Saturday, December 13, 2014

12.13.2014 Tennessee Civil War Notes

        13, Belt buckles, native intelligence, friction matches and scarcity in Nashville

"Buckle Manufactory."

Messrs. Bibb & Tuttle have commenced the manufacture of buckles in this city, as will be seen by advertisement in another column.

This may seem in the eyes of some but a small business; but such remember that it fills, or will help to fill, a desideratum in the South, the want of which must otherwise soon be felt by all whom may have occasion to use them and that if the public should find that they can only obtain buckles in Montgomery Messrs. B. & T. would soon have a very extensive factory, and could not fail to make an independent fortune on buckles.

They are a thousand and one little mechanical contrivances which are getting scarce in the South, the manufacture of which would employ very many worthy people who are not comparatively idle. For instance, a very small capital would be required for the manufacture of friction matches. These are almost indispensable, and we doubt if any are made in the Confederacy and if we should ever obtain another supply from aboard after the blockade ceases, a duty will have to be paid upon.

We trust that the mechanics of the country who may not have all their time employed will commence thinking [sic]; if they will, we doubt not almost every one can suggest something useful which may as well be manufactured in the South as elsewhere. We wish to see the mechanical genius of the country finally brought out. Each one should remember that __

"Large streams from little fountains flow;

Tall oaks from little acorns grow,"

and that everything must have a beginning.

Nashville Daily Gazette, December 13, 1861.

        13, Criticism of the Harris administration's efforts to control prices and aid the poor and unemployed families of discontent Tennessee militia men

It is with the utmost reluctance always that we utter complaints about the administration of public affairs, especially when there is an even chance that such complaints may be heard by the enemy.-But there is a point at which silence ceases to be prudence; and that point has been reached when the mutterings of discontent are heard on every hand, and grow louder as the evils presses heavier upon that class which it is the duty of the Government to protect-the poor and unemployed. Never, in the history of the South, has there been such an abundance of meat and bread as at this moment, and it is a subject of grave enquiry why, just at this time, when the families of the poor are deprived of the support of husbands, fathers, brothers and sons, the Government has bid against them for meat and bread, and fixed the price of pork at ten dollars and flour almost as high. These prices, the poor can not pay-it is an extortion for which those in authority are responsible, and yet they are charged with a want of patriotism if they hesitate to volunteer in defense of their country and leave their defenseless families to the tender mercies of the selfish speculator or to an unequal competition with Government agents. These hardships are severely felt and every hour of endurance lessens the interest of those who bear them in a contest which promises nothing but ruin, even as it may. Every day we see and hear evidences of the dangerous influence the things are having upon the popular heart-an influence which nothing can counteract so long as the agent and speculator are permitted to oppress them by placing the staff of life beyond the reach of their humble means.

But we shall probably be told that the Government has no right to fix the price of meat and bread-that it is interference would be an unauthorized assault upon the rights of individuals-an obstruction of the legitimate course of trade. If this be true, by what right does it take his gun, value it at half price and give him a receipt for the gun, but pays no money-By what right does it take possession of a man's lot, tear down his houses and fell his timber? Oh, but these are military necessities, and the power implied is everywhere conceded. Granted! But the poor volunteer or militiaman will argue, with equal justice and force, that his services are a military necessity, and, that whilst the government exacts them at its own price, it is bound by every consideration of right and humanity to protect his family against its own against as well as against sharpers. The miller's flour, the farmer's corn and pork, the speculator's salt and the citizen's gun are equally private property, and it is gross injustice to seize the latter at half price and then disclaim the right to interfere with the price of the other articles. The soldier views the subject in this light, and when he sees the wealthy and influential enjoying the fat places under the Government, and the greedy capitalists, with impunity extorting the last dime from his defenseless family, is it any wonder that he shoulders his gun with reluctance, and looks with indifference, if not disgust, upon a country and a cause that [is] deeply wrong, instead of protecting him and his dearest interests? Patriotism withers under the blighting touch of injustice and ingratitude, and the Government that will not protect the soldier's wife when he is perilling [sic] his life in its defense, severs every tie-crushes every sympathy that should endear it to the popular heart.

It is in no querulous spirit that we make these remarks, but the evils upon which they are based cry loud for a remedy, and sound policy, no less than humanity, demands their correction. In the camps and on the streets, growing discontent is manifesting itself, and the only contented parties are those whose fat officers and heavy profits make them look upon the war as a blessing; and the sufferings that attend it as none of their business. There is no reason why pork should be worth more than six dollars per hundred, four more than six dollars per barrel, except that agents and militia and monopolists have so willed it and the Government connives at the inequity. But, however satisfactory these reasons may reasons may [be they cause unhappiness and (?)] hence the rapid decline of enthusiasm in behalf of Southern rights. The soldier is not blind to the favoritism which gives ten thousand dollars to wealthy stay-at-homes for a week's rent of a pork-house, whilst he is allowed eleven dollars per month for encountering all the hardships and hazards of the camp and battlefield. He is not blind to the extensive system of swindling by which all the poor are sufferers and the rich gainers. The farmer extracts the last cent he can get for the products of his farm, and then curses the merchant and grocer for doing the same with their wares. The miller and the speculator and the Government agent pass similar compliments amongst themselves, and all grow rich, whilst the poor soldier and his poor family are the unpitied and unprotected victims of private and public capital. This state of things is as disgraceful as intolerable, and it is no wonder that it extorts from the lips of the sufferer the unwilling declaration, that Northern domination can inflict no greater curse than the starvation now threatening the poor of the South.

Clarksville Chronicle, December 13 [Friday], 1861.

        13, False reports in Nashville regarding a Federal amphibious attack on Fort Donelson; an excerpt from a U. S. Navy officer's report

No circumstantial reports filed.

U. S. GUNBOAT CONESTOGA, Paducah, December 13, 1861.

SIR: I have to report that I again left here on the night of the 10th instant with this vessel for the Cumberland River and returned last night....We were, the forepart of the night, near Fort Donelson, to prevent the rebels sending out a force to cut off people who were bringing in concealed arms....We brought 10 muskets, with accouterments, and a number of rifles and shotguns.

* * * *

The Nashville Union and American publishes an account of the landing of 130 men from this vessel near Fort Donelson, of whom 113 were killed and the others made prisoners. I have never, on that river, landed a man above the line of Tennessee. We have been fired upon there, and where the rebels appeared to be in numbers have sent a shot or shell among them.

* * * *

S. L. PHELPS, Lieutenant, Commanding, U. S. Navy.

Navy OR, Ser. I, Vol. 22, p. 461.

        13, Concern about paying debts; a Confederate soldier's letter home to Lincoln County

Camp Trousand [Trousdale] Tenn December the 13 1861

Dear sister I again seat my self to drop you a few lines to let you know that I am well as common only a bad cole [sic] tho [sic] that is a common thing hear I have not mutch [sic] to rite [sic] you[.] I want you when [you] get that Jones money to pay it out and take reciptes [sic] for it and sell my pork and beef and pay off all my debts and what else remaines [sic] of my property after my debts is all paid keep it and if I never get home again it shall be yours I will draw of all my debts and who I owe them too one note to Port and Byers for seventy dollars one to Narl Henderson for $80.00 one to E. Green for $13.00 one to John Fleming for $8.00 and a store account to John Rawls I dont no [sic] the exact sum and some little black smith accou[sic]nts to M W Williams William Gregory and unkle [sic] Harve Bledsoe[.] That is all I can think of at present I that is a nuff [sic] about a hundred and ninety nine dollars I will send something relative to how I am satestfied [sic] har [sic] I am not so well satestfied [sic] as if I were at home but I will hold up my had and have my fun with the rest of the boys give my love to Ma and Pa and all the rest and receive a full shear to your self I must close by saying rite [sic] to me every chance nothing more at present but remaines [sic] your most affectionate brother

L B Smith to

Sarah A Smith

Smith Family Letters. [1]

        13, Some announcements in the Clarksville Chronicle


On the 4th Monday in January, 1862, at the Court House [sic] at Clarksville, I will sell, to the highest bidder, for cash, two Negro [sic] Men [sic], conveyed to me by W. E. Luter, for the benefit of G. S. Dick.

Sale at 11 o'clock A. M.

T. W. King, Trustee


Four Neat Cottages for Rent, [sic]

For the Year 1862.

Two of the cottages situated on 7th street, now occupied by Mr. Gwinnett and Mr. Bartol, the other two situated on Academy street, in good repair, with cisterns and all necessary out buildings. Terms to [sic] good tenants, liberal. Apply to



Hog and Beef Trimmings! [sic]

Backbones, Shoulder ribs, Sausage Meat, Brains, Beef Shanks, Hearts, Livers, Feet, &c. [sic]

For sale, at the Government Pork House, every day during the season.

Persons desiring to purchase must send the right change [sic].


Clarksville Female Academy [sic]

Our Institution having been impressed by military authority, for hospital purposes, the school is necessarily suspended for the present. So soon as we can secure suitable quarters, we will open the day, and possibly, boarding departments both.

Our teachers, Terms, &c., will be the same as heretofore.

J. S. Malone

Clarksville Chronicle, December 13, 1861.

        13, Status of Overton Hospital

Overton Hospital.—We were yesterday conducted over this hospital by the surgeon having it in charge, Dr. Fenner. The neatness, order and cleanliness observable is highly creditable to him and to his assistants. The patients being distributed in comfortable rooms, each of which has its cheerful fire, have more of the appearance of invalids among kind friends in their own homes, than is usual in the large rooms crowded with numerous beds, of an ordinary hospital. This home-look of things is greatly increased by the presence at each bedside, where required, of a lady nurse, whose kindly and compassionate looks, attentive, eyes, pleasant speech and ready hand, is the consolation of the wounded soldier in his suffering. Among the patients with whom we conversed was Mr. Gaylor, of Logwood's battalion. That battalion not being ordered to take a part in the action, Mr. Gaylor joined the battle as a volunteer, being determined to lose no opportunity of facing the foe. He received a severe wound in the shoulder, but says he suffers much less from that than he would have done to be so near the enemy without joining in the fight. Mr. Charles Taylor, of Preston Smith's regiment, is a singular instance of the power of some men to "live under difficulties." An iron grapeshot of an inch in diameter entered his right breast, passed completely through his body and came out behind near the shoulder blade. Mr. Taylor was walking about the room and conversed in a very cheerful manner; he showed us the large iron ball which had passed through him, and declared it would be no small sum that would buy it of him. Donahue, who was accidentally shot in the knee on the floating battery, when it lay here, has had his leg amputated and is doing well.

Memphis Daily Appeal, December 13, 1861.

        13, Newspaper report on the increase in enlistments by erstwhile Unionists in Confederate army in Bradley county



The Knoxville Register of the 13th says that Lincoln's late Message is producing the happiest effect in East Tennessee. That paper says:

A gentlemen who is fully informed and entirely reliable, writes us from Bradley county, that on the 12th Inst., "since the Message of Lincoln has reached that county, scarcely a Union man can be found-all declare themselves for the South. One or two hundred of them have joined the Southern army in the last forty-eight hours. There is a much better feeling than has ever prevailed in the community before. The people say they have been mislead by their leaders in regard to the policy of the Northern Government. They cannot be sold to Abolitiondom. Bradley county is going to furnish a regiment for the Confederate army. Dr. Thompson will go into regiment, and many more prominent Union men since reading Lincoln's Message, have declared themselves strongly for the South. Wm. Hancock, formerly a Union man, is now raising a company for the Bradley Regiment. The other companies in progress for this regiment are, Capt. W. H. Camp's, (a Southern Rights man,), Captain Frank Triplet's, (late Unionist,) Judge Chipman's (late Union,) and Jos. Perrine's, (late Union.")

Macon Daily Telegraph, December 18, 1861.

        13. Newspaper report on Tennessee's approach to paying the Confederate War Tax

Confederate War Tax.

Tennessee Plan.

The joint Select Committee of the Legislature of Tennessee has reported a bill to provide for the assumption and payment by the State of the Confederate war tax. It is the result o a conference between the committee, the Tennessee banks and the member of Congress from Tennessee at Richmond. The report and the document accompanying the report, are printed in extensor in the Nashville papers. They embody the result of conferences at Richmond between the Tennessee members of Congress and the Confederate Secretary of the Treasury, on the topics connect with this tax question, which are of unusual interest at this time, when all the Confederate States are engaged in considering the ways and means for meeting this tax, and at the same time providing for the support of State Government.

The subject to which the attention of the Government at Richmond was specially called, is, whether, in the event that the State of Tennessee assumes the payment of the direct tax, the amount of the indebtedness of the Confederate Government to the  State for advances and expenditures, for war purposes, may be set off, in discharge of the tax; or whether the Confederate Government will audit and pay the account within such time that the Treasury notes received in liquidation may be used by the State for the same purpose.

The answer of the Secretary of the Treasury, as reported to the Tennessee delegates, is explicit on both points, An arrangement to set off the war debt against the war tax is declined, on the ground that it would defeat the basis of credit for which the tax was imposed, which is for the interest and redemption of Treasury notes. The Government must be secure on that point, and no arrangement for set off can be made.

The Secretary declines also to give assurances that the Government will be able to repay the State advances for war purposes "at present," or within any named period,. The Tennessee delegation assure the legislative committee that it is safe to assume that "it will be out of the power of the Government to reimburse the State until the close of the war."

After calculations, therefore, the aid may be expected from the Confederate Government to give any relief to the State Governments in the payment of the war tax, must be abandoned. The States must provide for themselves in that respect, and wait for legislation as to the events of the future. Whenever peace comes, these several claims against the common Government will be assumed by the Confederate Government, and will serve as a reliable set off and discharge within each State, of the rateable taxation which may then be necessary to pay that much of its proportion of the common debt. The State advances to the Confederate Government are therefore to be held as advances on taxes, which would otherwise be paid in some other form hereafter.

The Legislative Committee of Tennessee has accepted this as the unavoidable aspect of the question, and provided a bill for advancing to the Confederate Government, by the State, of the war tax. Assessed upon the people of the State.

The bill is now before the legislature.

It provides for the issuing of eight per cent. coupon bonds of the State of Tennessee, redeemable one-fifth annually for four years. The redemption of the bonds and the payment of the interest is secured by a special tax of ten cents on the hundred dollars of received property in the State, one-fourth of one per cent. On the invoice price of all merchandise within the State, and a poll tax of ten cents the head.

The banks of the State are authorized to invest their means in these bonds, and may class them in their assets as "specie funds," the State reserving the privilege to redeem the bonds in the notes of the purchasing banks. The bonds are to be free from every species of taxation within the State.

The Nashville Union and American says that the Bank of Tennessee, the Union Bank, the Planters' Band and the Bank of West Tennessee, have agreed to take these bonds [illegible]. They are negotiable, under the net, for treasury notes of the Confederate States, with which the Governor is authorized to pay into the Confederate treasury the amount of the war tax in Tennessee.

The amount of bonds authorized to be issued is not to exceed two millions of dollars. The committee estimated the amount which may be necessary to be used at from $1,500,00 to $2,000,000.

On the last estimated amount, the sums to be annually raised for the object during the ensuing five years will be as follows:



1864………………………………  425,000

1865……………………………… .461,000

1866………………………………. 482,000


Total                                           $2,458,000

Daily Picayune, December 13, 1861. [2]

        13, News Items from Confederate Tennessee

Tennessee Intelligence.

Col. Cook's regiment of Tennesseans passed through Nashville on the 10th bound – somewhere.

The Paris Sentinel states that Col. Clark's Regiment of volunteers have received orders to go to Union City.

The Knoxville Register, of the 10th, states than an addition of thirty-two of the Cocke county traitors had arrived in that city, and been placed in jail. The Register adds that a "more crestfallen, mean set of men than these pets of Old Abe's, it has not been our misfortune to look upon since Andy Johnson and Horace Maynard cheated justice of its dues, and saved their necks from the halter, by fleeing to Kentucky."

Dr. J. L. Abernathy, of Gen. Carroll's brigade, has been detailed, under order of the medical director, to establish a hospital at Loudon for the accommodation of the sick volunteers.

The McNairy Banner brings intelligence of the arrest of five citizens of that county, charged with treason.

A man named West was found dead in the street in Purdy on Saturday last. Drunkenness and exposure was the cause of his death.

Memphis Daily Appeal, December 13, 1861.

        13, Extent of damages to one Madison County farmer's property after six months of occupation by Federal forces

I am at a loss what to do. [sic] I was well fixed here before the war, even to within the last six months but how different now. My place is a perfect waste. House burned down, fencing pretty well all burned, not an acre enclosed on the place, no hogs-about 130 killed. My cattle, except 2 milch cows, killed; 1 mule and 3 good horses taken. The planks and weather boarding and part of the roof of [the] lint room and most of the boarding of the gin house [are] gone. My gin stand broken to pieces & ruined, every cast wheel broke, saws bent, part of the thresher taken. My harness run through the cutting knife and cut in pieces about an inch long. My timber going fast. Farming implements destroyed or burnt up. Had most of them packed in [the] cellar. At least 1,000 barrels corn foraged away....

Robert H. Cartmell Diary.

        13, Advertisement seeking hands to work in a slaughter house in Chattanooga

WANTED-One hundred hands wanted [immediately] to slaughter and pack pork for the Government at Chattanooga. Negroes or white men will be employed. Negroes will be under military guard and safe. All men employed will be exempted from military duty by its proper authority. Liberal wages and good boarding

S. R. McCaney & Co., Chattanooga

Murfreesboro Daily Rebel Banner, December 13, 1862.

13, Assessment for relief of the poor[3]

State of Tennessee, Executive Director

Nashville, Dec. 13, 1862

Whereas, There are many helpless widows, wives and children in the city of Nashville and county of Davidson, who have been reduced to poverty and wretchedness in consequence of their husbands, sons and fathers having been forced into the armies of this unholy and nefarious rebellion, and their necessities having become great and manifest, and their wants for the necessaries of life so urgent, that all the laws of justice and humanity would be grossly violated unless something was done to relieve their destitute and suffering condition: The following assessment is ordered in behalf of these suffering families from those who have contributed directly or indirectly in bringing about this unfortunate state of affairs. The amount annexed to each name may be paid in five months, the first payment to be made on or before the 20th of December, 1862.[4] All persons called upon in this notice will pay the amount required to the Comptroller of the State, and it will be applied in such manner as may be prescribed to the purposes for which it was collected.

John Overton          $2,500            Evans & Co.           $500

John M. Bass          1,500             A.F. Golf        500

W.W. Berry            1,500             Dr. J.W. Hoggatt            500

Henry Frazier                  1,250             Michael Vaughn             500

Macey & Hamilton 1,000             W.H. Lucas            500

W.W. Woodfol              1,000             Dyer Pearl & Co.            500

W.G. Harding         1,000             Mrs. John R. Wilson       500

M.R. Cockrill          1,000             J.A.S. Acklin          500

A.W. Vanleer         1,000             W.R. Elliston          500

A.L.P. Green            750               D.F. Carter             500

Enoch Ensley            750               R.C. McNairy         500

L.B. Fite                   750               J.W. Horton           500

J.M. Hill                  500               J.H. Williams          500

Ed. Childress, Sr.             500               Morgan & Co.        500

Andy Hamilton                 500               W.B. Walton          500

Wash. Barrow          500               Dunn & Co., Bankers     500

Niell S. Brown          500               Mrs. Luzinka Brown       500

David McGavock             500               R.H. Gardner          250

Granville P. Smith     500               Wm. Ewing            250

A.C. Carter               500               W.H. Hagan           250

C.E. Hillman             500               W.D. Phillips          250

James Cockrill          500               Phil. Shute              250

Anth. W. Johnson     500               G.M. Fogg             250

Allison, Andrson & Co     500               W.K. Bowling        250

John Thompson               500               Wm. L. Murfree             250

Hiram Vaughn          500               Thos. McCampbell 250

Wilo. Williams          500               Wm. E. Watkins             250

L.F. Beech               500               Wm. Lawrence               250

A.B. Montgomery     500               W.H. Calhoun        250

Felix Demoville                500               James Webb            250

Byrd Douglas            500               Dr. W.A. Cheatham       250

Hollins & Co.           500               Isaac Paul               250

J.B. Craighead          500               Archer Cheatham           250

W.P. Bryan              500               John Johns             250

John M. Lea             500               Wm. Stockell          250

Mac. Ridley              500               Jo. Woods              250

John Harding, Jr.              500               T. Fanning              250

T.O. Harris               500               A.J. Duncan           250

G.W. Donnegan               500               Frank McGavock            250

Stokely Donelson             500               A.C. & A.B. Beech 250

John Lawrence                 500               J. W. Hamilton               250

John O. Hadley                500               G.W. Hendershott   250

Nashville Dispatch, December 14, 1862.

13, Guard duty at Fort Negley, an excerpt from the diary of John Hill Fergusson, 10th Illinois Volunteer Infantry

Saturday 13th Colonel Woods came up to the fort between 8 & 10 and gave Captain Maison orders to be officer of the day in and around the fort he gave him strict orders concerning the gard every man on gard [sic] is to turn out with boots blackened his close [sic] put on and buttoned up with his close [sic] cleen [sic] and hair nisley [sic] combed and any gard [sic] fallin [sic] to appear on duty in this way is to be severely punished these three companys [sic] are to remain in the fort and do nothing but garrison duty all winter providing the[y] purform [sic]  there [sic] duty as the[y] ought the other companys [sic] belonging to the regt will do there [sic] line gard duty [sic] and stand picket withe [sic] the other regiments in camp at his place I was relieved from gard [sic] duty about 10 o'clock  there is no captain of the gard heer [sic].The hole [sic] responsability [sic] rests on the sergient [sic] of the gard [sic].

John Hill Fergusson Diary, Book 2.

        13, Situation in Middle Tennessee; draft dodgers, hogs, cattle and location of Confederate forces


Correspondence of the Cincinnati Gazette.


Union refugees continue to find their way hither from the burned districts. I have heard of no less than six who arrived this morning from Bedford county, one or two of them from the village of Shelbyville. Their statements prove that time is being taken by the forelock in driving to Dixie both man and beast. So far as the resident rebels are concerned, this is but just. But the "Secesh" are by no means resigned to their fate. Most of them, who have not been able to escape [Confederate] conscription by getting commissions to collect cattle and other provisions, are hiding in the woods with the Union men; and I am assured there are several hundreds of Secesh and Union men indifferently dodging like hunted foxes in the woods of Bedford and Marshall counties.[5] When our army shall have reached Shelbyville all these recreant rebels will come up with a claim of loyalty.

In Rutherford, Bedford, Marshal, and other counties of Middle Tennessee, the rebels have twenty and thirty acre fields filled with hogs and cattle, ready to be driven at a moment's warning. All the mills are put in requisition to grind wheat and corn. The houses are ransacked for woolen good of every description, and carpets are ripped up from the floors to be cut in pieces for blankets.

Such loyal men as have come in lat from Bedford county – and they left that region last Tuesday [November 6] – say that a portion of Bragg's army is at Tullahoma. The rebels assert his entire force is there, but no sensible man believes any such thing. On the contrary, it is believed Bragg intends to withdraw beyond the Tennessee river, and is only keeping an army of observation scattered from McMinnville to Murfreesboro', partly to throw dust in our eyes, and mainly to protect the removal of what has been stolen. A part of the business in hand is the marching off of conscripts. Bands of horsemen are scouring the country and forcing into service every able-bodied man to be found unless he has an exemption under the conscription act.

At last accounts Breckinridge was at Mufreesboro', Starnes at Nolinsville, and Forrest at Lavergne.

Daily National Intelligencer (Washington, DC), November 22, 1862.

        13, Excerpt from a newspaper report on antagonisms, disease and lack of supplies and second thoughts among the soldiers in the Army of Tennessee

The Rebel Army in Tennessee.

We copy the following interesting statements from the correspondence of the Cincinnati Gazette. The facts were gathered from deserters.


The Tennesseeans.

The bitterest enmity exists between the whole force from Tennessee and the traitors from the States further south. A Tennesseean will not speak to an Alabamian or Mississippian, and never mentions either of them except in connection with a terrible oath, or some emphatic epithet, such as "dog," "thief," "scoundrel," "murderer," expressive of his contempt, derision, disgust or hatred. The Tennesseeans openly regret the existence of the rebellion, denounce the cotton State men as the destroyers of the South, and bitterly deplore their own agency in giving strength and responsibility to the conspiracy. They constantly declare the war has lasted long enough; that they have shown their courage and manhood sufficiently; that their leaders ought instantly to sue for peace; and that Jeff. Davis deserves to be hung for having forced Tennessee out of the Union, when her people were so prosperous, contented and happy.

Quarrels in Rebel Army.

On the other hand, the malignant rebels from Mississippi, Georgia and Alabama, heap every style of abuse upon the Tennesseeans, place them always in positions of dishonor in the army, compel them to do much more than their reasonable share of hard work, keep spies continually amongst them to prevent desertions, watch all their movements with the utmost jealousy, and perpetually taunt them with being "cowards," "traitors," "Lincolnites," and "Abolitionists." Fights are continually occurring between the opposing actions, both in camp and on the march; and it is with the utmost difficulty and most incessant care that the rebel leaders can prevent the feud from breaking out into open warfare. Numbers of Tennesseeans have been imprisoned and shot for their insubordination and for the too daring expression of opinions adverse to the rebel Confederacy. A short time before our friends deserted, two men, named Swayne and Locker, were brutally murdered, because they declared that Tennessee would always curse the day when Beauregard fired upon Fort Sumter.

South Carolinians Hated.

South Carolina and her soldiers have fallen into disrepute with all the factions; and whatever other differences may exist among the traitors, they all agree in snubbing the Palmetto State, and in speaking disparagingly of her representatives. It is a common thing for South Carolinians in the army to be spoken of as "poor devils," and "ten nigger men;" the former describing all those who by the laws of South Carolina  are prohibited from voting for certain State officers, because they do not own ten niggers. The latter term, of course, designates the favored few who possess the magic number of human chattels.

Ravages of Disease.

Disease is making the most fearful ravages in the ranks of the traitors, who scarcely find time to bury their dead – Measles, typhoid fever, diarrhea and flux are decimating every regiment. The men are but poorly supplied with clothing, notwithstanding the immense quantities of jeans, etc., which the rebels boasted the obtained from Kentucky, Every house in the rebel States has been stripped of carpeting to make blankets for the soldiers, and still the supply is utterly inadequate to the demand. Many of the troops are without tents of any kind, and their sufferings from cold are absolutely horrible. Three Georgia soldiers, named Conant, Cock, and Pickens, actually froze to death a few nights since, while on picket guard near Lavergne. Shoes can no longer be obtained, and if the rebels continue to hold their ground much longer in Tennessee, at least a third of their army will stain the snows with blood from lacerated feet.

Yet is a universal belief among the rebel soldiers that their army will not quietly withdraw into the cotton States, and that the grand battle of the war in the West will be fought at Murfreesboro'.

The rebels are, indeed, removing their supplies from the latter place, but only to provide for their safety in case of a reverse, and to enable them to make every man available for the coming battle. Formidable fortifications have been erected at Murfreesboro', but their chief dependence upon the courage and desperation of their men,

Milwaukee Daily Sentinel, December 13, 1862.[6]

        13, Skirmishes at Russellville

HDQRS. ANDERSON CAVALRY, Dandridge, December 14, 1863--7 a. m.

GEN.: A scouting party of citizens of this neighborhood sent out by me yesterday evening have returned. They went out a distance of 13 miles from Dandridge, where the road from here to Bull's Gap Intersects the road leading from Morristown to Warm Springs, via mouth of Chucky; at that point they were within half a mile of the rebel cavalry pickets. The information they got from Union citizens was that a train of about one thousand wagons left Morristown, on last Thursday morning before day on the road to Warm Springs; that they went as far as the mouth of Chucky without crossing, and on Friday morning returned to the intersection of the road from Dandridge to Bull's Gap, and took up the road to Bull's Gap, the last of them passing that intersection late on Friday night. They also learned that the enemy's cavalry was stationed yesterday evening at Russellville, and on the road from Dandridge to Bull's Gap, 7 miles this side of the gap and at McClester's, close to the Chucky River, on the road leading from Russellville to Chucky Bend-five brigades in all. Rebel scouts had informed citizens of a skirmish at Russellville on Saturday [12th] last with our cavalry.

A scouting party of 42 of the enemy came yesterday afternoon at 4 o'clock to the intersection of the road leading from Morristown with the road to Bull's Gap at Widow Kimbrough's.

They appeared to be very much excited, made only a slight halt, and returned immediately toward Bull's Gap. I start at once for Morristown, to protect the telegraph party's operations, having sent three companies yesterday evening to Mossy Creek, which they reached about midnight.

My pickets were attacked here yesterday morning at 11 o'clock by a small scouting party of rebels sent out from their camp near Bull's Gap. We pursued them with the picket reserve, and captured 6, belonging to Armstrong's division, with their horses and arms.

I am, general, yours, respectfully,


Col., Cmdg.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 31, pt. I, p. 441.

        13, Confederate Scout on Bull's Gap road [see December 13, 1863, Skirmishes at Russellville below]

        13, Scout from Kingston on north bank of the Little Tennessee River to Blount County

No circumstantial reports filed.

HDQRS. CHIEF OF CAVALRY, DEPARTMENT OF THE CUMBERLAND, Kingston, Tennessee, December 13, 1863.

Maj. Gen. J. J. REYNOLDS, Chief of Staff, Hdqrs. Dept. of the Cumberland, Chattanooga;

GEN.: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt at 8.05 a. m. of an official copy of dispatch of the 11th from the major-general commanding, and have communicated by courier its substance to Maj.-Gen. Burnside, at the same time preparing to move according to the instructions received. While the command is being crossed over the Tennessee River, the First East Tennessee Cavalry have been sent to scout the country on that side of the river as far as Blount County, to clear it of some 200 or 300 rebels reported to be there in detachments of from 20 to 50. I had the honor to report by courier on the 9th from Crossville, and on my arrival at this place on the 11th; also reported to Maj.-Gen. Burnside same day. The Clinch River is crossed by means of pontoon bridge, the Tennessee by means of horse ferry-boat and floating pontoon. Boats sufficient to bridge it have not been completed. From Col. Byrd commanding, and a resident of this place, and from loyal citizens, I learn that corn is abundant on the south side of the Tennessee from Johnson's Island to the Hiwassee; long forage, wheat, cattle, and hogs scarce. Every effort will be made to subsist the command on the country and report made as directed.

I inclose herewith report of effective force. I have information, which I regard as reliable, that Col. Hughs, with some 200 or 300 rebels, after being driven from Sparta and Yankeetown, has gone to Spring Creek, and that the rebels have a ferry-boat at or near Flynn's Lick, on the Cumberland, by means of which they cross and carry on a contraband trade.

I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

W. L. ELLIOTT, Brig.-Gen., U. S. Vols., and Chief of Cavalry.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 31, pt. III, p. 397.

        13, Scout from Gatlinburg to Dandridge via Sevierville to Smoky Mountains Rd.

HDQRS. ANDERSON, CAVALRY, Dandridge, Saturday, December 13, 1863--9 p. m.

Brig.-Gen. SPEARS, Comdg. U. S. Forces, at or near New Market:

GEN.: I have the honor to communicate to you that I reached Dandridge from Gatlinburg, on the road from Sevierville to the Great Smoky Mountains, this evening at 5 o'clock with my command.

The marauding party of about 100 rebel cavalry which had been infesting this neighborhood and the south side of French Broad River, near Evans' Ford and Flat Creek, left Dandridge day before yesterday evening, having received an order by courier from Morristown that the headquarters of their command had been removed to the mouth of Chucky Creek, on the Warm Springs road, about 12 miles from Dandridge. From all the information I can get here, I am led to believe that Martin's brigade of rebel cavalry is located near the mouth of Chucky Creek and Franklin's, and that it is possible this force may be intending to cross the mountains into North Carolina by the Asheville road through the French Broad Gap, although they may be intending to go to Greenville by way of Warrensburg.

Will you please inform the bearer what your position and line of march are, as yours is the nearest communicating force to me, and also give him what information you can concerning the position of the rest of our army and of Gen. Burnside's headquarters, also of the rebel infantry and cavalry.

Will you also have the goodness to transmit this dispatch to Gen. Burnside, as I do not know where to communicate with him.

I am, general, yours, very respectfully,

WM. J. PALMER, Col., Cmdg.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 31, pt. III, pp. 398-399.

        13, Skirmish at Dandridge

HDQRS. ANDERSON CAVALRY, Dandridge, December 14, 1863--7 a. m.

* * * *

My pickets were attacked here [i.e. Dandridge] yesterday morning at 11 o'clock by a small scouting party of rebels sent out from their camp near Bull's Gap. We pursued them with the picket reserve, and captured 6, belonging to Armstrong's division, with their horses and arms.

* * * *

I am, general, yours, respectfully,

WM. J. PALMER, Col., Cmdg.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 31, pt. I, p. 441.

        13, Skirmish at LaGrange

No circumstantial reports filed

        13, Skirmish near Dandridge's Mill

HDQRS. ANDERSON'S CAVALRY, Dandridge, December 13, 1863--6 p. m.

GEN.: I have just received the order to move with my command to Morristown to protect a telegraph party sent out from Strawberry Plains.

My pickets were attacked at 10 o'clock this morning by a small scouting party of the enemy sent out (as prisoners assert) from Bull's Gap. I happened to be near the picket post at the time and immediately pursued them with the reserve, on the Bull's Gap road, and succeeded in capturing 6 of them belonging to the ---- Arkansas cavalry, after a chase of 6 miles. We got their horses, arms, and saddles. I send the 6 prisoners to you herewith, together with 1 other belonging to Wheeler's cavalry, whom we captured in a recent skirmish with a battalion of Indians, under Col. Thomas, at Gatlinburg. Also a rebel soldier named Hightower, belonging to Buckner's command, reported to me since writing the last sentence.

I have sent three companies under Lieut. Mather at once to Mossy Creek, which they will reach before midnight, and will start with the balance of my command at about daybreak on the direct road to Morristown. I hope, however, it will not be necessary to remain very long at Morristown as I am better able to watch operations of the enemy by being farther to the east. I have sent scouting parties out to Newport and the mouth of Chucky, who will report by morning.

I am, general, very respectfully,


OR, Ser. I, Vol. 31, pt. I, p. 404.

        13, Skirmish near Farley's Mill, Holston River

No circumstantial reports filed.

        13, Counter-guerrilla actions between Cumberland and Duck Rivers end successfully

No circumstantial reports filed.

NASHVILLE, December 13, 1863

Maj.-Gen. THOMAS:

I have just returned from the Tennessee River. Grading on Northwestern Railroad progressing. All the guerrilla bands infesting the country between the Cumberland and Duck Rivers west of this place have been routed and mostly driven beyond Tennessee River. Two of the worst leaders are disposed of-Perkins killed, and Ray and his gang captured. The latter will be tried for murder and highway robbery.

Refugees and conscripts who have crossed the Tennessee River report that Pillow and Forrest are at Jackson, West Tennessee, with 4,000 men. From 800 to 1,000 being well organized; the remainder armed with shotguns, old rifles, &c., all mounted on horses or mules.

A. C. GILLEM, Brig.-Gen., U. S. Volunteers.

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


Chattanooga, January 15, 1864.

GEN.: I have the honor to report the operations of my command from December 1 to 31, 1863, as follows:

*  *  *  *

December 13, Gen. Gillem reports from Nashville that he had just returned to that place from the Tennessee River. The work on the Northwestern railroad was progressing. Guerrillas between the Cumberland and Duck Rivers broken up. Perkins and Ray were disposed of, the former having been killed and the latter captured.

*  *  *  *

Geo. H. Thomas, Maj. Gen., U. S. Volunteers, Cmdg.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 31, pt. II, pp. 124-125.

        13, Confederate foragers on the Sneedville road commit depredations

TAZEWELL, December 14, 1863.

GEN.: Nothing further from the enemy on my left, except that yesterday a force of about 400 cavalry were this side Clinch River, on the Sneedville road, committing depredations; probably scouting and foraging. Nothing from them to-day. I sent you order to Capt. Gross, who is coming on. I have sent to Barboursville for wire; also sent to Cumberland Gap for axes, and they will leave there for Knoxville to-morrow. No cross-cut saws, and have telegraphed Hall for one hundred.

This Sixth Indiana Cavalry are used up, and there is not sufficient cavalry force to scout the Sneedville road.

Very respectfully,

O. B. WILLCOX, Brig.-Gen.

Maj.-Gen. FOSTER.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 31, pt. I, p. 400.

        13-14, Citizens scout, 13 miles from Dandridge, "where the road from here to Bull's Gap intersects the road leading from Morristown to Warm Springs, via mouth of Chucky; at that point they were within half a mile of the rebel cavalry pickets." [see December 12, 1863, Skirmishes at Russellville above]

        13, Reconnaissance, Kingston Springs, east side of N&CRR [see December 7, 1864-January 15, 1865, Operations of USCT above]

        13, Action near Rotherwood Hawkins County, at North Fork of Holston River, and capture of Rebel guerrilla leader

No circumstantial reports filed.

Excerpt from the MEMORANDA of the Eighth Regiment Cavalry (US):

December 13, 1864.-Reached Rotheswood [sic], Hawkins, county-Eighth Regiment in front; found the enemy in front on the opposite side of the North Fork of the Holston River, and under cover. Colonel Patton was ordered to cross the river, up the stream, and to drive the enemy from under cover, so as to open the ford for the remainder of the command, which orders he obeyed, attacking and routing the enemy, and capturing the rebel Dick Morgan and a portion of his command.

Report of the Adjutant General, pp. 522-523.

        13, Attack on railroad train near Murfreesborough[7]

Report of Col. Thomas Saylor, Twenty-ninth Michigan Infantry, of operations December 13, 1864.

HDQRS. TWENTY-NINTH Regt. [sic] MICHIGAN VOL., INFANTRY, Murfreesborough, Tenn., December 14, 1864.

SIR: I have the honor to report that, in compliance with your order of the 13th instant, I proceeded with my regiment in charge of a train south on the Nashville and Chattanooga Railroad for the purpose of obtaining fuel, and reconnoitering with the view of preventing the stances would permit me to pass over. About three miles from town, immediately in the vicinity of the residence of Mr. Russell, we found a culvert on fire and a few rebels scattered about the premises. I left a sergeant and fifteen men as a guard to that portion of the road, and proceeded between eight and nine miles, when, on the suggestion of the conductor, I stopped to lead the train. About 4 p. m., the train being loaded, I moved cautiously toward town. I had proceeded but a few miles when clouds of smoke were seen to rise from the track a short distance ahead. On approaching the same and halting the train, we were greeted with a volley of musketry from the enemy, who were posted behind a ridge on our left, apparently in large numbers. I disembarked two companies, deployed them, and threw them rapidly toward the enemy, who fell back on their approach. In the meantime the fire was removed from the track and the men lively at work relaying the same, about fifty feet of which was torn up and thrown aside. About the time the track was in sufficient repair to pass over they opened upon us with artillery. I then ordered the train to move forward, when, to my surprise, I found that the brakemen had decamped and the engineer could not be found. He finally made his appearance after an absence of about ten minutes, during which time we were exposed to a galling fire and the engine in great danger of going demolished by the rapid firing of the enemy. We finally got in motion and moved slowly on, with a line of skirmishers in rear of the train, who were at times heavily pressed by the rebels. The water-tank of the engine was rent by a ball and the water escaped, for the want of which point we were obliged to push it home by hand.

In our exertions to repel the enemy and conduct the train safely in we lost in killed, wounded, an missing as follows: 1 man killed; 9 men and 1 officer wounded; 6 men missing; total loss, 17.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

THOMAS SAYLOR, Col., Cmdg. Twenty-ninth Regt. [sic] Michigan Vol. Infantry.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 45, pt. I, p. 634.

        13, Action at Kingsport[8] [see December 10-29, 1864 Expedition from East Tennessee to SWVA above]

        13, Frustration and apprehension expressed by one pro-Union woman in Nashville

*  *  *  *

Hood still lies in front of us with his army, and still Destruction is our ruler! The officers say that the suburbs of the city have been so changed in every direction during this fortnight that we have been kept at our own post, that we of Springside would not know them. Trees all gone, beautiful houses pulled down, as they would interfere with the cannons range, hills turned into threatening fortifications, and lines of soldiers drilling everywhere! Hood himself is at Mr. Rains's, the next place to Uncle John Trimble's – think of it, as near as that! No wonder the poor blacks are terrified out of their wits.

*  *  *  *

Journal of Maggie Lindsley.



[1] As cited in:

[2] Identity unknown.

[3] In keeping with his wish to tax those affluent secessionists who had made significant financial donations to the Confederacy, Johnson imposed this second assessment on an extended list of persons at greatly higher totals than the order of August 18. The list includes Nashville's most prosperous population, with the prominent Confederate John Overton, placed at its head. Also included were former Governor Neill S. Brown, since June apparently a spokesman for the Union, and Johnson's old friend, Lizinka Brown, who had fled South.

[4] According to the Nashville Union of February 7, 1863, only 55 of the 84 charged were cited as negligent on both installments, and "three or four"as having disburse the second payment.

[5] See also below: January 16, 1863, BraGALEGROUP - TSLA 19TH CN   appoints Pillow as chief conscript officer of the Army of Tennessee, and January 25, 1863, Brigadier-General Gideon J. Pillow's report on Confederate conscript sweeps in Lincoln, Bedford and Marshall, Franklin, Williams, Maury, and Giles counties.



[7] According to Dyer's Battle Index for Tennessee: "Dec. 13-14, Actions, Murfreesborough."

[8] Not referenced in Dyer's Battle Index for Tennessee.

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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