10, Secret Confederate correspondence from Nashville
Letter from Nashville to the Confederate Organ in London—Who is the Writer?
The N. Y. Post has received a copy of the Index, a newspaper recently started in London by the Secession interest. It contains a letter from this city, which we give as a good specimen of rebel vulgarity, mendacity and snobbishness. Who is the polished author?
The Yankee Postoffices.
"Nashville, April 13, 1862.
"I do not trust the postoffice for we have now a federal postoffice located in our midst. I do not trust it; first, because it is known to be an outrageous contrivance of espionage, such as no despotism ever dreamed of, or no community with a particle of self-respect could endure for a moment, unless it were trodden into the ground by a foreign conqueror. And I do not use the accursed thing, because all of us here would rather send a special messenger, even when the case is urgent, or the distance great, than disfigure our letters with a Yankee postage stamp. However, we have little use for mail bags; all business but the petty retail trade is at a total end. It was with some difficulty, and not until after the municipal authorities and invited them by proclamation, that the country people could be induced, in any considerable numbers, to supply the markets with our daily wants."
"A deep, heavy gloom rests over our city. Most of its business offices and larger stores are shut up. The most respectable citizens seldom, if ever, get out of doors, and our ladies are never seen in the streets. The Yankees, upon a whole, behave very well and even make a show of decent behavior and discipline. But the sight of them is hateful, and their very presence is an insult we can never forgive. They insult us more by professing to be 'forbearing.' The d____d vulgarians in command can't even conceal the sneer and triumph which lurks in the corner of their mouths. If a French or English army had occupied our town we might, at least, respect the officers and treat them as gentlemen; but when some fellow whom you knew years ago as a pettifogging low-lived attorney struts through the streets as a colonel, or even a brigadier, and your landlord while you were last at the North with your family or your fashionable New York tailor, turns up as an adjutant, or a captain, or a major, the stomach sickens. _______, who made _____'s boots going on ten years, was officer of the patrol a few nights since, and arrested one of my negroes for being out after hours, and sent him back to me with a very polite note of apology."
"Other towns have heard the tramp of foreign soldiery; other towns have obeyed the stern behests of hated conquerors; other towns have had their life-blood drained from them by bloodsuckers at their vitals; but was there ever a town so cruelly humiliated as ours? These fellows, whom we have known all our lives as a lying set of tradesmen, by whom we allowed ourselves to be robbed, from very indolence and love of ease—these fellows that cajoled us and courted us in our happier days; who smirkingly asked our custom, and whom we used to treat with that politeness that well bred men extend, from instinct, to inferiors—this set of bag men, money-lenders, hotel keepers, shoemakers, and tailors, to come here to lord it over us, to parade our streets in showy uniforms, with sash and sword, and monkey like mock gravity and attitude of command! And to feel that these men really rule us, that it is not a grotesque show to be laughed at, but a daily, hourly, incessant reminder of our disgrace and shame! Parade the streets, I said; why there is not one of these hounds that has the grace to take sword and sash off when they enter a church. Coming always after the service has commenced, they disturb the peaceful congregation with the clinking of their swords in the last refuge that is left to our women, for the men are too desperate to pray. Why should we? Our religion commands us to forgive our enemies as we would ourselves be forgiven. May God forgive me, but I cannot keep this commandment."
The writer further on maintains that Tennessee is still loyal to the Confederacy—that pictures of Davis, Beauregard and Johnston, (the latter draped in mourning), are on every mantel-piece, and that Mrs. _____, of Nashville, has a Confederate flag under a piano cover ready to display on the return of the Confederate troops to that city.
Nashville Daily Union, June 10, 1862.
10, War News from Middle Tennessee
Late from Nashville.
From the Louisville Journal, November 10th.
The city for the past twenty-four hours has been full of battles fought at Nashville, but from the best sources of information we set down as exaggerations. Up to Friday evening [7th] there had been nothing heard of the Rebel Generals Polk and Breckinridge, nor had there been any assault upon the city. About three o'clock on Wednesday night [5th] the Rebel pickets appeared on the Murfreesboro, McMinnville and Franklin pikes, and commenced skirmishing with our outposts. The Rebels were a portion of Stearn's cavalry, with two infantry regiments and four pieces of artillery of small caliber. This force operated on the south side of the Cumberland river, and was shifted from pike to pike, apparently feeling our position, ascertaining the location of the batteries, and the extent of our lines of defence.
Our pickets retired on the Murfreesboro road, but held their ground before the other advances of the Rebels, who opened fire with a six pounder about five o'clock, when General Negley came upon the field with a battery of two six-pounders and four Wiard guns, and the Sixty ninth-Oho and the Seventy-eighth Pennsylvania infantry, on the Franklin Pike. Here the heaviest skirmishing took place. Division Inspector Von Shrader, of Negley's Staff, with Colonel Stokes' Cavalry, eight hundred strong, charged upon Stearns' Cavalry and drove them to within five mile of Franklin, where they scattered in every direction.
While this affair was going on a Rebel force of some two thousand cavalry, and two pieced of artillery, supposed to be under Morgan, made a dash on the new railroad bridge, with the intention of destroying it, but they were promptly met and repulsed. In the various skirmishes we lost one killed and thirteen wounded, with three missing men, and captured about thirty prisoners, among them two captains of artillery.
The advance of General McCook's corps arrived at Nashville at, P. M. on the 6th [Thursday]. The General went into the city at 7 o'clock the next morning, and his entire force reached the river the same day and encamped at Edgefield, On Friday [7th] a train of five hundred wagons, under charge of Col. Morgan, left Nashville to go to our Mitchellsville for stores, which point they reached in the evening without molestation.
Lieutenant Adams, of the Twelfth Indiana Battery left Nashville on Thursday morning [5th], and informs the New Albany Ledger that the report was current at Nashville and credited by General Negley, that the Rebels had evacuated Murfreesboro' and McMinnville, and had gone to Chattanooga. General Negley had ordered a reconnaissance to be made to Murefreesboro', which it was understood would be commenced on Friday. We attach some credence to this rumor, as the movement of Stearns may have been intended [sic] to divert attention from the actions of the main Rebel army. A report was also current at Nashville that General Joseph E. Johnson [sic] had arrived at Chattanooga, and had assumed the command of the Department of Tennessee and North Alabama. Breckinridge's command was also reported at Chattanooga. The military authorities at Nashville credited these reports.
The Ledger is also informed that deserters from the Rebel army, who came into our lines last week, report that Bragg had been superseded in his command on account of his failure in Kentucky, and had been ordered to Richmond under arrest. They aver that Bragg was compelled to destroy most of the property captured by him in Kentucky during his retreat, to prevent it from falling in the hands of General Buell.
Philadelphia Inquirer, November 14, 1862.
10, Concern in Bolivar and Jackson regarding the withdrawal of Federal forces
LAGRANGE, TENN., June 10, 1863.
Maj.-Gen. HURLBUT, Cmdg. Tenth Army Corps, Memphis:
* * * *
….The people of Jackson and Bolivar appear to be distressed at our leaving them to the mercy of guerrillas and conscription….
* * * *
R. J. OGLESBY, Maj.-Gen.
OR, Ser. I, Vol. 24, pt. III, p. 400.
10, "Complying With the Order." [see May 26, 1863, "General Orders No. 65 issued in Memphis: expulsion of Confederate sympathizers," above]
The reading public are already familiar with the provisions and requirements of Order No. 65, from the headquarters of the Sixteenth Army Corps, commanded by General S. A. Hurlbut. In obedience to that order no less than three thousand three hundred and ten persons had complied with the order up to ten o'clock yesterday morning. All these had registered themselves as loyal citizens of the United States. Besides these there were some hundred who had registered themselves as subjects of "foreign friendly powers." Very few persons have the courage to register themselves as enemies; although many of the citizens openly avow sympathy with the rebellion, yet they have not the manly courage to make their sympathy a matter of public record. Perhaps we might say in this connection that the arrangement for the administration of the oath is altogether inadequate to accommodate the multitudes who throng the office. The average number per day is about five hundred.
Memphis Bulletin, June 10, 1863.
10, Co. H, 21st O.V.I. camp life in Murfreesboro
June 10, 1863
Dear friends at home,
As I have nothing else to do, I will just write a few lines by way of keeping up conversation. I pass the time the best and easiest way possible, sometimes I read a while, then stroll about a while, then take a lazy sleep of a couple of hours. Probably by that time I may suddenly be brought to my senses by the cook yelling dinner or the drums beating drills or dress parade as the case may be. The monotany was broken a few days ago by breaking a fellows neck on the scaffold. Such things are getting common, a couple have to rid the earth of themselves today and two more on Friday go through the same performance. Part are soldiers and part citizens. I don't care anything about the citizens, but I hate to see a soldier stretch hemp or be shot. The more citizens are killed, the less sneaks and gorillos we will be bothered with later.
Today is rainy and sunshine by spells. We drilled this forenoon on skirmishing a while. An Irishman named Joe Todd was brought here handcuffed a few days ago. He was one of the men taken prisioner the same time George was, and when exchanged and started for the Regiment, he sliped out and came back to Tontogany. He says passed by our house several times and saw Pa and Elliott to work in the field. Probly Elliott remembers the fellow that treated Henderson and myself to the bar one night when we were beating those drums in Tontogany. His appearance is about as proposing at present as it was then, one eye black, his back covered with an old ragged citizens coat. The only thing I begrudge him is the sight.
We have the orders to keep 3 days rations in our haversacks ready to march at any time. That time is very uncertain. It has been an standing order some time. If Bragg sends part of his force toward Vicksburg, he may look out for a few of us, as we may visit him. If you could see me laying on my bunk with this paper on an old novel, you would say, lazy fellow. Soldier life is hard and lazy both. Duty is duty and lay on the bunk is just the opposite thing. Well, I will have to go to work and get the dirt and rust of my gun. These take lots of cleaning.
~ ~ ~
10, Excerpt from Col. George M. Brent's report relative to desertions in Forrest's command and its effect upon enforcing the Confederate conscription law
RICHMOND, June 10, 1864.
Gen. S. COOPER, Adjutant and Inspector Gen.,
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….Desertions from infantry commands to the cavalry had become a crime of a serious nature. My instructions directed me to ascertain and return all such. An inspection of the muster-rolls, camped with a list of deserters from the Army of Tennessee, showed that 654 deserters were borne on the rolls of Gen. Forrest's command. About 200 of this number were reported as deserters, also, from Forrest's command. An order was at once given to Gen. Forrest for their arrest, who issued orders immediately to this end, and over 300 were arrested and sent back under proper guard to their command. All officers who had received them knowingly were arrested and charges preferred against them. Gen. Forrest gave every facility in his power to accomplish the object of my mission. The liberal manner in which authority has been conferred to raise cavalry commands has contributed very largely to increase desertions from the infantry, and to impede the efficient execution of the conscript law.
* * * *
GEORGE WM. BRENT, Col. and Assistant Adjutant-Gen. [C. S. A.]
OR, Ser. I, Vol. 39, pt. II, p. 642.
10, 1865 - "I furnished the timber but Hollins refused to pay me." The complaint of ex-slave James Hodges of Bedford County to the United States Provost Marshal
I have been at work for Middleton Hollins a citizen of Bedford Co Tenn [sic] since the laws of Aug 1864. I commenced by cooking for him, which I did for a month for this he was to pay me $1.50 per day. The next month I was engaged in hewing cross ties for which I was to receive $2.00 per day. Another month at hewing trestle timbers Hollins agreeing to pay me $2.50 per day. The next three months he engaged me to hew ties and trestle timber, for ties $2.00 per day I worked about half the time hewing trestle timbers and half hewing ties. My boy worked for Hollins four months for which he agreed to pay him one dollar per day. I making this statement I have not reckoned in a month which we both lost. On a settlement with Hollins he paid me but $63.00 he said I had drawn $100.00 worth of rations which covered the whole amount. This was not true as I had drawn $10.00 worth. In another bargain he hired me to furnish him with 20 sticks of timber 21 ft long 8 by 10 inches sq for which he agreed to pay me $50.00. I furnished the timber but Hollins refused to pay me. I then furnished him with twenty-five sticks of timber 16 ft long & 8 by 10 inches square for which he agreed to may me $16.00 but failed to do so. I then furnished him with five sticks of timber 25 ft long 8 by 10 inches square another five sticks twenty one ft long 10 inches sq. 1 stick twenty seven ft long 10 in sq. There was to have been five sticks of the last but the timber ran out. Hollins owed him Hodge twenty four dollars Mary Hodge $16.00 for cooking. Hollins hired another of his boys at $1.00 per week his work amounting to $10.00 Hollins owed me $2.00 more for bottoming chairs and $2.00 for making a rack besides $10.00 in money which I lent him. William Jolly was my boss during the time I worked for Hodge owed me $8.50
Blood and Fire, pp. 183-184.
James B. Jones, Jr.
Tennessee Historical Commission
2941 Lebanon Road
Nashville, TN 37214
Tennessee Historical Commission
2941 Lebanon Road
Nashville, TN 37214
(615)-770-1090 ext. 123456