Wednesday, April 9, 2014

4.9.2014 Tennessee Civil War Notes

        8, Domestic violence in Memphis

Domestic Felicity-Mike Moriorty and his better half, Mary, have been a source of annoyance to the police for a year or two past. Both exhibit an undue fondness of "Dean's Strychnine," and when under its influence, become imbued with a decidedly belligerent spirit. At one time Mike is arrested for whipping Mary, and at another, Mary is required to answer in police court for disfiguring the physiognomy of her pugnacious lord. Mary is a bruiser and generally gets the best of the little "mills" between herself and loving husband. Last night in a friendly set-to Mary was worsted. He will have his trial tomorrow.

Memphis Argus, April 9, 1861.



        9, "The Victorious on the Field of Shiloh."

It is our proud privilege this morning, to congratulate our fellow citizens throughout the Confederacy, our fellow-citizens throughout the Confederacy, on the success that has crowned our arms on the corpse-heaped plain of Shiloah [sic]. For two days have the brave soldiers of the South, stood the utmost efforts the finest troops the North could make against them. Men well drilled, armed with the most perfect weapons, modern skill can produce, and in possession of those numerous advantages which the expenditure of unstinted millions, and free access to the workshops of Europe impart, were driven before them in ignominious flight. Breast to breast our gallant boys stood before the confident foe; but unawed by their swelling cohorts, their proud array their pompous panoply, they charged them with a weapon no art can produce no money buy – the chivalrous attribute of Southern COURAGE [sic]. With sparkling eye, cheek unblenched, eager step, and unfailing soul, they marched on the opposing ranks – they baffled their mightiest efforts, they subdued their loftiest rage, they drove back their seried [sic] files, and taught the vaunting legions that brave hearts and iron wills, sting by a sense of wrong, and fired with the ardor of patriotism, cannot be conquered. In the pages of history the hard-won field of Shiloah [sic] will have a name among the great battle-grounds of the world.

Memphis Appeal, April 9, 1862.



        9, Preparing to receive the wounded in Memphis

Irving Hospital.—Under the care of Dr. C. S. Fenner, who was charged with the work by the military authorities, the rooms in the Irving block, lately occupied by the Southern Mothers, have been cleansed and fitted up with comfortable beds. Doors have been broken through to allow of complete communication between the suits of rooms. A large kitchen has been fixed up with the necessary appendages. There was but one patient there last evening, Lieut. Crawford, who resides fifty miles down the Mississippi railroad; he was wounded in the battle of Sunday last, receiving a bayonet stab in the eye. He is doing well, and will return home to-day. The hospital, when we went over it, was already favored with the presence of ladies—kind-hearted and compassionate matrons, full of the angel-like spirit of Florence Nightingale—who were waiting to bestow their soothing cares on the suffering soldiers, as soon as they should arrive. Under the care of Dr. Fenner, who is experienced, industrious, patient, and of kind manners, we expect to see the Irving Hospital well and satisfactorily conducted. 

Memphis Daily Appeal, April 9, 1862.



        9, Skirmish near the Obion River and Confederate conscript sweep

APRIL 9, 1863.-Skirmish near the Obion River, Tenn.

Report of Brig. Gen. Alexander Asboth, U. S. Army.

COLUMBUS, KY., April 15, 1863.

GEN.: I have the honor to report that, pursuant to orders communicated in my report under No. 1178 to search the house and neighborhood of one Henderson Wright, south of the Obion River, in order to capture the rebel Capt. Scales, with his band, Capt. Hutchens, commanding Company E, Fifteenth Illinois Cavalry, started on the morning of the 9th instant, and, crossing the Obion, after a ride of 43 miles, reached the plantation of Wright, occupied by the rebel Capt. Scales as his headquarters in his organization of a battalion. A body of cavalry received our men with a volley of musketry, but Capt. Hutchens ordered a charge, resulting in the death of 4 of the rebels, and capture of 26 men with 13 horses, and the complete dispersion of the band. Among the prisoners, a list of whom is herewith inclosed, are Capt. Scales, the commander of a rebel battalion, and Lieut. Voorhees, with their appointments as officers of the rebel army in their pockets; also Henderson Wright, a most dangerous rebel.

From positive information, I would state that there are yet several bodies of conscripts, under Capt.'s Parks, Carter, and others, appointed by Pillow and Forrest, south of the Obion, and I only await the return of my informant with guides to make a combined cavalry movement on them, as the Fourth Missouri Cavalry has arrived and will be in a few days ready for duty. Reviewing the presence of rebel parties on the Obion, at Paris and Mussey, Tenn., and another at Dresden, Tenn., in connection with the avowed and published intention of Pillow to conscript in the counties of my district, I must regard as most opportune the decision of the Gen.-in-Chief in permitting the Fourth Missouri Cavalry to remain in this district.

Adjutant-Gen. Thomas, on his late visit to this post, also admitted the necessity of more cavalry here. I therefore respectfully solicit the exercise of your influence to prevent the projected removal of the Fourth Missouri Cavalry to the Department of the Cumberland; and as it is urgently required to send more cavalry to Fort Heiman, and form a connecting chain of cavalry posts between the Mississippi and Tennessee, also to control properly the railroad and telegraph, I would request that an additional regiment of cavalry be ordered for duty to my district.

I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


OR, Ser. I, Vol. 24, pt. I, pp. 514-515.[1]



8, Foraging, Confederate Citizens Prefer Coffee to Money in making Exchanges for breads and pies

April 8th 1864

It is raining this morning and there will be no drill…tho it isn't very pleasant to have the water running through the sent on your paper and besides two lively Yanks in the same bunk jostling and talking. I often wonder how I can write at all but it's nothing after you get used to it…

One of the boys started out foraging in the evening and came back with a bucket full of fresh milk, some corn meal and butter. We mixed up some cakes and baked them in our pans, made milk gravy and coffee, enough for a dozen at home but the 3 of us made short work of it. Next morning we got some nice biscuits, the best I've seen since I left home. So you see, we ain't in a starving condition yet…The rebels took everything they could lay hands on while they were here but some of the citizens were too sharp for them and hid part of their meat and grain. They are very anxious to exchange bread and pies for coffee at any price but don't want to sell for money. Some of them haven't seen coffee before for two years. The rebels being principled against using it – only when they capture it from the Yankees…One lady, a rank rebel – at Morris Town said she was very fond of coffee but wouldn't take a grain of "Lincoln Coffee" as she called it. I expect I will be regular old Grammy for tea & coffee, yet one thing certain – if I had nothing of the kind on a march I should have played out often. Some stimulus is absolutely necessary in some cases and I take coffee in preference to whiskey which many consider essential in camp.

Bentley Letters.



        9, 1865 - Return of the prodigal house servant in Bolivar

* * * *

....Lettie has returned this morning early. Sister and myself were talking about her and wondering where she was this bitter cold morning. We looked out of the window when who should we see but Lettie walking half frozen with her pappy [sic] behind her. After getting her in the kitchen, he stepped out and got a stick or rather a good sized limb with twigs or something of the sort, all over it, called her out into the yard and gave her the most severe beating I ever in all my life (nearly eighteen years) [sic] saw. With all that and the sympathizing looks of every body [sic], she doesn't seem at all subdued. What a hardened wretch to be sure....

Diary of Sally Wendel Fentress.




[1] See also: OR, Ser. I, Vol. 23, pt. II, p. 241.

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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