Wednesday, July 30, 2014

7.30.14 Tennessee Civil War Notes

30 Attack on Confederate forces in Brownsville
No circumstantial reports issued.
Jackson, Tenn., July 31st.-Captain Dollin's Cavalry attacked eighty Rebels, yesterday, near Brownsville, and captured forty prisoners. The Rebels were afterwards reinforced, and recaptured twenty-nine men and fourteen horses. The Federal loss was six wounded, and the Rebel loss about the same.
Philadelphia Inquirer, August 1, 1862.
            30, Reports of guerrilla activity in and west of Hickman county
COLUMBIA, July 30, 1862.
Col. J. B. FRY:
Reports from negroes and Union citizens indicate an early attack by the guerrillas upon the weak posts along this line. A party from Hickman, numbering over 100, came to our stock pasture last night, 4 miles distant, and drove off 50 animals. The country is swarming with guerrillas. West of this they have grown exceedingly bold since I have been deprived of the means of pursuing them. I am just informed that some officers stopped the building of the stockades according to my directions and ordered them to be built otherwise. If any officer has the right to change my orders without informing me, it of course relieves me from responsibility.
OR, Ser. I, Vol. 16, pt. II, p. 233.

            30, "The Streets."
It is well known to our citizens that, previous to the war, our public thoroughfares were always kept in a condition of neatness and substantiality; and it is a fact equally notorious, that since armies have entered the State and too Nashville in their patheay, the streets have been worn and cut up, as it were, like some veteran, unconquerable regiment or corps in the face of a stubborn foe. All can now see for themselves that the city is again slowly coming to a point where it can boast of well macadamized and clean avenues of travel. The street committee of the City Council are doing their duty like public spirited officers, and from the rejoicing of pedestrians we take it that their labors are rightly appreciated. But there is a little work for the military to perform, to which we would call the attention of General Granger. The barricades, erected some time ago to prevent the entrance of Morgan or somebody else, seem quite useless at this time. There is not the remotest probability of a raid upon Nashville, and never was, in our humble judgment, and there can be no sort of propriety in keeping some of our most frequented streets blocked up with sand-bags. Both footmen and teamsters are greatly annoyed by these monuments of past alarm, and as General Granger has at all times evinced a readiness to contribute to the well-being of our sometimes ill-used city, we hope he will see the plausibility of our suggestion. Remove the barricades, and the work of street improvement can go ahead.
Nashville Daily Press, July 30, 1863.
            30, "Richardson's Bloody Order"
We are accustomed to hear secessionist talk of Federal outrages, but we challenge the world to afford anything like the tyranny now exercised over the suffering people of the South by their relentless rulers. If ever the demonic spirit which is said to rule in hell had a counter part on earth, it is found among the rulers and petty despots who are now trampling in the dust the rights and liberties of the Southern people. And yet they talk [sic] of liberty! What liberty have they? They have the liberty of being shot, and left to rot like dogs; they have the liberty of being barricaded and burnt to death in the flames of their own consuming homes. Such [sic] is the sweet boon of liberty vouchsafed to those who do not feel willing to leave their families and go forth to suffer toil; and bleed in a hopeless cause. Such are the sweet privileges for which these men have aided by their influence to pull down the freest and best Government the sun of heaven ever shone upon. This is liberty! Yes, such liberty as hungry wolves grant the gentle lamb, or the kite gives to the doves; such liberty as Russia gives the Poles, or death to the victim. The following orders of the day read to the brigade by the Adjutant General to his serene demonship [sic], Richardson [sic] will prove how true are the charges which we have made against the rebel authorities. It seems that Richardson [sic], from being a Saint on the high road to heaven, has let go the ladder which he was ascending, and has descend to hold, converse, and plot cruelty with the infernal council in the lower regions. Let the friends of Southern [sic] liberty read, and ponder these gentle lamb-like orders of a former christian [sic] exhorter [sic]:
1st Every man of this command is expected to strictly obey all orders which the commanding General may deem necessary for discipline or the interest of the cause in which we are engaged.
2nd. Commanders of companies are hereby ordered to make a detail from their respective companies for the purpose of enforcing the conscript laws, passed by the Confederate State Congress * * * [sic] These details shall be empowered, they are hereby ordered, to rigidly enforce the laws of the Confederate States.
3d. Every white man between the ages of eighteen and forth-five in the District of West Tennessee is hereby ordered to report immediately at such places of rendezvous as may hereafter be designated. Commanding officers of companies are hereby ordered to strictly enforce this order. The following rules of procedure are given for the government of company officers and privates who may be engaged in the execution of section third of these orders
If a man should absent himself from his home to avoid this order, burn his house and other property, except such as may be useful to this command. If a man is found to resist the execution of this order, by refusing to report, shoot him down and leave him lying. If a man takes refuge in his house and offers resistance, set the house on fire and guard it in order the recusant may not get out.
Such is the liberty of the chivalrous, noble and free [sic] people of the South. What can be more gentle than Richardson's [sic] rules of procedure? Satan himself with all his attributed good qualities, could not have invented a more kind, satanic and remarkable a code of rules of procedure. This, fellow-citizens, is the boasted liberty of the free [sic] South.
Memphis Bulletin, July 30, 1863.

            30, "Murder of Union Prisoners on the Cumberland River" near Clarksville [1]
The Louisville Journal has received the following information concerning the killing of Union prisoners on the Cumberland river from headquarters of the post commander of Clarksville:
The scout sent out from the city by Colonel Smith on Monday morning last to search after Lieutenant Gamble, and furnish him safe conduct into our lines, returned early on Tuesday [August 2nd] morning, having been successful in its mission. The Lieutenant was found secreted in the woods not far from where he made his escape from the gang of villainous cutthroats. He was pale, almost devoid of clothing, and appeared to have suffered much in dodging through the brush to elude the watchful eye of those bent on his murder.
He informed the scout that he had been robbed by the guerrillas of his pants, boots, watch, and seventy-five dollars in money. After crossing the Cumberland river, and travelling about six miles in a southerly direction, the guerrillas halted and arranged their prisoner in line, telling them that they were going to parole them. After a short consultation, the leader of the gang, who was called by his men Capt. Porter, ordered the members of the gang to draw their pistols, saying, "We have but one way of parolling [sic] Federal prisoners, and that is with our revolvers." The whole party advanced in line, and commenced rapidly firing. The Lieutenant said that he well knew that there was no hope for life only in precipitate flight, so he started on the full run. A volley of pistol shots was fired at him as he disappeared in a narrow strip of brush, and another as he passed an open space a short distance beyond. Fortunately none of the balls struck him, and he made good his escape. He was forced to lie in the woods, night and day, until the scout relieved him on Monday afternoon. He piloted the cavalry to the spot where the execution had taken place, and three dead bodies, riddled with balls, were found stretched on the green sward.
On the breast of each was pinned strip of paper, dated July 30 with the following words written in pencil mark upon them: "These boys are executed in retaliation for our friends hung in Nashville." The bodies were much decomposed when found, and were buried upon the spot. One of the dead was a soldier of Co. C, 83d Illinois volunteers, named Ira Butler, another was Christopher McCarty, a boy sixteen years old, employed as a teamster in the Quartermaster's department. His parents reside in Abington, Illinois. The third body was that of a laborer in the employ of the Government at Nashville. The body of the fourth prisoner could not be found, and it is possible that he succeeded in making his escape. He was also a citizen in the employ of the Government. When the men were first taken prisoners, Lieut. Gamble informed the guerrillas that but two of the five were soldiers, and begged that the citizens might be released; but the scoundrels would not listen to his words. The execution was one of the darkest transactions of blood that ever disgraced a civilized age, and it was perpetrated with all the nonchalance of hearts fiendish and wholly corrupted. There is much speculation as to who the murderers are. We hear various names mentioned, but as they are mere speculations we will not, without further proof, inscribe their names on the roll so dark with infamy.
Lieutenant Gamble, says that they called their chief by the name of Porter. The friends referred to in the note pinned to the bosom of each dead man are presumed to be the guerrillas recently hung at Nashville, one of whom was named Gossett, a notorious robber and murder of Cheatham county, Tennessee. His career was marked with the darkest crime, as he was proved guilty before the military commission of the murder of several peaceable, unoffending citizens. Every effort will be made to hunt down the fiends guilty of this inhuman outrage of Saturday evening last. [i.e., the 30th]. They are a shame and a curse to humanity, and should be blotted out of existence.
Nashville Daily Press, August 5, 1864. [2]
            30, Legal notice allowing claims against Gideon J. Pillow
Whereas, on July 20th, 1864, an Information was filed by Horace H. Harrison, Esq., Attorney of the United States for the Middle District of Tennessee, in the District Curt of the United States for said District, against all the estate and property money, stocks, and credits of Gideon J. Pillow, and particularly against all his right, title and interest in the realty fully described ins said information, which alleges that in the District aforesaid, on land, said estate, property, moneys, stocks and credits, and particularly said right, title and interest, had been duly seized and forfeited to the United States, for causes in said set fort had averred to be true, to-wit: Because after the passage of an act of Congress, approved July 17, 1862, and entitled "An act to suppress insurrection, to punish Treason and Rebellion, to Seize and Confiscated the property of Rebels, and for other purposes,: the said Gideon J. Pillow acted as an officer of the rebels in arms against the Government of the United States, to-wit: as a Major-General[3] of the armies of the so-styled Confederate States of America.
Now, therefore, I hereby give public notice to all persons interested in said property, so seized as aforesaid, in the Capitol at Nashville, on the 3d Monday in October next, at 10 o'clock, A. M. there and then to propound their claims and make their allegations.
Edwin R. Glascock
Marshal Mid Dist. Tennessee.
Nashville Daily Times and True Union, July 30, 1864.

[1] See also Louisville Journal, August 4, 1864. [See too: December 23, 1863, "Skirmish with guerrillas, Mulberry Village, Lincoln County" above, for an account of a similar event demonstrating some remarkable similarities.]
[2] See also Nashville Dispatch, August 5, 1863.
[3] Pillow never rose above the rank of Brigadier General.

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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