Wednesday, June 8, 2011

June 8 - Notes on the Civil War in Tennessee

   8, Tennessee voters select secession over union

Tennessee voted 102,172 to 47,238 (69% to 31%) to ratify the "Declaration of Independence" adopted by the General Assembly, and so to secede from the union.

The official totals for the three grand divisions were as follows:

                        For Secession      Against Secession

West Tennessee        29, 625                7, 168

Middle Tennessee      57,767                7, 147

East Tennessee         14,780                32,923

TOTALS               102,172               47, 238

Messages of the Governors
, Vol. 5, pp. 304-306.

Many East Tennesseans, however, were not satisfied with the count. o­ne such man, T.A.R. Nelson, a Whig, recalled that o­nly three months earlier the vote was overwhelmingly the other way. Nelson believed force and fraud [see ca. June 6, 1861, "TRUE MEN OF THE SOUTH TO THE RESCUE" above] had been used to get a secessionist vote. According to his analysis, fifteen counties which were both predominantly Whig and had showed overwhelming support for the Union in February, showed a dramatic and unbelievable drop in that vote in April. His reckoning follows:

County      Approx. Whig Vote    Union votes in February     Union votes in June

Lincoln                450                                     815                              0

Humphreys          250                                     327                              0

Franklin               300                                    206                               0

Hickman              175                                    298                               3

Shelby              1,800                                   197                                5

Giles                1,200                                   550                               11

Warren               350                                   452                               12

Tipton                375                                   147                               16

Robertson       1,200                                   332                                17

Coffee               300                                   698                                26

Williamson      1,600                                 1,684                               28

Obion                500                                    328                              64

Sumner              775                                    770                              69

Dickson             375                                    490                              72

Rutherford      1.475                                  1,529                               3

TOTALS       11,125                                  8,823                           386

Thus, according to his analysis, the February pro-Unionist vote of over 8,800 shrank to less than four hundred from by April. There was either fraud or a very dramatic change of heart in those counties. Nelson found it difficult to believe that of 11,000 Whig and Unionist votes o­nly 3.5 percent of them were suddenly against the Union. Also, in Nashville and surrounding Davidson County, more than 3,000 former Whig/Unionist votes in February contrasted sharply with the four hundred and two Union votes in April. Nelson concluded the secret ballot had been denied Middle and West Tennessee voters.

Thomas A.R. Nelson of East Tennessee, pp. 83-84.

8-9, Capture, trial and execution of Confederate spies at Franklin
FRANKLIN, June 8, 1863.
Brig.-Gen. GARFIELD, Chief of Staff:
Is there any such inspector-general as Lawrence Orton, colonel U. S. Army, and assistant, Maj. Dunlop? If so, please describe their personal appearance, and answer immediately.
J. P. BAIRD, Col., Cmdg. Post.
HDQRS. DEPARTMENT OF THE CUMBERLAND, June 8, [1863]-10.15 p. m.
Col. J. P. BAIRD, Franklin:
There are no such men as Insp. Gen. Lawrence Orton, colonel U. S. Army, and assistant, Maj. Dunlop, in this army, nor in any army, so far as we know. Why do you ask?
J. A. GARFIELD, Brig.-Gen. and Chief of Staff.
FRANKLIN, June 8, 1863--11.30 p. m.
[Brig.-Gen. GARFIELD:]
Two men came in camp about dark, dressed in our uniform, with horses and equipments to correspond, saying that they were Col. Orton, Inspector-general, and Maj. Dunlap, assistant, having an order from Adjutant-Gen. Townsend and your order to inspect all posts, but their conduct was so singular that we have arrested them, and they insisted that it was important to go to Nashville to-night. The one representing himself as Col. Orton [W. Orton Williams] is probably a regular officer of old army, but Col. Watkins, commanding cavalry here, in whom I have the utmost confidence, is of opinion that they are spies, who have either forged or captured their orders. They can give no consistent account of their conduct.
I want you to answer immediately my last dispatch. I take so long to get an answer immediately my last dispatch. It takes so long to get and answer from Gen. [Gordon] Granger, at Triune, by signal, that I telegraphed Gen. [R. S.] Granger, at Nashville, for information. I also signaled Gen. Gordon Granger. If these men are spies, it seems to me that it is important that I should know it, because Forrest must be awaiting their progress.
I am, general, your obedient servant,
J. P. BAIRD, Col., Cmdg. Post.
HDQRS. DEPARTMENT OF THE CUMBERLAND, Murfreesborough, June 8, [1863]-12 p. m.
Col. J. P. BAIRD, Franklin:
The two men are no doubt spies. Call a drum-head court-martial to-night, and if they are found to be spies, hang them before morning, without fail. No such men have been accredited from these headquarters.
J. A. GARFIELD, Brig.-Gen. and Chief of Staff.
FRANKLIN, June 8, 1863.
Gen. GARFIELD, Chief of Staff:
I had just sent you an explanation of my first dispatch when I received your dispatch. When your dispatch came, they owned up as being a rebel colonel and lieutenant in rebel army. Col. Orton, by name, but in fact Williams, first on Gen. Scott's staff, of Second Cavalry, Regular Army. Their ruse was nearly successful on me, as I did not know the handwriting of my commanding officer, and am much indebted to Col. Watkins, sixth Kentucky Cavalry, for their detention, and Lieut. Wharton, of Granger's staff, for the detection of forgery of papers. As these men don't deny their guilt, what shall I do with them? My bile is stirred, and some hanging would do me good.
I communicate with you, because I can get an answer so much sooner than by signal, but I will keep Gen. Granger posted. I will telegraph you again in short time, as we are trying to find out, and believe there is an attack contemplated in the morning. If Watkins gets anything out of Orton, I will let you know.
I am, general, your obedient servant,
J. P. BAIRD, Col., Cmdg.
OR, Ser. I, Vol. 23, pt. II, pp. 397-398.

FRANKLIN, June 9, 1863.
Gen. GARFIELD, Chief of Staff:
Col. Watkins says Col. Williams is a first cousin of Gen. Robert E. Lee, and he says so. He has been chief of artillery on Bragg's staff.
We are consulting. Must I hang him? If you can direct me to send him to hand somewhere else, I would like it; but, if not, or I do not hear from you, they will be executed. This dispatch is written at the request of Col. Watkins, who detained the prisoners. We are prepared for a fight.
J. P. BAIRD, Col., Cmdg.
FRANKLIN, June 9, 1863.
Gen. GARFIELD, Chief of Staff:
Will you not have any clemency for the son of Capt. Williams, who fell at Monterey, Mexico? As my dying speech, I protest our innocence as spies. Save also my friend.
(Formerly W. Orton Williams.)
I send this as a dying request. The men are condemned, and we are preparing for execution. They also prefer to be shot. If you can answer before I get ready, do.
HDQRS. DEPARTMENT OF THE CUMBERLAND, Murfreesborough, June 9, 1863--4.40 a. m.
Col. J. P. BAIRD, Franklin:
The general commanding directs that the two spies, if found guilty, be hung at once, thus placing it beyond the possibility of Forrest's profiting by the information they have gained.
FRANK S. BOND, Maj. and Aide-de-Camp.
FRANKLIN, June 9, 1863.
Gen. GARFIELD, Chief of Staff:
The men have been tried, found guilty, and executed, in compliance with your order. There is no appearance of the enemy yet.
I am, ever yours, &c.,
J. P. BAIRD, Col., Cmdg. Post.
FRANKLIN, June 9, 1863.
Brig.-Gen. GARFIELD:
Dispatch received of rebel account of fight. No truth in it. The officers I executed this morning, in my opinion, were not ordinary spies, and had some mission more important than finding out my situation. They came near dark, asked no questions about forces, and did not attempt to inspect works, and, after they confessed, insisted they were not spies in the ordinary sense, and that they wanted no information about this place. Said they were going to Canada and something about Europe; not clear. We found on them memorandum of commanding officers and their assistant adjutant-generals in Northern States. Though they admitted the justice of the sentence and died like soldiers, they would not disclose their true object. Their conduct was very singular, indeed; I can make nothing of it.
I am, general, &c.,
J. P. BAIRD, Col., Cmdg.
OR, Ser. I, Vol. 23, pt. II, p. 415-417.

HDQRS. DEPARTMENT OF THE CUMBERLAND, Murfreesborough, June 12, 1863.
Brig. Gen. LORENZO THOMAS, Adjutant-Gen. U. S. Army:
GEN.: I have the honor to forward herewith the record of the proceedings held at Franklin, Tenn., in the cases of the two Confederate officers taken as spies at that place on the 9th instant; also the forged orders and other papers found upon their persons. I transmit also copies of the telegraphic correspondence between Col. Baird and myself in reference to the matter.
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
W. S. ROSECRANS, Maj.-Gen. Cmdg.
Franklin, June 9, 1863.
Before a Court of Commission assembled by virtue of the following order:
A Course of Commission is hereby called, in pursuance of order from Maj.-Gen. Rosecrans, to try Col. Williams and Lieut. Peter of rebel forces, on charge of being spies, the court to sit immediately, at headquarters of the post.
Detail for Court.-- Col. Jordan, Ninth Pennsylvania Cavalry, president; Lieut.-Col. Van Vleck, Seventy-eighth Illinois Infantry; Lieut.-Col. Hoblitzel, Fifth Kentucky Cavalry; Capt. Crawford, Eighty-fifth Indiana Infantry, and Lieut. Wharton, judge-advocate.
By order of J. P. Baird, colonel, commanding post.
The court and judge-advocate having been duly sworn according to military law, the prisoners were arraigned upon the following charges:
Charges and Specifications against Col. Lawrence Auton, alias Williams, and Lieut. Walter G. Peter, officers in rebel forces.
CHARGES.-- Being spies.
Specifications.-- In this, that said Col. Lawrence Auton, alias Williams, and Lieut. Walter G. Peter, officer in the so-called Confederate States of America, did, on the 8th day of June, 1863, come inside the lines of the Army of the United States, at Franklin, Tenn., wearing the uniform of Federal officers, with a pass purporting to be signed by Maj.-Gen. Rosecrans, commanding Department of the Cumberland, and represented to Col. J. P. Baird, commanding post of Franklin, that they were in the service of the United States; all this for the purpose of getting information of the strength of the United States forces and convening it to the enemies of the United States now in arms against the United States Government.
E. C. DAVIS, Capt. Company G, Eighth-fifth Indiana infantry.
Some evidence having been heard in support of the charge and specifications, the prisoners made the following statement:
That they came inside of the lines of the United States Army, at Franklin, Tenn., about dark on the June, 1863, wearing the uniform they then had on their persons, which was that of Federal officers; that they went to the headquarters of Col. J. P. Baird, commanding forces at Franklin, and represented to him that they were Col. Auton, inspector, just sent from Washington City to overlook the inspection of the several departments of the West, and Maj. Dunlop, his assistant, and exhibited to him an order from Adjutant-Gen. Townsend assigning him to that duty, an order from Maj.-Gen. Rosecrans, countersigned by Brig.-Gen. Garfield, chief of staff, asking him to inspect his outposts, and a pass through all lines from Gen. Rosecrans; that he hold Col. Baird he had missed the road from Murfreesborough to this point, got too near Eagleville, and run into rebel pickets, had his orderly shot, and lost his coat containing his money; that he wanted some money and a pass to Nashville; that, when arrested by Col. Watkins, Sixth Kentucky Cavalry, after examination they admitted that they were in the rebel army, and that his (the colonel's) true name was Lawrence Orton Williams; that he had been in the Second Regular Cavalry, Army of the United States, once on Gen. Scott's staff in Mexico, and was now a colonel in the rebel army, and Lieut. Peter was his adjutant; that he came in our lines knowing his fate, if taken, but asking mercy for his adjutant.
The court having maturely considered the case, after hearing all the evidence, together with the statements of the prisoners, do find them, viz, Col. Lawrence Auton Williams and Lieut. [Walter G.] Peter, officers of the Confederate Army, guilty of the charge of being spies found within the lines of the United States Army at Franklin, Ten., on the 8th day of June, 1863.
THOS. J. JORDAN, Col. Ninth Pennsylvania Cavalry, President of the Commission.
HENRY C. WHARTON, Lieut. of Engineers, Judge Advocate.
[Indorsement No. 1.]
The finding is approved, and, by order of Maj.-Gen. Rosecrans, the prisoners will be executed immediately by hanging by the neck till they are dead.
Capt. Alexander, provost-marshal, will carry the sentence into execution.
J. P. BAIRD, Col., Cmdg. Post.
[Indorsement No. 2.]
HDQRS. POST, Franklin, Tenn., June 9, 1863.
Capt. J. H. Alexander, Seventh Kentucky Regt. Cavalry, provost-marshal of Franklin, Tenn., by virtue of above proceedings and order, carried the sentence into execution by hanging prisoners by the neck until they were dead.
J. H. ALEXANDER, Capt. and Provost-Marshal.
His name in the United States service was William Orton Williams;[ but see p. 804.]
[Indorsement No. 3.]
The above report was made out by the provost-marshal, and returned to me as the report of his proceedings in executing the sentence of the court, and I order the same to be attached to the record of said court.
J. P. BAIRD, Col., Cmdg. Post.
OR, Ser. I, Vol. 23, pt. II, pp. 424-426.

Brig. Gen. L. THOMAS:
Last evening a dispatch from Col. J. P. Baird, commanding post at Franklin, Tenn., was received as follows:
Two men came in camp about dark dressed in our uniforms, with horse equipments to correspond, saying that they were Col. Auton, inspector-general, and Maj. Dunlap, assistant, having an order from Adjutant-Gen. Townsend and your order to inspect outposts, but their conduct was so singular that we arrested them, and they insisted that it was very important to go to Nashville to-night.
Col. Baird asked if there were any such persons in the army and if so their description. I replied at once that they were probably spies and directed him to order a court, and if they proved to be spies to execute them immediately, which was done, and they were tried, condemned to be hung and the sentence was carried into execution before 10 o'clock this morning. On being discovered they confessed that they were officers in the Confederate Army, one a colonel named Lawrence W. Orton, formerly W. Orton Williams. One claims [to be] first cousin to Robert E. Lee [and] to have been chief of artillery on Gen. Bragg's staff, and formerly to have been on Gen. Scott's staff, of Second Regular Cavalry. A full history of the case will be forwarded you by mail.
W. S. ROSECRANS, Maj.-Gen.
OR, Ser. II, Vol. 5, p. 763.


June 8-9, 1864, "…a class of woman of more than doubtful character." Temporary housing dilemma in occupied Nashville
Nashville, Tenn., June 8th 1864.
The parties purposing [sic] to take the property now in possession of the bearers hereof will please furnish this office with information as to the authority under which it is required.
Andrew Johnson Mil Gov'r

Post Qr. Mr's Office
Nashville Ten
June 9th 1864
Respectfully returned to Gov Johnson. This building for more than a year has been used as Hospital # 11. At o­ne time Surg Chambers in charge thought it could be permanently released and reported it vacated – In a few days after he applied for the use of it, as his patients had largely increased, it was therefore reassigned to him by an Order from this Office –
Very Respctly [sic] Jno F Isom
Capt. a. a. Q. M. Post

Executive Office
Nashville, Tenn., June 9 1864
Respectfully referred to Brig Gen'l Miller, Comdt of the Post.
I am reliably advised that this house is not in the occupancy of eleven families of U. S. Soldiers, and that they are to be dispossessed for the benefit of a class of woman of more than doubtful character. [sic].
I hope that Gen'l Miller will investigate the matter, and act in the premises as his good judgment may dictate.
Andrew Johnson, Mil. Gov.

Post Hd. Qs Nashville
June 9, 1864
Respectfully returned to Gov. Johnson.  Attention is called to the endorsement of Surgeon Chambers who it seems upon investigation had some time prepared the house in question for Hospital purposes and a portion of the building for some people who had been disposed by the Military in order to obtain their houses for Military purposes. The people now claiming to hold the house as soldiers [sic] families it seems took possession of the house without authority, & have been in poseesion for some time. Chambers now requires half or more of the house for hospital and the balance [sic] for the people disposed by Military authority as stated. The Hospitals in charge of Surgeons [sic] Chambers are authorized by Department Orders the same as other hospitals notwithstanding the inmates are of disreputable character, and this building is teems is necessary for his purposes. The soldiers [sic] families would not probably desire a joint occupancy with this class of hospital patients and if a part of the house is taken for a hospital according to original orders & design it would in my judgment be better for families of the soldiers to have other quarters. I am ready to assist them in any way I can. Chambers proposes to give some of the people other places[.]
Jno. F Miller Brig Genl
Papers of Andrew Johnson, Vol. 6, pp. 716-717

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