Wednesday, November 27, 2013

11/28/2013 Tennessee Civil War Notes - Thanksgiving Day

        28, Newspaper report on Confederate concerns in East Tennessee


Later advices represent that our friends in East Tennessee are actively engaged in quelling the rebellion and bringing the Union men to justice. Scarcely a day passes that they do not bring in scores of prisoners to Chattanooga. On Tuesday last. Capt. Fanksley's company brought in twenty one Union men from Cliff's encampment. The same day 41 were brought from Knoxville, of whom 24 enlisted in the Confederate service.

The men engaged in the Union movement in East Tennessee are represented as an exceedingly ignorant class of men, who have been misled by designing leaders.

Parson Brownlow has been heard from. He is in Sevier county, engaged in preaching the gospel.

General Carroll's brigade left Chattanooga on Thursday to join Gen. Zollicoffer at Jacksboro.

The rebellion in East Tennessee is regarded as effectually put down.


Later advices from East Tennessee-to Wednesday evening-represent that all the Union men arrested at Chattanooga have taken the oath to support the Confederate Government, and have been released, except Blackford, on whose person was found the plan and papers relating to the bridge burning. The authorities would not permit him to go free. They have him still in prison at Chattanooga.

The Chattanooga Gazette, of Saturday, says 100 or 120 arrests in all have been made of Lincolnites in that and the adjoining counties, and only six or eight in the city.

Macon Daily Telegraph, November 28, 1861



28, Skirmish at Rome

NOVEMBER 28, 1862.-Skirmishes on the Carthage road, near Hartsville and Rome, Tenn.

Reports of Col. John M. Harlan, Tenth Kentucky Infantry, commanding brigade, with congratulatory orders.

HDQRS. SECOND BRIGADE, FIRST DIVISION, Camp at Castalian Springs, Tenn., November 29, 1862--4.30 a. m.

GEN.: Maj. [Samuel] Hill has returned to Hartsville, and reports that he followed the rebel cavalry beyond Rome, and recaptured 7 of the wagons. The wagons were recaptured on the south side of the river, near Rome. He also reports that he took several prisoners; had some 3 or 4 men killed; drove them some 18 miles, and killed 15 or 20 of them. Maj. Hill reports also that there are no rebels on this side of the river. The party which attacked and captured the train yesterday morning number 200. I inclose of adjutant of the cavalry detachment, from which you will see the casualties of the cavalry. I have written to Maj. Hill for all the facts connected with the pursuit, which I will receive at Gallatin, and will then, if make a formal report. It was rather a bold act in the cavalry to go as far as they did, and the result creditable to it. Supposing that the report of Maj. Hill to Col. Hays, herein embodied, contains all the facts which you expected Col. Hays to ascertain, I have ordered him to move down this morning. The order will not reach him, so that he can get here before 1 o'clock. If you have no objection, I will wait here until to-morrow morning, as the march from Hartsville to our camp, beyond Gallatin, will be 18½ miles, which is quite a severe one, unless necessary to be made. As to this, please answer immediately, telling the courier to bring it in haste.


JOHN M. HARLAN, Col., Cmdg. Brigade.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 20, pt. I, pp. 23-24.



CAPT.: On the night of the 28th November, I transmitted to the division commander, in a brief note, all the facts of which I was then in possession in reference to the capture, on that day, near Hartsville, by Morgan's rebel cavalry, of a part of the train of the Second Indiana Cavalry, together with an officer and some of the soldiers of that regiment. I also advised the division commander of the recapture, on the same day, by Maj. Hill, commanding the Second Indiana Cavalry, of the larger portion of his train. Being uninformed at that time of all the circumstances connected with the capture and recapture of the train, I requested Lieut. Col. W. H. Hays, of the Tenth Kentucky Infantry, he being in command of the detachment from this brigade then on duty at Hartsville, composed of the Tenth Indiana Volunteers, Lieut.-Col. Caroll, Tenth Kentucky Volunteers, and Southwick's battery, as well as of the Second Indiana Cavalry, then temporarily attached to my command, to obtain from Maj. Hill a detailed report of all the facts. Maj. Hill made that report to me promptly, and forwarded it to my headquarters at this place, but by some accident it was not handed to me until this morning.

Although several days have elapsed, I deem it due to Maj. Hill and his command that I shall make known in an official form and to the proper authorities all the facts connected with the affair of November 28, as detailed by him. I do this the more readily as I learn that some one-I do not know whom-has made a report, which has reached department headquarters, in reference to this matter. But as I am unadvised as to whether that report does full justice to Maj. Hill and his command, I owe it to them to submit the following, based upon Maj. Hill's report to me.

On the morning of the 28th, a forage train, consisting of 10 wagons, was sent from the Second Indiana Cavalry, under an armed escort of 40 men, in charge of Lieut. Brush, Company H, an escort which would seem sufficient, and which, if properly handled, would have proven itself sufficient. When the train reached a point about 2 miles east of Hartsville, on the Carthage road, it was attacked both in front and rear by rebel cavalry. The train was surrendered without any resistance whatever on the part of the escort, nearly the whole of whom fell into the hands of the enemy. The few who then escaped returned to camp and advised Maj. Hill of what had occurred.

Maj. Hill immediately ordered out his command, and proceeded with all dispatch to the point designated, where he found, as he states, infantry and cavalry drawn up in line of battle. Maj. Hill states that, although he knew of the vicinity of Col. Scott's brigade, Dumont's division, which was en route to relieve the detachment from my brigade at Hartsville, he could not reconcile Col. Scott's presence with the capture of his train, and, hence, he was delayed for an hour in ascertaining who he was. As soon as here ascertained that the force which he saw Col. Scott's command, he resumed the pursuit of the rebel cavalry, and carried it on with vigor, taking several prisoners. He met with no resistance until he reached the Cumberland River, in the vicinity of Rome. At that point passage was disputed with considerable resoluteness. As soon however, as he reached the opposite bank, the enemy who composed the rear guard fled in dismay, and were not rallied until they came to the camp of the rebel Col. Bennett, where, in conjunction with his command, they were disposed to make a stand. Maj. Hill halted his advance, and awaited the coming up of more of his men; but, perceiving that the enemy were becoming bolder, and the fire too warm to be comfortable, he ordered a charge, having at that time only 90 men, the remainder not being able to keep up in the rapid pursuit which he had given the rebels. On sounding the charge, Bennett's men became confused, and as his (Hill's) men opened fire upon them with pistols, broke ranks, totally disorganizing those who had come to their camp for protection. In crossing a bridge in rear of Bennett's camp, the enemy crowded together so as to blockade it. Hill's skirmishers, dismounting, opened fire with capital execution. Immediately on passing the bridge the force which was in camp dispersed, when Hill, pushing those who remained in the road, succeeded in recapturing 7 of his wagons and 8 of his men, who had been taken with the teams.

Maj. Hill followed on for 12 miles south of the ford at Rome, where, the enemy having been re-enforced, he discontinued the pursuit, bringing off the recaptured property. He also captured a wagon belonging to Col. Bennett.

Maj. Hill reports the following casualties, viz.,: Three men of Company H, names unknown, killed while prisoners; 1 lieutenant and 36 men missing at the date of the report.

Maj. Hill reports that the capture of the train, in his opinion, is attributable to the gross carelessness of Lieut. Brush, commanding the train guard.

The loss of the enemy was heavy when it is considered that they had a great advantage over major Hill, both in numbers and position, and were enable to increase the distance between him and them by reason of the delay already referred to. As the statements are so conflicting as to the number of rebels killed, Maj. Hill makes no report upon that point beyond what his own personal observation authorizes him to state. He saw 12 dead rebels in the road.

Maj. Hill concludes:

I have to return thanks to you for the very valuable service rendered me by a lieutenant of your command; I have unfortunately forgotten his name. Capt. D. A. Briggs conducted the extreme advance with great credit to himself; but in mentioning him, I will add that all the 138 who followed beyond the Cumberland River deserve honorable mention for their alacrity in the pursuit.

I take great pleasure in stating that the name of the officer in my brigade to whom Maj. Hill refers is Lieut. D. F. Allen, Company C, Tenth Indiana Volunteers. I learn from several sources that his conduct was most commendable.

The daring exhibited by Maj. Hill and his gallant little band in pursuing a superior enemy beyond the Cumberland for several miles, nearly 18 or 20 miles from their camp at Hartsville, and the desperate fierceness with which they charged the enemy, recapturing and bringing back to camp nearly their entire train during the night of the same day on which they were taken, reflect the highest credit upon them, and deserves, as it will no doubt receive, the favorable notice of the commanding general of the department. Their conduct in these in these respects is worthy of general emulation.


JOHN M. HARLAN, Col., Cmdg. Second Brigade.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 20, pt. I, pp. 24-26.



        28, 1863 - Cannibalization of Winchester to Fayetteville Railroad iron to make repairs on Nashville and Chattanooga Railroad ordered

NASHVILLE, November 28, 1863.

Maj. Gen. GEORGE H. THOMAS, Cmdg. Army of the Cumberland:

By directions of Brig. Gen. M. C. Meigs, I will send a working force to Fayetteville to take up the iron from Winchester and Fayetteville Railroad, to be used for repairs on the Nashville and Chattanooga Railroad. It will require a guard to protect the workmen while engaged in the work. The work will commence at Fayetteville, 39 miles from Decherd. The force should be strong enough to guard the four bridges between Decherd and Fayetteville, and also to accompany the working force and to accompany the train. The guard should report at Decherd on Tuesday next, December 1.

J. B. ANDERSON [Manager of Railroads]

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 31, pt. III, p. 264.



28, Revival and Murder in a Cherry Creek Church

I hardly know where to begin at [sic] to write this time. We all got so frightened on Monday night that we hardly know ourselves yet. I reckon I had better begin at the beginning and write it all down if I can think of it. On Monday evening [28th] the meeting was still going on at the church, but it was very muddy and disagreeable and I did not want to go much, for I knew there would be no preaching at all, only singing (and poor at that) and shouting and crying, but some of the girls wanted to go and I went with them as [sister] Mary would not. Pat and Fayette [Amanda's brother] and William and others of the boys went; Lucetta, Margaret, Carrie, Celete, Nannie and myself were all the girls that went. When we got there, there were several Federal soldiers there, but it was a common thing and no one seemed to care anything about them. But they got information some way that these renegade Rebels that prowl about up the river were going to come and attack them that night. Some of the congregation had heard it but did not believe it. Fayette told the boys that he did not think there was any danger if they would keep a good lookout. Pat told them to look sharp. They went out after the congregation gathered and ordered all the stragglers into the house and told Pat to let no one pass out, and they went off and hid their horses and put Charles Burgess out to watch. And they would come in the house some but were out most of the time. I saw Pat keeping the door, but thought Mr. Hickman had ordered it. Two or three professed [their faith], and from the time the first one professed there was such a noise that nothing was distinct. Some shouting, some laughing, some praying, some crying, some singing and all crowded as close round the altar as was possible to get, and at least two thirds of the crowd were between the window and door and the pulpit. I with others got near the altar as possible in order to see, and also to assist in the singing. They pressed on me so that I perched myself on the edge of the pulpit. (There was no one on it but little boys.) Lucetta sat up there with me. Carrie and the others were near on a bench. Most of the people were up on the benches. In the midst of the noise a shot was heard at the window and in an instant another. I jumped from my seat, in order to get out of the way of the bullets, for I saw flashes and heard the shots faster than I could count them, unless I had been more composed than I was. Someone pushed me down off the bench I was standing on right on the women, for everyone in the house nearly were down as near the floor as they could get by this time. I tried to find room for my feet on the floor but could not and had to remain on my knees on someone for ever so long. There was so much noise and confusion that I could not distinguish anything, and I could not imagine what was up. I had to pull Celete down to keep her from being hit; she was so frightened that she was standing on top of a bench screaming with all her power, and making no effort to keep out of danger. I tried to pull her and Cetta both down and make them hush, but they were so frightened they could not understand me. It is no use saying what I thought about it. But I thought when I saw so many shots fired right toward the crowd that they were surely firing at the people just to see how many they could kill, and I had a strong notion of going round there and asking them what they meant, but I could not get out and then I had my hands full trying to take care of the girls, and then I thought I might get shot before I could get around there. The instant the firing ceased I started to hunt the boys and see what was the matter, for I had never thought of the Rebels. I had to get Carrie to hold Celete, and told the girls to say together. The whole house was in an uproar, the soldiers swearing and roaring and the women screaming. The first person I found was Hamp Clark. I asked him what it meant, he said they were shooting at "them boys"; but I did not still take the hint, for some of the Rebels had on blue Yankee clothes and I thought they were Yankees. I pushed round through the crowd asking everyone I met for Fayette and Pat. I found out that there was man killed and got to him as quick as I could and there were two soldiers sitting on the benches, and one of them had the dead man's feet up on the benches, and one of them had the dead man's feet up in his lap. I asked him if the man was dead. He said, "I don't know. I thought I would tie his feet together." I examined him and saw he was a stranger to me. The man's indifference about who it was that was dead made me know that it was not a personal enemy quarrel, and the thought flashed over me that they were Rebels. I asked him and he said, "Yes." I met Sam Stone, and he said, "Don't be scared. I don't think Fayette is badly hurt." I asked him in Fayette was shot; he said, "Yes." I then asked if it was done on purpose; he said he reckoned not. I found Fayette lying in the altar where he had sat down on the mourners' bench and fallen over and P. Cameron had caught him. I asked him if he was badly hurt, and if it was done on purpose. He said "No" both times. He then told me to go and get leave to carry him home. I didn't know where to go, but there was a man standing on a bench walking and swearing at a great rate and I made my way, to him and he said, "Yes, of course, take him home." Then Fayette came to himself and spoke to the man and told him they had been in the war together and to call him "Benson." The man seemed slow about recognizing him, but told us we could go. I ran back to where the girls were and got them not out of the house but in the middle of the floor and went all over the house as fast as I could, hunting for Pat, but could not find him. We got Fayette to wait and lie down on the writing bench. I thought it would be dangerous to start. But every little bit he would get frenzied and want to start anyhow, but one soldier advised us not to go. I met several of the [Confederate] soldiers and tried to talk to them. I found only one that had any civility about him. I found Emma Williams, when I first started out, lying on the floor, and asked if she was shot. She said she did not know and, I, knowing her as I did, did not expect there was anything the matter and sure enough there was not, but Ann Gooch was wounded in the thigh and lower part of the abdomen, one bullet making four holes. And the boy that I saw was badly hurt, but I did not get to see either of them again. Some of the women fainted and looked like they never would come to. At last the soldiers went out and got on their horses and came back to the door swearing about the Yankees' horses and wanting someone to go and show them where they were. Several of us told them that they were in the yard when we came in. One man swore that was a dead man in the yard under the window. I got a candle and looked but could not find one. And there was no one there. At last they told the congregation to get away from there. Jim Cooper told me he saw Pat go out at the door. And a soldier told me that me some men ran and he shot at them and heard a man holler. I felt uneasy [!] but thought I would get them all started with Fayette and if he did not come to us in the lane, I would get some one to help me hunt him, but he came to us before we got far. Fayette got home very well by one walking on each side of him, but was out of his mind off and on all night. It was Sam Potete that was killed, and the man was taking off his spurs in order to get his boots off, so I have heard since. They did take his boots off and held me up and called to know who they would fit, took his coat and hat too, but dropped the hat. P. Camron asked leave to take him away, but they said, "Let him lie there," and he lay there all night, but they carried the wounded to Mrs. McGhee's. Fayette says he had got up on a bench to try to get them to quit shooting, and a man snapped a pistol at his breast and them pressed to his head and fired. He is not certain but thinks it was Benson and that he did it on purpose but don't want it known.

Diary of Amanda McDowell.

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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