Wednesday, May 30, 2012

May 30 - Tennessee Civil War Notes

Fremantle on the Army of Tennessee

30th May, Saturday.--It rained hard all last night, but General Polk's tent proved itself a good o­ne. We have prayers both morning and evening, by Dr. Quintard, together with singing, in which General Polk joined with much zeal. Colonel Gale, who is son-in-law and volunteer aid-de-camp to General Polk, has placed his negro Aaron and a mare at my disposal during my stay.
General Polk explained to me, from a plan, the battle of Murfreesboro'. He claimed that the Confederates had o­nly 30,000 troops, including Breckinridge's division, which was not engaged o­n the first day. He put the Confederate loss at 10,000 men, and that of the Yankees at 19,000. With regard to the battle of Shiloh he said that Beauregard's order to retire was most unfortunate, as the gunboats were doing no real harm, and if they (the Confederates) had held o­n, nothing could have saved the Federals from capture or destruction. The misfortune of Albert Johnston's death, [together] with the fact of Beauregard's illness and his not being present at that particular spot, were the causes of this battle not being a more complete victory. 

Ever since I landed in America, I had heard of the exploits of an Englishman called Col. St. Leger Grenfell, who is now Inspector General of Cavalry to Bragg's army. This afternoon I made his acquaintance, and I consider him o­ne of the most extraordinary characters I ever met. Although he is a member of a well known English family, he seems to have devoted his whole life to the exciting career of a soldier of fortune. He told me that in early life he had served three years in a French lancer regiment, and had Page 77 risen from a private to be a sous-lieutenant. He afterwards became a sort of consular agent at Tangier, under old Mr. Drummond Hay. Having acquired a perfect knowledge of Arabic, he entered the service of Abd-el-Kader, and under that renowned chief he fought the French for four years and a half. At another time of his life he fitted out a yacht, and carried o­n a private war with the Riff pirates. He was Brigade Major in the Turkish contingent during the Crimean war, and had some employment in the Indian mutiny. He has also been engaged in war in Buenos Ayres and the South American republics. At an early period of the present troubles he ran the blockade and joined the Confederates. He was adjutant general and right hand man to the celebrated John Morgan for eight months. Even in this army, which abounds with foolhardy and desperate characters, he has acquired the admiration of all ranks by his reckless daring and gallantry in the field. Both Generals Polk and Bragg spoke to me of him as a most excellent and useful officer, besides being a man who never lost an opportunity of trying to throw his life away. He is just the sort of a man to succeed in this army, and among the soldiers his fame for bravery has outweighed his unpopularity as a rigid disciplinarian. He is the terror of all absentees, stragglers, and deserters, and of all commanding officers who are unable to produce for his inspection the number of horses they have been drawing forage for. He looks about forty-five, but in reality he is fifty-six. He is rather tall, thin, very wiery and active, with a jovial English expression of countenance; but his eyes have a wild, roving look, which is common amongst the Arabs. When he came to me he was dressed in an English staff blue coat, and he had a red cavalry forage cap, which latter, Ceneral Polk told me, he always wore in action, so making himself more conspicuous. He talked to me much about John Morgan, whose marriage he had tried to avert, and of which he spoke with much sorrow. He declared that Morgan was enervated by matrimony, and would never be the same man as he was. He said that in o­ne of the celebrated telegraph tappings in Kentucky, Morgan, the operator and himself, were seated for twelve hours o­n a clay bank during a violent storm, but the interest was so intense, that the time passed like three hours.
General Polk's son, a young artillery lieutenant, told me this evening that "Stonewall Jackson" was a professor at the military school at Lexington, in which he was a cadet. "Old Jack" was considered a persevering but rather dull master, and was often made the butt of by cheeky cadets, whose great ambition it was to irritate him, but, however insolent they were. he never took the slightest notice of their impertinance at the time, although he always had them punished for it afterwards. At the outbreak of the war, he was called upon by the cadets to make a speech, and these were his words: Soldiers make short speeches: be slow to draw the sword in civil strife, but when you draw it, throw away the scabbard." Young Polk says that the enthusiasm created by this speech of old Jack's was beyond description.
Fremantle, Three Months, pp, 76-78.






30, "Military Hospitals -- Chap. XX."
Number 12. -- Headquarters of No. 12 is situated in the Broadway Hotel building, and the two large store houses adjoining, fronting on Broad street, between Summer and Cherry streets. In this hospital there are ten wards, of nine of which we give the exact measurement as follows:
No. Length Breath [sic] Heighth [sic] Total
1 100 28 9 25,200
2 59 28 9 14, 860
3 100 28 10 28,000
4 59 28 10 16,520
5 70 38 10 26,000
6 70 17 13 15,470
7 70 17 13 15,470
9 28 18 8 5,472
The ceilings of some o these wards are not so high as in some other hospitals, nor is the light so good, the rooms being very long, and no side windows, but the ventilation seems to be god, the rooms being cool and sweet, even during the hottest part of Wednesday last, when the thermometer reached as high as 88 degrees in some shady places about the city, Ward 2 is a very fine one, and all are in excellent condition.
Nearly all the officers, and the Surgeons' apartment are situated in the hotel building, and all are in good condition.
The dining room is in the middle building, and will seat about two hundred persons, comfortably and pleasantly. The kitchen is large, well-arranged, and very clean, and is situated in the rear of the dining room, a bed-room for the kitchen attendants being between the dining room and kitchen. In the front, on the first floor of the western building, is the office of the Officer of the Guard, who has under him twenty-five men, detailed from convalescents unfit for field duty. The headquarters of the Officer of the Day is situated to the left of the main entrance to the hotel.
Hydrant water is introduced on each floor of the three buildings. The cots are nearly al of iron, and nearly all the patients are able to walk about.
The negro servants (males) are quartered in comfortable tents in the yard, which is in excellent order, and well arranged. A number of trees in the yard form delightful shades under which convalescents can lounge during fine days.
The following is a list of officers: Surgeon in Charge -- J. S. Maurer, Acting Asst. Surg., U. S. A.
Assistant -- W. K. Mavity, Contract Surgeon
C. B. Volgt " "
Chaplain -- Rev. R. Delo, 30 Indiana
Steward -- John Hall, 29th, Regulars
Druggist-- do do
Chief Clerk -- W. J. Merchant, 49th Ohio
Ward Master -- B. F. Turner
Commissary Clark n-- James Estelle
Matrons -- Mary McDonald and Mrs. Bolpin.
There are 25 nurses, 9 cooks, 22 colored females, and 20 colored nurses, employed in and about the hospital, which is furnished to accommodate 283 patients, 160 of the beds being occupied on Wednesday last.
Religious services are held in the hospital every Sunday at 2 p. m.
There is but one bath-tub at present connected with the hospital, but arrangements are in progress for increased bathing accommodation.
All the wards and other apartments connected with the hospital are in excellent condition, and we are informed that the dispensary, commissary, linen-room, etc., are abundantly supplied with all that is necessary for a full hospital of patients.
In walking over the hospital with the officer of the day, our attention was attracted to a young boy, scarce sixteen years old, who had lost is left arm, and another, only 19 years, who was wounded in the left arm. Both were doing well when we say them.
An extraordinary case which is worthy of notice is that of John Vance, a private in Co. B., 72d Indiana Volunteers. According to his statement, he, in company with others, left near Murfreesboro' to go on a scouting expedition toward Taylorsville, Tenn., and was taken prisoner by the Confederates on the 3d day of April last. He was afterward put under guard for the night, and the next morning he was informed that in consequence of the guard (four in number) being obliged to go on an expedition, they would have to tie him to a tree until their return. They tied him and left, but had only gone a few yards when they drew their pistols and shot him through the face and neck, one ball entering posterior to the left ear, and passing through the left orbit, entirely destroying the eye; two other balls passed between the superior and inferior maxillaries, and the fourth passed under the inferior maxillary, fracturing the left angle, and inflicting a sever flesh wound. They then cut losses the cords that abound him and he fell insensible to the ground., How long Vance lay in this condition he cannot tell, but recovering his consciousness, he crawled along the road in search of relief, not knowing whither he was going, until, after making about six miles, he fell in with some Federal cavarly, and he was conveyed thence to camp, about nineteen miles to the rear, where his wounds were dressed, and he was properly cared for. He is not doing well. This was truly a miraculous escape from death, and is an instance of the power of man to endure extreme pain and suffering very; rarely to be met with. We can vouch for th e wounds as above described, having examined them ourselves.
The officers are all attentive and polite, and the patients appear perfectly at home and happy as can be expected.
Nashville Dispatch, May 30, 1863.


30, "Special Order No. 107."
Office of the Provost Marshal
District of Memphis
Memphis, Tenn., May 30th, 1864
It is hereby ordered that all crying or selling of Newspapers on Sunday, between the hours of 9 A.M. and 5 P.M. shall be discontinued.
The Provost Guard will arrest all persons disobeying this order.
Geo. A. Williams
Capt., 1st U.S. Infnty and Provost Marshall
C.C. Washburn, Maj. Gen. Comd'g.

Memphis Bulletin, June 3, 1864.

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