Monday, June 29, 2015

6.29.2015 Tennessee Civil War Notes


          29, Tennessee General Assembly joint resolution transferring state volunteer military units to the forces of the Confederacy

JOINT RESOLUTION to transfer volunteer forces to the Confederate States.

Resolved by the Gen. Assembly of the State of Tennessee, That the Governor be authorized and requested to place at the disposal of the Confederate States the volunteer forces of the State of Tennessee, the same to be mustered into the service of said States, subject to the rules and regulations adopted by the Confederate authorities for the government of the Confederate Army, and that in making arrangements therefore we shall have in view the placing of the defense of the State under the immediate control and direction of the President of the Confederate States.

Adopted June 29, 1861.

W. C. WHITTHORNE, Speaker of the House of Representatives.

B. L. STOVALL, Speaker of the Senate.

OR, Ser. IV, Vol. 1, p. 411.

          29, Report relative to Confederate troop movements in the Cumberland Gap environs

A letter dated Knoxville, Tenn., 29th says that 8 companies of cavalry and Infantry had gone from there to Cumberland and Wheeler's Gaps to guard them, and prevent the Federal troops from passing through Kentucky to aid the Union men of East Tennessee. They have been encountered by our Union men in the mountains, who swear they shall leave, and the Davis troops have sent for reinforcements. The Journal says it expects a bloody fight at the mountain gaps, for the possession of the filed, and says every breath is a heartfelt aspiration for the triumph of the Star Spangled Banner.

The Farmers' Cabinet, July 5, 1861.

          29, General Pillow's Order and Proclamation

Major-General Pillow, having given order that whisky and tobacco should be supplied to the soldiers under his command, has issued a proclamation recalling the order. He says that he had no doubt the military board would ratify his action, as he knew the soldiers to be gentlemen and used to plenty of whisky and tobacco. The board disagree with the general.

Boston Daily Advertiser, June 29, 1861. [1]


          29, General Grant orders an end to unsubstantiated accusations and rumors in Memphis

SPECIAL ORDERS, No. 123. HDQRS. DISTRICT OF WEST TENNESSEE, Memphis, Tenn., June 29, 1862.

* * * *

IV. Arrests being frequently made on representations of citizens, who afterward decline to appear to give evidence or to furnish names of witnesses to substantiate the charges, it is directed that hereafter in all such cases the prisoner be released and the party causing the arrest be confined or banished from the City, as the case may seem to require. The circulation of unfounded rumors through the City, now so prevalent, being calculated to create uneasiness and fear in the minds of the citizens, will hereafter be prohibited. The provost-marshal will in such cases arrest the parties guilty of violating this order and place them outside our lines, with directions to treat them as spies if ever taken within them thereafter. In all cases where persons are placed outside the lines under this order an accurate description of the person will be recorded in the office of the provost-marshal.

* * * *

By order of Maj. Gen. U. S. Grant:

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 17, pt. II, p. 51.

          29, Colonel Marcellus Mundy, in charge of the U. S. Army Post at Pulaski, to Governor Andrew Johnson relative to secessionist ministers and the execution of SPECIAL ORDERS No. 6 in Pulaski and Giles County

Revt.[sic] Wellburn Mooney, Brooker Shapard, Dr. Jas. A. Sumter, Dr. Charles C. Abernathey and Robert Winstead, Citizens of Giles County who have been active participants in the rebellion as far as urging the enlistment of soldiers in the rebel army and furnishing them with money, arms and outfits--who have industriously circulated reports calculated to aggravate the already inflamed minds of their Country men, keep alive false hopes and check returning loyalty, and who sympaythse [sic] with the rebellion to such an extent as to not only forget by endanger if not destroy the interests of their own people--having been duly notified on the 12th day of this month by the Commandant at this post, that the United States could no longer brook treason in any shape under her flag--and warned, that by ten o clock [sic] of this day they should determine whether they would return to their allegiance to the Federal Government or travel into their prefered [sic] Country and aid their friends who so much need them, having decided that their conscientious scruples [sic] prevented them from taking the oath of allegiance. It is ordered that Captain [Henry G.] Twyman with an escort of twenty mounted scouts conduct them carefully and safely to our lines and deliver them under a flag of truce to any officer of the rebel army that may be met with, together with a Copy [sic] of this order and a request from the Commandant of this Post, that they be so disposed of as to benefit their cause more by deeds then words [sic]--They are allowed to carry with them into the land of their choice their families and property and should they return within our lines except as prisoners of war they will be dealt with as spies-- This disposition has been made of the above named gentlemen because the Commandant has conscientious scruples against taxing the Federal government for their support--

I gave Major Jones[2] further time. He is allowed forty eight hours from Monday, June 30, to place himself beyond our lines. As the offense of Major Jones is one of peculiar inquiry for Civil Courts I am little disposed to let him take the oath which by fair inference may wipe out the record against him. It will not do to leave him here free and untromeled [sic] as justice must be equal handed. The execution of the above order has had a salutary effect-- Many are coming forward voluntarily to take the oath. General I pray for the success of our cause & I am wearing out in my efforts-- unless I can be relieved here soon and ordered to some more congenial post, I shall be compelled to resign or go into the ground....

Papers of Andrew Johnson, Vol. 5, pp. 519-520.

          29, Letter of John A. Ritter, 49th Indiana Volunteers

June 29, 1862 from Camp Cortrell, Tenn.

Camp Cortrell Ten [sic]

June 29 1862

Dear Margarett [sic]

I will devote a few moments lesure [sic] in corresponding with you. This is Sunday evening. I have just taken a nap on my cot and feel verry [sic] much refreshed. I am in good health better than I have enjoyed for a long time. I have regained my usual strength. I have not been confined to my bed at any time, I wrote you a letter from Barbeville[3] [sic] that I had not time to finish. I do not now know where I left off but I will not try to resume the same subject. We were cut off from all mail communication and til with in a few days pass [sic] we have been almost lost [entirely?] with out news. Our mail maters [sic] were ordered by Gen Morgan to Williamsburg and it had to be ordered back and it took some time to make this change but the mails has [sic] come at last. I Recd two letters from you one the 5th the 17th. I need not say that I was glad to get them. I also recd a lot of papers that let us in to some doings of the world. We sometimes think that it will not belong the war is over but at other times we are led to think that it may be some time before the war will close. We are anxious for a spedy [sic] but Honorable termination But if the things are to be fixed up for a short time to be soon involved in strife the thinking part of the army is to let it continue, the final result of this strife I have never entertained a doubt but the length is [uncertain?].

You wish to know what to do with the money you have on hand. I am hardly able to advise you. The Paoli Bank or any of the free Banks I think not a verry [sic] safe institution. They are based on state stocks. It is time that there is an individual liability of the stock holders but most of the Bonds of the Southern States I think will depriciate [sic]. The Bank of the state would be safer. I will have Some more money to send home soon that is if the paymaster get sober longe [sic] enough to pay us off. We have four months pay due us tomorrow. The paymaster has been here for two months are more and has made one payment. He is a whiskey soaker and should be [dismissed?] from the service. Liut [sic] Barr [?] will be sent to take the money to Jeffersonville. It will be expressed from Jeffersonville to you. The health of the Reg[iment] is improving verry [sic] fast. We have over 400 for duty now and there are lots of men at home that are abler to be in camp than many that are here. Some that are at Lexington are well and loafing around town. There is an order for all the soldiers & offices to report them selves in 15 day. That will stir out lots of them and if they do not turn out they will have to suffer the penalty. Some never left home to do any service. Others have stood to the [____?] [pipe?] every day. Faucett has come up to the Reg[iment]. He is mending verry [sic] fast. He is not reported for duty yet. He does all that he is able. I shall always be under many obligations to him for the many Kind offices that he has done me. My interest has been his interest and he has watched over me and when sick nurst [sic] me like a child. Col Ray still absent from the Reg[iment]. We have not herd [sic] from him since he left Lexington. Liut [sic] Col Keigwin is in command. The offices and men have the utmost confidence in Keigwin as an officer. As for the money you have on hand do the best you can. I would not like to loose it but that is a [____?] to [men?]. The Bank of the State I expect will be the safest institution at Bedford[____________________?].

We had a good sermon from Brother Hancock. He is [______?] and respected by all. The Tenesees [sic] have fell verry [sic] much in love with him. Gen Carter & Lady attended his meeting do day. Mrs. Carter is a fine sociable lady. She says that all the Carters are clever good folks. I told her that the cleverest woman that I ever saw was name Carter. We have Gen Carter Col Carter & parson Carter with us. All Brothers. The Gen & the parson are verry [sic] prominent men in Teneses.[sic] Parson is a presbyterian [sic] so is the gen. The Tennisee [sic] women flock in to see their men since we have crossed Cumberland mountain.

Since we have began to [_____?] our health there seams to be new life in the camp. All joy mirth & life. I have never witness a grater change. The dull drag of camp life seams to be considrably [sic] mellowed [_____?] We had one deth [sic] in our Reg[iment][iment] to day. The first one for some time. A man from Crawford county. There is meeting to night. I will close for the present. Did you get the letter I sent from Boston I want you to get stackhouse [sic] to settle with Cal Fitts. I wrote you from Boston about it have the claim secured and I do not care about the money [____?] Did you find a note on Cal for 20.00 payable to Sam Wilson with a [___?] of $16 dollars.

J A Ritter


*  *  *  *

Ritter Correspondence.

          29, Two Federal soldiers captured by irregular Confederate cavalry near Moscow

LA GRANGE, TENN., June 29, 1862.

Maj. Gen. WILLIAM T. SHERMAN, Moscow, Tenn.:

Quite a number of irregular cavalry are reported to me as being on the North Fork of Wolf River, 1½ miles north of the railroad, and northeest of Cromwell's Station, at McCown's Mill. They are within 4 miles of Moscow, and captured 2 of your men yesterday. They were seen yesterday evening by two boys, children of Mr. Woolley, who brings me the information. They have probably come over Ammons' Bridge, and are either waiting for wagon trains or moving across toward the Bolivar Railroad. My wagon train has four companies of infantry as guard, and I have 40 cavalry with forage train on the Somerville road. I cannot state the number they may have nor can I send after them, as my cavalry is all on duty elsewhere.

[S. A. HURLBUT,] Brig.-Gen.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 17, pt. II, p. 50.

          29, "We have seen the finest portion of West Tennessee; Obion, Weakley and Gibson counties being considered among the best and wealthiest in the State." Letter from the Seventh Battery[4]in Trenton, Gibson county

From Western Tennessee.

Letter from the Seventh Battery

Correspondence of the Sentinel,

Trenton, Gibson Co., June 29, 1862.

Editor, Sentinel: - I am not exactly "banqueting in the halls of Montexumas" but I am seated in one of the halls of Trenton University, which is a "Hall deserted," and writing on one of the school desks, where the mischievous jack-knife has not left its imprint for a long time.

We marched from Etheridge's Bridge to Trenton on the 22nd, and have been encamped here since. Our tents are placed upon the University grounds, a beautiful shaded slope, and we feel that here our lines are cast in pleasant places. We had a terrible march from Union City to this place. We had a terrible march from Union City to this place – had to cross the Tennessee Bottoms, and the marshy swamps skirting the Obion river. Description stands aghast! No one can have any conception of what it is to get a train of artillery and transportation wagons through such a country, and the impatient "Onward to Richmond" or any-other place souls, who are continually whining about the slow movements of our armies, and receive with a sneer the excuse of bad roads, ought to be given the benefit of a little experience in that line. This cutting and forcing your way through cypress swamps, where the sunlight never penetrates, abounding only in snakes, toads, lizards, mud and darkness, with only an occasional firm earth to relieve the clammy, cozy expanse of muck, may seen a trivial matter to one seated in his cozy sanctum at home, reading of the march of armies; but "I know whereof I speak, and can testify" that it is one of the greatest and most arduous undertakings in the grand movement of armies. Military genius can overcome almost any obstacle but bad roads; but by doubling teams when they get imbedded, by great exertions on the part of cannoneers, by a large amount of "French language,"[5] and by the persuasive powers of the whip being freely expended on the horses and mules by the drivers, we succeeded in getting thro with one wagon defunct and sundry packages minus. Lieut. Hays had charge of the train, and it was owing to his exertions, in a great measure, that we succeeded in making a passage.

At Etheridge's Bridge we reached high ground and encamped for two days to rest our exhausted animals. From that point to this place were favored with good roads, but it was fearfully dusty. We have seen the finest portion of West Tennessee; Obion, Weakley and Gibson counties being considered among the best and wealthiest in the State.

Now a few words concerning the country, the people, and the sentiments of the people. This portion of Tennessee is very similar in the character of the fact of the country to Eastern Virginia – alternate hills and valley, abounding in living streams, but of which none are of any magnitude.  The soil is unequalled in its richness. The land is heavily timbered, many of the finest trees being of gigantic size. There are no large towns in this portion of the State, but small villages are numerous. The productions of the farms or "plantations" are, first and foremost, corn – which is the great staple of the country; then niggers, tobacco, a very little wheat and oats, and some cotton for home consumption. The first exclamation of a Northern traveler is, in the language of "Aunt Phely,"[6]"Law me, how shiftless." An air of decay and unthriftiness pervade everything. The very soil seems to pray of an infusion of Northern blood and Yankee ingenuity. This land, which now lies a perfect picture of shabby, dreary, poverty, beneath the touch of the genius of free, intelligent labor would blossom like the rose and become the garden of America.

The only productions or manufactured articles observable in the villages arte loafers, and they turn out the simon pure article too.  Every shop, store, office, saloon, or hotel swarms with a coterie of idle, dissolute, "seedy" specimens of "Southern Chivalry," who seem to gain a precarious substance by "sponging" upon  their more fortunate friends who "own niggers." These are the chaps that have heretofore been so blatant about the "invasion of Southern Rights," and so loud-mouthed in their denunciations of "Northern Abolishuners," – and this, of course, at the back of the aforesaid proprietor of Sambo, to whom these things "bend the pregnant hinges of the knee that thrift may follow fawning." Their cringing disposition is only excelled by their cowardice, and they don't go into the army – they are not they that "shoot." They constituted the bulk of the population of the towns in the Southern States. They are the first to rush to Headquarters and take what they excel a month since, "That d----d oath," and the swallow it without making any faces either. From a close inspection of the article, we are able to decide that "Southern Chivalry" which has so much "vaunted itself with so much pride" is the most ignorant, low-lived, disgraced, contemptible, God forsaken "institution" -  take it niggers and all – that ever reared its head in society, and claimed with brazen impudence to be the "chosen one," the "pillars of the social fabric," the "cornerstone of society," the "superior class," &c.

There are some very intelligent men, and women among them of course, but they are the exceptions. The most honest class is the middle class, or farmers who own small tracts of land, and cultivate it themselves. Many of the poorest, or as they are called the "poor whites" seem to a very hones but unfortunate people. They gain their livelihood by working out as daily labor, or cultivating small tracts of land on shares, (one half of the product being the share universally.)

As to the sentiments of the people, I may say that taking everything into consideration the state of feeling among the people here is very gratifying to the friends of the Union.

At Union City I enjoyed a very excellent opportunity of observing closely, having been Acting Assistant of the post while encamped there. It was part of my duty to administer the oath of allegiance. The people of Weakley county came in bodies of from twenty to fifty, and scores came from Obion county, and some came from Kentucky – all honest in their desire to show themselves faithful to the Union. The people of Weakley county particularly showed themselves truly and thoroughly loyal. Many of them had just returned to their homes, from which they and been compelled to fly nearly a year ago by the secesh scoundrels who infested this portion of Tennessee. A regiment of loyal men will soon be raised in that portion of the State for home protection against secesh marauders and guerrillas.  – The Secretary of War has commissioned the Colonel. Many of those who came to take the oath were young men who had been forced into the rebel service, by what they call "detaching" here, which is a polite name for "drafting," or a forced levy. They had succeeded in making their escape after Beauregard evacuated Corinth. The Tennesseeans are coming home as rapidly as they can get away. These deserters report the Beauregard's army was fearfully decimated by sickness; that his force at Corinth consisted of about two hundred regiments averaging about two hundred men each – His force there never amounted over 60,000 men, and they were greatly demoralized by the retreat from Corinth.

On our march we met many demonstrations of loyalty. Old men and women came out and beseeched the standard bearers to unfurl the Stars and Stripes, that they might behold the glorious ensign upon which they not gazed for more than one year. At some houses the national colors – home-made and rude, some of them evidently having been constructed of pieces of bed quilts, window curtains, &c., &c., were exhibited – but the old flag never seemed so dear. At a few homes the whole family would be found in a line by the road side, and father, mother, brother and sister would join their voices and entertain us with singing Union songs. The words were homely, being the compositions of some local poet, and the singing was of that uncouth style peculiar to the Southeest; but the Swedish Nightingale," throwing her whole power and magic of her genius into her "Bird Song," could not have much music that sounded more melodiously to our ears that day then did the unartistic strains of these backwoods patriots, for we know that for one year those mouths had been hushed, the seal of tyranny had been upon those lips – for one long year they waited and watched patiently for the coming dawn – and now the light of liberty had broken in upon them, and their freed souls were sending forth their songs of jubilee. We felt that it "was good to be there;" that it was a holy cause, whose advancing banners carried with them freedom to an oppressed and down-trodden people.

When we arrive at Etheridge's Bridge, we found the people from the surrounding country had gathered together and were holding an impromptu Union meeting – Thin of that, in a country that was carried overwhelmingly by Breckinridge, and went almost unanimously for secession. But the yeomanry were there, men, woman, and children, dressed in their "store clothes." It was a greater day than any Fourth of July I ever saw. Speeches were made by Gen. Mitchell, Major Parrot, of Kansas, and others. They were listened to with marked attention, and their remarks seemed to have a very happy effect upon the people. The General assured them of the protection of our government.

When the Stars and Stripes were unfurled, and the band struck up the Star Spangled Banner, the old men and women wept, many of like children. It was an affecting and as glorious sight. In that assemblage were many young men who fought against us at Shiloh, now doing homage to the old flag. But I shall weary the patience of the reader, and will defer my remarks upon the position of the different classes here upon the great question, also sever other matters, until my next.

The thermometer stands at 98 in the shade as I write.

Yours, &c.,


Milwaukee Morning Sentinel, July 8, 1862.[7]


          29, Skirmish near Hillsborough

Report of Col. Thomas P. Nicholas, Second Kentucky Cavalry.


SIR: I have the honor to submit the following report of the First Battalion Second Kentucky Cavalry, from the time it was detached at Manchester till the time of rejoining this brigade:

Having reported to Gen. Thomas, as ordered, it was directed to report to Gen. Beatty, commanding First Brigade, Second Division, Fourteenth Army Corps, at Hillsborough. Having reconnoitered the country around that place Monday morning, and heard of two rebel regiments of cavalry on Winchester road, marched in the evening, acting as advance guard for Gen. Beatty, to camp of Second Division at Bobo's Cross-Roads, having had a skirmish on the march, in which it lost 1 officer killed, 1 private slightly wounded, and 1 captured. Loss of the enemy (supposed to be Col. [James W.] Starnes and body guard) unknown.

Next day marched [30th] in same order toward Winchester, and 5 miles out came upon the Third and Fourth Georgia rebel cavalry, supported by two pieces of artillery, and had three days' skirmish-fighting, [June 30- July 2] which culminated on last day in a sharp exchange of volleys, the enemy being by this [time] supported by a regiment of infantry, which lasted for a quarter of an hour, and by great good fortune had only 1 private wounded and a bugler captured or killed. Loss of enemy, if any, unknown. Captured, first and last, 20 or 30 prisoners. This battalion was ably supported the two last days by the First and Third Ohio.


T. P. NICHOLAS, Col., Cmdg. Second Kentucky Cavalry.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 23, pt. I, pp. 569-570.

          29, Skirmish at Decherd and destruction of railroad at Tracy City and Tantalon

No circumstantial reports filed.

Excerpt from the Report of Col. John T. Wilder, Seventeenth Indiana Infantry, commanding First Brigade, during the Middle Tennessee Campaign, June 23-July 7, 1863, relative to the skirmish at Decherd and destruction of railroad lines at Tracy City and Tantalon, June 29, 1863.

HDQRS. 1ST BRIGADE, 4TH DIVISION, 14TH ARMY CORPS, Camp near Duck River Bridge, July 11, 1863.

When we started again up the Cumberland Mountains, [29th] on the Brake field Point road, I determined to break the road, if possible, below Cowan. When partly up the mountain we could plainly see a considerable force of infantry and cavalry near Decherd. We moved forward to the Southern University, and there destroyed the Tracy [City] Railroad track. From there I sent a detachment of 450 men, under Col. Funkhouser, of the Ninety-eighth Illinois, to destroy the railroad at Tantalon, and went forward myself in the direction of Anderson, intending to strike the railroad at that place. Col. Funkhouser reported to me that three railroad trains lay at Tantalon, loaded with troops, and my scouts reported two more trains at Anderson. Both places being approachable only by a bridle-path, I deemed it impossible to accomplish anything further; besides, the picket force left at the railroad, near the university, were driven in by cavalry, who preceded a railroad train loaded with infantry. They were now on my track and in our rear. I collected my force, and determined to extricate them. Leaving a rear guard to skirmish with and draw them down the mountain, I started on the road toward Chattanooga. When about 8 miles from the university, during a tremendous rain, which obliterated our trail, I moved the entire command from the road about 2 miles eastward into the woods, leaving the rear guard to draw them forward down the mountain, which they did, and then escaped through the woods and joined us, some not coming up until next morning [30th].

~ ~ ~

J. T. Wilder, Colonel Seventeenth Indiana Infantry

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 23, pt. I, p. 461.



On the night of the 30th June [sic], about 1,500 cavalry made an attack upon Decherd, a railroad station on the Nashville and Chattanooga railroad, 13 miles this side of Tullahoma. We have the particulars from a lady who was there and witnessed it all. It was intended to be a monster destruction of railroad cars, engines, and property, but it was a failure. They did not catch the trains, Notice of their approach had been given and everything was kept out of their way. The telegraph operator remained at this post until they came into the place.-He then hurriedly snatched up his apparatus and a gun and a cartridge box that happened to be in the half of the hall of the house. He made his escape by a back way to a place of concealment. The Yankees, in their rambles about the place, came near him, when he fired and killed one-thought to have been a captain. He immediately made his escape and joined a party of soldier-about 29- who were guarding the water tanks of the railroad. There were attacked by the Yankees and had to give way. They retired to a thick woods near by where, from their concealment, they fired on the villains for nearly an hour.

The enemy burned up the depot and destroyed one of the tanks, but did not do other serious damage. They failed to find the government supplies which were stored there. There were a few ladies in the place, whom they threatened and tried to bully to make them tell where the Government stores were, and how many Confederate troops were at several points nearby, but failed. They all left about midnight.-Confederacy.

Knoxville Daily Southern Chronicle, July 4, 1863.

          29, Skirmish at Elm River

Dyer's Battle Index for Tennessee.[8]

          29, Skirmish near Lexington


No. 1.-Brig. Gen. Alexander Asboth, U. S. Army, commanding District of Columbus, Ky.

No. 2.-Lieut. M. M. R. William Grebe, Fourth Missouri Cavalry.

No. 3.-Maj. Wiley Waller, Fifteenth Kentucky Cavalry.

No. 4.-Col. George E. Waring, jr., commanding First Brigade, Sixth Division, Sixteenth Army Corps.

No. 1.

Reports of Brig. Gen. Alexander Asboth, U. S.

Army, commanding District of Columbus, Ky.

HDQRS. DIST. OF COLUMBUS, KY., 6TH DIV., 16TH A. C., Columbus, Ky., July 3, 1863.

COL.: I beg to state that First Lieut. M. M. R. William Grebe,

Fourth Missouri Cavalry, arrived this morning at 4 o'clock from Fort Heiman, and make the following preliminary report:

On June 29, a. m., a force under command of Lieut.-Col. Von Helmrich, Fourth Missouri Cavalry, consisting of 8 officers and 85 men of the Fourth Missouri Cavalry, and 8 officers and 160 men of the Fifteenth Kentucky Cavalry, under Lieut.-Col. Henry, left Spring Creek to scout toward Lexington. When within 6 miles of Lexington, information was gained of a large rebel force in that place, said to be 1,500 strong, and that another force of about 500 men was moving from Jackson to attack us in the rear. Lieut.-Col. Von Helmrich concluded to fall back to Spring Creek to avid being cut off. On the march back, we were attacked by a force of about 2,000 rebels at 2 p. m., lying in ambush, who were not discovered until they fired upon our advance guard. Being closely pressed and pursued, and not being able to reach Columbus, an attempt was made to reach Fort Heiman, which was but partially successful.

Lieut. Grebe returned with 5 officers and 57 men of the Fourth Missouri Cavalry, but cannot state the exact loss of the Fifteenth Kentucky Cavalry. He left at Fort Heiman but 2 officers and about 45 men of that regiment. Lieut.-Col. Von Helmrich and Lieut.-Col. Henry, Fifteenth Kentucky Cavalry, are both missing.

It was reported to Lieut. Grebe that the rebel force engaged is of Forrest's division, under immediate command of Gen. [R. V.] Richardson, under whom are Col.'s [Jacob B.] Bifle [James U.] Green, and [John F.] Newsom.

Please refer to my communication of 24th ultimo, inclosing a copy of my instructions to Lieut.-Col. Von Helmrich, dated 23d ultimo. As soon as Lieut. Grebe can make out his detailed report, a copy will be forwarded.

Respectfully, colonel, your obedient servant,

ASBOTH, Brig.-Gen.



COL.: I beg to inclose, in addition to my report of July 3, the official report of Col. George E. Waring, jr., Fourth Missouri Cavalry, and Maj. Wiley Waller, Fifteenth Kentucky Cavalry, of the action near Lexington, Tenn., on June 29, 1863, with lists of the killed, wounded, and missing.

The loss may be stated as follows: Fourth Missouri Cavalry-commissioned officers missing, 2; enlisted men missing, 26.

Fifteenth Kentucky Cavalry-commissioned officers missing, 5; enlisted men missing, 17; enlisted men killed, 1; enlisted men paroled and returned, 7; enlisted men paroled and not returned, 4. Total officers and men, 62.

The men reporting themselves paroled have been ordered to duty.

Respectfully, colonel, your obedient servant,

ASBOTH, Brig.-Gen.


No. 2.

Report of Lieut. M. M. R. William Grebe, Fourth Missouri Cavalry.

FORT HEIMAN, July 7, 1863.

I arrived here last night with 2 officers and about 40 men of the Fourth Missouri Cavalry Regt. [sic] and 10 men of the Fifteenth Kentucky Cavalry Regt. [sic] Lieut.-Col. Von Helmrich and Lieut. Garrett are missing, and probably taken prisoners. All the officers of the Fifteenth Kentucky Cavalry Regt. [sic] are missing.

On the morning of June 29, we left Spring Creek to go to Lexington. When within 2 miles of the latter place, we were informed that a large force of rebel troops was there, probably 15,000 men, and that another force from Jackson, about 500 strong, was to attack us in our rear. Lieut.-Col. Von Helmrich concluded to fall back to Spring Creek to avoid the cut off. When on the march back there, we were attacked by a force of about 2,000 rebels at 2 p. m., who were lying in ambush, whom we did not see till they fired upon our advance guard. Lieut.-Col. Von Helmrich has done the best he could do, but we met with a bad fate. As we were very hardly pursued, and not able to reach Columbus, we concluded to fall back to Fort Heiman. As all our men and horses are entirely broken down, and many men without arms and cannot be of any assistance to the fort here, we intend to leave here by the first boat, to go to Columbus.

The whole force of the enemy under command of Gen. [R. V.] Richardson is reported to be from 20,000 to 25,000 men, well armed, and all mounted; and the nearest pickets are reported at Paris, Tenn.

I have the honor to remain, your most obedient servant,

M. M. R. WILLIAM GREBE, First Lieut., Cmdg. Detachment Fourth Missouri Cavalry.


No. 3.

Report of Maj. Wiley Waller, Fifteenth Kentucky Cavalry.

HDQRS. UNITED STATES FORCES, Fort Heiman, July 4, 1863.

GEN.: I have the honor to report that in the absence of Lieut. Col. A. P. Henry, I have assumed command of this post.

On the 26th instant Lieut.-Col. Henry, with the entire effective force of the cavalry at this post, numbering 285, rank and file, started on an expedition against [J. B.] Biffle. He was joined by the forces under Lieut.-Col. Von Helmrich, of the Fourth Missouri Cavalry, numbering 80, rank and file, at Paris Tenn. The forces then moved to Lexington, and from there toward Jackson, an encountered a rebel force, estimated at from 1,000 to 1,500 strong. A skirmish ensued under the direction of Lieut.-Col. Von Helmrich, which lasted some hour and a half, when our forces retreated, and were rapidly pursued by the enemy. The rear guard made several stands, each time inflicting severe loss on the enemy.

The loss from the Fifteenth Kentucky, as near as can be ascertained, is as follows: One lieutenant-colonel, 1 captain, 3 lieutenant, 35 enlisted men, and a considerable number of horses, arms, &c.

Several of our men have returned paroled, and I would respectfully ask for instructions as to what disposition to make of them.

The situation of the cavalry at this time is bad; almost all the horses they had were engaged in the skirmish, and, after a hasty retreat of 100 miles, those that have reached camp are utterly exhausted, and will be unfit for service for some time. The force also is quite small, and unable to withstand an attack of 500 men. The enemy has a force of from 10,000 to 15,000 men within 100 miles of this post, and some small bodies as close as 30 miles, and but for the gunboats we might be attacked any hour. Yet we are willing to do everything in our power, and expect to hold the place as long as possible.

Please let me hear from you at your earliest convenience.

I am, general, very respectfully, yours,

W. WALLER, Maj., Cmdg. Post.


No. 4

Report of Col. George E. Waring, Jr., commanding First Brigade, Sixth Division, Sixteenth Army Corps.

HDQRS. FIRST Brig., SIXTH DIV., SIXTEENTH ARMY CORPS, Union City, Tenn., August 7, 1863.

CAPT.: At the time of the action near Lexington, Tenn., June 29, 1863, I was in command of the post of Columbus, and since that time to the present I have not been in command of the Fourth Missouri Cavalry. But learning from your communication of August 5 that no official report has been furnished, and believing from the fact that the regiment is in part here and part of Columbus, further delay would result unless some action was taken by myself, I submit the following:

Lieut.-Col. Von Helmrich was intrusted, by order from headquarters of the district, with an expedition to West Tennessee, of about 97 officers and men of the Fifteenth Kentucky Cavalry.

On the morning of the 29th of June, 1863, he was made aware of the presence of the enemy in two detachments, one, numbering about 500, at or near Lexington, and the other, about 1,500, near his flank. He was then near Spring Creek, and finding it impossible to get aid or information from the hostile inhabitants, determined to retreat toward Clarksburg, and was so marching when, near Spring Creek, his advance guard was fired upon. The command was halted, and was formed to repel the charters over heavy ground by two companies of the Fourth Missouri Cavalry, which developed the enemy in large force on foot behind an embankment formed by direst thrown from a drain, with cavalry in equally large numbers on the flank, the retreat was continued ward Clarksburg. At judiciously selected points in the road, the Fourth Missouri Cavalry was formed, to repel the pursuit and to protect the rear and those who were wounded. In one of these encounters, Lieut.-Col. Von Helmrich dismounted to assist a wounded officer, and while so dismounted his horse broke away and he was taken prisoner, after which the retreat became less systematic, and the inhabitants of Clarksburg, who fired from their houses as the troops passed through that place, increased the confusion. The retreat was continued to Fort Heiman, when Lieut. Grebe, the senior officer after the engagement, arrived with about 45 men, which number was increased somewhat by the arrival on the next and succeeding day of those who had become dismounted, but had made their way through the woods to Fort Heiman on foot or in passing country wagons.

I cannot close this report without adding that all the officers with whom I have spoken concerning the affair speak in the highest terms of Lieut.-Col. Von Helmrich's well-formed plans in encountering the enemy, his coolness and bravery during the action, and his judicious management of the rear during the short time which elapsed from the skirmish until his unfortunate capture. The men of the Fourth Missouri Cavalry are also highly praised for their soldierly conduct during and after the skirmish.

Inclosed is a report of the killed, wounded, and missing, as nearly as can be ascertained.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

GEO. E. WARING, JR., Col., Cmdg. Brigade.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 23, pt. I, pp. 628-632.


          29, Skirmishes near Tullahoma [see 23-July 7, Middle Tennessee or Tullahoma Campaign above]

          29, Skirmish at Moscow Station

Dyer's Battle Index for Tennessee.

          29, "Scene D'Afrique."

We yesterday saw what we never before beheld in Nashville-a nigger [sic] bridal party, in carriages, inaugurating the honey-moon by [an] ostentatious drive through the streets. The pageant was attracted great attention, and especially did strolling contrabands gleefully show their ivory masticators at the immense "spread" their newly-spliced African brother and sister were making. Of course we took a peep at the veiled bride, and we thought she was the Queen of Blackness [sic] incarnate. She and her lord sat in the front carriage in all their native modesty and lovely blackness doubtless exchanging many sweet syllables in the Ethiopian vernacular: "Peace go wid dem niggers [sic].

Nashville Daily Press, June 29, 1863.

          29, Return to duty orders for Confederate prisoners of war in East Tennessee

General Orders No. 60

Headquarters, Dep't East Tenn.,

Knoxville, June 29th, 1863

All officers and soldiers captured by the United States forces under Col Saunders [sic] is their recent raids, are hereby directed to report for duty immediately to their representative commands, as the paroles given are not recognized by the Authorities at Richmond.

By command of

Maj. Gen. Buckner

Knoxville Daily Southern Chronicle, July 19, 1863.

          29, Attack upon and partial burning of Middleton [see June 28, 1863, "Skirmish at Rover," above]


          29, Skirmish at La Fayette, Tennessee

No circumstantial reports filed.

          29, Excerpt from a Bolivar school girl's diary relative to a skirmish in Bolivar[9]

During this long delay[10] we have seen trouble and joys rise and fall successively. General Forrest's entrance into our little village flushed [us] with victory. His retreat causing sadness to fall upon every body's [sic] spirit. He was in the yard during the whole skirmish. Bullets were whizzing above and below us, burying themselves in and burrowing the ground. One shattered a paling near where Ma was standing. Houses, twenty three in number were burnt the stores were sacked, the merchants' chests were blown and hammered to pieces. The Confederates went South, and lately have had a large battle. It was a victory, but oh so dearly bought. Of Company E Captain Tate, Charly, Neely and Billie Hardy killed. Dashiell Perkins wounded. Adjutant Poe was killed. These were all that I knew. Charly Neely's death was indeed a sad one. Idolized by his family, he was a gallant soldier, noble boy and a constant christian [sic].

Diary of Sally Wendel Fentress, June 29, 1864.



          29, "May the poor deluded child of Africa learn wisdom and choose slavery such as they had with us to a liberty which has in it no provisions for their soul or body." Status Anxiety, the White Man's Burden and the Freedmen. An Extract from the Diary of Eliza Fain

….Richard brought out yesterday the American Presbyterian the organ of the New School Assembly. In it I find nothing, no nothing congenial, with the Southern heart. Their whole enthusiasm and care is lavished upon the African race regardless of the feeling of the white Christian brother or sister who may from his view of Bible teaching see fit to differ with them. They seem to have place the idol of their hearts (the black man) upon the pinnacle of intellectual, physical and moral greatness. O that God in his mercy and wisdom might see fit to throw them into the Northern states that they who have so much sympathy with them might know more of the African character so that they might then more willingly award to Christian master and mistress what is justly due them. They know nothing of what their wild fanaticism is causing. The poor Negro is today in a condition which make tears start and the bosom heave with an emotion of sympathy no northern heart has ever felt. Listen to them as they go from house to house begging to get work or something to eat. Hear one who was once a servant kindly cared for by a mistress (who is in eternity) abusing and cursing her dear daughter until she (the servant) is driven from the house by her master with a preemptory order to not return and with 5 helpless children she leaves that mistress house where she was ever been kindly cared for with regard to the necessary wants of herself and children all supplies) to go forth on a cold hearted world. She drags around for a night and a day then comes back but her masters heart relents not. He tells her to go but one of her little children refuses to go. The master says to him you may stay if you wish. He tells him he is hungry and weary of such a life. O such liberty-Great God have mercy upon us and enable us all to live to thee. May the poor deluded child of Africa learn wisdom and choose slavery such as they had with us to a liberty which has in it no provisions for their soul or body.

Fain Diary.


[1] As cited in PQCW.

[2] Thomas Jones, a member of the Provisional Confederate Congress.

[3] Barbourville, Kentucky.

[4] Probably the 7th Wisconsin Battery.

[5] Vulgar language, as in "pardon my French."

[6] Unknown.


[8] Certainly Dyer meant the Elk River, which is within the territory covered during the Tullahoma Campaign. While there was military activity around the Elk River for this date, the OR indicates no skirmish, action, etc. directly associated with the Elk River. There is no Elm River in Tennessee.

[9] The OR has no mention of any skirmish in Bolivar involving Forrest or any of his command for either May or June 1864. Nor does Dyer's Battle Index for Tennessee indicate any such fight. Forrest was apparently in Bolivar in late April and/or early May 1864, as the documents below suggest. There might well have been a skirmish in Bolivar of the kind Fentress describes in her diary. Taking into account the date of the entry, June 29, 1864, and the brevity of her words, it might well be that she was referring to a skirmish sometime between April 23 and May 2, 1864. Unfortunately there seems no other evidence to corroborate the skirmish dramatically recorded by Ms. Fentress. Forrest's retreat from West Tennessee after his raid is not well documented in the OR. See: OR, Ser. I, Vol. 32, pt. III, p. 545; Vol. 38, pt. IV, p. 110; Vol. 39, pt. II, pp. 8-9.

[10] Her last entry was on May 9.


James B. Jones, Jr.

Public Historian

Tennessee Historical Commission

2941 Lebanon Road

Nashville, TN  37214


(615)-532-1549  FAX


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