Friday, September 20, 2013

9/20/2013 Tennessee Civil War Notes 45th Anniversary Edition

20,  1861 - "A BRAVE WOMAN."

A friend has communicated to us the following particulars, showing the heroism of a lady (Mrs. Julia H. Waugh) in Johnson county, East Tennessee, which entitles her to a place among the bravest of the brave:

About the 10th of August a mob of about 150 men...led by Johnson, Grayson, Lock and others, commenced their depredations and insults in the county above named, near the North Carolina line, hunting down friends of the Confederate Government, and forcing the weak and defenseless to take the oath of allegiance to Lincoln.

A portion of this mob...fifty or sixty in number, visited the house of Mr. McQueen and demanded of his wife to know where he was. She refused, at the peril of her life, to tell them, and after a scune[1] [sic] cursing, which they received from an old negro woman, who had no respect for Lincoln's minions, they left, and soon after visited the storehouse of Wm. R. Waugh, who was absent at the time. Their Captain marched his men up and surrounded the house and demanded of Mrs. Waugh all the arms and ammunition which her husband had. She told them her husband was absent, and had left her to take care of the store and defend the family.

They assured her that if she would quietly surrender the arms, she and the family would not be hurt. She refused...and gathering an axe, placed herself on the door of the building, and told them she would split the head of the first man who attempted to enter. She had with her stepson, about 14 years of age, armed with a double-barreled gun and pistol-her daughter, about 18, armed with a repeater and a knife, and a young man who had volunteered to defend the building, was also armed. They could and would have killed a dozen or so of the mob if the attack had been made.

They endeavored to intimidate Mrs. W. but she defied them and taunted them with the sight of a Confederate flag, which they had threatened to take from her, but she told them that before they took that flag they would have to take her, and that while they were doing that, she would be certain to have her prize in the shape of a dead tory. And there she stood, the impersonation of collected courage, defying that large, angry, and desperate crowd, until at last the crowd, chagrined and mortified...slowly retired, and soon afterward disbanded. The iron nerve of one woman-on other occasions tender and gentle as a child-had met and turned back from their purpose some fifty or sixty desperate men.

Nashville Daily Gazette, September 20, 1861.[2]



20,  1861 - Hunt Guards' home made uniforms

Patriotic Effort of the Ladies. We are gratified to learn that the ladies of the Christian church, corner of Mulberry and Linden streets, have completed the organization of an efficient sewing society, and for some time have been engaged in the patriotic work of preparing garments for the comfort of the soldiers in camp. They meet daily in the church, and busy hands are fast turning out well made articles that cannot fail to be acceptable. The Hunt Guards are indebted for the making up of their uniforms to this society, and the members, we are assured, are ready and willing to continue their labors so long as may be necessary.

Memphis Daily Appeal, September 20, 1861.




20,  1863 - Murder in a Cherry Creek church, White county

Oh! what a dreadful circumstance has happened. Jeff Snodgrass fell a victim to malice, was shot at church. Oh! what wretched condition our country has got into. Who would have thought, but what a man, or woman either, would have been safe at church, but it seems that neither man nor woman was safe at Cherry Creek yesterday.

Mr. Quarles was shot and thought to be dead but was not; Jeff was killed dead, and Martha Simms had a pistol cocked at her. I never heard of such an affair all my life. It was all Dee Bradley's doings. Some say she fired the first pistol, but others that were by Jeff said that he fired first and she fired second. I will not write about it for it makes me feel so badly.

Diary of Amanda McDowell.





We propose to express a few wholesome truths in relation to the influence exerted by women in producing the present terrible war, that is filing the land with graves, and clothing every household in mourning. We will use not reproachful language. Our sole purpose in alluding to a subject necessarily painful to all, and mortifying to many, is to exhort those who did so much in bringing about the war; to do all they can to end it. [sic]

No one is more ready to acknowledge the merits of the fair sex in the relations of mother, wife, sister and daughter, than we are. We respect a vitreous woman above all earthly creatures. We acknowledge their humanizing and sanctifying influences in society. Without their sweet companionship the world is a desert and man but a brute. They are patterns of moral and religious worth; exemplars of all that is worth copying. They point the way to the celestial Eden above. A society in which the influence of woman predominates is, other things being equal, the best society known to man.

In the inception of the present war, the influence of Southern women was generally enlisted upon the side of the rebellion, even more so, if possible, than that of the other sex. This was done by appeals to passion, to sympathy, and to revenge-three influences above all others powerful in their effects upon the female mind. While strong, brave and sensible men, held back, their wives, mothers and sisters, urged them forward. A species of insanity seemed to possess their minds. The Federal Government, which above all the Governments on earth gave honor and respect to woman, was viewed by them as a thing to be despised, hooted at and spit upon. Prentice, in one of his writing moods, seems possessed of a pen of fire while writing of the sad deeds of woman as an inciter of strife. Read his fearful denunciation, you who are familiar with the history of Tennessee in 1861, and say if even in this appalling language he has exaggerated the case:

"If the rebellion were to accomplish all the good that its craziest supporters ever hoped from it, it could never compensate for a tithe of the evil it has done in the single item of Satanization of the feelings of passions, the whole natures of a portion of the American women. The women of this country have been favored from childhood above those of all other countries of the earth; they have enjoyed every blessing and every privilege that the female heart in other quarters of the globe ever dreamed of; they have grown up under the boldest flag of all the world, a flag that has shone as a star of heaven to them and a terrible bale-fire to their country's enemies, a flag to which the oppressed of all the world's monarchies and despotisms knelt as they might to the fiery cross seen by Constantine in the sky, and yet, when this old flag, this honored and battle-worn flag, in a season of the mightiest prosperity without the shadow of cause, without even a pretext that the utmost human ingenuity could make plausible, was assailed by disappointed and maddened politicians, thousands and tens of thousands of our women, [sic] not stopping a moment to inquire into the right or the wrong, became fiercer than the fiercest man against the glorious emblem of our nationality, and in favor of rebellion with its whole long and dreadful train of infernal horrors! We speak not now of all [sic] the rebel women, but we do speak of very many of them. They jeered at the old banner of stars given us by our gray fathers wherever they beheld it. They mocked it, they spit upon it, they trampled it under foot, and were not ashamed! They seemed actuated by nothing but an insane rage for change, novelty, innovation, revolution, anarchy, tragedy, ruin, desolation. They hurled their words of fury around them as a maniac would hurl coals of fire. They seemed to transcend in their taste for blood, even those female monsters born of the French Revolution, who sat daily around the guillotine, laughing and scoffing as the gleaming steel descended and the bloody heads rolled, gasping upon the ground. They literally compelled innumerable men and boys, their own husbands, cousins, lovers, brothers, sons, who would most gladly have remained at home, to take up arms and go into the rebel armies. They are responsible for the death of thousands who have perished of sickness, toil, hunger, sword, bullet and bayonet. Thousands of poor dead, tongues, mute in all things else, are continually bearing awful testimony against them from far and unknown and undistinguishable graves, and from plains and thickets and bills and swamps where unburied skeletons gleam with ghastly whiteness upon the earth's surface. We are sometimes unable to gaze at the female inciters of the terrible rebellion, however, comely they may be in form or feature, and realize at the moment that they are human. Their eyes look to us like tomb-fires, their mouths like trenches for the dead, their noses like heaps of bones, their bosoms like tumult over mortal dust, and the rose-hues upon their cheeks like the foul blood-stains of battle and massacre. The whole atmosphere around them seems surcharged with visible death and horror.

Yes, if the moldering corpses that lie in their charnel houses, heaped hideously together at Shiloh, Fort Donelson, at Corinth, at Murfreesboro-if they could speak, how many a hollow voice should we hear: 'Sent here by my sister; my wife, my mother! [sic]' Oh, God, the mothers [sic] who gave them birth, and nurtured them up to manhood, drove that manhood into an untimely grave! '

Sad and horrible as these reflections are there is yet one more that we cannot omit in this connections. We again use the words of Pretnice: [sic]

"There are at this day in the rebel armies great numbers of young men who would gladly return home but dare not. They understand, that, if they were to leave the service to which in an evil hour they devoted themselves, they would be under the ban of bitter indignation and scorn of rebel women. These women, we mean only the portion of them we have been referring to, incapable of remorse or regret for all the ruin they have wrought, are keeping up their unnatural and most accursed work. But for them, the prospect for speedy peace would be far better than it is. We believe that the men, North and South, could come together, if rebel women did not hold them apart. These builders of pyramids of skulls do whatever they can, by all the arts of provocation and encouragement and blandishment, to keep up the strife."

We know this statement to be true-that there are numbers of men who would come home from a miserable and failing cause were it not for the counsels of rebel woman-even in this vicinity; and this gives a practical use of the subject to which we now hasten, indorsing with all our heart the following from the same author:

"There are women, and we are sure many, who, misguided by the teachings of others, or controlled by deep love and sympathy for the South and for those struggling in her defense, or governed by the influences, of early association and life-long prejudices, feel a strong devotion to the rebel cause, and yet retain the gentleness, the truth, and the nobleness of womanhood. For such we have, heaven knows, no word or thought of unkindness. While we regret their deep and most deplorable delusion, we can with them all the good that God has in store for the good."

It is to such, and there are many such in this vicinity, to whom we now address ourselves, and we implore them, as they would repair that terrible mistake of their lives, to use their influence in recalling to homes of loyalty, honor and peace, the misguided youth in the rebel army. Send them word, as far as you can safely do so, that they will be welcome home. Let them know that woman's love and sympathy await them by the old domestic firesides. Mothers, call back you sons before it is too late for you and them. Call them back as your staff in your old age-the staff and support of your country. Let them know that they who come early will be the most welcome. Spare them further soldier's privations-spare them the hospital and the grave. They are too precious to be thus thrown away. Already the land mourns for its best and bravest.

Sisters, wives, call back you loved ones while they are within the sound of your voice. Confess you error by repairing it. Tell them that the Federal Government is strong enough to forgive and magnanimous enough to forget. Tell them of those who have already come in by scored and hundreds and made their peace with an offended Government, from which, had stern justice been dealt out without lenity [sic], they would have received nothing by confiscation, outlawry and death.

The time has come when all who fear God and love the things of peace, should throw aside the veil of passion that has darkened their minds for the last thirty months, and look calmly to the future. See into what we are drifting; on the one hand anarchy, on the other despotism! To the influence of women we look to restore a calm, healthy feeling in the community, a humiliation before God, a submission to rightful authority, and all else needed to give us the golden days of peace and prosperity.

Memphis Bulletin, September 20, 1863.



20, 1864 -  Medical inspection of military prison and hospital in Nashville

ARMY MEDICAL PURVEYOR'S OFFICE, Louisville, Ky., September 22, 1864.

Col. W. HOFFMAN, U. S. Army, Commissary-Gen. of Prisoners, Washington, D. C.:

COL.: I have the honor to inclose my report of medical inspection of the military prison and a portion of the U. S. Gen. Hospital No. 1, at Nashville, Tenn. I had to lay over one day at Pittsburg and at Cincinnati, and one at Nashville. I expect to be at Columbus to-morrow.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

T. M. GETTY, Surgeon and Acting Medical Inspector of Prisoners of War.


Report of a medical inspection of the military prison and a portion of Nashville Gen. Hospital No. 1, Nashville, Tenn., commanded by Capt. R. M. Goodwin, Thirty-seventh Indiana Volunteers, and acting provost-marshal, Department of the Cumberland, made on the 20th of September, 1864, by Surg. T. M. Getty, U. S. Army, acting medical inspector of military prisons.

Name and geographical position--portion of the penitentiary, Nashville, Tenn. Water, source, supply, quality, effects--an abundance of good hydrant water. Fuel, whence obtained, kind, supply--an abundance of good oak wood, obtained near by. Local causes of disease, removal, mitigation--an absence of fresh vegetables, fresh vegetables. Prison, how arranged, how long occupied--cells and small rooms. Previous use of ground--Nashville Penitentiary. Buildings, kinds, quality, condition --a portion of the penitentiary, suitable for prisoners. Buildings, warming, ventilation, change of position--by stoves, good. Buildings, sufficiency, number of men to each--plenty of room. Sinks and cesspools, construction, position, management--good enough, wooden, cleansed thrice daily. Removal of offal and rubbish, police of camp-promptly, good. Rations, quality, quantity, variety--prison rations, good and plenty. Vegetables and pickles, kinds, amount, how obtained-none. Rations, how cooked, how inspected, messing--well, daily, good. Clothing, condition, deficiencies--enough, very little furnished from outsiders. Men, morale, sanitary condition, personal cleanliness-prisoners, good. There is no hospital at the prison. The sick are sent for treatment to the Nashville Gen. Hospital No. 1. At this hospital a ward large enough to contain 100 beds has been set apart for them, allowing 800 cubic feet of area to a patient. They receive the same care and attention that our sick do. The supplies on hand of every kind are ample. There is no prison fund made, the prisoners remaining at the penitentiary generally only a few hours. The funds of the sick are deposited in the hands of the surgeon.

T. M. GETTY, Surgeon and Acting Medical Inspector of Prisoners of War.

OR, Ser. II, Vol. 7, pp. 862-863.




20, 1864 -  Skirmish between guerrillas and U. S. C. T. in Robertson County

"Colored Troops After Guerrillas."

"Old Robertson" is famous for good whisky and bad guerrillas. On last Tuesday [20th] a party of five bushwhackers caught a young man near Springfield, and robbed him of all his valuables. Colonel Downey, of the United States Colored Troops, stationed at Springfield, heard of the robbery and immediately sent out a squad of his men, who came upon the guerrillas about ten miles from Springfield, towards the Kentucky line. The colored chivalry immediately opened fire on the rebels, and stiffened three of them as cold as a lump of ice. The other two, squealing with fright, looked over their shoulders, and with hair standing on end, eyes as wide as saucers, cheeks as pale as their dirty shirts, and chattering teeth, fled as if the everlasting devil was after them. The guerrillas made as good time as ever a Tennessee race-horse did. Of course the soldiers had to give up the chase, as there was no use trying to compete with Jeff. Davis's chivalry in a foot-race. [3]

Nashville Daily Times and True Union, September 20, 1864.

[1] The editor of the Daily Gazette apparently made an adjective out of the intransitive verb scunner, meaning to loathe, to feel disgust or to shrink back from in disgust, or the noun scunner, meaning a loathing or abhorrence. It is not known if scune was an accepted word in the nineteenth century.

[2] As cited from the Raleigh [N.C.] Standard, no date given. See also: Memphis Daily Appeal, September 18, 1861.

[3] This event is not refrenced 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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