Tuesday, October 1, 2013

10/1/2013 Tennessee Civil War Notes

1, Rotten Beef and Pork Kills Tennessee Confederate Soldiers

Fraud Exposed-.The Chattanooga Rebel calls attention to the fraudulent and outrageous manner in which beef and pork were put up for the army last year by the governmental agents in East Tennessee. It says many of the deaths in the army were caused by this unwholesome food, and premises to keep a sharp look out for such criminal remissness [during] the present winter.

Memphis Daily Appeal, October 1, 1861.[1]




1, Major-General W.T. Sherman's views on municipal tax collection in Memphis

HDQRS. FIFTH DIVISION, Memphis, October 1, 1862.

Hon. JOHN PARK, Mayor of Memphis:

SIR: Your letter of September 29 inclosing two letters from John P. Trevesant, clerk, dated September 12, is received. I prefer not by any action of mine to complicate the machinery of government, and therefore will not sanction the imperfect collection of county and State taxes by a deputy or clerk.

If the county authorities return to their allegiance and duty I will be willing to assist them, but to empower a deputy to collect State taxes, even if these taxes be paid into the city treasury, will give a man in whom I have not full confidence the power to disturb the merchants and business men of the city without extending his collections on the county. I prefer that the city authorities should execute their powers vigorously, not timidly suppress crimes, keep your streets guarded, lighted, and cleaned, and to extend this authority to all who enjoy the advantages of the city. If the funds derived from the taxes hitherto provided for are insufficient report to me, and I can levy any species of military contributions. I think it better to have the taxes due the State and county in the hands of the people till the government of the county and State resume their appropriate functions. I return to you the letter of Mr. Trevesant.

I am, with great respect, your obedient servant,

W. T. SHERMAN, Maj.-Gen., Comdg.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 17, pt. II, p. 252.




1, 1862 - Life and death in the Confederate hospital in Chattanooga; an entry from the journal of Kate Cumming

One of Mrs. May's patients died a few days ago. His name was Huntley, was a lieutenant in the Twenty-seventh Mississippi Regiment. He was sick for some time, and died perfectly resigned, in the full hope of a blessed resurrection. He spoke a good deal about his family, and would like to have seen them before his departure from this world. Mrs. W. conversed and prayed with him, and was much gratified at the frame of mind in which he died. His father came to see him, but too late, as he was dead and buried. A few days before his death he told me that my friend Lieutenant Booth, a member of the same regiment, was here sick. Dr. Hunter has sent a messenger around to all the hospitals in search of him, but he is not to be found.

In a letter received a few days ago from home, was a notice of the death of Charles Farrow, a member of the twenty-first Alabama Regiment, the same who was taken prisoner at Shiloh. He was confined at Camp Douglas; was taken sick while on the transport, coming down; and having no attention paid him, sank under his disease, and dies on the 21st or 22d of September. Poor fellow! It seems but yesterday since I saw him, a boy. He was one of my brother's school-mates.

The relatives of C.F. had the consolation of closing his eyes and ministering to his last wants, as he reached his home a few hours ere he breathed his last. He was a member of the Episcopal Church, and I believe, a sincere and devout Christian. I feel for his poor mother and sister who mourn for him. "He is not dead, but sleepeth."


Weep not for him! There is no cause of woe;

But rather nerve the spirit, that it walk,

Unshrinking, o'er the thorny path below,

And from earth's low defilement keep thee back.

So, when a few fleet-swerving years have flown,

He'll meet thee at heaven's gate, and lead thee on.

Weep not for him.

Cumming, A Journal of Hospital Life, pp. 47-48.




1, A private sector skirmish with and capture of guerrillas

The Right Way to Do

A Gallant Exploit

The Biters Bit

A Cotton Buyer Holding his own

Guerrillas Under Par

A gentleman of this city was robbed yesterday morning, a few miles from Memphis, on Nonconnah creek, by a band of ruffians, misnamed guerrillas, who spared his life on the express condition that he would decoy Mr. Spiro, a cotton buyer of this city, into their clutches. Mr. Spiro is a the gentleman whom our readers will recollect as reported in the Bulletin two weeks since, the sufferer by a couple of thieves in the same quarter, who relieved him of a valuable horse, and several hundred dollars in greenbacks. The trap was arranged to delude Mr. Spiro into the belief that a large lot of cotton was waiting for him in that vicinity, and to persuade him to bring out several thousand dollars to purchase it. But the messenger informed Mr. Spiro of the whole scheme. Burning with revenge, our enterprising friend took seven others with him, men of nerve, pluck and skill, and started out yesterday afternoon in quest of adventure. It was a bold exploit and came to a successful issue. The shearer was shorn; the trap was sprung, but caught the hand that set it.

The party struck Nonconnah some two miles below the place where Mr. Spiro was expected, and rode briskly through the woods to their appointment. Arrived at the public road [sic], they met an elderly person who informed them that he, too, had just been robbed by the same bandits, and guided them to the place of their concealment.

Scarcely had his statement been made, when the foe came boldly into the road a little way ahead, and the forces met. The enemy were five in number, three of them being Captains in Chalmers' (guerrilla) command, the whole commanded by Capt. Crawford. After a brief skirmish the miscreants turned tail, and our friends pursued in hot haste. One of the enemy fell from his horse, was overtaken and might easily have been killed as was so righteously deserved but for mercy's sake was spared, this lenity he acknowledged by escaping into the brush. The remaining four ensconced behind a log hut, and gave fight, and for some minutes the popping was brisk as a champagne supper. But all such games were too exciting to last. Capt. Crawford was soon killed, one of the foe was taken prisoner, begging upon bended knees for his miserable life, and brought to Memphis as a trophy, together with a horse, ten saddles, three revolvers, and some captured friends.

It was a gallant thing, and will long be remembered in that "debatable" strip of ground which has witnessed so many robberies and murders of late, as an evidence of what a few brave men can do at guerrilla-catching. This morning we understand a company is going out to the locality to bury the scamps who lay there.

Memphis Bulletin, October 2, 1863. [2]



October 1, 1864, Surrender of block-houses at Carter's Creek

Report of Lieut. Albert Kramer, Sixty-eighth New York Infantry, Assistant Inspector of Block-Houses.


I have the honor herewith to submit my report of damages to fortifications in my section during the recent raid of Gen. Forrest.

On Saturday, 1 p. m., came Gen. Forrest and staff with flag of truce of Block-house No. 5, which was in command of Second Lieut. E. Nixon, Company E, Seventh Pennsylvania Cavalry, and demanded a surrender of the block-house with garrison, which demand Second Lieut. E. F. Nixon complied with without firing a gun. Lieut. Nixon, who was in command of Block-houses Nos. 3, 4, and 5, ordered the sergeants in command to surrender. Sergt. A. Frohn, Company L, Seventh Pennsylvania Cavalry, in command of Block-house No. 4, Bridge No. 4, and Sergt. W. Rhinemiller, Company M, Seventh Pennsylvania Cavalry, was in command of Block-house No. 3, Bridge No. 3. Sergt. W. Rhinemiller refused three times to comply. Lieut. E. F. Nixon then threatened to place him in arrest; he also fired on the flag. Lieut. E. F. Nixon rode with Forrest's adjutant to First Lieut. J. F. Long, Company B, Seventh Pennsylvania Cavalry, commanding Block-house No. 6, Bridge No. 5, and tried to induce him to surrender, which [he] refused to do, and ordered Lieut. Nixon, with the adjutant of Gen. Forrest, away from his block-house. First Lieut. Long fought him from 2 p. m. until 12 m.; killed 10 rebels and wounded several; but they succeeded in destroying his bridge; his command and block-house were uninjured. During the truce, the rebels under cover of the railroad bank, succeeded in firing the bridge with turpentine; one end was burned, and the whole fell in. Block-houses Nos. 3, 4, and 5 are burned to the ground; also Bridges Nos. 3 and 4. It is learned Carter's Creek Station, the water-tank, and saw-mill, and the railroad destroyed from there to Spring Hill. Rumor says Lieut. Nixon surrendered for a bribe of $10,000. The rebels had no artillery, and his three block-houses were double cased up to the top log of the loop-holes. The garrisons of the three block-houses and water-tanks and saw-mill were taken prisoners, except 1 man escaped. Block-houses No. 3 was garrisoned with thirty-two men, Block-house No. 4 with twenty-two men, Block-house No. 5 with thirty-one men. Thirty men garrisoned the water-tank and saw-mill. Altogether 115 men captured. Rumor says they have all been paroled, and arriving this day at Franklin. Sunday morning at 8 our pickets were driven in at Duck River bridge, but we succeeded in driving them off without any damage to the works, or loss of life. Sunday morning our pickets were attacked on four different roads, Pulaski, Bigbyville, Mount Pleasant, and Hampshire. Fights and skirmishes continued until 6 o'clock in the evening, when the enemy withdrew in the direction of Mount Pleasant, and encamped on Gen. Pillow's plantation, moving next morning in the direction of Waynesborough. Forrest's force is reported at 2,500 men. The railroad is open from here to Pulaski. These are the whole facts as far as I have been able to ascertain. Will report further information as soon as I get it. Have no laborers nor carpenters to build these three blockhouses. Please inform me what I shall do.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


First Lieut., 68th New York Regt. [sic], Asst. Insp. of Block-Houses.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 39, pt. I, pp. 507-508.



1, "A Model Counsel."

Gabriel and Ned, "brack gemmen," [sic] staked $50 aside on a game of "seven up." Office Smith came upon them, like the unwelcome guest, and lodged them in jail. A lawyer undertook their defense, and mustered for the occasion all the eloquence and rhetoric of which he was master. In the course of his argument he held that gambling was only a slight offense, and too trifling to demand punishment. He considered it trifling, in fact, and so innocent, he occasionally indulged in it himself, and had tried his luck only the night before. At this the Court smiled, the City Attorney laughed. The eloquent counsel had make a good hit, and, in appreciation thereof, the accused were released on paying the trifling fine of $10 each and cost. It was quietly suggested to our reporter that the legal gentleman was considerably more than "half primed."

Memphis Bulletin, October 1, 1864.




[1] As cited in PQCW.

[2] There is no reference to this skirmish in the OR or Dyer's Battle Index for Tennessee

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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