Thursday, October 17, 2013

10/17/2013 Tennessee Civil War Notes

17, Death resulting from Abortion in Memphis

A Strange Occurrence.—On Saturday two women arrived in a carriage near the entrance to the Memphis hospital, now devoted to sick soldiers; one of them got out and assisted the other, who appeared to be very sick, to alight. She then laid her down under a tree, and returning herself to the carriage was driven off. The person so left was taken into the hospital, and kindly attended to by the Sisters of Charity, who are the nurses of the soldiers there. At midnight, she had a prematurely born child; shortly after the birth she died. It appears that she was a woman of ill character named Judith; the woman who left her is known as "Big Mary," and lives on Gayoso street near the bayou bridge; she is a person of the worst reputation. The birth was the result of abortion caused either by drugs taken for the purpose, or excessive drink. It was stated yesterday that a post mortem examination of the baby would be made.

Memphis Daily Appeal, August 20, 1861



17, Letter from a Texas Ranger in Confederate occupied Murfreesboro

Letter from Tennessee.

Murfreesboro' Tenn., Oct. 17th 1862.

Editor Telegraphs-There seems some peculiar attraction for Texas Rangers in this city. It is the rallying point from all the country round about.-Some are here from necessity, some from preference. After a brief excursion up to Rome, Tenn., en route for Kentucky, the Federal cavalry, which infest that region gathering up stragglers and destroying stores, intercepted our way, and very unwillingly we were compelled to return. Here we must await further operations in the military line. The majority of our boys here are those who have been wounded a different places or have been absent on sick furloughs. We have now a force numbering about twenty-five. We were all delighted to-day in greeting back again David S. Terry and two traveling companions, direct from Houston.-They made the trip safely. He is a great favorite with us. The gallant son of our heroic and lamented Colonel, who fell so early after we had entered the campaign, we hope that a brilliant military career is yet before him. William Ward, of company B, who was captures at Woodberry [sic]-while attending upon Sam Ashe, who was wounded-and carried to Nashville and confined in the penitentiary, effected his escape and has safely joined us here. It seems the Yankees cannot hold a Texican prisoner-they always managed to escape by some means. It being unsafe to venture through by the direct route to Bragg's army, all who are mounted are making arrangements to go via Sparta, Knoxville and Cumberland Gap.

It is a long route through, but the only safe one at present. In addition to the casualties of the stockade a fight mentioned in my last[1], I learn that James T. Pettus, of Company F, is supposed killed and Buck Drisdale was wounded in the thigh: also, James Prior, of Company G, was shot through the arm. He is able for service again. S. G. Clark of Company F. was killed near Nashville, whilst a portion of the regiment were flanking. We have nothing later than two weeks since from the regiment in Kentucky. We are anxiously awaiting some one to come through so that we may hear the result of the great fight there[2] and our loss. We doubtless, suffered as usual, very heavily, although we hope but a few have fallen. There is now no communication between these headquarters and Bragg's army. But it will not long astir on hearing that Nashville was being evacuated. At once troops began to move in that direction, Gov. Harris being in advance. We waited anxiously, and hoped for confirmation of the news. They wore away and left us in uncertainty. Today, again, a reliable messenger reiterates the good news, but we are yet in doubt. I believe, however, they are meditating such a step, and even preparing for it. There may yet be a bloody battle in the "City of Rocks;" but I hope not. Whenever the attack is made, notwithstanding their strongly fortified positions, we will be successful. We await the news of to-morrow with a deep interest. Troops are pouring in by railroad every day from Chattanooga, and son Gen. Forrest will have a good army here. Today he issued General Order No. 1, viz.

"Soldiers: -You have scarcely taken up your positions in the heart of Middle Tennessee, -cheered by the greetings of your fellow citizens, and a return to the region of your homes and firesides, before you are called upon to rejoice over another signal victory in Kentucky. I announce to you that the forces under command of General Braxton Bragg; have met the enemy, lately commanded by Gen. Bell, and completely repulsed them. We have captured more than 18,000 prisoners, including Gen. Tom Crittenden and other officers of distinction. We have killed and wounded from 10,000 to 15,000. Forty pieces of artillery, with large quantities of army and munitions of war, have fallen into our hands."

The Louisville Journal is also said to admit a loss of 25,000 and "nothing gained by it." Its editorials are written despondingly, and severely criticize Lincoln's late proclamation. It is the opinion of prominent statesmen here that this late reverse will drive their army beyond the Ohio, and give Kentucky to us. The people are becoming thoroughly aroused, and newspapers are now springing into existence, warmly advocating our cause. Kentucky and Tennessee once in our possession, then our army will have abundant supplies of breadstuffs. Providence has blessed them with an abundant harvest. Throughout this State, so far as I have seen the corn crop is very heavy, although grain is light; yet, as if in anticipation of a partial failure in this respect, the God of nature has caused the forest to bloom and I hear a most abundant crop of nuts, berries, and wild fruits. Such immense loads of these I have never before witnessed. And although our enemy has consumed and destroyed much of the crop whilst growing, both grains and fruits, yet here is a reserve storehouse filled with a rich supply, which will make the pork for our people and army, and fatten other stock. Thus our wicked and insulting enemy is thwarted in his plans for starving us out. All things considered, our condition is most flattering, and the indications are prophetic of an earl peace.

In haste, yours,

R. F. B.

The [Houston] Tri-Weekly Telegraph, November 10, 1862.



17, First Lieutenant Robert Cruikshank, 123rd New York Infantry Regiment, letter home to his wife Mary – short rations, quarters

Dechard [sic] Station, Tenn.,

October 17, 1863.

Dear Mary,-

We have remained in Camp at the place since I last wrote you and have an easy time but short rations. We have built good quarters and if we had plenty to eat would be a happy lot of fellows. Soldiers always want plenty to eat.

The country is so poor we can get nothing from the inhabitants. When the country is good and productive we can live very well, but where the country is as poor as it is here and when we have short rations it is a little hard. I have seen no cattle or sheep since we came here, and I should have added hogs, horses and mules are scarce. I do not know what the people live on now unless it is corn. There is a little of that grown.

We hope to move from here soon.


R. Cruikshank.

Robert Cruikshank Letters.[3]


[1] Not found.

[2] Battle of Perryville, Kentucky.

[3] As cited in:

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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