Thursday, July 10, 2014

7.10.14 Tennessee Civil War Notes

        10, Letter from J. E. (James) Taft at Camp Trousdail [sic], Tennessee to James Caldwell at Camp Fisher, Virginia
Camp Trousdail [sic], Tenn.
July 10, 1861
Mr. James Caldwell
Dear Sir[:]
It is with the greatest of pleasured that I now take the opportunity of writing you a short letter to let you know that I am well at this time and I hope when these few lines come to hand they will find you enjoying the same. I have not been sick a single day yet and feel like I could fall ten Yankees bye [sic] myself. Jim[,] Mr. Tipps has told me that your corn looks very well. He says that the field next to the spring would find it the titest [sic] place we ever seen[,] we don't have the privilige [sic] of a nigger. [sic] We draw money the 8[th].
You must excuse me for not writing sooner as I have such a bad chance to write.
Well I have no more news to write at this time-give my love to all and write me whether you have got a fine patch of water melons & musk melons, if so I intend to try to come to see you all the first of September meeting. So nothing more at this time.
Please write soon to
J. E. Taft
W. P. A. Civil War Records, Vol. 2, p. 27.

        10, Secret Agents in Memphis
There is not the least doubt but that Memphis is today infested with a gang of prowling and sneaking spies. A class of her population, sympathizing with the rebellion, remain here for no other purpose than to carry on in a sly and stealthy manner, a treasonable correspondence with the Confederate authorities. They harbor spies sent here by the rebels, and if their homes were properly searched, they would be found to be existing dens of treason. They are by far the busiest bodies in Memphis, prompted to their dirty work by a desire for something to communicate to the rebels by means of the emissaries, who find their ingress and egress, with the assistance of the resident traitors in our midst. I suggest to the Federal authorities the great necessity of searching thoroughly every man, woman, child or negro [sic] crossing the lines.
It is the only effectual way to stoop the treasonable correspondence, which is mutually kept up, and is going on this very day. The longer such state of things exist the worse it is, and the more it impedes the progress of putting down the rebellion. It is a prime necessity that we should be more vigilant of the actions of our now silent [sic] enemies who reside in Memphis. But three months ago squads of armed men paraded the streets of this city, both day and night, seizing, in a ruffianly [sic] and savage manner, every poor man-such men as Senator Hammond, of South Carolina, notoriety, styles the "mudsills of society" they chanced to meet and entering business houses and private dwellings, dragging [sic] men-loyal citizens of the United States-from their business and destitute wives and children, compelling [sic] them by brutal force, to work of fight in the damnable crusade against the government of the United States.
For weeks a number of these poor fellows, having no means of defense, were retained in the militia camp under a guard appointed by the colonels and captains and not even allowed a furlough to go to see their families or to arrange the business by which the gained a livelihood. I saw wives, daughters, mothers and sisters, whose pathetic tenderness ever characterize the nature of kind charitable, true-hearted and virtuous woman, wade through water and trail through mud, with baskets on their arms, carrying necessary provisions to the camp for their husbands, fathers, sons, and brothers, but on their arrival at the camp-ever to be remembered on account of its many disgraceful scenes-the officers, true to their brutal instincts, would drag and force them away from those near and dear to them in the most ruthless and cruel manner that ever disgraced barbarism, or demonized men. Think of such conduct enacted in a country by a people claiming to be civilized! Must the vile perpetrators of these foul and diabolical outrages on Union men and poor families be permitted to go unpunished, to walk the streets of Memphis unwhipped [sic] of justice?
These colonels, captains and press-gang bullies of the militia, though in favor of coercing Union men into the service of the Confederacy- the black conspiracy of eternal infamy-took special care themselves to keep out of this war, lest their own precious bodies might catch the reward of their own cowardly treason. Some of these bloodthirsty vampyres [sic] are here yet; their stealthy tread, which sounds of suspicion, and their easy spoken lips which smack of [common thuggery(?)], still disgrace the sidewalks and befoul the atmosphere of our own city of Memphis, which should be cleansed of such treason-mongers. They are spying around in the nooks and corners, in the alley and the dark dens, where they, as emissaries of the Disunion leaders, talk treason and devise schemes "for the taking of Memphis" by the Confederates, who skedaddled from here like so many thieves in the night. For the sake of our country, let the treason mongers be ferreted out.
signed CITIZEN.
Memphis Union Appeal, July 10, 1862.

        10, Black prostitutes replace white prostitutes in occupied Nashville
It is the mistaken opinion of some of our good citizens that the flight of a large number of white harlots from our midst will prove an infallible cure of the evils so justly complained of and so utterly demoralizing to the military camp and the city. But the sudden expatriation of hundreds of vicious white women will only make room for an equal number of negro strumpets....Unless the aggravated curse of it exists among the negresses [sic] of the town, is destroyed by rigid military or civil mandates, or the indiscriminate expulsion of the guilty sex, the ejectment of the white class will turn out to have been productive of the sin it was intended to eradicate and in a hundred fold more excessive and loathsome ratio. This community has endured long enough the humiliating improprieties of negro females, publicly connived at and brought about by soldiers and others every day of their lives. We dare say no city in the country has been more shamefully abused by the conduct of its unchaste females, white and Negro [sic], than has Nashville for the past fifteen or eighteen months. It is time a summary and effectual remedy was applied where it is most needed; and we trust that, while in the humor of ridding our town of libidinous white women, General Granger will dispose of the hundreds of insolent black ones who are making our fair city a Gomorrah [sic]. In the essential work of suppressing such a glaring and hurtful evil, let there be no partiality shown-not the least."
Nashville Daily Press, July 10, 1863.
        10, "Falling Off."
The advance of the Army of the Cumberland has produced quite a change in the various branches of trade in Nashville. Dullness may be said to hang like a pall over some of our business houses. The soldier population has been thinned out by orders to march to the front with regiments, and those that have been doing garrison duty are made to stand to their posts more closely. Many of the restaurants and drinking salons are experiencing significant falling off in customers, owing to the decrease of officers and men; and it is not erroneous to suppose that the stampeded of Magdalenes has a great deal to do with the reduction of orders of epicurean luxuries. The causes named have lent a very uninteresting monotony to our city for two or three days; but we predict that many advantages will ensue when we shall have grown used to a reduced population, and little trade!
Nashville Daily Press, July 10, 1863.
        10, "Extensive Furniture and Grocery Sale. By Geo. Shields & Co. Saturday, July 10."
Consisting in part of dried peaches, dried apples, crushed sugar, flour, smoking and chewing tobacco, and other groceries. Also, parlor, bed-room and kitchen furniture in great varieties, Brussels and Ingrain carpets, bureaus, washstands, wardrobes, bedsteads, feather-beds, shuck, moss and cotton mattresses, chamber sets; also fine sofas, chairs, divans, ottomans, and other parlor furniture; also a large consignment of china and glass ware in every variety. Sale to commence a half-past nine o'clock precisely.
Geo. Shields &. Co. Opposite Sewanee House
Nashville Daily Press, July 10, 1863.
        10, "Common Council;" the fate of the bill preventing lewd women from riding in hacks in Nashville
* * * *
The bill from the Board of Aldermen to prevent lewd women from riding in hacks, and to regulate the hack fare, was read, and passed on its first reading. The rules being suspended, it passed its second reading, when a motion was made to insert in the first section the word "knowingly." Amendment adopted, when M. M. Brien's opinion was asked as to the merits of the bill. The Judge thought those now having licenses would not be bound by the law, and stated that he had voted against the bill in the Board of Aldermen. A motion was then made to lay the bill upon the table, which was adopted, and the bill lies on the table.
* * * *
Nashville Dispatch, July 10, 1863.

        10, "Sanitary Regulation."
The mayor has given notice to all owners or lessees of houses, sheds, inclosures or vacant lots in this city, to immediately remove all grass weeds and rubbish from the sidewalks and gutters in front of their premises, and to fill all holes in their lots or grounds which may collect water. Flatboats must be kept free from stagnant water or removed without the city limits. On Monday, July 18, and on such succeeding Monday the loose dirt and rubbish in front of each house or loft shall be cleared by the owners or lessees thereof to the middle of the street, and piles made of dirt near the edge of the gutters, where it shall be carted away at the expense of the city. The enforcement of this regulation is entrusted to the Police Department, the Street Commissioner and Wharfmaster, who will arrest and carry them before the Recorder of the city, all delinquents, who will be fined or otherwise dealt with as the offence may demand.
Memphis Bulletin, July 10, 1864.
        10, "Dogs."
Our readers should bear in mind that by order of Lieut. Col. Harris, provisional Mayor of the city, all dogs found unmuzzled after Monday, July 13th, will subject their owners thereof to a fine of from five to fifty dollars each, according to the exigencies of the case, for the first offense; and for each time there after as the order may remain unheeded, a fined at the rate of one dollar per hour, will be imposed.
Memphis Bulletin, July 10, 1864.
        10, "Hall-Thieves."
Citizens should keep their hall-doors locked, as hall-thieves are being heard from in every portion of the city. They assume the character of beggars, going from house to house, and stealing what ever they can lay their hands on without discovery. Night seems to be the favorite time for plying their nefarious trade, and hat racks are made the objects of special attention. It is said that there is an organized band of these characters, of both sexes and colors, with a head or chief, who, Fagin-like, receives and disposes of their booty. If so, the police shall devote a little attention to the matter and, endeavor to break it up at once, by bringing the offenders to justice.
Nashville Dispatch, July 10, 1864.

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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