22, Divorce, military style.
Provost Marshal and Divorce
A Divorce or a Guard.-At the Provost Marshal's office Lieut. Edwards, the Assistant Provost Marshal, besides being assiduous in his duties and affable with all who have business at the office, is especially courteous and polite to such ladies as may have to attend there. He was startled the other day by the tone with a lady (who had obtained admission) abruptly exclaimed with a sort of biting energy in her tones that compelled attention:
"Look here, sir, can I speak to you?"
"Take a seat, Madam, and I will attend to you," replied the Lieutenant.
"My husband left me some days ago, sir, and I do not know where he is gone, and I do not care; I do not want him anymore. There is a man, however, that will suit me very well, a good deal better than the other one that is gone, and he will marry me if I can get a divorce. I find that there are no courts or anywhere where a divorce can be got. You seem to do everything here that used to be done the law folks, now I want you to give me a divorce, and I want it right away. The man suits me, and he wants to marry me right off, and I have no notion of waiting any how. [sic] And when you have given the divorce, I want you to let me have a guard to keep the other husband from coming about, teasing this one. I know he will make a fuss, and I must have a guard to make him keep his distance, and let me and my other husband enjoy our lives quietly. I want you to let me have the divorce and guard, sir; I want them right away; this man suits me, and the other does not." When her volubity [sic] and very energetic manner of demanding made a stoppage of breath a necessity no longer to be postponed, Lieutenant Edwards at last got opportunity to assure her that, although the military frequently accommodates ladies with a chance to get a new husband, they granted the divorce with lead and steel, not with parchment and she could not be accommodated in that way. The lady received the explanation with every manifestation of intense disgust, and plainly intimated that Provost Marshals were a good deal smaller fry than she had supposed.
Memphis Bulletin, October 22, 1862.
22, "A Pretty Minx."
The people in the neighborhood of the Navy Yard had their attention attraction yesterday afternoon by seeing a lady gracefully riding through the streets, attended by a youth on another horse. The elegant appearance of the couple was much admired and the young misses were warm in their expressions of admiration of the boy who so gallantly squired the lady. His white hat sat graceful upon flowing hair; a faultlessly white collar was tied with a beautiful colored neckerchief, a round jacket, and a very neatly made pair of pants. The foot set off with a handsome half boot, made up as exquisite a toilette as fancy could well devise. Among the admiring eyes attracted to the graceful couple were those of policeman Parker. His experienced eye detected that the exquisiteness was too exquisite. It was no male hand that had arranged all with such accurate taste, such harmonious faultless elegance-the boy was a woman! The woman was two [sic] quick not to know when she was recognized. She at once put her horse to a gallop and a soon as she thought she had eluded the search of the officer, she threw the girdle of her horse to her companion, who rode off, while she darted into a house, strange enough she was; and seeing a lady seated, she commenced at once in her confusion to divest herself of the inexpressible [sic] cause of her difficulties. The sudden appearance of a pretty, saucy looking strange boy, who was about to be guilty of so gross an outrage on all boyish politeness naturally alarmed the lady, who was about to scream for help, when the intruder assured her that she was a woman. A hurried council was held which ended in a hack being sent for and the saucy young fellow being sent home sheltered by its friendly roof. It was too late, however – Parker had detected the whole movement. They boy-girl was arrested. She gave the name of Frank Gordon, and deposited a sum of money as security for her appearance before Recorder Tighe this morning.
Memphis Bulletin, October 23, 1862.
22, Confederate situation report relative to flour mill operation, pickets and scouts on the Tennessee River, Igou's to Blythe's Ferry
HDQRS. 35TH AND 48TH TENNESSEE REGIMENTS, Near Georgetown, Tennessee, October 22, 1863.
Gen. STEVENSON, Cmdg. at Charleston and Loudon, E. Tennessee:
DEAR SIR: I am commanding the Thirty-fifth and Forty-eighth Tennessee Regiments at this point, numbering about 400 men. I was sent here to gather up wheat and put three mills in operation, and to gather up stock for the army. Have been very successful in both. I am also picketing the Tennessee River from Igou's to Blythe's Ferry with my infantry and a few mounted [men] whom I have in my command.
The enemy has fortified and done a good deal of ditching on the opposite side at Blythe's Ferry. They have also ditched on the island at that point to protect them while hauling corn from the island. Col. Cooper, commanding a regiment in Spears' brigade, is in command of about 400 men at Blythe's Ferry. I have a good company of infantry guarding that point stationed on this side. Spears' headquarters are located on Sale Creek. The remainder of his brigade is with him. Byrd, commanding brigade of cavalry, is located at Post Oak Springs above.
I have scouts who go across the river every night. They report that Joe Clift, owning a mill on opposite [shore], and who has been grinding for the Federals, applied to Gen. Spears on last Tuesday or Wednesday for a guard for his mill. Gen. Spears replied that they were under marching orders and liable to move at any moment, consequently he could not furnish it. Gen. Spears told Joe Clift that the Federal forces in east Tennessee were in a precarious situation; that our troops were marching on them from above and below, and that he was fearful they would be cut off. The Union men and private soldiers are of the opinion that Rosecrans is preparing for a retrograde movement; that he could not support his army where he now is very long.
Rosecrans sent 1,000 wagons across Walden's Ridge by the Poe road, loaded with sick, wounded, and other surplus, as the Yankees say, on last Monday. Tuesday and Wednesday night four or five batteries passed up by Sale Creek in the direction of Post Oak Springs or Smith's Cross-Roads as though they were hunting out a road to Middle Tennessee or getting forage for their stock or going to East Tennessee. Our scout was not able to ascertain which. They were nearly starved, as they pressed Gen. Spears' corn as they went up by Sale Creek. They had a general rip and cursing spell. They said that their horses had had no forage for forty-eight hours.
Some of the gassing, boasting officers brag that Rosecrans had received 60,000 re-enforcements and would hold his position, while others of his men and officers said that he had not received one-half that number and could not hold it.
I have thus summed up and penned down the various items of information acquired by my scouts on the opposite side of the river. You can weigh it and judge for yourself. I hope if anything of importance should occur above you will let me know, and oblige,
Your obedient servant,
B. J. HILL, Col., &c.
OR, Ser. I, Vol. 31, pt. III, p. 577.
22, Newspaper Report on General C. C. Washburn's Oath Required for Memphis Public School Teachers
The Richmond Sentinel publishes a circular and declaration of principles, which were addressed to a teacher of Memphis, Tennessee, by order of Washburn, the Yankee General commanding the district of West Tennessee. These documents require all teachers to subscribe to a solemn declaration of hatred to the Southern Confederacy and love for the United States – that they rejoice at the defeats of the former and the successes of the latter, and that they hold ["]all men and women, aiding and abetting, by word or deed, resistance to the authorities of the present or any other legally elected Administration, as traitors to their God and their country; and that I condemn the expression or entertaining of disloyal sentiments, on the part of American citizens, as infamous and degrading.["]
"And I do herby pledge and bind myself, during my connection with the schools of Memphis, to teach positive, practical and unconditional loyalty to my pupils, to inculcate confidence and respect in and for the Federal Government, reverence for the flag of the Union, abhorrence of treason and traitors, and distrust and contempt for the man or woman sympathizing with secession or rebellion."
The Sentinel well remarks, that the despotism of Washburn is indeed low-reaching, when a lady cannot be permitted to teach the alphabet and the multiplication table to little children, without solemnly swearing to such a rigmarole of absurdity and wickedness as the declaration of principles, and promising diligently to poison the minds of the little ones with it. To require an oath that black is white, that vice is virtue, and that wrong is right, and that all who hold otherwise are knaves and idiots, would not be a whit more foolish and detestable than the miserable stuff with which every instinct of truth and patriotism is sought to be stifled in the minds of the young.
The Daily South Carolinian, October 22, 1864.
James B. Jones, Jr.
Tennessee Historical Commission
2941 Lebanon Road
Nashville, TN 37214