Saturday, September 14, 2013

9/14/2013 Tennessee Civil War Notes

14, "Coffee! Coffee!! Coffee!!!"

In these days of blockades, when coffee is scarce, prices high, and in many places none to be had at any price, many substitutes are tried.

I am glad to have it in my power to recommend a substitute which is so nearly like the genuine article as to satisfy the most delicate taste and deceive the oldest coffee drinkers. It is as follows:

Take the common Red Garden Beet [sic], pulled fresh from the ground, wash clean, cut into small squares the size of as coffee grain or a little larger, toast till thoroughly parched, but not burned, transfer to the mill and grind. -The mill should be clean. Put from one pint to one and a half, to a gallon of water, and settle within an egg as in common coffee, make and bring to the table hot-with nice, fresh cream [sic] (not milk) and sugar. I will defy you or anybody else to tell the difference between it and the best Java.

I drank this substitute at the hospitable mansion of Col. Wm. D.W. Weaver, of Greensboro' [GA.], and who has adopted it from his recollection of the war of 1812, when his mother used it. I would say in connection that much depends on the skill of the coffee maker. Some people cannot make good coffee out of the best article. I have tried the above and know that it will satisfy the public if properly used.

W.C. Bass, Greensboro, Ga., Aug. 29th, 1861

Brownlow's Knoxville Whig, September 14, 1861.




14, "You may suppose that this picture is overdrawn but if you will ask Col. Stokes you will find every word verified." Elizabeth M. Harding's complaints of military abuse

Belle Meade, Sept. 14, 1862.

To Gov. Andrew Johnson.

As Military Governor of the State and the last refuge of an oppressed citizen – the link which unites the civil and military authority of the State – I address you this appeal.

There has been removed already from this place five hundred, or five hundred waggon [sic] loads of hay, corn, oats, wheat, etc. etc., for the use of the Government for which even a semblance of receipt has been given. If you will make inquiry of Col. Stokes[1] he will inform you that I have in addition to this sent to his command at least sixty tons of hay – for which I hold the receipts of his Forage Master Quinn.

The Government has made a requisition upon me for the horses for the use of the Cavalry and has taken every suitable horse I had except my carriage horses. The soldiers have entered the lawns and killed before my eyes and carried away every head of poultry upon the place not only my own but the negroes [sic] also.

They broke my dairy and removed therefrom each onion, potatoes, and winter vegetables which I had provided for the use of a family of 150 persons. They have taken from me without even giving me a receipt therefor every negro man – able-bodied – on this place 22 in number, and have not left me wagoners enough to run the wagons [sic] and carry hay to Col. Stokes Cavalry.

On yesterday a squad of pillagers came out and entered the rear of the place and stole 9 of the finest mules on the place.

A soldier demanded the key of my meat house from my Niece who is staying with me and upon her refusal seized an axe and threatened to dash her brains out with it. Another chased a negro girl into my own bedroom and when my eldest daughter attempted to close the door against him he stabbed at her with his bayonet and run it in to prevent the closing of the door. No negro woman on his place is safe in her house from the licentious soldiery and when they leave their houses and fly to me for protection their hoses are entered and robbed. One woman had a gold chain stolen from her and all the silver money she had. They come and demand of the servants to give them all the milk and butter on the place on penalty of having their brains blown out if they refuse.

Night before last a Captain's company of 100 men came out here at midnight and wantonly shot without the least provocation my favorite man servant Bob.

They have taken from me every grain of corn on the place and I am now buying corn to bread my family. They have not left me oats for seed. They have wantonly shot – without even eating them – two Cashmere goats which you yourself know cost my Husband $1000 apiece.

Three weeks ago we had 100 deer, and a herd of twelve or fourteen buffaloes, now we have about 40 deer left and not one buffalo. There is not a fowl left on the place. And now, at this moment while I am writing a sweet potato patch of about 4 acres of potatoes not one fourth grown are being dug by at least fifty soldiers without even a non-commissioned officer at their head, while the grounds around the house and every negro cabin on the premise is literally swarming with soldiers who are wandering all over the place plundering at will, at the same time there are thirty-seven wagons standing on the pike getting ready to load up with the small amount of hay and oats left on the place; and enstead [sic] of going through the gates they are knocking down the fences and opening the whole plantation to the inroads of stock.

On yesterday a whole Captain's company marched out here and when I asked them their business, they said they had come out to get a fine Stallion belonging to Gen. H., worth at least $1500. I remonstrated with them and they replied that they did not intend to use him as a Cavalry horse, and intended him as a present [sic] to one of their field officers. I told them that if the horse was as they alleged confiscated to the United States government that no one man had the right to take a horse of that value and appropriate him to his own use to be shot at. I showed them a protection form Gen. Thomas but nothing but the presence of a guard of soldiers saved him from being seized and taken by those men who did not even pretend that they had an order for his removal.

As I once before assured your

Excellency if allowed to keep my husband's fine stock I will keep them here subject to whatever decision the Government may make in reference to them, but surely no one man ought to be allowed until they are fairly and legally confiscated to come and take them without even the order of a commissioned officer given therefor. As a citizen living under your government as Governor of the State I ask your protection as well as that of Gen. Tomas to whom I am under obligations which I can never repay for his kindness in preserving my life and a shelter over me and my children – by sending me a guard of four men to protect my person from violence.

There has already been taken from this place as I before remarked four or five waggon [sic] loads of forage and what I am to do next winter God only knows with 150 mouths to feed and nothing to feed them with. They have torn down my stone fences and the whole plantation is now at the mercy of the stock of the neighborhood and this too when there were gates in less than twenty steps of the place where the fence was thrown down.

In short, your Excellency – either some remedy must be fount for this evil or the citizens who desire to live in peace and quiet will have to leave their homes and leave the country an uninhabited wasted. Our nearest neighbor, old Maj. Graham and his wife have fared but little better than myself. A lot of marauders come to the house in the absence of Major Graham and on being remonstrated with on account of their pillaging they threatened to turn her out of doors and burn the house.

I am sure that these acts do not meet with you approbation, and it is to inform you of these things that I have again trespassed so unreasonably upon your time and patience. So far as I myself am concerned – I promise to send in to any place that may be designated, all the forage on this lace if they will allow me the use of my teams and drivers. And I have already made an arrangement with Col. Stokes to this effect, and, if allowed to do so I could haul to him all the forage on the place and not be subjected every hour of the day not only to insult but actual danger of my life and that of my servants.

You may suppose that this picture is overdrawn but if you will ask Col. Stokes you will find every word verified.

If your Excellency could use your influence to strictly enforce the order of Gen. Halleck that no foraging shall be done except under the command of a commissioned officer, and that the waggon [sic] guard will not be permitted under any pretense to break ranks. They make an excuse for water of some other, and break ranks and then pillage all they can find.

There are men that come here every day who have not a single commissioned [sic] – no not even a non-commissioned officer with them. This fact can be proven by every guard detailed to protect the lives of families on this road.

With the hope that you Excellency will be able to do something to mitigate this monstrous evil.

I remain, your Excellency, Dear Sir,

Mrs. W. G. Harding

Papers of Andrew Johnson, Vol. 6, pp. 10-12.




14, "The Enemy." Complaints about Public Health in Nashville

Yes the enemy is upon us; are even here now marching up our streets in solid columns, garrisoning our fortifications and throwing a guard into each farm and many of our houses; binding with chains not easily to be broken, a large potion of the residents, both citizens and soldiers; binding with chains not easily to be broken, a large portion of the residents, both citizens and soldiers; slaughtering without remorse, the old and young; the strong man at arms and the feeble woman; even the little child does not escape his power. Lawrence [sic] is invaded at our very doors. Yes, more than invaded, in awful distress, in panic, in these consequences death.

But, strange to say, no long roll is beating, no warning voice is heard, no strong men march out to meet the foe, and drive him from our midst; men walk along with hands in pockets whistling snatches from some gay opera, women spend their time in the social visit and friendly chat, till the destroyer is upon their own homes; no one cares no one even deigns to notice till his [sic] house is struck. It reminds one of the madness of the Babylonian sitting at Bellshazzar's feast, while the Great One had written "Mene, Mene, Tekil, Upharsin," on the wall. It is worse with us, for the enemy was but thundering at their gates; he is in our very midst. Are we mad or only drunken?

Let us examine the array of the foemen. Terrible indeed, under the banner of their invincible King Death, they are bound to conquer wherever they can gain admittance.

Old "Malaria" leads the van, and has thrown out a strong body of skirmishers along the river banks, who have constructed powerful and complete shell-places from the material found in such abundance there-drying mud of the river, decaying vegetables, and dead animals, both great and small. It has also been stated, on the authority of our best scouts, that a company has similarly entrenched itself at the reservoir, and have turned their weapons on us most effectually. A large force has been guarding the N. & C. R. R., but I am told, that this has been removed, and thrown out as skirmishers on the suburbs of the city.

The main command is under the control of Maj. Gen. Fever, whose headquarters are at Barracks No. 1. His brigade commands may be found: Typhoid on the Public Square; Typhus, Water street; Variola, Smoky Row; Pyemia and Gangrene, at the vacant lots near Hospital No. 14, and back of the depot; from whence they are ready to send their emissaries at the shortest notice.

That patrolling streets and guarding of private houses devolves on Brig. Gen. Dysentery, whose agents are abroad every where, only waiting for a pretext to enter every house and home. And where they do enter, woe to those found within. They have an eagle eye on every camp and hospital, and no day passes but some unwary victims fall by their hands. It is even said that they are watching the market and improving every chance to put poison in all that is sold there; and where shall we turn that we may not see an enemy surrounding us?

Who is responsible for this? Yes, I repeat, in God's name show us the man, if he be high or low, civil or military.

It is useless to try to equivocate, when no persons can pass up Church street, on the sidewalk, by the barracks, without holding his breath-when even old boatmen are sickened by the horrid stench of the river-when the streets are the filthiest of any in the world, Constantinople not excepted-when men will beg the privilege of standing all night by the windows of our military prison, and rather than wait for a legal discharge, although they have the necessary papers in their pockets, stake and lose their lives in attempting to run the guard. No paltry excuse will answer to stave off public investigation.

Does this work belong to our military or municipal authorities? Let the responsible parties see to it. If they do not the people will see to them.

A former communication of mine was so unfortunate as to raise the ire of the Louisville Journal, and a bitter tirade of personalities came down on our defenseless head; but my duties in the field left me no time to answer it. I stated only facts, which are, every one of them capable of proof by parties whose integrity is undoubted.

I have not had any desire to place Col. Mundy in [a] false position. An order, published in the same paper,[2] admits "gross abuses" [sic] had crept into the "pass system" and provides for their removal. His subordinates have not, perhaps, always been the best in the army, and recent investigations of the great army police brings to light enough to place the load of guilt some where [sic] else, but on one who seems to be a gentleman and a soldier. In regard to the writer, if it is necessary, I can give to the world the history of the Murfreesboro' contract; the fawning and going down on the marrow bones, with the whole history of various transactions in this department, and their fate, which will account for the reason that the name of "Grainger" has no angelic sweetness to his ear. I do this simply as a compliment to his sharpness, of which quality he justly considers the writer destitute. But as for entering into a wordy war with him, he must excuse me, for long since I formed a resolution (for the safety of my clothing) never to trouble with a tarred stick.


Nashville Daily Press, September 14, 1863.




14, "Outrageous Nuisance."

A respectable citizen asks us to call the attention of the city officers to the abominable nuisance daily committed on the bank of the [Cumberland] river at the foot of Church [street]. Hundreds resort thither to perform the mysterious rights of the goddess Cloacina, the thoughts of which makes one involuntarily hold his nose. It is intolerable, and should be stopped forthwith. The police should go there and compel the offenders to evacuate the premises.

Nashville Daily Times and True Union, September 14, 1864.

[1] Colonel William B. Stokes, First, later Fifth, Tennessee Cavarly, U. S. A..

[2] Not found.

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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