Wednesday, January 30, 2013

30, Federal Scout near Warrensburg, Greene County[1]

From John K. Miller

He'd Q'rs Brig. Gov's Guards

Camp Near Knoxville. Jan 30th, /65

Brig. Genl. Andrew Johnson

Military Gov. Tenn.

I have the honor to state that I sent a dismounted scout of nineteen men under Command of Lieut. Bible Company "A." 8th Tenn. Cav. in the vicinity of Warrensburg where I learned there were some Reble [sic] scouts annoying the people very much. The scout returned on the 26th. inst [sic] bringing (13) Thirteen prisoners, killing two rebels.-Capt Armstrong formerly a citizen of Knoxville-a bad man. One private by the name of Jenkins of Polk County, Also Captured (14) fourteen good cavalry horses and equipments all their Carbines and Eleven good navy Pistols without the loss of a man on our side.

The Reble [sic] force now in East Tenn. Consists of small detachments and scouts prowling over the country robbing and stealing, murdering good citizens of the Country. Our command is in good health, fine Spirits, faring very well, have good quarters, sheds for the horses, our stock is improving very fast. Governor-we would be very pleased if a pay master could be ordered here to pay this command as the men have four months pay due them to Dec. 31st and they need money very much as a great many have their families near and a destitute condition and if paid now their families and friends could get relief and be benefited by the same.

I am requested by Capt. Hambright of Co. "A" 10th. Tenn. Cav. to send his compliments to you and say there is a vacancy in his Regiment for Maj. He would be pleased if you would take his name in to consideration and if you think him worthy and competent to fill the position of that rank he would be thankful for the favor. Capt Hambright (has behaved) as a soldier and Gentleman since he has been in E. Tenn.

I also inclose an application for permission to raise a Regiment of Lt. G. S. Smoot's of N.C. I can say that I know Mr. Smoots. He has ever been a Union man of Wilkes County N.C. a Gentleman of good sense and popular and energetic, kept the old flag, the stars & stripes up in Wilkesboro the longest of any town in the State. He has brought a great many recruits out and as there are many more in that Country and a great many deserters coming through, He could recruit fast. He has some Sixty now in reserve if he gets the authority to raise a Regiment and I understand there is about Eighty coming from Asheville in a few days. The Regiment would be still the 4th. N.C. Infantry.

I am very Respectfully Your most obedient Servant

John K. Miller, Col. Comd'g Brig Gov's G's

Papers of Andrew Johnson Vol. 7, pp. 446-447.

        30, Testimony relative to the arrest of two Franklin county bushwhackers

Jany 30, 1865

To the Provost Marshal General Tullahoma:

Sir, I sent tonight two prisoners who were captured this morning a little before day break at the house of one Kelly, about 7 miles beyond Winchester. Their names are John Ragan and Samuel Nance. They were according to all the information I can get among the murderers of the colored man Preston Pierce who was killed on the 22nd [of December, 1864]. Two others named Temple and Rogers were engaged with them. They admitted to me to day that they had been present with Temple and Rogers and that the latter killed the man, but that they were not present at that time. The real truth is they were all together according to the best information I can get. These men are also reported to be notorious bushwhackers and murderers before this last murder.

I send Kelly and his wife along, for the reason they were represented to me as voluntarily harboring and concealing these men. Some of their neighbors are ready to vouch for their loyalty, and claim that the bushwhackers forced themselves upon them. I leave that for our determination. The horses, harms, & accouterments of the bushwhackers were captured & brought in and will be turned over to the proper officers.

Byrin Paine Lt. Col. PRO VI, Comdt Post.


Testimony of Matilda Jane Kelly

I reside about six miles below Winchester in Franklin County Tenn. I am married. My husbands [sic] name is Luke Kelly. On or about sundown of the 20 of Jany 1865 two men named Reagan and Sam Nance rode up to the house dismounted and entered the house by the back door said they wanted to see Kelly to induce him to go see Mr. Gillespie to induce him to intercede for them to see if they could get out of bushwhacking. I told them Kelly my husband would not be at home that night. They said they were going to stay at my house. I answered they could not that my husband was not at home. They said they would stay. After Kelly came home they requested him to intercede for them in order that they might return to their home. They then laid down by the fire and remained in that position until the Federal soldiers arrived a little before day. They surrounded the house and told me to make a light. They then come [sic] in the house and asked if any Bushwhackers were in the house. I told them there is and they inquired where. I said the next room. The Lt [sic] asked me if I sick had taken the Oath I stated I hand not. The men who were in the house made some show of resistance but were overpowered by the soldiers. After doing this Federal soldiers asked if I could fix breakfast for them. I said I thought I could if they would help me. They assisted me in fixing the fire and such and that is all the conversation I recall at present as passing between myself and the soldiers mentioned. As soon as they took breakfast they left with their prisoners. They brought my husband and myself along with them. They asked me after I stated that Kelly was not at home for the Bushwhackers being there. That is all I remember of the conversation. Matilda Jane Kelly.

With Fire and Blood, pp., 147-148.

[1] This event is listed in neither the OR nor Dyer's Battle Index for Tennessee.

James B. Jones, Jr.


Tennessee Historical Commission

2941 Lebanon Road

Nashville, TN  37214

(615)-532-1550  x125

(615)-532-1549  FAX


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