Wednesday, January 15, 2014

1/15/2014 Tennessee Civil War Notes

        15, Hospital Organizations and Grand Dames in Nashville

The Nashville Hospitals.

With the increasing prospect of an early battle at Bowling Green, and the augmentation of the Confederate forces in Kentucky, the needs of the hospitals at Nashville, continues to increase. We make no excuse for…contributing to the support of the voluntary establishments…devoting themselves in that city to the care of the sick soldiers of the Confederacy….

To guide the contributions of our people    aright it may be necessary to state again that there are two association in Nashville, both under the care of benevolent ladies of that city. Acting without rivalry, and in the most kindly relations, but independently of each other.[1] The division of labor was once thought to be inexpedient, but it is found to work well in practice and to lighten, materially, the toils of superintendence. One of these associations is entitled the Tennessee Hospital Association, of which Mrs. Dr. Shelby is President and Mrs. Leonidas Polk Vice President. The other is the "Soldiers' Relief Society," under the Presidency of Mrs. Felicia Grundy Porter, a lady whose name designates her as daughter of the late Tennessee Senator the famous Felix Grundy.[2] Both societies are composed of Nashville ladies of the best class in society animated by that fervor of patriotic zeal in the cause of independence which has distinguished the women of the South in this holy war. It has been loosely stated, more than once in the press, that all the hospital were under the charge of one of these associations only-but such statements were newspaper inadvertences, and have never been sanctioned by the officers of either.

To have each their separate lines of duty, which do not interfere with each other, and each has in this city an agent fully accredited, through whom contributions may be sent, with perfect confidence, and with equal assurance that they will be gratefully received and faithfully appropriated. Those for the Tennessee Hospital Association, the society of which Mrs. Shelby is President, are under the charge of Mr. J. J. Hanna, at 130 Magazine street. The Soldiers' Relief Society receives contributions here, through Mr. Henry W. Cooper, and for more speedy transactions of such supplies as are best sent by water, Pickett, Wormely & Co. are agents in Memphis

Through either of these sources, what may be sent will be forwarded with alacrity, and dispensed for the good of the cause with thankfulness and faithfulness.

Daily Picayune, January 15, 1862. [3]



15 to Feb. 25, Fort Donelson Campaign[4]

On January 19-20, 1862, January, Union troops under Gen George H. Thomas decisively defeated the Confederates at the Battle of Mill Springs [a.k.a. Fishing Creek], KY. In this battle Tennessee Brigadier-General Felix K. Zollicoffer was killed. A flanking movement by Union forces began in February when Brigadier-General Ulysses S. Grant, in combination with a U. S. Navy gunboat flotilla under Commodore A.H. Foote, moved against Confederate positions on the Mississippi, Tennessee and Cumberland rivers. A joint attack captured Ft. Henry on the Tennessee River on February 6, 1862, but most of the Confederate garrison retreated to Fort Donelson on the Cumberland. Ft. Donelson was regarded by Confederate General Albert S. Johnston as the principal bulwark protecting Nashville and so all of Middle Tennessee. Another large Confederate force at Bowling Green, KY, threatened by Gen. Don Carlos Buell from the north and by Grant from the south, retreated toward Tennessee to join the defense of Nashville and Ft. Donelson. After a four day siege, Ft. Donelson and its garrison of some 14,000 men were surrendered unconditionally by Generals Gideon J. Pillow and T.L. Floyd to U. S. Grant. Pillow and Floyd withdrew rapidly to Nashville, abandoning their command. Johnston would be forced to retreat from Kentucky and to evacuate Nashville, which would fall on February 25, 1862. The fall of Fort Donelson was a disaster and the first of four major defeats for the Confederacy in Tennessee in 1862.



15, A female victim of Federal depredations petitions Military Governor Andrew Johnson for aid

Fountain Head

Jan 15/63

Gov Johnson

Dr Sir – please find inclosed the bill of damage[5] sustained by me (Mary Clendining) and I hope you will have the case investigated immediately for my situation is an awful one[.] Col Case gave orders to all my neighbors not to help me, consequently I am turned out of doors with eight helpless children and not a neighbor darted to turn a hand for me so you can well imagine my situation and for God's sake act immediately and let me know my fate[.] My neighbors are willing to do what they can in my case when they are permitted.

Yours truly Mary Clendining

Papers of Andrew Johnson, Vol. 6, p. 119.



15, A Kentucky woman asks Military Governor Andrew Johnson for assistance in finding some of her slaves living in Nashville

Scottville Ky January 15 [1863]

Governor Johnson

Sir I have taken the liberty to write you a few lines in regard to my slaves that are running at large about Nashville; as a gentleman of our Town was on his way to the senate I got him to see General Boyle...and he says you are the gentleman to attend to that and you ought to do it, and as I a as loyal a Lady as there is, and as strong for the constitution and union as any body in the state of Kentucky I think you ought to take measures to return my slaves to me. I never have uttered disloyal sentiments in my life, although I have two sons in the rebel [sic] army, they were persuaded by others not by their Parents[.] nothing left undone on our parts to prevent their going, there are seven there and if you will be so kind as to send them to me or put them where I can get them, I will give you their [sic] names, to wit Gerry, Ben Julia, Marie Bettie and two children all of which have been gone a year, I called to see you before I left Nashville and you did not give me any satisfaction and now I remind you of it again[.] The reason that I am attending to this business myself is that my husband is in such bad health he is not able to do, [sic] it now [.] if you please attend to this and I will reward you in some way, yours with respect,

Fanny Drane

Papers of Andrew Johnson, Vol. 6, p. 120.



15, Report on Knoxville and East Tennessee

Knoxville, Tenn., Jan. 15, 1864. Letters from the West. No. 12.

Luxury is a comparative term. Consequently leaving the Paint Rock and the cars to sleep last Sunday night on the floor at the "Sanitary," was rest and refreshment, and furnished the right to call on Monday morning at Headquarters, and on Parson Brownlow, and to spend the afternoon in visiting the hospitals. Major General Foster, having met with an accident reviving his old Mexican wound and rendering surgical treatment necessary, he has asked to be relieved. The report is that Major General Burnside is to return. This is regarded here as good news, as Burnside is respected, beloved and trusted by civilians and soldiers in this region. His administration was eminently satisfactory. The rhetorically eccentric Parson is working on his paper, and in the discharge of his official and other duties. His household gods [sic] are hardly yet restored to their former supremacy, and his domestic establishment is still on a war footing. He abates none of his hard words, however, and his Whig and Ventilator is pungent and personal as well as loyal.

In fairer hours Knoxville must have been a city of a good deal of pleasantness every way. It is seriously disfigured, but not permanently harmed, by being the scene of strife. Repaired and cleaned up, it will shine with renovated beauty and restored prosperity. It is to be hoped its days of tribulation are passed. The peril it was in, and the endurance and gallantry by which it was saved, can only be fully comprehended within its borders. All the manoeuvring and the repulse of the attack on Fort Saunders, by which the enemy was driven off just as the prize was seemingly within his grasp, will form one of the most striking chapters in the history of these troubled times. Strong men held their breath, as it were, for days, and were relieved beyond the power of words to describe when the terrible uncertainty was over.

Tuesday a run of two hours by rail carried me to the headquarters at Strawberry Plain, and, thence, by ambulance eight miles further, I reached the headquarters of the 9th Army Corps at Blain's Cross Roads.

The next morning I visited the 29th (going home in a few days), 36th and 35th. These regiments have seen hard service indeed, and more privation, owing to exceptional circumstances, than it is worthwhile to relate. They are in fine health, nevertheless, and in good spirits also. As a specimen of their ingenuity and resources, it was quite funny to see not a few of these men shod with raw hide shoes of their own making. At this distant post they were glad, indeed, to hear from home; and their cheers and praises given to Gov. Andrew, the soldier's friend, who had sent an agent so many miles to express his sympathies and exhibit his care for them, were hearty and loud. The 9th has been a travelling corps. In North Carolina, on the Peninsula, on the Potomac, at Vicksburg, in Kentucky, and now on the borders of Virginia again, it may reach the Old Dominion again via Richmond!

Wednesday night was spent at Strawberry Plains, where the hospitality at headquarters was really home-like. Here were seen specimens of the deserters that the Proclamation and the Federal victories are bringing into our lines. Here and all along the route the opportunities have been numerous to study the "natives." They are a peculiar race and decidedly provincial in dress, dialect, and manners. Rich or not rich, any endeavor to live comfortably or otherwise than in a shiftless fashion, appears not to be their ambition. The country is a magnificent one, full of agricultural and mineral wealth, and abounding in water power. Another race than its present occupants, or a new inspiration animating them, will be needful to its full development. As in a vision the brighter day may be seen, and the future will prove that even the ravages of war were a blessing to Tennessee, -- destined to be a great, free, opulent State, one of the finest in the Union.

Of the military movements and preparations at this point, and all along the river, it would be improper to speak for various reasons. Besides, accurate and intelligible information is not easily obtained by a hurried observer. Still enough is readily ascertained to warrant a renewal of the exhortation to the people at home to be patient and not indulge in sanguine expectations of immediate successes. In due time the great blows will be struck -- provided the preparations are allowed to be adequate to the emergency.

On the cars into Knoxville last evening, an Ohio Colonel told a curious story. A soldier of his regiment, who in consequence of a fever had lost his voice and had not been able to speak for months, seized the colors from the hands of the fallen color bearer in the attack of Missionary Ridge, and shouted aloud "Come on boys!" From that moment he has been able to talk as usual.

Everywhere we meet Massachusetts and New England men -- officers and soldiers. And whenever they are met, one has occasion to feel proud of the East. Among them there are heard no murmurs or complaints, and not a syllable of anything but unconditional loyalty. The rank and file understand the "situation," -- know why rations are short, clothing scarce and camp equipage difficult to get. They know too that the cause is worth all sacrifice. Hence their fortitude and pluck -- their re-enlistments -- their determination to see the great fight out and ending in the triumph of the flag.

What is thus said of the East, may with equal truth be said of the West. The great, growing States are represented by thousands upon thousands of patriotic men. The army has its faults and its vices. But, with every deduction for them, with the evident necessity in some directions for better organization, discipline and drill, the army is true as steel to the republic, and tolerates no soft measures, no compromises with rebellion. The people have only to be equally "unconditional" and devoted for another year -- to give themselves in every possibly way tot he prosecution of the war, and the Conspirators' Confederacy will be annihilated. This task is to be accomplished by the people and the army -- bidding partisan politics and mere political intrigue stand aside and not meddle with a business too serious and too sacred for them to tamper with. Today, the word is "Homeward bound," thank Heaven.

Boston Evening Transcript, February 1, 1864.



15, Notification of the death of Peter L. Critz

Tupelo Station, Miss.

January 15, 1865

Mr. A. Critz-Sir:

It is with much regret that I seat myself this afternoon to announce to you the death of your son, Peter L. Critz. He was killed at Franklin, Tennessee, while charging the enemy's works. We had taken one line of works and were fighting with bayonets the second line, and Peter was on top of the works when he was shot. He had in his pocket a very fine pipe with his name engraved on it which he said he was saving for his Father. He was shot through the pipe, through the heart, and through the neck, and never did a more gallant officer fall by the ruthless hand of the invader.

Peter was in command of our company when killed. We lost all of our company there [emphasis added] except myself and James Reynolds. Reynolds lost his right arm, and I was wounded in the left leg with two balls. I am now almost well. We all feel at a loss without Peter. We had elected him Captain of our company. He has left a great many warm friends in the regiment to mourn (his) loss. None of his things were saved on account of none of his company being there to see it. One of the infirmary corps told me that he buried Peter and Mrs. Koemegay's son together and that they were buried decently. We lost a great many good men there. Our brigade now numbers only one hundred and fifteen men. We went into the fight with five hundred men.

I would have written sooner, but this is the first opportunity I have had of getting a letter off. I will close now.

Yours most respectfully,

R. G. Phillips, Co. B 24th Mississippi Regt. [sic] Brantley's Brigade

Peter L. Critz Correspondence.[6]


[1] It seems curious the newspaper article would mention there was no rivalry between Mrs. Porter and Mrs. Polk. Why mention it if it weren't so? Likewise, consolidating the two organizations would have been more efficient.

[2] Felix Grundy, 1777-1840.

Felix Grundy, congressman, U.S. senator, and Democratic leader, was born in Virginia but first rose to prominence in Kentucky politics. After his admission to that state's bar at age twenty, Grundy was elected to a state constitutional convention in 1799 and served in the legislature from 1800 to 1805. In 1806 Grundy was elevated to a seat on the Supreme Court of Errors and Appeals; soon afterward, at age twenty-nine, he became the state's chief justice. Dissatisfied with judicial work and its meager salary, he resigned the position after only a few months. In late 1807 Grundy moved to Nashville, where he quickly established himself as one of the West's most effective criminal lawyers.

Despite the success of his law practice, politics eventually lured Grundy back into the public arena. From 1811 through 1814 Grundy served in the U.S. House of Representatives, where he ardently advocated and supported the war against Great Britain. Five years after his resignation from the House, Grundy was elected to the first of three terms in the Tennessee General Assembly as a champion of public relief for those suffering from the financial Panic of 1819. As a legislator, Grundy introduced the bills that stayed the execution of debts and created the state-owned Bank of Tennessee. After serving on a commission to settle Tennessee's boundary with Kentucky, Grundy returned to the legislature to play an influential role in modifying Governor William Carroll's plan to compel Tennessee's banks to resume specie payments. In 1827 Grundy sought to return to Congress, but John Bell defeated him. Nevertheless, in 1829, the assembly elected Grundy to the U.S. Senate to fill the seat vacated by John Eaton's appointment to President Andrew Jackson's cabinet.

Although he and Jackson were never on intimate terms, Grundy quickly emerged as one of the president's principal defenders in the Senate. His states' rights sympathies and his friendship with John C. Calhoun initially led him to support Calhoun's theory of nullification, but he remained loyal to the president when he learned of Jackson's condemnation of the doctrine. Grundy strongly defended Jackson's "war" against the Bank of the United States, and by 1834 he was widely recognized, with James K. Polk, as a leader of Tennessee's Democratic Party. Grundy's prominence made him a particular target for the rival Whig Party. A Whig majority in the legislature in 1838 attempted to force Grundy's resignation, first by electing Ephraim H. Foster as his successor before the expiration of his term, and then by instructing him to oppose President Martin Van Buren's proposal to create an Independent Treasury System. Although Grundy at first refused to resign, he left the Senate later that year, when Van Buren appointed him to the cabinet as attorney general.

Grundy faithfully served Van Buren in the cabinet, primarily as a political advisor, but he anxiously returned to the Senate in December 1839 after a newly elected Democratic legislature forced Foster's resignation. Over the summer of 1840, he traversed East Tennessee speaking in favor of Van Buren's reelection. This tour severely strained his health, however, and he died in Nashville in December 1840.

Jonathan M. Atkins, Berry College.

[3] As cited in PQCW.

[4] Because the Fall of Fort Donelson falls into the category of a is a major campaign it will not be annotated here. There are books and accounts enough to reference should the reader wish to know more. The reader may also wish to seek out the OR, Ser. I, Vols. 7 and 52, Ser. III, Vol. 1, Ser. IV, Vols. 1-2 and the Atlas for primary source material for this campaign. Nevertheless, the importance of the Fort Donelson campaign requires some description as herein provided.

[5] According to the editors of the Papers of Andrew Johnson, Vol. 6, p. 119, fn2: "This included an eighteen by twenty-two foot frame dwelling house $500; a sixteen by eighteen-foot log kitchen, $250; a twelve by fourteen-foot smokehouse; $75; three feather beds and clothing, $40; one bedstead, $5.00; one looking glass, $2.50; books, $10; and $500 pounds of bacon, $40; a total of $77.50." As cited from the Library of Congress Johnson Papers.

[6] As cited in:

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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