Saturday, March 29, 2014

3,29.2014 Tennessee Civil War Notes

29, Maynard rifles as a recruiting tool in Memphis

Maynard Rifles.—About thirty rifles have been received in this city by young gentlemen who are practicing with a view to form a new military company. It is suggested that there are probably a hundred of these rifles in the city, and that it would be well for their owners to meet and practice in concert. If any disposition is shown to accept of this proposition the time and place of meeting will be named.

Memphis Daily Appeal, March 29, 1861.



29, Sons of the South to serve the Confederacy

Military Services Rendered.—The Sons of the South, who now number eighty men, and will soon amount to a hundred, have an agent in Montgomery, Ala., tendering their services to the Confederated States. A dispatch was yesterday received, stating that the tender was accepted, and the company must hold itself in readiness to march at an early day. Judge Winslow, who is a relation of Jeff Davis, and who has recently returned from Mexico, is their commander.

Memphis Daily Appeal, March 29, 1861.



        29, The New York World's observations on the women of Nashville

The Ladies of Nashville.

All the correspondents of the Northern press, writing from Nashville, credit the ladies of that city with demonstrating the most ultra southern sentiments. There seems to be no misunderstanding their political proclivities. Here is what the correspondent of the New York World thinks of them:

["] While I am on the subject of manners and deportment, I will occupy a paragraph with the she-cessionists of this city. They are our most rancorous and rantankerous opponents. To be sure, they do not rush into the streets and fall upon our troops with broomsticks and bodkins, but they do fall upon them in doors with a weapon of which they have long been expert mistresses. Such an exhibition of acerbity, vengeance and venom I have never seen exceeded. Countenances that have heretofore belonged to the softest of the softer sex, seem now to have become the property of very vixens. These amiables gnash upon us with their teeth. They breathe out threatenings and slaughter against us. Their eyes—blue, black, or grey—ordinarily captivating from their languid luster, are transformed into balls of fire, and emit sparks that smarten the spot they fall on. Mouths, usually slow, simpering and sweet of speech, now chatter away with the most energetic animosity.

The older females share the spirit of the sulkier sex, and move like hoopless specters about their dark and dismal residences. I called upon one of them with a greeting and message from her sister in Illinois, from whom she had long been blockaded. I presented them to her. [Silence.]; I observed that it was a fine day. She said it was. I did not ask her to be seated. I did not send any word by her to her sister in Illinois. I bid her good afternoon. She did the same to me.

I shall make no further attempts at describing the condition of this people. It exceeds description. Suffice it to say that the citizens of Nashville are in what Lindley Murray would call the indicative mood, and blue [sic]perfect tense. I must not fail to say, however, before leaving my lampoon of the ladies, that all of them are not of this unnatural pattern. No, no; the blessing of our wounded ones here upon female philanthropy would rebuke the discrepancy. The hospitals are abundant in the charity and attention of women. Among them is the venerable Mrs. James K. Polk. ["]

On the same subject the Dayton (O.) Journal publishes, by permission, the following, from a private letter from Lieut. R. W. Lowe, of the 19th, United States army, dated Nashville, March 9th. Lieut. Lowe says:

["] Everything is dead in Nashville, and the people are very bitter. Most of the men have long since left, but the women are as mean and impudent as possible. Whenever they pass a soldier on the street, they twist their pretty faces into all imaginable shapes to express their intense disgust, and if you get into conversation with them, they will wish you all manner of evil, and abuse you without mercy. Even at church, this morning, they turned up their noses disdainfully at my shoulder-straps and brass buttons. One young miss in the choir expressed herself by displaying a miniature secession flag. It will take a long time to win these people back, but I firmly believe that fraternal feelings will one day be restored.["];

Memphis Daily Appeal, March 29, 1862.



        29, Criminal Activity in Confederate Memphis

A DESPERATE CHARACTER-POLICEMAN SHOT. We stated several times just before martial law was proclaimed that many bad and desperate men, driven from Richmond by martial law, from Nashville by its surrender to the enemy, and from New Orleans by the strict enforcement of the militia law, had taken refuge in Memphis. Among them was a company of ten or twelve of the most complete villains of New Orleans, to which band is attributed most of the highway robberies that have occurred in the city of late, and it is believed by the police that among this gang was a man who murdered the cigar dealer Honuewald, on Jefferson street. Mellvoy, whose pranks in the city and mutiny in camp-after having joined Capt. Bryan's company to avoid imprisonment in jail-we have already chronicled,[1] was one of this gang. Another one of them was a man whose character embraces all we understand by the work desperate-reckless, unscrupulous, and blood-thirsty. He has been arrested a time or two by our police as a vagrant, and fined fifty dollars and sentenced to jail for sixty days. He was sometimes known by the name of John Williams, sometimes by that of John Smith. To escape the term of imprisonment he volunteered into Capt. May's company, but after being in camp a single day he deserted.

The police of the city were instructed to apprehend him, and on Thursday night officers Fleming and Hume found him on Gayoso street, and were about to take him into custody when he made a blow at officer Fleming, cutting him, but not seriously, on the nose; he ten drew a revolver, and shot at the officers three times without hitting them, and made good his escape. Strict search was made for him during the night and all yesterday. Lieut. Morrison, with several policemen, endeavored to find his hiding place in vain. Last evening officers O'Brien, Ryan, Brannan and Madden were detailed to watch a house of ill-fame on Winchester street, kept by Madame Miller. At 7 o'clock he was seen approaching, when Ryan endeavored to take him. He immediately drew a pistol and fired at him. The whole of the officers then approached him, when he fired three times more. One of the bullets struck Officer O'Brien in the right arm, breaking the small bone below the elbow, but doing no fatal injury. He then ran off, pursued by the other policemen, trying to escape by the alley. Brannan ran forward towards the jail, and there headed Williams; he met him as he was running, and by a well directed blow of his mace, knocked him down. He was then placed in jail, and will be brought before the Provost Marshal for examination. Williams being a soldier, and the wounded policeman being on the Provost Marshal's service, he will probably be dealt with by martial law.

Memphis Daily Appeal, March 29, 1862. [2]



        29, "Mount Olivet Cemetery"

The Local of the Press [sic] visited this cemetery last Saturday evening, and for a time revelled [sic] in its melancholy beauty. "Though this is still one of the most beautiful; cities of the dead,' (he says,) the iron heel of war has left its imprint on its history. Many of its shade trees and much of the shrubbery have been wantonly destroyed, and several private vaults have been broken open, the door robbed of their silver mounting, and, in some cases, the tops of the coffins have been forced open. All good men, whether citizens or soldiers, should frown down such shameful lawlessness, and endeavor to bring the guilty party to punishment. The home of the dead should be the most sacred spot on earth, and every precaution used to prevent bad men from touching it with their polluted hands. The enclosure has been torn down, and cattle now roam over the graves at will, and the graveyard is not the sacred spot that it should be."

Nashville Dispatch, March 29, 1864.



        29, "Jack McGavock Shot."

One of the most notorious thieves and desperate of negroes [sic] in this neighborhood, was shot by the guard about eight o'clock yesterday morning. Mr. William Patterson, the superintendent, had taken Jack, with others, from the workhouse to near the water works, when Jack broke away and ran some distance refusing to halt when called upon. A shot was fired after him, but still he pushed on, when Mr. Patterson, Jack being about eighty yards off, fired again, the ball entering the back and killing him instantly. P.B. Coleman, at the work house, when the jury returned a verdict in accordance with the above facts, adding "that the jury do further find that said Patterson was fully justified, by the law of the State of Tennessee in shooting said negro [sic]." The jury consisted of W. H. Fuller, W. D. Howe, Wm. T. Wright; Wm. Buchanan, N. W. Moore, Wm. B. Powell, W. F. Simpson.

Nashville Dispatch, March 29, 1864.



        29, "The 'Forty Thieves.'"

This gang of juvenile thieves are still operating in our city. Yesterday several of them were engaged in selling oranges and lemons, with a basket on their arms. They resort to every petty species of merchandising to avert suspicion, and under the cover of their traffic, succeed in robbing their victims. We are informed that a portion of the gang left for Huntsville and Chattanooga yesterday morning to prosecute their labors in a more "congenial clime." Some five or six of them have been arrested here, and convicted. This may tend to disperse the band, as the police and citizens are on the alert for them. Their debut in Nashville has proved very unsuccessful, and there is no prospect of their keeping out of the clutches of our police if they remain. Under these circumstances we would suggest to "the boys" that they procure a pass from the Provost Marshal and return to Louisville. They may be sufficiently skilled in the art of picking pockets and stealing calico, for that city, but they are sadly deficient in the necessary requisites for their business in such a city as this. Stealing has been reduced to a science here, and the most proficient of the calling are "gobbled" daily. It is folly of the "forty thieves" or any other thieves to enter into competition with the experts of this place, Dick Turpin and Sixteen String Jack[3], if they were living, would starve to death in less than a week in this city, if they were not assassinated before the got fairly under way.

Nashville Dispatch, March 29, 1865.





[1] Not found.

[2] As cited in PQCW.

[3] Dick Turpin and John Rann, also known as Sixteen String Jack, were highwaymen during the 1700s. Dick Turpin plied his trade in England and was hanged in 1739. Sixteen String Jack, so named for the eight strings with tassels at each knee of his breeches, terrorized Scotland until his hanging in 1774. Thanks to Kassandra Hassler, TSL&A Reference Department.

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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