Sunday, June 8, 2014

6.9.14 Tennessee Civil War Notes

               9, Excerpt from a letter by Tennessee Confederate recruit John Bradford to his father, Frederick, about life at Camp Trousdale:
There is [sic] about 6000 men up here. The camp is situated about one hundred yards from the Louisville Railroad. Water is very scarce. There is but two wells that we can get to and have drank them nearly dry. We have received orders to hold ourselves in rediness [sic] to move to another camping ground about 2 miles from the railroad where there is plenty of wood and water. We expect to move there in tow [sic] or three days. We will drill twice a day, morning and evening from 9 AM to 11½ and from 3 PM to 5 ½....Tell Aunt Tiny I wish she would send me a needle case by Uncle Skelt when he comes up....
P.S. I have just heard from the election in this precinct. The votes are as follows: 3740 for separation; 3720 for representation.
Frederick Bradford Papers, TSL&A.
        9, The vote on the secession issue in White County, an excerpt from the journal of Amanda McDowell
* * * *
Yesterday was the great election day in Tennessee. I guess it is voted "out of the Union" by this time. But it would not have been had the people been allowed to vote their true sentiments. At least I do not believe it would. Nearly all the Union men in this neighborhood stayed at home, not wishing to get into a brawl and deeming it a hopeless cause. And what did go did not vote, Jack and Wade went down to Yankeetown in the afternoon to see how they were progressing. Jack said that there were -- I though he said about twenty -- Union men standing there, but none of them ventured near to vote for fear of their lives.
Frank Coatney voted Union, said he would do it at the risk of his life, and did it, but things got so hot that he had to leave the grounds. And Jack said they marked him and were going after him last night. And another man there swore that he did not think he would ever vote again, since it was of no use, that a man could not do as he wished like honest men ought to do, that their liberties had already been voted away by the "big bugs" [sic] of the country, and for his part he did not know that he would ever vote again.
It is my opinion that there will be a revolution of feeling in this vicinity before long, for the people won't stand it long to be forced into secession and war and taxes and all these things against their will.
Diary of Amanda McDowell.
        9, Murfreesboro's Kate Carney's observations on the war; aiding Confederate soldiers
The Misses Murfree & Burton came out begging for soldiers. Poor fellows I don't know how any one could refuse them aid. The boxes are to be sent on to Virginia next Tuesday. Ma is going to give them some blankets & pillows, make some salve, & send some rags & lint. I feel sad, for somehow I can't help thinking the first Regt has been in an engagement in West Virginia. I could write many pages about our war & brave soldiers.
Kate Carney Diary.[1]

        9, Effects of the war upon a Southern aristocratic woman's emotions and her children in Warren County
Yesterday I was not well enough to write. I was quite unwell on Thursday--and have been so ever since until this morning--I now feel somewhat better. In addition to my headache and its concomitants, I have been troubled with a diarrhea similar to that I suffered so much from last fall--arising I suppose from the cold, I have taken in some way. I am not worth a picayune--everything upsets me. I have managed to keep up however, and have not missed the children's lessons. Puss is "ailing" too, and has been for three months--I think if we both were sent to Bersheba [sic] for a month or two, we would be benefited. I have done but little during the past week, but read, when I could do so for my head,--Thursday was dear little Tingie's birthday--5 years old. The comical little creature knows her letter-and that is all she knows in the book line. Bun how funny and "cunnin" and knowing she is in a hundred other things. And she asked so many outlandish questions. The other day she asked "Mamma if Pap was to go away to the war and get shoot--what would you do? Would you get you some other husband to take care wid you?" Just now her "ruling passion" is a kitten given her by Mrs. Lou Spurlock--without which, sleeping or waking, she is never seen. I keep the children under my own eye now all the time, and I must confess that having charge of them always [is] in no way [a] very easy task. But it is better for them, and it must be done.
* * * *
War Journal of Lucy Virginia French.
        9, Report on the Union Convention in Nashville[2] contrasting peace and war in Tennessee and calls for return of the Volunteer State to the Union
Messrs. Russell Houston, E. H. East, Allen A. Hall, H. H. Harrison, W.B. Campbell, John Lellyet, John Stokes, and Edmund Cooper, the Committee appointed by the late Union Convention in Nashville to prepare an Address to the people of Tennessee, have ably discharged that duty. It is the most conclusive of documents against Secession and in favor of an immediate return of the State to the Union, and we do not see how any citizen of Tennessee in arms against the United States can read it and longer remain in rebellion against the most paternal of Goverments.
In Ohio we have so long enjoyed the blessings of peace that our citizens hardly know how to prize them. We really as yet know comparatively nothing of the horrors of war; much less of civil war which is not desolating the rebellious South. To all our people we commend the following faithful pictures of the past and the present in Tennessee, copied from the addr5ess r4eferred to. The contrast is painful-is sickening-is terrible.
["]Tennessee In Peace.
For a period of sixty-five years the State of Tennessee occupied her legitimate position as one of the States of the Union, in friendly relation with all of her sister States; and during all that period , no people were ever better satisfied with their government. In all the elements of prosperity no people were ever more blessed. We had peace at home and honor among our neighbors. Tennessee has been honored above most States of the Union. Two of her citizens had been elevated to the highest office in the gift of the nation, and for statesmanship in the National Legislature, few States had excelled her. During the time she claimed membership in the Federal Union, her population increased more than four-fold. Her free schools, Academies, Colleges, and Universities were multiplied in numbers and magnified in their benign influences. Her manufactories grew in extent and expanded in their good effects. Her industry was rewarded. Her agriculture prospered and her commerce extended. Her credit was respected and her currency honored. Her churches decorated every town, village and neighborhood within her borders, and as the natural result of all these blessings, our people were contented and happy.
Such is the brief but imperfect outline of the enviable condition of Tennessee in the middle of April in the year 1861.
In contrast to this picture, let us look at Tennessee as we now find her. We are without representation in the National Legislature, and laws touching our most vital interests are enacted without our participation or consent. War in its most terrible form is at our doors – civil war, the scourge of nations and the human race; here it is with all its horrors. And look at its effects upon the interest of our people! Our  Schools, Academies, Colleges and Universities as places of education and instruction are closed, and are only used as barracks for troops or as hospitals for sick and wounded soldiers. Our Common School Fund, for the education of the poor and helpless, has been abstracted and carried off by unauthorized and irresponsible persons beyond the control of the legitimate authorizes of the State of even their own control. The finds of our State Bank, our only financial agent and place for safe keeping of the money of the State, have been seized and carried within the control of men at war against the Government. Our State debt is increased by millions without a dollar consideration. Our credit is dishonored and our currency ruined. Our commerce is cut off and our manufactories shut up. Our fences are destroyed, bridges burned, private property taken, and crops consumed under the plea of military necessity.  Our fields are uncultivated and the hand of industry is still. Our cities, towns and country are crowded with troops, and our public highways and street corners blockaded with military guards. Our Governor, Secretary of State, Comptroller and Treasurer, with the public Records of the State, are missing. – Our Courts are suspended, and we are without a regular government. Our sons and brothers, and our relatio0ns and friends are on the eve of battles, probably the most destructive to be recorded in history. And at a time when most needed, our churches are closed, our ministers of religion absent from their duties or in the army, and instead of 'peace on earth; good will to men,' it is war to extermination.
And in the legislation of the country, the first principles of justice are outraged by laws forbidding the payment of debts justly due – laws for the sequestration of debts honestly contracted -  laws ordering the dismissal of suits, and prohibiting the bringing of suits, because the plaintiffs oppose a most unholy rebellion-laws prohibiting the administration of the estate of dead men, because their 'distributees, legatees, or devisees are citizens of the Northern States' – and laws of conscription to compel men to commit treason by levying war against their government.
And in an age of civilization and progress, we have witnessed efforts to sustain the character of the currency of a country   by provost Marshals and through fears of the bayonet and the prison; and after the country has been flooded with hundreds of millions of the currency, in the shape of Treasure notes, and fallen into the hands of the common people all over the land; we have seen military edicts calling on these same people to burn the products of their own had earnings, upon which alone they could have relied as a means for the redemption of this worthless issue.
With the deepest regret, we have also witnessed demonstrations of delight, among the people professing love for free government, at the prospect of armed intervention by the Despotism of Europe, and for the overthrow of the only government on earth that secures equality of rights and privileges to all its citizens.["]
        The Daily Cleveland Herald (Cleveland, OH) June 9, 1862.

9, A Confederate newspaper account concerning the Army of Tennessee prior to the initiation of the Tullahoma Campaign
Situation of Bragg's Army
(Correspondence of the Mobile Advertiser and Register.)
Wartrace. Tenn., June 9, 1863
Remarks Climatic and Topographical – Crops – A Pop Call on Rosecrans – A Little Fight –Hard Marching- Condition of the Army – The Meteor General, Cleburne-Items Cavalry – Personal Annoyances.
It was our fortune to happen on Tennessee at a most diabolical time, "the rainy season." Most persistently has it rained, giving us a deluge of water, mud and slosh, making us as uncomfortable as a "wet hen," and unnamable as a "sore-headed bear." When the weather is dry and mild a tent is comfortable, but in wet weather is close and stifling.  Just think of sixteen soldiers in one tent, their things included, the ground wet, blankets ditto, with sixteen musket and accompanying traps scattered around it, and you have a picture of comfort delightful to contemplate. Officers are a little better off, being allowed one tent to four officers, into which, of course, they have to take their niggers, or leave them out in the wet. But the natives say the rainy season is nearly over. I hope so. The climate is delightful and healthful to those who live in houses. This is really one of the loveliest regions on this green earth. Pure, bracing atmosphere; cool, gushing springs of crystal water; fine forests; fields of luxuriant grains and grasses; meadows of red clover, fragrant and beautiful as a flower garden; fat, sleek, happy cattle, feeding lazily on the rich herbage; farm houses all comfortable, and many showing taste and culture. Such are the excellencies of this heaven favored country. It is rapture to me merely to look upon and breathe the air of such a country. All is green, and all is beautiful.
The crops are splendid. Nothing more could be asked. The wheat crop is enormous, and in a fortnight will be ready for the reapers. The only thing wanting is labor to cut and save it. The farmers say that they cannot save their wheat without help. General Bragg would do well to let his army help the farmers and take part of the crop for pay. Wheat must be saved, and, where necessary, the army should help to save it. The crop garnered and placed in safe depots, there will be no scarcity again during this war.
On last Wednesday, 3d inst., some of us made a "pop call" on Mynheer [sic] Rosecrans, at Murfreesboro.  On Tuesday night we received the order to march at daylight. A rain set in, and continued all night. The road was horrible-what children call a "loblolly." In many places it was foot deep in mud. The streams were swollen and we had to cross them continually by wading. But we hurried on and on, like an avalanche. Only once were we halted for rest, and then only for a few minutes. A little after one o'clock we were in sight of the Yankee pickets. Take it all in all; it was one of the hardest marches made during this war. Without waiting a moment the advance went to attack the enemy, and a heavy force of pickets were thrown out to guard all the approaches. I was with the pickets, and had occasion to be near the fight. By three o'clock our advance engaged the Yankee pickets, and a sharp skirmish followed. About five o'clock the artillery went in and fired thirty-two times. I could hear the missiles screeching and hissing through the air. Our advance rushed through Stone river, and went within about three miles of Murfreesboro. About sundown they were recalled, and there was again "quiet along the front." Both armies slept that night in cannon shot of each other, and doubtless both expected an attack before morning. We did, certainly, for so the pickets were warned. My individual loss in the affair was an umbrella and a pair of waterproof legs.
This was the boldest kind of a dash at the enemy, which bearded him in his very den, and which doubtless effected "a big scare" among his Dutchmen. Rosy may be perplexed to know the object of our visit. Let the Yankees "guess" it.
Our loss was slight, not exceeding a dozen. We do not know theirs, but the artillerists declare that they killed a Yankee colonel. During the night I could see the flames of burning houses, to which the Yankees set fire near the scene of the fight. Early next morning we faced about and returned to camp. Thus ended one of the most daring dashes of the war. I should like to see Rosecrans and his Dutchmen return our call.
The country between this place and Murfreesboro is a splendid one.  A stranger would never imagine passing through it that war had ever touched it with its ravages. Indeed, from the Normandy Hills, ten miles behind us, to Murfreesboro, the whole country is unsurpassed for richness, abundance and beauty. There will be a splendid crop of blackberries in about two weeks. They will be a great help to the army.
Our army is well conditional, except in the matter of shoes. Many are barefooted and utterly unfit for a march, or indeed any duty. This is without excuse. The government could get shoes if it would. There are plenty in Europe, and a half dozen steamers that run the blockade at Charleston could in one cargo bring enough to supply the entire army for a year. The Confederate States have ample credit in Europe and can buy them. If the government would only furnish the leather, each regiment could and would make its own shoes. The thing is too bad as it stands. We have quarmasterial promises of the arrival of twelve thousand pairs, which are to be here to-morrow; but
To-morrow and to-morrow and to-morrow
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,
And yet no shoes.
The notable man of army in General Cleburne, who has risen with a rapidity of a Claude Melnotte or a meteor. He began the war as a private, and in eighteen months was a major general. And this without going through West Point and without political influences. He fought his way up by hard knocks. Such success argues both extraordinary merit and extraordinary luck. No man, however inherently great, can get along without luck, and as the adage goes, "a fool for luck." They generally having a monopoly of the article, But occasionally Claude Melnotte or Cleburne. General Henningsen is one of the truly great commanders; but luck is against him, and he has quit the army in disgust.
I have a copy of the Louisville Journal of the 28th of May, and from it I take some items.  It is frightened about an expected advance of the Confederates into Kentucky this summer, and demands that Louisville be fortified. It publishes a long list of resignations of officers in Rosecrans' army, and the cause of the resignations. About a dozen are stated to be "for the good of the service." What does it mean for an officer to resign "for the good of the service??" Patriotic officers! Perhaps they are like the man who "left his country for his country's good."
The Journal contains a minute account of the surprise upon our cavalry at Middleton, just above here-the First Alabama and Eighth Confederate. They were surprised and attacked before the day by two brigades of Yankee cavalry. The surprise was effected by coming through the woods and fields, and avoiding the pickets, who guarded only the road. I have often wondered why some military man did not have sense enough to march through the woods and fields and catch some enemy napping. At last a man of sense has come to do it. That man in General Stanley, Rosecrans' cavalry chief. The old way, taught at West Point, is to picket the roads; but that won't do when an enemy has enough sense and energy to come through woods and fields.
There is a talk of Rosecrans advancing, and some believe it; but I regard it as "bush" Rosecrans is one of the timidest generals, and never made but one attack in his life, which was at Murfreesboro. But certainly our time must soon come. It is nearly six months since the large armies in Tennessee have measured strength, though they have confronted each other all the time, in easy striking distance. Twelve hours march by either army will bring it within the lines of the other. It is now June, "the month of battles," and surely the precious season is not destined to be wasted. If the fighting is not done desperately, and the Yankee armies annihilated or driven, beyond the border during the summer, both will take up winter quarters again, and sleep away another half year. Surely this will be avoided by our government. Surely an effort will be made to recover our lost territory.
Captain John J. Winston, of the Thirty-eighth, has accepted the appointment of adjutant in the Eighteenth Alabama. His reasons are, I suppose, the superior comforts and bandbox arrangements enjoyed by "the staff," and faith in the rising star of Holtzelaw. As matter now stand, Holtzelaw has a fine promise of the next appointment of brigadier.
I could write a jeremiad upon the personal vexations which worry us here. There is all manner of personal comfort, and that is enough to make a philosopher or an angel unhappy. We are short of clothes; short of shoes; short of what we want to eat. The paymasters are out of funds and can't pay us, and if we have a bushel of Confederate money we cannot get the Lincolnites around us to take it. It is a great annoyance to find things to sell, and yet cannot buy them, although we have money. An old man here has quantities of honey to sell, at two bits a pound, but will take nothing but "Chattanooga money."
This not an uncommon case. But these are not all, or the worst of our annoyances. We can get no letters from home; can get nothing by express and nothing by telegraph.
New York Herald, July 2, 1863.

8-9, "…a class of woman of more than doubtful character." Temporary housing dilemma in occupied Nashville
Nashville, Tenn., June 8th 1864.
The parties purposing [sic] to take the property now in possession of the bearers hereof will please furnish this office with information as to the authority under which it is required.
Andrew Johnson Mil Gov'r

Post Qr. Mr's Office
Nashville Ten
June 9th 1864
Respectfully returned to Gov Johnson. This building for more than a year has been used as Hospital # 11. At one time Surg Chambers in charge thought it could be permanently released and reported it vacated – In a few days after he applied for the use of it, as his patients had largely increased, it was therefore reassigned to him by an Order from this Office –
Very Respctly [sic] Jno F Isom
Capt. a. a. Q. M. Post

Executive Office
Nashville, Tenn., June 9 1864
Respectfully referred to Brig Gen'l Miller, Comdt of the Post.
I am reliably advised that this house is not in the occupancy of eleven families of U. S. Soldiers, and that they are to be dispossessed for the benefit of a class of woman of more than doubtful character. [sic].
I hope that Gen'l Miller will investigate the matter, and act in the premises as his good judgment may dictate.
Andrew Johnson, Mil. Gov.

Post Hd. Qs Nashville
June 9, 1864
Respectfully returned to Gov. Johnson. Attention is called to the endorsement of Surgeon Chambers who it seems upon investigation had some time prepared the house in question for Hospital purposes and a portion of the building for some people who had been disposed by the Military in order to obtain their houses for Military purposes. The people now claiming to hold the house as soldiers [sic] families it seems took possession of the house without authority, & have been in poseesion for some time. Chambers now requires half or more of the house for hospital and the balance [sic] for the people disposed by Military authority as stated. The Hospitals in charge of Surgeons [sic] Chambers are authorized by Department Orders the same as other hospitals notwithstanding the inmates are of disreputable character, and this building is teems is necessary for his purposes. The soldiers [sic] families would not probably desire a joint occupancy with this class of hospital patients and if a part of the house is taken for a hospital according to original orders & design it would in my judgment be better for families of the soldiers to have other quarters. I am ready to assist them in any way I can. Chambers proposes to give some of the people other places[.]
Jno. F Miller Brig Genl
Papers of Andrew Johnson, Vol. 6, pp. 716-717.
        9, Skirmish at La Fayette
No circumstantial reports filed.

        9, Explosion of ordnance building at Chattanooga
JUNE 9, 1865--Explosion of ordnance building at Chattanooga, Tenn.
Report of Bvt. Brig. Gen. Charles H. Grosvenor, Eighteenth Ohio Infantry.
CHATTANOOGA, June 9, 1865.
A disastrous explosion took place here to day at about 1.30 p. m. The old brick ordnance building blew up by fire from a locomotive on the track adjoining. The fire spread and burned the two lower warehouses filled with forage. We saved the third warehouse filled with commissary, but had to remove nearly all the stores. At one time over 100 feet of the house was burning at once, and the military bridge was in momentary danger, but was saved. The loss to Government will reach $150,000 and at least ten men killed and wounded of the One hundred and eighty-sixth Ohio. One warehouse had 8,000 bales of hay. The murderous charge of gross neglect of duty made by officers and men against Capt. Hogan, ordnance officer, as also the fact that be was not to be found after the first explosion, has induced me to arrest him. If half the report is true, he is a great criminal. The whole matter should be thoroughly investigated. I will make a more full report by mail to-morrow.
C. H. GROSVENOR, Brevet Brig.-Gen., Cmdg.
OR, Ser. I, Vol. 49, pt. I, pp. 572-573.

[1] Kate Carney Diary April 15, 1861-July 31, 1862. As cited in: [Hereinafter cited as: Kate Carney Diary, etc.]
[2] See above, May 24, 1862 "For them the tear trembled, but the rod was not raised." Military Governor Andrew Johnson at the Union meeting at Murfreesboro.

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

No comments: