Wednesday, October 23, 2013

10/23/2013 Tennessee Civil War Notes

24, Old apparel in Nashville

We have been gratified at the number of calico dresses, and at the number of old coats, hats, and pantaloons, we have seen in the street lately. Sons and daughters seem to know that their fathers can not do as they wish to and would do under other circumstances. All praise to them. Economy is so near allied, in the opinion of the young and thoughtless, with stinginess and meanness, that appears odious. Our own experience proves that it is one of the most valuable and useful virtues. Ben Franklin says that "he who buys what he does not want, will soon want what he can not buy."

Nashville Daily Gazette, October 24, 1861.[1]



        23, A Federal private claims a Confederate battle flag

We suppose that the flag mentioned is in possession of the proper authorities, it is not the custom, we believe, to allow privates or subordinate officers to retain such trophies as regimental flags. We hope that Congress will pass a law granting medals for meritorious conduct to soldiers in the army as well as in the navy.

Camp 21st Regt. Ohio Vol.,

Nashville, Tenn., Oct. 23, 1862.

Editor Nashville Union:

On the 7th inst., in the "affair" at Lavergne, I captured the regimental flag of the 32nd Regiment of Alabama Rebels, and, with the assistance of a private of the 18th Regiment Ohio Volunteers, took prisoners at the same time ten rebel soldiers. I do not know the soldier's name, but he and myself were the first in the rebel camp. I took possession of the flag and what guns the prisoners had, and in a few moments some cavalrymen came and took charge of the prisoners. I laid the flag, guns, and some other traps in a pile, and went to catch a horse which was running about ready bridled and saddled, and one of the cavalrymen who was marching off the prisoners which the 18th Ohio man and myself had captured, picked up my flag and put off with it. I am told that these cavalrymen say they captured it, but I know they did not. The flag is a little faded—the colors "run"—and was presented to some Rifles, I disremember the name, by the ladies of some town in Alabama; I disremember the name of the town—Mobile, I think—and also some lettering which was on it. I write this in hopes that the flag may be returned to me, or turned over to proper authority for me. Perhaps it was removed by mistake, as I think no good soldier would intentionally wrong his brother-in-harms.

Yours truly,

Isaac Taylor, Private, Co. C, 21st O. V. I.

Nashville Daily Union, October 23, 1862.



23, "Baptist Ladies' Fair."

This exhibition for some cause has been poorly attended. We cannot attribute the lack of interest in this praiseworthy movement of the Christian ladies of your community, to anything other than ignorance on the part of citizens of the existence of such a thing as Baptist Fairs. Indeed, we were told by Mrs. Grant, one of the principal leaders in this most benevolent enterprise, that many of the citizens had told her when interrogated, why they did not patronize the Fair, they knew nothing of it. Besides the weather, since the opening of it, has been most inclement and the impossibility of procuring any music may also have worked against it. Now, we wish it distinctly understood, by every reader of the Bulletin, not only that there is such an institution as the Baptist Ladies' Fair, but that is so far as the collections and articles on exhibition are concerned, a decided sucess. [sic] We have visited many fairs in our life, but have yet to see one that will excel this in beauty of selection or variety. The tasteful arrangement and splendid decorations are a great credit on the heads of the tables. Wednesday evening, the commencement of the Fair, it was impossible to procure any music, the weather was unfavorable, the attendance slim, and the consequence was that but about $100 were realized-barely enough to pay expenses. Thursday evening, owing to the inclement of the weather, the attendance was but tolerable, the music promised did not come, and though the visitors were unusually liberal, the ladies realized but about $200. To-morrow-Saturday evening-a Colonel of one of the regiments stationed in the city, proposes to have at the Hall one of our splendid brass bands, and Mr. Conway hopes to be able to present new and interesting attractions. The object is a benevolent one-to support the past of the church, Mr. G. W. Lancaster, and to liquidate an outstanding debt on the church. We invite our citizens to attend to-night, and show by their presence here that they feel an interest in the cause of Christianity. This denomination have suffered severely since the war by the loss of three churches -- one burned on Beal street-on demolished at Fort Pickering-and one is occupied as a hospital, leafing only this one in the city.

The committee of arrangements are, Mrs. N. H. Stont, Mrs. Geo. Grant, Mrs. Wm. Bruce, Mrs._____Zent, _____Armstrong, Miss Mary Zent, Miss Mollie Eanis, Miss Annie Coolidge, Miss______Coolidge, Miss. J. Wolf, Miss E. Curtis, Miss Emma Curtis, Miss Betty Taylor, Miss Fanny Hoope, Miss Mary Hoope.

Memphis Bulletin, October 23, 1863.



23, Suggestions aimed at making the Enrolled Militia, Defenses of Memphis more efficient

MEMPHIS, TENN., October 23, 1864.

Brig. Gen. C. W. DUSTAN, Cmdg. Enrolled Militia, Defenses of Memphis:

GEN.: The undersigned, commanding officers of the several regiments of your command, most respectfully call attention to the following facts in regard to the militia organization of Memphis, which we think demand the consideration of the military authorities in order that the organization may be more efficient:

The militia is composed of the business men, clerks, and laboring men of Memphis who are physically able for duty. In addition to drilling once a week they are required to guard the armories day and night, to arrest absentees from drill and guard duty, to patrol the city from time to time in search of delinquents and those who wish to avoid duty in the organization, and at the same time they are expected to keep their arms and accouterments in good order. These requirements, it has been found by experience, are a severe tax on the time and pockets of the members, and more particularly on the clerks and the laboring class of community. This would not be so objectionable, or at least would not be made a matter of complaint, were it not for the fact that there are nearly, if not quite, as many exempts (from various causes--under age, over age, and physical disability) who are equally interested in the safety of the city as there are men in the militia, and who contribute nothing to the organization, neither time, money, nor good will, and who do not, as the recent emergency plainly proved, tender their services in any manner or form in time of need. Inasmuch as the organization is for the better defenses of the city, the city is certainly interested; and as it is an organization required by the military authorities we most respectfully request that said authorities aid us in making the following changes in the organization: We ask that permanent guards be employed, to be paid by the city, to do duty at the several regimental in their charge, additional guards in cases of emergency to be detailed from the different regiments; that a sufficient number of competent persons be employed by the city to keep the arms and accouterments of the different regiments in good serviceable condition, and that the city furnish and needful articles for keeping the arms in good condition and repair. We also suggest the almost absolute necessity for the regimental adjutant to be constantly on duty. Business men cannot be found who have sufficient time to discharge the duties of the office. We therefore request that a competent person for each regiment may be detailed from the army, or that we be authorized to select such officers, and that in either case they be allowed the pay of regimental adjutants in the army, on condition, however, that they do not engaged in any kind of business while holding the office. During the fall and coming winter we suggest that all business he suspended after 12 m. on Monday of each week, and that each regiment be required to devote at least three hours to company and battalion drill.

C. McDONALD, Col. First Regt. [sic] Enrolled Militia.

D. RYAN, Col. Second Regt. [sic] Enrolled Militia, Defenses of Memphis.

M. T. WILLIAMSON, Col. Third Regt. [sic] Enrolled, Militia, Defenses of Memphis.

[First indorsement.]


Respectfully forwarded.

So much of the communication as applies to permanent guards at the several armories is disapproved. I deem it necessary that the commands should be instructed by practice in the manner of properly performing guard duty. The other suggestions contained in the paper are heartily approved, and earnestly recommended. In order to promote the efficiency of the organization I would suggest that the system of fines for no-attendance to duty in the several regiments be abolished, or at least modified; its working at present is to throw nearly all the duty on the laboring man, who can illy afford the time lost from his daily work. The man of means neglects or avoids the many calls for extra or daily duty, and by paying his fine exempts himself from unpleasant consequences. Every tour of duty he thus avoids is thrown upon his poorer neighbor. My opinion is that a system that would punish neglect of duty by assignment to extra duty, to which might be added in gross cases imprisonment and perhaps fine, would work successfully. In order to adopt this plan it will be necessary for the city to make a monthly appropriation to support the regimental organizations. In my judgment one dollar per month for each officer and man actually present would be ample for the requirements of the several regiments.

C. W. DUSTAN, Brig.-Gen., Enrolled Militia, Cmdg.

[Second indorsement.]

HDQRS. DISTRICT OF MEMPHIS, Memphis, Tenn., November 6, 1864.

Respectfully forwarded.

The suggestions and recommendations of the regimental commanders of the militia are approved. Something ought to be done to lessen the burden of militia duty, especially of the poorer class of men. It is now a great hardship on that class. The armories should be guarded at the expense of the city. There is no justice in requiring the comparatively few men who are now doing the duty to bear the whole burden for the benefit of the city. The property and business of the city should be made to pay.

R. P. BUCKLAND, Brig.-Gen., Cmdg.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 39, pt. III, pp. 410-412.

[1] This phenomenon may well have been a response to the editor's appeal to citizens to wear old clothing as a tactic to drive prices of new clothing down.

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