Sunday, January 26, 2014

January 26, 2014 Tennessee Civil War Notes

        26, Request to the Pennsylvania legislature to mitigate secessionist fever in Tennessee

We publish the following letter from a legal firm of the highest standing in Tennessee; it is almost identical with multitudes of others from the conservative State, urging action on Pennsylvania to preserve the Union:

Montgomery County, Tenn., Jan 26.

All men of all parties who pretend to be men are determined to have these troubles settled.  If it can't be done in this confederacy it must be done out of it. Our convention will meet next month, at which the status of Tennessee will be fixed. We are for making one more effort to settle the question before resorting to the to the last remedy; but, we regret to say, we have but little hope. Cannot the good men of your section have influence enough to force the politicians to let alone a question in which they have no interest, and for which they are not and cannot be responsible? If your section gives no assurance by the 4th of March that this question will be permanently settled, Tennessee will certainly seek safety for her citizens in another connection. You will excuse, we hope, or introducing politics into our business correspondence, as we regard the present as the most terrible of all the trials through which our common country has ever passed. In God's name, let us all try and settle it. To us, it appears the easiest of all question of solution, if everybody would but observe the eleventh commandment, which was first published, we believe, by your illustrious citizens, viz: that everybody attend to their own business and let other people's alone. You see the resolutions of our State Legislature, they have sent to you Governor. Will a convention be called by your Legislature?


[no names provided in text]

North American and United States Gazette, (Philadelphia, PA) February 5, 1861.[1]



        26, Confederate Engineer's plans for the fortification of Chattanooga

ENGINEER'S OFFICE, Chattanooga, January 26, 1863.

Gen. J. E. JOHNSON, Cmdg. Department No. 2, Chattanooga, Tenn.:

GEN.: According go your instructions I have the honor to submitting to you a small sketch in order to fortify Chattanooga.[2] I shall not undertake to demonstrate the utility of fortifying that place. Every one can see at once in looking at the map of the country that it is one of the most strategical [sic] points of this department. Consequently I will proceed at once the explanation of the system of fortifications I respectfully propose to your approval. My first object in locating these fortifications has been to study the probable approaches by which the enemy can attack this point. I am arrived to the conclusion that Chattanooga can be approached only from three different points: First, by the Walden's Ridge road north of the river; second, by crossing the river some distance above and coming by the way of Harrison or Cleveland; third, by crossing the river below at Battle Creek, or at Kelley's Ferry, and coming through Lookout Mountain. I propose to defend the first approach (north of the river) with the works Nos. 1,2,3, and 4. Each of them is located on a commanding position, and are combined together in order to concentrate their fires on any points the enemy might take on the opposite bank of the river. A more efficient defense can be made by occupying the two points marked 13 and 14, and building a pontoon bridge over the river for communication. Such bridge might be very useful, too, for other purpose. The second approach (by crossing the river below) is to be defended by the works Nos. 4,5,6,7,8,9, and 10, all of which are located on commanding positions and arranged together in order to cross their fires. The third approach (through Lookout Mountain) is to be defended by the works Nos. 11 and 12, on the flank of Lookout Mountain, and in case of necessity assisted by the works Nos. 8,9, and 10. All the works are to be provided with a magazine. Besides, I propose a central magazine for depot, to be put in the work No. 1. I shall speak of the armament of these works in a few days.

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

JAS. NOCQUET, Maj. and Chief Engineer, Department, No. 2.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 52, pt. II, p. 417.



        26, Collecting the Federal Dead

Head Quarters O.V.S.S

Chattanooga Jan. 26, 1864

My Very Dear Wife

I am again in camp and embrace the first opportunity to write you. I was gone the last two days went nine miles in front of our advanced lines and out post and over territory occupied by scouting parties of both armies. I had with me 100 Spencer rifles in the hands of good men and unless attacked by a large force could have defended ourselves. The object of the expedition as I wrote you was to obtain the body of a Lieutenant….The expedition was a success. We got the body and brought in a large supply of relics as many as the ambulance could carry consisting of various pieces of shells and broken guns, sabers & etc. We also buried the bodies of 28 of our soldiers which we found unburied. You can form no idea of the spectacle afforded by some portions of the field. Bodies were scattered in all directions some unburried [sic] and some with a little earth over them as the lay which had washed off in most cases so that the bones are bleaching by sun and rain. How sad to think that our brave men who had sacrificed their lives so nobly should meet such a fate. In most cases not a trace of identity can be found. Pockets were in all cases rifled and frequently clothes taken off. A whole brigade was sent out soon after the battle of Missionary Ridge to bring all our dead on the field of Chickamauga but they only went about three miles from our lines and left over half the field untouched. I have made report to Head Qrtrs. Setting fourth the facts as I found them. I recommended that a sufficient force be sent but to give our dead [sic] a decent burial. We went to the famous Crawfish Springs [Georgia] and encamped for the night. I felt a little uneasy I will admit knowing that we were beyond any support from our Army and near the enemies [sic] lines and the inhabitants were…secesh.

I marched into the little town at the Springs just at dark and immediately placed a guard around every house and a picket at every approach to the village and ordered that no person should leave and that all who came from the outside should be held in prison until morning. By that we wouldn't present the enemy getting knowledge that we was there and at daylight we left and the people were not the wiser as to where we came from or where we went. We took to prisoners from the reb [sic] army. I sent you today some specimens of moss and grass from the bottom of Crawfish Springs. If it don't dry so as to crumble before you get it, it will be pretty. The water is transparent….Our men enjoyed the trip very much.

The weather today and for several days past has been like April in Ohio. I have had no fire in my tent for two days. We are getting ready for the spring campaign which I think will open early orders here already been issued to get our transportation in good order. The roads are getting in good condition and if such weather last we can make a better campaign in February then to wait for March or April. I have received a pocket mirror marked from H.S. I guess you forgot you had sent me one before[,] they are both very nice. One I will give to a brother officer. Paper I think comes by regularly now and I think if you mail them I shall get them….

* * * *

Barber Correspondence



        26, Federal denial of prisoner of war mistreatment in Knoxville

HDQRS. DEPARTMENT OF THE OHIO, Louisville, Ky., January 26, 1865.


SIR: Your communication of the 12th instant, addressed to the commanding officer U. S. forces, Knoxville, Tenn., has been referred to these headquarters. In this communication you state that during the recent raid under Maj.-Gen. Stoneman a number of officers and men were captured and paroled to report at Knoxville at a future day and that they were recaptured by the occupation of the Confederate forces, and were released from the operation of the parole given. If any men "not officers of the Confederate Army were paroled to report at Knoxville they were paroled contrary to my orders." Applications were made to permit hospital stewards and other men not commissioned officers to go to Knoxville on parole, but in all cases the applications were refused. The officers were captured with others at Bristol, principally.

By their own request they were permitted to go by a prescribed route to Knoxville, East Tenn., on parole. It was a privilege granted them in order that they might be enable to procure some means of transportation for themselves and baggage, they having no horses, instead of being compelled to go at once and on foot with the other prisoners, who were sent to Knoxville under a strong guard.

The time allowed them to reach Knoxville was limited, unless they were physically unable to report at its expiration, in which case they were to report as soon as they were able so to do; they were all told explicitly by myself that they were not paroled as a matter of expediency, inasmuch as several hundred prisoners would be sent under guard the next morning to Knoxville (which was done), and they could all be sent together, but that it was to be understood that this was done by their own request and as a special favor to them, for which they expressed themselves as under many obligation. The officers you named, in violation of their word of honor, which in the language of the written instrument, signed by each in duplicate, was given "without any evasion or mental reservation whatsoever," remained at Bristol until long after the time had expired in which they were allowed to report at Knoxville, and it cannot be admitted that they were "recapture" or that they can claim exemption from the responsibilities attached to a violation of the word of honor of an officers and a gentleman.

If they are justified by their Government in the course they have thought fit to pursue, it will serve hereafter as a warning to myself and others who may be inclined to show favors to Confederate officers prisoners of war.

I am very glad to learn that Medical Director Ramsey and other surgeons captured at Bristol will be sent through by flag, and that we are to get Surgeon Carrick and other surgeons. You will find by reference to the agreement made between Brig.-Gen. Vaughn and the representative of the U. S. authorities "that there were some conditions attached to that agreement exempting citizens from arrest which must be complied with, amongst which are these, that the citizen must belong to Tennessee, must be at his own home, and must not be engaged in any occupation in violation of law and military regulations, or be in the employ of either Government."

Mr. Sperry, the only person you name as having been arrested, and now held contrary to this agreement, and whose release is requested is a citizen of Knoxville and not of Bristol; he was not at his own home and was engaged in publishing a Knoxville paper at the time of his arrest, and if not in the employ of the Confederate Government, was doing all in his power against the United States Government through the medium of his press, violation of both law and military regulations; he is now in the hands of the civil authorities and not subject to military control.

In this connection permit me to inform you that since the agreement you speak of was entered into, twenty-one persons, citizens of Monroe County, Tenn., have been arrested by the Confederate authorities, so I am informed by the U. S. provost--marshal -general of East Tennessee, and also that orders were given by me last month directing that all citizens of Tennessee who came within the terms of the agreement alluded to, and all citizens of Virginia not in the employ of the Confederate Government, should be released and sent to their homes and I am informed that my instructions have been complied with.

I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


OR, Ser. II, Vol. 8, pp. 134-135.




[2] Not found.

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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