footing. In this action they may temporarily succeed in affecting the banks, the public bonds, and disturbing the status of the school bonds, etc., but it can only be temporary. So many millions of dollars of public securities cannot be laced in a doubtful position long by such an unauthorized assemblage. Holders, as well as dealers, in such securities, will easily recognize the acts of these men, in this direction, to be unwarranted, and no great harm will ultimately result form their action.

Supported by Federal bayonets, as they will be, the disorganizers will probably meet with more success in their project of dividing the State, as Virginia has been divided. A few of the people of East Tennessee, and many of the ambitions and unscrupulous leaders, who desired to create additional cozy berths for their on comfort and enjoyment, have favored such a movement for years, but were thwarted in their scheme by the controlling influence of the balance of the State. The present, however, is their opportunity, and we will expect they will go through all forms of dismemberment. The manner in which the constitutions of Virginia and the United States were evades at Wheeling-if that can be said to be an evasion which is a downright violation-will be a precedent which, under all the circumstances is not likely to be overlooked by the meeting. Gentlemen recently from that section inform us they boldly declared their purpose of assuming to act for the whole State, and ordering the election of a Legislature, which it was expected would in turn consent to a division of the State. After which the expected to elect a new Legislature, and proceed to act for the new State thus created, following the example of West Virginia in alternately being the whole and a part of the State, in order to appear to meet the requirements of the constitution.

It is a matter of regret to Tennessee, and particularly to the true men of the eastern division of the State, who number thousands in our armies and among the refugees in the South, that these disorganizers have the opportunity of enacting their contemplated farce. Under the circumstances that have the chance of making as big fools of themselves as they choose, and they will be supported in their performance by their masters at Washington. The withdrawal of our troops from East Tennessee, of which we are advised, gives them full sway, and we may expect some performances of the most approved mountebank order. Under the circumstances we hope the will ventilated themselves fully, and develope [sic] their treasonable schemes to the farthest extent. We would desire they should be placed undeniably upon the record. For the position of affairs will not long remain as it is; the dark clouds that now lover over our noble State will yet be dispersed, when the day of rebellion will come. Let them make up their record as they will now, it will be indisputable evidence among them, hereafter, when the political control of the State shall revert to he ands of her true sons, as it will. These can recognize no such illegal action as is contemplated by the discontents at home, and will not be slow in melting our proper rewards to the traitors, at the proper time.

Memphis Daily Appeal, April 20, 1864. [2]


[1] Sources offering independent corroboration of this unique story have not yet been located. There is probably more truth to the deaths by small pox than deaths resulting from the reported mutiny.

[2] Valley of the Shadow.

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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