Friday, July 25, 2014

7.24.14 Tennessee Civil War Notes

        24, Report on Unionist William H. Polk's gubernatorial race in East Tenessee
The Contest for Governor in East Tennessee-Col. Polk's Association on the "Union Ticket."
The Knoxville Whig withdraws the name of Col. Trigg, as the Union candidate for Governor, and hoists the name of Col. Wm. H. Polk, in association with those of Nelson, Maynard and Bridge, heading it "the Union ticket."  The Whig gives the following reasons for its support. They will probably be perfectly satisfactory to the men in East Tennessee who are threatening to rebel against the State Government and join Lincoln. The italics are ours:
It will be seen from the card of Col. Trigg. that he is ineligible to the office of Governor-not having resided in the State as long as the Constitution requires. We regret this, as we desired to run on East Tennessee Union man. But having now only two weeks to go upon, and having to choose between Isham G. Harris and Wm. H. Polk, we don't hesitate to take the latter. Harris has shown his hostility to East Tennessee in every movement he has made ; and his bitterness towards Union leaders and Union men, by the hands he has placed the Books in. Polk is an original Union man and a Douglas Democrat; and although he yielded to the Secession pressure, as every body did in Middle and West Tennessee, he was among the last men to surrender, and continued to make Union speeches until his friends demonstrated, because of the danger he was exposed to. He is kind in his feelings toward East Tennessee and East Tennessee Union men, and will do justice, the very thing Harris and his party will never do. As a choice of evils and as a peace measure, we go for Polk, and no Union man in East Tennessee ought, for one moment, to hesitate about supporting Polk. We can give him 20,000 of a majority in this end of the State, and let us do it.
The Macon Daily Telegraph, July 24, 1861.

        24, "MEMPHIANS ON THE OATH."
During the last four days the most fashionable phrase in Memphis has been, "I hate to take that oath." Hate to take it! And why do they hate to take it? Why do they dislike the forswear rebellion and return to the protection of the freest and best of governments? Is it that they own to the rebel organization a debt of gratitude for the benefits in conferred on this city? When rebellion took Memphis by storm, it found it a rising and a thriving town, promising one day to rival Louisville. Cotton crowded the quays; well laden steamers plied in plenty between New Orleans and it on the one hand, between St. Louis, Cincinnati and it on the other. The cheerful ring of hammer and anvil issued from its foundries; its Chamber of Commerce was the scene of a commercial activity unequalled by that of any other city of similar population; in the day, it impressed the visitor with a ready belief that here was bread for the labor of earning, assured success to enterprise and growing wealth to both. A glance at the now neglected commercial records of the city will amply establish the truth of our statement, that if Memphis was not the happiest city on the banks of the Mississippi, the fault was its own.
At night, the well filled, handsome, well-managed theater gave evidence of a growing taste in art scarce less rapid in improvement than the material prosperity from which it sprang.
On the Sabbath, the temples of the merciful Jehovah were filled with those who had much to be thankful for, and gave forgiveness little earthly to demand.
And yet to-day it is fashionable [sic] in Memphis to "hate to take that oath" of fidelity to government which was God's chosen instrument for the securing of these blessings! [sic]
But mayhap the rebellion poured blessings from a more abundant cornucopia. Mayhap it were ingratitude not to feel a superior obligation for the blasting of all this prosperity, for commerce arrested, for men outlawed, and women deserted. Mayhap it were ungrateful to renounce a rebellion that has shattered the hopes of thousands, separated wife and husband, father and son, quenched the hops of affianced lovers, substituted scarcity for plenty, and the prayer of suffering for the hallelujah of happiness.
It is really difficult to understand why any man should "hate to take that oath."
It is said, may not a man mistakenly think that the Rebellion is founded in justice? Undoubtedly he may. In Paris' shore is an individual who, after a life of infamy, has come to think and call himself the Savior of the world; and in the lunatic asylum of that same city there is one who is constantly asserting that man's chief mission is the mastication of flies. But neither laws nor orders are issued to the few of warped judgment, but to the majority, supposed sane, and to the sane only is argument addressed.
Rebellion as such is wrong, stamped wrong by the decrees of God and the laws of all nations, a thing justified only by oppression, and what oppression can the people of Memphis state they had received at the hands of the national government?
Lax almost to culpability, the very existence of the national authority was felt in Memphis only by the blessings it conferred. The existence of rebellion was manifested by the rifling of private property conducted in the main street of the city under the veil of night, by oppressions uncounted, and thefts not to be summed. It was manifested by the loss of all that trade, that prosperous and peaceful happiness which we have depicted; and yet men "hate to take that oath" in Memphis.
After giving its best blood, after sacrificing its commercial activity and hopes, after shattering the social happiness of its best citizens for the rebellion, may we not ask, what did rebellion do to avert from the Bluff city the punishment to which it had rendered it liable? It gave it up with a blow [sic]-rifled it and then deserted it; and yet men "hate to take that oath" in Memphis.
Men forgetting that at the bar of God they will be asked to give an account not of the Southern Confederacy, but of the wife the swore to protect, and of the children bestowed upon them, so "hate to take that oath" that they leave their wives unprotected, their children unprovided for, and go to uplift a rebellious hand against the government under whose beneficent rule they saw their loved ones safe, and their city prosperous.
Think, well father, husband and would-be patriot, ere you iterate the fashionable cry, and assert that you "hate to take that oath."
Memphis Union Appeal, July 24, 1862.

        24, Governor Isham G. Harris's Proclamation seeking volunteer recruits for local defense and special service
EXECUTIVE OFFICE, Chattanooga, Tenn., July 24, 1863.
Hon. JAMES A. SEDDON, War Department:
SIR: Immediately upon the receipt of your requisition of [June 6] for 6,000 men for local defense and special service I issued the inclosed proclamation, under which a large number of companies were being organized when the Army of Tennessee, fell back from Shelbyville to the line of the Tennessee River, leaving all of Middle and West Tennessee within the enemy's lines, and cutting off the companies which were being formed in these division of the State. At present we have access only to the people of East Tennessee, about half of whom sympathize with our enemy. The recent order of the President calling out all men capable of bearing arms up to forty-five years of age, for the regular service, leaves us only such as are over that age. With our territory so much diminished and the call confined to that class over forty-five years of age (for, since the order of the President, I have excluded all parties under forty-five from this service, except such as are exempt from conscription), I have no hope of raising the 6,000 troops called for as volunteers think the time specified. Nor, indeed, can I raise that number of volunteers within the limits of East Tennessee at all; and under the laws of Tennessee I have no power to draft men over forty-five years of age for Confederate service.
Previous to the act of the Legislature of 1861--'62 men over forty-five years of age were not subject to military duty of any character. The act of that session (a copy of which I herewith inclose) authorizes the organization of all men between the ages of forty-five and fifty-five years into a military corps for State service.
I submit the facts and the law to your consideration for such suggestion as you may see proper to make in the premises, having every disposition to carry out the policy of the Government, whatever it may be, to raise all the troops possible for the defense of our territory and the maintenance of our cause. I shall proceed immediately to organize all within our lines between these ages who do not volunteer for local defense, and if you can suggest any legal means by which they can be drafted for Confederate service, I will promptly enforce the order for such number as you may require.
I shall have reported for duty by the 1st of August between, 1,000 and 2,000 men raised under this proclamation. Where will they be armed and who will take command of this special service corps? I respectfully suggest the appointment of an officer with the rank of brigadier-general or colonel to take command and general supervision of this special-service corps of each State, and if this policy shall be adopted I respectfully suggest and recommend W. C. Whitthorne, the present adjutant-general of Tennessee, for the appointment in this State. He will make an efficient officer in organizing and commanding the force.
I shall be pleased to have your suggestions at your earliest convenience, so that I may carry them out to the fullest extent of my ability.
Very respectfully.
ISHAM G. HARRIS, Governor, &c., of Tennessee
[Inclosure No. 1.]
PROCLAMATION BY THE GOVERNOR OF TENNESSEE [see June 22, 1863, Confederate Governor Isham G. Harris' call to arms at the meeting of the Confederate Nominating meeting of the Confederate Nominating Convention held in Winchester, above]
* * * *
[Inclosure No. 2.]
AN ACT to amend an act to raise, organize, and equip a provisional force, and for other purposes.
SECTION 1. Be it enacted by the Gen. Assembly of the State of Tennessee, That the white male population of the State between the ages of eighteen and forty-five shall constitute the reserved military corps thereof. Said corps shall be organized and called into service, and shall be subject to duty upon the call of the Governor; and this organization of the reserved corps shall continue for and during the existence of the war now being waged with the United States. That all the able-bodied white male population of this State between the ages of forty-five and fifty-five years shall be organized under the provisions of this act into a military corps for the defense of the State; but said corps, or any portion of it, shall not be called into actual service until after all of the reserved corps provided by this act shall have been called into actual service; nor shall this corps be called into actual service for a longer period, at any one time, than six months, nor be transferred, or detailed or drafted into the service of the Confederate States. And after this corps shall be organized they may determine the times and places of their company, battalion, and regimental drills.
* * * *
Passed March 18, 1862
E. A. KEEBLE, Speaker of the House of Representatives.
EDWARD S. CHEATHAM, Speaker of the Senate.
OR, Ser. IV, Vol. 2, pp. 666-669.

24, Skirmish at Collierville
JULY 24, 1864.-Skirmish near Collierville, [1] Tenn.
Report of Lieut. Col. Lorenzo D. Durbin, Forty-sixth Iowa Infantry.
HDQRS. DETACH. FORTY-SIXTH Regt. [sic] IOWA INFANTRY, Camp Lookout, Tenn., July 30, 1864.
SIR: In compliance with the Army Regulations, I herewith transmit a report of a skirmish had Sunday, 24th instant, by a squad of sixteen men of my command with thirty guerrillas, twenty miles east of Memphis, on the Memphis and Charleston Railroad, near our camp, in which I had 3 men wounded--Capt. Wolf, of Company I, and Privates Leonidas Brown severely, and John Diltz slightly, and 4 taken prisoners, viz.,: Sergt. James Thompson, Privates John Duncan, William Hall, and F. M. Brown, with a loss to the guerrillas of 2 killed and 3 wounded; among the latter was their chief.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
L. D. DURBIN, Lieut.-Col., Cmdg. Detachment.
OR, Ser. I, Vol. 39, pt. I, p. 361.

[1] Collierville is consistently misspelled in Dyer's Battle Index for Tennessee as "Colliersville."

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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