Thursday, September 26, 2013

9/26/2013 Tennessee Civil War Notes

26, 1862 - "…I do not want further to make an ass of myself in trying to do that which cannot be done…." Confederate conscription troubles in Greeneville

The New Regiments and the Conscription.

We alluded yesterday to the rumored action of the Government in refusing to receive new regiments from East Tennessee. We have good reason to believe that the policy will not be insisted upon in regard to those already authorized to be raised. To show how it would operate, if adhered to, we publish the following extract of a letter from a gentleman in Green county, who has not enrolled a company of one hundred men, the most of them "good fighting material." This is but one among many similar cases in upper East Tennessee:

I see an order from Col. Blake that seems to conflict very seriously with my permission from Gen. McCown. I scarcely know what to do, but I shall go on the organize under my authority, and hope to be treated in good faith but the authorities and their promises to me, that my company when obtained, would be put into one of the regiments now (for then forming) with as much respect to the desire of myself and company as would be consistent with the public service. My men have volunteered with these assurances by me-much upon the authority and assurances given me at the A. A. General's office; and now, I cannot but think, I shall be dealt with in good faith accordingly. Please ascertain if possible, what will be done; for I have gone to considerable expense and trouble already, and I do not want further to make an ass of myself in trying to do that which cannot be done-viz., raising a company as volunteers when the same cannot be done. The majority of my company are good Southern men-yes, I say as good Southern men as can be found in the Confederacy not in the service heretofore, because their affairs were such at home that they could not leave them; men who have sustained this war with as much zeal and patriotism as any in the South, and that too often with the danger of having the torch applied to their dwellings: and now such men are to be taken and treated as Conscript Tories, nor will I believe it.

Knoxville Daily Register, September 26, 1862.



26, 1863 - A Bolivar schoolgirl witnesses a skirmish between guerrillas and Federal cavalry near "the Springs" [1]

We were all starting to the Springs to pay a visit [for] a few days when the Yankees came in and had a skirmish with about ten guerillas [sic]. The guerillas [sic] ran of course, as they were but half armed, mounted and clothed, while the Yanks were armed and equipped well and out numbered the guerillas [sic] three to one.

Diary of Sally Wendel Fentress.



26, 1864 - Monitoring Forrest's retreat across the Tennessee river

ATLANTA, September 26, 1864--6 p. m.


The whole of Gen. Steedman's force has been placed at your disposal; with this and your own you ought to be able to drive Forrest across the Tennessee. You have two brigades of the Fourth Division Cavalry, Croxton's brigade, of First Division, and five regiments Indiana cavalry, acting as infantry, besides the infantry under Gen.R. S. Granger.

GEO. H. THOMAS, Maj.-Gen., U. S. Volunteers, Cmdg.


PLEASANT GROVE, September 26, 1864.

Brig. Gen. J. D. WEBSTER:

The following just received from Pulaski:

Col. Pace, just in from Elk River bridge, reports that he evacuated at 5 a. m. September 26. The forces in his front and flanks estimated at 7,000, with three full batteries. The first block-house below Elk River was evacuated and destroyed; the enemy followed up closely to our rear, burned trestles and destroyed the road. We fell back to within four miles of Pulaski. Col. Spalding has advanced on the road toward Elkton to feel the enemy and hold them in check, if possible, until we receive re-enforcements or further orders. Col. Jones has not arrived; the last heard from him was that he had left Culleoka at 7 a. m. Nothing heard from Gen. Croxton this a. m. Have received no reply to my dispatch to him last night.

GEO. W. JACKSON, Col., Cmdg.

L. H. ROUSSEAU, Maj.-Gen.


PLEASANT GROVE, September 26, 1864--10.30 a. m.

Brig.-Gen. WEBSTER:

Have been unavoidably delayed. Have twenty-three miles yet to go. All quiet at Pulaski, though skirmishing beyond.

L. H. ROUSSEAU, Maj.-Gen.


PULASKI, September 26, 1864--4.30 p. m.

Maj. B. H. POLK, Assistant Adjutant-Gen.:

Send the troops (2,300) forward as speedily as possible. They should be here by morning. Those from Chattanooga to report to Gen. Milroy, strengthening bridges at Elk and Duck Rivers, and leaving a movable force to ply the road. It is probable that Forrest will cross over to the other road. Do not want rations now, nor for eight days.

L. H. ROUSSEAU, Maj.-Gen.


PULASKI, September 26, 1864.

Brig. Gen. J. D. WEBSTER:

Arrived here half an hour since. Croxton and Jones here also with commands. Forrest is within seven miles of town; has burned the Richland bridge, seven miles south of this place. Have sent Col. Jones to join Col. Spalding and feel the enemy. I think Forrest will go over to the Nashville and Chattanooga Railroad by way of Fayetteville; this is but conjecture. Have scouts out to see where he goes. If comes this way will be ready for him. Will move in force upon him when the nip comes. Advise me of matters.



NASHVILLE, TENN., September 26, 1864--11 p. m.

Maj.-Gen. MILROY, Tullahoma:

The operator at Decherd telegraphs here that scouts report the enemy coming that way from the direction of Fayetteville. Better hurry up the forces which are said to have been stopped at Stevenson and Bridgeport. Please report at once the appearance of the enemy on your road, if they come.

B. H. POLK, Maj. and Assistant Adjutant-Gen.


TULLAHOMA, September 26, 1864--12.06 p. m.

Maj. B. H. POLK, Assistant Adjutant-Gen.:

Maj. Wortham, commanding at Wartrace, reports that seven rebels crossed the railroad between Bell Buckle and Fosterville, going east, and he learned they were messengers to Williams, and that Williams and Forrest were to form a junction on this road. Wortham has a scouting party after them.

R. H. MILROY, Maj.-Gen.


COLUMBIA, September 26, 1864.

Maj. POLK, Assistant Adjutant-Gen.:

A scout out for three days south of this post has just returned; reports that Forrest crossed at Florence, and lost 30 men drowned; that his destination is Bridgeport, and from there to East Tennessee. Biffle was at Lawrenceburg, with 700 men and two pieces of artillery. No news from Rousseau.

W. B. SIPES, Col., Cmdg. Post.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 39, pt. II, pp. 486-487.



26, 1865 - Defining the conditions of work at the Freedmen's Bureau in Clarksville

Colonel Davis, in charge of the Freedmen's Bureau, at Clarksville, Tennessee, has adopted the following rules:

1. One half of the wages of the employee will be retained by the employer, until the end of the contract for its faithful performance.

2. The employees will be required to rise at daybreak, each one to feed and take care of the stock allotted to him, or perform any other business that may be assigned to him; to eat their breakfast and be ready for work at the signal, which will be given when the sun is half an hour high. All time lost after the signal is given will be deducted.

3. No general conversation will be allowed during working hours.

4. Bad work will be assessed at its proper value.

5. For disobedience one dollar will be deducted.

6. Neglect of duty and leaving without permission will be considered disobedience.

7. No live stock will be permitted to be raised by the employee, will be charged for.

8. Apples, peaches, and melons, or any other product of the farm taken by the employee, will be charged for.

9. The employee shall receive no visitors during work hours.

10. Three quarters of an hour will be allowed during the winter months for dinner, and one hour and a half during the months of June, July, and August.

11. Impudence, swearing, or indecent and unseemly language to, or in the presence of the employer or his family, or agent, or quarrelling or fighting, so as to disturb the peace of the farm, will be fined one dollar for the first offence, and if repeated, will be followed by dismissal and loss of such pay as shall be adjudged against him by the proper authority.

12. All difficulties that may arise between the employees shall be adjusted by the employer, and, if not satisfactory, an appeal may be taken to an agent of the U. S. Government or a magistrate.

13. All abuse of stock, or willful breaking of tools, or throwing away gear, &c., will be charged against the employee.

14. Good and sufficient rations will be furnished by the employer, not, however, to exceed six pounds of bacon and one peck of meal per week for each adult.

15. House rent and fuel will be furnished, free, by the employer.

16. No night work will required of the employee but such as the necessities of the farm absolutely demand -- such as tying up fodder, firing tobacco, setting plant beds afire, securing a crop from frost, &c.

17. A cheerful and willing performance of duty will be required of the employee.

18. Stock must be fed and attended to on Sunday.

19. The women will be required to do the cooking in rotation on Sunday.

20. The employee will be expected to look after and study the interest of his employer; to inform him of anything that is going amiss; to be peaceable, orderly and pleasant; to discourage theft, and endeavor by his conduct to establish a character for honesty, industry and thrift.

21. In case of any controversy in regard to the contract or its regulations, between the employer and the employee, the agent of the Bureau for the county shall be the common arbiter to whom the difficulty shall be referred.

Staunton Spectator, September 26, 1865


[1] Perhaps Rogers Springs, about 12 miles south of Bolivar.

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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