Monday, April 7, 2014

4.7.2014 Tennessee Civil War Notes

            7, Surrender of Island No. 10 to Flag Officer A. H. Foote, U. S. N.

Steamer Benton,

Off Island No. 10, April 7, 1862.

Two [Confederate] officers have this instant boarded us from Island No. 10, stating that by order of their commanding officer they are ordered to surrender Island No. 10 to the commodore commanding the gunboats....With General Pope now advancing from New Madrid in strong force to attack in [General W.W. Mackall's] rear, I am, with the gun and mortar boats, ready to attack in front, while General Buford here is ready to cooperate with the land forces; but it seems as if the place is to be surrendered without further defense.

A. H. Foote

Flag Officer, Comdg. Naval Forces, Western Waters

Navy OR Ser. I, Vol. 22, p. 720.



                       7, Confederate situation report for West Tennessee

HEADQUARTERS, Trezevant, Tenn., April 7, 1862.

Col. THOMAS JORDAN, Assistant Adjutant-Gen.

SIR: I have the honor to report that I arrived here and relieved Maj. King on Saturday, 5th instant, having visited and conferred with Col. Jackson at Trenton. He could not move under several days forward of that place. I found headquarters here with a company thrown forward at Hico,[1] on picket to its right and left, and Capt. Pell had just returned from Paris with the flag the enemy had left hoisted on the court-house there, with no news of importance of the enemy. I hear to-day through citizens that they sent to-day a large force there--perhaps 1,000 men. My scouts and pickets bring me no news of the enemy. The bridge on Trenton and Dresden road, over the Obion, called Shade's Bridge, was reported by a scout as burned last Friday; by whom not known. I learn all the cavalry that we had in Henderson, at Lexington, has gone to Purdy, but not officially. It is of importance that I be kept advised of such movements, as it leaves my right very much exposed. I shall start a scout of a lieutenant and thirty men to Huntingdon to-morrow at sunrise. I threw forward Capt. Guthrie's company to occupy my left front, with orders to send scout to Rogers' Mill. a short distance from Dresden. I have ordered all the companies of the regiment here. Capt. Wicks' arrived this evening. I cannot learn where Hubbard's and Houston companies are. I learn they are very small and very worthless. I beg that two other new and well-armed companies be substituted in their places, and respectfully urge it. I am not satisfied with the muskets in the hands of a majority of King's late battalion. A great deal has to be done in the way of equipment to make these men efficient. Gray's company had no bridles. I have sent him of to procure them at Memphis. I am laboring to get all the reports necessary to know the condition of each company.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

TH. CLAIBORNE, Col., [Sixth Confederate] Cavalry.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 52, pt. II, pp. 297-298.



                       7, George Kryder on the fight at Snow Hill

Camp near Murfreesboro

April 7th 1863

Dear beloved wife

I now take my pen to write a few lines to you to let you know I am getting along. At present I am not very well although I cannot say that I am sick. About a week ago we got some fresh beef and it physicked me and I have had the diarrhea ever since. And we have just come back from a five day scout and while we were out I took an awful bad cold but a few days rest will straighten me out again for another scout.

Last Friday we started with five day rations to go to Liberty, 30 miles from here where about 6000 rebels were. And that evening we met about five or six hundred and had a little skirmish and the next morning they had retreated beyond Liberty about 2 miles to Snow's Hill (but I would call it a mountain) where they made a stand. And they said there [they] would not a live Yankee get up that hill, though the Yankees were too sharp for them. While some of the force was fighting them in front, the 3rd 4th and 10th Ohio went to the right and nearly cut off their retreat but they had pickets out and gave them the alarm and they sent a regiment out to meet us. The 4th was ahead and they dismounted and a very brisk skirmish went on for about half an hour. When the rebels gave way and our regiment charged after them and in the road lay a dead rebel and my horse jumped over him and there were a number more killed and wounded. The 4th Ohio had one man wounded in the leg and our Reg. had two wounded, one of Co. G's men in the shoulder and one of our Co. in the cheek. The Rebs fled in the greatest confusion losing saddles, blankets, coats, hats by the hundred, guns, saddle bags and satchels and some of the carbines which they captured from our men in Lexington, Ky. I picked up when we stopped a pair of saddle bags with 4 pr. drawers, one calico shirt, and 2 pr of woolen socks and the saddle bags are worth two dollars. In all worth about five dollars. Our Reg. took eleven prisoners, and I heard that we killed 15 and wounded a large number.

Well we came back this side of Liberty and went into camp. Next morning we started toward Lebanon 23 miles from Liberty, went about half way and went into camp. Our Co. was on picket that night. The next day we started for horses. The 4th Ohio was on our right and the 7th Penn to our left and we spread out so That we formed a line about 8 or 10 miles long and every good horse we came to we took along, and we caught a number of bushwhackers that were scattered through the woods and we lived on ham and eggs.


George Kryder Papers



            7, Report on subversive civilian activities in West Tennessee


Lieut.-Col. BINMORE, Asst. Adjt. Gen., Memphis:

SIR: I have the honor to inclose to you copies of letters captured in Richardson's camp, showing some of the schemes resorted to by those permitted to trade at Memphis and other points. I am keeping a black list, upon which all such individuals are registered.

Very respectfully, your most obedient servant,


[Inclosure No. 1.]

RALEIGH, December 4, 1862.


DEAR SIR: We have daily application by deserters from the Federal camp at Memphis for paroles, and if we had any authority to do so, we could, through some friends at Memphis, induce hundreds to come to us. There is a great dissatisfaction in their camps, especially with the late levies, and by proper management they could be drawn off in large numbers. They come out, but are afraid to travel far in the country till they are paroled, for designing persons have told them that they would be captured by rebels and put in the Southern army, and their clothing taken. Two were sent to us on yesterday, who were anxious to be paroled, and we sent them in the direction of your camp. They said there were 50 men in their regiment who would escape if they were not afraid of our men harming them. We told them not to fear. We have an arrangement already in Memphis whereby we can induce many to come to us if we are authorized to parole them. We can procure from them a large number of side-arms at reduced prices, and we will let your men have them at cost. We can have them bring with them the best of arms, and thus weaken their stock of arms as well as men. We therefore ask you to authorize J. M. Coleman and myself to parole such as come, and we think we can in this manner contribute largely in reducing the strength of the enemy at Memphis, and also help to arm your regiment. If you approve our suggestion, we wish you to send us blanks printed for us all. Please answer us by the first one who comes from your regiment. We wish our names not known in the matter, because such would subject us to the baser outrages of the Federals, and we can at the same time conduct the matter so it will not be discovered. You can likewise keep the same with yourself, alone.

Hoping to hear from you soon, we remain, your friends,


OR, Ser. I, Vol. 24, pt. III, pp. 176-177.


[Inclosure No. 2.]

NEAR SOMERVILLE, TENN., January 29, 1863.


On my way home I sold one of my black horses to Mr. Broadenax, near Belmont. He belongs to Jackson's cavalry, and if Maj. Buery will show him the other, he will buy him also. I have contributed $25 toward buying Mr. Sharpe a horse for the service, and hope it will be all right with you. I shall start to Memphis to-day, and would be off before this, only I found my child very sick. I understand Grant has gone down the river, and that he left some 2,500 troops at Memphis in a disorganized state that he could not make go with him. You shall hear from me as soon as I return.

Respectfully, yours, &c.,


[Inclosure No. 3.]

FEBRUARY 1, 1863.


When I was at your camp I understood you to say that you had orders to break up the entire trade with Memphis; consequently I now write to you upon a subject that interests a good many good citizens of this section. Since seeing you, one of Col. [R. F.] Looney's aides obtained from him permission for me to take five loads of cotton to Memphis, and Mr. George Hood, by a similar permit, has just returned from taking some down. Now, I wish to [know] if your orders and Col. Looney's are liable to conflict, or if I would be molested by soldiers belonging to your command, or not. My view about the one article of cotton is this, that most all of the people have sold all their cotton, while others equally as deserving of these privileges have not sold any, and that it would fall heavy on them now to have their cotton destroyed, and that it must be disposed of in one of these ways; that is, to hunt it up a burn it, let the people sell it, or wait till the Yankees come and take it for nothing. I don't think Gen. Pemberton fully understood the situation of the people here or he would not have given such orders.

I, myself, never thought of selling a bale of cotton until the Yankees got south of us, and I saw persons making money out of it that cared nothing for the South and gave themselves no trouble to accommodate Southern citizens or soldiers except at large profits.

My situation was this: I had lost all my property in Missouri. I have eight children there with my mother, by my first wife, who have been made destitute by the war. I had my wife and one child with me, and but $13 in my pocket, so it is not to be wondered at if I wanted to make something for their support, and while I have been taking cotton to market and selling it for both citizens and soldiers, I have been working out contraband articles of every kind for them and letting them go at Memphis prices. I will name some of the articles: Salt, domestics, soldier clothing, dress goods, cavalry boots, saddles, and horses, military buttons, gold lace, revolvers, caps and cartridges, medicines, &c. I have been spoken to how to bring out over a dozen revolvers and cavalry boots, hats, &c., and shall take my wife and several others down with the in doing so.

Mr. Pierce, Mr. McFadden, Mr. Yancey, and several others belonging to your command want me to take their cotton; also several ladies, whose husbands are south, in the army, and they need the money and several other things that they may want me to bring out; but I have nothing to lose, and don't want to get into trouble is the reason I write to you, and also thinking that possibly you and Col. Looney had decided any points about other things, and being of that opinion, I will make a proposition, and that is this: For every bale of cotton I am permitted to take to market, I will contribute to you $10 in Tennessee money, for the benefit of your soldiers, to be used as you may think proper, which, after paying $20 per bale for hauling, will not leave a very large margin for profits. At the same time I will ever be ready to serve you or your cause in any way that I can half-way consistent with my safety. I do not make this proposition to induce you to deviate from what you may conceive to be your duty, but thinking it might redound to the benefit of all concerned.

When I got home from your camp, I found my child sick with croup. Getting out also came very near laying me up, for my constitution has been had ever since I had congestive chills, in 1852, and I am fearful I have delayed going to Memphis so long that the revolvers and powder I spoke for may be disposed of; but I will learn in a few days. Please write to me by bearer, if you think it right and proper, also indorse [inclose?] me a pass to Memphis for myself and wagons, and I will come and see you upon my return.

Respectfully, yours, &c.,


N. B.-Strictly confidential.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 24, pt. III, pp. 177-178.


[Inclosure No. 4.]

FEBRUARY 4, 1863.


On my way home I sold one of my black horses to Mr. Broadenax, who bought him for his son, who was a soldier, and, I believe, belongs to Jackson's cavalry. I then gave Mr. Sharpe $25 toward buying him a horse, and wrote you a few lines by him, and inclosed your receipt for the horses. He will be there, possibly, by the time you get this. I hope, as a Southern soldier, even true, you will be satisfied with what I have done. In regard to bringing out ammunition and pistols, caps, &c., I can only say this: If any Southern man can get them in Memphis, I can, and if I can get anything that your men want I will do so, and you can have them at cost; but by having several teamsters with me, I will be materially aided in doing so. I fear no damage, except some Union Scoundrels should find out what I am and have been doing, and go to Memphis and inform the Yankees. Everything you say or do with me shall be between us, and I hope to become better acquainted with you.

Yours, &c.,


HDQRS. FIRST DIVISION, LaGrange, Tenn. April 7, 1863.

Lieut. Col. HENRY BINMORE, Asst. Adjt. Gen.:

COL.: Following the example of Maj.-Gen. Hurlbut in the matter of removing beyond our lines disloyal families for offenses, I have caused the accompanying letter to Col. W. W. Sanford, commanding Fourth Brigade, to be written. If it meets with the approval of the general commanding the Sixteenth Army Corps, I will see that the directions contained therein shall be promptly executed. I inclose also the letter from Col. Sanford, which called it forth.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,



HDQRS. FOURTH Brig., FIRST DIV., SIXTEENTH A. C., Germantown, Tenn., April 7, 1863.

Capt. H. ATKINSON, Assistant Adjutant-Gen.:

SIR: I have the honor to report that on the night of the 5th instant, a company sent out from Buntyn Station to patrol the road west of that place, discovered some obstruction placed on the railroad in two different places, composed of cross-ties and rails. They were sufficient to have thrown a train from the track. They were removed and a vigilant watch kept during the night, but the perpetrators were not discovered nor the object of these obstructions determined. I have caused a patrol of 20 men, under charge of an officer, to be sent out from each station every night, with instructions the road all night and keep a vigilant watch.

I have the honor to be, very truly, your obedient servant,

W. W. SANFORD, Col., Cmdg. Fourth Brigade.


Col. W. W. SANFORD, Comdg. Fourth Brigade, Germantown:

COL.: In answer to your communication of this date, in reference to obstructions having been placed at two different points on the railroad on the night of the 5th instant, the general commanding the division directs that you notify the six rebel families who live nearest the scenes of this outrage that they remove south of our lines within ten days, not to return during the war. You will see that this order is enforced. The most undoubted proofs of loyalty will be required when any doubts exist as to the proper subjects of this order.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

HOFFMAN ATKINSON, Assistant Adjutant-Gen.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 24, pt. III, pp. 178-180.



            7, Entry in Alice Williamson's Diary, Sumner County

Another (rebel) soldier was shot yesterday. The Yankees went to jail and brought him while a citizen was standing near. He said the soldier was very poorly clad but his countenance was that of a gentleman. When the guard brought his horse to him (a broken down one from the camp) he asked what they were going to do with them. On being told to "Mount that horse and say no more..." he did so remarking that he supposed they were going to shoot him. They took him to the river to shoot him but finding some gentlemen there-Mr. H. & M. they said they had gone in a hornet's nest to shoot and went somewhere else. When they carry them out to shoot them they given [sic] a worn out horse and tell them if they can escape they may; they say "have fine fun chasing the boy with fresh horses" I am sorry I did not commence my journal when old Payne first came; he was worse then than now.

Williamson Diary



            7, Report of Surgeon George E. Cooper, U. S. Army, Medical Director, Department of the Cumberland relative to Hood's Campaign in Tennessee


SIR: My report of the medical department of the Army of the Cumberland from the time of the invasion of Northern Alabama and Tennessee by the rebel army under Gen. Hood till the defeat of the same by the Government forces in front of Nashville, and the pursuit thereof to beyond the Tennessee river, must be a meager and unsatisfactory one in consequence of my having been separated from the army, and not having myself been in active campaign with it until after the battle of Franklin, Tenn., when it presented itself in the defenses of Nashville. The proceedings of the medical corps are, however, exceedingly well pointed out in the accompanying report of Surg. J. Theo. Heard, medical director Fourth Army Corps, who in person accompanied that corps-all that was left as an organized force of the old Army of the Cumberland, the Fourteenth and Twentieth Corps having been taken by Maj.-Gen. Sherman to form a portion of the army with which he made the great raid through Georgia.

At the time of evacuating Atlanta the corps hospitals of the Army of the Cumberland were, as they had been in the summer campaign, fully organized and equipped, and were ready to move at a moment's notice. The general field hospital, under the charge of Surg. M. C. Woodworth, was in fine condition and of sufficient capacity to receive all the sick and wounded of the army, who, on the breaking up of the division hospitals, might require medical treatment. Supplies of all kinds had been called for and procured by the field medical purveyor, and the army corps were amply and liberally supplied. The ambulances, which had been greatly used during the summer campaign, were repaired and put in as serviceable condition as the time and material on hand would admit of. When the rebel army feel upon the line of railroad at our rear the inconvenience suffered therefrom was, as far as the medical department was concerned, in reality nothing. The only article which ran short was whisky, and this was procured in ample quantities from the subsistence department. The quality, though not equal to that furnished by the medical department, was good enough for all practicable purposes.

The Fourth and Fourteenth Army Corps, having been detailed to follow Hood's army to the rear, the sick from their division hospitals were transferred to the general field hospital, where they were cared for as well as could be wished for, and the troops left Atlanta entirely disencumbered with sick or wounded men. What occurred from that time till the last days of November, 1864, is known to me by hearsay only and from reading the reports furnished these headquarters. For this information I refer to the excellent report of Surgeon Heard, medical director, Fourth Army Corps, who, having been one of that little band who held the whole rebel army in check from Decatur, Ala., to Nashville, Tenn., is far more competent to make the report than I. Synchronous with my arrival at Nashville from Atlanta and Chattanooga came reports of the falling back of our army from Pulaski, Tenn., and of heavy and continuous skirmishing with Hood's advance. On the 30th of November came the news that a severe action had taken place near Franklin, Tenn., and that our losses in both killed and wounded had been heavy. The medical director of the Fourth Army Corps was immediately telegraphed to and asked if he required a hospital train, and early next morning hospital train No. 2., was sent to Brentwood, between Nashville and Franklin. On the night of November 30 two freight trains loaded with wounded from skirmishes beyond Franklin, and which had been brought to that place in ambulances, arrived here. The wounded were transferred to the general hospitals here, and were promptly and skillfully cared for by the medical officers there on duty.

On the following day the troops arrived from Franklin, bringing with them quite a number of wounded, but having, unfortunately, been compelled to leave by far the greater portion in the hands of the enemy. Almost at the same time came the troops commanded by Maj. Gen. A. J. Smith. These troops were deficient in almost everything belonging to the hospital department; they had no organized ambulance corps or trains; there was no division or brigade organization of hospitals, but were as they had been from the beginning of the war, and seemed to have learned nothing from experience or the example of others, and opposed every improvement as an innovation. They had but few medical supplies, and were wanting in almost everything which would aid them in alleviating the sufferings of the sick and wounded of their commands. It became necessary to fit them out with all possible dispatch, which was done; and thanks are due to Surg. Robert Fletcher, U. S. Volunteers, medical purveyor, for his energy, efficiency, and promptness in this emergency. No one could have performed the duties of purveyor in a manner more creditable to himself or with greater benefit to the Government.

As soon as the troops arrived in front of Nashville they were placed in the lines and were compelled to throw up intrenchments. They were much prostrated by their constant harassing night and day marches from the Tennessee River to Nashville; but, notwithstanding this, in a short time, by constant and severe labor, works were thrown up which rendered Nashville impregnable. As the army was short of men, it became necessary to call to the aid of the beleaguered city all the troops within call. Consequently, the different detachments of the army which left Atlanta with Gen. Sherman, and had remained behind, in hospitals and otherwise, were organized into a temporary corps under the command of Maj.-Gen. Steedman. This extemporized corps was without any organization whatever, and to it was attached the regiments of colored troops. It is impossible for me to learn if these troops consider themselves a part and parcel of the Army of the Cumberland, or a separate command made for Col. Mussey. I should judge them to be out of the department did I take the attention they pay to the existence of this office as a criterion. They are more irregular in forwarding their reports than any regiments in the Army of the Cumberland.

The weather, which, previous to the arrival of the troops, had been moderate, became, shortly after their arrival at Nashville, excessively cold for this latitude. The result of this was much suffering on the part of the troops and the comparative cessation of all offensive measures on the part of either army. At this time the result of the fatigue undergone by the troops in the retreat from Decatur and the subsequent labor in the trenches began to show themselves in the greatly increased number of men who presented themselves for medical treatment. Many, too, who had without detriment to their health undergone all the hardships of the summer and fall campaign, now yielded to the effects of the bitter cold, and diseases of the pulmonary viscera became numerous. Rheumatic affections, too, became quite prevalent. The advent of the rebel army in front of Nashville, and the fact of entrenching itself, rendered the necessity of a general action a moral certainty. To prepare for the sick and wounded of the Government forces demanded a much larger amount of hospital accommodation than was at that time at the disposal of the hospital department. Anticipating a large influx of wounded, the efficient superintendent and director of U. S. general hospitals at Nashville took possession of every building that could be made use of for hospital purposes and had them fitted up with all possible dispatch. Consequently, some 4,000 vacant beds were at the disposal of the medical department. The Assistant Surgeon-Gen., too, anticipating the necessity, ordered to Nashville a large number of medical officers, of whom many arrived proper to the actions and all in sufficient time to be of the greatest service to the wounded in the battles in front of Nashville. The medical officers of the Fourth Army Corps, being emphatically experts in the care of the wounded after battle, had everything prepared of prompt and efficient action. They had supplied themselves with all the necessaries, and, in addition, had procured all the delicacies within their reach. The result was that after the actions of 15th and 16th of December the men belonging to the Fourth Army Corps, and all who were brought to the field hospitals of that corps, were promptly and skillfully treated and most carefully provided for. Too much praise cannot be awarded to the medical staff of the Fourth Army Corps for their untiring attention and skillful manner of treating the wounded in their division hospitals. Were it not invidious to designate and particularize by name certain officers when all are worthy, I would give a list of the medical officers who so faithfully performed their duty. This I will not do, but justice to themselves demands that I should mention and particularize Surgs. M. G. Sherman, Ninth Indiana Volunteers; Stephen J. Young, Seventy-ninth Illinois Volunteers; E. B. Glick, Fortieth Indiana Volunteers, and C. N. Ellinwood, Seventy-fourth Illinois Volunteers, as men deserving of more than ordinary notice. Previous to the battles instructions had been given to the surgeons in charge to establish division field hospitals as near to the field as practicable, and strict orders were issued directing the surgeons to operate on the field upon all requiring it, previous to transferring the men to the general hospitals in the city.

The weather, which had entirely stopped all offensive military operations, having moderated considerably, the army on the morning of December 15 marched out beyond the fortifications for the purpose of assaulting the enemy's lines. The medical department of the Army of the Cumberland proper were prepared to attend to any number of wounded brought in to them from the field, and established their hospitals as near the front as the safety of the wounded and the configuration of the country would admit of. Water being quite plenty, position only had to be sought for. The extemporized corps, commanded by Maj.-Gen. Steedman, had no organized medical staff. This was composed of all the surgeons who could be found unattached, in consequence of being on leave of observe or having been separated from their regiments which had marched from Atlanta with Maj.-Gen. Sherman. To these were added the medical officers of the U. S. Colored Troops. This portion of the medical staff was under the charge of Surg. Josiah D. Cotton, Ninety-second Ohio Volunteers, who acted as medical director. Though hastily brought together and lacking in all the appurtenances for field hospitals, the medical officers of this command did all in their power to assist and relieve the wounded under their charge. The only great drawback to prompt action in this portion of the army was the entire absence of an ambulance corps. The blockade of the Cumberland River by the rebel batteries had prevented the quartermaster's department from bringing a sufficient number to Nashville. To avoid the want of ambulances as much as possible, every one that could be found in Nashville, no matter in what capacity used, was taken possession of and sent into the field, to be used as circumstances might demand. This, in a meander, served in the place of an ambulance corps, but the want of system and organization was most apparent. The soldiery wounded in the action of the 15th of December were, on the same night, brought into the city and placed in the U. S. general hospitals, where every necessary attention was paid them. Such as had not been operated upon were then examined, and such measures were taken as their cases demanded. The wounded in the action of the 16th of December, 1864, were also brought in and placed in the general hospitals. Some were brought in by ambulances of the corps and some by vehicles, which had been impressed for that purpose. Surg. O. Q. Herrick, Thirty-fourth Illinois Volunteers, superintendent of transportation of sick and wounded, made use of all available means to remove from the field each and every wounded man found there. This was a matter of no little labor, for the scene covered several miles, and wounded men were in every portion of it, and the cavalry wounded even farther distant; yet, by midday of the 17th of December all our wounded were in comfortable hospitals, the recipients of every attention that skill and science could furnish. The pursuit of the enemy entailed, as a necessary consequence, much more labor in the care of the wounded. The railroads were destroyed, and all the wounded had to be transferred by means of ambulances to the hospitals at Franklin, Columbia, and Pulaski. This was done under the supervision of Surg. O. Q. Herrick; and too much praise cannot be given him from his untiring energy and labor in collecting and bringing in from the houses in the vicinity of the line of march the wounded of our own and the rebel army. The cavalry in advance paid but little attention to their wounded, but left them in houses by the roadside, to be cared for by the surgeons of the infantry troops who were following. The Fourth Army Corps carried with them the sick and wounded in ambulances until they arrived where proper hospital accommodations could be furnished. The Sixteenth and Twenty-third Army Corps, not being in the advance, had no wounded to care for.

In Franklin, Columbia, and Pulaski a large number of rebel wounded were found who had been left by their army. A sufficient number of medical officers had been left with them to give them proper attention. These wounded were, as soon as practicable, transferred in hospital cars to Nashville, where they were placed in one large hospital. The medical officer in charge was directed to furnish them all necessaries and such luxuries as the condition of their wounds required. This was done until the arrival of the Commissary-Gen. of Prisoners, who directed that the wounded rebels should be confined to prison hospital rations. I do not think that it is the intention of the Government to deprive wounded men, rebels though they be, of everything needful for their treatment. Prison hospitals being at a distance from the front, it was not expected that wounded me would be brought there till sufficiently well to travel, when died would be but a matter of minor import. No surgeon can give good results if he be not allowed to use every article called for by sinking nature and to treat disease untrammeled by orders from non-professional men.

The wounded of our armies who were left at Franklin, Columbia, and Pulaski had medical officers detailed to remain with them until the railroad should have been repaired, when those who could bear transportation were to be removed to Nashville. The necessary supplies were left with the sick and wounded as far as was practicable, but not in such abundance as would have been furnished had the railroad been intact.

The weather during the pursuit was of the most disagreeable character. Rain fell for four successive days, and when this ceased the weather grew severely cold. This was followed by rain, rain, rain, and as a sequence mud. Probably in no part of the war have the men suffered more from inclement weather than in the month of December, 1864, when following Hood's retreating army from Nashville to the Tennessee River. The result of this weather and the hard marching was, as might have been looked for, severe affections of the pulmonary viscera, fevers, rheumatism, and diarrheas, which served to fill the hospitals in this vicinity to their utmost capacity.

The number of men wounded in the actions in front of Nashville will never be correctly furnished, in consequence of the character of some of the troops engaged and their having no organized medical department. The records of this office, as far as furnished, show for the actions from Decatur to Nashville, 402 wounded; in front of Nashville and during the pursuit of the rebels, 1,717 wounded. The wounds were caused by musketry, throwing conoidal projectiles, and by artillery of the latest and most approved character. The wounds were received at all distances, from contact with the muzzle of the piece to the extreme range of artillery and musketry. The character of many of the wounds were of the most severe kind, having been received at short range, consequent upon the peculiarity of the battle, which was a series of charges upon heavily fortified lines held by strong forces of the enemy.

The medical officers of the Army of the Cumberland did in this campaign all that men could do to alleviate the sufferings of the wounded soldiery, and have only added to the envious reputation gained by them on many a former battle-field. They are skillful, zealous, untiring, and faithful, knowing their whole duty and doing it most conscientiously. The medical officers of Sixteenth Corps did their duty well and faithfully, but want of systematic organization crippled their movements most perceptibly.

I will transmit the nominal list of wounded as soon as it can be made out; it will be defective in the Cavalry Corps and in those troops commanded by Maj.-Gen. Steedman.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

GEO. E. COOPER, Surg., U. S. Army, Medical Director, Dept. of the Cumberland.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 45, pt. I, pp. 107-112.


[1] Located southeast of McKenzie, in Carroll county, Tennessee

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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