Thursday, August 2, 2012

August 2 - Tennessee Civil War Notes

2, Description of the Confederate camp at Union City. August 2, 1861
At Union city [sic] there were about 6000 men there, it was said -- rude, big rough fellows, with sprinklings of old companies, composed of gentlemen of fortune exclusively. The soldiers who were only entitled to the name is [by] virtue of their carrying arms, their duty, and possibly their fighting qualities, lay under the trees playing cards, cooking, smoking, or reading the paper, but the camp was guarded by sentries some of whom carried their firelocks under their arms like umbrellas, others by the muzzle with the butt over the shoulder; one, for ease, had struck his, with the bayonet upright in the ground before him; others laid their arms against the trees, and preferred a sitting to an upright posture. In front of one camp there were two brass field pieces, seemingly in good order. Many of the men had sporting rifles or plain muskets. There were several boys of fifteen and sixteen years of age among the men, who could scarcely carry their arms for a long day’s march; but the Tennessee and Mississippi infantry were generally the materials of good soldiers. The camps were not regularly pitched, with one exception, the tents were too close together; the water is bad, and the result was that a good deal of measles, fever, diarrhea and dysentery prevailed. [emphasis added.]
Memphis Daily Appeal, August 2, 1861.
2, “This country is lined with bands of roving guerrillas and if a soldier pokes his head outside of the guards he is almost sure to be shot at if not killed.” A. A. Harrison’s letter home
Coffee County 
August 2nd, 1862 
Dear Wife, 
I take my pen in hand to write to you once more. I am well at present and hope these few lines may find you & the children and all the of the folks well. The boys from Hardin are all well but Jo & Patterson. They were right puny when I seen them last. They are at Tullahoma, 12 miles from here. We left them 10 days ago and came to this place and I have not seen Jo nor Patterson since. They were both going about they have got their discharge and they were sent on to Gen. Buell for his signature and as soon as they get back Jo & Hugh will be at home. This place and Tullahoma is on high dry hills and as cool and healthy as any part of Hardin and there is plenty of the best kind of spring water here. I wrote a letter while I was a Nashville that I was cut off from the regiment by the Rebels at Murfreesboro. I was at Nashville ? days when Jim Nelson started to Murfreesboro with his Brigade. I slipped on the train with them and came out to Murfreesboro and from there I rode part of the way in a country wagon and I walked the balance of way. I saw two or three bands of guerrillas on the way but I managed to dodge them and got to camp safe. I tell you I have been in dangerous places before but I never want to take such a trip as that anymore. This country is lined with bands of roving guerrillas and if a soldier pokes his head outside of the guards he is almost sure to be shot at if not killed. Nearly all of our regiment has been captured except the three companies here. Our pickets were fired on last Sunday and two men killed and fifteen taken prisoners all belonging to the 7th Penn Cavalry. I tell you our pickets don't sleep much on duty here. I lost my office when I came back but I am company quartermaster now which is a much easier place and I get the same pay as in the other. It is the next highest office in company to Orderly Sergeant. I would have written sooner but we have had no chance to send any letters since we have been here until now. And we have only got one mail since we have been here. I saw Wm. Smit as I came out from Nashville. He was at Murfreesboro then but he is at Nashville now. He is getting well and will be at home soon. From what we can hear our men are rather getting the worst of it here lately and I don't know how the war will terminate but I think peace will be made some way in a few months and I hope it may. We have not been paid off yet. It has been rather to dangerous for a paymaster to venture out here. But the officers say he will be here in a few days now. I will send some money home if I can find a safe way to send it as there's not much safety in anything here now. This is the hardest place to buy anything I have ever found. Tobacco sells for $2.00 per lb. Whiskey 75 cts. to $1.00 per pint. Boarding $1.00 per meal and other things in proportion. And you cannot get a bill broken unless you take scrip in change and hardly then. There is still some talk of taking us back to Kentucky yet but I reckon there is not much hope of that. I would like to be there next Monday if I could. Nick Gabon has not got back yet and I reckon never will. He took about $3.00 of the boys money with him when he left to take home for them and kept it all. So nothing more at present but remaining your affectionate husband until death. 
A. A. Harrison 
Aug 2nd, 8 o'clock P.M. 
Since writing the above we have moved back to Tullahoma. I have just seen Jo and talked with him. He looks better than he did some time ago but he will come home as soon as his papers comes back. I hear the Cesh in Ky. are going to raise and kill the Union men next Monday. But I hope it is all a mistake. Write as soon as the election is over and let me hear all about it. 
A. A. Harrison 
I have seen some papers here lately which state that Morgan is tearing up everything in Ky and I heard the other day that there was a band of 200 guerrillas at Garnetteville. I am afraid you are in danger there in Hardin and I have not heard a word from you since I left home. I watch for the mail every time we get mail for a letter but no letter as yet. I want to know what is the matter all the other boys have got letters since I came back but me. If you have not written yet write as soon as you get this and write often as you can and tell Father and Mother and all of the children to write and maybe I will get some of them at least. I will write again in a few days if nothing happens to prevent.
2, “I have by the foolishness of some one been promoted to a Lieutenancy.” Frank M. Guernsey’s letter home to Fannie
Memphis, Tennessee
August 2nd, 1863
My Dear Fannie
I suppose you are beginning to think that it is time for me to write again if I am ever going to, but the fact is Fannie I have had a considerable to do lately our Clerk has gone home on a forlough and consequently I have had much more work to do than usual. I have had a very interesting time for a few days past with a severe cold in my head it kept both my hand busy to tend my nose, but thank fortune the tide has turned and I have more leisure, so that I can write with one hand. Our Regiment is quite sickly at present the surgeons report show one hundred and forty three, and it is increasing daily the season has been a very wet one here and on that account we are having a great deal of fever and ague sometimes men will start from camp in the morning well, for picket duty and perhaps the next morning a half dozen of them will be on the sick list, shaking with the ague. I have been very fortunate this far. I believe the sickness I had in the spring has now proved to be a good thing for me, as I have become aclimated and am not effected as those are who have not been sick.
We have no news here of importance since the taking of Vicksburg, etc., there is not much which remains to be done in this department whether they intend that we shall remain here all summer and do garrison duty or be ordered away is a matter of speculation. I am willing to do either, perhaps they will send us to Charleston to help take that nest of Rebs. I hope so, I would like to be one to help level that city to the ground. I would not leave one stone upon another.
Fannie, since writing you before I have had a streak of luck. I have by the foolishness of some one been promoted to a Lieutenancy and am now in command of the largest company in the Reg. the Capt. Is one Genl. Hurlbuts Staff and the first Lient. has gone home, so that I am as you say chief cook and bottle washer with plenty to do and a good deal of responsibility. Now Fannie dear you wont scold if I dont write any more this time will you, if I promise to write again soon. I think I hear you say no, si I will just close by sending you much love and heaps of kisses from your
Frank M. Guernsey
2nd Leut. Co. “F”, 32nf Reg. Wis Vol
Frank M. Guernsey Collection, University of Memphis Library, Special Collections

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