Friday, July 12, 2013

7/12/13 Tennessee Civil War Notes

12, 1861 - Edward Bradford, from Davidson County, writes to his mother from Camp Trousdale (camp of instruction), concerning camp life and treatment of deserters

We have the best drilled company in Camp Trousdale, do more work and have less sickness than any company in our Regiment. We have had two or three deaths here in the last few [days] but only one in our regiment. There was a man [who] died in the Perrie Guard last night. There has been two run away, but they caught one of them and drummed him out of the camp. They had one side of his head shaved and a pair of horns on him, his breeches rolled up to his knees, barefooted with his shoes in his hand, his budget on his back and a board across his back on which was marked ["]Deserter.["] He made tracks for Kentucky as soon as he was turned loose. It is rumored that about two regiments will be ordered from here to Cumberland Gap in a few days, but I don't think it will be ours as some of the companies have not drawn their arms yet. We have a great many ladies to visit us, but I think this is the last place in the world for ladies and I would advice all of connection of that sex to stay at home....

P.S. I send you in this five dollars. I want you to get me two Dark Calico Shirts with it and send them up by the first one that comes. The balance can do as your please with if there is any left.

Frederick Bradford Papers, TSL&A.




12, Letter of John A. Ritter, 49th Indiana Volunteers

July 12, 1862 from Camp Cotrell, Tenn.

Camp Cotrell Ten [sic]

July 12 62

Dear Margarett [sic]

I set down this pleasant morning to write you a few lines. I am well. I Recd yours of the 2nd of July. The mails have been verry [sic] iregular [sic] since we left the Ford so much so that we have been for near a week at a time with out any mail. It is expected that the mails will be regular in a short time. The mail is to be carried daily from Crab Orchard to Barberville [sic] in hacks. The amount of mail is so great that it cannot be carried on horse back. A large amount is left at the different post offices. A gentleman told me that he was in the post office at London & that there was at least fifteen Bushels of mail in that office awaiting transportation. We have just been paid off from an other two months [service?] for March & April. There is due us two months more May & June. The drunken paymaster will be a long time before he get arround [sic] a gain probably two months longer. I understand that he is ordered to Washington. I hope to be disciss [sic] from service.

I send you $200.00 dollars if you want any thing spend the money freely for it. I think if I was you and had as much money as you have got I would get me a good sewing machine one that would not get out of Fix. I think singers the best and I would have it warrented [sic] by responsible partys.[sic] These are only sugestions [sic]. Act acording [sic] to your own Judgment. I had a fellow call on me yesterday claiming me as his son. His name was William Ritter. He had a son that emigrated to Ind[iana] about thirty years ago hearing that there was a Ritter in an Ind[iana] Reg[iment] he concluded that it was his son but he was mistaken. The fellow was green but that is nothing uncommon in this country. It is astonishing the amount of Ignorance that there is in this Country. The natives seam friendly but I expect that it is the power of uncle Sam that Keeps them as Loyal as they are. A sesesh will not do to trust ____? _____? When we were at Big Creek Gap A Teneseean [sic] went to his home from the Army. The sesesh [sic] neighbors called on him and implored his protection that they had done but little and was forced to take sides with the south and that they had not done any thing in the way of actual hostily [sic] to the govement [sic] only express their simpathy [sic] for the south and as soon as our army moved a way to ward the gap these same fellows were making arangements [sic] to have the man arrested for Treason to the southern confederacy. I am tired of [handling?] such men so easy. We had twenty five prisners [sic] that were to be sent to Lexington. One company from our Reg[iment] was detailed to take them. They spoke to me about it. There was to be aroun [sic] ten days Rations for the trip. I told them that it would not take ten days rations to do me that I Knew that the prisners [sic] would all try to get a way and that I would [____?] them before I was out two day and that they would all be shot in the back so they concluded that they would not send me. I spoke this in a joke but I believe that they thought that I would Kill the last one of them. I did not want to go. It would have been a long hard march.

Liut [sic] Charles has not yet Returned to the Reg[iment] Liut [sic] Faucett is [recovering?]. He is not very stout yet he does most of the buisness in the quarters which is verry [sic] considerable. No one that never had the experience the amount of buisness [sic] that there is connection with the Army it would take a good clerk to Keep up the buisness [sic]. I send per Liut [sic] Thms Barr $1166.00 to be express to John B Buskirk Orangefille Care of Nugent & [vestal?] Orleans. This money belongs to the men of my company. I also sent 80.00 Campbellsburg & 40.00 to [______?] making 1280.00. There is not much over half of my company present. They are scatterd [sic] at Lexington & at their homes. I have orders to Report all that are at home on sick furloughs as deserters. We think it hard often that we cannot be Furloughs but when we see how the system is abused it is no wonder men get furloughs and get home and never come back. There are men at work on their farmes [sic] etc. all that are at home had better begin to brake out or they will get in to trouble by some men inosent [sic] & good men have to suffer but this is the way the world goes. I must close hope you will be of good cheer.

Yours as ever

John A Ritter

Ritter Correspondence




12, Political position announcement by John H. Savage, former Colonel of the 16th Tennessee Infantry and candidate for the Confederate House of Representatives for the Fifth Tennessee District (Smith, Macon, Wilson and DeKalb counties)[1]:

No caucus has been held in the Confederate States until the meeting at Winchester, which nominated my competitor Gov. Foote. This system [enables these men] to appoint your rulers. Under the pretense of union, harmony or party necessity, you have often been forced to vote contrary to your better judgment. It is for you to say whether your votes are to be thus controlled. In any event, important legislation will be demanded of the next Congress. If the war continues a reorganization of the army will be necessary.

The Regulations and Article of War are of but little protection to subalterns and privates against the grossest wrongs committed by superiors, and need amendment to maintain discipline and the spirit of the soldier. General officers should be held responsible for injuries to citizens resulting from their negligence, and want of discipline. Enough has occurred to injure our cause, and cast a shadow on the glory of our arms. In some sections, the people have been robbed of their property with impunity, which could have been prevented by commanders.

Your Governor [Isham G. Harris] is sworn to execute your laws -- yet no efforts have been made to enforce them and thus good [people] have been left without any protection. The seizure of the arms of loyal citizens, was in violation of the Constitution, and an insult to freemen; they ought to be returned, and the right of the citizen to keep them secured. It were [sic] better if every citizen owned a gun.

When peace shall be made, the army should be reduced at the earliest moment practicable. A military government or large standing army is not necessary. A people may be so educated and armed as to repel invasion or defend their rights against usurpation. My views upon the subject are published in my report upon the "Old Soldiers Bill" which passed the U. S. House of Representatives.

To assist the voter in judging whether Gov. Foote or myself is the better friend of the soldier and the country, it is hoped that a few facts maybe stated without subjecting me to the charge of vanity. I have been elected four times to represent my birth-place in the Congress of the United States, and claim to have been at all times a consistent friend of the South....

My competitor has served in both Congresses and has tried his skill upon the army, conscription, taxation, impressment and other subjects.

I have been twice discharged as a private soldier from the armies of the United States in 1836-7, and served as an officer under Gen. Scott in the battles at the city of Mexico. At the beginning of this war I considered it a duty to take charge of the sons of my friends and constituents, and teach them to be soldiers. My regiment (16th Tennessee) met the enemy in Virginia, South Carolina, Perryville and Murfreesboro -- maintaining the honor of your arms by toilsome marches, and the loss of many brave men. It is not my fault that I am not now in the service. It was my wish to remain, if it could have been done without a violation of those customs that have governed modern armies. My resignation was forwarded because a gentleman in all respects my junior, and not in the line of the army, was promoted and placed in command over me. The army and my conscience approve my course. If not worthy of promotion I was unfit to command a regiment. If wronged, it would have been unjust to the living and the dead to submit to a system of favoritism, which has done more, to create dissatisfaction and destroy the spirit of the soldier than any other cause. The friend of the laws, equality and order-the enemy of combinations, partiality and artifice, I shall contend whatever be the result of this election.

Chattanooga Daily Rebel, July 12, 1863.


12, "Outrages by Guerrilla Bands on the Cumberland Border."

From the Louisville Journal, July 11.

The region of country bordering on the Cumberland river in the vicinity of Clarksville is swarming with bold marauding bands. The guerrilla organizations have sprung into existence as if by magic, and, bidding defiance to all law and authority, they roam through the country, carrying terror with their advance, acknowledging no principle but robbery and wholesale plunder. There is no security in property while they are permitted to occupy the country, and theft and arson may write the gaunt lines of want and poverty to-morrow where prosperity smiles to-day. To oppose the robbers in any of their designs, is but to exasperate the villains and feel the strong arm of swift and terrible vengeance. Your chambers may be ruthlessly plundered, you homesteads reduced to ashes by the firebrand, or even blood and life may pay the forfeit. The scoundrels thus banded together for pillage are desperate characters, devoid of feeling, reckless of life, and men acquainted with the secret paths leading to secret haunts in mountain wilds, or in the jungles of the swamps. Reared among the scenes, they are to them but as the familiar haunts of childhood's love and boyhood's pride. Federal cavalry, unacquainted with the country, lose all of their effectiveness when sent in pursuit of these bold marauders. The guerrillas appear and disappear by unknown paths with such swiftness that their movements become perfectly bewildering to the pursuers. The citizens are at the mercy of the thieving scoundrels, and they can scarcely entertain a hope for deliverance. On last Friday night [8th] a gang of these horse-thieving guerrillas surrounded the house of Mr. Pace, residing on the Cumberland river, twelve miles from Clarksville, and, without cause, in a manner most brutal and cowardly, shot him through the body, wounding him so severely that he has since died. The act was fiendish-a cold calculating murder.

From along the Cumberland border reports come to us dark with darker deeds, and sickening in all their details. Robbery, arson, persecution, and murder make up the horrid catalogue of crime.

On Saturday evening [9th] the down train on the Memphis Branch railroad was fired into at the State line by a party of these roving guerrillas. They numbered twenty-seven, and were under command of a blood-thirsty cutthroat who styled himself Captain Jones. They gang had stationed themselves in close proximity to the road, and on the train passing the point a murderous volley was discharged into it. The cars were badly riddled by the shots, many of the galls passing through both sides of the passenger coaches. A number of ladies were aboard, and their escape from the flying missiles was almost miraculous. The engineer was wounded in the leg. The main fire appeared to be directed toward the locomotive. The villains afterward acknowledged that they entertained an old grudge against the engineer, and that it was their intention to kill him if possible. While the murderous fire continued the engineer stood bravely at his post, and, instead of bringing his train to a halt, pressed on all steam, and accelerated his speed, making good his escape with the entire train. The practice of firing into passenger trains we have frequently condemned as fiendish, and we can only repeat our words in the present case. Every villain caught in the perpetration of such atrocities, partaking of, if not rivaling, the horrible scenes of the Vandalic age, should be shot down, or strung up by the neck, without mercy.

Nashville Dispatch, July 12, 1864.





[1]John Houston Savage, (1815-1904) Democrat, Born at McMinnville, October 9, 1815 attended common schools, admitted to the bar in 1839, practiced law at Smithville, later moved to McMinnville after Civil War to continue practice. Was attorney-general with the 4th Judicial circuit, 1841-47, presidential elector, 1844 on ticket of J.K. Polk. Elected United States House of Rep., 31-32, 34-35 Congresses, March 4, 1849-March 3, 1853, March 4 1853-March 3, 1859. Unsuccessful candidate for reelection 1859, unsuccessful candidate for Confederate Congress 1863. In Seminole War of 1836, enlisted June 14, 1836, as private in Capt. Wm. Lauderdale's Company, 2d Mounted Volunteers, commanded by Col. William Trousdale. In Mexican War, rank of Major, later 1st Col. Of 14th United States Infantry. In the Confederate army, 16th Confederate States Infantry, June 10, 1861. Wounded at Perryville, KY, October 8, 1862; wounded again Battle of Murfreesboro, December 31, 1862-January 2, 1863. Resigned commission, February 20, 1863. Savage was not elected to the Confederate Congress. Author of Life of John H. Savage, (Nashville, 1903), died at McMinnville April 6, 1903, buried in Riverside Cemetery. See Biographical Directory of the Tennessee General Assembly, Vol. II, 1861-1901 (Nashville: Tennessee State Library and Archives and Tennessee Historical Commission, 1979), pp. 797-799.

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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