Wednesday, April 30, 2014

4.30.14 Tennessee Civil War Notes

        30, Sallie Gannaway Jamison[1] to Camilla Jamison in Murfreesborough
War with all its horrors, is upon us. I hear and think of but little else. 'This the greatest calamity that could befall us. Who dreamed that we would ever come to this? The United States! The star country! The model government -- by which other nations endeavored to frame theirs,-but I fear the star has sunk, -- her glory has departed... All is confusion, -- no telling what the future will be; but 'tis the privilege of the Christian to stand all of this as the sun amid the flying clouds of heaven, calm and serene; -- trusting not in any mighty warriors as brave army but in the Lord of Hosts. The ladies are highly excited in some places, quite patriotic. I expect we are all intensely southern in feeling about now, believe in withdrawing our patronage from the North and encouraging home manufactory exclusively, but none that I have heard of have proven this faith by their work so prominently as out neighbor Mrs. Morton. She has made herself and all of her daughters three home-spun [sic] dresses apiece, and she (the old lady) to show that she intends carrying out her principle to the letter wore one of them to town the other day... There are two military companies preparing for service. Mr. Donnell [a school master] is Capt. Of one, and has almost given up his place in the school; doesn't pay much attention to it... He said he was glad Ada didn't go back [to school], that he didn't expect to be there in two weeks himself. The excitement has gotten into the school, and the girls are making make the military clothes. Miss Searey is President of a company of ladies who are making military clothes. I guess the girls had all better be at home, for I don't expect they are doing much good studying.
Robert D. Jamison Papers, TSL&A

        30, Excerpt from a newspaper report on threats of the Chattanooga Vigilance Committee and admonitions of Federal reprisals in kind
~ ~ ~
The following is from the Nashville Patriot of recent date:
We learn from a gentleman of veracity, direct from Chattanooga, that the Vigilance Committee of that place recently held a meeting and determined to put to death fifteen or twenty of the prominent Union men of that vicinity upon the approach of the National army.
Most certainly the approach of the Federal army to Chattanooga or anywhere else will not be prevented or retarded by any such hellish device as that. Our armies will assert and exercise the rights of war. If it be found that the  Vigilance Committee are really determined, in the event of the marching of our troops upon their place, let that number or twice that number of prominent rebels of Nashville or some other city be seized and sternly held as hostages for the safety of  the threatened victims. If the rebels will insist upon making this a war of barbarism, a war of extermination, a war shocking to the  moral sense of the world, they have unquestionably the power to do so, but the consequence, whilst terrible on both sides, would  be far most terrible to their  own,
Never in all the history of hostilities among nations, was any war prosecuted on higher and juster and nobler and more merciful principles than this has been on the part of the United States. Our Government and our people have alike seemed to bear in mind the great truth, that, whilst the legitimate object of the war is to preserve the greatest country of the age against the most atrocious rebellion of any age, it still a war of brethren.
Louisville Daily Journal, April 30, 1862. [2]

        30, Favoritism in the execution of Confederate conscription in Union county[3]
The following unique letter was handed us by Capt. Webb, of the Enrolling Office of this Department;
UNION COUNTY, April 30, 1863
To Col. Blake, Comeding Cornscripts and so fourth:
Now Sur, I beg leeve to make a few remarks. Are the cornscripts ov ower cownty liable and ordered to be arrested. And delivered over at Knocksville to who has the collection ov them. Are the cornscripts officers aloud to seez one man and send wurd to anuther to cleer out and hide hisself? And then Kernel ar we kumpelled to have rollin officers who send men and buoys ove the mountings, telling the young men not yet 18 that the C. Gov. had abanderud ages under 18, and was ketchin corncripts by weight. And by this they have actery sceered off sum who ar not 17 years old-one in particler Elber Dawl, near me wus told that ef he weighed 124 lbs, he sertinly must go into the service of the C. S., and that nite he left for Ky., and is over thar now. We has in this cownty every enrollin offiser for the very wust cort of Likninite, & every one relatives ov the Cheerman or Cownty Court Clerk & this clerk was Thornberg's 1st Lieut. & the Cheerman is no better. Can we not have these stowt young men cauld into the servis or let them run off as sum ov them will do & have men over, 45 appointed or appint ower justices ov the peas & uther persins exempt from Concript this would at once put amazingly formydable foarce ov young men into the field & leave them who now have nuthin to do offishally to attend to the enroaling clerks sheriffs justices & other exempts. I have ritten to Congress asken them to pass a kempulserry law on the cownty coarts to make up the rollin officers entirely ov the exempt whether you have the power to change the appointments I know not, but this ere you can do, put them into the army a foarce the cownty courts to make other appointments for the pressant incumbenters in moast of the cownties in East Tennessee is a burlesk on the military but I kno that we has sum very good uns if I can get an order I will arrest a phew bad men & who ar lyin out steling everything in thar reach I have extended my few disjointed remarks much further than I espceted at first yours truly
We are inclined to believe that the publication of the foregoing patriotic letter will result in important reforms in the enforcement of the Conscript act, and we accept in advance the thanks of Col. Blake for the invaluable suggestions presented.

Knoxville Daily Register, May 21, 1863.

        30, Elvira Powers remarks on the progress of her contraband students at the Refugee farm[4]
The aptness of the pupils, as a whole, is really surprising. Some have learned the alphabet, I am told, in three days, and others in a week.
It is said that all northern people who visit the school, very soon fall a victim to that fearful disease, known by the southern chivalry and northern copperheads, as "niggar [sic] on the brain." And I will confess my belief that were I to teach in this school very long, I might become so interested in some of my pupils I should sometimes forget that they were not of the same color as myself, and really believe that God did make of one blood all nations of the earth.
They present every shade of color from the blackest hue to a fairer skin than my own. It is often necessary to find out who the mother is before you know whether the person is white of black. The age [of the student body] varies from four to thirty.
The progress of some is really astonishing. One little black girl of seven years, and with wooly head, can read fluently in the Fourth Reader, and studies primary, geography, and arithmetic, who has been to school but one year. I inquired if any one taught her at home, if she had not learned how to read before that time. "Oh, no, I learned my letters when I first came to school, and I live with my aunt Mary, and she can't read. She's no kin to me, and I haven't any kin, but I call her aunt."
Perhaps she never had any, or is related to Topsey, and if questioned farther, might say she "'spects she grew." A boy about twelve, who has been to school but nine months, and who learned his letters in that time, reads in the Third Reader and studies geography. Some are truly polite. The first day of my taking charge of one of the division, a delicate featured, brown-skinned little girl of about nine years came to me and said with the sweetest voice and manner: --
"Lady will you please tell me you name?"
I did so, when she thanked me and said: --
"Miss P_____ can you please hear our Third Reader this morning." It was not an idle question either, for the school is so large that now, while two of the teachers are absent, from illness, some of the classes are each day necessarily neglected. And so eager are the generality of the pupils to learn, that most of them are in two or three reading and spelling classes at the same time.
One might now not only exclaim with Galileo, "The world does move," and we move with it. For though but a little time since the negro dared to say :I think," lest the master might exclaim,-- "You think, you black neggar [sic]-never you mind about that, I'll do your thinking for you." But would instead, say 'deferentially, with bent head and hand in his wooly hair, "Wall, massa, I'se been a studyin' about dat dar," is now learning to stand erect and confess that he does think; as well as learn to read and write.
One of the more advanced pupils told me that her father taught her to read and write before it was safe to let anyone know that he did, or that he could himself read.
Powers, Pencillings, pp. 61-63.

        30, A Report on Female Confederates in Knox County.
Four She Devils.
A short time since, in the North-eastern corner of this county, and near the Union county line, the wife of a villian [sic] at Camp Chase, two single girls of another family and a rebel Negro woman, dressed themselves in rebel uniform and caps, and visited the house of a Union lady and frightened her all but out of her life, making threats and cutting up generally. This was beautiful conduct for – we will not say ladies [sic]-but for females. The authorities must erect a female prison [sic] here for all such, and when done, we move that these gallant rebels in breeches [sic] must be sent for. The only blunder they committed was in not having with them a negro man [sic] instead of a woman!
Brownlow's Knoxville Whig and Rebel Ventilator, April 30, 1864

        30, Arrest of women for "rejoicing over the death of Lincoln."
On that morning, Mollie was carried away to Tullahoma – she and Mrs. McMillan having been arrested by order of Gen. Milroy on the evening of the 29th (Saturday). The charge was "rejoicing over the death of Lincoln." It seems that Mollie heard some days before that she had been reported for that at Lewis head-quarters, by a boy who came up with her from Woodbury. She had gone to Mrs. Grizzel's (where the boy lived, he was a bound boy) to attack him about it-he denied it all until he was black in the face, and said it was a Mrs. Boyd (who also came up with them,) who did the reporting – saying that she heard Mollie tell Jane Morford after they had gone to bed – that "When she heard Abe was dead she waved a Secesh-flag!" The Commandant of the post hated M. because she and other rebel girls had declined calling on Miss Sullivan because she drove out with him! Consequently, with Lewis personal pique and Clift persuasion [sic] – her case sent to Milroy – who sent for them. Seven armed men (!!!) [sic] were sent under an officer to arrest her! One, lone woman! The Lieut. Mollie says, looked ashamed of the array, and quite plagued when she quietly remarked that "really it was amusing to think she was so formidable – she had never though of it before." Everything was raked up against her that could be-as it was merely a case of personal pique and they pounced on the first excuse they could get to arrest her. The day Mollie and Mrs. McMillan went to Grizzell's to give the boys some of their mind about his lying, there was a woman there – a Mrs. Bell who went on in their presence to bewail her lot – she was a prisoner and so ill – threatened by the Yankees, and she cried and sobbed wonderfully over her troubles. When M. and Mrs. Mc. Rose to leave this woman came forward – shook hands with them – and told M. "she hoped she would have no further trouble" etc. Mr. And Mrs. M. had said nothing – but as soon as they were gone-what does she do but ups and reports [sic] to the powers that be – and old Miss Boyd, a tale-bearing woman as Wash calls her was hurried in, and M. arrested! After the ladies were taken off – the greatest efforts were made by Lewis to get evidence against Mollie but he failed. They even sent for old Mrs. Long – way on the road away down the road to Woodbury – as well as for Jane Morford but both of these evidenced for instead of against her. It was a all a made up thing – the old spy had not caught up and body and had been here a month, she was not getting her rights as to pay, she thought – consequently the little reports concerning M. and Mrs. Mc. Were magnified into a few mountains of falsehood and conjecture and sent flaming to Milroy. Lewis having a personal pique at Mollie caught at it as a god-sent [sic], and to gratify his own malice determined to put it thro [sic]. He did his best – and that proved one of the best of failures. Milroy's' scout, John Lee, who was to take them down to Tulahoma [sic], boarded sometimes at Henderson's – Mr. H. is M's friend and from him Lee was prepossessed in her favor – he was melted down too – when he saw them all crying at Mrs. Myers when M. left – going up the Ambulance just after he had put her in – he looked up in her face and said with a smile "Never mind Miss, I'll bring you back in a day or two, or my name is not John Lee." And it was principally to his reckon so that M. was indebted for her release – for he had great influence with Milroy and tho [sic] there was no evidence against M. worth 5 cents. Lee had to tell Milroy it wasn't worth a d__n or that discriminating officer would never have seen it. They are indebted to Captain Can for a quiet good word in their favor tho [sic] he claimed no credit for doing anything and for kind words to themselves. What he did, was done for their sakes alone and not for no interested motive. [sic] Joe Clift on the contrary had an interest of his own to subserve – and yet in doing this, he also served them. He did them the great favor to tell them exactly how they would be treated and dhow they must act, which was of the greatest benefit. Said he "There is no evidence you of any account it seems for Col. and Mrs. French's letter – no need for you to lay the case before Rousseau – at present – they will try to scare you with Camp Chase – and [the] Nashville Penitentiary but don't you give way an inch – stand your ground – don't say much – be pleasant – give Billings rope and he'll hang himself." Clift was getting up evidence against Billings and Milroy himself for abuse of their office as they had had him arrested for disobeying orders and he wanted M. to give him all Billings irrelevant questions and talk to her, which she put in writing for him. I will get M. to vie me a written statement of the whole affair – I mean to use it some day. Armstrong wrote down to Milroy – I wrote to Mollie, and on the way they came home – Armstrong was going around with a petition getting all the "Loyal Ladies" to sign it – except the Clifts. I was out in the yard in the evening when I saw the Col. Come around the bluff – and a lady with him, I knew the rebel dress-the grey dress and grey hat and plumes – it was Mollie! I had spent that afternoon – or the most of it writing a letter to Milroy – a long mile document [sic], and the Col. was going down to Tulahoma [sic] in the morning to see if he could not get the ladies released….But, as it turned out this was not necessary, they were at home. M. and I like to have never gone to bed that night – she had so much to tell me and so many funny things to say about those fools Gen. & P. M. of Tulahoma [sic].
War Journal of Lucy Virginia French, entry for May 10, 1865.

[1] Sallie Gannaway Jamison is not identified, but may have been a cousin in Ohio.
[2] As cited in PQCW.
[3] All spelling and grammar original.
[4] Powers had agreed to teach negro children at the "Refugee farm", or the "Eweing farm" on Friday, April 22, 1864. See: Powers, Pencillings, p.58.

James B. Jones, Jr.
Public Historian
Tennessee Historical Commission
2941 Lebanon Road
Nashville, TN  37214
(615)-532-1550  x115
(615)-532-1549  FAX

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

4.28.14 Tennessee Civil War Notes

29, Mrs. Andrew Jackson Donelson appeals to General Winfield Scott to "arrest the civil war now begun."

Mrs. Donelson to Gen. Scott.—The following eloquent appeal to Gen. Scott from the wife of Andrew Jackson Donelson, we find in the Memphis Bulletin:

Memphis, April 29, 1861.

Gen. Scott—Dear Sir: I address you not as a stranger. I was introduced to you in 1834, at the White House, by President Jackson, as "my niece, Miss Martin, of Tennessee." In 1834 I married Louis Randolph, a grandson of President Jefferson. In 1837 he died, and in 1841 I married Major Andrew J. Donelson, whom you will remember. In 1852 I saw you frequently in Washington.

I write to you, Gen. Scott, as the only man in the country who can arrest the civil war now begun. When it was announced that "Gen. Scott had resigned," a thrill of joy ran through the South. Cannon told the glad tidings, and my heart said, "God bless him." Now it is said "you will never fight under any other than the Star Spangled Banner." We have loved that banner. We have loved the Union. But the Union is gone, and forever, and I wept as each star left the field of blue and set in night. Now we have another field of blue, and soon our fifteen stars will shine upon our right. The stripes are all that is left of the banner you have borne victorious in many battles.

Of you I may ask it, but not the usurper and his Abolition band, who now desecrate the honored place once filled by our Washington, Jefferson and Jackson—of Gen. Scott I ask it—STOP THIS WAR. Say to the North, you shall not shed your brother's blood. The sons of Tennessee and the South have buckled on their armor, and are ready for the fight. We will fight this battle, every man, woman and child, to the last cent in our pockets and the last drop of blood in our veins. The North boasts of its strength. If this boast be well founded, it were cowardice to destroy the weak. But "the race is not always to the swift, nor the battle to the strong!" God will defend us when our husbands and sons go forth to repel the invaders of our homes, our rights, and our soil. Then count the cost, Hero of Battles, and let after ages bless you.

Daily Advocate [Baton Rouge], May 24, 1861.



        29, Lack of confidence expressed in Memphis; contingency from the Daily Appeal's evacuation announced

The APPEAL will continue to punctually be issued in Memphis so long as the city is in possession of the Confederate authorities. Should it, however, be occupied by the enemy, taking a lesson from the despotic suppression of the Nashville journals by ANDREW JOHNSON, we shall discontinue its publication, here and remove to some safe point in Mississippi, where we can express our true political sentiments, and still breath the pure and untainted atmosphere of Southern freedom. We cannot do such violence to our feelings as to submit to a censorship under LINCOLN'S hireling minions that would deprive us of the privilege of depressing at all times our earnest God-speed to the progress of Southern independence, and write and speak what we think. Sooner would we sink our types, press and establishment in the bottom of the Mississippi river, and be wanderers and exiles from our homes.

Memphis Appeal, April 29, 1862.



29, Female entrepreneurs in Nashville

New Southern, Straw Hat and Bonnet Manufactory.

The People of Nashville and vicinity are informed that they can be supplied with Hats and Bonnets from the production of their own soil—no way inferior, if not surpassing any English importation or any handicraft of the Northern States. Also, that their old Hats and Bonnets, however much soiled and out of modern style, can be made to compete with new ones, in shape and finish, at very short notice, and on reasonable terms. Hats and Bonnets are colored and finished in superior style.

Black lace Veils, &c., although reduced to an apparently worthless condition, may be restored to their primitive beauty in color and finish. Feathers colored white and red, and finished to equal new. All those who wish to see "old things pass away and all things become new" in the way of Hats, Bonnets, Lace, &c., will please call at No. 15½ Kirkman's Block, Summer street.

Mrs. Lloyd,

Mrs. C. C. Dow.

Nashville Dispatch, April 29, 1862.



        29-May 7, 1864, Investigation of depredations committed against Southern loyalists by Confederate forces in Kingsport, Bristol, Blountsville and Sullivan County

BRISTOL, TENN., April 29, 1864.

Col. GEO W. BRENT, A. A. G., Hdqrs. Armies of the C. S.:

COL.: From the investigation I have been able to make, I have to report that the complaints of the citizens of Sullivan County, Tenn., contained in the memorial referred to me, are well founded. I am satisfied that the limitations of the impressment law have not been uniformly observed. Supplies needed for the support of the household have been taken; disputed questions have not been referred to the board of arbitrators, required by law. Agricultural operations have been left, signed by forage-masters, commissary sergeants, officers of the line, and sometimes without any indication of the command for which the supplies were taken. In addition to these abuses, robberies by soldiers in small parties have been frequent. In October last, it is stated, a regiment of cavalry (Peter's Twenty-first Virginia) was mounted in East Tennessee by the indiscriminate license granted by Gen. Williams to seize horses wherever they could be found. No receipts were given, no money paid, and no form of law observed. Gen. A. E. Jackson assured me that he had himself taken from men of this regiment more than 100 horses thus seized, which he recognized as belonging to perfectly loyal Southern men. Gen. William E. Jones, in March, directed his purveying officers to leave there bushels of corn or two and a half of wheat for each member of a family, but his quartermaster informed me that he was satisfied this limitation had not been respected. I have received assurances from Gen. William E. Jones, in March, directed his purveying officers to leave three bushels of corn or two and a half of wheat for each member of a family, but his quartermaster informed me that he was satisfied this limitation had not been respected. I have received assurances from Gen. A. E. Jackson, from the chief quartermaster and chief commissary of the department, from the quartermaster and chief commissary of the department, from the quartermaster of Jones' brigade, and from numerous citizens that the country contains a large number of informal receipts of the kind above described. A good many of these I have myself seen. Mr. Mr. Wyndham Robertson declared to me that he knew of numerous cases in which all the safeguards of the impressment law were disregarded. The accompanying documents, marked A and B, will illustrate the various kinds of depredations to which the people something may be done toward paying the debts represented by informal vouchers. I would suggest that as full powers as the law will allow be conferred upon Maj. Glover, chief quartermaster for the liquidation of claims of this character in his department in this quarter, and that similar powers be conferred upon Capt. Shelby, chief commissary at Gen. Buckner's headquarters.

It would seem that cavalry officers might devise some plan of foraging their detachments without subjecting the citizens to the enormous Hardship of collecting his money upon irregular vouchers. Their quartermasters might at least be required to follow and take up immediately all such paper. At present the quartermaster of this department is making no impressments. The commissary has impressing agents out, who are provided with money or blank forms receipted and with copies of the impressment law and the orders thereon, which they are instructed strictly to respect.

I have the honor to be, colonel, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

ARCHER ANDERSON, Lieut. Col., Asst. Adjt. Gen., on Inspector Duty.

[First indorsement.]


Respectfully submitted to His Excellency the President.

A copy of this report will be sent to Brig. Gen. William E. Jones, commanding department, that a rigid scrutiny may be made and all offenders brought to justice. It is confidently hoped he will not allow a continuance of the lawless and disgraceful transactions.


[Second indorsement.]

MAY 6, 1864.

It is painful to know that such outrages as those described have been committed by any portion of our Army, the justice and humanity of which has generally been scarcely less conspicuous than their gallantry. It is due to the citizen, to the good soldier, and the fair fame of the Government that these abuses should be visited with such correction as will serve for future warning to evildoers.


[Third indorsement.]

MAY 23, 1864.

Respectfully referred to the Adjutant-Gen.


[Fourth indorsement.]

All that is requisite seems to have been done at Gen. Bragg's headquarters.




Memorandum of affidavits in the possession of J. R. Anderson, of Bristol:

Conrad Shirrett declares that 4 milch cows belonging to him were impressed, against his consent and in violation of law, by Maj. John Hockenhull, commissary of subsistence. In an indorsement on the papers appears an order from Maj. Latrobe, of Gen. Longstreet's staff, to return the cows, but they were never returned. On the night of April 1, 5 soldiers forcibly took from James Torbit 125 pounds of bacon, 12 pounds of flour, and 6 gallons of molasses. From the same man 2 bay mares were taken by soldier of Peters' regiment of cavalry (Twenty-first Virginia) on the 18th October, 1863.

On the 11th April, 1864, Lieut. C. T. Whitehead, Company G, Sixteenth Georgia Battalion of Cavalry, took 12 bushels of corn from James Morton (all he had), during his absence and against his family's cries and protestations, leaving the following receipt: "Rec's April 11, 1864, of James Morton, 12 bushels of corn for the use of public animals, Co. G, 16th Ga. Batt'n Cavalry.-Lt. C. T. Whitehead, Comdg. Co. G, 16th Ga. Batt'n Cav'y."

November 8, 2 men, giving their names first as Ross and Roller and then as Thomas Rolliff and James Watmore, and as belonging to the Sixteenth Georgia Battalion Cavalry, forcibly took from Abram Baker 1 gray mare and 1 bay horse. He had but 1 other work animal. Neither money nor receipt was given.

Isaac C. Anderson, sr., declares in a letter that on the 7th April some men from Vaughn's brigade took from him his last ear of corn, by impressment, it is supported. Men from the same brigade stole from him a black mare. Longstreet's men impressed his bull, the only breeding stock he had.

W. H. Litheal makes affidavit that 600 pounds of hay needed for his own stock were impressed by an agent of Capt. H. Kenneworth, Buckner's division. No citizen seems to have been called on.

Mrs. Hannah Thomas makes affidavit that several wagon loads of forage necessary for her own stock were impressed without her consent.

Mr. J. R. Anderson states (not on affidavit) that on Monday, 25th April, two men, calling themselves of Ashby's regiment of cavalry, which had just passed, forcibly took from Isaac Sells 1 roan mare and from Andrew Cowan 1 horse. He further states that Benning's brigade, Field's division, encamped on his farm, near Zollicoffer, went off without settling for 10 acres of timber which they had consumed, though they knew they were to move a week before they started.

ARCHER ANDERSON, Lieut. Col., Asst. Adjt. Gen., on Inspection Duty.


HDQRS., Near Kingsport, April 18, 1864.

Maj. T. ROWLAND, Assistant Adjutant-Gen.:

MAJ.: Three nights ago the house of a highly respectable woman living near Dixon's Ford, above here, was entered and robbed in her presence. The drawers were rifled, her jewelry was taken before her eyes, and she was compelled to give to the thieves her finger-rings. Hearing of it, I ordered and commenced an immediate search and investigation. Very soon I had reason to suspect that Lieut. Gen. Vaughn and against whom other charges were already pending), was implicated. So soon as the discovered that the investigation would lead to his exposure, he cautiously slipped out to where his horse was, and in a few moments was not to be found. He has deserted and gone. I would have placed him in close arrest before the hour of his escape, but the evidence against him was too uncertain and rather vague to authorize it without further investigation. Two others, however, members of Company G, Fifty-ninth Tennessee Cavalry, who were accomplices in the theft, I have in close arrest and dismounted. One of them, if not both, I am persuaded is an experienced scoundrel, and therefore advise that they be sent at once to prison, or at least to some more secure point than this. Please advise Maj. Toole what to do with them. We have use for their horses here and I will hold them, with you permission, subject to Gen. Ransom's order. I communicated with Gen. Vaughn fully as to Kedd's breach of arrest and escape. I also sent two men in pursuit of him, but I have little thought of capturing him very soon. He rode an uncommonly fine horse, and is a very shrewd villain.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JAS. W. HUMES, Lieut.-Col., Cmdg. Detachment Second Brigade.


MAY 7, 1864.

This officer should be dropped from rolls as a deserter.


COUNTY COURT, April Term, 1864.

On motion, the chairman of court appointed L. M. King, F. W. Earnest, and Joseph R. Anderson a committee to memorialize Lieut.-Gen. Longstreet, through this court, to grant relief to the citizens of this county from depredations from soldiers, and report immediately to this court.

BLOUNTSVILLE, April 4, 1864. STATE OF TENNESSEE, Sullivan County:

SIR: We, the undersigned citizens of said county, being a committee appointed by the worshipful county court of this county to draft a suitable memorial to you in behalf of the citizens of the county, do most respectfully submit the following:

This county has furnished in all about 2,000 troops for the defense of the South and Southern institutions, a large number of whom have left poor families dependent upon the citizens for support, and owing to the present system of impressments and the daily violations of the laws governing the impressment of supplies we are utterly unable conservator of our rights, and in the name of humanity and the cause of Southern independence we appeal to you for protecting and relief. Families are being daily robbed of the supplies absolutely necessary for their support, by officers of the army, claiming to be authorized by you, while a well-organized system of robbery is carried on all over the country day and night, the only authority claimed for which is the terror of the bayonet. If this state of things continues it will not only demoralize an ruin the army, but will force good men to quit the ranks and return to their homes to defend their families against the excesses and outrages of unprincipled men soldiers, who plunder and rob with impunity when we are already reduced to a bare subsistence. Many of the impressments, we think, made by officers are in positive violation of the law of Congress and the orders of Gen. Cooper on the subject. We are willing, as we ever have been, to contribute to the utmost of our ability to a cause so vital to our social and political existence. In consideration of these things we therefore most respectfully ask you to protect us against further aggressions of the kind, and prevent the further impressment of supplies so necessary to the support of families of soldiers in the field. The exigencies of our situation, should we fail to get that relief which we pray at your hands, will compel us to appeal to the authorities at Richmond.

All of which is respectfully submitted.


The foregoing resolutions or memorials being submitted by the committee to the court, the same was unanimously adopted by the court, and it is ordered by the court that David S. Lyon, L. M. King, Joel L. Barker, esq., and Joseph R. Anderson and L. F. Johnson be appointed a committee to present this memorial to Lieut.-Gen. Longstreet and await his answer, and report the same to the court instanter, together with these proceedings.

A true copy of the proceedings of the court, this 4th day of April, 1864.



TUESDAY, April 5, 1864.

The court had the following proceedings on the report of Lieut.-Gen. Longstreet:

Returned into court the report of the committee, whereupon the court refers this matter to His Excellency Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederate States of American, and appoints L. M. King and F. W. earnest, gentlemen and citizens of Sullivan County, to bear these proceedings to Richmond, that His Excellency may grant such relief as the exigencies of the case demand.

STATE OF TENNESSEE, Sullivan County:

I, John C. Rutledge, clerk of the country court for said county, hereby certify the foregoing to be a true copy of the record as will appear in my office.

Given under my hand and private seal (having no office seal) at office in Blountsville, this 5th day of April, 1864.



[First indorsement.]

HDQRS., April 5, 1864.

Respectfully forwarded.

The orders in this department require the strictest enforcement of the impressment authority. This is rendered absolutely necessary in order that our troops and animals may be partially fed. If we cannot get supplies from the East we must soon be forced to take more than the law allows to avoid starvation.

J. LONGSTREET, Lieut.-Gen., Cmdg.

[Second indorsement.]

Gen. Bragg, for attention.

The indorsement of Gen. Longstreet does no touch the complaint of the citizens against illegal seizures, robbery, &c.

J. D.

BLOUNTSVILLE, TENN. April 6, 1864.

The committee to whom the worshipful court referred the foregoing memorial would state further (without any intention of boasting) that the citizens of this county on the whole are as loyal as any within the Southern Confederacy, and as such have a right to claim and expect protection from wanton abuses on the part of our own army. They have contributed all their surplus to the use of the C. S. Army, even to a deprivation of their common pursuits in agricultural interests. This county has already paid into the C. S. treasury as war tax upward of $100,000, as will appear from the files in said office. Notwithstanding all this, and much more that could be said in our behalf, the citizens of this county are willing to abide the acts of Congress and Gen. Cooper's instructions on impressments; yet when within the last few days the whole county has been stripped by forage and commissary wagons (in many cases without even a receipt being given), one universal wail of lamentation has to be borne with this memorial in behalf of many families to you for relief. They are to-day dependent upon the C. S. Government for supplies, and it is believed and hoped you will grant them. This county has to-day quarter upon it the whole of Gen. Longstreet's army from its length and breadth, which will of necessity make it a dependency upon the Government before any relief can reach us for the supplies of soldiers and other families. We trust you will not turn a deaf ear to the complaints of a people who still struggle to maintain their loyalty to the C. S. Government.


OR, Ser. I, Vol. 32, pt. III, pp. 847-852.



        29, Returning Confederate soldiers required to take the oath of allegiance in East Tennessee

CHATTANOOGA, April 29, 1865.

Brig. Gen. W. D. WHIPPLE, Chief of Staff:

There are large numbers of paroled rebel soldiers from Lee's army and Forrest's here and coming into our lines at all points, who are utterly destitute, and who will inevitably be driven to stealing and robbery, if not bushwhacking, unless they can be permitted to go to their homes or be provided for in some manner. What shall I do with them?



KNOXVILLE, April 29, 1865--12.55 p. m.

Maj.-Gen. THOMAS:

Your telegram received. Numbers of men have come into East Tennessee with authority from Gen. Grant to go to their homes, which are in East Tennessee. Do your instructions include such persons; and if so, shall they be sent without the limits of the State? There are others whose homes are in Georgia, Alabama, and the other Southern States. They are penniless and without food, and must live by begging or stealing. Can I issue such persons a limited amount of rations and send them by rail to Dalton and get rid of them; also obnoxious and troublesome characters?

GEO. STONEMAN, Maj.-Gen. of Volunteers, Cmdg.



Maj.-Gen. STONEMAN, Knoxville:

By decision of the Attorney-Gen., no Confederate is entitled to come into a loyal State on his parole. He will have to take the oath of allegiance to the United States to enable him to remain. You are authorized to give a limited amount of subsistence to such rebel soldiers who have to pass through East Tennessee to get to Georgia and Alabama. They must not be allowed to stop on the way.

GEO. H. THOMAS, Maj.-Gen., U. S. Army, Cmdg.

Send the above to Gen. Steedman and Gen. R. S. Granger entire. Send the first sentence to Gen. Washburn.

GEO. H. THOMAS, Maj.-Gen., U. S. Army.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 49, pt. II, pp. 518-519.


James B. Jones, Jr.

Public Historian

Tennessee Historical Commission

2941 Lebanon Road

Nashville, TN  37214

(615)-532-1550  x115

(615)-532-1549  FAX


Sunday, April 27, 2014

4.28.-29.14 Tennessee Civil War Notes

        28, "The performance of divine service is rare in jail." A plea to bring the Gospel to city jail prisoners
A Visit to Jail.
Many of our readers will remember that some two years ago the Appeal took the initiative in calling attention to the horrible state of our city jail. The portion appropriated to the chain gang was especially a dark, noisome division of dungeons, filthy in the extreme, almost deprived of air, and altogether unfit for anything but the receptacle of lost souls in the dominions of man's direst enemy. The upper portion of the edifice was little better, the disadvantages of the place necessarily arising from its ill construction—the result of a plan the grossest ignorance could alone ever atone for having been adopted—were increased by the gloom arising from walls covered with cobwebs and almost innocent of contact with a whitewash brush. A day or two ago, for the first time since Mr. Jackson has filled the office of jailor, we went over the place, and never was our gratification more complete than when we saw the change that had taken place. The chain gang were no longer barred within the confines of dismal and loathsome dungeons, but were in roomy, clean, light and airy quarters, from windows of which there is a splendid view up and down the river. These rooms were formerly the residence of the jailor; Mr. Jackson gave them up to the use of prisoners, so that they might be rescued from the living tomb in which "man's inhumanity to man" had beforetime enclosed them. The whole jail is now clean—every board of the floors is well scrubbed, the cobwebs are banished, the walls are well white-washed, the dreadful stench that used at times to make even the turnkeys vomit, as they themselves have assured us, was nearly imperceptible. The narrow corridors, confined gratings and scanty supply of air, together with the bad sewerage and miserable provisions for some important points of cleanliness, make it impossible that the present building can ever be all that it ought to be in this respect. We were not only impressed with the difference in point of cleanliness and the arrangement of the different articles in the various cells, but also, and to even a greater degree, with the respectful and orderly behavior of the prisoners, which afforded a great contrast from what we have, in former times, seen in the same place. We saw evidences that a firm but kind hand held the rule. We regretted to learn that no systematic effort is made by the religious portion of the public of Memphis to supply the spiritual wants of the prisoners. The weary days pass on, the tedious nights roll slowly by, and the Sunday passes like the rest, except that "the sound of the church-going bell" tells the incarcerated that the followers of him who loves those who visit the distressed that are sick and in prison, are going where they will pray for "all prisoners and captives" whom they rarely help. The performance of divine service is rare in jail. A Sundays since, the Rev. E. E. Porter, of Chelsea, held a service, and there is every reason to believe that it was acceptable to the prisoners. Good order was preserved, and most of the men manifested an attention and reverent demeanor. Mr. Thomas, a colporteur, has visited the prison and promised to supply it with books. We hope the promise will be kept. We respectfully suggest to the religious public, that men who lie in jail for months, and even one or two years, should not be left without religious ministrations. Cannot some effort be made in their behalf? Shall negroes, Indians, and orientals learn from our missionaries the glorious news of salvation, and the poor prisoner in our midst be left to perish in the midst of Christians and churches? Mr. Jackson's assistants in h is important duties are Messrs. J. F. Meyers, A. J. Ward and D. L. Porter, who are kind in their behavior to those beneath their care. We hope the time will come when Memphis will tear down the place in which her prisoners are confined, and rear a building that shall possess the requisites of air, light, comfort and safety, not one of which is secured in the present edifice. In the meantime, we are gratified to find that the present jailor is doing the best for the comfort of his prisoners that the existing miserable abortion of a building will admit.
Memphis Daily Appeal, April 28, 1861.

        28, Imprisonment of East Tennessee Unionists
Gen. S. COOPER, Adjutant and Inspector Gen., Richmond, Va.
GEN.: I have the honor to report that a portion of the Fourth Regt. [sic] Tennessee Volunteers (Col. Morgan) will leave to-day for Milledgeville, Ga., in charge of Union prisoners. The officer of the detachment is directed to report afterward with his command to the military authorities at Savannah, Ga. In more than one communication Brig.-Gen. Stevenson has reported many desertions from this regiment to the enemy and urged its removal from Cumberland Gap.
Because of this and the general character of the regiment for disloyalty I have thought it best to send it beyond the limits of this department. Being thus removed beyond the influence of friends in the ranks of the enemy it is thought these men may make loyal and good soldiers. I trust my action in this matter will meet the approval of the Department.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
E. KIRBY SMITH, Maj.-Gen., Cmdg.
OR, Ser. I, Vol. 1, p. 886.

        28, "Clairvoyance for One Week Only"
Madame Cora James will be found at her rooms on Second street between Madison and Monroe streets, where she is daily astonishing people of the highest rank by her wonderful predictions by clairvoyance in all things pertaining to the past, the present, and the future. All who wish to learn the final [sic] result of this war, and hear from absent friends, or investigate matters of importance, should avail themselves of this opportunity and come at once. Soldiers. Learn your doom! Don't defer so important a matter. – Madam Cora James' predictions are true and interesting. Rooms at (recently called) Bluff City House.
Memphis Bulletin, April 28, 1863

        28, "A Clergyman Before the Provost Marshal."
Hardly a day passes that is not replete with incidents which take place before Provost Marshal Colonel Smith, which at the same time convince us that no other officer could be selected for District Provost Marshal as good as Colonel Smith. The Colonel makes it as invariable rule to recognize but two classes among those who make applications for favors; they are citizens of the United States and rebels, each of which are treated according to their merits. One day last week a reverend gentleman, whose name we at the present omit made application to Colonel Smith for a pass to go North of the city – we believe Niagara Falls was the future place of his destination – stating that he lived in the State of Tennessee, and owing to the scarcity of food and other necessaries of life, he desired to go north of Memphis.
After Colonel Smith had ascertained the reverend gentleman's name and a few other lading facts (necessary in case a pass was given him) when the following colloquy occurred:
"Are you a citizen of the United State," Col. Smith enquired.
"I am a citizen of the State of Tennessee and have been so for several years," replied Reverend
"Perhaps you understand what I mean by the term citizen of the United States, Col. Smith said, "I mean are you loyal."
"Now, sir," said the clergyman, "I do not understand what you mean by the world "loyal." It is a new word to me as I read the Constitution of the Federal Government. If you wish to know my position as a man I will here reply that I am perfectly neutral, perfectly neutral, sir." Our revened [sic] friend closed his remarks with a gesture that seemed to say I have completely "vanquished you, sir."
Col. Smith rose to his feet, and with a look that indicated he meant business, said "My friend, you are a minister of the gospel, are you not" to which the Rev. Mr. ___replied "That he thanked God he was."
"Well, Sir," continued the colonel, "do you not preach the doctrine that mankind, in order to inherit eternal life or damnation, must obey either God or the Devil?"
"I do," replied the clergyman.
"Now, sir," said Col. Smith, "I am a minister of the Federal law in this district, and as such reach precisely the same principle in relation to law that you do in regard to the gospel. You, sir, must either serve the Federal Government with all your soul, body, and mind, or Jeff. Davis and his hosts. "Which will you do?"
This was putting the matter in a different light from what the reverend gentleman had anticipated, and as a natural consequence was at a loss for a few moments for a reply; he stood speechless, having more the looks of a ghost than a human being. He was startled from his reverie by Col. S. repeating the question. The clergyman relied he could not answer just at that moment, and retired from Col Smith's office a wiser and we hope a better man.
Memphis Bulletin, April 28. 1863.

        29, Skirmish at Yankeetown [White County] [1]
NOVEMBER 30, 1863.-Skirmish at Yankeetown, Tenn.
Report of Lieut. James P. Brownlow, First Tennessee Cavalry. HDQRS. FIRST TENNESSEE CAVALRY, Sparta, Tenn., December 1, 1863.
COL.: Col. Hughs' command, consisting of Murray's, Hampton's, [Hamilton's?] Bledsoe's, Ferguson's, Daugherty's, and other bands, attacked Lieut. Bowman while scouting, on yesterday [29th], and after skirmishing for some time, drove him across the river within 2 miles of this place, killing 4, wounding 1, and capturing 5. I went immediately to his assistance, and drove the enemy (numbering 500) 8 miles, killing 9, and wounding between 15 and 20.
I would take no prisoners. One of the Ninth Pennsylvania was mortally wounded (died this morning), and Capt. McCahan wounded in the ankle. Eighteen scouts, of the Second Michigan, got leave last evening. Send Doctor Green to this place. On account of the heavy picket duty, I would like to have one more company, unless the brigade is coming soon.
Very respectfully,
JAS. P. BROWNLOW, Lieut.-Col., Cmdg.
OR, Ser. I. Vol. 31, pt. I, p. 591.

Excerpt from the journal of Amanda McDowell, December 1, 1863
....There are so many about and everything keeps in such a stir. We are having awful times. The Yankees are in Sparta, and it is amusing to hear the tales that are told and to see their effect on the people. Some believe everything they hear. I don't know but can guess at some things....There were two Yankees here last night and they neither looked or talked dangerous. [sic] True they were wounded and disarmed. Bledsoe's men had a little brush at Yankee Town [sic] yesterday and took four or five. (We first heard thirty, but that is the way their grand exploits generally turn out.) Fayette insisted on bringing the two wounded ones here and paroling them....Well! Col. Hughs and a great many have been to Monticello [KY] and captured 100 Yankees, heard the Yanks were here, came back, Bledsoe's [cavalry] went on before, got into a skirmish, got some prisoners, more Yanks came, and they run [sic], got scattered. Fayette...started to meet Hughs at Yankee Town, got with the small squad that had the prisoners and all got mystified and heard all sorts of tales about the fighting, could not find Hughs, come [sic] back by here, was gone an hour or two, when Fayette...came back bringing the wounded prisoners afterwards....The prisoners stayed until after breakfast and departed for Sparta, expressing themselves very well satisfied with their treatment....The whole country is in an uproar. The news is that the Yankees killed some of their prisoners after they had surrendered. The Yanks say that Southern soldiers did so, so we hear....
Diary of Amanda McDowell.

Excerpt from the Report of Col. John M. Hughs, Twenty-fifth Tennessee Infantry (Confederate), including skirmishes near Sparta, Tenn., November 30; at Scottsville, Ky., December 8, and near Livingston, Tenn., December 15.
DALTON, Ga., April 28, 1864.
SIR: I have the honor herewith to submit the following report of my operations in Middle Tennessee.
* * * *
On the 30th November, a fight occurred between the rear guard of my command, under Capt. R. H. Bledsoe, and a party of Col. Brownlow's (Tennessee) regiment [near Sparta, Tennessee]. For the numbers engaged the fighting was very severe. The enemy lost 13 killed, 8 wounded, and 7 captured. My loss, 5 killed.
* * * *
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
OR, Ser. I, Vol. 31, pt. I, p. 575.

        28, The end of the war is accepted by a Madison County farmer
Lizzie came from school this evening says there is news in town. The substance as she gives it, is that there is to be no more [sic] fighting & peace is to be made. If true it would be glorious news, even considering the future is no easy one....
Robert H. Cartmell Diary.

[1] Dyer's Battle Index for Tennessee places the date at November 30, yet Brownlow's report indicates that the fight occurred on the 29th. Since Hughs' report was made some five months after the event and Brownlow's account was dated much closer to the day of the skirmish the date of the 29th is held as correct.

James B. Jones, Jr.
Public Historian
Tennessee Historical Commission
2941 Lebanon Road
Nashville, TN  37214
(615)-532-1550  x115
(615)-532-1549  FAX

04.27.14 Tennessee Civil War Notes

        27, "The Feeling in Tennessee."
The Feeling in Tennessee. _ We are permitted to make the following extract from a private letter received in this city from a member of a leading banking firm in Nashville, Tennessee. – It only tends to confirm our previous advices tat Tennessee will shortly be redeemed, regenerated ad disenthralled. The writer says:
"Fifteen cheers for Old Virginia. Tennessee is up in arms. The grandest revolution that ever took hold of any people is going on here now. It is sweeping like wild-fire all over the State. – Every man of any prominence has taken high Southern ground, except, Andy Johnson, and John Bell. The people have this thing in their hands. Johnson is a black hearted traitor; Bell is too slow in making up his mind. Go on in your good work; we will be with you in less than thirty days.  We are with you now in heart land feeling, and ready to fight with you or for you.
But your cause is our cause, my word for it. – Tennessee will never turn her back on you all. Her sons are ready and willing to die on your soil, or any other, for your cause, which is the great cause of liberty. In less than ten days Tennessee will have 25,000 men in the field in Gen. Davis' command, and twice that number if wanted. If you should hear anything in a few days, that sounds like an earthquake, don't be alarmed, for it will only be Tennessee going South!"
Montgomery Advertiser.
Daily Morning News (Savannah, GA), April 27, 1861.[1]

        27, Confederate orders to burn all cotton on the banks of the Mississippi River
HDQRS. ARMY OF THE WEST, Memphis, Tenn., April 27, 1862.
Capt. JOHNSON, Memphis:
SIR: You will proceed in the steamer furnished for the purpose by the quartermaster along the Mississippi River. You will inform the planters on its banks that the river is now open to the enemy, and that the interests of our country demand that they shall at once destroy all of their cotton. No time is to be lost in the execution of this duty. Should any hesitate or fail to comply with your call upon them, you will yourself take possession of and burn the cotton, taking care to injure no other property.
It is made your duty to see that all of the cotton within reach of the river is destroyed at once. The proprietors will take an account of the amount destroyed, as you will of all of which you may have to destroy yourself. These orders are given to you by Gen. Van Dorn under instructions from Gen. Beauregard.
In executing the above orders you will go as far up and down the Mississippi as the gunboats of the enemy will allow; and in the event of your being pursued by them, if you cannot run your boat into a place of security from them, you must, on abandoning, destroy her, to prevent the enemy from getting possession of her.
Very respectfully, yours,
DABNEY H. MAURY, Assistant Adjutant-Gen.
(Copies to Lieut. Hill, Capt. Lyles, Capt. Clendening, Memphis.)
OR, Ser. I, Vol. 10, pt. II, p. 455.

        27, Expedition to Purdy[2]
No circumstantial reports filed. .
HDQRS. ARMY OF THE TENNESSEE, Pittsburg, April 28, 1862.
Maj. Gen. H. W. HALLECK, Cmdg. Department of the Mississippi:
The expedition ordered this morning from general headquarters to go out the Purdy road and destroy the railroad near Adams' has started, with three days' rations in haversacks. The expedition consists of Maj.-Gen. Wallace's entire brigade, with the exception of artillery. But one battery is taken. All the cavalry belonging to my forces fit for duty and not otherwise employed accompany the expedition.
U. S. GRANT, Maj.-Gen.
OR, Ser., I, Vol. 10, pt. II, p. 135.

Cincinnati "Commercial" Account
Camp Shiloh, Five Miles from Pittsburg Landing, April 30, 1862
On Sunday morning, Twenty-seventh instant, Gen. Grant ordered Gen Wallace to make a demonstration in the neighborhood of Purdy, a town of about eight hundred inhabitants, twenty-two miles distant from our camp, deriving a small degree of importance from its location on the Mobile and Ohio Railroad. It is about twenty miles from Corinth, on a direct railroad line. It was not known when the expedition started what force of the rebels had at the point, but it was supposed they had a pretty strong garrison there, and were prepared to repel such a cavalry "dash" as is ordinarily made for the destruction of railroad bridges. Accordingly, it was determined to send a large force, and to make the attack partake of the nature of a surprise. Seven regiments of infantry, from Gen. Wallace's division, including the Seventy-eighth and the Twentieth Ohio, two batteries of artillery, and the Fourth and Eleventh Illinois and Fifth Ohio cavalry, were ordered to be in readiness by noon, with three days' cooked rations. The preparations in the camp in which I chanced to be at the time the order was received-the destination was of course not stated-were on such an extensive scale that I thought the long-expected movement against Corinth was about to be made, and without further deliberation resolved to proceed with Col. Taylor's regiment.
We started at two o'clock P. M., Wallace, with the infantry and artillery in the advance. Our road lay through woods, swamps and ravines, over "corduroy" bridges and across swollen creeks, through mud and water of every variety of depth and thickness. The weather when we left camp was very fine, though very warm; the sun pouring his rays down upon us with tropical vigor, made it uncomfortable to ride and fatiguing to march, and we had proceeded but a few miles when the effect became visible in the many returning stragglers from the infantry regiment who lazily dragged their muskets and themselves in a homeward direction.
We passed a number of very respectable residences, the first of the kind seen by this army since its occupation of Pittsburgh. They are all owned by wealthy men, every one of whom, we learned, are more or less identified with the rebel cause; some are in the confederate army, others have sons in it, and others, have contributed of their means to its support. A couple of officer stopped at one of the houses to ask for a drink of water. The inmates, an elderly woman, two handsome daughters, and a few young contrabands, appeared very much excited at the approach of the Federal warriors. Before the officers had time to state the peaceful object to their visit to the domicil [sic], the old lady eagerly exclaimed "He didn't want to go, but they told him he must, or he'd be took prisoner." "We would like to get a drink of water of you, please," said Capt. H____; "we are very thirsty." Oh! yes, certainly," replied the agreeably astonished matron. "I thought as how ye come after my son, because he was in the Southern army." A conversation followed, which resulted in the revelation that a son of the hostess had been drafted for Beauregard's army; that he had fought at Pittsburg, and was dangerously wounded on the first day of the battle. He was conveyed to Corinth. His mother became apprised of his condition and immediately sought the confederate military authorities, of whom she obtained a "sick furlough" for him. He is now under the maternal roof, but will not survive his injuries.
About six o'clock we halted in the woods midway between Pittsburg and Purdy. After an hour's delay Gen Wallace ordered the infantry and military to bivouac for the night and the cavalry to proceed to Purdy. The General himself made his headquarters for the night in a neat frame house in the neighborhood. The woods were soon illuminated with the great fires the soldiers built, and around which they gathered to pass away the night. Strong Pickets guards were stationed in every direction, so that they improvised Federal city in the wilderness of Tennessee felt secure from a rebel surprise.
The cavalry, numbering in all about two thousand continued the road to Purdy. Col. Dickey, of the Fourth Illinois, was in command. We had enjoyed a few hours of pleasant riding since five o'clock, but now our prospects changed, and not for the better. As evening changed into night, the sky became thickly clouded, and in less than an hour after our second start, the rain began to fall in torrents. The road grew worse and worse as we advanced, and the night darker and darker every hour. We had a guide, but he was a poor one, and had less confidence in himself than we had in him. We proceeded, however, making our way by the dim outlines of the forest on either side of us. The rain continued; at times it was furious. A great many of our men were unprovoked with overcoats of water proof blankets, but the ward was forward! to Purdy! What was hitherto darkness became impenetrable blackness, until we could not discern an object three feet ahead of us. Consider two thousand mounted men now galloping along a narrow road, now wading through a black swamp, and once or twice almost swimming a swiftly running creek, and all of this in the darkest night that any of the two thousand men ever saw. The "clashing of arms" was for once a welcome noise, and formed the only guide by which we kept together.
At about twelve o'clock we came to a halt about two miles from Purdy, Col. Dickey fearing, and very properly, that the whole party would get lost before morning. As it was, a number of our men had abandoned the hope of being able to keep up with us, and had remained along the road behind us. A whole company at one time declared their inability to proceed, and still it rained harder than ever. After standing still an hour under the "pelting and pitiless storm," "about face!" was ordered, and we started for the point where we left the infantry, arriving there just at daylight.
Here the men were ordered to dismount and feed their horses. The effect of the night's "tramp" was visible on every countenance. Many of our stoutest and hardiest men "gave out" altogether and were compelled to return to camp when morning came. Some of them lay down on the road-side, glad to seize the opportunity of an hour's "rest," even though the rain beat heavily on their closed eyelids.
At five o'clock the order was given for us to return-not to camp but to Purdy. Many of us received the order with dissatisfaction, and some obeyed it with reluctance. Col. Taylor, of the Fifth cavalry, was taken seriously ill (he was quite unwell when he left camp," and could not command his regiment; the Lieut.-Col. was also compelled from sickness to abandon his intention of returning so the command devolved upon the senior Major, E. G. Ricker, an officer who has given frequent proofs of his efficiency and valor. The entire cavalry force started back, and in a couple of hours were in Purdy. They were disappointed to learn that about one hundred rebels who had garrisoned the place, had left just in time to save themselves.
Col. Dickey sent a small force to skirmish two miles below Purdy, (there were three thousand rebels at Bethel, four miles below,) while another force destroyed the railroad bridge two mile above it. The work was accomplished; the bridge was torn up, and the connection between Purdy and Corinth completely destroyed. While the men were at a locomotive with four men-two officers, one engineer, and a fireman-came from Bethel to ascertain what was the matter. I should have said that our men had cut their telegraph wires also; this caused the alarm at Bethel. Our skirmishers withdrew, let the locomotive pass to where the road was town up, and issued forth to demand a "surrender" the four men were taken prisoners, the locomotive destroyed, and thus ended the expedition. None of our men were killed by the enemy, but I fear many of them will die from exposure to inclement weather and the fatigue of the trip experienced by all.
The cavalry returned to camp last night; the infantry and artillery this morning. After what we have gone through, our leaky tents appear to us like metropolitan hotels. I will speak for myself, and say I want no more expedition for several days to come.
Rebellion Record, Vol. 4, pp. 529-530.

        27, The Fortune Telling Lady on Second Street in Memphis
Madam Cora James, the only reliable clairvoyant of the day, is daily astonishing citizens of the highest rank by her wonderful clairvoyant power in revealing the past and predicting coming events, Madam James has mastered all the science embraced in this glorious gift of prophecy and invariably gives satisfaction to all who consult her, and all acknowledge the truthfulness of the revelations made to them. Clairvoyant examinations and prescriptions in all chronic disease, insanity in its various forms, rheumatic affections, nervous afflictions and all complaints peculiar to females, Madam James warrants curing. Ladies and gentlemen don't procrastinate, as this is a rare chance, but come at once. Rooms at the Bluff City house, on Second street between Madison and Monroe streets. Go up two pair of stairs.
Memphis Bulletin, April 27, 1863.

        27, Military life in Middle Tennessee
Franklin, Tenn.
April 27, 1863
Dear Mother,
….We came to camp this morning about 9 o'clock. As we staid up the principal part of the night I felt like taking a knap, which I did. I now feel pretty tolerable well. I have just finished eating my supper. We did not have a bad supper either for soldiers. We had biscuit, meat, rice and coffee. Perhaps you think the biscuit were not very good. They were not such as Mother bakes, however they tasted very well, and were about as good as can be made with the material our cooks have. We draw part of our rations in flour and the rest in hard bread. We are getting some what tired of hard bread. You want to know how often I have to stand guard. I have to stand from three to four times a week here. Before coming here we did not average once a week. The duty is pretty hard here. When on guard we generally get from 2 to 4 hours sleep of a night. We have a good deal of work to do beside standing guard. They have been and are still fortifying this place. We soldiers have the work to do, but you may depend on it we do not strain ourselves. We only have to work four hours in the day, and work an hour at a time, and then rest an hour.
Well, I expect you will hear of another fight at Franklin[3] before long. But it was one of those pleasant victories, where no Union blood was spilt. Our cavalry started out last night between two and three o'clock. They passed us where we were on picket about 3. They went out south some 7 or 8 miles and captured about one hundred and fifty (150) prisoners. They brought them in about 8 o'clock this morning. Most of them were pretty hard looking men. I wish they would ever give up. They are certainly very desperate to hold on as they do. Oh, that they were fighting for a good cause! I think we are going to have rain tonight and we will have an opportunity of trying our dog tents as we call them. I should not be surprised if they let the water on us. Will Addington is right unwell. He went to the hospital this morning. He thinks he will be in the company in a few days again. It is getting dark so good night.
Calvin W.
Letters from Private Calvin W. Diggs.

        27, Evacuation of Jackson by Federal forces
Jackson, Tenn., is reported evacuated by the enemy. They passed Raleigh in the direction of the N. O. and J. R. R. and burnd the bridge.
Macon Weekly Telegraph,  April 30, 1863.

        27, 1864, Entry in Alice Williamson's Diary, Sumner County
Sis has just come from Mrs. Lane's: while there she visited the grave of the stranger soldier who was shot Friday. The yankees [sic] took his coat and boots off and put him in the grave without coffin or wrappings of any kind.
Williamson Diary

        27, Affair on Mississippi River, loss of the Sultana near Memphis
Report of Actg. Ensign James H. Berry, U. S. Navy.
U. S. IRON-CLAD ESSEX, Memphis, Tenn., April 27, 1865.
SIR: I was aroused from my sleep this morning by a call from Mr. Earnshaw, who informed me that the steamer Sultana had blown up and was burning at a short distance up the river, and that the river was covered with drowning men. I ordered all the boats manned, which was done immediately, and I went in the cutter, which boat was the first ready, and we went out to the middle of the river. The morning was very dark, it being about one hour before daylight, and the weather overcast, and the shrieks of the wounded and drowning men was the only guide we had. The first man we picked up was chilled and so benumbed that he couldn't help himself, and the second one died a short time after he was taken on board. We soon drifted down to Fort Pickering, when the sentry on the shore fired at us, and we were obliged to "come to" while the poor fellow near us were crying out and imploring us for God's sake to save them; that they couldn't hold out much longer. We pulled a short distance toward the shore and hailed the sentry, who ordered me to come on shore, Dan who, it seems, had not hailed me before, or if he had his hail had been drowned by the groans of the men drowning in the water. I asked the sentry why he had fired at me, and he said that he had obeyed his orders. I told the sentry what had happened, and that I was picking up drowning men. The sentry did not give me any answer, and we went out again to the middle of the river, where we fell in with the gig laying near a lot of drift which was covered with men drowning, who were so benumbed that my boats' crews were obliged to handle them as if they were dead men. Before we had taken in half of them another shot was fired from the fort, and came whistling over our heads, and I saw that they were determined to make me come ashore. It was not daylight, and though our two boats and a steam-boat's yawl which came out to lend us a hand, made a large mark to shoot at, I would not leave the poor fellows in the water to attend the sentry on shore. When the day began to dawn the cries of the sufferers ceased, and all who had not been rescued had gone down, and I, fearing that I might be fired at again, went to the shore, and when I saw the sentry he had again raised his musket, and I called out to him not to shoot, and at the same time told the sentry, who was a negro, that if there was an officer there I wished to see him. A man came down and told me that he was an officer. I asked him why I had been fired at. He said that his orders were to fire on all skiffs. I told him that these boats were not skiffs; that they were a man-of-war's gig and cutter, and again reminded him of what had happened, and of the drowning men whose cries he could not help hearing, and for the sake of humanity why could he not execute his orders with some discretion in a time like this. He said that he had as much humanity as any one, and if firing at me he had only obeyed orders. I saw a number of skiffs and other boats laying hauled up out of the water, and from appearances no one had made any attempt to launch them, and I reminded him that that did not look much like humanity. No one at the fort offered to do anything for the suffering men in our boats except the watchman of the coal barges, who, with the assistance of some of my men, built a fire on the shore, and I left a few of the rescued men by it, who wished to remain, and the others I had put on board vessels near by, where they were well cared for. I then crossed the river, and after looking carefully around I returned on board, having taken out of the water sixty men and one lady.
I have the honor to remain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JAMES H. BERRY, Acting Ensign and Executive Officer.
OR, Ser. I, Vol. 48, pt. I, pp. 220-221.

Capt. L. METHUDY, Acting Assistant Adjutant-Gen.:
SIR: I have the honor to report that on the morning of the 27th instant I was called from by bed at about 5 o'clock by a messenger informing me that a large number of "half-drowned men" were on the river bank in the fort requiring medical assistance. This was the first intimation that I had of the result of the blowing up of the steamer Sultana. Repairing as quickly as possible to the river I found there many of the victims of the explosion. Capt. Methudy, acting assistant adjutant-general, on the staff of Col. I. G. Kappner, was there before me, and was giving such directions to the men of the garrison then present as he thought might conduce to the comfort of the rescued men. Many of them were seriously injured by scalding and contusions, and all were shivering with cold, being still in their wet clothing; but large fires were blazing and stimulants administered. Having no clothing for these men in the fort, and many of them needing treatment in the hospital, I immediately returned to my office and wrote a note to Surgeon Irwin, U. S. Army, and superintendent general hospitals, stating the facts and requesting him to send ambulances, and blankets. In a very short time these arrived. In the meantime, learning that a large number of the unfortunate men were in the hospital of the Third U. S. Colored Artillery (Heavy), at the upper end of the fort, I went there and found twenty-five of them, many occupying the beds of my patients, who willingly gave them up to their greater need. Acting Assistant Surgeon Tindall and the hospital steward, Mr. Thomas Whitten, were busy dressing wounds. All here were supplied with coffee and other stimulants. A message from Capt. Stevens, Third U. S. Colored Artillery (Heavy), informed me that several men were in his battery (M) who needed help. I went there, but found that he had procured an ambulance and sent them to the Adams Hospital. Returning to the river at the time of the arrival of the ambulance train from the City, I found there Col. I. G. Kappner, Maj. Williams, Lieut.'s Copeland, Atlee, Helm, Newman, Wyckoff, Wilson, and Yates. There were others, but these I remember distinctly, being brought directly in contact with them. The teams of the quartermasters, Helm and Atlee, were on the ground, but were not needed, except the two ambulance teams. Lieut. Wyckoff, provost-marshal of the fort, supplied many of these men with breakfast. All officers present were busy in rendering such assistance as was in their power. Seven men remained in the fort at 9 a. m. These I sent in ambulance to the office of Superintendent Irwin, surgeon, U. S. Army. In conclusion permit me to say that, so far as my observation went, all persons connected with this garrison, from the colonel commanding down to the rank and file, were deeply interested in the pitiable condition of these unfortunate men, and that all, to the best of their ability, did their whole duly in ministering to their wants.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
H. H. HOOD, Surgeon, Third U. S. Colored Arty. (Heavy), and Senior Surgeon.
* * * *
FORT PICKERING, Memphis, Tenn., April 30, 1865.
Capt. L. METHUDY, Acting Assistant Adjutant-Gen.:
CAPT.: I have the honor to report that on the morning of the 27th instant I was officer of the day and made my rounds between 3 and 4 o'clock in the morning. As I was going toward Battery A I met a guard, who told me that a steam-boat had blown up and some of the passengers were floating down and were being picked up. I immediately went to Battery A, found some five or six soldiers from the wreck. These men had dry blankets furnished them and were walking around to keep warm while fire was being built. Lieut.'s Yates and Wilson had coffee made and given them, and those that were burned taken into quarters and their parts that were burned dressed and flour put on each. I then went to Quartermaster Helm and had him send some whisky down for them. The quartermaster's employes, under Mr. Hare, did good service in rescuing the soldiers, who were well taken care of....All that were rescued near the upper part of the fort were taken to the hospital immediately, where dry clothes and beds were given them. I saw all that were rescued in the fort, and I must say they were exceedingly well taken care of; officers and men were making every exertion to make them comfortable.
I am, captain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
D. C. MOONEY, Capt., Third U. S. Colored Artillery (Heavy).
OR, Ser. I, Vol. 48, pt. I, pp. 223-224.

HDQRS. DISTRICT OF WEST TENNESSEE, Memphis, Tenn., May 14, 1865.
Brig. Gen. W. HOFFMAN, Commissary-Gen. of Prisoners, Washington, D. C.:
GEN.: Twelve commissioned officers and 757 enlisted men make the total of paroled prisoners saved from the steamer Sultana.
C. C. WASHBURN, Maj.-Gen.
OR, Ser. I, Vol. 48, pt. I, p. 441.

[2] While there were no circumstantial reports filed relative to the expedition to Purdy, the orders relative to it are available, and are dated the day before the skirmish.
[3] Most likely the engagement at Franklin, April 10, 1863.

James B. Jones, Jr.
Public Historian
Tennessee Historical Commission
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