Friday, April 18, 2014

4.18.14 Good Friday - Tennessee Civil War Notes

        18, Reply to Connecticut-Tennessean's offer of support for the Confederacy


THOMAS YEATMAN, Esq., New Haven, Conn.:

SIR: Your communication to the President of the Confederate States has been submitted to this Department, and I am instructed by the Secretary of War to express his warm appreciation of your loyalty and patriotism, as evinced by your proposition. Events indicate even a very short time it will become proper to receive into the forces of this Confederacy troops like those you propose to raise. Confident as we are of our ability to repel all aggression, this Government is disposed to welcome among the defenders of our institutions all such as are willing to assist in the re-establishment of sound principles on this continent. I am further instructed to say that while the Government is not at this moment prepared to accept absolutely your offer it trusts as this Department shall be able to do so, at which time notice of the point within the Confederate States at which you will be received will immediately be forwarded to you. The Secretary offers you the expression of his high esteem.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

J. J. HOOPER, Private Secretary.

OR, Ser. IV, Vol. 1, p. 225.



        18, "Why, it has turned out like the other promises of rich rebels to the victims whom they have trapped in their damnable net."

Rebel Liberality to the Poor.

Some "Old Treasures"—The Poor Used as Cats paws by Rich Rebels.

In the Nashville Union and American of April 22d, 1861, the bloody-minded Secession organ which called for confiscation, banishment, imprisonment and hanging for all that remained loyal to the Union; we find this exceedingly magnanimous and stirring offer from one of our citizens. The editor of the Union calls it— 

The Voice of a Venerable Patriot.—R. C. Foster, Sr., sends to the Patriot the following patriotic proposition, which we gladly publish:

["]Nashville, April 22, 1861.

To the Editors of the Patriot: From age and infirmity I am unable to do service on the battle-field for the rights of the South; but I am a volunteer with any number of Tennesseans under like disability, to pay annually to the Governor of Tennessee two hundred dollars for the comfort and support of the wives and children of the citizens soldiers of Tennessee, whilst serving in defense of the constitutional rights of the South.

R. C. Foster, Sr. ["]

Noble, warm and generous proposition! It does credit to humanity. The promise held out is splendid. We have no doubt that many a poor mechanic, many a needy laborer as he embraced and kissed his wife and children before going into the rebel army pointed his family to this generous card, and consoled them in their bitter bereavement by exhibiting it all-comprehensive philanthropy. What about the fulfillment of the promise? Has it ever happened? Who has heard of it being done? What has become of this fostering care so kindly pledged to the poor? Why, it has turned out like the other promises of rich rebels to the victims whom they have trapped in their damnable net. We published the other day a list of cards from wealthy Nashville rebels, similar to the one which we have given above, in the magnificence of their promises and the nothingness of their fulfillment. Yes, confiding and misguided men have been seduced from their country's flag, and their dependent families, and are now wandering utterly deserted, friendless and penniless, in distant States, abandoned by the very tempters whose poisoned tongues and hollow professions corrupted, misled and ruined them. The Secretary of the Sanitary Commission at St. Louis wrote to Gov. Johnson on the 19th of March, that citizens of Tennessee formerly belonging to the rebel army were "wandering through the streets of that city without the means of living or returning to their homes." Gov. Johnson called upon the men of this place who had made so grandiloquent promises for aid, but not one dollar has been given! There is the real spirit of the Secession leaders. They are eager to use the poor as tools to do their work, and then cast them contemptuously away when they have got into power. The rebel organ itself, the Nashville Union and American, could not refrain from rebuking the extortion practiced by the wealthy upon the poor, and denounced it in its issue of September 18, 1861, in these terms:

["]We have an army of women in our midst, with an average of three children each, whose husbands are fighting our battles. These mothers earn about thirty cents a day, when they can get the work to do. Their helpless offspring are clad in the thin and worn garments of last spring, shoeless and stocking less. They are to be shod and clothed for the winter, and fed, even if it be upon cheap bread alone. Yesterday reminded us that they must have fires to protect them from "winter's chilly blasts." There is within the limits of the city a sufficiency of coal. If economically used, to last until spring. This coal cost only peace prices to mine and deliver it here, and twenty days ago, as we are informed, it could have been bought at twenty cents per bushel, and a handsome bonus would have been paid to the person who would have found a purchaser, because it would have been a good speculation on the part of holders to have sold out at that rate. Yesterday thirty five and forty cents per bushel were demanded, with an intimation that to day the price may be fifty cents.

In the name of humanity, shall this army of women and helpless children, the wives and children of the brave men who are paying their lives that we may have peace and independence—freeze, because the exorbitant prices demanded by holders had placed coal out of the reach of their limited means? A more gloomy prospect for winter certainly never has hung over the poor of this city and especially in cases where the heads of families have gone to drive the invaders from Southern soil. Almost every necessity of life has gone up to worse even than famine prices. It really seems as if sharpers had combined to monopolize the trade, and to fatten upon the necessities of those who are fighting the battles of their country. We hear one universal complaint that the prices of almost every comfort as well as necessity, are exorbitantly high. The people, who [illegible] now by their labor than they did before the war commenced, cannot [illegible] stand or appreciate this [illegible] advance and they naturally conclude that speculators are at the [illegible] We are at a loss to how the poor of Nashville are to be cared for the coming winter, under the circumstances that surround us.

The course pursued by tradesmen generally in the South has produced a great deal of discontent, and not without apparent reason.["]

Here we have a picture of wretchedness and suffering in the families of those who had gone off after these enemies of their race, Harris, Bishop, Polk, Cheatham, and others, which is enough to chill one's blood. And this is precisely the goal of suffering to which this hellish rebellion is hurrying the masses with the swiftness of Niagara's rapid. The rich rebels and those belonging to the "first families," (which usually means those who manage to live without working or paying their debts,) get good offices, or else amass fortunes by speculating off the necessities and miseries of the poor.

Nashville Daily Union, April 18, 1862.




18, Parental influence stifles potential union sentiment in Cleveland

A pleasant day. Perry Gaut and Dr. Carson here this morning to get us to assist making a Union Flag. Mother would not let us....

Diary of Myra Adelaide Inman, p. 91.



18, "The women of Greece took part in their wars, as also the early Saxons and Britons." Woman's role in war

Editors Appeal: While the military pride and spirit of the whole South seems to speak in one common voice for the onward march of men against the uprising and subtle spirit of treachery and anarchy, shall not woman, too, lay their best offerings upon the shrine of her country's honor?

I, for one, tender to my country that which shall not be called by the foolish name of sacrifice, but the sacramental offerings of my best services to either, as a Joan, Catherine, Helena, Nightingale, or an humble Sister of Charity, in any division of the southern army that the commander-in-chief or other officers shall appoint to me. Nay, more: if the fates of war shall choose to crush my brethren beneath the iron heel of their oppressors, in adverse proportions to their might, I will proudly stand in the footsteps of some fallen soldier, and prove to this age that the female virtue which was flanked about with chivalry, has not become extinct with the women of Boetia.[1]

Let the ladies of Memphis and every town in the South organize themselves in  associations for nurses and attendants of those regiments formed in their respective communities, and hold themselves in readiness to join those regiments which shall suffer most in the impending engagements.

For this end, they should provide the associations with such hospital stores and refreshments for the sick and wounded as may be raised by subscription or contributions, thereby giving strength and life to a large proportion of men that must be disabled by the fevers of our climate or the casualties of war.

"This custom, which was invented by the Hungarian and Polish women in their great struggle against superior forces," says a Berlin paper, "was one of the greatest incentives in their success." And be it remembered, that it was not the serf and slave who composed these associations, but the very best classes of ladies in the kingdom. They all accompanied the army in their tedious marches, and bivouacked with the soldiers in their tented cities. In each soldier they recognized a brother, and required no other protection than the emblazoned shield of which nature and religion had made of womanly virtue, for this clashing hour.

The women of Greece took part in their wars, as also the early Saxons and Britons. Such actions have come down to us in the myth of romance from a barbarous age, and are accompanied with the immortality of chivalric female pride. But it is to the women of Poland and Hungary that we are indebted for the best means of displaying such chivalric sentiments in the more advanced and refined ages, and successfully imitated by Florence Nightengale in the Crimean war. Let the women of the South remember that we, who have never seen a revolution, must learn to act from the best models that other countries have set up to us in this age, and the fame of Florence Nightengale has been made known to us only through the medium of our common language. The same is due to the legions of women who served in the Hungarian and Polish wars, and shall be to every southern woman, who shall choose to write her name in good deeds upon the shining scroll of this great epoch of American chivalric history.


V. E. W.

Memphis Daily Appeal, April 18, 1861.



        18, "This place is quite dull now." News from McMinnville


McMinnville, Tennessee, March 18, 1863.

Editor of the Observer:

This place is quite dull now. You can see no prospect of a lively time among the husbandry of this part of the country. There seems to be a great dejection among them. This was seems to have relaxed their energies, but I am in hopes that the bright smiles of peace will soon cheer their dispirited souls.

These bright days seem to make Gen. Morgan restless. You need not be surprised to hear of him going to pay his friends a visit in Kentucky. His presence is doubtless desired at the home of Henry Clay, to straighten up things there. The last account from Colonel Cluke, in Kentucky, was that the Feds were after in hot haste. They were after him with 1800 cavalry and infantry. From accounts, his raid has been a brilliant affair….

I am happy to state that there is much greater satisfaction with General Wheeler than I anticipated. He appears to be a high-toned gentleman, and is not at all disposed to retard the glory of Gen Morgan; but on the other hand, he would add, and would not do anything that would be detrimental to Gen. Morgan's interest.

Dr. T. A. Stanford of Gen Wheeler's staff is also worthy of the encomiums of all true soldiers. He is every way affable and polite. He does not presume that every man is posted with the Army Regulations, and patiently explains all mystified points to those who do not understand them. I trust that the two command will cooperate, and by so doing we can do effective service.

The [Chattanooga] Rebel's correspondent, "High Private," in describing the brilliant scout of "old company E,"[2] omitted to mention the most interesting event of the scout, and is that "old Company E" was captured by Capt. Jones's company of Col. Duke's regiment who were sent to Kentucky on a similar expedition who dismounted and disarmed them before the mistake was discovered. Will "High Private" give a full account of this affair in his next?

Great joy prevailed here on last Saturday on account of the arrival of Col. B. W. Duke, who has recovered from his wound, and has resumed his command, and is ready to avenge the wounds received at Shiloh and in Kentucky….

The famous correspondent of the Louisville Courier, and subsequently editor of the Banner at Murfreesboro, has been with me several days. He expects to resume his paper again soon. As a writer Se de Kay [sic] has a wide-spread reputation, and will present to the public an ably edited journal.[3]

Conscripting is going on bravely here. The scouts bring in twenty or thirty every day. They [conscripts] seem to dislike warring very much, but the harder the fight, the sooner the war will come to a close. Don't fail to send the Observer regular, for I like to hear from your patriotic little village often. Look out for good news from the guerilla [sic] Jack Morgan.


Fayetteville Observer, March 26, 1863.



        18, Report of rape in Williamson county

Yankee Demons.-The Shelbyville, Tenn., Banner says that very recently a foraging party of the enemy, escorted by a command of cavalry, visited the premises of Mr. Anthony in Williamson county. The Colonel, Major and other officer entered the house and indulged in the usual freedom and license. At the same time they permitted a number of negro teamsters to seize the daughters of Mr. Anthony, and ravish these unprotected females. Their mother besought the protection of the officers, but these brutal men only cursed her as a d_____d rebel saying that they understood that the husbands of her daughters were in the Confederate service, and they were being served properly thus to be outraged by a race they had enslaved.

Macon Daily Telegraph, March 18, 1863.



        18, Skirmish near Maryville

FEBRUARY 18, 1864.-Skirmish near Maryville, Tenn.


No. 1.-Maj. Gen. Gordon Granger, U. S. Army, commanding Fourth Army Corps.

No. 2.-Col. Edward M. McCook, Second Indiana Cavalry, commanding First Cavalry Division, Army of the Cumberland.

No. 1.

Report of Maj. Gen. Gordon Granger, U. S. Army, commanding Fourth Army Corps.

LOUDON, TENN., February 19, 1864.

GEN.: Col. McCook reports that his scouts met about 30 of the enemy a mile the other side of Maryville yesterday [the 18th] and drove them back, killing and wounding 5. They report a large body of the enemy's cavalry encamped 4 or 5 miles from Maryville, near the Sevierville road.

Col. Jacquess reports this morning from Lenoir's that there are no indications of the enemy between that place and Maryville, and that a citizen who came for 15 miles down the north side of the Little Tennessee River last night says he saw no enemy, and heard of none, but citizens were expecting the rebels and were much frightened.

Reports from Sweet Water corroborate the above.

G. GRANGER, Maj.-Gen.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 32, pt. I, p. 407.



        18, Skirmish at Mifflin

No circumstantial reports filed.



        18, Skirmish at Sevierville

No circumstantial reports filed.



        18, Confederate scouts near Rockford

McCULLOCH'S HOUSE, One Mile above Rockford, on Little River, February 18, 1864--1 p. m.


GEN.: I have the honor to report that I have found no facts confirmatory of the report made to me by the servant, and which I communicated to you last night.

A small rebel scout of 17 men came into Rockford yesterday and remained but a short time. They represented that the force they came from was up at the mouth of Ellejoy Creek. Just as the head of the column reached Rockford the advance guard met another rebel scout of about 15 men coming in from the same direction toward Rockford. They ran at once and made no stand, nor indicated in any way that they were near a supporting force. It is about 4 or 4½ miles up the river road to Kennedy's Mill, at which point the main road from Trundle's Cross-Roads to Maryville crosses the river. From here I will send a scout of 200 up to Kennedy's Mill. I can get better information of their movements at the crossing places of the river than I can by scouting in the direction of Maryville, and can protect my communication with Knoxville. I will not send a scout toward Maryville.

All the information I can get from citizens corresponds with the theory that they are not moving on an expedition, but merely moving in our rear for forage.

An officer I had in charge of a courier line from Motley's Ford to Maryville has reported to me that when he left Col. McCook's headquarters about noon of day before yesterday the river was not fordable; that it had risen 2 feet above the fordable point.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


OR, Ser. I, Vol. 32, pt. II, pp. 422-423.



        18, "The enemy were concealed behind some houses, and waited until the patrol got to within 100 yards of them, when they charged." The last Civil War skirmish in Tennessee, near Germantown[4]

APRIL 18, 1865.-Skirmish near Germantown, Tenn.

Report of Capt. George W. Smith, Eleventh New York Cavalry.


CAPT.: I have the honor to report that yesterday as the patrol was marching from Germantown to Collierville it was attacked by a force of the enemy about six miles from Germantown. The force of the enemy is variously estimated from 60 to 100 strong, while the patrol was but eighteen strong, under Lieut. John H. Mills, D Company, this regiment. The enemy were concealed behind some houses, and waited until the patrol got to within 100 yards of them, when they charged. Lieut. Mills drew his men in line, but, after delivering a volley with their carbines, found he would be overpowered be a far superior force, and ordered his men to fall back to the camp at Germantown. He was closely pursued by a well-mounted portion of the enemy to within about two miles of this place (Germantown). The attacking party are supposed to be a part of Ford's command. Those of our men who fell from their horses, or were poorly mounted, were shot. Those who were killed or wounded were robbed of everything, they (the rebels) even taking the boots from some of the dead....I have just received a telegraph from Maj. Morgan, in which he, by order of Gen. Washburn, directs that no patrols will be sent less than fifty men. I have but 190 men available for duty. Out of that my picket, thirty-two men daily; my scouting parties, thirty men daily, and all the camp duties, have to be taken, leaving me no force at all with which to operate to any advantage. I know of fifty men who are mounted on horses which are serviceable, that are in the camp at the headquarters of the regiment at Memphis. If I can have those men and 100 dismounted men for camp duties, I can operate against these guerrillas to advantage, as I have reliable information concerning their haunts.

Hoping that my request for a few more men may meet your approbation and that it may be complied with at your earliest practicable convenience, I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

G. W. SMITH, Capt., Cmdg. Detachment Eleventh New York Cavalry. [Indorsement.]


Respectfully forwarded for the information of the major-general commanding District of West Tennessee. The additional mounted men asked for have been ordered. I must ask that the detail of fifty men for each patrolling party be countermanded, as we have not a sufficient number if men in the command--mounted--to obey the order.

E. D. OSBAND, Brevet Brig.-Gen.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 49, pt. I, pp. 512-513.



        18, 1865 - A convert to Roman Catholicism in Bolivar

....Irene McNeal told me that Clara Peters was very anxious and intended joining the Roman Catholic Church. I believe I never was more hurt and surprised in my life before. We warned her before she started...Told her of the facinating [sic] service, the hypocrisy but apparently love they would manifest toward her until she became one of them. I am astonished at Clara. I understand she wrote her father a letter in which she said, if not a Roman Catholic, she would be an infidel and believed that was the only true and apostolic church.

Diary of Sally Wendel Fentress.


[1] A province in ancient Greece whose women were noted for their beauty and civic mindedness.

[2] Not found.

[3] No issues of the Murfreesboro Banner are known to be extant.

[4] The skirmish near Germantown was fought nine days after Lee had surrendered. 

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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