Wednesday, September 26, 2012

September 26 - Tennessee Civil War Notes

26, Federals retreat, Confederate attack on pickets
HDQRS. FOURTEENTH ARMY CORPS, Chattanooga, September 26, 1863--6.45 a. m.
Maj.-Gen. ROSECRANS, Comdg. Department of the Cumberland:
GEN.: I have the honor to report that the enemy attacked the pickets of Gen. Brannan's command at daylight this morning with infantry, and obliged them to retire a short distance. The main attack appeared to be against Gen. Crittenden's right. Several prisoners were taken who report the force mostly from Breckinridge's command, also that the main force of the enemy are camped on Mission Ridge east of us. Our pickets have resumed their original position.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
GEO. H. THOMAS, Maj.-Gen., U. S. Volunteers.
OR, Ser. I, Vol. 30, pt. III, p. 874.

26, A Bolivar schoolgirl witnesses a skirmish between guerrillas and Federal cavalry near “the Springs” 
We were all starting to the Springs* to pay a visit [for] a few days when the Yankees came in and had a skirmish with about ten guerillas [sic]. The guerillas [sic] ran of course, as they were but half armed, mounted and clothed, while the Yanks were armed and equipped well and out numbered the guerillas [sic] three to one.
Diary of Sally Wendel Fentress, September 26, 1863.*Ed. note - Perhaps Rogers Springs about 12 miles south of Bolivar.

26, “Refugees.”
We took a stroll in the vicinity of the Chattanooga depot yesterday morning, and witnessed some interesting sights. About twenty box cars filled with refugees, principally from the late confederate city of Atlanta, were upon the track, awaiting orders to proceed further northward. Each car appeared to contain a separate family, and many of the occupants did not wear the wretched aspect one would suppose, after making such a lengthy journey with such limited accommodations. A large portion of them were children, the apparent ages of many of whom would seem to indicate that all the able-bodied male population of the South had not abandoned the peace and quiet of family joys for the field of Mars. Some appeared to have been in comfortable circumstances, and they appeared to like the change.
Nashville Daily Times and True Union, September 26, 1864.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

September 25 - Tennessee Civil War Notes

25, 1862, Burning of Randolph
HDQRS. FIFTH DIVISION, Memphis, September 24, 1862.
Col. C. C. WALCUTT, Forty-sixth Ohio Volunteers:
SIR: The object of the expedition you have been detailed for is to visit the town of Randolph, where yesterday [23d] the packet Eugene was fired on by a party of guerrillas. Acts of this kind must be promptly punished, and it is almost impossible to reach the actors, for they come from the interior and depart as soon as the mischief is done. But the interest and well-being of the country demands that all such attacks should be followed by a punishment that will tend to prevent a repetition.
Two boats will be placed at your disposal, one, the Eugene, to proceed on the regular trip to Saint Louis when you are done wither, and the other, a chartered boat, wholly at your service. Embark on the Eugene two of your companies and on the chartered boat the remainder of your command, with a section of rifled guns that will be sent to the levee by Maj. Taylor. Get off by 5 or 6 p. m. at furthest and move up to this bend and make a landing at Cuba Landing; then send the Eugene ahead, moving, under steam without landing, to Fort Pillow and back, till she meets you, following more slowly. You should both be ready to reach Randolph at daybreak or a little before. I think the attack on the Eugene was by a small force of guerrillas from Loosahatchie, who by this time have gone back, and therefore that you will find no one at Randolph; in which case you will destroy the place, leaving one house to mark the place. Let the people know and feel that we deeply deplore the necessity of such destruction, but we must protect ourselves and the boats which are really carrying stores and merchandise for the benefit of secession families, whose fathers and brothers are in arms against us. If any extraordinary case presents itself to your consideration you may spare more than one house; but let the place feel that all such acts of cowardly firing upon boats filled with women and children and merchandise must be severely punished.
It is barely possible that the army of Breckinridge, last heard from at Davis' Mill, designs to reach the Mississippi River at Randolph, in which event the party there yesterday may have been an advance guard. If this be so the Eugene will discover the fact, for they will have artillery; then you should be very careful, as your force would be inadequate; but if the Eugene pass Randolph and return to meet you it is certain that it is a guerrilla raid, when you can safely proceed. Do not land at an accustomed place, but consult with captains and pilots. Approach the shore below the landing, get a couple of companies over as skirmishers, and move rapidly into Randolph. Of course the inhabitants will be all gone, or will be expecting you and be prepared for anything. Keep your men in the reach of your voice, and do your work systematically. Let your quartermaster take a minute account of every house or piece of property destroyed under this order, with the names of owners if possible. If all is clear, you can send parties inland toward Covington, but not over 5 miles.
When done you can take aboard your boat the men from the Eugene and let her proceed on her voyage. If you find men whom you suspect of guilt bring them in, but no women or children. Also you may capture any slaves, horses, or mules belonging to known rebels.
Yours, &c.,
W. T. SHERMAN, Maj.-Gen., Comdg
OR, Ser. I, Vol. 17, pt. II, p. 236.
SEPTEMBER 25, 1862.--Burning of Randolph, Tenn.
Report of Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman, U. S. Army.
HDQRS. FIFTH DIVISION, Memphis, September 26, 1862.
* * * * 
The regular packet Eugene, from Saint Louis, with passengers and stores (not public), landed on Tuesday [23d] at the town of Randolph, and came near falling into the possession of a band of guerrillas and was fired into by some 25 to 40 of the band. I immediately sent a regiment up with orders to destroy the place, leaving one house and such others only as might be excepted in case of extraordinary forbearance on part of owner. The regiment has returned and Randolph is gone. It is no use tolerating such acts as firing on steamboats. Punishment must be speedy, sure, and exemplary, and I feel assured this will meet your views. I would not do wanton mischief or destruction, but so exposed are our frail boats, that we must protect them by all the terrors by which we can surround such acts of vandalism as decoying them to the shore and firing on them regardless of the parties on board.
That boat was laden with stores for the very benefit of families some of whose members are in arms against us, and it was an outrage of the greatest magnitude that people there or in connivance with them should fire on an unarmed boat.
The town was of no importance, but the example should be followed up on all similar occasions. I will send full reports as soon as Col. [Charles C.] Walcutt reports. All were here.
I am, with great respect, yours,
W. T. SHERMAN, Maj.-Gen., Comdg.
OR, Ser. I, Vol. 17, pt. I, p. 144-145.

25, A disappointed Maury county Confederate father throws his reluctant son out, excerpt from the diary of Nimrod Porter
I loaned George Martin[1] $5.00
George Martin (son of Judge Martin) came to town today, said his father had told him if he did not start off to the army of the Southern Confederacy on the next day he should leave his house he could not stay here he [sic] had not one dollar in the World [sic] but few clothes and no bridle, and was trying H. Bradshaw and a few others to get him a bridle said his father would do nothing for him.
Diary of Nimrod Porter, September 25 1862.[2]
[1] George Martin was the brother of Mrs. Gideon J. Pillow.
[2] Diary of Nimrod Porter, mfm 824, reel 3 Box 7, folder 6a, TSL&A. Hereinafter cited as: Diary of Nimrod Porter

25, One elite Confederate woman’s lamentation
....With Sherman’s success in Ga.---Farragutt’s [sic] at Mobile--Sheridan’s in the Shenandoah Valley--the death of Gen. Morgan and other minor [sic] successes of the Federals--it is no wonder we feel gloomy. Wheeler’s raid did not affect any good to the Confederate cause or any damage to the Federal, that we can see, or hear of; altho [sic] I am told he announces thro’ [sic] the rebel press that he fully accomplished all that he intended to do. I though one of his :intentions’ was to destroy “the Tunnel”----he did not accomplish that--”so far as heard from.” I am inclined to think that whole thing a failure--and believe it is so regarded generally. The rumor that a negro garrison is to be sent here, and that Andy Johnson will soon conscript every man, both black and white, bond and free-between the ages of 15 and 50 into the Yankee army--(his proclamation to that effect being just issued) has not tended to cheer our spirits, in the least. I begin now to look forward to the worst--to hope for nothing--to expect only disaster--and endeavor to meet it when it comes, not so much with fortitude and courage, but a with a sullen and stolid indifference. I have wished a thousand times that I had never married--that I had no family pressing upon me--no little children over whose present and future welfare to vex and worry--if I had no one but myself--it would be a small matter--I should not then care for all this trouble I should get out of it. There are some who always seem to ride upon a top wave--even in times like these I see people who seem always to have plenty--to be in need of nothing--even to be making profits out of the times. Such is not our case--We make nothing save by the hardest of “hard licks.” We are preyed upon on all sides--we get forward with no work--we gain nothing,--in short as Mrs. Myers says of her family--”When it rains soup our plate is always bottom upwards.” I have tried to “turn an honest penny “ by selling off the surplus of housekeeping articles which I brought from Bersheba [sic] --but altho [sic] such things are scarce and high, I cannot sell anything. No one seems to want them when they have to pay out money, or provisions for them--Well, it grows harder and harder with us, oh! I dread this coming winter. The house, which a very little energy and labor might make comfortable before the cold weather sets in remains just as it was when we returned to it--tho’ [sic] we have been here now 2 1/2 months. On Friday night we had a rain storm--the roof leaked like a sieve and tho’ [sic] a few hours time and a few nails and shingles would make it all secure--it remains thus--and will so remain until the plastering all falls, and the ceiling is ruined. Malone and the Col.  “Knock round”--their principal employment seems “going to town.” I often wonder what men were made for! To keep up the species I suppose--which is the only thing they are “always ready” [for] and never slow about doing! [emphasis added] For my part I am quite wearied and worn out with their general no-accountability--and wish they were all put into the army, where they could kill leach other off--the less of them the better! Well, I suppose it will be right a “hundred years hence.” I suppose I am beginning to become embittered by years of hardship, privation and sorrow. Verily, this world is a hard one, would to God I had never come into it! Having come into [it] however, let me endeavor to bear the “siege of troubles,” the “stings and arrows of outrageous fortune,” as best I may--trying meanwhile to comfort myself with the old Spanish proverb--”Patience--there is an end of all things.”...Great Heaven! when shall we have rest and peace? Will it ever come in our day? I am becoming a sad-souled woman--full of secret sorrows--full of heart-burnings, full of longing for the great and good--full of impatience and repining at the chains, the iron chains of everyday circumstance which bind me back from all that my better nature aspires to! How sad a thing it is to feel how powerless, how insignificant, how incapable we are! When the heart is fired for great deeds, when the eye is fixed on some high standard--when the whole nature is straining and struggling forward to have the petty chains of everyday wound about you, a perpetual hindrance and stumbling-block--oh! it is hard-hard! And no one to appreciate your sacrifices--sacrifices of your best and highest pleasures at the shrine of everyday duty--sacrifices which were it not for them--you would not be forced to undergo!
War Journal of Lucy Virginia French, entry for September 25, 1864.

Monday, September 24, 2012

September 24 - Tennessee Civil War Notes

24, Federal reconnoitering parties in search of Col. Forrest’s forces in West Tennessee
CORINTH, September 24, 1863.
Maj.-Gen. HURLBUT:
The following dispatch just received from Col. Spencer:
Col. [Jesse?] Forrest with his regiment and six companies at the main ford of Bear Creek. Roddey with remainder of his force at Courtland and Somerville.
E. A. CARR, Brig.-Gen., Comdg.
CORINTH, September 24, 1863.
Col. H. BINMORE, Assistant Adjutant-Gen.:
I have ordered out reconnoitering parties south from La Grange, La Fayette, Collierville, and Germantown.
Gen. Sweeny telegraphs that Richardson with 400 men crossed the railroad near Saulsbury on Sunday last. Very doubtful news from Pontotoc is that a large part of the force in that neighborhood has gone south. I wish to go to Pocahontas this afternoon to consolidate those regiments, and from there to Memphis to-morrow, if there is no objection.
E. A. CARR, Brig.-Gen.
OR, Ser. I, Vol. 30, pt. III, p 811.

24, Skirmishing near Chattanooga
HDQRS. TWENTIETH ARMY CORPS, On Picket Line near Chattanooga,
September 24, 1863--1.45 p. m.
GEN.: The position occupied by Gen. Spears cannot now be retaken without a strong assault in front and a turning maneuver by the left. The enemy have a line of sharpshooters along the lower bluffs of the mountain, which compelled the extreme skirmish line near and to the left of the railroad bridge to withdraw. They have also a line of skirmishers on the left bank of Chattanooga Creek. A battery properly posted on the opposite bank of the river and on the prolongation of the right of my line can sweep the face of Lookout Mountain and neutralize the effect of its occupancy by the enemy. The spirit of my orders has been obeyed, and the mountain has not been assaulted, nor will it be without further orders from the general commanding.
I am, respectfully, your obedient servant,
A. McD. McCOOK, Maj.-Gen.
OR, Ser. I, Vol. 30, pt. III, p 822.

24, "Love and Desertion."
What volumes are expressed in these brief words? And how our young lady readers will start at the sight of them? We suspect that smelling bottles will be drawn forth from among the paraphernalia of the toilette, as with eager expectations of some heart-rending denouement, they run their eyes down this column to learn how a young lady loved a young man, and how they young man pretended to reciprocate her ardent affections, until she was carried away with the sweet delusion of being loved by him. How, when her whole being was bound up in his fate, that this heartless wretch with characteristic meanness, left her all alone to mourn over blighted hoped. But wait ladies, not quite so fast. The term "desertion" doesn't always mean desertion of lady’s love's [sic] and such is the case in the present instance. But we will proceed with our story:
Some time ago a fair-haired, bright-eyed son of Mars became acquainted with a Southern maiden. "He was fond, and she was fair." So of course they would take a mutual interest in each other's fate. There was, however, one impediment, to their complete happiness: that was, he had some time before entered into a contract with his Uncle Samuel, who demanded his services, and the nature of his obligations was [sic] such that he could not well afford to serve two at once. Besides, Uncle Samuel could not think of letting him off. His love for the fair daughter of Secessia triumphed over his veneration for his Uncle Samuel, so he left the service of the aforesaid individual, to enjoy felicity with the fair one. But Uncle Sam sent for him, and he was furnished with lodgings in the Irving Block, where he will have ample time to reflect upon the folly of loving "not wisely, but too well."
Memphis Bulletin, September 24, 1863.

24, “Bushwackers Near Memphis. Two Army Officers Murdered. Rebel Barbarity.”
Wood is being brought into the city from outside the picket lines under the direction of army officers, and on last Thursday, Dr. J. M. Osburn, Quartermaster James Helm and Second Lieutenant E. Bently, all of the 3d regiment United States colored heavy artillery, went out to oversee the work. For some reason or other, the determined to ride a short distance further. They apprehender [sic] no danger and were riding along gaily, when suddenly seven bushwhackers who were lying in ambush fired on them. Dr. Osborn fell immediately from his horse, Lieut. Bently rode a short distance and also fell from his horse.
Quartermaster Helm, who was unhurt, spurred his horse to get away, but had gone bur a short distance when the horse ran against the limbs of a tree and the quartermaster was knocked off, but managed to get away and reach the city on foot.
A company of twenty cavalry men were at once went out and recovered the body Lieutenant Bently, which they brought to the city. The body of Dr. Osborn was not found until yesterday morning, when a person near the place found it and brought it to the city. The murdered officers were probably killed by the first fire, but the bushwhacker amused themselves by firing their revolvers at the corpses. Over twelve balls were thus fired into the dead body of Lieut. Bently. When the party of cavalry went out for the bodies, they found no guerrillas.
Quartermaster Helm is of [the] opinion that the murderers were regular Confederate soldiers.
Retaliatory measures will probably be adopted. The other officers of the 3d regiment met last night and passed resolutions of respect for the memory of their deceased brother officers.
Memphis Bulletin, September 24, 1864

Friday, September 21, 2012

September 21 - Tennessee Civil War Notes

21, Major-General W. T. Sherman’s reply to the editor of the Memphis Daily Bulletin [1] relative to policy of Federal army relative to punishement of depredations

HEADQUARTERS FIFTH DIVISION, Memphis, Tennessee, September 21, 1862.
Editor Bulletin:
Sir: Your comments o­n the recent orders of Generals Halleck and McClellan[2] afford the occasion appropriate for me to make public the fact that there is a law of Congress...reenacted o­n the 10th of April, 1806, and in force ever since. That law reads:
“All officers and soldiers are behave themselves orderly in quarters and o­n the march; and whoever shall commit any waste of spoil, either in walks of trees, parks, warrens, fish-ponds, houses and gardens, cornfields, inclosures or meadows, or shall maliciously destroy and property whatever belonging to the inhabitants of the United States, unless by order of the commander-in-chief of the armies of said United States shall (besides such penalties as they are liable to by law) be punished according to the nature and degree of the offense, buy the judgment of a general or regimental court-martial.”
Such is the law of Congress; and the orders of the commander-in-chief are, that officers or soldiers convicted of straggling and pillaging shall be punished with death. These orders have not come to me officially, but I have seen them in newspapers, and am satisfied that they express the determination of the commander-in-chief. Straggling and pillaging have ever been great military crimes; and every officer and soldier in my command knows what stress I have laid upon them, and that, so far as in my power lies, I will punish them to the full extent of the law and orders.
The law is o­ne thing, the execution of the law another. God himself has commanded: “Thou shall not kill,” “thou shalt not steal,” “thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s goods,” etc., Will any o­ne say these things are not done now as well as before these laws here announced at Sinai? I admit the law to be that “no officer or soldier of the United States shall commit waste of destruction of cornfields, orchards, potato-patches, or nay kind of pillage o­n the property of friend or foe near Memphis,” and that I stand prepared to execute the law as far as possible.
No officer or soldier should enter the house or premise of any peaceable citizen, no matter what his politics, unless o­n business; wand no such officer or soldier can force an entrance unless he have a written order from a commanding officer or provost-marshal, which written authority must be exhibited if demanded. When property such as forage, building or other materials are needed by the Unites states, a receipt will be given by the officer taking the them, which receipt should be presented to the quartermaster, who will substitute therefore a regular voucher, to be paid according to the circumstances of the case. If the officer refuse to give such a receipt, the citizen my fairly infer that the property is wrongfully taken, and he should, for his own protection, ascertain the name, rank, and regiment of the officer, and report him in writing. If any soldier commits waster or destruction, the person whose property is thus wasted must find out the name, company, and regiment of the actual transgressor. In order to punish there must be a trial, and there must be testimony. It is not sufficient that a general accusation be made, that soldiers are doing this or that. I cannot punish my whole command, or a whole battalion, because o­ne or two bad soldiers do wrong. The punishment must reach the perpetrators, and no o­ne can identify them as well as the party who is interested. The State of Tennessee does not hold itself responsible for acts of larceny committed by her citizens, not does the United states or any other nation. These are individual acts of wrong, and punishment can o­nly be inflicted o­n the wrong-doer. I know the difficulty of identifying particular soldiers, but difficulties do not alter the importance of principles of justice. They should stimulate the parties to increase their efforts to find out the actual perpetrators of the crime..
Colonels of regiments and commanders of corps are liable to severe punishment for permitting their men to leave their camps to commit waste or destruction; but I know full well that many of the acts attributed to soldiers are committed by citizens and negroes, and are charged to soldier because of a desire to find fault with them; but this o­nly reacts upon the community and increases the mischief. While every officer would willingly follow up an accusation against any o­ne or more of his men whose manes or description were given immediately after the discovery of the act, he would naturally resent any general charge against his good [sic] men, for the criminal conduct of a few bad o­nes.
I have examined into many of the cases of complaint made in this general way, and felt mortified that our soldiers should do acts which are nothing more or less than stealing, but I was powerless with some clew whereby to reach the rightful party. I know that the great mass of our soldiers would scorn to steal of commit crime, and I will not therefore entertain vague and general complaints, but stand prepared always to follow up any reasonable complaint when the charge is define and the names of witnesses furnished.
I know, moreover, in some instances when our soldiers are complained of, that they have been insulted by sneering remarks about “Yankees,” “Northern barbarians,” “Lincoln’s hirelings,” etc. When people forget their obligations to a Government that made them respected among the nations of the earth, and speak contemptuously of the flag which is the silent emblem of that country, I will not go out of my way to protect them or their property. I will punish the soldiers for trespass of waste if adjudged by a court-martial, because they disobey orders; but soldiers are men and citizens as well as soldiers and should promptly resent any insult to their country, come from what quarter it may. I mention this phase because it takes from the officer the disposition he would otherwise feel to follow up the inquiry and punish the wrong-doers.
Again, armies in motion or stationary must commit some waste. Flankers must led down fences and cross fields; and, when an attack is contemplated or apprehended, a command will naturally clear the ground of houses, fences, and trees. This is waste, but is the natural consequence of war, chargeable o­n those who caused the war. So in fortifying a place, dwelling-houses must be taken, materials used, even wasted, and great damage done, which in the end may prove useless. This, too, is an expense not chargeable to us, but to those who made the war; and generally war is destruction and nothing else.
We must bear this in mind, that however peaceful things look, we are really at war, and much that looks like waste or destruction is o­nly the removal of objects that obstruct our fire, or would afford cover to an enemy.
This class of waste must be distinguished from the wanton waste committed by army-stragglers, which is wrong, and can be punished by the death-penalty if proper testimony can be produced.
Yours, etc.,
W.T. Sherman, Major-General Commanding
Memoirs of W.T Sherman[3]------------------------------------------------------------------------------
[1] This letter is not found in the OR, nor can the newspaper article mentioned to be found.
[2] Not found.
[3] William Tecumseh Sherman, Memoirs of General W. T. Sherman, (NY: Library Classics of the United States, 1990) , pp. 298-301.

21-October 17, 1862 Confederate conscription efforts in East Tennessee
HDQRS. CONFEDERATE STATES FORCES, Chattanooga, Tenn., September 21, 1862.
His Excellency ISHAM G. HARRIS, Governor of Tennessee:
GOVERNOR: I have been directed by the Secretary of War to move my headquarters to Knoxville and assume command in East Tennessee. An important part of my duty will be the execution of the conscript law, which the department thinks will require great judgment, firmness, and prudence, and I am directed to confer and act in concert with you. I should be glad to have a personal interview with you, but as that is impracticable at this time, I respectfully request you will communicate with me fully and freely in writing, and favor me with any suggestions you may have to make as to the best mode of executing the best mode of executing the law for the best interest of the country. It will give me pleasure to co-operate with you in the execution of the law.
Address me at Knoxville, where I expect to be to-morrow evening.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
SAM. JONES, Maj.-Gen.
OR, Ser. I, Vol. 16, pt. II, p. 862.
KNOXVILLE, October 17, 1862.
Secretary of War:
I am informed that the President is authorized to suspend the execution of the conscript act in any section troops under any previous act. I earnestly recommend that he suspend it in East Tennessee for a few days; say until the 1st November, and designate the act under which I may receive organized troops. If this is done, I can, I am sure, have in the service before the end of the month nearly every man in East Tennessee now worth having. The measures I am taking to produce a loyal feeling in East Tennessee will be aided. People who have fled to the mountains to avoid conscription will return to the cultivation of the land and gathering corn, all of which is now much neglected, and the troops needed to enforce the conscript law may be better employed elsewhere. Will write more fully on same subject. Please answer as early as possible.
SAM. JONES, Maj.-Gen.
OR, Ser. I, Vol. 16, pt. II, p. 953.
William G. Swan, the Tennessee Representative from the Second District (East Tennessee) to the Confederate Congress in Richmond, wrote the following letter to President Jefferson C. Davis on October 21, 1862. He was irritated with the suspension of the Confederate conscription in East Tennessee:
My Dear Sir:
General Jones, to accomplish that which we sought to preclude and prevent by an act of Congress, now favors a suspension of conscription. You will remember that when I conferred with you in reference to the matter of fixing a time -- a day certain -- after which if regiments or battalions were organized they should not be received, that the 1st of October was determined upon to prevent the hurried and hasty organizations which would be formed in the time intervening between the introduction of the bill in the Senate and its approval by you. Now, it so happens that regiments have been organized, as I knew they would be, and General Jones, though informed by me of the passage of the act and its precise terms(for a copy of it was immediately published in the Knoxville Register), advised those who have participated in forming these regiments and companies that he will, buy the ruse of suspending the conscription for a few days, have them received into the service. This would be a manifest and palpable evasion of the law as it occurs to me, and should by no means be tolerated. It certainly would defeat the very purpose for which the law was enacted. I presume General Jones will not say to you that is impracticable to execute the law in East Tennessee, as he has said to me that he can execute it. The tories all through the country have it that the law will not be enforced, and if pending the enrollment now in progress its operation for a day even suspended [sic], it will embolden them to such a degree that I shall not be surprised if they hereafter resist outright. Your are of course aware advised that General Bragg’s entire command is now entering East Tennessee. It will be an easy and proper disposition of the men who have volunteered, and whom General Jones would now have you receive as new regiments, to place them at once in the old Tennessee regiments in General Bragg’s army. I know very well that these suggestions are not such as present popular clamor in East Tennessee would have me to urge upon your consideration, but prompted by a sense of duty to the country* I am constrained to urge your the course I advise.
OR, Ser. IV, Vol. 2, p. 138.

*Ed. note - While Swan was perfectly willing to conscript others, apparently he was not interested in volunteering or being drafted into the service himself. He had volunteered early in the war, but ran soon thereafter for the Confederate House of Representatives in 1861. According to one hilarious newspaper story, the “exceedingly good-looking and urban [sic]...Hon. William G. Swan” Confederate Congressman from Knoxville, was hurrying to the train station “to say good bye to a lady friend when he had neared the depot, and at the moment that his glances met that of the lady...two stalwart men, William Murphy and Zeke Gilliam, of Rucker’s peripatetic ‘body snatchers’ [i.e., conscription officers] accosted him --
‘Well,’ one of them said, ‘you can’t make the trip this time, we want you up at Col. Blake’s where they provide quarters for conscripts.’
‘Ah!’ answered the smiling Congressman, ‘I am the representative from this district in the C.S. Congress.’
‘You can’t come that game [sic]’ said Gilliam. ‘We have already sent to the camp of [instruction] upwards of fifteen bony fidy [sic] Congressmen.’
‘Well, I’m not joking’ said Mr. Swan.
‘Nor are we’ said Rucker’s men. ‘You must march.’
A distinguished lawyer and a great railway king came to the rescue of the Congressman. All without avail -- Mr. Swan [was taken to] headquarters, more than a mile, was there identified and dismissed.
He hardly knew whether to laugh or swear as he moved himself down the road. He would indulge a sort of smile now and then, but instantly would clench his fist and stamp his feet when he reflected on the disappointment to which he had been subjected at the depot, by the operation of that pet measure of his, the Conscript Act.
Chattanooga Daily Rebel, November 6, 1862.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

September 20 - Tennessee Civil War Notes

20-22, Expedition, Bolivar to Grand Junction & La Grange, and skirmish*

SEPTEMBER 20-22, 1862.--Expedition from Bolivar to Grand Junction and La Grange, Tenn., and skirmish
Brig. Gen. Jacob G. Lauman, U. S. Army, First Brigade, Fourth Division, District of West Tennessee
Bolivar, Tenn., September 22, 1862.
GEN.: We left our camp, 5 miles north of Grand Junction, on Sunday morning, between 7 and 8 o'clock, having previously sent forward the cavalry to Grand Junction and La Grange, and proceeded slowly until we arrived within 2 miles of the Junction, where I halted the column to let it close up. While resting here Maj. Mudd came in from La Grange with information that he saw there a large body of infantry and cavalry moving on the La Grange road toward our rear with the evident intention of cutting off our train. Having previously received information that a large force was at Davis' Mills, I without a moment's delay ordered the train to fall back, following it closely with my main column. We passed the railroad crossing where we encamped the previous night and where the road forks to Grand Junction and La Grange about twenty minutes before the rebel cavalry, closely followed, as I have since learned, by their infantry and artillery. They hung upon our rear until about 1 o'clock, when, arriving near the creek, about 2 miles north of Van Buren, where, finding it necessary to halt my train for rest and water, I placed my command in position so as fully to command the approaches and sent out a small force of cavalry to see whether the rebels were still on our track. They soon returned, with the rebel cavalry at their heels. Letting them approach to within easy range, Mann's battery (Lieut. Brotzmann commanding) opened on them and sent them flying back. My train by this time having rested and watered we continued our progress, and arrived in camp at dusk.
Our casualties were few, for which I refer you to the accompanying reports.
I have the honor to be, general, your most obedient servant,
J. G. LAUMAN, Brig.-Gen.
No. 2.
Report of Col. Silas Noble, Second Illinois Cavalry.
HDQRS. SECOND ILLINOIS CAVALRY, Bolivar, Tenn., September 22, 1862.
SIR: I have the honor to report that in compliance with Orders, No. 200, I marched with 350 men of my command as the advance of the forces under command of Gen. Lauman, and entered Grand Junction about 5 p. m. of the 20th; found everything quiet at that place and but very few inhabitants left there. From all the information I could gather the force of the enemy near Davis' Mills was about 8,000. Having accomplished the reconnaissance of the place and vicinity I returned about 4 miles to the camp of Gen. Lauman and bivouacked for the night.
On the morning of the 21st, in accordance with orders from Gen. Lauman, I went again to Grand Junction, sending two companies, under command of Maj. Mudd, to La Grange, to examine that place and the country around it. At Grand Junction all was in the same condition in which I found it the evening previous. I was directed to hold this place until the arrival of Gen. Lauman with the main force. But, upon learning from Maj. Mudd that the enemy in large force was making a movement to pass to the rear of our army through La Grange, I at once retired and joined Gen. Lauman, and with him returned to this place, the cavalry under my command being employed as flankers and reconnoitering parties.
Maj. Mudd was active in ascertaining the position and force of the enemy. I have the honor to inclose his report.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
S. NOBLE, Col., Comdg. Second Illinois Cavalry.
No. 3.
Report of Maj. John J. Mudd, Second Illinois Cavalry.
BOLIVAR, TENN., September 22, 1862.
COL.: I have the honor to report the following as the part performed by the detachment of Second Illinois Cavalry, under my command, in the recent movement on Grand Junction and La Grange:
When on Saturday evening you moved forward from the main body I took command of the advance, being Company K, Capt. Jones, and 20 men of Company H, under Capt. Higgins, and moved rapidly to Grand Junction, dispersing a squad of rebel soldiers on our way. Finding no enemy at that place, I had just pressed a guide and started Capt. Jones with his company in direction of Davis' Mills when you arrived and recalled him.
On Sunday morning, in accordance with your order, I, with Companies H, Capt. Higgins; K, Capt. Jones; M, Orderly Sergeant Webb, commanding, and C, Capt. Fullerton, moved toward La Grange, arriving within half a mile of that place at 8 a. m. On the way we had noticed persons at distant points in several places across fields, but were not able to decide whether soldiers or citizens. We also arrested some citizens, but could gain no information from them. My extreme advance now reported a large body of cavalry half a mile in front of the head of our column. I ordered the fences pulled down and preparations made for battle, while with a few men I went forward to view their movements. I found it to be a large body of infantry moving to the north diagonally across the road occupied by me. They moved with celerity and paid no attention to us, except to place pickets on the road to watch us. A citizen brought in by pickets reported that the whole rebel army had been passing through La Grange for an hour and a half, and that their design was to fall on our rear and cut off our rain. This was evident from their movement, to which I was now a witness. I immediately dispatched couriers to notify Gen. Lauman and yourself of the state of affairs, called in my pickets and advance guard, and moved with haste to the main body of the army, being during the march watched but not disturbed by the rebel cavalry on our left. Under Gen. Lauman's direction I dispatched a squad of men from Company I to reconnoiter on the left. They soon reported the enemy's cavalry and artillery a little to the rear and a half mile to the left. Fearing they might be moving on our left on parallel roads with us, I, without orders (being without communication with yourself or Gen. Lauman), called out Companies H and K, and with them moved north 4 or 5 miles, until satisfied that none has passed. Returning, I had just got well into the road when I discovered the enemy in hailing distance on our last night's camp ground. I directed Capt. Higgins to move forward, while with a small squad of men from Companies I and K I kept the enemy at bay until my command had reached a safer position. Finding that no rear guard was following I assumed to perform that duty, and followed at a good distance from the army, keeping the enemy at bay and picking up and urging forward stragglers until I came up with Gen. Lauman, with his command in order of battle, 1 mile this side of Van Buren. At his suggestion I dispatched Capt. Viereg with a squad of men to watch the movements about the village. He soon returned, followed by a large body of rebel cavalry, who followed within range of our artillery, when a few rounds from Capt. Mann's battery dispersed them.
When the column next moved I occupied the ground for half an hour after the whole train had passed out of sight, during which time we could see the rebel forces slowly advancing across the field to the southwest of the point of timber on our right flank when in line. Finding they had all passed into the timber, and deeming the position no longer safe, I withdrew my little force and again took my place in the rear of the column. After crossing Spring Creek, in obedience to orders from Gen. Lauman I dispatched Capt. Higgins, with 40 men, to reconnoiter to the left, and myself, with a small squad of men, watched the road at the edge of the timber. Capt. Higgins reported all clear for 2 miles west. I sent my company to a suitable point to feed, and remained in the rear for an hour and a half...seeing no signs of the enemy, when I received your orders to follow, which I did, bringing up the rear, and arriving in camp at 9 p. m. without the loss of a man.
To the admirable order preserved by the commanders of companies we are indebted for the safety of the men for so long a time in the immediate presence of an advancing enemy. No stragglers were out. With such officers straggling would go out of fashion, and to them I am much indebted for their promptness in carrying out my orders; also to my men for the cheerful alacrity with which every command was obeyed.
I have to report the loss of two horses by Company M; one killed by a fall and the other disabled and left.
I wish to report the carbine cartridges now furnished us as being of very poor quality. They shake to pieces in riding, and at the end of each day's march many of the men find instead of cartridges only a mixed mass of powder, ball, and paper.
All of which is respectfully submitted.
Your obedient servant,
JOHN J. MUDD, Maj., Second Illinois Cavalry.
OR, Ser. I. Vol. 17, pt. I, pp. 140-143.* Ed. note - This skirmish illustrates the make up of a forage train and the power of artillery against cavalry.

 20, A Yankee attends a Baptist service
….Today went to town to church for my first time in McMinnville – to the Baptist church – had only a prayer meeting – a good deal of lamenting over their calamities, but not a word to say about their wicked rebellion. Grief for their fallen friends, none apparently for the course that led to their fall. I was almost angry at them, but I felt I ought to make a good deal of allowance for people who have suffered in the persons of these most dear to them.
Reports of rebel receiving reinforcements are becoming thicker and appear to be well authenticated. Rosecrans is said to be concentrating his troops rapidly. May the good Lord give him good success, and may confusion and defeat attend the footsteps of rebel enemies everywhere. Lord God defend the just cause for Jesus Christ’s sake.
Alley Diary

 ca. 20-24, CSA conscript sweep in Perry and Humphreys counties, along Buffalo river
JOHNSONVILLE, September 24, 1864.
Maj. B. H. POLK, Assistant Adjutant-Gen.:
MAJ.: I have the honor to report that 400 of Forrest's command crossed the Tennessee near mouth of Duck River on Tuesday evening last and are now at Linden, Tenn. Lieut.-Col. Trauernicht was out yesterday and returned at 12 o'clock last night. He reports the country on Buffalo thickly invested by rebels belonging to Forrest...who are conscripting. I will send out scouts immediately and report as soon as they return.
OR, Ser. I, Vol. 39, pt. II, p. 460.

20, Medical inspection of military prison and hospital in Nashville
ARMY MEDICAL PURVEYOR'S OFFICE, Louisville, Ky., September 22, 1864.
Col. W. HOFFMAN, U. S. Army, Commissary-Gen. of Prisoners, Washington, D. C.:
COL.: I have the honor to inclose my report of medical inspection of the military prison and a portion of the U. S. Gen. Hospital No. 1, at Nashville, Tenn. I had to lay over one day at Pittsburg and at Cincinnati, and one at Nashville. I expect to be at Columbus to-morrow.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
T. M. GETTY, Surgeon and Acting Medical Inspector of Prisoners of War.
Report of a medical inspection of the military prison and a portion of Nashville Gen. Hospital No. 1, Nashville, Tenn., commanded by Capt. R. M. Goodwin, Thirty-seventh Indiana Volunteers, and acting provost-marshal, Department of the Cumberland, made on the 20th of September, 1864, by Surg. T. M. Getty, U. S. Army, acting medical inspector of military prisons.
Name and geographical position--portion of the penitentiary, Nashville, Tenn. Water, source, supply, quality, effects--an abundance of good hydrant water. Fuel, whence obtained, kind, supply--an abundance of good oak wood, obtained near by. Local causes of disease, removal, mitigation--an absence of fresh vegetables, fresh vegetables. Prison, how arranged, how long occupied--cells and small rooms. Previous use of ground--Nashville Penitentiary. Buildings, kinds, quality, condition --a portion of the penitentiary, suitable for prisoners. Buildings, warming, ventilation, change of position--by stoves, good. Buildings, sufficiency, number of men to each--plenty of room. Sinks and cesspools, construction, position, management--good enough, wooden, cleansed thrice daily. Removal of offal and rubbish, police of camp - promptly, good. Rations, quality, quantity, variety--prison rations, good and plenty. Vegetables and pickles, kinds, amount, how obtained - none. Rations, how cooked, how inspected, messing--well, daily, good. Clothing, condition, deficiencies--enough, very little furnished from outsiders. Men, morale, sanitary condition, personal cleanliness - prisoners, good. There is no hospital at the prison. The sick are sent for treatment to the Nashville Gen. Hospital No. 1. At this hospital a ward large enough to contain 100 beds has been set apart for them, allowing 800 cubic feet of area to a patient. They receive the same care and attention that our sick do. The supplies on hand of every kind are ample. There is no prison fund made, the prisoners remaining at the penitentiary generally only a few hours. The funds of the sick are deposited in the hands of the surgeon.
T. M. GETTY, Surgeon and Acting Medical Inspector of Prisoners of War.
OR, Ser. II, Vol. 7, pp. 862-863.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

September 19 - Tennessee Civil War Notes

19, How to Pay for a Year’s Subscription to the Tennessee Baptist in War Time
What a Woman Can Do.
Jenkins Depot, Tenn., Sept. 16th, 1861. 
Dear Bro. Graves:--Inclosed [sic] you will find two dollars, which is to pay you for the Tennessee Baptist for the present year. 
Mr. Grace has been very hard run in his financial affairs this year, and I concluded that I could make money and pay you myself, so I went to work and soon found that it was not so hard a task as I had expected. A few pounds of butter, a few chickens, potatoes, or anything of this kind, will secure the amount for any one, and I think any one who is in arrears for the Tennessee Baptist could spare enough of poultry to pay for it. I do not miss what I have sold, and I would not be without the Tennessee Baptist for twice the amount. It is but little to us, but if all would do this it would amount to a considerable sum with you. 
Yours in Christian love, 
R. A. Grace,
for J. M. Grace. 
Tennessee Baptist, October 19, 1861. 

19, A view from the inside of the Confederate hospital in Chattanooga; an entry from Kate Cumming’s diary 
I have been kept quite busy ever since I came here; in fact, we all have been. We have a good deal to try us, but our minds were made up to expect that before we came. The stove smokes badly, and we find it almost impossible to do any thing [sic] with it; besides it is so small that we scarcely have room to cook on it what little we have. The surgeon, Dr. Hunter, like many other men, is totally ignorant of domestic arrangements, and also like many others, wholly unaware of his ignorance. The only consolation we get from him is a fabulous tale about a woman (a “Mrs. Harris”) who cooked for five hundred people on the same kind of a stove.
One of our greatest trials is want of proper diet for sick men. We do the best we can with what we have -- toast the bread and make beef-tea; and we have a little butter -- bad at that.
There are no changes of clothing for the men; but we have cloth, and after our day’s work is done, we each make a shirt, which is a great help. The last, though by no means the least, of our troubles is the steward who has taken a dislike to us, and annoys us in every little petty way possible. His wife has charge of the wards across the street from us. The assistant surgeon complains of her inattention to her duties in waiting on the sick.
A man, by the name of Watt Jones, died in my ward to-day [sic]; another, by the name of Allen Jones, yesterday -- both members of the Fourth Florida Regiment.
Our room is in the third story, facing the west; the view from it is really grand, and when worn out physically and mental, I derive great pleasure from looking out. On the north of us runs the Tennessee River; opposite that is a range of hills -- one rising above the other -- dotted with beautiful residences, surrounded by prettily laid out gardens. On the southwest is Lookout Mountain, its peak frowning down on the river which winds around its base -- looking like a lion couchant, ready to spring on its pray.
Cumming, A Journal of Hospital Life, p. 46.

19, "A Contraband Funeral.”
We were forcibly reminded on Saturday last [19th] of the uncertainties of life by observing a contraband funeral passing solemnly down Front Row. The hearse was a light spring wagon, the body just long enough for half of the body in the coffin, on one end of which was the driver. Behind the hearse walked seven men, and in their rear, seven women. We could scarcely forbear quoting the lines of Horace, so appropriate[:] 
  Eheu Posthume, Posthume!” as the lugubrious procession moved on. “There is no hard work for poor Uncle Ned.”
Memphis Bulletin, September 22, 1863

Monday, September 17, 2012

September 17 - Tennessee Civil War Notes

September 17 - 

October 3, U. S. Evacuation of Cumberland Gap
Including march of garrison to Greensburg, KY (Brigadier-General George W. Morgan). 
Report of Brig. Gen. W. Morgan, U. S. Army, including operations August 16-October 3.
Greenupsburg, Ky., October 3, 1862.
GEN.: On the night of the 17th of September, with the army of Stevenson 3 miles in my front, with Bragg and Marshall on my flanks, and Kirby Smith in my rear, my command marched from Cumberland Gap mid the explosion of mines* and magazines and lighted by the blaze of the store-houses of the commissary and quartermaster. The sight was grand. Stevenson was taken completely by surprise. At 5 o'clock p.m. on the 17th instant I sent him three Official letters. The officers of our respective flags remained together in friendly chat for an hour. I have brought away all the guns but four 30-pounders, which were destroyed by knocking off the trunnions. During our march we were constantly enveloped by the enemy's cavalry, first by the Stevenson and since by the Morgan brigade. Throughout I maintained the offensive, and on one day marched twenty hours and on three successive nights drove Morgan's men from their supper. Morgan first assailed us in the rear and then passed to our front, blockading the road and destroying subsistence. For three successive days we were limited to the water of stagnant pools and that in small quantities. We expected to meet Humphrey Marshall at this place, but have been disappointed. Unless otherwise ordered I will proceed with my column to Camp Dennison to rest and refit.
With high respect,
GEORGE W. MORGAN, Brig.-Gen., Cmdg.
OR, Ser. I, Vol. 16, pt. I, p. 990.
Report of Capt. Jacob T. Foster, First Battery Wisconsin Light Artillery, Chief of Artillery.HEADQUARTERS ARTILLERY, U.S. FORCES, Portland, Ohio, October 14, 1862.
DEAR SIR: I have the honor of submitting to you the following report of the march of the artillery force from Cumberland Gap, Tenn., to this place:
This force consisted of five batteries, to wit: Foster's First Wisconsin Battery, of six 10-pounder rifle guns; Wetmore's Ninth Ohio Battery, of six guns--two 10 and two 12 pounder guns, and two 12-pounder howitzers; Lanphere's Michigan battery, of six 10-pounder rifle guns; Webster's siege battery, of six 20-pounder Parrott guns, and Clingan's battery, of four 6-pounder guns--twenty-eight pieces in all. Lanphere's battery was ordered to accompany De Courcy's brigade to Manchester, Ky., on the 8th day of September, where it arrived on the 11th of September, and remained there until the 21st, when it marched with the balance of the division. On the 16th the Ninth Ohio Battery reported to Col. Coburn, Thirty-third Indiana Regiment, and marched with the same to Manchester, where they arrived on the 19th. On the 17th of September Foster's Wisconsin battery and Clingan's battery reported to Gen. Spears, and the siege battery to Gen. Carter, for orders, the latter battery marching at 11 p. m., Foster's and Clingan's batteries bringing up the rear about 1 a. m. of the 18th of September. On or about the 22d day of August all of the artillery horses that were fit for service, except enough for one section, were delivered to Col. Garrard, of the Third Kentucky Regiment, and taken to Manchester, Ky.; consequently it was necessary to use mules to transport the batteries. There were, however, about 100 horses which had been condemned as unfit for service but a short time before, which were assigned to the siege battery. The batteries all arrived at Manchester in good order, experiencing but little difficulty on the way. Here the siege battery received fifteen new horses, which strengthened the team very considerably. On the 21st of September the siege battery, with Gen. Baird's brigade, marched at 4 p. m.; Foster's and Clingan's batteries, with Gen. Spears' brigade, at 5 p. m.; the Ninth Ohio Battery, with Gen. Carter's brigade, at 9.30 p. m., and Lauphere's battery, with De Courcy's brigade, at 10 p. m. The roads were the roughest we had yet seen, but we experienced but little difficulty in passing over them. The advance halted at Clark's, about eleven miles from Manchester, at 11 p. m., and rested for the night. About 4 a. m. of the 22d a gun Carriage to the Ninth Ohio Battery was overturned, breaking an arm of one of the drivers. The ammunition in the limber-chest, from some cause--supposed to be by the ignition of a friction-primer--exploded, dangerously wounding two men and demolishing the limber-chest and wheels. At Proctor, Baird's brigade, with the siege battery, and Carter's brigade, with the Ninth Ohio Battery, left the traveled road to take a nearer route over an old road which had not been used for several years, and were to rejoin the brigades of Spears and De Courcy and the other batteries at Hazel Green, a distance of twenty-five miles. This road was in many places totally washed away, in others it had slidden [sic] into streams, and in others was filled with fallen trees and rocks. Wherever it led across a stream the last vestige of a bridge had been washed away, and the banks were considered by the inhabitants of the country as impassable. At the North Fork of the Kentucky River was a breach that would have caused anything less than men of iron wills to have given up in despair. The banks of the river on either side, being sandy, were washed by the floods until no vestige of a road could be seen other than the old road, which was upward of fifty feet above low-water mark. But Capt. Patterson, with his company of sappers and miners, assisted by Capt. Tidd, of the telegraph, and Capt. Douglas, of the Engineer Corps, and their commands, soon constructed a passable road, and within six hours from the time of our arrival at the river the whole train had passed over safely.
The march from Proctor to Hazel Green was made in three days over very rough roads which needed repairs more than half the distance. Water by this route was plenty, but not of a very excellent quality, being found in stagnant pools mostly. The batteries that went the traveled road suffered more for want of water, as they were obliged to march nearly the whole distance without a drop of water only as they could carry it with them. On Saturday, the 27th of September, the advance was fired into by bushwhackers and Morgan's cavalry. Lanphere's battery threw from thirty to forty shells into the woods at them, but with what effect is not known. On the 29th Carter's brigade, being in the advance, was fired into by a party of rebels from a point of woods. The siege battery was called forward and threw twenty-two shells into the woods from whence came the firing, the result of which was a skedaddle of rebels. Again in the evening of the 30th a squad of the Second Tennessee Regiment were after water and were fired upon by rebels and one captain wounded. Seven more shells were thrown by the siege battery, the result of which was skedaddle number two. On the same date, the 30th, the First Wisconsin Artillery shelled the rebels out of a piece of woods and captured 1,000 pounds of rebel bacon. From West Liberty to Grayson our way was frequently barricaded and front harassed by the notorious J. H. Morgan, but his barricades were taken out much faster than he could put them in, and he was crowded so closely that at Grayson he left us, saying:
“Tis no use trying to stop that d__d Yankee Morgan, for he can march over fallen trees faster than I can in good roads, and can take artillery where the d____ [sic] l can't go.”
From Grayson to the Ohio River, twenty-five miles, the roads were much better than we had seen since leaving Manchester, and we arrived at Greenupsburg, Ky., on the 3d day of October, safe and in good condition, with all the artillery with which we left Cumberland Gap, except the ammunition chest of the Ninth Ohio Battery, which exploded, and one caisson abandoned at Grayson by Capt. Lanphere, with a broken stock. October 4 we crossed the Ohio River by ferrying the ammunition chests and fording with the Carriages, and camped in Haverhill, Ohio, before midnight.
Sunday, the 5th instant, left Haverhill about 9 a. m. for this place, where we arrived at noon on the 7th instant. Thus ended a march of upward of 200 miles through a region of country considered impracticable for an army, where water was very scarce, and subsistence, other than green corn and a few potatoes, was not to be had. Not a pound of flour was used by several of the batteries during the whole march, all their bred being made from "gritted" corn. Many of the men were barefooted and all were poorly clad, yet these men would march almost day and night with very little complaining, showing a degree of courage and fortitude worthy of emulation. Too much praise cannot be bestowed upon Capt. Patterson and his command for the prompt and efficient manner in which he removed all obstacles to our safe and speedy progress.
J. T. FOSTER, Capt. and Chief of Artillery.
OR, Ser. I, Vol. 52, pt. I, pp. 49-51.
CUMBERLAND GAP EVACUATED. The Federals commenced burning their army stores last night at 8 o'clock. They blew up their magazines after midnight, and marched out before day. We advanced this morning and occupied the Gap, and found a great quantity of property destroyed, and some not destroyed. The enemy had spiked the guns in the forts on the mountain peaks, and they left a great number of sick in the Gap. We will move on in pursuit of them.
Diary of William E. Sloan, September 18, 1862.
*Ed. note - This official report by Brigadier-General George W. Morgan (U.S.) gives a condensation of that evacuation, or withdrawal, or retreat, as a very harried affair. It is singular in that it refers to exploding mines, presumably “land mines,” the presence of which have not been heralded by Civil War ordnance enthusiasts.

Friday, September 14, 2012

September 14 - Tennessee Civil War Notes

14, ”High Rents” in Confederate Knoxville
In view of the times, the war, and the suspension of business, tenants are required to pay too high rents in this city, and its surroundings, and there should at once be a reduction. The laboring classes, dependent upon their daily labor for money to meet their unavoidable expenses, cannot make enough to pay the high rents demanded of them, [in] these dull and trying times. The impossibility of making collections -- the utter impossibility of getting new and additional stocks of goods, forbid that merchants should be required to pay their former high rents. And all things considered, men renting dwelling houses should not be charged, as heretofore two and three hundred dollars for ordinary dwellings. The owners of property should have a meeting, and agree upon a reduction in rents. To exact extravagant rents, and take the advantage of men’s necessities, at this time, is swindling under a pretense of renting out property!
Brownlow’s Knoxville Whig, September 14, 1861.
    14, “Whiskey Drinking in [Confederate] Knoxville”
We dislike to make any suggestions to the Military authorities here, in regard to the intemperate use of ardent spirits, lest we be viewed in the light of a dictator, but seeing a complaint against the Doggeries of Knoxville, by the editor of the Chattanooga Gazette, who has recently been here o­n a visit, we will venture a few remarks. The best thing the Military authorities could do for this town, and for the army stationed here, would be to close up, with absolute orders, the numerous breathing holes of hell, called Doggeries.  Not a fight occurs, not an outbreak among the troops, or instance of unpleasant conduct towards citizens or their property, but it is traceable to the intemperate use of liquor. Whisky is the main spring of all the machinery of ungodliness in motion in Knoxville. It is o­nly when men are drunk that they are lost to all sense of honor and shame. Those troops who blackguard and insult the inmates of private houses, o­nly do so when in a state of intoxication. These troops who ride upon the side-walks and yell like savages would not commit such an outrage if they were sober. And the private of a cavalry company, who, galloped over Mr. Formault’s little daughter only five years old, without even looking back to see what injury he had done, would never have been guilty of the like if he had not been drunk. A man is not himself when he is quite drunk. We again, say, let every liquor house in Knoxville be closed and made to stay closed while so many troops are here who will drink to excess.
Brownlow’s Knoxville Whig, September 14, 1861.
Richardson’s Movements.
The steamboat O’Brien from Fort Pillow, came down to this city yesterday, bringing Captain Cark, who was a bearer of dispatches from Colonel Wolfe, commanding the Union forces at that point. From him we learn the Gen. RICHARDSON and Col. JESSE FORREST, with a cavalry force, variously estimated at from two to three thousand men, were at Brownsville Tennessee o­n Friday last, the 10th instant.
On that day, a scouting party from the fort had a skirmish with a portion of the enemy’s forces. The result was favorable to our side. o­ne captain of the rebel forces was captured and brought to Fort Pillow. The name of the prisoner is Hayden and from him the strength of the rebel forces was ascertained.
It is probable that the rebel strength is over estimated, as information from other sources does not place their strength at more than o­ne thousand men. The suppositions is that the rebels have designs against Fort Pillow.
Memphis Bulletin, September 14, 1863.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

September 13 - Tennessee Civil War Notes

13, “Southern School Books”
School-rooms in the North have long been and are yet the very hot-beds of Abolition fanaticism, and Northern school books have been and are still yet the apt and ready implements for pruning and otherwise cultivating the growth among Northern youth of false and unnatural ideas of social, domestic, and political affairs. Southern children have not altogether escaped contact with these poisonous influences, for until very recently a large majority of the teachers in all branches of learning, employed in the South, have been people of Northern birth, and in many instances partaking, as incontestably established by the late exodus of such individuals from Southern communities, of the foolish fanaticism characterizing Yankee teachers and preachers. The books, with but few, if any exceptions, hitherto used in our schools, have been of Northern make and authorship, and many of them not entirely free of ingeniously contrived thrusts at Southern society, and institutions. With our people the long continued employment in Southern schoolrooms of these baneful agencies has been the source of much pain and annoyance, but until recently it seemed almost an impossibility to get up any well-directed, organized effort aiming at the riddance to Southern communities of these justly censurable influences. For ascribed reasons, which we were never able fully to explain, but always deemed ill-founded and unjust, Southern school committees and parents have up until now seemed disposed, even where all other considerations were equal, to give the preference to the ubiquitous Yankee pedagogue, and the slight to the solid home made teacher. In more than a dozen instances, within the history of the past three or four years, have we seen this unaccountably foolish disposition strikingly exemplified in the employment of teachers for our city schools. Under their former management, the surest guarantees of success in applying for a situation as teacher, were the irrepressible Yankee twang of voice and smoothly, methodically written letters of recommendation from the spectacled heads of New England normal school. The establishment, in fact, would have saved trouble to itself and spared the pain of disappointment to competent home-raised applicants by advertising “non others need apply.”
The almost exclusive use of Northern made school-books is not so much a matter of wonder. Southern publishing houses have not until very lately turned their attention to the preparation and printing of standard school-books, and we have been therefore forced to depend almost entirely upon the money loving North for such articles. But now, in this, as in all other material aspects, must we become independent of our heartless enemies. Within ourselves we have the talent, the capital, and the enterprise necessary to this particular branch of Southern independence. It is only essential that they should be properly encourage and patronized, in order to rid Southern school houses of the Yankee trash now in use, and supply its place with good, solid[,] home-made books of instruction.
If we would be free entirely, we must be independent entirely. Absolute dependence upon home talent, enterprise and material is essentially important to the freedom and independence of the Confederate States.
Nashville Daily Gazette, September 13, 1861

13, “The Public Schools;” education in Memphis
Editor, Bulletin:
Since Monday morning, it has been a pleasant night to see so many youths of both sexes, with bright faces, light footsteps and lighter hearts, carrying armfuls of new books, wending their way to the schools newly opened.
Never did the public schools of Memphis open under better auspices. Many families that have hitherto patronized, private schools, and opposed those of the city, have taken down their colors, discontinued their opposition, and enrolled their children during the past week.
The Superintendent and sixteen teachers are daily engaged in the great and good work of instruction. Already, about one thousand youths, varying in age from six to sixteen years, are crowding daily to our city schools, and the teachers have taken hold with both hands and all their hears, and the work move bravely on. Here they are taught without money and without price, whether rich or poor, of high or low degree! May God bless the city schools.
The writer begs leave to suggest to the teachers the propriety of forming an association, and meeting regularly at stated times, to advise and assist and encourage each other in the noble work in which they are engaged. I am just from Cincinnati, and know that, there is such an association there, and that it is productive of much good. Why not enjoy the benefits here? Let all the teachers unite, both male and female, and have their regular meetings, admit members, lecture, read essays, discuss the merits of school books, etc., etc.. I am in favor of this, who will second the effort?
Gentlemen of the Board of School Visitors: Your title implies something of your duty, that is, to visit the schools. IF you will visit them all, and often, much good will result. Let all see that you feel a deep interest in the schools, for, rest assured, much depends upon you.
Finally I would say to parents, that the teachers need their cooperation. Without [it]. little good can be effected. See that your children attend regularly. Encourage them to be studious and obedient. Show that you feel some interest in the success of those who labor through winter’s cold, and summer’s scorching heat, to prepare the rising youth for usefulness in life. Visit the schools, speak kind words to the teachers, and let us all labor to promote the good cause. 
A.M.S., Memphis, September 13, 1863.
Memphis Bulletin, September 13, 1863.

13, “Terrible Accident at Fort Pickering.”
A terrible accident, by which two men were instantly killed, and four badly wounded, occurred at Fort Pickering, between nine and ten o'clock yesterday morning. The magazine of Battery A, 3d United States Colored Heavy Artillery, located immediately on the river bank, at the foot of the bluffs, suddenly exploded for some unknown cause, producing a concussion that was felt throughout the greater portion of the city. A dense volume of smoke arose, that was seen from all points, and attracted hundreds to the levee, who supposed that the noise was caused by the explosion of some steamboat. Some were so foolish as to think that Forrest was again thundering at the city gates, and bethought themselves of secure hiding places, while the professor traveled homeward to shove his “millish” uniform up the chimney, as on a former occasion. 
The origin of the explosion is unknown. The door of the magazine which was of wood, had not been opened since the day previous, and sentries are always upon guard. About thirty yards from the scene of the explosion is a steam saw mill, which was fronted by the door of the magazine, and it was the general impression among the officers yesterday, that sparks from the mill entered through crevices in the door, and ignited the powder, of which there were abut 800 pounds, besides a number of shell. It is estimated that about 150 shells exploded; fragments wee found scattered in all directions of the fort. There is not a vestige of the magazine left standing, and the ground in the immediate vicinity is ploughed up to the depth of several feet. The saw mill was only slightly damaged on the roof by exploding shells. The residence of Lieutenant Colonel Harper, commanding the 3d United States colored heavy artillery [sic] which forms a portion of the garrison of [the] fort was violently shaken by the concussion all the windows (sashes and all) in the house being broken, the plastering displaced, and the furniture generally demolished. Some articles were thrown from one side of rooms to the other. Mrs. Harper, one or two children and a gentleman, beside servants, were in the house at the time, but, fortunately, none of them we in the least injured. When we visited the premises a half hour after the explosion, Mrs. Harper was busily engaged getting things to rights, as calmly and coolly as if nothing unusual had happened, not showing the least peturbation [sic] or nervousness as peculiar to her sex under similar circumstances. So much for a solder’s wife. The house is situated on the bluffs, about one hundred feet above the spot where the magazine stood, and some thirty feet back from the edge. Numerous pieces of shell and fragments of the magazine were picked up in the yard. A little boy was playing in the yard when they fell, and was uninjured.
The casualties were as follows: Killed-- Private Geo. Washington, co. A, 3d U.S. C.H.A., and Thos. Knevals (white) Government employee; Wounded: -- Sergeant Rice, co. A., 3d U.S.C.H.A., David Macklin, co. C, 3d U.S.C.H.A.; Sam Rice, co. A, 3d U.S.C.H.A. and Pat Smidy (white) Government employee.
There were about twelve or fifteen soldiers and Government employees standing near when the accident occurred, who, with the exception of the above, are supposed to have escaped. It was thought that one or two more were blown into the river, but is generally discredited. Private Washington was on guard at the magazine. He was blown over a hundred feet into the air, and descended a shapeless mass, minus a leg, which could not be found. Thomas Kneavals, who was engaged repairing the railroad in the fort, in front of the magazine with several other laborers, had his head blown to atoms by a shell. His brains were scattered over the persons of his co-laborers. Smidy was wounded in both legs, and my have to supper amputation. Private Macklin was wounded in the back by a shell, and cannot possibly survive. Sergeant Rice was also wounded in the back, seriously, but it is thought, not fatally. The other is seriously wounded, but is expected to recover. The others standing near were only prostrated by the concussion. No injury was done to the armament of the fort, and the damages otherwise, can speedily be repaired.
Since writing the above we learn that it has been discovered that the explosion was caused by the accidental discharge of a musket in the hands of the sentry, the charge lodging in a box of catridges [sic].
Memphis Bulletin, September 14, 1864.