Monday, September 30, 2013

9/30/13 - Tennessee Civil War Notes

30, "Cust [sic] if ever he sleeps in my bed again." Lysistrata at Powell's River, East Tennessee
Tennessee Female Tories.
The editor of the Henderson (N.C.) Times has recently made a visit through East Tennessee to Cumberland Gap. Upon his return, he fixed up the following story for the edification of his readers.
At Powell's river, I stopped and engaged more milk, at an old Lincolnite jade, keen as a brier, and mother of three (and I don't know how many more,) rather nice looking gals. She complained to me of having been rudely treated by a North Carolina officer, the morning previous. Arriving at camp, I informed the officer of the old lady's story, and he told me that knowing their political status, he had placed a guard around the house, to keep any of the family from going to the Gap, while our army was crossing the river, and in the meantime, the following conversation took place:
Officer.—(Entering the house,) Good morning ma'am. No answer. "Where is your husband, ma'am?"
Old Woman.—None of your business, you rebel you.
Officer.—I know. He is in the Yankee army.
Old Woman.—Well he is. What are you going to do about it? He is in the 1st Tennessee Federal regiment at Cumberland Gap, and will take off your rebel head, if you go up there.
Officer.—Yes. But we have him and your General Morgan's whole command completely surrounded—hemmed in—with an army on both sides of the Gap, and in a few days they will be starved out, and have to surrender on our own terms.
Old Woman.—We know all that, and are easy. But Lincoln will send an army through Kentucky, which will wipe out your General Smith, just like a dog would lick out a plate, and then you and your army of barefooted, roasting ear stealers, will have to leave here in the dark again, and badly scared at that. Besides this—
Officer.—That's your opinion, but you are deluded. Where were you born?
Old Woman.—Born! Why I was born and raised in Tennessee. I am an Old Hickory Tennessean—dead out against Nullification, and its bastard offspring, Secession. But where are you from?
Officer.—I am from North Carolina, but a native of South Carolina.
Old Woman.—A South Carolinian—scion of nullification—double rebel, double devil.
Old Jackson made your little turnip patch of a State walk the chalk once, and Old Abe Lincoln will give you rebels hell before Spring.
Officer.—(Quitting the old lady, and turning to the eldest daughter, whom he recognized as a mother) Madam, where is your husband?
Young Woman.—That is none of your business.
Officer.—But it is my business. Where is he?
Young Woman.—Where I hope I'll never see him again. Where I hope you will soon be.
Officer.—Where is that?
Young Woman.—Why, a prisoner in the hands of the army at the Gap.
Officer.—What is that for?
Young Woman.—For being what you are, an infernal rebel.
Officer.—Oh, if that's all, I will send him back to you as soon as we take the Gap.
Young Woman.—No you need'nt. Cust if ever he sleeps in my bed again. I intend to get some Union man to father this child. Here, Bet, (calling a nurse,) take this little rebel and give him Union milk. Let us try and get the "secesh" out of him.
Officer.—(Turning to a Miss.) Did you find a beau among the Yankee officers?
Miss.—Yes, I did; a nice, sweet, gallant fellow. One who stepped like a prince. When you become his prisoner, give him my love, and tell him for my sake to put a trace chain around your infernal neck.
Officer.—When do you expect to see him again?
Miss.—Just after your General takes the next "big scare," which will be in ten days from this time.
Daylight having broken, and the army having crossed the river, the conversation I have given terminated.
Weekly Columbus [Georgia] Enquirer, September 30, 1862.[1]

30, Skirmish at Cotton Port Ford, Tennessee River
No circumstantial reports filed.
LOUDON, October 5, 1863.
I respectfully state that the firing at Cotton Port took place on the morning of September 30, and not in the evening; that it was first reported to me by Col. Wolford in writing from the front, within two hours after it occurred, and that I immediately forwarded to you by telegraph the following dispatch:
Col. Wolford informs that the firing which he reported this morning, and which was supposed to be his advance engaged with the enemy, was below any of his command, and is supposed to have been at Cotton Port, 15 miles below Athens, on the Tennessee River. He will move forward toward Athens.
J. WHITE, Brig.-Gen.
OR, Ser. I, Vol. 30, pt. IV, p. 115.

Excerpt from the Report of Col. Eli Long, Fourth Ohio Cavalry, commanding Second Brigade, relative to the skirmish at Cotton Port, September 30, 1863.
HDQRS. SECOND BRIGADE, SECOND DIVISION CAVALRY, Camp near Maysville, Ala., October 20, 1863.
LIEUT.: In compliance with instructions received, I have the honor to submit the following report of the part taken by my brigade in the pursuit of the rebel cavalry under Gen. Wheeler, from the time this force crossed the Tennessee River near Washington, Tenn., until they recrossed it near Rogersville, Ala. At the time the enemy crossed the river on the morning of September 30, the larger portion of my brigade was separated into detachments which were stationed along the river at the various fords. The enemy crossed a portion of them above where one battalion of the First Ohio Cavalry, under Maj. Scott, was stationed, and a portion of them at this place, first having fired on Maj. Scott's battalion with canister and thrown him into some disorder. He, however, succeed in escaping from a large force of the enemy, by whom he was almost entirely surrounded, and who had sent in a flag of truce demanding his surrender, with the loss of some 15 men captured
* * * *
OR, Ser. I, Vol. Vol. 30, pt. II, p. 690.

30, "Barber's Cotilion [sic] Party."
Barbers from time immemorial have been celebrated for their conicval [sic] mood, and many of the most attractive pages of Gil Blas, Don Quixote, and the Arabian Nights owe their zest to the liveliness of some devil-may-care barber, who would tal [sic] and play off pranks in spite of every obstacle. The Nashville barbers possess this flow of spirits to the fullest extent, and have an association which is social and jovial, as well as benevolent and self-protecting. On last night they held a select grant banquet and cotillon [sic] party in the Court House, which would have done credit to any association. Frank Parrish, by the way, who has travelled all over Europe, and shaved all the Generals, both Reb [sic] and Union, who ever stopped at the St. Cloud, is the President of the association.[2] The music was truly excellent, the colored banjoist, violenests [sic], and guitarists of this city being well known here and at all the noted watering places round about. The affair was conducted with great decorum and propriety. Long life to the Knights of the Razor, who perfume our locks and polish our faces!
Nashville Daily Times and True Union, September 30, 1864.

30, Massacre of Home Guards near Fayetteville by Blackwell bushwhackers and murder near Shelbyville
"Blackwell's Raid into Shelbyville"
From Colonel Joseph Ramsey, who arrived here from Shelbyville, we learn some further particulars of the raid into Shelbyville several days ago, by Blackwell.
Capt. Blackwell, he says, surprised and captured the Home Guards, thirty-two in number, and afterwards burned the Railroad Depot, containing about one hundred bales of hay, understood to belong to Robert Galbreath and Peter English. A lot of arms and munitions of war, in the depot, were also destroyed.
After this depredation, some of his men shot a negro [sic], and arrested several others, which were carried off with their prisoners above named. Shortly after leaving Shelbyville, and while near Fayetteville, he selected ten out of the thirty-two Home Guards captured, and had them shot, some say in retaliation for the hanging of Jordan C. Moseley at this place on Friday last, while others understood it was in retaliation for a man named Massey, who was shot some time previous by order of Gen. E. A. Paine, then commander of the Post at Tullahoma. Blackwell though that he had murdered all his victims, but in this he was mistaken, for one of the number was still alive when the bodies were found, and was able to give the particulars of the foul deed. Our informant was not able to learn the survivor's name, but understood that some hopes are entertained of his recovery. The citizens of the neighborhood where the infernal murder was committed, some seven miles south of Fayetteville, Lincoln county, were deterred for a day or two by threats from burying the bodies of the slain, but they finally got together in force, and interred them in the best possible manner. The man left for dead, but only badly wounded, was taken in charge by the citizens and properly taken care of. The twenty-two remaining prisoners were we understand, were afterwards turned over to Forest [sic] at Fayetteville, and six of that number had made their escape, and returned to Shelbyville before Col. Ramsey left.
A furloughed Confederate soldier named Bivins, made his appearance in Shelbyville soon after Blackwell left, and learned that there was a straggling Federal soldier in the place. He went to the Federal soldier, and demanded of him a surrender as a prisoner of war, which he did. The people of Shelbyville paid but little attention to the affair, from the fact that they suspected the man claiming to be a Federal soldier, to be in league with Bivins, and acting as a Confederate spy, Bivins then requested the soldier to go home with him to dinner, after which he took him off, and foully murdered him, as he is understood to have said, in retaliation for the murder of his (Bivins') brother. The remains of the soldier were found in the woods so badly disfigured by the hogs at to be scarcely recognized.
Nashville Daily Press, October 6, 1864.
TULLAHOMA, October 12, 1864--6.45 p. m.
Ten of the home guards captured at Shelbyville by Blackwell were taken out and near Fayetteville shot in cold blood. This was unprovoked and should be followed by a terrible retribution. Blackwell's wife lives in Shelbyville. I would recommend that she with the secesh women of that place be sent though the lines, and his house burned, and that I be given an adequate cavalry force and about ten days' time among the guerrillas of Lincoln County.
R. H. MILROY, Maj.-Gen.
OR, Ser. I, Vol. 39, pt. III, p. 238.

[1] As cited in:

[2] This association was the Nashville barbers' labor union.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

9/28/2013 Tennessee Civil War Notes

28, Preacher Reform and Politics in Confederate East Tennessee

Preacher's Reform Society

An aged and influential gentleman, who has been an active and useful citizen of Knox county, for the last fifty years, and whose influence, means, and good will, have all that time been on the side of Christianity, proposes to me, in good faith, during the past week, to organize a "Preacher's Reform Society," [sic] with a view to save the Churches of our country from utter extinction, and to restore to society, the usefulness of a large body of men, who have, with here and there an honorable exception, apostatized from the faith and practice of their Fathers, and are now prostituting the pulpits of the country to the most wicked and disgraceful purposes. He said, that but a few years ago, 3,000 pulpits at the North, were arrayed against the South, and the stability of the Union; and that 3,0000 Preacher power [sic], was brought to bear upon President Buchanan, in the form of a wicked and insolent petition. Now the scene had changed, and the pulpits of the South had opened their batteries, and were doing more harm than good.

We fully concur in all that our experienced friend has suggested; and we add, more in sorrow than in anger, that with here and there an exception, as he says, the worst class of men in the country are Preachers. [sic] They are doing more mischief, and setting a worse example to the young and rising generation, then our first class Doggery-keepers [sic], and are more to be dreaded. Thirty-five years ago, when we first joined the Methodist Church, we found her ministers pointing the people to Jesus Christ, and offering them an inheritance, the Kingdom of Heaven. Now, a great portion of them, point the people to Jeff Davis, and offer them the joys of a Southern Confederacy. What a change!

When Paul and Barnabas "had ordained them Elders in every Church, and prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord" – not to any political party. In Paul's address to the elders of the Church at Ephesus, he says: "Take heed, therefore, unto yourselves, and to all the flock over which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers." The preachers were thus set apart to an important work – not to preach Secession or Union sentiments – not to volunteer to fight with carnal weapons, but to preach Christ and him crucified. Nay, they were commanded to take heed to all [sic] the flock, both those on one and the other side of any political contest that might be going on. Now, it is because the preachers generally are neglecting these things that a Reform Society [sic] is called for. How can a Church prosper whose ministers are secularized? Some ministers abandon their charges, where they get two or three hundred dollars per year, to take positions where the pay is increased from seven to ten hundred per annum. They will have to meet the souls of these deserted charges at the Judgment Bar, and there give an account of their stewardship.

Brownlow's Whig and Independent Journal, September 28, 1861.




28, Conditions inside the Confederate hospital in Chattanooga; an entry from the diary of Kate Cumming

Have been very busy all week, too much so to write in my journal. Three men died in the course of the week. On the 26th, John Wilkinson, a member of the Fifth Mississippi Regiment, from Neshobo [sic] County, on the 27th, D. W. Jarvis, from Coffeeville, Alabama, a member of the Thirty-second Alabama Regiment; same date, John Cotton, member of Sixteenth Louisiana Regiment, of Rappee Parish, La. These men were in a very low state when first brought in from the camps.

Diarrhea [sic] is the prevailing disease among the patients. I have been so busy that I have not taken time to visit Mrs. M's ward. She has many sick men, as has also Mrs. W. They both have a great deal of trouble. The stove smokes as badly ever. I have the use of one that belongs to the surgeons. (They all mess together; their kitchen and dining-room are near my ward.) It answered for what little I have to cook-beef-tea, toast, sago, and arrow-root. I have a nice little distributing room in the ward, which the head nurse, George Bean, has fixed up very neatly.

The great cry of our sick is for milk. We could buy plenty, but have no money. We get a little every day for the worst cases, at our own expense. I intend letting the folks at home know how many are suffering for want of nourishment, for I feel confident that if they knew of it they would lend us means.

Last week, in despair, I went to Dr. Young, the medical purveyor, and begged him to give me some wine; in fact, any little thing, I told him, would be acceptable. I did not come away empty-handed. He gave me arrow-root, sago, wine and several kinds of spices, and many things in the way of clothing.

In every hospital there is invariable a fund, there is not at present in this [one]. The reason, we have been told, is because the hospitals at this point are in debt to the government, by drawing more money from it than their due, and until it is paid we will get no more. The fund consists so money drawn instead of the soldiers['] rations, as the sick men are unable to eat the rations.

Mrs. W. and myself went to the Episcopal Church this morning. There were very few present. The pastor's, Rev. Mr. Denniston, sermon was a political one.

I went to give my sick men their dinners, and found that the food I had cooked for them was spoiled. I asked Huldah, the negro woman who cooks for the surgeons, who had ruined everything. She told me the steward's wife had been over there and put handfuls of salt into the beef-tea and other things. She had done the same before, but I did not know who did it. My poor men had to go that day dinnerless. I do not know when I have felt so badly about any thing [sic]. I am afraid the next thing she does will be to attempt my life. We had made up our minds, if Dr. Hunter did not put an end to these persecutions, it would be impossible for us to remain here. One of the assistant surgeons came to me, and told me that if Dr. Hunter did not put a stop to them, he and the other assistant surgeons would do so. But I have been informed that Dr. H. has told the steward, that if his wife comes over to this side of the hospital he will then her out altogether. It seems we will never get rid of troubles of this sort.

When we first came here Dr. H. told us that there was another lady coming to assist us; we found out who she was, and concluded if she came we would not remain. We told Dr. H. what we knew of her, and he said that was strange, as he had certificates from our first surgeons. I told him there were some of them whose certificates I did not value as much as the paper they were written on. He said on no account would he have her come.

Had a visit a few days ago from Dr. Flewellen, he congratulated us on our admission to the hospitals. He is one of those surgeons who approves of ladies being in hospitals. We went to see him when visiting this place, and he told us the ladies did good in may, ways; the principle good was, that where they were the surgeons and nurses were more apt to attend to the patients than they would otherwise be.

We have a good deal of trouble about servants; the soldiers do the cooking, in fact all the domestic work. We have a few free Negroes, and they give us no little trouble. For this reason the slaves here are not near so respectful as they are with us; although they seem to have great contempt for the free Negroes. The other day I heard the doctor's servant indignantly say that some one had spoken to her as if she was free, and had no master to care for her.

There are quite number of soldiers in the place who can not get on to their commands, as the country is filled with bushwhackers, and it is dangerous for them to go through it unless in very large bodies.

I am a good deal worried about my brother, as I have not heard from him since the army went into Kentucky.

Cumming, A Journal of Hospital Life, pp. 46-47.




28, Conflict between Federal Corps of Topographical Engineers and Corps of Engineers

CHATTANOOGA, TENN. September 28, 1863.

Brig.-Gen. GARFIELD, Chief of Staff, Hdqrs. Department of the Cumberland:

GEN.: I would respectfully request from department headquarters a letter of advice defining the exact relations which exist between Gen. Morton, chief engineer of this department and myself the chief topographical engineer.

Of late on several occasions there has been some clashing in regard to mutual authority and jurisdiction, which can easily be prevented if our relative positions are officially defined. To make matters clear I will begin at the time when the Corps of Topographical Engineers was merged in the Corps of Engineers, and all branches of the engineering service were placed under one head. This occurred officially on the 3d of March of the present year. Previous to that time, and, in fact, subsequent to it, the topographical department of this army was a distinct branch and not under the control of the chief engineer. Capt. Michler, the former chief topographical engineer, was relieved from duty in this department by Special Field Orders, No. 146, May 29, 1863, and I was ordered to take "his books, papers, orders, instructions, and all public property in his possession."

It will be seen this that as Capt. Michler had remained independent of Gen. Morton until he was relieved, and as I had no other orders or instructions than those under which he was acting, that as far as this order was concerned, I was still independent of the chief engineer. In view of the two corps having been united and of the fact that I was and always had been an officer of engineers, and had been acting under Gen. Morton as an engineer officer, I considered the order of the 29th of May as insufficient, and accordingly I wrote and caused to be issued the order of May 31, 1863, known as General Orders, No. 124, in which I was announced "as engineer officer in charge of the topographical department, reporting to Brig. Gen. J. St. C. Morton, chief engineer of the department."

Some little difficulty arose at once in regard to Gen. Morton's jurisdiction over the topographical engineers of the corps, divisions, and brigades of this army from the fact that he had ordered them to report to him. This was settled by Gen. Morton ordering them to report to me. Some conversation arose at headquarters between yourself, the general commanding, and myself, in which it was settled that I was to have sole control and responsibility in regard to all topographical duty, but that Gen. Morton could give me general topographical duty, but that Gen. Morton could give me general orders and instructions. I alone was to have control of the corps, division, and brigade topographical engineers, and no interference was to be permitted between me and any subordinate of mine. All orders to them were to come through me. With this distinct understanding, which I regret to say was never put in writing, such a precaution having been deemed unnecessary, I took charge of the topographical office. I found the headquarters office almost destitute of assistants or means of doing work, and the engineers of the different commands utterly ignorant of what they were wanted for, and equally unstapled with means of doing anything. With great difficulty I have succeeded in establishing an efficient and energetic office at headquarters, and have instructed and equipped the engineers in the field so that they now render good service to the army and the country. Having done this much--and I can safely point to the record to sustain me--I now request that I be freed from the interference of the chief engineer between me and my subordinates. I have mentioned the matter several times to him, but I cannot see that my doing so has been of any practical avail. I claim that no one has a right to order my subordinates but myself, and that all orders to them shall come through me. I think it hardly worth while to argue so obvious a principle military law, custom, and justice.

In reference to the present emergency, I am ready at any time to give my own services, or those of any man under me, to any work the general commanding may desire, but at the same time I insist on my right to be consulted and to be the one who shall order my subordinates on other duty than that for which they were appointed. I wish the general commanding to understand distinctly that I wish to advance the interests of this army in every way possible, but that I feel bound to protest against any and every attempt of the chief engineer to override me or my subordinates.

I send in this communication at this time as I understood the chief engineer to say to the general commanding that he proposed ordering all the topographical engineers to report to him to-morrow morning for duty in directing the fortifications. No consultation was had with me, nor have I been requested to issue the order. If the general commanding desires the topographical engineers to go on such duty, I will most cheerfully and willingly issue such an order, but I earnestly protest against Gen. Morton doing so of his own authority and without consulting me or having the order issued from my office. I trust the general commanding will cause such instructions to be given in writing to the chief engineer and to myself as will forever set at rest this annoying and most unfortunate conflict.

I am, general, respectfully, your obedient servant,

WM. E. MERRILL, Capt. of Engineers, Chief Topographical Engineer.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 30, pt.; III, pp. 912-913.





        28, A Bolivar school girl takes on new duties and despairs for the success of the Confederacy

Since my last date I have entered into an arduous task that of schoolteaching [sic]. Aunt Anne requiring an assistant, I agreed to assist her in the mornings, Ida in the afternoons. Have heard a report of the capture of Athens, Alabama, by General Forrest. Rumor says that he captured 30 pieces of artillery besides 1300 prisoners. Ma has been attacked with Erysipelas again. Has not been well since her first attack and is now very sick. I think that she despairs of her life but the Doctor seems to have no fears. Ma has so much depending on her that she, in her hurry and anxiety to get well, injured herself more materially than she otherwise would do. Oh, what if the Great God should see fit to take her! What a helpless family she would leave! Since the Federal invasion our property has been ruined and stolen. Three brothers in the Army, nothing to live upon. Good God! shall we be reduced from ease and affluence to abject poverty! We can collect no debts that have long since been due, therefore we are so helpless it is truly hard, very hard to say "Thy will be done." O When [sic] will the cruel, cruel war cease. How long shall we be outraged and humiliated by our heavenly Parent through such wicked instrument as the Federal Army [sic].

Diary of Sally Wendel Fentress, September 28, 1864.

James B. Jones, Jr.

Public Historian

Tennessee Historical Commission

2941 Lebanon Road

Nashville, TN  37214

(615)-532-1550  x115

(615)-532-1549  FAX


Saturday, September 28, 2013

October 2013 issue of The Courier is now online

To read the online version of the October 2013 of The Courier, please visit:

James B. Jones, Jr.

Public Historian

Tennessee Historical Commission

2941 Lebanon Road

Nashville, TN  37214

(615)-532-1550  x115

(615)-532-1549  FAX


Friday, September 27, 2013

THC Facebook Page

Tennessee Historical Commission Facebook Page:

James B. Jones, Jr.

Public Historian

Tennessee Historical Commission

2941 Lebanon Road

Nashville, TN  37214

(615)-532-1550  x115

(615)-532-1549  FAX


9/27/2013 Tennessee Civil War Notes

27, "To the Benevolent Ladies of Clarksville, Tennessee."

Ladies: Accept from grateful soldiers the warmest thanks for your liberal donations. Although self-exiled from our homes-our friends, fleeing, scattered in all directions -- our hearth-stones desecrated by pillaging hordes, and our Southern principles by our own Legislators, as meriting Capital Punishment-we can be but more sensible of your bounties; and your remembrance will be held most dear to the hearts of Southern Kentucky soldiers. Many, now ready for the battle-field thank you, who so kindly assisted them from their beds of sickness by your timely gifts of clothing and other necessaries as well as by your cheering and sympathizing presence.

To our Kentucky neighbors, many, very many thanks are due. To enumerate their acts of goodness would be a pleasant, but a long [sic] task; yet you will please accept a soldier's thanks returned in a soldierly manner-blunt, but sincere.


Hospital of 3d Reg[iment]. Kentucky Volunteers

Camp Boone, Sept. 18, 1861

Clarksville Chronicle, September 27, 1861



27, General Orders, No. 2, Confederate forces forbidden to commit depredations against Unionist loyalists in East Tennessee.

GENERAL ORDERS, No. 2. HDQRS. DEPT. OF EAST TENNESSEE, Knoxville, Tenn., September 27, 1862.

I. The major-general commanding has learned with regret that persons claiming to be acting under military authority have, under the pretext of seizing property for the public service, oppressed and depredated on the citizens of this department. It is therefore ordered that private property shall in no case be taken for military purposes, except on written authority, signed by the assistant adjutant-general or by the chief quartermaster, commissary, or ordnance officer attached to these headquarters. In every case in which such authority is thus granted the officer giving it shall immediately report in writing to the major-general commanding the articles impressed and the circumstances which rendered such impressment necessary. Proper receipts at fair valuation shall always be given.

II. Violation of this order by officers or men will be visited with the severest punishment, though it is expected that the service will not be disgraced by men wearing the uniform of the Confederate States engaging in such lawless and disgraceful acts.

By command of Maj. Gen. Samuel Jones:

CHAS. S. STRINGFELLOW, Assistant Adjutant-Gen.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 16, pt. II, pp. 884-885.




27, Major-General W.T. Sherman's SPECIAL ORDERS, No. 254 expelling ten families for each steamboat fired into by Confederate guerrillas

SPECIAL ORDERS, No. 254. HDQRS. FIFTH DIVISION, Memphis, September 27, 1862.

Whereas many families of known rebels and of Confederates in arms against us having been permitted to reside in peace and comfort in Memphis, and whereas the Confederate authorities either sanction or permit the firing on unarmed boats carrying passengers and goods for the use and benefit of the inhabitants of Memphis, it is ordered that for every boat so fired on ten families must be expelled from Memphis.

The provost-marshal will extend the list already prepared so as to have on it at least thirty names, and on every occasion when a boat is fired on will draw by lot ten names, who will be forthwith notified and allowed three days to remove to a distance of 25 miles from Memphis.

By order of Maj. Gen. W. T. Sherman:

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 17, pt. II, p. 240.



27, Request by Colonel William B. Stokes, 5th Tennessee (U. S.) Cavalry to counter Confederate guerrilla activities in DeKalb, Warren, Smith and Wilson counties

HDQRS. FIFTH TENNESSEE CAVALRY, Camp Crook, Bridgeport, Ala., September 27, 1863.

Col. C. GODDARD, Asst. Adjt. Gen., Dept. of the Cumberland:

Having learned from reliable sources that Col. Murray, with 500 men, is prowling around in the counties of DeKalb, Warren, Smith, and Wilson, committing depredations upon Union families which for barbarity and cruelty have had no parallel in this campaign, I respectfully ask that my command may be ordered to McMinnville or Carthage, to relieve the cavalry forces stationed at either point. The forces stationed at either point. The forces stationed at these points are unacquainted with that country, while my men have a perfect knowledge of every crossroad and by-path throughout that section. My only desire to be ordered to one of the points is for the good of the service. I could render more good for the service of stationed at one of these points, while the cavalry I would relieve could be as beneficial as myself if here. The inhabitants of the counties named are almost unanimously loyal, having sent more men in loyal Tennessee regiments than any other four counties in Middle Tennessee, and in justice to themselves they ought to be protected in their loyalty to their Government. Murray and his men, having every advantage of a perfect knowledge of the country, keep out of the way of the cavalry now in that country. They have not only stolen property, insulted ladies, but have even murdered loyal men. They have stolen all my stock, have attempted to burn my house, insulted my family, fired on my wife, and committed the most heathenish outrages ever heard of. While I could render important service, if stationed there, the cavalry I would relieve could be as useful here. If I am allowed to go to either of these points I pledge my all that I will clear the country of all rebels. I earnestly request that Companies C and H of this command, now stationed at Decherd and Tullahoma, respectively be ordered to join this portion of the regiment. It is the desire of the officers and men to do so, and as they are of little benefit where they are. I respectfully urge that they be ordered to join me at once. While I would willingly join Gen. Crook in the front, I feel it is my duty to protect the families of my men.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

W. B. STOKES, Col., Comdg.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 30, pt. III, pp. 900-901.




27, Medical inspection of military prison at Memphis

Report of a medical inspection of the military prison at Memphis, Tenn., commanded by Capt. George A. Williams, First U. S. Infantry, and acting provost-marshal, made on the 27th day of September, 1864, by Surg. T. M. Getty, U. S. Army, acting medical inspector of prisoners of war.

Prison, name and geographical position--military prison, Memphis, Tenn. Water, source, supply, quality, effects--river water, abundant, excellent. Fuel, whence obtained, kind, supply--oak and cypress, in the neighborhood, abundant, Huts, construction, size, number of men to each--three large warehouses, 120 by 75 feet, four stories high. Huts, heating, cleansing, ventilation--stoves, scrubbing, good. Sinks and cesspools, construction, position, management--wooden, twenty feet in the rear of the prison, good. Removal of offal and rubbish, police-daily, good. Rations, quality, quantity, variety--prison rations, good, abundant. Vegetables and pickles, kinds, amount, how obtained--from prison fund, potatoes, &c., occasionally. Rations, how cooked, how inspected, messing--on stoves, by the medical officer, good. Clothing, condition, deficiencies--good enough, supplied by outsiders. Men, sanitary condition, personal cleanliness--good, clean enough. Hospital --a room 24 by 50 on the third floor, dispensary 16 by 18, mess--room 16 by 18, kitchen 16 by 20, office 16 by 18. Hospital, warming, ventilation, lighting--stoves, good, gas; hospital, water--closets and sinks--the same as the prison; hospital, discipline, police--good. Water, source, supply, quality, effects--the same as the prison. Fuel, whence obtained, kind, supply--the same as the prison. Diet, quality, quantity, variety--the same as the prison, with purchases from the hospital fund. Diet, how cooked, how inspected, messing--the same as the prison. Medicine and hospital supplies, quality, condition, deficiencies--good, none. Instruments, hospital, personal, condition, deficiencies--personal, good. Commissary stores, medical comforts, condition, deficiencies-ample. Hospital records and accounts--in good condition. Hospital muster and pay rolls--none. Reports of sick and wounded and of operations--none. Requisitions and returns--made properly. Morning reports, provision returns--made properly. Hospital fund, how expended, accounted for, condition--$22.07, as in the army proper. Hospital washing, how performed, how paid for -by hospital matrons, by the pay department. Surgeons, number present, absent--none. Assistant surgeons, present, absent--Actg. Asst. Surg. P. D. H. Goff, U. S. Army. Hospital stewards, present, absent--1 acting steward. Cooks and nurses, present, absent--3 convalescents. Sick, condition, cleanliness--good, clean. Sick, beds for, superficial area and air space per bed--18, 800 feet. Medical and surgical treatment--good. Surgical operations, how performed--no capital operations. Nursing, how performed--well enough. Diseases prevalent--diarrhea and dysentery. Diseases of local origin--diarrhea. Recoveries from diseases, wounds, rapid or tardy--generally rapid. Vaccination--general. Interments, how conducted and recorded--by the quartermaster, properly recorded.

The military prison at Memphis consists of a building composed of three large brick warehouses with iron front, 120 by 75 feet, four stories high. The prison is in very bad repair, especially the windows and stairs. It is being rapidly put in order from the provost-marshal fund. In part there is a wooden wall ten feet high. First floor, a Federal, a citizen, and a rebel prison, each 25 by 120 feet. Second floor, a kitchen for prisoners, a twenty-four hours' prison, surgeon's office, prison office, and guard-room. Third floor, dispensary, hospital, hospital kitchen, and mess--room; ten rooms occupied as a female prison, two rooms as officers' quarters, chain gang. Fourth floor, a prison for colored males, same for females, and one room for the extra guard. Number of prisoners--Federal soldiers, 120; citizens--male, 39; female, 6; black male citizens, 8; black male soldiers, 15; total, 188. The prison fund amounts to $1,136.81. The fund is properly used and managed. Capt. Williams informs me that he has no use for this fund. I would recommend that $100 be turned over to the hospital fund and the remainder transferred to some prison where it is needed. Capt. H. W. B. Hoyt, One hundred and thirteenth Illinois Volunteers, is prison officer. The money belonging to the prisoners is placed in his hands and is properly managed.

T. M. GETTY, Surg., U. S. Army, and Actg. Medical Insp. of Prisoners of War.

OR, Ser. II, Vol. 7, pp. 920-922.






James B. Jones, Jr.

Public Historian

Tennessee Historical Commission

2941 Lebanon Road

Nashville, TN  37214

(615)-532-1550  x115

(615)-532-1549  FAX


Thursday, September 26, 2013

9/26/2013 Tennessee Civil War Notes

26, 1862 - "…I do not want further to make an ass of myself in trying to do that which cannot be done…." Confederate conscription troubles in Greeneville

The New Regiments and the Conscription.

We alluded yesterday to the rumored action of the Government in refusing to receive new regiments from East Tennessee. We have good reason to believe that the policy will not be insisted upon in regard to those already authorized to be raised. To show how it would operate, if adhered to, we publish the following extract of a letter from a gentleman in Green county, who has not enrolled a company of one hundred men, the most of them "good fighting material." This is but one among many similar cases in upper East Tennessee:

I see an order from Col. Blake that seems to conflict very seriously with my permission from Gen. McCown. I scarcely know what to do, but I shall go on the organize under my authority, and hope to be treated in good faith but the authorities and their promises to me, that my company when obtained, would be put into one of the regiments now (for then forming) with as much respect to the desire of myself and company as would be consistent with the public service. My men have volunteered with these assurances by me-much upon the authority and assurances given me at the A. A. General's office; and now, I cannot but think, I shall be dealt with in good faith accordingly. Please ascertain if possible, what will be done; for I have gone to considerable expense and trouble already, and I do not want further to make an ass of myself in trying to do that which cannot be done-viz., raising a company as volunteers when the same cannot be done. The majority of my company are good Southern men-yes, I say as good Southern men as can be found in the Confederacy not in the service heretofore, because their affairs were such at home that they could not leave them; men who have sustained this war with as much zeal and patriotism as any in the South, and that too often with the danger of having the torch applied to their dwellings: and now such men are to be taken and treated as Conscript Tories, nor will I believe it.

Knoxville Daily Register, September 26, 1862.



26, 1863 - A Bolivar schoolgirl witnesses a skirmish between guerrillas and Federal cavalry near "the Springs" [1]

We were all starting to the Springs to pay a visit [for] a few days when the Yankees came in and had a skirmish with about ten guerillas [sic]. The guerillas [sic] ran of course, as they were but half armed, mounted and clothed, while the Yanks were armed and equipped well and out numbered the guerillas [sic] three to one.

Diary of Sally Wendel Fentress.



26, 1864 - Monitoring Forrest's retreat across the Tennessee river

ATLANTA, September 26, 1864--6 p. m.


The whole of Gen. Steedman's force has been placed at your disposal; with this and your own you ought to be able to drive Forrest across the Tennessee. You have two brigades of the Fourth Division Cavalry, Croxton's brigade, of First Division, and five regiments Indiana cavalry, acting as infantry, besides the infantry under Gen.R. S. Granger.

GEO. H. THOMAS, Maj.-Gen., U. S. Volunteers, Cmdg.


PLEASANT GROVE, September 26, 1864.

Brig. Gen. J. D. WEBSTER:

The following just received from Pulaski:

Col. Pace, just in from Elk River bridge, reports that he evacuated at 5 a. m. September 26. The forces in his front and flanks estimated at 7,000, with three full batteries. The first block-house below Elk River was evacuated and destroyed; the enemy followed up closely to our rear, burned trestles and destroyed the road. We fell back to within four miles of Pulaski. Col. Spalding has advanced on the road toward Elkton to feel the enemy and hold them in check, if possible, until we receive re-enforcements or further orders. Col. Jones has not arrived; the last heard from him was that he had left Culleoka at 7 a. m. Nothing heard from Gen. Croxton this a. m. Have received no reply to my dispatch to him last night.

GEO. W. JACKSON, Col., Cmdg.

L. H. ROUSSEAU, Maj.-Gen.


PLEASANT GROVE, September 26, 1864--10.30 a. m.

Brig.-Gen. WEBSTER:

Have been unavoidably delayed. Have twenty-three miles yet to go. All quiet at Pulaski, though skirmishing beyond.

L. H. ROUSSEAU, Maj.-Gen.


PULASKI, September 26, 1864--4.30 p. m.

Maj. B. H. POLK, Assistant Adjutant-Gen.:

Send the troops (2,300) forward as speedily as possible. They should be here by morning. Those from Chattanooga to report to Gen. Milroy, strengthening bridges at Elk and Duck Rivers, and leaving a movable force to ply the road. It is probable that Forrest will cross over to the other road. Do not want rations now, nor for eight days.

L. H. ROUSSEAU, Maj.-Gen.


PULASKI, September 26, 1864.

Brig. Gen. J. D. WEBSTER:

Arrived here half an hour since. Croxton and Jones here also with commands. Forrest is within seven miles of town; has burned the Richland bridge, seven miles south of this place. Have sent Col. Jones to join Col. Spalding and feel the enemy. I think Forrest will go over to the Nashville and Chattanooga Railroad by way of Fayetteville; this is but conjecture. Have scouts out to see where he goes. If comes this way will be ready for him. Will move in force upon him when the nip comes. Advise me of matters.



NASHVILLE, TENN., September 26, 1864--11 p. m.

Maj.-Gen. MILROY, Tullahoma:

The operator at Decherd telegraphs here that scouts report the enemy coming that way from the direction of Fayetteville. Better hurry up the forces which are said to have been stopped at Stevenson and Bridgeport. Please report at once the appearance of the enemy on your road, if they come.

B. H. POLK, Maj. and Assistant Adjutant-Gen.


TULLAHOMA, September 26, 1864--12.06 p. m.

Maj. B. H. POLK, Assistant Adjutant-Gen.:

Maj. Wortham, commanding at Wartrace, reports that seven rebels crossed the railroad between Bell Buckle and Fosterville, going east, and he learned they were messengers to Williams, and that Williams and Forrest were to form a junction on this road. Wortham has a scouting party after them.

R. H. MILROY, Maj.-Gen.


COLUMBIA, September 26, 1864.

Maj. POLK, Assistant Adjutant-Gen.:

A scout out for three days south of this post has just returned; reports that Forrest crossed at Florence, and lost 30 men drowned; that his destination is Bridgeport, and from there to East Tennessee. Biffle was at Lawrenceburg, with 700 men and two pieces of artillery. No news from Rousseau.

W. B. SIPES, Col., Cmdg. Post.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 39, pt. II, pp. 486-487.



26, 1865 - Defining the conditions of work at the Freedmen's Bureau in Clarksville

Colonel Davis, in charge of the Freedmen's Bureau, at Clarksville, Tennessee, has adopted the following rules:

1. One half of the wages of the employee will be retained by the employer, until the end of the contract for its faithful performance.

2. The employees will be required to rise at daybreak, each one to feed and take care of the stock allotted to him, or perform any other business that may be assigned to him; to eat their breakfast and be ready for work at the signal, which will be given when the sun is half an hour high. All time lost after the signal is given will be deducted.

3. No general conversation will be allowed during working hours.

4. Bad work will be assessed at its proper value.

5. For disobedience one dollar will be deducted.

6. Neglect of duty and leaving without permission will be considered disobedience.

7. No live stock will be permitted to be raised by the employee, will be charged for.

8. Apples, peaches, and melons, or any other product of the farm taken by the employee, will be charged for.

9. The employee shall receive no visitors during work hours.

10. Three quarters of an hour will be allowed during the winter months for dinner, and one hour and a half during the months of June, July, and August.

11. Impudence, swearing, or indecent and unseemly language to, or in the presence of the employer or his family, or agent, or quarrelling or fighting, so as to disturb the peace of the farm, will be fined one dollar for the first offence, and if repeated, will be followed by dismissal and loss of such pay as shall be adjudged against him by the proper authority.

12. All difficulties that may arise between the employees shall be adjusted by the employer, and, if not satisfactory, an appeal may be taken to an agent of the U. S. Government or a magistrate.

13. All abuse of stock, or willful breaking of tools, or throwing away gear, &c., will be charged against the employee.

14. Good and sufficient rations will be furnished by the employer, not, however, to exceed six pounds of bacon and one peck of meal per week for each adult.

15. House rent and fuel will be furnished, free, by the employer.

16. No night work will required of the employee but such as the necessities of the farm absolutely demand -- such as tying up fodder, firing tobacco, setting plant beds afire, securing a crop from frost, &c.

17. A cheerful and willing performance of duty will be required of the employee.

18. Stock must be fed and attended to on Sunday.

19. The women will be required to do the cooking in rotation on Sunday.

20. The employee will be expected to look after and study the interest of his employer; to inform him of anything that is going amiss; to be peaceable, orderly and pleasant; to discourage theft, and endeavor by his conduct to establish a character for honesty, industry and thrift.

21. In case of any controversy in regard to the contract or its regulations, between the employer and the employee, the agent of the Bureau for the county shall be the common arbiter to whom the difficulty shall be referred.

Staunton Spectator, September 26, 1865


[1] Perhaps Rogers Springs, about 12 miles south of Bolivar.

James B. Jones, Jr.

Public Historian

Tennessee Historical Commission

2941 Lebanon Road

Nashville, TN  37214

(615)-532-1550  x115

(615)-532-1549  FAX


Wednesday, September 25, 2013

9/25/2013 Tennessee Civil War Notes

25, Praise for the sewing skills of Memphis women

Woman's Sceptre, the Needle.

There is something extremely pleasant, and even touching—at least, of very sweet, soft and winning effect—in this peculiarity of needlework, distinguishing women from men. Our own sex is incapable of such by play aside from the business of life; but women—be of what earthly rank they may, however gifted with intellect or genius, or endowed with earthly beauty—have always some handiwork ready to fill the tiny gap of every vacant moment. A needle is familiar to the fingers of them all. A queen no doubt, plies it on occasions; the woman-poet can use it as adroitly as her pen; the woman's eye that has discovered a new star, turns from its glory to send the polished little instrument gleaming along the hem of her kerchief, or to darn a casual fray in her dress. And they have greatly the advantage of us in this respect. The slender thread of silk or cotton keeps them united with the small, familiar, gentle interests of life, the continually operating influences of which do so much for the health of the character, and carry off what would otherwise be a dangerous accumulation of morbid sensibility. A vast deal of human sympathy runs along their electric line, stretching from the throne to the wicker chair of the humblest seamstress, and keeping high and low in a species of communion with their kindred beings. Methinks it is a token of healthy and gentle characteristic, when women of high thoughts and accomplishments love to sew; especially as they are never more at home with their own hearts than while so occupied. And when the work falls in a woman's lap of its own accord, and the needle involuntarily ceases to fly, it is a sign of trouble, quite as trustworthy as the throb of the heart itself.

Memphis Daily Appeal, September 25, 1861.




25, A disappointed Maury County Confederate father throws his reluctant son out, excerpt from the diary of Nimrod Porter

I loaned George Martin[1] $5.00

George Martin (son of Judge Martin) came to town today, said his father had told him if he did not start off to the army of the Southern Confederacy on the next day he should leave his house he could not stay here he [sic] had not one dollar in the World [sic] but few clothes and no bridle, and was trying H. Bradshaw and a few others to get him a bridle said his father would do nothing for him.

Diary of Nimrod Porter, September 25 1862.




25, Report on irresponsible method of recruiting Negroes for U. S. C. T. in Nashville


Nashville, September 25, 1863.


Secretary of War, Washington, D. C.:

SIR: I have at last obtained Governor Johnson's consent to the advertisement inclosed and have commenced recruiting with good prospects of success.

The impressment of colored men which is going on daily in an irresponsible way will help me as soon as I establish a camp and show them they are safe inside of it; they won't be likely to desert.

The colored men here are treated like like brutes; any officer who wants them I am told, impresses on his own authority, and it is seldom they are paid. On Sunday a large number were impressed and one was shot; he died on Wednesday. I inclose the copy of a statement made to me one of them from Zenia, Ohio, taken down verbatim by my clerk. Governor Johnson disapproves of the impressment, so he told me, yet it goes on daily.

Gen. Meigs, Quartermaster-Gen., passed here yesterday on his way to the front. If you will order him on his return to investigate the impressment of men, for various purposes, I think you will get some light on the subject.


GEORGE L. STEARNS, Maj. and Assistant Adjutant-Gen., U. S. Volunteers, Commissioned for Organization U. S. Colored Troops.

[Inclosure No. 1.]


Nashville, Tenn.

Colored men in the Department of the Cumberland will be enlisted into the service of the United States as soldiers on the following terms:

First. All freemen who will volunteer.

Second. All slaves of rebel or disloyal masters who will volunteer to enlist will be free at the expiration of their term of service.

Third. All slaves of loyal citizens, with the consent of their owners, will be received into the service of the United States; such slaves will be free on the expiration of their term of service.

Fourth. Loyal masters will receive a certificate of the enlistment of their slaves, which will entitle them to payment of a sum not exceeding the bounty now provided by law for the enlistment of white recruits.

Fifth. Colored soldiers will receive clothing, rations, and $10 per month pay; $3 per month will be deducted for clothing.

Recruiting stations are established at Nashville, Galantin, and Murfreesborough. Other stations will be advertised when established.

GEORGE L. STEARNS, Maj. and Assistant Adjutant-Gen., U. S. Volunteers, Commissioner for Organization U. S. Colored Troops.

[Inclosure No. 2.]

Statement of Armstead Lewis, of Zenia, Ohio.

I went to the colored Methodist church at 11 o'clock a. m. on Sunday, September 20, 1863. After church, while on my way home, was stopped by a guard, who demanded my pass. I handed it to them; they retained possession of it. They ordered me to fall in among them and I was marched around from place to place till they collected all they could get. We were then marched to a camp about one mile and a half and delivered to some colored men, who were placed on guard over us. They counted us and found they had 180 men. All through the afternoon and evening they kept bringing in squads. They took the passes of the men and after examining them burned them before us.

At dark they put a double around, us and told us if we attempted to escape we would be shot down. We were left that way, out in the cold all night, without tents, blankets, or fire, and some of the men were bareheaded and some without coats.





JNO. H. COCHRANE, Military Secretary.

OR, Ser. III, Vol. 3, pt. II, pp., 840-841.




25, "I had the worst case of venarial [sic] Diseases." A confidential endorsement of Dr. John White by Sergeant F. B. Chapman, Battery "C" 1st Tennessee Artillery

State of Tennessee Fort Negley

Near Nashville September 25th 1864

To the atharities [sic] of the war department Dear sires

Whereas the Draft or enrolment is to take affect in this State in a short time from this present day, I do hereby Recommend that Dr John White a colard [sic] man who is the best Botanic Doctor know known [sic] of and is the most usful [sic] Doctor that is in the city of Nashville For the soldiers for the fact is well know that he cures more cases of venarial [sic] Diseases than all Doctors in this place. and [sic] I know of upwards of one hundred soldiers that has bin unfit for doty [sic] for monthes [sic] and all attention payed [sic] to them by our army Drs. That could be and still the soldier would pain away when almost redy [sic] to go to his grave but ah [sic] he would hear of his noble Dr John White the colored man. he [sic] would go to this Dram in a short time the soldier joined his Respected [sic] Command and well reported for Doty [sic]. and [sic] hear [sic] is my own case. I had the worst case of venarial [sic] Diseases [sic]. I suffered almost Death and I had the best Drs. in this city and still I was sinking fast. when [sic] I herd [sic] of this colored Doctor [sic] I had given up all hopes of ever getting well tho [sic] I Concluded [sic] to try the Colored Dr. [sic] I was taken to him. he went to work with me and I know I am sound and as good a soldier as in the fort and there is a half Dosen [sic] more cases of the same sort in my Company and if Dr [sic] John is not put in the armey [sic] he will soon have my comerads [sic] all well and ready for doty [sic] as well as hundred of other soldiers. So this being the onley [sic] Doctor in this city that is a sirtan [sic] cure for venereal Diseases of all kinds I do theirfor [sic] hope that Dr. John White as above named will be excused from all Drafts [sic] or enrolments [sic] that may Be [sic] ordered or allow him the power to furnish a substitute in order that he may be left at this post for the benefit of the soldiers at this on Doty [sic]. I am gentlemen.

very respectfully your umble [sic] survant [sic] Sergt F B Chapman

Battery "C" 1st Tenn art

Papers of Andrew Johnson, Vol. 7, pp. 189-190.


[1] George Martin was the brother of Mrs. Gideon J. Pillow.

James B. Jones, Jr.

Public Historian

Tennessee Historical Commission

2941 Lebanon Road

Nashville, TN  37214

(615)-532-1550  x115

(615)-532-1549  FAX