Tuesday, May 12, 2015

5.12.2015 Tennessee Civil War Notes


          12, Major General Gideon J. Pillow commends the ladies of Memphis

To the Ladies.

Headquarters of Prov. Army of Tenn.,}

Memphis, May 12, 1861.}

Major-General Gid. J. Pillow, commanding the Provisional Army of Tennessee, tenders his compliments to the ladies of the city of Memphis engaged in the patriotic duty of providing the gallant sons of Tennessee with necessary clothing for the field, and requests that they cause him to be furnished with information of the number and character of uniforms and other articles of clothing on hand for distribution; and for what different corps they are designed. This information is necessary, to enable the Major-General commanding to understand the extent of preparation by the Quartermaster's Department, for the brave men who have and are about taking the field to protect the rights, honor and persons of the fair daughters of Tennessee.

By order of Major General Gid. J. Pillow,

Jas. D. Porter, Jr., Assistant Adjutant-General.

Memphis Daily Appeal, May 14, 1861.

          12, Defending the South. An Extract from the Diary of Eliza Rhea Anderson Fain

 ~ ~ ~

I have felt this morning, have Christian mothers [in the] North laid their sons with the same loyalty of feeling upon their country altar that we mothers of the South have done. I feel it can hardly be possible. Our homes are here, they have been endangered by the intemperance of those who know nothing of us-only by misrepresentation. A designing political aristocracy have determined our overthrow. [emphasis added] No means are to be left untried for the accomplishment of this object. The name traitor, rebel and other odious epithets are heaped upon us and for what-because we have dared to resist an oppression threatening the extinction of the whole Southern population. I do feel so troubled at the thought of such tyranny and feel will a righteous God give us up to such utter desolation. I feel he will not.

Fain Diary.

          12-13, Anxieties about weaponry expressed in pre-Confederate Tennessee

HEADQUARTERS, Nashville, May 12, 1861.

Hon. L. P. WALKER, Secretary of War:

DEAR SIR: When Mr. Hilliard left this city he gave Governor Harris assurances that as soon as the military league entered into by him, as the representative of the Confederate States, and the commissioners of the State of Tennessee was ratified by the Government at Montgomery, Tennessee should be supplied with arms sufficient to put the State on a war footing. I trust the work of ratification has been done, and that you are now ready to arm our waiting and anxious troops with such weapons as will enable them to teach the base Black Republican invaders a lesson they will not soon forget. We can do literally nothing without arms from you. We have at Memphis about 5,000 percussion muskets in good order. We have here, say, 3,000 muskets, 1,000 of them rifled, fit for use. Besides these there are in the armory some 4,000 muskets (flints), in a damaged condition and entirely unfit for use at present; they are being repaired, but it will be several months before we can rely upon them. We have nothing for the cavalry service. We are without any artillery force, except the small stock at Memphis. Now, my dear sir, this is our condition, and we are ruined unless we have arms furnished us. It is the purpose of the Governor to call out at least 20,000 troops, and double that number if needed. Can you help us? Our hope is resting upon you. Mr. Morgan will hand you this, and will attend to the forwarding of all and every aid you can furnish us. Let us have arms and ammunition. We desire to put two regiments of cavalry in the field as early as possible, but we have no arms for them.

Your, very respectfully,

S. R. ANDERSON, Maj.-Gen., Cmdg. at Nashville.

MONTGOMERY, ALA., May 12, 1861.

Gen. S. R. ANDERSON, Nashville, Tenn.:

It is impossible to send you either ordnance or engineer officers, but hope to send you artillery officers in a few days, who can perform these duties.


MEMPHIS, May 13, 1861.

Hon. L. P. WALKER:

Can you give Tennessee further assistance in small-arms? Say by telegraph. We are likely to be hard pressed in the West.

GID. J. PILLOW, Gen., Cmdg. Army of Tennessee.

MONTGOMERY, May 13, 1861.

Gen. PILLOW, Memphis:

Have sent you all the arms we can spare for the present. Memphis will be supported by troops at Corinth, to rendezvous in a few days.


OR, Ser. I, Vol. 52, pt. II, pp. 96-97.


          12, An early example of a loyalty oath; correspondence from ex-Mayor of Nashville, Richard B. Cheatham, to Military Governor Andrew Johnson

Nashville, May 12th, 1862

Gov. Andrew Johnson.

I do hereby Solemnly declare, that I will not air or encourage the cause of the Rebellion by act [,] word or deed, but on the Contrary [sic], that I will use what influence I possess at Such times and on Such occasions as may appear to me discreet and profitable for the purpose of restoring the people of Tennessee in their loyalty to the Government of the United States-

Richard B. Cheatham

If required I am prepared to give any bond for the faithful execution of the above-or will make oath to the Same, and would most respectfully ask to be released-but will hold my Self [sic] in readiness at all times to Answer [sic] any charges which may be preferred.

Very Respectfully,

R. B. Cheatham

Papers of Andrew Johnson, Vol. 5., p. 379.

          12, "We scarcely have a thought, much more open our mouths, for fear Pa will again be sent to prison…." Arrests of political prisoners and paranoia in Union-occupied Murfreesboro

The sky above is cloudless, but our even "tenor of our way" has been some what interrupted by the arrest of some of our best, and most worthy citizens. Messrs. Dromgoole (our Mayor), Jas. Avent, Jno. A. Crockett, Tom Robberson, Wm. Ransom, Maj. Childress, Rev. G. T. Henderson, Maj. Maney, & to get Dr. Baskett, and there is no knowing who will be next, for it seems though most polite are the first arrested, & I verily believe, if a person did not open his mouth, they would have them taken up on suspicion of his having looked contrary to his established rules. Poor Maj. Maney walked home with Pa, partook of a social class, little dreaming that he would be among the number taken so soon. He with the rest of those gentlemen were in the store congratulating Pa on his safe arrival home, little thinking that in a few hours they would be in a like situation, & this is called "a land of freedom". It is sacreligious [sic] to call this oppress[ed], and down trodden nation a land of liberty, where tyranny stalks in open day, & private grudges of years standing are brought to light, & revenge is considered sweet. It seems strange that when a certain man (for I shall not term him a gentleman) sees fit to go to Nashville, a number of our good men are taken away. Surely justice will over take him yet, though it may be slow, for our Father that watches over us in secret will not let a wicked man prosper, & if he fails to be punished in this world, he will one day stand before the Great Tribunal, & there receive his reward. We scarcely have a thought, much more open our mouths, for fear Pa will again be sent to prison, for he & Mr. Wendel are both bound over $10,000 each, & though I'm not inclined to anticipate evil I feel quite confident that he will have it to pay, for I think there are tools low enough for any work, & they would be willing to swear falsely, if gold could be gotten by so doing, & as Bill Spence has a quantity of money that he has gotten by robbing the widows, orphans, & poor, even to the servants he will not lack means to pay his workman should they agree to do the dirty work of swearing falsely, especially if his conscience hurts him, & he would like some means of getting rid of his ill gotten gains. In the papers it is stated that Jeff Davis has appointed the 16th of this month for prayer, for the protection of our army & the Southern Confederacy, but I have no idea it will be allowed to be noticed here, but we can pray all the more at home. They can't deprive us of our thoughts, though I have no doubt they would, if they could. We will certainly know how to appreciate freedom when we have it once more restored. Bettie and I got a scolding for our long tongues just before supper, & at that meal we were as quiet as "little mice", though we got no praise for our uncommon nice behavior, &conversation was a drag & they looked as if they wished us to say something, though we kept provokingly quiet and seemed intent on enjoying our strawberries, and soon after it was over came to our room to chat to ourselves, without interruption from our dear prudent parents with some of their sage advice. Ma was up town this morning, brought the news that Sister Amanda had a little daughter born last Thursday, so I have a little niece, & a little nephew also, that I have not seen yet. We heard the Yankees were going to take in their pickets, if that be true, I can go out to see them both, but I think it must have been a false report. It has been, that they entertained such an idea, but hearing that Kentucky was rebelling &coming to join the South since the emancipation law has been passed in Congress, & that we were fighting in "Cumberland Gap", that John Morgan had captured two trains of cars, one containing a safe with much money supposed to be in it. I hope the day is breaking for us at last. Capt. Frost & Mr. Pricket were both out here awhile this evening. Little Laura Davis & Laura Ledbetter came out this evening after a piece or two of music for Kate Marchbanks & Addie Ledbetter. It is growing late & Cousin Ann I know is getting anxious for me to extinguish the light. So I will prepare for bed, hoping to sleep, the sleep of the innocent, while the moon with its broad face keeps a good humored watch over me.

Kate Carney Diary.

          12, Reported desertion and discontent among Federal soldiers in Nashville


The Knoxville Register of the 3d [Saturday], has the following information from Nashville:

The ladies of Nashville are as vindictive as over against the Federals, and the men quite as far from being friendly. The northern soldiers freely express their disappointment and surprise at not being more cordially welcomed by the oppressed and terrorized Union element they came to liberate. Several brigades from different free States, disgusted with the imposition practiced upon them in this respect, and with the representations made to them, that the rebellion would be ended in thirty days, that the capture of Nashville would immediately bring Tennessee back to its allegiance, etc., did demand their discharge and refused to fight longer against the South. They were disarmed, but as there were too many of them to think of hanging, and too many to hold in Nashville as prisoners until they could be reduced to subordination, they were all sent northeard under guard. This probably gave rise to the rumor we heard some time ago about the evacuation of Nashville.

The rumors we had had of the demoralization of the invading army are not exaggerated. The deserters from Nashville, number fifteen or twenty daily. A Michigan regiment, applied to a lawyer to get a writ of habeas corpus to claim a discharge from the service on the ground that they were induced to enlist by false pretences – that they came South to fight for one object, and found that the war was prosecuted for a different object. Upon applying to the commanding officer to know if the writ of habeas corpus would be respected his reply was that it would not, and if taken out he would shoot every man of them for mutiny. Those facts Andy Johnson's vigilant censorship of the press has prevented from being general public.

The tax bill passed by the Lincoln Congress has created much excitement among such of the troops as are small property holders. They swear they can never pay it, and that their property shall not be sold for it. They intend to return home to resist it, and if the war is not ended in thirty days, they will lay down their arms.

Memphis Appeal, May 12 1862.

          12, "The Public Schools at Nashville."

The Nashville Union – a Lincoln sheet – records the passage of the following resolution by Andy Johnson's (Yankee) city council:

Resolved, That the superintendent together with every teacher in each of the public schools in the city of Nashville, shall be and they are hereby requested to take the oath of allegiance prescribed to us, within five days from the passage of this resolution, or resign their respective positions.

The same paper adds:

We thank the council for their manly and fearless action. Some timid persons may condemn it at present, but ere long they will receive the enthusiastic and unanimous plaudits of a grateful people. The children of the city will no more be exposed to the abominable doctrines of men and women who are traitors to the government that protects and pays them. Again we say, all honor to the city council.

Memphis Appeal, May 12, 1862.

          12, Working on the construction of Fortress Rosecrans; an entry from the Diary of Lyman S. Widney

It does not appear to us that we are helping much to put down the Rebellion. Here we are digging away in one spot apparently with the purpose of remaining here in security until the end of the war as though we expected the Confederates to come to us voluntarily and surrender. We have the idea that it will be necessary for us to go out and bring them in by force of arms and we also believe that the Confederates will wait for us to come out of these works before they will venture to attack us. This war business is becoming entirely too deliberate for us.

Diary of Lyman S. Widney

          12, Description of Hamburg, Tennessee

Hamburg, Tenn., May 12, 1862.

Hearing a number of conflicting reports concerning the reconnaissance on Friday last, from Gen. Pope's division, I came to this place this morning for the purpose of getting at the facts.

The landing at Hamburg is superior to that at Pittsburg, in that there is more room to store merchandize [sic], and more space for the wagons to receive and convey it out to the front. The place is a miserable little straggling village, with a little dilapidated frame church, now used as a hospital, a few frame and log tenements, used as stores, and one or two small dwellings. At best, it must have had but a sickly existence. It is, however, a fair specimen of a village in a slave state. The incubus of the diabolical institution rests upon everything around you here. Wretchedness and squalor in the midst of natural plenty, vacuity of countenance in men, women and children, and the imprints of famine upon the beasts of the field, are the characteristics of Southern life, so far as I have had the means of observing.

Chicago Daily Tribune, May 17, 1862.[1]


Prominent Men Gone Over to the Enemy.

We find in the Cincinnati Commercial of the 15th inst., the following proceeding of a Traitors; Convention held at Nashville on the 12th inst.. The names of these renegades should be placed on record for future reference, when an opportunity will be offered to visit upon them proper punishment for their base treachery. Their speeches contain such infamous sentiments that we do not publish them.


In pursuance of a call for a meeting of those who are in favor of the restoration of the former relations of this State to the federal Union, at eleven o'clock today – Monday the 12th instant- the hall and gallery of the House of Representatives was densely crowded with gentlemen from all portions of the State desirous to participate in its proceedings.

On motions of Russell Houston, Esq., of Davidson, the following gentlemen were unanimously elected officers of the meeting:




1.              William H. Wisner, of Bedford

2.               M. J. Farrington, of Shelby

3.               W. W. Carter of Wilson

4.              Jo. Clark, of Dekalb [sic]

5.              Dr. J. G. Brown, of Bradley

6.              Robert S. Roulston, of Marion

7.              Been. Harlan, of Maury

8.              Dr. Wheeler, of Rutherford

9.              F. H. Gordon, of Smith

10.          William B. Lewis, of Davidson

11.          Joseph Meador [sic]

12.          W. F. Bradford, of Obion.


C. S. Mercer, of Davidson

James R. Hood, of Hamilton

Governor Campbell, on taking the chair, made a brief pertinent address.


The following is only a partial list of delegates in attendance. It was impossible for the secretaries to procure a complete list for which they ask the pardon of the public and of the gentlemen whose names are omitted:

BRADFORD – W. H. Wisener, Edmund Cooper, L. Tillman, William Little, Thomas Holland, Marcus Bocock, Thomas W. Buchanan, A. Freeman, J. F. Brown, W. R. Smith, A Murley, P. B. Moon, James Mullus, R. F. Galbraith, John F. Neil, C. B. Word, G. B. Cannor, W. Davis, W. Caldwell, W. Blackmore, J. Hobbs, J. Cozzens, W. Young, William Wilhoit, B. M. Tillman.

BRADLEY – Dr. J. C. Brown, S. Beard, Dr. Wm. Hunt.

DeKALB – Hon. W. B. Stokes, C. K. Williams, David Dunwoodie, Joseph Hailey, B. Sexton, J. Dutchell, Y. Wood.

DAVIDSON – A. V. S. Lindsley, Allen A. Hall, Russell Houston, M. M. Monohan, John Trimble, J. S. Brien, Major W. B. Lewis, Horace H. Harrison, John York, R. W. Maxie, M. M. Brien, J. Trimble, John Lallyett, B. A. S. Weller, S. C. Carter, E. H. East, J. R. Breast, E. P. Cone, John Hugh Smith, W. A. McClellan, D. W. P. Jones, Dr. G. A. J. Mayfield, C. A. Fuller, R. H. McEwen, Geo. Barber, I. L. A. Cooper.

MAURY – Hon. W. H. Polk, Been Harlan, A. Bowen, W. H. Farris, N. W. Jones, T. V. Farris, S. H. Jones, T. J. Stephenson, W. R. Conner, T. A. Harris, J. Choate, J. J. Harris, A. T. Julian, E. James, John Nesbitt.

HAMILTON – J. R. Hood, E. A. James.

MARION – E. M. Roulston, R. S. Roulston, M. Garner, D. Payne, H. L. W. Roulston, J. M. Ballard, J. B. Roulston, A. Foster, G. W. Dame, A. F. Rogers, D. Dame, J. N. Gilliam, S. A. Rogers, J. B. Roulston, W. O. Patton, C. A. Fowler, J. S. Roulston.

OBION - ______ [sic] Brien

RUTHERFORD – Wm. Spencer, T. Hurd, L. Wade, E. L. Gordon, R. Wade, W. H. Smith, Dr. E. D. Wheeler, J. C. Ashburn, W. Elliot, T. A. Elliot, Geo. Antonhy, J. R. Dunn, R. Woodruff, Wilson Y. Jones.

ROANE - D. F. Harrison

SMITH – Yet to come. [sic]

WILSON – Yet to come. [sic]

WILSON – Yet to come. [sic]

SMITH – Dr. F. H. Gordon, John Harben, G. W. House, Joseph Mitchell, W. Hawkins, E, Stone, John W. Bowen.

WILSON – Wm. B. Campbell, Jordan Stokes, J. G. Frazer, W. W. Carter, S. S. Motley, J. D. Owen, J. H. McFarlan, T. Hoit, W. T. Waters, Jas. Turner, J. White, W. W. Waters, R. alum, Nelson Bryant.

SUMNER – T. T. T. Tobb, W. Wright, W. Dodd, H. J. Barker, Jonas Nicholson, T. J. Mills, R. McCleod.

LAWRENCE – L. M. Bentley

ROBERTSON – Cole Woodward

SHELBY – M. J. Farrington.

Edmund Cooper, Esq., of Bedford, moved that the President appoint a committee of three to draft resolutions expressive of the issue of the meeting. Carried

The chair appointed Edward Cooper, Esq., Mr. Allen A. all, of Davidson, and Jordan Stokes, Esq., of Union, said committee.

During the absence of the committee, the meeting was addressed by Col. W. H. Wisener of Bedford, and Hon. W. B Stokes of DeKalb. The speeches of these gentlemen and those who followed, are noticed more at length elsewhere, followed are noticed more at length elsewhere.

The committee on resolutions, through their chairman, Mr. Cooper, reported the following preamble and resolutions:


Whereas, It is manifest and the most unreflecting that, whilst the State of Tennessee was an integral part of the government of the United States, its citizens were in the enjoyment of the full protection of life, liberty and property, under the Institutions of the United States, and the laws passed in accordance therewith, and all of their material and political interests were watchfully and carefully guarded by laws introduced by southern men – representatives of our selection – identified thoroughly with all the interests of our people; which laws were decided to be constitutional by the Supreme Court of the United States – the constitution tribunal to decide all such questions;

And whereas, Because of the election in a constitutional and regular form of a President of the United States – who received no support in the State for Tennessee – and the effort of that President to maintain the integrity of the Union and enforce the laws against armed resistance – our people, in common with the people of other States, are precipitated into a revolution, resorting to the arbitrament of arms for the settlement of or political differences, instead of the peaceable remedies provided by the constitution;

And whereas, it is evident that the authority of the Federal government is now exerted over this part of Tennessee, and will be in a short time fully extended over the entire State – and it is the duty of every citizen so to act as to free ourselves from the consequences of internecine war, and to return to the government which is willing and able to protect us;

Therefore, be it resolved by a portion of the people of Tennessee, in convention assembled;

1.              That the social, political and material interests of the people of Tennessee, and the safety and welfare of our friends and relatives now in the Confederate army, imperiously demand the return of the state to her former relations with the Federal Union.

2.              That all good citizens who concur with us in this opinion are earnestly invited to cooperate in the accomplishment of this object so vital to our future peace and happiness.

3.              That the chairman of this meeting appoint a committee of three to take into consideration the condition of the prisoners of war from Tennessee, now held in custody by the government and endeavor to obtain their release and their return to their allegiance, upon terms alike compatible with the interests of the government the honor of the soldier.

4.              That the forbearance, moderation, and gentlemanly deportment of the officers and soldiers of the Federal army, since the occupation of Tennessee, challenge our highest admiration.

5.              That this meeting most cordially approves of the address made to the people of Tennessee by his excellency, Gov. Andrew Johnson, dated March 18, 1862, and the policy of his administration since that time.

6.              That a committee of five be appointed by the chairman, who shall prepared an address to the people of Tennessee, expressive of the object of the meeting.

After which, on motion of C. A. Fuller, of Davidson, seconded by W. H. Polk, they were read a second time and voted on separately. They were adopted without a dissenting voiced.

Memphis Appeal, May 25, 1862.


          12, Descent on Linden, razing courthouse and dispersal of conscripts[3]

Report of Lieutenant-Commander Phelps, U. S. Navy, commanding Tennessee Division on combined expedition to Linden, Tenn., May 12, 1863.

U. S. Gunboat Champion

Tennessee River, May 14, 1863


On the 5th instant I left Paducah with the Covington, Queen City, Argosy, Silver Cloud and this vessel (Champion) and proceeded up this river, destroying on the way every kind of boat that could serve the rebels to cross the river. On the 11th we were at Cerro Gordo, and I then sent the Covington, Argosy, and Silver Cloud to Eastport, the highest navigable point at this stage of water, and myself dropped down a few miles to communicate, by previous appointment, with Lieutenant-Colonel W.K.M. Breckenridge. Along the river I heard of detachments of rebel cavalry at various points, whose occupation chiefly consisted in plundering, in carrying off Union men, and in taking conscripts. At Linden, in Perry County, Tenn., there was a rebel force of this kind posted. I arranged with Colonel Breckenridge to cross his small force and cover different points with the gunboats, places to which he could retreat if need be, while he should attempt to surprise Linden. The boats above rejoined me on the 12th, having found all quiet above, and at night I dropped down the river to the landing for Decaturville, where I found the colonel with but 55 men of his regiment, all he had with him. Some from a Michigan regiment that were to join had failed to come in. We at once took the cavalry on board, crossed it over with little noise, and the boats took their positions at intervals along the river some miles above and below. Colonel Breckenridge's movements were timed so that his arrival at Linden-12 miles from the river-should be just at daybreak, and he completely surprised the place. The rebel pickets fired upon him and dispersed. Only some 20 of the 118 rebels at muster the evening before had time to reach the rendezvous at the court-house before it was surrounded. The little party returned with Lieutenant -Colonel [W.] Frierson, 1 captain, 4 lieutenants, 1 surgeon 30 regular rebel soldiers, 10 conscripts, 50 horses, 2 transportation wagons, arms, etc. With the court-house were burned a lot of arms and supplies. Three of the enemy were killed. Our loss none; only 1 horse killed.

Colonel Breckenridge's men are Tennesseeans [sic] (First West Tennessee Cavalry Regiment), are perfectly familiar with the people and country, and are admirably calculated for this kind of service, while the colonel himself is just the man. I should be glad if General Grant would direct that he, with a battalion of his regiment, say 300 men, should operate on the Tennessee. I can easily provide for his transportation when necessary, at no cost, using flatboats, and can cooperate with him effectually for the good of the service on these waters. I have brought the prisoners to deliver at Cairo. The conscripts took the oath and went home.

* * * *

From the best information I can gather, the rebels are concentrating their forces about Rosecrans. Van Dorn's force is reported at Spring Hill and Columbia, and the general [i.e., Van Dorn] is said to have been assassinated by a jealous surgeon on his staff. The force that was about Duck River has gone to Spring Hill. The captured colonel reports that he should have left Linden for the same destination one hour later. The rebels are concentrating, it would seem, every available man about General Rosecrans.

I left three gunboats below Duck River to watch that stream, and I have come down to take up a new boat with her some flats and light barges, in which we can transport coal over the shoals for our use. None of the boats carry coal for such voyages. What General Rosecrans is doing I have not been able to learn. Van Dorn's division lies between him and the Tennessee, cutting off communication. Till a battle has decided the fate of Middle Tennessee, I apprehend there will be no rebel movement upon this river. If the enemy is successful, he is not doubt prepared to move for the immediate possession of the river. Secessionists report that the plan is to recapture Fort Henry, and to fortify also Carollville.

I am, respectfully, your obedient servant.

S.L. Phelps, Lieutenant Commander.

Navy OR, Ser. I, Vol. 24, pp. 669-670.


Report of Lieut. Commander S. Ledyard Phelps, U. S. Navy.

CAIRO, ILL., May 15, 1863.

Following telegram just received from Paducah, May 14, 1863:

Capt. PENNOCK, U. S. Navy, Capt., Cmdg. Station, Cairo:

Am just down from Tennessee River. Have on board prisoners captured at Linden, Tenn., on the night of the 12th. Took on board gunboats 55 men and horses of First West Tennessee Cavalry, under command of Lieut. Col. William K. M. Breckenridge; landed them on the east side of the river. Sent gunboats to cover all landings above and below. Col. Breckenridge dashed across the country to Linden; surprised the rebel force more than twice his number, capturing Lieut.-Col. [W.] Frierson, 1 captain, 1 surgeon, 4 lieutenants, 30 rebel soldiers, 10 conscripts, 50 horses, 2 army wagons, arms, &c. The court-house, which was a rebel depot, was burned, with a quantity of arms and supplies. The enemy lost 3 killed. Our force, none; only 1 horse killed.

Col. Breckenridge, after his exploit, reached our vessels in safety and recrossed the river. Will send prisoners to Cairo.

S. L. PHELPS, Lieut., commanding Tennessee Division, Mississippi Squadron.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 23, pt. I, p. 331.

          12, Reconnaissance from La Vergne

MAY 12, 1863.- Reconnaissance from La Vergne, Tenn.

Report of Col. Eli Long, Fourth Ohio Cavalry.

HDQRS. DETACHMENT SECOND CAVALRY BRIGADE, Camp near La Vergne, Tenn., May 12, 1863.

SIR: Pursuant to instruction, I have the honor to report as follows: I left camp with my command as soon as the Third Ohio Cavalry joined, about 2.20 a. m. to-day. Arriving at the camp of the First Ohio Cavalry at 5.45 a. m. On arriving there, I placed Col. Egleston in command of his regiment, 240 men as he reported, and 70 of the Third Ohio, with the following instructions: To divide his command into three columns; the right-hand column going to Jefferson, and leaving a guard of 40 men in the vicinity of Street's Ford, just south of Jefferson, a point where a major of the First Ohio Cavalry, who is better posted in a knowledge of this country than any one I can find, told me the rebels were most likely to cross. This right-hand column was then to come down Stone's River to the Upper Charlton's Ford, leaving guards at all the fords en route. The center column was to move directly east to Charlton's Ford, and remain there until joined by the other two columns. The left-hand column was to move to Steward's [i.e., Stewart's] Ferry, communicating with Col. McCook, and then move up Stone's River to Charlton's Ford, leaving guards at the fords, as in the other case. When the three columns had joined at Charlton's Ford, they were to move together to Rural Hill, under Col. Eggleston, and from that point throw out small scouting parties in different directions, and if he encountered the enemy, to resist him sufficiently to make his develop his force. Inclosed please find dispatch from Col. Eggleston, First Ohio Volunteer Cavalry. As the country is very rough, and his command has quite a long march to make. I doubt if he will be able to accomplish it to-day. I will relieve him to-morrow at noon with a portion of my command; but as it is impossible to place a force sufficient to offer any resistance at all of the various crossing of the stream, some 20 miles. I will only leave a small picket to give warning at suitable places, and keep the rest of my command as well concentrated as I can consistently with patrolling the river, and sending small parties across the river to find out which road the rebels contemplate coming. There are 263 men of my regiment here, and 105 of the Third Ohio. There are quite a number of both regiments remaining in camp who should be made to join their commands. It was impossible for me to get them all out in the dark.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

ELI LONG, Col. 4th Ohio Vol. Cav., Cmdg. Detachment 2d Cav. Brig.



COL.: My left column has not got up yet. The right column has just arrived, with only 9 men left, after picketing the fords, so you see my force is small without Maj. Howland's force. I will make a scout as far as I think prudent this evening, and, if I hear nothing from you, I shall take all the force and make another, and go farther in the morning, at which time I will let you hear from me. Thus far I don't hear of any rebels.

I am, your obedient servant,

B. B. EGGLESTON, Col., Cmdg. First Ohio Volunteer Cavalry.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 23, pt. I, pp. 330-331.

          12, "…altogether our situation has been intolerable…." Letter to Military Governor Andrew Johnson from M. Elizabeth Young

[Nashville] May 12, 1863

Gov Johnson

My dear Sir

If Mrs. [Pane?] comes to you to keep this house for oblige me personally [sic] by refusing -- she has had a Prisoner in the house nearly the whole time since you have been gone—and altogether our situation has been intolerable—I have deferred making a change until I see you-- be so kind as to call as soon as possible-- I must make some change—as anoynace [sic] & insults are added to other things after all I have done for them. I send this to Robert to give you as soon as you arrive-- Be so kind as to attend to it immediately.

Yours truly

M. E. Young


Tuesday, May 12"/63/ [sic]

I should think you could find some Union family that would be glad to have it—if you give it up she will then get the Military to hold it—either she must go out o[r] I will-- Mrs. Washington the owner is very anxious for me to have it—excuse my troubling you—but I been more annoyed than I can express[.] compelling her to pay rent would soon make her decamp-- she has been receiving 30$ [sic] per week for this woman—that is confined here—and obliging every one in the house to submit to the constant presence and tramping in and out of Guards-- I write this in Aunts name--

M. E. Young

Papers of Andrew Johnson, Vol. 6, pp. 223-224.

          12, A new camp and the discharge of court martial sentence of Captain Sweet, 105th Ohio Volunteers, at camp in Murfreesboro; an excerpt from Bliss Morse's letter to his mother, May 13, 1863

Dear Mother,

….We have moved two miles out on the Readyville pike near a boiling Spring of pure water and air. The old camp was surrounded by a good deal of stench….

* * * *

Last night on dress parade before the Reg[iment]. we heard the sentence of Capt. Sweet of Co. I read and saw his shoulder straps cut off.

The cause of the Court-martial is about this:

It was known that at the battle of Perryville, while a Lieut. He ran from his Co. and Command. Since that time and especially after the forage train was captured he has boasted what he would do [sic] and how he would fight before he would be taken prisoner. Our Com'd Officers in Co. and Reg[iment]. Were a little suspicious of his pluck [sic], yet he was promoted a Capt. Being ranking Lieut. So when the Div. went on the scout to McMinnville and when they were many miles from here the officers of the Reg[iment] thought they would test him one night on picket. They played a ruse on him. Our Capt. Was Div. Officer of the picket guard one night and asked Sweet to go and visit the posts with him. When they were making the rounds they were pounced on by five men, dressed in butternut clothes while yet in the lines. Capt. Sweet was caught and Riker got away after a pretended knockdown [sic]. They blindfolded him – led him around inside the lines – over logs, through cornfields and letting down fences until he thought he was ten miles from camp. They then drew their revolvers on him – told him to tell them [sic] how strong a force was out, how many rations, ammunition, cavalry, cannon, how he liked Col. Hall and everything about Rosecran's army he knew. He answered all of these satisfactory to them. But to make sure he was telling the truth they told him they thought he was lieing [sic] – and was going to shoot him. "O!" said he, "spare my life, take all of my money, watch, and everything but spared [sic] my life [sic], I have told you all I know." They made out a parole which he signed, and agreed to report to McMinnville in eight days. They let him go on these conditions. He ran off a steep bank, lost his hat, and got in camp, told his adventure and escape – refused to do any more duty because of his parole. – told Cols. Tolles and Hall and was going to see Reynolds about it. The Qur. [sic] Master handed him his hat the next morning on the march. He did not know the sell [sic] till he was arrested. He was then court-martialed – found guilty and dismissed in disgrace. The Adjutant read the sentence on dress parade. He was marched under guard before the Reg[iment]. Heard his sentence read and that he "be sent to the lines of the Ohio under Guard."

Then the Adjutant unstitched his straps before the Reg[iment]. While he was cutting off one of Sweet pulled off the other [sic]. The sentence claimed that while [the] act of taking Sweet prisoner was unauthorized, yet the results would have been disastrous were they rebels. It was a tough sight to behold. He felt bad and so did all the boys think it an underhanded game that was played on him.

Diaries of Bliss Morse.

          12-16, Reconnaissance, Murfreesborough, Liberty & Lebanon

No circumstantial reports filed.

          ca. 12-ca. 23, Gunboats posted at mouth of Duck River [see: May 12, 1863, Descent on Linden, razing of court house and dispersal of conscripts above]


          12, Special Orders No. 26, a detective census ordered by Federal authorities in Memphis

Headquarters, District of West Tennessee

Memphis, Tenn., May 12, 1864

* * * *

I. All persons employed as detectives within the city of Memphis, will report their names at once at these headquarters in writing stating when and by whom employed, and by what authority. Any person falsely assuming to act as a detective, or representing himself as employed by the military authorities when he is not will be severely punished.

By order of Maj. Gen. C. C. Washburn

Memphis Bulletin, May 20, 1864.

          12, Report on refugees and Confederate conscription in East Tennessee after the withdrawal of rebel forces

~ ~ ~

A Knoxville letter of the 22d ult., says information in reliable shape comes from refugees, who arrive from the counties lately vacated by the rebel army, that the conscription is being enforced with appalling rigor throughout the country. Nobody under forty-five or sixty escapes. The country, however, is plundered of all subsistence, and the people have but the alternative to go to the rebel or Union lines for subsistence. A large part [of] the refugees come within our lines, and many enlist in the Union ranks. The rebel Gen. Buckner's division is near Zollicoffer, and is the chief Confederate force west of the Virginia border. It does not exceed 3500, and is daily reduced by desertion. There are indications of active movements in the Tennessee Department. Railroad transportation is denied to civilians and all not on urgent military business. Indications point to important changes probably about Gen. Thomas' Department. There are sufficient supplies at Knoxville to support ten or fifteen thousand men for a year, and the fortifications of the place, which are yet incomplete, will render it impregnable.

~ ~ ~

Farmers' Cabinet, May 12, 1864.


          12, General Orders, No. 54, relative to lifting of restrictions on travel to and from Memphis


On and after to-day no passes will be required to come to or depart from Memphis, either by land or water. Persons will be allowed to pass through the lines between the firing of the evening and morning gun.

By order of Maj. Gen. C. C. Washburn:

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 49, pt. II, p. 739.

          12, Denying amnesty to guerrillas near Tullahoma

TULLAHOMA, May 12, 1865.


A guerrilla who on the night of the 6th instant murdered two of my scouts, shot a number of loyal men, robbed them of everything they had, even women's and children's clothes, ravished one loyal lady, with fifteen of his gang, and made a similar attempt on an orphan girl sixteen years of age in the same room with the corpse of her cousin, whom they had killed, and who has taken the oath several times, has sent in to know if he comes under your orders. I consider him and his gang demons incarnate. Will forward testimony. Shall I allow them to come in on your terms? Please answer soon. The parties spoken of above had to borrow clothes to bury their dead, so destitute were they left.

R. H. MILROY, Maj.-Gen.

G. M. BASCOM, Maj. and Assistant Adjutant-Gen


Maj.-Gen. MILROY, Tullahoma:

Send word to the guerrilla you mention that he is an outlaw and will not be permitted to come in under the order of Gen. Thomas. Send a man to follow this messenger secretly to ascertain where he is, and let a party of sufficient strength to capture the gang follow the second man and try to capture the outlaws.

WM. D. WHIPPLE, Brig.-Gen.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 49, pt. II, p. 737.

          12-16, Surrender and arrest; the case of recalcitrant Rebels

KNOXVILLE, May 12, 1865.

Brig. Gen. WILLIAM D. WHIPPLE, Chief of Staff:

Col. Wheeler, with 50 officers and 730 men, Confederate Tennessee Cavalry, is at Strawberry Plains. Have come through under the terms of surrender between Johnston and Sherman. They claim the right to go in a body with their horses to Middle Tennessee, and there disband according to instructions of Johnston. What should be done with the officers and men, and what disposition be made of the horses?

Answer as soon as convenient.


OR, Ser. I, Vol. 49, pt. II, p. 738.



Maj. Gen. GEORGE STONEMAN, Knoxville:

Col. [James T.] Wheeler, with his command, will not be permitted to go in a body into Middle Tennessee. It is not understood here that any such agreement was entered into between Gen.'s Johnston and Sherman which was ratified. Moreover, the horses upon which the soldiers are mounted are supposed to have belonged to the Confederate Government, and of course now belong to the United States. You will examine their papers and parole such as do not bear with them evidence of having been paroled, and compel them to disband before coming farther into this State. Keep lists of such as you parole, and forward them to provost-marshal-general, Department of the Cumberland, at this place.

WM. D. WHIPPLE, Brig.-Gen., &c.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 49, pt. II, p. 754.


Maj. G. M. BASCOM, Assistant Adjutant-Gen.:

Wheeler turned in thirty-four carbines and thirty revolvers. He says that his officers have no clothing except their uniform. I stated to him that General Orders, No. 31, [4] would be enforced. They murmured a little last night about turning in their arms. I presume as many were thrown into the river as were turned in.

I. C. SMITH, Lieut.-Col. and Acting Assistant Inspector-Gen.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 49, pt. II, p. 755.


NASHVILLE, May 15, 1865.

Maj. Gen. GEORGE STONEMAN, Knoxville:

Arrest Col.'s [James T.] Wheeler and [?] Scott; confine them in prison and try them for violation of parole.

WM. D. WHIPPLE, Brig.-Gen.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 49, pt. II, p. 793.


KNOXVILLE, May 16, 1865.

Brig. Gen. WILLIAM D. WHIPPLE, Chief of Staff:

Your telegram in regard to Govan's brigade received. Will let you know the number as soon as ascertained. Col. Wheeler, in accordance with your instructions, has been arrested. He wishes to know the specifications against, him which I am unable to give. The other man, Col. Scott, cannot be found, as there is no such officer yet come in.



Maj.-Gen. STONEMAN, Knoxville, Tenn.:

The arrest of Col.'s Wheeler and Scott was ordered in consequence of the following telegram, which contains the specifications and which you will have put in proper shape trial by court-martial.

WM. D. WHIPPLE, Brig.-Gen.


MORRISTOWN, May [sic] 1865.


Col. Wheeler said, in the presence of J. W. Jacobs, Jefferson County, Thirteenth District, on May 11, that if the Yankees did not quit running him round so much, that he would be damned if he did not go to bushwhacking; and that they intended to do that anyhow as soon as they got [sic] [home?]; that they were only paroled, and not whipped, and that Governor Brownlow should not live three weeks after [he] arrived at home. This was addressed to Scott, who said it was all right, and they would attend to Governor Brownlow as soon as they got home. Scott is a heavy-set man, about twenty or twenty-five years old, light hair, and red complexion.[5]

H. L. BARNES, Maj., First Ohio Heavy Artillery.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 49, pt. II, pp. 807-808.


[2] See also below: May 22, 1862, Report on the Union Convention in Nashville, May 12, 1862.

[3] This report documents an unusual amphibious landing in Civil War Tennessee. A Tennessee Historical Marker celebrates this event. Dyer's Battle Index for Tennessee refers to this event as "Skirmish, Linden."

[4] See May 6, 1865 above.

[5] There is no record in the OR to indicate that either Wheeler or Scott was arrested.


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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