Monday, July 6, 2015

7.5-6.2015 Tennessee Civil War Notes

July 5-6



          5, Leonidas J. Polk appointed to command of the Army of Tennessee to oversee the transition of the Tennessee Provisional Army to the forces of the Confederacy

ADJUTANT AND INSPECTOR Gen.'s OFFICE, Richmond, July 5, 1861.

Maj. Gen. LEONIDAS POLK, Commanding Military Department No. Memphis, Tenn.:

GEN.: In transmitting the inclosed copy of a communication to the governor of Tennessee, I am instructed by the President to desire that you will correspond with his Excellency, and arrange with him the time for receiving the provisional forces of Tennessee into the service of the Confederate States in the manner indicated to him in the inclosed letter, and that you will detail from your command the officers necessary for that purpose.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

S. COOPER, Adjutant and Inspector Gen.


ADJUTANT AND INSPECTOR Gen.'s OFFICE, Richmond, July 5, 1861.

His Excellency ISHAM G. HARRIS, Governor of Tennessee, Nashville :

SIR: Your letter of the 24th ultimo, covering an authentic copy of proclamation declaring the independence of Tennessee, &c., has been received by the President.

In respect to the steps necessary to consummate the transfer of the Provisional Army of Tennessee to the Confederate States, mentioned in your communication, I am instructed to inform you that in order to accomplish this object it will be necessary to transfer to officers of the Confederate States service, who will be designated to receive them, the muster rolls of the several companies, battalions, or regiments, as the case may be. These muster rolls of the troops shall be made at their several camps and stations, the Confederate officers verifying, and this will form the basis for future musters.

Maj.-Gen. Polk, who has been assigned to the command of the military department embracing part of the State of Tennessee, will be instructed to detail the proper officers for the muster of the provisional forces of Tennessee in the manner above indicated, and for receiving the same into the service of the Confederate States.

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

S. COOPER, Adjutant and Inspector Gen.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 4, p. 363.

          5, Prominent Memphis citizens urge the appointment of Gideon J. Pillow as Commander of the Army of Tennessee

MEMPHIS, July 5, 1861



The undersigned have learned with deep regret, in an unofficial manner, that the forces and military command of this portion of the Confederate States has been tendered by the Government to another than Major General Pillow. We do not desire to reflect upon the discretion exercised by the Government in placing a distinguished citizen of Louisiana in command of the valley of the Mississippi, but we can not hesitate to express the satisfaction that it would have afforded the citizens and Army of Tennessee that this command should have been given to their own distinguished fellow-citizen Major General Pillow. His indomitable energy, his sleepless vigilance, his masterly ability, as displayed before our eyes since he took command of our army, has won for him the esteem of all, and we think fairly entitles him to lead the army which he has created. In a few weeks he has brought into the field a force of more than 20,000 armed and equipped, ready to meet the enemy. Taking command without ordnance, commissary, or quartermaster's stores, he is now fully prepared not only to resist but to make invasion. We feel than no eulogies that we could make would do justice to the services that he has rendered the cause, but we would simply and respectfully [want] to suggest to the Secretary of War, and through him to the President, that the appointment of Major General Pillow to the command of the active force on the banks of the Mississippi would be but an act of justice to him, and would give the greatest satisfaction to the force thus placed under his command.

(signed)William T. Brown, Smith P. Bankhead, P. Smith, M.C. Gallaway; Jno. D. Martin, Benj. S. Dill

MEMPHIS, July 5, 1861.

His Excellency JEFFERSON DAVIS, President, &c.:

SIR: I am presuming upon a slight acquaintance I had the honor of forming with you in this city several years since (and which it can hardly be supposed you can possibly recall in the midst of the constant labors and important events with which you have since been occupied), when I trouble you with but a word in reference to Maj.-Gen. Pillow, now in command at this point. Since he assumed his command he has been by no means free from criticism. Probably no man ever is under such circumstances. It is every day's experience that those who "never set squadron in the field," and are utterly ignorant of all military matters, feel themselves qualified to pass judgment upon the plans of the most experienced commanders. Possessing no military education or experience myself, it would be presumptuous in me to express an opinion, except upon such matters as may fairly come within the scope of the observation and judgment of all. And here I beg leave to say that since he has been in command here he has manifested a degree of energy and activity in organizing our State forces and in collecting the materials of war that has challenged the public approbation and called forth no slight expressions of praise. Hence I believe that the wish is pretty general that, having labored so energetically in the details of organization, he may be called into such more active service of the Confederacy as may be commensurate with his position and rank.

With highest respect, your obedient servant,


OR, Ser. I, Vol. 4, pp. 363-364.

          5, Memphis city school system faces suspension

Suspension of the Public Schools.—The city council yesterday passed an ordinance looking to the suspension of the public schools, and appointed a committee to confer with the school visitors on the subject of suspension. The proceedings will be found in our council report.

Memphis Daily Appeal, July 6, 1861.


          5, Affair at Walden's Ridge, part of Morgan's Raid

No circumstantial reports filed.

Excerpt from the Report of Maj. R. M. Gano, C. S. Army, commanding Cavalry Battalion relative to the Affair at Walden's Ridge, part of Morgan's Kentucky Raid.

HONORED SIR: I have the pleasure of reporting to you the action of the battalion under my command in the recent expedition to Kentucky This report is intended to embrace only the action of the battalion while separated from the other troops under you command. The battalion was composed of four companies--the two Texas companies under my command, known as the Texas Squadron, Company A (commanded by Lieut. Speer), and Company B (commanded by Capt. Huffman), and two Tennessee companies, viz.,: Company C (commanded by Capt. McMillin) and Company D (by Capt. Hamilton). Having left Knoxville on the morning of July 4, we reached Walden's Ridge on the evening of the 5th where the [Yankee] bushwhackers fired upon our foraging party mortally wounding Mr. J. N. O'Brien, of Company A, of the Texas Squadron. He lived twenty-four hours, suffered much, was a model soldier, a fond husband, affectionate father, and a worthy man in all the relations of life. Cut down in the prime of life, he died in a noble cause--the defense of his country from the invader.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 16. pt. I, p. 771.

          5,  Confederate Nashvillians eschew 4th of July celebration in Nashville.

A number of rebel houses were locked, barred and closed up yesterday, as the gorgeous Union procession passed by with its gallant officers and brave soldiers, and brilliant banners, and thrilling music. All without spoke of loyalty and freedom, and philanthropy, and exultation unrestrained. The inmates of these houses sat within, in sullen and dogged silence annoyed by the glorious scenes and holy memories of the day.

Nashville Daily Union, July 5, 1862.

          5, 4th of July celebration in Shelbyville

Celebration.—We learn that a glorious celebration took place yesterday in Shelbyville. Of course it was glorious, if Shelbyville had anything to do with it. The loyalty of Shelbyville and Bedford county is not of the halfway or conditional kind. We have received no particulars of the proceedings.

Nashville Daily Union, July 5, 1862.

          5, Brief description of 4th of July celebration in Nashville

The large Representative chamber was crowded with people, although not a tithe of the multitude around the Capitol could gain admittance. Hundreds of ladies and lovely girls were seated on the floor, and in the galleries, with flags and badges.

The rostrum was draped with time-honored and war-rent flags, which bore upon their tattered folds, begrimmed [sic] with smoke, the mark of shot and sabre stroke, received upon memorable battle-fields. There waved the banner, emblazoned with its eagle and shield, borne by Gen. Morris' Brigade, on the immortal field of Chalmette, on the 8th of January. There, too, waved the flag which led the "Bloody First" Tennessee, commanded by the gallant Col. Campbell, through the storm of shot and shell which swept "the slippery streets of Monterey:

"Where on, still on their column kept,

Through walls of flame its withering way,

Where fell their dead the living stepped,

Still charging on the guns which swept

The slippery streets of Monterrey."

The scarred and battle-stained colors of the Tennessee Third appeared also, and told of the heroic deeds of the soldiers of Rough and Ready. All these were the symbols of the American Union, the colors of an undivided Republic, the standards of an undivided and indivisible nationality. How different from the pirate flag of the rebel, so-called Confederacy, born of unholy lust and ambition, whose unsightly folds waved over the Capitol like the wing of death on the last Fourth of July!

Nashville Daily Union, July 5, 1862.

          6, "PROVOST HILLYER AND THE PAPERS." The Provost Marshal and the Press in Newly Occupied Memphis

The Provost General is considered a pretty severe man by the old journalists of Memphis, simply because ere permitting to form public opinion under the protection of the United States flag, he required an oath of allegiance which no loyal man could refuse to take; and which none [but those(?)] harboring sinister motives against the government would see to avoid. Every [paper(?)] in Memphis during the rebellion poured abuse on the National Government, strove to throw sanctity over insurrection and tear asunder that Government and that Union in which for generations the press enjoyed, and in which it still enjoys greater freedom than ever it acquired even in Constitutional England.

No man of sense and candor can deny that [those who were] protected in their freedom, [any] paper who had continually opposed the Constitution, should be sworn to cease being rebellious. The Argus was rebellious, and a proof that it lived or vegetated by rebellion may be found in the fact that ere its proprietors would swear to a future loyalty, they preferred to cease [sic] issuing any paper at all; and their refusal simply proves the wisdom and justice of Provost Hillyer's emphatic order. The Avalanche was a trader [sic] in the rebellion; when it passed to its late owners, Messrs. Bingham, Fowlkes and Wills, they pledged its columns to the cause of rebellion, and to the support of the principles and practices of M. C. Galloway. The paper never retracted that pledge. What government in the midst of such a rebellion could permit the continuance of a paper so pledged without a positive assurance of returning loyalty from its proprietors? Its columns, ever since the return of the national flag, were filled with the insulting recognitions of the so-called Confederate President and Government, coupled with paltry praises of our officers, but no flattery from any source, much less from such a one, could swerve a national officer from the plain path of his duty; and the action of Dr. Fowlkes in the matter, establishes the disloyalty of the paper, and the wisdom and justice of the order of the Provost General beyond question.

Col. Hillyer is a very hearty, kind gentleman, but under his velvety and frank address he conceals a hand of iron, where duty is concerned; and we cannot too much commend his promptness and firmness in dealing with the rebel press of his Provostship [sic]. The press is free under the protection of the Union, but if it strives to rend that Union asunder, who can deny the justice of governmental resistance and of the infliction of merited punishment? Can humanity, in any organization, be expected to forget that self-preservation is that first law of its nature, and would any man protect, or tolerate unreturned, blows aimed at his own existence?

We revere the freedom of the press, but we also admire the wisdom of the officers who will not permit it to destroy the spring whence it flows – the Union, the Constitution, and the laws.

Memphis Avalanche, July 6, 1862.



          5, A Rebel rallying cry as the Army of the Cumberland approached Chattanooga

Rally, boys, rally

On hill and in valley

The foeman advances with musket and sword:

Long be the story,

That records the glory

Of those who stood fast for our land and or our lord!

Chattanooga Daily Rebel, July 5, 1863.

          6, Excerpt from a letter describing the changes in Franklin and environs by "Grapeshot."

Franklin, once the quiet and beautiful home of industrious citizens of the United States, exhibits but the ruin of its former greatness. Desolation and decay have passed over it, and the iron ball of Federal and Confederate artillery has crumbled its noblest mansions. Residences that cost their former, now fugitive, owners many dollars, and the skilled artisan many days of anxious labor, have been swept away; churches dedicated to the service of Almighty God, are deserted ruins; and the stately Female Academy, lately the nursery of education, morality and religion, is now the resort of owls and bats. The people have mostly left it, and those who remain and have withstood the simoom that has swept over it, look woe-worn and dejected. Pity are they, for they have not been the willing architects of their own ruin. Franklin is a "deserted village."

Negroes innumerable are here. It would puzzle Linaeas [sic], the great naturalist, to classify them. They are of all ages, sexes and sizes, and as variegated in color as Jacob's cattle. The tar-black, the half-black, and the "soiled" white, are to be found amongst them, ranging in size from the Lancashire boor to a young stove-pipe. Many of then are in seeming want, for the Government does not provide for all of them.

Deserters from the rebel ranks are coming in daily. They represent the cause of the Conthieveracy [sic] as hopelessly lost. Bragg, they say, will leave ten thousand [sic] deserters and stragglers this side [of] the Tennessee river three thousand, [many of] whom are now scattered in the bordering counties here. Tennesseans Kentuckians are sick and tired of the war; they want to return home; Bragg's whole army is not only disorganized, but disheartened, dispirited and demoralized.

There is no force at Columbia, excepting about sixty [Confederate] conscripts, under a fellow name Nicholson (I believe) who reports daily to the "Commander of the Fort." They throw some mortar guns they had there into the Duck river and fled. Many of the "gay and festive" soldiers were engaged in preparing to be [mar]ried, but "Old Rosey" interposed.

There is a murderous scoundrel named [Cap]tain Perkins, leading a gang of thieves and cut-throats in this neighborhood. He attacks our picket lines every night, and as we have no cavalry, he can easily escape us. His force numbers about 60 mounted on fast nags that he has stolen from his neighbors.

Nashville Daily Union, July 11, 1863.

          6, Major-General Thomas cracks down on depredations


On account of the depredations committed by the different divisions of this command, the general commanding directs that the most energetic measures be adopted to put a stop to them at once, and that hereafter, whenever this so-called impressment is resorted to, no means be spared to trace the guilty party to the division, regiment, and company, and that the amount for the property so taken be paid out of the company savings, by withholding the commutation of rations until the amount is fully paid. The general commanding is determined that pillaging shall be put down in his command, and hopes this circular will have the desired effect. If not, more strenuous measures will be adopted to arrest the guilty, and to make such examples of them as shall effectually put it down throughout the entire command.

By command of Maj.-Gen. Thomas:

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 23, pt. II, p. 517.

          6, Effect of the Tullahoma Campaign upon the civilian population of Middle Tennessee

An old lady, whose home is on the side of the mountain, called on me to-day and said she had not had a cup of coffee since the war commenced. She was evidently very poor; and, although we had no coffee to spare, I gave her enough to remind her again of the taste.

Our soldiers have been making a clean sweep of the hogs, sheep, and poultry on the route. For the rich rebels I have no sympathy, but for the poor we must pity. The war cuts off from them entirely the food which in better times, they acquire with great labor and difficulty. The forage for the army horses and mules, and we have an immense number, consists almost entirely of wheat in the sheaf-wheat that has been selling for ten dollar dollars per bushel in Confederate money. I have seen hundreds of acres of wheat in the sheaf disappear in an hour. Rails have been burned without stint, and numberless fields of growing corn left unprotected. However much suffering this destruction of property may entail on the people of this section I am inclined to think the effect will be good. It will bring them to a realizing sense of the loss sustained when they threw aside the protecting shield of the old Constitution, and the security which they enjoyed in the Union.

The season's crop of wheat, corn, oats, and hogs would have been of the utmost value to the Confederate army; when destroyed, there will be nothing in middle Tennessee to tempt it back.

Beatty, Citizen Soldier, pp. 293-294.

          6, Fourth Day of the Union State Convention

Union State Convention – Fourth Day.

Morning Session.

The convention met, Col. Crawford in the chair.

The President announced that no Secretary was present. Dr. Brownlow suggested as Mr. H. H. Harrison, the Secretary of the convention, was necessarily absent, being Clerk of the Court, that Mr. Shankliln be appointed additional secretary. The motion being put to the house, Mr. Shanklin was unanimously elected Secretary.

Mr. President – I have this moment been handed a dispatch in extra form. Will the gentleman from Shelby be good enough to read it to the Convention?

Mr. Bingham – Certainly.

LOUISVILLE, July 5. – Lee's army was utterly routed yesterday (July 4th) near Gettysburg. Our cavalry are pursuing and cutting up his army. It is a great victory.

News of the capture of Vicksburg is looked for hourly.

Morgan is in Kentucky with four thousand men, and is being closely pursued.

In consequence of anticipated difficulties on the road, no train left Louisville today.

Judge Brien – I have received a letter from a friend of mine, which I desire may be read to the Convention. Will some friend be good enough to do so.

Mr. Maynard – Yes, I will.

MURFREESBORO, June 29, 1863.

M. M. Brien, Esq. – Dear Sir: In yesterday's Union I noticed your name in connection with others, signed to a call for the citizens of Tennessee to meet in convention at Nashville on the 1st of July.

Thinking it important that such a meeting should be had, I wish you, should no one attend from Fentress county, to represent her by proxy.

Please say to the convention Fentress is poor, but a portion of here men have had the courage to defy rebeldom, and an armed band of patriots have held portions of the county most of the times since the rebellion broke out.

You will, also, please say the rebellion has destroyed the institution of slavery, and Fentress would receive more aid from one man with a musket on his shoulder in the mountains, than from a thousand wranglers at Washington over a dead cock in the pit.

I should be very glad could I be with you, but it is impossible. Hoping those who may meet on the 1st may pave the way for a better plan of making citizens out of the vilest rebels than simply with oath and bond.

I remain yours, very respectfully,

J. D. Hale.

Judge Brien. - I know the gentleman well – I know no more loyal man in the State, and desire that it be furnished the Clerk, and that the reporters may have it published.

Mr. Bingham. – I have a resolution which I desire to read, and ask its reference to the Committee on Federal Relations:

Mr. President. – Read it.

Mr. Bingham –

WHEREAS, The large cities of the State of Tennessee are deprived of their legitimate trade and commerce, and the people of the largest portion of the Commonwealth labor under disabilities materially affecting their rights and interests, the necessary result of declaring the whole State in insurrection against the Government; and, whereas, this interruption of our commerce, and the disabilities under which the people labor, can be removed by united action. Therefore be it,

Resolved, By the Union State Convention, representing the loyal people of forty-three counties of Tennessee, that whatever necessity may have originally existed for declaring the entire State in rebellion, has passed away: that the disabilities imposed by virtue of the President's recent proclamation on the people of Middle and West Tennessee, thousands of whom have now returned to their allegiance to the Union and the Constitution, should be removed as soon as practicable: and that to this end a committee of five appointed by the President of the Convention, to bring the subject to this resolution. To the attention of the authorities as Washington, and to solicit the removal of the disabilities referred to, as far as the same may be compatible with the public interest, and as soon as possible.

Mr. Chairman. – Debate is not in order. The resolution will be referred to the Committee on Federal Relations.

Col. Edwards. – I desire to read a resolution and have it referred to the proper Committee.

Mr. President. – Read it.

Col. Edwards –

WHEREAS – This Convention has learned that sometime during the last month a Convention was held in the town of Winchester, Tennessee, purporting to be a State Convention, which convention was in the main composed of Traitors to both State and Federal Government; and whereas said convention proceeded to nominate candidates for State office, and Representatives to the Confederate Congress,


Resolved, That we earnestly request Gov. Andrew Johnson to issue his Proclamation to the people of the State, solemnly warning them against any participation in said election whatever on pain of being held amenable to the laws of the United Stated for treason.

Col. Edwards. – I want to say Mr. President that the rebels cannot take advantage of their own wrong to excuse themselves from incidents connected with the commission of that wrong. If the rebels can't get news of the action of the execution, it is their own fault, and so far as I am concerned I will prosecute the last one of them. I don't want to let traitors when they get scared of treason [to] plead ignorance when they had place themselves in a condition not to know. They are traitors and therefore ought to suffer death.

Mr. Maynard - I desire the gentleman to enlarge on his resolution, so as to go to the very root of the question.

Dr. Brownlow – I am for the adoption of the resolution. I want to hang every scoundrel of them.

Mr. Bingham - I want on the heels of that happy resolution to offer another:

The Chair – Read it.

Mr. Bingham –

Resolved, That in the present condition of affairs in the State, it is important that our Military Governor be kept perfectly advised of all movements of a military or political character, and as nearly as possible, of the exact condition, wants and necessities of the people in the several grand divisions of the State, to the end that with the least possible delay, Tennessee may be restored to the Union under the constitution; and, therefore, that this convention elect a Governor's council, to consist of not less than three members, whose duty it shall be to consult and advise freely with our Military Governor in reference to all matters affecting the present and future condition of the people of Tennessee. Such counselors to act until a civil Governor and Legislature shall have been duly elected and qualified.

Mr. Wagner – I move that Judge Brien take the place of Mr. Mason on the committee on Federal Relations:

Mr. Maynard – The Judge is a modest man and would like to be excused, but we don't excuse men in these times on account of modesty.

Chair – The Judge is appointed a member of the committee.

Mr. Maxey; - I move that Mr. Bingham of Shelby be added to the list of the members of the committee on Federal relations.

Mr. Carper – I don't think any man who voted for separation and representation should be allowed to nominate any man in a Union convention.

The elected Bingham a member of the committee,

Col. Houck – I have a resolution here that I desire to be referred:

Chair – Read it

Col. Houck:

Resolved, That in the opinion of this body, no man should be permitted to exercise the right of suffrage in this State, who is not of known loyalty, and who has not evinced a disposition, under all favorable circumstances to aid in restoring Tennessee from the grasp of session and placing her back in the folds of the Union.

And further, that many of those who have lately taken the oath of allegiance to the National Government, in compliance with military orders, have done so, for reasonable purposes, and the more effectually playing the spy, and therefore should be zealously watched by the original Union men of our betrayed State.

Resolved, That the criterion by which men should be judged as to their loyalty or disloyalty, be as to whether they voted for or against separation on the 8th of June, 1861.

Mr. Driver – Mr. President, I move to strike out of the Col.'s resolution the word favorable [sic]. I want no one to vote unless they have been Union under all circumstances.

The resolution was referred.

Col. Houck – Some have had no chance to express their sentiments. We should pursue towards them a liberal polity.

Mr. Carper – He who is afraid to risk his life for the government has no right to vote.

Judge Brien - I have just learned that many Union men of Davidson think that but six delegates are allowed on this floor from this county. This is not my understanding. Does the Chair so understand it?

The Chair – The chair understands that all loyal men who sign their names are entitled to seats.

Dr. Brownlow – I wish to know if the resolution of Col Edwards has been sent to the Committee. Also, has any gentleman got the Union containing the resolutions of the committee, which it published a day or two ago?

Dr. Jones - Mr. President, I have been a modest man in this convention. I think I may claim this much. I have sat here and listened to the discussion of the most grave and vital questions of a people's interest. This body has been called a State Convention of the people of Tennessee. I am here a self-constituted delegate. My people have not met and sent me to represent them. They set with still mouths and tongues cleaving to the roof of their mouths. Yet Hamilton county has fifteen hundred men who have buckled on the knapsacks to their backs to redeem us from the thralldom of rebel tyranny. I assume to represent them, and I can tell you the sentiment of my people. They don't want a Legislature unless they can have a choice in it. They want a Legislature that will stand up for the integrity of the Federal government. They don't want the rebel portion of the State to take the lead in this thing, when they know that that section is in arms against them. I say that this convention is a self-constituted one. It is a mere pretence to say we want a Legislature and a Governor. Let us wait until we redeem the east of the State, and the people come up in their majesty and say let us have civil law. As Mr. Bridges says, "let us hold our grip." I heard a gentleman from the western part of the State say "let us make Gov. Johnson Provisional Governor." I ask, can we make more than President Lincoln can? This self constituted, august, and awful convention, can it change a feature, give or take power, or change a hair of his head? If we were to pass [many] resolutions a year it would not give him additional power. These men who are so anxious for this body to act, come from Shelby and other counties of the state. They want all the laws as they were before the war. I guess they would like to come back and have all the good old laws as they were before the rebellion broke out.

But when we have a Legislature, I want my people to have a representative who feels an interest in them. They don't want Middle or West Tennessee to rule Hamilton county. Fifteen hundred of her sons are under as brave a Dutchman as lives, Gen. Rosecrans, who will lead them into their own portion of the State and redeem it from rebel rule, and then they will be willing to have a Legislature and a Governor. We don't want the counties of Davidson, Hickman, Wilson, Cheatham and Shelby, where it was said if King Harris didn't get the State out the Union quick enough, she would go out on her own hook - yes take the initiative for treason and rebellion. But now she wants a Legislature to give her principal commercial advantages.

There is a portion of this State which wants succor. The cry comes wafted on every wind for help; then, you who have been redeemed come forward and help to redeem us, and we will meet you in convention and nominate a Legislature and a Governor. Let us be free. We want a voice in making the Laws. As yet we want Gov. Johnson and we want him to dictate and act without restraint. I have been here for three days waiting to hear something from this convention. There is not a man who dares not to meet the issue, although assumes to have all power. It dares not discuss the great question – the vital issue – and issue is emancipation. It is a question, not to be named – no, and it will never until it comes from the people, clothed with their Majesty, and who around their firesides have determined that it shall be heard and discussed. If you legislate contrary to the will and fixed determination of the people of my section of the State – you people of West Tennessee – fifteen thousand [sic] men, with muskets in their hands and bayonets upon them will break up your legislature. It can't be done, we intend it shall not be done!

We will not have such a Legislature. We consider ourselves as loyal – more so than any other part of the State. We do not intend to be re-baptized. We don't intend to allow treason to get to the ballot box again. We don't intend to recognize them any more – they told us lies once land we have lost confidence in them. When you elect a Legislature, you must recollect what we of East Tennessee are not going to take a low position to cotton and the nigger [sic]. If rebels but thought so, they would lay down their arms. No, I tell you over there (pointing east) there are true and loyal men. They will maintain Tennessee on a high and noble platform. She will not be less than her sisters in this grand Union.

In conclusion, my people don't want a Legislature nor a Governor. They are pleased with Gov. Johnson and will sustain him in the discharge of his duties. I suppose all men will claim to be union who went with the south, after treason is crushed – men who went in for a stupendous Southern Republic of the South [sic] – who wanted office and to get into high places. I am opposed to the portion of the state that did this, to have an equal chance with East Tennessee. I want all who forsook the government to be forsaken by the government.

Mr. Moss. – I claim nothing on account of the loyalty of my county. I want the loyal people to be heard from, East to West. I have a resolution I desire to present it in order that may harmonize feelings on this question. I do not claim to represent the secessionists of Williamson county. I do claim to represent twenty-two men living in her borders for I know them to be as good and loyal as any men. I care not from what county they hail. I am as good a Union man as any of you. Because I might not have had a Union neighbor as you had, it makes me none the less one. I know men here from Lincoln county, and I must speak for them highly, for loyalty. Let us say that each county is to have representation to her Union vote, and I lay claim to twenty-two from Williamson.

Col. Houck – I want you to tell me who went to jail for being a Union man in this part of the State, much less being hung, as we done [sic] in East Tennessee.

Mr. Moss – I feel as much pride in East Tennessee as the gentleman can. Yet, I can tell him men have been imprisoned, and I know those who had been ordered under arrest but the order was not enforced.

Mr. Houck – I have no disposition to wound his feelings, but when he makes that argument he makes it against himself. East Tennessee had many Union [men from] Middle Tennessee who were not noticed. East Tennessee was willing to suffer all for the cause. I want all loyal men to have a full right – we only ask to have East Tennessee heard and we want that hearing when the State is fully elected, and the people speak through the ballot box.

Judge Brian – We have, in our resolutions, asked Gov. Johnson to allow all loyal men in the State to vote. I depreciate sectional debate here. How are we to separate the sheep from the goats? There is no one in this convention who will say who are to vote, and the rule is applicable to all sections of the State. The convention cannot determine legal voters, and all the proclamation will determine that, we can do nothing. I know men, who were secessionists, who have taken the oath, given bond, and I would risk myself, my property and family, of their sincerity. We must first establish the supremacy of the law before any of us can vote. Gentlemen must know that after the rebellion is put down, and I have full faith in God that it will, there is a mighty people here who are yet to have a word in its government, although you might not be willing to give it. Thousand will come forward and ask forgiveness of the government and of their God, and make good citizens. If Tennessee is to be governed by such men as myself, and Col. Houck, and Mr., Carper, we would have a bad thing in point of numbers. No man who ever lived but deviated from the right. I have never given way to secession, but want to win back all who have strayed from the good old way. Then, let us go forward in the good –

Mr. Maynard – Will the gentleman allow me to interrupt him.

Judge Brien – Certainly.

Mr., Maynard – Does he not know that parties who took the oath have violated it – that they took the oath intending to violate it?

Judge Brien – I do not. I am not ashamed nor afraid to charge a man with crime when I know him to be guilty, but I have no ill will to any man on earth, yet I have reason to suspect that men may have taken the oath with sinister motives – I suspect so because I know the depravity of the species to which I belong – yet of my own knowledge I know of no such offence. When you visit the misdeeds of one individual upon a whole community you sap the foundation of all society There are courts instituted for the purpose of trying offenders, and I will for the first time engage, if you will report, the parties to prosecute them and have them punished to the extent of the law.

Col. Edwards – Good news! Gov. Johnson has just received the following: Meade has captured 20,000 of Lee's army, and his cavalry are in pursuit of the demoralized and fleeing rebels. (Cheers.)

Dr. Brownlow – The committee on Federal Relations, who have had the same under consideration, and beg leave to submit the following report:

The Committee on Federal relations to whom have been recommitted the resolutions under discussion last week, relative to the election of a Legislature, etc., have had the same under consideration and beg leave to report as follows:

1.              Resolved by the Committee, That we adhere to the resolution as reported and recommend their adoption. (Carried by 5 to 1.)

2.              Resolved, That we earnestly request Governor Johnson to issue a proclamation to the people of this State, warning them against any; participation in the election ordered by a recent treasonable convention held at Winchester, in this State, on pain of being held amenable to the laws of the United States for treason.

3.              Resolved, That Governor Johnson be requested to furnish all the means and facilities within in his power, to enable the thousands of patriotic soldiers who are in the Army of the Union, battling for the right of the people, to cast their vote in the coming election.

Mr. Lellyet – I move an adjournment

Mr. Brownlow – I have not yielded the floor. I have intended to have let out all that was in me. I want to hear all express themselves freely, and I intend to on some future occasion in an unmistakable manner.

Mr. Maynard – I don't think the point has been reached in the resolution. We always go to the right or the left. The resolution only requests that Governor Johnson all loyal men to vote.

Chairman – The hours for adjournment has arrived.

The convention adjourned.



Gen. Spears, of Bledsoe, took the floor, and made an extended argument, favoring the passage of the resolution as reported by the committee on Federal Relations. He argued that Governor Johnson came here clothed with authority to do everything requisite to re-establish civil authority in Tennessee. This was invested in him, by that clause of the United States Constitution which guarantees a Republican form of government to every State in the Union.

He admired the way Meade celebrated the 4th. That was the way to end the rebellion.

As to the qualification of voters, he was opposed to rebels voting under any circumstances. Let them cry "what shall I do to be saved."

Mr. Carper came into this body on his own hook. He did not desire to be Governor or Legislator. He was opposed to permitting rebels the right of sufferage [sic]. He would forgive no one until they had "brought forth fruits meet for repentance." As to swearing rebels, he could not see the good it accomplished. The leaders in this damnable rebellion pretended to be contending for Black Slavery; but they would never stop, if successful, short of white slavery of the most revolting character.

Here Mr. Lellyet interrupted Mr. Carper, who replied, that, to hear some gentlemen talk was like sticking a nail in his foot.

He thought the gentleman who had preceded him, was honest! As for his part he claimed to have no more sense, than to be honest! Those who desire to be so lenient towards rebels very well know, that the preachers of the Gospel, had to preach for, and propagate the doctrines of slavery, or he rode on a rail! The smartest preachers over in Nashville prior to the rebellion, was Ferguson[1], and he preached his flock to Hell! I think the best plan to ruin the country is not to elect those who profess to know too much. We are tired of such, having tried them!

Mr. Carper went on to show that Gov. Johnson had all the power needed for the present, in a civil point of view. He said that the people preferred that the rebel army should be driven out of the State, yes, into the gulf, then they would elect a Governor and Legislature. First give us freedom, and then we can have elections.

Mr. Lellyet then argued in favor of electing a Governor and Legislature, and offered an amendment to the pending resolutions so as to include the election of Governor. It was moved to lay the amendment on the table, which was carried by a vote of 69 to 10, after which the original resolutions, reported by the committee, passed, and the body adjourned until 9 o'clock tomorrow.

Nashville Daily Press, July 7, 1863.

          6-August 4, 1863, "Battle of Smoky Row" in Nashville[2]


          5, Ambush of Memphis and Charleston railroad by Confederate guerrillas

Excerpt from the account of Sergeant-Major Linus H. Miller, Thirty-seventh Iowa Infantry, of an ambush[3] by Confederate bushwhackers on the Memphis and Charleston Military Railroad, July 5, 1864.


[Sir:] I have the honor to state that on July 5 a detail of fifty [men] was sent from the Thirty-seventh Regiment to go as guard on a supply train on the Memphis and Charleston United States Military Railroad. When about thirty-six miles out, the train was fired into by fifty or sixty bushwhackers, concealed in the brush and behind a fence. Our guards were stationed on top of the cars, exposed to their fire, the train running thirty miles an hour. Our men returned the fire very promptly and it is believed from the best information we can gather, we did the enemy equal damage, at least in number. Our loss in soldiers...[was two corporals]. Both died in the hospital. Two others were wounded and are doing well. One brakeman on the train was killed, and a colored man dangerously wounded. The bushwhackers fired very [wildly], many shots striking and passing clear through the cars....

L.H. Miller, Sergeant-Major

SOR, Ser. I, Vol. 7, pp. 195-196.


          5, The establishment of a Civil Commission in occupied Memphis

"General Orders, No. 10."

Headquarters District of West Tennessee

Memphis, Tenn., July 5, 1864

I. A military court for the trial of civil cases is hereby organized, to be known as the "Civil Commission of the District of Memphis," with power to hear and determine all suits which may be brought before such court, coming within the jurisdiction hereinafter defined:

II. The officers of said civil commission shall be a judge, recorder, and marshal, to be appointed by the Commanding General of the District of West Tennessee.

III. The said civil commission shall have jurisdiction to hear, decide and grant relief upon the complaints and suits of loyal citizens, in the following categories of cases:

          1st-The collection of debts.

          2nd-The enforcement of contracts.

          3d-The transfer of the possession of real estate and personal property.

          4th-The settlement of partnership and other accounts between parties.

          5th-Proceedings for the redress and prevention of civil injuries.

          6th-The necessary action in cases of probate guardianship.

          7th-The granting of separate maintenance in suitable cases to married women and disposal of children and custody of property, in dispute between husband [and] wife.

IV. The commission shall have original jurisdiction in the classes of cases above named, and shall also take cognizance of such cases in appeal from courts of justice of the peace, including cases pending in the courts not now in regular action, when appeal may have been heretofore taken from the judgment of justices of the peace to higher courts.

Provided, however, that the commission shall not take original cognizance of cases exclusively within the jurisdiction of justices of the peace according to the laws of Tennessee, where there are justices competent to decide and give relief, nor of cases within the jurisdiction of the Federal courts for the District of West Tennessee.

V. Rules of practice and pleadings shall be prepared by the judge of the commission, proscribing the manner of conducting all proceedings, and including the bill of costs to be collected in all cases, which rules shall be as nearly as possible manifested to rules, heretofore obtaining to the courts of record in the state of Tennessee, and shall not be inconsistent with the Constitution and laws of the United States, or the military orders in force in the Department, and such rules of practice, when approved by the Commanding General, shall be followed strictly in all proceeding before the commissions.

VI. The commission shall not in any decision, order, judgment, or decree, recognize the legal existence of the institution of human slavery.

VII. The rules of evidence as to the competency of witnesses before the commission shall be the same as those now obtaining in military courts in the United States Army.

VIII. The commission shall have power to punish contempts committed in its presence, and contempts of offices of the nature of official defaults.

IX. Each and every final order, judgment and decree of the commission shall be promptly referred by the judge of the Commanding General of the District of Memphis for his approval or in case of his inability, from whence or other cause to act, to the Commanding General, District of West Tennessee, and no such order, judgment or decrees shall be carried into execution by the marshal without such approval; no objection on the part of parties, to such approval will be heard, unless ground and proofs of such objection have been made part of the record in the case, before the commission, in notice duly served.

X. The officers of the commission, if not officers detailed from the United States forces, shall be allowed a reasonable compensation for their services, and in such cases shall each give bond in the Provost Marshal of the District of Memphis, in the sum of fifteen thousand dollars, for the faithful and efficient discharge of their duties. No officer of the commission will be allowed to receive from any person compensation either directly or indirectly, for their services, under penalty of punishment by military commission.

XI. Assistants, clerks and marshals may be employed, if found necessary, but the judge of the commission. The salaries of employed officers and assistants the rent of rooms for the sessions of the commission, and all the necessary expenses will be paid from the costs collected. The recorder will act as treasurer, and will render monthly accounts of all receipts and expenditures certified by the judge to the Commanding General for his approval. The balance of monies remaining in hand will be paid over monthly to the proper officers of the United States Government, on the order of the Commanding General, and the vouchers and exhibits filed at the Headquarters of the Commanding general of the District of Memphis.

XII. From and after the date of this order, all civil cases within the jurisdiction herein conferred upon the civil commission if brought to the cognizance of the military authorities must be brought before the city commission as herein prescribed

XIII. The following named persons are hereby appointed officers of the Civil Commission of the District of Memphis.

Barbour, Lewis, Captain 1st Missouri Cavalry, Judge; Charles W. Johnston, Recorder; Martin O. Hopkins Marshal.

By order of Major-General C. C. Washburn

W. H. Morgan, Assistant Adjutant General.

Memphis Bulletin, July 22, 1864.

          5, Special Orders, No. 73, taxation in Memphis

Special Orders No. 74

Headquarters District of West Tennessee

Memphis, Tenn., July 5, 1864

F. L. Warner, City Tax collector, is hereby ordered to proceed at once to the collection of all city taxes due and remaining unpaid to the city of Memphis, as provided in Section 34 (?) of Article 3 of the charter of the city of Memphis (Bridges 1863); and the recorder of the city of Memphis is hereby invested with and ordered to exercise the jurisdiction and power in the premises of the law side of the common law and chancery court of the city of Memphis; and the Register of the city of Memphis is hereby ordered to use the seal of the city in acknowledging deeds made by the Tax Collector, and shall register the same in his office, and deeds so acknowledged and registered shall have the same virtue and effect as if done in the Register's office of Shelby county.

The Tax Collector, or his successor, shall make deed to the purchase after ninety days from date of purchase, provided the property be not redeemed within that time with the addition of fifty per cent. interest to the purchase money.

Property held, occupied, or used, by the United States shall be reported by the Collector to the Recorder, but no order of sale will be issued for taxes due since June 30, 1863, if the owner shall show to the Collector and Recorder that he has not received rents for the same since the occupation of Memphis by the military forces of the United States.

W. H. Morgan, Major had Ass't. Adj't. General

Memphis Bulletin, July 9, 1864.

          5-7, Federal expedition from LaGrange, Tennessee

GENERAL ORDERS, No. 65. HDQRS. RIGHT WING, 16TH ARMY CORPS, LaGrange, Tenn., July 4, 1864.

This command will be held in readiness to march early to-morrow morning, July 5. The infantry and artillery of this command will be provided with three days' rations, commencing on the 5th and ending on 7th. Proper requisitions will be immediately made out and the rations drawn. The cavalry will be provided with five days' rations. It is also desirable that as much forage (particularly oats) should be carried as possible. Additional orders will be issued later in the day for the order of march.

By order of Maj. Gen. A. J. Smith:

GENERAL ORDERS, No. 9. HDQRS. 2d Brig., 3d DIV., 16TH ARMY CORPS, LaGrange, Tenn., July 4, 1864.

Cmdg. officers of regiments and companies will not permit any straggling from their respective commands on the march. The disgraceful manner in which our march was conducted on the day we marched to this camp must not be repeated. Cmdg. officers of companies will see that every man has his canteen filled with water before the hour of marching in order that the subterfuge of looking after water may be no excuse. Experience has proven to both officers and men that those who remain with their companies uniformly endure the march better than those who straggle. Firing of guns while on the march will not be permitted. Regimental and company officers will be held responsible for the non-fulfillment of this order, which will be published to each regiment before we enter upon the march.

By order of James I. Gilbert, colonel commanding brigade:

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 39, pt. II, p. 163.

          5-21, Expedition from LaGrange to Tupelo, Mississippi[4]

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 39, pt. I, p. 247.

[1] Not identified.

[2] Prostitution and venereal diseases in occupied Nashville had resulted in a very serious threat to the health of the Federal army, and to a lesser extent local moral. In a characteristic military attempt to solve the problem, all prostitutes were rounded up by order of U. S. Army Provost Marshall Lieutenant Colonel George Spalding. The "Cyprians" were sent on a forced exile on the steamboat the IDAHOE [sic], commandeered specially for the purpose. "Squads of soldiers" according to the Daily Press of July 9, 1863, "were engaged in the laudable business of heaping furniture out of the various dens and then tumbling their disconsolate owners after." By early August the women had returned, after being rejected in Cincinnati, Covington and other towns up and down the Ohio and Cumberland rivers. By August 4, the IDAHOE, much the worse for wear, returned to Nashville and put the prostitutes put ashore. Ultimately the first system of legalized prostitution in America was established. See: James Boyd Jones, Jr., "A Tale of Two Cities: The Hidden Battle Against Venereal Disease in Civil War Nashville and Memphis," Civil War History, Vol. XXXI, No. 3, (1985), pp. 270-276.

[3] This ambush is referenced in neither the OR nor Dyer's Battle Index for Tennessee

[4] All action took place in Mississippi while the mission originated in Tennessee. This is referred to as "Smith's Expedition," in CAR, p. 42, and dated July 5-18.


James B. Jones, Jr.

Public Historian

Tennessee Historical Commission

2941 Lebanon Road

Nashville, TN  37214


(615)-532-1549  FAX


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