Saturday, July 19, 2014

7.19.14 Tennessee Civil War Notes

 19, On the Memphis Vigilance Committee

A young man who has reached Cairo, after a perilous flight from Memphis, where4 he was imprisoned, and daily expected to hung for the crime of being a Northerner, tells the following among other incidents:-

"About one week after his confinement, the recorder of the city, I. M. Dickenson, sent for him, for the purpose, as he stated, 'of expressing his profound regret that it was not in his power to hang him' and from his seat in court he denounced him as 'a damned abolitionist, who should not be allowed to live an hour. Had I the power,' said the learned jurist, 'I would cut your ears off, and nail you to the door of my court-room, and probably I shall have the pleasure yet.' This is the man who has just been elected Justice of the fifth civil district of Memphis, one of the most important offices in the city."

He describes some of the outrages inflicted on Unionist in the following words:

"These indignities were of daily occurrences, and to some they went further, and indulged every species of cruelty-shaving the head and whipping being regarded as a slight punishment by any one who desired to remove North. Nor is this all. In more than fifty instances, during my confinement, men were taken before the Vigilance Committee, and no one knows what became of them. They never came from that building alive; and there are now more than that number confined there, of whom their friends will never hear again. Their acts are all secret, and there is no concern for the men charged with being tinctured with abolitionism, so that no one cares; and thus they go on in their wholesale murdering with impunity."

The Liberator, July 19, 1861. [1]

         19, Gratitude and praise for the Southern Mothers

To the Ladies of the Society of Southern Mothers:

Allow me to return to you my heartfelt thanks for your kind and unremitting attentions to the unfortunate men under my charge, who have been confined to your rooms by sickness, several of whom were snatched as it were from the very jaws of death, by their opportune arrival in this city, when another day in camp would, in all probability, have placed them beyond the reach of medicine or kind treatment; and I can assure you, now that they are about to depart, that they will ever remember your kindness; and although they may never see you again, nor be able to return to you or yours the compensation their grateful hearts would willingly offer, the moral influences will still be impressed upon them, and they will extend to such other unfortunates as may come in their way, the same kindnesses that they received from you. And thus, fair ladies, the germ planted and nourished by the Southern Mothers will grow into a vigorous plant, its branches reaching into the remotest parts of our beloved South, and thousand who never knew you will feel the blessings of this great work of charity, and the merited prayers of its many recipients will ascend to heaven and there be registered to the credit of you and yours for all time. I would also return to Dr. G. W. Curry the sincere thanks of all the soldiers in my charge for his kindness, and I congratulate you in being so fortunate in securing the services of one so thoroughly versed in medical science, and so well adapted to the difficult position he how holds.


G. A. Hanson, 1st regiment Arkansas volunteers,

Col. Claiborne commanding, C. S. A.

Memphis Daily Appeal, July 19, 1861.



19, "Bless God – the Star Spangled Banner now waves over this rebellious town!" The letter of Surgeon William M. Eames to his wife in Ohio

Union Coll. Hospital

July 19, 1862

Dearest Mary,

Bless God – the Star Spangled Banner now waves over this rebellious town! and as I awoke this morning it seemed as tho, everything was bright and beautiful instead of dark & uncertain – as it has been every morning before this week.

Yesterday Gen. Nelson came into town with a Brigade & part of a battery, and I started down town on horseback – (for the first time in a week to see the old flag & our [sic] soldiers. I could hardly keep back the tears – when I first met them & felt that I was now among friends & safe. [sic] Every day before he had been annoyed and insulted more or less by soldiers & citizens who would come in with their guns & demand something or try to steal something. Was very much afraid they would get old Jim[2] - but by keeping him shut up close all the time – they did not find him but once. Then three of the scamps rode into the yard with their long rifles & rode directly to the stable & in a few minutes they had the poor horse out leading him away. Dr. French volunteered to go & talk with them (as I was nearly sick.) & he succeeded in getting him back & now I defy the whole race of such vagabonds. Many of the citizens are looking to me to protect them against the evils they see – in the coming of Gen. Nelson & I would gladly do it – but unfortunately I have but little influence with him. I am heartily glad he has come, for it is [sic] a nest of traitors as he said to me yesterday - & he can handle such fellows just right. If he stays here I think the citizens of Murfreesboro will wish they had Capt. Rounds & the cowards Lester back again. By the way both these worthies were obliged to foot it all the way to Woodbury & Capt. Rounds feet were very sore indeed & he was obliged to keep up at a double quick. [sic] He must have suffered severely for his efforts to please secessionists of this town. Col. Lester might have rode but did not get him a horse as they told him to do & when they came to start all the rest of the officers were mounted but he was on foot. He asked for a horse & they (the secesh told him it was too late - he might have got one when the rest die – but had to walk.) He is a most precious coward to surrender a whole Reg & Battery – with only 2 men killed and the enemy defeated as they acknowledged. They said repeatedly to our men that they should not have attacked them again. They could not get their men to face the cannon & were on the point of leaving. They had sent out all their prisoners & plunder etc. but concluded to try a little threatening & so the Rebel General write a not to Col. Lester telling him that if he did not surrender he would cut his Reg all to pieces & show him no quarter, & the infernal cowardly poltroon surrendered. We all feel the burning disgrace & humiliation.

Gen. Nelson asked Dr. Smith how many men we lost & he told him 23 & said with a big oath, "& you give up to the rebels after losing only 23."

I hope Lester will be tried by court martial for cowardice. His whole Reg will testify against him. The rebels must have burned 30,000 worth of U. S. property & carried off as much more. They begun [sic] to think that they had finished up the war & ruined Uncle Sam, so that he dare not come back to Murfreesboro at all, but they now find he is here & in a much worse fume than before Gen. N. has got hold of thousands of dollars worth of rebel citizens['] property already. Old Doct. January came up & wanted to get me to assist him in getting his nigger [sic] back & Dr. Basket wanted me to get his horse & buggy away etc. I don't pity them at all. I presume there will be another hunt for arms & they have now scores of guns they got from the Reg'ts after they surrendered. I think they will be glad of them.

I am getting some better but not very well. Can sit up most all day but have very little appetite & no ambition. Hope my resignation will be accepted & I can get it in two weeks….We get new potatoes & beef & plenty of milk & eggs.

Yours as ever

Wm. M. Eames

William Mark Eames Papers



         19, The Cyprians' Progress

"The Frail Sisters." – The Cincinnati Gazette of the 17th says:" The Idahoecame up yesterday from Nashville, bringing a cargo of one hundred and fifty of the frail sisterhood of Nashville, who had bee sent North under military orders. Where does no seem to be much desire on the part of our authorities to welcome such a large addition o the already overflowing numbers engaged  in their peculiar profession, and the remonstrance were so urgent against their being permitted to land that the boat was taken over to the Kentucky shore; but the authorities of New port ad Covington have no greater desire for their company, and the consequence is that the poor girls are still kept on board the boar. It is said (on what authority we were unable to discover) that the military order issued in Nashville has been revoked in Washington, and that they will all be returned to Nashville again.

Nashville Daily Union, July 19, 1863.

         19, Cleveland prepares for reception of sick soldiers....

The town is full of soldiers getting the hospitals ready for the sick....

Diary of Myra Adelaide Inman, p. 197.



         19, Municipal justice in occupied Nashville

Recorder's Court. - There was no falling off in the business before the Recorder yesterday morning, and the court was occupied from 9 to 1 o'clock.

Mr. and Mrs. Morgan, friends of Marshal Chumbley and the city Attorney, were charged with abusing Mrs. Mayan, an inmate of the house in which the defendants resided. Fined $5 and costs.

John Mayor was arraigned for tippling without a license. For want of proof he was discharged.

Marcus Combs, a negro [sic] was arrested for stealing whiskey from the firm of E. A. & T. C. Richards, and Church Jackson, another colored individual, was charged with receiving the stolen goods. One of the members of the firm found two bottles of whiskey on the person of Marcus, and defendant admitted that he had previously taken four bottles. According to the testimony, the proprietors had allowed him to sell liquor and had received money therefor. Judge Turner and M. M. Brien, jr., appeared for the defence, and defended their client ably – the Judge occupying the floor for over an hour. They submitted to the court whether the case could be considered larceny or not, as the evidenced did not sustain the charge of feloniously taking away of whisky [sic], but on the other hand, the testimony shows that he had been allowed the privilege of selling, and the prosecutor had received money from the sales effected. The Recorder required Marcus to give bond in the sum of $500 and appear before the next term of the Criminal Court, and no evidence appearing to sustain the charge against the other defendant, he was discharged.

Charles McAlister was required to answer the charge of stealing a hat from W. P. Campbell. Campbell testified that he was asleep in his hack about 12 o'clock on Monday night, and when he awoke, his hat was missing, and the next morning he found it in the possession of McAlister when he had him arrested. McAlister said in self-defence that a man named Daily had given him the hat. Committed to jail in default of $500 bail to appear before the next term of the Criminal Court.

G. H. Stubbs, a countryman, was found feeding his horses on the public square. Being in direct violation of corporation law, he was fined $5 and costs.

Ellen Stowe was arrested on a State warrant, charged with committing an assault and battery on Ada Wyatt, and a corporation warrant was also served on both for disorderly conduct. According to evidence, a fight occurred in the jungles between Ellen Stow and Ada Wyatt, one party being equally a guilty as the other. During the melee, Ada received a cut in the head from a slung shot, and was stabbed four times in the breast. The testimony throughout was disgusting, going to show the immorality and wretchedness of existing affairs in Smoky. On the State warrant, Ellen was fined $50, and $50 on the corporation warrant, and $5 was imposed on Ida Wyatt. Li M. Temple for the latter, and M. M. Brian for the former.

Mr. Burgen was accused of trespassing on the property of Peter Wells, or, in other words, running his hack into one belonging to Peter. The court considered it accidental, and discharged the defendant.

The last case before the court was a charge against the efficient Deputy Marshal, W. H. Wilkinson, and the Sunday policeman, John Frith, who had a little fight about a case presented on Monday morning. The Recorder required them to pony up each $5 and costs.

For drunkenness, Thomas Yates; G. W. Smith, John Williams, W. Grisham, and Wm. Wells, had the usual fine to settle.

Nashville Daily Press, July 20, 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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