Sunday, July 14, 2013

7/14/2013 Tennessee Civil War Notes

14, Analysis of secession vote in Tennessee


We copy the following from the Memphis Avanlanche, which is about as wild on the idea of secession as any paper south of the Potomoc-

Governor Harris has issued his proclamation announcing the first vote of separation, but why does he not order the election? Can it be possible he is conniving at the combination making in the Legislature by certain Congressional aspirants, who, afraid to submit their claims to the people, are attempting to take the election  in their own hands? Freemen of Tennessee, your representatives are betraying your dearest rights. They are attempting to robyou of the dearest franchise of a freeman-the right of representation-and usurp the power in their own hands, under the flimsy pretext that we are in the presence of an enemy, and it will not do to suffer the people to pass through the excitement of an election. Under this miserable plea, a set of ambitious politicians hope to ride roughbed over your liberties and elevate themselves to power upon their ruins, thinking the presence of an enemy will make you tamely submit till they are firmly enthroned and their heels upon your necks and then defy you. Arise, freemen of Tennessee, and rebuke them-hurl them from power; and if they should have the unblushing audacity to attempt to legislate for you, through self appointed delegates, raise the standard of revolt and crush them as you have nobly done the despotis of Lincoln.

The New York Herald, (New York, NY), July 14, 1861.[1]




        14, "Our place was attacked on Sabbath (yesterday) morning about 5 A.M. by 1200 or 1400 cavalry under Gen. Forrest." A Federal surgeon's account of Forrest's raid on Murfreesboro

Union Coll. Hospital

July 14, 1862

Dearest wife,

I know you will feel much anxiety to hear from me on account of the reports from this place and I hope to be able to send this to you soon to relieve all your fears. Our place was attacked on Sabbath (yesterday) morning about 5 A.M. by 1200 or 1400 cavalry under Gen. Forrest. They came from Chatanooga [sic] or that vicinity and must have made a very long & hasty march to get here as they did. I heard them coming early in the morning & raised up in bed to look out of the window & in a moment they came galloping down the road past the Hospital, yelling & shouting. Our whole house was alarmed & all were up & dressed that were able to get up. I had been quite down for several days & unable to sit up at all, but soon got out & dressed in my common clothes. I started out to the camp of the 9th Mich. across the lots to see the fight, but that Reg. Was only half there and it was easily overcome – with 7 killed & 30 or 40 wounded. The rest taken prisoner and marched by here early in the day – with I am sorry to say – nearly all the inmates of the Convalescent Barracks. It is said that the men fired out of the building & killed some of the cavalry & were in consequence carried off. Rob.[2] went off in company of several [Confederate] officers – well mounted [sic] & will get good fare I presume & will soon be sent back. It will give him a good chance to see a little of secesh life & mingle a little with the chivalry. I had almost forgotten my story. I staid out till I got my feet wet in the wet grass & I was very tired & faint tho' I was only about half an hour. The 9th men fought well [sic] whenever they had a chance but were overpowered. They formed as skirmishers in front of the Hospital on College street and for a while kept the cavalry at bay. The company at the Court House also fought well & killed many of the secesh, but were finally obliged to surrender. Capt Rounds with the rest. Col. Lester, [of the] Reg. 3rd Min. was next attacked & I heard the cannon begin to boom & then I thot the day is ours & went in to Mrs. Eatons[3] [sic] & went to bed. The Confed. Cavalry were repulsed in their first charge and came back on a keen run through the village past Mrs. Beard's[4] & so on I don't know how far. Soon there was another rally & charge & the cannon bellowed at frequent intervals through the forenoon. I felt perfectly safe in the thought that the Reg would hold its ground with the four [sic] pieces of cannon. Had not the slightest idea that they would be captured – and when I heard a big shout all along the streets I supposed that it meant nothing of any consequence. Soon however the rumor came that the Reg & Battery had surrendered – like dogs [sic] which alas proved too true. They were all marched by on the Woodbury pike with the 4 cannon. Little did we dream Sat. night that before another sun would set the old flag would be trailed in the dust & the gay U. S. soldiers of Murfreesboro would be marched between Confed. Troops to Dixie. Gen. Crittenden and Staff were captured in the first part of the fight & through his influence I suppose, Col Lester was induced to surrender. The 3rd had lost no men & were in good position of their own choosing, & ought to have stood against twice the number of cavalry here yesterday[.] Oh what a fall was there, my countrymen[!] The men of the 3rd Reg were very indignant at Col. Lester[.] They also took Col. Duffield & staff & Col. Lester's Lieut. Cols. & Capts., etc., without limit about 900 rank & file. The also carried off all the guns [and] ammunition, forage wagons, mules etc., etc., and all the Q.M. & Commissary stores such as clothing boots & shoes and then burned the Depo[t] & the St. Charles Hotel & several other buildings. Many of the citizens seemed to feel very happy at the sight of their own army & at the disgrace of ours, but they treated us with great courtesy. They helped to bring in our wounded & now this morning gave us a large quantity of nice articles for the sick & wounded to eat & to use for dressing their wounds. They showed themselves very kind and considerate, and I shall do what I can to repay their kindness.

We have about 49 wounded here & there are several at the Convalescent Hospital & I presume some in town at private houses. There were about 150 killed & wounded on both sides pretty much equal I judge. The Confederate soldiers who were wounded were left at different private houses – Some say as high as 60.

They took away all the private property of the officers and all the medical stores, etc., etc. I have lived one whole day & nearly two under the Stars & Bars [sic] & may have to several more but you will not get this tilll the Stars & Stripes wave over this place again. My private property is all [sic] safe & nothing about the Hospital [was] injured or carried away – although, they came here several times & repeatedly threatened to take our men away, but I think they only took one or two. The rest are too sick or are needed to take care of them. Our provisions are nearly all gone & now there is no commissary to go to. I hope to see a different state of things soon.

[Wm. M. Eames]

William Mark Eames Papers



14, "Here's Your Mule" [5]

"Here's Your Mule"

Come Soldiers, listen to my lay

Here's your mule, your long eared mule

I'll sing the warriors of the day,

Here's your mule, &c.


Old General Bragg, he leads the way,

And moves his army twice a day,

And once at night, I've heard them say

Here's your mule, your long eared mule

I'll sing the warriors of the day,

Here's your mule, &c


The Yankees thought us in a trap

While we were up at Hoover's Gap-,

But when around the fox he says

Fast through the cornfields old Bragg flees

His coat all tattered in the breeze

Here's your mule, &c.


He burns the bridges and supplies

To save his army from surprise,

He marches on with warlike skill,

Until he's safe at College Hill

Here's your mule, &c.


Here General Polk, he takes command

And rules the roost with skillful hand

This he o[rders?] and his dashing aids

Their marks on history's page have made

By daring deeds on dress parade

Here's your mule, &c.

Nashville Daily Union, July 14, 1863.




14, "Turned Out;" poor whites displaced by Negroes in Nashville

There seems to be a general disposition on the part of landlords, agents, and the military, to turn out poor white tenants and put in negroes [sic]. We saw one yesterday who sent out to pay her rent, leaving the balance of her money in the house under her bed; when she returned, the house had been broken open, her furniture put on the street, her money gone, and the house occupied by a negro family. During yesterday, nine women went before Recorder Shane for protection against, or redress for, similar proceedings. A number of families were turned out of a house near Jefferson street yesterday, and other occupants placed therein. We know nothing whatever of the merits of these complaints, and therefore can neither approve or censure such proceedings, but suggest that the injured parties make their complaints to the proper authorities, in a plain and brief communication The Recorder has no control outside the corporation limits.

Nashville Dispatch, July 14, 1864.

[1] Betts

[2] Apparently a physician colleague of Eames'.

[3] Not identified.

[4] Not identified.

[5] These particular verses satirize General Bragg  during the retreat of the Army of Tennessee during the Tullahoma Campaign. It was meant to be sung to the tune of "O' Tannenbaum." It was humorously claimed to have been sung by many members of the Army of Tennessee as the Army of the Cumberland advanced. The precise meaning of the phrase "here's your mule" seems to have been lost, although it was apparently some kind of reproachful remark or insult. One source claims: "According to one Confederate veteran, Captain W.W. Carnes, the cry, 'Here's Your Mule!" originated among West Tennessee [Confederate] soldiers in a camp of instruction at Jackson, Tennessee. The men teased a camp huckster by concealing his mule inside a tent. 'Here's Your Mule!' gave rise to merriment in that camp,' wrote Carnes, "and as the different commands left the Camp of Instruction they took the with them the cry, 'Here's Your Mule!' which spread rapidly through the army until it was in general use by soldiers who had no idea of how it originated, but understood that there was a joke behind it or connected with it some way." W.W. Carnes, "Here's Your Mule," Confederate Veteran, XXXVII (October 1929), pp. 373-374, as cited in Norman D. Brown, ed., One of Cleburne's Command: The Civil War Reminiscences and Diary of Capt. Samuel T. Foster, Granbury's Texas Brigade, C. S. A., (Austin, TX: University of Texas Press, 1980), p. 66. Another reference is found in and revolves around the action at Missionary Ridge. As Federal forces overran rebel positions General Bragg!" to which the troops responded: "Here is your mule!" See Confederate Sam R. Watkins memoirs, "Co. Aytch:" A Side Show of the Big Show (1987 reprint), p. 125. Other interpretations have it that the phrase simply meant "we've been here," or was the result of the "horse liberations" of Confederate cavalry general John Hunt Morgan or a comment upon desertion. The song was most popular in Tennessee and Kentucky. Thomas C. Smith used the phrase in his Civil War memoir Here's Yer Mule: the Diary of Thos. C. Smith, 3rd Sergeant, Co. "G," Wood's Regiment, 32nd Texas Cavalry, C. S.A., Mar. 30-1862-Dec. 31 1862. There seems to be no single meaning for the phrase, although it seems most likely it was some kind of taunt or clever expression and even obscene phrase common to both sides in the war. The lyrics to the song are:

1. A farmer came to camp one day,

With milk and eggs to sell,

Upon a mule that oft would stray

To where no one could tell.

The farmer tired of his tramp

For hours was made a fool,

By ev 'ry one he met in camp

With, "Mister, here's your mule."


Come on, come on, come on old man,

And don't be made a fool,

By ev'ry one you meet in camp

With "Mister, here's your mule"

2. His eGALEGROUP - TSLA 19TH CN  s and chickens all were gone,

Before the break of day;

The mule was heard of all along,

That's what the soldiers say'

And still be hunted all day long,

Alas! a witless tool,

Whilst every man would sing the song

Of "Mister, here's your mule" (Chorus)

3. The soldiers run in laughing mood,

Of mischief were intent;

They lifted muley on their back,

Around from tent to tent;

Thorough this hole and that, they pushed

His head and made a rule,

To shout with hum'rous voices all

"I say! Mister, here's your mule!" (Chorus)

4. Alas, one day the mule was missed!

Ah, who could tell his fate?

The farmer, like a man bereft,

Searched early and searched late,

And as he passed from camp to camp,

With stricken face-the fool,

Cried out to ev'ryone he met,

"Oh, mister, where's my mule?" (Chorus)

Irwin Silber, Songs of the Civil War, ed. and comp., piano and guitar arrangements by Jerry Silverman, (NY: Columbia University, 1960), pp. 179, 223-224.

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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