Tuesday, June 10, 2014

6.11.14 Tennessee Civil War Notes

        11, "Sometimes I sleep with the Captain, sometimes with Gabe." James I. Hall's letter from Camp Brown to his family in Covington, Tennessee, describing life in a Tennessee camp of instruction
Misses Jesse & Mary E. Hall
c/o Doctor W. M. Hall
Tipton County
Camp Brown, June 11, 1861
Dear Children,
I expect that you would get a letter from your papa. I am at Union City camped out in the woods. Mr Wood, Mr. Winford Gable and I stay in the same tent. Sometimes I sleep with the Captain, sometimes with Gabe. We have the ground covered with straw, sleep on a mattress, have plenty of blankets. Gabe cooks for us. We have fried ham, biscuit, and coffee for breakfast, dinner and supper, sometimes we get peas, beans, onions and potatoes for dinner. Grandma sent us some nice butter but it is almost gone. We have plenty to eat Gabe washes for us. There are six regiments here now & we expect two or three more today more today. I do not know how long we will stay here. We may go to Columbus very soon when we go there we will have a great deal of hard work to do.
I will not have to work much myself. Our camp is close beside the railroad. A great many cars pass every day & night. The whistle wakes [us] up every night.
I would like to be at home for the concert, if Jessie will play her piece well, but I cant get away. If we star here long, I want you both to come up to see me after the session is out. While I am writing, another regiment has come on a train of cars as long as from Grandpas houses to the gin. The men are in box cars knocked all the planks off from the sides of the cars and are standing with their head out at the openings. Looking like chickens in a chicken wagon. That is the way our company came up form Jackson. We have a great deal of noise in the camp at night, some of the boys sing, some holler, some bark like dogs, some crow like chickens and one whistles so much like a mocking bird that you would think it was a bird indeed at nine o'clock the lights are blown out and all go to bed except the guards who walk around the camp all night. They have a hard time when it rains. We see ladies and little girls in the camp every day, who come in to the soldiers. Seeing little girls here, reminds me of my little girls at home, I wonder if they are well are and well and doing well and wish that I could see them for a little while. I want Jessie to write me a letter with a pencil and get aunt Sarah to direct it. I can read it Let sissy tell Jessie something to write. Let me know how your both do how Grandma & Grandpa & all the family do. Give my love to all your uncles & aunts & Cousins
From your papa
Jas. I Hill
Ninth Infantry, pp. 130-132.
        11, Costs in Memphis
Starvation Prices in Memphis. A private letter received by a gentleman in this city, gives the following as the retail market in Memphis. Flour, $10 per barrel; eggs, 20c, per dozen; bacon, 18c. per pound, lard oil, $1.25 per gallon! It is estimated that twenty five thousand troops can be thrown into the city in twelve hours, but how the are to be fed is rather perplexing.
The Scioto Gazette, June 11, 1861. [1]

        11, Altercation in a Memphis bagnio
[W]hile in one of the parlors at Pirse Perry's bagnio on Main street, [a U. S. naval officer] was shot by John Forrest.[2] Both had been in the parlor some time, and those who witnessed....say the parties had had a difficulty. Forrest was intoxicated. The name of the officer was Gilmore. The police and a Federal guard soon entered the room and arrested Forrest, who was taken to the fleet.
Memphis Argus, June 12, 1862.

        11, Members of the 115th Ohio Volunteer Infantry skirmish with Confederates near the Shelbyville Pike-an account of a small-scale military action.
....[Sgt.] Van Hayne gave quite an interesting account of their picket skirmish [of yesterday]. He with 9 men & a corporal were the advance front-& were first attacked. It being in the timber they deployed as skirmishers. He "bush-whacked," they gradually fell back to the reserve where there was a Lieut. with 15 men from the 40th Ohio. When they got there they had all skedaddle except the Lieut. and one man. The pickets on the right and left had also fallen back some distance in their rear of their position and when looking round they saw that the Rebs [sic] were on both their flanks and had them nearly surrounded. This state of things convinced them to retreat on the double-quick, but in good order. The cavalry pickets had long ere this gone far in their rear. They finally reached a large brick house having run the gauntlet of a shower of bullets and shells from the Rebel battery; none of the shells bursted. They were reinforced at the brick house and held their position until the cavalry made the Rebs "skedaddle." We conclude that those of the 115th who have been tried will fight at any rate.
Patten Diary, June 12, 1863.
        11, "To the Citizens of Nashville," a public health notice
The health of the city demands that it should be thoroughly cleansed. All filth or nuisances on the premises of citizens must be removed to the streets or alley and placed in heaps so the same may be hauled away by Government wagons furnished by Gen. Granger, Commander of the Post.
Premises will be inspected, and the city nuisance law enforced. If the enforcement of civil law fails to effect the object, a more expeditious remedy may be applied.
John Hugh Smith, Mayor
Nashville Daily Press, June 11, 1863.[3]
        11, Company C, 5th Iowa Cavalry, reaches Murfreesboro
Last night was wet and uncomfortable for soldiers sleeping on the ground in the open air, but the boys were cheerful and ready to march early. Reached Murfreesboro and camped on the front just behind the first line of pickets and about three miles south of M [sic]. Everywhere the soldiers and officers said we were decidedly one of the finest looking regiments in the service. The day was a lovely one, and the country through which we passed in general was fine; but the farms were almost wholly waste, houses burned, fences burned and the road for miles strewed with fragments of burned wagons [sic], caissons etc., some of ours and some of the rebels. We marched across the battlefield to Stone [sic] River. There were a great many enclosures in which sleep the fallen soldiers of that bloody and obstinately contested fight. Murfreesboro is a small town pleasantly situated on the south bank of Stone River – more of stone than water in it; fully deserves its name – and as may be supposed, it is surrounded at present by strong fortifications and filled with soldiers. Our day's march was 35 miles.
Alley Diary

        11, "Provost Marshal's Office."
Considerable business was transacted by the Provost Marshal yesterday. Among others who passed through his office, we find that W. H. Mory, of Ashland, Ohio, has been arrested and held for trial under charge of being a guerrilla. John B. Canby, of Nashville, has been sent to the penitentiary for assisting soldiers to desert. Pleasant L. Rollings, a citizen, stands charged with being a guerrilla, with bushwhacking, and with larceny. B. M. Hawkins, a citizen, is held prisoner by order of Gen. Miller.
Nashville Dispatch, June 11, 1864.
        11, "Extensive Robbery."
Officer Joe Cheatham arrested, on Wednesday, a man named Allie, on Wednesday [8th], who was formerly in the United States army, afterward discharged, and subsequently connected with the issuing commissary department, charged with robbing the Government of about nine wagon loads of stores, consisting in part of four barrels of sugar, four barrels of parched coffee, candles, soap, etc., etc., some of which he is said to have sold to the Brothers Hurley, grocers, on Broad street, who have also been arrested on charge of receiving the property knowing it to have been stolen. All the prisoners are confined in the penitentiary awaiting an examination.
Nashville Dispatch, June 11, 1864.
        11, The William H. Robinson affair
Nashville Tenn. June 11th 64
Andrew Johnson
Mil. Governor.
I would respectfully represent that I am a loyal Citizin [sic] of Wilson County.
That on the 9th Inst, Capt Wyatt of the 13th Tenn. Cavalry, in command of about thirty soldiers, and while I was absent, visited my house, entered it with pistols drawn, and in a state of intoxicatin [sic], himself and men, Cursed my wife – entered my drawers, destroyed papers, took thirteen hundred and fifty dollars in different kinds of money, drank whiskey, and played at cards, laid and rolled on my beds with their boots on – also took one shot gun, one saddle, one horse, and one pr of silver specticacles [sic] & one watch seal, and after staying in this manner some three hours, left word with my wife that if I did not report at Gallatin to day they would again visit my house and hang me to the first lim. [sic]
Respectfully Yr obt Svt
William H. Robinson
Papers of Andrew Johnson, Vol. 6, p. 733.

        11, Return of the Bank of Tennessee and State Archives to Nashville
Arrival of Isham G. Harris' Cabinet-Capture of $600,000 in Coin-Grand Escort of the Captures Specie, Assets, and Archives of State, Back to the Capital.
From the Nashville Press and Times.
The dispatch from General Upton to Governor Brownlow announcing the capture of the archives of the State, and the assets of the State Bank with $600,000 in coin, together with the arrest of three members of King Isham's Cabinet, has already been given to our readers. Tuesday morning the Governor and Hon. A. J. Fletcher, Secretary of State, went to the Chattanooga depot to take formal possession of the captured property of the State. The property was in the charge of Captain Thos. O. Gilpin, of General Upton's staff, who brought it from Augusta. Captain Cravene, of the 72d Indiana Mounted Infantry, captured the archives at James Land's house, three miles from Buzzard Roost station, near Gus Swamp.
The archives filled forty one boxes, containing the papers belonging to the offices of the State Secretary, Treasures and Comptroller, together with the large amount op papers belonging to the Adjutant General of the State, much of which relates to the secret service of the rebel army. There are probably some interesting documents among them, relating to petitions for appointment in the rebel service, which the writers would gladly consign to the flames, or to the bottom of the Cumberland River. But treason, like murder, will out. The specie and papers of the Bank of Tennessee were captured in Augusta by General Upton's command. The precious metal filled 56 boxes of two small casks. On several of the boxes we observed the imprint of the Mexican cap, wit the motto, Libertad, upon its rim. Possibly the officers of the bank have been using the specie of the bank for blockade running and cotton speculations, and have thus got hold of some of Maximilian's gold. Capt. Gilpin had also a bag containing $1,700 in New Mexican gold coin, about the size and value of a double eagle. This sum was claimed, we learned from Capt. Gilpin, as private property by Mr. Mitchell, the father-in-law of John A. Fisher, the absconding cashier of the mother Bank of Tennessee.
Fisher shewed himself to be a thorough-bred swindler, in accordance with his former character, for he fled from Augusta with $60,000 in gold, and is now skulking through the swamps in Georgia, seeking to escape the country and the demands of justice. The notorious rebel President of the Bank, G. C. Turbett, formerly of the Union and American, accompanied him in his flight. We strongly suspect that when an investigation shall have been had the abstraction will reach a much larger sum. The robbers have shown a determination to take good care of themselves, whatever suffering might befall the State. And these thieves were the leaders of Tennessee! We blush at the thought!
Dunlap, Battle, and Ray, the Comptroller, Treasurer, and Secretary or State under Harris, were brought to his city by Captain Gilpin as prisoner, and are held on parole. The other fugitives cannot possibly escape the vigilance of our troops.
After a brief and hasty examination half a dozen of the large red wagons belonging to the Quartermaster's Department, marked "U. S. Transfer" on the sides, were ordered up, and the valuable cargo, the last relics of Confederate authority in Tennessee, were placed in them. The loading being completed, the Governor and Secretary, in all the simplicity of "plebianism," mounted the specie wagon, and the imposing procession drove up the street towards the Capitol. Everybody had heard of the great arrival of boxes of gold and silver, and of course everybody gazed eagerly at the train. It was a new chapter this, in the work of restoration, and something very different from that which the Confederates had bargained for four years ago. It was the restoration of stolen goods. It stuck as an odd instance of retributive justice that the transfer of this property should be made by a United States officer in the United States Transfer wagons. The procession was an imposing one, as we think we said, and if we didn't say it, we ought to have said it. Its personal constituents were unexceptionable. The central team carried Governor Brownlow, Secretary Fletcher and Captain Gilpin, and
"A youth to fortune and to fame unknown"
whom modesty forbids us to mention. In addition to this invaluable personal freight there were a large number of boxes of coin, and two boxes of State archives. On one of those sat the plain but decorously garbed Governor, holding a gold-headed cane, and looking placidly down upon the caskets of coin which were his footsteps. He was literally walking the golden street as the reward of his sturdy and inflexible fidelity to the cause of patriotism and good morale He smiled, for he had struck a mine which would make a sensation in the diggings of Arizona. His administration was established on a gold basis, and Tennessee would probably be the first State in the South to resume specie payments.
The modest Secretary sat upon another chest, holding in his hand a red silk handkerchief containing the private correspondence of the rebel State officials, and feeling no doubt much more comfortable than he did during the reign of terror in Greeneville, when Ledbetter's assassins hunted the Union like wild beasts to their places of concealment.
A good deal, perhaps one or two hundred thousand dollars of the Bank fund, has been stolen by the Fisher gang,[4] but under all the circumstances, the people may thank their stars that matters are no worse. The boxes are now all safely and permanently lodged in the Capitol, and their contents will be duly investigated as early as possible.
Macon [Ga] Daily Telegraph, June 11, 1865.

[1] As cited in PQCW.
[2] It is not known if John Forrest was a relative of Nathan Bedford Forrest.
[3] See also Nashville Dispatch, June 12, 1863.
[4] Unidentified.

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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