Wednesday, March 19, 2014

3/19/2014 Tennessee Civil War Notes

19, Wealth and tax brackets in Memphis

The City Taxpayers and Their Wealth.

The tax ledger in the controller's office shows that assessments for the present corporate year, have been made as follows:

717 taxpayers of from $1000 to $3000; 341 of from $3000 to $5000; 334 of from $5000 to $10,000; 141 of from $10,000 to $15,000; 93 of from $15,000 to $20,000; 56 of from $25,000 to $30,000; 19 of from $30,000 to $35,000; 27 of from $35,000 to $40,000; 16 of from $40,000 to $45,000; 12 of from $45,000 to $50,000.

Taxpayers of $50,000 and upward, each are as follows: [list of 60 names with amounts follows]

From the same source we learn that $1,389,000 of the above is assessed upon property held and owned by married and single ladies (the names of the latter class, we understand, cannot be ascertained by batchelors [sic] without a fee) and that the sum of $54,000 is assessed upon property held and owned by free persons of color, eighteen in number.

For the above very entertaining statement we are indebted to the city controller, W. O. Lefland, Esq. It affords a proof of the accuracy and clearness of the city accounts as kept in his office.

Memphis Daily Appeal, March 19, 1861.



19, Ms. S. McNairy and Major-General A. McD. McCook

Spirit of the Nashville Ladies.

So long as the ladies of Nashville exhibit the spirit indicated by the two following incidents, which were procured from an entirely reliable source, we can never despair:

When Gen. McCook, of the Lincoln army, arrived in Nashville, he sent up his card with the request that he might renew his former acquaintance with Miss S. McNairy. The following was the patriotic reply of the noble and accomplished lady, written upon the back of the card:

"Sir: I do not desire to renew any acquaintance with the invaders of my State!"

Two other Hessian officers obtruded their presence into the parlor of Dr. Martin, and sent up their cards to his daughter, Miss Bettie Martin, an elegant and accomplished young lady, requesting also the renewal of an old acquaintanceship. Repairing to the parlor, with a look of ineffable scorn and contempt, she dashed the cards into their faces, and said: "Your absence, Sirs, will be much better company to me than your presence."

Tennesseans, are you not proud of your women? Will not these noble responses nerve your arms in the hour of battle?

[Knoxville Register]

Montgomery Weekly Advertiser, March 19, 1862.[1]



19, "Let Andrew Johnson beware. He may find a Corday in every woman he meets; he may expect at every corner, in every crowd, the ball that is to send him to his Maker's presence, unshrived of his odious crimes." A call for resistance to the pending Union occupation

Another Appeal to the People of Tennessee.

Editors Appeal: Gen. Beauregard appeals to the planters for their bells, to be cast into cannon. If our country needs the metal, should not our churches give their bells to this sacred cause? True worshipers need no sounding brass to call them to the house of God. In times like these the human heart naturally flows out in prayer; every thought is a prayer—prayer for our imperiled country, imperiled friends. These bells have long served in well-doing. Thousands of straying feet have they called into the paths of peace, up to religion's altar. There is now a stern duty to perform—sterner, but no less sacred. Mold these bells into cannon and let their roar sound the death-knell of tyranny. Let their thunderous music make the song Tennesseans most delight in. Memphis may fall into the hands of the Vandals, and if Memphis falls, her men, her metal must fall back and fight on for freedom. At this time the South can ill afford to have either her men or her metal fastened up within Yankee pickets.

The Yankees are astonished at southern hopefulness. One of their reporters, writing from Clarksville, says: "Strange as it may seem to those who, flushed with recent success, are predicting the war will end in a month, these people seem to believe in the ultimate success of their cause."; And why should we not believe in our ultimate success?; Because within the last two months we have met several severe defeats?; How little you seem to know—we will not say of southern nature—but of human nature, Mr. Reporter. Our defeats have only made us in more deadly earnest. We are just getting properly stirred up. The fall of fifty Fort Donelsons will not find us conquered. You may pour in your Yankee hordes until our race is extinct, but not conquered. You may slay the eight millions of men, now arrayed against you, but there are as many boys growing up to whom their mothers will teach an eternal hatred of the murderers of their fathers, the invaders of their homes, the polluters of their country's soil. In time these boys will be men, and the sons of southern mothers are not born for bondage. The day of reckoning will come.

It is probable that the enemy may get possession of the Mississippi river, of the cities on her banks, of the cities on the Atlantic coast, and yet the fight will be but begun. Even in that case, our condition would not be so bad as other nations have fallen into, yet have struggled up from victoriously. I have already mentioned the case of Prussia, with only five millions of inhabitants, fighting for seven years against allied Europe. In the annals of the world there is not a parallel to so unequal a contest—five millions of people at war with one hundred millions, yet triumphant in the end!

After the dreadful battle of Pavia, which left ten thousand Frenchmen dead on the field, Francis I himself made prisoner, dispatched a letter to his mother, Louise, the regent, containing only these words:; "Madam, all is lost except our honor."

The honor of a nation is its soul, its spirit. Until our honor be lost, there will always be power to retrieve disasters. The honor of the South is untarnished.

When Francis I, the brave, chivalrous king of France, sent that memorable letter to his mother, the kingdom was in a fearful condition. Robertson says:; "France, without a sovereign, without money in her treasury, without an army, without generals to command, encompassed on all sides by a victorious and active enemy, seemed to be on the very brink of destruction. But the great abilities of Louise, the regent, saved the kingdom. Instead of giving herself up to lamentations, as were natural to a woman so remarkable for her maternal tenderness, she discovered all the foresight, and exerted all the activity of a consummate politician."

In the history of the world there are many such examples; and yet, in the face of history, our foolish foes persist in believing the South is conquered because we have lost two half-manned forts.

"Whom the gods destroy, they first make mad."

We will not positively assert that the gods intend to destroy the Yankee race, but are positive they have lost all common sense. Witness this extract from a Yankee reporter to a northern paper:

"Gen. Smith has made a very favorably impression upon them (the Clarksville people.); The gray-headed old veteran looks a soldier. Whatever latent Union feeling there may be in the place he will draw it out. His treatment of a pompous rebel the other day was characteristic. The man called on him to ask a special favor. "Who are you, sir," asked the general?; "I am a Southerner, sir, and not ashamed to say, a Secessionist."; "Get out of my room, you scoundrel!; I don't talk to traitors!; Get out of my room!"

We look in vain to find the irony in this statement, but no!; the reporter is in cool, dead earnest. In the same passage that tells us, 'if there is any latent Union feeling Gen. Smith will be sure to draw it out," he gives us a sample of the general's low bred bullying of a southern gentleman for the honest utterance of his sentiments. If this is the way Gen. Smith proposes to "draw out Union feeling," we confidently predict he will not, in a hundred years, get enough to fill a pint bottle.

Andrew Johnson has accepted the position of military governor of Tennessee. The Yankees think there is a peculiar fitness in this appointment. So think we. We prefer they send us Andrew Johnson to any man in the world, unless it be Emerson Etheridge. There is but little difference between them. Let us be content with Andy and return dutiful thanks to Abraham for all such favors. Our purpose in mentioning this matter, is to hereby extend to that military governor an invitation from us, the women of Memphis, to visit our city. From our hearts we hope he may come, and when he comes, when Tennessee soil is dishonored by the tread of that dastard traitor, let him beware. In her darkest days of oppression France had her Charlotte Corday, [2] and when the dark days fall on Tennessee, her men may be beyond her borders fighting in the ranks of freemen, but her women will be left. Let Andrew Johnson beware. He may find a Corday in every woman he meets; he may expect at every corner, in every crowd, the ball that is to send him to his Maker's presence, unshrived of his odious crimes.

The Wife of a Soldier.

Memphis Daily Appeal, March 19, 1862.



19, The Federal Army's Persecution of Confederate Women and Children in East Tennessee

Affairs In East Tennessee.

A refugee from Tennessee, who has just left our lines there, gives the most deplorable account of the situation of the unhappy people of that State. Both classes, Unionists and Confederates, have come under the ban of the two armies, and what property has been spared by one has been appropriated by the other. Most of the residents consist solely of women and children, and these have been stripped of all save what they have upon their backs, and the few blankets that protect them from the cold at night. They are clad in cotton rags, bare foot and hungry, and live only on the meagre allowance they have managed to bury or otherwise secrete. Negroes, once the property of well-to-do farmers, have returned to their homes, backed by Yankee troops and bayonets, and perpetrated unnamable enormities. The wives and children of "rebels" are debarred from the purchase of even the necessaries of life, unless they first take the hated oath of allegiance, while hundreds and thousands have been driven into exile, and are now scattered through the army and through the more Southern States where they seek the liberty denied them at home.

A favorite occupation of these blue-uniformed wretches, of late, has been, and still is, to march abruptly upon some quiet residence, occupied by women and children, give them twenty four hours' notice to leave, and then send them, under guard, across the lines where they arrive penniless, friendless and alone.

God only knows the sufferings that have been endured in this struggle, but as sure as He over-rules the destinies of mankind, just so certain is the hand of avenging justice to fall with blighting weight upon these more than diabolical oppressors.

The Daily South Carolinian, March 19, 1864. [3]


[1] As cited in:

[2] French Revolutionary heroine who was guillotined for the assassination of Jean Paul Marat in 1793.

[3] TSL&A, 19th CN.

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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