Thursday, August 1, 2013

8/1/2013 Tennessee Civil War Notes

1, Soldiers Lack of Respect for Gideon J. Pillow; as Witnessed by a British War Correspondent

Who Cares for Gen. Pillow.

Russell, in a letter to the London Times, describes a scene at the camp on the Mississippi where Pillow commands, thus:

Gen. Pillow, in a round hat, dusty black frock coat, and ordinary "unstriped" trowsers, did not look like one who could give any great material secession the physical means of resistance, although he is a very energetic man. The Major General, in fact, is an attorney-at-law, or has been so, and was partner with Mr. Polk, who, probably for some of the reason which determine the rections of partner to each other, sent Mr. Pillow to the Mexican war, where he nearly lost him, owing to severe wounds received in action. The General has made his intrenchments as if he were framing an inducement. There is not a flaw for an enemy to get through, but he has bound up his own men in inexorable line also. At one of the works a proof of the freedom of the "citizen soldiery" was afforded in a little hilarity on the part of one of the privates. The men had lined the parapet, and had listened to the pleasant assurances of their commander that they would knock off the shovel and hoe very soon, and be replaced by the eternal gentleman of color.-"Three cheers fro Gen. Pillow" were called for, and were responded to by the whooping and screeching sounds that pass [as] music in this part of the world for cheer. As they ended a stentorian voice shout[ed] out: "Who cares for Gen. Pillow" and as no one answered, it might be unfairly inferred that the gallant officer was not the object of the favor of solicitude of his troops; probably a temporary unpopularity connected with the hard work found expression in the daring question.

Daily Herald (Cleveland OH), August 1, 1861.[1]



2, Grand Junction Insurrection[2]

The riot at Grand Junction on Friday [August 2] was a serious affair, and might have been still more disastrous but for the firmness and bravery of the commander of the brigade, Col. Soulakowski, who, we are informed, shot down some of the men who refused to submit to his authority. We learn that when at Holly Springs [Mississippi], the men, by some means got access to a barrel of whisky. They knocked out the head and drank immoderately. The worst consequences followed. The men, who were traveling in box cars, indulged in the worst extravagances-even it is stated going so far as to throw their bayonets at each other. One man was thrown from the platform and killed by the train passing over him, cutting off an arm and a leg. On leaving the cars at Grand Junction, open mutiny broke out, and the men turned against each other with perfect ferocity, entirely disregarding the authority of their officers, until the determined conduct of Col. Soulakowski compelled a return to military rule...."

One citizen of Grand Junction wrote the following eye-witness account which was published in the Appeal:

"About 12 o'clock yesterday [August 2d] there arrived here from Camp Pulaski a regiment of Louisiana volunteers commanded by C.L. Soulakowski, on their way to Virginia. About six o'clock in the evening, after imbibing pretty freely of "bust head, " [sic] a row was commenced between the Frank Guards and some of the other companies which resulted in a general fight of about one hour's duration, during which Maj. York and the Colonel, aided by some of the other officers, used every peaceable means to quell the riot but all to no avail. It seemed to be growing general when some of the men took shelter in the Percey Hotel, the doors of which were immediately assailed with the butts of muskets, axes, and whatever could else could be found to answer the purpose of a battering-ram. They soon succeeded in smashing in all the doors, blinds and sash, when they rushed in like a mob of infuriated devils, and commenced an indiscriminate destruction of the hotel furniture and everything they; could lay their hand on. Drawers were torn open, the contents were destroyed, the furniture was broken and pitched out, the dining table was thrown over, and all the table furniture broken, the chairs smashed to pieces, and such a general wreck you have never witnessed in a civilized community.

About this time the efforts of the officers of the day and the guard proving unavailing to quell the mob, the officers, led by the colonel, commenced firing on them, which resulted in the death of two on the spot and the mortally wounding of some five or six others, and some six more dangerously wounded. Besides a number of others that left on the trains last night, that were slightly wounded The majority of the wounded were from pistol shots, some were bayonet wounds and broken heads from the clubbed muskets-the men not having any ammunition.

The hotel a hospital after a hard fought battle. The dead and wounded are strewn all over the second floor and the groans of the suffering are terrible.

After destroying the furniture and breaking all that they could about the house, two unsuccessful attempts were made to fire it.

Great credit is due Col Soulakowski and Maj. York, and the officers and men of the Armstrong Guards, for quelling the riot and saving the town from destruction..

I have just been informed by the surgeon, Dr. Henly, that there are three or four that will die during the day."

Memphis Appeal, August 4, 1861. [3]




1, Enforcing oath of allegiance among country merchants in Columbia environs

Columbia Tenn August 1 1862 [sic]

To Gov Andrew Johnson

There are a number of Country merchants turning their oath of Allegiance to profit by Bringing out goods & sending them to secessionists[.] in [sic] many cases [they] have formed partners and One Rebel [sic] who has taken the Oath[.] [sic] the [sic] abuse of permission to pass good has been so extensively abused that I deem it necessary to require every dealer to not only take the Oath but obligate himself not to sell [to] disloyal persons[.]

Jas S. Negley Brig Gen'l [sic]

Papers of Andrew Johnson, Vol. 5, p. 583.





1, Report on North Carolina troops deserting Confederate army in East Tennessee

BELL'S BRIDGE, TENN., August 1, 1863.

Capt. J. N. GALLEHER, Asst. Adjt. Gen., Dept. of East Tenn., Knoxville, Tenn.:

CAPT.: I have the honor to inclosure a letter from a woman living in Madison County, North Carolina, to a soldier in the Sixty-fourth North Carolina Volunteers. This is only a specimen of similar epistles received by men of the North Carolina regiments. These troops are deserting quite fast, and it appears difficult to catch them on the road, as the people harbor and feed along the whole route. The last party I sent in pursuit were told that they had better desert. There are now in Madison County, North Carolina, 106 men of the Sixty-fourth Regt. [sic], who are absent without leave. Many of them are living openly at home, and have made crops this season. Would it not be well to send up a party to bring back these men? I would respectfully submit that these North Carolina troops are too near home.

I am, captain, your obedient servant,

JNO. W. FRAZER, Brig.-Gen., Cmdg.



July 20 [?], 1863.


DEAR HUSBAND: I seat myself to drop you a few lines to let you know that me and Sally is well as common, and I hope these few lines will come to hand and find you will and doing well. I have no news to write to you at this, only I am done laying by my corn. I worked it all four times. My wheat is good; my oats is good. I haven't got my wheat stacked yet. My oats I have got a part of them cut, and Tom Hunter and John Roberts is cutting to-day. They will git [sic] them cut to-day.

I got the first letter yesterday that I have received from you since you left. I got five from you yesterday; they all come together. This is the first one I have wrote [sic], for I didn't know where to write to you. You said you hadn't anything to eat. I wish you was [sic] here to get some beans for dinner. I have plenty to east as yet. I haven't saw [sic] any of your pap's folks since you left home. The people is [sic] generally well here at. The people is [sic] all turning to Union here since the Yankees has [sic] got Vicksburg. I want you to come home as soon as you can after you gilt this letter. Jane Elkins is living with me yet. That is all I can think of, only I want you to come home the worst that I ever did. The conscripts is [sic] all at home yet, and I don't know what they will do with them. The folks is [sic] leaving here, and going North as fast as they can, so I will close.

Your wife, till death,


I pen a line, sir. I am well, and is right strait out for the Union, and I am never going in the service any more, for I am for the Union for ever and ever, amen. I am doing my work. There was 800 left to go to the North, so will tell you all about it in the next letter; so I will close.

Your brother till death. Hurrah for the Union? Hurrah for the Union, Union?


OR, Ser. I, Vol. 23, pt. II, pp. 951-952.




1, "Rebel Female Letter"

We publish the following letter from a young rebel of the female persuasion [sic] just as it was captured. The face of the letter discloses the authorship, and the name is not important. It is a fair specimen [sic] of the letters going out from every town and neighborhood, and in nine cases out of ten the writers ought to go South with, or after [sic] their bitter and slanderous letters:

Dandridge, August 1st, 1864

My Dear Pa: [sic]

Mother wrote you and sent it to Knoxville to go out by flag of truce last week, but I think it very doubtful whether you get it or not. The last that we received from you was sent by flag of truce when Maj. White came down to New Market.

Well, Pa, we have been expecting the robbers on us for a month or two. Last Wednesday night [July 27th] they came about mid-night, and plundered the house.-Mother and I were frightened very much. Who would not have been? A band of ruffians at midnight, plundering the house and cursing mother. They have left us scarcely enough sheets to change our beds. The took three hundred dollars in Confederate money, and every little thing they could lay their hands on, even to your Masonic sash.- [sic] Mother had hid your apron and the rest of your clothes. A Union man promised to get the sash back, if she would say nothing about it. If he can get the sash back he can get other things, and maybe stop them. But no, they say that the authorities at Knoxville approve of it, and boast that it is the only way that they can subjugate us. William informed them that that is not the way to subjugate us. We Southern people are actually afraid to go to bed at night--even the women and children. You need not expect, when you come here (if ever) to find us with anything. I expect that they will be back to-night with wagons and rob the town, at heart that is the general impression. They told us that they were not satisfied the other night--You cannot imagine, nor I describe our feelings at night approaches. I think that their object is to make our family leave. They asked the other night if Bill Bradford [sic] wasn't going to move his family outside of the lines. If they keep on in the way they have begun, we will soon be left destitute -- Cousin Theodore Bradford had to move his family to town. Cousin Shade Inman had to leave his home [sic] and we do not know where he is at [sic] -- he was beaten severely before he left. They make a visit to his house nearly every night, and always leave packed. It is Union citizens who are robbing, they are not Federal soldiers and never have belonged to the army. We recognized the ones who were here. I could tell you, but will wait until some other time. One of our neighbors set them on us, for Dr. Jarnagan and Mrs. Seabolt heard him directing them to our house, he pretended to be distressed about it, but I think it is all pretense. Poor old Mr. Thomas has suffered more than anyone else in town. I hope the rebels may soon move down and give us protection. They will soon be done plundering the town and then they threaten to burn it to the ground. The authorities at Knoxville are aware of all this but do not care. The Union men I think could stoop it as they are acquainted with them, but it is no matter to them and I candidly believe that some of them, at least, are secretly glad of it.

Brownlow's Whig and Independent Journal and Rebel Ventilator, August 31, 1864.




August 1, 1865, Tennessee's ex-Confederate governor Isham G. Harris and other prominent leaders successfully flee to Mexico from San Antonio, Texas

HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE GULF, News Orleans, La., August 1, 1865--1 p. m.

(Received 10.55 p. m.)

Lieut. Gen. U. S. GRANT, Cmdg. Armies of the United States:

Since my telegram of this morning the following information has reached me from one of my scouts. He says there is no doubt about its truthfulness. It is the list of prominent Confederates which have gone to Mexico through San Antonio: Governors Allen and Moore, of Louisiana; Governors Edward Clark and Murrah, of Texas; Governor Harris, of Tennessee; J. P. Benjamin, late Secretary of State of the Confederate States; Breckinridge, Secretary of War of the Confederate States; Harrison, Jeff Davis' private secretary; Gen.'s Smith, Magruder, Price, Shelby, Wilcox, and Harris; Col.'s Terrell, Flournoy, and Walker, Col. J. J. Hine, Majs. T. J. Davins, Green, and Rains, Maj.'s Green, Sackfield Maclin, Col. Elliott, of Missouri; William A. Broadwell, Payne, Harrison, and J. D. Elliott, Jackson, Miss. The whole number of pieces of artillery taken by these parties was fourteen, which all fell into the hands of the Liberals. The Governor of Nuevo Leon sent commissioners to Brownsville to see me, but I did not see them. They came to ask protection from the United States. I will send you a communication from the Governor by mail.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

P. H. SHERIDAN, Maj.-Gen., Cmdg.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 48, pt. II, p. 1149.

[1] TSL&A, 19th CN.

[2] This incident, more a mutiny than a combat action, does not qualify as the first military conflict episode in Tennessee Civil War history.

[3] See also Brownlow's Knoxville Whig, August 17, 1861, and the Nashville Union and American, August 7, 1861. The Grand Junction Insurrection seems heretofore not to have been chronicled in any history of the Civil War in Tennessee. It is not listed 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


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