Wednesday, August 1, 2012

August 1 - Tennessee Civil War Notes

August 1, 1861, Governor Isham G. Harris’s comments on the transfer of Tennessee forces to the Confederacy
EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT, Nashville, August 1, 1861.
Hon. L. P. WALKER, War Department, Richmond:
SIR: Hon. George Gant laid before me you letter of 26th ultimo, upon the subject of transferring the provisional army of Tennessee to the Confederate States. The transfer is now being made as rapidly as Confederate officers can verify our rolls by the inspection of our regiments, and I hope will be completed within a few days.
There is in the hands of our quartermaster and commissary-generals a large amount of army supplies which, of course, must be transferred with the army, and in this connection I wish to suggest to you the propriety of establishing at Nashville a general depot of army supplies. In my opinion no better point for such depot can be selected in the Confederate States. If this policy shall be adopted by the Government the two gentlemen now at the head of these departments should be continued at the head of their respective depots. They are very efficient and reliable men. If, however, the Department shall determine not to continue them, then it is important that some authorized agent of the Government come here immediately for the purpose of taking an inventory and receipting for such supplies as are on hand in these departments.
In your letter to Mr. Gant you say, upon the subject of army appointments, that "Governor Harris has already been requested, in a letter from the President, to present his recommendations for these appointments." I have only to say that the letter of the President referred to has never come to hand, but in obedience to what I herewith transmit a list of the various persons appointed by me whose appointments have been confirmed by the Gen. Assembly to the various official positions connected with the provisional army of Tennessee, the reappointment of all of whom I earnestly recommend except the few that I have marked on the list "Not to be reappointed.” Such as are thus marked I cannot recommend.
I regard it as a matter of importance that the army of Tennessee should be organized into brigades and divisions and commanded by Tennesseeans. Identified as we are by a common interest, sympathy, reputation, and long association, our troops will be more efficient and vastly more contented when thus organized and commanded. I hope, therefore, that the organization will take place immediately, and a sufficient number of generals be appointed from the State to command. I hope, therefore, that the organization will take place immediately, and a sufficient number of generals be appointed from the State to command them.
The President has already appointed five brigadier-generals from Tennessee-Pillow, Anderson, Donelson, Zollicoffer, and Cheatham. I trust that he may find it consistent with his sense of duty to appoint Robert C. Foster, John L. T. Sneed, and W. R. Caswell, all good and true men, and each had discharged the duties of his position well and faithfully in the organization of the provisional army of the State. In this connection you must allow me to suggest through you to the President that Gen. Pillow would be more efficient and can render more important service to the cause as a major-general than he can as a brigadier; and in view of his ability, experience, and past services in that position during the Mexican war, I feel that he is entitled to the appointment and hope that it may be made.
The medical staff of our army was selected with great care and I am sure will not be excelled, if indeed it is equaled, in any State of the Confederacy. It is a matter of importance to the army that it be continued intact.
Very respectfully,
OR, Ser. IV, Vol. 1, pp. 527-528.

1,The guerrilla dilemma in Middle Tennessee
Hd. Qrs. Manchester, Tenn, August 1st, 1862
Gen. Andrew Johnson
Mil Gov. of Tennessee
By a recent order from the Hd. Qrs. of the Army of the Ohio, I have been placed in command of all the forces guarding the lines of R. Rds from Nashville to Decatur, Decatur to Stevenson and Stevenson to Nashville.
The troops under my command are necessarily scattered in small detachments and stationed at the vital points mentioned. They are thus exposed to destruction or capture by the guerrilla and marauding bands which infest the whole State of Tennessee. They are surrounded by enemies who in the garb of peaceable quiet citizens run off intelligence of our strength and positions, so much in detail and so accurate as to enable the rebels to kill or capture their pickets and to hurl overwhelming forces upon them--to carry them away as prisoners and destroy our railroads and thus threaten our whole army with starvation.. This must so derange our plans at to prevent any successful warfare on our part and throwing us upon the country for support cause[s] us to deprive the people of that which is absolutely necessary of their sustenance. Ten again the presence of those hostile to our government throughout this State serves to keep those cowed and subdued who would otherwise declare in our favor and undertake the quieting of all local difficulties. The guerrillas threaten them and do actually drag them away from their homes or drive them into our camps for refuge. I have many of these refugees now in my camps and amongst them a poor old man by the name of Williams eighty years of age and almost blind. Now Sir, how long shall this condition of things continue in the State of Tennessee? I but expressed the common feeling of the officers of our army when I wrote the Secry. of War a few days ago claiming a release from this service within one month unless a more decisive policy is adopted in the treatment of these mixed communities[.]
With enemies in our rear and in our very midst such success as we should achieve is utterly and entirely out of the question, and I am unwilling for one to put forth aimless, objectless effort.
1st. Let all disloyal person be driven at once across the lines to the rebels where they belong.
2nd. Let the loyal patriotic citizens of the land be organized, armed and equipped for their own home defence [sic] and the protection of our lines of communication.
This much Your State [sic] owes to us who are here to aid you in the preservation of Your [sic] liberties. If the rebels will permit a portion of our army to remain behind their lines unmolested, we can do our country a hundred fold service. And it will take five hundred thousand men to guard our lines of communication alone in the territory occupied by us, unless forays and guerrilla warefare [sic] can be suppressed and prevented by some such stringent measures. There are many true men ready; to take up arms and put down the infamous scoundrels who have inaugurated a wholesale system of rapine and murder throughout nearly this while [sic] region of the Country. Guerrilla bands are constantly organizing and stealing all the horses and provisions they can lay their hands on, and escaping with them to the enemy to swell his ranks and increase his resources.
In the name of our country humanity and God [sic] let us tolerate this condition of things no longer. Let home guards be organized everywhere and men drafted into service if necessary rather than endure anarchy any longer[.]
Very Respectfully Yr Most Obdt Svt.
Wm Sooy Smith Brig Gen
Papers of Andrew Johnson, Vol. 5, pp. 583-585

1, “Rebel Female Letter”
We publish the following letter from a young rebel of the female persuasion just as it was captured. The face of the letter discloses the authorship, and the name is not important. It is a fair specimen of the letters going out from every town and neighborhood, and in nine cases out of ten the writers ought to go South with, or after their bitter and slanderous letters:
Dandridge, August 1st, 1864
My Dear Pa: [sic] 
Mother wrote you and sent it to Knoxville to go out by; flag of truce last week, but I think it very doubtful whether you get it or not. The last that we received from you was sent by flag of truce when Maj. White came down to New Market.
Well, Pa, we have been expecting the robbers on us for a month or two. Last Wednesday night [August 27th] they came about mid-night, and plundered the house.--Mother and I were frightened very much. Who would not have been? A band of ruffians at midnight, plundering the house and cursing mother. They have left us scarcely enough sheets to change our beds. The took three hundred dollars in Confederate money, and every little thing they could lay their hands on, even to your Masonic sash.-- Mother had hid your apron and the rest of your clothes. A Union man promised to get the sash back, if she would say nothing about it. If he can get the sash back he can get other things, and maybe stoop them. But no, they say that the authorities at Knoxville approve of it, and boast that it is the only way that they can subjugate us. William informed them that that is not the way to subjugate us. We Southern people are actually afraid to go to bed at night--even the women and children. You need not expect, when you come here (if ever) to find us with anything. I expect that they will be back to-night with wagons and rob the town, at heart that is the general impression. They told us that they were not satisfied the other night--You cannot imagine, nor I describe our feelings at night approaches. I think that their object is to make our family leave. They asked the other night if Bill Bradford [sic] wasn’t going to move his family outside of the lines. If they keep on in the way they have begun, we will soon be left destitute -- Cousin Theodore Bradford had to move his family to town. Cousin Shade Inman had to leave his home [sic] and we do not know where he is at [sic] --he was beaten severely before he left. They make a visit to his house nearly every night, and always leave packed. It is Union citizens who are robbing, they are not Federal soldiers and never have belonged to the army. We recognized the ones who were here. I could tell you, but will wait until some other time. One of our neighbors set them on us, for Dr. Jarnagan and Mrs. Seabolt heard him directing them to our house, he pretended to be distressed about it, but I think it is all pretense. Poor old Mr. Thomas has suffered more than anyone else in town. I hope the rebels may soon move down and give us protection. They will soon be done plundering the town and then they threaten to burn it to the ground. The authorities at Knoxville are aware of all this but do not care. The Union men I think could stop it as they are acquainted with them, but it is no matter to them and I candidly believe that some of them, at least, are secretly glad of it.
Brownlow’s Whig and Independent Journal and Rebel Ventilator, August 31, 1864

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