Wednesday, September 3, 2014

9.2.2014 Tennessee Civil War Notes

 2, A West Tennessee Confederate soldier's letter home to Memphis from General Pillow's camp [1]

Genl. Pillow's Camp

Aug 2/61

Dear Ma,

This is about the first chance I have had to write home since I have been camped at this place, we have had so much to do that I scarcely get time to [do] anything but camp duty. I had no idea what trouble a cavalry company was. We are up at 4½ o'clock, and from that time until eleven we hardly have time to turn around, and it is so hot here that it has made several of our men sick already.

We drill about five hours a day, so you may know that that is enough to weaken anybody when it is down in a field that there is not a particle of shade in [sic]. The company is beginning to get tired of it, if we were moving or fighting we would not mind it half so much, but it is very tiresome to do nothing but drill and scrub sabres and brasses nearly the whole time as we have to do.

Genl [Gideon J.] Pillow has appointed us his special body-guard[2]and given us a place to camp in-a very pretty grove within fifty yards of his quarters, but we are in about the sunniest part of it. One good thing we have gotten rid of however is Picket duty [sic]; there is not a company here but that envies our position, and some of them have given us the name of the ["]Pillow's pets.["]

I met Sallie Newsome, here the other morning, she is here on a visit to her brother, Ed, who married a girl living near here. Sallie is the only good looking girl I have seen in this part of the country, and we have seen several hundred of them, our parade ground is filled with them nearly all day and [we] look at them as if they were the strangest sights in the world. Ed invited me very cordially out to see him, he lives about two miles back of New Madrid, and I am going out there to spend a day Sunday. He with some others are getting up a dance for several of their different friends in the companies here, and some three or four of our mess are going out.

There are some six or seven thousand men here now, and that many more within a few miles of this place. I scarcely have any idea of what we are going to do, but I am pretty certain that we will not leave here for ten days or two weeks yet. I wish that you would ask Pa to hire a negro [sic] man and send him up by some of the boats coming. Basborn and myself will pay for his hire. I suppose that he can get one easy enough, if Bob will come I would like to have him, and we will pay the same wages he could get in Memphis, ask him please not to fail as we want one very badly, and now that we have the position that we have there is really very little danger.

If you have time I wish you would send me two check shirts and I find it hard to get along with what I have, anything will come straight to me if directed to Capt. McDonald, Independent Dragoons, New Madrid. I hope that you will write soon, for I feel right anxious to know how you all are at home, kiss the little ones for me and give my best love to all. I will write again in a few days.

Your aff[ectionate] son, John W. Harris.

Harris Correspondence.[3]



        2, Skirmish near Nashville

SEPTEMBER 2, 1862.-Skirmish near Nashville, Tenn.

Report of Col. William B. Stokes, First Middle Tennessee Cavalry.

HDQRS. FIRST MIDDLE TENNESSEE CAVALRY, Camp Campbell, September 2, 1862.

SIR: I have the honor to report that after leaving Col. Miller, on the Dickinson pike, in obedience to verbal orders I proceeded with two companies of my regiment, accompanied by a regiment of infantry, to Center Meeting-House, where I left the pike, taking a patheay to the left. This I followed to Mr. Driver's, where I met with Col. Miller. I was then instructed to move on a patheay to the rear of Mr. Driver's, which was supposed would lead to the camp of the enemy. After following this road for 2 miles I met with a farmer, who said he knew and would lead me to where the enemy was, which, he did, after traveling 2 miles farther.

I immediately attacked him with my advance guard, capturing 8 prisoners, among them Capt. Robert Bennett, and wounding his brother, Col. James Bennett, putting the remainder to flight. Here I left the infantry and pursued the enemy 4 miles farther, taking 18 more prisoners, killing 4, wounding 6. I captured 26 horses and a great many shot-guns and rifles, which I ordered to be destroyed, as I could not carry them. The way was strewn with clothing, arms, &c., showing it was a complete not. I then gave over the pursuit and returned to where I left the infantry, and not finding them I moved to the White's Creek pike. Here I learned that Col. Stoughton, with the train, was 2 miles above. We here rested an hour, when I decided to return to the City, arriving at 3 p. m.

Of the officers and men of my command I cannot speak in terms strong enough to show my satisfaction for the good conduct and the alacrity with which they obeyed orders.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

WM. B. STOKES, Col., Cmdg. First Tennessee Cavalry.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 16, pt. I, pp. 954-955.

        2, Reopening of the Nashville and Chattanooga railroad by Confederate forces

HDQRS. CONFEDERATE STATES FORCES, Chattanooga, Tenn., September 2, 1862.

E. W. COLE, Supt. Nashville and Chattanooga Railroad:

SIR: The Federals having left the line of the Nashville and Chattanooga Railroad in their retreat from Middle Tennessee, the reopening of said road becomes a military necessity. You will therefore with as little delay as possible proceed to run tracks to the water's edge on each side of the Tennessee River, and make arrangements for the immediate transfer of locomotive engines and cars, troops and supplies, across said river, and with all possible dispatch have such bridges on the road rebuilt as have been destroyed, so as to pass trains over them, having accurate accounts of the expenses for such work kept, and charge the amount to the War Department of the Confederate States of America. On consultation with you I am informed that the entire expense, exclusive of the bridge over the Tennessee River, will not exceed $10,000.

[SAM. JONES,] Maj.-Gen.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 16, pt. II, p. 794.



        2, Major-General A. Burnside's forces occupy Kingston

No circumstantial reports filed.

WAR DEPARTMENT, Washington, September 2, 1863--12.50 p. m.

Maj.-Gen. ROSECRANS, Army of the Cumberland:

August 31 Gen. Burnside was at Montgomery, advancing on Kingston. The enemy reported to be concentrating at Loudon.

H. W. HALLECK, Gen.-in-Chief.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 30, pt. III, p. 296.

HDQRS., Kingston, Tenn., September 2, 1863.


The main body of Hartsuff's corps is now this side of Emery Iron-Works, a portion of it being at Kingston, another portion near Waller's Ford, with advance at or near Loudon, and the remainder at Knoxville, I hope. We are expecting to hear from that portion of the force momentarily. Thus far the resistance of the enemy has been trifling. We have communicated with your pickets 4 miles below Kingston. I send this dispatch by that route.

Gen. [Forrest] crossed the Tennessee at this place, and I am satisfied that the has gone south be the way of Athens, although there are reports that he proposes to recross below here to raid upon our rear. Two steamers that were at this place went down the river when he left. He was heard to say that he was ordered to Dalton, Ga. Scott has also crossed, and it is said that Pegram is under orders to cross. Knoxville is believed to be evacuated, and it is also reported that Loudon is evacuated. We will probably know definitely during the forenoon. Citizens say that all the forces of East Tennessee have moved south of Loudon. I hope to send you another dispatch in a few hours, giving you more definite information. Please let me know the position of affairs with you. I [will] probably have a force in Cumberland Gap to-day.


OR, Ser. I, Vol. 30, pt. III, p. 297.


HDQRS. DEPARTMENT OF THE CUMBERLAND, Bridgeport, Ala., September 4, 1863.

Maj.-Gen. GRANGER, Nashville:

Burnside has taken Kingston....

* * * *

J. A. GARFIELD, Brig.-Gen., Chief of Staff

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 30, pt. III, p. 351.



Washington, September 6, 1863--6 p. m.

Hon. SECRETARY OF WAR, Bedford, Pa.:

Burnside has Kingston and Knoxville, and drove the enemy across the river at Loudon, the enemy destroying the bridge there; captured some stores and one or two trains; very little fighting; few wounded, and none killed. No other news of consequence.


WAR DEPARTMENT, Washington, September 6, 1863--11 a. m.

Hon. EDWIN M. STANTON, Bedford Springs, Pa.:

General Burnside reports the occupation by his forces of Loudon Bridge, Kingston, and Knoxville, E. Tenn., and the capture a new steam-boat nearly finished at Kingston, two locomotives and a number of cars at Knoxville, together with a very considerable amount of army stores at various points. There was a brisk skirmish at Loudon Bridge, where the enemy was strongly posted, but no serious opposition was made elsewhere to the advance of our troops. No news from any other quarter, and but little current business in the Department.

P. H. WATSON, Assistant Secretary of War.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 30, pt. III, pp. 399-400.



        2, Skirmishes on the N&C Railroad

No circumstantial reports filed.

Excerpt from the Report of Maj. Gen. Robert H. Milroy, U. S. Army, commanding Defenses of Nashville and Chattanooga Railroad, of operations during Wheeler's raid.

HDQRS. DEFENSES NASHVILLE AND CHATTANOOGA RR, Tullahoma, Tenn., September 17, 1864

* * * *

....About 3 o'clock on the morning of the 2d instant, when within about six miles of Murfreesborough, the train ran into a large wood pile that had been thrown on the track, and soon after the rebels opened fire on the two trains. I sprang out and commenced giving commands in a loud voice to different regiments to form line of battle to the right and left of the train. The rebels hearing this, and my men returning their fire pretty effectively from their carbines, supposed, from the length of our train, that we had a large force and beat a hasty retreat and left us at liberty to throw the wood off the track and go on to Murfreesborough, where we arrived at daylight.

* * * *

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 38, pt. II, p. 491.

        2, Skirmishes at and near Union City, Tennessee

SEPTEMBER 2, 1864.-Skirmishes at and near Union City, Tenn.

Report of Col. James N. McArthur, Fourth U. S. Colored Heavy Artillery.

COLUMBUS, KY., September 3, 1864.

I sent yesterday morning Lieut. Murray, with seventy men of the Seventh Tennessee Cavalry, to Moscow, with orders to find the enemy and engage him, if possible. He was joined by Capt. Berry with his command, and at Union City Lieut. Murray came up with Capt. Churchill and Col. Dawson's command and dispersed them, killing 6 and capturing 11 men. At the same time Capt. Berry was two miles west of Union City, he came upon Capt. Campbell's command, killing 2 and capturing 1 wounded man, 1 Government horse, guns, pistols, &c. Campbell's command fired into Lieut. Murray's detachment a few hours afterward from the brush. Lieut. Murray just arrived. Our loss, in all, 1 horse. He reports a rebel force of 300 at McLemoresville, Tenn.

JAMES N. McARTHUR, Col. Fourth U. S. Colored Artillery (Heavy), Cmdg. Post.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 39, pt. I, p. 493.


[1] Most likely the camp was located at Randolph.

[2] See: June 3, 1861, "Provocation and reply, a battle of words" above

[3]TSLA Confederate Collection, mfm 824-3, Accession no. 1379, Box 9, folder 22; hereinafter cited as Harris Correspondence.

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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