Thursday, April 24, 2014

4.25.14 Tennessee Civil War Notes

     25, Excerpts from Governor Isham Harris' Legislative Message advocating secession[1]
….I have convened you again at the seat of Government, for the purpose of enabling you to take such action as will most likely contribute to the defense of our rights, the preservation of our liberties, the sovereignty of the State, and the safety of our people; all of which are now in imminent peril by the usurpations of authorities at Washington, and the unscrupulous fanaticism which runs riot through the Northern States.
* * * *
I do not think it necessary to recapitulate, at this late hour, the long train of abuses to which the people of Tennessee, and our sister States of the South have been subjected by the anti-republican spirit that has for many years been manifesting itself in that section….
* * * *
The present administration, elected upon avowed purposed of hostility to the South – purposes which all knew then as well as now, could not be carried into effect, without an internecine war and a dissolution of the Union – has exerted every energy, resorted to every strategy, and disregarded every constitutional barrier, in order to hasten the accomplishment of the unholy mission for which the people of the Northern section had elevated it to power….As if purposely intended to add additional insult to the people of Tennessee, I have been called upon, as their governor, to furnish a portion of these troops. I have answered that demand as in my judgment became the honor of the State, and leave the people to pass upon my action.
* * * *
I trust that a few days will be amply sufficient to dispose of the business which I have laid before you. Your presence may soon be needed in the field, and if not, will be required at home for counsel among your constituents.
Messages of the Governors, Vol. 5, pp. 279-287.

     25, Description of Hamburg, Tennessee
Correspondence of the St. Louis Republican.
Pittsburg, April 25.
I made a visit this morning to Hamburg, three miles above here, and where General Pope's army is encamped, also a great number of cavalry. This place is a beautiful little village, shady and picturesque, full of inviting nooks for the stranger to seek shelter from the heat. Trees loaded with foliage and deserted gardens full of flowers line the short, wide streets. It had a population of two or three hundred--it now has none at all. An abandoned post office and store tell of some little former prosperity. The people of Hamburg were people of taste, so the thousands of roses that adorn soldiers' button-holes give evidence. The inhabitants have fled to the interior...
Chicago Times, May 1, 1862.[2]

     25, D. C. Donnohue on cotton seed and the battle of Shiloh
Hamburg Tenn April 25th 62 [sic]
Hon Cabel B. Smith
Secty of the Interior
Dear Sir,
Owing to the unexpected delay of our army in moving I have not been able to secure but few cotton seed – Since my return from Savannah.
Since the smoke of the battle of Pittsburg Landing has cleared away – there seems to be some misgiving on the part of our commander as to the propriety of attacking the Rebels – Though Genl. Popes [sic] force are here – having landed at the point – some five miles up the river from Pittsburg Landing I have this morning got a pass for the purpose of visiting the cotton gins in this neighborhood – where I learn there is considerable seed – the largest gin in this county and the one at which I had some two thousand bushels of seed was burned by the Rebels yesterday – the Rebel Cavelry [sic] are destroying all the cotton in the country – Though we have a large force of Cavelry [sic] here – they do not appear to be able to give relief to the people – Such a state of thing[s] as now exist here will utterly ruin the Country – I cannot see that union men are treated any better than traitors. Their cotton is taken from them by the convenience of the army officers by reckless adventures without being paid for – while rich and influencial [sic] traitors are permitted to ship their cotton on board of our boats in the employment of the Govt. Since the battle here I have been able to control no transportation – that I could make available for fear the teams would be captured – though I am certain I have never asked for a team to run the slightest risk of falling into the hands of the enemy – no team was ever required by me to go to any place until I had visited the place and learned that it was safe not only for the team but for myself.
I very much fear that the seed I have forwarded under your direction will be planted too soon and thereby be lost – Though I have taken pains to urge upon those to whom they were sent not to plant them until the frosts of spring had entirely disappeared –
Cotton frequently is not planted here until the tenth of May – I have procured some seed of a new variety in this county that I think will mature in any part of Indiana it is the only variety that fully matures in this climate – I will try and have them at Cairo or Paducah in a few days – I have written directions in brief for the planting cultivation [sic] of the Cotton crop to those to whom seed were sent – to have not heard from them since but suppose they have been received and probably published – though I made every possible haste to return here before a battle would ensure [sic] - I failed to arrive in time – as I have written you on a former occasion. The news having been sent over the Country that our army had routed the rebels and driven from them the field is not exactly true, they were driven from our camps and fell back and are now and have been ever since the battle holding ground over which I traveled for several days after my first arrival here – without seeing or even hearing of anyone who would capture or harm me in any way. I can do nothing in this country through the agency of the natives. The men are mostly in the army & those who come to us for protection seem to lack confidence in our final success – and cannot be begged persuaded of hired to go to any place or do anything – We are having almost interminable rains here which will perhaps to some extent prevent our advance with our heavy artillery though the roads in this county are very fine, but said to be impassable in the vicinity of Corinth some 16 miles from here.
The numbers comprising our forces here I suppose is hardly known to anyone – as the number of regts is no index whatever I am certain the Regts [sic] will not average four hundred fighting men if our dear bought victory at Pittsburg Landing has provided any good result – it is giving our soldiers confidence that they can whip an equal number of the rebels on a fair field – I see from the official report of Genl Grant that our loss is about 1600 killed 3500 wounded & missing the number killed is perhaps nearly right – but the number wounded & missing is more than double and if it is ever know the muster rolls will show. One thing I have learned from my observations on that battle field [sic] that the officers who acted in such a way as to be of any advantage to their men were either killed wounded [sic] or had a number of bullet holes in their clothes or had one horse killed under them. So I think here after there need[s] to be no mistaking who ought to be promoted after such a battle as the one at Pittsburg Landing [sic] or Shiloh - as the Confederates call it which name is taken from [an] old rude log church that stands about two miles from the river and about the middle of the battle field [sic] – which was in the main as fair for one side as the other being principally in open wood & sufficiently cleared to move artillery without any trouble – a few small farms entirely cleared off and a number of good roads – of the number that skulker[s] from the field I am certain other states furnishes [sic] a larger portion than Indiana – over in most cases the officers were more to blame than the men. I seen [sic] one cowardly Captain drown in attempting to swim to a steam boat after the firing had ceased. I don't thing there was a great number drowned though others who were present think different.
Luft [Lieut.] James M. Alexander now acting quarter master of the 59th Ind. Regt. informes [sic] me
That he has a recommendation on file in the war dept asking appointment of assistant Commissary of Subsistance [sic] – I think Judge Hughes has been acting as his friend in the matter – Luft [Lieut.] Alexander well and know him to be worthy of the confidence of the Govt – and being a good business man and now acting regtmental [sic] Q. M. - the appointment could not fail to give satisfaction – Will be in Washington as soon as possible.
Your Obt. Servt.
D. C. Donnohue
Letters of D. C. Donnohue.

     25, Order from Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton to allow for the demonstration of Starr pistols within Federal lines in Tennessee
War Department
Washington, DC, April 25, 1863
Mr. Vernon W. Starr has permission to visit the armies under the command of Generals Burnside and Rosecrans and to take with him a package of the Starr Pistols, his purpose being to explain the use of the pistol, and to ascertain the advantages and disadvantages which have been developed by its use in the field.
Quartermasters and Commissaries will furnish him transpiration and subsistence and all officers of the Military Service will furnish such aid as he may need for the attainment of the object aforesaid.
By Order of the Sec. of War
Simon Perkins, Jr., Papers

     25, "…any failure to so report will be severely punished." William Truesdail, Chief of the Army Police, to keep a list of new arrivals in Nashville
NASHVILLE, TENN., April 25, 1863
I. The arrival of guests at houses in this city will, in [the] future, be reported to Col. Wm. Truesdail, Chief of the Army Police, instead of to this office. Arrivals must be promptly reported, as ordered, and any failure to so report will be severely punished.
John A. Martin, Col. and Provost Marshal
Nashville Daily Press, May 9, 1863

     25, Forrest's command conducts conscript sweep and arrests deserters from his command in West Tennessee
HDQRS. FORREST'S CAVALRY, Jackson, April 25, 1864.
Lieut. Col. THOMAS M. JACK, Assistant Adjutant-Gen.:
COL.:...My entire command is engaged conscripting and arresting deserters. They are scattered in all directions, but are moving toward this place; will have all concentrated here by the 30th, and will reach Tupelo by the 5th or 6th proximo. I shall move myself via Bolivar and Ripley, and nay dispatches for me will meet me on the road.
I would be glad if the cars would run as far above Tupelo as possible, as I have about 30,000 pounds of bacon which I shall carry in wagons to Corinth, and send it down for my command on hand-cars until it meets a train.
I am, colonel, very respectfully, yours, &c.,
N. B. FORREST, Maj.-Gen.
OR, Ser. I, Vol. 32, pt. III, pp. 821-822.
     25, Major-General Nathan Bedford Forrest on the "massacre at Fort Pillow"
HDQRS. FORREST'S CAVALRY, Jackson, April 25, 1864.
Lieut.-Gen. POLK, Cmdg. Department:
* * * *
Much having been said in the Northern press in regard to the massacre at Fort Pillow[3], I shall forward you by next courier copies of all the correspondence in regard to the demand for surrender and a statement of all material facts; an extra copy of same will also be sent you, with a request to forward to the President. Capt. Young, the provost-marshal at Fort Pillow, now a prisoner, can corroborate all the facts, as he was the bearer of the enemy's flag of truce, and it would be well to have him taken care of on that account.
I am, general, very respectfully, yours, &c.,
N. B. FORREST, Maj.-Gen.
OR, Ser. I, Vol. 32, pt. III, p. 822.

     25-ca. May 15, Anti-guerrilla scout, Holston River and Cumberland Mountains
No circumstantial reports filed.
KNOXVILLE, April 25, 1865--9 p. m. Maj.-Gen. THOMAS:
In obedience to your instructions per telegraph received yesterday....I...have sent the Ninth Tennessee Cavalry to scout the country between the Holston and Cumberland Mountains. In that region there are still two guerrilla parties reported. Had given instructions to take no prisoners. Bartlett's Second North Carolina is ordered into the mountain region east of here with orders to scour that region as far as the Georgia line, and Kirk's Third North Carolina is to perform the same duty north of the French Broad.
OR, Ser. I, Vol. 49, pt. II, p. 465.

     25, Anti-guerrilla expedition to Bigg's Cross-Roads, Williamson County ordered
Brig. Gen. R. W. JOHNSON, Cmdg. Post of Pulaski:
GEN.: The bushwhackers are investing the neighborhood of Bigg's Cross-Roads, upper end of Williamson County, out on the Nolen pike, thirty-two miles from Nashville. The major-general commanding is informed that they are committing all kinds of depredations, and directs that you send to that neighborhood a sufficient force of cavalry to drive them out of the country. You will please refer to Mr. Alfred Ogilvie for further information.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
WM. D. WHIPPLE, Brig.-Gen. and Chief of Staff.
OR, Ser. I, Vol. 49, pt. II, p. 465.

[1] This message was incorrectly dated as having been made on April 2, 1861. However, it was made on April 25, 1861, according to White, ed. Messages of the Governors, Vol. 5, p. 279.
[2] As cited in:
[3] This appears to be an admission, although a offhanded one, to Forrest's recognizing that a massacre did indeed occur at Fort Pillow. Otherwise he would most likely have used a different phrase, such as "in regard to the capture of Fort Pillow," etc. It could also be that only 13 days after the event the term "Fort Pillow Massacre" was commonly used both in the North and the South to describe the event.

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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