Friday, September 12, 2014

9.11.2014 Tennessee Civil War Notes

        12, Greene County Unionist Uprising

Rebellion in Greene County.

The Knoxville Register, of the 10th instant says:

Blood has been spilled in Greene county, the home of Andy Johnson The Lincolnites have been keeping up the excitement there-drilling companies under the stars and stripes of the United States, and threatening death to southern rights men. Among the leasers of these rebellionists was Capt. David Fry. An order was issued for his arrest, and a detachment of Capt. Jas. Fry's company, stationed at Midway, under his command, went to make the arrest.

The Greene county Lincolnites connived at Dave Fry's escape. Capt. Jas. Fry arrested several men implicated in the escape of his Lincolnite namesake, and it is supposed still has them in custody. In retaliation, a party of near fifty Lincolnites attacked a force of twelve or fifteen Confederates soldiers stationed at Cedar Creek, killing one of them name James Henegar, after which they retreated to the bushed, and after several rounds, escaped. This is the legitimate fruit of And Johnson's treason. It is time that his coadjutors in East Tennessee were brought to justice.

Memphis Daily Appeal, September 9, 1861. [1]

        12-13, A mistaken instance of abortion in Memphis

A Great Crime.

There are some crimes so shameful in their nature, the result of depravity so polluted and degrading, that every one hates to think, much more to speak about them; the consequence is, that those who commit them often get off unpunished, when criminals of far less deep a dye have to endure severe penalties. This is not just, and where the crime obtains some degree of prevalence, it is not politic. Our readers will remember that on Sunday last, in a sand hole on the bluff opposite the Gayoso House, the bodies of twin babes were found, and that the coroner and jury returned a verdict to the effect that death in the case was the result of abortion. Our detective police, aided by Capt. Klink, have been engaged ascertaining the particulars of this infamous affair. We learn that their investigations have led to the knowledge of most atrocious and revolting particulars, implicating close and allied members of the same family, and that family one of respectability and standing. What course is to be taken in such a case as this? Is the blackness of the guilt, and the disgrace than an amiable family must suffer for [illegible] faults of some of its erring members, to ba[illegible] the interference of law; or is "justice to be [illegible] though the heavens fall?" In a late instance, an attempt was made to bring a notorious individual to justice for engaging in the murderous business of abortion, but a very heavy amount of money—we speak on the authority of the police—removed the principal witnesses and defrauded justice of its due. The numerous instances of finding the dead bodies of infants in or near this city, as recorded in the books of the coroner, intimate that if the law has been lax toward this class of crime, it is time the day of indulgence were past.

Memphis Daily Appeal, September 12, 1861.


The Twin Children.

Editor Appeal: I almost regret to destroy the various romances I see founded on a very simple but unfortunate occurrence—and reduce to common mundane matter—the stories "horrible and awful" at the present moment exciting the newspaper world of Memphis. I think, however, I may as well clear up the mystery concerning the foetal[2] found in the sand pit in front of the Gayoso house, by stating that I was present professionally at the miscarriage of the mother, a married woman, whose husband was also present on the occasion, and to both of whom the misfortune seemed to be a source of much grief. The foetal were of about four month's growth, and of course required no regular funeral preparation. I suggested to the father placing them in a box and burying it, but from the thoughtlessness in the person entrusted with the charge, they were, I have since ascertained, wrapped in a paper, with a brick attached, and sunk in a deep sand pit, at that time full of water. As soon as the water destroyed the envelopes and decomposition began to take place, the bodies of course rose to the surface and were discovered.

While I appreciate the endeavors of the police and others to ferret out all such supposed crimes, (happily of comparatively rare occurrence in our city,) which should under all circumstances be strictly investigated—I am glad in this instance to clear up a matter in which circumstances seemed to justify suspicion of guilt and crime.

W. T. Irwin, M. D.

Memphis Daily Appeal, September 13, 1861.



        12, A lecture to Nashville women on indigestion and domestic tranquility

Address to the Ladies.

One of the first objects of the purchaser of market "truck" should be to furnish for his family consumption such articles only as are fresh, wholesome, and digestible—the latter quality, above all others, should be insisted upon, or upon the proper and speedy digestion of our food depends much—very much—of our happiness, as well in this world as in the next. What does indigestion produce? Pains in the chest, headache, sourness of stomach and temper, quarrels with wife and children and neighbors, loss of customers and of all charitable and social impulses, nightmare and bad dreams—in fact, nearly all the ills that flesh is heir to. One of the first incentives to a good digestion is contentment of mind; when this is all right, and the body is in a sufficiently healthy state to enjoy a certain degree of out-door exercise, the usual fare is easily converted into blood, bone, and flesh, by the aid of our digestive organs, and after the day of labor is ended, we meet our family, hungry and happy and find them all smiling, and so glad to meet Pa as Pa is to enjoy their society. A contented mind must therefore be looked to—at all hazards it must be preserved. Think you, dear wife, that a man can digest butter of an inferior quality at 50 cents a pound, with business dead and money scarce? The very idea is sufficient to worry a man into a fit of dyspepsia. Can potatoes at seventy-five cents a peck be digested? No; a Welsh rarebit would be a delicacy compared to it, and hot light bread and butter a medicament for a dyspeptic. Other things might be enumerated, but we consider it unnecessary. The careful wife can always discriminate between extravagance and economy, and with a little reflection she will agree with us that even bread and bacon and a happy home are better than all the luxuries she could purchase at so great an expense. Economize, therefore, when you can, and dispense with all luxuries. Buy nothing that you cannot conveniently pay for, and remember that if you have anything to spare, there will be thousands of poor the coming winter that will need your aid; and charity always confers a double happiness upon those who give, as well as upon those who receive. Let us all look to these things before it be too late.

Nashville Dispatch, September 12, 1862.

        12, Food prices rise in Nashville present

Marketing.—Prices of marketing are still rising, and are likely to continue their upward tendency for a short time to come. Yesterday morning butter sold readily at $1 a pound—and not by any means of the best quality. Irish potatoes sold at $1 a peck, and sweet potatoes at 75 cents, while peaches of an inferior quality were held at $4 a bushel. Cabbage sold readily at from 10 to 30 cents, according to size and quality, and other articles at a like rate. Coffee and bacon are not purchasable at any price, we believe, and sugar is becoming very scarce. The market was well supplied with fresh beef, and the quality we thought better than usual. A good supply of wood was on the Square, which was selling at from $8 to $12 a cord, according to quality. We expect prices on all these articles to come down in a few weeks, when farmers are enabled to bring in supplies with safety.

Nashville Dispatch, September 14, 1862.

        12, "The recovery of Cumberland Gap is a necessity to the peace and quiet of this deluded region."

HDQRS. DEPARTMENT OF EAST TENNESSEE, Knoxville, Tenn, September 12, 1862.

Gen. S. COOPER, Richmond, Va.:

GEN.: The Federal forces at Cumberland Gap have taken advantage of the advance of Gen. Smith's command into Kentucky to blockade the passes through mountains [through] which Gen. Smith entered Kentucky. A detachment of Kentucky cavalry left a few days since without orders to join Gen. Smith and were captured near Pine Mountain. Gen. Smith is calling on me for re-enforcements. Gen. Bragg has ordered a portion of my small command to join Gen. Smith. I shall obey the order. With the force at my command at present I can only invest the Gap on this side, guard the various mountain passes and the railroad bridges. I am unpleasantly situated, taking in view the necessity of recovering Cumberland Gap, the key to East Tennessee, and the requisitions for re-enforcements for Kentucky. The recovery of Cumberland Gap is a necessity to the peace and quiet of this deluded region. It cannot be recovered unless it can be reinvested on the north side. I cannot do this and send off the forces to Kentucky called for unless in his confusion Gen. Morgan may abandon it. I am now organizing a force to re-enforce Gen. Smith and escort funds. I shall push it forward as soon as it is of sufficient strength to certainly protect these funds.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

J. P. McCOWN, Maj.-Gen., Cmdg.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 16, pt. II, p. 814.



        12, Report relative to esprit de corps of Army of Tennessee

HDQRS. FIRST DIVISION, TWENTY-FIRST ARMY CORPS, Gordon's Mills, September 12, 1863--7.30 p. m.

Capt. P. P. OLDERSHAW, Assistant Adjutant-Gen.:

CAPT.: Three deserters, belonging to the First Confederate, Jackson's brigade, Cheatham's division, Polk's corps, just brought in by my pickets, furnish the following information:

....They say...that the Tennessee troops especially were harangued by Governor [Isham G.] Harris. He told them that our army was separated into three corps, and that they (rebels) had four corps; that they outnumbered us two to one, and that they would fall on and destroy two of our corps before the other corps could come up. Governor Harris further told them that he wished to make one more Fourth of July speech after the war was over, to tell how well the Tennessee troops had fought. After remaining in line of battle some time, they were marched again toward La Fayette, and encamped Thursday night near Rock Spring, some 5 miles from here.

I should have remarked that Governor Harris told the men, in his speech, that the battle would certainly come off in four days....They deserted from their command yesterday morning, near Rock Spring....They have been skulking in the hills since yesterday morning, trying to get to us. They say it is commonly reported that Bragg's army is from 60,000 to 70,000 strong, but they do not think it so much, and that the strength is exaggerated to encourage the men.

Another deserter, who was brought in with these men, reports himself belonging to White's battery, attached to one of Forrest's brigades of cavalry. He says he killed Capt. White this morning, two hours before day, and made his escape. The captain had drawn his pistol to shoot him, when he seized a gun and shot him....his brigade and battery marched to Tunnel Hill, and encamped last night, where he killed Capt. White this morning...

All these men confirm the dissatisfaction among the Tennessee troops and those from Northern Georgia and Alabama. I would desire that this resume be sent immediately to department headquarters.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

TH. J. WOOD, Brig.-Gen. of Volunteers, Comdg.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 30, pt. III, pp. 581-582.

        12, Negroes and slave owners' property rights in East Tennessee


The rebels and their sympathizers are reaping the whirlwind where they sowed the wind, and, as is usual in such cases, others besides themselves are suffering from these unfortunate agricultural labors.

In plain words, ever since the beginning of the war, they have declared through the press in public speeches, and in private conversations, that this was an abolition war, ad that when the Yankees should possess East Tennessee the negroes [sic] would all be free. It is not surprising that the negroes [sic] have taken these pestilent agitators at their word; and believe themselves, without respect to the political status of their masters, to be free, and are acting on that belief. That these blacks are constantly deserting their masters, fling hither and thither, in their endeavors to find an asylum in the ranks of the Union army, or an egress to the North, is but the natural result of the teaching they have had from the rebels themselves during the last two years. Chattels human having ears have heard it declared a thousand times that when the Yankees come they would be free, having tongues have consulted many a time among themselves as to the "Kingdom Comin," and having legs, when the day actually comes when they have the soldiers of the Union in their midst, they naturally walk off.

Neither the Government of the United States, its authorized agents, civil or military, nor the Union men of East Tennessee are responsible for this state of things. In fact, they are all considerably inconvenienced by it. In those sections of the South where the people are, or have been, stiff-necked and rebellious, the army of the Union is an army of liberation to the blacks, and of vengeance upon the disturbers of the peace who call themselves "chivalry." In the loyal portions of the South, like East Tennessee, the army of the Union has a totally different mission. It is an army of liberation to the whites, and has not nor can it have under any law or proclamation, the least right to interfere with the "status" of the negro race. Nor has it the least inclination to do so.

But those who have committed treason against the United States, or have "adhered to the enemy, giving him aid and comfort," have no constitutional rights whatever, and they may as well understand that at once. For them to plead the guaranties of the constitution of the United States, or the immunities of laws of Congress, or proclamations of the President, is simply impudence, as absurd as it is disgusting. For two years they have been striking with devilish malignity at the nation's life, and when the nation is in a fair way to have her own again, they attempt to shield themselves from punishment by pleading the Constitution of the United States. They have been cut off from the true gospel for some time, and we tell them plainly, that from this time forth they hold not only their negroes, but their very lives, not by any tenure of right, but simply by the clemency of the Government of the United States. If they have any pleasant doubts on this point, we will have in a few days copies of various acts of Congress and proclamations of the President that will dispel them.

We have indulged in these remarks for the benefit of those specimens of the genus traitor who are hanging about our streets and lurking in the environs of the camps, endeavoring to spirit away negroes who have been taken into the service of the United States as teamsters, cooks, etc. We warm them to desist. If they consider themselves wronged, let them present their cases before the proper military authorities and they will be heard, and that is more of grace than the rebellion ever accorded the Union men of East Tennessee. Ego et meus res [sic], the synonymn [sic] of egotistic selfishness, has lost its potency in this land, and the days of bogus chivalry are numbered. Loyalty, as a citizen, and worthy, as a man, not ownership of a "nigger," [sic] is and will henceforth be the test of merit.

Knoxville Daily Bulletin, September 12, 1863.



        12, Skirmish near Memphis[3]

SEPTEMBER 12, 1864.-Skirmish near Memphis, Tenn.

Report of Col. John W. Noble, Third Iowa Cavalry, commanding brigade.

HDQRS. SECOND DIV., CAV. CORPS, DIST. OF WEST TENN., Memphis, Tenn., September 12, 1864.

CAPT.: I have the honor to report that the main body of the patrol on the Hernando road have returned. They state that upon coming to a bridge about the end of their patrol (twelve miles) the advance guard became engaged, and at the same time their whole body, with the exception of the rear guard, was attacked on both flanks by a strong body of rebels, numbering from 150 to 200; that upon finding the enemy too strong, they broke for a swamp and made the best of their way to the Pigeon Roost road, hearing the rebels say, "Never mind boys, we will wait for them, they will be back again presently," and by that road came into camp. They lost 4 men, of whom 2 are reported killed and 2 missing, and 1 man and 3 horses wounded. I have sent out 150 men of the First Brigade to learn what they can in regard to the movements of the enemy.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JOHN W. NOBLE, Col., Cmdg.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 39, pt. I, p. 503.

        12, "Murder of Surgeon Moore."

The friends of Dr. Moore were shocked yesterday at hearing a report that he had been waylaid and brutally murdered, Monday night [12th], while riding home from the city. His residence is eight miles from the city, and the cold-blooded, unprovoked murder was committed within one mile of his house. The cause of Dr. Moore's assassination was the Surgeon of the 5th Tennessee cavalry, (Col. Stokes) a fact which gave great offence and scandal to the rebels, and sympathizers in his neighborhood. We have no doubt that the deed was done by some of his own neighbors, or at least instigated by the wretches. It is idle for them to disclaim any knowledge of or connection with the transaction, for the blood of Dr. Moore, as well as of hundreds of other loyal men is on their skirts. The murderers who prowl along our public roads to shoot down any straggling Union soldiers, or unarmed citizens whom they may chance to meet, do so from the belief that they are acting in accordance with the wishes of the rebellious people around them. We learn that a cavalry company has gone out in pursuit of the murderers, and we ardently hope they may lay hands on the murderers, besides making their ineffaceable mark in that neighborhood. Tennessee belonged to the loyal, and loyal men must be permitted to ride and walk alone, by day or night, without danger of being shot or stabbed.

Nashville Daily Times and True Union, September 14, 1864.


[1] As cited in PQCW.

[2] Variant of "fetal" or "fetus."

[3] Not listed in Dyer's Battle Index for Tennessee. Here there is mention of a military action called a "patrol." Certainly the term is known to everyone, but it is not used in any official sense, that is, in the OR indexes.

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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