9, "I found a much more hostile and embittered feeling among that people towards the Confederate Government than I supposed to exist." Confederate concern about Unionism in East Tennessee
WAR DEPARTMENT, C. S. A., Richmond, July 18, 1861.
His Excellency ISHAM G. HARRIS, Nashville, Tenn.:
SIR: I would respectfully ask your attention to the accompanying extract from a letter written by Mr. Yerger, of Corinth, Miss, dated July 9, and communicated to the President by Mr. W. P. Harris, of Jackson, Miss., and subsequently referred to this Department. In inviting your attention immediately to the suggestions it contains, I would remark that from the apparent indications in that section, as well as from the concurrent testimony of other writers, additional troops, in my opinion, should be sent forward without delay. If the guns at Chattanooga are not being manufactured for us, they ought to be secured at once, and a reconnaissance of the points described ought to be ordered.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
L. P. WALKER, Secretary of War.
"Availing myself of the privilege you were kind enough to accord me, I will now venture to make some suggestions for your consideration. Being delayed in my passage through East Tennessee, I found a much more hostile and embittered feeling among that people towards the Confederate Government than I supposed to exist. I found the emissaries of the Lincoln Government active and constantly engaged in exciting hatred and animosity towards our Government. I believe the people only await the occasion to rise in revolt against the Confederate Government. Numerous instances of active organization came to my knowledge. I do not think there is an adequate Confederate force in that region to maintain us securely. At Chattanooga is a foundry engaged in casting cannon, which could easily be seized by the people and to that use for themselves. I found two 6-pounders and one 12-pounder nearly complete--for where intended I did not learn. I will call your attention to three points on the line of the railroad that, if occupied by a hostile force of 3,000 men with one or two batteries of flying artillery, could easily and successfully cut off all communication between Virginia and the Southern States it seems to me. The first point to which I will call your attention is at the foot of Lookout Mountain, where the railroad passes between the mountain and Tennessee River. At this point an inconsiderable force, with a small battery, could successfully resist the advance of a very large force. So at the second point above Chattanooga, at a tunnel which passes through a spur of the mountain, a small battery could effectually prevent the advance of the cars with any number of troops; and, lastly, at a defile beyond London, near the Tennessee River, a small force could prevent all transports of men and munitions. These points all lie in the most disaffected region, and, in my opinion, if not occupied by Confederate forces in less than a month, will be by hostile men. I think that at least a reconnaissance should be made of the locality. All this may have been called to your attention, or may, in point. Of fact, be of no value. If so, set down and excuse the error because of my zeal and desire to protect the service from injury. I feel that my thus addressing you might seem presumptuous in one go unused to military affairs; yet I assure you a most earnest desire to be of service prompts me. The conviction that more is necessary to protect us from the outbreak of the disaffected in East Tennessee than is generally supposed induces me to call your attention to these facts. I think at least 2,500 or 3,000 troops should be properly stationed at these points in this district of country to keep our way open. The twelve-months' men of Mississippi now at this point could be much better employed there than here, and if it should become necessary to disarm those people of the weapons they have, could effectually and successfully accomplish it if under the command of some discreet commander. If this point is kept quiet by the presence of an imposing military force, there will be no other part of East Tennessee that will be able to give any considerable trouble."
OR, Ser. I, Vol. 4, pp 369-370.
9. Status of war footing, economy and Union sentiment in Memphis
News From the South
Rebel Movements in Tennessee. A Northern gentleman, who has been living at the South, lately left Tennessee for Pennsylvania, and under date of July 4, gives the Lancaster Express an interesting statement of his experience and observations among the rebels. It furnishes another confirmation of the fact that many loyal citizens have been overborne by the rebellious leaders; that through the vilest misrepresentation by the Southern press and by the chiefs of the revolt, the people of the rebel States have been grossly deceived concerning the purpose of the North-for when it was well known that he was about to leave Memphis some wondered whether it would be safe for him to go North, and many sent letters and packages to their friends-and that a strong Union feeling still pervades the breast of many in the South.
It is true, he says, that many persons have been frightened from the South, many have suffered indignities, some lost property, and others life, at the hands of rebels. Invidious reports are daily circulated, to drive the timid into the army, or force them to leave the South. No one is required to swear fealty to the confederacy unless he enters the army; but to profess loyalty to the federal government, and a willingness to take up arms in its defence would, in West Tennessee and Arkansas, be to invite a halter about one's neck. There is, however, a daring neutrality which a few bold spirits have asserted and maintained from the beginning of the rebellion, and under cover of which they have, up to this time, conducted their business without fear or molestation. Such men do as they please, go where they please, using their own judgment as to the times and occasions, and acting accordingly, boldly through not defiantly, profess themselves to be Northern men, and to have no part in the quarrel, though ready and willing at any time to defend their property and lives against attack, from whatever source.
The recent election in Tennessee, in which the State was vote out of the Union, does not fairly reflect the relative strength of parties. The Union men in West Tennessee declined voting for prudential reasons; thousands of strangers and boys voted for secession; no manner of propriety was observed in holding the election, but so highhanded and rampant was secession that Union men deemed it not worth the powder to make a fight. Many persons have enlisted in order to protect themselves and families from insult and want, who will, on the first opportunity, hoist the flag of the Union and march to the tune of Yankee Doodle. This is not guessing. Companies well drilled and equipped might be named, the majority of whose members are ready to walk into the federal army over the dead bodies of their officers, rather than fire a gun at the Straws and Stripes. The Germans especially are loyal and will lose no time, when occasion presents, to take their true position.
An Irish captain, at a meeting of officers, when waxing warn in discussion, said to his fellows in command, "My men are poor; they have families to support, who are deprived of bread by reason of this war; we were satisfied with the country as it existed; you politicians broke it up, and now, if you expect us to fight for you, you must give us pay and take care of our families." This speech produced a fluttering; ropes and hanging and expulsion were talked of, but, fortunately for the chivalry, not attempted. Flour, corn and vegetables are in great abundance in the valley of the Mississippi; meat, groceries, drugs and medicines are scarce, and the stocks will soon be exhausted; saleratus and all the salts of soda are in great demand; the; stocks of many qualities of dry goods are entirely exhausted, and their want produces great inconvenience. It will be impossible to literally starve out the rebels; yet they can be made to feel the pressure of want, in the absence of many of the little conveniences of life, and in being deprived of a few things which, though not absolutely essential to existence, it is very annoying to be without. To supply the sinews of war just now engages the attention of the leaders. Small arms, artillery and ammunition are not possessed in great abundance; yet it must be not be inferred that the enemy is unarmed. To a certain extent they are well armed; but to supply outfits for new recruits is the great trouble. The machine shops everywhere are engaged in preparing implants of war; foundries are casting shot and shell; wagonmakers are preparing wagons and gun carriages; powder mills are being erected at Nashville, and a percussion cap establishment has already begun work. All business other than that connected with military matters is at an end, and nothing is thought of but how to fight or how to escape from the war. The mode of raising companies is peculiar to the times. Some personal ambitions for military fame, starts out to raise a company; he secures a place for holding meetings and drills, and by secures a place for holding meetings and drills, and by dint of perseverance in the cause of self-glorification gathers around him a few followers, who assist in obtaining the requisite number by persuasion, threat or promise. They are then drilled, officered and accepted; afterward armed, sworn in and marched to camp. There are now in Memphis twelve hundred and eighty men enrolled in the Home Guard, commanded by Colonel L. V. Dixen, a native of Virginia, and a man of experience and ability. One hundred and sixty of his men are unarmed. Of the companies armed, some have old United States muskets, some Kentucky rifles, some shot guns, some promiscuous arms, one company Maynard rifles, and one Sharp's rifles. At Randolph there are three thousand men, with eight cannon mounted under the bluff, facing the river, and twenty-one guns not mounted for want of carriages. This might be made a strongpoint; but under the present regime it is a very dangerous position for the rebels to occupy. At Union City, near the Kentucky line, and twenty miles from the river, is an encampment of 10,000 men, well armed, commanded by General Clark. They have six thirty-two pound guns lying on the cars, unmounted, which it is thought are kept in that position so that they may be easily placed beyond the reach of General Prentiss, should he make a descent upon the camp. Along the line of the Mobile and Ohio Railroad, between Union City and Corinth, the crossing of the Memphis and Charleston road, ninety miles east of Memphis, in small camps, there a about 6,000 troops, promiscuously armed. All these troops, to the number of 25,000, can be concentrated at any point between Columbus, Ky., and Memphis at twenty four hours' notice. General Gideon J. Pillow is commander of the forces of West Tennessee. He makes his headquarters at Memphis, and is actively engaged fortifying the city. While no one doubts the courage of General Pillow, his insufficiency in the planning and conducting a campaign is the town talk of his division. His orders and movements give general dissatisfaction, and unless some more able leader be sent to the defence of Memphis the case is a hopeless one for the rebels. [added] Board fences are built across the street out through the bluff, and on the bluff are cotton bales and piles of plank, behind which men are expected to find shelter. A back woodsman, at a single stroke, will demolish the fence, and a ball form a thirty-two pounder would send their board piles, in the form of a thousand splinters, whizzing about he heads of many rebels. The cannon are mounted under the bluff in a manner rendering them useless against a force by land.
New York Herald, July 9, 1861.
9, "…if he was not a Southern prisoner, I might say how presumptuous…." A young war-widow, brother John and rumors of war
Ma & Sister Amanda came up from Nashville, & some man not knowing sister A-- was married fell very much in love with her. I expect if Bro. John had been on the train he would have kicked the fellow off. Poor Bro. John failed to get paroled. Couldn't have a trial, on account some say of Andy Johnson [being] sick (others drunk, more likely this last). The widow Corcan (the name Miss G. Reeves is known by) was on the train carrying on extensively with Rounds, much to the disgust of all modest & refined people. William Carney took Sister Amanda & Josie Turner out home this afternoon. Mrs. Kate heard, came out all dressed up on horseback, looking very spry. Quite a warm ride, but suppose a young widow would say "never mind the weather so the wind don't blow." She came to enquire of Ma about a cousin of hers that was a prisoner. As soon as she left, Ma & cousin Ann went up town, while away Mrs. Anderson & Kate came out, staid until Ma returned. They wanted to hear from their father. It is rumored all the Yankees except the cavalry are to leave here. Hope our men will bag them before they get very far. Ma was advised not to visit much after Friday. It is thought Morgan's men are near here. Much to my astonishment Ma spoke in high terms of Mr. Riddell. Mrs. Anderson said her father, Judge Marchbanks, thought him quite a nice young man. I am glad every body thinks that, as I have been out calling with him on the girls. Charley Marchbanks wrote back word for Kate to tell me that he thought Jessie Sikes really believed me in love with him. "Fiddle sticks" if he was not a Southern prisoner, I might say how presumptuous, but I will only keep a powerful thinking.
Kate Carney Diary, July 9, 1862.
9, "I go to Nashville every other day and come back the next day." A. A. Harrison's letter home
July 9th, 1862
I take my pen in hand to inform you that I am well at present and hope these few lines may find you all enjoying the same blessings. The boys from Hardin are all well except Jo & Hugh Patterson. They are both right puny and have been for some time. They have got a discharge and will be at home in two or three weeks. There is a new doctor now and he says they are disabled and that they shall both be discharged and the Colonel and Captain are both willing. The men here are very healthy as yet but it is getting awful hot down here. I lost my office sure enough but I have got an easier one although there is not so much pay in it. I have got the office of Colonel's Orderly and mail carrier to Nashville. I go to Nashville every other day and come back the next day. The cars leave here at 11 o'clock and get to Nashville at 3. Then they leave Nashville at 10 a.m. and get back here at 2 p. m. There was 4 soldiers killed near Murfreesboro day before yesterday by guerrillas. Two of them belonged to the regiment. We have been expecting to be attacked for some time. But no rebels ----- as yet. The Col. and Captain ----- but very little about ----- me staying away so long. And the Capt. A ----- been better than com [sic] ----- since I come back. I don't know when I will get home again. I don't expect there will be any more furloughs given to anybody. There is a general order from the Secretary of War to grant no more furloughs. We learn from the papers there has been some hard fighting at Richmond and I am afraid our men got the worst of it and I expect the war will last two years yet or longer. You must get along the best you can and try and be contented until I can get home again. You must write as often as you can. I would like to hear from home every day if I could. Jo has not got a letter for 3 or 4 weeks and he don't like it a bit. We are expecting the paymaster every day and as soon as we are paid I will send you some more money. So nothing more at present but remaining your affectionate husband until death.
A. A. Harrison
Absolom A. Harrison Correspondence
9, "City Council-Public Health;" seeking a solution for the small pox and contraband problems in Nashville
To-morrow evening there will be a meeting of the Common Council, and also of the City Council; the latter to elect a Board of Education, and the former to receive and act upon reports presented from the various Departments. Among the reports will be found one of great importance to every citizen, and resident-it is that of Spencer Chandler, the City agent of the Pest House. From it we learn that the small-pox is on the decline-the white patients being reduced from 18 to 7, and the black from 18 to 16. These figures would be a cause of congratulation were it not for one fact, namely, that the slight reduction of cases among the negroes [sic] is rather accidental than as indicative of any real check to the progress of the disease.
Mr. Chandler, than whom none are better qualified to judge, fears an increase not only of small pox, but of other diseases, among the blacks, unless some measures be adopted by the civil or military authorities, or both, to place the contrabands in healthy encampments, with guards and overseers to see after their health and morals. These contrabands are scattered over the city and suburbs, and are crowded together by dozens and fifties [sic], many of the men living in idleness, some by thieving, a large number of the women by prostitution, and all in filth, breeding disease, which will spread like wildfire over the city. So barefaced are these black prostitutes becoming, that they parade the streets, and even the public square, by day and night.
An order has just been received notifying all the white prostitutes to leave town immediately. Why not issue a similar order against the blacks? If military necessity demands the removal of the first, it certainly will require the latter, if the police and our own eyes are to be believed.
But leaving morality out of the question, let us look at the case in a sanitary point of view. Mr. Chandler tells us that wherever he finds a case of small pox among colored people, the house from which it is removed is crowded with inmates. How many of these inmates of a filthy den have contracted the disease? Among how many others will they spread it? How long [a] time will elapse before it breaks out in camps, or in hospitals?-(for many of the occupants of these dens spend their days in hopitals [sic]). These are questions to be reflected upon seriously by our City Fathers, if they would preserve the health of the city.
Mr. Chandler has already consulted with Gov. Johnson on the subject of encamping all contrabands in a healthy locality, and we are informed he looks favorably upon the subject, and Mr. C. recommends that proper measures be taken to carry out his suggestions, or some other, to preserve the health of the town. We commend the subject to the Common Council, feeling confident the will do what seemeth [sic] best to them.
Nashville Dispatch, July 9, 1863.
9, "Departure of the Cyprians;" the expatriation of Nashville's prostitutes
Yesterday [8th] a large number of women of ill-fame were embarked upon three or four steamers, and transported northward. The number has been estimated at from one thousand to fourteen hundred-probably five or six hundred would near the mark. Where they are consigned to, we are not advised, but suspect the authorities of the city in which they landed will feel proud of such an acquisition to their population. We hope the commanding officer will issue an order as soon as possible, ordering off all contraband prostitutes -- they contribute considerably more toward the demoralization of the army than any equal number of white women, and certainly have no more claims upon our sympathy.
Nashville Dispatch, July 9, 1863.
9, Special Orders, No. 77, the expulsion of a subject of the British Crown from Memphis
Headquarters District of West Tennessee
Memphis, Tenn., July 9, 1864
XV. George Mellersh and William J. Conran, residents of Memphis, have applied for exemption from service in the Enrolled Militia of Memphis, on the ground of allegiance to Great Britain.
It appears from the sworn statement of each of these men, that in 1861 and 1862, they were in the military service of the so-called Confederate States, and that subsequently thereto they came to Memphis and engaged in business, and in 1863 sought and obtained papers of protection as British subjects.
Therefore, in pursuance of the previous of the circular from these Headquarters dated June 2d, 1864, George Mellersh and William J. Conran are hereby directed to be sent outside the lines of the United States forces, not to return during the war.
Colonel J. G. Geddes, Provost Marshal of the District of Memphis, is charged with he execution of this order.
By order of Major General C. C. Washburn
W.H. Morgan, Assistant Adjutant General.
Memphis Bulletin, August 9, 1864.
9, "More Conscripts for the Train Guard."
The following additional arrests have been made under General Order No. 74.
D. T. Goodyear,
D. F. Padgett,
G. W. L. Crook,
H. W. Bryson.
A force of some fifteen or twenty of those arrested were sent out on the train this morning, according to the order. It is thought that this course will insure the trains running between this city and LaGrange from all danger of attacks from guerrillas in [the] future. We shall see.
Memphis Bulletin, July 9, 1864.
9, Cracking down on foreigners not declaring immunity from serving in the Memphis Militia
GENERAL ORDERS NO. 28
Headquarters 1st Brigade, Enrolled Militia, D.M., Memphis, Tenn., July 9, 1864.
Pursuant to circular from Headquarters District of West Tennessee, of date June 2d 1864, which required all foreign subjects and citizens within the District of Memphis, claiming exemption from the Memphis Militia, by reason of Alienage, and engaged in business of any character, to enroll themselves for the defense of this city; and whereas, many persons of the above class are still evading the requirements of said circular, it is therefore ordered, that they report to these Headquarters for the purpose of enrollment within ten days from date. Persons failing to comply with this order will subject themselves to arrest and punishment.
By order of Colonel F. W. Buttinghaus
Memphis Bulletin, July 22, 1864.
James B. Jones, Jr.
Tennessee Historical Commission
2941 Lebanon Road
Nashville, TN 37214
Tennessee Historical Commission
2941 Lebanon Road
Nashville, TN 37214
(615)-770-1090 ext. 123456