Tuesday, September 3, 2013

9/3/2013 Tennessee Civil War Notes

3, "Flag for the Third Cavalry Battalinn" [sic]

We saw yesterday, in preparation at Luck's, a most magnificent Flag, which had been ordered by Gen. V. K. Stevenson of this city, to be presented to the 3rd Battalion of Tennessee Volunteer Cavalry, commanded by Lt. Col. Wm. Brazelton, Jr. The flag is of the finest material that could be procured and will when finished be as fine as any that has been gotten up in the State. In [a] word, it is worthy of the gallant Battalion for which it is intended. Within the circle of stars in the blue field is the motto "Death before Subjugation!" On the reverse is the number of the Battalion. This corps of gallant defenders of the South was raised in East Tennessee, and is composed of men who are resolved never to survive the enslavement of the South. The Flag [sic] will be presented at their encampment near Knoxville, before their departure for the seat of war, which will be in a short time. The liberality of General Stevenson is highly judicious, as we know that the battalion is in all respects worthy of it and we predict that by its deeds on the battle-field  it will win the State's gratitude and admiration of the country.

Nashville Daily Gazette, September 3, 1861.[1]




3, "Mammoth Apples."

Mr. I. T. Chilton who has a farm on the Nolensville turnpike, about two miles from the city, left in this office yesterday, the largest apple perhaps, ever grown in the State. We have seem the fine mountain apple exhibited at our State Fairs, but in size this eclipses anything that has yet made its appearance. The one in our possession measures 4½ inches in diameter and weighs 18 ounces. It is a regular whale and no mistake. We learn from Mr. C. that it was grown on a remarkably small tree.

Nashville Daily Gazette, September 3, 1861.




3, Strict enforcement of the Confederate conscription law proposed to control activities of paroled East Tennesseans

HDQRS. DEPARTMENT OF EAST TENNESSEE, Knoxville, Tenn., September 3, 1862.

Hon. GEORGE W. RANDOLPH, Secretary of War, Richmond, Va.:


*  *  *  *

Col. Scott and others in Kentucky have paroled East Tennesseeans in the Federal Army to return to their homes. These men are doing great damage. I have directed them to be collected and sent North, among others Lieut. Peck, of the Federal Regular Army. Cumberland Gap, on this side, is closely invested, and Gen. Morgan is short of provisions. The north side of the Gap is open, and he can escape in the direction of Manchester or Columbia. The force at my disposal is only sufficient to invest this side, protect the railroad bridges, and keep the country quiet. Gen. Smith is calling on me for re-enforcements. My position as temporary commander of the department is embarrassing, to say the least. I shall carry out Gen. Smith's views.

The conscript law should be enforced at once. I would prefer having the disaffected element in my front than my rear. I would recommend that warning be given that all those who left would be considered as aliens and their property sequestrated. I would in the mean time call for volunteers to the date the law would be put in force. Those who left for the north would only embarrass Gen. Morgan in his critical position. If I had forces sufficient to invest the north of the Gap I believe that Morgan and his whole force would soon be captured or give battle. A definite policy should be adopted at once, and I ask early instructions. The position and importance of East Tennessee require prompt action.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

J. P. McCOWN, Maj.-Gen.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 16, pt. II, pp. 794-795.




3, Scouts and horse "thievery" at Jonesborough environs

SEPTEMBER 3, 1863.

Maj.-Gen. BURNSIDE, Knoxville:

A reliable citizen has just been in my office, bringing information of the enemy. He lives 20 miles from here and 8 miles to the left of Jonesborough; he left home at 4 o'clock this morning. He is an old citizen, whose judgment and reliability are well vouched for. He says the force of the enemy is about 3, 500, of which 2, 500 are mounted; that they are stationed this side of Jonesborough, with pickets reaching from the Chucky River up as far as Graysburg and Fall Branch, covering a front of almost 20 miles; that they are making as large a display as possible to deceive us; that they do not intend to fight us, but behind this line of pickets, and as much in front of it as possible, they are stealing all the horses they can lay their hands upon, and mounting their men; that they have mounted about 1,000 since they came down to Jonesborough; that the Sixteenth Georgia Battalion is in the vicinity of Fall Branch, with a large number of good horses, and that this force could be easily captured or scattered; that the enemy could be easily drawn back by our advancing; that their principal object is plunder; that they expect to hold us in check long enough to accomplish their object by displaying a bold front and exaggerating their numbers.

My scouts sent out last night have not yet returned. They should be in soon unless captured. I hope to have sufficiently reliable information in a few hours to warrant you in ordering my advance upon the enemy directly in front, or my movement in their rear, which I think will be the more successful. At the moment we go forward in force, the enemy will fall back, and, if we press them, will retreat too rapidly for our horses to check them. I have never doubted my ability either to capture or drive them out of the State, notwithstanding their exaggerated reports, if my cavalry could be actively employed, because I did not think them largely re-enforced, but in the absence of definite information, I may have made a mistake.

I will communicate with you again as soon as I get further information. If the above statement is correct, I am anxious to break up and rid the State of the horse-thieves.


OR, Ser. I, Vol. 30, pt. III, pp. 336-337.




3, Guerrilla activity in the Memphis environs

A country friend, who resides some twelve miles out, complained very bitterly to us the other day, that parties of three and four came to his inclosure on Sunday last [August 30] and shot his hogs. Others [took?] their cows and wantonly killed [them]. These outrages are attributed by our informant to the Federal soldiers quite as a matter of course, but they are more likely to have been done by the gang of deserters from both armies, and by gangs of marauding citizens whom the civilians have turned into vagabond thieves.

Be that as it may, the remedy our friend suggests cannot be adopted. The Federal Government can never be a police to watch every country by-path, and guard every man's henroost [sic]. The idea is preposterous. The people must combine in loyal bands and protect their own property.

It is asked, how can this be done, seeing that the Government has disarmed them all? We reply that whenever a proper movement occurs, having a loyal basis and made up of unconditional supporters of the Government, no doubt the arms will be furnished. But where has such a movement yet commenced in Shelby county? Probably the society called "the Strong Band," which is now in active exercise here, would afford a good basis for such a movement. At all events, our informant must know that the Government has got other uses for its soldiers than acting as detachments to guard private property throughout the country, and while we depreciate all outrages by strolling soldiers, we cannot but see that they constitute the more unfortunate accompaniment of civil war.

Memphis Bulletin, September 3, 1863




3, "I am unarmed and in your power, but you have mistaken your man; you can kill me, but you can't make me draw off my own shirt." Federal atrocity at New Market

From the Christian Observer.

Savage and Fiendish Atrocity.

The following communication to the Attorney General of the District of East Tennessee, contains an account of the most diabolical and savage acts of malignant cruelty of which we have seen a record since the commencement of the present war. Language fails us to express the abhorrence and detestation which every one, not lost to humanity, must feel for the vile and cowardly miscreants who, instead of meeting their victim singly in open day, decoy him from home in the dead hour of night, and inflict upon him their worse than murderous revenge, simply because he had dared to preach the gospel.

Bristol, Tenn., Sept. 3d, 1864

To J. G. Wallace, Esq., Attorney of the District of East Tennessee:

Sir—In compliance with your request, I proceed to make a brief statement of the facts connected with my being driven from my church, my home and family at New Market, East Tennessee.

After bed time, August 3d, 1864, Captain James Crawford, Lieut. Wm. O. Sizemore, of Hawkins county, and others, (all, perhaps, of the Federal army) entered my house and searched for "guns, swords, pistols and concealed rebels." They found none, for none such were there, nor had there been. Before leaving my house they asked my position in regard to the war. I told them that my sympathies were with the South; whereupon, they gave me two orders, accompanied with much profanity: 1st, "To go to hell and preach for the devil;" 2d, "Never again to preach at New Market." I made no answer-I uttered not one offensive word. My conclusion was, however, that duty forbade me to comply with either order. I therefore attended to my ministerial duties as usual, until the morning of August 18th, I met Lieutenant Sizemore in the street, and he inquired if I had preached since I received the above orders. I answered him I had; whereupon, as he turned away, he remarked, "All right-we'll send you to Knoxville." I remarked, mildly, "I thought it all right, or I would not have preached." That night, just after we had retired to rest, a man in the garb of a Federal soldier came to my door, and decoyed me off under the pretense of my being called to a neighbor's house. I dressed and went forth with this man, and soon met three other soldiers, viz: Lieutenant Sizemore, Bill Owens and a third man, unknown to me.-The three conducted me towards the depot. Now, for the first time, I suspected that I was arrested, and was en route for Knoxville. They were so bitter and so disgustingly profane that I asked but one question-"Where do you wish me to go?" and made one remark expressive of surprise at being thus snatched from my home at night.

We passed out of town about a half a mile from my house, when Sizemore, who superintended the whole affair, asked me, "Are you a rebel?" I replied to this effect: "I am a sympathizer with the South; I can't deny it without lying, and I won't falsify my word."-He replied. "That's enough-halt." In obedience to his orders, I drew off my coat. The other two men did the same. He then ordered me to draw off my shirt-(had not put on my vest and cravat). This I declined doing. The order was repeated with a terrible threat, and a revolver drawn upon me. I replied, "I can't do it-that is an indignity which I will not consent to place upon myself." The order was again repeated, with curses and threats, and the pistol at my breast. I remarked, "I am unarmed and in your power, but you have mistaken your man; you can kill me, but you can't make me draw off my own shirt." By Sizemore's orders, the other two drew off my shirt, and each taking hold of a hand, they began inflicting, the one upon my naked back, and the other upon my naked breast, a most severe whipping with hickories prepared for the occasion. They wore out three sets of switches or withs, and, during the time, Sizemore, by threats and commands, increased the severity and rapidity of the blows; and also himself broke off a limb from a tree near by; the limb had several prongs, and was longer than his body, and with this limb in both hands he exerted himself violently until he had worn it to a mere club. Here I pleaded with them to desist, but in vain; asked them to shoot me and thus end my misery, assuring them that I had no fears of death. But the club still fell heavily and fast upon my bruised, bleeding, lacerated body. It became insufferable; I tried to avoid the strokes, when a blow upon the head brought me to the ground. As I lay there, they lashed me with fresh switches; and once upon my feet again, was knocked down the second time by Sizemore-several blows from the fist of one of them having failed to knock me down. One large scar over each eye I must wear to the grave, and how many others upon my back, breast and arms may be scars for life, I know not. They left me, and with difficulty I put my shirt partly on and got back to my house; sent for Dr. Blackburn, who washed and bound up my wounds, ordered the free use of aperients and the frequent bathing of my body in a solution of muriate of ammonia. He treated my case in accordance with this prescription until the day I fled from my home.

A day or two after I was beaten as just described, rumored threats were current on the streets to the effect that a like fate awaited any man who visited me, or manifested any sympathy for me in my sufferings. Personal threats were made against Rev. Isaac N. Caldwell and others, among the best and most quiet and inoffensive men of my congregation. Again fresh threats are heard-threats of scourging and death in case we did not fly the country. These threats were understood to have been made by the same parties who so misused me. We are now out of the Federal lines, but our families and friends may ere this have fallen victims to the fiendish rage of such men as Sizemore, Owen & Co.

Very respectfully,

Geo. E. Eagleton.

Richmond [VA] Whig, October 7, 1864[2]





[1] This piece was credited to the Nashville Patriot newspaper which has not survived.

[2] As cited in: http://www.uttyl.edu/vbetts.

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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