Saturday, March 7, 2015

3.07.2015 Tennessee Civil War Notes

7, Abolitionist attempts to divest the South of the territory acquired by the Mexican War

Who Won the Battles and Purchased the Territories.—The abolitionists are endeavoring to deprive the South of all the territory acquired by the Mexican war, yet the records show that this very territory was won by southern blood and treasure. While fourteen slave States furnished 45,630 volunteers, the free States and Territories furnished but 23,654. The disparity is marked, considered from any point of view, but especially so in regard to the relative population of the two sections. The figures, we may add, are derived from executive document No. 63, of the first session of the thirtieth Congress.

Memphis Daily Appeal, March 7, 1861.

7, A letter from Confederate John H. Crozier[1], in Knoxville, to his wife in Morristown

Knoxville, March 7th- 1862

My dear Wife --

Etheldred could not send you anything by Express yesterday because they could not carry anything. I had expected to send all your flour and have written to Easley to send me the bacon of two hogs and a stand of lard. But for fear I cannot get these things I wrote to James Williams today to buy you two or three hundred dollars worth of provisions, and if I can get the provisions from here down to you we can very easily sell the others. I advise you by all means to urge James immediately to buy you enough of provisions of all kinds to last you until the first of July. [sic]

Etheldred has joined Jacksons [sic] Company[.] I gave him his choice and told him to do just as he pleased. He goes in a mess with Bake Crozier & others that he is very much pleased with.

We have no news here of any kind, Our Commanding General [sic] has not yet arrived. I believe most of our people think the enemy will not attempt to come in to [sic] East Tennessee though it will not doubt be urged very strongly by [Military Governor Andrew] Johnson and Maynard.

I have said above I would write to James Williams but it is later that I has supposed and the mail is about to close. So you send word to James Williams just at once to buy you meat and flour enough to last you until July and as I have before stated if we get the provisions from here down we can sell the others. You had also better buy molasses and whatever else you want. When I hear you are provided for it will make me much easier. Goodbye [sic] my dearest wife. I write in something of a hurry.

Yr. affectionate husband,

Jno. H. Crozier

W. P. A. Civil War Records, Vol. I, p. 18.[2]

        7, Roseate Northern Predictions of Renewed Commerce with Tennessee

The Opening of Trade with the South.

The capture of Fort Donelson, coupled with the occupation of Nashville by out troops, has resulted in the opening of trade between the whole of the section which it is the centre-a section abounding in cotton and tobacco. Already $100,000 worth have been sent down the Cumberland to New York. The opening of the Tennessee, still further south in the same State, lays open the trade of North Alabama and the river counties of Mississippi. And soon Memphis will fall into the hands of the Union troops, and then the whole State will be accessible to Northern trade. Memphis formerly shipped some three or four thousands of the adjoining hundred thousand bales of cotton yearly; for it is the outlet of a very fertile and extensive district of [the] country. This and other products formerly went down the Mississippi to New Orleans. They will now ascent that river, to be conveyed by railroad to New York. Along the Atlantic seaboard the same process is going forward, and soon there will be an abundance of cotton for the se of the Northern States Threats are made in the rebel Congress and elsewhere to burn the cotton and tobacco which are likely to fall into the hands of the Union troops. But we suspect the owners will not surrender their chances to get cash for the article food the worthless promise of indemnification for the loss by the bogus confederacy. In many instances, too, towns and districts will be surprised by our advancing legions before the more violent secessionists can have time to apply the torch. The revival of Southern grade in consequence of the progress of our armies will be a great benefit North and South, but particularly to the South whose products were of little of no value because, there was no market for them, while at the same time the people had to pay fabulous prices for shoes, salt and other necessaries of life. Their sufferings in consequence were very great. This state of things is put an end to by the victories at Mill Springs, Fort Henry and Fort Donelson, resulting, as they do, in the restoration of the whole of the magnificent State of Tennessee and of the adjoining States to the free trade and commerce of the Union.

New York Herald, March 7, 1862. [3]

        7, Salt rations for soldiers in Army of Tennessee ordered diverted to horses by Bragg

CIRCULAR. HDQRS. ARMY OF TENNESSEE, Tullahoma, March 7, 1863.

Hereafter all the salt received in mess-beef issues by the troops of this army will be turned over to the artillery and quartermasters of their respective commands, for the use of their horses.

By command of Gen. Bragg:

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 23, pt. II, p. 665

        7, Summary on Confederate forces firing upon Federal steamboats on the Cumberland River

CLARKSVILLE, March 7, 1863.

Maj. Gen. W. S. ROSECRANS:

The rebel force firing on boats at Shoals is Col. [L. S.] Ross' regiment. They have their headquarters at Kinderhook, near Williamsport, where Wheeler, Forrest, and Woodward are said to be. They are conscripting and stealing all the horses in the country. Many conscripts have come in, asking protection, which I gave. I shall watch them closely, and try and make attack on them.

S. D. BRUCE, Col., Cmdg. Post.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 23, pt. II, p. 117.

        7, Letter from Mrs. John A. Rowan to Col. John A. Rowan[4] [C. S. A.] with news from home


March the 7th, 1863

Dear Husband:

I write a line only to say we are well [sic] [.] I had not expected to write any more untill [sic] I saw you but I red [sic] a kind letter from you yesterday favored by Wm Harris dated the 27 Feb [sic] but as you did not say much about coming home I though perhapse [sic] you thought it doubtful about getting a chance to come soon.

But I will hope for the best for it does seme [sic] I could scarcely bear [sic] a disappointment in this[.] But I see from the papers that the fed are rec [sic] reinforcements and I greatly fear that the prospects of an engagement will prevent you from comeing [sic] soon.

Many thanks dearest for your kind considerations in sending us the Memphis Appeal[.] We have rec [sic] two no [sic] It gives much information that we should not otherwise get[.]

Dearest [sic] I have some bad news to write brother franks [sic] wife is lying verry [sic] low not expected to live she has been since last Monday week[.] she [sic] has a verry [sic] harty [sic] babe nearly two weeks old[.] Dr. Bogart thinks she has the same disease we had last spring[.] her [sic] face is verry [sic] much swolen [sic] but they sent for May & when he heard her simtoms [sic] he said it was nurseing [sic] soar mouth but he did not come intill [sic] yesterday morning[.] Jane Rowan & myself were there night before last & met the Doctors yesterday morning but have not heard what doc [sic] May thinks of her case[.] But I do not think she can possibly recover.

Father [sic] family is tolerble [sic][.] I saw mother there she said she had not been well for several days but was better that day.

Mr [sic] John Hightower has just landed and made us all glad to hear from you, Mollie rec [sic] her music & is dancing around like a top though she is so hoarse she can't make much noise[.] she [sic] sends many thanks for it[.]

Mr. Hightower says till [sic] his brother Thomas that his health is not any better than he left the camps[.]

It is raining yet we have more rain that I ever saw this time of the year[.] the [sic] creek has been up so for 3 or 4 weeks so tom [sic] could not cross half the time to hand wood [sic] [.]

I will close please come as soon as possible[.] Write often excuse this-farewell

Your devoted wife

M. Rowan

PS Many thanks dearest for my new pipe the girles [sic] accuse me of smoking just to show my new pipe well if I do there is nothing wrong in being proud of as nice a presant [sic] as that so I say [sic] [.]

W. P. A. Civil War Records, Vol. 2, p. 200.

        7, "I feel very anxious about our future destination…." Federal troop movements on the Cumberland River; excerpts from the letter of G. M. Barber to his wife

Head Quarters S.S.

At IncohStraden [sic]

Clarksville, Tennessee March 7, 1863

My Dear H.L.

….We formed…and proceed on our way to Fort Donelson when we arrived about 10 this A.M. Since then we have had a picket guard in the boat and have distributed ammunition to the men and are in readiness for an attack at any moment. We are now waiting for a convoy of gunboats, which we expect down tonight when we should again proceed to Nashville about sixty five miles distant. All the way we see the effect of the war, the ruins of buildings and destruction of property and prostration of business. At Fort Donelson I became acquainted with a Captain of the 83rd Indiana, which so gallantly defended the Fort on the 3rd of February last. He says the Sharp Shooting Service is the best service in the world. Giving us the advantage over every other kind of troops. He was a member of Captain Burrows W. Sharp Shooters. At this place I met a lieutenant from Elyria also the 83rd Indiana. All day I have been in the pilothouse with my glass on the lookout for rebels. Plenty of secesh comes to the shore at different points some of them armed and would have attacked the boat undoubtedly if we had not been so well armed. As it was they were satisfied to taking a good look at us. We expected a brush between this and Nashville, but as we are to have a gunboat with us we have no fear. I feel very anxious about our future destination….


Barber Correspondence[5]

        7, Federal Indignities Against Pro-Confederates in Rutherford County

Outrages in Rutherford, Tenn.—No people in Tennessee are more loyal than those of the county of Rutherford, and they are now paying severely for their staunch adherence to the Confederacy even in the presence of Federal bayonets. Their property is being destroyed, their houses pillaged and burned, their churches desecrated, their slaves carried off, and every imaginable indignity offered to the citizens, regardless of age and sex.

We understand that the Yankees have not left a fence standing within a circuit of five miles around Murfreesboro', and that fires are of nightly occurrences.

The destruction of the fine residence of Judge Ridly, with his library, papers and furniture has already been noted. But we have recently had information of an outrage of a still more gross a character. A few nights since a party of Federal soldiers under charge of an officer visited the house of Isaac Jatung in Rutherford, violently seized his person, and taking him into his own yard cruelly and shamefully whipped him on the naked back. His wife and daughters appeared upon the porch and attempted to remonstrate with the soldiers, when they fired a volley at these innocent ladies.

We can scarcely believe that it is possible for Gen. Rosecrans to order those atrocities, but he certainly countenances them, and should be held strictly accountable.—[Shelbyville Banner.

Savannah [Georgia] Republican, March 7, 1863.[6]

        7, "To the stranger there can be no more interesting place to visit; to the citizen, none more useful; for here he may see how degraded human nature may be elevated to the dignity of refined art, and made useful and even ornamental to society." A visit to the State Penitentiary

The Penitentiary.

The duties of an Editor are varied, and as he is required to know a little, at least, of everything, he must move around among all kinds of people, visit all kinds of places, study all manner of men and things, and mix and stir about generally and promiscuously. He meets, in the course of a day, hundreds of friends, each of whom desires to know the latest news, and some spread before him all their grievances, make known their joys and sorrows, and expect the Editor to weep and rejoice, as they incline, and to be posted in all things on which they choose to question him. To maintain among his friends a goodly reputation, which is not all "bubble," for

A good name, in man or woman,

Is the immediate jewel of their souls,

The Editor must be constantly on the move, with eyes and ears open, ever ready to give or to receive. Hence we find the Editor at all times in all manner of places (and not unfrequently a tight one)—the Jail, the Church, the Penitentiary and the Prayer-meeting, the Workhouse and the Sunday School, the courtroom and the Ball-room, Theatres and Concerts, the mansion of the rich, the hovel of the poor; he converses alike freely with the peer and the peasant, rich and poor, old and young, male and female, virtuous and degraded, white and black, and "the damned injun"—all expect the Editor to hold converse with them, and if he expects to keep pace with the times he must do it.

Yesterday we paid a visit to the Penitentiary—the home of penitents, a house of correction for evil-doers, and a home of industry for all its inmates. This institution is under the superintendence of Mr. James Cavert [?], assisted by Mr. A. W. Pyle as Deputy, R. H. Cameron as Treasury Clerk, W. W. Berry as Auditing Clerk, and guards, keepers, instructors, etc. A hasty walk through the institution is only provocative of a desire to see more, but the practiced eye can see a heap in an hour, in passing through the store-rooms, kitchens, barber-shop and bake-house, washrooms and work-shops, forges and furniture rooms, saddlery and sale rooms, machinery and mahogany, toys and toilettes—all neat, well regulated; order, industry, and quiet prevailing. To the stranger there can be no more interesting place to visit; to the citizen, none more useful; for here he may see how degraded human nature may be elevated to the dignity of refined art, and made useful and even ornamental to society. Among the articles there manufactured by the prisoners, and on sale, are beautifully carved bedsteads, and toilette bureaus, water tanks of magnificent proportions, and buckets of all descriptions, whisky barrels and beds (not whisky beds), crutches and cradles, chairs of all descriptions, parlor and toilette stands and tables, and looking-glasses and checker-boards, tooth-picks and pick-axes, boxes and chests, churns and carriages, Express wagons and all other kinds of wagons, harness and boots and shoes, tin-ware and trinkets—in short, of all things useful there is an infinite variety, and of the ornamental there are many curiosities, which excite alike our wonder and surprise. To attempt a description of the many articles which attracted our attention would be a waste of words—we can only advise all who have the time, to visit the place, and if anything is wanted by the visitors, from a doll cradle to a wedding bedstead, from a pair of shoes to a set of harness, from a toy wagon to a gun carriage, order it, and depend upon it you will not regret the price paid. And before you leave, take a toy and drop a shinplaster in the tobacco bank. You will find the keeper affable, and everybody civil.

Nashville Dispatch, March 7, 1863.

        7, Two female soldiers honorably discharched in Nashville

Army Police Proceedings.

Before the Chief of Army Police, Nashville, March 7, 1863.

….Miss Ella V. Reno and Miss Sarah E. Bradbury, who exhibited their martial ardor and love of country by enlisting as young men and serving faithfully as soldiers for several months each were, upon the discovery of their sex, honorably discharged, and were sent from Murfreesboro' by Capt. Wiles, Provost Marshal General, to the Chief of Police to be forwarded to their friends—those of Miss Ella residing in Cincinnati, Ohio, and those of Miss Sarah residing in this county. After being provided with proper female apparel they were placed en route for their homes.

Nashville Dispatch, March 8, 1863.

        7, Confederate conscripts seek Federal protection near Clarksville

CLARKSVILLE, March 7, 1863.

Maj. Gen. W. S. ROSECRANS:

The rebel force firing on boats at Shoals is Col. [L. S.] Ross' regiment. They have their headquarters at Kinderhook [Maury county], near Williamsport, where Wheeler, Forrest, and Woodward are said to be.

They are conscripting and stealing all the horses in the country. Many conscripts have come in, asking protection, which I gave. I shall watch them closely, and try and make attack on them.

S. D. BRUCE, Col., Cmdg. Post.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 23, pt. II, p. 117

        7, Justification of Federal confiscation of private property in Nashville and the law by Major-Geneal William S. Rosecrans

HDQRS. DEPARTMENT OF THE CUMBERLAND, Murfreesborough, March 7, 1863.

Hon. E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War, Washington, D. C.:

SIR: In reply to your favor of the 27th ultimo, respecting the laws for the confiscation of rebel and contraband property, stating that interference had occurred in Nashville with the legitimate authorities by persons acting under authority from these headquarters, I beg to say:

First. No one has been more careful and anxious to give strength and vigor to the regularly constituted authorities than I have been.

Second. I know of no instance of collision between officers acting under military authority wherein there was any important principle involved.

Third. The only complaints brought to my notice were instances where property held by the U. S. marshal was thought necessary and sought to be used for the public service, to which that officer objected on account of his personal liability for the same.

Fourth. The city being at once a camp, a garrison, and a great depot, I found it absolutely necessary to put and keep it under a species of martial law, and to establish a surveillance over its trade, such as to limit the quantity and to detect the smuggling, spying, and knavery that was going on to a fearful extent. Good's confiscated for violation of those military orders I have held and condemned summarily.

Fifth. I have been obliged to lay violent hands on Confederate counterfeit notes because they were corrupting the young men of my army. But I think in none of these instances has there been the slightest attempt to enforce by military means those laws of confiscation enacted by Congress.

Please send me copies of laws on this subject and of the charges made.

W. S. ROSECRANS, Maj.-Gen., Comdg.

OR, Ser. III, Vol. 3, pp. 59-60.

        ca.7, Expedition from Bethel to Savannah and destruction of Confederate flatboats and ferries [See below, March 17, 1863, Newspaper report on the Sanitary Commission in Jackson and Bolivar, checking Van Dorn, Sullivan's expedition, destruction of flat boats at Savannah]

~ ~ ~

An expedition started from Bethel about twenty-five miles southeast of this, returned day before yesterday eminently successful. General Sullivan having learned that a number of boats were being accumulated at Savannah, a Tennessee river town, ordered them destroyed and detailed a number of picked men for that purpose. They set out quietly, and with adventure reached the river, which they crossed, they found matters as reported. Without disturbance, at an early hour, the party set to and destroyed every barge, flatboat and skiff to be found, and then recrossed and returned. The enterprise was attended with no loss to us. Our men were away before their presence was known to the enemy. No pursuit was made, when the boats were discovered missing. The party arrived at Bethel highly delighted with their expedition.

~ ~ ~

Philadelphia Inquirer, March 17, 1863.

        7, General Orders, No. 10, forbidding impressment of Negroes in Nashville

Headquarters District of Nashville

Nashville, Tenn., March 7, 1864

Brig.-Gen L. Thomas, Adjt. General United States, having revoked his order authorizing the impressment of negroes [sic] into the army, such impressments are no longer legal, and if made will be revoked and the facts reported to these Headquarters, buy the military authorities. Work hands on plantations within the District having been almost exhausted by impressment, and the running away of such hands-often leaving large families of helpless women and children without the means of support-no impressment of slaves will hereafter be made for any purpose without imperative necessity, and by order of the Post Commanders.

II. The loyal, law-abiding people of the District, including those who have, in good faith, taken the "Amnesty Oath," are invited to rebuild their fences and restock their farms, and grow crops, with the assurance that they will hereafter be protected in the possession of all their property, and which will not be appropriated for the public use, unless by competent authority, and not then without fair compensation being paid to the owner therfor.

III. Good and efficient soldiers are found at the post of duty. Generally, the worthless and inefficient straggle and roam over the country, away from their commands, marauding and robbing. Such straggling marauders will hereafter be arrested and punished, and every soldier absent from his command, unless on duty, without the written permission of the officer commanding the Post or Station, will be deemed a straggler and punished accordingly.

By command of Maj.-Gen Rousseau

Nashville Daily Gazette, March 18, 1864.

        7, "The quiet of our life was disturbed today by the arrival of 150 Yankees." A day in the life of Confederate Belle Edmondson

March, Monday 7, 1864

The quiet of our life was disturbed today by the arrival of 150 Yankees-only two came to the house. We gave them their dinner. Mr. Wilson and Decatur were down in the Orchard. Helen sent for them to come and capture the Yanks, we saw the rest coming, & Tate and I ran to tell them it was too great a risk. Mr. W. and D. were nearly to the gate, I was never so excited-we turned them in time, the two Yanks passed while we were standing there. Mr. W. and D. came to the house and spent some time with us, when Mr. W. followed the Yankees. They returned about 9 o'c [sic] on their way to Memphis. D. and Cousin F. had a run again, with the horses, but fortunately none of them came in.

I have not done any work today, have suffered death with my spine. Tate and Helen at work in my room all day-I sat in Tate's room until bed time. Beulah, Laura, and Tip all in time-I amused myself reading Artemus Wards [sic] book.

We did not hear what the Yanks went for, we heard from Eddie and the boys, all safe. One of Henderson's scouts arrived.

Diary of Belle Edmondson

        7, Recruitment of Negro Soldiers in East Tennessee

The Tennessee Corps d'Afrique

A correspondent  of the Cincinnati Gazette writing from Knoxville, March 7, says:

"Several weeks since the organization of colored troops was begun in this department, and is going on quite successfully. The organization stands already recognized at the War Department, as the 1st United States Colored Artillery [Heavy]. It is under the general direction of Brig. Gen. Daniel Tillson, as Chief of artillery, while in its details is under the direction of Major J. A Shannon, formerly of the 100th Ohio infantry. When complete, the organization will consist of twelve batteries, one hundred and fifty men each. Already six hundred have been enlisted, and Major Shannon feels confident that by the 1st of June the regiment will be full.

A number of those who have already enlisted are quite intelligent, able to read and write, and give every promise of becoming good, efficient soldiers. The noncommissioned officers will be taken from the ranks, while the commissioned officers will be taken from among non commissioned officer and privates of our veteran volunteer army.

Milwaukee Daily Sentinel, March 19, 1864. [7]

        7, Confederate Claims of Yankee Overkill at Tazewell

Yankee Barbarity in East Tennessee.-A correspondent of the Charlottesville (Va) Chronicle, writing from Camp, on Powell's River, near Tazewell, Tennessee, February 18th, says:

"During the time Longstreet had Knoxville invested, Gen. Foster was at Tazewell awaiting the withdrawal of our troops so as to relieve Burnside. His conduct beggars all description. He made his headquarters at Mrs. Blackburn's. He forced the family, sick and all, into one small room. He then put his horses and those of his staff in the dining room of the dwelling. His staff descended so low as to draw their pistols on Miss Blackburn, who was sick. The consequence was the aggravation of her illness. She has since died. The federals were in the village when she lay a corpse, and in order to make the family more miserable they set fire to all the houses adjacent to the one where lay the corpse. They then set fire to the dwelling, and when asked to aid in removing the corpse, they only laughed. They damned the corpse for being that of a rebel. She was a lady distinguished for her Southern devotion, zeal and love for our cause. Thus are treated our friends.["]

Fayetteville Observer, March 7, 1864. [8]

7, Troop movements to Dalton and the Health of Knoxville

March 7th 1864

…Everything is quiet about Knoxville at present. Nearly all the troops have left here. Some have gone to the front towards Greenville, while the greater portion of those belonging to the "Army of the Cumberland" have gone to Dalton, GA. The R.R. is doing a good business now and consequently everything is plentier than at any time since we came here….

I think that the health of the troops in and about Knoxville is much better than it was a few weeks ago. There are still a few cases of small pox in town but I feel a bit afraid of it and I hope you will not be alarmed on my account….

Bentley Letters.


[1] The introduction to this letter in the W. P. A. Civil War Records, Vol. I, p. 14, states "Col. John H. Crozier was one of the most distinguished lawyers in the State, and a man of ability and renoun [sic], and with a commanding law practice." Undoubtedly this was rather a filiopietistic judgment as the letter was listed as being owned by "Miss Lucy Crozier." Other evidence indicates other less illustrious traits. In a letter from Robertson Topp, a Confederate official, to attorney Robert Josselyn in Memphis, dated October 26, 1861, the embarrassment caused the Confederate government by the enthusiastic arrests made of East Tennessee citizens deemed to be enemies of the state were made by "a few malicious, troublesome men in and about Knoxville. I always hear the names of W. G. Swan, William M. Churchwell, John H. Crozier, [John] Crozier Ramsey and the postmaster at Knoxville mixed up with these matters. It is these men have private griefs and malice to gratify and they aim to bring down the avenging arm of the Government to satiate their passions." See: OR, Ser. Ser. II, Vol. I, p. 834. According to Col. Robert B. Vance [C. S. A.], in a letter to President Jefferson C. Davis dated February 15, 1862, there was in Knoxville "a villainous clique here of most corrupt, vindicate and despicable scoundrels-of whom John H. Crozier, J. C. Ramsey and W. G. Swan are chief." See: OR, Ser. II, Vol. 1, p. 927. He was thus distinguished by Confederate authorities as something less than "distinguished...a man of ability and renoun [sic]...." At the very least he was not considered an asset by Confederate authorities.

[2]Tennessee, Records of East Tennessee, Civil War Records, Volume I, Prepared by the Historical Records Survey Transcription Unit, Division of Women's and Professional Projects Works Progress Administration, Mrs. John Trotwood Moore, State Librarian and Archivist, Sponsor, T. Marshall Jones, State Director, Mrs. Penelope Johnson Allen, State Supervisor, Mrs. Margaret H. Richardson, District Supervisor, Nashville, Tennessee, The Historical Records Survey, June 1, 1939, p. 18 [Hereinafter cited as W. P. A. Civil War Records, Vol._ __, p. ____, etc.]

[3] As cited in PQCW.

[4] Colonel Rowan was killed in combat at Blue Springs, near Greeneville, on October 12, 1864. See: OR, Ser. I, Vol. 39, pt. I, p. 565.

[6] As cited in:

[7] TSL&A, 19th CN

[8] TSL&A, 19th CN

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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