Wednesday, July 16, 2014

7.16.14 Tennessee Civil War Notes

        16, "The troops here have been lying on their arms for 2 or 3 nights expecting an attack." Anxiety among Federal troops in Nashville resulting from Forrest's raid on Murfreesboro, July 13, 1862.

Nashville, Tenn.

July 16th, 1862

Dear Wife,

I take my pen to hand to inform you that I am well at present and hope these few lines may find you all enjoying the same blessing. I came up here last Saturday after the mail and Sunday morning the rebels attacked the Federal troops at Murfreesboro and whipped them out and they have yet got possession of the place. It is on the road from here to Wartrace so I cannot get back until our men retakes Murfreesboro. The rebels were 4000 strong and all cavalry. I have not heard from our boys since Saturday as Wartrace is 23 miles the other side from Murfreesboro. The troops here have been lying on their arms for 2 or 3 nights expecting an attack. The rebels are attacking our troops at every point since the fight at Richmond. Jo & Hugh Patterson have a discharge signed by our Doctor, the Col. and the Captain and it only has to be signed by the Medical Director at this place which I think he will do whenever they are presented to him. They came very near starting home Saturday as I came up here. They will start as soon as I get back to camp. I see in the paper this morning that the rebels are playing the wild in Kentucky. I expect we will have to come back yet and clean them out. I am afraid they will ruin all the Union people if there is not some troops sent there. There is a report here that McClellan's army has been cut to pieces. And also that the rebels have retaken Baton Rouge again. I am thinking this war will last a long time yet and I don't know whether we will whip them at all or not. I have wrote one letter to you since I got back and I have been looking every day for an answer. You must write as often as you can. I would like to hear from you every day. These ----- times I would like to see you all but I don't know when I will get home again. So nothing more at present but remaining your affectionate husband until death.

A. A. Harrison

Since I closed my letter I have heard that the railroad bridge at Murfreesboro has been burned so I don't know when I will get back to the regiment. It is too dangerous a road to travel by myself. All our troops at Murfreesboro were taken prisoners that were not killed. And some folks here say they were all killed after they surrendered but I don't believe that. I will write again as soon as I hear from our camp. The boys were all well when I left but Jo & Patterson. The Doctor says they are not dangerous but he thinks it is best for them to go home where they can be taken care of. You must get along the best you can and try and be satisfied and write as often as you can and don't forget to kiss the children for me. Tell father & mother & the children I would to them all. We have not been paid as yet and I am afraid the paymaster will not come while the rebels are cutting up. So nothing more at present but remaining your affectionate husband until death.

A. A. Harrison

Absolom A. Harrison Correspondence

        16, Federal reconnaissance in force, Tullahoma toward Murfreesboro

No circumstantial reports filed.

TULLAHOMA, July 16, 1862.

Col. J. B. FRY:

A young man who deserted from the rebel forces at Corinth and has been at his home sick 6 miles north of this point has just come in, and gives information that two of Price's Indians have been seen in his neighborhood, and that a rebel division is on its way via Altamont to Murfreesborough and Nashville. I am just sending a strong reconnoitering party of cavalry toward Murfreesborough to ascertain what is going on in that neighborhood. I will report upon its return.

Various rumors reach me of the movements of large rebel forces through the mountains toward Nashville, but I find it impossible to get any reliable information on this subject. If I can satisfy myself that the movement on Murfreesborough is a mere raid I will throw my force to their rear and cut them off if possible. Pending such information I will hold my forces all in hand.

[Brig. Gen.] W. S. SMITH.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 16, pt. II, p. 163.



        16, One Army of Tennessee private's account of the retreat to Chattanooga


Mrs. Morgan: My kind and esteemed friend, it may seem ungrateful that I had not heretofore acknowledged the receipt of your very kind letter of the 22d of May. The only excuse I offer is simply this: We were then lying at Shelbyville, and one could write nothing of interest, and even now cannot do much better than to relate old and stale incidents. As for the particulars of the fate of Vicksburg, your are possibly better acquainted with than I.

The fall of Charleston is reported as truth, yet nothing to confirm the report. Therefore I still have hope that the South can yet boast one Gibraltar. On or about the 24th of June we were then in front in Shelbyville working on the fortifications. About that time Col. Morgan's "Regiment of Cavalry" move in near the works about one-half mile from our encampment, but from the pace of work I did not get a chance to go see him, as I would have like [sic] to have done. On the night of the 26th we got orders to cook rations. About sunrise on the 27th we were formed, not knowing where we were going, to the front or rear. We struck the pike, moved by the left flank, to the rear, in retreat. This day was a hot, sultry one. As we passed through Shelbyville we saw every indication of retreat. Union families were seen peeping through windows exuberant with glee; other families of Southern sympathy were in great distress and gloom. I then thought of yourself [sic] and family, feeling as if every foot we moved would prolong you're your banishment from your once pleasant and happy home. We marched all day in the rear of the army, and night found us seven or eight miles from Shelbyville, worn-out and sick. During the night the rain fell in torrents, and the only shelter was trees. On the 28th we arrived at Tullahoma, cooked four days' rations on the 29th, and moved to the front on pickets three miles from the line of fortifications – just our brigade – the enemy showing evidence of fight. We occasionally heard a bullet pass. It seemed they were advancing, but slow and cautious [sic]. On the 30th the First Kentucky Cavalry had drawn back to our line of skirmishers, and reported the enemy in force two hundred yards from us. We remained thus until after sunset, when a report from a rifle in our front, then a volley which we didn't answer, expecting the enemy wanted to advance his lines. At dark all was quiet as death. We laid [sic] down upon our arms with sad feelings, thinking that the day of July 1st would usher us on a field of death and carnage. About 10 o'clock we are aroused from sleep and move to the rear, it having been ascertained that Rosey had evaded us by the right flank, and was endeavoring to get to the mountains before we could. We marched all night and until noon of the 2d. We halted at Alizonia, nothing unusual but the heat, and a great many cases of sunstroke. The 3d, at daylight, we moved through Winchester, stopping within two miles of town to rest in the heat of the day. Before we got seated the cavalry were skirmishing in Winchester. We pushed on, got to Cowan Station at 3 or 4 o'clock, formed line of battle, and lay without any further molestation. The 4th day of July we made an early start over the mountains, the enemy's cavalry still pushing us closely until we crossed the mountain and the Tennessee River. We were then more secure, and all the wagons safe in camp at Shell Mound Springs, which is large enough to float a large boat, and very cold. On the 5th we crossed one mountain, climbed another, and camped on the mountain thirteen miles from this place. On the 6th we got on the railroad, arriving here to learn of the fall of Vicksburg. The troops do not seem so much affected by the intelligence as would be supposed. The consolation is: the gallant conduct of the heroic garrison, and the hardships they underwent before the place surrendered, and the loss the enemy sustained there. It has cost them more than it can be worth, as it does not insure them the free navigation of the Mississippi River. Well, we are lying [sic] under the summit of old Lookout, but do not expect to remain, as we have got work to do, and the sooner the better for us. There is no doubt that the enemy will find it easier to recruit since our late reverses.

Mrs. Morgan, I expected Mr. Pettit or Walker to bring me some clothes that my friend, Mrs. Glover, has made for me, but I was disappointed. John Walker certainly forgot it. If you will have them at the hotel at your room, a friend of mine, Mr. Pratt, will bring them to me. He is this morning for Atlanta. Will return Saturday, when he will step off the train to get the package. He would not have time to find Mrs. Glover's house. If you will attend to this request, it will greatly oblige me. Mr. Lowe is driving around camp in good health; Brooks "ditto." I see Lowe occasionally; he is on some detail duty. There is not much sickness at present among the troops, though a great deal of playing off. I have a notion of playing rheumatism for a few days' leave of absence. Bragg says a man is not a good soldier unless he can play off. Tell Fannie I have waited patiently for an answer to a letter written last winter. I am afraid the good people of Marietta are forgetting the situation of their beloved country. I learn they have balls often, and are enjoying the gay frivolities of times of peace. Well, I guess it may be all right, as the first night I was home in Kentucky I passed at a ball for a few hours, forgetting we were at war, and enjoyed myself beyond description. Give friends, one and all, my kindest regards, and write soon. Remember me to yourself and family.

Your true friend,

J. H. Lynn, Company E, 154th Tennessee Regiment, T. V.

How it Was, pp. 181-186.



        16, "Mammoth Sea Turtle"

Major Gunklen [?], the enterprising proprietor of the St. Nicholas, introduced into his establishment, on Saturday last [16th], a large green sea turtle, weighing three hundred and twenty-five pounds. The "animal" was alive and kicking and during the day received numerous visitors. We heard a stranger remark as he was surveying the monster, that he "didn't think a craft of that size would ever get over the shoals at the present state of water." We couldn't see it, ourselves, as we discovered that the sea-fowl, while promenading across the floor, was drawing four feet large! [sic]-in fact, feet of elephantine proportions. Turtle-to thee we smile, when you are slaughtered and made into soup.

Nashville Daily Press, July 18, 1864.

        16, "Depredations on Railroads;" Major-General Milroy authorizes retaliatory actions to quell guerrilla attacks in the Tullahoma area

Gen. Milroy has issued an order to the following effect:-"All citizens residing in the vicinity of railroads and telegraph lines within this district, will be held responsible for their safety unless, in the event of a breach upon either, it is known to have been made by a Rebel force from outside of the District. In case of any breach or injury to a railroad or telegraph lines the District, by lawless persons, except as aforesaid, the commanding officer of the nearest United States forces to the breach or injury, will cause the immediate arrest of all male persons capable of committing such breach or injury, residing within six mile thereof, and have them brought to his headquarters, when he will release all men of known genuine loyalty; but shall retain for examination all disaffected and disloyal persons, and shall asses upon them a sufficient ad valorem tax to pay the damage done the railroad or telegraph line, and cause said tax to be immediately paid or secured In case any of the persons so arrested are ascertained to have been engaged in breaching or injuring the railroad or telegraph line, such persons shall be retained for trial by military commission, and to that end shall be turned over to the nearest Provost Marshal, with copy of charges and names of witnesses."

Nashville Dispatch, July 16, 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


No comments: