Friday, September 6, 2013

9/6/13 Tennessee Civil War Notes

6, "Cutting It Fat."

Some of our merchants, not greatly troubled with some conscientious scruples, are now reaping a golden harvest. It may be reasonably expected that those of them receiving their goods by way of a short [cut] across the line dividing Dixie from Nod [sic], would increase their prices to suit the nature of the case, but our citizens were hardly prepared to see them demanding a profit of 200 per cent. Whenever the margin of profit gets to be wider than Broad street, it has ceased to be reasonable, and does not deserve to be very liberally encouraged. The spirit of extortion will soon be crushed out, if wearers and consumers will firmly resolve to buy no article whatever until absolutely compelled to do so. Wear patched garment, take additional care of your old hats, bonnets, boots and shoes, live on cheaper food, do anything within the bounds of decency to obviate the necessity of buying a dime's worth from any one you have reason to regard as an extortioner. Nashville is not altogether...of that class of heartless individuals, who would wickedly mock at the calamity of their neighbors, if it but enables them to pout gold in their purses. Our people know them, and should now and forever avoid them, as they would [not enter] a house on fire or a city visited by the plague. [1]

Nashville Daily Gazette, September 6, 1861.




6, News scarcity in Nashville

In these piping times of war and confusion, few people have a more difficult task to perform than the City Editor. The reader expects to see his department filled every day, no matter what happens, but if nothing happens?—what then? No one will commit suicide or murder, fight a duel, or do any other foolish or diabolical act, from which a paragraph may be made. Even a drunken man is a rare occurrence now, and even this miserable pittance is snapped up the Provost Guard, instead of the Police, thus depriving us of an item and the city Treasury of a fine. The haunts of the "frail fair ones" are as quiet as graveyards at midnight, and in public houses the stillness is only broken by the sound of the billiard balls. Yesterday a horse threw his rider, but he fell in such manner as to avoid even a scratch. Had he broken a leg or an arm, or his neck, something might have been said about inexperienced riders venturing upon fiery steeds, etc., etc., and perhaps a heart-rending obituary might have followed. A dog was run over, but the little fellow picked himself up and ran off unharmed. We went to the work-house, but nothing had "turned up."  At the Recorder's office all was quiet. Squire Southgate had nothing exciting on hand. The grape-vine was not in working order. The telegraph wires have been out of fix since the storm played thunder with them, and every one we meet has a very improbable story to tell, which he is ready to vouch for, of how "Morgan captured two prisoners yesterday in Kentucky," how he took a train the same day in Alabama; how he was seizing horses in Tennessee, and at night we are told at the theatre that "John Morgan's got yer Mule" [sic]—the mule that quiet and inoffensive country gentleman lost in camp some time ago. The reader will therefore make charitable allowances for any lack of local items.

Nashville Dispatch, September 6, 1862.




6-7, Racial conflict and soldier rioting in Nashville; the "Bloody Tenth" runs amuck

On Saturday night [6th] a dense crowd assembled at the theatre. All that part of the auditorium set apart for white people was crowded at an early hour, so that standing room could scarcely be obtained, when a number of privates in the Tenth Ohio occupied the negro gallery. Before the first act was over, that part of the house also became crowded; and at the fall of the curtain some of the negroes left their seats and were passing through the crowd, when some soldiers seized them and knocked them down. In ten minutes every negro had been badly beaten and elected from the house, some of them being thrown entirely down the stairs, from the top to the bottom. As the last one disappeared, quietness was again restored. No alarm was visible in the lower part of the house, and when the band had finished their performances the curtain rose, and the play proceeded without interruption.

Leaving the theatre, several members of the Tenth repaired to Smoky Row, where they soon came in contact with the Provost Guard. After considerable disturbance with them, they committed some depredations on houses in the neighborhood, which were finally brought to a close by a volley from the guard, wounding one of the disturbers in the leg, and enabling the guard to arrest others.

On Sunday morning the soldiers resumed their attacks upon the negroes—this time displaying their pugnacious propensities especially against those negroes dressed in Federal uniform. On the Square, Deputy Marshal Steele probably saved the life of one negro by advising him to take off his coat, when the soldiers around him tore it to atoms, having previously knocked the negro down several times to make him take off his clothes. On Deaderick street they caught another negro in uniform, and literally stripped it off him, leaving him to escape well covered with bruises and only partially with rags. Another negro in uniform was caught on Gay street. At their request, he very wisely took off his military coat, when the soldiers tore it to shreds and threw it in the street. Two or three other cases occurred during the afternoon, but no material damage was done.      

On College street, come members of "The Bloody Tenth," as they said, got into a fight with some other soldiers. Rocks and fists were freely used, and blood flowed copiously, when an officer rode up and put a stop to further bloodshed. All things considered, such disgraceful proceedings were never before witnessed in Nashville, and we hope never to be compelled to witness a repetition of similar riotous conduct.

In Edgefield many depredations were committed, but no personal injury inflicted, that we have heard. Several stores were broken open—among them a liquor store, from which all the whiskey was taken, and we are informed that everything about the premises afterwards destroyed.

Nashville Dispatch, September 9, 1862.




6, Capture of Confederate locomotive and rolling stock near Morristown

No circumstantial reports filed.

KNOXVILLE, TENN., Via Barboursville, Ky., September 6, 1863. (Received 12.50 p. m.)

Maj.-Gen. HALLECK, Gen.-in-Chief:

We have captured another train at Morristown, and hope to get a good portion of the rolling stock higher up on the road. Command in good spirits. We are making some movements to aid Rosecrans. A bearer of dispatches leaves here this evening or to-morrow with particular.

A. E. BURNSIDE, Maj.-Gen.

OR, Ser. I, Vol., 30, pt., III, p. 400.




6, "An Affair at the 'Iron Clad.'"

Sunday evening a young man, whose troubles are not unfrequent, by reason of his festive disposition, suffering from some real or fancied wrong - real, perhaps, knocked at the door of a well known house of ill-fame, styled the "Iron Clad." The call was answered by one of the frail ones of the house, who inquired, "who's there?" The reply, "It's me" [sic] in familiar tones, caused her to open the door, which was no sooner done that she received in the face an overpowering shower of asafoetida from a syringe in the hands of the outsider. Overcome by the fragrant drug she turned to retreat, and in so doing received a brisk fire in the rear, from the same battery, after which the enemy retreated in "disorder." Her screams brought her fallen sisters and some visitors to the scene. But the perfume was so strong, they were soon obliged to leave, not, however, until most of them had became infected by it. There were strange oaths, and stranger doffing of clothing, it is said, and many of the garments, it was found necessary to bury. The victim, no doubt, suffers as if a polecat had attacked her. We learn that since the affair occurred, persons passing the premises indulge in the mysterious demonstration of squeezing their nasal appendages between their digits, so peculiar is the atmosphere surrounding them. The cause of this singular outrage is best known to those concerned.

Memphis Bulletin, September 6, 1864.

[1] By September 1861 conditions were such that civilians were feeling the pinch and profiteering was common.

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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