Wednesday, November 20, 2013

11'20/2013 Tennessee Civil War Notes

          20, Report on Fighting in East Tennessee

[From the Knoxville Register, of the 17th]

Somewhat exaggerated accounts of the extent of the late bridge-burning conspiracy are going the rounds of our exchanges. So far as we can learn, there are but two sections of this division of the State where rebellion is making any head. From the Jonesborough Express we learn that some 800 of the citizens of Carter and Johnson with, perhaps, a few from adjoining counties, armed with rifles have assembled in Carter county, and are organizing for the purpose, it is supposed, of resisting an attempt to arrest the party who burned the Union bridge. By a letter from Jonesboro', we learn that Col. Stovall's battalion, and a battery of flying artillery from Richmond, arrived at Johnson's depot yesterday, and with the forces already there, proceeded twelve hundred strong, into Carter county in pursuit of the Lincoln force. The command is under control of Col. Leadbetter[1], who, our correspondent says, is a gallant officer and a high-toned gentleman. President Branner, of the East Tennessee and Virginia Railroad, is actively engaged in superintending personally the repairs now going on on the road, and facilitating the transportation, passengers and troops, The trains are now making connections between Bristol and Knoxville, with only the delay occasioned by the chance of luggage at the burned bridges. The Southern men have all left Carter county, the fear of arrest, and considerable excitement prevails in East Tennessee.

We also learn from our correspondent that a Yankee was yesterday arrested at Johnson's who had in his possession a map or profile of upper East Tennessee. In Hamilton county a body of Unionists reported to be from 500 to 1,000 are in arms, under Col. Clift, and are marching, as we learn from the Chattanooga Advertiser, to Jamestown to join the Lincoln forces, as per Trewhitt's arrangement. Col. Clift left under the impression that all of the bridges had been burned on the Railroad between Chattanooga and Bristol. It appears however, that the Lincoln movement in East Tennessee was rather premature. Dan ("Our Dan")[2] [sic] still progresses in his work of entrapping those deluded creatures whom he has so long misled. The last step taken may prove to be the most fatal.

They will be likely to fall into Gen. Zollicoffer's hands, if they are not overtaken by Col. Wood, who is marching upon them with an ample force.

In Sevier county we believe that since the capture of the twenty-five prisoners at Pawpaw Hollow,[3] by Capt. Gillespie's company, the small bodies of Unionists who were in arms have generally disbanded, and little or no opposition is likely to be offered to the arrest of the incendiaries, when they shall be ferreted out.

Savannah (Ga.) Daily Morning News, November 20, 1861.[4]



          20, Small pox in occupied Murfreesboro, an excerpt from the diary of John C. Spence

[Small pox]...has been raging here to some extent since the summer. Is [sic] mostly confined to the negro population. Some white persons caught the disease, a few died with it. A great many negros [sic] have fallen victims [sic] to the disease. It is a great wonder the plague has not been of a more alarming nature, as there were such a large number of negros [sic] in from the country, fit subjects, one in ten who had been vaccinated, and it being almost impossible to keep them from mixing about through one an other [sic]. They seem to be like rats [sic], [and] are going at all times and places.

The army had a hospital built for that purpose, on the bank of the river near the Nashville pike. At this place the cases were moved to as fast as they were found out, which is the cause of the disease being kept down.

Being told by one of the negros [sic], who had been sick there, said the Drs [sic] and nurses paid little attention, or cared, whether or not the got well....Says as soon as the breath was out, they would lay the dead out side [sic] of the door, sometimes lay [sic] there a day or two before they were moved or buried....Large number died. [sic]

If this tale be true....It shews [sic] one of the modes of emancipation for the slave, making them free indeed.

Spence Diary.

[1] "The Speech of Parson. Brownlow of Tennessee; Against the Great Rebellion, Delivered at New York, May 15, 1862," (N Y Scamwell and Co. Printers, 1862,) identified Leadbetter as a former officer in the Federal Army, and a native of Maine.

[2] Probably Dan Trewhitt, a Unionist from Hamilton county.

[3] Unknown reference

[4] TSL&A, 19th CN.

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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