Thursday, January 3, 2013

January 3 - Tennessee Civil War Notes

3, Skirmish at Insane Asylum [a.k.a. Blood's, or Cox's Hill - Nashville environs]

Report of Col. Joseph A. Cooper, Sixth Tennessee Infantry, of skirmish at Cox's Hill, January 3, 1863.

HDQRS. SIXTH EAST TENNESSEE VOLUNTEERS, Camp near Murfreesborough, Tenn., January 9, 1863.

SIR: Permit me to submit this my Official report of the march of my regiment from Nashville to Murfreesborough, in obedience to Special Orders, No. 8, as follows:


Col. Cooper, with his entire command for duty, will at once take up the line of march upon the Murfreesborough pike. They will take two days' rations. They will report on said road to Col. Daniel McCook.

By command of Gen. Spears:

Assistant Adjutant-Gen.

Complying with the above order, we took up the line of march at 8 o'clock. We marched out to the junction of the pike, where we lay in the rain about three hours, waiting for the commanding officer, Col. Daniel McCook. He arrived about 12 o'clock, and gave the following order:

The two regiments in advance of you will march in front with the regiment of regular cavalry, all except 50; the remaining 50 will act as near guard for the whole. Your regiment, the Sixth East Tennessee, will march immediately in rear of the train.
We then took up the line of march to Murfreesborough. We marched, without halting, about 6 miles, arriving this side the lunatic asylum.

There we, together with a part of the Second East Tennessee Cavalry, which had come up with us, met a body of the enemy. The cavalry, filling to the right, engaged the enemy, who consisted of two or three regiments of cavalry, supported by a small piece of artillery. The cavalry fired one or two rounds and fled in confusion, running through the trains.

Just previous to this occurrence, I received order from Col. McCook to move my regiment forward, on the left, to the loss of the rise. [sic] I moved forward in double-quick, gaining the point designated just in time to arrest the charge of the enemy. I engaged the enemy in a smart skirmish for some ten or fifteen minutes, killing some 6 or 8, wounding several, and capturing 10 prisoners. I met the enemy and repulsed them without assistance from the front. Immediately after the skirmish a battalion of infantry came up on the left, and assisted us in holding the position. We met the enemy and whipped them without the loss of a man, either in killed, wounded, or missing. My men acted with great coolness and bravery.

The train was soon reorganized, and we were again on the march. We arrived at La Vergne without interruption. At that point the two regiments in advance and the battalion, which came up during the skirmish, were mounted on the train, leaving my command on foot in rear of the train. I rode forward and asked Col. McCook what I should do. He first said I had better encamp there with my command. I then told him it was "most too far from shore for me to cast anchor." He then ordered me to march on as fast as I could on foot, so that if they were attacked we could come up to their assistance, and said "he was ordered to go through that night." I obeyed said order, keeping in my rear the 100 cavalry first mentioned and a portion of the Second East Tennessee Cavalry until we arrived inside the lines. I then halted, let the cavalry pass, and went into camp for the night.
Next morning at daylight I took the line of march and marched to headquarters of Maj.-Gen. Rosecrans, where I reported to Brig. Gen. James G. Spears.

I had in all when I went to the skirmish, and also when it ended, present, 12 commissioned officers and 213 enlisted men.
All of the above I respectfully submit.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JOSEPH A. COOPER, Col. Sixth East Tennessee Infantry.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 20, pt. I, pp. 419-420




"If this war continues long I fear that such will be our fate, the negroes are becoming so scarce."


January 3rd--Sunday [1864]

        The children in the village are now old enough to begin to learn. A few weeks since we commenced having a Sabbath School. There are five in the class. o­nly o­ne knew the alphabet, they seem very anxious to learn and learn readily, but Mr. Brazil is so frightened at the coming of the enemy that he has resolved to move away and that takes away the three little girls. I am sorry to lose them and they seem equally sorry to go. The sabbaths are so quiet and lonely they weary us. The children now know all their letters and seem to have received their first idea of their maker. The oldest is scarcely ten years of age and very sickly. She told me today that although she could not read and write she can iron and scrub. It is said that she and the next, aged eight, cook, wash, etc.


        If this war continues long I fear that such will be our fate, the negroes are becoming so scarce. Dianah returned after dinner with her two children--had walked about eight miles in the rain. She brought a hen and a bottle of syrup for Clarence--a Christmas gift. Mr. Linn came home to visit his family from camp, to the great joy of his wife who has been mourning for him. She and her little boy are entirely alone and pass as lonely a life as can well be imagined--having to sit by the fire week after week without sewing or knitting and almost without reading. There is no cloth to be had and no thread, no yarn--nor anything to do with. Time passes heavily under such circumstances. It makes us think of home and the abundance we o­nce enjoyed; but however great our longings, there is no redress.


        For three long years the world has been comparatively lost to us. We know nothing of the changes that have taken place during that time. In dress we are just where we were in 1860--for fashion, but rags and wrinkles are more plentiful. Mr. Fisher dressed very shabbily. I have used bedticking--sheets--curtains and the linings of my dresses to clothe him and now we know not where to get anything more. All the old spinning wheels in the country have been put in operation and every thread that is spun has a quick demand. Mrs. Linn wears a course homespun dress that cost her $42.00. Now we cannot purchase even at that rate. Mr. Linn brings the good news that old Black Nelly is coming to live with them again which has brought joy to the household.


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3, Conditions in Middle Tennessee; a letter from Letitia Dobson to her daughter Laura Owen

Flat Creek, Williamson Co. Tenn.
Janry 3rd 1864

Dear Laura, I have a chance of writing to you once more. You cant [sic] know how much pleasure it would give me to see you. I have not heard from you since August. I reckon you think we are getting along very badly, but we are doing very well. We have plenty to eat & wear & all in good health.

Mary has been to Nashville twice. She has never taken the oath. I have never taken the oath. Everything is very quiet here now. Yankees have never interrupted anything I have yet, but talked of burning my house once. They caught some Rebel Soldiers here & had a smart little fight at the big gate. The rebels all got away safe. The bullets passed whistling through the yard & I was out trying to get the children in the house. Yankees have searched the house several times for your Pa. They think he is about home & say if he will come home he shall not be troubled. Capt. Rickman [a Federal officer] sent us a parole for him last week. Laura if you know where your Pa is I want you to write to him & tell him that I think he had better come back home. I heard that Dr. Owen was in very bad health. Your ought to try to get him to come back home. Dr. Buchanan has taken his place. He boards at Bill Hally's & has a very good practice. Bakers' family are all well it is not late bed time. Your must write the first chance.

Your mother,

Letitia Dobson.

Mrs. Dobson to Laura Owen, January 3, 1864.



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