Tuesday, August 23, 2011

August 23 - Tennessee Civil War Notes

23, 1861, "The Concert;" a benefit in Clarksville for sick soldiers
The concert, given on Tuesday-evening by the ladies of this city, for the benefit of the sick soldiers at Camp Boone (KY), and elsewhere was a decided success. The large hall of the Female Academy was filled at an early hour, with an audience in which the female persuasion largely predominated, and which, under the brilliant gals-light, presented a magnificent coup d'oeil [sic]. Clarksville may justly feel proud of being able to muster such an audience, as graced that hall, on this occasion. As to the young ladies who so generously volunteered their talent for the noble object in views, -- they formed a galaxy of resplendent [sic] beauties; and it was well remarked, by a connoisseur [sic] in such matters of female loveliness, that another bevy, so perfectly unexceptional in personelle [sic], could scarcely be found, even in Tennessee. This may be truly said of them, en tout [sic], and as truly may we say that two or three of them [sic] were nature's perfection, in her happiest moments of creating the beautiful! -- But to the concert. We feel much more at home in a critique of live beauty, than of intricate music; and it is certainly a far pleasanter theme, -- but as it was generally believed that there was "a chief among them taking notes [sic]," and, too that he was print 'em [sic] -- we must not entirely disappoint that expectation however poorly we may fill it. So, now, a word or two about the music.
The opening chorus -- "Cheer, Boys, Cheer!" -- was given by a party of gentlemen from Camp Boone, with piano accompaniment, and this was followed by a piano solo by Mr. Wetherell of Memphis, which was executed very finely.
The first on, on the porgramme, was the Valley of Camous, by Mrs. G____k, but for some reason or other she substituted another in place to it. This Mrs. G. sang in a fine manner, though did not appear to us to be in much voice on this occasion, as she is known to possess.
After this came a duett [sic] by Miss [illegible]....
* * * *
Another piano solo by Mr. Wetherell, and then a duet by Mrs. A_____k and her sister Mrs. G_____k. This latter piece was finely sung and the audience testified their gratification in loud applause.
Following this was La Manole [?] Miss Marion S_____t, a piece of more than ordinary difficulty, yet which she sang with an ease and grace which surprised, almost as much as they pleased, those who heard it. Another storm of applause, and rain of flowers, met the blushing young cantatrice, as she retired from the stage. Part first of the entertainment was concluded by a brilliant quartette which fairly bought down the house; ;and, after a recess of some fifteen minutes, --
Part second was opened, by Mr. Wetherell, with beautiful piece of dream music -- magic Bells [sic]. In his rendering of this piece, Mr. W. displayed high cultivation and skill, as a pianist, and won grateful acknowledgment from the audience of the pleasure he had afforded them. The second item of part two was -- "I've left my snow-clad hills [sic] --
a song by Miss Nannie G____d; who, though suffering from a cold, which made her somewhat hoarse, sand it smoothly; and the popular taste for simple ballad music was amply testified in the reception of this song. Number three was a duett -- "All things are beautiful" [sic] -- sung by Misses Mary and Julliet McD_____l. Both of these young ladies have a fine voice, and sing well, but when two are united, and blend in that remarkable harmony, of which they are capable, the effect is doubly pleasing. In this duett they took the house by storm, and when it was concluded, a persistent and irresistable encore [sic] impelled them to reappear, when they sang, with happy adaptation to the moment, a pretty goodnight song. This was followed by a song by Mrs. A____k, which she had substituted for the Southern Marsaillaise [sic], which was on the programme, much to the disappointment of the audience who were anxious to hear the latter. They were in no humor to pout, though, after they heard the song.
One of the decidedly noticeable features of the evening followed, not, in the execution, by Miss Eunice D_____s, of Nashville, of a most brilliant and difficult piece, on the piano -- a kind of fantasia, full of beauty and harmony and melody; now soft and gentle, then wild and thrilling -- a piece certainly not to be attempted by any 'prentice [sic] hand. It Ws a piece of brilliant execution, and though played without notes, if there was any skip or slip in it, we failed to detect it. It elicited most rapturous applause.
The next piece was a selection from Traviata -- Je suis sauve enfinne -- sung by Mrs. C____n. The singular power and fine cultivation of this lady's voice were so well known in musical circle, here, that the audience were prepared to expect a rich treat in her singing, and they were not disappointed. The case with which she compassed the highest notes, the wonderful command of voice that was displayed, and its melody, all combined to astonish, and to charm. Such indeed are Mrs. G's powers, as a vocalist, that she would win merited applause before any [sic] audience -- even the most critical.
Following this rich morceau [sic] was a piece to our liking; -- a piece perhaps better appreciated than any other on the programme. It was "The Minute Gun at Sea," sung by Misses Nannie and Bettie G_____d. It is a favorite with us. True it's an old piece, but like wine and friends it's all the better for that. It was long since we had heard the old familiar strains, and they touched chords in our heart that that not vibrated in years. They led us back to day when we listened to music with less care upon our hearts than weighs there now, and when we hung upon the music of lips whose strains now are those of angels! Memories so blessed are not wakened often in life, -- but, when they are, like ripples on a wave of ocean, they stretch away to an eternal shore.
The singing of this duett was very fine; the blending of the two sweet voices, in the touching strains, the imagery of the storm, and the wrecked ship, and the distant solemn booming of the 'minute gun at sea" -- all come home to the heart of every listener, in the plain English of feeling [sic]. It needed not the flowers that fell at the fair sisters' feet, at the close of the song, to tell how well they had done -- how much they had pleased. A better testimony was in the [illegible]....
The last piece on the programme was another aria from Traviata -- Sempre Libre -- a composition evidently involving a severe test of the vocal powers, and requiring extraordinary capacity both in compass and command of voice. It was sung by Miss Marion S____t, and her execution of it, we believe, was faultless -- wonderful it certainly was, for one young as she ill. She may well feel proud of such a success, and of the natural endowment, and added cultivation that enabled her to accomplish it.
We can add but a few words now. The entire Concert was worthy of all praise -- all did well -- the gentlemen none the less [sic] because we have said so little of them. Our only regret is that such entertainments can not be more frequently enjoyed.
Clarksville Chronicle, August 23, 1861.


23, 1862,  "Our town is now a wreck." A fire in Pulaski.
On the night of the 20th, I was aroused from slumber, by the cry of fire, & upon rushing into the street I saw the flames shooting forth from the top of Mrs. Wosely's Hotel. I addressed the Sentinel in front of my door & inquired if he knew the origin of the fire, when he replies, "we suspect the confederates have fired it to make a light to fight us by" – I said, seeing the stillness which pervaded the streets & the total desertion of these streets, "why is it that there is no attempt being made to arrest the flames?" Said he, "we have orders to stand to our posts ready for the approach of the enemy, consequently we can render no assistance." The citizens were fearful of arrest for some time if they attempted to even go to the fire, however, in a short time the fire became so terrific that ladies flocked to see it, then the gentlemen became desperate & determined to do all in their power to save the business houses. Mr. Martine made every effort by working his little [fire] engine & by urging lookers on to work diligently, but their efforts were of no avail. The block was consumed except Mr. Luther McCord's house. By constant efforts he saved his house which fortunate circumstance has given all his friends great pleasure. He is a worthy young man & a favorite. Entreaties were of no avail in getting the negroes [sic] to work, very few offering to work as to carry water, consequently Mrs. Carter's cistern was emptied of water. Great indignation was felt toward the negro population, seeing their utter indifference in regard to the unfortunate fire. Twenty-one houses were consumed & 14 men thrown out of employment. Our town is now a wreck. What will be the feelings of our brave – hearted Southerners, whose homes are in this town & country, when they return & witness the works of a hostile foe in our midst. Do not think I mean to accuse the soldiery directly, perhaps I'd be wrong, but indirectly I think they are to blame by allowing negros [sic] to go where they please by deterring white men from even going from house to house within the corporation. If a negro [sic] wished to avenge himself for any wrong he had (by the license allowed him) every chance. Citizens have appealed to the Provost Martial [sic] of the garrison now in command being two companies of Jewell's Regiment to enforce orders in regard to the negros [sic] prowling at night, which I trust will prevent further conflagrations. He has issue d them but whether subordinates will obey strictly his injunction I cannot tell. They are in power, we are their slaves. Giles County subjugated by 160 Pennsylvanians! Think of it & see how our hopes have been blighted in regard to the Southern Confederacy retaining Tennessee! The Cotton states are free from invasion but we have the reality to taste. Now I cannot see how we are to be relieved. We are shut in from communication with any section of country, even from the country & of course we have everything to depress us. Then in addition to immediate surrounding the confiscation act will sweep over us on the 25th of September, taking from us all our means of support. The men who are at home will take the Oath [sic] of allegiance to the United States to save their property, the men in the Southern Army will have to fight for theirs if they get it. The wives & children of those in the Army will have to suffer intensely [sic] – deprived of every means of support & their husbands sworn to serve the Confederacy. The men will have to come home and see their children begging bread. The picture is dark, & if things present [sic] now, I cannot find a ray to lighten it. Hopeful ones say all will right soon, while those less sanguine believe the worst must come [sic]. God help us & save us from utter destruction.
Diary of Martha Abernathy.


August 23, 1862, Confederate draft dodgers form Federal unit in Humboldt environs.
We have observed a number of ragged fellows about the village lately and wondered what their business might be, thinking it might mean treachery, but were very agreeable disappointed to find that they were loyal Tennesseans, forming a company for service under the "Stars and Stripes." These poor fellows have been compelled to lay out in the bush to preserve their lives from their traitorous neighbors, for days and weeks but have finally gathered here to offer their services to they [sic] country. We welcome you, loyal men, and are proud of your patriotism. It is not the counterfeit that stays at home, trying to preserve neutrality, but the genuine that says, "be that strikes my country, strikes me.' Would to God there were more such.
Soldier Budget [Humboldt], August 23, 1862.


Another Fight. – We are informed that Company C. 2nd Ills. Cavalry, overtook 150 guerrillas from Kentucky as they were crossing the ford of the Obion river, near Troy, where our Regiment crossed o­n its way here. The rebels tried to cross, and overloaded the boat, causing it sink, where by many were drowned. Co. C lost both Lieutenants and some three or four men killed and nine wounded, killing and drowning forty of the guerillas [sic], took ten prisoners, with horses, arms & c. The rest of the gang are making their way towards the Hatchie river bottom, which seems to be the rendezvous of all scallywags in Kentucky and Tennessee.
Soldier's Budget [Humboldt], August 23, 1862



23, "Theatre;" the Carter Zouave Troupe appears in Nashville
This house will open for the season tonight, with the Carter Zouave troupe, a company of twenty-two charming children, who have created a perfect furore wherever they have appeared, filling the house night after night with the elite of the city, and delighting every person who has had the good fortune to witness their performances. We are informed that the oldest of the twenty-two is only about thirteen years, while the youngest is about six. We expect to be in our old seat at the opening, and will report our impressions to-morrow.
Nashville Dispatch, August 23 1864

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