Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Notes from Civil War Tennessee, April 27, 1861-1865.

Notes from Civil War Tennessee,

April 27, 1861-1865.




            27, "The Feeling in Tennessee."

The Feeling in Tennessee. _ We are permitted to make the following extract from a private letter received in this city from a member of a leading banking firm in Nashville, Tennessee. – It only tends to confirm our previous advices tat Tennessee will shortly be redeemed, regenerated ad disenthralled. The writer says:

"Fifteen cheers for Old Virginia. Tennessee is up in arms. The grandest revolution that ever took hold of any people is going on here now. It is sweeping like wild-fire all over the State. – Every man of any prominence has taken high Southern ground, except, Andy Johnson, and John Bell. The people have this thing in their hands. Johnson is a black hearted traitor; Bell is too slow in making up his mind. Go on in your good work; we will be with you in less than thirty days.  We are with you now in heart land feeling, and ready to fight with you or for you.

But your cause is our cause, my word for it. – Tennessee will never turn her back on you all. Her sons are ready and willing to die on your soil, or any other, for your cause, which is the great cause of liberty. In less than ten days Tennessee will have 25,000 men in the field in Gen. Davis' command, and twice that number if wanted. If you should hear anything in a few days, that sounds like an earthquake, don't be alarmed, for it will only be Tennessee going South!"

Montgomery Advertiser.

Daily Morning News (Savannah, GA), April 27, 1861.[1]




            27, Reconnaissance and skirmish at Pea Ridge[2]

APRIL 27, 1862.-Skirmish at Pea Ridge, Tenn.

Report of Maj. Gen. John A. McClernand, U. S. Army.

HDQRS. FIRST DIVISION, Camp Stanton, Tenn., April 27, 1862.

SIR: Upon returning from your headquarters to-day, in view of the information given by the negroes [sic] whom I sent you, I ordered a reconnaissance by my cavalry, under Lieut.-Col. McCullough.

He has just come in, reporting that he went to Stantonville, 8 miles from Pittsburg, and on the road from that place to Purdy. On his way from Stantonville to Pea Ridge he captured one of the enemy's cavalry scouts, who is now in my camp. Upon arriving at Pea Ridge he encountered the enemy's pickets, killing 3 of them and driving others back. He met with these pickets about 5 miles from my camp.

Two other negroes [sic], picked up by my mounted pickets, report that they belong to a man named Johnson, who lives about 4 miles from my camp. These negroes [sic] say that the enemy's pickets were formerly posted at their master's house, but are now about 1 mile beyond, and the enemy's camp about 4 miles beyond that. It was also discovered by my cavalry that the road over which they passed from the Purdy to the Corinth road was much cut up, probably by the artillery of the enemy about the time of the battle of Shiloh.

Yours, &c.,

JOHN A. McCLERNAND, Maj.-Gen., Cmdg. First Division.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 10, pt. I, p. 652.

            27, Confederate orders to burn all cotton on the banks of the Mississippi River

HDQRS. ARMY OF THE WEST, Memphis, Tenn., April 27, 1862.

Capt. JOHNSON, Memphis:

SIR: You will proceed in the steamer furnished for the purpose by the quartermaster along the Mississippi River. You will inform the planters on its banks that the river is now open to the enemy, and that the interests of our country demand that they shall at once destroy all of their cotton. No time is to be lost in the execution of this duty. Should any hesitate or fail to comply with your call upon them, you will yourself take possession of and burn the cotton, taking care to injure no other property.

It is made your duty to see that all of the cotton within reach of the river is destroyed at once. The proprietors will take an account of the amount destroyed, as you will of all of which you may have to destroy yourself. These orders are given to you by Gen. Van Dorn under instructions from Gen. Beauregard.

In executing the above orders you will go as far up and down the Mississippi as the gunboats of the enemy will allow; and in the event of your being pursued by them, if you cannot run your boat into a place of security from them, you must, on abandoning, destroy her, to prevent the enemy from getting possession of her.

Very respectfully, yours,

DABNEY H. MAURY, Assistant Adjutant-Gen.

(Copies to Lieut. Hill, Capt. Lyles, Capt. Clendening, Memphis.)

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 10, pt. II, p. 455.

            27, Expedition to Purdy[3]

No circumstantial reports filed. .

HDQRS. ARMY OF THE TENNESSEE, Pittsburg, April 28, 1862.

Maj. Gen. H. W. HALLECK, Cmdg. Department of the Mississippi:

The expedition ordered this morning from general headquarters to go out the Purdy road and destroy the railroad near Adams' has started, with three days' rations in haversacks. The expedition consists of Maj.-Gen. Wallace's entire brigade, with the exception of artillery. But one battery is taken. All the cavalry belonging to my forces fit for duty and not otherwise employed accompany the expedition.

U. S. GRANT, Maj.-Gen.

OR, Ser., I, Vol. 10, pt. II, p. 135.



Cincinnati "Commercial" Account

Camp Shiloh, Five Miles from Pittsburg Landing, April 30, 1862

On Sunday morning, Twenty-seventh instant, Gen. Grant ordered Gen Wallace to make a demonstration in the neighborhood of Purdy, a town of about eight hundred inhabitants, twenty-two miles distant from our camp, deriving a small degree of importance from its location on the Mobile and Ohio Railroad. It is about twenty miles from Corinth, on a direct railroad line. It was not known when the expedition started what force of the rebels had at the point, but it was supposed they had a pretty strong garrison there, and were prepared to repel such a cavalry "dash" as is ordinarily made for the destruction of railroad bridges. Accordingly, it was determined to send a large force, and to make the attack partake of the nature of a surprise. Seven regiments of infantry, from Gen. Wallace's division, including the Seventy-eighth and the Twentieth Ohio, two batteries of artillery, and the Fourth and Eleventh Illinois and Fifth Ohio cavalry, were ordered to be in readiness by noon, with three days' cooked rations. The preparations in the camp in which I chanced to be at the time the order was received-the destination was of course not stated-were on such an extensive scale that I thought the long-expected movement against Corinth was about to be made, and without further deliberation resolved to proceed with Col. Taylor's regiment.

We started at two o'clock P. M., Wallace, with the infantry and artillery in the advance. Our road lay through woods, swamps and ravines, over "corduroy" bridges and across swollen creeks, through mud and water of every variety of depth and thickness. The weather when we left camp was very fine, though very warm; the sun pouring his rays down upon us with tropical vigor, made it uncomfortable to ride and fatiguing to march, and we had proceeded but a few miles when the effect became visible in the many returning stragglers from the infantry regiment who lazily dragged their muskets and themselves in a homeward direction.

We passed a number of very respectable residences, the first of the kind seen by this army since its occupation of Pittsburgh. They are all owned by wealthy men, every one of whom, we learned, are more or less identified with the rebel cause; some are in the confederate army, others have sons in it, and others, have contributed of their means to its support. A couple of officer stopped at one of the houses to ask for a drink of water. The inmates, an elderly woman, two handsome daughters, and a few young contrabands, appeared very much excited at the approach of the Federal warriors. Before the officers had time to state the peaceful object to their visit to the domicil [sic], the old lady eagerly exclaimed "He didn't want to go, but they told him he must, or he'd be took prisoner." "We would like to get a drink of water of you, please," said Capt. H____; "we are very thirsty." Oh! yes, certainly," replied the agreeably astonished matron. "I thought as how ye come after my son, because he was in the Southern army." A conversation followed, which resulted in the revelation that a son of the hostess had been drafted for Beauregard's army; that he had fought at Pittsburg, and was dangerously wounded on the first day of the battle. He was conveyed to Corinth. His mother became apprised of his condition and immediately sought the confederate military authorities, of whom she obtained a "sick furlough" for him. He is now under the maternal roof, but will not survive his injuries.

About six o'clock we halted in the woods midway between Pittsburg and Purdy. After an hour's delay Gen Wallace ordered the infantry and military to bivouac for the night and the cavalry to proceed to Purdy. The General himself made his headquarters for the night in a neat frame house in the neighborhood. The woods were soon illuminated with the great fires the soldiers built, and around which they gathered to pass away the night. Strong Pickets guards were stationed in every direction, so that they improvised Federal city in the wilderness of Tennessee felt secure from a rebel surprise.

The cavalry, numbering in all about two thousand continued the road to Purdy. Col. Dickey, of the Fourth Illinois, was in command. We had enjoyed a few hours of pleasant riding since five o'clock, but now our prospects changed, and not for the better. As evening changed into night, the sky became thickly clouded, and in less than an hour after our second start, the rain began to fall in torrents. The road grew worse and worse as we advanced, and the night darker and darker every hour. We had a guide, but he was a poor one, and had less confidence in himself than we had in him. We proceeded, however, making our way by the dim outlines of the forest on either side of us. The rain continued; at times it was furious. A great many of our men were unprovoked with overcoats of water proof blankets, but the ward was forward! to Purdy! What was hitherto darkness became impenetrable blackness, until we could not discern an object three feet ahead of us. Consider two thousand mounted men now galloping along a narrow road, now wading through a black swamp, and once or twice almost swimming a swiftly running creek, and all of this in the darkest night that any of the two thousand men ever saw. The "clashing of arms" was for once a welcome noise, and formed the only guide by which we kept together.

At about twelve o'clock we came to a halt about two miles from Purdy, Col. Dickey fearing, and very properly, that the whole party would get lost before morning. As it was, a number of our men had abandoned the hope of being able to keep up with us, and had remained along the road behind us. A whole company at one time declared their inability to proceed, and still it rained harder than ever. After standing still an hour under the "pelting and pitiless storm," "about face!" was ordered, and we started for the point where we left the infantry, arriving there just at daylight.

Here the men were ordered to dismount and feed their horses. The effect of the night's "tramp" was visible on every countenance. Many of our stoutest and hardiest men "gave out" altogether and were compelled to return to camp when morning came. Some of them lay down on the road-side, glad to seize the opportunity of an hour's "rest," even though the rain beat heavily on their closed eyelids.

At five o'clock the order was given for us to return-not to camp but to Purdy. Many of us received the order with dissatisfaction, and some obeyed it with reluctance. Col. Taylor, of the Fifth cavalry, was taken seriously ill (he was quite unwell when he left camp," and could not command his regiment; the Lieut.-Col. was also compelled from sickness to abandon his intention of returning so the command devolved upon the senior Major, E. G. Ricker, an officer who has given frequent proofs of his efficiency and valor. The entire cavalry force started back, and in a couple of hours were in Purdy. They were disappointed to learn that about one hundred rebels who had garrisoned the place, had left just in time to save themselves.

Col. Dickey sent a small force to skirmish two miles below Purdy, (there were three thousand rebels at Bethel, four miles below,) while another force destroyed the railroad bridge two mile above it. The work was accomplished; the bridge was torn up, and the connection between Purdy and Corinth completely destroyed. While the men were at a locomotive with four men-two officers, one engineer, and a fireman-came from Bethel to ascertain what was the matter. I should have said that our men had cut their telegraph wires also; this caused the alarm at Bethel. Our skirmishers withdrew, let the locomotive pass to where the road was town up, and issued forth to demand a "surrender" the four men were taken prisoners, the locomotive destroyed, and thus ended the expedition. None of our men were killed by the enemy, but I fear many of them will die from exposure to inclement weather and the fatigue of the trip experienced by all.

The cavalry returned to camp last night; the infantry and artillery this morning. After what we have gone through, our leaky tents appear to us like metropolitan hotels. I will speak for myself, and say I want no more expedition for several days to come.


Rebellion Record, Vol. 4, pp. 529-530.

            27, Brigadier-General E. Dumont's prescription for punishing Confederate civilian bridge burners


The Penalty of Bridge Burning

Headquarters, U. S. Forces

Nashville, April 8, 1862

Col.______: [sic] You desire to know what punishment should be visited upon persons not connected with the army, who are guilty of throwing trains off the railroad track, burning bridges, ripping up the road, or cutting or injuring the telegraph wire. You have reference, of course, to railroad and telegraph lines now being used by our army. I reply that any one guilty of such offence, (which is a crime against humanity and mankind,) endangering the lives of women and children, non-combatant and citizen, as well as that of the soldier, should be arrested and held for trial by Court-martial.

Who are to be suspected so as to justify for trial in the absence of positive and immediate evidence identifying the guilty party?

When an enormous and flagrantly crime is committed, and the perpetrator is unknown, the common instincts of mankind seek him among those who have given some evidence of being capable of such enormity, have had an opportunity of committing the crime, and some motive or malice for its commission. These acts are crimes against the Government of the United State. Murder the innocent and unoffending; give aid and comfort to the enemy, and prove enmity to the Union, and are not committed by Union men, but a person who, although he may not have taken up arms or entered the army of the rebellion, is hostile to the Government and against the Union, is one who well may be suspected of such crimes as these, provided he lives or is found near where the deed is done, had an opportunity of knowing it, and has used no means to notify us or prevent it. Such persons must be taught that they must fight bridge-burners and such like of themselves with suspicion as to be held for trial as the perpetrators, or as accessory to the crime, and if found guilty, upon due proof, that they will pay the penalty with their lives and their property.

You will doubtless find that the really guilty party usually tries to keep a negro or some irresponsible white man, who has no character, no property to lose, and whose life he cares not for, between him and danger, hoping to escape himself by proof of an alibi, that he was absent when the crime was committed, that the deed was not done by his own hand. [sic] Suffer yourself to be led astray and put upon the wrong scent by any such subterfuge. Such are not the class of persons who commit those crimes, unless indeed, promoted to it by some masked and designing but cowardly traitor in his country, who has influence to beguile, inveigle and decoy, a life to forfeit, as well as property to be confiscated. The sooner such are taught that their lives and their property shall pay the penalty of their crimes, the better. The course, then, here indicated, is to protest the innocent above all things, but bring the guilty to the punishment due to flagrant crime. This subject is not unattended with difficulties; but the innocent must not suffer simply because the guilty are hard to detect, nor the guilty escape, simply because they use dupes to accomplish their designs. This is the way crime is to be dealt with. Now as to repairing the injury.

When an injury is done to a bridge, a railroad track, a train, or the telegraph wires, I would compel the disloyal inhabitants, with their negroes [sic], to repair it instantly. I would enforce the order, if disobeyed at the point of the bayonet, and would give the time necessary to its performance.


E. Dumont, Brigadier General Commanding

New York Times, April 27, 1862.

            27, "You can find it on the map." Absolom A. Harrison's Letter home from Wartrace

Wartrace, Bedford County, Tenn., Apr 27,1862

Dear Wife,

I take my pen in hand to write to you once more to let you know that I am well at present and hope these few lines may find you enjoying the same blessing. I read your letter today and was very glad to hear from you and to hear that you was [sic] doing so well. I wanted to be at home with you but I could not and so I had to try to be content. But I have watched every day for a letter for about ----- and was afraid to -----. I feel greatly relieved knowing you are now safe. I want you to kiss the baby for me. Bless its little soul. I would give anything to see it. We are at this place yet. I believe I told you in my last letter where this place is situated. It is 55 miles from Nashville on the Nash & Chattanooga railroad. You can find it on the map. It is a rich country but not a very healthy one. We have had several alarms since we have been here. Sometimes we hear that the enemy are coming toward us with a large force and in a few minutes the regiment is formed in line of battle but so are getting used to it so it is no ----- more than setting down to ----- so often they get very ----- because they cannot get into a fight with the rebels. I expect we will leave this place in a few days for some place further south but I don't know exactly where. You had better direct your letters to Nashville until I write again. We will get our letters just as soon that way as if they were directed to the very place where we are at. One of our men, a German, was poisoned and died in about 15 minutes after he was taken sick the other day. Several others have been poisoned but got well again. We have to be very careful where we eat or drink in this country. Some of the Secesh around boast that if they cannot kill us one way they will another. Jo has been complaining but he is about well again. The rest of the Hardin boys are all well. Eliza wrote for me to find the baby a name. I don't know what you will call it without it is Susan Alice. However I leave it you to name it whatever you please so it is some pretty name. You must take good care of it until I can get home which I hope may not be very long. Tell Eliza & Melissa, Mother & Father & Bruce & Bet I would like to see them all and that they must write to us. Tell Aunt Sissy I would like to see her too and John & Kitty too. You must write as often as you can and take good care of yourself. So nothing more at present but remaining your affectionate husband until death.

A. A. Harrison

Absolom A. Harrison Correspondence.

            27, After the Battle of Shiloh

Camp of the Fifty-Third Regt. [sic], Ill. Vols.

Gen. McClernand's Division,

Near Pittsburg, Tenn., April 27.

To the Editor of the Chicago Times:

.…For miles around the Landing it is a wilderness of woods, mostly oak, with here and there, at long intervals, a dilapidated log house with outbuildings in keeping--old cotton fields and orchards, which, though hanging full of young fruit, look long neglected, and as though the few inhabitants who lived here had been years from home....while the sending here of this multitude of sanitary committees, physicians, and nurses was prompted by the most humane of motives, the plan was necessarily a hasty and imperfect one, and many of the individuals sent, or, coming on their own account, particularly the medical gentlemen, were not only indiscreet, but in some cases gave very decided evidence of a want of good manners. A word or two will explain wherein. In the first place, the urgent necessity for additional assistance, beyond that with which each regiment is provided within itself, was immediately after the battle, while the multitudes of wounded were lying upon the ground for miles, almost covering it. Of course the immediate exigencies would be, in such manner as possible, provided for before strangers from abroad could arrive. After which, under the direction of medical officers, the important immediate operations were performed, and the survivors provided for in the hospitals prepared before hand at Savannah, or were placed on board hospital boats for transportation to different points North. To all of which hospitals and boats, competent medical officers, with nurses and attendants, were assigned, and who were personally responsible for their proper care, and whose duty it was to give them their personal attention and observation. Of course no part of these duties could be assigned by the medical officers, separately from the rest, to volunteer physicians while, even if these were desirous of accepting the positions of subordinate attendants, which, if any, they would necessarily be obliged to take, the business of supervising and instructing them in their duties so that these should be done in accordance with those inevitable "regulations" would of itself constitute a heavy additional burden to medical officers under the circumstances, with no compensating advantage. Moreover, in this wilderness of woods, in this broken country, amid this multitude of regiments, covering miles and miles of country,--amid this multitude of boats, and hospitals, and officials in charge, new-comers are, of course, confused and confounded, lose their way, get fagged out with fatigue, and, finally, for the most part, and except in special cases, expend their energies fruitlessly. Surgeons have, uninvited, thronged about the camps of different regiments, not only proffering their services, but have even had the effrontery to intrude into their hospitals, making prescriptions, administering medicines, and even severely criticising [sic] and condemning the practice of the authorized Surgeons!

Chicago Times, April 29, 1862.[4]

            27, Report from Memphis by correspondent Felix De Fontaine, reporter for the Charleston Daily Courier, relative to Federal prisoners of war in Memphis taken during the battle of Shiloh

Memphis, April 27, 1862.

….As has been frequently stated, the enemy cannot withstand the bold, impetuous onsets of our bayonets, and it is to this as much as any other cause, that is due the successes of the two days [at Shiloh]. The prisoners confess the superiority of this style of prowess, freely admitting that notwithstanding their improved arms, and their better drill, these advantages are of comparatively little avail before the fearless daring to our boys. They complain, however, that we fire too deliberately--taking dead aim, as one of them remarked, "just as if you were shooting hogs." "Yes," was the reply of the Confederate, that's what we are paid for; we are fighting nothing but hogs." The prisoners likewise generally remarked about the absence of intoxication among our troops. They had the impression that Southern soldiers were little better than besotted vagabonds, who rolled in bad whiskey, and fought like fiends, because drunk. I am happy to corroborate the first impression. Among the thousands of troops I have encountered in the West, I have seen but two who approached anything like a hilarious condition, and these, I believe, were convalescents from one of the hospitals, who were having their "blow out" on the last pint of whiskey that had been prescribed by the surgeon. In the army at Corinth the same strict discipline has been observed, and especially in the division of General Bragg. He is as rigid in this respect as if he had been all his life a temperance lecture, and his "blockade" is most efficient.

The prisoners [point to] the ragged, well-worn clothing of our soldiers, and one of them made a humorous which he contended that we would fight a hundred per cent better with whole garments...."but," said he. "You'll do anyhow. You're a pretty good-looking set of fellers, take the long run, but I'm d_____d if I wouldn't rather see you asleep than awake." Someone shouted to him from the crowd-"I say old fel' [sic], you talk about fine looks, got any baggage along?" "Yes, you lousy son of a whelp, plenty of it. I believe that's all you fight for. You run a man ten miles just to get his clothes.

Charleston, South Carolina, Daily Courier, May 6, 1862.[5]

            27, One Illinois soldier's observations and hopes for living in the Hamburg environs

If any one has his doubts of the result of the subjugation of the South, let him read the following true copy of a letter, found upon the battlefield near Corinth, which was left behind by the author in his swift flight from the scene of conflict. Its contents serve to show the spirit by which the agrarian hordes of the North are actuated in countenancing and supporting this war upon us:

Hamburg, Tennessee, April 27th, 1862.

My Dear Sue:  I wrote to you a few days since. Fearing, however, that it has been miscarried or intercepted, I write again. We are at this place, and expect to move forward in a short time on Corinth, a distance of sixteen miles. We are expecting a hard contested battle, as we learn the rebels are in large force. Well, when that time comes up we will make the rebels feel the weight and power of our steel. I have seen many of the natives of this country. They present a woe-begone look. They look like they never had any advantages of an education. I noticed some of the women's dresses. You ought to be here to take one gaze at their huge appearance. Their hoops are made of grapevine and white oak splits. I feel sorry for the poor ignorant things. Well, we will teach them, in a few days, how to do without white oak and grapevine hoops. They are now the same as conquered, and one more blow and the country is ours. I have my eye on a fine situation, and how happy we will live when we get our Southern home. When we get possession of the land we can make the men raise cotton and corn, and the women can act in the capacity of domestic servants. The women are very ignorant—only a grade above the negro, and we can live like kings. My love to all the neighbors. Kiss all the children for me, and tell them pa will come back again. Adieu, my dearest Sue.

James Donley.

Mrs. Sue Donley, Mount Vernon, Illinois.

By the politeness of Mr. Allen.

[Houston] Tri-Weekly Telegraph, July 16, 1862.[6]





            27, Skirmish on Carter Creek Pike[7]

APRIL 27, 1863.- Skirmish on Carter Creek Pike, Tenn.

Report of Maj. Gen. Gordon Granger, U. S. Army.

FRANKLIN, April 27, 1863--9.20 a. m.

GEN.: I pushed out my cavalry at 1 o'clock this morning between the Columbia and Carter Creek Pikes, to surprise and capture the Texas Legion, posted 8 miles from here, on the latter. Our troops reached their camp at daybreak, surrounded and made prisoners of the entire force, consisting of 9 commissioned officers and 112 men, 300 horses and mules, 8 wagons, all their camp and garrison equipments, arms, accouterments, &c., all this without the loss of a man on our part. Several rebels were killed and wounded. This daring feat shows what our cavalry is made of. The surprise and capture was made almost immediately under the eyes of Van Dorn, within 1 mile of his main body.

Col. Watkins and captain Russell, of my staff, led the expedition and behaved handsomely.

G. GRANGER, Maj.-Gen., Cmdg.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 23, pt. I, pp. 321-322.

            27, Confederate scout with skirmish, Smithville to Liberty environs

HDQRS. HARRISON'S CAVALRY BRIGADE, Smithville, April 27, 1863


Cmdg. Cavalry Division:

GEN.: The scout just returned from the direction of Liberty reports the enemy's pickets about 3 miles this side of Liberty. The scout drove in the pickets. After retiring a short distance, they reappeared, and were a second time driven back. The scout then procured forage near there, and saw no further signs of the enemy. They learned the enemy was encamped at the fork of the pike beyond Liberty. Col. [C. C.] Crews establishes the line of couriers.

By order of Col. Thomas Harrison, commanding cavalry brigade:

GEO. M. DECHERD, Acting Aide-de-Camp.

P. S.- It does not appear expedient to move down the river while the enemy occupy Liberty. I will remain here and examine the country above to-morrow.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 23, pt. II, p. 798.

            27, Lieutenant-General Hardee issues contingency retreat orders


Should this command be ordered to retire on Tullahoma before the completion of the bridges over Duck River and Garrison's Fork, the following dispositions will be made:

Breckinridge's division will retire via Manchester. Helm and Brown will move on the Murfreesborough and Manchester pike, and Adams and Preston on the road leading from Wartrace to Manchester.

Cleburne's division will move direct to Tullahoma crossing Duck River at the bridge known as Schoefner's Bridge, about 5 miles from Wartrace.

Division and brigade commanders will at once examine all the roads indicated in this order over which their respective commands will pass, and with which they are not already thoroughly acquainted.

Should Garrison's Fork, in rear of Helm's and Brown's brigades, be come so swollen as to be impassable, then these brigades will retire by moving direct to Wartrace, and thence following Cleburne.

By command of Lieut.-Gen. Hardee:

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 23, pt. II, p. 797.

            27, Correspondence relative to an inventory of horses and mules used by the Army of the Cumberland


Maj. Gen. H. W. HALLECK, Gen.-in-Chief:

I report in reply to your telegraphic order: This army had, December 1, 1862, 8,709 horses and 11,519 mules, received from the Department of the Ohio. Procured by capture or purchase since 18, 450 horses and 14,607 mules. Sent off, unserviceable, 9,119 horses and 1,149 mules. On hand, March 23, 19,164 horses and 23,859 mules. A great mortality in team animals has resulted from the want of long forage, not procurable, for want of means of transportation. The cavalry horses, always overworked, consume rapidly. It is reported by the chief quartermaster that one-third of the animals now on hand are used up and unserviceable.

Yours, truly,

W. S. ROSECRANS, Maj.-Gen.


WAR DEPARTMENT, Washington, April 27, 1863--4.30 p. m.

Maj.-Gen. ROSECRANS, Murfreesborough, Tenn.:

You already have full authority to seize horses in the enemy's country. To seize horses in the loyal States is a very different affair. There is no power here to authorize such a proceeding. The law regulates the purchase of horses, and every possible authority has been given to the quartermaster of your army and of the Western depots to purchase animals for you.

H. W. HALLECK, Gen.-in-Chief.


LOUISVILLE, April 27, 1863.


Seven thousand three hundred and fifty-seven horses and 11,692 mules have been sent to the quartermaster at Nashville, and 6,706 horses and 150 mules furnished to troops of Gen. Rosecrans' army since November.

T. SWORDS, Assistant Quartermaster-Gen.


[MURFREESBOROUGH], April 27, 1863.

Brig. Gen. M. C. MEIGS, Quartermaster-Gen., Washington:

This army has been so scattered that it has been impossible until recently to procure accurate reports. I reply to your telegram of 25th as fully as possible:

Received from Department of Ohio, since November 1 [1862], 8,212 horses, 11,197 mules; 9,119 unserviceable horses and 1,159 mules have been returned to Louisville to be recruited. Issued to Army of Cumberland since November 1, 10,305 horses and 7,492 mules. Reports for March 31 show in the army and at depots 3,939 artillery horses, 11,478 cavalry horses, including those used by mounted infantry; 2,942 draught horses and 805 extra, and 23,859 mules. At least one-fourth of the horses now in use are worn out and unfit for service. Mules have been substituted for a large part of the draught horses reported above.

J. W. TAYLOR, Quartermaster.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 23, pt. II, pp. 281-282.

            27, One woman's complaint about war profiteering in White County

....Mr. Stone is troubled with the cavalry all the time. Four eat [sic] dinner there today. The first two that came were riding and seemed to be very intelligent gentlemen. They said they stayed at Carold [sic] Johnson's last night and said he was boasting how much he had made since the war commenced, and that he would not have it to stop for anything. He was making money so fast. I do not know what ought to be done with a man who can have it in his heart to wish everybody so much evil, just that he make money. It seems perfectly shocking....

Diary of Amanda McDowell.

            27, The Fortune Telling Lady on Second Street in Memphis

Madam Cora James, the only reliable clairvoyant of the day, is daily astonishing citizens of the highest rank by her wonderful clairvoyant power in revealing the past and predicting coming events, Madam James has mastered all the science embraced in this glorious gift of prophecy and invariably gives satisfaction to all who consult her, and all acknowledge the truthfulness of the revelations made to them. Clairvoyant examinations and prescriptions in all chronic disease, insanity in its various forms, rheumatic affections, nervous afflictions and all complaints peculiar to females, Madam James warrants curing. Ladies and gentlemen don't procrastinate, as this is a rare chance, but come at once. Rooms at the Bluff City house, on Second street between Madison and Monroe streets. Go up two pair of stairs.

Memphis Bulletin, April 27, 1863.

            27, "Confiscation."

This word perhaps is used more by the military in the English language, but yesterday it was used in a new source to a man by the name of Alexander Brodbeck, and not all to his satisfaction. Brodbeck yesterday procured a pass of the proper authorities for the purpose of seeing a friend of his who is not in the Irving Block, a prisoner of war. The guard on allowing him to pass in the prison thought he looked as if he was attempting to do something not laid down in the regulations; hence he kept an eye on the individual. His (the guard's) attention being called to another part of the prison for a moment, Brodbeck took the opportunity of passing into his friend a bundle, which on examination proved to be a suit of rebel clothes, made in the latest style and trimmed in the most approved manner. Captain Wright took the property and confiscated it, and taking Mr. Brodbeck for a dangerous character, quietly placed him where he could keep his prison friend, for the present, company.

Memphis Bulletin, April 27, 1863.

            27, "A Smuggler Caught."

A doctor who rejoices in the name of Woodson, John C. Woodson, not being satisfied with making a living by his legitimate profession, tried the smuggling dodge, hoping thereby to make his pocketbook a little more plethoric, even if the contents was rebel scrip. To do this he purchased about 200 ounces of quinine, placed it in a secret part of his buggy, procured a pass and started on his winding way rejoicing. The detectives, however, had a sharp lookout for the gentleman, they being suspicious that all was not "on the square." After he had proceeded to within a few miles of the lines, those inquisitive gentlemen stopped his horse and asked the privilege of looking into the buggy of Dr. Woodson – They were not long is discovering the hidden treasure which was placed in the posession [sic] of the Provost Marshal for confiscation. There's a moral in the story, but the doctors says he can't see it.

Memphis Bulletin, April 27, 1863.

            27, Military life in Middle Tennessee

Franklin, Tenn.

April 27, 1863

Dear Mother,

….We came to camp this morning about 9 o'clock. As we staid up the principal part of the night I felt like taking a knap, which I did. I now feel pretty tolerable well. I have just finished eating my supper. We did not have a bad supper either for soldiers. We had biscuit, meat, rice and coffee. Perhaps you think the biscuit were not very good. They were not such as Mother bakes, however they tasted very well, and were about as good as can be made with the material our cooks have. We draw part of our rations in flour and the rest in hard bread. We are getting some what tired of hard bread. You want to know how often I have to stand guard. I have to stand from three to four times a week here. Before coming here we did not average once a week. The duty is pretty hard here. When on guard we generally get from 2 to 4 hours sleep of a night. We have a good deal of work to do beside standing guard. They have been and are still fortifying this place. We soldiers have the work to do, but you may depend on it we do not strain ourselves. We only have to work four hours in the day, and work an hour at a time, and then rest an hour.

Well, I expect you will hear of another fight at Franklin[8] before long. But it was one of those pleasant victories, where no Union blood was spilt. Our cavalry started out last night between two and three o'clock. They passed us where we were on picket about 3. They went out south some 7 or 8 miles and captured about one hundred and fifty (150) prisoners. They brought them in about 8 o'clock this morning. Most of them were pretty hard looking men. I wish they would ever give up. They are certainly very desperate to hold on as they do. Oh, that they were fighting for a good cause! I think we are going to have rain tonight and we will have an opportunity of trying our dog tents as we call them. I should not be surprised if they let the water on us. Will Addington is right unwell. He went to the hospital this morning. He thinks he will be in the company in a few days again. It is getting dark so good night.

Calvin W.

Letters from Private Calvin W. Diggs.

            27, Evacuation of Jackson by Federal forces

Jackson, Tenn., is reported evacuated by the enemy. They passed Raleigh in the direction of the N. O. and J. R. R. and burnd the bridge.

Macon Weekly Telegraph,  April 30, 1863.




            27, Entry in Alice Williamson's Diary, Sumner County

Sis has just come from Mrs. Lane's: while there she visited the grave of the stranger soldier who was shot Friday. The yankees [sic] took his coat and boots off and put him in the grave without coffin or wrappings of any kind.

Williamson Diary


            27, Federal scout from Cleveland

HDQRS. FIRST CAV. DIV., DEPT. OF THE CUMBERLAND, Cleveland, April 27, 1864.

Brig.-Gen. WHIPPLE, Chief of Staff:

GEN.: I have the honor to report all quiet in my front. The scouting party which left here yesterday under command of Col. Dorr, hearing that the picket post which it was intended to surprise had been moved, pushed for Spring Place, which town it entered at 3 o'clock this morning. The enemy left so rapidly that it was impossible to make but 3 prisoners. Col. Dorr states in his report that the scouting party had developed the fact that the enemy have no forces of any kind east of the Connesauga and north of the Coosawattee, and that, if desirable, his lines of communication from Dalton to Atlanta might be interrupted. They have infantry with their cavalry on the other side of the Connesauga.

I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

EDWARD M. McCOOK, Col., Cmdg.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 32, pt. III, p. 511.




            27, Affair on Mississippi River, loss of the Sultana near Memphis

Report of Actg. Ensign James H. Berry, U. S. Navy.

U. S. IRON-CLAD ESSEX, Memphis, Tenn., April 27, 1865.

SIR: I was aroused from my sleep this morning by a call from Mr. Earnshaw, who informed me that the steamer Sultana had blown up and was burning at a short distance up the river, and that the river was covered with drowning men. I ordered all the boats manned, which was done immediately, and I went in the cutter, which boat was the first ready, and we went out to the middle of the river. The morning was very dark, it being about one hour before daylight, and the weather overcast, and the shrieks of the wounded and drowning men was the only guide we had. The first man we picked up was chilled and so benumbed that he couldn't help himself, and the second one died a short time after he was taken on board. We soon drifted down to Fort Pickering, when the sentry on the shore fired at us, and we were obliged to "come to" while the poor fellow near us were crying out and imploring us for God's sake to save them; that they couldn't hold out much longer. We pulled a short distance toward the shore and hailed the sentry, who ordered me to come on shore, Dan who, it seems, had not hailed me before, or if he had his hail had been drowned by the groans of the men drowning in the water. I asked the sentry why he had fired at me, and he said that he had obeyed his orders. I told the sentry what had happened, and that I was picking up drowning men. The sentry did not give me any answer, and we went out again to the middle of the river, where we fell in with the gig laying near a lot of drift which was covered with men drowning, who were so benumbed that my boats' crews were obliged to handle them as if they were dead men. Before we had taken in half of them another shot was fired from the fort, and came whistling over our heads, and I saw that they were determined to make me come ashore. It was not daylight, and though our two boats and a steam-boat's yawl which came out to lend us a hand, made a large mark to shoot at, I would not leave the poor fellows in the water to attend the sentry on shore. When the day began to dawn the cries of the sufferers ceased, and all who had not been rescued had gone down, and I, fearing that I might be fired at again, went to the shore, and when I saw the sentry he had again raised his musket, and I called out to him not to shoot, and at the same time told the sentry, who was a negro, that if there was an officer there I wished to see him. A man came down and told me that he was an officer. I asked him why I had been fired at. He said that his orders were to fire on all skiffs. I told him that these boats were not skiffs; that they were a man-of-war's gig and cutter, and again reminded him of what had happened, and of the drowning men whose cries he could not help hearing, and for the sake of humanity why could he not execute his orders with some discretion in a time like this. He said that he had as much humanity as any one, and if firing at me he had only obeyed orders. I saw a number of skiffs and other boats laying hauled up out of the water, and from appearances no one had made any attempt to launch them, and I reminded him that that did not look much like humanity. No one at the fort offered to do anything for the suffering men in our boats except the watchman of the coal barges, who, with the assistance of some of my men, built a fire on the shore, and I left a few of the rescued men by it, who wished to remain, and the others I had put on board vessels near by, where they were well cared for. I then crossed the river, and after looking carefully around I returned on board, having taken out of the water sixty men and one lady.

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

JAMES H. BERRY, Acting Ensign and Executive Officer.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 48, pt. I, pp. 220-221.



Capt. L. METHUDY, Acting Assistant Adjutant-Gen.:

SIR: I have the honor to report that on the morning of the 27th instant I was called from by bed at about 5 o'clock by a messenger informing me that a large number of "half-drowned men" were on the river bank in the fort requiring medical assistance. This was the first intimation that I had of the result of the blowing up of the steamer Sultana. Repairing as quickly as possible to the river I found there many of the victims of the explosion. Capt. Methudy, acting assistant adjutant-general, on the staff of Col. I. G. Kappner, was there before me, and was giving such directions to the men of the garrison then present as he thought might conduce to the comfort of the rescued men. Many of them were seriously injured by scalding and contusions, and all were shivering with cold, being still in their wet clothing; but large fires were blazing and stimulants administered. Having no clothing for these men in the fort, and many of them needing treatment in the hospital, I immediately returned to my office and wrote a note to Surgeon Irwin, U. S. Army, and superintendent general hospitals, stating the facts and requesting him to send ambulances, and blankets. In a very short time these arrived. In the meantime, learning that a large number of the unfortunate men were in the hospital of the Third U. S. Colored Artillery (Heavy), at the upper end of the fort, I went there and found twenty-five of them, many occupying the beds of my patients, who willingly gave them up to their greater need. Acting Assistant Surgeon Tindall and the hospital steward, Mr. Thomas Whitten, were busy dressing wounds. All here were supplied with coffee and other stimulants. A message from Capt. Stevens, Third U. S. Colored Artillery (Heavy), informed me that several men were in his battery (M) who needed help. I went there, but found that he had procured an ambulance and sent them to the Adams Hospital. Returning to the river at the time of the arrival of the ambulance train from the City, I found there Col. I. G. Kappner, Maj. Williams, Lieut.'s Copeland, Atlee, Helm, Newman, Wyckoff, Wilson, and Yates. There were others, but these I remember distinctly, being brought directly in contact with them. The teams of the quartermasters, Helm and Atlee, were on the ground, but were not needed, except the two ambulance teams. Lieut. Wyckoff, provost-marshal of the fort, supplied many of these men with breakfast. All officers present were busy in rendering such assistance as was in their power. Seven men remained in the fort at 9 a. m. These I sent in ambulance to the office of Superintendent Irwin, surgeon, U. S. Army. In conclusion permit me to say that, so far as my observation went, all persons connected with this garrison, from the colonel commanding down to the rank and file, were deeply interested in the pitiable condition of these unfortunate men, and that all, to the best of their ability, did their whole duly in ministering to their wants.

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

H. H. HOOD, Surgeon, Third U. S. Colored Arty. (Heavy), and Senior Surgeon.

* * * *

FORT PICKERING, Memphis, Tenn., April 30, 1865.

Capt. L. METHUDY, Acting Assistant Adjutant-Gen.:

CAPT.: I have the honor to report that on the morning of the 27th instant I was officer of the day and made my rounds between 3 and 4 o'clock in the morning. As I was going toward Battery A I met a guard, who told me that a steam-boat had blown up and some of the passengers were floating down and were being picked up. I immediately went to Battery A, found some five or six soldiers from the wreck. These men had dry blankets furnished them and were walking around to keep warm while fire was being built. Lieut.'s Yates and Wilson had coffee made and given them, and those that were burned taken into quarters and their parts that were burned dressed and flour put on each. I then went to Quartermaster Helm and had him send some whisky down for them. The quartermaster's employes, under Mr. Hare, did good service in rescuing the soldiers, who were well taken care of....All that were rescued near the upper part of the fort were taken to the hospital immediately, where dry clothes and beds were given them. I saw all that were rescued in the fort, and I must say they were exceedingly well taken care of; officers and men were making every exertion to make them comfortable.

I am, captain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

D. C. MOONEY, Capt., Third U. S. Colored Artillery (Heavy).

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 48, pt. I, pp. 223-224.


HDQRS. DISTRICT OF WEST TENNESSEE, Memphis, Tenn., May 14, 1865.

Brig. Gen. W. HOFFMAN, Commissary-Gen. of Prisoners, Washington, D. C.:

GEN.: Twelve commissioned officers and 757 enlisted men make the total of paroled prisoners saved from the steamer Sultana.

C. C. WASHBURN, Maj.-Gen.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 48, pt. I, p. 441.

            27, Capture of guerrilla leaders near Rutledge

RUTLEDGE, TENN., April 27, 1865.

Maj.-Gen. STONEMAN, Cmdg. District of East Tennessee:

GEN.: I have the honor to report that I have been scouting the country on both sides of the mountains; that I have captured two very notorious characters--Dr. J. P. Legg and P. H. Starnes--and sent them to Knoxville by Lieut. Henry E. Jackson, of the Ninth Tennessee. Since I captured Legg and Starnes the remaining guerrillas want come in and give themselves up, but they are afraid that they will be executed for what they have already done. I have five prisoners who gave themselves up, and they say all the rest of them would come in if they knew that I would spare their lives.

I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

J. W. HARRINGTON, Capt. Company G, Ninth Tennessee Cavalry.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 49, pt. II, pp. 490-491.

            27, John Wilkes Booth and Roman Catholicism, a Bolivar school girls thoughts

Dreary and dark this whole day has been, and I have been so sad. When unconsciously a thought of the unhappy situation of our beloved country crosses my mind my feelings are such as would almost cause a heart to break which is weighed down by such calamity. But the heart of the whole nation seems callous from familiarity with oppression, degradation, misery, and humiliation. Humiliation that no nation under heaven ever experienced, oppression far more grinding than that under which our forefathers labored, degradation more humble than the honest menial ever knew, and misery that no human mind can ever conceive of unless as participant. Saw a paper this evening containing a letter from John Wilkes Booth (emphasis added)  in which he intimated his intention of doing some desperate act of revenge for the tyranny practiced upon the people of the South. His name should be written on the highest pinnacle of fame for that one deed.  (emphasis added) He has scarified more than any one of his contemporaries, sacrificed his profession which brought him twenty thousand [dollars] a year, home, friends, family, all for the purpose of ridding the world of the most consummate villain under the sun. Heard more concerning Clara Peters. She writes her father that the Jesuits are the finest, most holy people on earth, and begs him to send her two little brother for (I suppose) the Roman Catholic Jesuits to raise. Warns her father of the nearness of the latter days and tells him he had a great deal better be preparing himself for eternity than seeking to enrich himself with earthly goods....

Diary of Sally Wendel Fentress.

            27, Growing Awareness in East Tennessee of the Defeat of the Confederacy. An Entry from the Diary of Eliza Rhea Anderson Fain

Yesterday I could not write as my spirit was overwhelmed within me. I felt so rebellious, I felt I could not submit to the thought of having to bow to the Union element in East Tennessee. The larger proportion of it is so degraded and even the respectable portion can have no affinity for or with them. I heard yesterday evening that Gen. Johnston was preparing to surrender his army and that Gen.Smith had disbanded his. This is Union news.

We were cheered last night by the sight of one of our dear noble boys. The children went to bed and the dogs began to bark so fiercely I felt some one must be coming and I do confess my heart grows sick at the thought of another scene as I witnessed on the 5th. The girls soon cane downstairs saying somebody is coming. Liz went to the door. He spoke we knew it was some of our loved ones. He rode into the yard, dismounted and came in. It was no other than the noble Pete Fain. I was also glad to see him. The sight of one Reb although disarmed and helpless does me good. (emphasis added) He and brother Hiram had arrived after dark Pete brought home an old horse for us which I feel so thankful to my Heavenly Father.

Pete brought us news from some of my precious treasures. My dear husband and Sam are still with my good old uncle. My dear boy is improving his wound is a flesh wound but I fear worse than we at first anticipated. Nick Fain and Mike McCarty are in Blountville. Powell alt Uncle Bob's and Sam Gammon in Virginia. My poor boy Ike and Ed Powell travelling somewhere in the Southern land. We fear the dear boys who left us when Samuel left have struck out for South Carolina. My firstborn it is said is at Mrs. Lyons.

Pete came over this evening telling us Mr. Sizemore was in town with about 25 men. It is really so painful for any of us to hear of his presence. I am confident that no rebel squad has left such a thrall of horror to the heart of any Union woman since the war began.

Fain Diary.


[2] Pea Ridge is the long ridge between Dry Creek on the east and Clear Fork on the west, joining Cannon County on the south. The land there has never been very fertile, which makes it quite suitable for growing field peas (crowder, black-eye, whippoorwill, etc.), thus giving it the name "Pea Ridge."

[3] While there were no circumstantial reports filed relative to the expedition to Purdy, the orders relative to it are available, and are dated the day before the skirmish.

[4] As cited in:

[5] As cited in: "Notes and Documents: 'Nothing to Eat But Raw Bacon:' Letters from a War Correspondent, 1862,: ed. James M. Merrill, Tennessee Historical Quarterly, Vol. 17, (no. 2) 1958, pp. 141-155.

[7]This is probably one of a few such examples of a bloodless Federal action during the war in Tennessee.

[8] Most likely the engagement at Franklin, April 10, 1863.


James B. Jones, Jr.

Public Historian

Editor, The Courier

Tennessee Historical Commission

2941 Lebanon Road

Nashville, TN  37214


(615)-532-1549  FAX


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