Wednesday, March 12, 2014

3/12/2014 Tennessee Civil War Notes

3/12/62, "…the Rebels Cartridges have three Buckshot & one rond Ball in them…."Henry M. Erisman, Comp'y K 77th Reg't Penna Vols., to His Brother

Camp Andy Johnson Tennessee

March the 12th 1862

Dear Brother

I now take this oppertunity to inform you that I am well at Present hoping that these few lines may find you and all the Rest of the folks in the same state of health we are now laying about five miles south of Nashville we got here on the 3rd Nashville is a Purty Place and it has the appearance of being a buisness Place at one time but Buisness is suspended There now. all the stores and Buisness shops are Closed and the City is diserted of nearly all its inhabitants except the Ladys and they are all secesh and wear a secesh flag for Aprons and have a belt around their waists with an Ivory handled Colt Revolving Pistol of the best quality sticking in it. Nashville and all the surround Country is secesh and they dont try to hide it nether we was out on Picket night afore last and towards morning about time the moon went down the left end of our Picket Line was fired into by some Rebel Cavalry there was about 300 of them in all but they stayed about 200 or 300 yards away from our Picklet line with the exceptions of 15 that dismounted and Came up to within hailing distance of our Pickets they where 5 or 6 abrest as we Could judge for it was dark and the minute our Pickets [saw them they fired] Challenged them they fired one volly and Retreated our men fired on them while they were Retreating but with what effect we Couldnt hear if there was any of them hurt they was taking along by their Comrades on our side there was no body hurt but I must say they did some tall shooting for random shooting The only guide they had was the Direction the Pickets voice Came and he came near being Put out two balls struck the fence one each side of him but Captain Philips made the Narrowest Escape of all the uper band of his sword scabard was shot off one shot grazing the Back of his hand taking the skin of about an inch another struck about the Centre of his scabard bending the sword & scabard about 2 inches out of Plumb while 3 Passed through his Coat tail the best Part of them being Buckshot the Rebels Cartridges have three Buckshot & one rond Ball in them they have attacked 3 times now the first they attacked the 30th [ 2nd] out of our brigade - In stationing the Pickets 4 [ go on] goes on a Post 20 yards apart is the General Rule but the Indianna [sic] Boys where Placed about 50 yards apart and the Rebels took advantage of the Distance and took 4 of them off their Post in Broad day light and Caried them off as Prisoners and they aint got Back yet either the way they managed to do it there was about 25 of them ( Cavelry ) road up with about 30 yards of the Pickets taking care to keep behind a hill that the Pickets Couldnt see them when one of them dismound and to hide suspicion he had on one of our uniforms on so he got to the Pickets without much trouble and got talking them awhile when he give a certain signal and as quick as lightning the Rebels galloped up to them draged them on their Horses and off with them it was done so quick that the rest of the Pickets didnt get a shot at them I tell you Theyre as sharp as they make them these days the next attack they made was on the First wisconsin killing one and wounding five The wisconsin killed 3 of their men wounded 3 and some of the 29th Indiana Boys took one of them Prisoner he belonged to the First Louisianna [sic] Cavelry he is a bold looking fellow and he says he dont give a damn wether school keeps or not and he says if they let him go he will fight against the Union Troops as hard as ever he says he wont be a Prisoner 6 month he would be shot first. The next attack they made on us the Parteculars of which I have stated on the other Page This morning about 3 oclock there was firing our Picket line again and at the same Place we were fired on yesterday morning But I didnt hear how they made out The 49th Ohio Relieved us yesterday about 4 oclock in the afternoon and they will be relieved by some other Regt at the same time to day and I wont Close this till I hear how the Ohioians made out with the secesh They'll be in about 4 oclock But I dont think there was anything of any[.]

Valley of the Shadow



3/12/63, Grand Festival in Confederate Chattanooga – Editorial Satire

The great "Crash" and Festival!

Shall I tell you about that? How all the beauty, and wealth, and fashion of the country for miles around held "High Carnival" and a Terpsichorean convention in honor of the "hero of the Potomac," and Commander in chief of the Western Department? Well, then, here goes:

It was a grand success, to begin with. Regardless of weather most unpropitious, it passed off, creditably to the management, satisfactorily to the guests-delightfully to everybody. The evening of the 10 will be memorable in Chattanooga for many days to come. Other Festivals, civic and military, may imitate it-none can surpass it, follow when they will.

The night as the darkest and most tempestuous of the season. Yet the ladies heroic ally came, in coach and ambulance, and by conveyance of every known description. The gentlemen, with gallantry quite as commendable, surmounted gutter and curb, and waded to the rescue, with their pants rolled up. An immense railway-reflector cast a glare far across the entrance way, approaching which the indefatigable management had prepared an artificial walk.

You that were not there, hand me your ticket (in imagination,) and let us enter the portal. Here on the right, as you enter, is the Toilet-chamber, appropriated for the especial use of the Ladies. On the left-a similar apartment for the gentlemen. Pass beyond this ante-chamber and enter a magnificent hall, sufficient for a hundred couples, and studded with columns wreathed in evergreen and hung with tapers and as thick as the forest trees of Champ Elyses. [sic] From the ceiling festoons of cedar gracefully swing, and miniature flags of the young Confederacy flutter gaily from the rude cornice, everywhere about. The music stage is tastefully adorned with boughs, and against the wall above it, are the works "MANASSAS," "JOHNSTON," "SEVEN PINES," artistically worked in cedar. Everything evidences the taste and judgment of the unknown genius who supervised and managed the work of decoration. The lights are admirably arranged. Two brilliant reflectors from the rear corners of the room, and another at the stage, shed a bright, soft light about the apartment, and shivering little tapers peep through the boughs and branches like twinkling stars above the summer house. The scenic illusion is perfect. Such is the description. "On with the dance"-

A fine string band, in attendance, struck up suddenly, and in a moment, dozens of couples were whirling away in the Quadrille. Round and round they go in a perfect vortex of youth, beauty, brilliancy and gauze,: "amidst the blaze and lustres [sic]; in sylphs movements, espiegleries [sic], coquettries [sic], and minuet-mazes, with every movement a flash of star-rainbow colours, bright almost as the movements of the fair young soul it emblems." Let us forward, and move among the merry throng. Walk warily, big-footed "Jenkins," [?] lest you crush through somebody's [sic]' skirt of gossamer. Walk warily, for now, with thickening breath, thou approachest the moment of moments!


Girls to the right of us,

Girls to the left of us,

Girls in front of us,

         waiting and wondering;-


On "Jenkins," with they noble book. But Principalities and Powers, Parlement [sic], Grand Chambre and Tournell, with all their whips and gibbet wheels; the very crack of Doom hangs over thee, if thou trip. Forward with nerve of iron, on shoes of Felt; "like a Treasure-digger in silence, looking neither to the right or left, at the ladies-for under the rules of society it is:


Theirs not to question why,

Theirs not to make reply,

Theirs but to walk and sigh-

         Some young man has blundered."


Oh! How beautiful they looked, all of them, [I] mean the ladies. Especially those who smile beninguly [sic] and shot a patronizing glance or two at the grapevine. :Look at that bewitching little fairy skimming about the floor as if her slipper barely touched it; verily it would if her gallant did not follow her closely with his hand she would fly upward and away; here a matronly queen of elegance and beauty, the sight of whom sets you to speculating if the "dark and bloody ground" has many more lost such specimens"-if it has [sic] you want to go there after the war, that's what you want; but, here, a glorious Di Vernon of a creature sweeps by you with a train of admirers; there another, and another, then a Juno, in white, glides by and drops a sprig of evergreen, with a look, which plainly says: "Vous savez ce que cela Veut dire-and vanishes. Now approaches a brunette, the glance of whose basilisk eyes, brings peril to many susceptible bachelor hearts, and before which, even the reflectors pale their ineffectual fires, and wink dolefully [?] at each other, when she passes. Gods!- I feel like apostrophizing her-'dost thou bring with the aire from Heaven? In thy face yet radiant with [supine?] reflex of the brightest beyond bright? Back, back to they tropical birth-place for pity's sake, Enchantress, before too many hearts are broken among the hills of Cumberland-

Ah, lasses [?] of the [side? Olde?] black eyes,

The South's own peerless daughters

With what sweet pity do they gaze

Upon the[hearts they slaughter,

And [while upon their jeweled orbs?]


Its earnest longing intones,

And as it throbs steadily [?] away

[Here with the bright ladies?]

Yes, yes [illegible]....I might say much about the lord's [sic] of creation present but must deny them any eulogian [sic] who speak so well for themselves. All professions, from the belted tourney-knight, with star-gemmed collar, to the civilian, lawyer, judge and scholar were represented. The medical profession, especially, was represented largely and most respectably.

A midnight supper was announced-the band, with piano-forte attachment, struck up a march, and the company, in couples, repaired to a large hall in the upper story-where three tables, sumptuously spread with a gorgeous display of good things, met the surprised gaze. The tables aforesaid, like all other tables under similar occasions, of course, "groaned" a loud as any of it predecessors "beneath the weight of the rarest delicacies of the season" The viands were excellently cooked, the cakes were "rich, rare," (and some of those little peppered ones_-"racy;" the coffee "native" Rio Janero, [sic] "and to the manor born; the egg-nogg [sic] was superb. Then who cares for the revolution? We snap our fingers at war-times and hard-times, and full a bumper to the success of "THE CAUSE"-to the memory of the noble dead-to the health and glory of the living! No matter how croakers may prate about the inapprepriateness [sic] of such merry-makings at such a time-

Be ours the light sorrow, half sister to joy,

And the light brilliant folly that flashes and dies"

It is the only way to treat such times-such revolutionary times. Show the enemy that we are in a capital humor, and know how to make ourselves familiar with Dancing balls as well as Minnie [sic] balls.

Ah! It was a grand success, that Festival. I only regret that the distinguished warrior to honor of whom it was designed and gotten up was prevented from being present, because of urgent demands upon his presence elsewhere. The gentlemen managers deserve credit for their energy and taste, and in the successful arrangement of the affair won

"golden opinions from all sorts of people."

The ladies thought-what would it have been with their magic agency? Ah! Tis sublunary sphere, I verily believe could scarcely be made to "revolute," [sic] if they walked not upon its surface. I agree with a fair friend who remarks en passent, that woman is indispensable to man-especially in the cuisine and decorative department.

And, so-the Grapevine-fickle grapevine fell in love with all the ladies present. For see-

"This thus I go on every constant and blest,

For I find I've a great store of love in my breast,

And it never grows cool, for whenever I try

To get one in my heart-I get two in my eye.

Thus to all kinds of beauties I pray my devotions,

And all sorts of liquors by turns I make mine:

So I'll finish the thing,

Now you are that I sing

With a bumper to woman to season the wine."

Chattanooga Daily Rebel, March 12, 1863.



3/12/64, U. S. S. Peosta engages in counter-guerrilla raid at Pittsburg Landing environs

No circumstantial reports filed.

On March 12th, a Union Soldier signaled the Peosta that there was a party of guerrillas at Pittsburg Landing. The Gunboat proceeded upstream and heavily shelled the area of Pittsburg Landing. The crew then made several other landings attempting to seek out guerrillas as she proceeded downstream.

U. S. S. Peosta Daily Deck Log



3/12/64, 5th Tennessee (U. S.) Cavalry surprises and kills Texas Rangers in Overton County

No circumstantial reports filed.

Excerpt from the Report of Col. William B. Stokes, Fifth Tennessee Cavalry for Operations about Sparta, Tenn, Including Skirmishes on Calfkiller and near Beersheba

* * * *

The next day [12th] I sent out a force of 200 men, but they were unable to find the enemy in any force. While out they succeeded in killing 7 Texas Rangers, men of the most daring and desperate character. Among these was Lieut. Davis, the leader of the band. These men had been murdering and robbing Union citizens.

* * * *

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 32, pt. I, p. 494.



3/12/65, A visit from "Tinker Dave" Beatty's men in the Cherry Creek community

....We had a visit from seven of "tinker Dave" Baty's [sic] men as they are called. The whole company come [sic] down the river and went up the creek. They went across the hill by McCormac's, seven coming here. They rummaged around in some of the neighboring houses considerably, but never come [sic] in here. They asked about Rebels and guns, &c. One of the said he knew Fayette. The only damage they did was to take Father's hat with them to the bars [i.e., gate] knowing that they would leave them down. One fell behind and took Father's had and threw him an old straw pile [i.e., straw hat] as the girls called it. Which we burned after laughing at it as long as we wanted to. [sic] Mr. Frazor, one of the students, a one-armed man who boards at Johnson's, had been here in the morning for Father to fix his razor and to assist him in shaving, was at McCormac's, saw Father's hat, and come by to see what they had done. He said the "cut up generally" over there but Mrs. McC. "cup up" some too.

Diary of Amanda McDowell

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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