Friday, December 21, 2012

December 21 - Tennessee Civil War Notes

21, Excerpt from a letter by W. S. McDill to his father Robert McDill in Portersville (Porterville), relative to Jefferson Davis' visit at Murfreesboro, December 13, 1862

Murfreesboro, Tenn.

Dec. 21, 1862

Dear Father:

....Our army at this place was reviewed on Saturday 13th by Jeff. Davis himself. He was dressed in citizen's clothes and is a plain looking man....

WPA Civil War Records, Vol. 4, p. 125.



21, One Yankee's opinion of East Tennessee

A Yankee Opinion of Their Friends in East Tennessee--Among the letters captured by our forces around Knoxville was one from D. G. Griffin to his father in New York. The opinion expressed must be very flattering to the Unionists of East Tennessee:

Our Union friends have fanaticism and enthusiasm enough, but they are so ignorant and ill bred as to disgust any gentleman. The women know how to make "corn dodgers" and dirty little Federal flags, "ginger cakes and the like," and to curse and point out their superiors--rebel ladies and rebel gentlemen--and that is about all.

The rebel ladies are intelligent, well bred, and good looking--dignified and bold in their demeanor. But they won't talk to us--consider themselves our superiors, simply from the fact that we are fighting for their inferiors, the Union ladies. They are not to blame. I often blush when I think of the common herd that I am perilling [sic] my life for. God save me from such ignorant trash.

You have often heard of majorities for the Union in East Tennessee; but I must confess, taking into consideration, if the rebels are entitled to any country, it is this. Their friends are many, strong in their fidelity, and seem to have some plausible reasons for their rights, &c.

The name of tory seems to suit them very well. I don't wonder at the promotion of Gov. Johnson, Horace Maynard and others. Such a people can be easily demagogued. All they know is to be "Union folks." 

I can't think that we shall remain here very long, even the rebels permitting. The rebel Gen. Faughn and others are continually annoying us, so much so that we cannot see any peace for them. We didn't expect to fight the rebels when we came here, but find that our personal safety will force us to fight them hard and often. 

Charleston Mercury, December 21, 1863.[1]


[1] As cited in:



21, "A Night Ride Under Difficulties"

Lieutenant Wilkinson and Deputy Marshal Ingalls went in a hack, on Wednesday night [21st] , to hunt up Mat Williams, who was accused of stealing goods from the store of Piser & Co.. The team [of horses] was not of the best, and becoming tired, they determined to take a rest. The driver whipped and coaxed and cursed, but there was no go in them. At length Wilkinson mounted one horse, the driver the other, and Ingalls became the John [sic] and the trio exercised their power of eloquence upon the jaded nags until they reached Williamsons's residence. As soon as they entered a search was commenced. Ingal standing guard, while Wilkinson crawled under the bed to haul out a trunk. Billy pulled and tugged, and at length his body emereged from under the bedstead, when a heavy and hard substance came in contact with his cranium, and a volley of abuse from the tongue of Mrs. Williams reached his ears. Billy had been listening to the abuse heaped on the head of Ingalls but paid little attention to it until his ears were opened by the blow on his head, when he begged madame to consider the fact that the duty of searching was quite as disagreable to him as it was to her. Their labors, having been concluded after much tribulation, they retuned to town. Wilkinson having a bump upon his head, and Ingalls a volume of abuse on the brain, and the hack bearing a load stolen property.

Nashville Dispatch, December 23, 1864.

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