16, Report on female participation in the raid on Murfreesboro
Capture of Murfreesboro'.
The Women in Battle.
The Bristol (Tenn.) Advocate gives some interesting particulars of the capture of Murfreesboro' by Col. Forrest. It says:
...Never were soldiers hailed with more enthusiastic expressions of gratitude and exultation than were the Confederate soldiers hailed by the citizens of the town. Numbers of them, including not a few ladies, joined in the bloody conflict, and with pistols and everything else with which they could fight, assisted in dealing dismay and death upon the hated invaders of their homes and their rights.
It was yet early in the morning when our forces commenced the attack, and many of the ladies of the place could not be restrained from rushing into the streets, with disheveled hair and in their sleeping attire, cheering our soldiers, and when any would fall, or were wounded, they would clasp them in their arms, assisting in heaving them to their houses and ministering to them as to delivering angels, and when our officers would remonstrate, telling them that they were in danger from the shots of the enemy, they would reply that the Lord would defend them and that it was no greater peril than that to which their gallant defenders were all exposed....
The Knoxville Register also contains some particulars of the fight. It says:
As Colonel Forrest's command was marching through Cannon county, on their way to Murfreesboro', the citizens crowded the thoroughfares, cheering our gallant men with every demonstration of joy. The ladies everywhere were particularly enthusiastic. Some of the citizens of Cannon had been arrested and were confined in prison at Murfreesboro'. The ladies besought our men, with tears in their eyes, to rescue their husbands and fathers from the hands of the tyrant. One little girl ran up to that old patriot and soldier, Captain Haney, of the 1st Georgia cavalry, and wringing her hands, implored him to bring her father back to her again. The old man turned to her, with his whole soul beaming in his face, and exclaimed, while the manly tear started to his eye, "I will, my daughter! I will!" The result proved the truth of his words....
As our little army went dashing into Murfreesboro', awaking the echoes by the rattling of their horses hoofs "o'er the stony streets," the whole population were aroused from their slumbers, and rushed to their windows, balconies, and verandas, with every demonstration of delight. Ladies could be seen kneeling in postures of thankfulness to Heaven for the day of their deliverance. As the morning advanced and as the fight thickened, the same fair ones were in the streets in spite of the whistling of the balls and rain of lead, administering to the wants of our soldiers, filling their canteens with water and their haversacks with an abundance of provisions. Unheeding the shots from the enemy's guns, they thought only of the comfort of their gallant champions. One lady received a ball through her dress, whilst another had her parasol shot from her hand, the ball passing within two inches of her jeweled fingers. Such heroism has never been known in the annals of war, and will illuminate to the remotest generation the history of our glorious land.
Natchez Daily Courier, August 16, 1862.
16, A racial dispute in Nashville
Another Desperate Negro.—Yesterday morning considerable excitement was caused about the Public Square in consequence of some difficulty between a white man and a negro. No one knowing the origin of the disturbance, all sorts of rumors were soon afloat, and pistols and knives were reported to have been used. We have taken considerable trouble to ascertain reliable particulars of the affair, which are, in substance, as follows: Isaac, a negro waiter at the City Hotel, and formerly one of the best and most polite boys in the establishment, has lately been somewhat neglectful of his duty, and on Saturday morning brought matters to a climax—to that point where forbearance longer ceases to be a virtue—and the steward felt called upon to reprimand him for what he had done. His impertinence was beyond endurance, and the steward attempted to chastise him, when Isaac seized a knife and attempted to strike with it. One of the proprietors was appealed to, and at his request went below to Isaac, who renewed the attack, and afterward ran into the street, taking refuge in a house a few doors below. The proprietor then went out, and after some difficulty succeeded in bringing him back; but only again to break loose and run away—this time toward the Market-house, where he succeeded in eluding the vigilance of his pursuers. The Marshal and Police were put upon his track immediately, but up to the present writing, he has not been arrested.
Nashville Dispatch, August 17, 1862
 As cited in: http://www.uttyl.edu/vbetts.
James B. Jones, Jr.
Tennessee Historical Commission
2941 Lebanon Road
Nashville, TN 37214