Wednesday, May 7, 2014

5.7.14 Tennessee Civil War Notes

        7, Innocence, rhetoric and a flag presentation in Stewart County
Dover, May 7th, 1861
Mr. Editor: The people in Old Stewart are all right -- They are not only a unit upon the question of severing their connection with the Lincoln Government and uniting their destiny with the Southern Confederacy immediately, but are also a unit in defending to the last drop of blood and the last breath the rights and institutions of the South.
We have two large Companies already made up in this County, one that is ready and anxious to march to any point where they may be needed, and the other for home protection. Yesterday, according to previous notice, the ladies of Dover, through Miss Mary E. James, presented Capt. Graham's Company of Infantry, numbering over one hundred, with a beautiful and gorgeous flag, bearing the inscription on one side, "OUR RIGHTS," and on the other, "VICTORY." Miss James Addressed the Company as follows:
SOLDIERS OF THE STEWART COUNTY GUARD: -- It is with sentiments and emotions of the profoundest pleasure I perform the part so generously assigned me this day, by the ladies of Dover. When I behold your martial bearing and the determined valor that sits upon each dauntless face in your ranks, my heart swells with pride, that I am a native of the same County with yourselves, that the first air my infant lungs drank in, was amidst the hills of freedom and valley of plenty of Old Stewart. It is needless to add that all eyes are turned with proud confidence to the Military, that great bulwark of protection in time of war.
The public mind is now intensely agitated, and the great Southern heart is throbbing with indignation at the unjust and tyrannical policy which the Northern Administration is endeavoring to impose upon the South. Every breeze which floats over our hill troops or along our valley, brings intelligence of some new aggression, some fresh outrage upon the great character of American Liberty, and, by a petty usurper and despot, who has brought everlasting shame and disgrace upon the Executive Seat once occupied by Washington, the Father of his Country.
And fired by these unhallowed encroachments upon your rights as freemen -- you have gallantly quit your shops, the fields, and counting-houses -- you have thrown aside the implements of your peaceful pursuits and with soldiers hands, served with patriotism, grasped the sword, and are now ready and eager to march at the tap of the drum to rush to the field of strife, and meet in sanguinary conflict the tyrants who would dare trample upon the rights of Southern freemen.
Influenced by this patriotic sentiment, the ladies of Dover -- your wives, your mothers, your sisters and you daughters -- through me, offer for your acceptance this flag, which I now unfurl to the breeze. May it wave proudly over many a victorious field, and the gallannt [sic] hearts that marshal under its folds soon return to the fond embrace of their friends covered all over with victory and glory. Heaven forbid that this flag should ever fall into the hands of the enemy, or be trailed in the dust. And should it be your fortune to meet your foemen in battle's strife -- then when your manly cheeks blanch and your hearts palpitate amidst the din and roar of battle turn your eyes to that flag, and think of those who formed it, and presented it, and let this nerve your arm for the conflict, and be a prestige of victory on every battle field.
Heaven is on your side, Justice is with you, and woman's hearts and woman's prayers will accompany you. Go then, my gallant friends, and fear not to defend that land which in repose is a Lamb, but when roused a Lion.

"Which seeks not the combat, nor shuns its career,
'Tis respect for her laws she exacts from her foes,
And honor it they shall, tho [sic]! they do it with fear."

Capt. Graham then replied in his usual happy style in a most eloquent and appropriate address. Stating that he and his brave boys had not volunteered for six nor twelve months, but in the language of Gov. Carroll, when starting for New Orleans in 1812, they had entered during the war. That their watch word in battle should be the wives, the mothers, the sisters, and the daughters of Dover, that the ladies who presented that flag might rest assured it would never be dishonors, but would be defended with the last breath of the last man in their ranks. Capt. Graham and his Company were cheered three times by the immense crowd in deafening and enthusiastic cheers.
Maj. N. Brandon land Gen. W. WE. Lowe, have both commenced to form Companies in this County, which, I have no doubt will soon be completed.
Capt. Graham has already tendered his Company to the Governor the State.
Clarksville Chronicle, May 10, 1861.

        7, Mocking the dead in Murfreesboro
A correspondent writing from Murfreesboro', says that as a hearse passed along the streets of that place, the other day, with the body of a poor soldier who had died far from home and kindred in the service of his country, a woman standing before a handsome residence remarked to a soldier in the mournful procession, "Well, I am very glad to see them die—there is one less anyhow." If it be true that they who die in the holy service of their country are translated to the realms of the blessed, we can assure that blot and reproach to the female sex that she will never meet a Union soldier in the spirit land. Her passage is paid to the land of the first Arch-rebel, the head of all traitors to their country.
Nashville Daily Union, May 7, 1862.

        7 [?], Affair at Obion Plank-Road Crossing, capture of guerrilla chief Captain Parks
MAY __, 1863.- Affair at Obion Plank Road Crossing, Tenn.
Report of Brig. Gen. Alexander Asboth, U. S. Army, commanding District of Columbus, Ky.
HDQRS. SIXTH DIV., SIXTEENTH ARMY CORPS, Columbus, Ky., May 8, 1863.
SIR: I beg to report that Company E, Fifteenth Illinois Cavalry Volunteers, First Lieut. William B. Ford commanding, succeeded in surprising the notorious guerrilla, Capt. Parks, with his band, encamped on the Obion Plank Road Crossing, 70 miles distant from Hickman. The rebels fired upon our men, but were gallantly charged. One lieutenant and 3 of their men killed and 18 taken prisoners, including Capt. J. H. Parks and First Lieut. A. W. Henry. Thus another guerrilla company is destroyed, and I have now 4 noted guerrilla leaders here, Scales, Cotter, Cushman, and Parks, all to be tried as highway robbers. To-morrow our artist will combine the four in a picture. The officers and men of Company E, Fifteenth Illinois Cavalry Volunteers, are deserving of all praise. Telegraphic communication is open between here and Hickman.
ASHBOT, Brig.-Gen.
OR, Ser. I, Vol. 23, pt. I, p. 329.

        7, 1864 - On Nathan Bedford Forrest's Family, Brothers and pre-war Business in Memphis
Antecedents of the Rebel General Forrest and his Family.
A Knoxville correspondent of the N. Y. Tribune writes:
The news of the capture of Fort Pillow by Forrest, and the cowardly butchery which followed of blacks and whites alike, has produced a profound sensation here. The universal sentiment is-"let no quarter be shown to those dastardly butchers of Forrest's command while the war lasts."
These Forrests, the eldest of whom, Gen. Bedford Forrest, has by this and other atrocities obtained such a record of infamy, were all negro traders. There were four brothers-Bedford, who kept a negro pen for five years before the war on Adams street, in rear of the Episcopal Church, Memphis; John, a cripple and a gambler, who was jailor and clerk for Bedford; Bill Forrest, an extensive negro trader at Vicksburg; and Aaron Forrest, general agent to scout the country for his other brothers. They accumulated large sums of money in their nefarious trade, and Bedford won by that and other influences a natural promotion to a Brigadier. He is about 50 years of age, tall, gaunt, and sallow visaged, with along nose, deep set black, snaky eyes, [illegible] and hair wore long. He usually wore, while in the "nigger" trade in Memphis, a stove pipe hat set on the back of his head at an angle of forty-five degrees. He was accounted mean, vindictive, cruel and unscrupulous. He had two wives-one white, the other colored (Catharine), by each of which he two children. His  "patriarchal" wife, Catharine, and his white wife, had frequent quarrels or domestic jars.
The slave pen of old Bedford Forrest, on Adams street, was a perfect horror to all negroes far and near. His mode of punishing refractory slaves was to compel four of his fellow slaves to stand and hold the victim stretched out in the air, and then Bedford and his brother John would stand, one on each side, with long, heavy whips, and cut up their victims until the blood trickled to the ground. Women were often stripped naked, and with a bucket of salt water stand by, in which to did the instruments of torture, a heavy leather thong, their backs were cut up, until the blisters covered the whole surface, the blood of their wounds mingling with the briny mixture to add torment to the infliction. One slave man was whipped to death by Bedford, who used a trace-chain doubled for the purpose of punishment. The slave was secretly buried, and the circumstance was only known to the slaves of the prison, who only dared to refer to the circumstance in whispers.
Such are the appropriate antecedents in the character of the monster who murdered in cold blood the gallant defenders of Fort Pillow.
Boston Herald, May 7, 1864. [1]

[1] As cited in PQCW.

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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