Tuesday, February 24, 2015

2.24.2015 Tennessee Civil War Notes

        24, 1862 - A call to arms in Jackson following the fall of Fort Donelson

….The Governor has called upon every man able to bear arms for service as soon as possible. As he has commanded the militia to come out, companies are being formed. Mr. Bond is trying to get up one exclusively of married men. I have joined with him. The paper today stated that the Federals marched into Nashville on yesterday….There is no disguising the fact that we are in anything but a pleasant situation. There are not men enough in the field & TO DRIVE THE ENEMY [sic]. They have overwhelming force and they must be driven back or we are a ruined people….

Robert H. Cartmell Diary.

        24, Report on Clarksville's surrender

  The official report of Commodore Foote…published yesterday, gives us the decisive information that Clarksville is in the possession of the Union forces. On the appearance of the gunboats the citizens being alarmed lest the village be bombarded, at least two thirds of them fled from the spot. Commodore Foote, however, had an interview with the Mayor and the Hon. Cave Johnson, and expressed his views and intentions of not injuring the property or persons of any who would at once return to their allegiance; and, at the request of those gentlemen, issued a proclamation, assuring all peaceably disposed persons that they may safely resume their business avocations, providing that they gave all military stores and equipments in their possession or under their charge. The authorities were held responsible for the fulfillment of the latter portion of the proclamation.

The officers of the gunboat fleet found, during their voyage from Fort Donelson to Clarksville, that a Union sentiment prevailed along the river, and white flags were flying in every direction, doubtless raised from the terror the rebels felt in relation to the gunboats.

The rebel troops when they left Clarksville retreated in the direction of Nashville, destroying before they left the railroad bridge across the Red river and setting fire to the spending railroad bridge across the Cumberland. Later advices, however, state that the4 latter was but little damaged. The citizens of Clarksville remonstrated against this willful destruction of property, which, as they had evacuated the place, could not apparently have been a military necessity, as the road does not lead to Nashville, but their remonstrances were all in vain. They also set fire to the iron rolling mill belonging to the Hon. John Bell, which had been sometime previously used by the rebels as military works.

A large quantity of rebel stores were captured at the same time by the Union forces when they occupied the village. This, without doubt, shows that the rebels retreated in great haste, the capture of such places as Fort Donelson and Henry giving them but little confidence in their defences at Clarksville. All the fortifications on either side of the Red river were destroyed and taken possession of by the Union troops. Russellville, as the railroad leading from Bowling Green to Clarksville, has also been taken possession of by our forces.

Sketch of Clarksville.

Clarksville was a thriving post village in Tennessee, and the capital of Montgomery county. Kit is located on the right or north side of the Cumberland river, at the point where the Red river itself into to the former stream. It is situated at about fifty miles from the northwest of Nashville, the capital of the State. In its prosperous days it had a population of between three and five thousand persons, and had considerable trade. There were at one time two goo9d banks established in the place and four or five newspaper offices.  On the whole, previous to the breaking out of the rebellion, it gave great promise of being a rising place, but at the present time it appears to have greatly retrograded.


New York Herald, February 24, 1862

        24, Special Orders No. 17, relative to murder of Confederate prisoner of war in Memphis

SPECIAL ORDERS, No. 17. HDQRS. SIXTEENTH ARMY CORPS, Memphis, Tenn., February 24, 1863.

I. Second Lieut. Charles Lewis, U. S. cavalry, having been tried by a military commission and the proceedings forwarded to the President of the United States, will be committed to strict confinement at the Alton prison, Illinois, until the decision of the President shall be made known.

Col. M. S. Howe, third U. S. Cavalry, will detail a sergeant and three men as a guard to convey the prisoner to Alton.

The department quartermaster will furnish transportation.

* * * *

Upon the 26th February Col. M. S. Howe, third U. S. Cavalry, Officially notified these headquarters that Lewis, who had been held in close confinement and ironed in the military prison during his trial and since, had escaped. Whereupon the following notice was extensively and immediately circulated by being published in the journals of the City and by being transmitted to neighboring stations so far up as Saint Louis, Mo.:

Escaped from the Irving Block, Charles Lewis, second lieutenant, Second U. S. Cavalry, lately tried for murder of Lieut.-Col. Woods, a prisoner of war. Two hundred dollars will be paid for his arrest and delivery to Col. D. C. Anthony, provost-marshal. If the resists arrest all persons, civil or military, are hereby authorized to shoot him upon the spot. All officers, soldiers, and citizens are required and authorized to arrest said Lewis.

By order of Maj. Gen. S. A. Hurlbut:

HENRY BINMORE, Assistant Adjutant-Gen.

The fact of the escape was upon the same day telegraphed to the Adjutant-Gen. U. S. Army at Washington, D. C.

The next heard of him showed him to have hastened to Richmond, Va., where he tendered his service to the rebel authorities and was commissioned as a lieutenant in some rebel organization of the cavalry arm.

It is since reported that for gallantry in fighting against his country he was promoted to a colonelcy, vice the colonel of the regiment in which he was then serving, to fill a vacancy by reason of the death of the latter from wounds received at Fredericksburg.

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

S. A. HURLBUT, Maj.-Gen.

[First indorsement.]

FORT MONROE, July 4, 1863.

Respectfully forwarded to Hon. Robert Ould, agent for exchange of prisoners.

The form of report of Gen. Hurlbut was evidently not intended for reference to Confederate authorities, but as it embodies important statements it is forwarded as received by Col. Hoffman.

WM. H. LUDLOW, Lieut.-Col. and Agent for Exchange.

[Second indorsement.]

JULY 10, 1863.

Respectfully referred to the Secretary of War.

The circumstances narrated in the two papers are very singular.

I have made particular inquiries for any such officer in our service as Charles Lewis and can find none such.

If he has joined our service he has changed his name.

RO. OULD, Agent of Exchange.

OR, Ser. II, Vol. 6, pp. 34-35.

WAR DEPARTMENT, Richmond, Va., May 7, 1863.


SIR: While a prisoner of war at Memphis Lieut.-Col. Woods, of the C. S. Army, a prisoner confined in the Irving Block Prison, was shot dead while he was asleep by Lieut. Lewis [Denis Daily], of the U. S. Army. Col. Woods had paid Lieut. Lewis money to aid him in making his escape. After Col. Woods made his escape Lewis had him (Lieut.-Col. Woods) rearrested. After Col. Woods was rearrested he said Lewis did not act the gentleman with him; he had given Lieut. Lewis his money and then he (Lewis) betrayed him.

Lieut.-Col. Woods was in charge of Lieut. Larkin and his company. When Lieut. Lewis went to the prison and asked to see Lieut.-Col. Woods he was shown to him. Col. Woods was asleep. He (Lieut. Lewis) drew his pistol and shot Col. Woods in the head, which produced instant death.

Lieut. Lewis was tried by a court-martial but was not confined and he went to parts unknown. The decision of the court was not made known.

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

JAS. HOEY, Lieut., Company A, Seventeenth Arkansas, C. S. Army.

OR, Ser. II, Vol. 5, p. 945.

        24, Major-General Rosecrans cracks down on desertions from the Army of the Cumberland


Murfreesborough, Tenn., February 24, 1863.

I. No adequate punishment has been heretofore inflicted upon conviction of the military offense of desertion. This calls for a determined effort on the part of the commanding general for its suppression. He therefore wishes it to be distinctly understood, by the officers and soldiers of this department, that he expects a rigid adherence, upon the part of courts-martial, to the letter of the law; that its extreme penalty will be enforced in every case of desertion, as provided by the following Article of War:

XX. All officers and soldiers who have received pay, or have been duly enlisted in the service of the United States, and shall be convicted of having deserted the same, shall suffer death, or such other punishment as, by a sentence of a court-martial, shall be inflicted.

II. The general commanding will arrange and announce a system by which a limited number of annual furloughs will be granted in each company, in rotation, to those non-commissioned officers and privates who, by meritorious conduct and soldierly bearing, deserve this special favor. Company and regimental commanders are charged to strictly examine every application for leave, and recommend none but those worthy of this privilege.

* * * *

By command of Maj.-Gen. Rosecrans:

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 23, pt. II, p. 84.

        24, "Bragg, occasionally to break the tedious monotony of a dull camp life, has a soldier for some unbecoming conduct shot." Camp life in the Army of Tennessee in Tullahoma; Hannibal Paine's letter to his sister Mary in Washington, Tennessee.

Tullahoma, Feby. 24th 1863

Miss Mary L. Paine

Washington, Tennessee

Dear Sister

I recd. a letter from you a few days since and would have responded sooner, but I have been out of postage stamps and have been waiting until I could get some. Where there are so many thousands to write it is a difficult matter to keep all supplied in stamps. Tullahoma is too my notion decidedly a dull place. There is but little of interest transpiring to note. Bragg, occasionally to break the tedious monotony of a dull camp life, has a soldier for some unbecoming conduct shot. There have been several shot since we have been at this place both officers and privates. It was mostly for misbehavior or cowardice before the enemy in the late battle before Murfreesboro. So far there have been none shot in our Brigade, and I have never yet witnessed such an execution. I might have saw some hung and shot both but I have never been curious to see such sights. We also have small pox here, but then we have all become used to that, so we have but little dread of it. Don't understand me that we have it in camp, for we have had no case of it amongst us since we have been here. The cases of it that are here not are confined in some house off to themselves and a guard kept round them to prevent any persons going near them. I have a few times passed in sight of the house in a hundred yards or such a matter, but have never cared to be closer and have never tarried while that close.

There is no fighting going on and all seems to be quiet. We are having some very bad weather now and quite a chance of rain which will certainly make the waters very high. I have answered Jane's and Ann's letter that I received by Lieut. Knight. I have nothing more at present to write that would interest you. Remember me to all

Your Brother,

H. Paine

TSL&A Confederate Collection, Box 11, folder 3, Letters, Paine, Hannibal.

        24 "They say it has a direct and special tendency to demoralize the army, to encourage and increase the disaffection against the superior officers and the President." The Expulsion of the Chicago Times from the Army of West Tennessee

The Memphis correspondent of the N. Y. World, thus writes about the recent orders of Generals Hamilton and Hurlbut in regard to the Chicago Times. As the statement of one not likely to lean toward any undue depreciation, we commend it to those who may think the Times aggrieved:

"This order[1] we understand to be the joint product of Generals Hurlbut and Hamilton, though the latter receives credit for the initiation of the measure. It is, I believe, placed on military grounds, the authors disclaiming any intention to interfere with the rightful privileges of the press. It is stated by those who approve of this step-and they are many-that the circulation of the Times in the camps throughout the district if fraught with prejudicial effect. They say it has a direct and special tendency to demoralize the army, to encourage and increase the disaffection against the superior officers and the President. Again it is said that the paper circulates almost exclusively among the natives of West Tennessee, whom it pleases better than any other northern paper. Personally we can testify to the increasing circulation and popularity of the Times in these latitudes, part of which may be ascribed to it unbridled hostility to the present administration, and partly to a very questionable kind of enterprise which consists in getting news more early than correct. It was, in some senses, a sprightly paper.

What action will be taken by that part of the soldiers who subscribe to its tenets remains to be seen. In the meantime it is likely that such readers will fly to the Cincinnati Enquirer, whose likeness is familiar. The trouble with these journals is that their tone is too low, their abuse too foul, and a general want of fairness in their appeals.-The Missouri Republican, of the same conservative school, but with far more ability and better tone, will hardly be touched. Generally we may say that northern men, residing here did not approve of the Times, and as generally that the southerners did.

Milwaukee Daily Sentinel, February 24, 1863.[2]


Memphis, February 9, 1863.

Maj. Gen. U. S. GRANT:

~ ~ ~

Both Hurlbut and myself have prohibited circulation of Chicago Times in our commands.

~ ~ ~

C. S. HAMILTON, Maj.-Gen.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 24, pt.III, pp. 40-41.


Lake Providence, La., February 13, 1863.

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

~ ~ ~

I have seen your General Orders, No. 4, February 8, prohibiting the circulation of the Chicago Times within your command. There is no doubt but that paper, with several others published in the North, should have been suppressed long since by authority from Washington. As this has not been done, I doubt the property of suppressing its circulation in any one command. The paper would still find its way into the hands of the enemy, through other channels, and do all the mischief it is now doing.

This course is also calculated to give the paper a notoriety evidently sought, and which probably would increase the sale of it. I would direct, therefore, that General Orders, No. 4, be revoked.

~ ~ ~


OR, Ser. I, Vol. 24, pt. III, pp. 49-50.

        24, Excerpts from the Letter of W. M Creamer, 90th Ohio Infantry, to his cousin in Jeffersonville, Ohio

Camp Cripple Creek

~ ~ ~

….To save my country I am willing to die upon the field of battle unnoticed by no kind friend, to be trampled upon by those who would ingloriously & without shame brake the holy bonds that so unitedly [sic]  make us a free & independent nation.

I feel prepared to die, & and willing to endure anything only that I may accomplish good in the end. I am young but I trust I have a manly spirit in my breast.

Dear Friend, You know me at home, yes you know something of my intentions for life. You knew my principles, you knew in whom I put my trust. Permit me to say that my trust is still in the strong arm of Jehovah. I haven't forgot to pray for the blessing that he may cloth us with his armor gird us with his might, to inspire us with his spirit.

~ ~ ~

We live for a noble purpose God has not created us for naught. We live in a land of liberty, the Gospel is ours, & with it steadily rolls the wheel of civilization, it is ours to push forward this glorious cause to earth's remotest bounds.

The fire of devotion should kindle in our harts [sic] to such a cause as I trust it will. When this grand skeme [sic]  shall have predominance on the harts of the people, wars & commotions will cease to exist. Fathers will not be separated from their children. Husband from their wives, & schoolmates from their social connections to spend the most precious days & hours of their youth on a field of bloodshed & carnage. But this is my failure. I will return.

~ ~ ~

M. C. Creamer Letter.[3]

        24-25, Anxiety expressed relative to likely shortage of meat for the Army of Tennessee by June 1, 1863

CHATTANOOGA, February 25, 1863.

Hon. JAMES A. SEDDON, Secretary of War, Richmond:

The Commissary Department continues to salt beef here. I again suggest that the cattle for this purpose be transferred to Gen. Bragg's army, which needs it. Hogs may be salted. The cattle were driven from the country which feeds Gen. Bragg's army. Beef salted after this will not be saved.


OR, Ser. I, Vol. 23, pt. II, p. 647.

CHATTANOOGA, February 25, 1863.

Hon. JAMES A. SEDDON, Secretary of War:

SIR: In transmitting to you the accompanying papers, just received from Gen. Bragg, my object is to procure provision to be made for his army, and not to bring before you the general condition of the commissariat, being confident that the department is in competent hands.

Fifteen days ago Gen. Bragg's chief commissary was of opinion that the portion of Middle Tennessee upon which he depended could not furnish more than a month's supply of meat [cattle and hogs] for the army. A few have been driven out of Kentucky by Gen. Morgan's brigade, and Gen. Pegram, ordered to the edge of Kentucky, is instructed to secure as many as he can. I have sent an officer into Middle Alabama, but he has not reported.

I am told by the commissary of this post that an agent of the Subsistence Department is having cattle slaughtered here and in Georgia, to be salted. Meat salted now cannot be saved. Our troops have not the means of boiling meat, and therefore throw away the greater part of this, except when pressed by hunger. The commissary of the post reports on the authority of the agent referred to above, that more than 3,000 of the cattle for salting are still on foot. They were driven from Middle Tennessee. I respectfully urge that these cattle be kept for issue as fresh beef, and turned over to Gen. Bragg's chief commissary.

I transmitted to you by telegraph to-day a report just received from Gen. Bragg, to the effect that "Maj.-Gen. Cox, with his division, reached Nashville last week, and Maj.-Gen. Sigel has just arrived with more troops."

I suggested that this movement from the valley of the Kanawha by the Federals should be followed by a corresponding one on our part. It seems to me all-important that we at least hold our ground in Middle Tennessee, to return to Kentucky in the spring.

On the 20th and 24th I asked, by telegraph, if arms can be furnished for Gen. Bragg's troops. He hopes to require 10,000 muskets within a month.

Most respectfully, your obedient servant,


OR, Ser. I, Vol. 23, pt. II, p. 647.

[Inclosure No. 1.]

HDQRS. ARMY OF TENNESSEE, Tullahoma, February 24, 1863.

Col. B. S. EWELL, Assistant Adjutant-Gen., Chattanooga:

I inclose, for the information of the commanding general, a letter from Maj. J. J. Walker, chief commissary of this army, a prudent, discreet, and able officer in his department. The result to which he looks is really alarming, and I see but one remedy-to re-enforce the armies in this region and wrest from the enemy a portion of our provision-producing country. But for my much-abused campaign in Kentucky and Tennessee, we should all now be in a starving condition.

For fear of the consequence of imprudent publication, I make no record of this, and suggest it is better to regard it confidential.

Yours, very respectfully and truly,



HDQRS. ARMY OF TENNESSEE, Tullahoma, February 23, 1863.

Gen. BRAXTON BRAGG, Cmdg. Army of Tennessee:

GEN.: I desire to call attention to a matter of the gravest import:

Since the commencement of our revolution I have never entertained but a single doubt of its successful issue, and that doubt rested on the question of subsistence. On this subject I confess that I have been continually haunted with the terrifying thought of a noble and conquering army demoralized, and possibly disbanded, for want of food. This danger, I have now to announce to you, is imminent, fearfully near, and apparently unavoidable.

Within the last few days I have received certain information that the entire stock of salt meats held by the Government does not exceed 10,000,000 pounds, nearly the whole of which has been collected out of Middle and Northern Tennessee since those portions of the State were reclaimed by you from the enemy. Consider then: Lee's army in Virginia, Beauregard's on the Atlantic, the forces on the Gulf, and Pemberton's army in Mississippi are at the present moment entirely dependent on this Government reserve stock for their supply of salt meat. Your own army here is compelled already to draw in part from the same source, owing to the exhaustion of the country by the withdrawal of the supplies which constitute the reserve stock, and in thirty days more, supposing our position remains unchanged, the last remnant of both salt and fresh meat within our lines will have been gathered and consumed; and in that time, too, the limited supply of cattle for fresh meat to be found elsewhere will most probably have disappeared. So that by the 15th of March it may be safely assumed that the entire Confederate rations on the Government reserve stock in Georgia, and that stock, at the highest estimate before it was touched, did not exceed 10,000,000 pounds, less than sixty days' supply for 350,000 men at a half pound to the ration.

By the 1st of June, then, at farthest the catastrophe may be upon us and the terrible truth made public: "No meat for the armies of the Confederacy." What then? Is not that a fearful question? Has the Government made any preparation to meet it? Is the President, think you, fully advised of the real condition of his commissariat? May it not be that official timidity has withheld from him the full extent of the impeding calamity? I trust not; but seeing no indications, and having no information of any movements to meet such a contingency, I have thought it my duty to bring the subject to your attention, and to suggest that your relations to the Government, and to the President personally, should induce you to address a private and confidential communication to him on this most vital question. I say private, because the information herein contained is of too dangerous a character to be transmitted by any channel through which it might reach the public prints.

For my part, if our condition is such as I have stated it, and I fear it is but too true, I can see but two remedies for the evil [setting aside the hope of intermediate peace, which may God in his mercy vouchsafe to us]-the Government must either make certain and definite arrangements to procure supplies from the Northern cities, through West India ports, or from the Western States, by river transportation, in exchange for cotton, or, which would be far more desirable and probably more practicable, make this army large enough by re-enforcements to drive out Rosecrans, and to take Kentucky and hold it. That would settle both the question of food and independence.

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

JOHN J. WALKER, Maj. and Chief of Subsistence.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 23, pt. II, pp. 648-649.

        24-25, Destruction of Federal wagon train near Bradyville and skirmishing in front of Columbia; war news from Middle Tennessee from the Winchester Banner

From Middle Tennessee.

We learn from the Winchester Banner of the 24th ult. that Col. Grigsby's Regiment of Gen. Buford's Brigade, recently captured and burnt a train of forty Federal wagons, near Bradyville, Tenn.

The Banner of the 25th says that for a few days previous there had been heavy skirmishing along the line of our forces in front of Columbia upon the left wing of our army. We attacked and drove the enemy at Franklin on, on the 24th. The same newspaper says that General Rosecrans is very sick and that Tom Clenendon is in command of the Cumberland army.


The Daily Southern Crisis (Jackson, MS), March 5, 1863.[4]

        24, Confederate scout near Blain's Cross-Roads, Nance's Ferry [see February 23, 1864, "Scouts in the Maryville, Motley's Ford environs" above]

        24,Banishment of families from and unhealthy conditions in Knoxville

Knoxville Items.

From the Bristol Gazette, 15th.

The Federals have inaugurated a system of cruelty in expelling non combatants fro Knoxville, unprecedented in the annals of modern warfare. Every family of Southern proclivities has been ordered out of the lines, without any time for preparation for the journey-and these banished women and children are not allowed to come to their friends, within five miles of the city, but are forced to take the long and circuitous route by way of Chattanooga to Dalton.-Dr. Goodlin, who lives only some twenty miles from Knoxville in the direction of Rutledge, was compelled to take this long and expensive journey to reach his residence, and has reached this point on his way home.

Among those who have already been sent out in the direction and manner indicated, are Rev. J. M. Martin and family, Rev. Mr. Harrison, Mrs. Hamilton and son, Mrs. W. G. Kain and two little girls, A L. Maxwell and family, Fr. John Jackson and family, Miss Nancy J. Scott, Charles McClung, (red,) [sic] Dr. A. A. Doak and family, and Jos. Davenport. Seventy families have already been or are to be banished from their homes.

Among the recent arrests and committals to jail are Samuel T. Atkins, William Rogers, (formerly with Van Gelder,) Perry Smith, Bowlin Smith, Robert Marley, John F. Pate and Mr. Preston, of Eagle bend.

A great many of the young ladies have been forced to swallow the Yankee oath at the point of a bayonet. Among them the daughters of Judge Alexander, of Judge Welcker, of James S. Kennedy and Samuel House.

The utter disregard of the Yankees to all the decencies of civilized life, is evidenced by their utter disregard of every feeling of respect for the dead, in their conduct at the funeral of the Rev. Isaac Lewis. The procession was halted on its way to the cemetery, and John (a negro boy of Jos. A. Mabry's) was forcibly taken from the driver's seat of the carriage in which the daughters of the deceased were following the remains of their only earthly protector to the grave, and amid much confusion he was dragged off and forced into the Yankee army. Comment on such an act is unnecessary.

Mr. James H. Cowan has removed himself and family, with that of his daughter, the widow and child of Major Alexander, to New Jersey.

Among the recent deaths, from small pox, is Henry Smith, formerly keeper of the Mansion House.

The city is presented to be the most woebegone heaven forsaken place ever vested by the wrath of God or man. Hundreds and hundreds of dead horses line the streets, and fill the alleys-scarcely a vacant lot but has upon it one or more of these carcasses, polluting the air and breeding disease. It is said that no sanitary regulations, whatever, are enforced; that cattle are butchered in the streets, and that a pestilence must certainly ensue.

The Federals are constructing a fragile bridge over the Holston just below the mouth of the break.

The families of Mr. H. L. McClung, of W. H. Cocke, and of Saml. Boyd, came through the lines by flag of truce to Strawberry plains.

Memphis Daily Appeal, February 24, 1864. [5]


[1] General Orders, No. 4

[2] TSL&A, 19th CN.

[3] W. M. Creamer Letter, MS-2136. University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Special Collections Library

[4] GALEGROUP - TSLA 19TH CN   . There is no confirmation of these reports in the OR.

[5] Valley of the Shadow.

James B. Jones, Jr.

Public Historian

Tennessee Historical Commission

2941 Lebanon Road

Nashville, TN  37214

(615)-770-1090 ext. 115

(615)-532-1549  FAX


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