Thursday, May 14, 2015

5.14.2015 Tennessee Civil War Notes



          14, "That is their post, one of inferiority, not of citizen soldiers." Anxieties about free Negroes in Memphis

Our Free Colored Men—What Shall Be Done With Them?—Editors Appeal: The proposition of the committee of safety, to enlist companies of our free colored men, is not relished by our citizens generally; and the question comes up, "what must be done with them?" Let me suggest to that committee that they confer with major-General Pillow as to the policy of placing four or five of our free negroes in each company from Memphis, for cooking, washing, etc. That is their post, one of inferiority, not of citizen soldiers.  They understand that sort of work better than any boys who are called to do battle.[emphasis added]  Let them be made useful in that way.

Common Sense.

Memphis Daily Appeal, May 14, 1861.

14, Excerpts from School Master Milford Clark Butler's Letter to His Sister "America" in Oregon, relative to the Confederate transformation in Knoxville

~ ~ ~

….I fear provisions will be bought at a dear rate in the South before the civil war, now upon us, is brought to a close, for all previsions of every kind from the North are prohibited. I shall not attempt to tell you much about matters political for you will get fuller and better information on this point from the papers. It is my opinion that there will not be much fighting; that the US government will retake the arsenals and forts, and then gradually hem in and shut off the CSA, and let them sting themselves to death; but all surmises [?] may be very much of the truth, certain I am the government will not maintain itself and whatever cost of money and men. The North, since the Sumpter [sic] affair, is a unit and the border slave states much divided; home the most trouble sees are likely to occur in the border states. Parties in this city are nearly equally divided, hence we have many street fights & much angry contention. About 1000 troops are encamped near the city, much to the annoyance of our people Some five or six thousand have passed through here by RR within the last ten days; inflammatory speeches were made at the depot, amid the wildest excitement; all class of our people & both sexes turning out en masse. Some of our students have left to join the CSA army and the most have formed themselves into a military company for drill for recreation, they are even in front of my window going through their evolutions. I write this at the morning recess.

You may wish to know if we Yankees are safe here; thus far we are, though I am informed that the vigilance committee have decided that some of them must leave. I do not expect that I shall be allowed to retain my post in this institution after this term which expires the first of June, but I may: where I shall go if I lose I have no idea. I could not sell my effects for anything hardly as times are here now. But amid all these troubles I am perfectly calm, and as dangers thicken find my courage and faith rise.

Letter of Milford Clark Butler, May 14, 1861.[1]




          14, Skirmish at Fayetteville

No circumstantial reports filed.

          14, Skirmish at Monterey [2]

          14, Letter from Confederate sympathizer and ex-Governor Neill S. Brown (1847-1849) to Military Governor Andrew Johnson concerning his arrest and asking for parole

Nashville May 14th 1862


I have just been arrested on your warrant[3] & am in the hands of the Provost Marshall-The arrest found me engaged in the business of the Chancery Court & I would be glad on account of the interests of others in my hands, if I could be put on my parole until the last of the week as it would enable me to arrange my business to some extent-And if it is consistent with your sense of duty for that purpose & with a view to a fuller elucidation of my case, I would be glad to have an interview with you before I am committed[.] Such an interview I meditated on this day[.]


Neill S. Brown

Papers of Andrew Johnson, Vol. 5, p. 387.

          14, Mrs. Sarah Johnston Estes' observations upon arriving home in Madison County

For two days we have been travelling mostly on a crowded train, crowded, with soldiers going to Corinth. At Jackson, Miss., we meet with some Yankee prisoners, our boys give them a cheer, they smile and seem quite pleasant. We also met with a friend who was wounded in the battle of Shilo [sic], but was almost recovered and was returning to his post. We enjoy his company to Great Junction and then bid him God Speed. We breakfasted at Holly Springs where we met with Jimmie J who assures us of the health of our friends and their hopefulness of our cause. Worn out and almost sick from weariness we arrive at Jackson, Tenn. We can get no conveyance, which compels us to take dinner at the City hotel. I never dreamed of anything so awful as that dinner. At last we succeeded in getting a conveyance, and such a conveyance!, [sic] an old Carryall without any seats. We used our trunks as a substitute. I thought anything preferable to that hotel, but when we were jolting over the terrible levy, the nurse with one crying child and I with another, I felt inclined to cry myself and I was only dissuaded from it by the folly of such a proceeding. At last by patience and perseverance we reached Uncle John's where comfort and plenty and hearty welcome awaited us. A cavalry company also stayed on his premises that night, which was hospitably entertained. I find aunt L. in a very delicate health, but still hopeful of the future of our country. We spent a pleasant night and today we arrive at Mr. S. our destination, fining all as well as usual. My wounded brother almost restored and in fine spirits. He says his Captain stood by him to the last when the whole regiment was broken up and almost all his men had deserted him. He fought two days, had not slept in four nights, not even a mouthful for three days and nights when he was wounded. He looked up on his Captain's face and in perfect amazement said "Captain I'm shot." It was if he had never expected such a calamity. He lost all his clothes and all his trophies except a canteen. My youngest brother is now away and will be in the next battle, I reckon.

Sarah Johnston Estes' Diary.[4]

          14, The case of William Galbraith and J. M. Meek, et al, East Tennessee loyalists sent to Confederate prison in Alabama; Confederate correspondence regarding a skirmish and capture of 400 East Tennessee Unionists in Campbell county


Capt. J. F. BELTON, Acting Assistant Adjutant-Gen.:

By direction of the major-general commanding allow me respectfully to report the circumstances attending the arrest of William Galbraith and J. M. Meek who with others were sent to Tuscaloosa, Ala. A short time before their arrest a large number of deluded citizens mostly young men from the neighborhood of Galbraith and Meek (New Market, Jefferson County, East Tenn.) stampeded and started to Kentucky to join the enemy. They were intercepted by Capt. Ashby's cavalry (Campbell County) and after a fight 400 were captured. From some of those prisoners information was obtained corroborating other statements orally made that caused the arrest of Galbraith and Meek with others. Inclosed marked A is a copy of statements on file in this officer showing the immediate cause of the arrests, and B and C since their arrests, and also statements[5] in their favor marked [illegible.] [sic]

A letter from two of Mr. Galbraith's friends inclosing one from his wife asks his release and makes the following statement in their letter: "We know that he (Galbraith) has been a Union man and perhaps in many instances disloyal to the Confederate Government." They then go on to state that they do not believe he had anything to do with the late stampede. Many responsible men have indorsed verbally the charges against Galbraith and Meek. That they are disloyal citizens none I believe pretend to deny and while some are fearless enough to commit themselves on paper as you will see by the inclosed original letter marked B[6] it may be well to remark that in this disaffected section of the country it is difficult to obtain tangible proof such as is desirable, but circumstantial evidence almost equal to a demonstration may be had to convict the leaders who are solely to blame for the disloyalty of the masses. Having been for years their political leaders in whom they were in the habit of confiding it is not strange they will readily hear and believe what is said to them, the edicts of those leaders being their only means of communication. The masses generally are not well informed and really excite pity more than blame for their course of conduct. A change can hardly be effected without removing or destroying the influence of those well-known, unsound leaders throughout East Tennessee who are responsible for the deep disaffection. It has been the aim of the provost-marshal as he understood it to be the desire of the major-general commanding to make the masses and their leaders understand that the Government has power to enforce its laws and at the same time to conciliate as far as the interest of the Government would allow to use the power discreetly, justly but firmly. [emphasis added]

I am, captain, very respectfully,

[W. M. CHURCHWELL,] Col. and Provost-Marshal.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 1, pp. 887-888.

          14, Confederate escort for the exile of Mrs. Robert K. Byrd, East Tennessee loyalist



MADAM: Will it suit your convenience to visit Kentucky next week as formerly proposed by private conveyance to Cumberland Gap with proper escort? It is important to you as well as others. The colonel has been quite sick, but I learn has recovered and joined his regiment now at Cumberland Ford.

Very respectfully,

[W. M. CHURCHWELL,] Col. and Provost-Marshal.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 1, p. 888.

          14, "Not one of the repudiated officers enlisted, but all went home." Election of officers, Co. C, 3rd (Lillard's) Infantry, at Big Creek Gap


Our regiment [was] reorganized today by the election of a new set of officers. Col. J. C. Vaughn was re-elected colonel, but nearly all the other officers, both field and company, were changed, and I think the changes were generally for the better. One year of service taught us how to choose officers, which we did not understand when we first enlisted. Our first sergeant, John Fender, was elected Captain of our company, to succeed Capt. E. P. Douglas, and we got clear of our drunken first lieutenant, John Hodge, whom I preferred charged against while we were in Virginia. A very small number of officers were promoted, and a still smaller number were re-elected to their former positions. Even Col. Vaughn lacked only a few votes of being dismissed. Not one of the repudiated offices enlisted, but all went home.

Diary of William E. Sloan.

          14, Loyal Union women in Nashville

A large number of beautiful and elegant ladies attended the meeting at the Capitol on Monday night. They gloriously redeemed our city from the dark reproach which has gone forth, that there are no loyal women in Nashville. And we are told that hundreds of others were anxious to attend, but who staid away, fearing the excitement of the occasion. We doubt not that ere long not a lady in Nashville, will pollute her lips by applauding John Morgan or villifying the Star Spangled Banner, but all will vie with each other in singing sweet Union songs, and waving their handkerchiefs whenever the National flag comes in sight.

Nashville Daily Union, May 14, 1862





          14, "An Alleged Spy."

J. H. Davis, who is reported to be a rebel spy, was sent in by Col. Dan McCook yesterday morning. He resides near Brentwood. He claims to be a discharged Confederate soldier, and maintains that he has been a quiet, orderly citizen ever since he was sent to the penitentirary. [sic]

Nashville Daily Press, May 14, 1863.

          14, "SMART BOY."

The Patrols, yesterday, captured inside the city, and took to Col. Martin, quite an interesting young gentleman, aged about twelve, named Martin H. Fogarty. He appeared to be so smart, and withal, so inscrutable, that Col. Martin sent him to Col. Trueusdail [sic], who returned him to the Provost Marshal, with an order to send him to the Penitentiary, adding, "we have been hunting him for the last three days." It seems that young Fogarty, who is a native of Kentucky, joined our army last fall, while it was after Bragg, and subsequently fell into the hands of Jno. Morgan. Gen. Morgan discovered, notwithstanding his youth, that he was smart and wily, and immediately set him to work. His last trick, it seems, was to bear dispatches to Jno. Morgan's sister-in-law at Murfreesboro'. While entering our lines, however, he was ordered to be searched. But what was the astonishment of the vedettes to see young Fogarty pull out of his pockets papers and letters, which he destroyed by burning. Immediately he started to run, but was fired upon by the pickets, but with no effect. The same night he made his way into Murfreesboro', and the next day started to Nashville, and arrived safely, riding all the way under the car. He has been placed in confinement. He has the appearance of being very intelligent, and has no doubt been serviceable to Morgan, having generally evaded suspicion, probably on account of his youth.

Nashville Daily Press, May 14, 1863.

          14, "Amusements."

At the Nashville Theatre, this evening, the favorite French adaptation of "Vitorine, or I'll Sleep On't" will be presented, to be followed by a grand skating scene, by Mr. W. H. Fuller, and a favorite Irish song, by Mr. Steward, concluding with the roaring farce of "Paddy Miles Boy." A most excellent bill.

The Management to the New Theatre will, to-night, present the favorite comedy of "Serious Family," with the afterpiece of "The Limerick Boy." Two such pieces cannot fail to draw a full house.

Nashville Daily Press, May 14, 1863.

          14, "THE OATH OF ALLEGIANCE."

From this time, henceforth, there will probably daily be persons who desire to renew their allegiance to the Government. Yesterday there appeared before Col. Martin forty-nine people, who took the oath. The parole of honor is no longer an institution – none have been used for ten days.

Nashville Daily Press, May 14, 1863.

          14, "TOOK THEIR DEPARTURES."

The following named persons were sent South yesterday. They were escorted six miles out upon the Charlotte Pike, by the urbane Capt. Conover, of the 8th Kansas, bidding them good-bye at that point:

Geo. T. Stubbs and wife.           A.P. Skipwith.

Robt. Newman.                          W, C. Hanley.

Jno. B. Everett.                          Isaiah F. Jones.

William Neal.                             W. Patton.

T. B. Rains.                                Wm. Woodfolk.

F. J. Gaines.                               James F. Gowdy.

A large number of people will be sent South to-day by the same pike. They go in all sorts of conveyances, from a coach-and-four to a market-wagon. All were provided with the choicest of edibles, and changes of clothes, etc., proofs of the magnanimity of our Imperial Government [sic].[emphasis added]

Nashville Daily Press, May 14, 1863.





          14, General Orders, No. 4 relative to further restrictions on contraband trade [see August 18, 1864, "Commander Robert Townsend, U. S. N., inquires of Major-General C. C. Washburn relative to illicit trade with Confederates along Mississippi River" below]


The abuse existing on the Mississippi River render the interference of the military power imperative. Boats are cleared almost daily from Memphis with clearances for any landing place they may choose, and that without any further restriction than a clause in their clearance that they will not violate the law of the United States. Boats thus cleared, loaded to the guards with a variety of merchandise, proceed down the river, sometimes landing on the shore, sometimes rounding to and anchoring out, and communicating with the shore with small boats. They opened trade with all classes of people, except loyal ones. They negotiate with rebel chieftains and guerrillas for the bringing in of cotton and taking out of supplies. They invite rebel officers and soldiers on board, and drink and hobnob together.

Some boats, I am assured, have been out forty or fifty days from their clearances from Memphis, replenishing their supplies from time to time from other boats proceeding up or down the river, running into every creek, bayou, and lagoon where Confederate trace can be carried on. Even the farce of landing under the guns of a gun-boat is seldom complied with. The revenue aids on board of each, with very few exceptions, are known to be of bad character, and many of them are proved to be in complicity with persons engaged in contraband trade. One arrested yesterday is known to be a Confederate soldier; belonging to a regiment in Arkansas, and is now in the Irving block; another when the boat was overhauled, upon which he was laid, took the precaution to throw his valise overboard, thus destroying the evidence of his crime.

It is therefore ordered that no boat shall land between Cairo and the mouth of White River, except where there is a garrison of United States troops. They will not be allowed to land in skiffs or small boats, nor will they be allowed to land supplies at any military point named above except for the use of the United States troops, and such persons as are residing within the Federal lines, without special permits in each case from these headquarters.

The ram Monarch will proceed to-morrow morning at 6 o'clock down the Mississippi River and arrest every trading boat found between Memphis and White River. All passengers on board, who are women and children, or all persons not liable to conscription by the laws of the Confederate States, will be put ashore at the first landing, together with any effects they may have; and parties liable to conscription are presumed to be in the rebel army, and will be brought as prisoners of war to this city. The commander of the ram Monarch will send each boat to this city under guard, which will be furnished by Brig.-Gen. Buckland, and no boat will be allowed to land except at Helena on the way up.

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

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 39, pt. II, pp. 27-28.

          14, "The Last Day of Grace-The Great Rush for Supplies Preparatory to the Closing of the Lines."

There has never, perhaps, within the history of our city, been such an immense amount of business transacted as within the past week. The advent of General Order No. 3, was the signal for a general rush through the lines to take advantage of the few days prior to the closing of commercial intercourse between Memphis and the Confederacy. Throughout the day immense caravans, consisting of teams, and every conceivable description of vehicles, wended their way into the city, the crows on the streets and in the stores, were immense. Our merchants have reaped a rich harvest, many of the most extensive houses having daily sold from $7000 to $10,000 worth of goods. The office of the Local Special Agent has been besieged by people eager to secure permits to carry out their supplies, and for several days past it has been necessary to station guards at the door to keep them from taking the office by storm. To-day, being the last day of grace, the city will no doubt present, if possible, a more exciting spectacle than any during the week. Tomorrow, those whose lots are cast with the Confederacy, will bid adieu to Memphis for, in all probability,-"three years or during the war." Then will be murmured sad and affectionate farewells, and that "good old word good-bye," will be whispered in may quarters. Those who know on which side their bread is buttered, will remain on the "fat" side of the lines. During the past year our merchants have amassed fortunes from the trade through the lines, and every day ushered into being new establishments to compete for the immense amount of money thrown into the lap of our thriving young city. But this princely era has vanished like a beautiful dream, and with it the fond hopes of those so lately in pursuit of the "mighty dollar." A fishing excursion has been proposed by some wag, to continue through the summer.

Memphis Bulletin, May 14, 1864.


We pointed out, in an article written a week ago, that there is on record an act of the present city government, showing its loyalty. Turn to the corporation records and Mayor's message of three years ago, and the position taken and feeling experienced by those at the head of our city affairs with respect to the questions agitating the country are prominently expressed. Go over those of the past two years, and all the expression of sentiment respecting those affairs will go into short compass, and amount to little in point of importance. There was a time when the city government was excessively liberal in its provisions [sic] for the defense of the city, but since General Sherman informed our citizens that Memphis would have mainly to rely upon its own resources in case of attack, and even during the threatening attitude Forrest and his assassins occupied recently, with respect to Memphis, not one of the city government showed that it desired the city to be put in a defensive condition. True, the military power had thoughtfully called the militia force into being, but a Memphis home guard force was in existence also, at the time the defense of the city was an object of so much solicitude to our corporate authorities. The annual election is approaching, and some of those now connected with the city government are already taking steps to secure a re-election-it is therefore proper this matter should have the attention it requires. In Nashville and New Orleans inefficient and unreliable corporations have been removed; we shall be safe from such a proceeding here, if we have city government that will be active in the performance of its duty, and whose loyalty is undoubted.

Since writing the previous article on this subject, a number of gentlemen belonging to the corporation have shown us proofs of their good standing as loyal citizens. These gentlemen have misunderstood our position. We do not excuse any individual members with a want of loyalty in his own person-but the city government, as such, has not assumed the position such a body, in a city situated such as ours is, ought to occupy at the present juncture of affairs.

Memphis Bulletin, May 14, 1864.

          14, "Something That Should Be Attended To"

Opposite Court Square, from early in the morning until quite late at night, there is a line of hacks strung along Main street, the drivers of which (mostly negroes [sic]) spend their time upon the sidewalk, soliciting patronage from the passers by, and especially since the Square has become a resort for disreputable women (as it sadly has of late) [emphasis added] and as these characters are in the habit of engaging carriages to convey them to and from their various haunts and hiding places throughout the city, this spot has become an excellent stand for the hackmen, and consequently, is improved by them as such. Let one of these depraved women make here appearance at the gate and she is immediately surrounded by a possy [sic] of these emulating drivers, and her patronage solicited, nor unfrequently does it occur that she has a dispute upon the walk with her solicitors, as to their respective charges, etc., profanity and obscenity seldom being wanting in the confab. [emphasis added]  This of itself is a most noticeable matter, yet were none but the unchaste subject to these attacks from the hackmen, it might be endured, but when-as we have frequently noticed it to be-a lady is necessitated to suffer the insult of having a whip thrust into her face, and her passage along the street retarded by these ungentlemanly fellows, we think the matter certainly should be attended to. Late in the evening it is really difficult to pass by the square, without receiving some direct insult from a hackman or having one's modesty shocked by the conversation going on between him and some lewd woman. Shall this be allowed? Shall our principal street be infested in such a manner and no attention be paid to it? According to the city ordinance a hackman renders himself subject to fine by the simple act of leaving his carriage, and when, in addition to this, is the misdemeanor we have alluded to shall he not be arraigned and dealt with as he deserves?

Memphis Bulletin, May 14, 1864.

          14, Juvenile Tobacco Use in the Normandy Environs

Tennessee and Some of Its People.

An intelligent war correspondent, writing from Normandy, Tennessee, gives an exceedingly interesting account of things as he finds them there. Everything in that region from a plow to a horse is greatly behind the age, and it carries back the Yankee at least a century. Not one in ten of the whites can write their own names, and one man was found who had never seen the stars and stripes—though he knew his State flag[7] as well as that of the Confederates. The writer continues as follows:

The use of tobacco by the native population here is astonishing even to a Northerner; especially when we see the other sex chew Navy Plug, smoke and rub snuff on their gums. A boy from back in the country stayed with us one night, who called himself thirteen years old. As we sat around the fire in the evening, he asked for a 'chew.' After one had been given him, and he had placed it in the 'aching void,' we asked him how long he has used the article. 'Wal' said he 'I reckon as how I've used it at least ten years!' Tobacco juice must have been mixed with his milk before he had teeth to manage a 'chew.' Let no one hereafter call nicotine a poison."

Fort Smith New Era, May 14, 1864.[8]

          14, Burial of a Drummer Boy at Bean Station

Touching Incident.

After the battle at Bean Station, East Tennessee, the rebels were guilty of all manner of indignity toward the slain. They stripped their bodies, and shot all persons who came near the battlefield to show any attention to the dead. The body of a little drummer boy was left naked and exposed. Near by, in a humble house, there were two little girls, the oldest but sixteen, who resolved to give the body a decent burial. They took the night for their task. With hammer and nails in hand, and boards on their shoulders, they sought the place where the body of the dead drummer boy lay. From their own scanty wardrobe, they clothed the body for the grave. With their own hands they made a rude coffin, into which they reverently put the dead boy.

They dug the grave, and lowered the body into it and covered it over. The noise of the hammering brought some of the rebels to the spot. The sight was too much for them. The stillness of the night—the story so eloquently told by the heroic labors of the little girls. Not a word was spoken, no one interfered, and when the sacred rites of burial were performed, all separated, and the little drummer-boy sleeps undisturbed in his grave on the battlefield. Such tenderness and heroism deserve to run along the line of coming generations with the story of the woman who broke the alabaster box on the feet of the Savior, and with her who of her penury cast her two mites into the treasury.—Louisville Journal.

Fort Smith New Era, May 14, 1864.[9]




          14, Report of mass murders by guerrillas near Vernon, Tennessee, (Hickman County) in November 1864

HDQRS. MOUNTED FORCES, 12TH U. S. COLORED INFTY., Kingston Springs, Tenn., May 14, 1865.

Lieut. JOHN D. RIELLY, Actg. Asst. Adjt. Gen., Third Sub-Dist. of Middle Tennessee:

LIEUT.: In conformance with the request of the lieutenant-colonel commanding I have the honor to submit the following statement of the facts relative to the atrocious murder of some twenty-six men belonging to Gen. Cooper's command during the month of November last: Mr. Lawson Nunnely, a citizen residing near Vernon, Tenn., states that when Gen. Cooper passed through that neighborhood on his way to Centerville a number of his men, from fatigue and sore feet, straggled some distance in rear of his command, were overpowered, and after surrendering were murdered in cold blood and robbed by the guerrillas. Mr. Nunnely said the colored men employed on his plantation buried eighteen men who had been murdered in that manner. He also stated that a soldier, being unable to march from sore feet, took refuge in his (Nunnely's) house. The guerrillas drove the man from the house and shot him. Another citizen stated he had helped to bury eleven men murdered in the manner above mentioned. The citizens on Piney River, in the vicinity of Vernon, all corroborate the above facts. They all agree that there were at least twenty-six men shot. They say the murders were committed by Capt. Cross' gang of guerrillas; that Capt. Cross and his officers were personally cognizant of the above circumstances. Capt. Cross acknowledged to me that Lieut. W. L. Clark, assistant inspector defenses Nashville and Northeestern Railroad, who was captured November 21, 1864, was shot, after surrendering, by a man named Kingston; belonged to his (Cross') command.

I am, lieutenant, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

GEO. M. EVERETT, Capt., Twelfth U. S. Colored Infantry.


[First indorsement.]

HDQRS. TWELFTH U. S. COLORED INFANTRY, Kingston Springs, Tenn., May 14, 1865.

Respectfully forwarded approved.

A. J. FINCH, Maj., Cmdg. Regt. [sic]

[Second indorsement.]


Kingston Springs, May 14, 1865.

Respectfully forwarded to headquarters District of Middle Tennessee, with the request that the facts herein mentioned be laid before the major-general commanding Department of the Cumberland for such action as may be deemed advisable. I have myself received evidence to the same effect from citizens living near Vernon. These men were murdered after they had surrendered.

HENRY STONE, Lieut.-Col. 100th U. S. Colored Infantry, Cmdg.

[Third indorsement.]


Respectfully forwarded, calling attention to the indorsement of Lieut.-Col. Stone.

LOVELL H. ROUSSEAU, Maj.-Gen., Cmdg.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 49, pt. II, p. 769.

          14, Major General C. C. Washburn demands Colonel J. F. Newsom's surrender [see May 10, 1865, Confederate forces under Colonel J. F. Newsom seek to undertake policing mission in West Tennessee after the collapse of the Confederacy above]

HDQRS. DISTRICT OF WEST TENNESSEE, Memphis, Tenn., May 14, 1865.

Maj. A. J. DAVIS, Cmdg. U. S. Troops, Brownsville, Tenn.:

MAJ.: I have your communication of the 11th instant, forwarding communication from Col. Newsom. You will recognize no truce said to have been entered into between Gen. Meredith and Col. Newsom. You will notify Col. Newsom, and send him a copy of the inclosed order from Brig. Gen. Marcus J. Wright, C. S. Army. Confederate soldiers reporting to you will be paroled and allowed to go home, and such as desire to take the oath of amnesty will be allowed to do so. I send some blanks. You will keep a record of all such and report to the provost-marshal here. Officers and citizens will not be allowed to take the amnesty oath without first obtaining permission of the department commander. Officers reporting here will be paroled upon the terms agreed upon by the terms of the surrender of Gen. Dick Taylor. I am glad to know that matters are progressing so satisfactorily at Brownsville.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

C. C. WASHBURN, Maj.-Gen.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 49, pt. II, p. 770.

          14, "It is perfect folly for us to sit down here and let circumstanced grind on – unless we make new conditions with fortune, we will find ourselves ground exceedingly small before many years." Comments on the end of the war by Lucy Virginia French.

….But little has passed since I last wrote – and nothing has yet transpired as to the final settlement of our affairs. We understand that trade restrictions are being removed – and the Federal army is being reduced, by resignations of officers, mustering out of men – cutting down Quartermaster's Departments etc. None of our boys have yet returned from their regiments, some of Lee's paroled soldiers who lived up in the counties north of us have passed – but none of those belonging to this town or vicinity have as yet come in. Probably they will be in by the 22nd of this month – which was the day they all started out in 1861. Poor fellows – four long years of service – hardship and suffering, and all for what? And some are sleeping here in our crowded graveyard – and many will never even be so near even in death – they sleep among strangers in unknown graves, on dreary battle-fields. Oh! for what? for what? did God permit this war? [emphasis added] Shall we ever find out why it was allowed? I have had my plan matured – and talked it over with the Col. I feel sure I could do something, but of course I will never be allowed the opportunity. It is perfect folly for us to sit down here and let circumstances grind on – unless we make new conditions with fortune, we will find ourselves ground exceedingly small before many years. I think the Col. has too much of the Micawber disposition in him. There is no use in waiting for things to turn up now – we ought to put our shoulders to the wheel and turn them up. I do not suppose I will ever learn to be patient – not being everlasting. I don't see how I can well afford to be so. Our time here will be short – what we do we ought now to be doing with our might – but I suppose we will sit here our time out and drop into the grave like thousands around us – having done no more – or being no better than they. Oh! for a nature like Russell Aubrey's – Beulah's hero. But do such strong men live in reality – no. I expect they only exist in books. One thing I am fully certain of – we will never make anything here – and I want an independence [sic]. We have lost one here – but we will never make another. They are making a great to do about Petroleum[10] here, but I don't imagine it will amount to much. At all events if the river run[s] Petroleum – and it was saleable – our part of the river would be something else that wouldn't sell. Two companies of Saint Louis troops left town this morning, and the other co. is to go shortly we are told. Heaven send that they do go it may be forever, as I know it will be for good. I don't think I should be half so Southern if it were not for these stupid troops. I begin sometimes to feel quite charitable towards the North but the moment I catch sight of these blue things I am full of resistance and rebellion. How I hate them and how I want to let 'em know it to the full!

War Journal of Lucy Virginia French.

          14. Arrangements for the captured Jefferson C. Davis and Governor Brown of Georgia Upon Their Arrival in Chattanooga


Nashville, May 14, 1865.

COMDG. OFFICER, Chattanooga:

When Governor Brown, of Georgia, and Jeff. Davis, Southern Confederacy, reach Chattanooga, a strong guard will be placed over the cars to prevent any communication whatever with the prisoners, except in case of sickness, when Surgeon Jones will attend them in person.

Their meals, if they desire any from the hotel, must be taken by some trusty member of the guard which accompanied them from Georgia. They will be placed in a passenger car provided with privy arrangements, and sentinels so posted that none of the party can possibly escape, and they are to be treated with the utmost courtesy consistent with perfect security, and protected alike from insult and the annoyance of curiosity hunters. Telegraph me when they leave Chattanooga. Governor Brown will not be detained to await the arrival of Jeff. Davis, but will be forwarded by the first passenger train that leaves after his arrival. Jeff. Davis will be forwarded by a special train sufficient to accommodate the guard and prisoners only, and no person whatever will be allowed on the train except the guard and prisoners. Acknowledge receipt.

GEO. H. THOMAS, Maj.-Gen., U. S. Army, Cmdg.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 49, pt. II, p.767.


[1] Milford Clark Butler Letter, MS-2794. University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Special Collections Library.

[2] This event is referenced neither in Dyer's Battle Index for Tennessee nor OR, but is listed in CAR, p. 17.

[3] The warrant had been issued on April 21 but Brown was not arrested until May 14. Brown was at first opposed to the Confederacy, but hesitantly supported Tennessee's secession out of Union. In fact, Brown had served on Governor Isham G. Harris Military and Financial board. Brown had two sons and a brother in the Southern army, but as the Federal armies rolled up victory after victory he lost faith in the Confederacy. By June 2, apparently after his interview with Johnson, Brown was a reconverted Union man and publicly denounced secession at a public meeting at Columbia. See: Nashville Union, June 4, 1862 and Papers of Andrew Johnson, Vol. 5, p. 389, fn. 1. Margaret I. Phillips, in her book The Governors of Tennessee (Pelican Publishing Company: Gretna LA, 1978), p. 58, incorrectly maintains about Brown that he "took no official part in the War between the States, but sympathized with the Confederates."

[4] Univeristy of North Carolina, Southern Historical Collection. [Hereinafter: Estes' Diary, etc.]

[5] These statements were not found by the compilers of the OR.

[6] Not found in OR.

[7] There was no official Tennessee State Flag until 1911.

[8] As cited in:

[9] As cited in:

[10] See March 1, 1865, "Yankee economic imperialism in Middle Tennessee, an excerpt from a letter by Major – General R. H. Milroy to his wife in Rensselaer, Indiana," above.

No comments: