26, "Palmyra True to the South;" demagoguery and enlistment in Clarksville
The citizens of Palmyra and its vicinity met here to-day, in obedience to a call made for the purpose of raising a volunteer company, to enlist in defense of Southern Rights.
S. F. Allen was called to the Chair, and Rbt. Eldridge appointed Sec'y.
Col. W. A. Quarles, of Clarksville, then took the stand, and addressed them, with great earnestness and ability, exposing the duplicity practiced upon the South by Lincoln and his Cabinet, condemning the vile and flagrant acts of usurpation by which they seek to carry out their unholy purpose of subjugating the Southern States. He proved conclusively that the "armed neutrality" position advocated by some, for Kentucky and Tennessee to assume tended only to assist the North. His speech was marked by sincerity and patriotic zeal, was every appropriate, effective, and well received. At the conclusion of which, it was moved by A. Outlaw, Esq., and seconded, that the resolutions presented by Col. W. A. Quarles, to the Southern Rights Association, held at Clarksville, on the 13th inst., as published, be adopted by this meeting, which was agreed to unanimously. Col. M. G. Gholson, having been solicited, gallantly accepted the invitation and announced that he would take command of a company of volunteers, if a sufficient number would enlist. Faster than the Secretary could record their names, 36 of the honest and patriotic young men offered themselves, and were well received.
Liberal contributions were made to supply them with provision while on drill.
The call then for a Home Guard was responded to by every man present, in the district. Col. Quarles proceeded to organize them, by having officer elected. W. B. Russell, Esq., was elected Captain; Mr. R. M. [?] Williamson, 1st Lieutenant; H. T. Oliphant, 2nd; M. C. Powers, Ensign; and S. A. Caldwell, O.S.
On motion of Col. Gholson, it was ordered, that the Clarksville papers be furnished with a report and requested to publish the proceedings of this meeting, which then adjourned, having been conducted with the most exemplary order, particularly characterized by unanimous feelings of indignation and defiance towards the North, and unflinching devoted [sic] to Southern Rights.
Clarksville Chronicle, April 26, 1861.
23, General Prentiss' demeanor on the prisoner of war train in Memphis
A VULGAR BRAGGART.-The following incident occurred when the train, containing the Federal prisoners, was about leaving Memphis on Wednesday last [23rd]. On this occasion, at least, General Prentiss proved himself no better than a vulgar braggart. We copy from the Memphis Avalanche:
Some of the Federal prisoners then set up their vulgar songs about the South, and Jeff. Davis, and niggers, which feat was though particularly and refreshingly cute, but an officer who had some self-respect, cautioned them to silence, when Gen. Prentiss, who, despite the "blockade" had a "load" on, said, "D__n it, sing ahead, even if they do shoot you."
One of the Home Guard, standing near, curtly remarked: "that's not the way we do with prisoners; amuse yourself in your own way-we can afford to be merciful even to those who would have murdered us."
A head popped out of the cars, and said, "Never mind, we shall have plenty of friends here in less than twenty days." A voice from the street replies quickly: "that's so, and well have 'em in the cars on the way to 'tother side of Jordan."
Even Prentiss seemed to lose all sense of dignity, and did not rise above the common level.
Macon Daily Telegraph, April 26, 1862
26, "River Guerrillas in the West."
The announcement from Cairo a day or two since that Gen Ellet's Marine brigade and Gen. [sic] Fitch's gunboats had cleared the banks of the Cumberland river of guerrillas was followed yesterday by the account of the capture of two steamboats, the Alhambra and the Hope, with valuable cargoes, by the guerrillas on the self-same river. The work of Ellet and Fitch was not so thoroughly done, then, but that it requires immediately to be done over.
So far as the Cumberland river is concerned, a little experience will teach our Western Commanders the impracticability of dislodging guerrillas from its banks so long as a disloyal population remains in the country bordering on the river, and armed bands from the rebel army are able to reach that population and stimulate it with the hope of eventual rebel success. No river in the world is better adapted than the Cumberland to the successful operations of guerrillas. The stream is narrow, and the banks on each side are mostly precipitous, ragged, rocky cliffs, from 75 to 150 feet high. It is the easiest thing for armed men to hide themselves in the glades crowning these cliffs and fire down upon passing boats. To return the fire effectively from boats, with any sort of cannon, is simply impossible; and if pursuit is assayed, a boat fired upon might have to run some miles up or down, before a suitable place to land and emerge from the bluffs could be found. In the meantime, the guerrillas would have ample time to escape.
With the best intentions and the best service it is possible for men to give, it will be found impracticable to suppress the system of guerrilla warfare by attacking it from the water. The disease is in the body politic in the country through which the river runs. It must be purged from the interior before it ceases to break out upon the rivers. And this can only be accomplished by advancing southward the lines of the Union army by successful battles – by strengthening the lines when advanced, and connecting them from Memphis to Nashville, so as to make it impossible for rebel bands to appear among the population of Southern Kentucky and Tennessee, to keep alive their rebel sympathies and excite their hopes of rebel success. When this result can be established, we shall be rid of guerrillas on the Tennessee, Cumberland and Mississippi Rivers – not before.
New York Times, April 26, 1863.
26, 1865, Capitulation of the Army of Tennessee near Durham, N. C.
OR, Ser. I, Vol. 47, pt. III, pp. 312-315.
James B. Jones, Jr.
Tennessee Historical Commission
2941 Lebanon Road
Nashville, TN 37214