Friday, November 2, 2012

November 2 - 3 - Tennessee Civil War Notes

2, 1862, Editorial calling for optimistic spirit in Confederate Chattanooga



It is the peculiar characteristic of some minds to be unduly elated with success, and to be come in the same ratio despondent at any reverse. This is not the proper spirit to cherish during this war. We must reasonably expect to meet with reverses, amounting sometimes to serious disasters, and again, we will be cheered with brilliant victories. No war was of the magnitude of this, ever occurred in which there were not alternate victories and defeats. Moderation in victory and a resolute determination in the hour of defeat should be cultivated by us all. Everything we have is at stake - our independence, our honor, our property, the security of our families, are all involved in this struggle, and by the blessing of God, we are sure to come out victorious it will persevere to the end. With the confederates  there can be no such word as fail. The Lincoln government may abandon this war at any time. Its own interests and the cause of humanity require it to do so and that speedily. But with us the case is different. We must continue the war until our independence and our rights are secured. We are not suffering as much now, as our ancestors did in their war for independence. Though our soldiers are in many instances badly clothed and not very well fed, their condition is much better than was that of the soldiers of the revolution. Though our country is in many places overrun and may; before so overrun and may be more so, yet it is not so much so as were the colonies in that war. The British held New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Richmond, and Charleston and had extended their conquests over many of the colonies. The British them. like the Yankees now, plundered and desolated the country, stole negroes, and committed man outrages though no to so great not to so great an extent as the Lincoln savages are now doing in some places. There is nothing in the present aspect of affairs to discourage us. We have not done so well in the West as we had a right to expect, but we will never gain everything by mourning over past mistakes. Let us go to work to remedy them. What have we not accomplished that we had a right to expect, with the exception of the failure of the Kentucky expedition, and even in that we gained two important victories over the enemy in superior numbers and twice gained the victory. In Virginia everything has been done that we had just ground to hope for. We have not overrun Pennsylvania and New York, as some in their wild enthusiasm anticipated in September, but our army has done all that men cold do situated as they were.


The idea of conquering the North and over-running their country is a wild scheme which never will be realized and which we have no reason to expect. Where men are anything like equal it requires twice as many troops to conquer and hold a country as it does to defend. Let the Yankees come with their six hundred thousand new levies, and although they may possibly overrun portions of our country for the time being and do much damage to individuals, yet their new army, like their old, will melt away and they will be required to call for more troops it he ware continues. Let us husband our resources economize in regard to our men, fight at every possible advantage, call out if necessary our full strength and they will be again defeated. So soon as they learn that we are determined never to yield they will feel more inclined to peace. Any disposition to submit any manifestation of gloom or despondency only serves to encourage their hopes of our subjugation and tends to prolong the war. There are causes at work, which we cannot elaborate in this article, which will make the Lincoln government come to terms if we manifest the same determination we have heretofore exhibited and meet with anything like the same success. We consider the independence of the Confederates an accomplished fact, though it may require as it has already required, the blood of our braves and best to secure its acknowledgment. Our friend and kinsmen who have fallen in this war will be held in history as the heroes of a successful revolution and not the criminals of a defeated rebellion. -- Trusting in the mercy; of God and relying upon the strong arm of his power, we must and will succeed. 

Chattanooga Daily Rebel, November 2, 1862.




2, 1863, A Rutherford County family split by the Civil War
Head-Quarters United States Forces
Murfreesboro, Tenn., November 2d, 1863.
Governor Andrew Johnson.
The bearer Mrs Johnson has presented a case for my consideration, that has to [sic] points for me. I have therefore taken the liberty to advise her to lay the case before you Excellency, believing you to be the only person in the State, competent to give her proper counsel in the matter. I have taken some pains to inquire into the case, and I learn from very reliable Union families in this place, that she is a very estimable Lady, and that what she related about her situation is substantially true. While she has always been a true [sic] woman, and Loyal, her husband has been a Libertine and a Rebel, and is now living in a state of adultery within the Rebel lines, leaving her and her little ones to suffer the anguish, that necessarily follows such transactions. I look upon it as a dreadful thing for a pure minded woman, to be under the necessity of living with either a Libertine or a Rebel, but when the two great sins, become united in one person, it becomes positively insufferable, and will certainly admit of executive interference. Mrs Johnson can tell you the situation of the Property, and in short, the whole story better than I can. I really hope something can be done for her, although I have no interest in the matter, any more than the natural sympathy, that ought to be found in every human breast, when the innocent are wronged. I have no acquaintance with the Lady and should not have known anything about the case except by the accident of my position at this time. Believing you to feel a lively interest in all that pertains to the citizens of Tennessee, is the only excuse I have to offer for this intrusion[.]
I am Sir Very Respectfully

Your Obedient Servant 

Wm. L. Utley, Col. Comd'g Post Murfreesboro Tenn

Papers of Andrew Johnson, Vol. 6. pp. 447-448.




3,  1864, Mary A. Judkins' letter to her brother Cave Johnson Couts: "we are now truly subjugated by the negros , we are not allowed to crop them, they will walk over you, if we resent it, they report and we are put in Jail." Social change in Middle Tennessee as a result of three years of war

Clarksville, Nov. 3 1864

Mary A. Judkins

T0: Cave Johnson Couts

My own Dear Brother,

I wish you could take a peek at once happy an loved country, see the disorder and sorrow and gloom that fills every home and when it will end God only knows, we though a hand full of the South could soon whip the entire North, we have whipped them in every instance, but the more we kill the thicker they come. I look forward to their presidential election for a change for better, but that is in the future. I believe the South prefers Old Abe. I hope McCellen [sic] will be the man, four years more of Old Abe, and the country would be [a] ruined world without end, if the South had have been as true to herself at the North, we might have had our independence long before this, there are now thousands in this county that ought to be in the army, here speculating, making fortunes. When I consented for my child to join, I excused mine, none could have been left more lonely and helpless than myself, I had a dozen boys, I would not say to one, stay at home, I know if I were a man and my head white as cotton, I would not stay here, and submit to all the insults they daily do, we are now truly subjugated by the negros [sic], we are not allowed to crop them,[1] they will walk over you, if we resent it, they report and we are put in Jail. Some of our prominent citizens have been treated thus, there are thousands of negros [sic] here. The streets are filled with boys from 8 to 15 years. They will knock a white child down and stomp on it, and we can't say a word, now where is a man that has one drop of patriotism in his veins, that would submit to such, and they will, on trial, tell you they believed a negro sick in preference to a white man. It's a thousand wonders, they don't do a great deal worse, knowing the privileges they have. Mrs. Robb has suffered much. They encamped near here.

Springfield has a negro regiment also when George was reaping his wheat, a squad of negros [sic] sent out there, ordered the boys to stop work and go with them, cursed George, he left them, went to a house and every one of his followed him. 
My negro man left me 18 months ago, he is loafering [sic] about town, I want McCelen [sic] elected, just that I may have control of him awhile. Such insolence I have to take from him I can't well stand, at the time I did not know how I could possibly get along without his services, but I have considerably this far. Medora and myself have been alone night and day, ever since her Brother joined the Army, not even a neighbor. All the houses around me is [sic] filled with contrabands, we have never been disturbed in the least, there are five thousand refugees to be quartered here this winter, all spare rooms and vacant houses will be taken. Three federal officers called a few days ago to see if I had a spare room, first time any of the dogs have been in my house, the citizens are to be taxed to support them, if they call on me then, I do not know what we will do. How I hate them!
Mary A. Judkins

P.S. Since I have just heard Hood's army was in Tennessee, am afraid it's too good to be true. I know for some time he was in Sherman's rear. Sherman is in a bad fix. I hope, by the time you get this, Hood will be in Kentucky. We have seen the account of Early's defeat, the papers for the last month have been filled with it. The scale has turned, they now acknowledge themselves whipped. You must take the New York Metropolitan Record, it is the only truthful papers out now.


David C. Allen, ed., Winds of Change: Robertson County, Tennessee in the Civil War, (Nashville: Land Yacht Press, 2000), pp. 84-85.

[1] Apparently meaning not allowed to hit them with a riding crop.


No comments: