Sunday, December 8, 2013


8, A Memphis six-shooter

Memphis Manufacture.—We were yesterday shown, by Messrs. Schneider & Glassick, of Jefferson street, between Front and Main streets, a six-shooter navy pistol of their manufacture. It is a beautiful weapon, not inferior to Colt's make in any particular. The finish of the whole, the accuracy of the parts, and the excellent workings of the mechanism are admirable. Iron, brass work and wood work are all specimens of skill. We are proud that Memphis can turn out such splendid workmanship.

Memphis Daily Appeal, December 8, 1861.



8, "Since I last wrote I have seen some of the horrors of war." Corporal William Records, 72nd Indiana Infantry, letter home to Montmorency, Indiana, from Castalian Springs, Tennessee

Castillion Springs, Tenn. Dec. 8th 1862

Brother John,

In the providence of God I am permitted to write you a few lines. Since I last wrote I have seen some of the horrors of war. On Thursday one of my mess mates, P.S. Nowlin took verry sick, and on Friday night at 22 min of one ocl'k he died - he never knew anything aft 4 P.M. Thursday. It took 3 men to hold him in his bed until 10 P.M. - Then 2 could hold him. he had to be held until 2 in the morning. B.F. Magee & I were with him unto the last. Saturday we burried him. Sunday morning we heard canonading at Hartsville and before we got our breakfast we were ordered into line, then we shoved out for Hartsville, part of the time on double quick, and part of the time on quick time. the distance is 8 miles. we got there by eleven A.M. but considerable of that time had been used up in feeling our way with Skirmishers –

The place had been guarded by one brigade of our Division. before we got there the enemy captured it and burnt the camp but we were so close that they did not get time to destroy everything. They left most of the Quarter Masters stores and wagon loads of arms. We got on the battle field just as they left. The camp was all on fire and burning. They made the prisoners wade the river as soon as the Surrender was made, and when we got there the enemy was just crossing. our artillery took position and shelled them like fury. I will now tell you the part that Elisha and I played. Elisha kept up all the time. but as I had been sick so long I was weak and had to fall out once when we were marching in line of battle. - that is the hardest way to march that I ever marched. we had to go through brush through fields over fences, through door yards, through houses, across gulches, up hills and over stone walls. after going about one mile in that way, the position of the enemy was found out. we then marched in column by the right flank. I then got up with the Co. and kept up until we got within about one mile of the scene of battle when they got to running and hollooing so that I could not keep up. but I followed on. I had had no water since we started. So by this time I was almost famished for water. Some of the boys eat snow, it being 2 in, but I was afraid it would do more harm than good. as I went along I noticed a large amount of arms stacked, but never once thought of being near a battle field, when all of a suden I came on a dead man! he was a rebel. in three steps father I came up to 2 more. one I noticed had a canteen. I shook it and found it was full of water. I was so awful thirsty that I took it off of him and drank the water. he was yet warm. After leaving them I came to where our dead lay. they were laying verry thick. they belonged mostly to the 104 Ill as that was the only regt in the whole Brigade that acted like brave men. The two Ohio Regts 106 & 108 showed the white feather. one broke without firing the other fired one round. Our men had 50 killed out right, besides many wounded. The rebels about as many in killed as near as can be ascertained. Elisha was among the detail to burry the dead. - in passing over the field, I counted 31 union men and one capt., 6 rebels and one Lieut. Making in all 39 dead that I saw. It is a horrible thing. but from everry indication we will soon have to visit the field where we will be the principle actors. if so I pray that God will help me to do my duty and spare me from harm for His Son's sake.

After the rebels had got over the river we went to gathering the arms and camp equipage and piling them so they could be loaded in wagons. what tents that were not burnt were taken down and rolled up. About 8 ocl'k in the eavning we started back to camp, got there about one A.M. we came all the way back without halting. you may guess that all things considered we were some tired. well what will be done now I cant say but Old Morgan may now be preparing his "old craw" to gulp us down, but he will have a good time of it if he does. there is 3 Regts here with us that were the heroes of Mill Springs, Virg, 10 Ind., 10 Ky, and 4th Ky.

Well I believe I have nothing more of importance at present to write except that my health is better.

from your affectionate bro.

W.H. Records

P.S. Enclosed you will find a watch chain that Elisha took from a dead rebel. it is for you to keep.


Levi Brown is still verry sick. Geo. Foster has the mumps, Will Shaw is better Geo. Taylor is in Hospital

Records Correspondence.[1]



8, Letter by William S. Thomas, a wounded Confederate scout, to his wife at Mulberry Gap, Tennessee

Sullivan County, Tenn.

Dec. 8, 1863

Dear Companion,

I think likely you are anxious to hear from me for I know that I am very anxious to hear from home. I can inform you that I am improving slowly-my hip is gaining strength though it continues to run and is very sore. There have been as high as eight different places running on my hip and back at one time. I went to Doctor Murphy and he split my hip nearly to the bone-a place two inches long and probed it but could find nothing. He says that the ball or some particles of bone would have to work out before it will get well. My back is very weak and it is so tiresome for me to ride though I have just returned from Bristol. I go there every other day in order to see if I cannot get a letter from you. I know you would like to know something of Ewing.[2] I wrote to him as soon as I got out of the Yankees [sic] reach, which was on the 18th of November. I received a letter from Capt. Bishop from Sweetwater informing me that Ewing was wounded in the Battle of Chickamauga and was in the hospital in Marietta[,] Georgia. He states that my letter came to the Company and he lifted it and answered it and then closed it and sent it to Ewing. He says that his wound is a flesh wound and through the thigh-he hears from him every day or two and he is doing well. His letter was dated the 4th of November and that he has been on crutches for a month. He stated that he could get a furlough if he had any place to go-I thought that when he learned I was here he would come. I wrote to him to do so. Bishops [sic] letter was short and unsatisfactory from the fact that while he was writing they received orders to march back to Chattanooga. Said that he would write again as soon as he was stationed. He did not say a word about any of his company except Ewing. I have not been able to learn anything about Isaac. I wrote you and enclosed Bishops [sic] letter and sent it by Squire Gillenwaters-I doubt whether you received it or not. I would have gone to see Ewing if I had been able to ride so far but I would have to travel 1500 [sic] miles and my back is so very weak I was afraid I would break down on the road and then I did not know but what I might miss him. I thought that as he was doing well I could wait and see it he did not come to write to me. When I left Lee County I went to Russell to Brother Thads from the fact that the Yankees were in Washington and Sullivan Counties. I found Joseph there and in about two weeks W. Thomas and James Bishop came. Soon after that Joe and I left for Sullivan. Joe stayed two weeks and went back to Russell. I stayed on in order to see if I could not get more news from Ewing or meet him if he came through. Here it is over a month since I received Bishops [sic] letter and nothing since. I wrote Ewing-Bishop-John Barb and Fleenor, that if they knew anything about Isaac to write me. I wrote Ewing to write two letters to me as soon as he received my letter, to direct one to Bristol and one to Mulberry Gap so that if I got home I could hear [from him]. I thought then that I could go home in a short time but at this time the prospect is gloomy. I fear that the darkest day since the war commenced was when Bragg was whipped back from Chattanooga with heavy losses. I think Longstreet will have to abandon the siege of Knoxville for the news here is that Grant has sent heavy reinforcements to relieve Burnsides. [sic] If that is true we may expect trouble in our country soon. I fear our country is to be ruined entirely-for if the Federals hold Cumberland Gap and Knoxville I'm sure that we will have nothing left to eat or wear. I would be glad if it were so that I could be at home and share the suffering with you and the children if the Yankees do rob us of everything. If they will only leave you enough to eat and clothes to wear to keep you comfortable and we could have peace and I could come home and be able to work and we could live.

But no human can tell what the result of this unholy war is to be or when it may end. I hope it will not be long, for if it is, our army will starve for grain and meat is very scarce here. Flour is selling for $20.00 at Bristol-corn $2.00 per bushel-pork $1.25 per pound-apples from $9 to $10 per barrel-Eggs from $1.00 to $3.00 per dozen.

I was at Uncle Johnson's the other day and saw a young lady from Abingdon who is teaching school there. She told me that o'possums [sic] were selling at $8.00 apiece. Squirrels from $1.00 to $1.50 apiece and everything else in proportion. So you may guess the persons who live in town have their troubles in these war times. $5.00 is a common bill in the country for staying all night and from $6.00 to $10.00 in town.

I learned from Mr. Gibson that Bishop has been in and that Billy lost both of his eyes in the Chickamauga fight. It has been thought to be the heaviest since the war began. I am sorry that you have to be exposed to the worries of the bushwhackers and be insulted by them though we cannot help it.

I would be very glad to know how things are going on at home. If you have a chance to write, do so. Perhaps you may have a chance to sent a line by one of our scouts. A line from [you] would give me great pleasure. You will have to do the best you can. If I am able to run-I will come down as far as I can in order to hear a word if possible.



W. P. A. Civil War Records, Vol. I, p. 62-63.[4]



 8, Reconnaissance from Nashville to Ashland near Shoals of Harpeth River

HDQRS. SEVENTH OHIO CAVALRY, December 9, 1864--4 p. m.

Capt. W. B. SMITH, Actg. Asst. Adjt. Gen., First Brig., Sixth Div., Cav. Corps:

CAPT.: I have the honor to report that I sent three companies, under command of Capt. R. C. Rankin, on the reconnaissance down the river ordered last night. They were ordered to proceed as far as Ashland, a point twenty miles below here, near Harpeth Shoals. Capt. Rankin reports that night before last a party of fourteen dismounted men crossed the river near Bell's Mill, in Anderson's Bend, near where the boats were captured last Saturday night; that on reaching this side they pressed horses and a guide and struck out for Kentucky. They were probably deserters. He could hear of no other parties on this side of the river. He went down below Ashland one mile and a half to where some guerrillas were said to be, but could find nothing of them. The Hyde's Ferry pike strikes the river about eight or ten miles below here, and for two miles takes its course along the bank of the river under the cliff. This exposes a force traveling the road to fire at a short range from the southern shore. Capt. Rankin followed this route both going and coming without attracting any fire from the opposite bank. If the enemy had crossed as stated in the communication of the officer commanding U. S. steamer Neosho, it is quite probable that I would have heard of it while scouting down within twenty miles of Clarksville for horses, and that Capt. Rankin would have ascertained it by the scout of to-day. It is his opinion, as it is my own, that no cavalry force of the enemy had crossed the river.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

ISRAEL GARRARD, Col. Seventh Ohio Volunteer Cavalry.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 45, pt. II, p. 125.

[1] Letters from Cpl. William Records, 72nd Indiana Infantry

[2] None of the people named in this letter are identified.

[3] William would die in a Federal prisoner of war camp in January 1865. His family would learn of his death in June 1865.

[4] Tennessee, Records of East Tennessee, Civil War Records, Volume I, Prepared by the Historical Records Survey Transcription Unit, Division of Women's and Professional Projects Works Progress Administration, Mrs. John Trotwood Moore, State Librarian and Archivist, Sponsor, T. Marshall Jones, State Director, Mrs. Penelope Johnson Allen, State Supervisor, Mrs. Margaret H. Richardson, District Supervisor, Nashville, Tennessee, The Historical Records Survey, June 1, 1939, pp. 62-63. [Hereinafter cited as: W. P. A. Civil War Records, Vol.___, p. ____, etc.]

James B. Jones, Jr.

Public Historian

Tennessee Historical Commission

2941 Lebanon Road

Nashville, TN  37214

(615)-532-1550  x115

(615)-532-1549  FAX


No comments: