Thursday, April 25, 2013

4/25/2013 Tennessee Civil War Notes

25, Some Results of the Nashville Vigilance Committee; Mr. Elwell's and Mr. Kelly's Hegira from Nashville

A Western Reserve Man Thinks the Weather Rather Warm in Nashville, Tenn.

Mr. William H. H. Elwell, a young journeyman printer, who left Cleveland two years ago, and well known here, has just returned from Nashville, where he has been for the last year. We have gathered from him the following reliable statement.

Being a Northern man, and expressing himself firmly for the Union under all circumstances, and in defence of the patriotism and bravery of the Northern people, and the sanctity of the American flag, he was warned that such sentiments were treasonable, and would not be tolerated in the South. Though he had man personal friends in the city, they had no power whatever to protect him against the mob, that governs there and elsewhere in the South. No Northern man is safe either in person or property unless he avows himself a secessionist, and declares himself ready to go the full length of the Southern bloody programme.

Mr. Kelley, editor of the Nashville Democrat, a Douglas paper, left at the same time for the same reasons. He was threatened by the Vigilance Committee with the destruction of his press if he continued his treasonable Union paper, and the mob gathered for the purpose of the destruction of himself and press-

The office was put in a state of defence, and the American flag ran up. Finally, however, the friends of the editor persuaded him to let them take down the flag, and the office went into the hands of the Vigilance Committee. The life of the editor being in great danger, he came North, declaring he would return again with a regiment of New York volunteers and settle the account. He is from New York city and leaves all his property. Senator Johnson is in Washington and his friends dare not have him return to the State-his life would be taken. The State is completely in the hands of the secessionists, and will, without doubt, secede immediately.-The idle masses and demagogues completely crush out the Union men. Hangman Foote, Zollicoffer, and the like, constantly harangue the masses and the people seem to be insane on the subject of Southern rights. They believe that Jeff. Davis is near Washington, assisted by Ben McCulloch, and that the Capital will be in their hands in less than twenty days. They think, and openly proclaim, that all the chivalric and military spirit is in the South, that one Southern man can whip a dozen Northern men. There seemed to have been a great change of sentiment, however, on this point last week,-the surprise being great at the sudden rush to arms throughout the North at the call of Lincoln.

The Daily Cleveland Herald, April 25, 1861. [1]




25, Confederate report on Southern Unionism in the Savannah environs

We take the following from the Savannah, (Tenn.) correspondent of the Cincinnati Gazette:

….Accounts of Southern Tennessee Unionism have been highly rose-colored, from those of the first exploring gunboats on down. There are warm Union men here, and in far greater proportionate numbers than at Nashville, but the great mass of the people, and all the leaders are, as they have been, secessionists. Savannah itself is Union; I do not think the same can be said of the county, and I am confident (after careful examination and inquiry,) that it can at any rate be said of none of the adjoining counties.

The better classes here, except perhaps in Savannah, are all secessionists. Where you find one intelligent, educated man on our side, you will find fifty against us. I know no reason for blinking such facts, or for exciting delusive hopes, by exaggerating the Union sentiment. Continued successes, I make no doubt, will develop abundance of new-born loyalty.

[Houston] Tri-Weekly Telegraph, April 25, 1862.[2]



25, General Orders No. 11 issued by Hardee at Wartrace, to repress depredations


Wartrace, April 25, 1863.

On the transfer of the command to this cultivated and fruitful region, the lieutenant-general commanding appeals to the intelligence and patriotism of the soldiers to respect the rights and the property of citizens, whose labors are necessary to the subsistence of our Armies, and invokes the co-operation of officers of every grade to prevent the depredations and repress the irregularities of the evil-disposed. Officers are especially directed to see that no rails are used or destroyed, and that no fencing is pulled down. Wherever fencing has been destroyed and the individuals committing the depredations cannot be discovered details will be made from the regiment, if that can be identified; if not, then from the brigade, and if the brigade cannot be fixed upon, then from the division to which the parties belong, to split the rails and replace the fencing.

By command of Lieut.-Gen. Hardee

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 23, pt. II, p. 791




25, Forrest's command conducts conscript sweep and arrests deserters from his command in West Tennessee

HDQRS. FORREST'S CAVALRY, Jackson, April 25, 1864.

Lieut. Col. THOMAS M. JACK, Assistant Adjutant-Gen.:

COL.:...My entire command is engaged conscripting and arresting deserters. They are scattered in all directions, but are moving toward this place; will have all concentrated here by the 30th, and will reach Tupelo by the 5th or 6th proximo. I shall move myself via Bolivar and Ripley, and nay dispatches for me will meet me on the road.

I would be glad if the cars would run as far above Tupelo as possible, as I have about 30,000 pounds of bacon which I shall carry in wagons to Corinth, and send it down for my command on hand-cars until it meets a train.

I am, colonel, very respectfully, yours, &c.,

N. B. FORREST, Maj.-Gen.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 32, pt. III, pp. 821-822.




25, Major-General Nathan Bedford Forrest on the "massacre at Fort Pillow"

HDQRS. FORREST'S CAVALRY, Jackson, April 25, 1864.

Lieut.-Gen. POLK, Cmdg. Department:


* * * *

Much having been said in the Northern press in regard to the massacre at Fort Pillow[3], I shall forward you by next courier copies of all the correspondence in regard to the demand for surrender and a statement of all material facts; an extra copy of same will also be sent you, with a request to forward to the President. Capt. Young, the provost-marshal at Fort Pillow, now a prisoner, can corroborate all the facts, as he was the bearer of the enemy's flag of truce, and it would be well to have him taken care of on that account.

I am, general, very respectfully, yours, &c.,

N. B. FORREST, Maj.-Gen.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 32, pt. III, p. 822.




25, Anti-guerrilla expedition to Bigg's Cross-Roads, Williamson County ordered


Brig. Gen. R. W. JOHNSON, Cmdg. Post of Pulaski:

GEN.: The bushwhackers are investing the neighborhood of Bigg's Cross-Roads, upper end of Williamson County, out on the Nolen pike, thirty-two miles from Nashville. The major-general commanding is informed that they are committing all kinds of depredations, and directs that you send to that neighborhood a sufficient force of cavalry to drive them out of the country. You will please refer to Mr. Alfred Ogilvie for further information.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

WM. D. WHIPPLE, Brig.-Gen. and Chief of Staff.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 49, pt. II, p. 465.



[3] This appears to be an admission, although a offhanded one, to Forrest's recognition that a massacre did indeed occur at Fort Pillow. Otherwise he would most likely have used a different phrase, such as "in regard to the capture of Fort Pillow," etc. It could also be that only 13 days after the event the term "Fort Pillow Massacre" was commonly used both in the North and the South to describe the event.

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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