Wednesday, December 4, 2013

12/4/2013 Tennessee Civil War Notes

        4, A call to raise the "black flag" in Memphis; the rhetoric and logic of war

We unhesitatingly say that the cause of justice and the cause of humanity itself, demands that the black flag shall be unfurled on every battlefield-that extermination and death shall be proclaimed against the hellish miscreants who persist in polluting our soil with their crimes. We will stop the effusion of blood, we will arrest the horrors of war, by terrific slaughter of the foe, by examples of overwhelming and unsparing vengeance. When Oliver Cromwell massacred the garrison at Drogheda, suffering not a man to escape, he justified it on the ground that his object was to bring the war to a close-to stop the effusion of blood-and, that it was, therefore, a merciful act on his part. The South can afford no longer to trifle-she must strike the most fearful blows-the war-cry of extermination must be raised.

Memphis Appeal, December 4, 1861.[1]



        4, "A Weak Invention;" one Tennessee editor's support for resisting Governor Harris' draft

Some of those who set themselves up as the apologists of the drafting party, use the argument that Gov. Harris, in making this extreme demand upon the people of his State, was governed by the advice and counsel of those higher in authority than himself. We may justly denominate this a week invention of the Governor's friends to shield him from the storm of public indignation now breaking above his head. Even were the dangers of the times an hundred fold greater than they really are, the fact would not afford sufficient excuse of the suicidal policy adopted by Gov. Harris in regard to the militia of Tennessee.-Had all the Governors of the Confederate States united with President Davis and General Johnston in asking that Tennessee should be the first State in the Confederacy to submit to the disgrace of military conscription, the demand should have been sternly resisted. This is to-day the sentiment of an immense majority of the people of Tennessee. Regarding this draft as a disgraceful blot upon the fair reputation of the State-a stab wantonly and unnecessarily inflicted-her citizens are hardly in the mood, we take it, for granting pardon to the principal author of the evil, upon any such trifling plea of innocence. The Governor was the guardian, How can they, then, think he acted in good faith, if he had not the manliness to answer to the demand, no matter from what quarter it came, to make conscripts of those who had, time after time, honored him with their suffrages, their confidence, and their trusts?

Nashville Daily Gazette, December 4, 1861.




Tennessee, My Tennessee.

Though silent hangs thy tuneless lyre,

Tennessee, my Tennessee!

Though tyrants seek to quench thy fire,

Tennessee, my Tennessee!

That quenchless flame can ne'er expire,

Its genial beams her sons inspire,

The foe that spoils shall soon retire,

Tennessee, my Tennessee!


Though for a season sunk in woe,

Tennessee, my Tennessee!

Though now her prayer she breathes but low,

Tennessee, my Tennessee!

Though on her margins proudly glow

The colors of her hated foe,

She swears in wrath they yet shall know

There still is life in Tennessee!


Amid the gloom how sweet the thought,

Tennessee, my Tennessee!

This truth is with rich blessings fraught,

Tennessee, my Tennessee!

The liberty our fathers bought,

That priceless boon we count but naught,

Until our foes at least are taught,

There still is life in Tennessee!


My noble "State," for thee I sigh,

Tennessee, my Tennessee!

Thy favored hour will soon draw nigh,

Tennessee, my Tennessee!

Thy true-born sons can never fly,


Then let this be our battle cry,

There still is life in Tennessee!


No fetters can thy spirit tame,

Tennessee, my Tennessee!

Be though as in the past, the same,

Tennessee, my Tennessee!

By Zollicoffer's hallowed name,

By Matton's deathless, peerless fame,

By all the martyr'd sons proclaim,

There yet is life in Tennessee!

J. H. McD.

November 10, 1862

Southern Confederacy [Atlanta, Georgia], December 4, 1862.[2]



        4, Expedition near Yankeetown [White County]

SPARTA, Tennessee, December 4, 1863.

Col. H. LAGRANGE, Cmdg. Second Brigade:

The colonel commanding directs that you proceed immediately with your brigade, lightly equipped, to the vicinity of Yankeetown and clear out a force of guerrillas there, estimated at about 400 or 500 in number. I am, colonel, your very obedient servant,

JNO. PRATT, Assistant Adjutant-Gen.



Near Sparta, Tennessee, December 4, 1863.

Capt. J. E. JACOBS, Assistant Adjutant-Gen.:

I have the honor to report that the Second Brigade, Col. LaGrange, has returned from the expedition on which they were ordered by the general commanding. They went 6 miles the other side of Yankeetown, and scouting parties were sent out beyond on all the roads. No enemy was seen, and all citizens reported that but 3 had been in that vicinity to-day. The wheat was brought in. The scouts just in report all of Hugh's force at Spring Creek or Sinking Cave, 6 miles east of Livingston.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

E. M. McCOOK, Col., Cmdg. Division.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 31, pt. III, p. 332.



        4, Confederate forces burn La Fayette and Grissom's Bridge; sharp skirmishing at Moscow

MOSCOW, Tennessee, December 5, 1863.

Gen. TUTTLE, LaGrange:

Courier arrived from Collierville in the night. Enemy burned La Fayette, but did not capture the post. They have fallen back on Collierville. Grissom's Bridge is burnt. I have ordered Mizner to remain at Saulsbury or Grand Junction. Negro scout I sent out last night reports the enemy camped near Mount Pleasant. I am sending out what cavalry I have here to reconnoiter. An attack is feared at Collierville. Send patrols of Seventh Illinois and Second Iowa to this point. Is there any news from Corinth? I will dispatch Gen. Hurlbut this morning.

B. H. GRIERSON, Brig.-Gen.

MOSCOW, December 5, 1863.

Maj.-Gen. HURLBUT:

Communication with Corinth all right. Col. Mizner has again been as far south as Ripley. All quiet on that end of the line. Forrest crossed the Hatchie at Bolivar, and reported going to Jackson. No definite information with regard to his force. Enemy have burned Grissom's Bridge and La Fayette. Scout, whom I sent out last night, reports the enemy encamped near Mount Pleasant. Rail road will be in running order from here to Corinth to-day. Fight pretty sharp here yesterday; our loss 4 or 5 killed and about 20 wounded. Hatch wounded through the right lung, but doing well this morning. Fifteen dead rebels are found on the field so far; their loss much heavier than ours. The Sixth Illinois lost heavy in horses, 30 or 40 killed. I am sending patrol to Mount Pleasant to report back to Morgan at La Fayette.

B. H. GRIERSON, Brig.-Gen.

OR. Ser. I, Vol. 31, pt. III, p. 342.



        4, "An Official in a Tight Place."

Among the visitors to the points of observation on Sunday was one of our County officials, who was anxious to take an observation of the situation of affairs. On his way thither, he was invited to take a hand in the digging operations; he protested, the guard insisted, and finally the Colonel was called upon to decide. The worthy expressed himself gratified at making the acquaintance of the _______ of Davidson county, but as he seemed like an able bodied man, he did not feel justified in excusing him from doing a few hours service to his country.

Nashville Dispatch, December 6, 1864



        4, "Sunday;" Nashville civilians pressed to work upon fortifications

In consequence of a rumor that soldiers were pressing citizens to work on fortifications, and of the desire to get within sight on hearing the guns, but few gentlemen attended church on Sunday. Those who remained at home perhaps did well, but those who neglected their religious duties to gratify their curiosity were furnished with spades and picks as fast as they arrived outside of town. We did not hear of a man being molested on his way to church, or from there to his home.

Nashville Dispatch, December 6, 1864.



4, "Working Their Passage."

Among the victims of the press-gang on Sunday, we heard of two quartermaster's clerks who took their lady loves in aback to see the Rebels in the distance. Arrived at the first line of breastworks, a soldier directed the men to step out and the driver to come down. The order was obeyed, and a few minutes after they might have been seen, shovel in hand, working for Uncle Sam. At first they labored tardily and reluctantly, but on being informed that if they worked industriously for an hour they would be permitted to pass further out, where they could see wonderful things; they went at it with a will. The sixty minutes having passed, the men claimed the performance of the promise made them; they were liberated, the carriage passed on in the direction indicated, and in fifteen minutes they were again digging, the officer at the latter place making a promise similar to that given by the first. The hour passed, the officer kindly proposed to direct them where they might go to see the Rebels, but the young gentlemen declined the offer, entered their cab, and told the driver to push into town with all possible speed.

Nashville Dispatch, December 1864

[1] Rebellion Record, Vol. 1, p. 102.

[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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