Thursday, April 18, 2013

4/18/2013 Tennessee Civil War Notes = TCWN

18, "The Conscript Act." The Confederate Draft, 1862

We are indebted to Governor Harris for the following synopsis of the Conscript Act of the Confederate Congress, telegraphed to him by the Secretary of War:


As act has passed both Houses of Congress, placing in the military service of the Confederate States for three years, or the war, all persons between eighteen and thirty-five years of age, who are not legally exempt from military service.

All twelve month volunteers between these ages to serve two years from the term of their enlistment, and all of them under eighteen and over thirty-five to remain ninety days, unless their places are sooner supplied by recruits. The twelve months men who have not yet received bounty or furloughs are to have them-the furloughs to be granted in such numbers and at suited times, as the Secretary of War may deem compatible with the public service.

Re-enlistments, for the purpose of changing from one regiment, battalion or company to another, unless already perfected by actual transfer, are in effect canceled; and all authorities to raise new corps are vacated, unless within thirty days from the passage of the act the organization is complete and has the requisite number of recruited from persons not now in the service. Companies of infantry are to have one hundred and twenty-five, field artillery one hundred and fifty, cavalry eighty.

All corps of twelve months volunteers shall have the right, within forty days, on a day to be fixed by the commander of the brigade, to elect all their officers which they had a right heretofore to elect -- such officers to be commissioned by the President.

All white males between eighteen and thirty five subject to military duty and not now in service, are to be enrolled and mustered in and sent to the old regiments.

All discharges from expiration of term of service and transfers of re-enlisting to new corps will be immediately stopped.

G. W. RANDOLPH, Sec'y of War.

Memphis Appeal, April 18, 1862.




18, "Has Memphis Done Its Duty?" [1862]

It is a common thing for strangers, on arriving in this city, to express surprise at the large numbers of men, out of uniform, they meet with in the streets. They have just arrived from a little town, or village, that has patriotically put forth its strength, and sent out its sons to the war. The place for weeks before they left was in a blaze of enthusiasm, and excitement was at a fever height. They arrive at Memphis, and see hundreds of persons daily thronging the streets, who bear about them no mark of connection with military affairs; they also hear the topics of the day discussed with dispassionate calmness, and to their eye – just dazzled with the brilliant and certainly honorable display of the patriotism of the spot they have left – the people with whom they come in contact in Memphis appeal cold and indifferent. Strangers reaching this city, under these circumstances, not uncommonly complain that Memphis is apathetic and that it is behind in the discharge of its duty. Volunteers arriving here – full of the zeal that rises when the uniform is first put on, and the musket first handled – have been heard to exclaim: "We came to fight for Memphis, but she does not fight for herself?"

This complaint is made sometimes in sorrow, sometimes in anger, but as it is often made with a conviction of its accuracy, it is desirable that the real state of the case should be known. It is true that the fiery enthusiasm which exists in a town, or village, on the departure of a large number of its citizens for the scene of war, is not to be found effervescing daily in our streets. When our first companies were raised and left the city, we were not deficient in our display of this quality. Our men shouted as loud and our lady patriots waved their handkerchiefs as eagerly, as can be done anywhere. Enthusiasm is an effervescence, that among a people bent on carrying out a grave purpose, settles down to a feeling of calm, but intense and earnest determination; Memphis has arrived at that point. Enthusiasm is like the dazzling rocket that flies sparkling through the air; the stern resolve of an intelligent people resembles the cannon ball, which presents little that is taking to the eye, but accomplishes its purpose with deadly energy. It is also to be remembered that the military display that so attracts the notice of the stranger, and so profoundly moves him, is a daily spectacle in our streets, and has ceased to be novel. So much for what has been mistaken for cold feeling. We have next to notice the charge that while people have their homes to fight for Memphis, Memphis does not fight for itself.

The stranger entering our city and promenading the streets is not naturally surprised to find so many persons walking about, lingering at the street corners, in the hotel parlors, and about public places, having apparently little or no occupation, yet being, for anything the spectator can discover, unconnected with the army. We first call the stranger's attention to the fact, that he is necessarily unable to tell, whether her crowds he meets in the streets are principally citizens of the place, or whether they are mostly strangers; he generally supposes that, with small exception, they are Memphis people. This supposition is erroneous. Our city has for some time been in the neighborhood of live operations; this has caused an influx of all sorts of persons having business with the camps or on a visit to friends in the army. It is also the report of refugees from Kentucky, Missouri, Nashville, and all that part of Tennessee now invaded by the enemy. Here ordnance stores, clothing, artillery, provisions, etc., have been obtained, forwarded, or made for the army. Here transportation, quartermasters, ordnance, and other government offices are located and ma[jor offic]es for recruiting have been opened. Here the Legislature has met, and here state and county business, and business connected with the Confederate States, has been transacted. Here also persons on travel arrive in large numbers by river and railroad and the interruption of the ordinary regularity of transit, frequently detains people here for days, who, in ordinary times, would remain but for a few hours, or simply pass on them without stopping.

Let the reader class in his mind clerks, mechanics, shipbuilders, laborers, and the many "hangers-on" that are always near an army, passing backward and forward, and he can easily imagine that we must necessarily at this time – with active operations at Fort Pillow on one side of us, and at Corinth on the other, beside our connection with what has been up the White and Arkansas rivers – we have an unusual influx of strangers not only arriving and departing, but remaining in our midst. A large portion of these, although in government service and connected with the army, wear no uniforms, and are taken for civilians. We may also remark that when members of the army, belonging in the city, are here on furlough or on business, it is usual for them, when not directly on service, to put aside the attire of the camp, and appear in public in their ordinary dress.

We think the stranger, disposed to censure the people of Memphis, who reads this, will acknowledge that the matter now appears under a different aspect. For the correctness of our statement, we would, in the first place, refer the reader to the hotel registers. He will find that, throughout the winter, the arrivals have been immense, much larger than when the city was open to travel to and from the whole United States. By inquiry of the hotel clerks, he will find that frequently the Gayoso, Worsham, and other hotels, have been compelled to send away all who arrived after nine o'clock in the evening. In the second place, we could ask the censorious, especially if they have visited Memphis before, to look in at our banks, office stores, and counting-rooms, and observe how few clerks and assistants are at work, compared with what is usual. Even the entire stranger cannot help being struck when his attention is called to this; to those who knew this city before the late changes, the difference will be startlingly perceptible. We might mention other matters, but the above will amply suffice to convince the candid mind, that the number of Memphis people now in Memphis is very much less than is usual, while the number of strangers present in Memphis is much more than usual.

We had thought of speaking of the vast proportion of our male population who have forsaken their usual occupations for the field; and of telling of the enormous contributions that have been and are now made here for the war, for the comfort of soldiers in the camp for fitting out companies, for aiding sick and wounded soldiers, for the support of the families of soldiers, and for other objects, in which the property of our citizens has been unstintedly lavished in behalf of the patriotic object which the united South is fighting. Such an enumeration of our efforts...though intended to relieve our city, from a mistaken and undeserved imputation might be mistaken for a vain parade of what we have done-not for the purposes of making a display and winning praise, but for our fair country's cause. We, therefore, rest our case on the explanation given and fear not that the candid and conscientious reader, when asked "Has Memphis done its duty?" will unhesitatingly reply in the affirmative.

Memphis Appeal, April 18, 1862.




18, Confederate conscription notice for Sevier county, 1863


To All Persons Between the ages of 18 and 40, in the county of Sevier, State of Tennessee: You are hereby notified to attend on Monday, the 27th inst., at Sevierville, for examination. All persons in the county between the ages of 18 and 40 years, whether residents of any other portions of the State, or other States, are required to report themselves at the above specified rendezvous, to the Examining Board and enrolling officer. This notice includes every person between the ages specified-those who have heretofore been examined and discharged either by State or Confederate surgeons-those who have at any time been discharged from the army, those who have furnished substitutes, and any and all persons who may  obtain exemptions upon any ground whatever. No person's exemption, discharge or detail from any source whatever will excuse attendance at the place appointed.

2. All the laws and regulations applicable to deserters shall be applied to such Conscripts as fail to repair to the place of rendezvous for enrollment, or who shall desert after enrollment.

3. All the agencies employed for the apprehension and confinement  of deserters and their transportation to the commands of their respective commanders, shall be applicable to persons liable to duty as Conscripts who shall fail to repair to the place of rendezvous after the publication of the call.

Conscripts will come provided with at least three days' rations.

The Medical Board for the District will be present, one day specified, to examine all who are present.

No one will be excused from attendance, but will be apprehended if not present, and punished to the extent of the law.

By order of

E. D. Blake, Lt. Col., C. S. A., Commandant of Conscripts

J. M. Driver, Chief Surg. Conscripts.

Knoxville Daily Register, April 18, 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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