Thursday, November 14, 2013

11/14/2013 Tennessee Civil War Notes

        14, "To the Owners of Guns"

There are today hundreds of guns, embracing all sorts in the possession of people in and around Nashville. The State is threatened with invasion by a strong hostile army, richly and abundantly provided with the most formidable weapons of warfare. Under the late call of the Governor, thousands of our gallant citizens are enlisting to drive back the coming hordes of despoilers, but the State has no arms to place in their hands,[1] and is thus forced to the necessity of appealing to such persons as are fortunate enough to have guns in their possession, to give, loan, or sell them for the use of our unarmed soldiery. What patriot who owns a gun, and is not actively in the service of his country, can reasonably turn a deaf ear to this appeal? The State call earnestly upon her children, who are not soldiers, to come in this season of danger and trial to the help of those who only need arms to render them as a wall of fire in the pathway of the invading horde. Who that is able, is not willing to make this trifling sacrifice in behalf of the common defence. [sic] Let every man worthy [of] the glorious name of Tennesseean, [sic] promptly respond to the call of our Governor for arms, and in less than two weeks there will be at the disposal of our authorities enough good guns to arm every man in the service. If you have a gun, reader, no matter what kind, no matter who fine or how indifferent, give it now to the cause of your bleeding company. It will not do to delay, it will not do to wait on others, it will not do to depend on shipments of arms from Europe. The emergency is upon us,-the war cloud resting upon our very heads. We must depend upon ourselves, and what we do, must be done NOW. [sic]

Nashville Daily Gazette, November 14, 1861.



        14, A civilian's impression of the Confederate reoccupation of Murfreesboro: "the soul-stirring din and picturesque tumult of glorious war...."

From Murfreesboro.

From the first number of the Daily Rebel Banner, a new publication at Murfreesboro, Tennessee, we clip the following:

A jolly time this, for Murfreesboro. On every side the eye meets nothing but the pomp and circumstance, the soul-stirring din and picturesque tumult of glorious war—the steady tramp of veteran infantry, with banners streaming in the wind—the heavy roll of artillery, whose bright field pieces shine like mirrors in the sun, and anon the dashing charge of the cavalry, passing like phantoms in a cloud of dust. Every avenue leading to the city discloses the pleasant spectacle of arriving multitudes of men, women and children, with joyful faces, once more permitted to "go at large," to greet and be greeted, and to enjoy the blessed privileges of freedom. No more shackled hands; no more manacles; no more Yankees. The old times loom up again, out of the hazy terrors of an oppression of six months, which already begin to wear away, like the remembrance of some hideous nightmare.

Murfreesboro' presents quite a military appearance, and everything indicates a forward movement….

Quite a cortege of goods was overhauled near Murfreesboro' yesterday afternoon, containing hats, boots, shoes, and other supplies much needed by the army.

American Citizen [CANTON, MS], November 14, 1862. [2]



        14, Federal destruction of cotton factory at Lenoir's Station, Confederate construction of two railroad bridges at Loudon

KNOXVILLE, November 14, 1863.

Maj.-Gen. GRANT:

The enemy threw two bridges across the Tennessee near Loudon last night under cover of a strong position on the opposite side, and is making preparations to cross his force. Burnside has ordered Ninth Corps, and White's division, of the Twenty-third, to fall back from Lenoir's, detaining the enemy as much as possible and destroying cotton factory at Lenoir's.

Burnside has decided to collect his force here, and if pushed too hard to move toward the gaps, though he feels greatly relieved to cross his whole force to the east side of the Holston, where he can get supplies and endeavor to battle the enemy in his attempt to dislodge him. It seems to me his division to fall back up the valley is the best step now left open for doing so. He can save at least his cavalry and artillery, but may be compelled to destroy his wagons. At all events he can hold the enemy so strongly as to allow himself six days between here and the mountain passes, and meanwhile something may be done near Chattanooga to call Longstreet back. If Longstreet's forces is three divisions of infantry and all Wheeler's cavalry, this is the best step left open for this army. I shall start back this morning via Lenoir's, and hope to cross the Clinch somewhere between Kingston and Clinton. Shall telegraph to you from Lenoir's if wires are undisturbed when I arrive there.

J. H. WILSON, Lieut.-Col., &c.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 31, pt. III, p. 146.



        14, Skirmish at Little River

Report of Brig. Gen. Julius White, U. S. Army, commanding Second Division.


CAPT.: I have the honor to submit the following report of the operations of a part of this command from the 13th to the 17th instant:

On the evening of the 13th, the Second Brigade, together with Companies F and G, of the Eleventh Kentucky Volunteer Infantry, were encamped on the north side of the Tennessee River, opposite Loudon, picketing the line from Blair's Ford to Huff's Ferry, about 6 miles below Loudon, by the route on the north side of the river.

The First Brigade, under Col. Mott, of the One hundred and eighteenth Ohio, had been marched to and stationed at Kingston some days previously, by order of Maj.-Gen. Burnside, commanding the Army of the Ohio. At about 7 o'clock on the evening of the 13th it was reported that the enemy at Loudon exhibited unusual signs of activity, and soon afterward the picket at Huff's Ferry reported that the enemy had crossed in boats at that point in sufficient force to compel their retirement to avoid capture, and that a bridge was in process of construction by the enemy.

The available men of the mounted infantry were at once dispatched, under Capt. Henry Curtis, jr., assistant adjutant-general of the division, with orders to ascertain the truth of the report. He soon confirmed the previous statements adding that a considerable force had already crossed the river.

Col. Chapin, commanding the brigade, was then directed to send a regiment (the Twenty-third Michigan Infantry) and a section of Henshaw's battery to oppose the crossing of the enemy and the construction of the bridge. This was about 11 p. m.

Shortly afterward I received an order by telegraph from Maj.-Gen. Burnside to prepare my command to march toward Lenoir's Station at a moment's notice, and thereupon countermanded the order to the detachment moving toward Huff's Ferry, and directed Capt. Curtis to remain at the position held by him as long as possible, observing the enemy's movements, and to cover the withdrawal of the brigade, if ordered to march.

The exceeding darkness of the night prevented Capt. Curtis from obtaining a view of the brigade, and the presence of a heavier force of the enemy prevented him from a close approach. He nevertheless maintained his position, sending frequent reports, all confirmatory of the previous statements.

Just before daylight [14th] I received an order from Maj.-Gen. Burnside, directing the command to be marched to Lenoir's Station at once. Gen. Burnside arrived at that point soon after my arrival, and subsequently directed the march of the command back to the vicinity of Huff's Ferry, supported by a division of the Ninth Army Corps, under Brig.-Gen. Ferrero.

On arriving at the meeting-house, about 3 miles from the ferry, the enemy's pickets were encountered and driven in. Col. Chapin was directed to deploy two regiments, supported by a third, and move forward on the enemy.

The Thirteenth Kentucky and One hundred and seventh Illinois Infantry were advanced, supported by the One hundred and eleventh Ohio, and moved briskly forward, driving the enemy from the woods in our immediate front. The nature of the ground over which the enemy retreated wholly precluded the use of artillery, and it was therefore placed in position near the road, supported by the Twenty-third Michigan Infantry.

The enemy made repeated attempts to withstand the rapid advance of Col. Chapin's command, but were as often routed and driven back. Their final stand was made about sunset, when they took position on the crest of a wooded hill, in rear of an open field, which fronted the right of their line. From this position they opened a severe fire, aided by their artillery, situated on the opposite side of the river.

It became necessary, in order to dislodge the enemy, to charge across this field or move by the flank around it. The latter movement would relinquish the protection which the river afforded to my left flank, and greatly prolong the time the men would be under a fire, to which they could not respond.

The charge in line was therefore ordered. With a hearty cheer the men crossed the field at double-quick step In the face of a galling fire, dislodged the enemy, and drove him in disorder from the field.

The Thirteenth Kentucky was most exposed, and consequently suffered heavily in this gallant charge, the enemy's fire being chiefly directed upon that regiment.

Night fell at this time, and the density of the woods and extreme darkness of the night preventing farther pursuit of the enemy, the command was halted on the hill from which he had been driven. The fighting had been almost continuous for 2 miles. Prisoners were taken from different regiments of Longstreet's corps, from whom it was ascertained that the enemy's strength was equal if not superior to ours, which was engaged.

The loss of the enemy was unknown, as night prevented an examination of the field. It was known to be considerable, however.

At daylight on the morning of the 15th the command was ordered to move back to Lenoir's, covering the rear of Gen. Ferrero's division. The One hundred and eleventh Ohio Infantry, with a section of Henshaw's battery, was detailed as rear guard, and were detained by a very heavy hill, where it became necessary to double the teams and move all the guns and caissons of the artillery one at a time to the summit. All had been so moved up except one caisson, when the enemy, who had approached covertly, attacked in heavy force. Col. Chapin immediately prepared the One hundred and eleventh Ohio to received him, and soon repulsed the attack; but the numbers of the enemy increasing rapidly, his threatening movements on both flanks compelled the abandonment of the caisson at the foot of the hill. The One hundred and eleventh Ohio, with the artillery, was in position on the summit where the progress of the enemy was checked. Meanwhile, the Thirteenth Kentucky Infantry and One hundred and seventh Illinois Infantry had been faced about and moved back to the support of the One hundred and eleventh Ohio, but the manifest disadvantage of the ground did not warrant a general engagement for the recovered of the caisson, and which, if successful, would have been at great loss of life.

The command then moved forward to a point opposite Loudon, where the duty of rear guard was assigned to Col. Sigfried's division, of the Ninth Army Corps. The march was continued to Lenoir's Station, where we bivouacked in line for the night.

On the morning of the 16th, in obedience to Field Orders, No. 81, from headquarters Army of the Ohio, a copy of which is herewith submitted, all the wagons of the division, brigade, and ammunition train, together with the camp furniture and equipage of the command and the officer's baggage, was destroyed, In order that the draught animals might be used In moving the artillery of both corps, the state of the roads rendering It impossible to move It otherwise. The march was then continued toward Knoxville.

The picket line was ordered to remain in position until the withdrawal of the Ninth Corps, and the officer of the day, Maj. Brooks, of the One hundred and seventh Illinois Infantry, was directed to report to Brig.-Gen. Ferrero for orders in the matter. Company B, of the One hundred and eleventh Ohio, which, under command of Lieut. Norris, had been detailed and posted at a point outside the line during the night, was, by some error, not notified of the withdrawal of the line, and were captured by the enemy. This loss will be made the subject of investigation by a competent tribunal and a further report made thereon.

Arriving in the vicinity of Campbell's Station, where the junction of the Loudon and Kingston roads to Knoxville occurs, I was directed to place my command in position at a point beyond the junction by Maj.-Gen. Burnside.

The Second Brigade was accordingly ordered into line of battle, its left and center resting on the Knoxville road at a point where it was somewhat elevated above the country around. Henshaw's and the Twenty-first Indiana Batteries being placed in position at this point, and the right wing, consisting of the Thirteenth Kentucky and Twenty-third Michigan Infantry, advanced about 200 yards, were deployed to the right of the road and skirmishers thrown to the front of the entire line.

The Ninth Corps, which had been skirmishing with the enemy on and between the Loudon and Kingston roads, now formed in rear of our line, and advanced a brigade to a position on our right and two regiments on our left flank. The enemy advanced in three lines; his advance, being mostly clothed In United States uniform, deceived us until he had approached within easy musket range, when Col. Chapin was directed to open fire. The artillery and the right wing were soon engaged. The enemy was soon compelled to seek the cover of a ravine in front and of the woods on either flank. A second attempt to drive our men from this position failed. Subsequently the enemy opened an artillery fire from several batteries of guns of heavier and longer range than those of the Second Brigade, when, finding that our ammunition, had been expended, with the exception of a few rounds, and that the batteries were suffering from a fire to which they could not respond, they were directed to take position in rear of the heavier batteries of the Ninth Army Corps and await orders. The infantry held its position until ordered to cover the withdrawal of the Ninth Corps from the field to a new position about 1 mile to the rear, where the Second Brigade was ordered to form on the left of the line.

This movement was executed in the most perfect order. The Ninth Corps moved off the field at the ordinary quickstep, with its columns well closed up and its front handsomely aligned.

Col. Chapin's lines were formed, skirmishers deployed and moved forward, with each line in its proper position, frequently halting and facing about the enemy, not a man hurrying his step or otherwise disfiguring the movement, although subjected to a severe fire from the enemy's artillery, which had been rapidly advanced to short range.

On reaching the new position, the line was formed on the left of the Ninth Corps, which was soon after withdrawn, and resumed the march on Knoxville.

The Second Brigade was again intrusted with the duty of protecting the rear, which position, it held till the arrival of the entire force at Knoxville, on the morning of the 17th.

Prior to resuming the march, however, the enemy charged on the left flank, but Col. Chapin promptly changed front with the One hundred and seventh Illinois by a right wheel, and delivering its fire with such good effect as to cause the rapid retreat of the enemy, who made no further attempt.

The losses of the Second Brigade during the three days were as follows: Killed and mortally wounded, 19; wounded, 91; captured (on picket duty), 53; missing, 13. Total, 176.

....Citizens state the loss of the enemy at Campbell's Station to be 91 killed and over 300 wounded.

I cannot close this report without bearing testimony to the unflinching steadiness and bravery of the officers and men of the Second Brigade, as well as to their cheerful endurance of three day's almost unremitting toil.

The meager list of missing is of itself an eloquent testimonial to the character of the brigade, considering the great hardships of the march, and the fact that the list was composed almost entirely of men weakened by sickness, for whom there was no transportation. To furnish a list of those who distinguished themselves would be to hand you the muster-rolls. No instance of misconduct or neglect of duty came under my observation, and but one has been reported. It would afford me great pleasure, would the limits of this report permit me, to mention the names of all those deserve honorable notice. It is due to the several regiments and batteries that at least the commanding officers should be mentioned by name, and I may truthfully say that they are representatives of the merits of their respective commands, including officers of the line, non-commissioned officers, and privates.

* * * *

I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,

JULIUS WHITE, Brig.-Gen., Comdg. Second Div., 23d Army Corps.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 31, pt. I, pp. 376-381.



        14, Action near Russellville

No circumstantial reports filed.

Excerpt from the Report of Brig. Gen. Alvan C. Gillem, U. S. Army relative to the action at Russellville, November 14, 1864.

HDQRS. BRIGADE, GOVERNOR'S GUARD, Camp at Love's Station, November 16, 1864.

GOVERNOR: I have the honor to submit the following report of the operations of the Governor's Guard from the 9th to the 16th of November:

The enemy in their last charge having passed over me, I was in their rear, and was compelled, in order to reach my troops, to avoid the main road and did not rejoin my command until the next evening [14th]. Col. Miller left the gap, as ordered, at 10.30 p. m., and did not meet the enemy until he arrived at Russellville, where, finding the enemy's force to be greater than he considered himself justified in attacking, after one charge he moved off to his right and attempted to join me at Morristown. Upon his arrival opposite to that place, finding that the other portion of the command had fallen back, he turned north, crossed the Holston River, and rejoined the command at Strawberry Plains.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 39, pt. I, p. 891.


[1] The "late call of the Governor" was repeated in the Nashville Union & American of November 12, 1861 and was issued on November 11, 1861. See also: December 6, 1861, in Frederick Bradford's letter to his sons in the 20th Tennessee, for another reference to the loan of sporting arms to the government. Bradford makes reference to loaning his double-barrel shot gun to the government, etc. This "call" does more than suggest that the fire eating secessionist were totally unprepared for war, and that they had to arm the Army of Tennessee with sporting pieces to save the day.

[2] As cited in:

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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