Thursday, May 1, 2014

5.1.14 Tennessee Civil War notes

May 1, 1861, Resolution of Tennessee General Assembly to explore joining the Confederate States in a military league
JOINT RESOLUTION to appoint commissioners from the State of Tennessee to confer with the authorities of the Confederate States in regard to entering into a military league.
Resolved by the Gen. Assembly of the State of Tennessee, That the Governor be, and he is hereby, authorized and requested to appoint three commissioners on the part of Tennessee to enter into a military league with the authorities of the Confederate States and with the authorities of such other slave holding States as may wish to enter into it, having in view the protection and defense of the entire South against the war that is now being carried on against it.
Adopted May 1, 1861.
W. C. WHITTHORNE, Speaker of the House of Representatives.
OR, Ser. I, Vol. 52, pt. II, pp. 83-84.

        1, Major-General Gideon J. Pillow's instructions to Brigadier-General John L.T. Sneed regarding defenses at Fort Randolph
MEMPHIS, May 1, 1861.
In disposing of the forces in and about this city it is only necessary at present to have competent artillerists in command of the artillery at Fort Randolph. The works at that position will require, ultimately, three companies of artillery, there being three batteries constructing there. There is now a fine company in command of the field battery at present at that post. You ought, if you can, to have organized two or three additional artillery companies in the city. Smith's regiment is ordered there as a protecting force for those works and batteries; let it remain there for the present. A company of artillery have been ordered to Fort Harris to man the guns there. It is Capt. Warner's company. You must have it provided with transportation. Before Capt. Patrick's company (a part of Col. Smith's regiment) is removed to Fort Randolph, two companies from this city must take its place. These troops should be constantly drilled and instructed, so as to fit the troops for the field. All the heavy artillery which shall reach the city from Virginia and Carolina, thirteen pieces, must be forwarded to Fort Randolph. When those works are completed, your attention should be given to the organization of companies and manning the batteries at Randolph, so as to have all the guns in working order. There is one 8 inch howitzer gun at Fort Harris which should be removed to the works at Randolph, so as to have a heavy armament at that place. For the ultimate protection of these works and this city, there should be stationed at that post four pieces of field artillery, to be stationed in the open field on the bluff, and two regiments of infantry. In meeting the wants of the service of subsistence, for which $10,000 is at present provided on the branch of the Bank of Tennessee, your quartermaster and commissary must bring his checks to you that you may indorse your approval on them. If other dispositions should be required of the forces, or organizations should be needed, I will promptly communicate with you from Nashville.
GID. J. PILLOW, Gen., Cmdg.
OR, Ser. I, Vol. 52, pt. II, pp. 80-81.

        1, Conditions in and around Murfreesboro on the eve of the secession of Tennessee, excerpt from the diary of John C. Spence
... There is quite a commotion over the country. Volunteers are being raised, but all independant, [sic] individual enterprises. They all important question with Tenn. has not come up. She has been once tryed [sic] and the question will have to come again. There is a heavy influence working in the mind of the people. Still, a distant hope that something may turn up that will stop blood shed. The Lincoln call causes a hesitation. Tenn. knows she is loyal; fears nothing; wishes to be at peace with all. But, the call is on all loyal states for its share of men to allay a rebellion. Who rebells! [sic] My nearest neighbor! Must spill his blood? I stop. I hesitate.
The Subject of War is not being thought. [sic] More of the people begin to look at the matter. Volunteers are now being raised by different persons....
Spence Diary

May 1, 1862, Skirmish at Pulaski capture of Union supply train[1]
No. 1
Report of Capt. John Jumper, Eighteenth Ohio Infantry.
NASHVILLE, May 4, 1862.
I left Columbia on the evening of April 30, with about 110 men, about 35 armed, that had guarded a lot of prisoners up from Huntsville, and the balance being recruits and convalescents from the barracks at Nashville. We camped some 8 miles from the City that night, started early next morning, May 1, and got along finely until about 1 p. m., when a courier came up post-haste and said a party of rebel cavalry, to the number of 15 or 20, had attacked his party of telegraph men, and urged us to go to their assistance. I took the armed men and started at double-quick for the ground, leaving the unarmed and teams to come up at their leisure. After going some 4 miles we came up with the enemy. I gave orders to Lieut. R. S. Chambers, of Second Ohio Regt. [sic], to take some men and deploy on the right of the road as skirmishers. We steadily drove them ahead for some time, when they were heavily re-enforced, and a cessation of firing from both sides took place. I then took up as good a position as I could in the road and along the fence, assisted by Adjutant Neal, Eighteenth; Lieut. Leonard, Second; Lieut. Pryor, Twenty-first, and Lieut. Dyal, of Second Ohio, still keeping Lieut. Chambers with his squad deployed as skirmishers. I soon found that the enemy was flanking me on both sides with large numbers of cavalry, and opened fire upon them, which they briskly returned, and the balls fell thick and fast among us, but all seemed perfectly cool, and both officers and men exhibited personal bravery which was hardly to be expected from men who with but few exceptions never stood under fire before, and especially when they were in such few numbers as to be easily singled out by the enemy, who showed themselves to be excellent marksmen.
After some two and one-half hours' continuous firing,[added] and running short of ammunition, the officers held a consultation as to what should be done, and all agreed to hold out to the last, hoping that we would receive help from a company of cavalry that I knew could not be far behind, and have since learned did come up in seeing distance, and then the captain refused to advance to our assistance. By this time the enemy had begun to prepare to charge from two different ways, one in front and one on my left, and as they did so, seeing that further resistance was useless, as our ammunition was exhausted, I ordered Lieut. R.'s. Chambers to advance and meet them with a flag of truce, which had been prepared some time before, to be used as the last extremity, and surrendered ourselves to Lieut.-Col. Wood, of Adams' rebel cavalry, Col. Morgan coming up across the field a moment after, we having 1 man killed and 1 wounded and killing 6 of the enemy and wounding 3, and killing five of their horses. We were taken to Pulaski, which we found on reaching to be filled with rebel troops, and on our arrival there found some 150 officers and men from various regiments that had been taken prisoners during the day.
After getting us ready to go South, on consultation with Col.'s Morgan and Wood they proposed to release us on parole until exchanged, which proposition, on consultation among all the officers who were prisoners, was accepted, and after signing a parole we were released, and give two wagons to carry our baggage in; and here let me say that the treatment of Col.'s Morgan and Wood and all their officers was kind and gentlemanly, and everything that we could have asked or expected by any on in our situation was done for us. The men under my command lost most of their clothes and such things as they had.
The whole force of the enemy I should think was some 1,500, although they claim to have had 2,000.
Annexed you will find a list of officers and soldiers under my command who were taken prisoners and released on parole till exchanged; and, further, I would state that I applied for arms for the recruits before leaving Cincinnati and could not get them, and then again at Nashville, to have the whole party armed, and was told that it was not necessary, as the road was perfectly safe.
JOHN JUMPER, Capt. Company F, Eighteenth Regt. [sic], Cmdg.
No. 2
Report of Col. John H. Morgan, C. S. Army.
PULASKI, TENN., May 2, 1862.
SIR: I have the honor to report from this place and to inclose a list of prisoners taken in and near this town-268 non-commissioned officers, rank and file, as well as officers, among whom was the son of Gen. Mitchel, who, together with a number of other officers, had just arrived from Gen. Mitchel's command.
The incidents peculiar to the skirmish, in which our entire force engaged, were of but little moment, the engagement resulting in a loss of several killed and wounded on the part of the enemy. The Federals occupied Columbia road, deploying as skirmishers upon each side of the turnpike, which they blocked up with their wagons and teams, all of which I have taken possession of. Col. Wood made a gallant charge up the road, while I led a portion of the command to the right, when the enemy surrendered.
We have taken a quantity of arms; also a number of teams, wagons, &c. Several wagons loaded with cotton, purchased by a Mr. Campbell, and en route to Nashville, were taken possession of and burned. As we may move rapidly, the teams we will mount our men with and destroy the wagons.
If a body of cavalry is thrown across the river irreparable damage can be done the enemy. This road (Columbia) is very important, as a large amount of transportation is constantly passing to and fro.
JOHN H. MORGAN, Col., Cmdg.
OR, Ser. I, Vol. 10, pt. I, pp. 875-876.

        1, "if the enemy shall reach Memphis – what then?"
A correspondent this morning, in a few well-timed observations, calls attention to the fact that Memphis may very soon be placed in a similar attitude with New Orleans, and asks what shall be the course pursued by its authorities. This is no ordinary or trivial inquiry, but is one fraught with consequences of the most vital and important character, and it is proper that it should be decided in advance, when discretion and judgment may director our counsels, and the disgrace incident to a senseless panic and trepidation be avoided.
We believe that the position assumed by the Mayor of New Orleans, in his response to Flag Officer FARRAGGUT [sic], is not less logical and proper in itself than it is commendable and patriotic. The surrender of a city by is municipal [sic] offers to an invading foe, it as he truly characterizes it, "an idle and unmeaning ceremony."
War is properly a conflict between the opposing armies of the belligerents, and the municipal authorities of a city have no more right to negotiate for the terms of surrender to the foe than a resident custom house officer or postmaster. Indeed it is questionable as to whether such a procedure ought not to be absolutely forbidden by our commanding generals.
Should Memphis be sooner or later confronted by the enemy, we believe that we reflect the unanimous opinion of every respectable citizen within its limits when we enjoin upon the Mayor the duty of refusing to engage in the humiliating ceremony of a surrender. Let his language be that of the gallant, true and intrepid MONROE [sic].
The city is yours by power and brutal force, not by choice or consent of its inhabitants. It is for you to determine what be the fate that awaits her. As to hoisting any other flag than that of our own adoption and allegiance, let me say to you, sir, that the man lives not in our midst whose hand and heart would not be palsied at the mere thought of such an act; nor could I find in my entire constituency so wretched and desperate a renegade as would dare to profane with his hands the sacred emblem of our aspirations."
This glorious sentiment which will go down in history to render illustrious it author, has struck the proper chord in our young nation's heart. It has produced a moral effect as cheering in its character and important in its results as the winning of a great battle. Now let Memphis add another verse to this chapter of our war for independence that will illustrate the intrepidity of southern heroism and the ardor of southern patriotism. Woe be to the dastard, in the day of future retribution, who shall by his official short coming disgrace her by a cowardly and ignominious capitulation.
Memphis Appeal, May 1, 1862.

        1, "Special Order, No. 13;" the fight against social evils; closing houses of prostitution in Memphis
We invite attention to Special Order, [sic] No. 13, from Provost Marshal SMITH [sic], approved by the Post Commander, to be found in another column.
The evil which this order [is] designed to correct, has grown into one of considerable magnitude, and demands precisely such a remedy as our ever active and untiring Provost Marshal has applied. Scarcely a steamboat but brings an addition to our already large population of lewd women, who make exhibitions of themselves upon our streets, and, for the time, seem to have taken possession of the city. This nuisance, we are gratified to know, is to be abated, and officers who degrade the public service are to be reported to the commanding General. Both Gen. VEATCH [sic] and Col. SMITH [sic] deserve the thanks of the community of this timely and effective remedy for our social evils.
Memphis Bulletin, May 1, 1863.

        1, A Wisconsin soldier's description of Murfreesboro
Murfreesboro Tenn.
May 1st 1863
Dear friend,
You wished me to give you a brief description of Murfreesboro. From its present dilapidated appearance it is rather hard to say what it looked like in times of peace. But so far as I can judge it was quite a pleasant town of probably two thousand inhabitants. I can see no evidence of its having been much of a business place, as the only machinery in town is that pertaining to a cheap grist mill. It seems to have been quite a place for schools, and a healthy pleasant place to live. It being the county-seat of Rutherford County, added something to its importance. I think its people regarded themselves as belonging to the very elect-that is they were very aristocratic, and the fact that the most of them fled to the southward upon our arrival, leads me to conclude that their sympathies were strongly in that direction. But now the town is torn from center to circumference. Fences have entirely disappeared and many houses have been torn down. Fine shade trees have been laid low, and the once beautiful lawns have been trodden into quagmire. Thus we see the havoc of war.
J. M. Randall
The James M. Randall Diary[2]

        1, A Female orderly sergeant
A Female soldier, who has served over two years with the 54th Indiana regiment, and participated in several battles, was arrested by the Military conductor on the Louisville and Nashville Railroad on Thursday last [April 28]. The regiment of which she claimed she was a member was in transit at the time. She was dressed in full uniform, and displayed the badge which indicates the rank of an orderly sergeant. The conductor brought her to Nashville, and reported her to the Provost Marshal for disposal.
Nashville Dispatch, May 1, 1864.

        1, Elvira Powers' description of a black church service in Nashville
This P. M., Miss O. and myself accompanied Rev. E. P. Smith to listen to his "colored preaching," as he termed it, in the same church in which is the school for the colored children. It was a rare treat-and the first colored audience I ever saw.
Do not imagine a squalid, ragged, filthy audience; but one where silks, ribbons, velvet, broadcloth, spotless linen and beavers predominated, with a sprinkling of beautifully cared for silver, and gold-headed canes, with about the usual proportion of fops to the canes that one may find in an audience of equal size, or our own color. Some of these persons are free and own property. But one would scarcely covet some of the ladies their silks and velvets, when she learns that it is purchased with the avails of extra labor at night after the day's work "for de missus is done."
But so it is. And although the church was built some years ago with their money, yet it was held in trust by white people because "negroes [sic] cannot own property."
I have been repeatedly told that I would turn pro-slavery when I came south and saw how things really were. I do not feel any of the first symptoms as yet, but quite the contrary. Instead, I'm getting to believe that the day when the Emancipation Document was sent forth, was that of which it is said "a nation shall be born in a day," and I'm learning to think that this gospel, which is
"Writ in burnished rows of steel"
And read by
"The watch-fires of an hundred circling camps," is the "word" which "makes men free," and will forever strike the manacles from the oppressed bondsman.
One indignant white man, during the first prayer which was made by a negro preacher, and in which he asked for blessing upon the Union arms and freedom for slaves, left his seat and walked the whole length of the church, with heavy tread and with his hat on his head, while a voice called out,-
"Take your hat off!"
During the closing prayer the negro very properly prayed, "Oh Lord, wilt dou give de people good manners and teach 'em right behaviour wen dey come into de house ob de Lord!"
The sermon was the Bible-story of the death of James and the release of Peter from prison. It was told in a simple, earnest, impressive manner, to a deeply attentive, impressible audience. When he drew the picture of the angel entering the prison, and taking Peter away as easily as though "his chains were made of wax and a lighted candle was held beneath them, while the four quarternians-sixteen-soldiers were powerless to act," one old man laughed outright, a joyous, grateful laugh, others made their peculiar grunting noise which no combination of sounds will give exactly, while others shook hands and cried "Glory to God." During the singing some women had the "power" so that they passed round, embraced and shook hands.
Some joined the church, and the negro preacher told them he "hoped that wouldn't be the last of it, and they they'd be faithful and come to church; " but that some joined whom he "never could get a chance to set eyes on again, so that when they died he never culd tell WHICH PLACE THEY'D GONE TO!" [sic]
I have forgotten to note in its proper place, that upon entering the church Miss O. and myself took seats in the only unoccupied pew in the body of the church. But Rev. Mr. S. beckoned us forwarded to a side seat by the pulpit. We took our seats there, but soon a neat, elderly negress [sic] came forward and said with a coaxing smile and voice, "Young ladies go up in de altar an' set-you [sic] doesn't wan [sic] to set down here wid dese yere colored folks." We preferred remaining, and she urged the matter in vain. Soon an elderly mulatto man, probably a prominent member in the church, whose portly form was assisted in its waddles by a gold-headed cane, came forward and made the same request. But not being accustomed to the highest seat in the synagogue on account of our possessing a lighter color, we declined doing so until all the seats were filled and some must stand, when we did go; but upon others coming in they also were induced to take a seat in the altar.
Powers, Pencillings, pp. 67-68.

May 1, 1865, Directions for gaining surrender of stragglers and guerrillas
HDQRS. DEPARTMENT OF THE CUMBERLAND, Nashville, May 1, 1865--8 a. m.
Maj.-Gen. STEEDMAN, Chattanooga:
Send a summons, under flag of truce, to all and every band of armed men in your vicinity or which you may know of, who are operating nearer to yours than any other command, and call upon them to surrender to you, or any other officer you may name for that purpose, upon the same terms as Lee surrendered to Gen. Grant. If they disregard your summons and continue acts of hostility, they will hereafter be regarded as outlaws, and be proceeded against, pursued, and, when captured, treated as outlaws.
GEO. H. THOMAS, Maj.-Gen., U. S. Army, Cmdg.
OR, Ser. I, Vol. 49, pt. II, pp. 552-553.[3]

        1, GENERAL ORDERS, No. 99, relative to Federal forces assisting enforcement of civil law in Anderson County
* * * *
V. Capt. Cross' company, Seventh Tennessee Mounted Infantry, will at once proceed to Clinton, Anderson County, for the purpose of assisting the sheriff of that county in the execution of the civil laws.
* * * *
By command of Maj.-Gen. Stoneman:
G. M. BASCOM, Maj. and Assistant Adjutant-Gen.
OR, Ser. I, Vol. 49, pt. II, p. 554.

[1] The following two reports differ both in their conclusions and in the use of the terms "skirmish" and "engagement," further obfuscating the exact meaning these words had in the nineteenth century. Was this a skirmish or was this an engagement? The OR General Index refers to it as a skirmish.
[3] See also: Brownlow's Whig and Independent Journal and Rebel Ventilator, May 10, 1865.

[1] See also: Brownlow's Whig and Independent Journal and Rebel Ventilator, May 10, 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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