Sunday, November 10, 2013

11/10/2013 Tennessee Civil War Notes

        10, "The City Yesterday;" the nervous aftermath, in Memphis, of the Engagement at Belmont, Missouri[1]

There was much gloom and anxiety in the city yesterday, and hundreds of hearts were aching in painful suspense to know the fate of loved friends, who were in the battle of Columbus. It was expected that the steamboat Kentucky, which was due the previous day [8th], had been detained to bring down a portion of the wounded, and that she would arrived in the course of the day. From morning into night, crowds, a large portion of which were ladies, waited in sad expectation at the landing, straining their eyes for long, weary hours, to catch a sight of the expected boat; but the boat did not come. It is presumed, of course, that the roll call has made known at Columbus who are killed, wounded, or missing; and to the fearing, tearful waiters it appeared cruel and thoughtless in the extreme that no word of official intelligence should be sent from Columbus-no list arrive[d] of the name of the killed, wounded and missing. There may be some reason for the delay which we do not know, but the suspense that exists is sadly painful. The stores on Main street were generally closed, the daily 'Change[2] did not meet, the criminal court adjourned-all were desirous of being ready to testify their regard for the dead, to give their help to the wounded, and to manifest their deep sympathy with those whose friends had fallen in the fatal strife. Crowds awaited the arrival of the train from Columbus. On its arrival it was found that a number of bodies of the dead had been sent on from Columbus, but all went down the Mobile road for Mississippi, that number came here. [sic] They were reported as the bodies of First Lieut. Rhea, Second Lieut. Middleman, private Miles, and John McCalley, and Matthews, of the Fayette Rifle Greys, and Frankland Stockings, and Henry Burnett, of the Macon Greys, and the son of Esq. Ferrar, of Hernando Plank Road. We are not positive as to the accuracy of the list. The public were prompt in offering contributions, and liberal sums were received in the course of the day in addition to the $1275 subscribed at the meeting on Friday night. Persons in moderate circumstances pressed forward, as well as the wealthy, to offer their money in aid of the wounded. The committee appointed at the meeting, Messrs. Walker, Lofland, Ferguson, Merrill and Patrick were industriously at work. The Overton Hotel was secured as a hospital, thirty-six rooms were cleaned and fitted up with two and three beds each, some of the rooms being yet without fire grates. Mr. Cubbins, with a vigor that shows what a man can do when his heart is in it, had fifty grates put up between two o'clock in the afternoon and dark. The beds were fixed with clothing and comfortables [sic] made. The place was made a government hospital, and placed under the care of Drs. Keller and Fenner as surgeons, with R. Brewster, Esq., as dispensing druggist. A physician's office, an operating room and dispensing room were prepared, and a crowd of ladies were waiting ready to offer their kind services, to soother the suffering and console the dying. All was prepared, doctors, nurses-all were waiting, but not a word from Columbus to tell then when the sick would arrive, or whether they would come at all. What circumlocution office, red tape, routine formality, and official conventionalism could be at work could not be guessed, but many whose services will be greatly required, were kept waiting in vain expectation for want of what a few words flashed over the wires would supply. By this evening the cooking apparatus will be put up, and scarcely to detail necessary to the full operation of a surgical hospital will be wanting. We learn that the hospital of the Southern Mothers is at present not more than a third filled, and those in the ward are generally doing well, and that institution is preparing to render a large share of assistance. Our citizens will certainly spare no toil and no expense to render every aid to the suffering soldier, and to show the estimation in which they hold the brave men who stand in the battle field ready to lose life and limb for their country.

Memphis Appeal, November 10, 1861



 10, Expensive Boots in Nashville

Purchase of a Pair of Shoes in Nashville.

A writer in the Nashville (Tenn.) Patriot gives his experience in attempting to purchase a pair of sawed boots in that city., in the following words:-The owner of the shop took down from a peg a pair of stitch downs. I tried them on. I must do them the justices to say that they fitted me as handsomely as if my foot had been melted and poured into them. I determined to buy them, cost what they might. "I'll take the," said I, stamping my right foot violently on the floor, and taking a ten dollar bill from my vest pocket. "Take your pay out of that," said I, handing him the costly shinplaster. I really believe the individual who stood before e at that ;moment was the most thoroughly astonished bootmaker that I ever saw. He braced first at the money and then [looked] at me, turning alternately pale and red, while this eyeballs protruded from the sockets as if they were being shoved outward by some hydraulic pressure from within. At last, just as I was about to cry "fire" or run for a doctor, or something of the sort, he spoke, "You are from the country, ain't you?" I answered that I was. "I thought so," said he: "them boots is eighteen dollars!" I didn't say another word, I sat down and pulled off "those boots," more in sorrow than in anger, drew on m y own, and walked out of the shop. The proprietor of the establishment must have taken me for the Prince of Wales, or the owner of the State Bank. Eighteen dollars for a pair of boots! I earnestly trust that posterity will not think me too particular about [trides?], but I can't pay such prices.

New York Herald, November 10, 1861.



10, Confederate nurse Kate Cumming's equestrian holiday in Chattanooga

I went with a party horseback riding to-day. General Hardee was our "pilot," and an excellent one he was. He took us to the top of a very steep ridge; they [sic] was one of the finest views from it I have ever beheld; every now and again we could see the river, as if peeping out from its many islands. Although we have had frost and snow, the trees had not shed their foliage, and were beautiful with the gorgeous hues of autumn. When we reached the summit, there was naught there save the "silent worshiper;" there was a solemnity which seemed like the "felt presence of the Deity."

"___________along these lonely regions were retired

From little scenes of art, great nature dwells

In awful solitude."

As we were descending, the girth of my saddle broke; some men were near, who helped mend it. While waiting, I looked over the precipice where were near and saw a "darksome glen," where the "noble stag" that Fitz James so ruthlessly chased might have been "soon lost to hound and hunter's ken." It was a most solitary nook, by mountain and hill surrounded. The sun was setting and

"The western waves of ebbing day

Rolled o'er the glen their leveled way,

Each purple peak, each flinty, spire,

Was bathed in floods of living fire,

But not a setting beam could glow

Within the dark ravine below."

The author of the "Tactics" is truly a military-looking man, and combines the fortiter in re with the suaviter in modo. At the commencement of the war, while a colonel, he had command of Fort Morgan [Mobile Bay]. He is held in high esteem by his men. Major Roy, who I believe is his adjutant-general, was with him. He is a handsome man, and has a fine address. He spoke of the general most affectionately.

On reaching home, I found that one of my patients had died in my absence. His name was Thompson, a lieutenant in the Twenty-seventh Mississippi regiment. He was brought into the hospital a day or two ago, in a dying state. His captain was with him, and left me his sister's address. I have a lock of his hair, which I will send her when I write.

Cumming, A Journal of Hospital Life, p. 51.



10, Social change, recruiting Negro soldiers in Murfreesboro, an excerpt from the diary of John C. Spence

An order is out for recruiting negro soldiers at this place, and put them in [a] camp of instruction. Although the Yankees profess not to press them into service, they operate about this way-on Sunday evening a file of soldiers repair to the church door and stand as the negro men come out. They take them in possession, put them in confinement and any other they see about the streets.

They are taken through an examination, such as will make soldiers are retained, the others are let off. They want devilish looking and able bodied negros [sic] for this purpose.

When a sufficient number is obtained, [they] are put in squads under drill by some qualified Dutchman.

Passing one morning by one of the churches or barracks, a squad was being drilled by a Dutch officer, who could not speak english [sic] plainer than he should, is marching the negros [sic] up and down the room. Say to them, ["]Marsh! lep-lep (meaning left foot) [sic]. No! te odder foot!-lep! lep! to odder fot you po tam fool! If you tont lep when I tells you, I'll prake mine sword over you tam wolly head! Halt! Marsh! Now, lep! lep! gis see! You got de odder foot. Take tat mit your tam nonsense ["] (strikes him with the side of his sword). [sic]

Such is about the start with them at first. In a short time they get in the way of keeping the step in marching and manouvering [sic]. To every appearance make a pretty good Yankee soldier when they are dressed in the "Loyal" blue, but whether they can be made to stand powder and led is another question. Should not be willing to trust a chance with them, to go through difficulty. [sic]

Now and then [I] hear some of the younger [black] chaps talking among themselves. ["]Bill! I'm quine to jine the rigiment next week! What you quine to do in the rigiment? Quine to fite de Reb [sic]. Sesesh!["] [sic]

They appear as impudent and as confident of what they will do in the army as many of the "Old Veterans," as the Yankees call the old soldiers that has [sic] been serving some time.

At this time there are a greater number of negros [sic] coming within the lines than usual, men, women and children. Almost every vacant house is filled to overflowing, seeking their freedom. The fact is the owners generally [are] more disposed to get clear of them, have become so trifling that they wont [sic] do any thing [sic] at home but eat and sit about, seeming to have lost all energy, if they had any.

Tis hoped the Yankees will get their satisfaction of them before they get through with their phylanthopie [sic] feelings for the negro [sic].

There are many now getting rather tired. They say the negros [sic] are a lazy indolent set of creatures and wont [sic] work without some one [sic] after them, driving, but why they continue to persist in their freedom is an enigma. They are not willing they shall be allowed to go in their section of [the] country to live [sic]. The fact is they have poor people enough, already there. If they come here themselves to live, their wages will of course, be cut down by having so many more to contend with for employment.

Their argument now is with slavery. In this land a poor white man would have no chance to live. They are not willing to put themselves on an equality with the negro [sic] as a slave. Where can be the difference? When they are in competition in labour, both of them working for the most they can get, possibly at a less rate than if one was in the usual servitude.

Spence Diary.



10, Federal situation report for the Union City and Obion River environs

HDQRS. FIRST BRIG., SIXTH DIV., 16TH ARMY CORPS, Union City, Tennessee, November 10, 1863.

Brig.-Gen. SMITH, Cmdg. Division:

Faulkner and his coadjutors cannot possibly raise 2,000 armed men, and I think I can hold my ground against any 3,000, armed as they must be. I have four good guns well manned, and with 800 rounds of assorted ammunition. I have infantry enough to support the battery, and cavalry enough to follow up a victory. Still I don't want to be attacked until a week after I get my axes; then I am quite safe. Ii prefer to send out no expedition until the abatis is completed. When that shall be done I think our position will be very easy to hold, and as good a point of departure for the other side of Obion River as we could have. The roads will be horrible, but they will that wherever we may go. I used to think Clinton the better place; now I think this the better position in view of its easier defensibility.

Capt. Burns has taken in a list of the ammunition on hand here, and I have ordered a requisition made to complete the supply to 100 rounds.

I would suggest that [at] some point between Paris and the Tennessee River [there are] better roads to the place where the rebels now keep themselves, but it is a question whether they would not come on to this side if we were there.

I want arms for 100 Tennessee men.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

GEORGE E. WARING, Jr., Col. Fourth Missouri Cav. Volunteers, Comdg. Brigade.

OR, Vol. 31, pt. III, p. 113.


        10, What's the matter with the mill? Draconian measures reported in Murfreesboro

Brutal – The Yankee commander at Murfreesboro, Tenn., has issued an order forbidding all millers from grinding and grain for the wives and fathers of those who belong to the "rebel army." Persons violating this order were to have their property confiscated and the offender suffer capital punishment. All merchants were forid [sic] in the same order to sell anything to families of rebel proclivities.

Staunton Spectator, November 10, 1863.[3]

[1] The "Engagement at Belmont," Missouri, fought on an island in the Mississippi River on November 7, 1861. It was a draw.

[2] Business or Cotton Exchange.

[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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