Sunday, June 1, 2014

6.1.14 - Tennessee Civil War Notes

        1, Decaying vegetables for the poor
Vegetables for the Poor.—Those who attend market with vegetable frequently have some left over, which are spoiled and thrown away before next morning; the city almoner desires us to state that if market people will leave such vegetables at his office, on Second street, east side, four doors north of Madison, he will each day distribute them to the widowed and other poor.
Memphis Daily Appeal, June 1, 1861.

June 1, 1862, Dragging the flag in Murfreesboro, and excerpt from the diary of John C. Spence
....It appears on the return of Col. P.[arkhurst], he captured a confederate flag on the road that some playful boys had placed on their mammas hen house [sic] for their own amusement. This was a rare Trophy [sic], but cost little to make the capture. The boys of course made objections. It availed nothing; had to submit to the loss. It was brought to Murfreesboro. A novel scene takes place on the arrival of the union men, a display that rivals any thing in the annals of history.
The men are formed on horseback. The Col. places himself at the head of the column. The Confederate Flag [sic] has a long string attached to it, the other end of string is fastened to his horse's take so it will drag along on the ground. All things being ready to make the start from the R. Depot. The word March! is given. The whole column move off. The Col. in the lead with the flag wallowing in the dust fastened to his horse tail. [sic] They make their way to the public square, and pass round in this dignified manner [sic], cheering as they go, assisted by the little boys and negros [sic]. Genl. Jackson would say "Glory enough for one day."
Spence Diary.

1, 1863 - Fremantle's observations on the Army of Tennessee
1st June, Monday.-We all went to a review of General Liddell's brigade at Bellbuckle, a distance of six miles. There were three carriages full of ladies, and I rode an excellent horse, the gift of General John Morgan to General Hardee. The weather and the scenery were delightful. General Hardee asked me particularly whether Mr. Mason had been kindly received in England. I replied that I thought he had, by private individuals. I have often found the Southerners rather touchy on this point.
General Liddell's brigade was composed of Arkansas troops--five very weak regiments which had suffered severely in the different battles, and they cannot be easily recruited on account of the blockade of the Mississippi. The men were good-sized, healthy, and well clothed, but without any attempt at uniformity in color or cut; but nearly all were dressed either in gray or brown coats and felt hats. I was told that even if a regiment was clothed in proper uniform by the Government, it would become parti-colored again in a week, as the soldiers preferred wearing the coarse homespun jackets and trousers made by their mothers and sisters at home. The Generals very wisely allow them to please themselves in this respect, and insist only upon their arms and accoutrements being kept in [proper] order. Most of the officers were dressed in uniform which is neat and serviceable, viz.,: a bluish gray frock coat of a color similar to Austrian yagers.[1] The infantry wear blue facings, the artillery red, the doctors black, the staff white, and the cavalry yellow; so it is impossible to mistake the branch of the service to which an officer belongs--nor is it possible to mistake his rank. A second lieutenant, first, lieutenant, and captain, wear respectively one, two, and three bars on the collar. A major, lieutenant colonel, and colonel, wear one, two and three stars on the collar.
Before the marching past of the brigade, many of the soldiers had taken off their coats and marched past the general in their shirt sleeves, on account of the warmth. Most of them were armed with Enfield rifles captured from the enemy. Many, however, had lost or thrown away their bayonets, which they don't appear to value properly, as they assert that they have never met any Yankees who would wait for that weapon. I expressed a desire to see them form square, but it appeared they were "not drilled to such a manoeuvre" (except square two deep.) They said the country did not admit of cavalry charges, even if the Yankee cavalry had stomach to attempt it.
Each regiment carried a "battle-flag," blue, with a white border, on which were inscribed the names "Belmont," "Shiloh," "Perryville," "Richmond, Ky.," and "Murfreesboro'." They drilled tolerably well, and an advance in line was remarkably good; but Gen. Liddell had invented several dodges of his own, for which he was reproved by General Hardee. The review being over, the troops were harangued by Bishop Elliott in an excellent address, partly religious, partly patriotic. He was followed by a Congressman of vulgar appearance, named Hanley, from Arkansas, who delivered himself of a long and uninteresting political oration, and ended by announcing himself as a candidate for re-election. This speech seemed to me (and to others) particularly ill-timed, out of place, and ridiculous, addressed as it was to soldiers in front of the enemy. But this was one of the results of universal suffrage.
The soldiers afterwards wanted General Hardee to say something, but he declined. I imagine that the discipline in this army is the strictest in the Confederacy, and that the men are much better marchers, than those I saw in Mississippi.
A soldier was shot in Wartrace this afternoon. We heard the volley just as we left in the cars for Shelbyville. His crime was desertion to the enemy; and as the prisoner's brigade was at Tullahoma (twenty miles off,) he was executed without ceremony by the Provost Guard. Spies are hung every now and then; but General Bragg told me it was almost impossible for either side to stop the practice.
Bishop Elliott, Dr. Quintard, and myself got back to General Polk's quarters at 5 P. M., where I was introduced to a Colonel Styles, who was formerly United States Minister at Vienna. In the evening I made the acquaintance of General Wheeler, Van Dorn's successor in the command of the caval[r]y of this army, which is over 24,000 strong. He is a very little man, only twenty-six years of age, and was dressed in a coat much too big for him. He made his reputation by protecting the retreat of the army through Kentucky last year. He was a graduate of West Point, and seems a remarkable zealous' officer, besides being very modest and unassuming in his manners. General Polk told me that, notwithstanding the departure of Breckinridge, this army is now much stronger than it was at the time of the battle of Murfreesboro'. I think that probably 45,000 infantry and artillery could be brought together immediately for a battle.
Fremantle, Three Months, pp. 79-81.

        1, 1863 - Artillery practice at Fort Negley and the State House
….target shooting was pracktised [sic] today from 1 to 2 by the sedge [sic] guns in the fort and from the large guns at the State house the distance nearly 2 miles
John Hill Fergusson Diary, Book 3.

        1, "The Refugee Asylum."
We made another visit to this institution a few days ago, and found the general arrangements much more satisfactory than at any previous visit. It is now occupied almost exclusively as a hospital for females and children, some of the rooms affording a temporary shelter for new arrivals who are without means to procure other accommodations. Dr. Thomas has charge of the hospital, and his wife, an estimable lady, has consented to assume a general superintendence of the household affairs, to which fact the improvements noted are mainly attributable. The Government, we believe, supplies the ordinary medical and commissary stores for the establishment, but there are many necessary articles needed which have to be contributed by private charity, or entirely dispensed with, such as are enumerated in the hospital list as "Extra Diet," clothing, beds and bedding, cots, etc. A visit to the establishment-the old Shelby College, on Broad street-will do more to convince our readers of the worthiness of this charity than anything pen can describe. No one possessed of a particle of human feeling, can walk through that building without expressing pity for, and contributing a portion of his means toward alleviating the sufferings of the unfortunate inmates. Clothing would be thankfully received, and any delicacies suitable for the sick.
Nashville Dispatch, June 1, 1864.

         June1, 1865 - Fixing the blame; Major-General R. H. Milroy speaks in McMinnville
* * * *
The South is ruined and the Administration is bearing down very hard upon her. Milroy was here last week and made a speech – said among other smart things that rebels wanted their rights and they could have them – their rights were 8 ft. [sic] of rope. He gave Ben Hill[2] leave to speak under a great many restrictions, defining what he should and should not say. Mill made a short speech – people say a good deal more to the point than Milroy's. Said he didn't fire the first gun – but fought 'em in earnest, and with a good hearty will: he under the same circumstances would do it again. If the Federal Gov. wanted what little property he had, the said. Gov. could have it and welcome – he had been a laboring man once and he could become so again. He wished everybody to distinctly understand that he didn't "gather blackberries on both sides of the creek" in this struggle, etc. Milroy went to Prof. Clark's school [and] made a speech to the pupils – uninvited. When Mr. C. had finished his recitations he told the Gen. he could have the floor. He told the school that in the late difficulty Mr. C. was wrong and Miss Clift was right – that rebels had no right – were not to be accorded any! They young people must learn all they could –and they must also teach the niggers [sic]. The rebels must not say they were overwhelmed – they must say they were whipped. etc. etc. He stuttered so that one of the little Stanley's whispered to Jennie Scott – "Miss Jennie, do you reckon he is drunk." Clark told the Col. next day he feared Milroy had utterly ruined his school. Clark had been down upon extremists – he aid both sides were wrong – Milroy told him this must not be said, nobody was wrong but the rebels! Of such are our rulers. Two General Orders have just come from Tulahoma [sic] – in one everything rebellious is ordered obliterated – gray uniforms are to [be] among the buried; and the ladies are advised not to manufacture any more gray good for wearing apparel! Yet the Yankee blue flaunts before our eyes as hatefully as ever. Burling[,] one of the Yankee soldiers[,] said a good thing – said "Milroy had given Cark a devil of row to hoe – to make that school loyal – he had put on poor Clark what he couldn't do himself!" Billings was here with Milroy….
War Journal of Lucy Virginia French.

[1] In the German army, one belonging to a body of light infantry armed with rifles, resembling the chasseur of the French army. Also spelled "jager."
[2] Benjamin Jefferson Hill, Tennessee assemblyman 32nd General Assembly, 1857-1859; representing Warren, Cannon Coffee, Grundy and Van Buren counties. An attorney and president of the Manchester to McMinnville Railroad. He served in the Confederate army, rising to the rank of Brigadier General. Claimed his was the "last command on the east side of the Misissippi that surrendered." He died in McMinnville January 5, 1880. Robert McBride, Dan M. Robison,eds., Biographical Directory of the Tennessee General Assembly, Vol. I, 1796-1861, (Nashville: Tennessee Historical Commission, 1975, pp. 365-366.

James B. Jones, Jr.
Public Historian
Tennessee Historical Commission
2941 Lebanon Road
Nashville, TN  37214
(615)-770-1090 ext. 123456
(615)-532-1549  FAX

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