Monday, December 16, 2013

12/16/2013 Tennessee Civil War Notes

16, Letter complaining of mollycoddling East Tennessee Unionists


A late number of the Knoxville Register, a secession paper, has the following communication in refutation of a statement recently made in the Confederate Congress in regard to the sentiment of the people of East Tennessee:

"Messrs. Editors: A statement made by Hon. W. G. Swan, member elect to Congress from the second district of this State, is now going the rounds of the press, which has produced no little astonishment here.

"The statement is that there is but little disaffection in East Tennessee-only confined to but a few localities. Such an announcement, coming from such a source, is well calculated to misled our authorities at Richmond, and divert their attention from our true condition. These authorities, in fact, have never believed we were in much danger in this region" at least they have so acted.

"Why Mr. Swan has made such a statement I cannot conjecture. It is a great mistake. There is much disaffection in every county in East Tennessee. At this moment of writing our forces are probably engaged with a force of fifteen hundred Union men in Cocke county.

"We have cried peace, peace, when there is no peace. We have only received taunts in return. The infamous traitors have burnt our railroad bridges, and done everything in their power to invite and aid the invading foe in desecrating out soil. And yet we are still told there is no danger. Maybe our authorities will yet wake up to the true and real state of affairs in East Tennessee when a few more of our bridges are destroyed and some more of our quiet citizens are butchered.

"We have a large number of prisoners in the Confederate jail. We presume, of course, they will be released, as this is the order of the day here. You recollect, no doubt, the Thornburg affair. He was found actually in arms against the South, was at the head of a company, and was trying to make his way to Kentucky. This man, by Richmond['s] authority, was released without the form a trial; and on the day of election, when every one supposed he would vote for Mr. Davis, he indignantly tore off his name from his ticket. My latest information is that Brownlow is to be allowed to leave the State attended with an escort to protect him. Why should the underlings suffer, when the ringleaders are allowed to go where the like?"

Daily National Intelligencer (Washington, D. C.), December 16, 1861.[1]



16, A house of entertainment opens in Knoxville


While James W. Newman is in the Confederate service, his family, my wife and self, have concluded to keep a house of Entertainment, at the old stand, two hundred yards East of the general hospital, and a short distance West of the Market House. Our house is now open to receive travelers, visitants to the city, officers and soldiers. Our table will be supplied with the best country and the market afford.

George Horne.

Knoxville Daily Register, December 16, 1862.



        16, Slaughter house workers sought in Knoxville


We are authorized by Col. Blake to say that all conscripts whom we employ at our port house will de detailed. We will pay good wages and sell each hand ten pounds of salt at ten cents per pound every Saturday night. Hands from a distance will be furnished with good house to camp in.-They should bring blankets with them.

Knoxville Daily Register, December 16, 1862.



16, 1864 - Dodging the Confederate draft in Maury County

Preparations are making by the Confederate officers to conscript every one they can force into service, there have many men left Maury County and particularly the Towns to parts unknown some have give up to Fedrels [sic] and others dodging any way to keep out of the conscripts. Great [sic] many have gone to Nashville with the Fedrels [sic], hundreds and thousands of negroes [sic] have went [sic] off with the Fedrals [sic] when they left here the last days of Nov. men women &children, from Maury & Giles counties. The conscripts [i.e., conscription squads] take all between the age of 18 & 45 they having employed substitutes is no excuse for the southern confederacy and all between 16 & 18 & 45 & 50 years of age are to be conscripted….

Diary of Nimrod Porter, December 16, 1864.



16-17, "Seeing the Elephant."

Two of the fancy women of College street went out on Friday [16th] to see the fight. By some means their carriage got outside of the picket lines and inside the rebel lines before they were aware of the fact. Seeing Rebel soldiers about, they ordered the hackman to "bout ship" and put for town, but before he could do so, the carriage was surrounded by Rebel cavalry, who took the establishment in charge, believing the occupants were spies. They were sent to the rear and placed under guard, where they remained until the retreat commenced, and then they were ordered to move southward, another nymph du pave having in the meantime been picked up and placed in the same hack. At length the horses gave out-they could no longer draw the load through the mud; so three cavalrymen were ordered to take them in charge. The women protested, and begged consideration for their laces and valuable silk dresses, but without avail. They were compelled to evacuate the carriage and mount in front or behind the riders as each preferred, and thus they entered Franklin, literally covered with mud. They were placed under guard at a hotel, and closely questioned by an officer, who seemed at a loss to know what to do with them, whether to send them south as spies, or send them adrift. At length, on Saturday [17th], the Federal cavalry came thundering along, and the women were left in their room. On Sunday night they arrived here, one of them riding behind a Federal guard, and the other two riding an old mule, and thus they were landed at the door of the Provost Marshal's office, who, after taking evidence of their identity, discharged them.

Nashville Dispatch, December 22, 1864.


[1] TSL&A, 19th CN.

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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