Thursday, June 11, 2015

6.11.2015 Tennessee Civil War Notes



          11, Conversion of State Hospital into Confederate soldiers' barracks

State Hospital—The patients that were in the State hospital have been removed to the city hospital, and the building of the former institution will soon be occupied by troops.

Memphis Daily Appeal, June 11, 1861.

          11, Relief payments for Fifth district in Shelby county

Families of Volunteers.—We learn from Esquire Richards that the county tax collector, Mr. Powell, yesterday paid out over one thousand dollars in relief to the families of volunteers residing in the Fifth district.

Memphis Daily Appeal, June 11, 1861.

          11, "Sometimes I sleep with the Captain, sometimes with Gabe." James I. Hall's letter from Camp Brown to his family in Covington, Tennessee, describing life in a Tennessee camp of instruction

Misses Jesse & Mary E. Hall

c/o Doctor W. M. Hall


Tipton County

Camp Brown, June 11, 1861

Dear Children,

I expect that you would get a letter from your papa. I am at Union City camped out in the woods. Mr. Wood, Mr. Winford Gable and I stay in the same tent. Sometimes I sleep with the Captain, sometimes with Gabe. We have the ground covered with straw, sleep on a mattress, have plenty of blankets. Gabe cooks for us. We have fried ham, biscuit, and coffee for breakfast, dinner and supper, sometimes we get peas, beans, onions and potatoes for dinner. Grandma sent us some nice butter but it is almost tone. We have plenty to eat Gabe washes for us. There are six regiments here now & we expect two or three more today more today. I do not know how long we will stay here. We may go to Columbus very soon when we go there we will have a great deal of hard work to do.

I will not have to work much myself. Our camp is close beside the railroad. A great many cars pass every day & night. The whistle wakes up every night.

I would like to be at home for the concert, if Jessie will play her piece well, but I can't get away. If we stay here long, I want you both to come up to see me after the session is out. While I am writing, another regiment has come on a train of cars as long as from Grandpas houses to the gin. The men are in box cars knocked all the planks off from the sides of the cars and are standing with their head out at the openings. Looking like chickens in a chicken wagon. That is the way our company came up form Jackson. We have a great deal of noise in the camp at night, some of the boys sing, some holler, some bark like dogs, some crow like chickens and one whistles so much like a mocking bird that you would think it was a bird indeed at nine o'clock the lights are blown out and all go to bed except the guards who walk around the camp all night. They have a hard time when it rains. We see ladies and little girls in the camp every day, who come in to the soldiers. Seeing little girls here, reminds me of my little girls at home, I wonder if they are well are and well and doing well and wish that I could see them for a little while. I want Jessie to write me a letter with a pencil and get aunt Sarah to direct it. I can read it Let sissy tell Jessie something to write. Let me know how your both do how Grandma & Grandpa & all the family do. Give my love to all your uncles & aunts & Cousins

From your papa

Jas. I Hill

Ninth Infantry, pp. 130-132.

          11, Costs in Memphis

Starvation Prices in Memphis. A private letter received by a gentleman in this city, gives the following as the retail market in Memphis. Flour, $10 per barrel; eggs, 20c, per dozen; bacon, 18c. per pound, lard oil, $1.25 per gallon! It is estimated that twenty five thousand troops can be thrown into the city in twelve hours, but how they are to be fed is rather perplexing.

The Scioto Gazette, June 11, 1861. [1]





          11, Skirmish, Cumberland Gap [see June 10-15, 1862, Operations in East Tennessee above]

          11, Altercation in a Memphis bagnio

[W]hile in one of the parlors at Pirse Perry's bagnio on Main street, [a U. S. naval officer] was shot by John Forrest.[2] Both had been in the parlor some time, and those who witnessed....say the parties had had a difficulty. Forrest was intoxicated. The name of the officer was Gilmore. The police and a Federal guard soon entered the room and arrested Forrest, who was taken to the fleet.

Memphis Argus, June 12, 1862.

11, Editorial caution about Confederate spies in Nashville

Watch Them.

We are satisfied that the leading rebels of this city design some mischief. For some days they have been throwing out dark hints about a rebel expedition on Murfreesboro', and predicting the recapture of Nashville. They could not conceal their delight at the capture of our scouts at Readyville on Saturday, imitating in the tenderness and humanity of their comments their humane brethren of Baltimore. There is not a shadow of a doubt that the city has numbers of spies who send news by couriers every night to the guerrilla officers, who communicate in turn with their headquarters at McMinnville. The safety and peace of the city imperatively demands, in our opinion, the immediate arrest and imprisonment of a number of the most active and influential rebels among us. The arrest of the little fellows does no good, as it exasperates those arrested and actually emboldens the wire-workers behind the scenes, who infer from this policy that the Government is merely playing a game of brag, and is attempting to frighten those whom it lacks the courage to attack. This course is producing incalculable mischief. We must confine our blows to the leaders, not only those in arms, or holding civil appointments under rebel authority, but those particularly, who, although ostensibly neutral, are yet privately supplying money, clothing, arms, ammunition and information to the guerrilla leaders. All such parties must be seized and held in confinement, and made to disgorge as much for the use of the Government as they have paid to the cause of treason. Why is a man allowed to talk his treason in our streets who was the avowed secession candidate for Circuit Judge, and supported as such by the rebels? Why is a paper tolerated in this city under the protection of the Federal flag, whose editor was one of the editors of the infamous Union and American, and who, if his friend Isham Harris were to return in triumph to Nashville, would raise the standard of treason with a shout of exultation? Let the hand of justice seize on these and all similar offenders. We have dallied too long. We have held out the olive branch and the white flag and the only response these malignants have given has been the snarl of the mad dog and the hiss of the infuriated serpent. In what we have said we mean to cast no reflections on the ability, the efficiency, or the fidelity of our military and civil authorities. We admire their magnanimity and patience in putting up so long, at the risk of their own safety, with the insolence of the rebels. Their course proves conclusively that as representatives of the Federal Government they have been fully determined not to resort to force when moral means could be used successfully. These means have been tried on the rebel aristocracy and failed in almost every instance. These demoniac spirits have felt our magnanimity and laughed it to scorn, and now let them feel our power and vengeance, and laugh—if they can.

Nashville Daily Union, June 11, 1862.

11, Life in Memphis five days after occupation by Federal forces


We are in receipt of the Memphis Avalanche of the 11th. The Avalanche seems to be gently easing down into Abraham's bosom. As to the state of the city it says:

There have been no Union demonstrations, such as our present rulers perhaps expected, and as some of our ultra and uncompromising secession friend feared and predicted. Our people have thus far demeaned themselves with propriety and dignity. We have heard of concessions from a few, who occupied the front ranks of our earliest and original secessionists. From the suspected and harassed Union men, we have yet to learn any disparaging conduct and bearing, either towards the Federals or their neighbors, who, to some extent had reviled and annoyed them in the past.

The city is quite and orderly, and, all things considered, we are doing far better than was apprehended. Our population seems, so far as we can judge, to fear no undue or harsh oppression at the hands of present rulers.

We repeat, we offer these statements for the benefit of our country friend, and from no desire to offer praise or sing paeans to our Federal opponents now in our midst. They have invaded our State and taken forcible possession of our city, and we, with others, feel humbled and downcast; for we, as one man, had offered resistance to their success, and have been foiled in our attempts to stop their march, and all alike must partake of a national humiliation-feel their pride wounded, and our future in gloom and embarrassment. Let us bear with manly fortitude what we are unable to avoid. This is true philosophy-a philosophy suited to our condition.

Provisions-We learn that already there is a fleet of flat boats coming down the river with provisions, and that by Thursday we shall have the Platte Valley here on her return trip. The prospect, therefore, is good for an abundance of provisions.

The Federal Army is increasing, and will soon reach a large and commanding force-so we hear stated. We suppose the fact to be what we have indicated. Rumor says Confederate cavalry hangs around the skirts of our city, and that daily we are visited by its members in citizens' clothes.

We do not credit this rumor.

We notice, in the advertising columns, many offers to take Confederate money at par for property. The Federal commandant declares he will not interfere with the monetary concerns of the city, and the banks and people are left free to take whatever they choose as money. The city is not under martial law.

Chronicle & Sentinel.

Macon Daily Telegraph, June 19, 1862.

          11, "Provost Marshal's Office."

Considerable business was transacted by the Provost Marshal yesterday. Among others who passed through his office, we find that W. H. Mory, of Ashland, Ohio, has been arrested and held for trial under charge of being a guerrilla. John B. Canby, of Nashville, has been sent to the penitentiary for assisting soldiers to desert. Pleasant L. Rollings, a citizen, stands charged with being a guerrilla, with bushwhacking, and with larceny. B. M. Hawkins, a citizen, is held prisoner by order of Gen. Miller.

Nashville Dispatch, June 11, 1862.




          11, Action at Triune

JUNE 11, 1863.--Action at Triune, Tenn.


No. 1.--Maj. Gen. Gordon Granger, U. S. Army.

No. 2.--Brig. Gen. Robert B. Mitchell, U. S. Army, commanding First Cavalry Division, Department of the Cumberland.

No. 3.--Col. Edward M. McCook, Second Indiana Cavalry, commanding Second Brigade.

No. 4.--Lieut. Col. Robert R. Steward, Second Indiana Cavalry.

No. 5.--Lieut. Col. John A. Platter, Fourth Indiana Cavalry.

No. 6.--Col. Daniel M. Ray, Second Tennessee Cavalry.

No. 1.

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

TRIUNE, June 11, 1863--12.45 p. m.

The enemy attacked our pickets vigorously about an hour since, but met with their usual fate. [Emphasis added] I have cavalry on the flanks. Think it was only a demonstration or a reconnaissance.

G. GRANGER, Maj.-Gen., Cmdg.

Brig. Gen. JAMES A. GARFIELD, Chief of Staff, Department of the Cumberland.

No. 2.

Reports of Brig. Gen. Robert B. Mitchell, U. S. Army, commanding First Cavalry Division, Department of the Cumberland.

TRIUNE, June 11, 1863--9.30 p. m.

Forrest attacked here to-day, on Eagleville pike, at 10 a. m. We followed up with cavalry, and drove him across Harpeth. We lost 5 killed and 12 wounded, as near as can be ascertained without reports. The enemy lost 21 killed and 60 wounded, and 10 prisoners that we have.


Maj. W. H. SINCLAIR, Assistant Adjutant-Gen.

HDQRS. FIRST CAVALRY DIVISION, Camp near Triune, Tenn., June 12, 1863.

MAJ.: I have the honor to make report as follows of the part taken by my command in the affair of yesterday:

Maj. Gwynne had immediately, subsequent to the attack of the enemy, driven them into the timber on the west of the Chapel Hill pike in our front and on their left, from which they had advanced with an attempt at a charge. The enemy falling back, the First Brigade, Col. Campbell, moved to the right of the pike, and the Second Brigade, Col. McCook, moved to the left, both advancing and concentrating near the pike, about three-quarters of a mile from the Harpeth River.

The enemy retreated rapidly over the open country, but made short stands in the intervening wooded positions. They succeeded in crossing the ford, and made a final stand on the opposite bank of the river, behind a stone wall, from which they were driven by the Second Michigan, First East Tennessee, and part of the Second Indiana, who crossed the river, and the enemy left in disorderly retreat.

Being without artillery, and the enemy having obtained such an advance, I did not deem it advisable to follow them farther, and returned to this encampment.

I have previously reported, by signal dispatch, the probable loss of the enemy, from information gathered from citizens, prisoners, and other sources.

Our casualties were as follows.[3]

The prisoners taken were all on picket here.

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


Maj. W. H. SINCLAIR, Assistant Adjutant-Gen.

P. S.--The command behaved admirably. It has been ascertained since my signature that two more of the wounded enemy have died, making a loss to them in killed of 23.

Return of Casualties in the First Cavalry Division, Department of the Cumberland, in the action at Triune, Tenn., June 11, 1863.


                               O  EM  EMW  EMCM    A       Remarks.

2d  Indiana.........    1    1         2                      4         6 horses disabled.

4th Indiana.........                     3           5         8       5 horses disabled.

4th Kentucky........       1          1                      2       3 horses lost.

2d  Michigan........                   2           1         3       6 horses lost.

9th Pennsylvania....      1         10                    11       2 horses lost.

1st Tennessee.......                                                     1 horse lost.


            Total........ 1      3       18             6               28

O=Officers. EM=Enlisted men. EMW=Enlisted men wounded. EMCM=Enlisted men captured or missing.


No. 3.

Report of Col. Edward M. McCook, Second Indiana Cavalry, commanding Second Brigade.


CAPT.: I have the honor to report that part taken by my command in the skirmish of yesterday. In accordance with your orders, the brigade formed on the left of the Chapel Hill pike, and advanced toward Harpeth River; the Second Indiana on the right, the Fourth Indiana in the center, and the Second East Tennessee on the left. The skirmishing was continuous and lively all the way to Harpeth River. The enemy was driven across, when, in compliance with orders, we returned.

Total casualties: * Killed, 2; wounded, 5; missing, 5; horses disabled, 11.

All my men and officers behaved well. I would call especial attention to the conduct of Capt. J. B. Edwards, Company B, Second Indiana, who, with 53 pickets of that regiment, held the whole force of the enemy in check for two hours.

I inclose the report of Maj. [James W.] Steward, field officer of the day, concerning this.[4]

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

EDWARD M. McCOOK, Col., Cmdg. Second Brigade.

Capt. JOHN PRATT, Assistant Adjutant-Gen., First Cavalry Division.

No. 4.

Report of Lieut. Col. Robert R. Steward, Second Indiana Cavalry.

TRIUNE, Friday, June 12, 1863.

COL.: I have the honor to report the part taken by the Second Indiana Cavalry, under my command.

We got out on the field at 11.30 o'clock, and were ordered to form off to the left of the Chapel Hill pike, and remained in line for a half or __________ [sic] three-quarters of an hour, when an order came to move in line left of the pike. We had not gone far before we were ordered to form again, our right resting on Chapel Hill pike. While thus formed, Lieut. Blaine, whom I put in command of the skirmishers, was killed, while nobly leading his men on. I then received an order to countermarch my right and cross the pike, where there appeared to be heavy skirmishing going on. When I got opposite a large field, I asked permission to cross with the right. Col. Campbell gave the permission asked for. When Capt. Kessler, commanding Company A, moved in the field, the firing was very severe, but Capt. Kessler gave the command "Charge," which they obeyed most nobly. We drove the enemy from the woods on the opposite side of the river, and I divided my command, and crossed part above and [part] below the woods.

Col., I need not make mention of individual gallantry, for they all did nobly.

The casualties are as follows.[5]

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

R. R. STEWARD, Lieut.-Col., Cmdg. Regt.

Col. E. M. McCOOK, Cmdg. Brigade.

No. 5.

Report of Lieut. Col. John A. Platter, Fourth Indiana Cavalry.


COL.: I have the honor to submit the following report of the part taken by my command in the action of yesterday (June 11):

My skirmishers, under command of Capt.'s Pepper and Purdy, successfully engaged the enemy on our left, dislodging him from behind stone walls and cedar groves, and finally compelled him to fall back across the river, with a loss of several wounded.

My loss is as follows: 8

All of which is respectfully submitted.

I have the honor to be, colonel, your obedient servant,

JOHN A. PLATTER, Lieut.-Col., Cmdg. Fourth Indiana Cavalry.

Col. E. M. McCOOK, Cmdg. Second Brigade.

No. 6.

Report of Col. Deniel M. Ray, Second Tennessee Cavalry.

HDQRS. SECOND EAST TENNESSEE CAVALRY, Camp near Triune, June 11, 1863.

SIR: I have the honor very respectfully to report that, upon reception of orders, my regiment was immediately formed, and advanced with the remainder of the brigade to the front of the fortifications near Triune, where the enemy made his attack this morning. Was there formed in line upon the extreme left of the brigade, and were engaged in skirmishing with the enemy during the continuance of the action, which lasted until a late hour in the afternoon. Although my skirmishers were at times exposed to considerable heavy firing of the enemy, my regiment was fortunate enough to escape without loss of any kind whatever, and I have no casualties to report.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

D. M. RAY, Col., Cmdg. Second East Tennessee Cavalry.

Lieut. W. C. McGONIGAL, Actg. Asst. Adjt. Gen., Second Cav. Brigade, First Div.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 23, pt. I, pp. 374-378.

          11, Skirmish at Strawberry Plains

Dyer's Battle Index for Tennessee.

          11, Members of the 115th Ohio Volunteer Infantry skirmish with Confederates near the Shelbyville Pike-an account of a small-scale military action.

....[Sgt.] Van Hayne gave quite an interesting account of their picket skirmish [of yesterday]. He with 9 men & a corporal were the advance front-& were first attacked. It being in the timber they deployed as skirmishers. He "bush-whacked," they gradually fell back to the reserve where there was a Lieut. with 15 men from the 40th Ohio. When they got there they had all skedaddle except the Lieut. and one man. The pickets on the right and left had also fallen back some distance in their rear of their position and when looking round they saw that the Rebs [sic] were on both their flanks and had them nearly surrounded. This state of things convinced them to retreat on the double-quick, but in good order. The cavalry pickets had long ere this gone far in their rear. They finally reached a large brick house having run the gauntlet of a shower of bullets and shells from the Rebel battery; none of the shells bursted. They were reinforced at the brick house and held their position until the cavalry made the Rebs [sic] "skedaddle." We conclude that those of the 115th who have been tried will fight at any rate.

Patten Diary, June 12, 1863.

          11, "To the Citizens of Nashville," a public health notice

The health of the city demands that it should be thoroughly cleansed. All filth or nuisances on the premises of citizens must be removed to the streets or alley and placed in heaps so the same may be hauled away by Government wagons furnished by Gen. Granger, Commander of the Post.

Premises will be inspected, and the city nuisance law enforced. If the enforcement of civil law fails to effect the object, a more expeditious remedy may be applied.

John Hugh Smith, Mayor

Nashville Daily Press, June 11, 1863.[6]

          11, Company C, 5th Iowa Cavalry, reaches Murfreesboro

Last night was wet and uncomfortable for soldiers sleeping on the ground in the open air, but the boys were cheerful and ready to march early. Reached Murfreesboro and camped on the front just behind the first line of pickets and about three miles south of M [sic]. Everywhere the soldiers and officers said we were decidedly one of the finest looking regiments in the service. The day was a lovely one, and the country through which we passed in general was fine; but the farms were almost wholly wasted, houses burned, fences burned and the road for miles strewed with fragments of burned wagons [sic], caissons etc., some of ours and some of the rebels. We marched across the battlefield to Stone [sic] River. There were a great many enclosures in which sleep the fallen soldiers of that bloody and obstinately contested fight. Murfreesboro is a small town pleasantly situated on the south bank of Stone River – more of stone than water in it; fully deserves its name – and as may be supposed, it is surrounded at present by strong fortifications and filled with soldiers. Our day's march was 35 miles.

Alley Diary

          11-16, Incidents relating to Federal scout, Alexandria to Lebanon to Baird's Mill to Murfreesboro; skirmish on Alexandria Pike and skirmish outside Lebanon, the account of Lt. Albert Potter, Fourth Michigan Volunteer Cavalry

HeadQuarters 4th M. V. C.

Camp Park, [Murfreesboro] June 17/63

Dear Father

We just got in from our 6 days scout [11th-16th] and it has been a hard one -- I tell you. We did not start until about 3 pm and went to Lebanon 28 miles distant that night. We traveled out six miles from town where we halted and fed. We had heard from our scouts in that direction that there was about 1000 or the rebels at Lebanon and we intended to clean them out. [12th] On dismounting, when we halted, one of the 5th Iowa boys was almost instantly killed by his comrade next to him. His Carbine caught in some manner on the saddle or stirrups and went off. The ball passing thro' his left lung and out on right side cutting one of the large arteries. Poor Fellow! He never spoke. One cannot be too cautious. I would hate to be killed by my friend or by myself.

After feeding at about ten o'clock we started again. We had about 1500 all told. We had a passable road and went along pretty good jog. Got into Lebanon just daylight. [13th] No rebels there. All went away last night [12th] was what the citizens told us. Went off on the Alexandria Pike. It is a mystery to me how they get their information for they heard of our coming even before we knew where we were going ourselves, for we never know where we are going until we move. But they did. We followed after them on the Alexandria Pike – came upon their near guards about 11am had a little skirmish in which one to the 4th regulars was killed [13th]. Then went back a short distance and fed our horses, gave them wheat in bundle about noon we started again.

It was a very hot day and our poor horses were tired in the forenoon our Reg't was on the left as skirmishers and the ground was very rough, stony and hilly. We moved cautiously skirmishing all the way about six miles into a nice valley with good feed and the Col concluded to stay there all night. [13th]

We had orders to move only to Lebanon and our coming any farther was at our own risk. Well, we posted our pickets in front [14th] and in the right and left strongly and were settling down to rest when Bang! Bang! Came their artillery from a hill. Our pickets rushed in letting us know there was quite a force in front with 5 pieces of artillery. They were mountain howitzers I tho't [sic] by the sound. We immediately formed and went out to see what was there, but they had run back again and it was growing dark. The Col had also learned that they were about 4000 strong with artillery at Alexandria and so of course it would not be prudent to move after them and their demonstration in front was only to divert our attention while they were trying to FLANK US on BOTH SIDES. So we moved back after calling in our pickets by a cross road and an ugly one too. Baird's Mill on the Lebanon Pike 21 miles from Murfreesboro. Got there 3 ½ am this morning [17th] as tired a lot as you ever saw -- not a wink of sleep had we. I never was so sleepy in my life and when we got to the Mill I just lopped down on the ground and slept about two hours as sound as a log.

*  *  *  *

Potter Correspondence.






          11, "Extensive Robbery."

Officer Joe Cheatham arrested, on Wednesday, a man named Allie, on Wednesday [8th], who was formerly in the United States army, afterward discharged, and subsequently connected with the issuing commissary department, charged with robbing the Government of about nine wagon loads of stores, consisting in part of four barrels of sugar, four barrels of parched coffee, candles, soap, etc., etc., some of which he is said to have sold to the Brothers Hurley, grocers, on Broad street, who have also been arrested on charge of receiving the property knowing it to have been stolen. All the prisoners are confined in the penitentiary awaiting an examination.

Nashville Dispatch, June 11, 1864.

          11, The William H. Robinson affair

Nashville Tenn. June 11th 64

Andrew Johnson

Mil. Governor.

I would respectfully represent that I am a loyal Citizin [sic] of Wilson County.

That on the 9th Inst, Capt Wyatt of the 13th Tenn. Cavalry, in command of about thirty soldiers, and while I was absent, visited my house, entered it with pistols drawn, and in a state of intoxicatin [sic], himself and men, Cursed my wife – entered my drawers, destroyed papers, took thirteen hundred and fifty dollars in different kinds of money, drank whiskey, and played at cards, laid and rolled on my beds with their boots on – also took one shot gun, one saddle, one horse, and one pr of silver specticacles [sic] & one watch seal, and after staying in this manner some three hours, left word with my wife that if I did not report at Gallatin to day they would again visit my house and hang me to the first lim. [sic]

Respectfully Yr obt Svt

William H. Robinson

Papers of Andrew Johnson, Vol. 6, p. 733.

          11, General Paine's anti-guerrilla campaign in Lincoln county; an excerpt from the letter of Captain Henry Newton Comey, 2nd Massachusetts Infantry

Tullahoma, Tenn.

June 11, 1864

Dear Sister,

Yours of the 6th containing ten dollars was received last Wednesday. It was delayed on the way somewhat, however it was thankfully received….

There's not much of interest transpiring at present. General Paine returned this week from his foray into Lincoln County, having killed nineteen guerrillas and bushwhackers and among them two leaders. General Paine burned several still houses (houses where whiskey is made) and several other houses, all told the people of Lincoln County that if the bushwhackers and guerrillas who were robbing and molesting the rail road were not stopped within fifteen days he would burn the whole country. His measures are having quite a salutary effect on the citizens of Lincoln and the adjoining counties. The have recently held a meeting in which all guerrillas are denounced and it was decided that guerrillas henceforth should not be allowed in the counties. The guerrilla leaders retaliated with a message in which they threatened General Paine. They said if General Paine should kill certain men in the county that they kill and burn all the union men.

*  *  *  *


Comey Correspondence, pp. 171-172.[7]





          11, Return of the Bank of Tennessee and State Archives to Nashville

Arrival of Isham G. Harris' Cabinet-Capture of $600,000 in Coin-Grand Escort of the Captures Specie, Assets, and Archives of State, Back to the Capital.

From the Nashville Press and Times.

The dispatch from General Upton to Governor Brownlow announcing the capture of the archives of the State, and the assets of the State Bank with $600,000 in coin, together with the arrest of three members of King Isham's Cabinet, has already been given to our readers. Tuesday morning the Governor and Hon. A. J. Fletcher, Secretary of State, went to the Chattanooga depot to take formal possession of the captured property of the State. The property was in the charge of Captain Thos. O. Gilpin, of General Upton's staff, who brought it from Augusta. Captain Cravene, of the 72d Indiana Mounted Infantry, captured the archives at James Land's house, three miles from Buzzard Roost station, near Gus Swamp.

The archives filled forty one boxes, containing the papers belonging to the offices of the State Secretary, Treasures and Comptroller, together with the large amount of papers belonging to the Adjutant General of the State, much of which relates to the secret service of the rebel army. There are probably some interesting documents among them, relating to petitions for appointment in the rebel service, which the writers would gladly consign to the flames, or to the bottom of the Cumberland River. But treason, like murder, will out. The specie and papers of the Bank of Tennessee were captured in Augusta by General Upton's command. The precious metal filled 56 boxes of two small casks. On several of the boxes we observed the imprint of the Mexican cap, with the motto, Libertad, upon its rim. Possibly the officers of the bank have been using the specie of the bank for blockade running and cotton speculations, and have thus got hold of some of Maximilian's gold. Capt. Gilpin had also a bag containing $1,700 in New Mexican gold coin, about the size and value of a double eagle. This sum was claimed, we learned from Capt. Gilpin, as private property by Mr. Mitchell, the father-in-law of John A. Fisher, the absconding cashier of the mother Bank of Tennessee.

Fisher shewed himself to be a thorough-bred swindler, in accordance with his former character, for he fled from Augusta with $60,000 in gold, and is now skulking through the swamps in Georgia, seeking to escape the country and the demands of justice. The notorious rebel President of the Bank, G. C. Turbett, formerly of the Union and American, accompanied him in his flight. We strongly suspect that when an investigation shall have been had the abstraction will reach a much larger sum. The robbers have shown a determination to take good care of themselves, whatever suffering might befall the State. And these thieves were the leaders of Tennessee! We blush at the thought!

Dunlap, Battle, and Ray, the Comptroller, Treasurer, and Secretary of State under Harris, were brought to his city by Captain Gilpin as prisoner, and are held on parole. The other fugitives cannot possibly escape the vigilance of our troops.

After a brief and hasty examination half a dozen of the large red wagons belonging to the Quartermaster's Department, marked "U. S. Transfer" on the sides, were ordered up, and the valuable cargo, the last relics of Confederate authority in Tennessee, were placed in them. The loading being completed, the Governor and Secretary, in all the simplicity of "plebianism," mounted the specie wagon, and the imposing procession drove up the street towards the Capitol. Everybody had heard of the great arrival of boxes of gold and silver, and of course everybody gazed eagerly at the train. It was a new chapter this, in the work of restoration, and something very different from that which the Confederates had bargained for four years ago. It was the restoration of stolen goods. It stuck as an odd instance of retributive justice that the transfer of this property should be made by a United States officer in the United States Transfer wagons. The procession was an imposing one, as we think we said, and if we didn't say it, we ought to have said it. Its personal constituents were unexceptionable. The central team carried Governor Brownlow, Secretary Fletcher and Captain Gilpin, and

"A youth to fortune and to fame unknown"

whom modesty forbids us to mention. In addition to this invaluable personal freight there were a large number of boxes of coin, and two boxes of State archives. On one of those sat the plain but decorously garbed Governor, holding a gold-headed cane, and looking placidly down upon the caskets of coin which were his footsteps. He was literally walking the golden street as the reward of his sturdy and inflexible fidelity to the cause of patriotism and good morale He smiled, for he had struck a mine which would make a sensation in the diggings of Arizona. His administration was established on a gold basis, and Tennessee would probably be the first State in the South to resume specie payments.

The modest Secretary sat upon another chest, holding in his hand a red silk handkerchief containing the private correspondence of the rebel State officials, and feeling no doubt much more comfortable than he did during the reign of terror in Greeneville, when Ledbetter's assassins hunted the Union like wild beasts to their places of concealment.

A good deal, perhaps one or two hundred thousand dollars of the Bank fund, has been stolen by the Fisher gang,[8] but under all the circumstances, the people may thank their stars that matters are no worse. The boxes are now all safely and permanently lodged in the Capitol, and their contents will be duly investigated as early as possible.

Macon [Ga] Daily Telegraph, June 11, 1865.


[1] As cited in PQCW.

[2] It is not known if John Forrest was a relative of Nathan Bedford Forrest.

[3] List omitted.

[4] Not found.

[5] List omitted.

[6] See also Nashville Dispatch, June 12, 1863.

[7] Comey, Lyman Richard, ed., A Legacy of Valor: The Memoirs and Letters of Captain Henry Newton Comey, 2nd Massachusetts Infantry, (Knoxville: The University of Tennessee Press, 2004.. [Hereinafter cited as Comey Correspondence.]

[8] Unidentified.


James B. Jones, Jr.

Public Historian

Tennessee Historical Commission

2941 Lebanon Road

Nashville, TN  37214


(615)-532-1549  FAX


No comments: