Friday, December 5, 2014

12.05.2014 Tennessee Civil War Notes

        5, "A Mistaken Haste;" anti-draft editorial from the Memphis Argus.

It must be admitted that, as far as this city is concerned, the late militia call by the Governor, made as it was and when it was, has by no means increased confidence in his wisdom nor respect for the cause, and this simply because the first order in connection with the matter, were misunderstood by our people, and for this misunderstanding Governor Harris must of necessity stand responsible. A mere order, unaccompanied by explanations, is right in a military leader; but it will never be willingly obeyed when it affects a man's private business, denies him the right of exercising his own will, and requires of him the risking of life, liberty and property, intones so autocratic that the Czar of Russia might envy them. For whatever ill effect, morally, the cause has sustained through his excellency's haste, as well as for the diminution of public confidence in his wisdom, he can blame but himself, and those who, after the surprise at Belmont, spread, of sought to spread, a wholly unfounded alarm through this community.

We are sorry the affair was so miserably managed, and the more sorry that his excellency's real desires, and the wise ideas which he wished to realize by the call might have been gratified and realized without having caused a single murmur from any honest Southern man. Our men, women and children, our servants, will peril, will sacrifice their all in this quarrel, and think it but their duty. The Governor knows this, and is himself, probably, as true and brave a ruler as ever sat in our gubernatorial chair. Misunderstandings will occur between the best intentioned friends. Let us forget this one, forgive, and see how many of us are needed and can be used to effect, and just so many can and will be ready and proud to march for good old Tennessee.

--Memphis Argus.

Nashville Daily Gazette, December 14, 1861.

        5, Rumors of Confederate defeat in Morristown environs [see ca. December 1, 1863, "Unionist attack at Morristown" above]

Unwelcome Intelligence. – A letter received in the city yesterday from a reliable gentleman at Knoxville, confirms the defeat of Confederate troops at or near Morristown, East Tennessee, heretofore reported.

Nashville Daily Gazette, December 5, 1861

        5, Love, Marriage and Suicide in Civil War Memphis; the Allegory of Alice Simpson

The End of a Lucky Marriage.-Some six or seven months ago we gave an account of the marriage of a beautiful courtesan from a house of ill fame in this city. Her husband was a very wealth planter in Arkansas. We state in that account that the woman had declared that on her part the man who had chosen her should have no reason to complain of the future, whatever might be the events of the past. She was taken to her husband's home. Her life was far from stain. She appeared to be in the way to recover the position in society she had lost, when an individual arrived in the neighborhood that knew her. Her previous history was then exposed. Her efforts to escape the consequences of past guild were in vain. She committed the sin for which there is no earthly pardon. For her that world could offer no hope. He who had power to say, "Let him who is without sin cast the first stone," was not there to repeat them. Her new acquaintances avoided her; her now friends upbraided her; her new relatives denounced her and demanded of the husband that she should be driven like Hagar to the desert-to a desert where there was no angel to open the weeping wanderer's eyes and discover to her the well flowing with healing waters. The months of her purity counted as nothing in her favor; her husband brought her to this city and left her to misery and crime. She lately resided on Vance street, near the first bayou, passing by the name her husband first knew her by-Alice Simpson. She had been plunged into her early wrong course on her first return to the city, but had lately been industriously engaged in sewing for a living, and it was beloved was striving hard to lay aside finally the slough of her past life, and to maintain herself by honest labor. But that banishment from the brief paradise in which she had enjoyed the society of the pure and the respect of the good, she could not forget. Ceaselessly she turned her eyes back to those doors eternally closed to her, and saw no more the brightness that was within, only the fierce glittering of the flaming sword that tuned every was repelling her from hope. That brief interval of pure wifehood had awakened within the knowing consciousness of what she lost when her honor was robbed from by the honey-tongued seducer in her girlish, thoughtless days. This brief sojourn with good had been the fruit communicating to her a knowledge of good and evil too bitter to be borne. Despairing, she sought the sad fatal refuge of despair. On Thursday night [November 28] she took a large dose of morphine; yesterday Alice Simpson was a corpse and a suicide. How sad must be that sin whose anguish is increased by communion with virtue.

Memphis Daily Appeal, December 5, 1861. [1]

5, Letter of introduction from, Messrs. Brown and Harding to General Johnston, C. S. Army, in the interests of the preparation of a gunboat for the protection of Cumberland River.

NASHVILLE, December 5, 1861.

This will be presented by Captains Shaw and Lawson, who visit you for the purpose of conferring about the propriety of constructing a gunboat for the Cumberland River, or rather, to convert a steamboat to that use. Of the efficacy of such a means of defense we are not competent to decide, but we are persuaded that it would be of great utility, and from the present aspect of affairs we are strongly convinced that this river needs every means of defense practicable. These gentlemen have had a good deal of experience in steamboating, but what familiarity they have with this species of craft we do not know.




General A. S. JOHNSTON.

[ First endorsement.]

I am deeply impressed with the importance of Confederate gunboats on both the Cumberland and Tennessee rivers, and shall be much pleased to see the policy adopted.


[Second endorsement.]

I know the bearer, and have confidence in his skill and energy, and feel the necessity of gunboats.


[Third endorsement. ]

Report on this proposition.

 Keep in view the best defense of the river, with the amount of guns we may hope to command. The best defense is wanted.

By order of General Johnston:

W. W. MACKALL, Assistant Adjutant-General.

Major GILMER, Chief Engineer, Nashville.

NOR, Ser. I, Vol. 22, pp. 806-807.

        ca.5, Border fighting between East Tennessee and North Carolina

The Troubles in East Tennessee-War on our Border-North Carolina Invaded!-A terrible state of affairs exists in the border counties of Tennessee. A fight occurred last week at Parrottsville, Cocke county, about fifteen miles from this place, in which Capt. Gorman and two privates of the Confederate cavalry were killed. A messenger reached this place day before yesterday from the commanding officer at Greeneville, Tenn., urgently requesting that a force be immediately dispatched to the adjoining county of Madison, to intercept some two or three hundred Tennessee and North Carolina tories who had fled before the Southern troops had taken refuge in the mountains of Madison county., About one thousand tories, the messenger informed us, were at Newpor[t] in Bocke [sic] [i.e, Cocke] county, armed and organized. Col. R. B. Vance's regiment had been ordered to disperse them, and would, it was supposed, reach Newport last Tuesday. Nothing definite has been heard since, but it is presumed a collision has taken place before now.

We learn that a great many arrest[s] have been made, and no little old fashioned hanging has been done at Greeneville. The authorities having exhausted all mild remedies are determined to crush the rebellion by force, and teach the traitors that the Southern Confederacy is a Government with ample power to enforce obedience to its laws.

News from Col. Vance's regiment is most anxiously looked for. We will give it to our readers at the earliest possible moment.

[Ashville (NC) News, 7th, Inst.]

Macon Daily Telegraph, December 21, 1861.


The Troubles in East Tennessee-North Carolina Invaded-the Ashville (N. C.) News, of the 7th inst. says:

A terrible state of affairs exists in the border counties of Tennessee. A fight occurred last week at Parrottsville, Cocke county, about fifty miles from this place (Asheville, N. C.), in which Captain Gorman and two privates of the Confederate cavalry were killed. A messenger reached this place day before yesterday from the commanding officer at Greenville, Tenn., urgently requesting that a force be immediately dispatched to the adjoining county of Madison to intercept some two or three hundred Tennessee and North Carolina tories who had fled before the  Southern troops and taken refuse in the mountains of Madison county.

About one thousand tories, the messenger informed us, were at Newport, in Cocke county, armed and organized. Col. R. B.. Vance's regiment had been ordered to disperse them, and would, it was supposed, reach Newport last Tuesday. Nothing definite has been  heard since, but it is not presume a collision has taken place before now.

We learn that a great many arrest have been made, and no little old-fashioned  hanging has been down at Greeneville. The authorities having exhausted all mild remedies, are determined to crush the rebellion by force, and teach the traitors that the Southern Confederacy is a Government with ample power to enforce obedience to the laws.

Daily Dispatch, December 13, 1861.

        5-7, Dispersal of Union sympathizers in Cocke County

KNOXVILLE, December 5, 1861.


The following dispatch received this morning dated from Bird's Point: Capt. Cocke just in with two bridge-burners and other prisoners. Have no news from Col. Leadbetter. Col. Powel reports by special messenger that he has seen no gathering. Will hold his position. Will throw my forces over the river in the morning and report.

Dispatch from Morristown says courier in from [Capt.] Monsarrat. Cannonading and musketry at 8 o'clock. Tories have made a stand.

WM. H. Carroll, Brig.-Gen., C. S. Army.

KNOXVILLE, December 7, 1861.


Capt. Monsarrat has dispersed the tories in Cocke County and captured thirty of the ringleaders.

WM. H. Carroll, Brig.-Gen., Cmdg.

OR, Ser. II, Vol. 1, p. 852.


KNOXVILLE, December 7, 1861.


Capt. Monsarrat has dispersed the tories in Cocke County and captured 30 of the ringleaders.

WM. H. CARROLL, Brig.-Gen., Cmdg.

OR, Ser. I, Ser. 1, p. 742.

        5, Small pox in Cleveland

....Another case of smallpox [sic] appeared in the Cumberland hospital this eve. they [sic] moved [the sick soldier] to the Methodist Church...."

Diary of Myra Adelaide Inman, p. 168.

        5, Divining the moves of the Federal army in East Tennessee

The Designs of the Enemy.

The Rebels, it seems, are trying to establish two strong and important points, one of these to be at Knoxville, and the other at Chattanooga. At present they are removing all stores and supplies from below Nashville to Chattanooga, which place their officers have declared their intention of holding to the last moment, and for this purpose they are strongly fortifying the city. This point is naturally one of great strength, and should they use half the energy and skill in strengthening this point which they have displayed in other places, it may be found a difficult matter to dislodge them. But it must and will be done. The Rebels have succeeded, during their late raid though Kentucky and Tennessee, in carrying off an immense amount of stores, provisions and clothing, which are now stored principally at Knoxville and Chattanooga. To lose these stores at the present time would be to them an irreparable loss, which they will struggle hard to prevent, and before Tennessee is cleared of the wretches, there must be at least two most desperate encounters, and the issue of these will probably settle the questions of the Rebellion in this State.

The Citizens-Their Rumored Union Sentiments.

There has been much said throughout the North respecting the Union men of Tennessee, but, as yet, I have seen but few citizens indeed to whom this term is at all applicable.

Nearly all are known Secessionists; while many avow their sympathies for the Southern Confederacy with an order and warmth which leaves but little could of their sincerity. It is a well known fact that a large number of the farmers belong to some of the numerous guerrilla bands which infest the country. These squads can be called together in a few hours, and they are at all times on the alert to gobble up detached companies of Federal Soldiers, or harass Union citizens, wherever they may be found. For these acts, Morgan and his band generally receive credit; but it is a notorious fact that these citizen-robbers are far more cruel than any regularly organized band of the Confederates, and in many instances their acts are of the most dastardly and fiendish character imaginable.

Murder is as common to many of them as marching is to the majority of our troops. Even the wives and children of Union men are constantly in danger of their lives while they remain within reach of these inhuman wretches. But from the character of the Federal officers who now have charge of affairs in Tennessee, it is to be hoped that this state of affairs will not long continue, but that the time will soon come when, the very few good Union men in this State can enjoy their homes without fear from their disloyal neighbors.

Heavy Cannonading-Rumors of an Engagement.

Word has just reached camp from the Second Minnesota, who are now lying in a bend of the Cumberland, some fifteen miles from Gallatin, that heavy firing was heard all day yesterday [4th],[2] in an easterly direction, and it is supposed that considerable of an engagement must have taken place between our forces and the Rebels in the vicinity of Silver Springs. None of these particulars, however, have as yet reached us at this point, but we shall probably hear from there tomorrow. News brought into camp seems to indicate sharp work in that direction within the next two weeks. I have just heard from the three regiments belonging to the Third Brigade, which were sent forward a few days since. They are now encamped upon the northern bank of the Cumberland, about twenty-five miles from this point. They have finally arrived within sight of the enemy. To them has been assigned the duty of holding a ford at that point. The Rebels seem anxious to cross here, but although constantly to be seen on the opposite bank of the river, they are somewhat wary of coming within reach of our Western riflemen, and no doubt their caution has saved many of the rascals a whole hide, as the Second Minnesota especially are somewhere noted for the accuracy of their aim.

Philadelphia Inquirer, December 5, 1862.

        5, Skirmish at Loudon

No circumstantial reports filed.

        5, Skirmish at Crab Gap

No circumstantial reports filed.

        5, Skirmish at Walker's Ford on the Clinch River

No circumstantial reports filed. [3]

FOUR MILES FROM WALKER'S FORD, December 5, 1863--12.15 p. m.

GEN.: Col. Graham is threatened with an immediate attack, and is probably now engaged. I have therefore ordered back another regiment to Walker's Ford, making two regiment and two guns to cover the ford. I shall wait here until I hear from Col. Graham again.

Yours, respectfully,

O. B. WILLCOX, Brig.-Gen.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 31, pt. I, p. 399.

        5, Longstreet begins retreat from Knoxville

HDQRS. DEPARTMENT OF THE TENNESSEE, Maryville, Tennessee, December 5, 1863.

Maj. Gen. GORDON GRANGER, Cmdg. Fourth Corps:

GEN.: The object of the present expedition having been accomplished, and the enemy being in retreat from Knoxville, you will please move your command to-morrow as far as Little River, going into camp at that place, and report in person to Gen. Burnside at Knoxville for orders.

By order of Maj. Gen. W. T. Sherman:

HDQRS. DEPARTMENT OF THE TENNESSEE, Maryville, Tennessee, December 5, 1863.

Brig. Gen. JEFF. C. DAVIS.

Cmdg. Division:

GEN.: The object of the present expedition being accomplished, and the enemy in retreat from Knoxville, the general desires you to hold your command in its present camp until he can decide upon future movements on consultation with Gen. Burnside. He will ride forward to Knoxville in the morning; meanwhile you will please hold your division in readiness to return to the neighborhood of the bridge over Little Tennessee, should it be deemed advisable on consultation with Gen. Burnside. Gen. Granger is ordered to report to Gen. Burnside for orders. The Fifteenth Corps will remain here until the general returns from Knoxville, and the Eleventh Corps will probably return to Loudon.

By order of Maj. Gen. W. T. Sherman:

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 31, pt. III, pp. 340-341.


TAZEWELL, December 8, 1863.



MY DEAR GEN.: I received your request through Col. Foster to move down and join you. I shall do so as soon as the provision wagons that have left the gap arrive so that we can escort them. I believe Longstreet to be in full retreat, the rear of his infantry about opposite here. The rear guard of his cavalry is between Blain's Cross-Roads and Rutledge.

Col. Foster with the cavalry has moved to join your cavalry. I hope to see you soon.

With best regards, yours, most truly,

J. G. FOSTER, Maj.-Gen.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 31, pt. III, p. 359.


HDQRS. FOURTH ARMY CORPS, Maryville, December 6, 1863.-9 a. m.

Brig. Gen. JAMES G. SPEARS, Cmdg., Loudon, Tenn:

Longstreet has retreated pell-mell from Knoxville, and the object of the expedition being accomplished you will remain at Loudon with your command until further orders.

By command of Maj.-Gen. Granger:

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 31, pt. III, p. 347.

        5, Scout to Powder Spring Gap

No circumstantial reports filed.

HDQRS. SECOND BRIGADE, December 5, 1863.

COL.: The scouting party that went to Powder spring Gap report a large amount of camp fires on the road leading from Blain's Cross-Roads to Rutledge. The soldier that I started with dispatch to Knoxville did not get through, but returned this morning, and reported a column of rebels passing on the road leading from Knoxville to Blain's Cross-Roads; that the column continued all night; that they remarked, on the road, that they were going to Virginia. They expected the Yankees had them surrounded, and that they expected to fight their way out. From all information, it appears that they are moving in the direction of Virginia. Whether their object is to move in our rear or not, I cannot tell, as their movements are mysterious, and hard to understand. My headquarters will be, this morning, 8 miles from the river.

Respectfully yours, &c.,

F. W. GRAHAM, Col., Cmdg

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 31, pt. I, p. 426.

        5, Excerpt from W. H. Dawson's diary while at McGhee's farm, relative to impressment of food and animals by Federal and Confederate soldiers

Taken from the farm of C. M. McGhee on little Tenn. River by the commands of Maj. Dobbs & Col. Long 4th A. V. Cavalry under Gen. Sherman. As near as I can assertain [sic] from the Amount [sic] killed twenty five hundred pounds Bacon or salt pork taken[.] [I] Think [sic] I can safely say there were ten thousand pounds or upwards ¼ of which was undoubtedly taken & I was only Rectd [sic] for 245 lbs. A potion [sic] of said meat was taken away.

Pressed from the farm 2 large work mules & three indifferent ones left on the farm 2 of which has since been stollen [sic] no clue to the thief. The impressment was done by those calling themselves confederate [sic] soldiers.

The Confederates took a number of bushels [of] wheat-the amount I cannot tell-perhaps 500 bu.

Confederate Army burned 1283 pannels [sic] [of] fence amounting to 15,000 rails[.] Killed 25 fat hogs[,] about 75 sheep[,] took Bridals [sic] & lines, all of which there was nothing paid, together with the greater potion [sic] of the Hay raised on the farm, Iron, etc.

The Federal Army consumed corn, hay, potatoes, mutton, etc, [sic] without giving recpts [sic] for same.

W. P. A. Civil War Records, Vol. 2, pp. 190-191.

        5, "Scan Mag."[4] [sic] A January-May marriage disintegrates in Memphis

Some time ago a man past middle age, a widower in fact, became smitten with the charm of a young school girl of fifteen. She was young, and inexperienced, while he was well posted in the business of love, ardent and earnest. The homage of any man, no matter what his age or station, is grateful to woman as long as it is honest and pure. The Miss was flattered by his attentions, and allowed him at last to win her consent to a marriage. She was poor, while he was a worthy, industrious mechanic, just able to support a wife, and that was it.

It was a January and May over again, and it is well known the wide world over, that such alliances seldom prosper. She was a giddy girl, whose bounding blood accorded illy with the sluggish flow of his enfeebled currents. She had an overweening desire for finery, and that was something her husband, with his limited resources, could not procure for her. Before they had been married a year she began to wear gay colored clothing, a fancy bonnet, dainty gaiters, etc. The husband began to suspect that there was an Ethiopian in the woodpile, and remonstrated. There was a domestic explosion at once, and mutual recriminations were exchanged freely in the shape of broomsticks, invectives, hot water, hot names and bullets [?] of wood.

On the next day the bird that the old man had caged took wings to herself and fled. The bereaved spouse took the matter most unphilosophically, and grieved disconsolately. He pined and refused to eat. He neglected his labor, and it was feared by his friends he would become distracted. At last the intelligence came that the truant wife was boarding at the house of a person who was considered no better than she ought to be. He repaired to her, and begged her to return to his home, but she refused, whereupon he appealed to the military authorities for assistance. Although it was not a case that came directly under their supervision, they were disposed to make an effort to rescue the woman from the course of ruin which she had entered upon, and restore her if possible to arms of her natural protector.

She was arrested and brought up for the purpose of adjusting the difficulty, but it was found the moral disease had become too deeply seated. She admitted her shame and gloried in it, flatly refusing to go back, and declared here intention to continue the career she had commenced. It was absolutely appalling to see this mere child of sixteen so completely transformed to a very fiend of wickedness. She sneered at the tears of her husband, and laughed at his entreaties. The officers she defied to do their worst, and at last she flounced out of the room when she was released as an incorrigible, and went down stairs in triumph. When her husband saw how completely she was lost to him and all the world, his sorrow knew no bounds. It was heart-rendering to witness it.

Memphis Bulletin, December 5, 1863.

        5, In camp near Morganton, Loudon county, marching to the relief of Knoxville; an entry from the diary go John Hill Fergusson, 10th Illinois Volunteer Infantry

Saturday 5th

Here we have remained in camp all day until 3 P.M. The bridge was completed last night and the 15th Corps under Sherman crossed in the night one thousand men were mounted on horses and ordered to report to burnside at 12 o'clock  last night if in there [sic] power to get there the 4th Corps under Woods crossed this foornoon [sic] the 17[the] corps crossed after them our devision [sic] fell in and marched down the bridge but one bent got broken down so that we were delayed until nearly dark before we got to cross over. Our Brigade crossed first and marched of[f] although the night was dark we marched of[f] freely passing through Morgantown [sic] on the west side of what is called Little Tenn. [river] we marched 5 miles and went into camp for the night we camped in a large field watter [sic] and rails plenty. The Tennessee river forks some distance below Morgantown [sic] the branch which we crossed is called the Little Tennessee and the other branch on which U understand Knoxville is located on the east side is called Holston river our boys are getting in a very destitude [sic] condeation [sic] a grat many is interly [sic] barefooted and a great many more will be in a few days if we do not get to where we can draw [supplies] we have nothing to eat last night what rations there was issued to us it was only 3 crackers to each man there is nothing more on the devision [sic] waggons we are bound to suffer if we do not get to knoxville tomorrow. Still we have no assurance of rations there, as we are told burnsides [sic] supply has been cut off for some time I understand Longstreet is still there and closely pressing on burnside [sic]. I do hope he may still remain until tomorrow night, if so [h]is rain [sic] is short he never will get away we will lick him out as cleen [sic] as a dog would lick  a plate we will just be hungary [sic] enough to go in [illegible] to get his gru it is some 18 miles from this place to Knoxville we will make it by middle of afternoon if nothing happens

John Hill Fergusson Diary, Book 3.

        5, Skirmishing along the Tennessee River during the Knoxville Campaign

Reports of Brig. Gen. James G. Spears, U. S. Army, commanding First East Tennessee Brigade.


Near Loudon, Tenn., December 6, 1863.

~ ~ ~

I was informed that quite a large cavalry force of the enemy were in my front, and that their pickets were within 4 miles of Kingston. I deemed it most prudent (expecting the boat to arrive every moment on the morning of the 4th) to move forward with my force, which I did, accordingly, by three different routes, throwing a force around on the river bank. In about 4 miles from Kingston we drove in the rebel pickets and proceeded on to a point 10 miles from Kingston, having skirmished with and drove the enemy before us, occupying their camps on the night of the 4th, with headquarters at Mrs. Beazeal's. We captured 26 prisoners, some horses and equipments.

~ ~ ~

JAMES G. SPEARS, Brig.-Gen., &c.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 31, pt. I. p.446.

        5, Skirmish at Nashville, Hillsborough, Hardin and Charlotte pikes [see also: November 17-December 28, 1864, Confederate Cavalry operations in Middle Tennessee above]

Dyer's Battle Index for Tennessee.

        5, "Extremes Meet."

Last night we saw one of the blackest she-niggers [sic] "you eber did see," [sic] dressed in white with red trimmings, and white pantaletts reaching to her ankles, and her dress a little above the knee, on her way to a hall. She attracted the observation of all passers by [sic], and was finally stopped on the corner of Cedar and Cherry streets, by a crowd of soldiers, one of whom expressed a desire to examine and see what kind of animal she was [sic].

Nashville Dispatch, December 6, 1864.

        5-7, Demonstrations[5] against Murfreesborough

Report of Major-General R.H. Milroy, U.S Army, of operations December 4 and 7, 1864.

GEN.: In obedience to your orders I proceeded on the afternoon of the 4th instant to the relief of the block-house at Overall's Creek, four miles and a half north of this place, on the Nashville and Chattanooga Railroad, which was besieged by a considerable rebel force with artillery. I took with me, by your order, the eighth Regt. [sic] Minnesota Veteran Volunteer Infantry, Sixty-first Regiment Illinois Veteran Volunteer Infantry, One hundred and seventy-fourth Regt. [sic] Ohio Volunteer Infantry, and a section of the Thirteenth New York Artillery, under Lieut. McGurrin. I proceeded on the Nashville pike to Overall's Creek, where I found the Thirteenth Indiana Cavalry (Col. Johnson), who preceded me some hours, engaged in skirmishing with the enemy's sharpshooters, who were deployed across the creek. I threw Lieut. McGurrin, with his section of artillery, forward to the bluff of the creek, who engaged the enemy's battery in gallant style, which was posted on an eminence about 900 yards distant, on the opposite side of the creek, between the railroad and the Nashville pike. I at once deployed the sixty-first Illinois as skirmishers, and sent up the Eighth Minnesota to the block-house at the railroad crossing, about half a mile below the pike, with orders to cross there, if practicable, and flank the rebel battery on the right. I then advanced the galling fire, and drove back the rebel sharpshooters. I then threw forward the one hundred and seventy-fourth Ohio Volunteers Infantry (Col. Jones), who crossed the bridge under a sharp fire, both of artillery and small-arms, and formed in good rider on the opposite bank. Being under the impression that the force opposing me consisted of a portion of Forrest' cavalry, dismounted, I supposed that their three-gun battery operating against us could be run over had taken by Col. Johnson with his gallant regiment, who were anxious to try the experiment. So, after the One hundred and seventy-fourth Ohio had formed on the north bank of the creek, the ground being favorable for a cavalry charge and the smoke of the battery and approaching darkness rendering my movements invisible, I directed Col. Johnson to cross the bridge, pass through an opening in the line of the One hundred and seventy-fourth Ohio, charge the battery and take it if possible. The colonel moved forward on the enemy in the most splendid and impetuous style, but finding the battery strongly supported by infantry he turned and passed off to the right. I then moved forward the rolling fire upon the enemy, capturing a number of prisoners who dared not to arise from the ground to run away amid a sheet of lead. From these prisoners I learned that the force confronting me consisted of Gen. Bate's division of infantry.

It being now quite dark, and the enemy having been driven back near eighty rods and ceased firing, and the Eighth Minnesota not having found a crossing, I withdrew the One hundred and seventy-fourth of the creek. These regiments withdrew in the most perfect order, bringing off their dead, wounded, and prisoners. The Thirteenth Indiana Cavalry also returned to the bridge and crossed to the south bank of the creek. These regiments withdrew the One hundred and seventy-fourth of the creek. These regiments withdrew in the most perfect order, bringing off their dead, wounded, and prisoners. Their Thirteenth Indiana Cavalry also returned to the bridge and crossed to the south side up in line on the south bank of the creek and kindled fires the whole length, and waited till 9 p. m., when, not hearing of the enemy, I moved back to the fortress.

The Eighth Minnesota, being a veteran regiment of long and true service, would of course have done efficient service could they have found a crossing at the block-house; the Sixty-first Illinois, being also well sustained their reputation as veterans. But the One hundred and seventy-fourth Ohio being a new full regiment, and for the first time under fire since its organization I was most agreeably surprised at the promptness, steadiness, and bravery they evinced; no veterans could have behaved better in action, but this I discovered (as I have in every other instance where I have found an efficient and reliable regiment) is owing to the energy, bravery, and efficiency of its colonel.

My staff-Maj. Cravens, Capt. Carson, Capt. Wilkinson, Lieut. Worthington, and Lieut. Frowe-well deserve and have my thanks for the assistance rendered; also Capt. J. G. Mohler, of the One hundred and fifteenth Regt. [sic] Ohio Veteran Infantry, who volunteered his services on the field and rendered himself very useful to me. Maj. Cravens and Lieut. Worthington both had their horses shot under them. My thanks are also due Surgeon (Maj.) Birney, who volunteered as medical director, and rendered very valuable service in care of the wounded.

I captured 20 prisoners. My killed, wounded, and missing amount to 64-the Thirteenth Indiana Cavalry yet to hear from. I have no means of knowing the loss of the enemy, who fell back five miles that night; some 8 or 10 dead were counted on the field.

* * * *

R. H. MILROY, Maj.-Gen. of Volunteers.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 45, pt. I, pp. 615-616.

        5-9, Skirmishes and Reconnaissances around Overall Creek environs

No circumstantial reports filed.

Excerpt from the report of Report of Col. Gilbert M. L. Johnson, Thirteenth Indiana Cavalry, of operations December 4-9, 1864, relative to skirmishes and reconnaissances around Overall Creek environs, December 5-7 and 9, 1864.

HDQRS. THIRTEENTH INDIANA CAVALRY, Murfreesborough, Tenn., December 10, 1864

* * * *

Additional skirmishes and reconnaissances[6] have been had with the enemy on the 5th, 6th, 7th and 9th of December, 1864. In these my command has captured about 20 prisoners, among whom were 1 major and 1 lieutenant.


* * * *

I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,

G. M. L. JOHNSON, Col. Thirteenth Indiana Cavalry.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 45, pt. I, p. 631.




[1] As cited in PQCW.

[2] There is no record of this engagement in the OR.

[3] There appears to be no information relating directly to a skirmish on the 5th at Walker's Ford, although this citation indicates Confederate forces were menacing Federal positions at the site and that a fight was looming.

[4] The meaning of this story title is not exactly known, although from the context of the story it may have meant something like "Scandal Magazine."

[5] CAR, p. 46, claims there was an "event" at Murfreesborough on the 5th of December in which there were 205 killed.

[6] It is impossible to quantify the reconnaissances or skirmishes that took place from this information.

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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