Friday, March 30, 2012

March 30 - Tennessee Civil War Notes

 30-31, Descent upon Union City [see also August 2, 1861, Description of the Confederate camp at Union City]
SIR: I have the honor to report that since I have been in command of the forces at this place, having left but a small number of troops at Columbus and a smaller number at Hickman, Ky., I have learned of daily reconnaissances of rebel cavalry in the vicinity of the latter place, and that two regiments, o­ne of infantry and o­ne of cavalry, were at Union City, who were in railroad and telegraphic communication with Humboldt, where there was a large force.
On the 29th instant I received letters from the commanders both at Columbus and Hickman, each expressing the desire for re-enforcements, the latter, Lieut.-Col. Hogg, proposing that o­n the arrival of cavalry re-enforcements he must go south of Union City and destroy a trestle bridge and cut the telegraph wire. o­n the same day I received dispatches from Gen. Strong, at Cairo, who intimated that I should act in the premises o­n my own judgment. o­n the same day also I exhibited all my dispatches to Flag-Officer Foote, and suggested to him that if my forces were not required here in aid of his operations for two days I would take a part of them and march o­n Union City. He heartily concurred.
On the 30th....I...conferred with Capt. Dove, of the U.S. Navy, commanding the gunboat Louisville, and communicated to him my plans. Except [for] the o­ne knew my plans.
I gave out to the citizens of Hickman that o­n the hill in rear of the town I would review all the troops. The people from the country remained to see the review. At 2.30 o'clock p. m. the column got under way with a light train and o­ne day's rations in their haversacks. The march was in the following order: 1st, the cavalry; 2d, the Twenty-seventh Regiment; 3d, the company of artillery; 4th, the Fifteenth Wisconsin Regiment. The march was without a halt for 6 miles o­n a dusty road, the thermometer at 80 degrees, and we got in advance of the persons whom I thought would be likely to carry the intelligence of our march to Union City. The obstacle we encountered was at Reelfoot River; the railroad. and country bridges had both been destroyed, the banks were precipitate, and the crossings miry, but the crossing was made with alacrity. Beyond the route was through a dense woods, flat grounds, and bad roads. At 7 p. m. it was too dark to proceed, so I ordered a halt in a lane. We bivouacked, two companies of cavalry in front, artillery in battery in the lane, the Twenty-seventh o­n the right, the Fifteenth o­n the left, and Hutchens' cavalry in the rear. I ordered all the houses in the vicinity to be strictly guarded. I detained every o­ne at Mr. Lawson's (a rebel) house. I learned he had been apprised of our advance by o­ne of his neighbors, and apprehended information had reached Union City.
At dawn [31st] the column moved. It was in the same order as the day before. It was a little over 4 miles to Union City. We had not stopped for breakfast. Before 7 a. m. we were in sight of the rebel camp, at the distance of half a mile. I formed my plan of attack, which was executed as the column marched up in succession. First, Lieut.-Col. Hogg formed his cavalry in front and gallantly led it o­n. While it was forming in the swampy woods the rebel pickets fired fifteen shots, which was their first notice of our approach. The Twenty-seventh Regiment was next formed in line of battle and led by Lieut.-Col. Harrington over obstacles in perfect order. The company of artillery was led by Capt. Sparrestrom through an opening made in the Twenty-seventh for their passage. While passing to take their position the enemy's cavalry was seen drawn up in line of battle, about 700 in number, opposite Lieut.-Col. Hogg, who opened fire o­n them with carbines. The rebel infantry was seen huddled in squads, but did not form in line. As the artillery advanced, led gallantly by Capt. Sparrestrom and followed by Maj. Stolbrand, who was suffering from a contusion occasioned by a fall from his horse and unable to ride but full of enthusiasm, Col. Hogg led up his regiment and formed in line of battle o­n the left, facing the rebel cavalry, which outflanked ours in that direction. Quickly the artillery had attained the hill in full view of both camps, o­ne of which was tents and the other wooden huts, with a parade ground of about 40 acres between them, and opened fire. The whistle of the departing engine was heard, leaving three cars at the depot, and the stampede of infantry, cavalry, loose horses, and citizens was complete. The artillery moved forward, and the cavalry and infantry marched into the camps.
The artillery fired twenty-seven shots. The infantry did not draw a trigger. By my order Capt. Hutchens made a detour to the right and captured 14 prisoners. Lieut.-Col. Hogg, with o­ne company, went into Union City to call the citizens to a conference with me. He found they had run into the woods, with few exceptions. Our work was accomplished. We had surprised the command of Col. Edward Pickett, commanding a brigade of o­ne regiment, the Twenty-first Tennessee Infantry, numbering, as their morning report shows (we captured the books), 616 men, commanded by Lieut.-Col. Tilman, and o­ne regiment of cavalry, commanded by Col. Jackson, all of whom ran before they could see how large a force was attacking them. I ordered both camps to be burned, which was effectually done. Powder exploded in many of the tents. I captured 100 mules and horses and 12 wagons, also a lot of sabers and carbines, which were brought off. I had the telegraph pole next the depot destroyed, and ran the three cars away from the depot, took out the baggage and mail matter, and ordered the cars set o­n fire. I found provisions and goods in the railroad depot, but concluded not to destroy any useful buildings. loaded up all the wagons we took with the articles captured and could not bring away more. The troops had not breakfasted, were weary, and had a march of 15 miles before them. In two hours after arriving we marched in the same order we had advanced, except placing Capt. Hutchens' cavalry company as a rear guard. We captured three large flags and two guidons, all of silk, and o­ne of them with elegantly embroidered letters, "Victory or Death." We burned all the baggage, clothing, and provisions, so that if the enemy returned they must have found themselves destitute. I think we destroyed 50 trunks and more than 100 stand of arms.
It gives me great pleasure to speak of the good conduct of all the officers and men under my command. They had been confined for fifteen days o­n the transports near this place; they marched 30 miles in a little less than twenty-four hours: they slept o­n the ground; they made no fire; they respected all private property; they obeyed all my orders with cheerful alacrity; they almost fasted until they reached the transports we had left at Hickman, where we arrived at 2.30 p. m. this day; they embarked, and arrived here before night. When did troops behave better? They made but o­ne complaint, and that was that the enemy would not stand. My thanks are due to Lieut.-Col. Hogg, Lieut.-Col. Harrington, Col. Heg, Capt. Sparrestrom, and Capt. Hutchens (I named them in the order of march), and all the officers and soldiers in their commands. With such troops any commander would feel sure of victory. I had but o­ne staff officer with me, Adjt. Henry A. Rust, of the Twenty-seventh Regiment, who exhibited, as he did at Belmont, all the qualities of a gallant soldier, worthy to be a commander.
Lieut.-Col. Hogg had provided me with two trusty guides. His judgment was o­nly equaled by his gallantry. As my place was in front of Island No. 10, to co-operate with our gallant Navy and its war commander, Flag-Officer Foote, I felt compelled to return as soon as the main object was accomplished.
I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,
N. B. BUFORD, Col., Commanding in the Field.
OR, Ser. I, Vol. 8, pp. 116-118.

Excerpt from the Report of Thomas A. Scott, Assistant Secretary of War, relative to the attack upon Union City, March 30-31, 1862
DEAR SIR: I returned to this point Monday afternoon and found all quiet, but there were several small matters in progress, all of which have proved successful.
Before leaving for Cairo o­n Saturday night Col. Buford, in command of infantry forces, consulted Commodore Foote and myself in regard to the propriety of making a dash upon Union City, to break up the rebel encampment there, which it was believed consisted of o­ne regiment of infantry and o­ne of cavalry. It was left with Col. Buford, as commander, to act as in his judgment seemed proper.
He left Sunday morning by steamers to Hickman with 1,050 infantry, o­ne company of artillery, four guns, and three companies of cavalry; total force, 1,350. Made a splendid movement, arriving within 4 miles of the rebel camps by 8 p. m. Moved again at daybreak and made the attack. At 7 a. m. opened with his battery upon their cavalry, which was formed in line of battle; broke their ranks twice, and the whole camp finally fled in great confusion. Their camps, baggage, stores, &c., were all burned. About 100 horses and mules, with 12 wagons, were brought off, along with such papers and trophies as their transportation would admit of.
Troops returned to Hickman in excellent order, having made the march of 30 miles and completely routing the enemy all within twenty-four hours. It was a very successful and gallant affair. Great credit is due to Col. Buford and his officers and men.

* * * * 

Thomas A. Scott, Assistant Secretary of War



30, Sinking of the transport Mattie Cabler
Order of Acting Rear-Admiral, Lee, U. S. Navy, to Acting Volunteer Lieutenant Wells, U. S. Navy, in case of a call from the quartermaster at Nashville for assistance in raising the transport Mattie Cabler

MOUND CITY, April 1, 1865.
SIR: The transport Mattie Cabler, I am informed by Quartermaster Garland Donaldson, was sunk in the Cumberland 22 miles below Nashville on the 30th ultimo. If the Army quartermaster telegraphs for the services of the Little Champion, as I momentarily expect him to do, send her to the Cumberland to render all practicable assistance, delivering the enclosed order to her commanding officer, and inform Commodore Livingston that I desire her to render this service, or show him the order.

Respectfully, yours,
S. P. LEE, Acting Rear-Admiral, Commanding Mississippi Squadron.

Acting Volunteer Lieutenant F. S. WELLS,

Commanding U. S. S. Kate, Mound City. 

NOR, Ser. I, Vol. 27, p. 130.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

March 29 - Tennessee Civil War Notes

Capt. Wm. D. Chamberlain, the Chief of the Military Police of this post, has issued a very important order -- one which interest every citizen, and which we hope every person will aid the Chief in carrying out. The following is the order we allude to. Read it carefully, and file it away:
Office, Chief of Police
Nashville, Tenn., March 28, 1864

In accordance with Special Order No. 76, dated March 22, it is hereby ordered:
I. That occupants of Stores, Restaurants, and Dwelling Houses, will be required to clean their yards and cellars, and have the offal removed, within forth-eight hours from the date of this order. No garbage or dirt of any kind will be allowed to accumulate on any premises within the city limits.
II. All dirt to be removed in barrels and boxes from the back yards and alleys by the persons occupying the same. No rubbish will be allowed to remain more than twenty-four hours without being removed.
III. Offal, the accumulation of Restaurants, must be removed by the occupants each day (Sundays excepted) before 10 A. M. All ashes and rubbish will be set in barrels on the sidewalk before 10 A. M. each day.
IV. Hereafter occupants of Stores and Houses will be required to have the rear of their premises clean, and the side-walk swept before 9 A. M. each day.
V. Any violation of the above Order will be punished by a fine of Five Dollars ($5,) to be collected by the Provost Marshal.
VI. As cleanliness is one of the first requisites to health, it is hoped the citizens will do all in their power to assist in removing one of the first causes of disease. As soon as a sufficient number of carts can be procured, notice will be given, and the dirt and rubbish removed without cost to citizens.
VIII. As it is m y intention to remove all filth from the city proper, whether in the shape of dirt, rubbish, or dead animals, all information that would facilitate the above will be thankfully received and immediate action taken in the premises.
Wm. D. Chamberlain
Capt. and Chief of City Police
Nashville Dispatch, March 29, 1864




29, Encounter of the bovine kind on the Nashville & Northwestern Railroad
"The Northwestern Railroad."
A raid was made upon the Northwestern road on Tuesday [29th] evening by some Confederates, who captured a train and tore up a large portion of the track. A large force of infantry has been sent in the direction with Gen. Gillem at the head, but the birds will have flown before he reaches where they were.

Nashville Dispatch, March 31, 1864.
"The Raid on the Northwestern Railroad."
After a diligent inquiry, we have learned the particulars of the raid upon the Northwestern Railroad, to which allusion was made in the DISPATCH of yesterday. It appears that the engineer saw the enemy some distance ahead, but thought he had better put on a bold front and push ahead. To give notice of something in the wind he blew his horn, and the enemy fell back; the engineer then "let her rip," the cow jumped on the track and the locomotive jumped off, carrying with it down a fifteen feet embankment seven cars. The engineer was somewhat injured, the cow was killed, and the cars were smashed up to some extent, as might naturally be expected.
Nashville Dispatch, April 1, 1864.




The lack of civil law in East Tennessee

      24, "How long will Union men suffer such beasts to prowl, undisturbed
through this country, deepening its already damning disgrace by deeds
of still blacker infamy?" The lack of civil law in East Tennessee
[For the Chattanooga Daily Gazette.]
Calhoun, Tenn., Aug. 24th, 1864.
Mr. Editor: Scarcely a day passes that does not bring intelligence of
the murder and robbery of some peaceable, local citizen, by a band of
lawless desperadoes, who infest almost every county in East Tennessee,
to the great annoyance of the public peace and security. Murder,
arson, robbery, stealing is now carried to an extent hitherto unknown
to Tennessee, even in the rude state of her Territorial existence.
These crimes which spring naturally out of the present disarranged
state of society, and the want and destitution which extend throughout
the country.
Without the free and untrammeled operations of civil law, which in our
State has been suspended for three years, there can be nothing like
absolute protection against the above offences given to society. Such
crimes naturally spring up where there is no civil law, or where the
proper authorities are unable to enforce its provisions and mandates.
At such times as these, all dishonest and evil disposed persons think
themselves licensed to commit crimes without the associated idea of
punishment which always accompanies the commission of an offence in
the normal condition of society, in which bad men refrain from the
more flagrant violations of civil laws, not because they are less
corrupt, or dishonest, but because the fear of punishment with them
presents a greater incentive to virtuous action, than the hope of
reward, or the approval of society. Such conditions of society, as now
surround us, are indeed deplorable, and is [sic] one that all honest
and well-disposed persons should feel bound to aid in remedying. This
they can only successfully do by re-establishing and rigidly enforcing
civil law. Until this is done, there can be no perfect peace and
security given, and we must expect to suffer from the depredations of
men, who, acknowledging no obligation to the ordinary laws of society,
band themselves together to profit by their depredations upon their
more honest neighbors. From the nature, character and effects of the
present rebellion, greater facilities are afforded the above
characters for the commission of crimes, than are ordinarily, in the
condition of society wherein a state of peace or war. Before the
commencement of the rebellion, bad men were deterred from the
commission of those outrages now every where being perpetrated;
through fear of the offended majesty of civil law. But these
restraints having been removed by those who voted for separation, all
thieves and dishonest men have been let loose upon the country, with
no other or better restraints than in some instances a slight feeling
of corruption such as have at times been called fort h in the hearts
of even savages, and barbarians upon the commission of some of the
more heinous crimes, but in those instances the heart of the savage
was more susceptible of humane and Christian-like feeling and impulses
than those bands of rebel robbers and cut-throats who now infest the
country. Whom we have advised to "conciliate," and against whom we
have been required "to indulge in no harsh opprobrious or denunciatory
Through the corruptions that have been engendered by the rebellion,
the old and hardened culprit has become a worse enemy to the peace of
society, to the morality and civilization than the aborigines of this
country ever were, while the less hardy and accomplish villain has
become emboldened in perpetration of crime until they are now fitted
and prepared for any offence known to the black catalogue of guilt.
They who inaugurated the rebellion by their votes and influence on
many of them directly, and all indirectly guilty of all the atrocities
committed by these bands of prowling thieves and murderers who are now
preying upon the lives and property of our best citizens. [sic] The
men who voted the present miseries of society and forwarded it by both
their money and influence, and although amnestied, still clandestinely
encourage guerrilla bands in their more than fiendish atrocities
against the lives of good citizens, fortified by their treason all
their right, tile and interest to this country, they forfeited their
right to life itself, and should be made to leave the country. How
long will Union men suffer such beasts to prowl, undisturbed through
this country, deepening its already damning disgrace by deeds of still
blacker infamy? How long, loyal sufferers, shall these amnestied
traitors' infamy and perjury disgrace the land of your fathers where
virtue and honesty had assayed to set up in everlasting home, as the
ornament and inheritance of your children? These amnestied gentry took
the oath who nineteen-twentieths of them only to save their property,
but with no intention of obeying its requirements as is no manifested
by them at every rumor or prospect of a rebel raid or federal defeat.
The point has been immeasurably established during the late raid
through this valley. They make publicly loud professions of loyalty,
while their hearts are swollen with another set of willful and
conscious perjury, and as black as the
"Damning drops that fall,
From the denouncing angel's pen."
Shall such vile perpetrators of our country's ruin be permitted longer
to disgrace the soil of East Tennessee? Shall they longer prey upon
the vitals of our country's liberty, corrupting our youth and
insulting the moral force and dignity of civil law, and disregarding
the mandates of even common humanity? None but demons can sympathize
with them, a set of  men lost to every principle of common honesty, to
every moral impulse, to every social and refined feeling, to
everything that elevates and ennobles man, to everything that can lend
interest to society.  I say, shall such men longer linger in this
country, or will the honest people rise in the power and strength of a
manly dignity and drive from the country all such foul miscreants? Let
the vengeance of an enraged and insulted people pursue them with a
lash of burning indignation through life, and let them go to meet the
whip of scorpions with which their future masters will greet their
[a]rival.  Not only are they guilty of the above, but they have filled
the country with a class of worthless vagabonds under the character of
Union refugees, many of them no doubt, original rebels and deserters
from the rebel army, men who had no character at home and who have
succeeded in establishing less standing abroad, who have no honest
calling, without money and destitute of the ordinary means of
subsistence, refusing in many instances to work for a citizen or for
the Government at fair and remunerative prices. They are mendicants
because they will be upon the Government and the charities of an
exhausted and destitute country, and are thus preying upon the virtue,
peace and quiet of society, consuming the little left [in] the country
by the ravages of war. They are loud in their assertions of loyalty
and devotion to the old Government. They are noisy in proclaiming
their sufferings at the hand of rebels in the States of Alabama,
Georgia and North Carolina. Yet, they will not turn a hand to help the
cause of their suffering and bleeding country. But few of them will
enlist even in the home protection service, to defend their homes and
firesides against these bands of thieves and robbers who linger in the
rear of our army. They are more clamorous, at what they, in their
patriotism conceive to be the tardy movements of our army, and the
neglect of the authorities to clear the country of guerrilla hands,
than even our own soldiers. We often hear them indulging in such
expressions as the following, rising from the depths of their
patriotic hearts:  - "Why don't you drive the guerrillas out of the
country, I am afraid to go to bed at night; I do wish you boys would
move on and drive the rebels back; I want to get home so bad," or
"What does keep the army back; it looks like I will never get home."
These dastardly wretches are too cowardly to help defend their country
against innovation and overthrow, or to aid in protecting their homes
and firesides against the lawless acts of a few brigands who linger in
the rear of our army, too refined to to [sic] labor at remunerative
prices, with no honest calling or visible means of subsistence, and
are scarcely less dangerous to the peace and security of the country,
than the acknowledged bandit and robber. Let the honest and well
disposed portion of society look to this class of people, and give
them to understand if they will neither aid the government, nor assist
in restoring and maintaining law and order, they must leave the
country, as well as the more open enemy of the public peace and
security. The more hardened villain, to use a soldier's phrase,
receives his reinforcements from this class of society. They are now
in the preparatory school crime and will soon be able to enter a
higher degree of villainy. I have seen so much of this since I have
been connected with the army that I have become tired of it, and hope
all soldiers who are at Posts besieged by such miscreants in human
shape, will drive them not only out of camps, but out of the country.
I throw the above out as a suggestion. In other conditions of society
this might not be proper, but at such times as these I think such a
policy both necessary and proper.
Chattanooga Daily Gazette, August 28, 1864.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

March 28 - Tennessee Civil War Notes

28, Description of the activities at Purdy and Savannah, Tennessee

Special Dispatch to the Cincinnati Gazette.

Savannah, Tenn., March 28,

Via Cairo, March 29.

….Purdy Court-House is now full of Union men of that place. The latter are fearful of having their houses and all their property destroyed. Squads of rebel soldiers are already seizing all their provisions and everything that can be of use to the army. Owners of cotton are particularly alarmed….A man named Morris, one of the Jessie Scouts, was hung at Savannah on Sunday for horse stealing, and other depredations, from private citizens thereabout. 

Chicago Times, March 31, 1862.



March, Monday 28, 1864
We are not afraid of Gun Boats ….

Tate and Anna Nelson went to Memphis this morning - got back safe Mr. Tommerry gave Tate up all of her things the U. S. G. confiscated, she brought them all safe through the lines, they belong to Mr. Wallace, who will be delighted to hear they are recovered. Mr. Harbut & Jim went off scouting, did not return until late this evening. We have had glorious news today - Mo. McCulloch captured Germantown, & still moving forward. Forrest is having glorious victory in Kentucky - Hickman & Paducah, both held by our forces - the Yanks are shelling Paducah. We are not afraid of Gun Boats - Father of justice and mercy, crown our armies with victory, drive the wicked tyrants from our Sunny land - we humbly crave thy pardon & blessing - oh! give us peace - guide my Bros, protect them from harm. 
I made my white swiss skirt, played drafts with Mr. Pugh, he beat me badly - trimed the Rose trees - have spent a very pleasant day - and am so happy tonight after the good news - God bless our dear Soldiers and Officers. 
I worship Jeff Davis and every Rebel in Dixie - 

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

March 27 - Tennessee Civil War Notes

27, "Not another pill will I swallow except opium. I rather like its effect." Excerpts from the diary of Mary L. Pearre.
Three weeks has passed since I have penned a line. Ruth, May & myself have all been ill, are now convalescent. I have been confined to my room for two weeks & have been well physicked with quinine, opium & with various powders & pills. Have no faith in M.D.'s & their stuff. Yet by dent of much persuasive eloquence aided by acute pain the doctor prevailed upon me to be drugged to any amount. I am far from being well yet. Have forsworn [sic] any more dosing. Not another pill will I swallow except opium. I rather like its effect.

While I have been ill, time has kept the uneven tenor of its way. Various events have occurred
Brentwood, six miles from here, was surprised and taken last Wednesday by Genl. Forrest & Starnes. The attack was made just at day. Took 680 prisoners that morning, a wagon train with medicine and supplies of every kind.
About 12 o'clock the Federal calvay [sic] (from Franklin) came into collision o­n the Hillsboro pike two miles from here. We were victor again and captured several hundred more bluecoats. Mag says this even has caused me to get well rapidly. Perhaps so. I have been elated since.
Bob Cotton brought me a package of letters he took out of a Yankee tent. They were from a Mrs. Abbie Sears to her husband. It made my heart ache to read her tender loving wifely letters, so full of devotion & passionate longing for his return. Poor thing. Her husband is a prisoner and she as yet is unconscious of his fate. This is o­nly an incident of war, a mere speck among its accumulated horrors. My hand trembles so I can scarcely write. I would desist could I find a better employment. Am so tired of being sick and seeing those that are sick that I have shut myself up alone though there is no fife and the room is rather damp.
* * * *

How many of us have adopted the motto in all things – if you cant [sic] be – at least seem to be & go o­n eating "husks" as it were & holding as life's chief good the complete and final subjugation of genuine emotion & substitute in it place an artificial mode of thinking, speaking and eating.
Here I will make an extract. Truly there are two senses in which every search, every combat, may said to be closed. o­ne where the victor grasps his prize or waves aloft his sword in the moment of triumph. The other when bleeding, mained [sic] or dying, the vanquished sinks to earth without the power to arise.

* * * *
Am studying "Phrenology." Just began yesterday….Am rather skeptical in regard to the science.
* * * *

Diary of Mary L. Pearre




27, A West Tennessee-Confederate-soldier's letter home to his mother in occupied Memphis
Shelbyville, Tenn
March 27th/63
Dear Ma,
I received your letter of March 4 today and was much relived by it, for I had heard several times lately that Woodbine had been completely destroyed. I was also afraid that you were having some difficulty in getting money enough to live comfortably up in Memphis, but I infer now, from the fact of your rebuilding your place on Front Row that you are in no immediate want of money. I am very sorry to hear that you have no gardener now to take care of Woodbine. Charley, I should have thought would have had better sense, but there is no a accounting for a fool Dutchman. I think that it would be much better if you could get some other family with cussed [?] gen [sic] Sherman to protect you to move out there again in the course of a month or two. I am afraid that the sickness will be terrible in Memphis this summer and that all families will have to leave, and I would, on account, if I could possibly avoid it, give up the place. It will, I think, be much better than remaining in town. Those guerrilla bands of ours that swarm around Memphis I think caused those people who live around there an immense deal of trouble, whilst they are doing the cause scarcely any good at all. If they were all compelled to join the regular army and to quit prowling all over the country, when they do just about as much harm as the enemy could possibly do, it would strengthen our army at other important points and do us more real service.
I would not advise you to come out of the Federal lines now, as much as I would like for you to be where I could see and hear from you, for you have no idea of how every place is crowded and the difficulty there is in living. Things are bad enough in this section of the country but they are much worse in Mississippi, provisions and everything are enormously high, butter two dollars a pound, eggs three dollars a dozen, and other things in the same proportion. It takes all of our pay to enable us to live at all well. I would advise you to remain where you are, or to go out to Woodbine, in preference to coming out of the lines, for I am afraid that you would suffer more away from Memphis than you would by remaining there. I am strongly of the opinion, too, that before many months we will have possession of every point on the River, that will compel the Federals to leave Tennessee altogether. Everything looks now as if we are going to have a rapid and decisive campaign this simmer. Genl Johns[t]on is in command in person now, and he will not remain quiet long. Van Dorn too is doing finely here. He captured about seven hundred Federals day before yesterday, and they can scarcely send a foraging party out now without having it captured. I think we will move forward from this point before this letter will reach you, and I have every confidence that we can now compel Rosencrans [sic] to leave the State.
I am very sorry to hear of the so much sickness in our family, but I hope that by this time you are all well again. You say, dear Ma, that you fear you never will be well again as long as this war lasts. Don't let it trouble you so much, and don't be uneasy about me for I am as well as I can be, and haven't the most remote idea of getting hurt since I came out of the at Murfreesboro fight without a scratch. Ed is in as safe a place too as he could be in, and I fear no danger at Vicksburg. He has a crazy idea of leaving there even if he has to resign he says. I have written to him very plainly on the subject, and don't want to see him leave there at all.
I hope, dear Ma, that you will not let yourself be troubled so, and that when I hear from you again you will be perfectly well. I would be as well satisfied as now, as I could possibly be under the circumstances, if I could only know that you were all perfectly well and living comfortably.
I suppose you have heard before this that Sam is certainly dead. I only heard it yesterday as certain. I saw Jim, who had been to see the Surgeon who had been left with the sick there. Jim is looking better than I have seen him for some time.
Tell Mrs. Doyle that all of "her boys" are as well as can be, and in fine spirits. Jim McKinney has gone to Charleston to run the blockade. He is going to Havana and Europe, I suppose.
I wrote to you that I had recd. the clothes some time ago and am a thousand times obliged for them. I am having a very pleasant time here, for there is any number of ladies with whom I amuse myself considerably, some of them are very passable specimens, and if this place was not so strongly Union in its feelings it would be a very pleasant place to live.
Tell Mr. Proudfit to write to me, and write yourself, dear Ma every chance you find. With all my best love to all I remain
Your affectionate son
John W. Harris
Ask Mr. Proudfit if he knows anything of a Dr. Dromgoole in Memphis. His sister asked me to make some enquiries about him when I wrote Memphis.
TSL&A Civil War Collection 


Thursday, March 22, 2012

March 22 - Tennessee Civil War Notes

 March 22-April 1, 1863     Brigadier General John Pegram, Provisional Army Confederate States, led this raid went into KY to appropriate cattle to feed Rebel troops. The, 1st, 2nd Tenn. Regts. and 16th Tenn. Battalion participated. The Rebel force rampaged through the Knoxville environs for a few days, especially at Beaver Creek, during the raid. In the end Brigadier-General Pegram later reported: "As regards the object of the expedition (the beef-cattle), agents found many less in the counties we entered than had been represented. This was because large numbers had recently been driven out by the agents of the United States Government. We started with about 750, and crossed over the river with 537." 
OR, Ser. I, Vol. 23, pt. I, p.173


22, Confederates destroy private ferries on the Obion River
UNION CITY, March 23, 1864.
Brig.-Gen. BRAYMAN, Cmdg. District of Cairo:

My private scout has just arrived and brings the information that Gen. Forrest is at Jackson with a large force, estimated at from 6,000 to 7,000. On Tuesday [22nd] they were destroying private ferries on the Obion, doubtless with the view of preventing information from crossing. Detachments had reached Milan. The above is entirely reliable.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 32, pt. III, pp. 130-131.


March 22, 1864, The effects of Civil War upon women and children in East Tennessee
Affairs in East Tennessee.
A refugee from Tennessee, who has just left our lines there, gives the most deplorable accounts of the situation of the unhappy people of that State.  Both classes, Unionists and Confederates, have come under the ban of the two armies, and what property has been spared by o­ne has been appropriated by the other.  Most of the residents consist solely of women and children, and these have been stripped of all save what they have upon their backs, and the few blankets that protect them from the cold at night.  They are clad in cotton rags, bare foot and hungry, and live o­nly o­n the meagre allowance they have managed to buy or otherwise secrete.  Negroes, o­nce the property of well to do farmers, have returned to their homes, backed by Yankee troops and bayonets, and perpetrated unnameable enormities.—The wives and children of "rebels" are debarred from the purchase of even the necessaries of life, unless they first take the hated oath of allegiance, while hundreds and thousands have been driven into exile, and are now scattered through the army and through the more Southern States, where they seek the liberty denied them at home.
A favorite occupation of these blue-uniformed wretches, of late, has been, and still is, to march abruptly up to some quiet residence, occupied by women and children, give them twenty-four hours notice to leave, and then send them, under guard, across the lines, where they arrive penniless, friendless and alone. God o­nly knows the sufferings that have been endured in this struggle, but as sure as he over-[     ] the destinies of mankind, just so certain is the hand of avenging justice to fall with blighting weight upon these more than diabolical oppressors.
The foregoing, from the Columbia Carolinian, we are assured by a gentleman who has been forced to leave his home in East Tennessee , is but too true.  The Yankees are lording it over the unfortunate people of that section with a rod of iron.  The people, as a general thing, are true to the Southern cause, and long for the day when their country will be rid of the presence of the accursed inhuman wretches who are now tyranizing over them. 
Daily Constitutionalist [AUGUSTA, GA], March 22, 1864

Monday, March 19, 2012

March 19 - Tennessee Civil War Notes

19, Assurances from Winchester Urging Crop Preparation
We can safely assure our readers, and the citizens of Middle Tennessee, that whatever doubt there may have been heretofore as to our remaining permanently in this section of the country, it is now reduced down to a certainty, that here we intend to stick and fight it out. So let all those who have failed to prepare for a crop, take hold of the plough line; and commence their operations in the earthworks, and plant their corn batteries, which will prove to be as formidable to the enemy, ad of as much service to our cause, as though they were real gun batteries. – Winchester Bulletin.
Fayetteville Observer, March 19, 1863.


 March 19, 1863 - Street Lighting Problems in Memphis; Profit vs. the Public Good

THE GAS LAMPS. – The Council a short time ago appointed a committee to ascertain the reason why the street lamps have lately given so little light. The decrease of light is a matter of common observation. o­n looking down a lighted street the lamps are seen shimmering ere and here, but the streets notwithstanding are in darkness. Even when there is a lamp o­n each of two corners, crossing it is dark at the center of the two. The difference is very striking to anyone who will contrast the light around a street lamp with that in front of a window whose burner is lighted. The Council committee have reported that the causes of the diminished light is the want of a due pressure o­n the gas meter at the gas works. Of course, if that pressure is inadequate the amount of gas flowing up the street mains is diminished, and not o­nly street lamps but priate burners have a decreased supply. As the company is paid so much a lamp, whatever quantity of gas may be burned, the less the consumption the greater the profit. The gas burned by private consumers, however, is charged by measure, and to lessen the supply to them is to increase the income of the company. When a light burning in a store is compared with o­ne burning in a gas lamp, the difference between the two is manifest where the pay is increased in proportion to the amount of gas consumed the supply is plentiful; where the profits decrease with the amount consumed the supply is small. The facts point to different explanations of the matter in question from the o­ne given by the committee. A year or two ago a new contract was made with the gas company at their own desire, which took the lighting and cleaning of the lamps out of the hands of the city and put it the hands of the company, and the city, instead of paying for gas by measurement, paid for it at a fixed rate per lamp. This contract the Council have resolved not renew after termination of the current contract year. It is observable that not o­nly has the amount of light from the lamps been diminished, but they have often been unlighted at hours when their light was most necessary. The present contract makes it to the interest of the company to have the lamps consume as little gas as possible, and we may naturally expect the company to look to its own interests.

Memphis Bulletin, March 19, 1863.


Sunday, March 18, 2012

Love, Marriage and Suicide in Civil War Memphis; the Allegory of Alice Simpson

The End of a Lucky Marriage.

Some six or seven months ago we gave an account of the marriage of a beautiful courtesan from a house of ill
fame in this city. Her husband was a very wealth planter in Arkansas.  We state in that account that the woman had declared that on her part the man who had chosen her should have no reason to complain of the future, whatever might be the events of the past. She was taken to her husband's home. Her life was far from stain. She appeared to be in the way to recover the position in society she had lost, when an individual arrived in the neighborhood that knew her. Her previous history was then exposed.  Her efforts to escape the consequences of past guild were in vain. She committed the sin for which there is no earthly pardon. For her that world could offer no hope. He who had power to say, "Let him who is without sin cast the first stone," was not there to repeat them. Her new acquaintances avoided her; her now friends upbraided her; her new relatives denounced her and demanded of
the husband that she should be driven like Hagar to the desert - to a desert where there was no angled to open the weeping wanderer's eyes and discover to her the well flowing with healing waters. The months of her purity counted as nothing in her favor; her husband brought her to this city and left to misery and crime. She lately resided on Vance Street, near the first bayou, passing by the name her husband first knew her by-Alice Simpson. She had been plunged into her early wrong course on her first return to the city, but had lately been industriously engaged in sewing for a living, and it was beloved was striving hard to lay aside finally the slough of her past life, and to
maintain herself by honest labor. But that banishment from the brief paradise in which she had enjoyed the society of the pure and the respect of the good, she could not forget. Ceaselessly she turned her eyes back to those doors eternally closed to her, and saw no more the brightness that was within, only the fierce glittering of the flaming
sword that tuned every was repelling her from hope. That brief interval of pure wifehood had awakened within the knowing consciousness of what she lost when her honor was robbed from by the honey-tongued seducer in her girlish, thoughtless days. This brief sojourn with good had been the fruit communicating to her a knowledge
of good and evil too bitter to be borne. Despairing, she sought the sad fatal refuge of despair. On Thursday night [November 28] she took a large dose of morphine; yesterday Alice Simpson was a corpse and a suicide. How sad must be that sin whose anguish is increased by communion with virtue.

Memphis Daily Appeal, December 5, 1861.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

“Execution of Champ Ferguson.”


20, "He met death in a brave spirit and unflinching determination to die game."

"Execution of Champ Ferguson."

Scene at the Scaffold.


Champ Ferguson was executed in the yard of the State Penitentiary yesterday forenoon. About three hundred passes were issued by the authorities, and fully that number surrounded the scaffold. At 10 o'clock precisely, we entered a hack, with several reporters of the city press, drove to the State Prison, having been informed by the Provost Marshal that the execution would take place in the forenoon. We found a large concourse of people at the outer wall, who were eager to pass the guards, but they were kept back by a strong military force. On reaching the gate of the prison we were met by Col. Shafter, the Post Commandant, and Capt. Dykeman, Provost Marshal. On entering the yard, we he held the scaffold, which was formed by two perpendicular beams, with a cross bar at the top, and a floor about five feet from the ground. The trap door was about three feet square, and fastened by a rope which was tied over the edge of the flooring, so that on chopping it with a sharp hatchet, the trap would fall, Nearly an hour was consumed after we arrived, in the arranging the rope and other fixtures around the scaffold.


By request of the reporters, Colonel Shafter conducted them to the cell in the prison, in order to get his last words. We found him in communion with his wife and daughter. Colonel Shafter asked Champ if he had anything to say to the reporters of the city press. He replied that he only desired to have a private interview with the reporter if the Dispatch, to whom he had made his confession. We entered the cell in accompany with Lieutenant A.M. Coddington. He stated that he had no desire to alter any of his confession made to us on Wednesday, but had a few more words to add to it. We noted them down, and give them in connection, which follows the report of the execution.

The Parting Scene with his Family.

On emerging from his cell, Colonel Shafter politely requested Mrs. Ferguson and her daughter to take their final leave of the husband and father. The only persons present were the three officers, Chaplain Coddington and ourself. It was a painful scene, and brought tears to the eyes of all who witnessed it. The wife grasped his hand firmly, and gave him a loving, farewell look. They did not embrace. She turned and surrendered herself to the terrible anguish of her heart. The daughter, as we have before mentioned, is a lovely and beautiful girl of sixteen, with large, expressive, black eyes, and a sweet countenance. As she approached her father for the last time on this side of the grave, he opened is wide arms to receive her, and her head fell on his bosom. No words were uttered by either of them for about one minute. The few persons turned from the scene with tears in their eyes. The last bitter word of command was give, and the lovely maiden shrieked, "farewell, my poor, poor papa!" The mother and daughter then retired to a brick building adjoining the prison.

Champ Ferguson on the Scaffold.

On bidding his final adieu to his little family, Champ turned to the executioner who had the ropes, and asked, "must I be tied?" He was informed that it was customary. He then calmly folded his hands behind his back and was tied at the elbows and wrists. He was asked if the rope was too tight, or painful, to which he replied, after moving himself, that he was very comfortable. He remarked that he feed ought also to be tied, to which the execution informed him that it would be done on the scaffold. The guards then formed on either side of him, and with a firm step, he advanced through the hall of the prison, and entered the yard by the side gate, the chaplain being in front of him and the Post Commandant and Provost Marshal on either side. The walls of the prison were guarded by colored soldiers, and a hollow square was formed around the scaffold by the 16th Infantry. On entering the yard of the prison, Champ held his head up, and deliberately surveyed the audience. When he approached the scaffold, he cast his eyes upward, as if to see what it was like, and then mounted the stairs with a firm step, and turned to the spectators. He recognized several familiar faces in the throng and politely bowed to each of them. He appeared like a man who was about to make a speech on some leading topic, and simply paused to refresh his memory. He scanned the spectators closely, and not a muscle or nerve contracted. He was in excellent health and looks as well, perhaps, as he ever did in his life. A find suit of black broadcloth added greatly to his personal [sic], and he appeared very neatly dressed.

Charges and Sentence.

The commandant of the Post, Colonel Shafter, proceeded to read the charges and specifications together with the sentence of the Court. As the different charges were read he either bowed in acknowledgement or shook his head in denial of them. He emphatically denied the killing of the twelve soldiers at Saltsville [sic].  He turned indifferently at the mention of Stover, and when the name of Elam Huddleston was read, he shook his head, and remarked that he could tell it better than that. He bowed his head at the mention of several names, acknowledging that he killed them. The Colonel then said; "In accordance with the sentence I have read, Champ Ferguson, I am going to execute you." He never evinced a single emotion, and with an iron nerve, and countenance firm and determined, replied, "I am ready to die."

At the conclusion, the Chaplain, Rev. Mr. Bunting, offered up a beautiful prayer, invoking the blessing of Almighty God o the doomed man. It was quite evident that Ferguson was deeply affected the touching words of the minister, and several large tears glistened in his eyes. He turned to Col. Shafter at the conclusion of the prayer, and asked him to take his handkerchief from his side pocket and wife his face. The Colonel complied with the request at the same time conversing with him in an undertone. They were woods of cheer, for his countenance lit up in radiance. The Colonel then asked him if he had any feelings toward the officers or any other who were performing the painful duty. He replied
"None in the world, I thank you for your kindness to me."

The coffin was placed directly in front of the gallows, and in full view, it was a neat raised cherry coffin, lined and trimmed in good style.

His Last Words.

The Colonel asked him if he had any remarks to make. He replied that he had plenty to say if he only knew how to say it. He requested that his remains be placed in "that box," nodding at the coffin, and turned over to his wife to be taken to White county, Tennessee. "I do not want to be buried in such soil as this.

The Final Drop

The white cap was drawn over his face, and Col. Shafter again repeated the question, "Have you anything further to say?" He replied that he had not. The Colonel then gave the motion to the executioner to take his post. Champ exclaimed in a clear and loud voice, "Good Lord have mercy on my soul!" As these words fell upon his lips, the executioner chipped the rope, and the trap fell, landing Champ Ferguson into eternity. The reporters were assigned a position on the right, and close to any scaffold. The fall did not break his neck, but it killed him instantly, so far as the pain was concerned. The distance was two feet, and as Ferguson was a man that would weight one hundred and eighty pounds, it was not strange that the fall produced instant death, or rather rendered him insensible to suffering. We observed a mere contraction of the hands after he fell, but not a struggle was made by him.

After he had hung about five minutes, we notice two or three contractions of the shoulders, but they were scarcely noticed. The trap dropped at 20 minutes to 12 o'clock. The Surgeons, three of them, stated that his pulse was perceptible seventeen minutes after the fall, but it was more fluttering of the last spark of life.  A few drops of blood gushed from his nose and was noticed on the white cap. After the body had hung for thirty minutes, life was pronounced extinct, and it was cut down and after removing the cords from his arms and legs, placed in the coffin. A neat hearse was waiting at the gate, and the remains placed in it, and turned over to his family. We visited the wife and daughter immediately after the event, and found them calm and reconciled to their terrible misfortune. They both possessed the great nerve and determination that characterized Champ, and have help up under their multiplied troubles in a wonderful manner. They left last evening in company with some of their friends, taking the remains to their home in White county, near Sparta, where they will be interred, in accordance with his dying request.

The horrors of a lengthy strangulation, or slow torture, were, thank God, averted on this occasion, and we cannot close without commanding the dignified, polite and efficient manner in which the officer performed their duty. The best order prevailed, and no awkward blunders of mistake were made by any one of them. It was entirely relieved of all sensation, and the spectators could scarcely realize that a human being had been launched into eternity. When we arrived from the prison, after the execution, we found a rumor in circulation that Champ had been pardoned or had his sentence commuted at the last moment. Many persons believed it, and it was the general impression that he would not be hung, but have his sentence changed to imprisonment for life. Every effort was made to save him. A courier was sent to Washington, and hopes were entertained to a very late hour, but Champ Ferguson was doomed to die. He met death in a brave spirit and unflinching determination to die game. We have witnessed some sixteen executions, but never saw a man such nerve to the last.

Nashville Dispatch, October 21, 1865.

March 16 - Tennessee Civil War Notes

16, Confederate stratagem to raid Murfreesborough and kidnap Major-General Rosecrans
HDQRS. POLK'S CORPS, ARMY OF TENNESSEE, Shelbyville, March 16, 1863.
Lieut. Col. JAMES C. MALONE, Jr., Cmdg. Cavalry:
COL.: You have consulted me as to the lawfulness or expediency (supposing it to be practicable) of capturing and bringing out the general commanding the forces of the enemy, whose headquarters are now at Murfreesborough. It is a very grave enterprise, but if it could be accomplished, it would be attended with important results, especially if you could add to the capture the papers of his adjutant-general's office. As to its lawfulness there can be no doubt, for it is as lawful to capture one man in arms against us as another, nor can there be say doubt as to its expediency, for obvious reasons.
There is but a single point you have to guard against, and that is, that you do not allow his life to be taken, nor, as far as possible, any violence to be done to his person; for, while neither he nor those with whom he is associated in the campaign of extermination in which they are now engaged have a right to claim any forbearance at our hands, still, we owe it to ourselves to be true to our own civilization and to deprive the most critical of all occasions of censuring our mode of maintaining resistance. From the work of assassination we would recoil with just abhorrence. Bold and daring enterprises are in our line, and become those who are struggling against the bitterest persecution and the most merciless warfare. Take him, therefore, and his adjutant-general's papers with him, if you can, and I believe you can.
This will be handed you by my aide-de-camp, Lieut. W. B. Richmond, who volunteers to accompany you on the expedition.
Very respectfully, &c.,
L. POLK, Lieut.-Gen., Cmdg.
Lieut.-Gen. POLK, Cmdg., &c.:
GEN.: I have the honor to acknowledge your letter of March 16, relative to the matter of which I had the honor to speak to you in person on the 14th instant, and I beg leave to say that I approve, most heartily, the sentiments you have expressed therein. As to the point of which you speak, relative to taking the life or doing other violence to the person of Gen. Rosecrans, I approve most fully your views. Far be it from my mind, general, to give this undertaking any appearance of a murderous character. My whole nature recoils from anything in this matter that looks toward assassination or murder. You may rest assured that, should the alternative of taking his life or abandoning the entire project be at any time presented me, I shall most assuredly choose the latter. Nothing short of an active effort upon his part to put my own life, or that of my command, in jeopardy would or could, in my opinion, authorize the taking of his life or injury to his person. This, I take it, we have no reasonable ground to apprehend.
I have the honor to be, general, with great respect, your obedient servant,
JAMES C. MALONE, JR., Lieut.-Col., Cmdg. Fourteenth Alabama Cavalry.
OR, Ser. I, Vol. 23, pt. II, pp. 701-702.


March 16, 1863, Grand Review of the Army of the Cumberland in Murfreesboro; excerpts from the letter of Albert Potter to his sister
Murfreesboro, Tenn.
Wednesday Mar 17th
Dear Sis
*   *   *   *
We had a grand review and inspection of all the Cavalry Force in the Department or nearly all by Maj Gen Rosecrans yesterday at 12 M It was a grand sight. The Review was on a large common 2 miles from town. There was one large flag with the Gen'l and then the "star" flags of each Brigadier or Commander of Brigade numbered to show which each commanded and then most of the different Companies had their Guidions. All together made a handsome show with the officers with their full uniforms and white gauntlets and red sashes. Gen Stanleywore a Yellow Sash. The maj gen wore none at all. Rosecrans is a large well proportioned man, looks about forty five. Is quite bald as I could see when he saluted the Brigadiers. He looks good-natured and benevolent. Has a large Roman nose slightly hooked as he passed us o­n a gallop with his staff. He said "good morning, gentlemen! I am glad to see you all out this morning." And a little further on "you are the hope of the army. Do you mind that?" and on he went talking along the line and encouraging the men. Mrs Rosecrans was at the Review also. I was not close to her. She was dressed in black and rode a splendid horse. I believe Gen Rosecrans is the most popular Gen'l in the army of the Union. He has never been whipped and permit me to say he never will be. The army in this department has the prestige of success and victory and we intend to keep our name good. The rumor prevails here at the present that Vicksburg is evacuated and the army moving up to crush us out. How much truth there is in the report I can't tell. We will be ready for them at any rate…..
Potter Correspondence.

Henry Albert Potter, Captain, Fourth Michigan Cavalry, Correspondence. As cited in:

Friday, March 16, 2012

March 15 - Tennessee Civil War Notes

15, Increase in crime in Confederate Memphis
The Police Force - Our police force had hard duty to perform; the present Council materially reduced their number, while circumstances connected with the war have brought very many strangers into this city, and as thieves, gamblers and swindlers always follow the crowd, then there has been an unusual number of that class of gentry among us. At the present time the number of the floating brigand population is greater than at any previous period, and just now when the services of the police are so much required their ranks are being thinned by the volunteer and militia service, and the services of some of the remaining are partially required to assist militia organizations. These are facts which in justice to the police force, should be taken into account in estimating their services, and should also awaken serious attention on the part of those interested in the saftey and welfare of the city. Judging from numerous occuring incidents that have come to the knowledge of the Provost Marshall [sic] [he] will find a wide field of activity. We have too many direputable drinking houses, too many gambling houses, and other vile places.

Memphis Daily Appeal, March 15, 1862.






15, 1862, Measures by Federal forces to protect public health in Murfreesboro, an excerpt from the diary of John C. Spence
At this time, the army were [sic] receiving large droves of beef cattle. Some of them were fine looking, other had to be killed soon, to keep them from dying. [sic] They were generally kept in lots in and about town. It took about fifty or sixty every day to supply the demand of the army and hospitals. They would drive out that number, [then] shoot them down. When butchered, it generally covered over a half acre ground, the entrails, heads and feet, left lying there -- so in the course of time several acres was [sic] covered in this way, and it began to get warm weather. The smell became very offensive.
We began to be apprehensive that it would cause sickness, but as fortune would have it, the authorities took the matter in hand -- dug pits, had the offensive [offal] collected up and thrown in and covered up. This caused the atmosphere to improve. Large numbers of horses were shot, such as were very poor, diseased and woarn [sic] out. Here was a fortune lost [sic] to some speculating, enterprising Yankee, in the way of sculls [sic], horns and shin bones.A system of street cleaning now commenced. Hands were set to work scraping up all the litter that was lying in the streets, gutters and corners, [and] hauled it out of town. Things now begin to put o­n a more cheerful and healthy appearance....
Spence Diary, p. 81.



15, "Sunday in Nashville"
Sunday dawned clear and pleasant, and the town was alive with pedestrians -- citizens and strangers. The churches were well attended during the day, and several funerals took place; that of the Rev. Dr. Ford (whose death cast a gloom over the city), was attended by the Masonic fraternity, and that of Capt. Baughby the Odd Fellows -- the body of the latter was not, however, deposited by the side of his first wife, in Mount Olivet Cemetery, as was intended, but in the vault of the City Cemetery, until inquiry could be made as to the cause of his death.
CLEANING STREETS is commendable, but we are at a loss to find an excuse for allowing the work on Passion Sunday. It has been said for ages that "cleanliness in next to godliness," not to be preferred to it.
THE WIDOW BEARD is recovering, under the constant and generous and skillful treatment of Dr. -------- -------------, aided by the comforts which our charitable friends have enabled us to purchase for her. We left with a king and good neighbor the wherewithal to continue a supply of the necessaries for the widow and her little children.
Fires added to the variety of accidents; about five o'clock in the evening a fire broke out at the residence of Mrs. Phoebe Ellis, on South Summer street, which was considerably damaged. Another fire broke out about midnight at the residence of Mr. A. C. Farris, on North McLemore street, which was entirely consume, and the adjoining house somewhat damaged.
SOME FIGHTING took place during the day; just enough to keep the boys from spoiling. The first took place on the corner of Cherry and Church, between a soldier a memeber of the Provost Guard. The guard attempted to arrest the soldier, who resisted. A fight ensued for the possession of the guard's musket, which the soldier finally succeeded in capturing and ran up the street with it, much to the merriment of some of Uncle Sam's boys who were standing by. The guard started in pursuit, but was tripped up by a soldier. We heard of no arrests. In Germantown quite a lively engagement took place, between 11 and 12 o'clock at night, some thirty or forty shots having been fired in the neighborhood of the brewery between those hours, but by whom, or with what effect, we were unable to learn, as all was quiet at "the seat of war" when the Provost guard arrived there.
THIEVES AND BURGLARS regarded not the sanctity of the day any more than quartermasters, and plied their vocation vigorously. A man named Ross was knocked down in the bottom north of the Sulphur Springs, and robbed of sixty dollars, the highwaymen escaping. A livery stable on College street near Church, was broken into by three men, but Wm. Rice, one of our efficient night officers, disturbed them will making a selection of plunder, and they vamosed. Several other interesting affairs occurred, which will be found chronicled in the proceedings of the Recorder's Court.
Altogether, Sunday was rather a lively day in Nashville.
Nashville Dispatch, March 15, 1864.


Wednesday, March 14, 2012

March 14 - Tennessee Civil War Notes

 14, Skirmishes at Big Creek Gap [Hawkins County] 
MARCH 14, 1862.--Skirmishes at Big Creek Gap and Jacksborough, Tenn., REPORTS.

No. 1.--Col. James P. T. Carter, Second East Tennessee Infantry, U. S. Army.
No. 2.--Maj.-Gen. E. Kirby Smith, C. S. Army.
No. 1.
Report of Col. James P. T. Carter, Second East Tennessee Infantry, U. S. Army.
GEN.: In obedience to your order of the 8th instant to proceed to Big Creek Gap and Jacksborough, Campbell County, Tennessee, and capture or rout the rebel forces which were reported to be in that vicinity blockading roads and molesting the persons and property of Union citizens, I left with my command o­n the morning of the 10th instant, accompanied by Lieut. Col. James Keigwin, of the Forty-ninth Indiana Volunteers, and marched to Big Creek Gap via Boston. My force consisted of the Second East Tennessee Regt.; Company A, of the First East Tennessee Regt., Capt. Cooper; Company B, of the Forty-ninth Indiana Regt., Capt. Thompson, and a detachment of Lieut.-Col. Munday's First Battalion Kentucky Cavalry.
We arrived at the foot of the Cumberland Mountains, o­n the north side, o­n the 13th instant, at 6 o'clock p.m. I then learned that two companies of the First Tennessee Regt. rebel cavalry were encamped at Big Creek Gap. Finding the road completely blockaded, I detached the cavalry, and sent them around by another road, with orders to meet the main body of the command at a certain point o­n the opposite side of the mountain. Procuring the services of a guide, I divided my command, placing o­ne portion under charge of Lieut.-Col. Keigwin. We took up the line of march at 9 o'clock p.m., intending to meet at a point o­n the opposite side of the mountain about daybreak. The distance we had to march was about 9 miles, yet so difficult was the ascent of the mountain that it was o­nly by the superhuman exertions, as it were, of the men that the march was made. The men, however, bore it patiently, and moved o­n "eager for the fray."
Having to pass through narrow ways in single file, and the night being very dark, a portion of the infantry got lost, and did not arrive in time to take part in the skirmish. About 1,300 of the infantry came upon the camps of the rebels, under command of Lieut. Col. John F. White, at about 6 o'clock a.m. of the 14th instant, and after a sharp skirmish of about five minutes the rebels were completely routed. The rebel loss was 5 men killed, 15 wounded, and 15 taken prisoners, among whom were Lieut.-Col. White and Lieut. Hoyl.
We captured 86 horses (27 killed), 7 mules, and several wagons, a large amount of camp and garrison equipage, a quantity of powder, and a large amount of quartermaster and commissary stores-a sufficient amount of the latter to supply the command during their stay. It being impossible to bring off the quartermaster stores I caused them to be burned and the powder destroyed. Owing to the darkness of the night and the impassability of the roads the cavalry did not arrive till after the skirmish. Had the troops been able to get up in time I am satisfied that we could have succeeded in capturing the whole force. o­n the arrival of the cavalry we marched to Jacksborough, distance 5 miles, and there overtook the rear guard of the cavalry; killed 1 man and captured Capt. Edward Winston, of the Corps of Sappers and Miners. We hoisted the Stars and Stripes over the town, and o­n the 15th instant marched to Fincastle, and from thence to Woodson's Gap, where we encamped a few days.
Learning that there was a manufactory of saltpeter in the neighborhood, I sent a detachment of cavalry with orders to destroy the same. They destroyed about 1,000 pounds of saltpeter, broke up the kettles, burned up the shed, and destroyed about 11,000 pounds of bacon and 20 sacks of flour. Our loss was 1 wounded-Lieut. Myers, Company H, Second East Tennessee Volunteers. His wound, however, is not dangerous.
Officers and men behaved admirably, and proved that they are ready and willing at all times to meet the rebels. The people through the section of country over which we passed are truly loyal in their sentiments and hailed the advent of our troops with unbounded enthusiasm. Everything they had was freely tendered to us. We found forage and provisions abundant o­n the route after we left Boston. The position we had at Woodson's Gap was a very strong o­ne, and could have been held against a large force, and had we been permitted to remain we would no doubt have had an opportunity of meeting the forces at Cumberland Gap which had been sent out to attack us, but o­n the 19th instant I received an order from you to report at headquarters with my command at the earliest possible moment. I accordingly took up the line of march for this place o­n the 20th instant, and arrived here o­n the 23d instant without the loss of a single man.
Your obedient servant,
JAS. P. T. Carter, Col. Second East Tennessee Volunteers.
No. 2.
Report of Maj.-Gen. E. Kirby Smith, C. S. Army.
HDQRS. DISTRICT OF TENNESSEE, Knoxville, March 15, 1862.
GEN.: I have the honor to report that the enemy, having passed the Cumberland Mountains, yesterday surprised and captured, without the fire of a gun, I believe, the larger number of two companies of the First East Tennessee Cavalry near Jacksborough. Their force consisted of a regiment of infantry.
Couriers who arrived last night bring the intelligence that they are moving in this direction. I have ordered forward to Clinton two Alabama regiments, the Third Regt. Tennessee Volunteers, a battalion of North Carolina Volunteers, a section (two pieces) Third Maryland Artillery, and a portion First East Tennessee Cavalry (an aggregate of 2,000 men), the whole under the command of Col. D. Leadbetter, who had received such instructions from me as I thought necessary for the exigency.
From what I have learned of the character of the troops from East Tennessee in our service, of their strong Union proclivities, greatly increased by their near relationship to and from intimate association with many citizens who have fled the country and espoused the Federal cause, I am satisfied the capture near Jacksborough was the result of treachery. Pickets detailed from them cannot be relied o­n, and even officers are not free from suspicion of more fidelity to the Federal than to out service. It is not an individual opinion that some of the regiments from this section are disloyal, but it is the conviction of many of our friends, who know the public sentiment prevailing in those counties in which they were raised and the strong personal ties which would influence them to become so. There is a want among them of that confidence in the loyalty of each other which would make them faithful in the discharge of their duty to their fellow soldiers and to the country, and this is aggravated, too, by the opinion, which exists to some extent, that East Tennessee cannot be defended by the force we have in the field, and must be abandoned upon the advance of the Federal Army.
I cannot, therefore, too strongly urge upon the Department the propriety, if not the necessity, of removing these troops to some other point, where they cannot prove traitors, either by purchase or from love to the Federal Government, and where, if they do not make efficient soldiers, they cannot be tampered with by the enemy. If this be done, and their numerical strength be supplied by troops from other States, I am persuaded it would in every respect be to the advantage of the service.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
E. KIRBY SMITH, Maj.-Gen., Cmdg.
OR, Ser. I, Vol. 10, pt. I, pp. 19-21.


14-17, The 5th Iowa cavalry sees action in Henry County
On Friday last (14th) about 4 o'clock A. M., we were getting ready to start for Paris – a town about 26 miles southwest of our camp and soon started. After a march of 9 miles we stopped to feed our
horses and wait for a battery of artillery. Noon we started again and just at sundown entered Paris, white flags being displayed from different part of the town. The rebel camp was about a mile on the west of the town. We passed on and in a little while under the thunder of the artillery told that the fight had begun. We only mustered all together about 200 men. The rebel force was variously stated at from five to 1500. The rebels not making any answer the cavalry were ordered to charge on the camp. Cos. A, B, and D advanced, Co. C being ordered to stand by the guns and baggage. Our men came within a few rods of the camp where a force of rebels lying down in the brush rose and poured in a close volly [sic]. Some of the horses of our men took fright and ran away with their riders. Some stood firm and some of the men not being able to quiet their horses dismounted and went in on foot. A short time however showed that our cavalry could not do anything among the timber and brush and they were ordered to fall back and form on the artillery. LA warm contest was not carried on for some time between these and the rebels, whose fire well sustained for some time, began to slacken as darkness came on. Our guns also ceased firing, but after a short time the rebels resumed it and leaving their cover advances as if to charge on the guns, a few drove them back to the woods and their fire soon died off. We could get no further answer we followed suit and returned to town. Our loss was our Sergeant Major, one sergeant of Co. A, 1 corporal and three privates and one private of Co. B killed and one or two wounded. The Artillery Capt. – Bullitt [sic] was also mortally wounded. After consulting together our officers determine to retreat, as there was a large force of rebels only a few miles on the railroad and we were far from ours, so we continued on till about three o'clock next morning and I finished the night on picket guard. Next day [15th] we returned to camp. Here I had to get five days rations for the men and after working till midnight I was right glad to get to bed. Next day [16th] we moved towards Paris again and encamped a few miles out. Friday [17th] two Cos., C and G, went out on a scouting expedition and passed on till within four miles of Paris. We came home through a pouring rain, lost our way in the woods at night and cracked our camp wet and weary; after tattoo after a ride of 40 miles….have had a hard time, wet and hungry, not having tents and only one days [sic] provisions and at least in consequence of the wet were ordered back to camp. Such is a soldier's life.
Alley Diary, entry for March 17, 1862



March 14, 1863 - "If we can't have our families protected, what have we to fight for?" Correspondence from a Soldier in Co. A, 32nd Tennessee Regiment in the Tullahoma environs to the editor of the Fayetteville Observer
In camp near Tullahoma, March 14, 1863.
N. O. Wallace, Esq:
Dear Sir – It has been some time since I have had any correspondence with you, and even now, I fear that I shall not be able to interest you or your readers, knowing as I do that you are familiar with what is going o­n at this point and portion of the army. We have quite a number of men o­n the sick list at this time, more than I have ever seen at o­ne time since I have been in the service. It is a general thing throughout the entire army here, and I attribute the most of it to living o­n bread and meat alone, which seems to be all that can be procured, o­nly as our friends send to us from home. We get occasionally a box of luxuries from the friends of soldiers which all highly appreciate, but no o­ne has yet sent us a mess of turnip greens, which is nearly as much prayed for as the recognition of our independence. Yes, if the good ladies would spend o­ne-half the time in preparing vegetables to send the soldiers that they do in preparing nicknacks [sic] we would appreciate them still more highly, though I know what they will say to these remarks. They will say at o­nce that there is [sic] no vegetables  in the country. So I will reply to that and say to them that we mean turnip greens when we speak of vegetables. Knowing as we do that there are no potatoes, cabbage, &c. we o­nly ask for roughness. We would not refuse eggs, but be thankful of them. – The soldiers would be glad to get the above mentioned articles at any price. We are aware that there is a set of trifling loafers ranging through almost every neighborhood who consume a great portion of the citizens['] supplies, and that, too, without paying for it, and I will here give my opinion as to what I conceive to be the duty of citizens in regard to the punishment of such thieves as are scouting through the county absent from their commands, and a great portion of them without leave or knowledge of their officers.
In the first place it is the duty of the citizen to find out whether the scamps have authority to be absent from their commands or not; it is your duty to report him to the commander of the nearest post. If he has permission to visit your house to buy any thing and you have the article to spare, sell it to him; if he refuses to pay for it report him. In the very outset get his name, his rank, the command he belongs to, and where the command is stationed. Then if he conducts himself ungentlemanly you can have recourse upon him. Always present your complaints to the commander, in writing with date and place. Some will ask why the writer is meddling with these matters, and as this may be the last time I may write o­n the subject, I will answer previous to the question being asked. Well what [sic] Because I am interested both directly and indirectly in horse thieving being stopped. Horse stealing is not all; not a week passed over but we hear of some villian [sic] calling at some house and demanding white ladies to prepare a meal of victuals then insulting them if they asked any pay for it. – Such treatment is too intolerable to be suffered, and I again say that it is the duty of all citizens to arrest such soldiers, or rather such thieves. But says o­ne, we have no power; all the power is vested in the military department – but that is not so. The citizens' rights are as much shielded by the law as they ever was [sic], and his evidence in a courtmartial [sic] has to be the same weight as it ever did in a civil court of justice; and I argue that if the citizens do not punish or have such men punished they should be regarded not o­nly as an enemy to our cause but an enemy to humanity. Military law is very strict to punish any soldier for molesting citizens or taking private property. So you citizens have no excuse for suffering such conduct; all you have to do is to prefer the charges and adduce the evidence. If the officer refuses to take action in the case, report him. If we can't have our families protected, what have we to fight for? Space demands me to bring my remarks to a close. Mr. Wallace, please send us a few copies of the Observer, and oblige your friend from Lincoln Co, [sic] Tenn.
A Soldier in Co. A, 32nd Tenn. Regt.
Fayetteville Observer, March 19, 1863.