19, Anti-guerrilla actions in Dyer, Obion counties, and Humboldt, Trenton, Kenton, and Union City
HDQRS., Trenton, July 19, 1862.
Brig. Gen. I. F. QUINBY, Columbus:
The guerrillas are pressing me, and I am using all my cavalry force against them. We have been without shoes for horses for a long time, and it renders one-half of the force unfit for service. Cannot you push through on to-morrow's train horseshoes for Second Illinois Cavalry? My cavalry are on the move from Humboldt, Trenton, Kenton, and Union City, with orders to wipe out guerrillas and cotton-burners, to disarm all known rebels in Dyer, Obion, and all the country bordering the Obion swamps. I have ordered increase of guards at bridges.
G. M. DODGE, Brig. Gen.
HDQRS., Trenton, July 19, 1862.
Col. GEORGE E. BRYANT, Humboldt:
I have ordered a battery to you and one company of cavalry. If the enemy have a camp within that distance, pitch into them as soon as forces arrive. In mean time send out your cavalry to get their position. Use them up before they get settled. Disarm all the known rebels in the country around you and in the line of march of your cavalry. Have the arms turned over to you. Look out that your forces do not meet the forces sent from here west and southwest.
G. M. DODGE, Brig.-Gen., Comdg.
OR, Ser. I, Vol. 17, pt. II, pp. 104-105
19, "You are for us or against us, and a manly course is to choose your side." A lesson in the meaning of loyalty: Brigadier-General Alvin P. Hovey vs. the Memphis Typographical Union.
Brig.-Gen Hovey, Commanding United States Forces:
GENERAL: Knowing you to be a valiant soldier and a gentleman of generous sentiments, I am requested by the members of the Memphis Typographical Union (a body of men who have remained neutral during the present civil war) to relieve them from the oath prescribed by you, as they desire to have no part on either side in the present conflict. They are working men and not politicians, and hope their names will not be mixed up in civil strive. Their occupation is to disseminate knowledge, and not to create ill will among the great family of a mighty country.
J. B. Synott, Sec. Mem. Typo. Union.
Headquarters, United States Forces,
District of West Tennessee,
Memphis, July 19, 1862
J. B. Synnot, Secretary Memphis Typographical Union:
The respectful tone of your letter, they body of men you represent, and the complimentary manner in which you have thought proper to mention my name, all demand a serious consideration and respectful answer to your request.
You ask me to modify Order No. 1 so as to relieve the members of you association from taking the oath of allegiance. Now, what is the substance of that order? Briefly answered—it gives you the right to leave the City without imposing any conditions, and take up arms against our country if you wish. It throws the gauntlet down and dares you to the conflict, or simply requires you to swear to support the Constitution your fathers made. Surely this no hard rule in times of war. Let us for one moment contrast it with the course adopted by the so-styled Southern Confederacy. Where they have power, men who have dared to whisper words in favor of the Union have by brutal (chivalric?) force been hung—decrepitude and years could not shield them. Even in sight of this city, an old gray-haired man of sixty, lone friendless, and helpless, was hung by a chivalric mob, because he dared to adhere to the Government that gave him birth [sic], and was the pride of his declining years. Aye, even in this city, (if report be true) the ball and chain in the "Vigilance Committee" room was used to intimidate the fearful, and shackle the limbs of freemen who would not bow down to the Southern idol. The barber shop, too, is hard by, where they administered a clean shave to all who would not shout for the "Chivalry" and Davis.
"You didn't do it?" Hundreds of your "high-toned gentlemen" didn't do it? No—but you stood by, raised not a hand to shield the helpless and dared not even whisper one kind word to console the victims of the mob. This was neutrality, and this was taking no part! [sic] Look to Missouri, Virginia, Maryland and East Tennessee, and the robberies perpetrated under the color of the Confederacy's act of confiscation, and humanity will shudder and blush. No one, with my permission, shall serve two masters. You are for us or against us, and a manly course is to choose your side. Ten secret foes and spies are worse than one hundred open enemies. If you ask the protection of the broad wings of our old eagle, you must help feed and support the bird. The day of kind words, good desires, much talk and no sincerity has passed. Officers will be compelled to pull off their long silken gauntlets and return the salutation of pretended friends with the stern grip of war.
The city is now filled with treason and traitors, and that officer is surely unnaturally kind who will permit them to remain and hatch their unholy schemes with his camp.
No class of men exercise such a vast influence over the public mind as the craft to which you belong, and you owe it to yourselves and posterity to advocate and aid the fight. The printer, philosopher and statesman Franklin is your pride. He was no neutral. Follow his example, support the cause that he supported, and uphold the Constitution that he labored to construct, and your children and children's children may be proud of you in future days.
I have spoken earnestly, freely, but with no intention of casting the least insinuation upon any member of your society. Believing Order No. 1.to be just as well as politic, it shall, as long as I have the honor to command, be strictly and rigidly enforced.
Alvin O. Hovey, Brigadier-General Commanding
New York Times, July 28, 1862
19, Federal occupation of Lewisburg*
No circumstantial reports filed.
The next day [19th], on getting within three miles of Lewisburg, the county seat of Marshall county, I took 50 men and started ahead at a gallop, with orders to dash in suddenly and surprise the place. The Spencers** were unslung and ready for action, pistols were drawn and forward we dashed at breakneck speed, right into the public square before the astonished citizens knew there was a Yankee within 40 miles of them. When they realized the astounding fact that they we were real live Yankees the women began to scream, and the merchants shut their doors, but I ordered the stores opened. We then went to the jail which they have used during the past two years as a prison for Union citizens, and in a few minutes the flames were bursting out of the roof and the jail was in ruins before we left the town. Union men had no rights which this town respected, and we handled them accordingly.
Three Years, p. 109.
*Listed neither in OR nor Dyer's Battle Index for Tennessee.
**i.e., Spencer repeating rifles.