Thursday, March 6, 2014

3/5/2014 Tennessee Civil War Notes

6, The narrative of J. Milt. Moore's broken vow upon the fall of Nashville

….J. Milt. Moore, formerly a  celebrated steamboat baker [copy torn] [left Kentucky because he feared his] "rights" were seriously threatened so put off for Nashville where in his former occupation of bread baking for the Confederates, he for some time officiated as telegraphic correspondent for the Louisville Courier, and until that concern was suppressed.  When it was rumored that the Federal army was approaching Nashville, Milt. declared he wouldn't leave; he would stay and fight to the last, even if everyone else left the city. Well, when Gen. Buell's army had reached Edgefield, Milt. was seen with carpet rack in hand, wending his way rapidly as a lame man could do so toward the Chattanooga depot. When asked by a sesesh friend, who had heard his boasts, what it meant, he replied that others might do as they pleased, but as for him he was bound for Atlanta, on the first train. Milt. was one of the first to leave instead of the last.

Louisville Daily Journal, March 6, 1862.



5-6, R. V. Richardson, First Tennessee Regiment of Partisan Rangers relative to prisoner-of-war issues



SIR: About ten days ago the U. S. forces stationed at Bolivar captured John B. Scarborough, assistant surgeon, and Thomas W. Bass, forage master, of my regiment of Partisan Rangers. They have not yet been paroled, in violation of the cartel. In the case of the assistant surgeon, in retaliation I have captured two surgeons of the U. S. Army, one of whom, Ezekiel O. Buell, surgeon of the Eightieth Ohio Regt. [sic] of Volunteers, I propose to exchange for John B. Scarborough, assistant surgeon. I also propose to exchange Second Lieut. Thomas L. Patton, of Company A, Eightieth Ohio Regt. [sic] Volunteers, for Thomas W. Bass, forage master. In this exchange I give you advantages in giving officers of superior rank for others of inferior rank, and in the instance of the forage master a commissioned officer for a private detailed to act as forage master, but I can afford to be generous to an enemy who violates the usages of civilized war and solemn compact between belligerents.

I have now in my possession Second Lieut. Robert Hill, Company D, and Adjt. James E. Philpott, of Eighth Ohio Regt. [sic] Volunteers, also Surg. Joseph S. Martin, of Seventeenth Kansas Regt. [sic] U. S. Volunteers, whom I intend to hold as hostages for the violations of civilized usages of war and the cartel already committed and threatened against my command. If my surgeon and forage master are exchanged I will parole the other officers named. Capt. A. W. Cushman and Privates John A. Hill, Henry B. Bullard, Thomas Bates, William Johnson, Henry S. Dancey, Spencer B. Shelton, John M. Lewis, Marcus Lott and Cullin McCray, as an escort, are bearers of flag of truce and this dispatch.

Very respectfully,

R. V. RICHARDSON, Col., Cmdg. Regt. [sic] of Partisan Rangers, C. S. Army.

OR, Ser. II, Vol. 5, p. 156.




SIR: I am informed that Forage Master Thomas W. Bass and Asst. Surg. John B. Scarborough, of my regiment, First Tennessee Partisan Rangers, C. S. Army, who have been captured as prisoners of war by the U. S. forces at Bolivar, are now in trial before a military commission upon charges of murder, arson, robbing and I suppose all the black crimes that are customarily committed by your Government. This proceeding is most savage and brutal and a gross violation of every usage and law of civilized war.

I wish to state simply that these men are duly mustered into the military service of the Confederate States by myself acting under the authority and commission duly issued by the Secretary of War under special order of the President of the Confederate States. Thomas W. Bass has been appointed by me forage master and Dr. J. B. Scarborough has been appointed assistant surgeon of the First Tennessee Regt. [sic] of Partisan Rangers, C. S. Army. The Partisan Ranger service is a legally organized branch of the C. S. Army under an act of the Congress of the Confederate States. In my operations I have not violated the laws of war; your army has done it time and again. This pretended trial of Bass and Scarborough is one of the many gross and wanton violations of the military law of nations. If this proceeding is not immediately stopped and these men treated as prisoners of war or if they are punished capitally or cruelly treated as prisoners of war I will retaliate tenfold, and that you may know I have the means to execute my threat of retaliation I refer you to my note of the 5th instant sent to you under flag of truce.

U. S. officers and soldiers have been stealing negroes [sic], horses, mules, money, &c.; they have plundered houses, broken open bureau drawers, searched the person of ladies and insulted women; they have burnt houses and assassinated unoffending men, women and children all over the land, and yet when they have been captured although we had every reason to avenge these injuries they have been promptly paroled except when necessary to retaliate. No unusual trials have been resorted to scare prisoners and extort from them the oath of allegiance to a belligerent government. Your command has pillaged my own premises and grossly insulted my wife and very nearly shot one of my children and have threatened to burn my houses. I wish to notify you and your command that if I can get hold of the demons who have perpetrated these acts or who shall perpetrate them again, or who shall order or execute these threats, I will not treat them as prisoners of war but as outlaws and enemies of mankind. Further if any non-combatant citizen of the confederate States and of West Tennessee shall be captured or their houses burned or other property destroyed I will retaliate by capturing two Union citizens for each Confederate citizen and will take or destroy from Union men and U. S. soldiers and Government twice the amount of property taken or destroyed. My family resides near your army and those also of my relations and friends; for every depredation and insult committed against them I will retaliate upon Union men, Union soldiers and property.

Capt. Albert W. Cushman and escort will bear this note and flag of truce.

Yours, &c.,

R. V. RICHARDSON, Col., Cmdg. First Tennessee Regt. Partisan Rangers, C. S. Army

P. S.-Capt. J. Slaughter Caruthers with escort composed of John Ford, Henry McCain, T. T. Bennet and F. W. Hughes will bear this dispatch under flag of truce.

OR, Ser. II, Vol. 5, pp. 159-160.



6, The Civil War Adventures of Lizzie Compton, the Union Soldier from Tennessee

A Strange Story.

"Truth Stranger than Fiction"—Lizzie Compton, the Soldier Girl.

[From the Rochester Union.]

The young female noticed yesterday as having sought to be received into the 3d Cavalry turns out to be Lizzie Compton, the young soldier girl whose career has been noticed by the Western and Southern papers.

This girl was taken to the police station yesterday. It was supposed that she was an adventurer like many who have appeared in a similar disguise, and was therefore regarded as a disorderly person. The chief found her in Worden's saloon talking with a young man, and told her that she was wanted by the Police Magistrate. She replied that she would go to him, but begged that she might be permitted to go out of the saloon unattended that she might not appear to be under arrest. Her wish was complied with, and Lizzie, in a few minutes, stood before the Magistrate—a fine specimen of a young soldier ready to give an account of herself.

She stated that she was about sixteen years of age, assuming that she had been correctly informed as to the date of her birth. Her parents died in her infancy, near Nashville, Tenn., and she was left, as too many children are, to the tender mercies of unfeeling wretches. She was put into the field to work at an early age, and was never taught any duties of the household. When a child she wore a frock—but really was never fully clad in the apparel of her sex. At the age of thirteen, when the rebellion commenced, she put on the clothes of a boy and worked about the steamboats on the Western rivers. At length she sought a place in the army as a bugler, on which instrument she soon excelled.

Lizzie has been eighteen months in the service and in seven or eight regiments. She got into the ranks by fraud—taking the place of some person who had passed muster and was discharged as soon as her sex was discovered. Among the regiments in which she served were the 79th New York, 17th and 28th Michigan, and the 2d Minnesota. Her first engagement was at Mill Springs, and she relates minutely the details of the fall of Zollicoffer. She was captured with her company and paroled by the guerrilla Morgan near Gallatin, Tenn. She fought at Fort Donelson, Shiloh, and several other places in the West. Finally she went to the Army of the Potomac and got into the 79th New York. At the battle of Fredericksburg, early in July, she was wounded by a piece of shell in the side; and the surgeon discovered and disclosed her sex, which led to her dismissal after recovering in the hospital. Her secret was twice betrayed by surgeons. While in a Western regiment she undertook to ride a horse which none of her companions dare mount, and being without a saddle, she was thrown and injured, which led to betrayal.

This girl, familiar with the use of a musket, understands the manual perfectly, has performed picket and other duties of camp and field, and delights in the service. She recites camp incidents and scenes with the ardor of a youth of twelve, and longs to be with her old companions in arms. When asked if she had no fears, she replied that she was some "skeered" in the first battle, but never since, and she added that as she had done nothing to lead her to believe she would go to a bad place in the next world, she was not afraid to die.

The girl has no education—can do no more than recite the letters of the alphabet. Nor has she had religious instruction, except what she has accidentally received. Yet her notions of morality are such as do her credit. She refers to the degraded females who follow the camp and who mingle with the soldiers, with language of loathing and contempt. Indeed, she appears to think that if she consents to assume habiliments of her sex and become a woman that she is liable to become like one of these. She has the instincts of a boy—loves boyish pursuits and is bound to be a man. She declares that she may yet be a gentleman, but that she can never be a lady. She solemnly affirms that she is innocent of crime, and her affirmation will be taken by any one who hears her narrative.

Lizzie is five feet one inch in height, and weighs 155 pounds, and is of course of rather stout build. She has light hair, fair complexion, and in her half military suit with high boots, and pants tucked in the tops, she has the appearance of a rosy soldier boy of fifteen years. She carries with her a paper from the Chief of Police of Louisville, Mr. Priest, stating who she is, and commending her to the favor of the railroad superintendents. She came to this city a few days since, and went to New York to see Barnum, who had written to her. He was not then in the city, and after spending a day or two there, she became disgusted and started Westward. She arrived here without money, and sought to enlist to provide for herself. She was not discouraged at her failure. She declared that she could work at any business a boy could do, and would earn her living if permitted to do so. She was told that the statute forbade a woman wearing a man's clothing, and that she must abandon the practice. She would not promise to make a change—indeed she insisted that she would prefer any punishment—death even—rather than be compelled to act the part of a woman.

Bail was entered for the good behavior of the soldier girl, and she took the cars to go where, we know not. She will no doubt appear soon in some other locality.

New Orleans Daily Picayune, March 6, 1864. [1]



6, Insurgent murders in Memphis environs

Guerrilla Murders Near Memphis.

Four Union Men Hung

Fire in the Bulletin Office

[Special Dispatch by Telegraph to N.O. Times]

Memphis, March 6, 4 P. M., via Baton Rouge, March 9.

Greenlaw's guerrillas, a band of outlaws, unequalled in ruffianism of every description, have been conscripting of late in the country around the outside of the Federal lines at this place. On Saturday they conscripted seven men residing on the Hernando road, only three of four miles from the city. Four of the number were invalids from the effects of congestive chills, and unable to proceed only a mile or two with they captors, when they fell from exhaustion. Saying that the poor fellows were playing sham, and that they should not be left behind to give information to the damned Yankees, the chivalry hung their victims to trees by the roadside, where their bodies were found next morning by a party of Federal cavalry. The bodies were brought into the city and identified as John Raldiffe, Thomas Barns, Charles Edgar, and William Volney, all farmers and Union men. The cavalry were in pursuit of the guerrillas when they found the bodies. The received information of the manner in which they came to their death from a lady residing near the scene do the hanging, who saw they strung up one by one, and overheard the curses of the murderers and the entreaties of their victims.


New Orleans Times, March 10, 1865.


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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