Friday, August 23, 2013

8/23/2013 Tennessee Civil War Notes

23, City council queries the Southern Mothers

Council and Southern Mothers.

Editors Appeal: I notice the following extract from the proceedings of the Council of Wednesday [21st], which is but one of innumerable assertions which have appeared in print that are calculated to mislead, unintentionally, no doubt, the readers of your paper:

"Ald. Farmer said: The Southern Mothers would save the city six hundred dollars a month by keeping soldiers from going to the hospital.

"Ald. Kortrecht said, he had been told by ladies of the institution that the Confederate government had voluntarily recognized the institution, the Secretary of War having written to them to that effect, and would allow them fifty cents a day for the Confederate soldiers attended to there. They expected, during the war, to receive pay for the board and medical attendance of such sick soldiers."

This impression has been promulgated until many think that there is no provision made for the sick of the army of this division, and, as an observer, I feel it due to the medical department of this division of forces to make the following queries:

1. Does the keeping or medical attendance of the soldiers at the general army hospital at Memphis cost the city one cent?

2. What objection is there to the regulations or management of the general army hospital?

3. Has the general army hospital ever refused to take or said it was not ready to receive any sick soldier who presented himself with the proper report from the commanding officer or surgeon?

4. Is not the general army hospital bound to be made large enough to accommodate all the sick and wounded who may be sent here from the army for medical treatment?

5. Is there any hospital arrangements in the city for the poverty-stricken wives and children of the poor soldiers who are enlisted from our city and State district, to fight in our cause?

6. If all arrangements are made by the Confederate government for the sick and wounded soldiers at this place, would it not be better that the Institution of the Southern Mothers be converted into one to take care of the women and children who are the wives and children of poor soldiers?

7. Is the Southern Mothers' Institution allowed 40 or 50 cents a day for each patient unsolicited by them, when the army regulations allow only about one half, or but little more, when the rations are commuted? M.


Board of Aldermen.

The Official Proceedings.

At a called meeting of the Board of Mayor and Aldermen, held yesterday evening, August 23d, 1861., at 4 o'clock, present: John Park, Mayor; Chairman Merrill, Aldermen Ayres, Greenlaw, Morgan, Cochran, Grant, Farmer, Amis, Gailor, Kortrecht and Kirby….

Alderman Kortrecht.

Ald. Kortrecht asked permission to make a personal explanation in relation to his position before the Board at its last meeting in relation to the Southern Mothers' association. His explanation, which was as follows, was received by the Board:

I desire to say that I have been misunderstood in the remarks I made in the Board on Wednesday evening, on the resolution to appoint a special policeman for the society of Southern Mothers. What I said was that I was informed the society was organized by the ladies with the most patriotic motives—with no expectation of government aid, but with the view of supporting it alone by voluntary contributions of its members and the public. That unexpectedly to the society and without any application by it or its members, it had been officially recognized and adopted as a government institution—as a sort of quasi government hospital, and as such would receive forty (not fifty as reported, but forty) cents rations per day for the board, nursing and medical attention of each soldier in the actual service of the Confederate government provided for by the society or its members, and, therefore, that if an officer was needed to impress assistance for the society, the military officer in command of this division was the proper person to be applied to make such appointment.

At the same time, in answer to inquiries, I took especial pains to say I was informed the society's surgeon was not receiving pay; that he had patriotically tendered his services without compensation; and that I supposed if the society took care of any soldiers not yet received into, or had been discharged from the service of the Confederate States, that for those it would get no rations, and that whatever rations it did receive I presume would, with the voluntary contributions, be used for the benefit of the soldiers taken care of by the society. I think I can safely appeal to all who heard me that I done full justice to the patriotism and self-sacrifice of the ladies and all others connected with the S. S. M. [Society of Southern Mothers].

I now see by an official card from the S. S. M., in "all the city papers," that I have been misinformed; that it is not a "charitable institution;" that "it takes charge of no soldiers but those in the service of the Confederate States, and of no persons but the soldiers themselves," and that the "Secretary of War has been applied to, to give the appointment of surgeon to the society's physician, but has not yet acted on the petition." I did not know these facts, hence, did not state them.

My offense "Hath this extent, no more."

Now with this additional information before me, I wish to say, with all deference to the ladies of the Society of Southern Mothers, for whom I have the highest respect, that inasmuch as the city of Memphis has a hospital of its own to support—without either "voluntary contributions" or "government rations," and that in these times its expense is and will continue to be greatly increased by having to provide for those not "in actual service," and for "others than soldiers themselves," as, for instance, soldiers' wives and children, and widows and orphans, disabled soldiers, discharged because of inability to do work or service, or those becoming sick before received into "actual service" and being destitute; and the many other "transient poor" whom neither the Confederate government, the State, the county, nor even the S. S. M. will provide for; and inasmuch as the corporation owes a considerable due debt without the means to pay, and the S. S. M. are said to have several thousand dollars ahead, and will doubtless continue to receive, as it should, liberal contributions for its support, I still think the city government has sufficient burthens on its hands without voluntarily assuming more.

In entertaining these views as an Alderman sworn to dispose of the city revenue according to its charter, I intend no injustice or disrespect for the ladies composing the society of Southern Mothers, but to continue to render them, as I have heretofore done, all honor and praise for their patriotic labors and self-sacrifice.

I have only to add that I ask "all the city papers to publish this," and present the bills to me for payment….

Memphis Daily Appeal, August 24, 1861.




23, The Tennessee Trots

Tennessee Quickstep. – This rapid and highly exhiliarating [sic] movement has a peculiar feature, that is, it is a very great deal easier to commence than to leave off. We have seen many instances, and many respectable army Surgeon can testify to the same, of individuals beginning who never ceased going through the mystic evolutions until it was found necessary to confine them in a wooden straight-jacket. To any who are desirous of instituting experiments as to their powers of performance and endurance in this peculiar exercise, not laid down in Scott, Hardee or McClellan's Tactics, we will give a receipt, believed to be infallible. Take unripe apples, peaches, very green corn, pears, young cucumbers &c., eat heartily whenever you feel like it, with plenty of sour beer, milk &c.; to wash it down, and your success is almost certain. A heavy dose may produce Cholera-Morbus, or colic, when you can have music for your marching. Try it once, skeptic.

Soldier's Budget [Humboldt], August 23, 1862.




23, Yankee military occupation of a farm in Madison County

Last night the Federals started an encampment of cavalry in [my] front woods lot. I had hoped there would be no more encampment there on account of scarcity of water, but they come after night and such a running about in the yard looking for a well, wanting supper &c. These men have been in the habit of calling at houses & by threats making citizens furnish them with what they wished. I declined, putting myself to the trouble of having cooking done for them. Dogs barking and sabres rattling was the order of the night & through today. They have nearly used the cistern dry. An order came out this evening from the Colonel to stop using out of the cistern & to use out of the well. The well being farther off, of course they prefer the cistern. These same men have committed all kinds of depredations upon the citizens. My father has a negro [sic] man & some of his horses are in their possession [sic]. They or some others plundered his house at the farm carrying off what they saw proper, just such a set of impudent negroes [sic] as have gone to them or they have taken is enough to make one sick. We have to submit as well as we can to our fate. These fellows curse & swear that we brought them down here & ought to suffer for it. They pretend to look upon us as traitors and everything we have as of right belonging to them....

Robert H. Cartmell Diary, August 24, 1862.




23, Federal situation report and suggested strategy to attack Chattanooga

CAMP SECOND BRIGADE, 19 MILES FROM CHATTANOOGA, August 23, 1863. (Via Cowan, 8.30 a. m., 24th.)

Gen. GARFIELD, Chief of Staff:

GEN.: Yesterday evening, owing to the condition of the atmosphere, the camp of the enemy could be located very correctly by the smoke. There seem to be but few troops near Chattanooga, there being but one camp and that not large. The next encampment is at the mouth of Lookout Creek, and still another can be seen at Kelley's Ferry; then up the river the first force is at Friar's Shoals, 4 miles from Chattanooga, one at Harrison's and still another at Cleveland, which is not on the river, but on the railroad. Judging from the smoke the force at all these points is about equal to the force in the city, except that at the shoals, which is only a regiment From the best information we can get there is one brigade at each place named; this would make about five brigades in all in this part of the country, say 20 miles of front.

So far as the city is concerned it is impregnable from the front. There are but two guns at the shoals. The river is fordable there. From where I am now encamped there is an old road, called the old pike, running to the right, and strikes the river at Williams' Island; this is a very good way, by a little work, and is the only crossing place not guarded by the rebels. I have had some fears they may some night throw across a force there, to cut off our advance and place a strong picket on it.

Col. Wilder had another bout with the batteries at Chattanooga, and the sharpshooters have frequent and sometimes sharp work, so they say. I cannot vouch for the fact.

I now think the enemy is of the opinion that an attack is not to be made in this direction with a large force, and have consequently left at Chattanooga, and at each of the crossings, only sufficient force to man the works and guard the crossings against a small force. The main force is no doubt below somewhere. You may ask me, how we can do anything to change this? If they do not send re-enforcemets, we can cross the river at least and cut the railroad above and below the city, and if they re-enforce this place strongly and prevent our crossing we still have done some good, as there will be less men to fight somewhere else. Wilder insists he can ford the river and cut the railroad, if supported. Whether this is so or not you can tell as well as any one, possibly better. I send to you McGraw, who will give you all explanations about the matter. I must have rations, as we are out; I have found plenty of water for the whole division, if it is desired at any time to move up here, but it will not last long.

Very respectfully, yours,

TH. J. WOOD, Brig.-Gen.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 30, pt. III, pp. 137-138.




23, Problems with the municipal water system in Nashville

Yesterday morning and again in the afternoon the water was entirely cut off in all portions of the city. We understand an agreement was entered into some time since by which the military authorities were to keep the water works supplied with fuel, in consideration for the water they used in their hospitals, offices, stores and the buildings. A few days since the supply of fuel gave out, and after considerable trouble on the part of the superintendent, he induced the proper authorities to send a small supply of wood. Friday [21st] he again notified the authorities that he was about our of wood, and yesterday morning for cords, or about enough to keep the works running half a day, was sent to him, after the works had been stopped two or three house before daylight. The supply of water gave out again about two o'clock in the afternoon, and up to the present writing (nine o'clock at night,) they is no appearance of water.

It is time that some understanding was arrived at in regard to the management of the waterworks. The military authorities ought by all means to do something to aid the city in procuring and keeping up a constant and abundant supply of fuel. The United States Government has millions of dollars' worth of property in this city, which is constantly exposed to the dangers of fire, and without the least certainty of having water with which to extinguish the flames. Yesterday there was neither fuel nor water, and very little chance of procuring either, while there is abundance of wood in the Government yards. What is to be done? Something must be done, and that speedily.

The City Council should take some action in this matter. The citizens pay their taxes for the privilege of using the water, and the city should by all means comply with its part of the contract. There is certainly great neglect of duty on the part of somebody in this matter, and the committee on the water works should look into it, and see that proper steps are taken to carry out the contract thus entered.

Nashville Dispatch, August 23, 1863.




23, Scout and affair at Maryville

KNOXVILLE, August 24, 1864.

Lieut. REED, Aide-de-Camp:

I have just received definite information of the enemy from a scout I sent out to Maryville last night. The brigade of which I telegraphed you last night as being on the Boardman Ferry road was only a part of the enemy's force. They also passed up Tar Creek road, and the main body on the Sevierville road. They are crossing French Broad in several places. See next dispatch for balance.


KNOXVILLE, August 24, 1864.

Lieut. REED, Aid-de-Camp:

Their force is from 2,500 to 3,000, with five pieces of artillery. I have sent the information to Gillem and suggested to him the propriety of turning back, if possible, and striking the enemy before he can cross the river and concentrate. The affair at Maryville turned out of small consequence; nobody killed or wounded on our side, and only 13 or 20 captured, some of whom have since escaped; the rest, it is stated, have been paroled by enemy.


OR, Ser. I, Vol. 38, pt. V, pp. 658-659.




23, "Theatre;" the Carter Zouave Troupe appears in Nashville

This house will open for the season tonight, with the Carter Zouave troupe, a company of twenty-two charming children, who have created a perfect furore [sic] wherever they have appeared, filling the house night after night with the elite of the city, and delighting every person who has had the good fortune to witness their performances. We are informed that the oldest of the twenty-two is only about thirteen years, while the youngest is about six. We expect to be in our old seat at the opening, and will report our impressions to-morrow.

Nashville Dispatch, August 23 1864.





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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