Friday, June 27, 2014

6.27.14 Tennessee Civil War Notes

        27, The care of the indigent insane Confederate soldier or his family members
CHAPTER 5, An Act for the benefit of Insane Members of the Families of Volunteers
Section 1. Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Tennessee, That the wives or other members of the families of volunteers who are citizens of this State, and who have enlisted, or who may hereafter enlist in the service of the State, or of the Confederate States, who have been, or who may hereafter be placed in the Tennessee Asylum for the Insane, as pay patients, shall, during the time of their enlistment, or which such volunteers are in actual service, be supported by the State, upon the written certificate of the Chairman of the County Court from the county of residence of said volunteers, setting forth that he or they are unable, from indigent circumstances, to support such patient in the asylum.
Sec. 2 That any one of the Tennessee volunteers who may become deranged while in the service, and who has not the pecuniary means to enter the asylum as a pay patient, shall be received and treated as a pauper patient;
Provided, that nothing herein contained shall be so construed as to cause any of the present patients of the asylum to be discharged, in order to give place to any of the above patients, as provide in this act.
W. C. WHTTHORNE, Speaker of the House of Representatives
B. L. STOVAL, Speaker of the Senate
Passed June 27, 1861.
Public Acts of the State of Tennessee…April, 1861, pp. 34-35.[1]

        27, A Chicago Times, Report on Women in the Bluff City
Female Secessionists.
The feminine portion [in Memphis] are especially bitter. They confine themselves to their houses, and seldom appear in the street, but, when they do so, it is impossible not to understand the prevalent feeling among them. Walking down Main street a day or two since, I saw a naval officer, one of the most unassuming and gentlemanly men in the service, passing in such a manner as to overtake three ladies. As he approached them, the outermost quickly stepped in front of her companions, making room for him to pass, at the same time sweeping her skirts away from him with a most ungraceful and dowdyish gesture. Being a man who has seen the world, his demeanor did not indicate that he saw the motion, and she was not honored with a glance even. A short distance further on she tried it again on a calm and imperturbable gentleman, who wore the army uniform, and was again rewarded with an entire absence of recognition, unless a slightly contemptuous movement of the corners of the mouth might have been called such. The only result of all these efforts was to attract the stare and coarse remarks of the street crowd, generally accorded to a different class of women.
Women of the Town.
Of the latter class I can only say that, if Memphis suffered any diminution in numbers when the rest of her citizens stampeded, she must have been supplied beyond any chances of dearth. The streets are conspicuous with their gaudy and flowing drapery, whose amplitude is only equaled by the breadth of misapplied maternal attractions. They promenade the streets in front of their residences, in evening costume, and walk to the corner bareheaded, arm and arm, to see what is going on out of doors; and the commonest thing in the world is to see one arrayed in the fleeciest and scantiest of magnificence, sailing down the main thoroughfares, preceded by a little negro girl in all the colors of the rainbow, to carry the parasol and other small equipments--the said small African being, as a general thing, a personal investment of several hundred dollars in cash. That is the style of advertising goods in this country....
Chicago Times, June 27, 1862.[2]

        27, Prisoner of war Sallie Taylor, a Tennessee Fille du Regiment in Knoxville
A Female Prisoner.—Some excitement was created on Thursday by the arrival of a female prisoner, in the uniform of a Fille du Regiment. She is said to have been for some months following the Third Regiment of East Tennessee Renegades in Kentucky. Her name we learn is Sallie Taylor; she is from Anderson county, where she has respectable relations. She was captured somewhere in the neighborhood of Jacksonboro. An examination before the Provost Marshall, we understand, elicited some valuable information from this romantic damsel, in regard to the movement of the enemy.
[Knoxville Register.]
Savannah [Georgia] Republican, June 27, 1862.[3]

        27, Action at and capture of Shelbyville
HDQRS. DISTRICT OF THE CUMBERLAND, Murfreesborough, Tenn., July 13, 1863.
COL.: I have the honor to submit to the general commanding the Department of the Cumberland the following report of the attack made upon the rebel forces at Guy's Gap and Shelbyville, and of the occupation of those points by the forces under my command, on the 27th ultimo:
I have not yet received, from officers acting under my direction, reports of the part taken by their respective commands in the engagements of that day, and, therefore, I am unable to make this report in detail; to mention the special action of different and distinct parts of my command, and to name the officers and men most conspicuous for gallantry and a display of soldier like qualities, and those (if there are any such) who deserve censure for bad conduct or neglect of duty; nor am I able to give, in exact numbers, the loss we sustained, although I can proximate it sufficiently to state it with reasonable certainty.
At 2 o'clock on the morning of June 23, I received orders from the general commanding the Army of the Cumberland to move at daylight with all of the forces under my command, then at Triune, for Salem, save the division of cavalry under the immediate command of Gen. Mitchell, which I sent on that morning to attack the rebels at Rover and Middleton, with directions to drive them out of those places. In accordance with this order, I marched my command, and arrived at the designated point on the night of the same day (June 23). Under additional instructions there received, I marched the next day to a point on the Murfreesborough and Shelbyville pike, near Christiana, where I halted my command, awaiting further orders.
Gen. Mitchell arrived at Rover on the afternoon of the day on which he left Triune, and there met the enemy. After a sharp fight, lasting for over two hours, he drove them out of, and 2 miles beyond, the town. On the next day he again attacked the enemy at Middleton, and succeeded in handsomely whipping them, and in driving them before him.
An Official report of the casualties in these two engagements has not yet been made to me, but Gen. Mitchell states that his loss will not amount to over 20 men, while the enemy suffered greatly in killed and wounded.
On the next day (Thursday, June 25), Gen. Mitchell joined me at my camp near Christiana. At the same time Gen. Stanley, with part of his cavalry command, also reported to me at that place. It was on the morning of this day (June 25) that I sent Lieut.-Col. Patrick, with the Fifth Iowa Cavalry and the Fourth Michigan Cavalry, to observe the enemy at Fosterville. He found them there in strong force, but, by a bold dash, he gallantly drove them beyond the town, where they again made a stand and opened upon him with artillery. In obedience to my instructions, he then withdrew his forces, and returned to Christiana.
At 6 o'clock on the morning of June 27, I received a dispatch from the commanding general, directing me to feel the enemy at Guy's Gap. In accordance therewith, in one hour from that time I advanced with part of my command toward that point, moving on the Shelbyville pike. I sent Gen. Stanley, with the cavalry, in front, and ordered Gen. Baird's division of infantry to follow in close supporting distance. Upon reaching a point about 2 miles north of the gap, we met the enemy's skirmishers in the open fields. They exhibited such strength and resistance as to warrant us in the belief that they held the gap in force, and that they would there make a stubborn resistance to our advance. After skirmishing for about two hours, however, the enemy suddenly fell back to the gap, and there showed signs of a hasty retreat. Feeling confident that we could successfully attack them there, I then ordered Gen. Stanley to bring up his cavalry and clear the gap at once. The order was promptly obeyed, and the enemy sought safety in flight, running in the direction of Shelbyville. Part of our cavalry followed them in an exciting chase, capturing about 50 prisoners, killing and wounding a number, and pursuing them 7 miles, to their rifle-pits, which were about 3 miles north of Shelbyville. Here, at the intersection of the Shelbyville pike with the rifle-pits, in a small earthwork, the enemy had planted two guns; by a well-directed fire from these our advance was for a short time stayed. I was now positively assured by the action of the enemy, and by such meager and indefinite intelligence as I could gain from citizens in the neighborhood of the gap, that the rebel forces which had been stationed at Shelbyville were then evacuating that place; and although the orders I had received did not contemplate an advance beyond the gap, I determined to push forward and strike the rear of the retreating rebel forces, which forces, I afterward discovered, composed the corps commanded by Lieut.-Gen. Polk, numbering about 18,000 men. I rapidly pushed the cavalry force of my command forward. The advance soon charged over the rifle-pits, turning the point where the enemy had planted their guns, and again causing them to rapidly retreat, taking their guns with them, following them to within three-quarters of a mile of Shelbyville, where we were again held at bay by a large force of the enemy, formed on the north side of and in the town, and by a battery of three guns, that was planted in the town in such position as to command all of the approaches thereto from the north. It was now after 6 p. m. At this juncture I closed up our advancing column, and a cavalry charge was then made. Within thirty minutes afterward the town of Shelbyville was in our possession. Three superior brass guns, one of which was rifled, were captured, and the captain commanding the battery, with all of his officers and most of his men present, were our prisoners. Over 500 additional prisoners were captured in another part of the town. This charge was so irresistible and daring, and was made so unexpectedly to the enemy, that they were unable to check it by the fire of their guns and musketry, and were also unable to save their guns by flight.
One gun, however, was hurried away, and taken as far as the bridge that crosses Duck River, on the south side of the town, on the road to Tullahoma, but its wheels broke through the bridge, and the enemy was compelled to abandon it. This served to partially blockade the bridge, thereby preventing the rapid retreat of a large body of rebel cavalry which was yet on the north side of the river, closely pursued by our forces. The retreat now became a perfect rout. Those who could not cross the bridge endeavored to swim the river, which was very much swollen by the late rains. But few reached the other side, while many were drowned. In the midst of their confusion the rebel Gen. Wheeler called upon some of his troops to form and stop our advance. The First Confederate Cavalry volunteered for this duty, and, in endeavoring to perform it, saved their general (Wheeler), who escaped by swimming the river, while the whole regiment, save those of it who were killed, was captured by our forces, including the colonel, lieutenant-colonel, major, and all of the line officers present. It was now dark, and we had destroyed all of the rebel forces in the vicinity of Shelbyville north of Duck River. Our horses being perfectly exhausted and the men worn out, I ordered a halt until midnight for the purpose of resting them, then intending to pursue and overtake the enemy's train; but even by that time, so exhausting had been our march and chase of the day, we were not in a condition to proceed farther.
In the morning, as there was no possibility of overtaking the enemy, and as our men were out of rations, in accordance with the instructions of the commanding general, I send the cavalry, under the command of Gen. Stanley, to Manchester, via Fairfield and Wartrace, while I returned with Gen. Baird's division-which remained behind the day before to hold Guy's Gap-to my camp near Christiana.
Our loss in killed and wounded at Guy's Gap and Shelbyville will amount to about 50. This number can safely be set down as the maximum. We did not lose a man by capture.
The enemy lost in killed, wounded, and drowned in Duck River, at the least estimate, from 200 to 225. Our list of prisoners captured accounts for 509. Many of the enemy when captured were hurried off before their names could be obtained for the list from which this account is taken; so that, including them, the total number of prisoners captured by our forces can be placed at 700, including about 40 commissioned officers.
We also captured about 3,000 sacks of corn and corn meal, a few animals, and a quantity of meat, whisky, ammunition, and small-arms, that the enemy could not carry off in their precipitous flight. I cannot praise too highly the bold dash and gallant conduct of our cavalry at Shelbyville. The efficiency of this branch of the service, not only in this, but in all of our late engagements with the enemy, has been established beyond a doubt. The enemy can no longer boast of the superiority of their cavalry and of its accomplishments.
We met with an enthusiastic reception from the loyal citizens of Shelbyville; our soldiers were received with tears of joy, and our flag, that had been secretly hid for months, floated from many houses.
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
G. GRANGER, Maj.-Gen., Cmdg.
OR, Ser. I, Vol. 23, pt. I, pp. 535-537.

Report of Capt. Alfred Abeel, Fourth Michigan Cavalry.
CAMP NEAR SALEM, TENN. July 23, 1863.
SIR: I have the honor to transmit you the following report of the incidents that came under my observation at the entrance of our forces into Shelbyville, Tenn. [4]:
After entering he fortifications, our battalion (the Third) formed on the left, facing toward the Shelbyville pike, and charged the enemy, who were in considerable force in front and to the right of us. We routed and drove them across an open field, but they formed again in the edge of the woods, our line being very much broken, in consequence of the nature of the ground which we were obliged to pass over, so much so that we were compelled to halt and reform our line, which we did in the rear of some old buildings, the enemy keeping up a brisk fire during the mean time. As soon as we could form, we charged again, and drove the enemy toward and across the Shelbyville pike, a portion of them taking the pike into Shelbyville.
The balance, which I followed, crossed the pike in an easterly direction. After pursuing them for some distance, I found myself separated from the other companies of the battalion, and with but a portion of my own command, the horses of the rest having given out. I halted my men, and from the stragglers from the various regiments of the brigade soon had a sufficient acquisition to give me about 60 men in all. With these I again started in pursuit, and followed on until we struck the Fairfield pike, about a half mile from where it terminates and is crossed by the road which leads to the Shelbyville pike. The rebels, who were at this time some distance in advance of me, which they had gained when I halted my men (but in sight), reached and took this road, but before we reached it a column of the enemy from toward Shelbyville was seen in full flight, approaching, with the evident intention of escaping by the same road, but had not as yet discovered us. The head of their column reached and crossed the pike before we could reach it, but we charged through them, cutting their column in two, and driving that portion of it that we had cut off from the main body into a high inclosure, from which it was impossible for them to escape, and capturing the entire force, together with their arms, horses, and equipments, amounting, I should say, to 160 or 170 men.
I have the honor to be, &c., very respectfully, your obedient servant,
ALFRED ABEEL, Capt. Company H, Fourth Regt. [sic] Michigan Cavalry.
OR, Ser. I, Vol. 23, pt. I, p. 563

        27, Circular No. 9, addressing "complaints arising from the new relations of the colored people with the owners of the soil, and praying for his authoritative action in the adjustment of the difficulties complained of." The new race interactions in West Tennessee
Memphis, Tenn., June 27, 1865.
The major-general commanding is daily in receipt of petitions from the people, which the reports of the various post commanders confirm setting forth complaints arising from the new relations of the colored people with the owners of the soil, and praying for his authoritative action in the adjustment of the difficulties complained of. Not alone are the freedmen responsible for the state of things which exists. The planters themselves, too reluctant to practically accept the passing away of slavery, do in numerous instances awaken and confirm that disaffection among the negroes [sic] which renders them so unfaithful and unreliable as employes. First of all, the people must acknowledge and act upon the full and permanent emancipation of the colored race. Without the cordial acceptance of this inevitable fact the military authorities can afford but partial relief to existing evils. Any other course of conduct, of the manifestation of a different spirit in dealing with the freedmen, will surely inflict upon them the punishment of their own willful blindness and injustice. The negro [sic] must be made to understand that the freedom proclaimed to him involved the care of his own support and that of his family, which he has never before known. The demands for labor are sufficient to afford employment for all able-bodied freedmen, and such will be compelled to work for the means of living. They are free to make their own contracts, and they will be fully protected in all their rights under them, but they will be compelled to the honest and faithful performance of such contracts when made. Negroes from the country will not be permitted to visit the military posts without a pass from their employer, and those unemployed must remain where the means of employment exist, namely, among the fields. Post commanders are authorized and instructed to enforce as far as practicable the principles and requirements herein contained, and they will, until the establishment and location of officers connected with the Freedmen's Bureau have removed the necessity of such interposition, compel the freedmen to the performance of all fair and equitable contracts with their employers, whenever it is apparent that there has been no oppression or unjust treatment toward the employe, and no compulsory action will be used until a full investigation has determined the rights of the particular case.
By order of Bvt. Maj. Gen. John E. Smith:
W. H. MORGAN, Brevet Brig.-Gen. and Assistant Adjutant-Gen.
OR, Ser. I, Vol. 49, pt. II, pp. 1043-1044.

[1] Public Acts of the State of Tennessee, passed at the extra session of the Thirty-third General Assembly, April, 1861, (Nashville: J. G. Griffith & Co.: 1861.)
[2] As cited in:
[3] As cited in:
[4] As a result of the rapid and panicked fall of Shelbyville a Union spy was spared the death sentence. Pauline Cushman was sent behind Rebel lines to spy for General Rosecrans to gain information on the location and strength of the Army of Tennessee. She was caught by Confederate authorities, court martialed and sentenced to death hanging. She was awaiting execution when the Federal cavalry smashed through the town and so literally saved her neck as the Rebel forces hastily retreated, leaving her behind. Cushman was an actress born in New Orleans and had spied for the Union in Louisville and later in Nashville. Ms. Cushman was fondly regarded by the soldiers who gave her the nickname "Major." She was said to have worn "the accouterments of that rank." There appears to be no information about the exploits of "Major" Pauline Cushman in the OR. See: Francis Trevelyan Miller, ed. in chief, Robert L. Sanier, managing ed., Semi-Centennial Memorial, The Photographic History of the Civil War In Ten Volumes; Thousands of scenes photographed 1861-65, with Text by many Special Authorities, vol. 8, (NY: The Review of Reviews Co., 1911), p. 273. (Photograph on p. 273 also.) See also: Ferdinand L. S. Armiensto, Life of Pauline Cushman, the Celebrated Union Spy and Scout, (NY: United States Book Co., 186?), pp. 151-155, and; James D. Horan, Desperate Women (NY: G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1952), pp. 118-119; and, Agatha Young, The Women and the crisis: Women of the North In the Civil War, (NY: McDowell, Obolensky, 1959), pp. 234-244.

James B. Jones, Jr.
Public Historian
Tennessee Historical Commission
2941 Lebanon Road
Nashville, TN  37214
(615)-770-1090 ext. 123456
(615)-532-1549  FAX

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