Thursday, April 17, 2014

4.17.14 Tennessee Civil War Notes

        17, 1861 - "They are prepared to render any service in the cause of Southern independence." Feminine support for secession in Memphis
The Ladies of Memphis.
In all the great revolutions which history records, woman has initiated the movement and led the van of public opinion. Her intuitions are more correct, her sympathies more active, and her innate sense of justice more keen than that of hardier man.
To a more delicate organization and sensitive faculties, it is perhaps due, that she responds more readily to the emotional virtues. The call of patriotism is never unheeded by woman. The same lively sentiment which caused her to be the last at the cross, and the earliest at the grave, impels her with equal zeal to participate most eagerly in every good work.
The enthusiasm of man never attains to such exalted height as when stimulated by the approval of women's smiles.
True to the brilliant history of their sex, the ladies of Memphis display a noble example to their relatives and friends of the other sex.
They are prepared to render any service in the cause of Southern independence. We heard to-day of one self-sacrificing maiden who donated the rich bracelet, which girdled her fair arm, to the purpose of aiding in the purpose of arms for those whose duty and pride it will be to bear them.
The handsome matrons and beautiful maidens, who constitute the ornament of our city, are animated by the same spirit which characterized the act of this fair donor. The following note, which we have just received at the hands of a bevy of the most charming young ladies of the city, expresses the patriotic sentiment which fills the hearts of all:
Memphis, April 16, 1861.
Editors of Appeal: We, the young ladies of Memphis, cannot bear arms in our country's cause, but our hearts are with you and our hands at your service, for making clothes, flags, or anything that a patriotic woman can do, for the southern men and southern independence.
Memphis Daily Appeal, April 17, 1861.

        17, Volunteer firemen convert to military company in Memphis
Fire and Blood.—We learn that the No. 3 company intend to add to their duties as firemen those of soldiers. They are about to equip themselves as a military company for home service. They will thus be in a condition to guard their fellow-citizens from sword as well as flame.
Memphis Daily Appeal, April 17, 1861

        17, 1862 - "The Women of the Revolution"
There is nothing more striking in the proceedings connected with the revolution now in progress, than the part taken in it by the women of the South. They are bearing their full share of the burden, and performing to supererogation, duties they have undertaken on the impulse of a devoted and self-sacrificing patriotism. In sharing the privations, and assuming a share of the labors essential to the final success of the cause in which the country is now engaged, the ladies of the South have not forsaken that gentleness of demeanor, nor those retires and modest habits that make them so engaging and so lovable. What they do is performed under impulses that are kept within the sway of propriety, with the calmness of well-regulated reason, and the circumspectness that flows from good sense.
The have all the warmth of patriotism, and the desire to render personal service in their country's cause, that distinguished that miracle of her sex, Joan of Arc. [sic] But they have no wild imaginings, no mystical dreams; they hear no strange voices calling them to their country's aid, as did the inspired maid of Orleans. For the women of the South of this day to know their country requires their aid is enough-they need no other call. Neither with Joan of Arc [sic] do they step from that gentle and loving domain where their mild graces, their quiet dignity, and their modest attractions make them so powerful, and so irresistible. They assume not, with the martyred Joan, [sic] habiliments unbecoming her sex; they put on no coat of mail, they wield no sword, they march not at the head of advancing armies, nor mix in the blood and carnage of the battle. The pattern they imitate is no Joan of Arc, [sic] issuing the work of command, amid the clangor of arms; no Charlotte Corday, [sic] apostophyzing [sic] liberty at the guillotine; but Florence Nightingale, [sic] the noble woman who has demonstrated that patriotism can be allied with benevolence, and active service in the cause of the country with the retiring characteristics of the female sex.
Since the war broke out, how many thousands of our gentle countrywomen, ladies raised in affluence whose fingers were more familiar with the piano keys than the needle, have spent months in laboriously sewing at the coarsest material to make clothing for our young men in the field. We have seen them from "early morn to dewy eve," seated patiently in some school-room, church or vestry, toiling as faithfully as the unhappy heroine of "The Song of the Shirt" at their laborious task. A rude, rough, harsh task it was, but "the boys" wanted clothing, and the country wanted the boys, and that was incentive enough and payment enough.
At the moment we are writing, hundreds of the gentlest ladies of the city are leaving their elegant homes where all the appliances and luxuries wealth procures surround them, to spend the day in hospitals, where sick and wounded soldiers are detained from their active duties in the field by wasting suffering. Overcoming the disgust that the least fastidious must feel at entering rooms crowded with beds, in which lie patients moaning with pain or wasting with disease, they seat themselves beside the sufferers couch; no, not crouch, but plain, prosy, hospital pallet, and look on and aid while the physician lays bare gaping wounds, while blood flows, and the lance pierces the torn flesh. They cool the brow with icy applications, smooth the pillow, administer the necessary potions, kindly coax the sufferer to partake of food offered with smiles, and reasoned with words of sympathy, and soft, womanly winningness, that is of itself the best of all medicine to the sick and suffering soldier, who can have no fond mother, no loving sister to watch, and soothe, and comfort in the pain, the lassitude, and the weary, weary hours of sleepless restlessness. Often we have watched delicately raised ladies performing kindnesses such as these, and more than it is necessary here to specify, until we have felt fully the sentiment experienced by a grateful Irishman, when he said of one who kindly nursed him in his sickness: "When I began to get better I used to lie for hours in my bed watching her, expecting every minute the wings would start from her shoulders, and she would fly back to heaven where she belonged."
But the Southern women do more than these things-they give their sons to their country. Stifling the pleadings of their hearts, subduing their fears, conquering the anguish that is rending their souls, deliberately encountering the days of fearful expectancy, and nights of despondent sleeplessness that must be their portion during the absence of their children, they send their loved ones forth to the battle. These are the sacrifices which "the women of the revolution" are making.
An incident that occurred in this city yesterday, which is mentioned in another part of this paper, illustrates the spirit that prevails among the ladies of the South at this moment. A soldier arrives mortally wounded from the field; the lady to whom he is engaged-one standing high on account of her attractive powers, amiable disposition, and unusual talent and acquirement-in order that she may have a wife's sacred right to lavish upon him all her cares, all her wealth of love, all the treasures her heart has hoarded up with a miser's care, to pour upon him when he should be her own-united her fate with his, and his few days will be gladdened, his sufferings lightened, his last moments soothed by the accomplishment of the great wish of his life.
When we contrast woman's' devotion, her cares, her toils, her self-immolation, her untiring labors, with what man does in the struggle of war, how striking is the difference! Man's path is strewed with carnage and deluged with blood; devastation, flame and death mark his desolating course; but woman's toils and efforts are all for good. They are glorified with the halo of charity; sympathy, gentleness and kindness immortalize her deeds. She seeks to shelter the houseless [sic], clothe the shivering, cure the sick, and assuage the sufferings of the wounded. With such attributes of affection and mercy about her, a sacred beauty, a holy purity environs her, and consecrates her works of mercy.
The history of the Southern revolution that will be read by future generations, will recount great deeds performed by brave and gallant men, heroes who died on the battle-field [sic] for their country's gain; but the story will be one of destruction and death. How bright will be the page in which "the women of the revolution" are mentioned-with what reverence will their deeds be regarded -- what a solemn sanctity will enshroud their memories! Earnestly will the women of the future commend to the imitation of their daughters the lofty virtues of "the women of the revolution."
Memphis Appeal, April 17, 1862.

        17, Report on the Cherokee Legion
Colonel Thomas of the Cherokee Legion.
In the Richmond Enquirer of the 8th we find the following allusion to our friend Colonel Thomas, and his aboriginal warriors:
In the mountains bordering on the line of Tennessee and North Carolina, dwells a remnant of the once warlike and formidable Cherokee nation. After the removal of the Cherokees to the far West, many families still remained in their old hunting grounds, among the Smoky mountains, and on the upper waters of the Little Tennessee. Many others, after accompanying their nation to the banks of the Arkansas, wandered back to their mountains and clear streams. But in those mountains and forests the Cherokee had no home; his hunting grounds were the property of the pale face, and he could only exist as a vagabond, and on sufferance. Colonel Thomas, a gentleman of North Carolina who owned a great tract of mountain country, looked with interest and kindness on their desolate condition and had heart enough to sympathise with their yearning and craving desire to dwell in the hunting grounds of their fathers. He set apart a large district for their residence, containing not only forests stocked with bear and deer, but also some fertile valley capable of producing corn and fruits. Here the "lost tribes" of the Cherokees have lived in peace for thirty years, fishing in the bright waters of the Hiwassie and Tennessee, hunting and cultivating the soil.[1] A gratifying return is now made for the braves of this small colony to the kind pale face who gave them back a home.
Memphis Daily Appeal, April 17, 1863. [2]

        17, Fortifications, Fires and Foiled Prisoner of War Escape in Chattanooga
Head Quarters O.V.S.S
Chattanooga Tennessee. April 17 1864
My Dear H.L.
….All is quiet here. Work is going on rapidly on the fortifications. Chattanooga will be impregnable It could not now be taken with the whole southern confederacy we think. There have been several large fires in town lately, which I think indicates the presence of spies and incendiaries. Yesterday apart of the largest block in the town was burned. It was the intention no doubt to burn the military prison which was in the block and the only one saved on that side of the fire. The plan was for the prisoners to escape in the melee but it did not work and the building was saved….
* * * *
Barber Correspondence.

        17, Report on the Knoxville-Greeneville Convention, April 12-April 17, 1864.
Special Correspondence of the Inquirer.
Knoxville, Tenn., April 17, 1864.
The Knoxville-Greenville [sic] Convention, of which so much has been said and written, has met and adjourned. Why it was known as the Knoxville-Greenville [sic] Convention was because, in the fall of 1861, a large number of prominent men of East Tennessee met at Greenville [sic], and drew up papers memorializing the Legislature to permit the separation of East Tennessee. This thin that body would not do. The loyal people, a few months ago, determined upon a resuscitation of the Greenville [sic] convention, and appointed as a time of meeting the 12th inst. [of April].
Until with a month past the masses of the people of this section, and the prominent men beside, have been strongly in favor of separation from the disloyal portions of the State, known as Middle and West Tennessee. As time rolled on, however, separation became a critical [issue], and a certain clique known to be in opposition to the popular measures of the day, including a Brigadier-General, turned from a position in opposition to separation and became the authors of expressions favorable thereto.
During this time, however, through the solicitations of the Union men of Middle and East Tennessee, Parson Brownlow, of the Whig, and James Hood, of the Chattanooga Gazette, took down their banners for separation, and made the fact known to their readers that, much as separation was desired, the present was an inauspicious time to urge such a proceeding. Many of the prominent men of this county, who had all along been in favor of separation, advised their friends to favor a postponement of the matter to an indefinite time.
The suffering people of this country are too loyal to wander from the circumspect path in which they have hitherto walked. It became well-known all over East Tennessee, or that portion of it rid of Rebel troops, that Governor Johnson had declared that the separation of East Tennessee at the present time would be an unfortunate event, and it became evident on Monday night that the Convention would meet and adjourn without taking any steps on the matter at all.
The Convention met on Tuesday, one hundred and sixty-one delegates present. Very little business was transacted, however, the first day. Judge Nelson occupied the chair at the opening, being the old Chairman of the Greenville [sic] Convention. He resigned in the morning, though, after making an explanatory speech, explanatory form the fact that, during the existence of the Rebellion, he had filed off once in favor of Jeff. Davis, arguing that the President's Emancipation Proclamation was forever a barrier to the reunion of the States. He patched it up as well as he could, but it was plain to all upon which side were his preferences.
Before the close of the day two parties had become created, and the report of the Business Committee settled it that there was some fighting to take place, as they reported two sets of resolutions-the majority report being extremely queer, as if forgave all traitors; forge all those murderers and thugs of East Tennessee who had caused the deaths of hundreds of loyal men of this section. The minority report, however, recommended the immediate calling of a State Convention, and declared themselves in favor of the renomination of Mr. Lincoln and of emancipation, the system of which should be decided by a State Convention.
Governor Johnson, Parson Brownlow, L. C. Houck, Daniel Treuhitt and James Hood have used up the week and the Convention in speeches, favoring immediate emancipation, calling for a State Convention, and endorsing the Administration. Governor Johnson has made seven great speeches since he left Nashville. Two Brigadier-Generals of Tennessee expressed themselves in favor of the resolutions forgiving all traitors. They were bitterly denounced by Parson Brownlow.
Governor Johnson's speeches were all great efforts. In one speech he said that slavery was dead, and it was judicious to clean out slavery and treason at the same time, the latter could not exist without the former.
He will make a grand speech at a mass meeting to be held tomorrow night.
The Philadelphia Inquirer, April 23, 1864.[3]

        17, "For truly secession has been the greatest tyrant that ever reigned over this country." News of the fall of the Confederacy reaches the Cherry Creek community in White County, an entry in the journal of Amanda McDowell
The girls keep my ink and things carried off so that I cannot get to write when I want to. There is some great news. I have been looking for a grand smash up for sometime, things have been so still. And [I] guess from all accounts that the great Southern Confederacy is about "gone up for ninety days" as the boys say. The news is (and it is corroborated and told over by every new arrival from Nashville) that Lee, his whole army, Petersburg, Richmond, and some say Davis himself is taken. The latter item is hardly true, but the rest is true, I expect. Some are already rejoicing over the downfall of their oppressors. For truly secession has been the greatest tyrant that ever reigned over this country. For my own part, I try not to rejoice at any one's downfall, but so far as I think will be for the good of their own souls. But I do rejoice in the prospect for peace. Some thing it will certainly be made. I fear we are going to be disappointed by will live in hope. Newton Camron got home yesterday. He has been in prison, but was exchanged and made tracks for home. A year or two ago he felt awfully disgraced because P. came home from the Southern army. I wonder how his pulse beats on the subject now. He says Stephen Williams will be at home in a few days.
Diary of Amanda McDowell.

        17, Revocation of Amnesty Oaths
GENERAL ORDERS, No. 22. HDQRS. DEPT. OF THE CUMBERLAND, Nashville, Tenn., April 17, 1865.
Whereas, certain rebels, former residents of the State of Tennessee and other portions of the Department of the Cumberland, having cast their lot with the Southern Confederacy in rebellion against the Government of the United States, and countenanced that rebellion by their presence within its limits, and frequently by their active assistance during the present war, and having recently become convinced that all attempts to establish such Confederacy must and have proved vain and futile, and now wishing to secure themselves in the full possession of their property and all the rights of good and loyal citizens of the United States, have returned within the Federal lines and taken the amnesty oath, at places sometimes remote from their former places of residence, and where they are known, without the knowledge and consent of the
major-general commanding the department, not, as is believed, from love of their country or repentance for their past recreancy; it is hereby--
Ordered, That all amnesty oaths administered to any person or persons not bona fide deserters from the rank and file of the rebel army, and with the consent of the major-general commanding, no matter where or by whom administered, since the 15th of December last, are hereby revoked and pronounced null and void, and hereafter no amnesty oath administered to persons coming to or living within this department will be regarded or considered valid, unless taken with the knowledge and consent of the commanding general of the same.
By command of Maj.-Gen. Thomas:
WM. D. WHIPPLE, Assistant Adjutant-Gen.
OR, Ser. I, Vol. 49, pt. II, pp. 377-378.[4]

[1] It may have been more practical a matter for Thomas. The land he "gave" to the Cherokee were now defended by his own game wardens who managed the land in a fashion that led to sound conservation-management practices, thus protecting Thomas' investment. Moreover, he would not have to expend money and time in constantly tracking them down and expelling them from his land holdings.
[2] As cited in PQCW.
[3] See also: The Baltimore Sun, April 14, 1864.
[4] See also: New York Times, April 18, 1865.

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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