Monday, January 26, 2015

1.27.2015 Tennessee Civil War Notes

        27, Effects of the war in Cleveland

Pretty day. Emeline [a slave] went out to get some lard. I helped Aunt Phoebe [a slave] wash, had only two meals. Aunt E., Mary Edwards and Mrs. Bradshaw [were] here this morning Rhoda and Adelia took a ride this evening, went out to the "Poor-House." Julius Jarnagin came down tonight and brought an invitation to attend Cousin Ellen's wedding tomorrow eve, at 3:30 o'clock. Bob Grant [a Confederate soldier] came home sick today. Cousin John came home this eve on furlough....Cousin John Lea was in the battle of Mill Springs. Monttomerie [sic] who was in the battle of Mill Springs, January 19th, Cousin John Lea brought him home from exposure.

Diary of Myra Adelaide Inman.

        27, "I am gratified to hear that the thirty-nine caught in the mountains are dying." Confederate Conscript Sweep in East Tennessee


Athens, Tenn., January 27, 1862.

Col. JOHN E. TOOLE, Provost-Marshal, Knoxville, Tenn.

DEAR SIR: I am gratified to hear that the thirty-nine caught in the mountains are dying. It is better for the country and better for posterity that they should die young--that is, as young as they are. The Capt. Pierce who was conducting them hence is again in these parts. He was recently in Meigs and McMinn operating for more recruits. He told an old lady whose son he got into that unfortunate gang all about his affairs and made many apologies for letting her son get caught. She betrays him and if I had six or eight good cavalry I think I could get him. He has a partner by the name of Matthews in the same neighborhood whom I will try to get.

I suggest that as the conscripts have not been run out of Monroe County yet you try to get Capt. Clark's cavalry company belonging to Col. Ashby's regiment detailed for Capt. Hicks and let me borrow a few men from him occasionally. If not this some other company. My vineyard is getting a little foul again. Last Friday I hired a horse and rode out to Dixon's factory and arrested two conscripts (one of them old Dixon's son) whom he had got detailed to guard his factory, and they were doing so by sleeping in the building. I overhauled that concern pretty thoroughly, searched the house and Dixon's residence for arms which were reported to me as being concealed there. I have no doubt that old Dixon and all he has connected with him are doing all they can for Lincoln.

I arrested his boss for saying that the next morning after the Holston and Watauga bridges were burnt a man said to him: "Well, there is good news." "What is it?" said he. "All the railroad bridges are burnt from the Georgia line to the Virginia line except the one at Loudon." He denied that he told that such a thing had been said by him and when I proved to his face that he had told this story he said he could not recollect who the man was. I took him before a magistrate and made him swear that he could not recollect who the man was. I let him go because the factory was spinning gun-cotton for the Government so they said and it could not run if he was taken away. He is there yet and thinks he is safe. What ought to be done with such a devil and with the whole set?

I will see about the cattle driving from Charleston. Cannot you send me copies of factory bonds? There are wagons slipping off from this county to Kentucky. I hear of it after they are gone. Buch[1] inquires about his account.

Your obedient servant,

JNO. M. CARMACK, Capt. and Deputy Provost-Marshal.

OR, Ser. II, Vol. 1, pp. 878-879.

        27, Affair near Germantown[2]

JANUARY 27, 1863.-Affair near Germantown, Tenn.

Report of Col. Ephraim R. Eckley, Eightieth Ohio Infantry, commanding Second Brigade, Seventh Division, Sixteenth Army Corps.

CAMP NEAR GERMANTOWN, January 28, 1863.

SIR: I have the honor to report that on yesterday a forage train from this brigade was attacked by a force of rebel cavalry of about 75. The escort covered the train, and brought it off in safety without any loss to this brigade. But a party of 24, of the Fourth Illinois Cavalry, being in the same vicinity, were drawn into ambush and fired on by the whole party. Three were killed, 3 wounded (2 seriously), and 16 missing.

I sent re-enforcements immediately, but they retreated hastily across the Coldwater. I immediately placed a force of infantry at the bridge across the Nonconnah, and informed Col. Lee, of the Seventh Kansas, who sent a force of cavalry this morning at daylight down the Hernando road and another to Miller's Bridge, who are pressing them hard Their force south of the Coldwater and west if Byhalia is represented to be at least 500 strong. They have annoyed us almost every day by sending small parties to attack and harass our trains and pickets. As yet we have, by caution, prevented any [loss] to my command, except 1 private was slightly [wounded] in the leg while on picket.

I am still confident that no one has been permitted to cross the railroad without permission.

The almost impassable condition of the roads has, I think, saved us from a general attack from the south. Citizens who communicate with me confidentially inform me that it is [G. L.] Blythe's force that is in our front. [R. V.] Richardson's force is badly cut up, and is no longer formidable for mischief.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,


Col., Cmdg. Second Brigade.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 24, pt. I, pp. 332-333.

        27, A Methodist circuit rider's encounter with a Confederate picket on the road to Woodbury

Tuesday, Jan. 27th: Owing to the inclemency of the weather, from snow, I have not attended my appointment today. We are having another considerable snow, to-day.

In my travels this afternoon, I met with several picket guards, as there are Confederate troops in the country. The first guard I came to, was an Irishman on the Woodbury road some two and a-half miles from Alexandria. On coming to him, I asked him if he was standing picket there. In the tone peculiar to his race, he answered in the affirmative, saying also, in a rather feverish manner, that no man could pass there without a "pass." I told him I had no pass, and enquired of him where I should get one. He said he did not know, but that no man could pass there without a pass. This he would often repeat, as I would talk to him. At length I though I would enter into a rather social conversation with him, remarking that he had a rite [sic] cold spell of weather (ground then covered with snow) on him, when he replied he could not help it, and that no man could pass there with a "pass." I could not approach him, it seemed, by any means. At length a fellow-soldier of his, who was in a house, nearby, came out and told him to let me pass in, that citizens should go in, but not out, without a "pass." Then he passed me. From that point about two miles I passed six picket posts, the first and last being filled by Irish men. [sic] I found it not difficult to pass any post except those filled by Irish Men. [sic] And by neither of these could I pass without assistance by others.

I learned this fact, from experience, this evening: that there was a vast difference between the native American and the Irish in the consideration of circumstances. With but little difficulty I could reason my natives into a permission to pass, and even those who were not on picket duty would volunteer their services and assist me at any point; but by no [sic] post filled by an Irish Man, could I pass, without assistance, and even then, 'twas done hesitatingly. And I am satisfied that an Irish man [sic] makes a good picket guard, provided they are all like this two...

Private Journal of Joseph J. Pitts, 1862-1864, entry for January 27, 1863.[3]

        27, Federal manpower shortages to be alleviated by GENERAL ORDERS, No. 6, allowing the hire of citizens and slaves as teamsters, laborers and hospital attendants in Murfreesborough

GENERAL ORDERS, No. 6. HDQRS. DEPT. OF THE CUMBERLAND, Murfreesborough, Tenn., January 27, 1863.

The general commanding, desiring to increase as far as possible the effective force of this army, by returning to their regiments able-bodied men, now on detached service as teamsters, laborers, and hospital attendants, directs that their places be supplied, as far as possible, by the substitution of men hired for the purpose. To accomplish this, the following directions are given:

I. Citizens residing within or without the limits of this department may be employed and paid by quartermasters, as teamsters, wagon masters, and laborers, and by the medical department as hospital attendants.

II. Negroes may be employed, and paid in conformity with the act of Congress, as follows:

1st. As teamsters, on quartermaster's trains, provided a sufficient number of white teamsters and wagon-masters are retained to preserve order.

2d. As laborers, in the quartermaster and engineer departments.

3d. As cooks, nurses, and attendants in hospitals.

4th. As company cooks, two to a company.

5th. As officers' servants, according to the number allowed by law.

Commanders of corps, divisions, brigades, and independent posts are authorized to procure and employ negroes [sic] as above:

1st. From those found free and roaming at large.

2d. From those belonging to masters serving in the rebel army, or who have been employed in any manner in the rebel service.

3d. From those belonging to persons who, though not now serving in the rebel cause, are disloyal, or have children or other near relatives in the rebel army, who are benefited or maintained by the labor of such slaves.

Lastly, when it becomes an absolute necessity, from among those belonging to loyal men. In this case a copy of the order directing their employment, and a descriptive list of persons so employed, shall be given to the owner, duly authenticated by the commanding officer of the troops in whose service they are employed.

The commanding general enjoins great caution in the employment of women in any case where it might lead to immorality.[4]

III. All persons so employed in each regiment, except those employed as officers' servants, will be entered on quartermasters' rolls as laborers or teamsters, stating their age, sex, name of master or claimant, date of employment, and the length of time employed; and in the column of "remarks" will be noted on what duty and by whom employed. Those employed by the engineer, quartermaster, or medical departments will be entered on their appropriate rolls. They will be provided with clothing, to be deducted from their pay, the balance to be paid to the person employed, unless he belong to a loyal master, in which case payment will be made to the master.

Every negro [sic] thus employed will receive a certificate from his employer, setting forth the fact and nature of his employment, and no male or female negro [sic] will remain in camp or be subsisted therein without such certificate.

IV. Cmdg. officers and medical directors of corps, divisions, brigades, and posts are directed to substitute hired labor as far as practicable for that of detailed men, and are ordered to return all soldiers now performing such duty to their regiments as fast as their places can be supplied.

By command of Maj.-Gen. Rosecrans:

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

        27, Naval reconnaissance on the Cumberland River and skirmish between Confederate cavalry and U. S. S. Lexington at Harpeth Shoals

Telegram [to Major-General Rosecrans]

Clarksville, January 27, 1863

Wheeler's and Forest's forces are between Charlotte and the [Harpeth] Shoals. The gunboat Lexington was up to Shoals today. Had three cannon balls strike her. Rebels were shelled out. They are collecting such supplies as the country affords. Fifth Iowa Cavalry captured a few of their wagons yesterday and carried them to Donelson.

S.D. Bruce, Commanding Post

Telegram [to Major Goddard]

Nashville, January 27, 1863

No gunboats arrived yet. The gunboat Lexington made a reconnaissance from Clarksville to the [Harpeth] Shoals this morning. Was struck three times by enemy's guns at B_____,[5] [sic] without injury. We succeeded in driving the rebels out. Twenty six transports and four gunboats are on their way to-night. Will arrive some time to-morrow.

Robert B. Mitchell, Brigadier-General, Commanding

Navy OR, Ser. I, Vol. 24, p. 15.

        27, An 89th Illinois Volunteer Sergeant's thinking about the Emancipation Proclamation; an excerpt from George G. Sinclair's letter home, from camp in the Murfreesboro environs, January 27, 1863

….I am tempted to think a little differently for all or most of our generals have gone to Washington and to us, we have it here, find out what we are fight for whether it is altogether for the nigger [sic] or the Union [sic] and Constitution as it was [sic]. If the nigger [sic] is the object and Abe Lincoln's Proclamation still to be the main feature and guide for the prosecution of this unholy war against our own countrymen, then I am out of it forever and shall act conscientiously in leaving the army. There are [sic] other news too that we have started some excitement and hopes that it may be so, that was of the states of Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana and Ohio repudiating the President's Proclamation of September 22nd 1862, their legislation refusing to raise another dollar or another man to carry on the war with and farther to recall all the troops that each of the states have in the field unless the President recalled his proclamation. I hope this may be so for them, it will give the nigger [sic] loving quality a chance to fight for the freedom of their homes having been deceived in the object of this war and swindled into enlisting to preserve he Union when in fact it was only a cloak to raise men to fight their abolition battles.

* * *

Sinclair Correspondence

        27, Nathan Bedford Forrest and Confederate conscription in Franklin

Conscription in Franklin.

The doughty Forrest in his recent visit to Franklin, the county seat of Williamson, had a lively time, in enforcing the Conscription Law. On arriving there with his cavalry, he selected a spot, placed guards around it, and ordered all the male citizens in the town to repair thither without a moment's delay. The order was promulgated by dirty ruffians who galloped up and down the streets, with menacing sabres. The citizens obeyed, and hurried to the rendezvous indicated in great trepidation not knowing what dreadful event was about to happen. Pell-mell they rushed along singly, and in squads, until they arrived at the place, where the terrible ogre Forrest, the "rawhead and bloody bones" of guerrilla warfare was standing with his brigands. He ordered all who were within the limits of the Conscription Law—except those who owned twenty negroes—to come along with him as soldiers in the Confederate Army, and threatened to blow every traitor to the devil, who hesitated one moment. One of the unfortunate gentlemen, thus summarily mustered into service, the clerk of the Court, named Robinson, approached Forrest, and asked to be allowed to go to his room for a few minutes to make some necessary arrangements for this unexpected campaign. Forrest replied by drawing his pistol, and clubbing it, beat the poor fellow several times over the head, gashing it frightfully. After this exhibition of chivalry, the crowd walked off after Forrest, as meekly as the negro-gangs which he used to lead to auction, when he plied his vocation of slave-trader at Memphis.

Nashville Daily Union, January 27, 1863.

        27, Engagement at Middle Fork of Pigeon River at Hodsden's house

No circumstantial reports filed.

First Cavalry Division, commanded by Col. Edward M. McCook, Second Indiana Cavalry.

From Returns of January 1864.

* * * *

January 27, at daylight Campbell's (First) brigade was advanced across Middle Fork of Pigeon River at Hodsden's house, driving the enemy from their strong position west of Big East Pigeon to the east bank of the latter fork, Col. LaGrange's (Second) brigade being sent to the left on Stafford's road, which intersects Fair Garden road about 2 miles from Fair Garden. Enemy's new position was a strong one in the timber, and with their largely superior numbers (being two divisions Morgan's and Armstrong's, under command of Gen. Martin, chief of cavalry) they made stubborn resistance to the advance of the division, but they were steadily driven with great loss, and at the intersection of the Stafford and Fair Garden roads detachments of Second and Fourth Indiana Cavalry, led by Col. LaGrange, completed the rout that had already begun by a dashing saber charge, capturing two 3-inch rifled Rodman guns, the battle-flag of Gen. Morgan, his body-servant, and a large number of prisoners, and sabered several of the cannoneers and supports. The regimental colors of the Thirty-first Indiana Volunteer Infantry and a silk American flag in the possession of the rebels were also recaptured. Morgan's rebel division was thoroughly broken, routed, and dispersed. Division captured 112 prisoners, 11 being commissioned officers, 2 of the latter being regimental commanders. The enemy left a large number of dead and wounded in our hands, and their loss must have been over 350. Our casualties, 28 killed and wounded; no troops but those of the division were engaged.

* * * *

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 32, pt. I, pp. 34-35.

        27, Patrols from LaGrange and Collierville to Coldwater, Mississippi, and patrols from Germantown to Olive Branch, Mississippi

MEMPHIS, January 27, 1864.

Col. A. G. BRACKETT, Collierville, Tenn.:

Send patrols from LaGrange and Collierville as far as line of Coldwater, and from Germantown to Olive Branch. Report me any information they may obtain, particularly the state of the roads.

B. H. GRIERSON, Brig.-Gen.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 32, pt. II, p. 240.

        27, Skirmish near Knoxville

Report of Lieut. Col. Benjamin P. Estes, Thirteenth Kentucky Infantry.

HDQRS. THIRTEENTH KENTUCKY VOL. INFANTRY, Five Miles from Knoxville, Tenn., January 28, 1864.

SIR: I have the honor to report to you that, on yesterday, January 27, at 2,30 p. m., a body of cavalry, supposed to be a full battalion, made a charge on my right, driving in my outposts and capturing 1 corporal and 4 privates, who are still in the enemy's hands. My reserves on the right and center were compelled to fall back; that on the right, resting between the Strawberry Plains and Miller roads, was driven within 200 yards of my camp.

In consequence of my isolated position, the like circumstance will occur so often as the enemy see proper to make an attack, unless cavalry patrols are sent out in my front on these roads to defect the advances of the enemy and warn me of their approach.

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

B. P. ESTES, Lieut. Col., Cmdg. 13th Kentucky Vol. Infantry.

Report of Maj. William W. Wheeler, Twenty-third Michigan Infantry.


COL.: I have the honor to report that the picket of my regiment, stationed on the Strawberry Plains road, was attacked yesterday p. m. (27th) at nearly 2 o'clock by a cavalry force of the enemy, numbering between 150 and 200 men, and driving in with a loss of 1 man mortally wounded and 1 corporal and 5 men prisoners. The enemy was enabled, through cover of woods, to form line of attack very near to our advance sentinels without observation.

Four of the 6 prisoners lost by us were on post as sentinels, and as often as the enemy attacks so often shall we lose the greater portion of our sentinels, unless mounted men may patrol the roads to points beyond the view of infantry sentinels and patrols. A large force of the enemy, probably 400 or 500 men, was held in his reserve. Many of the enemy were carried back on the saddles of their comrades.

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

W. W. WHEELER, Maj., Cmdg.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 32, pt. I, pp. 151-152.

        27, Skirmish at Kelley's Ford [see January 26-28, 1864, Operations about Dandridge above]

        27, Skirmish at McNutt's Bridge [see January 26-28, 1864, Operations about Dandridge above]

        27, Engagement, Fair Garden [see January 26-28, 1864, Operations about Dandridge above]

        27,"A Salt and Battery"

A grocer, on Front row, had a pet joke, which he has been in the habit of getting off at least once a week for some months past. He offers to give a two hundred pound of salt to a man who will carry it the length of his store, without setting it down. He always wins the wager, for the man who carries the salt will have to set it down at last. It was a mere catch in the words of the proposition. A darkey [sic] came up with him yesterday, however. He went into the store, looking unusually green, and soon was picked out for a victim of his joke. Coffee [sic] shouldered the "Salina," and after carrying it down through the store, hung it up on a hook [sic], thereby winning the sack fairly, as he never "set it down" at all. The merchant paid the forfeit, and then offered to give a monstrous cheese to the darkey [sic] if he could butt it off the top of a barrel with his head, when it was set up edgewise. The negro [sic] did not wait a second invitation, but ran a tilt at the "Western reserve" immediately. The cheese was spoilt [sic], the centre of it being soft and decayed. The human battering ram went clear through it, and was the most damaged looking customer afterward you ever saw. He withdrew his forces in dismay.

Memphis Bulletin, January 27, 1864.

        27, "They Stole the Child Away."

'Tis a wise child, they say, that knows its own father, and 'tis a wiser father that knows his own child. Yesterday, while a gentleman who lives on Beal street, was at tea, one of his older children rushed into the dining room with the astounding announcement that a soldier had carried off the baby. The mother was wild with alarm in a moment, and started off in pursuit. She soon overtook the kidnapper, and laid hold of her offspring with tenacious grasp. The father arrived on the scene in another moment, and then there was a fuss, you may bet. The soldier claimed that a colonel stationed at the fort had lost the child a day or two previous, and commissioned him to look it up. He swore particularly to the identity of the little urchin in his arms, and stoutly refused to give it up even if he had to fight for it. No one knows, however, better than a mother what is bone of her bone and flesh of her flesh. She did not in this case feel convinced of the truth of the soldier's words, but held on to her infant as the grim king of terror is supposed to maintain his grasp on a deceased Ethiopian. [?] Finally, the soldier was given in custody to a guard, and two officers sent to the lady's house to ascertain as nearly as possible the true history of the disputed youngster.

Subsequently the kidnapper was released on parole, whereupon he straightaway went into a doggary [sic] and committed so many outrages he got himself shot in the ankle, and will perhaps be a cripple for life in consequence.

Memphis Bulletin, January 27, 1864.

        27, Major-General W. T. Sherman's advice to Brigadier-General R. P. Buckland concerning the governance of Memphis

HDQRS. DEPARTMENT OF THE TENNESSEE, Memphis, January 27, 1864.

Brig. Gen. R. P. BUCKLAND, Cmdg. District of Memphis:

DEAR GEN.: As I am about to leave and you are to remain, I desire to express to you personally the confidence I have in your integrity, judgment, and good sense. You know how much stress I have put on honesty in the character of an U. S. officer. Merchants naturally make gains; it is their calling; but an officer has a salary and nothing else, and if you see by an officer's style of living or any external symptoms that he is spending more than his pay, or if you observe him interested in the personal affairs of business men, stop it and send him to some other duty. Do not let officers settle down into comfortable homes, but make camps and collect in them all the floating mass and send them to their regiments.

Make an order that all officers arriving at Memphis, to remain over twenty-four hours, must call at your headquarters and register their names and business, and all soldiers must do the same.

You can confer in the most friendly spirit with the people here and in the country. Assure them that if they act in good faith to the United States we will fully reciprocate. They must, however, act. Good will of itself is of no value in war.

As an army we will the care of all large hostile bodies, but cannot undertake to do the work of police. We have heretofore done too much of this, and you can in your own way gradually do less and less of it till finally the city and county authorities can take it all off our hands.

Memphis, as a military depot, must be held with the tenacity of life. The fort must be impregnable, the river secure, and the levee, and incidentally the town, or so much of it as gives storage and offices; but if these are at all in danger move them to the cover of the fort. Encourage the militia in all manner of ways. I know the poorer classes, the workingmen, are Union, and I would not mind the croaking of the richer classes. The power is passing from their hands and they talk of the vulgarity of the new regime, but such arguments will be [lost] on you. Power and success will soon replace this class of grumblers, and they will gradually disappear as a political power.

Let the Treasury officers regulate the trade, and only interfere so far as to prevent the enemy getting supplies of arms, powder, shoes, &c. If the intercourse between town and country be too free it will enable you in like manner to keep your spies well out. They can keep you advised of the movements of Forrest, Newsom, and others, but I think after we get in motion these fellows will break for a safe country.

Gen. W. S. Smith will move with a heavy force of cavalry to sweep these parties away, but some may let him pass and try to feel Memphis for plunder. You might assemble your brigade at Germantown and let it move toward the Tallahatchie at the same time with Smith, and when he has made a good start they should return to some point, say the Nonconnah, and act as a guard, but you can act best when you observe the effect of our move. You might have a few spies at Panola and Grenada all the time. Keep this brigade as strong as you can, ready in case I order it to move to Grenada in connection with a force to ascend the Yazoo.

Encourage the influx of good laboring men, but give the cold shoulder to the greedy speculators and drones. The moment these accumulate so as to trouble you conscript them. In like manner, if gamblers, pickpockets, and rowdies come, make a chain gang to clean the streets and work the levee.

Gen. Hurlbut still commands your corps, but will be mostly in the field.

Truly, your friend,

W. T. SHERMAN, Maj.-Gen.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 32, pt. II, pp. 238-239.

        27, Confederate Soldiers Abandon Longstreet's Command in East Tennessee

No circumstantial reports filed.

NEAR DANDRIDGE, January 30, 1864.

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

I have received the following in a letter from Gen. Martin:

Nearly a hundred men, part of the First Alabama, the remnant of a North Alabama battalion, consolidated with the First Alabama,[6] left, officers and all, for home night of the 27th….

*  *  *  *


OR, Ser. I, Vol. 32, pt. II, p. 634.

27, Scout on Lamb's Ferry and Lawrenceburg roads ordered

HDQRS. SECOND DIV., SIXTEENTH ARMY CORPS, Pulaski, Tenn., January 27, 1864.

Col. MADISON MILLER, Eighteenth Missouri Inf. Vols., Cmdg. Third Brig.:

You will throw out a scouting party of mounted men on the Lamb's Ferry and Lawrenceburg roads without delay. Scouting parties will be thrown out on the same roads from this place. Instruct the officers in command of the parties sent out by you of this fact. These parties must not go too far, but must gain all information in their power; the same to be forwarded to these headquarters or to headquarters Left Wing without delay. You will also keep out small patrols on each of the above-named roads day and night. The same will be done from this place.

By order of T. W. Sweeny, brigadier-general commanding:

LOUIS H. EVERTS, Capt. and Assistant Adjutant-Gen.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 32, pt. II, p. 236.

27, Federal patrol from La Grange

HDQRS. COMPANY E, SEVENTH ILLINOIS  CAVALRY, La Grange, Tenn., January 27, 1864.

Adjutant Seventh Illinois Cavalry:

SIR: In pursuance of orders from regimental headquarters this day to patrol the road to Coldwater with 15 men, I proceeded at 10 o'clock this day on the Holly Springs road, 5 miles from this place; discovered 4 rebels to the left of the road near a cotton-gin. They being so far in advance pursuit was useless. Following the road to Hudson's lane, we discovered about 15 or 20 mounted men to our left and rather to our rear, in line. From the appearance of the tracks in the road in front and to the left of the road we were on I judge that there was a column of near 100 in the immediate vicinity. I was informed that there were 75 at that point yesterday, and at the present time 500 men encamped at Coldwater. Thinking it not prudent to proceed farther, we returned to camp.

The roads are in good condition generally. The information I consider reliable.

Very respectfully,

JOHN ETHERIDGE, Second Lieut. Company E, Cmdg. Expedition.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 32, pt. II, p. 242.

        27, Major General W. T. Sherman transfers rolling stock of the Memphis and Charleston Railroad to the Nashville and Decatur Railroad


Memphis, January 27, 1864.

I. The Memphis and Charleston Railroad will be broken up and the cars, locomotives, and all machinery that would be useful to the Nashville and Decatur Railroad will be sent by steam-boat to Nashville and delivered to the agent of Mr. Anderson, superintendent of the railroads in this military division.

II. Two locomotives and ten box cars will be retained in Memphis for use in supplying the picket station out on the road.

III. The expenses incurred in the execution of this order will come out of the funds now in the hands of the quartermaster of the road; but in case they are insufficient Capt. Eddy will provide transportation and  funds to complete the change.

IV. Gen. J. D. Webster will superintend the execution of this order, and make any further directions necessary to carry out its objects with as much celerity as possible, and having completed the business will rejoin the general commanding wherever he may be.

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

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 32, pt. II, p. 243.

        27, Letter to Brigadier General S. P. Carter asking protection Federal depredations committed in East Tennessee

KNOXVILLE, TENN., January 27, 1864.

Brig. Gen. S. P. CARTER:

DEAR SIR: You have in one of your orders or addresses to the people of East Tennessee urged the farmers to plant large crops and promised protection to them, but at present their existence is threatened by the destruction of their fencing and the taking of their family supplies of provisions; therefore we ask of you to state to us whether we can still ask of you protection for our family supplies. If the army needs all we have let us know and we will leave the country. The soldiers in our neighborhood are robbing smokehouses and taking the corn and seed oats, even when your safeguard is shown; and even colonels in command when informed of it say their necessities are of such a character that they are compelled to take them. Deal with us as you please, but let us know the worst.



OR, Ser. I, Vol. 32, pt. II, p. 245.

        27, Explosion of steamer transport Eclipse[7] at Johnsonville, and loss of 27 killed, 78 injured,

PADUCAH, KY., January 27, 1865.

Governor O. P. MORTON, Indianapolis, Ind.:

The steamer Eclipse blew up at Johnsonville at 6 a. m. this day, Ninth Indiana Battery, Capt. Brown, on board. Sixty-eight men injured, more or less; ten died. They have arrived at this post. I am doing all I can for them. If you can render any assistance, please do so for the wounded.

S. MEREDITH, Brig.-Gen.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 49, pt. I, p. 600.


WASHINGTON CITY, October 15, 1865.

Bvt. Maj. Gen. M. C. MEIGS, Quartermaster-Gen. U. S. Army:

* * * *

….The steamer Eclipse, destroyed at Johnsonville, Tenn., January 27, 1865, by the explosion of her boilers, and resulting in the loss of 27 soldiers killed and 78 more or less injured, which is believed to have been occasioned by the use, in an emergency, of an unsafe boat.

* * * *

OR. Ser. I, Vol. 52, pt. I, Supplement, p. 714


[1] Not identified.

[2] Dyer's Battle Index for Tennessee lists this as a skirmish.

[3] As cited in John M. Martin, ed., "A Methodist Circuit Rider Between the Lines: The Private Journal of Joseph J. Pitts, 1862-1864," THQ, No. 3 (September 1960), p. 255.

[4] This aspect of Civil War activity in Middle Tennessee, that is, interracial sexual relations between white soldiers and negro women has not been carefully researched. There are few records that speak to the phenomenon. See, however, July 6-August 4, 1863, "Battle of Smoky Row" below.

[5] Possibly Besthesda, Tenn.

[6] Alabama troops, along with Tennessee and Mississippi soldiers, had been leaving the Confederate army since early January 1864, at least according to Union Brigadier-General G. M. Dodge's report:

PULASKI, January 6, 1864.

Maj. R. M. SAWYER:

*  *  *  *

Wheeler and Wharton have been ordered back from East Tennessee, and Roddey is guarding north bank of Tennessee….There is great desertion in Tennessee, North Alabama, and Mississippi troops.

G. M. DODGE, Brig.-Gen.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 32, pt. II, p. 35.

[7] There is no mention of the fate of the Eclipse in the Navy OR.

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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