Thursday, October 16, 2014

10.16.2014 Tennessee Civil War Noters

        16, "Criminal Court"

At this court yesterday, Judge Swayne disposed of several hundred misdemeanor cases. The court has dismissed all the misdemeanor cases against [Confederate] soldiers in the service of their country, unless of a gross flagrant character....

Memphis Appeal, October 17, 1861.

        16, A report on the Texas Rangers in Nashville

The Texas Rangers—Horsemanship, Manners, etc.

From the Nashville Daily Gazette]

 The gallant regiment of Texas Rangers, under Col. Benj. Franklin Terry, now encamped at the Nashville fair grounds, is drawing largely upon the confidence and admiration of our city, and the hundreds of spectators who daily call to witness the wonderful exploits. Each grand performance excites new wonder. The lasso, made of horse hair, is of great strength, is thrown with great exactness a distance of ten to twenty yards, and greater the speed of the horse the greater is the distance it is thrown, and the more certainty in taking the object sought. This will be an object of terror to the running enemy, whether on foot or horse.

Another performance is the taking up of an object from the ground by the rider, when the horse is at full speed. Another is the springing from the saddle to the ground and into the saddle again, the horse at full speed. Another is the hanging on the side of the horse, hiding the vital parts of the rider from the deadly weapons of the enemy.

A still more exciting performance is the breaking of wild horses to the saddle—horses known to be so wild and unmanageable to be unfit for use; horses which Rarey, the great horse tamer, had failed to break, were blindfolded, saddled and rode, both single and double, in an incredible short time.

I was most agreeably surprised to find in this regiment many men of fine intelligence, polished manners, excellent moral character and good fortune. This was not a matter of so great surprise, when we learned that these were picked men, and picked, too, by a man so facile in the judgment of human character as their commander.

This is, indeed, a model regiment, in reference to physical, military and moral cultivation. We hope soon to see them on the best horses in our State, flying with their lassos, sabers, and double barrel shot guns after Lincoln's invaders upon southern soil.

Memphis Daily Appeal, October 16, 1861.

        16, Women's role in guerrilla warfare

Guerrillas and Women.

To the Editor of the Nashville Dispatch.

The position which the Dispatch has taken in regard to guerrilla warfare is not only that which alone is justified by the laws of war, but also looking to the future, the only one that can be looking to the future, the only one that can be taken consistently with the general good. Whatever the result of the contest, guerrillas are simply a pest and a horror to every community.

The laws of war apply as well to all classes of people and to each sex as to guerrillas. They prescribe the manner in which offences of all kinds against existing military rule may be punished. The female sex is not exempt from the application of these laws. As this sex has been somewhat conspicuous in the present contest, it may be well to remind them of these laws. The most recent and valuable work on the subject—"Halleck's International Law, and the Laws of War"—says:

"There are certain persons in every community who are exempt from the direct operations of war. Feeble old men, women and children, come under the general description of enemies; but as they are enemies that make no resistance, we have no right to maltreat them. So persons engaged in the ordinary pursuits of life, and taking no part in military occupations, have nothing to fear from the sword of the enemy. So long as they refrain from all acts of hostility, pay the military contributions which may be imposed on them, and quietly submit to the authority of the belligerent who may happen to be in the military possession of their country, they are allowed to continue in the enjoyment of their property, and in the pursuit of their ordinary avocations.

"But this exemption is strictly confined to such as refrain from all acts of hostility. If the peasantry or common people of a country use force, or commit acts in violation of the milder rules of common warfare, they subject themselves to the common fate of military men, and sometimes to a still harsher treatment. And if ministers of religion and females so far forget their profession and sex as to take up arms, or incite others to do so, they are no longer exempted from the rights of war. And even if a portion of the non combatant inhabitants of a particular place become participants in hostile preparations, the entire community may be subjected to the more rigid rules of war. Even women and children may be held in confinement, if circumstances (and of these the General in command alone is judge) render such a measure necessary in order to secure the just objects of the war."

These rules are universally acknowledged and everywhere applicable. If there are any females in this community, who have presumed upon their sex to screen them from the punishment of acts which men would not commit through fear of punishment, it may be well for them to understand that there is no law of war under which they are entitled to the least immunity. It is currently believed that, in this city, there are females, occupying respectable positions in society, who have been guilty of demonstrations of sympathy with the rebellion, which come under the head of "acts of hostility," and render them liable to "the more rigid rules of war."  It is time that such should see this matter in its true light, and take the warning in season. The fate of guerrillas may be a lesson to them also.

Nashville Dispatch, October 16, 1862.

        16, Aquariums, statuary, the penitentiary, Polk's monument and sulphur water in Nashville: an entry in the diary of John Hill Fergusson, 10th Illinois Volunteer Infantry

Thursday 16th N. Francer Elgin Rock & Decherty & myself get [sic] a pass after brackfast [sic] and went through the most important parts of the town we visited a [sic] old gentleman [sic] house got to see his gold and silver fish: the first thing that drawed [sic] our attension [sic] was 2 lions they ware [sic] cast iron and looked as natural as if alive one stay[ing] on each side of his front door or porch then along by the side of a graveled walk stood a large new found land dog [sic] of full sice [sic] and looked as natural as life a little further along was a very fancy gray hound laying down on his hind leggs [sic] with his fore leggs [sic] streatched [sic] out in front of him he had his neck streatched [sic] up and his head fixed as if he was looking at some thing while we ware [sic] taking particler [sic] notice of these things the old gentleman came out he was a very frendly [sic] old he told us to come along and see his fish the first we seen ware [sic] in a large free stone bason [sic] about 12 feet wide and 4 or 5 feet deep it was suplyed [sic] with water from the rizzervoy [sic] on pipe leeding [sic] the watter [sic] in and another letting it out the baisen [sic] first go so full and no fuller then he took us to another fixing [?] he had for fish it was a large glass box about 4 feet long and 3 feet wide and 3 height with an iron bottom with gravel stones and some oyster shells laying in the bottom this box stood about 3 or 3 ½ feet from the ground the top of the box was covered with fine wiar [sic]: worked like the bottom of a riddle [sic] the pipe suplying [sic] the box with watter [sic] forced the watter [sic] up into a glass globe on top of the box then the water run sick back into the box another larger pipe stood up within 2 inches of the top the water wrise [sic] that high and no higher the fish ware [sic] shaped like a sun fish only the gold fish more yellow and glistened [sic] when they would move around in the clear water [sic] the silver fish ware off [sic] the same shape and size only they ware [sic] off [sic] the coller [sic] and glistened like silver they ware [sic] from the size of a minney [sic] up to half a lb [sic] whare [sic] this box was placed was in side [sic] of a nice lates [sic] worked summer house with seats all around it at each side of the door on the inside ware [sic] a woman cut out of marble there hair hanging down over there [sic] sholders [sic] there [sic] sholders [sic] and breasts was apearently [sic] bair [sic] with the form of a white sheet rapped [sic] around these lady on the outside of the door stood a little darky holding a kee [sic] out in his hand he resembled the works of natur [sic] as much as any thing I ever saw:[1] from that we went to the States [sic] prison [sic] the clark [sic] in the office took us all through whare the prisoners ware [sic] to work the States prisen [sic] occupies a hole [sic] block there is a stone wall all around in three sides about 15 feet high in side of this wall there is a 2 story bilding [sic] extends all around three side upon the upper story wood work of all kinds was carried on also tailering [sic] and stone making in the lower story blacksmithing and hewing and dressing free stone and marble was caried [sic]  land a variety of other imployments [sic] every one seemed to be hard to work the front side was the jail 3 stories high with large iron doors and dark scells [sic] that was wharre [sic] murderers [sic] was kept in cloce [sic] confinement it is mostly filled at the preset time with Secesh prisoners after having a good view of this place we went back uptown and visited the grave of James K Polk he is berried [sic] inside of a house sat in front of a large house I suppose [sic] the house he live in when he died the monument over his grave was small but very nice it was supported on pillars the ingraving [sic] on the monument read as follows: James Knox Polk 10th president of the United State born November 2nd 1795 dies June 15, 1849 the mortle [sic] remains of James Knox Polk are resting in the vault benieth [sic] he was born in Mackleburg county NorthCarlina [sic] and imagrated [sic] with his Father Samuel Polk to Tennessee in 1806 the beauty of virtue was illustrated in his life the excellence of Christianity was exemplifed [sic] in his death: his life was devoted to the public service he was elected successfuy [sic] to the fist places in the State or federal governments a member of the general assembly a member of congress and chairman of the most important congressional comities speaker of the house of representitives [sic]  governor of Tennessee 7 President of the United States by his public policy: his definit[?] established [the] extended boundaries [sic] of his country he planted the laws of American union on the shores of the Picific [sic] his influnce [sic] and his counsels tended to organize the national treasury on the principles of the constitution and to apply the rule of freedom to Navigation trade & industry.

This the 16th day of October 1862 in the town of Nash Vill [sic] Tennessee I like to forget I visited the sulferey [sic] spring citizens pays 5 cts per glass Soldiers drinks free I drank only one glass that was all I wanted I would sooner drink sals[2] Some are very fond of it.

John Hill Fergusson Diary.

        ca. 16-17, Resistance to Confederate conscript sweep in West Tennessee.

The Memphis Argus of Oct. 27th, [Tuesday] says: We learn from a gentleman recently arrived from the vicinity, that during the last week [12th-18th] a company of guerrillas entered the region of country on the Tennessee side, back and west of Fort Pillow and Island 37 for the purpose of conscripting citizens. They commenced work and although the citizens dodged them as much as they could, in a day or two Captain Mason, the leader of the guerrillas, succeeded in securing six or seven citizens of respectability, taking them from their residences without even allowing them time to provide for their families.

Matters took a turn, however, for which the conscripting gentry were entirely unprepared. A number of citizens had formed themselves into a company, with such arms as could be obtained, for the purpose of resisting the conscription. The proximity of the guerrillas was the signal for an assemblage of all who could reach the rendezvous, and it was resolved among them to attack the conscriptors at some favorable point, run them out of the country, if possible, and rescue any of their neighbors who had been so unfortunate as to be caught.

The citizens discovered the route of the guerrillas designed taking on their exit from the neighborhood, and lay in wait for them. The company, closely guarding the conscripts, made their appearance in due time, on Friday [16th] or Saturday [17th] last, and at a point where attack was least expected (for opposition in their irruption was anticipated) the were startled by a volley from some bushes by the roadside, and the sudden appearance of a large number of men with arms in their hands.

Two or three of the guerrillas fell, and one or two others were wounded. Those who were unharmed or slightly injured, put spurs to their horses and were soon beyond the reach of bullets. In their excitement, they quite overlooked the conscripts, who, overjoyed at their deliverance, at once rejoined their friends, and all returned to the neighborhood together.

Nashville Daily Press, November 6, 1863.

        16, "Whom Do You Serve?" Episcopalian disloyalty to the Union in Memphis

Editor Bulletin;

The history of Calvary Church and its pastor, Dr. White, since the beginning of the rebellion is familiar to our old citizens. A brief review is here given, for the information of those who have come here since the Federal occupation of the city:

Two and a half years ago the vestry and many of the members insisted on the mutilation of the services, and ordered the preacher to pray for Jeff. Davis, called "President of the Southern Confederacy."

Dr. White yielded to the pressure and omitted the prayer for the President of the United States, and by order of Bishop Otey, substituted another for the President of the Confederacy. For this course there may be some mitigation, for a man's religion is not always regulated by the Higher Law; mobs and devils incarnate often teach men how to pray. When the National army approached, and the rebel troops fled from Memphis, they carried with them Dr. White's rebellious prayer, and from that time forth it is doubtful whether the Lord has heard of Master Jeff. from Memphis.

The Reverend Doctor made fine speeches, using soft words to turn away strife, and indulged in fair promises, but was very careful never to "talk turkey" to Uncle Sam. He has been promising "yet a few days and I will use the prayer for the President," for the last ten months, alleging that all this members, save only a few "silly-minded old women" were willing to restore the true Episcopal form of worship; "these old women," however have been a terrible stumbling-block in the way of this man of fine promises, until his words have become idle and unworthy of consideration, for he is, "all things to all men."

The omission of the prayer for the President is a marked insult to the United States authorities, and to every loyal member of the Church; and it is so considered and intended by the secession members, when the pastor serves.

For more than a year the Union men have patiently tolerated the insult. They now demand a change; and if it be necessary in order to secure loyalty in the pulpit, that both preaching and praying must be changed, be it so.

A Member of Calvary Church

Memphis, Oct. 15

Memphis Bulletin, October 16, 1863.

        16, Description of Chattanooga Under Federal Control

[Army Correspondence of the Mobile Adv. & Reg[iment].]

Letter from Tennessee.

Army of Chattanooga, Oct. 16.

…Only three or four hundred of the citizens remain in the town [Chattanooga], including a few ladies, all of whom are much restricted in their movements, and liable to arrest for appearing within the vicinity of the fortifications. Some are in a state of destitution, owing to the consumption of supplies, and are compelled to depend for subsistence upon the Federal commissariat. Chattanooga is almost unrecognizable, houses being desecrated and property generally ruined….

Savannah [Georgia] Republican, October 28, 1863.[3]


[1] Fergusson is probably describing the Belmont Mansion in Nashville.

[2] Meaning unknown

[3] As cited in:

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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