Wednesday, September 3, 2014

8.28.2014 Tennessee Civil War Notes

 28, Indigence in Memphis

For the Poor.—There is much poverty in this city; the Mayor has a large number of applications daily to aid destitute persons, and hitherto he has had no means in his hands for the purpose. Council yesterday empowered him to dispense assistance in such cases to the amount of fifty dollars a week.

Memphis Daily Appeal, August 28, 1861.

        28, Newspaper report on forced deportation of northern printers from the Southern Methodist Publication House in Nashville and conditions in Nashville

Interesting from Tennessee.

Yesterday morning we had an interview with two Philadelphians, who left Nashville, Tennessee, on Wednesday last [21st]. Some six or seven year ago they left this city for Nashville, and have been employed in the Southern Methodist Publication House in that city. They enjoyed the respect and friendship, for many years, of many of the principal citizens, all of whom expressed regret at their departure, but the recent proclamation of Jeff Davis, requiring all Northern men to leave within a prescribed time, compelled them to vacate their positions and come home. Five other employes of the same establishment let at the same time. They had no trouble, with the exception of being closely watched, until they arrived at the Kentucky line, when they were searched by the Rebels stations at that point.

On the night before their departure, they made a friendly call upon Mr. Jas. T. Bell, the local and commercial editor of the Daily Gazette, to bid him a kind good bye. They had a pried and pleasant conversation with him, and he told them that ht couldn't blame him for leaving-that, thinking and feeling as they did in regard to their duties of allegiance, the steps they were taking was [sic] in his view right and proper. He shook hands with them all round, and the farewell was spoken, and, the next morning, the following appear in Mr. Bell's department of the Gazette:-

Stampede Among the Printers.-"We understand that a number of Northern printers engaged at the Southern Methodist Publishing House, in this city, threw up their situations yesterday, and leave to-day for the other side of Mason & Dixon's line. The proclamation of President Davis has shown them up in their true light. Since its publication they have been seen in groups upon our street corners, evidently consulting in regard to sudden movements. They have been holding a good situation for several years past, continuing no doubt lately a portion of their wages to assist in subjugating the people who have fed them, acting too, probably, as spies in our midst communicating such intelligence as has recently been seen in the Northern papers under the head of "Nashville Correspondence." They would have been perfectly willing to have continued at work, and given us the befit of their amiable presence, had it not been for the proclamation and the "forty days" notice. Let us feel thankful that the proper means have been adopted to rid the cities of the South of such vampires.'

In conversation with gentleman, we obtained the following information:- In the storehouses in Nashville, enough bacon is store to supply a large portion of the Southern army during the winter; but all other kinds of provisions, with the exception of corn, flour and other home productions, are scarce and high. Bacon, although plenty, is selling at twenty-six cents a pound, and coffee at forty-five to fifty cents. Clothing is also difficult to procure, as are e also dry goods. A single spool of cotton cannot be purchased at less than fifteen cents. The stock of shoes is also giving out, and the only shoe manufactory in the city now employs but six hands, as it is impossible to procure leather. There is but little gold and silver to be had, and when procured a premium of twelve to fifteen per cent must be paid for it. The only currency in use consists of Tennessee bank notes and Confederate bonds. The Legislature having given the banks authority to issue notes without limit, the market is flooded with them. Of course there is no specie basis for the issue.

The failure of the stock of rags, and also of chemicals, has given the newspaper publishers considerable uneasiness, and many of the papers will be compelled to suspend, regardless of patronage they m ay enjoy. Mr. Whitman, who has the only paper manufactory in the State, says that after the first of September he will only supply the four principals papers in Tennessee, and he does not know how long he can do that. The Southern Methodist had only enough for two more issues. A paper factory in Atlanta, Georgia, still continues to manufacture a large amount, but the owner sells it almost all the New Orleans. It is sold a double the former price.

Around Nashville there are two or three camps comprising ion the aggregate about five thousand men. Along the Kentucky State line are some 10,000 more men, sent there by Governor Harris, for the purpose of aiding the Rebels in Kentucky, if they should ever dare to attempt to carry the State out of the Union.

There has been considerable sickness in the camps-small pox and measles being the principal diseases-and atone time more than one half of the soldiers at camp Trousdale, forty miles from Nashville, on the Louisville road, were sick with measles.

The mortality among the soldiers induced and enterprising genius in Nashville to start a coffin manufactory, and strange to say, this was the first manufacturing establishment commenced in Nashville after the secession of the State.

The soldiers in the camps, as well as a large majority of those sent to Virginia, have no regular uniform, each man clothing and equipping himself as he deemed proper. Out of twelve regiments which left for Virginia, ten were armed with the old flint-lock muskets.

Our informants have no doubt as to there being at least 200,000 Rebel troops at present in Virginia; and they say that at the battle of Bull Run, their loss far exceeded ours. Persons who arrived in Nashville from Richmond, immediately after the battle, stated that the loss was double what was reported. No official reports have been published, and as none are expected, men and women still endeavor in vain to ascertain whether their relatives, from whom they have not heard since the battle, are still living. The great loss and consequent demoralization is said to have been the sole reason why the Rebels did not pursue our army when the retreat commenced.

The impression in the South still is that they not only cannot be conquered, but that their army will take Washington, and after marching to Philadelphia and New York, will roam wherever they may deem proper. A strong Union feeling, however, still secretly exists, and not only are the American flags, which were floated from the staffs in Nashville, still retained [by Unionist sympathizers.]

Philadelphia Inquirer, August 28, 1861.[1]



28, The Victors of Cumberland Gap hold their position


The Peril to Our Army in East Tennessee.

The following is an extract of a letter from a distinguished Union officer serving with the forces under Gen. Morgan at Cumberland Gap:-

Cumberland, Gap, Tenn. August 28, 1862.-We are surrounded and our supplies are cut off!  The Rebels have twenty thousand men just out of cannon-shot in our front, and their pickets run across the mountains from valley to valley, up to within two miles of this Gap. More of the enemy's troops are now on their way from Knoxville, and two Rebel columns have also gained our rear, one of which crossed over by Rogers' and the other by Big Creep Gap. One of these columns, under Gen. Kirby Smith, it is said, is about to push its way up to Northern Kentucky, to attempt to cross the Ohio river, and by the time this reaches you, if it ever does, the whole of Eastern Kentucky will, I fear, have fallen into the hands of the Rebels, and we may be isolated by a distance of hundreds of miles from the only region from which we can hope for succor. We have begged for reinforcements and support for two months past, so that we might penetrate into East Tennessee, where both friends and supplies await us, but the authorities at Washington have turned a deaf ear to our entreaties.

Though the Rebel force is great on all sides of us, I do not believe they will dare to attack us. They evacuated this stronghold with a force six thousand strong, and with reinforcement of twelve thousand within three hours' march. This was more than twice the number of the National force with which Gen. Morgan captured the Gap, and which had no reinforcements within a distance of one hundred miles. But the enemy is unable to cope with such determined men as compose this little army.

I am assured by the highest authority here, that is no event will Cumberland gap be surrendered or evacuated. The only means the Rebels have of destroying us is to starve us to death; and I won that in this respect the prospect looks somewhat gloomy. If the Rebels now moving northward reach the Ohio river, we shall then despair of reliefs and by the end of September or October our bones bleaching on the mountains may be all that can be found of General Morgan's army.

If it be in the programme of the Government to relieve us, a column of 20,000 men must be immediately sent to Lexington. It can be done. Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky can furnish the troops; and if they are not hampered by absurd orders, the column might yet reach us in time. General Morgan says that, if apprised of the approach of a relieving force, he himself would advance to meet it with a portion of his army, and cut his way through the beleaguering Rebels or perish in the attempt.

The enemy's troops are like famished wolves. Hunger has made them desperate. Look out for ravages if they get up into the blue grass region of Kentucky.

Daily and hourly we look anxiously for relief. We listen with sharp cars for the drum-tap of General Buel in the Southeast or the bugles of a Union column advancing over the hills from the North. High on the mountain-peaks this little army defiantly upholds the flaming emblem of the Republic. God forbid that our Government should leave us to be starved out or slaughtered piecemeal, uncared for, in these solitudes.

In view of the perils that surround us, General Morgan has issued the following inspiring address to his army, which has been read at the head of every corps and regiment in the vicinity of Cumberland Gap:-

Head-quarters Seventh Division, Army of The Ohio, Cumberland Gap, Aug. 18, 1862.-General Orders, No. 73-Officers and Soldiers of the Seventh Division:-The opportunity you have so long desired has at length arrived, and you will now prove to your friends, your country and the world, that you are soldiers in fact and deed, as well as in name.

The famished enemy is in despair. Driven from Chattanooga, and Richmond escaping from his grasp, he sees that he is forced to occupy Kentucky, Indiana and Ohio, or give up the contest.

Two months ago, to-day, he ingloriously abandoned this formidable stronghold, although his force was then greater than yours. If it was then strong, it is infinitely stronger now; stronger in fortifications, strong in artillery, and, above all, stronger in the brave hearts and strong arms which defend this mountain fastness, destined to become immortal from your glorious deeds.

They talk of the enemy's numbers. Believe me, soldiers, his very strength is his greatest weakness, for the more men he has the sooner will they starve.

One word for you, and regard that word as fixed as fate. You can hold this position against any odds, and you have but to determine to conquer, and victory is yours!

Comrades, I greet and salute you!

GEORGE W. MORGAN, Brigadier-General commanding the Victors of Cumberland Gap.

Philadelphia Inquirer, September 13, 1862.



        28, Confederate newspaper report on the bombardment of Chattanooga


Passengers report an artillery duel at Chattanooga Friday [28th]. The enemy opened at 11 o'clock a.m., and our batteries commenced replying shortly afterward. The [thing?] was continued several hours, with a loss, it is reported, on our side of two killed and five wounded: that of the enemy was unknown.

The Rebel mentions a rumor that the Federal Loss during the cannonading a week ago was fifty. Probably an exaggeration.

We capture the following from the Rebel extra of Thursday [26th].

Wednesday, 5 o'clock P.M. – the reports which reach us from the region of Bridgeport are conflicting. Some assert the crossing of Rosecranz [sic], while others say that he is engaged rebuilding the railroad bridge. The possibilities are, however, that no movement has occurred in that quadrate of consequence.

All quiet opposite.

A duel took place a few mornings since near Graysville station, between a well know Tennessee field General and a Surgeon of distinction in their army, also from Tennessee. We have not learned the particulars, and withhold the names of the combatants.

Parties from Lookout Peak report that some twenty or thirty heavy brass siege pieces have been planted by the enemy in the bend encircling the city. They can be seen, it is said, with a good marine glass.

Or pickets on the river side were hailed by the Yankees on the opposite bank, night before last, with the following query:

Yankee Picket – "Secesh, are you ready?"

Answer – "Yes, you d____d rascal, ready and willing, come on!"


Daily Morning News (Savannah, GA) August 31, 1863.



        28, Military Governor Andrew Johnson proposes keeping captured Confederate Congressmen from Tennessee in prison

NASHVILLE, August 28, 1864.


Albert G. Watkins, ex-member of Congress, and Joe Heiskell, member of the Confederate Congress, have been captured in the recent expedition in upper East Tennessee and sent to Knoxville, and are there now in confident. I hope Gen. Sherman will permit me to suggest the propriety of their being elsewhere for safe-keeping until their cases can be properly disposed of. They are bad men, and exercised a dangerous and deleterious influence in the country, and deserve as many deaths as can be inflicted upon them. They are extensively connected with influential persons throughout that region of the country. Powerful influence will be brought to bear in favor of releasing them on parole and bonds. They should at once be removed from Knoxville. I trust in Heaven that your efforts now being made will be crowned with success.

ANDREW JOHNSON, Military Governor.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 39, pt. II, p. 311. [2]


[1] See also Boston Herald, August 30, 1861.

[2] See also Brownlow's Whig and Independent Journal and Rebel Ventilator, August 31, 1864.

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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