Monday, August 20, 2012

August 20 - Tennessee Civil War Notes

20, Federal confiscation of private property and a change in the traditional relationship between slave and master, observations of one Madison County slave owner
….Negroes have everything in their own hands and they know it, surrounded and protected as they are by Federal soldiers. As many as see proper can walk of & there is no remedy.  We have to submit to any and everything. The Federals seem to think the property of the Rebels or Secesh as they term us, belongs to them & act accordingly. If horses or mules are wanted they go and get them. Peace how sweet! War how opposite!
Robert H. Cartmell Diary, August 20, 1862.

20, “Those Holes on the Levee.”
We once heard our city fathers talk about having those holes down on the levee filled up, and we understood them to say that a resolution was passed to have the work done. Weeks have passed away to the “dreamless by-gone time,” and yet the holes yawn their huge jaws just as they used to do so. But, to be serious, there is a very ugly rent in the levee at the foot of Adams street some ten yard long and five or six wide. The stone sewer pipe is all falling in and breaking. It cost the city money; and beside this, the bowlders [sic] used in paving the wharf are falling into the abyss and burying themselves in the mud. Can’t the thing be remedied?
Memphis Bulletin, August 20, 1863. 

20, “Arrest of a Modern Jack Sheppard.”
We have before alluded to the arrest of the fellow Brock in the Square on last Monday night. Since then we have take the trouble to inquire into his case, in order to find out every particular connected with that arrest. The result of our inquires was the unraveling of some three months of the life of a modern Jack Sheppard. Some three months ago a fellow calling himself John Brooke, was arrested as a deserter from the 8th Mo. Volunteer infantry, and placed in confinement in the Irving Block. Brooke only remained a few weeks in prison until he effected his escape by blacking himself and passing out, plate in hand, the sentinel supposing him to be one of the negro cooks, who were then permitted to pass in and carry victuals to the prisoners.
The next day, however, he was again arrested and recommitted to prison. This time his chances of escape were greatly lessened, by his being manacled. Here he remained some days, until he was went to the fort, where his liberty was still limited to a narrow cell, with his ball and chain to keep him company. He remained for a short time at the fort, when, with a squad of others, he was sent to the landing for the purpose of embarking for his regiment. When the officer in charge read the names of those to sent off, Brock did not answer to his name! When asked if he was not one of them, he replied in the negative, saying that he had just happened to wander down there, and that he thought he would stop and see what was going on. He then turned and went away. On that very same evening he got into a hack where a gentleman was seated. The gentleman was going out to the eastern portion of the city. The fellow, of course, made no objection to raveling the same way, as he said he was on his way to camp. When the hack had gone as far as the gentleman wished to go, he got out, and was followed by Brock, who immediately presented a pistol and demanded his money. Of course, the gentleman had no other resource left him, but to “shell out the greenbacks.” Some how [sic] or other, some of the city police force got on his track, and arrested him. He was brought to the Station house and Lieut. Morris, of the Irving military prison, was sent for. The Lieutenant recognized him as being one of the prisoners, and had him brought to his old quarters in the Irving Block, where he was heavily ironed, to prevent the possibility of an escape. There he was kept about six weeks, when he was a second time sent to the fort.
The gentleman who had been robbed having left the city, and there being no one left to testify against him, he was about to be sent under guard to his regiment to he tried for the crime of desertion. At the fort he only remain three days when he again broke loose. This was on Monday [17th], about 5 o'clock in the evening. About 10 or 11 o'clock on the same evening, one of the attaches of the Provost Marshal’s office became cognizant of his whereabouts, and procuring the assistance of two of the patrol guards belonging to the 25th Indiana, proceeded to the place where he had ensconced himself which was a house of ill-fame near Washington street and Front Row. They found him, arrested him, and were proceeding to the Irving Block. When near the corner of Main and Jefferson streets he made a bold attempt to get away from his captors by running. Several shots were fired after him without effect. He ran down Jefferson street to the alley between Main and Second streets -- reached Court Square, the gates of which were locked -- bounded over the fence, and ran to the Southeast corner of the square where he dropped down under a thick bushy evergreen. Here no doubt he supposed he was safe from further pursuit by the guard, but he was mistaken, for by this time the alarm was spread and the Square literally surrounded by armed men. Some person in the rooms of the pay department, Ayres Building, say the villain when he secreted himself under the evergreen. Capt. Hastings, of the 25th Indiana, with the activity of the bounding roe, cleared the fence, sought his lurking place, and dragged him from thence. He was immediately again recommitted to the Irving prison, where he will have ample time to mediate upon his many villainies. This fellow is one of the most consummate villains of his age. In person he is small, being not more than 5 feet and 3 inches in hight [sic]; he is apparently about 18 years of age. The expression of his features strikes one very disagreeably; bold and impudent in his bearing, yet capable of putting on the most sanctimonious face, -- and using the most melting and pathetic language. He is originally from St. Louis, and it is said was a notorious jail-breaker in that city. We have in this fellow, a full realization of the character and acts of Jack Sheppard and other notorious characters by the by gone days. Since he has been in this city he has found it convenient to use no less than three or four names, sometimes John Brock, John Roberts, still again, John Thornhill.
Memphis Bulletin, August 20, 1863

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