Wednesday, November 19, 2014

11.19.2014 Tennessee Civil War Notes

19, Confederate Report on the Capture of Unionists at the Doe River

JOHNSON STATION, November 19, 1861.

(Via Jonesborough.)


Yesterday we dispersed the insurgents, 300 strong, at Doe River. Took thirty prisoners in the neighborhood; none very prominent. What shall be done with them? Are those not known as criminals to be released on their oath of allegiance? Those known to have been insurgents I recommend be sent to Richmond and kept there. Please telegraph to Jonesborough, Tenn.


OR, Ser. II, Vol. 1, p. 845.

19, Suggestion for augmenting Nashville's Finest

The Police of Nashville.

We have repeatedly urged, publicly as well as privately, the importance, of a mutual understanding between the civil and military authorities on police matters. The necessity of such a measure has always appeared to us so plain that we have been struck with amazement as its not having been put in practice months ago. The murders, robberies and burglaries of the past few days, we trust, will arouse the authorities to a sense of the absolute necessity of doing something, unless it be their intention to hand over the lives and property of our citizens to the tender mercies of burglars and assassins. This class of desperadoes have already got possession of thousands upon thousands of our property, and have taken the lives of several of our citizens, and it is high time that a stop be put to their lawless acts.

The question then arises, how shall it be done? not by the police alone, certainly, for under the circumstances they are powerless; but they can accomplish much with military aid, and will more than compensate the United States Government for the trouble and cost by preserving the morals of the soldiers lying loose around town. We have eighteen night watchmen, one of whom, according to present arrangement, is on and off duty in his district every hour during the night, to watch a locality varying in extent from three to five or six miles. We doubt the ability of half the watchmen in the city to walk over half their districts and return to quarters within the hour given them. We see no necessity for reporting every hour, or at any time except on going on and coming off duty, unless called together for special service.

We would suggest to the Police Committee some such arrangement as this:  Let it be understood that the police are always to be aided in the performance of their duty, when needed, by the military, instead of annoyed, as heretofore. If possible, get the Commander of the Post to detail forty or sixty men—honest men—to patrol the city all night, under the guidance and direction of the police. Arrest all stragglers, and make rigid inquiry concerning them. If one man be sufficient to convey the arrested party to headquarters or to jail, only one man need leave the district for that purpose. Let some signal be adopted, so as to call for help from those nearest to them, when needed, and not, as now, ring the Market-house bell, calling to that point all the force in the city, when one or two men will be sufficient. By these means the city will be patrolled thoroughly all night, straggling soldiers will be looked after and their health preserved, the citizens will be protected, and the fair fame of Nashville will assume its wonted position.

A special guard should be detailed to protect Germantown, which is outside the city limits, robberies being committed there every night, with no one to interfere with them. We would suggest that such guard be placed at the disposal of one of our old German citizens living there, who thoroughly understands the various localities, and can do good service to the Government and the people.

In order that our readers may know the extent of ground each watchman is expected to guard during the night, we may state, as an act of justice to the guardians of our peace and quiet during the long hours of night, that the city is divided into nine districts, as follows:

1,Patrolled by Nicholas Davis and John Ingals. Bound by the Public Square, Cherry, Broad, and Front streets.

2. John Cavender and John Phillips. Bounded by the Square, Front, Jefferson, and College streets.

3. Charles Huitt and David Yates. Bounded by the Square, Union, McLemore, Gay and College streets.

4. W. C. Francis and _____ McNabb. College, Jefferson, Summer, and Gay streets.

5. John Puckett and Wm. Jackson. Cherry, Union, McLemore, and Broad streets.

6. Wm. Mayo and Wm. Baker. Broad, High, Military Institute, and the river.

7. John Cottrell and B. Bruce. Military Institute, College, Corporation line, and back to Institute.

8. T. Francis and Robt. Scott. Priestly street and Lincoln alley to the property of Quinn's heirs; thence to Bass street, Oak, and Franklin, to College.

9. W. Wright and W. Danley. Gay, Summer, McLemore, and Jefferson streets

Of course, all the intermediate streets and alleys in the several districts must be guarded, to give any thing like security to the slumbering populace.

As we remarked above, the United States Government will be more than compensated for the services of sixty men, in the prevention of drunkenness, the arrest of stragglers, the preservation of public property, and, more than all, in preventing that total demoralization of the army of the Union, which is calculated to do more injury to the cause than ten times the number of men can ever repair. We hope this matter will be considered seriously and in all its bearings, and that quickly; of one thing we insist—the police are useless unless aided by the military authorities, and a military guard would fail to accomplish what is required, unless under the guidance of the police; they must work together, and thus assist and be a check upon each other.

Nashville Dispatch, November 19, 1862.

19, Lieutenant-General James Longstreet's tactical advice to Major-General McLaws

HDQRS., November 19, 1863.

Maj.-Gen. McLAWS:

GEN.: Please impress your officers and men with the importance of making a rush when they once start to take such a position as that occupied by the enemy yesterday.

If the troops, once started, rush forward till the point is carried, the loss will be trifling; whereas if they hesitate, the enemy gets courage; or, being behind a comparatively sheltered position, will fight the harder. Besides, if the assaulting party once loses courage and falters, he will not find courage probably to make a renewed effort.

The men should be cautioned before they start at such works and told what they are to do, and the importance and great safety of doing it with a rush.

Very respectfully,

J. LONGSTREET, Lieut.-Gen.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 31, pt. III, p. 719.

19, "Depopulation;" the forced exile of pro-Confederates from Memphis

Quite a colony of pilgrims were on the levee yesterday, who were leaving their country for their country's good. Many of the population whose principles are inimical to the requirements of General Order 157, are evacuating this region for more congenial climes. This particular crowd was composed of about one hundred individuals, ten percent of whom were unhappy, bilious looking men, an equal proportion of discouraged, tired women, and the remains eighty percent of children of all ages. There was a large quantity of baggage, mostly enclosed in grimy gunny sacks or tied up in old quilts. There was a great array of splint-bottom chairs, kettles, pans, pots, etc., etc., mixed in a higgledy-piggledy confusion. Nearly the whole of the day was consumed by them in procuring passes, and they were obliged to go into camp at the foot of the bluff, upon the bare earth. At last they obtained permission to depart and went off on the Northern bound boat, counting themselves happy to be able to get away.

19, "Battle in Smoky"

A number of soldiers belonging to the third Tennessee cavalry got into Smoky yesterday afternoon, and raised considerable excitement. One or two of them were arrested by the military police, but they were unable to cope with a whole regiment, armed and using their weapons freely. One soldier got his head so badly smashed that his life is despaired of; the police officers made a narrow escape, and were finally compelled to beat a retreat through the back door of one of the houses the soldiers were firing into. As length, having driven the "enemy" from the field, the soldiers quieted down for a time. It appears plain to us that such disgraceful conduct might easily be avoided if officers would remain with their companies, and insist upon good discipline. If this cannot be done, soldiers ought to be disarmed before they are allowed to run wild through the streets.

Nashville Dispatch, November 20, 1864.

James B. Jones, Jr.

Public Historian

Tennessee Historical Commission

2941 Lebanon Road

Nashville, TN  37214

(615)-770-1090 ext. 115

(615)-532-1549  FAX


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