Monday, January 6, 2014

1/6/2014 Tennessee Civil War Notes

        6, Murfreesboro in the aftermath of battle, an excerpt from the diary of John C. Spence

....As we left a preparation [sic] going on for the purpose of getting the wounded in a better condition. The hospitals were all being fitted with the soldiers of both armys [sic]. Surgeons still very busy, [sic] amputating arms and legs and bandaging shot wounds of soldiers.

A great number of families had taken one and two of the confederate soldiers to nurse. It was now getting quite cold. Wood was scarce and hard to procure. Garden fences now came in requisition, more pulled down for fuel. The confederated soldiers fared badly, at first. There was great suffering among them. Their physicians did all they could under the circumstance. The Federal soldiers were cared for before the other could be looked after. At first great numbers of the Confederate died-in fact, so fast that coffins could not be procured for them.

A long ditch would have to be made, soldiers rolled up in their blankets [as a substitute for coffins]. In this way, laid in closed to each other and covered up. [sic]

There was about one hundred buried in the garden of the Soule Female College. This building was used for the confederate hospital, was called No. 1862, Confederate. They di[e]d several every day at each hospital for some time. The whole town appeared to be one general hospital.

Articles of provisions of every sort...was [sic] getting scarce and difficult to procure at any price. Citizens could scarcely obtain any thing in the way of eatibles. [sic]

A system of foraging now commenced. Large trains of wagons with guards were sent out every day and hauled in from the Farmers their corn, fodder, and hay, and many times scarcely leaving any thing [sic] behind for the familys [sic] to subsist on. Take their bacon and, generally, all the poltry. [sic] Some times they would pretend to give a receipt for not more than one third [of the market price]-contended they were authorized to subsist on the rebels. Go to a farm yard, deliberately knock off the fence plank, load up, and bring it to town-though a large portion of this kind of lumber was used for making bunks for the wounded soldiers.

Cedar fences began to disappear at a rapid rate. Wagons on the go all the time, hauling rails to town but little use to make any complaint. Had to stand and look at the destruction of property that was going on....

It did appear that the federal [sic] army had come with redoubled determinations to destroy every thing [sic] before them. They shewed [sic] more ill nature in everything they did than the year before. More disposed to tack on everybody as Sesesh [sic] whether they were or not. This may have been an excuse to do the depredation they did. Not half the liberty was allowed the people that was previously. They were not so social, did not take the liberty of walking into a mans [sic] premises or house. Can't say whether this was from fear or hatred of the people. This last trate [sic] was not regretted by any one [sic].....

Spence Diary.



        6, Memphis' "shinplaster" ordinance declared null and void

"Council Proceedings.

* * * *

Resolutions, introduced by Ald. Morgan, were adopted to, declaring the late shinplaster ordinance void; forbidding the city's officers to pay out or receive such notes for city purposes, and declaring that the Council will not pay for printing any such notes. Only Ald. Merrill spoke against the resolutions, and only Merrill, Hall and Odgen voted against them.

Memphis Bulletin, January 7, 1863.



6, Report on Tennessee's failure to collect the Confederate war tax


Hon. C. G. MEMMINGER, Secretary of the Treasury:

In obedience to your directions I have the honor to submit the following report in reference to the operations and results of the war tax:

* * * *

8. Tennessee.--In this State a chief collector was duly appointed as in the other States; but the appointee, from severe illness, was prevented from immediately qualifying. His recovery was patiently awaited for some time; but finally, continued indisposition rendered it necessary to make a second appointment. This all produced delay, and before the second appointee could qualify and district the State and appoint sub-officers the same was invaded, the capital fell into the hands of the enemy, and such a state of general confusion followed as to render it utterly impracticable to do so, and all further efforts were abandoned. The Legislature, however, passed an act authorizing the Governor to agree with the authorities of the Confederate States upon the amount to be paid by the State of Tennessee as her quota of the war tax, and another act appropriating $2,000,000 for that purpose. Every possible effort has been made through the chief collector to obtain reliable data for estimating the amount due, and from the most reliable information as to the taxable property of the State, derived from State returns and other sources, the Department estimated that the net tax would exceed the sum appropriated by over $200,000. The amount estimated is $2,450,000, less 10 per cent., making the sun of $2,205,000 net tax. This amount was long since proposed to the Governor. The Governor proposes a sum so much smaller than your estimate, to wit, about $1,500,000, that it is not likely to be agreed to. It will, therefore, devolve upon Congress and the Legislature of Tennessee to settle the amount to be paid, or to prescribe some mode of settlement. The Governor has paid into the Treasury $1,030,069.25, and the chief collector, Doctor Ramsey, has informed you that the Governor has ordered and additional payment to be made of $400,000, making in the aggregate $1,430,069.25.

* * * *

T. ALLAN, Chief Clerk of War Tax

OR, Ser. IV, Vol. 2, pp. 326-327.



6, Oath of Allegiance for Confederate deserters in East Tennessee

GENERAL ORDERS, No. 4. HDQRS. DEPARTMENT OF THE OHIO, Knoxville, Tenn., January 6, 1864.

I. To secure uniformity in the treatment of deserters from the Confederate armies, the following orders will be observed:

Hereafter when such deserters come within our lines they will at once be conducted to the nearest division or post commander, who on being satisfied that they honestly desire to quit the Confederate service, will forward them to the provost-marshal-general at Knoxville, who, upon being satisfied of the honesty of their intentions, will allow them to proceed to their homes, if within our lines, upon taking the following oath:

I, ___ ___, do solemnly swear, in the presence of Almighty God, that I will henceforth faithfully support, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States and the Union of the States there under; and that I will in like manner abide by and faithfully support all acts of Congress passed during the existing rebellion with reference to slaves, so long and so far has not repealed, modified, or held void by Congress, or by decision of the Supreme Court; and that I will in like manner abide by and faithfully support all proclamations of the President made during the existing rebellion having reference to slaves, so long and so far as not modified or declared void by decision of the Supreme Court: So help me God.

II. Such deserters will be disarmed on surrender, and their arms turned over to the nearest ordnance officer, who will account for the same.

III. The quartermaster's, engineer, subsistence, and medical departments will give such deserters employment when practicable, upon the same terms as to other employes in the U. S. service.

IV. Such deserters will be exempt from the military service of the United States.

By command of Maj.-Gen. Foster:

OR, Ser. III, Vol. 4, p. 52.



        6, Expedition, Edgefield to N&CRR, Nolensville, Triune, Murfreesborough, Beard's Mill to Lebanon, Shelbyville, Fayetteville, Pulaski-mopping up after Hood's retreat

No circumstantial reports filed.


I. Col. Mix, commanding Eighth Michigan Cavalry, will march with his regiment to-morrow at daylight, crossing the river by the pontoon bridge [or by the railroad bridge, if most convenient]. He will divide his command into two nearly equal bodies-one wing moving by the roads to the right of the Nashville and Chattanooga Railroad, via Nolensville and Triune, to Murfreesborough; the other by the turnpike to Beard's Mill, and thence, if parties of the enemy are heard of in that direction, to Lebanon, concentrating afterward with the right wing at Murfreesborough. At Murfreesborough the command will draw rations, and being they divided into two equal detachments as before, will move by such roads as Col. Mix may think to afford the best opportunities for effecting a thorough patrol of the country to Shelbyville, the two wings concentrating at that point. From Shelbyville the command, dividing into two equal bodies as before, will move to Fayetteville, concentrating at that point, and from there to Pulaski, where the whole division will presently concentrate. The object of the expedition is to pick up the many stragglers from the rebel army who are understood to be lurking in the country, particularly a regiment of Tennessee cavalry under command of Lieut.-Col. Withers, which is understood to be scattered through the counties of Davidson, Williamson, Wilson, and Rutherford. The strong probability is that wherever found the enemy will be in inferior force, and they will be, therefore, promptly and vigorously attacked and pressed; but no force of less than one-half the regiment will be detached to operate independently. Col. Mix will command the left wing, moving by Beard's Mill. The officer commanding the right wing will be furnished with a copy of this order. The wagon of the regiment will be left to follow with the remainder of the division. Special pains will be taken by all officers to preserve the condition of the horses. The general commanding expects that no trooper will become dismounted on this expedition.

When the rations of the command fail provisions will be seized in the country, memorandum receipts being given. Indiscriminate pillage is forbidden. If any complaints of this character reach these headquarters, the general commanding will hold the officer of the regiment responsible.

By command of Brig.-Gen. Johnson:

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 45, pt. II, pp. 526-527.



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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