Friday, April 11, 2014

4.6.14 Tennessee Civil War Notes

         6, Secessionist fever in Jackson
Jackson, Tenn., April 6, 1861.
Editors Appeal: The "Independent Southern Guards" raised a new flag of the Confederate States here to-day, in lace of the one which was first raised, as it was only a temporary one. The flag is truly a splendid one, and of large proportions. It floated out to the breeze in magnificent style, and is an honor to the brave young "Guards," who are determined that its glory shall never be sullied, and that it shall float over their beautiful little city as the mark of their zeal for their beloved South, and as a signal that no hireling band that "bend the suppliant knee" to the throne of Black Republicanism, can hold dominion over the true patriot, who stands first for the South, and forever for his rights.
The "Independent Southern Guards" were out on parade. They are truly a fine company—all determined, active looking young men—and look as though they could send the hot shaft into the enemy's ranks with hearty good will and zeal. They marched under a beautiful flag—the gift of the fair. It is the flag of the Confederate States. Salutes were fired, and a stirring, patriotic speech was delivered by Col. Scruggs, of Memphis, after which the company paraded the streets to the sound of martial music. All is right here; and would that all of Tennessee were like Jackson and Madison county. We could soon throw off the bonds that bind us to the northern despots. And now I say to the people of Jackson, be firm, press on, and victory will be yours.
"Strike, till the last armed foe expires,
Strike for your altars and your fires,
God, and your native land."
Memphis Daily Appeal, April 9, 1861.

        6, Action at Island No. 10
Report of Commander Henry Walke, U. S. Navy, commanding U. S. gunboat Carondelet.
U. S. GUNBOAT CARONDELET, April 7, 1862.
SIR: Agreeably to your instructions of the 6th instant, I preceded down the Mississippi about 6.30 this morning. Attacked, silenced, and spiked all the guns of the rebel batteries opposite your batteries. The lower one made a desperate resistance. It consisted of two 64-pounder howitzers and one 32-pounder gun. Two were dismounted and the other disabled by our shots. I then took and spiked temporarily a 64-pounder howitzer about half a mile above, and a quarter of a mile above that found a 64-pounder spiked. I took on board a man who reported himself to me as a spy, whom I send to you. The rebels had set fire to a house on the shore.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
H. WALKE, Commander, U. S. Navy.
OR, Ser. I, Vol. 8, p. 123.

        6, 1862 - Ohio officers go on a "serenading expedition" in Shelbyville
Late in the evening the officers of the regiment, with the string band, started on a serenading expedition. After playing sundry airs and singing divers songs, Ethiopian and otherwise, at the residence of a Mr. Warren, Miss Julia Gurnie, sister of Mrs. Warren, appeared on the veranda and made to us a very pretty Union speech. After a general introduction to the family and a cordial reception, we bade them good-night, and started for another portion of the village. On the way thither we dropped into the store of a Mr. Armstrong, and imbibed rather copiously of apple-jack, to protect us against the night air, which, by the way, is always dangerous when apple-jack is convenient. After thus fortifying ourselves, we proceeded to the residence of a Mr. Storey. His doors were thrown open, and we entered his parlors. Here we had the honor to be introduced to Miss Storey, a handsome young lady, and Lieutenant O'Brien, nephew of Parson Brownlow.
Lieutenant O'Brien is an officer of the rebel army. He accompanied Parson Brownlow to Nashville under a flag of truce, and has been loitering on his way back until the present time. He wears the Confederate gray, and when we entered the room was seated on the sofa with Miss Storey. After being introduced in due form, I placed myself by the young lady and endeavored to at least divide her attention with my Confederate friend. The apple-jack dilated most engagingingly [sic] on the remarkable beauty of the evening, and pleasantness of the weather generally, and the delightfulness of Shelbyville. There was a piano in the room, and finally, after having occupied her attention jointly with O'Brien for some time, I took the liberty to ask her to favor us with a song; but she pleaded an awful cold, and asked to be excused. The apple-jack excused her. The Storeys are pleasant people, and I trust that, full as we were, we did nothing to lessen their respect for us.
From Mr. Storey's we went to the house of Mr. Cooper, President of the Shelbyville Bank, but were not invited in, the family having retired.
Our last call was at the residence of Mr. Weasner, whilom Member of the Tennessee Legislature.[1] The doors were here thrown open, and a cordial invitation given us to ender. A pitcher of good wine was set out, and soon after Miss Weasner, a very pretty young lady, appeared, and played and sang many patriotic songs. We finally bad this pleasant family goon night, it was bordering on the Sabbath, and we returned to camp.
Beatty, Citizen Soldier, pp. 127-129.

        6-7, Battle of Shiloh
Having gathered his forces at Corinth, Mississippi, with those of P. G. T. Beauregard and Leonidas Polk, General A. J. Johnston slowly moved is army northward. At the same time, U. S. Grant marched to Pittsburg Landing, or Shiloh, just to the north of the Confederate Army. Grant planned his attack without building a suitable defense. The Confederates struck on April 6.
After a day of heavy but confused fighting, General A. S. Johnston was killed and the Federal forces were close to complete defeat. During the night of April 6-7, however, reinforcements for Major-General D.C. Buell's Army of the Ohio and Major-General Lew Wallace's' division arrived. With the resumption of the battle at dawn on the 7th the tide turned. By evening the Confederate army withdrew back to Corinth, with the Union army too exhausted to pursue. Heavy losses were sustained on both sides: 13,000 out of 63,000 Union troops engaged and 11,000 out of 40,000 Confederates killed and wounded. The sobriquet "Bloody Shiloh" [2] is appropriate. [3]
There are a total of 229 reports on the battle of Shiloh in the OR. [4]There are likewise volumes written about the battle. The reader is urged to consult them and numerous secondary works for details on the fight.
Confederate President Jefferson C. Davis believed the South, despite the mortal loss of General A. S. Johnston, had won a major victory. His letter to the Confederate Congress of April 8 expressed that optimism:
APRIL 8, 1862.
The great importance of the news just received from Tennessee induces me to depart from established usage, and to make to you this communication in advance of Official reports:
From telegraphic dispatches received from Official sources I am able to announce to you, with entire confidence, that it has pleased Almighty God to crown the Confederate arms with a glorious and decisive victory over our invaders.
On the morning of the 6th instant the converging columns of our army were combined by its commander in chief, Gen. A. S. Johnston, in an assault on the Federal army, them encamped near Pittsburg, on the Tennessee River. After a hard-fought battle of ten hours the enemy was driven in disorder from his position and pursued to the Tennessee River, where, under cover of his gun-boats, he was at the last accounts endeavoring to effect his retreat by aid of his transports. The details of this great battle are yet too few and incomplete to enable me to distinguish with merited praise all of those who may have conspicuously earned the right to such distinction, and I prefer to delay my own gratification in recommending them to your special notice rather than incur the risk of wounding the feelings of any by failure to include them in the list. Where such a victory has been won over troops as numerous, as well disciplined, armed, and appointed as those which have just been so signally, routed, we may well conclude that one common spirit of unflinching bravery and devotion to our country's cause must have animated every breast from that of commanding general to that of the humblest patriot who served in the ranks. There is enough in the continued presence of invaders on our soil to chasten our exultation over this brilliant success, and to remind us of the grave duty of continued exertion until we shall extort from a proud and vainglorious enemy the reluctant acknowledgment of our right to self government. But an all-wise Creator has been pleased, while vouchsafing to us His countenance in battle, to afflict us with a severe dispensation, to which we must bow in humble submission. The last lingering hope has disappeared, and it is but too true that Gen. Albert Sidney Johnston is no more. The tale of his death is simply narrated in a dispatch just received from Col. William Preston, in the following words:
Gen. Johnston fell yesterday at 2, 30 while leading a successful charge, turning the enemy's right, and gaining brilliant victory. A minie-ball cut the artery of his leg, but he rode on till, from loss of blood, he fell exhausted, and died without pain in a few moments. His body has been intrusted to me by Gen. Beauregard to be taken to New Orleans, and remain until directions are received from his family.
My long and close friendship with this department chieftain and patriot forbids me to trust myself giving vent to the feelings which this sad intelligence has evoked. Without doing injustice to the living, it may safely be asserted that our loss in irreparable, and that among the shining hosts of the great and the good who now cluster around the banner of our country there exists no purer spirit, no more heroic soul, than that of the illustrious man whose death I join you in lamenting. In his death he has illustrated the character for which through life he was conspicuous-that of singleness of purpose and devolution to duty. With his whole energies bent on attaining the victory with he deemed essential to his country's cause, he rode on to the accomplishment of his object, forgetful of self, while his very life-blood was fast ebbing away. His last breath cheered his comrades to victory; the last sound he heard was their shout of triumph; his last thought was his country's; and long and deeply will his country mourn his loss.
OR, Ser. I, Vol. 52, pt. II, p. 298-299.

The Battle on the Tennessee.
Editors AppealEn armende for my brusqueness at the Gayoso as I passed you, and in compliance with your request, I send you a brief and hurried account of the battle of Shiloah [sic], more glorious than Taylor's victory, when Davis, Quitman, M'Clung, Bradford, Hays and brave lamented McCulloch, led Yankees to victory.
Allow me, however, in justification of myself, to premise that I am worn out in body and mind and therefore unable to render the battle in minute detail.
Early yesterday morning I approached the field of battle, and was directed by our gallant Sam Tate (himself hurrying on) to the nearest point of attack, while the thunder of artillery, and tempest of musketry rose on the air, I galloped through an old hurricane four miles north-east of Montery [sic], where all the elements had spent their powers as a grand prelude to the storm on which the fate of empire now hangs.
In striking contrast with all that is horrible and sublime, the blue birds were singing their Sunday morning anthems, and the landscape seemed wedded to the quiet sky. But you are impatient of prevailing weakness and eager for facts.
I find myself on the left wing of our forces in Col. Bates' command. His men are fighting against overwhelming odds, and falling like autumnal leaves around him. A battery to his right pours a terrific fire on the foe and seems the last hope of our poor fellows who are charging to the cannon's mouth—they waver, fall back, seem almost cut to pieces; the gallant colonel falls (shot in the thigh) but not as you have it, killed. I thought the day already lost and fell back to a place of safety with a full determination to remain in the rear, but encountering Gen. Cheatham's division, and some gallant fellows whom I had seen on another battle field, my anxieties got the better of my discretion; I galloped along the lines and give more flattering accounts than I ought.
The different companies shout as I give the news; and Lieutenant Col. Tyler cordially exclaims: "I will gladly give my life to save this wing."; Poor fellow!; the next time I saw him, his gallant form was stretched in an ambulance—his cheek blanched that never blanched in danger, and his brow contracted in agony. He had received a horrible wound in the thigh. God grant it be not mortal.
They are in the hail of grape and musketry, which had riddled our left wing before reinforcement. Col. Smith's regiment is almost decimated, but close like the air over their wounded and dying at each belch of the Vandal's cannon.
Stephens' and Douglas' regiments are on the left, obeying the order of our gallant, great, but unpretending "Frank"—"Drive them into hell."In this charge Capt. Rogers fell wounded—and poor John, of the gallant 6th, paid the price of liberty.
Alas!; Alas! for these regiments!
Like Bates' and Smith's, they are completely riddled; and though they have forced the enemy from his position, they cannot long stand against overwhelming numbers.
Hark! what shout is that in our rear?; Whence those martial orders, re-echoed from officer to officer?; Halt!; Halt!; Dress!; Forward, march!
Breckinridge, far as the eye can reach along the hills, leads on his martial host.
Already the enemy's left are retiring on his gunboats—has given way—his center shaking and shouts of victory pierce the air.
But I could only guess at what transpired beyond my own little sphere.
Suffice to say our gallant leaders, Beauregard, Bragg, Johnston, Gladden, Polk, Ruggles, Chalmers, Hindman, Cheatham, Bowen, Clark, Breckinridge, Loring, Wood, Slaughter and Hardee, were charging a line three miles in length of a desperate and determined foe.
That they whipped them at every point, and at night fall, are masters of the field.
I subjoin a list of killed and wounded, with whom I came in contact on the field and in the hospitals.
I could give you more of the killed; but, alas, while the wounded could furnish me their names, thousands on the bloody field had left their glorious names only to their children.
God defend them, and heaven's heaviest curses fall upon those misers who are hoarding gold while many of these heirs of poverty and a noble name are without food or raiment!
I was so fortunate as to capture two Federals, whom I brought to your city as the first fruits of the 6000 taken by our brave boys on the field.
J. W. R.
[partial list of killed and wounded follows.]
Memphis Daily Appeal, April 8, 1862.


Particulars on the death of General A. S. Johnston by Governor Harris

Shilough [sic] Battlefield

Apl 6th 1862
Col Wm Preston
Dear Sir
In answer to your verbal inquiry as to the circumstances surrounding Genl. Albert Sidney Johnston immediately preceding his fall. As you are aware, I was acting as volunteer aid to Genl Johnston on the field.
He was upon the right wing where the enemy being strongly posted made an obstinate stand. As you remember, our troops, after a long and desperate struggle wavered for a moment when Genl Johnston rushed in front of the line of battle, rallied the troops ordered and led the charge. The enemy fell back between a fourth & one half mile, when the firing became very heavy on each side. Our advanced position exposed our troops to a raking fire of a battery of the enemy on our left. The last order the Genl gave was to direct me to "order Col Statham of Mississippi to charge that battery." I immediately delivered the order and rode back to the side of the Genl, said to him "Genl your order is delivered and being executed" just at this moment the Genl sank down in his saddle leaning over to the left I instantly put my left arm around him pulling him to me saying "Genl are you wounded?" He said "yes and I fear seriously." Capt Wickham being on his left & I upon his right we held him upon his horse until we guided his horse from the crest of the hill to the ravine, where we lifted him from his horse, laid him upon the ground. I took his head in my lap. He never spoke after answering my question though continued to breathe for 25 or 30 minutes. Immediately after dismounting the Genl Capt Wickham sent for the surgeon. I sent a soldier to bring any staff officers he could find to me. [After] some 10 or 15 minutes yourself and other members of the staff arrived. As to what occurred [sic] after this time you are as familiar as myself.
The country will mourn his death as a national calamity.
Isham G. Harris

Notation of Governor Harris regarding the death of A.S. Johnston at the battle of Shiloh[5]

We take the following from a letter to the Cincinnati Gazette, from Shelbyville, Tennessee, one of the glorious Union towns of that State. The writer says:
I must not forget to mention a pleasant incident occurring a night or two ago. A number of officers from the Third Ohio Regiment, received permission to go over to town and give the prominent citizens a serenade. They too with them the members of their excellent band, which can, at any moment be formed into a drum corps, an orchestra or a glee club, to suit the requirements of the occasion.
The first place we visited was the residence of Mr. T. J. Warren, a merchant of Shelbyville, and a gentleman, who despite of threats and bribes, despite of rebel attempts to bar him socially and to cripple his business, has held out against it all, and devotedly "kept the faith once delivered to the fathers." A few beautiful and finely executed pieces of instrumental and vocal music, bought out Mr. Warren, his lady and her sister, Miss Gurney. The latter acknowledged the compliment in a few neat and well chosen sentences, which won for her golden opinions from Capt. J. G. Mitchell and the other unmarried serenaders.
Citizens of Columbus, Ohio, will remember a young lady, Miss Lizzie Gurney, who some eight years ago became the wife of the talented Emory Butler, Esq. The latter died two years after the marriage and his widow is not the aforesaid Mrs. T. J. Warren, of Shelbyville, Tennessee. It is not much to be wondered that Mr. Warren is warmly in favor of the Union between the North and South. The beneficial effects of such an arrangement are most happily illustrated in his own household.
Columbus Gazette, April 25, 1862. [6]

        6, Letter from Catherine Cooper in Columbia to her sons, James C. and Thomas Cooper, Confederate soldiers
My dear sons,
I take this opportunity to write you a few lines, which will inform you that myself [sic] and your Pa are in usual health; I am now in Columbia and has been [sic] eight days, staying with Alfred who is lying in the hospital here. He is not suffering very severe pain, or very hot fever. He seems cheerful but eats little. Perhaps that is best. Your Pa came here today. He saw Caroline yesterday. All is well with her, and Vony is no worse than when Thomas left home she has not hemorage [sic] since he left home. Pa was there he said she could go from one room to another and sit up every day. She had a bad spell coffing [sic] a while back, when the weather was wet. Thomas you rely on what I tell you. I heard Thomas was in the hospital, which almost derainged [sic] me. I think sometimes my trials are greater than I can bear. Still I hope sufficient Grace will be afforded me to fill my mission on earth, and that I may account all my trials and privations as nothing when compared with the glory, the blessedness of the life to come.
My dear children, I long to see you, but I try to be patient, and prepaire [sic] for all events, James, Thomas, be assured I will be a mother to your wives and children in your absence. I saw Albert today, his daughter is still sick very little improvement in her health. He left home last night ate his breakfast at Housers, and came in here at eight o'clock. Edward is far from being well, he will hardly ever be able for duty though he may, since I have been at the hospital there has 4 yankeys [sic] died. I think one of our soldiers will die today- and three or four more federals. There was seven yanks brought here last evening, I suppose taken near Franklin. The news here today is, (or I should [say] rumor) that Gen Morgan has made another grand haul on the federals, somewhere on the Luisville [sic] road among the spoil is over a million of greenbacks. I hear it is confirmed that Gen. Marshal captured a whole Rag or Brigade I have forgot which had the notorious outlaw Carter of Carter County and all his bridge burners with him was taken. My dear sons write as often as you can to your old mother and try to cheer my lonely pathway while I am left at home none of my children to sit my by hearth, or enliven my dissquetetud [sic]. Write soon and tell me Thomas is well. All the friends other than I named are in usual health. Having little else to tell you I will close by commending you to God hopeing [sic] by his wise Providence he will guid [sic] you in the paths of safety, guarded [sic] you in the hour of danger, shield you in the day of battle, Crown [sic] you with victory and peace & grant you a safe passport home, a happy meeting with all the loved ones of home. And when all shall have finished their course, O may we meet an undivided family in [which] no member [is] missing in the realms of eternal peace and love Where our Covenant God shall wipe all tears from their faces, and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain, Yes, where the God of love & mercy shall be our God forever and forever.
Your Pa joins with me in sending our love to both so does Alfred; I add no more but remain your devoted mother.
Catherine Cooper
April [sic] 6th, 1863.
TSL&A Civil War Collection.[7]

        6, "Spies and guerrillas, murderers under the assumed title of Confederate soldiers, deserters on leave, should be hung quick…." Major-General William T. Sherman on execution of death sentence by field commanders
NASHVILLE, TENN., April 6, 1864.
Col. JOSEPH HOLT, Judge-Advocate-Gen., Washington:
SIR: I wrote you from Memphis some time ago asking your specific instructions as to the power of a commander of an army in the field to approve and execute the sentence of death. I have not yet time nor the means to examine the question, but the law of Congress approved December 24, 1861, on page 490 of the Volume Military Laws, 1776-1863, gives division and even brigade commanders power to order general courts-martial and to approve and execute sentences, save in cases of death and dismissal of a commissioned officer, which requires the approval of the general commanding the army in the field. I have always constructed that as final, and to substitute the said commander in place of the President of the United States in the cases enumerated in the Sixty-third and Eighty-ninth Articles of the old Articles of War.
The question arises daily, and I expect to execute a good many spies and guerrillas under that law without bothering the President. Too many spies and villains escape us in the time consumed by trial, review, and remission to Washington, and we all know that it is very hard for the President to hang spies, even after conviction, when a troop of friends follow the sentence with earnest and ex parte appeals.
Spies and guerrillas, murderers under the assumed title of Confederate soldiers, deserters on leave, should be hung quick, of course after a trial, for the number of escapes made easy by the changes on guard during the long time consumed by trial and reference have made that class of men bold and dangerous, and our own scouts and detachments have so little faith in the punishment of known desperadoes that a habit is growing of "losing prisoners in the swamp," the meaning of which you know. This horrible attendant of war originated in the practice of our enemies, and I have seen it chuckled over in their public journals; but our own men are quick to learn, and unless a legal punishment can be devised you will soon be relieved of all such cases. I believe that the veriest demon should have a hearing and trial, but punishment should be prompt, yea speedy, or it loses its efficacy.
I believe the laws I have quoted give the commander of an army in the field lawful power to try by court-martial, approve and execute the sentence, and I believe the law to be right and humane to society. If wrong I should be corrected at once. Forty or fifty-executions now would in the next twelve months save a thousand lives.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
W. T. SHERMAN, Maj.-Gen.
OR, Ser. II, Vol. 7, pp. 18-19.

        6, Federal authorization for loyal civilians to purchase and keep arms in Pulaski environs
PULASKI, TENN., April 6, 1864.
Lieut. Col. J. C. PARROTT, Cmdg., Prospect, Tenn.:
COL.: The general commanding hereby authorizes you to grant permission to loyal citizens in your vicinity to purchase and keep arms for defense against robbers. You must satisfy yourself fully that the applicants for permission of this kind are men to be trusted, and in no case grant them the favor where a doubt exists. In the permission given make them responsible for the proper use and safety of the arms.
By order of Brig. Gen. T. W. Sweeny, commanding:
OR, Ser. I, Vol. 32, pt. III, p. 274.

        6, 1864 - Confederate conscription in Jackson
Charles Hogett was out a little while this evening. He said Forrest was still in town, conscripting....
Robert H. Cartmell Diary.

[1] William H. Wisener. See January 9, 1861, "Shall Tennessee Submit?"
[2] The battle could likewise have a less dramatically sanguinary and more scatological sobriquet if a medical report is to be believed. Surgeon J.H. Brinton, U. S.V. indicated that disease, especially diarrhea, was rampant in the Union army just prior to the battle. There is no record to indicate the widespread presence of the disease in the Confederate army, yet it seems most probable that it was likewise as big a problem. It may well have been a deciding factor in the outcome of the battle, although the truth to such assertions is never to be known. According to Brinton:
"The physical condition of the men [in the Union army] about to engage in….[the battle of Shiloh] was unpromising in the extreme. Many of them had been for weeks suffering from the diarrhoea [sic] peculiar to the Tennessee River. This is said to result from the large amount of animal decomposition which takes place on the mussel beds or shoals, a few miles above Pittsburgh Landing....almost everyone drinking the waters of the river suffered from a profuse diarrhoea [sic] which resisted obstinately the ordinary therapeutic [sic] means. These persistent discharges greatly augmented lassitude already resulting from the general malarious influence, and contributed to weaken the most robust." See: The Medical and Surgical History of the War of the Rebellion, (Washington: GPO, 1888) Vol. I, pt. I, p. 29. Perhaps the Shiloh area was where the expression "Tennessee Trots" originated.
[3] See map in OR, Ser. I, Vol. 10, pt. I, p. 177.
[4] OR, Ser. I, Vol. 10, pt. I, pp. 93-627. Other references to the battle of Shiloh can be found in the following series and volumes of the Official Records: Ser I, Vol. 16 pt. I, Vol. 20, pt. I, Vol. 32, pt. III; Vol. 52, part II; Ser. II, Vol. 4.

[5] As cited in: This source does not provide an attribution save to say that Harris' notation is attached to Col. William Preston's report on the battle of Shiloh, OR, Ser. I, Vol. 10, pt. I, pp. 403-405, but it is not found there.

[6] As cited in PQCW.

[7] TSLA: Mfm 824, reel 4, page 8, folder 22.

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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