Sunday, June 14, 2015

6.12.2015 Tennessee Civil War Notes



          12, Cumberland Mountains health resort opens for the season

Beersheba Springs.—This charming and popular watering place has now opened for the season. We take pleasure in recommending our friends throughout the South who intend resorting to a summer retreat, to try Beersheba. It has superior advantages over any other watering place in the South. It is located on a range of the Cumberland mountains, some 2,000 feet above the level of the sea; is easy of access, being near the railroad, and surrounded by the most magnificent, romantic and beautiful scenery we ever beheld.

The Springs are owned by a company of southern gentlemen who have ample means and intend to make it the watering place of the South. Its accommodations are of the most superb order, and they are prepared to entertain seven hundred guests comfortably. The buildings are large, spacious, and have every comfort and convenience that a watering place can furnish. A large number of neat and elegant cottages, and some splendid houses have been erected, which are occupied during the summer. Families will find this an exceedingly healthy, pleasant, convenient and safe retreat.

John E. Hukill, well known all along our river as the popular steward on the old Bulletin, Ben Franklin, John Simonds, and other boats, is the proprietor. In that line he has no superior on the continent. He understands the business thoroughly, and is with all an agreeable, pleasant and popular gentleman. His premier is the polite and attentive W. A. Hurd, well known to most of our readers. Mr. Edward Parsons, a clever and accommodating gentleman, is the agent of the [illegible]. We would say to our friends if they wish to spend the summer pleasantly and enjoy good health, perched upon a lovely brow of the mountains, go to Beersheba.

Memphis Daily Appeal, June 12, 1861.

          12, Report on secession election in Tennessee

THE TENNESSEE ELECTION-We learn from a gentleman who came down from Tennessee on the train Sunday night, that the Secessionists, at the election last Saturday, swept the State by an overwhelming majority for it will go over 100,000. The city of Knoxville, the home of Brownlow and Johnson, went for the Ordinance by a majority. In Chattanooga the vote stood 450 for, and 51 against. No fear whatever that there will be civil war in East Tennessee.-Montg., Confed., 11th.

Daily Columbus Enquirer, June 12, 1861




          12, GENERAL ORDERS, No. 24, relative to picket duty in Memphis

No officer or soldier will be permitted to leave his post on picket or guard.

Straggling or lounging by any guard or picket will be...punished. If the offices do not report [any such parties?] guilty of such offenses, they shall be themselves arrested and punished.

No soldier or officer who pretends to have had property taken from him when arrested from his post and duty, shall have permission to search for the same or have any redress.

G.N. Fitch, Colonel Commanding Brigade

Memphis Union Appeal, July 3, 1862[1]

          12, "Oh! how angry and embittered I felt that day (as I often have before) to see what trouble this vile thing "Secession," has brought upon us!" Federal forces move through McMinnville, excerpt from the War Journal of Lucy Virginia French

....On Thursday last -the 12th, a force of between 4 and 5 thousand Federal, passed us, going into McMinnville....The train occupied about four hours in passing....Throughout the day the troops came to get something to eat-they were very respectful to me when they saw me....Oh! how angry and embittered I felt that day (as I often have before) to see what trouble this vile thing "Secession," has brought upon us! [Emphasis added] One of them told me that, "the South had brought this army with all its consequent troubles upon herself." I said, "If you know anything at all-you know very well that Tennessee never brought this upon us.-She stood firm for the Union that she loved until Lincoln's war proclamation drove her into exile, and rebellion-and now you are here with your armies to drive her back again, I suppose." He sighed-for he seemed very weary, and said "he wished to heaven it could be ended-he wanted to go home." He looked worn, as there was homesickness in his voice as he said it, and I did pity him. I knew that he was the enemy of the South-that he stood before me, an enemy, but I felt sorry for him and it did me good to see him drink the cool milk...with an evident relish. In the evening more cavalry came-rode around the stables, etc. hunting horses, they found none, and went away without molesting anything but the chickens. Late in the evening (as soon as he could get out of town) Darlin'[2] came home-he was as calm as a summer evening-I really wondered at him....Next morning [Saturday] the troops left town-going in the direction of Pikesville-a squad of 8 or 10 returning to Murfreesboro....

War Journal of Lucy Virginia French, June 15, 1862.

          12, A refugee's dream; an excerpt from the diary of Sarah Estes

….We returned to Aunt's that evening and Mr. Estes was so unhappy and dissatisfied with the position he occupied that we determined to try again to get a conveyance to go South. We succeeded in getting a hack, as rough a vehicle as ever was made. I felt very much depressed about leaving my children not being able to hear from them and not hoping to see them in a long time, but although my husband gave me a free choice to follow him or return to them, I thought it my duty to go with him knowing how very miserable he was without me. I felt much distressed and after falling asleep I dreamed that we concluded to remain here and one day when we were in the front hall Aunt Nannie looked down the lane and said there is Cavalry and they have on blue coats, my husband rushed to the door and said, no I suppose not. I saw they were Yankees and caught my brother and beckoned him to run. He ran around the house but they rushed up and saw him trying to escape them and took him and my husband prisoners. My distress was very great, the scene changed. I thought they were already north and I followed them that I was very miserable and the Yankee women laughed at my misery saying they felt no sympathy for a Southerner. I was so unhappy that I woke. I felt as if I had this dream to comfort me and make me willing to go South and about nine o'clock next morning we again said goodbye and started. The roads were very band and we had a rough ride….

* * * *

Estes Diary, June 12, 1862.

          12, The adventures of Major General "Lew" Wallace in the Memphis environs


Camp Bethel, June 13, 1862.

Maj. Gen. H. W. HALLECK, Corinth:

Gen. (Lewis "Lew") Wallace reached railroad station on Memphis and Ohio Railroad, 11 miles from Memphis, on the 12th instant. He reports a great scarcity of water from Bolivar to Somerville; chiefly wheat and corn fields on the way. In some districts no cotton burned, and in others nearly all. He chased a party of cotton-burners several miles; captured some horses and equipments, but no victims. Bridges toward Jackson, probably meaning Humboldt, burned. Road from station to Memphis in running order. Saved a passenger and box car and prevented bridge across Wolf River from being burned. Had sent a handcar to Memphis, and understands there are three locomotives and probably freight cars in Memphis. Was sending his wagons to Memphis for supplies. I am communicating with Bolivar by telegraph. Shall I move my headquarters to Jackson, a more central and convenient point?

JOHN A. McCLERNAND, Maj.-Gen., Comdg.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 17, pt. III, p. 9.

          12, "Wither thou goest;" a newspaper account of a Nashville woman's odyssey to reunite with her wounded husband in Mississippi

War's Cruelties.

At the commencement of this cruel and unnatural war, a young man in Nashville, named Smith, entered the ranks of the Confederate army as a private. He was in his twenty-first year.

By close attention to his duties, gentlemanly bearing and chivalrous deportment, he was soon promoted to a Lieutenancy, and then to a Captaincy. At Fort Donelson his gallantry was so marked that he attracted the notice of his commanding officers, as well as the soldiers of the immediate command to which he was attached. A vacancy occurring, he was elected Major of his regiment.

Previous to the war he had wooed and won the heart of one of the most beautiful and accomplished young ladies of Lebanon, Tennessee--a daughter of Gen. Jasper Ashworth. Though only sixteen years of age, she was married to her soldier lover in January last. He spent but a short time with his lovely bride, when he hastened to join his command, which soon reached Corinth. He joined in deadly conflict with the foe on the bloody foe of Shiloh. While leading and cheering his men, upon that great battle field, he was wounded--first in the leg. Then a shell burst near him striking a tree, a limb of which fell upon and fractured his skull. He was taken from the field senseless and conveyed to Holly Springs.--Here his pathetic calls for Nannie, and his earnest entreaties for her presence, touched the heart of a noble and wealthy lady, Mrs. Alexander, who had the wounded and delirious young soldier carried to her residence, and for weeks nursed him as a mother.

In the meantime his friends resorted to various schemes to advise his anxious bride of his melancholy condition, and his craving to see her. Letter after letter was dispatched through the pickets, addressed to her at Nashville, but no answer--no evidence that they had safely reached their destination--ever came back, for indeed, they did not.

Finally a lady suggested a plan. She procured some fine white cambric, and with her own fair hand penned thereon a few words to the soldier's bride--for he had the sympathy of every lady that learned his situation. This billet was sent to the lines, and carefully sewed to the coat sleeve of a picket, who ventured far out from our own lines, and placed it in the hands of an acquaintance, who conveyed it to Nashville.

Immediately upon its receipt, the young wife, with some friends essayed to pass through the enemy's lines, and was turned back--first at Bridgeport, and then at several other points. She returned to Nashville, but with a true woman's will she determined to see her husband, and therefore tried again. She procured some clothing and a bonnet that was quite common, a shabby old horse, a dilapidated jersey wagon, had her trunk encased in some old planks made up into a shabby box, packed about with straw, got a few bunches of factory thread, and some other things which were piled about the bottom of the jersey; and in company with Capt. Wilcox, a gallant soldier who served throughout the Mexican war and was taken prisoner at Donelson, but had escaped from his custodians and made his way back to Tennessee, and who, on this occasion, was dressed like an old farmer, they moved out--passing through the streets of Nashville with right smart of store goods stuck about the battered wagon.

Patiently they jogged along. The old farmer and his "da'ter" passed dozens of pickets, but no one thought of halting these plain mountain farmer folks, who had been to Nashville to get supplied of factory yarns, indigo-mud, madder, homespun, crockery, &c., &c. In this way they came, till they landed square up in front of Crutchfield's in Chattanooga. Here the anxious young wife met Lieut. Charley Thompson and Billy Stratton, who had been waiting for her arrival many long days. The old boards were soon torn off from the trunk. The hopeful and determined lady arrayed herself in a somewhat different attire, and took the first train for Atlanta, arriving here in time to take the same train upon which we left in making our late Western trip. We made the acquaintance of the party, travelled [sic] with them as far as Grenada, Mississippi. The intelligence and fine travelling sense of the whole party, did much to relieve the annoyances of dirty cars, hot water, sultry dusty weather, &c., &c.

On our return from Memphis, we again met up with Lieut. Thompson, and learned from him the sequel. At 5 o'clock on the morning of the 31st May, this heroic and devoted woman reached Holly Springs. A carriage conveyed the party at an early hour, to the hospitable residence of Mrs. Alexander, where the wounded Colonel, (for he had been brevetted a Colonel for his gallantry at Shiloh), still remained. Mrs. Smith was invited into an elegant parlor and asked to remain a few moments. The Colonel was convalescing, but so reduced and emaciated, as to be entirely changed.

His hair--his beautiful brown hair--was all off from brain fever, but he was able to walk, and wanted to meet his wife in the parlor, and his request was acceded to. Every person had retired. In a moment the Colonel walked in and gazed upon the face of his beautiful wife. She did not recognize him--thought him an intruder upon the sanctity of the exciting moments, and gave him a look of impatience. He attempted to speak to her--their eyes met--she knew him, and overwhelmed with emotion, they both fainted.

Southern Confederacy [Atlanta, Georgia], June 12, 1862. [3]

          12, "The girls were all elated with the 'pomp and circumstance of war,' and called every young man a coward that did not enlist."

Skedaddletown [sic] June 2, 1862.

Mr. Editor: I think it would be a great advantage to the cause which you are so well advocating to re-publish the letter of James Robb,[4] as so few have read it. I took a great deal of pains to read it to many persons, but finally I lost the paper. I should like several copies for distribution. He is evidently a very intelligent and sincere man, an excellent judge of character, and a thorough and observing man of business. The growth of the Great West has been so unparalleled that his statement will astonish almost all of the Southern people. Last year at this time I was very indignant at Lincoln's proclamation, and like all the rest of the South, got into a terrible passion with the Administration. The Slave States are like a band of brothers; one of them a worthless scamp, who the rest all know deserves hanging; but if any one attempts to give him his deserts, they all rush to his assistance and rescue him at the risk of their lives. Before Lincoln's proclamation all were wishing that South Carolina was sunk or annihilated, as she had always been mutinous; but the moment an attempt was made to punish her, the chivalrous South rose in arms to the rescue of the vile member of the family. The fact is Tennessee and Kentucky thought they could walk out of the Union without ever saying to the Government, "by your leave." They ought at least to have shown their gratitude for past favors by bidding a respectful farewell; and even now, after Tennessee has surrendered herself to a superior power that she had not the faintest conception of, she frets, fumes, raves, and blusters, and swears she will never submit. The women (God help them) are worse than the men. They say they would sooner be laid in their graves than live again under the United States administration. Some of them very old, with one foot in the grave, that have lost sons in this unholy war, are ready to sacrifice the remainder; and, with disheveled hair and eyes flashing with fury and vindictiveness, call upon God to curse the Lincolnites with disease, pestilence, and famine; and the girls who used to be called "angels," are now, with rage and disappointment, transformed into fiends. (What a blessed thing it is that there is no possible prospect of their ever being married, to raise children in their degenerated state.) The amiable creatures grind their teeth, clench their fists, and, with those once called "heavenly orbs" flashing with rage and vengeance, say they would like to tear out the hearts of these soldiers, and grind them under their feet. If now, in their youth and beauty, they will descend to such vulgar epithets as they are in the habit of using, and such brutal anathemas, what will they be when they are old maids, as they surely will be, as all the young men that were worth having are prisoners of war or in the army; many have died a sacrifice and martyrs in what they supposed a glorious cause, and their blood calls aloud for vengeance on the heads of the leaders of this calamitous rebellion. [emphasis added] The girls were all elated with the "pomp and circumstance of war," and called every young man a coward that did not enlist. They never took into consideration the chances of their being killed in battle, as they were told that one southern man was equal to twenty Northern men, and that the mere sight of a regiment of Southern men would cause a general stampede of the Yankees. I have no doubt but that the same representations induced many young men who were not very celebrated for courage to encounter the taunts of the brave girls that were so anxious to be men that they might go forth to conquer. A young lady, who was asked by an officer of high rank in the Federal army, if she was a Northern lady, replied in a very pert and insolent manner, that she was a Southern, and always expected to be. He apologized for insulting her, and said that he thought from her looks she was a Northern lady, but as soon as he heard her speak he discovered the "African brogue," and knew that he was mistaken. The officer was afterwards killed in battle. A lady, calling to see her soon afterwards, found her sitting in a deep reverie, and asked her what she was thinking about? I was just thinking whether ______ was in h___. I hope he is. Nearly all of these women (I will not call them ladies), young and old, are members of the Church, and very likely pray that they may be forgiven as they forgive others, thereby calling down a curse upon themselves. Another lady, who was present when the officer was administering the oath to some maimed prisoners who were going home, said if you meet my brothers, tell them to fight for the Southern Confederacy as long as they live; and if you see Morgan, give my love and good wishes for his success, and tell him I would esteem it an honor to kiss his hand.Yours respectfully,

Peter Pindar. [5]

Nashville Daily Union, June 12, 1862.

12, Races at the Nashville Trotting Course canceled by the Provost Marshall

Far in advance of the time appointed for the trot and pace to come off yesterday, quite a large number of turfites [sic] had assembled in the vicinity of the Nashville Trotting Course, anxious, amid the spiritless humor of the times, to participate in the exciting sport thought to be in store for them. But their expectancy, like some deceptive sprite, vanished at the approach of the "liberal hour." It was found that two stately forms, clad in the armor of Uncle Sam, were posted near the entrance gate, and disputed the passage of vehicles and footmen into the enclosure, notwithstanding the pretext was so important. The proprietors, not apprehending any difficulty of this nature, were somewhat chagrinned at the imminent loss of pleasure to their friends, and after exhausting their persuasive faculties upon the guard, sent a messenger to headquarters for the required authority to proceed with the races. The courier was fleet, and soon returned—Colonel Matthews was absent—'no races!' was shouted in the ears of the restless, disappointed crowd—a movement of teams, a few hollow imprecations and desponding gestures, ensued; and soon the piteous scene was presented of a concourse, almost thrilled with the hope of a goodly evening's pastime, suddenly transformed into a drooping caravan, wending their way to town. Courage, sports! The proprietors say, that although piqued at the unexpected failure, they will be on their guard next time, and provide for any emergency.

Nashville Dispatch, June 13, 1862.

          12-13, Scout in Fayette and Hardeman counties (Somerville to Bolivar)

HDQRS. RESERVES, Camp Bethel, June 13, 1862.

Maj. Gen. H. W. HALLECK, Corinth:

Gen. Wallace reached [the] railroad station on Memphis and Ohio Railroad, 11 miles from Memphis, on the 12th instant. He reports a great scarcity of water from Bolivar to Somerville; chiefly wheat and corn fields on the way. In some districts no cotton burned, and in others nearly all. He chased a party of cotton-burners several miles; captured some horses and equipments, but no victims. Bridges toward Jackson, probably meaning Humboldt, burned. Road from station to Memphis in running order. Saved a passenger and box car and prevented bridge across Wolf River from being burned. Had sent a handcar to Memphis, and understands there are three locomotives and probably freight cars in Memphis. Was sending his wagons to Memphis for supplies. I am communicating with Bolivar by telegraph. Shall I move my headquarters to Jackson, a more central and convenient point?

JOHN A. McCLERNAND, Maj.-Gen., Comdg.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 17, pt. II, p. 8.





          12, Scout on Salem Pike

JUNE 12, 1863.-Scouts on Salem Pike, Tenn.


No. 1.-Brig. Gen. John B. Turchin, U. S. Army, commanding Second Cavalry Division, Department of the Cumberland.

No. 2.-Maj. Frank W. Mix, Fourth Michigan Cavalry.

No. 1.

Report of Brig. Gen. John B. Turchin, U. S. Army, commanding Second Cavalry Division, Department of the Cumberland.


SIR: I respectfully report that yesterday, June 12, Lieut.-Col. Haynes, with 200 men of his regiment, the Tenth Ohio Volunteer Cavalry, moved at 10 a. m. on the Middleton road. He drove in the rebel vedettes near the intersection of the new Middleton road with the old stage road, and about a mile farther came upon the rebel picket reserve, about 40 strong. He returned about 3 miles on the same road, and then crossed to the Shelbyville road, striking it about 5 miles from Murfreesborough. He was informed by a black woman that there were three rebel cavalry regiments about 3 miles in rear of their picket reserve. By the various persons he questioned, their force was estimated at from 600 to 800. At the same hour, Maj. Frank Mix, with 240 of his regiment, the Fourth Michigan Cavalry, moved on the Versailles road. He found the rebel vedettes 1 ½ miles this side of Versailles, drove them into and through the town, and found that their force was about 200 of Russell's cavalry. He sent a scout on the Eagleville road 3 miles out, who found no signs of the enemy. He was informed by citizens that there had been no force of any kind there since the First Cavalry Brigade, four days ago, and, from personal examination of the road, he believes this statement.

To-day, at 7 a. m., Lieut.-Col. Sipes, with the Seventh Pennsylvania Volunteer Cavalry, Third Indiana Volunteer Cavalry, and a section of Stokes' battery, moved on the Manchester pike, and at the same hour Col. Nicholas, with the Second Kentucky, on the Wartrace road.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

J. B. TURCHIN, Brig.-Gen., Cmdg. Second Cavalry Division.

No. 2.

Report of Maj. Frank W. Mix, Fourth Michigan Cavalry.

HDQRS. FOURTH MICHIGAN CAVALRY, Murfreesborough, Tenn., June 12, 1863.

SIR: I left my camp at 10 a. m. with 240 men, and moved out on the Salem pike. As soon as I was outside of our cavalry vedettes, I sent out scouts on both of my flanks, also strong advance guards, with flankers. I found no trace of the enemy until I got within 1 ½ miles of Versailles. I drove their pickets into and through Versailles, and found that their force consisted of 200 of [A. A.] Russell's cavalry. I also sent a scout 3 miles out on the Eagleville road, but without finding any of the enemy. I examined the road closely, and I do not think anything has been over it since the First Cavalry Brigade was there.

The citizens informed me that no scout of any kind had been there since that time. I scoured the country thoroughly, and returned to my camp, arriving here at 6 a. m.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

FRANK W. MIX, Maj., Cmdg. Fourth Michigan.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 23, pt. I, pp. 379-380.

          12, Scout on the Eagleville Road [see June 12, 1863, Scout on Salem Pike, above]

          12, "Juvenile Thieves."

We always imagined that tenderness of years was a guarantee of purity of hearts. We never dreamed that there could be a thief until long years of dissipation had scared the conscience, by frequent participation in the vicious amusements of already fallen characters. Much less did we suppose that a confirmed thief could be found in the bright age of childhood. Yet such is the case. For on last Friday two little brothers, the eldest not more than eight years old, came upon a soldier who had fallen asleep under the shade of a tree and robed [sic] him of thirty dollars in money. Their names are Dunn. The eldest these young scamps was among the gang of young rascals who robbed the broker's office mentioned by us some time ago. The young gentleman of the road was arrested but on account of their tender years were discharged. Just think of it, about three years old to start out to be a regular thief. If they are already thieves, what will they be when they grow up to manhood.

Memphis Bulletin, June 12, 1863.

          12, "A Female Warrior."

In ancient times, we are told that there was a nation of women who waged the most bitter and relentless warfare against the surrounding nations. Yet the myth-like story of the Amazons has passed into an "almost dream," and for ages [we know?] of but few women warriors. 'Tis true that Miss. [sic] Jane [illegible, page torn] in her fascinating Scottish Ohio [?] mad infatuation of Lady [illegible, page torn] [W]illiam Wallace; and for the purpose of wining his love, and esteem, she dressed up in the habiliments of the knightly warrior, and in the disguise of the Knight of the Green Plume, followed him to battle and heroically fought by his side. But this too has passed away to the dim history of bygone years, and is now principally thought of as the creation of a wild and romantic nature, rather than a sober reality. Yet we have a tangible reality of a feminine warrior in our mind's eye. The patrol guards were the first to develop the fact. As they were on their rounds yesterday morning, they came upon a youthful looking soldier, having on the stripes of a sergeant. The accosted him and demanded his pass, which of course he could not produce. No being exactly satisfied with the peculiar gait of the young gentleman, and expecting that after all it might after all be a real solider, they arrested him and brought him to the Irving Block where it was ascertained by the confession of the delinquent sergeant that he was not a real sergeant, but a female in sergeant's attire. She said that her friends had dared her to put on the soldier's clothes, which she could not take. That she put them on and started across the street to the house of a friend, when the guards came along and arrested her. She seemed very much embarrassed by the awkward position in which she was placed by her untimely arrest. We did not learn the name of this modern night of the Amazon tribe, and even if we had, we would not publish it. She is now in confinement, whether as a prisoner of war, or a political prisoner, we cannot say – it does not make much difference.

Memphis Bulletin, June 12, 1863.

          12, Complaints about Confederate military attire in Knoxville

A soldier writing to the Knoxville Register, seriously objects to the construction of the army clothing in his department:

"Here we get them partly run and partly whipped up-as coarse as Bull's hide sewed with grapevine-in two or three weeks they rip all to pieces and are gone and then the soldier must draw again, it takes all the poor soldier's money to keep him in clothes. Is that treating him like white folks? [emphasis added]-And here is another abominable thing-the shirt sleeve is left open like a frock sleeve, with no wristbands on it-just like some old nigger wench's shirt.-It is not treating him worse than a nigger? Such a sleeve as that for white folks! [emphasis added]

Macon Daily Telegraph, June 12, 1863

          ca. 12, Confederates capture Union spy Pauline Cushman near Franklin

Shelbyville, June 18th

…Forrest's forces on Friday last [12th] went in pursuit of a woman to whom suspicion had been attached. She had reached the Yankee pickets in front of Franklin when they came in sight, but on they dashed, driving in the Yankees and capturing their "booty." She proved to be a Miss Cushman, a theatre actress, claiming relationship with the celebrated Charlotte, and had upon her person plans and drawings of our fortifications, and the disposition made of the latter. It is said that she was a crinoline scout for McClellan in Virginia, and performed valuable services. Her fine talents are, doubtless, occupied at present time in planning an escape from Columbia, where she is under guard.


Savannah [Georgia] Republican, June 22, 1863.


Forrest's forces on Friday last went in pursuit of a woman to whom suspicion had been attached. She had reached the Yankee pickets in front of Franklin when they came in sight, but on they dashed, driving in the Yankees and capturing their "booty." She proved to be a Miss Cushman, a theatre actress, claiming relationship with the celebrated Charlotte, and had upon her person plans and drawings of our fortifications, and the disposition made of the latter. It is said that she was a crinoline scout for McClellan in Virginia, and performed valuable services. Her fine talents are doubtless occupied at the present time in planning an escape from Columbia, where she is under guard.—Chatta. Rebel.

Weekly Columbus (Georgia) Enquirer, June 30, 1863



Miss Major Pauline Cushman the Federal Scout and Spy.

Among the women of America who have made themselves famous since the opening of the rebellion, few have suffered more, or rendered more service to the Federal cause than Miss Major Pauline Cushman, the female scout and spy. At the commencement of hostilities she resided in Cleveland, Ohio, and was quite well known as a clever actress.

From Cleveland she went to Louisville, where she had an engagement in Wood's Theatre. Here, by her intimacy with certain rebel officers, she incurred the suspicion of being a rebel, and was arrested by the Federal authorities. She indignantly denied that she was a rebel, although born at the South, and having a brother in a rebel Mississippi regiment.

In order to test her love for the old flag, she was asked if she would enter the secret service of the Government. She readily consented, and was at once employed to carry letters between Louisville and Nashville. She was subsequently employed by General Rosecrans, and was for many months with the Army of the Cumberland. She visited the rebel lines time after time, and was thoroughly acquainted with all the country and roads in Tennessee, North Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi, in which section she rendered our armies invaluable service. She was twice suspected of being a spy, and taken prisoner, but managed to escape.

At last, however, she was not so fortunate. After our forces had captured Nashville, Major Cushman made a scout towards Shelbyville to obtain information of the strength and position of the enemy, and while returning to Nashville, was captured on the Hardin pike, eleven miles from the latter city. She was placed on a horse, and, in charge of two scouts, was being taken to Spring Hill, the headquarters of Forrest.

While on the way to this place, she feigned sickness and said she could not travel any further without falling from her horse. Her captors stopped at a house on the roadside, when it was ascertained that a Federal scouting party had passed the place an hour before. Knowing that her guards had important papers for Gen. Bragg, the quick-witted spy seized the fact and schemed to use it to her advantage.

Seeing an old negro [sic], who appeared to commiserate her unfortunate plight, she watched her opportunity and placed ten dollars in Tennessee money in his hand, saying: "run up the road, 'Uncle,' and come back in a few minutes, telling us that four hundred Federals are coming down the street." The faithful negro [sic] obeyed the order literally, and soon came back in the greatest excitement, telling the story. The two "rebs [sic]" told him he lied. The old colored man got down on his knees, saying: "Massa, dey's cumin, sure nuff; de Lord help us, dey is cumin."

The scouts at this believed his story, mounted their horses, and "skedaddled" for the woods. Miss Cushman, seizing a pistol belonging to a wounded soldier in the house, also mounted her horse and fled toward Franklin. She travelled through the rain, and, after nightfall, lost her way. Soon came the challenge of a picket "Who comes there?" Thinking she had reached the rebel line she said: "A friend of Jeff Davis." "All right," was the reply, "advance and give the countersign."

She presented the countersign in the shape of a canteen of whisky. She passed five pickets in this way, but the sixth and last was obdurate. She pleaded that she was going to see a sick uncle at Franklin, but the sentry couldn't see it. Sick and disheartened she turned back. Seeing a light at a farm house she sought shelter. An old man received her kindly, showed her to a room, and said he would awake her at an early hour in the morning, and show her the road to Franklin.

A loud knock awoke her in the morning from her lethean slumbers, and upon arousing, she found her horse saddled, and the two guards from whom she had escaped the previous afternoon. She was taken to the headquarters of Forrest, and he sent her, after a critical examination, to Gen. Bragg. Nothing could be found against her, until a secesh woman stole her gaiters, under the inner sole of which were found important documents which clearly proved her to be a spy.

She was tried and condemned to be executed as a spy, but being sick, her execution was postponed. She finally, after lying in prison three months, sent for Gen. Bragg, and asked him if he had no mercy. She received from him the comforting assurance, that he should make an example of her as soon as she got well enough to be hung decently.

While in this state of suspense the grand army of Rosecrans commenced its forward movement, and one day the rebel town where she was imprisoned, was surprised and captured, and the heroine of this tale was to her great joy released. She is now in this city visiting friends, having arrived at the Biddle House one day last week.-Detroit Tribune.

The Pacific Commercial Advertiser, September 3, 1864.[6]

          12-14, Expedition from Pocahontas[7] to New Albany & Ripley, Mississippi

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 24, pt. II, p. 473.






          12, "The Public Schools;" the fight for public education in Civil War Nashville

After all we have said and written on this subject, we almost despaired of having any schools open for the poor white children of our city; but inasmuch as Councilman Myers has procured the passage of a resolution through the Common Council, referring the subject to the School Committee, we are disposed to hope that something may be done, even at the risk of some people calling them "poor schools," or "ragged schools." The money is contributed by our citizens to educate the poor, not the rich, although the rich are not deprived of the benefits of a free education, if they choose to avail themselves of it. It is therefore, right, and just, that schools could be opened for the poor. There is plenty of money on hand, and large rooms can be obtained to suit temporary purposes. We hope, therefore, the Committee will go to work at once, and without waiting to get possession of the school buildings, prepare to open two or three schools, at the latest by the 1st of September. A heavy responsibility rests upon the Committee and upon the Board of Education, who have been the cause of the downfall of many of our boys, and girls too.

Nashville Dispatch, June 12, 1864.

          12, Aid for loyal East Tennesseans

OFFICE PROVOST-MARSHAL-GEN. OF EAST TENN., Knoxville, Tenn., June 2, 1864.

Brig. Gen. JOSEPH D. WEBSTER, Chief of Staff, Mil. Div. of the Miss., Nashville, Tenn.:

GEN.: I have the honor to forward a petition which has been addressed to me by citizens of East Tennessee. It explains itself. If it is possible for the major-general commanding the Military Division of the Mississippi to render the aid asked for I would add my voice to theirs in urging the necessity of giving relief speedily. If two or three of the East Tennessee cavalry regiments now in Middle Tennessee could be sent to this section of the State they would be able to secure the people of the upper counties from guerrillas and other lawless bands, and enable them to gather in their harvests and care for their growing crops of corn. In no part of the Union have the people been more sorely tried or made greater sacrifices for the Government than have the East Tennesseeans [sic], and it is certainly due to them that every possible protection should be given by the authorities. If, as I hope, action can be taken in favor of these loyal and long-suffering people it should not be delayed. It may be proper to state that I knew nothing of the petition referred to until it was handed me to-day. If the prayer of the petitioners cannot be granted at headquarters, I request, if not deemed improper, that the petition be sent to the President.

I am, general, respectfully, your obedient servant,

S. P. CARTER, Brig. Gen. and Provost-Marshal-Gen. of East Tennessee.

[First indorsement.]


There being no troops at disposal of these headquarters for the purpose herein mentioned, this petition is, agreeably to the request of Brig.-Gen. Carter, respectfully forwarded to the President of the United States.

By order of Maj.-Gen. Sherman:

J. D. WEBSTER, Brig.-Gen.

(In absence of the Maj.-Gen.)

[Second indorsement.]

ADJUTANT-GEN.'S OFFICE, June 21, 1864.

Respectfully submitted to the Secretary of War.

W. A. NICHOLS, Assistant Adjutant-Gen.


KNOXVILLE, TENN., May 28, 1864.

Gen. S. P. CARTER:

DEAR SIR: We, the undersigned petitioners, would most humbly call your attention to the condition of things in the upper counties of East Tennessee. As the harvest is now fast approaching and no help to reap or take care of the grain, and there being but little corn planted this spring, in God's name, what will the people of that section do, should they receive no aid from the Federal Government, and the rebels are permitted to reap and take what grain is now growing? What will become of the mothers, wives, sisters, and children of the many soldiers and refugees that are now away from home? [emphasis added]To whom should they look for protection but the Government of the United States, in whose service many that are near and dear have fallen away from home and loved ones there? And by their loyalty to that Government they are now suffering by the tyrannical rule of rebeldom, and have been for the last three years. Is there no balm to soothe the wounded heart? Is there no physician to alleviate the aching pain?

To you, general, we make this last appeal, trusting and hoping that through your influence as a Tennessean, you may be enabled to send a force sufficient, in those upper counties, to drive off the few guerrillas that are now holding that country. Will you not them use all your influence in our behalf? Letters are received here daily from those loyal women who still remain at home, almost heartbroken, praying that the Federals may send them protection and relieve them of their awful sufferings. [emphasis added] We therefore humbly pray and ask the Government through you, general, to do something for those who have given up all that was near and dear to them on earth, to fight, bleed, and die for the glorious cause of the Union. Believing, as we do, in the Christian people of the United States, they will, they must, soon give us aid and relief. Then, general, to you we look for the relief so much desired. And in the name of Heaven and of Christ, who died for us all, will you not do all you can, and that soon? Hoping and believing that you will, we subscribe our names to this position.


OR, Ser. Vol. 39, pt. II, pp. 74-76.

          12, Seeking relief from guerrillas in East Tennessee

Knoxville Tenn. June 12th 1864

Gov. A. Johnson

Nashville, Tenn.

Dear Sir: - We a portion of the loyal Citizens of Upper East Tennessee, who have heretofore been your personal and political friends, and who have known you from your first advent into political life, and supported you through all of the hard struggles you have had, to the present time, and now when the time of all other times has arrived – when the Sons, Fathers & Brothers of all those who in times passed, have done all they could to elevate you to what you now are, - What should those same friends expect of you when all that is near and dear to them are suffering from oppression? And not a single instance is noted in which you have ever made an effort to releave [sic] us, When [sic] we know full well that you have had, and now possess an influence that if exerted at all on your par, would have long since [sic] been to our advantage.

But instead of this how are the men and regiments that was [sic] raised for the express purpose to protect the upper Counties of East Tennessee been treated. Where are they now? They are guarding the rebel [sic] property of Middle Tennessee. While their families are now exposed to the Rebels, and suffering from their tyrannical rule – being robed [sic] & murdered daily by them. When a few regiments that you could easily spare would most certainly give the releaf [sic] they so much desire.

And now Governor as you have been nominated for the Vice Presidency with Mr. Lincoln for whom all in our State would proberly [sic] vote with pleasure. We therefore take the liberty to inform your that unless you do send us aid and assistance and that soon, Your [sic] name will be sticten [sic] from thousands of tickets in this end of the State. We also furnish a Copy of this letter to the Chicago Times for publication. For as we said before, we cannot see what you [sic] have done for our once happy Country. IF this e fully shown which it can be, you must blame yourself for the Mortification that you will experience from it,

Many Many Very Many

Voters of Upper East Tenn.

Papers of Andrew Johnson, Vol. 6, p. 734.

          12, 18, The Mayor and the General – Political/Martial Affairs in Memphis


June 12, 1864

Memphis, Tenn., June 12, 1864

Major-General C. C. Washburne:

Sir – It is circulated upon the streets, to my prejudice as a candidate for Mayor, by aspirants and their friends for the same office, that in the event I should be re-elected, the military would take charge of the municipal department of Memphis. This by some is believed, and to my great injury.

To satisfy my friends, I would be pleased to know if any such intention is entertained by you.

Most respectfully,

John Park.


Headquarters Dist. of West Tennessee,

Memphis, Tenn., June 18, 1864.

John Park, Esq., Mayor of Memphis:

Sir – Your letter of this date is this moment received, in which you inquire if it is the "intention of the military authorities to take charge of the municipal government of Memphis in case your are re-elected Mayor;" I answer, unhesitatingly that such is the "intention."

The disloyal character of the present city government, as well as its utter inefficiency in the management of city affairs, compels me to this declaration. [emphasis added]

I hope that the citizens of Memphis, by electing a ticket friendly to the government of the United States, will relieve me from the duty of interfering; but of this I am determined, that while I command here, there shall be no hostile municipal government within my jurisdiction.

I find on that on the second day of July, 1861, you delivered you inaugural message as Mayor of Memphis. I recall the following extract from it, viz.:

"For years a fanatical party has been growing in the North - a party that declares for itself a law higher than the constitution, or even the word of God – combining in its elements republicanism, abolitionism, free-loveism [sic], atheism, with every other abominable ism [sic] that strikes at the organization of society or the existence of free constitutional government.

"This fanatical party, as you know, succeeded at the last Presidential election, in placing the chair of Washington, Mr. Abe Lincoln, the man who promulgated the irrepressible conflict doctrine - a doctrine so utterly at war with all the best interests of the South, that when its author was placed in power, upon a platform fully endorsing his doctrine, and with evident determination upon his part to carry out his doctrine to the full extend, there was no alternative left or the South but to withdraw from a Union that, instead of affording peace and protection, as was originally contemplated, was to be used as a means of destroying all that was valuable to the South.

"Had the administration at Washington fully comprehended the state of the country and its duties, war with all its horrors might have been averted. But the head of that administration had avowed his purpose of planting his foot firmly, and on assuming the reins of government, seemed to be controlled alone by his 'higher laws' doctrine; disregarding all constitutional constraints, he set himself up as a military dictator, whose arbitrary rule was more to be feared than that of any of the monarch of Europe.

"Against the administration of this tyrant the South rebelled. They did right. The southern people would have been unworthy of the name of freemen had they submitted to Lincoln's administration, after his purposes were fully developed."

While I have understood that you have taken the oath of allegiance, it is believed, that notwithstanding, you have never repented of any of your sins against the government of the United States. [emphasis added] This last would be a sufficient reason for the interposition of the military authorities, but the disloyal and inefficient character of the [municipal] government of which you are head, furnished reasons that are over-powering.

Respectfully yours,

C. C. Washburne, Major-General Commanding

Rebellion Record, Vol. 11, p. 591




          12, Mrs. Colonel Canfield and the African-American Orphans' Asylum in Memphis


Memphis, Tenn., June 12, 1865.

Eds. Herald:

In your paper of the 24th ult. I saw a short notice of the "Colored Orphan Asylum" of this city, with a slight reference to a Mrs. Col.  Canfield. Having been stationed at this place for several months, I have been able to watch the progress of this Asylum, and in some measure to estimate its value. Some of her friends here have repeatedly urged upon Mrs. Canfield the propriety of bringing her work more prominently before the public and asking means to extend it, but she has always shrunk from such publicity.

In a few short months under the wise and loving care of Mrs. Canfield, the Asylum grew from nothing to be one of the "institutions" of the city. Hundreds of poor, neglected and starving orphans have been rescued and cared for. A large proportion of them are the children of negro soldiers who have died in the defence of the government, and as such, have claims upon the loyal benevolence of the North. They are fed, clothed, housed and taught. Suitable homes have been found for very many. Hardly a day passes that there are not applications from people, to take these children to bring up, but a wise discrimination has obliged those having them in charge to say "no" in many instances.

I can assure the benevolent minded that there is no charity more deserving of their aid than this, and that no wiser, safer hands could it be entrusted than to Mrs. Canfield. Hoping that she will receive substantial aid which shall enable her to put the Asylum on a secure and permanent basis and extend its usefulness.

I am her friend and your obedient servant,

[for?] U. S. San. Commission

Daily Cleveland Herald, June 15, 1865.

          12 and 26, Difficulties with providing transportation for returning Confederate soldiers

HDQRS. DISTRICT OF WEST TENNESSEE, Memphis, Tenn., June 12, 1865.

Col. T. S. BOWERS, Assistant Adjutant-Gen., Washington, D. C.:

Under the ruling of Attorney-Gen. Speed paroled prisoners of war cannot return to their former homes in the loyal States. The paroles of the men, however, make no exceptions, and they think they are entitled to go to their homes by the terms of the surrender of the rebel armies. Many of them arrive at this point daily, destitute, expecting to go to Missouri, Kentucky and elsewhere, and have been told by officers that transportation would be furnished by the Government. While it is true that they are not entitled to transportation or subsistence by the Government, yet I would respectfully submit the question if it would not be better to send them home than they should be allowed to encumber and depredate upon the community, which their destitute condition will compel them to do it not assisted. It is true they might be billeted on the people here-rebel sympathizers, if you please-but this would not be just, as nearly all have complied with the conditions imposed by government. I respectfully ask if all who are not excepted in the late proclamation who desire to go to the loyal States may not be permitted to do so by taking the oath of allegiance, and the Quartermaster's Department furnish transportation for those who are destitute.

The policy or regulations for the changed condition of the negro [sic] should be taken into serious consideration. The most serious difficulty is compensation for his services. This necessarily must be left discretionary with the employer, but something should be done by which the employer can be protected as well as the employe. This in time will regulate itself, but in the present embryo state of the negro, most of whom think freedom means that they are no longer required to work and have a right to appropriate to themselves all they can get, I would respectfully suggest that all contracts for labor at present be made on the part of the negro by the superintendent of freedmen, whose duty it would be to protect both parties.

Respectfully, &c.,

JNO. E. SMITH, Brevet Maj.-Gen.



Respectfully returned.

So much of this communication as relates to freedom has since referred to Gen. Howard, Commissioner of the Bureau of Freedmen, &c.

Under the agreement made by Gen. Canby, paroled prisoners of war are entitled to transportation to the nearest practicable points to their homes, and you are authorized and directed to furnish them transportation accordingly.

By command of Lieut.-Gen. Grant:

T. S. BOWERS, Assistant Adjutant-Gen.

OR, Ser. II, Vol. 8, p. 651.


[1] Not referenced in OR. The date July 3 is a month after the June 11 order was posted. It was found in the July 3rd .

[2] Her pet name for her husband.

[3] As cited in:

[4] Not identified.

[5] John Wolcot (9 May 1738 – 14 January 1819) was an English satirist, who wrote under the pseudonym of "Peter Pindar."

[6].Published in Honolulu, Hawaii. As cited in: See also: New Hampshire Sentinel, June 9, 1864.

[7] There are two locations with the name Pocahontas in Tennessee, one in Coffee County, a small unincorporated community, and the other in West Tennessee, in Hardeman County. Here the reference is to West Tennessee. All action took place in Mississippi, but the mission originated in Tennessee.


James B. Jones, Jr.

Public Historian

Tennessee Historical Commission

2941 Lebanon Road

Nashville, TN  37214


(615)-532-1549  FAX


No comments: