Tuesday, February 28, 2012

February 28 - Tennessee Civil War Notes

 28, Excerpts from a letter by Surgeon William M. Eames (U.S.) to his wife in Ohio, relative to conditions in Nashville after a week of occupation
Camp 4 miles beyond Nashville, Tenn. Feb. 28
Friday 11 A .M.
Dearest wife,
You see by the above date that we have got through the rebel city of Nashville & are now we are encamped o­n a pleasant hill o­n the road to Murfreesborough where the rebel army is supposed to be fortifying -- about 40 miles from here. It is a very fine spring-like day & the last day of the winter months tho, we have had no weather like winter for a long time. The weather seems like what we get in May & the grass is springing up green & the buds begin to swell. The birds sing gaily among the trees & our camp begins to look cheerful o­nce more. For the past few days we have had very hard times & the men have been sick & discouraged & everything has had a gloomy aspect, owing to rainy weather -- want of good ratios & tents to sleep under. It has rained at least half the time & the men have been drenched & soaked, & have had to wade thro, deep water & then lie down o­n the damp ground with no covering but the cloudy or cold regions above with nothing to cook their scanty food in & I have often been pained to see them toasting their slice of stinking ham o­n a stick as their o­nly supper or breakfast with sometimes a little parched corn -- roasted o­n the cob. The bridges have all been destroyed by the rascals: our teams of course hindered with all the cooking utensils, provisions -- tents, bedding, etc. The Cumberland River is high above the banks & now fills many cellars & covers the houses even to the eaves. The river runs past the city with a deep angry current but our men are now all carried over & nearly all their teams which have kept along with the Reg [sic] since we left Bowling Green. Our team with 4 others was sent back from B. to Munfordville for provisions & we have not seen them since consequently we are without means of transportation save what we can carry in the room of two men in o­ne of our ambulances. Our boxed of medicines were left & nearly all our necessary articles but we still keep along. I have not been in Nashville much except to pass through it o­n our way out here -- But I saw enough of it to conclude that it was at least half union in sentiment & that very many were heartily glad to see us come to relieve them from the southern tyranny which has so long ruled over them. I saw the public square in which Amos Dresser received his whipping & the very beautiful State House & many buildings with a yellow flag flying -- revealing the fact that they were occupied as Hospitals. I suppose there are many hundreds of poor secession soldiers -- sick & wounded now in the city besides 200 of our own soldiers who were wounded at the fight at Fort Donaldson [sic] & then captured & brought here where they were recaptured by our men. We took vast quantities of rebel stores with the city -- estimated at more then 2 million dollars worth. -- including all kinds of provisions & camp equipage -- tents, etc., four steam engines (Locomotives) & several passenger cars & freight cars. Large quantities of rebel arms -- some finished & some in their workshops partly done -- Cannon in their foundries ______, [sic] Tinker Dave Beatty's secret hideout, near Montgomery [a.k.a. Morgan Court House] in Morgan County & tons of shot & shell & other ammunition -- medical stores -- etc. etc. besides three steamboats - o­ne of which the rebels burned after we had got possession of it. Our army here is now very large & every day increasing. Nelsons [sic] division came down o­n the Ohio & up the Cumberland o­n boats the day we came into the place. He first raised the Stars & Stripes over the capital building. After it had waved a short time a citizen of Nashville came to him & requested that the flag he owned should be raised in its stead. He said he had used his flag to sleep o­n all the time since the reign of terror commenced & now he wanted the same flag to wave over the State-house -- & it does. Long may it wave.
....Two of [General U. S Grant's] gunboats are here & they are ugly looking customers. Not less than a dozen large size Steam boats are lying at the wharves or engaged in carrying over troops & wagons. Several Regts of Cavalry & Batteries of Artillery are here, but our Division is still ahead of all & we can look out o­n the enemies [sic] country just beyond us. Their pickets came up close to our lines & two nights ago they commenced firing o­n our pickets & lost three of their men. We have taken several prisoners & more are being found every day in the city. I am quite well today & have but little diarrhea [sic]. Appetite first rate. Rob is also well & all the rest of my crowd. 
* * * * 
Yours as ever,
Wm. M. Eames
William M. Eames Papers 



28, Fire on the mountain
A cloudy day with a little rain, but not cold – the atmosphere, thick with smoke for the mountains have been on fire all around us. The weather has been windy and dry, the valley full of smoke – the sun and moon looking at their rising and setting like globes of blood. Last night the fires were in lines clear across one or two mountains – these running up to the summit – looking like the lines of the army….

War Journal of Lucy Virginia French, February 28, 1864.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

February 24 - Tennessee Civil War Notes

24, Major-General Rosecrans cracks down on desertions from the Army of the Cumberland
Murfreesborough, Tenn., February 24, 1863.
I. No adequate punishment has been heretofore inflicted upon conviction of the military offense of desertion. This calls for a determined effort on the part of the commanding general for its suppression. He therefore wishes it to be distinctly understood, by the officers and soldiers of this department, that he expects a rigid adherence, upon the part of courts-martial, to the letter of the law; that its extreme penalty will be enforced in every case of desertion, as provided by the following Article of War:
XX. All officers and soldiers who have received pay, or have been duly enlisted in the service of the United States, and shall be convicted of having deserted the same, shall suffer death, or such other punishment as, by a sentence of a court-martial, shall be inflicted.
II. The general commanding will arrange and announce a system by which a limited number of annual furloughs will be granted in each company, in rotation, to those non-commissioned officers and privates who, by meritorious conduct and soldierly bearing, deserve this special favor. Company and regimental commanders are charged to strictly examine every application for leave, and recommend none but those worthy of this privilege.
* * * * 
By command of Maj.-Gen. Rosecrans:
OR, Ser. I, Vol. 23, pt. II, p. 84. 

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

February 22 - Tennessee Civil War Notes

 22, Opinion of o­ne Warren County woman o­n the Confederate defeat at Fort Donelson, an except from the War Journal of Lucy Virginia French

I cannot remember that I have ever experienced a more gloomy week than that which is just past. o­n Sunday evening last [16th] when we were all confident of victory at Fort Donelson, the news came that at last we were completely overpowered-that hundreds were killed and thousands made prisoners-that Nashville had surrendered unconditionally-the Federals have taken possession and that our Bowling Green army had fallen back to Murfreesboro! [sic] A deeper shock I never felt,-I gave up the Confederacy as lost. All this week we have been n a state of the utmost anxiety and suspense-not a mail has reached us from any point, and we are dependent altogether o­n rumors,-of which there are a thousand and all conflicting. Today it seems that we met with disastrous defeat in the end at Donelson by the enemy's overpowering numbers surrounding our men, who fought bravely and well. Gens. Floyd and Pillow escaped with some of the troops,- but Buckner is a prisoner. It is now contradicted that Nashville surrendered, and sent a boat of truce with a flag o­n it down the Cumberland to meet the enemy and give up the city (!) [sic] as it was at first reported - but it is certain that our troops from Bowling Green have fallen back to Murfreesboro, and they have burnt the bridges, steamboats, etc. at Nashville and not a Yankee near them! Oh! it is disgraceful! Gov. Harris who rode around town alarming the city by saying "Every man must take care of himself; I am going to take care of myself" - Flee - but seeing his mistake has now it is said returned,- saying he is going '"to fight to the death" and that he o­nly ran off to carry away the archives of the State. Well, any excuse I suppose is better than none-but, the fact is that he and Gen. A. L. Johnson [sic] have disgraced themselves and Tennessee by their inefficiency and cowardice. A rumor has been heard that our army would fall back to Chattanooga! I think they had better if Johnson [sic] is to command them, fall down into Mexico at o­nce, and be done with it.-To add to our gloomy feelings the weather has been raw and rain is pouring continually. I never have seen our little river so high and turbid. Today has been a continuous pour of sheets of rain, with high boisterous winds-not a gleam of sunshine except as the sun sank for a few minutes he left a parting light upon the hills. This is the anniversary of the birth of our Great Washington and set apart for the inauguration of Jefferson Davis whom some style the "second Washington." Will he prove himself such? That remains to be seen. If this day is to be ominous of our political future, it will be gloomy indeed. I have been sick all day with o­ne of my dreadful headaches which added to other dark clouds around me to make me desponding; Still, I confess I have much to be thankful for, my children are well - my husband is still with us-may God preserve us thus in peace at home.

War Journal of Lucy Virginia French, February 22, 1862. 


Tuesday, February 21, 2012

February 21 - Tennessee Civil War Notes

21, U. S. forces go up the Cumberland River. [newspaper map available]
Trip of the Conestoga to Clarksville.
U. S. Gunboat (Flagship) Conestoga,
Clarksville, Feb., 21, 1862.
Correspondent of the New York Times.
Yesterday morning, Com. Foote proceeded up the Cumberland in this boat; accompanied by the gunboat Cairo, carrying fifteen heavy pieces. At 10 A.M., we passed the Cumberland Iron Works, owned in part by Hon. John Bell. His two partners went down as prisoners on Tuesday [18th] on the St. Louis. The contracts for supplying guns and iron sheathing were found, the mills set on fire; and as we came up, nothing remained by the chimneys and machinery amid the dying embers. These fine works cost a quarter of a million dollars.
At 3 P. M. to-day, we reached "Linwood Landing," about two miles below the city of Clarksville, and as we rounded the point, we discovered a white flag flying on Fort Severe [sic], located on top of a high hill, at the junction of Red River with the Cumberland. Our men were ordered to the guns, and we proceeded slowly up to Red River landing. As we rounded the bend in the river under the fort, no flag appearing on the on the fort on the opposite side of Red River, one of the officers waved his handkerchief, and in less than ten seconds, one nearly covered with mud went up, having blown down in the storm. We now discovered smoke rolling up from the railroad bridges over the Cumberland and Red Rivers, which had been set on fire by the rebels as soon as we came in sight. A force of marines were taken to the for, the Stars and Stripes run up, and the place left in charge of Sergeant Chas. Wright, while the boats proceeded to Clarksville landing.
White flags were flying all through the town, and the boat was literally beset with people as soon as we reached the shore. As the Commodore's flag was wet with rain, it looked dark colored, and one of the frightened people exclaimed: "See there -- they have got the black flag [sic] up;" another, pointing to the Cairo, asked what that thing was; on being told it was a gunboat he said "he'd be dog-on-ed if they weren't the very devil." One man thought if they had their artillery there, they would clean out our craft in about five minutes. On being told that the flagship was the Conestoga, they said they had heard of the "Pirate" before, when she carried of their Government stores from Florence. Coffee is worth $1 a pound, and salt $15 a sack. Full two-thirds of the people had deserted the place. They have no money but Jeff Davis notes and shinplasters. The Bank of Tennessee is issuing notes of denominations of 5 cents upwards. They wanted to see a Treasury Note, and I passed out a $10 bill to them, which was examined with a great deal of curiosity. They inquired who the portrait was designed for, and on being told it was Mr. Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States, the curiosity went up to fever heat, and one man who had seen him said it was the most correct likeness he had seen, and more than all, that it was a better job of engraving and printing than the Confederates had got, and finally offered to exchange with me for one of the Confederate bills, which favor I most respectfully declined. Fort Severe [sic] is a fine fortification, admirably located, but it is not finished, having but two 12-pound guns in position, and a 42-pounder ready to go to its place.
Fort Clarke is a low affair, mounting two 24-pounders and one 32, they are all smooth bores; the old fashioned guns from the Norfolk Navy-Yard. The powder we found was so poor that the commander said it would not pay to bring it away, so he ordered it pitched into the river. At noon we again headed down, probably for Fort Donelson, to get a force of mortar-boats and additional gunboats, and before this reaches you we shall be in possession of Nashville.
The following is an extract from a private letter from an officer in Gen. Grant's Army, to his father in St. Louis, it is dated: Fort Donelson, February 21, 1862
* * * *
I was up to Clarksville yesterday with the General. There are two little forts there which the enemy abandoned, leaving the guns, five in number, unhurt; also, a considerable amount of stores. Clarksville is a very pretty place, of about 6,000 inhabitants, when they are at home; but much less than one-half of the population had deserted the place. All the business houses and shops are closed. The people are in great fear that our army will plunder and destroy their property, although we have given them all assurances they would not be injured. The citizens themselves destroyed all the liquor of every kind they could find, fearing that our troops would get it, and, in consequence, become uncontrollable. We are very glad, of course, that they did; but some of them also destroyed considerable amounts of other property, preferring that to letting it fall into our hands, supposing that we would take it. Had they preserved it, it would not have been touched.
We could have speedily reduced the forts, but the citizens compelled the forces there (if they needed any compulsion) to evacuate them, and leave the public stores, knowing that if a battle was fought there the town would be greatly damaged, if not almost destroyed; besides the loss of large amounts of property by the [Confederate] troops, which they will avert by the course taken. We have had a gunboat lying in town for three days, and to-day sent up some regiments of troops. Gen. Grant and staff will remove therein a day or two. The citizens are all secesh. It was evident that they all smothered their real feelings; it could not have been expected that it would be otherwise, as that town raised a regiment for the war, which was taken by us at this place, and everybody had relations and friends among our prisoners.
New York Times, March 4, 1862.


Saturday, February 18, 2012

February 17 - 28 - Tennessee Civil War Notes

17-28, Confederate withdrawal from Murfreesboro and Middle Tennessee


Edgefield, February [17, 1862].

Maj.-Gen. CRITTENDEN, Cmdg. Chestnut Mound:

Gen. Johnston directs you to move your command to Murfreesborough (instead of Nashville) without delay. Press all the wagons you need. Fort Donelson has fallen, and Gen. Floyd's army is captured after a gallant defense.



OR, Ser. I, Vol. 7, p. 889.

MURFREESBOROUGH, [February] 24, 1862.


My movements have been delayed by a storm on the 22d washing away pike and railroad bridge at this place. Floyd, 2,500 strong, will march for Chattanooga to-morrow to defend the central line. This army will move on 26th, by Decatur, for the valley of Mississippi; is in good condition and increasing in numbers.


OR, Ser. I, Vol. 7, p. 905

SPECIAL ORDERS, No. 39. HDQRS. WESTERN DEPARTMENT, Murfreesborough, February 27, 1862.

* * * *[sic]

2. The army will move to-morrow morning at sunrise for Shelbyville.

3. The order of march and the marches will be as follows:

1st. Wood's brigade, snappers and miners, 15 miles on Shelbyville road.

2d. Wood's brigade, snappers and miners, 15 miles on Shelbyville road.

3d. Crittenden's division, 12 miles on the same road.

4th. Breckinridge and Texas Rangers, 7 miles to Hindman's first encampment.

5th. Hardee, with Bowen's brigade, will cross the bridge over Stone's Creek.

6th. All unattached companies, battalions, or regiments will be put in march by Maj.-Gen. Hardee in advance of Bowen.

7th. The colonels of regiments will place all spare wagons at the disposal of the chief quartermaster.

8th. The brigadiers and colonels will restrict their officers and men to the smallest possible amount of baggage, and turn over surplus transportation to the chief quartermaster.

9th. Maj.-Gen. Hardee will assume command of all the cavalry in rear of the army, prescribe the time and manner of their movement, and direct them to destroy all the bridges after they pass over.

10th. The chief quartermaster will turn over all surplus transportation to Maj.-Gen. Hardee.

[By command of Gen. Johnston:
W. W. MACKALL, Assistant Adjutant-Gen.]

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 7, p. 911.


Murfreesborough, February 28, 1862.

The columns will resume the march to-morrow morning in the same order, and continue it from day to day by Shelbyville and Fayetteville to Decatur.

The marches will be so arranged as to make about 15 miles a day so long as the roads permit.

By command of Gen. Johnston:

W. W. MACKALL, Assistant Adjutant-Gen.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 7, p. 912.



17-21, Anti-guerrilla expedition from Lexington to Clifton


No. 1.--Col. John K. Mizner, Third Michigan Cavalry, Chief of Cavalry, District of Jackson.

No. 2.--Capt. Frederick C. Adamson, Third Michigan Cavalry.

No. 1.

Report of Col. John K. Mizner, Third Michigan Cavalry, Chief of Cavalry, District of Jackson.

JACKSON, TENN., February 22, 1863.

CAPT.: To add to the pleasurable remembrances of the anniversary we have to-day celebrated, I have the honor to report, for the information of the general commanding, that the cavalry I sent toward the Tennessee River have succeeded in capturing Col. [J. F.] Newsom, with 7 of his officers and 60 men, besides all their horses, arms, accouterments, &c., together with a large amount of supplies. This splendid achievement was accomplished by Capt. Cicero Newell, of the Third Michigan Cavalry, who, with 60 picked men, crossed the Tennessee River o­n the night of the 19th instant, and surprised and captured Newsom and his whole party at Clifton. He recrossed to this side with all his prisoners, when our gunboats came in sight, and gave them valuable assistance in discovering boats and small craft which the enemy had concealed and had continually used in crossing the river. Capt. Adamson, Third Michigan Cavalry, was second in command, and he, as well as all of the officers and men, deserve the highest praise for capturing a force of the enemy exactly equal to their own.

I regret to inform you that Capt. Newell was wounded in the action at Clifton.

I inclose Capt. Adamson's report, which gives a full account of the affair.

The prisoners were turned over to Lieut. Fitch, commanding gunboat fleet. Capt. Newell, being disabled, was also taken o­n board the gunboat.

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

J. K. MIZNER. Col. and Chief of Cavalry.

No. 2.

Report of Capt. Frederick C. Adamson, Third Michigan Cavalry.

LEXINGTON, TENN., February 21, 1863.

SIR: o­n behalf of Capt. Newell, I would respectfully submit the following report of the operations of the detachment of cavalry under his command from the 17th instant until the present date:

On the 17th instant he started for Clifton, with 23 men of Company A, under Sergeant [Thomas] Dean; 14 men of Company L, under command of Lieut. Leonardson; 24 men of Company K, under command of Lieut. McIntyre; 23 of Company B, commanded by Capt. Adamson (all of the above of the Third Michigan Cavalry), and 14 men of the Second Tennessee, commanded by Sergeant Mize.

We reached Johnson's house, 8 miles from Clifton, about sundown, without any adventure worth noting, having scouted the country thoroughly for some miles o­n either side of the road. At midnight our pickets sent in two Confederate soldiers, who had just crossed from Clifton, from whom we gained some valuable information in relation to the force at Clifton.

At daylight we started for the river, leaving a small party at Johnson's. We struck the enemy's pickets o­n the river bank, 2 miles from the point opposite Clifton. We then dashed down, hoping to capture the ferry. The pickets had evidently signaled their confederates o­n the opposite shore, as they greeted us with a volley. We got our horses under cover immediately, and, dismounting the men, led part of [Companies] A and K to the bank and returned their fire. The firing was continued o­n both sides for a short time, resulting in no damage to men, but wounding two of Company B's horses, which, we supposed, had been placed entirely out of danger. Capt. Newell left his company to watch the enemy and cover our retreat. We then returned to Johnson's, where we found a conscript who had come in to surrender himself. From the information given by him, Capt. Newell went with his company to Turnbull's Creek, leaving orders with me to proceed with the remainder of the command to Decaturville, and secure quarters for the men, &c.

The captain's scout resulted in the discovery of an old flat-boat, some 40 feet long and 10 wide. He immediately conceived the idea of crossing the river and making an attack o­n Clifton, and left Sergeant [Henry C.] Vowles and 6 men, with orders to make a pair of oars, bail out the boat, and take her down the river, under cover of the night, to point 4 miles above Clifton, and there await our coming. He then joined me at Decaturville, where we decided, from the information collected, upon a plan of attack to be carried into effect that night. Information of the discovery of the boat having reached the citizens, through the indiscretion of some of Company K's men, we feared they might guess at our intention and prepare the rebels for our coming, so we announced our departure for Lexington, and started off o­n that road (leaving at 2 p.m.).

Getting out some 4 miles, we struck into the woods, under the guidance of Mr. Dow White; remained concealed in the woods until night, when we started for our boat, some 10 miles off; found everything all right. The river was very high and full of drift-wood, which the strong current drove along at fearful speed. It was now 12 m. We could not take all the men at o­nce, and we knew, in the state of the river, that we could not take all the men at o­nce, and we knew, in the state of the river, that we could not make a second trip; in time to carry out our plans. So we told off 60 men--22 from A, 10 from L, 14 from K, and 14 from B--under command of their respective officers, as before noted (Lieut.'s Bingham and Drew accompanying their companies). We left the reminder of the men, under command of a sergeant, to take charge of our horses. We got our living freight aboard our crazy craft, the boat's gun wale being just 6 inches above water-mark, made the men lie flat in the bottom, crossed over, and drifted down about 2 miles; then landed, after considerable difficulty and danger, and wended our way through the woods for town. After marching some 2 miles through the brush along the river bank, we encountered a serious obstacle to our farther progress, in the shape of an extensive bayou, which we could not cross in any direction. Not being discouraged at our failure, we marched back to the boat, shoved off, and drifted down within half a mile of town, again landed, reconnoitered cautiously, marched within sight of town, found everything quiet, lay down o­n the ground, and sent our guide to a house to ascertain with exact certainty the strength and position of the enemy; found it just as we expected and no more. We waited some two hours anxiously for the proper moment to arrive. The night was very dark and cold. Our men suffered considerably, having left their overcoats in the boat, but they bore it in silence, as not a murmur was heard among them.

Day [19th? 20th?] just breaking, we crept cautiously into town, Company B in advance. Their o­nly guard now espied us, and, calling "treason" at the top of his voice, started for the quarters. We soon secured him, sent a couple of men to their ferry, surrounded the houses, which we knew contained the men, dashing in the doors and windows, thrusting in our guns, and pointing them at the heads of the astonished, half-awake, and undressed occupants, demanding with loud shouts their instant surrender. Considerable resistance was shown in some of the buildings, but we bore down everything before us. Some thirty shots were fired; the second o­ne, I am sorry to say, disabled Capt. Newell, stricken him in the leg, under the knee, making a painful, but not dangerous, flesh wound. Col. Newsom had his right arm fearfully shattered and Lieut. Shelby was struck in the shoulder, which were all the known casualties that occurred o­n both sides.

The command now devolving upon me, and the town being fully in our possession, I instantly mounted a few men, and [sent] them o­n the different roads to pick up runaways, and turned my immediate attention to getting the prisoners o­n the other side of the river, as I had reliable information that there was an Alabama regiment of cavalry camped at Ague Creek, o­nly 7 miles east, and a strong force at Waynesborough, 17 miles distant. Some of our men left with the horses now made their appearance o­n the opposite bank, according to instructions, so I sent 50 over (in the ferry just captured) with a strong guard, commanded by Lieut. Bigham, putting Capt. Newell in the same boat; signaled our own boat, which the guard immediately brought down; loaded her with the rest of the prisoners, a party of our men, the captured saddles, guns, &c.

We plied both boats briskly for some time, carrying from four to six horses a trip. It was severe work, as the current would carry the boats a long distance down stream; consequently we had to haul them up along shore, so that they might reach the landing o­n the opposite side. In the mean time I had crossed over; and fearing the co-operation of the prisoners in case of an attack, I directed Lieut. Drew to move them to Hughes' house, 2 miles distant. We were about getting over our last load of horses when we were most agreeably surprised by the appearance of a fleet of five gunboats. The Lexington, in advance, put out her guns, intending to shell us, bet a cheer from this side and a white flag from the other checked her intention. Lieut. Fitch, flag-officer of the fleet, gave our tired men a capital dinner, which they much needed, having eaten nothing since noon of the day before.

Before the arrival of the boats, I had ordered the firing of the buildings that had been occupied by the enemy, as they were well filled up; with bunks, &c., and the hotel in which we found over 30 men contained a quantity of commissary stores, which I could not transport, so was compelled to destroy.

Our raid was entirely successful. The result was the capture of 8 commissioned officers and some 60 enlisted men, 40 splendid horses, some saddles, about 40 stand of arms, principally old shot-guns, many of which we threw in the river, some Sharps' and Smith's carbines (four of the latter), a few Enfield rifles, several old muskets, flint-locks, &c., and a few Colt's pistols (how many I cannot ascertain, as the property has not yet been collected from the men). I regret to say that many of the old guns were carried off by the officers and men of the gunboats during my absence, as their men were all allowed to come ashore.

Capt. Fitch offered to take the prisoner off our hands, and, upon consulting with Capt. Newell, who had been moved to Hughes', he decided it would be best to get rid of them, as several were unable to ride, and I could not mount them all. I fear that I have erred in this matter, but did it for the best. The horses are distributed among the companies, subject to the order of the colonel commanding.

Having had information that Wright's Island contained several horses belonging to the Confederates, I took a small party o­n the gunboat and searched the island. The horses had been removed several days before, but we found two boats, o­ne of which we destroyed; the other was o­ne of Francis' metallic life-boats, which I also turned over to Capt. Fitch. It was now dusk, so we crossed in our old boat, which we had towed up, entirely destroyed it, and marched o­n foot to Johnson's, to which place I had ordered the command.

Early o­n the 21st, I started for Lexington, through a drenching rain; reached there at 3 p.m., and reported to Maj. [Thomas] Saylor, whom I found in command.

I am thoroughly satisfied that there is no force anywhere in this vicinity, o­n this side of the Tennessee River. Van Dorn is at Columbia; parties of his cavalry are stationed at different points, close to the river, and it seems to be the impression that it is his intention to attempt to hold the river at these points.

I inclose a list of the prisoners and Capt. Fitch's receipt for 54; o­ne of the slips containing their names was mislaid, which accounts for the difference between the list and receipt, and 4 were released o­n parole. I must apologize for the length of this report, but in justice to the men and officers, who all, without exception, conducted themselves bravely o­n our rather dangerous expedition, I could not do less than tell the whole story.

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

F. C. ADAMSON, Capt. Third Michigan Cavalry.

P. S.--Net result of expedition: Prisoners, 61; horses, 40; saddles, about 40; stand of arms,. 40; flat-boats destroyed, 2; yawls destroyed, 2; skiffs destroyed, 2; life-boat found, 1; 4 barrels flour, 3 barrels salt, 10,000 ponds pork and bacon, a quantity of corn-meal, beans, &c., burned.

Col. Newsom and Lieut. [M. T.] Shelby were dangerously wounded and paroled.

I neglected to state that captain Newell went o­n the gunboat Fairplay, as, owing to the state of the roads and the lack of transportation, we could not [take] him to a suitable place.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 24, pt. I, pp. 356-360.


Tuesday, February 14, 2012

February 14 - Tennessee Civil War Notes

 "Valentine's Day."
Yesterday was the anniversary of that best of all Saints o­n the Calendar, Saint Valentine – and a dreary day it was. The rain pours, the ground soaks but it a very damp day that throws a wet blanket over the votaries of Saint Valentine. Let the wars rage and the elements do their worst, they cannot overturn the magical sway of our holy Saint. King Cupid is the o­nly ruler against whom there is no rebellion which does not recoil upon the heads of the rebels.
For a few days back the Stationary and News Depots might have been crowded with eager brawny limbed, burly handed soldiers culling from the stocks of Valentine's some tender missive love laden and fraught with sweetest thoughts for the girl they left behind them. To-day and for a week to come may be found around the Post Office clutching eagerly the sweet scented billets as they are rolled out with their linked sweetness, long drawn out, or mayhap the sharpest cuts by a caricature:
"Full many a shaft at random sent
Finds mark the archer never meant."
And many an unseemly "mitten" may a rough shod satire will be interpreted all wrong. The coyness of maidens and the reserve and affection of men makes squad havoc of human happiness. The selection of nothing more than a simple Valentine, has before now been fruitful of happiness or misery of thousand of couriers, Vive la bagatelle. Long live the memory of Saint Valentine.
Memphis Bulletin, February 15, 1863.



14, Reconnaissance on Cleveland and Spring Place road, East Tenn.
HDQRS. DEPARTMENT OF THE CUMBERLAND, Chattanooga, February 14, 1864.
Col. ELI LONG, Cmdg. Second Brig., Second Cav. Div., Calhoun, Tenn.:
You have doubtless received the report of Brig.-Gen. Cruft about the reported movements of rebel cavalry upon the Cleveland and Spring Place road. The major-general commanding desires that you send a small cavalry force upon that road to make a reconnaissance and ascertain the truth or falsity of the report.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Brig.-Gen. and Assistant Adjutant-Gen.
HDQRS. DEPARTMENT OF THE CUMBERLAND, Chattanooga, February 14, 1864.
Maj. Gen. G. GRANGER, Loudon, Tenn.:
Intelligence has been brought here that a force of rebel cavalry, 2,000 strong, has been passing up the Spring Place and Cleveland road, probably with a view to cut the railroad between Cleveland and the Hiwassee or capture a train.
The major-general commanding desires to know whether a portion of the cavalry force might not be brought down from the Little Tennessee and be posted at Benton for the purpose of preventing such operations of the enemy. Col. Long will be directed to send a small force of cavalry upon the same errand for the purpose of ascertaining the truth of the statement.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
WM. D. WHIPPLE, Brig.-Gen. and Assistant Adjutant-Gen.
OR, Ser. I, Vol. 32, pt. II, 391-392.



       20, News from Nashville



[From the Washington Republican, Oct. 18.]

Yesterday Mr. Q. C. DeGrove, late revenue collector at Nashville,
Tenn., together with two or three other gentlemen from the same city,
called upon us to reveal the present state of affairs at Nashville.
Mr. DeGrove was born and reared in Nashville, and was elected to the
office of Revenue Collector, of Davidson County, at the last county
election, over several competitors, simply because of his personal
popularity. Being a Union man, e declined to take part with the
secessionists, and therefore became the object of persecution. After
various sittings, the "Committee of Safety" issued an edict for his
banishment, but the Secretary of the Committee, being a gentleman,
could not so far forget his instincts as to serve the paper of
banishment. But the Union collector, weary of an existence at the
mercy of outlaws, arranged his family of four little girls, and,
taking his wife upon his arm, who was also born in Nashville, shook
the dust of the city off his feet and departed.

The military importance of Nashville is greater than any other
Southern point. The whole network of Southern railroad centre there,
and within a short time they have so arranged their railroad matters
as that the entire rolling stock of all the roads can be used upon any
of them; so that by the casualties of war they lose one road, they can
use another, while all their engines and cars can be, at short notice,
put into requisition for the transportation of troops or the munitions
of war. Troops can now go from the army at Manassas Junction to
Nashville, or to any other important Southern point, without stopping
or changing cars.

The war has given a great impetus to manufacures in Nashville, almost
everything necessary for army purposes being manufactured there in
large quantities.

All the Northern sewing machine men had agents in Nashville, but the
war effectually cut of their sales – so the agents hired a large
number of men and women and employed all their machines in
manufacturing clothing and tents of the army. They are all doing a
large business. The principal tailors of the city are also engaged in
making clothes for the army so that the main supply of clothes and
tents is now obtained at Nashville.

Large quantities of leather and canvass shoes are manufactured.
Previous to and in anticipation of the war immense quantities of
leather was [sic] brought to Nashville from Kentucky, Texas and
Missouri. One leather dealer alone bought $10,000 worth of leather,
which is now being worked up. Canvass shoes having been discovered on
the feet of some Union prisoners, the new idea soon spread over the
southern country, and they are now made in large quantities,
especially in Nashville.

Immense quantities of saddles, harness and cartridge boxes are also
manufactured. Two or three large ships are filled with men engaged
with this work; many of the persons thus employed never before sewed a
stitch, but the want of employment and their own necessities compelled
them to undertake the business.

A powder mill on Sycamore creek, some fifteen miles from Nashville, is
successfully employed in manufacturing powder.

Percussion caps are made in the city at the rate of 250,000 a day. Two
Germans have been killed by the explosion of the fulminating powder.
Rifles and muskets are manufactured on a large scale, and there is
also an immense establishment for making bowie knives and swords.
About one hundred men are constantly, night and day, engaged in the
manufacture of cannon shot and shell.

There is also a drum and fife factory doing a good business.
There are now in the warehouses of Nashville, meat and four enough to
feed the Tennessee troops for one year. Immense quantities of
provisions were bought before the rebellion commenced, and have been
kept there. There is one store, three hundred feet long, about seventy
feet wide, and five stories high, filled from the bottom to the top
with bacon, and all the wholesale grocers are well supplied with
provisions of all kinds.

Three weeks ago, there were no forts and no soldiers at Nashville. At
Dover, on the Cumberland river, there is a battery, and at Fort Henry,
on the Tennessee river, there is another, together with a force of two
thousand men, and these forts are so arranged, that if one should be
taken, the men can fly to the o there without impediment.

Zollicoffer's invasion of Kentucky was deemed an act of military
necessity. There were large quantities of pork unsalted in Nashville
and in other parts of Tennessee which would be entirely lost unless
salt could be procured. Zollicoffer, therefore, invaded Kentucky, and
went to the saline works in Clay county, took all the salt he wanted,
put it into wagons, and sent it to Nashville, and thus saved their

 New York Herald, October 20, 1861.

Monday, February 13, 2012

February 13 - Tennessee Civil War Notes

13, "Street Miseries."

We are glad to know that the street miseries we spoke of a few days ago are to be diminished. General Veatch this morning issues an order, in which he expressly prohibit riding and driving on the sidewalk of the city, and fast riding and driving on the streets, and he does so expressly on the ground that such conduct is an annoyance to the people. In issuing this order, Gen. Veatch had done the citizens, and especially the ladies, a great kindness in issuing this order; we take pleasure in saying that since his presence in this city, Gen. Veatch has shown a kind thoughtfulness for the convenience and welfare of the citizens of Memphis, in these unfortunate times he is necessarily subjected to much importunity, but with as patience that does honor to his temper, he makes himself master of the business brought before him, and with a discretion honorable to his judgment, he renders his decision which never fails to obtain approbation for its justice. Memphis is fortunate in having a gentleman of his character had qualifications occupying the important position he fills. The prohibition against running hacks after twelve o'clock at night is also removed by this order of Gen. Veatch.

Memphis Bulletin, March 5, 1863.



13, Col. Fielding Hurst [First Regt. West Tennessee (U.S.) Cavalry] extorts tribute from the city of Jackson and the lynching of an informant

* * * *

....in a few days, last Saturday 2 weeks ago [February 13], I believe, Col. Fielding Hearst [sic] [sic] with about o­ne hundred men in full tilt taking o­ne & all as much by supprise [sic] as ever a people was supprised. [sic] I had been out at home to feed my hogs, had come in, turned my horse in the lot, came in & sat down when by they went. We caught a glimpse of my horse & before I knew it, he went as good many have gone, stolen [sic]. I had my old partnership horse & bay horse. Good Smith had been keeping for a year also in town, sliped [sic] them the back yard & him them as well as I could behind the cedars. 'Twas near night. They left town after dark & camped next morning at Mr. Bond's 3 miles out of town. I got out next morning & took the 2 horses to the river bottom & tied them in the cane before they got back town. [sic] During the day (Sunday) these fellow went down into the bottom & brought out some mules & o­ne good mare, but did not succeed in finding mine.

Col. Hearst [sic] called for some of the most prominent citizens and announced to them that Five thousand dollars had to raised or the town would be burned. They concluded it would be better to raise the money than to have the town sacked. No doubt but Hearst [sic] would have turned his soldiers loose upon the town if he had not burned it. Some burning would have occurred any how. These men are capable of the most brutal conduct and were ripe for the word. They money could not be raised upon that day. Twenty of the citizens obliged to raise the amt [sic] in 5 days. o­n Friday following Hearst [sic] came in with an escort, his regiment camped at Bob Chester's 2 miles south of town. The pretext for raising this money was simply this -- last summer when Hatch with a large force, Hearst [sic] among them,, the time a small fight took place between Hatch and parts of Col. Forrest's & Biffle's regiments, the stores were broken open and a general pillage [took place]. Among the sufferes [sic] was a Mrs. Newman. She had a millenary establishment. Mrs. N. went to Memphis & judgment was given against Hearst's [sic] Regmt & the pay of the Regt stoped [sic] for 3 months to pay the amount I suppose. Judgement [sic] was given for five thousand dollars & something over. Hearst [sic] said here that if his regmt [sic] did not do it and collects the damage off the citizens of Jackson. Comment is unnecessary. No damage was done beyond taking horses and mules.

Mr. John Campbell had difficulty with some of them and struck o­ne with a stick & choked a Lieut. His house was fired in 3 rooms, furniture smashed up. Owing to a capt [sic] coming up with a squad of men, the house was saved.

They gave Mr. Bond an old horse for forage &c. Mr. Bond told them that he did not want any citizen's horse. Col. Hearst [sic] told him that the horse had been in this regiment 6 months & no citizen had right to him. The next morning or when the came to town, o­ne of Mr. Campbell's daughters applied for their old buggy taken the day before. She was told that they had left him out at the man's house where they camped the night before and it proved to be Mr. C's [sic] horse.

I understand a part of Lexington and Brownsville were burned by this same crowd. They destroyed a large quantity of fencing over the river & set the woods o­n fire besides burning it when camped, pillaged houses & robed [sic] citizens. Frequently citizens are killed by them when they resist these outrages. Hearst's [sic] command was made up principally in McNairy & Henderson counties, some from Hardeman & Carrol sic counties in the Western District. I saw ma man & his son with them who formerly lived here in Jackson, a gambler named Waters. His son, named Tom, also saw a man o­nce Sheriff of McNairy Co. named Alridge.

* * * * 

Old Jessie, a negro [sic] belonging to the estate of Mr. James Caruthres [sic] was called out of his house a few nights since, marched down to the river, shot & thrown in, by whom I have no idea. He was seen to talk for 2 or 3 hours with Hearst's [sic] men when here & very likely was in the habit of reporting to the Yankees. Those who did the thing knew enough to cause them to resort to such an extreme measure. Knowing nothing about it, I can neither justify or censure them. -- Peace alone can put an end to the awful state of affairs now casting a gloom over the land. Waste and ruin are plainly visible o­n every hand.

Robert H. Cartmell Diary, February 21, 1864.


Friday, February 10, 2012

February 10 - Tennessee Civil War Notes

10, A plea to regulate the price of corn so as to provide food for the poor instead of for the production of whiskey, in the Fort Donelson environs
Near Fort Donelson
February 10th 1864
Governor Johnson

Dear Sir

There is a gradeal [sic] of suffering of the Poor in a good many Locallities, the Nwstrn [Northwestern] R Road have foraged heavy for a Long ways on both Sides but thay [sic] having [sic] reacht [sic] the main Corn regions that is Duck & Cumberland Rivers & those Corn rasors wont sell except at awful Pri[c]es & that in green Backs & there is a still up running of the Neighborhood of Cumberlin Citty [sic] about 21 miles below Clarksville l& that make a 25 or 30, Dollrs [sic] worth of whiskey out of a barrel of Corn & he has a Large amont on hand & a Lage [sic] amont [sic] in juges [sic] at Lage [sic] figurs[.] [sic] now it that Still was stopt [sic] as all the rest has bin it would give a gradeal [sic] of corn to fead, [sic] the Poor & if it Could be it ought to have th [sic] Prce [sic] of Corn regulated & those that hav [sic] maid [sic] to Let those that dont [sic] have [and] are a seffering [sic] hav [sic] at a far [sic] Pri[c]es.

There is a plenty of men that helpt to get up the rebelion [sic] & Promised men that if they would go into the servis [sic] there [sic] wifes & Children should hav [sic] a plenty that is a Litting [sic] them suffer[.] in be half [sic] of those wimin [sic] & children Pleas [sic] do what you Can -- I under stand that there is a nother [sic] still house abilidng [sic] be Low Clarksville [sic] & have ingaged [sic] Corn at Large figers [sic] & if there was a stop to all disstilling [sic] of grain it would be gradeal. [sic] 

...I am Loyal & I was inducted in General Rusous [sic] office on Decr 31, 63, as an imploye [sic] of the united states [sic]. 

Yor [sic] Truly,

G. M. Stewart

Papers of Andrew Johnson, Vol. p. 611.


Thursday, February 9, 2012

February 9 - Tennessee Civil War Notes

The Way to Spoil Girls.

               If a parent wishes a recipe how to spoil a daughter it can be easily and readily given, and can be proved by the experience of hundreds to be certain and efficacious. 
                1.  Be always telling her, from earliest childhood, what a beautiful creature she is.  It is a capital way of inflating the vanity of a little girl, to be constantly exclaiming, "How pretty!"  Children understand such flattery, even when in the nurse's arms, and the evil is done the character in its earliest formation. 
                2.  Begin as soon as she can toddle around, to rig her up in fashionable clothes and rich dresses.  Put a hoop upon her at o­nce, with all the artificial adornments of flounces and feathers and flowers and curls.  Fondness for dresses will thus become a prominent characteristic and will usurp the whole attention of the young immortal, and be a long step towards spoiling her. 
                3.  Let her visit so much that she finds no pleasure at home, and therefore will not be apt to stay there and learn home duties.  It is a capital thing for a spoiled daughter to seek all her happiness in visiting, and change of place and associates.  She will thus grow up as useless as modern fashionable parents delight that their daughters should be. 
                4.  Let her reading consist of novels of the nauseatingly sentimental kind.  She will be spoiled sooner than if she perused history or science.  Her heart will be occupied by fictitious scenes and feelings; her mind filled with unrealities; and her aims placed o­n fashion and dress and romantic attachments. 
                5.  Be careful that her education gives her a smattering of all the accomplishments, without the slightest knowledge of the things really useful in life.  Your daughter won't be spoiled so long as she has a real desire to be useful in the world, and aims at its accomplishment.  If her mind and time are occupied in modern accomplishments, there will be no thought of the necessity and virtue of being of some real use to somebody pervading her heart, and she will soon be ready as a spoiled daughter. 
                6.  As a consequence, keep her in profound ignorance of all the useful arts of housekeeping, impressing upon her mind that it is vulgar to do anything for yourself, or to learn how anything is done in the house.  A spoiled daughter never should be taught the mysteries of the kitchen—such things a lady always leaves to the servants.  It would be "vulgar" for her to know how to dress trout or shad, to bake, to wash, to iron, to sweep, or wring the neck of a live chicken, pluck it and prepare it for breakfast, or do anything that servants are hired to do.  As a mistress of a house it is her duty to sit o­n a velvet sofa all day, in the midst of a pyramid of silks and flounces, reading the last flash novel, while her domestics are performing the labors of the house. 
                To complete the happiness of your spoiled daughter, marry her to a bearded youth with soft hands, who knows as little about how to earn money as she does to save it.  [illegible] happiness will be furnished for her [illegible].  

TENNESSEE BAPTIST, February 9, 1861


9-10, A visit from General and Mrs. John Hunt Morgan and planning for another ball in McMinnville
On Monday evening [9th] Gen. Morgan and his wife call [sic] on us. Gen. M. is a tall rather fine looking man, high forehead, very fine teeth--a staid and sober expression but very agreeable--and he is exceedingly courteous but not courtly--very polite tho' [sic] not polished. Mrs. Morgan reminded me that evening of Ellen Harrison--Her side face [sic] is like Ellen's. Her manner is that of Narcisic Saunders-- a good deal of manners. I like Mrs. Morgan much--she is not very brilliant--not quick to take up a joke or see into s[ome] witticism; but when she does see she appears to enjoy it. She had gone to the hospital a day or two previous and was speaking to "Stenil" who was ill there about the money that they had made at the concert. He inquired what was to be done with it--she said she did not know certainly--it would be used for the benefit of the men. "Well" said he, "I would request that it be applied to the general washing of the command." Mrs. M. it is said did not see the point until sometime afterwards--she took him in earnest and that was the funniest of all, because certain it is that a good wash would do most of the more good than anything else!...Morgan's costume on this evening was blue cloth pants and round about--with plenty of "brass button" [sic] and immense shiny cavalry boots and spurs--black felt hat turned up at the side with a star. They came on horseback--Mrs. M. had on a black riding habit, hat and veil. Capt. Morenis was here when they came--he came to get me to "lead off" a committee of lady managers of a ball to be given by some of the officers to Mr. & Mrs. "John Hamilton" on Friday the 13th. I would not consent to lead off but expressed a willingness to assist any other ladies who might wish to form a committee. Marenis said he came to me as it was known I did not belong to any of the "cliques" of the place. "No" I said, "I didn't not and never intended to." Next morning [10th] Mag Rankin wrote for us to come to Mrs. Read's to a meeting of ladies and we went. Mrs. Read, Mrs. Waters, and myself were all the committee present. I wrote out an invitation list of the ladies and some of the married folks--which was all we could do then. Mollie and I went down town--soon Mrs. Marbury and Mrs. Read came after us and we went back to Maj. Rowan's. Here we concluded not to place our names upon the invitation cards--which was a great relief to me.
War Journal of Lucy Virginia French, entry for February 15, 1863.


9, Skirmish near Memphis
FEBRUARY 9, 1865.--Skirmish near Memphis, Tenn.
Report of Lieut. Col. Hugh Cameron, Second Arkansas Cavalry (Union), commanding Fourth Brigade, Cavalry Division, District of West Tennessee.
COL.: I have the honor to report that the escort having charge of the wood train from this brigade was attacked this morning at 8 o'clock about the time it arrived in the wood-yard one and one-quarter miles outside the pickets by a party of rebels believed to be seventy-five in number. The escort comprised seventeen mounted Second Arkansas Cavalry, twelve dismounted Second Missouri Cavalry, and eleven dismounted First Iowa Cavalry, making forty men, commanded by Second Lieut. Laban N. Garrett, Company A, Second Arkansas Cavalry. At 8.30 o'clock I received information by messenger that the escort had been driven back and the train captured. I at once sent messengers to division headquarters with the information and for orders and immediately ordered out al the cavalry of the brigade. My messengers, returning, met me near the Carr avenue picket about 9 o'clock, bringing orders for me to pursue the rebels some distance beyond where the train was captured. I pushed forward as fast as possible ten miles on the rebel trail, but did not overtake any of any of the party. Had my men been mounted on serviceable horses I might have overtaken and severely chastised them. The trail was through the woods in the direction of Hernando, as I followed it. Doctor Raines, living about one mile west of the Hernando road and ten miles from the City of Memphis, informed me that the rebel force passed his house on the way to the wood-yard at 4 a. m. and returned with the captured mules at 9.15 a. m. in a hurry; that they divided just before they reached his place, thirty-five or forty passing his house, and the remainder turning to the right and making for a skirt of timber southwest of his house, though which the Mississippi and Tennessee Railroad passes.
I abandoned pursuit, satisfied that I could accomplish nothing with my broken-down horses, and determined to return. Dividing my detachment of sixty-six men, I ordered Capt. O'Brien back over the road we came with thirty-three men, and with the remainder I returned by the Hernando road. On reaching the Hernando road I captured Doctor Gabbert, who said he lived in the vicinity of Hernando, and supposing that he might give important information I brought him along. I have turned him and the property captured with him over to the provost marshal. A negro moving his family to Memphis told me that he passed a rebel force having a large of mules with them about twelve miles from Hernando; he supposed about 11 o'clock . In the encounter at the wood-yard our casualties were 1 sergeant, Second Arkansas Cavalry killed; 1 man, Second Missouri Cavalry, mortally wounded, and 3 slightly; 1 man, of the first Iowa Cavalry, severely wounded; 1 man, of the Second Missouri Cavalry, prisoner; also 5 teamsters, Second Arkansas Cavalry, prisoners. Loss of property, 111 U. S. mules in harness. Rebel casualties, as far as ascertained, 1 man killed, from whose person was taken, it is reported, a cotton pass dated February 8, 1865, and a letter containing valuable information. I have delayed this report, expecting to be able to get said cotton pass and letter and forward them with it, but have failed. I have placed the lieutenant commanding the escort in arrest for neglecting to take possession of said papers, and have no doubt that he deserves to be punished for carelessness and inefficiency; for the result of his operations in the woodyard, it seems to me, proves him to be both careless and inefficient.
I have the honor to be, colonel, respectfully, your obedient servant,
HUGH CAMERON, Lieut. Col. Second Arkansas Cavalry, Cmdg. Fourth Brigade.
OR, Ser. I, Vol. 49, pt. I, pp. 37-38.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

February 8 - Tennessee Civil War Notes

8, Depredations committed in Warren County environs by Morgan's command
Morgan's men are behaving badly here, and Morgan himself is losing character by the way they go on stealing--pressing--burning etc. There the old farmers say they had quite as leave have the Yankees in here. They have torn up a great deal, but still I feel secure to what I would if there were Yankees about us.
War Journal of Lucy Virginia French, entry for February 8, 1863.



8, Letter of John F. Couts of Clarksville to his brother Cave Johnson Couts in California
John F. Couts Clarksville Feb. 8, 1863
To: Cave Johnson Couts
My dear Brother,
I have been thinking of writing for a long time, but fearing you never would get the letter, knowing too that any letter has to be perused by a Yankee [sic] before it poped [sic] into the mail that I had but little heart to write & beside of any thing was written which they considered contraband the letter would be suppressed.
We have no mail to this place & I hope never will have, at least a so called [sic] Lincoln mail. I shall send this letter to Russellville or Louisville to be mailed.
We have been under the Federal & Confederate government alternately since the fall of Fort Donelson, at present under Federal rule. Col. Bruce from Lexington Ky. [sic] is our present federal commander, and is a brother-in-law to the celebrated John Morgan of Ky. & both from the same place. Morgan is one of the most terrible fighters you have ever read of and has never lost a battle notwithstanding the many lyng [sic] Yankee newspaper reports of victory over the "guerrilla" John Morgan. The Yankees call nearly all our cavalry "guerrillas." I would like to have you extended notice [sic] of John H. Morgan, but you are doubtless familiar with his many so-called raids into Ky. & Tenn. 
He is at present at Tullahoma about 45 miles from Murfreesboro under Gen. Bragg. Quite a number of young men from this place belong to his command. John B. Dortch is Capt. and Geo. B. Hutchinson (son of old Squire H) is a Lieut. in his command.
Poston was taken prisoner at Fort Donelson on Feby. Last and remained in prison at Camp Douglas near Chicago for seven months, he was thence sent to Vicksburg for exchange & is now under Gen. Price in Mississippi.
I have not seen him since Nov. 1861. I had a letter from his Col telling me he was one of the very best soldiers he ever saw. I am very anxious to see him.
We have declared an everlasting and eternal separation from the Yankee nation. This I do assure you is as certain as the waters of the Mississippi flow the Gulf. [sic] 
Their treatment to us has been so fiendish, savage & brutal, where ever they have had us in their power, that no civilized nation on earth would ever blame us (particularly if they know what we do) for declaring eternal separation.
Let what will come, whether weal or wo, you may rest assured that the separation is final. They may raise & arm Negro Regiments. They may try to excite insurrections. They may murder, in cold blood, many of our wives & children, but we are prepared to stand all this, and to fight them until the last one of us is exterminated before we will ever submit to the Tyrant that at present occupies the "White House."
He has boasted of his 20,000,000 free white people and his ability to subjugate our 8,000,000, but with al his boasting & with the great preponderance of population in his favor, and with the finest equipped army & the best Navy in the world, he is at the end of two years not half so near conquering us as the first 6 months of his effort so to do. I would tell you something of our personal trials & sufferings but I scarcely know where to begin.
Julia lost two of her negros , Bailey and Anderson, they doubtless may join one of "Lincoln's" negro regiments & return for her murder. These are all the negros [sic] that have left the family.
George has turned out to be one of the worst drunkards you have ever saw [sic] and affords his sisters no comforts or protection what ever. He made a first rate soldier whilest  he was in our Army in Virginia, but since his return he is a much worse drunkard than you can imagine. I do most heartily wish I had sold out & gone home with you, but then I had no idea of any such trouble, nor did I believe the Yankees were half so mean. I have seen much said in some of the Eastern Papers, about a grand California Cavalry Co., that arrived at N. York & reported themselves to Old Lincoln for duty. They purport to have some from San Francisco. I think I have some idea of what sort of men they are. I see your Legislature is having quite a squabble over the election of a Senator. I hope they may elect a good & true Democrat. You must write me if ever you get this letter & tell me what you are doing about your cherished object in establishing your fine Republic of California, New Mexico & Oregon. This would be one of the best countries of the world. Uncle Cave is quite well & believes confidently that the Confederate Government is a fixed fact. His three boys are in the Army & all have been wounded, "Hick" quite severe in the foot. You must both write & write often….
"Toni" has been in the army in Texas for more than a year. I do not know whether he is living or not. His Col. (Young) was killed. I wrote you a long letter some time last year but do not know that you ever rec'd it, and if replied to yours was never rec'd, for we have had no mail here for a long time. We have many exciting rumors in town today….
We however have no confidence in any move they [i.e., Federal forces] may make & rely solely on our own strong armed [forces?] in the maintenance of our independence. There is no use in talking about republican form of Government, the Old Union, the old Stars and Stripes, Constitution etc., for the Abolitionist[s] have destroyed all & never on earth was any government so bankrupt as that Lincoln gov't now is. Your gold is now worth 160 at N. York and billions of indebtedness hanging over them, which is daily increasing at the rate of 3,000,000.
You are aware that the present is the first Abolition Congress that has ever been in session since the foundation of this government, and will most assuredly be the last.
Your bro. John
Winds of Change, pp. 54-57.

A Revelation of War: Civilians in Hardin County, Tennessee, Spring, 1862

A Revelation of War: Civilians in Hardin County, Tennessee, Spring, 1862

by Vicki L. Betts

War came to the civilians in Hardin County, Tennessee, in the spring of 1862. What had been a matter for public debate and far away confrontations came upriver with the huge federal army, disembarking at the foot of Main Street in Savannah and about eight miles south at a small landing called Pittsburg. Theoretical political divisions between friends became matters of life and death, homes were disrupted throughout the county, and nothing would ever be the same again. Three groups of civilians saw the war from the closest possible perspective--the people of the Savannah, the people of the Pittsburg Landing area, and the Northern citizens who either accompanied the transports south, or who came to aid the wounded immediately after the battle of Shiloh.

Hardin County, organized in 1819, was a rural area inhabited mainly by small acreage farmers--only five with more than 500 acres and fourteen with over 20 slaves, the standard for the planter class. Total population was 11,214, which included 1623 slaves and 37 free blacks. Savannah, the county seat, perched o­n a bluff o­n the east side of the broad Tennessee River. It could boast of no more than 1,000 citizens in 1860, no newspaper, no railroad, and no telegraph. o­ne visitor called it "a quiet, sober looking old town, with a single street, a square brick court house, a number of buildings scattered along the street, with some pretty and rather stylish residences in the suburbs." The 1860 census found there the typical blend of teachers and physicians, blacksmiths and carpenters, spinsters and seamstresses.

When Tennessee's referendum o­n secession came in 1861, Hardin County voted to remain with the Union. Even after fighting had begun, much of Savannah and the eastern part of the county continued to quietly support the old flag, while the western side of the river tended to be pro-Confederate. The militia began to drill, and in the summer of 1861 Confederates held a recruiting "grand barbecue" west of Saltillo, with patriotic speeches and a mounted parade around the camp meeting arbor by enlistees "with small flags attached to their horses' heads." Charles S. Robertson soon formed a cavalry company, followed by the "Hardin County Boys", Company B, 34th Tennessee Infantry. Officials instituted a local draft for additional men and from those Col. Crews formed a five-company regiment, armed with confiscated squirrel rifles and double-barrel shot-guns, clothed with home-produced brown jeans cloth uniforms with a black stripe running down each pants leg. This unit would guard the county seat. The Southern cause was at its zenith in Hardin County.

On February 7, 1862, several steamboats passed Savannah at full speed, alarming the town. A passenger jumped into the water and swam to the shore, announcing that Fort Henry had fallen and that Yankee gunboats would surely be heading upriver. Unionists were elated at the news, but Confederates were terrified at the prospect. That same day, the "Tyler," "Lexington," and "Connestoga" captured the partially completed gunboat "Eastport" at Cerro Gordo o­n the northern edge of the county, then caches of citizens' guns at Coffee Landing and Savannah the following day. Most of Crews' regiment withdrew to Murfreesboro and later marched to Corinth to join the main Confederate army. Many who had been "pressed" into service deserted and went home to await the Federals.

By March 1, two of the gunboats, the "Tyler" and the "Lexington," had returned to patrol the river, and they found the 18th Louisiana Infantry and Gibson's battery at Pittsburg Landing. The gunboats opened fire, driving the Confederates from the edge of the bluff. A landing party engaged in a brief fight, then withdrew. They checked o­n the location for several more days, then left.

In the face of a probable imminent invasion, o­n Thursday, March 6, Confederate officials at Savannah held their part of a statewide enrollment of all men of military age, with mustering in scheduled for Monday the 10th. Word of the draft and of "ill treatment of Union men at Savannah" soon traveled downriver. A Federal gunboat was dispatched, and about half of the 40th Illinois Infantry arrived o­n the 7th to occupy the town. They soon made themselves at home, with some soldiers "invading the houses" and "threatening mischief," according to an officer of the 46th Ohio whose troops arrived the following day. The 46th sent out a patrol and pickets, but otherwise stayed o­n their transport.

During Saturday night many Unionist refugees began arriving in Savannah from both sides of the river, as well as "perhaps more than a thousand drafted men." The 46th Ohio staged a dress parade o­n Sunday, which added to the feeling that this was "the liveliest day the little town ... had ever witnessed." About forty to fifty of the local men mustered into the 46th and others joined the crew of the "Tyler." Later reports upped the total number of federal recruits to five hundred, a clear indication of regional support for the Unionist cause. Some local civilians, fearing Confederate reprisals, asked for transport north to safer havens.

That afternoon, the gunboat "Lexington" steamed upstream and lobbed about a dozen shells into Pittsburg Landing. There was no reply.

By Monday, federal food supplies were running low and sickness began to spread aboard the transports. William H. Cherry, the town's leading Unionist, a wealthy planter, merchant, and the county's fifth largest slave-owner, had been authorized to offer a home vacated by a Confederate owner as a hospital. Town officials also volunteered a new frame church, and the local citizens did all in their power to make the patients more comfortable.

The next morning, March the 11th, the remaining troops left the transports so that they could be cleaned. About noon the steamer "Golden Gate" arrived, announcing that the main body of the western federal army was just behind it. The 46th Ohio, and probably everyone else in Savannah, gathered o­n the hill above the landing, peering down the river as far as they could see. By two o'clock the lead boat came into sight. o­ne witness wrote: "The weather was soft and fine, and o­ne or more flags floated over every boat. Nearly every regiment had a band of music, and in this, till then, sequestered region, occurred a scene of martial activity and festivity, never before witnessed in the Union. Unexpected, grand, and indeed terrible, it was, to the inhabitants along the forest-girded banks of the Tennessee." The fleet included up to a hundred steamers, "laden to the guards with soldiers, cattle, and munitions of war." The "decks were dark with blue coated soldiers. Bright brass cannon glittered o­n the foredeck, where the batteries were loaded, and the band played their most soul-stirring airs." The transports sent forth "vast volumes of smoke, which shadowed and sooted the atmosphere from hill to hill across the river valley." They docked at Savannah o­n both sides of the river for a mile, at places four or five deep. At night the bright lights o­n either shore looked "like so many will-o'-the-wisps dancing over the water."

The charm of the army's arrival soon gave way to unsanitary conditions and disease aboard the transports. Savannah became "one vast hospital" of men with malaria, dysentery, and typhoid. The army took over the brick shell of the half-finished Savannah College, laid a floor in it, and used it as a hospital for months. Major John H. Brinton, surgeon, fought army red tape continually for proper food (particularly fresh meat), medicines, and medical supplies. The hospital boat "City of Memphis" took 410 sick men to St. Louis and the Louisiana, with Mrs. Harriet R. Colfax aboard, took over three hundred downriver. The number of deaths depleted the local supply of lumber for coffins.

Gen. William T. Sherman had located his troops upstream at Pittsburg Landing o­n March 16, and when Gen. U.S. Grant arrived at Savannah the next day, Sherman urged that the army be moved to that more strategic location. Grant ordered all of the troops still o­n the transports to Pittsburg Landing, leaving o­nly McClernand's division encamped around Savannah.

Pittsburg Landing was the principal river shipping point in the 15th Civil District of Hardin County and the northern terminus of the road to Corinth, Mississippi, a major Confederate rail center. Pittsburg Landing never was a town--indeed, the entire 15th Civil District could not boast of a town, a teacher, a physician or a preacher in the 1860 census. o­ne merchant, W. A. Pettigrew, may have operated a storehouse o­n the landing, but the federal gunboats had probably driven him away well before the arrival of the Union army. The scattered landowners were overwhelmingly farmers, growing mostly corn and hogs, with a few bales of cotton, some sweet potatoes, and a small amount of orchard produce, including peaches. There were o­nly twenty-three slaves in the entire district, belonging to eight owners. The fields were merely clearings in the forest, and the houses were often "rude" log cabin, at best modest frame homes. Shiloh Church, a Methodist meeting house, was described as a o­ne-room log cabin, originally chinked, with a clapboard roof and plain benches, which "would make a good corncrib for an Illinois farmer."

Among the numerous chroniclers of the battle of Shiloh, both Northern and Southern, there are very few reports of encounters with local civilians in or near the Pittsburg Landing encampment. Chances are that most evacuated to area family or friends, although no o­ne is sure when that happened--whether at the first firing of a federal gunboat or when the first troops came o­nshore to stay. Members of scouting details came across empty cabins guarded o­nly by the families' roosters which had been left behind. T. W. Connelly, of the 70th Ohio Infantry, remembered that :

"The native inhabitants of this part of the country were scarce and far between. Occasionally a clay-complected looking chap would come into camp, pretending to be a friend, and after being directed to some Regimental or Brigade Headquarters would address the commander with the following question: "Can I get a guard, sah?" In reply the Colonel would put the following: "What is your name?" "My name is John Jones, sah." "Are you a loyal man?" "Oh, yes, sah; I am a loyal man, sah; and the Rebels have taken about all I've got, sah. I want a guard." "All right; you can have a guard."

Some local citizens occasionally served as guides and warned federal officers of Confederate outpost locations, although much more information seemed to be funnelled to the Southern side. At least o­ne resident even told the Yankees that General Beauregard had visited both Pittsburg Landing and Adamsville as a "peddler of pies and cakes." Others citizens, including probably either the McCuller or Bell family, stayed at home, even up until the battle started, when William H. Lowe of the 55th Illinois Volunteer Infantry saw a woman and a man at a cabin in that area.

While the army at Pittsburg Landing drilled, enjoyed the beginning of a Tennessee spring, and withstood the rain, mud, and dysentery, Grant set up his headquarters by invitation at the Cherry Mansion in Savannah. The eight room home, which adjoined a convenient river landing, belonged to William Cherry, the most outspoken Unionist in town, and his pro-Confederate wife, the former Annie Irwin. Gen. C. F. Smith, who had contracted tetanus while debarking from o­ne of the headquarters boats, later shared the house with Grant, while the general's staff set up in the yard. Two of Annie Cherry's sisters, o­ne of whom had a husband in the Confederate service, sang and played for the visiting federal officers in the evenings after they returned from official duties at Pittsburg Landing. Rumor had it that Annie plied Grant with liquor and flirtation to discover military information which she could then pass o­n to her brother in the First Confederate Cavalry. Also, security was so relaxed in this ostensibly loyal home that Annie's brother James, the brothers of Cherry's first wife, and some of the Hardin boys, all in the Confederate army, would sneak into the basement at night and listen to federal staff meetings in the dining room above!

In a more modest home in town, Major John Brinton became friends with another local family who were "'secesh' to the back-bone." They had two sons in the Confederate service, and five daughters. After a while the girls treated him to their "Secession songs" including "Wait for the wagon, the dissolution wagon" and "To arms, to arms in Dixie land." Their favorite, however, included the line "And, o­ne, two, three, we'll crush them!"

All dealings with the federal army in Savannah were not so congenial. Grant received several reports of slaves either being hidden o­n steamers by soldiers, or else being taken to Pittsburg Landing without their owners' permission. In each case he demanded that the slaves be returned and the responsible men be held to account. Military authorities also occasionally commandeered buildings in town for the use of the army--but whose buildings were taken often depended o­n the politics of the owners. Patrols into the east Hardin County countryside occasionally brought in prisoners and confiscated mules, and at least o­ne house was set o­n fire, although it was quickly put out by others in the detachment.

When the federal transports had steamed up the Tennessee River, a number of Northern civilians were aboard. Mary Ann Bickerdyke, fondly known as "Mother Bickerdyke", accompanied the 21st Indiana Infantry o­n the gunboat "Fanny Bullet" from Fort Donelson in March. She stayed in Savannah to nurse the sick as best she could without official sponsorship initially from any group. Mrs. Belle Reynolds, whose husband served as a lieutenant in the 17th Indiana Infantry, arrived o­n March 21. She and another woman set up adjoining tents not far from the Shiloh meeting house. Lucy Kaiser of Illinois, bored with nursing at Benton Barracks, and a smuggled young woman with two little girls, shared a room up o­n a transport and made it ashore for o­ne of the grand reviews at Pittsburg Landing. Mary Ann Newcomb, another volunteer nurse, arrived at Pittsburg Landing o­n Friday, April 4. Mrs. Vail of Iowa and a Mrs. Dr. Hood of Ohio were o­n a nearby transport also at the landing. The wife of Col. William Hall of the 11th Iowa Infantry, shared his tent o­n shore, while Mrs. Jerusha R. Small stayed with her husband who served with the Twelfth Iowa Infantry. Modenia Weston, the "mother" of the 3rd Iowa Infantry, had just managed to get the regiment's bout with diarrhoea under control at Stacy Field.

So many visitors were managing to make the trip that o­n April 3, Grant wrote his wife: "It will be impossible for you to join me at present. There are constantly ladies coming up here to see their husbands and consequently destroying the efficiency of the army until I have determined to publish an order entirely excluding females from our lines. This is ungallant but necessary. Mr. & Miss Safford were up here and returned a few days ago." o­ne of the last to make the trip was Ann Wallace, the wife of Gen. W. H. L. Wallace, who was o­n a boat along with a "kind woman nurse that belonged to Colonel Ross' regiment o­n board with sanitary supplies." Ann had had a premonition that her husband would need her, and had decided to come without her husband's knowledge or permission. She arrived at Pittsburg Landing just before dawn, o­n Sunday, April 6.

Captain Coates, 11th Illinois Infantry, offered to walk Ann Wallace to her husband's headquarters even though they could both hear quite a bit of firing in the distance. She was assured that it was o­nly pickets returning and clearing their rifles, but then Capt. Coates suggested that perhaps he determine Gen. Wallace's exact location before they started the trip. In less than thirty minutes, he returned wounded, with news that a large battle was underway, and Ann was forced to remain o­n the boat. Soon casualties by the hundreds were being brought aboard, and she "passed from place to place holding water and bandages for the surgeons."

Belle Reynolds and "Mrs. N." were cooking breakfast when "we were startled by cannon balls h owling over our heads." Belle finished her husband's cakes, wrapped them in a napkin and tucked them into his haversack. Warned to flee for their lives, they abandoned their trunks and "snatching our traveling baskets, bonnets in hand" headed for General Ross's deserted camp just down the road. Again warned to head for the river, they had barely cleared for the area when "a shell exploded close by, the pieces tearing through the tent, and a solid shot passed through headquarters." When about a half mile from the river they came across where the ambulances were unloading the wounded, and they went to work, helping as best they could. However, within ten minutes they were all ordered to the transports, where at o­ne point Belle, o­n the hurricane deck, was handed a revolver and ordered to assist a lieutenant in keeping panicked soldiers away from the boat.

Mrs. Colonel Hall had her own introduction to warfare that Sunday morning. She later told a reporter: "We were in our tent and not prepared to receive company. In fact, we were both en dishabille when a big cannon-shot tore through the tent. A caller at that early hour, considering its unexpectedness, and our condition, may possibly be regarded as a surprise." She completed her toilette and joined others fleeing to the riverbank, but not without her dress being struck in twenty-nine places by bullets and shell fragments.

Mrs. Jerusha Small turned her tent into a temporary hospital and tore up "all her spare clothing and dresses to make bandages and compresses and pillows" for the wounded. When they came under enemy fire, she and the more mobile soldiers fled to safer areas.

Not long dawn that Sunday morning, Gen. Grant awoke in o­ne of the upstairs rooms of the Cherry Mansion in Savannah. He dressed and went down for breakfast, but had not even tasted his coffee when he was informed of heavy gunfire upriver. His saddled horse was immediately loaded o­n the already stoked "Tigress," and he left for "Shiloh's dark and bloody ground." The fighting went o­n all day, with the federal gunboats shelling at fifteen minute intervals all night, then the battle continuing into Monday.

The sound could be heard for miles. Caldonia Banks, o­n the western edge of neighboring Wayne County twenty-five miles away, was at a spring getting water for the day. "She raised up and began looking around to see which direction the sound was coming from. No cloud was in the sky but the rumbling continued. Later in the day, the rumble changed to 'boom - boom - boom'. She had no idea what was going o­n all through the day. But the noise went o­n. Even the next day the noise continued well in to the day."

Wilbur Hinman was with the Sherman Brigade, marching in from Nashville. While still out in the Hardin County countryside, he passed the local people who had : "turned out en masse to see the long column pass. The battle then raging was as unexpected to them as to us. They had sons, brothers, husbands and fathers in the Confederate ranks. Anxiety, fear and sorrow were depicted o­n their faces. Many of the women were crying bitterly. Most of them were too much affected to express themselves in words. Groups were collected at every house. At o­ne point where we halted, I observed a large number of old, gray-haired men and women. I inquired what brought so many of this class together, and was told they came there to hold a prayer-meeting, but that they had to give it up, as everybody's thoughts were o­n the battle."

Even four or five miles beyond Savannah, he could hear the cannon clearly and distinctly, and the volleys of muskets. Hinman's regiment reached Savannah at about 10 a.m., Monday morning, April 7th. "Here was a scene of the utmost confusion and excitement that it is possible to imagine. All through the night steamboats had been running to and from Pittsburg Landing, carrying up troops, artillery and ammunition for Buell's army, and returning with hundreds of wounded men from the first day's battle. All the buildings in the little straggling village had been taken possession of for hospital purposes. Here and there, o­n porches and in yards, lay the bodies of those who had died during the night. In almost every house surgeons were at work dressing wounds and amputating shattered limbs. As we marched down the main street toward the river we could hear o­n every side the groans of the suffering. To us all this was a revelation. We were looking upon the ghastliest picture of war." Among the nurses in town was Mother Bickerdyke, helping to clean and bandage wounds, and cooking for the troops.

About the same time that Hinman reached Savannah, county residents also began gathering there as well as at Crump's Landing and other communities near Pittsburg Landing. Local men were fighting o­n both sides that day, and family members wanted to be ready to search the battlefields for loved o­nes as soon as the volleys stopped.

At Pittsburg Landing, the fighting front had pushed back into the interior. Mrs. Vail and Mrs. Hood came to Mary Ann Newcomb determined to do something to help the wounded, "so we got some tin buckets and went about two miles back from the river to a point where there had been fighting a short time before. The dead and dying lay so thick that we might have walked a mile with every step o­n a dead body. Mrs. Vail, from Iowa, fainted, Mrs. Dr. Hood, of Ohio, stood it a little better. We filled our buckets with water from the springs and gave the thirsty men. We tore our aprons in little squares, filled them with grass and leaves and stopped some gaping wounds that were bleeding. We made bandages from our garments and bound up shattered limbs. Meanwhile the ambulances were busy carrying the men to the old house o­n the hill where the knife and saw could do their work."

Ann Wallace, while caring for the wounded aboard o­ne of the transports o­n Sunday, received word that her husband had been killed and his body left o­n the battlefield. "God gave me strength and I spent much of the night in bathing the fevered brows and limbs of the sufferers around me. Action was a relief to me, and it was slight help to aid men who were suffering in the cause for which Will had given his life." However, at mid-morning the next day her husband was brought in living, although with a severe head wound. He was taken to the Cherry Mansion where he lingered until Thursday. Ann took comfort in the fact that he did regain consciousness enough to know that she was with him, and that he died with family around him.

Within twenty-four hours news of the battle reached Chicago, St. Louis, and Cincinnati. The Western and U.S. Sanitary Commissions mobilized immediately and sent the steamers "D. A. January," "Imperial," and "Empress," the latter with Mrs. E. C. Witherell as matron. Each boat was complete with surgeons, volunteer nurses, medical supplies, bedding, clothing, and food. The Chicago Branch returned the hospital boat "Louisiana" while the Cincinnati Branch sent the "Tycoon" and the "Monarch." Other western states and cities sent their own boats as well, each preferring to minister to its own soldiers, much to the consternation of military authorities. Governor Louis Powell of Wisconsin and Governor Richard Yates of Illinois both travelled to Savannah, where Governor Powell fell into the river and drowned while helping move some of the wounded from o­ne boat to another. The Army Committees of the Young Men's Christian Associations (soon to be part of the U.S. Christian Commission) of St. Louis and Chicago sent delegates of volunteers. Mary Safford, "the Angel of Cairo," returned to help, to be followed by Eliza Chappell Porter, an official of the Sanitary Commission, and several other "lady" nurses who worked closely with Mother Bickerdyke in Savannah. Boatload after boatload of the wounded, many with women nurses or matrons, headed downstream to hospitals in Keokuk, St. Louis, Louisville, Mound City, Evansville, Cincinnati, Paducah, and Mt. Vernon, Indiana.

Among the nurses aboard the hospital boats were a number of Catholic sisters. Dr. George Blackman and Mrs. Sarah Peter of Cincinnati took five Sisters of the Poor of St. Francis o­n the "Superior." Another Cincinnati group aboard the "Lancaster No. 4" included Mrs. O'Shaughnessy, Miss McHugh, Mayor Hatch's wife and daughter Jennie as well as ten Sisters of Charity headed by Sister Anthony O'Connell, matron of St. John's Hospital. A Sanitary Commission agent in St. Louis asked six Sisters of Mercy from Chicago, who had just closed a hospital in Jefferson City, Missouri, to assist aboard the "Empress." Upon arriving at Pittsburg Landing they debarked and searched the battlefield for wounded, brought them aboard the transports, and cared for them as they were transported to Northern hospitals. o­n o­ne occasion, Sister Anthony even assisted Dr. Blackman with surgery at Pittsburg Landing.

The volunteer nurses were not without physical and emotional casualties of their own. Mrs. Anna McMahon served at o­ne of the hospitals set up at Pittsburg Landing. She contracted measles there. After five days "she raised her languid eyes and asked, 'Have I done my duty?' The doctor assured her that she had, then with a weary sigh she said 'Good-bye; I will go to sleep.'" A soldier carpenter made a coffin from cracker boxes and the nurses "wreathed it in flowers from the battlefield." She was buried beneath "three large trees that grew o­n the bank of the Tennessee River" with a "rude board head-piece, bearing her name." Other nurses, such as Bell Reynolds, continued to be haunted by bad dreams--"At night I lived over the horrors of the field hospital and the amputating table. ... Those groans were in my ears; I saw again the quivering limbs, the spouting arteries, and the pinched and ghastly faces of the sufferers."

By Tuesday, April 8th, local residents headed for the battlefield to begin searching through the dead and wounded, or to merely satisfy their own curiosities. They were soon followed by Northern family members, Sanitary Commission officials, and sightseers. All were overwhelmed at the amount of destruction which stretched back from the landing for at least five miles--"scarred trees, ... ground cut by the wheels of guns and caissons, ... shattered muskets, disabled cannon, broken wagons, and all the heavier debris of battle. Everywhere could be seen torn garments, haversacks, and other personal equipment of soldiers. ... In every direction I moved, there were the graves of the slain, the National and the Rebel soldiers being buried side by side." The bodies of hundreds of dead horses were buried or burned to decrease the stench and to ward off disease.

Souvenir seekers went to work immediately. o­ne soldier referred to them as "so many hyenas, gathering up relics, old swords and guns that a soldier would scorn to touch, selfishly anxious to secure trophies"--the more unusual, the better. Gen. Lew Wallace complained that "Each o­ne is a museum collector with the talent and industry of Barnum. ... Those shot which had killed a horse, so much the more valuable; those which had killed a man, precious as gold. After all, there is some justification for the intense hatred the Butternuts seem to have against the trading Yankees."

Others visitors came to claim their dead, in some cases buried for two weeks. A widow arrived and searched the fields for several days, finally finding her son's named scrawled o­n a board serving as a tombstone. "She signalled with her handkerchief to some soldiers who were aiding in the search ... and then fell o­n her knees with her arms over the little mound of earth." The father of Fletcher Ebey just wanted to see the location where his son was killed. "The blood still showed o­n the ground. ... As we came away he brought a wild ground willow pulled out of the blood of his son to carry home to plant." The vast majority of Confederate family members were unable to come to the battlefield, since it remained in federal hands. Their sons, fathers, and husbands remained in large common graves, and their wounded were scattered all of the way to Mississippi.

The federal army, steadily enlarging with reinforcements, remained at the Pittsburg Landing site for several months. As the wounded were evacuated their places were taken by the sick, and surgeons established a large hospital a few miles upstream at Hamburg. Medical transport boats made trip after trip from both Pittsburg Landing and Hamburg through June 19. Many of the civilian nurses served throughout that time period and Sanitary Commission officials continued to replenish whatever medical supplies the soldiers needed.

By the first of May, the bulk of the federal army was inching its way to Corinth, and presumably the residents of the 15th Civil District, Hardin County were free to return to their farms, or what was left of them. The area would never again be contested between the two great armies, o­nly small bands of cavalry and swarms of bushwhackers--Unionist, Confederate, and freebooters. Some of the original inhabitants were still in place long after the war when veterans began to return to walk the fields, boast of their regiments, argue over strategy, and visit the national cemetery.


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