Tuesday, December 6, 2011

December 6 - Tennessee Civil War Notes

 6, 1861, A letter from home, Frederick Bradford, in Davidson County, to his sons with the 20th Tennessee Regiment
We hear so many conflicting statements of our difficulties, it is difficult to know how this war will terminate, but as our cause is just, I have an abiding faith, with the help God, we will conquer.
Our country is in a powerful mess at this time o­n a count of the Governor having called for all of our private arms and o­ne half of the militia Since the call a good many have volunteered and each militia company is credited with volunteers from it. Therefore, there was but seven to go from our company and several of them have volunteered since....All the rifles and double barrel shotguns have been sold or loaned to the government. I loaned the twin sisters [i.e., his double barreled shot gun] until the end of the war but I never expect to see her again.
I had no idea until the militia was called that we had so many afflicted persons in our community. The lame and the blind, the halt and the deaf, and indeed almost every disease the human family is heir to have presented themselves to the surgeons for certificates of exemption. [emphasis added] I fear this calling of the militia is rather a bad move. I think three months' volunteers would have been preferable.
There is very little news, except war news and not much of that, that can be relied o­n.
The neighborhood is generally healthy. Crops are good and everything high. Corn is selling from 3.50 to 4.00 per bushel. Potatoes are 1.00 per bushel. Pork from 10 to 12 1/2 cents per pound. Salt is selling $12.00 to $14.00 per sack, Barrel salt from #.50 to $4.00 per bushel, coffee $1.00 to $1.50 per pound and everything and everything else in proportion.
We are not using much coffee in this neighborhood, a good deal of wheat and rye are used in its stead. We have had a very wet fall. I have not gathered more than half of my corn. I expect to have four hundred barrels to sell. I have killed thirty hogs, which weighed 5470 pounds. I have twenty-seven shoats to kill which will weigh 100 [sic] apiece. If we could have an honorable peace, we could live well. Your uncle Skelt....will start his distillery soon.
Frederick Bradford Papers, TSLA



6, Report of a draft riot in Nashville
"A riot occurred at Nashville, Tenn., Occasioned by the authorities resorting to drafting soldiers to supply the rebel army. The boxes used for this purpose [i.e., "draft lottery"] were broken up, and during the excitement two persons were killed and several wounded. Governor Harris was forced to keep his room, and was protected by a strong guard."
New York Times, December 8, 1861.



December 6, 1864 - Changes in the Nashville environs as a consequence of the approach of Hood's army; an entry from the Journal of Maggie Lindsley's Journal December 6, 1864 - 
The Forrest panic yesterday was unfounded it seems, but still the soldiers are here, and still destruction at least goes bravely. Barns, stables, fences all gone now, and the sound of the cutting and falling of our glorious forest trees heard from morn till night! Beautiful Edgefield no longer! Her beauty and her pride laid low in these her superb forest trees! For from the river to the Springside here is not a grove left! The bareness and the bleakness are simply intolerable, and make me sick. Whenever I go out o­n the balcony from my room, I just break down at seeing all those ugly stumps where were out beautiful "woods," with its wonderful sycamores, and its wealth of wild grape vine; where we swung, and climbed and played under a veritable bower of green until we reached the river banks! What shall we do without our "Woods" when the summer comes again? And the children! What a loss to the older, who have been accustomed to live the long summers there, and to the baby tots never to have know that Paradise! What will Springside be without its "Woods!" O! But I am tired of devastation, devastation and nothing but! It is difficult for me even now to recall Edgefield as it was four years ago – when I spent so much time cantering throughout the lanes and groves o­n horseback – where will I ever find shady roads now when the summer sun comes in all its intensity!
General Webster rode out this morning – in high spirits, and is sure of Hood's retreat or capture. Pray Heaven it may be the last, and we may be rid of this unsettled, horrible life. Colonel Mussey rode out, dined with us, and after dinner I rode with him – – down to Mr. Hobson's where we had a fine view of the whole (Union) army – our fortifications and the rebel lines. Nap was gentle, stood quite still - and behaved as if he were as inured to all his surroundings as they Colonel's horse, - while I viewed the whole scene leisurely through the Colonel's fine glasses. And what a grand sight it was! Forts Negley, Casino, and Camp Webster, great lines and masses of troops drawn up in battle array in every direction, flags flying, bands playing, bugles sounding, at intervals the cannon roaring, belching forth fire and smoke at every roar – very grand the scene! Colonel Stewart was at the head of his regiment, but I did not see Colonel Johnson. (Two years ago about, I saw General Rosecranz [sic] review 30,000 troops from this hill, and then in our enthusiasm and pride, we thought the war must surely be near it s close, and yet today we seem no nearer than then!) The Rebel works are just behind Mr. Rains's, in front of dear old Belmont, and they occupy Mr. Vauly's house. Mr. Edmundson's house is General Chatham's Headquarters – some other General is at Mrs. A. V. Brown's.
Dr. de Graw and Lieutenant Novel were here an hour this afternoon. They had learned that Mr. Gale's house had been burned.

Maggie Lindsley's Journal, December 6, 1864


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