Sunday, February 15, 2015

2.15.2015 Tennessee Civil War Notes

        15, General A. S. Johnston requests arms be sent from New Orleans to Murfreesborough

EDGEFIELD, TENN., February 15, 1862.


I learn 15,000 arms have run the blockade on the steamship Victoria at New Orleans. I request that they may be immediately sent to me at Murfreesborough, Tenn., where there will be an agent to receive them, suggesting that they may be placed in charge of special messenger, with power to impress all passenger locomotives on the rail roads, by which means they can be sent in less than half the time that freight engines would deliver them. I also wish to ascertain what kind of guns they are, their caliber and character, so as to have proper ammunition prepared here at Nashville by the time they arrive. The men to use them can be found, and in the presence emergency they may be of vital importance.

I am, sir, very respectfully,

A. S. JOHNSTON, Gen., C. S. Army.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 7, p. 833.

        15, Governor Harris's assessment of situation after first attack on Fort Donelson

EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT, Nashville, Tenn., February 15, 1862.


MY DEAR SIR: Gen. Pillow's dispatch after the battle of to-day shows that the enemy is being re-enforced and will probably attack us again. (A copy of this dispatch the operator informs me he sent to you.)

Will you pardon me, my dear sir, for suggesting and respectfully urging the immediate re-enforcement of our gallant and glorious little army there to the extent of our ability. A few thousand men thrown to their aid immediately may turn the scale and make our victory complete and triumphant.

If there is anything that State authorities can do to aid this or any other matter they are at your command.



OR, Ser. I, Vol. 7, p. 833.

        15, A Federal officer's description of the battle at Fort Donelson

The men took their arms, officers loosened their pistol holsters. I looked up my cavalry sabre, unbuttoned my great coat so that I could quickly throw it off, and I took my place beside the lieutenant-colonel with whom I was to act. Then there came a painful, unpleasant pause; we heard nothing-saw nothing-yet knew that something was coming; what that something was no one could tell. A messenger came from the general-we were to move to the left and support the Second Iowa. We supposed the rebels were crossing a little higher up, and that the gap between us and the Second was to be closed. The colonel gave the order "left face," "forward march," and the regiment passed along through the thick trees in a column of two abreast. But the Second were not where they had been in the morning; we marched on, but did not come to them. In a few moments we passed their camp fires-a few more, and we emerged on an open field.

At a glance, the real object of the movement was apparent. It came upon us in an instant. Like the lifting of a curtain. The Fourteenth [Iowa] were hurrying down through the field. The Second, in a long line, were struggling up the opposite hill, where two glens met and formed a ridge. It was high and steep, slippery with mud and melted snow. At the top, the breastworks of the rebels flashed and smoked, whilst to the right and left, up either glen, cannon were thundering. The attempt seemed desperate. Down through the field we went, and began to climb the hill. At the very foot I found we were in the line of fire. Rifle balls hissed over us, and bleeding men lay upon the ground, or were dragging themselves down the hill. From the foot to the breastworks the Second Iowa left a long line of dead and wounded upon the ground. The sight of these was the most appalling part of the scene, and, for a moment, completely diverted my attention from the firing. A third of the way up we came under the fire of the batteries. The shot, and more especially the shell, came with the rushing, clashing of a locomotive on a railroad. You heard the boom of the cannon up the ravine-then the sound of the shell-and then felt [sic] it rushing at you. At the top of the hill the firearms sounded like bundles of immense powder crackers. They would go r-r-r-r-rap; then came the scattered shots, rap, rap-rap-rap; then some more fired together, rrrrrrap. This resemblance was striking that it impressed me at the moment.

The bursting of shells produced much less effect-apparent effect, I mean-than I had anticipated. Their explosion, too, was much like a large powder cracker thrown in the air. There was a loud bang-fragments flew about, and all was over. It was so quickly done, that you had no time to anticipate or think-you were killed or you were safe, and it was over. But the most dispiriting thing was that we saw no enemy. The batteries were out of sight, and at the breastworks nothing could be seen but fire and smoke. It seemed as though we were attacking some invisible power, and that it was a simple question of time whether we would climb that slippery steep before we were all shot or not. But suddenly the firing at the summit ceased. The Second Iowa had charged the works, and driven out the regiments which held them. Then came the fire of the second upon our flying foes, and the loud shouts along the line, "Hurrah, hurrah, the Second are in-hurry up boys, and support them-close up-forward." We reached the top and scrambled over the breastwork. I saw a second hill rising gradually before us, and on the top of it a second breastwork-between us and it about four hundred yards of broken ground. A second fire opened upon us from these inner works. We were ordered back, and, recessing those we had taken, lay down upon the outer side of the embankment.

The breastwork that sheltered the enemy now sheltered us. It was about six feet high on our side, and the men laid close against it. Occasionally a hat was pushed up above it, and then a rifle ball would come whistling over us from the second intrenchment. The batteries also continued to fire, but the shot passed lowered down the hill, and did little execution. Having no specific duty to discharge, I turned a soon as our troops reached the breastworks, and gave my aid to other wounded.

A singular fact for which I could not account was that those near the fool of the hill were struck in the legs; higher up the shots had gone through the body and near the breastworks, through the head. Indeed, at the top of the hill I noticed no wounded; all who lay upon the ground were dead. A little house in the field was used as a hospital. I tore my handkerchief into strips, and tied them round the wounds which were bleeding badly, and made the men hold snow against them. I then took a poor fellow in my arms to carry to the little house. "Throw down your gun," I said, "you are too weak to carry it." "No, no," he replied, "I will hold on to it as long as I am alive." The house happened to be in the exact line of one of the batteries, and as we approached it, the shot flew over our path. Fortunately, the house was below the range, but one came so low as to knock off a shingle from the gable lend. For a few minutes we thought they were firing on the wounded. We had no red flag to display; but I found a man with a red handkerchief, and tied it to a stick, and sent him on the roof with it. Within the house there were but three surgeons at this time. One of them asked me to take his horse and ride for the instruments, ambulances, and assistants; for no preparations had been made. It was then I passed Major Chipman carried by his soldiers.

When I returned, the ambulances were busy at the work; numerous couples of soldiers were supporting off wounded friends, and occasionally came four, carrying one in a blanket. The wounded men generally showed the greatest heroism. The hardly ever alluded to themselves, but shouted to the artillery that we meant to hurry forward, and told stragglers that we had carried the day. One poor boy, carried in the arms two soldiers, had his foot knocked off by a shell; it dangled horribly from his limb by a piece of skin, and the bleeding stump was uncovered. I stopped to tell the men to tie his stocking round the limb, and to put snow upon the wound. "Never mind the foot, captain," said he, "we drove the rebels out, and have got their trench, that's the most I care about." Yet I confess the sights and sounds were not as distressing as I anticipated. The small round bullet holes, though they might be mortal, looked no larger than a surgeon's lanced might have made. Only once did I hear distressing groans. A poor wretch in an ambulance shrieked whenever the wheels struck a stump. There was no help for it. The road was through the wood, the driver could only avoid the trees, and drive on regardless of his agony.

You will perhaps ask how I felt in the fight. There was nothing upon which I had so much curiosity as to what my feelings would be. Much to my surprise I found myself unpleasantly cool. I did not get excited, and felt a great want of something to do. I thought if I only had something-my own company to lead on, or somebody to order, I should have much less to think about. There seemed such a certainty of being hit that I felt certain I should be, and after a few minutes had a vague sort of wish that it would come if it were coming, and be over with. The alarming effect of the bullets and shells was less that I supposed it would be, and my strongest sensation of danger we was produced by the sight of the dead and wounded. The thing I was most afraid of was a panic among our men, and when the Seventh Illinois was ordered to fall back down the hill, I so much feared that the men might deem it a retreat that I entirely forgot the firing, and walked down in front of them to their major, so that any frightened man in the ranks might be reassured by our "matter of course" air….

Nott, Sketches of the War, pp. 30-35.[1]

        15, "Night speaking at the Capitol – Triumph over the repulse of the gunboats." An entry from Dr. John Berrien Lindsley

Saturday – Hard work all day to feed the big crowd.  Tom Woods & Menifee very useful in dining room. [Marginal note in different handwriting: "color men"]  All of us perfectly worn out with the task of feeding some six hundred convalescents, & taking care of one hundred or more quite ill persons --  Reports & rumors of the battles at Fort Donelson.  Night speaking at the Capitol – Triumph over the repulse of the gunboats.

Dr. John Berrien Lindsley's Journal, February 16, 1862, TSLA, ed. Kathy Lauder

        15, Skirmishes near Auburn

FEBRUARY 15, 1863.-Skirmishes near Auburn[2], Tenn.

Report of Brig. Gen. David S. Stanley, U. S. Army, HDQRS. CAVALRY, Near Murfreesborough, February 16, 1863.

COL.: I have the honor to inform you that the Second Michigan, commanded by Lieut.-Col. [F.] Fowler, returned at 2 p. m. He proceeded 3 miles beyond Auburn, charging and driving the rebels from a bridge they were destroying on the road leading to Liberty.

The enemy attacked him at 8 p. m. last evening. He repulsed them, killing 2 horses, and hearing the groans of their wounded, and exclamations that "I am killed!" Does not know their loss.

He has captured 4 prisoners belonging to the Tenth Kentucky. His loss is 1 man taken and 1 man wounded in the fleshy part of the thigh. In my opinion, Morgan's main force is not in that vicinity. If I am mistaken, by this time to-morrow I can collect force enough to attack and dislodge him.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

D. S. STANLEY, Brig.-Gen. and Chief of Cavalry.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 23, pt. I, p. 47.

        15, Skirmish near Cainsville

FEBRUARY 15, 1863.-Skirmish near Cainsville, Tenn.


No. 1.-Maj. Gen. Williams S. Rosecrans, U. S. Army.

No. 2.-Col. James Monroe, One hundred and twenty-third Illinois Infantry.

No. 1.

Maj. Gen. William S. Rosecrans, U. S. Army.

MURFREESBOROUGH, TENN., February 22, 1863--8 p. m.

Lieut.-Col. Monroe, with 200 picked men, killed 20 or 30, and captured 75 stand of arms. We have many spirited cavalry skirmishes every week. They terminate well for us. I think the time will come when we shall be able to cope with their superior numbers. Their numbers, knowledge of the country, and unsparing thieving and conscription have hitherto supplied them with horses. They now propose to mount more infantry on horses to be gotten from Kentucky. The roads are now very bad; almost impossible to move wagons, except on macadamized roads. The rebel position has been given in telegram to Gen. Halleck; report that they have had bad luck with one of their bridges on the Nashville and Chattanooga road beyond the Tennessee. A few more of the same sort will be a serious inconvenience to our Southern brethren, and may disappoint our Butternut finds at home.


No. 2.

Report of Col. James Monroe, One hundred and twenty-third Illinois Infantry.

HDQRS. 123d REGT. ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS, Murfreesborough, Tenn., February 17, 1863.

In compliance with orders from division headquarters, I started on Thursday, 12th instant, at 12 m., with 240 men of the One hundred and twenty-third Illinois Infantry and 20 of Col. Stoke's cavalry, under the command of Capt. [T.] Waters, on a scout into the country north of the East Fork and between the Lebanon and Sparta pikes. Arrived at 4 p. m. near the river, and encamped. Learning that 160 mounted rebels had passed up the Las Casas [sic] pike late in the evening, started at 12 o'clock at night in pursuit. Arrived near Milton at daylight, and found the cavalry had gone on toward Liberty without halting. Divided my command into three parties, and scoured the country, wounding 2 and capturing 5 rebels, and returned to old camp at night. Was fired on near a still-house at the junction of the Las Casas [sic] and Cainsville pikes; march, 26 miles. Night dark and stormy; could not move.

Next morning (Saturday) a small party of rebel cavalry crossed the river and fired on Gen. Wood's cavalry pickets. Sent a small party across the river and cut them off, killing 3.

Crossed the river again Sunday morning and moved toward Milton, expecting to be joined by 300 of Second Michigan Cavalry. Learning from Union men and negroes [sic] that Morgan was at Cainsville with 3,000 men, and that 250 men, under Capt. Buchanan, were posted on the Las Casas [sic] pike near Milton, I moved to the junction of the pikes and halted. I secreted the infantry and sent the cavalry forward to burn a couple of still-houses and endeavor to provoke an attack. Remained in this position until 1 p. m., when the expected cavalry force not arriving, I countermarched the command, moved down the Jefferson pike 2 miles, and turned to the right, following a chain of hills in the direction of Cainsville, and found large quantities of forage secreted in the valley. A short time after leaving the pike I became satisfied we were followed, and, having arrived within 2 ½ miles of Cainsville, I left the road and moved to the right, around, and finally to the top of Pierce's Hill, sending out into the valley a few mounted men as decoys. In a few minutes they were fired upon by a cavalry force under Col. [Adam R.] Johnson, variously estimated at from 300 to 500. Our men retreated, and were closely followed by the rebels. When they arrived within 60 yards, we opened upon them, and drove them at once down the hill and into a narrow, muddy lane, where, for ten minutes, we poured a fire into their flanks, cutting them up terribly. Muskets, shot-guns, and carbines, saddles, blankets, and loose horses were everywhere, and the survivors, panic-stricken, spurred over the hills in the direction of Cainsville. Many of them wore our overcoats, and some of them were completely clothed in our uniform.

Their loss in killed and wounded must have been at least 50, and, I think, much greater, but the necessity of an immediate retreat prevented a thorough examination of the field. I saw several dead, and all were left without stripping the bodies or emptying the pockets.

After breaking at least one hundred carbines, and picking up a few horses and mules, we moved at once toward camp, crossing the river between the two pikes at a very deep ford. Our loss is nothing. Three men slightly wounded, but none seriously hurt or unfitted for duty. We have as results 6 prisoners, 22 horses, 5 mules, 17 saddles and bridles, 10 carbines, and 5 muskets.

Capt. Waters and his men deserve great praise for their conduct under fire, and I could not have been successful without their assistance.

Dr. [P. P.] Whitesell, of the One hundred and first Indiana, who kindly accompanied me, forgot himself in the melee, and was found, at the close of the fight, at the head of the column, musket in hand. Came into camp Monday morning.

All of which is respectfully submitted.

JAMES MONROE, Col., Cmdg. One hundred and twenty-third Illinois Volunteers.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 23, pt. I, pp. 48-49.

        15, Skirmish near Nolensville

FEBRUARY 15, 1863.-Skirmish near Nolensville, Tenn.

Report of Brig. Gen. James B. Steedman, U. S. Army, commanding Third Division, Fourteenth Army Corps.

CONCORD CHURCH, February 15, 1863.

COL.: A forage train of 10 wagons from my command, with escort of two companies of infantry, and while 4 of the wagons, guarded by 13 privates, under command of a sergeant, were being loaded, 1 ½ miles from Nolensville, were attacked by 150 rebel cavalry. The sergeant immediately formed his men, took shelter in a cabin close to the wagons, and repulsed them, wounding 5 (3 of whom I have prisoners), killing 4 horse, capturing 3 horses, 7 saddles, and 3 guns. Two of our men were slightly wounded. I started the First East Tennessee Cavalry, under command of Lieut.-Col. Brownlow, in pursuit, ordering four companies toward the railroad. I learn, reliably, that Van Dorn, with a large body of cavalry, was at Chapel Hill last night, extending his advance to College Grove. I will watch him.

Very respectfully,

[JAMES B. STEEDMAN,] Brig.-Gen., Third Division.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 23, pt. I, pp. 49-50.

        15, Conditions in Murfreesboro, the beginning of construction of Fortress Rosecrans, and condition of Confederate wounded, an excerpt from the diary of John C. Spence

...preparation is being made for building fortifications and rifle pits near this place. Large quantities of timber trees are cut and hauled to the grounds. The work is commenced and pushed on rigerously [sic]-digging and blasting rocks. A great number of negroe [sic] are employed at this kind of work, under pay [sic], of course.

The works lie over a large tract of land, owned by Lytle and Murfree, bordering on Stones River at the R. Road crossing. They are also construction what they call field hospitals. For materials of this [kind], go to town and then find one story houses, without further ceremony commence pulling it down and haul off before the owners face, never once saying with your leave, but on the contrary, a little impudance [sic]. Such as he, is a d-d [sic], "sesesh" [sic] and ought not to have a house. Such is power-it can tyranize [sic] over weakness.

Now, the building of fortifications at this place does not look like a waste of time and money. They will scarcely ever have an opportunity of firing a gun at an enemy at this place, but military men probably know the best.

The confederates are occupying Shelbyville and through the country this side. Now and then, a slight skirmishing takes place between squads of cavalry, but without of consequence being done at these times.

Can hear of little being done, by either army, in any quarter. All having the appearance of being quiet in front [sic], as the term is now generally used, among soldiers.

The wounded, at his place are in a better condition and are improving. Comparatively but fiew [sic] die. Such as can be removed with convenience are sent off...

Spence Diary.

        15, "Street Miseries."

We are glad to know that the street miseries we spoke of a few days ago are to be diminished. General Veatch this morning issued an order, in which he expressly prohibit riding and driving on the sidewalk of the city, and fast riding and driving on the streets, and he does so expressly on the ground that such conduct is an annoyance to the people. In issuing this order, Gen. Veatch had done the citizens, and especially the ladies, a great kindness in issuing this order; we take pleasure in saying that since his presence in this city, Gen. Veatch has shown a kind thoughtfulness for the convenience and welfare of the citizens of Memphis, in these unfortunate times he is necessarily subjected to much importunity, but with as patience that does honor to his temper, he makes himself master of the business brought before him, and with a discretion honorable to his judgment, he renders his decision which never fails to obtain approbation for its justice. Memphis is fortunate in having a gentleman of his character had qualifications occupying the important position he fills. The prohibition against running hacks after twelve o'clock at night is also removed by this order of Gen. Veatch.

Memphis Bulletin, February 15, 1863.

        15, "The Police."

Last evening the new ordinance reducing the police force to thirty-two, sixteen for the day and sixteen for the night, beside the regular officers, went into effect. Major Trice is station house keeper and jailor with Wilson and McIlvaine as his assistants. Chief Winters of course remains at the head of the police, and Capt. Danl. McMahan and Lt. Tim. Hickey officers of the day, and Capt. Pat Brannon and Lt. O'Brien of the night police.

The day police are James Conors, Robert Clements, James Mack, Edward Doolan, John McMahan, Patrick Hennessey, John Winters, John McDonough, T. F. Sweat, Peter Graham, John McPartin, Patrick Green, William Viers, Daniel Hall, James Ford, and Patrick Walsh.

The night police are A. Brannon, M. Sullivan, s. Perry, R. Balley, Harvey Gray, Edward O'Donnell, David Roach, Patrick Eagan, John Conrey, M. Mack, M. H. Riley, W. R. Bostic, T. M. McQuinllan, John Kneurs, Thomas Monaghan, Patrick Cahill.

Memphis Bulletin, February 15, 1863.

        15, "Valentine's Day."

Yesterday was the anniversary of that best of all Saints on the Calendar, Saint Valentine – and a dreary day it was. The rain pours, the ground soaks but it is a very damp day that throws a wet blanket over the votaries of Saint Valentine. Let the wars rage and the elements do their worst, they cannot overturn the magical sway of our holy Saint. King Cupid is the only ruler against whom there is no rebellion which does not recoil upon the heads of the rebels.

For a few days back the Stationary and News Depots might have been crowded with eager brawny limbed, burly handed soldiers culling from the stocks of Valentine's some tender missive love laden and fraught with sweetest thoughts for the girl they left behind them. To-day and for a week to come may be found around the Post Office clutching eagerly the sweet scented billets [sic] as they are rolled out with their linked sweetness, long drawn out, or mayhap the sharpest cuts by a caricature:

"Full many a shaft at random sent

Finds mark the archer never meant."

And many an unseemly "mitten" may a rough shod satire will be interpreted all wrong. The coyness of maidens and the reserve and affection of men makes squad havoc of human happiness. The selection of nothing more than a simple Valentine, has before now been fruitful of happiness or misery of thousand of couriers, Vive la bagatelle. Long live the memory of Saint Valentine.

Memphis Bulletin, February 15, 1863.

        15, Advance, Amusements, Confederate cavalry victory, Hardee's marriage and consolidating the Army of Tennessee


Shelbyville, Feb. 15, 1863.

Editor Observer:

"Once upon a time" the poet, Edgar A. Poe, in inditing a letter to a friend said he intended, as a punishment for his sins, to inflict upon said friend a long, gossiping epistle. - This will not be the case with me – vice versa! But, however, the punishment, I shall inflict upon you, will be short and severe. Consequently you may be ready to exclaim: "But I have not summed – whence this comparison?" No! but I have. –Did I not promise to write over two weeks ago, and have I done it? Certainly not! Then I have lied, and in this I beg an apology. Since I have taken a second thought, it were better as it is, for since my arrival here there has been nothing of interest to write of. Cooped up in Shelbyville as I am, most men would die of ennui. I have never died yet, only that Yankee coat I wore to Fayetteville, and it was done through policy, thinking while seeking –

" – Bubble reputation,

E'en at the cannon's mouth," in the coming conflict that will have been felt, in the vicinity of this place, within the next two weeks, that I may be taken as a Yankee and died as such. But I anticipate.


"There are wars and rumors of wars" in and around Shelbyville. – Go to the camps and everything has a business-like appearance. Soldiers instead of sitting idly about the camp-fires are engaged in cleaning up arms, packing knap sacks to be ready to move at a moment's notice. While the enemy are slowly moving upon us, we are preparing to meet him as an enemy worthy of our steel. The men are as eager for the fray as ever, and although may be overwhelmed by great numbers, are confident that in the end we will be victorious. To appreciate liberty it must be dearly bought. Cromwell's language is well suited to this occasion:

"Put your trust in God and keep your powder dry."

We have not the same foe to fight as at Murfreesboro, He comes strongly reinforced; but by whom? By men drafted in their unholy and ungodly cause. He is not exultant now, as then. His punishment was too great in the late battle – the civil contention in the West and the opposition to his administration, lend to demoralize and dishearten him. Taking this in consideration, we should not fall in lethargy – be ever wakeful and ready for duty and we will be successful. In this fight Tennesseeans [sic] have at stake all that is dear to them. If we are forced to fall back to another position, our people will suffer greatly; it will not be as last spring and summer – though then bad enough – threw was discipline and a spirit predominant akin to humanity. Now he comes in his full title – the Goth, the Vandal – destroying the property of Southern men – driving helpless women and children from their comfortable shelters, not caring as to the consequences. The incendiary's torch in one hand – their abominable oath in the other. In the name of Rosencranz [sic] we define a character more relentless, more cruel, more bloody, than the despots of the "Reign of Terror" in 1787. In the leader of this invading army which is now upon us, we have personified the characters of the cunning Herbert, the treachery of Danton, and the tyranny of Robespierre. Then have we not a great deal at state in this fight; especially the Tennesseeans [sic]. If we are forced to leave those "loved ones of the fireside," the consequence will be as those pictured in the orders emanating from the scoundrel in command at Nashville.


While all is excitement in front, from the turbulent spirit of war, the Southern citizens of this little place are inclined to amuse themselves in the art of Terpsichore. Several balls have of late been given, which "went off as merry as a marriage belle." Seeing the fair faces that surround you, one's thoughts would fain wander to those by gone scenes of peace and tranquility, and for a while we are lost in the excitement of the dance. Here we see represented the poem of Byron,

"And Belgium's capital had gathered there

Her beauty and her chivalry."

It was truly "on with the dance, let joys be unconfined." Listen at the sweet strains of music floating softly through the air, entrancing all, lulling them in an unconscious state of delight which would find favor at the shrine of the goddess. Does it not bring to mind your boyish days when we had not lifted to our lips the bitter cup of sorrow. And as all things must end, so did this ball. As the "witching hour of night" closed in, the assemblage adjourned.


The enemy was repulsed with great loss at Franklin on the 13th inst., by the Confederates under the indomitable Gen. Forrest. We are not advised but suppose that the enemy are Johnson East Tennessee Cavalry, as they were heard of stealing horses and chickens in the vicinity of this town. These miserable wretches in the command of whiskey drinking Bob Johnson stand a poor chance before the veterans of our army. They left Nashville with all the "pomp and circumstance" of war: and returned some minus horses and accoutrements, others bare headed and bare footed with hair standing on end, frightened as badly as if the old Nick himself was after them. Poor Robert surely must have felt humiliated by thus exposing his cowardice to the spartans [sic] of Nashville!


Perambulating about town we frequently meet up with old friends whose familiarity bespeaks of happier days. As busy as of your can be seen the efficient Quartermaster on Gen. Frank Cheatham's staff, A. A. Camp, whilom the Subscriber, distributing clothing among the different brigades of Cheatham's division clothing which is not coming in fast. – He does not wear the same happy face as when he officiated in the reading room of the "old Patriot," in the days of prosperity. Col. Andrew Ewing and other prominent citizens of the "Rock City" are here as refugees from the despotism of Lincoln.


On the 14th, General Hardee was united in bonds of wedlock to Miss Ready of Murfreesboro, sister to the wife of Gen. John H. Morgan: – The marriage took place at Tullahoma and was attended by all the military grandees of this Corps D'Armee [sic].


All the troops of different State are being put together for the purpose of consolidating decimated regiments, Some regiments who went into service with their full quota, are now through the disasters of war not numbering more than one hundred and fifty to two hundred men. This is a first-rate idea; it throws off a great many officers who are an expense to the government – placing them in another branch of service – either gathering conscripts, or gathering corn – a more suitable position.

Owing the lack of news – with the exception of the anticipated attack – there is hardly any news on the qui vive, and you must excuse this hurriedly written letter; hoping the next may be of more interest. I am, etc.

R. S. S.

Fayetteville Observer, February 26, 1863.

        15, Metallic coffins, fathers and sons

An Agreeable Surprise.

A singular incident of the war was related to us the other day. Three fathers came up the Cumberland river on the last fleet for the purpose of bringing back home with them the bodies of their sons who had fallen in the memorable battle of Stones' River. They carried with them three metallic coffins, in which to place the remains of their gallant boys. The boat which they were on stopped on her way up, at Clarksville, for a short time, and the grief-stricken fathers stepped ashore. Greatly to their astonishment, almost the first persons whom they saw were their three sons, who were jolly and hearty, and overjoyed to see the "old folks" from home, having no more idea of getting into a burial case than they had of throwing a flip flap over the moon. The meeting was a most agreeable, and remarkable surprise to both parties.

Nashville Daily Union, February 15, 1863.

        ca., 15, Turkey Hunting, Betrayal and an Unsuccessful Ambush at the Raymond Plantation in the Collierville environs according to Sergeant Theodore Osburn Winther, 100th Indiana Volunteer Infantry [3]

We had got acquainted with a young man and his wife who lived on a plantation about 1½ miles East of our stockade. He claimed to loyal and we have had some very pleasant visits at their house. He told us that a flock of wild turkeys staid in a swamp near his place and often came up to feed with some tame ones he had and said if one of us would bring his rifle and stay all night so as to be there early in the morning he might get one easily. One of our boys though it would be great fun so got permission and went out in the evening. Bud Raymond and his little wife made it very pleasant for him and he slept in a bed for the first time since he had left home. In the morning Raymond called him early and they went down by a swamp. Raymond told him to stand by a tree and he would a little to one side and call up the turkeys. When he had gone our fellow got suspicious. Raymond went but a little ways and began to call. After a little there came, not turkeys, but to mounted Cavelry[men] out of the brush, He jumped behind the tree and shot one of them; the other fired at him but misted him. He threw down his gun, snatched his revolver out of his blouse and shot so close to the other that he fell of his horse. Then he whirled around, took a shot at Raymond who was running up with a revolver, hitting him in the arm so he could use his revolver. While he was doing this the other Cavalry man stated to run away when our fellow fired again and cut so close to him that he threw up his hands calling, "Don't shoot! I surrender!"

He made him come up with his hands above his head, took his revolver away from him then, told Raymond to lay down on his face with his hands or rather hand over his back The he got Raymonds [sic] pistol then made him get up, and started them ahead of him for a stocade [sic]. The boys had heard the firing and came runing [sic] out. They sent one in with the two prisoners and went out to get the other man and the horses. They found the wounded man still lying on the ground and the horses close by; got a wagon and some mules from Raymonds [sic] house and gathered up the rifle and two carbines and the wounded mans [sic] pistol and returned to camp. The wounded man was pretty bad off, so they were all sent to Collierville under guard. Some of the boys wanted to hang Raymond hut hardly dared to. The boys have made a great fuss over our fellow, but he says any of them would have done as well, that he was so mad to thing how head been tricked that he never thought of the danger.

We will not go out to Bud Raymonds [sic] anymore. The house has been burnt and he is in the guard house at Collierville. I saw him when I was and he would not look at me. I am sorry to find out he was such a low down traitor. His wife was not better. She has gone South to her relatives. Our Cavalry have been scouting both sides of the Rail Road so well we are to leave the stockade and return to Collierville.

Civil War Letters of Theodore Osburn Winther, pp. 50-52.

        ca. 15-ca. March 1, 1863[4], Confederate conscript sweeps about Carthage, Jamestown

MURFREESBOROUGH, TENN., February 22, 1863--8.30 p. m.

Maj.-Gen. HALLECK:

* * * *

....Crook's brigade goes up to attend to matters and things at and above Carthage, where rebel hordes of cavalry are conscripting and carrying off provisions. Some indications of rebels retiring from line of Duck River toward Tullahoma. Our cavalry horses and arms not yet arrived. We forage chiefly off the country, but send 12 or 14 miles.

W. S. ROSECRANS, Maj.-Gen.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 23, pt. II, p. 81.

        15-ca March 4, joint navy gunboat, infantry and cavalry patrols, Cumberland to Caney Fork River, against suspected Confederate gunboat manufacturing sites

MURFREESBOROUGH, February 15, 1863.

Lieut. LE ROY FITCH, Cmdg. Gunboats:

It is of the utmost importance that you should patrol river with gunboats, as follows: One or two should make a patrol up the river as high as Carthage. Rebels are building gunboats up that way, to use in operating against us. Two others ought to patrol between Donelson and Nashville. Did you receive my two telegrams? Either I must conform my views to yours, or there must be concerted action between us, so that all necessary action be taken.

W. S. ROSECRANS, Maj.-Gen.

MURFREESBOROUGH, February 16, 1863.

Lieut. LE ROY FITCH, Cmdg. Gunboats, Nashville:

Have received no answer to my dispatch of last night. Will you communicate with me? It is of importance to the service that the gunboats visit Carthage immediately and destroy the boats building up Caney Fork, if possible; also that there should be a steady patrol up and down the river from Nashville, for a short time, at least.

W. S. ROSECRANS, Maj.-Gen.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 23, pt. II, p. 71-72.

MURFREESBOROUGH, February 20, 1863.

Brig.-Gen. BOYLE, Louisville:

We have sent two gunboats up the Cumberland, to go beyond Carthage and up Caney [Fork.] We have also a combined cavalry and infantry expedition operating in that direction from here. Morgan may be in that direction.

W. S. ROSECRANS, Maj.-Gen.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 23, pt. II, p. 80.

GALLATIN, February 25, 1863.

Lieut.-Col. GODDARD, Assistant Adjutant-Gen. and Chief of Staff:

Learning from reliable sources that Morgan had a large number of boats on Caney Fork River, and would attempt to cross the river below Carthage, to invade Kentucky, I have determined to take up 1,500 men and co-operate with the gunboats and the troops sent with them. Morgan's whole force amounts to near 5,000 mounted men. They are all within a few miles of Liberty. Wolford has been sent for, but cannot get here under two or three days. As he is not here, I go there with 1,500 infantry.


Yours, &c.,

W. T. WARD, Brig.-Gen.

GALLATIN, February 25, 1863.

Lieut.-Col. GODDARD:

I had received no advice in relation to the boats or troops going to support them. I was telegraphed one week ago that two gunboats would go up the river to Carthage....My troops are ordered back to camp. If the boats and transports suffer, I am not to blame, for you may be well satisfied Morgan, with about 5,000 men, are in the neighborhood of Liberty, intending to try to cross on boats built on Caney Fork, and to invade my State [i.e. Kentucky]. I am not easily led to believe any story unfounded. I think I am well skilled in deciding on well or ill founded rumors. I am here to perform any duty ordered by you.

Yours, &c.,

W. T. WARD, Brig.-Gen., Cmdg.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 23, pt. II, p. 85.

NASHVILLE, March 1, 1863.


Fleet arrived this morning--twenty-six transports and four gunboats. The gunboats were supposed up the river; only went up 60 miles and returned same night, and passed down without landing or reporting. Two gunboats go up this morning as far as Carthage.

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

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 23, pt. II, p. 96.

        15, Skirmish with "Tinker" Dave Beatty's guerrillas in Overton County

No circumstantial reports filed.

Excerpt from the Report of John M. Hughs, [C. S. A.] on activities from January 1-April 18, 1864, relative to skirmish on Overton County with "Tinker" Dave Beatty, February 15, 1864.

* * * *

[On the] 15th we attacked and defeated a party of bushwhackers and tories, numbering some less than 100, under Capt.'s Dowdy and Beaty [sic] killing 17, capturing 2, and effectually dispersing the whole gang.

* * * *

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 32, pt. I, p. 56.

        15, "…the skirmish which had taken place only a few hundred yards from our house…." Belle Edmondson's interrupted breakfast

February, Monday 15, 1864

I did not get up very early, was eating breakfast in my room, when I was startled by the reports of six or seven guns-dressed hurriedly, on arriving at the gate found all the family, both white and black, in the greatest state of excitement-one of the 2nd. Mo-Mr. Brent-relating to them the particulars of the skirmish[5] which had taken place only a few hundred yards from our house-A family of negroes [sic] had got this far on their journey from Hernando to Memphis when Mr. Brent met them, and they ordered him to surrender, at the same time fireing. [sic] Of course no Southern Soldier would ever surrender to a Negro, he fired five times, being all the leads he had-killed one Negro, wounded another, he ran in the woods and we saw nothing more of him-one of the women and a little boy succeeded in getting off also-the other woman with three girls were carried back to Hernando-The Soldier got a splendid Cavalry horse & equipments, two Mules and another horse-he left expecting the Yankees. Father had the Negro burried [sic] where he was killed-No Yankees-Mr. Wilson came, no late news-

Diary of Belle Edmondson

15, Report on P. G. T. Beauregard's Memphis taxes and Tennessee rejoining the Union

~ ~ ~

A dispatch from Memphis says that on the 6th inst. General P. G. T. Beauregard, through his agent paid his United States tax on property in that city amounting to over $100. This indicates that, even if he has faith in the establishment of a Southern Confederacy, he has no expectation that Tennessee will constitute a portion thereof.

~ ~ ~

The Memphis Bulletin publishes a card signed by three hundred of the best citizens of that city, addressed to the people of Tennessee, upon the subject of the reorganization of the State and re-establishing relations with the National Government. It recommends immediate and unconditional emancipation as the best, truest policy and only alternative, and calls upon all to support the same by meeting at Memphis on the 22d inst.

Philadelphia Inquirer, February 15, 1864.

        16, Cattle foraging and capture of Dunc Cooper, guerrilla chief in Lewis County

PULASKI, TENN., February 16, 1864.

Lieut.-Col. BOWERS, Assistant Adjutant-Gen., Nashville:

Railroad is finished and in running order. Trains can safely run to this place. One of my mounted squads, while out obtaining cattle in Lewis County, captured the noted guerrilla chief Dunc Cooper and 10 of his men. He was on his way [so he says] to burn bridges on the railroad.

G. M. DODGE, Brig.-Gen.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 32, pt. II, p. 404.

        15, Guerrilla attack on Federal wood train, Nashville environs

CHIEF QUARTERMASTER'S OFFICE, DEPARTMENT OF THE CUMBERLAND, Nashville, Tenn., February 16, 1865--10.30 a. m.

Maj. Gen. GEORGE H. THOMAS, Cmdg.:

GEN.: Yesterday about midday a party of guerrillas attacked one of my wood trains about six miles from town and captured thirteen wagons, &c., south of Nashville, between Tennessee [and] Alabama and Chattanooga Railroads. As the most expeditious way of meeting the case I dispatched Capt. Irvin and sixty mounted men of my own forces in pursuit yesterday afternoon, and they have not yet returned. They went toward Lebanon on the Lebanon pike, and I am in hopes they will overtake the marauders and punish them. My object now is to say that these guerrilla bands are becoming audacious daily.

Very respectfully,

J. L. DONALDSON, Brevet Brig.-Gen., Chief Quartermaster.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 49, pt. I, p. 726.

        15, Editorial applauding white officers and negro troops

Officers Commanding Negroes.

Some of our most refined citizens have so great a horror for white officers who stoop to command negro regiments or brigades, that they say they can't treat them with respect. Let us look into this matter, and reason a little about the case. These officers are officers of the United States army, and are only doing their duty by obeying their superiors – Our Government has resolved on arming and fighting the negroes [sic], and in or judgment negroes [sic] are good enough to fight rebels with. And as the fight is about the negro [sic], it is proper that he should take a hand.

But, for years past – forty years of the time we can recollect – monied [sic] men of the South have bought up droves of negroes – put them in irons – and driven them through here to the States of Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana, with the lordly owners on the horses, with large stock, driving whips in hand, occasionally used upon such negroes as would lag behind. In many instances they have traveled on with the drove in carriages, and on springs, with select mulatto girls [sic], to take care of them during their absence from home! In many instances, when they have sold these girls for the money they have sold their own offsprings and relatives! [sic]

When these traders have been successful and made fortunes, man and families have taken them into their houses, treated with great deference, and recognized them as fit associates, who now turn up their noses in derision at an officer who will consent to command negroes [sic]! What inconsistent creatures we are!

Brownlow's Whig and Independent Journal and Rebel Ventilator, February 15, 1865.

        15-16, Scout from Nashville, on the Nolensville Pike

FEBRUARY 15-16, 1865.-Scout from Nashville on the Nolensville Pike, Tenn.

Report of Capt. Robert H. Clinton, Tenth Tennessee Infantry.

NASHVILLE, TENN., February 17, 1865.

MAJ.: I have the honor to report that in obedience to orders received from Maj.-Gen. Rousseau, on the 15th of February, at 11 a. m., I proceeded with a force of thirty men (Capt. Poston's company Fourteenth Tennessee Cavalry) on the Nolensville pike, in search of certain guerrillas, who were committing depredations on and in the vicinity of that road. Some ten miles from town I received information from citizens coming into market that there were three bushwhackers at the next toll-gate, which was fourteen miles from the City. Having heard while out on a scout a few days previous that they were in the habit of resorting to this toll-gate, and knowing the impossibility of reaching it without being seen at some distance, I used the expedient of pressing two country wagons, dismounting eight men, and placing four in each wagon, I getting into the foremost one; then pulling the covers close down so as to entirely the men, I ordered the foremost wagon to drive up to the gate as though he was going to pay toll. I had previously given orders to the men not to fire unless they were fired upon or unless they could not halt any one who would run away from the house. As soon as the wagon halted two men came to the door and I sprang up. One of the men in a very rough manner asked me, "What do you want here?" I asked him who he was. In reply he told me that I could not come into the house, and immediately ran into the house, slamming the door after him. I jumped out of the wagon and ran to the door, forcing it open and calling to him to halt and not run or he would be shot, but before I could force the door and get through the house he had made his way out into the back yard and was running off through the corn-field.

The men halted him several times, but he paid no attention to them. By the time I reached the back yards the men fired on him, and, I am sorry to say, killed him. I do not think, taking all the circumstances into consideration that the command can be blamed for his death, for the innocent are brave as a lion, but the guilty flee from their shadow. Be that as it may, his death was a circumstance to be regretted and no one regrets it more than I do, and an article published in this morning's Dispatch stating that his life was threatened by one of the men, is entirely false and without foundation, as is, in fact, the whole article published by that paper in regard to the scout and its proceedings.

After leaving the toll-gate about one mile, we discovered a man riding up the road toward us; upon reaching the hill he saw us and immediately wheeled his horse around and galloped off. I followed in full chase, ordering the men to keep up; on rising a little knoll we discovered three guerrillas about 150 yards in advance; they wheeled their horses to the left and made for a cedar thicket but we were too close upon them for any concealment and they were obliged to run, but they were no match for the old Fourteenth. We forced one of them in running 100 yards to abandon his horse; I called to some of the men behind me to take care of him and proceeded on after the other two, followed by the men as fast as their horses could carry them. After running about a mile and a half, one of the guerrillas' horses fell from exhaustion. I told the men to proceed on after the other and I would take care of the one that was down, but in the excitement they did not understand the order, I suppose. The one that fell rose, with his pistol in his hand, but was shot dead on the spot; the other made his escape, the horse of the dead man following him. We then returned to the main party that had been left under the command of Capt. Poston. Learning that the one who had been dismounted had not been captured. I took ten men and deployed them through the thicket to search for him; in about fifty yards he was discovered by one of the men, who fired on him, wounding him in the hip; we then moved toward him the men wanting to kill him, but I ordered them to take him prisoner. He gave his name as Lee, but I afterward learned that his name is Williams and that he is a notorious guerrilla and horse-thief. The name of the man who was killed was Luck, and formerly, I heard, was a merchant of Nashville. The name of the one who escape was Fost Patterson was not of the party, as stated by the Dispatch. We then proceeded up the pike to one mile beyond Nolensville; turning to the left we camped six miles from the pike. In the morning, believing it to be a good plan to come back on the same road, we did so. At 9 o'clock we stopped for breakfast at Nolensville. As soon as the men were through and the horses had eaten some fodder, we marched down the pike to the place where we first encountered the three guerrillas the day before. At this place, finding it impossible to proceed at a fast rate with the prisoner, owing to his wound bleeding afresh, I ordered Capt. Poston to take fifteen men and procure a wagon and proceed slowly to Nashville and there turn the prisoner over so that he could get medical treatment. With the other fifteen I went over the hills, taking the trail of Fort, who escaped the day before, searching every suspicious house and cedar thicket. In searching one of these thickets I found the horse that Luck rode tied to a bush and a U. S. cavalry saddle and bridle lying by him. I have turned the horses over.

In a dirt road about half a mile from the pike I received information from a lady that on that morning four bushwhackers had passed her house inquiring if there had been any "Yanks" there. One of these men was Fost; he told a negro man that he was going to leave as soon as he could get out for it was getting too hot for him. I put the negro [sic] on the horse we had captured and ordered him to guide us on the road they had taken. We were then four hours behind them. About six miles I found a man who had seen them and they threatened to take the horses he was hauling wood with. He guided us on to where they had crossed the Nashville and Chattanooga Railroad about one mile above to the house of a manumit Morgan. There I pressed his son to guide us to the Murfreesborough pike, half a mile from which we met a colored woman who informed us that the men we were in chase of had captured a sutler's wagon and robbed and burned it. We pressed on with all the speed the horses could make and came up to the place where they had left. We took their trail learning from two men who were building a fence close to where the wagon was burned that there were five of them. At several houses we heard that they had three mules leading. After following them six miles on the road to-county they made a sudden turn to the left. Meeting a young man who informed us that they were going as the thought to a wood-yard, we followed their trail to the wood going as he thought to a wood-yard, getting there two hours after them. I learned there that they charged on the choppers while they were at dinner, firing on them, giving the darkies [sic] a great scare and dispersing them all over the woods. They robbed several of the negroes [sic] and some white men. I learned that they robbed Capt. Stearnes. I saw one wagon they had turned over and heard that they had burned some but did not see them. I certify on honor that to the best of my belief and from the best information I could get, being only two hours [emphasis added] behind them, that there were only five bushwhackers who made the attack on the wood-yard. Where the Dispatch got that got that great cock-and-bull story from about "several hundred Confederate cavalry" making their appearance within six miles of the City on the 16th instant I cannot tell, unless it was from the fertile brain of the editor, which, I fear, is ever full of, to him, pleasing visions of rebel cavalry hovering around. I can safely certify on honor that there was not the least foundation for the report. We chased the gang to within half a mile of Stone's River. Having lost some time in getting the correct trail from the wood-yard and being three hours behind them at this point, and our horses being completely tired down, having done all I could do for the present, I thought it best to return to Nashville. In conclusion I can confidently assert that there are no guerrillas at the present time, or any other force on or between the Nolensville and Murfreesborough pikes, but how long they will remain away it is impossible for me to say.

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

R. H. CLINTON, Capt., Tenth Tennessee Infantry.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 49, pt. I, pp. 44-46.


[1] Charles C., Sketches of the War: A Series of Letters to the North Moore Street School of New York, (NY. T. Evans, 1863, rpt Paris, TN, The Guild Bindery Press, n.d.) [Hereinafter cited as: Nott, Sketches of the War.]

[2] Today Auburntown.

[3] This date is an approximation. The letter in which this story is told is dated March 10, 1863.

[4] The uncertainty of the dates for the conscript sweep is unavoidable. Reference to it is found in a communication relative to General Crook's expedition to Carthage.

[5] There is no reference to this skirmish in the OR or in Dyer's Battle Index for Tennessee.

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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