7, Inconsiderate Yankee Generals, canning peaches and educating the children, an excerpt from the war journal of Lucy Virginia French
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One of the "reminiscences" I have heard of Gen. "Bull" Nelson – is that he was invited by a Mr. Claiborne of Nashville to take tea with him. Claiborne himself was a strong Unionist – his wife as staunch a Southern[er]. Nelson at the table advanced him ideas and Mrs. Claiborne as freely advanced her opinions. Among other things she stated her firm belief in the final success of the Confederacy. Nelson's argument in reply to this was to place his thumb to his nose and perform a gyratory motion with his fingers! Such an action from a gentleman and officer (!!) [sic] towards a lady whose hospitality he was at that moment receiving! Comment is unnecessary. Nelson at Murfreesboro compelled a lady to dismiss 9 boarders and board only himself – saying he would arrest all the boarders if they did not leave. Subsequently he said to her – "Madam you promised to give me biscuit for breakfast – but you give me stones – if you do not give me biscuits I shall have you arrested!" I laughed till I was tired when I heard this – it is a good joke if it is a fib….I have filled all my cans with peaches,-October peaches which were so green when the Yankees were here that they could not use them. I instruct the children every day. Bouse is engaged on the first lessons in drawing and he writes quite well. Today he first commenced using a pen to writer, and joining his letters together. He is now in his third copy-book. Jessie is still writing with a pencil – she sings and plays eight songs very sweetly – they are-Nelly Gray, Busy Bee, Hark! My Mother, Lazy Sheep, Ellen Bayne, Blue Juniate, Prairee [sic] Flower, and Maggie by my side. Both the children read and spell quite well. Ting spells on the cards – she is a comical about her lessons as about everything else.
War Journal of Lucy Virginia French.
7, Skirmish and capture of Confederate wagon train near Nashville; an entry from the diary of John Hill Fergusson, 10th Illinois Volunteer Infantry
Tuesday [sic] 7th there was a Several [sic] Shots [sic] fiared during the night we heared [sic] heavy volleys [sic] we could not think what it was in that direction but when our relief came we lerned [sic] that a strong force had went out last night with a large train of upwards of 200 wagons as soon as we ware [sic] relieved we marched into camp whare [sic] we found orders awaiting us to go and take pusession [sic] of the fort as an attact [sic] was expected to report had reached camp that our train was captured by the enemy and price our trucks to nashvill [sic]: the 22nd Ills and 10th and 11th Mishagan [sic] are one battery [sic] started out to reyinforce [sic] General Palmar and Millar [sic]: about 10 o'clock a Squad [sic] of our men arrived [sic] in camp with 30 rebel priziners [sic] they ware [sic] taken by our troops before day while on picket and sent back: a little after noon we Learned [sic] from the arival [sic] of the 1st Tennessee cavalry [sic] that the enemy was completely [sic] routed and badly defeated: the troops ingadged [sic] under Gen Palmer at Lavergne was the 1st Tennessee cavalry under command of colonel Stokes colonel Wynkoop cavelry [sic] and the 1st Tennesseed infantry and 2 Sections of hattlins [sic] battry [sic]: those under Colonel Millar comanding [sic] was the 18th Ohio Lieut Elm [was] given comanding [sic] 20th Ohio under Lieut Coln niebling [sic] 78th pennsylvania [sic] Colonel Serwile 14th Michagan [sic] and Lt Clair our troops surrounded the rebel camp gust [sic] to day braek [sic] the enemy opened fiar [sic] with one section of artilery [sic] they warre fortified and only had one peace [sic] of artilery [sic] there was a heavy fiar [sic] opened in them on all Sids [sic] a shell from hatalings [sic] battry [sic] went through their powder magazine and blowing it up the enemy then hoisted the white flag 300 priziners [sic] were taken: 30 killed and 80 wounded the most of the relief cavelry [sic] made there [sic] escape we get one peace [sic] of artilery 200 stand of arms a number of horses and wagons and tents and ten equipage we also get 7 cars loaded with provisions we got 50 wagons loaded with flower [sic] and a good many ware [sic] loaded with side meet [sic] after our wagon train was loaded up and all the rebels [sic] wagons that could be found: the train of cars ware [sic] burned also their tents and every thing that they could not take along they also captured 40 fine beefs that was drove in or oss was 4 killed and 7 wounded I had the pleasure of seeing the train come in: in the evening and the rgbel prisinors [sic] the ware [sic] rather a hard looking set.
John Hill Fergusson Diary.
7, Pioneer Brigade report on construction of military road, Walden's Ridge to Sequatchie Valley
HDQRS. FIRST BATTALION, PIONEER BRIGADE, Camp Goddard, Tenn., October 7, 1863.
Lieut. C. V. LAMBERSON, Acting Assistant Adjutant-Gen..:
SIR: Agreeably to instructions, I herewith transmit the following report of a reconnaissance for a practicable road on Walden's Ridge: Starting at a point three-quarters of a mile below Mrs. Williams' house, ascend the mountain, taking the Williams road and following the trace to where it intersects the Anderson road at James Connor's, a distance of 10 miles from Chattanooga; follow the Anderson road 2 miles, then bearing to the left, on what is known as the Grierson or Burnett trace, reaching the Sequatchie Valley, saving a distance of 5 miles. This route can be made a good, practicable road in six days, with 500 men. The route running parallel with the Tennessee River, on top of Walden's Ridge, is not practicable, owing to the numerous ravines that are impassable, the heads of which are at the bluffs on the Sequatchie Valley side of the ridge.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
CHAS. J. STEWART, Capt., Comdg. First Battalion Pioneer Brigade.
HDQRS. PIONEER BRIGADE, October 7, 1863.
Respectfully referred to Brig.-Gen. Smith, chief engineer.
J. ST. C. MORTON, Brig.-Gen. of Volunteers.
OR, Ser. I, Vol. 30, pt. IV, pp. 151-152.
7, "Only a Skirmish."
The city was somewhat excited yesterday afternoon over a sensation[al] report to the effect that a battle was in progress just outside the picket lines, etc. We learn that the only foundation for these reports was a slight skirmish on or near the Tallahatchie [river], in which the rebels were considerably worsted.
Memphis Bulletin, October 7, 1863.
7, "GEN. GRANT'S COTTON ORDER-AN OFFICIAL COPY."
We subjoin below an official copy of Gen Grant's Cotton order, which posses special interest to a large number of our readers:
Headquarters, 16th Army Corps
Memphis, Tenn, 7th Oct. 1863
General Orders, No. 141. [sic]
I. The following Order from Maj. Gen. U. S. Grant, is in force within this command
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All actual residents within this Department, well disposed to the Government of the United States, will hereafter be permitted to bring into any military post or station on the Mississippi river, cotton, or other Southern products of which they are the bona fide owners, and on the permits of the Military Commander of such posts or stations, or the local Provost Marshals thereof, ship the same to Memphis, Tenn, or New Orleans, La., for sale on their own account.
All cotton belonging to the States in rebellion, to the Confederate States or to persons in arms against the United States, will be seized for the benefit of Government and disposed of under existing orders.
No person or persons speculating in cotton will be permitted to remain in this Department south of Helena, Ark., and all persons South of the latter place against whom there is, or may be, reasonable grounds of suspicion that they are so engaged, either directly or indirectly, will be regarded as unauthorized persons and sent beyond the limits of the Department.
By order of Major-General U. S. Grant.
Memphis Bulletin, October 9, 1863.
7, The peaceful picket line in Chattanooga
[I] visited the picket line this afternoon. A rebel line officer came to within a few rods of our picket station, to exchange papers, and stood and chatted for some time with the Federal officer. There appears to be a perfect understanding that neither party shall fire unless an advance is made in force.
Beatty, Citizen Soldier, p. 351.
7, "Queer Runaway."
We have all heard in our youthful days how the "dish ran away with the spoon," but yesterday we say a wagon run away with a boy and three bales of cotton. A wagon was standing on Front Row, near Jefferson street, when by some unaccountable means it got started and run down the hill toward the river. The vehicle certainly made good time, but ended in a big collapse near the city icehouse. The boy escaped unhurt."
Memphis Bulletin, October 8, 1863.
James B. Jones, Jr.
Tennessee Historical Commission
2941 Lebanon Road
Nashville, TN 37214
(615)-770-1090 115 Office