9, 1862 - "The work of sin and death and hell is going on daily at our landing with those 'little ones' whom the Redeemer has commanded should be suffered to come to him and 'no man layeth it to hear.'" Juvenile Crime in Memphis
We earnestly call attention to the amount of crime among the young of our city. It is rapidly increasing. We this morning counted at the landing, congregated opposite the stern of the St. Louis wharfboat, eleven boys and six girls of from six to twelve years of age. Several of them had sacks with them; these are used for the reception of coffee, cotton or any other goods which they can steal from boxes, bales, and bags on the landing. We stood near the crowd of little ones for sometime. The girls were mostly playing some game with pebbles, which they threw up and caught in their hands. Their conversations was in to low a tone for us to hear, but the wharfmaster informs us that they sometimes use language of the most horribly vicious character. The boys, as we stood by, were in loud and somewhat angry discussion, about some point that interested them, and from their mouths, even from the least of them, came oaths of the most savage and brutal import, and which nearly always commenced with the sacred name of God. The boys and girls are already criminals. The value of property they steal from the merchandise deposited at the landing, is far beyond what anyone, who is not conversant with their proceedings, would think, This petty [sic] is the juvenile school in which the boys are trained for burglary and all degrees of crime. And those girls-who can regard them without a shudder! Some of them only want clean faces, well arranged hair, and neat garments, to be pretty and attractive. But who can hope for them the fascinations of maiden innocence, the purity of virgin love, the virtues of wifely affection, the devotion of motherly care? The work of sin and death and hell is going on daily at our landing with those "little ones" whom the Redeemer has commanded should be suffered to come to him and "no man layeth it to hear." The police, we think, ought to receive instructions to keep these young thieves from the landing altogether, if not for their own at least for the sake of the property lying at the wharf. Can nothing be done to save them from the sad future that hangs dark and threatening over their young heads? Can nothing be done to turn their steps to the school houses instead of along the paths of crime? The sight of youthful transgression exhibited on our wharf day by day is a mournful comment on our religion. How vain are prayers. How useless are churches unless the inspire compassion for such little wanderers from the paths of holiness as those that daily frequent our landing.
Memphis Bulletin, October 9, 1862.
9, 1863 - "An exploded cap caught in the cylinder and I could not get it out at once so I had to depend on my sabre alone." A cavalry charge and skirmish with Wheeler's raiders at Sugar Creek, according to Sergeant Charles Alley, 5th Iowa Cavalry
Today we marched to the Tennessee river 42 miles, our Regt. [sic] Having the advance. There was some slight skirmishing in the forenoon. A little after noon the rebels made a stand at Sugar Creek but were soon driven across it by Companies L and H. We then crossed the creek, the rebels retiring across some open fields up a steep hill to the cover of some woods, where they had two regiments in position. Company M was sent forward through a corn filed on foot as skirmishers on the left of the road, and Company C was ordered to charge with the sabre, up the road, we had about 600 yards to go to reach them, but it was soon passed over, as we reached the top of a hill the boys replied to the rebel fire with one thundering cheer. The firing of the rebels was very rapid and bullets flew about us in plenty, but strange to say not a man or horse was hurt. Another small hollow cleared up another gentle ascent and we were upon them, and then followed a scent of rout confusion and abject terror, I never expected to see. After we dashed through their line the main body made no resistance of note. All after that came from their dismounted men, who kept up a steady fire from the woods, but only killed one of our horses. The rebels lost in this charge some 20 killed and doubt that number wounded and one hundred and two prisoners. We followed them near 8 miles and here I must thank God for his care of me for to it I attribute my escape from death. For in the heat of the charge I had got ahead of all the company and dashed alone into a crowd of not much – if any less than a hundred of them firing my revolver as I came up. An exploded cap caught in the cylinder and I could not get it out at once so I had to depend on my sabre alone. One of the rebels I could not reach with my sabre cocked his revolver exclaiming that there is a damned Lincolnite right by himself why don't somebody kill him. I presented my useless revolver and in a fierce tone ordered him to drop his if he did not want a bullet through him. He obeyed at once, reining back my horse – which was between two of the rebels – I was shot at by about 20 of them in succession, the farthest could not be, I thought – more than ten yards off, after they had emptied their guns they called on me to surrender, at which I could not forbear a hearty laugh. It appeared to me then a good joke, though now I feel as though I was in no laughter provoking case. I told them if they wanted my arms to come and take them. That I would not give them up, as I thought I'd make a sorry sight giving up arms to such a set of fellows as they were. I then dashed my horse on one of them who came out of the woods, followed by three others – telling him to throw down his arms and the three others on being summoned followed suit. Just then the cheer of Williams and Armstrong was [sic] heard as he swept round a bend in the road, followed by three or four other boys and the rebels fled and all but the four I had in charge, these I sent to the rear. Going forward again, I captured two more and some distance farther three more. I cannot say I killed or wounded any, but if the rebels ever take my scalp it wont [sic] be till it has cost them its full value or more. Surely I ought to thank my Heavenly Father for this from the pestilence by night and the arrow by day as he has preserved me.
9, 1864 - Request for U. S. C. T. to clear Fayetteville environs of rebel guerrillas
TULLAHOMA, October 9, 1864.
I have heard from various sources that there rebel companies are being recruited in Lincoln County. I sent Maj. Armstrong, of the Fifth Tennessee Cavalry, over their with forty men, and he returned to Shelbyville last night and reported that he found them about 200 strong near Boonshill [sic], and had not force enough to attack them. I sent him all the cavalry I could scrape up to get here, and ordered him to return and attack the rebels. Will you permit me to send one of the colored regiments over to Fayetteville after dark to clear out that county?
R. H. MILROY, Maj.-Gen.
NASHVILLE, TENN., October 9, 1864--9 p. m.
Maj. Gen. R. H. MILROY, Tullahoma:
Your dispatch has been received. The major-general commanding directs me to say that you have his consent to your sending of a colored regiment to Fayetteville for a few days, as you propose, to clear out that section.
ROBT. H. RAMSEY, Assistant Adjutant-Gen.
OR, Ser. I, Vol. 39, pt. III, p. 172.
James B. Jones, Jr.
Tennessee Historical Commission
2941 Lebanon Road
Nashville, TN 37214