Wednesday, February 19, 2014

2/19/2014 Tennessee Civil War Notes

19, 1862 - Excerpts from Governor Isham G. Harris' proclamation to the people of Tennessee upon his arrival in Memphis after abandoning the capitol at Nashville

As Governor of your State, and commander in chief of its army, I call upon every able bodied man of the State, without regard to age to enlist in its service. I command him who can obtain a weapon to march with our arms. I ask him who can repair or forge an arm, to make it ready at once for the soldier. I call upon every citizen to open his purse and his storehouses of provision to the brave defenders of our soul. I bid the old and the young, wherever they may be to stand up as pickets to our struggling armies....

To those who have not enlisted for the war I appeal, go cheer your brethren already there. Your native land now calls upon you, you have only waited until you were needed. The Confederate government calls upon me to raise thirty regiments....

Let not a day pass until you are enrolled. Let the volunteer in the field re-enlist. Let him who can, volunteer for the war. Let those of whom imperative obligations demand a shorter term of service muster as a militia man.

Memphis Appeal, February 20, 1862.



19, 1862 - Governor Isham G. Harris' Proclamation to the People of Tennessee – Harris bravely ran away, away

Executive Department, February 19, 1862

The fall of Fort Donelson, so bravely and so gloriously defended, and accomplished only by vastly superior numbers, opened the approaches to your State, which is not to become the grand theatre wherein a brave people will show to the world, by their heroism and suffering, that they are worthy to be, what they have solemnly declared themselves to be, freemen. [sic]

Tennesseeans [sic], the soil of your state is polluted with the footstep of the invader. Your brethren of the advance guard have fallen-nobly yielding life in the endeavor to secure for you and your children the priceless inheritance of freedom. The tyrant and the usurper marches his hosts upon your homes. They come flushed with temporary success and confident in the numbers, yet relying upon your tame submission, the hour is full of trial and danger, yet it is such, in the providence of God, as will test our manhood and or spirit. Let us, as one man, rally to meet the responsibilities thus cast upon us to repel the invader and maintain the assertion of our independence.

As Governor of your State, and Commander-in-Chief of its army, I call upon every able-bodied man of the State, without regard to age, to enlist in its service. I command him who can obtain a weapon, to march with our armies.[1] I ask him who can repair or forge an arm, to make it ready at once for the soldier. I call upon every citizen to open his purse and his storehouses of provisions to the brave defenders of our soil. I bid the old and the young, wherever they may be, to stand as pickets to our struggling armies.

To our soldiers, the gallant volunteers who are already enlisted in the defence of our cause, I appeal. Your discipline, your skill, and your courage, constitute the hope, the pride, and the reliance of your State. Amid the thickening perils that now environ us, undismayed and undaunted, re-volunteer, and from the ashes of our reverses the fire of faith in the liberty for which we strive will be rekindled. You have done well and nobly, but the work is not yet accomplished. The enemy still flaunts his banner in your face; his foot is upon your native soil; the echo of his drum is heard in your mountains and valleys; hideous desolation will soon mark his felon track, unless he is repelled. To you who are armed, and have looked death in the face, who have been tried and are the "Old Guard," the State appeals to uphold her standard. Encircle that standard with your valor and your heroism, and abide the fortunes of war so long as an enemy of your State shall dare confront you. The enemy relies upon your forfeiture in you want of endurance. Disappoint him! 2]

To those who have not enlisted for the war, I appeal. Go, cheer your brethren already there. Your native land now calls upon you; you have only waited until you were needed. The confederate government calls upon me to raise thirty-two regiments. You will be armed. Come, then, it is for your independence, your homes, your wives, and your children, Tennesseeans [sic], you are to fight. Who will, who can, remain idly at home? Will you stand still and let others pour out their blood for your safety? Patriotism and manhood would alike cry out against you.

Let not a day pass until you are enrolled. Let the volunteer in the field reenlist. Let him who can, volunteer for the war. Let those of whom imperative obligations demand a shorter term of service, muster as militia-men.

Tennesseeans [sic]! you have a name in history; you have a traditional renown; shall these be forfeited in the day of your country's trial? Shall the black banner of subjugation wave in triumph over your altars and your homes? Shall there breathe between you and your God an earthly master, before whom your proud spirit shall quail and you knees be made to tremble? By the memory of our glorious dead-by the sacred names of our wives and children-by our own faith and our own manhood, no! Forbid it, sons of Tennessee; forbid it, men of the plains and of the mountains. I invoke you now to follow me; I am of the army of Tennessee, determined upon the field to stake the honor and name of that army of which you have made me commander-in-chief. It is there that I will meet with you whatever may threaten or imperil the fair fame of either. In view of the exposed condition of your capital, and by authority of a resolution adopted by the General Assembly, I have called the members of the Legislature together at this city.

It was a duty I conceived I owed you to remove, whilst it could be done in perfect safety, the archives of the State. This is not a fit occasion to inquire how your capital became so exposed. A series of reverses, not looked for, made the way to Nashville comparatively easy in the enemy. [sic] Temporarily and until our armies have made a stand, the officers of state will be located in Memphis.

Leaving the officers of state to the immediate discharge of their duties, I repair to the field, and again invoke you to follow me to the battle wherein the fortunes of all are to be lost or won. Orders to the militia will be issued with this proclamation, designating the rendezvous, and giving such other directions as may be necessary and proper. I am pleased to accompany this proclamation with the assurance that active aid and heavy support will be given you by the confederate government.

Isham G. Harris

Rebellion Record, Vol. 4, p. 194.



19, Governor Isham G. Harris' General Orders to the Tennessee Militia

To the Commanders of the Militia:

1. The State of Tennessee has been invaded by an enemy that threatens the destruction of the rights and liberties of her people-to meet and repel which you are required to call at once to the field the whole effective force under your command that is or can be armed, which you command that is or can be armed, which you will immediately organize and march to the rendezvous hereafter designated.

2. You will make vigilant efforts to secure for the troops under your command every available weapon of defence that can be had.

3. The militia in the First division, from the counties above and adjoining Knox County, will rendezvous at the city of Knoxville. The militia from the counties in this division south of Knoxville will rendezvous at Chattanooga. The militia of the second and Third divisions will rendezvous at General A. S. Johnston's headquarters. The militia in the Fourth division, from the counties, from the counties of Henry, Weakley, Gibson, Carroll, Benton, Decatur, Hardin, McNairy, Hardeman and Madison, will rendezvous at Henderson Station, and those from the other counties of this division will rendezvous at Memphis.

4. The general officers will make immediate arrangements for the transportation to and the supply and subsistence of their commands at said rendezvous. All receipts and orders given by them for such purpose will be evidence of indebtedness upon the part of the State. They will, by proper orders, consolidate squads into companies.

5. Thorough and efficient drill and discipline of the forces must be enforced by all commanders.

6. Regular and constant reports must be made by officers commanding divisions, posts and detachments to the Commander-in-Chief.

7. R.C. Foster, of the county of Davidson, is appointed Acting Major-General for the Second division of the Tennessee militia.

8. Edwin H. Ewing, of the county of Rutherford, is appointed Acting Major-General for the Second division of the Tennessee Militia.

9. Lucius J. Polk, of the county of Maury, is appointed Acting Brigadier-General for the Twenty-fourth brigade of Tennessee militia.

10. As rapidly as it can be done after proper arrangements are made, as ordered herein, the forces hereby called out will be removed to their respective rendezvous.

The Commander-in-Chief relies upon your activity and promptness in the execution of this order. It is your attention to duty that will make efficient soldiers of your commands. By command of

Isham G. Harris

W.C. Whitthorne, Adjutant-General.

Rebellion Record, Vol. 4, p. 193.



19, 1862 - Death of Lilly White, a female Confederate soldier in East Tennessee

Railroad Accident—A Sad Romance.—An accident occurred on Wednesday evening, on the East Tennessee and Georgia railroad, by which several persons were injured, one fatally. The train which was bringing the 23d Alabama regiment to this city, ran off the track a few miles this side of Cleveland, wrecking the train badly. A girl, in uniform, who was with the soldiers without revealing her sex, but who did not belong to this regiment, was sitting on the platform of one of the cars, had her legs so badly crushed that amputation was necessary, and both were taken off, but without avail; and death put an end to her sufferings last night. She gave her name as Lilly White, and told a sad story of woman's wrongs.

She had disguised herself in male attire, and joined this regiment with the expectation of finding her deceiver, who is in the army, and avenging her shame. A few of the soldiers were slightly wounded, but none others seriously. This poor girl's fate is another warning against the danger of sitting on the platforms of railroad cars in traveling.—Knoxville Register.

Memphis Daily Appeal, March 5, 1862.[3]



19, 1863, - Colonel Beatty on John Hunt Morgan

* * * *

Three expeditions sent out to capture John Morgan have all been failures. His own knowledge of the country is thorough, and besides, he has in his command men from every neighborhood, who know not only every road and cow-path in the locality, but every man, woman and child. The people serve him also, by advising him of all our movements. They guide him to our detachments when they are weak, and warn him away when strong. Were the rebel army in Ohio, and as bitterly hated by the people of that State as the Nationals are by those of Kentucky and Tennessee, it would be an easy matter indeed to hang upon the skirts of that army, pick up stragglers, burn bridges, attack wagon trains, and now and then pounce down on an outlying picket and take it in.

Beatty, Citizen Soldier, pp. 221-222.



19, 1864 - "I love to hear them sing …." Observations on Slave Religious Services. An Extract from the Diary of Eliza Rhea Anderson Fain

~ ~ ~

On the Sabbath evening I attended the services for the blacks. I felt great interest and we had a pleasant meeting and I trust a profitable one. I do hope some soul was brought to feel its need of the cleansing blood of Jesus. Mr. Robinson sang a verse of two of that beautiful hymn Jesus I my Cross have taken. After the sermon the communicants were invited to come forward. Some 12 or 15 came forward and took their seats. To me it was peculiarly solemn having been permitted that morning the refreshing of my own heart at the table of the Lord and I felt here are our servants whom God in his infinite wisdom and for purposes known alone to him as bond servants can come and know of the love of Jesus.

I think the blacks sung Alas and did my Savior bleed. They sung that evening with greater spirit Jesus my all to Heaven is gone. I love to hear them sing on earth and I know I shall love to hear them in heaven when the spirit shall be disrobed of the clay tenements which they now inhabit and we shall all see Jesus upon the throne. Christ will them make all free. To me this is a delightful thought to meet with the members of my dear family-my husband, by children, my servants at the right hand of God.

Fain Diary.




[1] Harris had already appealed for citizens to give their arms to the army – it seems his remarks were vacuous and full of hot air.

[2] Meanwhile Harris would abide and hide in the safety of Memphis.

[3] See also Daily Morning News [Savannah GA], March 7, 1862; Knoxville Register, February 25, 1862,

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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