Friday, July 11, 2014

7.11.14 Tennessee Civil War Notes

        11, Concern about secret societies and loyalty to the Confederacy in the Tennessee/Georgia border counties


President DAVIS.

SIR: The startling state of the public mind in this country lying as it does upon the Georgia boundary impels me to again importune your early attention in some effective manner to this section of the South. It is fortunate that we are not now left to conjecture the purposes of the Union men in East Tennessee who are in arms, or the probable number of them in this county. On a Sunday, July 7, an alarm was given that a troop of secessionists had entered the county to disarm the Union men. By some means unknown to our friends here in twelve hours near 1,000 Union men were in arms at different rendezvous and disclosed a most complete organization, secret hitherto in its character and numbers. The alarm proving to proceed from a mere jest the party immediately dissolved only to hold themselves in readiness at like short notice to rally again with their rifles and shotguns and with such ammunition as they have.

I must assure you that from the Georgia line to Cumberland Gap a like feeling to that here developed exists and not the slightest obstacle could be interposed by the Southern men so overwhelmed are they by numbers to the movement of Lincoln's troops should they enter our territory in the direction of Georgia; neither can we unaided strike a singly blow with any effect to suppress an outbreak which may any day occur here.

If it be true as we understand that a large majority of the people of Eastern Kentucky are like to our East Tennessee people then may an army move from the Ohio River to the Georgia line (north) without the slightest impediment from our present defenses.

Can you not take action to avert disaster now so threatening not only to the true men in East Tennessee but so demoralizing to the great movement of the South! No moral influence of any kind whatever will do it; physical power when exhibited in force sufficient may and I believe will prevent it.

WILLIAM G. SWAN, Knoxville, Tenn.

OR, Ser. II, Vol. I, p. 828.



        11, "There is a kind of indifference manifested; that love for our cause which should actuate all of our ladies is not shown by all in this section." Censure of the dearth of female hospital volunteers in the Morristown section of Confederate East Tennessee

From "T.D.W."

Morristown, July 11, 1862.

Dear Confederacy: :…

I have often wondered why we have not in this section a Ladies' Hospital society. They are numerous in other localities, but here we are as it were shut out from the female world, and I verily believe that if a squad of ladies from one of these ever to be remembered institutions were to visit one of our patched up receptacles for the sick, the boys would be frightened to death, and the amount of damage it would cause cannot be estimated. In Knoxville there is to be found the only one in the whole country. [added] In a great many instances our sick had to lie upon the floors, with but one blanket, yet the surgeons are attentive, kind, and are daily diligent in getting better accommodations. Now, I know the female character too well to admit that an association or a branch of one here would allow this. There are some noble spirits among the ladies of East Tennessee, but whence this almost utter abandonment of charitable feeling? We want here the spirits of the daughters of Virginia and Georgia and all of our Southern ladies generally. There is a kind of indifference manifested; that love for our cause which should actuate all of our ladies is not shown by all in this section. It certainly cannot be a disgrace to offer at least a kind word, and for a moment to forget family for a thought of our brave boys and the cause we love so well. Ladies of East Tennessee! rally! rally! [added] If you can possibly save a life for the country, do it, and aid our Surgeons in their tedious endeavors to do what you alone can remedy! Many mothers will bless you, and fathers will bless you, besides little children will emulate your deeds. Knoxville has taken the lead, and by judicious management your association can achieve a reputation equal to those older.

T. D. W.

Southern Confederacy [Atlanta, Georgia], July 16, 1862. [1]

        11, Skinny-dippers offend citizens of Nashville

Bathing is highly promotive of physical health and vigor, when indulged in at seasonable times but many of our boys make a practice of selecting midday, while the sunshine is almost hot enough to consume them, for this purpose. Parents should see that their children do not thus expose themselves to sickness, and possibly death. To say nothing of the impropriety of such conduct in open day, and where they may be seen by hundreds, it is very dangerous and indiscreet.

Nashville Dispatch, July 11, 1862.



        11, Assistant Special Treasury Agent William G. Brownlow on Federal Trade Policy in occupied Nashville


By an agreement between the Treasury and War Department, at Washington, the trade within certain trade Districts, in the [current?] Rebellion, has been turned over to the Assistant Special Agents of the Treasury Department [sic] and to the Board of Trade under the printed Regulations. Mr. East permits goods to come into Nashville, and I permit shipment out [sic] of the City, acting, as a matter of course, within the limits of the orders given us, and in accordance with the acts of Congress concerning such trade. Under these regulations I have given certain permits to certain parties, living within our lines, to take supplies home upon a small scale. Some of these permits have been disregarded by the Provost Marshal, and the Pickets have been instructed by him, not to let them pass. Parties may reflect upon me, but I am not to blame. I did what I had a right to do, and as proof of it, I give one of the orders furnished me, to go by, in the discharge of my duties. It may in the meantime swerve to give the Provost Marshal an idea of his duty:

General Orders No. 88, War Department – Article 1st.

That no officer, of the Army of the United States nor other person connected therewith shall authorize or have any interest in the transportation of any goods, wares, or merchandize (except supplies belonging to or contracted for by the United States, designed for the military and naval forces thereof, and moving under military or naval orders, and except, also, Sutlers' supplies and other things necessary for the use and comfort of the troops of the United States and moving under permits of the authorized officers of the Treasury Department) into any State declared by the President to be in insurrection; nor authorize, nor have any interest in the purchase or sale therein of any goods or chattels, wares, or merchandize, cotton, tobacco, or other product of the soil thereof; nor the transportation of the same, except as aforesaid, there from or therein; nor shall any such officer or person AUTHORIZE, PROHIBIT, OR IN ANY MANNER INTERFERE WITH ANY SUCH PURCHAWSE OR SALE OR TRANSPORTATION WHICH SHALL BE CONDUCTED UNDER THE REGULATIONS OF THE SECRETARY OF THE TREASUEYR, unless under some imperative military necessity [sic], in the place or section where the same shall be conducted, or unless requested by an agent or some other authorized officer of the Treasury Department, [sic] in which case ALL COMMANDERS OF MILITARY DEPARTMENTS, DISTRICTS, AND POSTS WILL RENDER SUCH AID IN CARRYING OUT THE PROVISIONS OF THE SAID ACT, AND ENFORCEING [sic] DUE OBSERVANCE OF THE SAID REGULATIONS OF THE SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY, AS CAN BE GIVEN WITHOUT MANIFEST INJURY TO THE PUBLIC SERVICE. [sic]

I have given the above, with a view to set myself right, and with no view to cross the path of the Military authorities.

W. G. Brownlow, Assist. Sp. Ag. Tr. Dept

Nashville Daily Union, July 11, 1863.



        11, A Cuckhold's Revenge in Nashville

"Recorder's Court."

* * * *

Calvin Brown had a wife-he had a wife, some four months ago, until Eli Pickett, by his superior attractions, secured her affections, and lured her from Cal. to himself, about a month ago. Three weeks ago last Saturday night [June 18], while Eli was slumbering in the arms of the faithless Dinah [sic], somebody stole two female dresses and Eli's pants, containing a key and ninety cents. As the thief passed around the porch by Eli's window, the latter thought he saw Cal.'s [sic] physiog [sic] at his window; fearing to die at that moment, Eli allowed the thief to depart in peace, and the next morning he called in the aid of the Civic and military police to have Cal. arrested, for stealing his breeches and threatening his life. Both failed to nab Cal, who was not seen again until last Saturday [9th], when Eli met him on Cedar street, and pistol in hand, demanded that Cal. should accompany him to the office of Provost Marshal. Cal. proved an alibi in the larceny case, and a good character and quiet demeanor in that charging him with disorderly conduct; he was there for discharged, while Eli had to pay a fine of $5.

Nashville Dispatch, July 12, 1864.

        11, Brownlow on the Methodist Holston Conference, freedmen, rebels and bushwhackers

Chattanooga, July 11th, 1864.

Dear Editor Chattanooga Gazette.

Being here on business, for a very brief period, I drop you a line in regard to matters and things in Upper East Tennessee. We have just closed out a loyal Methodist Convention, held two days in the Episcopal Church in Knoxville. We had 55 delegates, representing all portions of East Tennessee, and of this number 27 were Preachers, and 28 were Laymen.-And a more loyal and harmonious meeting never convened in the State. A special committee developed the fact, that there are still one hundred and fifteen loyal Preachers within the bounds of the Holston Conference, [added] and the others, whose positions we could not give with certainty, because we could not hear from them directly.

Our convention resolved to return to the old Methodist church again, and called upon the northern Bishops to meet us in Annual Conference at Knoxville, in October next. Our local Methodists in this end of the State, who are the majority in our membership, are resolved never to have these rebel traitors to rule over us, who carried our church into the foul embraces of treason and rebellion.

The proper spirit prevails in Upper East Tennessee, among the People, and they will not be carried astray by a few Copperhead leaders who are still troubled about the nigger. Our people have suffered enough on account of the nigger, [sic] and the will, when opportunity offers, fid themselves of the evil. The people at length realize that the nigger is the rebellion and the rebellion is the nigger, and to get rid of the one, they must wipe out the other. [ emphasis added]

I was pleased to see, on the road between here and Knoxville, such fine crops of grass, corn, wheat and oats-it look to me like old times, and certainly like living, if they are taken care of.

I found quite an excitement at Cleveland, as I came on, growing out of an order for rebels to report to this place fortheith, who reside along the Railroad, and for several miles out. This creates a fluttering, and causes many rebels to howl right out. Send them out, I say, and let them go where they can't talk treason and to the prejudice of the Government, to give information to raiders, where and when to strike at our towns, or ever remaining quiet after taking the oath. Rebels are rebels, and the devil is in the most of them, and they should be sent to where he is!

You have the right man in command of this district, Gen. Gen. Steedman, and he is doing a good work, in a country where it is wanting He is one of the few of our military men I have met with who properly appreciate a rebel, and shows how to dispose of one. We have been fooling with traitors long enough. It is time to cease of moderation, leniency and forbearance, and to come down upon them as the enemies of God and man, and as the opposers of law and order. They are burning trains on our Military Railroads, and they are murdering our Union citizens all over the country. Let them be treated as guilty all along these roads, and let their property be destroyed. Let their bushwhackers be killed whenever captured, and in no instance be dignified as prisoners of war.

I am, very truly, &c.,

W. G. Brownlow, [2]

Chattanooga Daily Gazette, July 12, 1864.




[1] As cited in:

[2] TSL&A, 19th CN. Apparently William G. Brownlow had resigned his position as Assistant Special Treasury Agent in occupied Nashville, a position he held exactly a year prior to this pronouncement. His activity as an assistant treasury agent is mysterious, or at least largely unknown in the annals of Tennessee Civil War history.

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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