Friday, October 31, 2014

10.31.14 Tennessee Civil War Notes

31, "What is wanting is an assurance from the military authorities, officially given, that their produce and their wagons and teams will be protected."

The complaint of the scarcity and consequent high price of marketing continues to increase. Parties who visit the market-house say the amount brought in for sale has fallen off very materially, and still continues to fall off. This is easily accounted for. While there is perhaps not so much produce in the country immediately around Nashville as in former years, there is still enough to afford supplies for a very good market, and at prices much more reasonable than are now demanded and paid. But the country people have got the impression among them, and not without cause, it must be admitted, that if they come or send to market with their produce, there is danger of a large portion of their produce being stolen by soldiers who seem to set all rules and regulations at defiance, and their wagons and horses impressed into the services of the Government. These things have been done, and they have deterred large numbers of country people from bringing their produce to market. What is wanting is an assurance from the military authorities, officially given, that their produce and their wagons and teams will be protected. Let the military authorities give this assurance publicity, and rigidly enforce it, and we will soon see quite a difference in the appearance of our market, and the prices which will be demanded. Such a step as this will benefit the laboring classes, whose wages are now absorbed in purchasing barely a sufficient amount of product to subsist their families. In the name of humanity, let something be done to benefit the poor people of the city by increasing and cheapening the produce they are necessarily compelled to have.

Gentlemen who are somewhat familiar with the country around Nashville some miles out, assure us that there is a great deal of produce held back for a market. If the holders of this produce could be induced to bring it to the city, it would contribute greatly to the relief of our people. The good prices they would realize, with the protection we have suggested, would, we are satisfied, induce them to bring it in. This is a question for the authorities to consider, and having made the suggestion, we leave it with them.

Nashville Dispatch, October 31, 1862.

               31, The trial of Mrs. Buchanan, Miss Winnie Buchanan, James Buchanan, and William Buchanan in Nashville

Recorder's Court.

The most important feature of yesterday's proceedings was the trial of Mrs. Buchanan, Miss Winnie Buchanan, James Buchanan, and William Buchanan, "charged with disturbing the peace of one Mistress Doyle, by violent and abusive language and words calculated to provoke a breech of the peace." M. M. Brien, Esq., appeared for the defence, and the City Attorney conducted the prosecution.

The first witness called was Mrs. Nicholas Doyle, who said she lived opposite the barracks on College Hill, and testified that on Sunday evening, about three weeks ago, the above-named defendants hurrahed for Jeff. Davis, and said that Col. Morgan was to be made Governor of Kentucky—that she (the witness) was to be tarred and feathered and ridden on a rail—that witness replied she would not be tarred and feathered so long as Governor Johnson was here—that they replied that "Governor Johnson was played out," and that one of them was to kill Governor Johnson—that Mrs. and Miss Buchanan called her a d____d Union woman—that one of the boys waved a rebel flag in presence of all the defendants, etc., etc.

Mr. Nicholas Doyle being called, testified in substance the same as his wife, and in addition that they had called him a d____d Union pup, and his wife a d____d Union slut, threw rotten apples at them, and threatened violence toward them, unless they would leave the place, because of their Union sentiments.

Several witnesses were examined for the defence, who testified that the defendants had removed from their residence near Doyle's three weeks ago on Tuesday [October 28]; that witness (William Gallimore) was raised in the family, and had never seen a flag of any description in the house, or in the hands of Mrs. or Miss Buchanan; never heard Mrs. or Miss Buchanan swear or use language such as that imputed to them by witnesses for the prosecution; never saw apples thrown by any one at the house of Doyle.

Lieutenant Buchanan, an officer in the Federal army, testified that he had made the acquaintance of Mrs. Buchanan and family some two months ago, and had visited them frequently, spending an hour or more at each visit. Gave them an excellent character; believes them to be all Union people; can tell a Union lady when he meets her in the street; they appear more sociable and agreeable than secesh ladies.

Mr. Brien asked permission to examine Miss Winnie Buchanan. Mr. Smith objected. Recorder overruled the objection.

Miss Winnie testified that she had never heard her mother use such language as that imputed to her; denied the expressions imputed to others in her presence, and denied that a rebel flag was ever seen in her hands, or waved by any of the persons named, in her presence.

Marshals Chumley, Wilkinson, and Steele, were examined, and testified that they had known the defendants many years, and had always considered them quiet and orderly people—unusually so.

Mr. Smith submitted the case without argument.

Mr. Brien insisted that the witnesses for the prosecution could not be believed on account of their contradictions—that they were evidently angry with defendants, and desired to persecute them. After some further remarks, he submitted the case to the judgment of the Recorder, who discharged all the defendants….

Nashville Dispatch, November 1, 1862.

               31, 1863 - Foraging in Bledsoe county and entry from the diary of John Hill Ferguson, 11th Illinois Volunteer Infantry

Fitts Crossing Bledsoe County, Pikeville, co Seat Saturday 31st

Last night was wet cold and rainy all night until light this morning it cleared of[[f] and today was pleasant The trees on the mountain were white this morning suposed [sic] while it was raining in the valley it was snowing on the mountain but dureing [sic] the day we learned that it sleeted [sic] on the mountain the most of the night, and froze on the trees which resembled snow.

About 10 o'clock A. M. the teams were hitched up and we started out to hunt forage. Leveing [sic] our things in camp and some of the boys back to guard them about 5 miles up the valley[1] we came to a house belonging to one Mr. Robinson, a reb, at least he was said to be my his neighbors

Robinson was not at home. And as he was a batchler [sic] of corse none of his family were there. Only quite a number of mulattos said to be his children they were living with the darkies [sic] in Logg [sic] huts. One a young wemen [sic] of 20 or 21 said to be his daughter was remarkable [sic] good looking and intelegent [sic]. I inquired of her where Mr. Robinson was. She said he had moved sway up north and took his furnatur [sic] with him and left the darkies to take care of his things I inquired whither [sic] he was a Secesh or a Union man She said she would leve[sic] that for us to judge that made me satisfied that he was a reb So I had no simpithy [sic] for him or his property. When we first stoped [sic] we only found one crib with about 3 waggon loads of corn and plenty of hay stowed away in different places on exemining [sic] the house we found 200 or 300 bushels of corn stowed away up stayrs [sic]

While some of us were loading up the Waggons [sic] the balance [sic] of our co. and those belonging to the 60th went down and katched [sic] all the chikins [sic] and gees [sic] and shot the ginney [sic] hens and killed about 30 head of Big Hoggs and some sheep. I do not think there was much left on the place

We did not see but one horse on the place and that was stiff one of the darkies claimed it as his and said it wag given to him by one of our cavalry the wagon master took it and tied it behind one of the wagons and brought it along also.

The neighbors around said that Mr. Robinson had not moved away, but was around some where not far  & concealed and he had also concealed his horses waggins [sic] farmuter [sic] in some out of the way place where we would not be likly [sic] to finde [sic] it

We got back to camp a little before dark and skinned [sic] 2 hoggs [sic] in our mess we had 3 but give the poorest one away to the teamsters ass [sic] they had no chance to get any for them selvs [sic]. as we are going to start early in the morning to our regt we have sit up and fryed [sic] a good suply [sic] to take  in our havor sacks tomorrow I might say before closing that there are several family by the name of Robinson around close in the same neighborhood all kinsfolk and all welthy [sic] and secesh to the back bone although [sic] this country is mostly union there are no scools [sic] there children has to send them of[f] to some city

John Hill Fergusson Diary, Book 3.

               31, 1864 A comparison of Federal and Confederate foraging in Cleveland

....Mrs. W. told Mr. D. Saturday that the Rebels were gentlemen by the side of the Yankees and they took 13 wagon loads of corn and aid after she bemoaned [sic] them the Yankees took all the rest. And that she wished the Rebs [sic] had taken it, that she would have given it to them willingly. That she never though of hiding from the, that the Rebs [sic] would leave enough for her family, and the Yanks left none at all. Sherman's men took from her 21 bed quilts, 4 head of horses, 8 milk cows, 18 hogs, 100 chickens & turkies[sic], every knife & fork, broke the locks on all the doors, 1 bag of salt, flour, all, meal, all, took all of [her] jewelry, watch, all of Cleo's gloves, handkerchiefs, stockings and some of her underclothing, and knocked Mrs. W. down because she tried to get her shawl from him. Kicked her bureau and sewing machine to pieces. Injured her $5000.00 worth. [sic] Lovely day.[sic]

Diary of Myra Adelaide Inman, p. 274

James B. Jones, Jr.

Public Historian

Tennessee Historical Commission

2941 Lebanon Road

Nashville, TN  37214

(615)-770-1090 ext. 123456

(615)-532-1549  FAX


Thursday, October 30, 2014

10.30.2014 Tennessee Civil War Notes

        30, An Act to amend the law respecting Bowie Knives and other weapons

SECTION 1. Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Tennessee, That all laws forbidding the importation, manufacture, selling or giving away of Bowie Knives or other weapons and all laws prohibiting the carrying of pistols, Bowie knives, or other weapons, openly or unconcealed, be suspended during the existing war.

EDWIN A. KEEBLE, Speaker of the House of Representatives

EDWARD CHEATHAM, Speaker of the Senate

Passed October 30, 1861.

Public Acts of the State of Tennessee for 1861-1862, p. 26. [1]

        30, "The Rambler."

There is a kind of knowledge that men cannot get from books. It must be obtained from intercourse with the world, from mingling with men and mixing with society.

No place is better suited to any man than a city. The country serves to study nature. There all is fresh-the trees are standing as nature formed them, the meadows smile with rural verdure, the little streams laugh along their many courses; all is natural, and all is beautiful.

It is otherwise in the city. There nature has surrendered to art. Green trees, and vernal meadows and smiling lawns give place to huge piles of brick and mortar. The melody of sweet birds is exchanged for the rumbling of drays; the whizzing of steam, the buzz of commerce, and the varied tones of hurried and busy men. The city is a great human hive. Comers and goers, buyers and sellers, strangers and friends, natives and foreigners, soldiers and civilians, greet the vision whithersoever we turn our eyes.

This morning I felt wearied with books, and determined to take a walk, and, by way of variety, to study one chapter of men. I was soon on Main street, the principal thoroughfare of this growing city, where I entered at once upon the task I had assumed.

Look! Everybody is in a hurry. No one walks except the aged and infirm. Everybody runs. Hurry is the work; On, on is everybody's motto. Truly this is a fast age. People live fast, they travel fast, they come rich or poor fast, and they die fast.

Why is that tall man, who is engaged in leading that dray, so profane! He interlards every sentence he utters with some horrid imprecation. He swears as if he had notes before him. His oaths are new-fangled and far-fetched, and they are truly grating "to ears polite." I am told that profanity is by no means uncommon in the city. It is heard not only in the streets, but at the hotels, on the boats, in the cars, on the wharf, at the depots, in business houses, and even in the private circle. And the little boys see, are imitating their seniors, cursing and swearing almost before they can articulate words with distinctness. IS this a characteristic for Memphis, this far-famed Bluff City, the expected capital of the Confederate States? Is this the city known far and wide for the number and character of its churches and Sabbath schools? Is this the city on which Providence has bestowed so many advantages? Then, why is it so profane? Why is the disgusting habit tolerated by the city authorities? Would that not only Memphis, but the entire South, while shaking of the vassalage of the North would be divorced from all vice and stand forth in virtue, peerless among the nations of the earth!

There is a female in tattered rags, leading a sickly looking child along the pavement: I see that she is weeping. Some sorrow is brooding over her, or perhaps, some care or pressing want is gnawing, like a canker work, at her heart. How easily it is to be virtuous and honest, when free from temptation; but it is quite a different thing when loved ones are crying for bread, or shivering with cold. Many a man looks with horror upon one that will steal a loaf of bread to keep his wife and children from starving, who could not himself withstand strong temptation. His wife rolls in her carriage, or moves like a queen, in her comfortable mansion. Wealth has poured upon her its abundant stores. Her table is crowded with fish, and flesh, and fowl, and whatever else the market can furnish, or her fancy crave. She worships at fashion's shrine, and is, at least, a professed worshiper at the shrine of the cross. Might not a change in her circumstances, bring about a change in her husband's standard of morals! Let down that braided hair; exchange that costly silk for the coarsest of epparedy [sic] strip those delicate little fingers of the jewels that now sparked upon them; let that little hand, so soft and fair, be stained with exposure to cold, let that loved and lovely wife want for bread, and might not her doting husband rebel against the conventionalities of live, and, at least, feel strongly tempted to take by force what he could not otherwise obtain?

Here come several men in uniform. They are soldiers, and belong to one of the regiments camped near the city. They have left home to fight for their country, and are now only awaiting orders from headquarters to march. Two of the four are intoxicated, and can scarcely move along the street. The other two are striving to get them away from the drinkshops, and out to their camp. How disgustingly noisy they are! They are in a sad condition to meet the Yankees. The foe in whose hands they now are, slays more than those who come with sword and bayonet. His attacks are more to be dreaded. Mighty heroes have fallen before him. He who subjugated almost the entire civilized world; who supplanted kings and bartered empires; who left behind him whithersoever he went, the marks of desolation and ruin. Left at last under the attacks of this insidious fore. Then let other beware.

But, this study, as well as that of books, wearies me. I musts return to my room, It is said that "variety is the spice of life," and I will seek something of this, by studying and then walking, and by walking, and then studying. I wish to wander along the streets on Sabbath evening, and jot down whatever I see that my interest the reader.

Memphis, October 26, 1861

Memphis Appeal, October 30, 1861.


        30, Skirmish at Leeper's Ferry on Holston River

No circumstantial reports filed.

HDQRS. NINTH ARMY CORPS, Near Lenior's, Tenn., October 30, 1863.

Lieut. Second Brigade, Cavalry Division:

COL.: The general commanding corps desires that you will please send immediately one company of your command to the vicinity of Leeper's Ferry, about six miles up the river from the mouth of Little Tennessee River. A slight skirmish has taken place there to-day. You will please resist, or give orders to this command to resist, all attempts on the part of the enemy to cross the river, watching it well on both flanks of the ferry. Any information of importance will at once be communicated to these headquarters.

I am, colonel, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

NICOLAS BOWEN, Assistant Adjutant-Gen.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 52, pt. I, p. 485.

An account of the fighting by a member of the Twenty-seventh Kentucky Mounted Infantry

October 30, 1863, Colonel Pennebaker moved up to Leaper's [sic] Ferry with out brigade. Sent two companies across the river, and beyond Unecia[2] on scout-company D, of the Twenty-seventh Kentucky and one company of the Eleventh Kentucky mounted infantry, Captain Hammer commanding. They were attacked by a brigade of rebels, and after two hours' fighting, Captain Hammer fell back to the river in perfect order, and none of his men hurt. The rebels now began to close in, confident of capturing the two companies, but we began to reach across the river with our long-ranged Enfield rifles, and held them back until Lieutenant-Colonel Ward crossed over with three companies, A, H, and C. We had but one small ferry-boat to cross in. Captain Pulliam with our company, B, got in the boat and started across, and when we were about half-way across, the rebels rushed down and poured a heavy volley into the boat, killing one man. The Captain received order to go back to the shore, which we did under a perfect shower of bullets. The rebels made several bold attempts to captured the companies across the river, but our continued volleys from both sided of the river were too hot for them. On one of their bold attempts t lay hands on their prize, Lieutenant-Colonel Ward, who is always found in the thickest danger, not knowing but he would be overpowered, told the color-bearer, Sergeant John Defever, a young man of seventeen years, to never let the flag fall into rebel hands. When the moment grew more threatening, the Sergeant furled the old worn flag and plunged into the rapid Holston, and while bullets dimpled the water he swam with the flag safe across. About sundown we were by the Eighth Michigan and One Hundred and Twelfth Illinois cavalry. The rebels, thinking we were too many for them, fell back. The companies across the river returned one at a time in a little ferry-boat till all were over. Then we straightened up and went into camp, and we do not think we ever saw a much darker night, and raining very hard, and had been all the evening.

Rebellion Record, Vol. 8, p. 314.

        30, Initiation of Federal anti-guerrilla sweep, Murfreesborough to Shelbyville, Tennessee, to New Market and to Athens Alabama


Nashville, Tenn., October 30, 1864.

Col. CAPRON, Cmdg. Brigade:

COL.: I am directed by Maj.-Gen. Thomas to say that he wishes you to move with your three regiments early in the morning to Athens [AL], via Murfreesborough, Shelbyville, and New Market [AL]. On your arrival report to Brig.-Gen. Croxton. Capture and kill all guerrillas in the country over which you pass. Should you hear of any body of them near your line of march detach a sufficient force to overpower and capture them.


R. W. JOHNSON, Brig.-Gen.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 39, pt. III, p. 525.

        30-31, Skirmish at Bainbridge and Brown's Ferry[3]

No circumstantial reports filed.

NASHVILLE, TENN., October 30, 1864--9 p. m. (Received 2 a. m. 31st.)

Maj.-Gen. HALLECK, Chief of Staff:

Gen. Granger reports the enemy gone from his front, moving off toward Tuscumbia. He sent out a force to follow up the rear of the enemy as he moved off, capturing some prisoners. He reports....hearing firing down the river, at about the rate of eight shots per minute, continuing for about fifteen minutes. It is probably Gen. Croxton opposing the enemy at Bainbridge, as he reported last night that he had learned, from a reliable source, that the enemy intended crossing at that place...

* * * *

GEO. H. THOMAS, Maj.-Gen.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 39, pt. III, pp. 513-514.

CHATTANOOGA, October 31, 1864.

Maj.-Gen. SHERMAN:

Gen. Granger telegraphs from Decatur at 4.30 this p. m. that couriers report enemy's cavalry at 12 m. to-day on west side of Elk River at ford on Athens and Florence road; that enemy made his appearance opposite Brown's Ferry at 9 this a. m. and attacked our pickets; also that Gen. Croxton reports that the enemy has crossed at Bainbridge and captured small portion of Second Michigan and Eighth Iowa Cavalry. The cannonading last night was at that place. They are reported crossing in force at Shoal Creek and pressing Gen. Croxton back.


OR, Ser. I, Vol. 39, pt. III, p. 541.



[1] Public Acts of the State of Tennessee Passed at the First & Second Sessions of the Thirty-Fourth General Assembly, For the Years 1861-1862, (Nashville, 1862), p. 26. [Hereinafter: Public Acts of the State of Tennessee for 1861-1862.]

[2] Unidentified. Possibly Unita in Loudon county.

[3] Both Long, Almanac and Dyer's Battle Index for Tennessee fail to mention this event.

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


Wednesday, October 29, 2014

10.29.2014 Tennessee Civil War Notes

        29, Complaints about draft dodgers in Confederate Chattanooga


The attention of our Middle Tennessee readers is directed to the proclamation of Gov. Harris in our paper of to-day, in reference to the conscript law in that portion of the State. The law will be strictly enforced, and none who are subject to it need think of escaping even if they have the desire to do so. Congress, it is true, has passed a law saying that the president may accept all companies, battalions and regiments organized in Middle and West Tennessee before the 1st of December, but whether it will be done rests alone in the discretion of the President, and we learn that he is not disposed to accept any regiments until the old ones are filled . But whether he does or not, that does not authorize men subject to the law to stay out of the army refusing to join either old or new regiments under the expectation that the law is not to be enforced until the first of December. Really there is nothing in the worked conscript to which so many seem to object. By the provisions of the law all men between the ages of eighteen and forty-five are conscripts, that is they are considered in the military service of the country, liable to be put in the field whenever the exigencies of the service require it to be done. The twelve months men who organized under the conscript law, the men who have since joined old or new regiments, and the men who are enrolled are all alike in the military service of the country by operation of laws. There is no such thing as volunteering now in the true sense of the word, although we have been in the habit of using it to distinguish those who go into the army now without being enrolled and required to report themselves to an officer at a camp of instruction. All attempts at evasion of the law will be strictly watched and guarded against. We have heard of some attempts of these sorts which are alluded [to] in a communication signed "A Tennessee Volunteer," and similar ones will be made, but they will be of no avail. The law must and will be impartially enforced, and especially will it not be allowed to screen such enemies of our cause as are mentioned by "A Tennessee Volunteer." We hope that all men liable to military duty will join either an old or new regiment and thus preserve the high character of Tennessee for gallantry and devotion to the cause of our country.

Chattanooga Daily Rebel, October 29, 1862

        29, Letter from "A TENNESSEE VOLUNTEER"

"Look for Tartans Under Contract."

As the conscript is now upon us, and there will no doubt be a good deal of management in certain localities, and by certain men to evade it. I wish through your columns to put the proper authorities upon their guard, as to one trick that may possibly be played off upon them, unless they keep their eyes open.

From certain movements I believe there are men- who have voluntarily taken the oath of allegiance to the United States, and have had the address and meanness, notwithstanding their oath, to procure large contracts, at enormous prices, under the government of the Confederate States, and then employ several able bodied young men to do work that old men, or crippled soldiers could do, as well as anybody. A nice scheme indeed to weaken the southern forces, and fill their pockets with southern money at outrageous prices for their work. And now I ask: is it right is it good sense, is it prudent to suffer men to escape conscription under a government contract, who apart from such contracts area as clearly embraced in the conscript law as any man, and who as voluntarily sworn to support the government of our enemies, now at war with us, and then under that contract employ and screen from service in the army such able bodied men as would otherwise be conscripted, when those not subject to the conscript law could do the work just as well.

Chattanooga Daily Rebel, October 29, 1862

29, 1862 - A Slave Holder's Contempt for the Negro Exodus to Union Lines. An Extract from the Diary of Eliza Rhea Anderson Fain

~ ~ ~

Poor deluded, infatuated Negroes are flocking to the Northern army from the east, the west, the north and the south thinking they will free them. They are leaving homes of plenty; masters and mistresses within whose hears are to found the only true feeling of humanity for the African race to be found in the world (I suppose). They are cuffed, kicked and knocked by the self proclaimed philanthropists of the North. When I think of it, I feel God is letting fill up their cup of iniquity that his judgment may be more severe. I tremble for the North, the fiery indignation of the Lord of hosts seems to me to be gathering blackness every day. They know not what they do.

~ ~ ~

Fain Diary

        29, Skirmish at Nonconnah Creek, near Colliersville [sic]

OCTOBER 29, 1864.-Skirmish at Nonconnah Creek, Tenn.

Report of Capt. Joseph W. Skelton, Seventh Indiana Cavalry.

HDQRS. SEVENTH INDIANA CAVALRY, Camp Howard, October 30, 1864.

SIR: I have the honor to report that being ordered to take command of twenty-four men and patrol the Pigeon Roost road as far as the Nonconnah Creek, I left camp (pursuant to orders issued from your headquarters) at 4 a. m. yesterday, and proceeded toward the creek, having one-third of my command under the charge of a reliable sergeant in advance as an advance guard, with orders to send two men in the advance of him as his advance guard, and our men under the command of a non-commissioned officer as rear guard, one man well out on each flank as flankers. When within 200 yards of the creek, two men from the advance having crossed to the opposite side, I was fired upon from my right by the enemy, concealed in the briers and can not more than five paces from the road, and they were so effectually concealed that it was impossible for me or the right flanker to see them, having left their horses on the south side of the creek. At the same time I was fired upon, my entire advance guard was cut off from me and captured; my rear guard was routed at the first fire. I ordered a charge, but soon discovered that it would insure the capture of the whole command. I then retreated across the high embankment on my left and halted. A part of my men could not get their horses over the embankment, but dashed back up the road through the enemy that were dismounted. I then discovered about ten horsemen ride out into the road in my rear, and charge[d] my retreating men. The above-named horsemen were posted about 200 yards down the creek. My loss is 1 mortally wounded, 1 severely wounded in arm, and 10 men missing.[1]

I am, respectfully, your obedient servant,

JOSEPH W. SKELTON, Capt. Company F, Seventh Indiana Cavalry.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 39, pt. I, p. 883.

        29, 1864 - A religious revival in the Cherry Creek community

....There is a big meeting going on not far from Mr. Hampton's and his little son went one night and someone stole his mule bridle and saddle. Mr. Hampton does not believe in the way they carry on their big meetings, and I agree with him. I do not think I am an enemy to religion. I do not want to be, but I do not think if anything in the world requires calmness and deliberation, that is that thing. I think there are hundreds, especially the young, that are carried away by the excitement and understand nothing at all of the doctrines of religion.

Diary of Amanda McDowell, p. 251.


[1] A bad day for Company F.

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, October 28, 2014

10.28.14 Tennessee Civil War Notes

        28, Correspondence from T.M. Brennan, president of the Clairborne Machine Works, Nashville, to Major V. K. Stevenson, president of the Nashville and Chattanooga Railroad and Confederate Quartermaster regarding estimate for weapons production:

CLAIBORNE MACHINE WORKS, Nashville, October 28, 1861.

V. K. STEVENSON, Quartermaster-Gen., C. S. :

SIR: Agreeably to your request, I take leave to say that the present capacity of my two foundries for the production of munitions of war is fifteen guns a week, viz.,: twelve field guns, 6 and 12 pounders, and three siege and garrison guns up to 32 pounders, inclusive. I can turn out about ten tons of shot and shell a day. My present orders will take me about six weeks to complete, but I have a proposition before the War Department at Richmond for one hundred field guns and fifty siege guns, fully mounted and equipped. I do not know what action they may take in reference to it, but this I will assure you, that I shall use every exertion possible to meet the requirements of the present emergency.

Respectfully, yours,


OR, Ser. I, Vol. 4, p. 481.

        28, Recruiting, return of escaped Confederate soldiers and requisition of slave labor; excerpts from Special Order No. 54, Breckinridge's Division

Special Order No. 54

Head Quarters

Murfreesboro, Tenn., Oct. 28th, 1862

*  *  * 

III. Col Ben Anderson is hereby authorized in pursuance of a Telegraph [sic] order from the war Dept. hereto annexed[1], to proceed to Kentucky and there muster into service of the Confederate States a Regiment of Cavalry to be known as the Regt. [sic] of Kentucky Cavalry. All escaped soldiers from Fort Donelson are ordered to report to Col. Anderson and remain with his command until forwarded to their respective Regiments. Col. Anderson's Regiment will be attached to his command but will remain in Kentucky as long as possible after which they will report to these Head Quarters for further orders.

IV. Capt. David Spence will secure 40 able bodied negroes [sic] making his requisitions equitably to be reported at the R.R. Depot at Murfreesboro to Mr. Boone, Government Agent to load cars & for other duties. They will be provided with quarters & food, will not be taken from this point and will be returned to their owners when the work is done and a few hired paid for their serviced. They will be required to bring Blankets and cooking utensils with them, and Capt. Spence will attend to all the details, which will secure the comfort of the negroes [sic] and their return to their owners. It is not probable they will be needed longer than ten days.

By Command of Maj. Gen. Breckenridge

William B. Bate collection

        28, Skirmish, Russellville

Report of Col. John B. Palmer, Fifty-eighth North Carolina Infantry (CSA), commanding Mountain District of North Carolina, relative to the skirmish at Russellville, October 28, 1864.


MAJ.: I have the honor to submit the following report of the recent operations of the force under my command:

* * * *

On October 21 I formed a junction with Gen. Vaughn at Bull's Gap. During the night of that day I moved to Russellville, and having effectually destroyed the railroad in that vicinity and collected and secured the telegraph wire, I, by Gen. Vaughn's directions, returned to Bull's Gap.

On the 27th of October I proceeded, by directions of Gen. Breckinridge, to Morristown for the purpose of conferring with Gen. Vaughn, whose forces I found skirmishing with the enemy. That night my mountain howitzer was ordered forward. I inclose Sergeant Byrd's report, showing the manner in which it was captured by the enemy. Gen. Vaughn requested me to send back to Bull's Gap and have my command in readiness to move the next morning at 6 a. m. to Russellville, should he so order. This I did. Early on the morning of the 28th I addressed a note to Gen. Vaughn to know if my command had been ordered up during the night, in order that if it had I might go back and place it in position at Russellville; or if it had not, that I might go to his headquarters and hold a conference with him as directed by Gen. Breckinridge. I received the following reply from Gen. Vaughn's assistant adjutant-general:

HDQRS. CAVALRY, &C., Morristown, October 28, 1864.

Col. PALMER, Cmdg., &c.:

The general directs me to say, in reply to your inquiry, that your command was ordered to Russellville last night. Enemy are still in our front. Some skirmishing this morning.

Respectfully, &c.,

BIRD G. MANARD, Assistant Adjutant-Gen.

I notified Gen. Vaughn that I would place my command in position at Russellville, and immediately returned to that place, in the vicinity of which I found my command had arrived a few moments before. I selected a line about one mile in advance of Russellville, on the Morristown road, and was moving my command into position when Gen. Vaughn's staff officer arrived from the front and requested me to form my line in rear of Russellville, on the Bull's Gap road. I faced the column about and was marching it to the new position when Gen. Vaughn's retreating cavalry swept by my men in the wildest disorder. My men were hastily thrown across the road and an ineffectual attempt made to stop the fleeing cavalry and induce them to form a line. The rear of Gen. Vaughn's baggage and supply train had just reached my line when the pursuing enemy entered the town on its opposite side. Skirmishers were immediately thrown out from my command on the left and engaged the enemy, while my artillery opened from a slight elevation in rear of my right, effectually checking the enemy's advance and enabling Gen. Vaughn to rally from 150 to 200 men in rear of my line. The enemy made no farther advance, but fell back to Morristown, stating that they had encountered at Russellville the whole of Breckinridge's corps. I had with me not more than 600 men, the balance having been left at Bull's Gap by direction of Gen. Vaughn. From this position I was ordered back to Bull's Gap, and from thence to Greeneville, I protesting against both movements. From Greeneville Gen. Vaughan fell back to Rheatown, and by his directions my command returned to this district.

* * * *

J. B. PALMER, Col., Cmdg. District

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 39, pt. I, pp. 852-857.

HDQRS. DEPT. OF WESTERN VIRGINIA AND EAST TENN., Wytheville, Va., November 29, 1864.

COL.: When Brig.-Gen. Vaughn met a reverse near Morristown, Tenn., toward the last of October, he fell back to the east bank of the Watauga and the enemy made a corresponding advance. Thinking the enemy too close to Bristol, I collected a miscellaneous force, composed of Vaughn's and Duke's cavalry, some dismounted men of Cosby, Duke, and Giltner, and a few niter and mining men and East Tennessee reserves, amounting to about 1,800 men, with four 12-pounder and two 6-pounder howitzers, and moved forward to meet him. Col. Palmer, from Asheville, N. C., afterward joined me with a mixed force of some 600 men. The force of the enemy was about 2,500 strong, with six pieces of artillery and a large wagon train. He retired before us to Lick Creek, and on the evening of the 11th of November, after a short engagement, his rear guard was driven by Duke's command into Bull's Gap.

An attack from the next morning was arranged as follows: The artillery under Maj. Page, with some dismounted cavalry as a support (the whole under command of Col. George B. Crittenden), was to make a demonstration in front; Gen. Vaughn, with his command, was to attack in rear, while, with Duke's cavalry (dismounted) and a body of dismounted men belonging to Vaughn, Duke, Cosby, and Giltner, under Lieut.-Col. Alston, I was to ascend the mountain and moved on on the enemy's left. The plan was carried out with perfect exactitude, and the enemy actually attacked at the same time in front, flank, and rear. The force on the mountain succeeded in carrying a line of works, but the assault as a whole did not succeeded, most of the troops being unaccustomed to that mode of fighting.

The next day (13th) Col. Palmer arrived, and the same night I moved with Vaughn and Duke to turn the enemy's right, Col. Crittenden following with Col. Palmer's force, the artillery, and the dismounted men of the other commands. The enemy having foolishly withdrawn his pickets, we passed without opposition or notice through Taylor's Gap, about two miles and a half below Bull's Gap, and the enemy having evacuated the gap the same night, at one o'clock on the morning of the 14th, with Vaughn and Duke, I attacked his column near Russellville. The results of this night attack were a good many of the enemy killed and wounded, about 300 prisoners, and all his artillery, wagon trains, &c. This force was routed with much confusion, and few of them stopped this side of Knoxville.

Following to Strawberry Plains, I found strong works on the opposite side of the river, manned and furnished with artillery. The flanks of this position were well protected and it was quite unassailable in front by the troops at my command. The enemy received re-enforcements from the garrisons beyond Knoxville and probably a regiment or two from Chattanooga.

We had artillery firing and active skirmishing for several days, and Gen. Vaughn, crossing the Holston above, made a demonstration on their rear and burned the railroad bridge over Flat Creek, but I made no serious attack on the position.

The weather now became very inclement, the streams much swollen, and the roads almost impassable. I have left Gen. Vaughn with his command and a battery of four guns to hold the country, if possible, as far as the Plains, and have withdrawn the rest of the troops.

The enemy has been driven back nearly 100 miles, and I do not think he will attempt a campaign this winter in upper East Tennessee.

The troops bore with cheerfulness rather unusual exposure and privations, and I have to express my gratification at their general good conduct.

Brig.-Gen. Vaughn, Brig.-Gen. Duke, Col. Crittenden, Col. Palmer, and Lieut.-Col. Alston, commanding dismounted men, together with their officers generally, deserve mention for zeal and good conduct.

Maj. Page, chief of artillery, proved an efficient officer, and I am indebted for valuable services to Maj. Poor, Capt. Sandford, and Lieut. Clay of my staff.

Dr. B. C. Duke, acting chief medical officer, was active in attention to the wounded.

I am, colonel, respectfully, your obedient servant,


OR, Ser. I, Vol. 39, pt. I, pp. 892-893.

        28, Guerrilla harassment of L&N railroad section gang at Fountain Head


Maj.-Gen. ROUSSEAU, Cmdg. District of Nashville:

GEN.: The following dispatch was received at this office from the roadmaster at Nashville, October 28:

Two of the robbers, Buck Smith and Taylor, came into Fountain Head, where section men were working, and took them out a mile from the road and robbed them and threatened to kill if they were caught working on the road again. They struck two of the men over the heads with their pistols and cut them pretty badly. What is to be done? I will not be able to keep any men at work on this end of the road.


I would respectfully call your attention to the above, which shows that it will be impossible to continue to operate this road, if the workmen cannot be kept on the road. I trust that you soon will be able to take measures to clear out this robber band, which seems to be confined to the part of the road from Mitchellville to the tunnel. The other parts of the road are comparatively secure.

Very respectfully, yours,

JAMES GUTHRIE, President Louisville and Nashville Railroad.

Per ALBERT FINK, Superintendent of Railroad.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 39, pt. III, pp. 508-509. [2]


[1] Not found.

[2] It may be that this does not qualify as a military incident such as a skirmish or scout, but it did involve indigenous partisans, or guerrillas, and it involved activity that was anti-Union in sentiment and innocent people were the victims of depredations. Thus, as a guerrilla action it qualifies as a military operation in Civil War Tennessee. It may be that there were more of these kinds of incidents than are generally known or imagined.

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, October 27, 2014

10.27.2014 Tennessee Civil War Notes

            27, Noting Nostradamus in Memphis

The following is translated from the Courier des Etats Unis, of the 29th ult.:

Although many of the predictions made by Nostradamus (especially those concerning the deaths of Henry IV and Louis XVI of France) have been completely verified, they are generally discredited in our times. But in the Prophecies of Vaticinations, of that great man, vol. 2d, (edition of 1609,) we find the following, which seems to deserve attention:

"About that time (1861) a great quarrel and contest will arise in a country beyond the seas (America). Many poor devils will be hung, and many poor wretches killed by a punishment other than a cord. Upon my faith you may believe me. The war will not cease for four years, at which none should be astonished or surprised, for there will be no want of hatred and obstinacy in it. At the end of that time, prostrate and almost ruined, the people will embrace each other in great joy and love."

The period of four years, it will be observed, comprises the exact term of Lincoln's administration. At the close, a new era, it seems, will commence of harmony and peace. Well, if we are to go through this fiery ordeal we must make up our minds to bear up manfully through the conflict, and acquit ourselves like men. The more signally the Hessians are thrashed and humbled by our arms, with greater joy and love will they embrace us when the quarrel and contest have ceased.

Memphis Daily Appeal, October 27, 1861.

            27, Memphis' Jewish women's war production record

Hebrew Aid Society.—The ladies of the Israelitish [sic] faith are earnest in generous effort to provide comfort for our troops. The Hebrew Aid Society, of which Mrs. J. Strauss and Mrs. M. Simon are the acting committee, a short time ago contributed a large supply of woolen garments. They have made a second contribution for the Tennessee volunteers, making, with the former contribution, a total of 112 blankets, 416 pairs socks, 243 pairs drawers, 198 undershirts, 9 pairs pantaloons, 1 jacket, and several bundles of linen and lint.

Memphis Daily Appeal, October 27, 1861.

            27, Observations of a nurse in a Confederate hospital in Chattanooga; an excerpt from the diary of Kate Cumming

Patients from Bragg's army are coming in daily, the hospital is full of them. I never saw such exhausted and worn-out men; they are in rags, and many of them barefooted. It is said they who army suffered much that many a time they have nothing to eat by parched corn.

Mrs. W. is much worse; has typhoid fever. There is a negro girl waiting on her, which to me is a relief.

I thought I had found a treasure in a white woman whom I have made my head cook; but, on going into the kitchen this morning, found her in such a state of intoxication I had to dismiss her, and fall back on the convalescent men as cooks. They do pretty well, but it seems hard to make them understand the importance of cooking properly.

There are many things, if not correctly prepared, are very injurious to the sick. Even much, simple as it is, is seldom properly made. It should be boiled at least an hour, otherwise it is very unwholesome.

Cumming, A Journal of Hospital Life, p. 50

            27, Lynching and church; a day in the life a Federal soldier posted in Nashville

Monday 27th the left wing our regiment on picket left camps at the usual time and relieved the Michigan at 8 oc [sic] last night was very cold…about 10 of our caverly [sic] run about 50 rebel caverly yesterday they found two of our cavelry [sic] hanging to a tree they were captured by the rebels a few days ago they belonged to the 1st Tennessee Cavelry [sic] it is believed they ware [sic] hung tight up when they ware taken prisener [sic] by the rebels and has [sic] remained there ever since as they ware [sic] stiff and cold hanging by the neck when our cavalry found them yesterday. I went to church last night accompanied by N. Pancher, Joseph Blackman and several others I was very much inrested [sic] in the evening service although the preachers complained of being unwell & only preached a short sermon yet the Congeration [sic] seemed to be very much interested I think the text was John 10 & 9 the house was crowded with soldiers: as usual: a report in campt of Bragg and one division of his army being captured by [sic

John Hill Fergusson Diary.

            27, Skirmish at Brown's Ferry.[1] "The bayonet charge, made by the troops of Gen. Howard, up a steep and difficult hill, over 200 feet high, completely routing the enemy and driving him from his barricades on its top, and the repulse, by Gen. Geary's command, of greatly superior numbers, who attempted to surprise him, will rank among the most distinguished feats of arms of this war

Reports of Maj. Gen. George H. Thomas, U. S. Army, commanding Department of the Cumberland, relative to the skirmish at Brown's Ferry.

CHATTANOOGA, Tennessee, October 27, 1863--11.30 p. m. (Received 9 p. m., 28th.)

Gen. William F. Smith, commanding Hazen's brigade, Sheridan's division, Fourth Corps, and Turchin's brigade, Baird's division, Fourteenth Corps, floated boats of pontoon bridges down the river from Chattanooga to Brown's Ferry, 6 miles below; landed, surprised, and drove off the enemy's pickets and reserves; took possession of the hills commanding debouche of the ferry, on southeast side, and laid bridge and intrenched the command strongly enough to hold the bridge securely.

By the judicious precautions taken by Gen. Smith before starting, and the intelligent co-operation of Gen.'s Turchin and Hazen, commanding brigades, and Col. Stanley, of the Eighteenth Ohio, commanding boat party, this was a complete success, and reflected great credit on all concerned.

Our loss, 4 killed, 15 wounded; enemy, 8 killed, 6 prisoners, and several wounded.

Gen. Hooker, commanding troops composing Eleventh Corps and part of Twelfth, marched from Bridgeport at daylight to-day, to open road from Bridgeport to Chattanooga, and take some position protecting river. Two brigades of Palmer's division, Fourth Corps, should have reached Rankin's Ferry, to co-operate with Gen. Hooker to-day. The Sixteenth Illinois reached Kelley's Ferry to co-operate with Gen. Hooker. If Gen. Hooker is as successful as Gen. Smith has been, we shall in a few days have open communication with Bridgeport by water, as well as by a practicable road, running near the river on the northern bank.

GEO. H. THOMAS, Maj.-Gen., Cmdg. Department.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 31, pt. I, pp. 40-41.


Report of Brig. Gen. William F. Smith, U. S. Army, Chief Engineer, Department of the Cumberland.

HDQRS. DEPT. OF THE CUMBERLAND, OFFICE OF CH[IE]F. ENG[INEE]R., Chattanooga, November 4, 1863.

GEN.: I have the honor to submit the following report of the operations for making a lodgment on the south side of the river at Brown's Ferry.

On the 19th of October, I was instructed by Gen. Rosecrans to reconnoiter the river in the vicinity of Williams' Island, with a view to making the island a cover for a steamboat landing and storehouses, and began the examination near the lower end of the island. Following the river up, I found on the opposite bank, above the head of the island, a sharp range of hills, whose base was washed by the river. This range extended up the river nearly to Lookout Creek, and was broken at Brown's Ferry by a narrow gorge, through which ran the road to the old ferry, and also flowed a small creek. The valley between this ridge of hills and Raccoon Mountain was narrow, and a lodgment effected there would give us the command of the Kelley's Ferry road, and seriously interrupt the communications of the enemy up Lookout Valley and down to the river on Raccoon Mountain. The ridge seemed thinly picketed, and the evidences were against the occupation of that part of the valley by a large force of the enemy, and it seemed quite possible to take by surprise what could not have been carried by assault, if heavily occupied by an opposing force.

The major-general commanding the geographical division, and the major-general commanding the department, visited with me the ferry a few days after this reconnaissance, and were agreed as to the importance of the position by itself, and especially in connection with the movements to be made from Bridgeport to open the river, and I was directed to make the necessary arrangements for the expedition to effect the lodgment. To do this, 50 pontoons, with oars, to carry-crew and 25 armed men, were prepared, and also 2 flat-boats, carrying 40 and 75 men. The force detailed for the expedition consisted of the brigades of Brig.-Gen. Turchin and Brig.-Gen. Hazen, with three batteries, to be posted under the direction of Maj. Mendenhall, assistant to Gen. Brannan, chief of artillery.

Sunday, the 25th of October, I was assigned to the command of the expedition, and the troops were distributed as follows: Fifteen hundred men, under Brig.-Gen. Hazen, were to embark in the boats and pass down the river a distance of about 9 miles, seven of which would be under the fire of the pickets of the enemy. It was deemed better to take this risk than to attempt to launch the boats near the ferry, because they would move more rapidly than intelligence could be taken by infantry pickets, and, in addition, though the enemy might be alarmed, he would not know where the landing was to be attempted, and therefore could not concentrate with certainty against us. The boats were called off in sections, and the points at which each section was to land were carefully selected and pointed out to the officers in command and range fires kept burning, lest in the night the upper points should be mistaken. The remainder of Gen. Turchin's brigade and Gen. Hazen's brigade were marched across, and encamped in the woods out of sight, near the ferry, ready to move down and cover the landing of the boats, and also ready to embark so soon as the boats had landed the river force and crossed to the north side. The artillery was also halted in the woods during the night, and was to move down and go into position as soon as the boats had begun to land, to cover the retirement of our troops in case of disaster. The equipage for the pontoon bridge was also ready to be moved down to the river so soon as the troops were across. Axes were issued to the troops, to be used in cutting abatis for defense so soon as the ridge was gained. Gen. Hazen was to take the gorge and the hills to the left, while Gen. Turchin was to extend from the gorge down the river.

The boats moved from Chattanooga at 3 a. m. on the 27th, and, thanks to a slight fog and the silence observed, they were not discovered until about 5 a. m., when the first section had landed at the upper point, and the second section had arrived abreast of the picket stationed at the gorge. Here a portion of the second section of the flotilla failed to land at the proper place, and, alarming the pickets, received a volley. Some time was lost in effecting a landing below the gorge, and the troops had hardly carried it before the enemy began the attack. The boats by this time had recrossed the river, and Lieut.-Col. Langdon, First Ohio Volunteers, in command of the remnant of the brigade of Gen. Hazen, was rapidly ferried across, and, forming his men quickly, pushed forward to the assistance of the troops under Lieut.-Col. Foy, Twenty-third Kentucky Volunteers, already hard pressed.

The skirmish was soon over, and Gen. Turchin, who followed Lieut.-Col. Langdon, quietly took possession of the hills assigned to him. So soon as the skirmishers were thrown out from each command, the axes were set at work felling an abatis, and in two hours the command was sufficiently protected to withstand any attack which was likely to be made. So soon as the last of the troops were across, the bridge was commenced and continued under some shelling for an hour or so, and was completed at 4.30 p. m., under the vigorous and skillful superintendence of Capt. P. V. Fox, First Michigan Engineers, and Capt. G. W. Dresser, Fourth Artillery.

Six prisoners were taken and 6 rebels buried by our command, and several wounded reported by citizens, and among the wounded the colonel of the Fifteenth Alabama Volunteers. Twenty beeves, 6 pontoons, a barge, and about 2,000 bushels of corn fell into our possession. Our loss was 6 killed, 23 wounded, and 9 missing.

The artillery placed in position was not used, but credit is due Maj. Mendenhall for this promptitude in placing his guns. To Brig.-Gen. Turchin, Brig.-Gen. Hazen, Col. Stanley, Eighteenth Ohio Volunteers, who had the superintendence of the boats and was zealous in his duty, and to Capt. Fox, First Michigan Engineers, all credit is due for their zeal, coolness, and intelligence. Capt. Dresser, Fourth Artillery, and Capt. P. C. F. West, U. S. Coast Survey, rendered every service on my staff. Lieut.'s Klokke, Fuller, Hopkins, and Brent, of the signal corps, were zealous in the discharge of their duties, and soon succeeded in establishing a line of communication from the south side of the river.

I inclose the reports of the various commanders.

Respectfully submitted.

WM. F. SMITH, Brig.-Gen., Chief Engineer, Comdg. Expedition.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 31, pt. I, pp. 77-78.


Report of Col. Timothy R. Stanley, Eighteenth Ohio Infantry.

HDQRS. EIGHTEENTH REGT. OHIO VOLUNTEERS, Chattanooga, Tennessee, October 28, 1863.

LIEUT.: I have the honor to report the part taken by the forces under my command during the recent expedition to Brown's Ferry, 9 miles by the river below this place.

On the 25th instant I was ordered by Gen. Smith to have ready fifty pontoon boats and one ferry-flat to transport and ferry troops; to organize parties to man them; to superintend, and have all ready to move the following day. To do this required the building of some ten additional boats and the making of one hundred and fifty oars and row-locks, all which was being done under the direction of Capt. Fox, of the Michigan Mechanics and Engineers. I detailed 100 men from my own regiment, under command of Capt.'s Grosvenor and Cable, and requested details of river men from other regiments, which were furnished as follows: From the Thirty-third Ohio and Second Ohio, under command of Lieut. McNeal 88 men; from the Thirty-sixth Ohio, under command of Lieut. Haddow, and from the Ninety-second Ohio, under command of Lieut. Stephenson, each 44 men. I directed boats' crews to consist of 1 corporal and 4 men, and each two boats to be under command of a sergeant, each detail to be under command of a commissioned officer. I afterward added a large flat, in which I carried 60 men. The pontoons each carried 25 men besides the boats' crews, making in the whole fleet fifty-two boats and 1,600 men.

It was nearly night of the 26th before the boats were all ready, and far into the night before we were supplied with oars, and had it not been for the energy of the Michigan Mechanics and Engineers we would not have been supplied at all. The boats were, however, loaded, and at the appointed hour, 3 o'clock in the morning of the 27th, we left the shore and rowed to the other side of the river, passing through the opening made for us in the pontoon bridge. Keeping near the right bank, we floated down stream until the rear had well closed up, when we pulled steadily and silently under the shadow of the trees near the right bank, until opposite the point of Lookout Mountain, where the current, setting strongly toward the mountain, threw us some distance from shore, but we quickly, however, regained our place, and thus glided past the enemy's pickets on the left and part of our own on the right without being discovered by the enemy. We were seen by the enemy posted near Lookout Creek, but after some conversation among themselves they concluded it was only drift. I had provided one of the flats for Gen. Hazen, and Capt. McElroy, of the steamer, gave me a select crew to man her, and in that I took passage with Gen. Hazen and staff, following the first boat. The moon was so obscured by clouds that we were favored in that respect, but the perfect order and stillness with which we moved prevented discovery.

I had divided the boats into two fleets, one half under direction of Lieut. McNeal, to make the landing at Brown's Ferry, the other half under Capt. Grosvenor to land at the gap above, our guide having pointed out to me the two gaps. I landed on the right shore above the upper one, and gave directions to each as they came down to make the proper landing, which was easily done without alarming the enemy, as the boats came down close to that shore. I was gratified to see how silently they came; how well they had obeyed my order. The leading boat landing, the others quickly followed, all unloading the armed men, who quickly gained the top of the bank, surprising the enemy's pickets, the boats quickly, according to previous arrangements, crossing to the right shore, coming down and up to the Brown's Ferry landing, which point I had also at this time reached, where the remainder of the forces were in waiting, who, being properly counted off into boat loads, were quickly and regularly loaded, and thus the whole force were ferried, 5,000 men, in less than one hour. There was no confusion. Every officer and man did his whole duty, did it fearlessly, willingly, and well, although there was sharp firing by the enemy, and bullets were flying thick both on the river and the shore where we were loading into the boats.

Having thus crossed the whole infantry force, and daylight having come and my men being exhausted with their efforts, the boats were all tied up to shore in line ready. I ordered breakfast for most of the men, keeping, however, a sufficient number of boats running to carry officers' messages, and gave directions to Capt. Cable to fit up the ferry-flat, and cross two pieces of artillery, which he did, taking command in person under fire of the enemy's artillery, which had in the meantime commenced throwing shells into our midst. While going over with the first piece of artillery, a shell passed a few feet over their heads; a little farther on another plowed the waters just above and passed under the boat, but neither the enemy's fire nor fatigue detained them from their work. After breakfast and a short rest, I was directed to make a road up the bank, on the south side, to be ready for the bridge, which was in process of construction by Capt. Fox. After completing that work, thus relieving the armed men from other than their appropriate duty, I ordered my men to camp, remaining, however, in person until nearly night.

I am much indebted to Capt. Grosvenor, to whom I had intrusted much of the details before starting, and the immediate command of the upper fleet, for the perfect manner in which he carried out my orders, and the system and coolness displayed in the crossing and landings. Capt. Cable and Lieut.'s McNeal, Haddow, and Stephenson were equally cool, ready, prompt, and active. These officers, without exception, obeyed my orders strictly and aided me throughout. Much of the success which characterizes the expedition is owing to their efforts. My thanks and commendation are no less due to the brave men, the sergeants, corporals, and privates under their command, who so gallantly disregarded danger and put forth their utmost strength to such good purpose. They did not have arms in their hands to repay the enemy in kind, nor charge upon the enemy to excite and nerve them, but stern duty was well performed regardless of danger.

I regret to record the loss of 3 men of the Thirty-third Ohio. Corpl. John W. Gillilin, Company I, was killed; Private Henry Pierce, Company B, mortally wounded; Private Elijah Conklin, Company C, slightly wounded.

Your obedient servant,


OR, Ser. I, Vol. 31, pt. I, pp. 79-81.


[ORDERS.] HDQRS. DEPARTMENT OF THE CUMBERLAND, Chattanooga, November 1, 1863.

The general commanding tenders his thanks to Brig. Gen. W. F. Smith and the officers and men of the expedition under his command, consisting of the brigades of Brig.-Gen.'s Turchin and Hazen, the boat parties under Col. T. R. Stanley, Eighteenth Ohio Volunteers, and the pioneer bridge party, Capt. Fox, Michigan Engineers, for the skill and cool gallantry displayed in securing a permanent lodgment on the south side of the river at Brown's Ferry, and in putting in position the pontoon bridge, on the night of the 26th instant. The successful execution of this duty was attended with the most important results in obtaining a safe and easy communication with Bridgeport and shortening our line of supplies.

By command of Maj.-Gen. Thomas:


GENERAL ORDERS, No. 265. HDQRS. DEPT. OF THE CUMBERLAND, Chattanooga, Tennessee, November 7, 1863.

The recent movements, resulting in the establishment of a new and short line of communication with Bridgeport, and the possession of the Tennessee River, were of so brilliant a character as to deserve special notice.

The skill and cool gallantry of the officers and men composing the expedition under Brig. Gen. William F. Smith, chief engineer, consisting of the brigades of Brig.-Gen.'s Turchin and Hazen, the boat parties under Col. Stanley, Eighteenth Ohio Volunteers, and the pontoniers [sic] under Capt. Fox, Michigan Engineers and Mechanics, in effecting a permanent lodgement [sic] on the south side of the river, at Brown's Ferry, deserve the highest praise.

The column under Maj.-Gen. Hooker, which took possession of the line from Bridgeport to the foot of Lookout Mountain, deserve great credit for their brilliant success in driving the enemy from every position which they attacked. The bayonet charge, made by the troops of Gen. Howard, up a steep and difficult hill, over 200 feet high, completely routing the enemy and driving him from his barricades on its top, and the repulse, by Gen. Geary's command, of greatly superior numbers, who attempted to surprise him, will rank among the most distinguished feats of arms of this war.

By command of Maj. Gen. George H. Thomas:

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 31, pt. I, p. 68.

            27, The Corrupt "Colonel" Truesdail

The Fall of Rosecrans.

Startling and Scandalous Charges Brought Against him by the Washington Chronicle[2]

[From the Washington Chronicle, Oct. 24]

An octavo volume has just appeared, from the press of Lippincott & Co., of Philadelphia, which is likely to be severely criticized by those who are familiar with the events it professes to record.

That portion of the work which will probably arrest more attention than any other is the police record of the spies, smugglers and rebel emissaries-being, in fact, the narrative of the doings of the "army police' attached to Gen Rosecrans' army. This has been published, also, in a separate and cheaper form, and contains a sketch of the Chief of the Army Police, Mr. Wm. Truesdail. Upon this portion of the "annals" we propose to throw some additional light. As the work is anonymous, the authorship being simply, that of "An Officer," we may canvas it with all freedom. It is possible, and by no means improbable, that, as Mr. Truesdail, though holding no military rank, if familiarly called "Colonel" in the army, he is the "officer" who has written the book. Certainly, no "enemy: of his had "done the thing." The "chief" in his connection with the army, first attracted attention, we believe, while in the employ of General Pope. He was then sort of a sub-mail agent. After the evacuation of Corinth an important command was tendered to General Rosecrans, which included portions of General Pope's Army of Mississippi, and Mr. Truesdail thus  came under General Rosecrans' orders. He soon contrived to persuade that general to authorize him to establish an "army police, "the ostensible object of which was to capture deserters, arrest rebel citizens and spies, watch the movements of federal officers, &c.. Experience showed, however, that the chief object of the distinguished chief was individual aggrandizement  and gain. Soon after his appointment, he associated with himself one Russell (who, of course, soon became  "Major" Russell, inn police and army parlance) and the power of the "army police" soon began to make itself felt, and its doings talked about; so much so, that complaints about their proceedings were formally made to General Grant; accompanied by a representation that General Rosecrans was countenancing and fostering a brigade of cotton thieves.

An inquiry was instituted, and it was shown that this class of hangers on about General Rosecrans' headquarters were habitually committing depredations on the country around, apparently with the consent of General Rosecrans, and certainly by the assistance of his soldiers. The mode of operations was adroit and cunningly devised. Truesdail would report to General Rosecrans that "Major" Russell had discovered at a certain place-generally twenty or thirty miles distant from our line of pickets-a small band of guerrillas, or a depot of provisions for the rebel army. Wagons would thereupon be sent out under a strong cavalry escort: but they generally returned laden with cotton, instead of with bacon or grain. Very rarely indeed were guerrillas brought in by these expeditions, though sometimes parties would be captured who could not have been guilty of any great crime, as they were invariably released after taking the oath of allegiance. So satisfied was General Grant that the whole affair was a gross abuse that he turned the whole of the operators out of the army.

Truesdail would probably have found  "his occupation" gone had not General Rosecrans about this time been placed in command of Buell's army. The  "chief" no sooner heard of this than he hired him to Bowling Green. He was promptly reinstated as "chief of the army police."

When the Army of the Cumberland arrived at Nashville, "Colonel" Truesdail took a house at the corner of Church and High streets, and a quiet, and we suspect, a profitable business for a few weeks. By that time his force was fully organized and his ambitions rose accordingly. He removed his office to a house owned by Zollicoffer's daughter, while for his own headquarters he took the elegant mansion of Dr. Jennings, located at the corner of High and Cedar streets, and thenceforth the chief of the army police was second only to General Rosecrans. His detectives had found their way into many private families. The bearing of his officers, alike to loyal and disloyal citizens, was often insulting in the extreme. They would ride through the streets in a manner perilous to life and limb, and carried themselves so offensively that earnest remonstrances were addressed to Governor Johnson, who himself appealed to

General Rosecrans to have the nuisance checked. The General replied that the governor must apply directly to General Truesdail for redress; but that gentleman had long since ceased to be approachable by civilians. He had taken the ground that neither his acts nor those of his agents were to be questioned. Ere long, and without the issuing of any order, the chief demanded and seized all the Confederate money in the banks and bankers' offices at Nashville. The right of the Chief of Police to do that was questioned by Governor Johnson who addressed Mr. Truesdail upon the subject, but received no reply. Elated by his success in this mater, he next contemplated a seizure of the banks themselves and conducting under his own supervision, his "judge advocate" counseling hi thereto. Luckily, before he took the step, he mentions his purpose to the

Secretary of State, Mr. East, who gave him "a piece of his mind." Of such weighty, proportions that the discomfited "chief" abandoned that speculation. However,, he consoled himself soon afterward by inaugurating a system of confiscation, which he successfully carried on for months, He was also invested with authority to give passes, which power was withheld from all legitimate commanders. He seized goods; arrested whom he would, on a charge of treason; tried them in his own court, convicted them and sent them to prison and confiscated their property. Indeed, the power of "William Truesdail, Chief of the Police of the Army of the Cumberland" was the talk of the whole army, and a source of regret and mortification to all the general officers, who feared that both the government and the army would lose confidence in their commander when it came to be known that he tolerated such an institution, with such a head, in his army. Soon however, the chief's power was made still more conspicuous and profitable. He assumed the entire charge of the mails, letters, newspapers, &c., to and from the army, farming out this profitable monopoly to his son and a man named Scott, who both rapidly acquired wealth by it.

Again Governor Johnson remonstrated with Gen. Rosecrans about these proceedings, but the general turned a deaf ear to his appeals. It passed, in fact, into a byword that William Truesdail was commander in-chief of the Army of the Cumberland. Wearied with his fruitless efforts to obtain from General Rosecrans a remedy for this evil, and becoming anxious about the consequences if it were permitted to continue, the faithful Governor repaired to this city [Washington, D. C.] and laid out the whole thing before the government. Circumstances at the time were unfavorable for grappling with it, and Governor Johnson returned home disappointed. Truesdail was now in the meridian of his power, and he exercised it unblushingly. He began to boast that he could not be removed, and it was the common talk, especially among officers from Grant's army, who visited Louisville, that he had a hold upon General Rosecrans which would one day destroy the latter. Of course the General's reputation was seriously damaged by these things, for some officers openly charged Truesdail with dishonesty, and Rosecrans with participating in it. The "Annals" overlooks all these facts, and its anonymous author, speaking of Truesdail, says-

["]As may be readily supposed, such an extensive army organization ere long attained considerable notoriety. It marshaled the friends and its enemies in almost regimental numbers. Even in the army it has been most violently assailed, not only by the victims in the ranks, but by officers, whose evil deeds were not past finding out. If any direct charge was made, however, to General Rosecrans, it was at once and fully investigated; and in no one instance has the charge been maintained as affecting the good character of its chief or of his principal aids [sic].The breath of calumny has been even wafted to the President's ears, and the newspapers of last spring contained the announcement that a special commission had been appointed at Washington to investigate the operations of the police of the Army of the Cumberland. Many weeks elapsed, and this was not done. At the solicitation of its chief and his assistants, General Rosecrans then appointed a special inspector, Captain Temple Clark, formerly a member of his staff in Mississippi, and now chief upon the staff of Brigadier Johnson, of Kentucky, to examine into the operations of his army police and make a report.["]

One man, and he ranking only as captain to investigate charges of such magnitude and gravity! The "Annals" does not tell what its author must have known, that Capt., temple Clark was the intimate friend of Rosecrans and Truesdail, and that, on his arrival at Nashville, he so conducted himself in a place of public amusement that Captains Pratt and Garret, of General Mitchell's staff, were, for the honor of the profession, constrained to make charges against him for "conduct unbecoming an officer and a gentleman," and that, when his conduct was about to be officially investigated, an order from General Rosecrans put an end to the proceedings. Was it to be wondered at that Captain Temple Clark made a favorable report. The incidents in the life of a spy or detective policeman must always be interesting, and an organization of such magnitude as the police of the Arm of the Cumberland could not well help discovering many offenders. But what we complain of in "The Annals" is that favoritism and partiality are shown in the selections from the police records. It becomes our duty, as it happens to be in our power, to describe other doing of this great organization. Soon after Chief Truesdail first moved into Zollicoffer's house a negro appeared at the office Governor Johnson, representing that he had run away from his master, and had brought with him a horse valued at $1,000. The Governor ordered him to hand the horse over to the quartermaster, who would return it to the owner, if he was a loyal man. It turned out that "Major" Russell had got possession of the horse, and when the negro presented himself with the Governor's order for the horse to be transferred to the Quartermaster. Russell put him in prison. Remonstrance from Governor Johnson only brought a reply from Truesdail that he obeyed no order except from Gen. Rosecrans. Again, an Irish man, who had lost a limb in the federal service, and whose loyalty was well attested, obtained a permit to take a hundred bushels of potatoes to Nashville for sale. Truesdail seized the potatoes on the plea that the owner was disloyal, and that joint representations of the Governor, and the joint representations of the Governor, the Secretary of State, the Postmaster and the Comptroller failed to recover the poor man's property. With regard to detectives, who, in disguise, entered secession families, they were, of course, generally successful in convicting the persons of disloyal sentiments and practices, and confiscation of their property speedily followed. But not seldom innocent parties suffered by the doings of the police. One case particularly deserves attention. One of Truesdail's detectives called one day upon a lady who was loyal, but who had a son in the rebel army. He represented himself as belonging to the same regiment as her son, adding that he should return in a few days, and that if she would prepare a letter and some under clothing he would convey them to him. She informed him that, although she would not regard such an act as wrong in view of the destitution of her boy, yet, as a loyal woman, she could not send such articles without first obtaining permission from the authorities. The detective's answer was that she would be refused, and her boy would continue to suffer. The temptation was strong, and she packed up an undershirt and a pair of drawers, enclosing a letter. The next day the "army police" took every thing valuable from her home, including nearly $300, which was all she had. She laid the case before Governor Johnson, but he declined to have anything more to do with the organization. This is but one of many cases of the same nature. Mr. Truesdail superintended the pressing of negroes and horses, and too the latter work he was once caught handsomely. He was sending off two splendid animals he had pressed for the cavalry service, but instead of sending them to Murfreesboro he ticketed for St. Louis As his word was law they went safely until they arrived in the department of General Boyle, who seized them and turned them over to the proper authorities.

The "Annals" contain some stories which are true, but a great many which are mutilated, and the handsome part given to the public, as in the case of Mrs. Molly Heydein [?]  . The books in Truesdail's office will show that had certain officer declined giving passes to the handsome widow, she would have committed no harm. But our space is exhausted. Than any army police can do much good; that Mr. Truesdail's spies and detectives procured such valuable information is certain; but such an organization should be held to strict accountability, or it may do incalculable mischief.

The New York Herald, October 27, 1863.[3]

            27, "I have the honor to report the utter inadequacy of the Irving Military Prison of this city for the purpose to which it is now used, with a request that a proper prison may be built." An appeal for military penal reform in Memphis


Memphis, Tenn., October 27, 1864.


SIR: I have the honor to report the utter inadequacy of the Irving Military Prison of this city for the purpose to which it is now used, with a request that a proper prison may be built. The building consists of three stories, on ground floors of which are large rooms used for the general prison rooms; the upper part of which are used for hospitals, female prisoners, and guards [and] are cut up into small rooms originally intended for offices and bed rooms to be leased out. This of course makes a contracted place, and as it is in the center of the city there is no place where the prisoners can take exercise or be exchanged from the prison rooms. They have to eat, sleep, and live in the same room. There is but a small cistern to supply this whole prison with water and it will not hold the fifteenth part of what is required to keep the prison clean. For some days I have been able to barely get sufficient water for cooking purposes, and this little I have been obliged to have hauled by wagons for the river. This is the second time that this has happened. In my experience heretofore (with this other exception when the pump broke) by the aid of the fire engines I have been able to have the cistern filled from the river, but now the pump has again given out and it is impossible to get it in that way, and it is now impossible to get the prisoners the necessary amount of water for their own cleanliness. I have applied to Col. Clary, Quartermaster's Department, for wagons, but he cannot furnish enough of them, as he has to supply the hospitals at the same time. I would respectfully recommend that a suitable prison may be built, say in Fort Pickering, near the river, where there would be plenty of room. The water would be convenient and the prisoners would be more secure. The amount that would be required to keep the present building in repair, and would be much more comfortable, safe, commodious, and secure, any of which qualities the present building cannot be made to poses. I have called the attention of all inspectors to this, and all agree that there should be a proper prison built, as one will undoubtedly be required at this place for years to come.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

GEO. A. WILLIAMS, Capt., First U. S. Infantry, and Provost-Marshal.

OR, Ser. II, Vol. 7, pp. 1049-1050.



[1] Part of the re-opening of the Tennessee River. The "skirmish" at Brown's Ferry was an extraordinary and effective amphibious assault.

[2] Not found.

[3] PQCW.

James B. Jones, Jr.

Public Historian

Tennessee Historical Commission

2941 Lebanon Road

Nashville, TN  37214

(615)-770-1090 ext. 123456

(615)-532-1549  FAX