Wednesday, April 24, 2013

TCWN 4/24/2013

24, Slave-Insurrection Paranoia: Free Negroes and the Committee of Safety in Memphis

The Danger of Insurrection.

The Memphis Avalanche perceives signs of trouble from the negroes in that city. Speaking especially of the free blacks, it says:-

We have been induced at different times to refer to this class of residents in our city. We have done so when there was not that necessity for it which now exists. No man apprehends any danger from his slaves on a cotton plantation, but the relations of master and slaver are very different in a city. Here we have household slaves, many of them mere hirelings. They are generally the most intelligent of the African race, and, as a matter of course, have just such ideas of the condition of things in this country as they catch from half comprehended conversations of the whites. City slaves have heard of the pending war between the North and South, and believe that it exits on their account. They have, as a matter of course, sought further information, and hence consulted the numerous free negroes who are to be found everywhere in Memphis. These are daily associates of the most degraded whites-they are consorted with only by those who adapt themselves to their whims, passions and prejudices, who hate the whites-who would inflame against them the hatred of the "freed man," till it was assimilated to that of the wretch who would make a free negro his equal.

The free negro is the natural and necessary conduit, conveying intelligence from the Abolitionist to the slaves. Through their agency all mischievous plots are arranged. Through their intelligence the slave becomes an assassin, and guilty of the bloodiest deed. The ignorant negro cannot forsee [sic] the evils which must befall him for his folly and crimes. The negro can only harm an individual or a family; the consequence is, that negroes are slaughtered like wild beasts. To avoid such contingencies, it has occurred to us that the necessities of the public demand and removal of free negroes from this city. They can, in the midst of the impending struggle, do no conceivable good, and accomplish nothing but harm. Many of our citizens have already suggested to us the fact that their slaves are under the malign influence of the free negroes. Insubordination is even now recognized, and house servants are constantly informing their mistresses of the saying of the "freed men." Under such circumstance we are glad to learn that Alderman Kirby has, as chairman of the vigilance committee, instituted the strictest surveillance over the colored gentry, and we would only suggest that we may soon find the proposed policy of an ex-alderman, which contemplated the removal of all free negroes from the city, a matter of absolute necessity-at least in times like these.

Philadelphia Inquirer, April 24, 1861.




        24, 1861 - A Religious and Humanitarian Justification for Slavery by an East Tennessee Southerner: An Extract from the Diary of Eliza Rhea Anderson Fain

~ ~ ~

O could our Christian friends [up] North come and live with us for a few months I do think it would greatly change their feelings toward us. Let a Northern woman come into one of our black peoples homes and see stretched on a bed of sickness one of our servants-man, woman or child and see us in tender solicitude bending over the sufferer doing all that we can to relieve their sufferings and then know the great anxiety we are often suffering in regard to their spiritual well being methinks you would turn from the spot and if this is slavery so let it continue unmolested by me until the great head of the church sees fit to change it if it is his will. Our happy land that which has been the song and pride of so many hearts will never, while we live, be looked on as it has been. The world will soon know we do not love one another. O how sad how sad.

Diary of Eliza Rhea Anderson Fain.[1]




24, Guerrilla attack on steamboats on the Tennessee River


Cairo, April 25 [Friday].- The steamers Belle, of Memphis, and Choctaw, from Pittsburg Landing, which they left on Thursday morning [24th], arrived here last night. They were fire into, thirty-five miles below Pittsburg, by a band of guerrillas behind a dwelling on the left bank of the Tennessee river. The Choctaw received seven shots. Her mate was killed. The Belle, of Memphis, received twelve shots, wounding one negro boy on board.

~ ~ ~

Philadelphia Inquirer, April 26, 1862.




        24, Federal Steamer Fired into on the Upper Cumberland

Attack upon a Federal Steamer.-We learn from the Nashville Dispatch that the steamer John A. Fisher, which arrived at Nashville on Thursday (24th) from the Upper Cumberland, was fired into and stopped at or near Turkey Island,[2] by an armed band, who represented themselves as Confederate, though the officers are fully impressed that they were a band of robbers, acting upon their own responsibly. They robbed the boat of a large amount of groceries and other valuables, which were parceled out among themselves. As the officers of the Fisher are rebels, and the Dispatch a rebel paper, we can easily account for the fact that they were "fully impressed" that the robbers were not "Confederate."

Louisville Daily Journal, April 26, 1862. [3]




24, "The Yankees comes to our country every onste [sic] and a while [sic] and takes Negros [sic] and horses. Where ever [sic] they go [they] burn mills and some citizens [sic] houses …." Lieutenant A. J. Lacy's letter from his father in Jackson County

State of Tennessee Jackson County May the 24th 1863


I am again this Sabath [sic] morning permited [sic] through the mearces [sic] of a cind [sic] providence to take my pen in hand to wright [sic] to you a fiew [sic] lines to let you know that we are well except for your Mother. She is not in as good health as she was before warm weather commenced but she is able to go about. But we hope when these fiew [sic] lines comes to your hand they will find you in good health.

We have noting strang [sic] or interesting to wright [sic] but we have wrote [sic] several letters since you rote [sic] of getting [sic] a letter and this time I was at a log roling [sic] yesterday and heard of this Mr [sic] Williams going to start to day, to your Redgment [sic] and as he is going to start today and I have to meete [sic] him out on the Sparty [sic] Road with this letter.

The Yankees comes to our country every onste [sic] and a while [sic] and takes Negros [sic] and horses. Where ever they go [they] burn mills and some citizens [sic] houses but they have not got to Gainsborough yet but I was at Gainesboro [sic] a while back and the Yankies [sic] was at the river opposite to town while I was thare [sic]. Tha [sic] was thought to be about 150 cavrely [sic] but they soon left and I was a feard [sic] that they would come to our settlement and I have sold our oxen and young horse. I got 200 dollars for the steers and 232 dollars for ben [sic] as I am a bliege [sic] to close.

Wright [sic] every chance you have. So fairwell [sic] for the present.

Wm &: Kezia Lacy to A. J. Lacy

Lacy Correspondence.



24, "Murfreesboro' News and Rumors."

Correspondence of the Cincinnati Commercial.

Murfreesboro, May 21, Scouts from the mounted infantry of the tireless Wilder have brought in a small party of rebels, several of whom have furloughs dated May 16; and given by General Wheeler, at McMinnville. The prisoners report a portion of Wheeler's forces scouting beyond Caney Fork and the remainder at McMinnville.

Col. Harrison, in command of two regiments of rebel cavalry is reported at Smithville. Prisoners say that Gen. Wharton, one of the most dashing and daring cavalry officers in the rebel service, in command of four regiments and two battalions, was thrown from his horse, at Sparta, on last Saturday, and so severely injured that his life is despaired of.

Col. Wm. H. Breckinridge, son of Dr. R. J. Breckinridge, is known to be in the vicinity of Woodbury, with a regiment of rebel cavalry. I apprehend that his stay in that locality will not be prolonged beyond a day.

The rebel cavalry are almost wholly without sabres. No regiment in Wharton's whole command but the 4th Georgia have them, and they are of an inferior kind.

Morgan having again been detached from Gen. Wheeler's command, and given a roving commission, is reported as having started up the Cumberland, alter his futile efforts to over-power Col. Jacobs. It is said that he intends co-operting [sic] with the contemplated raid into Kentucky from East Tennessee.

Quite a large party of rebel cavalry was seen today, by our pickets, on the left.

Deserters are still coming in large numbers, but bring nothing of interest.

Correspondence from the Louisville Journal.

Murfreesboro, May 22 -- General Stanley with portions of two brigades from General Turchiln's [sic] command started out last night to surprise the camp of the 1st Alabama and 8th Confederate cavalry in the vicinity of Middleton. He marched all night, and at daylight this morning his advance guard came in sight of the enemy encamped in a dense cedar glade. Our forces were divided and sent around the enemy to prevent his mistake. The advanced guard, anxious and confident, dashed along and unsupported into the rebel camp, putting the whole, one thousand strong, to flight. The rebels in their night clothes darted through the cedars, throwing away blankets, side arms, revolvers, and everything that could impede their flight. Our forces killed eight of the enemy, captured seventy two prisoners, and brought in over two hundred splendid horses. They also burnt the tents, wagons, equipage left in their flight, and captured the battle flag of the celebrated 8th Confederate cavalry. Second Lieutenant Wood, who was promoted only day before yesterday to the 4th Regular cavalry, Federal, is supposed to be mortally wounded. We had also three others slightly wounded. Gen. Stanley pushed forward within one mile of Fosterville, where prisoners say there is a brigade of rebel infantry, supported by a splendid battery.

* * * *

Col. Wilder's mounted infantry have just arrived. They penetrated the enemy's picket lines in the direction of Manchester, and captured seven prisoners, one of whom is a rebel colonel.

* * * *

Nashville Dispatch, May 24, 1863.




24, Skirmish in Winchester, guerrillas rob U. S. Army paymaster

Report of Col. Henry K. McConnell, Seventy-five Ohio Veteran Volunteer Infantry.

HDQRS. RAILROAD DEFENSES, Tullahoma, Tenn., June 2, 1864.

Maj. B. H. POLK, Assistant Adjutant-Gen., Nashville:

SIR: I send herewith a copy of a report from Col. McConnell. I have had no opportunity to control this lawlessness for want of sufficient cavalry force. I shall be ready in a few days. The same men are concerned in all of the depredations on the railroad. I have learned the names of some of them and several of the persons who keep up and harbor the outlaws.

Respectfully submitted.

E. A. PAINE, Brig.-Gen., Cmdg.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 39, pt. I, p. 18.


HDQRS. SEVENTY-THIRD Regt. [sic] OHIO VET. VOL. INFTY., Elk River Bridge, May 30, 1864.

I have the honor to respectfully state that on last Tuesday night [the 24th] the guerrillas robbed Winchester of about $10,000. They knew men and houses and events only as citizen guerrillas can. No one came to notify me of the raid. I heard incidentally that the citizens were industriously circulating the report that our troops had robbed the town. I sent Capt. McConnell to inquire into the matter. They gave but partial information. The squad was small; only six or eight. They have been lurking in the neighborhood ever since. They fired into the train on Saturday night [28th] between this and Decherd, and yesterday they stole a horse near Winchester. We are very much embarrassed for want of a telegraph office here.

Very respectfully,

H. K. McCONNELL, Col. Seventy-first Ohio Veteran Volunteer Infantry.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 39, pt. I, pp. 18-19.

        24, A Federal officer fires at Military Governor Andrew Johnson

A Dangerous Character. – The city was in a flurry yesterday [24th] evening, in consequence of a report circulating to the effect that a Federal officer has shot and wounded Governor Johnson. It appears that Lieut. Augustus A. Brown, company A, 71st Ohio volunteers had been off duty long enough to get so tight that no barkeeper would sell him any more whisky. This riled Brown some, and going through High street, he drew his revolver upon two officers, whom Brown declared were too drunk to walk straight. After disposing of this affair, he turned up Cedar street toward the Capitol, and seeing one of the Governor's servants in the yard, he went in and endeavored to persuade him to procure him some whisky. The Governor seeing them talking together, came out and ordered the officer off, at the same time depressing his contempt for an officer who did thus disgrace himself. Brown there upon drew his revolver and fired, the ball placing through the Governor's coat. In the twinkling of and eye the Governor was near enough to the Lieutenant to strike him a stunning blow and wrest the pistol from his hand, after which the officer was sent over to the Provost Marshal, who ordered him to prison.

Nashville Dispatch, May 25, 1864.



[1] Sanctified Trial:The Diary of Eliza Rhea Anderson Fain, a Confederate Woman in East Tennessee, ed. John N. Fain, Voices of the Civil War, Peter S. Carmichael, Series Editor, (The University of Tennessee Press: Knoxville). Hereinafter cited a Fain Diary.

[2] Location unknown. Perhaps Tennessee, perhaps Kentucky. It  may be that it was inundated by a Corps of Engineers' project. The Upper Cumberland region runs through Tennessee and Kentucky.

[3] As cited in PQCW, TSLA.

James B. Jones, Jr.

Public Historian

Tennessee Historical Commission

2941 Lebanon Road

Nashville, TN  37214

(615)-532-1550  x115

(615)-532-1549  FAX


No comments: