Friday, June 19, 2015


Comments? James B.




          19, A trip from Jackson to the Confederate camp of instruction at Union City

Went to Camp Brown (Union City) to see our volunteers, had a tiresome time of it. A long train, constant stopping, going and coming.

Robert H. Cartmell Diary.

          19, William Howard Russell departs Memphis for Columbus, Kentucky, via Troy and Union City, Tennessee

* * * *

By the time I had arrived at the [train] station my clothes were covered with a fine alluvial deposit in a state of powder; the platform was crowded with volunteers moving off for the wars, and I was obliged to take my place in a carriage full of Confederate officers and soldiers who had a large supply of whiskey, which at that early hour they were consuming as a prophylactic against the influence of the morning dews, which hereabouts are of such a deadly character that, to one quite safe from their influence, it appears to be necessary, judging from the examples of my companions, to get as nearly drunk as possible. Whiskey, by-the-by, is also a sovereign specific against the bites of rattle-snakes. All the dews of the Mississippi and the rattle-snakes of the prairie might have spent their force or venom in vain on my companions before we had got as far as Union City.

* * * *

Whatever may be the normal comforts of American railway cars, they are certainly most unpleasant conveyances when the war spirit is abroad, and the heat of the day, which was excessive, did not contribute to diminish the annoyance of foul air – the order of whiskey, tobacco, and the like, combined with the innumerable flies. At Humbolt [sic], which is eighty-two miles away, there was a change of cars, and an opportunity of obtaining some refreshment, -the station was crowded by great numbers of men and women dressed in their best, who were making holiday in order to visit Union City, forty-six miles distant, where a force of Tennessean and Mississippi regiments are encamped. The ladies boldly advanced into carriages which were quite full, and as they looked quite prepared to sit down on the occupants of the seats if they did not move, and to destroy them with all-absorbing articles of feminine warfare, either defensive or aggressive, and crush them with iron-bound crinolines, they soon drove us out into the broiling sun.

* * * *

The portion of Tennessee through which the rail runs is exceedingly uninteresting, and looks unhealthy, the clearings occur at long intervals in the forest, and the unwholesome population, who came out of their low shanties, situated amidst blackened stumps of trees or fields of Indian corn, did not seem prosperous or comfortable. The twists and curves of the rail, through cane brakes and swamps exceeded in that respect any line I have ever traveled on; but the vertical irregularities of the rail were still greater, and the engine bound as if it were at sea.

* * * *

The city of Troy [Obion County] was still simpler in architecture than the Grecian capitol. The Dardanian towers were represented by a timber-house, in the veranda of which the American Helen was seated, in the shape of an old woman smoking a pipe, and she certainly could have set the Palace of Priam on fire much more readily than her prototype. Four sheds, three log huts, a saw-mill, about twenty negroes [sic] sitting on a wood-pile, and looking at the train constituted the rest of the place, which was certainly too new for one to say, Troja Fuit, whilst the general "fixins" would scarcely authorize us to say with any confidence, "Troja fuerit."

The train from Troy passed through a cypress swamp, over which the engine rattled, and hopped at a perilous rate along high trestle work, till forty-six miles from Humbolt [sic] we came to Union City, which was apparently formed by aggregated meetings of discontented shaving that had traveled out of the forest hard by. But a little beyond it was the Confederate camp, which so many citizens and citizenesses [sic] had come out into the wilderness to see; and a general descent was make upon the place whilst the volunteers came swarming out of their tents to meet their friends. It was interesting to observe the affectionate greetings between the young soldiers, mothers, wives and sweethearts, and as a display of the force and earnestness of the Southern people – the camp itself containing thousands of men, many of whom were members of the first families in the State – was specially significant.

There is no appearance of military order or discipline about the; camps, though they were guarded by sentries and cannon, and implements of war and soldiers' accoutrements were abundant. Some of the sentinels carried their firelocks under their arms like umbrellas, others carried the but [sic] over the shoulder and the muzzle downwards, and one for his greater ease had stuck the bayonet of his firelock into the ground, and was leaning his elbow on the stock with his chin on his hand, whilst sybarites less ingenious, had simply deposited their muskets against the trees, and were lying down reading newspapers. Their arms and uniforms were of different descriptions – sporting rifles, fowling pieces, flint muskets, smooth bores, long and short barrels, new Enfields, and the like; but the men, nevertheless, were undoubtedly material for excellent soldiers. There were some few boys, too young to carry arms, although the zeal and ardor of such lads cannot but have good effect, if they behave well in action.

The great attraction of this train lay in a vast supply of stores, with which several large vans were closely packed, and for fully two hours the train was delayed, whilst hampers of wine, spirits, vegetables, fruit, meat, groceries, and all the various articles acceptable to soldiers living under canvas were disgorged on the platform, and carried away by the expectant military.

I was pleased to observe the perfect confidence that was felt in the honesty of the men. The railway servants simply deposited each article as it came out on the platform – the men came up, read the address, and carried it way, or left it, as the case might be; and only in one instance did I see a scramble, which was certainly quite justifiable, for, in handing out a large basket the bottom gave way, and out tumbled onions. Apples, and potatoes among the soldier, who stuffed their pockets and haversacks with the unexpected bounty. One young fellow, who was handed a large wicker-covered jar from the van, having shaken it, and gratified his ear by the pleasant jungle inside, retired to the roadside, drew the cork, and, Raising it slowly to his mouth, proceeded to take a good pull at the contents, to the envy of his comrades; the pleasant expression upon his face rapidly vanished, and spurting out the fluid with a hideous grimace, he exclaimed, "D___; why, if the old woman has not gone and sent me a gallon of syrup." The matter was evidently considered too serious to joke about, for not a soul in the crowd even smiled; but they walked away from the man, who, putting down the jar, seemed in doubt as to whether he would take it away or not.

* * * *

At last we started from Union City….

Russell, My Diary.


          ca. June 19- ca. August 27, Federal presence at Battle Creek: swimming and fortifications; the "Belle of Battle Creek;" intermittent combat prior to the skirmish at Fort McCook on Battle Creek, August 27, 1862

Soon after the arrival of General Buell….Colonel Sill was near the mouth of Battle Creek, not far from Jasper, Tenn.

General McCook's troops were ordered to that point and soon quite an army was congregated there and we were temporarily placed in his command. It was not long, however, until Colonel Sill, having been promoted to a brigadier generalship, was transferred to another command and Colonel Len A. Harris, 2d O. V. I., took charge of the old ninth brigade.

The road leading to our camps from Jasper ran along the bank Battle Creek, a small sluggish stream which flowed at the foot of the mountains until it emerged into a cove and emptied into the Tennessee. This road had to be picketed and our regiment was thrown out on it a mile or more from the general camp and went into regular quarters, where we established quite a trade with citizens in blackberries, roasting ears, etc. We had numerous false alarms and I have a painful recollection of a lively game of poker being broken up one morning about 2 a. m. by information from head quarters that the enemy was advancing on us and we were ordered to fall back immediately on the main force. In the hurry and confusion which followed a pocketbook which had frequently been called upon in the progress of the game, but still containing some forty dollars, which was being held as a reserve, was lost. The alarm proved false, but a thorough search of the camp on the next morning failed to recover the missing property, in all probability it having fallen into the hands of the citizens who were busily searching the camp almost as soon as we had left it. After that we remained with the man force and enjoyed ourselves as best we might in the hot summer weather which was then upon us. It was not too hot though for a proper observance of the 4th of July and a full supply of patriotism in bottles and kegs being received about that time by the sutler of the 24th Illinois and through the kind hospitality of the gallant Colonel Mihalotzy, who afterward fell at Buzzard Roost, the privilege of sharing it being extended to a favored few, the forenoon of that day was most patriotically celebrated. As to the afternoon my recollection is not so distinct.

But it was not all play there and the troops were kept busily at work in building a fort, which was afterward to prove of doubtful benefit. It was built on the side of the mountain, not far from the Tennessee river and name for our commander "Fort McCook."

About that time a force of the enemy established a camp on the south bank of the river, but by mutual understanding there were no hostilities, and the men of both sides mingled in the most friendly manner. They bathed on the opposite sides of the river at the same hours and frequently some daring spirit would swim across and enjoy the society of his enemies for a short time and was always allowed to return without injury or opposition. But this friendly spirit was not always to continue-mischief was brewing and, although we of the rank and file were kept in ignorance, there was no mistaking that important movements were in progress. One command after another was ordered away until the old brigade was all that was left of the large force which had been congregated there. Soon the greater part of that was taken and the only Union troops on the ground were Colonels Harris with his staff, a small detachment of the 4th Ohio cavalry and the 33d regiment O. V. I.

Our friends on the opposite side of the river were no longer to be seen in force and the swimming frolics were entirely broken up. We remained there for a week or more foraging on the country and having, as we thought, quite a picnic. To be sure there was not quite enough of the lady [sic] element to make it a very enjoyable one, yet we were not entirely unprovided for in that line, for the daughter of a family living almost in the camp soon became a great favorite and her society was quite a solace for the lonely soldier boys.

A true type of the native Tennesseean [sic], her blond locks and strawberry complexion added to the grace in which she handled a snuff stick, would have attracted attention anywhere, but in a community like ours in which there were no rivals and where her charms alone held sway, it was little wonder that she was the "Belle of Battle Creek," and that every soldier from the stern commander to the most bashful private, was her devoted admirer. So long as the main army was there her lot, in a feminine point of view, was a most enviable one, for all sought to gain favor in her eyes and the strongest coffee, sweetest roasting ears and choices bits of bacon were always at her command. But the old experience of "I never loved a tree nor flower" was soon to be hers and as her lovers were marched off by platoons, companies and regiments, she must have felt miserable indeed and the snapping of heart strings was no doubt terrible.

But she adapted herself to circnstances [sic]. When the number of her lovers was reduced to four or five hundred she smiled on them just as pleasantly as when they were that many thousands. Her ideas of rank could not have been very distinct for the company cook and company commander were alike favored and the captain, with his glittering shoulder straps, as he proudly marched at the head of his company, was no more to her than the corporal, with his modest chevrons, who brought up the rear.

Love and war are closely allied. We were having lots of one but very little of the other, [emphasis added] and soon there was to be an evening [sic] up. It so happened that our foraging party one day ran across a few rebel cavalrymen on our side of the river, who soon make known that their intentions were not as friendly as in the swimming days, and a brisk skirmish was the result, during which the enemy returned to their own territory with the loss of one man. The mere fact of their being on the north side of the river showed that they were growing bolder and more confident and arrangements were quickly made for our protection in case of attack. The regiment was sent out in companies to picket the various roads and fords, while the regimental field and staff, with "A" company remained in the camp immediately without the fort. Although a night attack was expected it passed without incident and we slept undisturbed except by the voices of the sentinels as they announced the hour and proclaimed that "All's well." At early dawn the various pickets were visited, who reported all quiet on their front with the exception of the one at the ford of Battle Creek, where Captain (now Judge) Minshal was in command. Movements of the enemy had been heard in his front during the night and it was thought that an attack if made at all, would commence at that point. The morning, which was bright and hot, passed without incident, until about the noon hour, when while seated in the open air at my mess chest, eating dinner, I chanced to look across the river and saw some persons pulling the bushes aside and peering through them. The cook's attention was drawn to it, but we decided it was of no special moment and went on with the meal. Had we known then what we knew afterward, that we had been left there as a corps of observation, while the entire army was being withdrawn from that section of the country, we might have been a little more uneasy. Such was really the case and we were the only Union troops on the south side of the Cumberland mountains, while on the other side everything was in confusion and doubt as to where General Bragg was to make his first appearance. But of all this we were ignorant and in the calm mood in which one usually feels after a hearty dinner, I sauntered slowly to the headquarters tent in which the colonel and chaplain said busily engaged in writing. But this serenity was short lived, for before I reached there b-a-n-g [sic] went a gun and w-h-i-z-z came a shell.

Waddle, Three Years, pp. 20-23.[1]


Confederate view of the battle at Battle Creek; a letter to editor of the Macon, Georgia, Telegraph,

from the Jackson Artillery camp at Battle Creek, Tenn.

From Tennessee.

Battle Creek, Sept. 3d, 1862

Editor Telegraph: Dear Sir – Having a few leisure moments, the first in many days, I cannot refrain from giving you an account of the part this company has taken in the recent fight at Battle Creek and Stevenson. On the morning of the 27th August, while in camp at Nickajack Cave, we received orders to proceed without delay to Alley's Ferry, situated immediately opposite Battle Creek, a distance of six miles from our camp. In a few moments we got ready and commenced our march, arriving there at 10 o'clock .After betting our guns inn position, Lieut.  Holtzelaw opened upon the fortifications of the enemy with a 24-pounder rifle gun. This was a signal for us to open our smaller guns, under command of Lieutenants Massenburg and Greer, which I assure you they did with a vim.

The firing continued through the day and night until 12 o'clock, when the enemy, finding that they could hold out no longer, made a "strategic move" by "changing their base" or in other words, "skedaddled." Lieut.  Messenburg early next morning found a skiff and endeavored to cross the river, but when about two thirds across his boat sunk, having him to swing to the opposite shore, which he did amidst the cheering of our boys; on reaching terra firma, he at once took possession of the Federal camp. He deserves great credit for his coolness and self-possession. He was almost immediately joined by Lieut. Holtzelaw, who swam to the opposite shore. The latter has been highly complimented by the General in command for the management of his twenty four pound gun. Lieut.  Greer did immense damage to the enemy, and handled his section with great skill. His position was a good one, and he made every shot tell. Have you, Mr. Editor, ever seen a camp after its being evacuated? If not, I hardly think I can describe one.  I have never witnessed such utter confusion, which proved, however, beneficial to our men, for in a few hours they were all strutting about in Yankee clothing, knapsacks, &c., &c.

The captured property amounts to at least twenty-five thousand dollars. Their loss is reported to be four killed and seven wounded, and, strange to say, no casualties on our side.

On the morning of the 211st we again received orders to push to Stevenson [AL] fifteen miles from Battle Creek….


Daily Morning News, (Savannah, GA), September 8, 1862.[2]

S. B. MAXEY, Brig. Gen., CSA, report of fighting at Battle Creek


Early in the morning I ordered Capt. P. H. Rice, commanding Company A, [J. R.] Howard's battalion Georgia and Alabama cavalry, to ford the Tennessee River about 2½ miles below Bridgeport, and cautiously approach that place and attack the enemy. Capt. Rice found, however, that the enemy had precipitately evacuated the night before. This being communicated to me, I ordered the Thirty-second Alabama Regt. of Infantry, Col. [A.] McKinstry, which was concealed on the bank of the river, to cross. Capt. Rice was in the mean time ordered to throw his cavalry well out on the Battle Creek and Stevenson roads. Scarcely had the Thirty-second crossed when the cavalry reported enemy's infantry and cavalry approaching in force, the truth of which was made apparent from the clouds of dust in the roads. I immediately ordered the Thirty-second to be formed in line of battle near the crest of the hill in the town, and in a few moments the enemy's cavalry (Fourth Ohio and one other, name not known) dashed up in full speed, and were permitted to come within less than 50 yards of the infantry before a gun was fired, when a galling fire was poured into them and they retreated in great confusion. In a short time clouds of dust warned me of the enemy's approach on our left, and to meet it I had the front of the left wing changed forward in time to receive another dash of cavalry, which was again thrown in confusion by another volley more effective than the first, and he again retreated but reformed, and by the dust I soon saw he was approaching the center. A company of the Thirty-second Alabama, armed with the Enfield rifle, commanded by Lieut. [A.] Sellers, was placed in the center in ambush, and as the enemy came up the hill in very close range this company arose and delivered its deadly fire simultaneously with the wings (separated for cover), and this time they broke and fled in perfect confusion. While this portion of the fight was going on my batteries, consisting of Capt. [S. L.] Freeman's {Tennessee] and Capt. [G. A.] Dure's [Georgia] artillery and one 24-pounder rifle gun, opened out (by previous agreement on the enemy's works at the mounth of Battle Creek, about 5 miles distant up the river, and continued incessantly during the entire day.) The heavy columns of dust bearing toward Stevenson from the enemy's camps around there showed a general commotion. At night I ordered the battery commanders to keep the fire up, believing the enemy, if properly managed, would evacuate before day.

At about 2 o'clock in the morning the work was abandoned in great confusion, the enemy burning most of his commissary stores, but leaving in our possession some $30,000 worth of valuable property, embracing some commissary stores, ordnance stores, quartermaster's stores, clothing, all his tents, 32 horses and 4 mules, a few wagons and ambulances, and some few medicines, and a splendid case of surgical instruments, besides some sutler's stores, a number of officers' trunks, many of the post commander's papers, and some very valuable maps.


Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

S. B. MAXEY, Brig. Gen., Cmdg.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 16,, pt. I, pp., 889-890.


          19, Forage expedition to Reynold's Station on the Nashville and Decatur Railroad

HDQRS. ARMY OF THE OHIO, Near Florence, June 19, 1862.

Col. E. M. McCOOK, Cmdg. Second Indiana Cavalry:

COL.: Gen. Buell directs that you proceed to-morrow morning in charge of a wagon train to Reynolds' Station, a point on the Nashville and Decatur Railroad 10 miles north of Pulaski and about 23 miles south of Columbia. The object is to get rations and forage at that point and transport the same to Athens, Ala.

Capt. Smith, assistant quartermaster, is directed to go as quartermaster of the train, and will report to you in that capacity.

The train will consist of about 200 wagons. It is understood that there are troublesome bodies of the enemy's cavalry in the country over which you will move; you must therefore take two of your battalions, and will at all times take all military precautions for the protection of the train and your troops. You will continue to move with trains to and fro between Athens and Reynolds.' In moving to-morrow you must get two competent guides and not mistake the route. Move by the shortest and best road. It is through the road by Lawrenceburg is the best, but of his you must inform yourself. See that no time is the best, but of this you must inform yourself. See that no time is lost in moving to and fro with the trains between Reynolds' and Athens.

Report by letter to these headquarters from time to time.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JAMES B. FRY, Col. and Chief of Staff.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 16, pt. II, pp. 38-39.

          19, Skirmish, Maynardville environs

KNOXVILLE, TENN., June 20, 1862.

Capt. W. P. OWEN, Cmdg. Cavalry Company [CS]:

CAPT.: Your report of skirmish with the enemy and capture of prisoners, dated yesterday, has been received.[3] It having been stated to the commanding general that you had quit Maynardville, and no report having been from you, a note was last evening addressed to you upon the subject. It now appears that you had gone out to feel the enemy, which was right, and the major-general commanding directs me to say that if you always act with such promptness and energy you will soon achieve a reputation for yourself.

A wagon train with supplies was sent up to Maynardville yesterday. If the point of which you speak is more suitable for a depot you are authorized to place the stores at that place.

Maj. Harper's command of cavalry will be at Maynardville to-day.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


OR, Ser. I, Vol. 16, pt. II, p. 693.

          19, GENERAL ORDERS, No. 7, relative to prohibition of beer sales in Memphis

Drunkenness upon the streets has become so common that it is a disgrace to the army now occupying the city.

Hereafter the sale of ale and larger beer is prohibited, and the Provost Guard is instructed to arrest all persons guilty of a violation of this order.

James R. Slack, Provost Marshal

Memphis Daily Union Appeal, July 4, 1862.

          19, Major-General William T. Sherman reports on pace of railroad repair, Moscow to Memphis


Gen. HALLECK, Corinth, Miss.:

Bridges as far as Moscow will be done to-morrow night. I think Grand Junction should be occupied by a small force detached from Bolivar, and that my forces be limited from Moscow to Memphis, in which case I would leave some small guards along the road and take post with my whole force at some point about 25 miles east of Memphis and 4 or 5 miles south of the railroad, commanding Holly Springs on the one hand and Hernando on the other. I will send an expedition to Hernando and break that road at some point south of Hernando, so as to prevent an attempt to run a superior force by cars between me and Memphis. We have provisions on hand to include the 30th instant, and I can easily send into Memphis and have a supply come count and meet me in season. The breaks west of Moscow are all trivial and we can repair as fast as we march, viz.,:., 10 miles a day.

W. T. SHERMAN, Maj.-Gen.

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

          19, "All their Tents [sic] were left but cut to pieces." Letter of John A. Ritter, 49th Indiana Volunteers

June 19, 1862 from Cumberland Gap, Tenn.

Cumberland Gap, Tenesee [sic]

June 19, 1862

Dear Margarett,

I take up this verry [sic] earlyest [sic] opportunity to write to you. I last wrote to you from Pine Mountain or Boston. The little slip was writtn [sic] at the foot of Pine Mountain, Ky. Since then we have done some hard walkin [sic] & Running [sic] not from the Enemy but to find him. We stopt [sic] last night after being being on the march thirty hours, a good ______[?] of the time on force March. We marched thirty Eight miles from two hours by Sun in the evening of the 17th to dark last night trying to Bag [sic] the Rebbels [sic] but they were to fleet footed for us. We Climed [sic] the Pine and Cumberland mountain a place that they thought imposible to be passed with trains or Artilery [sic] and was trying to get in their rear. They left the Gap at 8 o'clock 18th. We took posesion [sic] of the gap. We came up to it in the Rear[sic]. One Battery [sic] & a Reg[iment]. Went [sic] up and fired the cannon last Evening. The doore [sic] is now open to East Tenesee [sic]. The enemy retreated to Morristown [sic]. But if they would not stand a fight at Cumberland Gap they cannot stand any wheare [sic].

We crossed the Cumberland Mountains about 25 miles below the gap or West of the gap at a place called Big creek gap [sic]. This Big Creek Gap is one of the grandest scenes that I ever saw. We crossed a spur of the mountain, desended [sic] a very steep hill to a creek. This creek cuts through the mountain in a narrow gap with solid rock to an enormous hight [sic] on either side of the gorge. Gen. Spears [Brigade?] was [posted?] first at this gap where he had a little skirmish with the Reb [sic] Caverlary [sic] in which the Rebs [sic] lost 3 horses, two men, 8 guns, 3 _____?, one prisner. [sic] This was all the obsticles [sic] that we met to dispute our march in to East Tenesee [sic] Except [sic] those formed by nature. We took our waggons [sic] and Cannons there it looked like that it was imposible [sic]. The enemy so thought. Gen. Spears intercepted a Rebble [sic] Courier which was sent to Order forces to Big Creek Gap. In that is say that the enemy was crossing the mountains but it was imposible [sic] for them to Bring [sic] their Trains [sic] and artilery [sic] and a small force could Keep [sic] all the infantry in the world from passing Big Creek Gap and that the Rebbels [sic] must hold that gap in spite of H---- but they did not get the dispatch. We went through Big Creek gap [sic] Monday morning which let us in to Powels [sic] Valley. Powels [sic] Valley runs nearly west Bounded by the Range of Cumberland mountains on the north and a range of mountains on the south or powels [sic] River. This valley is from three to ten or 13 miles wide which is a good Farming [sic] country and in a tolerable state of cultivation. Some fine Farmes [sic]. In this valley there is none of the Evidence of the destruction of property that there is in Kentucky where the Rebbel [sic] army passed. The corne [sic] seames [sic] to be suffering for Rain [sic], the Oats are no account from Rust [sic], the wheat is tolerable. Some were cutting wheat but the farmes [sic] fencing, houses all seamed [sic] to be unmolested. The peopl [sic] accused the sesesh of being great Rogues [sic] but the most that they complained of was taking their Eatabels [sic]. Some of the nativs [sic] at least was verry [sic] much disapointed in us. They suposed that we would Kill [sic], murder, burn and destroy as we went. One old Sesesh, a Dutchman, had his negroes [sic] hid in an out house to Keep [sic] us from stealing them, his corn hid under his Barne Floor. Our Quarter Master went to him to buy grain. He showed them all that he had as he sayed [sic] in a crib and he had to have his bread out of it and that they could take what they were a mine [sic] to, leave him what thought was right [sic]. There were dividing with him when a Negro [sic] Leaked [sic] out the hiden [sic] corn under the Barne [sic] floor then they took what they needed.

The Rebbels were campt [sic] at his farme [sic] and we expected to have a fight their [sic], but they Run [sic] of in the night. We found Flour [sic] that they had left their [sic]. Our men bought the Flour [sic] also. Their [sic] were several Horses [sic] and mules to mark C. S. on his farme [sic] but we left them. He sayed [sic] that he had bought them. I tryed [sic] to get the old Lady to get me my Dinner [sic] but she declard [sic] that she had nothing to get, that the sesesh had stold [sic] all the meat that they had etc. The Old Woman [sic] was in great distress. She thought that we were a going to ruin them. She wanted to Know [sic] of some of the Boys [sic] if we would take all the horses they had. The boys told yess [sic] that they did not intend to leave her a thing. The old Lady was a Methodist [sic]. She sayed [sic] to me if ever there was a time that peple [sic] should be pious and trust in the grace of god [sic] it should be now or such a time as this but I could not get the Lady [sic] to get my Dinner [sic] or to sell me a ham or meat. Some of the people were rejoice [sic] to see us, others cryed [sic]. An old Like [sic] Lady [sic] stood on the side of the Road [sic] asked me if all these men were union men. I told her that they were. I am so glad so see you, the union men have had to hide and run and lay out like they had commited [sic] murder or some heneous [sic] crime. Some sayed [sic] that they felt like that they could fly away. Many were the seans [sic] and incidents that occurred [sic] on our march. We left Cumberland Ford on the 9th, staid at Barbville [sic] till the 11. From that time till now we have been on the march over some of the Roughest [sic], steepes [sic] hills that is posible [sic] for men to pass. We had a Block [sic] and tackle[?] & 20 horses to one cannon to get up the Hill.

We passed over a place that the nativs [sic] call the Jump [sic] up rock. We come to a ledge of Rock [sic] side ways. The waggons have to be lifted around [sic]. There is not Room [sic] to turn. This ledge is about three feet high the first offset it then raises like star steps for some 10 feet. Over this all of our waggons [sic] had to pass and if they went over bord I do not Know [sic] where they would have landed. The horses were unhiched [sic] from the waggons [sic], a chain fasten to the end of the tang, the horses hitched on to the chain and as many men as could get hold of or around a wagon and in this manner the waggons [sic] were lifted and pulled over. We passed this place at night. The moon shown brightly. I wish it had been day time so that I could have see it and the surrounding Country. At some future day I may write still further about our travils [sic] on this trip. We have marched over a hundred miles and find ourselves 14 miles where we started and for all we think it a cheep [sic] service [?] for by it we have possession of Cumberland Gap perhaps the strongest position now in North America. Military men Say [sic] that the place is the Strongis [sic] that there is. Military men say that 10,000 men could hold it against the world if the provision supplys [sic] were Kept up. It is incredable [sic] how much work has been done. The fortifications are verry [sic] Extensive & scientificatt [sic] I spent all this afternoon and only had time one side of the Gap, the right hand side. All things go to show that the Gap was evacuate in a hurry. All their Tents [sic] were left but cut to pieces. Their powder was thrown down the hill, 6 cannons were left, some of them thrown over the clift [sic], large Quantity [sic] of shot and shell were left, some Flour [sic], some bacen [sic], and pickled pork. There is a well about 15 feet deep. They filled it up with Flour [sic] and pork. They left a large number of huts that I supose [sic] that they did not Burn [sic] because they might have raised the alarme [sic] but if they would not fight at Cumberland Gap there is no use for them to talk about fighting any wheare [sic]. I am truly glad that we did not have them to fight in the Gap yet we may have to run them down but I am of the oppinion [sic] that Tenessee [sic] is virturly [sic] clean of rebels. I think that the Rebbel [sic] cause has gone up. I hope how soon it may be acknowledged by the Rebbes[sic]. I must close for the present. Mail facility will be Kept [sic] up Regular [sic] hereafter. I am will, my health has improved every day on the march. Feet sore.


John A. Ritter

The mail is jist [sic] starting. I have not time to finish this letter. I am [at] Babville [sic]. Came Down [sic] yesterday, 21 June.

Ritter Correspondence.[4]

          19, "I feel calmer today." An entry from Mrs. Sarah Estes' diary

I feel calmer today. Mr. E. reproved me for my desperate sorrow and bid me look to God for comfort, that I was acting very wickedly. I knew that I was but too wretched to think. But I have prayed for strength and now feel more able to bear up under my trials, but I may be deceived. I will pray to be able to say "Thy will be done."

* * * *

Estes Diary, June 19, 1862


          19, Skirmish at Triune

No circumstantial reports filed.

          19, Affair at Lenoir's Station[5] [see June 14-24, 1863, "Sanders' Raid in East Tennessee" above]

No circumstantial reports filed.

          19, Amphibious engagement at Cerro Gordo, U. S. N. [see also June 14-25, 1863, "Counter insurgency expedition on Tennessee River by U. S. N.," above]

Report of Acting Ensign Hanford, U. S. Navy, commanding U. S. S. Robb, regarding an engagement at Cerro Gordo, Tenn., June 19, 1863.

U. S. GUNBOAT ROBB, Fort Hindman [sic], Ky., June 24, 1863.

SIR: I send you a report of the action that took place on the morning of the 19th instant at Cerro Gordo, resulting in the loss of 1 of my men and 2 severely wounded:

On the afternoon of the 18th I suggested to Captain Hurd the possibility of catching some of [Colonel] Biffle's men if I placed a couple of pieces of artillery at Cerro Gordo, opposite to where they came, and fired across the river during the departure of gunboats from that place. It met Captain Hurd's approval. In the evening I got a horse and rode down to Cerro Gordo, in order to pick out a good situation for the battery. Having found one to suit me, I returned and got my guns mounted on field carriages, and at 10 p. m. started down, and had everything fixed ready, taking particular care to double-picket all the roads to guard against surprise. I sent to man the battery 16 of my best men. It was my instruction in the morning to run down to Saltillo, 5 miles, in order to give the rebs [sic] a good chance to come in.

On the morning of the 19th, about 4:30, I heard my guns firing. The Silver Cloud and myself started down, where we found that Biffle had made a charge on the battery with 400 men, but my men were prepared for them and opened their ranks well. I have learned since, but it is only a picked-up report, that Biffle lost 50 killed and wounded. I believe that their loss was about that, as they charged four abreast (dismounted) and came to within 20 yards of the cannon's mouth, while canister was being fired into them like rain. 1 lost, killed, Cranford I. Hill (fireman), and buried him at Craven's landing: Madison M. Hill (second gunner), and John N. Matthews (quartermaster), severely wounded. These I have sent to Smith's and to their homes.

Too much credit can not be awarded to the men who manned the battery. They did their duty faithfully.

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

W. C. HANFORD, Commanding Robb.

Navy OR, Ser. I, Vol. 25, pp. 188-189.

          19, "I have had to by [sic] me another horse or rather a pony. I give 225 dollars for him. This is 5 different horses that I have owned since I left home." Lieutenant A. J. Lacy's letter to his wife, Margaret E. Lacy in Jackson County

Springhill Tenn [sic] June the 19th 1863

Dear and Affectionate Companion

Again this beautiful Friday morning [I] seat my self [sic] to drop you a few lines to let you know that I am still able to go about. Hopeing [sic] when these few lines come to hand they will find you enjoying good health.

I have nothing to write that would interest you a present. Were [sic] are drawing 2 days rashens [sic] not. I don't [sic] know what it is for. There is five [sic] companies of our regt [sic] on picket. My co is one of them. It is the first time that I ever failed going when the co [sic] went. I expect that our co [sic] will draw 4 months wages today. I have had to by [sic] me another horse or rather a pony. I give 225 dollars for him. This is 5 different horses that I have owned since I left home. I have 2 horses now and I wouldent [sic] take less than 600 dollars and I have 540 dollars due me for my service that I have not been paid for and I have 159 dollars oweing [sic] me here in camps.

I sent these lines by my friend Joseph Bullington of Capt Swearengans Co, Co F 8th Tenn. cav commanded at present by F F Daughity Lt Col [sic]. Tell Paralee Byers that I would write to her if I [had] paper and time. She said that she would like to hear me tell a few of my big yarns. When I come home I will tell a few of the most choise [sic] ones for you all, for I am well posted [sic]. I haveing [sic] been going to school 11 months learning new more or less evry [sic] day. It is a dear school to a man tho [sic] the 11 [sic] of this month in our fight at Triune I got a hole shot in my coattail [sic]. The news came here the other day that Col Hambleton had a fight with the Yankees and was cut to pieces very badly.

Give my best respects to Father and Mother also to Margaret and Worth and also give my respect [sic] to evry [sic] boddy [sic] and tell them to write to me quickly for I am in a hurry to hear from them.

Wheat is verry [sic] promising here. I never saw such wheat crops in my life before I came here [it] is up to shoulder high and was black as a cloud. I must close for the present so no more but still remain you most affectionate and obedient husband and friend.

Lacy Correspondence.

          19, The value of digging holes, according to Sergeant Major Widney

We have been drilling so assiduously since we stopped working on the fortification that we are not sure the change has been much to our advantage except that it is more in keeping with our idea of military duty much as we dislike anything like drudgery it may become necessary for us to dig many a hole in the ground for self protection before we get through with this war. No doubt such work would be greatly stimulated by the "zip" of bullets about our ears. Now often have we regretted our neglect to dig rifle pits during the night before the battle of Stone[s] River. When we laid flat in the open field the nest morning with a hail of bullets about us we realized to late how desirable it is to have holed in the ground when you need them.

Diary of Lyman S. Widney

          19-20, Federal forces repulsed from Knoxville and burn railroad bridges over Flat Creek and at Strawberry Plains

No circumstantial reports filed.

KNOXVILLE, June 22, 1863.

Gen. BRAXTON BRAGG, Shelbyville:

The enemy appeared near Knoxville on the 19th, and attacked on 20th. Were repulsed. They burned the railroad bridges at Flat Creek and Strawberry Plains. Please grant permission to [A. L.] Maxwell, bridge-builder, to rebuild them at once.

S. B. BUCKNER, Maj.-Gen., Cmdg.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 23, pt. II, p. 882.


Confederate newspaper report on the attack upon Knoxville, June 19-20, 1863, part of Sanders raid in East Tennessee, June 14-24, 1863


A lady, formerly a resident of this city, who has just returned from a visit to Knoxville, at which place she was sojourning when Carter attacked it, furnished some additional particulars and incidents of the late fight. It appears that the people of Knoxville were not apprized of the neighborhood of the Raiders, until they had approached to within a very short distance of the city. During the depredations at Lenoir's, the wires had been cut and there was no communication from Knoxville to that point. But little preparation had been made for defence, and it was only when it known that the Yankees were certainly advancing that any arrangements for defence, were hurriedly got in readiness. A consultation of the commanders had, on the Thursday previous, at which General Buckner was present, as we are informed, and he was afterwards called suddenly away to Clinton, and the assault was attempted in his absence.

There were no troops in the place, except a portion of a regiment when the attack was first made, and the few officers remaining in the city, on leave, or detached service, together with the citizens manned the battery of eight guns which were placed in good position on the hills adjacent, and also shouldered their muskets and used them with good effect in the heroic defence.

A young officer, named Armstrong, who was stopping with his family near the city, came into town on the morning of the attack, and hearing of the advance of the enemy, returned home, changed his officers dress for that of a citizen, returned to the city and went in amongst the Yankees, to whom he represented himself as a "friend" and Union man, and gave them wrong directions how the city might be approached, and so mislead them from attacking it at its most vulnerable point. To this artifice, as much as the heroic defence of the place, is Knoxville indebted for its salvation.

During the action Mrs. Trezevant, lady; of Capt. Trezevant of New Orleans, who was temporarily sojourning in Knoxville, received a painful wound in the right shoulder, from the fragment of a shell fired by the enemy.-A lady, whose two little children were playing about the garden with the listlessness characteristic of their age, ran out immediately bring them into the house, when a shell from the enemy's battery exploded in the midst of the innocent group and killed all three. She had but just gathered one of them in her arms and was in the act of reaching out her hand to grasp the other. Capt. McClung, who was killed, had both legs torn away by a shell and only one of the mangled limbs was afterwards found.

Before reaching the city, a portion of Bird's men approached the residence of Dr. Harvey Baker, and estimable citizen of Knox county, when three of the scoundrels presented their muskets at his head. Believing that they intended to kill him, Dr. B, instinctively drew his revolver and fired into the group, when they fairly riddled him with balls, and afterwards bayoneted him. We are informed that   the fiends also dragged him about on the floor, while his wife, frantic with grief, was clinging to his lifeless corpse and imploring their mercy. It is said that Colonel Bird apologized for this horrid cruelty, said he was sorry, etc., and ordered he men away. It is thought the murder instigated by a portion of the Brownlow family, who accompanied the expedition, and between whom and Dr. Bakers, it was averred an old family feud or political grudge existed. These are among a few of the horrible incidents of the raid. We hear nothing of the whereabouts of the raiders this morning, further than what has already been mentioned din the telegraphic accounts.

Chattanooga Rebel, 26th  

Macon Daily Telegraph, June 27, 1863.

          19-25, Engagement at Beech Island, [see June 14-25, 1863, Counter insurgency expedition on Tennessee River by U. S. N. above]


          19, Skirmish Dandridge

No circumstantial reports filed.

          19, "Relief for East Tennessee."

This noble work is still progressing. There has been received in this city about 400 tons of supplies, consisting principally of flour, corn, and bacon. Another cargo of 150 tons is expected this week. They are being forwarded at the rate of one car load per day. It is to be regretted that the agencies of the army for the past two months have prevented their more speedy shipment, but even at this rate, all has been forwarded except about 70 tons. Accounts from all parts of East Tennessee represent the people in great destitution, and agents sent from particular localities for provisions bring with them most undoubted evidence that unless relief can be procured within ten days, the people of those localities will be compelled to leave the country to save themselves from starvation. Every effort will be made to supply these districts first.

If supplies can be sent forward at present rates for two months, it will sustain the people until something can be raised from the soil, and thereby save them from the only alternative that would be left to the greater portion [sic], of forsaking their native land and all that is included in the word home, and undergoing a perilous journey to the North, in which many lose their lives. If they can remain at home upon their farms, they will soon be able to support themselves; if they are compelled to leave, they must sacrifice all their property and thro themselves, for a time, entirely upon the charities of the world. In the meantime, they are grappling manfully with the foe. Women and girls are to be seen with their hands to the plow, driving old poor horses, and in some instances poor oxen, the only dependence for teams. The people of the North may rest assured that they will ever receive the due return of gratitude at the hands of such a people, for the magnanimous assistance they are now rendering in the hour of need. We publish these facts for the information of all concerned, by order of the Nashville Refugee Aid Society.

David T. Patterson, Pres.

John M. Gaut, Sec.

Nashville Dispatch, May 19, 1864.

          19, "Opening [sic] of the Northeastern Railroad."

By invitation, a large number of influential gentlemen assembled at the depot of the Nashville and Northeastern Railroad at 6 o'clock on Thursday morning for the purpose of celebrating the opening of that important route to the west and northeast by a trip to the Tennessee river, a distance of seventy-eight miles.

Forty minutes having been consumed in storing away a car load of creature comforts for the inner man during the day, and making other necessary preparations, the word was given, and the train whirled away over the trestle work toward the beautiful Tennessee. Company C, tenth [sic] Tennessee infantry, Captain Philips, accompanied the party as a guard, and the brass band of the same regiment honored the occasion by discoursing airs patriotic, pathetic, and enlivening, at every station or stopping place throughout the trip.

Having got well under way, we took a survey of those composing the party, and recognized his recognized his Excellency Gov. Johnson, Comptroller Jos. S. Fowler, Col. Browning, His Honor the Mayor of Nashville, Recorder Shane, Hon. M. M. Brien, Attorney, Gen. Stubblefield, Gen. R. S. Granger and his Adjutant General Capt. Nevin, Col. Scully, 10th Tennessee Infantry, Cole Thompson, John Clark, and Fladd [sic], Capt. Maurice P. Clarke, W. S. Cheatham, Esq., E. B. Garrett, Esq., and many others.

As may be imagined, there was not much to attract attention on either side of the road, it being cut, for the most part, through a wild uncultivated country; yet the scenery was pretty and the air pure-a pleasure and a blessing always grateful to the denizen of a city. Newsom's place[6] is very near, and his substantial rock dwelling corresponds with the goodness of his heart, as well as his taste in industry. The road is an excellent one, and is well laid, the wheels gliding smoothly over it. There are numerous bridges of various dimensions, the trestle work of some being from fifty to eight seven feet high; the Harpeth river is crossed five times in a very few miles, some of the bridges being very long, and all of them well guarded by troops, some white, other black, infantry, cavalry, and artillery, and strong stockades and fortifications; one of the stockades, built by the tenth [sic] Tennessee Infantry, under the direction of Col. Scully, is the strongest, neatest, and best, we have ever seen.

For twenty five or thirty miles, much of the country is under cultivation, the soil being tolerably productive; but beyond that, until you reach Waverly, sixty seven miles distant from Nashville, there are only a few "clearings," and these chiefly in the neighborhood of the Irish settlement.[7] On reaching Waverley, a salute was fired by the first Kansas battery, under direction of Captain Terry, and everywhere on the road, when troops were stationed, the men were drawn up in review, with arms presented as the train passed.

At one o'clock we reached the Tennessee river, and all walked to the bluff for the purpose of feasting their eyes upon the beauties of nature with which that river abounds. On the opposite side is a dense forest, extending as far as they eye can reach; the water is smooth as glass, and all nature is hushed. At this point the river is 903 feet wide at low water mark, and there is at least four feet [of] water at all seasons of the year.

Nashville Dispatch, May 21, 1864.


[1] Angus L. Waddle, Three Years with the Armies of the Ohio and the Cumberland, (Chillicotehe, Ohio: Scioto Gazette Book and Job office, 1889). [Hereinafter cited as Waddle, Three Years.]


[3] Not found.

[4] As cited in: [Hereinafter cited as: Ritter Correspondence.]

[5] Dyer's Battle Index for Tennessee does not mention the station.

[6] Newsom's Mill was constructed in 1862 of hand dressed limestone blocks which were cut from the Newsom quarry near the house. The house was destroyed in the 1960s by the Tennessee Department of Transportation when Interstate 40 was built. The mill's remains are part of a scenic river plan. See: National Register of Historic Places file for Newsom's Mill at the Tennessee Historical Commission, 2941 Lebanon Road, Nashville 37243.

[7] Today the town of McEwen, in Humphreys county. See: James B. Jones, Jr., "Ethnically Identifiable Colonies and Settlements in Tennessee, 1780-1940," Study Unit No. 8, February 22, 1988, pp. 8-9.State Historic Preservation Office, Tennessee Historical Commission, 2941 Lebanon Road, Nashville 37243.


James B. Jones, Jr.

Public Historian

Tennessee Historical Commission

2941 Lebanon Road

Nashville, TN  37214


(615)-532-1549  FAX


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