Monday, January 20, 2014

1/21/2014 Tennessee Civil War Notes

        21, Warnings of residual pro-Union sentiment in East Tennessee

HDQRS., Knoxville, Tenn., January 21, 1862.

Gen. S. COOPER, Adjutant and Inspector-Gen., Richmond, Va.


* * * *

Outwardly the country remains sufficiently quiet but it is filled with Union men who continue to talk sedition and who are evidently waiting only for a safe opportunity to act out their rebellious sentiments. If such men are arrested by the military the Confederate State courts take them by writ of habeas corpus and they are released under bond to keep the peace; all which is satisfactory in a theoretical point of view but practically fatal to the influence of military authority and to the peace of the country. It seems not unlikely that every prisoner now in our hands might or will be thus released by the Confederate court even after being condemned by court-martial to be held as prisoners of war.

It is reported to-day that several fragmentary companies recruiting in different counties ostensibly for the service of the Confederate States have suddenly disappeared; gone to Kentucky.

It is confidently hoped that the bridge over the Holston at Union will be completed in the current month.

Very respectfully, sir, your obedient servant,

D. LEADBETTER, Col., Cmdg.

OR, Ser. II, Vol. 1, p. 877.



        21, Correspondence between Major-General Charles A. Dana and U. S. Secretary of War, Edwin M. Stanton, relative to illegal cotton trade involving "Yankees and Jews"

MEMPHIS, January 21, 1863.


DEAR SIR: You will remember our conversations on the subject of excluding cotton speculators from the regions occupied by our armies in the South. I now write to urge the matter upon your attention as a measure of military necessity. The mania for sudden fortunes made in cotton, raging in a vast population of Jews and Yankees scattered throughout this whole country, and in this town almost exceeding the numbers of the regular residents, has to an alarming extent corrupted and demoralized the army. Every colonel, captain, or quartermaster is in secret partnership with some operator in cotton; every soldier dreams of adding a bale of cotton to his monthly pay. I had no conception of the extent of this evil until I came and saw for myself. Besides, the resources of the rebels are inordinately increased from this source. Plenty of cotton is brought in from beyond our lines, especially by the agency of Jewish traders, who pay for it ostensibly in Treasury notes, but treaty in gold. What I propose is that no private purchaser of cotton shall be allowed in any part of the occupied region. Let quartermasters buy the article at a fixed price, say 20 or 25 cents per pound, and forward it by army transportation to proper centers, say to Helena, Memphis, or Cincinnati, to be sold at public auction on Government account. Let the sales take place on regular, fixed days, so that all parties desirous of buying can be sure when to be present. But little capital will be required for such an operation. The sales being frequent and for cash, will constantly replace the amount employed for the purpose. I should say that $200,000 would be sufficient to conduct the movement. I have no doubt that this $200,000 so employed would be more than equal to 30,000 men added to the national armies. My pecuniary interest is in the continuance of the present state of things, for while it lasts there are occasional opportunities of profit to be made by a daring operator; but I should be false to my duty did I, on that account, fail to implore you to put an end to an evil so enormous, so insidious, and so full of peril to the country. My first impulse was to hurry to Washington to represent these things to you in person; return East so speedily. I beg you, however, to act without delay if possible. An excellent man to put at the head of the business would be Gen. Strong. I make this suggestion without any idea whether the employment would be agreeable to him.

Yours, faithfully,


P. S.-Since writing the above I have seen Gen. Grant, who fully agrees with all my statements and suggestions, except that imputing corruption to every officer, which, of course, I did not intend to be taken literally. I have also just attended a public sale by the quartermaster here of 500 [sic.] bales of cotton confiscated by Gen. Grant at Oxford and Holly Springs. It belonged to Jacob Thompson and other notorious rebels. This cotton brought to-day over $1,500,000 cash. This sum alone would be five times enough to set on foot the system I recommend, without drawing upon the Treasury at all. In fact, there can be no question that by adopting this system the quartermaster's department in this valley would become self-holders would no longer find that the rebellion had quadrupled the price of their great staple, but only doubled it.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 52, pt. I, p. 331.



        21, Scout from Chattanooga to Harrison & Ooltewah

JANUARY 21, 1864.-Scout from Chattanooga to Harrison and Ooltewah, Tenn.

Report of Col. Geza Mihalotzy, Twenty-fourth Illinois Infantry.

HDQRS. 24TH Regt. [sic] ILLINOIS VOL. INFANTRY, Chattanooga, Tenn., January 24, 1864.

GEN.: I have the honor to submit the following report, detailing additional results of the expedition under my command of detachment Third Brigade, First Division, Fourteenth Army Corps, to Harrison and Ooltewah:

On the 20th instant the following-named 4 deserters from the rebel army came into our lines, whom I sent to Provost-Marshal-Gen. Wiles the same day: John L. Tanner, private, Sixteenth Tennessee Infantry; J. C. Cantrell, private, Sixteenth Tennessee Infantry; T. J. Cantrell, private, Sixteenth Tennessee Infantry, stationed 4 miles below Dalton, and report the strength of the rebel forces at those places respectively as follows: At Tunnel Hill, three brigades of infantry and a large force of artillery; at Dalton, two divisions of infantry.

On the 21st instant, the morning after receiving you dispatch, in obedience to orders, I proceeded with my command Ooltewah, while I sent my train to Chattanooga by the direct road. With the train in charge of Lieut. Hodges, Thirty-seventh Indiana Volunteers, I sent 3 citizen prisoners from the neighborhood of Harrison (J. T. Gardenhire, J. A. Hunter, and ____Lyon) to Provost-Marshal-Gen. Wiles, who are charged with having aided rebel guerrillas.

On approaching the town of Ooltewah about 10 a. m. I encountered a squad of rebel cavalry, some 60 men strong, who, however, precipitately fled from my advance guard, and having no cavalry at my disposal I was unable to pursue them. The intention of this force was to get into the rear the thereby cut off the communication of the scouting party of 50 under Capt. H. A. Sheldon, of First Wisconsin Volunteers, whom I had sent out on the preceding day, as report in my dispatch of January 20, 1864.

On my way to Ooltewah, at the house of Anthony Moore, I seized the records of the county registrar's office, comprising the following: Eighteen volumes of records of Registrar's Office, County of Hamilton; two volumes Laws of Tennessee, 1857-'59; one volume Code of Tennessee. The above volumes are at my headquarters, to be disposed of according to instructions.

At Ooltewah I arrested Miss S. Locke and Miss Barnet, who have already been delivered to Provost-Marshal-Gen. Wiles, both of whom are charged with carrying contraband information to the rebel army. Through the scouting expedition above mentioned I have obtained the following information: The rebel forces at Tunnel Hill and Dalton, whose exact strength I was unable to ascertain, were reported doing considerable moving and shifting recently, the object of which, however, could not be learned. A force of 300 of Wheeler's rebel cavalry are encamped 5 miles beyond Igou's Gap, whose pickets are stationed at the gap. This force is continually making raids in small detachments on the Union towns and farms of that neighborhood, and committing all manner of outrages and cruelties on the loyal population.

As an incident illustrative of the barbarities constantly being perpetrated by these outlaws, I will mention that a Mr. Tallent, a loyal citizen living near the forks of the roads leading to Red Clay and McDaniel's Gap, recently found In his immediate neighborhood a young child In a perishing condition, stripped of all Its clothing, which the rebels had left there, having attempted by that means to find the father of the said child, whom they proposed to hang, he being a loyal citizen.

I have been reliably informed that a rebel raid on our river transportation at Harrison is now positively being prepared. This raiding force will have to pass thought the mountain gaps near Ooltewah. The rebels infesting that region of country have been In the habit of disguising themselves In Federal uniforms, and have by this means often succeeded In deceiving the Union people. Messrs. Stone and Scroggins, Union citizens living at Julien's Gap, can give information of a guerrilla band commanded by a citizen of Ooltewah, who steal and plunder from the loyal citizens continually. They also know where a large portion of the spoils of this band are now secreted. A number of discharged soldiers from Tennessee regiments have banded together with Union citizens and organized themselves for self-defense. They are armed with such weapons as they have been able to procure, consisting of rifles, carbines, and revolvers. This band of loyal men, who are men of the highest sense of honor and true patriotism, are doing all they can to promote the success of our cause. Their number could be increased to 200 if arms could be provided for them. By their aid Surgeon Hunt, of the Ninth Tennessee Infantry, whom I previously reported captured by guerrillas, was enabled to escape, and he is now in captured by guerrillas, was enabled to escape, and he is now in safety. I have also learned that [a number of]....citizens, living In the vicinity of Ooltewah, are In the habit of harboring the guerrillas infesting that region, and that the rebels have signified their intention to burn the town, of Ooltewah as soon as the families of the Misses Locke and Barnet, above mentioned, quit the town. After obtaining the above information from my scouting party, who returned about two hours after I arrived at Ooltewah, I took up the march to Chattanooga and arrived in camp at 9.30 o'clock the same day with my command, without having sustained any loss.

In conclusion I would again most respectfully beg leave to call the attention of the general commanding to the advantages to be gained by permanently stationing a small force at the town of Ooltewah. A force of two regiments with a half battery of battery of artillery could, in conjunction with the organization of citizens above mentioned, hold all the mountain passes in that region, thereby effectually preventing all raids, securing our river transportation, and affording to the almost exclusively loyal population the protection which they so much deserve. A great amount of most valuable information could also be obtained by such a force with the aid of the citizens of the band previously mentioned, they being intimately acquainted with the country thereabouts and able and willing to put in operation a most effective system of espionage for that purpose.

I have the honor to be, general, very respectfully, your most obedient servant,

G. MIHALOTZY, Col. 24th Regt. [sic] Ill. Vol. Inf., Cmdg. Expedition.

Maj. Gen. J. M. PALMER, Cmdg. Fourteenth Corps.


HDQRS. FOURTEENTH ARMY CORPS, Chattanooga, January 24, 1864.

Respectfully forwarded, and attention called to the highly judicious suggestions of Col. Mihalotzy.

J. M. PALMER, Maj.-Gen., Cmdg.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 32, pt. I, pp. 103-104.



        25, Bushwhackers and guerrillas in Middle Tennessee in the wake of Hood's retreat

Mufresboro [sic], T. Jan 25 '65

Gov. Johnson Mily. Gov. Tenns.

Sir: The condition of the loyal men residing in the Counties composing the Mt Dist. Of our State is well calculated to awaken in their behalf increased sympathy & intrst. [sic] before the entrance of the Rebel Army into Middle Tenns., the presence of a military force at McMinnville [sic] & the activity of a small body of Cavelry [sic] had restored comparative security to that portion of the State, so much so that many families returned there to there [sic] former homes & avocations. Since the defeat & route [sic] of the rebels before nashville [sic], numerous bands of desperate men (sloughed off from the retreating army) have made their appearance in the Country & there depredations & threathnings [sic] & murders of loyal citizens [sic] & brutal treatment of loyal women has terrified this Class & who driven by despair have left or are arranging to leave – No Loyal man feels it comfortable or safe to remain especially those who had the patriotism & moral courage to vote at the recent Presidential Election – for such have been marked as the first objects of Gurrella [sic] vengence [sic][.]

The military force having been withdrawn from McMinnville [sic] the desperate roving parties, taking courage from the absence [sic] of

Federal Troops – come forth at noon day to persue [sic], in a more aggravated manner their work of murder & robbery –

In view of the interests [sic] involved we would suggest that without protection the polls cannot be openied [sic] on the 22d Feby or 5th March in any of the Counties of the Mt Dist. [sic] & we would there fore reccommend [sic] that a small force be stationed (to consist of 50 Infantry & 50 Cavelry [sic]) at each of the following places McMinnvile [sic], Sparta, Cookville [sic] & Livingston – this body of men, 100 at each place named – could be supported from the country to nearly the extent of there [sic] wants & by this harmonus [sic] action drive the Gurellas [sic] from the County & give a feeling of Security to the people such time as a civil organization of the Counties would render the presence of a military force unnecessary.

The line of the Country over which we would advise protection should be thrown, owing to it contiguity to the mountains is the thoroughfare of the marauders whose recent successes have embolden [sic] then to unite there seperate [sic] parties' [sic] till they are not able to rally between 200 & 300 armed men – the former number but recently entered in daylight to McMinnville [sic] burnt a block of valuable buildings I murdered a federal soldier[1]

Should it be deemed impractcable [sic] to occupy the entire line referred to – we do hope that a force will be sent at once to McMinnville sick to permanently [sic] occupy that position with strength sufficient to punish & break up & disperse the Guerrella [sic] parties that infest that region[.] Fully sensible of the deep interest you feel in the premises – we shall await your reply to this communalization.

Very Truly Yrs W. Bosson

John B. Armstrong

Papers of Andrew Johnson, Vol. 7, pp. 431-432.

[1] There appears to be no evidence in the OR to verify this assertion of pandemonium at McMinnville.

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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