Tuesday, September 16, 2014

9.16.2014 Tennessee Civil War Notes

        16, Smith's Legion, Confederate convalescents, ordnance and money

HDQRS. DEPARTMENT OF EAST TENNESSEE, Knoxville, Tenn., September 16, 1862.

Maj. Gen. E. KIRBY SMITH, Lexington, Ky.:

GEN.: Smith's Legion and the 2,000 convalescents are on the way to join you, escorting money and ordnance. It was with great difficulty that I armed the convalescents. I send them by way of Jamestown, Big Creek Gap having been blockaded, and I did not care to risk the funds so near an enemy. De Courcy, with his brigade, left the Gap with 500 wagons--I presume to collect provisions. Morgan is getting in some supplies. I fear he does not intend to leave. Governor Harris' and Gen. Bragg's conscription orders have thrown the whole country into a feverish state, and I do not think I overestimate when I say thousands are stampeding to the mountains and to Morgan.


J. P. McCOWN,  Maj.-Gen.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 16, pt. II, p. 836.



        16, 1863 - "The Rebel Governor, Caruthers."

The [Louisville] Journal of Saturday has the following eulogism [sic] upon the rebel Governor, Caruthers. Caruthers bears a title to which he has no constitutional claim: his theoretical government does not possess on foot of territory in Tennessee:


Judge Robert L, Caruthers has been elected Confederate Governor of Tennessee. He is one of the most honest, as he is certainly one of the ablest and best men in Tennessee. A conservative of the old Henry Clay school, it was not possible for him to be a secessionist. Until the act of secession in 1861, and the collision of arms begun, he was a staunch friend of the Union. After that, siding with the South, he became a revolutionist, and allied himself to the Southern Confederacy. He was at one time a member of Congress from Tennessee, representing worthily Mr. Bell's old district. In 1844, he canvassed the state for Mr. Clay. He was elected Supreme Judge of the State in 1852, and held the position until 1861. He was a member of the peace Congress that assembled in Washington the same year, and exerted himself to devise some measure to avert the dismemberment of the Union. While it is a little singular that such a man should be chosen for such a position at such a time, it is very certain that they could not have selected a man of more statesmanship and character. We learn that an attempt of the friends of Govern Harris to get the vote of the State for him failed.

Now, let us see, by way of contrast, what can be said of the "lawful Governor" of Tennessee. He is a man who has stood faithfully by the Constitution and his oaths, amidst every temptation. Driven into exile by the force of treason, he returned the moment the way was opened to him. With him it was not only "not possible to become a secessionist," but not possible even to become a "revolutionist" against the best Government in the world, and in violation of the most solemn oaths of fealty. Gov. Johnson is a man whose character is pure, upright and consistent. The most bitter political opponent has never imputed to him the slightest obliquity. Sprung from the ranks of the people, he has made his way upward to a place of enviable renown, and his record is complete.

Memphis Bulletin, September 16, 1863.

        16, 1863 -  Desertions from the Army of Tennessee

There have been a large number of rebel deserters coming in here [McMinnville] for some time. Yesterday nearly one hundred came in. There have [been] about three hundred come in here in the last week. They all despair of their cause, and this feeling is doing its work upon them.

Even the commissioned officers are deserting. I do not wonder at this despair. The success of the union armies has been great and unvarying all summer and it still goes on….

Thank God for the abundant success he has given us so far. May we praise him for his goodness to us, ever seek his favor and still press on untiringly in our efforts to put down this wicked rebellion.

Alley Diary



        16-20, Scout, Cookeville to Sligo fording on the Caney Fork River, and Smithville[1]

HDQRS. U. S. FORCES, Sparta, Tenn., September 16, 1864.


MAJ.: Agreeable to orders of Maj.-Gen. Milroy, as soon as the detachments from the Fifth Tennessee and Second Kentucky, 230 strong, reached McMinnville, I marched for Sparta. I reached this place last night without hearing anything but vague reports of the enemy and without seeing any. This morning I marched northward on the Cookeville road, and about twelve miles from Sparta found several scouts from the command of Col. Stokes at Carthage. From these I ascertained that the commands of Williams, Robertson, and Dibrell had taken the mountain road leading toward Montgomery, in Morgan County, and that they had on Sunday night encamped about twenty-five miles from Sparta, at the head of Dry Valley, and that on Monday they had crossed Sinking Cane, all moving in a compact mass, without leaving any stragglers. I infer from the movements that they are endeavoring to reach East Tennessee by way of Obey's River, near Clinton, from which point they can select some one of the various fords between Strawberry Plains and mountain by which the Holston can be crossed. Finding that the enemy were pushing on without halting, and having so long a start of me, I returned to this place. To-morrow I will detach Maj. Armstrong, with the Fifth Tennessee and Second Kentucky Cavalry, to return through McMinnville to Tullahoma. I sent Maj. Waters to the west and south of Cookeville to scout upon the various roads leading toward Sligo fording, on the Caney Fork, and Smithville, hoping he may be able to pick up some stragglers on those unfrequented roads. He will in a few days report to Tullahoma. I will, with the Ninth, remain at Sparta till day after to-morrow morning, when I will march to Pikeville and Dunlap, in Sequatchie Valley, from whence I will report to Maj.-Gen. Steedman, at Chattanooga. I will reach Dunlap on the evening of the 19th, unless I find when at Pikeville that my presence may be necessary at Grassy Cove or the vicinity of Kingston.

Respectfully reported,

THOS. J. JORDAN, Col. Ninth Pennsylvania Vol. Cav., Cmdg. U. S. Forces.

OR, Ser. I. Vol. 39, pt. II, pp. 391-392.

[1] This and the two succeeding scouts were not listed separately in the Official Records General Index but reference is found to them in this citation.

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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