Saturday, October 5, 2013

10/5/13 Tennessee Civil War Notes

5, Newspaper Report on Samuel Tate, President of the Memphis & Charleston Railroad on Confederate Railroad Problems. "The Government has taken from us forty to fifty cars and carried them to the Nashville and Louisville Railroad."

Memphis and Charleston Railroad.-We find in the latest received number of the Memphis Appeal, a long statement, signed by the President of this road, Samuel Tate, Esq., in reply to the communication in this journal, of the 26th ult., from Robert McRee, Esq., in relation to the detention of freight, and the bad treatment of freighters by the agents of the Memphis and Charleston Railroad; and also commenting on our incidental remark that if such things do really occur in the transmission of freight over that road, the Government had better interpose to prevent it.

Mr. Tate denies the statements of Mr. McRee explicitly, and moreover says that the officers of the road know of no misunderstanding between them and the New Orleans and Jackson Railroad, unless it has occurred on the part of the latter, about the detention of freight at the Junction, within the last few weeks. "They seem," says the President, "to think that the Memphis and Charleston Railroad is out to receive and transport freight promptly from them, whether the roads at Chattanooga take it away from us or not. There never has been one third as much freight detained over at the Junction at any one time as we have had for weeks detained at Chattanooga, and it is simply ridiculous for a railroad man to expect a connecting company to receive freight from him, and forward it, beyond the amount he can get it taken away from him at the end of his road after he has transported it. The facts," continues Mr. Tate, "are these:"

["]For several weeks past there has been great difficulty in getting freight promptly transported over the roads in East Tennessee and Virginia, owing principally to the transit of motive power and cars on the East Tennessee and Virginia Railroad. This company has assisted them in every way it could. They now have three of our best engines and over one hundred of our cars between Chattanooga and Bristol, and one hundred and twenty more cars loaded at Chattanooga to go east, and have not been able for the past week to get over five or ten cars a day taken away from there. The Government has taken from us forty to fifty cars and carried them to the Nashville and Louisville Railroad. This tied up over one half of our cars, yet we might get along even with half our cars, if connecting roads would receive freights from us and relieve us promptly at Chattanooga, but it is impossible for us to transport freight and no one to receive it from us on delivery at the end of our road. Our depot and sidetracks at Chattanooga are now all filled and no one to receive it from us, and we are compelled to refuse freights going in that direction for either individuals or connecting roads.

The government freight we give preference, and transport it daily as they give us privilege at Chattanooga of sending around by the Augusta route. We sent this freight forward by a day and night express, without delay. We have ample machinery and cars to do all the business promptly, but we cannot do it while we have to furnish one-half of our rolling stock to other roads, and then cannot get what freight we carry with the other half taken from us promptly.["]

Daily Picayune, October 5, 1861. [1]




5, Military security restrictions, high food prices and a free market for the poor in Nashville

Market for the Poor.

For several weeks troops of Confederate brigands have been infesting all the roads leading into the city, and have, to the utmost of their power prevented market-people from bringing supplies to our citizens. We learn that within a few miles of town notices are posted up by the Captains of these troops of scoundrels, warning the country people that if they are caught bringing marketing to this place, they shall forfeit their loads, their wagons and their teams. In the face of these difficulties few market people now venture in, and then only by stealth, and consequently our supplies of vegetables are almost entirely cut off. Butter sells at 75 cts. and $1.00; Irish potatoes, 70 cents a peck and the very few other articles offered for sale at corresponding prices. Fowls, apples, eggs, etc., can rarely be obtained at any price. As supplies are so difficult to obtain, it is very natural for those who have means to buy much larger quantities of any article than they would do was it more abundant, and thus it becomes almost impossible for the poor to buy anything, as they are not only without the means to buy much, but are crowded out of the market by a few monopolizers. To illustrate, if butter were abundant, a housekeeper might prefer to purchase but two or three pounds at once, but if it makes its appearance but once a week he will, if he has the means, buy up three or four times that quantity, and thus the poor are virtually excluded from the market. Cannot the Governor or the Military authorities give some protection to persons who will supply our market? why for instance, cannot worthy persons be allowed to go out with the forage trains, under the protection of our soldiers, for supplies? The only privilege granted to these traders would be the privilege of buying on fair terms—free the farmers who are not allowed to come to market. In this way the greatest abundance of supplies of all kinds could be brought in. It is easy to see how this scheme, which is perfectly simple, reasonable, and practicable, might be enlarged, so as to make it embrace a free market for the poor; a step which we think would be much more beneficial and certainly far cheaper than the donation of money. We are convinced that with a free market, our authorities can do more to assist the poor with one dollar, than they can do by the donation in money of three or four times that amount. We earnestly urge the suggestion for the consideration of our authorities; with this additional one, that none of the benefits enumerated shall be extended to the disloyal.

Nashville Daily Union, October 5, 1862




5, Affair at Christiana[2]

Report of Brig. Gen. Thomas H. Ruger, U. S. Army, commanding Third Brigade, First Division, Twelfth Army Corps.

HDQRS. THIRD BRIG., FIRST DIV., TWELFTH CORPS, Christiana Station, Tenn., October 9, 1863.

SIR: I have the honor to report in relation to the surrender recently made of this post, as follows:

On Monday, the 6th [5th] instant, a force of probably 500 or 600 of the enemy's cavalry, under command of Col. Harrison, commanding brigade, left the main body on the turnpike from Murfreesborough to Shelbyville, and appeared at this point between 1 and 2 p. m., and demanded the surrender of the post.

The force here consisted of detachment of Eighty-fifth Regt. [sic] Indiana Volunteers of 3 commissioned officers and 45 enlisted men, commanded by Capt. James E. Brant, Company E, Eighty-fifth Indiana Volunteers. He at first refused to surrender, but on ascertaining that the enemy had artillery (two pieces, as I am informed) in position to open fire on the stockade into which he had retired, he surrendered his command.

The enemy remained in vicinity about one hour, destroying tank, pump, warehouse, two cars loaded with forage, and doing slight damage to side track. The main body left by same road they came, a small portion going toward Murfreesborough along railroad.

The stockade at this point was insufficient to resist musket balls, as I am informed. It was burned by the enemy. This report is made on information obtained in most part from citizens here at the time.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

THOS. H. RUGER, Brig.-Gen. of Volunteers, Comdg.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 30, pt. II, p. 722.




[1] As cited in PQCW

[2] Dyer's Battle Index for Tennessee refers to this as an affair.

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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