Sunday, April 27, 2014

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
2941 Lebanon Road
Nashville, TN  37214
(615)-532-1550  x115
(615)-532-1549  FAX

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