Monday, July 15, 2013

7/15/2013 Tennessee Civil War Notes

15, A Description of Chattanooga

Our Chattanooga Correspondence.

Chattanooga, Tenn., July 15.

Chattanooga as a Manufacturing Town-Extensive Tannery-Foundries-Scarcity of Pig Iron-Casting Rifled Ordnance-Troops en route for Virginia-Demand for the Charleston Mercury-The Spirit in Chattanooga, etc., etc.

During an unexpected stay of a few days in this city, I have devoted some attention, by several visits, to the various manufacturing establishments in and around the place. As a point favorable for sundry manufacturing enterprises, few places possess greater advantages than Chattanooga,

Your readers will be gratified, doubtless, to learn that there is in the vicinity of this town one of the largest tanneries in the South. It is now in active operation, and turning our fro 8000 to 10,000 sides of well tanned leather every four months, giving an aggregate of 30,000 sides of leather per annum. A New Orleans firm purchased her, a few days since, $20,000 worth of leather for their shoemaking establishment, and we were informed that more than $30,000 worth of stock was then in the yard, ready for market. The tannery is now owned by Col. G. C. Torbitt, of Nashville, and Col. Sam Tate, President of the M. and O. Railroad. It is the design of the new firm to go largely into the manufacture of shoes, at this point, at an early period.

The advantages of Chattanooga over other places for the tanning business are numerous. The abundance of the very best quality of tan bark, and the lowest prices; the facilities for procuring hides of every variety, and being located in the centre of our great Southern market, are some of the advantages. It is needless to say that the owners of this Chattanooga Tannery are receiving large dividends upon their investment. Two hundred thousand dollar invested by capitalists in additional tanneries at this place must yield handsome profits. There is ample room here for five or six similar establishments. Let our moneyed men look to it, and that without delay. Our citizens and soldiers must have shoes, and there is every means for making leather, and every inducement to engage in the tanning of leather and the manufacture of shoes.

The great scarcity of pig iron at the South, at this time, will certainly induce those competent to the work to look towards this point. We visited the large smelting furnace erected a few years ago, which we regretted to find entirely idle. Within a mile of all the depots of the roads converging at Chattanooga, stands the ample buildings and huge machines of this very important establishment, only needing a few dollars and a practiced mind to render it one of the best paying concerns in the South. Any competent gentleman could, with about $50,000, engaged in the important enterprise of converting the iron ore, of which there is here an abundance, and of the richest quality, into the best quality of pig iron. He would find coal, ore and the machinery all ready for active operation with a few weeks' repairs. The iron foundry of Messers. Webster & Mann, at this place, is worthy of attention. We were very politely shown through the extensive establishment by Mr. Webster who is a gentleman of large experience in his profession. We were shown a casting (a large weight of which is about 9000 pounds). Messrs. Webster & Mann are preparing the entire machinery for the new powder mill of Mr. W. S. Whiteman, to whom allusion has been made. They are also casting cannon and balls, and are fully prepared to fill large contracts for both. They are also prepared to rifle cannon, which they design doing, especially those of their own foundry. More beautiful pieces of cannon than those we saw in the foundry cannot be shown in any establishment, we venture to say. We all heartily wished that about ten 64-pounders were then planted opposite Cairo, and kept at work for a few hours, so the last man of Prentiss' force might have an early passage to his "right place," with Prentiss to lead the way.

During the few days which we have been anchored at this place, between 2500 and 3000 soldiers have arrived and departed for the seat of war. There are now (noon) at the depot about 600 soldiers from Camp Moore, Louisiana. These compose the left wing of Col. Taylor's Regiment, the right wing having passed here on the 13th. Col. Taylor is the son of Gen. Zachary Taylor, and brother-in-law to President Davis, you will recollect. About 2000 soldiers are expected to arrive here this afternoon and to-night, 1500 of whom are from Mississippi. About 200 Texans passed here yesterday.

More than 40,000 soldiers have passed through this city since the movement of troops commenced, I am informed. There is throughout the county such a stir and bustle among the people as was never witnessed before.

The eagerness of the people for news-"the latest news from the seat of war," is the cry. At every station, on any road you pass, squads of from 10 to 20 men may bee seen standing around while one reads the last paper procures of some newsboy or passenger. The Charleston Mercury is in great demand on the Georgia, Macon and Western and W. & A. Railroads. Hundreds of copies are sold, but there is seldom enough to supply the public want. At his place a brisk business is done twice a day. Citizens and soldiers, arriving here from the South and West, ask at once for news, and eagerly devour the Mercury when they can procure it.

Out of about 500 voters in this city, only 52 were for "no separation;' so you see that the Southern spirit is pretty high here. I wish that I were warranted in saying as much of every other town and county in this end of the State. We   have strong hopes of an early reaction here, that Tennessee will be a unit for resistance to the bitter end. More anon.


The Charleston Mercury, October 19, 1861. [1]




15, Skirmish at Wallace's Cross Roads

JULY 15, 1862.-Skirmish at Wallace's Cross-Roads, Tenn.


No. 1.-Brig. Gen. George W. Morgan, U. S. Army.

No. 2.-Maj. H. L. Clay, Assistant Adjutant-Gen., C. S. Army.

No. 1.

CUMBERLAND GAP, July 18, 1862.

Gen. Spears has returned. The enemy was routed at Wallace's Cross-Roads. The attack was a complete success. The enemy's loss was 10 killed, 18 prisoners, 30 horses, 30 sabers, and 100 fire-arms.

As I hope to be immediately relieved from command at post I deem it fair to ask instructions as to which brigade I shall send to guard the line between this place and Lexington.

GEORGE W. MORGAN, Brig.-Gen. Volunteers, Cmdg.

No. 2.

Reports of Maj. H. L. Clay, Assistant Adjutant-Gen., C. S. Army.

HDQRS. DEPARTMENT OF EAST TENNESSEE, Knoxville, Tenn., July 15, 1862.

GEN.: It is proper that I communicate to you the fact that our cavalry at Wallace's Cross-Roads (four companies), under the command of Capt. Mims (Col. McLin's Second Tennessee Cavalry), was surprised by the enemy at 11 o'clock this morning. Capt. Mims reports from Mynatt's Cross-Roads that no scouts had been ordered out to-day, and when his pickets were driven in he advanced to meet, as he supposed, a small force, when he discovered two full regiments advancing upon his flank. He retreated with the loss of about 20 men (captured, killed, and wounded), all his baggage, &c. It is not stated in the report whether the enemy's force consisted of cavalry or infantry, but four fugitives of the command affirm that they saw infantry only. Capt. Mims sent information of the surprise to Col. McLin at Maynardville. I have no information from what quarter the enemy came.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

H. L. CLAY, Assistant Adjutant-Gen.

HDQRS. DEPARTMENT OF EAST TENNESSEE, Knoxville, Tenn., July 16, 1862.

GEN.: Capt. Owen, First Tennessee Cavalry, was sent last evening from this place to ascertain the result of the engagement at Wallace's Cross-Roads yesterday, the number of the enemy, and their movements. He reports that our loss was 1 man wounded, with 4 or 5 taken prisoners. The force of the enemy consisted of three regiments (Houk's, Cooper's, and Shelley's), under command of Gen. [James G.] Spears. It left yesterday evening, going to Big Creek Gap.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

H. L. CLAY, Assistant Adjutant-Gen.

Brig. Gen. C. L. STEVENSON,

Cmdg. First Division, Bean's Station, Tenn.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 16, pt. I, pp. 812-813.


CUMBERLAND GAP, July 18, 1862.

Col. J. B. FRY:

On Tuesday [15th] noon Gen. Spears, with a party of infantry, attacked 500 of the enemy's cavalry at Wallace's Cross-Roads, near Clinton. A citizen reports that at 2 p. m. of that day he met about 300 of the enemy flying toward Knoxville in the wildest disorder; some were on horses, but without coats or arms; others were bare-headed and no arms. It was a completed panic, and they had gone at full run for the distance of 9 miles and were still flying.

I expect Spears to return to-day. Col. Garrard has also returned from his expedition against the miscreants of Humphrey Marshall at Jonesville. The murderer Witcher and the greater portion of his band escaped, but Garrard brought in 20 prisoners and 10 horses.

GEORGE W. MORGAN, Brig.-Gen. Volunteers, Cmdg.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 16, pt. II, p. 183.




15, Report on the Murder of Unionist Civilian in Greene County


On the 13th of February, 1863, a squad of soldiers were sent to conscript James McCullum, of Greene county, Tennessee, a very respectable, industrious man, thirty or thirty-five years of age. They found him feeding his cattle. When he saw some of them he ran to back of his barn; others were posted behind the barn, and without hailing or attempting to arrest him, one of them shot him through the neck, killing him instantly. His three little children, who saw it, ran to the house and told their mother, she came out wringing her hands in anguish, and screaming with terror and dismay.

The soldiers were sitting upon the fence. They laughed at her agony, and said they had only killed "a damned Tory." The murdered man was highly esteemed by his neighbors, and was a firm Union man.


Memphis Bulletin, July 15, 1863.

[1] 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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