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


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