Tuesday, April 23, 2013

April 23 - Tennessee Civil War Notes

23, 1861 -  The Ladies Patriotic Association of South Memphis organized
South Memphis Ladies' Patriotic Association.—A number of the ladies of South Memphis met at Grace church, on Monday evening, to arrange for the making up of military uniforms. Mrs. D. F. Townsend was appointed president, Miss Mary Orne, secretary, and Mrs. Ragan, treasurer. Thirty ladies enroled [sic] themselves as members, and it was resolved to take the name of "The Ladies' Patriotic Association of South Memphis." They will make uniforms for the Young Guards, the Shelby Greys, and the companies of the home guard of South Memphis. Mrs. Capt. McManus, Mrs. Dr. Sale and the Misses Creighton, were appointed a committee to solicit funds or sewing materials. The association will meet, for work, to-morrow evening at 2 o'clock, at the residence of Mrs. Taylor, on Mulberry street, between Beal and Linden, where uniforms, cut and ready for making up, maybe sent immediately. All ladies willing to assist, or to become members of the association, are cordially invited to attend at Mrs. Taylor's on Wednesday evening next.
Memphis Daily Appeal, April 23, 1861.

23, 1861 - Southern Home Society of Memphis' eighth ward formed
Ladies of the Eighth Ward.—The ladies of the Eighth ward responded liberally to a call on them to meet, last evening, to assist the military company of this ward in completing its equipments. Mrs. D. McComb was called to the chair, Mrs. Dr. Dickinson was appointed secretary, and Mrs. L. Perry treasurer. It was resolved that the ladies of the Eighth ward should form a society to be called the "Southern Home Society of Eighth Ward," and that the society tender its services to the military company of the Eighth ward to prepare flags and make up uniforms; also that the society meet every Thursday at 4 o'clock, P.M., at the house of Mrs. B. D. Nabors, on Alabama street. The following ladies were appointed to receive contributions: Mrs. L. Perry and Mrs. Neal. All the ladies of the ward are cordially invited to co-operate with us.
Memphis Daily Appeal, April 23, 1861.

23, 1862 - Confederate Proclamation regarding East Tennessee
The major-general commanding this department, charged with the enforcement of martial law, believing that many of its citizens have been misled into the commission of treasonable acts through ignorance of their duties and obligations to their State, and that many have actually fled across the mountains and joined our enemies under the persuasion and misguidance of supposed friends but designing enemies, hereby proclaims:
1st. That no person so misled who comes forward, declares his error, and takes the oath to support the Constitution of the State and of the Confederate States shall be molested or punished on account of past acts or words.
2d. That no person so persuaded and misguided as to leave his home and join the enemy who shall return within thirty days of the date of this proclamation, acknowledge his error, and take and oath to support the Constitution of the State and of the Confederate States shall be molested or punished on account of past acts or words.
After thus announcing his disposition to treat with the utmost clemency those who have been led away from the true path of patriotic duty the major-general commanding furthermore declares his determination henceforth to employ all the elements at his disposal for the protection of the lives and property of the citizens of East Tennessee, whether from the incurious of the enemy or the irregularities of his own troops and for the suppression of all treasonable practices.
He assures all citizens engaged in cultivating their farms that he will protect them in their rights, and that he will suspend the militia draft under the State laws that they me raise crops for consumption in the coming year.
He invokes the zealous co-operation of the authorities and of all good people to aid him in his endeavors.
The courts of criminal jurisdiction will continue to exercise their functions, save the issuing of writs of habeas corpus. Their writs will be served and their decrees executed by the aid of the military when necessary.
When the courts fail to preserve the peace or punish offenders against the laws these objects will be attained through the action of military tribunals and the exercise of the force of his command.
E. KIRBY SMITH, Maj.-Gen., Cmdg. Department of East Tennessee.
HDQRS. DEPARTMENT OF EAST TENNESSEE, Office Provost-Marshal, April 23, 1862.
To the Disaffected People of East Tennessee:
The undersigned, in executing martial law in this department, assures those interested, who have fled to the enemy's lines and who are actually in their army, that he will welcome their return to their homes and their families. They are offered amnesty and protection if they come to lay down their arms and act as loyal citizens within the thirty days given them by Maj.-Gen. E. Kirby Smith to do so.
At the end of that time those failing to return to their homes and accept the amnesty thus offered and provide for and protect their wives and children in East Tennessee will have them sent to their care in Kentucky or beyond the Confederate States lines at their own expense.
All that leave after this date with a knowledge of the above acts their families will be sent immediately after them. The women and children must be taken care of by husbands and fathers either in East Tennessee or in the Lincoln Government.
W. M. CHURCHWELL, Col. and Provost-Marshal.
OR, Ser. I, Vol. 10, pt. II, pp. 640-641. [1]

23, 1864 -  Condition of East Tennessee
Condition of East Tennessee.-The Commissioners sent to East Tennessee by the Pennsylvania Relief Association to investigate the condition of the suffering people of that region and to furnish supplies to them, has published a report of its proceedings. The Commission consisted of Frederic Collins and Lloyd P. L. Smith of Philadelphia, and Colonel N.F. Taylor of East Tennessee was added. The story of outraged and suffering is terrible; the loyal people of East Tennessee, ruined, driven from their homes, hunted like beasts, mercilessly dragged into the rebel armies under the conscription law, were forced to endure for two years the extremes of poverty and hardship. When, at last, Burnside's army appeared and the yoke of rebel tyranny was removed, the people were reduced to the point of starvation. It is stated in this report that the first supplies which reached Knoxville were those sent across the mountains in wagons by the Sanitary Commission.
Among the incidents related by Commissioner are the following:
Such is the destitution of fed and foraged in East Tennessee, than ten thousand animal belonging to the army are now dead at the front, and the farmers are compelled to let their horses and cattle die. The few we saw were emaciated in the extreme. The barns we passed on the road were perfectly empty; no fences were to be seen, no hogs, no poultry, nothing but the bare land. Flour, of poor quality, is worth at Knoxville, thirty dollars a barrel; coffee one dollar and fifty cents a pound in Federal currency, and other articles in proportions.
The destitution is not confined to any one class. The most thrifty and hitherto well-to-do, are involved in the common ruin. In Blount county, south of Knoxville, there is a settlement of members of the Society of Friends, amounting to some two hundred and fifty families. The we arrived at Knoxville, one of them, a Mr. Jones, went to Colonel Baxter and said-
"Colonel, can you tell me where the Quartermaster lives?"
"What do you want?"
"I want to get assistance; I have nothing to eat."
"Are you in that condition?"
"Yes, we are all in that condition."
They were previously very well off-.
They had never held slaves.
There is another Quaker settlement at Newmarket, about twenty-five miles north-
East of Knoxville, not quite so large as that in Blount county, but in a still worse condition. The Hon. Horace Maynard told an anecdote which is very significant of their sentiments. About eight or ten years ago there were two candidates for the legislature "stumping" the district of the company. One of them was rich, but had been a negro trader. After making his speech, the other candidate mounted the platform, and, pulling out of his cot pocket a pair of handcuffs, held them up to the audience saying: "This is the way he made his money." The negro trader lost every vote.
At last this long-suffering people saw Burnside's columns advance to their relief, and in September 1863, the flag of the United States was once more unfurled in Knoxville. The occasion was one long to be remembered. As if by magic, the long concealed Union flags were brought forth, and the cherished symbol waved in all parts of the town. The people poured into Knoxville from distances of five to twenty miles on foot, on horseback and in wagons, bringing with them in baskets the little delicacies which they had stored away to greet the Unites States soldiers on their arrival.
In one instance a Babtist [sic] clergyman, living about nine miles from Knoxville, heard at eleven o'clock at night of the arrival of our advance guard. He rose, dressed himself, and started immediately to communicate the glad tidings to his neighbors; and they, catching his spirit, did likewise, and from a distance of eight or ten miles they flocked into Knoxville, arriving there before sunrise. A refugee whom we met in the cars returning to his home, told us that his mother went eighteen miles on horseback "just a purpose to see Burnside's army." It may not be improper to remark in this place, and, indeed, it is only just to do so, that Gen. Burnside has won the love and respect of the East Tennesseeans in a peculiar degree, from the considerate and impartial manner in which he exercised his rule amongst them.
The Daily Cleveland Herald, April 23, 1864. [2]

23, 1865 - News of the assassination of Lincoln reaches Lucy Virginia French
A great tragedy has been enacted, since my last writing, in the assassination of Lincoln and Seward. The first we heard of it was on last Thursday evening. I was out in the front yard clipping some cedars when the Col. came to the door – he had just come up from the garden, in his shirt-sleeves – and he said very quietly, "Well, Lincoln's dead!" I had not the smallest idea it was true. Mrs. Myers sent Billy out to tell us. The Col. went in town directly to learn the particulars. The story then ran that Lincoln and Johnson had been at the theatre together – a man had rushed up and stabbed both – killing Lincoln and mortally wounding Johnson, and the assassin had himself been killed on the instant. That was all anybody knew. Next day, in addition, comes the report that Seward had his throat cut also – then I didn't believe any of the story. Thursday, however, a courier came from Tulahoma [sic]-and Mollie came up from Woodbury. The story then ran that Lincoln and Mrs. L. went to the theatre-Mr. L. was shot in the head in his box by Wilkes Booth a son of Booth, the actor, and that he escaped on a fleet horse. The same evening Seward's room was entered – his two sons were murdered and he himself had his throat cut from ear to ear. Andy Johnson and Gen. Grant were included in the conspiracy, but they escaped, and Andy was inaugurated next day – Thus goes the rumor, and we've heard nothing more of any account. There was intense excitement in Nashville – some 10 men killed for rejoicing over Lincoln's death. Gen. Milroy, at Tullahoma also had some of his soldiers shot for the same, it is said. We are told that about 30 citizens of Nashville were arrested because they implicated Andy in the assassination of "Honest Abe." Some person in Murfreesboro took the crape from their doors, which had been placed there by military order – the houses were entered and the furniture destroyed or carried off. In town here many put mourning on their doors – both parties, but no such order was issued. The soldiers, however, exerted themselves to draw citizens into some expression of joy over the tragedy – so that they would have a pretext for ill using them. I feel that it is dreadful,-a tragedy solemn even to awfulness.
War Journal of Lucy Virginia French.

[1] See also OR, Ser. II, Vol. I, pp. 882, 884; and Daily National Intelligencer, June  7, 1862; The Christian Banner (Fredericksburg, VA) June 7, 1862 in GALE GROUP.

[2] TSL&A, 19th CN

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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