Wednesday, October 8, 2014

10.08.2014 Tennessee Civil War Notes


8, Report on the Texas Rangers in Nashville

The Texas Rangers.

On Thursday morning, the first division of a Texas regiment, under the command of Col. B. F. Terry, arrived in our city. They have come from the far off South, and, altogether, we regard them as one of the finest regiments we yet have seen. It is their purpose to provide themselves with horses at this point, and then to await orders for service in Kentucky. Some of the finest horsemen in the world are in this regiment. The son of Col. Terry, who, undoubtedly, is the best rider we have ever seen, can pick up from the ground, any small object while his horse shall be going at full speed—a feat peculiar to Texas horsemen.

The colonel commanding—who was at the battle of Manassas, greatly distinguished himself by his heroic daring—is looked to with the fondest devotion by his men—brave and experiences as he is. We predict that this regiment, armed as they are—to exult as victors, or, in death to be laid low—will perform a part which shall be marked in the history of this revolution.

There are, at present, four companies encamped at the fair grounds near this city, each containing one hundred and sixteen men—all armed with six-shooters, double barreled shot-guns, and bowie-knives. They are also provided with saddles, bridles, and horse equipage generally.

The remaining six companies are now on their route, and will arrive at this city in a few days. When such a regiment as this, armed and equipped as it is, shall enter the field, the unprincipled myrmidons of Abraham Lincoln will fall like grain before the reaper's scythe. We welcome these sons of the far West, to the hospitable soil of Tennessee, and we shall bid them God speed to their destiny in Old Kentucky.—Nashville Banner.

Memphis Daily Appeal, October 8, 1861.

               8, Suggestion to use cotton-seed oil as an industrial lubricant

Memphis, Oct. 8, 1861.

Editors Appeal: We find in our Confederacy a great want of oil suited for lights and machinery. Knowing this fact, I have made some inquiries about means of supply. We find a number of cotton-seed oil mills doing all they can, and yet they fall far short of a supply. I am satisfied the Castor oil bean will serve an excellent purpose for both the above objects, and especially lights. This oil is used in China very generally for lights, and is found a very excellent article for that purpose. The bean can be raised on our lands very profusely, and so as to be a matter of good profit to our farmers; and thus we can achieve independence in one more article. It is all important that every class of our community should do what and all they can to produce necessaries for our consumption during our present condition; and, starting, we hope the ball will ever roll until we have full and ample agricultural, manufacturing, mercantile and commercial independence.

I may add, that the Castor oil bean is raised with little labor, is a hardy plant, and yields very abundantly.


Memphis Daily Appeal, October 9, 1861.

                8, "Clothing for the Army."

The letter of P.W.A....should be read by everyone and its suggestions heeded. The army, not only in Virginia but in the West, will soon need winter clothing. Let every lady go to work to supply their wants.-THEY MUST BE CLOTHED. Let every mother, daughter and sister in the land go to work to clothe the soldiers. No nobler spectacle can be presented than that of the fair daughters of the hand spinning, weaving and knitting for their sons, brothers and husbands in the army. Now is no time for idleness with anyone. All must work, and that in earnest. But that this work may be effectual, put a stop to speculation in the articles of clothing, and if any man is found going about trying to buy up all of any particular article, such as leather, wool or clothing of any description let them be marked. We need the clothing for the soldiers. Neither they nor their friends can afford to pay twelve and fifteen dollars for shoes and like exorbitant prices for every other article. Men can get rich selling at one half the prices now charged, and it is monstrous that such a spirit of extortion should exist in some places....If we have not blankets enough, it is better that the carpets should be used for blankets than that our soldiers should suffer and die from the effects of cold. Let every one feel that he or she has an especial interest in this matter and go to work immediately.

Chattanooga Daily Rebel, October 8, 1862.


To the Editor of the Nashville Dispatch

The Dispatch of Friday (3rd) gives copious extracts from the letter of Dr. Lieber as to what constitutes guerrilla or partisan warfare, and to what extent it may be consistent with the laws of civilized warfare; and why, when carried beyond that point, it should be opposed and condemned by all good people. The main points set fourth also in the Union of Saturday (4th).

The discussion is of a nature to benefit both parties in the present strife, and the antecedents of Dr. Lieber makes his testimony good for reference in all countries, in Europe as well as at home, and for all time.

There is a consequence of the practice, not stated in the extracts, but which will have a terrible practical effect in the South in a certain contingency.

If the Confederate government countenance the practice beyond what Dr. Lieber's letter concedes as justifiable, for the reason merely that it is convenient now [sic] in harassing the Union armies and people, then a precedent will be established which may work fearful effects hereafter.

The contingency referred to is the event of the defeat of the Confederate armies, in which case, the Confederate government would have no existence. If the organized Confederate armies be dispersed and the soldiers still keep up the spirit of resistance, they will scatter themselves in armed bands all through the Southern country. If there be no Confederate government, as in this case, there cannot be, there will be, for these soldiers, no war department or treasury department with their various sub-departments – no pay department to pay the soldiers, no commissary department to feed them, no quartermaster's department to clothe or transport them or to supply and feed horses; in fact no source of any supply whatever for these roving bands. They must therefore be self-sustaining, living principally on their friends, and issuing forth occasionally to attack their enemies.

Their friends, therefore, will bear the chief burden, and so long as their resistance continues they will have no other dependence, excepting the little that they may seize on the occasions when they sally forth against citizens at peace with the established government.

How long it will be before these friends are thereby impoverished and how often they will be subjected to annoyances beyond patient endurance, it is difficult to judge -- and all to what good end?

It behooves us all then, not knowing what the final result may be, to put this whole matter of partisan [sic] or guerrilla, warfare on the footing that all civilized nations recognize as legitimate, and to oppose its going further. In this case it will cease with the cessation of war, and both parties, the victors and the vanquished, will be enabled to adjust themselves to the new situation at once.

Whereas, if for temporary advantage, either party encourage lawless practices on the part of the partisans, these will become so firmly fixed, as a habit, that robbery by banditti will be usual, and friends and foes will be apt to suffer alike.

Guerrilla fighting is at best but a cowardly and mercenary practice. If people be impelled by patriotism to take up arms in whatever cause they espouse, there is now, certainly, sufficient opportunity on either side to do it in a regular way. But that may expose the coward to the [illegible] of battle, and interfere with a thief's disposition to plunder, and so the coward and thief is [sic] inclined naturally to guerrilla life.

Nashville Dispatch, October 8, 1862.

               8, A "Horatio Alger" story in Confederate Chattanooga

"Honesty Its Own Reward."

A lady from Mississippi who is on a mission of mercy to our city, was so unfortunate yesterday as to lose her purse, containing nearly three hundred dollars. An honest little boy – an orphan – who assists in supporting his widowed mother by selling newspapers and fruit, picked the purse up on the street, and, in obedience to his honest impulses, brought it immediately to this office with a request that we would advertise it and keep it until claimed by the owner. In less than ten minutes after he left our office, the lady who had lost the purse called to advertise its loss, and describing the purse and its content accurately, we had the pleasure of returning it to her. The little boy was sent for and received, as the reward of his honesty, thirty dollars, and the thanks of the excellent lady. The name of the youth is Jas. Flora.

Chattanooga Daily Rebel, October 8, 1862.



               28, "Clairvoyance for One Week Only."

Madame Cora James will be found at her rooms on Second street between Madison and Monroe streets, where she is daily astonishing people of the highest rank by her wonderful predictions by clairvoyance in all things pertaining to the past, the present, and the future. All who wish to learn the final [sic] result of this war, and hear from absent friends, or investigate matters of importance, should avail themselves of this opportunity and come at once. Soldiers. Learn your doom! Don't defer so important a matter. – Madam Cora James' predictions are true and interesting. Rooms at (recently called) Bluff City House.

Memphis Bulletin, April 28, 1863

               28, "A Clergyman Before the Provost Marshal."

Hardly a day passes that is not replete with incidents which take place before Provost Marshal Colonel Smith, which at the same time convince us that no other officer could be selected for District Provost Marshal as good as Colonel Smith. The Colonel makes it as invariable rule to recognize but two classes among those who make applications for favors; they are citizens of the United States and rebels, each of which are treated according to their merits. One day last week a reverend gentleman, whose name we at the present omit made application to Colonel Smith for a pass to go North of the city – we believe Niagara Falls was the future place of his destination – stating that he lived in the State of Tennessee, and owing to the scarcity of food and other necessaries of life, he desired to go north of Memphis.

After Colonel Smith had ascertained the reverend gentleman's name and a few other lading facts (necessary in case a pass was given him) when the following colloquy occurred:

"Are you a citizen of the United State," Col. Smith enquired.

"I am a citizen of the State of Tennessee and have been so for several years," replied Reverend

"Perhaps you understand what I mean by the term citizen of the United States, Col. Smith said, "I mean are you loyal."

"Now, sir," said the clergyman, "I do not understand what you mean by the world "loyal." It is a new word to me as I read the Constitution of the Federal Government. If you wish to know my position as a man I will here reply that I am perfectly neutral, perfectly neutral, sir." Our revened [sic] friend closed his remarks with a gesture that seemed to say I have completely "vanquished you, sir."

Col. Smith rose to his feet, and with a look that indicated he meant business, said "My friend, you are a minister of the gospel, are you not" to which the Rev. Mr. ___replied "That he thanked God he was."

"Well, Sir," continued the colonel, "do you not preach the doctrine that mankind, in order to inherit eternal life or damnation, must obey either God or the Devil?"

"I do," replied the clergyman.

"Now, sir," said Col. Smith, "I am a minister of the Federal law in this district, and as such reach precisely the same principle in relation to law that you do in regard to the gospel. You, sir, must either serve the Federal Government with all your soul, body, and mind, or Jeff. Davis and his hosts. "Which will you do?"

This was putting the matter in a different light from what the reverend gentleman had anticipated, and as a natural consequence was at a loss for a few moments for a reply; he stood speechless, having more the looks of a ghost than a human being. He was startled from his reverie by Col. S. repeating the question. The clergyman relied he could not answer just at that moment, and retired from Col Smith's office a wiser and we hope a better man.

Memphis Bulletin, April 28. 1863.

               28, New York Times War Dispatch


Surprise and Capture of Another Rebel Post.

A Number of Rebels Taken Prisoner.

Horses, Mules, Medical Stores, &c., Secured.

Rumored Shooting of Bragg by Breckenridge.

Nashville, Tenn., Monday April, 27.

A part of Gen. Green Clay Smith's brigade, consisting of 250 cavalry, commanded by Col. Watkins of the Sixth Kentucky, it is reported, this morning made a dash upon the rebel camp of the First Texas Legion, eight miles South [sic] of Franklin, on Carter's Creek Pike, and captured 128 rebels, including three Captains, five Lieutenants, the same number of horses, fifty mules, one ambulance loaded with medical stores, and burned eight wagons and the arms of the rebels. Col. Brooks, commanding the rebel camp, was captured, but subsequently escaped. The rebels formed a part of Gen. Whitfield's brigade. The later is a Tennessean, and a native of Franklin, who acquired some notoriety in Kansas a few years since. Five rebels were mortally wounded. There were no casualties on our side. The prisoners arrived here to-night.

Thirty-three hundred citizens, male and female, have taken the oath, giving bond to Gen. Mitchell [in Nashville].

Capt. C. L. S. Medill, of the Twenty-first Illinois, Judge Advocate in the trial of the Anders troop[1], died suddenly to-day, of pneumonia, at the St. Cloud Hotel.

A startling rumor is current to-night that General Bragg was shot and instantly killed by Gen. Breckinridge, at Tullahoma, yesterday.

A small party of rebels attacked the Louisville train from this city to-day. The rebels killed two prisoners. No damage was done to the track.

* * * *

New York Times, April 28, 1863.




               8, Scout on Horn Lake and Hernando Roads, toward Mississippi River

MEMPHIS, October 8, 1864.

Lieut.-Col. PETTERS, White's Station:

There is a report that Gen. Chalmers, has crossed the Cold Water with a force of 3,000 or 4,000 men to attack this place or White's Station, and agreeable to instructions from the general commanding you are hereby directed to move all the camp and garrison equipage of Gen. Hatch's command (expect what is needed for the use of effective men) to Memphis this evening, on train sent out for the purpose. Send in all sick and convalescent officers and men. Hold your effective force well in hand. Keep patrols well out and again all the information you can of the movements of the enemy.



HDQRS. FIRST Brig., SECOND DIV., CAVALRY CORPS, Memphis, Tenn., October 8, 1864.

Capt. S. L. WOODWARD, Assistant Adjutant-Gen., Cavalry Corps:

From information just brought in by Lieut. Sperbeck, Nineteenth Pennsylvania Volunteer Cavalry, I learn that last night a body of rebels, numbering about 5,000 men and six pieces of artillery, passed through Hernando and camped about three miles east of that place, and were supposed to be proceeding in the direction of White's Station. I am awaiting the return of scouts sent out on other roads, and will inform you should I learn anything important.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


HDQRS. FIRST Brig., SECOND DIV., CAVALRY CORPS, Camp Howard, October 8, 1864.

Capt. S. L. WOODWARD, Asst. Adjt. Gen., Cavalry Corps, Dist. of West Tennessee:

SIR: I have the honor to report that Capt. F. Hanson, Fourth Missouri Cavalry Volunteers, who went out on a scout this afternoon, has just returned, and reports as follows: He went out on the Hernando road about eight miles, when he struck across toward the Horn Lake road, and from there toward the Mississippi River, when he drove in a rebel picket, wounding 1 and capturing him, from whom he learned that he (the rebel) belonged to an independent Mississippi battalion, encamped five miles below, and some distance farther two other regiments. This man is now at the camp of the Fourth Missouri Cavalry Volunteers, too sick to be removed any farther. Capt. F. Hanson also brought in three citizens, suspicious characters, who will be sent into town to-morrow. After making the above arrests Capt. F. Hanson returned to camp.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


OR, Ser. I, Vol. 39, pt. III, pp. 160-161.

               8, A visit to the State Penitentiary in Nashville

Visited the Penitentiary….

Found it would be impossible to visit the military prison without a pass, with which we had neglected to provide ourselves. Were obliged to wait some little time for some one to accompany us, and in the meantime two ladies and a gentleman from the north, made a welcome addition to our part.

While waiting at the door, saw a party of about fifty Butternuts marched up close to the door, two by two, by a captain. They were halted and rations of bread and meat were dealt out, the first they had to eat in twenty-four hours. They were deserters, some from Forrest's forces. Saw a paper signed by two of them saying they were very anxious to be employed here by Government. They were marched away, and those wishing to go, will be sent north.

"We have in that yard about three hundred bushwackers [sic] and guerrillas," said the communicative guard.

"Ah, and what do you do with those?"

"Well, we just stretch their necks for them a little," said he, with a self-satisfied smile, and with a motion of the hand and neck as if in imagination he saw one in that very interesting situation.

"Just as you did Mosely the other day," we said.

"Yes, ho! He was a splendid looking fellow, fine features, well formed, black hair and whiskers, and straight as an indian!" [sic]

This Mosely was a guerrilla, who used to lay in wait by roadsides and kill the drivers of stray Government teams, burn the wagons, sell the horses or mules, and pocket the proceeds. He was hung a few days since.

There are now about one hundred and six in the Penitentiary property, six or seven for life, and "the best men they have," and five or six are given the limit of the law short of that, which is twenty-one years.

We passed into the prison yard, the door was barred behind us, and we made the round of the workshops. First we entered the rooms where the native cedar was made into little fanciful pails and cups, in which the red cedar was dove-tailed into the white in wavy and curious patterns. I purchased one of these only about three inches in height. Various things for use such as pails, tubs, bureaus, tables, stands, large chests-nice for furs-and wardrobes are also manufactured from this beautiful red color.

It seems so strange to look at the men and know that they must work on in silence [sic], hour after hour, day after day, and year after year with a bar upon their lips[2]. Of course to a woman it seems such a terrible punishment to keep one's tongue still. Isn't it horrible? I should thing one's tongue would cleave to the roof of the mouth after a little.

Then we went to into the tobacco factory and saw "the weed," from the time when the leaves are rolled and tied, to the pressing of the same, and the baking, to that when it is turned out "ter-bac-ker,"-a delicious cud for certain animals who are blessed with two feet, but which those with four never permit to pass their dainty lips.

"How is it about the health of those who work here all the time?" was the query.

"Good," the overseer replied emphatically. "I was but sixteen when I first engaged in the business-was slender and weakly, but in a year's time was strong and well."

This does not prove, however, that he might not be just as well, if a carpenter or machinist, and his labor have been of some befit to the world, instead of the reverse. Wanted to lower his self-respect a little by telling him so, but didn't.

We saw also the narrow cells where they sleep. One cell was only occupied, by a maniac. He was chained by the foot, and standing in the open door with hands behind him. We were cautioned not to go within a certain distance. His position indicated that his hands were folded or carefully crossed, but we found afterward that he held a club in his right hand. He watched us in silence with lowering eyebrows and hanging head, apparently measuring the distance between himself and us, with his small, black, malignant eye.

"Cannot I speak to him" inquired one of the ladies.

"Yes, you can, but I wouldn't advise you to," said our attendant. "You'd likely be sorry for it if you do. He never speaks to anyone unless spoken to, but that easily angers him."

It seems that for years he was a captain on the Mississippi River, where he acted on the proverb that drowned men tell no tales with those whose purses he thought worth his care. He afterward became a highway robber on land. His term of fifteen years expired about a week since, and they have been trying to get him transferred to the Insane Asylum, but the officers of said institution object to receiving him on account of being made insane while here. He has been so dangerous that he has been chained constantly for four years. They dare not go near enough for him to get hold of one, and his foot is pushed within his reach. Kindness they say only makes him worse-treating those worst who show him favors.

Powers, Pencillings, pp. 102-106.




               8, Miscellaneous post war news from Nashville

~ ~ ~

A terrible murder occurred in Nashville on the 2d. James Garrison shot his wife deliberately six times, emptying the contents of his navy revolver, causing almost instant death. Cause, jealousy.

~ ~ ~

The Boston Post gives the city of Nashville a very bad name, as follows: "The morals of Nashville, Tenn., are said to be shocking. The courtesans are reckoned by the thousands." The Press and Times adds: "This is leaving a little truth with a great deal of misrepresentation. The number of prostitutes here cannot, from the best accounts, exceed five hundreds.["]

~ ~ ~

A portion of the 3,000 copies of the governor's message of Tennessee ordered to be printed in German for the use of the Senate, us understood to be for use in Germany, on account of the large space devoted in this State paper to the importance of encouraging immigration into Tennessee.

Macon Daily Telegraph, October 8, 1865.


[1] Anderson's, or the 12th Pennsylvania Cavalry, mutinied just prior to the battle of Stones River over a matter associated with their perceived role as a body guard for General Anderson.

[2] Apparently these "bars" were attached to strings and tied behind the convict's head, with the bar placed over his mouth, much like a horses' bit. This made it difficult, if not impossible, to speak.

James B. Jones, Jr.

Public Historian

Tennessee Historical Commission

2941 Lebanon Road

Nashville, TN  37214

(615)-770-1090 ext. 123456

(615)-532-1549  FAX


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