Sunday, April 5, 2015

4.5.2015 Tennessee Civil War Notes

        5, Assault with intent to kill Rabbi Peres in Memphis

Rabbinical.—Rabbi Peres, late pastor of the synagogue in this city, has been giving some of his flock—not gehenna exactly, but law, and that is about as bad. For assaulting the Rev. J. J. Peres, with intent to kill him, L. Helman was yesterday condemned, by the common law court, to pay a fine of two hundred dollars, and to suffer three months imprisonment. This was in the criminal court. Mr. Peres, a few days ago, recovered damages from his former congregation for the balance of his salary.

Memphis Daily Appeal, April 5, 1861.

        5, Description of Tennessee River loyalists "Home Guards."

This invaluable class is composed--according to a careful analysis made by an eminent chemist on the spot--of ten parts unadulterated Andy Johnson Union men, ten of good lord good devil-ites, five of spies, and seventy-five scalawags, too lazy to run, therefore disqualified for service in the Secesh army, and too cowardly to steal on their own responsibility, but willing to be enrolled as "Home Guards," so as to plunder their neighbors under the Union flag.

Chicago Daily Tribune, April 5, 1862.[1]

        5, Description of Pittsburg Landing "Fair Grounds"

Correspondence of The Chicago Times.

Camp Hitt--At the "Fair Grounds."

Savannah, Tenn. March 29.

The Fifty-third Illinois left Chicago on Sunday last, destined, as many supposed, for a short visit to Benton Barracks. Upon arriving at St. Louis next morning, however, we learned that orders had been given to proceed immediately on board the steamer Continental, along with the 25th Missouri (which carries "Lexington" upon its banner), for a trip to the "Sunny South." But precisely whitherward few could distinctly say, and these few were discreetly silent.

We arrived at Fort Henry.…As the night closes in the men tuck themselves away in nooks and corners, and the officers congregate in the cabins. They form parties for whist, euchre, "seven-up," chess, checkers, and general conversation, while in different parts of the boat are glee clubs of well-trained voices discoursing sweetly, and a string band with a flute accompaniment is breathing such pathetic strains of well remembered times that tears are dimming eyes that never blanched with fear. It is the most singular party of pleasure that I ever went on. They all seem bound to be joyful while they may; real concern does not appear upon a single countenance; and yet the absence of ladies, who usually grace pleasure parties (for there are on board but camp women); the soft beauty of the night into which the majestic steamer is crowding onward; the ignorance we are all in of our destination; with the grim suggestions of war all around us, combine to produce a singular variety of mental sensations.

We arrived here, the headquarters of General Grant, at noon. We await orders, and are told that we are to move on to Pittsburg Landing, nine miles above. Shortly the order is reversed; we are to disembark here and the Twenty-Fifty Missouri is to go on to Pittsburg. The time is not long before our small warehouse of luggage is emptied from the steamer and on the way to our camping ground--the "Fair Ground" again, located on a high knoll in the midst of an oak forest, about a mile from the town. As compared with our "Fair Grounds" these are of dimensions decidedly contemptible. It consists of a "circus" of about one hundred and fifty feet diameter, with galleries of benches surrounding and covered with an awning of "shakes," or riven clapboards, outside of which is space sufficient only for a carriage way and one row of our tents. This enclosed by a close board fence, completes the Fair Ground. It seems calculated for horse racing on a small scale and nothing else to speak of, but we're in Dixie....

I am unable to give any information as to other troops quartered here, other than that the remnant of the Eleventh is within a few miles, and that Dickey's Cavalry is camped about four miles off. One of the men whom I saw last evening told me that they spent their time in scouting and skirmishing with guerrilla bands of rebels, and destroying now and then contraband property of secesh.…One of the Fifty-Third.

.…No post office is established here yet. We have to depend upon the boats for sending and receiving our letters, though it is promised a post office will soon be in operation.

Chicago Times, April 5, 1862.[2]

        5, Expectations of war in Memphis


There was a restless feeling in the city yesterday. Like puffs of wind before the crashing storm, came the recital of facts and incidents, movements and preparations occurring in the vicinity of the Charleston railroad and the Tennessee river. "The hum of preparation" was not absent from our own city, and men's minds were turned with dizzy apprehension, or with exulting anticipation, toward the battle which most persons believe to be approaching. Anxiously every rumor was canvassed, events were calculated, positions discussed, and probabilities balanced. The belief that if a battle shall occur between the forces now marshaled in array against each other, it will have an important bearing on the mighty struggle now pending between the South and her boasting foe, was universal. The possible importance of coming events was contemplated with thrilling earnestness, their bearing upon the Confederacy, upon the fortunes of our own city, and the fate of friends and acquaintances, were gravely glanced at. The even of anticipated battle is a solemn time, not only to those who expect to be engaged in the direful conflict, but to those who watch the bustle of preparation, and await with strained vision, and shuddering interest, the moment when the clangor of the loud-voiced trumpet, and the hoarse shoutings of excited thousands, announce that the supreme and decisive moment has arrived.

While the natural feelings and reflections suggested by the solemnity of approaching strife existed yesterday among our people, there was no intimation of fear or doubt. The universal thought expressed was—let but the wiley [sic] enemy leave his tortuous strategy, his uncertain advances, and his feigned retreats—let him but meet the Southern host breast to breast, and try the issue by the test of gallant deeds, brave hearts, and chilvalrous feats of arms, then the day is ours. Let force of arm and resoluteness of soul, be the umpires of the contest, and our flag will bear away the laurels. Where the decision lies in Southern will and Southern deeds, "there's no such word as fail."; The result of the coming battle, as confidently anticipated by our citizens, is that described by Scott:

Oh, who that shar'd them, ever shall forget

The emotions of the spirit rousing time,

When breathless in the mart the couriers met,

Early and late, at evening and at prime;

When the loud cannon, and the merry chime

Hail'd news on news, as field on field, was won,

When hope, long doubtful, soared at length sublime

And our glad eyes, awoke as day begun,

Watch'd joy's broad banner rise, to meet the rising sun.

Memphis Daily Appeal, April 5, 1862.

        5, Overton Hospital's call for for food assistance for Confederate soldiers

Wanted for the Sick.—The following is a list of articles much wanted for the comfort of the sick at the Overton Hospital. It is made out by one of the ladies of this city who is kindly devoting herself to the assistance of those who are suffering there. Any of them sent to the hospital will be faithfully devoted to the use of the brave fellows languishing there, and assist to restore them to the active service of their country: Poultry of all kinds, fresh meats of all kinds, game, sweet milk, butter milk, fresh butter, eggs, spring vegetables, turnip greens especially; gritz [sic], sweet potatoes, Irish potatoes, lard, corn meal, pickles and catsups, preserves, can fruits; jellies, domestic wines, cordials, sponge and ginger cake, custards, baked and boiled; calf's foot jelly and blanc mange; any delicacies proper for invalids and convalescents; pepper, all kinds of herbs, especially sage; soap, suet, beeswax, rags of all descriptions, linen, cotton, white and colored, old shirts and pillow slips, half worn shirts, drawers and socks, towels, spreads, new or old, vials for medicines, etc.

Memphis Daily Appeal, April 5, 1862.

        5, "Found a few stragglers in Palmyra; killed two or three; burned the town; not a house left; a very bad hole; best to get rid of it and teach the rebels a lesson." Sack of Palmyra by U. S. N.

SMITHLAND [KY], April 3, 1863

Just received telegram from Captain Hurd. Was engaged at Palmyra. Mr. Foutty badly wounded. Rebels in force there with battery. His machinery slightly disabled. I leave in ten minutes for Palmyra with all the boats. Will whip them out. I have not time now to complete my written report; will send it soon as possible.

Please hurry up our other boats. We need them now. Plenty fun in other river [sic], as I understand no troops to be convoyed Tennessee just now. I believe General Rosecrans has concluded not to send any

LeRoy Fitch,

SMITHLAND [KY], April 6, 1863

Captain Fitch [and] I found the enemy in force at Palmyra last evening. Foutty is seriously wounded. My machinery is crippled. Come up with the Lexington as soon as possible.

J.S. Hurd

LeRoy Fitch

SMITHLAND [KY], [April] 6, 1863

Have returned from Harpeth Shoals; river all clear just now. Enemy left Palmyra for Beatstown [Betsy Town] [sic] Landing; got their batteries in position, heard of our approach, and left in haste for Charlotte. Found a few stragglers in Palmyra; killed two or three; burned the town; not a house left; a very bad hole; best to get rid of it and teach the rebels a lesson. Landed a Beatstown [Betsy Town] [sic] with infantry and cavalry from Clarksville; pursued the rebels 6 miles back; it was not prudent to follow them farther. Sent the fleet on up to Nashville under convoy of Brilliant, Robb, and Silver Lake. Remained at Beatstown [Betsy Town] [sic] Landing with gunboats Lexington, Springfield, and one transport till infantry returned near 10 p. m.....

LeRoy Fitch, Lieutenant-Commander

Navy OR, Ser. 1, Vol. 24, pp. 74-75.

CLARKSVILLE, April 4, 1863--12 m.

Brig.-Gen. GARFIELD, Chief of Staff:

....Report of cannon in direction of Palmyra is now heard. Think the gunboats are coming up....

WM. P. BOONE, Cmdg. Post.

NASHVILLE, April 4, 1863.

Brig. Gen. JAMES A. GARFIELD, Chief of Staff:

The boats fired into at the Iron Pike Shoals were fired at by two 6-pounders and about 200 rounds of musketry, 60 yards distance.


OR, Ser. I, Vol. 23, pt. II, p. 208.

Excerpt from the November 25, 1863 Report or LCDR LeRoy Fitch regarding operations in the Ohio, Cumberland, and Tennessee rivers, August 23, 1862-October 21, 1863, relative to the sack of Palmyra, April 6, 1863:

As soon as I reached Smithland and had coaled, I received a dispatch from Acting Volunteer Lieutenant Hurd, saying the fleet under convoy had been attacked by batteries at Palmyra, and that his vessel, the St. Clair, was disabled.

I got underway immediately and moved up, arriving at Palmyra the afternoon of the 6th of April.[3]

I landed opposite and sent a detachment on shore, in charge of Acting Master [James] Fitzpatrick, with orders to burn every house in the place, and not to allow the men under his command to remove or pillage a single article.

The order was carried out fully.

Just after the boats landed several stragglers broke out of their concealments and ran; he fired on them, killing one and wounding another.

I was opposed to the wanton destruction of property, but in this instance I deemed it justifiable, for it was one of the worst secession places on the river, and unarmed transports had been fired into from door and windows of the houses.

I would here remark that the summary manner in which the people of Palmyra were dealt with had a very good effect, for I do not think there has been a steamer molested on the river since.

The [rebel] battery at Palmyra was withdrawn on my approach, and moved up to Harpeth Shoals, so I followed on up after it, taking with me cavalry and infantry from Clarksville, to get in the enemy's rear, if possible; but, again the battery was removed, this time to the interior where it remained.

Navy OR, Ser. I, Vol. 23, pp. 316-317.

        5, Skirmish at Davis Mill

APRIL 5, 1863.-Skirmish at Davis' Mill, Tenn.

Report of Maj. Gen. Gordon Granger, U. S. Army.

FRANKLIN, TENN., April 5, 1863--10.40 a. m.

GEN.: The rebels attempted to surround a company on picket at Davis' Mill at daylight this morning. All escaped and have got in except 8. Our men report the strength of rebels at about 3,000; that they moved on the north. Nothing has molested Brentwood up to this moment, which leads me to believe that it was only an expedition sent out to capture the company at Davis' Mill, and get back to their main body as quickly as possible. At Brentwood and this place all is ready. Have you any news?

Very respectfully,

G. GRANGER, Maj.-Gen.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 23, pt. I, p. 214.

        5, Confederate attack on Federal force near Woodbury [see April 4, 1863, Capture of Federal Soldiers at Starnes' Mill above]

        5, Confederate scout Chapel Hill to College Grove

CHAPEL HILL, April 5, 1863--8 p. m.

Lieut.-Gen. POLK, Shelbyville, Tenn.:

GEN.: My scouts have just returned from College Grove. They report that Col. [J. W.] Starnes captured a party of the enemy at Starnes' Mill yesterday evening. The enemy were in line of battle at College Grove nearly all day. Col. Starnes, who camped there last night, retired this morning. Scouts entered the town about half an hour after the enemy left, and reported their number between 300 and 500. No infantry crossed the river.

JOSIAH PATTERSON, Col. Cavalry Regt. [sic]

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 23, pt. II, p. 739.

        5, Impressions of Murfreesboro

There are many fine residences in Murfreesboro and vicinity; but the trees and shrubbery, which contributed in a great degree to their beauty and comfort, have been cut or trampled down and destroyed. Many frame houses, and very good ones, too, have been torn down, and the lumber and timber used in the construction of hospitals.

There is a fearful stench in many places near here, arising from decaying horses and mules, which have not been properly buried, or probably not buried at all. The camps, as a rule, are well policed and kept clean; but the country for miles around is strewn with dead animals, and the warm weather is beginning to tell on them.

Beatty, Citizen Soldier, p. 246.

        5, "Our boys are still at work on the fortifications." Excerpts from the letter of Captain Gershom M. Barber in Murfreesboro to his wife

Headquarters at Batallion [sic] O. V. S. S.

Murfreesboro, Tennessee, April 5, 1863

My Dear H L

It is again Sunday and I embrace the quiet of the evening to write to you…Our living although good enough does not seem like home. We get plenty of good ham, beef and bread tea and coffee. These staples we can get at Government prices of the Post commissary. But outside of that luxuries are pretty dim. We bought a couple of white fish at twenty-five cents a pound a dozen eggs at sixty cents a dozen and everything else in proportion. Ham we get at 8 cents and flour at $5. Per barrel. On the whole we can live as cheap here as at home if we can do without the luxuries. Cheese is 50 cents per pound. By the way I hope you have sent us some Lieut. P. Lieut. S., and orderly Stearns and myself mess together. Charles Porter does our cooking.

Our boys begin to weary of the camp life and are anxious for a move. I believe they would like a good fight for a change. Last night [4th] there was a heavy skirmish off towards Chattanooga. Results not known. Today 300 rebel soldiers came in and gave themselves up with their guns and equipment saying they were starved out. I believe there is great distress and suffering the rebel army, and deserters tell us there is great hostility to the Confederate Govt. all through the South.

You might be here with me while we are in camp and stay a while by and by. Isn't it to bad that matters have to be as they are so that you can't come for a while. I believe the end would justify the means and I know the old man can accomplish it if he will. I don't want to be selfish but I want you here occasionally. Other officers have their wives and so can I. There is a fine house within six rods of my tent of brick and splendidly furnished. We could take rooms there and live like nobles. Wouldn't it be nice, days you could be in my tent and nights I could be in yours.

Gen. Rosy was out to see our inspection this evening….There is great harmony however in the battalion and things go off all right. Our boys are still at work on the fortifications. We expect however to get through all we have to do this week. The big guns begin to loom up all over the works. Already six 94 pound[er] cannons are mounted. We shall have a regular Sebastopol in a few weeks and when we get it nicely finished we should like to have them attack us, which they will probably do if Vicksburg should be evacuated.

During the last few days the river both above and below Clarksville has been attacked only the 2nd shot they disabled one of our gun boats but she got away from them.

* * * *

Barber Correspondence

        5-6, Scout between Chop Spring and Baird's Mills

Report of Col. Eli Long, Fourth Ohio Cavalry.

HDQRS. FOURTH OHIO VOLUNTEER CAVALRY, Camp Stanley, near Murfreesborough, April 6, 1863.

SIR: Pursuant to instruction from headquarters Second Cavalry Brigade, I have the honor to report that, on the morning of the 5th instant, I was ordered to scout the country between Chop Spring, Tenn., and Baird's Mills, Tenn., in a direction parallel to and at a distance of 2 or 3 miles from the Lebanon and Liberty pike, and to get all animals that would be of service to the United States Government, and to gather what information I could of the enemy. I found and brought away 57 horses and 16 mules, and I also found and delivered to the brigade commander 5 prisoners, one a purveyor of commissary stores, in the employ of the rebel Government; 1 a rebel prisoner, paroled at Perryville, but never exchanged, and the other 3 citizens, all under suspicious circumstances. I could learn nothing of any enemy in force.

Very respectfully,

ELI LONG, Col., Cmdg. Fourth Ohio Volunteer Cavalry.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 32, pt. I, pp. 213-214.

        5-6, Scout from Grand Junction to Saulsbury

APRIL 5-6, 1863.-Scout from Grand Junction to Saulsbury, Tenn.

Report of Capt. Asa W. McDonald, Seventh Illinois Cavalry.

LAGRANGE, TENN., April 11, 1863.

Agreeably to directions, 50 men from Companies F, M, and H, under my command, proceeded on a scout to the vicinity of Saulsbury, a sergeant and 10 men of the Sixth Illinois accompanying as guides. We started soon after 3 o'clock, and proceeded direct to Saulsbury, where we got tidings that a party the evening previous had passed up the State Line road shortly before sunset. We proceeded to the place indicated, and had gone but a short distance when I learned that a party of guerrillas had passed direct down the Ripley road, and found the information I had received was correct, as 34 guerrillas had passed about 6 a. m. We followed the trail, and when about 2 miles south from Saulsbury a large mound was discovered, about 2 miles ahead, and when I had arrived at a short distance from the mound, it being some half a mile to our right, I discovered something which I took to be a picket, and moved forward at a brisk pace. I ordered Lieut. Breeze to take Company F, and advance up the front of the mound and engage them should there be a force there, while I moved around, endeavoring to get in their rear; but they did not stand to receive Lieut. Breeze, but retreated immediately, Company F giving them a few shots, and then charged after them. They deserted their lead mules, having 2, but Company F pushed them so close that 2 of the 3 prisoners (citizens) they had escaped, and the other they shot dead. I came on the trail at this point, and pursued them about 2 miles farther, but did not succeed in capturing any, as they dispersed in squads of twos and threes at short intervals.

ASA W. McDONALD, Capt. Seventh Illinois Cavalry Regiment, Comdg. Detachment.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 24, pt. I, p. 513.

        5-7, Scout from LaGrange, Tennessee, to Early Grove & Mt. Pleasant, Mississippi

APRIL 5-7, 1863.-Scout from LaGrange, Tenn., to Early Grove and Mount Pleasant, Miss.

Report of Capt. William W. Eaton, Second Iowa Cavalry.

LAGRANGE, TENN., April 7, 1863.

SIR: I have the honor to report that, in accordance with orders received at 4.30 p. m. on the 5th instant, from headquarters First Brigade, Cavalry Division, "for one battalion to proceed immediately southward to Early Grove, thence westerly toward Mount Pleasant, and return by way of Moscow," I started with the Third Battalion at 5.30 p. m., and moved southward on the main Holly Springs road to the point where the Early Grove road leaves it, and thence on the Early Grove road. I encamped for the night on the plantation of -------, about 9 miles southwest of LaGrange, and 6 miles northeast from Early Grove. No information could be gained from any citizen in the neighborhood as to the position or movements of the enemy.

At 4 a. m. on the 6th, started, and reached Early Grove about daylight; thence moved southward toward the Lamar and Mount Pleasant road....

Fed, got breakfast, and at 9 a. m. started for Mount Pleasant, where we arrived at 12 m. At 12.30 p. m. started for Moscow; arrived at 3 p. m., seeing or learning nothing more of the enemy. Rested one hour at Moscow, and returned to camp, arriving about retreat last night. The captures were as follows, viz.,: Five horses, which were turned over to the regimental quartermaster; two Colt's revolvers, navy size; one Colt's carbine, and two shot-guns. The guns were destroyed by the men, and the balance turned over to the regimental adjutant.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

WILLIAM W. EATON, Capt. Company L, Second Iowa Cav., Comdg. Third Battalion.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 24, pt. I, pp. 513-514.

        5, Loyal East Tennessee Unionists to be given surplus U. S. Army draft animals for farm work, excerpt from Special Orders No. 96

SPECIAL ORDERS, No. 96. HDQRS. DEPARTMENT OF THE OHIO, Knoxville, Tenn., April 5, 1864.

* * * *

IX. All animals which are unserviceable and cannot be recruited in a reasonable time, viz.,: such as are ordinarily sold by the quartermaster's department, will hereafter be loaned to loyal citizens of East Tennessee, to be fed and used by them until called for by the chief quartermaster of the department. No citizen will be allowed to have a greater number of animals than required for his own use, or will any be allowed to persons residing where the animals would be exposed to captured. Proper receipts, of a form to be prescribed by the chief quartermaster, will be taken in each case.

Hereafter no animals will be sold by the quartermaster's department in East Tennessee.

* * * *

By command of Maj.-Gen. Schofield:

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 32, pt. III, pp. 269-270.

        5, "Provost Order No. 71."

Office of Provost Marshal

Nashville, Tenn., April 5th, 1864


VIII. The frequency with which horses and mules are stolen in the vicinity of this post by marauding soldiers and vagrant negroes [sic] calls for the most stringent measures for the most stringent measures for the suppression of the crime.

Soldiers are hired to fight, and not to trade horses and mules. The offering of a horse or mule for sale by a soldier is in itself an offence, and is prima facie evidence of his having come in possession of it by felonious means; and any citizen purchasing it becomes an accomplice of his guilt.

Any soldier selling or offering for sale a horse or mule, or any citizen purchasing the same of a soldier, will be arrested and punished.

No negro [sic] will be permitted to sell of offer for sale any horse or mule without a special permit from this office, on proof of ownership, and any citizen purchasing a horse or mule from any negro [sic] without such permit will be arrested and punished.

The patrols will be instructed to arrest all soldiers found riding or having in their possession horses mules not branded with the Government brand.

By command of Brig. Gen. R. S. Granger

John W. Horner, Lieut. Col. 18th Mich. V. I., and Prov. Mar.

Nashville Daily Times and True Union, July 28, 1864.

        5, A visit to Hospital No. 8 in Nashville by Elvira J. Powers

The Masonic Hall and First Presbyterian Church constitute Hospital, [sic] No. 8. We visited that on Tuesday [April 5, 1864].

As we enter the Hall, past the guard, we find a broad flight of stairs before us, and while ascending, perceive this caution inscribed upon the wall in evergreen.

"Remember you are in a hospital and make no noise." Up this flight, and other cautions meet us, such as "No smoking here"—"Keep away from the wall," &c. We here pause at a door, and are introduced to the matron who is fortunately just now going through the wards. It is Miss J—tt, [sic] of Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Ascending another broad flight, and asking in the meantime of her duties, she throws open the door of the linen-room where are two clerks, and says:

"This department comprises all the work assigned to me-whatever else I do is Voluntary and gratuitous. But today," she adds laughingly, "it would be difficult to define my duties. I think I might properly be called 'Commandant of the Black Squad," or 'Chief of the Dirty Brigade';" and she explained by saying that he had seven negro women and two men, subject to her orders, who were cleaning the building. She next throws open the door of a ward which contains but a few patients, and has a smoky appearance. She tells us, they are fumigating it, having had some cases of small pox, most of which have been sent to the proper Hospital.

We pass to another, where she tell us, previous to entering, is one very sick boy. He is of a slight form, only fifteen, and with delicate girlish features. His disease is typhoid fever, from the effects of which he is now quite deaf. As we approach, he says to her faintly, [sic]

"Sit down here, mother, on the side of my bed."

She does so, when he asks her to "bend her head down so he can tell her something." This she does, when he says, quite loud, but with difficulty' –"There's some money under my pillow, I want you to get it, and buy me some dried peaches."

"I don't want your money," she says, "but you shall have the peaches if I can get them," and she writes a not and dispatches to the sanitary rooms for them. This boy always calls me mother," she says, "and the first day he was brought here, he sent his nurse to ask if I would come up and kiss him. He has always been his mother's pet, and I now correspond with her on his account."

His fever is very high, and we pass our cold hand soothingly over his forehead and essay to speak words of cheer, and we turn to leave, he looks up leadingly and says:

"Can you [sic] kiss me?"

"Yes, indeed, I can-am glad to do so," and we press our own to his burning lips and receive his feverish, unpleasant breath, not a disagreeable task though, for all, when we remember that he is the pity of his mother, who misses him so very much, and who may never look on her boys again.

Of one-a middle-age, despondent looking man we ask cheerily how he is to-day.

"About the same," he replies coldly, but with a look which is the index of a though like this:

Oh, you don't care for us or our comfort,--you are well, and have friends, and home, probably near you, and you cannot appreciated our suffering, and only come here to satisfy an idle curiosity."

He does not say this, but he thinks it, and we read the thought into the voice, manner, and countenance. We determine to convince him of his mistake, if possible, not withstanding he looks as he prefers we should walk along and leave him alone.

"Were you wounded?" we ask.

"No-sick," was his short gruff answer.

"Your disease was fever was'nt [sic] it?" we persist,-- "your countenance looks like it,"

"Yes, fever and pneumonia," he replies in the same cold, but despairing tone.

"Ah-but you're getting better now."

"Don't know about it-reckon not."

"Well, how is about getting letters from home?"

His countenance, voice and manner undergo a sudden change now, and his eyes overrun with tears, as the simple words "Letters from home."

And he raises his hand to his mouth, to conceal its quivering, he tells us with tremulous voice that he has sent three letter to his wife and can get no answer. She has left the place where they used to live, and he does not know certainly where to direct. We ask who we can write to, to find out, and learn that a sister would know. We take the probable address of the wife, and that of the sister, and after some farther conversation leave him looking quite like another man as we promise to write to each in the evening. (Subsequently, we learned that he received a reply to both, and was comparatively cheerful and very grateful.)

Down stairs, and we enter a ward on the first floor. Here is a thing sallow visage, the owner of which piteously asks if we "have any oranges." "No," but we provide means, [sic] by which he can purchase.

I'm from North Carolina," he says, "I hid in the woods and mountains and lived on roots and berries for weeks, before I could get away."

In reply to our query as to whether he would like a letter written home, he informs us that his wife and after arrived in town only a few days ago.

"Then you have seen them," we say.

"Yes, they both visit me, but my wife comes oftenest."

Just now, his nurse, a young man who should know better, interrupts him by telling us that "it isn't so, and his family are all in North Carolina."

"That's just the way," said the sick man, turning to me with a flushed and angry look, "that they're talking to me all the time, and trying to make everybody think I'm crazy. I reckon I [sic] know whether I've seem my wife or not!"

"Of course you do," we say quietingly; "does she bring you anything nice to eat?" and we add that we wish she would come while we were there, so we could see her.

"Well, she don't bring me much to eat," he says in a weak, hollow voice, but earnestly, "she don't understand fixin' up things nice for sick folks, and then she's weakly like, but she does all she can, for she's a right smart gude [sic] heart. She doesn't fix up, and look like you folks do, you know," he added, "for she sort o' torn to pieces like by this war."

"Yes, we can understand it."

Upon inquiring about this man a few moments after of the Ward-Master, we find that his is really a monomaniac upon the subject, persisting in the declaration that his wife and father visit him often though no one sees them.

"He can't live," said the Ward-Master, "he has lost all heart and is worn out. The chance of a Southerner to live after going to a hospital is not over a fourth as good as for one of our Northern boys. They can do more fighting with less food while in the field, but when the excitement is over they lose heart and die."

We find upon several subsequent visits that is growing weaker, and at the last when his countenance indicates that death is near, we are thankful that he is still comforted by these imaginary visits from father and wife.

We crossed the street and entered the First Presbyterian Church, which constitutes a good part of the hospital. This place is notable for the promulgation of secession sentiments from its pulpit in other days. A specimen of the style was given here a short time before the entrance of our troops, by Profr. Elliot of the Seminary, who in a prayer besought the Almighty that he would do so "prosper the arms of the Confederates and bring to naught the plans of the Federals, that very hill-top, plain and valley around Nashville should be white with the bones of the hated Yankees! [sic]"

After hearing that is doubly a pleasure, in company of Miss J., another "Northern vandal,' to make the walls of the old church echo to the words of "The Star Spangled Banner," with an accompaniment from the organ; and it would have done any loyal head good to see how much pleasure it gave to the sick and wounded soldiers.

Powers, Pencillings, pp 14-19.

        5, First Lieutenant Robert Cruikshank, 123rd New York Infantry Regiment, letter home to his wife Mary

Camp 123rd Regt. [sic], N. Y. S. V.

Elk River, Tenn.,

April 5, 1864.

Dear Wife,-

I must write short letters now as our summer's work has begun. We are under marching orders and are getting ready as fast as possible, and yet we may not move for a month. It takes a long time to plan and get ready to move such an army. Every man, every company, every regiment, every brigade and every corps in this great army must be looked after to see if they are all present and provided for and it takes time to do it. After we start all the officers have all they can do to keep things in order.

Henry J. Cleveland did not get his furlough to go home as I had anticipated. None but the sick will be allowed to be absent.

Kiss Ella for me.

Love to all friends.

R. Cruikshank.

Robert Cruikshank Letters.


Jane, a [illegible] colored African female was up before his Honor, yesterday morning, to answer to the charge of keeping a noisy domicile. Jane lives in a notoriously bad neighborhood on Beal street. She takes in washing, and it so happened, that certain parties of conflicting color, and conflicting sex, met at her residence the other evening to patronize her, but so far forgot their errand as to engage in a noisy jollification which drew an officer to the spot who spotted Jane and returned for her the next morning, when she very suddenly found herself before his Honor, and was found guilty by his Honor of allowing the peace to be disturbed by certain ones upon her premises, and the premises in the case being substantiated, she was find an X exactly.

Memphis Bulletin, April 5, 1864.

        5, "A Strange Freak of a Sick Man."

A certain gentleman who resides on Poplar street, and who has been confined to his bed for several days past with a severe fever-being partially deranged by the same – last evening, being left alone by his nurse, arose from his bed, passed out of his door, and proceeded as far as Main street, when he was stopped by a guard and conducted back to his residence, having nothing but his undergarments upon his body. Upon being asked by the guard where he was going, his very ready response was that "his wife and children had gone down to the river and he was going out on the levee to look after them." Had he not been stopped, wonderment can scarcely guess where he would have wandered, directed as he was by the fancies of a fevered brain.

Memphis Bulletin, April 5, 1864

        5, "Olympic Theater."

As is usual with us, we paid this, our favorite piece of amusement, a visit last evening, and were very much pleased with Mr. Tom Cony in his rendition of "Dumb Man," and also Mrs. Frank Graham as "Jane Wilton," together with Mr. That. P. Varney, as "Edward Wilton" an outcast and wanderer in the touching drama of the Dumb Man of Manchester. The afterpiece was one of the many which could never fail to bring forth a laugh from the most sober of persons; in this Mr. Varney rendered the "Persecuted Dutchman" to perfection. To-night the laughable melodrama of Jack Robinson and His Monkey will be presented for the benefit of many who failed to witness it last week.

Memphis Bulletin, April 5, 1864

        6, General Orders No. 6 regarding regulation of railroads by U. S. Army issued

GENERAL ORDERS, No. 6. HDQRS. MIL. DIV. OF THE MISSISSIPPI, Nashville, Tenn., April 6, 1864.

To enable the military railroads running from Nashville to supply more fully the Armies in the field, the following regulations will hereafter be observed:

I. No citizen nor any private freight whatever will be transported by the railroads, save as hereinafter provided.

II. Officers traveling under orders or on leave of absence, sick or furloughed soldiers departing from or returning to the orders of post commanders, of Brig. Gen. Andrew Johnson, Military Governor of Tennessee, or of the commanding officer of either of the Departments of the Ohio, the Cumberland, or the Tennessee, or of the Military Division of the Mississippi. Bodies of troops will not be transported by railroads when it is possible for them to march, except upon the order of the commanding officer of some one of the military departments above named. Civil employes of the various staff departments will be transported on the order of the senior and supervising quartermaster Department of the Cumberland, at Nashville, Tenn., or of the commanding officer of either of the military departments above named. Employes of the railroads will be transported on the order of the superintendent or chief engineer of the railroads.

III. No citizens will be allowed to travel on the railroads at all, except on the permit of the commanding officer of one of the three military departments or of the Military Division of the Mississippi, and when their transportation will not prevent that of any army supplies, of which the proper officer of the quartermaster's department will be the judge.

IV. Express companies will be allowed one car per day each way, on each military road, to carry small parcels for soldiers and officers. One car per day more on each road for sutlers' goods and officers' stores may be allowed by the senior and supervising quartermaster at Nashville, at his discretion; these cars to be furnished by the express companies and attached to the passenger trains. When a sufficient surplus of stores has been accumulated at the front, the senior and supervising quartermaster aforesaid may increase this allowance, but not before.

V. Stores exclusively for officers' messes, in very limited quantities, after due inspection by the inspecting officer at Nashville, Tenn., of sutler's goods, and all private stores, shipped to the front, will be passed free on the several roads, on the order of the senior and supervising quartermaster Department of the Cumberland, at Nashville, Tenn.

VI. Horses, cattle, or other live-stock will not be transported by railroad, except on the written order of the commanding general of the military division or of one of the military departments.

VII. Trains on their return trips will be allowed to bring up private freight, when the shipment thereof does no interfere with the full working of the roads, of which the senior and supervising quartermaster at Nashville will be the judge.

VIII. Provost-marshals have nothing to do with transportation by railroads. Their passes merely mean that the bearer can go from one point to another named in their pass, but not necessarily by rail. The railroads are purely for army purposes.

IX. When the rolling-stock of the railroads in increased, or when a due accumulation of stores has been made at the front, increased facilities may be extended to passengers and private freight, of which due notice will be given. Until that time citizens and sutlers must use wagons.

X. Until the railroad is relieved, all military posts within 35 miles of Nashville and 20 miles of Stevenson, Bridgeport, Chattanooga, Huntsville, and Loudon must haul-their stores by wagons.

XI. The general manager of the railroads, and his duly appointed agents and conductors, will control the trains and will be authorized to call on every passenger for his orders for transportation by railroad, that they may be returned to the general manager or superintendent. The military guard will enforce good order, and sustain the agents and conductors of the roads in their rightful authority, but will report any mismanagement or neglect of duty through their officers to these headquarters.

XII. Until other arrangements are perfected, commanding officers, on the request of the railroad managers, will furnish details for providing wood or water at such points as may be necessary to supply the trains.

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

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 32, pt. III, pp. 279-280. [4]

        5, Skirmish at Nashville, Hillsborough, Hardin and Charlotte pikes [see also: November 17-December 28, 1864, Confederate Cavalry operations in Middle Tennessee above]

Dyer's Battle Index for Tennessee.

        5, "Extremes Meet."

Last night we saw one of the blackest she-niggers [sic] "you eber did see," [sic] dressed in white with red trimmings, and white pantaletts reaching to her ankles, and her dress a little above the knee, on her way to a hall. She attracted the observation of all passers by, and was finally stopped on the corner of Cedar and Cherry streets, by a crowd of soldiers, one of whom expressed a desire to examine and see what kind of animal she was [sic].

Nashville Dispatch, December 6, 1864.

        5-9, Skirmishes and Reconnaissances around Overall Creek environs

No circumstantial reports filed.

Excerpt from the report of Report of Col. Gilbert M. L. Johnson, Thirteenth Indiana Cavalry, of operations December 4-9, 1864, relative to skirmishes and reconnaissances around Overall Creek environs, December 5-7 and 9, 1864.

HDQRS. THIRTEENTH INDIANA CAVALRY, Murfreesborough, Tenn., December 10, 1864

* * * *

Additional skirmishes and reconnaissances[5] have been had with the enemy on the 5th, 6th, 7th and 9th of December, 1864. In these my command has captured about 20 prisoners, among whom were 1 major and 1 lieutenant.


* * * *

I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,

G. M. L. JOHNSON, Col. Thirteenth Indiana Cavalry.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 45, pt. I, p. 631.

        5-7, Demonstrations[6] against Murfreesborough

Report of Major-General R.H. Milroy, U.S Army, of operations December 4 and 7, 1864.

GEN.: In obedience to your orders I proceeded on the afternoon of the 4th instant to the relief of the block-house at Overall's Creek, four miles and a half north of this place, on the Nashville and Chattanooga Railroad, which was besieged by a considerable rebel force with artillery. I took with me, by your order, the eighth Regt. [sic] Minnesota Veteran Volunteer Infantry, Sixty-first Regiment Illinois Veteran Volunteer Infantry, One hundred and seventy-fourth Regt. [sic] Ohio Volunteer Infantry, and a section of the Thirteenth New York Artillery, under Lieut. McGurrin. I proceeded on the Nashville pike to Overall's Creek, where I found the Thirteenth Indiana Cavalry (Col. Johnson), who preceded me some hours, engaged in skirmishing with the enemy's sharpshooters, who were deployed across the creek. I threw Lieut. McGurrin, with his section of artillery, forward to the bluff of the creek, who engaged the enemy's battery in gallant style, which was posted on an eminence about 900 yards distant, on the opposite side of the creek, between the railroad and the Nashville pike. I at once deployed the sixty-first Illinois as skirmishers, and sent up the Eighth Minnesota to the block-house at the railroad crossing, about half a mile below the pike, with orders to cross there, if practicable, and flank the rebel battery on the right. I then advanced the galling fire, and drove back the rebel sharpshooters. I then threw forward the one hundred and seventy-fourth Ohio Volunteers Infantry (Col. Jones), who crossed the bridge under a sharp fire, both of artillery and small-arms, and formed in good rider on the opposite bank. Being under the impression that the force opposing me consisted of a portion of Forrest' cavalry, dismounted, I supposed that their three-gun battery operating against us could be run over had taken by Col. Johnson with his gallant regiment, who were anxious to try the experiment. So, after the One hundred and seventy-fourth Ohio had formed on the north bank of the creek, the ground being favorable for a cavalry charge and the smoke of the battery and approaching darkness rendering my movements invisible, I directed Col. Johnson to cross the bridge, pass through an opening in the line of the One hundred and seventy-fourth Ohio, charge the battery and take it if possible. The colonel moved forward on the enemy in the most splendid and impetuous style, but finding the battery strongly supported by infantry he turned and passed off to the right. I then moved forward the rolling fire upon the enemy, capturing a number of prisoners who dared not to arise from the ground to run away amid a sheet of lead. From these prisoners I learned that the force confronting me consisted of Gen. Bate's division of infantry.

It being now quite dark, and the enemy having been driven back near eighty rods and ceased firing, and the Eighth Minnesota not having found a crossing, I withdrew the One hundred and seventy-fourth of the creek. These regiments withdrew in the most perfect order, bringing off their dead, wounded, and prisoners. The Thirteenth Indiana Cavalry also returned to the bridge and crossed to the south bank of the creek. These regiments withdrew the One hundred and seventy-fourth of the creek. These regiments withdrew in the most perfect order, bringing off their dead, wounded, and prisoners. Their Thirteenth Indiana Cavalry also returned to the bridge and crossed to the south side up in line on the south bank of the creek and kindled fires the whole length, and waited till 9 p. m., when, not hearing of the enemy, I moved back to the fortress.

The Eighth Minnesota, being a veteran regiment of long and true service, would of course have done efficient service could they have found a crossing at the block-house; the Sixty-first Illinois, being also well sustained their reputation as veterans. But the One hundred and seventy-fourth Ohio being a new full regiment, and for the first time under fire since its organization I was most agreeably surprised at the promptness, steadiness, and bravery they evinced; no veterans could have behaved better in action, but this I discovered (as I have in every other instance where I have found an efficient and reliable regiment) is owing to the energy, bravery, and efficiency of its colonel.

My staff-Maj. Cravens, Capt. Carson, Capt. Wilkinson, Lieut. Worthington, and Lieut. Frowe-well deserve and have my thanks for the assistance rendered; also Capt. J. G. Mohler, of the One hundred and fifteenth Regt. [sic] Ohio Veteran Infantry, who volunteered his services on the field and rendered himself very useful to me. Maj. Cravens and Lieut. Worthington both had their horses shot under them. My thanks are also due Surgeon (Maj.) Birney, who volunteered as medical director, and rendered very valuable service in care of the wounded.

I captured 20 prisoners. My killed, wounded, and missing amount to 64-the Thirteenth Indiana Cavalry yet to hear from. I have no means of knowing the loss of the enemy, who fell back five miles that night; some 8 or 10 dead were counted on the field.

* * * *

R. H. MILROY, Maj.-Gen. of Volunteers.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 45, pt. I, pp. 615-616.


[1] As cited in:

[2] As cited in:

[3] There appears to be no way to definitely ascertain the exact date for the trouble at Palmyra.

[4] See also: Nashville Dispatch, April 12, 1864.

[5] It is impossible to quantify the reconnaissances or skirmishes that took place from this information.

[6] CAR, p. 46, claims there was an "event" at Murfreesborough on the 5th of December in which there were 205 killed.

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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