28, Difficulties and disarray in recruiting for Tennessee's Confederate Volunteer ranks, Isham G. Harris to L. P. Walker, Isham G. Harris to L. P. Walker
EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT, May 28, 1861.
Hon. L. P. WALKER, War Department, Montgomery:
SIR: When I had the honor of addressing you on the 25th instant I flattered myself with the hope that I should experience no difficulty in inducing some four of our volunteer regiments already organized to muster into the service of the Confederate States at once, and by that means secure the use of the 4,000 guns you had the kindness to send me; but upon submitting the proposition to any one of our regiments or companies I find many members ready to be mustered into the service at once, but others objecting, and to attempt to carry out the policy is to disorganize regiments and companies and to a great extent demoralize the force now so necessary to the service of the State and the Confederate States. This I am unwilling to do. Hence the regiments-for the Confederate States must be raised for that especial purpose, which will take some time, during which, under your order, the guns you sent me are lying idle, while I have several thousand men organized and ready for the field [already mustered into the service of the State], but unarmed, with a powerful enemy menacing us every moment. If you can, consistent with your sense of duty, relax the rule laid down in your dispatch of the 20th instant so far as to allow me to put these guns into the hands of our State troops, I assure you that they shall be withdrawn from them and placed in the hands of the regiments raised for the Confederate States the moment these regiments are raised and mustered in. Nothing short of the imperative necessity of the case before me would induce me to trouble you with this request; but believing as I do that it is a matter of the highest importance to the successful defense of the Confederate States, as well as the State of Tennessee, I feel that it is a duty to urge it.
ISHAM G. HARRIS.
Have the kindness to answer by telegraph.
I. G. H.
OR, Ser. IV, Vol. 1, pp. 358-359.
28, On the Memphis Vigilance Committee
AFFAIRS AT MEMPHIS.
Mr. Theodore Tyler-a nephew of the late Capt. Howe-has just arrived from Memphis, Tenn; which city he left a week ago on Monday. Mr. Tyler has resided at Memphis for some years and was considered one among the Tennesseeans, yet his loyalty to the Union suffered no shock. He deferred his departure, however, from Memphis until after the introduction of the reign of a Vigilance Committee, since when it has been difficult for a Northern man to get away; early in the history of Secession the Committee would permit anyone to leave who expressed such a desire, but lately the case has been different.
Mr. Tyler was compelled by motives of personal prudence to enlist, and for a month has been in the Rebel camp near Memphis. He has been in the habit of often visiting the city and so regularly returning that his reputation for loyalty was established. Leaving camp one day Mr. Tyler diverged from his usual route and taking a "side track" but out into the country. He traveled on foot fifty miles, striking the river above Memphis where he got on board he steamboat Franklin and came up to Cincinnati, stoping some hours at Cairo. Mr. T. left everything save what he had on his back at Memphis,-glad to get out of Tennessee at any cost.
Mr. T. says that great want already exists at Memphis; that the negroes are now in fact on short allowance and that the most of the whets [sic] can only get bacon and corn bread. He had not eaten wheat bread for weeks, although at the large hotels they still had wheat flour. He was a Mississippian on his return from a fruitless expedition from the North for supplies, his gold being refused in exchange for provisions. Distress is existing in Mississippi.
Among the volunteers at Memphis are large numbers who have enlisted because compelled to do so through want of employment or from prudential motives, and he says there are many Tennesseeans in the number who are as good and true Union men as we of the North. At first it was suppose the North would yield to any demand the South might make, but now the gathering of Northern forces astonishes them and it is already whispered about among themselves that they will be compelled to "knock under." The South begin[s] to feel that they are about to get more than they bargained for.
Daily Cleveland Herald, May 28, 1861. 
28, "…if you kiss any you must kiss them all round…." John Fremantle's first impressions of Confederate Tennessee
28th May, Thursday. – I arrived at Chattanooga, Tennessee, at 4.30 A. M., and fell in with Captain Brown again; his negro [sic] recognized me, and immediately rushed up to shake hands.
After breakfasting at [Chattanooga], I started again at 7.30, by train, for Shelbyville, General Bragg's headquarters. This train was crammed to repletion with soldiers rejoining their regiments, so I was constrained to sit in the aisle on the floor of one of the cars. I thought myself lucky even then, for so great was the number of military, that all "citizens" were ordered out to way for the soldiers; but my gray-shooting jacket and youthful appearance saved me from the imputation of being a "citizen." Two hours later the passport officer, seeing who I was, procured me a similar situation in the ladies' car, where I was a little better off. After leaving Chattanooga the railroad winds alongside of the Tennessee river, the banks of which are high, and beautifully covered with trees--the river itself is wide, and very pretty; but from my position in the tobacco juice I was unable to do justice to the scenery. I saw stockades at intervals all along the railroad, which were constructed by the Federals, who occupied all this country last year.
On arriving at Wartrace at 4 P. M., I determined to remain there, and ask for hospitality from General Hardee, as I saw no prospect of reaching Shelbyville in decent time. Leaving my baggage with the Provost Marshal at Wartrace, I walked on to General Hardee's headquarters, which were distant about two miles from the railroad. They were situated in a beautiful country, green, undulating, full of magnificent trees, principally beeches, and the scenery was by far the finest I had seen in America as yet.
When I arrived, I found that General Hardee was in company with General Polk and Bishop Elliott of Georgia, and also with Mr. Vallandigham. The latter (called the Apostle of Liberty) is a good looking man, apparently not much over forty, and had been turned out of the North three days before. Rosecrans had wished to hand him over to Bragg by flag of truce; but as the latter declined to receive him in that manner, he was, as General Hardee expressed it, "dumped down" in the neutral ground between the lines and left there. He then received hospitality from the Confederates in the capacity of a destitute stranger. They do not in any way receive him officially, and it does not suit the policy of either party to be identified with one another. He is now living at a private house in Shelbyville, and had come over for the day with General Polk, on a visit to Hardee. He told the generals, that if Grant was severely beaten in Mississippi by Johnston, he did not think the war could be continued on its present great scale.
When I presented my letters of introduction, General Hardee received me with the unvarying kindness and hospitality which I had experienced from all other Confederate officers. He is a fine, soldierlike man, broad shouldered and tall. He looks rather like a French officer, and is a Georgian by birth. He bears the reputation of being a thoroughly good soldier, and he is the author of the drill book still in use by both armies. Until quite lately, he was commanding officer of the military college at West Point. He distinguished himself at the battles of Corinth and Murfreesboro', and now commands the 2d corps d'armée of Bragg's army. He is a widower, and has the character of being a great admirer of the fair sex. During the Kentucky campaign last year, he was in the habit of availing himself of the privilege of his rank and years, and insisted upon kissing the wives and daughters of all the Kentuckian farmers. And although he is supposed to have converted many of the ladies to the Southern cause, yet in many instances their male relatives remained either neutral or undecided. On one occasion Gen. Hardee had conferred the "accolade" upon a very pretty Kentuckian, to their mutual satisfaction, when to his intense disgust, the proprietor produced two very ugly old females, saying, now then, General, if you kiss any you must kiss them all round," which the discomfited general was forced to do, to the great amusement of his officers, who often allude to this contretemps.
Another rebuff which he received, and about which he is often chafed by General Polk, was when an old lady told him he ought really to "leave off fighting at his age." "Indeed, madam," replied Hardee, "and how old do you take me for?" "Why, about the same age as myself--seventy-five." The chagrin of the stalwart and gallant general, at having twenty years added to his age, may be imagined.
Lieutenant General Leonidas Polk, Bishop of Louisiana, who commands the other corps d'armée, is a good-looking, gentlemanlike man, with all the manners and affability of a "grand seigneur. He is fifty-seven years of age--tall, upright, and looks much more the soldier than the clergyman. He is very rich; and I am told he owns seven hundred negroes [sic]. He is much beloved by the soldiers on account of his great personal courage and agreeable manners. I had already heard no end of anecdotes of him told me by my traveling companions, who always alluded to him with affection and admiration. In his clerical capacity I had always heard him spoken of with the greatest respect. When I was introduced to him he immediately invited me to come and stay at his headquarters at Shelbyville. He told me that he was educated at West Point, and was at that institution with the President, the two Johnstons, Lee, Magruder, &c., and that, after serving a short time in the artillery, he had entered the church.
Bishop Elliott, of Georgia, is a nice old man of venerable appearance and very courteous manners. He is here at the request of General Polk, for the purpose of confirming some officers and soldiers. He speaks English exactly like an English gentleman, and so, in fact, does General Polk, and all the well-bred Southerners, much more so than the ladies, whose American accent can always be detected. General Polk and Mr. Vallandigham returned to Shelbyville in an ambulance at 6.30 P. M.
General Hardee's headquarters were on the estate of Mrs.---, a very hospitable lady. The two daughters of the General were staying with her, and also a Mrs. --, who is a very pretty woman. These ladies are more violent against the Yankees than it is possible for a European to conceive; they beat their male relations hollow in their denunciations and hopes of vengeance. It was quite depressing to hear their innumerable stories of Yankee brutality, and I was much relieved when, at a later period of the evening they subsided into music. After Bishop Elliott had read prayers, I slept in the same room with General Hardee.
Lieut.-Col. Arthur James Lyon Fremantle, Lieut.-Col. Coldstream Guards, Three Months in the Southern States: April, June, 1863, pp. 70-73.
28, Press report on Union Loyalists Resistance and Confederate Conscription in East Tennessee
FROM EAST TENNESSEE
We take the following from the Murfreesboro Correspondent if the Cincinnati Gazette:
East Tennessee – Formidable Organization of Loyalists.
The rebels evidently find it a difficult undertaking to repress the spirit of loyalty in East Tennessee. Every one of their sheets contain evidence of this fact, and the reports of those who continue to escape from that region and come within our lines furnish most forcible illustration.
A communication dated Clinton, May 9, and sent to the Knoxville Register, develops the fact that amongst the Cumberland mountains, in Anderson county, there is a regularly organized band of Union men, who defy all efforts of the rebels is capture or exterminate them, who pounce upon small parties of rebel soldiery at every opportunity, and who support themselves by regular levies of forage and provisions impressed upon the rich "secesh" in the valleys. In collecting their contributions, they manifest a subtlety of planning and a rapidity of execution, which utterly baffle their enemies.
Trouble of Conscript Agents Amongst the Mountains.
Lieut.-Col. E. D. Blake seems to be commandant of conscripts in East Tennessee. He not only orders all between the ages of eighteen to forty to present themselves to him for enrollment, under pain of being considered deserters if they refuse, but tell them they just in addition, come provided with three days' rations. He fills nearly two columns of the Knoxville Register, with advertisements describing deserters, or conscripts who have failed to report, and offering rewards for their apprehension, The following communication inserted as an advertisement in the Register, illustrates the difficulties which Blake's agents meet with his enforcement of his commands:
"Maysville, Blount Co. May 8.
Lieut.-Col. E. D. Blake, Commandant of Conscripts, Knoxville, Tenn.
Sir: - We arrested one W. G. Henry this morning, in the garret of his house. While getting him down, his sister-in-law ran over the neighborhood, and a force was son gathered to rescue him. But my men got away with him and saved themselves by close work.
Samuel L. Keer.
Chief Enrolling Officer for Blount Co."
Milwaukee Daily Sentinel, May 28, 1863.
28, "Something for the Young Folks"
We have received from F. Katzenbach, 270 Main street, a little library for little people which is for sale at his store, consisting of Poems, for Little Folks, Tales of the Great and Brave, Stories of Animals, Christmas Stories, Stories of Natural History, the Rabbit's Bride, Tales of Adventure, Stories of Foreign Lands, Casper's Adventures, Fairy Stories, Fables in Verse and History of Birds. These books are of convenient size for little hands, beautifully printed, handsomely bound, and illustrated plentifully with engraving. We have dipped into one or two of them, especially the fairy stories, and for a while realized the poet's wish, "Would I were a boy again." The cruel princess, the heartless magician, the cross old grandmother, the kind fairy, the brave adventurer, the lucky little fellow that blundered into fortune, how they passed before us as we knew them long, long, before we became the possessor of bray hairs and the tiresome amounts of wisdom we get with them, as a matter of course. Wisdom here is wisdom in these little books that can make young eyes sparkle and young hearts thrill with an ecstasy our nature seldom fails to impart. Those who would make the young people happy with a gift should call at Katzenbach's store. They are published by Carobs & Nichols, Boston
Memphis Bulletin, May 28, 1864.
28, Federal army cautiously authorized to provide provisions to the destitute to prevent starvation in Chattanooga
NASHVILLE, May 28, 1865.
Brig. Gen. H. M. JUDAH, Chattanooga:
You are authorized to issue sufficient provisions to the destitute people within your command to prevent starvation. Be cautious, however, that the issue does not become unnecessarily large and an extravagant waste of the public stores, as has been the case generally with such issues.
By command of Maj.-Gen. Thomas:
WM. D. WHIPPLE, Brig.-Gen.
OR, Ser. I, Vol. 49, pt. II, p. 924.
28, ET&VRR returned to civilian hands, repairs made to railroad line and bridges
The Nashville Union, of the 28th ult., states that the East Tennessee and Virginia Railroad is to be turned over to the Stockholders. The road is in running order from Knoxville to Carter's depot, twelve miles beyond Jonesboro. The government has withdrawn the construction corps and transferred them to Georgia. The bridges over the Watauga at Carter's Depot, and the Holston at Zollicoffer, have not been rebuilt. It is to be hoped that this important road will soon be thoroughly repaired.
Macon Daily Telegraph, June 7, 1865.
 See OR, Ser. I, Vol. 52, pt. II, p.108.
 As cited in PQCW.
James B. Jones, Jr.
Tennessee Historical Commission
2941 Lebanon Road
Nashville, TN 37214