Tuesday, September 24, 2013

9/24/2013 Tennessee Civil War Notes

24, "It is almost too good to be true."

A Fisticuff in Nashville

A gentleman just from Knoxville, Tenn., says that a difficulty occurred in Nashville during the early part of the past week between Gen. Don Charles [sic] Buell, commander of the Yankee army of the West, and Andy Johnson, Lincoln's provisional governor of Tennessee. The quarrel grew out of a difference of opinion between these distinguished Lincolnites as to the policy of evacuating Nashville at present. Buell contended that it was a "military necessity," and, flanked as he was, east and west, with General Bragg's army north of him, and the Confederates also holding Chattanooga and Murfreesboro to the south, it was impossible for him to hold Nashville and subsist his army. Johnson replied that, notwithstanding the reasons alleged by Buell, the place must not be evacuated; and if it was he should certainly blow up the capitol building before he made his way out of the city. Buell rejoined by stating that he would cause Johnson to be shot if he dared destroy the capitol. Whereupon Johnson remarked that Buell was a d____d scoundrel. This was an insult that the Federal general felt himself bound to resent, which he did by knocking Johnson down, jumping upon him, and giving him a pretty sound beating. Johnson's face is said to have been very badly bruised. At last accounts Johnson had fled the place, and Buell endeavored to follow the governor's example, but finding that General Bragg was too quick for him, and had placed his powerful army between the Cumberland and Gallatin, retraced his steps and re-entered Nashville. Here he will probably remain until forced to surrender for lack of supplies. This intelligence was brought to Knoxville on Sunday last by a gentleman who had escaped from Nashville.

We find the above in the Richmond Dispatch. It is almost too good to be true.

Memphis Daily Appeal, September 24, 1862. [1]




24, Confederate sharpshooters and artillery bombardment of Federal positions in Chattanooga environs; need for spades and axes

HDQRS. FIRST BRIG., FIRST DIV., RESERVE CORPS, Near Chattanooga, September 24, 1863.

[Capt. S. B. MOE, Assistant Adjutant-Gen.:]

* * * *

During the evening the enemy have kept sharpshooters concealed among the rock and brush on the slope of the mountain, who have kept up an annoying, though not a very accurate, fire at my officers and men. I left Col. Champion's position about 5 o'clock this evening; have been compelled to return to this point to execute the order received concerning the stragglers and discipline of the troops and trains on this side of the river. Col. Champion is in command of the troops at the ferry, with instructions to keep me thoroughly posted concerning the movement of the enemy.

Since the above, I have received three reports from the crossing, which you will please find inclosed and marked A, B, and C, as received. I also inclose a report[2] of the effective force of my command. Attention is particularly called to the reports from the ferry, as they are of immediate importance.

W. C. WHITAKER, Brig.-Gen.

[Inclosure A.]

HDQRS. DETACHMENT FIRST BRIGADE, FIRST DIVISION, RESERVE CORPS, September 24, 1863. Lieut. J. R. BOONE, Assistant Adjutant-Gen.:

DEAR SIR: The enemy have succeeded in planting a battery of heavy 24-pounder rifled guns in the earth-work on the east slope of Lookout Mountain, completely commanding all the positions of our artillery. Their fire is very accurate, four shot and shell striking very near the section of Aleshire's battery. We have been looking for other positions and think we have found them, especially to command their battery, and also to command the ferry at the foot of the mountain on the west side, but we must have picks and spades so as to caseate our guns. Cannot a force of pioneers be sent us who have those tools?

The position of the section where my headquarters now are is particularly untenable, and can hardly be made tenable at all, and in the event of having to fall back, we would be badly exposed in retiring.

We have found a position commanding the ferry, but at longer range than from my headquarters. Can I move that section to the new position? Without spades and picks we can make no position secure. My whole force doing duty as pickets, divided into three reliefs, and if a force of pioneers with tools could be got, it would help us very much.

If the ferry-boat can possibly be sent down the river to-night, had we not better send it?

Please let me hear from you on all these points as soon as possible.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

THOS. E. CHAMPION, Col., Comdg.

[Inclosure B.]


Lieut. J. R. BOONE, Assistant Adjutant-Gen.:

SIR: The enemy are busily engaged chopping on the east slope of Lookout Mountain and in moving artillery up the road. They are evidently massing their artillery on that face of the mountain. They are also in possession of Lookout Valley, and have a large number of teams and wagons there, and I think artillery. I am of the opinion they are planting a battery on the knoll west of Lookout Creek, so as to command the present position of our artillery protecting the ferry. It is all important that we have the picks, spades, and axes, and a pioneer force, if possible.

Very respectfully, &c.,

THOS. E. CHAMPION, Col., Comdg.

P. S.-Can you send me more artillery? We must have more artillery or we cannot compete with them.

T. E. C.

[Inclosure C.]

SEPTEMBER 24, 1863.

Col. CHAMPION, Ninety-sixth Illinois Regt. [sic]:

SIR: I have the honor to make the following report:

This evening the enemy opened upon our guns bearing upon Lookout Mountain, with some 24-pounder rifled pieces stationed in the redoubts on the side of the mountain. The cannonade lasted about twenty minutes, it being evidently intended by them to ascertain our position and also the range and effect of their guns. These guns were served with such precision and accuracy, and the range was proven so well [being tried at long distance on the batteries on the other side of the river], as to leave no doubt of their ability to destroy any artillery that we might bring against them with ease and in a very short time. We have been forced to partly leave our position on this account. Since dark they have been very busily engaged in chopping trees, and as there has been a great amount of artillery taken up the side of the mountain this evening, and lights constantly moving to and fro, there is no doubt but that they are massing artillery upon the mountain, which will give them the power to not only silence what artillery force we may have, but also drive back the infantry, and thus enable them to cross and take actual possession of the whole ridge on this side of the river which they now command with their artillery.

In case it is considered necessary to hold this ridge, I think it can only be done by sending an additional number of rifled cannon of long range there, to be defended by such fortifications as can be hurriedly thrown up. There are or may be made positions for three more batteries. At all events it will require some more artillery, well supported by infantry, in order to hold this ridge, which is really the key to Chattanooga. It will also require at least 100 men, with spades, picks, and axes, to fortify these places so as to make them tenable.

The works if begun may be completed possibly by the time the fog rises to-morrow morning. I would also report that there are no tools whatever in this command.

Unless the position is strengthened immediately in the manner I have suggested, I think it will be impossible to hold the place tomorrow.

Respectfully submitted.

WM. H. COX, First Lieut. Tenth Indiana Battery.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 30, pt. III, pp. 828-830.




24, "Bushwackers [sic] Near Memphis. Two Army Officers Murdered. Rebel Barbarity."

Wood is being brought into the city from outside the picket lines under the direction of army officers, and on last Thursday, Dr. J. M. Osburn, Quartermaster James Helm and Second Lieutenant E. Bently, all of the 3d regiment United States colored heavy artillery, went out to oversee the work. For some reason or other, the determined to ride a short distance further. They apprehender [sic] no danger and were riding along gaily, when suddenly seven bushwhackers who were lying in ambush fired on them. Dr. Osborn fell immediately from his horse, Lieut. Bently rode a short distance and also fell from his horse.

Quartermaster Helm, who was unhurt, spurred his horse to get away, but had gone bur a short distance when the horse ran against the limbs of a tree and the quartermaster was knocked off, but managed to get away and reach the city on foot.

A company of twenty cavalry men were at once went out and recovered the body Lieutenant Bently, which they brought to the city. The body of Dr. Osborn was not found until yesterday morning, when a person near the place found it and brought it to the city. The murdered officers were probably killed by the first fire, but the bushwhacker amused themselves by firing their revolvers at the corpses. Over twelve balls were thus fired into the dead body of Lieut. Bently. When the party of cavalry went out for the bodies, they found no guerrillas.

Quartermaster Helm is of [the] opinion that the murderers were regular Confederate soldiers.

Retaliatory measures will probably be adopted. The other officers of the 3d regiment met last night and passed resolutions of respect for the memory of their deceased brother officers.[3]

Memphis Bulletin, September 24, 1864.

[1] Valley of the Shadow.

[2] Not found.

[3] This event 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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