Friday, April 11, 2014

4.11.14 Tennessee Civil War Notes

11, "The way the Government gets its work done is curious."
"Blynnks"—Who is an applicant for the Nashville Postoffice, in a letter written from Washington to the Nashville Patriot, thus show up the economy of the Federal Government:
["] The way the Government gets its work done is curious. As an illustration, you and your family meet in convention of the whole, and adopt a resolution authorizing the construction of a hencoop to your back yard. You at once appoint me superintendent of the work, putting a thousand or two dollars in bank for me to check on. I get you to appoint my brother-in-law chief engineer. I appoint two of my brothers assistant superintendents, and my brother-in-law appoints two of his brothers assistant engineers—all at your expense. We buy of each a fast horse and buggy, and ride around town, drink cocktails and play billiards, until the bank deposit gives out, when we make out a printed report of seventy three pages, furnishing you a complete topographical survey of your back yard, and a vast amount of statistical information with regard to the number of hens you are likely to have for the next forty years.
We wind up the report with the announcement that the site of the hencoop has been selected and a call for another appropriation to prosecute the work, which we assure you will be done with "vigor." You place another thousand or two in bank, and we employ two hundred hands at three dollars a day to transport seventy-five cents worth of lumber, which costs you under our management about ten times that many dollars, to the place of operations, which requires about three months.
In the meantime we drive around and go on vigorously with the liquor and the billiards. We then come up with another report, and a demand for another appropriation. With this we get the walls of the structure up, and with one or two more appropriations, and a great many more cocktails and billiards, we get the thing covered in; and at the end of twelve months, which we very appropriately style our "fiscal year," we put you in formal possession of a ten thousand dollar hencoop that any negro carpenter would have been glad to knock up some Saturday afternoon for a suit of your old clothes.["] 
Daily Advocate [Baton Rouge, La.], April 11, 1861.[1]

        11, Criticism of Confederate deserters and looters at Shiloh
All accounts we have from the battle of Shiloah [sic] agree in blaming in the strongest terms the large numbers of our unworthy soldiers who seemed to have on the battle field but two objects: Firstly, to plunder the Federal tents; secondly, to secure their spoils. They cared not to know what had become of their comrades after the victory of Sunday, and cared less yet to participate into another fight, but scattered away in all directions leading to a place of safety. Many will, of necessity, be captured by the Federal cavalry, and for them we have no sympathy. Many have effected their object, and saved themselves and plunder: but let them remember that in their fight they have also acquired an everlasting stain upon their reputation as soldiers and patriots. The country will remember is, and steps will be taken hereafter to interfere with such disgraceful conduct.
Memphis Appeal, April 11, 1862.

        11, Reassessing the battle of Shiloh
It will be seen by the telegraph dispatches sent to us from Corinth on yesterday, and, which we publish in another column, that the battle of Shiloah [sic] has not been renewed by either side up to this day, all rumors to the contrary notwithstanding.
The inaction of the Federals after the engagement of last Monday is for us a virtual acknowledgment off our victory. We held our ground up to the last hour, and retired at leisure, bringing everything away with us that we chose, to the full extent of our means of transportation, over most wretched roads. Gen. BRECEKNRIDGE brought up the rear guard with our cavalry, and wherever the enemy showed himself, trying to annoy our movements, we repulsed them with loss.
That the drama of the battle is ended at Corinth, is not likely. But, at any rate, the two first acts permit us to auger well to the end. The Western army, under command of Gen. GRANT, has found out, at a fearful expense, that we have a Confederate army, and BEAUREGARD had conquered for himself the right of being addressed by them as a Confederate commander. After the battle of Shiloh they will acknowledge us as equals – after the battle of Corinth, they will acknowledge us as superiors.
Memphis Appeal, April 11, 1862.

        11, Letter on the Confiscation of Civilian Arms in Nashville
[Correspondence of the Louisville Journal.]
Nashville, April 11, 1862.
The sword and the bayonet may subdue physical resistance, but these cannot tame the unkindled passions, nor win back the alienated affections. I therefore feel happy in being permitted to wield the weapons of thought in the great battle of public sentiment. In the arena of politics I have been an unswerving advocate of every constitutional Southern right. My prejudices and prepossessions were on that side-it was the home of my fathers. I boasted of Southern hospitality, and was proud to have descended from a noble Southern ancestry. I believed them to be zealous votaries of reason, and generous to those who honestly differed with them in opinion. I am not yet changed in my purposes nor entirely revolutionized in my opinions. Permit me to say, however, that I have been mortified and disappointed.
Our officers have been exceedingly kind and forbearing to citizens at Nashville. I have studies to win their affections; I have sought to converse with them mildly and reason with them liberally; yet I have met little else than insult and indifference. When I have bowed to them to them, they have turned from me with insulting sneers, and on meeting ladies to whom no gentleman would return an insult, I have been reputed with the epithet Yankee. Under the heading "Our Rages," a stirring article appeared in the Nashville Patriot some days since, and was copied in the Banner on the next day. In this article we were severely criticized for searching the housed in Edgefield for concealed arms. To which article I wrote a reply.[2] The paper ceased, and we are left with the censure upon us. Permit me to assure you that the Patriot misapprehended our motives. We intended no outrage, and we, as much as the Patriot, regret the causes which impelled us to this alternative.
The news came to us in the evening, that a crowd of men had been heard to say that they intended to arm themselves on that night, and shout into a camp of cavalry close by us, and we had heard guns fired at different hours in the night for some nights previous. Our men had been openly insulated whilst quietly passing along the streets. We could but believe that this bad blood and these threats were backed by implements of human destruction. These are the circumstances, together with the earnest entreaties of officers who knew the citizens, under which Lieut. Col. Heffren consented to the search, and in behalf of our men, and in defence of that gallant officer, who is now absent by affliction, permit me to ensure you that our men went quietly to each house, knocked at the door and informed the inmates that they were compelled by threats to search for concealed implements of war, and that nothing else was intended, and that all that was private property should be promptly restored. If, therefore, any were abused or insulted, the 50th regiment Indiana volunteers must be exonerated from the charge. God forbid that any soldiers should do anything to aggravate a people already overburdened with apprehensions of our barbarity, and whose minds were poisoned by demagogues with ungenerous falsehoods.
Had the South been united they might have a sound national Democratic President; has Southern Representatives and Senators stood to their post they might have had the Crittenden compromise. I would to God they would stop and reason. We would love to be friends with them. We would gladly lay down our arms and embrace them. We will gladly guarantee to them every right they have hitherto enjoyed. We aim not to subjugate them. All we want is the government of our fathers-the Union as it was. This we will have or all perish upon the battle field. We must be one or nothing. The severed or fraternal ties must again be united, or the storm of revolution will roll over us all and bury us together with all of our aspiring hopes in ruins in one common grave.
P. W. Hervery, Ass't. Surgeon 50th Reg't Ind. Vols.
Louisville Daily Journal, April 17, 1862.[3]

The Nashville Patriot of Tuesday [8th] announced that squads of soldiers had entered dwelling-houses in Edgefield at midnight in search of guns, pistols, and knives. The Patriot admitted that they found the weapons they were looking for, but it denounced the search as "the greatest outrage upon decency and propriety ever committed in a civilized township." The next day the paper gave notice of its own dissolution. This is the second time it has died within a few weeks. It sprang up in a new but not much better form from its first death, and, Heaven and Gov. Johnson willing, it may raise in some shape or other from its second.
The Nashville Banner copies the Patriot's violent denunciation of the searching of the houses-revel houses no doubt-and the seizure of the arms, and says that "the vile wretches of the Louisville and Cincinnati press have been laboring hard to bring about this state of things." As for ourselves, for whom no doubt a portion of this goodly rebel-compliment is, we haven't said one word about searching houses in or around Nashville, but we have certainly favored the adoption of a firm policy toward the rebels there, and we certainly think it right to search all houses where rebel arms are believed to be concealed, and to search them at whatever hour of the day or night may be thought most favorable to the success of the search. If to hold such an opinion is to be a "wretch,": then every man is a "wretch" who isn't either a traitor or a fool. Men not more deeply steeped in treason than the Editor of the Banner are in prison as traitors, and ought to be upon the scaffold.
That Editor, though he tries not to hide his treason, is as much a traitor in soul as he was when the rebel flag floated over Nashville. And then, as the correspondent of a Cincinnati papers says, be "out Judas Isacrioted Judas Iscariot." Here is the language, which, after the surrender of Mason and Slidell, an act which elevated our country in the estimation of all nations, be applied, not to the president or any other functionary, but the United States:
["]Look at the spectacle to-day. See the mean and despised braggart, stripped of his feathers, humiliated and disgraced before the eyes of men. Utterly cowed. Backed down from everything. A renegade from principle and a recreant to promise. A self-stultified, brutal, swaggering, swearing wretch, forced to lick the dust and end in the most groveling for mercy.["]
In noticing some suggestions as to the desirableness of a peace between the United States and the Southern Confederacy, the Nashville traitor talked thus:
["] Peace! peace! There can be no peace without Maryland! No peace without Kentucky! No peace without Missouri! And if we had our say, none without poor little forgotten Delaware.["]
If he had his say! We wonder what chance the fellow thinks there is just now of a peace on the terms he indicated. We certainly   have no objection to being called a "wretch" by a chap who calls our Uncle Sam "a self stultified, brutal, swaggering, swearing wretch." We can stand the "wretch" without the ornamental epithets as well as our good Uncle Sam can with them.
Louisville Daily Journal, April 11, 1862.

        11, Grand Review of the Army of Tennessee in Tullahoma
INSPECTOR-GEN.'S OFFICE, Tullahoma, Tenn., April 11, 1863.
DEAREST FRIEND: You will see by the leading of this note that I have changed my location since I last wrote. To-day has been a great day with us. There has been a grand review of the army to-day-beyond all doubt the grandest affair of the war. The troops were reviewed by Gen. J. E. Johnston. Sixty thousand infantry marched in the grandest order before that old chieftain. Just behold the heroes that accompanied him, such as Gen.'s Bragg, Polk, Hardee, Breckinridge, and a host of others with unstained reputation. I think I can safely say that we have here one of the grandest armies that ever walked upon earth, and Gen. Bragg has made it what it is. Gen. Johnston is here; he commands the department, Gen. Bragg the army. I am now on Gen. Bragg's staff. He ordered me from Chattanooga to him, and I am now one of his inspectors-general. Our army is very healthy, and everything in it walks a chalk-line. Oh, if you could only have been here to-day, to hear the elegant music! It took the troops four hours to march by Gen. Johnston. They passed in review in column by companies, with music from one end of the army to the other, and although these reviews come every week or two, yet I think it was the grandest sight I ever witnessed, with almost a thousand flags wafted in the breeze. Upon [some] [sic] you see the number of the regiment, and inscribed below on some you see Shiloh, Fort Donelson, Munfordville, Perryville, Fishing Creek, Murfreesborough, &c. Almost all the troops here are becoming veterans.
It is now 12 o'clock. I stop to listen to the beautiful music-a band serenading Gen.'s Hardee and Breckinridge, just below, on the opposite side of the street.
We are not expecting a fight soon. Gen. Rosecrans is badly frightened. Such cavalry as we have here never has been known. Our little Texan, Gen. Van Dorn, is playing the wild work with the Yankees with his cavalry. Forrest, Morgan, and Wheeler are equally as good.
J. P. BALTZELL, Assistant Inspector-Gen.
OR, Ser. I, Vol. 23, pt. II, pp. 750-751.

        11, Murder in Gallatin, excerpt from the Diary of Alice Williamson
April 11th Another man was shot today at the race track the yankee women went to see this one shot too; they say Capt. Wicklen is the one to work the prisoners and they intend to go and see them all shot.
Diary of Alice Williamson

        11, An interesting patient in Ward 3, Hospital 8, Nashville
While in ward 3…I was beckoned to, from a sick bed, whose occupant wished me to come and "rejoice with him." Upon going there he assured me with a mysterious air, that he "isn't going to tell everybody, but as I was a particular friend of his, and he had always thought right smart [sic] of me, he would tell me something surprising."
Upon expressing my willingness to be surprised, he confidently and joyfully assured me that though very few people knew it, yet he was "The veritable man who killed Jeff. Davis, President of the Confederate States!" [sic]
He waited a moment to note the effect upon me of this pleasing intelligence, when I quietly told him I didn't know before that Jeff. Davis was dead, but that if he was, and he was the one who killed him, they ought to give him a discharge and let him go home, as he has done his share of the work. Then he joyfully assured me, that "they have promised to do so, and that his papers are to be made out to-morrow." But more serious thoughts came to me then, for I saw written on his countenance, in unmistakable characters, the signature of the Death angel, marking his chosen, and through I knew not how soon his papers would be made out, was certain that before long they would be, and that he would receive a full and free discharge from all earthly toil and battle the Great Medical Director of us all!
Powers, Pencillings, p. 27.

[1] As cited in:
[2] None of these survive.
[3] As cited in PQCW.

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

No comments: