Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Notes from Civil War Tennessee, May 28, 1861-1865.

Notes from Civil War Tennessee,

May 28, 1861-1865.




            28, Difficulties and disarray in recruiting for Tennessee's Confederate Volunteer ranks, Isham G. Harris to L. P. Walker, Isham G. Harris to L. P. Walker


Hon. L. P. WALKER, War Department, Montgomery:

SIR: When I had the honor of addressing you on the 25th instant[1] I flattered myself with the hope that I should experience no difficulty in inducing some four of our volunteer regiments already organized to muster into the service of the Confederate States at once, and by that means secure the use of the 4,000 guns you had the kindness to send me; but upon submitting the proposition to any one of our regiments or companies I find many members ready to be mustered into the service at once, but others objecting, and to attempt to carry out the policy is to disorganize regiments and companies and to a great extent demoralize the force now so necessary to the service of the State and the Confederate States. This I am unwilling to do. Hence the regiments for the Confederate States must be raised for that especial purpose, which will take some time, during which, under your order, the guns you sent me are lying idle, while I have several thousand men organized and ready for the field already mustered into the service of the State], but unarmed, with a powerful enemy menacing us every moment. If you can, consistent with your sense of duty, relax the rule laid down in your dispatch of the 20th instant so far as to allow me to put these guns into the hands of our State troops, I assure you that they shall be withdrawn from them and placed in the hands of the regiments raised for the Confederate States the moment these regiments are raised and mustered in. Nothing short of the imperative necessity of the case before me would induce me to trouble you with this request; but believing as I do that it is a matter of the highest importance to the successful defense of the Confederate States, as well as the State of Tennessee, I feel that it is a duty to urge it.



Have the kindness to answer by telegraph.

I. G. H.

OR, Ser. IV, Vol. 1, pp. 358-359.

            28, Convicts' upsurge in war production in Nashville

A Good Work Going On.

The Nashville Union speaks encouragingly of the manner in which military work is being forwarded in the penitentiary. On visiting that institution on Friday last, the editor found sixty-five men employed alone in making cartridges, turning them out at the rate of 20,000 per diem. A little practice will greatly increase the result of their labors. Thirty men are employed in repairing and cleaning muskets, who finish up, as bright and perfect as when new, about one hundred daily. The manufacture of cap boxes, cartridge belts, haversacks, camp chairs, stools, cots, military chests, etc., etc., is also being vigorously prosecuted. Of course all these preparations are being made at a very trifling expense to the State.

Memphis Daily Appeal, May 28, 1861.

            28, Exhortation to provide for needy families of Confederate volunteers

Families of Volunteers.—Although the county court have agreed to furnish regular aid to the wives and children of those who are gone to the war, we are informed by the mayor that he has many applications made to him by those who are entitled to this aid, and whose necessities require immediate attention, but that he is unable to direct them what to do, as the mode of dispensing the promised assistance has not been agreed upon. This is an important subject; we are bound to prevent distress and want reaching the families of those who have devoted their lives to their country. Let no "red tape-ism," no "circumlocution office" obstructions stand in the way of the performance of this sacred duty. Since writing the preceding, we have been informed that any proper person calling upon any magistrate, (Esquire Hume and Mallory have been appointed in this city) and presenting a certificate of the volunteer's enlistment, when he enlisted, and in what company, will at once obtain relief.

Memphis Daily Appeal, May 28, 1861.

            28, Memphis highlanders organize a volunteer military company

A Card.

"Scots wae, ha wi' Wallace bled."

To Scotchmen, Scotch-Irish and their descendants:

 Brothers and Friends—Our native and adopted land is invaded, and shall we, the descendants of noble clansmen, who were never known to turn the deaf ear to "Freedom's call" now remain idle? No! To arms! and let us hurl back the hireling mercenaries of Glasgow, who for Lincoln gold would invade our soil, desecrate our firesides, and taint the glorious name of SCOTCHMAN.

Meet at the city council chamber, corner of Madison and Second streets, at 8 o'clock this evening.

[Signed]—Wm. Pooley, John Gomley, Wm. Hutchinson, John Smith, A. D. Gwynne, James Rae, S. S. McMoster, C. W. Frazer, W. W. Furguson, J. B. Park, J. M. McCombs, B. R. Ellis, J. Bruce, P. H. Crump.

Memphis Daily Appeal, May 28, 1861.

            28, Women drill in Confederate military camps in Jackson

Letter from Jackson.

Jackson, Tenn., May 29, 1861.

Editors Appeal: According to promise, I write you this letter to let you know how times are with us, and something about times in camp since our arrival here. The most interesting circumstance that has occurred since our arrival this place was a large company of ladies out on drill at the camp on yesterday, officered by Dr. Bryan and Col. Young, of Memphis….

The camps are filled daily with ladies and gentlemen from the vicinity of Jackson. I think we will get our marching orders by the last of this week. It is rumored that we are to go under Gen. Beauregard, but I do not know how true it is. Truly yours,

Jno. A. G. H.

Memphis Daily Appeal, May 31, 1861.

            28, "There was a rumor yesterday of a negro insurrection in the neighborhoods, but it was entirely without foundation" James I. Hall's letter from Jackson en route from Mountain, Tipton County, to his camp of instruction in Union City

Jackson  [Tennessee] May 28/[18]61

Mr. & Mrs. J. S. Hall

Dear Parents,

I take this opportunity to write a few lines. I arrived here the next morning after leaving home & have been quiet well since, [I] have been treated with great kindness by friends here particularly by Dr. Jackson & Mrs. J. The boys from the neighborhood are all well and are conducting themselves well.

Our company has taken a high stand. Mr. [Captain David Josiah] Wood could be elected Colonel of the regiment almost without opposition, but will not leave his company. We will be formed into a regiment this evening; I don't know when we will leave for Union City, probably soon.

There was a rumor yesterday of a negro insurrection in the neighborhoods, but it was entirely without foundation. Our fare here is plain, but abundant & good. Gabe[2] makes a very good cook, he is in fine spirits & well. Stephen Carnes, John Matthew are here and will all be in our regiment. I should like to see you all particularly the children, [I] don't know when I will be at home. I hope the children are well, [I] would like to see them. This will be taken to by Charley Hill who is reporting [to] his company. I wish you to write to me soon. Kis[s] to the children for me.

From your afft. Son,

Jas. I Hall

As cited in: James R. Fleming, The Confederate Ninth Tennessee Infantry,

(Pelican Publishing; Gretna, 2006), p.128.[3]

            28, On the Memphis Vigilance Committee


Mr. Theodore Tyler-a nephew of the late Capt. Howe-has just arrived from Memphis, Tenn; which city he left a week ago on Monday. Mr. Tyler has resided at Memphis for some years and was considered one among the Tennesseeans, yet his loyalty to the Union suffered no shock. He deferred his departure, however, from Memphis until after the introduction of the reign of a Vigilance Committee, since when it has been difficult for a Northern man to get away; early in the history of Secession the Committee would permit anyone to leave who expressed such a desire, but lately the case has been different.

Mr. Tyler was compelled by motives of personal prudence to enlist, and for a month has been in the Rebel camp near Memphis. He has been in the habit of often visiting the city and so regularly returning that his reputation for loyalty was established. Leaving camp one day Mr. Tyler diverged from his usual route and taking a "side track" but out into the country. He traveled on foot fifty miles, striking the river above Memphis where he got on board he steamboat Franklin and came up to Cincinnati, stopping some hours at Cairo. Mr. T. left everything save what he had on his back at Memphis,-glad to get out of Tennessee at any cost.

Mr. T. says that great want already exists at Memphis; that the negroes are now in fact on short allowance and that the  most of the whets can only get bacon and corn bread. He had not eaten wheat bread for weeks, although at the large hotels they still had wheat flour. He was a Mississippian on his return from a fruitless expedition from the North for supplies, his gold being refused in exchange for provisions. Distress is existing in Mississippi.

Among the volunteers at Memphis are large numbers who have enlisted because compelled to do so through want of employment or from prudential motives, and he says there are many Tennesseeans in the number who are as good and true Union men as we of the North. At first it was suppose the North would yield to any demand the South might make, but now the gathering of Northern forces astonishes them and it is already whispered about among themselves that they will be compelled to "knock under." The South begin[s] to feel that they are about to get more than they bargained for.

Daily Cleveland Herald, May 28, 1861. [4]

            28, Press report on Union Loyalists Resistance and Confederate Conscription in East Tennessee


We take the following from the Murfreesboro Correspondent if the Cincinnati Gazette:

East Tennessee – Formidable Organization of Loyalists.

The rebels evidently find it a difficult undertaking to repress the spirit of loyalty in East Tennessee. Every one of their sheets [1.e. newspapers} contain evidence of this fact, and the reports of those who continue to escape from that region and come within our lines furnish most forcible illustration.

A communication dated Clinton, May 9, and sent to the Knoxville Register, develops the fact that amongst the Cumberland mountains, in Anderson county, there is a regularly organized band of Union men, who defy all efforts of the rebels is capture or exterminate them, who pounce upon small parties of rebel soldiery at every opportunity, and who support themselves by regular levies of forage and provisions impressed upon the rich "secesh" in the valleys. In collecting their contributions, they manifest a subtlety of planning and a rapidity of execution, which utterly baffle their enemies.

Trouble of Conscript Agents Amongst the Mountains.

Lieut.-Col. E. D. Blake seems to be commandant of conscripts in East Tennessee. He not only orders all between the ages of eighteen to forty to present themselves to him for enrollment, under pain of being considered deserters if they refuse, but tell them they just in addition, come provided with three days' rations. He fills nearly two columns of the Knoxville Register, with advertisements describing deserters, or conscripts who have failed to report, and offering rewards for their apprehension, The following communication inserted as an advertisement in the Register, illustrates the difficulties which Blake's agents meet with his enforcement of his commands:

"Maysville, Blount Co. May 8.

Lieut.-Col. E. D. Blake, Commandant of Conscripts, Knoxville, Tenn.

Sir: - We arrested one W. G. Henry this morning, in the garret of his house. While getting him down, his sister-in-law ran over the neighborhood, and a force was son gathered to rescue him. But my men got away with him and saved themselves by close work.

Yours  truly,

Samuel L. Keer.

Chief Enrolling Officer for Blount Co."

Milwaukee Daily Sentinel, May 28, 1863.[5]





            28, Descent on bagnios in Confederate Memphis

Last night the police made a descent on several bagnios, from which quite a number of persons of both sexes were removed to the calaboose to appear for trial this morning in police court. Many were fined in sums ranging from five to twenty five dollars.

Memphis Argus, May 29, 1862.

            28,Cases before Nashville's Police Court

Police Court.

Thursday, May 28…Jane Gray and Eliza Miller were fined $6 each for discussing their private affairs on the public streets. Patrick Carr was arrested, on the complaint of his wife, for disorderly conduct, and abusing her in a manner so severe as to endanger her life. On being called upon for her testimony, she refused to be sworn, alleging as a reason a fact which none who saw her could doubt. The Recorder reprimanded her for troubling the officers with her complaints, and then refusing to give her evidence, and at length ordered a fine of $20 against her. Our good natured friend Smiley, being in court, took her case in hand, and finally induced her to consent to be sworn and give her evidence, and by great exertion kept her comparatively quiet. Patrick was fined $22.75, and not having the money, will be taken care of in the Work-house until the bill is settled. The fine imposed upon Mrs. Carr was remitted.

Nashville Dispatch, May 30, 1862





            28, Scout from Memphis to Hernando, Mississippi, skirmishing at Nonconah Creek

MAY 28, 1863.-Scout from Memphis, Tenn., toward Hernando, Miss.

Report of Maj. John J. Joslyn, First Missouri Cavalry.

MEMPHIS, TENN., May 29, 1863,

SIR: I have the honor to report, for your information, that, in accordance to instructions from headquarters First Cavalry Division, I proceeded in command of cavalry detachments, consisting of 25 men First Missouri Cavalry, 50 men Second Wisconsin Cavalry, and 25 men Fifth Ohio Cavalry. Left camp First Missouri Cavalry at daybreak on the morning of the 28th, taking the Horn Lake road across Nonconnah Creek. About 7 miles south of the Nonconnah came upon a vedette, who, on our approach, fired and ran. Near the residence of Col. Blythe we came upon a picket of some 6 men, mounted. We exchanged shots, but at too great a distance to take effect. In crossing from Horn Lake to the Hernando road, we came upon another squad of the enemy, numbering about 15 men. With them we also exchanged shots, but effected nothing.

We proceeded to the Hernando road, thence to camp. I would state that the men composing the detachment behaved well. I arrived with the command at camp about 4.30 yesterday evening. No property of any kind was taken.

I am very respectfully, your obedient servant,

J. J. JOSLYN, First Missouri Cavalry.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 24, pt. II, p. 445.

            28, Female soldier in the Army of Tennessee

No circumstantial reports filed.

Excerpt from a letter by Hiram Tolbert Holt in Wartrace to his wife:

There is a woman in the guard house at Wartrace, who fought through the battles of Murfreesboro & Perryville. She was dressed like a man & is still. She and the other prisoners play cards together just as if she was another man. She will be sent home soon, what do you think of her.

Tennessee Historical Quarterly, Vol. XII, p. 301.[6]

            28, On the cost of living in Nashville and the deleterious effect of the military pass system on the market

A Gentleman reading a paragraph in yesterday's Dispatch relative to the scarcity and high price of marketing here, stated to us a fact which goes a long was to explaining the existence of this state of affairs. A countryman came to this city on Friday last with a small amount of market stuff, which he readily disposed of, the whole yielding him ten or twelve dollars. Having sold his produce, his next thought was to procure a pass in order to return home. But so great was the crowd at Lieut. Osgood's office, he failed to get into the office. He failed again Saturday, and when our friend saw him on Monday afternoon, only about half an hour before the time for closing the office, he had still been unable to gain admission. He probably succeeded in getting a pass that afternoon, as our friend had not seen him since. His expenses during the four days he was in the city must have absorbed the proceeds of this market stuff. He declared that when he got home he intended to stay there until the war was over. The difficulty of procuring passes is, we learn, keeping a considerable number away who would be only too glad to bring their produce to town, where they are apprised there is a ready demand for it. The difficulty seems to be a lack of facilities-more room and more clerks-to meet the demands of the pass office. We hear that Lieut. Osgood does all he can with his present force to accommodate the people, and that it is no fault of his that every man and woman from the country does not get a pass when it is wanted. We doubt not when this matter comes to the attention of the military authorities, the evil complained of will be remedied. Every facility should be extended to the country people to bring in their produce to supply the demands of the city. It is in this way that our people may be enabled to supply themselves with fresh and wholesome vegetables, gutter, eggs, chickens, and other produce at something like reasonable prices.

Nashville Dispatch, May 28, 1863.

            28, "…if you kiss any you must kiss them all round…." John Fremantle's first impressions of Confederate Tennessee

28th May, Thursday. – I arrived at Chattanooga, Tennessee, at 4.30 A. M., and fell in with Captain Brown again; his negro [sic] recognized me, and immediately rushed up to shake hands.

After breakfasting at [Chattanooga], I started again at 7.30, by train, for Shelbyville, General Bragg's headquarters. This train was crammed to repletion with soldiers rejoining their regiments, so I was constrained to sit in the aisle on the floor of one of the cars. I thought myself lucky even then, for so great was the number of military, that all "citizens" were ordered out to way for the soldiers; but my gray-shooting jacket and youthful appearance saved me from the imputation of being a "citizen." Two hours later the passport officer, seeing who I was, procured me a similar situation in the ladies' car, where I was a little better off. After leaving Chattanooga the railroad winds alongside of the Tennessee river, the banks of which are high, and beautifully covered with trees--the river itself is wide, and very pretty; but from my position in the tobacco juice I was unable to do justice to the scenery. I saw stockades at intervals all along the railroad, which were constructed by the Federals, who occupied all this country last year.

On arriving at Wartrace at 4 P. M., I determined to remain there, and ask for hospitality from General Hardee, as I saw no prospect of reaching Shelbyville in decent time. Leaving my baggage with the Provost Marshal at Wartrace, I walked on to General Hardee's headquarters, which were distant about two miles from the railroad. They were situated in a beautiful country, green, undulating, full of magnificent trees, principally beeches, and the scenery was by far the finest I had seen in America as yet.

When I arrived, I found that General Hardee was in company with General Polk and Bishop Elliott of Georgia, and also with Mr. Vallandigham. The latter (called the Apostle of Liberty) is a good looking man, apparently not much over forty, and had been turned out of the North three days before. Rosecrans had wished to hand him over to Bragg by flag of truce; but as the latter declined to receive him in that manner, he was, as General Hardee expressed it, "dumped down" [sic]in the neutral ground between the lines and left there. He then received hospitality from the Confederates in the capacity of a destitute stranger. They do not in any way receive him officially, and it does not suit the policy of either party to be identified with one another. He is now living at a private house in Shelbyville, and had come over for the day with General Polk, on a visit to Hardee. He told the generals, that if Grant was severely beaten in Mississippi by Johnston, he did not think the war could be continued on its present great scale.

When I presented my letters of introduction, General Hardee received me with the unvarying kindness and hospitality which I had experienced from all other Confederate officers. He is a fine, soldierlike man, broad shouldered and tall. He looks rather like a French officer, and is a Georgian by birth. He bears the reputation of being a thoroughly good soldier, and he is the author of the drill book still in use by both armies. Until quite lately, he was commanding officer of the military college at West Point. He distinguished himself at the battles of Corinth and Murfreesboro', and now commands the 2d corps d'armée of Bragg's army. He is a widower, and has the character of being a great admirer of the fair sex. During the Kentucky campaign last year, he was in the habit of availing himself of the privilege of his rank and years, and insisted upon kissing the wives and daughters of all the Kentuckian farmers. And although he is supposed to have converted many of the ladies to the Southern cause, yet in many instances their male relatives remained either neutral or undecided. On one occasion Gen. Hardee had conferred the "accolade" upon a very pretty Kentuckian, to their mutual satisfaction, when to his intense disgust, the proprietor produced two very ugly old females, saying, now then, General, if you kiss any you must kiss them all round," which the discomfited general was forced to do, to the great amusement of his officers, who often allude to this contretemps.

Another rebuff which he received, and about which he is often chafed by General Polk, was when an old lady told him he ought really to "leave off fighting at his age." "Indeed, madam," replied Hardee, "and how old do you take me for?" "Why, about the same age as myself--seventy-five." The chagrin of the stalwart and gallant general, at having twenty years added to his age, may be imagined.

Lieutenant General Leonidas Polk, Bishop of Louisiana, who commands the other corps d'armée, is a good-looking, gentlemanlike man, with all the manners and affability of a "grand seigneur. He is fifty-seven years of age--tall, upright, and looks much more the soldier than the clergyman. He is very rich; and I am told he owns seven hundred negroes [sic]. He is much beloved by the soldiers on account of his great personal courage and agreeable manners. I had already heard no end of anecdotes of him told me by my traveling companions, who always alluded to him with affection and admiration. In his clerical capacity I had always heard him spoken of with the greatest respect. When I was introduced to him he immediately invited me to come and stay at his headquarters at Shelbyville. He told me that he was educated at West Point, and was at that institution with the President, the two Johnstons, Lee, Magruder, &c., and that, after serving a short time in the artillery, he had entered the church.

Bishop Elliott, of Georgia, is a nice old man of venerable appearance and very courteous manners. He is here at the request of General Polk, for the purpose of confirming some officers and soldiers. He speaks English exactly like an English gentleman, and so, in fact, does General Polk, and all the well-bred Southerners, much more so than the ladies, whose American accent can always be detected. General Polk and Mr. Vallandigham returned to Shelbyville in an ambulance at 6.30 P. M.

General Hardee's headquarters were on the estate of Mrs.---, a very hospitable lady. The two daughters of the General were staying with her, and also a Mrs. --, who is a very pretty woman. These ladies are more violent against the Yankees than it is possible for a European to conceive; they beat their male relations hollow in their denunciations and hopes of vengeance. It was quite depressing to hear their innumerable stories of Yankee brutality, and I was much relieved when, at a later period of the evening they subsided into music. After Bishop Elliott had read prayers, I slept in the same room with General Hardee.

Lieut.-Col. Arthur James Lyon Fremantle, Lieut.-Col. Coldstream Guards, Three Months in the Southern States: April, June, 1863, pp. 70-73.[7]

            28, The price of flour

Tumbling Down.

We are glad to hear that here, as elsewhere, the prices of articles of Necessity are coming down rapidly. Good flour, we are told, has been offered during the past week, at a greatly reduced rate in Confederate money. The price has been too high, and ought to be broken down to such a rate as will allow poor folks and soldiers' families to live. The reduction, as our columns have shown, has not been peculiar to this market. The Cleveland (East Tenn) Banner says:

Tumbling – Flour is advancing backwards in this market. It is drawing out of the garrets and pushing itself upon the market at considerably less figures than heretofore, but few buyers.

So in Atlanta, Ga. The Commonwealth says:

Down! Down!! Down!!! – We are glad to perceive that the news from the country in all directions continues to be good, giving assurances of low prices for provisions being close at hand. In this market no bid can be had for corn for future delivery.

Fayetteville Observer, May 28, 1863.





            28, "Watering the Streets"

This should be a general and not an exceptional practice. Several streets are well watered daily; others are not watered at all. This is not right. We do not see the propriety of watering Jefferson street, and neglecting Poplar street. If the property holders are to bear the expense of sprinkling we do not but doubt but those on Poplar street will do it as readily and cheerfully as those on Jefferson. Have those who make it a business to water the streets applied to the residents on Poplar as they have on Jefferson? They have not; but why have they not? The injury done every season to furniture and clothing by the dust, to say nothing of the unpleasantness of it would more than cover the expense of keeping the streets properly watered. Let this subject be thought of and acted upon.

Memphis Bulletin, May 28, 1864.

            28, "Something for the Young Folks"

We have received from F. Katzenbach, 270 Main street, a little library for little people which is for sale at his store, consisting of Poems, for Little Folks, Tales of the Great and Brave, Stories of Animals, Christmas Stories, Stories of Natural History, the Rabbit's Bride, Tales of Adventure, Stories of Foreign Lands, Casper's Adventures, Fairy Stories, Fables in Verse and History of Birds. These books are of convenient size for little hands, beautifully printed, handsomely bound, and illustrated plentifully with engraving. We have dipped into one or two of them, especially the fairy stories, and for a while realized the poet's wish, "Would I were a boy again." The cruel princess, the heartless magician, the cross old grandmother, the kind fairy, the brave adventurer, the lucky little fellow that blundered into fortune, how they passed before us as we knew them long, long, before we became the possessor of gray hairs and the tiresome amounts of wisdom we get with them, as a matter of course. Wisdom here is wisdom in these little books that can make young eyes sparkle and young hearts thrill with an ecstasy our nature seldom fails to impart. Those who would make the young people happy with a gift should call at Katzenbach's store. They are published by Carobs & Nichols, Boston

Memphis Bulletin, May 28, 1864.




            28, Federal army cautiously authorized to provide provisions to the destitute to prevent starvation in Chattanooga

NASHVILLE, May 28, 1865.

Brig. Gen. H. M. JUDAH, Chattanooga:

You are authorized to issue sufficient provisions to the destitute people within your command to prevent starvation. Be cautious, however, that the issue does not become unnecessarily large and an extravagant waste of the public stores, as has been the case generally with such issues.

By command of Maj.-Gen. Thomas:

WM. D. WHIPPLE, Brig.-Gen.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 49, pt. II, p. 924.

            28, ET&VRR returned to civilian hands, repairs made to railroad line and bridges

The Nashville Union, of the 28th ult., states that the East Tennessee and Virginia Railroad is to be turned over to the Stockholders. The road is in running order from Knoxville to Carter's depot, twelve miles beyond Jonesboro. The government has withdrawn the construction corps and transferred them to Georgia. The bridges over the Watauga at Carter's Depot, and the Holston at Zollicoffer, have not been rebuilt. It is to be hoped that this important road will soon be thoroughly repaired.

Macon Daily Telegraph, June 7, 1865.


[1] See OR, Ser. I, Vol. 52, pt. II, p.108.

[2] One of Hall's slaves who was his personal servant.

[3] Hereinafter cited as Ninth Tennessee.

[4] As cited in PQCW.


[6] As cited in: Robert Partin, "A Confederate Sergeant's Report to His Wife During the Campaign from Tullahoma to Dalton," THQ, Vol. XII, no. 4 (December 1953), p. 301

[7] Lieut.-Col. Arthur James Lyon Fremantle, Lieut.-Col. Coldstream Guards, Three Months in the Southern States: April, June, 1863, (Mobile: S. H. Goetzel,1864), pp. 70-73. [Hereinafter cited as: Fremantle, Three Months, etc.]


James B. Jones, Jr.

Public Historian

Editor, The Courier

Tennessee Historical Commission

2941 Lebanon Road

Nashville, TN  37214


(615)-532-1549  FAX


RE: TDEC's "5 for Today" & This Day in Tennessee History

This Day in Tennessee History, May 28-June 3.


May 28


1845, The Hermitage – William Tyack, a visitor from New York, made the following observations concerning the moribund Andrew Jackson:


His feet and legs, his hand and arms are very swollen with dropsy, which has invaded his whole system. Bandages are drawn tight right around the parts most affected, to prevent as much as possible, the increase of water. He has scarcely any use of his hands….He has not the strength to stand. His respiration is very short and attended with much difficulty, and the whole progress of the disease, accompanied by great suffering. He gains sleep…by opiates….When the dropsy commenced, the cough was extremely severe, and expectoration profuse….This was followed by a loss of appetite and constant nausea and prostration. This change took place in early April; about 1 May a diarrhoea [sic] commenced, which seemed to threaten an immediate dissolution. This continued for a few days, but fortunately reduced the swelling of the whole system. The abatement of the diarrhhoea was succeeded by the selling in all parts, with violent pain and extreme difficulty of breathing, when nature would again relieve itself as above described.


1869, Murfreesboro – A group of excursionists arrived in town from Nashville. According to the Nashville Republican Banner, the party traveled aboard a brand-new Nashville and Chattanooga "palace car.: the excursionists numbered nearly 100including 75 girls from the Reverend W. E. Ward's seminary. After detraining, the group "formed in procession and marched through the principle street of the town, perfectly dazzling the sober denizens of the burg, who crowed to doors to witness the novel spectacle. Amazement rested on every face."

After an hour's stroll, the party boarded the palace car and returned to Nashville.


1979, Nashville – It was announced that out of over 1,800 arrests for prostitution in the capital city since 1976, only 30 had resulted in jail sentences. This was because of a metropolitan Davidson County ordinance that imposed only fines, and mild ones according the Nashville police captain King Herndon, "Prostitutes come here from all over the country because they know they probably won't have to serve jail time."

Thus far in 1979, there had been 416 arrests for prostitution, with only two jail sentences handed down. In 1978, there were 484 arrests that resulted in only nine jail terms. In the preceding 2½ years, there had been just 115 arrests of men for soliciting prostitutes, resulting in only three jail terms. For 1979, there had been 33 such arrests, with no jail sentences.

I try to give the men a break," said vice officer Ed Bartley "because their arrest can lead to a divorce and family problems."


May 29


1849, Nashville – The steamboat America, having left New Orleans on May 23, reached Nashville in the record-breaking time of five days, 15½ hours. The nautical distance between the two cities is 1,262 miles at an average speed of 16.7 miles an hour.


1882, Knoxville – About 4:15 p.m., 200 African-American men gathered at the car shed to wait for the train. As it rolled in, the crowd of blacks gathered around the door of thje first-class coach. A scuffle resulted as the conductor tried to hold them back. As he closed the door, two black women and one black man managed to get on board. Ten African-American men were on the platform pressed up against the door by their comrades. Two constables arrived to enforce segregation but their demands for order were met with yells from the crowd, which encouraged the 10 men on the platform to stand their ground

It was feared that the crowd would become unmanageable. Police reinforcements arrived. One resolute black was told to take the Jim Crow (segregated) car, get on the platform, or be jailed. He refused and was slammed into the car door by the policemen. The crowd of black males and their female supporters clustered close to the protesters and inspired them with shouts.

Ultimately, the train left the station with three civil rights protesters in the first-class section. Claiming victory the crowd gave a yell as the train rolled out.

Their triumph, however, was brief, as segregation held sway until the middle of the 20th century.  Yet the fact that the protest occurred at all is remarkable and telling of the long struggle for equality and civil rights in Tennessee and America.


1887, Murfreesboro – The Methodist church held an auction and offered crazy quilts as premiums.  Some quilts brought as much as $500, and the church was well on its way to financial success.


1895, Covington – A crowd of between 3,500 and 5,000 witnessed the unveiling of a monument honoring Confederate soldiers from Tipton County. The monument, which symbolized the myth of the "lost cause" was placed on the south lawn of the courthouse.


1989, Shelbyville – Lynchburg's favorite Irish lady, a street walker, died in nearby Shelbyville.

Fritz was a 16-year-old Irish setter. Technically she belonged to Sunshine and Elmwood Ervin. Most likely dropped off by a tourist, she became the town dog. She appeared in Jack Daniel's Distillery commercials and even had small parts in two movies. Once, during the movie Starman on the town square, she charged from behind the Confederate monument and howled so loudly that the filming was disrupted. Fritz was a favorite of tourists for years and made the rounds among the local churches, preferring the Methodists, who fed her well.



May 30


1806, Kentucky, just above the Tennessee Line – Andrew Jackson killed Charles Dickinson in a duel.

Dueling was strictly forbidden by lay in Tennessee, but not in Kentucky. The two men stood 24 feet apart, Jackson swearing an oversized cloak. Dickinson, an expert marksman, fired first and hit Jackson in his ribs. Visibly shaken, Jackson nonetheless, took aim but his piece misfired. He drew back the hammer, fired, and killed Dickinson.

Jackson carried the bullet with in for many years, which caused his intense discomfort. Many in Nashville were aghast at the incident, which had started as a disagreement over a horserace bet between friends of the two duelists, then escalated to an alleged insult to Jackson's wife than he would not abide.

Had the duel taken place in Tennessee, Jackson would have been guilty of homicide.


1821, Harpeth Shoals, Cumberland River – The General Jackson, Nashville's first steamboat, got snagged and sank 35 miles below the city.


1845, The Hermitage – It was reported that a moribund Andrew Jackson "with considerable exertion….was enabled to finish the portrait….After examining it, he remarked to Mr. [George Peter Alexander] Healy 'I am satisfied Sir, that you stand at the head of your profession: if I may be allowed to judge my own likeness, I can safely concur in the opinion of my family, this is the best that has ever been taken.'"


1886, Memphis – a crowd exceeding 6,000 attended the opening of General Peter Tracy's "Toboggan," a 19th-century amusement park ride that simulated a downhill toboggan ride.


1887, Nashville – It was reported that Fannie Brown, a 19-year old Middle Tennessee girl of "German parentage, with fair hair, sparling eyes and peach and cream complexion" had an abortion with the help of H. B. Bailey, a Vanderbilt medical student, and Drs. Patterson and Brantley. She had fallen "from the path virtue" and become a harlot.

Abortions had been illegal in Tennessee since 1883. The townspeople were incensed. The physicians and the student left town quickly, never to be heard of again in the City of Rocks. It is not known if Fannie survived the operation.



May 31


1862, Hamilton County – James J. Andrews, the leader of the famous Andrews' Raid, escaped captivity but was later recaptured by Confederate forces. He was hanged in Atlanta, Georgia on June 7, 1862.

The members of the Andrews' raiding party were the first in the United States to be receive the Medal of Honor.  Walt Disney Studios later made a movie about this Civil War exploit.


1931, Nashville Dr. Carroll Gideon Bull died.

Bull was born in Nashville in 1884. He was a noted teacher at Johns Hopkins, as well as an eminent immunologist whose work helped establish current theories and practices in the field. A plaque at the Johns Hopkins Immunology Department recalls his chairmanship form 1918 to 1931.


194y, Nashville – As part of Tennessee's sesquicentennial celebrations, the busts of Matthew Fontaine Maury and David Glasgow Farragut were unveiled. Comments were made by Vice Admire. A. S. Carpenter. In attendance were the mother of governor Prentice Cooper, Judge Samuel C. Williams, Governor Jim McCord, and a host of onlookers.


1979, Nashville – Claude Diehl accept an out-of-court settlement of $1.1 million from WSM National Life and Casualty and California-based Buena Vista (Disney) Corporation, on behalf of his partially paralyzed son, Dale.

In August 1976, Dale had been injured in a shooting-gallery incident at Opryland. He had originally sued for $10 million.





June 1, 1540, in what is now Polk County  -  Spanish conquistador and explorer Hernando DeSoto visited a Cherokee village named Canasoga, camping with his expedition in the open country near the town. A delegation of 20 villagers met his column, each person carrying a basket of mulberries as a peace offering.

This may have resulted in the first instance in Volunteer State history in which white men had to contend with the "Tennessee trots."



1796, Philadelphia the Nation's Capital – Tennessee became the 16th state in the union. The occasion is celebrated as Tennessee Statehood Day.


1827, Memphis – British philanthropist Robert Dale Owen and radical female reformer Francis "Fannie" Wright visited the utopian community of Nashoba (Choctaw for "Wolf"), whose purpose was educating and freeing slaves.

On the occasion of their visit, a slave named Redrick forced sexual relations with another slave, Isabol. This was a gross violation of the mutual-consent rule practiced at Nashoba. Redrick was threatened with a flogging. Isabol had been denied a lock on her door, as Fanny Wright explained, because the mutual consent rule was considered protection enough.


1870, Knoxville – In an interview in the Knoxville Daily Chronicle, attorney John Baxter commented that the number of litigations were higher than ever. Commenting on the general state of the neighborliness, Baxter noted that the "oldest inhabitant is unable to recall a period when East Tennessee was not disturbed by some personal, religious, or political controversy; conduct with such low and vulgar epithets and personal denunciations to offend the refined sensibilities of every orderly and decent person."


June 2


1845, The Hermitage – Andrew Jackson's health continued to decline. According to William Tyack, a visitor from New York, "his distress suddenly became very great; and the water increasing to an alarming extent. An express was sent to Nashville, twelve miles, for surgical aid. An operation was performed by Dr. Evans with success; much water was taken from his abdomen, which produced a great relief although great prostration.                                                                  '


1846, Nashville -  An editorial in the Tri-Weekly Nashville Union entitled "The Right Spirit in Tennessee," commented on the larger number of men volunteering for the Mexican War. According to the editor

From Carter County to Shelby, the utmost enthusiasm prevailed, and we have not a doubt that more than ten thousand gallant sons of Tennessee have been disappointed in not being able to secure a reception. So many have  tendered their services that the privilege of being received was necessarily determined by ballot. The singular process has been witnessed by drafting men o9ut of the service instead of drafting into service. In some cases, we have heard of as much as $250 being offered by individuals for the privilege of taking the place of others who had been fortunate enough in the ballots, but we have heard of no such trade being mde. The disappointment among those who drew blanks has been great….We can truly say that the call has been most gallantly met – the result has proved that we are proud of the rifle and the "Volunteer State."


1909, Knoxville – According to reports, it was decided at the 51st general assembly of the United Presbyterian Church that no Presbyterian minister was to marry a divorced couple except on spiritual grounds. The "spiritual grounds" exception was more understood than defined.


1920, Kyrock, Kentucky – Frank Goad Clement, Tennessee's 42bnd chief executive was born.

Clement spent his childhood in Dickson and later became a famous orator. He was a three time governor, including a two-year term beginning in 1952 and two four-year terms beginning in 1952 and 1962. He inaugurated new programs such as the Tennessee Department of Mental Health, the first state speech and hearing center, and long-range highway construction.  He was also noted for providing textbooks for the public schools.

The Clement Railroad Hotel Museum, housed in the Hotel Halbrook, in Dickson, Tennessee, memorializes his achievements as governor.


June 3


1806, Jonesborough – Thomas Lenoir, a wealthy landowner, noted in his travel journal that a girl age 13 or 14 had been locked in the Jonesborough jail for murdering her father. The girl sat comatose for days, not changing her position. It was said she had killed her father with an ax. Since the body was too heavy for her to drag, she cut it into pieces and put them in a nearby cellar. When neighbors began to ask about the whereabouts of her father, her little brother had indicated where the body could be found.

There would be no state facility to aid the mentally ill in Tennessee for another 24 years.


1864, Occupied Memphis – The editor of the Memphis Daily Bulletin drew his readers' attention to the great numbers of color and black-and-white pictures of nude women then proliferating in the Bluff City. "We have long been accustomed to see such…being hung on the walls of grog shops, club rooms, and places only visited by the male sex" he wrote, but gave the opinion that they shouldn't be displayed in shop windows where ladies and children might see them. The city government should, exhorted the editor, pass a law making such public display illegal. Such images were the pornography of the time.


1917, Chattanooga – In an effort to raise money to support striking textile operatives, young female workers wore union cards in their hatbands, solicited nickels, and tied tags bearing the slogan "Practical sympathy for locked out textile workers" to the clothing of donors. These "sympathy tags" were seen on passersby all the down town area, especially on the khaki uniforms of soldiers from Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia.

One striking female operative on the corner of Eighth and Market streets explained to a reporter, "just notice as you go down the street, and see if everybody ain't sympathizing with us. There's a few women all dressed up who can see us girls when they go by. They're the folks we have been slaving for [for] nothing….I look as some of these women and girls in their swell clothes and I wonder if they ever realize it's us that make the money for 'em. No, they don't. We are just dirt under their feet, and they wouldn't so much as give us a nickel if they thought we was starving. But we are going to show 'em."



James B. Jones, Jr.

Public Historian

Editor, The Courier

Tennessee Historical Commission

2941 Lebanon Road

Nashville, TN  37214


(615)-532-1549  FAX


From: Kim Schoetzow
Sent: Tuesday, May 31, 2016 8:52 AM
Subject: TDEC's "5 for Today" and Daily News Summary - May 31

To view the full version, including all photos, visit the TDEC Intranet at: http://tdecintranet.tn.gov/tdec-news/article/5-for-today-tues-may-31.

5 for Today – Tuesday, May 31

1.      May 31-June 2 is the statewide Air Pollution Control staff meeting at Montgomery Bell State Park. TDEC employees will participate in a variety of professional exercises, including a service activity, leadership Q&A, breakout sessions on topics such as enforcement and permitting, and more. Commissioner Martineau and Deputy Commissioner Meghreblian will also address the group.

2.      Are you a TDEC mastermind? Try your hand at this week's Tuesday Trivia questions!

3.      On Friday, Gov. Haslam hosted the annual memorial ceremony on War Memorial Plaza in downtown Nashville. This year the state honored Gunnery Sergeant Thomas Sullivan, Staff Sergeant David Wyatt, Sergeant Carson Holmquist and Lance Corporal Squire "Skip" K.P. Wells, who were killed during the terrorist attack in Chattanooga last July, and Petty Officer 2nd Class Randall Smith, who died two days later from his injuries. Tribute was also paid to First Lieutenant Alexander Bonnyman, Jr. who was killed in action in 1943 and finally laid to rest in Knoxville in 2015 and to Sergeant Gary "Lee" Reese who died in 2005 supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom. Click here for photos from the day.

4.      Tennessee State Parks recently participated in two events with the Tennessee Titans as part of the Play 60 program, which encourages kids to engage in active, outdoor play every day. Deputy Commissioner Brock Hill was on hand last week to receive a $7,500 grant from the Titans and other community partners to support this effort. Click here to read the latest Intranet article about the events.

5.      Henry Horton State Park started a Lazy River Tube Float service on the Duck River this Memorial Day weekend. Each day, about 100 tubes were rented out to visitors looking to beat the heat and enjoy the beautiful scenery. See a picture of this new offering at Henry Horton here. Tube floats are available Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. for $12 per tube. For more information, contact River Rats Outfitters at (931) 381-2278.  

Daily News Summary
McMinn man, 19, drowns while swimming in Tellico Lake
Knoxville News Sentinel
A 19-year-old McMinn County man drowned Sunday in Tellico Lake while swimming with friends. Several agencies responded to the emergency call just before 3 p.m. at Fort Loudoun State Historic Park in Vonore. The Englewood resident, whose identity has not been released, "wasn't a strong swimmer," said Kelly Brockman, communications director for the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, which oversees state parks. "He just got too far out … went under and never came up." Brockman said there was no indication alcohol or drugs were involved. Emergency personal found the man's body around 5:45 p.m. Sunday, she said.

Terry Cook: Enjoy Tennessee's parks and keep them safe
Chattanooga Times Free Press
Camping is a great family activity. It's a bonding experience and an adventure that your kids will always remember. I recently relocated to Tennessee from Massachusetts with my wife and two children to be the new state director for The Nature Conservancy in Tennessee, and we're really looking forward to camping in the Tennessee woods this summer. When we do, we're going to do it right. Which means we're going to follow a new park policy aimed at keeping the state's forests safe from disease.

TDEC: Knoxville College science building 'very dangerous place' after mercury contamination
Knoxville News Sentinel
City officials delayed emergency repair orders Friday on three Knoxville College buildings, including a former science laboratory so contaminated by toxic chemicals that state environmental officials have proposed it be declared a Superfund cleanup site. Even so, college leaders said they still plan to move forward with plans to reopen the shuttered school and redevelop the campus of the city's only historically black college.

Radioactivity levels drop at Oak Ridge sewage plant
Knoxville News Sentinel
Levels of radioactivity at a city of Oak Ridge sewage treatment plant have been reduced by 90 percent over the past two years, according to a U.S. Department of Energy contractor in charge of the cleanup. Anne Smith, a spokeswoman for URS-CH2M Oak Ridge, said the contractor recently completed its 18th shipment of radioactive sludge — totaling 90,000 gallons — to a treatment facility in Washington state. Sludge has been removed periodically from the Rarity Ridge Wastewater Treatment Plant to help reduce the levels of radioactive technetium-99, which infiltrated pipelines leading to the sewage plant during demolition activities at the former K-25 uranium-enrichment facility.

2 Springfield businesses evacuated for petroleum buildup
The Tennessean
A petroleum buildup forced the evacuation of two Springfield businesses Thursday night, according to Springfield Fire Chief Jimmy Hamill. Crews responded at 5:48 p.m. to Hollingsworth Oil and El Vaquero Restaurant, both located at 1503 Memorial Boulevard, after stopped up drains at the Hollingsworth facility caused flooding there, Hamill said.

Troubled waters
The Greeneville Sun
Half a dozen bags crammed full of garbage. Two pairs of shoes. Over 300 cigarette butts. That's only a sliver of what students from West Greene High School and members of the Middle Nolichucky Watershed Alliance plucked out of Richland Creek during a cleanup two months ago. A section of the creek meanders through Hardin Park, a popular spot for kids to play and for pet owners to walk their animals. Because of litter and cows grazing too close to the water in nearby fields, the United States Environmental Protection Agency labels the shallow stream "impaired" -- too polluted to meet the standards set by the Clean Water Act of 1972 -- for fish and aquatic life.

Bald eagle found dead in Blount County neighborhood
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is investigating after an American bald eagle was found dead Monday in a yard in Blount County. The homeowners said they returned home from an outing to find the eagle in their yard. The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency says there were no obvious signs of injury, but they believe it may have been struck by something or flew into something.

Letter to the Editor: Help environment by planting trees
Knoxville News Sentinel
In recent times avid environmentalists, politicians and the media have fostered paranoia and created panic about global warming. There seems to be sufficient evidence to conclude the Earth has in the past and probably will in the future experience cycles of temperature variations. Rather than spending billions of dollars attempting to eliminate carbon emissions, creating alternative energy sources (many of which have proved economically unfeasible) and panicking about something that might happen a hundred years from now, let's encourage everyone to become environmentally conscious and use common sense to avoid polluting our air and water.


Kim Schoetzow | Communications Officer

Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation

William R. Snodgrass Tennessee Tower
312 Rosa L. Parks Avenue
Nashville, TN 37243

Office:  615.350.3431
Cell: 615.571.3165