Monday, June 30, 2014

6.30.14 Tennessee Civil War Notes

        30, Escape from Memphis and Military Intelligence about the City and West Tennessee
Interesting from Memphis. Strength of the Military Forces in West Tennessee.
[From the Indianapolis Journal, June 22]
We had yesterday the pleasure of an interview with Mr. John M. Collins, son of the well known Methodist clergyman Rev. John A. Collins, of Baltimore, who has just escaped from the Memphis jail after a confinement of two months, for the [crime] of loving his country and adhering to his allegiance. In regard to his own case, we learn that Union sentiments led to his [arrest and confinement] [several lines of print illegible] He escaped by means we which we cannot publish without compromising persons still in Tennessee, and after hiding in the city for a day or two, made his way past the guards, got to Jackson, Tennessee, thence to Union City, a rendezvous of Tennessee troops, thence to Columbus, Kentucky, and from that point walked to Cairo, getting neither food nor sleep from the time of leaving Memphis. In regard to the troops in Tennessee, and their conditions, we learn some interesting facts. He says there is [illegible] danger of an attack on Cairo. The rebels are [illegible] for their own safety to venture so far away from home. At Memphis there were very few or no troops except for the Home Guards, and the only guns were  three of four 24 pounders mounted in a [illegible] original way, by resting the [artillery] on two heavy piles driven in  the ground, and fastening them there by [illegible] driven over the trunions into the piles. The neat arrangement, allowing no room for its recoil is likely to smash things when the firing begins. But though Memphis was almost entirely stripped of troops, there were very large forces in the vicinity, and in the way of an advance upon it. The estimate is that there are 8,120 men at Union City, near the Kentucky lie, 6,000 at Randolph, 15,000 at Germantown, and 11,000 at Corinth, Mississippi [illegible] comprising the whole available force of the southwest. He passed all through and carefully examined the camp at Union City, saw all the arms, and ascertained accurately the condition of the men there, and he says of the 8,120, only about 2,000 are armed, and they are armed only with flintlock muskets altered to percussion locks. And this very inefficient armament, he says, is the prevailing one among the Southern forces he has seen. The Southern leaders and papers purposely misrepresent the character of the arms in the hands of their men and as an instance he states that it was reported "that fifty cases of rifled muskets of the very best pattern had arrived at Union City and were being distributed: yet these claims arrived on the same train he did and he saw them opened. Every one contained altered flint lock muskets. There were only four guns at Union [City]. In addition to his own examination he learned from the conversation of some of the military leaders that the troops were ill armed, and ill led as well. On the same train with him from Jackson to Union [City] were Generals Sneed, Cheatham, Andrews and Clark, whose conversation among themselves he frequently overheard. They railed bitterly at the stupidity and imbecility of Pillow, who don't [sic] seem to have improved since his Mexican war experience, and they all talked in a corresponding tone of the ill condition and feeling of their men. None had been paid, few had been properly clothed, still fewer properly armed, and many were discontented. General Clark in response to a question by Mr. Collins, who was of course strongly  "Secesh" for that trip only, stated that the South had excellent material for an army, but the lack of arms, clothing and suitable provisions had greatly demoralized the men, and many were seriously discontented. Provisions in Memphis, Mr. C says, are much dearer than they appear to be by the market reports in the papers, Flour is ten cents a pound, and is largely sold in ten pound sacks at a dollar to poor people. Bacon of almost any kind is twenty five cents a pound to [illegible]. The destitution and suffering of the poorer  citizens is very great, and constantly increasing. The abuse of Union men, he says, is terrible,  far exceeding anything reported in the papers, for many cases are disposed of and never reported. He can count up fifty men within is own knowledge who have been made [away?] with in some way or another, and thinks that there are fifty more in confinement who will never be heard of. His experience has been a hard one, and in hearing it we could appreciate the joy which he first saw the Stats and Stripes at Cairo, after his long walk of twenty miles, without rest and food, from Columbus.
The Memphis Appeal says the Mayor of Memphis is about to form a company of men for the protection of the city, to be called the Chickasaw Pikemen. For this company sixty-four formidable Irish pikes have already been made. They are ten feet in length, and at the buts there is a spike. The pike resembles a bayonet in size and appearances, and at the point where it joins the staff a hooked blade projects. The pike will cut with a thrust, the hook with a pull. On the approach of cavalry the butts are set on the ground and the pikes presented to the enemy. The city proper is about to be put in trim for welcoming uninvited visitors to stay "till Gabriel blows his horn." The bluff is to be protected by breastworks of cotton. Yesterday the bluff between Court and Adams  streets was thus lined with bales. Each of the streets in the city, with the exception of Madison and Jefferson, is to be thus barricaded. With breastworks on the bluff and breast works in the streets Memphis will be in war trim.
The Memphis Argus boasts that Tennessee has received in all-Enfield, Minie and Maynard rifles-155,347 stands of arms, which is more than enough to arm the State. It adds:-The last lot of powder received from New Orleans is more than sufficient to supply Randolph, Fort Harris and the other batteries for a long period, and yet leave sufficient for 55,000 soldiers for two months, at least and this irrespective of the quantities received two and three weeks before.
New York Herald, June 30, 1861. [1]

        30, Skirmish at Morning Sun [a.k.a. Rising Sun[2]]
JUNE 30, 1862.-Skirmish at Rising Sun, Tenn.
No. 1.-Maj. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant, U. S. Army, commanding District of West Tennessee.
No. 2.-Col. William Mungen, Fifth-seventh Ohio Infantry.
No. 1.
Report of Maj. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant, U. S. Army, commanding District of West Tennessee.
MEMPHIS, July 1, 1862.
My particular anxiety has been to get cavalry to capture and drive off Jackson's, Forrest's, and Jeff. Thompson's bands, that are depredating so much. The only danger I fear is of a raid being made into the City and burning a part of it. Breckinridge is said to be southeast of here, but I do not know this to be so and do not credit his being nearer than Abbeville.
The wagon train sent in by Gen. Sherman was attacked yesterday afternoon at Rising Sun. A stampede among the mules ensued, and eight of the wagons were broken to pieces and the mules ran into the woods and were not recovered. The rebels were whipped off, with a loss of 13 killed and wounded picket up on the field, and 12 wounded men reported to have been carried to a neighboring house, but were not seen by our men. Loss on our side 3 wounded and 8 teamsters and a wagon-master missing. I telegraphed this to Gen. Sherman on the statement of a wagon-master who came through. His statement only differs from the colonel's commanding the escort in not knowing much about the rebel loss.
I have detained at the river a regiment of Wallace's division intended to re-enforce Col. Fitch, expecting an answer to my telegram of last evening.
U. S. GRANT, Maj.-Gen.
Report of Col. William Mungen, Fifty-seventh Ohio Infantry.
HDQRS. FIFTY-SEVENTH Regt. [sic] OHIO VOL. INFANTRY, Moscow, Tenn., July 5, 1862.
GEN.: I have the honor to report that, in obedience to orders from headquarters, I proceeded with 240 men [including officers and musicians] to escort the division train of 67 wagons to Memphis and back again to Moscow. That portion of the Fifty-seventh Ohio Volunteer Infantry detailed for this purpose was in motion at 3 o'clock a. m. on Monday, June 30, 1862. The train and escort took the Macon road from Moscow pursuant to orders. This road passes through Macon, Fisherville, and near Morning Sun to Memphis. Evidences and indications were abundant in the morning that the rebels were watching the train and awaiting a favorable opportunity to attack us, and from wounded rebels we afterward learned that it was their first intention to attack us at Macon, but they did not get up in time. They were next going to attack us at Fisherville, but their courage failed them.
When within about one mile of the Memphis and Nashville State road we were notified that a large body of the cotton-burning cavalry was ahead and would attack the train. I immediately ordered the main portion of the troops to the advance, and proceeded cautiously until we arrived at the Memphis and Nashville road, where we had to turn to the left.
Some circumstances-one of which was a man getting into a buggy at Morning Sun, half a mile east of us, and driving off furiously-induced me to anticipate an immediate attack. This man, I subsequently learned, was Col. Porter, of the cotton-burning thieves, who holds a commission in the rebel army.
At the turn of the road two companies of my command, Capt.'s Wilson and Faulhaber, under charge of the former, were left to repulse or hold in check any rebels who might approach. The train kept moving onward until its center had reached the turn of the road before spoken of, when a body of rebel cavalry, 200 strong, charged furiously upon the column from the north, while simultaneously with this movement another body of the same kind of troops, of from 120 to 150, charged on the right of our rear. Companies G and B, Capt.'s Wilson and Faulhaber, poured a well-directed fire into the enemy, which caused them to seek shelter in the woods. The charging and firing together, but principally the firing, caused a stampede among the mule teams, many of which became unmanageable and quite a number of wagons were upset-among them the one in which Thomas C. Currie and the six guards I had placed over him were, and I regret to say that in the confusion consequent upon the stampede Currie escaped. Two of the guards are missing, and supposed to be taken prisoner. The wagon was located near the center of the train, which was about three-fourths of a mile long.
As soon as the firing commenced the troops in advance, with the exception of a small guard, were ordered back to the scene of action on double-quick, which order was obeyed with alacrity. Just before the advance guard reached the center the rebels showed themselves in force in a field on the rear of our right wing. The column was halted, faced by the rear rank, and a volley fired, which drove the rebels again to the wood. Shortly, however, they rallied, keeping farther from us, and attempted to attack and stampede the head of the train. Companies A, F, and D, First Lieut. McClure and Capt.s May and Morrison commanding, were sent again forward with rapidity to frustrate the rebel designs, which they accomplished satisfactorily.
The scene of action then turned to the ground in the vicinity of the point of intersection of the Macon and Nashville and Memphis roads. The rebels occupied the woods immediately north of the said point, and also the ground on the south side of the Memphis and Nashville road and east of the Macon road. Lieut.-Col. Rice was placed in command of the troops on the left wing, occupying the south of the Macon road, and advancing, drove the enemy entirely from the rear of the train, while with a portion of the right wing deployed as skirmishers and another portion to support them I scoured the woods on the north of the road, driving the rebel cavalry before us until they were forced into the open plantation, or cleared land, surrounding Morning Sun. They passed around the village, turning to the south and passing in sight of our troops but nearly three-fourths of a mile distant. As soon as they got into the open ground the stampede became nearly as great among them as it had previously been among the mules. About 100 of them, as above stated, fled in the greatest precipitancy [sic] to the northeast, while a greater proportion of them fled to the south, passing in front of our left wing, receiving the fire of that portion of the regiment under the command of Lieut.-Col. Rice. It will be remembered that in our firing we faced by the rear rank during a great part of the action.
This ended the fighting, except a few shots fired at straggling rebels, but at such distance that it is not probable that they produced any effect. At the time Lieut.-Col. Rice was placed in command of the left wing it appears that a majority of the rebels were in his front.
We had 6 wagons damaged by the stampede of the mules, the poles or tongues of three of them being broken, the coupling, or reach, of another broken, the rounds of the front wheels of another, and some part of the running gear of the other injured. We lost 31 mules and a few sets of harness, a portion of the harness being cut by the rebels whose horses had been killed or disabled in the action, who took the mules to ride off in their haste to get beyond the reach of our guns.
The rebel loss, as nearly as can be ascertained, was 9 killed and 18 wounded; a total of 27. I have heard from rebel sources since the action that 21 were found lying on the field the day after the fight, which, if true, would swell the rebel loss to 37 killed and wounded. The attack was made upon us between 5 and 6 p. m. on the 30th of June, A. D. 1862. We killed and disabled 6 rebel horses and captured 5 more.
I cannot speak too highly of the conduct of the officers and men of the Fifty-seventh Ohio Regt. [sic] on that occasion. Lieut.-Col. Rice distinguished himself, as did Capt. Wilson. In short, the entire regiment, or that portion of it present as an escort, could not have behaved better had they been veterans, for every officer and man seemed only anxious to do his duty, and no sign of fear or faltering was exhibited.
On our way from Memphis to Moscow returning we were watched closely by Jackson's cavalry. At Germantown Col. Grierson kindly furnished an escort of 60 good cavalry, under command of Capt. Boicourt. They accompanied us as far as La Fayette. Our advance guard saw rebel cavalry frequently on the way, but they did not attack us.
Very respectfully submitted by your obedient servant,
W. MUNGEN, Col., Comdg. Fifty-seventh Regt. [sic] Ohio Vol. Infantry.
OR, Ser. I, Vol. 17, pt. I, pp. 14-16.

        30, Skirmish with rebel guerrillas at Butler's Mill, near Buck Lodge
JUNE 30, 1863.-Skirmish at Butler's Mill, near Buck Lodge, Tenn.
Report of Lieut. Col. Gustavus Tafel, One hundred and sixth Ohio Infantry. Buck Lodge, Tenn., July 1, 1863. I...submit...the following statement in regard to the brush had by a party of my men with a force of guerrillas on yesterday, the 30th day of June:
On Monday evening, June 29, about 8 o'clock, information reached me that a party of guerrillas were robbing the house of Mr. Bresentine, a Union man, not far from our farthest bridge guard, about two miles from this place. I immediately ordered all the mounted men I had (numbering eleven), under command of Lieut. Berthold, to repair to the place indicated and to give pursuit if the circumstances should warrant it. After several hours' ride the robbers saw themselves pressed so hard they dropped part of their plunder on the road and they themselves took to the woods. The guide (young Bresentine) then conducted our party to a house where the guerrillas were known to congregate, and there they laid in wait for them. The thieves did approach within sight, but got wind of the presence of my men, and under cover of darkness made good their escape. At daylight, June 30, the party started out again, and after a protracted search for the villains, they were on their way home and within seven miles from camp, near what is called Butler's Old Mill, when they were fired into by a force who lay in ambush, and whose numbers were estimated at from 70 to 120 men. Lieut. Berthold fell at the first fire, shot through the heart, and the rest of the party, after a short resistance, made good their escape, with the exception of one man, Charles Ofenloch, private, of Company E, whose horse gave out, and who was overtaken and killed. The rest were pursued to within two miles of camp. Immediately on their arrival I started out with a detachment of infantry, leaving only a small guard at the fort, and succeeded in recovering the bodies of the murdered men. No guerrillas were to be seen. Besides the two men killed, the following were wounded: Jacob Zink, Company H, both hands; Henry Knapp, Company H, shot in the breast; David Coil, Company F, wounded in the arm and breast. The guerrillas were armed with shotguns and revolvers. They had one of their number killed and several supposed to be wounded. I had eight suspicious characters living in the neighborhood of where the fight took place arrested, and upon careful examination discharged three of them and sent the rest on to Gallatin...
GUSTAVUS TAFEL, Lieut.-Col., Cmdg. 106th Regt. [sic] Ohio Vol. Infantry.
OR, Ser. I, Vol. 52, pt. I, p. 68.

Fight at Buck Lodge.
On Tuesday a small party of rebel cavalry entered the home of a Union man living nine miles from Gallatin, Tenn., robbed him of all his money – a considerable amount – and, taking his horses, started off at full speed. A squad of Federal soldiers belonging to the One Hundred and Sixth Ohio were mounted and started in pursuit. The rebels formed an ambush at Buck Lodge, a few miles from Gallatin, in a well chosen position, and as the Union soldiers approached, delivered upon them a merciless fire, killing instantly the Lieutenant in command and one other. Three were wounded – to is supposed none of them fatally. The Federals fled, abandoning their dead and wounded comrades to the enemy.
Nashville Daily Press, July 4, 1863.

        30, Report on U. S. M. R. R. operations in West Tennessee
Memphis, Tenn., June 30, 1865.
Bvt. Brig. Gen. D. C. MCCALLUM, Director and Gen. Manager Military Railroads United States, Washington, D. C.:
GEN.: I herewith submit a report of the operations of the military railroads under my charge for the year ending June 30, 1865:
At the close of the last fiscal year the Memphis and Charleston Railroad was in operation from Memphis to Grand Junction, fifty-two miles. On the 2d of August following we ran through to Holly Springs, on the Mississippi Central road, twenty-five miles sough of Grand Junction. On August 6 we ran to Waterford and Tallahatchie River, 100 miles from Memphis. We moved Maj. Gen. A. J. Smith and command to that point. We continued to run to that point until the 18th day of August, when we abandoned the Mississippi Central road. On the 22d day of August an order was received to open it again. We did so in two days, but there being no guards upon the road the bridges were destroyed, and we did not run the road after the 23d of August. On the 29th day of August I received an order to evacuate the Memphis and Charleston road, and on the 6th day of September we ran to White's Station, ten miles from Memphis, to the headquarters of the cavalry division. The road was kept open that distance until the middle of October, when we abandoned the road altogether and did not open it again until the 20th of December. We repaired the road to Collierville, twenty-four miles, and kept it open until the 1st day of January, 1865, when we again evacuated. Between the opening and closing of the road at different times the bridge force was getting out timber, ties, &c., and framing bridges preparatory to another move.
I received another order on the 28th day of February to open the road again. We repaired it a distance of fifteen miles, took out forage and supplies for and expedition and evacuated on the 4th of March. Remained to close up until the 20th of March, when an order was received to again open the road. Found the road badly damaged. We had it opened to Collierville, twenty-four miles, on the 24th of March; to La Fayette, thirty-one miles, on the 2d of April. We found heavy work to be done between La Fayette and Moscow. Heavy rains at this time, and water so high that no work could be done for several days. Road open to Moscow, thirty-mine miles, on the 13th day of May; to LaGrange, forty-nine miles, on the 14th day of May; to Grand Junction, fifty-two, on the 20th day of May. Regular trains run to Grand Junction only until the 1st day of July, when road was opened to Pocahontas, seventy-five miles distance from Memphis, to which point we are now running regularly. The opening and closing of the line was so frequent that we could do hardly anything else. Each time the road was badly damaged, everything in the way of bridges, trestles, cattle guards, &c., being destroyed, together with several miles of track burned or thrown from the road bed. The uncertainty of what use we might have for the road, or when we would be called upon the repair it, caused me to keep considerable of a force ready at all times that could not all the time be advantageously employed. The machine-shops have been running throughout the year. Since the 1st of July, 1864, we have rebuilt five locomotives, three of which had hardly any machinery on them, nothing but the frames and builders and part of the cylinders; no trucks or driving wheels, and nothing but the iron for the tanks. I sent to the Rogers Works, Norris & Sons, and to Lancaster, Pa., for the duplicate machinery. They are now first-class locomotives. We also gave a general overhauling and repairing to four others, which are now in fine order and running. We have thirteen altogether in running order, eleven of which are No. 1, one of the remaining two needing heavy repairs, the other light repairs. Three more in the shops being rebuilt, one of which will be out about the 1st of August; the other two, perhaps, one month latter. We have built ten new boxcars, and four hand-cars. A large majority of the cars on this road were in bad order and have all been repaired.
* * * *
Very respectfully, yours, &c.,
A. F. GOODHUE, Engineer and Superintendent Military Railroads, Departments Tennessee and Arkansas.
OR, Ser. III, Vol. 5, pp. 63-65.

[1] GALEGROUP - TSLA 19TH CN See also: Boston Herald, August 9, 1861.
[2] Morning [or Rising] Sun was located north of Colliersville, east of Randolph, in Shelby County. There was a U. S. Post Office there from 1830 to 1869. There does not appear to have been a place named "Rising Sun," in Tennessee. Certainly is easy to understand how the morning sun, which is always on the rise, could be confused with a rising sun. There is and was a "Rising Sun" community and "Rising Sun Church" in Knox County. See Omni Gazetteer of the United States of America, Eleven Volumes, Vol. 4 (Omngraphics, Detroit MI, 1991).

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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