Wednesday, January 20, 2016


January 21, 1861-1865


21, "Firing of a Cannon."
About 7 o'clock last night, fifteen guns were fired from Capitol Hill in honor of the secession of Georgia....
Nashville Daily Gazette January 21, 1861.


          21, Warnings of residual pro-Union sentiment in East Tennessee
HDQRS., Knoxville, Tenn., January 21, 1862.
Gen. S. COOPER, Adjutant and Inspector-Gen., Richmond, Va.
* * * *
Outwardly the country remains sufficiently quiet but it is filled with Union men who continue to talk sedition and who are evidently waiting only for a safe opportunity to act out their rebellious sentiments. If such men are arrested by the military the Confederate State courts take them by writ of habeas corpus and they are released under bond to keep the peace; all which is satisfactory in a theoretical point of view but practically fatal to the influence of military authority and to the peace of the country. It seems not unlikely that every prisoner now in our hands might or will be thus released by the Confederate court even after being condemned by court-martial to be held as prisoners of war.
It is reported to-day that several fragmentary companies recruiting in different counties ostensibly for the service of the Confederate States have suddenly disappeared; gone to Kentucky.
It is confidently hoped that the bridge over the Holston at Union will be completed in the current month.
Very respectfully, sir, your obedient servant,
D. LEADBETTER, Col., Cmdg.
OR, Ser. II, Vol. 1, p. 877.
          21, Memphis Prostitutes Lidia Angling and Annie Davis arrested for street walking
Femininical.—About 4½ o'clock, yesterday evening a young woman was arrested by officer Sullivan while indecently exposing her person near Odd Fellows' Hall. Another girl who was with her that officer also took into custody for hustling ladies, among them an old lady of sixty, from the sidewalk. Their names were Lidia Angling and Annie Davis. The same officer arrested two other women yesterday, who were fighting, each armed with a hatchet, on Jefferson street, near the bayou. One of them had received a cut on the head, the other was considerably scratched
Memphis Daily Appeal, January 21, 1862.


          21, Correspondence between Major-General Charles A. Dana and U. S. Secretary of War, Edwin M. Stanton, relative to illegal cotton trade involving "Yankees and Jews"
MEMPHIS, January 21, 1863.
DEAR SIR: You will remember our conversations on the subject of excluding cotton speculators from the regions occupied by our armies in the South. I now write to urge the matter upon your attention as a measure of military necessity. The mania for sudden fortunes made in cotton, raging in a vast population of Jews and Yankees scattered throughout this whole country, and in this town almost exceeding the numbers of the regular residents, has to an alarming extent corrupted and demoralized the army. Every colonel, captain, or quartermaster is in secret partnership with some operator in cotton; every soldier dreams of adding a bale of cotton to his monthly pay. I had no conception of the extent of this evil until I came and saw for myself. Besides, the resources of the rebels are inordinately increased from this source. Plenty of cotton is brought in from beyond our lines, especially by the agency of Jewish traders, who pay for it ostensibly in Treasury notes, but treaty in gold. What I propose is that no private purchaser of cotton shall be allowed in any part of the occupied region. Let quartermasters buy the article at a fixed price, say 20 or 25 cents per pound, and forward it by army transportation to proper centers, say to Helena, Memphis, or Cincinnati, to be sold at public auction on Government account. Let the sales take place on regular, fixed days, so that all parties desirous of buying can be sure when to be present. But little capital will be required for such an operation. The sales being frequent and for cash, will constantly replace the amount employed for the purpose. I should say that $200,000 would be sufficient to conduct the movement. I have no doubt that this $200,000 so employed would be more than equal to 30,000 men added to the national armies. My pecuniary interest is in the continuance of the present state of things, for while it lasts there are occasional opportunities of profit to be made by a daring operator; but I should be false to my duty did I, on that account, fail to implore you to put an end to an evil so enormous, so insidious, and so full of peril to the country. My first impulse was to hurry to Washington to represent these things to you in person; return East so speedily. I beg you, however, to act without delay if possible. An excellent man to put at the head of the business would be Gen. Strong. I make this suggestion without any idea whether the employment would be agreeable to him.
Yours, faithfully,
P. S.-Since writing the above I have seen Gen. Grant, who fully agrees with all my statements and suggestions, except that imputing corruption to every officer, which, of course, I did not intend to be taken literally. I have also just attended a public sale by the quartermaster here of 500 [sic.] bales of cotton confiscated by Gen. Grant at Oxford and Holly Springs. It belonged to Jacob Thompson and other notorious rebels. This cotton brought to-day over $1,500,000 cash. This sum alone would be five times enough to set on foot the system I recommend, without drawing upon the Treasury at all. In fact, there can be no question that by adopting this system the quartermaster's department in this valley would become self-holders would no longer find that the rebellion had quadrupled the price of their great staple, but only doubled it.
OR, Ser. I, Vol. 52, pt. I, p. 331.
          21, Capture of forage train near Murfreesborough[1]
No. 1.-Edward Potter, forage-master, U. S. service.
No. 2.-Gen. Braxton Bragg, C. S. Army.
No. 1.
Report of Edward Potter, forage-master, U. S. service.
HDQRS. SECOND BRIGADE, FIFTH DIVISION, CENTER, Murfreesborough, January 27, 1863.
COL.: I have the honor to make the following report to you of the capture of the forage train from your command of the 21st instant: We left camp at your quarters shortly after daylight of the morning of the 21st, with 34 wagons and 128 men, in charge of Capt. B. W. Canfield, of One hundred and fifth Regt. [sic] Ohio Volunteer Infantry, Company E, the train in the advance, until formed on the Liberty pike, about 1 ½ miles from your quarters. Before forming on the pike, I passed a large train forming from Gen. Wood's division, and formed our train in the advance of them, in charge of Mr. Campbell, wagon-master of the Eightieth Illinois Regt. [sic], with instruction to halt the train as soon as would give the large train room to form in our rear, while I returned to get two wagons of ours which had become fastened in with the large train, and to see at what time their train would be ready to move. The officer in charge told me it was ready then, but the guard was to quite ready, but would be in a very few moments. I then said I would move on our train to keep out of his way, as they would shortly overtake me. To which he replied, "Very well."
On my reaching the train, I found it halted, and the men in the wagons. They were placed there by order of Capt. Canfield. I said to him it was not in order for the men to ride, and the replied that the men had a fast walk to get up, and he would let them ride to the outpost pickets, and I ordered the drivers to move on, taking the advance myself, with four orderlies, one wagon-master, and one lieutenant from the Nineteenth Indiana Battery. We moved about one-fourth of a mile in the advance of the teams, halting and making inquiries of all the pickets and vedettes until I arrived at the point where we were attacked, which I was told was the last vedette post. At this point the wagon train was about one-fourth of a mile in our rear, and a short distance in the advance of me were some 30 men in our uniform, whom I supposed to be our pickets. As I was under the captain, I dismounted to ask him to form his men in the order of marching, and permitted the horsemen to advance within 40 feet of me, when they demanded my surrender.
At this moment I discovered our surprise, and ordered a halt of the teams and the men to form in line of the left of the wagons, and replied to the order to surrender by firing five shots, killing 3 men, and receiving two volleys from them, when I engaged Col. [J. B.] Hutcheson with my saber, disarming him, when I was overpowered by numbers, and surrendered my saber to Col. Hutcheson. While this was going on, the firing had commenced at the wagons, about 30 rods from me, in the rear, but how they were making of it I could not tell until I saw the teams advancing on the road where I was held a prisoner, and was told that every man was taken. We had 1 man slightly wounded in the hand. I saw 5 of Morgan's men taken from our wagon, dead, at Liberty, and 3 wounded men on horseback. We made a forced march to Smithville, and halted for one hour, and then started for McMinnville in the captured wagons. I made my escape from capture, and arrived at your quarters on the evening of the 26th instant. Our train was out for rough feed where I had previously found it, about 7 miles from Murfreesborough, and 1 mile to the left of the pike where we were captured. About 80 rods from where our capture was made we passed 2 men, who said they were patrols, and that everything was all right in front.
No. 2.
Report of Gen. Braxton Bragg, C. S. Army.
TULLAHOMA, January 22, 1863.
(Received at Richmond, Va., January 23, 1863.)
Lieut.-Col. [J. B.] Hutcheson, with 100 men, Morgan's cavalry, made a dash yesterday upon the enemy's camp at Murfreesborough, and captured and brought off safely 150 prisoners and 30 wagons. Maj. [D. W.] Holman (Wheeler's cavalry) since last report captured and destroyed another large transport on Cumberland loaded with subsistence. The enemy has made no show of an advance from Murfreesborough.
Gen., Cmdg.
OR, Ser. I, Vol. 23, pt. I, pp. 15-16.
          21 Skirmish on Shelbyville Pike
No circumstantial reports filed.
          21, Boiler plate opinion in Chattanooga
We have not heard as yet of a negro [sic] police in Nashville, but from all accounts, that city is full of blackguards.
"By Lincoln we live, by Lincoln we move, and by Lincoln we have our being" is the latest prayer of thanksgiving among the Yankee lick-spittles and nigger thieves. [sic]
Chattanooga Daily Rebel, January 21, 1863.
          21, "Powder and Lead" a newspaper advertisement by W. D. Humphries, Confederate Post Ordnance Officer in Chattanooga
We need all the lead we can obtain. I will pay a liberal price for it, delivered at the Ordnance Depot, or give Powder at a fair pro rata of exchange. Bring it on at once, and don't disdain small quantities.
Chattanooga Daily Rebel, January 21, 1863.
          21, The metropolitan gas works close in Nashville
The gas works will be closed up after to-day until a supply of coal can be obtained. Our citizens have already had a foretaste of the deprivation they will experience from the stoppage of the gas works in the fact that the streets have not been lighted for five or six nights. But the greatest deprivation will fall upon those whose business requires the use of gas lights. Candles were largely in demand yesterday, and dealers advanced their prices very considerably.
Nashville Dispatch, January 21, 1863.
          21, Account of Military Matters in Middle Tennessee Subsequent to the Battle of Stones River
Movements of the Belligerents After the Battle of Murfreesboro.
From the published statements of Gen. Rosecrans, after the retirement of the Confederates fro the battle field near Murfreesboro, it appears that on the morning of Sunday, the 4th, after it was announced to General commanding that Gen. Bragg had retreated, the Federals troops were engaged in throwing up entrenchments, cautiously approaching the town, and kept up a brisk cannonade till they got near enough to throw shell into the city, which was entered about the middle of the day by Gen. Rosecrans and staff. It is also stated that Bragg left his dead unburied, but succeeded in removing all his sores, artillery and munitions of war.
A survey of the battle-field after the strife had ended is said to have revealed a woful state of affairs-the dead and wounded lying in heaps, and scattered about in every direction in greater numbers than had been reported. The work of interment wasn't son accomplished, and the removal of the wounded who were suffering beyond description exposes as they were to the rain and cold, although attended to diligently, was not completed till after hundreds had died of exposure and for the want of cars and attention. Those who could be removed were taken to Nashville, where every hospital, church, hotel and hundreds of private dwellings, taken possession for that purpose, were filled to their utmost capacity. The country, however, were assured by an official announcement, that most the wounds were very slight, and that at least two thirst of the disabled menwould soon be able to return to their respective commands, and enter again upon active service.
All the Secession families in Murfreesboro are reported to have left the city before it was occupied by the Federal army. Pursuit of the vanquished was commenced as soon as practicable, but it seems from both the Federal and Confederate reports, that it was not very vigorously followed up. Some skirmishing with the rear columns and the retreating foe is said to have occurred, in which no great loss was sustained by either army. It was believed, as the enemy retired in the directions, that Bragg would make a stand there and again offer battle, but from recent reports is made to appear that he did not stop at Tullahoma, but proceeded on to Winchester where the main body of Bragg's army was stationed at latest dates. Rumor says that Longstreet has succeeded him in the command of the Confederate force in Tennessee.
It is stated that during the battle near Murfreesboro, there were many desertions from the Federal army, including several officers, and particularly from those division which were repulsed by Gen. Hardee in the great battle of Dec. 31st, in which, as reported, Gen. McCook's corps was so badly cut up to pieces that the various remnants, brigades and divisions retreated in the wildest confusion and so mingled that but few belonging to the same company or regiment could be found together. Under such circumstances, hundreds took occasion to abandon the service, and were among the missing a roll-call thereafter. Immediately after the termination of the conflict, and as soon as the fact became known that an unusual number of desertions had taken place, Gen. Rosecrans issued orders for the arrest of all such; wherever found, and their return to Nashville in irons.
The prisoners captured in the several engagements by Gen. Rosecrans' army were taken to Nashville, where the officer were placed in custody under the following order, issued by Gen. Rosecrans:
The Gen. Commanding is pained to inform the commissioned officers of the Confederate army taken prisoners that, owing to the barbarous measured announced by President Davis in a recent proclamation, denying parole to our officers, he will be obliged to threat them in like manner.
It is a matter of regret to him that this rigor appears necessary, and trusts that such remonstrances as may be made in the name of justice, humanity and civilization, may reach the Confederate authorities and induce them to pursue a different course, and thereby enable him to accord to their officers the privileges which he is always pleased to extend to brave men, even though fighting for a cause which he considers hostile to the nation and disastrous to human freedom.
On the 9th Gen. Rosecrans announced that he was pursuing the enemy, and expected they would push on the Chattanooga before making a stand. He had been largely reinforced by fresh troops, and no fears were entertained as to the result, should another battle ensue.
The Federals complain bitterly of the atrocities committed by the soldiery of the Confederate army before, during and after the battle, and the Confederates report the Federal soldiers were guilty of the most flagrant enormities possible for men to commit. The truth of the reports relative to the barbarity of the combatants is not doubted.
The latest intelligence from Tennessee represents that Cheatham's and Cowan's divisions of Bragg's army were at Shelbyville, awaiting reinforcements from Richmond. Wheeler, Starne and Forrest were at Charlotte, forty miles northeest of Nashville, with a heavy force, threatening the destruction of the transports on the Cumberland river, several of which are reported to have fallen into their hands. It was believed that gunboats would have to be sent up the river to shell out the enemy, and keep the navigation of the Cumberland and open below Nashville.
The Desert News [Salt Lake City, Utah], January 21, 1863.
21, "I had 4 bullets shot throw my close and when I fell a nother horse blounged right on my bowles, but still I was abel to go on my hands and knees." Matthew Askew's (Co.D, 1st O.V.I) letter to his brother describing his experiences at the Battle of Stones river
Convelesent Camp near Nashville, Tennessee
January the 21st, 1863
Dear Brother, I do not know wheather it would be better to direct my letter to wheir I am at present or to the regement. I will leave that to your self.
We have ben living on half rations since the battle, but now we have full rations of every thing. The river is up and thair has 40 bots or more come up the Cumberland to Nashville. Provishons is verry dear in Nashville. Flour 8 to 10 dollers per barell, meat 10 to 12 cents per pound, butter 75 cents per pound, potatoes wone doller per peck, appels 15 dollars per barrel, shugger 20 cents per pound, wood 12 dollers per cord, and every little notions in perporsion.
We had a few days of pretty hard winter weather heair, snow 3 or 4 inshes deep. But this morning it has all gon and become warme, but very muddy in our camp. Our camp is made up of all the men that is slightly wounded and sick that belongs to the 2 Devishon, which is comanded by General Johnson of Kentucky. I supose we have in our camp 400 and 50 men out of the whole Devishon. The town is pretty much all hospitals. They have taken a god many of the churches for the sick and wounded. The Hospital no. 8 this morning reports 16 in the dead roome and every other I supose as bad as it. The men that dy heair is a cation of all diseses you can menstion.
I can give you no information of your nabours. Dan Groves was taken prisner and wheather he was retaken or not I canot tell. I have not heard from James Bennet or Joseph Hogan since the fight. I hear our Regement is going to be paid of shortely, but thair is a pore prospect for me to receive any pay. I have got no discript rowl with me and I am not abel to go to my Regement, so I will be very like to mis my pay this time.
I must now come to a close. Pleas giv my kind respects to you dear wife and children, Uncel and Ant and all my inquiring frinds.
I have no sight of getting a furlow this winter as thair is so many that is worse than I am that canot get home.
Pleas right me a few lines as soon as poseball and send me a few postedg stamps as I am out of money till I get to my regement. I could get all I wanted.
I had 4 bullets shot throw my close and when I fell a nother horse blounged right on my bowles, but still I was abel to go on my hands and knees. My best frind was from Cinncitia, his name was Goerge Jemmeson, a brick layer. He was shot through the thigh with a cannon ball and died soon after.
So no more from your well wishing brother,
Matthew Askew
Askew Family Correspondence[2]


          21, Scout from Chattanooga to Harrison & Ooltewah
JANUARY 21, 1864.-Scout from Chattanooga to Harrison and Ooltewah, Tenn.
Report of Col. Geza Mihalotzy, Twenty-fourth Illinois Infantry.
HDQRS. 24TH Regt. [sic] ILLINOIS VOL. INFANTRY, Chattanooga, Tenn., January 24, 1864.
GEN.: I have the honor to submit the following report, detailing additional results of the expedition under my command of detachment Third Brigade, First Division, Fourteenth Army Corps, to Harrison and Ooltewah:
On the 20th instant the following-named 4 deserters from the rebel army came into our lines, whom I sent to Provost-Marshal-Gen. Wiles the same day: John L. Tanner, private, Sixteenth Tennessee Infantry; J. C. Cantrell, private, Sixteenth Tennessee Infantry; T. J. Cantrell, private, Sixteenth Tennessee Infantry, stationed 4 miles below Dalton, and report the strength of the rebel forces at those places respectively as follows: At Tunnel Hill, three brigades of infantry and a large force of artillery; at Dalton, two divisions of infantry.
On the 21st instant, the morning after receiving you dispatch, in obedience to orders, I proceeded with my command Ooltewah, while I sent my train to Chattanooga by the direct road. With the train in charge of Lieut. Hodges, Thirty-seventh Indiana Volunteers, I sent 3 citizen prisoners from the neighborhood of Harrison (J. T. Gardenhire, J. A. Hunter, and ____Lyon) to Provost-Marshal-Gen. Wiles, who are charged with having aided rebel guerrillas.
On approaching the town of Ooltewah about 10 a. m. I encountered a squad of rebel cavalry, some 60 men strong, who, however, precipitately fled from my advance guard, and having no cavalry at my disposal I was unable to pursue them. The intention of this force was to get into the rear the thereby cut off the communication of the scouting party of 50 under Capt. H. A. Sheldon, of First Wisconsin Volunteers, whom I had sent out on the preceding day, as report in my dispatch of January 20, 1864.
On my way to Ooltewah, at the house of Anthony Moore, I seized the records of the county registrar's office, comprising the following: Eighteen volumes of records of Registrar's Office, County of Hamilton; two volumes Laws of Tennessee, 1857-'59; one volume Code of Tennessee. The above volumes are at my headquarters, to be disposed of according to instructions.
At Ooltewah I arrested Miss S. Locke and Miss Barnet, who have already been delivered to Provost-Marshal-Gen. Wiles, both of whom are charged with carrying contraband information to the rebel army. Through the scouting expedition above mentioned I have obtained the following information: The rebel forces at Tunnel Hill and Dalton, whose exact strength I was unable to ascertain, were reported doing considerable moving and shifting recently, the object of which, however, could not be learned. A force of 300 of Wheeler's rebel cavalry are encamped 5 miles beyond Igou's Gap, whose pickets are stationed at the gap. This force is continually making raids in small detachments on the Union towns and farms of that neighborhood, and committing all manner of outrages and cruelties on the loyal population.
As an incident illustrative of the barbarities constantly being perpetrated by these outlaws, I will mention that a Mr. Tallent, a loyal citizen living near the forks of the roads leading to Red Clay and McDaniel's Gap, recently found In his immediate neighborhood a young child In a perishing condition, stripped of all Its clothing, which the rebels had left there, having attempted by that means to find the father of the said child, whom they proposed to hang, he being a loyal citizen.
I have been reliably informed that a rebel raid on our river transportation at Harrison is now positively being prepared. This raiding force will have to pass thought the mountain gaps near Ooltewah. The rebels infesting that region of country have been In the habit of disguising themselves In Federal uniforms, and have by this means often succeeded In deceiving the Union people. Messrs. Stone and Scroggins, Union citizens living at Julien's Gap, can give information of a guerrilla band commanded by a citizen of Ooltewah, who steal and plunder from the loyal citizens continually. They also know where a large portion of the spoils of this band are now secreted. A number of discharged soldiers from Tennessee regiments have banded together with Union citizens and organized themselves for self-defense. They are armed with such weapons as they have been able to procure, consisting of rifles, carbines, and revolvers. This band of loyal men, who are men of the highest sense of honor and true patriotism, are doing all they can to promote the success of our cause. Their number could be increased to 200 if arms could be provided for them. By their aid Surgeon Hunt, of the Ninth Tennessee Infantry, whom I previously reported captured by guerrillas, was enabled to escape, and he is now in captured by guerrillas, was enabled to escape, and he is now in safety. I have also learned that [a number of]....citizens, living In the vicinity of Ooltewah, are In the habit of harboring the guerrillas infesting that region, and that the rebels have signified their intention to burn the town, of Ooltewah as soon as the families of the Misses Locke and Barnet, above mentioned, quit the town. After obtaining the above information from my scouting party, who returned about two hours after I arrived at Ooltewah, I took up the march to Chattanooga and arrived in camp at 9.30 o'clock the same day with my command, without having sustained any loss.
In conclusion I would again most respectfully beg leave to call the attention of the general commanding to the advantages to be gained by permanently stationing a small force at the town of Ooltewah. A force of two regiments with a half battery of battery of artillery could, in conjunction with the organization of citizens above mentioned, hold all the mountain passes in that region, thereby effectually preventing all raids, securing our river transportation, and affording to the almost exclusively loyal population the protection which they so much deserve. A great amount of most valuable information could also be obtained by such a force with the aid of the citizens of the band previously mentioned, they being intimately acquainted with the country thereabouts and able and willing to put in operation a most effective system of espionage for that purpose.
I have the honor to be, general, very respectfully, your most obedient servant,
G. MIHALOTZY, Col. 24th Regt. [sic] Ill. Vol. Inf., Cmdg. Expedition.
Maj. Gen. J. M. PALMER, Cmdg. Fourteenth Corps.
HDQRS. FOURTEENTH ARMY CORPS, Chattanooga, January 24, 1864.
Respectfully forwarded, and attention called to the highly judicious suggestions of Col. Mihalotzy.
J. M. PALMER, Maj.-Gen., Cmdg.
OR, Ser. I, Vol. 32, pt. I, pp. 103-104.
          21, Skirmish at Strawberry Plains
HDQRS. SECOND DIVISION, NINTH ARMY CORPS, Lyon's Mills, Tenn., January 31, 1864.
CAPT.: On the 21st ultimo the Ninth Corps was at Strawberry Plains. The army was moving toward Knoxville, with heavy trains over bad roads, and the Ninth Corps was left to bring up the rear. The bridge being dismantled and set on fire, our pickets were withdrawn, as directed by the major-general commanding, from the south side of the river in a flat-boat. The enemy soon appeared, lined the banks of the river commanding the plains, and from Seminary Hill opened fire with a field battery. Lieut. Gittings, with Batteries L and M, third U. S. Artillery, was posted near a block-house covering the depot, but placed his four guns in a better position on the ridge next in rear of the block-house, and replied with such effect as to silence the enemy, notwithstanding a cross-fire brought to bear upon him from a point to our left and front.
We remained in position all day at Strawberry Plains annoyed, after the artillery ceased, only by the enemy's sharpshooters. They showed a considerable force of cavalry and mounted infantry, some squadrons, and one long column which we were able to reach with our shells with considerable apparent effect. They seemed to be moving down from the New Market road out upon the Sevierville road, from which there were roads leading to a ford 2 miles below us, and other fords still lower down, crossing at either of which would have enabled them to cut our train stretched between Strawberry Plains and Knoxville. The picket at the ford was strengthened, and a regiment sent to Flat Creek by the general's order. In the evening a train of cars was expected to take off some public property remaining at the depot, consisting mainly of two guns, said to belong to Goodspeed's battery (not of the Ninth Corps), and some caissons. There was no transportation to take this property away, and a telegram was received stating that the cars had run off the track just out of Knoxville. The troops were ordered by Gen. Parke to be at Flat Creek by daylight. The batteries were started at 12, the troops at 3. I was directed to bring off the guns and caissons, before mentioned, if possible; if not, to destroy them. The men of the Ninth Corps volunteered to drag the guns, which they did with much labor, and the caissons were destroyed, as it was impossible to bring them away. The troops reached Flat Creek by daylight, and were ordered to move on toward Knoxville in rear of the Twenty-third Corps.
At about 1 o'clock on the 22d, the enemy's cavalry appeared in our rear, 1 mile above the Armstrong house, just as we came up with Manson's division, Twenty-third Corps, which had been halted. The lines were formed and we marched in company with Gen. Manson, without annoyance from the enemy, to a position a mile above the intersection of the Armstrong's Ferry road with the Knoxville road, where I ordered a halt of all the troops, threw out skirmishers toward the enemy, encountered their skirmish line, drove them back, and carried two wooded knolls which they had seized In our rear and right. The rebel force driven off, we went into bivouac. They made a demonstration on Gen. Manson's pickets early in the evening, which was repulsed. Their whole force returned toward Strawberry Plains about midnight, and we saw no more of them. They were said to be Armstrong's division of cavalry and mounted Infantry.
* * * *
O. B. WILLCOX, Brig.-Gen., Cmdg.
OR, Ser. I, Vol. 32, pt. I, pp. 107-108.
          21, U. S. C. T. in Shelbyville environs, excerpt from a letter to Laura Owen
Dalton, Ga
Janry 21st 1864
My beloved wife
* * * *
There are two citizens in camp from Tullahoma Tenn & report people in Midl [sic] Tenn [sic] have plenty to eat & doing well, some Yankee soldiers in the country & three Negro regiments guarding [sic] Shelbyville.
* * * *
U.G. Owen
Dr. U. G. Owen to Laura, January 21, 1864.
          21, Termination of passes from Nashville
Special Notice.
Headquarters Military Div. Of the Miss,
Office of Provost Marshal General.
Nashville, Tenn., Jan. 21, 1864
No application need hereafter be made at this office for passes to go South of the Federal lines, as none will be granted.
By command of Major General U. S. Grant
W. R. Rowley, Major and Provost Marshal General.
Nashville Dispatch, January 24,1864.
21, Report on Confederate guerrilla activities between the Cumberland and Tennessee rivers
We have some cheering news from the Cumberland river, in the vicinity of Clarksville, through the Federal lines. Captain Bruce Phillips, formerly of the 14th Tennessee regiment, and who commanded that regiment, in the first day's fight at Gettysburg, who received authority last fall to recruit a regiment of cavalry inside the Federal lines, is now in the section of the country between the Cumberland and Tennessee rivers, ding serious damage to the foe. He has between 150 and 200 men and has been actively engaged all winter in annoying the Federal Garrisons at Clarksville and Fort Donelson, and the working parties upon the North-western railroad. Not long since he attacked several thousand of the armed negroes working on the railroad, killed and wounded a large number, and put the rest to flight. Some of them whose masters lived in Clarksville, had reached that place, and reported that their whole force had been scattered except those were killed and wounded, and that they themselves had been so badly scared that they had been running for thirty miles to get home. A few days before Christmas, Captain Phillips with fifteen men was in the immediate vicinity of Clarksville. The fact becoming known to the Federal commander at Clarksville, he dispatched a party of fifty-[sic] to capture them. Phillip's party ambuscaded them, and killed seventeen and wounded a many others. Only seventeen of the party returned to Clarksville. Capt. Phillips is a daring and efficient officer, is entirely familiar with the country in which he is now operating, and will doubtless do much good.
Macon Daily Telegraph, January 21, 1864.
.21, State Political Reorganization Rally in Nashville
The Reorganization Movement in Tennessee.
At Nashville, on the 21st inst. a large meeting was held at the capitol relative to reorganization. Hon. M. M. Brien presided, assisted by Col. Pickens, of East Tennessee, and Joseph Ramsey, Esq., of Bedford, as Vice Presidents. The meeting was addressed by Jas. F., Fowler, Esq., Colonel Edwards, of East Tennessee Capt. E. O, Hatton and Gov. Johnson. A lengthy preamble and the following resolutions were adopted:
Resolved. 1. That we recognize the authority and duty of the executives of the United States, of such agents and instruments he may constitutionally appoint and employ, in cooperation with the legislative and judicial department of the government, to secure to the loyal people of any State of the Untied Stated the constitutional guarantee of a republican for of government.
Resolved 2. The people being the rightful source of all power of government, the welfare of the people of Tennessee will be the best secured by committing the restoration and permanent establishment of civil  government to a constitutional convention, to be chosen by the loyal citizens of the State; and having implicit confidence in the integrity of the Hon. Andrew Johnson Military Governor, we submit that he may call such a convention of the State at any time when,, in his judgment, the State can be represented from all her parts.
Resolved 3. As slavery was the cause of all our trouble, and as it is an unmitigated evil in itself; and since it may be considered dead by the action of its friend, that it may never be resurrected, to enable a small minority to bring the ruin upon our children that it has given us, were here pledge ourselves to use all our influence to elect such men and only such men, as delegates to said convention as shall be in favor of immediate and universal emancipation now and forever. And we invite our fellow citizens everywhere to unite with us on this platform to unite with us on this platform and we use this opportune moment to free ourselves and our posterity from the bondage in which we have been so long enslaved by the influence of an arrogant and dominant aristocracy. [3]
Resolved 4. That on the call of said convention it shall consist of delegates duly elected from the respective Senatorial and Representative Districts under the last constitutional apportionment.
North American and United States Gazette,[4] July 28, 1864. [5]


          21, Report on the Enrolled Militia at Memphis
Lieut. Col. C. T. CHRISTENSEN, Assistant Adjutant-Gen.:
SIR: I have the honor to transmit herewith for the information of the major-general commanding the following report of the Enrolled Militia at Memphis: On the 9th of December, 1864, this militia force numbered in the aggregate 2,445 men, of whom 1,319 were armed. On the 15th of December, 1864, a board of examiners was ordered, and all former exemptions and excuses revoked. This board has already added three new regiments to the previous forces and filled the old ones nearly to the maximum. The organization now is composed of seven regiments and two battalions of infantry and two squadrons of cavalry, numbering in the aggregate 6,941. Arrangements have been made to have them all armed by the 20th instant. The arms are in good condition, as in most regiments they employ hired armorers for the sole purpose of keeping the muskets in order. There is good prospect of bringing this militia force up to 7,000 men. Gen. Diana has been earnest and active, and in this as in all else connected with affairs of his department he has displayed great energy and ability.
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JOHN M. WILSON, Lieut.-Col. and Assistant Inspector-Gen.
OR, Ser. I, Vol. 48, pt. I, p. 599.

[1] Dyer's Battle Index for Tennessee lists this as an affair.
[2]Center for Archival Collections, Askew Family Correspondence: Transcripts. MMS 1380.
[3] Emphasis added.
[4] Philadelphia, PA
[5] TSL&A, 19th CN

James B. Jones, Jr.
Public Historian
Editor, The Courier
Tennessee Historical Commission
2941 Lebanon Road
Nashville, TN  37214
(615)-532-1549  FAX

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Notes from the Civil War in Tennessee. January 13, 1862 & 1863.

Notes from the Civil War in Tennessee. January 13, 1862 & 1863.




13, Affair on Harpeth Shoals

Destruction of fully laden US hospital ships (U. S. S. Trio, Parthenia) and one gunboat (Sidell) by Wheeler's cavalry at Harpeth Shoals on the Cumberland River.

Report of Maj. Gen. William S. Rosecrans, U. S. Army.

HDQRS. DEPARTMENT OF THE CUMBERLAND, Murfreesborough, Tenn., February 15, 1863.

GEN.: Supposing it well to furnish the Department evidence of the inhuman violations of the rules of civilized warfare by the rebel authorities, I inclose of the lists of our medical officers who were robbed of their private and personal property at the late battle, and statement of Chaplin Gaddis, who was on a hospital boat that was fired on and robbed at Harpeth Shoals by Wheeler's cavalry. I can multiply documentary evidence on these outrages and many others, fully revealing the barbarism of these rebel leaders, and will do so, if you think desirable.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

W. S. ROSECRANS, Maj.-Gen.

OR, Ser. I, .Vol. 20, pt. I, pp. 979-980.


Report of Brig. Gen. Robert B. Mitchell, U. S. Army.

HDQRS., Nashville, January 13, 1863.

MAJ.: The steamer Charter was burned last night about 8 o'clock, with her cargo. But two regiments have arrived from Gallatin yet; two locomotives have given out. Stanley went on the Hillsborough pike, as you directed. I think our force should have been sent nearer the train. Damn the railroad, say I!

ROBT. B. MITCHELL, Brig.-Gen., Cmdg.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 20, pt. I, p. 982.


Report of Gen. Braxton Bragg, C. S. Army,

TULLAHOMA, January 17, 1863.

Gen. [Joseph] Wheeler, with a portion of his cavalry brigade, after burning the railroad bridges in the enemy's rear, pushed for the Cumberland River, where he intercepted and captured four large transports; destroyed three, with all the supplies, and bonded one to carry off the 400 paroled prisoners. He was hotly pursued by a gunboat, which he attacked and captured, and destroyed her with her whole armament. I ask his promotion as a just reward to distinguished merit.


OR, Ser. I, .Vol. 20, pt. I, p. 982.


Excerpt from the report of Reverend Maxwell P. Gaddis, on board one of the ships at the time of the attack:

...I beg to state that I was one of the passengers aboard the steamer Hastings...on the 13th...the day she was fired into by a party of rebel guerrillas of General Wheeler's cavalry brigade, under command of Colonel [William B.] Wade. The Hastings had on board 212 wounded soldiers under charge of Surgeon Waterman, with instructions to report the same at Louisville. The Hastings left Nashville without any convoy. On nearing Harpeth Shoals we saw the burning hull of the steamer Charter, opposite a group of some half dozen of more small houses that had also been burned. A short distance below a fleet of six steamers were engaged in loading and unloading Government stores under the protection of the gun-boat Sidell commanded by Lieutenant [William] Van Dorn. Suspicious of some danger below I hailed Van Dorn and inquired as to who burned the boat and boat and houses. He replied that the guerrillas had burned the steamer and that he had retaliated by burning the houses. "Is there any danger below?" "No;" said he, "you can pass on safely. I have cleaned them out." The steamer Trio also laden with wounded was in advance of us some four or five miles. Believing all safe below we passed on. On reaching the head of Harpeth Shoals we saw the Trio lying to in a cove on the south bank of the Cumberland River, thirty five miles from Nashville, and thirty miles from Clarksville. Having heard the caption of the Trio say that he was nearly out of fuel I presumed that he was taking on wood. On a nearer approach to her I discovered a company of cavalry drawn up in a line on the bank just above the Trio. Two of the company took off their hats, waved them at us and ordered us to come to. I inquired "Why, and what do you want? We are loaded with wounded and have no time to stop." "Come to, or we will fire into you." And at that instant the whole line came to a ready. Being the only commissioned officer of board (not wounded) with the exception of Surgeon [Luther D.] Waterman I immediately assumed command ordered the captain of the Hastings to land. The boat in the meantime had moved past the designated landing point, and the guerrilla commander gave the order to fire and three volleys of musketry were fired all taking effect upon the upper and forward portion of the steamer. The volleys were followed by one discharge of cannon, the ball passing through the clerk's office on the starboard side and out on the opposite side of the cabin. I told them to cease firing as we were landing as rapidly as possible. On landing they boarded the steamer and ordered the men to leave the boat as they must burn her. In connection with Doctor Waterman I urged the claims of humanity upon them, and finally through a personal acquaintance with Captain [Spruel E.] Burford, General Wheeler's assistant adjutant general, we extracted from them a promise to spare the boat on condition of the captain entering into bonds that she should carry no more supplies for the Army of the United States. I pass by a description of the horrible scenes enacted by Wades' men. They plundered the boat, even to the knives, forks, spoons, &c. Rifled passengers' baggage; robbed wounded soldiers of their rations, and money from their pockets; took the officers' side arms, overcoats, hats, &c. I reasoned with their officer to no purpose, save Captain Burford, who was utterly unable to control the men. I then took on board the wounded of the Trio and her crew and asked permission to leave. This was granted and the colonel ordered his men off. On his leaving he noticed several bales of cotton on which our wounded men were lying; he instantly became furious and ordered us to remove the same ashore and burn it, a task almost impossible. Many of the men were badly wounded; night was coming on; no rations nor medicines and thirty miles distant from any military post. Seeing all this I asked for other terms. He then agreed if I would burn the cotton on my arrival at Louisville he would spare the boat and allow us to go on unmolested, and in the event of my failing to comply with the order I must return to the line of the Confederate States as a prisoner of war. These terms were harsh, but in view of the suffering men I instantly complied, brought to, her crew and passengers transferred to us, and preparation was them made to burn the Trio and Parthenia. In order to save the Hastings from coming in contact with the steamers...I again asked to leave. This they would not grant, but through the entreaties of Captain Burford, we were allowed to cross to the other side of the river under range of their cannon. We hardly landed when the gun-boat Sidell hove in sight. On her appearance the enemy mounted their horses and awaited her action. She came on under a full head of steam, carrying her when the engine had ceased within 150 yards of our boat, on the same side of the river. I hailed Van Dorn; told him to take the middle of the stream and not endanger the lives of the wounded during the engagement, for we had no other idea but that he would fight. To our utter astonishment he ignominiously surrendered, without firing a single shot. He then crossed her over to the steamers and ordered us across the river again. I took on what was left of the crew and soldiers and after waiting one hours and a half, according to their orders I started with the Hastings for Clarksville, reaching there at 8 p. m. and reporting to Colonel Bruce. He acted promptly and soon furnished us with supplies. I telegraphed the facts to General Rosecrans at Nashville.

Maxwell P. Gaddis, Chaplain Second Ohio

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 20, pt. I, pp. 980-981.


Loss of a Federal Gunboat, Corrupt U. S. Quartermaster Corps and an Inventory of gunboat cannon on the Cumberland River and Army Interference with Navy Affairs

Report of Acting Rear-Admiral Porter, U. S. Navy, responding to the Department's enquiry regarding the loss of the U. S. gunboat W. H. Sidell, and Corrupt U. S. Quartermaster Corps and an Inventory of gunboat cannon on the Cumberland River

No. 83.]

U. S. MISSISSIPPI SQUADRON, January 29, 1863.

SIR: In answer to your communication, asking information about a gunboat burned on the Cumberland River, I have the honor to state that the vessel mentioned did not belong to this squadron. She was called the Sidell, and was, I believe, an old ferryboat, with a field-piece on her.

The army undertakes sometimes to get up an impromptu navy, which generally ends by getting them into difficulty. There are five vessels of this squadron in the Cumberland and Tennessee rivers, which are detailed for convoy, and under the management of Lieu-tenant-Commander LeRoy Fitch, who has until the late affair, kept the rivers open, and convoyed all vessels safely through.

I shall direct that no army vessels be allowed to ascend these rivers without a convoy, and I have detailed the Lexington and two more light-draft gunboats for the upper fleet. This will make 40 guns on the Cumberland and Tennessee rivers. There are enough there now (20 guns) to take care of these rivers, but the recklessness of the army quartermasters is beyond anything I ever saw, and they employ persons who half the time are disloyal, and who throw these vessels purposely into the hands of the rebels. If the history of the army quartermasters' proceedings out here were published, the world would not believe that there could be so much want of intelligence in the country.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully,

DAVIDD.PORTER, Acting Rear-Admiral, Commanding Mississippi Squadron.

Hon. GIDEON WELLES, Secretary of the Navy, Washington, D. C.

NOR, Ser. I, Vol. 24, p. 19.



The late raid of Wheeler and Forrest on the Cumberland below Nashville is the talk now--cavalry capturing 5 transports and a gun boat is as good as Forrest's men taking a battery at Murfreesboro last summer with shot guns! Wheeler and Forrest burn the boats and stores and took 300 prisoners. The raids and feats of Stuart's cavalry in Va. are being thrown entirely in the shade by the daring deeds of the mounted men of the West. Forrest, Morgan, Wheeler and Van Dorn are beating the Virginian cavalry to death. Long may they wave!

War Journal of Lucy Virginia French, entry for January 25, 1863.


Report of killing negroes during the affair at Harpeth River, February 13, 1863

After the battle of Stone River, or Murfreesboro, a Federal Hospital boat when conveying the wounded, and bearing the customary flag indicating its object, was fired upon and boarded by the rebels, some fifteen negroes employed as servants on board the boat were killed. Others endeavoring to escape were shot in the water while clinging to the sides of the boat. The inhuman treatment was not the work of guerrillas, for   whose actions the rebel authorities might endeavor to excuse themselves, but was done by soldiers under the command of Colonel Wade. General Wheeler's Adjutant General was among the officers present. This Wheeler was promoted for the raid which the attack on the hospital boat and murder of negroes was the principal feature.

These facts were made known in a private letter from the Headquarters of the Fourteenth Army Corps, near Murfreesboro and published in the New York Evening Post, March 11, 1863.

Colonel Percy Howard, The Barbarities of the Rebels, p. 23.[1]


          13 Federal reconnaissance ordered, Murfreesborough to Salem, to Middleton, to Shelbyville Pike, Wilkinson Pike and Eagleville [see January 13-15, 1863, Reconnaissance, Murfreesborough to Nolensville and Versailles below]

HDQRS. DEPARTMENT OF THE CUMBERLAND, Murfreesborough, January 13, 1863.

Maj.-Gen. THOMAS, Cmdg. Center:

GEN.: The general commanding directs that you send out two brigades on a reconnaissance, and to halt at Salem, and send a regiment from it to reconnoiter down toward Middleton; the other to proceed to Versailles, and send a regiment to reconnoiter its front by the shortest road as far as the Shelbyville pike. They had better remain over to-morrow night in their position, keeping a good lookout, in hopes that the cavalry may come down in their retreat, returning to-morrow afternoon. It will be necessary to send some of Rousseau's cavalry with them, to keep open communication. Have them report frequently. These brigades will effect the triple purpose of reconnoitering and observing in southerly direction, covering the flank of Wagner's movement, and catching any cavalry that may chance to pass toward them. Order the brigade commanders to note well the roads and the forage, and bring all the intelligence they can of the position of the enemy's cavalry. The men should take three days' rations on their person, and should [march] by 6 in the morning. They should carry with them their axes and hatchets and a few spades. It may prove advantageous for the brigades to unite and move to Eagleville. The brigade commanders will be advised of that, and directed to judge of its advantage and to act accordingly, endeavoring to threaten an advance on Shelbyville and intercept the retreat on that road.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

C. GODDARD, Adjutant-Gen. and Chief of Staff.

MURFREESBOROUGH, January 13, 1863.


Send two of your regiments from Nolensville across, scouring the thickets, to the Wilkinson pike. March with the other six to Eagleville, thence to Versailles. Join Beatty's command there, and move with it to cut up the rebels.

By order of Maj.-Gen. Rosecrans:

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 20, pt. II, p. 325.

          13, "Some were wallowing in the streets dead drunk others were being loaded on drays and into wagons and tied hand and foot and taken to the Calabose …" Private Cyrus F. Boyd's first day in Memphis

We started at daylight this morning and made a march of 9 miles and came to the suburbs of Memphis. Here we were brought into line and notified to sign Pay Rolls We put up our tents and signed Rolls – then I took a ramble thro' Memphis It was 2 miles to the River from camp Saw a camp of Contrabands containing old and young 1500 [sic], and they were packed into a building about 200 X 150 feet[.] They were a mass of filthy and abandoned creatures[.] Down at the wharf there was a long line of steamers lying along the bank[.] Saw one gun boat [sic] anchored in the stream[.] There is a view up the River of about five miles and ten or twelve miles down the stream Memphis is situated on high bluffs and has a beautiful location[.] The business portion is built of brick Lafayette Square is the center of the city and is a beautiful Park full of Evergreens and tame squirrels are numerous among the trees and follow strangers all around.

Whiskey O Whiskey [sic]! Drunk men staggered on all the streets In every store The saloons were full of drunk men [sic] The men who had fought their way from Donelson to Corinth and who had met no enemy able to whip them now surrendered to Genl Intoxication[.] Some were on the side walks and both hands full of brick bats and swearing that the side walks were made for soldiers and not for any d_____d [sic] niggers[.] Some were wallowing in the streets dead drunk others were being loaded on drays and into wagons and tied hand and foot and taken to the Calabose [sic] or guardhouse or to Camp[.] Several of Co "G" are down this evening with the general complaint[.] The whiskey here seems to be very effective at short range[.]

I found some what bread the first I have seen for months Sergt[.] Gray came near getting shot this evening about dark[.] He was full [sic] and in camp[.] He saw a mounted orderly coming past in hot haste and he halted him and made the orderly give him the countersign. Afterwards the aid discovered that he had been delayed without cause and he drew his revolver and if Gray had not run and hid himself he would have got a bullet Gray gave him the dodge among the tens and finally reached one where he lay down and the boys covered him up and he was snoring away in 2 seconds[.]

Boyd Diary.

          13, Tales of Security and Female Smuggling in the Middle Tennessee; an excerpt from the War Journal of Lucy Virgnina French

….As the ladies were coming through the pickets this side of Murfreesboro – there seemed to them to be indications of a skirmish ahead, which they of course did not desire to run into. They spoke to some for the men and asked if there was danger ahead. "My' said one, "what sort of men are you afraid of? You isn't [sic] afraid of blue coats is ye?" "I'm afraid of all sorts of men when they're shooting. One ball is as like to hit as another," shrewdly replied Mrs. Scott. The men were rather checkmated in their endeavor to find out which the ladies preferred, blue or gray (butternut) – Very many amusing things they told us of ladies trying to get out things from the city thru' the lines. One lady came out with two pairs of boots under her hoops, which had unfortunately dropped right before the guard as she descended from her carriage! They ripped open the carriage cushions of one lady to see if they could not find something – but did not. One lady came from Ky. With 5000 [sic] dollars worth of morphine in a false bottom in her trunk. A female detective found it, and took the lady's diamonds, saying "I suppose you're carrying these south for a bridal present for John Morgan. Well they're contraband." And she appropriated them to her own use! The city is full of bad women, they are at hotels and in private houses living with the officers and passing for their wives. – The place too is full of female spies and detectives – some of whom will go to the citizens and represent themselves as Southerners in exile and persecuted, ask for money as charity. If the citizen grant this they are arrested. They resort to all low means to get men arrested. One draughtman [sic] they took in by desiring him secretly to prepare a draught of their fortifications – then they went to a shoemaker, and employed him to make a pair of boots with the toes double – between the leathers this draught was to be inserted and worn out of the lines. After taking in these men in this way they were arrested and imprisoned them….

War Journal of Lucy Virginia French.

          13, Newspaper report regarding larceny and murder at White's Creek environs

Robbery and Murder in Tennessee.-On the 20th inst. a bold and atrocious murder was committed at White's Creek, near Nashville, by seven men dressed as soldiers. The gang arrived at the house of the Rev. Jefferson Wagner at 11 p. m., and went into the house and demanded his money. He gave them $400. The robbers then left, but on reaching the gate one of them called out to Mr. Wagner and endeavored to get up a quarrel with him charging him with having stolen his horse. In the dispute one of the party shot the reverend gentleman, when they all preceded the residence of Mr. Enoch Cunningham and perpetrated a robbery. The marauders were possessed of the countersign for the day, which enabled them to pass the pickets. They have not yet been arrested.

The Scioto Gazette (Ohio), January 13, 1863.[2]




13, Skirmish at Collierville

JANUARY 13, 1864.-Skirmish near Collierville, Tenn.

Report of Maj. Ira R. Gifford, Ninth Illinois Cavalry.

HDQRS. NINTH ILLINOIS CAVALRY, Collierville, Tenn., January 13, 1864.

COL.: I have the honor to report that in pursuance of orders from your headquarters, I moved out on the road to Pleasant Hill with a battalion of the Ninth Illinois Cavalry, numbering about 60 men; while crossing the Nonconnah we heard firing about 1 mile to our left. I moved over the stream as rapidly as possible, the crossing being very bad, and before the command had crossed the firing seemed to be coming toward us. I ordered the advance company forward about 60 rods to a road crossing at right angle, where I saw a small party of soldiers pass at full speed. I knew them to be our own men by their uniform. I then ordered a halt, dismounted two companies, and moved forward in direction of the firing, sending one company around on our left flank mounted. We had advanced about 100 yards through a thicket of brush when we met the enemy coming toward us, numbering from 50 to 100 men, and within 50 yards of us. I then opened fire on them and emptied many saddles, the enemy falling back in great confusion, leaving 1 man mortally wounded on the field, 5 horses, 5 carbines and revolvers, together with 4 prisoners out of the 5 they had previously taken from the command sent out previous to our being ordered out.

I skirmished on through the woods about three-quarters of a mile, then mounted my men and pursued the enemy about 3 miles, and finding they had too much the start, I returned to camp. Our loss none. From indications on the field the enemy's loss must have been heavy.

I remain your obedient servant,

IRA R. GIFFORD, Maj. Ninth Illinois Cavalry.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 32, pt. I, p. 72.

          13, Confederate foraging along Big Pigeon and French Broad Rivers reported

HDQRS. ANDERSON CAVALRY, Jim Evans' Ford, January 13, 1864.

Lieut. SHAW, Actg. Asst. Adjt. Gen., Hdqrs. Cavalry Corps:

LIEUT.: The enemy are foraging extensively on this side of the river with wagons, keeping close to the shore up In the Dutch and Irish Bottoms, and In the fork of Big Pigeon and French Broad Rivers; also, still more extensively with wagons In the fork between French Broad and Chucky. All these rivers are now fordable, and there is no ice running in them. The guards sent along with the wagons are light, but in consequence of the river being fordable at various places between Dandridge and the mouth of Pigeon, and Morgan's and part of Armstrong's cavalry divisions lying within a short distance of the river bank at Denton's Ford and Dr. Boyd's, it is risking rather too much for my small command to go so far up. There are also 150 cavalry at Gorman's, near Newport, on this side of both French Broad and Pigeon. I earnestly recommend that one brigade of cavalry be sent here to-night, crossing at this ford, which is now in good order. If artillery be sent, we have a ferry-boat here to cross it. They should come down the Mutton Hollow road to Shady Grove (from Flat Gap), thence 2 miles across the river to this camp; total distance from Mossy Creek to my camp, 12 miles. They should not leave Flat Gap till about dark, so that information of the movement may not reach the enemy above Dandridge. Two or three roads, including the Maryville road (from Shady Grove to Dandridge), lead off from the Mutton Hollow road toward Dandridge, and small picket posts should be placed on each of these to prevent any citizens from carrying information of the movement. There are also three or four houses on the way that should be guarded. These will be pointed out by the guides, of whom I send you 6 herewith, to be used with the column if it is decided to send it.

These guides also know the ford well, and there will be no danger in night fording. The ford is 30 yards wide and with a smooth bottom. The force can get a good feed here of both corn and hay, and start to-morrow with my command for the wagons and foraging parties. All the fords can be guarded as we go up, although if the Cavalry Corps makes its movement toward the French Broad to-morrow the attention of the rebels will be so much engaged that they will hardly attempt to cross to this side, even if they hear of our going up, which is doubtful. If they should cross a large force to menace us, it will be all the better for your command on the other side of the river; they can never catch us in these woods and mountains, as we have the whole population to guide and picket for us. If the plan is accepted I think we can take many prisoners and wagons and bring them off, thus crippling their facilities for foraging permanently. If they should cross the river at about Denton's Ford to intercept us they will probably send a smaller force than ours, as they will deem it improbable that a brigade has got on the south side of French Broad without their knowledge. We would in that event have the smaller force at our mercy. There would be no risk to your main force in sparing this brigade, as our force of cavalry is certainly that much larger than the enemy's while theirs is scattered from mouth of Chucky to Denton's Ford.

If the general movement to-morrow is prompt, some large foraging parties with wagons can probably be caught in the bend of the river at Swann's Island above Dandridge, by taking the Ellett's Ferry road; they are foraging there to-day with one regiment of cavalry.

You had probably better retain Lieut. Miller and Lieut. McGuire, of Ninth Tennessee, who accompany this, as guides, to come with the main body when it starts; they are acquainted thoroughly with all the country, trails, &c., in the vicinity of Dandridge below and above to the mouth of the Chucky.

I have arranged to have here at daylight to-morrow the latest information from up the French Broad, as far as mouth of Chucky on this side.

Please send me some of the president's proclamations; the rebel pickets at Swann's Island are asking for them.

I am, lieutenant, yours, very respectfully,

WM. J. PALMER, Col., Cmdg.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 32, pt. II, pp. 80-82.

          13, Description of Fort Sanders, Knoxville

No circumstantial reports filed.

Excerpt from the Reports of Captain Orlando M. Poe, U. S. Corps of Engineers, Chief Engineer, Department of the Ohio, January 13, 1864, relating to a description of Fort Sanders.

* * * *

A short description of Fort Sanders may be appropriate here. It is a bastioned earth-work, built upon an irregular quadrilateral, the sides of which are, respectively, 125 yards southern front, 95 yards western front, 125 yards northern front, and 85 yards eastern front. The eastern front was entirely open, and is to be closed with a stockade; the southern front was about half done; the western front was finished except cutting the embrasures, and the northern front was nearly finished. Each bastion was intended to have a pan coupe. The bastion attacked was the only one that was completely finished. A light 12-pounder was mounted at the pan coupe, and did good service. The ditch of the fort was 12 feet in width, and in many places as much as 8 feet in depth. The irregularity of the site was such that the bastion angles were very heavy, the relief of the lightest one being 12 feet. The relief of the one attacked was about 13 feet, and together with the depth of the ditch, say 7 feet, made a height of 20 feet from the bottom of the ditch to the interior crest. This, owing to the nature of the soil, the dampness of the morning, and the steepness of the slopes, made the storming of the fort a very serious matter, and when taken in connection with the neglect of the enemy to provide themselves with scaling ladders, the confusion in their ranks, caused by passing through obstacles of stumps, wire entanglement, and brush in front of the fort, and the cool and steady fire to which they were exposed, coming from the very best troops in our service, sufficiently account for the repulse of one of the best divisions in the rebel army, from that point of attack. A short time after the repulse of the enemy a truce was offered him, during which he might bury his dead and take care of his wounded. It was accepted, and extended until 7 p. m.

During the assault on Fort Sanders and for some time after that had been repulsed, sharp fighting took place on the south side of the river, but we were everywhere successful.

* * * *

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 31, pt. I, p. 309.

          13, Presence of U. S. C. T. in Eagleville, excerpt from a letter to Dr. U.G. Owen from his mother Henrietta

....Yankees & Negroes are stealing [from] everyone that is any account. I have to lock our stock up every night....While I am writing this letter there is a company of Negroes passing the road hunting for Abe & Jack. There is a Negro camp[3] at Eagleville....

Your Mother, Henrietta Owen

Letter from Henrietta Owen to her son Dr. U. G. Owen, in Dr. U. G. Owen to Laura, January 13, 1864.

          13, Confederate spirit in Rogersville

A Spirited Woman.—When the Yankees were at Rogersville, Tennessee, a short time since, they arrested a shoemaker, who was well known as "old Harry," and confined him in the guard house. His wife, as clever and industrious a woman as ever lived, has borne him ten likely sons. The worthy couple have been "pegging away" for many years to raise their children properly, and hence they have accumulated but little of this world's goods. Mrs. Harry called upon her husband at the guard room where he was surrounded by the officer of the day and a guard. She upon seeing her liege lord, asked him, "So you're in here, are you?"  Harry responded affirmatively. "Well, you're not going to take the oath, are you?" asked she, with flushed cheeks. "No!  I've no notion of it," responded Harry, with clenched teeth, and a defiant air. "I'd rather see your last end—see you rot first, than hear of you taking that oath; I can take care of the boys," said Mrs. Harry.

The officer of the day then ordered her away, telling her that her language was insulting to him and his men. Stepping back with erect form and noble mien, the heroic woman shook her hand in his face, and told him that she was raising ten fine boys to hate and fight such despicable wretches as he and his men were, to the bitter end.

Richmond [VA] Whig, January 13, 1864. [4]

          13, The Condition and Needs of Contrabands in Nashville; Extracts from Correspondence Written by the General Secretary of the Pennsylvania Freedman's Relief Association

The following extracts are from letters received by the Pennsylvania Freedman's Relief Association…from their General Secretary, now on a tour of observation through Tennessee and the Mississippi Valley, from which may be perceived the urgent need of prompt and persistent action on the part of the loyal and humane [sic] north:

["]****There is no mistake about there being much destitution in this department. The suffering seems to be about equally distributed among the colored refugees (contrabands) and the white refugees (Unionists.) The difference between the two classes is that the latter are provided for by the State government, which imposes taxes on the rich rebels for their maintenance, which the former are dependent for what they need upon the philanthropy of the north. I do mean to imply by that Governor Johnston [sic] and his coadjutors are insensible to the claims of the blacks, but that they have as much as they can attend to, and more, in providing for the wants of the poor whites. From what I have been able to collect, I should estimate the number of newly freed people in this department at the present time at 15,000.

It is the policy of the authorities here not to let them accumulate in camps and barracks, awaiting future developments, but to distribute then wherever their services are needed and people are willing to hire them. Farmers and citizens, men and women, needling 'help' obtain a pass to go out to 'Hobson's Chapel,' the "contraband rendezvous," about three miles from the city, where the blacks re collected, and with whom they make the best bargain the can. This 'Hobson's Chapel' is constantly changing its inmates, some going out to compensated service, others coming in form Chattel bondage. The new ones that come in must be clothed, bedded, and instructed. This is being done by good people here sent from the north. In this work we of Philadelphia are privileged to take part. These 15,000 will soon be multiplied tenfold. That the old system of slavery is falling to pieces in this State is patent to the dullest observer. All admit that before long the 275,000 Tennessee slaves will be freed. What shall be done with them? Employ as laborers those who can work, is the answer of all intelligent men here with whom I have conversed, and instruct them in schools the remainder. I have yet to see the first Tennessean-and I have talked with a good many on the subject-who has not seemed relieved when assured that the north would provide teachers to the extend of their necessities. An intelligent citizens of this place told me this morning that Tennessee would need at least three hundred teachers to supply the want. The same is true of other slave States. It will require a large number of teachers and helpers to reconstruct society in the south. Whether the government organize a Bureau of Emancipation or not, this work will surely devolve upon the loyal and humane [sic] people of the free States. We have winked at and aided in the degradation of the black man, and we must now aid and promote the work of his elevation.

P. S.-I have read this letter to my friend Dr.____, a Tennessean, whom I see here daily. He is an ardent and unconditional Unionist, a particular friend and advisor of Gov. Johnson. "Do you approve of what I have written, Doctor?' 'Yes, people are now on the right track. They did well in working for the abolition of slavery, though it is only now that I see it. I used to be opposed to them (the doctor is owner, in law, of forty slaves) but now slavery us dead. Its only ray of hope is the success of the rebellion. Slavery and the rebellion must go down together. If your friends want to help us let them fight to put down the rebellion, and work to aid us in solving our social problem."

Nashville, Jan. 1, 1864.

I am glad the supplies are coming, as they are much needed here at this moment. The Association did well to buy blankets and shoes. Nothing could come better here at this time. Blankets will serve as shawls during the day, and as beds at night.

The high price of rents makes it hard for the poor. Large families are crowded into small rooms, unglazed and every way comfortless. Here in the city there would be no difficulty about the support of the blacks, if they had only a place to live. Labor of all kinds is in great demand, and these blacks have all a natural knack at making money. All agree along and adjoining themselves to circumstances much superior to that of the poor whites. . The fact is, the blacks in the south are, by all odds, the most thrifty, industrious, managing people to be met with. All they want is an opportunity. Here in Nashville their industry, thrift, respectability and successful enterprise are matters of general observation. I have made a list of the well-to-do and rich colored men of this city, and its length would quite surprise you. I have the names of a dozen men whose aggregate property is worth not less than $180,000 another $28,000, and so on down. They are chiefly hackmen and gardeners, (truckmen) and the like.

A local freedmen's association has been formed here since my arrival, composed partly of men and women of Nashville, and partly of strangers sojourning here, which will assume the charge of goods sent here from the north, etc.

Yours & etc. ______

The American and Unites States Gazette (Philadelphia, PA) January 13, 1864. [5]

          13, A Virginia Newspaper's Book Review of a "dung-hill" Tennessee romance


We have, from a Philadelphia publishing house, a pea-green novel or romance entitled: Miss Martha Brownlow; or the Heroine of Tennessee-a truthful and graphic account of the many perils and privations endured by Miss Martha Brownlow, the lovely and accomplished daughter of the celebrated Parson Brownlow, during her residence with her father in Knoxville: By Major W. D. Reynolds, late acting adjutant in the western army; beautifully illustrated.

The book is after the style dung-hill romances; a nasty mixture of bad grammar and big words. The following is a specimen of its pea-green heroics:

"In the library-room of their snug home, the beautiful and noble Martha Brownlow sat reading some manuscript' near her stood her parent, just preparing to leave on a short journey. As he stood, hat in hand, he turned to his loved daughter and tenderly said, 'Now, daughter, I shall not be gone long. But, in the meantime, prepare all the copy you can for the paper against my return.'

The obedient and affectionate Martha arose and said, 'I will do so, papa. But hasten your return, please; for there are troubled times long to be alone.'

'If you are fearful, Martha, I will remain at home to-day,' said the tender parent.

"''O no, papa, do not mind it; 'twas a sudden thought only, that flitted through my mind; nothing will become of it,' replied the noble girl, and looking from the casement out upon the stars and stripes just floating off in the breeze from the flag-staff in the centre of the lawn in front of the house, she continued: 'I shall feel perfectly safe, even in your absence, father, for 'our flag is still there.' Surely, I am safe beneath its protecting folds.'"

It appears that after the retirement of "the parent" a raid of "rebels" is made on the fair Margaret of which the following is the scene and denouement:

"She was suddenly startled afresh by Roslyn commanding his men to force the gate and take down the distasteful flag, who, as he led them in over the lawn said, 'If you will not remove it we will take it down for you.' But Martha, soon recovering her self possession and hastening into the house, soon emerged again with a well charge musket, and taking her stand beneath the stars and stripes, brought the unerring weapon to her shoulder, like a well-practiced veteran and leveling it at her foes, exclaimed, 'Back, you cowardly dogs! Leave me ere I make you bite the dust! Touch not the sacred folds of that good old flag!"

Cowards, as they really were, they turned and skulked away, leaving the heroic Martha Brownlow unharmed.

"When her parent returned he found her again in the library sweetly singing, 'Touch not that old flag.'"

Bully for Martha! Besides this accomplished goddess, the interest of the romance in heightened by her picture of the Fiend of the Forrest [sic] and the Scout of the Bloody Bones."

Daily Richmond Examiner, January 13, 1864. [6]


[1] As cited in: Colonel Percy Howard, The Barbarities of the Rebels, as shown in their Cruelty to the Federal Wounded and Prisoners; in their Outrages on Union Men; in the Murder of Negroes, and their Unmanly Conduct Throughout the Rebellion, (Providence, R.I.: Printed by the author, 1863.), p. 23

[2] TSL&A, 19th CN.

[3] This may have been a "contraband" camp, or perhaps a U. S. C. T. encampment.

[4] As cited in:

[5] TSL&A, 19th CN.

[6] TSL&A, 19th CN.


James B. Jones, Jr.

Public Historian

Editor, The Courier

Tennessee Historical Commission

2941 Lebanon Road

Nashville, TN  37214


(615)-532-1549  FAX