Thursday, January 23, 2014

1/23/2014 Tennessee Civil War Notes

        23, Newspaper Report on Pork Production in Tennessee

Nashville, Jan. 19.- There is some little doing in Bacon, though scarcely enough to furnish a basis for quotations. Dealers and consumers are waiting awhile to see what will turn up. We quote Shoulders at 16@ 60c, Clear Sides 22@ 14c, and Hog Round 17c,…Lard is quoted at 18 @ 20c, 9 lb in barrels, and 202, 22 ½ c in kegs.

The Pork trade is pretty well over. We hear of occasional small sales at 10@ 12cpr lb net. Large lots could not be sold at the outside figures. Many parties, who could not sell as high as they expected, have baconed their hogs, so there will probably be more Bacon for sale the coming season than has been anticipated. The Knoxville Register has some information as to the number of hogs the Government has purchased, and is having slaughtered and packed, in Tennessee, and gives the following approximate estimate: At Bristol, about 12,000, Morristown and vicinity, 20,000; Knoxville, 10,000; Loudon and Sweetwater, 12,000; Chattanooga, 20,000; Shelbyville, 50,000; Nashville, 20,000; Clarksville, 10,000; Other places about 16,000-making in all, 200,000. From these hogs the Government will net about twenty four million pounds of Bacon.

Good fat Beef Cattle find ready sale at 3 ½@ 4c pr lb. gross.

Charleston Mercury, January 23, 1862. [1]




        23, 1863 - Confederate official complains to Richmond about failure of conscription in East Tennessee


Hon. Ben. Hill, C. S. Senate

DEAR SIR: As you were on your return home from Congress last September I was so fortunate as to fall in with you and have a hasty conversation upon the state of affairs in East Tennessee, and the proper course to be pursued in this department. On that occasion I was pleased to find your mind open to the truth and capable of comprehending our peculiar political and social condition. As I was taking leave of you (as the train neared New Market, where I stopped) you told me that you would address the President directly upon the subject, which I have no doubt you did. I then hoped much from your action in the premises; but other counsels prevailed. Effects have followed causes, and developments have established the correctness of what I then told you was the condition of East Tennessee. I would not now trouble you with the affairs of East Tennessee if I did not feel constrained so to do by a sense of duty. It is to the calm, conservative patriots that the country must look, in this her darkest hour of trial, for deliverance. As such I have ever looked upon and now address you.

That I may the more clearly present and enforce my present views, I beg to recall to your remembrance the substance of the views expressed in the conversation referred to. On that occasion you will remember that I predicted disaster from the proposed conscription of East Tennessee. I told you that the people of East Tennessee were misrepresented and misunderstood, that there was but one single legitimate argument in favor of conscription, and that was that the men of East Tennessee were as much bound to fight for our independence as our own volunteers or the men from any other section, and that in view of moral obligation they were entitled to no peculiar exemption, and in that view the soldiers in the service had the right to feel that all should fare alike; but that being said, all was said. The end and object of the war are to preserve American institutions in their purity, defend the principles of the American Constitution, and as the only means of doing that, establish the independence of the Confederacy-whip Lincoln and his followers. To do this we must husband all our resources and bring out all our available strength; that if we found within our borders a section where the people were not politically with us, yet not our open, active enemies, it was the duty of our rulers to rise to the exigencies and importance of the occasion, take men as they were, and not as they should have been, and use them for the furtherance of the great end to be attained-the gaining of our independence-in such spheres as they could be made useful, and not with any narrow, contracted policy of political proscription decapitate or convert. I told you that East Tennesseeans [sic], as you and I, had to be devoted to our Government, created by our State and Federal Constitutions. In the opening of the political struggle preceding the Revolution...all conservative men rallied around their institutions of Government, adapting the one word Union as the comprehensive indices by which was originally meant our constitutional Government as composed of our State sovereignties and Federal sovereignties as created by our constitutions, and under the ruling cry of Union formed a party, and as such party prepared to resist all political encroachments upon our institutions.

After Mr. Lincoln's first proclamation many of our best men, believing that the call for troops was only to defend the Capital against attack as threatened in the imprudent speech of Mr. Secretary Walker, again rallied to the cry of Union. And the[n] began the separation of friends in East Tennessee. At the time the separation was slight; on the stump the discussion became bitter. The breach was widened and culminated in the proposition to dismember our State. That passed away, and the great wrong to the people by the Union leaders was here committed of again rallying as a party under the cry of Union for the purpose of preventing men who had advocated the separation of the State from the Federal Union from being elected to office. Step by step (many steps taken in consequence of the rashness, not to say wickedness, of the men who claimed to control South whole counsels in East Tennessee) the people were led on until as a whole they took what they felt they had the right to take, the ground of neutrality, so far as active hostilities were concerned. This I tell you was the actual condition of East Tennessee when it was proposed to enforce the conscript law.

I told you that they would turn their strength against whichever Government attempted to force them from their position; that if the effort was made to enforce the conscript it would ruin us and greatly damage the Confederacy; that we would get no soldiers; that it would cause a stampede to Kentucky in part and a hiding out in the caves and mountains, and in the end the destruction of our section; that where we would get one man as a recruit we would send three to Kentucky and require the withdrawal of two soldiers from the army to protect East Tennessee; that we would send 10,000 men to Kentucky to the Federal lines clamoring for assistance to recover for them homes, from which they claim to have been driven; and that in all probability another effort would be made to invade East Tennessee. What I then predicted is now in part the history of this unhappy country. If you will require a report from the enrolling officer at Knoxville you will find that he has not added to the strength of the Army. He has not mustered into service as many men as have been taken from the ranks to hunt up conscripts and guard exposed points, the guarding of which has been rendered necessary by the excitement incident to this false move.

In addition to this a raid has been made upon our railroad, and every day the enemy receives full information of the state of our forces, and unless you can get the President to interpose and arrest the evil every man of the old Union party will leave. The expenses of the department are very heavy, an officer for every district in each county, any number of braided and brass-buttoned gentlemen who ought to be with their commands taking their ease as recruiting officers, besides the soldiers that are detailed to police the county and hunt up conscripts. It is now apparent to all (except a special few whose notions of a cleansing of the political sanctuary urge to seize upon the opportunity to drive from the country all who are not active political friends) that the effort to conscript East Tennessee is not only a failure, but a disastrous calamity to our cause. East Tennessee has been regarded as one of the most important sections of the Confederacy, not only on account of her geographical position and her connecting railroads, but on account of her stock and grain. Our Union men of East Tennessee did more to further our cause in 1861 by the supplies furnished than they could have done had they been zealous secessionists and in the Army, and so in 1862, though greatly interfered with by the State draft. And so now we need the labor of the farmers of East Tennessee upon their farms more than we need their unwilling service in the field, could we even get them into the Army. They are willing to work, and under the influence of Gen. Smith's proclamation of last spring were beginning to become interested in the success of our cause, as it gave to them so advantageous a market freed from the hitherto almost overpowering competition of Kentucky and the Northwestern States. When Governor Harris attempted to enforce his draft in East Tennessee last spring a fearful stampede commenced and was in steady progress. Gen. Smith by his proclamation stopped the execution of the law and invited the people to return. They did so by the thousands, not only those who had crossed the lines as citizens, but some who had entered the Federal service, some of whom are now in our Army as willing volunteers. Although the evil is in part beyond our reach, much can yet be done. If the President will under the act of Congress suspend the enforcement of the conscript law in East Tennessee and by his proclamation invite all East Tennesseeans [sic] to return to their homes, restoring them to citizenship and assuring them that during the present struggle they should [not] be required to enter the Army against their will, upon condition that they devote themselves industriously to the cultivation of their farms, all who have not yet left home will remain, all who are out in the caves, mountains, &c. (and their name is legion), will at once return, and so will every man in Kentucky who is not in the Federal Army, and all in the Army who can get a good chance to desert.

Nine-tenths of the producing labor of East Tennessee is white labor, hence, when by conscription or stampeding the men subject to military duty leave, the labor of East Tennessee is gone. There are within our borders at this time thousands of families left without any male members capable of labor. These helpless women and children are to become a charge upon the public, for whatever may be the sins of their husbands and fathers the Southern people cannot deal cruelly with them. Acts of vengeance to our women and children we must leave to our enemies with which to blacken the pages of history.

I commend to your consideration the views here so hastily and imperfectly expressed, and beg of you to interest yourself in behalf of East Tennessee. I of course do not expect my plan to be literally pursued. If any of my suggestions are adopted, all I desire is, all I seek to do is, to get before the President the true state of things in East Tennessee, relying upon his superior judgment to devise the mode of relief. Please excuse my intrusion and the length of my letter. I am not in the habit of inflicting such penance upon public men.

I am, sir, yours,


OR, Ser. IV, Vol. 2. 368-370.



        23, 1864 - Skirmish near Newport

JANUARY 23, 1864.-Skirmish near Newport, Tenn.


No. 1.-Brig. Gen. Samuel D. Sturgis, U. S. Army, commanding Cavalry, Department of the Ohio.

No. 2.-Col. Oscar H. LaGrange, First Wisconsin Cavalry, commanding Second Brigade, First Cavalry Division, Department of the Cumberland.

No. 1.

Report of Brig. Gen. Samuel D. Sturgis, U. S. Army, commanding Cavalry, Department of the Ohio.

SEVIERVILLE, TENN., January 24, 1864.

GEN.: I have just returned from Fair Garden and McCook's position near Dandridge.

Yesterday I ordered a party of 150 men under Maj. Kimmel to attempt the destruction of a pontoon bridge reported to be near the mouth of the Chucky. The party returned early this morning, having gone up the Chucky some 3 miles, but found no pontoon. The Chucky is very low and fordable at nearly all points.

Yesterday evening Col. LaGrange (First Wisconsin) was sent with his brigade to intercept a reported train of wagons (said to be 100) with infantry escort war Newport, and conveying forage to Morristown. The colonel has returned, but found no wagons. He captured 15 prisoners. Both these scouting parties examined the country with a view to its resources of forage, &c., going into and through the Dutch and Irish bottoms, and report that the forage has been nearly all hauled by the enemy to the north side of the river, where it is protected by strong guards of infantry. Col. LaGrange estimates that in what was reported to be the richest portion of the valley a division of cavalry could not subsist longer than three days. From these reports it will be seen that there is nothing left for this force but to settle about this place until it shall have exhausted the country, which will be but a short time. What is to do then it is difficult to say.

I do not know that It can be avoided, but I may say that It Is a pity that circumstances should compel us to entirely exhaust the country of these loyal people. If we remain here long they must suffer, and it will be impossible for them to raise anything next year. The necessity for pressing supplies leads so immediately to plundering that soldiers find no difficulty In taking the step from the one to the other, and In spite of all I can do to the contrary. It is distressing to witness the sufferings of these people at the hands of the friends for whom they have been so long and so anxiously looking. You cannot help it; neither can I, and I only refer to it because my heart is full of it.


S. D. STURGIS, Brig.-Gen., Cmdg. Cavalry.

P. S.-The enemy has made repeated attempts to cross to this side, but have been driven back in every attempt. The Infantry of the enemy was sent back to Morristown on Monday morning last [18th].

No. 2.

Report of Col. Oscar H. LaGrange, First Wisconsin Cavalry, commanding Second Brigade, First Cavalry Division, Department of the Cumberland.


CAPT.: I have the honor to report that the scout from the Second Brigade proceeded by way of Dutch Bottom through Irish Bottom to the house of William Jack, 2 ½ miles from Newport. At this point about 300 of the enemy were found drawn up in an advantageous position, and it being near night and our horses somewhat jaded it was not deemed prudent to attack him.

One of the enemy's outposts was attacked, 3 killed and 16 with arms and horses captured. No loss sustained by the scouting party. Only about 3,000 bushels of corn observed on the entire route.

Most respectfully,

O. H. LAGRANGE, Col., Cmdg.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 32, pt. I, pp. 114-115.

        23-30, 1865 - Federal Anti-Guerrilla Scout in Humphreys and Dickson counties[3]

Nashville, Tenn. Jan. 31st 1865

His Excellency Brigr Genl. Andrew Johnson

Military Governor State of Tennessee.


I have the honor to make the following report: On Monday January 23rd I left the Tennessee Barracks near Nashville with a force of sixty five (65) men composed of the following Regiments[:] Lieut. Smith and (25) twenty five men 14th Tenn. Cav. Capt. Stricker & (40) fourty [sic] men 13th Ind. Cav. For the purpose of scouting in Humphreys and Dickson Counties in search of guerrillas said to infest those counties.-Twelve miles from town I obtained a most excellent guide, Mr. Adams. From information received from him I changed the direction I first intended to take and passed through Charlotte, Dickson Co., camping there on the 24th. On the 25th I scouted Yellow Creek without finding any bushwhackers or guerrillas camping the night of the 25th at Williamsville near the head of Yellow Creek. At this place I found (18) eighteen men with arms under the command of Mr. Adams, Senior, a very worthy citizen, who has done considerable good in protecting the trussel [sic]-work from sections "42" to "58" and a large amount of wood belonging to the Government on the Nashville & North Western RailRoad [sic].

On the morning of the 26th learning from the two Messrs Crowel – belonging to the "Home Guard," – that there were several squads of bushwhackers on Tumbling Creek in Humphreys County, taking them as guides, twelve miles from Williamsville on the head of Indian Creek – a branch of Tumbling Creek – I divided my force sending Lieut. Smith with 30 men across to one Saunders' near head of Tumbling Creek, taking the other 35 I proceeded at a rapid pace down Indian Creek. At the house of a man named Crowel, we scared up two bushwhackers, killing one the other getting away. We then scouted down the creek, to its junction with Tumbling Creek, then turning up that creek pressing ahead with all the speed our horses could make charging in every house and searching it, having been informed by the guides that nearly every house was a harbor for them. At the house of a man by the name of Smith we found two, one named Choate belonging to a gang headed by Cross – a perfect villian [sic],-the name of the other was Dark, belonging to McNairy's gang. Dark we killed but Choate being mounted on a fleet horse he managed to make his escape. It being now nearly night and extremely cold, we made a short detour through the hills in search of a place said to be fortified. Being unable to find the place we proceeded to Saunders' where Lieut. Smith had been ordered to prepare camp for the night, arriving there about sun-down. That night getting information that there were three guerillas [sic] in the habit of harboring within two miles of where we were camping, I ordered a scout to proceed there between 10 & 11 O'clock that night. Being very unwell I lay down and at 4 A.M. I learned that, from some cause, the order had not been obeyed.

At day-light I started with the command intending if possible to capture them, from inability to approach the house without discovery, they managed to escape before I could get close enough to shoot at or capture them. I then halted the command to hold a council with the guides in order to ascertain the next best course to pursue. I received information that a general move on foot among the bushwhackers to consolidate their forces between Buffalo Creek & Duck River in "Graves Bend." The guides refusing to accompany the expedition on the grounds of their belief that my force would not be sufficient to meet the consolidated bands of guerrillas, and owing to the worn our and jaded condition of the horses – half of them being shoeless and very lame, and some 12 or 13 of the men having frozen their feet, I proposed to scout, that day, the remainder of Tumbling Creek and then turn my course towards Nashville passing through Charlotte on the 28th inst. At which place I found the majority and the leading citizens strongly in favor or reinstating civil law under the federal authorities.

On the 30th inst. I reached Nashville, the men & horses completely jaded and worn out, having been in the saddle for (8) eight days during the most inclement weather I have ever experienced in this country.

I have the honor to be Very Respectfully,

Your Most Obt. Serv't R. H. Clinton

Capt. 10th Tenn. Inf.

Papers of Andrew Johnson, Vol. 7, pp. 448-450.


[1] As cited in PQCW.

[2] Robert McKinney Barton, 34th (Confederate) General Assembly representing Hancock, Hawkins, and Jefferson counties. His home, "High Oaks" was in Hamblen County. During the war he served in Abingdon, VA, as head of railroads.

[3] Listed in neither the OR nor Dyer's Battle Index for Tennessee. It leaves one wondering just how many such events were recorded but were misplaced or destroyed.

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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