Saturday, May 25, 2013

5/25/2013 Tennessee Civil War Notes

25, Assistance for Soldiers' Families

Aid to the Families of Soldiers.—The county court have undertaken to allow to the wives of those who are absent on military duty twelve dollars a month, and to each of their children six dollars a month, when such families require such aid. Persons desirous of availing themselves of the allowance offered, will apply at the office of Esq. Hume F. Hill, on Main street, between Madison and Monroe streets, over Mansfield's drug store, or to Esq. Mallory, over Dearing & Wetherill's drug store, Main street, between Union and DeSoto streets.

Memphis Daily Appeal, May 25, 1861


25, Criticism of the Tennessee Legislature's intent to raise and finance an army

That lawless secession mob, the Legislature of Tennessee, passed a bill to raise an army of 55,000 men and five millions of dollars. Tennessee has already ten or fifteen thousand armed men in the field, and the legislative bill, if carried out, will bankrupt the State utterly. The people of Tennessee can no more bear the contemplated taxation than they can pay the nation debt of Great Britain. The whole property of tens of thousands of families will be scarified, and still neither the required amount of money nor a half nor a quarter of the required amount will be collected.

But this monstrous bill is, for the form's sake, to be voted on by the people of Tennessee. If they were left to exercise their own free wills, they would crush it instantly and forever. But there can be no freedom of will in the case; the bill must be passed whether the people will it or not. For this the Union speakers of Tennessee are silenced upon the stump by threats of murder, the papers of that State have the soul of freedom and manhood crushed out of them by the mountain-weight of fear and terror, independent papers from abroad are mobbed out by vigilance committees, the State is covered all over with armed troops, and the voters are notified, that, to secure the safety of life and limb, they must, although possessing the legal right to vote by secret ballot, go to the polls with ballots so exposed that all may see what is written therein. By such means the people of Tennessee, who, if duly protected in the right of suffrage, would reject the wretched and pestilent secession ordinance by an overwhelming majority, and to be disciplined, dragooned, coerced into acquiescence in a measure, which, they know, will involve them in deep, dark, hopeless, and remediless ruin.

We are not capable of casting any imputation upon the people of Tennessee. It is circumstance, that unspiritual god, that has established a despotism over them. They may, before the opportunity has gone by, rise up in their majestic strength and assert and uphold their rights in the face of earth and heaven. But whether they do or not, let us of Kentucky, who are no prouder, no better, no braver, no more devoted to independence, than they, be continually vigilant, lest the meshes in which they are bound be woven around our own free limbs.

Louisville Daily Journal, May 25, 1861.[1]




25, "He was one of our soldiers that had escaped jail, just half an hour ago…." Assisting an escaped Confederate prisoner of war in Murfreesboro

This afternoon we were lying down, when we saw Ma come tipping upstairs with mysterious air which I could not make out. I rushed out on the back porch, (as I was undressed) and saw Ma pass through with a (what proved afterwards a confederate) soldier. She seemed greatly excited. He was one of our soldiers that had escaped jail, just half an hour ago & Ma was trying to disguise him so as to let him escape. He changed his clothes [and] shaved off his whiskers, (Ma giving him some of Pa's clothes) making him look like quite a different man. Ma carried him up something to eat, he would not eat much said he had been to dinner, & would not take any more money, he had plenty. I hope he will get safely back to Starn's [sic] Cavalry. He said we had 5,000 men just above here, had had a fight, & we killed 30 or 40 Yankees, & it was that night he was taken prisoner.[2] That was the first time we had heard of the engagement. They always keep a defeat such a secret. This soldier came very near being discovered. There were three Yanks in the front hall who said they had come up to make Ma's acquaintance, as they heard Ma fed their prisoners when Morgan captured them, & when our escaped prisoner asked for the master of the house, the servant asked him in to the front hall, & lo! & behold there sat the man that had captured him a few nights before, and not having any suspicions, they took no notice of him, & he asked Ma for some water and then told his story, so Ma had to play a double game, make herself agreeable to the Yankees whilst getting our soldier off, & I felt vastly relieved when he got off safe. Ma went up town this evening & Kate Avent returned with her home. Cousin William Tilford, wife & daughter stopped by & made a visit awhile this afternoon. An old sick Yankee came here this evening late, & Pa had his sympathies aroused [and] consented to let him stay all night, made me so angry I cried until bedtime & would not eat any supper. He was put into poor Legrand's room to sleep, just to think, he may be lying out on the wet ground, wet hungry and sick & then for his enemy enjoying his room. I didn't like [it] one bit.

Kate Carney Diary.





25, Skirmish near Woodbury

MAY 25, 1863, Skirmish near Woodbury, Tenn.

Report of Col. William C. P. Breckinridge, Ninth Kentucky Cavalry (Confederate).

CAMP HEATH, June 6, 1863.

SIR: In accordance with the other of the general commanding, I submit the following report of the operations of my regiment upon the 25th ultimo:

My picketing required about 90 privates daily, and the pickets were relieved at 9 a. m.

About 10.15 o'clock upon the morning of May 25, when both the old and new pickets were out of camp, I received information from my advanced pickets on the Woodbury road, placed within 1 ½ miles of Woodbury by order of Gen. [Joseph] Wheeler, through Lieut. Campbell, that a body of Federal cavalry were advancing upon them. I immediately ordered Capt. [T. H.] Hines to take all the well-mounted men of Companies A, C, and E, and re-enforce the picket base, while I moved the regiment from its camp to the Woodbury and McMinnville road. Before Capt. Hines had time to move off, I received information that the enemy had driven in the advanced pickets, cutting off three of them, and were advancing with cavalry, infantry, and artillery, I immediately sent a courier to you with this information, and a courier to the officer commanding my chain picket, running to the Georgia pickets, upon my left, ordering that officer to make pickets fall back upon the roads they were respectively posted upon toward McMinnville, to redouble his vigilance, be prepared to collect his pickets, and send the information to the Georgia pickets. In a few moments I received information that the chain picket had been pierced at two places and part of two posts captured; that a heavy force of cavalry, accompanied by artillery, was rapidly advancing upon the road to Jacksborough, and another force of cavalry advancing upon a country road nearly unused, and which led into my camp. My horses were nearly unfit for service, having been on constant service with very scant rations for several months. My instructions were to fall back, when compelled to retreat, in such a way as to protect the road to Chattanooga.

Upon receiving that information, I ordered Maj. [J. P.] Austin to move the regiment to the junction of the McMinnville and Woodbury and McMinnville and Jacksborough roads. I ordered Capt. Hines to fall back rapidly nearer McMinnville than my camp, to prevent being cut off by any of the numerous roads that intercept the main road between Mrs. Glasscock's and the tan-yard. I ordered Capt. [W. P.] Roberts, with Company I, to scout the country toward, and, if possible, beyond, Jacksborough, and sent a small scout toward Short Mountain. Capt. Hines had scarcely time to obey my order when my camp was entered in four directions. Indeed, the rear guard of Capt. Hines' detachment was cut off, and but for the coolness of Capt. [F. G.] Hill and the few men under him, they would have been captured. I in person collected together the pickets and the men out of camp upon various excuses, and a few with good horses, and re-enforced Capt. Hines. The cavalry force of the enemy was so much larger than my own, the condition of my horses was so deplorable, that it was impossible for me to either check their advance but for a moment at a time or to send a scout around them. To prevent being cut off from the Chattanooga road, to give timely information to you and the Georgia pickets, and to protect my own regiment, were all I could hope to accomplish. The enemy advanced nearly to Mr. Hopkins', are there prepared an ambush for me. Capt. Roberts returned, reporting no enemy at Jacksborough, and that force returning toward Woodbury. Before his return I left scouts in front and upon the left of the enemy, with orders to report every movement, and keep me well informed, while I fell back slowly to the regiment, to prevent the enemy from cutting my command in two. Had I been left without instructions to protect the Chattanooga road, I would have remained close to the enemy, and, when cut off from McMinnville, fallen back toward Smithville. The enemy received, by some Union citizens, information of some movement in his rear, and fell back in the early part of the night, followed by my scouts, who followed him closely to his encampment near Readyville. Whatever information I received, I reported, either in writing or in person or by my adjutant, to you.

I lost 6 prisoners, captured by reason of the poor condition of their horses. The enemy lost 1 killed and 6 wounded, besides several horses.

I need not say how chafed I was that the condition of my regiment prevented me from punishing this advance, as I might easily have done under other circumstances.

I have the honor to be, &c.,

WM. C. P. BRECKINRIDGE, Col., Cmdg. Regt.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 23, pt. I, pp. 347-348.



25, "Respect the Dead."

The military authorities have appropriated a tract of the McGavock property for the purpose of burying therein those who die from smallpox. The tract is becoming rapidly filled, and yet it is entirely open; cattle and hogs roam over the cemetery without let or hindrance. This ought not to be, if it can be avoided. Cannot the military authorities appropriate a sufficient number of posts and stakes to have it fenced in? Perhaps a sufficient number of convalescents can be found in [the] hospital[s] to do the work. We ask Mr. Spencer Chandler, who is always ready to lend a helping hand in a good cause, to see what can be done in this matter.

Nashville Dispatch, May 25, 1864.



25, Negro students working their way through school in Nashville

"Recorder's Court"

* * * *

Sally Thornton, Sally Patton, Catherine Yancy, and Mary Reedy, negro women, were charged with disorderly conduct and keeping a disorderly house. There are six or eight of them in all, living in one room, some of them going to school during the day, and receiving negro men and white soldiers at night. The above were all that were found in the house when the officer went there. Fined $10 each, with the understanding that if they leave the house (91 South Cherry street) within three days the fine will be remitted.

Nashville Dispatch, May 25, 1864.




25, Anti-guerrilla expedition to White, Overton, Fentress and Montgomery and Morgan counties


Maj. Gen. L. H. ROUSSEAU, Cmdg. District of Middle Tennessee:

GEN.: The major-general commanding the department directs that you send the Fourth Tennessee (mounted) Infantry, Col. Blackburn commanding, through White, Overton, Fentress, and Montgomery Counties to Morgan for the purpose of restoring quiet to that region, now so much infested by guerrillas. Orders will be sent Gen. Stoneman, commanding in East Tennessee, to send a force to the same region by another route, and the major-general commanding desire that you will confer with him as to the time of starting, that the two commands may meet at Morgan. After having met Gen. Stoneman's command your force will return to Alexandria and report.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

WM. D. WHIPPLE, Brig.-Gen., and Chief of Staff.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 49, pt. II, p. 904.

[1] As cited in PQCW.

[2] This may have been the skirmish at Winchester, see above, May 24, 1862.

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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