Thursday, May 16, 2013

5/16/13 Tennessee Civil War Notes

16, A brief report on army life at camp Randolph, near Memphis

Life in Camp.—The following sketch of life in camp at Randolph is from the correspondence of a member of the Hickory Rifles, in the Christian Advocate: "The first two or three days after we came here were very inclement, rendering it impossible to keep dry or comfortable in marching, or on guard, or even in our tents. They are open at one end; plank or straw are placed upon the ground, to lay our blankets on. Yet only a very few have been on the sick list. Six men are allotted to each tent, and eight to each mess. Every mess has its head man, who, every day at 10 o'clock, draws rations for it, and is supplied with an iron kettle, oven wash pan, tin bucket, wooden bucket and coffee pot. Each member of the mess has his tin plate, cup, spoon and knife and fork. We have our own cooking, washing, etc., to do, which seems quite funny. We are not remarkably skillful in the performance of these domestic duties yet, but we are learning 'by degrees.'"

Memphis Daily Appeal, May 16, 1861.


            16, Memphis Sixth Ward Home Guards

Sixth Ward – The Home Guards of this ward have resolved to give up the arms that have been distributed to them, to purchase arms for themselves and become an independent company. Ten of their members will patrol the ward each night.

Memphis Daily Appeal, May 16, 1861.


            16, Tennessee Mounted Rifles

The Tennessee Mounted Rifles have abandoned the idea of independency and will be mustered in to service in accordance with the army bill passed at the last sitting of the Legislature of the State of Tennessee, in which there is a call for twelve month volunteers, to be discharged if the war ends sooner. Recruits will be expected to furnish themselves with a good horse, saddle, and the arms so far as practical if not they will be furnished by the State. See army bill. We wish good active horsemen who have the health and constitution to stand an exposed campaign.

J. S. White, Captain

Memphis Daily Appeal, May 16, 1861.


            16, Law and Order; complaints about skinny-dippers in Nashville

The following comes to us anonymously. Its publication will direct the attention of the proper officers to the nuisance, and they will doubtless abate it. The writers says:

"Boys, young and old, can be seen bathing, particularly in the afternoon, in Brown's creek, near the Fair Grounds and Nolensville Pike. If there is any law against it, whose duty is it to enforce it? By answering these questions in your valuable paper, you will much oblige some females who are compelled to pass daily those who try to insult ladies."

We hear similar complaints in regard to boys bathing in the river at points along the city. Such offences against public decency are punishable under the city laws, by a fine of not less than one nor more than twenty dollars, for each offence.

Nashville Dispatch, May 16, 1862.



16, In pursuit of Morgan at Sparta

From the Knoxville, (Tenn.,) Register, May 24


Sparta, Tenn., May 20, 1862

Editor of the Register:

Sir-A Pennsylvania battalion of Cavalry commanded by a fellow titled Col. Duffy, visited this place Friday last [16th]. They were ordered by Gen. Dumont to intercept and capture the celebrated Col. John Morgan. They first proceeded to Cocksville, ten miles North of Sparta. While there, Col. Morgan passed within two miles of them. Instead of pursuing him, they took his back track, and employed themselves in stealing the horses of the citizens. Of which they took quite a number. They spent two days in this interesting business, and they came to Sparta. A citizen there says he saw the order under which they were acting. It was to "pursued Morgan till h-ll froze over, and then go under the ice after him, if they had good reason to suppose he had gone under."

But Morgan was the very last man they wished to find. They had too much of the rascally virtue "discretion" to obey the pious order.

They arrived about one hour before sundown. The Federal commander went round to all our houses, and ordered our ladies to cook supper for six hundred men, and said if they did not do it in one hour, he would turn his soldiers loose upon them and would not vouch for their conduct. Though not positively stated, the Yankee villain intended them to understand this as a threat of rape and robbery in the event of refusal. These are the amiable gentlemen who are sent amongst us to subjugate us, and be our future masters. How long must we submit to such outrages? Such brutes ought not to be permitted to live in a Christian land. They proclaimed martial law, and left every supper, rapidly augmenting the distance between them and Morgan. I predict they will have a pleasant time executing martial law in these ends of the earth.

I am, sir, yours truly


Georgia Weekly Telegraph, May 30, 1862



16, Excerpt from a letter by Edward Bradford to his mother describing life in an Army of Tennessee camp in Middle Tennessee, near Fairfield in Bedford County

....We are leading a very quiet life here. No picketing and nothing to do but drill. Some of the officers have been trying to get up a picnic for our regiment, but I think it will prove a failure. I do not think there are enough girls and enough provisions to spare. The Chaplains [sic] are trying to get up a revival in our Brigade. I went [too the meeting] last night to hear Brother McFerren. He preached a very good sermon and got up about twenty mourners, but none of them were converted. There has been a great many soldiers converted in the last two or three months.

Frederick Bradford Papers, TSL&A




16, A wedding at the Stones River battlefield


To-day we had a novel wedding. The bridegroom was private J. N. Hamilton, of the 15th Indiana volunteers, and the bride Miss A. Bonn a volunteer nurse from Chicago. The ceremony took place on the bank of Stone [sic] river – on the very place where the 15th Indiana fought so nobly in the battle of Dec. 31st, 1862. The nuptial knot was tied by Rev. Post Chaplain at Murfreesboro'. A large circle of friend and acquaintances was present and just as the ceremony was over, and the newly married couple were [sic] receiving the well wishes and congratulations of their friend, Gens. McD. McCook and T. L. Crittenden drove up in a carriage, but too late to witness the ceremony. They were not too late however, to exact a kiss from the blushing bride. After they had received the usual amounts of wishes for their future, the whole party made a tour to that portion of the field on which Gen. Wagner's brigade fought, (the extreme left) and which Bragg said was impenetrable. The party then returned to town.

This I believe is the first "wedding on the battlefield" of the war and also the first wedding of the kind in the army of the Cumberland.

Yours Truly,


Nashville Daily Press, May 16, 1863.




16, Provost Orders, No. 109

Office of the Provost Marshal

Nashville, Tenn., May 16, 1864.


* * * *

II. The hour at which Saloons in this city are required to be closed is changed from 8 PM to 9 PM.

By command of Brig. Gen. R.R. Granger

Nashville Dispatch, May 17, 1864.



16, Curing a headache in Beersheba Springs

Yesterday I could not write. On Saturday evening commenced a headache, at 1 o'clock it was raging – I had hot cloths applied from that hour until 12 next day-together with vinegar, camphor, laudanum, sweet oil, steaming etc. I drank assafoetida [sic] – salts of tartar; and swallowed odious pills, all to no purpose, one pain bored thro' my eyes – another at right angles bored thro' the ear – my neck, teeth, nose, all ached – my temples burned and throbbed – at 12 o'clock in a fit of desperation I ordered a cup of tea and a cracker, swallowed them and in two minutes was entirely relived of pain!

War Journal of Lucy Virginia French.



16, Federal troops sent to Lauderdale County to assist in establishing civil law

NASHVILLE, June 16, 1865.

Maj. Gen. JOHN E. SMITH, Memphis:

Send about 100 good men to Ripley, Lauderdale County, Tenn., to assist in establishment of civil law. Let them remain until it is established.

By command of Maj.-Gen. Thomas:

WM. D. WHIPPLE, Brig.-Gen., &c.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 49, pt. II, p. 1004.



16, "Sister jumped up and opened her door and was almost suffocated by the smoke." An erstwhile slave is blamed for a house fire in Bolivar

....Before day this morning or about day break Lettie ran into sister's room and woke her by asking what all this was about [sic]. Sister jumped up and opened her door and was almost suffocated by the smoke. She alarmed the house, Jimmie ran with a bucket of water, seeing the smoke, discovered and quenched in some degree a large blaze in the cellar. The dry fodder was on fire. At first we thought all was lost but a special Providence mercifully gave us the power to quench the blaze that would perhaps turned us out on the inhospitality of the world. Lettie [a house servant] seemed so unconcerned while every body [sic] was so very much excited, that brother Frank suspected her of having set it on fire. The negroes [sic] also suspected but no having sufficient evidence against her then, we were disinclined to believe her guilty, but further proof from the children goes to convict here. But to prove her guilt, she ran away when she heard some of say that a house burner could by law be executed. The children say she too my ring but being of little consequence, it is hardly worth recording. Frank got on a horse and went in pursuit of her. Caught her and brought her back home. Her mother consigned her to jail there to await the decision of some Yankees who Jimmie wrote for. To day they came, were commanded by the man who built Major McNeal's house. He told Jimmie to keep her in jail until civil court was established then try her, and if convicted hang her.

Diary of Sally Wendel Fentress, May 16, 1865.

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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