Tuesday, July 2, 2013

7/2/2013 Tennessee Civil War Notes

2, Artillery shells and hand grenades

A New Shell.—Mr. Benjamin Cowan of this city has invented, and Mr. H. G. Fox, of Quinby & Robinson's foundry, is completing a new shell[1]—or shot, if it is desired to so use it—which, it is believed will, when fired from a smooth bore gun, be equal in effect to one fired from a rifled barrel. The shell is conical, two thin pieces of metal, each about three and a half inches long, are let into slits cast in the sides of the shell, but ranging obliquely. Behind them are springs which, when the shell has left the gun, will pitch them forward sufficiently to make their width project from its sides. As these wings will present an angle to the air, the latter impinging against them is expected to give the shell a rotary motion after it leaves the gun, such as a rifle bore gives before leaving it. The result will be the same as arises from wind blowing upon the sails of a windmill. The invention is ingenious yet simple, and will probably be tested to-day.


Hand Grenade.—A brass hand grenade will be cast at the foundry of Quinby & Robinson to-day. The cannon that have been cast from brass, made of Tennessee copper, when put in the lathe, turn out to be beautiful specimens of workmanship. The whole of these castings are under the charge of the new alderman of the First ward, Daniel Tighe, Esq., to whose skill and experience the success that has been met with is in a great degree owing.

Memphis Daily Appeal, July 2, 1861.





9, A Confederate newspaper account concerning the Army of Tennessee prior to the initiation of the Tullahoma Campaign


Situation of Bragg's Army

(Correspondence of the Mobile Advertiser and Register.)

Wartrace. Tenn., June 9, 1863

Remarks Climatic and Topographical – Crops – A Pop Call on Rosecrans – A Little Fight –Hard Marching- Condition of the Army – The Meteor General, Cleburne-Items Cavalry – Personal Annoyances.

It was our fortune to happen on Tennessee at a most diabolical time, "the rainy season." Most persistently has it rained, giving us a deluge of water, mud and slosh, making us as uncomfortable as a "wet hen," and unnamable as a "sore-headed bear." When the weather is dry and mild a tent is comfortable, but in wet weather is close and stifling.  Just think of sixteen soldiers in one tent, their things included, the ground wet, blankets ditto, with sixteen musket and accompanying traps scattered around it, and you have a picture of comfort delightful to contemplate. Officers are a little better off, being allowed one tent to four officers, into which, of course, they have to take their niggers, or leave them out in the wet. But the natives say the rainy season is nearly over. I hope so. The climate is delightful and healthful to those who live in houses. This is really one of the loveliest regions on this green earth. Pure, bracing atmosphere; cool, gushing springs of crystal water; fine forests; fields of luxuriant grains and grasses; meadows of red clover, fragrant and beautiful as a flower garden; fat, sleek, happy cattle, feeding lazily on the rich herbage; farm houses all comfortable, and many showing taste and culture. Such are the excellencies of this heaven favored country. It is rapture to me merely to look upon and breathe the air of such a country. All is green, and all is beautiful.

The crops are splendid. Nothing more could be asked. The wheat crop is enormous, and in a fortnight will be ready for the reapers. The only thing wanting is labor to cut and save it. The farmers say that they cannot save their wheat without help. General Bragg would do well to let his army help the farmers and take part of the crop for pay. Wheat must be saved, and, where necessary, the army should help to save it. The crop garnered and placed in safe depots, there will be no scarcity again during this war.

On last Wednesday, 3d inst., some of us made a "pop call" on Mynheer [sic] Rosecrans, at Murfreesboro.  On Tuesday night we received the order to march at daylight. A rain set in, and continued all night. The road was horrible-what children call a "loblolly." In many places it was foot deep in mud. The streams were swollen and we had to cross them continually by wading. But we hurried on and on, like an avalanche. Only once were we halted for rest, and then only for a few minutes. A little after one o'clock we were in sight of the Yankee pickets. Take it all in all; it was one of the hardest marches made during this war. Without waiting a moment the advance went to attack the enemy, and a heavy force of pickets were thrown out to guard all the approaches. I was with the pickets, and had occasion to be near the fight. By three o'clock our advance engaged the Yankee pickets, and a sharp skirmish followed. About five o'clock the artillery went in and fired thirty-two times. I could hear the missiles screeching and hissing through the air. Our advance rushed through Stone river, and went within about three miles of Murfreesboro. About sundown they were recalled, and there was again "quiet along the front." Both armies slept that night in cannon shot of each other, and doubtless both expected an attack before morning. We did, certainly, for so the pickets were warned. My individual loss in the affair was an umbrella and a pair of waterproof legs.

This was the boldest kind of a dash at the enemy, which bearded him in his very den, and which doubtless effected "a big scare" among his Dutchmen. Rosy may be perplexed to know the object of our visit. Let the Yankees "guess" it.

Our loss was slight, not exceeding a dozen. We do not know theirs, but the artillerists declare that they killed a Yankee colonel. During the night I could see the flames of burning houses, to which the Yankees set fire near the scene of the fight. Early next morning we faced about and returned to camp. Thus ended one of the most daring dashes of the war. I should like to see Rosecrans and his Dutchmen return our call.

The country between this place and Murfreesboro is a splendid one.  A stranger would never imagine passing through it that war had ever touched it with its ravages. Indeed, from the Normandy Hills, ten miles behind us, to Murfreesboro, the whole country is unsurpassed for richness, abundance and beauty. There will be a splendid crop of blackberries in about two weeks. They will be a great help to the army.

Our army is well conditional, except in the matter of shoes. Many are barefooted and utterly unfit for a march, or indeed any duty. This is without excuse. The government could get shoes if it would. There are plenty in Europe, and a half dozen steamers that run the blockade at Charleston could in one cargo bring enough to supply the entire army for a year. The Confederate States have ample credit in Europe and can buy them. If the government would only furnish the leather, each regiment could and would make its own shoes. The thing is too bad as it stands. We have quarmasterial promises of the arrival of twelve thousand pairs, which are to be here to-morrow; but

To-morrow and to-morrow and to-morrow

Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,

And yet no shoes.

The notable man of army in General Cleburne, who has risen with a rapidity of a Claude Melnotte or a meteor. He began the war as a private, and in eighteen months was a major general. And this without going through West Point and without political influences. He fought his way up by hard knocks. Such success argues both extraordinary merit and extraordinary luck. No man, however inherently great, can get along without luck, and as the adage goes, "a fool for luck." They generally having a monopoly of the article, But occasionally Claude Melnotte or Cleburne. General Henningsen is one of the truly great commanders; but luck is against him, and he has quit the army in disgust.

I have a copy of the Louisville Journal of the 28th of May, and from it I take some items.  It is frightened about an expected advance of the Confederates into Kentucky this summer, and demands that Louisville be fortified. It publishes a long list of resignations of officers in Rosecrans' army, and the cause of the resignations. About a dozen are stated to be "for the good of the service." What does it mean for an officer to resign "for the good of the service??" Patriotic officers! Perhaps they are like the man who "left his country for his country's good."

The Journal contains a minute account of the surprise upon our cavalry at Middleton, just above here-the First Alabama and Eighth Confederate. They were surprised and attacked before the day by two brigades of Yankee cavalry. The surprise was effected by coming through the woods and fields, and avoiding the pickets, who guarded only the road. I have often wondered why some military man did not have sense enough to march through the woods and fields and catch some enemy napping. At last a man of sense has come to do it. That man in General Stanley, Rosecrans' cavalry chief. The old way, taught at West Point, is to picket the roads; but that won't do when an enemy has enough sense and energy to come through woods and fields.

There is a talk of Rosecrans advancing, and some believe it; but I regard it as "bush" Rosecrans is one of the timidest generals, and never made but one attack in his life, which was at Murfreesboro. But certainly our time must soon come. It is nearly six months since the large armies in Tennessee have measured strength, though they have confronted each other all the time, in easy striking distance. Twelve hours march by either army will bring it within the lines of the other. It is now June, "the month of battles," and surely the precious season is not destined to be wasted. If the fighting is not done desperately, and the Yankee armies annihilated or driven, beyond the border during the summer, both will take up winter quarters again, and sleep away another half year. Surely this will be avoided by our government. Surely an effort will be made to recover our lost territory.

Captain John J. Winston, of the Thirty-eighth, has accepted the appointment of adjutant in the Eighteenth Alabama. His reasons are, I suppose, the superior comforts and bandbox arrangements enjoyed by "the staff," and faith in the rising star of Holtzelaw. As matter now stand, Holtzelaw has a fine promise of the next appointment of brigadier.

I could write a jeremiad upon the personal vexations which worry us here. There is all manner of personal comfort, and that is enough to make a philosopher or an angel unhappy. We are short of clothes; short of shoes; short of what we want to eat. The paymasters are out of funds and can't pay us, and if we have a bushel of Confederate money we cannot get the Lincolnites around us to take it. It is a great annoyance to find things to sell, and yet cannot buy them, although we have money. An old man here has quantities of honey to sell, at two bits a pound, but will take nothing but "Chattanooga money."

This not an uncommon case. But these are not all, or the worst of our annoyances. We can get no letters from home; can get nothing by express and nothing by telegraph.

New York Herald, July 2, 1863.




2, General Braxton Bragg joins the Protestant Episcopal Church

Gen. Braxton Bragg has joined the Protestant Episcopal Church. He was confirmed a few days since at his quarters in Shelbyville, The Rt. Rev. Bishop Elliott, of the diocese of Georgia, officiating.

The above item, which appeared in the Mercury of the 15th, is not exactly correct. Gen. Bragg was not 'confirmed at his quarters.' On Tuesday evening, June 2, after evening prayer, in the church of the Holy Redeemer, Shelbyville, Tenn., Gen. Bragg received the Apostolic rite of confirmation at the hand of Bishop Elliott.

The service was not private, as has been stated in some newspapers. Gen. Polk and staff and a respectable congregation were present on the occasion.

Yours truly, C. T. Quintard, Chaplain 1st Tennessee Regiment.

Shelbyville, Tenn., June 18, 1863.

Chattanooga Daily Rebel, July 2, 1863.[2]





2, Skirmish south of Collierville, on the Byhalia (Mississippi) Road

JULY 2, 1864.-Skirmish on the Byhalia (Miss.) Road, south of Collierville, Tenn.

Report of Col. David B. Henderson, Forty-sixth Iowa Infantry, commanding Post of Collierville.

COLLIERVILLE, July 2, 1864.

GEN.: I have the honor to report that at 3 this a. m. I sent out a detachment of twenty men from the Seventh Indiana Cavalry southward on the Byhalia road, at a point at about ten miles south of my camp. They were attacked by a force of rebel cavalry, variously estimated at from 100 to 300 men, who drove in our cavalry to within one mile and a half of my camp. As soon as I was informed of the enemy's approach I moved out with 250 of my regiment to a bridge one mile and a half from camp, where I halted and sent out a small detachment of the Seventh Indiana Cavalry, under command of Capt. John M. Moore, with the design to draw them into an ambush. Upon the advance of the cavalry the enemy retreated in haste in the direction of Byhalia. It is my opinion that with 200 good cavalry the enemy could be bagged.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

D. B. HENDERSON, Col., Cmdg.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 39, pt. I, p. 242.

2, Suspension of civil government in Memphis, SPECIAL ORDERS, NO. 70

Headquarters District of West Tennessee

Memphis, Tenn., July 2 1864

I.-The utter failure of the Municipal Government of Memphis for the past two years to discharge its proper functions, the disloyal character of that Government, its want of sympathy for the Government of the United States, and its indisposition to co-operate with the Military authorities, have long been felt as evils which the public welfare require to be abated. They have grown from bad to worse, until a further toleration of them will not comport with the sense of duty of the Commanding General. The city of Memphis is under Martial Law, and the Municipal Government existing since the armed traitors were driven from the city has been only by sufferance of the Military authorities of the United States.

Therefore, under the authority of General Orders No. 100, dated War Department, Adjutant General's Office, April 24th, 1863,

It is ordered that the functions of the Municipal Government of Memphis be and they are hereby suspended until further orders. The present incumbents are forbidden to perform any official acts, or exercise any authority whatever, and persons supposed to be elected officers of the city, an election held on June 30th, 1864, will not qualify. That the interests and business of the city may not be interrupted, the following appointments of City Officers are made:

Acting Mayor-Lieut. Col. Thos. H. Harris, Ass't Adj't Gen'l U. S. V.

Recorder-Fred W. Buttinghaus.

Treasurer-James T. Davis.

Controller-W. O. Lotland.

Tax Collector-F. L. Warner.

Tax Collector on Privileges-John Loague.

Chief of Police-Patrick M. Winters.

Wharf Master-J. J. Butler.

Who will be fully respected in the exercise of the duties assigned them and all records, papers, monies, and property in any manner pertaining to the offices, government and interests of the city of Memphis, will be immediately turned over by the present holders thereof to the officers above appointed to succeed them. Said officers will be duly sworn to the faithful discharge of their duties, and will be required to give bonds to the U. S. in the sums at present prescribed by law and the City Ordinances for such officers respectively.

The Officers herein named and appointed will constitute a board, which shall discharge the duties heretofore devolving upon the Board of Aldermen; and the acting Mayor shall be Chairman thereof and their acts, resolution and ordinances shall be valid, and of full force and effect, until revoked by the Commanding General of the District of West Tennessee, or superior military authority.

By order of Major Gen'l C. C. Washburn

Memphis Bulletin, July 2, 1864.[3]


[1] See:Warren Ripley, Artillery and Ammunition of the Civil War, (NY: Van Nostrand Reinhold Company, 1970), pp. 48, 177, 363.

[2] As cited from the Charleston Mercury, June 15, 1863.

[3] See also: James D. Davis, History Of The City Of Memphis, Being A Compilation of the Most Important Historical Documents and Historical Events Connected With the Purchase of Its Territory, Laying Off of the City and Early Settlement (Memphis, 1873), pp. 43-44. Special Orders, No. 70 is not found in the OR.

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: