Saturday, April 16, 2011

April 15 Tennessee Historical Notes

            15, Governor Isham G. Harris' reply to President Lincoln's request for Tennessee militia to support the Union

Executive Department

Nashville, Tennessee

April 15, 1861

Hon. Simon Cameron

Secretary of War

Washington, D.C.


Your dispatch of the 15th Inst. informing me that Tennessee is called upon for two Regiments of Militia for immediate service is received.

Tennessee will not furnish a single man for purposes of coercion but 50,000 if necessary for the defense of our rights and those of our southern brothers.

Isham G. Harris, Governor of Tennessee

Messages of the Governors of Tennessee, Vol. 5.[1]


            ca. April 15, 1862, Confederate troops attack Union guerrillas in North Carolina

Fight on Laurel. From various sources we learn that a few companies of Confederate troops were sent from Knoxville the other day to "scour out" Laurel —a somewhat notorious locality in Madison County, N. C., about thirty-five miles North of this town. Laurel is a settlement in the "big mountains," heading close up to the Tennessee line, and for months past has been general headquarters and hiding place for renegades and tories from Tennessee, where they were cordially received and fed by their sympathisers and abettors living in that region. The Confederate troops, as we are informed upon undoubted authority, encountered a body of these tories at Clark's Mills, where a fight ensued, and several of the tories were killed. We shall probably get the particulars of the affair in a day or two.

It is a little singular that our State authorities have never felt called upon to "roust" this den of marauders out of North Carolina. For months past they have been committing outrages upon the citizens of our own State as well as those of Tennessee, and have until now escaped with impunity. We have repeatedly called attention to their outrages, and yet no effort has been made by our State to check them. It is well the authorities everywhere are not as hard to move as our own.—Ashville (N. C.) News.

Daily Constitutionalist [AUGUSTA, GA], April 17, 1862.



            15, Federal scout, Moscow across the Wolf River, east to LaGrange, to Grand Junction-ambush at Saulsbury

Wednesday, 15th-We moved out of camp soon after daylight, and crossed the Wolf River at Moscow, where we have a small force of troops and continued on our march east through LaGrange 10 miles, thence to Grand Junction three miles further on. Thus far our road was over fine country, but going from there it was more hilly and not so fertile. We left the small town of Saulsberry [Saulsbury] on the R. R. about a mile to our left. Two men of Co. "D" (porter and Private Allen) straggled off toward the town . As they neared it a man stepped out from one of the buildings and fired upon them. Porter was shot from his horse, and Allen fled, and reported to Capt. Pitts. He took his company and went to Sualsbury, Porter had been taken into a house and was being cared for. He was shot in the head and was unconscious and could live but a short time and was left there. The man who did the shooting was a strange rebel soldier [sic] passing through the town on his way home[2]....

Pomeroy Diaries, April 15, 1863.


            15, A note on Confederate conscription activities by Forrest's forces in West Tennessee


Jackson, Tenn., April 15, 1864.


* * * *

....There are yet a large number of men in West Tennessee who have avoided the [Confederate] service, and there is but little prospect for adding to our strength by volunteering. Conscription, however, would, I think, give us from 5,000 to 8,000 men, perhaps more. I have not, from constant marches and active operations in the field, been able to do much in conscripting those subject to military duty but design doing so effectively whenever I can with safety send detachments in all directions to scour the country for deserters and conscripts.

* * * *

Nathan Bedford Forrest, Major-General

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 32, pt. I, p. 612.


            15, Unsuccessful Federal anti-guerrilla scout to Johnston's and Allen's bridge over Chucky River

No circumstantial reports filed.

HDQRS. SECOND DIVISION, FOURTH ARMY CORPS, Blue Springs, Tenn., April 16, 1865.

Lieut. Col. J. S. FULLERTON, Asst. Adjt. Gen., Fourth Corps, Greeneville, Tenn.:

COL.: I have the honor to report that in compliance with the dispatch from the major-general commanding, dated the 15th, I sent the Twenty-fourth Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry, Maj. MacArthur commanding, accompanied by a sergeant and twelve men of the Eighth Tennessee Cavalry, familiar with the country and people, to Johnston's and Allen's Bridge, over the Chucky. The major has reported that five guerrillas of Tulle's band, from Hamilton, Cocke County, Tenn., were at the bridge on Friday last. The party is said to be camped at or near Hamilton, and to number from 100 to 200. Johnston's two sons are said to belong to the band. One of them an officer. Johnston and Allen are represented to be rich rebels. The scout was not successful.

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

W. L. ELLIOTT, Brig.-Gen., U. S. Volunteers, Cmdg.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 49, pt. II, p. 366.




[1] Messages of the Governors of Tennessee, 1857-1869, Vol. 5, (Nashville: Tennessee Historical Commission, 1959), photocopy of original between pp. 272-273. See also: OR, Ser. III, Vol. I, p. 81.

[2] There is nothing to indicate that the "strange rebel soldier" was apprehended.

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