Friday, August 1, 2014

8.1.14 Tennessee Civil War Notes

1, Soldiers' Lack of Respect for Gideon J. Pillow; as Witnessed by a British War Correspondent

Who Cares for Gen. Pillow.

Russell, in a letter to the London Times, describes a scene at the camp on the Mississippi where Pillow commands, thus:

Gen. Pillow, in a round hat, dusty black frock coat, and ordinary "unstriped" trowsers, did not look like one who could give any great material secession the physical means of resistance, although he is a very energetic man. The Major General, in fact, is an attorney-at-law, or has been so, and was partner with Mr. Polk, who, probably for some of the reason which determine the rections of partner to each other, sent Mr. Pillow to the Mexican war, where he nearly lost him, owing to severe wounds received in action. The General has made his intrenchments as if he were framing an inducement. Ther is not a flaw for an enemy to get through, but he has bound up his own men in inexorable line also. At one of the works a proof of the freedom of the "citizen soldiery" was afforded in a little hilarity on the part of one of the privates. The men had lined the parapet, and had listened to the pleasant assurances of their commander that they would knock off the shovel and hoe very soon, and be replaced by the eternal gentleman of color.-"Three cheers fro Gen. Pillow" were called for, and were responded to by the whooping and screeching sounds that pass [as] music in this part of the world for cheer. As. they ended a stentorian voice shout[ed] out: "Who cares for Gen. Pillow" and as no one answered, it might be unfairly inferred that the gallant officer was not the object of the favor of solicitude of his troops; probably a temporary unpopularity connected with the hard work found expression in the daring question.

Daily Herald (Cleveland OH), August 1, 1861.[1]



        1, A War Correspondent's Report from Memphis

The War in the West.

Letter from Memphis.

The Impudence of Treason-vigorous Measures Needed for it s Suppression….The Union Ladies of Memphis-Cotton and Money-Expensive Living-Sad Appearance of the City.

Mildness a Sign of Weakness.

Memphis, Tenn., Friday, August 1.- I held a conversation today with a gentleman from Little Rock and he frankly admits that if he were in arms against the Government, under its past mild policy, he would have no fear whatever of consequences, except hose resulting from open hostilities in the field. He knows men in the Rebel service who have left their families in cities in possession of the Government, without any fear for their person or their lives. He feels assured that if he had a family in Memphis today, and should join the Rebel army, all he would have to do to secure their peace and protection would be to make a simple request of the Commanding Genera.

On the other hand, if a man should so far to forget the ruling spirit of the Rebels, and forsake his family and property in the South to join the Union army, woe betide his unprotected ones.

It may be very magnanimous in us to act as we do in this respect, but we will hardly get credit for it from those we seek to please. They will ascribe out mildness to weakness and fear, and while they accept our benefits, only plan more deeply to destroy the power which confers them.

~ ~ ~

Patriotic Ladies.

The Union ladies of the city-and there are quite a number-are soliciting subscriptions for the purchase of a flag for Capt. Hough's Company for the Second Tennessee Regiment, but their efforts are not very successful. They call principally at private residences-the best places in a community to feel the political pulse, but I feel assured that if the population was thoroughly sifted, very few residents or natives, more strictly speaking, but would be found on the Rebel side.

Cotton and Money.

General Sherman's vigorous proceeding touching on the purchase of cotton for United Stated in real money as notes and gold, is, as I understand it, not meant to apply to the city. The order is special, not general and it has caused considerable grumbling already. The Rebel rascals, in the rural districts, have been chuckling in their sleeves at the idea that they were getting the best of the "d____d Yankees" by letting them have cotton and returning gold in payment, but General Sherman's' order has made them laugh out of  "the wrong side of their face."

Small money is extremely scarce and the greatest flurry was excited day before yesterday [July 31] by the expiration time in which it was legal to circulate bills smaller than one dollar. The Bank of Tennessee had in circulation several thousand dollar bills from five cents to one dollar, and it was learned that the holders of these would lose, but the law was found not to affect these, but prevent the issue of any more. Every one, as you may suppose, is hoarding all the notes he can procure, but this kind of thing soon [illegible] itself, and after a time the "precious [notes?]" will re-appear.

Expensive Living.

The cost of living in Memphis is still very high, concerning the articles of food furnished and the accommodations one gets. The Gayoso Hotel charges its guests $2.50 per day, and spread a very indifferent table at that. Its halls are spacious and its rooms airy and scrupulously clean, essential to life in the South rarely found in a hotel, and these compensate in a great measure for the poor fare furnished at the price.

Bread can be had in private families at $7 and [$10?] per week, but as to the former it is hardly on a par with that found in Cincinnati at $2.50 per week. Table luxuries are out of the question, and people are concerned with plain, substantial food, which, after all, is the best.

General Appearance of the City.

Memphis appears more like a city recently exhumed than aught else. Everything is dusty, and rusty, and old looking. The show windows are filled with articles of utility, piled up pell-mell, without regard to "tempting display." Bank buildings have been turned into recruiting offices and military headquarters, and Irivng Block, one of the most elegant in the city, has been converted into a military prison.

What a sad comment upon the recklessness and treachery of her citizens in attempting to throw off the mild yoke of your benign Government, and inaugurating in its stead the "rule or ruin" system of the Rebel horde who commenced their course in theft and villainy.

The Commissioners of confiscated property are ascertaining what houses and other property there are in the city belonging to parties now within the Rebel lines. Up to last night the number reported by their Ward agents amounted to three hundred and twenty five. The Commissioners lese these homes to applicants for from one to twelve months, the rent to be paid monthly in advance. The lease is conditional "upon the continued loyalty and good conduct" of the tenant.

Philadelphia Inquirer, August 8, 1862.



        1, Report on North Carolina troops deserting Confederate army in East Tennessee

BELL'S BRIDGE, TENN., August 1, 1863.

Capt. J. N. GALLEHER, Asst. Adjt. Gen., Dept. of East Tenn., Knoxville, Tenn.:

CAPT.: I have the honor to inclosure a letter from a woman living in Madison County, North Carolina, to a soldier in the Sixty-fourth North Carolina Volunteers. This is only a specimen of similar epistles received by men of the North Carolina regiments. These troops are deserting quite fast, and it appears difficult to catch them on the road, as the people harbor and feed along the whole route. The last party I sent in pursuit were told that they had better desert. There are now in Madison County, North Carolina, 106 men of the Sixty-fourth Regt. [sic], who are absent without leave. Many of them are living openly at home, and have made crops this season. Would it not be well to send up a party to bring back these men? I would respectfully submit that these North Carolina troops are too near home.

I am, captain, your obedient servant,

JNO. W. FRAZER, Brig.-Gen., Cmdg.



July 20 [?], 1863.


DEAR HUSBAND: I seat myself to drop you a few lines to let you know that me and Sally is well as common, and I hope these few lines will come to hand and find you will and doing well. I have no news to write to you at this, only I am done laying by my corn. I worked it all four times. My wheat is good; my oats is good. I haven't got my wheat stacked yet. My oats I have got a part of them cut, and Tom Hunter and John Roberts is cutting to-day. They will git [sic] them cut to-day.

I got the first letter yesterday that I have received from you since you left. I got five from you yesterday; they all come together. This is the first one I have wrote [sic], for I didn't know where to write to you. You said you hadn't anything to eat. I wish you was [sic] here to get some beans for dinner. I have plenty to east as yet. I haven't saw [sic] any of your pap's folks since you left home. The people is [sic] generally well here at. The people is [sic] all turning to Union here since the Yankees has [sic] got Vicksburg. I want you to come home as soon as you can after you gilt this letter. Jane Elkins is living with me yet. That is all I can think of, only I want you to come home the worst that I ever did. The conscripts is [sic] all at home yet, and I don't know what they will do with them. The folks is [sic] leaving here, and going North as fast as they can, so I will close.

Your wife, till death,


I pen a line, sir. I am well, and is right strait out for the Union, and I am never going in the service any more, for I am for the Union for ever and ever, amen. I am doing my work. There was 800 left to go to the North, so will tell you all about it in the next letter; so I will close.

Your brother till death. Hurrah for the Union? Hurrah for the Union, Union?


OR, Ser. I, Vol. 23, pt. II, pp. 951-952.



        1, "Rebel Female Letter"

We publish the following letter from a young rebel of the female persuasion [sic] just as it was captured. The face of the letter discloses the authorship, and the name is not important. It is a fair specimen [sic] of the letters going out from every town and neighborhood, and in nine cases out of ten the writers ought to go South with, or after [sic] their bitter and slanderous letters:

Dandridge, August 1st, 1864

My Dear Pa: [sic]

Mother wrote you and sent it to Knoxville to go out by flag of truce last week, but I think it very doubtful whether you get it or not. The last that we received from you was sent by flag of truce when Maj. White came down to New Market.

Well, Pa, we have been expecting the robbers on us for a month or two. Last Wednesday night [July 27th] they came about mid-night, and plundered the house.-Mother and I were frightened very much. Who would not have been? A band of ruffians at midnight, plundering the house and cursing mother. They have left us scarcely enough sheets to change our beds. The took three hundred dollars in Confederate money, and every little thing they could lay their hands on, even to your Masonic sash.- [sic] Mother had hid your apron and the rest of your clothes. A Union man promised to get the sash back, if she would say nothing about it. If he can get the sash back he can get other things, and maybe stoop them. But no, they say that the authorities at Knoxville approve of it, and boast that it is the only way that they can subjugate us. William informed them that that is not the way to subjugate us. We Southern people are actually afraid to go to bed at night--even the women and children. You need not expect, when you come here (if ever) to find us with anything. I expect that they will be back to-night with wagons and rob the town, at heart that is the general impression. They told us that they were not satisfied the other night--You cannot imagine, nor I describe our feelings at night approaches. I think that their object is to make our family leave. They asked the other night if Bill Bradford [sic] wasn't going to move his family outside of the lines. If they keep on in the way they have begun, we will soon be left destitute -- Cousin Theodore Bradford had to move his family to town. Cousin Shade Inman had to leave his home [sic] and we do not know where he is at [sic] -- he was beaten severely before he left. They make a visit to his house nearly every night, and always leave packed. It is Union citizens who are robbing, they are not Federal soldiers and never have belonged to the army. We recognized the ones who were here. I could tell you, but will wait until some other time. One of our neighbors set them on us, for Dr. Jarnagan and Mrs. Seabolt heard him directing them to our house, he pretended to be distressed about it, but I think it is all pretense. Poor old Mr. Thomas has suffered more than anyone else in town. I hope the rebels may soon move down and give us protection. They will soon be done plundering the town and then they threaten to burn it to the ground. The authorities at Knoxville are aware of all this but do not care. The Union men I think could stoop it as they are acquainted with them, but it is no matter to them and I candidly believe that some of them, at least, are secretly glad of it.

Brownlow's Whig and Independent Journal and Rebel Ventilator, August 31, 1864.



August 1, 1865, Tennessee's ex-Confederate governor Isham G. Harris and other prominent leaders successfully flee to Mexico from San Antonio, Texas

HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE GULF, News Orleans, La., August 1, 1865--1 p. m.

(Received 10.55 p. m.)

Lieut. Gen. U. S. GRANT, Cmdg. Armies of the United States:

Since my telegram of this morning the following information has reached me from one of my scouts. He says there is no doubt about its truthfulness. It is the list of prominent Confederates which have gone to Mexico through San Antonio: Governors Allen and Moore, of Louisiana; Governors Edward Clark and Murrah, of Texas; Governor Harris, of Tennessee; J. P. Benjamin, late Secretary of State of the Confederate States; Breckinridge, Secretary of War of the Confederate States; Harrison, Jeff Davis' private secretary; Gen.'s Smith, Magruder, Price, Shelby, Wilcox, and Harris; Col.'s Terrell, Flournoy, and Walker, Col. J. J. Hine, Majs. T. J. Davins, Green, and Rains, Maj.'s Green, Sackfield Maclin, Col. Elliott, of Missouri; William A. Broadwell, Payne, Harrison, and J. D. Elliott, Jackson, Miss. The whole number of pieces of artillery taken by these parties was fourteen, which all fell into the hands of the Liberals. The Governor of Nuevo Leon sent commissioners to Brownsville to see me, but I did not see them. They came to ask protection from the United States. I will send you a communication from the Governor by mail.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

P. H. SHERIDAN, Maj.-Gen., Cmdg.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 48, pt. II, p. 1149.



[1] TSL&A, 19th CN.

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: