Thursday, March 26, 2015

3.26.2015 Tennessee Civil War Notes

        26, The Homeless in Memphis

Homeless.—We learn that the fourteen men and fifteen women at the Home for the Homeless are all troubled with sore eyes.

Memphis Daily Appeal, March 26, 1861.

        26, Memphis wife beater fined

Bravely Whipped His Wife.—You who read this, dare you whip your wife? God bless the dear creatures—would you whip them? We think you say no; but James Magiveny, on Sunday [22nd], had more courage than you, for he paid the recorder yesterday ten dollars for a certificate that he had whipped his wife.

Memphis Daily Appeal, March 26, 1861.

        26, Passover in Memphis

The Synagogue.—The passover services begin at 8 o'clock this morning, in the synagogue, at the corner of Main and Exchange streets. A sermon at 9½ o'clock in English, one on Saturday, at the same time, in German, and one in English, on Monday next, at the same hour, all from the rabbi, Rev. S. Tuska. Strangers of all denominations are invited to be present—seats are free. Gentlemen can keep on or remove their hats, as they please; and ladies may sit up or down stairs, as they choose. There is the largest liberty and a hearty welcome.

Memphis Daily Appeal, March 26, 1861.

        26, Bridge over the Duck River burned by Confederate forces. [see March 25-28, 1862, Federal Reconnaissances to Murfreesboro, Shelbyville, Tullahoma, Manchester, McMinnville above]

        26, Federals occupy Tullahoma [see March 25-28, 1862, Federal Reconnaissances to Murfreesboro, Shelbyville, Tullahoma, Manchester, McMinnville above]

        26, Destruction of Confederate camp at Manchester [see March 25-28, 1862, Federal Reconnaissances to Murfreesboro, Shelbyville, Tullahoma, Manchester, McMinnville above]

        26, Skirmish at McMinnville[1]

"Battle of McMinnville, Tenn."

Fought March 26, 1862.

A correspondent of the Cincinnati Gazette, writing from Nashville, Tenn., under date of April second says:

Feeling greatly alarmed lest an insurrection of the whites should occur in portions of the country around McMinnville, certain conservators of "Southern Rights" despatached messengers, not long since, to Decatur, praying for confederate aid. In answer to their entreaties, Capts. McHenry and Bledsoe were sent up with two companies of Tennessee cavalry, to dragoon the threatening populace into submission. About the time they reached McMinnville, last Wednesday [March 26th], Capt. Hastings was within four miles of the place, with fifty Ohio cavalry, giving some attention to the railroad between McMinnville and Murfreesboro. Capt. McHenry, who commanded the confederates, will be remembered as Governor Harris's Adjutant, in command at this city last summer and fall. Capt. Hastings, who directed our little band, was a refugee from this place, and is in the quartermaster's department, I believe.

When Capt. Hastings's presence was known among the leading secesh at McMinnville, they conceived the brilliant idea of bagging his entire command. Hon. Andrew Ewing, the invincible pike man, Judge Ridley, and Judge Marchbanks, engineered the plot, and Andrew Ewing, who has determined, I suppose, like Gov. Harris, to "take the field," actually got on the outside of a horse, with a single-barreled shot-gun for a weapon, and personally went with the expedition. They were confident of surrounding the unguarded Hastings, and conveying into captivity all his force they did not slaughter. The attack was to be made in the night.

But our boys had timely intimation of the fell intent, and prepared to have a little sport of their own. Capt. Hastings ordered his men to build their camp-fires as if they anticipated no danger, but instead of placing themselves by them, as usual, to take position under cover of a thick clump of cedars, and there await the enemy.

On came the confederates, with Mr. Ewing in their midst. When they had advanced to the point at which they formed their line of battle, the valiant Nestor harangued them in his happiest style, filling their hearts with the ardor of his own dauntless soul. They were within a mile or two of complete victory, and he would have them strike till the last armed foe expired, or till all surrendered.

When they had surrounded the unfortified camp-fires, and were in a position to see no armed enemy, and to be well seen themselves, Captain Hastings gave the word to fire, and a volley was poured upon them from the carbines of his men, which threw them into hopeless confusion. Then the Yankees drew their repeaters, and began a peppering which sent them off in a frightful panic. Sabres, guns, and whatever else impeded the stamped, were scattered along the various paths of their flight. Mr. Ewing's shot-gun was found in a creek, hard by the scene of his great achievement, the barrel separated from the stock by the furious manner in which he threw it away. When he arrived in McMinnville his valor was all gone. Making but a brief stay, to recruit his broken wind, he disappeared, and has not been heard of since. The confederate cavalry, who shared his glory on the field, were last seen in Franklin County, on their way back to Decatur by forced marches.

Rebellion Record, Vol. 4, p. 352.

        26, The Chicago Times on Union sentiment in Savannah, Tennessee

* * * *

Southern Tennessee Unionism.

There was evidence through the day, that the practical Union sentiment along the Tennessee was not wholly a myth. "Reckon dad'll not have to run any more and hide around to keep from bein' hung," was the joyful comment of a hopeless but not uncomely Savannah Miss, as she gazed on the still increasing fleet. "Laws-a-mercy," replied her companion, "I knowed the Yankees was a wonderful people, but I never did see so many boats in all my born days before. Guess we will have peace now." More practical was the masculine response to the re-appearance of the flag. Some one hundred and fifty of the citizens of the town and county volunteered for the war to fill up the Donelson-thinned ranks of the Illinois regiments that were the first to disembark.

Chicago Times, March 26, 1862.[2]

        26, Excerpt from a Chicago Tribune story on the Savannah and Pittsburg Landing environs

Special Correspondence of the Chicago Times. Pittsburgh, Tenn., March 19.

The principal features of this town are a half dozen cabins, a burying ground, and a spring of living water,--the latter in itself being a sufficient reason for delaying a while here, even if the transport fleet could safely move farther south. The grave-yard dates from the first of March; at least I gather as much from the epitaphs printed on small boards and fastened to the trees.

You will perceive therefore that Pittsburgh, Tennessee, just now is not a very desirable place of residence, and I think its former inhabitants so regard it, as none of them could be found at home.


From the Cincinnati Gazette of Monday morning we take the annexed extracts relative to important movements on the Tennessee River, having in view the cutting off of Memphis from railroad communication with other points at the South.

* * * *

Chicago Times, March 26, 1862.[3]

        26, 17th Indiana Volunteer Regimental Surgeon's Report on the Health of Lt. Col. John T. Wilder

Camp Andrew Jackson, Tenn.

March 26, 1862

Lt. Col. Wilder 17th Ind.a [sic] has, for some months labored under Dysentry [sic], with hemorrhage from the lower bowel. Recently he has had an interval of good health, but it is retuning in him with renewed severity. His condition demands that he remain quiet for some time. I therefore earnestly recommend that such privileges be granted him.

Sam'el E. Munsford, Surgeon, 17th Ind.

Wilder Collection.[4]

        26, Confederate Newspaper Report on Gideon J. Pillow,[5] and his pompous rationalization of why Ft. Donelson fell

General Gideon J. Pillow

This brave and distinguished officer, who during he was, has passed unscathed through two of the bloodiest almost hotly contested battles ever fought on this continent, arrived in this city[6]  on Saturday morning last [22nd], and stopped at the Yarborough House. In the afternoon of Saturday, a large number of our citizens being exceedingly anxious to see, and hear the distinguished gentleman speak, assembled in from of the Court House and appointed a Committee, consisting of the Mayor and two or three other citizens, to wait upon General P. and request him to address them, with which request the gallant officer very obligingly complied. Upon being conducted to the Court House, the Court room was in a few minutes crowded to its utmost capacity by a large and intelligent audience. Gen. P. was introduced by Mayor Root, and arose and addressed the audience for about an hour, in one of the most interesting speeches which we have ever listened. We do the speaker injustice to attempt to report his remarks, as we took no notes but we will attempt to give briefly, though incoherently the substance of his speech.

General Pillow said that from the first he was confident that the attempt of the Southern struggle. He did not from the first believe that secession could be accomplished peaceably; yet, he had advocated it and urged it upon the people of the South as the lesser of two evils. He believed that it would be better for the South to withdraw from the North, even though that step might involve the two sections in a prolonged and bloody was. While he felt confident, however, that the North would resist the bitter end the attempts of the Southern States to secede, he had no idea of the gigantic proportions which the struggle would assume. When Fort Sumter fell, he hastened to Montgomery, and offered his services to President Davis, and offered also to bring 10,000 Tennesseeans to the aid of the Confederate States if he should desire it. He thought that his experience and former rank in the U. S. Army, entitled him to some consideration at the hands of the President, for he outranked very officer in the armies of either the Confederate or United States. He was a Major General in the old U. S. Army, and when he tendered is services to the President, bore the commission of Major General of the forces of his own State, Tennessee. Notwithstanding these facts, when President Davis did tender him a commission, he placed him at the tail end of the Brigadiers. If it had been Jefferson Davis whom he wanted to serve he would have hurled the commission in his face. But he was not serving Jefferson Davis, but he was serving the country, and felt willing, therefore, to serve that country in any capacity to which he might be assigned.

General P. then went on to refer to the battle of Fort Donelson. He said that leaving Columbus about the first of January, he returned to his home quite sick. When he had yet hardly recovered from his illness he was ordered to Gen. Albert Sidney Johnston to report to him at Bowling Green, to which place he forthwith repaired. When arrived there, Gen. Johnson told him that he desired him (Gen. P.) to go to Fort Donelson and take command of the forces there assembled. Gen. P. demurred at taking command of this fort, for he said Gen. Johnston must have known that the Fort could not be held; and besides, he had no command there-his command was at Columbus, where, he stated to Gen. J., he would prefer going. Gen. Johnston replied that Fort Donelson must be held-, and that he must do so.- Gen. P. then urged no further objection, but proceeded to obey the orders of his superior officer. Arriving at Fort Donelson on the 11th of February, he found that but little progress had been made in strengthening the fortifications,[7] and that the soldiers were greatly demoralized and disheartened because of the recent reverses they has sustained at Fort Henry. He found that the defenses of the Fort against the enemy's gunboats consisted of eleven small guns, one rifled 32-pounder, and one 8 inch columbiad, the latter not being mounted. He proceeded forthwith to mount this gun, and put the men to work with all their might night and day strengthening their works. On the morning of the13th of February the attack commenced. Here Gen. P. graphically described the fierce attack of the enemy's gunboats and their signal repulse; the successful repulse of the enemy in his charge upon the trenches; and gave a thrilling description of the terrible battle of the 16th, when our gallant soldiers made a desperate attempt to cut their way through the investing lines of the enemy. The next part of his speech, though of thrilling interest, was necessarily a repetition of his Official Report , which we have already published.- After nine hours of as hard fighting as was ever witnessed on this continent, our forces finally succeed in opening a passage through which or army intended retreating on the next morning. All or forces were under arms and prepared to retreat from the works, when at three o'clock on the morning of the 16th information was received that the enemy had been largely reinforced; and had reoccupied the ground from which they had been driven the day before. This information instantly changed the aspect of affairs. A consultation of the chief officers, consisting of Gens. Floyd, Pillow and Buckner was held to decide what should be done. Gen. P. proposed that should again attempt to cut their way out, and that they forced a passage, they should go on, leaving their dead and wounded on the battlefield. Gen. Buckner replied to this proposition that the men were completely exhausted, that they had been without rest or shelter, in the rain snow and sleet for five days and nights, and without food, with the exception of raw beef-that it would cost the lives of three-fourths of an army to save one-fourth of their present number to cut their way out, and that no officer had a right to sacrifice three-fourths of an army to leave one-fourth. Gen. Pillow did not believe that the sacrifice of life would be so great, but Gen. Floyd, who was chief in command, being the senior officer, concurred with Buckner, and consequently this proposition was dropped. Gen. Pillow then proposed that they should endeavor to hold out one day longer, saying that by night the boats which had up the river with the wounded and prisoners would return, when the whole force could be on the other side of the river., and thus escape through the country–in reply to this Gen. Buckner said that the enemy already had possession of the right wing of his line of defences-that-that he was confident he would be attacked to daybreak, and that is the then demoralized and exhausted sate of his troops he would not possibly repulse them, and consequently it was physically impossible to hold out another day,-Gen. Floyd consented with Ben Buckner in this view of the case, and Gen. Pillow's opinion being overruled by the opinion of both his senior and junior in command, no alternative was left but to surrender. General Pillow then said, "I, for one, will not surrender-I will die first."[8] Gen. Floyd said the same thing. Gen Buckner told them that they were placing the matter upon personal grounds-that they had no right to do so, and that if he was placed in command he would surrender. Gen Floyd replied that he did act from personal motives, and that if Gen Buckner would assume the command he would transfer it to him, provided he would allow him to withdraw his brigade. Gen. Buckner consented, provided he would withdraw his Brigade before the surrender was made. Gen. Floyd then turned to Gen. Floyd and said: "Gen Pillow I turn over the command to you." Gen. Pillow replied, "I will not accept it." Gen. Floyd then transferred the command to Gen. Buckner, when Gens. Floyd and Pillow, the former unaccompanied by his Brigade, mostly Virginians, left and crossed the river, thereby effecting their escape.

Gen. Pillow, to show that he was determined never to surrender to the Yankees, incidentally referred to the battle of Belmont, where he was Chief in command- at onetime during the progress of this battle, when our men were forced back by the overwhelming odds against them, General P. was hemmed in on three sides by the Yankee forces, and the fourth side was blocked up by almost impenetrable trees, which had be felled by our troops to impede the progress of the Yankees. Gen P. was the only officer who was mounted, his staff and all other officer having dismounted by the enemy's fire. If he had ever thought of surrendering he must have done so here, but he; but he had had no idea of doing so here, or elsewhere. He was mounted on a beautiful mare, which he called "Fannie Belmont" and saying to her, "Fannie, you must take me out of this difficulty," he turned her head to the open space, when she darted through the tops of the felled trees like lighting, splitting through those which he could not leap over. The Yankees seeing their prey escaping from their clutches, sent a shower of Minnie balls whistling by his ears, but "Fannie" took him out safely.[9]

In the face of the facts detailed the President had thought proper to suspend him from command, and he was on his way to Richmond in obedience to the order of the Secretary of War. Though the president was a man of strong convictions and somewhat mulish, he did not believe that he would do any one intentional wrong. He believed that the President was a sincere man, and a true patriot, and he was willing to abide any decision that might be the result of the investigation of his conduct.

In conclusion Gen. Pillow stated that Gen. Albert Sydney Johnston was now hastening to the West to form a junction of his forces with those under Gen. Beauregard – that the enemy already landed some 60,000 or 70,000 troops on the East Bank of the Tennessee River, and that in two weeks a great battle would be fought on the borders of the State of Mississippi, which would have much influence in deciding the fate of our Confederacy.[10] He stated that he was now hastening to Richmond with dispatches from Gen. Johnston. If we were whipped in this battle, the enemy would take possession of all the lines of railroad leading into the Cotton States, and Texas, Arkansas and Missouri would be subjugated. But if we should gain the victory the enemy will be driven, dispirited and routed, out of the Mississippi Valley, and the success of our cause will be insured. Gen. P. urged our people as one man to put forth their whole strength in this great struggle, and to cease speculating and trying to make money when no man know how long he will be allowed to retain what he already has. He gave a vivid picture of what our fate will be if we should be subjugated, saying that the Yankee Government will tax this State $40,000,000 a year, and they will reduce our State to the condition of a territory, and will perform other acts revolting to the feelings of every Southerner. He urged our people, if they would escape this condition of affairs, to come up manfully to the work. He amused the audience very much by saying that if we had an "Andy Johnson" among us, old Lincoln would make him our Governor."

Gen. P. was frequently applauded during his interesting address, and was given three cheers at the conclusion of his speech.

He left this city on Sunday morning for Richmond.

Raleigh Semi Weekly Raleigh Register, March 27, 1862.[11]

        26, Reconnaissance from Murfreesborough to Bradyville

No circumstantial reports filed.

        26, Scout and skirmish, Auburn environs[12]

"Saturday Mar 27 [1863]. Yesterday, Halls Brigade of our Division while returning from a scout in the neighborhood of Auburn, a small village 8 miles from here-was attacked by Morgan & Wheeler with a force of 4,500 men. Hall formed a line of battle across the road on a hill and after a brisk fight lasting 4 hours [sic] repulsed them and drove them through the town, compelling them to abandon all their dead and wounded, which fell into our hands amounting to about 100. Our loss was 7 killed and 13 wounded. Capt Van Buskirk of the 123d Ill. was killed."

Campbell, Three Years in the Saddle.

        26, A private in the 115th Ohio Volunteer Infantry, Zeboim Cartter Patten, relates his conversations with Confederate prisoners of war in Franklin environs

* * * *

I converse a good deal with the prisoners while guarding them. They seem to be a very gentlemanly set of men and many of them are intelligent. They say they and the majority of the army are willing to return to their former allegiance if they can be guaranteed their rights under the constitution. They blame their leaders as well as ours of misrepresenting the public sentiments. They are much more intelligent and fair than those [who] were at Camp Butler [Kentucky]. They think we will not be attacked here say they expected to go to Kentucky. They are from Tenn., Miss., and Alabama & belonged to Van Dorn's command but under the immediate command of Forrest....

Diary of Zeboim Cartter Patten, March 26, 1863.[13]

        26, "Small Pox Hospital."

The cases of small pox in the city being on the decrease and white patients alone falling within the scope of city authority, the City Council, in a spirit of laudable economy, resolved that the very few patients on hand should be turned over to the care of Dr. Crecraft, the very efficient and industrious physician of the city hospital, and an addition being made to the Doctor's very moderate salary, as a just compensation for the additional labor imposed upon him. The Doctor had only been three days engaged in his new sphere of labor, when the mayor, by an extension of authority, the source of which we cannot imagine, ordered him to suspend his professional attentions to the small [number of] pox patients. Yesterday a majority of the members of the City Council signed a paper expressing their desire that Dr. Crecraft should continue to exercise the duties imposed upon him, as long as the Council shall continue his appointment.

Memphis Bulletin, March 26, 1863.

        26, "A Challenge Drill."

There has been for some time past a desire on the part of certain regiments to find the material to challenge the 41st Illinois Volunteer Infantry to a regimental drill. It has been admitted by every body that the 41st had not only the men, but officers, and to find a regiment willing to take the field with it to a drill was no easy matter. But the 14th Illinois Volunteer Infantry, another A No. 1 regiment was recently content of doing themselves justice and perhaps taking a little of [the] starch out of the 41st, sent a challenge to the latter regiment for a silver bugle. Yesterday afternoon about two o'clock, the regiments met for the purpose of testing which was the best disciplined. The trial drill came off near the headquarters of Brigadier General [Jacob Gartner] Lauman. The 41st marched onto the ground in splendid style, perfectly uniformed, and every man gloves. This regiment reminded us of a regiment of riflemen we saw on dress parade two years since in Canada, of which guard Alexander Russell is Colonel. The 41st is under the command of Lieut. Col. John H. Nate[?]. We have not space to go into a lengthy of the manner in which this regiment was maneuvered, but suffice it to say every evolution [?] was perfect. It received tokens of warm applause from the spectators, the ladies in particular, who presented the boys with a beautiful a bouquet. But the 14th, Lieut.-Col. Kame commanding, also showed extraordinary merit, and was a credit to the State which it represents. So far as dress is concerned, the 41st made the best appearance, but the drill it possesses merit, and to one not perfectly posted in military [drill], it would be difficulty to give a correct opinion. Long may both regiments wave, and in our opinion, should have bugles as near alike as can be made.

Memphis Bulletin, March 27, 1863.

        26, Rumors of War

Memphis, Tennessee

March 26th, 1863

My Dear Fannie

This pleasant afternoon finds me bolstered up in my cot with Portfolio in my lap trying to write to you. I find it pretty hard work to write as my hand is very unsteady and I am quite weak yet, but Glen-read me from his last letter from his wife that "Fannie had not received a letter from Frank in a long while", I knew that to be a fact but I was unable to help it. I was so sick that it was impossible for me to write, and I would not trust it to any body else so you see I done the best I could under the circumstances. I think you will readily forgive me for this seeming neglect. I guess that I have been pretty sick from the way that I am reduced. I know that I am very poor in flesh and have been and am yet very weak, though I am gaining every day now. I have an awful appetite and could eat all they would set before me, but I govern myself as well as I can so that I think there is no danger from that source. Glen-comes up to see me as often as he can. I always like to see his good natured face at the door for I am sure of a good lively visit and of all the news from W. that he has, he is one good boy and I believe that the friendship we have contracted will last at least during this war.

Fannie, we have no news worth speaking of. I have been shut up in the hospital so long that I dont [sic] know what is going on without though I think all is peace and quiet, or I should hear something of it here in my prison. They are expecting a big fight at Vicksburg soon. I wish they would have it and that it might end the war, so that we soldiers could go home. I am getting almost as sick of this war as you are Fannie, and would like to be at home but I can wait and see. Then Fannie your prayers have been answered have they and you are happy. I am glad that you have found that sweet peace the world can neither give nor take away. I only wish that I was as happy and good as you are, but Fanny the temptations that surround one in the army are so great that they have got to watch every step lest they sink. I know that I have not been so watchful as I ought, that I do not enjoy that love which once was mine. I have suffered myself to be led astray and now am cold and indifferent. Remember me Fanny at the throne of grace for I need the prayers of all good people, but I am getting tired and must close now. Fannie write soon my love to all and you too – Good by

As ever yours

Frank M.G.

Guernsey Collection.

        26, Inflation and Confederate Currency in Lincoln County

Currency – [sic]

This subject is agitating [the Confederate] Congress no little, in an endeavor to devise some plan for the appreciation of Confederate notes, by reducing the enormous amount now in circulation. The assessment of a heavy tax seems to be the most feasible plan for the accomplishment of this purpose, and we have no doubt will be adopted. But there will be, beyond doubt, the same redundancy of circulation to be reduced in a year or two, unless matters are managed different [sic] hereafter from what they have been heretofore. Agents when started out to purchase government supplies, should be instructed to base their bids on the market value, and not appeal to the cupidity of the seller instead of his patriotism, by advancing the price of the article sought, 40, 75, 100 per cent as has been repeatedly done. For instance, leather for the use of the Confederacy could have been had for fifty cents per pound. That was enough for it, some tanners say, and they prove the sincerity of their expressions by selling to citizens at this rate; yet, Confederate agents fixed the price to be paid by the government at one dollar per pound – in advance of one hundred percent. So in the item of shoes. We know a gentleman who was manufacturing for the market at $2.50 - and he yet sells to the citizens at that price. Yet an agent came along and "pressed" his shop, at $3.50 a pair – in advance of 40 per cent. Unfortunately, all manufacturers do not confine themselves to the former prices, and the citizen purchaser who is compelled to pay the exorbitant sums fixed by government feels that he must in self-defence, advance on whatever he has to sell. The result is an almost universal extortion. We have referred to the items of leather and shoes to illustrate the manner in which affairs have been managed. – The same rule has been applied in the purchase of domestics and other clothing, meal, corn, four, wheat, pork, bacon, etc.; and we see the effect in the flooding of the country with Confederate notes, and their consequent depreciation. One dollar in Tennessee money to-day will buy more than two dollars in Confederate. Let Mr. Memminger [sic] consider this fact before he again deluges the land.

Fayetteville Observer, March 26, 1863.

        26, Effect of Confederate Depredations on Crop Development in Middle Tennessee

We see by our exchanges that much damage has been done by our soldiers to farms in Maury, Warren, Franklin, and other counties. The same complaints have been made in different parts of this country. Some of the best land in this section has been turned out, by the fencing being burnt from around it. It was done thoughtlessly, we have no doubt; but the persons committing these excesses ought to consider that they may be placing themselves on short on short rations hereafter by thus lessening the crop to be raised this year. We hope the military authorities will see to it, that there is no just cause for complaint hereafter. It is as necessary to have meat and bread as it is to have men in the army, but food in a sufficient quantity cannot be had if ground that ought to be cultivated is to be made common.

Fayetteville Observer, March 26, 1863.

        26, Federal Occupation Prevents Gubernatorial Election

It has been settled that there will be no election for Governor in Tennessee, in August next, if the Federal army continue to hold the Middle and West sections of the State. By virtue of the Constitution Gov. Harris holds his office until his successor is elected.

Fayetteville Observer, March 26, 1863.

        26, Pressing slaves to work on Fort Negley; an excerpt from the diary of John Hill Fergusson, 10th Illinois Volunteer Infantry

Nashville Tennessee March 26th 1863

The morning cold the day pleasent [sic]….had dress puraid [sic] and battalion drill at ½ past 4 P.M…part of our company and company F volunteered to go with the sergeant Major of the contraband camp to gather up a squad of negros [sic] they went up town had some brandy pressed some city stage cotches [sic] road [sic] out some 3 miles pressed an Irish mans [sic]  the Irish man was mad struck at the Sergt Major the Sergt Major hit him a few times with the but of his whip cutting his head up pritty [sic] badly 3 or fore [sic] of the boys leveled there [sic] guns and would a [sic] shot him only for the Sergt they had to use the baynet [sic] to force the negros [sic] along the Sergt Magor [sic] treated the boys to the amount of 7 dollars in some thing to drink tobacco Secegars [sic] & c [sic] and gave them a 5 dollar green back to treet [sic] them selves [sic] at another time they brought into camp about 30 darkies to work on our fortifications & c.

John Hill Fergusson Diary, Book 3.

        26, Education of the freedman; an entry in Alice Williamson's Diary, Sumner County

Weather beautiful. Yanks behaving like human beings [sic] with a few exceptions. Today a Yankee officer made his appearance in the school room accompanied by a Northern being whom I supposed to be a man, as he was not a gentleman; he came to look at the church saying that he was president of a school and six of his assistants had just arrived and was going to teach the "freedmen." He says he will have 3 or 400 scholars and will need the largest house in town. What a learned city-or rather yankee nest-this will be. I suppose some of us citizens will get a situation as assistant teacher in the "Freedmens [sic] University."

Williamson Diary.

        26, GENERAL ORDERS, No. 10 relative to Federal camps of instruction near Nashville and new disciplinary and travel policies

GENERAL ORDERS, No. 10. HDQRS. MIL. DIV. OF THE MISSISSIPPI, Nashville, Tenn., April 26, 1864.

I. There will be established, at or near Nashville, one or more camps of instruction, in which will be collected all regiments arriving from the rear which are not assigned to any one of the departments or armies in the field, all detachments or individuals who have got astray from their commands, and all convalescents discharged from hospitals. These camps will be under the general supervision of the commanding officer of the District of Nashville, who will assign to each a general officer, who will be instructed to organize and equip for service all such regiments and detachments and subject them to a thorough system of instruction in the drill and guard duties.

II. All officers, regiments, and detachments belonging to any of the established departments will, without further orders, be sent with dispatch to their proper posts; but such as are not thus provided for will be held in reserve at Nashville to re-enforce any part of the lines of communication to the front, and subject to orders from these headquarters.

III. Soldiers' homes are merely designed for the accommodation of men in transitu; and when delayed from any cause, the men will be sent to the camp of instruction. Officers and men also in and about Nashville awaiting orders will be sent to the camp of instruction.

IV. Maj. Gen. Carl Schurz is assigned to the command of one of these camps, and will report to Maj.-Gen. Rousseau for further instructions.

V. Patrols will, from time to time, be sent to collect men and officers who are in Nashville without proper authority. All who are not in possession of written orders that warrant their presence in Nashville will be arrested and taken to the camp of instruction, where they will be put on duty till forwarded, under guard or otherwise, to their proper posts.

VI. In time of war leaves of absence can only be granted, and that for limited periods, by commanders of separate armies or departments. Subordinate commanders cannot send officers or men away without such sanction; and therefore the numerous shifts of that kind will be treated as void.

VII. Staff departments, on proper requisitions approved by Gen. Rousseau, will issue the provisions, camp and garrison equipage, arms, and accouterments necessary to carry into effect these orders.

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

R. M. SAWYER, Assistant Adjutant-Gen.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 32, pt. III, p. 505.

        26, GENERAL ORDERS, No. 6, relative to changes in flag insignia and unit designations for the Army of the Cumberland [see April 25, 1863 "GENERAL ORDERS, No. 91 changes in flag insignia and unit designations for the Army of the Cumberland" above and August 1, 1863, "GENERAL ORDERS, No. 177, prescribing changes in flag designations and creation of the Army of the Cumberland Reserve Corps and its flag designations" above]

GENERAL ORDERS, No. 62 HDQRS. DEPT. OF THE CUMBERLAND, Chattanooga, Tenn., April 26, 1864.

I. General Orders, No. 91, series of 1863, is hereby rescinded. The flags hereinafter described will be used to designate the headquarters of the department, corps, divisions, and brigades named in this order.

Hdqrs. of the department: The national flag, 5 feet square, embroidered spread eagle in the field, lower part of the eagle resting upon the lower edge of the field, with the stars of the Union arranged above.

Hdqrs. Fourth Army Corps: Silk with yellow fringe, or bunting, red with blue field; size of field 2 feet square, same size as for department headquarters, with gilt or embroidered eagle in the field.

First Division, Fourth Army Corps: The flag of the corps, without fringe or the eagle in the field; size of field the same as the flag of the corps; of bunting with white bar, 3 inches wide, running from right-hand upper corner of field to left-hand lower corner.

Second Division, Fourth Army Corps: The same as for the First Division, with the addition of a white bar, 3 inches wide, running from left-hand upper corner to right-hand lower corner, forming cross with the first.

Third Division, Fourth Army Corps: Same as for Second Division, with a addition of a third white bar, 3 inches wide, running parallel to staff through center of field.

All brigade flags to be forked; distance from staff to angle of the fork, 3 feet; size of flag otherwise, same as for divisions, with same colors, with division bars in the field.

First Brigade, First Division, Fourth Army Corps, with addition of one white star, midway between center of lower edge of field and lower edge of flag.

Second Brigade, First Division, Fourth Army Corps: The same as for the First Brigade, except that there will be two white stars, arranged equidistant from each other and center of lower edge of field and lower edge of flag, on a line parallel to the staff.

Third Brigade, First Division, Fourth Army Corps: The same as for the First Brigade, except that there will be three white stars, arranged as described for the Second Brigade.

Flags for headquarters of the brigades of the Second and Third Divisions: Same as for the first, with the exception of the distinguishing bars of the divisions in the field.

Hdqrs. Fourteenth Army Corps: Silk with yellow fringe, or bunting; same size as for department headquarters; blue with red field; size of field, 2 feet square; gilt or embroidered eagle in field.

Hdqrs. First, Second, and Third Divisions, Fourteenth Army Corps: Blue flags, with red field, with same distinguishing marks as the corresponding divisions of the Fourth Corps.

Flags for the headquarters of the brigades of the Fourteenth Army Corps: Same as for the corresponding brigades of the Fourth Corps, with the exception of the colors, which will be those described for the Fourteenth Army Corps.

Hdqrs. Twentieth Army Corps: Blue swallow-tailed flag, white Tunic cross in center, with he numerals "20" in red in center of the cross.

The division flags of this corps will be 6 feet square.

First Division: Red star on white flag.

Second Division: White star on blue flag.

Third Division: Blue star on white flag.

Fourth Division: Green star on red flag.

The flags for the brigades of the respective divisions will be in the shape of an equilateral triangle (each side 6 feet in length), similar in color and device to the division flags.

The flag of the First Brigade will be without border.

That of the Second Brigade have border same color as star, 6 inches wide, down the staff.

That of the Third Brigade a border 6 inches wide all around the flag.

Hdqrs. cavalry command: Red, white, and blue flag, 6 feet by 4; stripes vertical, red outermost, with cross sabers yellow, the hilt and point of sabers extending over one-half of red and blue stripes. Staff portable, 14 feet long, and in two joints. Yellow silk fringe around the flag, 4 inches wide.

First Division: White flag, 6 feet by 4, with cross sabers red, figure (1) blue.

First Brigade: White triangle, cross sabers red, figure (1) blue.

Second Brigade: White triangle; blue border on staff, 6 inches wide; cross sabers red; figure (2) blue.

Third Brigade: White triangle; blue border around flag, 4 inches wide; cross sabers red; figure (3) blue.

Second Division: Blue flag, 6 feet by 4; cross sabers white; figure (2) red.

First Brigade: Blue triangle; cross sabers white; figure (1) red.

Second Brigade: Blue triangle; cross sabers white; red border on staff, 6 inches wide; figure (2) red.

Third Brigade: Blue triangle; cross sabers white; red border, 4 inches wide around flag; figure (3) red. Third Division: White flag, 6 feet by 4; cross sabers blue; figure (3) red.

First Brigade: White triangle; cross sabers blue; figure (1) red.

Second Brigade: White triangle; cross sabers blue; red border on staff, 6 inches wide; figure (2) red.

Third Brigade: White triangle; cross sabers blue; red border, 4 inches wide, around flag; figure (3) red.

Fourth Division: White flag, 6 feet by 4; cross sabers blue; figure (4) red; yellow border around flag, 9 inches wide.

First Brigade: White triangle; cross sabers red; figure (1) blue; yellow border around flag, width 4 inches.

Second Brigade: Blue triangle; cross sabers blue; figure (2) red; yellow border around flag, width 4 inches.

Third Brigade: White triangle; cross sabers blue; figure (3) red; yellow border around flag, width 4 inches.

Figures in center of sabers; points of sabers up.

Cross sabers in corps and division flags, 4 ½ feet long, 3 inches wide; in brigade flags, 2 ½ feet long, 1 1/4 inches wide.

Cavalry headquarters flag will be made of silk; division and brigade, of bunting.

Brigade flags will be 4 feet on staff and 6 feet on sides.

Engineer Brigade: A white and blue flag, blue uppermost and running horizontally, 6 feet by 4.

Pioneer Brigade: A blue, white, and blue flag, running vertically; crossed axes in engineer wreath on one side and spread eagle on the other.

Hospital and ambulance flags: Same as prescribed by General Orders, No. 9, current series, War Department.

Subsistence depots and store-houses: A plain light-green flag, 3 feet square.

Quartermaster depots and store-houses: Same flag, with letters "Q. M. D." in white, 1 foot long.

Ordnance department, general headquarters: A bright-green flag, 3 feet square, with two crossed cannon in white, set diagonally in a square of 3 feet, with a circular ribbon of 6 inches wide and 3 feet greatest diameter (or diameter of inner circle 2 feet), with the letters "U. S. Ordnance Department" in black, 4 inches long, on ribbon, and a streamer above flag, 1 foot on staff by 4 feet long, crimson color, with words "Chief of Ordnance" in black, 6 inches long.

Division ordnance: Same flag, with cannon and ribbon, but no streamer.

II. For the purpose of ready recognition of the members of the corps and divisions of this army, and to prevent injustice by reports of straggling and misconduct through mistakes as to organizations, the following-described badges will be worn by the officers and enlisted men of all the regiments of the corps mentioned. They will be made either of cloth or metal, after the patterns deposited in the office of the assistant adjutant-general, at department headquarters, and will be securely fastened upon the center of the top of the cap, or upon the left-hand side of the hat when that is worn:

For the Fourth Corps: An equilateral triangle, red for First Division, white for Second Division, blue for Third Division.

For the Fourteenth Corps: An acorn, red for First Division, white for Second Division, and blue for Third Division.

For the Twentieth Corps: A star, as heretofore worn by the Twelfth Corps.

Pioneer Brigade: Crossed hatches, as prescribed by paragraph 1585, Revised Army Regulations, edition of 1863.

The chief quartermaster of the department will furnish the cloth from which to make the badges, upon proper requisitions, and officers of the inspector-general's department of this army will see that they are worn as directed.

By command of Maj.-Gen. Thomas:

WM. D. WHIPPLE, Assistant Adjutant-Gen.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 32, pt. III, pp. 506-508.

        26, Skirmish across the Watauga River, above Greeneville and partial destruction of bridge by Confederates and Federals

BULL'S GAP, April 27, 1864.


Gen. Manson was 8 miles above Greeneville last night; says he will reach Lick Creek to-night. The enemy were strongly posted at Watauga, but partially destroyed the bridge themselves. River too high to ford. Our troops skirmished across the river but could not accomplish the entire destruction of the bridge. We lost 3 killed and 18 wounded. Manson has destroyed all bridges from Jonesborough to where he is, and fully one-third of the track, as he reports. I send remainder of the Tennessee regiment and part of the One hundred and fourth Ohio by this train, and remainder of the last by next train if the cavalry get here to make some guard for to-night. The One hundredth Ohio is marching.

J. D. COX, Brig.-Gen.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 32, pt. III, p. 512.

        26, Smuggling near Memphis

The Memphis Bulletin of the 26th ult. says: "Notwithstanding the risks run, smuggling from this city through the lines to the enemy is carried on extensively. Gen. Grierson's cavalry patrol has, of late been very successful in picking up offenders. On Sunday night, a wagon was met with eight miles out on the Germantown road. Among other matters, was found a barrel, apparently of flour, its principal contents hid among the flour, was forty yards of grey cloth, two bolts of shirting, ten gallons of whisky, a lot of percussion caps, and other articles. The driver offered the boys five hundred dollars in greenbacks for permission to go, but the boys knew their duty too well to be bribed, but owing to the darkness and rain, he contrived to escape before the city was reached."

Nashville Dispatch, May 3, 1864.

        26, Capture of a Guerilla Leader near Cumberland Gap, Drestruction of Railroad Track

~ ~ ~      

April 26th 1864 [Bulls Gap?]

We have just got in from a tramp and I feel pretty tired but I must answer mother's good letter rec'd last Friday, a few minutes before I went on picket. Next evening when I came off picket I was detailed to go with a scouting party. Returned next day and started on another scout next morning…

Our first scout was up the Rogersville R.R. for the purpose of capturing guerilla Capt. and his band of 50 men. Our squad (70 in number) left camp after sunset and marched about 15 miles, almost without halting. Reached our destination by midnight and laid in ambush until daylight when we were very much disappointed to find that our birds had flown a few hours before our arrival. We returned to camp that day and had orders to prepare for a march next day with 2 days rations and blankets, leaving our camp standing. Reveille sounded at 3 ½ a.m. and we were on the road soon after daylight. We had no idea where we were going till we came to the R.R. bridge over Lick Creek which the rebels had partially destroyed when they left here. We completed the destruction and then went to work to tear up the track beyond. We worked hard yesterday and today till noon. Burning all the bridges and ties heating and twisting the iron so as to render it entirely useless. We destroyed 10 or 12 miles so that I hardly think the Confederacy will ever rebuild it. This operation will effectually cut off retreat from Richmond in this direction. I think we will fall back to Knoxville, maybe to Chattanooga in a short time, as this section isn't worth holding and it keeps such a long line of R.R. to guard….

Bentley Letters.


[1] This event is not referenced in the OR or Dyer's Battle Index for Tennessee.

[2] As cited in:

[3] As cited in:

[4] Wilder Collection, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga Library, Special Collections. Hereinafter: Wilder Collection.

[5] Pillow was on his way to Richmond to face a board of inquiry into his role in the battle of Ft. Donelson fiasco. He was evidently anxious to absolve himself of any taint of cowardice or responsibility for the loss before he got to Richmond. He was fond of saying he would fight to the death, or never surrender, etc., but it was merely bombastic rhetoric; he was among the first Confederate generals to retreat without his command, rather than surrender.

[6] Raleigh, N, C.

[7] This is amusing, given Pillow was the"ditch digger" at Camargo.

[8] And he was a man of his word. Instead of fighting to the death or surrendering, he ran after his superior officer  conveniently over-ruled his brave talk of not surrendering.

[9] What happened to the soldiers of his command? Most likely they were surrendered as their commander beat a hasty retreat to Nashville.

[10] Pillow must have been clairvoyant, as the battle of Shiloh would take place in about two weeks.

[11] TSL&A, 19th CN

[12] There is no reference to these events in Dyer's Battle Index for Tennessee or OR.

[13] Zeboim Cartter Patten Diaries, 1860-1863, TSL&A. [Hereinafter: Patten Diary.]


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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