Sunday, January 25, 2015

1.25.2105 Tennessee Civil War Notes

        25, "From Fort Henry."

Fort Henry, Jan. 25, 1862

Dear Chronicle:-Since my last letter we have arrived here, and are now camping in our tents again, and as the weather has been very cold for some time, we miss our comfortable cabins very much. Our company (A) of Col. Bailey's Regiment, and one from Col. Sugg's (formerly Stacker's) Regiment are now encamped here together.-Paddies Ticktacks [sic]: Since our arrival we have been furnished with side arms-spades and shovels [sic] and are now drilling in that manual. Our boys were greatly disappointed at not meeting the enemy here, and now feel that they have been badly sold, or taken in-to the ditches [sic]-instead of among the enmy [sic].

The day after our arrival, the gunboat "Conestoga" chased the steamer Dunbar [sic] 14 miles up the river until within sight of the Fort, and then fired her seventh shot and ran up behind the Island, two miles below the Fort. She afterwards fired three shots at the Fort and meeting no response, she retired with a white flag flying to the breeze. No damage was done by her shots as they all fell short. However, she again made her appearance with the stars and stripes flying and opened fire on the Fort. As soon as the first shot was fired by her the Confederate flag was raised in the Fort, and we all expected to have a brush with the "Feds," but as soon as we fired one shot, she responded with a shell (which burst some yards below the Fort,) and retired behind the Island. Nobody hurt.

We are now under command of Lieut.-Col. Sugg -- Col. Stacker having resigned the command of the 50th Regiment.

The enemy are reported to be 15,000 strong at Highland (KY), 35 miles below here. They were 16 miles from here a few days ago, but are now falling back. Little prospect of a squirmish [sic].

Clarksville Chronicle, January 31, 1862.

        25, Concerns expressed in Confederate-occupied Chattanooga about speculators in a newspaper editorial titled "The Extortioner."

[The Extortioner] is not a thief [sic] because all his transactions square with the law. He is not a murderer or highway robber...yet he is a villain, possessing the will to rob, or steal, or murder, or do what not for money....He is in time of war, not only the spoiler of the poor, but traitor to his country. The conduct of Judas Iscariot squared with the maxim of commerce...[but] there is a day of revolution. He will be an outcast from the new order of society....He will them be marked with scorn and hunted from the ease of his riches and the peace of mind, and will transmit the brand of infamy to his posterity."[1].

Chattanooga Gazette and Advertiser, January 25, 1862.

        25, Capture of wagon train, Antioch[2]

The capture of the wagon train at Antioch is mentioned only in passing in the report of Major-General Joseph A. Wheeler on his activities from January 26.

HDQRS. CAVALRY, DEPARTMENT NO. 2, January 29, 1863.

COL.: I have the honor to state that the cavalry of Lieut.-Gen. Hardee's corps, under my command, were engaged as they advanced upon the Nashville and Murfreesborough pike, and on the adjoining approaches, from the morning of the 26th ultimo to the evening of the 29th. At midnight on the night of the 29th ultimo I proceeded with the command across the West Fork of Stone's River, by way of the Lebanon road, hence by a circuitous route to Jefferson, where, at about 9 a. m. on the 30th, we attacked, captured, and destroyed and entire brigade train. We then proceeded toward La Vergne, capturing a party sent our after horses and mules, and also a foraging party. We attacked La Vergne about 1 p. m., capturing about 500 prisoners, 200 stand of arms, and the reserve wagon trains of the enemy; the wagons were destroyed. We then proceeded to Rock Spring, capturing a brigade train, which we destroyed, with its equipage. We then proceeded to Nolensville, capturing a train and about 200 prisoners and 200 stand of arms.

We then made a circuit around Triune, and the next morning attacked the enemy, stationed on the Nashville and Murfreesborough pike north of Overall's Creek. We then moved down toward Murfreesborough and again attacked them south of Overall's Creek, driving the enemy for a distance of 2 miles from the Wilkinson pike to the Nashville pike, engaging their infantry and cavalry until dark. We then withdrew to our position on the left of our wing. At daylight we proceeded again to La Vergne, in the enemy's rear, attacked a large train, burned several wagons, and captured many prisoners. We then received orders to return to the army we arrived at about 2 o'clock the next morning, and placed our pickets out to the front. We remained in this position until dark, when we moved again to Antioch, capturing a few wagons, and at about 3 p. m. attacked a large train on Cox's Hill. After capturing the train, and injuring some of the wagons, four regiments of infantry attacked us, and we were obliged to retire. I then received orders to return, and arrived at my old stand, on the left of our wing, at about 4 o'clock on Sunday morning, January 3 [4]. As our army had retired, I moved over the river and remained in Murfreesborough that day. Toward evening I skirmished with the enemy and withdrew my pickets 3 miles at daylight the next morning.

At 3 p. m. Monday, the enemy advanced and engaged us warmly. The enemy did not advance any farther.

On January 8, I moved over to the Cumberland, and a detachment, under Capt. [Richard] McCann, destroyed the railroad bridge over Mill Creek and a construction train.

On the 12th we drove in a large foraging party of Nashville, and on the 13th and 14th we captured a gunboat and four transports. We also destroyed a large amount of stores at Ashland, which the enemy had left under guard, but the guard ran off as we approached. Many other transports threw off a great part of their cargo to avoid capture. On the 25th, we captured .a constructions train near Antioch.

A detachment, under Maj. [D. W.] Holman, captured another transport on the 17th.

Respectfully, colonel, your obedient servant,


OR, Ser. I, Vol. 23, pt. I, pp. 960-961.

Rebel attack on a Construction Train

Louisville, Jan. 9, 1863.

Dick McCann attacked a construction train at Antioch, nine miles from Chattanooga, on the railroad. He destroyed a locomotive, two cars and the Mill Creek bridge, and captured the bridge builder and paroled them. No resistance was offered.

New York Herald, January 10, 1863.


Federal authorities took measures to prevent such future occurrences

GENERAL ORDERS, No. 5. HDQRS. DEPT. OF THE CUMBERLAND, Murfreesborough, Tenn., January 27, 1863.

The general commanding has learned that a train has been lost and its guard captured [25th] because they allowed themselves to be surprised without arms in their hands, or with their arms unloaded; and that train guards are in the habit of taking off their accouterments and placing their arms in the wagons. Such disgraceful conduct on the part of both officers and men, instructed with duties so important, renders them both morally and legally responsible for the loss of life and public property which so frequently ensues.

It is, therefore, ordered that any officer in command of troops acting as train guards who shall permit his men to take off their accouterments or lay aside their arms, in our outside of the wagons, or whose troops shall be found with their arms unloaded, shall forfeit all pay and allowances that may be due him, and be dishonorably dismissed the service for gross misbehavior on guard duty. Any non-commissioned officer or private on such duty, who shall be found with his musket unloaded or out of his hands, or with his side arms off, without the order or permission of his commanding officer, shall, for each offense, forfeit one month's pay, and moreover be punished on the spot, according to the nature and necessity of the offense. Any officer sending out trains in contravention of orders, or without due notice to, and leave from, his superior officer, or without adequate guards, shall be held pecuniarily responsible for any injury such trains may, sustain, and, moreover, be punished as for misbehavior in the face of the enemy.

No picket guard will allow forage or other trains to pass its lines without written orders from the commanding officer of the division or independent brigade to which such trains belong, nor without such guards as are reasonable and have been customary on the road.

This order will be read at the head of each regiment and detached company in this army, and it shall be the special duty of all division and brigade inspectors to see that it is carried into immediate effect.

By command of Maj.-Gen. Rosecrans:

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 23, pt. II, p. 17.

        25, Skirmish near Mill Creek, near Murfreesborough

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


No. 1.-Col. John M. Harlan, Tenth Kentucky Infantry, commanding brigade.

No. 2.-Lieut. Col. Christopher J. Dickerson, Tenth Michigan Infantry.

No. 3.-Sergt. Thomas Branch, Company I, Tenth Michigan Infantry.

No. 1.

Reports of Col. John M. Harlan, Tenth Kentucky Infantry, commanding brigade.

HDQRS. SECOND BRIGADE, THIRD DIVISION, La Vergne, Tenn., January 25, 1863.

MAJ.: I hereby submit a copy of the report of Capt. [V.] Cupp, First Ohio Cavalry, commanding detachment of cavalry at this point, containing all the information gained by his scouts with regard to the enemy in this vicinity:

LA VERGNE, January 25, 1863.

A train of cars were attacked one-half mile this side of Antioch this morning. Two cars were burned; 55 prisoners captured and paroled by the enemy-a cavalry force under command of Forrest. The force at Mill Creek Bridge came to relieve the train, and succeeded in saving the locomotive and several cars. This force is estimated at about 2,000, and it is supposed that they have returned toward Franklin.

[V.] CUPP, Capt. First Ohio Volunteer Cavalry.

As soon as I heard that the enemy were in this vicinity I ordered all the trains on the road to Nashville to halt here until I had ascertained the facts in the case. Brig.-Gen. Stanley came here about 12 o'clock m., and, on consultation with him, permitted the trains to proceed on their way to Nashville, first, however, causing the men who were riding in the wagons to get out and form in the front, rear, and center of the trains. In addition to this guard, I sent one regiment and one piece of artillery from my command to escort them 4 or 5 miles, and return to-night. Everything indicates that the enemy have gone in the direction of Franklin.

I am, major, very respectfully, yours,

JOHN M. HARLAN, Col., Cmdg. Second Brigade.

LA VERGNE, January 26, 1863.

SIR: At daylight this morning I left here with three regiments of infantry (Fourth Kentucky, Tenth Kentucky, and Seventy-fourth Indiana), a section of Southwick's battery, and the cavalry detachments sent from Murfreesborough last night, increased by Capt. Cupp's company, First Ohio Cavalry, on duty here, and marched toward Concord enemy was found. I halted the infantry at the church, and sent the cavalry down the pike to Nolensville. No enemy was found there, and I do not believe that there is any enemy at this time within reach.

Upon their trip of to-day I ascertained the following facts, upon which, I think, you may place reliance, viz.,: Saturday night two brigades of rebel cavalry, numbering between 3,000 and 4,000 men, with eight pieces of artillery, came from the direction of Franklin, and halted at Concord Church. The force was Wheeler's old brigade and Forrest's old brigade, temporarily under the command of [James W.] Starnes. I saw where the whole force encamped. During the night a force was detached from the main body of the enemy, not exceeding 1,000 and not less than 500, and sent to Antioch, near the railroad, where a small construction train was attacked and about 25 prisoners taken; but little damage done to the train; the locomotive and the main body of the cars were not hurt. The remainder of the force at Mill Creek Bridge, No. 3, came out of their stockade and went to the assistance of the small party with the train. The enemy retired in some haste.

It so happened that on yesterday [25th] I ordered the small cavalry squad here to be divided, and sent at daylight on all the different roads leading to the Nolensville [pike]. Those patrols came upon the flankers of the force going to Antioch at several points, fired upon them, and this probably induced the enemy to believe that a force was getting into their rear, and hence their sudden exit. The rebels who attacked the train returned to Concord Church by 9.30 or 10 o'clock in the day, and the entire force here immediately left, went to Nolensville, and from that point, it is believed, went in the direction of Shelbyville. They had all left Concord Church by 11 or 12 o'clock in the day.

The train attacked seems to be a train which stays this side of Mill Creek Bridge, No. 3; was cut off from Nashville by the destruction of that bridge, which is not yet rebuilt.

The force which came out from Nashville last night returned early this morning. I do not return to camp until late this afternoon.

Some of the rebel officers and men were heard to say upon their arrival at Concord Church that they were en route to attack La Vergne. If they entertained such a purpose it was abandoned from some cause; probably because they learned that we were to some extent entrenched here.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully,

JOHN M. HARLAN, Col., Cmdg. Second Brigade, Third Division, Center.

No. 2.

Report of Lieut. Col. Christopher J. Dickerson, Tenth Michigan Infantry.

HDQRS. TENTH REGT. MICHIGAN VOL. INFANTRY, Nashville, January 30, 1863.

COL.: In accordance with order previously received, there have been detailed from this regiment 25 privates, 2 corporals, and 1 sergeant, who are stationed at Bridge No. 3, on the Nashville and Chattanooga Railroad, about 9 miles distant from this City. On the 25th instant, about 10 a. m., an engine, with a number of cars attached, was started from Bridge No. 3, in the direction of La Vergne, having on board the train between 25 and 30 men, acting as a train guard. After moving out about 1 ½ miles, the cars were suddenly thrown from the track, in consequence of one of the rails having been slightly removed from its place.

An attack was immediately made upon the train by a band of guerrillas, numbering from 100 to 150, said to be a part of Dick McCann's force. The train guard was captured and an effort made to burn the cars and engine. Sergt. Thomas Branch, with his squad of men detailed from this regiment, hearing firing in the direction of the train, quickly started with his men to relieve the train, if possible. Upon arriving in sight of the train, about 40 rebels were observed in the act of setting the cars and engine on fire with some rails which they had collected for that purpose. Sergeant Branch, getting his men into position, moved up near the train and fired a volley at the car-burners,[3] who immediately broke and ran for their horses, which were hitched to a fence a short distance off. After recapturing the train and driving the enemy for some distance, the engine and cars were run back to Bridge No. 3.

Sergeant Branch and the men under his command are entitled to much credit for the manner in which they behaved on this occasion.

They accomplished what a much larger force have often failed to accomplish under more favorable circumstances. Inclosed I forward a copy of a report made to me by Sergeant Branch.

Respectfully submitted.

C. J. DICKERSON, Lieut. Col., Cmdg. Tenth Regt. [sic] Michigan Infantry.

No. 3.

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


COL.: In accordance with your order, which I received this day, I will proceed to 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 moved up within range, when we gave them a volley. They jumped from the cars and ran for their horses, 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.

THOMAS BRANCH, Sergeant Company I, Tenth Michigan Infantry,

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


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.[4]

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

OR, Ser. I, 23, pt. I, pp. 20-24.

        25, Reconnaissance from Murfreesborough to Auburn

No circumstantial reports filed.

        25, West Tennessee Rebel guerrilla chief, R. V. Richardson, announces retaliatory policy


Whereas Col. J. K. Mizner, commanding U. S. forces at Brownsville, Tenn., has issued a proclamation addressed to James Whitelaw, H. W. Colter, James Bond, Dr. E. A. Taylor, Wiley Mann, Robert Wilson, Dr. E. Davis, Charles F. Read, T. P. Livingston, R. Y. Longley, George T. Taylor, F. Maclin, Dr. J. S. Peete, C. P. Taliaferro[5] and all indefinitely alleging that the persons and property of many Union citizens having been threatened by guerrillas and persons claiming allegiance to or sympathy with the so-called Confederate States, and notifying all persons in Haywood and Tipton Counties that in case of molestation of the person or property of all loyal citizens living within the military district of Jackson, Tenn., the above-mentioned persons to be held responsible in person and property for all acts of violence; that in case of the arrest of any loyal citizen double the number will be arrested and held as hostages and twice the amount of property taken or injured will be levied from citizens therein named: Now therefore in reply to this paper bullet fired across the Hatchie River by the brave Col. Mizner at unoffending non-combatants be it known that for each man named and every other good and loyal citizen of the Confederate States living in Haywood and Tipton Counties, Tenn., who may be arrested under the aforesaid proclamation I will have shot twice the number of Yankee soldiers taken in battle or on duty, and for each dollar's worth of property taken under said proclamation I will take or destroy twice the amount from the United States, their soldiers and Union men. It may be as well to proclaim hereby also that for every house burned by the U. S. soldiers I will shoot five U. S. soldiers on duty or taken in battle. The impudence of the aforesaid brave's proclamation consists in the fact that while he, his officers and men are stealing from all Southern men horses and mule, negroes [sic] and chickens and arresting unoffending men, women and children he threatens to do these things if "loyal citizens" as he calls them are molested in person and property. From such men and infamous Government to which they render such disgraceful service Southern men have nothing to hope except what their arms can secure.

To all soldiers in the Army of the United States who have become tired of a war waged to free negroes [sic] and enslave white men I extend an invitation to lay down their arms and seek my command for protection; all such shall be treated as friends and brothers.

R. V. RICHARDSON, Col., Cmdg. First Tennessee Regt. [sic] of Partisan Rangers, C. S. Army.

OR, Ser. II, Vol. 5, pp. 821-822.

        25, Brigadier-General Gideon J. Pillow's report on Confederate conscript sweeps in Lincoln, Bedford and Marshall, Franklin, Williams, Maury, and Giles counties

HDQRS. VOLUNTEER AND CONSCRIPT BUREAU, Shelbyville, January 25, 1863.

Col. BRENT, Assistant Adjutant-Gen.:

To-day I have worked through six brigades; will continue the work to-morrow. Col. Biffle's regiment has moved north in the field work, and will to-morrow rake this county from near the enemy's lines south. I have made provisions with Gen. Wharton to cover the movement and protect the command. Gen. Forrest is present and informs me that Dibrell's regiment is on the way through Marshall County to Fayetteville. I have sent a courier for him and will order him directly to the starting-ground to sweep the four corners of the counties referred to in my dispatch yesterday. I will then sweep over Williams and Maury. I applied to Gen. Cheatham for an officer to carry forward my instructions to Tullahoma and place the details from that corps under working orders, but he declines allowing even for that temporary service any officer that I think equal to the work. I cannot put that duty on one in whom I have not full confidence. I see no alternative but to come forward myself, but it would have greatly advanced my work if he would have allowed me the use of a satisfactory officer. If I had the corps of Lieut.-Gen. Hardee under working orders I could see my work going on satisfactory. The general may rely on my doing all that it is possible to accomplish.


GID. J. PILLOW, Brig.-Gen., C. S. Army, and Chief of Bureau.

OR, Ser. IV, Vol. 2, p. 371.

HDQRS. VOLUNTEER AND CONSCRIPT BUREAU, Shelbyville, January 26, 1863.

Col. CAMPBELL, Principal Assistant for Middle Tennessee:

Col. Avery has instructions to sweep the county of Lincoln, arresting stragglers, absentees, deserters, and all men liable to the operations of the conscript law and bring them in to you. Having performed that duty, you will hold him in hand and use his command as actively as possible in gathering up stragglers and conscripts in the counties of Franklin, Lincoln, Giles, Lawrence, and in that portion of North Alabama laying along the Tennessee line within the counties above indicated. I will put a working force in the other counties myself....

* * * *


GID. J. PILLOW, Brig.-Gen., C. S. Army, Chief of Bureau.

OR, Ser. IV, Vol. 2, p. 374.

        25, "…I can have the fun of shooting at Yankees…." a Texas Ranger's letter home from Middle Tennessee

Mr. Polk Childress, who in Capt. Houston's Company, Terry's Texas Rangers, wrote to his mother, Jan. 25th, from near Shelbyville, from which we take the following:

"I went all through the Murfreesboro fight and never received a scratch. One Regiment lost sixty four killed and wounded; our company three; Ellis and Burns supposed to be badly wounded, and Blair shot through the arm. Our company has only fifty men, officers and all; it is next to the smallest company in the Regiment.

I have been in the war sixteen months, and can stay that much longer if necessary, but I would like to have peace and go home; but I have never regretted coming to Tennessee, where I can have the fun of shooting at Yankees, occasionally. It would have killed me to have been compelled to lay in one of the forts on the frontier, doing nothing; here I have something to keep me alive and stirring; and I consider the good health I have had owing to the constant exercise. I have plenty of money, a good horse, six-shooter and sharp-shooter."

San Antonio Semi-Weekly News, March 16, 1863.[6]

        25, Confederate prisoners of war and female visitors in Nashville

Is it not a little singular that a great many ladies, living not a thousand miles from Nashville, who were eager to force their husbands, sons and brothers into the rebel army two years ago, to be absent for three years, or during the war, are importunate in asking permission to visit them every day or two, after they are brought in as prisoners of war, and fed far better than they were in the rebel army? Why should these ladies profess to be so solicitous about the comfort of their friends who are held as prisoners, by humane Federal authority, when they compelled these very friends not long ago to endure every kind of want and suffering, by forcing them into the rebel service? Where were their sympathies and tender affections then, that they did not entreat their very dear friends not to engage in the rebellion? We do not understand why it is that some of these ladies run after rebel prisoners, particularly if they are officers, striped with tawdry tinsel, with the most extravagant demonstrations of affection, when they coolly dismissed those whom nature taught them to love more dearly into the very midst of imminent dangers and great suffering, to risk their lives in support of wicked rebellion. Perhaps the secret of all this is that some people delight in sensations and outward demonstrations. Some nations demand continual excitement. We have known people who witness the most appalling scenes of suffering on the streets, without the slightest emotion and retire to their rooms to weep over the impossible sorrows of the last novel.

Nashville Daily Union, January 25, 1863.

        25-28, Counter-insurgency scout between Bolivar and Ripley Mississippi

JANUARY 25, 1863.-Scout between Bolivar, Tenn., and Ripley, Miss.

Report of Maj. Daniel M. Emerson, First West Tennessee Cavalry.

HDQRS. FIRST WEST TENNESSEE CAVALRY, Bolivar, Tenn., January 28, 1863.

SIR: On the 25th day of January, 1863, in pursuance of Special Orders, No. 17, post headquarters, with a detachment of First West Tennessee Cavalry and the independent companies of the Tippah and Mississippi Rangers, I proceeded to scout the country between Bolivar, Tenn., and Ripley, Miss., to break up the guerrilla bands infesting that neighborhood.

About 4 p. m., after I had proceeded about 18 miles, my rear guard was attacked by 15 men, who fired a volley, disabling a horse belonging to Private John Rose, of the First West Tennessee Cavalry; he, being thrown to the ground, was captured by them. As soon as the firing was heard, I immediately faced the column about, and pursued them about 2 miles into a piece of woods, when they scattered in different directions, making farther pursuit useless. They were dressed partly in Federal uniform, and were a portion of the noted Sol. [G.] Street's company of guerrillas, [emphasis added] who infest that section of the country.

January 26.-I scouted the woods and by-paths supposed to be frequented by the enemy, but was unsuccessful in meeting him; learned that he camped a short distance from me the night before, his force not being sufficient to attack me.

January 27.-On the march to-day captured the following Confederates, viz.,: F. M. Stewart, lieutenant-colonel Twenty-second Tennessee Infantry; F. Stith, lieutenant and adjutant Twenty-second Tennessee Infantry; N. Crouch, private Twenty-third Mississippi Infantry, and J. C. Jackson, Thirty-seventh Mississippi Infantry. In conversing with these officers, I found their intentions were to pass our lines during the night between Bolivar and Grand Junction, and make their way to Shelby County, Tennessee. They undoubtedly were going to recruit for their regiment. The privates were found at their houses, being at home on furlough. My intentions were to proceed to Ripley, Miss., but having received reliable information that a regiment of rebel cavalry was there, I thought it prudent not to venture farther, so I commenced my march toward Bolivar, bringing my prisoners with me. Camped about 30 miles from Bolivar, the enemy following near.

January 28.-Resumed march toward Bolivar, and arrived here about 4 p. m., and turned the prisoners over to the provost-marshal for disposal.

The independent rangers were of great service to me as guides, they being residents of the country I passed through. My whole command behaved themselves on the march well. Nothing has been done, to my knowledge, contrary to existing orders.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,


Maj., Cmdg. First West Tennessee Cavalry.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 24, pt. I, pp. 331-332.

        25, Skirmish at LaGrange

Dyer's Battle Index for Tennessee.

        25, Public health initiative taken in Nashville by U. S. Army

General Orders, No. 5

Headquarters U. S. Forces

Nashville, Tenn., Jan 25, 1864

I.*** The municipal regulations failing to keep the city effectually policed, it is hereby ordered, for the preservation of the health and lives of the citizens, and of the troops on duty at this place, that the occupant of every house daily sweep or scrape clean the pavement or sidewalk in front of his building. This will be done daily before 9 o'clock A.M. On stated days, hereafter to be announced, each occupant will clean to the middle of the street in front of his premises, collecting the sweepings into piles, to be carried away by Government wagons. [emphasis added]

For any neglect of this regulation, a fined double that enforced by the municipal ordinance will be imposed by the Provost Marshal; and if not paid at his office within one week from notice, will be levied by sale at public auction of goods sufficient to realize the sum.

A commissioned officer is detailed to superintend the policing of the city, whose special duty it is to report any neglect or violation of this order.

By command of Brig. Gen. R. S. Granger

Nashville Dispatch, January 28, 1864.

        25, Further restrictions on the sale of alcoholic beverages in Nashville

Special Orders, No. 23

Headquarters U. S. Forces

Nashville, Jan. 25, 1864

III. The sale of all liquors, wholesale or retail, is forbidden at this Post.

IV. Respectable establishments will be permitted to sell ale, beer, and wine, to Officers and Citizens, but not to Soldiers, on filing a bond, with good security, in the office of the Provost Marshall, at the Capitol, to abstain from the sale of liquors in any form. Dealers will be held to strict accountability for a careful observance of all regulations on this subject.

By command of Brig. Gen. R. S. Granger

Nashville Dispatch, January 28, 1864.

        25, "Guerrillas on the Cumberland."

We learn that the up-river fleet was fired into at Gainsborough on Monday, [7] and compelled to return to Carthage, the Newsboy coming down to Nashville for reinforcements. The river will probably be opened today. Rumor said one boat had been sunk, but we believe no damage of consequence had been done.

Nashville Dispatch, January 28, 1864.

        25, ''… there was Rebel Cavalry force made a dash on some of our men last night about 4 miles from here and took in eleven of them They were Michigan men they got These are nice nights for raids the moon shining so bright I don't want the Rebel devils to get me….''

Jan 25th /64

Knoxville Tenn.

Friend Jennie,

It has been some time since I have had the pleasure of conversing with you by letter as this is my first opportunity since Jan. 1st Jennie dont think it is neglect for it is not we have been either retreating or advancing or skirmishing every day and night since I last wrote --- we are now stationed 4 miles north of Knoxville we are ordered to turn over all our mules wagons and Horses and go into winter quarters and recruit up our Regt a little rest for since they crossed the mountains they have drew but 1/4 rations and have been on the move all the time out Regt begin to look small when we left Ky it mustered nearly 900 men, it now musters nearly 500 men quite a decrease as yet I have been well --- Rarrie is in Hospital I think Anderson will be home as soon as he is able to ride he is in good spirits and is mending fast We have been having quite exciting times here for last two or three months how we will get through I cant tell but I hope all right I dont think this cursed Rebellion can hold out much longer I think they have about played out there was Rebel Cavalry force made a dash on some of our men last night about 4 miles from here and took in eleven of them They were Michigan men they got These are nice nights for raids the moon shining so bright I don't want the Rebel devils to get me I assure you Jennie what is the reason I cant hear from you I have recieved but three letters from you since I left one dated Nov. 16th one Nov. 25th the other Dec. 1st I have recieved but one from home that was from Ham dated Dec. 16th and two from Oscar The last one was written Jan. 1st he said the folks were all well and that Jennie had vacation dancing out the Hollidays we have a ball here every few days but they are leaded balls dont dance very much Oscar says about all the compliments he can pay on Jennie is, she is a mighty enticing little girl and if I want to will her away I shall will her to him but unless I hear from you before long I dont known what I might do I might come home to see what's the matter I hav'nt got a letter from you 5 weeks but I am bound to live in hopes now Jennie write as often as you can and I shall do the same

No more but remain yours

I.B. Conine

Ira B. Conine Correspondence.[8]

        25, Some observations made in Knoxville by a Philadelphia newspaper reporter

~ ~ ~

….To my astonishment, I have discovered that a large majority of the rich have Secession tendencies, while the poor are in all cases loyal. Take the last census, and compare the slaveholding portions of East and Middle Tennessee with the vote upon secession in those two localities, and you will find an interesting study. And this is and has been the everywhere in the South-the less slavery the more loyalty.[emphasis added]

~ ~ ~

Knoxville's Lazarettos

At present time the city is one immense hospital, [review?] of the sick and wounded having been removed. The hotels and churches, as a general thing, are extremely filthy. The Bell House, on Main street, formerly kept by a gentleman of Ithaca, N. Y., is being used as a hospital. The Lamar House, on Gay street and the Franklin House, on Main street are also used for the same purposes. The Humphrey House, near the depot, and the depot buildings, and the Rebel Colonel Reese's residence, all fine structures, were burned by our forces to prevent the Rebel pickets and sharp-shooters from sheltering themselves, as were many other splendid residences, as well as were many other splendid residences in North Knoxville. [emphasis added]The destruction of all this property was strictly necessary,

~ ~ ~

Philadelphia Inquirer, January 25, 1864.

        25, Foraging expedition from Irish Bottom to Evans' Island

JANUARY 25, 1865.-Expedition from Irish Bottom to Evans' Island. Tenn.

Report of Col. John A. Shannon, First U. S. Colored Heavy Artillery.

HDQRS. FORAGING EXPEDITION, Irish Bottom, Tenn., January 28, 1865.

SIR: I have the honor to report that in accordance with instructions received from Maj. Smith, acting inspector-general, Second Brigade, Fourth Division, Twenty-third Army Corps, I proceeded to Beaver Dam Bottom on the 25th instant, and did not find the cattle there. I then moved on down the river and did not find them until I got to Evans' Island, where the cattle were on the island, and the water and ice running in the river so bad that the men in charge could not get them off. I found Lieut. Wiley M. Christian in command of the First Tennessee; he had three commissioned officers and eighty-six men. Upon ascertaining the fact that the cattle could not be moved immediately I sent to the Beaver Dam for Capt. Murphy and his fifty men to come and take charge of the guard and cattle. Capt. Murphy had two commissioned officers with him. I then left orders for Capt. Murphy to bring the cattle up to the Beaver Dam as soon as practicable, and as he then had six commissioned officers and 136 men, I thought that that was a sufficient guard for 192 cattle (the number I found there), and I took the responsibility upon myself to order the cavalry to come on and report to Col. Hawley, as ordered.

Lieut. Christian accounts for the absence of his men in this way, i.e., that when he started from Knoxville he had to leave the sick there, bringing only sixty-eight men with him, but that they are getting better and are rejoining their command; he now has eighty-six men, and he knows of six that had started from Knoxville and would be there by this time. I apprehend, that if the present cold weather continues and the ice continues to run in the river as it now does, that the cattle cannot get off the island, and having consumed the forage there it will be exceedingly difficult for them to live.

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

JOHN A. SHANNON, Col., Cmdg. Foraging Expedition.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 49, pt. I, p. 10.

        25, Bushwhackers and guerrillas in Middle Tennessee in the wake of Hood's retreat

Mufresboro [sic], T. Jan 25 '65

Gov. Johnson Mily. Gov. Tenns.

Sir: The condition of the loyal men residing in the Counties composing the Mt Dist. Of our State is well calculated to awaken in their behalf increased sympathy & intrst. [sic] before the entrance of the Rebel Army into Middle Tenns., the presence of a military force at McMinnville [sic] & the activity of a small body of Cavelry [sic] had restored comparative security to that portion of the State, so much so that many families returned there to there [sic] former homes & avocations. Since the defeat & route [sic] of the rebels before nashville [sic], numerous bands of desperate men (sloughed off from the retreating army) have made their appearance in the Country & there depredations & threathnings [sic] & murders of loyal citizens [sic] & brutal treatment of loyal women has terrified this Class & who driven by despair have left or are arranging to leave – No Loyal man feels it comfortable or safe to remain especially those who had the patriotism & moral courage to vote at the recent Presidential Election – for such have been marked as the first objects of Gurrella [sic] vengence [sic][.]

The military force having been withdrawn from McMinnville [sic] the desperate roving parties, taking courage from the absence [sic] of

Federal Troops – come forth at noon day to persue [sic], in a more aggravated manner their work of murder & robbery –

In view of the interests [sic] involved we would suggest that without protection the polls cannot be openied [sic] on the 22d Feby or 5th March in any of the Counties of the Mt Dist. [sic] & we would therefore reccommend [sic] that a small force be stationed (to consist of 50 Infantry & 50 Cavelry [sic]) at each of the following places McMinnvile [sic], Sparta, Cookville [sic] & Livingston – this body of men, 100 at each place named – could be supported from the country to nearly the extent of there [sic] wants & by this harmonus [sic] action drive the Gurellas [sic] from the County & give a feeling of Security to the people such time as a civil organization of the Counties would render the presence of a military force unnecessary.

The line of the Country over which we would advise protection should be thrown, owing to it contiguity to the mountains is the thoroughfare of the marauders whose recent successes have embolden [sic] then to unite there seperate [sic] parties' [sic] till they are not able to rally between 200 & 300 armed men – the former number but recently entered in daylight to McMinnville [sic] burnt a block of valuable buildings I murdered a federal soldier [9]

Should it be deemed impractcable [sic] to occupy the entire line referred to – we do hope that a force will be sent at once to McMinnville sick to permanently [sic] occupy that position with strength sufficient to punish & break up & disperse the Guerrella [sic] parties that infest that region[.] Fully sensible of the deep interest you feel in the premises – we shall await your reply to this communalization.

Very Truly Yrs W. Bosson

John B. Armstrong

Papers of Andrew Johnson, Vol. 7, pp. 431-432.


[1] There followed a biblical quotation: "Amos 8, 4-16."

[2] Listed as an affair in Dyer's Battle Index for Tennessee.

[3] Meaning unknown.

[4] There is no information in the OR to indicate that Sergt. Thomas Branch was promoted. He was, at least, the first on the Army of the Cumberland's "Roll of Honor," by command of Major-General Rosecrans:

SPECIAL FIELD OFFICERS, No. 33. HDQRS. DEPT. OF THE CUMBERLAND, Murfreesborough, Tenn., February 5, 1863.

* * * *

XVII. The general commanding feels great pleasure in announcing as first of his company upon the Roll of Honor of this army, Sergt. Thomas Branch, Company 1, Tenth Michigan Volunteers. In command of a squad of 25 men, Sergeant Branch, on the 25th of January, hearing the firing of the rebel guerrillas on the construction train on the Nashville and Chattanooga Railroad, disposed his men in an admirable manner, moved them at double-quick to the front of attack, and charged upon a force more than double his own numbers, and supported by still larger reserves, put them to flight at the point of the bayonet, and then recovered and brought back with him the engine and cars, which had been thrown from the track and set on fire. It is such conduct as this that makes men soldiers, and that the general commanding is proud to honor.

By command of Maj.-Gen. Rosecrans:

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 23, pt. I, p. 48.

[5] There is no reference in the OR, or the OR General Index to these individuals.

[6] As cited in:

[7] This attack is listed in neither the Navy OR nor the OR.

[8] Correspondence of Ira B. Conine, 118th Ohio Volunteer Infantry, Letter of February 12, 1864. MS 673, [Hereinafter Ira B. Conine Correspondence.]

[9] There appears to be no evidence in the OR to verify this assertion of pandemonium at McMinnville.

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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