Tuesday, February 11, 2014

2/11/14 Tennessee Civil War Notes

11, "The white men of Tennessee, all, ALL are masters." A white supremacist polemic against the "Black Republican" party

The Cloven Foot! Beware!

The time has not yet come for Black Republicanism in Tennessee to throw off all disguise and show its hideous features in the broad sunlight of day. The freemen of Tennessee are of the South, and with the South, heart and soul in the struggle inaugurated by the Black Republican party, to efface the political distinction which the interests of society have established in the South between the white and black races.

But the boast of Helperism[1] is among us, sowing the seeds of discord in the bosom of society, and here, even here, in Tennessee, endeavoring to frighten Southern men into silence, and a tame submission to the domination of a hostile sectional faction.

Resistance to a power which is pledged to our destruction, it denounces as treason and points to the gallows. Like threats were uttered agents our revolutionary sires. Yet they shrank not, nor cowered before it. Neither will the freemen of Tennessee. As they triumphed, so in a cause, no less sacred than that which fired their souls, so shall the whole South triumph.

The anonymous slips now being circulated, filled as they are, with the gall of hatred towards the South and yet so loving, so gentle in their chiding of the North, may yet wake the slumbering lion from his lair.

The Black Republican party, says one of these little paper billets, has yet done us no harm.

The refusal to deliver up slaves, the murder, the imprisonment of men who dared to aid in restoring to Southern men their property is no wrong. The raid of John Brown, the murder upon Southern soil of peaceable and unoffending citizens is no crime.

The nullification of the laws of Congress, intended to secure the enforcement of the Constitutional right of the Southern citizens, is no wrong.

The refusal to deliver up fugitive negro thieves, is no wrong.

The burning of Southern towns and poisoning of Southern wells,[2] is no wrong.

The attempt to incite our slaves to insurrection is no wrong.

The attempt to close the gateway of immigration against the negro, to drive the working-man into the territories and leave the land of our fathers to the negro is no wrong.

The attempt to break down the political barriers which separate the races and bring to a level, is no wrong.

The attempt to bring upon the South the terrors of a St. Domingo,[3] no wrong.

All these things are no wrong in the estimation of some, a few only we trust, of those who dare insult Southern men by calling themselves "Southern rights, Union men." There may be some who make such assertions through ignorance, but if there be any who recklessly use them to drown the indignant feelings of Southern men, let them not "lay the flattering unction to their souls" that they will be able much longer to hide their real character from the Southern people.

We know well that the great mass of the Union party are actuated by the purest and holiest motives. We honor them for the patriotic feeling by which we know they are animated. But for those who have taken shelter under the wing of honest men and who, as the prospects of Southern deliverance from the fangs of a fanatical party, gnash their teeth in rage and threaten us with the horrors of Helperism, we tell them beware lest the fall into the pit which they would dig for Southern men. The white men of Tennessee, all, ALL are masters.[4] They will never be slaves; no not if the equals of those who haven't been slaves; no not if our rivers shall run red with blood.

The Weekly Union and American, (Nashville), February 11, 1861.[5]



11, Destitute Confederate soldiers and their families to be provided for by the State of Tennessee; the Volunteer State's Civil War welfare system

CHAPTER 52. An Act to provide for the families of Indigent Soldiers.

SECTION 1. Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Tennessee, That the sum of four hundred and fifty thousand dollars annually, for the years 1862 and 1863, be and the same is hereby appropriated for the relief of the families of indigent soldiers now in service of the State of Tennessee, or the Confederate service from this State.

SEC. 2. Be it further enacted, That to raise said fund the whole amount of revenue now in the treasury, or which may hereafter be paid into the treasury, for the above named years, from any and all sources for common school purposes, except the sum of one hundred thousand dollars per annum, and all property and monies accruing to the school fund from escheats, and two thousand dollars in lieu of land tax, is hereby appropriated; and there is hereby levied an annual tax for the years 1862 and 1863, of nine cents on each one hundred dollars' worth of property in this State, now subject to tax by law; twenty-five cents on each one hundred dollars' worth of merchandise purchased for sale, whether in or out of the State, and twenty-five per cent additional tax upon all other privileges; said tax to be collected and paid into the treasury of the State, as the other revenue of the State now is, by the Revenue Collectors of the several counties, for which said Collectors shall receive one-fourth of the commissions allowed them for collecting other taxes.

SEC. 3. Be it further enacted, That said fund shall be paid by the Treasury, quarterly in advance, out of any monies, not otherwise appropriated, to the order of the County Trustees for the several counties of this State, in proportion to the number of indigent families, and the number in each family, to be ascertained as hereinafter provided.

SEC. 4. Be it further enacted, That the Judge, or Chairman of the County Court, the Clerk of the Circuit Court, and their successors in office, for each county, be and they are hereby constituted a "Board ex officio," one of who shall be Secretary for each county to be called the "Board of Relief," for the families of indigent soldiers, whose duty it shall be to appoint one of more Commissioners in each Civil District in the county, or each ward in any city, but not to exceed three in any one district or ward, and to perform such other duties as are imposed by this Act, and in the event of the failure or refusal of the above named officers in any county to act on said Board, the Governor of the State shall appoint three citizens of such county, who shall constitute the Board.

SEC. 5. Be it further enacted, That it shall be the duty of such Commissioners in each civil district or ward to ascertain the number of indigent families, and members of such families of soldiers in the service from their respective districts or wards, as soon after the passage of this act as possible, and quarterly thereafter, and make respective reports, on oath to said board by the first day of March, or as soon as practicable, and quarterly thereafter; and it shall be the duty of said Board immediately to report the whole number of indigent families, and members of said families, of soldiers in the service from such county, to the Treasurer of the State, which shall be filed in his office.

SEC. 6. Be it further enacted, that it shall be the duty of the County Trustee to pay over monthly, upon the warrant of the Chairman of said Board, countersigned by the Secretary, to said Commissioners in each district or ward, to be ascertained by said Board which shall be applied by such Commissioners to the support of such indigent families, having due regard to the number in the families, their condition and necessities.

SEC. 7. Be it further enacted, That it shall be the duty of the Commissioners to make quarterly settlements, on oath with said Board, showing the evidences of the disbursement of the funds so audited to them; and it shall be the duty of said Board to keep a record of such settlements in a well bound book, to be kept for that purpose.

SEC. 8. Be it further enacted, That the County Trustees of each county in this State are hereby required to enter into bond and security, to be approved of by the County Court, for the faithful performance of the duties required by this Act; and said Trustees shall receive one-half of one per cent. on the sums received and paid out by them, as compensation for the services herein required of them.

SEC. 9. Be it further enacted, That the families of soldiers who are killed, or who die while in the service, shall be entitled to the benefits of this Act, for the time that said soldier had enlisted, and the families of widows, who have sons in the service, upon whose labor said families are dependent, are also entitled to its benefits.

SEC 10. Be it further enacted, That to meet the exigencies of the present year, the Governor is hereby authorized to borrow, for the use of the Treasury, the sum of Two Hundred Thousand Dollars from the Bank of Tennessee, and to issue Coupon Bonds to the President and Directors of said Bank, to the amount so borrowed, having ten years to run, with the privilege of payment at any time within that time, and bearing interest at the rate of six per cent. per annum, payable on the first day of January and the first day of July of each year, at the counter of said Bank, at Nashville, which sum shall be apportioned and paid out by the Treasurer to the several County Trustees as provided in this Act.

SEC. 11. Be it further enacted, That if any of the County Courts of this State have borrowed or otherwise raided, or expended money for the purpose of supporting the families of indigent soldiers, for the present year, it shall be lawful for said Board appointed under this Act, to reimburse the counties for monies so expended, out of the money received under the provisions of this Act. And it shall be also lawful for such County Courts of this State as have levied a tax for the year 1862, for the purposes aforesaid, to rescind the order or Act levying such tax.

SEC. 12. Be it further enacted, That this Act will take effect from and after its passage.

EDWIN A. KEEBLE, Speaker of House of Representatives.

EDWARD S. CHEATHAM, Speaker of the Senate

Passed February 11, 1862.

Public Acts of the State of Tennessee…1861-1862, pp. 66-69.[6]



11, "One sixth of this regiment have died from sickness-they die almost every day." A hostile interpretation "Genera1 Order No. 48," Confederate Medical Regulations by a Confederate surgeon at Cumberland Gap

Medical Regulations and Hospitals-No.2.

Cumberland Gap, Feb. 11th, 1863.

The Secretary of War, with the approval of the President, is authorized by law to make all necessary rules for the regulation of detail of every department of the services. It is upon this authority that the general regulations of the Confederate army, including those of the Medical Department, rest as I am informed, the order requiring the Surgeon to certify that is it "absolutely necessary" for the recovery of the patient that he be furloughed, emanated from the Secretary of War. If it has the approval of the President, as the law requires, the order is binding. Though it is not to be regarded as a matter of course, that every order issued by the Secretary of War, either has or required the approval of the President, yet I do not doubt the validity of this order. But there is room for very serious doubt whether the war Department ever intended such a construction as is daily practice here. The order certainly had an object in view. That object was certainly to avoid the evil and mischief of sending men home on the ground of sickness when there was no reasonable necessity for it, and called on the officers to use extreme caution in this matter. The order certainly did not mean to put an end to sick furloughs-that sweep away from the right to them of those who may reasonably claim them on the ground of sickness. And yet, to wait until there is an "absolute necessity" for it-until the last of hope of giving relief "in camps" is absolutely vanquished-such delay as this, I say, is a substantial obliteration of the right to apply for furloughs on the ground of sickness. No reasonable man will say that the Secretary of War intended such a thing. I do not mean to question his right, (I mean his legal right,) with the approval of the President, to say that no sick man shall go home at all upon the ground of sickness. It is in his discretion, and there is no restraint imposed upon him by law. The question is, to that extent he intended to exercise that right in the order referred to. It is too plain to require argument that the Secretary of War did not intend to obliterate this right in regard to a single individual-so often exercised for the safety of life and the good of the service-whatever limitation he may have intended to impose on its exercise.

Let me ask another question in regard to the Secretary of War in issuing this order. Did he intend that death should result from the practical working of this order?  If he intended death should result from it, or thought death would result from it, (which is the same thing,) what class of individuals did he thus intend to murder? Or in what class of diseased did he intent to play the part of an accessory "before the fact," which while disease plays the principal? I would be free the Secretary of War from all such imputations-he neither intended death, nor did he believe that death would result from it. But can the Surgeon, when he consults his conscience and judgment, say that if a discretion, wide enough to cover the cases that come before him, and had been allowed him, he could not have saved the lives of many who are now dead. I have no more doubt to what his answer would be, and I have as to my own. The Secretary of War did not mean to kill anybody, nor did he intend he believe that death would result from it. But can the Surgeon, when he consults his conscience and judgment, say that if a discretion, wide enough to cover the cases that come before him, had been allowed him, he could not have saved the lives of many who are now dead? I have no more doubts as to what his answer would be, that I have as to my own. The Secretary of War did not mean to kill anybody, nor did he intent to issue an order for that purpose; but some of his agents, criminally disposed, of for want of intelligence to interpret the order sent to them, have done that thing. This is not lightly spoken. The language used is strong, but the grievance complained of is serious.

I have considered the question, and feel prepared to say, that as many as fifty men in this regiment have died-victims to the construction placed upon the  "absolute necessity" rule at this point.

I have considered the question, and feel prepared to say, that as many as fifty men in this regiment have died-victims to the construction placed upon the "absolute necessity rule at this point.

For the purpose of illustrating the practical working of the order here, allowing me to introduce two examples-privates in Company G., Captain Mitchell, of this regiment. And I expect to prove to the satisfaction of any reasonable, unprejudiced mind that these two men were made victims to the absolute necessity rule.-The proof, in one particular, will be presumptive-but it rests upon the highest presumptive evidence.

At Blain's Cross Roads, in East Tennessee, about 15 miles from Knoxville, a young man of about twenty-five years was seen to be declining and gradually growing weak. Application was made for a furlough about the 25th of October. The Surgeon replied that he could not give the required certificates of "absolute necessity." for his recovery. There was some chance to cure him in camp. Here the matter ended from necessity. The Colonel detailed him to drive a wagon to Lenoir's Station thinking to give him relief. At his point application for a furlough was renewed on the 2nd of Nov. The same reply was given. The "absolute necessity" required did not exist-There the matter ended, and a furlough was despaired of. The Surgeon decided to send him to the hospital at Knoxville to receive the inhospitable treatment of freezing or starving. This young man was not prostrated by disease-was not even confined to his quarters, though persons less scrupulous in the discharge of duty would have been prostrate. But he was in such a condition as to make it reasonably certain, that he could do no valuable service for four or six weeks.

The father of this young man was notified of his condition, and went immediately to his relief, He found him alive, but almost froze [sic] . He rendered his son as comfortably, by the use of warm bricks, as he could, giving him every attention that a deeply interested father could. The relief from the source was of short duration. He survived only to recognize the kind regard of him who was present to watch over the last and dying moments of his kind, affectionate and dutiful son. Never did kind parents lose a son more respectful, obedient and good; never did he wife lose a truer, more devoted husband, or the Confederate army a better soldier. He was ever ready to do his duty. He never murmured. Without a mummer he died-a victim to the rule of "absolute" necessity."

The 2d example occurred in the same company soon after the death above mentioned.-This was a young associate of less than twenty years-a bright example of retiring modesty. He was always reserved, seldom, or never asked for his rights-they must generally be tendered him by some kind friend. Though of delicate constitution, he made the march to Kentucky and back, not less than 400 miles, with a murmur. After arriving at this place, an application was made for a furlough. The remark was then made, by his immediate commanding officer, that unless he secured a furlough he would follow his much-lamented associate. I fully concurred in that opinion. One application was returned because the surgeon had failed to dot an i; another had been "respectfully" returned because a t had not been crossed; and finally, all applications were overwhelmed by "General Order No. 48" from the War Department, and retuned because the "absolute necessity" rule did not apply to the case. This No. 48 is stereotyped on the minds of all. They dream the night is 48 hours long, and think the day so too. Thy think it 48 to the hospital at Knoxville, and the same distance to certain destruction!-This young man was not prostrated by disease-he was not confined to his quarters, though less scrupulous persons might have been.- The surgeon could not notify that he never would get well without going home; he could not certify that he would die or continue sick if he remained in camp. To certify that t is "absolute necessary" for his recovery that he have a furlough, is the same thing as to say that he will die, or continue sick in camp. He was then sent to the hospital at Knoxville.- How he fared while there I have never been informed, but it is no violent presumption to suppose that he did not live in a palace. In a short time this excellent young man, upon whose character there rests not a blemish as an individual, as a man, or as a soldier in defence of his country, gave up his quiet and inoffensive life. He lived, as I presume he died, without a murmur-a perfect model of goodness-a victim to the role of  "absolute necessity."  Now, what is the argument? These two young men were dangerously sick, though not sick enough to come within the purviews of the "absolutely necessary" rule; they exhausted the means to get a furlough, and the best that could be done was to send them to the hospital; where they died. The only question that remains is: would they have lived had they gone home? I will say upon this point, that they were able to go without assistance the last time they applied, their homes were of the most pleasant character, furnishing good lodging, suitable diet, all the medical attention necessary, and the great, rich blessing of interested, kind and affectionate fathers, mothers and sisters. My opinion is they would both have been alive today, and able to assume their duties.

I have a holy, religious horror for the working of such rules. These cases are not isolated or colored, but real pictures. Two excellent young men and soldiers are gone!-their bodies to the grave, and their spirits, if I may be allowed to express an opinion, to Him who gave them. Their fathers and mothers have lost two noble sons, of whose character they may well be proud; sisters have suffered the irreparable loss of affectionate brothers.

The following are a few brief facts to which I wish to call attention. One sixth of this regiment have died from sickness-they die almost every day. It is almost impossible together a furlough here under existing rules-the hospitals, considering the means of transportation, are over half way home; when attained they are cold, cheerless house, simply weather boarded in many instances, without stoves or fire places in many instances-no suitable food, no careful, interested nurses, and scanty supply of bed linen. We get no recruits from hospitals; they get no furlough there, they are general transferred thence to the grace yard. This is the rule, and there are exceptions in this regiment.- Post Surgeons will sometimes say to the officers of the line-"send me no more dying men." I do not attach blame to the managers of the hospitals generally. The necessary hospital supplies, I presume, cannot be had, and in some instances the supply accessible is badly applied. I do not speak for any portion of the army except where I have been-about my own door.

My communication is already too long. I must close, hoping that the present rules may be so modified, or such new ones adopted as will save the wanton and unnecessary destruction of the lives of our best men; hoping that the usual precaution of some of our officers in sending their horses off in good health to get them well fed and well housed, may be applied to the soldiers after their health has become already very much impaired. For fear I may be charged with not furnishing a better rule than the one I object to, which is so bad you cannot devise a worse one, let me ask this question: When it is reasonably certain-when it is the deliberate opinion of two Surgeons, that a man will not be able to do service under 30 days, would it not be better, in every sense of the word and for all parties concerned, for that man to go home? My uniform opinion has been and is now, it would. One may say, "it is injurious to the service." That is a great deal easier said than proved. I can say it is not. The charge is too general. It can neither be proved nor disproved. The decision would be the opinion of an individual only, and opinions may be and are various. It may be urged: "this rule is subject to abuse." I admit it. What rule is not? The present rule is not exempt from this objection. The presence of officers at home, looking after absentees, and public sentiment are good, if not efficient restraints upon its abuse. While the absent man is sick we don't want him; and when he gets well, the community will not have him.

For hospitals, I would suggest the following as a fundamental rule: Let the be a temporary lodging place-1st, for those too feeble to go home, until they die or get able to go; 2d. For sick until they can get transportation home. I leave this last rule to a vote of all who are personally interested-a patriotic, intelligent set of men-the strength and support of the cause of the country-and if they fail to ratify it by a majority of nine tenths, I will withdraw it; and every officer, from a 3d Lieutenant, to the President, may vote provided they will agree to take to the hospitals under the same rules, and that the same fare when they get there, that control the privates. I may write you again on the subject of these two rules.[7]

A Member of the 55th Ga.

Atlanta Confederacy please copy.

Macon Daily Telegraph, February 18, 1863.



11, Report on Juvenile Warfare at Shieldstown, Knoxville environs

Boy Soldiers.—A correspondent of the Philadelphia Press, writing from Blain's Cross Roads, Tenn., says: Across a little creek is a place they called Shieldstown. The spirit of war is among the boys of six, eight, and ten years old, and the fight raged fiercely between the Shieldstowners and Knoxvillers [sic]. They used slings and Minie balls, which they used with great dexterity. They had camp fires built along in a line. Every morning each party appeared on its own side of the stream, drawn up in array, ammunition was distributed out of a bag, fifteen rounds to the man, and they commenced. Old soldiers of the 9th Corps, who have been through many a storm of shot and shell, kept at a respectable distance as they hurled their Minies with vigor. One day the Shieldstowners made a charge at the single plank that crossed the stream, the Knoxvillers ran, all except one little fellow about eight years old, who stood at the end of the plank, swearing oaths like Parrott shells, calling them cowards, and, by a vigorous discharge of Minies, repulsed the assault. The casualties amounted to bruises and cuts in all parts of the body, rather serious to look at, or to think what they might have been; but every little fellow was proud of his wound. So it went on for several days, when one bright morning, as they were drawn up in full fighting array, and only awaited signal to commence, suddenly appeared some women in rear of each; a half dozen were caught up, severely spanked, and led off. The rest were disconcerted and dispersed.

New Orleans Daily Picayune, February 11, 1864. [8]



11, Defeat of public transportation plans in Nashville

Street Railways. - Our readers have been already made aware of the fact that the bill for the establishment of a street railway was defeated in the Board of Aldermen on Tuesday Afternoon, on its third reading, as under existing circumstances, probably very properly. The following is the amendment which Alderman Knowles proposed to add to the bill, in order to guard against imposing upon the city expensive lawsuits and damages, resulting from an exercise of power which he claimed the City Council does not posses:

"It is expressly understood, conditioned, and stipulated, however, that the privileges encumbered in this act, are not guaranteed to grantees by the City Council but they are to be regarded by all who may be interested as entirely dependent upon the decisions of the proper judicial tribunals of the country, if the legality of the act shall hereafter be contested. This City Council also, disavows and disclaims all or any authority to bind their successors in office to acknowledge or regard it."

Efforts were yesterday being made to call a special meeting of the Board of Aldermen this afternoon to reconsider this matter, with the hope that it will pass. We suspect, however, that it will be too late, as the military authorities have already got ties and sleepers along Broad street, and two or three boat loads of railroad iron already on it was hither, for the purpose of allying down tracks from the upper wharf to the Chattanooga depot. If others wanted, the will no doubt be laid by the same authority, and thus obviate the necessity of further discussing the matter.

Nashville Dispatch, February 11, 1864.

[1] Hinton Rowan Helper (December 27-March 8, 1909) was a Southern critic of slavery during the 1850s. In 1857, he published a book which he dedicated to the "nonslaveholding whites" of the South. The Impending Crisis of the South argued that slavery worked against the economic prospects of non-slaveholders, and was a barrier to the growth of the entire South. The book, which was a combination of statistical charts and inflammatory prose, might have been disregarded if abolitionists had not reprinted it, leading to paranoid furor in parts of the South, where authorities forbade its possession and distribution, burning all copies that could be found. Between 1857 and 1861 nearly 150, 000 copies of the book were circulated, and in 1860 the Republican Party distributed it as a campaign document.

[2] This claim seems more hysterical than historical.

[3] Haiti was a French colony known as St. Domingo. The Haitian Revolution in 1791-1804, against the French, which resulted in the first negro republic in the Western Hemisphere. The revolution was a bloody one, with many whites having been killed. The Haitian revolution was a source of great horror to planters who feared a similar insurrection might take place in the South.

[4] Not all. A wide majority of Tennessee white male heads of households, from 60% to 75%, were not slave-owners and so were not masters. The writer was using the fear of blacks to convince nonslaveholders that the maintenance of slavery was in their interests.

[5] TSL&A, 19th CN.

[6] Public Acts of the State of Tennessee, Passed at the First & Second Sessions of the THIRTY-FOURTH GENERAL ASSEMBLY, For the Years 1861-62, (Nashville: Griffith, Camp & Co. State Printers Union and American Office, 1862), pp. 66-69.

[7] If the good surgeon did write further there seems to be no record of it.

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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