Tuesday, June 18, 2013

6/18/13 Tennessee Civil War Notes

18, On social life at the Confederate camp of instructrion at Union City

Letter from Union City.

Union City, Tenn., June 13, 1861.

Editors Appeal: I again write to you in order to keep you posted, as near as I can, on our movements, etc….We are having quite a gay time of it here. We are visited every day by the ladies of the neighborhood, and also by the ladies from Jackson, Tenn., some sixty miles distant, and those from Columbus and Hickman, Ky., some ten miles distant, and I reckon some of them are as pretty and interesting as the world affords….There is one thing I will tell you that is something entirely new to the whole world. The Mississippians gave a large party in their camps on day before yesterday. They had some three or four hundred ladies in attendance, from twenty-five to thirty miles distant….

Very truly yours, etc.,


Memphis Daily Appeal, June 18, 1861.





18, Increased donations for the Southern Mothers' hospital in Memphis requested

"Southern Mothers."—The sudden influx of business upon the society, thirty soldiers having arrived at the mothers' rooms yesterday, renders it necessary that the managers should be able to command an increase of means for the purpose. Every member is requested to contribute an additional sum, to carry out the objects of the society; and if there are any members whose admittance fee is unpaid, they are earnestly requested to pay it in to the managers, or to the visiting committee, at the rooms. The thanks of the society are warmly tendered to Mr. Flaherty for the donation of a coffin, and for his services in the burial of the soldier interred on Sunday, as also to the directory of Elmwood cemetery for the timely donation of a lot for the purposes of burial.

Mrs. S. C. Law, Pres't.

Mrs. Mary E. Pope, Secretary.

Memphis Daily Appeal, June 18, 1861.





18, Skirmish near Rankin's Ferry

No circumstantial reports filed.

HUNTSVILLE, June 18, 1862.


* * * *

The enemy managed this morning to overpower a small picket sent out by Col. Sill and posted near Rankin's Ferry 2 are captured, 1 killed. I fear they will learn our numbers and may now give us trouble.

There are small bands of cavalry hovering around us almost everywhere, and we have no cavalry to destroy them.

* * * *

O. M. MITCHEL, Maj.-Gen.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 16, pt. II, p. 37.



18, "…an odious distinction between classes of the human family has at last been partially removed." One Tennessee Confederate soldier's reaction to the termination of the substitute system

No More Substitutes.

A correspondent in Shelbyville, writing under date of the 27th ult., has the following. According to his showing the substitute business [sic] is at an end. This is a reformation long needed; and now, if the Government will conscript the speculators and extortioners, and place them in front, as the Yankees did the "American citizens of African decent" at Port Hudson, soldiers' families can live, and the country will be better off for the change:

["]Yesterday evening, at dress parade, an order was read from the Secretary of War, directing that no more substitutes will be received into the army, only by the consent of the Generals commanding the various departments. I must confess that I never in all my life witnessed such beaming faces when the order was announced. Approbation of the order was general, and I have yet to find the first man in our brigade who disapproves of it.

["]Those that know nothing of the practical workings of the substitute system can form no conception of the magnitude of the evils resulting to the army by its operations. – Thanks to powers that be, the terrible incubus that has depressed the hearts of our brave soldiers has at length been removed, and the soldier at his country's call, who left his penniless wife and children to the cold charities of the world, or to eke out an existence the best way they could – he who has endured privations, sufferings, hunger, thirst, physical and mental agony, for his country's good and welfare – will be rejoiced to know that that which was an odious distinction between classes of the human family has at last been partially removed.

Fayetteville Observer, June 18, 1863.





18, Army of the Tennessee's policy toward slaves announced in LaGrange

ORDERS, No. 43. HDQRS. FIFTH DIV., ARMY OF THE TENNESSEE, LaGrange, Tenn., June 18, 1862.

The commanding general must call attention to the duties of officers and men toward the slaves. The well-settled policy of the whole army now is to have nothing to do with the negro. [sic] "Exclude them from camp" is Gen. Halleck's reiterated order. We cannot have our trains encumbered by them, nor can we afford to feed them, and it is deceiving the poor fellow to allow him to start and have him forcibly driven away afterward. For these and many good reasons the general now especially directs the colonels of regiments, captains of companies, and regimental quartermasters to give their personal attention to this matter, to remove all such now in camp, and to prevent any more from following our camp or columns of march.

The laws of Congress command that we do not surrender back to the master a fugitive slave. That is not a soldier's business nor is it his business to smuggle him away. Let the master and slave look to the civil authorities and not to us. Also the laws of war make the property of the enemy liable to confiscation if used for warlike purposes, such as horses and wagons hauling stores, slaves making forts, &c. In such cases the commanding officer would rightfully appropriate his labor through the quartermaster and let the title to freedom be tried as soon as a proper civil tribunal can be reached.

If wagon-masters or teamsters carry away in their wagons runaway negroes [sic] it is made the duty first of the regimental quartermaster, next of the brigade quartermaster, and last of any commissioned officer, who will cause them to be summarily turned out and the facts reported to headquarters, that the actual offender may be punished by fine and imprisonment as he deserves.

By order of Maj. Gen. W. T. Sherman:

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 17, pt. II, pp. 15-16.





18, "A Case of Bigamy."

A case of bigamy was yesterday laid before W. D. Robertson, Esq., the defendants being Isaac M. McCarver and Margaret Flasher, who were married by the Rev. Dr. Goodlit on the 13th of the present month, and arrested under a charge of bigamy on the 16th. The prosecutor is John Flasher. James L. Smith, Esq., appeared for the prosecution, and T. T. Smiley and Robt. Cantrel, Esq., for the defense. Both Flasher and McCarver belong to company G, first Tennessee Light Artillery.

McCarver is a young man, perhaps twenty-five years old, with an open, honest countenance, and prepossessing appearance, tall in stature, and genteel in dress and demeanor. Margaret Flasher is short and stout, much older than her new husband, and without any personal attractions; she appeared in court dressed in white, with red and blue trimmings on her white undersleeves; a surplice [sic] waist, with black ribbon trimming, a gaudy breastpin securing the ends of the ribbon in front. In her hand she held a paper fan, with the letters of the alphabet printed upon the upper end, one letter in each fold. On her lap rested a large silk handkerchief, in color purple, yellow and white, and the picture is completed by the reader fancying her reclining upon the lap and shoulder of her young husband, the pair talking sweet love to each other. After waiting one hour, the trial began, both parties agreeing to try both cases together, McCarver for violating section 4832 of the Code, and Margaret Flasher for a violation of 4839 of the Code.

John J. Rush was the first witness. He testified that he was acquainted with Mrs. Flasher; he also knew John Flasher, knew them in Memphis; has known them about three years or more; they have been living together as man and wife. (Objected to by counsel for the defense and allowed.) Witness had heard Mrs. Flasher declare that she was marries to John Flasher. (Objected to by defence, and allowed.) Was acquainted with Margaret before she was married; they were married the fall before the war commenced, and came here to Nashville together, as man and wife; they always lived quietly and peaceably together; they lived together in camp and she did his cooking while in camp, until an order was issued rejecting females from camps when John Flasher procured a house for his wife and she went to live in it, her husband going to see her frequently. Cross examined by Mr. Cantrel-They were married at Grant's brick-yard near Memphis, in the neighborhood of three years ago; witness had lived in the house with them, both at Memphis and in this city; was not present at the marriage, but is well acquainted with the man who married them; cannot swear they were married, not having witnessed the ceremony; can hardly swear to what he sees at times.

Mr. Smith here introduced the license and the certificate of marriage, and called the attention of the Court to the fact that the defendant Margaret was therein described as Margaret Flasher, her husband's name John Weatherspoon-Was present at the marriage of the two defendants by the Rev. Dr. Goodlett; she answered to the name of Margaret Flasher; knows Dr. Goodlett too be a minister of the Gospel.

Another witness testified to the same effect.

The first witness was re-called, and testified that Margaret was generally known in camp as John Flasher's wife.

Mr. Hines belongs to the same company; Mrs. Flasher was generally understood to be the wife of Mr. Flasher. McCarver enlisted early in February.

Mr. Williams belongs to the same company, knows the defendant; he belongs to the same company also [sic]. Mrs. Flasher passed as the wife of Flasher.

Mr. Davis testified to the same facts; never knew they were not married.

The evidence from the prosecution here closed, Mr. Smith stating his case clearly and briefly. Mr. Cantrel followed, arguing that no other marriage had been proven than that between the two defendants, and that therefore they ought to be acquitted. Mr. Temple followed, on the same ride, taking the same ground, and Mr. Smith closed the argument, all displaying much ingenuity and industry. The Court adjudged the defendants guilty, and required them to give bond of $1000 each for the appearance at the Criminal Court in default, to be committed to jail.

Nashville Dispatch, June 18, 1864.


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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