Tuesday, March 11, 2014

3/11/2014 Tennessee Civil War Notes

        11, Confederate Conscript Sweep and Skirmish near Paris[1]


No. 1.-Maj.-Gen. U. S. Grant, U. S. Army.

No. 2.-Lieut. Charles H. Thurber, Battery I, First Missouri Light Artillery.

No. 3.-Capt. John T. Croft, Fifth Iowa Cavalry.

No. 4.-Maj.-Gen. Leonidas Polk, C. S. Army.

No. 1.

Report of Maj.-Gen. U. S. Grant, U. S. Army.

FORT HENRY, March 13, 1862.

Learning that rebel troops had assembled at Paris for the purpose of enforcing conscription orders of Governor Harris, I sent night before last a portion of Curtis' Horse, Fifty-second Indiana, and Bulliss' battery.

The enemy were driven from their works, situated about a mile and a half beyond the town, with the loss of probably 100 killed and wounded. Our loss was Capt. Bulliss and 4 men killed and 5 men wounded. We have taken 8 prisoners. I am now engaged in sending more troops to the west bank of the river. The enemy are in force at Humboldt and might re-enforce their Paris troops in one day.



No. 2.

Report of Lieut. Charles H. Thurber, Battery I, First Missouri Light Artillery.

HDQRS. BUEL'S BATTERY, MISSOURI VOLS., In the Field, March 16, 1862.

SIR: I have the honor most respectfully to submit the following report, not being certain that it is my duty to do so. However, it will probably be of some interest to you:

On the 11th of March, 1862, about 8 o'clock a.m., the battery under command of Capt. Robert E. Bulliss left Paris Landing, on Tennessee River, in Henry County, Tennessee, and proceeded under escort of four companies of cavalry, the whole under command of Capt. J. T. Croft, acting major First Battalion Curtis' Horse, to attack the enemy at Paris, Tenn., where there were several hundred encamped, under command of Maj. H. C. King, about a mile beyond Paris. Our advance captured the pickets that were stationed this side of the town. Our forces passed the town about 5 o'clock p. m., and halted about a quarter of a mile from where we supposed the enemy were. The country being very hilly, we labored under great disadvantage in getting a suitable position for the battery. At last one was found on the right of the road on some rising ground. Only two companies of cavalry formed our support. The other two companies were sent to reconnoiter the enemy's position. They had not proceeded 300 yards from the battery when the enemy, who were lying in ambush, rose and fired two volleys into them, killing several. As soon as the cavalry returned we opened upon the enemy with effect, shelling them from their position and driving them to their camp, with place we also fired into, setting fire to several of their tents. Capt. Robert E. Bulliss fell in the early part of the engagement mortally wounded.

It soon becoming dark, I was ordered to put the battery in motion, which I did, the whole force returning short distance on the same road we came, where we camped for the night. The next morning, March 12, we proceeded to camp, 3 miles southward of Fort Heiman, Kentucky, where we are at present. The men of the battery worked the guns with the steadiness and accuracy of veterans. Their conduct was beyond my most sanguine expectations. The bridges along our return route were burning, and the command had to halt and extinguish and rebuild them before we could cross them. Capt. Bulliss' remains have been sent to Chicago, Ill., to his family.

I remain, sir, most respectfully, your obedient servant,


First Lieut., Cmdg. Battery.

No. 3.

Report of Capt. John T. Croft, Fifth Iowa Cavalry.

HDQRS. FIRST BATTALION CURTIS' HORSE, Fort Heiman, March 13, 1862.

SIR: In accordance with your instructions I left Fort Heiman during the night of the 11th. Proceeded with Bulliss' battery of Saint Louis and the First Battalion of Curtis' Horse [Fifth Iowa Cavalry] to Henry County, Tennessee, to afford protection to Union men, friends, and citizens of that county, who wished protection from being drafted on the 12th at Paris, Tenn. Large numbers fell in and traveled in our rear for such protection. Our advance guard came upon the outer pickets about 6 miles from the town; on seeing them killed 2, taking their arms. I then detailed 20 men, under Lieut. Williams, to advance cautiously and secure their pickets. This he did successfully, surprising them, taking 8 prisoners, with their horses and equipments. Among them was Capt. Couts, of Stock's mounted infantry.

Ascertaining about the enemy's force, I made a charge upon the town. About 5 p. m. I ordered one section of Bulliss' battery, the cavalry in advance, for a charge on the town, which we did successfully, driving the enemy before. We passed down Main street, with white flags hanging in every window, driving the enemy into their intrenchments, about a mile and a half west, in the timber, on a high hill. Then we planted our battery, and soon shelled them from that portion of their grounds. Thinking it vacated, I ordered a charge up the hill with two companies of cavalry (Companies A and B, under Capt. Lower and Lieut. Summers). About two-thirds the way up the hill we discovered the ambuscade. About 300 opened a terrible fire on us, but it passed over our heads. Companies A and B, much to their credit, returned a successful fire with revolvers and carbines of three volleys, returning with a loss of 5 killed and 3 wounded. I had the battery open a fire on them, causing a sad havoc among them. Capt. Bulliss was mortally wounded in this fire. The action lasted a little more than an hour, then firing ceased. We fell back upon the town, cut off the telegraphic communication, took possession of the court-house and a large hotel for our sick and wounded.

During the night I thought best to fall back here. We expected to find Gen. Grant with a force of infantry.

JOHN T. CROFT, [Capt.], Cmdg.

No. 4.

Report of Maj.-Gen. Leonidas Polk, C. S. Army.


SIR: In compliance with the dispatch from headquarters of the 14th, I inclose the accompanying statement, furnished by Maj. King, of the affair of the 11th near Paris.

In reply to the inquiry as to whether there were infantry troops at or near Paris at the time of the skirmish, I have to say that finding Maj. King's battalion to be mounted rifles, and having two large companies of cavalry besides at my disposal, which I posted there, I deemed the spirit of the order to post a battalion of infantry at Paris complied with. The only troops, therefore, there were King's Mounted Rifles and two companies of cavalry.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

L. POLK, Maj.-Gen., Cmdg.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 10, pt. I, pp. 16-19.



        11, Recruitment in Memphis

Logwood's Mounted Lancers

Col. T. H. Logwood is now in the city, directing his attention and energy raising a Regiment of Mounted Lancers in the war. In organizing the various companies each recruit will be required to furnish his own horse. The arms, equipments, lance included, are furnished by the War Department as soon as companies are mustered into service. Col. Logwood has also been authorized to receive into his command any companies who are now enlisted for twelve months.

Headquarters at Gayoso Block on Main.

Memphis Appeal, March 11, 1862.



11, ODE

Whilst warriors rush to field of fame,

And wade through blood to win a name,

Forgetting all the joys of life,

Seem bent alone on deadly strife,

'I, with my glass of golden wine,

Will on my couch of ease recline,

And swear no fife or drum shall roll,

Their dismal horrors through my soul!

No "Conscript Father" guide my feet

To mach by flank or in retreat.

Away with the canon drum and fife,

I scorn to join the martial strife,

No blood shall stain this hand of mine

Except "the blood of Scia'-vine" [?]

Chattanooga Daily Rebel, March 11, 1863



11, U. S. S. Peosta bombards Confederate guerrillas near Yellow Creek on the Tennessee River

No circumstantial reports filed.

At about 1:30 p. m. the crew responded to an apparent threat to the boat and began shelling the woods near the mouth of Yellow Creek firing in all about 36 rounds. They then proceeded up the river, returning in a few hours. There, four of the crew landed and fired a small framed building located near the creek.

U. S. S. Peosta Daily Deck Log[2]



11, Military trial of a Middle Tennessee bushwhacker

A Desperate Gorilla [sic]

A very interesting trial is now going on before the Military Commission, of which Col. John F. Miller is the President and Lieut. H.C. Blackburn Judge Advocate. The prisoner (Robert Gassett) stands charged with violating the laws of war in joining a band of marauders; of stealing three mules in Robertson county from Mr. J. A. Washington; of attempting the life of Mr. Washington; of stealing a horse, a gun, and a watch, from Mr. E. P. Falless; of murdering Mr. John T. Albright in Cheatham county of murdering B. F. Binley in the same county; of murdering James Maddox, of the same county; of murdering Capt. De Pugh in the same county, and so forth, et cetera, to be continued. Hon. Balie Peyton is conducting the prosecution, and James M. Brien, Esq., has the pleasure of appearing for the defence.

Nashville Dispatch, March 11, 1864.



11, Newspaper report relative to guerrilla activity in the Memphis environs

~ ~ ~

Important from Memphis-Special to the Republican.

Cairo, March 3,- Guerrillas have never been so numerous or troublesome as at present around Memphis. A few miles up the river on last Tuesday, they captured a raft of lumber 12 miles above Memphis. The parties on the raft escaped in a skiff when the guerrillas took possession, robbed of everything and then set it on fire and started it down stream. It was met by the packet boat Pocahontas and saved, the fire doing but little damage. The gang then left, stating they were Capt. Earles' scouts.

On the same day [3rd] the guerrillas visited the house of Joseph Dunbar, and mile and a half outside the Memphis picket line, and taking him a short distance they tied him up and whipped him severely.

The same gang robbed the supply store of Thomas Baxter and shot two negroes, one whom has since died.[3]

On the Hernando road, and within two miles of the city, another gang of thirty guerrillas visited last Sunday night, the residence of Mr. Giles, conscripting his two sons.

Near the above place they visited the house of Thomas Duncan, robbed him and then set fire in his house and conscripted a man by the name of Williams.

The houses of Mr. Brooks and Chas. Welford were also robbed and burned.

Thirty bales of Government cotton were burned within three miles of Memphis on the Arkansas side.

Within two four miles of Memphis they burned nine bales of Government cotton and whipped two negroes to death. The Government boat Naugatuck is reported sunk by guerrillas last Monday [1st], at the home of Mr. Justus near Duncan's wagon yard.

On last Saturday night [February 5th] the guerrillas captured seven or eight cotton buyers and robbed them of all they had.

By order of Gen Dana, Lieut Chas. H. Hare, Co. I, 7th Indiana Cavalry, is dismissed from service, four marauding, pillaging and philandering

New Orleans Times, March 11, 1865


[1] Also listed in Dyer's Battle Index for Tennessee.,but as "Action, Paris."

[2] As cited in William R. Morris, "The Tennessee River Voyages of U. S. S. Peosta," in Timberclads to Turtlebacks: A Glossary of Civil War Ship Types (np: Butternut Bivouac, Home Mail New FAQs Links: and-in: http://www.hardinhistory.com.). [Hereinafter: U. S. S. Peosta Daily Deck Log.] The only "Yellow Creek" near the Tennessee River is found in Rhea County, very close to the Watts Bar Nuclear Plant. See USGS Decatur Quad Map.

[3] Such behavior as is described, whipping, shooting, setting homes on fire, seem to be precursors to the tactics of the Ku Klux Klan in the near future.

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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