Friday, June 13, 2014

6.13.14 Tennessee Civil War Notes

13, Fasting in the Bluff City
The Fast Day.—We have never known a public observance kept with the strictness that was manifested in this city yesterday. The stores, including cigar stores and saloons, were universally closed. The ring of bells and the grave passing along of persons on the way to church, had all the solemnity of Sunday. Most of the churches were opened, the attendance was generally large, and the behavior of the congregations showed that the minds of the worshipers were profoundly impressed with the import of the present crises in the fate of the country. In the after portion of the day streets were almost deserted. The street corners and the lamp-posts were without their usual crowd of loungers. No noise of rattling drays, no shouts of children, no hum of business broke the hush that prevailed. Only at the forts, and at the arrivals and departures at the river, was there any movement. The God of battles was appealed to, and the occasion was marked with becoming reverence and solemnity.
Memphis Daily Appeal, June 14, 1861.

        13, Report regarding West Tennessee vigilance committees and persecution of innocent travelers headed for Kentucky
Outrage in Tennessee-Mr. H. J. Smith of this city called on us yesterday and made a statement in regard to the late treatment of himself and others in Tennessee. Mr. Smith, Geo. Myers, and Jerry Sullivan, went down the river as hands upon one of them. Hyatt's coal boats. The boat sold out at Natchez, and they came back thence on the steamer Falls City to Memphis. As no boat was permitted to come from Memphis towards Louisville, and as they had not money to come home on the railroad, they of necessity undertook the journey on foot.
At Covington in Tennessee the three travelers, about whom there was no suspicious circumstance except that they were unknown travelers, were arrested and examined by what no doubt was a Vigilance Committee. Nothing was found against t them, and they were told by the Chairman, H. J. Moloy, that they might go on. Some one suggested to Moloy that it might be well to give them a pass. He gave them one, and, as it is now before us, we give an exact copy of it:
Covington Jun the 2, 1861. H. J. Smith and J. B. Myers and Suleven [sic] has Past [sic] thru this Place today and Claim to be citizens of Kentucky on examination We find Nothon Rong [sic] a Bout [sic] Said Men and are Willen [sic] to Let said Men Pass on Good Conduck [sic]
H. J. Moloy.
With this pass the travelers came on to within a mile of Ripley, Tenn., where, during a rain, they took refuge under a tree. Whilst they were standing there, thirty-five or forty mounted Tennesseeans rushed down upon them and seized them as suspicious characters. They told their story and exhibited their pass, but that wouldn't do. Some of the Tennesseeans cursed them as abolitionists and were clamorous that they should be hung upon the tree under which they were found. The prisoners said that they were not abolitionists, that they were citizens of Kentucky and Louisville, that they were quiet and industrious men with no sympathy for abolition or abolitionists. The cry then was, "Louisville and the whole of Kentucky are full of damned abolitionists; people that are not for us are against us; they should all be hung, and we had better be doing the work as fast as we can." Mr. Smith says that the fate of three was for a time doubtful, but that at length he and Jerry Sullivan were allowed to continue their journey. Geo. Myers, their comrade, having perhaps given offence by a short answer, was kept a prisoner; and Smith and Sullivan learned one or two days afterwards that he either had or was about to be hung.
Mr. Smith informs us, that, between Memphis and Covington, near the railroad junction, they saw a man lying helpless and all but in a dying condition, with his head shaved and his ears and the end of his nose cut off. The poor fellow's statement was that the only charge against him was that he was of Northern birth. A human citizen took him into his house with the intention of taking care of him.
Mr. J. H. Smith has the appearance of being an honest man; he talks like an honest and truthful man; and we are told that there are many in this city that can testify to his integrity and veracity. The facts that he related show what a wretched condition of thing exists in Tennessee. May Kentucky never be cursed with such evils.
Louisville Daily Journal, June 13, 1861. [1]

        13, Establishing martial law in Memphis
Headquarters United States Forces,
Memphis, Tenn., June 13th, 1862
I. In pursuance to an order issued from the headquarters of this district, the undersigned hereby assumes command of the United States forces at the city of Memphis
II. The officers heretofore detailed and assigned to a particular position or in the discharge of any specific duty, will continue in their respective places until further orders from these headquarters.
III. The commanding officers of regiments and detachment of squadrons, will make daily morning reports of their respective commands between the hours of eight and nine o'clock a.m. to these head quarters.
IV. All persons leaving the city by any public conveyance, or to travel beyond the picket lines by any road leading into the country, shall first procure, from the Provost Marshal, a pass, and the Provost Marshal is hereby instructed not to grant passes to any one except in cases of urgent necessity, and requiring of persons receiving passes to take the oath of allegiance; and all persons violating this order shall be promptly arrested and detained for future trial and punishment.
V. It is hereby enjoined upon all officers and soldiers of this command to see that the public peace is maintained; that the rights of persons and property under the Constitution of the United States are protected that the blessing of the Government of our fathers shall be restored to all its pristine vigor and beauty, and so far as can be done, consistent with military rule, no one shall be disturbed in the pursuit of his legitimate business; and all officers and soldiers violating this order shall be severely punished.
VI. All orders heretofore issued by the commanding officer of the post, and not inconsistent herewith, will be adhered to and rigidly enforced until otherwise ordered.
By order of James R. Slack, Colonel, Commanding Post.
Memphis Union Appeal, July 6, 1862.

        13, Memphis after a week of Federal occupation, excerpts from the New York Times
Memphis, Friday, June 13 [1862].
The city remains unusually quiet and orderly, and business is slowly reviving.
Thus far, the amount of rebel property seized amounts to only $50,000.
Capt. Dill, of the Provost Guards, estimates the amount of cotton, sugar, &c., concealed for shipping, to be $150,000. This is rapidly finding its way to the levee.
The number of absentees has been over-estimated. Many have returned, while those who go on upward boats are mostly members of sundered families.
The Mayor and City Council are of Union proclivities, as a general thing, and exercise their functions in harmony with military rule. Their continued good conduct is a renewed assurance of this.
There are only two or three places in the city where either Confederate scrip or Post-office stamps are worth anything. The most prominent rebel citizens will not take the scrip.* * * *
Mr. Markland, agent of the Post-office Department, opened the City Post-office today, and an agent of the Treasury Department is on his way to open the Federal Custom-house. There have been about thirty applications for the office of Postmaster, by prominent citizens of Memphis.
There is, as yet, but one National flag flying from a private residence and that is from the house of Mr. Gage.
There is but little activity in shipping, although a few dray loads of cotton have been hauled down to the levee this morning. Some 5,000 bales are concealed in warehouses.
The Avalanche, in an article on the belligerents, admits that the South has defended the use of privateer and guerrillas, and charges the North with the commission of crimes at which human nature, in its wildest paroxysms of passion, feels itself horrified. It claims that the legitimate belligerents should settle the questions of war, leaving peaceful civilians to the enjoyment of their rights, and observes that these views are acknowledged by the Federals here, and thinks that this course will win gradually upon the Southern people.
The Argus indulges in a series of rabid and vindictive articles, and should be suppressed at once.
The Avalanche says about 75 rebel officers and soldiers have thus far surrendered to Col. Fitch.[3]
The United States Navy-yard and buildings have been taken possession of by Flag-officer Davis in the name of the Government, and will be occupied as the headquarters of his fleet. The buildings are in good preservation.
* * * *
The Memphis-Grenada Appeal, of the 10th, says that misapprehension prevails in regard to the Partisan Rangers. They are called into service by the Confederate Congress, and are designed to act beyond the lines of an army as independent fighters, to be provided like ordinary soldiers, and to have all they capture, yet the Appeal insists they are not guerrillas, and hopes the young men will not fear to enlist. It says, "if the Federals treat them as pirates, President Davis will interfere to protect them"
The Appeal states the facts of the occupation tolerably fairly, admitting that Col. Fitch is pursuing a system of liberal public policy, yet it indulges in vindictive comments.
* * * *
Memphis, June 14.
Col. Slack issued orders this morning prohibiting dealing in and using the currency of the Confederate States, and that the use thereof as a circulating medium would be regarded as an insult to the Government of the United States. Persons offending are to be arrested and summarily dealt with.
* * * *
New York Times, June 16, 1862.

        13, Shiloh Souvenirs
All the movable framework, roof, &c., of the church at Shiloh, near Pittsburg Landing, have been carried away as trophies, and nothing remains but the logs, which are already being cut up in pieces to be removed by seekers after mementos from the most famous battle-field of the rebellion.
Chicago Times, June 13, 1862. [4]

        13, Scout on Manchester Pike
JUNE 13, 1863.-Scout on the Manchester Pike, Tenn.
No. 1.-Brig. Gen. John B. Turchin, U. S. Army.
No. 2.-Lieut. Col. William B. Sipes, Seventh Pennsylvania Cavalry.
No. 1.
Report of Brig. Gen. John B. Turchin, U. S. Army.
SIR: I respectfully report that at 7 a. m. this day, Lieut.-Col. Sipes, with 260 men of the Seventh Pennsylvania Volunteer Cavalry, 105 men of the Third Indiana Cavalry, and one section of Stokes' battery, moved out on the Manchester pike. When 10 miles out, he met the enemy's pickets and drove them in, pursuing them 2 miles. The country being unfavorable for cavalry movements, he then withdrew and returned to camp. The pickets were reported by a citizen to belong to the Texas Rangers, of Hardee's corps. At the same hour, Col. Nicholas moved with his regiment (the Second Kentucky Volunteer Cavalry) on the Wartrace road. At 12 miles out he met two squads of rebel cavalry, each about 30 strong, and dispersed them, after firing a few shots. He moved about half a mile farther forward, and then returned to camp. He could not learn that any force of the rebels had encamped or appeared in any way on the Wartrace road for a week past. Two brigades of infantry are reported to be at Liberty Gap.
In accordance with instructions received from you this p. m., no patrols will be sent to-morrow.
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. B. TURCHIN, Brig.-Gen., Cmdg. Second Cavalry Division.
No. 2.
Report of Lieut. Col. William B. Sipes, Seventh Pennsylvania Cavalry.
SIR: I have the honor to report that, in obedience to orders, I this morning moved out the Manchester turnpike a distance of about 12 miles, with a force consisting of 260 men of the Seventh Pennsylvania Cavalry, 105 men of the Third Indiana Cavalry, and one section of Stokes' battery.
When 10 miles out, the advance guard came upon the enemy's pickets and drove them back. Col. Long, with a detachment of the Third Indiana, pursued them about 2 miles, when I deemed it prudent to order a halt, the country being ill adapted to cavalry movements and the strength of the enemy entirely unknown. The object of the expedition being accomplished by ascertaining the exact position of the enemy on this road, and not wishing to sacrifice any of my men in a profitless pursuit of a retreating foe, we returned to camp, arriving there a little after 2 p. m.
The pickets we encountered were reported by citizens to belong to Texas Rangers, attached to Hardee's corps of the rebel army. I have no casualties to report.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
WM. B. SIPES, Lieut. Col. Seventh Pennsylvania Vol. Cavalry, Cmdg. Expedition.
OR, Ser. I, Vol. 23, pt. I, pp. 380-381.

        13, Scout on the Wartrace Road
Dyer's Battle Index for Tennessee. [5]

        13, Retaliation, the Federal army's strategy for suppressing guerrillas in Lincoln County; an excerpt from the letter of Captain Henry Newton Comey, 2nd Massachusetts Infantry
2nd Mass. Inf. 1st Div. 20th Corps. Army
Tullahoma, Tenn., June 13, 1864
Dear Father,
Yours of the second inst. contained ten dollars came to hand last night….
*  *  *  *
…. Maj. Gen Milroy's Headquarters is here now. General Paine is also here yet. General Paine is a terror to guerrillas because he is shooting every little while. He sentenced a man to be shot for keeping a still house and I suppose it was because this man has been guilty of harboring guerrillas for wherever there is whiskey there will be guerrillas. Their courage is mostly whiskey courage. I happened to be at the Generals headquarters and heard that man beg for his life. Some of the guerrillas die game, will not beg at all. They bushwhack for plunder, not that they care anything for the Southern Confederacy. Last Thursday a scouting party went to Hillsboro[6] and shot C. C. Brewer, formerly Clerk of this county. A man formerly of good standing, he was a captain in the rebel army, but led the army and went to bushwhacking. The way of the transgressor is hared. Heretofore the bushwhackers of this vicinity thought that the U. S. Government would not dare to would not dare to execute any of them for fear they would retaliate, but they now see that all such ideas are flawed. It is surprising to see the effect of General Paine's course upon some of the rebels in this vicinity. All at once they are getting to be very strong Union loyalists, to all appearances. When the General wants to get information he sends out into the country to some old farmer who he knows has such information and orders him to report at such an hours. It is needless to add that his order is obeyed and the man, whoever he may be, is very careful not to be behind time. Stokes Regiment of Tennessee Cavalry is here now and it is said that his men had rather kill than eat.
*  *  *  *
H. N. Comey
Comey Correspondence, pp. 172-173.

[1] As cited in PQCW.
[2] Not referenced in OR.
[3] The Provost Marshal.
[4] As cited in:
[5] Dyer's Battle Index for Tennessee is unreliable inasmuch as it provides no circumstantial reports and often incorrect dates and no references to Confederate forces.
[6] About ten miles southeast of Manchester, Coffee County.

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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