NOTES ON THE CIVIL WAR IN TENNESSEE
FOR DECEMBER 10, 1861-1864.
December 10, 1861
10, "The New Pork Factory"
Yesterday we had the pleasure of visiting and examining the mammoth building now in [the] course of erection by Messrs. Cumming, Doyle & Co., Confederate Army Contractors, and designed by them as a pork and beef packing establishment. The building is so near completion that slaughtering can be commenced with the next coming of cool weather; the machinery, the hands and stock being there ready to commence operations. This is the largest and most complete packing establishments in the Southern Confederacy, and reflects much credit upon the liberality and enterprise of the proprietors. All the work is to be done upon the wholesale plan, and judging from the machinery to be employed in the hands of practical men and the other conveniences about the establishment, we...conclude...it will be neatly and properly done. The factory is situated on the bank of the Cumberland, a short distance from the city and will be an object of considerable interest....
Nashville Daily Gazette, December 10, 1861.
10 Report of Lieutenant Phelps, U. S. Navy, commanding U. S. S. Conestoga, giving information obtained during an expedition up the Cumberland River.
U. S. GUNBOAT CONESTOGA, Paducah, Ky., December 10, 1861.
SIR: On the night of the 8th instant I proceeded with this vessel up the Cumberland River to near the fortifications below Dover, Tenn. General Smith had received information that there were a number of Union people near Linton, Ky., just below the line of Tennessee, who wished to join the Union forces, or were refugees, driven from their homes by rebel marauders, and were unable to escape through the rebel lines. On arriving at Linton two signal guns were fired as requested by these people, and we afterwards returned to that place to remain overnight, and about sixty persons came in during the night from the back country in small parties and were taken on board and brought down either to Smithland or to this place. Previous to anchoring at Linton, I had dropped down to the lower end of [State] Line Island, intending to remain there, but learning in the evening that persons had collected about the woods with the intent of cutting off all parties attempting to escape, I moved up to Linton itself, where the people succeeded in reaching the vessel. Just before dark a negro [sic] ran down to the river bank, near the boat, chased by blood hounds in full cry after him, and begged to be taken on board. I sent a boat to his rescue, and learning by his statement, confirmed by Kentuckians on board, that he was being chased by rebel cavalry (he had run 18 miles), with the intent, of seizing him and taking him to Dover to work upon the fortifications at that point, I received him on board and brought him away. His master is a secessionist. The cavalry did not show themselves, and the hounds were taken from the track, but we saw three of them. No demonstration against us was anywhere made, and we could hear of no outrages being committed near the river, no doubt owing to the assurance we have given that the secessionists of the Cumberland will be held to answer for the security of their Union neighbors.
The greatest efforts are being made by the secessionists to fortify the Cumberland below Dover, and a panic prevails, they being confident that an attack on Nashville is preparing under the authority of Governor Johnson, elected governor of Kentucky by the secession convention held at Russellville, in that State. The rebels are calling out Kentucky troops and are drafting men, impressing them into the rebel service, and under the same authority are seizing the negroes [sic] of Kentuckians, carrying them to Dover to work upon the fortifications. Thus it happens that Union men and secessionists alike are telling their slaves to escape to the woods to avoid the rebel cavalry engaged in seizing them. I am informed that Union men have been seized and carried off to work in place of their escaped slaves. It appears that the sons of the owner of the negro taken on board this boat gave him warning to escape, notwithstanding these sons themselves had been active in assisting rebel troops to find Government arms, etc., in their neighborhood.
I was informed from various sources that epidemic diseases of virulent type prevail at Dover, and that the troops are dying in great numbers. One man told me that three days before 12 volunteers of his acquaintance had been buried at one time.
If any movement is contemplated up the Cumberland, I am confident it should not be delayed longer than is necessary. An additional battery of three guns (32s) is said to be completed upon a hill back from the river about half a mile, but commanding a stretch of the stream above and below, and making a cross fire with the water battery. I could not verify this report, as the afternoon was rainy and misty when we were there, and at any time it cannot be examined without engaging it, as it can only be seen at a distance of 1 mile.
I again heard reports of two gunboats being constructed, one at Clarksville and the other at Nashville. It is also currently reported that the rebels have a heavy chain across the river at Dover, and are engaged in filling the channel with large stones.
On the Tennessee River three gunboats are reported to have come down below Fort Henry. I have employed a man to examine these craft and report their condition and armaments. I heard nothing of them from the inhabitants on the Tennessee, but there are none to be depended upon near the line. These boats are represented as having been plated, in whole or in part, and that this having proved a failure, compressed bales of cotton have been used to further secure the boats from the effects of shot. One of these is the Eastport, which, when new, was one of the fastest vessels running upon the Mississippi. It is 280 feet in length, and, if properly fitted up, could carry a most formidable battery. The others are much smaller vessels. Obstructions could be sunk so as to confine these boats, except in time of freshets, to the territory of Tennessee, but the head of the island in front of this town offers a place to locate a battery which would command the Tennessee and Ohio alike, and add very considerably to the defenses of the post landward. General Smith has made an examination of the island and will have one heavy gun placed there, not having, I believe, sufficient cannon to spare more for that point. I should feel little hesitation in running the fire of one gun, if there were an object in doing so, and a fast steamer would be exposed to the fire but a few minutes.
A good battery on the island would command the Tennessee and leave the river free for navigation by our gunboats.
Unlike the Ohio, the Cumberland and Tennessee rivers rarely freeze over. An old pilot informs me that in thirty-one years living upon its banks he has seen the Cumberland frozen over but four times, and steamers at times have laid by several weeks, unable to pass up the Ohio on account of ice, while boats were daily plying upon the Cumberland and Tennessee. Nor does the Tennessee fall to low stage like the Ohio in midwinter.
I am, respectfully, your obedient servant,
S. L. PHELPS, Lieutenant, Commanding, U. S. Navy.
Navy OR, Ser. I, Vol. 22, pp. 457-458.
10, "Suicide of Henry Hite."
Yesterday Coroner Alexander was summoned to hold an inquest in view of the dead body of Henry Hite, and the investigation resulted in the verdict that [the] deceased came to his death from the effects of poison self-administered. About noon the deceased called at a store in Broad street, asked for a drink of water, sat down in the doorway, as if to rest, and soon seemed to fall asleep. In a few minutes afterwards it was ascertained a portion of the fatal drug, was found on his person, and also a letter alledging [sic] that the writer having grown tired of this life and its trials, resorted to this means of seeking rest in another state of existence.
Nashville Daily Gazette, December 11, 1861.
December 10, 1862
10, C. S. A. versus Estate of Andrew Johnson.
[Knoxville], December 10, 1862
Confederate States of America
The Estate of Andrew Johnson
Petition 1st. Receiver District.
In this case appeared M.T. Haynes Receiver for the 1st District of East Tennessee, and moved that the said Andrew Johnson be declared an alien Enemy to the Confederate States of America, and the Court directed that the matter be submitted to a Jury—thereupon came the traverse jury, who had been summoned by the Marshal, and duly elected, empaneled [sic]and sworn to try all causes and matters civil and criminal in the Eastern District of Tennessee to be submitted to them during the present term of the Court to wit: Robert Cravens, James Montgomery, John Bise, Joel Bowling, John G. King, Carrick W. Crozier, Samuel P. Ivins, William S. Kennedy, William B. Smith, William Ray, E. W. Marsh and J. S. Blackwell, and the said jury having heard the testimony and the charge of the Court, upon their oaths do say, that the said Andrew Johnson is an alien Enemy to said Confederate States of America. It is therefore decreed by the Court that said Johnson is an alien enemy and all the property, rights and credits belonging to him either at law or in equity, are sequestrated under the acts of Congress, and the Receiver for said District is directed to proceed to dispose of the same as provided by law.
Court adjourned until tomorrow—morning at 10 o'clock.
W. J. Humphrey J.
Papers of Andrew Johnson, Vol. 6, pp. 95-96.
10, Federal false alarm; the long roll near South Tunnel, Sumner County; George F. Cram's letter home to his mother in Ohio.
Camp of the 105th [Ohio], South Tunnel
You have doubtless heard long before this letter reaches you of the surprise and capture of a federal brigade from this place last Sunday morning [December 7]. It was a most disgraceful affair to our army.
Two Ohio regt's [sic] stacked arms and fled without firing a gun….That night (Sunday) we were ordered up at three and ordered to take three days rations and be ready to march any moment….Well we got our three days rations, went back to bed and lay in anxious suspense till morning [8th]. The sun rose bright and cleared and seemed to disperse some of the fears of our officers for no order for march was given. The day passed away quickly but yesterday [9th] a report was brought into camp that 2,000 rebels under Morgan were advancing to attack us. Our Col. examined out guns and we were obliged to wash them all out. In the afternoon we drilled to make ourselves more efficient and finally night came but brought no enemy.
I spent the evening in writing….and at the usual hour we retired for the night. About one o'clock woke up and the 102nd regt. [sic] (adjoining ours) was sounding the long roll. A minute more and our drums rolled out the alarm upon the still midnight air. In an instant all was noise and bustle in camp. Our coats were hastily donned and cartridge boxes and bayonets were quickly put on. I had just buckled on all the accouterments of war, picked up my gun and stepped out of the tent when the alarm was found to be false. It originated by a regt. [sic] of men sounding the call for their men to get up to work on the fortification. The call was mistaken but the 102nd Ill [sic], for the long roll and thus it was taken up by one regt. [sic] After another till the camp was fully aroused. Well we threw off our warlike apparel and went back to bed again like sensible men. I cannot speak for the other companies in our regiment but out company promptly responded to the call, turning out to a man. The boys were cool and self-possessed although none knew what scenes of bloodshed the next hour would bring forth. We are getting used, as much as can be, to this wild roving kind of a live and not being at all surprised or startles us now.
Our cavalry are still scouring the country by day and the fortifications are being rapidly completed. It is evident that our General does not intend being caught asleep.
* * * *
Our soldiers are fast losing confidence in their leaders. They have been fooled so many times that they are no longer have faith in them and unless our government puts down the rebellion this winter, my own opinion is that it never can do it, the army will lose all its energy and vigor and our movements after that time will be attended with defeat. The soldiers are not being used far more roughly than ever before during the war and many are giving way under it.
I still continue however to be hopeful and always look on the brightest side. I live now wholly for the future for there is certainly no enjoyment in a soldier's life. I do not however expect to resume my studies again should I live to come out of this struggle. My health will to permit of it. I shall endeavor to get into some business which I can raise myself up.
Letters of George F. Cram.
December 10, 1863
10, Scout from Memphis.
DECEMBER 10, 1863.-Scout from Memphis, Tenn.
Report of Capt. Lucius B. Skinner, Sixth Illinois Cavalry.
HDQRS. THIRD BATT., SIXTH ILLINOIS CAVALRY, Memphis, Tenn., December 10, 1863.
Capt.: In pursuance with orders from Gen. Grierson, received this morning, I sent Lieut. Cover, of Company M, with 25 men, out east of the City to Mrs. Governor Jones', where they learned that 2 guerrillas had been in that neighborhood, and between there and White's Station, for several days. About 1½ miles east of Buntyn Station, found 2 men just getting on their horses after cutting the telegraph wires. They immediately gave chase and, after a ride of 5 miles, pursued them across Nonconnah. They were obliged to give it up, losing their track in the bottom. They gave them a very close chase, capturing the old musket I send you, also a pair saddle bags, but did not get near enough to shoot with any accuracy.
They could hear of no others in that vicinity.
Hoping the above will be satisfactory, I remain, your obedient servant,
L. B. SKINNER, Capt., Cmdg. Battalion.
OR, Ser. I, Vol. 31, pt. I, pp. 602-603.
10, Skirmish at Gatlinsburg [sic].
The skirmish at Gatlinburg was part of the Knoxville, Tennessee Campaign. It was most likely the only time in which Indians, most likely Cherokee, fought United States troops in Tennessee during the war.
Reports of Col. William J. Palmer, Fifteenth Pennsylvania Cavalry.
HDQRS. ANDERSON CAVALRY, Trotter's Bridge, December 11, 1863.
GEN.: I have the honor to report that on yesterday morning a little after daybreak I reached Gatlinburg, 15 miles from Sevierville, on the Smoky Mountain road, with 150 men, having approached from a point on the same road 3 miles in the rear of Gatlinburg, which point I reached by a circuitous and almost impassable trail from Wear's Cove.
At the same time Lieut. Col. C. B. Lamborn, with about 50 men, reached Gatlinburg from the north by the Sevierville road, which he intersected at Trotter's Bridge, 7 miles north of Gatlinburg, by a road leading from Wear's Cove, where our forces divided.
Capt. H. McAllester, with the remainder of our force, consisting chiefly of men whose horses were unshod or unfit to travel over the rough mountain trails, had been sent the previous afternoon to Sevierville from Chandler's, 18 miles from Knoxville, where I turned off to go to Wear's Cove. His instructions were to pickets the roads out of Sevierville, preventing any one from leaving the place, in order that information of our movements might not reach the enemy.
Lieut.-Col. Lamborn and myself reached Gatlinburg from opposite directions at about the same moment, both finding pickets posted, who immediately fired, thereby alarming the enemy's camp, which we found situated on a steep wooded ridge, commanding both roads and intercepting communication between us.
It being impossible to make a dash upon them, we were obliged to dismount our men and deploy them [as] skirmishers. We drove them from their position, which was a strong one, in about an hour, but, unfortunately, the steep wooded ridge on which they had their camp jutted on to the mountain on the east, and it was impracticable to prevent the rebels on retreating from taking up this mountain where we could not reach them, and where they continued firing from behind the thick cover for several hours. They finally retreated, scattering over the ridges to the Great Smoky Mountain.
From all the information I could get, I estimate their force at about 200, of which 150 were Indians and the remainder white men, the whole under the command of Col. Thomas, an old Indian agent.
We captured their camp with 1 prisoner, 16 horses, 18 muskets, 2 boxes of ammunition, several bushels of salt, meal, dried fruit, &c., and a large quantity of blankets, old clothing, &c. A number of squaws had reached them the previous evening, and they had evidently intended remaining at Gatlinburg for the winter, as their declarations to the citizens in the vicinity proved.
We destroyed the log huts and frame buildings composing their camp, and have returned most of the horses to their loyal owners. Col. Thomas was evidently taken by surprise, as he had not time to get his hat from his quarters at the foot of the ridge, which one of our men captured.
I regret to report that two of my officers and a sergeant were wounded in the skirmish, Capt. Clark seriously in the knee. Capt. Betts received a painful flesh wound in the arm. The sergeant's wound was trivial. The loss of the enemy is not known. If any were killed they carried them off when they retreated.
Col. Thomas has most probably taken his men back to Quallatown, in North Carolina, but I have sent a scouting party out this morning to ascertain.
I very much regret that we were not more successful. We rode all night over a foot path that many of the citizens considered impracticable; and while I cannot see that we could have done better under the circumstances than we did, yet I can now see from my knowledge of the ground (which was entirely unknown to us before) how I might have captured most of the party by making certain dispositions before reaching Gatlinburg.
I start this morning for Evan's Ford, on French Broad, 9 miles from Sevierville, and between that place and Dandridge, where I learn 100 rebel cavalry crossed last night.
I am, general, yours, respectfully,
WM. J. PALMER, Col.
OR, Ser. I, Vol. 31, pt. I, pp. 438-439.
10, Skirmish at Morristown.
RUTLEDGE, December 10, 1863--11.45 a. m.
GEN.: Your dispatch of 3 p. m. yesterday only just received. I forwarded one to you at daylight this morning; since then have heard from Shackelford that Col. Ward had a severe skirmish with enemy yesterday p. m. on Morristown road, and drove him across river. This morning he (Shackelford) has sent a brigade on each of the roads in his front to Morristown and Rogersville. I have directed him to hold Bean's Station in force, and make no advance unless further orders or developments require it. Small parties of the enemy are hovering on other side of river, even to Strawberry Plains. Very glad to hear that you are better, and out. Maj. Cutting has pressed on to communicate with Gen. Shackelford.
JNO. G. PARKE, Maj.-Gen., Cmdg.
RUTLEDGE, December 10, 1863--4.30 p. m.
GEN.: Maj. Cutting reports from Bean's Station at 2 p. m. that a portion of the brigade sent toward Morristown took the Russellville branch, and met the enemy at the river; found them in too great force to dislodge, and remains facing the enemy at Moore's Ferry, about 10 miles from Bean's Station, guarding wagon trains….One hundred of the enemy's cavalry have attacked a company of ours on river 6 miles from here…. A number of small parties are reported on other side river. Gen. Shackelford is in communication with Willcox, at Tazewell; the road had not been obstructed by the enemy. Willcox is about forwarding supplies and repairing the telegraph.
JNO. G. PARKE, Maj.-Gen.
OR, Ser. I, Vol. 31, pt. I, p. 327
10, Skirmish at flour mill at Rutledge, Confederate still near Clinch River and surrender of Confederates at Knoxville.
No circumstantial reports filed.
Rutledge, December 10, 1863--6.15 p. m.
GEN.: The story as to the rebels at the mill was considerably exaggerated. My men have been grinding there all day, are still there, and have orders to continue grinding till morning. Only some 40 or 50 of the enemy showed themselves. Lieut. Fletcher only had half a dozen orderlies, and a party of the enemy crossed to try and get them. As soon as the company of infantry came up he drove them off, only 2 or 3 getting across the river; the rest took up for the Morristown road, except 3 or 4 who were run into the woods. A small party has since shown across the river, but made no attempt to disturb the party at the mill. As I found Ferrero's regiment had started, I thought it as well to cut through, as there might possibly be some attempt on the mill party. If the enemy had any spare force across the river, their remaining so long thereabouts is explained by the fact that they are running a still about 1½ miles back from the river. Marsh reports that Strong and Anderson, of Gen. Foster's staff, were in Knoxville yesterday. The other brigade he met on the road with Mott's was composed of Tennessee troops, and I suppose was Spears', and Marsh says between 300 and 400 prisoners came into Knoxville yesterday, picked up in squads on the French Broad.
ROBERT B. POTTER, Brig.-Gen.
OR, Ser. I, Vol. 31, pt. III, pp. 369-370.
10, Federal situation report, Columbus environs.
HDQRS. SECOND DIVISION, FOURTEENTH ARMY CORPS,
Columbus, Tennessee, December 10, 1863--7 a. m.
Maj.-Gen. HOWARD, Cmdg. Eleventh Corps, Athens, Tennessee:
GEN.: Your communication from Athens, dated last night, arrived at 12.30 this morning.
I arrived here day before yesterday at dark, and have until the arrival of your dispatch been anxiously waiting to hear from Gen. Sherman.
About 3,000 rebel cavalry left this vicinity at our approach. No other force can be heard of nearer than the neighborhood of Dalton.
Report says the rebel cavalry have burned the bridge at Calhoun and Charleston. I hope you will find the report untrue. I am awaiting further orders from Gen. Sherman, and in the mean time [sic] am building bridges and running the mills with good success.
Plenty of grain and meat can be procured here. I expect Gen. Sherman here to-day from Tellico, and them will know what I am to do next.
I have no cavalry, and can get along but illy [sic] without it.
The guerrillas are very impudent around me.
I am, very respectfully,
JEF. C. DAVIS, Brig.-Gen., Cmdg. Division.
OR, Ser. I, Vol. 31, pt. III, pp. 371-372.
10, Complaints of depredations by Federal soldiers.
OFFICE PROVOST-MARSHALL-GEN. OF EAST TENNESSEE,
Knoxville, Tennessee, December 10, 1863.
Lieut.-Col. SELFRIDGE, Actg. Asst. Adjt. Gen., Fourth Army Corps:
COL.: I have the honor to call the attention of the major-general commanding the Fourth Corps to the frequent complaints which are made at this office by citizens residing on the south side of the river of depredations committed by soldiers of his command. These citizens are almost unanimously devoted to the interests of the Government, and I respectfully request that measures be taken to remove all grounds for complaints on the part of loyal citizens.
Very respectfully, &c.
S. P. CARTER, Brig.-Gen. and P. M. G. of East Tennessee.
OR, Ser. I, Vol. 31, pt. III, p. 372.
The gas-works, having exhausted the supply of coal in the city, Nashville last night was without a solitary gas jet. The gas-works have suspended operations and our city will be in a state of darkness until a supply of coal reaches us. In the meantime our denizens will have to go back to first principles and use candles and lamp-oil.
Nashville Daily Press, December 10, 1863.
December 10, 1864
10, "Provost Order No. 254;" enforcing the price of flour as established in Provost Order 252.
Headquarters Post of Nashville
Office of Provost Marshal
Nashville, Tennessee, December 10, 1864
* * * *
II. It having been represented to the general Commanding the Post that flour dealers in the city are attempting to evade or defy Provost Order No. 252, by hiding their flour, or openly refusing to sell it at schedule rates ($15 per barrel); it is hereby ordered, that all flour dealers either merchants or consignees, selling on commission, shall report to this office what amount of flour they have on hand, and what disposition they either have made or intend to make thereof. This report must be made by 12 o'clock on Monday, Dec. 12 1864.
All persons who fail to comply with this order will be liable to arrest and their goods liable to confiscation for the use of [the] Government.
By Command of Brig. Gen. J. F. Miller
Hunter Brooke, Capt. and Provost Marshall
Nashville Dispatch, December 12 1864.
An extraordinary skedaddle took place at the office of the Provost Marshal yesterday morning, when all the clerks rushed helter skelter out of the office and into the hall as if Old Nick had been after them. Consternation was depicted in the countenances of some of the guards, but, like veterans, they stood firm at their post, while our local seized his hat and cane, preparatory to jumping out the windows; he was prevented from doing so, however, by a kind-hearted gentleman, who informed him that the supper bell was the innocent case of all the excitement.
Nashville Dispatch, December 11, 1864.
10, Willis Hansford's letter home from Nashville on the whereabouts of his father after the battle of Franklin.
December the 10th, 1864
I seat myself this morning to answer your letter (that) I received last evening, dated Dec. the 3rd, which gives me great satisfaction to hear that you are all well. This letter leaves me well and I hope these few lines will find you the same. I told you (in) the other letter about Pap getting wounded, but don't know whether you got the letter or not. He was wounded. I havent [sic] heard from him. I packed him off the field. It was in the night. I could not tell how bad he was wounded. I don't think it went to the holer. (?) I wanted to stay but I could not get to stay, but I think he will get well. The Rebs [sic] is payrolling (paroling) all the (Federal) wounded fast as they get so (well enough) they can travel. I got his money and started you one hundred dollars by William Marcum and I will send you some more as soon as I get the chance. I don't know when I will get to come home, but I will come as soon as I can. You do the best you can till I get to come, and get some body to get wood for you. So I will close for this time, but remain your son till death.
From Willis Hansford
To Mary Hansford
Willis Hansford Correspondence.
 It isn't known if it was up or down stream from the city, or on what bank.
 Morgan's victory at Hartsville, December 7, 1862.
 Jennifer Cain Bohrnstedt, ed, intro. Orville Vernon Burton, Soldiering With Sherman: Civil War Letters of George F. Cram, (DeKalb, Ill.; Northern Illinois University Press, 2000), pp. 25-26. [Hereinafter cited as: Letters of George F. Cram.]
 Jackson County, NC, seat.
 Columbus was located in Polk County, Tennessee.
James B. Jones, Jr.
Editor, The Courier
Tennessee Historical Commission
2941 Lebanon Road
Nashville, TN 37214