Wednesday, September 4, 2013

9/4/2013 Tennessee Civil War Notes

4, "The Women of Tennessee-Appeal for Aid for Our Army"

There is a much need for blankets and socks for our army, at this time, a there is for ammunitions of war. Without the former the latter will be of little value. Our army must be fed, clothed and equipped well. For the present, their blankets and socks must be supplied by the munificent bounty of the women of the South.

Having the agency of this service for the State of Tennessee, I make an earnest appeal to the mothers, wives and daughters of the State to come forward with united hearts and hands to meet this necessity.

I submit the following as a safe and prompt system by which every family in our cities, towns and country places may make their contributions at once, viz.,:

First,. Let every family resolve to give whatever can be spared in money, blankets, socks (wool or cotton) wool, whether spun or unspun, linseys or cotton goods.

Second, Let those donations be delivered to agents (say the Post Masters) in every town and country district in the State, who shall make a memorandum of each article and its value, when delivered to them.

Third, Let these agents deposit the articles donated in the hands of the County Court Clerk of each county, and take his receipt for the same. Let this be done once a week for four weeks.

Fourth, Let the County Court Clerks make their shipments weekly to the nearest Quartermaster's office, and take his receipt for the same. The cost of transportations [sic] may be charged to the Government.

This system, carried out promptly and in good faith, will supply the wants of our sons and brothers who have nobly gone forth to defend our homes, our property, our independence, our ALL. [sic] A prompt and liberal response to this appeal will give a more eloquent and real expression of patriotism than can be given by words that glow and tears that burn.

The war of invasion now upon us was unsought and earnestly depreciated by the South. Every negotiation and compromise for peach, compatible with duty and honor, was offered in good faith by the South. It is therefore a war of necessity [sic] on our part-a war of self-defense. [sic] We have gone into it with an intelligent conviction of duty, and an unwavering trust that "the Lord of Hosts is with us and that the God of Jacob is our refuge." There is also a conviction, almost universal, in the minds of our people, that we will come out of this baptism of suffering and blood, a purified, homogeneous and happy nation. Let all who have property or who love constitutional liberty, come forward at once, with willing hearts, to make their offerings upon their country's altar. If we do our duty, the struggle will soon be over, and in five years we will be the most united and preposterous people on the globe. Our mothers, wives, and daughters are with us in this struggle, showing by their zeal, their labors, and their prayers, a devotion, not less earnest, deep and real, than their brave brothers, who have charged upon the cannon['s] mouth. We, therefore, assign to them the agony of this noble and needed [sic] charity, with entire confidence that it will succeed.

We should be pleased to see this or a better system adopted in every State in the South.

Newspapers of the State and of the South will please copy.

John P. Campbell, Assistant Commissioner, C. S.A., Nashville September 2d, 1861.

Nashville Daily Gazette, September 4, 1861.




4, Letter to the editor of the Chattanooga Daily Rebel concerning Federal outrages in Winchester

[From the Chattanooga Rebel.]

The Works of the Vandals in Middle Tennessee.

Mr. Editor: Within the last hour I have seen and conversed with a couple of highly respectable gentlemen from Winchester, Tenn. They left there last Monday. Believing the information obtained will be interesting to most of your readers, I will give the substance of it.

They state, as a fact, that the enemy are leaving all that portion of the State, and moving rapidly in the direction of Murfreesboro, or Nashville. There is no enemy at Huntsville, nor between there and Stevenson. All the force from Huntsville and North Alabama passed Winchester several days ago, in wagons moving rapidly, and at Winchester taking the Shelbyville road. So the force at Winchester left in the same direction. There was still some force Monday at Dechard and Cowan, on the Nashville and Chattanooga Railroad, but they were in the act of moving down the road. The destruction of property has been very great; nearly all the negroes in Franklin county have been stolen and taken off. Stock of all kinds taken until there is nothing left. Fifty wagons per day were sent into the country for two weeks, and loaded with corn, hay, oats, fodder. wheat, bacon, &c., a large portion of which was burnt by them upon their leaving. Whole crops of green corn have been cut down, and the farms generally stripped. Many dwelling have been burnt, and great indignities offered the people generally. After completely investing the town of Winchester for several weeks, allowing no one to pass, the following notice was stuck up:

Take Notice.

Office of Provost Marshal,

Winchester, Tenn., Aug. 11, 1862.

All the white male citizens of this town and vicinity, above the age of 14 years are required to appear at this office to-day and to-morrow, and give their parole not to aid or abet in any way the so-called Confederate States during the pending war between the said States and the United States. A failure on the part of any person to comply with this order will subject the offender to punishment. No evasion of this order will be tolerated.

Notice is hereby given that the citizens of this town will be held responsible in their persons and property for all sudden attack which may be made upon all U. S. troops now stationed here by unorganized guerilla bands. It is therefore incumbent upon all to give to the Colonel commanding any information they now have or may hereafter obtain in regard to such bands.

By order of

Col. John M. Harlan,

10th Kentucky Regiment,

Provost Marshal.

Here is a copy of the parole offered to, and taken by some of the citizens:

State of Tennessee – Franklin County.

Given to Col. John M. Harlan, Col. 10th Ky Regiment and Provost Marshal

["]I _______________ residing at Winchester, county, do solemnly swear that I will not in any way whatever directly or indirectly  by word or speech or act during the war now pending between the United States and Confederate States of America, aid, abet or comfort the said Confederate States or any person or persons in the military; and that I will not give to the said Confederate States, or to any person in their employ, any information whatsoever, in regard to the numbers, character or locality or movements of any of the troops of the United States. And I further solemnly swear that I will in every possible way discountenance and discourage all unorganized guerilla bands, proposing to act for said Confederate States. This power is without mental reservation or evasion whatever, or any part, and for the violation of which death is the penalty."


Of course, nobody will regard this oath. – These documents give us some idea of the Yankee Government. They assume, among many other things, that if an outraged community, whose houses have been burnt and sacked, whose farms have been laid waste, and property stolen by the million, and who are threatened with outlawry and imprisonment, and whose wives and mothers have been insulted, and have seen their children stripped and turned out crying for bread, should turn up and attack, or not, shall be made to account in their persons and property for it.

Robert Custer, who had taken his gun in hand, and was defending his home, was shot by the Yankees and wounded in the knee, was taken by them and carried to their camp at Dechard. This was after night. Next morning his wife, at daylight, went to the camp to see him, and he was dead and buried. Nobody doubts but that he was put to death after he was taken. One young man by the name of Petty was most inhumanly beat to death because he lived near to where McCook was killed.

If our Government will give permission, Tennesseeans are now ready to take this fight on proper principles. Death in defence of such rights as we are losing would be sweet; but it doesn't pay to hunt up and take prisoner and parole a man who has insulted women, burnt houses, stolen negroes, robbed orphan children of their bread, desolated a whole country, and in every way shown himself a barbarian, treating with utter contempt the long established rules of civilized warfare.

Let every man in Tennessee swear in his heart that, while grass grows and water runs, he will live with no such people. Tennessee has already put into the field  about 75,000 men; she can now put out 50,000  more if General Bragg needs them in the pursuit of this army of thieves and robbers.

Chattanooga, Sept. 4, 1862.

Daily Morning News, (Savannah, GA), September 9, 1862.[1]




4, "Turned in the Streets;" evicting the poor in Nashville

Yesterday morning an officer and twelve men went to the "big brick [building beyond] the railroad," on Market street, and in the most unceremonious manner possible, bundled men, women, and children out of doors, and their furniture and traps after them, out of windows and doors, a large amount of their earthly goods being destroyed or damaged in the hasty, removal. We presume some military necessity demanded this extraordinary proceeding, but we cannot help think that if Gen. Granger had known that many of the unfortunate inmates have large families, he would have provided them with shelter elsewhere before ordering their removal. There were, we believe, seven families in the house, with from one to six children each-say thirty children; with no prospect of shelter at 4 o'clock yesterday afternoon, but a very fair show for a cold rainy night. We thought further to be remembered that these people, though very [sic] poor, are honest. '"We trust that when this paragraph meets the eye of Gen. granger, he will at least provide temporary shelter for such as may not have found a friend to take them in.

Nashville Dispatch, September 4, 1863



4, Confederate Major General John H. Morgan killed in Greeneville.

AUGUST 29-SEPTEMBER 4, 1864.-Operations in East Tennessee, including skirmishes (September 4) at Park's Gap and at Greenville, and death of Brig. Gen. John H. Morgan, C. S. Army.


No. 1.-Brig. Gen. Alvan C. Gillem, U. S. Army.

No. 2.-Brig. Gen. John Echols, C. S. Army.

No. 1.

Report of Brig. Gen. Alvan C. Gillem, U. S. Army.

HDQRS. U. S. FORCES, Bull's Gap, Tenn., September 8, 1864.

His Excellency ANDREW JOHNSON, Military Governor of Tennessee:

SIR: I have the honor to transmit herewith report of the action of the forces under my command from the 29th ultimo to the 4th instant, inclusive.

I am, Governor, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

ALVAN C. GILLEM, Adjutant-Gen. Tennessee.

HDQRS. U. S. FORCES, Bull's Gap, Tenn., September 5, 1864.

I have the honor to state herewith the operations of the forces under my command from the 29th ultimo to the 4th instant, inclusive.

* * * *

Nothing occurred of importance until the evening of the 3d instant, when I obtained information that Gen. Morgan was concentrating all his forces to dislodge me from this position, and that his advance, consisting of Vaughn's brigade, had passed through Greeneville at 1 p. m. of that day, and encamped at Park's Gap, two miles this side of Greeneville. I knew that Smith's brigade was encamped near Carter's Station, on the Babb's Mill road, at 12 m. of the same day. I immediately resolved not to wait for him but to endeavor to surprise and attack his forces in detail before they could be concentrated. Lieut.-Col. Ingerton, commanding Thirteenth Tennessee Cavalry, was ordered to march at 10 o'clock that night by way of the Arnet road to within one mile of Greeneville, there cross to the Knoxville road and place himself in rear of the enemy. At 12 o'clock I marched with the Tenth Michigan and Ninth Tennessee Cavalry, and one section of Patterson's battery, to attack the enemy in front at daylight. The night was one of the darkest and stormiest I ever witnessed, the rain poured down in torrents, and had it not been for the vivid and almost constant lightning it would have been impossible to have continued our march. At 6 o'clock we came upon the enemy's vedettes, who were shot [sic]. The next set were found asleep. Pushing forward rapidly we came upon the enemy at Park's Gap, who stubbornly resisted the advance of the Tenth Michigan Cavalry, who were fighting dismounted. After a few rounds from the artillery they gave way and retreated toward Greeneville, closely pressed by the Tenth Michigan and Ninth Tennessee Cavalry. They soon found their retreat in that direction cut off by Lieut.-Col. Ingerton, with the Thirteenth Tennessee Cavalry, and most of them would probably have been captured had it not been for the inconsiderate conduct of a lieutenant in ordering them to be fired upon before they were completely surrounded by Ingerton. After discovering our troops in their rear they broke and fled toward Greeneville in the greatest confusion, closely pursued by the entire command. The pursuit was kept up seven miles beyond Greeneville. The jaded and unshod condition of the horses rendered it impossible to overtake the fresh horses of the fleeing enemy. Upon Lieut.-Col. Ingerton's arrival near Greeneville he learned that Gen. Morgan and his staff, who had arrived, the previous evening, had headquarters at Mrs. Williams' in town. Col. Ingerton detached a squadron, under Capt. Wilcox, of the Thirteenth Tennessee Cavalry, to surround the house and capture Gen. Morgan with his staff and escort, who were unaware of the presence of the Federal troops until awakened by the report of their own artillery, which was situated on College Hill, and opened upon Capt. Wilcox's squadron as soon as they made their appearance in the street. Gen. Morgan's headquarters were surrounded and he was shot by Private Andrew Campbell, of Company G, Thirteenth Tennessee Cavalry, while he was endeavoring to make his escape and join his command. His staff, with a single exception, was captured. Vaughn's brigade on arriving at the position held by the artillery endeavored to reform, but a few discharges from our dismounted cavalry soon caused them to resume their flight, leaving behind them one piece of artillery and two caissons, with their horses and equipments. The enemy's loss in killed will exceed 75; 106 prisoners have been sent to the rear; several others were left in Greeneville, too badly wounded to be removed. Our loss, 9 wounded (1 mortally), none killed, and no prisoners. All of Gen. Morgan's papers fell into my hands, and showed his force to have been from 1,800 to 2,000 men, including Morgan's old brigade. His forces were divided into three brigades, under Gen.'s Vaughn and Giltner, and Col. Smith. Owing to the surprise and their scattered condition they probably at no one time had as many men in action as I had.

* * * *

The enemy having fled in such confusion it was impossible for me to overtake him. The condition of my horses rendered it necessary that they should be shod and rest a few days, and the railroad communication having been opened to this place, I determined to return here, which I did yesterday evening about 9 o'clock, having marched fifty miles from 12 o'clock of the night previous. I shall remain here for a few days, and again advance upon the enemy.

I am, Governor, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

ALVAN C. GILLEM, Adjutant-Gen. Tennessee.

BULL'S GAP, TENN., September 8, 1864.

Accounts last night locate the enemy at Jonesborough. I will be detained at this place a couple of days longer, when I hope to forward you a favorable account of future operations. By reference to my journal I find I have marched since leaving Nashville 405 miles.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

ALVAN C. GILLEM, Adjutant-Gen. Tennessee.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 39, pt. I, pp. 488-490.


No. 2.

Report of Brig. Gen. John Echols, C. S. Army.

CARTER'S STATION, EAST TENN., September 5, 1864.

GEN.: I was brought to this place by a dispatch received last night that the troops of Gen. Morgan had been surprised at Greeneville, East Tenn., on the morning of the 4th instant, and that he had been killed or captured. No Official report of the affair has yet been made to me, though I am in possession of the principal facts connected therewith. Brig.-Gen. Morgan, with his command, had reached Greeneville the night previous, and he had established his headquarters at a private house therein. The enemy, in consequence of a failure on the part of some offices to have one of the roads leading into the town properly guarded and picketed, charged into the town soon after daylight and at once surrounded the house where Gen. Morgan's headquarters were established, and, I regret exceedingly to say, killed him and captured all of his staff, with one exception, while they were endeavoring to escape. In the engagement which soon commenced between our troops and those of the enemy we lost some 25 or 30 men killed, wounded, and captured. The enemy very soon retired from the town in the direction of Bull's Gap, and our troops were withdrawn to the vicinity of Jonesborough. I have ordered them back to the line of the Watauga River, the strongest line which can be selected between Jonesborough and the Virginia line, in order that they may be stationary for a time, so that they may be organized properly and armed and equipped, which many of them have not been of some time past.

I will order a thorough investigation of the affair at Greeneville, in order to ascertain by whose neglect or misconduct the surprise occurred. I will write fully as to the condition of the department as soon as I return to department headquarters, which will be in a day or two.

I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JNO ECHOLS, Brig.-Gen., &c.


HDQRS. U. S. FORCES, Bull's Gap, Tenn., September 5, 1864.

Capt. J. T. ROGERS, Act. Asst. Adjt. Gen., late of Gen. Morgan's Staff:

SIR: It has been stated that Gen. John H. Morgan, late of the Confederate Army, was killed by our forces in Greeneville, Tenn., after he had surrendered, and in direct violation of the rules of war. You will confer a personal favor upon myself, and be doing an act of justice to this command, by stating what you know to be the facts connected with the killing of the general.

I am, captain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

O. C. FRENCH, Lieut. and Actg. Asst. Adjt. Gen., Gen. Gillem's Staff.


Lieut. O. C. FRENCH, Brig.-Gen. Gillem's Staff:

LIEUT.: In answer to your communication relative to the killing and surrender of the late Gen. John H. Morgan I must say I know but little. I was with Gen. M. when he left Mrs. Williams' house. He handed me one of his pistols, and said that he wished me to assist him in making his escape. I told him it was almost useless, as we were entirely surrounded. He replied, saying that we must do it if possible. We were concealed in a clump of bushes, when a soldier rode up to the fence, wearing a brown jeans jacket. We naturally supposing him a Confederate soldier, came out of the bushes, Gen. M. stepping at the same time through the fence. The soldier demanded a surrender, much to our surprise. Capt. Wilcox, of the Federal army, with some other soldiers, rode up. I, with Mr. Johnson, hastened toward him, looking back in the direction of Gen. M., hearing cries, "kill him!" "kill him!" from every quarter except Capt. W., who received my surrender very gentlemanly; but before I reached Capt. W. I saw Gen. M. throw up his hands exclaiming, "Oh God!" I saw nothing more of him until he was brought to the street dead. I am satisfied that Johnson and myself were both fired on after we surrender, but by men so far from us that it must have been impossible for them to know that we were prisoners. I asked Capt. Wilcox to leave a soldier with me after I had surrendered, for my own safety, which he did. We were possibly fired on from almost every direction, but from such a distance that I am almost satisfied that the men did it innocently. I, however, do not condemn them for firing on me after I had surrendered, under the circumstances. If Gen. M. surrendered before he was shot I do not know it.

I am, lieutenant, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

J. T. ROGERS, Capt. and A. A. A. and I. G., late Gen. John H. Morgan's Staff.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 39, pt. I, pp. 491-492.


HDQRS. ARMY OF THE OHIO, September 6, 1864.

Maj.-Gen. SHERMAN, Cmdg. Military Division of the Mississippi:

GEN.: The following gratifying intelligence is respectfully forwarded for your information:

Knoxville, TENN., September 5, 1864.

Maj.-Gen. Schofield:

The following has just been received from Gen. Gillem, at Bull's Gap, 4th: "I surprised, defeated, and killed John Morgan at Greeneville this morning. The killed are scattered for miles, and have not yet been counted; probably number from 50 to 100; prisoners 70, among them Morgan's staff'. Captured 1 piece artillery and caisson. The enemy's force outnumbered mine, but the surprise was complete. "



Very respectfully,

J. M. SCHOFIELD, Maj.-Gen.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 38, pt. V, p. 812.


Another account, written by a "Tennessee officer" in Greeneville provides further interesting information:


On the evening of the 3d. at 6 o'clock...a courier reported to Colonel Miller that the enemy were advancing, and were in camp two mile this side of Greeneville, and that scouts were being sent down as far as Blue Springs. Colonel Miller immediately went to Gen. Gillem, and after a short consultation the command was ordered to be in readiness to move at once. Accordingly at 11 o'clock [the 3d] the 13th Tennessee Cavalry moved out, and was ordered to proceed to Greeneville by the way of the Arnett road, passing around on the left flank of the enemy, and get in their rear by 6 o'clock, A.M., and at 12½ o'clock the balance of the command move out, notwithstanding it was the darkest night I ever saw, and the rain poured down in torrents, and the vivid lightning flashed along the sky, and the distant roll of the thunder only made the night more gloomy; yet our gallant leaders pushed ahead....At 6 o'clock A.M. [the 4th], the pickets of the enemy were attacked, and the out-posts found asleep. They were steadily driven back by Maj. Newell's command-the 10th Michigan Cavalry-who had the advance for about three miles, when the firing from Colonel Ingerton, who had got in their rear, was heard, when the 9th Tennessee Cavalry was ordered to push the enemy as fast as possible, when they dashed ahead with drawn sabres and a yell, which scattered the enemy in all directions. The succeeded in getting around Colonel Ingerton's right flank, but not without the loss of several killed, and some forty taken prisoners by the gallant 13th. In the meantime Colonel Ingerton had sent two companies...of his regiment, to town, who surprised General Morgan and Staff, who were at Mrs. Williams'. Morgan ran out and tried to escape before he had time to dress himself, but the gallant and energetic Capt. Wilcox surrounded the garden, and before he could escape, Andy Campbell, a private in Company G, shot him, the ball -passing through his heart. The two companies captured his entire Staff, and taking the remains of Morgan on a horse returned to the command, without the loss of a man; although about 1,000 of the enemy were in their rear, after which the whole column passed into town, led by the gallant and chivalrous Brigade commander, Colonel Miller, when he found the enemy's artillery planted upon College Hill. He ordered Colonel Brownlow to take his regiment around the left flank of the hill, where their battery was placed; he also ordered Colonel Ingerton around on the right flank, which orders were promptly carried out, which move caused the enemy to break, being nearly surrounded, leaving two caisson wagons complete, and one army wagon. So closely were they pressed by Colonel Miller that they abandoned two pieces of artillery, their baggage wagons, &c. He drove them about four miles and abandoned the chase, his horses being so much fatigued that it was folly to pursue them further.

We captured in all, some seventy prisoners, killing and wounding from fifty to a hundred, without the loss of a man killed, and but six wounded, two supposed to be mortally.

The officers and soldiers have conducted themselves well in the four engagement that we have had with Morgan's command since our arrival in this portion of the country, in all of which we have been successful, capturing and killing a considerable number of the enemy....

* * * *

Report of the Adjutant General, p. 637.


"Who Killed Morgan?"

Andrew Campbell of Bloomington, Ind., Says 'Twas He-His Account of the Dashing Guerrilla.

Special Dispatch to the Cincinnati Enquirer

BLOOMINGTON, IND., April 8.-An Enquirer representative, having read the account of the killing of John Morgan in the Enquirer of March 29th, was reminded of having been introduced to a man here by the name of Campbell, as the man who had shot Morgan, some months ago, and at once made inquiries as to this whereabouts, for the purpose of an interview. It was learned that he was still living in the City, engaged as a day laborer on such jobs as he could find in these scare times, and the gentleman himself was pointed out as he passed along the street, followed by his little son. He is a man of quiet demeanor and prepossessing appearance, with nothing of the ruffian in his make-up, and one would scarcely imagine him a man of extraordinary nerve from a casual observation.

To the question by the Enquirer man, as to whether he was Andrew Campbell, he returned an affirmative answer.

"Are you the man who killed Gen. John Morgan in Tennessee?"

"Yes Sir," with a smile

* * * *

....Morgan had on no coat at all when he was shot. He had on nothing but a pair of common blue soldier pants and a spotted calico shirt. And I did not tell Dr. Downey that the proprietor of the house from which Morgan emerged informed me that it was Morgan I had shot. It was a citizen in the street that told me. I had shot Dick Morgan's horse from under him just before the occurrence as he was attempting to escape from the house, and he jumped over into a cornfield on the opposite side of the road and got away. Some little warning had been given by some shots fired at persons attempting to run by our troops as we entered the town, and I suppose Dick had been quicker than the General and succeeded in getting his horse. At least after I had shot Dick's horse I saw a man running toward the fence dividing Mrs. Williams' garden from another field of corn and commanded him to halt. As he continued running I fired, but missed him. I then brought my gun again and fired a second time, when he fell in his tracks. He was not riddled with bullets, as been stated by some; there was but one hole in him, land that passed through his heart. The surgeon showed it to me after he was brought back to Mrs. Williams house and stripped, the surgeon not knowing that I had fired the shot. The way we came to make the raid at that time, news had been brought into our camp-Gen. Gillem's command-that Morgan was about that place with some of his command, and was making his boasts that he was going to gobble us up. We started about eleven o'clock at night, and got there about daylight. I guess our captain knew that Morgan was at a Mrs. Williams', as he took us directly to the house, while the other troops were posted at other points."

"Was Morgan armed?"

"Yes he had two splendid pistols, which had been presented to General Hardee by Colonel Colt at one time, and afterward to General Morgan by General Hardee-they had these facts engraved on them. Before he left the house he gave one of them to his Adjutant General and hid the other under a cabbage in the garden. Mrs. Williams saw him place it there, and afterward got it and gave it to General Gillem. His Adjutant General told me that after they found they were surrounded, he tried to get Morgan to surrender, but that he refused, saying that he had 'one dose of surrender, and would die before he would take another.'"

* * * *

Knoxville Daily Chronicle, April 17, 1879.


Sarah E. Thompson's account

September 3, 1864, at greenvill E tenn [sic] on the knoxville ]sic] and E tenn [sic] rode is an olde towne which I will not stop to describe tho [sic] I will say it is the home of Prsedent [sic] Johnson and one of the aldus [oldest] town in Tennis. Well it was a butifull [sic] day and as clare as a bell ever thing was bary [sic]quit [very quiet] untill [sic] near 3 oclok [sic] when there came a rush and ever Union haste heeped with fare [filled with fear] for thay had lane sins [?] has lesens in these rodes till thay larnd to fare [fear] the resultes for when thay come thay wold make you feele thare presents [feel there presence] and fare [fear] them too well to my subgest [?] of the day in qustan [question] somthing [sic] near 3 I was vary bys [very busy] preparing somthing for Sundy and maken tomato butar [making tomato butter] when a rush was heard in the streete and then a nock at the dore [knock at the door] and then when I opened it was surpried to see John Morgan the rebell Rader the king of tare in that parte [John Morgan the king of terror in that part] of the country for he was fared by all who knew him and a grate [great] many who did not knew him for he was the line of the South or the rebells [lion of the South or the rebels] know I dont want any harade [sic] feelin [sic] for I hav [sic] none and some of the deares [sic] friends I have was rebels he came in and sat neare the dore [sic] and smoked his pipe it was not the pipe of pese [sic] thoe [sic] the pipe of ware and strife he tility [tilted] his chare [sic] back neare [sic] the dore [sic] and said he was goan [sic] to to [sic] knoxville [sic] to change guests [to exchange gestures?] with generl [sic] carter [sic] and when he wold [sic] get thare [he would get there] he wold [sic] change things and one thing he wold [sic] doo [sic] wold [sic] bee [sic] to send for me and give me a close home of the reste [sic] of the ware [place her under house arrest?] and see that my develes moute [devilish mouth] was stoped [stopped] for if I was as good a rebell [sic] as I was a D______Union woming [woman] I would make some rebell a good wife and used a grate deele [sic] of flatery as it made [me] mad and it did him good to tantilise [sic] me for I dissliked [sic] it very much. after a while in came a number of rebells [sic] and took my cittle [kettle] of tomato butter of of the fire and porde [poured] it out in dishes and caried it off and turnd my bread out of the Baker I mene [sic] a small Baker ["Dutch oven"?] one as was used soth [sic] bee fore [south before] thay [sic] had stoves for I had too little by little now I had no stove and so it was a small baker I was baken in at this time and they took it and turned [sic] it out and when I cald to morging [Morgan] to purtect [protect] me he laff me to scorn [laughed scornfully at me] and said I nede not fare [need not fear] for I had never starved and thay had to live and the Union wimman [women] had to helpe feed them [.] after setin [sic] and smoken [sic] sever [sic] pips [sic] of to baco and tillide [sic] me as long as he wish [after sitting and smoking several pipes of toabacco for what seemed a long time] he went to mrs willums has [Mrs. Wiliams house] a cosin [sic] I have bin [sic] told of morgans [one of General Morgan's cousins] to stope for the nite [sic] after the pictus was plaste on gard [after the pickets were placed on guard] around the towne [sic] he and his body gard [sic] stoped at the hase of willums [sic] which is on the rare [rear] of the scall [?] whare [sic] I lived and a hansom [sic] suthern [sic] home with butifull [sic] yard and garden and very large vinyard in the rare [rear] of this house you can amagen [imagine] the grandre [grandeur] of this hame [home] for it was one of the welthy hames [wealthy homes] in this lill tone [little town] and to this elegint [sic] hase morgan and his men went and one of mrs willums sun [one of Mrs. Williams sons] was a on his staff willum willums [sic] tho [sic] was usually called Bill for short Capt Henry B. Clay of Rogsivlle Tenss [Rogersville, Tenn.] with others thay went to the hase and stoped for the knight [night] and very [every] thing was seteld [sic] as as [sic] thay that and was fixin for a good time when I and morgan was taling [talking] I tolde him he wold run on a snag be for morng [morning] tho [sic] he did not think it pasibill [possible] to doo for he was connfident of sucess in capturn [capturing] Knoxville in a few day at lest as it drad near the even [as evening drew near] I took my sun bonet in hand and went to the street streete [?] and met carnel [Colonel] willum and afte [after] I had past [passed] the time of day I asked him to pass me out after my cow [to allow me to go get my cow] as thay was several cows on the hill and he tolde the gard to pass me out and to pass me in when I returnd and I would gave him sam [some] milk so I was thue the enemies lings [through the enemy's (Confederate) lines and wnet on after the cow and when I got to it I thode at har [threw a rock at her] and she went daw [down] the hill and I after har [after her] and when out of site I crast over in a carn fee [I followed her and when I was out of site I crossed over into a cornfield] and went to friend hase [house] and that aded [aided] me more than one time and gat [got] a horse and went to are forses [our forces] that was at Buls gap [Bull's Gap] and sente the word in to ar forses [our forces] when gilim [Brigadier-General Alan C. Gillem] who was genrell [general] that when he hard the news he did not blve [beleive] it as he said it was a woman tale [woman's tale] and the carnell of the 3 teness [Colonel of the 3d Tennessee] whos [whose] name is Brownlow and the 10 mishigen [10th Michigan] and seven others said they wold goo [would go] and after they talked and at last thay started tho [sic] I must say gilimman [Gillem] did not diserve any of the honer [honor] of that grate ded [great deed] for had it bin left to him he wald not of went and when he did goo [did go] he went be hind so far thare was no danger of any harme in eny way coming at him and the Advans gard went to Mrs Willums has [advance guard went to Mrs. Williams's house] and did not finde him and was in a rage as it was now a bot [about] elven a clock the morng [morning] of the 4 of septimbe [4th of September] as mrs willums said he was gone to Abangton virginy [Abington, Virginia] [.] when I went to live grenevill the eveng [sic] be for [When I left Greeneville the evening before] I had give a colord woman 25 [$25] to wach [sic] him and when I got back and fond he had gone I went and asked har whare [asked her where] he was she said come and after goan [sic] thue the hase [going through the house] she panted [sic] a man under the bush of grape vine [she pointed to a man under the grape arbor] in the middle of the garden and said to take him for that was morgen now he was undress only his under close [he was dressed only in his underwear] he was crurch down [crouched down] and I stepd [sic] to the streete and laide my hand on a man sholder [I stepped into the street and laid my hand on a soldier's shoulder] and said sur [sic] if you will tar the fins dan [sir if you will tear the fence down] I will in sure you morgan [I will show you Morgan] the fins I speke of was a bord fens for the particen of the graps [the fence I speak of was a board fence for the protection of the grapes] and it was vary hevy bords of pland [and it was made of very hevy boards of plank] set up ende way and it is not nersery to say it came down [the fence was torn down] for it did them I advans and shode him to the man [I advanced and showed him to the soldier] and that try to git him to surrender [who tried to get Morgan to surrender] to he wold not he sat as long as he had any thing to sate [to say] then he was shot neare the midle and fell back [he would not surrender and was shot near the middle of his body and fell] and he did not more than strack the grand when he was cat [sic] by too [sic] of our men and thode on the horse of the 3 party [quickly after his death he was captured by two Union soldiers] and carried to a distens [distance] of a few miles on the nox vill rode and garded [Knoxville road and guarded] him thare till gilam [Gillem] came up [.] when he was gone the rebels too the one [?] and the canning balls [cannon balls] fell thick and fast and a grata [great] and mte [?] rash [?] come down and I was captured and garded at my dore and the rope was thar to hange me on the same limb that Fry and harmen[2] [?] hung for 3 days and thay was not cut dow [were not cut down in November 1861]....

Sarah E. Thompsons Papers[3]


A Confederate staff officer's account of the death of Morgan

* * * *

GENL. MORGAN WAS MISSING. [sic] Some said he was killed, others said wounded & captured. It appeared that a party of the enemy entered Greenville [sic] before Genl. M. Had [sic] any intimation of their coming, & was killed or captured while endeavoring to effect his escape. Some saw him in a cellar, others saw him killed in the garden (Mrs. Mary Williams' where he had his Hd Qrs) [sic] others said Mrs. told a fleeing soldier, "Your brave General lies dead in my vineyard!"

Maj.[4] Gassett who was with him made his escape by hiding in a cellar. He saw the enemy leading Capt. J.T. Rogers off, a prisoner[5] Capt. Harry Clay, A.A.G. & Capt. C. A. Withers, A.A.G. both missing, supposed to be captured.

All the soldiers expressed sorrow for Genl Morgan's fate, as yet unknown, and were deeply chagrined & mortified at the issue of the affair, because they were not allowed to fight. They blamed Col. Smith & Col. Bradford & Vaughn's men. Were particularly severe on the latter. Said they had stampeded & run clear away.

Nobody could explain anything satisfactorily. Didn't know how the Yankees got into Greenville [sic] --whether they ran over Vaughn's men on the Blue Springs road or flanked him--how nobody went to Morgan's relief-how everything happened so.

* * * *

About 12 M a courier from Capt McAfee announced that he had arrived in Greenville [sic] & found GEN. MORGAN DEAD! [sic] His body laid out in Mrs. Williams [sic] house! Alas! Poor, unfortunate Morgan!

However many grave his errors, the sorrow for his death, untimely death, covers them all as the clouds of the valley will soon cover his manly, noble form! We lament him as a brave, generous man, as a comrade in a great & good cause who was able to do much good service for the country he served so long, and at first so zealously & efficiently! We honor him for his good deeds, & love him for his heroic valor! He died as he lived, bravely fighting the enemy.

Mr. Williams[6] at whose mother's house Genl. Morgan & staff were stopping furnishes the following details He was an eyewitness:

....Nobody was on the Newport road.

Two women from Greenville [sic] (so said the Yankees) informed the Enemy of the state of affairs by 10 O'clock last night, of Morgan's force, its disposition, his intentions, hid HeadQuarters in town at Mrs. Williams' residence, and the unpicketed Newport road.

The enemy started from Bull's Gap at 11, & at 6 ½ A.M. a party of the enemy some 150 strong charged down the unpicketed Newport road, into the very heart of Greenville [sic], and surrounding Mrs. Williams' residence. About the same time a column of the enemy attacked Bradford's Tennesseans on the Blue spring [sic] road. Everybody was taken by surprise! It was demoralizing! Every rebel in town & around exerted himself to get away.

* * * *

About 6 ½ this Sunday morning, Mr. Williams (so he says) ran up stairs to Genl Morgan's room, waked him up &cried to him, "For God's sake, Gen. Morgan, get out of here, for the town is full of Yankees!" Morgan rose immediately, slipped on his pants & socks, without hat, boots or coat, threw his pistols over his shoulder, & ran down stairs, the Yankees thundering at the front door. He passed out the back door into the thick foliage & shrubbery of the large yard, ran down to the Episcopal church, looked up & down the street, saw it watched by bloodthirsty Yankees, ran back through a garden & entered an untrimmed vineyard of Mrs. William, in which he was killed.

He fought to the last. Every barrel of his two pistols was discharged.

But one ball struck him, & that passed directly through his heart. It is said there were twenty Yankees in pursuit of him. The fact that he had discharged all his pistols, and recd. but one ball & that through his heart, gave rise to suspicion that he had been murdered after surrendering.

This suspicion obtains confirmation from a holster who was concealed in the stable opposite the vineyard, who affirms that he heard Gen Morgan distinctly when he surrendered, and that some Capt'n. shot him afterwards.

We don't know this to be true, but a dark sorrowful suspicion overhangs the fate of this brave officer. His treatment after death by the brutal foe, would justify the belief that he was murdered. They threw his dying body over the high vineyard fence, threw it across a horse, & paraded it up & down the streets of Greenville [sic] & thence out to Gen. Gilliam's H.d Q'rs. some two miles in the country.

None but men abandoned to the most unholy vices, & lost to very noble sentiment would have been guilty of such treatment to the poor, dead body of so brave & gallant a man as John Morgan! It is as base as cowardly.

* * * *

The enemy rejoiced exceedingly over Genl. Morgan's death. Our own soldiers were silent & sorrowful....They lamented him as a brave man, but not a good officer! And the misfortune of his death is attached principally to his own neglect, & luxurious habit.

There is honor for his bravery, love for his devotion to a good cause, admiration for his honorable exploits &censure for his misdeeds! Let the cloak of oblivion cover the last! We will try to emulate his virtues & shun his vices! [7] Yesterday his name was a terror to the enemy. Today his body a sport for the vandals! Alas! how changed!

After a brilliant career, John Morgan fell, away from his command, surprised in bed, chased by bloodthirsty ruffians to a vineyard-and perhaps assassinated! [sic]

Diary of Edward O. Guerrant, September 4, 1864.



Lieut. O. C. FRENCH, Brig.-Gen. Gillem's Staff:

LIEUT.: In answer to your communication relative to the killing and surrender of the late Gen. John H. Morgan I must say I know but little. I was with Gen. M. when he left Mrs. Williams' house. He handed me one of his pistols, and said that he wished me to assist him in making his escape. I told him it was almost useless, as we were entirely surrounded. He replied, saying that we must do it if possible. We were concealed in a clump of bushes, when a soldier rode up to the fence, wearing a brown jeans jacket. We naturally supposing him a Confederate soldier, came out of the bushes, Gen. M. stepping at the same time through the fence. The soldier demanded a surrender, much to our surprise. Capt. Wilcox, of the Federal army, with some other soldiers, rode up. I, with Mr. Johnson, hastened toward him, looking back in the direction of Gen. M., hearing cries, "kill him!" "kill him!" from every quarter except Capt. W., who received my surrender very gentlemanly; but before I reached Capt. W. I saw Gen. M. throw up his hands exclaiming, "Oh God!" I saw nothing more of him until he was brought to the street dead. I am satisfied that Johnson and myself were both fired on after we surrender, but by men so far from us that it must have been impossible for them to know that we were prisoners. I asked Capt. Wilcox to leave a soldier with me after I had surrendered, for my own safety, which he did. We were possibly fired on from almost every direction, but from such a distance that I am almost satisfied that the men did it innocently. I, however, do not condemn them for firing on me after I had surrendered, under the circumstances. If Gen. M. surrender before he was shot I do not know it.

I am, lieutenant, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

J. T. ROGERS, Capt. and A. A. A. and I. G., late Gen. John H. Morgan's Staff.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 39, pt. 1, p. 492.




4, President Andrew Johnson queries General Thomas about "Negro Whore House" in his Greeneville, Tennessee, home

September 4, 1865, EXECUTIVE OFFICE, Washington, D. C., Pres. Johnson to Maj. Gen. G. H. THOMAS, in Nashville, Tenn.:

I have information of the most reliable character that the negro troops stationed at Greeneville, Tenn., are under little or no restraint, and are committing depredations throughout the country, domineering over, and in fact running the white people out of the neighborhood. Much of this is said to be attributable to the officers, who countenance and rather encourage the negroes [sic] in their insolence and in their disorderly conduct. The negro soldiery take possession of and occupy property in the town at discretion, and have even gone so far as to have taken my own house and inverted it into a rendezvous for male and female negroes [sic], who have been congregated there, in fact making it a common negro brothel. It was bad enough to be taken by traitors and converted into a rebel hospital, but a negro whore house is infinitely worse. As to the value of the property, I care nothing for that, but the reflection that it has been converted into a sink of pollution, and that by our own forces, is, I confess, humiliating in the extreme. The people of East Tennessee above all others are the last who should be afflicted with the outrages of the negro soldiery. It is a poor reward for their long and continued devotion to the country through all its perils. It would be far better to remove every negro soldier from East Tennessee, and leave the people to protect themselves as best they may. I hope you will at once give instructions to every officer in command of negro troops to put them under strict discipline and reduce them to order. I also hope, as suggested in a former dispatch, that you will relieve that part of the State from negro troops as soon as practicable. If they are not needed for the public service in your department, let them be sent where they are, or, if not needed at all, it would be better that they be taken to the proper points and mustered out of service, and thereby reduce the enormous expense of the Government. Cannot instructions be given Gen. Gillem to attend to and see that proper discipline and order are without delay restored and enforced?


OR, Ser. I. Vol. 49. pt. II, p. 1109.



[2] Most likely two Unionist bridge burners.

[3] Sarah E. Thompson's Papers, Special Collections Library, Duke University. This is a literal translation of her hand written journal, with translations provided by the editor in brackets.

[4] Morgan's quartermaster.

[5] James A. Rogers, Morgan's assistant inspector general, would escape from the Federals in February 1865 by jumping from a railroad car near Nashville.

[6] Not her husband, but her brother-in-law.

[7] This may be a reference to Morgan's libidinal excesses.

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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