Notes from Civil War Tennessee, June 20, 1861-1864.
20, Major-General Gideon J. Pillow's situation report for military measures taken in West Tennessee, including plans to stretch a chain across the Mississippi River to blockade Federal gunboats, etc.
HDQRS. ARMY OF TENNESSEE
Memphis, June 20, 1861
HONB. L. P. WALKER
Secretary of War, C. S. A.
I have now in the field all the force we can possibly arm. You have here 2,000 flint-lock muskets, which I ask your permission to use. We are in the Confederate States Government, as you know, by a large majority of the popular vote-say 70,000-and our army is a part of the forces of the Confederate States, subject to your orders. I suppose we have 300,000 men in the State who have tendered their services more than we have the means of arming. Can you permit me to issue these arms? I telegraphed you sometime since. In reply you said the President had written to Governor Harris. Governor Harris informs that he has not received any letter from the President. I have my defensive works here nearly completed, and we have on hand in the State about 15,000 armed men, and this force would be materially strengthened if the Arkansas and Tennessee troops were under the same officer, so that the forces of both States could be concentrated upon a threatened approach of the enemy. With these forces united we could advance in a short time to the relief of Missouri. I have applied to the Governor of the State for permission to assume the offensive just as soon as I can be assured of my position here. I am preparing to effectually blockade the river at Randolph by a ship-cable chain, supported by buoys, anchors, &c. This barricade will arrest any fleet of boats that may attempt a descent on the river under my batteries, so that my guns will sink and burn them up with hot shot. I have six batteries, mounting about thirty heavy guns, completed. All my defensive works will be completed this week, and I can be prepared to advance to the assistance of Missouri in a few days. I can dislodge the Cairo forces, and will do it if authority is given for that purpose and I am allowed to use the Arkansas forces. Before assuming the offensive I deem it prudent to strengthen the forces at Union City, as I shall require a portion of that force to go forward. Please answer as promptly as your other engagements will permit, and say if I can be allowed to issue the flint-lock muskets, and if I can advance into Missouri, turning Kentucky, and if the forces at Corinth and Arkansas can be placed under my orders for a forward movement. I send this dispatch by Major [?] Martin, who will apply to you for authority to raise a regiment for the service of the Confederate States. He is a talented and highly accomplished officer and gentleman, and I warmly recommend him as fitted to command a regiment, and hope you will commission him.
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GID. J. PILLOW, Maj. Gen, Commanding army of Tennessee
P.S. If the President has not yet ordered the [steamer] McRae up, let it be done as promptly as possible. They have an armed steam-tug at Cairo that is sweeping the river above my batteries, seizing all the steamboats, completely controlling everything out of reach of my batteries. They tonight seized the steamer Kentucky, belonging to this city. We cannot approach the Missouri shore, and yet my Government has just approved of my purpose to forward to the relief of Missouri. I must have the support of the Corinth forces and the Arkansas troops. Give me power and I will advance to the relief of Missouri.
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OR, Ser. I, Vol. 52, pt. II, pp. 112- 113.
20, Sickness, gunshot wounds, death and boils; excerpts from the letter of Federal Surgeon W. M. Eames, stationed in Murfreesboro, to his wife in Ohio
Union Coll. Hospital
June 20, 1862
I sit down to write after a hard day's work, to let you know that I am quite well & that every thing is about as usual around the Hospital. We have more [sic] men around us now than ever before since the Division left. In Ward C there is not less than 7 very [sic] men of whom 5 will die I think & they have all come in within the past 5 days except one. One man died last night who came in 6 hours before. He was taken sick on the march to McMinnville & hauled in an ambulance over the hills & back & died the next day. Several others were nearly as bad. One man with a gunshot wound similar to that of Whitney's came in yesterday & I presume we'll have to have his hand amputated. My boil is better. I opened it this morning & got out the core & hope to sleep tonight. It has been the worst affliction I have had for many days.
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….We have sent away not less than 60 men this week from this establishment….There are at least 20 men in the house dangerously sick, most of whom will not see next week at this time. There are 172 in the house tonight….
William Mark. Eames Papers
20, Loyalty and ice in Memphis: Pro Quid Pro
"LOYALTY IN MEMPHIS."
The Herald of the 20th of June contains three columns of revelations upon the encouraging developments of "Loyalty" to Lincoln in Memphis, and states that citizens are rebel soldiers are coming to "take the oath" at the rate of 350 per day. What is strange, however, unlike Lincoln, Seward, and Gen. Scott, they do not take it with ice. Notwithstanding there is a great abundance of ice in Memphis. All these columns of brags are wound up with the following extract from the Memphis Argus:
The Demand For Ice.-Never since Memphis attained the dimension of a city has as little demand existed for ice at present. Some of our dealers in the article have full warehouses, and their daily sales amount to comparatively nothing. One dealer informs us that although at this time last year his sales amounted daily to between and twenty tons, now the scarcely reach a ton. Ice is receiving the cold shoulder this season.
Think of that! With a Federal army in Memphis to aid the consumption. Is it not too plain to be misunderstood, that such is the popular detestation of the Lincolnites in Memphis that the people drink warm river water, rather than cool it with ice brought Northern invaders!
Macon Daily Telegraph, July 1, 1862
20, a wealthy planter's son eschews being drafted in the Confederate army
My son Thomas L. Porter (a conscript) procured a substitute (Near $5,000) [sic] & got a certificate of discharge from the army.
Diary of Nimrod Porter, June 20, 1863.
20, "Schools and Scholars;" some results of the 1862-1863 public school year in Civil War Memphis
During the past week there were several schools examined by the superintendent of the city public schools. These examinations fully attest the efficiency of the present system of public education. The schools situated on the corner of Main and Overton streets, taught by Miss Brown and Miss Hampton, proved very interesting and fully confirmed our previously formed opinion with regard to public schools. The honors of these schools were conferred upon the following named young gentlemen: Of school No. 3, Peter Tighes, Willie Byland, Frank Humphrey, Matt Carter, Walter F. Prescott and James Dennison. The following are the names of the aspiring youths who bore off the honors at school No. 9: Willie Morning, Mike Ducahart, Willie Littering, Pat Fox, Mike Grady, and Tommy Conway. The school No. 11, taught by Miss Mattie Prewitt, showed the most flattering results. The honors of the school were conferred upon the following young ladies for punctuality, scholarship, and deportment: Miss Emma Mallory, Miss Pennie Sannoner, Miss Lizzie Gibbs, Miss Mattie Sannoner, and Miss Cynthia Hill. Miss Yancey's school, No. 1 was examined with the most gratifying results. The following named pupils were the recipients of the honors of the school for their punctuality, scholarship, and deportment: Charles Burdic, Joseph McIlvaine, Charles Rochell, Ross Duncan, James Burk, and Frank Coppel. We have received reports from to other schools, but by some means they have been mislaid. We will publish them, however, as soon as we can have time to look them up.
Memphis Bulletin, June 20, 1863.
20, The story of Ms. Mary Ann Pitman (a.k.a. Lieutenant Rawley, Mary Hayes, "Mollie"), Lieutenant in Freeman's Infantry and Forrest's cavalry, and a Confederate spy and arms smuggler
No circumstantial reports filed.
Excerpt from the Examination of Mary Ann Pitman by Col. J. P. Sanderson, provost-marshal-general Department of the Missouri.
SAINT LOUIS, June 20, 1864.
I resided near Chestnut Bluff, Tenn., and went into the Confederate service on the breaking out of the rebellion. Myself and Lieut. Craig went around and got together enough volunteers to make up a company, which we took into Freeman's regiment. I was second lieutenant in the infantry. After the battle of Shiloh I commanded the company. I took my company then and joined Forrest's command, as first lieutenant, and acted as such under the name of Lieut. Rawley. While with Forrest's command I was a large portion of the time, occupied on special service, much of which was of a secret character and in the performance of which I passed in the character of a female. Whilst so employed I was detailed to procure ordnance and ammunition, and came to Saint Louis as Mary Hays.
The first time I came here, which was during the winter of 1864, I stopped at the Everett House. I had been told that the house of Beauvais would supply ammunition for the Confederates. I went there and met John Beauvais. By means of secret signs, known to those in the secret, I made myself known to him and he recognized me. I told him I desired to see him at the Everett House on business, and he called. When he called I told him what my business was and what I wanted, which was caps. I told him that I wanted arms and ammunition, but at that time clothing but caps. He said he would supply me with anything I wanted and brought me $80 worth, which I took down the river on a boat, the name of which I cannot remember. I landed at Randolph and passed through the Federal lines to Forrest. The second time I came up on the City of Alton to Columbus, and from Columbus to Saint Louis on the Von Phul. I went to the Everett House again, but it was crowded, and then I called at Beauvais' office, after which I went to Barnum's and John Beauvais came up to Barnum's to see me. I again told him what the object of my visit was, and he brought about the same number of caps, two pair of Smith & Wesson pistols, and, I think, six boxes of cartridges. I believe that was all I got at that time. I went down on the Von Phul again to Randolph and passed through the lines to Forrest. I came a third time; came up from Randolph on the Hillman, and again stopped at Barnum's. I again sent for Beauvais, and when he came told him what I wanted, all of which he brought to me. He brought $80 worth of caps and pair or two of fine Colt pistols, officer's belt and scabbard, arms and cartridges for--I have forgotten what pistol. There were three boxes. The second time I came I got a silver pencil and a gold pen, and I got a watch mended--that was the second time--I was thinking it was the last time. I got the last time $80 worth of caps and a pair of Colt revolvers, officer's scabbard and belt, gun, cloak, and leggings.
At these different interviews I made known to Mr. Beauvais that these things were for Forrest's command. The first time he said to me that they were talking of conscripting, and he told me that if they did he was going South; if they I did not, he would not go, for he could be of more service to the Confederacy here than in the South; but if they conscripted he was going, for he never would fight for the Federal Government; that he was a Southern man in principle and always had been. He told me he would do anything in the world for the South, and that his father was as good a Southern man as he was, and would do anything for the South. He asked me about how the times were at the South.
The second time I came up I told him about Forrest and Sherman having that fight, and he was glad to hear it, and rejoiced that Forrest gave him a thrashing. He told me if I came there at any time and he was away on business all I had to do was just to make known to his father who I was, and what my business was, and he would let me have anything I wanted, and if he could not supply it himself he would get if for me. His father would to anything I asked in favor of the South. He also told me that his father belonged to this secret order. I never have seen him but twice. The last time I was at his store after he had been arrested.
On these trips which I made I had no interviews with the landlord of the Everett House, nor did I make known to him my business or character. I had an interview with Barnum and his head clerk, Mr. Morrison, and I think also the second time I made known my character to Barnum, that I was detailed by Gen. Forrest. I knew him because he belonged to the same order as I did. The clerk I just told my business. I discovered in my interview with Barnum that he was in the same secrets as myself. His clerks were not, or, if they were, they would not receive any recognition or give any. Yet they said they were Southern men, and would do all they could for the South. The second clerk had been in the Confederate Army, where he was wounded and then discharged. In going down the river these different trips, I made the porter on the Von Phul acquainted with the secret and he hid some things for me. So did the porter on the Hillman and the clerk on the Hillman. Neither of these men belonged to the same secret order. The clerks on the Hillman and Von Phul to, though, but the latter did not conceal anything from me because the porter did what I wanted, and I did not have to call upon him. He told me I could go up and down on the boat whenever I wanted to, and it would not cost me a cent.
After my capture I had an interview with John Beauvais at his store. When I went in he was in the private office back of the store. I went back and spoke to him, and he got up and went back to the back part of the store. His father was selling some jewelry to a lady. He spoke to me and asked me how I came on, and about how times were in the South, and asked me if I was up on the same business, and I said I was. He said, I am sorry, Mollie, that I cannot supply you this time, for, he said, they know just what I have got and my father and I and the clerks are under bonds, and I am not allowed to touch or sell anything in that line, but, he said, if you will go on to Cincinnati you can get what you want there, and as soon as this thing is over you shall have anything you want. I had his picture with me when I was captured. I denied to him that I was at Fort Pillow and that I burned his picture. I did not want to let him know I was captured. The picture I actually burned.
I went to this store the last time under the advice of a Memphis detective with a view to see if he would continue the sale after he was arrested. I landed, on the last trip, at Randolph. When I got there I was not going to Forrest; I was going to send him those things, which I did, by one of his officers, Capt. Wright, and was not going. I was going back to Saint Louis. I had sent him a letter stating that I had procured a large quantity of caps, powder, ammunition, &c.; that I had employed Mr. Williams to bring them down. I was waiting for an order from Forrest to say where he wanted them sent to. There was a large quantity, quite a wagonload. I was not going to Forrest myself at all, but when I got there, the next day after I had sent them as many as Capt. Wright and his brother and a negro boy, which he owned, could carry, I sent word to Forrest I intended to go right back to Saint Louis as soon as I could arrange the business there. I received a dispatch from Forrest ordering me to report at his headquarters, about ten miles from Fort Pillow. He wanted me to take my position in the field, as he said he would rather detail ten of his best officers for this business than lose my services at that time. So I started on a mule and was captured. Somebody told on me. They had something in the papers about my being captured--taking an officer's horse away and threatening to shoot him--which was all false. I was taken from the place where I was captured to Fort Pillow. I was captured about five or six miles from Fort Pillow at the house of Mr. Green, a Southern man. I was there, I think, three days; two or three, I am not certain which.
While I was at Fort Pillow I was standing one day some distance from headquarters, and there was a gentleman came up behind me, slapping me on the shoulder and asked if he had the honor of meeting Lieut. Rawley. I said yes. He said that Forrest was coming here with 4,000 men to take the place and he was going to take it if it took every man he had, and he would learn them how to arrest women--he would teach them a lesson. I did not know the man, though his face looked familiar. He turned right away and I went right into the office at headquarters; a short time afterward he came in. He wanted a pass to go out, and a Tennessee soldier who came with him into the office vouched for his loyalty. As Col. Booth was making out a pass for him, I slapped him on the shoulder, when he turned around and said: "Must I grant this pass, Mollie, or must I not?" I said, "Use your own judgment, colonel; you know your own business best." He issued the pass and the man went out. After the man was gone I told Col. Booth what I had heard; that Forrest was coming in a few days with 4,000 men, and he would undoubtedly take the place if he made the attempt. My advice was to evacuate the fort or re-enforce it at once, for if Forrest did get possession the Federal forces, and especially the officers, would be badly used. He told me, "Mollie, now make your preparation to go to Memphis this evening, for I be damned if he shall have you." He then told the captain of Gun-boat No. 7 to stop the first boat that came down, or sink her. I went to Memphis and the fort was taken the next day or day after--I think the day after.
Before my capture my mind and feeling had undergone a very material change from what they were when I started out in the war as to the character of the Northern people and soldiers and the merits of the controversy involved. I started out with the most intense feelings of prejudice against the Northern people. I regarded all I had heard as to their views, character, and purposes to be true, but my intercourse with such as came into our possession during my service in the Confederate Army, and especially my trip to Saint Louis, convinced me of my error in this respect. I found the Union officers and soldiers not to be the desperadoes which I had been taught to believe them to be. At Saint Louis I found business flourishing, people thriving, and everything so entirely different from the condition of things in the South and from what I had supposed to be that my observations could not help but make an impression upon my mind. While it had not for a moment the effect of inducing even a thought in me to desert the Confederate service, and thus be guilty of a dishonorable act, it had, nevertheless, the effect, as I have already stated, of materially changing my views and feelings. This was the condition of my mind when I was captured, and I accordingly immediately resolved to perform an honorable part and do nothing to discredit or disgrace my name. While satisfied that I had been performing services which placed my life at the mercy and disposal of the Federal Government, I felt it to be my duty to tell the truth and do what I could to atone for the past, and resolved to throw myself upon the Government. I resolved, be the result with me personally what it might, never to return to the Confederate service and continue my former career. I accordingly, immediately on my arrival at Fort Pillow, gave such information as I could to vindicate my personal integrity and show the authorities my determination to act in good faith. Acting under this determination, I at once disclosed such information as I believed to be of important use to the Federal authorities. I informed them, without reserve, of all I had done myself, and also stated to Col. Booth that if he would send me with an officer and adequate force I would be able to place him in possession of Gen. Forrest as a prisoner in a short time. I knew him to be that night within ten miles of the fort, and would have had no difficulty in enabling Col. Booth, by adopting my advice, to have taken Forrest, for I knew him to be away from his command at a place designated, where he was to meet me on my return. He was to have met me there for the purpose of bringing my uniform and horse, which he could not trust to another, so that I might change my female apparel and reassume the character of Lieut. Rawley. Col. Booth seemed to believe me, and was anxious to carry my proposition out; yet he feared and hesitated, and after a considerable consultation with other officers, finally resolved not to venture on it.
After my arrival at Memphis I made known to the officers what I had already disclosed to Col. Booth. Among the rest, I gave them an account of my visits to Saint Louis and the purposes for which I went there, which led them to send me here.
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Question. Do you know of Treasury notes being furnished to the Confederate Government through the means which this order furnishes for communication between the North and South?
Answer. I have no personal knowledge, but I know that the Confederate Government has usually an abundant supply of greenbacks to furnish for raids and other purposes in which it is necessary to use that kind of money. I know this, because on one occasion it became necessary for me to have some, and I called the attention of Gen. Forrest to it. He told me that in a few days he would have an abundance. A few days afterward I called to see him and he furnished me what I needed. At the same time he showed me a letter, which I read. It was dated at Washington and purported to be signed by one Chase and addressed to Gen. Forrest, in which the latter was informed that $20,000 had been forwarded to President Davis at Richmond for $900 in gold. The letter went on to say that Chase had advised President Davis that he would furnish him with as many greenbacks as he wished at the rate of $4 for $1 in gold. When I read this letter--it being signed by Chase--I was under the impression that it was Chase, the Secretary of the Treasury, but it was only an impression and nothing that Forrest had said about the person. There was an officer waiting at the time to see Forrest, and he told me that at some other time, when more at leisure, he would tell me all about this man Chase; that he was an important man--one of our head and leading men at Washington, and a member of the order. I knew he was a member of the order, for the signs of it were in the letter.
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OR, Ser. II, Vol. 7, pp. 345-350.
 This goes to the expression that the conflict was "a rich man's war and a poor man's fight."
 In West Crockett County.
 According to Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary, (G.& C. Merriam Company; Springfield Mass, 1981), "Mollie," a nickname for Mary, is also defined as a prostitute, a doll, or a gangster's girl friend. It is difficult to say if the use of Mollie was merely out of familiarity or because of her actually bestowing sexual favors on Major Booth and/or General Forrest. Pitman's story seems to be a cross between Helen of Troy and Mata Hari.
Following his investigation into the secret societies Colonel Sanderson had the following to say concerning Mary Ann Pitman:
"This woman was attached to the command of the rebel Forrest, as an officer under the name of Lieut. Rawley; but because her sex afforded her unusual facilities for crossing our lines she was often employed in the execution of important commissions within our territory, and, as a member of the order, was made extensively acquainted with other members, both of the Northern and Southern sections. Her testimony is thus peculiarly valuable, and being a person of unusual intelligence and force of character, her statements are sufficient, pointed, and emphatic... "
OR, Ser. II, Vol. 7, pp. 951-952.
James B. Jones, Jr.
Editor, The Courier
Tennessee Historical Commission
2941 Lebanon Road
Nashville, TN 37214
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