Wednesday, April 3, 2013

4/3/13 Tennessee Civil War Notes = TCWN

3, "If I dont [sic] talk with them at least 15 minutes they think they are not properly cared for, & if I do I spend 2250 minutes or 37½ hours which cant [sic] be did [sic] in one [sic] day." The problems of operating a Union hospital in Murfreesboro; an excerpt from the letter of Surgeon William M. Eames to his wife in Ohio

Union Coll. Hospital

April 3rd 1862 [sic]

Dearest wife,

I have rec'd your letters up to the 24th of March & I am very glad to hear of your continued improvement 7 that the rest are all well. It is 7 P.M. & such a days work as I have done to day is really astonishing to myself. I tho't [sic] I knew before some of the perplexities of soldiering but I give it up. I just begin to see what can be done in a military way. Just think of prescribing for 150 very [sic] sick men, & all of them blue & homesick & most of them wanting me [sic] to get them a furlough our discharge. If I dont [sic] talk with them at least 15 minutes they think they are not properly cared for, & if I do I spend 2250 minutes or 37½ hours which cant [sic] be did [sic] in one [sic] day. Then I have to see that they are all properly fed & washed & don't [sic] get lousy[.] Then there is any amount of Captains to give directions about their men & make themselves disagreeable & a score of privates to see their friends who are sick. After the sick were all prescribed for & the rooms all full & everything swept up, up comes an Ambulance load of sick & grunting, then another then 4 more & after a little we have 200 sick & grunting men to look to me [sic] for beds & rations. I have no beds & only cooking utensils enough to cook for 100 men at the outside & two green boys [sic] for cooks. The word soon goes out that we are not taking care of the men & in come captains Colonels Doctors & Lieutenants to sputter and bluster. I confess I could not stand it & left to see the Paymaster & thought I didn't care a cuss [sic] for anything. Didn't care whether school kept or not, but after getting the money due I hastened back & put forth my best endeavers [sic] to bring order out of confusion & not we have our rooms all full & the halls nearly ditto & two men dead & one dying, just brot [sic] in. We are in for three funerals tomorrow & lots of other fun. I am writing in the midst of the greatest hubbub - have had one row with a Wisconsin Capt. & several calls from privates & papers & letters presented with discriptive lists [sic] of men & I can hardly tell what to write or what to think – but I feel first rate & am quite well [sic]. Our Reg marches to-morrow at 6 A.M. & I feel rather bad to think of being left behind but will try to make the best of it. I have got a good place, & ought to feel contented as I got rid of helping to put up tents & pack & unpack & above all of living on the damp ground. I got my pay 392 ¼ dolls [sic] – up to March 1st….

One or two brigades have gone to-day & all the rest go tomorrow & another one is expected soon. Hope they wont [sic] stop here for I have got sick enough in all conscience to see to without any other Brigades.

Rob.[1] has been undergoing an examination but has not yet to through. Dont [sic] know how he will do so now as the examiners have gone. Would give 20 dolls [sic] myself if he had only passed & got appointed with me in this place, but still he may do so yet. The prospect is pretty fair if he can only catch up.

The division stops at Shelbyville & he will go on there the fore part of next week.

Have paid out 5 or six dolls [sic] for things to fix up the Hospital with but hope Uncle Sam will pay back. They leave a guard with me so I feel safe.

I must close & go to bed as I am very tired. Tomorrow will be the worst [sic] day for me of the whole year & I dread it.

Very aff'ly [sic] yours,

Wm. M. Eames

William Mark Eames Papers




3, Governor Isham G. Harris' letter confirming Confederate elections in August 1863

Letter from Governor Harris, of Tennessee


To the Editor of the Winchester (Tenn.) Bulletin.

Tullahoma, Tenn., April 3, 1863.

My attention has been called to the following paragraph in your issue of the 21st ultimo[2]: -

It has been settled that there will be no election for Governor of Tennessee, in August next, if the federal army continue to hold the Middle and West sections of that State. By virtue of the constitution Governor Harris holds his office until his successor is elected.

A similar [paragraph appeared in the Memphis Appeal of the 27th ult.

Allow me to suggest that it is settled by the constitution of Tennessee that there shall be an election for Governor, Senators and Representatives, on the first Thursday in August, and there is no power in or out of the state which can change or annul this constitutional requirement.

The election by all means and certainly will be held at the time fixed by the constitution. We should therefore, at the proper time, take all necessary preparatory steps.

Forgetting all the differences of opinion upon minor questions of the past, we should select a good and true man for each position, in whose support all true patriots can cordially unite.

If we will present one and but one such candidate in each elective district throughout the State, federal bayonets cannot prevent the election of sound Southern rights men to the positions of Governor, representatives in Congress and the General Assembly.

The people of that portion of Tennessee within the enemy's lines present the proudest spectacle of heroic firmness in their patriotic devotion to our cause. We may confidently rely upon their cordial co-operation so far as they may be permitted to vote or take part in the election.

But long before August, the rivers will have fallen to low water mark, giving us an open field in which to meet the enemy. [sic] I feel that I hazard very little in expressing the confident belief, that, before election day, we will  have crushed or driven from our State the miserable mercenaries and vandals who have so long plundered and oppressed a brave, true and patriotic people, leaving every portion of the State free and untrammeled in the exercise of the elective franchise.

Very respectfully,

Isham G. Harris.

New York Herald, April 21, 1863.[3]


3, 1864 "The bad conduct of our own men troubled me greatly." An entry from the Diary of Confederate Eliza Rhea Anderson Fain

Last night I lay down with a troubled heart. The bad conduct of our own men troubled me greatly. This morning as I was assisting to prepare my breakfast I was much impressed with the thought we may be reduced to great want for provisions, everything looks so dark and gloomy. The rain continues to fall, so that we cannot do anything about farming. Our horses have all been taken out of the country. The able bodied portion of most families, white and black are gone. Women and children with few boys and a few stout black men are all that's left.

Fain Diary.




3, 1865, "Five months from today I will be entitled to my freedom if by the blessing of God I am permitted to have that long." Life in a Federal camp in East Tennessee

Camp of the 84th Ind. E.[ast] T.[Tennessee]

April 3d/65

Dear Mother,

….We are 62 miles east of Knoxville on the Knoxville and Lynchburg railroad. It is repaired up to this point. They are now working on an extensive trusle work, that will require 3 or 4 weeks for its completion. The probability is that we will move our camp a short distance in a day or two, owing to the unhealthy locality of our present one, and the bad water we are obliged to use. I have had the diarrhoea [sic] for the past three days. It is much better now. I also have a sty on my left eye that is quite disagreeable.

~ ~ ~

Five months from today I will be entitled to my freedom if by the blessing of God I am permitted to have that long. I do not suppose I will have another opportunity of geting [sic] photographs. The day we left Hunstville I had intended to get a dozen. I have recd letters from Phebe [sic] and B.L. Weber.

….Orders have come to go and poliece [sic] the new camping ground. I am not going….

Letters from Private Calvin W. Diggs.


[1] Unitentified. Perhaps his brother or brother-in-law.

[2] The February 21, 1863 issue of the Winchester Bulletin is not extant.


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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