Sunday, February 9, 2014

2/9//2012 Tennessee Civil War Notes



9, "Display of Flags"

The stars and stripes have been thrown to the breeze in every section of the City. The display is equal to that made in the late Presidential campaign, and revives reminiscences of the zeal and earnestness evinced by the workers in that canvass.

Whatever may be the result of the difficulties which at present agitate our country-whether we are to be united in our common destiny or whether two Republics shall take the place of that which has stood for nearly a century, the admired of all nations we will still bow with reverence to the sight of the stars and stripes, and recognize it as the standard around which the sons of liberty can rally and truthfully exclaim "Thou art the shelter of the free."

And if the remonstrances of the people of the South-pleading and begging for redress for years-does not in this critical moment, arouse her brethren of the North to a sense of justice and right, and honor demands a separation, we would still have the same claims upon the "colors of Washington, great son of the South, and of Virginia, mother of the States." Let us not abandon the stars and stripes under which Southern men have so often been led to victory."

Nashville Daily Gazette, February 9, 1861.




9, Brigadier-General Gideon J. Pillow assumes command of Fort Donelson and pledges "Liberty or death"

SPECIAL ORDERS, No. 1. HDQRS., Dover, Tenn., February 9, 1862.

Brig.-Gen. Pillow assumes command of the forces at this place. He relies with confidence upon the courage and fidelity of the brave officers and men under his command to maintain the post. Drive back the ruthless invader from our soil again raise the Confederate flag over Fort Henry. He expects every man to do his duty. With God's help we will accomplish our purpose. Our battle cry, "Liberty or death."[1]

By order of Brig.-Gen. Pillow:

GUS. A. HENRY, JR., Assistant Adjutant-Gen.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 7, pp. 867-868.



9, Unlawful Assemblages Ordinance in Confederate Memphis

Be it ordained, &c.

That hereafter all balls parties and other collections of persons for amusement in and about any notorious house of ill-fame within the Corporation of Memphis shall be unlawful and each & every person being found and arrested as a participant in such balls parties of other collections of persons shall be adjudged guilty of a misdemeanor and fined not less than five nor more than twenty five Dollars in the discretion of the Recorder. And it is hereby made the duty of the Chief of Police to see that all such assemblages are suppressed and the guilty parties arrested and brought before the Recorder.

Memphis City Council Meeting Minutes for February 9, 1862.




9, "I had quite an adventure night before last…." An excerpt from Sergeant George S. Sinclair's February 11, 1863 letter to his wife, relative to picket duty in the Murfreesboro environs

* * * *

I had quite an adventure night before last on picket duty which gives me great reason to thank my God [sic] for his great goodness and protection to me so great a sinner. The case was this, we were out on picket…[at our] outposts with five men and a sergeant in them which are relieved from there every two hours from the reserve then the outpost men go out onto the sentinel beats and stay until they are relieved by the next outpost. Well, I had gone out onto the outpost with my five men about forty rods from the reserve and send those that were there out to the sentinel beats giving them the counter sign, the sentinel were still out forty rods from the outposts and placed about eighty feet apart. When I started out it was 7 o'clock, dark as pitch and after I had been there about half an hour, I thought that I would go out and find the exact position of the sentinels and go the rounds which it is my duty as a sergeant to do once in the two hours to see that everything is all right on the lines. So I at about half past seven started from the outpost not knowing the position of the sentinels but trusted to their attention to business to stop me on the line then I could stride the line and go around. The dough headed fools didn't hear me and I walking in an old cornfield stepping on and breaking stalks making enough noise to awake the dead, but the sentinels or one nearest to whose post I passed did not had me so I passed on out of the lines into sessesia until I knew that no picket lines were ever established soon far out. So I then turned back keeping the same path that I went out and the first intimation that I had of anything was the flash and report of a gun within twenty feet of me right in my face, but than the Lord that the damned fool was so badly scared or I should have been nor more. I realized my situation at once and fearing that there might be another man with the first, sung out what the hell he was firing at me for that I was sergeant of the guard and told him that I would give him hell for it and then sung out ["] don't come her or I will shoot again.["] At that I knew his voice and that there was but one on a beat so I run [sic] right into him bayonet first. He was so frightened that he did not recognize me then and that he belonged to the next company to us and knew me quite well on any other occasion. He still continued to thrust his bayonet at me but I locked that with mine and run my hand in on the barrel of my gun and grabbed him by the neck with my right hand and used him none of the easiest I can tell you and jerked him along into the reserve and put him under guard.

The poor devil was so scared that by morning I had made up my mind to forgive and forget it thinking myself very fortunate in getting off without a scratch. But the poor fool reminded me that I must not call him such hard names another time like that in a threatening tone as if he had the perfect right to shoot me when he pleased and me to say nothing about it. I had ought [sic] to put a ball or my bayonet through him on the spot when he threatened to shoot the second time. His remarks rather riled me and right in the presence of his and my captain. I gave him a few belts in the face to teach him manners. He was very reasonable after that. Without joking it was no laughing affair to have a man shoot at you even in the dark at a length of two rods for that was the distance exactly. I fully acknowledge to whom I owe my preservation.

* * * *

George G. Sinclair

Sinclair Correspondence



9, Federal reaction to reports of Confederate conscript sweeps and marauding on both sides of the Obion River

COLUMBUS, February 9, 1863.

[Col. JOHN A. RAWLINS,] Assistant Adjutant-Gen., Department of Tennessee:

Reports from Union City, Fort Pillow, and Island No. 10 are concurrent in placing an organized force of about 1,000 rebels, with some artillery, on both sides of the Obion River, under command of Col.'s Richardson and [W. A.] Dawson, constantly making excursions, marauding the country, and conscripting for the rebel army. As the Obion River is navigable at present to a point above Dyersburg, I am anxious to enter it with a gunboat, and, in co-operation with the garrisons of Island No. 10, Union City, and Fort Pillow, to break up and capture these lawless bands, this being the only way to penetrate into the heart of the country occupied by these rebels. I would request orders for the co-operation of two gunboats.

ASBOTH, Brig.-Gen.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 23, pt. II, p. 66.




9, Disease in Knoxville. An Excerpt from the letters of William Bentley, 104the Ohio Volunteer Infantry

Feb. 9th 1864

~ ~ ~

There are still a few cases of small pox in the city – but confined mostly to the citizens. For my part, I don't feel much afraid of the disease. I have been vaccinated twice since we came to Tenn….

Bentley Letters.




10, Affair near Triune

FEBRUARY 10, 1865.-Affair near Triune, Tenn.

Report of Capt. Robert H. Clinton, Tenth Tennessee Infantry.

NASHVILLE, TENN., February 12, 1865.

MAJ.: I have the honor to make the following report:

In obedience to orders received from Maj.-Gen. Rousseau, commanding military district, I proceeded on the 9th of February at 6 p. m. with a force of thirty-five men belonging to the Fourteenth Tennessee Cavalry (of Capt. J. L. Poston' company) to the house of one Charles Luster, thirty miles south of Nashville, at which place, according to information, there was to be a ball at which some twenty guerrillas were to be present. Nine miles from this City, on the Nolensville pike, I searched the house of a widow named Patterson, whose son is a bushwhacker and said to be the leader of a gang infesting that immediate neighborhood. I found one man in bed. The guide knowing nothing of him, I did not think it necessary to arrest him. In searching the house the men found two shotguns, one Derringer pistol, and one carbine. I ordered them to be destroyed. They were loaded and ready for use. I then proceeded on the march passing through Triune at 11.30 p. m., arriving at Luster's house at 12.40 a. m. A quarter of a mile from the house I halted the command and dismounted, leaving ten men to hold the horses; with the other twenty-five I proceeded across the fields, and when within fifty yards of the house I divided the command, sending twelve men under Capt. Poston to the left. With the other thirteen I went to the right with orders to form a circle around the house upon reaching it. When within about twenty steps of the house I discovered some eight or ten negroes [sic] around a fire. One of them ran from the fire to the house to give the alarm, hallowing. "The soldiers are coming!" I had previously given orders for the men not to fire unless we were fired on. Notwithstanding that the negro [sic] had given the alarm we were so close to the house that they had not time to make their escape before we had it surrounded. They were commanded to come out. As soon as that command was given someone in the house fired upon two men who were trying to force open the back door, powder burning the face of one man and wounding the other slightly on the hand. Our men, seeing them rush out of the house, breaking through our lines, fired upon those who were trying to make their escape, and I learned the next morning that four of them were killed on the spot, and one wounded died subsequently. By morning all the dead were conveyed away, only one being found, and he was discovered on an adjacent hill a quarter of a mile from the house. I believe that the citizens had the dead and wounded conveyed away in order to conceal the fact of there having been guerrillas at the party. One McCrairy supposed to be loyal, informs us that there were certainly five guerrillas there, or at least strange men that he knows nothing of. If any innocent person was hurt, all I can say is, it was from their being in bad company. My having been ordered there to capture a party of guerrillas and finding so large a crowd of men there who fired upon us first, it was but natural that we should return the fire, and if any innocent person was hurt I cannot think that it is my fault, having obeyed the orders I received, and performed my duty. On the road back on the night of the 10th about two miles this side of Triune in turning a hill we encountered a band of seven mounted guerrillas about 600 yards off. We gave chase and at one time nearly overtook them, but, they being on fresh horses and ours completely jaded, after a chase of four miles I abandoned them and returned to Nashville. I brought in four prisoners, but upon investigation I turned two of them loose, retaining the other one of whom, E. F. Haynes, being charged with guerrillaing [sic] and pointing out Union men and urging upon Hood's men to burn their horses and hang them; the other, Albert Rutledge, being charged as accessory to the murder of a Union man named Hibbs. In conversing with the citizens I found but very little Union sentiment, a disregard for their oaths and a disposition to harbor and protect the guerrillas, and especially so in the case of the Widow Patterson, nine miles from Nashville, who has a son marauding in her neighborhood.

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

R. H. CLINTON, Capt., Tenth Tennessee Infantry.

OR, Ser. I. Vol. 49. pt. I, pp. 38-39.


[1] As subsequent events would show, he didn't mean fight until his death, but he did mean his liberty. 

James B. Jones, Jr.

Public Historian

Tennessee Historical Commission

2941 Lebanon Road

Nashville, TN  37214

(615)-532-1550  x115

(615)-532-1549  FAX


No comments: