Friday, February 28, 2014

2/28/2014 Tennessee Civil War Notes

28, A Brief Newspaper Report on the Arrival of the Tennessee Legislature and Nashvillians in Memphis after the Fall of Fort Donelson

On the day they left for Memphis, the Tennessee Legislature arrived, having sojourned to that place from Nashville. They were to convene on the following day to discuss the important question, "What shall we do, considering the circumstances which surround us?" One thousand person arrived from Nashville on the same day. The gold and silver, or all that could be got, a panic of colossal dimensions had seized the rebels, which was a great consolation to the loyal citizens.

State Confederate Scrip was of no value whatever.

Louisville Daily Journal, February 28, 1862. [1]



 28, "These sweet-smelling, kid-glovey [sic], band-boxy [sic], tea-cakey [sic], ottar-of-rose exquisites, are as plentiful as gnats around a vinegar jug." A Confederate war correspondent's observations on the Army of Tennessee in winter camp at Tullahoma and news of Williamson county

.…we whittle away time over stale jokes and stray rumors. Toward the close of the evening we are regaled with a piece of tombstone literature, in Gen. Bragg's happiest style, announcing that some fleet-footed lieutenant's gilt has been torn from his collar, for leaving the battle-field at Murfreesboro before the balance of us. Now and then the Provost Marshal, or as a friend calls him, the Provoke Marshal, [sic] perpetrates a practical joke, by conscripting a camp follower, and commanding him to the graces of a Springfield musket and knapsack.

Our army is again in good fighting trim, and the ranks swell rapidly filling up by the influx of absentees. I suppose it is better clothed, equipped and fed than ever before. The country is bountifully supplied with game, but the boys are forbidden to shoot, for fear of hitting some General's aid. These sweet-smelling, kid-glovey [sic], band-boxy [sic], tea-cakey [sic], ottar-of-rose exquisites, are as plentiful as gnats around a vinegar jug. But you must not construe my expression into any reflection upon the usefulness of this necessary appendage of our Gipsey-life [sic]. It is true they dangle a dress sword gracefully, run handsome horses in dashing stile [sic], and smile most daintily at the ladies, yet it is no less true, they can tell the ragged, weather beaten fellow that foots it with his gun and heavy knapsack, exactly what he ought to be. You can thus very readily appreciate the field and scope of their usefulness, and the necessity of taking every precaution to protect them from the weather and disagreeable inconvenience[s] of camp life, and to guard against the rudeness of bringing them in contact with unmannerly soldiers, and everything calculated to grate harshly on their tender sensibilities. [added emphasis]

I have conversed with several intelligent and creditable gentlemen from Williams on county in the last few days, and they bring melancholy tidings of the fate of her gallant people. The country is being desolated. The abolitionists are burning and destroying houses razing fences, stealing horses, shooting cattle and hauling off all the provisions in the county, not even leaving many families meat or bread enough for a single meal. They have broken up the wagons, hoes, and plows, and destroyed the harness, and ever thing that can be employed in cultivating the earth. The officers boldly proclaim that the people shall not raise another crop. Citizens are robbed of their money, and their hoses pillaged of every article of wearing apparel, and bed clothing, and their furniture and table were broken and ruined by the heartless scoundrels. I was informed of three instances of my acquaintance, fair, modest, virtuous young women being ruthlessly violated by the hellish ruffians. These are not pictures woven by fancy, nor the creation of vague rumors, but facts attested by authorities that cannot be questioned. If retributive justice is no myth of fancy, it surely is time now for an exhibition of its power. When the men of the country are torn from their homes to fight for the Government, that Government should take some retaliatory steps to protect their helpless families from the hands of the incendiary and ravisher.

"Cry Havock, and let slip the dogs of war."

Chattanooga Daily Rebel, February 28, 1863.[2]



26, Capture of Washington, Rhea County, by guerrilla chief Champ Ferguson[3]

FEBRUARY 26, 1864.-Capture of Washington, Tenn.

Report of Col. Robert K. Byrd, First Tennessee Infantry.

LOUDON, February 28, 1864.

SIR: The following dispatch just received from Col. Byrd, Kingston, dated February 27:

Champ Ferguson, with 150 men, made a raid on our courier-line last night at Washington, in Rhea County, killed the provost-marshal at that place, and captured all the couriers from there to Sulphur Springs, killing 1 and wounding 2 others. He carried off 11 horses and 11 repeating rifles.

G. GRANGER, Maj.-Gen.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 32, pt. I, p. 485.


26, Skirmish at Sulphur Springs

No circumstantial reports filed.


 26, General Orders, No. 17, division of mules for the transportation of the Confederate Army in East Tennessee

GENERAL ORDERS, No. 17. HDQRS. DEPT. OF EAST TENNESSEE, Midway, Tenn., February 26, 1864.

The transportation of the army in East Tennessee will be reduced to the following basis, viz.,:

Army headquarters, one 6-mule wagon.

Quartermaster, commissary, ordnance, and medical departments of army headquarters, one 6-mule wagon.

Division headquarters, one 6-mule wagon.

Quartermaster, commissary, ordnance, and medical departments of division headquarters, one 6-mule wagon.

General staff of two brigades, one 6-mule wagon.

Quartermaster, commissary, ordnance, and medical departments of four brigades, one 6-mule wagon.

Field and staff, quartermaster, ordnance, and medical departments of two regiments, one 6-mule wagon.

Cooking utensils of each brigade, on 6-mule wagon.

Medical wagon of each brigade, one 6-mule wagon.

As ambulance for each brigade, one light 4-mule wagon.

Field and staff, and company officers of each battalion of artillery, one 4-mule wagon.

Cooking utensils of each battalion of artillery, on 6-mule wagon.

As ambulance for each battalion of artillery, one light 4-mule wagon.

This order will be immediately and vigorously complied with. All surplus transportation will be turned in to Maj. Taylor, chief quartermaster.

By command of Lieut.-Gen. Longstreet:

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 32, pt. II, pp. 806-807.



        28, "There is the same old evil disposition among the rebels, the same hate, but they fear more and hide." Report on guerrilla activity near Carthage

Carthage, February 28, 1865.


A band of guerrillas pass quite often from a point on Obey River, some eight miles above Celina, going west. Their track is near the State line. How far they go west I am unable to say, but they generally pass beyond the Louisville and Nashville Railroad. The band numbers from fifteen to sixty men, or that has been the report for the last few months. They have different commanders. Sometimes Capt. Benett, at others Maj. Jones or Magruder. For a long time they have not gone east of the point mentioned on Obey River. Generally on their return to Obey River they bring goods of various kinds and hide them away among the hills. Yesterday I had a long conversation with H. D. Johnson, of Overton. I know he is in communication with Hughes, Gatewood, and others. He has a son with the rebel Col. Dibrell, formerly of Sparta. Johnson says the rebels will be in this section of country in considerable force late in the spring, or so soon as it shall seem the rivers will not rise suddenly and remain full any length of time. There is the same old evil disposition among the rebels, the same hate, but they fear more and hide. If any one doubts, let him become for a time a rebel and go among them, where he is not known to be other than what he seems.

Very respectfully,


OR, Ser. I, Vol. 49, pt. I, p. 784.


[1] As cited in PQCW.

[2] An abbreviated version of this article is found in: Galveston Weekly News, March 25, 1863

[3] Not listed in Dyer's Battle Index for Tennessee.

James B. Jones, Jr.

Public Historian

Tennessee Historical Commission

2941 Lebanon Road

Nashville, TN  37214

(615)-532-1550  x115

(615)-532-1549  FAX


27, News from Tennessee; an excerpt from the New York Herald

~ ~ ~

A despatch received at St. Louis yesterday from Fort Donelson, says that a boat just arrived from Clarksville reports the evacuation of Nashville. The Union citizens of that place sent a boat to Clarksville, which towed one of our gunboats for their protection. The rebels, with Governor Harris, retreated to Murfreesboro'. And the latter worthy, it appears, burned all the State documents before leaving. General Grant has declared martial law over West Tennessee, with the understanding that when a sufficient number of citizens of the State return to their allegiance, and show a desire to maintain law and order over the territory, all military restrictions shall be withdrawn.

Postal facilities are now extended to Clarksville, and the mail bags will follow the flag of the Union into Tennessee.

The Murfreesboro' papers contain a fierce war speech of Governor Harris. The previous rumors of Governor Harris' desertion of the rebel cause in its extremity, may have originated in a statement made in Chicago by parties who arrived from Fort Donelson, to the effect that General Grant had an interview with Governor Harris near Clarksville, and that the Governor stated that, if General Grant would cease hostilities for three days, he would have the American flag floating from every fortified place in Tennessee.

The more recent accounts, above alluded to, however, go to show that Governor Harris remains unchanged in his treasonable sentiments and purposes.

~ ~ ~

New York Herald, February 27, 1862.



27, "Interesting Incidents and Details of the Fort Donelson Victory."


The Correspondent of the New York World furnishes the following:

On the Sunday morning after the surrender, Major Mudd, of the Illinois Cavalry, had been out scouting to see if the road out from the camp. Returning he met for or five men in citizen's dress, whom he hailed, and, on being told they lived but a short distance from the place, passed on. He had hardly gone twenty steps before the cowardly miscreants turned and shot him in the back. He had just strength enough to ride into camp, where at all accounts he was dangerously ill.

The rebels at Donelson had a line of telegraph from one side of the fort to another, so that they could send from one wing to the other (three miles) instantaneously. What causes some surprise, too, is the fact that they were able to learn more about the fight at Norfolk and Richmond than at Cairo, notwithstanding that a squad of our cavalry could have cut their wire running up the west bank of the river to Clarksville..


One of the grandest sights of the whole siege, and which only comes once in a century, was the triumphal entry into the fort on Sunday morning.

Not only did the whole camp pour out, but the wounded and the teamsters, not indeed always shouldering muskets but carrying them in the ranks, poured into the fort from three sides in regular order; marching over to the main fort, a brigade at a time stacking arms, and after a few minutes survey filling out for the next brigade. The sight from the highest point in the fort, commanding a view of both river and camp, was imposing.

The Boston Herald, February 27, 1862.[1]



27, Chattanooga Daily Rebel editorial on the state of affairs in Middle Tennessee

The Situation in Tennessee. – We have news from Nashville. By a careful computation of reliable parties there are fifteen thousand inmates of Federal hospitals in that city, with a tendency to increase. There are at present forty-two large hospitals, and all are crowded to overflowing. Besides these are boarding houses, which are also full of officers, either sick or wounded.

A late letter to the Cincinnati Gazette, says "the condition of the army of Middle Tennessee cannot be said to be very hopeful, or promising; officers in the greatest abundance are all on leave, and as for the soldiers, why the hospitals are stuffed with them."

The citizens of Nashville suffer greatly from the overbearing insolence of the enemy. Now that Andrew Johnson has been stripped of the power that is [sic] been perfectly overshadowed by the military he has become especially kind and courteous. He is, it is generally believed, trimming his sails to suit the Northwestern breeze. He offers his assistance freely to "his suffering fellow-citizens," and professes to be very much aggrieved by the brutal course of the Yankee officers. Fire wood is very scarce, and the poor would suffer, but the bond between the rich and the poor, who are true and loyal, has dissipated all distinctions of formality, and one Southern family helps another, freely and at all times.[2] [emphasis added.]

"The families of our soldiers are not in want. Mitchell, the commandant of the post, is represented as a Kansas ruffian out and out. The "daily dirty Union" is preaching the most foul and extreme abolitionism. There are only one division and two or three battalions of cavalry now in the city besides artillerymen and bands employed on the fortifications, numbering in all about ten thousand men. Eight thousand more are at Franklin, and the main body near Murfreesboro'.

[Chattanooga Rebel, 27th ult.]

Daily Morning News, March 2, 1863.[3]



27, Engagement at Middle Fork of Pigeon River at Hodsden's house

No circumstantial reports filed.

First Cavalry Division, commanded by Col. Edward M. McCook, Second Indiana Cavalry.

From Returns of January 1864.

* * * *

January 27, at daylight Campbell's (First) brigade was advanced across Middle Fork of Pigeon River at Hodsden's house, driving the enemy from their strong position west of Big East Pigeon to the east bank of the latter fork, Col. LaGrange's (Second) brigade being sent to the left on Stafford's road, which intersects Fair Garden road about 2 miles from Fair Garden. Enemy's new position was a strong one in the timber, and with their largely superior numbers (being two divisions Morgan's and Armstrong's, under command of Gen. Martin, chief of cavalry) they made stubborn resistance to the advance of the division, but they were steadily driven with great loss, and at the intersection of the Stafford and Fair Garden roads detachments of Second and Fourth Indiana Cavalry, led by Col. LaGrange, completed the rout that had already begun by a dashing saber charge, capturing two 3-inch rifled Rodman guns, the battle-flag of Gen. Morgan, his body-servant, and a large number of prisoners, and sabered several of the cannoneers and supports. The regimental colors of the Thirty-first Indiana Volunteer Infantry and a silk American flag in the possession of the rebels were also recaptured. Morgan's rebel division was thoroughly broken, routed, and dispersed. Division captured 112 prisoners, 11 being commissioned officers, 2 of the latter being regimental commanders. The enemy left a large number of dead and wounded in our hands, and their loss must have been over 350. Our casualties, 28 killed and wounded; no troops but those of the division were engaged.

* * * *

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 32, pt. I, pp. 34-35.



27,"A Salt and Battery"

A grocer, on Front row, had a pet joke, which he has been in the habit of getting off at least once a week for some months past. He offers to give a two hundred pound of salt to a man who will carry it the length of his store, without setting it down. He always wins the wager, for the man who carries the salt will have to set it down at last. It was a mere catch in the words of the proposition. A darkey [sic] came up with him yesterday, however. He went into the store, looking unusually green, and soon was picked out for a victim of his joke. Coffee [sic] shouldered the "Salina," and after carrying it down through the store, hung it up on a hook [sic], thereby winning the sack fairly, as he never "set it down" at all. The merchant paid the forfeit, and then offered to give a monstrous cheese to the darkey [sic] if he could butt it off the top of a barrel with his head, when it was set up edgewise. The negro [sic] did not wait a second invitation, but ran a tilt at the "Western reserve" immediately. The cheese was spoilt [sic], the centre of it being soft and decayed. The human battering ram went clear through it, and was the most damaged looking customer afterward you ever saw. He withdrew his forces in dismay.

Memphis Bulletin, January 27, 1864.

[1] PQCW

[2] Delusional – class distinctions were alive and well.


James B. Jones, Jr.

Public Historian

Tennessee Historical Commission

2941 Lebanon Road

Nashville, TN  37214

(615)-532-1550  x115

(615)-532-1549  FAX


Thursday, February 27, 2014

2/27/2012 Tennessee Civil War Notes

27, William Driver & "Old Glory" -  Nashville before & after its fall to the Union

A letter from a Salem Shipmaster at Nashville.

Rejoicings of a Staunch Union Man.

The following letter from an old Salem shipmaster to his daughter in that city, we copy from the Salem Register. The patriotic of the "old salt" so long held under, evidently boils over at the glorious advance of the Federal army:

Nashville, Tenn., Feb. 27, 1862.

Dear M.---Thank God! The flag of the Union now floats over our proud, deluded Capital. On Tuesday, the 25th, Brig. General Nelson's wing of the army, in fifteen transports, escorted by one gunboat came up to town without firing a gun. The Ohio 6th, the first to land, hoisted their beautiful flag on our State House. A few moments, or about an hour later, I carried my flag, "Old Glory" as we have been used to call it, to the Capitol, presented it to the Ohio 6th, and hoisted it with my own hands on the capitol, over this proud city, amid the Heaven shaking cheers of thousands-over this proud city, where, for the last eight months, I have been treated with scorn and shunned as one infected with the leprous spot.

My dear child! How shall I tell you all my sorrows during that fearful period? My soul filled with scorn while insult upon insult poured upon me. God of my Fathers! It was the desert passage of my life. No pillar of cloud by day, no fire by night to guide me, I groped along in anguish, in sorrow, but not despair. No! no! I always hoped, although against hope, that this hour would come. Again and again have I told these deluded men, in the hour of madness, "Gentlemen, I will yet hoist my flag, 'Old Glory' over your proud, fallen Capitol – then, gentlemen, I am ready to lie down with my Fathers of the Heroic Age." That hour has come! With my own hands, in the presence of thousands, I hoisted that flag where it now floats, on the staff which has trembled with the flattering of Treason's hated banner. My child! My loved one! and you my brothers and sisters. S___,T__,J___,G___, and H___, I am satisfied? I am now willing to go hence to God, for I know he is about to give my people rest.

For the last ten days I have scarcely slept at all. The Texan Rangers had been told I had a flag and intended to hoist it, and they swore to burn me in my house if I did not give it up: but a bunch of Union friends, and  _____of our city watch, saved my house and flag. The later I had made into a comfort early in the insurrections, and have kept it on or under my bed ever since, no child of mine knowing where to find it.

I should have told you that Buell's pickets were within sight of our town two days before the arrival of Nelson's brigade.

So much for the surrender of the town. Would to God I could give some cheering report of its people-that I could tell you of the hopes of future love and peace-but I cannot. In all this vast city of 27,000 souls, but one Union flag waves. That is my own, "Old Glory." Mr. _____ hoisted one yesterday morning, but took it in before noon. Sullen silence and looks of hate are seen on almost every face. Our women are worse than the men. As I passed Zollicoffer's house, with a guard of the Ohio 6th, and my flag, one woman, a wealth one, called out "look at Old D., the traitor," and then went up a hiss and yell from a dozen more. I tell you, as I have often before, the Union men of the South are slaves without arms, and palsied with long oppression. The Government has no hope of help from them, as far as Middle Tennessee is concerned.

Buell's force has been crossing the Cumberland and moving on the Murfreesboro' road for two nights and days. The traitors are retreating Southward, cowed, half clad, half starved, and not paid at all: and yet, with all this, if they get a chance they will fight like devils. They make their track a desolation, burning every bridge, every tavern on the way. The two bridges on the Cumberland at our city, costing $600,000 dollars, are destroyed by Floyd's, the brigands and robber's order. Mad insane blind on rolls the retreating army of Bowling Green, a terror to friends more than foes. God knows where they will stop.

I must close for the present, as the boat leaves now.

Farewell, loved one! May God keep you, is the prayer of your father.

W. [illiam] D. [river]

Let my old town rejoice with us, fore we do rejoice.

New Hampshire Sentinel, March 20, 1862.

27, Frank M. Guernsey's letter to Fanny relative to sickness

Navy Yard Memphis, Tenn.

Feby 27th, 1863

My Dear Fanny

I have just received a letter from you of quite late date (Feby. 20th) and as I have not ambition enough to do any work, I will answer it. The Adjutant has gone away on an expedition against the Rebs [sic] and has left me chief cook and bottle washer, with lots of work on my hands.

I am taking things very easy however and do not intent to fret myself. I have been on the sick list lately; or at least very near so. I am around and doing duty simply because I will not give up and be sick. We have had very bad weather here lately, it has rained almost every day for some time excepting to day which is very pleasant, you may guess what kind of going we are having, the mud is a little less than two feet deep on a level, but I dont [sic] go out much so that it does not trouble me but very little.

There is very little news of any account here. Everything is very quiet, though our camp was somewhat excited this morning. We received orders to have part of our Regmt. [sic] fall in and proceed up the river to attack a camp of Rebels, we sent out three companies on board a tug boat. I was obliged to stay behind as I am hardly in shape to do much fighting. The boys were all very anxious to go, and have a fight. They may not meet the enemy but if they are to be found they will find them I commenced this letter yesterday but had not time to finish it so I will do it now. The expedition has returned. They found no enemy but captured a small quantity of medicine. They were rather disgusted with the way their fight turned out. Fanny if you chance to see Glen please tell him that Lieut. Patten was brought into camp last night by a file of soldiers. Patten was a Lieut. In our Regmt. [sic] but deserted some time since while we were on the march, he came to Memphis; and when next seen was with a band of Rebels that were captured yesterday. His punishment will probably be severe as he has not a friend in the Reg[iment]. We all feel that he has brought a disgrace on our Reg[iment]. and are perfectly willing that he should suffer for it. Fannie, I hope ere this reaches you that your Mother may have recovered from her sickness. I understand that it has been very sickly north this winter. The last I heard from Almond Sister Lottie and her little Cora were both very sick with the Typhoid fever. I have not heard lately how they are and am feeling quite anxious about them. I suppose they will write soon.

I am begining [sic] to get sick of this kind of a life, and am longing for spring to come so that we can go into active service in the field. This being cooped up here in the City with the same old routine of duty to do day after day, soon becomes irksome. There is a lack of excitement and every thing gets stale. I like the excitement of a brisk campaign (in good weather) chasing the Rebels or being chased by them, though it is the most please to chase them of the two.

Fannie wouldn't I like to just step in and receive that greeting you described so well in your last. I guess you would find one who could return in fourfold if I am not mistaken.

March 17, 1863

I guess Fannie you will be supprised [sic] in the difference of the dates on this sheet. The fact of the business is I have been pretty sick since the foregoing was written. I have had a run of the fever but am now convalescing. It has been only a day or two since I have been able to sit up much so you see I am very weak yet. I will write again in a few days. good by [sic], write soon, love to all and accept much yourself

Yours affectionately

Frank M. G.

Guernsey Collection.



27, Skirmish near Bloomington, on the Hatchie River

FEBRUARY 27, 1863.-Skirmish near Bloomington, on the Hatchie River, Tenn.

Report of Brig. Gen. Alexander Asboth, U. S. Army.


GEN.: Col. Wolfe, commanding at Fort Pillow, reports that Capt. Moore, Second Illinois Cavalry, reached, on the 27th ultimo, at daybreak, with 200 mounted [men], the principal camp of the rebel Col. [R. V.] Richardson, in the neighborhood of Bloomington, on the Hatchie. The rebels, however, started on the previous day to the southeast, leaving only 8 men to guard the camp and collect conscripts. This guard was taken, with all the property in their charge, 27 horses and mules, wagons and commissary stores, and the camp, with several large buildings and comfortable quarters, entirely destroyed.

ASBOTH, Brig.-Gen.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 24, pt. I, p. 422.



27, A Concert at the Athenaeum, Columbia, Tennessee

Columbia, Tenn., Feb. 27, 1863,

A concert was given last night at the Atheneum [sic] for the benefit of sick soldiers, under the direction of the Rev. Mr. Smith, principal of the Young Ladies' Seminary of this place, and was attended by such distinguished guests as Generals Van Dorn, Forrest, W. H. Jackson and Frank C. Armstrong. Notwithstanding a heavy shower prevailing, the attendance was large and the Atheneum [sic] crowded. The programme was a selection of some of the finest instrumental and local music from the Italian and English. The "Bonnie White Flag"—a beautiful piece and piece of beautiful composition was freely sung and loudly applauded. Casta Diva, sung by Mrs. Leigh, from whose pretty lips the musical words flowed in perennial and entrancing strains, was one of the finest pieces it has ever been our lot to listen to. And Vivra, as sung by Mrs. Leigh and Miss Smith, (daughter of the professor) thrilled every bosom with quick and joyous pulsations, leaving [?] a harmonious chorus, drawing each bosom in consonance with the other by the "concord of sweet sounds," which enraptured every one present. The grand final chorus of "Hallelujah," by Handel, as performed by Miss Thomas on the organ, accompanied by their pianos, their harps, and several string instruments and cymbals, and sung by the whole coterie, was magnificently grand, and produced a fine effect.

The "Chevalier" and a Tribute to Gen. Sydney Johnston, original compositions by Lieut. Col. Hawkins, were admirably read by that gentleman and greeted with much applause.

The ladies who participated in the concert role were all dressed in most admirable taste and indeed with no little extravagance, and made the finest display of feminine apparel and attire we have seen in the South since the commencement of hostilities. Perhaps it is due to ladies further South to say that these fair belles of Columbus, have been enabled to dress better and more tastily than their Confederate sisters further southward, from the fact that they have been able during the Yankee occupation of their country, to select such articles of dress and virtue, as others were unable to procure on account of the blockade.

Most of the ladies who took part in the ceremonies were from the Ladies' Seminary of this place, under the charge of the Rev. Mr. Smith, one of the most accomplished and agreeable of gentlemen, and whose suavity of manner and perfect politeness we have never seen equaled. The Seminary is one of the first in the South, and is perhaps better filled up, more plentifully supplied with musical instruments, and more thoroughly adapted for the accomplished education of young ladies, than any now open in the country. It is a matter of great pleasure to us that the young ladies of this establishment pay much attention to that sweetest of instruments, the harp, which is rapidly taking the place in our households once occupied by the pianoforte. Miss F. F. Smith, one of the graduates of the establishment, and the daughter of the Professor, handles the sweet-toned instrument to perfection itself, and elicits from it such sweet and perfect harmony, as to draw the whole soul forth, and hold it entranced.

* * * *

Mobile Register and Advertiser, March 8, 1863.[1]



27, Skirmish near Knoxville

Report of Lieut. Col. Benjamin P. Estes, Thirteenth Kentucky Infantry.

HDQRS. THIRTEENTH KENTUCKY VOL. INFANTRY, Five Miles from Knoxville, Tenn., January 28, 1864.

SIR: I have the honor to report to you that, on yesterday, January 27, at 2,30 p. m., a body of cavalry, supposed to be a full battalion, made a charge on my right, driving in my outposts and capturing 1 corporal and 4 privates, who are still in the enemy's hands. My reserves on the right and center were compelled to fall back; that on the right, resting between the Strawberry Plains and Miller roads, was driven within 200 yards of my camp.

In consequence of my isolated position, the like circumstance will occur so often as the enemy see proper to make an attack, unless cavalry patrols are sent out in my front on these roads to defect the advances of the enemy and warn me of their approach.

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

B. P. ESTES, Lieut. Col., Cmdg. 13th Kentucky Vol. Infantry.

Report of Maj. William W. Wheeler, Twenty-third Michigan Infantry.


COL.: I have the honor to report that the picket of my regiment, stationed on the Strawberry Plains road, was attacked yesterday p. m. (27th) at nearly 2 o'clock by a cavalry force of the enemy, numbering between 150 and 200 men, and driving in with a loss of 1 man mortally wounded and 1 corporal and 5 men prisoners. The enemy was enabled, through cover of woods, to form line of attack very near to our advance sentinels without observation.

Four of the 6 prisoners lost by us were on post as sentinels, and as often as the enemy attacks so often shall we lose the greater portion of our sentinels, unless mounted men may patrol the roads to points beyond the view of infantry sentinels and patrols. A large force of the enemy, probably 400 or 500 men, was held in his reserve. Many of the enemy were carried back on the saddles of their comrades.

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

W. W. WHEELER, Maj., Cmdg.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 32, pt. I, pp. 151-152.

[1] 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


Tuesday, February 25, 2014

2/20/2014 Tennessee Civil War Notes

20, Brigadier-General John B. Floyd's report

NASHVILLE, February 20, 1862.

The gunboats landed at Clarksville yesterday at 3 o'clock. The bridges here were destroyed this morning. I am still attempting to get trains off, but the difficulties are immense. The troops will all leave here to-day.

JOHN B. FLOYD, Brig.-Gen., Cmdg.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 7, p. 894.



20, Letter from William Epps Newell[1] in Clarksville to his daughter Sallie Ann Newell then visiting friends in Mississippi

Clarksville, Tenn.

Feby. 20th, 1862

The day after the arrival of the Federal Gun Boat at this place

My dear Daughter-

I write by Mr. T. D. Leonard of this place, who has charge of the remains of an officer of the Confederate Army, who was killed at the Battle at Fort Donaldson, [sic] on the Cumberland River, two miles below Dover. He is taking it to Marshall County in this state. The wife of the officer is also in attendance. I do not recollect their names. This letter is directed to be mailed at some place where the mails are being carries South. I do not know when the mails will be rec'd. [sic] again at this place from any direction.

At the commensement [sic] of the Battle at Fort Donaldson [sic] the Citizens of this place commensed [sic] moving from Town in every direction and are keeping it up to this time. Not more than half of the Families [sic] have remained.[2] (Mrs. Jones is here and probably will remain.)

Many amasing [sic] insidents [sic] and so many sad, has transpired during the excitement. Majr. [sic] Bailey's, Mr. Faulks and Judge Kimbles's families have moved to the Country.

As to a correct statement of the Battle, [sic] as yet it is impossible to arrive at the facts. The fighting commensed [sic] on Thursday and was kept up until Sunday morning almost without ceasing. From the best information I can get, our killed does not exceed 300 and the wounded from 700 to 1,000 whilst the enemy's top in killed must reach several thousand, probably 7,000 and their wounded as many as many in proportion to ours. Our force was 15 or 20,000 and that of the enemy at least 75 or 80,000 according to their own report, and from the best calculation we can make they have in the field, at all their posts and in their navy, between 6 and 700,000 men, but with all the advantages they had in the fight at Dover, our forces drove them back and wound up each day's fight with a victory until Saturday night, when the demonstration of their overwhelming numbers were known to our Generals. At 2 o'clock Sunday morning they held a Counsel of War [sic] and in consequence of our soldiers being worn out for want of sleep and nourishment, they agreed to surrender, Floid [sic] and the most of his birggade [sic] making their escape. Pillow and his Staff [sic] also escaped.

The number of our officers and soldiers taken prisoners are between 8 and 10,000, among whom are Jas. E. Bailey, & W. A. Quarles, both of whom are Col's. [sic] and a great many other of our town and county. Mr. A. Robb was mortally wounded and brought home and died in a fiew [sic] hours after his arrival.

You can't imagine the sad appearance of our City. All the dry goods merchants have left except the Coulters. Goods are enormously high and very scarce, Calico [sic] selling at $1.00 per yard. Brown sugar is selling today at 20 [cents] pr. pound, and all other Southern products about in proportion.

(Soph is just recovering from the measels [sic] and Rosie, Lela, Jonnie and Tommie are just takin [sic] it and are quite sick and fretful. The balance of us are well.)

Enclosed you will find Commander Foote's proclamation to the Citizens of our City.[3] You can judge of the grace we take it. (Your Mama and the children send their love to you, Uncle and his family.) If I meet with an opportunity I will send you some money. Nearly all we have is in Southern tind.[4] [sic] and I fear will be of little or no use to us here much longer. I will try and make the best disposition of it I can. I do not know when if ever I can leave Tennessee, nor do I know but that it is about as good a place as we could find at present. We will write to you every opportunity. Say to your Uncle Henry I will write to him soon.

My love to him and the children and for your self the affection of your Father.

W. E. Newell

W. P. A. Civil War Records, Vol. 3, pp. 116-117.



20, Modish Memphis

Stylish Memphis.—A correspondent of the New Orleans Crescent writes to that paper as follows: Visiting Memphis a few days ago, for the first time in ten years, I was greatly surprised at the expansion of the place and its stylish improvements, as well as at the great amount of military and civic business transacting. The quantity of sugar and molasses there is positively tremendous; the whole landing is covered, and the streets and warehouses fairly glutted with the saccharine. Of course, you understand this—the blockade and the gorge of the railroads [are responsible]. The draymen of Memphis are getting rich under the sweet pressure. They get five and sometimes as high as ten dollars a load for hauling sugar from the landing to the Charleston depot, such is the anxiety of shippers to get ahead of each other. The shinplasters and checks of Memphis are various as those of New Orleans. Brass dray checks appear to be the favorite circulating medium. The Planters' Bank shinplasters it from five dollars down to five cents. And you will smile to hear that the clipped bills and checks and the omnibus tickets of New Orleans are as good currency as any in Memphis. At least I took them and passed them without trouble. These are bully times. From the Crescent City to the Bluff City, and eve.n up to the very gates of Cairo, every man appears to be his own banker.

Memphis Daily Appeal, February 20, 1862



            20. Lewis county guerrilla chief Lewis Kirk's conscript sweep in Maury county

A Guerrilla Brute.

Refugees from Maury County report that a most deplorable state of affairs exist in that county. A band of rebel cavalry is scouring the country, led by one Capt. Lewis Kirk, of Lawrence county. He has forced numbers of gray-headed Union men, fifty and sixty years of age, into the rebel army, and now holds in confinement several of the oldest and most estimable citizens of the county, because they refuse to take up arms. One brave old man told him that if he would give him a chance, he would take up arms for the Federal Government. This Kirk was formerly a blacksmith, we are informed, and a noted bully in Lawrence county. He was in jail at Columbia for near three years, for murdering Mr. Westmoreland of Giles county, without provocation, and in cold blood. When the rebellion broke out, he sent word to Governor Harris that if he would get him out of jail he would join the rebel army, and he was let loose. He is now fighting for "Southern Rights" against "Lincoln's myrmidons."

Nashville Daily Union, February 20, 1863.



            20, Nashville Fire Company No. 1 sells "Rough and Ready" to Cairo, Illinois Fire Department

Engine No. 1.—Some of the old members of Nashville Fire Company, No. 1, yesterday parted with their old machine with many regrets, having sold it to "Rough and Ready" fire company of Cairo, Illinois, for the paltry sum of $800. This, we believe, is among the last remnants of the old Volunteer Department. The machine should be followed to the boat by a procession of mourners over the happy past, and on returning from the funeral, the members should wet their whistles and dry their eyes in the old hall—the scene of so much jollity and discussion, merry dances and social parties.

Nashville Dispatch, February 20, 1863.



            20, Juvenile gangs in Germantown, Nashville

The Juvenile Warriors.—We are informed that the juveniles of Germantown have organized two parties who have frequent fights though these seem to be of a more harmless character than some of the others. They have some cavalry, and we are informed that the rebel commander has recently captured a number of prisoners, three horses, and several wooden guns and bayonets. The prisoners were paroled, the horses placed in hospital, and the guns handed over to the ordnance department.

Nashville Dispatch, February 20, 1863.



            20, U. S. N. Reports Illegal Cotton Speculation by U. S. Army Officers

U. S. S. PEOSTA, CAIRO, February 20, 1864.

SIR: When I stopped at Clifton, Tenn., on my way up the Tennessee River, on the evening of February 16, 1864, the commanding officer at that place, Major Murphy, of the (I think) Fifth Tennessee Cavalry, informed me that some of his captains owned cotton near the Tennessee River in the neighborhood of Florence and Waterloo, Ala.

The impression left upon my mind by the conversation between us was that some of his officers were taking advantage of their position and power to speculate in cotton, in direct violation of the laws of Congress and the General Order No. 88 of the War Department, issued March 31, 1863.

I have the honor to be, sir, your most obedient servant,

JAMES W. SHIRK, Lieutenant-Commander, Commanding Seventh District.

Rear-Admiral DAVID D. PORTER, U. S. Navy,

Commanding U. S. Mississippi Squadron.

NOR, Ser. I, Vol. 25, p. 768.



20, Report on Schools forContraband Children, Middle and East Tennessee

Office Chief Superintendent Contrabands

Nashville Tenn. Feby. 20th 1865

Brig. Gen. A. Johnson

Military Governor State of Tennessee Nashville Tenn.


I have the honor to submit the following report of Schools for Colored Children in this District:


There is a number of small pay Schools here sustained Exclusively by the Colored people of which I cannot at present give any full report. In a week I shall have information as to their number, the terms of tuition &c[.] At present I speak of Schools sustained wholly or chiefly by benevolent Societies. Of these there are four (4)

(1)            One in the 1st Baptist church (colored) on Martin St

(2)            One in Capers Chapel.

(3)            One near Fort Houston.

(4)            One at the Contraband Camp

School No. 1 is under the auspices of the "North Western Freedmens [sic] Aid Commission" (Head Quarters Chicago Ill.) under the Superintendence of Mr. Hubbard. At this school there are One Hundreds (100) pupils Enrolled with an average attendence [sic] of about Eighty (80). Two (2) Teachers are Employed. The school is partially self-sustaining.

School No. 2 is under the Auspices of the "United Presbyterian Society" of Southern Ohio. This School was begun in October 1863 in two (2) Churches of this city and has been in operation most of the time since. The number of pupils then varied from 200 to 550. There are present Eight Hundred (800) pupils Enrolled. The attendance varies from 350 to 500. Two Hundred (200) pupils are reading. Fifty Seven (57) writing. Twenty five (25) studying Arithmetic and there is some instruction in Geography &c but no classes as such in these branches for want of sufficient accommodations.

At present there are Six (6) Teachers, and two (2) moor are expected shortly. At this School since its Establishment over 550 persons beginning with the Alphabet, have learned to read[.]

Schools Nos. 3 and 4 are under the Auspices of the "Pennsylvania Freedmens [sic] Relief Association" Mr. W. F. Mitchell Superintendent[.] The average attendance in these Schools is Three Hundred (300). Industrial Schools are connected with both and there are One Hundred (100) children who can sew, and are making garments from raw materials. Four (4) Teachers are engaged and two (2) more are coming.


A School is to be started here today (Monday the 20th inst.) under the auspices of the "American Millennial Freedmens [sic] Commission" (Head Quarters in Boston)[.] Four (4) Teachers are on the ground and two (2) more expected. There are in Edgefield from 500 to 600 Colored families who have agreed to fit up the School-House [sic] and furnish fuel &c[.]

There are Schools at,

Murfreesborro'[sic] Stevenson and Huntsville

Under the Superintendence of Mr. W. F. Mitchell above named.

At Murfreesborro' [sic] there is an average attendence [sic] of Two Hundred (200) pupils with three (3) Teachers[.]

At Stevenson there are One Hundreds (100) Scholars and Two (2) Teachers. One (1) more is Expected [sic].

At Gallatin there is a school under the Auspices of the "Western Association" of Cincinnati Ohio, and as I understand the same association and one or two other are assisting to keep up a School at Clarksville[.]

At Knoxville there is a school with One (1) Teacher and an average attendance of One Hundred (100) pupils[.] Preparations are making for the Establishment of Two (2) Schools at Chattanooga. An average attendance is expected of Two Hundred (200) pupils. There is also a school at Murfreesboro under the auspices of an Indiana Association, of which I have no knowledge but what is above stated.

Below is a tabular statement of this Educational Work

_______          Pupils________________                              Teachers_

Place Enrolled                                    Attending        Present                        Expected            Remarks

Nashville 1     100                  80                   2                     --

 do 2                800                  400                  6                     2

 do 3 & 4         ?                     300                  4                     2

Murfreesborro ?                     200                  3                     --

Stevenson       ?                     100                  2                     1

Huntsville       ?                     100                   1                     1

Gallatin           ?                     100(?)                                      1                     --

Clarksville      ?                     150(?)                                   

Edgefield        --                    100(?)             4                     2                     Opens today

Knoxville                                100(?)             1                    

Chattanooga                            300(?)             2                                             Preparing to open

Totals              2600 (?)                      2000(?)                       26                      8      

This does not include the pay schools referred to above nor the schools in the Regiments of Colored Troops. Each regiment having some educational arrangements under the charge of the Chaplain.

From full conversation with the Superintendents of these Free schools and from my own investigations these needs of the schools are developed.


1st More ample accommodations for pupils and Teachers Especially in Nashville. One of the schools here will have to dismiss Two Hundred (200) pupils soon if they cannot find more room.

2nd Books and stationary. McGuffeys 1st and 2nd Readers[5] are Especially needed.

3d Rations for the Teachers. Rations have been issued to some of the Teachers under an Order of Major General Grant Commanding Military Davison of the Mississippi but the order is not general Enough [sic].

All the Teachers attest the universal desire of these people and their aptitude to receive instruction and it is a significant fact that as soon as they are able to pay for their tuition they leave the free schools and go to pay schools.[6]

I have the honor Governor, to be,

Very Respectfully, Your Obt Srvt.

R. D. Mussey Col. 100th USCI, Chief Supt. Contrabands East and Middle Tenn.

Papers of Andrew Johnson, Vol. 7, pp. 478-480.


[1] William Epps Newell was born in 1806. He was Montgomery County Court Clerk when the war broke out. He was too old to serve in the army. He was a wealthy man, owning and operating three iron furnaces in Stewart County, at Blooming Grove, Yellow Creek, and one near Dover. He was likewise a breeder and trainer of race horses. He died in 1867, while training one of his horses. He is buried at Riverview Cemetery in Clarksville.

[2] Clarksville experienced a "great panic" similar to that in Nashville.

[3] Not included.

[4] Most likely "Southern tender."

[5] Standard reading textbooks of the day.

[6] According to the editors of Papers of Andrew Johnson, Vol. 7, p.482, fn 8: "The same day, Mussey wrote to Secretary Stanton urging that 'the Premises and Farm at Gallatin, Tenn., known at the 'Fairvue Estate' belonging to the late Isaac Franklin, a notorious slave trader, be turned over to him, that he might there establish a 'Freedmen's Colony for the infirm and destitute Freedmen of East & Middle Tennessee with special reference to the necessities of Colored Oprhans.'" As cited from Mussey to Stanton, February 20, 1865, Johnson Papers, Library of Congress.

James B. Jones, Jr.

Public Historian

Tennessee Historical Commission

2941 Lebanon Road

Nashville, TN  37214

(615)-532-1550  x115

(615)-532-1549  FAX