Wednesday, March 5, 2014

3/5/2014 Tennessee Civil War Notes



5, Report on pro-Union results of elections in Harding and McNairy counties. An excerpt from a report by Lieutenant William Gwin, U, S. N., to Flag Officer Andrew H. Foote

U. S. GUNBOAT TYLER, Cairo, Ill., March 5, 1862.

Flag-Officer ANDREW H. FOOTE, U. S. N., Cmdg. Naval Forces on Western Waters:

The results of the recent elections in Hardin and McNairy Counties, South Tennessee, will prove to you that the Union sentiment is very strong throughout that section of the State. The former gave 500 majority for the Union candidate out of a poll of 1,000 votes. The latter gave 200 majority Union out of a poll of 1,800 votes. The constant cry from them to me is, "Send us arms and a sufficient force to protect us in organizing, and we will drive the secessionists out of Tennessee ourselves." I enlisted a few more men. Capt. Phillips recruited several for his company. I have captured J. B. Kendrick, of Capt. Fitzgerald's company of Tennessee Volunteers, who represented himself as a colonel of militia of the State of Tennessee, and Clay Kendrick, private in Capt. Fitzgerald's company, Col. Crews' regiment Tennessee Volunteers.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

WM. GWIN, Lieut., Comdg. Div. of Gunboats on Tennessee River.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 10, pt. II, p. 8.



5, Military Execution in Nashville

Military Execution.

A correspondent of the Cincinnati Commercial, writing from Nashville, gives the annexed account of a military execution.

On the 5th inst., I witnessed, for the first time, a military execution. The circumstances are these" Michael Connell, a private in the 24th Oho regiment, while intoxicated shot at a corporal of the guard. He was arraigned, tried, and sentenced to death. The sentence was carried into effect in presence of the entire division. The sight was an awful impressive one. After the troops had taken up their position, closed in column, the prisoner was marched in, preceded by his coffin. He was accompanied by a priest, who ministered to him his last moments. The solemn death march wailed out from the band upon the cold winter air, and many a stout, brave hearts sickened. I saw eyes that are not given to the melting mood, brimming over with tears, and suppressed sobs were heard in the ranks.

The prisoner, poor fellow, marched firmly up to the place of execution, and faced the file of men that stood ready to fire upon him. Gen. Nelson waited until the last moment, trusting that a reprieve might come from Gen. Buell, and even sent an aid du camp down the road to look for the messenger, but in vain. The signal was at last give. A wave of the officer's sword, the sharp report of rifles, and Michael Connell's body dropped upon his coffin, four Minnie balls having pass entirely through him near the hear.

I have looked upon death in many forms, have seen scores of men killed in battle, but in all combined, never felt half the mortal terror that this scene produced. I never with to witness another execution. Peace to his ashes. He died the death of a soldier, and a brave one, too.

Memphis Daily Appeal, March 29, 1862. [1]



5, Solicitation for a Confederate Conscription Substitute


A Good, sound, substitute; not subject to conscription; a stout youth of 16 preferred: for particulars enquire of Mr. Gentey, at E. T. R. Depot.

Chattanooga Daily Rebel, March 5, 1863.



5, Satire of the Soiree and Ball in Confederate Chattanooga at "la Chatteau Krouge"

Not a "jumping jack" exactly-but an enthusiastic tripper of the "light fantastic." Months ago, "Bustamente" and your humble servants had the good fortune to receive an invitation to a Soiree dansante at "la Chatteau Krouge,"[sic] among the classic Cumberland Highlands. The Chatteau [sic] was thronged with the elite of the beauty and fashion of the time. Dulcet music from the timbrel, the lute, the triangle and the twanging banjo made the atmosphere mellifluous and...the brilliancy of which was only excelled by the sparkle of perilous glances, made the scene a very bright one.

Was ushered [sic] into an ante-chamber; was divested of my over-all and chapeau; was made to drink copiously of the fiery beverage of the season; was dragged thence by the elbow into a room full of moving couples, and was presented to an aerial bird of paradise, robed in tutle [sic] and gauze, who bowed to me with enchanting grace.

The first querry [sic] I shot at her:-"'Gaged for next set?"

"Yes, sir!" and she immediately renewed a conversation she had been successfully sustaining with half a dozen gallants surrounding her all at a time.

Here was a poser. There was no chance to get a work in edge-ways, nor to have it answered rationally if I did. My chaperone was gone, and I stood like a...candidate left out in the wet-feeling for my kneck-tie [sic] with one hand, and my pocket handkerchief with the other. Just then the awkwardness of position was somewhat rudely relieved by a couple from the set, returning backward, from "forward two," the frailer vessel of the convoy, bearing hull down against me with a concussion so violent that I was pitched headlong into the tap[?] of the bird of paradise. She screached [sic] a little scream, and I bounded up like sh t [sic] of a shovel. Gallants dispersed, cramming their handkerchief in their mounts-either to keep from laughing, or else they went to take "drink all round."

Again I apostrophised [sic] bird of paradise: "how many sets ''gaged for?"

She told me "about forty nine"-and I secured her fortieth-sheered off and drew up alongside another prize whom I secured in the next quadrille. Then began a lively dance. The gentle musician, an "American of African descent," enlivened the inspiring strains with innumerable vocal improvisations, such as "r-r-ti-tum, tiddy-liddy raddle, adle-ladie-and "kill yo' sef" [sic] as the scraping of slipper and pump shuffled merry time to the "delightful measures." Round we went in a perfect whirl of excitement, through and back, in and out, up and down, while the prompter at the top of his lungs kept rolling the white of his oculars and yelling out "lead up to the right," with a "ri-tum tiddy leddle addle, ledle, and t u r n [sic] yo' podner."

Just here, in a breathing spell, I tried my conversational powers upon my fair companion-subject [sic], "the weather." Had got so far as to suggest that the evening was quite spring like and balmy-when we "swung corners." My partner returning, asked me what it was I had said about Alabama. I was about to explain, when she made a bayonet thrust at my with her fan, and then laughing immoderately and mischievously, pointed it over my shoulder. I turned to discover a little sylph floating back and forth at me, (I don't know how long she had been in motion) and instinctively my feet took a double shuffle, and I turned the little danseuse [sic] and again tried to open up a conversation.

Did you ever indulge in small talk at a dancing party? Verily it is the most insipid of all small things. The ball-room is a Bable of unintelligible jargon, as different of comprehension as the signs of the Zodiac to a blind man. The ladies seldom if ever talk to each other on such occasions-the men always do-in groups; with accompanying winks, nudges, etc., that cannot appear on paper.

Much more is said, and much less that is, is ever remembered at such a time, than any other. Everybody talks to his partner, and everybody's partner talks to everybody and, all they say is nothing. Ever since the Western girl remarked at an Arkansas ball: "Here, Sir, hold my tater twell [sic] I trot a reel with this here feller with the store clothes," such has been the characteristic literature of the Quadrille.

You address a remark, which, if in a tone of voice happens to rise superior to the din of the fiddles, is as likely to be taken by anybody else's partner as your own. A remark is addressed to you, only half of which you happen to catch and comprehend, and you are consequently mystified for the balance of the sets. If you seek an explanation, you will discover, that the remark aforesaid was "oh! Nothing," or "I believe I forget now, what I did say," and so you are more curious and mystified than ever. But enough for the dance.

Among the current on dits [sic] of the hom [sic], I learn this evening that a grand Festival in honor of a distinguished man, is in contemplation, by the young men of the town. It will be announced. probably, in a few days.

Chattanooga Daily Rebel, March 5, 1863.



        5, Cavalry skirmish at Wood's Gap in Taylor's Ridge

No circumstantial reports filed.

CHATTANOOGA, March 5, 1864.

Brig. Gen. J. A. RAWLINS, Chief of Staff:

The enemy advanced a brigade of cavalry early this morning on Col. Harrison's pickets. Thirty-ninth Indiana Mounted Infantry, at Woods' Gap in Taylor's Ridge, and drove them back toward Lee and Gordon's Mills. The enemy then fell back through Gordon's Gap, as reported by Gen. Baird from Ringgold. A scout just from Dalton reports Johnston has been re-enforced by 10,000 men from South Carolina and by Roddey, and he believes he contemplates a forward movement.

GEO. H. THOMAS, Maj.-Gen.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 32, pt. III, pp. 21-22.



        5, Skirmish at Panther Springs


No. 1.-Brig. Gen. Jacob D. Cox, U. S. Army.

No. 2.-Col. William Cross, Third Tennessee Infantry.

No. 1.

Report of Brig. Gen. Jacob D. Cox, U. S. Army.

NEW MARKET, TENN., March 6, 1864.


* * * *

In the skirmish yesterday the rebels lost 9 killed, including a major. We lost 3 killed, 1 badly wounded, and nearly 20 prisoners. We have 2 rebel prisoners. No further news from the front.

J. D. COX, Brig.-Gen.

No. 2.

Report of Col. William Cross, Third Tennessee Infantry.

HDQRS. THIRD Regiment, EAST TENN. VOL. INFANTRY, Mossy Creek, Tenn., March 25, 1864.

SIR: In obedience to the requirements of existing orders, I herewith report that on the 5th day of March, 1864, Capt. John H. Cross, of Company C, and his command of Second Lieut. L. B. Gamble, Company G; First Lieut. Jasper P. Buckellew, Company K, and First Lieut. Edward C. Roberts, Company H, and 100 enlisted men of Companies C, G, H, and K, while on a reconnaissance to Panther Springs, Tenn., were attacked by a cavalry force of the enemy, greatly superior in numbers, and had a sharp engagement for three or four hours, finally repulsing the enemy, killing and wounding several....

All which is respectfully submitted.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

WM. CROSS, Col., Cmdg. Third Regiment, East Tenn. Vol. Infantry.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 32, pt. I, pp. 490-491.

HDQRS. NINTH ARMY CORPS, Mossy Creek, March 5, 1864--5.45 p. m.

Brig. Gen. J. D. COX, Acting Chief of Staff, &c.:

GEN.: A force of the enemy's cavalry appeared in our front this evening, following a detachment of the Twenty-third Corps of about 90 men from Panther Springs. The captain of this detachment has come in, and his report will doubtless be sent you from the headquarters of Twenty-third Corps.

They fired on our pickets. Two regiments were sent out to support the line. Gen. Ferrerro [sic] has just come in and reports seeing about 400 or 500 of the enemy, and that on pressing them they retired. We have 1 prisoner who says that he belongs to Giltner's brigade. No infantry with them; that Longstreet is at Bull's Gap, or from Bull's Gap to Greeneville. We have 1 man wounded slightly.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JNO. G. PARKE, Maj.-Gen.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 32, pt. III, p. 21.



5, Confederate riverine-commando raid frustrated at Kingston

From his Flagship the Black Hawk at the U. S. Navy Base, at Mound City, Illinois, Acting Rear-Admiral S. P. Lee, Commanding the Mississippi Squadron, issued General Orders No. 48. The order admonished all naval personnel to be on the lookout for rebel river raiders. As proof that this was no idle threat to river security Admiral Lee cited the following newspaper article, taken from the Louisville Journal of March 9, as copied from the pages of the Chattanooga Gazette of March 6. It described what appeared to be a new Confederate naval initiative:

On last Sunday morning, [5th][2] Captain Chapman, a pilot on the steamboat Chickamauga, being at his home at Chapman's Landing on the Tennessee River, 4 miles below Kingston, noticed that the rebel women of his neighborhood were moving around the country rather more than usual. These proceedings attracted his attention, because they are an infallible indication of some rebel movement being on foot. Thinking that perhaps some rebels from the army had returned to their homes, he took his gun and started out to see what was up. He went down toward the river, and had not gone off his own place before he made a startling discovery. Hauled close in to the shore, and concealed by brush from the view of any one passing up or down the river, was a large yawl, without any occupants, but heavily loaded with several boxes and various packages. Captain Chapman was within 20 feet of the boat before he discovered it. Immediately suspecting the state of affairs, he looked around to see if the owners of the boat were near, but could see no one. In a moment or two more his attention was attracted by hearing a gun cap snap. Without making any display of his having discovered the boat, he returned to his own house and then he started off to find some citizens to aid him. Gathering six of them together, he returned to the neighborhood where the boat was fastened. Here he discovered nine men on a hill about a half mile from where the boat had landed. Disposing his little force so as to get between them and their boat, he made a bold show of what men he had, and issuing orders to imaginary troops, called upon the rebels to lay down their arms and surrender. Their guns and ammunition having been wet by the recent heavy rains, and believing that a superior force was around them, they immediately complied; one of them however, after laying down his gun, jumped down the hill and disappeared. After laying down their arms they were ordered to march off a few yards, when their guns were secured. The whole party then proceeded to the boat. On the road the rebels asked where the rest of their captors were, and upon being informed that the seven present-on an old man, and one a mere boy-were the only force, the expressed great chagrin that, after having run hundreds of miles through the Federal pickets, they should at last be capture by "tories.' On arriving at the boat it was thoroughly inspected, but its load was treated with the greatest care, no one even desiring to touch the various articles of which it was composed. The boat itself was a regular-built yawl, 30 feet long, 3 feet deep, and 6 feet wide at the bottom, flaring out considerably. It is calculated to carry 40 men, and hold between 3 and 4 tons. It had "No. 3" painted on the sides. There were six oars in the boat, and were said by those who handled them to be of the very best make. Each oar is 16 feet long and was muffled. Each man in the party had a fine Enfield musket and a regular navy cutlass. One of the cutlasses was shown to us; including the handle, it is 23 feet 6 inches in length, and the blade is nearly two inches wide. On the handle are the letters "C. S. N." The boxes found in the boat are 1 ½ feet wide and 2 feet long, each containing a torpedo. A large number of fireballs, made by soaking balls of cotton in turpentine, were also found, but the most dangerous article of all was a sort of hand grenade and fireball combined. It was 6 inches in diameter and 10 inches long, and appears to have been made by winding cotton around some sort of an infernal machine. At one end is a cap so that the affair would burst on striking any hard substance, and, as if to make the assurance doubly sure, a fuse was inserted at the lower end, so that it might be lighted and would burn for some time before exploding. A network of copper wire kept the cotton in shape, and wooden handles 2 feet long were fixed in it, for the purpose of throwing the machine for some distance. As if the cotton itself was not inflammable enough, it had been dipped in some gummy preparation to make it burn fiercer. After examining everything, the prisoners were sent with a strong guard, to Kingston. After they started, Captain Chapman went over the fields to find the fellow that had escaped, and fortunately caught him within a short distance of where his companion had surrendered. The steamer Lookout came along about this time, and she took the yawl in tow, and the prisoners being placed on board, she went on to Kingston, where the Holston, received the precious boat and started with it for Knoxville.

One of the men captured had been keeping a diary, and from that and their conversation we learn somewhat of their plans and proceedings, though the former appear almost too rash and reckless for belief. It seems that the boat was built in Richmond, and its crew was composed of picked men from what the rebels term the Confederate States Navy. Leaving Richmond on the 3d of January last, they came to Bristol by rail, and went from there to the salt works, where the boat was placed on the waters of the Holston River. Their progress down the Holston was delayed by the low water, so that they were compelled to lie by for several days. They first passed the Federal pickets at Kingsport. We have heard that in passing under the bridge at Knoxville, they attempted to set fire to it, but were frightened off by the sentinels. They themselves say that their instructions were to commit no depredations until they got below Kingston. In passing under the bridge at Loudon they were hailed by the sentinels, but on replying that they were a trading boat, they were allowed to go on. After passing Loudon they stopped, and two of the chief officers went ashore and were captured by some of our forces, who came across them in some way. After waiting for these officers till they felt certain that they were captured, the boat under command of a Lieutenant Wharton, went on until they were finally discovered at Kingston. As to their plans, they may or may not be what the stated them to be, but they were certainly dangerous. After passing Kingston they were to burn every steamer that they could, and they had evidently intended to begin at the place where they were discovered, as it was but a short distance from Chapman's landing, at which place the steamers are in a habit of stopping to wood. Proceeding down the river, on arriving at Chattanooga, they were to fire all the boats at the landing and depots along Water Street. Next, sawmills and the shipyard were to be set on fire. It was supposed that by this time the burning boats and warehouses of the river front would attract the greater portion of the citizens and military to that locality, while they, landing at the foot of Seventh Street and coming into the western end of town, would fire the warehouses and depots.

Among the items of news which they communicated was one to the effect that Lee's army was to leave Richmond about the 1st of March and retreat in the direction of East Tennessee. The operations of these men were expected to clear away some of the obstructions to such an advance and render the march of the rebel army into Georgia comparatively easy. Fortunately for the residents of Chattanooga and the preservation of the vast amount of Government property in the shape of steamers depots, and quartermaster and subsistence stores stored about the city, the affair was discovered, and all the parties actively concerned in it arrested. It is to be hoped that if these raiders are found guilty of all the infernal plots with which they have been charged, that they will meet with speedy justice. The fate of Andrews, the Union soldier who, in 1862, attempted to burn the bridges on the Western & Atlantic Railroad, should be taken as a precedent.

Navy OR, Ser. I, Vol. 27, pp. 87-89.

The log[3] of the ill-fated mission showed that five of the Confederate river raiders were from Tennessee:

A. A. Wharton, 1st Lieutenant Commander, C. S. N.; Randolph R. Stiles, 2d Lieutenant, E. J. Douglas, Assistant Engineer, C. S. N.; J. S. Eparch, Lieutenant McClung's Battery, Tennessee Light Artillery; J. N. Jones, McClung's Battery, Tennessee Light Artillery, J. Wynn, private McClung's' Battery, Tennessee Light Artillery; R. A. Rudder, private, McClung's' Battery, Tennessee Light Artillery; C. W. Skinner, Landsman, C. S. N.; Robert Say, Seaman, C. S. N.; Thomas Milson, Ordnance Seaman, C. S. N.; Moses Borat, Landsman, C. S. N.; and W. H. Wharton, private, 7th Tennessee Infantry.

Brownlow's Knoxville Whig and Rebel Ventilator, March 8, 1865.




[1] PQCW

[2] Both February 5 and March 5, 1865, fell on a Sunday. It is therefore difficult to establish whether or not the capture took place in what month. March would seem most probable, except for the following, (cited above) which indicates the Confederate commandos were taken prisoner on February 14, 1865:

HDQRS. DISTRICT OF EAST TENNESSEE AND FOURTH DIVISION, TWENTY-THIRD ARMY CORPS, Knoxville, Tenn., February 25, 1865--7.15 p. m. [Received 27th.]

Maj. S. HOFFMAN, Asst. Adjt. Gen., Department of the Cumberland, Nashville:

Two officers in the uniform of and claiming to belong to the Confederate navy were captured yesterday [24th] near Loudon. They state they were of a party sent from Richmond to destroy the bridges and steamboats on the Tennessee River. The balance of the party made their escape and are [sic] still at large.

DAVIS TILLSON, Brig.-Gen., U. S. Volunteers, Cmdg. District and Division.


Maj. Gen. JAMES B. STEEDMAN, Chattanooga:

Two officers in the uniform of and claiming to belong to the Confederate navy were captured yesterday near Loudon. They state they were of a party sent to capture and destroy the steam-boats on the river. The remainder of the party made their escape and are [sic] still at large; they may attempt to carry out their plan. I respectfully suggest that guards on the boats be increased and cautioned to exercise unusual vigilance.

DAVIS TILLSON, Brig.-Gen., U. S. Volunteers, Cmdg. District and Division.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 49, pt. I, p. 769.

Apparently the rest of the party managed to hide out until March 5, 1865.

[3] The log began on January 19, 1865 and ended February 14, 1865. It is not known if the log is extant.

As reproduced in the newspaper, there was nothing remarkable about its contents. The fate of these rebel river raiders is not known, although inasmuch as the war would end in less than four weeks, and they were found in uniform, it is most likely they were paroled.

Referenced in neither OR nor Dyer's Battle Index for Tennessee.

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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