Friday, January 2, 2015

12.24 & 25/.2015 Tennessee Civil War Notes

DECEMBER 1861-1864



        24, Merger of Southern Mothers' Hospital and Overton Hospital in Memphis

Overton Hospital.—The southern Mothers' hospital was yesterday joined with that of the Overton, the latter building now containing the whole of the patients of the two institutions. Dr. Currey, of the Southern Mothers, continues to perform his duties at the Overton. The consolidation was made by order of the general in command, and was effected under the personal superintendence of Dr. C. H. Martin, the supervisor of hospitals. The ladies will give their kind aid as before the change.

Memphis Daily Appeal, December 24, 1861.

        24, Skirmishes at Bolivar and environs

Report of Colonel Benjamin H. Grierson, Sixth Illinois Cavalry, of operations, December 5-28, including skirmishes at Bolivar, Middleburg and Ripley, December 24-25.

HOLLY SPRINGS, MISS., December 29, 1862.

COL....late on the afternoon of the 22d,...I put the command on the march toward Oxford.

The Sixth Illinois Cavalry had proceeded 1 mile from Holly Springs when a dispatch was received from Maj.-Gen. Grant ordering me to follow Jackson until he was caught or West Tennessee so completely exhausted as to render it impossible to support an army. The Third Michigan had in the mean time been sent to Grand Junction by order of Col. Marsh. Upon receipt of the general's dispatch I immediately countermarched the Sixth Illinois Cavalry and proceeded with it and the First Brigade at 10 o'clock p. m. to Grand Junction, arriving at 7 o'clock a. m. December 23, having passed the Third Michigan in the night; halted to feed men and horses, and collected information which led me to believe that the whole force of the enemy under Van Dorn had gone in the direction of Bolivar.

After three hours' rest, the Third Michigan having again joined us, I started the column northward, arriving at Bolivar at 11 o'clock p. m. On the road I distinctly saw the camp-fires of the enemy about 6 miles to the southeast of Bolivar. Having sent our scouts to reconnoiter and ascertain their position I moved my command into the town and bivouacked for the night. About daylight the following morning, December 24, the enemy having made a circuit of about 11 miles, attacked the town on the west, capturing some pickets of the First

Cavalry and 5 stragglers of the Third Michigan, driving in others and coming within easy range of the fortifications. I immediately put my command in position and sent out Lieut. Bull with 20 men to ascertain their position and strength. The party was fired upon and returned the fire, killing 2 of the enemy, but fell back to our lines, reporting them in large force. I immediately moved out upon them on the Brownsville road, skirmishing and driving them for 2 miles. They not heretofore knowing of our presence at Bolivar became somewhat confused. At this point they struck off to the southeast, when not knowing their purposes I sent two companies upon heir trail and fell back to the town with my main force. The companies sent out pursued them closely, crossing the Summerville road and proceeding on the Middleburg road. Having ascertained their intentions I immediately started with my whole force in pursuit.

At Middleburg the enemy attacked the small force stationed there under Col. Graves, of the Twelfth Michigan Infantry, but were repulsed with loss. We then came upon heir rear and they immediately left, taking a southerly direction, on the Van Buren road. I quickly threw out skirmishers from the advanced battalion, commanded by Maj. Wallace, of the Fourth Illinois, and gave them one round from Lieut. Curtis' battery, attached to the Sixth Illinois Cavalry, killing 1 and wounding 2 of the enemy and unfortunately wounding 1 of our own skirmishers. I here dispatched to you our progress. They still retreated and we again took up the pursuit, following them to Van Buren and thence to Saulsbury, dispatching you from both places. Finding that they had encamped, and it now being dark, and Col. Lee with his brigade being 5 miles in the rear, to whom I had sent repeated orders to close up on the front and to which he paid no attention, I then sent him a written order, which still found him 5 miles in the rear, with skirmishers dismounted on the flanks and front on ground over which I had passed with all due caution two hours previously. I turned to the right on the Grand Junction road and awaited his arrival, sending out scouts to watch the movements of the enemy, and there encamped for the night. I here received your dispatch acknowledging the receipt of my dispatches from Middleburg and Van Buren, copies of which you had sent Col. Hatch and the commander of the forces at Salem.

The scouts returned at 2 o'clock a. m. December 25 and reported the enemy to have left after feeding. At 4 o'clock a. m. I again started in pursuit. Col. Mizner rejoined the column about 8 miles south of Saulsbury and again assumed command. When within 8 miles of Ripley the Third Michigan being in advance, and their horses appearing fatigued, I asked permission of Col. Mizner to move the Sixth Illinois Cavalry to the front, which with some hesitation was granted. We then moved rapidly on to Ripley....

* * * *

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

B. H. GRIERSON, Col. Sixth Illinois Cavalry.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 17, pt. I, pp. 518-520.

        24, Skirmish at Middleburg,[1] Hardeman County[see -December 31, 1862, Operations in West Tennessee, including action near Jackson, Tennessee on December 19, and skirmish at Middleburg, on December 24, 1862]

        24, January 1, 1863, Expedition in East Tennessee

DECEMBER 24, 1862--JANUARY 1, 1863.-Expedition into East Tennessee and skirmish at Perkin's Mill, on Elk Fork, December 28. Report of Maj. James L. Foley, Tenth Kentucky Cavalry.

HDQRS. SECOND BATT., TENTH KENTUCKY CAVALRY, Danville, Ky., January 3, 1863.

I have the honor to report that, in accordance with instructions received from headquarters, I select a camp, procure a sufficient quantity of forage, and also to picket all roads leading out of the town until my arrival.

My detachment rested here until the next evening, the 27th instant, during which time I spent in learning the location, numbers, and disposition of the rebel forces. My command was again in motion at 8 p. m., having been informed by scouts that a rebel force, 350 strong, had encamped at a point on Elk Fork, called Perkins' Mill, in Campbell County, Tennessee, 19 miles from Williamsburg. Proceeding cautiously in that direction, I came upon their pickets at 4 a. m. of the 28th instant, which were captured, 16 in number, by my advance guard, under command of Lieut. Kerr, of Munday's cavalry, without the slightest noise or confusion; in fact, they were fast asleep. From them I learned the location of their camp, numbers, strength, &c., which was very accurate, as I afterward discovered. Forming my line, I now awaited the approach of daylight, but so intense and heavy was the fog as to prevent anything being seen at the distance of 20 paces. I determined, however, to attack them, and detailed 40 men of Munday's cavalry, under Lieut. Kerr, armed with carbines and the captured rifles. I deployed this force as skirmishers, with instructions to approach the camps as near as possible before opening fire. The cavalry companies (B and M, Tenth Kentucky), supported these. The order "forward" was now given, and after proceeding a quarter of a mile the skirmishers opened fire. This was returned by the enemy with considerable spirit, but they soon gave way at the approach of the cavalry, after three unsuccessful attempts to form their line. The rout now became general; the enemy, pushed on very side, refused to stand their ground; our forces, elated with the first success, manfully bore down upon them, and in less than one hour we had full possession of their camp.

They lost 30 killed, 17 wounded, and 51 captured. In addition to this, 80 head of horses and mules fell into our hands, together with a large number of Enfield rifles and ammunition. What could not be brought away was destroyed. The number of rifles which fell into our hands amounted to nearly 200 stand. The camp equipage was all destroyed and burned. This, sir, was accomplished in one hour's time, and without the loss of a man killed or wounded.

The fight occurred in such close proximity to a second camp of the enemy's cavalry, estimated by the prisoners at 600 strong, as to cause the assailed party to seek protection in their lines, hotly pursued by our men.

* * * *

I am, sir, with much respect, your obedient servant,

JAMES L. FOLEY, Maj. Tenth Kentucky Cavalry, Cmdg. Battalion.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 20, pt. I, pp. 162-163.

        24, Federal correspondence relative to the pursuit of Forrest in West Tennessee

HOLLY SPRINGS, MISS., December 24, 1862.

Maj. Gen. J. B. MCPHERSON, Oxford, Miss.:

The following dispatch is just received. Send it to Col. Hatch by to-morrow morning if possible:

NEAR BOLIVAR, December 24, 1862.

Maj.-Gen. GRANT:

I arrived in Bolivar 11 o'clock last night. Pickets at that place were driven in last night. Our presence no doubt saved the place, as it is evident they did not know of our presence until this morning.

We struck their trail on Middleburg road this morning, evidently a large force, 7,000 or 8,000. My column is now moving. Have been skirmishing all the morning; a number of the enemy killed and wounded; no loss on our side.

Later-MIDDLEBURG, December 24.

The enemy repulsed from this place by our infantry. We came up with their rear; they struck off the left toward the Van Buren road; we are in close pursuit; their number from 5,000 to 7,000. I have but 1,400 men. Cannot the Seventh Illinois, Third Iowa, and balance of the Third Michigan be sent after me. From latest information they appear to be going southeast.

Will keep you advised as well as possible.

B. H. GRIERSON, Comdg.

U. S. GRANT, Maj.-Gen.

BOLIVAR, TENN., December 24, 1862--a. m.


Arrived at 11 o'clock last night; pickets driven in here this morning; think only a feint; think they have gone north to join Forrest.

My column now mowing east of north; will keep you advised as far as possible.

B. H. GRIERSON, Col., Comdg. Cavalry.

HOLLY SPRINGS, MISS., December 24, 1862.

Col. B. H. GRIERSON, In pursuit of Van Dorn, near Van Buren:

Your dispatches from near Middleburg and Van Buren have been sent to the commanding officer at Salem, whose forces consist of infantry and artillery and are about 15 miles east of here; also to Col. Hatch, who started last evening with his cavalry force to the mouth of Tippah Creek, on the Tallahatchie, in pursuit of a portion of the enemy near there. He may be able to join your after you cross the Tallahatchie, and may intercept the enemy's retreat. Make every possible exertion to harass and destroy the enemy.

Take Hatch with you in the pursuit if you meet with him.

By order of Maj. Gen. U. S. Grant:

SAULSBURY, December 24, 1862--after dark.

Maj.-Gen. GRANT:

GEN.: Have just arrived at this place; enemy still going southward, their rear only a mile ahead. We are constantly picking up their stragglers. Have just learned that they talk of turning to the left a short distance. Shall throw out scouts and observe their movements, and camp to-night without camp-fires. I sent you dispatch from Middleburg and also from Van Buren.

B. H. GRIERSON, Col., Comdg. Cavalry.

SAULSBURY, December 24, 1862.

Maj.-Gen. GRANT:

GEN.: Your dispatch received this evening. I am camped within 2 ½ miles of the enemy. I sent out scouts, who reported to me an hour ago that they had left, still going south. I start in pursuit in one hour and will follow them to their den.

B. H. GRIERSON, Col., Comdg.

BOLIVAR, December 24, 1862.


The enemy have appeared in our front, and Col. Grierson has gone out with his entire command and I am with him, but shall return soon.

M. BRAYMAN, Brig.-Gen., Comdg.

BOLIVAR, December 24, 1862.

Brig. Gen. J. C. SULLIVAN:

Just returned from outside lines. The enemy followed and drove in our pickets and are firing on infantry pickets. I have no fear of harm; it is probably the rear guard covering their movement north to join Forrest.

Col.'s Grierson and Lee are here with 1, 500 cavalry and will pursue until they overtake the enemy. I join the pursuit.

M. BRAYMAN, Brig.-Gen., Comdg.

BOLIVAR, December 24, 1862.

(Received Jackson, December 24, 1862.)

Brig. Gen. J. C. SULLIVAN:

After my last the rebels advanced in line of battle. Grierson, Lee, and the Jayhawkers [Seventh Kansas Cavalry] are now after them. I had but a dissolving view of them. If you have any information or any guides send out and intercept Grierson. They may get across the railroad, but I have no fear they will do mischief.

M. BRAYMAN, Brig.-Gen., Comdg.

BOLIVAR, December 24, 1862. Brig. Gen. J. C. SULLIVAN:

Rebels occupying a threatening position on the Bethel road. I will shell them in a few minutes; you will probably hear it.

M. BRAYMAN, Brig.-Gen.

BOLIVAR, December 24, 1862.


The shelling had good effect; the rebels ran out of sight. Every point is guarded well. They cannot get at us. They cut the wire twice at Middleburg. They fired the track in four places, but our men and a number of faithful negroes [sic] saved it. Please call Col. Webster's attention to the damage.

M. BRAYMAN, Brig.-Gen., Comdg.

BOLIVAR, December 24, 1862.


Glad to find line open again. After my last the whole rebel force turned back; 3,000 went direct to Middleburg and attacked the Twelfth Michigan. I immediately sent he whole body of cavalry of after them. Col. Graves held out gallantly till past noon, when the jayhawkers arrived. I have not the result, but think all is safe. They cut the wire and sent the track on fire, but it was extinguished with little damage.

A messenger is in from Col. Graves. The party that went above are in flight and will soon be attacked; no fears for the result, but you will not need a regiment from here until they get through with us. We expect to fight them to-night.

M. BRAYMAN, Brig.-Gen.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 17, pt. II, pp. 474-476.

        24, Retreat of Van Dorn from Middleburrough (Middleton)

We were wakened by the bugle before daylight and fed and saddled our horses. Soon after daylight Vandorn [sic] appeared before Bolivar on a ridge one mile southeast of the town with his forces. The appearance of our two brigades of cavalry [sic] to confront him was evidently a surprise to him, and he withdrew, and fell upon Middlebruuough [sic] (i.e. Middleton), six miles south, with fifteen hundred men. The place was defended by 135 men of the 12 Infantry and they held it till we came up and attached Vandorn [sic]'s rear. This compelled a hasty retreat, leaving 10 dead and 15 prisoners in our hands.

Pomeroy Diaries, December 24, 1862.

        24, Christmas Eve Dance and Military Executions in Confederate Murfreesboro

An Account of Two Very Different Scenes—A Ball and an Execution.

A letter from Murfreesboro', Tenn., dated the 26th ult., gives an account of two scenes of camp life—a ball and an execution. The writer says:

On Christmas Eve [1862] the officers of the First Louisiana and Second Kentucky regiments gave a ball at the Court House in Murfreesboro', which proved a magnificent affair and complete success. The beauty and fashion of this little city and many distinguished officers were present. The decorations were exceedingly handsome. Among them I noticed four large "B's" constructed of evergreens: "Beauregard and Bragg, of La.;" "Buckner and Breckinridge, of Ky." Over the windows were the names, "Pensacola," "Donelson," "Shiloh," "Santa Rosa," and "Hartsville," all enwreathed with cedar. Conspicuous were numerous United States flags—Union down—trophies belonging to Gen. John H. Morgan, furnished for the occasion by his lady. New Year's Eve will be celebrated by another ball to be given by the officers of the 9th and 9th [sic] Kentucky regiments and Cobb's Battery. Truly the grim soldiers feel fond of laying aside their stern occupation for the smiles of fair ladies. I hope they may not experience another Waterloo; but instead, when begins the "sound of revelry by night," may the beauty and chivalry enjoy themselves without interruption from the cannon's opening roar.

In strong contrast with such scenes comes the announcement of five military executions in one day—one by hanging, the rest by shooting. The first was a spy, a traitor, and a thief, named Gray. The crime committed by the other four was desertion. It was my duty to witness the execution of one of the latter. As the brigade was being formed on three sides of a square, the clouds grew dark and heavy as if the very heavens frowned upon the bloody deed about to be enacted. The troops remained in one of the heaviest rain storms I ever remember, until the prisoner was brought in the centre of the square, riding in a wagon, followed by a hearse. After bidding a few friends adieu, he, with a firm step, without kneeling or being blindfolded, faced the firing party composed of one lieutenant, one sergeant, and fifteen men—twelve of the guns were loaded with balls and three with blank cartridges. At 12 o'clock Lieutenant B. gave the command "ready!" "aim!" "fire!" when the prisoner fell dead, pierced by eleven balls. Some of these men were arrested after an absence of six months. I would advise all deserters who may be skulking around the cities of the Confederacy, to return while Gen. Bragg offers them pardon.

Savannah [Georgia] Republican, January 10, 1863.[2]

        24, Capture of horse thieves in Bradley County

I have been on a hard chase to-day in pursuit of two horse thieves who stole my horse from camp last night and made off in a westerly direction with him. It took me some time this morning to get on his track, or to find out whether he had been stolen or had only strayed off into the woods. When I finally found which way he went I took two men and followed them in a gallop, and came up with them in the evening where they had stopped and concealed themselves in the woods. I recovered the horse and captured the thieves, whom I brought back to our camps. They appear to be deserters from our army.

Diary of William E. Sloan.

        24, A Carroll County resident accused of treason[3]

Notified to attend at Trenton, Tenn., on a charge of writing a letter to my sons in the Southern army. Bill Warner arrested with letter. A few days ago the Confederates took Trenton and Humbolt [sic], Tenn.

"Younger Diary."

        24, Skirmish at Bull's Gap [see December 24-28, 1863, "Actions at Dandridge," below]

        24, Skirmish at Jack's Creek

HOLLY SPRINGS, December 29, 1863.

GEN.: I have succeeded in getting out with about 2,500 men. Fought the enemy in heavy force at Jack's Creek, 25 miles east of Jackson, and drove them back. Commenced moving from Jackson on the next day (24th). Fought them on 25th at Estenaula, putting them to flight.[4] Met Seventh Illinois Regt. [sic] at Somerville. Succeeded in their rear and cut them up badly, capturing their wagons, a good many arms and horses, and 45 prisoners, and killed and wounded quite a number. We moved by La Fayette Bridge, on Wolf River. Found a heavy guard at the bridge, which my advance drove off; also scattered the forces at Lafayette Station, and succeeded in crossing all my unarmed men, wagons, artillery, and beef cattle. The enemy advanced on me from Collierville and Moscow. We held the Moscow force in check and drove the troops from Collierville back to that place and into their fortifications. Fighting ceased at 8 o'clock at night. I then withdrew....Owing to my having to leave Jackson so soon there are about 3,000 men left that I could not get together in time. If arrangements can be made to go back again, can bring out at least 3,000 men.

I am, in haste, general, your obedient servant,

N. B. FORREST, Maj.-Gen. Commanding.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 31, pt. I, p. 621.

        24, Skirmish at Estenaula [see also December 26, 1863, Skirmish at New Castle below]

No circumstantial reports filed.

* * * *

Forrest attempted to cross the Hatchie near Estenaula yesterday afternoon. The Seventh Illinois fought and drove him back to the river. Send out patrols toward Bolivar, Saulsbury, and south this morning. Hold your whole command in readiness to march at a moment's notice, either by rail or foot, with three days' rations in haversacks, and no transportation except ammunition. Have the engine fired up ready to move quickly.

* * * *

OR, Ser. 1, Vol. 31, pt. III, p. 493.

        24, Skirmish at Hay's Ferry [see December 24-28, 1863, "Actions at Dandridge," below]

        24, Skirmish at New Market environs [see also December 24-28, 1863, Actions at Dandridge, below]

Thursday 24 Last night about 1 oclock [sic] the 1st and 2d Sec. were ordered to report to the Col commanding the 1" Brig. at New Market. They got away about 2 a. m. where they are going none of us know.

Reveilee [sic] at 4 oclock [sic]. harnessed [sic] and hitched at daylight. Pickets line, with skirmishers out along the bottom of the hill in our front. about [sic] 8 a. m. they opened on us with a Section of artillery posted in the road about 1 mile off. out of sight from us, but their knowledge of the country enabled them to get a very accurate range of our positon [sic]. however [sic] their Shells [sic] did no harm. we [sic] replied a few times, but did not wish to bring on a general engagement as the intention was to have the 1st Brig. which left last night to get in their rear and we were only to occupy their attention until that time. 10 a. m. one of their Regts [sic] moved out of the woods in plain sight and good range of our guns. we [sic] dropped a few shell [sic] among them, which caused them to fall back. About 12 oclock [sic] we advanced down the road ½ mile, and posted the Section in a better position. in [sic] a yard, in front of a frame house.-fired a few rounds from this place.- driving the enemy out of the woods and letting the dismounted men advance. this [sic] house belonged to an old English Doctor who is very nicely situated here. house [sic] finely furnished [with] an elegant piano [sic] Shotguns and rifles,- fishing tackle and everything a sportman [sic] could wish for. all [sic] of which our boys borrowed [sic] from him [sic] he [sic] must have been of rather an excentric [sic] turn of mind as he had his family vault about 20 feet from his front door.- remained here about 2 hours while the skirmishers were Slowly driving the rebs [sic] out of the woods.-moved forward ½ mile but could get no positon [sic]-the enemys [sic] lines could be distinctly seen about ½ mile off. After while [sic] our cavalry drove them off of a hill on the right of the road and the Battery supported by a Battalion of Cavalry made a detour around behind, and camp up on the hill without being discovered by the enemy-opened out on them suddenly and caused considerable stampeding of their exposed line of battle, which fell back across Mossy Creek & until dark and bivouacked for the night. Nothing heard from the other part of the Battery up to this time of P.M. [sic]

Campbell, Three Years in the Saddle, pp. 119-120.

        24, Skirmish in front of New Castle [see December 24-28, 1863, "Actions at Dandridge," below]

        24, Skirmish at Mossy Creek Station

Report of Maj. Gen. John G. Foster, U. S. Army, commanding Department of the Ohio.

KNOXVILLE, December 29, 1863.

At 11 a. m. to-day the whole of the enemy's cavalry,[5] supported by a division of infantry and two batteries of artillery, attacked Gen. Sturgis near Mossy Creek. The fight was severe and general, and lasted until 5 p. m. Sturgis held his ground, and ended by driving the enemy entirely off the field, achieving a complete victory.

J. G. FOSTER, Maj.-General.

Reports of Brig. Gen. Samuel D. Sturgis, U. S. Army, commanding Cavalry Corps, Department of the Ohio.

STRAWBERRY PLAINS, December 29, 1863.

Brig. Gen. E. E. POTTER:

The following dispatches have been received from Gen. Sturgis:

HDQRS., Mossy Creek, [December] 29, 1863--3.15 p. m.

The enemy advanced this morning, about 11 o'clock, with the mass of his cavalry and a division of infantry and two batteries of artillery. We have checked him completely, I trust, but our loss is very severe. I think he is giving way now, and I hope to drive him before night. The engagement is general along the whole line, and the troops have behaved with great credit to themselves and their country. Col.'s Wolford and Foster have not yet gotten up with their command. Will report particulars as soon as I can.

Yours, &c.,

S. D. STURGIS, Brig.-Gen.

HDQRS., Mossy Creek, [December] 29, 1863--3.45 p. m.


My whole line is advancing handsomely and driving the enemy before it. Col.'s Wolford and Foster have just returned from the reconnaissance to Dandridge, where they found no enemy. His whole force moved to our front last night, and to-day got damned badly whipped.

Yours, respectfully,

S. D. STURGIS, Brig.-Gen.

P. S.-All right.


Mossy Creek, December 29, 1863--6 p. m.

(Received--12.15 a. m., 30th.)

The enemy was driven back about 4 miles in great confusion, and our advance line is near Talbott's Station again. I did not deem it prudent to pursue farther than was necessary to inflict as great immediate injury as possible. Neither our own loss nor that of the enemy can be known yet. We have now in the hospital between 70 and 100 wounded. The brass guns with Col. Mott's brigade are not suited to our present situation, either in character or otherwise, and I would ask that a battery of 3-inch rifled guns or 10 pounder Parrotts be sent to replace them. As infantry could as well be supplied at Dandridge as at Strawberry Plains, I would suggest that that place be occupied by a brigade or more of infantry. It would be a great saving of horses to us, whose horses are pretty well worn down, watching so large an extent of country, with a wily enemy ready at all times to take advantage of any division of our forces. I cannot think there is any of the rebel cavalry on the north side of the Holston, and would like to have Col. Pennebaker's brigade here, if you think it can be spared from its present location.


S. D. STURGIS, Brig.-Gen.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 31, pt. I, pp. 646-647. [6]


Report of Col. Archibald P. Campbell, Second Michigan Cavalry, commanding First Brigade.

HDQRS. FIRST. BRIGADE, FIRST DIVISION CAVALRY, Two Miles from Mossy Creek, December 30, 1863.

SIR: I have the honor to submit the following report of the engagement of the First Brigade, First Division Cavalry, near Mossy Creek, Yesterday, December 29:

My two regiments, the Second Michigan Cavalry and First Tennessee Cavalry, were encamped, one on each side the Morristown road, 3 miles from Mossy Creek. The Ninth Pennsylvania Cavalry was ordered 2 miles back to support Eighteenth Indiana Battery on same road; at 10 a. m. the enemy advanced in line along my whole front rapidly, and in obedience to orders previously received to fall back if attacked, I formed my two regiments in line with two battalions Second Michigan, dismounted, and retired slowly. The enemy pressed forward, showing several lines of battle formed and advancing, and he attempted to flank my command both to the right and left. My skirmishers kept up a brisk fire, as also did the enemy's artillery, at easy range on my line, at one time firing four guns rapidly.

Arriving at the large brick house 1 mile from Mossy Creek I was compelled to fight, and ordered the Second Michigan dismounted men under cover until the enemy's line advanced to within 20 yards, firing as they came, my flanks both giving ground before them. At this time the two battalions under cover opened upon the enemy a withering fire at within short range and checked his advance, with severe loss on both sides.

I then ordered the First Tennessee Cavalry to charge the enemy on the right of the brick house, and drove their center back and halted their whole line. I them ordered First Tennessee and Second Michigan Cavalry into the woods to the left of the road, while the artillery opened fire.

The enemy now marched around to my left, and I placed the First Tennessee Cavalry on the hill to the left of Mossy Creek, and the Second Michigan, dismounted, to the left of One hundredth and eighteenth Ohio Infantry (the colonel of which regiment reporting to me for orders), formed in the woods in line, and awaited the enemy's attack. Severe firing soon commenced along the front, and enemy's line in check and ordered the Second Michigan, dismounted, and First Tennessee, mounted, to charge through the woods, which they did with a yell, repulsing and driving the enemy from the woods with heavy loss in killed and wounded and 25 prisoners in our hands. Several of my command were killed and wounded, including 2 officers of First Tennessee Cavalry mortally wounded. I ordered two guns of Eighteenth Indiana Battery to open fire after the men were rallied from the charge and shelled the woods, and no further demonstrations were made.

Seeing the battery on the Morristown road the troops on the right of the road moving forward, I ordered my command forward on the left of the road, and soon received orders from Gen. Elliott to move forward rapidly, which I did without resistance from any force.

The Ninth Pennsylvania Cavalry supported the battery, and repulsed a charge from the enemy. My loss in killed, wounded, and missing is 40. A list has been forwarded. I have captured 35 prisoners, including 2 officers.

Very respectfully submitted.

Your most obedient servant,

A. P. CAMPBELL, Col., Cmdg.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 31, pt. I, pp. 656-657.[7]

        24, Skirmish at Peck's House near New Market

Report of Oscar H. LaGrange, First Wisconsin Cavalry, commanding Second Brigade.

HDQRS. SECOND BRIGADE, FIRST CAVALRY DIVISION, DEPARTMENT OF THE CUMBERLAND, Talbott's House, near Mossy Creek, East Tenn., December 27, 1863.

CAPT.: I have the honor to report that, at 8 a. m. on the 24th instant, two small brigades of the enemy, under Gen. Armstrong, advanced on the position occupied by this brigade near Dr. Peck's house, 2 ½ miles west of Mossy Creek Station. Our picket on the Morristown road was re-enforced, and an important position on the right occupied. About half of our force was gradually drawn into the engagement. The enemy was driven back 3 ½ miles, leaving several dead, including 1 lieutenant, on the field. We camped for the night at Mossy Creek Station. Our loss was 2 killed and 9 wounded. Had we been permitted to assume the offensive, it is though the enemy might have been severely punished.

Capt. Hackleman, and Lieut.'s Stover and Thomas, Second Indiana, deserve special mention for the gallant manner in which they held an important position, with only two companies, against a greatly superior force. On the 26th, drove back the enemy's pickets and made a demonstration to the front, but did not advance. On returning to camp, the Fourth Indiana found its ground occupied by the enemy, and, after a brisk skirmish, compelled him to retire, leaving 5 dead and 2 wounded on the field. Our loss during the day was only 2 slightly wounded.

On the 27th, advanced, by order, to the ground occupied on the previous day, and drove the enemy 3 miles on the right of the Morristown road, our advance occupying his camp and capturing arms, cooking utensils, &c. Darkness put an end to the engagement. We had 2 men killed by a shell, and 4 others slightly wounded. Enemy's loss unknown. On the 28th, Maj. Torrey, First Wisconsin Cavalry, made a movement on the enemy's left flank, and after a brisk skirmish occupied Talbott's Station, capturing 5 of the enemy with horses, arms, and equipments, without loss.

Very respectfully,

O. H. LAGRANGE, Col., Cmdg.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 31, pt. I, p. 639.


HDQRS. FIRST DIVISION CAVALRY, Peck's House, December 25, 1863.

I have just come from our lines; our pickets are within 200 yards of the enemy. They informed the citizens, while falling back, that they would have re-enforcements by daylight and whip us out. I have ordered Col. LaGrange to hold his position and act on the defensive unless otherwise ordered. I suppose probably they will attack in the morning. They sent in a flag of truce while I was down at headquarters for the bodies of 2 of their officers killed to-day. Our position is good, and I will await your orders in the morning. The ammunition in two regiments is a little short. I would like to have Campbell's brigade up in the morning if you can spare it.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

EDWARD M. McCOOK, Col., Commanding.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 31, pt. I, p. 634.

        24, Major-General U. S. Grant vows to drive General Longstreet from Tennessee

NASHVILLE, Tennessee, December 24, 1863.

(Received 6.20 p. m.)

Hon. EDWIN M. STANTON, Secretary of War:

I will go to Knoxville in person immediately. If Longstreet is not driven from Tennessee soil, it shall not be my fault.

U. S. GRANT, Maj.-Gen.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 31, pt. III, p. 479.

        24, Federal expeditions, scouts and patrols, LaGrange to Bolivar, on the Hatchie to Brownsville and Saulsbury

No circumstantial reports filed.

LAGRANGE, Tennessee, December 24, 1863.

Maj.-Gen. HURLBUT, Memphis:

Force sent north reached Bolivar last evening; sent back 5 prisoners this morning; destroyed two flats at Bolivar. Will patrol the Hatchie to-day as far as point south of Brownsville. Flag of truce from Brownsville came in this evening apparently to exchange prisoners; of course, we know the real object and will endeavor to profit by it. They are here to-night as they cannot get past our patrols. Couriers from expedition south report nothing except scouting parties this side of the Tallahatchie. Expedition south returns via Saulsbury. Between this and midnight, I will forward any further information.

B. H. GRIERSON, Brig.-Gen.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 31, pt. III, p. 486.

        24, Christmas Eve in Cleveland

….we went over to see Mr. Walcott (the wounded soldier), he is worse this eve. It looks so gloomy and cheerless over there, I have felt so sad ever since I was there. Oh, if he would only get well….What a gloomy Xmas eve this, how unlike other Xmases [sic] I have passed. Will I ever enjoy myself as well again? Rhoda came in from Aunt' E's this eve to enjoy, no not enjoy, but pass Xmas. She is now reading our hero "Stonewall Jackson's Life" to Mother. [sic] R. and I fixed up a few ground nuts, walnut and hickory nuts for Stepney's stocking. Oh, so sad is our like at this time. If I could only see into the future, but it does no good to record sad thoughts and gloomy scenes, so I will close my journal….The Yanks have reinforced, are looking for the "Rebs [sic]" tomorrow.

Diary of Myra Adelaide Inman, p. 223.

        24, Skirmish near Purdy

Purdy Scout, Thursday, Dec. 24, 1863-....We moved up within a mile of Jacks Creek where we found the train and ambulances of the other part of our brigade....Maj. Malone with companies "E", "H" and "K" our regimen [7th Kansas Volunteer Cavalry] and the battalion of the 1st [Federal] Alabama was sent around to the right. Col. Herrick with the remainder of our regiment made a detour to the left while Col. Mizner and the 3rd Mich. and 3rd Ill, moved upon the main road. Maj. Malone encountered some 500 of the enemy and after a sharp fight drove him. [8] Col. Herrick coming up on the left and Col. Mizner in the center came near surrounding the enemy but he succeeded in making his escape. Three of the Alabamians were killed....

Pomeroy Diaries, December 24, 1863.


Memphis, Dec. 23, 1863

Editor Bulletin: In this morning's issue of your paper I notice a violent recommendation of Judge Ketchum as a suitable person for a colonel of the enrolled militia regiments now forming in this district.

Now Mr. Editor, I am no aspirant for military distinction or newspaper notoriety, but when I see such barefaced disfiguration of fast as "L" gave in his article, I feel it due to the public to ask "L" a few pointed questions.

1st. Where were you when Judge Ketchum recruited a company for Jeff. Davis in Fort Pickering?

2d. Where were you when Judge K. made a flaming speech in favor of the young Confederacy one week after President Lincoln's first proclamation calling for 75,000 men?

3d. Where were you when the battle of Belmont was fought in which battle Judge K. was a captain in the employ of Jeff. Davis?

I would like "L." to answer these questions, as I, as well as many more Union men of this district, feel a deep interest in the kind of officers that may be placed over them.


Memphis Bulletin, December 24, 1863.

        24, "3 of them have been caught by our Cavalry and will probably hang." Daniel C. Miller's letter to his family in Cleveland Ohio

24 December 1863

Murfreesboro, Tenn.

Dear parents, brothers, and sisters,

I do not have much news. 36 men from our company B went twelve miles toward Nashville to make railroad ties 8 ft. long from cedar trees. It will probably take us 3 to 4 months because they want us to make 16,000 ties like those, but they are not pushing us and we are taking our time and we have enough to eat. Tomorrow is Xmas day and we don't do anything. We have already finished 1300 of those ties. Monday a week ago while we went through the woods to our work we saw four bushwhackers on horses in front of us but they were too far away to shoot at, but since then 3 of them have been caught by our Cavalry and will probably hang.

The Christmas day went by quietly and peacefully. We didn't have any candy like we did for the last two yrs. It rained last night so we won't get much done again today. But tomorrow we will go deeper into the forest. Last night we went to a rich Rebel farmer who had many chickens and turkeys. We asked him for some. He game us 1 turkey and 16 chickens. If he hadn't done so freely we would have taken them by force. They tasted real good. This farmer still has 150 slaves but every day some flee to enlist. In Murfreesboro we have a whole regiment of about 1300 such slaves who have escaped their masters.

With this I will close and wish you a healthy and happy New Year 1864….Here they have cotton seeds which are planted like corn and when it reaches one foot it is hoed.

"Daniel C. Miller: A Yankee in Rutherford County."[9]

        24-25, Federal reconnaissance, Rutledge, Dyer's Ferry, Spring Creek camp ground, Turley's Mills, Maze's Ford on Morristown road, Carmichael's Ford and above, Easley's Ferry

RUTLEDGE, Tennessee, December 25, 1863--8 a. m.

Maj.-Gen. PARKE:

SIR: I have the honor to report that the reconnaissance of which I am in command arrived at this place at 4.30 p. m. yesterday. On my way up I sent Capt. Smith and 20 men to strike across to Dyer's Ferry and vicinity, scouting up as far as Spring Creek camp-ground; if he found no enemy there, to communicate with Brig.-Gen. Spears. I sent Capt. Welch with a squad of men forward to Bean's Station, to return this a. m. Capt. Stephens, with 20 men, I sent to Turley's Mills, at Maze's Ford, on the Morristown road, with instructions to scout from there to above Carmichael's Ford. Lieut. Bales, with 8 men, proceeded to Easley's Ferry. All of these officers have instructions, if they found any of the enemy, to report immediately to me by courier. No courier having arrived, added to the best information I can get, I am led to believe that this side of the river is entirely free from the enemy and that their main force is now at Russellville and Morristown.

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

JAMES BIDDLE, Col. Sixth Indiana Cavalry.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 31, pt. III, pp. 490-491.

        24-25, Federal force retreats to Somerville and patrols, Van Buren to Middleburg and Bolivar

LAGRANGE, December 25, 1863.

Maj.-Gen. HURLBUT, Memphis:

The force which fought the enemy last night fell back on Somerville. I have ordered them to move east and southeast toward Van Buren. I have also sent 300 men and four pieces of artillery north to New Castle. I have 160 men now at Van Buren patrolling toward Middleburg and Bolivar; will keep patrols going all night. From all information, I think Forrest's whole force is crossing at Estenaula and will attempt to cross the road between here and Pocahontas. I think it would be well to have all the telegraph operators up to-night. All quiet south.

B. H. GRIERSON, Brig.-Gen.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 31, pt. III, p. 491.

        24-26, Federal foraging near Massengale's Mill


Massengale's Mill, December 24, 1863.

Maj.-Gen. PARKE:

GEN.: I received yours of December 23, 10 p. m. I shall proceed in conformity to the instructions contained therein, provided I can find anything to grind. I am of the opinion, however, that there is no grain in the country near this place. Upon inquiry I may be mistaken; I hope I shall be. We have two good mills here. All your instructions shall be carried out as speedily as possible, and a map of the roads drawn by a competent officer and forwarded to you at the earliest practicable moment. The enemy, when last heard from on yesterday (2 o'clock p. m.), had not succeeded in crossing the river, but a portion remain on this side, about 6 miles above here. This I learn from a citizen who passed them.

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

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

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 31, pt. III, pp. 481-482.


HDQRS. FIRST EAST TENNESSEE BRIGADE, Massengale's Mill, December 26, 1863.

Maj. Gen. JOHN G. PARKE:

GEN.: I have no news to report of great information or much importance. My command is encamped at this place and I have the river and roads picketed at the important points. I hear of but very little forage or breadstuffs in this section of country. I hear of but one squad of rebel cavalry near here on this side of the river, which was reported yesterday to be at Spring Creek camp-ground above this point.

At this place I do not believe any surplus of subsistence in meal and flour can be collected, nor do I think a supply for this command can be had until we have means of crossing the river. There is a small lot in sight on the other side. I have some parties out in search of forage, &c., that will return this evening, at which time I will be able to make a more definite report.

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

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

P. S.-Since writing the foregoing I have had an interview with Dr. Thornburg, who lives near the headquarters, and who informs me that there is forage and subsistence in this county to a considerable extent, and that he can furnish me with some considerable amount of supplies, enough to do some time.

Respectfully, yours, &c.,

J. G. SPEARS, Brig.-Gen., Cmdg.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 31, pt. III, p. 506.

        24-28, Actions at Dandridge

HDQRS. FIRST CAVALRY DIVISION, Daniel's House, 2 ½ M. from Mossy Creek, Tenn., Dec. 28, 1863.

LIEUT.: I have the honor to make report of the operations of his division from the 24th to the 28th instant, inclusive of both dates:

On the morning of the 24th, the First Brigade (Col. Campbell, Second Michigan Cavalry, commanding), with two sections of the Eighteenth Indiana Battery, was under orders from the general commanding, sent from New Market before daybreak toward Dandridge, with orders to reach that place by daylight, co-operating with Col. Garrard's brigade, of Col. Foster's division.

Col. Campbell found no enemy at Dandridge, but receiving notice from Col. Garrard that the latter was engaging the enemy on the Bull's Gap road, he advanced to his support, the advance (First East Tennessee Cavalry, Lieut. Col. James P. Brownlow) soon striking the enemy.

At Hays' Ferry, 4 miles from Dandridge, Col. Campbell's line was formed with an artillery section in position, and the enemy driven from their line.

Under orders from Col. Garrard, Col. Campbell again advanced about half a mile, when, receiving joint orders with Col. Garrard to that effect from Gen. Sturgis, he recalled his regiments to return to New Market. At this time his brigade was attacked in the rear, three regiments of the enemy charging and for the moment taking a section of artillery not in position, but the Ninth Pennsylvania Cavalry and Michigan Cavalry, charging, repulsed the enemy, killing many and recapturing the guns.

Col. Campbell being unable to get support from Col. Garrard, and being engaged in front and rear by superior numbers of the enemy, was obliged, after repulsing the attack upon his rear, to retire by the left flank through a by-road, the enemy still pressing upon the rear of his column, but, being driven back in all their efforts to strike his main column, the Second Michigan Cavalry, keeping up a vigorous and well-directed fire, and Ninth Pennsylvania Cavalry, by dashing saber charges, inflicted severe punishment upon the enemy.

Col. Campbell returned to New Market that night. One caisson was disabled at the time of its capture by the enemy, and the axletree of one of the gun limbers breaking, while passing through the timber, forced the abandonment of both, the gun being spiked.

Col. Campbell's casualties were: Commissioned officers, 1 killed, 4 wounded; enlisted men, 6 killed, 23 wounded, and 27 missing. Total, 61. Six of the missing have since returned. Col. Campbell took 29 prisoners from the enemy, and estimates their loss in killed and wounded at 150, including 1 major and 3 other officers.

On the same day (the 24th instant) the enemy advanced about 8 a. m. with two brigades to the position occupied by Col. LaGrange, Second Brigade, in front of New Market, and attacked them. Col. LaGrange advanced with his brigade, driving the enemy before him, killing 17, including 2 officers, and, advancing to Mossy Creek. His casualties for the day were 2 killed, 4 severely and 5 slightly wounded, all enlisted men.

No movement was made on the 25th instant. On the 26th instant my division was advanced to and a slight distance beyond the line of Mossy Creek, driving the enemy's pickets, but not advancing farther. By order of the general commanding we returned to our encampment at 5 p. m. The Fourth Indiana Cavalry camping ground had been occupied by the enemy, but this regiment drove them out, killing 5 and wounding 2. In the skirmishing of the day 3 men were slightly wounded.

On the 27th instant, at 2.30 p. m. the division advanced to this point, driving the enemy steadily before them to Talbott's Station. Report of this day's affair has been previously forwarded.

A reconnaissance made by a detachment of the Second Brigade to Talbott's Station captured 5 of the enemy.

I am, lieutenant, your obedient servant,


Col., Cmdg. First Cavalry Division,

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 31, pt. I, pp. 636-637.

        24-28, Operations[10] near Mossy Creek and Dandridge

No circumstantial reports filed.

Excerpts from the Reports of Brigadier-General Washington L. Elliot, U. S. Army, commanding Cavalry Corps, Department of the Cumberland

* * * *

On the 24th ultimo, the First Brigade, with four pieces of Lilly's battery, was ordered to Dandridge, Tennessee, to co-operate with a brigade of cavalry from Army of the Ohio in an attack upon a brigade of rebel cavalry at or near Dandridge. The attack was made; the enemy was re-enforced. The commander of the First Brigade reports that support was not given him by the cavalry from the Army of the Ohio, and that he was compelled to retreat. Two pieces of his artillery were captured and recaptured, one piece disabled by the breaking of an axletree, spiked and abandoned. The enemy was repulsed--admitted by them--with severe loss; our loss small.

The same day the enemy, with two brigades, attacked the Second Brigade, First Division, and two pieces, near New Market, but was repulsed with the loss of 17 killed, including 2 officers (our loss slight), and driven beyond Mossy Creek 2 miles.

On the 26th, the enemy was felt, his superior force displayed, but we were prevented by heavy rain from further operations.

On the 27th, we again advanced, driving the enemy from every position to Talbott's Station, 3 to 4 miles.

On the 29th, the Second Brigade, with one section of Lilly's battery, was by order of Gen. Sturgis, detached to support, if necessary, two division of cavalry, Army of the Ohio, ordered toward Dandridge. The First Brigade was ordered to cover the front of the division, and, if attacked, to fall back to Mossy Creek without much resistance. The entire cavalry force of the enemy, Brig.-Gen.'s Armstrong's and J. T. Morgan's divisions, each of three brigades and two batteries, the whole commanded by Maj.-Gen. Martin, attacked the First Brigade and Lilly's three pieces. It stubbornly fell back to Mossy Creek, and for three hours held its ground, supported by the One hundred and eighteenth Ohio Volunteer Infantry. A section of the Elgin (Fifth Illinois) battery, badly served, supported by the Sixteenth Kentucky Infantry, was sent by Gen. Sturgis to strengthen our right. The enemy was repulsed in every attack on right, center, and left. The Second Brigade rejoined about 2.30 p. m. We advanced, driving the enemy beyond our camp of the previous day, with heavy loss to them. The conduct of the cavalry and artillery of the Army of the Cumberland was splendid. It has thus been kept to the front. Its list of killed and wounded sadly shows by whom the fighting has been done.

* * * *

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


Brig.-Gen., U. S. Volunteers, and Chief of Cavalry.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 31, pt. I, pp. 632-633.


KNOXVILLE, December 28, 1863.

Gen. Sturgis, with his own and Elliott's cavalry, has been almost constantly engaged with the enemy's cavalry for the past few days. He has gallantly driven them from every position, and is now in the country between Mossy Creek and Morristown. One of his brigades made a dash into Waiteu's [Witcher's?] [sic] camp last night, and put to flight three rebel brigades and captured their camp, with provisions and cooking utensils. Longstreet is unhappy about his communications.

J. G. FOSTER, Maj.-Gen.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 31, pt. I, pp. 625-626.

        24, "Important Orders."

The following orders are important, and published for general information:


Headquarters Military Division of the Mississippi, Nashville, Tenn., Dec. 17, 1864.

--General Orders, No. 31.-Passes to Nashville, Tenn., by railroad, river, or other conveyance, from points north of this Post, will be issued only from these Headquarters, Headquarters Department of the Cumberland, and by the Commandant of the Post at Nashville. No other passes will be recognized.

By order of Major-General W. T. Sherman.

R. M. Sawyer, Ass't. Adj't. Gen.

Abandoned and Confiscable Property.

Headquarters, Military Division of the Mississippi, Nashville, Tenn., December 19, 1864. General Orders No. 32-I. All abandoned or confiscable lands, houses and tenements, or other property, not required for military uses, will be turned over by officers of the Quartermaster's Department charged with the custody thereof. Upon the cessation of the occupation or use, for military purposes, of any such; property, it will be turned over to the Treasury Agents, together with an information which may be useful in its care or management, or which may affect the rights of the United States, or of others, interested in the property.

II. No abandoned or confiscable property will be occupied or used by persons in the military service, except on regular assignment by the Quartermasters' Department.

III. District and Post Commanders in this Military Division, will, from time to time, render to the officers and agents of the Treasury Department such assistance, not incompatible with military operations, as they may need to enable them to take possession of abandoned and confiscable property and to retain the same against any authority, except of the United States.

By order of

Major-General W. T. Sherman

Nashville Dispatch, December 24, 1864.

        24, Action at Richland Creek

No circumstantial reports filed.

Excerpt from the Report of Col. Datus E. Coon, Second Iowa Cavalry, commanding Second Brigade, of operations September 30, 1864--January 15, 1865, relative to the skirmish at Richland Creek, December 24, 1864.

December 24, marched with the division, in rear of Gen. Croxton's command, as far as Lynnville, when my brigade was ordered to march by the left flank, to gain the rear of the enemy's lines, and drive him from a strong position on Richland Creek, but was prevented by the unfordable condition of Richland Creek, when I dismounted by command and engaged the enemy at long range for half an hour. During this skirmish the rebel Gen. Buford was wounded by the seventh Illinois. Camped for the night.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 45, pt. I, p. 593.


HDQRS. FIRST BRIGADE, FIRST CAVALRY DIVISION, Near Richmond Creek, December 25, 1864.

Lieut. Col. A. J. ALEXANDER, Chief of Staff, Cavalry Corps:

COL.: I have the honor to forward herewith a rebel battle-flag captured from Chalmers' division yesterday evening. The capture was made by Corpl. Harrison Collins,[11] Company A, First Tennessee Cavalry. The corporal saw the rebel standard bearer, under the direction of a rebel major, trying to rally his men. He determined to have the flag; led a charged, killed the major, routed his men, and secured the flag.

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

JOHN T. CROXTON, Brig.-Gen., Cmdg.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 45, pt. I, p. 574.

        24, Skirmish at Lynnville

No circumstantial reports filed.

Excerpt from the Journal of the 4th Army Corps


December 24.-7 a. m., the cavalry still passing by. Division commanders directed to march and follow it as soon as it passed; Gen. Elliott's division will lead, Gen. Beatty's will follow, then Gen. Kimball's. 11.50 a. m., the head of our column just starting on the march. The corps has been drawn out ever since 8 a. m., but could to march on account of the cavalry. The rear of the cavalry column just starting. We will now be able to move rapidly. 1 p. m., received note from Gen. Wilson, who states that he cannot move on the side of the turnpike, owing to the nature of the ground; that his progress has been slow, as he has been constantly skirmishing with the enemy. 5 p. m., reach a point two miles and a half south of Lynnville. The cavalry is about a mile and a half ahead, going into camp. The corps will camp at this point for the night. Since 11.50 a. m. the corps has marched sixteen miles and a half-that is, the head of column. The whole corps marched the same distance in five hours.

The force in our front, or in front of the cavalry, is the enemy's rear guard, and consists of seven brigades of infantry and Forrest's cavalry. The enemy's pontoon train camped on Wednesday night at Mr. Foster's, twelve miles south of Columbia, and left there early Thursday morning for Pulaski. All information obtained on the road goes to show that the enemy intends to cross the Tennessee River at Lamb's Ferry, that he will lay his pontoon at that point, and that he will not make a stand north of the river.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 45, pt. I, p. 164.

        24, Skirmish at Murfreesborough

Dyer's Battle Index for Tennessee.

        24, "Robbery and Assault"

On Saturday [24th] a man named John Reynolds entered the store of A. Salinski, and stole therefrom a pair of boots, which he ran off [with], followed by Salinski, who at length came close up with the thief, when he dropped the books, and struck Salinski a violent blow over the left eye, with an instrument of some kind. Fortunately one of the military detectives was near by, and he at once arrested him and took him before the City Marshal. On his way to the Recorder's office Reynolds threw away a slung shot, which the detective discovered and took possession of. On searching the prisoner, a new style of brass knuckle was discovered on his person; it is a very formidable instrument, and when worn on the middle finger resembles a large grass ring, the heavy portion being in the palm of the hand, but when required for service may easily be turned to the outside.

Nashville Dispatch, December 27, 1864.

        24, "Nothing is safe, no help is anywhere…" the emolument of war in Maury County, an excerpt from the diary of Nimrod Porter

Gen. Croxton's headquarters is in our house, with his whole brigade camped all over out yard, lots, lane and everywhere they can get near enough a fence to keep them in wood. With reluctance the Gen. Ordered the provost guard to station out their guards all around the house, but it only gave the guards a better opportunity for marauding than the common soldiers, and they made the best of it. They took all the apples out of the cellar. They broke the weatherboarding [sic] off the house for fires, burnt the yard fences, went in our smoke house and took the meat. They cooked the last old gobbler and all the chickens over a fire in the yard.

They even took the boots off the blacks [i.e., slaves]. Considerable fuss over that. They should not rob the blacks.

Last night they took all black Sukey's[12] money, all my corn and what little oats I have left.

There is great tribulation in the country, stealing horses, mules, hogs, breaking in houses. The soldiers are very insulting and impose on everybody, stealing and encouraging the blacks to steal and do every manner of rascality. Nothing is safe, no help is anywhere for our unfortunate condition. All, all that we have is nearly gone. How will we live? What will we eat?

I wish there was a river of fire a mile wide between the North and the South that would burn with unquenchable fury forever more and that it could never be passed to the endless ages of eternity by any living creature.

Is there no hope for this dying land?

Tomorrow is Christmas day, a bitter one for us, black or white. A grey fox ran under the kitchen walk. I shot it for dinner. We have a little parched corn.

Diary of Nimrod Porter, December 24, 1864.


DECEMBER 25, 1861-1864


        25, 1861 - Confederate Christmas in Cleveland

Pretty day. Christmas day. Mother, R., Lizzie and I went down to Judge Gaut's to see Mary Gaut present a flag to Capt. Dunn's Company. They left for Knoxville today. Mother and R. went to the depot [to see them off]. The name is "Rough and Ready Rifles"; motto: "We come to share the victory"....

Diary of Myra Adelaide Inman, p. 124.

        25, Memphis churches on Christmas day

The Churches.—The adorning of the churches with evergreens has not been done to the same extent this year as it was last. Grace church, Episcopal, on Hernando street, makes the best appearance. The altar window is surrounded with green, and a cross hangs in the window. On each side the altar is a large shrub. The altar rails are wreathed, and the font and reading desk are very gracefully decked with wreaths of green, intermixed with scarlet berries. The front of the gallery is decked with festoons and garlands, and the pillars with wreaths. The fair ladies of Grace have displayed much taste. Calvary church, Episcopal, has a large shrub on each side of the altar. The altar rails are handsomely festooned, the crown of each festoon being of magnolia leaves. The font and reading desk are very tasteful, being of ivy intermixed with berries. There is not a large amount of adornments, but what there is, is attractive from the good taste and gracefulness displayed. At the Church of St. Peter and St. Paul, Roman Catholic, we found no other Christmas ornament than a simple wreath of green, suspended in artistically arranged curves above the grand altar.

Memphis Daily Appeal, December 25, 1861.

        25, Skirmish Wilson Creek Pike, between Brentwood & Petersburg[13]

DECEMBER 25, 1862.-Skirmish on the Wilson Creek pike, between Brentwood and Petersburg, Tenn.


No. 1.-Col. P. Sidney Post, Fifty-ninth Illinois Infantry, commanding brigade.

No. 2.-Brig. Gen. John A. Wharton, C. S. Army, commanding cavalry brigade.

No. 1.

Report of Col. P. Sidney Post, Fifty-ninth Illinois Infantry, commanding brigade.


LIEUT.: I have the honor to report that, in obedience to orders from Brig.-Gen. Davis, commanding First Division, I started at daylight this morning, with the First Brigade, First Division, and the Fifteenth Regt. [sic] Wisconsin Infantry, from the Second Brigade, and the train, reported to me as consisting of more than 200 wagons. We proceeded to Brentwood, and from thence on the Wilson pike, near where we drove in the enemy's pickets. Two miles farther we came to a cross-road leading to Nolensville, on which the enemy were encamped about a mile distant, and at another point about 2 miles distant. The small cavalry force occupying the nearest camp abandoned it, and I stationed the Fifty-ninth Regt. [sic] Illinois Infantry and one section of the Fifth Wisconsin Battery in a position to command this road, and prevent the enemy from Nolensville, which was 5 miles distant, establishing themselves in our rear. I then proceeded 2 miles farther with the train, placing the Fifteenth Regt. [sic] Wisconsin Infantry and one section of the battery on the right, and commanding a road coming from Franklin, and the Twenty-second Regt. [sic] Indiana Infantry, the Seventy-fourth Regt. [sic] Illinois Infantry, and one section of the battery in front. Our advance was attended with considerable skirmishing. Two of the enemy were killed, and some wounded were seen being carried off. A few shells from Capt. Pinney's battery cooled the Confederate ardor until all the wagons were completely loaded. The wagons of the enemy were hurried out of the field without being loaded, though, I regret to say, their presence was not discerned in time to effect their capture. The captain of one of the skirmishers parties caused some neighborhood negroes [sic] to bury the enemy's dead, and we returned to camp without any mishap whatever.

I beg leave to observe in this report that foraging in such a country as this in our front, and so great a distance from camp, while the enemy are so near and from every hill-top estimate the number of the escort and the value of the train, is attended with considerable risk. Our train could not be made to move in a less space than 4 miles, and if it were not possible to throw a superior force in rear of foraging expeditions it would not be difficult to suddenly attack so long a train and destroy some portion of it, especially while threatening it in the rear, as they did much of the way in to-day, unless the escort were very large.

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

P. SIDNEY POST, Col., Cmdg. Brigade.

No. 2.

Report of Brig. Gen. John A. Wharton, C. S. Army, commanding cavalry brigade.

HDQRS. WHARTON'S CAVALRY BRIGADE, Nolensville, Tenn., December 25, 1862-9.30 p. m.

GEN.: We have been fighting the enemy from sunrise until dark. The forage now lies to the left of this pike, in between this and Wilkerson pike. To-day the enemy came out in large force and a heavy supporting force. With what cavalry could be used without disturbing the pickets, we engaged the enemy. The country is very hilly and covered with cedar brakes, which renders it totally unfit for cavalry, and the infantry here has orders to risk nothing. I had 3 men wounded; killed 6 and wounded 14 of the enemy. They thus paid for their forage.

I cannot get the five companies to complete Smith's and Murray's regiments, though they have long been promised me. The service that I am required to perform here is too much for my force, and it will soon be unfit for service. Other cavalry commanders are drilling daily, and I assure you that every day for the past ten days I have engaged the enemy. My force in camp has to be moved forward every day to sustain the pickets, and never return until dark, so, whether on picket or off, they have no rest.

I ordered Col. Smith to leave a portion of his command at Franklin, and to move last night on a scout on the Hillsborough pike. The result of the expedition is not yet known.

I take great pride in this brigade, and do not intend that it shall be used up without advising you of it. I intend to write to Gen. Wheeler, and ask him to come over and see for himself the amount of labor I have to perform. The enemy were followed beyond our lines, and our pickets are at their usual, a day for us to fight and not to rest. I have nothing new as to the several movements of the enemy.

Most respectfully, general, your obedient servant,

JNO. A. WHARTON, Brig.-Gen.

OR, Ser. I, Vol.20, pt. I, pp. 163-165.

        25, Skirmish at Prim's Blacksmith Shop, Edmondson Pike

DECEMBER 25, 1862.-Skirmish at Prim's blacksmith shop, Edmondson pike, Tenn.

Report of Brig. Gen. Thomas J. Wood, U. S. Army.


The brigade (Col. Harker's) which went out this morning for forage is coming in. Col. Harker reports having filled his wagons with corn, but had to fight for it. He was attacked in front and on the flanks, and lost 1 man killed outright and 2 wounded; one seriously, the other slightly. The casualties all occurred in the Fifty-first Indiana Volunteers.

Col. Harker estimates the enemy, at 600, and says he was attacked by mounted men and men on foot, but does not know whether the latter were infantry or dismounted troopers. If we should move to-morrow, I beg to be distinctly informed what amount of baggage it is expected we will take. If all is not taken, which, I presume, will hardly be done, what arrangements will be made with the remainder? Will it be ordered to follow, or sent to Nashville? Please be explicit, as it will save much embarrassment. Further, is it expected any forage will be taken? I understand the forage is exhausted on the Murfreesborough road to La Vergne; and if it were there to forage for, scattering our troops so, where the enemy are, would be hazardous. On the other hand, to haul the bulky forage provided from the country will make an immense train. I beg you will furnish the necessary information at your earliest convenience.

TH. J. WOOD, Brig.-Gen., Cmdg.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 20, pt. I, p. 165.

        25, Citizens of Savannah fend off Confederate guerrilla attack

CORINTH, December 26, 1862.

Maj. Gen. U. S. GRANT, Holly Springs:

My scouts are in from east of Tennessee River; left Waynesborough and Clifton yesterday. At former place are about 500 Mississippi cavalry; at Clifton, about 100. At Old Town a large lot of hogs are collected in charge of Robertson's cavalry. Yesterday the citizens at Savannah had a fight with some of Robertson's company; wounded 2 and took 6 prisoners, which the scout brought here. Some of my cavalry crossed to-night to help through. In Wayne County are some 200 armed Union men, whom the Mississippi cavalry have been sent to put down. At Old Carrollsville Forrest has his trains and what he has captured. A good regiment of cavalry could capture the lot, or a force up the river from Fort Henry could catch then. Men from Clifton who saw Forrest cross say he did not cross over 3, 500 men. No movement of Bragg that I can discover. Jeff. Davis in Chattanooga last Sunday; Johnston with him.

G. M. DODGE, Brig.-Gen.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 17, pt. II, p. 488.

        25, Successful occupation of Island No. 10 by Federals

COLUMBUS, KY., December 25, 1862-noon.

Maj.-Gen. HALLECK:

Island No. 10 is safe. There was but a small force there, and the country open to the enemy; but twenty-five heavy guns mounted and in order, with large quantities of ammunition, which was captured. I shall run the risk no longer, and sent down yesterday to have the ammunition and gun-carriages destroyed and guns spiked, being of no use, and so cripple the armament as not to be dangerous in case of capture. I shall send a second messenger to-day. Everything, including sick, will be loaded probably to-day on boats, which very much aids my defenses, and shall soon be out of danger. The enemy are in force-about 7,000 cavalry and artillery-near Union City, probably waiting a train load of troops or hoping to draw me out. I shall soon be in a position to go. I hear nothing more of Cheatham.

THOS. A. DAVIES, Brig.-Gen.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 17, pt. II, p. 479.

        25, Federal abandonment of Island No. 10 and destruction of stores ordered

DECEMBER 25, 1862.

Maj. JONES, Comdg. at Island No. 10:

The order I sent you last evening to "destroy ammunition and burn gun-carriages and spike" I hope you have carried out. Send up by the O'Brien 500 rounds of canister, 8-inch, if you have it.

The object I have in view is to so cripple the armament there that it will not be available to the enemy as a point of defense in case they should capture it.

You can save such of the guns as will be serviceable for your own defense, but be careful not to retain too much ammunition.

THOS. A. DAVIES, Brig.-Gen.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 17, pt. II, p. 481.

        25, Federal situation report, Forrest defeated at the Obion River and at Bolivar

JACKSON, December 25, 1862--4 p. m.

Maj.-Gen. GRANT:

The road to Columbus is not so badly hurt as supposed. I hold Trenton. My forces whipped Forrest yesterday at Obion. Gen. Brayman beat him off at Bolivar. I think the road will be in running order by the first of next week. I will send a large force in that direction to protect Col. Webster and his repairs. I have secured Jackson in such a manner that all the rebels cannot take it. The surrender of Trenton mortifies me, but the damage to road is not worth grieving about.

JER. C. SULLIVAN, Brig.-Gen.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 17, pt. II, p. 483.

        25, Skirmish at Bolivar [see December 24, 1862, Skirmish at Bolivar and environs above]

        25, A Federal assessment of the impact of Forrest's raid in Tennessee


Col. JOHN A. RAWLINS, Assistant Adjutant-Gen.:

SIR: I have sent communications to you by way of Jackson by courier, and do not know whether you have received them or not. I have been in the hope of receiving some directions from you. As you have been apprised, Trenton was taken on the 20th. The troops having been removed up as far as Union City by Gen. Sullivan there were left at Trenton about 200, under Col. Fry, who were captured. A few, say 25, at Humboldt, captured. They captured the troops at Dyer and Rutherford. I withdrew the force at Trenton, about 200 men and those at Union City, about 50.

We have been threatened here by what was reported to be 6,000 or 7,000, with eight pieces of artillery….

* * * *

As near as I can learn the rebels have taken about 500 prisoners and destroyed most of the bridges and trestle-works on the road where they have gone. I have 1,500 feet of trestle-work and four bridges ready to proceed with the construction as soon as it can be done with safety to this place. I hope to get some additional re-enforcements to drive them off and commence the reconstruction. I have withdrawn the force from Hickman, Moscow, and Little Obion.

They have destroyed nothing this side of Union City as yet, but presume they will. I cannot give you and idea of the exact position of their forces. All I know from the south is that they have a heavy cavalry force hovering about Clinton and Moscow. The cavalry at Fort Pillow have had a fight, in which the famous Gus Smith was killed and several others; no loss on our side.

As the enemy can have possession of the bank of the Mississippi to Island No. 10 I have ordered the armament there to be so thoroughly crippled by the destruction of the powder, spiking the guns, and burning the gun-carriages which are of no use to us, that if the island should fall into their hands they could not close the navigation of the river.

In the absence of orders from you I keep open communication with Gen. Halleck, and have informed him of all my movements.

No damage has yet been done by the rebels in my district. I shall continue to press things and do all that can be done under the circumstances. I think that nothing very serious will come out of the whole matter.

I am, very respectfully,

THOS. A. DAVIES, Brig.-Gen.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 17, pt. II, pp. 481-482.

        25, A citizen's cotton used in Federal breastworks burned by Forrest in Trenton

In 1862, some time in December, Mr. James Linsenby hauled some cotton to Trenton[,] Tennessee[,] and he said it belonged to Jasper Adams[.] I think there were four bales of cotton on the wagon. I don't know how much of the cotton belonged to the claimant. I don't know to my own knowledge that any of it belonged to the claimant[.] All I know about the cotton is what I have been told. Mr. Lisenby told me that some of the cotton belonged to Mr. Adams….I was at Trenton when this cotton arrived there. I saw his cotton when it was unloaded at the depot. It was thrown from the wagon on the platform at the railroad depot. I don't know what the claimant was disposed of….All the cotton which was there…was thrown up into breast works on and about the 20th or 21st of December 1862. All the cotton was captured by General Forrest on the 22d of Dec. 1862 and was burned on the 25th. I couldn't say it was all burned, but it and the Depot were set on fire and I saw it burning….

The cotton was taken charge of and was put into breast works by order of Col. Fry [?], commander of the post. I heard him order it and helped him put some of the cotton there. I was a soldier in the 7th Tenn. Cavalry and was captured by the Rebels.

Testimony of John McWhedy

Southern Claims Commission, Petition of Jasper Adams, Disallowed Claims, Report 5[14]

        25, Season's Greetings

A Merry Christmas!—In times of peace and prosperity the whole Christian world is accustomed to rejoice and be merry on this, the birthday of The Prince of Peace. Those who have an abundance of this world's goods have been accustomed from time immemorial to give freely to those of their neighbors who have been less fortunate; while those who have had but little have given even a portion of what they had, so that all could rejoice and be glad, and sing their Christmas carols with light hearts. Our rejoicings to-day will necessarily be mingled with sorrows; grief for relatives and friends lost to us in this world, will mar the exuberant joy which should fill our hearts under other circumstances; and sorrow and anxiety for the absent ones will necessarily detract from the general enjoyment; yet should we rejoice; do you ask why?—look around you, and see how many thousands are suffering all the afflictions you endure, and, in addition, all the pangs of hunger and cold, the burning fever, the cold chill, the racking pain, and the various heartburnings and anxieties of the widowed mother in poverty. Of your means, therefore, give freely to the poor to-day, and you will have just cause to rejoice that Almighty  God has thus blessed you and enabled you to make glad the hearts of some one or more of His suffering creatures on this the annual festival of the birth of our Redeemer. That all our readers may have cause to rejoice, we fervently pray.

Nashville Dispatch, December 25, 1862.

        25, 1863 - Skirmish at Nashville[15]

No circumstantial reports filed.

INSPECTOR-GEN.'S DEPARTMENT, Washington, D. C., February 4, 1863.


Washington, D. C.:

SIR: I have the honor to submit the following report as the result of my investigations relative to the Anderson Cavalry, covering and in addition to my report by telegraph from Nashville, Tenn., on the 27th ultimo, made pursuant to instructions from the Secretary of War, as per your letter to me of the 17th of January, 1863.

From official documents, the reports of officers and enlisted men of the regiment, and from officers and other sources outside, the information obtained appears to establish in this case, in substance, the following facts:

* * * *

The regiment arrived at Nashville December 24, 1862. On the next [December 25] day a foraging party was sent out, which had a skirmish with the enemy, in which 1 man was lost. That night there was considerable excitement, and complaints made that their officers were inexperienced and incompetent.

* * * *

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 20, pt. I, pp. 345-346.

        25, James S. Negley, brigadier-general in the United States service, excerpt from General Repot relative to anti-guerrilla operations in the Columbia environs in the summer of 1862

Question. Give, if you please, a concise statement of your services during the past summer and up to the time of the return of the army to this place recently. State what the enemy's operations were in your vicinity and what measures were adopted to counteract them.

I was in command of the post at Columbia from the 1st of July. My command occupied the railroad from Franklin to the Tennessee River, on the Alabama and Tennessee Railroad. The enemy were quite numerous throughout the country. They were raising guerrilla parties in the vicinity of all the interior towns. Biffle was raising a regiment in the vicinity of Waynesborough, west of Columbia; Napier was raising another regiment in the vicinity of Charlotte and Centreville, nearly west of Columbia; and Maj. Hawkins was raising a regiment in the vicinity of Hillsborough, over toward Chapel Hill. There was a battalion raising between Columbia and Pulaski, in the neighborhood of Culleoka, a point on the railroad. There was a battalion, afterward a regiment, of guerrillas organizing on the edge of Atlanta, commanded by John T. Morgan. This force numbered in all between 2,500 and 3,000 men.

Forrest at the same time was operating east of the line of railroad between Nashville and Tullahoma. He was operating between Manchester and extending toward Carthage and Sparta. The rapidity with which these guerrillas could organize at any one given point required a great deal of vigilance and watchfulness, for the troops would move from point to point in order to cut off the line of communication to the south. Scarcely a day would pass in which they did not commit some depredations on the road, stopping trains and pulling up the rails.

They were very annoying in the vicinity of Columbia, their forces generally outnumbering the forces at the post. They threw the cars off the track three times and interrupted the travel for several days at different periods. At the time of the withdrawal of the troops they succeeded on one occasion in burning the bridges on each side of one of the trains that was bringing up troops.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 16, pt. I, pp. 257-258.

        25, Skirmish near La Vergne

Report of Sergt. Thomas Branch, Company I, Tenth Michigan Infantry.


COL.: In accordance with your order, which I received this day, I will....write a statement of facts relating to the skirmish which took place near here on the 25th instant.

The engine, with a number of cars, started in the direction of La Vergne. There were from 25 to 30 men on the cars, acting as a train guard. In a short time after the train moved, I heard firing up the track. Supposing it to be an attack on the train, I ordered my men to fall in. In three minutes we were moving on a double-quick up the track.

We soon came upon a rebel mounted picket, who ordered us to halt. We replied by sending a number of shots after him. He ran, and we saw no more of him.

I now ordered 12 men to move forward as skirmishers until they came opposite the train, the rally and move toward the road. The balance of my men moved up toward the track on the right of the skirmishers. When we came within a few yards of the train we could distinctly hear the rebels at work burning the train. Some one hallowed, "Tom, hurry up; the devils are burning the train!" We were now opposite the train, and I gave the command, "Rally on the right file." We soon got into line and over up within range, when we gave them a volley. They jumped from the cars and ran for the their horse, which were tied to a fence about 60 rods from the train. We gave one yell and charged on them, or I should say after them, for they had got quite the start of us. We drove them into the woods, until we saw at least two companies of cavalry in line waiting for the car-burners, who were about 40 in number. They retreated over a hill and we left them. We now devoted our attention to putting out the fires which they had kindled on the train with rails. Some of the fires had got pretty well to going, and one car was partly burned up. After putting out the fires, we ran the train into our camp.

We captured two horses, with equipments, and several guns. How many we killed I know not. The paroled prisoners who were captured on the train say they know we killed 2 and wounded a number. These are the facts, as near as I can state them.


Sergeant Company I, Tenth Michigan Infantry,

Cmdg. Guard to Construction Train on Nash. and Chat. R. R.

Lieut. Col. C. J. DICKERSON, Cmdg. Tenth Michigan Infantry.


HDQRS. FOURTH DIVISION, February 4, 1863. Respectfully forwarded.

Sergeant Branch acquitted himself with a great deal of credit in this spirited affair he so modestly details. Many officers of a much higher grade would not have done as well. By his courage and coolness he not only drove away the enemy, but saved to the Government valuable property. He ought to be promoted.

JAMES D. MORGAN, Brig.-Gen., Cmdg.

HDQRS. UNITED STATES FORCES, Nashville, Tenn., February 4, 1863.

Respectfully forwarded to department headquarters.

All reports concur in attributing officer like qualities to this soldier. I respectfully recommend his promotion.

ROBT. B. MITCHELL, Brig.-Gen., Cmdg.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 23, pt. I, pp. 23-24.

        25, Skirmish at Estenaula [see December 14, 1863, "Skirmish at Estenaula" above]

        25, Skirmish at La Fayette Bridge, Wolf River [see December 14, 1863, "Skirmish at Estenaula" above]

        25, Skirmish at Somerville [see December 14, 1863, "Skirmish at Estenaula" above]

        25, Skirmish at La Fayette Station [see December 14, 1863, "Skirmish at Estenaula" above]

        25, Skirmish at Collierville [see December 14, 1863, "Skirmish at Estenaula" above]

        25, Skirmish at Moscow [see December 14, 1863, "Skirmish at Estenaula" above]

        25, "The SOthern [sic] girl with Homespun Dress:"


O yes I am a Sothern [sic] girl, and glory in the same

And boast it with far grater [?] pride than glittering wealth [?] her fame

I envy not the northern girl, her robes of beauty rare,

The diamonds grace her snowy neck and pearls bedeck her hair



Hurrah, hurrah for the sunny south so dear,

Three cheers for the homespun dress the sothern [sic] Ladies war [sic]


This homespun dress is plain, I know

my hat palmetto too

But then it show what sothern [sic] girls

For Southern rights will do

Wee [sic] sent the braves of our land to battel [sic] with the foe

And Wee [sic] would lend a helping hand

We love the South you know





Now northern girls are out of date

And since old Age's blockade

We Sothern [sic] girls can be contented

With goods at sothern [sic] made,

Wee [sic] scarce to wear a bit of silk

A bit of northern lace

But make our homespun dress

And wear them with warm [?] grace.





This southern [sic] land [is] a glorious land

And is a glorious cause

So hear three cheers for southern rights

And for the Southern boys

We've sent out sweetheart to the war

But dear girls never mind your soldier lad will not forget

The girl he left behind




A soldier is the lad for me

A brave heart I adore

And when the sunny earth is free

And fighting is no more

I'll choose me then a lover brave

from out the gallant band

And the soldier lad I love the best

Shall have my heart and hand




And now, young man a word to you

If you should win the fair

go to the field where love calls

And win your lady there

Remember that your brightest smiles

Is [sic] for the true and brave

And that our tears fall for the one

That fills a soldier's grave



Chattanooga Army Bulletin December 25, 1863.

        25, GENERAL ORDERS, No. 296, relative to locating a national cemetery in Chattanooga


Chattanooga, Tennessee, December 25, 1863.

It is ordered that a national cemetery be founded at this place in commemoration of the battles of Chattanooga, fought November 23, 24, 25, 26, and 27, and to provide a proper resting-place for the remains of the brave men who fell upon the fields fought over upon those days, and for the remains of such as may hereafter give up their lives in this region in defending their country against treason and rebellion.

The ground selected for the cemetery is the hill lying beyond the Western and Atlantic Railroad, in a southeasterly direction from the town.

It is proposed to erect a monument upon the summit of the hills, of such materials as are to be obtained in this vicinity, which, like all the work the cemetery, shall be exclusively done by the troops of the Army of the Cumberland.

Plans for the monument are invited to be sent in to these headquarters.

When the ground is prepared notice will be given, and all interments of soldiers will thereafter be made in the cemetery, and all now buried in and around the town removed to that place.

By command of Maj. Gen. Gen. George H. Thomas:

WM. D. WHIPPLE, Assistant Adjutant-Gen.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 31, pt. III, p. 487.

        25, Federal situation report for south central Middle Tennessee

HDQRS. LEFT WING, SIXTEENTH ARMY CORPS, Pulaski, Tennessee, December 25, 1863.

Maj. Gen. STEPHEN A. HURLBUT, Cmdg. Sixteenth Army Corps:

DEAR SIR: My command is stretched from Columbia to Decatur rebuilding this railroad, and have built some very large and important bridges. We are not troubled much with guerrillas; have had a few fights with mounted infantry, in which we have captured 342 prisoners, including 32 officers. All my old regiments have re-enlisted and are going home. I have not got more than three regiments but what will re-enlist three-fourths or more of their veterans. It runs through the command like wild-fire. The Ohio brigade are all in and will go in a body. The Second Iowa have already gone.

I desire that a reorganization of my command should be made. Maj.-Gen. Sherman said he would have you issue the order, making a large division and assigning me the command. This will place Gen. Sweeny in command of his old brigade-the First. Please issue the orders as soon as convenient after Gen. Sherman's arrival.

My force for sixty days will be very small.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

G. M. DODGE, Brig.-Gen.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 31, pt. III, p. 491.

        25, Federal orders to destroy all bridges over the Wolf River

HDQRS. SIXTEENTH ARMY CORPS, Memphis, Tennessee, December 25, 1863.

COMDG. OFFICER, Collierville, Tennessee:

Let the bridges over Wolf River be completely destroyed at once, and keep vigilant patrols. Advise me instantly of any movement in the direction of Moscow.

S. A. HURLBUT, Maj.-Gen.

HDQRS. SIXTEENTH ARMY CORPS, Memphis, Tennessee, December 25, 1863.

COMDG. OFFICER, Germantown:

Destroy the bridge over Wolf River in your rear completely, and let a strong cavalry picket watch it. Keep your men on the alert.

S. A. HURLBUT, Maj.-Gen.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 31, pt. III, p. 494.


HDQRS. SIXTEENTH ARMY CORPS, Memphis, Tennessee, December 26, 1863.

Brig. Gen. J. M. TUTTLE, LaGrange, Tennessee:

I have ordered all bridges on Wolf River destroyed and have pickets on the North Fork above Moscow. Moscow is re-enforced with 400 troops. I still think he intends to cross between LaGrange and Pocahontas. You can rely on Mower holding him until you can re-enforce. As soon as Mower can be got within reach he should be attacked in force. I do not know whether Smith has pontoons. Keep communication with Moscow by telegraph. Let Grierson send me particulars and let him gather up his cavalry.

S. A. HURLBUT, Maj.-Gen.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 31, pt. III, pp. 499-500.

        25, Confederate forces evacuate Jackson

Purdy Scout, Friday, Dec. 25, 1863-Scouting parties were sent out on different roads and reported Jackson evacuated by the enemy....

Pomeroy Diaries, December 15, 1863.

        25-28, Cavalry skirmishing near Morristown [see December 29, 1863, "Skirmish at Talbott's Station" below]

        25, 1864 -"Christmas Day"

Christmas day passed off without much tumult, and to the general joy of the people. As usual on Christmas morning large number attended such churches as were open, and few there were, we believe, however, poor, but enjoyed a Christmas dinner. Many families kept "open houses", where hundreds partook of the luxuries and delicacies provided for them. Some fifty or more, who indulged rather too freely in the intoxicating beverages so freely dispensed, on Saturday [24th] night, spent the day in the calaboose or jail, while others, who started too early on Sunday [25th] morning, found themselves locked up for the balance of the day and night.

Nashville Dispatch, December 27, 1864.

        25. Christmas in one Confederate household in Warren County

Christmas Dec. 1864

Tonight I have but one thought--the cause of the South has gone down. The news all around us is evident of the fact. For my part I freely acknowledge that I can see no brightness now for the Confederacy. Hood has been beaten at Nashville and is now endeavoring to get out of the state, and Sherman's rapid [march] through Ga. has been successful. He being now at Savannah if he has not possession of the city....

* * * *

Yesterday Martha and myself worked the love long day making cakes, molasses candy, egg nogg [sic] etc. for the children must have something. I felt it a drag, all the time, --I did it from necessity. The children saw their odd cake elephants, horses, birds, old women etc. while in the process of cooking, and therefore they would not do for the nice white stockings that were put up to tempt good Santa Claus. I never was so put to it to get up something for the stockings, but I had a set of tiny coffee cups and saucers and some other little affairs which they had never seen, or forgotten--these I filled up the little girls with, and put in the boys, paper, pen, pencils, and some greenback [dollars]. They all seemed highly pleased, and enjoyed their good old pensioner used to bestow upon them. Oh! God give us peace, peace on any terms! It may be weak, but if so, Heaven forgive us! We have borne the strain so long. I took down my prayer-book and read the service of Christmas Church, with our good Bishop or Dr. Page officiating---to recall the wreaths and emblems, to fill my soul once more with the melodious flood of the organ--the grand Te Deum--the exulting Gloria--ah! how vain! how vain! I could have wept but my tears are few nowadays, and their springs lie deep, deep. I had the same feeling today that I had when poor Capt. Spurlock was brought home dead from the slopes of Stone [sic] River. It is a strange feeling--with a depth of sadness "too deep for easing tears." Oh! Will this strife ever be ended, or will I never be able to get out of it? Mollie came yesterday to spend her Christmas with us--I was very glad she came. Tho [sic] it is not at all like the old days--yet I wanted to have her with us. She has seen some merry Christmas days in the Forest [family] Home--will she ever see another as gay? No! I cannot hope it. We did not hear the news of Hood's retreat until this evening--when Malone came over and told it. He has slept here every night since his fright by those bushwhackers. I do not think him in any danger from them now, but his wife is ill, and insists upon his not remaining at home at night, and I have told him he ought by all means do as she wishes.

War Journal of Lucy Virginia French.

        25, Skirmish near White's Station and capture of Federal patrol

DECEMBER 25, 1864.-Skirmish near White's Station, Tenn.

Report of Col. John W. Noble, third Iowa Cavalry.

COL. NOBLE'S HDQRS., December 25, 1864.

My patrol of thirty men went out about White's Station this morning. There, to the number of about 100, the advance guard drove in the picket, and were captured. A party of our flankers were also taken in. After skirmishing some time with the rebel force, the officer and the balance of the patrol came to camp. Loss, 17 men, 1 wounded, and horses, &c. Rebel loss unknown, if any. Have 150 men out to redeem the officer, if possible. I don't think [he is] to blame. The result is that of being outnumbered and outwitted, without being surprised. The rebels were seen, but not supposed to number as many as they proved.

NOBLE, Colonel.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 45, pt. I, p. 875.

        25, Skirmish at Richland Creek

No circumstantial reports filed.

Excerpt from the Journal of the 4th Army Corps:


December 25.-7 a. m., directed division commanders to march as soon as the cavalry moves and we can get the road, Gen. Beatty to one day's rations now in the haversacks of the men. We have but one day's rations now in the haversacks of the men. Our supply train breaking. This fact was reported to Gen. Thomas last night, and he was requested to allow our supply train to cross the river and come forward as soon as possible. 8 a. m., received a note from Gen. Thomas, saying that he will hurry up our train as fast as he can. 9.10 a. m., the cavalry is now out of the way, and the head of our column starts for Pulaski. 1 p. m., head of column arrives at Pulaski, having marched eleven miles since 9.10 a. m. Gen. Wilson drove the enemy's rear guard through Pulaski very rapidly, and his advance arrived at Richland Creek (in the outskirts of the town) just in time to save the bridge over the same on the Lamb's Ferry and Florence road. The enemy had set it on fire and it was burning, and the enemy just leaving it, when his advanced regiment reached it. It was important that this bridge should be saved, as the creek is not fordable, and we would have been delayed a long time to bridge it. Citizens of Pulaski report that the enemy's pontoon train passed through Pulaski on Friday last, and that Gen. Hood intends to cross the Tennessee River at Lamb's Ferry or Florence. The Lamb's Ferry and Florence roads are the same for eighteen miles out from Pulaski, then they separate. It will not be possible to tell which road the enemy has taken until we reach the point where the roads separate. 1.15 p. m., Gen. Wilson has crossed Richland Creek and is pushing on after the enemy before him. Our head of column is just beginning to cross the creek, and we will follow closely in support of the cavalry. We leave the turnpike at Richland Creek. The road from here is almost impassable for wagons and artillery. We will take with one battery for each division and one reserve battery, three rifle batteries we will double teams. We will also double teams for all wagons we take. Our rations are out to-night, and when we go into camp we will halt until we can get up three day's supplies. The road on the south side of Richland Creek is covered with broken down wagons, abandoned artillery, ammunition, &c., left by the enemy. He could not take them with him. Citizens say the mules were taken from these wagons to put to the enemy's pontoon train. 3.30 p. m. (two miles from Pulaski), received a dispatch from Gen. Wilson, stating that the enemy has given him a check; that he is strongly posted, with his front covered with rail barricades; that Forrest's cavalry and eight brigades of infantry are in his front, and he wishes the assistance of our infantry. We push forward as rapidly as possible as possible to Gen. Wilson's assistance. 5.30 p. m., our head of column reaches the point where Gen. Wilson was checked by the enemy, but he (the enemy) has fled, and Gen. Wilson is now pushing on. Gen. Wilson was pushing the enemy too fast, when he (the enemy) made a counter charge and captured one gun, which now remains in his possession. We are now six miles from Pulaski, and halt for the night. Gen. Wilson is informed that we can go no farther until we can get rations. 7 p. m., a train with three day's rations for us is now at Pulaski, and officers are sent forward to hurry it up as fast as possible. It cannot be up with the troops before 11 a. m. to-morrow, so bad is the condition of the roads. 10.15 p. m., received of a note from Gen. Thomas, directing us to issue three days' rations, and then push forward in support of the cavalry; that the cavalry train. (This refers to a train of three day's rations that will be in Pulaski to-morrow morning for us, and our baggage train.) It has been raining since 1 p. m. to-day, and this will make the roads even worse.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 45, pt. I, pp. 163-164.

        25, Action at King's (or Anthony's) Hill, [a.k.a. Devil's Gap], near Pulaski

No circumstantial reports filed.

Excerpt from the Report of Major-General Nathan Bedford Forrest on operations November 16, 1864-January 23, 1865.

* * * *

On the morning of the 25th, after destroying all the ammunition which could not be removed from Pulaski by Gen. Hood and two trains of cars, I ordered Gen. Jackson to remain in town as long as possible and to destroy the bridge at Richland Creek after everything had passed over. The enemy soon pressed Gen. Jackson, but he held him in check for some time, killing and wounding several before retiring. Seven miles from Pulaski I took position on King's Hill, and awaiting the advance of the enemy, repulsed him, with a loss of 150 killed and wounded, besides capturing many prisoners and one piece of artillery. The enemy made no further demonstrations during the day. I halted my command at Sugar Creek, where it encamped during the night.

* * * *

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 45, pt. I, p. 758.

        25-January 2, 1865, the Army of Tennessee retreats successfully to Alabama

No circumstantial reports filed.

Excerpt from the Journal of the Army of Tennessee provides a decent summation of the activities of the successful retreat from Tennessee:

December 25.-Army headquarters at Bainbridge, on the Tennessee River. The pontoon was being laid across the river as rapidly as the arrival of the boats would allow. General Cheatham came into the main road this morning, and in rear of Stevenson's corps moved to the river, where a line covering the bridge was formed, Cheatham occupying the right and Stevenson the left. General Stewart's corps came into the main road, was put into position so as to protect both roads.

December 26 to January 2, 1865, inclusive.-The pontoon was completed by daylight on the 26th instant, and the army was occupied two days in crossing--Lee's and Cheatham's corps on the 26th, and Stewart's and the cavalry on the 27th. On the 28th the pontoon was withdrawn. The march was resumed, upon striking the Memphis and Charleston railroad, immediately down the road, in the order of crossing the river, to Burnsville, Miss., where, on the 31st, a circular was issued to corps commanders, directing further movements, as follows: "Lee's corps to move to Rienzi, on the Mobile and Ohio Railroad, Cheatham's corps to move to Corinth, and Stewart's corps to remain at Burnsville until further orders." Cheatham's corps arrived and established camps at Corinth on January 1, and Lee's and Stewart's corps at their respective destinations on January 2, 1865. Army headquarters were at Tuscumbia from the 26th to the 28th of December, inclusive. On the 29th Gen. Hood, with Col. Mason and his personal staff, remained during the day at the terminus of the railroad near Tuscumbia, awaiting the train, which did not arrive until late at night. He reached Burnsville on the evening of the 30th, remained there until the morning of the 2d of January, and from thence came by cars to Corinth.

* * * *

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 45, pt. I, p. 674.


Forrest's February 26, 1865 address to his troops provides a good summation of the Nashville campaign and the retreat:

SOLDIERS: The old campaign is ended, and your commanding general deems this an appropriate occasion to speak of the steadiness, self-denial, and patriotism with which you have borne the hardships of the past year. The marches and labors you have performed during that period will find no parallel in the history of this war.

On the 24th day of December there were 3,000 of you, unorganized and undisciplined, at Jackson, Tenn., only 400 of whom were armed. You were surrounded by 15,000 of the enemy, who were congratulating themselves on your certain capture. You started out with your artillery, wagon trains, and a large number of cattle, which you succeeded in bringing through, since which time you have fought and won the following battles-battles which will enshrine your names in the hearts of your countrymen, and live in history an imperishable monument to your prowess: Jacks' Creek, Estenaula, Somerville, Okolona, Union City, Paducah, Fort Pillow, Bolivar, Tishomingo Creek, Harrisburg, Hurricane Creek, Memphis, Athens, Sulphur Springs, Pulaski, Carter's Creek, Columbia, and Johnsonville are the fields upon which you have won fadeless immortality. In the recent campaign in Middle Tennessee you sustained the reputation so nobly won. For twenty-six days, from the time you left Florence, on the 21st of November to the 26th of December you were constantly engaged with the enemy, and endured the hunger, cold, and labor incident to that arduous campaign without murmur. To sum up, in brief, your triumphs during the past year, you have fought fifty battles, killed and captured 16,000 of the enemy, captured 2,000 horses and mules, 67 pieces of artillery, 4 gun-boats, 14 transports, 20 barges, 300 wagons, 50 ambulances, 10,000 stand of small-arms, 40 block-houses, destroyed 36 railroad bridges, 200 miles of railroad, 6 engines, 100 cars, and $15,000,000 worth of property.

In the accomplishment of this great work you were occasionally sustained by other troops, who joined you in the fight, but your regular number never exceeded 5,000, 2,000 of whom have been killed or wounded, while in prisoners you have lost about 200.

If your course has been marked by the graves of patriotic heroes who have fallen by your side, it has, at the same time, been more plainly marked by the blood of the invader. While you sympathize with the friend of the fallen, your sorrows should be appeased by the knowledge that they fell as brave men battling for all that make life worth living for.

Soldiers! you now rest for a short time from your labors. During the respite prepare for future action. Your commanding general is ready to lead you again to the defense of the common cause, and he appeals to you, by a remembrance of the glories of your past career; your desolated homes; your insult women and suffering children; and, above all, by the memory of your dead comrades, to yield a ready obedience to discipline, and to buckle on your armor anew for the fight. Bring with you the soldier's safest armor-a determination to fight while the enemy pollutes your soil; to fight as long as he denies your rights; to fight until independence shall have been achieved; to fight for home, children, liberty, and all you hold dear. Show to the world the superhuman and sublime spirit with which a people may be inspired when fighting for the inestimable boon of liberty. Be not allured by the siren song of peace, for there can be no peace save upon your separate independent nationality. You can never again unite with those who have murdered you sons, outraged your helpless families, and with demoniac malice wantonly destroyed your property and to subjugate or annihilate the freemen of the South would stamp with infamy the names of your gallant dead and the living heroes of this war. Be patient, obedient, and earnest, and the day is not fair distant when you can return to your homes and live in the full fruition of freemen around the old family altar.

N. B. FORREST, Maj.-Gen., Cmdg. District of Mississippi and East Louisiana.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 45, pt. I, pp. 759-760.

        25, Christmas 1864, a letter from Indiana

Dec 25th. '64

to Capt. Dunn
Co. E 57th Indiana

Dear Sir, I have heard that my son, David Ward, (a drafted man in your company) was killed while doing picket duty in front of Nashville on the night of the 14th instant and I wish to know where he was buried and if there was a headboard placed at his grave or any other means whereby it can be recognized so that I can obtain the body by going to Nashville. Please answer at your earliest convenience and oblige a bereaved father.

John Ward
Terre Haute, Vigo Co., Ind.

John Ward Correspondence.[16]

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

[2] As cited in:

[3] Although the diary as it appears in West Tennessee Historical Papers, no. XIII (1959), p.60, puts the date at December 14, it is more likely December 24 is correct, especially when taking into account the mention of Humboldt and Trenton having been taken by Confederates a "few days ago." Both had attacked on December 20, rendering a date of December 24 as proper.

[4] The difference between this comment and that of Grierson, seen in the citation directly below, is striking.

[5] Mossy Creek feeds northeasterly into TVA Lake Cherokee near Jefferson City, in Jefferson County.

[6] There are a total of 11 reports on this action.

[7] There are a total of 11 reports on this action.

[8] This event is not listed neither in Dyer's Battle Index for Tennessee nor the OR.

[9] Mable Pittard, ed., Daniel C. Miller: A Yankee in Rutherford County," trans. By Orturn Gilbert, Rutherford County Historical Society, Publication No. 26, Winter 1986. [Hereinafter cited as:"Miller Correspondence."]

[10] DECEMBER 24-28, 1863.--Operations near Mossy Creek and Dandridge, Tenn.


Dec. 24, 1863.--Skirmishes at Peck's House, near New Market and at Mossy Creek Station, Tenn.

Dec. 24, 1863.--Action at Hays' Ferry, near Dandridge, Tenn.

Dec. 26, 1863.--Skirmish at Mossy Creek, Tenn.

Dec. 27, 1863.--Skirmish at Talbott's Station, Tenn.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 31, pt. I, p. 652.

[11] Collins, a Hawkins County, Tennessee, native, would win the Medal of Honor for his daring act.

[12] Unidentified.

[13] These are two reports by Confederate and Union officers engaged in the same action. Sometimes the fighting was for less noble purposes than the defense of the homeland or the maintenance of the Union. In this case men fought and died on Christmas Day for corn.

[14] RG 23, TSL&A

[15] The only apparent mention of the skirmish, is in the report to the Adjutant General's Office concerning the mutiny of Anderson's Cavalry on December 26, 1862.

[16] As cited in:

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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