Monday, May 20, 2013

5/20/2013 Tennessee Civil War Notes

20, A New York Newspaper's Assessment and Conjectures About Tennessee


The territory embraced by this State in mean length is four hundred miles, and the mean breadth one hundred and fourteen miles, containing an area of territory of 44,000 square miles, and embracing a population of 1,146,000, of which 167,000 are liable to military duty. In regard to the present crisis, Tennessee has not directly severed the bonds which bind that State to the Union. But it has adopted a military league made between its Governor and three Commissioners of the Confederate states, in which it is agreed that all the force of the State shall be employed to assist the confederated rebels. The Legislature has also adopted a declaration of independence, and has permitted the people to vote on it, which they will do on the 8rh of June prox. The State is at present without effective military arms, and some inconveniences may arise before it can send an effective force into the field. At present a considerable force from this State, under the command of Major General Pillow, is assembled at Memphis, and north twenty miles along the bank of the Mississippi. This force, it is reported, is co-operating with a large force from Arkansas, whose ultimate design is to besiege Cairo, Illinois, now occupied by United States troops.

The New York Herald, May 20, 1862. [1]




20, Skirmish[2] at Collierville

MAY 20, 1863.-Skirmish at Collierville, Tenn.


No. 1.-Col. John M. Loomis, Twenty-sixth Illinois infantry, commanding brigade.

No. 2.-Col. R. McCulloch. Second Missouri Cavalry (Confederate).

No. 1.

Report of Col. John M. Loomis, Twenty-sixth Illinois Infantry, commanding Brigade.

COLLIERVILLE, May 21, 1863.

SIR: The attack of yesterday evening was made on picket post Nos. 4 and 5, directly in our front, in three columns, by different roads, and of larger forces than I supposed last night. Cavalry and infantry supports arrived at the line before the enemy were out of sight of the next post, but, as they scattered in the woods, our cavalry did not overtake them. Neither post was surprised. The guard fought well, and held their posts too long to be able to retire, they being surrounded. My force at these two posts was 15 men and 2 non-commissioned officers. My loss was 1 killed and 9 missing. The balance did not come on, but held the vicinity of their post until they were re-enforced. I am not aware of the damage to the enemy, though some is reported. I can attach no blame to the officers or men of the guard. All were at post, and in proper order. They discovered the enemy at once, and made such disposition as the officer in charge thought best. Duration of attack probably not fifteen minutes. The guard fired an average of three rounds.

The lieutenant in charge of the left wing of the picket guard, who spends the whole tour of the guards on its line, was at post No. 3, and saw the affair, and speaks in praise of the conduct of the men, as do the citizens who saw the fight.

JOHN MASON LOOMIS, Col., Commanding Brigade.

No. 2.

Report of Col. R. McCulloch, Second Missouri Cavalry (Confederate).

SENATOBIA, MISS. May 21, 1863.

GEN.: The enemy advanced yesterday from Collierville, 1,000 strong, to Coldwater; returned in the evening. Capts. White and [W. H.] Couzens sent Lieutenant [Z. D.] Jennings with 10 me as far as Collierville; here the lieutenant killed 2 and captured 10 Federal prisoners. Arrived here this evening.


OR, Ser. I, Vol. 24, pt. I, p. 425.





            20, "Love in the County Jail."

Mel. Zachary is becoming desperate-desperately in love; the longer he remains in limbo the more ardent his devotion to his "dearest Mary." Read how eloquently he pleases his cause:

Nashville, May 17, 1864

Dearest Mary: -- Hoping that your eyes will light on these few lines now being traced by this trembling hand, and hoping that Providence will crown my feeble efforts with at least a kind consoling word of hope. Alas! thou, the idol of my heart, the adored of my only love, truly and tenderly do I love you and I hope I am not too unworthy of being loved in return. Although in bondage, I hope I will one day be at liberty; then, I trust, I will realize my only thoughts and wishes. Yes, I will then devote my life and all I have to your welfare, and hope that ours will be the union of souls which conjoin forever, and springing from a mutual perception of everlasting bliss, our walk through life will be strewn with choicest roses, uninterrupted by the thorns of misfortune. Oh! I long to be with you, to gaze upon those bright orbs of dazzling kindness; but alas! I must stop, and call cruel Fate, and the answer I find is as follows:

                                    Like some lone bird without a mate,

                                    My heart is weary and desolate;

                                    I look around, and cannot trace,

                                    One friendly smile, or welcome face,

                                    And in crowds I am still alone,

                                    Because I cannot love but one.

Hoping to hear a favorable response, I remain your devoted lover,

Melville Zachary.                    

Nashville Dispatch, May 20, 1864.


[1] TSL&A, 19th CN

[2] According to Dyer's Battle Index for Tennessee this was an affair.

James B. Jones, Jr.

Public Historian

Tennessee Historical Commission

2941 Lebanon Road

Nashville, TN  37214

(615)-532-1550  x115

(615)-532-1549  FAX


No comments: