Friday, June 28, 2013

6/28/2013 Tennessee Civil War Notes

28, Tennessean Sam Tate, President of the Memphis to Charleston Railroad, to Robert Toombs, Confederate States Secretary of State, warning him about conditions in East Tennessee

June 28, 1861, Chattanooga

Honorable Robert Toombs


I came through East Tennessee yesterday. Saw some of our friends but many more of our enemies. There is truly great disaffection with those people. It is currently reported and believed that Johnson has made an arrangement at Cincinnati to send 10,000 guns into East Tennessee, and that they have actually been shipped through Kentucky to Nicholasville, and are to be hauled from there to near the Kentucky line and placed in the hands of Union men in Kentucky on the line to be conveyed to Union men in Tennessee. The openly proclaim that if the Legislature refuses to let them [i.e., East Tennessee] secede [from the state] they will resist to the death and call upon Lincoln for aid. Nelson, Brownlow, and Maynard are the leaders. If they were out of the way we would be rid of all trouble. That they will give us trouble I doubt not unless they are promptly dealt with. They rely on aid from Southeastern Kentucky and Lincoln. You must see Davis and get him to order Floyd down to about Cumberland Gap to intercept these arms if they attempt to cross into Virginia. Governor Harris has ordered one regiment to the various passes on our northern border, but the people here say they are not sufficient. A number of Union companies are forming and drilling daily in the disaffected districts for the avowed purpose of resistance. Let the Government look closely to this movement. Unless nipped in the bud it may become very troublesome.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 52, pt. II, p. 116.




28, Major-General William T. Sherman on "Germantown, a dirty hole"

MOSCOW, June 28, 1862.


Your dispatch received....Had we not better clean Germantown, a dirty-hole? There is where was planned the cutting the wire and destruction of road. I am told they openly boast the Yankees shall never run a train over the road.

I am preparing a car for a 12-pounder howitzer.

W. T. SHERMAN, Maj.-Gen.

OR Ser. I, Vol. 17, pt. II, p. 44.




28, "The War in East Tennessee."

The Columbus (Ga.) Sun has an editorial reviewing the position of affairs in East Tennessee, which we copy, inasmuch as, in the whirl of stirring events near home, the more distant fields of operation have to some extent been lost sight of.

It is now quite evident that the enemies are about to put into execution their long threatened inroad upon East Tennessee. From the best information we can gather of the situation of affairs in that section, we take it that fighting will soon commence there in earnest. The Yankees already have possession of Sequatchie Valley, a productive and stock growing country, and a force of perhaps not less than 5,000 men in Powell's Valley, a portion of country said more important to an army in the way of provisions. But the great valleys of the Tennessee, Hiwassee, Holston, and French Broad rivers, are still in possession of our troops, and can, we have reason to hope, be held against almost any force that may assail them. We think it altogether probable that Cumberland[,] Wheeler's and Big Creek Gaps, will be evacuated, if indeed they have not been already, and that our forces will make a stand at Chattanooga, Kingston, and Bean's Station, in order to keep the enemy north of Walden's Ridge and the Clinch Mountains. This, we feel confident, can be done successfully with the force now under Gen. Smith's command, which cannot be less than 30,000 men. There are, besides this force, which is a low estimate, several efficient guerilla bands, among which that of the famous [John Hunt] Morgan is the most conspicuous. This line of defense, should it be adopted, will save to us about three fourths of the territory of East Tennessee, including Jonesborough, Greenville, Knoxville, Athens, Cleveland, Chattanooga, and the line of railroad from the latter place to the Virginia line.

The part of East Tennessee thus defended is one of the most productive and healthy regions of country in the Confederate States. It contains, even now, bacon, corn, and flour, in great abundance. Nearly every farmer has bacon to sell, and which can be fought at not exceeding twenty seven cents per pound. It is one of the finest wheat countries in the South, and we have it from good authority that the wheat crop in that section this year will fall but little short of the average crop in that section this year will fall but little short of the average crop, particularly in the upper counties, There is, perhaps, at this time, more hogs and cattle in the thirty one counties of East Tennessee than in the whole State of Georgia, and upon this account, should be defended at any cost.

Whit it is true that the majority of the voting population in East Tennessee is deeply tinged with toryism, it is equally true that some of the most staunch Southern men, and many of our ablest military leaders, are East Tennesseeans. There is one fact in connexion with this disloyal section not generally known. Nearly every man and boy capable of bearing arms, who were advocated to separate State action, are now in the Southern army, and although the conscription act is not in force there, they have joined for the war. In addition to this, there are, to our certain knowledge, not less than one third of the original "Union" men now in that section -  the ultras having joined Lincoln in Kentucky – many of the m ore moderate have changed their views since Lincoln's free negro policy was promulgated in November late; while the remainder, being too indolent and cowardly to take any part in the contest  of arms, are content to remain at home, cultivating their farms, and make something to support the army.

The Semi-Weekly Raleigh Register (Raleigh, NC) June 28, 1862





In response to several inquiries, we state that applicants for appointment as Collectors of the Tax recently levied by the Congress of the Confederate States should address D.N. Kennedy, Chief Collector, Chattanooga

Chattanooga Daily Rebel, June 28, 1863.




28, Skirmish at Rover

NEAR CHRISTIANA, June 28, 1863. (Received 1.10 p. m.)

GEN.: I left Triune at 8 a. m. June 28. Struck the enemy's picket one-half mile south of Eagleville. Steady skirmishing until we arrived within one-half mile of Rover, and there I met the enemy in force; formed a line of battle, and drove them one-fourth of a mile beyond the town. Here they opened a battery of six guns. They had a regiment and a battalion of infantry to support them. I drove them back to their rifle-pits, within a mile of Unionville. We killed 27 horses that we counted, and, I think, killed and wounded an equal number of men. We slept on the ground that night, and the next morning moved to Versailles at sunrise; there received orders from Gen. Granger to move to Middleton and attack that place. We drove the enemy with a loss of from 50 to 60 horses. Many of them were left on the ground. I was compelled to burn part of the town. I drove the enemy 3 miles beyond the town, and then fell back in the direction of Gen. Stanley's camp. We did not lose more than 20 killed and wounded.


OR, Ser. I, Vol. 23, pt. I, p. 543.





We are thinking of ye brothers,

Of the struggle dark and deep,

Of the last day, sad and weary

That ye often have to keep

Of the toilsome march and ever

The cold and rugged bed.

And our head is bowed in sorrow.

We cannot taste our bread


We are weeping for ye, brothers,

Our injured, Dixie's friends-

Or your brave and gallant daring

Their more than life depends,

But our spirit sometimes falters,

With waiting for the day

Or redemption from these horrors,

And the tears will force their way


We are praying for ye, brothers,

the closet is our shrine-

We dare not lift our voices

Beneath he stranger's vine,

But God is ever nearer,

The poor and broken hearts,

And THIS DAY, with Dixie's daughters

We'll bear our humble part.


Bring PEACE, unto her borders

Oh! stay this bloody tide,

and bid her lift her drooping head

Once more in Freedom's pride,

And as we pass this Jordan

This doubtful, dark eclipse-

May we emerge in glory

With THY NAME upon our lips.

Written 1/27/1863 by "Estelle"

Chattanooga Daily Rebel, June 28, 1863.





28, "She wore a stout pair of No. 9 brogans, and her stockings and gloves were made of rabbit skins—fur side next to the flesh." A Confederate Martial Marriage at Bull's Gap

An Army Wedding.

There are very few soldiers who have been in the Western army who will not recognize in the following picture, drawn from the Montgomery Mail, a great similarity to many army weddings which he has seen. The marriage took place at Bull's Gap, Tenn:

["]An Alabama soldier, who to name would be too personal, but who is uglier than the renowned Suggs—in fact so far diseased with the chronic big ugly as to have failed procuring a furlough from Brig. Gen. Law solely on that ground—woed [sic] and won a buxom Tennessee maid of doubtful age. Whilst "Special" was out that day with his gun on a porcine scout for the purpose of reinforcing his haversack, he was interrupted in his reconnoissance [sic] by a husky voice emitting from a ten by fifteen pen inviting him to halt.

Entering the low door he found the wedding was on the tapis, en route to a happy termination. A mirthful Texan—not necessary to name—had a copy of the Army Regulations in his hand, and his throat was decorated with a piece of white bandage, such as is used by our army doctors—all ready to tie the hymenial [sic] knot [sic] so tight that it could not be undone by the teeth. The bridegroom stood largely over six honest feet in his socks, was as hairy as Esau, and pale, slim and lank.—His jacket and pants represented both of the contending parties at war. His socks were much the worse for wear, and his toes sticking out of the gaping rents thereof, reminded one of the many little heads of pelicans you observe protruding from the nest which forms the coat of arms of Louisiana. The exact color of his suit could not be given. Where the buttons had been lost off in the wear and tear of war, an unique substitute, in the shape of persimmon seed, was used. The bride had essayed to wash "Alabama's" clothes, while he modestly concealed his nudity behind a brush heap, awaiting there until they were dried.

The bride was enrobed in a clean but faded dress. Her necklace was composed of a string of chinquepins [sic], her brow was environed by a wreath of faded bonnet flowers, and her wavy hair was tucked up behind in the old fashioned way. She wore a stout pair of No. 9 brogans, and her stockings and gloves were made of rabbit skins—fur side next to the flesh. On her fingers were discerned several gutta percha and bone rings, presents at various times from her lover. She wore no hoops, for nature had given her such a form as to make crinoline of no use to her.

All being ready, the "Texas Parson" proceeded to his duty with becoming gravity. "Special" acted the part of waiter for both bride and groom. Opening the book afore mentioned, the quandam parson commenced, "Close up!" and the twain closed up. "Hand to your partner!" and the couple handed. "Atten ti-on to-o-r-ders!" and all attentioned. Then the following was read aloud: "By order of our directive General Braxton Bragg, I hereby solemnly pronounce you man and wife, for and during the war, and you shall cleave unto each until the war is over, and then apply to Governor Watts for a family right of public land in Pike, the former residence of the bridegroom, and you, and each of you, will assist to multiply and replenish the earth."

The ceremony wound up with a regular bear hug between the happy mortals, and we resumed our hog hunt, all the time "guffawing" at the stoic indifference manifested by the married parties on the picket line at Bull's Gap.

On our falling back from the gap we observed the happy couple perambulating with the column through the mud and snow, wearing an air of perfect indifference to observation or remark from the soldiery.—Should this soldier, who captured the maid of the gap, obtain a furlough for the purpose of locating in Pike, will not our friends of the Mail oblige them with an introduction to our gallant Governor Watts?

Richmond [VA] Whig, June 28, 1864. [1]




28, Canine Refugee in Chattanooga

A refugee dorg[2] -a magnificent animal, of the St. Bernard breed-may be seen at the office of the Refugee Relief Commission, where he will be sold for the benefit of the refugee fund, having been sent here from Smithland, Tennessee, by a gunboat officer, as a donation.

Chattanooga Daily Gazette, June 28, 1864. [3]




28, Removal of military authority from civil litigations in West Tennessee

GENERAL ORDERS, No. 71. HDQRS. DIST. OF WEST TENNESSEE, Memphis, Tenn., June 28, 1865.

No cause of dispute or litigation between civilians respecting property, and in which the United States Government or some person in its service is not a party concerned, will be adjudicated or in any manner entertained by any officer of this command.

By order of Bvt. Maj. Gen. John E. Smith:

W. H. MORGAN, Brevet Brig.-Gen. and Assistant Adjutant-Gen.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 49, pt. II, p. 1049.







[1] As cited in:

[2] A comically vernacular pronunciation of "dog."

[3] TSL&A, 19th CN.

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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