Sunday, July 13, 2014

7.13.14 Tennessee Civil War Notes

        13, Commander of 13th Regiment of Tennessee Volunteers urges Jefferson Davis to appointment of Gideon J. Pillow Commander of the Army of Tennessee
MEMPHIS, TENN., July 13, 1861.
His Excellency JEFFERSON DAVIS, President Confederate States of America:
DEAR SIR: A service of six years in the House of Representatives of the United States, while you were serving the country with great honor and distinction as Secretary of War and as a Senator from the State of Mississippi, agreeing with you mainly in the line of action which marked your course, and at this time in command of a regiment of Tennessee Volunteers, justify me in addressing you a few words on a subject, as I conceive, of great importance to the Army of Tennessee and to the South. We have in the field in Tennessee an army of 25,000 men, with arms, ammunition, &c., sufficient to do service for many months, the efficiency and strength of which is mainly owing to the energy, skill, and military talents of Maj. Gen. Gideon J. Pillow, who has not only given his personal services constantly and unremittingly to the cause, but has contributed to the amount of many thousands from his private means to place our army in its present proud and honorable position. These services are neither unknown nor unappreciated by the people for whose protection they have been most freely rendered. The gallant men who have rallied to the standard of the South under his command in the army, and the people who have felt his protection, have heard with pain that he has recently been deprived of the high position he has heretofore occupied in command, and his arm rendered powerless for further service by placing him in so inferior a position that he will be outranked by those who have formerly been under his command. Without desiring in any manner to depreciate the merits of others, I believe there is no voice in Tennessee which does not speak for justice in behalf of the merits of Gen. Pillow. I know that you have not desired to do him any injustice, and it is only because you have been occupied constantly by exciting and vital questions more immediately demanding your attention that you have failed to assign to Gen. Pillow a position equal to his merits, his services, and his military capacity. I am sure that the gallant men in the Army of Tennessee everywhere would hail with delight the news that they were to be continued with their commander. In view of the above suggestions, and being apprehensive of disastrous effects on the troops of Tennessee in consequence of what they conceive to be injustice to their general, I suggest to Your Excellency the propriety of appointing Gen. Pillow a general officer in the regular Army of the Confederate States. This position would relieve him from the embarrassment of being ranked by almost every other general officer, and though Gen. Pillow would not desire to remain in military service after the conclusion of the war, there could be no objection to this course. If this could not be done, could not he be appointed a major-general in the Provisional Army, with orders to take such force as is necessary to the relief of Missouri? I am satisfied that in this position his services would be invaluable to the country. I have ventured to make these suggestions to you relative to Gen. Pillow with no other view than to advance the interest of our common South, and to do justice to the feelings and meritorious service of a gallant officer. I feel sure that Gen. Pillow will serve in any capacity which may fall to his lot, even should he be compelled to go into the ranks, impressed most sensibly as he is with the perils which threaten the country.
Trusting that Your Excellency after calm reflection may find it consistent with your duty to the country and to Gen. Pillow to comply with suggestions here made, I remain, respectfully, your obedient servant,
JNO. V. WRIGHT, Col., Cmdg. Thirteenth Regt. [sic] Tennessee Volunteers.
OR, Ser. I. Vol. 52, pt. II, pp. 119-120.
        13, The Comet.
The Comet.-This strange body which appeared so suddenly in the evening sky, is rapidly hastening from sight. A week ago his tail extended from near the horizon to the constellation of Ursa, in the zenith; now it is of small dimensions and diminished brilliancy. The new moon willow, in another night or two, hide it by its superior light Since the comet first became visible near the head of Urea Major, it has traveled with such rapidity that to-night it will be near the last star in the tail of that extensive constellation. It is noticeable, that while the tail has so rapidly decreased in size the head or nucleus has not diminished in the same proportion. The shortening of the tail may therefore, to some extent, be owing to chance of position. The various newspaper accounts we have seen of it, all mention the appearance of the comet as being very sudden. The tail is collimated by different observers at from seventy to eighty degrees in length. A corresponded in the Philadelphia Press accounts for the sudden appearance by supposing that it had been setting about the same time as the sun, its motion having eastward at length as the sun, its motion being eastward its motion being eastward at length brought it into a position where the sun set first, then of course, it became visible. On the first night it was seen in Memphis, however, it was so far to the north that it did not set at all, but the to or three nights pervious to its appearance were cloudy, and it may have been hidden from sight. It was first seen here on the night of the 1st of this month. It was seen at Edgefield, near Nashville, Tennessee, and Indianapolis, Indiana, on the night of June 30; at Columbus, Ohio it was seen on the night of the 29th. The earlier appearance was, of course, the consequence of a less cloudy sky. With ourselves the accounts usually express the opinion that this is the comet of Charles V. Astronomers, by calculation on such data as the accounts of the former appearance of that comet in 1836 furnished, had appearance of that comet in 1856, had predicted its appearance in 1818, but announced that the perturbations might have been caused in its motion, which would delay its appearance beyond that period: such has proved to be the case. It is not improbable that this comet is the same whose appearance is recorded by Chinese observers to have taken place in A. D. 104, 395, and 975; the Chinese also have accounts of the appearance in 1261 of probably the same comet. Historians have mentioned the same appearance.
Memphis Daily Appeal, July 13, 1861. [1]

        13, Union Report Relative to Confederate Scorched Earth Policy and Necessity to Encourage Agricultural Production
CUMBERLAND GAP, July 13, 1862.
Everything shows that the enemy expects to be driven from East Tennessee. He destroys crops of all kinds. It is his military policy to devastate the country, as it is ours to preserve and encourage production. This requires a firm and steady hand. Our service suffers for want of cavalry at Jonesville. A band of mounted marauders are congregated, who commit under and robbery with impunity. I have ordered them to be surrounded and destroyed, and to do that I have been compelled to send a regiment of infantry on a four-nights' circuitous march over the mountain ridges to obtain a distance which a thousand cavalry could make in one night. I am not sanguine of the success of the expedition. A similar one we have sent in a manner to try to capture 300 of the enemy's cavalry at Wallace's Cross-Roads, near Clinton. Both parties should reach their destination before daylight to-morrow morning.
OR, Ser. I, Vol. 16, pt. II, p.142.
13, Fall of Murfreesboro to Confederate Forces and Federal Measures to Retain Control of Middle Tennessee
HDQRS., Huntsville, July 14, 1862.
Gen. SMITH, Cowan, or on the road:
The troops at Murfreesborough surrendered at 4 p.m. yesterday. One of the plans of the enemy and, I think the most probable, will be to sweep down the railroad. Make your dispositions accordingly. Those here indicated must vary according to circumstances. Leave a force of two regiments at least about Dechered, and push forward two regiments by cars to Duck River. The bulk of the force at Tullahoma to go to the same point. The force at Wartrace to fall back to that point if in danger. If the enemy should have made too great progress it may be necessary to make your stand this side of Duck River, but it is of great importance to save that bridge. See that you bridges are guarded, and send your trains back the moment you can unload them, so as to run no risk. Wood is marching on Fayetteville. Troops will reach there to-night. I calculate on getting supplies to you, but if not you must by some means live. Pay for what you take. Economize to the last degree. There are in all about ten regiments on your lines, including Walker's and Matthews'. The latter is probably at Wartrace. If you should fail and Duck River, which I do not at all apprehend, Elk River is the next most important point.
OR, Ser. I, Vol. 16, pt. II, p. 145.

        13, Excerpt from the Report of Acting Rear-Admiral Porter, U. S. Navy, commending the officers under his command and relative to skirmishing between gunboats and guerrillas on the Cumberland and Tennessee Rivers.
* * * *
The war on the banks of the Tennessee and Cumberland has been carried on most actively; there has been incessant skirmishing between the guerrillas and gunboats, in which the rebels have-been defeated in every instance. So constant are these attacks that we cease to think of them as of any importance, though there has been much gallantry displayed on many occasions.
* * * *
DAVID D. PORTER, Acting Rear-Admiral, Commanding Mississippi Squadron.
Navy OR, Ser. I, Vol. 25, p. 277.
        13, Resolutions from the State Union Convention
Nashville, Tenn. July 13 1863 [sic]
Gov Johnson
I have the honor to enclose to you a copy of the resolutions reported by a Committee and adopted by the Convention or Meeting of Union men recently assembled in this City.
Very respy Your Obt Servt
Horace H. Harrison Secretary [sic]

July 3, 6, 1863

Resolved that all laws ordinances and resolutions passed by the Legislature of Tennessee since April 12, 1861, intended to affect constitutional changes in the government of the State and to Separate it from the Federal Union, are unauthorized, the work of usurpation, and therefore void.

Resolved that in view of these circumstances and the condition of the State resulting from such pretended legislation, it is of vital importance to the people to elect a Legislature to meet at the capitol, on the 1st Monday of Oct next or as soon thereafter as practicable.

Resolved that as the overthrow by treason of the civil powers of the State has demanded the exercise of the power granted to the Federal Government to guarantee to every State a republican form of government – that this convention Cordially approves the action of the President in the appointment of Andrew Johnson Military Governor of Tennessee. [sic]

Resolved that we request Gov Andrew Johnson to issue writs of Election, and appoint such agents as may be nescessary [sic] to hold Elections for members of the Legislature on the 1st Thursday in August next or as soon thereafter as may be expedient, and that he provide Such [sic] agents with the means of carrying out the purpose, [sic] of such appointment.

Resolved that we fully approve the course of policy of Gov Johnson as Military Governor of the State and pledge to him our hearty co-operation and support, in whatever measures may be requisite for the restoration of Tennessee and her people to their Civil and Federal relations[.]
Papers of Andrew Johnson, Vol. 6, pp. 288-289.

        13, Confederate cavalry attack on Tazewell and murder of Union citizen
CUMBERLAND GAP, July 13, 1864.
Brig.-Gen. AMMEN:
Maj. Day (rebel) was at Tazewell this morning with battalion of cavalry, number not known. He murdered a Union man named Overton. I have sent Col. Davis to intercept him; think it will be accomplished, provided Day has not gone in the direction of Maynardville.
W. Y. DILLARD, Col., &c.
OR, Ser. I, Vol. 39, pt. II, p. 172.
        13, "A Brutal Outrage."
A Mrs. Annie Mason, residing in the vicinity of Court Square, while passing through a by street in the southeastern part of the city, early last evening on her way to make arrangements for the renting of a residence in that quarter, was met and confronted by two men each with a canteen of whisky, who invited her to drink, and on her refusing, and attempting to pass, seized and forcibly carried her into a grove, some distance off, robbed her of all the money she had, tore her clothing almost entirely from her person, bound her to a tree in an upright position, and then commenced the hellish work of violating her person, repeating it a number of times, and quelling her cries by blows and curses. Between each act of violation the person of the unfortunate woman, those fiends in human form sat nearby, drinking and cursing in the most heartless and indifferent manner. Towards midnight they departed leaving their victim, still tied to the tree, and insensible. She remained in this condition all night, and early this morning was discovered nearly dead, by a woman passing near the scene of the outrage, who gave notice to the military authorities by whom she was removed to one of the hospitals, and tenderly cared for. On regaining her consciousness, she made a deposition, which led to the arrest of one Hugh Burns, who she immediately identified as one of the parties. He denied any complicity in the affair, but was sent to the Irving Block to await the result of further investigate. The other ruffian is still at large, but as careful description of him is in the possession of the authorities, and he will in all probability, be speedily arrested. Mrs. Mason, at the hour of this writing, was in a helpless condition from the injuries sustained. And her death was momentarily expected she is about 30 years of age, a widow, and has one child, a girl aged about eight years. She has always born an exemplary character. It is hoped that the ruffians who so inhumanly abused her, will meet with the severest punishment that can be meted out to them.
Memphis Bulletin, July 13, 1864.

[1] As cited in PQCW.

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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