Wednesday, August 22, 2012

August 22 - Tennessee Civil War Notes

22, Federal foraging depredations in Jasper environs
Aug 22nd sunrise this morning found us scattered over the cornfields and orchards adjacent Jasper in search of anything nourishing to the inner man, such as roasting ears, peachiness, apples, &c. Jasper is a very gloomy looking prospect for a town, and especially a County Seat; the buildings are most brick, but generally in a state of dilapidation. About 11 o'clock A.M. our whole force composed of Crittenden’s and McCook’s Divisions, left Jasper and marched off in a northeasterly direction on [Gizzard] Road and traveled till about 1 o'clock P.M. our regiment being in the advance. We then halted and went into camp and the remainder of the day was principally consumed in passing the long supply trains to the front. One circumstance occurred after our halt and as it was the first of the kind I was ever witnessed I think it deserves special mention -- It was the shameful pillaging of a house within the precincts of the camp.  A bunch of straggling vagabonds, after having taken everything in the yard and garden afforded went into the house and searched through the whole hose, carrying off anything they could find that suited them. Despite the entreaties of a tender little girl they busted bureaus containing clothing, table ware, and anything they had no use for, and carried of the contents -- torn down ladies ward robes and carried off any and all that suited them, and what they could not carry off, they destroyed.
It was the first and I think the most blamable piece of robbery I ever saw committed -- and the greatest cause for dissatisfaction I ever had with our Guards was the attention I necessarily give to carelessness they generally exhibited in regard to this certain class of thieves who had crept into blue uniform, and were servings as soldiers, but who were daily committing deeds that would disgrace the humblest convict in “Sing Sing.” There seemed to be a charm about them as they turned out to stealing, and when provosts would charge upon a body of offenders, they were sure to escape.
Boy in Blue, pp. 88-89.*
*Ed. note - A Southern Boy in Blue: The Memoir of Marcus Woodcock, 9th Kentucky Infantry (U.S.A.), ed. Kenneth W. Noe (Knoxville: UT Press, 1996)

22, Federal occupation of Sparta begins
McMINNVILLE, August 27, 1862.
Maj.-Gen. BUELL, Decherd:
GEN.: I send you a letter, brought in last night by one of our soldiers, who was captured at Sparta on last Friday [22d]. He says he picked Capt. McMillin's pocket and found the letter, and soon after made his escape....
* * * * 
Respectfully, &c.,
GEO. H. THOMAS, Maj.-Gen., U. S. Volunteers, Cmdg.
CAMP NEAR SPARTA, TENN., August 25, 1862.
DEAR COUSIN: I have an opportunity to drop you a few lines by a prisoner that I caught near Sparta 22d ultimo.
* * * * 
The Yankees are occupying Sparta at present, having moved up last night. We have two generals in the neighborhood looking out and reconnoitering, but who they are I am not at liberty to tell.
* * * * 
OR, Ser. I, Vol. 16, pt. II, pp. 433-434.

August 22, 1862
Confederate Manner of Guerrilla Recruitment in Tennessee

New Southern Mode of Enlistment.
In Shelby and other counties of Tennessee, the rebel authorities have hit upon the honorable plan of enlisting men for home duty, giving the following interpretation and definition of that duty. The recruit is regularly sworn but not uniformed, mustered into service, but detailed to special duty o­n his own farm to act in concert with his neighbors similarly enrolled and detailed. When these bucolic legionnaires see a chance to shoot a picket, burn a bridge or run out a Union man, they remember they are soldiers of the Confederate States Army, or Confederate Stealing Association and do the job. When a Federal detachment comes along to hunt the rebels, the “soldiers” remember they are farmers, and come to the office with demands for protection or answer all inquiries with – “don’t know a thing about it.” Now this may be a very convenient thing for the framers, but it is rather exasperating to the detachment of undisguised solders of the nation; and gives them a clear and palpable right to treat such men as their crimes deserve. Our troops are fast discovering the guile and seeing through the flimsy veil; and for the sake of humanity and justice we do trust they will treat such men as their duplicity, cowardice and crimes deserve.
Where lurk guerrillas long, there the people are their coadjutors and deserve the punishment due to all accessories to crime.
Memphis Union Appeal, August 22, 1862

 “Negro Soldiers in Tennessee.”
The Decherd correspondent of the Cincinnati Gazette writes:
A few days ago an order was issued from department headquarters at Winchester, ordering the immediate organization of the negroes [sic] in the army into regiments, to be armed and equipped and mustered into the service.  This work is now being done as rapidly as possible, and will shortly have about seven or eight regiments of contrabands in the field. At Nashville two regiments are being organized out of the men who have been for two years at work o­n the defenses of that city. About 1800 men have thus been mustered into service at Nashville, and o­ne or two parades have been had. Here at the front the regiments are yet skeletons, but are rapidly growing to be strong and important reinforcements to this army.  All contrabands in the army not personal servants of officers, are being gathered together for these regiments. The men go in willingly. There is no necessity for impressing them.
These negroes will fight much more willingly for the Union than they would for King Isham.*
Nashville Daily Union, August 22, 1863
*Meaning Isham Harris, the Confederate governor of Tennessee.

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