Tuesday, April 2, 2013

4/2/13 Tennessee Civil War Notes = TCWN

2, Obituary for Uncle Sam; a pro-secession argument in Memphis


Died, on the 4th of March, 1861, UNCLE SAM, in the 85th year of his age.

In chronicling the demise of Uncle Sam, we do so with a mixed emotion of sorrow and joy. His death was anticipated for some years, having fallen a victim to an "irrepressible conflict" disease, which combated successfully and rendered ineffectual the expert skill of the most learne d Sewardite and prominent physicians of the day, and after a long, protracted suffering, lingering in its progress with a slow, certain and unavoidable end, he departed this life on the day and year named above, leaving behind many to mourn this sad bereavement and others experiencing gratification who desired the agonizing and excruciating pains he endured to cease and be no more.

As he lived, he died, beloved and respected by all nations. We shall, perhaps, never look upon his like again. As a model for example, no copy is now extant and none ordered. His life was frought with many eventful scenes, and the multitudinous vicissitudes through which he struggled and rendered glorious, characterized his indomitable will, honesty and bravery.

Born on the 4th of July, 1776, the last century was signalized by his unprecedented advent, and as the legitimate offspring of the independence of America, his birth was hailed by freedom as a wonderful epoch in the history of the world. His terrestrial career advancing, it became evidently important that a generalisimo was required, and should be employed to superintend and guard his household affairs. George, of revolutionary fame, having established a good character, and being strongly recommended by letters of an innumerable number of brave hearts, was the chosen one. Tradition says he made an excellent and very trustworthy functionary, gained the admiration and confidence of his employer and the respect of all of his obedient servants.

Then when George's term expired, John, Tom, James, Quincy, James the second, Andrew, Martin, William, Henry, John the Second, James the third, Zachariah, Millard and Frank, were employed successively in rotation, and are said to have given partial satisfaction in ruling moderately well over the servants, and conducting the affairs of the White House with a discretion remarkable and peculiar in the times and circumstances. During the latter part of these Administrations however, Uncle Sam, laboring under the debilitating influences of the "irrepressible" contagion prevalent, was confined to his department, private, and being unable, therefore, to give an undivided attention to the things of his Government, advantages were taken, powers usurped, and all matters appertaining to nationality administered by reckless employees, with a keen, discriminating eye toward personal aggrandizement.

At this juncture James, surnamed Buchanan, was called in to preside. Powers extraordinary and plenipotentiary were extended to him, and being an old horse in the harness, he very soon wrought the same privileges enjoyed by his immediate predecessors, into advantages which led him and subordinates to adopt the grab game, and before his term transpired, managed to oust from the treasury all of its contents, and created a debt inconsistent with legal expenditure, precedent and expectation, consisting of nearly one hundred millions to be liquidated by Uncle Sam's dilapidated, disintegrated and moneyless federalism.

It is conjectured, and believed by some who have not thought much upon the subject, and have had less opportunities whereby to form a proper opinion, that this dissolute, corrupt and jealous disposition made manifest in the administration of governmental affairs was the immediate cause of Uncle Sam's demise; but, as investigating committee of thirty-three, representing all parts of the public domain concerned, having been appointed, and detailed to examine into and ferret out the true circumstances surrounding this predicted event, and report the causes which tended to produce such an unhappy result, met in judgment and pronounced as follows: Whereas Uncle Sam had discovered that, during his physical derangement and lamentable sickness, many of his powers were misused, and immunities, never granted constitutionally, were employed by his employees to abuse and subvert the ends of his Government; and, whereas, his union of States was now in a manner disrupted, it became important and absolutely necessary to elect another presiding officer, more trustworthy and faithful in the discharge of incumbent duties, enforcement and execution of his laws. Hence numerous applications were made, and through the counseling of leading and influential contemporaries, conventionally, Stephen, John, John C., and "honest old Abe," received the nominations, and went forth upon the campaign, canvassing for an election to this high, distinguished and responsible position.

Strong recommendations were voted each, but as a greater number appeared, testifying to the sobriety, capacity, and integrity of "Honest Old Abe," his claims were favorably and duly considered. Uncle Sam, however, had never seen him but once, and then casually, while the other candidates were familiar acquaintances, and knowing them well, was cognizant of their many faults. In view of these facts, especially after learning that very impressive, popular, and inviting handle to his name, through the tantalizing importunities of supposed friends, Uncle Sam concluded to select Honest Old Abe. Therefore, a dispatch was forwarded to Springfield, his place of abode, requiring him to repair immediately to the White House at Washington. According to order, "Honest Old Abe," after having delivered himself of the ignorant and insignificant phrase, indicative of his unsound calibre, "No one is hurt," at the time and place designated, arrived to assume the new duties assigned. The moment Uncle Sam beheld him, he was startled, aggravated, and horrified at this emaciated, imbecile, and aboliltionized countenance, and was heard to exclaim: "He is not the right man, in the right place, the handle to his name is a ruse, I am deceived, mortified, and ruined forever." Thus as Uncle Sam's mental and physical ability was already nearly destroyed by the "irrepressible conflict disease," he could not withstand this sudden deception, and mortal shock, so falling prostrate, died.

Let his memory be revered as a monument to self-government, and the star-spangled banner remodeled to comport with the exigencies of the times, as a shibboleth of his glory to enshrine in the hearts of all.

It may be interesting to state that there was found among the archives of Uncle Sam's office, his last will and testament, bequeathing all of his earthly effects, both personal and real or mixed, to be equally divided between his two surviving heirs—the Northern and Southern Confederation.

The will is now being probated and the executors will administer in due time. No apprehensions, therefore, need be had in regard to continued difficulties arising between the legatees, as the property involved must be distributed according to the law of the will. So be it.

Louis Gaznog.

Memphis Daily Appeal, April 2, 1861.





2, Conditions in East Tennessee


The situation in that Section-The 9th Army Corps enroute for the East-Deplorable Situation of the People of East Tennessee-Interesting Details of Evens Transpiring in and about Knoxville.

By a gentleman from Knoxville direct, we have news of an important nature up to the 26th [March]:

The rebels are still in strong force in East Tennessee, and at least 12,000 men under Buckner are mounted. On the 25th a large number of rebel cavalry came within sight of Morristown, driving in our pickets and a number of citizens.

The bulk of the rebel force is at Greeneville, with a brigade of cavalry at Newport. There are 2,000 infantry between Bull's Gap and Blue Springs.

This gentleman says that the rebels are committing the most unheard of depredations, robbing everybody of horses and the necessaries of life.

They are also enforcing the conscript law upon all classes physically capable of enduring life in the field. He says: "Things are in a most deplorable state. Men, women and children are ragged and dirty, and half starved. The people of East Tennessee cannot possibly live through the summer, as there is nothing to eat. Money is more plenty [sic] than it was, but there is little use for it, as there is nothing to buy. I cannot select language to describe the distress and ruin which daily presents itself."

The gentleman has a letter from his wife, who is at Greeneville. She informs him that "a few families are getting along tolerably well,' and adds: "Longstreet has his headquarters here, but is at present away. It is said that he will return in a few days. Some of his staff officers are at Milligan's, and some are boarding with me. All those families who are boarding officer and officers' wives, are getting along well, at least as far as the necessaries of life are concerned-the luxuries of the land none of us know anything about."

The gentleman also writes: "Joseph Powell, Esq., went home some weeks since. He was arrested and sent to Richmond. Also, Alexander Jones has been sent to the same place.-Old Abe Thompson is cutting up a high hand-manufacturing bad whiskey, and having all those who he knows to be Union men caught and robbed, at least, and the Lord only knows what becomes of some of them. Whether they are [three words illegible] or [three words illegible] to terminate their existence by [one word illegible] deaths, is not known. Sure it is that many disappear and do not return. We sent out a flag of truce a few days ago. Geo. Jones wife and a few others were sent through the lines."

Our informant concludes thus: "There is no telling when or army will occupy Greeneville. A great many farmers in the neighborhood of Knoxville, Morristown, Strawberry Plains, and all along the line of the railroad from Lenoirs [sic] to Cleveland, are putting in seed, and some, will no doubt make large crops. The great bridge at Loudon, which was to have been finished last week, was completely wrecked by the last rise in the river. The health of the army is excellent."

~ ~ ~

Chattanooga Daily Gazette, April 2, 1864.





        2, Confederate attack on U. S. ships at Palmyra

NASHVILLE, April 3, 1863.

Gen. GARFIELD, Chief of Staff:

Col. Boone telegraphs from Clarksville as follows:

The fleet gunboat St. Clair, and transports Eclipse, Luminary, and Lizzie Martin were fired into at Palmyra. Gunboat and Luminary perhaps taken. The Eclipse arrived here disabled; reports the advance of rebels on this place. We will hold until re-enforced.


NASHVILLE, April 3, 1863.

Gen. GARFIELD, Chief of Staff:

I have just received the following dispatch from Clarksville:

Scouts report the gunboat and Luminary escaped capture. The rebels are at Palmyra in force; have there a rifled 6 and smooth 12 pounder, and other caliber not ascertained. We must have the siege guns ordered for this post. Send them at once.


I have ordered the siege guns down.

ROBT. B. MITCHELL, Brig.-Gen., Cmdg.

APRIL 3, 1863.

Maj.-Gen. GRANGER, Franklin:

The fleet was attacked at Palmyra last night by the rebels, who had six pieces of artillery.

* * * *

There seems to be a considerable force at Palmyra.

J. A. GARFIELD, Brig.-Gen. and Chief of Staff.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 23, pt. II, p. 205.[1]


Report of J.S. Hurd, Acting Volunteer Lieutenant, commanding gunboat St. Clair, relating to the attack on ships under his convoy at Palmyra, April 2, 1863

U. S. S. St. Clair, Off Smithland, KY., April 4, 1863


I have the honor to report in compliance with Captain Pennock's order...I...arrived at Fort Donelson at 1 o'clock p. m. 1st instant (April) found transports awaiting convoy; proceeded up the river....9 o'clock a. m. 2d instant, arrived at Gower's Island, above which I did not apprehend any danger. I headed downstream to convoy (to Nashville) other transports and towboats due from below.

My reason for doing this was there were two barges loaded with coal being towed up the river which were drawing 7½ feet water. There was water enough on the shoals, but the river was falling and it was very important to get them up before the water became too low. Arrived at Fort Donelson at 4 o'clock p. m., found transports and towboats awaiting convoy. I headed upstream; proceeded up the river. At 10:30 o'clock p. m. arrived at Palmyra, and when off the bluff immediately above the town the enemy opened fire from the top of the bluff upon two transports (lashed together) in the advance. They were then above the enemy's battery, and so far as I know proceeded up the river uninjured. This vessel was next in line, next the Luminary (transport), next the towboats C. Miller and J.W. Kellogg with two barges, then the Fairplay. As soon as the enemy saw their shots aimed at the advance transports were ineffectual, they turned their attention to this vessel with artillery and small arms. The Luminary (next astern), and then off the town, was fired into considerably with small arms. My guns had been run out and prepared for action. I at once returned fire, and the contest was spirited for a short time, when my supply pipe was struck by a 12-pounder shell, which at once let the water out of my back with the current. I hailed the Luminary (Captain Williamson), who came alongside, took my vessel in tow, and towed me down to Fort Donelson.

I am unable to estimate the forces of the enemy, but think them in strong force (a deserter says 12,000). They had from 10 to 12 pieces of artillery, 6 to 12 pounders. This vessel was struck six times with artillery, doing some damage, but not serious, other than cutting my supply pipe. I also received many shots from small arms and some of canister.

When the firing commenced I was not more than 400 feet from the enemy's guns, and they were on the bluff at so great an elevation I could not use my guns to an advantage until I dropped down the river, and the water was then all out of my boilers. The only casualties to my officers or men were Acting Master Foutty, who was struck on the right knee by a 6-pounder rifle elongated shot, and one boy slightly scalded. Acting Master George W. Foutty will lose his right leg, and I fear it will prove fatal. He was sick; had not been out of his bed but once during the day. When the firing commenced he at once got out of bed, went below, and was doing his duty well at the time he received the wound. My officer and men manifested great courage and coolness quite commendable.

At the request of Mr. Foutty, I called the post surgeon at Fort Donelson on board, an after consultation it was thought best to place him in the hospital at the fort.

I found it unsafe to attempt to run down to Smithland with my supply pipe so imperfectly repaired. Applied to Colonel Lowe, commanding at Fort Donelson, for a towboat to assist me. He readily ordered the J.W. Kellogg to my assistance. At 2:30 p. m. I got underway, stood down the river, and arrived at Smithland at 9:30 o'clock p. m.

The Fairplay, Acting Master Groves, commanding, was not near enough to take part in the engagement, having in charge the towboats and barges, but it affords me pleasure to represent the promptness and efficiency of Mr. Groves while convoying during the entire trip....

* * * *

J.S. Hurd, Acting Volunteer Lieutenant, Commanding

Navy OR, Ser. I, Vol. 24, pp. 65-68.


Excerpt from a Federal soldier's diary relative to the attack at Palmyra

April 3, 1863-We also had a small fracas on the Cumberland River yesterday. One gunboat was considerably disabled and one transport was shot through several times but did not damage her a great deal. They have all fell back on [Fort] Donelson again and they are waiting for more gunboats to guard them through to Nashville. Our cavalry has started out this morning to learn the strength of the enemy at that place. At 3 o'clock p. m. we were ordered in line for battle and threw our tents down. We were then ordered to march up to the fort. We then stacked our guns. The cannons commenced practice to shoot and elevated their pieces on the hills and they all shot excellent. We are not in the old camp again and we have everything fixed up.

Diary of Charles Schreel, Company E, 71st Ohio Infantry[2]






2, African-American Exodus in Northern Middle Tennessee

A lady recently from her home in Middle Tennessee, north of Nashville and near the Kentucky line, informs the [Chattanooga] Rebel that the whole country has been almost entirely denuded of servants. The male negroes have been taken into the army, and the females have been permitted to go where they please. In the great majority of white families the ladies are compelled, by the scarcity of laborers, to do their own house work. The country is under the strictest military rule surveillance, and so far as outward appearances go, the people are completely subjugated. But in their hearts and feelings, they are as true as steel to the cause of Southern independence, and hope and pray for the coming of the Confederate armies to relieve them from their insolent oppressors.

Memphis Appeal [Atlanta, Georgia], April 2, 1864.[3]





2, Mourning for the Confederacy in McMinnville

Little or no change that we know of in the status of our country's fortunes in the past few days. We received some papers yesterday…but beyond the rumor of an engagement said to have taken place between Joe Johnston and a portion of Sherman's forces at Bentonville N.C. [sic] in which the Richmond papers claim a victory for Johnston and all the Yankee press [claim] the same for Sherman….The North is jubilant a the fact (as they regard it,) that the rebellion is at its last gasp – in desperate and final throes – that this Campaign is to finish it, and the subjugated South is to bow at their feet entreating Peace and Pardon on any terms. And God knows it looks that way – our cause seems hopeless enough. We know that God can help us, if it be His will-that He can and perhaps may lead us in a way we have not known – and we still must trust Him thro all things. For my own part I fear we must go down. I cannot see any small clouds like unto a man's hand upon our horizon, indicating that France will see that her true interests in Mexico lie in befriending us – nor do I dare to hope that Lee, great and glorious as he is, can with his little band oppose the two veteran armies under Sherman and Grant. I long – oh! intensely to see Sherman punished – overwhelmed – annihilated in his arrogance, cruelty and assumption – yet I may not see it. The great and good Lee may go down before these arrant pretenders – and if he should it will be a bitter day for us all – God knows. I have built so much upon the success of the South – it was not wise – it was perhaps wrong too,-yet it was my last hope of Independence politically and on independence personally. We all lay our plans, and generally our plans come to nought [sic]. Strange that we should (as it would deem,) so generally set up our will in opposition to His, whose weak children we are! Ho! Our Father make us wiser, in submitting all our ways to Thine! Amen and Amen!…

War Journal of Lucy Virginia French.


[1] Dyer's Battlefield Index for Tennessee does not reference this event.

[2] Edward F. Keuchel and James P. Jones, "Charley Schreel's Book: Diary of a Union Soldier on Garrison Duty in Tennessee," THQ, Vol. XXXVI, No. 2 (Summer, 1977), p. 204. [Hereinafter cited as: Diary of Charles Schreel.]

[3] As cited in: http://www.uttyl.edu/vbetts.

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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