Thursday, June 27, 2013

6/27/2013 Tennessee Civil War Notes

27, 1861 -  The care of the indigent-insane Confederate soldier or his family members

CHAPTER 5, An Act for the benefit of Insane Members of the Families of Volunteers

Section 1. Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Tennessee, That the wives or other members of the families of volunteers who are citizens of this State, and who have enlisted, or who may hereafter enlist in the service of the State, or of the Confederate States, who have been, or who may hereafter be placed in the Tennessee Asylum for the Insane, as pay patients, shall, during the time of their enlistment, or which such volunteers are in actual service, be supported by the State, upon the written certificate of the Chairman of the County Court from the county of residence of said volunteers, setting forth that he or they are unable, from indigent circumstances, to support such patient in the asylum.

Sec. 2 That any one of the Tennessee volunteers who may become deranged while in the service, and who has not the pecuniary means to enter the asylum as a pay patient, shall be received and treated as a pauper patient;

Provided, that nothing herein contained shall be so construed as to cause any of the present patients of the asylum to be discharged, in order to give place to any of the above patients, as provide in this act.

W. C. WHTTHORNE, Speaker of the House of Representatives

B. L. STOVAL, Speaker of the Senate

Passed June 27, 1861.

Public Acts of the State of Tennessee…April, 1861, pp. 34-35.[1]




27, 1862 -  A Chicago Times, Report on Women in the Bluff City

Female Secessionists.

The feminine portion [in Memphis] are especially bitter. They confine themselves to their houses, and seldom appear in the street, but, when they do so, it is impossible not to understand the prevalent feeling among them. Walking down Main street a day or two since, I saw a naval officer, one of the most unassuming and gentlemanly men in the service, passing in such a manner as to overtake three ladies. As he approached them, the outermost quickly stepped in front of her companions, making room for him to pass, at the same time sweeping her skirts away from him with a most ungraceful and dowdyish gesture. Being a man who has seen the world, his demeanor did not indicate that he saw the motion, and she was not honored with a glance even. A short distance further on she tried it again on a calm and imperturbable gentleman, who wore the army uniform, and was again rewarded with an entire absence of recognition, unless a slightly contemptuous movement of the corners of the mouth might have been called such. The only result of all these efforts was to attract the stare and coarse remarks of the street crowd, generally accorded to a different class of women.

Women of the Town.

Of the latter class I can only say that, if Memphis suffered any diminution in numbers when the rest of her citizens stampeded, she must have been supplied beyond any chances of dearth. The streets are conspicuous with their gaudy and flowing drapery, whose amplitude is only equaled by the breadth of misapplied maternal attractions. They promenade the streets in front of their residences, in evening costume, and walk to the corner bareheaded, arm and arm, to see what is going on out of doors; and the commonest thing in the world is to see one arrayed in the fleeciest and scantiest of magnificence, sailing down the main thoroughfares, preceded by a little negro girl in all the colors of the rainbow, to carry the parasol and other small equipments--the said small African being, as a general thing, a personal investment of several hundred dollars in cash. That is the style of advertising goods in this country....


Chicago Times, June 27, 1862.[2]



27, 1863 -  Voting early and often in the Memphis municipal election

Illegal Voting.

We referred yesterday to the large amount of illegal voting practiced all over the city, in the election of Mayor. "A Citizen of the Fourth ward," who was present at the election, sends us the following communication. He thinks that those who voted in that ward were legally qualified. We are free to say, that from all we have learned, the election in that ward was conducted in a fairer and more lawful manner than in some other places, and this is seen in the result wrought out. And yet, as our correspondent admits, illegal voters made an attempt to carry the election there as elsewhere. Hundreds of illegal voters – foreigners just landed here, with nothing but their oath of allegiance – tried to vote, and if the judges there had been as derelict as some of them were, they would have exercised the right of suffrage without let or hindrance. These same men, thus refused a vote because they had no right to vote, desired to compromise by voting only for general officers [sic], magnanimously proffering to pretermit the electing of Aldermen. But one of the judges of the election succeeded in making these fresh [sic] friends of misrule understand that they couldn't vote at all, and more, that they attempt to do so was illegal, and that if they attempted it again he would present their names before a grand jury for indictment! This quieted the persistent patriots, and they left, avowing their determination to vote elsewhere, where the officers were not so particular.

We cordially indorse what our correspondent says about the responsibility for illegal voting resting upon "the city authorities," who make this appointment of judges of election! The responsibility does not rest with them; but who believes that the primary object with them, under existing circumstances, was to prevent [sic] the lamentable disregard of the election law, which was everywhere so patent and shameless?

Editor Bulletin:

In your paper of yesterday, on the subject of illegal voting, you say that fraud was practices all over the city. Now, so far as the Fourth ward is concerned, allow me to suggest that you are probably in error, for in that ward only one hundred and thirteen votes were polled under the provision of this city charter, which makes it necessary that every voter shall be a citizen of the United States, a bon fide citizen of Memphis six months – and of the ward in which he offers to vote thirty days next preceding the election. It is true a good many did try to vote in the Fourth ward, by showing their oath of allegiance merely, allowed to vote early and often [emphasis added] in the other wards, as was probably the case, merely upon showing that paper, which did not entitle them to a vote at all, but faulty was with those who conducted the election, and who were sworn to hold it according to law; and the fault also lies with the city authorities in not appointing competent judges and clerks to hold the election according to law, as the charter requires.

Citizen of Fourth Ward.

Memphis Bulletin, June 27, 1863.




27, 1865 -  Circular No. 9, addressing "complaints arising from the new relations of the colored people with the owners of the soil, and praying for his authoritative action in the adjustment of the difficulties complained of." The new race interactions in West Tennessee



Memphis, Tenn., June 27, 1865.

The major-general commanding is daily in receipt of petitions from the people, which the reports of the various post commanders confirm setting forth complaints arising from the new relations of the colored people with the owners of the soil, and praying for his authoritative action in the adjustment of the difficulties complained of. Not alone are the freedmen responsible for the state of things which exists. The planters themselves, too reluctant to practically accept the passing away of slavery, do in numerous instances awaken and confirm that disaffection among the negroes [sic] which renders them so unfaithful and unreliable as employes. First of all, the people must acknowledge and act upon the full and permanent emancipation of the colored race. Without the cordial acceptance of this inevitable fact the military authorities can afford but partial relief to existing evils. Any other course of conduct, of the manifestation of a different spirit in dealing with the freedmen, will surely inflict upon them the punishment of their own willful blindness and injustice. The negro [sic] must be made to understand that the freedom proclaimed to him involved the care of his own support and that of his family, which he has never before known. The demands for labor are sufficient to afford employment for all able-bodied freedmen, and such will be compelled to work for the means of living. They are free to make their own contracts, and they will be fully protected in all their rights under them, but they will be compelled to the honest and faithful performance of such contracts when made. Negroes from the country will not be permitted to visit the military posts without a pass from their employer, and those unemployed must remain where the means of employment exist, namely, among the fields. Post commanders are authorized and instructed to enforce as far as practicable the principles and requirements herein contained, and they will, until the establishment and location of officers connected with the Freedmen's Bureau have removed the necessity of such interposition, compel the freedmen to the performance of all fair and equitable contracts with their employers, whenever it is apparent that there has been no oppression or unjust treatment toward the employe, and no compulsory action will be used until a full investigation has determined the rights of the particular case.

By order of Bvt. Maj. Gen. John E. Smith:

W. H. MORGAN, Brevet Brig.-Gen. and Assistant Adjutant-Gen.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 49, pt. II, pp. 1043-1044.


[1] Public Acts of the State of Tennessee, passed at the extra session of the Thirty-third General Assembly, April, 1861, (Nashville: J. G. Griffith & Co.: 1861.)

[2] As cited in:

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: