Thursday, September 18, 2014

9.18.2014 Tennessee Sesquicentennial Civil War Notes

        18, "Steamer V. K. Stevenson Captured."

On Sunday [15th] evening last about 4 o'clock, the steamer V. K. Stevenson, owned in this city by the Messrs. Hughes, was captured by the gunboat [U. S. S.] Conestoga at Mammoth Furnace on the Cumberland River, four miles this side of Eddyville [Kentucky]. The Stevenson was landed a short time before she was taken, and the crew made their escape by climbing up the bluff-We learn from Capt. Wiley Sims, who left Eddyville on a "mule express" to inform the Captain of the Stevenson of the approach of the gunboat, that one of the deck hands had been sick died from the exhaustion consequent upon escaping. He also informs us that the Stevenson was heavily laden with pig iron, valued at $30,000.

Nashville Daily Gazette, September 18, 1861.

        18, Martial Ritual in Memphis, Captain Hamilton's Funeral

Funeral of Capt. Hamilton.- The funeral of Capt. Hamilton yesterday, was an impressive event. The procession moved through this city along Shelby and Main streets on its way to the Elmwood cemetery. It was of great length, and included Capt. Storm's City Guards, the Grade Civiler, the Grade Frangraiser, Capt. Burn's Italian company of Garibaldi Guards, Capt. Coles Maynard Rifles, Capt. Begbia's company, and some others we were unacquainted with, and a long train of carriages containing many young ladies and citizens. The coffin was a very handsome one, of rosewood. The German band played appropriate music, and the flags of the military were shrouded with crepe. At the cemetery, when the coffin had been lowered to the last resting place of frail humanity, the City Guards surrounded the grave and fired three volleys over it. A general sentiment of sorrow was expressed among our citizens that one who had toiled and cared so much for his country, would have been called away before he could witness the scene of its deliverance.

Memphis Daily Appeal, September 18, 1861.



        18, Funeral procession of Ellen Hill

Death of Ellen Hill.—One of the largest and most mournful funeral processions we have ever seen was that which passed through the city yesterday following to the grave the body of Ellen Hill, wife of James Hill, the colored barber on Cedar street. She was greatly respected by all who knew her and her loss will be sorely felt by the colored population, as she possessed not only the means, but the disposition, to be charitable toward her poor neighbors and friends. The procession was fully half a mile in length.

Nashville Dispatch, September 19, 1862.

        18, Confederate news relative to Federal army movements, negroes, and public meetings in Shelbyville and Winchester

Letter fro Murfreesborough-The Federals Leave Nashville and Return.

Murfreesborough, Tenn., Sept. 11, 1862.

Editor Rebel: I have just time to write you a line.

Buell, after evacuating Nashville, attempted to retreat across the river and into Kentucky, but finding he was cut off by the army under Gen. Bragg, which had crossed the river previously, his retreating force turned and back to Nashville.

There is some doubt here as to their future movements, but one thing is certain, they have 10,000 to 12,000 stolen negroes at work on the fortifications at Nashville. These negroes are literally starving to death, and many of them are running away and endeavoring to get back to their masters.[added]

I have attended two public meetings-one at Winchester and one at Shelbyville. The latter was a rousing meeting, and everywhere the cry is, "let the last man die rather than see the Vandals enter our country again!"

Tennessee is fully aroused, wherever I have been, and, I have no doubt, will, almost to a man, sustain General Bragg in the business of crushing this vast army of thieves and robbers.

Let everybody come on and we will first invest and then wipe out this army of outlaws.[1]

Macon Daily Telegraph, September 18, 1862.



        18, "Attention, Battalion." Looking for love in the Memphis want ads

Wanted, correspondence, by an amiable and interesting young lady, of marriageable age-just twenty two-of elegant style, graceful carriage, of medium hight [sic] and suggestive proportions, possessed of a happy disposition and domestic habits, with one or more gentlemen of intelligence and standing and of known respectability, with a view to love, matrimony and the consequences. All communications strictly confidential. Address, with or without carte de visite, Glass Box 20, Memphis, Tenn.


P.S. No "gay or festive cusses"[2] [sic] need apply.

Memphis Bulletin, September 18, 1863.

        18, John Watkins' [19th Ohio Battery, 3d Division, 23rd AC] letter home to his wife Sarah; marching to Knoxville and Cumberland Gap, prices, Confederate excesses and punishment for depredations

Knoxville Tennessee Sept 18th 1863

My own dear Sarah,

Well darling it is a long time since I have written you….the Battery has been here nearly two weeks and have not had any mail from home….we left Crab Orchard Key [i.e., Ky] on the 21st of Aug….on the 26 we crossed the line into Tennessee. We had inquired for a number of miles where the line was and the folks told us as how we would know when we came to it. There was a large square stone stuck up on one side of the road so plain that we could not help but see it. All along there was plenty of pine timber and in some places plenty of cedar. And no end of the rocks both above and below the surface of the ground. Along there and for two or three days after awhile we were on top of those hills the air was very clear and cool. On the 31st of Aug we marched through a town at the foot of the mountains called Montgomery some 4 or 5 housed in it were inhabited and as many more that were empty. On the 1st day of Sept we drew 8 days rations to carry us and the next day started for Knoxville about 2 oclock [sic] and marched until midnight. On the 3rd of Sept we crossed the Clinch river by fording. That was a very clear stream and about 3 feet deep where we crossed and a rock bottom. On the 4th of September we camped outside of Knoxville having marched that day about 22 miles. On the 5th we camped and marched through a town and went into camp again. The rebels have held this place since the war began. And I don't see why they did not try to hold the place. They had thrown up breastworks on two or three hills and that is about all they did do. For they were all gone before our Cavalry came into the place. Here they had a conscript camp that they confined there [sic] conscripts in so as to hold them. Knoxville musty have been quite a place before the war begun but it looks now as though it was the oldest place in the world and was allowed to run down ever since it was built. The rebels have driven all the union people most out of the place and stripped them of most everything. There has been a man hung here for loyalty to the union and [half] of them put into prison. We are encamped on quite a hill a little peace [sic] out of town but I can see the hills all around us that are a good deal higher….on the morning of the 7th [of September] the section that I belong to was called up about 2 o'clock and at 4 we started out of camp with a days [sic] rations of hard bread and 1 of salt meat. When we started we did not know where we were going but finally found it was Cumberland Gap 60 miles from Knoxville. We were 2½ days going there. We got there in the forenoon of the 10th and expected to have fight at that place sure. But were again disappointed for they surrendered about ½ past 8 the same day we got there….General Burnside himself went along with us. He got there early in the morning the same day that we got there and gave them till 3 o'clock that afternoon to make up there [sic] minds which there [sic] would do fight or surrender and finally saw fit to give the place up. There was quite a force of Cavalry there ahead of us and a force on the other side of the Gap from us that had come in from Key [sic] the nearest way. But is seems the reason they did not show any fight was because they had to [sic] conscripts and North Carolina soldiers that wouldn't fight to risk a battle and to leave the place to after all. About 4 o'clock Burnside and all the mounted force that were on the side that we were and the 104th marched up to take possession of the place. I have never seen the official report of the number of prisoner but have heard there was [sic] about 2500 [sic] of them and 12 pieces of Artillery. You have no doubt heard of it long before this. The nearest that I was to the Gap was about 3 miles. But to look straight across to the Gap from where we were it did not seem more than a mile….on our return to Knoxville and when we started we had 8 or 9 mules hitched on to the two pieces in place of horses that had given out and gone the first day. Going back we marched 15 miles, and a little before we put up for the night we went through a place called Tagewell [i.e. Tazewell] of about 200 population. A year ago in November the rebels burned 36 houses in the place and I tell you the place looks pretty hard now. We got back to camp in Knoxville Monday forenoon the 14th of Sept. and there is no mistake about it I am glad of it for a little rest will be very exceptable [sic]. On Tuesday morning we had inspection in camp and that evening all the troops marched down to town to see a fellow belonging to Wolfords Cavalry drumed [sic] before his regiment all the rest with ½ his head shaved his hands tied behind him and a large placard pined [sic] on his breast with the word thief printed on it in large letters, for robbing a home and setting it on fire. [sic] And besides all that he is sent to Johnsons [sic] Island for the rest of this term of service without pay that is pretty severe punishment yesterday I did not do much of anything but lay down and rest myself a little…I should like to hear from you first rate….& as soon as they get the railroad clear between here and Chattanooga we ought to have mail pretty regular and once more get full rations now we get neither sugar or [sic] coffee salt meat [sic]. the supply trains have got delayed somewhere and the Commissary department is pretty near cleaned out. and it has been so dry here. [sic] the [sic] vegetables are not very plenty potatoes are selling for $1 a bushel and onions $2 butter 25 cts, sugar in town is worth 65 cts a pound but this is nothing to what they did ask for stuff when we came here in Confederate money boots were selling for $40 a pair ladies shoes $30 and other stuff in proportion the same boots are now selling for $10 in our money that I call a pretty good price for a pair of common cowhide boots. while [sic] the rebels were here they did not draw any government rations but lived on the country they would go to a union mans [sic] house and take the very last thing he had in the world and walk off without a word. And the best thing he could do was to keep still. Oh I tell you Sarah I have been glad a hundred times that we lived so far north as we do for I think that a much greater curse could not happen to any section of the country than to have an army pass through it: whether hostile or not. for [sic] they strip everything on there [sic] rout [sic]. Orchards potatoes patches [sic] cornfields [sic] and eat people out of house and home. I have thought a great many times that if an army ever went through country where I lived I would shut up house and go into the woods to live…I wish Sarah I could hear from you as often as I did in Kentucky. I would be satisfied. And don't know but what I shall have to be any how. I wish that I could be up there this morning for jist [sic] a little while. I would like to walk around with you and get some aples [sic]. There is plenty of apples in this country but all they are fit for is to make cider….I must close now hoping to hear from you….

John Watkins Collection,

University of Tennessee Library Special Collections Division




[1] In hindsight these are some of the most desperately unjustified words uttered by Confederate supporters. The naivety in them is as obvious as is the enthusiasm and empty bravado. While this is nineteenth century rhetoric, it can be used today to propagandize young men to volunteer to fight for a reprehensible fight in a war of choice, which this, like Iraq, was.

[2] Given the context of this want ad's contents and the use of the word "cusses" as well as the words "gay" and "festive," one is tempted to conclude that it is a reference to gay men, as it is meant in the 20th and 21st centuries. However, the use of the word gay meant "jolly or happy" in the 19th century and so it may have been an illusion to effeminate men. Yet the question remains, was this a reference to gay men men? Women were not referred to as "cusses." It is a small question with potentially meaningful answers, Why would such an ad for female companionship include the words "gay or festive cusses" if there were not such men in the army?

James B. Jones, Jr.

Public Historian

Tennessee Historical Commission

2941 Lebanon Road

Nashville, TN  37214

(615)-770-1090 ext. 123456

(615)-532-1549  FAX


Wednesday, September 17, 2014

9.17.2014 Tennessee Civil War Notes

        17-October 3, U. S. Evacuation of Cumberland Gap[1]

Report of Brig. Gen. W. Morgan,

U. S. Army, including operations August 16-October 3.


Greenupsburg, Ky., October 3, 1862.

GEN.: On the night of the 17th of September, with the army of Stevenson 3 miles in my front, with Bragg and Marshall on my flanks, and Kirby Smith in my rear, my command marched from Cumberland Gap mid the explosion of mines and magazines and lighted by the blaze of the store-houses of the commissary and quartermaster. The sight was grand. Stevenson was taken completely by surprise. At 5 o'clock p. m. on the 17th instant I sent him three official letters. The officers of our respective flags remained together in friendly chat for an hour. I have brought away all the guns but four 30-pounders, which were destroyed by knocking off the trunnions. During our march we were constantly enveloped by the enemy's cavalry, first by the Stevenson and since by the Morgan brigade. Throughout I maintained the offensive, and on one day marched twenty hours and on three successive nights drove Morgan's men from their supper. Morgan first assailed us in the rear and then passed to our front, blockading the road and destroying subsistence. For three successive days we were limited to the water of stagnant pools and that in small quantities. We expected to meet Humphrey Marshall at this place, but have been disappointed. Unless otherwise ordered I will proceed with my column to Camp Dennison to rest and refit.

With high respect,

GEORGE W. MORGAN, Brig.-Gen., Cmdg.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 16, pt. I, p. 990.


This report indicates that land mines were used by the Union during their occupation of the Cumberland Gap.

Report of Capt. Jacob T. Foster, First Battery Wisconsin Light Artillery, Chief of Artillery.

HEADQUARTERS ARTILLERY, U. S. FORCES, Portland, Ohio, October 14, 1862.

DEAR SIR: I have the honor of submitting to you the following report of the march of the artillery force from Cumberland Gap, Tenn., to this place:

This force consisted of five batteries, to wit: Foster's First Wisconsin Battery, of six 10-pounder rifle guns; Wetmore's Ninth Ohio Battery, of six guns--two 10 and two 12 pounder guns, and two 12-pounder howitzers; Lanphere's Michigan battery, of six 10-pounder rifle guns; Webster's siege battery, of six 20-pounder Parrott guns, and Clingan's battery, of four 6-pounder guns--twenty-eight pieces in all. Lanphere's battery was ordered to accompany De Courcy's brigade to Manchester, Ky., on the 8th day of September, where it arrived on the 11th of September, and remained there until the 21st, when it marched with the balance of the division. On the 16th the Ninth Ohio Battery reported to Col. Coburn, Thirty-third Indiana Regiment, and marched with the same to Manchester, where they arrived on the 19th. On the 17th of September Foster's Wisconsin battery and Clingan's battery reported to Gen. Spears, and the siege battery to Gen. Carter, for orders, the latter battery marching at 11 p. m., Foster's and Clingan's batteries bringing up the rear about 1 a. m. of the 18th of September. On or about the 22d day of August all of the artillery horses that were fit for service, except enough for one section, were delivered to Col. Garrard, of the Third Kentucky Regiment, and taken to Manchester, Ky.; consequently it was necessary to use mules to transport the batteries. There were, however, about 100 horses which had been condemned as unfit for service but a short time before, which were assigned to the siege battery. The batteries all arrived at Manchester in good order, experiencing but little difficulty on the way. Here the siege battery received fifteen new horses, which strengthened the team very considerably. On the 21st of September the siege battery, with Gen. Baird's brigade, marched at 4 p. m.; Foster's and Clingan's batteries, with Gen. Spears' brigade, at 5 p. m.; the Ninth Ohio Battery, with Gen. Carter's brigade, at 9.30 p. m., and Lauphere's battery, with De Courcy's brigade, at 10 p. m. The roads were the roughest we had yet seen, but we experienced but little difficulty in passing over them. The advance halted at Clark's, about eleven miles from Manchester, at 11 p. m., and rested for the night. About 4 a. m. of the 22d a gun Carriage to the Ninth Ohio Battery was overturned, breaking an arm of one of the drivers. The ammunition in the limber-chest, from some cause--supposed to be by the ignition of a friction-primer--exploded, dangerously wounding two men and demolishing the limber-chest and wheels. At Proctor, Baird's brigade, with the siege battery, and Carter's brigade, with the Ninth Ohio Battery, left the traveled road to take a nearer route over an old road which had not been used for several years, and were to rejoin the brigades of Spears and De Courcy and the other batteries at Hazel Green, a distance of twenty-five miles. This road was in many places totally washed away, in others it had slidden [sic] into streams, and in others was filled with fallen trees and rocks. Wherever it led across a stream the last vestige of a bridge had been washed away, and the banks were considered by the inhabitants of the country as impassable. At the North Fork of the Kentucky River was a breach that would have caused anything less than men of iron wills to have given up in despair. The banks of the river on either side, being sandy, were washed by the floods until no vestige of a road could be seen other than the old road, which was upward of fifty feet above low-water mark. But Capt. Patterson, with his company of sappers and miners, assisted by Capt. Tidd, of the telegraph, and Capt. Douglas, of the Engineer Corps, and their commands, soon constructed a passable road, and within six hours from the time of our arrival at the river the whole train had passed over safely.

The march from Proctor to Hazel Green was made in three days over very rough roads which needed repairs more than half the distance. Water by this route was plenty, but not of a very excellent quality, being found in stagnant pools mostly. The batteries that went the traveled road suffered more for want of water, as they were obliged to march nearly the whole distance without a drop of water only as they could carry it with them. On Saturday, the 27th of September, the advance was fired into by bushwhackers and Morgan's cavalry. Lauphere's battery threw from thirty to forty shells into the woods at them, but with what effect is not known. On the 29th Carter's brigade, being in the advance, was fired into by a party of rebels from a point of woods. The siege battery was called forward and threw twenty-two shells into the woods from whence came the firing, the result of which was a skedaddle of rebels. Again in the evening of the 30th a squad of the Second Tennessee Regiment were after water and were fired upon by rebels and one captain wounded. Seven more shells were thrown by the siege battery, the result of which was skedaddling number two. On the same date, the 30th, the First Wisconsin Artillery shelled the rebels out of a piece of woods and captured 1,000 pounds of rebel bacon. From West Liberty to Grayson our way was frequently barricaded and front harassed by the notorious J. H. Morgan, but his barricades were taken out much faster than he could put them in, and he was crowded so closely that at Grayson he left us, saying:

"Tis no use trying to stop that d__d Yankee Morgan, for he can march over fallen trees faster than I can in good roads, and can take artillery where the d____ [sic] I can't go."

From Grayson to the Ohio River, twenty-five miles, the roads were much better than we had seen since leaving Manchester, and we arrived at Greenupsburg, Ky., on the 3d day of October, safe and in good condition, with all the artillery with which we left Cumberland Gap, except the ammunition chest of the Ninth Ohio Battery, which exploded, and one caisson abandoned at Grayson by Capt. Lauphere, with a broken stock. October 4 we crossed the Ohio River by ferrying the ammunition chests and fording with the Carriages, and camped in Haverhill, Ohio, before midnight.

Sunday, the 5th instant, left Haverhill about 9 a. m. for this place, where we arrived at noon on the 7th instant. Thus ended a march of upward of 200 miles through a region of country considered impracticable for an army, where water was very scarce, and subsistence, other than green corn and a few potatoes, was not to be had. Not a pound of flour was used by several of the batteries during the whole march, all their bread being made from "gritted" corn. Many of the men were barefooted and all were poorly clad, yet these men would march almost day and night with very little complaining, showing a degree of courage and fortitude worthy of emulation. Too much praise cannot be bestowed upon Capt. Patterson and his command for the prompt and efficient manner in which he removed all obstacles to our safe and speedy progress.

J. T. FOSTER, Capt. and Chief of Artillery.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 52, pt. I, pp. 49-51.


Sept. 18 - CUMBERLAND GAP EVACUATED. [sic] The Federals commenced burning their army stores last night at 8 o'clock. They blew up their magazines after midnight, and marched out before day. We advanced this morning and occupied the Gap, and found a great quantity of property destroyed, and some not destroyed. The enemy had spiked the guns in the forts on the mountain peaks, and they left a great number of sick in the Gap. We will move on in pursuit of them.

Diary of William E. Sloan.


HDQRS. DEPARTMENT OF EAST TENNESSEE, Knoxville, Tenn., September 19, 1862.

Gen. BRAXTON BRAGG, Cmdg. Department No. 2:

GEN.: The enemy evacuated Cumberland Gap on the night of the 17th, after blowing up his magazine and destroying stores and small-arms in large quantities. He left six pieces of artillery, including two 4 1/2-inch Parrots. Gen. Stevenson, with two brigades and his cavalry, encamp on the bank of the Cumberland to-night. The convalescents, with ordnance and money train, left Clinton via Jamestown previous to the evacuation.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

[J. P. McCOWN,] Maj.-Gen.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 16, pt. II, pp. 852-853.


KNOXVILLE, TENN., September 18, 1862.

Maj. Gen. SAMUEL JONES, Chattanooga, Tenn.:

Cumberland Gap evacuated by the enemy last night. Your troops not needed.

J. P. McCOWN, Maj.-Gen.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 16, pt. II, p. 847.


CHATTANOOGA, TENN., September 19, 1862.


Secretary of War, Richmond, Va.:

Gen. McCown telegraphs that Cumberland Gap was evacuated night before last and my troops not needed. Gen. Maxey's command will proceed by Knoxville to Kentucky, taking all spare arms with him.

SAM. JONES, Maj.-Gen.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 16, pt. II, p. 854.


Mobile, Sept. 20.-A special dispatch to the Advertiser and Register, dated Knoxville, 19th, says that the enemy evacuated Cumberland Gap on Wednesday night [17th], blowing up their magazine, destroying all their property, and blasting rock to block the roads. They are retreating by the Harland road to Kentucky.-Our forces are pursuing them at Cumberland Ford and Baptist Gap.

Andy Johnson's family who were at Greenville, East Tennessee, within our lines, have been permitted by order of the Secretary of War to return the enemy's lines.

Chattanooga, Sept. 20.-On the 7th the Yankees evacuated Cumberland Gap, destroying all their stores and blasting rocks so as to block up the roads.

Georgia Weekly Telegraph, September 26, 1862.



        17, Rumors of war, Federal arrest of newspaper editor in Cleveland

A pretty day….Mother and I went out to Uncle Caswell's this morn. Mary Elizabeth came out and told us they were looking for 10,000 rebels, she and I stayed out there all day….Mr. McNelley[2] came home this eve. Mother and Sister went there after tea, they arrested him whilst they were there. Dr. Hughes here tonight to tell Sister and Mother that they are to be arrested tomorrow morn for being at Mr. McNelley's

Diary of Myra Adelaide Inman.

        17, 18863 -  "VAGABOND NEGROES."

What is to become of the swarms of negro men and children that are "lying about" the city? The government, we know, feeds and clothes, and controls those in its employment, but there are perhaps some thousand in Nashville and its environs, who upon the approach of winter must perish or stealing they can do. Before the war such was the abundance in Middle Tennessee, that there was little difficulty in procuring a subsistence either by theft or begging. Nobody, either black or white could have been allowed to starve. But all this is now changed. There is not food in Middle Tennessee to keep life in resident population, and scarcely any money with which to purchase it elsewhere. The wealthy can live in any time-those in moderate circumstances will be straightened to keep soul land body together. Where will be any surplus to be stolen or bestowed in charity?

Half of these negroes [sic] cannot work, and the other half will not; and if they could and would, scarcely anyone can give them employment. From October to April very few persons could afford to feed and clothe even a stout man or woman for their services. With wood at forty dollars per cord, and a bad chance to get that forty dollars, most men will prefer to make their own fires rather than incur the expense of an additional fire for a darkey [sic] to doze over. Yet, the thrifty mater familias [sic] will conclude that there is no economy in giving away half of the scant supplies for her household for a lazy wench to cook dinner; so she will just tuck up her sleeves and go at it herself.

There is no possible way in which this vagrant population of darkies can have adequate food, clothing and shelter during the winter, unless the Federal military authorities shall think proper to subsist them from the Commissary stores. Neither in the city nor in the surrounding country are the people able to do it; and no sort of coercion can wring from them what they haven't got.

Just here somebody says, cui bono? If there is no remedy for the mischief, what is the use to preach about it? If they must die, let them die and be done with it. No, sir; it must not pass into history that thousands or even hundreds of human beings perished from hunger and cold in the City of Nashville, in the winter of 1863-64. This stigma upon the civilization of the age, and country must be prevented, if, by possibility, it may be. And we hope something to the purpose may be accomplished, if the matter is taken up in time. If neither the Corporation of Nashville, nor the military authorities, can or will provide for the case, what then?

This is a hard question, but we must not surrender to the difficulty. Suppose these helpless people were sent back to their homes, if not too distant, or to sections of the country, where the means of living have not been exhausted by the presence of an army. Either their owners or other person would probably give then a support in return for their work. A register must be kept of names, ages, etc., by which they might, at any time, be identified and reclaimed. If only a part of them could be so disposed of, the pressure and burden at Nashville would be so far relieved. We offer this crude suggestion to be improved by the judgement [sic] and experience of others, or to be altogether rejected for any better plan that may be furnished.

We insist that something shall be done, and that speedily, if we would escape being witnesses to a scene of horrors that will haunt us for the remainder of life.

Nashville Daily Press, September 17, 1863.


        17, Report of Maj. Gen. Robert H. Milroy, U. S. Army, commanding Defenses of Nashville and Chattanooga Railroad, of operations during Wheeler's raid.

HDQRS. DEFENSES NASHVILLE AND CHATTANOOGA R. R., Tullahoma, Tenn., September 17, 1864.

MAJ.: In obedience to the order of the major-general commanding the District of Tennessee to report my operations after Wheeler, I will state I had no operation after Wheeler, but operated to a small extent after Williams who, I understand, was one of Wheeler's generals, and I respectfully submit the following statement of said operations:

Maj. Waters, of the Fifth Tennessee Cavalry, stationed at McMinnville, with three companies of his regiment, was attacked at that place on the 29th ultimo by some 300 rebel cavalry and guerrillas, under Col. Dibrell, and after a skirmish of some three hours, he was driven out with the loss of 1 man killed and 1 wounded, and about 10 were captured, consisting mostly of sick in the hospital. I had some days previous withdrawn from that place all the quartermaster's and hospital stores. I instructed Maj. Waters to keep vigilant pickets well out on the road eastward, and upon the approach of any force of the enemy to skirmish with them sufficiently to ascertain that they were in strong force, and upon ascertaining that fact to at once send off his transportation and camp equipage, with such Union citizens as wished to come away, to this place, and to cover their withdrawal to this place but Maj. Waters after being attacked continued skirmishing, supposing he could hold the place, till he was nearly surrounded, and barely escaped with his men and two small mountain howitzers, losing his camp equipage and 10 wagons and 1 ambulance, with 3 teams. Having learned late in the evening of the 29th that Maj. Waters was attacked, I started the remainder of the Fifth Tennessee Cavalry, together with the Tenth and Twelfth, which had recently come over from Pulaski, under Lieut.-Col. Clift, to his rescue, but they met him at Manchester and did not go any farther. On the night of the 30th the railroad and telegraph line between this and Murfreesborough was cut, some four miles from Bell Buckle. I sent down a reconnoitering party of soldiers on the 31st to examine and report extent of the damage and to drive off the enemy, if any. They returned and reported in the evening. I sent down a string party the next day on a construction train, who soon succeeded in repairing the track. I also on the same day sent a construction train, with a guard, in charge of Capt. Baird, my inspector, to repair the track and telegraph line, which had been cut between Decherd and Cowan the night previous. The damage here being but slight was soon repaired and Capt. Baird went on down to Stevenson, and there met Gen. Steedman with a force of some 3,000 infantry on trains, and ordered Gen. Steedman to come through this way to the assistance of Gen. Rousseau instead of going around by Decatur and up the Tennessee and Alabama Central Railroad. Gen. Steedman passed this place in the evening, and hearing that Gen. Rousseau was hotly engaged against overwhelming force of cavalry under Wheeler between Murfreesborough and Nashville, I deemed it best to throw all the cavalry I had to his assistance, and started the Fifth and Twelfth Tennessee to march through, via Murfreesborough, and ordered the Tenth Tennessee up from Decherd, where I had sent it, to be sent after the Fifth and Tenth on a railroad train. It was about 12 o'clock before I succeeded in getting the horses and men of the Tenth together, with two mountain howitzers belonging to the Fifth, the regiment and horses on the large train and the artillery and horses on a small train attached. I went with the greater portion of my staff with the regiment. About 3 o'clock on the morning of the 2d instant, when within about six miles of Murfreesborough, the train ran into a large wood pile that had been thrown on the track, and soon after the rebels opened fire on the two trains. I sprang out and commenced giving commands in a loud voice to different regiments to form line of battle to the right and left of the train. The rebels hearing this, and my men returning their fire pretty effectively from their carbines, supposed, from the length of our train, that we had a large force and beat a hasty retreat and left us at liberty to throw the wood off the track and go on to Murfreesborough, where we arrived at daylight. We killed 1 rebel and captured another in the attack, from whom we learned that we had been attacked by two regiments. I met Col. Spalding at Murfreesborough, who had arrived there during the night with orders from Maj.-Gen. Rousseau to bring the two cavalry regiments to join him as soon as possible in pursuit of Wheeler. Previous to meeting Col. Spalding with this order, I had determined to search after the rebels that had attacked our train, but after waiting here I doubted my authority to withhold the regiments from joining Gen. Rousseau, and concluded to go with them to him in hopes of getting some command in the pursuit. We started in the evening and lost our way in the night, and had to retrace our steps some six miles; rested and slept a few hours before day [3d]; received a dispatch from Gen. Steedman at daybreak, saying that he was confronted by a large rebel cavalry force on the railroad at Stewart's Creek and desired for cavalry to help him bag them. I thought it best to go to him at once. I arrived at Gen. Steedman's quarters about 8 o'clock, and he reported the enemy still in strong force in his front, and suggested that I divide the cavalry and send out a portion around the flanks of the enemy to drive them in, while he would attack them with his infantry and artillery in front. I accordingly divided my cavalry and sent them around and commenced driving them in, but no rebels were found. After several hours my scouting parties reported they were several miles off to the southeast, passing through Jefferson. I at once put the cavalry in pursuit, pushed on north of Jefferson, crossing Stone's River, until we struck the pike running west; followed this pike nearly north of Murfreesborough, when we turned toward that city and followed the enemy to within four miles of that city, when they turned square west again. It being about dark [3d] we soon afterward stopped to rest and feed. I directed Col. Spalding to have 100 men to push forward and to keep on the road of the enemy and watch his movements, and send couriers to pass us advises of their movements, and when they would stop, &c., and to move his command to town. His command was near to town, but the men were not sent in pursuit, the consequence of which was that we knew nothing of the enemy the next morning [4th] until the regiment, in seeking a corn-field for forage, overtook the enemy about 8 o'clock, camped about four miles from town between the Shelbyville and Salem pike. The brigade had been detained thus late in pressing horses and in getting shoeing done. After a slight skirmish the enemy commenced a hasty retreat; in about two miles they made a stand with three pieces of artillery and a strong rear guard, but after some brisk skirmishing they continued the retreat in a northwesterly direction, crossing the Salem pike, until they came to the road running west toward Triune, which they followed, hard pressed by the Tennessee cavalry and turning at bay every few miles and shelling our advancing column with their artillery, strongly supported. By taking up strong positions from time to time, they were thus enabled to hold us in check while the main column moved on. We found from the reports of citizens and of the wounded who fell into our hands and from stragglers captured that the rebel force was commanded by Williams, and was fully 2,000 strong, while the whole force with me was about 900. Had this force been properly disciplined that they could have been efficiently handled in action, the rebel battery could have been captured. Indeed I think this could have been done as they were had there been no question of my authority to enforce obedience to my orders, but from orders received by Col. Spalding from Gen. Rousseau there was some doubt in my mind on this point, but Col. Spalding, from the way my orders and suggestions were treated by him, appeared to have no doubt in his mind on this point. Our last fight with the rebels was at Triune, about 5 o'clock in the evening. [4th] At this point they turned south on the pike. Col. Spalding here reported to me that his brigade was short of ammunition and provisions, insisted that Williams would probably effect a junction with Wheeler during the night, and that it was his (Spalding's) duty to go to Franklin and form a junction with Gen. Rousseau as soon as possible. In order to do this I reluctantly consented. We arrived at Franklin at 10 o'clock. [4th] Ammunition was obtained from Nashville, horses were shod, and, being joined by a detachment of the Sixth Indiana, I pushed on in the evening and camped at Spring Hill. [5th] Passed through Columbia next day, the 6th, and learning that Gen. Rousseau had gone west after Wheeler, and not hearing of Williams crossing the railroad any place to join Wheeler, I found that he had gone back east and attacked the Nashville and Chattanooga Railroad. Having no authority to take the Tenth and Twelfth Tennessee Cavalry and Sixth Kentucky with me, I left them to go on to Gen. Rousseau, and pushed out that evening with the Fifth Tennessee and the detachment of the Sixth Kentucky in the direction of Tullahoma. I passed through Fayetteville the next day, [7th] captured 4 rebel soldiers, and arrived here on the morning of the 9th at 6.30 a. m. and found that Williams, after stopping a day at or in the vicinity of Farmington and Cornersville, and learning that my force and that of Gen.'s Rousseau and Granger were between him and Wheeler, who was pushing southwest, he turned east and passed through Shelbyville on the night of the 7th, and crossed the Nashville and Chattanooga Railroad on the 8th in great haste, having been skirmished with and bushwhacked by Capt. Worther's gallant little company of home guards, who, after disputing the entrance of the rebels to Shelbyville, held them in check till all the Government stores in that place were removed and arrived in safety at this place, fell back to Elk River bridge. From this place they rallied and fired on the rebels, who hurried across the railroad in such haste that they did not interrupt the railroad track or telegraph wire. Learning on my arrival here that the Ninth Pennsylvania Cavalry had arrived at Murfreesborough, I telegraphed to Gen. Van Cleve to order that regiment to McMinnville, and ordered the Fifth Tennessee Cavalry to proceed from here to form a junction with the Ninth Pennsylvania Cavalry at McMinnville and pursue Williams. The Fifth Tennessee arrived at McMinnville on the 10th. I waited some hours, and the Ninth Pennsylvania Cavalry not arriving, moved down the pike toward Murfreesborough some seven or eight miles, and not meeting them, came on back here. The next day, [11th] receiving a dispatch from Col. Jordan that he was at McMinnville a waiting orders from me, I sent an order to wait until I could send the Fifth Tennessee Cavalry to join him with provisions for his command, and then to push on with the two regiments after Williams. The result of their pursuit has been made known to the general by a copy of the report of Col. Jordan sent him. I cannot speak too highly of the bravery, endurance, perseverance, and patience of the Tennessee cavalry regiments that were with me. With proper discipline they could not be excelled by ally troops. Inclosed I send you a copy of the report of Brig.-Gen. Van Cleve. I join with him in commending the efficiency of the block-house system for the defense of the railroad, which has been clearly demonstrated by the total failure of the raid to do any material damage. More block-houses are much needed at different points along the line. Upon this point I would call especial attention to the suggestion and recommendations in the report of Capt. Baird, my assistant inspector-general, recently forwarded. He has examined these matters with myself; and his views of the requirements of the defenses of this railroad I fully [indorse] and think of the first importance. I join with Gen. Van Cleve in commending the heroism of Lieut. Orr, of the One hundred and fifteenth Ohio Volunteer Infantry, and Spartan band for their gallant and successful defense of Block-house No. 5, and recommend him for promotion for gallant conduct. It is with pain that I mention the death of the brave Lieut.-Col. Eifort, of the Second Kentucky, who received a mortal wound while gallantly leading a charge on the rebel battery and rear guard about noon on the 4th instant, of which he soon afterward died. The Tenth Tennessee Cavalry had been ordered to move around to the left of the rebel position and charge them in flank, while Col. Eifort, with the detachment of his own regiment and a portion of the Fifth Tennessee, went to charge them in front. After a sufficient time had been given the Tenth to get into position Col. Eifort charged forward in the most gallant style, but the Tenth had failed to get into position and charge simultaneously, as was intended. The consequence was that Col. Eifort was repulsed and driven back; and while the colonel was bravely trying to hold his men in the unequal fight, amid the enemy's guns, he was shot through the body. In his death society lost an ornament and the country a brave young officer of much promise. Inclosed I also send a copy of the report of Col. Boone, of the One hundred and fifteenth Ohio Volunteer Infantry.

I have the honor, major, to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

R. H. MILROY, Maj.-Gen.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 38, pt. II, pp. 490-494.

        17, The restoration of the local judiciary in Memphis

Civil Jurisdiction.

We are gratified to announce the fact that Major General Washburn has ordered that all person now in confinement in military prisons in this district, for offenses against the statutes of the State of Tennessee, be turned over to the civil authorities for trial in the civil courts. Hereafter [sic] the military courts will be limited to the trial of offences against the United States Government. This will be received with satisfaction by our readers. Yesterday the following criminals were turned over to the civil authorities civil authorities by the Provost Marshal. They will be tried at the October term of the courts: John Dorty, murder; C.J. Harris, attempted to kill; Susan Mitchell, murder, Martha Palsey, attempt to poison; Hickey Pearsons, murder; W. Bolin, attempt to poison; Lewis Leech, larceny; Lewis Farley, attempt to poison; Bustabe Adler, burglary; and Delia Pearsons, murder.

Memphis Bulletin, September 17, 1864.

        17, "Hygenic [sic]."

About a week ago a young man arrived in Memphis from Dubuque, Iowa, and has since been acting as phonographic reporter of evidence before the Military Commission at� present in session here. As his labor is very confining during the day, he has been in the habit of taking a walk to the suburbs of the city each evening, for his health. Last night, having wandered as far as the point where Poplar street crosses the railroad, he was stopped by two men in soldier's uniform, who presented a revolver at his head, threatening to blow out his brains unless he gave up his money. As his money amounted to just ninety-five cents, which could soon be earned again, while it might not be so easy to replace the contents of his cranium, he chose to deliver the currency. They then relieved him of a silver watch, worth about $25, and ordered him to go on his way in silence. He made his way to the patrol guard as soon as possible, and a squad of men were sent out after the robbers, but they were not to be found.

Our short-hand friend has made the discovery that it is not good for the health to perambulate the suburbs in the evening.

Memphis Bulletin, September 17, 1864

[1] Including march of garrison to Greensburg, Kentucky (Brigadier-General George W. Morgan). This official report by Brigadier-General George W. Morgan (U. S.) gives a condensation of that evacuation, or withdrawal, or retreat, as a very harried affair. It is singular in that it refers to exploding mines, presumably "land mines," the presence of which have not been heralded by Civil War ordnance enthusiasts.

[2] McNelley, or McNally, was the editor of a Cleveland newspaper the "Cleveland Democratic Paper [sic

James B. Jones, Jr.

Public Historian

Tennessee Historical Commission

2941 Lebanon Road

Nashville, TN  37214

(615)-770-1090 ext. 123456

(615)-532-1549  FAX


Tuesday, September 16, 2014

9.16.2014 Tennessee Civil War Notes

        16, Smith's Legion, Confederate convalescents, ordnance and money

HDQRS. DEPARTMENT OF EAST TENNESSEE, Knoxville, Tenn., September 16, 1862.

Maj. Gen. E. KIRBY SMITH, Lexington, Ky.:

GEN.: Smith's Legion and the 2,000 convalescents are on the way to join you, escorting money and ordnance. It was with great difficulty that I armed the convalescents. I send them by way of Jamestown, Big Creek Gap having been blockaded, and I did not care to risk the funds so near an enemy. De Courcy, with his brigade, left the Gap with 500 wagons--I presume to collect provisions. Morgan is getting in some supplies. I fear he does not intend to leave. Governor Harris' and Gen. Bragg's conscription orders have thrown the whole country into a feverish state, and I do not think I overestimate when I say thousands are stampeding to the mountains and to Morgan.


J. P. McCOWN,  Maj.-Gen.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 16, pt. II, p. 836.



        16, 1863 - "The Rebel Governor, Caruthers."

The [Louisville] Journal of Saturday has the following eulogism [sic] upon the rebel Governor, Caruthers. Caruthers bears a title to which he has no constitutional claim: his theoretical government does not possess on foot of territory in Tennessee:


Judge Robert L, Caruthers has been elected Confederate Governor of Tennessee. He is one of the most honest, as he is certainly one of the ablest and best men in Tennessee. A conservative of the old Henry Clay school, it was not possible for him to be a secessionist. Until the act of secession in 1861, and the collision of arms begun, he was a staunch friend of the Union. After that, siding with the South, he became a revolutionist, and allied himself to the Southern Confederacy. He was at one time a member of Congress from Tennessee, representing worthily Mr. Bell's old district. In 1844, he canvassed the state for Mr. Clay. He was elected Supreme Judge of the State in 1852, and held the position until 1861. He was a member of the peace Congress that assembled in Washington the same year, and exerted himself to devise some measure to avert the dismemberment of the Union. While it is a little singular that such a man should be chosen for such a position at such a time, it is very certain that they could not have selected a man of more statesmanship and character. We learn that an attempt of the friends of Govern Harris to get the vote of the State for him failed.

Now, let us see, by way of contrast, what can be said of the "lawful Governor" of Tennessee. He is a man who has stood faithfully by the Constitution and his oaths, amidst every temptation. Driven into exile by the force of treason, he returned the moment the way was opened to him. With him it was not only "not possible to become a secessionist," but not possible even to become a "revolutionist" against the best Government in the world, and in violation of the most solemn oaths of fealty. Gov. Johnson is a man whose character is pure, upright and consistent. The most bitter political opponent has never imputed to him the slightest obliquity. Sprung from the ranks of the people, he has made his way upward to a place of enviable renown, and his record is complete.

Memphis Bulletin, September 16, 1863.

        16, 1863 -  Desertions from the Army of Tennessee

There have been a large number of rebel deserters coming in here [McMinnville] for some time. Yesterday nearly one hundred came in. There have [been] about three hundred come in here in the last week. They all despair of their cause, and this feeling is doing its work upon them.

Even the commissioned officers are deserting. I do not wonder at this despair. The success of the union armies has been great and unvarying all summer and it still goes on….

Thank God for the abundant success he has given us so far. May we praise him for his goodness to us, ever seek his favor and still press on untiringly in our efforts to put down this wicked rebellion.

Alley Diary



        16-20, Scout, Cookeville to Sligo fording on the Caney Fork River, and Smithville[1]

HDQRS. U. S. FORCES, Sparta, Tenn., September 16, 1864.


MAJ.: Agreeable to orders of Maj.-Gen. Milroy, as soon as the detachments from the Fifth Tennessee and Second Kentucky, 230 strong, reached McMinnville, I marched for Sparta. I reached this place last night without hearing anything but vague reports of the enemy and without seeing any. This morning I marched northward on the Cookeville road, and about twelve miles from Sparta found several scouts from the command of Col. Stokes at Carthage. From these I ascertained that the commands of Williams, Robertson, and Dibrell had taken the mountain road leading toward Montgomery, in Morgan County, and that they had on Sunday night encamped about twenty-five miles from Sparta, at the head of Dry Valley, and that on Monday they had crossed Sinking Cane, all moving in a compact mass, without leaving any stragglers. I infer from the movements that they are endeavoring to reach East Tennessee by way of Obey's River, near Clinton, from which point they can select some one of the various fords between Strawberry Plains and mountain by which the Holston can be crossed. Finding that the enemy were pushing on without halting, and having so long a start of me, I returned to this place. To-morrow I will detach Maj. Armstrong, with the Fifth Tennessee and Second Kentucky Cavalry, to return through McMinnville to Tullahoma. I sent Maj. Waters to the west and south of Cookeville to scout upon the various roads leading toward Sligo fording, on the Caney Fork, and Smithville, hoping he may be able to pick up some stragglers on those unfrequented roads. He will in a few days report to Tullahoma. I will, with the Ninth, remain at Sparta till day after to-morrow morning, when I will march to Pikeville and Dunlap, in Sequatchie Valley, from whence I will report to Maj.-Gen. Steedman, at Chattanooga. I will reach Dunlap on the evening of the 19th, unless I find when at Pikeville that my presence may be necessary at Grassy Cove or the vicinity of Kingston.

Respectfully reported,

THOS. J. JORDAN, Col. Ninth Pennsylvania Vol. Cav., Cmdg. U. S. Forces.

OR, Ser. I. Vol. 39, pt. II, pp. 391-392.

[1] This and the two succeeding scouts were not listed separately in the Official Records General Index but reference is found to them in this citation.

James B. Jones, Jr.

Public Historian

Tennessee Historical Commission

2941 Lebanon Road

Nashville, TN  37214

(615)-770-1090 ext. 123456

(615)-532-1549  FAX


Monday, September 15, 2014

9.14-15.2014 Tennessee Civill War Notes

 14, "High Rents" in Confederate Knoxville

In view of the times, the war, and the suspension of business, tenants are required to pay too high rents in this city, and its surroundings, and there should at once be a reduction. The laboring classes, dependent upon their daily labor for money to meet their unavoidable expenses, cannot make enough to pay the high rents demanded of them, these dull and trying times. The impossibility of making collections-the utter impossibility of getting new and additional stocks of goods, forbid that merchants should be required to pay their former high rents. And all things considered, men renting dwelling houses should not be charged, as heretofore two and three hundred dollars for ordinary dwellings. The owners of property should have a meeting, and agree upon a reduction in rents. To exact extravagant rents, and take the advantage of men's necessities, at this time, is swindling under a pretense of renting out property!

Brownlow's Knoxville Whig, September 14, 1861.

        14, "Coffee! Coffee!! Coffee!!!"

In these days of blockades, when coffee is scarce, prices high, and in many places none to be had at any price, many substitutes are tried.

I am glad to have it in my power to recommend a substitute which is so nearly like the genuine article as to satisfy the most delicate taste and deceive the oldest coffee drinkers. It is as follows:

Take the common Red Garden Beet [sic], pulled fresh from the ground, wash clean, cut into small squares the size of as coffee grain or a little larger, toast till thoroughly parched, but not burned, transfer to the mill and grind. -The mill should be clean. Put from one pint to one and a half, to a gallon of water, and settle within an egg as in common coffee, make and bring to the table hot-with nice, fresh cream [sic] (not milk) and sugar. I will defy you or anybody else to tell the difference between it and the best Java.

I drank this substitute at the hospitable mansion of Col. Wm. D.W. Weaver, of Greensboro' [GA.], and who has adopted it from his recollection of the war of 1812, when his mother used it. I would say in connection that much depends on the skill of the coffee maker. Some people cannot make good coffee out of the best article. I have tried the above and know that it will satisfy the public if properly used.

W.C. Bass, Greensboro, Ga., Aug. 29th, 1861

Brownlow's Knoxville Whig, September 14, 1861.



        14, Free Negroes meet to consider mass exodus from Nashville

Meeting of Free Colored Men.—A circular was lately received by one of our free colored men from James Mitchell, Commissioner of the Colonization Society, addressed to the free colored people of Nashville, and requesting their opinions on the propriety of emigrating to some country where they could live entirely among people of their own color. A meeting was held on Sunday [14th] evening to take the matter into consideration, when the circular was read, and referred to a committee, who were instructed to report suitable resolutions at a subsequent meeting to be held on Thursday [18th] evening. The meeting of Sunday was only a preliminary one, and but little was done more than above noted. In our paper of Friday, we will give a full report of all that transpires.

Nashville Dispatch, September 16, 1862.

        15, Murder and arson in occupied Nashville

Murder and Arson-The city was thrown into a state of dreadful excitement yesterday afternoon caused by the killing of two soldiers, the arrest of one of the perpetrators of the deed, the burning of the house where the killing took place and the reported hanging of old man Fields, by soldiers in this vicinity....the facts are as follows: Mr. Joe Fields and Mrs. Bertha Callahan, with their four children, were living in a house on Cherry street, a short distance from Broad street. For some days past they have been annoyed by the visits of some soldiers, and yesterday a quarrel ensued between Mr. Field and three soldiers, which was brought to a termination by either Mr. Field or Mrs. Callahan shooting two of them, one of whom died instantly, and the other a short time after, while the third ran off. Many persons say that shots were fired by the soldiers, but if such was the fact none took effect. A corporal's guard arrived soon after...and arrested the woman, whom they conveyed to the Provost Marshal's office in the Capitol, where he was examined and committed for further hearing. Fields was seized by some of the soldiers, who speedily gathered on the spot, and was taken, as we are informed, before the Colonel of the regiment, who will no doubt order him to the custody of the Provost Marshal. As soon as the arrests were made, the soldiers set fire to the house, which, with its contents, was almost entirely consumed, the last spark of fire being quenched by No. 1 Engine in less than one hour from the time the two men were shot. The poor, helpless children must be nearly heartbroken...A full investigation will probably be initiated....

After the above was in type we learned that the soldiers who arrested Mr. Field took him to their camp, and were about to shoot him, when General Payne [i.e., E.A. Paine] arrived...and ordered him to be conveyed to the Provost Marshal.

Nashville Dispatch, September 16, 1862.



        14, General Orders, No. 129, relative to formation of "home guard" units as armed police forces

GENERAL ORDERS, No. 129. HDQRS. SIXTEENTH ARMY CORPS, Memphis, Tenn., September 14, 1863.

I. Officers commanding divisions in Kentucky and Tennessee will encourage the formation of home guards within their limits from unquestionably loyal men, and will render to them military protection while in process of formation.

II. Home guards may be organized under the militia laws of the State where they are located, and after the election of officers, the muster-rolls in duplicate will be reported to the headquarters of the division, where temporary commissions will be issued by the general commanding, who will report the names of the officers and one muster roll to the Governor of the respective States to which they belong.

III. Home guards thus raised will not be required to do duty beyond the limits of their organization, but will be required to put down and suppress all robbery, violence, and irregular warfare within such limits, and will regularly report all of their acts to the division commander.

IV. In case of necessity, they will be furnished with a supply of arms and ammunition in the discretion of such division commander upon the receipt of their commissioned officers, and for which such commissioned officers will be held responsible.

V. This organization is intended as an armed police, and officers and men will be held to strict accountability for their acts as such. All prisoners taken by them charged with offenses will be sent forward, with a statement of the offense and the names of witnesses, to the nearest military post, for trial and punishment, in conformity with general orders now in force.

VI. Quiet and peaceable persons remaining at their homes will not be molested for any mere opinions which they may entertain, unless some wrongful act, or connivance with the wrongful acts of others, be proven.

By order of Maj. Gen. S. A. Hurlbut:

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 30, pt. III, p. 621.

        14, Confederate raiding party robs Winchester

TULLAHOMA, September 14, 1863--6 p. m.

Capt. S. B. MOE, Assistant Adjutant-Gen.:

About 400 rebels took Winchester, robbed it, and left for Fayetteville, closely pursued by our cavalry this afternoon.

JOHN COBURN, Col., Comdg.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 30, pt. III, p. 636.

        14, Erstwhile Confederates join the Union Army at Athens and recruiting plans for Benton and Cleveland

HDQRS. FIRST BRIG., FOURTH DIV., 23d ARMY CORPS, Athens, Tenn., September 14, 1863.

Lieut. Col. GEORGE B. DRAKE, Assistant Adjutant-Gen.:

I have the honor to report that citizens have just come in from Cleveland reporting that 2,000 rebels are advancing on that town with a battery of artillery.

I have sworn in 276 men to-day, most of them soldiers. They are flocking in by the hundred. I would like to have the privilege of sending a provost-marshal and two companies to Benton and the same to Cleveland. I think I could do a great deal of benefit to the service by so doing. I will send a detachment to Cleveland to-morrow or next day to scout, unless I receive orders to the contrary, and will leave a part at each place with a provost-marshal.

I have sworn in, in the last three days, 462. Three hundred and sixty-two of these were soldiers. I have in custody the president and several of the directors of the State Bank of Tennessee at this place, holding them responsible for the bank funds.

Respectfully, &c.,

R. K. BYRD, Col., Comdg.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 30, pt. III, pp. 639-640.

        14, "The Enemy." Complaints about Public Health in Nashville

Yes the enemy is upon us; are even here now marching up our streets in solid columns, garrisoning our fortifications and throwing a guard into each farm and many of our houses; binding with chains not easily to be broken, a large potion of the residents, both citizens and soldiers; binding with chains not easily to be broken, a large portion of the residents, both citizens and soldiers; slaughtering without remorse, the old and young; the strong man at arms and the feeble woman; even the little child does not escape his power. Lawrence [sic] is invaded at our very doors. Yes, more than invaded, in awful distress, in panic, in these consequences death.

But, strange to say, no long roll is beating, no warning voice is heard, no strong men march out to meet the foe, and drive him from our midst; men walk along with hands in pockets whistling snatches from some gay opera, women spend their time in the social visit and friendly chat, till the destroyer is upon their own homes; no one cares no one even deigns to notice till his [sic] house is struck. It reminds one of the madness of the Babylonian sitting at Bellshazzar's feast, while the Great One had written "Mene, Mene, Tekil, Upharsin," on the wall. It is worse with us, for the enemy was but thundering at their gates; he is in our very midst. Are we mad or only drunken?

Let us examine the array of the foemen. Terrible indeed, under the banner of their invincible King Death, they are bound to conquer wherever they can gain admittance.

Old "Malaria" leads the van, and has thrown out a strong body of skirmishers along the river banks, who have constructed powerful and complete shell-places from the material found in such abundance there-drying mud of the river, decaying vegetables, and dead animals, both great and small. It has also been stated, on the authority of our best scouts, that a company has similarly entrenched itself at the reservoir, and have turned their weapons on us most effectually. A large force has been guarding the N. & C. R. R., but I am told, that this has been removed, and thrown out as skirmishers on the suburbs of the city.

The main command is under the control of Maj. Gen. Fever, whose headquarters are at Barracks No. 1. His brigade commands may be found: Typhoid on the Public Square; Typhus, Water street; Variola, Smoky Row; Pyemia and Gangrene, at the vacant lots near Hospital No. 14, and back of the depot; from whence they are ready to send their emissaries at the shortest notice.

That patrolling streets and guarding of private houses devolves on Brig. Gen. Dysentery, whose agents are abroad every where, only waiting for a pretext to enter every house and home. And where they do enter, woe to those found within. They have an eagle eye on every camp and hospital, and no day passes but some unwary victims fall by their hands. It is even said that they are watching the market and improving every chance to put poison in all that is sold there; and where shall we turn that we may not see an enemy surrounding us?

Who is responsible for this? Yes, I repeat, in God's name show us the man, if he be high or low, civil or military.

It is useless to try to equivocate, when no persons can pass up Church street, on the sidewalk, by the barracks, without holding his breath-when even old boatmen are sickened by the horrid stench of the river-when the streets are the filthiest of any in the world, Constantinople not excepted-when men will beg the privilege of standing all night by the windows of our military prison, and rather than wait for a legal discharge, although they have the necessary papers in their pockets, stake and lose their lives in attempting to run the guard. No paltry excuse will answer to stave off public investigation.

Does this work belong to our military or municipal authorities? Let the responsible parties see to it. If they do not the people will see to them.

A former communication of mine was so unfortunate as to raise the ire of the Louisville Journal, and a bitter tirade of personalities came down on our defenseless head; but my duties in the field left me no time to answer it. I stated only facts, which are, every one of them capable of proof by parties whose integrity is undoubted.

I have not had any desire to place Col. Mundy in [a] false position. An order, published in the same paper,[1] admits "gross abuses" [sic] had crept into the "pass system" and provides for their removal. His subordinates have not, perhaps, always been the best in the army, and recent investigations of the great army police brings to light enough to place the load of guilt some where [sic] else, but on one who seems to be a gentleman and a soldier. In regard to the writer, if it is necessary, I can give to the world the history of the Murfreesboro' contract; the fawning and going down on the marrow bones, with the whole history of various transactions in this department, and their fate, which will account for the reason that the name of "Grainger" has no angelic sweetness to his ear. I do this simply as a compliment to his sharpness, of which quality he justly considers the writer destitute. But as for entering into a wordy war with him, he must excuse me, for long since I formed a resolution (for the safety of my clothing) never to trouble with a tarred stick.


Nashville Daily Press, September 14, 1863.

        14, "Depravity and Wretchedness;" inmates of the Shelby County jail

The City Jail now contains a goodly number of the wretched victims of vice and iniquity. Among them we observe the confirmed inveterate topers, who have fallen so low in the scale of being that no blush of shame ever mantles their cheek, nor regard for themselves or those dependent upon them, will cause them to pause in that road that is leading them down, down to destruction, and dragging with them those who might be made useful to society, were they the favored children of moral and virtuous parents.

We saw there, five or six women, who have ceased to respect themselves, and of course, have long ceased to be respected by others. Those were the victims of intemperance, and these were the devotees of the most revolting vices-degraded and shameless; they are far gone on the path of crime and beyond the reach of human efforts to reclaim them.

There, too, we saw boys, yet in the stage of life known as childhood, a period when, if ever there was innocence among our race, it is then. Yet we saw them in all their youthfulness confined as confirmed thieves. All these specimens black and white, were surely, essentially lost to shame, to society, and a blot on the "noblest work of heaven."

Memphis Bulletin, September 14, 1863.



        14, The Conviction of Robert Taylor, of Coffee county, for the Torture and Murder of his Female Slave, Retter, August 31, 1863

A Slave-Whipper Condemned to Five Years' Imprisonment in the Penitentiary.

Proceedings of a Court Martial in Tennessee-Pungent Remarks of "Honest Abe."

Adjutant-General's Office, Washington, May 9, 1864.

[General Court Martial Orders No, 88.]

Before a military Commission, consisting of Capt. C. Thompson 19th Michigan Volunteers; Capt. Owen Griffith, 22nd Wisconsin Volunteers; Capt. James Nutt, 9th Indiana Volunteers; Capt. D. R. May, 22d Wisconsin Volunteers; First Lieut. George Bauman, 22d Wisconsin Volunteers, and which convened at Murfreesboro (Tenn.), Sept. 14, 1863, pursuant to Special Orders No. 8, dated Post Headquarters, Murfreesboro, Sept. 9, 1863, was arraigned and tried Robert Taylor, a citizen.


Specification-"In this: that he, the said Robert Taylor, a citizen of a Coffee county, in the State of Tennessee, did beat a negro woman named "Retter," in such manner that she died from the effects of the wounds thus inflicted. This on or about the 31st day of August, 1863, at or near the residence of said Robert Taylor, about three miles from the town of Hillsboro, in Coffee county, Tennessee."

[1] To which charge and specification the accused Robert Taylor, a citizen, pleaded, "Not guilty."

The Commission having maturely considered the evidence adduced, finds the accused Robert Taylor, a citizen, as follows; Of the specification-"Guilty." Of the charge-"Not guilty as charged, but guilty of manslaughter." 2. And the commission does therefore sentence him, Robert Taylor, a citizen, "to be confined in the State Penitentiary for the period of five years."

The proceedings, findings, and sentence in the forgoing case having been approved by the Major-General commanding the Department, and laid before the President of the United States, the following are his orders:

"The testimony in the case, as found in the record, is brief and free from all discrepancy or contradiction. The prisoner, it seems, alleged that an amount of money had been stolen from him-how much was not stated-but there was no proof any such theft, still less anything tending to connect with it the murdered woman, on whom his suspicions fell. Probably, however, from apprehension of punishment, this woman, who he claimed to own, made an attempt to run away, was pursued by the prisoner and his neighbors, captured and brought back.

The prisoner then procured a rope, and addressing himself to the bystanders, asked if there was any one present who could tie a hang knot; when a man named Womack stepped forward and tied it. The prisoner then adjusted it around the neck of the woman and throwing it over the limb of a tree, in the sight of his own dwelling, where were his wife and daughters, the work of murder began. Finding that the woman protected herself by seizing the rope with her hands, it was slackened and her hands tied, and again she was drawn up so that her toes barely touched the ground, and in this position she was held by the prisoner until from suffocation and exhaustion her head fell on one side. Through the interposition of the prisoner's wife and the bystanders the rope was then loosened, and opportunity given the woman to revive. While this torture was going on, the prisoner declared his object to be to compel the woman to confess the theft charged upon her, but she stoutly denied any knowledge of the money alleged to have been lost.

She was now taken by the prisoner to his tanyard, distant two hundred or two hundred and fifty yards and was there stripped by him of all her clothes except her chemise.

In the language of one of the witnesses, she was then 'confined by crossing her hands over her knees and tying them together, then putting them over her knees, with a stick thrust under, holding them in that position.' Thus pinioned, and lying alternately on her face and on her side, as the purpose of her tormentor required, for some two hours and a half, with brief intervals, she was whipped by the prisoner with a leather thong, two inches wide and three feet long, having a knot on the end. At the expiration of this time, 'some neighbors present said they thought he had whipped her about enough for that time,' and he thereupon desisted. She was then untied, and assisted by one of the neighbors toward the kitchen, staggering and falling several times from exhaustion on the way.

She succeeded, however, in reaching the kitchen, on the threshold of which she fell in the presence of the prisoner's wife, and a few minutes thereby expired. "The shameless character of the defense was in keeping with the crime. It was insisted in the defense that the woman's death was produced by some cold water, of which, in her heated and exhausted condition, she had drunk; and in attempted palliation of the prisoner's murderous brutality, it was proved by several of his neighbors that he bore a good moral character, and clothed and fed his slaves well and for himself, he stated that he had once before, on a similar charge, given a woman even a worse whipping than that of which she [Retter] died."

"That a body of officers, holding commissions in the army of the United States, and acting under the responsibility of a oath, should deal thus lightly with so shocking a sacrifice of human life, cannot but excite sentiments of mingled surprise and regret. Every circumstance surrounding the crime aggravates its enormity, among which may be named the absence of all provocation, the prolonged torture to which the wretched sufferer was subjected-thus affording ample time for all human passion, had any existed, to have cooled-but above all the sex and utter helplessness of the bound and resisting victim.

"That the President directs that the sentence-inadequate as it is-shall, except as to the place of confinement, be carried into execution and Albany (New York) is designated as the penitentiary where he shall be confined; but while doing so he feels it incumbent upon him to call the attention of the army, and especially of those charged with the administration of military justice, to the responsibility displayed by this Commission, and to express to disapprobation with which it is regarded. The members of the Commission, in thus lightly dealing with one of the more revolting murders on record, have done no honor to themselves, and afforded an example which it hoped will never again be witnessed in the service.

"The prisoner will be sent under proper guard to Albany, (New York,) and delivered to the Warden of the penitentiary as the place for confinement for the period of five years, in accordance with the sentence."

By order of the Secretary of War.

E. D. Townsend, Assistant-Adjutant-General

Chattanooga Daily Gazette, June 3, 1864.[2].


14, "Burning down a school-house is about as low down in rascality as dirty fellows can fathom."

Burning down a school-house is about as low down in rascality as dirty fellows can fathom. We are sorry to say that some very mean rascals burned down the freedmen's school at Decherd the other day. The fellows who perpetrated the act deserve to be kicked out of civilized society. As they will be required to rebuild the school-house, and will have colored troops sent there by the bureau fortheith to prevent any further interference with the humble and laudable efforts of a poor people to educate and improve themselves, they will find out that laying schoolhouses in ashes is a very unprofitable sort of amusement to indulge in.

Since writing the above we have received, the following order from that bravo soldier Maj.-Gen. JOHNSON, who thus expresses his determination to enforce the laws and protect the schools:


Gen. C.B. Fisk, Commanding Freedmen, etc., Nashville:

I have been unofficially informed that at some points from which the troops have been recently withdrawn the citizens have caused the colored schools to be closed and the teachers ordered to leave.

Will you please inform me at what points the schools have been interfered with, as I will post colored troops there to enforce the laws, and protect the schools.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Bvt Maj.-Gen. Comd'g Dist Mid. Tenn.

We know that such acts of outlawry are very mortifying to all good men, irrespective of political views. They should be promptly and openly denounced by all who care for our public reputation, which has suffered too much already. -- Nashville Press, Sept. 9th.

New York Times, Septemer 14, 1865.







        15, Onward Nondenominational Confederate Christian Soldiers

Testament for the Soldiers.- We have seldom felt more gratification than we experienced yesterday, at receiving from the hands of Miles Owen, Esq., a copy of the new testament, of small size, matt binding, and clear type, printed in the South, but the firm of Graves, Marks, & Co. of Nashville, Tennessee, intended for soldiers, and to be placed in their hands at a charge of twelve and a half cents a copy-eight soldiers supplied with a new testament each for one dollar. This is "good tidings of great joy." One of those busy-bodies who are a pest in the church, recently charged, through one of our religious papers, that this testament would be of the new Baptist translation. Of course such is not the case. It is the "authorized translation, with the word baptize untranslated [?], and in the usual plastic condition for disputation. To the zeal and enterprise of J. .L Graves is principally due the accomplishment of this good work. He traveled and toiled much in his task, and it is well accomplished. He says, in an address he has published, that in the tedium of the unemployed home of camp life, the soldiers desire the Bible. "Young men," he states, "have told me that they read more of the scripture since they have been camp than ever in all their lives before. I have had a soldier offer me his last dollar for a Bible, and borrow the money that he might make sure of one-a nice one-that might be sent back to his mother, father, stained with his blood should he fall in battle." [sic]  Mr. Graves found in his research [?] one company fully supplied with the Bible, the Liberty Guard from Amite county, Mississippi; "I found," he adds, "several large companies in which only two Testaments could be found, and this was owing to the impossibility of procuring them since Lincoln's blockade, as thee was not a set of stereotype plates nor a font of type suitable to make the, in all the South." This difficulty is now at an end. Persons sending the money the Graves & Co., Nashville, can for $2.50 have a hundred of these Testaments sent to any regiment provided the location of the regiment and the name of the Colonel be given. We must find room for two more little extracts from Elder Graves' excellent address: "No one of us can easily conceive of the power to restrain from vice, (in the camp) [sic] the very sight andtouch [?] even, the Bible has, though unread. It reminds the son that it is the world of his family's God and his mother's Savior. It reminds him of Sabbaths, and sermons, and prayers, and exhortations, and home. Every soldier will prize for all time the Bible or Testament he carried with him through this war for the southern revolution, and he will bequeath to his son or daughter after him as a sacred legacy. If he fall upon the field, it will be the very thing he will send home; or if he die that his associates will remove from his person and return to the family." The Testament can now be had; let it be widely distributed among our soldiers."

Memphis Daily Appeal, September 15, 1861.[3]



        15, "On the Shores of Tennessee."

"Move my arm chair, faithful Pompey,

In the sunshine bright and strong,

For this world is fading, Pompey –

Massa won't be with you long;

And I fain would hear the South wind

Bring once more the sound to me,

Of the wavelets softly breaking

On the shores of Tennessee.


"Mournful though the ripples murmur,

As they still the story tell,

How no vessels float the banner

That I've loved so long and well.

I shall listen to their music,

Dreaming that again I see

Stars and Stripes on sloop and shallop

Sailing up the Tennessee.


"And Pompey, while on Massa waiting

For Death's last Dispatch to come,

If that exiled starry banner

Should come proudly sailing home,

You shall greet it, slave no longer –

Voice and hand shall both be free,

That shout and point to Union colors

On the waves of Tennessee."


"Massa's berry kind to Pompey;

But ole darkey's happy here,

Where he's tended corn and cotton

For dese many a long gone year.

Over yonder Missis sleeping –

No one tends her grave like me;

Mebbe she would miss the flowers

She used to love in Tennessee.


"'Pears like she was watching, Massa –

If Pompey should beside him stay,

Mebbe she'd remember better

How for him she used to pray;

Telling him that away up yonder

White as snow his soul would be,

If he served the Lord of Heaven,

While he lived in Tennessee."


Silently the tears were rolling

Down the poor old dusky face,

As he stopped behind his master,

In his long accustomed place.

Then a silence fell around them

As they gazed on rock and tree

Pictured in the placid waters,

Of the rolling Tennessee.


Master, dreaming of the battle

Where he fought by Marion's side,

When he bid the haughty Tarleton

Stop his lordly crest of pride.

Man, remembering how yon sleeper

Once he held upon his knee,

Ere she loved the gallant soldier,

Ralph Vevair,[4] of Tennessee.


Still the South wind fondly lingers

'Mid the veterans silver hair;

Still the bondman closed beside him

Stand behind the old arm chair,

With his dark-hued hand uplifted,

Shading eyes, he bends to see

Where the woodland boldly jutting

Turns aside the Tennessee.


Thus he watches cloud-born shadows

Glide from tree to mountain crest,

Softly creeping, aye and ever

To the river's yielding breast.

Ha! Above the foliage yonder

Something flutters wild and free!

"Massa, Massa! Hallelujah!

The flag's come back to Tennessee!"


"Pompey, hold me on your shoulder,

Help me to stand on feet once more,

That I may salute the colors

As they pass my cabin door.

Here's the paper signed that frees you,

Give a freeman's shout with me –

"God and Union!" be our watchword

Evermore in Tennessee."


Then the trembling voice grew fainter;

And the limbs refused to stand,

One prayer to Jesus – and the soldier

Glided to that better land.

When the flag went down the river

Man and master both were free,

While the ring-dove's note was mingled,

With the rippling Tennessee.

Soldier's Budget [Humboldt], September 15, 1862.

         15, African-American cotillion in Knoxville

Colored Ball-Quite a brilliant and recherché affair came off among our Knoxville "citizens of African descent" last night at Ramsey's Hall. It was really a most admirable imitation of similar efforts at Terpsichorean amusements of the part of their Caucasian brethren. The beauty and fashion there collected was rather admirable; gay belles of every tint, from pearly white to sooty, vied with their male gallants in white kids, gorgeous dresses, and the pretty amenities of fashionable life. The music was excellent, and all went smoothly and gaily on until the small hours. The lobby glittered with envious shoulder straps, who, not being able to participate, could only admire.

Knoxville Daily Bulletin, September 16, 1863.

        15, A Federal Soldier's Letter Home describing the March to Knoxville from the Cumberland Gap

Knoxville, Tenn

Sept. 15th 1863

It has been almost a month I believe since I wrote to you from Chitwood starting up in the mountains but I know you will excuse me when you know how we have been fixed….

We reached Knoxville Sept. 4th after a hard march of about 200 miles in 19 days (including rests) but nearly every man in our Regiment came through all right. We camped near town on the river bank on Saturday evening, laid over Sunday, and Monday morning started on a scout with 3 days (?) rations in our haversacks leaving our camp behind. It soon leaked out that our destination was Cumberland Gap, 60 miles distant. We reached the Gap Wednesday forenoon and Gen. Burnside sent in a flag of truce demanding the surrender of the place. The answer soon came back stating that it would be given up on conditions, but that didn't suit old Bernie and he sent in another dispatch giving them until 3 o'ck to surrender and made preparations to move on the works in case they concluded to fight. We made up our minds to have to storm the place but about 2 o'ck p.m. Cumberland Gap surrendered with everything in it. Our Regiment was sent up to guard the prisoners. We got to the foot of the Mountains at dusk and the prisoners were marched down and stacked arms in front of us. We stood guard over them that night and next morning till 9 or 10 o'ck when we were relieved by the 86th & 129th Ohio Regiments. Then we went up into the Gap to look over the fortifications. It would be useless for me to attempt a description of the place now, so I will leave that for another time. I stood up on the upper Battery and could see into these states without turning round. Tenn, VA & KY comes at the foot of the Mt. We stayed there that day and I was detailed to hitch up a team of rebel mules to haul forage. Next morning we started for Knoxville and arrived here yesterday. I was detailed for provost and guard last evening…

Bentley Letters.




15, Tullahoma residents ordered to rebuild Freedmen's school

FROM TENNESSEE.; The Destroyers of a Freedmen's Schoolhouse Required to Rebuild It--They Refuse and are Compelled by Military Force….

NASHVILLE. Tenn., Tuesday, Nov. 14.

The citizens of Tullahoma, who were actors in the destruction of the freedmen's school-house, were ordered by Major-Gen. THOMAS to rebuild the same. Compliance with this order being refused, Gen. THOMAS sent a detachment of soldiers with directions to enforce the order and put every citizen under guard until the requirements of the order were complied with.

New York Times, September 15, 1865

James B. Jones, Jr.

Public Historian

Tennessee Historical Commission

2941 Lebanon Road

Nashville, TN  37214

(615)-770-1090 ext. 123456

(615)-532-1549  FAX


James B. Jones, Jr.

Public Historian

Tennessee Historical Commission

2941 Lebanon Road

Nashville, TN  37214

(615)-770-1090 ext. 123456

(615)-532-1549  FAX