Sunday, September 22, 2013

9/22/2013 Tennessee Civil War Notes

22, 1862 - A foraging expedition in Davidson county; an entry in the diary of John Hill Fergusson, 10th Illinois Volunteer Infantry

5 companys [sic] of our regiment went out on a foredging [sic] expadeation [sic] accompanied with parts of the 22nd 60th and 57 regts with about 150 army wagons we went east about 12 miles on the Lebinan [sic] turn pike road we crossed mill creek [sic] about 3 or 3½ miles from town we left one company there to gard [sic] the bridge until we returned about 5 miles from town we crossed Stone river it has a splendid bridge over it about 200 yds in length it is double tracked and rufed [sic] over like a barn and weather borded [sic] up the sides was also left a company there to gard [sic] it one mile from this river we passed through a little town called SAprile [sic] it is a small wizened [?] old looking town it is scattred [sic] over ground enough to bild [sic] a large city about a mile east of that place was a rebel camp we expected a little fight there but they had got wind of our coming time enough to pul [sic] stakes [sic] and and [sic] got out of the way we continued our corce [sic] unmilested [sic] until we got 12 miles from nash vill [sic] whare [sic] our gide [sic] took us up to a large planters house wharer [sic] there was plenty of corn sheap [sic] oats and hogs and dry leves [sic] altho [sic] they ware [sic] in different parts of the farm they the [sic] teems [sic] ware [sic] soon loaded 70 wagons I counted loaded with sheap [sic] oats hay and leaves all the rest ware [sic] loaded with corn the gent from which we took our suplys [sic] was a captin [sic] in the Secesh army and had raised 2 companys in that neighborhood the old lady had a fine dinner set for part of the gurrilla [sic] squad camped near there but our unexpected visit spoiled there [sic] dinner our boys went into the house before there could be a gard [sic] placed at the house and eat up the Toilsom [sic] dinner and the bread and meat in the house they then went to catching chicking [sic] the daughter a young [sic] and hansome [sic] girl when she heared [sic] a chickin [sic] squak [sic] raised up from hir [sic] seet [sic] and said she wanted to see a yankey [sic] catch a chicken but before we left she had lots of chances for I do not believe there was a cluck [sic] goos [sic] or chickin [sic] left on the place the wagons ware [sic] soon all loaded by the darkies and strung out on the road ready to move towards nash vill [sic] the darkies on the place told us there was lots of rebels gust [sic] [a]cross in the woods as soon as we would go away they would be back to the house we told them if they did they would not find dinnar [sic] ready the country along on that road is some[what] broken yet it appears to be a good country it is nearly all in cultivation it has all been timber land the water is not good on that road as the springs tast [sic] of sulpher [sic] and whare [sic] there is a tree the sulpher [sic] lays beded [sic] in the bottoms we got back to camp a little after sun down.

John Hill Fergusson Diary.




22, Engagement at and burning of Blountville [artillery duel]

BLOUNTSVILLE, TENN., September 22, 1863.

GEN.: We met the enemy at Hall's Ford, on the Watauga, this morning at 9 o'clock, where our passage over both rivers was disputed by a heavy picket force of cavalry. After considerable skirmishing, the enemy was driven back and near to town, where we found the enemy posted in a chosen position with four pieces of artillery.

It was with difficulty that we could dislodge them after four hours' fighting. I at last effected it by a charge of the Sixty-fifth Indiana Mounted Infantry, Fifth Indiana Cavalry, and Eighth Tennessee Cavalry, which was made just before dark. Our loss is not heavy, about 6 killed and 14 wounded, mostly of the Sixty-fifth Indiana Volunteers. We captured about 50 prisoners and 1 piece of artillery.

The shells of the enemy set fire to the town, and a great portion of it was consumed. Lieut. Miller, of my staff, will communicate all further desired information of my position and the enemy's movements, and what is deemed necessary by me.

Very respectfully,


OR, Ser. I, Vol. 30, pt. II, pp. 592-593.


HDQRS. ARMY OF THE OHIO, September 22, 1863.

Maj. Gen. S. JONES, Comdg. Confederate Forces, Carter's Station, Tenn.:

GEN.: In the course of the movements of this army I may find it necessary to fire upon the villages on the line of the railroad occupied by your forces. In order to avoid accidents to non-combatants, I have the honor to request that you will cause immediate notice hereof to be given to all such residents of these villages, that they may remove themselves to place of safety. No one of the villages will be fired upon before 5 p. m. to-day, and the flag of truce bearing this will terminate one hour after my officer arrives at your pickets. He is authorized to wait there that long for any message from you.

I have the honor to be, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

A. E. BURNSIDE, Maj.-Gen., Comdg.


Maj. Gen. A. E. BURNSIDE. Comdg. Army of the Ohio:

GEN.: I have received your communication in the temporary absence of my superior officers, and the limited time set for the return of your flag prevents me from referring it to them for a reply. The short space allowed for the removal of non-combatants from the village does not seem to me consistent with the usages of civilized warfare, and particularly when you intimate that you are prepared to fire on a number of villages and claim the right to do so after 5 p. m. to-day. I will ask you most respectfully how information can be conveyed to them when it is now 4.30 p. m.?

I have the honor to be, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

Jno. S. WILLIAMS, Brig.-Gen., Comdg. Army of the Ohio, in the Field.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 30, pt. III, p. 786.


Excerpt from "Record of Events of the Eighth Tennessee Cavalry:

* * * *

Also engaged on the 20th, and Blountville on the 22d, (Blountville burnt).

Report of the Adjutant General, p. 524.


* * * *

Heavy cannonading this evening towards Blountville indicate the progress of the battle. The smoke ascending from the Cannon [sic] plainly visible at Squire Rhea's. Engagement ceased about 6 P.M.

About 7 P.M. some dozen horsemen came by flying from the Yankees, reported that we were "cut to pieces" at Blountville, -- town burnt up, most of our men captured, &c. &c. &c. Didn't believe enough of it to prevent me from sleeping soundly....

Diary of Edward O. Guerrant, September 22, 1863. [1]

* * * *

Mr. Wm James of Blountville came by with his family & plunder [sic] this evening-all in one [sic] little two horse [sic] wagon. His house was burned & he saved only his wife &children from the flames. Enough for happiness if he be strong and faithful. Twelve dwellings, the Court House, Jail & both hotels were burned by the enemys [sic] shells. About the half (& better half) of the little town was destroyed. Mr. James says we had about 1000 [sic] troops there & the Enemy 5000-(five to one,) but that the best of the fight was with us. It was principally an artillery duel. After fighting for several hours & until it was almost night Col. Carter's (comd'g) ammunition was exhausted & he withdrew in good order.

Diary of Edward O. Guerrant, September 25, 1863.



22, Confederate attack repulsed at Bull's Gap

No circumstantial reports filed.

BULL'S GAP, TENN., September 22, 1864--3.50 p. m.


The enemy attacked the forces at this place this morning, and were repulsed. They are now visible on our flank. It is Gen. Ammen's and my opinion that all their available force is here.


OR, Ser. I, Vol. 39, pt. II, p. 440.


[1] William C. Davis and Meredith L. Swentor, eds., Bluegrass Confederate: The Headquarters Diary of Edward O. Guerrant, (Baton Rouge: LSU Press), pp. 329-330. [Hereinafter cited as Diary of Edward O. Guerrant, date, etc..]

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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