Saturday, February 1, 2014

2/1/2014 Tennessee Civil War Notes

February 1, 1862, "I feel some embarrassment with regard to the course to be pursued towards those privates absent without leave from this command." Gen. Crittenden's report to Gen. Johnston relative to defending the Upper Cumberland environs


Gainesborough, Tenn., February 1, 1862.


Cmdg. Department of the West:

SIR: I have the honor to inform you that I am unable as yet to make out and transmit to you my detailed report of the engagement on the 19th of January. This delay is owing to the delay of the officers of the command in sending up their reports.

I would suggest that this command be re-enforced by several well-drilled regiments at an early day.

Inclosed I send you a sketch of the section of the country.[1] You will see that this position of Gainesborough can be turned by the enemy, and in many respects it is an unfavorable point. I cannot occupy Livingston or any point on the road from Livingston to the Walton road for want of transportation to carry supplies to the camp from the river.

I submit to you, then, the propriety of occupying Chestnut Mound. To that point supplies can be easily hauled from river landings, and it is connected with Nashville, and also with Carthage, by a turnpike. Supplies of corn are abundant on Caney Fork, and could be brought down to a landing on the turnpike near to Chestnut Mound.

I feel some embarrassment with regard to the course to be pursued towards those privates absent without leave from this command. The non-commissioned officers absent without leave I shall reduce to the ranks, and I will have the officers so absent proceeded against with the utmost rigor.

Capt. Morgan, a volunteer aide on my staff, bears this to you. He also bears an order from me, for publication in the journals of Nashville and Knoxville, commanding all absent from this command without leave to report themselves at these headquarters immediately.

Being fully aware of the charges which have been made against me by fugitives from this command I have demanded a court of inquiry, and feel satisfied that an investigation will establish the facts that the battle of Fishing Creek and the subsequent movement were military necessities, for which I am not responsible. I feel assured that I shall have no difficulty in defending my conduct throughout these affairs.

I remain, yours, &c.,

G. B. CRITTENDEN, Maj.-Gen., Cmdg.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 7, p. 855.



        1, 1863 - "It makes my Southern blood boil…." An excerpt from the Diary of Mary L. Pearre

* * * *

Many are expecting a cessation of hostilities and a reconstruction of the union. It is the height of folly to prate about the old Union and constitution. Both parties have trampled them under their feet.

Lincoln has violated the constitution at every step since he declared war.

It makes my Southern blood boil to hear these filthy Dutchmen boasting that they are fighting for "The Glorious Union." "Glorious Union indeed." Their emotions are not susceptible to simple emotions of liberty and equality. What care they, fresh from a foreign land for "The Union" indeed. Money and subsistence is the motive power that moves them to invade the South and rob southern women and children.

I desire peace. Yet I can never love the Northern people again. Never trust them as brothers. Have endured too many heart aches. Shed too many bitter despairing tears & followed to the grave too dear a friend ever to forgive and forget.

* * * *

Diary of Mary L. Pearre



        1, Nashville Police Court

Police Proceedings.

Before Recorder Shane.—Saturday, Jan. 31st.—The Court opened business by calling the case of that expanding flower, Narcissus White, who is not white, but a woman of color. She was charged with entertaining slaves, for which she paid a fine of ten dollars and costs.

Mrs. Flaherty was found guilty of violating the tippling law, and she, too, generously contributed her mite of five dollars and costs to the city treasure….

Mrs. King, who aspired to be queen of the liquor traffic, was found guilty of tippling, fined ten dollars and costs, and sent down to reflect, for twenty days, in the seminary kindly provided for such young ladies by our city fathers.

Carl, a young man from Louisville, and a Mr. McLaughlin, from the Queen City, were found in Smoky Row, having a jolly time and bobbing around generally. They were brought before his Honor for disorderly conduct, and each paid a fine of three dollars and costs, and left perfectly satisfied with their sight of the elephant….

Mary Stratton, a colored speculator, was charged with smuggling goods through from Cincinnati. Several fancy women—Mollie and Kate—shrouded in the midnight loveliness of a thousand clustering curls, were witnesses against her. But Mary wanted her sister as a witness in her behalf, and at the request of her counsel the case was laid over until Monday morning. .

Nashville Daily Union, February 1, 1863.



        1, 1864 - Federal officers engage in cotton farming in Middle Tennessee, an excerpt from the diary of John C. Spence

There is quite an excitement here, to raise cotton. There is [sic] quite a number of Yankee officers, renting farms from the citizens for the purpose. We see men anxious to engage in the business, who most likely has never seen a cotton stalk grow. They are paying three dollars per acre. There is great enquirey [sic] for cotton seed and paying the moderate price of one dollar per bushel, and will to buy all that can be found at that price.

I shall be pleased to know [where] they can get a good supply. Want every one that can produce a handful, to engage in the enterprise. No doubt they will make a good thing of it. They came to the country to make money, in some way, and cotton is one of the articles to produce the effect, among the other means. The price now quoted in Nashville in sixty five cents.

Operation-They propose, in the first place, to pay three dollars rent, do repairs on [the] plantation, to hire Negro [sic] men at ten dollars per month and find them in provision, or fifteen dollars, they to find themselves women, in the same proportion for their time. Pay half the wages each month, in cash, at the sale of the cotton crop.

A negro [sic] who is getting one hundred and twenty dollars a year, will having owing to him, at the end, sixty dollars.

Spence Diary.



        1, Circular Order relative to the organization of home guard companies in South-central Middle Tennessee and Northern Alabama for the purposes of exterminating bushwhackers



TULLAHOMA, TENN. Feb. 1st, 1865

To the people of Coffee, Lincoln, Bedford, Franklin, Marshall, Grundy, Warren and Cannon Counties State of Tennessee, and of Jackson county, Alabama

It is ordered that all the male residents from the age of fourteen (14) years without regard to age, infirmity or occupation is [sic] required in every neighborhood in said Counties shall, within ten (10) days after receiving this order, organize themselves into Home Guard Companies of convenient size, from forty (40) to one hundred and fifty (150), according to the population and convenience of each neighborhood, for the purpose of exterminating and driving out all Bushwhackers, Horse Thieves and other lawless Men, and restoring law and order [sic].

Every male resident of said Counties over fourteen (14) years without regard to age, infirmity or occupation, is required to enroll his name in the Company of his neighborhoods within five (5) days after the organization of the Company, on pain of being considered disloyal and treated accordingly.

Those incapacitated from age, disease, or being cripples, can give their influence, counsel, advice, send information, &c., &c. Only those able for active field duty will be expected to turn out when they hear of Bushwhackers, Guerrillas of Thieves in their neighborhood, or when ordered to do so by their officers, (unless expressly named.)

Each Company will organize by enrolling their names and selecting some men of well known loyalty [sic] as Captain, who must be confirmed by the Maj. Gen. Commanding, and furnished with instructions before he will be empowered to act. The Captain to appoint one first, and one second Lieutenants, five sergeants and eight corporals, and five members to constitute a company court for the trial of all crimes and offenses committed by members of the company. Each company to continue its organization so long as it shall be deemed necessary for the peace and safety of the neighborhood. Each neighborhood failing or refusing to organize a company within ten days after receiving or hearing of this order will be considered disloyal [sic], and treated accordingly. The time having come for all men to take sides, and either show themselves the active friends of the Union and of law and order, or openly join the enemy, inaction on the part of any one will be no longer tolerated. The location, names of officers, and strength of each company, to be promptly reported to these Headquarters when organized, that measures to their arming may be taken, and instructions given.

By Command of MAJ. GEN'L MILROY

Papers of General Milroy[2]


[1] Not found.

[2] No volume or page number given.

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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