Friday, February 27, 2015

2.27.2015 Tennessee Civil War Notes

        27, Letter from Levina A. Martin [Graysbury, Washington County] to her husband James Martin, location unknown, relative to conditions at home and new role for women in husband's absence

Graysbury Teenn [sic] Feb [sic] the 27 1862 [sic]

Dear James I received your letter dated the third the first of this week & was happy to hear from you one time more[.] it [sic] being the third letter I have received from you I never heard from you while you was at Tuskaluso [sic]

We are all well at present except Mother[.] she [sic] is very poorly & has been sick for the last five weeks not able to get out of the house since she was first taken her disease is Diptheory [sic] & Rhumatic [sic] pains their is a great deal of Sickness [sic] in this Country [sic] & Several [sic] has died Sudenly [sic] Frank Mahony fell dead at pleasant grove [sic] last Friday a week ago also Isaac Collet was found dead a short time ago Old Samuel Sherfey fell from a horse & died the next day Salley McAll is dead also John & Rollen P. Mury Severe Baskets little boy fell in the creek a few days ago & was drowned & a great many more that I will not name[.]

You want to know wat [sic] has become of me since you left well me & the children has been at paps [sic] the most of the time[.] Green Pain came over & went home with him & stayed two week [sic] I also took Virgey to Doc Mahoney & kept her their a wile [sic] for him to doctor her but I dont [sic] see that he done her any good[.] she is as lame as ever[.] She want [sic] to see you very bad[.] John is fat & saucy with as curley [sic] a head as Jesse Duncan ever had[.] Your hourse [sic] is not got well yet[,] he has not been fit to sue any Since [sic] he got hurt & I dont [sic] know whether he ever wil [sic] be again or not[.]

you [sic] want to know what has become of your goods note & accounts[.] I sold some of the good[s] for the money & the rest was taken away from my house & that is as far as I can tell you about thim [sic] we collected Something about three hundred dollars in Money but had to pay it out again so I hav [sic] not got but three dollers [sic] now[.] Your accounts [sic] is nearly all Settle [sic] by note & I woulden [sic] give much for them the way things is here at present for we are looking for hard times in East Teenn [sic]

the [sic] excitement is very high hear [sic] at this time God only know what one more week my [sic] bring[.] you [sic] said you was looking for a petition their [sic] has been one sent about six weeks ago to Jefferson Davis the President of the Confederate States of America but we have not heard anything from it yet[.] I wrote to you on the 27 day [sic] of last month & told you all about it in the letter but I did not direct it to the Care [sic] of the Capt [sic] of the post but I want you to get some person to go to the Post office in the Town & get the letter I wrote to know about W. Sqibbs & your dealing what he was to giv [sic] per bushel for those round peaches he thinks 62½ and I contend for 75 also the butter he thinks 12½ & I think it was 15 cts per lbs[.] writ [sic] to me & tell me about it[.] W. H. Swaney is at work at Birtse on his mill So [sic] I will have to bring my letter to a close by begging you to writ [sic] me as soon as this comes to hand please excuse haste & look over mistakes so no more but remain

Your affection [sic] wife untill [sic] death

Levina A. Martin

W. P. A. Civil War Records, Vol. 1, p. 134.

        27, Report of Flag-Officer Foote, U. S. Navy, regarding the condition of affairs in and near Nashville

CAIRO, February 27, 1862.

SIR: I have the honor to forward a communication just received from Lieutenant Commanding Bryant, the substance of which I have just telegraphed.

The captain of the steamer who brings the dispatch says that 6 miles below Nashville there was a battery on a high bluff which had mounted 15 guns, but several of them were thrown into the river before the Cairo arrived. He also reports that a strong Union feeling was manifested in and near Nashville, and that Governor Harris, after vainly attempting to rally the citizens and others, left on Sunday morning for Memphis. He also states that the gunboats are the terror of the people at Nashville and at all points on the Cumberland River, and that on hearing of my arrival, supposing that the gunboats would proceed immediately to Nashville, the army retreated panic stricken. The unusual high water of the river, enabling the boats to ascend the river, was providential.

I have the honor to be, in a hurry, your obedient servant,

A. H. FOOTE, Flag-Officer, etc.

Hon. GIDEON WELLES, Secretary of the Navy, Washington, D.C.


GUNBOAT CAIRO, Nashville, Tenn., February 25, 1862.

SIR: Uncertain that my letter of the 23d reached you, I repeat that I departed from Clarksville for this point by the request of Brigadier-General Smith, commanding at Clarksville, and arrived here this morning, preceding seven steamboats, conveying an army commanded by Brigadier-General Nelson. The troops landed without, opposition.

The banks of the river are free from any hostile force. The railroad and suspension bridge here are destroyed.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

N. C. BRYANT, Lieutenant. Commanding.

Flag-Officer A. H. FOOTE, Commanding Flotilla, Western Waters.

Navy OR, Ser. I, Vol. 22, pp. 639-640.

        27, A "most formidable weapon" in Carter county

The Knoxville Register has the following:

Jas. P. Taylor, of Carter county, a son of Rev. N. G. Taylor, has invented a most formidable weapon in the shape of a rifled carbine, which may be discharged forty times per minute. The loads are contained in slides which move from right to left—every pull of the trigger presenting a fresh load to the barrel. As many of these slides, containing ten or fifteen loads, as can be conveniently carried on the person, may be successively and rapidly discharged. The gun was exhibited in our office yesterday, and was also submitted to the inspection of Col. Leadbetter and others military gentlemen. We have not heard the opinion of others, but from our limited mechanical knowledge we think it may, with little information, fulfill the expectations of the inventor, and be made the most efficient and destructive weapon known to modern warfare. The inventor is but seventeen years of age and this first effort of his inventive genius certainly gives promise of great future usefulness.

Mr. Taylor has taken steps to obtain a patent for the inventor. He may congratulate himself that the war which stimulated him to this exercise of his genius will also secure him the benefit of it—for if he were in the old Union some Yankee would be sure to steal it, and make a fortune out of it. The gun which Mr. Taylor exhibited here was made, after his model, by L. L. Lewis, on Watauga river, in Carter county.

Natchitoches [LA] Union, February 27, 1862.[1]

        27, News from Tennessee; an excerpt from the New York Herald

~ ~ ~

A despatch received at St. Louis yesterday from Fort Donelson, says that a boat just arrived from Clarksville reports the evacuation of Nashville. The Union citizens of that place sent a boat to Clarksville, which towed one of our gunboats for their protection. The rebels, with Governor Harris, retreated to Murfreesboro'. And the latter worthy, it appears, burned all the State documents before leaving. General Grant has declared martial law over West Tennessee, with the understanding that when a sufficient number of citizens of the State return to their allegiance, and show a desire to maintain law and order over the territory, all military restrictions shall be withdrawn.

Postal facilities are now extended to Clarksville, and the mail bags will follow the flag of the Union into Tennessee.

The Murfreesboro' papers contain a fierce war speech of Governor Harris. The previous rumors of Governor Harris' desertion of the rebel cause in its extremity, may have originated in a statement made in Chicago by parties who arrived from Fort Donelson, to the effect that General Grant had an interview with Governor Harris near Clarksville, and that the Governor stated that, if General Grant would cease hostilities for three days, he would have the American flag floating from every fortified place in Tennessee.

The more recent accounts, above alluded to, however, go to show that Governor Harris remains unchanged in his treasonable sentiments and purposes.

~ ~ ~

New York Herald, February 27, 1862.

        27, William Driver, "Old Glory," Nashville before and after its fall

A letter from a Salem Shipmaster at Nashville.

Rejoicings of a Staunch Union Man.

The following letter from an old Salem shipmaster to his daughter in that city, we copy from the Salem Register. The patriotic of the "old salt" so long held under, evidently boils over at the glorious advance of the Federal army:

Nashville, Tenn., Feb. 27, 1862.

Dear M.---Thank God! The flag of the Union now floats over our proud, deluded Capital. On Tuesday, the 25th, Brig. General Nelson's wing of the army, in fifteen transports, escorted by one gunboat came up to town without firing a gun. The Ohio 6th, the first to land, hoisted their beautiful flag on our State House. A few moments, or about an hour later, I carried my flag, "Old Glory" as we have been used to call it, to the Capitol, presented it to the Ohio 6th, and hoisted it with my own hands on the capitol, over this proud city, amid the Heaven shaking cheers of thousands-over this proud city, where, for the last eight months, I have been treated with scorn and shunned as one infected with the leprous spot.

My dear child! How shall I tell you all my sorrows during that fearful period? My soul filled with scorn while insult upon insult poured upon me. God of my Fathers! It was the desert passage of my life. No pillar of cloud by day, no fire by night to guide me, I groped along in anguish, in sorrow, but not despair. No! no! I always hoped, although against hope, that this hour would come. Again and again have I told these deluded men, in the hour of madness, "Gentlemen, I will yet hoist my flag, 'Old Glory' over your proud, fallen Capitol – then, gentlemen, I am ready to lie down with my Fathers of the Heroic Age." That hour has come! With my own hands, in the presence of thousands, I hoisted that flag where it now floats, on the staff which has trembled with the flattering of Treason's hated banner. My child! My loved one! and you my brothers and sisters. S___,T__,J___,G___, and H___, I am satisfied? I am now willing to go hence to God, for I know he is about to give my people rest.

For the last ten days I have scarcely slept at all. The Texan Rangers had been told I had a flag and intended to hoist it, and they swore to burn me in my house if I did not give it up: but a bunch of Union friends, and  _____of our city watch, saved my house and flag. The later I had made into a comfort early in the insurrections, and have kept it on or under my bed ever since, no child of mine knowing where to find it.

I should have told you that Buell's pickets were within sight of our town two days before the arrival of Nelson's brigade.

So much for the surrender of the town. Would to God I could give some cheering report of its people-that I could tell you of the hopes of future love and peace-but I cannot. In all this vast city of 27,000 souls, but one Union flag waves. That is my own, "Old Glory." Mr. _____ hoisted one yesterday morning, but took it in before noon. Sullen silence and looks of hate are seen on almost every face. Our women are worse than the men. As I passed Zollicoffer's house, with a guard of the Ohio 6th, and my flag, one woman, a wealth one, called out "look at Old D., the traitor," and then went up a hiss and yell from a dozen more. I tellyou, as I have often before, the Union men of the South are slaves without arms, and palsied with long oppression. The Government has no hope of help from them, as far as Middle Tennessee is concerned.

Buell's force has been crossing the Cumberland and moving on the Murfreesboro' road for two nights and days. The traitors are retreating Southward, cowed, half clad, half starved, and not paid at all: and yet, with all this, if they get a chance they will fight like devils. They make their track a desolation, burning every bridge, every tavern on the way. The two bridges on the Cumberland at our city, costing $600,000 dollars, are destroyed by Floyd's, the brigands and robber's order. Mad insane blind on rolls the retreating army of Bowling Green, a terror to friends more than foes. God knows where they will stop.

I must close for the present, as the boat leaves now.

Farewell, loved one! May God keep you, is the prayer of your father.

W. [illiam] D. [river]

Let my old town rejoice with us, fore we do rejoice.

New Hampshire Sentinel, March 20, 1862.

        27, "Interesting Incidents and Details of the Fort Donelson Victory."


The Correspondent of the New York World furnishes the following:

On the Sunday morning after the surrender, Major Mudd, of the Illinois Cavalry, had been out scouting to see if the road out from the camp. Returning he met for or five men in citizen's dress, whom he hailed, and, on being told they lived but a short distance from the place, passed on. He had hardly gone twenty steps before the cowardly miscreants turned and shot him in the back. He had just strength enough to ride into camp, where at all accounts he was dangerously ill.

The rebels at Donelson had a line of telegraph from one side of the fort to another, so that they could send from one wing to the other (three miles) instantaneously. What causes some surprise, too, is the fact that they were able to learn more about the fight at Norfolk and Richmond than at Cairo, notwithstanding that a squad of our cavalry could have cut their wire running up the west bank of the river to Clarksville..


One of the grandest sights of the whole siege, and which only comes once in a century, was the triumphal entry into the fort on Sunday morning.

Not only did the whole camp pour out, but the wounded and the teamsters, not indeed always shouldering muskets but carrying them in the ranks, poured into the fort from three sides in regular order; marching over to the main fort, a brigade at a time stacking arms, and after a few minutes survey filling out for the next brigade. The sight from the highest point in the fort, commanding a view of both river and camp, was imposing.

The Boston Herald, February 27, 1862.[2]

        27, Frank M. Guernsey's letter to Fanny relative to sickness

Navy Yard Memphis, Tenn.

Feby 27th, 1863

My Dear Fanny

I have just received a letter from you of quite late date (Feby. 20th) and as I have not ambition enough to do any work, I will answer it. The Adjutant has gone away on an expedition against the Rebs [sic] and has left me chief cook and bottle washer, with lots of work on my hands.

I am taking things very easy however and do not intent to fret myself. I have been on the sick list lately; or at least very near so. I am around and doing duty simply because I will not give up and be sick. We have had very bad weather here lately, it has rained almost every day for some time excepting to day which is very pleasant, you may guess what kind of going we are having, the mud is a little less than two feet deep on a level, but I dont [sic] go out much so that it does not trouble me but very little.

There is very little news of any account here. Everything is very quiet, though our camp was somewhat excited this morning. We received orders to have part of our Regmt. [sic] fall in and proceed up the river to attack a camp of Rebels, we sent out three companies on board a tug boat. I was obliged to stay behind as I am hardly in shape to do much fighting. The boys were all very anxious to go, and have a fight. They may not meet the enemy but if they are to be found they will find them I commenced this letter yesterday but had not time to finish it so I will do it now. The expedition has returned. They found no enemy but captured a small quantity of medicine. They were rather disgusted with the way their fight turned out. Fanny if you chance to see Glen please tell him that Lieut. Patten was brought into camp last night by a file of soldiers. Patten was a Lieut. In our Regmt. [sic] but deserted some time since while we were on the march, he came to Memphis; and when next seen was with a band of Rebels that were captured yesterday. His punishment will probably be severe as he has not a friend in the Reg[iment]. We all feel that he has brought a disgrace on our Reg[iment]. and are perfectly willing that he should suffer for it. Fannie, I hope ere this reaches you that your Mother may have recovered from her sickness. I understand that it has been very sickly north this winter. The last I heard from Almond Sister Lottie and her little Cora were both very sick with the Typhoid fever. I have not heard lately how they are and am feeling quite anxious about them. I suppose they will write soon.

I am begining [sic] to get sick of this kind of a life, and am longing for spring to come so that we can go into active service in the field. This being cooped up here in the City with the same old routine of duty to do day after day, soon becomes irksome. There is a lack of excitement and every thing gets stale. I like the excitement of a brisk campaign (in good weather) chasing the Rebels or being chased by them, though it is the most please to chase them of the two.

Fannie wouldn't I like to just step in and receive that greeting you described so well in your last. I guess you would find one who could return in fourfold if I am not mistaken.

March 17, 1863

I guess Fannie you will be supprised [sic] in the difference of the dates on this sheet. The fact of the business is I have been pretty sick since the foregoing was written. I have had a run of the fever but am now convalescing. It has been only a day or two since I have been able to sit up much so you see I am very weak yet. I will write again in a few days. good by [sic], write soon, love to all and accept much yourself

Yours affectionately

Frank M. G.

Guernsey Collection.

        27, Skirmish near Bloomington, on the Hatchie River

FEBRUARY 27, 1863.-Skirmish near Bloomington, on the Hatchie River, Tenn.

Report of Brig. Gen. Alexander Asboth, U. S. Army.


GEN.: Col. Wolfe, commanding at Fort Pillow, reports that Capt. Moore, Second Illinois Cavalry, reached, on the 27th ultimo, at daybreak, with 200 mounted [men], the principal camp of the rebel Col. [R. V.] Richardson, in the neighborhood of Bloomington, on the Hatchie. The rebels, however, started on the previous day to the southeast, leaving only 8 men to guard the camp and collect conscripts. This guard was taken, with all the property in their charge, 27 horses and mules, wagons and commissary stores, and the camp, with several large buildings and comfortable quarters, entirely destroyed.

ASBOTH, Brig.-Gen.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 24, pt. I, p. 422.

        27, Expedition from Fort Pillow

No circumstantial reports filed.

        27, A Concert at the Athenaeum, Columbia, Tennessee

Columbia, Tenn., Feb. 27, 1863,

A concert was given last night at the Atheneum [sic] for the benefit of sick soldiers, under the direction of the Rev. Mr. Smith, principal of the Young Ladies' Seminary of this place, and was attended by such distinguished guests as Generals Van Dorn, Forrest, W. H. Jackson and Frank C. Armstrong. Notwithstanding a heavy shower prevailing, the attendance was large and the Atheneum [sic] crowded. The programme was a selection of some of the finest instrumental and local music from the Italian and English. The "Bonnie White Flag"—a beautiful piece and piece of beautiful composition was freely sung and loudly applauded. Casta Diva, sung by Mrs. Leigh, from whose pretty lips the musical words flowed in perennial and entrancing strains, was one of the finest pieces it has ever been our lot to listen to. And Vivra, as sung by Mrs. Leigh and Miss Smith, (daughter of the professor) thrilled every bosom with quick and joyous pulsations, leaving [?] a harmonious chorus, drawing each bosom in consonance with the other by the "concord of sweet sounds," which enraptured every one present. The grand final chorus of "Hallelujah," by Handel, as performed by Miss Thomas on the organ, accompanied by their pianos, their harps, and several string instruments and cymbals, and sung by the whole coterie, was magnificently grand, and produced a fine effect.

The "Chevalier" and a Tribute to Gen. Sydney Johnston, original compositions by Lieut. Col. Hawkins, were admirably read by that gentleman and greeted with much applause.

The ladies who participated in the concert role were all dressed in most admirable taste and indeed with no little extravagance, and made the finest display of feminine apparel and attire we have seen in the South since the commencement of hostilities. Perhaps it is due to ladies further South to say that these fair belles of Columbus, have been enabled to dress better and more tastily than their Confederate sisters further southward, from the fact that they have been able during the Yankee occupation of their country, to select such articles of dress and virtue, as others were unable to procure on account of the blockade.

Most of the ladies who took part in the ceremonies were from the Ladies' Seminary of this place, under the charge of the Rev. Mr. Smith, one of the most accomplished and agreeable of gentlemen, and whose suavity of manner and perfect politeness we have never seen equaled. The Seminary is one of the first in the South, and is perhaps better filled up, more plentifully supplied with musical instruments, and more thoroughly adapted for the accomplished education of young ladies, than any now open in the country. It is a matter of great pleasure to us that the young ladies of this establishment pay much attention to that sweetest of instruments, the harp, which is rapidly taking the place in our households once occupied by the pianoforte. Miss F. F. Smith, one of the graduates of the establishment, and the daughter of the Professor, handles the sweet-toned instrument to perfection itself, and elicits from it such sweet and perfect harmony, as to draw the whole soul forth, and hold it entranced.

* * * *

Mobile Register and Advertiser, March 8, 1863.[3]

        27, Chattanooga Daily Rebel editorial on the state of affairs in Middle Tennessee

The Situation in Tennessee. – We have news from Nashville. By a careful computation of reliable parties there are fifteen thousand inmates of Federal hospitals in that city, with a tendency to increase. There are at present forty-two large hospitals, and all are crowded to overflowing. Besides these are boarding houses, which are also full of officers, either sick or wounded.

A late letter to the Cincinnati Gazette, says "the condition of the army of Middle Tennessee cannot be said to be very hopeful, or promising; officers in the greatest abundance are all on leave, and as for the soldiers, why the hospitals are stuffed with them."

The citizens of Nashville suffer greatly from the overbearing insolence of the enemy. Now that Andrew Johnson has been stripped of the power, that is [sic] been perfectly overshadowed by the military he has become especially kind and courteous. He is, it is generally believed, trimming his sails to suit the Northwestern breeze. He offers his assistance freely to "his suffering fellow-citizens," and professes to be very much aggrieved by the brutal course of the Yankee officers. Fire wood is very scarce, and the poor would suffer, but the bond between the rich and the poor, who are true and loyal, has dissipated all distinctions of formality, and one Southern family helps another, freely and at all times.

"The families of our soldiers are not in want. Mitchell, the commandant of the post, is represented as a Kansas ruffian out and out. The "daily dirty Union" is preaching the most foul and extreme abolitionism. There are only one division and two or three battalions of cavalry now in the city besides artillerymen and bands employed on the fortifications, numbering in all about ten thousand men. Eight thousand more are at Franklin, and the main body near Murfreesboro'.

[Chattanooga Rebel, 27th ult.]

Daily Morning News, March 2, 1863.[4]

        27-ca. 28, Guerrilla harassment of U. S. N. patrol on Tennessee River

No circumstantial reports filed.

Excerpt from the Report of Lieutenant-Command Fitch U. S. Navy, regarding naval operations on the Ohio, Cumberland and Tennessee rivers, August 23, 1862-October 21, 1863

* * * *

On [February] the 27th...I again made a trip up the Tennessee with the Lexington, Robb, and Silver Lake, taking with me Colonel Graig [Chauncey W. Griggs] and 150 soldiers from Fort Heiman.

During this trip up we fell in with several guerrilla parties and succeeded in capturing some, together with their horses and muskets.

* * * *

Navy OR, Ser. I, Vol. 23, p. 316.

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

No circumstantial reports filed.

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

From Returns of January 1864.

* * * *

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

* * * *

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

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

MEMPHIS, January 27, 1864.

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

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

B. H. GRIERSON, Brig.-Gen.

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

        27, Skirmish near Knoxville

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

W. W. WHEELER, Maj., Cmdg.

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

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

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

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

        27,"A Salt and Battery"

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

Memphis Bulletin, January 27, 1864.

        27, "They Stole the Child Away."

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

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

Memphis Bulletin, January 27, 1864.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Truly, your friend,

W. T. SHERMAN, Maj.-Gen.

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

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

No circumstantial reports filed.

NEAR DANDRIDGE, January 30, 1864.

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

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

Nearly a hundred men, part of the First Alabama, the remnant of a North Alabama battalion, consolidated with the First Alabama,[5] left, officers and all, for home night of the 27th….

*  *  *  *


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

27, Federal patrol from La Grange

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

Adjutant Seventh Illinois Cavalry:

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

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

Very respectfully,

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

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

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


Memphis, January 27, 1864.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

KNOXVILLE, TENN., January 27, 1864.

Brig. Gen. S. P. CARTER:

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



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

27, Newspaper report on Confederate troop withdrawals in West Tennessee

Movement of Rebel Troops in West Tennessee.

Cairo, Feb. 26-The Memphis Bulletin this morning says that the rebel leaders lately issued orders to have all the detachments of their troops in West Tennessee, together with such conscripts as they have gathered, sent south without delay, and we have reason to believe that the larger portion of the rebel forces lately about Memphis have already gone. Their destination will be Mobile.

~ ~ ~

Baltimore Sun, February 27, 1865.


[1] As cited in:

[2] PQCW

[3] As cited in:


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

PULASKI, January 6, 1864.

Maj. R. M. SAWYER:

*  *  *  *

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

G. M. DODGE, Brig.-Gen.

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

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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