Thursday, December 19, 2013

12/19/2013 Tennessee Civil War Notes

19, "Old political animosities and private grudges have been revived, and bad men among our friends are availing themselves of the opportunity afforded them by bringing Southern men to hunt down with the ferocity of bloodhounds all those against whom they entertain any feeling of dislike." Dissatisfaction with Confederate administration in East Tennessee

HDQRS. CARROLL'S BRIGADE, Knoxville, Tenn., December 19, 1861.

Hon. D. M. CURRIN, Richmond, Va.:

DEAR SIR: I regret to trouble you with this communication, but feel myself called upon to do so by a sense of duty both to the Confederate Government and to the people of East Tennessee. It might, perhaps, have been more properly done by someone higher in authority than myself. At the instance, however, of a number of leading citizens, together with many officers of the Army, I have concluded to undertake the task of laying truthfully before someone connected with the administration of the Government a fair and truthful statement of the present unhappy condition of affairs in this portion of the State, believing as I do that when laid properly before the heads of the Government it will induce a thorough and most salutary change in the policy now being pursued in reference to that deluded portion of our people who have heretofore been unfriendly to the present revolution.

There are some very important facts connected with the recent political history of East Tennessee which apparently have not yet come to the knowledge of the Government or have been entirely overlooked, while others of less importance have been greatly exaggerated. To these I beg to call your attention. In the beginning of the present contest between the North and South the attitude assumed by East Tennessee was a very doubtful one, and it was deemed best by those fully acquainted with the temper and sentiment of the people to pursue a conciliatory policy towards them. Mr. Davis himself, I believe, adopted this view of the case, and for a time pursued the mild course thus indicated. The result was a very great change in the public mind touching questions at issue between the Northern and Southern Governments.

In September Maj.-Gen. Polk sent Gen. W. H. Carroll here for the purpose of endeavoring to bring the people over to the support of the Confederate Government and to enlist one or more regiments for the Army. Gen. Carroll succeeded beyond his expectations, raising and organizing in a very short time a full regiment-coming, too, mostly from those counties where in June the heaviest vote had been polled against the separation of Tennessee from the Federal Government. Subsequently about thirty companies more have reported and joined his command from the same section, and composed principally of the same class of people; so that now we have in all nearly 10,000 [?] [sic] effective soldiers in the field that in June were almost unanimous in opposition to us. This gratifying result I am satisfied is attributable almost entirely to the liberal and conciliatory policy of which I have spoken; but notwithstanding this large accession to our Army, and the still greater number who had been converted from enemies into friends and allies, there were still left a few leading miscreants and a handful of ignorant and deluded followers, who were wicked enough for the commission of any crime, however detestable. By these, and these alone, were the bridges burned and other depredations committed, while the mass of the people were entirely ignorant of their designs and utterly opposed to any such wickedness and folly. The numbers engaged in these outrages have, I know, been greatly overestimated, as facts have been developed in the investigations that have been made by the court-martial now in session at this place, which satisfy me beyond doubt that there were not, at the time the bridges were burned, 500 men in all East Tennessee who knew anything of it, or who contemplated any organized opposition to the Government.

The excitement arising from this circumstance created more alarm among the Union men than among those who were loyal to the South, for they very justly supposed that it would be a signal for the advance of a large Southern army in their midst, and in the first paroxysm of fear which these apprehensions induced hundreds fled hastily from their homes, some taking refuge in the mountains and others going into Kentucky. Col.'s Leadbetter and Vance moved their commands into that portion of the State bordering on the Virginia and Kentucky line, while Gen. Carroll and Col. Wood moved from the west in the direction of Chattanooga and Knoxville. Scouting parties were sent out in every direction, who arrested hundreds suspected of disloyalty, and incarcerated them in prison, until almost every jail in the eastern end of the State was filled with poor, ignorant, and for the most part harmless men, who have been guilty of no crime save that of lending a too credulous ear to the corrupt demagogues whose counsels have led them astray. Among those thus captured were a number of bridge-burners. These latter were tried and promptly executed.

The rigorous measures adopted by the military commanders here struck still greater terror into those who had before been Union men, and to avoid arrest and, as they thought, subsequent punishment, concealed themselves, thus giving the semblance of guilt to actions innocent in fact, and entirely natural under the circumstances which surrounded them. About 400 of the poor victims of designing leaders have been sent to Tuscaloosa as prisoners of war, leaving in many instances their families in a helpless and destitute condition. The greatest distress prevails throughout the entire country in consequence of the various arrests that have been made, together with the facts that the horses and the other property of the parties that have been arrested have been seized by the soldiers, and in many cases appropriated to personal uses or wantonly destroyed.

Old political animosities and private grudges have been revived, and bad men among our friends are availing themselves of the opportunity afforded them by bringing Southern men to hunt down with the ferocity of bloodhounds all those against whom they entertain any feeling of dislike. The officers in command here have used every effort to restrain the soldiery from all acts of lawless violence. The scattered and distracted nature of the service in a great measure neutralizes their efforts. My position in the Army enables me to speak advisedly of these things, and I venture to say that if assurances of safety were given to those persons who have fled from their homes under apprehensions of danger they would return and be good and loyal citizens. The wretched condition of these unfortunate people appeals to the sympathy and commiseration of every humane man. When in Richmond a short time since I was present at an interview with the President, and feel assured that he has no disposition to exercise any unnecessary severity towards these deluded dupes. Those best acquainted with affairs here are fully impressed with the belief that if the proper course were pursued all East Tennessee could be united in support of the Confederate Government. Strong appeals have been made from all sections to Gen. Carroll to release those now in prison here and the return of those sent to Tuscaloosa; but, under the instructions from the Secretary of War, by which he is governed, he does not feel at liberty to do so. My first intention was to have addressed this letter to the Secretary of War, but on reflection concluded that a representation from you would have far more influence; besides, as I am an officer in the Army, it would perhaps not be proper for me to make any suggestions to Mr. Benjamin unless they should be called for.

Col. H. R. Austin visits Richmond for the purpose of impressing these views upon the President. Col. Landon C. Haynes will follow in a few days for the same purpose. These gentlemen can inform you more fully touching the subject of which I have written. I beg you to give them every assistance you can in bringing this important matter before the President and Secretary of War.

Respectfully, your friend,


OR, Ser. I, Vol. 7, pp. 777-779.



19, 1862 - A view from the inside of the Confederate hospital in Chattanooga; an entry from Kate Cumming's diary

I have been kept quite busy ever since I came here; in fact, we all have been. We have a good deal to try us, but our minds were made up to expect that before we came. The stove smokes badly, and we find it almost impossible to do any thing [sic] with it; besides it is so small that we scarcely have room to cook on it what little we have. The surgeon, Dr. Hunter, like many other men, is totally ignorant of domestic arrangements, and also. Like many others, wholly unaware of his ignorance. The only consolation we get from him is a fabulous tale about a woman (a "Mrs. Harris") who cooked for five hundred people on the same kind of a stove.

One of our greatest trials is want of proper diet for sick men. We do the best we can with what we have-toast the bread and make beef-tea; and we have a little butter-bad at that.

There are no changes of clothing for the men; but we have cloth, and after our day's work is done, we each make a shirt, which is a great help. The last, though by no means the least, of our troubles is the steward who has taken a dislike to us, and annoys us in every little petty way possible. His wife has charge of the wards across the street from us. The assistant surgeon complains of her inattention to her duties in waiting on the sick.

A man, by the name of Watt Jones, died in my ward to-day; another, by the name of Allen Jones, yesterday-both members of the Fourth Florida Regiment.

Our room is in the third story, facing the west; the view from it is really grand, and when worn out physically and mental, I derive great pleasure from looking out. On the north of us runs the Tennessee River; opposite that is a range of hills-one rising above the other-dotted with beautiful residences, surrounded by prettily laid out gardens. On the southwest is Lookout Mountain, its peak frowning down on the river which winds around its base-looking like a lion couchant [sic], ready to spring on its pray.

Cumming, A Journal of Hospital Life, p. 46.



19, Privations suffered by Federal troops in East Tennessee

HDQRS. FOURTH ARMY CORPS, In the Field, Blain's Cross-Roads, 22 Miles from Knoxville. December 19, 1863.

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

GEN.: The sufferings and privations now being undergone by our troops are most cruel, I assure you. We have been now nearly a month without tents and clothing, and from the limited quantity of our transportation-only one wagon to a regiment-and being obliged to live upon the country, our rations have been very irregular and limited.

We are now bivouacking at this place, 22 miles east of Knoxville, in the mud and rain, and many of the command are falling sick with pneumonia, diarrhea, &c., Our officers are destitute of clothing and cooking utensils, being unable to procure them at Knoxville. A small supply of clothing and shoes has arrived, about one-third of what is needed.

The stock of medicines and stationery in Knoxville is entirely exhausted. Our books and records having been left behind, we are unable to make any returns. If it is determined that we remain here this winter, I respectfully request that the First Division of this corps be sent up to join us, and with them can be sent our transportation, baggage, camp and garrison equipage, to which they can act as escort.

I am, general, very respectfully,

G. GRANGER, Maj.-Gen., Cmdg.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 31, pt. III, p. 448.



19, Orders to arrest Federal stragglers in Nashville environs and restrict movement into and out of Nashville


Brig. Gen. JOHN F. MILLER, Cmdg. Post of Nashville:

GEN.: The major-general commanding directs that you will have all stragglers belonging to the troops in front whom you may find about the city of Nashville and vicinity arrested, confined in the barracks, and turned out, under guard, every day, to work on the fortifications until further orders, reporting to the major-general commanding the number you have arrested and so employed. You will exercise great vigilance in overlooking the passes of persons permitted to go in and out of Nashville, and all persons who enter Nashville without proper authority should be arrested and put to work on the fortifications, until they can fully satisfy you that they are not enemies of the Government. Travel by railroad and steam-boat to Nashville from Kentucky and the States west of the Ohio River is positively prohibited, except with passes issued from headquarters Military Division of the Mississippi, for good reasons, which must be stated on the pass. This order will be understood as particularly applicable to women desiring to enter Nashville, and none will be admitted unless their loyalty is well established and known, and even loyal women are not to be admitted except upon the best of reasons. You are also directed to make a thorough examination of the country about Nashville for the killed and wounded of the recent battle, and have them provided for, and also collect the arms, &c., found upon the field.

I am, general, your obedient servant,

[ROBT. H. RAMSEY,] Assistant Adjutant-Gen.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 45, pt. II, pp. 278-279.




19, C. S. A. Major-General R. Ransom, Jr., requests abolishment of partisan ranger organizations

HDQRS. DIST. OF SOUTHWESTERN VA. AND EAST TENN., Camp near Bean's Station, Tennessee, December 19, 1863.

Hon. J. A. SEDDON, Secretary of War:

SIR: Having witnessed a good deal of the operations of what are known as partisan rangers, I have the honor to petition that all such organizations be abolished. They are usually, so far as my experience has gone, the most trifling troops we have. Acting alone, they accomplish nothing, and when serving with other troops they hang upon the rear to gather up property, and instead of turning it into the proper departments, spirit it away for speculation. Besides, it is evident injustice to the great mass of the army for a small part to be allowed pay for partial captures, while those who do the real work have no special reward. It will create great satisfaction to have all the troops put on the same footing.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

R. RANSOM, Jr., Maj.-Gen.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 31, pt. III, p. 849.




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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