Wednesday, August 20, 2014

8.21.14 Tennessee Civil War Notes

        21, "DEATH TO DOGS!"
Weary citizens, overcome with heat, hard work, the last official war report, the weak tea drunk just before going to bed, find their hopes of sleep are vain. Open windows give entrance to the cooling night breeze; closed lace curtain keep from intrusion the musical mosquito bent on wounds and blood-but what shutters, bolts, locks, or designs of ingenious man can shout out the ceaseless bow-wow-wow, the howls the yells, the sleep destroying cries of countless dogs? "Soon as the evening shades prevail" the din begins. Barks no druggist's skill can resolve into healing tinctures or sublimate to strong but silent emences yells in every key, your shrieking contralto to the growling bars making it hideous." Crying babies sometimes sleep, and scolding wives in the course of passing hours cease their curtain themes, but the dogs, the baying yelping babel-bawling dogs, never give up. While stars look out and night's dark curtain veils the scene, with voice vociferous and unwearying lungs the canine quadruped's curse drives from the couch life's gentle solace-sleep. In vain are pistols fired, and missiles thrown with curses deep and dire! The skulking herd, with drooping tail and cunning crawl, are off-off where no pebble, stick, or shot can reach, but not off to silence-still the bow-wow-wow goes on unending When comes the calm, no more is heard the angry dash the roaring of unchained winds, not deafening crash of fear-inspiring thunder-the echoing peal of the fading avalanche hurdling down the mountain side-the bellowing fury of the volcanoes' wrath have limit and an end; but the row, the racket, the fierce, sleep-destroying howl and yell and bark of Memphian dogs, for nights unending, unmarked by stoppage or interval, banish balmy sleep. Not more constant was sweet Philomel, "who all night long her amorous descant sung" than is the canine curse. A flaming sword that every way showed its glittering edge, kept man from paradise, so noisy, deafening dogs keep Memphis citizens from the heaven of speed. Death to the dogs-that is the slogan of the coming war upon the nightly enemy. By shot or poisoning arsenic, quick death must be the fate of our relentless foes. Death to the dogs, death to the brute destroyers of our nightly rest. Death! death! no less will satiate our...revenge or curse the canine crowd we're cursed with.
Memphis Bulletin, August 21, 1862.

        21, Letter in response to Memphis Bulletin editorials about currency reply to our former editorials upon this subject. We are pleased with the tone and SPIRIT and candor of the article signed "TRUTH." The writer admits "that Southern money, as a general thing, is equal to or better than Tennessee bank paper." This writer assumes that to make Bank paper of good credit, there must be some approachable office for redemption, either in coin, exchange, or other Bank notes. We admit the position of the writer to be correctly stated. Let us apply the fact to his principles, as laid down.
Where is "the approachable office" of the Bank of Tennessee, Chattanooga, Bank of Memphis, Ocoee, etc.? As none of these Banks have a habitation within reach of our Memphis bankers, brokers or shavers, we are led to inquire why 10 percent. Differences be made by them between these banks, and the paper of Southern Banks, which is admitted to be equal [sic] or better than they are? None can be given upon the premises admitted, except the reasons we have before assigned for the practice-a simple power, which the money-dealer enjoys, of making an unjust and unfair discrimination, by virtue of his avocation, to appease the propensity of a morbid appetite for gain. We hold this an abuse of one's calling to the injury and damage of the public; and it merits a rebuke from the intelligence and fair business dealing of the people of the city. Is there a Bank in the State which redeems its issues in coin or exchange, whether it have an approachable office or not? There is not a single one that we know of. The credit which attaches to these Banks and to all Southern Banks, is just what attaches of public confidence to the SOLVENCY and ULTIMATE REDEMPTION of their outstanding circulation in COIN, EXCHANGE, or in their receivability in the payment of debts due these Banks.
We insist the entire issue of Bank notes now [sic] in circulation here, are wholly irredeemable by any Bank in either coin or in exchange, or otherwise. The pretence, therefore, by "common sense" of availability, is without the shadow of foundation; and we repeat the discrimination made by the bankers, brokers, and shavers, has no foundation in reason, justice, or principle. The exaction is founded in ordinate greed for gain, simply because the bankers, brokers and shavers have the power from their vocations to establish an arbitrary standard of value, by a mere ipse dixit of their own!
We state, and we challenge "Common Sense" to deny or gainsay the truth of our position, that the Banks in Tennessee, are, none of them, redeeming their issues either by coin, exchange or otherwise. If this be true, and we aver it to be so, if we are correctly informed, how is it, that Tennessee Bank notes can be worth more to the banker and broker at Memphis, than the issues of Southern Banks, for the reason that their houses be not approachable and their issues be unavailing? All were equally current, all equally satisfactory to the public, to the merchant, market-man, &C., until the banker and the broker made the discrimination of 5 and 10 per cent between the Banks of Tennessee and other Southern bank notes? Surely not. If they do it is a self-imposed undertaking. We assert that they handle Bank notes only [sic] as a matter of choice and of personal gain, and to which we make no objection. It is legitimate and fair that the do so. We lay down the proposition that the basis of credit of all Bank paper is public confidence in its solvency and ultimate redemption.
Now is the public confidence as great in the Banks of the South as in the Tennessee Banks? We assert their basis [sic] is LARGER [sic], and their management EQUAL [sic], if not BETTER [sic] than that of our own Banks. None of them now provide for their issues. It cannot be pretended. "TRUTH," and "COMMON SENSE" neither aver or do pretend that such is the case. They both admit equal value and equal confidence by the public. "COMMON SENSE" vauntingly asks the remedy. It is easy, simple and plain. [sic] It is neither to be mystified nor evaded by logic or by facts. Let the bankers and brokers treat and use whatever is an equal in value as an equal-AT PAR. [sic] Discard all ARBITRARY DISCRIMINATION! [sic] Sell coin or exchange, when they have the one or the other, at the same rate for all solvent Bank notes. Use all Bank issues, believed solvent, alike. [sic] Receive and pay out all such paper as equal until the BANKS THEMSELVES MAY BE ABLE TO REDEEM THEIR OWN ISSUES. [sic] When one begins to pay, others must do so or suffer discredit and be dishonored, and branded as unworthy of public confidence-sinking into oblivion and infamy with Bankers of integrity and substance. For the bankers and brokers and shavers of Memphis to make in the premises, admitted and which all men of intelligence know to exist. A discrimination between the "itinerant Banks of Tennessee" without a "local habitation," traveling with the armies of a rebellion amid a revolution perhaps endless, is an act of delusion and folly, to the prejudice of a community and is very unjust-especially over Banks which are fixed, stable and solid [sic]-in the hands of wise, discreet and honorable managers.
The practice is absurd and preposterous, unjust and selfish, for our bankers to require a tax from day to day of ten percent upon the necessities of the poor and helpless in our midst. We no appeal to their sense of liberality and justice and honor, to do away with an arbitrary RULE, instituted by themselves, and henceforth to use all irredeemable currency as money-SELLING AND BUYING COIN AND EXCHANGE for their own or other Banks, as it shall be presented, as equal in value, and YOU HAVE THE REMEDY. It is certain and simple, and this policy will soften your pillow in disease, and when death may come upon you as a thief, quiet your fears.
Memphis Bulletin, August 21, 1862.

        21, Confederates shelled out of battery opposite Shellmound and Nickajack Bridge burned
No circumstantial reports filed.
Excerpt from the Itinerary of the Second Brigade relative to the action at Shellmound, August 21, 1863:
August 21 ordered to break the enemy's railroad communications by the Chattanooga and Nashville Railroad with Bridgeport at Shellmound. Moved the Seventy-fifth Indiana Infantry and a section of the Nineteenth Indiana Battery to Tennessee River, opposite Shellmound. Shelled the enemy out after dark. Crossed a small party in a canoe and burned the Nickajack Bridge and captured the ferry-boat.
OR, Ser. I, Vol. 30, pt. I, p. 469.

        21, Skirmish at Harrison's Landing
No circumstantial reports filed.
DUNLAP, August 21, 1863--8.30 [a. m
Brig.-Gen. GARFIELD, Chief of Staff:
I have nothing from you yesterday or this morning. Van Cleve has sent couriers to communicate with Burnside. Funkhouser met 30 of the enemy at Harrison's Landing, this side of the river, killed 3, and captured 2. They state Chattanooga Rebel of yesterday reports the fall of Charleston, and the defeat of Lee by Meade; also that the enemy are all moving toward Atlanta. Hazen also learns that Burnside's advance reached Kingston Tuesday, and after a short engagement thrashed Forrest. I send list of prisoners by mail from Tracy City; also Hazen's report in cipher as to the feasibility of crossing the Tennessee.
OR, Ser. I, Vol. 30, pt. III, p. 187.

HDQRS. FIRST BRIGADE, FOURTH DIVISION, Opposite Chattanooga, August 22, 1863.
(Via Tracy City, 3 a. m., 23d.)
I have the honor to report that the forces under my command reached the east foot of Walden's Ridge late in the evening of August 20. The next morning I sent Col. Funkhouser, with two regiments and two rifled guns, to Harrison's Landing. He reports a brigade of infantry guarding the river, with four pieces of artillery and three hills fortified and rifle-pits for protection. The ford at Friar's Island, at the mouth of Chickamauga, is about 4½ feet deep and rapid. I went with the balance of corps, three regiments and four pieces of artillery, to Chattanooga. We came within 50 yards of capturing a horse ferry-boat plying across the river. When we got in position on the river hills they had but three small pieces of artillery in position. Two steam-boats were lying at the landing, the largest of which we sank with shells before steam could be raised on it. The other, a small tow-boat, is, I think, disabled. A pontoon-bridge of forty-seven boats was lying stretched up the river, ready to swing across the stream. An attempt was made to remove it, which was prevented by a line of sharpshooters on the river bank. The river is about 600 yards wide. The town is pretty well fortified.
A rifled 32-pounder gun killed 4 artillery horses and took off the leg of Corpl. Abram S. McCorkle, of Lilly's battery, at one shot. This comprises the list of my casualties.
The roads down Walden's Ridge are very steep and rough. I am now repairing the Anderson road down the mountain on this side. Wagner's brigade is on the mountain, on the Anderson road, and Hazen's brigade is on the mountain, on the Poe road, with three regiments at Poe's. I am camped at the foot of the mountain, on the Anderson road, with parties thrown out to the vicinity of the river on all roads. Two of my regiments are at Poe's, with parties out to the river at Harrison.
I wish to get further orders. My artillery ammunition is getting short. Can you send me 200 rounds percussion-shell to Tracy City for 3-inch guns, and 200 rounds fuse-shell (Hotchkiss) and 1,000 friction-primers?
I think that the rebels have one corps off two divisions at Chattanooga and vicinity-D. H. Hill's, formerly Hardee's corps. Polk's corps is reported to be down the road toward Bridgeport. None of this information is very well founded, being made up from reports from deserters, negroes, and citizens. There is no rebel force north of the river except bushwhackers on the mountains, who try to take our couriers. I have sent a company up Walden's Ridge after them to-day. Dibrell's-formerly Starnes'-brigade is reported to be in vicinity of Smith's Cross-Roads, and Forrest, with a brigade, is said to be near Kingston.
I have taken, in the entire, 40 men and killed 2 and wounded several; also took a train of 4 empty wagons and the mules of a battery that were grazing on the north side of the river near Chattanooga.
*  *  *  *
It is reported that Johnston came here on the night of the 20th, bringing with him two trains of troops and superseded Bragg, who is sent to Atlanta. This I learn from an intelligent negro who came from Chattanooga yesterday, and who claims to have seen them all. The citizens state that Bragg is at Atlanta.
There appears to be a large camp-fire 5 or 6 miles in the rear of Chattanooga. A movement appears to have been made down the river last night; it sounded like cavalry. They may be coming in on our rear, on top of Walden's Ridge, by crossing the river below. A good watch should be kept at the mouth of Sequatchie Valley.
They have a steamer on the river below here, the old Paint Rock.
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JOHN T. WILDER, Col., Comdg.
P. S.--No changes have been reported this morning. All is quiet across the river; but few troops can be seen.
OR, Ser. I, Vol. 30, pt. III, pp. 122-124.[1]

        21, Artillery bombardment of Chattanooga
HDQRS. FIRST BRIGADE, FOURTH DIVISION, Opposite Chattanooga, August 22, 1863.
(Via Tracy City, 3 a. m., 23d.)
*  *  *  *
We shelled Chattanooga, at intervals, from 10 to 5 p. m. yesterday, silencing every battery that opened on us. But few of their guns could reach us, being mostly 12-pounder howitzers and 6-pounders rifled. They opened on us with nineteen different guns. One 32-pounder rifled gun covers all on this side. Lilly made most excellent shots, dismounting guns at 2,000 yards. He threw shells directly in their embrasures. Their parapets are very broad; appear to be at least 15 feet or more, certainly not less. Their water batteries are sunk in pits level with the ground and with the banks built up for protection, with embrasures through the banks.
*  *  *  *
J. T. W. HDQRS. FIRST BRIG., FOURTH DIV., 14TH ARMY CORPS, Foot of Mountain, Anderson Road, August 22, 1863.
Maj.-Gen. PALMER, Gen. HAZEN, or Col. FUNKHOUSER, Ninety-eighth Illinois:
I am directed by Col. Wilder to say to you that we opened fire on Chattanooga at 10.30 a. m. yesterday, and shelled the enemy's works at intervals until 5 p. m., they replying with nineteen guns, all small, except one 32-pounder rifled. They did not use them all at any one time, however. The place is well fortified; not many troops to be seen in the town or vicinity; best information puts them below here. Prisoners say it is well understood that this is only a feint, and that the real point of attack is down the river. An intelligent contraband who lives at the foot of Lookout Mountain, on this side of the river, reports troops passing all night; thinks they were cavalry. No force this side the river, except a few bushwhackers in the mountains. We are scouting the country and watching the river to-day. All quiet in town this morning.
* * * *
ALEX. A. RICE, Capt. and Assistant Adjutant-Gen.
OR, Ser. I, Vol. 30, pt. III, pp. 122-124.[2]

        21, Attack on Memphis by Forrest[3]
Report of Maj. Gen. Cadwallader C. Washburn, U. S. Army, commanding District of West Tennessee.
MEMPHIS, TENN., August 21, 1864.
Maj.-Gen. Forrest, with three brigades of cavalry, attacked this City at 4 a. m. to-day, making a sudden dash on our pickets and riding into the heart of the City. They were repulsed and driven out, with considerable loss. They obtained no plunder, but about 250 100-days' men [i.e., draftees] were captured. They left Gen. A. J. Smith's front at Oxford the evening of the 18th, and made a forced march of nearly 100 miles. Gen. Smith has all my cavalry but about 400, and I have taken measures to notify him, and have him fall upon them and intercept their retreat. The whole thing has resulted very satisfactorily so far. What cavalry have is harassing their rear.
C. C. WASHBURN, Maj.-Gen.
HDQRS. DISTRICT OF WEST TENNESSEE, Memphis, Tenn., September 2, 1864.
COL.: I have the honor to report that on the morning of the 21st ultimo this City was attacked by Maj.-Gen. Forrest, C. S. Army, with three brigades of his command, numbering from 2,500 to 3,000 men.
They left the immediate front of Gen. A. J. Smith (who had with him a force of 4,800 cavalry and a large force of infantry and artillery), at Oxford, on the evening of the 18th instant and made a forced march hither, crossing the Tallahatchie River on a pontoon bridge at Panola, and arriving at our picket-line by 3 o'clock on the morning of the 21st. A force, consisting of about one-third of Forrest's command, was detached by him and ordered to dash over the pickets and into the City, while the remainder engaged our forces outside. This detachment came in on the Hernando road, driving in the pickets and riding past a regiment of 100-days' troops that was there stationed, and rode with the utmost rapidity to my headquarters, which they at once thoroughly invested, giving me barely a moment's time to escape. Another party rode to the Gayoso House, where they expected to find Maj.-Gen. Hurlbut, but in this were disappointed, he lodging that night with Col. A. R. Eddy, assistant quartermaster. Another party went to attack Gen. Buckland's headquarters, but making a mistake in the street, gave him also time to escape. They then proceeded to the Irving Prison, but the guard was ready for them and they were handsomely repulsed. By this time the provost guard had rallied and attacked the enemy vigorously, while the firing of the militia alarm gun added to the fright of the assailants, and they retreated as rapidly as they came, and joined the main force outside. They had no time for plunder, and save a few horses (perhaps 80 in all), they got nothing. Reaching the outside of the City a brisk fight was kept up with our forces there assembling until about 9 a. m., when the entire force moved off on the Hernando road. Our troops rallied rapidly to the point assailed, and under Col. David Moore, Twenty-first Missouri Infantry, whose regiment was not present, but who volunteered, and Col. G. B. Hoge, One hundred and thirteenth Illinois Infantry, commanding the remnant of his brigade, Lieut. Col. Roach, commanding One hundred and thirty-seventh Illinois Infantry (100-days' men), and Col. E. L. Buttrick, commanding Thirty-ninth and Forty-first Wisconsin Infantry (also 100-days' men), also Col. Ray, commanding fortieth Wisconsin Infantry (100-days' men), with Col. Prince, and the convalescents of the Seventh Illinois Cavalry, and Col. M. H. Starr, and a small detachment of the Sixth Illinois Cavalry, they attacked vigorously and drove the enemy away. My effective cavalry was nearly all in the front with Gen. Smith, but such as was here were ordered to fall upon Forrest's rear, and pursue and harass his retreat. They followed him to Hernando, twenty-five miles, which point he left, retreating toward Panola about 9 o'clock on Monday morning, the 22d instant.
As soon as possible on the morning of the attack I endeavored to get a dispatch through to LaGrange, to be expressed from there to Maj.-Gen. Smith, but it was found that during the night the wires had been cut between Collierville and Germantown....
OR, Ser. I, Vol. 39, pt. I, pp. 468-469.

Report of John E. Randle, Chief of Fire Department.
MEMPHIS, August 24, 1864.
The following is a correct report of the depredations committed by the Confederate forces during their recent raid in Memphis, on Sunday morning last, in the fire department:
Patrick Roach, a member of steam fire company No. 2, was murdered while on duty at the engine house. He was a good and efficient member, and leaves and aged mother and sister, who were entirely dependent upon him for support.
John Thompson, a member of the same company, and while on duty at the engine house, was made prisoner and carried off by the rebels. List of property taken off by the rebels: One horse mule, valued at $500; 1 captain's trumpet, $30; 2 firemen's belts, $20; 1 saddle, $25; 1 new black cloth coat, $35; 2 black felt hats, $24; 2 oil-cloth coats, $15; 1 pair leggings, $5. Grand total, $654.
Respectfully submitted by
JOHN E. RANDLE, Chief of Fire Department.
Report of Maj. Gen. Nathan B. Forrest, C. S. Army, commanding Forrest's cavalry.
MOBILE, ALA., August 22, 1864.
(Received 23d.) The following dispatch received from Gen. Forrest:
HERNANDO, August 21, 1864.
I attacked Memphis 4 o'clock this morning, driving enemy to his fortifications. We killed and captured 400, capturing their entire camp, with about 300 horses and mules. Washburn and staff escaped by darkness of morning, leaving his clothes behind. My loss, 20 killed and wounded.
N. B. FORREST, Maj.-Gen.
OR, Ser. I, Vol. 39, pt. I, pp. 483-484.

        21, Confederate attack and capture of Federal post at Maryville
No circumstantial reports filed.
KNOXVILLE, TENN., August 22, 1864.
Enemy attacked our post of about fifty men, at Maryville, with artillery, yesterday evening, and probably captured them. They are reported as passing in force toward Maryville from Louisville last night. No reliable information of any force this side of the river. Will keep you posted.
G. M. BASCOM, Lieut.-Col. and Assistant Adjutant-Gen.
OR, Ser. I, Vol. 39, pt. II, p. 285.

[1] Map, Ser. I, Vol. 30, pt. III, p. 120a.
[2] Map, Ser. I, Vol. 30, pt. III, p. 120a.
[3] There are a total of 15 reports on this dashing yet ultimately futile raid.

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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