Monday, June 3, 2013

6/3/13 TN Civil War Notes

3, Report on Voter Intimidation in Nashville on the Eve of the June 8 Secession Vote and Tennessee's Interference with Kentucky's Commerce

Tennessee.-A short time ago a gentleman of Davidson county addressed two written questions, anonymously, to the Union & American, the leading disunion organ at Nashville. The questions, in substance, were: First, Will the Union men be allowed to discuss publicly the issued in this canvass?, and, Secondly, Will they be allowed to vote in the election? The editor published the questions, and, with considerable circumlocution, gave the author of them and the community distinctly to under stand that both privileges would be refused! [sic] He knew that it was the determination of the Vigilance Committee and the armed and organized troops at their command to crush out Union speaking and Union voting, and he didn't think it worth while to attempt to disguise the notorious fact. The Union speaker would be shot upon the stand in Nashville, and a Union voter, if such a one there be, will be shot at the polls. Nevertheless, the canvass is called a free canvass; and the election will be called a free election; and when the election is over, the disunion authorities will proclaim that all must bow before the majestic power of the popular will. It would really seem as if, when innumerable Vigilance Committees are daily and nightly at work throughout Tennessee expelling Union men and their families from the State, they might venture to permit such as shall be left on the 8th of June to exercise the right of free suffrage, but no, they are afraid, that, notwithstanding the driving of thousands into exile and the turning of the whole artillery of the late Union press of the State against the Union party, secession would still be voted down unless the polls should be girt with secession bayonets.

Tennessee is now upon a war footing, Unquestionably she menaces the Union men of Kentucky, In pursuance of an understanding with the Kentucky secessionists, she stand ready to aid them at any moment in carrying the secession cause in this state by fire and steel. She has called out 65,000 men, and she has 34,000 on drill every day. These 34,000 men are armed with Maynard's rifles, and Sharp's rifles, the Minie ball being used for all of them. A considerable number of the arms were furnished from Montgomery, and 12,000 sabres are from Georgia. Cannon are cast as rapidly as possible at two establishments in Nashville and one in Memphis. Five millions of dollars appropriated by the Legislature for the arming of the State and all the county courts are exercising the authority given them by the legislature to levy whatever tax the please upon the respective counties of the support of the families of volunteers. Twelve or fifteen thousand troops are encamped at Union City, on the immediate border of Kentucky, and seven thousand on the Nashville railroad almost on the Kentucky line, ready to be precipitated upon Louisville at any time at the shortest notice.

In the meantime, Tennessee, having made all these formidable preparations for whatever may ensue, has commenced seizing Kentucky boats and cargoes upon the Mississippi river. Twenty or thirty Louisville steamboats, bound up from New Orleans, have been seized at Memphis by order of Gen. Pillow. Everyone that comes to that point is seized. If any boat attempts to pass, she is brought to by heavy batteries and compelled to remain. Our State can no longer send a boat down the Mississippi and expect her return. Our commerce upon that mighty thoroughfare is annihilated. And yet not a disunion organ or disunion man breathes a world of complaint or remonstrance. When two or three of our boats were brought to at Cairo under order of the U. S. Government, and, after the taking out of a few articles contraband of war, permitted to go upon their way, or disunionists seems ready to burst with fury and yelled forth a thousand fierce interrogatories as to whether Kentucky would submit for even a day too such atrocious interference with Kentucky commerce. They were for rushing to arms at once and sweeping the U.S. troops and the U. S. authority at once from the Illinois bank at the junction of the Ohio and Mississippi. But now, when Tennessee goes a hundred degree further than the U. S. authorities at Cairo have dreamed of going, when she obliterates our whole commerce from the face of the Mississippi, when she brings her batteries to bear upon our boats and takes possession them and keeps possession of them assigning no reason whatever except that such is her own good pleasure of the good pleasure of the miserable vain and strutting despot[1] who is at the head of her military affairs, our disunionists are as dumb as if they had been born without tongues and as submissive as if they had been born without souls.

It seems to us that our people can have no great difficulty in rightly appreciating those miserable disunion politicians, who, whilst approving the utter confiscation, by Tennessee, of the whole of our Kentucky commerce and all of our Kentucky boats upon the Mississippi river, think it a most shocking and horrid and awful thing that there should be the slightest interference, by any power whatever, with the transportation to Tennessee of contraband articles from Kentucky upon the Nashville railroad. In the name of Heaven, which is the more important-the seeping our entire Mississippi commerce from existence or the stopping of a few bacon hams and barrels of flour upon the Nashville railroad?

Louisville Daily Journal, June 3, 1861. [2]




3, "Lewd Pictures"

The display of highly colored daubs and photographs of naked women, obscene groups, etc., in the windows and upon the stands of our stationers, booksellers, and news dealers has become most noticeably common and deserving of public attention and censure. We have long been accustomed to see such, upon a larger plan, hung about the walls of grogshops, club rooms, and places visited only by the male sex, but when they are to be introduced into the street windows and compiled into albums, it is certainly carrying the thing a bit too far-altogether too far. Such pandering to vitiated taste is at least unbecoming many of those who have been guilty of the practice, and in our opinion the city ordinance, prohibiting the publication or sale of obscene books, would apply as well to the sell of obscene pictures.

Memphis Bulletin, June 3, 1864.

[1] Gideon J. Pillow

[2] As cited in PQCW.

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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