Wednesday, January 21, 2015

1.21.2015 Tennessee Civil War Notes

        21, "Firing of a Cannon."

About 7 o'clock last night, fifteen guns were fired from Capitol Hill in honor of the secession of Georgia....

Nashville Daily Gazette January 21, 1861.

        21, Warnings of residual pro-Union sentiment in East Tennessee

HDQRS., Knoxville, Tenn., January 21, 1862.

Gen. S. COOPER, Adjutant and Inspector-Gen., Richmond, Va.


* * * *

Outwardly the country remains sufficiently quiet but it is filled with Union men who continue to talk sedition and who are evidently waiting only for a safe opportunity to act out their rebellious sentiments. If such men are arrested by the military the Confederate State courts take them by writ of habeas corpus and they are released under bond to keep the peace; all which is satisfactory in a theoretical point of view but practically fatal to the influence of military authority and to the peace of the country. It seems not unlikely that every prisoner now in our hands might or will be thus released by the Confederate court even after being condemned by court-martial to be held as prisoners of war.

It is reported to-day that several fragmentary companies recruiting in different counties ostensibly for the service of the Confederate States have suddenly disappeared; gone to Kentucky.

It is confidently hoped that the bridge over the Holston at Union will be completed in the current month.

Very respectfully, sir, your obedient servant,

D. LEADBETTER, Col., Cmdg.

OR, Ser. II, Vol. 1, p. 877.

        21, 25, Reports on construction of Confederate forts on the Cumberland, Tennessee and Red Rivers

CLARKSVILLE, January 21, 1862.

Maj. Gen. W. J. HARDEE, Bowling Green:

MY DEAR SIR: Our forts are still in an unfinished condition, and will remain so, unless the 2,000 men who are now here are ordered to work on them immediately if necessary, night and day. As yet no work has been done by the soldiers, and if half we hear is true we have no time to lose. There is a great deal of work done on the forts, but they are unfinished, and in the present condition do no earthly good, and are no more effective for defense than if they were in their original condition before a spade of dirt was removed. More energy must be infused into the work of preparation here for defense, or we will be unprepared, if the enemy should pass Fort Donelson and march around it. We hear the enemy are in force 6,000 strong at Murray, about 25 miles north of Paris. We don't know the truth of this report, but the people of Paris are in a great state of excitement about it. They believe the report to be true.

I understand the authorities here have again sent out over the country to collect in the negroes [sic] to finish these. This will necessarily produce delay, though none could be finished before the negro force can be assembled if the soldiers were detailed for the work. Last night twelve companies arrived here from Nashville, and we have now here two regiments, one under Col. Quarles, and the other under the command of Col. Voorhies.

I need not apologize for my urgency, for I cannot and ought not, in the position I occupy, to stand still in such a moment as this.

Ever your friend and obedient servant,




January 25, 1862.

I have just received a telegraphic report from Mr. Edward B. Sayer, assistant engineer at Clarksville, in which he says "work progressing very well now; 200 slaves and 50 soldiers at work; 24-pounders mounted; one 12-pounder also mounted."

I have directed him to mount the 32s in the water battery at mouth of Red River.


Maj., and Chief Engineer Western Department.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 7, pp. 841-842.

        21, Correspondence between Major-General Charles A. Dana and U. S. Secretary of War, Edwin M. Stanton, relative to illegal cotton trade involving "Yankees and Jews"

MEMPHIS, January 21, 1863.


DEAR SIR: You will remember our conversations on the subject of excluding cotton speculators from the regions occupied by our armies in the South. I now write to urge the matter upon your attention as a measure of military necessity. The mania for sudden fortunes made in cotton, raging in a vast population of Jews and Yankees scattered throughout this whole country, and in this town almost exceeding the numbers of the regular residents, has to an alarming extent corrupted and demoralized the army. Every colonel, captain, or quartermaster is in secret partnership with some operator in cotton; every soldier dreams of adding a bale of cotton to his monthly pay. I had no conception of the extent of this evil until I came and saw for myself. Besides, the resources of the rebels are inordinately increased from this source. Plenty of cotton is brought in from beyond our lines, especially by the agency of Jewish traders, who pay for it ostensibly in Treasury notes, but treaty in gold. What I propose is that no private purchaser of cotton shall be allowed in any part of the occupied region. Let quartermasters buy the article at a fixed price, say 20 or 25 cents per pound, and forward it by army transportation to proper centers, say to Helena, Memphis, or Cincinnati, to be sold at public auction on Government account. Let the sales take place on regular, fixed days, so that all parties desirous of buying can be sure when to be present. But little capital will be required for such an operation. The sales being frequent and for cash, will constantly replace the amount employed for the purpose. I should say that $200,000 would be sufficient to conduct the movement. I have no doubt that this $200,000 so employed would be more than equal to 30,000 men added to the national armies. My pecuniary interest is in the continuance of the present state of things, for while it lasts there are occasional opportunities of profit to be made by a daring operator; but I should be false to my duty did I, on that account, fail to implore you to put an end to an evil so enormous, so insidious, and so full of peril to the country. My first impulse was to hurry to Washington to represent these things to you in person; return East so speedily. I beg you, however, to act without delay if possible. An excellent man to put at the head of the business would be Gen. Strong. I make this suggestion without any idea whether the employment would be agreeable to him.

Yours, faithfully,


P. S.-Since writing the above I have seen Gen. Grant, who fully agrees with all my statements and suggestions, except that imputing corruption to every officer, which, of course, I did not intend to be taken literally. I have also just attended a public sale by the quartermaster here of 500 [sic.] bales of cotton confiscated by Gen. Grant at Oxford and Holly Springs. It belonged to Jacob Thompson and other notorious rebels. This cotton brought to-day over $1,500,000 cash. This sum alone would be five times enough to set on foot the system I recommend, without drawing upon the Treasury at all. In fact, there can be no question that by adopting this system the quartermaster's department in this valley would become self-holders would no longer find that the rebellion had quadrupled the price of their great staple, but only doubled it.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 52, pt. I, p. 331.

        21, Capture of forage train near Murfreesborough[1]


No. 1.-Edward Potter, forage-master, U. S. service.

No. 2.-Gen. Braxton Bragg, C. S. Army.

No. 1.

Report of Edward Potter, forage-master, U. S. service.

HDQRS. SECOND BRIGADE, FIFTH DIVISION, CENTER, Murfreesborough, January 27, 1863.

COL.: I have the honor to make the following report to you of the capture of the forage train from your command of the 21st instant: We left camp at your quarters shortly after daylight of the morning of the 21st, with 34 wagons and 128 men, in charge of Capt. B. W. Canfield, of One hundred and fifth Regt. [sic] Ohio Volunteer Infantry, Company E, the train in the advance, until formed on the Liberty pike, about 1 ½ miles from your quarters. Before forming on the pike, I passed a large train forming from Gen. Wood's division, and formed our train in the advance of them, in charge of Mr. Campbell, wagon-master of the Eightieth Illinois Regt. [sic], with instruction to halt the train as soon as would give the large train room to form in our rear, while I returned to get two wagons of ours which had become fastened in with the large train, and to see at what time their train would be ready to move. The officer in charge told me it was ready then, but the guard was to quite ready, but would be in a very few moments. I then said I would move on our train to keep out of his way, as they would shortly overtake me. To which he replied, "Very well."

On my reaching the train, I found it halted, and the men in the wagons. They were placed there by order of Capt. Canfield. I said to him it was not in order for the men to ride, and the replied that the men had a fast walk to get up, and he would let them ride to the outpost pickets, and I ordered the drivers to move on, taking the advance myself, with four orderlies, one wagon-master, and one lieutenant from the Nineteenth Indiana Battery. We moved about one-fourth of a mile in the advance of the teams, halting and making inquiries of all the pickets and vedettes until I arrived at the point where we were attacked, which I was told was the last vedette post. At this point the wagon train was about one-fourth of a mile in our rear, and a short distance in the advance of me where some 30 men in our uniform, whom I supposed to be our pickets. As I was under the captain, I dismounted to ask him to form his men in the order of marching, and permitted the horsemen to advance within 40 feet of me, when they demanded my surrender.

At this moment I discovered our surprise, and ordered a halt of the teams and the men to form in line of the left of the wagons, and replied to the order to surrender by firing five shots, killing 3 men, and receiving two volleys from them, when I engaged Col. [J. B.] Hutcheson with my saber, disarming him, when I was overpowered by numbers, and surrendered my saber to Col. Hutcheson. While this was going on, the firing had commenced at the wagons, about 30 rods from me, in the rear, but how they were making of it I could not tell until I saw the teams advancing on the road where I was held a prisoner, and was told that every man was taken. We had 1 man slightly wounded in the hand. I saw 5 of Morgan's men taken from our wagon, dead, at Liberty, and 3 wounded men on horseback. We made a forced march to Smithville, and halted for one hour, and then started for McMinnville in the captured wagons. I made my escape from capture, and arrived at your quarters on the evening of the 26th instant. Our train was out for rough feed where I had previously found it, about 7 miles from Murfreesborough, and 1 mile to the left of the pike where we were captured. About 80 rods from where our capture was made we passed 2 men, who said they were patrols, and that everything was all right in front.


No. 2.

Report of Gen. Braxton Bragg, C. S. Army.

TULLAHOMA, January 22, 1863.

(Received at Richmond, Va., January 23, 1863.)

Lieut.-Col. [J. B.] Hutcheson, with 100 men, Morgan's cavalry, made a dash yesterday upon the enemy's camp at Murfreesborough, and captured and brought off safely 150 prisoners and 30 wagons. Maj. [D. W.] Holman (Wheeler's cavalry) since last report captured and destroyed another large transport on Cumberland loaded with subsistence. The enemy has made no show of an advance from Murfreesborough.


Gen., Cmdg.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 23, pt. I, pp. 15-16.

        21 Skirmish on Shelbyville Pike

No circumstantial reports filed.

        21, Boiler plate opinion in Chattanooga

We have not heard as yet of a negro police in Nashville, but from all accounts, that city is full of blackguards.

"By Lincoln we live, by Lincoln we move, and by Lincoln we have our being" is the latest prayer of thanksgiving among the Yankee lick-spittles and nigger thieves. [sic]

Chattanooga Daily Rebel, January 21, 1863.

        21, "Powder and Lead" a newspaper advertisement by W. D. Humphries, Confederate Post Ordnance Officer in Chattanooga

We need all the lead we can obtain. I will pay a liberal price for it, delivered at the Ordnance Depot, or give Powder at a fair pro rata of exchange. Bring it on at once, and don't disdain small quantities.

Chattanooga Daily Rebel, January 21, 1863.

        21, The metropolitan gas works close in Nashville

The gas works will be closed up after to-day until a supply of coal can be obtained. Our citizens have already had a foretaste of the deprivation they will experience from the stoppage of the gas works in the fact that the streets have not been lighted for five or six nights. But the greatest deprivation will fall upon those whose business requires the use of gas lights. Candles were largely in demand yesterday, and dealers advanced their prices very considerably.

Nashville Dispatch, January 21, 1863.

        21, Account of Military Matters in Middle Tennessee Subsequent to the Battle of Stones River

Movements of the Belligerents After the Battle of Murfreesboro.

From the published statements of Gen. Rosecrans, after the retirement of the Confederates from the battle field near Murfreesboro, it appears that on the morning of Sunday, the 4th, after it was announced to General commanding that Gen. Bragg had retreated, the Federals troops were engaged in throwing up entrenchments, cautiously approaching the town, and kept up a brisk cannonade till they got near enough to throw shell into the city, which was entered about the middle of the day by Gen. Rosecrans and staff. It is also stated that Bragg left his dead unburied, but succeeded in removing all his sores, artillery and munitions of war.

A survey of the battle-field after the strife had ended is said to have revealed a woeful state of affairs-the dead and wounded lying in heaps, and scattered about in every direction in greater numbers than had been reported. [emphasis added] The work of interment wasn't soon accomplished, and the removal of the wounded who were suffering beyond description exposes as they were to the rain and cold, although attended to diligently, was not completed till after hundreds had died of exposure and for the want of cars and attention. Those who could be removed were taken to Nashville, where every hospital, church, hotel and hundreds of private dwellings, taken possession for that purpose, were filled to their utmost capacity. The country, however, were assured by an official announcement, that most the wounds were very slight, and that at least two thirds of the disabled men would soon be able to return to their respective commands, and enter again upon active service.

All the Secession families in Murfreesboro are reported to have left the city before it was occupied by the Federal army. Pursuit of the vanquished was commenced as soon as practicable, but it seems from both the Federal and Confederate reports, that it was not very vigorously followed up. Some skirmishing with the rear columns and the retreating foe is said to have occurred, in which no great loss was sustained by either army. It was believed, as the enemy retired in the directions, that Bragg would make a stand there and again offer battle, but from recent reports is made to appear that he did not stop at Tullahoma, but proceeded on to Winchester where the main body of Bragg's army was stationed at latest dates. Rumor says that Longstreet has succeeded him in the command of the Confederate force in Tennessee.

It is stated that during the battle near Murfreesboro, there were many desertions from the Federal army, including several officers, and particularly from those division which were repulsed by Gen. Hardee in the great battle of Dec. 31st, in which, as reported, Gen. McCook's corps was so badly cut up to pieces that the various remnants, brigades and divisions retreated in the wildest confusion and so mingled that but few belonging to the same company or regiment could be found together. Under such circumstances, hundreds took occasion to abandon the service, and were among the missing a roll-call thereafter. Immediately after the termination of the conflict, and as soon as the fact became known that an unusual number of desertions had taken place, Gen. Rosecrans issued orders for the arrest of all such; wherever found, and their return to Nashville in irons.

The prisoners captured in the several engagements by Gen. Rosecrans' army were taken to Nashville, where the officer were placed in custody under the following order, issued by Gen. Rosecrans:

The Gen. Commanding is pained to inform the commissioned officers of the Confederate army taken prisoners that, owing to the barbarous measured announced by President Davis in a recent proclamation, denying parole to our officers, he will be obliged to treat them in like manner.

It is a matter of regret to him that this rigor appears necessary, and trusts that such remonstrances as may be made in the name of justice, humanity and civilization, may reach the Confederate authorities and induce them to pursue a different course, and thereby enable him to accord to their officers the privileges which he is always pleased to extend to brave m en, even though fighting for a cause which he considers hostile to the nation and disastrous to human freedom.

On the 9th Gen. Rosecrans announced that he was pursuing the enemy, and expected they would push on the Chattanooga before making a stand. He had been largely reinforced by fresh troops, and no fears were entertained as to the result, should another battle ensue.

The Federals complain bitterly of the atrocities committed by the soldiery of the Confederate army before, during and after the battle, and the Confederates report the Federal soldiers were guilty of the most flagrant enormities possible for men to commit. The truth of the reports relative to the barbarity of the combatants is not doubted.

The latest intelligence from Tennessee represents that Cheatham's and Cowan's divisions of Bragg's army were at Shelbyville, awaiting reinforcements from Richmond. Wheeler, Starne and Forrest were at Charlotte, forty miles northeast of Nashville, with a heavy force, threatening the destruction of the transports on the Cumberland river, several of which are reported to have fallen into their hands. It was believed that gunboats would have to be sent up the river to shell out the enemy, and keep the navigation of the Cumberland and open below Nashville.

The Desert News [Salt Lake City, Utah], January 21, 1863.

21, "I had 4 bullets shot throw my close and when I fell a nother horse blounged right on my bowles, but still I was abel to go on my hands and knees." Matthew Askew's (Co. D, 1st O.V.I) letter to his brother describing his experiences at the Battle of Stones river

Convalescent Camp near Nashville, Tennessee

January the 21st, 1863

Dear Brother, I do not know wheather it would be better to direct my letter to wheir I am at present or to the regement. I will leave that to your self.

We have ben living on half rations since the battle, but now we have full rations of every thing. The river is up and thair has 40 bots or more come up the Cumberland to Nashville. Provishons is verry dear in Nashville. Flour 8 to 10 dollers per barell, meat 10 to 12 cents per pound, butter 75 cents per pound, potatoes wone doller per peck, appels 15 dollars per barrel, shugger 20 cents per pound, wood 12 dollers per cord, and every little notions in perporsion.

We had a few days of pretty hard winter weather heair, snow 3 or 4 inshes deep. But this morning it has all gon and become warme, but very muddy in our camp. Our camp is made up of all the men that is slightly wounded and sick that belongs to the 2 Devishon, which is comanded by General Johnson of Kentucky. I supose we have in our camp 400 and 50 men out of the whole Devishon. The town is pretty much all hospitals. They have taken a god many of the churches for the sick and wounded. The Hospital no. 8 this morning reports 16 in the dead roome and every other I supose as bad as it. The men that dy heair is a cation of all diseses you can menstion.

I can give you no information of your nabours. Dan Groves was taken prisner and wheather he was retaken or not I canot tell. I have not heard from James Bennet or Joseph Hogan since the fight. I hear our Regement is going to be paid of shortely, but thair is a pore prospect for me to receive any pay. I have got no discript rowl with me and I am not abel to go to my Regement, so I will be very like to mis my pay this time.

I must now come to a close. Pleas giv my kind respects to you dear wife and children, Uncel and Ant and all my inquiring frinds.

I have no sight of getting a furlow this winter as thair is so many that is worse than I am that canot get home.

Pleas right me a few lines as soon as poseball and send me a few postedg stamps as I am out of money till I get to my regement. I could get all I wanted.

I had 4 bullets shot throw my close and when I fell a nother horse blounged right on my bowles, but still I was abel to go on my hands and knees. My best frind was from Cinncitia, his name was Goerge Jemmeson, a brick layer. He was shot through the thigh with a cannon ball and died soon after.

So no more from your well wishing brother,

Matthew Askew

Askew Family Correspondence[2]

        21-22, Reconnaissance, Murfreesborough to Auburn, Liberty, & Cainsville

JANUARY 21-22, 1863.-Reconnaissance from Murfreesborough to Auburn, Liberty, and Cainsville, Tenn.

Report of Capt. Elmer Otis, Fourth U. S. Cavalry, commanding brigade.


SIR: I have the honor to report that yesterday at 12 m. I received orders to move with a strong cavalry force on the Liberty pike, in order to recapture a train. At 12.50 o'clock I was on the Liberty pike, 4 miles from Murfreesborough, with all the force that I could raise in the brigade, five companies being absent on picket. The brigade train as also absent for forage, with a strong escort. This left me with only about 350 men. With these I proceeded on the Liberty pike as rapidly as possible, arriving at Auburn, a distance of 19 miles, at 4.30. I found, from all reports, that the captured wagons had passed about 12 m. At Auburn I found 3 pickets, whom I caused to be captured, and some more proceeding on the Woodbury road. I sent a small party after them; they killed 2, captured 3, and 2 escaped. From these prisoners I learned that a force of from 600 to 800 cavalry were about 3 miles from Auburn, on the Woodbury road, mostly Basil [W.] Duke's men. This information I had was corroborated from several sources. There was also reported a brigade of cavalry at Woodbury, 10 miles from Auburn, numbers not reported. I proceeded on to Liberty, in hopes that the wagon train captured would halt there, but found it passed Liberty at 2 p. m., and, when last heard from, was 5 miles from there, on the Smithville pike, still going at a slow trot. It had become very dark some 3 or 4 miles from Liberty, so dark that a man could not be distinguished a distance of five steps and I had to feel my way very carefully. About half way from Auburn to Liberty, the advance guard, under Capt. [Joseph H.] Blackburn, First [Middle] Tennessee Cavalry, captured a picket of a company stationed about 1 ½ miles from the road, numbering 12 men; also a spy of the enemy, and some five or six noted secessionists in the employ of the enemy. These men were all turned over to the Second East Tennessee Cavalry, who were forming the rear guard, and, although I gave the strictest orders, they allowed six or seven of the most noted characters to escape. I am causing a strict investigation to be made in reference to it.

From Liberty I proceeded to within 1½ miles of Statesville, arriving there at 12.30 a. m. on the 22d, where I fed and rested, and proceeded, at 5 a. m., to Cainsville,[3] and thence to this camp, arriving at 12.30 p. m.

Yesterday I marched 40 miles, to-day 24, making, in twenty-four hours, 64 miles.

At Liberty I drove their pickets three different times, but it was so dark that a foe could not be distinguished from a friend, and I was therefore unable to capture them. It was so dark that I deemed it impossible to pursue farther, and, with the heavy force near our rear, I deemed it prudent to return by Statesville and Cainsville. Had I had a stronger force, I should have gone at least to Smithville, but, with my small force, it would have been hazarding the safety of the whole command.

Eighteen prisoners were sent to the provost-marshal-general. Some horses were captured, which were used to mount men with broken-down horse. As soon as I obtain a full report of them they will be sent to the division quartermaster for disposal.

* * * *

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


Cmdg. Third Cavalry Brigade.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 23, pt. I, pp. 17-18.

        21-22, Naval action on the Cumberland River at Betsy Town Landing

No circumstantial reports filed.

Excerpt from the Report of Lieutenant-Commander Fitch, U. S. Navy, regarding naval operations in the Ohio, Cumberland and Tennessee rivers, August 23, 1862-October 21, 1863

* * * *

On the 21st day of January, 1863, I got back from Madison and started up for Nashville with a fleet of 31 steamers and 8 or 10 barges. Just below Palmyra I met the St. Clair and Brilliant coming down with a fleet from the foot of the shoals.

I at once sent the transports bound down out of the river, as they were then below all danger, and took the two gunboats back with me to help with the convoy. At Clarksville we anchored for the night, in consequence of the large convoy, and to get it more perfectly arranged. During the night Lieutenant-Commander S. L. Phelps came up with the Lexington and moved on up to Beatstown [Betsy Town] Landing, where he burned a large warehouse used as a shelter by the guerrillas.

On his return down he was attacked by two pieces of artillery, but soon drove them off.

As soon as the fleet reached Nashville the Lexington returned to Cairo. Coming down we were greatly annoyed by rebel sharpshooters from behind the trees, but soon dispersed them and got through safely.

* * * *

Navy OR, Ser. I, Vol., 23, p. 312.

        21-August 9, 1863, Enumeration of Operations in Middle and East Tennessee


January 21-August 9, 1863.


January 21, 1863.-Capture of forage train near Murfreesborough, Tenn. Skirmish on the Shelbyville Pike, Tenn.

        21-22, 1863.-Reconnaissance from Murfreesborough to Auburn, Liberty, and Cainsville, Tenn.

        23, 1863.-Skirmish at Carthage, Tenn.

        23, 1863.-Skirmish on the Bradyville Pike, near Murfreesborough, Tenn.

        24, 1863.-Skirmish at Woodbury, Tenn.

        25, 1863.-Skirmish near Mill Creek, Tenn.

        25, 1863.-Reconnaissance from Murfreesborough to Auburn, Tenn.

        28, 1863.-Skirmish near Nashville, Tenn.

        31-Feb. 13, 1863.-Expedition from Murfreesborough to Franklin, Tenn., etc., including skirmishes (January 31) at Unionville and Middleton, and (January 31 and February 13) at Rover.

        31, 1863.-Skirmish at Unionville

        31, 1863.-Skirmish at Middleton

        31, 1863.-Skirmish at Rover

February 1-2, 1863.-Reconnaissance to Franklin and Brentwood, Tenn.

        3, 1863.-Attack on Fort Donelson, Tenn.

        3, 1863.-Skirmish at Cumberland Iron-Works, Tenn.

        3-5, 1863.-Expedition from Murfreesborough to Auburn, Liberty, and Alexandria, Tenn.

        4, 1863.-Skirmish near Murfreesborough, Tenn.

        7, 1863.-Skirmish near Murfreesborough, Tenn.

        13, 1863.-Skirmish at Rover

        15, 1863.-Skirmishes near Auburn, Tenn.

        15, 1863.-Skirmish near Cainsville, Tenn.

        15, 1863.-Skirmish near Nolensville, Tenn.

        16, 1863.-Skirmish at Bradyville, Tenn.

        17-20, 1863.-Expedition from Murfreesborough to Liberty, Tenn.

        19, 1863.-Skirmish near Rover, Tenn.

        20, 1863.-Skirmish on the Shelbyville Pike, Tenn.

        21, 1863.-Reconnaissance from Franklin, on the Lewisburg, Columbia, and Carter Creek Roads, Tenn.

March 1, 1863.-Skirmish at Bradyville, Tenn.

        1, 1863.-Skirmish near Woodbury, Tenn.

        2, 1863.-Skirmish near Eagleville, Tenn.

        2, 1863.-Skirmish near Petersburg, Tenn.

        3, 1863.-Skirmish near Bear Creek, Tenn.

        3-6, 1863.-Expedition from Concord Church to Chapel Hill, Tenn.

        3-8, 1863.-Expedition from Murfreesborough to Woodbury, Tenn.

        4, 1863.-Skirmish at Unionville, Tenn.

        4-5, 1863.-Skirmish (4th) near Franklin, Tenn., and engagement (5th) at Thompson's Station, or Spring Hill, Tenn.

        4-14, 1863.-Expedition from Murfreesborough toward Columbia, Tenn., including skirmishes (4th) at Rover and Unionville, (5th) at Chapel Hill, (9th) at Thompson's Station, and (10th-11th) at Rutherford Creek.

        9-14, 1863.-Reconnaissance from Salem to Versailles, Tenn.

        10, 1863.-Skirmish near Murfreesborough, Tenn.

        12-20, 1863.-Expedition from Columbus, Ky., to Perryville, Tenn.

        13, 1863.-Skirmish at Rover, Tenn.

        13-14, 1863--Capture of conscripts near Charlotte, Tenn.

        14, 1863.-Skirmish at Davis' Mill, Tenn.

        15, 1863.-Skirmish at Rover, Tenn.

        19, 1863.-Skirmish at Spring Hill, Tenn.

        19, 1863.-Skirmish at Liberty, Tenn.

        19, 1863.-Skirmish near College Grove, Tenn.

        20, 1863.-Action at Vaught's Hill, near Milton, Tenn.

        21, 1863.-Skirmish at Salem, Tenn.

        21, 1863.-Skirmish near Triune, Tenn.

        22, 1863.-Skirmish near Murfreesborough, Tenn.

        22.-April 1, 1863.-Pegram's expedition into Kentucky.

        22, 1863-23, 1863.-Skirmish near Thompson's Station, Tenn.

        22, 1863-25, 1863.-Actions at Brentwood and on the Little Harpeth River, Tenn.

        22, 1863-26, 1863.-Reconnaissance from Murfreesborough to Bradyville, Tenn.

        22, 1863-27, 1863.-Skirmish on the Woodbury Pike, Tenn.

        22, 1863-31, 1863.-Skirmish near Franklin, Tenn.

April 1, 1863.-Skirmish on the Columbia Pike, Tenn.

        1-8, 1863.-Expedition from Murfreesborough to Lebanon, Carthage, and Liberty, Tenn.

        2, 1863.-Expedition from Readyville to Woodbury, Tenn.

        2, 1863.-Skirmish on the Carter Creek Pike, Tenn.

        2-6, 1863.-Reconnaissance from near Murfreesborough to Auburn, Liberty, Snow Hill, Cherry Valley, Statesville, Cainsville, and Lebanon, and skirmishes (April 3) at Snow Hill, or Smith's Ford, and Liberty, Tenn.

        4, 1863.-Skirmish at Woodbury, Tenn.

        4, 1863.-Skirmish on the Lewisburg Pike, Tenn.

        5, 1863.-Skirmish at Davis' Mill, Tenn.

        6, 1863.- Skirmish near Green Hill, Tenn.

        7, 1863.-Skirmish at Liberty, Tenn.

        7-11, 1863.-Wheeler's raid on Louisville and Nashville and Nashville and Chattanooga Railroads, including affair (April 10) at Antioch Station, Tenn.

        9, 1863.-Skirmish at Franklin, Tenn.

        10, 1863.-Engagement at Franklin, Tenn.

        12, 1863.-Skirmish at Stewartsborough, Tenn.

        13, 1863.-Skirmish near Chapel Hill, Tenn.

        16, 1863.-Skirmish near Eagleville, Tenn.

        18, 1863.-Skirmish at Hartsville, Tenn.

        20-30, 1863.-Expedition from Murfreesborough to McMinnville, Tenn.

        22, 1863.-Skirmish at Hartsville, Tenn.

        23, 1863.-Skirmish on the Shelbyville Pike, Tenn.

        26, 1863.-Affair near College Grove, Tenn.

        26, 1863.-Engagement at Duck River Island, or Little Rock Landing, Tenn.

        27, 1863.-Skirmish on Carter Creek Pike, Tenn.

        29-May 2, 1863.-Reconnaissance from Murfreesborough, on Manchester Pike, Tenn.

May 1, 1863.-Reconnaissance from Murfreesborough to Lizard, Tenn.

        2, 1863.-Skirmish near Thompson's Station, Tenn.

        2-6, 1863.-Expedition from Bowling Green, Ky., to Tennessee State Line.

        3, 1863.-Scout from Triune to Eagleville, Tenn.

        4, 1863.-Affair near Nashville, Tenn.

        5, 1863.-Skirmish at Rover, Tenn.

        May -, 1863.-Affair at Obion Plank Road Crossing, Tenn.

        9, 1863.-Affair near Caney Fork, Tenn.

        12, 1863.-Reconnaissance from La Vergne, Tenn.

        12, 1863.-Skirmish at Linden, Tenn.

        12-16, 1863.-Reconnaissance from Murfreesborough toward Liberty and Lebanon, Tenn.

        13, 1863.-Skirmishes near Woodburn and South Union, Tenn.

        17, 1863.-Skirmish on the Bradyville Pike, Tenn.

        20-22, 1863.-Scout from Clarksville, Tenn.

        21-22, 1863.-Expedition from Murfreesborough to Middleton, Tenn., and skirmish.

        22, 1863.-Skirmish on Yellow Creek, Tenn.

        24, 1863.-Skirmish at Woodbury, Tenn.

        25, 1863.-Skirmish near Woodbury, Tenn.

        29,1863.- (29th and 30th) at Hamburg Landing, Tenn.

        27-28, 1863.-Reconnaissance from Murfreesborough, on Manchester Pike, Tenn.

        30. Skirmish at Hamburg Landing, Tenn.

        30, 1863.-Skirmish at Jordan's Store, Tenn.

June 3, 1863.-Skirmish near Murfreesborough, Tenn.

        4, 1863.-Skirmish at Snow Hill, Tenn.

        4, 1863.-Engagement at Franklin, Tenn.

        4, 1863.-Operations on the Shelbyville Pike, near Murfreesborough, Tenn.

        4, 1863-4-5, 1863.-Scout to Smithville, Tenn.

        8, 1863.-Skirmish at Triune, Tenn.

        9, 1863.-Skirmish near Triune, Tenn.

        10, 1863.-Scout on Middleton and Eagleville Pikes, Tenn.

        11, 1863.-Action at Triune, Tenn.

        12, 1863.-Scouts on Salem Pike, Tenn.

        13, 1863.-Scout on the Manchester Pike, Tenn.

        14, 1863.-Skirmish near Green Hill, Tenn.

        14-24, 1863.-Sanders' Raid in East Tennessee.

        5-17, 1863.-Expedition to and skirmish near, Lebanon, Tenn.

        19, 1863.-Skirmish at Triune, Tenn.

        20, 1863.-Skirmish at Dixon Springs, Tenn.

        23-July 7, 1863.-The Middle Tennessee, or Tullahoma, Campaign.

        29, 1863.-Skirmish near Lexington, Tenn.

July 5, 1863.-Skirmish at Yellow Creek, Tenn.

        11-14, 1863.-Reconnaissance from Cowan to Anderson, Tenn.

        15, 1863.-Skirmish at Pulaski, Tenn.

        July --, [sic] 1863.-Expedition to Columbia and Centreville, Tenn.

        17, 1863.-Skirmish on Stone's River, Tenn.

        July --, [sic] 1863.-Scout in Sequatchie Valley, Tenn.

        29, 1863.-Skirmish near Fort Donelson, Tenn.

August 4-5, 1863.-Reconnaissance to Rock Island Ferry, Tenn.

        9, 1863.-Skirmish at Sparta, Tenn.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 23, pt. I, pp. 1-6.

        21, Scout from Chattanooga to Harrison & Ooltewah

JANUARY 21, 1864.-Scout from Chattanooga to Harrison and Ooltewah, Tenn.

Report of Col. Geza Mihalotzy, Twenty-fourth Illinois Infantry.

HDQRS. 24TH Regt. [sic] ILLINOIS VOL. INFANTRY, Chattanooga, Tenn., January 24, 1864.

GEN.: I have the honor to submit the following report, detailing additional results of the expedition under my command of detachment Third Brigade, First Division, Fourteenth Army Corps, to Harrison and Ooltewah:

On the 20th instant the following-named 4 deserters from the rebel army came into our lines, whom I sent to Provost-Marshal-Gen. Wiles the same day: John L. Tanner, private, Sixteenth Tennessee Infantry; J. C. Cantrell, private, Sixteenth Tennessee Infantry; T. J. Cantrell, private, Sixteenth Tennessee Infantry, stationed 4 miles below Dalton, and report the strength of the rebel forces at those places respectively as follows: At Tunnel Hill, three brigades of infantry and a large force of artillery; at Dalton, two divisions of infantry.

On the 21st instant, the morning after receiving you dispatch, in obedience to orders, I proceeded with my command Ooltewah, while I sent my train to Chattanooga by the direct road. With the train in charge of Lieut. Hodges, Thirty-seventh Indiana Volunteers, I sent 3 citizen prisoners from the neighborhood of Harrison (J. T. Gardenhire, J. A. Hunter, and ____Lyon) to Provost-Marshal-Gen. Wiles, who are charged with having aided rebel guerrillas.

On approaching the town of Ooltewah about 10 a. m. I encountered a squad of rebel cavalry, some 60 men strong, who, however, precipitately fled from my advance guard, and having no cavalry at my disposal I was unable to pursue them. The intention of this force was to get into the rear the thereby cut off the communication of the scouting party of 50 under Capt. H. A. Sheldon, of First Wisconsin Volunteers, whom I had sent out on the preceding day, as report in my dispatch of January 20, 1864.

On my way to Ooltewah, at the house of Anthony Moore, I seized the records of the county registrar's office, comprising the following: Eighteen volumes of records of Registrar's Office, County of Hamilton; two volumes Laws of Tennessee, 1857-'59; one volume Code of Tennessee. The above volumes are at my headquarters, to be disposed of according to instructions.

At Ooltewah I arrested Miss S. Locke and Miss Barnet, who have already been delivered to Provost-Marshal-Gen. Wiles, both of whom are charged with carrying contraband information to the rebel army. Through the scouting expedition above mentioned I have obtained the following information: The rebel forces at Tunnel Hill and Dalton, whose exact strength I was unable to ascertain, were reported doing considerable moving and shifting recently, the object of which, however, could not be learned. A force of 300 of Wheeler's rebel cavalry are encamped 5 miles beyond Igou's Gap, whose pickets are stationed at the gap. This force is continually making raids in small detachments on the Union towns and farms of that neighborhood, and committing all manner of outrages and cruelties on the loyal population.

As an incident illustrative of the barbarities constantly being perpetrated by these outlaws, I will mention that a Mr. Tallent, a loyal citizen living near the forks of the roads leading to Red Clay and McDaniel's Gap, recently found In his immediate neighborhood a young child In a perishing condition, stripped of all Its clothing, which the rebels had left there, having attempted by that means to find the father of the said child, whom they proposed to hang, he being a loyal citizen.

I have been reliably informed that a rebel raid on our river transportation at Harrison is now positively being prepared. This raiding force will have to pass thought the mountain gaps near Ooltewah. The rebels infesting that region of country have been in the habit of disguising themselves In Federal uniforms, and have by this means often succeeded In deceiving the Union people. Messrs. Stone and Scroggins, Union citizens living at Julien's Gap, can give information of a guerrilla band commanded by a citizen of Ooltewah, who steal and plunder from the loyal citizens continually. They also know where a large portion of the spoils of this band are now secreted. A number of discharged soldiers from Tennessee regiments have banded together with Union citizens and organized themselves for self-defense. They are armed with such weapons as they have been able to procure, consisting of rifles, carbines, and revolvers. This band of loyal men, who are men of the highest sense of honor and true patriotism, are doing all they can to promote the success of our cause. Their number could be increased to 200 if arms could be provided for them. By their aid Surgeon Hunt, of the Ninth Tennessee Infantry, whom I previously reported captured by guerrillas, was enabled to escape, and he is now in captured by guerrillas, was enabled to escape, and he is now in safety. I have also learned that [a number of]....citizens, living In the vicinity of Ooltewah, are In the habit of harboring the guerrillas infesting that region, and that the rebels have signified their intention to burn the town, of Ooltewah as soon as the families of the Misses Locke and Barnet, above mentioned, quit the town. After obtaining the above information from my scouting party, who returned about two hours after I arrived at Ooltewah, I took up the march to Chattanooga and arrived in camp at 9.30 o'clock the same day with my command, without having sustained any loss.

In conclusion I would again most respectfully beg leave to call the attention of the general commanding to the advantages to be gained by permanently stationing a small force at the town of Ooltewah. A force of two regiments with a half battery of battery of artillery could, in conjunction with the organization of citizens above mentioned, hold all the mountain passes in that region, thereby effectually preventing all raids, securing our river transportation, and affording to the almost exclusively loyal population the protection which they so much deserve. A great amount of most valuable information could also be obtained by such a force with the aid of the citizens of the band previously mentioned, they being intimately acquainted with the country thereabouts and able and willing to put in operation a most effective system of espionage for that purpose.

I have the honor to be, general, very respectfully, your most obedient servant,

G. MIHALOTZY, Col. 24th Regt. [sic] Ill. Vol. Inf., Cmdg. Expedition.

Maj. Gen. J. M. PALMER, Cmdg. Fourteenth Corps.


HDQRS. FOURTEENTH ARMY CORPS, Chattanooga, January 24, 1864.

Respectfully forwarded, and attention called to the highly judicious suggestions of Col. Mihalotzy.

J. M. PALMER, Maj.-Gen., Cmdg.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 32, pt. I, pp. 103-104.

        21, Skirmish at Strawberry Plains

HDQRS. SECOND DIVISION, NINTH ARMY CORPS, Lyon's Mills, Tenn., January 31, 1864.

CAPT.: On the 21st ultimo the Ninth Corps was at Strawberry Plains. The army was moving toward Knoxville, with heavy trains over bad roads, and the Ninth Corps was left to bring up the rear. The bridge being dismantled and set on fire, our pickets were withdrawn, as directed by the major-general commanding, from the south side of the river in a flat-boat. The enemy soon appeared, lined the banks of the river commanding the plains, and from Seminary Hill opened fire with a field battery. Lieut. Gittings, with Batteries L and M, third U. S. Artillery, was posted near a block-house covering the depot, but placed his four guns in a better position on the ridge next in rear of the block-house, and replied with such effect as to silence the enemy, notwithstanding a cross-fire brought to bear upon him from a point to our left and front.

We remained in position all day at Strawberry Plains annoyed, after the artillery ceased, only by the enemy's sharpshooters. They showed a considerable force of cavalry and mounted infantry, some squadrons, and one long column which we were able to reach with our shells with considerable apparent effect. They seemed to be moving down from the New Market road out upon the Sevierville road, from which there were roads leading to a ford 2 miles below us, and other fords still lower down, crossing at either of which would have enabled them to cut our train stretched between Strawberry Plains and Knoxville. The picket at the ford was strengthened, and a regiment sent to Flat Creek by the general's order. In the evening a train of cars was expected to take off some public property remaining at the depot, consisting mainly of two guns, said to belong to Goodspeed's battery (not of the Ninth Corps), and some caissons. There was no transportation to take this property away, and a telegram was received stating that the cars had run off the track just out of Knoxville. The troops were ordered by Gen. Parke to be at Flat Creek by daylight. The batteries were started at 12, the troops at 3. I was directed to bring off the guns and caissons, before mentioned, if possible; if not, to destroy them. The men of the Ninth Corps volunteered to drag the guns, which they did with much labor, and the caissons were destroyed, as it was impossible to bring them away. The troops reached Flat Creek by daylight, and were ordered to move on toward Knoxville in rear of the Twenty-third Corps.

At about 1 o'clock on the 22d, the enemy's cavalry appeared in our rear, 1 mile above the Armstrong house, just as we came up with Manson's division, Twenty-third Corps, which had been halted. The lines were formed and we marched in company with Gen. Manson, without annoyance from the enemy, to a position a mile above the intersection of the Armstrong's Ferry road with the Knoxville road, where I ordered a halt of all the troops, threw out skirmishers toward the enemy, encountered their skirmish line, drove them back, and carried two wooded knolls which they had seized In our rear and right. The rebel force driven off, we went into bivouac. They made a demonstration on Gen. Manson's pickets early in the evening, which was repulsed. Their whole force returned toward Strawberry Plains about midnight, and we saw no more of them. They were said to be Armstrong's division of cavalry and mounted Infantry.

* * * *

O. B. WILLCOX, Brig.-Gen., Cmdg.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 32, pt. I, pp. 107-108.

        21, U. S. C. T. in Shelbyville environs, excerpt from a letter to Laura Owen

Dalton, Ga

Janry 21st 1864

My beloved wife

* * * *

There are two citizens in camp from Tullahoma Tenn & report people in Midl [sic] Tenn [sic] have plenty to eat & doing well, some Yankee soldiers in the country & three Negro regiments guarding [sic] Shelbyville.

* * * *

U.G. Owen

Dr. U. G. Owen to Laura, January 21, 1864.

        21, Termination of passes from Nashville

Special Notice.

Headquarters Military Div. Of the Miss,

Office of Provost Marshal General.

Nashville, Tenn., Jan. 21, 1864

No application need hereafter be made at this office for passes to go South of the Federal lines, as none will be granted.

By command of Major General U. S. Grant

W. R. Rowley, Major and Provost Marshal General.

Nashville Dispatch, January 24,1864.

21, Report on Confederate guerrilla activities between the Cumberland and Tennessee rivers

We have some cheering news from the Cumberland river, in the vicinity of Clarksville, through the Federal lines. Captain Bruce Phillips, formerly of the 14th Tennessee regiment, and who commanded that regiment, in the first day's fight at Gettysburg, who received authority last fall to recruit a regiment of cavalry inside the Federal lines, is now in the section of the country between the Cumberland and Tennessee rivers, doing serious damage to the foe. He has between 150 and 200 men and has been actively engaged all winter in annoying the Federal Garrisons at Clarksville and Fort Donelson, and the working parties upon the North-western railroad. Not long since he attacked several thousand of the armed negroes [sic] working on the railroad, killed and wounded a large number, and put the rest to flight. Some of them whose masters lived in Clarksville, had reached that place, and reported that their whole force had been scattered except those were killed and wounded, and that they themselves had been so badly scared that they had been running for thirty miles to get home. A few days before Christmas, Captain Phillips with fifteen men was in the immediate vicinity of Clarksville. The fact becoming known to the Federal commander at Clarksville, he dispatched a party of fifty-[sic] to capture them. Phillip's party ambuscaded them, and killed seventeen and wounded a many others. Only seventeen of the party returned to Clarksville. Capt. Phillips is a daring and efficient officer, is entirely familiar with the country in which he is now operating, and will doubtless do much good.

Macon [GA] Daily Telegraph, January 21, 1864.

.21, State Political Reorganization Rally in Nashville

The Reorganization Movement in Tennessee.

At Nashville, on the 21st inst. a large meeting was held at the capitol relative to reorganization. Hon. M. M. Brien presided, assisted by Col. Pickens, of East Tennessee, and Joseph Ramsey, Esq., of Bedford, as Vice Presidents. The meeting was addressed by Jas. F., Fowler, Esq., Colonel Edwards, of East Tennessee Capt. E. O, Hatton and Gov. Johnson. A lengthy preamble and the following resolutions were adopted:

Resolved. 1. That we recognize the authority and duty of the executives of the United States, of such agents and instruments he may constitutionally appoint and employ, in cooperation with the legislative and judicial department of the government, to secure to the loyal people of any State of the Untied Stated the constitutional guarantee of a republican form of government.

Resolved 2. The people being the rightful source of all power of government, the welfare of the people of Tennessee will be the best secured by committing the restoration and permanent establishment of civil  government to a constitutional convention, to be chosen by the loyal citizens of the State; and having implicit confidence in the integrity of the Hon. Andrew Johnson Military Governor, we submit that he may call such a convention of the State at any time when,, in his judgment, the State can be represented from all her parts.

Resolved 3. As slavery was the cause of all our trouble, and as it is an unmitigated evil in itself; and since it may be considered dead by the action of its friend, that it may never be resurrected, to enable a small minority to bring the ruin upon our children that it has given us, were here pledge ourselves to use all our influence to elect such men and only such men, as delegates to said convention as shall be in favor of immediate and universal emancipation now and forever. And we invite our fellow citizens everywhere to unite with us on this platform to unite with us on this platform and we use this opportune moment to free ourselves and our posterity from the bondage in which we have been so long enslaved by the influence of an arrogant and dominant aristocracy. [4]

Resolved 4. That on the call of said convention it shall consist of delegates duly elected from the respective Senatorial and Representative Districts under the last constitutional apportionment.

North American and United States Gazette,[5] July 28, 1864. [6]

        21 – 22, A trip on the U. S. M. R. R., Chattanooga to Nashville and the execution of a Confederate spy in Knoxville

Mail Steamer General Buell, Ohio River, Jan. 24th, '64


It may have been owing to the delicious weather, rendering overcoats needless and open windows desirable quite often; or, it may have been because the direction was homeward, that the trip from, was a decided improvement over the trip to, the front. On the whole, things looked pleasanter with the gain of every mile. As the railroad was open from Chattanooga to Bridgeport, we were able to start from the former place direct for Nashville, attached to a hospital train, on Thursday afternoon, 21st inst. Generals, Colonels, a few other officers and civilians, were allowed a box car or two. By special permission, for which he will always be grateful, your correspondent found quarters in the car of Adams Express Co. There was a spice of risk accompanying this comfortable arrangement; for had we gone off the track, being mixed up with rolling and tumbling iron safes, boxes and trunks, would not have been an insurance of life or limb. We started about 3 P.M., ran a few miles to Whiteside, where we waited several hours, for the down trains of the day before, delayed by the breaking of a bridge.

During the pause some foraging was done, and we were regaled by music from the band of a brigade encamped near by. About midnight we made Stevenson, where we remained until 3 A.M. on Friday (22nd). I enjoyed a refreshing sleep, quite into the morning, on a pile of mail bags. Evidences of the work done in repairing the road were quite encouraging, as we progressed; though broken engines and cars, pitched down embankments, were not agreeably suggestive-since what had happened frequently, might at any moment happen again. The wrecks were admonitions reminding one of the advertisements stuck up on the rickety old "Paint Rock," announcing coffins for sale, and offering to embalm the dead at reasonable rates! Think of reading such documents, when the bursting of a boiler or getting snagged was among the possibilities nearest the probabilities of every hour! The dangers of navigation on the Tennessee and the quite common casualties on the Chattanooga road have been escaped; and for this preservation some hundreds of fellow travellers, as well as myself, are doubtless duly thankful. We came to a stand-still in the environs of Nashville, near the Cemetery. Here was a sad scene; acres covered with the graves of soldiers; each grave marked with a little board, giving the name, regiment, &c., of its occupant. Disease had done more to people this city of the dead than the battle, and this is the case everywhere. Sickness, not the bullet, is the destroyer in the army; but even sickness, as a rule, is not much more frequent or fatal than at home. The hardships of the service are occasionally very severe; the exposures of the service are not so great as many imagine. The loss of life is not the worst calamity of war by any means; and the man that can take care of himself and resist the temptations to irregular and vicious living, need not refuse to enlist for fear that doing so would be rushing into the jaws of death.

At Nashville, I found the first advices from home since going to the front, and the month of hunger for intelligence was partially removed. Here, too, was decided news, indeed, for one just arrived from Knoxville! It was discovered in a letter in one of the papers, from an intelligent citizen, who, no doubt, made his statements upon what seemed good authority. I refer to them, simply to show how hard it is to get at facts, at the seat of war, where rumors abound, and how cautious people at home should be in trusting reports that are not official. The letter in question put Maj. Gen. Granger in command of the forces in the field. Maj. Gen. Parke holds that position. The letter says, "Gen. Foster is lying very ill at Knoxville." Gen. Foster met with an accident by the fall of his horse, which disturbed his old Mexican wound, and has asked to be relieved for surgical treatment. But, though quite lame, he was attending daily to his duties. Again, this statement is made:

On last Friday week [January 22], a Confederate spy named Dodd[7] was executed near Knoxville. When apprehended he was dressed in Federal uniform, and had a complete list of all the Federal regiments, their positions in the field, commanders, &c. He was a Texan Ranger in the Confederate service, and acknowledged, before being executed, that he had successfully performed the part of a spy for the South for over two years.

Now, if the chaplain and surgeon who attended Dodd are to be trusted, he had no such list, and made no such acknowledgment. There was little or nothing in his diary to criminate him; and I saw a touching and yet many letter written by him to his relatives, in which he affirms, as a dying man, his innocence of every thing except reckless imprudence. The impression at Knoxville was, that he was not guilty enough to deserve death, and that his execution was not so much a punishment as a necessary act of retaliation; since the rebels had recently murdered, in the most brutal manner a Federal soldier belonging to an Indiana regiment, who should have been held a prisoner of war. These are not important matters; but they serve to show how difficult it is to be accurate. I could have filled sheets with news: the only trouble would have been, that it was as likely to be false as true. A movement was going on when I was at the front, of which I expect to see an abundance of explanations, none of them correct. This is fortunate, since it were not well to have the truth known at Richmond.

* * * *

Boston Evening Transcript, February 2, 1864.[8]

        21-22, Skirmishers at Strawberry Plains

JANUARY 21-22, 1864.-Skirmishers at Strawberry Plains (21st) and at Armstrong's Ferry, Tenn. (22d).

Report of Brig. Gen. Edward Ferrero, U. S. Army, commanding First Division, Ninth Corps.

HDQRS. FIRST DIVISION, NINTH ARMY CORPS, Camp near Erin's Station, East Tenn., January 30, 1864.

SIR: I have the honor to submit the following report for the information of the commanding general:

According to instruction received I marched the Ninth Army Corps on the morning of the 16th instant at 9 a. m. from Blain's Cross-Roads to Strawberry Plains, where I received orders to encamp the command, with the exception of one brigade, which was ordered to take position on the south bank of the river Holston. I accordingly ordered the Second Brigade, First Division, commanded by Col. Pierce, of the Twenty-Ninth Massachusetts Volunteers, to take position on the south bank of the river Holston, posting two regiments on College Hill to the right of the railroad bridge, and the balance of his brigade, consisting of three regiments, to a position on the left of the bridge, with instructions to picked all roads leading to the railroad bridge.

On the evening of the 20th, a detachment of the enemy made a dash on our pickets on the Dandridge road, but were promptly met and repulsed. During the evening I received instructions to march the command across the bridge and leave a strong picket force to protect the men engaged in destroying the bridge. The command crossed at 9 p. m., and the bridge was destroyed during the night. The pickets were withdrawn at 10 o'clock the next morning, crossing the river on a flat without molestation.

On the morning of the 21st, I ordered Col. Morrison, commanding First Brigade, to relieve troops of the Twenty-third Corps stationed to cover the bridge. The Seventy-ninth New York Volunteers garrisoned the block-house, and Lieut. Gittings' battery was placed in a position commanding the opposite approaches to the bridge, supported by the Thirty-sixth Massachusetts Volunteers. The Twentieth Michigan Volunteers was placed on the road leading to Blain's Cross-Roads, picketing the river to the left. Col. Pearce's brigade was stationed 2 miles below, guarding the fords to the right. Col. Collins' brigade (Second Division) was held in reserve.

At about 11 a. m. the enemy made their appearance in force on the south bank of the river, placing 6 guns in position and opening a severe fire on my forces, evidently determined to dislodge them for the purpose of saving the bridge, which was in flames at the time. I ordered Lieut. Gittings to open fire on the enemy, which he did vigorously, and was replied to by the enemy's batteries, but without any material damage to my command. This artillery duel was kept up for nearly four hours without cessation, when the enemy were compelled to abandon their position and retreat out of sight.

The bridge being completely destroyed, I received instructions to move my command during the night of the 21st toward Knoxville.

The command moved at 3 a. m. of the 22d, Col. Morrison bringing up the rear with his brigade. Two pieces of artillery having been left without transportation (belonging to another corps), and not wishing to leave or destroy them, I appealed to the men of my command, and they cheerfully manned the ropes and dragged the guns and limbers to within 7 miles of Knoxville, when horses were obtained to take them the remainder of the distance.

At 12 m. on the 22d, I halted the command on the road within 7 miles of Knoxville, when Col. Morrison reported to me the enemy's cavalry following in his rear in force. I received instructions to take a position on the right of the road connecting with Gen. Manson. Remaining in said position for some time, and the enemy showing no disposition to attack us, I received instructions to continue my march toward Knoxville. I marched the command to within 3½ miles of the City; again formed line of battle awaiting the attack of the enemy. They advanced their skirmishers quite boldly, and occupied a commanding crest a very short distance in front of my line, which would have proved destructive to my men had they been allowed to remain. I accordingly ordered 2 companies of the Twenty-seventh Michigan Volunteers to charge and carry the crest, which they did in a most gallant manner, causing the enemy to make a most precipitant retreat. Occupied the position during the night without further molestation from the enemy.

At daylight on the morning of the 23d, I ordered a company of the Twenty-seventh Michigan Volunteers to advance as skirmishers, supported by the Second Maryland Volunteers. After having scoured the country for a distance of 5 miles, and not being able to find the enemy, rejoined the command, where we remained during that day and night.

On the morning of the 24th, I received instructions to march the command to some suitable camp within supporting distance of Knoxville.

The losses during the above engagements are 1 private, Batteries L and M, Third U. S. Artillery, and Lieut. Mentzel, of the Forty-sixth New York Volunteers, killed.

Too much praise cannot be awarded to the men and officers for their patience and endurance during the march from Strawberry Plains, dragging 2 pieces of artillery a distance of 10 miles over rough, muddy roads, without a murmur. Great credit is dare to the brigade commander for their promptness in carrying out my orders in detail; also to the members of my staff for their valuable assistance.

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

EDW. FERRERO, Brig.-Gen., Cmdg.

No. 2.

Reports of Brig. Gen. Orlando B. Willcox, U. S. Army, commanding Second Division.

HDQRS. NINTH ARMY CORPS, January 22, 1864--4.15 p. m.

SIR: With Special Orders, No. 22, received, the last one, to select a camp near the Twenty-third Corps, I had anticipated by moving down with Gen. Manson's division, before the enemy, to the intersection of the Knoxville and Armstrong's Ferry roads. I am now carrying on a brisk skirmish with the enemy's dismounted infantry, holding a position about half a mile above cross-roads, my right resting on a crest and my left and center in the valley, covered by underbrush and broken ground. I took this stand in order to develop, if possible, the character of the force advancing. So far I have discovered nothing but a division of mounted troops. I did not wish either to divide the force or to march into Knoxville with the enemy on my heels. Having no cavalry, I cannot tell anything more than is before me. The enemy's flanks are both covered with woods. If you determine that I shall hold this position to-morrow, please send me commissary stores and ammunition to-night.

O. B. WILLCOX, Brig.-Gen.

* * * *[9]

No. 3.

Report of Lieut. Erskine Gittings, Batteries L and M, Third U. S. Artillery.

ERIN'S STATION, January 30, 1864.

IR: I have the honor to forward a report of the operations of Batteries L and M, Third Artillery, during the 21st and 22d of January, 1864: On the morning of the 19th, I was ordered to take a position near the block house, overlooking the bridge crossing the Holston. I assumed this position but did not place any guns in the house, as the thickness of the timber was very slight and covered with dirt only partially, rendering it somewhat dangerous from splinters caused by solid shot, but still affording sufficient protection from shells. This, together with the limited field of fire, made me think it best to place the guns outside of the fort.

No signs of the enemy were apparent until between 10 and 11 o'clock of the 21st, when small parties were seen reconnoitering the approaches to the bridge. In half an hour after the first parties of the enemy were seen they brought a field battery into position near the seminary on the opposite side of the river, but as the fire from the enemy's sharpshooters was sufficiently heavy to show that if all the pieces were maintained on the ridge the loss would be disproportionate to the probable gain, I retired three of them to the next ridge, covering them as well as the stumpy nature of the ground admitted. I left orders with the officer remaining with the gun near the house that I would send him directions to hold his position or withdraw as soon as I was able. He, however, withdrew to the position I had assumed before I had sent him orders, assigning as his reason, which was no doubt a good one, "that the slope of the hill on which he fired was so great as to make the recoil of the gun take it to the bottom of the hill, and as the gun could not be run to the extreme crest on account of the sharpshooters, the position appeared to be untenable." The fire of the enemy upon me in my new position was quite sharp, but as most of their shells burst too far to my rear I sustained no injury. The fire brought upon them by my three pieces appeared to do them some injury, as shortly afterward they ceased firing from all but one gun, and finally moved this gun some 800 yards to my left and front, and reopened their fire from this piece. Only a few shots were fired by them in this new position. The enemy, later in the day, showed quite a strong force of mounted infantry, or else the manner in which they moved it led us to believe it to be strong. The only shots fired by me after their battery ceased firing, were from the rifled 6-pounder guns near the depot. At night-fall I took a position a little farther to the rear of my first one, and by 12 p. m. received orders to take the Knoxville road, following in rear of the trains, &c. The only loss in material which I sustained was one wagon abandoned by the driver on account of breaking the tongue of the wagon.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

E. GITTINGS, First Lieut., Third Artillery.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 32, pt. I, pp. 104 – 109.


[1] Dyer's Battle Index for Tennessee lists this as an affair.

[2]Center for Archival Collections, Askew Family Correspondence: Transcripts. MMS 1380. All spelling and grammar original.

[3] In southern Wilson County

[4] Emphasis added.

[5] Philadelphia, PA

[6] TSL&A, 19th CN

[7] OR, Ser. III, Vol. 4, p. 54 notes Dodd's execution with the following footnote: "Inclosure No. 7 (here omitted) contains General Orders, No. 3, Department of the Ohio, January 5, 1864, promulgating charges, findings, and sentence to death in the case of E. S. Dodd, Eighth Texas Cavalry, arrested and tried as a spy." Had Inclosure No. 7 had been included in the OR report more would be known about the affair.

[8] As cited in:

[9] The other portion of Report No. 2 by Brig. Gen. Orlando B. Willcox, is presented above in January 21, 1864, Skirmish at Strawberry Plains, in order to give clearer temporal definition to the event.

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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