Wednesday, December 18, 2013

12/18/2013 Tennessee Civil War Notes

18, "Procession Extraordinary."

A grand procession of fowling pieces, gun carriages and necessary accoutrements, was among the street incidents yesterday. The train of six-pounders, together with the large force of cavalry, that passed through our city, would no doubt cause a stranger to strongly impressed with the idea that the people in this latitude are preparing for war. If the Yankees while on their way to Nashville should happen to meet this little procession, they will find a slight obstacle in the road.

Nashville Daily Gazette, December 18, 1861.



18, "Another Portrait."

Mr. William Cooper, the Artist, has recently executed another portrait of President Davis, which he has placed at the disposal of the ladies of the Tennessee Hospital Association. We understand the picture will be raffled off at an early day, the proceeds to be applied to comforting the sick soldiers. Those who desire to take chances can leave their names at Calhoun's jewelry store, where the picture can be seen.

Nashville Daily Gazette, December 18, 1861.



18, "The good Secesh of Hickman drowned old McGraw…." Jesse P. Bates to his wife in Hickman County

Murfreesboro, Tenn. Dec. the 18th 1862.

Dear wife, I take the present opportunity of writing you a few lines to let you know that I am well at this time and I hope that when you get this letter it will find you and our little children enjoying the same blessing. We come here the 5th of this month and we left McMinville [sic] on the 2nd one on the 6th. We went in about 10 miles of Nashville and we staid about there until yesterday. While we was [sic] out there, our cavalry captured a good many of the enemy. Gen. Morgan captured 1,800 up on Cumberland river. There has been no other fight near here. Father came to see me on the 29th of last month and he brought me one pair of pants, 2 pair of socks and one pair of drawers and a linsey shirt. The folks was all well. Sam had never been home since he was exchanged. He was down in Miss. Jo Beasely and Beverly is with the Yankees. Jo carried his family to Nashville and uncle John leans to the Lincoln government. Your mother lives near James and Tom is with her. Father could not tell me any other particulars about them. The good Secesh of Hickman drowned old McGraw and John McCaleb is not good Secesh and Will Wooten deserted and sold 2 horses that belonged to the government. Baird was well when I saw him this evening we come here. I wrote to you from Tullahoma and sent it by mail and I wrote to you from McMinville [sic] by N. F. Moore and I also sent you ($100) one hundred dollars which has had time to reach you, if it has had good luck.

And about coming home, I don't know that I'll get off, but I expect to get a furlough in about 2 weeks and I am going to try with all my energies. Dan and Jo and the 2 Morgans and Loflen are here and well. Tom Jackson is at McMinville [sic], I the hospital. He is discharged, but will stay at the hospital until he gets well. A. L. H., and Sexton and Lewis Miller is [sic] at Chattanooga. Sexton is at work and Aleck had got able to go about and Louis has got the dropsey [sic].

My love, I have but little of importance to writhe though if I was with you I could tell you a good many things that you would like [to] know.

My dearest earthly treasure, I know that you see a hard time, but we have to endure our fate and we ought to prepare for the worst and hope and pray for the best. Although the time seems long we must not despair, but continue to cope and pray. Honey, try to be a faithful Christian [sic] and not weep and give to excep [sic] Tell Frank and Sarah to be good children and help Ma and comfort her and kiss one another for me.

I sent your ma ($5.00) five dollars.

Give my love and respects to those that enquire after me and take my love to yourself.

I have nothing more to write at present only I remain your affectionate companion until death. So farewell my loved ones until I see or hear from you again.

Jesse P. Bates

Bates Correspondence.



18, Nathan Bedford Forrest's situation reports prior to commencement of his West Tennessee raid

HDQRS. DEPARTMENT OF WEST TENNESSEE, Jackson, December 18, 1863.

Gen. JOSEPH E. JOHNSTON, Cmdg. Army of the Mississippi, Brandon, Miss.:

GEN.: From the movements of the enemy I am of opinion they are preparing to move against me, and that they will do so by the 25th instant or soon thereafter. I shall have at least 1,000 head of beef-cattle ready to move south by that time, and I write to ask that Gen. Ferguson's and Gen. Chalmers' brigades be sent up without delay to aid in taking the cattle out and meeting any expedition of the enemy against me.

I can collect together in two or three days at least 100,000 pounds of bacon, and if wagons are sent over with the troops asked for, will load them out with bacon. If you can help me, general, for thirty days I shall organize 7,000 troops, besides getting out a great number of absentees and deserters from the army. Gen. Roddey has written me that he would move in from Tuscumbia at any time to my assistance. Have dispatched him to-day to come at once. With his brigade and the two above asked for can secure the cattle and bacon and hold possession against any raid they may send, and if dispatched without delay, that Gen. Ferguson and Chalmers with their commands will come, I will have boats prepared for crossing the Hatchie at Estenaula, and will have forage gotten up and ready for them.

If they cannot be sent in here, I ask that Gen. Lee harass the enemy as much as possible along the line of the Memphis and Charleston Railroad west of Corinth. Think I am able to protect myself against any move from Union City, but should they move from Fort Pillow also, shall have more than I can manage wit the raw and unarmed troops I have, and especially so should they move from below at the same time.

If these suggestions or those made in my letter of 5th instant are adopted and approved and carried out, we can largely increase the army. I have reliable information to-day that they are pressing every horse in Memphis to mount infantry, and that nearly all the enemy's force at LaGrange has been sent down to Memphis and from thence up the river on boats. Their reported destination is Fort Pillow, from which point a raid under Grierson is to move on me. The troops which were at Eastport, and a number of boats loaded with supplies, have passed down the Tennessee and been taken to Paducah and Columbus, and they are moving up from Memphis to Fort Pillow and Columbus.

They are evidently preparing for a move from that quarter-north-or are fixing to establish a line of communication from Columbus to Tennessee River, and from Reynoldsburg, on Tennessee River, to Nashville; they have a large force completing the Northwestern Railroad from Nashville to Reynoldsburg.

My great desire is to get out the troops and hold the country, if possible; also the provisions necessary for the use of the army. If it can be done without detriment to the service, I hope, general, that you will send all the cavalry you can spare, and at the earliest possible moment, and with them any arms that can be obtained. Have not heard as yet from the troops sent out for arms, but hope they got them and are now on the way back.

There are several West Tennessee regiments of infantry in Gen. Bragg's army whose numbers range from 150 to 250 men for duty. If it were possible to get them ordered to you, am satisfied they could soon be filled up from this section. I am gathering up as rapidly as possible all the absentees and deserters from these commands, and will use them until they can be returned to their proper commands.

I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

N. G. FORREST, Brig.-Gen., Cmdg.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 31, pt. III, pp. 844-845.


HDQRS. DEPARTMENT OF WEST TENNESSEE, Jackson, December 18, 1863.

Maj. Gen. STEPHEN D. LEE, Oxford, Miss.:

GEN.: I have written to-day to Gen. Johnston, and desire also to address you in regard to the state of affairs here, and urge the importance of sending, if they can be spared, at least two brigades of cavalry up here without delay. I have reliable information that every man that can be spared from Memphis and from the Memphis and Charleston road is being sent up the river to Fort Pillow of to Columbus. Two brigades that were at Eastport, Miss., have gone down the Tennessee to Paducah and around to Columbus, and from thence to Union City. Northern papers of the 9th report a rebel force, from 5,000 to 10,000 strong, as moving on Mayfield and Paducah. Every horse in Memphis has been seized and sent up the river on boats to mount infantry, and a raid is preparing under Grierson to move on me. From present indications Fort Pillow and Union City will be starting-points.

I will have collected here by the 25th at least 1,000 head of cattle, and if wagons are sent can send out 100,000 pounds of bacon.

If you come or send the troops advise me at once, and I will arrange for your crossing the Hatchie at Estenaula, and will have forage provided for the troops and the cattle, and bacon ready to be moved out. My scouts report yesterday the force on the Memphis and Charleston Railroad as follows:

At Corinth two regiments cavalry (500 men), one regiment infantry (white), and two regiments of negroes [sic]. At Chewalla three companies cavalry. At Pocahontas two regiments of infantry and one regiment cavalry. At Middleton 400 cavalry and about 400 infantry. Troops from LaGrange have gone to Memphis by railroad, except 300 or 400 men.

Forces at other points not known exactly, but are reported as small.

I regard it as of the utmost importance to hold this country. Think if I can have assistance that I shall have 7,000 organized troops in less than thirty days.

The supplies and provisions so much needed by our army are abundant, and ought to be secured.

I hope, general, that circumstances will allow the aid asked for to be sent me without delay. At any rate keep the forces on the Memphis and Charleston Railroad so engaged that they cannot move on me from that quarter.

I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

N. B. FORREST, Brig.-Gen., Cmdg.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 31, pt. III, p. 846.

18, Incidents of the Siege of Knoxville


Appearance of the City After the Siege-Depredations of the Rebels-Illness of General Burnside.

Captain H. C. Pike, Second Ohio Volunteer Corps, arrived in this city last night direct from Knoxville, which place he left on the 10th. At that date the main body of Longstreet's army was at Rogersville. Longstreet had, during his retreat. Lost about three thousand men in prisoners and detesters. There were swarms of fugitives from his ranks, a great many of them Georgians-the choice veterans of the Rebel army-worn out with hard service and quite disheartened. The retreating Rebels were suffering intensely for want of clothing and food, and were demoralized in an extraordinary degree by their hardships and disasters in East Tennessee.

Longstreet had abandoned his siege train consisting of six guns, and they had fallen into our hands. The carriages were burned before the guns were abandoned. General Foster arrived at Knoxville on the 10th, and assumed command. General Burnside was sick several days after the retreat of the Rebels, but was recovering, and would leave for home by way of Chattanooga. The boys of the army were very sorry to part with him, though General Foster's fame as a soldier was not unknown to them, and they had much confidence in him.

Captain Pike met two heavy supply trains between Cumberland Gap and Knoxville; the foremost was within twenty-four miles of its destination. They were loaded with coffee, sugar, salt, and hard bread. There were thirty days' supplies for Burnside's army in Knoxville when the Rebels retreated. The people of the surrounding country were destitute, the Rebel army having consumed everything eatable, and devastated the region to a deplorable extent.-Cincinnati Gazette, Dec. 16th.

Knoxville, Dec. 3, 1863.-Knoxville and its suburbs present the perspective of a wreck, the embodiment of a great disaster, a master-piece of ruin. The destruction of property wrought in and about Knoxville during the last twenty days, has not, I am informed by those experienced in other fields, been equaled during the war. Scarcely a fence is to be found in a circle of ten miles diameter round the town. Beyond our lines ruin is still in the ascendant. The Rebels, however, confined themselves to pillage indiscriminate and universal. The rifled every house within their reach. General McLaws' headquarters were at the palatial residence of Robert Armstrong, and, notwithstanding the protestations of the chivalry and promises of protection, the house was literally stripped of everything; clothing (male and female, children's and adults') was all taken.

The officers broke into Mrs. Armstrong's room, in which she had been permitted to place her clothing and a few valuables, and stole everything. Her garments were sold to Rebel families in the neighborhood. Her silk dresses were torn into strips and disposed of for aprons. The General's staff and nearly a regiment go uproariously drunk upon the contents of the wine cellar, which was well stored with foreign liquors and wine from Mr. Armstrong's own vineyard. All of Mrs. Armstrong's household stores, preserves, pickles, &c., were eaten and the jars broken on the spot. The grain, sugar, coffee and family provision were of course taken. On the morning after the evacuation I found Mrs. Armstrong, whose personal beauty and refined culture seem to be equaled only by her loyalty, eating her breakfast from a fragment of a plate, with a carving knife. It was all of her abundant plate left.

The garments they had on comprise the entire wardrobe of the family. The house exhibited the marks of the conflict. One shell had entered the turret, leaving a hole two feet in diameter. Ten balls had gone through the front door and hundreds through the windows and doors. Two passed through the piano. The bold of one of the Rebel sharpshooters was still fresh on the floor of the turret, where he had been killed during the memorable fight of Wednesday, in which Sanders fell. In fact, all the marks of musketry were made in that action.

From Armstrong's I visited Hazen's paper mill, where 130 of the Rebel wounded still remained. The mill is destroyed. Fifty thousand dollars will scarcely replace the mischief here. The wounded are in every house, and are taken a good care of as is possible under the circumstances. The Rebels left but few surgeons and no medical stores whatever.

On reviewing the Rebel works around the town, it is evident that they were intended for defense as well as offense. Continuous ranges of rifle-pits encircle the town, and on every hill are redoubts and forts, several of them exceedingly strong and well built. I saw marks of some twenty-five cannon at different points.

All that I can learn from their works and conversation with those within their lines confirms my belief at the time, that their assault of Fort Sanders was their very best. Three brigades of picked men made the assault; 25,000 men stood ready to follow up the success. The attack was made after the reinforcements of Williams and two brigades of Buckner's Corps, and the most complete confidence of success was expressed, and no doubt felt by officer and men. The bloody, unexpected and decisive repulse was a terrible and disheartening blow to them. This fact is confirmed by letter of officers and men in command, found in a Rebel mail captured by us. Their loss in that assault is also confirmed at about 1300.

Upon the heels of the Fort Sanders disaster came the news of the still more terrible and decisive defeat of Bragg, and promised reinforcements to us. Upon this evening the defeated Rebel raised the siege and departed, worse off by five thousand men, than he came, and by no means add into to his military fame by his utter failure in East Tennessee. He will be content hereafter with the light borrowed from Lee, and not again attempt to shine on his own hook. During the entire siege Generals Hascall, Manson, White, Ferrero and Shackelford have been indefatigable and vigilant. General White, by his gallantry and skill during the retreat from Loudon, has won the encomiums of all.

Philadelphia Inquirer, December 18, 1863.


18, "Marriage Licenses;" nuptials during the battle of Nashville.

The Clerk of the County Court of Davidson county issued licenses during the past week, authorizing the solemnization of marriage between the following persons:

[list of 18 couples follows]

Nashville Dispatch, December 18, 1864.



18, The aftermath of the Battle of Nashville; one pro-Union woman's journal entry

Sunday again and with it peace and quiet. The battle is over. Confederates have retreated, General Thomas pursuing. Last night our army was at Franklin. Glorious Thomas! (I cannot speak his name without tears and from that I know I am pretty well shattered by all the recent excitement.) Countless blessings on his noble head!

Captain LaMotte and Dr. De Graw spend today with us – they had visited the battlefield yesterday, and described it as they saw it, still covered with dead and dying. I don't care to write or to think of what they told me of what they saw. I sicken to think of all the sad changes since I was at beautiful Belmont a few weeks ago! And now this terrible dread of who are lying dead out there on that battle-fields hangs over us! Van went out to the field yesterday – but he is sick at heart – boy as he is – and will say nothing but that he is haunted by the terrible sight, and would give everything to blot it out, and have his mind as clear as it was 24 years ago.

Journal of Maggie Lindsley.


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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