Friday, May 24, 2013

5/24/2013 Tennessee Civil War Notes


The tocsin of war has sounded throughout

The land, and you country calls upon

You, in this, her hour of peril

Go forth, then, with bold-fronts, and

Brave hearts, and God speed you,

In your great and glorious cause.

And like the illustrious Washington,

The "Father of his Country," be "first in

"The hearts of your countrymen."

"Strike! 'till the last armed foe expires --

"Strike! for your altars and your fires-

"Strike! for the green graves of your sires,

"God, and your native land."

Fight, like brave and gallant men,

Strew the ground with the enemies slain;

Conquer, and return again,

With laurel wreaths of fame.

Montgomery County, May 20, 1861.

Clarksville Chronicle, May 24, 1861.




24, "Tennessee's Battle-Song"

By Henry Weber

Awake, take up the arms! prepare for battle!

Our country's honor calls on your her sons!

Arise! arise! ye warriors, from your slumbers!

There is not one of you who fighting shuns,

The Lord of hosts your hearts and arm will strengthen;

The prayers of wives and sisters, filled with woe,

Plead at his throne your cause, the cause of freedom!

Success to you! Confusion to the foe!


Form! form! in proud array, ye Tennesseans!

March onward-charge-break down the seried [sic] line

That now invades the South, hallowed to freedom,

Where happiness-religion-culture shine,

Amidst the storm of war and cannon roaring,

Think of your pass-word, "Death or victory?"

Renown and love the conqueror awaiting,

And glory those who in the battle die.


Fight manly! Shame on all who will be branded,

When the fight is o'er, with wounds on back or heel,

Where'er may be the "Valley of decision" --

Thus saith the Lord, decide it with the steel,

Let all your priests uphold their arms in prayer,

That God, the God of battle, be your stay;

While his strong aid the en'my is confounding;

Yours is the crown, the vict'ry of the day.

From the Nashville Patriot

Clarksville Chronicle, May 24, 1861.




24, "For them the tear trembled, but the rod was not raised." Military Governor Andrew Johnson at the Union meeting at Murfreesboro

Union Meeting at Murfreesboro.

On Saturday last, notwithstanding the rain in the early part of the day, a large audience, composed chiefly of the "bone and sinew" of Rutherford county, assembled in Convention at Murfreesboro, to take into consideration their relations to the Federal Government. Wm. Spence, Esq., a man deeply devoted to the interests of the Union, was called to the chair. Dr. E. D. Wheeler moved the adoption of the resolutions of the Union Convention at Nashville. Hon. Edmund Cooper, of Shelbyville, advocated the resolutions in a speech of about an hour's length, characterized by marked ability and true eloquence, pervaded by a lofty and noble patriotism. He pointed them to the best government on earth—a government which had been their pride and boast—a government which had secured unparalleled prosperity at home and commanded the respect of all nations abroad—a government which had grown with a rapidity never before known, because founded—in the choice and the affections of the people—the only government which had attained complete civil and ecclesiastical liberty—a government whose only object was the happiness of the people. Yet, this government so pure in its aims, so beneficent in its action, showering its blessings as freely as the rains of heaven, productive of nothing but happiness, had been sought to be overthrown by persons who owed their all to its goodness and justice and wisdom. What was the offence committed? Treason. What is the penalty attached to this offence by every nation of the earth? Death. But here again the benevolence of the Government interposed and said, no, let not a drop of blood flow from one of her people who would renew his loyalty. In unity there is strength. The spider's attenuated web could be blown asunder by every breeze; but you could multiply these threads, until their mighty strength could suspend the anchor of the proudest vessel that rides the waves of the ocean.

We regret the lack of time and space to report Mr. Cooper fully and accurately. His speech did honor to himself and justice to the occasion, and was listened to with undivided attention, and its effect was evident and happy.

Gov. Andrew Johnson followed Mr. Cooper. Never have we seen him in better plight. Here he had been heard, in days gone by, advocating the policy of the Government; now he was battling for its existence. Long, in time past, had the dear of the State been turned to him for counsel and advice; now was the deepest anxiety manifested again to hear his voice. His presence was inspiring, his whole countenance was lit up with animation, and his eyes glowed and sparkled with the intensity of feeling. There was a rush of the anxious to the stand, to catch the first word he uttered.

He began by reminding them of former times, when political differences obtained, which it was now pleasant to refer to, because those discussions were all conducted beneath the stars and stripes which this day floated over them, and underneath which they now proposed to pledge and renew their allegiance. His great familiarity with the political history of the country enabled him to show concisely and accurately the rise and progress of secession from its incipiency until the attainment of such gigantic proportion as emboldened it to lay its unhallowed and ruthless hands upon the bonds of the Union and attempt to break them asunder—while his resistless, searching logic ferretted out the sophisms of the specious catchword of "southern rights," and exposed their fallacies in all their glaring inconsistency. His burning, thrilling eloquence, rising with the occasion, embraced the subject in all its bearings and dependencies, portrayed in colors of glowing light the beauty, the grandeur and the happiness of our Government, emanating in the labors and sacrifices, the blood and treasure of our ancestors, secured and established by their wisdom and justice and transmitted to us with their blessings. He showed the patience and long suffering of the Government—its deep love for the people—it spoke more in sorrow than in anger—even now inviting them to the enjoyment of its affection and protection, and proclaimed peace and good will toward all men who would return within the pale of its mercy. For them the tear trembled, but the rod was not raised. It was only upon the persistent, hardened guilty that its punishment would fall, but upon such with crushing force and power, dividing marrow and bone.

The pleasure of listening to the speaker was heightened by observing the effect upon the crowd. They swayed to and fro before him like fields of waving grain before the wind. At one moment their faces were brightened with smiles, and again the tears streamed down their cheeks. For more than three hours they stood and listened without moving from their places. We have attended many, many popular gatherings, but never before did we see a speaker command such attention. We have often heard Governor Johnson, but never when so able, so convincing, so eloquent. We regard this as the most masterly effort of his life. He was in the State of his youth, whence from the humblest avocation he had risen by his own sterling worth to the highest honors, and in the promotion of the prosperity of the State in the Union, he had spent the toil and labor of his life. This beloved State had been sought to be torn from that dear Union, and to prevent which the people had assembled to advise and counsel with him. What more could inspire a man? What more could move a people? No wonder that when he had concluded his speech, they crowded around him, exchanged greetings and were still reluctant to separate from him.

It is almost superfluous to add, that these resolutions were unanimously adopted.

During the day, thirty-four men, members of Capt. Barclay's Company, 11th Tennessee Regiment, Col. Smith, came before the Provost Marshal, took the oath of allegiance, and are now at home. How beautifully this illustrates the magnanimity of the Government, and the moral courage of the men. The following are the names:'


We are happy to observe the Union sentiment that is beginning to obtain in Rutherford county.

We will avail ourselves of this opportunity to express our sincere thanks to E. L. Jordan, Esq., and lady, and to Wm. Spence, Esq., and family, for their great courtesy, kindness and hospitality to your correspondent.


Nashville Daily Union, May 27, 1862.




24, "The Rules of War."[1]

The Government has officially promulgated a code of "Instructions for the Government of the Armies of the United States in the Field," prepared by Francis Leiber, [2] [sic] L. L. D., of New York, a gentleman who for many years has devoted much time to the study and analysis of the customs pertaining to military affairs, as gathered from the history of various campaigns in all countries, and revised by a board of competent officers of the army, of which Maj. Gen. E. Hitchcock was president. The faithful observance of these instructions will remove many difficulties and embarrassments that have presented themselves in the execution of military law, because of the want of uniformity of policy, by which the different commanders could be guided. Since a line of conduct for the government of the troops has been thus authoritatively marked out, it will behoove every person connected with the army to perfectly familiarize himself, with the rule laid down. While students of the military art and observers of universal military usages may not concur in all the propositions submitted by Dr. Leiber [sic], and accepted by the Commander-in-Chief, we presume it will not be denied that, as a general thing, the principles of modern warfare are correctly set forth in this code.

Concerning martial law and military jurisdiction, the instruction are quite elaborate. The presence of an army in the enemy's country is itself a proclamation of martial law over the district occupied, and the commander of the forces may elect whether or not the administration of civil law may continue, either wholly or in part. But military oppression is not martial law; it is the abuse of the power which law confers. As military law is executed by military force it is incumbent upon those who administer to be strictly guided by the principles of justice, honor and humanity -- virtues adorning a soldier even more than other men, for the very reason that he possesses the power of his arms against the unarmed, its exercise extending to property and to persons, whether they are subjects of the enemy or aliens. The law of war "disclaims all extortions and other transaction for individual gain, all acts of private revenge or connivance with such acts," and offences to the contrary, particularly if committed by officers, are to be severely punished. Military jurisdiction is of two kinds only-one exercised by courts-martial, and the other (in cases which do not come within that jurisdiction conferred by statute) by military commission.

Military necessity consists in the necessity of measures indispensable to the ends of war, and which are lawful according to the modern rules and customs of war. Besides the direct destruction of the enemy, it admits of the withholding of the means of life from him, and if the appropriation of the supplies in an enemy's country; but it forbids the inflicting of suffering for revenge or any wanton destruction, and, in general, military necessity does not include any act of hostility which makes the return to peace unnecessarily difficult. The unarmed citizen is to be spared in person, property, and honor, as much as the exigencies of war will admit, protection of the inoffensive citizen of the hostile country being the rule, and privation and disturbance of private relations the exceptions. Commanders may compel the civil officers of the hostile country to take an oath of fidelity to the Government of the occupying army, and my expel all who decline to do so; but, in any case, the people and their civil officers owe strict obedience on peril of their lives, to the Generals holding the districts in which they reside. Unjust or inconsiderate retaliation only exasperates and leads nearer to savage warfare.

Classical works of art, libraries, scientific collections or precious instruments, such as astronomical telescopes, as well as hospitals, must be secured against all avoidable injury, even when they are contained in fortified places whilst besiege or bombarded; and in no case shall they be sold or given away, if captured by the armies of the United States, nor shall they ever be privately appropriated, or wantonly destroyed or injured.

The United States acknowledge and protect, in hostile countries occupied by them, religion and morality; strictly private property; the persons of the inhabitants, especially those of women, and the sacredness of domestic relations. Offenses to the contrary shall be rigorously punished. This rule does not interfere with the right of the victorious invader to tax the people or their property, especially houses, lands, boats or ships, and churches, for temporary or military uses. Private property, unless forfeited by crimes or by offenses of the owner, can be seized only by way of military necessity, for the support or other benefit of the United States. If the owner has not fled, the commanding officer will cause receipts to be given, which may serve the spoilated [sic] owner to obtain indemnity.

That ground is taken, in the instructions under notice, that an invading army may suspend or abolish, so far as its martial power extends, the relations arising from the services due one person to another, leaving the permanency of the change to the final settlement. The following is the wording of the instructions on this point:

Slavery, complicating and confounding the ideas of property, (that is of a thing,) and of personality (that is of humanity,) exists according to municipal or local law only. The law of nature and nations has never acknowledged it. The digest of the Roman law enacts the early dictum of the pagan jurist, that "so far as the law of nature is concerned, all men are equal." Fugitives escaping from a county in which they were slaves, villains or serfs, into another country, have, for centuries past, been held free and acknowledged free by judicial decisions of European countries, even though the municipal law of the country in which they had taken refuge acknowledged slavery within its own dominions.

Therefore, in a war between the United States and a belligerent which admits of slavery, if a person held in bondage by that belligerent be captured by or come as fugitive under the protection of the military forces of the United States, such person is immediately entitled to the rights and privileges of a freeman. To return to such person into slavery would amount to enslaving a free person, and neither the United States, nor any officer under their authority, can enslave any human being. Moreover, a person so made free by the law of war is under the shield of the law of nations, and the former owner or State can have, by the law of post-liminy, no belligerent lien or claim of service.

All captures belong exclusively to the Government. Wanton violence to property or persons, robbery, pillage, rape, etc., are prohibited under penalty of death, or other severe punishment. Officers and soldiers are alike forbidden to use their positions for private gain, "not even for commercial transactions otherwise legitimate." Offenses to the contrary committed by commissioned officers will be punished with cashiering or such other punishment as the nature of the offence may require; if by soldiers, they shall be punished according to the nature of the offence.

That portion of the instructions relating to insurrection, civil war, and rebellion, we give in full, as follows:

        142. Insurrection is the rising of people I arms against their Government, or a portion of it, or against one or more of its laws, or against an officer or officers of the Government. It may be confined to mere armed resistance, or it may have greater ends in view.

        150. Civil war is war between two or more portions of a county or State, each contending for the mastery of the whole and each claiming to be the legitimate Government. The term is also sometimes applied to war of rebellion, when the rebellious provinces or portions of the State are contiguous to those containing the seat of Government.

        151. The term rebellion is applied to an insurrection of large extent, and is usually a war between the legitimate Government of a country and portions or provinces of the same who seek to throw off their allegiance to it, and set up a Government of their own.

        152. When humanity induces the adoption of the rules of regular war towards rebels, whether the adoption is partial or entire, it does in no way whatever imply a partial or complete acknowledgment of their Government, if they have set up one, or of them as an independent or sovereign power. Neutrals have no right to make the adoption of the rules of war by the assailed Government toward rebels on the ground of their own acknowledgment of the revolted people or as an independent power.

        153. Treating captured rebels as prisoners of war, exchanging them, concluding of cartels, capitulation, and other warlike agreements with them; addressing officers of the rebel army by the rank they may have in the same; accepting flags of truce, or on the other hand, proclaiming martial law in their territory, or levying war taxes or forced loans, or doing any other act sanctioned and demanded by the law and usages of public war, between sovereign belligerents, neither proves nor established an acknowledgment of the rebellious people, or of the Government which they may have erected, as a public or sovereign power. Nor does the adoption of the rules of war towards rebels imply an engagement with those extending beyond the limits of these rules, it is victory in the field that ends the strife and settles the future relations between the contending parties.

        154. Treating, in the field, the rebellious enemy according to the laws and usages of the war, has never prevented the legitimate Government from trying the leaders of the rebellion or chief rebels for high treason, and from treating them accordingly, unless they are included in a general amnesty.

        155. All enemies in regular war are divided into two general classes; that is to say, into combatants and noncombatants, or unarmed citizens of the hostile Government.

The military commander of the legitimate Government, in a war of rebellion, distinguishes between the loyal citizen in the revolted portion of the country and the disloyal citizen. The disloyal citizens may further be classified into those citizens known to sympathize with the rebellion, without positively aiding it, and those who, without taking up arms, give positive aid and comfort the rebellious enemy, without being bodily force thereto.

        156. Common justice and plain expediency require that the military commander protect the manifestly loyal citizens, in revolted territories, against the hardships of war as much as the common misfortune of all war admits.

        The commander will throw the burden of the war, as much as lies within his power, on the disloyal citizens of the revolted portion or province, subjecting them to a stricter police than the non-combatant enemies have to suffer in regular war; and if he deems it appropriate, of if his Government demands of him that every citizen shall, by an oath of allegiance, or by some other manifest act, declare his fidelity to the legitimate Government, he may expel, transfer, imprison, or fine the revolted citizens who refuse to pledge themselves anew as citizens obedient to the lay and loyal to the Government.

        Whether it is expedient to do so, and whether and whether reliance can be placed upon such oaths, the commander of his Government have the right to decide.

        157. Armed or unarmed resistance by citizens of the United States against the lawful movements of their troops is levying war against the United States and is therefore treason.

Nashville Dispatch, May 24, 1863.


[1] A comprehensive version of the text of "the rules of war" is found in OR, Ser. II, Vol. 5, pp. 671-682. This brief treatment was obviously printed to justify the actions already taken by the Federal army in Tennessee.

[2] "Lieber" according to OR, Ser. II, Vol. 5, p. 671.

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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