Thursday, March 7, 2013

March 7 - Tennessee Civil War Notes

7, A letter from Confederate John H. Crozier[1], in Knoxville, to his wife in Morristown
Knoxville, March 7th- 1862
My dear Wife --
Etheldred could not send you anything by Express yesterday because they could not carry anything. I had expected to send all your flour and have written to Easley to send me the bacon of two hogs and a stand of lard. But for fear I cannot get these things I wrote to James Williams today to buy you two or three hundred dollars worth of provisions, and if I can get the provisions from here down to you we can very easily sell the others. I advise you by all means to urge James immediately to buy you enough of provisions of all kinds to last you until the first of July.  
Etheldred has joined Jacksons Company[.] I gave him his choice and told him to do just as he pleased. He goes in a mess with Bake Crozier & others that he is very much pleased with.
We have no news here of any kind, Our Commanding General  has not yet arrived. I believe most of our people think the enemy will not attempt to come in to  East Tennessee though it will not doubt be urged very strongly by [Andrew] Johnson and Maynard.
I have said above I would write to James Williams but it is later that I has supposed and the mail is about to close. So you send word to James Williams just at once to buy you meat and flour enough to last you until July and as I have before stated if we get the provisions from here down we can sell the others. You had also better buy molasses and whatever else you want. When I hear you are provided for it will make me much easier. Goodbye  my dearest wife. I write in something of a hurry.
Yr. affectionate husband,
Jno. H. Crozier
W. P. A. Civil War Records, Vol. I, p. 18.[2]

7, "To the stranger there can be no more interesting place to visit; to the citizen, none more useful; for here he may see how degraded human nature may be elevated to the dignity of refined art, and made useful and even ornamental to society." A visit to the State Penitentiary
The Penitentiary.
The duties of an Editor are varied, and as he is required to know a little, at least, of everything, he must move around among all kinds of people, visit all kinds of places, study all manner of men and things, and mix and stir about generally and promiscuously. He meets, in the course of a day, hundreds of friends, each of whom desires to know the latest news, and some spread before him all their grievances, make known their joys and sorrows, and expect the Editor to weep and rejoice, as they incline, and to be posted in all things on which they choose to question him. To maintain among his friends a goodly reputation, which is not all "bubble," for
A good name, in man or woman,
Is the immediate jewel of their souls,
The Editor must be constantly on the move, with eyes and ears open, ever ready to give or to receive. Hence we find the Editor at all times in all manner of places (and not unfrequently a tight one)—the Jail, the Church, the Penitentiary and the Prayer-meeting, the Workhouse and the Sunday School, the courtroom and the Ball-room, Theatres and Concerts, the mansion of the rich, the hovel of the poor; he converses alike freely with the peer and the peasant, rich and poor, old and young, male and female, virtuous and degraded, white and black, and "the damned injun"—all expect the Editor to hold converse with them, and if he expects to keep pace with the times he must do it.
Yesterday we paid a visit to the Penitentiary—the home of penitents, a house of correction for evil-doers, and a home of industry for all its inmates. This institution is under the superintendence of Mr. James Cavert [?], assisted by Mr. A. W. Pyle as Deputy, R. H. Cameron as Treasury Clerk, W. W. Berry as Auditing Clerk, and guards, keepers, instructors, etc. A hasty walk through the institution is only provocative of a desire to see more, but the practiced eye can see a heap in an hour, in passing through the store-rooms, kitchens, barber-shop and bake-house, washrooms and work-shops, forges and furniture rooms, saddlery and sale rooms, machinery and mahogany, toys and toilettes—all neat, well regulated; order, industry, and quiet prevailing. To the stranger there can be no more interesting place to visit; to the citizen, none more useful; for here he may see how degraded human nature may be elevated to the dignity of refined art, and made useful and even ornamental to society. Among the articles there manufactured by the prisoners, and on sale, are beautifully carved bedsteads, and toilette bureaus, water tanks of magnificent proportions, and buckets of all descriptions, whisky barrels and beds (not whisky beds), crutches and cradles, chairs of all descriptions, parlor and toilette stands and tables, and looking-glasses and checker-boards, tooth-picks and pick-axes, boxes and chests, churns and carriages, Express wagons and all other kinds of wagons, harness and boots and shoes, tin-ware and trinkets—in short, of all things useful there is an infinite variety, and of the ornamental there are many curiosities, which excite alike our wonder and surprise. To attempt a description of the many articles which attracted our attention would be a waste of words—we can only advise all who have the time, to visit the place, and if anything is wanted by the visitors, from a doll cradle to a wedding bedstead, from a pair of shoes to a set of harness, from a toy wagon to a gun carriage, order it, and depend upon it you will not regret the price paid. And before you leave, take a toy and drop a shinplaster in the tobacco bank. You will find the keeper affable, and everybody civil.
Nashville Dispatch, March 7, 1863.

7, "The quiet of our life was disturbed today by the arrival of 150 Yankees." A day in the life of Confederate Belle Edmondson

March, Monday 7, 1864

The quiet of our life was disturbed today by the arrival of 150 Yankees-only two came to the house. We gave them their dinner. Mr. Wilson and Decatur were down in the Orchard. Helen sent for them to come and capture the Yanks, we saw the rest coming, & Tate and I ran to tell them it was too great a risk. Mr. W. and D. were nearly to the gate, I was never so excited-we turned them in time, the two Yanks passed while we were standing there. Mr. W. and D. came to the house and spent some time with us, when Mr. W. followed the Yankees. They returned about 9 o'c  on their way to Memphis. D. and Cousin F. had a run again, with the horses, but fortunately none of them came in.
I have not done any work today, have suffered death with my spine. Tate and Helen at work in my room all day-I sat in Tate's room until bed time. Beulah, Laura, and Tip all in time-I amused myself reading Artemus Wards  book.

We did not hear what the Yanks went for, we heard from Eddie and the boys, all safe. One of Henderson's scouts arrived.

Diary of Belle Edmondson

7, Arrest of two Confederate spies

Maj. Gen. G. H. THOMAS:

I have here in arrest two noted rebel women, Mrs. Dolly Battle and Miss Sallie Battle, who reside ten miles from Nashville, but came all the way to Wartrace, on horseback, two days ago, to recoffin  and bury the body of Trummel, alias Van Houghton, who was killed at that place on the night of the 21st ultimo, while engaged, with nine other guerrillas, in robbing the telegraph office and stores. The daguerreotypes of these two she rebels  were found on the body of this robber thief after he was killed, with letters from them showing great intimacy. They boast that they are rebels and have never taken the oath. Their father is an officer in the rebel army; their brother Bob is a guerrilla. This family have  been spies and harborers of rebels and guerrillas since the beginning of the war. Their mother, as I was well informed last summer, boasts that they have done more good for the Confederate cause than a regiment of soldiers. I respectfully ask permission to send these two south of our lines.

R. H. MILROY, Maj.-Gen.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 49, pt. I, p. 856.

NASHVILLE, TENN., March 8, 1865.
Maj. Gen. R. H. MILROY, Tullahoma:
Did the Battles boast to you that they had never taken the oath of allegiance to the United States? The mere fact of their desire to bury their friend decently is not an act of disloyalty. The evidence which you report, however, creates a suspicion that they may have been taking advantage of their position as women and become the colleagues and associates of guerrillas-the most diabolical of all political criminals. If such be clearly the fact they must be sent beyond our lines.[3]

GEO. H. THOMAS, Maj.-Gen., U. S. Army, Cmdg.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 49, pt. I, p. 862.

[1] The introduction to this letter in the W. P. A. Civil War Records, Vol. I, p. 14, states "Col. John H. Crozier was one of the most distinguished lawyers in the State, and a man of ability and renoun [sic], and with a commanding law practice." Undoubtedly this was rather a filiopietistic judgment as the letter was listed as being owned by "Miss Lucy Crozier." Other evidence indicates other less illustrious traits. In a letter from Robertson Topp, a Confederate official, to attorney Robert Josselyn in Memphis, dated October 26, 1861, the embarrassment caused the Confederate government by the enthusiastic arrests made of East Tennessee citizens deemed to be enemies of the state were made by "a few malicious, troublesome men in and about Knoxville. I always hear the names of W. G. Swan, William M. Churchwell, John H. Crozier, [John] Crozier Ramsey and the postmaster at Knoxville mixed up with these matters. It is these men have private griefs and malice to gratify and they aim to bring down the avenging arm of the Government to satiate their passions." See: OR, Ser. Ser. II, Vol. I, p. 834. According to Col. Robert B. Vance [C. S. A.], in a letter to President Jefferson C. Davis dated February 15, 1862, there was in Knoxville "a villainous clique here of most corrupt, vindicate and despicable scoundrels-of whom John H. Crozier, J. C. Ramsey and W. G. Swan are chief." See: OR, Ser. II, Vol. 1, p. 927. He was thus distinguished by Confederate authorities as something less than "distinguished...a man of ability and renoun [sic]...." At the very least he was not considered an asset by Confederate authorities.

[2]Tennessee, Records of East Tennessee, Civil War Records, Volume I, Prepared by the Historical Records Survey Transcription Unit, Division of Women's and Professional Projects Works Progress Administration, Mrs. John Trotwood Moore, State Librarian and Archivist, Sponsor, T. Marshall Jones, State Director, Mrs. Penelope Johnson Allen, State Supervisor, Mrs. Margaret H. Richardson, District Supervisor, Nashville, Tennessee, The Historical Records Survey, June 1, 1939, p. 18 [Hereinafter cited as W. P. A. Civil War Records, Vol._ __, p. ____, etc.]

[3] There is no indication in the OR as to whether or not these two women were sent south of Federal lines. However, the Battle women were noted for their strong support for the Confederacy. For example, Fannie Battle, sister to Sallie and daughter to Dolly, had been arrested for spying earlier in April 1863.

James B. Jones, Jr.
Public Historian
Tennessee Historical Commission
2941 Lebanon Road
Nashville, TN  37214
(615)-532-1550  x115
(615)-532-1549  FAX

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