Friday, October 11, 2013


11, Confederate spirit among the 'noble ladies' of Columbia

We learned the other day from a Lieut. Colonel of partisan rangers that when the Federals were driven from Columbia, Tennessee, and our boys entered the town, that the ladies met them with waiving handkerchiefs and joyful countenances, and told them to drive off the vile Yankees. Let them, said they, shell the town if they choose. We had rather, exclaimed the patriotic ladies of Columbia, see the town burned than see it occupied again by Yankee soldiers. All honor to the noble ladies of Columbia. This officer assured us that no troops ever received such welcome as did our soldiers on taking possession of Columbia.-Chattanooga Rebel.

Macon Daily Telegraph, October 11, 1862.



11, "Rats" in Murfreesborough, a letter home

Tomorrow will be sunday [sic], and I hope to be able to enjoy the privilege of attending church But [sic] the churches here seem to be foresaken [sic]. This place has been the "hot bed" of rebellion, and I believe it has been given over to work out its own destruction. What hasn't been destroyed by neglect and want of someone to take care of, the army has destroyed, and what the soldiers have left the "Rats" [sic] will destroy without doubt. The rats are being killed by the thousands daily, and yet seem to be as numerous as ever.

William Benson Rippetoe to Mary J. Rippetoe, October 11, 1863.[1]




11, "Affairs in West Tennessee. Operations of Sol. Street and the Guerrillas."

From an intelligent citizen, who has just reached the city, having traveled largely over the Western district, we learn some particulars of special interest in reference to the operations of guerrillas.

We have already chronicled the operations of Sol. Street's band of desperadoes in the town of Brownsville. It appears that after leaving Brownsville, they crossed the river and made for Hardeman. On Friday, the 2d inst., they broke up a church-meeting at the "Do-me-good church," conscripting all the men, increasing their number as the passed through the country. In this way they captured some forty or fifty Union men, and hurried them off to Pontotoc, Miss., where [R. V.] Richardson was located. Richardson shortly after receiving reinforcements, moved his camp to New Albany [Miss.], on the banks of the Tallehatchie [sic]. There he was reported to the conscripts to have parts of six regiments numbering some 1800 men, with eight pieces of artillery. Johnston, it is reported, reviewed Richardson's troops last Saturday. Part of the artillery was condemned as unfit for use, and carried back to Pontotoc for repairs. On Sunday night a report came that a Federal force ten thousand strong, with five pieces of artillery, were coming out after them from Corinth, and about midnight Richardson broke up his camp in a great hurry, and moved back toward Pontotoc. In the confusion, the men who had been conscripted escaped, and returned to their homes, having been paroled till to-morrow. We should have stated in the proper connection, that when the conscripted men got to Richardson's they were offered the option of enlisting with Richardson, or to go to [Brigadier-General Gideon J.] Pillow, who is at Columbus and who would send them to Bragg. Of course they chose the former and thus were enabled to get back home.

* * * *

It was also understood that all the corps and guerrillas have special instructions to tear up and destroy the Memphis and Charleston railroad, and for that purpose Richardson has made a large number of crowbars and other iron instruments suitable for the work.

It was also understood that when the railroad shall have been cut up. Joe Johnston will move into West Tennessee and make his headquarters at Jackson, Tennessee. Richardson has made a formal promise to his men that they shall winter in West Tennessee. Such are some of the statements of these Union men, who were conscripted into a service which their souls abhorred.

Our informant was in Hardeman county on Thursday [8th]. On the day before, a man named Browning was conscripting on [the] Hatchie [river], ten miles north of Bolivar. This man has blood-hounds, that follow up the fleeing conscript and compel his surrender. While out on a hunt for conscripts last Wednesday, they came a cross a man named Ross, digging a grave for his child. They did not even permit him to finish his work, but compelled him to go with them. We have heard of several persons whose houses were visited by Street, fully searched and everything valuable taken, the family insulted, and the order given to kill the husband if he refused to be conscripted, to burn the house and destroy the property. In fact there is scarcely any outrage that these outlaws are not guilty of in the tier of counties along the Mobile and Ohio railroad. There is said to be a large cotton crop growing in that section, but from present advices there is little prospect of its being gathered and made available.

It is stated that Saulsbury and Middleton, on the railroad, are the places where Richardson, Street & Co., are in the habit of crossing and recrossing with their conscripts and booty. These points are the stations immediately beyond Grand Junction.

There have been rumors on our streets, for several days past, about reported fights along the railroad, but they turn out to be mere skirmishes [2] in which the enemy shows his good sense by skedaddling. It is unsafe to believe any reports floating around the streets, for they are generally disparaging to the Union cause, and for the reason that they are made up by the disloyal and put forth to accomplish a purpose.[3]

Memphis Bulletin, October 11, 1863.



[1] As cited from the Ernest R. Davidson Collection in John W. Rowell, Yankee Artillerymen: Through the Civil War with Eli Lilly's Indiana Battery, (Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 1975), pp. 136-137. [Hereinafter cited as: Yankee Artillerymen.]

[2] These kinds of "mere skirmishes" are not listed in the OR and so escape enumeration. Nevertheless, it does indicate that there were more fights than can be counted because they were not referenced. The size of the fight is immaterial, while the fact that it was a fight is important.

[3] It cannot be doubted, however, that reports such as this one were also "put forth to accomplish a purpose."

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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