Friday, February 26, 2016

Notes from Civil War Tennessee, February 26, 1861-1865.

Notes from Civil War Tennessee,

February 26, 1861-1865.


 [All emphasis added]




          26, Report on Delays in Mail Transit and Passenger Holdups Due to Non-standard Railroad Time

The Mail Route North.-The following letter, which speaks for itself, has been handed us for publication by the Postmaster of this city:

Knoxville, Feb. 21, 1861.

Dr. S. L. Riddle, Postmaster, New Orleans:

Sir-I arrived at this place at 81/2 A. M., just in time to be too late, yet in time to see the train leave the depot. Two minutes delay would have taken all the mails and about ninety passengers. As the weather is find, and the railroad in good order, there is no good reason why we should not have connected; as it is, all have to lie over twenty four hours.

There is a bad feeling existing between the two routs, for which the community must be the sufferers, and that a local matter, in the great chain of routes from New York to New Orleans. The East Tennessee and Virginia Railroad is running a schedule by Washington city time, and the East Tennessee and Georgia Railroad by mean time. There is about forty minutes difference.

I will recommend to the Postmaster General that the New Orleans mails going north be sent from Chattanooga, via Atlanta and Augusta, Ga., until there is an understanding they will go through. You will please inform the traveling community that if they take this route they will be delayed at this place twenty-four hours, which has been the case since the 1st inst.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

George Whitman, Special Agent Post Office Dept.

Daily Picayune, February 26, 1861[1]





          26, Condition of 52nd Regiment, Tennessee Volunteers


Henderson Station, February 26, 1862.


DEAR SIR: Yours of this date received. In answer I have to say that I have under my command the Fifty-second Tennessee Regiment, of which I am colonel, numbering 760 men, of which 260 [34%] are sick; we have arms except 100 double-barrel shot-guns; Capt. C. S. Robertson's cavalry company, numbering 140 men, rank and file, armed with double-barrel shot-guns and sabers; about 251 of the Fifty-first Tennessee Regiment, under command of Lieut.-Col. Chester, for whom he has secured about 100 common sporting rifles, repaired and cleaned. They are all stationed at this place. I send out Capt. Robertson's cavalry every few days to scout the country from Clifton to Savannah. From scouts returned this evening I am reliably informed that no Federal cavalry has been sending guards in the direction of Savannah by Purdy.

Any suggestions you may make or commands to give will be gladly received and promptly executed. Can you by any possible means secure for me the musket or rifle with bayonets?

Very respectfully,

B. J. LEA, Col., C. S. Army, Cmdg.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 7, p. 910.

          26, Confederate reconnaissance John H. Morgan, to and about Nashville including destruction of the Minna Tonka[2]

FEBRUARY 26, 1862.-Scout to Nashville, Tenn.

Report of Capt. John H. Morgan, Kentucky Cavalry.

BUCHANAN, TENN., February 27, 1862.

SIR: I have the honor to report that on yesterday, the 26th instant, left camp with 12 men for Nashville. About 300 yards this side of last toll-gate towards town I left this pike and crossed through Mr. Tribe's. farm to the Lebanon pike. Left one man near pike to bring us intelligence of the enemy if any should come along the pike. We then followed the Lebanon pike until we reached the City. When inside the City limits found the pike covered with water, it having been backed up by the great rise in the river. Just at that point met a farmer, who said he was a Union man. Pressed him in and made him guide as over the backwater. He took us for Federals, as he afterwards told me. We proceeded into the City on Front street as far as the water-works, and there saw a steamboat--the Minna Tonka. She laid about 300 yards out in the vast field which covered the whole valley. She was chained fore and aft to trees. She laid not over 500 yards above the gunboats and their large fleet of transports. Could see the soldiers distinctly sitting upon the boats, and they were full of them. Young Buckner, Warfield, and Garrett took possession of a skiff and made oars of a piece of plank fence; boarded the steamboat; found several men on board who seemed preparing to get up steam to drop down the stream to the gunboats; made the crew leave in a boat, and set fire in several places to the steamer, and reached the shore in safety. The troops in the transports could see what we were doing. My orders were to fire the boat, and then cut her loose and let her drop down stream and set the other boats on fire, but this I found impossible to do, on account of the steamer being so securely moored with chain cables. At least 2,000 citizens gathered around us while we were waiting for the boys to get back from the steamer. They begged us to leave; told us the Federal cavalry were scouring the City; that a large party of cavalry had just passed through the street we were on. Sent all my men but 5 out the pike, with direction to halt at the cemetery Remained with the 5 men about thirty minutes, until I saw a large body of cavalry going out Murfreesborough pike at a rapid rate; then started after my command. When we were half way through the water that was upon the pike a large body of Federals rode after us until they reached the water, when they halted, much to my satisfaction. We then retraced our steps back to this pike; reached our man who was standing picket just before sundown. About three minutes before we reached him he said seven officers--and one of them a general--had passed through and stopped at the gate where he was standing, not 20 yards distant. He was in a clump of cedars. When we reached him the officers were not over 700 yards distant. Kept our position about an hour. A Mr. James came out and informed us that there were men encamped at the toll-gate that had refused him a permit to leave the City, but he walked along with them as they came out, and as they were going into camp he passed along. He had just left when another man rode up. I halted him. He asked me if I was one of our pickets. I replied, if he meant Federals, we were. He said that was what he meant. I then asked him for his pass. He pulled out one from Gen. Mitchel, allowing him to pass and re-pass the lines. He did not want me to keep it, but I told him it might be forgery, and that I wished to take it in and see if it was all right. He has been professing to be a Southern-rights [man]; he is a Lincolnite. Lieut. West and myself then rode up to the toll-gate. I asked the man who lived there who were those officers who had just passed through. Said he did not know, but that they were looking out for a place to camp. While talking heard a body of cavalry approaching. We fell back to the place where our men were. I waited a few minutes. The night being very dark, could not see more than 50 yards ahead of us. While sitting listening I heard the clink of sabers about 60 yards from us. They had left the pike and were riding on the dirt alongside of the pike to keep their horses from making a noise. We were close to the fence behind cedar trees. They rode up within 50 feet of us and stopped about five minutes. I dismounted and took a shot-gun and started for the fence, where I could easily have killed two or three of them. Just as I was raising to put my gun through the fence they called to each other to fire, which they did and ran for the City. We returned the fire. One of my men (Peter Atherton) was severely wounded, being shot through the thigh. Reached camp at 12 o'clock last night.


JOHN H. MORGAN, Cmdg. Squadron.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 7, pp. 434-435.

          26, Report on preparations for Confederate guerrilla attacks on Tennessee River traffic

We learn that some of our citizens are preparing for effective service on the Tennessee River. They will go out in squads of not more than five or six. Each man is a practised [sic] shot, with a rifle at long range, and each will go prepared with not less than one hundred rounds. They will take with them nothing but ground coffee, relying upon the citizens and their guns for food. They propose in these small squads to guard the Tennessee River. They will take their opportunities from behind trees, log, and in the narrow bends of the river, to pick off the Lincoln pilots. They can plank a Minie-ball in a sheet of foolscap paper, at a distance of six hundred yards; and we venture the assertion that such a corps of sharpshooters will be as great a terror to the enemy's boats as our gunboats were at Fort Donelson.[3] Let each county bordering on the Tennessee River, in West-Tennessee, send a squad of such men on this duty, and the pilots will soon refuse to ascend a stream where death awaits them behind any big tree. A man may face a known or seen danger, but when he cannot divine how, from what quarter, and at what moment the arrow may be sped, he will shrink from it with an unaccountable dread.

Memphis Avalanche, February 26, 1862.[4]

          26, GENERAL ORDERS, NO. 14, relative to granting passes to civilians seeking fugitive slaves and necessity of refusing sanctuary to fugitive slaves


Fort Donelson, February 26, 1862

General Orders, No. 3, of the series of 1861, from Headquarters Department to the Missouri, are still in force and must be observed.

The number of citizens who are applying for permission to pass through the camps to look for their fugitive slaves proves the necessity of the order and its faithful observance. Such permits cannot be granted; therefore the great necessity of keeping out fugitives. Such slaves as were within the lines at the time of the capture of Fort Donelson and such as have been used by the enemy in building the fortifications or in any way hostile to the Government will not be released or permitted to return to their masters but will be employed in the quartermaster's department for the benefit of the [United States] Government.

All officers and companies now keeping slaves so captured will immediately report them to the district quartermaster. Regimental commanders will be held accountable for all violations of this order within their respective commands.

By order of Brig. Gen. U. S. Grant, commanding

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 7, p. 667.

          26, Brigadier-General Gideon J. Pillow reports to Richmond relative to his statement on the fall of Fort Donelson and his judgment for a "remedy for existing condition of things."

MEMPHIS, February 26, 1862.

(Received Richmond, February 27, 1862.)


Great excitement here and depression in public mind. To correct misapprehension and explain necessity which compelled capitulation at Donelson I have had my official report published.My judgment is that there is but one remedy for existing condition of things; that is, abandon sea-coast defenses except New Orleans; concentrate all the forces in Tennessee; drive the enemy north of the Ohio River, and press invasion of Ohio, Indiana. That means will draw enemy's forces back and relieve the heart of country, and give up control of interior rivers until we can get power on water-causes. Enemy can inflict no great calamity on sea-coast.

If we do not relieve heart of the country, Mississippi River will be opened, and then cause of South is desperate.[5]

GID. J. PILLOW, Brig.-Gen., C. S. Army.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 7, pp. 908-909.

26, General Buell's Order Regarding the Occupation of Nashville

The following is the order of Gen. Buell to his soldiers when that officer entered Nashville:

General Orders, No. 13.

Headquarters Department of the Ohio,

Nashville, Tenn., February 26, 1862

The General Commanding congratulates his troops that it has been their privilege to restore the national banner to the capital of Tennessee. He believes that thousands of hearts in every party of the State will swell with joy to see that honored flag reinstated in a position from which it was removed in the excitement and folly of an evil hour; that the voice of her own people will soon proclaim its welcome, and that their manhood and patriotism will protect and perpetuate it.

The General does not deem it necessary, though the occasion is a fit one, to remind his troops of the rule of conduct they have hitherto observed and are still to pursue. We are in arms not for the purpose of invading the rights of our fellow countrymen anywhere, but to maintain the integrity of the Union and protect the Constitution under which its people have been prosperous and happy. We cannot therefore look with indifference, on any conduct which is designed to give aid and comfort to those who are endeavoring to defeat those objects; but the action to be taken in such cases rests with certain authorized persons, and is not to be assumed by individual officers and soldier. Peaceable citizens are not to be molested in their personal property. All wrongs to either are to be promptly corrected, and the offenders brought to punishment. To this end all persons are desired to make complaint to the immediate commander of officers or soldiers so offending, and if justice be not done properly, then the next commander, and so on until the wrong is redressed. If the necessities of the public service should require the use of private property to public purposes, fair compensation is to be allowed. No such appropriation of private property is to be made, except by the authority of the highest commander present; and any other officer or soldier who shall presume to exercise such privilege shall be brought to trial. Soldiers are forbidden to enter the residences or grounds of citizens on any plea without authority.

No arrests are to be made without the authority of the Commanding General, except in case of actually offence against the authority of the Government; and in all such cases that fact and circumstances will immediately be reported in writing to headquarters through the intermediate commanders.

The General reminds his officers that the most frequent depredations are those which are committed by the worthless characters who straggle from the ranks on the plea of being unable to march; and where the inability really exists, it will be found in most instances that the soldier has overloaded himself with useless and unauthorized articles. The order already published on this subject must be enforced.

The condition and behavior of a corps are sure indication of the efficiency and fitness of its officers. If any regiment shall be found to disregard that property of conduct, which belongs to soldiers as well as citizens, they must not expect to occupy the posts of honor, but may rest assured that they will be placed in position, where they cannot bring shame on their comrades and the cause they are engaged in. The Government supplies with liberality all the wants of the soldier. The occasional deprivations in hardships, incident to rapid marching, must be borne with patience and fortitude. ''Any officer who neglects to provide properly for his troops, and separates himself from them to seek his own comfort, will be held to a rigid accountability.

By command of Gen. Buell,

James B. Fry, A. A.. G., Chief of Staff

Official, J. M. Wright, A. A. G.

Rebellion Record, Vol. 4, pp. 205-206.

          26, Mocking the Nashville Vigilance Committee

Nashville, if not taken, is evidently in peril. Where is her famous "Vigilance Committee" that was so active a few months ago? Why doesn't it notify the United States army, as it did hundreds of private citizens, to leave within ten days?

Louisville Daily Journal, February 26, 1862. [6]

          26, Reflections on Tennessee Confederate Currency

Tennessee Money.-We have received specimens of one dollar notes, fifty cent notes, twenty five cent notes, and ten cent notes, issued, or purporting to be issued, by the Bank of Tennessee at Nashville. At the top of the one dollar note we find "A No.," but the number is left blank. None of the smaller notes are numbered. On each of the four different kinds there is an engraving of the old Spanish coins with the mottoes, crown and all, seemingly indicating a partiality for the Confederates for Spanish institutions. The dollar notes are signed "Joshua Elder, President;" from which it appears to be doubtful whether Joshua Elder is President of not. Either the one signature of the other is a fraud. The ten cent notes bar the name of the artist, "J. Manoinvrie, N. Orleans."

Perhaps some of our intense rebels would like to get these notes in exchange for U. S. Treasury notes. We are ready for a trade gentlemen. Call soon.

Louisville Daily Journal, February 26, 1862. [7]





          26, Nashville City Council acts to control Negroes

Resolved That all negroes   laying around loose in this city and not employed, and having run away from their masters (some who are loyal to the United States) with the expectation of being free, and, as they are not capable of self-government, and are a nuisance to the community in which they live, unless they have a master to superintend and provide for them, that all such be arrested...and either confined in jail or made to labor on public works, or be advertised in order that their masters by paying all necessary expenses, may be reclaimed, and send them where they properly belong, and thereby rid the public of an intolerable nuisance, and show our constituents while we are in favor of a restoration of the Federal [constitution] at every sacrifice, we have no sympathy with negro worshipers, or those who would destroy our country, for the purpose of abolishing slavery, thereby placing the negro [sic] on an equality with the white race.

Resolved, That nothing in this resolution shall be considered as coming in conflict with the military authorities or the suppression of this nefarious rebellion.

Nashville Daily Union, February 27, 1863.





          26, Capture of Washington, Rhea County, by guerrilla chief Champ Ferguson[8]

FEBRUARY 26, 1864.-Capture of Washington, Tenn.

Report of Col. Robert K. Byrd, First Tennessee Infantry.

LOUDON, February 28, 1864.

SIR: The following dispatch just received from Col. Byrd, Kingston, dated February 27:

Champ Ferguson, with 150 men, made a raid on our courier-line last night at Washington, in Rhea County, killed the provost-marshal at that place, and captured all the couriers from there to Sulphur Springs, killing 1 and wounding 2 others. He carried off 11 horses and 11 repeating rifles.

G. GRANGER, Maj.-Gen.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 32, pt. I, p. 485.

          26, Skirmish at Sulphur Springs

No circumstantial reports filed.

          26, First Lieutenant Robert Cruikshank, 123rd New York Infantry Regiment, letter home to his wife Mary, the nature of the war at the local level

Camp 123rd Regt. [sic], N. Y .S. V.

Elk River, Tenn.,

Feb. 26, 1864.

Dear Wife,-

It is a relief to be in Camp again, and not to be on the look out all of the time for some one who we may expect is ready to put a bullet through any of us. That was the way we felt while at Boons Hill. We left one young man by the name of McClain there who, I am afraid, will lose his life. He is the brother of the man who went there to buy mules and was robbed and murdered. He had $1,400.00 in all, that the guerrillas got. The brother is well armed and says he will shoot them like dogs when he meets any of them. Another man was taken from his home at night, murdered, and his body thrown into the river. It was recovered afterward and identified by his family. This man's name was Wakefield.

I am in hopes I will not have so much work to do now. I have a clerk to help me with the writing. His name is John F. Cole. He was an editor of three New York papers, "Every Saturday," "The Household Journal," and an architectural paper. He is a fine penman and a smart man.

It is reported there is fighting now at the front beyond Chattanooga. It is reported so in the papers. Is the Potomac Army moving yet? I have seen no papers for some days and do not know what is going on. I expect we will leave here when the Spring opens.

The more I see of what caused this war the more I feel it my duty to be here. Write often.

Ever with love,

R. Cruikshank.

Robert Cruikshank Letters.

          26, Social tensions, death, guilt, and writing letters to Confederate soldiers; an entry from the diary of Belle Edmondson

February, Friday 26, 1864

Nannie, Helen, and Miss Mary Robinson and myself sat up last night with Mrs. Morgan's corps [sic]-It was a sad and lonely night-Poor Missie, how my heart sympathizes with her in this great affliction. Helen and Nannie came home very early, Miss Robinson and I staid until after breakfast, when Miss Huckens came we left. Tate & Joanna went to the funeral, after that Joanna and Cousin S. returned Memphis-

A squad of 7 Confederates stoped [sic] at the gate-belonging to 2nd. Ark-

I went to sleep directly after breakfast, and did not awaken until after dinner. I was never in such a cross humor as I have been tonight. I feel ashamed for the way in which I have spoken to Bettie and Laura-nobody knows what I have to try me sometimes. Bettie left early, Laura fast asleep-Beulah & Tippie Dora both nodding-here I sit at 3 o'clock morning, with four packages of 300 letters for our Rebel Soldiers, which it has taken me until this time of night to finish. I will lie down and take a nap-I had to wake Laura to get me fresh water, I was so sick. She is always kind to me.

Diary of Belle Edmondson

          26, A negro servant, Confederate money and Confederate prisoners of war

Head Quarters O.V.S.S

Chattanooga Feb. 26. 1864

My Dear Wife.

Your very welcome letter of the 18th is to day received the first I have had for a week. ….By the way I have me a Negro [sic] servant. One I confiscated when I was at the front. His name is Ben Myers. I like him very much. He is an excellent cook and takes a great deal of pain in keeping everything I have in good order. He washes my clothes and irons them with as much care as you could. Some one asked him yesterday if he would not enlist. He replied "M[assa]. I recon I'll have to get long and take care of Captains" He is about 30 has a wife and two children near Rome Georgia and is very trusty. I wish you have him to do your out door work. He has been a domesticated and well raised….Prisoners are daily coming into our lines and taking the oath and most of them enlist in our army. The Provost Marshall told me to night that he enlists about 20 per day [into the Union army] and we have sent about 200 per day for a few days past to Nashville. Some of them however were brought down from Knoxville. Tomorrow morning I send a detachment to Knoxville with some of our prisoners who go thru for trial. I enclose you some rebel money which you can keep as a specimen of Confederate money….

Barber Correspondence

          26, "General Orders No. 6." Enforcement of the Enrolled Militia Program in Memphis.

Headquarters 1st Brigade Enrolled Militia, District of Memphis.

Memphis, Tenn., Feb. 26, 1864.

The following order is published for the benefit of this command all whom it may concern:

Headquarters District of Memphis,

Memphis Tenn., Feb. 26, 1864

Special Order No. 39

*  *  *  *  [sic]

III. Colonel John McDonald, commanding 1st Brigade, Enrolled Militia, District of Memphis, will proceed immediately with the execution of General Orders, No. 6, from his headquarters of date January 20, 1864, and approve of these headquarters same date, by arresting every male resident of Memphis who have not complied with the requirements of the said order.

Colonel McDonald is hereby empowered to fine each party whom he adjudges guilty of willful non-compliance with said order from ten (10) to one hundred (100) dollars, according to the nature of the delinquent's offense – the moneys so collected from said fines to constitute a fund for the purpose of meeting the contingent expenses of the militia of this district.

Col. McDonald will keep an accurate recorded of all fines collected by placing in his record the amount of each one received, with the name of the party paying the same. He will also make a return on the first day of each month to these headquarters of all fines so collected, and of the source from whence derived.

All persons so arrested who refuse to pay the fine imposed upon them Col. McDonald will cause to be confined in the Irving Block Military Prison until their fined are paid.

*  *  *  * [sic]

By order of Brig. Gen. R. F. Buckland

Memphis Bulletin, March 1, 1864.





          26, Forrest's February 26, 1865 address to his troops provides a good summation of the Nashville campaign and the retreat

SOLDIERS: The old campaign is ended, and your commanding general deems this an appropriate occasion to speak of the steadiness, self-denial, and patriotism with which you have borne the hardships of the past year. The marches and labors you have performed during that period will find no parallel in the history of this war.

On the 24th day of December there were 3,000 of you, unorganized and undisciplined, at Jackson, Tenn., only 400 of whom were armed. You were surrounded by 15,000 of the enemy, who were congratulating themselves on your certain capture. You started out with your artillery, wagon trains, and a large number of cattle, which you succeeded in bringing through, since which time you have fought and won the following battles-battles which will enshrine your names in the hearts of your countrymen, and live in history an imperishable monument to your prowess: Jacks' Creek, Estenaula, Somerville, Okolona, Union City, Paducah, Fort Pillow, Bolivar, Tishomingo Creek, Harrisburg, Hurricane Creek, Memphis, Athens, Sulphur Springs, Pulaski, Carter's Creek, Columbia, and Johnsonville are the fields upon which you have won fadeless immortality. In the recent campaign in Middle Tennessee you sustained the reputation so nobly won. For twenty-six days, from the time you left Florence, on the 21st of November to the 26th of December you were constantly engaged with the enemy, and endured the hunger, cold, and labor incident to that arduous campaign without murmur. To sum up, in brief, your triumphs during the past year, you have fought fifty battles, killed and captured 16,000 of the enemy, captured 2,000 horses and mules, 67 pieces of artillery, 4 gun-boats, 14 transports, 20 barges, 300 wagons, 50 ambulances, 10,000 stand of small-arms, 40 block-houses, destroyed 36 railroad bridges, 200 miles of railroad, 6 engines, 100 cars, and $15,000,000 worth of property.

In the accomplishment of this great work you were occasionally sustained by other troops, who joined you in the fight, but your regular number never exceeded 5,000, 2,000 of whom have been killed or wounded,  [40%]while in prisoners you have lost about 200.

If your course has been marked by the graves of patriotic heroes who have fallen by your side, it has, at the same time, been more plainly marked by the blood of the invader. While you sympathize with the friend of the fallen, your sorrows should be appeased by the knowledge that they fell as brave men battling for all that make life worth living for.

Soldiers! you now rest for a short time from your labors. During the respite prepare for future action. Your commanding general is ready to lead you again to the defense of the common cause, and he appeals to you, by a remembrance of the glories of your past career; your desolated homes; your insult women and suffering children; and, above all, by the memory of your dead comrades, to yield a ready obedience to discipline, and to buckle on your armor anew for the fight. Bring with you the soldier's safest armor-a determination to fight while the enemy pollutes your soil; to fight as long as he denies your rights; to fight until independence shall have been achieved; to fight for home, children, liberty, and all you hold dear. Show to the world the superhuman and sublime spirit with which a people may be inspired when fighting for the inestimable boon of liberty. Be not allured by the siren song of peace, for there can be no peace save upon your separate independent nationality. You can never again unite with those who have murdered you sons, outraged your helpless families, and with demoniac malice wantonly destroyed your property and to subjugate or annihilate the freemen of the South would stamp with infamy the names of your gallant dead and the living heroes of this war. Be patient, obedient, and earnest, and the day is not fair distant when you can return to your homes and live in the full fruition of freemen around the old family altar.

N. B. FORREST, Maj.-Gen., Cmdg. District of Mississippi and East Louisiana.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 45, pt. I, pp. 759-760.



[1] As cited in PQCW.

[2] The situation in Nashville soon after the Confederate withdrawal and the Federal occupation was chaotic. It was so chaotic that a young captain of the Confederate Kentucky Cavalry, could enter the City and cause some destruction to the enemy. This is most likely the most famous story about John Hunt Morgan, a story that sets the tone for his almost brash, dashing, and spontaneous actions throughout the war in Tennessee and elsewhere. Indeed it seems as though this one action provided a stereotype for future Americans, an archetype that tends to obscure the true nature of the Civil War in Tennessee. It is also a compelling narrative. The Minna Tonka (or Minnetonka) was a Confederate mail packet on the Cumberland River and not, until its abandonment and subsequent capture, a United States ship.

[3] There were few Confederate gunboats at the battle of Fort Donelson.

[4] As cited in Rebellion Record, Vol. 4, p. 81.

[5] Pillow improperly had his official report publicly published to avoid the criticism of his fellow general officers for his conduct at the Ft. Donelson fiasco. Moreover, it is apparent that Confederate leaders paid his strategic advice little, if any, attention.

[6] As cited in PQCW.

[7] As cited in PQCW.

[8] Not listed in Dyer's Battle Index for Tennessee.



James B. Jones, Jr.

Public Historian

Editor, The Courier

Tennessee Historical Commission

2941 Lebanon Road

Nashville, TN  37214


(615)-532-1549  FAX


Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Notes from Civil War Tennessee, February 24, 1862-1864

Notes from Civil War Tennessee,

February 24, 1862-1864






24, A call to arms in Jackson following the fall of Fort Donelson

….The Governor has called upon every man able to bear arms for service as soon as possible. As he has commanded the militia to come out, companies are being formed. Mr. Bond is trying to get up one exclusively of married men. I have joined with him. The paper today stated that the Federals marched into Nashville on yesterday….There is no disguising the fact that we are in anything but a pleasant situation. There are not men enough in the field & TO DRIVE THE ENEMY [sic]. They have overwhelming force and they must be driven back or we are a ruined people….

Robert H. Cartmell Diary.

          24, Report on Clarksville's surrender

  The official report of Commodore Foote…published yesterday, gives us the decisive information that Clarksville is in the possession of the Union forces. On the appearance of the gunboats the citizens being alarmed lest the village be bombarded, at least two thirds of them fled from the spot. Commodore Foote, however, had an interview with the Mayor and the Hon. Cave Johnson, and expressed his views and intentions of not injuring the property or persons of any who would at once return to their allegiance; and, at the request of those gentlemen, issued a proclamation, assuring all peaceably disposed persons that they may safely resume their business avocations, providing that they gave all military stores and equipments in their possession or under their charge. The authorities were held responsible for the fulfillment of the latter portion of the proclamation.

The officers of the gunboat fleet found, during their voyage from Fort Donelson to Clarksville, that a Union sentiment prevailed along the river, and white flags were flying in every direction, doubtless raised from the terror the rebels felt in relation to the gunboats.

The rebel troops when they left Clarksville retreated in the direction of Nashville, destroying before they left the railroad bridge across the Red river and setting fire to the spending railroad bridge across the Cumberland. Later advices, however, state that the4 latter was but little damaged. The citizens of Clarksville remonstrated against this willful destruction of property, which, as they had evacuated the place, could not apparently have been a military necessity, as the road does not lead to Nashville, but their remonstrances were all in vain. They also set fire to the iron rolling mill belonging to the Hon. John Bell, which had been sometime previously used by the rebels as military works.

A large quantity of rebel stores were captured at the same time by the Union forces when they occupied the village. This, without doubt, shows that the rebels retreated in great haste, the capture of such places as Fort Donelson and Henry giving them but little confidence in their defences at Clarksville. All the fortifications on either side of the Red river were destroyed and taken possession of by the Union troops. Russellville, as the railroad leading from Bowling Green to Clarksville, has also been taken possession of by our forces.

Sketch of Clarksville.

Clarksville was a thriving post village in Tennessee, and the capital of Montgomery county. Kit is located on the right or north side of the Cumberland river, at the point where the Red river itself into to the former stream. It is situated at about fifty miles from the northeast of Nashville, the capital of the State. In its prosperous days it had a population of between three and five thousand persons, and had considerable trade. There were at one time two goo9d banks established in the place and four or five newspaper offices.  On the whole, previous to the breaking out of the rebellion, it gave great promise of being a rising place, but at the present time it appears to have greatly retrograded.


New York Herald, February 24, 1862





          24, Special Orders No. 17, relative to murder of Confederate prisoner of war in Memphis

SPECIAL ORDERS, No. 17. HDQRS. SIXTEENTH ARMY CORPS, Memphis, Tenn., February 24, 1863.

I. Second Lieut. Charles Lewis, U. S. cavalry, having been tried by a military commission and the proceedings forwarded to the President of the United States, will be committed to strict confinement at the Alton prison, Illinois, until the decision of the President shall be made known.

Col. M. S. Howe, third U. S. Cavalry, will detail a sergeant and three men as a guard to convey the prisoner to Alton.

The department quartermaster will furnish transportation.

* * * *

Upon the 26th February Col. M. S. Howe, third U. S. Cavalry, Officially notified these headquarters that Lewis, who had been held in close confinement and ironed in the military prison during his trial and since, had escaped. Whereupon the following notice was extensively and immediately circulated by being published in the journals of the City and by being transmitted to neighboring stations so far up as Saint Louis, Mo.:

Escaped from the Irving Block, Charles Lewis, second lieutenant, Second U. S. Cavalry, lately tried for murder of Lieut.-Col. Woods, a prisoner of war. Two hundred dollars will be paid for his arrest and delivery to Col. D. C. Anthony, provost-marshal. If the resists arrest all persons, civil or military, are hereby authorized to shoot him upon the spot. All officers, soldiers, and citizens are required and authorized to arrest said Lewis.

By order of Maj. Gen. S. A. Hurlbut:

HENRY BINMORE, Assistant Adjutant-Gen.

The fact of the escape was upon the same day telegraphed to the Adjutant-Gen. U. S. Army at Washington, D. C.

The next heard of him showed him to have hastened to Richmond, Va., where he tendered his service to the rebel authorities and was commissioned as a lieutenant in some rebel organization of the cavalry arm.

It is since reported that for gallantry in fighting against his country he was promoted to a colonelcy, vice the colonel of the regiment in which he was then serving, to fill a vacancy by reason of the death of the latter from wounds received at Fredericksburg.

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

S. A. HURLBUT, Maj.-Gen.

[First indorsement.]

FORT MONROE, July 4, 1863.

Respectfully forwarded to Hon. Robert Ould, agent for exchange of prisoners.

The form of report of Gen. Hurlbut was evidently not intended for reference to Confederate authorities, but as it embodies important statements it is forwarded as received by Col. Hoffman.

WM. H. LUDLOW, Lieut.-Col. and Agent for Exchange.

[Second indorsement.]

JULY 10, 1863.

Respectfully referred to the Secretary of War.

The circumstances narrated in the two papers are very singular.

I have made particular inquiries for any such officer in our service as Charles Lewis and can find none such.

If he has joined our service he has changed his name.

RO. OULD, Agent of Exchange.

OR, Ser. II, Vol. 6, pp. 34-35.


WAR DEPARTMENT, Richmond, Va., May 7, 1863.


SIR: While a prisoner of war at Memphis Lieut.-Col. Woods, of the C. S. Army, a prisoner confined in the Irving Block Prison, was shot dead while he was asleep by Lieut. Lewis [Denis Daily], of the U. S. Army. Col. Woods had paid Lieut. Lewis money to aid him in making his escape. After Col. Woods made his escape Lewis had him (Lieut.-Col. Woods) rearrested. After Col. Woods was rearrested he said Lewis did not act the gentleman with him; he had given Lieut. Lewis his money and then he (Lewis) betrayed him.

Lieut.-Col. Woods was in charge of Lieut. Larkin and his company. When Lieut. Lewis went to the prison and asked to see Lieut.-Col. Woods he was shown to him. Col. Woods was asleep. He (Lieut. Lewis) drew his pistol and shot Col. Woods in the head, which produced instant death.

Lieut. Lewis was tried by a court-martial but was not confined and he went to parts unknown. The decision of the court was not made known.

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

JAS. HOEY, Lieut., Company A, Seventeenth Arkansas, C. S. Army.

OR, Ser. II, Vol. 5, p. 945.

          24, Major-General Rosecrans cracks down on desertions from the Army of the Cumberland


Murfreesborough, Tenn., February 24, 1863.

I. No adequate punishment has been heretofore inflicted upon conviction of the military offense of desertion. This calls for a determined effort on the part of the commanding general for its suppression. He therefore wishes it to be distinctly understood, by the officers and soldiers of this department, that he expects a rigid adherence, upon the part of courts-martial, to the letter of the law; that its extreme penalty will be enforced in every case of desertion, as provided by the following Article of War:

XX. All officers and soldiers who have received pay, or have been duly enlisted in the service of the United States, and shall be convicted of having deserted the same, shall suffer death, or such other punishment as, by a sentence of a court-martial, shall be inflicted.

II. The general commanding will arrange and announce a system by which a limited number of annual furloughs will be granted in each company, in rotation, to those non-commissioned officers and privates who, by meritorious conduct and soldierly bearing, deserve this special favor. Company and regimental commanders are charged to strictly examine every application for leave, and recommend none but those worthy of this privilege.

* * * *

By command of Maj.-Gen. Rosecrans:

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 23, pt. II, p. 84.

          24, "Bragg, occasionally to break the tedious monotony of a dull camp life, has a soldier for some unbecoming conduct shot." Camp life in the Army of Tennessee in Tullahoma; Hannibal Paine's letter to his sister Mary in Washington, Tennessee.

Tullahoma, Feby. 24th 1863

Miss Mary L. Paine

Washington, Tennessee

Dear Sister

I recd. a letter from you a few days since and would have responded sooner, but I have been out of postage stamps and have been waiting until I could get some. Where there are so many thousands to write it is a difficult matter to keep all supplied in stamps. Tullahoma is too my notion decidedly a dull place. There is but little of interest transpiring to note. Bragg, occasionally to break the tedious monotony of a dull camp life, has a soldier for some unbecoming conduct shot. There have been several shot since we have been at this place both officers and privates. It was mostly for misbehavior or cowardice before the enemy in the late battle before Murfreesboro. So far there have been none shot in our Brigade, and I have never yet witnessed such an execution. I might have saw some hung and shot both but I have never been curious to see such sights. We also have small pox here, but then we have all become used to that, so we have but little dread of it. Don't understand me that we have it in camp, for we have had no case of it amongst us since we have been here. The cases of it that are here not are confined in some house off to themselves and a guard kept round them to prevent any persons going near them. I have a few times passed in sight of the house in a hundred yards or such a matter, but have never cared to be closer and have never tarried while that close.

There is no fighting going on and all seems to be quiet. We are having some very bad weather now and quite a chance of rain which will certainly make the waters very high. I have answered Jane's and Ann's letter that I received by Lieut. Knight. I have nothing more at present to write that would interest you. Remember me to all

Your Brother,

H. Paine

TSL&A Confederate Collection, Box 11, folder 3, Letters, Paine, Hannibal.

          24 "They say it has a direct and special tendency to demoralize the army, to encourage and increase the disaffection against the superior officers and the President." The Expulsion of the Chicago Times from the Army of West Tennessee

The Memphis correspondent of the N. Y. World, thus writes about the recent orders of Generals Hamilton and Hurlbut in regard to the Chicago Times. As the statement of one not likely to lean toward any undue depreciation, we commend it to those who may think the Times aggrieved:

"This order[1] we understand to be the joint product of Generals Hurlbut and Hamilton, though the latter receives credit for the initiation of the measure. It is, I believe, placed on military grounds, the authors disclaiming any intention to interfere with the rightful privileges of the press. It is stated by those who approve of this step-and they are many-that the circulation of the Times in the camps throughout the district if fraught with prejudicial effect. They say it has a direct and special tendency to demoralize the army, to encourage and increase the disaffection against the superior officers and the President. Again it is said that the paper circulates almost exclusively among the natives of West Tennessee, whom it pleases better than any other northern paper. Personally we can testify to the increasing circulation and popularity of the Times in these latitudes, part of which may be ascribed to it unbridled hostility to the present administration, and partly to a very questionable kind of enterprise which consists in getting news more early than correct. It was, in some senses, a sprightly paper.

What action will be taken by that part of the soldiers who subscribe to its tenets remains to be seen. In the meantime it is likely that such readers will fly to the Cincinnati Enquirer, whose likeness is familiar. The trouble with these journals is that their tone is too low, their abuse too foul, and a general want of fairness in their appeals.-The Missouri Republican, of the same conservative school, but with far more ability and better tone, will hardly be touched. Generally we may say that northern men, residing here did not approve of the Times, and as generally that the southerners did.

Milwaukee Daily Sentinel, February 24, 1863.[2]



Memphis, February 9, 1863.

Maj. Gen. U. S. GRANT:

~ ~ ~

Both Hurlbut and myself have prohibited circulation of Chicago Times in our commands.

~ ~ ~

C. S. HAMILTON, Maj.-Gen.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 24, pt.III, pp. 40-41.



Lake Providence, La., February 13, 1863.

Maj. Gen. STEPHEN A. HURLBUT, Comdg. Sixteenth Army Corps:

~ ~ ~

I have seen your General Orders, No. 4, February 8, prohibiting the circulation of the Chicago Times within your command. There is no doubt but that paper, with several others published in the North, should have been suppressed long since by authority from Washington. As this has not been done, I doubt the property of suppressing its circulation in any one command. The paper would still find its way into the hands of the enemy, through other channels, and do all the mischief it is now doing.

This course is also calculated to give the paper notoriety evidently sought, and which probably would increase the sale of it. I would direct, therefore, that General Orders, No. 4, be revoked.

~ ~ ~


OR, Ser. I, Vol. 24, pt. III, pp. 49-50.

          24, Excerpts from the Letter of W. M Creamer, 90th Ohio Infantry, to his cousin in Jeffersonville, Ohio

Camp Cripple Creek

~ ~ ~

….To save my country I am willing to die upon the field of battle unnoticed by no kind friend, to be trampled upon by those who would ingloriusly & without shame brake the holy bonds that so unitedly make us a free & independent nation.

I feel prepared to die, & and willing to endure anything only that I may accomplish good in the end. I am young but I trust I have a manly spirit in my breast.

Dear Friend, You know me at home, yes you know something of my intentions for life. You knew my principles, you knew in whom I put my trust. Permit me to say that my trust is still in the strong arm of Jehovah. I haven't forgot to pray for the blessing that he may cloth us with his armor gird us with his might, to inspire us with his spirit.

~ ~ ~

We live for a noble purpose God has not created us for naught. We live in a land of liberty, the Gospel is ours, & with it steadily rolls the wheel of civilization, it is ours to push forward this glorious cause to earth's remotest bounds.

The fire of devotion should kindle in our harts to such a cause as I trust it will. When this grand skeme shall have predominance on the harts of the people, wars & commotions will cease to exist. Fathers will not be separated from their children. Husband from their wives, & schoolmates from their social connections to spend the most precious days & hours of their youth on a field of bloodshed & carnage. But this is my failure. I will return.

~ ~ ~

M. C. Creamer Letter.[3]







          24, Banishment of families from and unhealthy conditions in Knoxville

Knoxville Items.

From the Bristol Gazette, 15th.

The Federals have inaugurated a system of cruelty in expelling non combatants from Knoxville, unprecedented in the annals of modern warfare. Every family of Southern proclivities has been ordered out of the lines, without any time for preparation for the journey-and these banished women and children are not allowed to come to their friends, within five miles of the city, but are forced to take the long and circuitous route by was of Chattanooga to Dalton.-Dr. Goodlin, who lives only some twenty miles from Knoxville in the direction of Rutledge, was compelled to take this long and expensive journey to reach his residence, and has reached this point on his way home.

Among those who have already been sent out in the direction and manner indicated, are Rev. J. M. Martin and family, Rev. Mr. Harrison, Mrs. Hamilton and son, Mrs. W. G. Kain and two little girls, A L. Maxwell and family, Fr. John Jackson and family, Miss Nancy J. Scott, Charles McClung, (red,) [sic] Dr. A. A. Doak and family, and Jos. Davenport. Seventy families have already been or are to be banished from their homes.

Among the recent arrests and committals to jail are Samuel T. Atkins, William Rogers, (formerly with Van Gelder,) Perry Smith, Bowlin Smith, Robert Marley, John F. Pate and Mr. Preston, of Eagle bend.

A great many of the young ladies have been forced to swallow the Yankee oath at the point of a bayonet. Among them the daughters of Judge Alexander, of Judge Welcker, of James S. Kennedy and Samuel House.

The utter disregard of the Yankees to all the decencies of civilized life, is evidenced by their utter disregard of every feeling of respect for the dead, in their conduct at the funeral of the Rev. Isaac Lewis. The procession was halted on its way to the cemetery, and John (a negro boy of Jos. A. Mabry's) was forcibly taken from the driver's seat of the carriage in which the daughters of the deceased were following the remains of their only earthly protector to the grave, and amid much confusion he was dragged off and forced into the Yankee army. Comment on such an act is unnecessary.

Mr. James H. Cowan has removed himself and family, with that of his daughter, the widow and child of Major Alexander, to New Jersey.

Among the recent deaths, from small pox, is Henry Smith, formerly keeper of the Mansion House.

The city is presented to be the most woebegone heaven forsaken place ever vested by the wrath of God or man. Hundreds and hundreds of dead horses line the streets, and fill the alleys-scarcely a vacant lot but has upon it one or more of these carcasses, polluting the air and breeding disease. It is said that no sanitary regulations, whatever, are enforced; that cattle are butchered in the streets, and that a pestilence must certainly ensue.

The Federals are constructing a fragile bridge over the Holston just below the mouth of the break.

The families of Mr. H. L. McClung, of W. H. Cocke, and of Saml. Boyd, came through the lines by flag of truce to Strawberry plains.

Memphis Daily Appeal, February 24, 1864. [4]





          24, Observations made by an ex-Confederate soldier from the Army of Tennessee while on his way home to his home in Dyersburgh environs

....All were ordered aboard and the Boat [sic] rounded out and left the wharf about 5 oclk [sic]. [sic] escorted by the Gun Boat [No.] 17. we [sic] got along finely arriving at Smithland [Kentucky] a little after dark having run 200 miles-We landed and lay over all night[.]

Arthur Tyler Fielder Diaries.



[1] General Orders, No. 4

[2] TSL&A, 19th CN.

[3] W. M. Creamer Letter, MS-2136. University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Special Collections Library

[4] Valley of the Shadow.


James B. Jones, Jr.

Public Historian

Editor, The Courier

Tennessee Historical Commission

2941 Lebanon Road

Nashville, TN  37214


(615)-532-1549  FAX