Wednesday, September 25, 2013

9/25/2013 Tennessee Civil War Notes

25, Praise for the sewing skills of Memphis women

Woman's Sceptre, the Needle.

There is something extremely pleasant, and even touching—at least, of very sweet, soft and winning effect—in this peculiarity of needlework, distinguishing women from men. Our own sex is incapable of such by play aside from the business of life; but women—be of what earthly rank they may, however gifted with intellect or genius, or endowed with earthly beauty—have always some handiwork ready to fill the tiny gap of every vacant moment. A needle is familiar to the fingers of them all. A queen no doubt, plies it on occasions; the woman-poet can use it as adroitly as her pen; the woman's eye that has discovered a new star, turns from its glory to send the polished little instrument gleaming along the hem of her kerchief, or to darn a casual fray in her dress. And they have greatly the advantage of us in this respect. The slender thread of silk or cotton keeps them united with the small, familiar, gentle interests of life, the continually operating influences of which do so much for the health of the character, and carry off what would otherwise be a dangerous accumulation of morbid sensibility. A vast deal of human sympathy runs along their electric line, stretching from the throne to the wicker chair of the humblest seamstress, and keeping high and low in a species of communion with their kindred beings. Methinks it is a token of healthy and gentle characteristic, when women of high thoughts and accomplishments love to sew; especially as they are never more at home with their own hearts than while so occupied. And when the work falls in a woman's lap of its own accord, and the needle involuntarily ceases to fly, it is a sign of trouble, quite as trustworthy as the throb of the heart itself.

Memphis Daily Appeal, September 25, 1861.




25, A disappointed Maury County Confederate father throws his reluctant son out, excerpt from the diary of Nimrod Porter

I loaned George Martin[1] $5.00

George Martin (son of Judge Martin) came to town today, said his father had told him if he did not start off to the army of the Southern Confederacy on the next day he should leave his house he could not stay here he [sic] had not one dollar in the World [sic] but few clothes and no bridle, and was trying H. Bradshaw and a few others to get him a bridle said his father would do nothing for him.

Diary of Nimrod Porter, September 25 1862.




25, Report on irresponsible method of recruiting Negroes for U. S. C. T. in Nashville


Nashville, September 25, 1863.


Secretary of War, Washington, D. C.:

SIR: I have at last obtained Governor Johnson's consent to the advertisement inclosed and have commenced recruiting with good prospects of success.

The impressment of colored men which is going on daily in an irresponsible way will help me as soon as I establish a camp and show them they are safe inside of it; they won't be likely to desert.

The colored men here are treated like like brutes; any officer who wants them I am told, impresses on his own authority, and it is seldom they are paid. On Sunday a large number were impressed and one was shot; he died on Wednesday. I inclose the copy of a statement made to me one of them from Zenia, Ohio, taken down verbatim by my clerk. Governor Johnson disapproves of the impressment, so he told me, yet it goes on daily.

Gen. Meigs, Quartermaster-Gen., passed here yesterday on his way to the front. If you will order him on his return to investigate the impressment of men, for various purposes, I think you will get some light on the subject.


GEORGE L. STEARNS, Maj. and Assistant Adjutant-Gen., U. S. Volunteers, Commissioned for Organization U. S. Colored Troops.

[Inclosure No. 1.]


Nashville, Tenn.

Colored men in the Department of the Cumberland will be enlisted into the service of the United States as soldiers on the following terms:

First. All freemen who will volunteer.

Second. All slaves of rebel or disloyal masters who will volunteer to enlist will be free at the expiration of their term of service.

Third. All slaves of loyal citizens, with the consent of their owners, will be received into the service of the United States; such slaves will be free on the expiration of their term of service.

Fourth. Loyal masters will receive a certificate of the enlistment of their slaves, which will entitle them to payment of a sum not exceeding the bounty now provided by law for the enlistment of white recruits.

Fifth. Colored soldiers will receive clothing, rations, and $10 per month pay; $3 per month will be deducted for clothing.

Recruiting stations are established at Nashville, Galantin, and Murfreesborough. Other stations will be advertised when established.

GEORGE L. STEARNS, Maj. and Assistant Adjutant-Gen., U. S. Volunteers, Commissioner for Organization U. S. Colored Troops.

[Inclosure No. 2.]

Statement of Armstead Lewis, of Zenia, Ohio.

I went to the colored Methodist church at 11 o'clock a. m. on Sunday, September 20, 1863. After church, while on my way home, was stopped by a guard, who demanded my pass. I handed it to them; they retained possession of it. They ordered me to fall in among them and I was marched around from place to place till they collected all they could get. We were then marched to a camp about one mile and a half and delivered to some colored men, who were placed on guard over us. They counted us and found they had 180 men. All through the afternoon and evening they kept bringing in squads. They took the passes of the men and after examining them burned them before us.

At dark they put a double around, us and told us if we attempted to escape we would be shot down. We were left that way, out in the cold all night, without tents, blankets, or fire, and some of the men were bareheaded and some without coats.





JNO. H. COCHRANE, Military Secretary.

OR, Ser. III, Vol. 3, pt. II, pp., 840-841.




25, "I had the worst case of venarial [sic] Diseases." A confidential endorsement of Dr. John White by Sergeant F. B. Chapman, Battery "C" 1st Tennessee Artillery

State of Tennessee Fort Negley

Near Nashville September 25th 1864

To the atharities [sic] of the war department Dear sires

Whereas the Draft or enrolment is to take affect in this State in a short time from this present day, I do hereby Recommend that Dr John White a colard [sic] man who is the best Botanic Doctor know known [sic] of and is the most usful [sic] Doctor that is in the city of Nashville For the soldiers for the fact is well know that he cures more cases of venarial [sic] Diseases than all Doctors in this place. and [sic] I know of upwards of one hundred soldiers that has bin unfit for doty [sic] for monthes [sic] and all attention payed [sic] to them by our army Drs. That could be and still the soldier would pain away when almost redy [sic] to go to his grave but ah [sic] he would hear of his noble Dr John White the colored man. he [sic] would go to this Dram in a short time the soldier joined his Respected [sic] Command and well reported for Doty [sic]. and [sic] hear [sic] is my own case. I had the worst case of venarial [sic] Diseases [sic]. I suffered almost Death and I had the best Drs. in this city and still I was sinking fast. when [sic] I herd [sic] of this colored Doctor [sic] I had given up all hopes of ever getting well tho [sic] I Concluded [sic] to try the Colored Dr. [sic] I was taken to him. he went to work with me and I know I am sound and as good a soldier as in the fort and there is a half Dosen [sic] more cases of the same sort in my Company and if Dr [sic] John is not put in the armey [sic] he will soon have my comerads [sic] all well and ready for doty [sic] as well as hundred of other soldiers. So this being the onley [sic] Doctor in this city that is a sirtan [sic] cure for venereal Diseases of all kinds I do theirfor [sic] hope that Dr. John White as above named will be excused from all Drafts [sic] or enrolments [sic] that may Be [sic] ordered or allow him the power to furnish a substitute in order that he may be left at this post for the benefit of the soldiers at this on Doty [sic]. I am gentlemen.

very respectfully your umble [sic] survant [sic] Sergt F B Chapman

Battery "C" 1st Tenn art

Papers of Andrew Johnson, Vol. 7, pp. 189-190.


[1] George Martin was the brother of Mrs. Gideon J. Pillow.

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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