Friday, April 1, 2016

Notes From Civil War Tennessee, April 1, 1861-1865


Notes From Civil War Tennessee,

 April 1, 1861-1865




APRIL 1861


1, "A Wife whipper"

A Wife Whipper.—For distinguished bravery in whipping his wife, Hugh Gilmore was yesterday admitted by the recorder into the employment of the city, an honor for which many respectable gentlemen are earnest candidates. He will be boarded and lodged at the city's expense for over three weeks. Brave Hugh!

Memphis Daily Appeal, April 2, 1861.


APRIL 1862


April 1, 1862, Tennessee Brigadier-General William H. Carroll arrested for drunkenness[1]


Maj.-Gen. BRAGG, Chief of Staff:

GEN.: I have the honor to report that in obedience to your orders I visited the command at Iuka yesterday, and made as thorough an investigation of the reports against Maj.-Gen. Crittenden and Brig.-Gen. Carroll as opportunity afforded. I found sufficient evidence against them to require their arrest. I accordingly arrested Brig.-Gen. Carroll last night, and this morning ordered Brig.-Gen. Wood to relieve Maj.-Gen. Crittenden of the command of that place. The latter was ordered to consider himself in arrest for drunkenness, after turning over his command. I arrested Brig.-Gen. Carroll for drunkenness, incompetency, and neglect of his command.

I caused an inspection of the guards of three regiments to be made by Maj. Shoup, of my staff, and his report shows a most wretched state of discipline and instruction.

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

W. J. HARDEE, Maj.-Gen.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 10, pt. II, p. 379.

          1, The course of martial law in Federally occupied Murfreesboro, excerpt from the diary of John C. Spence

....[Confederate] Soldiers parading the streets; the cavalry men on horse back galloping in and out of town, without having much object in view.

The Military Gov. Parkhurst and provost marshal O. C. Rounds now duly installed, commence business.

The provost marshal has set to in a vigorous manner to put things strait [sic] and restore the union. [sic]

About the first thing that is done of any importance is to send out files of men all over the town for the purpose of searching the houses of citizens for guns and amuntion [sic] and any thing [sic] else that has the appearance of danger in the way of shooting. In these searches many little things of value disappeared, and nothing was said about it.

They looked in drawers, trunks, and boxes, and in fact, even in every thing: Kitchens, smoke houses, pantrys [sic], and cellars. In these rounds they collected a great many old guns, some without stocks, some with locks, and now and then a fine rifle or shot gun, [sic] would be found which was favorite guns of the owners. [sic] Among their collection of fire arms, short pieces of gas pipe was brought in. Suppose it looked, to them like it might shoot.

...all the fine guns was [sic] boxed up by the Provost and shiped [sic] home as trophy [sic] from the south, captured from the rebels.

The next thing men are arrested for some pretended cause. Some are put in jail for safe keeping, and some are sent to the penitintiary [sic] at Nashville without knowing the cause.

They claim that all citizens are disloyal to the U. S.; therefore, it was necessay [sic] that they should take an oath before they would be permitted to do any thing or go about and then they must carry a pass.

And, for this purpose, the gov. [sic] and provost marshal manufactures [sic] an oath to suit the occasion. [sic] Such a thing had never been in existence as to swear a man to allegiance who had been born and raised in the country. [2]

* * * *

Should a squad of cavalry go in the country and meet with a small skirmish, and any one of them get hurt or killed -- in this case a number of citizens nearest were ordered to be arrested and brought to town and placed under guard in the court house and kept there for some time. Not unfrequently, a lot would be sent to Nashville to the Penitintiary [sic] and undergo a confinement there for a time. When they did get released...they had to enter in a bond and security for their future good conduct, frequently approved by A. Johnson, military gov. of the state.

The matter of taking an oath then were but fiew [sic] that would submit, unless as a matter of necessity. All felt too independant [sic] for that.

* * * *

Spence Diary.

          1, Amphibious attack upon C. S. A. gun positions on Island No. 10

At Island No. 10, Colonel George W. Roberts, commanding the 42nd Regiment of Illinois Volunteers, led a raiding party against the Confederate battery No. 1, on the Tennessee shoreline. Colonel Roberts' force consisted of five boats, manned by crews of the U. S. S. Benton, St. Louis, Cincinnati, Pittsburg, and Mound City, who transported a detachment of 50 men from Company A of Roberts' regiment. Assuming a chevron attack formation at 11:00 p. m., and hidden in the wake of the gunboats, the party, according to Roberts' report: "approached the battery in such silence with muffled oars, that we were less than 10 yards distant when the sentinels at the guns discovered us. They cried out in great surprise, fired twice on our boats, and ran away. We landed in good order and with great expedition, the rear boat falling to the right and left of the center of the advanced line, and at once commenced spiking the guns....

The work was done with perfect rapidly as possible, for the rebel gunboat Grampus had taken alarm at the sentinels, and was standing toward us. I did not go on board to return until I had first personally inspected every gun.

....Every gun in the battery except one (dismounted and lying in the water) was spiked by our party....

The object of the expedition thus being accomplished, we took to our boats and returned without any loss whatever."

Navy OR, Ser. I, Vol. 22, pp. 707-708.


Reports of Flag-Officer Andrew H. Foote, U. S. Navy.

UNITED STATES STEAMER BENTON, Off Island No. 10, April 2, 1862.

GEN.: Last night an armed boat expedition was fitted out from the squadron and the land forces at this point, under command of Col. Roberts, of the Forty-second Illinois Regiment. The five boats comprising the expedition were in charge of First Master J. T. Johnson, of the Saint Louis [sic], assisted by Fourth Master G. P. Lord, of the Benton; Fourth Master Pierce, of the Cincinnati; Fourth Master Morgan, of the Pittsburgh, and Master's Mate Scoville, of the Mound City, each with a boat's crew of 10 men from their respective vessels, and carrying in all 100 men, exclusive of officers, under command of Col. Roberts.

At midnight the boats reached the upper or No. 1 fort, and pulling directly in face, carried it, receiving only the harmless fire of two sentinels, who ran on the discharge of their muskets, while the rebel troops in the vicinity rapidly retreated, whereupon Col. Roberts spiked the six guns mounted in the fort and retired with the boats uninjured.

The commanding officer represents all under his command, from their coolness and determination, as being ready to perform more hazardous service had it been required to the fulfillment of the object of the expedition.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

A. H. FOOTE, Flag-Officer.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 8, p. 120.


Excerpt from the Report of Thomas A. Scott, Assistant Secretary of War, relative to the attack upon Confederate gun positions on the Tennessee shore at Island No. 10 April 1, 1862.


* * * *

Yesterday a little expedition was agreed on for last night, to capture sentinels and spike all the guns in the upper fort of the enemy on Tennessee shore. It was intrusted by Col. Buford, commanding, to Col. Roberts, of the Forty-second Illinois, with 40 picked men of his regiment. Commodore Foote furnished five small boats, with crews from gunboats to row them. They left the Benton at 6 p. m., and remained among the timber in neighborhood of fort until about 11 p. m., when they came into the river in front of the fort and moored right upon it, driving away sentinels, who fled in the darkness after first fire. Col. Roberts and his men spiked with flies all the guns in position, and left without the loss of a man; a capital success and most valuable to the flotilla for coming operations, as the position of the fort was difficult to reach, and contained some heavy 84-pounders.

* * * *

Yours, very respectfully,

THOMAS A. SCOTT, Assistant Secretary of War.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 8, p. 124.

          1, Expedition from Pittsburg Landing to Eastport Mississippi and Chickasaw, Alabama

Most to the action relative to this expedition occurred in Mississippi and Alabama, although it did originate in the Volunteer State.

APRIL 1, 1862.-Expedition from Pittsburg Landing, Tenn., to Eastport, Miss., and Chickasaw, Ala.

Report of Brig. Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman, U. S. Army.

HDQRS. SHERMAN'S DIVISION, Camp Shiloh, near Pittsburg Landing, Tenn., April 2, 1862.

SIR: In obedience to Gen. Grant's instructions of March 31, I detached one section of Capt. Munch's Minnesota battery (two 12-pounder howitzers), a detachment of the Fifth Ohio Cavalry of 150 men, under Maj. Ricker, and two battalions of infantry from the Fifty-seventh and Seventy-seventh Ohio, under the command of Col.'s Hildebrand and Mungen. These were marched to the river and embarked on the steamers Empress and Tecumseh. The gunboat Cairo did not arrive at Pittsburg until after midnight, and at 6 a.m. Capt. Bryant, commanding the gunboats, notified me that he should proceed up the river. I followed, keeping the transports within about 300 yards of the gunboats. About 1 p. m. the Cairo commenced shelling the battery above the mouth of Indian Creek[3] but elicited no reply. She proceeded up the river steadily and cautiously, followed close by the Tyler and Lexington, all throwing shells at the points where on former visits of the gunboats the enemy's batteries were found. In this order and followed till it was demonstrated that all the enemy's batteries, including that at Chickasaw, were abandoned.

I ordered the battalion of infantry under Col. Hildebrand to disembark at Eastport and with the other battalion proceeded to Chickasaw and landed. The battery at this point had evidently been abandoned some time, and consisted of the remains of an old Indian mound partly washed away by the river, which had been fashioned into a two-gun battery, with a small magazine. The ground to its rear had evidently been overflowed during the late freshet, and led to the removal of the guns to Eastport, where the batteries were on high, elevated ground, accessible at all seasons from the country to the rear.

Upon personal inspection, I attach little importance to Chickasaw as a military position. The people who had fled during the approach of the gunboats returned to the village, and said the place had been occupied by one Tennessee regiment and a battery of artillery from Pensacola. After remaining at Chickasaw some hours all the boats dropped back to Eastport, not more than a mile below, and landed there. Eastport Landing during the late freshet must have been about 12 feet under water, but at the present stage the landing is the best I have seen on the Tennessee River. The levee is clear of trees or snags, and a hundred boats could land there without confusion. The soil is of sand and gravel and very firm. The road back is hard, and at a distance of about 400 yards from the water the hard gravel hills of the country.

The infantry scouts sent out by Col. Hildebrand found the enemy's cavalry mounted and watching the road to Iuka, about 2 miles back of Eastport. The distance from Iuka is only 8 miles, and Iuka is the nearest point and the best road by which the Charleston and Memphis Road can be reached.

* * * *

I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,

W. T. SHERMAN, Brig.-Gen., Cmdg. Division.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 10, pt. I, pp. 83-84.[4]

          1, Memphis municipal government to consider appropriation for the relief of soldiers' families

Soldiers' Widows and Orphans.—We learn that an application will be made to Council tonight, for an appropriation for the benefit of the widows and children of soldiers that may be received in the Home for the Homeless, in accordance with a resolution lately adopted by the ladies having that institution in charge, to receive and afford a home to such. to carry out this resolution will, of course, entail a heavy expense. The Legislature had a resolution before it to make a grant for the purpose, but it adjourned before the subject could be voted on. In New Orleans the City Council has made liberal appropriations for soldiers' families. The example has not been followed here. Many soldiers' families will be left destitute, not only from the death of the father and husband, but from the loss of limbs and the consequent inability to support those dependent upon them. The claim presented to Council is a strong one, and merits a generous and liberal attention. 

Memphis Daily Appeal, April 1, 1862.

          1, "You are my slave, sir." The Rector George C. Harris of the Holy Trinity, Protestant Episcopal Church, Nashville vs. Major General McCook

The "Union" to which We are Invited Back.

We cite the following additional illustration of what the insolent invaders of our soil design as the end of their raid. It is the plain and unvarnished statement of an eminent clergyman of the Protestant Episcopal Church, the Rector of the Holy Trinity, Nashville, Tennessee. It needs no comment at our hands. It is eloquent in elucidation of the character of the government to which we are invited to submit ourselves, upon peril of being subjugated to its yoke.

Memphis, April 1, 1862.

Editors Avalanche-On Saturday, the 15th ult., I made my way out of Nashville, hoping to take my place quietly among a people more congenial than those could be who sought the destruction of everything held dear by a Southron. Many citizens of Nashville-who, in the midst of bayonets, are ever true to the South-begged me, upon leaving, to give to the public an account of what befell me there. Many friends here have made the same request, your self among the, and I do not feel at liberty longer to withhold what may be of interest to the public. The circumstances of my arrest are nothing in themselves, but the language addressed to me by the General before whom I was taken, may be an earnest [example] of what awaits us should the Federal enterprise succeed.

On Saturday the 8th ult. [March], while about the pass into Nashville, on the Franklin pike, I was halted by the guards, about one and a half miles from the city, and after answering a few questions asked me by the Lieutenant, (with a view, I suppose of identifying me,) I was told that I was expected to report to the Provost-Marshal, or to Gen. McCook. Choice of there was given me, and I chose Gen. McCook. I was then placed under guard and taken to the headquarters of that general. Nothing had been said to me of the cause of my arrest; but having, on the day previous, said something not thought to be "respectful" by the guards stationed at that post, and having used in the public service of the church, the prayer for the President of the Confederate States, I expected that one or both of those would be found to be the ground of my offending. After waiting an hour or more, I was permitted to see Gen. McCook, and from him I learned that I had conjectured rightly.

After introducing the subject of complaint, he proceeded in the following elegant style: "These guards are mine-my representatives, and the permit with which you were to pass them emanated from me, as an officer of the United States. If your people suffer inconvenience you have no one to blame but yourselves. We have come here to enforce the laws-the laws of your own land. We are not Abolitionists, as your vile sheets have represented us to be. On the slavery question, Wm. L. Yancey is a baby to me. If I had an Abolitionist in all my army-and I have 20,000 men-I would cut his ears off. No, sir, I am here on a legitimate errand, and will not be trifled with. We intend to crush out the rebellion, and restore the laws-cost what it may. The mind of the Northern people is made up to that. If we cannot accomplish this in one way, we will in another. If we cannot subdue you, we will kill you. We will make it a war of extermination. We are the masters here, now, and it is time you understood it. I am commander of this division, and have around me 20,000 men ready to do my bidding. I am king here, and am your king. You are my slave, sir.

"And now, sir, there is another matter between us. You clergymen choose to take part in this rebellion, even in your prayers-supposing, I guess, that your cloth will protect you-but in this your are mistaken. I have plenty of guardhouses and jails, and it may shortly be necessary I should circumscribe your limits. I have reports from your church last Sunday [March 2]. I was prepared to hear it, and now, once of all, I give you to understand, that a clergyman of the Episcopal Church will be required to use their prayer books just as they are printed. You shall pray for the President of the United States or be hung. That ought to have been the policy before. You rebels ought all to be hung, and but for Gen. Buell, I should, I should long ago have been using hemp. It will come to that, and you had better take warning in time. We are handling you now with gloves. That is only an experiment. If it doesn't succeed better than it seems to be doing, we will try something else. We will try the virtue of ropes, which, in my opinion, should have been done from the first."

I do not think that any clergyman would be in danger of execution for refusing to submit to this imperious decree. Whatever may be his disposition in the matter, Gen. McCook has not the necessary power without order from Gen. Buell, and that officer is regarded by those who have met him in Nashville, as a humane, refined, modest gentleman. But McCook is second in command, and the fortunes of war may any day throw upon him, or men like him  (of whom there are several), the chief command, and Southern people may well be on their guard. All our enemies lack to make the most subject slaves the world has ever known is power. Their despotic hell once upon us, the Genius of Liberty may plume her wings to take her everlasting flight.

After this interview with Gen McCook, and incident occurred at the office of the Provost Marshal, which I give, as it may serve to illustrate the sincerity of the pro-slavery sentiment which the general claimed for himself and army. Wishing to obtain a pass for one of my little Sunday School pupils to go out of the city, I went hurriedly to the Marshal's office, where I found a large number of citizens on a similar errand, waiting their turn for admission. I had succeeded in getting next [to] the door, and stood against the sentinel's gun, ready to enter when it should again be raised. There presently appeared on the outskirts of the crowd, a black, ugly, negro woman. The sentinel saw here advancing, and cried out: "Stand back, gentlemen and let that woman pass in." He made us give way, while the woman went in, and I saw a pass given her, even before those already in were served. Surely, these gallant "protectors" of our lives and property, call themselves, these pro-slavery warriors, have yet some things to learn about an institution which the profess to regard as of Divine origin.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

Geo. C. Harris,

Rector Church of the Holy Trinity.

Daily Picayune, April 8, 1862. [5]

          1, Excerpts from the report of Tennessee Confederate Congressman D. M. Currin, to Secretary of War relative to the disposition of hogs killed and pork saved in Tennessee before and after Fort Donelson.

~ ~ ~

The number of hogs to be killed by Wilson & Armstrong at Nashville, Clarksville, Bowling Green, and Patriot was about 66,000. Of these about 30,000 were killed in Nashville. Under General Johnston's order for the removal of the meat from Bowling Green, half of it is reported as being sent to Nashville..Of that at Nashville, including the half of that killed at Bowling Green, and reported as brought to Nashville, one-half is stated to have been saved by R.T. Wilson, but his estimate is conjectural. It is not know in what condition this meat was saved. On Monday, [March 17] upon ascertaining the wishes of the committee, Mr. Wilson was telegraphed to as follows: "How much meat had you at the various points from which it has been moved? What has become of it: What proportions saved, and how much of that is sound?" A similar telegram was sent on the same day to J.H. Craigmiles, who had charge of the hogs killed by other parties at Nashville. Mr. Wilson, in reply, thinks that probably one-half of the meat in his hands was saved. J.J. Craigmiles answered on yesterday as follows: "Butchered 30,000 hogs at Nashville; half saved in Atlanta; 30,000 hogs [butchered] at Shelbyville; all saved in Atlanta; 1,000 at Cleveland [Tennessee], will remove to Atlanta; 1,000 at Shelbyville and Nashville, but most of it can be moved"..It is believed that immediately after the fall of Fort Henry General Johnston ordered the meat from Nashville to be sent away, and when confusion reigned there he directed J.F. Cummings to remove that at Shelbyville.

OR, Ser. IV, Vol. 1, p. 1036.


April 1, 1862, Statement showing the number of beeves and hogs slaughtered in Tennessee as substance for the Confederate army.

~ ~ ~

Williams & Lancaster, Bristol, Tenn., 12,000 hogs…D. Morris & Co., Morristown, Tenn., 25,000 hogs; Wilson & Armstrong, Nashville, Clarksville, Bowling Green, and Patriot, 66,000 hogs; Wilson & Johnson, Loudoun, Sweet Water, and State Line, 14,000 hogs; Government account… Cummings, Gilkeson & Co., Nashville, Tenn., 35,000 hogs, 6,000 beeves; Cummings & Waterhouse, Shelbyville, Tenn., 35,000 hogs, 25 beeves; Chandler & Co., Chattanooga, Tenn., 25,000 hogs, 2,000 beeves; J. H. Craigmiles, Cleveland, Tenn., 1,000 hogs; H. B. Henegar, Charleston, 1,000 hogs; J. M. Toole, Maryville, 1,200 hogs; John Grant, Muddy Creek, 2,000 hogs; C. M. McGehee, Knoxville, 10,000 hogs…Morris & Co., Morristown, Tenn., 500 to 2,500 beeves; Wilson & Johnson, Loudon, Tenn., 1,000 to 2,000 beeves; Wilson & Armstrong, Nashville and Clarksville, Tenn., 15,000 to 20,000 beeves….

OR, Ser. IV, Vol. 1, pp. 878-879. [6]

          1, Removal of the Bank of Tennessee from Nashville

BANK OF TENNESSEE.-We copy the following from the Nashville Bulletin of the 26th inst. [March]:

A good deal of inquiry has been made as t the authority under which the Bank of Tennessee was removed from Nashville, and it has been the impression of some of our citizens that no act authorizing the removal was passed by the Legislature during its session in this city. Upon examination, we find tat a bill was passed by the Senate "to grant power to the Banks of Tennessee to remove their location if they apprehended danger from invasion, and for other purposes." This bill passed its second reading in the House of Representatives on Thursday, the 11th of February, after having been amended, on motion of Mr. Jones, of Davidson, so as the change the Bank of Memphis from a Free to a Stock Bank; and on motion of Mr. Fleming of Knoxville, provided an office of said Bank be kept at Cleveland. As thus amended, the bill passed its third reading in the House of Representatives  Saturday, the 15th of February (the day before the "Great Panic"), by a unanimous vote, fifty six Representative being present. This bill lacked the concurrence of the Senate in the amendments by the house before it could become a law. It seems that the senate in session at Memphis, on the 12th instant, concurred in the first amendment and non-concurred in the second. So, that, as yet advised, the bill has not become a law.

There was, therefore, no law authorizing the removal of the Bank of Tennessee, or any other point in the State. They would have removed their coin and other valuables to some place for safe-keeping, if such step had been deemed advisable, but they certainly had no authority to remover their location.

We presume something will be done in regard to the discounted notes and notes placed in the respective banks for collection, which have matured and are maturing. Indeed, we understand that the directors of the Bank of Tennessee or a portion of them at least, have already had this subject under consideration. The endorsers upon those notes that have already matured, and which have not been protested, are, of course, released. No loss may occur to the Bank of Tennessee from which such releases so far, but it will become the duty of the directors to take such action as well protect the interest of the bank in the future. As the State is responsible for the liabilities of the Band of Tennessee to the extend of its capital stock, its interests will demand the attention which we have no doubt the directors who will give to this subject.

The Louisville Daily Journal, April 1, 1862. [7]

          1-8, Battle for and capture of Island No. 10


APRIL 1863


April 1, 1863, April Fool's joke played on Genearl B. F. Cheatham

April 1st (Fool's Day) passed off pleasantly, a few jokes were passed off at the expense of the unsuspecting,. General Cheatham was presented with a nice Apple Toddy made not of Apple Brandy by Vinegar – by Miss Golhson.

Moorman's Memorandum.[8]

          1, Skirmish near Eagleville [see March 31-April 1, 1863, skirmishes at Eagleville]

          1, Skirmish at Germantown

Dyer's Battle Index for Tennessee.

          1, Skirmish on the Columbia Pike

No circumstantial reports filed.

          1, Gunboat expedition to the Duck River

CORINTH, April 1, 1863

S.A. Hurlbut, Major-General:

The enemy are repairing all the bridges from Savannah east and Florence north. They are also building a large number of boats in several of the creeks. They also guard the line of the [Tennessee] river from Florence to Duck River, and now have heavy bodies of cavalry massed near Mount Pleasant. Three gunboats have gone up the river.

G. M. DODGE, Brig.-Gen.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 23, pt. II, p. 200.

          1, Skirmish on Carter Creek Pike

FRANKLIN, April 2, 1863.


Van Dorn was still at Spring Hill yesterday, cooking rations last night for a scout, I suppose. Our cavalry had slight skirmish on Carter Creek pike, and are out again to-day. Is there any prospect of my retaining Gilbert?

G. GRANGER, Maj.-Gen.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 23, pt. II, p. 203.

          1, Thoughts on the progress of the war and life in the camp of the 24th Wisconsin Infantry near Murfreesboro

Camp near Murfreesboro, April 1

Dear father,

….You ask me whether "I keep up good heart &courage as well as good health," When I was at camp on Mill Creek [sic] near Nashville sick I felt very despondent, all I could hear was, that the condition of affairs was more against the North now, than it was this time last year, that the "so called Democrats" were coming into full power once more, and their first act will be to arrange a treaty of peace with the rebels, of a nature dishonorable to the North also that the free states were almost in a state of rebellion against the "Lincoln Government" [sic] such were the remarks that I would hear on all sides. All of which tended to discourage me, so that at that [sic] time I felt that we were but one step from defeat, that the time spent by us already down here, our marches & were so much time wasted, that we were throwing away our time & endangering our lives all to no purpose, that after the South bid fair well to have their own way, and I was almost ready to join in with others & "cry peace." I was evidently "deep in the blues." On New Years day [sic] "Wish you happy New Year!" seemed rather "behind the times" then. How different, one year before. Then [sic] I was at a party at Spring Green; now what a change! In the midst of a battle [sic], wounded men lying in the fence corners or under the trees; every house full, & still the "thunder of cannon and musketry," promised more yet [sic] for the surgeons [sic] knife. Would the battle never end! [sic] I compared the two New Years & heartily wished myself at home. "But the darkest hour is just before daylight." So grandmother Whitside used to say. Now [sic] I think the prospect grows every day brighter. By the aspect of affairs in England I don't think the South need hope for interference very soon in that quarter. The Copperheads [sic] seem to be fast "playing out" despised both North & South. Things look altogether more business like. The soldiers feel more cheerful as the war seems more likely to have an end gradually approaching…You ought to see our Brigade. Great pains is [sic] taken to have things neat & tidy, the streets between the tents & parade grounds are swept clean. The tents are almost every day raised and aired thoroughly. The Brigade Headquarters, & numbers of the officers [sic] tents [sic] are surrounded with evergreens arranged in order. Little green flags hoisted over the Commissary Departments. The battle flag, (which for the right wing of the army is red [sic] as many with as many white stars on it, as the number of the Div.' [sic] Ours has three stars, being the 3d Div. Each Brigade carries one, & on the stars is printed the number of the Brigade. Ours is the 1st.) This flag is fixed on a liberty pole, & every morning the band has to play when the flag is raises, & every night on taking it down. You ask me what kind of man our chaplain is? [sic] I am sorry I can't say much for him. He is a Roman Catholic [sic], plays poker, smokes his cigars, drinks his whiskey, looks out for the mail, and perhaps once a month makes a speech that dont [sic] amount to anything after all….If a man has influential friends to manage for him, by placing a "Rev." before his name, he can get a commission as chaplain [sic], lives well, does nothing, draws a captains [sic] pay, & thus is simply aiding to increase the national debt, besides giving the soldiers a wrong opinion of Christianity. I doubt that you can find a Christian man, in our whole regiment. Although this does not tell well for the Reg[iment]., it is nevertheless true. We have between 300 & 400 men in our Reg[iment]. I was over yesterday to see the 3d Wis. Battery & had a pleasant time….

Silsby Correspondence, April 1, 1863.

          1, Francis Miller, Female Soldier


Camp Near Memphis, Tennessee

March 18, 1863

Editors Bulletin:

The following biographical sketch of one of America's bravest daughters, I deem worthy of a place in your columns. Upon the arrival of the 90 Illinois, more unanimously know as the "Irish Legend," at Lafayette, Tennessee, I became acquainted with some facts in the history of a lady connected with the regiment that exceed anything in romance, the wildest works of fiction. Her name is Francis Miller. She resided in Chicago, Ill., and has a father and two brothers in the Union army, and she determined to make the fourth of her family that were willing to offer up their lives in defense of our country. Acting on this patriotic impulse, she donned her brother's pantaloons and presented herself in the costume of a young gent of the Ton [sic], at the office of a recruiting officer, and, as required for the ranks (plenty for commission) came in very slow, she was received readily, and no questions asked. She was assigned to a company in the _____ Regiment, Illinois Volunteers, but did not remain long in it until her sex was discovered and she was mustered out of service. She was not discouraged however, for the next day she visited on Captain _______, who was making up a company for the 90th Illinois. To him she expressed her desire to serve her country in the field, and as he required a few more to fill up his company he gladly received her. She did her duty in this company – and did it well – stood guard, drilled, and, in fact, did all that is required of any soldier in active service. She was an apt scholar, and soon learned the details [?] of camp, and excelled her masculine comrades in the manual of arms. She would frequently go up in the city with her mess mates on "sparking expeditions," and being remarkably good looking, it is needless to say, that the ladies with whom she associated thought that "Frank" was the most charming young man in the army.

She had thus enjoyed the pleasures of male costume for six weeks, when her former Captain visited Camp Douglas, and recognized "Frank" as the girl in boys clothing that had duped him so clearly in getting into his company. He immediately reported her to Col. O. Miran, commanding the 90th, who summoned her to his tent. On her arrival, he [gestured to a chair(?)].She seated herself and the Colonel interrogated her as follows:

What is your name, young man?"

"Frank Miller."

How old are you?"

"Eighteen, sir."

"Well, my lad, do you think yare able to carry a knapsack?"

"I think I can sir," was the modest reply.

After a few more questions the Colonel told her that he was aware of her sex, and that she would have to be mustered out of service. This news fell like a thunder clap to her ears. She tried to convince him that she would make as good a soldier as any in his command, but in vain did she plead; the Colonel was immovable.

She was mustered out of the service for the second time but not yet satisfied with military life. She married and excellent young man, a "member of her mess," and remained with the regiment ever since. She was with the regiment at Cold Water when Van Dorn made his celebrated raid on Holly Springs. Learning the Van Dorn raid had taken place and that he was moving on the 90th at Cold Water, she immediately threw her petticoats aside, put on a jacket and [pantaloons(?)] and shouldered a musket and took her place in the ranks by the side of her husband. When the rebels made their appearance, all eyes were turned on the "petticoat warrior" – as the boys called her – to see how she looked, in this, her first appearance before the enemy; but she was so firm and resolute that she made the most of them ashamed of themselves. She fired two volleys into the rebel ranks with the coolness of a veteran. The rebels, seeing that the "Irish Legend," was made out of sterner material that the 101st "retired" in true Southern style. The 90th is now quartered at Lafayette, Tennessee. "Frank" is still living in union with her husband, is loved and respected by the entire regiment, and declares that "she is for the Union of State, union of heats, and the union of all loyal men and women to put down this rebellion.


Co. B., 14th Ill. Infantry

Memphis Bulletin, April 1, 1863

          1, Foraging and fighting in Middle Tennessee. The letter of Col. John T. Wilder home to his wife in Indiana

Murfreesboro, Tenn.

Apr. 1, 1863

Dear Pet,

I have been looking for a letter from you for some days, but have looked in vain. I was very much disappointed when Shields got back, and you did not come – I am afraid you will not get down here now as the season is getting later but Pet, I would [sic] like to see you. I am having as much to do now as I want to – just got back from an eight day trip with 88 prisoners, 460 horses, 8 wagons, 4,000 bushels corn, 86 tons hay, and 194 negroes taken from rebels – and destroyed over 10,000 bushels wheat, several tons of Bacon, captured $15,000 worth of tabacco [sic]. Whipped Wharton's Brigade of Rebel Cavalry all with the loss of two stragglers captured & one man killed by accident – this is the most successful trip that has been made from here – you will see the details of it in the papers – now do write me if you cant [sic] come to see me – I start in the morning to Franklin, to unite in an attack on Van-Dorn, hoping to receive a letter from you on my return.

I bid you good night.

As ever your true Husband,

J. T. Wilder

P.S. There are a great many wives of officers here now. Mrs. Capt. Lilly is staying in part of the house my headQrs [sic] are in – J. T. W.

Wilder Collection UTC Library Special Collections.

          1, A description of changes in Murfreesboro from August 1862 to April 1863

Wednesday April first/63

as [sic] i [sic] have no employment [sic] this Evening i Will Endeaver [sic] to give you Some little idea of the great change that has taken place here within the last Six or eight Months. i [sic] passed threw [sic] here last august [sic] Murfreesboro and vicinity was a then a Splendid part of the country[.] She compaired [sic] with other town and portions of tennessee [sic] as the red bird among the Most common fowls of the air. but [sic] the red bird has not lost her fethers [sic] and adjoining plantations that was once a Scene of beauty and wealth is not occupied by troops and camps artillery & all its Splendor has disappeared. [emphasis added]

The Streets that was occupied by the ladies and Jentleman [sic] in days gone by in riding back and forth in there [sic] vehicles of Splendid qualities Are now crowded with government Waggons [sic] the horseman and cavellry [sic] making there way there [sic] way threw her ever they can finde [sic] a Space or vacancy Everything Moves with a rush. the [sic] side walks in many places are blockaded with boxes barrels and Military Stores of every description[.]

the [sic] Splendid gardens of yards of Shrubbery and flowers now resemble that of a brick yard. the the [sic] fruit and Shade trees that formed there lines along the walks have long Since been throwed [sic] out to the commons and the bark and Smaller limbs have been consummed [sic] by the horses and Mules. The they [sic] resemble the oald suc Stubs and Shrubs that May be seen in Some oald dedning [sic]. the [sic] fine dwellings hotels Store rooms and ware houses and other buildings are occupied by Military affairs in various ways. Some turned into hospitals a large portion of them filled with provisions bakeries doctor Shops & But [sic] very few citizens remain in the town. I [sic] Suppose [sic] the thundering of the cannons on Stones river Started [sic] them out. There [sic] is nodout [sic] numbers of families in this region of country that are almost entirely destitute of every thing Starvation is almost Stairing [sic] them in the face[.]

the [sic] court house in this place Stands on a high piece of ground which can be seen for many miles around. on [sic] top of it the Signal flag and lite [sic] is to be seen Manovering [sic] both day and knight [sic]. the [sic] bigger part of the courthouse yard is filled up with artillery of different kinds and qualities from ten to twenty four pounders there is [sic] fortifications on evry [sic] hill and Shore [sic] near this place within them are placed the twenty four and Sixty four pounders ready at all times to make the earth tremble if the Enemy Should Make [sic] his apparance [sic] at any point the groves of timber that was Waving in the breze [sic] at the arrival of Rosecranses [sic] army is now in Stockades and ashes[.] Nothing left but the stumps and brush perhaps you are tierd [sic] of reading Such as this. i [sic] must close and prepare for Dressperade [sic] [.]

James H. Jones

Letters of James Jones, 57th Indiana Infantry[9]

APRIL 1864


April 1-2, 1864, Federal Reconnaissance and scouts about Bull's Gap, Strawberry Plains and Morristown

KNOXVILLE, April 2, 1864.

Maj. Gen. W. T. SHERMAN:

Gen. Stoneman reached Bull's Gap, and his cavalry is scouting beyond that place. The enemy have all gone beyond Jonesborough and probably beyond the Watauga. Scouts report that Longstreet's main force is moving to East Virginia, only about 3,500 men, mostly cavalry, being left to protect the salt-works. I will know the facts in a few days. Longstreet was with his troops at Bull's Gap while I was at Morristown last week, he having returned from Virginia. Upon learning we were advancing he also brought back a division of infantry, which was then en route for Virginia. The rebels have destroyed the bridge beyond Bull's Gap and Greeneville, and have carried off the telegraph wire, but have not injured the track as far as learned. I will occupy Bull's Gap with infantry, and scout the country above with cavalry, but will not injure the railroad until I get further instructions from you. I will have all preparations made to carry out your plans.

J. M. SCHOFIELD, Maj.-Gen.

LOUDON, April 2, 1864.

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE OHIO, Strawberry Plains, April 2, 1864.

Brig. Gen. T. J. Wood, Commanding Third Division, Fourth Army Corps:

GENERAL: Gen. Stoneman went yesterday with a division on a reconnaissance to Morristown. To-day he is at Bull's Gap, and possibly beyond. The result of his movement will determine whether any other force may be required to complete what is to be done on that line. No news from below.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

J. D. COX, Brigadier-Gen., Chief of Staff.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 32, pt. III, pp. 225-226.



April 1, 1865


          1, Late Confederate news and opinion about East Tennessee

The Sentinel has the following:

"Thomas having transferred a portion of his army to Knoxville and united with Gillem, is said to be moving in the direction of the Virginia line. At he accounts the command reached the vicinity of Greeneville, a little over halfway from Knoxville to Bristol. The expedition is accompanied by an engineer corps of two thousand men who are rebuilding the railroad as fast as the enemy marches.

"Communication with the base at Knoxville will thus be kept up. The object of the expedition is no doubt to possess and hole Southwestern Virginia, and if practicable, to move on and capture Lynchburg, and then co-operate with Grant in compelling the evacuation of Richmond. The scheme is very well conceived, and it will be apt to miscarry in the evacuation of Richmond. The scheme is well conceived, and will be apt to miscarry the execution as others have."

Philadelphia Inquirer, April 1, 1865.

          1, "These bushmen have been troubling the Southern citizens very much." An entry from the Diary of Eliza Rhea Anderson Fain about conditions in East Tennessee

The boys came down today. Kyle, Nick Mc, Sam Fain and Mr. Pinkerton. They were out on a scout Friday night in Caney Valley-were fired on by bushmen. All escaped unhurt. I feel so thankful when a kind Providence directs the balks aimed at them in another direction. These bushmen have been troubling the Southern citizens very much. I fear they may be permitted to go on by the Federal Government until our men shall become desperate and turn upon the Union folks with a feeling of desperation. They have been restrained by our Government and female influence. Women of the South have generally urged our Soldiers to do right but they are beginning to feel entreaty will be useless.

Fain Diary.




[1] Even though the Nashville native demanded a hearing, one was never held and he resigned on February 1, 1863. This was not the first time that others had noted his propensity for alcohol. For example, as early as November 1861, while nominally in charge of Confederate pacification efforts in Chattanooga, his subordinate Col. Sterling A.M. Wood telegraphed General Braxton Bragg that Carroll had been "drunk not less than five years. He is stupid and easily controlled." [see OR, Ser. I, Vol. 4, pp. 248-250.] After resigning his commission in 1863 he joined his family in Montreal, Canada, for the duration of the war. He died in Montreal on May 3. 1868, and was temporarily buried in that French Canadian city. He was subsequently re-interred in Memphis, at the Elmwood Cemetery, in 1869. The headstone in Memphis cemetery is inaccurate both as to the years of his birth and death. He never received a pardon from the United States, partly because he was suspected of conspiracy in the death of President Abraham Lincoln. His route to Montreal is not known.

[2] It seems Spence and his compatriots had forgotten about secession, that those who could not or would not swear allegiance to the Union were enemies of the Union.

[3] A.k.a. "Cypress Creek Ditch."

[4] For the ancillary report of Lieut. Commander W. Gwin, U. S. Navy, see OR, Ser. I, Vol. 8, pp. 121-122.

[5] As cited in PQCW.

[6] As cited in PQCW.

[7] As cited in PQCW.

[8] The Moorman Memorandum, by Lieutenant Hiram Clark Moorman, as cited in Confederate Chronicles of Tennessee, Vol. III (Somerville, TN: 1989). [Hereinafter: Moorman's Memorandum.]

[9] Stones River National Battlefield Park archives, Murfreesboro, Tennessee. [Herinafter cited as "Letters of James Jones."]


James B. Jones, Jr.

Public Historian

Editor, The Courier

Tennessee Historical Commission

2941 Lebanon Road

Nashville, TN  37214


(615)-532-1549  FAX


No comments: