Wednesday, January 7, 2015

1.6.2015 Tennessee Civil War Notes

            30, Fear of northern incendiaries in Nashville

BOWLING GREEN (via CHATTANOOGA), December 30, 1861.

Hon. J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of War:

The citizens of Nashville believe, and so represent, that the city is in danger from incendiaries sent in by the Federalists or engaged from the disloyal of their own citizens. They wish a strong military police under a general officer, and recommend Gen. R. C. Foster, from his knowledge of the city, the people, his firmness, and experience, as the most proper person. In this representation and recommendation the Governor concurs and in the recommendation I also concur, and hope it will receive attention.


OR, Ser. I, Vol. 7, pp. 808-809.

            30, Confederate pressing release [see December 27, 1861, "SPECIAL ORDER NO. 1 above]


Clarksville, Dec. 30, 1861.

Sir:-In obedience to the above order you are hereby directed to send ____ able-bodied hands that being your proportion according to the list of taxable slaves given by you for the year 1861.

Your hands will be required for a period of ten working days, if not sooner discharged. Comfortable quarters will be provided, and every care taken of your property.

I remain your obedient servant,

Geo. D. Martin

Quartermaster C. S. A.

Clarksville Chronicle, January 10, 1862.

            30, Suppression of East Tennessee Unionists


We are permitted to take the following extract from a private letter, under the date of the 21st instant, addressed to Mr. Senator Johnson, of Tennessee, by a gentleman at Crab Orchard, Kentucky. The writer is an East Tennesseean and an Assistant Surgeon in the Army.  It is impossible to read his pathetic narrative of the sufferings of his people and not repeat the emphatic inquiry with which this extract concludes:

"I have visited our friends of two East Tennessee Regiments at Somerset, and saw a number of my acquaintances from Hamilton, Rhea, Bledsoe, and Marion counties.  According to their reports (and they are reliable) no people were ever so cruelly treated as our Union friends are in those counties.  Squads of rebel soldiery are literally scouring the country.  The Union men have had to flee from their homes and bide amid the fastness and caves of the mountains, and the rebels pursue and hunt them day and night like wild beasts. Hundreds are trying to make their way to Kentucky, while hundreds despair of reaching here and still lie concealed in the mountains freezing and starving. All that the rebels can capture they hurry off to Tuscaloosa, Alabama, or to the penitentiary of Nashville; or, which is worse still, murder and leave them to rot in the mountains. They also destroy and steal all kinds of property-horses, cattle, hogs, corn, bedding, furniture, clothing, cloth, etc., and they report that it is getting worse every day.  Good Heavens cannot, will not the Government send help to them?"

Daily National Intelligencer, (Washington, DC) December 30, 1861.

            30, Skirmish at La Vergne[1]

Report of Capt. J. H. Wiggins, Arkansas battery, including skirmishes at La Vergne December 26-27.

FEBRUARY 10, 1863.

In compliance with General Orders, No. 6, I have the honor to submit the following report of the part borne by Wiggins' battery in the fights before Murfreesborough.

On the evening of December 26, [1862] the enemy advanced upon La Vergne, and one section of the battery was advanced, under Lieut. [J. W.] Calloway, to engage the enemy. During the engagement that evening we lost 3 horses and had 2 men wounded. That night the section under Lieut. Calloway retired about a mile, and one section under Lieut. [J. P.] Bryant was left in La Vergne on picket.

On the morning of the 27th, Lieut. Calloway, with his section, was ordered to the front to engage the enemy again, while Lieut. Bryant, with his section, was posted on a hill to the left of the pike and in rear of La Vergne, to relieve the retreat of Lieut. Calloway. The battery retired to Stewart's Creek that evening, engaging the enemy by sections alternately. Loss that day, one horse. One section, under Lieut. Bryant, was left on picket at Stewart's Creek until Monday morning, the rest of the battery retiring to the rear.

On Monday, the 29th, we retired to our lines In front of Murfreesborough, firing in the same manner as at Stewart's Creek, and moved with the command to the right and encamped until midnight [the 29th], when, in compliance with orders from Gen. Wheeler, took Lieut. Calloway With a section of guns and moved with the command on the Lebanon pike and north of Old Jefferson, where a camp of the enemy was attacked [30th], and the battery fired about a dozen; then moved on with the command by way of La Vergne and Nolensville, but had no other engagement until Wednesday [31st] evening, when the enemy was attacked and the battery engaged two hours. Lost 1 man wounded, 1 horse killed, and several horses wounded.

On Wednesday (31st), one piece of the section which was left behind was taken out by Lieut. Bryant, by order of Gen. Bragg, with Gen. Breckinridge's division, and was engaged in the action that day. Total loss, 3 men wounded, 4 horses killed, and several more wounded. The stock was very much exhausted, not having been unharnessed in six days.

The officers and men all bore themselves well and with coolness. Sergt. A. A. Blake especially displayed much gallantry.

Respectfully submitted.

J. H. WIGGINS, Capt.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 20, pt. I, pp. 965-966.

            30, Skirmish at Nolensville

No circumstantial reports filed.

Excerpt from the Report of Brigadier-General Jefferson C. Davis, U. S. Army, commanding 1st Division.

HDQRS, 1st Division, Right Wing, 14th Army Corps, during the Stones River Campaign and relative to the skirmish at Nolensville on December 30, 1862. Report filed January --. 1863.

* * * *

On the morning of the 30th the division moved forward and took position on Gen. Sheridan's right, about 300 yards south of and parallel to the Wilkinson pike, in which position it remained until 2 p. m. A few companies of skirmishers thrown to the front in a skirt of timbered land soon found those of the enemy, and for several hours a brisk skirmish was kept up with varying results. About 2 p. m. the general commanding ordered a general advance of the whole line. This the enemy seemed at first disposed to resist only with his skirmishers; gradually, however, as both parties strengthened their lines of skirmishers, the contest became more animated. Our main lines steadily advanced, occupying and holding the ground gained by the skirmishers until about half an hour before sunset, when the enemy's position was plainly discerned, running diagonally across the old Murfreesborough and Franklin road.

The enemy's batteries now announced our close proximity to their lines. Carpenter's and Hotchkiss' batteries were soon brought into position and opened fire. Woodruff's and Cartlin's brigades by this time felt the fire of the enemy's main lines, and responded in the most gallant manner. Post's brigade, moving steadily forward on the right, after a most obstinate resistance on the part of the enemy, succeeded in driving his skirmishers from a strong position in our front, forcing them to retire upon his main lines. Night soon brought a close to the contest.

* * * *

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 20, pt. I, p. 263.

            30, Skirmish and capture of supply train at Jefferson

Report of Capt. T. H. Mauldin, Third Alabama Cavalry, Wheeler's brigade, including skirmishers December 26-January 5.

FOSTERVILLE, TENN., February 19, 1863.

COL.: The Third Alabama Cavalry was engaged in skirmishing with the enemy on December 26,27,28, and 29, 1862, from La Vergne to Murfreesborough, Tenn.

On the 30th, was present at a skirmish near Jefferson, La Vergne, and Nolensville.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 20, pt. I, p. 961.


Excerpt from the report of Major-General Joseph Wheeler's report of January 29, 1863, relative to the skirmish and capture of a supply train at Jefferson:

New Fosterville, Tennessee, January 26, 1863.


* * * *

By daylight on the 30th we had reached Jefferson, and son after met a [Union] brigade train, with all the equipage of one brigade. We attacked vigorously, drove off the guards, and destroyed the train, baggage, equipage, &c., also capturing about 50 prisoners. We then proceeded toward La Vergne, and captured a party of Federals out stealing and gathering stock, and soon after overtook and captured a small foraging train.

* * * *

OR, Ser. I, Vol. Vol. 20, pt. I, p. 958.

            30, Skirmish at Huntingdon

No circumstantial reports filed.[2]

Excerpt of the report of Col. Cyrus L. Dunham, Fiftieth Indiana Infantry, of skirmish at Huntingdon, December 30, and engagement at Parker's Cross-Roads:


Parker's Cross-Roads, near Lexington, Tenn., Dec. 31, 1862.

SIR: In pursuance of your written order of yesterday, the 30th instant, I on that day at about 2 p. m. left Huntingdon in pursuit of the enemy's forces under General Forrest, toward Lexington, with the brigade under my command, except the Seventh Tennessee, which was by your orders left to guard the bridge north of Huntingdon. My command consisted of parts of two companies (A and E) of the Eighteenth Illinois Volunteer Infantry, mounted, under Captain Davis, 65 men; the Fiftieth Indiana Volunteers, Lieutenant-Colonel Wells commanding, 525; the One hundred and twenty-second Illinois, Colonel Rinaker, 529; the Thirty-ninth Iowa, Colonel Cumming, 405, and three pieces of the Seventh Wisconsin Battery, 30 men, under Lieutenant Wheelock – in all, 1,554, rank and file. Notwithstanding all were weary and worn with toilsome marches and arduous duties already performed our little force pushed vigorously forward and reached Clarksburg, 12 miles distant, shortly after dark.

As the advance guards (the mounted infantry under Captain Davis) approached the town they were met and resisted by a company of the enemy. They promptly dismounted, engaged and repulsed him, killing 3, who were left dead on the ground. Our column immediately moved forward into and occupied the town without further resistance. Here we bivouacked for the night.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 17, pt. I, pp. 579-580.[3]

            30, Capture of Carter's Depot [see December 20-January 5, 1863, Carter's Raid into E Tennessee above]

            30, Capture of Confederates, Blountville[4] [see December 20, 1862-January 5, 1863, Carter's Raid into E Tennessee above]

            30, Destruction of Watauga Bridge[5] [see December 20, 1862-January 5, 1863, Carter's Raid into E Tennessee above]

            30, Capture of Union, Tennessee[6] [see December 20, 1862-January 5, 1863, Carter's Raid into E Tennessee above]

No circumstantial reports filed.

However, the following excerpt provides adequate verification:

Excerpt from the Report of Brig. Gen. Samuel P. Carter, U. S. Army, commanding expedition into East Tennessee and Southeest Virginia, December 20, 1862-January 5, 1863, relative to the capture of Union, Tenn., on January 30, 1862.

LEXINGTON, KY., January 9, 1863.

GEN.: I have the honor to submit the following report of the operations of the expeditionary force to East Tennessee, which was intrusted to my command.

* * * *

I...sent forward Lieut.-Col. Campbell with a portion of the Second Michigan, under the direction of Col. James P. T. Carter, of the Second East Tennessee Infantry, toward Union, with orders to take the place and destroy the railroad bridge across the Holston River....during the night...I moved them rapidly forward in the same direction. When we reached Union, I found the town in our possession, and the railroad bridge, a fine structure some 600 feet in length, slowly burning. The rebel force, about 150 strong, consisting of two companies of the Sixty-second North Carolina troops, under command of Maj. McDowell, had surrendered without resistance, the major himself having been first captured by our advance while endeavoring to learn if there was any truth of our reported approach.

* * * *

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 20, pt. I, p. 90.

            30, Skirmish at Clarksburg

No circumstantial reports filed.

Excerpt from the Report of Col. John I. Rinaker, One hundred and twenty-second Illinois Infantry, of skirmish at Clarksburg and engagement at Parker's Cross-Roads, relative to the skirmish at Clarksburg, December 31, 1862.

HEADQUARTERS 122D ILLINOIS INFANTRY REGIMENT, Saulsbury, Tenn., August 25, 1863.


* * * *

We marched to Huntingdon, Carroll County, where we arrived on the evening of the 29th of December, 1862. We marched with the brigade from Huntingdon at noon on the 30th and reached Clarksburg on the night of the same day. Here the advance of our brigade had a slight skirmish with the flankers of Forrest's forces, he (Forrest) having gone from a point north of Huntingdon via McLemoresville to the south and then the west, toward Parker's, on the Huntingdon and Lexington road, during the night of the 29th and the day of the 30th, and was then with his main force 6 miles west of us.

* * * *

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 17, pt. I, p. 585.

            30, Skirmish, Rock Spring

No circumstantial reports filed.

Excerpt from Wheeler's Report of January 29, 1863, on activities during the Stones River Campaign, relative to the skirmish at Rock Spring, December 30, 1862.

* * * *

About noon we arrived in the vicinity of La Vergne and found it filled with soldiers and large trains parked in the fields surrounding the place. We immediately charged in three columns, completely surprising the guards, who made but slight resistance. We immediately paroled the prisoners, amounting to about 700, and destroyed immense trains and stores, amounting to many hundred thousands of dollars. We then proceeded to Rock Spring, attacked, captured, and destroyed another large train. We then marched on Nolensville without opposition, capturing large trains, stores, and arms, and about 300 prisoners....

* * * *

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 20, pt. I, p. 959.

            30, Destruction of railroad bridge at Holston River[7] [see December 20, 1862-January 5, 1863, Carter's Raid into East Tennessee above]

            30, Skirmish at Murfreesborough

No circumstantial reports filed.

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

MURFREESBOROUGH, TENN., December 30, 1862.

(Received at Richmond, Va., January 1, 1863.)

Artillery firing at intervals and heavy skirmishing of light troops all day. Enemy very cautious, and declining a general engagement. Armies are in line of battle within sight.


OR, Ser. I, Vol. 20, pt. I, p. 661.

"From the Front."

Our Army is still in line of battle a few miles in front of the town awaiting in momentary expectancy the opening of the conflict. The advance of the Federal columns steadily continues and without doubt this morning's son will herald in the great tournament of arms. At various intervals during yesterday the sullen roar of cannon and an occasional crash of musketry threw a momentary thrill across the heart. It was only the introduction of the mighty combatants to each other. Later in the day silence reigned throughout-the precursor of the coming storm. We could not gather up news other than that our losses had been immaterial. Tomorrow there will be much to say.

Murfreesboro Daily Rebel Banner, December 30, 1862.

            30, Major-General S. A. Hurlbut's report relative to situation Memphis

HDQRS., Memphis, Tenn., December 30, 1862.

Lieut.-Col. RAWLINS, Assistant Adjutant-Gen., Holly Springs:

COL.: I desire to report to the major-general commanding department that Gen. Quinby, with his division, escorting a heavy supply train, arrived at this post yesterday. Every preparation had been made in advance to facilitate the loading, but the teams were fatigued, and Gen. Quinby deferred commencing until this morning. We have an abundance of rations, and the commissary of subsistence has been notified by Col. Haines to keep always 4,000,000 on hand.

I have obtained 700,000 feet of lumber, and propose to erect within the fort a storehouse for 2,000,000, which, with our other accommodations, will give abundant storage. It will also be necessary to erect a barrack hospital within the ramparts.

The ground in front of the fort is now being cleared of houses, &c., to a distance of about 250 yards, and Capt. Prime proposes to erect a flank work at the north end to cover the quartermaster's and commissary's depots and flank the heavy guns.

The garrison is all within the fort except one regiment on provost duty at the square in the city.

* * * *

The city is restless, but cowed. I have not hesitated to announce that an attack would involve the destruction of Memphis. I am enrolling the Union Club as Home Guards and propose to arm them.

Since Gen. Sherman took away the force from here smuggling has been unlimited. I occasionally catch them with cavalry patrols....I have ordered Gen. Davies to send down all forces destined originally for Memphis and Helena and stopped by him, and have forwarded to-day the order of Maj.-Gen. Grant to the same effect.

* * * *

I regret to report that the paroled prisoners arrived here in the wildest disorder. Col. Ferrell, of the Twenty-ninth Illinois, who commanded after the major-general relieved Col. Murphy from duty, exercised no authority over his officers and men, and hone the command arrived at the Nonconah [sic], 7 miles out, abandoned them and rode in an ambulance with his wife. The example spread, and officers and men came in squads and parties and spread all over the city. I was compelled to order the provost-guard to arrest all officers and men and force them to the fort. Col. Ferrell is under arrest, and I have no doubt, when you receive the report of Gen. Quinby, will be mustered out of service for disobedience of orders and desertion of his men. I shall be able to get them off to Saint Louis to-morrow. Col. Murphy has been arrested and awaits orders.

* * * *

S. A. HURLBUT, Maj.-Gen.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 17, pt. II, pp. 507-508.

            30, Oath of allegiance required by pro-Confederate citizens in Nashville by January 15, 1863

Office Chief of Police, 14th Army Corps, Dept. of the Cumberland

Nashville, December 30, 1862

Notice is hereby given to all citizens of Nashville, and of Davidson County, who have, by word or deed, aided, and abetted the present rebellion, to come forward fortheith to this office and make bond and oath, according to the forms provided and heretofore published by military authority.

All such persons within the city limits are required to do this by the 15th day of January, 1863. If not given by that day, they will be summarily dealt with, by fine, imprisonment or exclusions from these lines.

By order of Maj. Gen. Rosecrans.

John Fitch, Provost Judge,

Wm. Truesdail, Chief of Army Police.

Office in Zollicoffer's Building, No. 28 High Street, Nashville, Tenn.

Nashville Dispatch, January 2, 1863.

            30, Domestic disturbance and prisoners of war: guard duty in Nashville; an excerpt from the diary of John Hill Fergusson, 10th Illinois Volunteer Infantry

….I will now make mension [sic] of the proceedings [sic] while I was on duty the building in which I had my guard head quarters [sic] a very large brick house with 3 large door faceing [sic] the Street it had been pitetioned [sic] [partitioned?] of in Store room [sic] before the war broek [sic]; formenced [formed?] the center door [of] a small room was piteationed [sic] of for [sic] a Sergient [sic] of one of the Tennessee regts, and his family to live in: tonight the sergient [sic] and a comeried [sic] [comrade?] Soldier of his and 2 citizens all irish [sic] get on a [sic] Irish Spree: until midnight to all Seemed to be happy as I could hear every thing that passed I was some what interested to hear them the glasses rattled and the drink around them with while some old Irish song in this way the four part of the night fell out and got up to fight Such hallowing and such Screeming [sic] amongst the weman [sic] and men I never heard Soon the company was throwed through the glass door and down the 5 Stone Steps and landed head first on the flagg [sic] [stone] of the side walk: I had some notion to arest [sic] them but it was two [sic] late to take them to General Mitchels [sic] head quarters that night: and I did not have guards to stand guard over them until morning without making it two [sic] hard on the guards so I thought it was a kind of family guard and I would let them fight it out the man now fell and lit outside: gathered him self after a while and came in to our head quarters I examined his head he had been cut in the face with a soard [sic] baynet [sic] his head and face was a perfect clogg [sic] of blud [sic] I advised him to go to the river and wash of which he did after he returned he asked me if I was guarding this Irish mans [sic] house I told him no he walked out: the first thing I heard was a brick slam it went through the windows then he hurried back up and lay down beside the guards that ware [sic] Laying sleeping around the next minut [sic] the Sargient [sic] his wife came in he had the soard [sic] baynet [sic] in his hand and he told me what had taken place and wanted that I should hunt the man up and arrest [sic] him he incisted [sic] that I should go into the house and see what had been dun [sic] I walked in the floor was covered with glass it crushed under my feet they showed me the brick and told me it Lit right in the bed where the children was: he told me he was a soldier and a Sargient [sic] just like my Self [sic]  and went and get soc his coat to shoe [sic]  me the Stripes So that I would believe him to be telling the truth he claimed that I had a right to hunt the man up: as he was a Soldier of the united States army he thought he ought to be protected I told him I liked on it as a family quarl [sic] caused by whisky and if I arested [sic] one I would have to arest [sic] all and I thought they would all like it better tomorrow to let it fall of [sic] as quietly as possaable [sic] in about an houre [sic] from that time the wife came out hallowing to me to come hear and arest [sic] hir [sic] old man he was going to kill hir and the children She Said he was a brut [sic] and not fit to live with he bate [sic] that poor man nearly to death because he had a soard [sic] baynet [sic]  A Sargient [sic] came in and see [sic] [says?]  to him if I go back he will kill me: I tried to advise hir [sic] to go back that it would all pass of[f] right but she  would not go so I went into the house to talk to him but he had hid someplace the 2 men now enjoyed [sic] them selves so mirrley [sic] all night: now Lay on there backs on the floor Sound a Sleep [sic] intirly [sic] forgetful of the past I inquired of the weman [sic] in the house whare [sic] the Sargient [sic] was She Said She did not know I told hir [sic] if he made any more fights [?] tonight I would have to arest [sic] him so I hoped He would keep Still for I had no desiar [sic] to do it: I returned and told his wife she might go back for all was quite [sic]  I did not hear another workd since and harmoncy prevailed from that until morning: the places which I had to guard were scattered around in different Streets 2 gards [sic] stood at the gait [sic] amongst them ware [sic] N. Fancher[8] the orders ware [sic] to have the guns loaded and if any prisoner put his head out of a window He ware [sic] to shoot and shoot to kill one a Secesh prisoner put his head out of a window again he said he wold look out as often ashe wanted and he was a damed [sic] Son of a bitch for trying to prevent him  Fancher raised his gun and bursted a cap at him the gun did not go [off] he bursted another Still the gun did not go off he hallowed to Corporal Hungerford to bring him another gun which was dun [sic] the rebel then pulled in his head and did not show it again during the day which was good for him our guard stood by a Larg[e] wood shead [sic] to guard the wood all the others guarded commissderys [sic] of different kinds they ware [sic] all relieved every 2 hours.

John Hill Fergusson Diary, Book 2.

30, "…induce them to return to their allegiance to the United States…."

HDQRS. DEPARTMENT OF THE CUMBERLAND, Pulaski, December 30, 1864---9 p. m.

Brig. Gen. ANDREW JOHNSON, Military Governor of Tennessee, Nashville:

As the enemy is now entirely driven out of the State of Tennessee, I would respectfully suggest that immediately meassures be taken for the reorganization of the civil government of the State, as it is desirable, it possible, to place as force of the army beyond the borders of the State and as close to the enemy as we can, and I should be very happy to be assured that I could leave the State in the hands of the citizens. All should certainly now feel that the establishment of rebel authority in the State of Tennessee is hopeless, and their own interests should induce them to return to their allegiance to the United States, and restore peace to their State without any further quibbling.

GEO. H. THOMAS, Maj.-Gen., U. S. Volunteers, Cmdg.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 45, pt. II, p. 421.


[1] At times verification for an event is found incidentally in reports covering larger time frames and other actions. This is the case with the skirmish at La Vergne, December 30, 1862.

[2] Excerpt of the report of Col. Cyrus L. Dunham, Fiftieth Indiana Infantry, of skirmish at Huntingdon, December 30, and engagement at Parker's Cross-Roads is the only source of information on this event in the OR.

[3] This, and the skirmishes of the 27th and 29th, preceded the engagement at Parker's Crossroads on the 30th. They were very small fights.

[4] According to Carter's report of January 9, 1863,: "At daylight on the morning of the 30th we reached the town of Blountville, Sullivan County, East Tennessee, surprised and took possession of the place, captured some 30 soldiers belonging to the Fourth Regiment Kentucky (rebel) cavalry, in hospital, and paroled them."

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 20, pt. I, pp. 90.

[5] According to Carter's report of January 9, 1863,: "At daylight on the morning of the 30th we reached the town of Blountville, Sullivan County, East Tennessee, surprised and took possession of the place, captured some 30 soldiers belonging to the Fourth Regiment Kentucky (rebel) cavalry, in hospital, and paroled them."

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 20, pt. I, pp. 90.

[6] According to the report of Colonel Charles J. Walker, Kentucky Cavalry, commanding cavalry brigade during Carter's Raid, on December 30, 1862 they "marched on Union, now called Zollicoffer." See: OR, Ser. I, Vol. 20, pt. I, p. 93.

[7] Referebced as an affair in Dyer's Battle Index for Tennessee

[8] A comrade of Fergusson's.

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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