Sunday, September 7, 2014

9.7.14 Tennessee Civil War Notes

        7, Suggestion to use female prisoners as washerwomen for the Southern Mothers' hospital

Women Convicts.—Men convicted of offenses against the city ordinances are set to work in the streets; women so convicted are kept within the walls of the city prison and no especial labor is provided for them, but they are set to do various jobs of washing and so on, that there may be about the jail. On Tuesday evening the surgeon of the army hospital, Dr. Keller, applied to council to provide him with washerwomen, as will be seen in our report of "Council Proceeding" in another place; this council were unable to do. The city charter gives council the power, "as soon as practicable after the passage of this charter, to erect and organize a workhouse." The workhouse has never yet been erected. It appears to us that the city might organize a temporary workhouse in the neighborhood of the hospital, and send them all the women convicts, these might be overlooked in the grounds where they wash, iron, and hang out clothes, with as much or more facility as the men who work in the streets. The hospital would pay for the work done, thus indemnifying the city for expenses incurred, and the city would have an excellent way of disposing of the female convicts. There is also washing to be done for the jail, and we presume for the city hospital, and other work adapted for women, for which, we should suppose, with a little management these women's services could be made available.

Memphis Daily Appeal, September 7, 1861



        7, Status report on Confederate guerrilla activities in Haywood, Dyer and Lauderdale counties, and between the Forked Deer rivers

HDQRS. CENTRAL DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI, Trenton, Tenn., September 7, 1862.

Capt. M. ROCHESTER, Assistant Adjutant-Gen., Columbus, Ky.:

CAPT.: The larger part of the rebel force that has been between the Forked Deer Rivers has fallen back to the Hatchie, leaving bands of marauders in Haywood County to do what mischief they can. Their camps extend from Brownsville Landing to Estenaula, and they are reported by our spies and Union men as being from 3,000 to 5, 000 strong. They are recruiting a large number of men south of the Hatchie and in the counties bordering it on the north.

Where Col. McCullough [Confederate] is I know not, but judge by their falling back that he must be scouting in Haywood County. If we could have a force at Brownsville to occasionally dash across the Hatchie we could make it too hot even there for them; all their prisoners and our scouts say that they desire to get north of me. The punishment that I have given them in Dyer, Lauderdale, and Haywood Counties makes them bitter. They take all the property of any Union man or any one who even leans that way, negroes [sic] and all, and those men who bought the confiscated property at the sales here they punished terribly. A fight occurred in the streets of Denmark Thursday[1] [4th]; what it amounted to I know not. The secesh report that their side lost 30 and that the cavalry cut them up terribly and dispersed them in the fourth charge. I trust it is so.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

G. M. DODGE, Brig.-Gen.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 17, pt. II, pp. 206-207.

        7, A Carroll county tailor's horses taken by Federal soldiers

While myself [sic] and family were at Pisgah church in Carroll Co., there came to my house ten Federal soldiers and pressed two fine 3-year old mares and took also 1 sadle [sic] and 1 halter for which I have a receipt from Col. Bryant. But the worst they stole several things for which they made no report. They inquired of Caroline, a colored woman, if I had any money and if it was hid out. The inquiry was made by Capt. Stevens of Wisconsin. I was informed by one of the Wisconsin soldiers that this Capt Stevens was of Company B., Wisconsin Volunteers.

"Younger Diary."[2]

        7, Infanticide in Nashville

Child Murder.—On Sunday [7th] morning, between 6 and 7 o'clock, officer Ingles discovered a dead infant on the corner of Summer and Gay streets. News of the discovery spread rapidly, and before a magistrate could be obtained to hold an inquest on the body, a large crowd had assembled on the spot. About 8 o'clock Squire Southgate made his appearance; a jury was empanelled, and the inquisition proceeded, but it was merely a professional one, as none present could give any information as to who were the parents of the infant. Dr. Martin made a post-mortem examination, and testified that the child was not more than twenty-four hours old at the time of his death, which was caused by a blow upon the forehead. The child was large, with well-formed limbs, and finely proportioned features. Squire Southgate requested those present who might obtain any clue to the discovery of the perpetrator of the foul deed, to make known their suspicions to the police authorities. A verdict was rendered in accordance with the above facts.

Nashville Dispatch, September 9, 1862.



        7, "MARKET."

A walk through the market house on Saturday morning called vividly to mind the richly laden stalls and multitudinous crowds of people buying and selling commodities, that in former years constituted the great feature of our Saturdays. We have not seen a better market since the reign of the old "public functionary." Vegetables, fruit, butter, eggs, chickens, etc., were bountifully displayed, while the butchers hooks and skewers were laded with ancient variety of meats, and of premium quality compared with what the people have heretofore tried [sic] to masticate. Prices for all articles of marketing continue to rule high, and the longest ladder reaches the prize; but, contrasted with the impoverishing tariff on other saleable things, our people may be said to feed very cheaply. The large and increasing attendance of marketers is due to the present pass system, as so judiciously regulated by the energetic Provost Marshall Col. Geo. Spalding, and a long as the earth "brings forth" we may rejoice that famine is far off.

Nashville Daily Press, September 7, 1863

        7, South Side Institute

The annual session of this excellent school will begin this morning. Mrs. Emma Holcomb, the Principal is well known as one of the most successful teachers and disciplinarians in the country, and the Institute has every other attraction to commend it to a liberal support. We are informed that the accomplished artiste and teacher of the Piano, Miss Panelle, whose service have been engaged, is expected here in the course of the present month, she being unavoidably detained on account of illness.

Nashville Daily Press, September 7, 1863.

        7, Skirmishing on Tennessee River, at mouth of Lookout Valley and breastworks at Lookout Creek


In front of Chattanooga, September 7, 1863.

Brig.-Gen. HAZEN:

GEN.: Gen. Wood opened on the enemy this p. m. on the opposite side of the river, at the mouth of Lookout Valley, with musketry and artillery, the enemy replying. The enemy have two batteries on the point of Lookout Mountain, one commanding Lookout Valley, and the other the river and valley in this direction; also breastworks at Lookout Creek, commanding the road to Chattanooga. I have directed Col. Jordan to send some men over the river at the mouth of Chickamauga in the morning, and I shall take one regiment and a section of artillery and go there in person tomorrow; if by using the artillery I can cross, I shall do it. Gen. Reynolds is reported by courier from Gen. Wood to be at Trenton. Appearances indicate about a division at Chattanooga with plenty of artillery. Forrest is reported to have gone below. We will have communication with Gen. Wood, by way of Williams' Island, to-morrow.

Very truly, yours.

J. T. WILDER, Col., Comdg. Brigade.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 30, pt. III, pp. 429-430.

Excerpt from the September 26, 1863 report of Colonel Alexander McIlvain, 64th Ohio Infantry.


* * * *

On the 7th, the regiment accompanied the brigade on the reconnaissance toward Chattanooga, in rear and supporting the section of the Sixth Ohio Battery, except Companies E and K, in charge of Lieut.-Col. Brown, who were detached toward Kelley's Ford to guard the left flank from an attack. The command, though exposed at times to the enemy's fire without having an opportunity of returning it, manifested the utmost willingness to discharge whatever duty was assigned it throughout the expedition.

* * * *


OR, Ser. I, Vol. 30, pt. I, pp. 701-702.

HDQRS. FIRST DIVISION, TWENTY-FIRST ARMY CORPS, Chattanooga, E. Tenn., September 25, 1863.

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

CAPT.: I have the honor to submit the accompanying documents, which I request that the general commanding the corps will transmit, with such indorsement as he may judge proper, to department headquarters. I think these documents clearly show, first, that the change I made in the position of my command during the night of the 6th instant was eminently proper and judicious, being imperatively demanded by the circumstances by which I was surrounded. Second, I think that these documents show further that the reconnaissance of the 7th was made at the earliest possible moment compatible with the safety of my command and the success of the reconnaissance, and hence that there was nothing in the delay which occurred in the forenoon of the 7th partaking of the nature of disobedience of orders or of neglect of duty.

The bold and brilliant manner in which the reconnaissance was conducted vindicates my arrangements, and to make them time was necessary. I regret now that I did not write a note during the forenoon of the 7th, for the information of the corps and department commanders, saying the reconnaissance would be delayed till noon in its movements on account of the necessity of making necessary arrangements in advance. Not so to write was simply an unintentional oversight, and I can only say in explanation of it that I was busily engaged the whole forenoon of the 7th up to 11.30 in the field on horseback making the necessary dispositions, and that I wrote the note of 11.30 a. m. at the first moment that I dismounted from my horse.

I request that this letter be forwarded, with the accompanying documents, to department headquarters. It is necessary to a full understanding of the whole question.

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

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



Chattanooga, September 26, 1863.

Respectfully forwarded.

I have never in any communication to department headquarters blamed Gen. Wood for changing his position. I did expressly leave this matter to his discretion, and therefore, if he did wrong, I am to blame. I will be entirely satisfied if the communications submitted by Gen. Wood vindicate him at department headquarters for his delay in making the reconnaissance.

Gen. Wood did not apprise me of the delay in making the reconnaissance until 11.30 a. m., although he received the order to make it, without loss of time, at 7.45 a. m., and when he did inform me of the delay he added that he would during the day make the reconnaissance, as ordered, with Harker's brigade. I think it was Gen. Wood's duty to have informed me at once of the delay which he claims was necessary in making the reconnaissance, and that I did him no injustice in my communication on the subject to department headquarters. Gen. Wood has disclaimed any intention of being disrespectful to me in any of his communications, and I hope this matter is ended.

T. L. CRITTENDEN, Maj.-Gen., Comdg.


HDQRS. FIRST BRIG., FIRST DIV., 21ST ARMY CORPS, September 16, 1863.

Capt. M. P. BESTOW, Assistant Adjutant-Gen., First Division:

CAPT.: I believe the position at the junction of the Chattanooga and Nashville Railroad with the Chattanooga and Trenton Railroad, __________ at which point our division halted during the afternoon [6th instant], to be entirely open, capable of being attacked on all sides simultaneously, and hence a dangerous and injudicious position for an inferior force in numbers to receive an attack from a superior force in numbers.

Second, all the information we received during the afternoon and early evening of Sunday, the 6th instant, went to show that we were in the immediate proximity of a large force, and that we were liable to be attacked the following morning, at a great disadvantage to ourselves.

Third, I do believe it was proper and judicious, under the existing circumstances, to take up a new position that night, 1½ miles to the rear, which could be more easily defended.

Fourth, I do not believe the change of position interfered with the object to be gained, viz.,: a reconnaissance into Lookout Valley, but, to the contrary, we gained a stronger position from which to act.

Fifth, believing, as we did, that the enemy was not evacuating, and that he might assail Col. Harker in force, I think it was just and proper to put my brigade in position as a reserve, during the reconnaissance made by Col. Harker the next morning, as it was a much stronger position than any between there and the point of the mountain; and, furthermore, I think Harker's battery and my brigade were put in position and the reconnaissance was made as early on the morning of the 7th instant as was possible with safety.

Sixth, I believe everything was accomplished by the reconnaissance that could have been had it been made earlier in the morning.

I am, very respectfully,

GEO. P. BUELL, Col., Comdg. First Brigade.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 30, pt. III, pp. 851-853.


HDQRS. 1ST DIVISION, 21ST ARMY CORPS, Junction of Road via Whiteside's and Trenton Road, September 8-1.30 p. m.

Respectfully forwarded through corps headquarters for the information of the commanding general of the army.

I sent in the substance of Col. Harker's verbal report last evening, immediately on his return, but time was necessary this morning for the preparation of the written report....The arrangements made for the reconnaissance, and the time of its moving, were well adjusted, and the reconnaissance itself was most brilliantly and successfully conducted by Col. Harker. I do not believe that military annals offer an instance of a more daring reconnaissance made by so small a force against an intrenched position, strongly garrisoned, attended with so little loss.[added]

TH. J. WOOD, Brig.-Gen., &c., Comdg.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 30, pt. I, p. 683.


Report of Col. Charles G. Harker, Sixty-fifth Ohio Infantry, commanding Third Brigade.

HDQRS. 3d BRIG., 1ST DIV., 21ST ARMY CORPS, Camp on Trenton and Chattanooga Road, 1 ½ miles from junction of Trenton Branch Railroad with Nashville and Chattanooga Railroad, September 8, 1863.

SIR: I have the honor very respectfully to submit the following report of the reconnaissance made by my brigade in the direction of Chattanooga on yesterday, the 7th instant:

My command, consisting of four regiments of infantry, the One hundred and twenty-fifth, Sixty-fifth, and Sixty-fourth Ohio, and Third Kentucky, and two pieces of artillery, left the camp at 1 p. m. yesterday. My instructions from the general commanding the division were, in substance, as follows: To proceed in the direction of Chattanooga, feeling my way very carefully, and not to push my reconnaissance beyond the point where the wagon road crosses Lookout Creek, and not so far as that point if I should deem it unsafe, and to return to camp before nightfall.

After leaving our pickets I disposed of my force to the best of my judgment and advanced with great caution. About 300 yards beyond the junction of the Trenton Railroad with the Nashville and Chattanooga Railroad, I first encountered the enemy's vedettes, which retreated rapidly before our skirmishers. We soon after reached a thin line of the enemy's infantry skirmishers which were driven rapidly by our own.

The general width of the valley between the secondary ridges was about half a mile. My skirmishers covered this entire distance, and there was more or less skirmishing along the entire line.

At a point about three-quarters of a mile northeast of the Trenton and Chattanooga Railroad, there is a ford on Lookout Creek, and a road leading thence along Lookout Mountain to Chattanooga. Near this I left four companies in charge of a field officer to guard the crossing and keep me apprised of any movement upon my right. I also sent four companies in charge of a field officer to take a strong position on the Kelley's Ferry and Wauhatchie road to guard against any demonstration upon my left. I then marched on until my advance reached Parker's house. At this point a road from Kelley's Ferry comes into the main Trenton and Chattanooga road. From Parker's house there are two wagon roads to Chattanooga, the right fork running north 65 [degrees] east to the base of Lookout Mountain, the left fork running nearly due north until it intersects the main wagon road to Kelley's Ferry, about half a mile from Parker's house. This road then takes a winding northeasterly course toward the base of Lookout Mountain, crossing Lookout Creek at a brigade 1 mile from Parker's house and 4 miles from Chattanooga. I took the right fork.

When the most of my force had reached the vicinity of Parker's house, the enemy opened upon me with artillery located on the western slope of Lookout Mountain. The battery or batteries were estimated to be from 300 to 400 feet above the level of the railroad and about 1, 100 yards from my main command, though my skirmishers were much nearer, having arrived at the crossing of Lookout Creek. I could not ascertain the number of his pieces, but from the extreme right to the left the distance was about 200 yards. These batteries command all the ground in the vicinity of the right fork, or the road upon which I was at the time. Their pieces were light 6 and 12 pounders. They had our range quite accurately, dropping their shells (many of which did not explode) quite near us, but, taking advantage of the ground, my casualties were very light.

I found the map furnished me very incorrect. I herewith inclose a more correct one [map not found] based upon my own observation and the best information I could gather from the citizens, &c.

The strength of the enemy must only be inferred from circumstances. They presented a strong line of skirmishers in the vicinity of the crossing of Lookout Creek, and when so hotly engaged by our own as to be unable to resist us longer, they were ordered to "fall back on their regiment or regiments," supposed to be not far from the right of the creek at the ford. But as the battery opened upon us shortly after this, and as I was ordered not to go beyond Lookout Creek, the regiments did not become engaged. From Mr. Parker (who has the reputation of being a Union man) I learned that one brigade (Strahl's) was encamped about 1 mile to the east of his house as late as the 5th instant. Mr. [Parker] has a pass dated "Hdqrs. Strahl's brigade, on outpost duty, September 3, 1863."

Mr. [Parker] states that he was in Chattanooga on the 3d; that the mountain is strongly fortified to guard the approaches from this direction; that he saw but few troops in the town and no artillery there, but from the indication of the woods in the surrounding country, and from what he could learn, he believed the enemy were there in strong force. A prisoner whom we captured stated that Bragg was being re-enforced from Johnston's command, and also from South Carolina. The battery which opened upon me commands all the ground in the vicinity of the road upon which I was approaching. A column cannot approach from this direction without being subjected to great slaughter, and should it succeed in approaching so near as to make the guns which opened upon me ineffective from their great elevation, it is reasonable to suppose that there are lower batteries which might be brought to bear upon us. Should it be designed to approach from this direction, I would recommend another reconnaissance by the left fork of the road from Parker's house. It is possible that new facts might thus be developed in regard to the nature of the ground, the position and strength of enemy's batteries which from the late hour of the day and the nature of my instructions, safety of my command, &c., did not permit me to ascertain.

I regard his position however as a very formidable one, if he intends making a stubborn resistance.

Having pushed my reconnaissance as far as ordered and carried out my instructions to the best of my ability, I returned to camp, arriving about nightfall.

My loss was 1 man killed by the bursting of a shell.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

C. G. HARKER, Col., Comdg. Brigade.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 30, pt. I, pp. 681-682.



        7, Editorial denouncing guerrilla activity in East Tennessee, especially Blount and Jefferson counties

"Guerrillas About"

Small thieving bands of guerrillas are still doing mischief in the surrounding counties-particularly Blount and Jefferson. These thieves and murderers are, for the most part, led by the sons of men of property, who though they are rebels, are protected by our authorities. Let the property of these men either be seized and appropriated, or let it be destroyed at once, as the only means of reaching their guerrilla offsprings [sic]. Throughout...East Tennessee, where the roads are destroyed, and Union property is taken, let rebel property be reduced to ashes, and their livestock appropriated. They invite these raids, and are the authors [sic] indirectly, of all the injury done. Let them be made to suffer the just consequences of their treason and villainy. Let us all go to work, soldiers and citizens, to exterminate these devils. It must come to this, and the sooner we begin the work the sooner we shall get through with the job.

Brownlow's Knoxville Whig and Rebel Ventilator, September 7, 1864.

        7, Pursuit of rebels in Tullahoma environs

PULASKI, TENN., September 7, 1864.


GEN.: I arrived here with the Fifth, Tenth, and Twelfth Tennessee Cavalry and a detachment of the Second Kentucky Cavalry at noon to-day. A detachment of the Sixth Indiana Cavalry came with me from Franklin to this place. Not receiving any communication from you, and fearing lest my being away so long from that portion of the Nashville and Chattanooga Railroad, of which I am boss guard, without orders, might not be acceptable, and fearing that Williams with all or a portion of his forces may have gone southeast (as reported by one of my sergeants captured in one of our charges last Sunday and who was paroled yesterday and came in this morning) and strike the Nashville and Chattanooga Railroad again, I have concluded to take the Fifth Tennessee Cavalry and the detachment of the Second Kentucky Cavalry and cut across to Tullahoma, and leave Col. Spalding and the detachment of the Sixth Indiana Cavalry and the Tenth and Twelfth Tennessee Cavalry to go on and join you as ordered by you. I hope, general, that my having detained the Tennessee troops and chased Williams as I have will meet your approbation, and I hope that my taking back the Tenth Tennessee Cavalry to Tullahoma will meet your approbation, as I understand that regiment was stationed there by order of Gen. Thomas. My little chase after Williams has been a pleasant episode in the dreary monotony of life at Tullahoma.

Hoping you may bag him yet, I am, very truly, yours, &c.,

R. H. MILROY, Maj.-Gen.

P. S.-I leave here at 6 p. m. this evening, which will be in twenty minutes. Spalding goes on to you at the same time.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 38, pt. V, p. 825.

        7, "A Shocking Outrage."

We learn that a shocking outrage was committed on the person of a young lady residing near the Southern suburbs of the city, a few nights since but are unable to obtain full particulars as the affair is been kept secret as possible by her family and friends, who are said to be people of unblemished reputation. From what we learned, it would appear that they young lady who was both beautiful and virtuous, was awakened on Saturday night last by a noise in her room; and starting suddenly, saw two men engaged in the work of plundering her trunks. She screamed faintly but not so as to be hard through the house. One of the ruffians rushed to the bedside, and throwing her back, applied chloroform to her mouth. What followed, we leave to our readers to imagine; suffice it to say that the young lady was found next morning in a dangerous and pitiable condition, and bordering on insanity Doubts are entertained of her recovery. Who these fiends in human shape were, is not known. They carried off considerable money and other plunder. It is supposed they entered the house for the purpose of robbery, and seeing a chance to do far worse than that, embraced it. It is hoped the felons will be ferreted out and speedily brought to justice. We cannot conceive a punishment too severe for this most damnable crime.

Memphis Bulletin, September 7, 1864.



        7-8, Correspondence between President Andrew Johnson and Major-General George H. Thomas relative to alleged difficulties with U. S. C. T. in East Tennessee

NASHVILLE, September 7, 1865.

(Received 5 p. m.)

His Excellency President JOHNSON:

Your telegram of the 4th instant just received directing the withdrawal of the negro troops from East Tennessee. I have given the necessary orders, but have to report that I have no white troops to send to East Tennessee to preserve the peace. Complaints reach me almost daily of difficulty between the returned rebels and loyal citizens, either in defiance of the civil authorities, or that the civil authorities are inefficient and do not act. The negro troops in Tennessee can be reduced still more by sending them to Georgia and Alabama to replace a like number of white troops, who are clamorous to be mustered out of service.

GEO. H. THOMAS, Maj.-Gen.


NASHVILLE, September 7, 1865.

Maj.-Gen. STONEMAN, Knoxville:

Order the regiments stationed at Greeneville to rendezvous at Chattanooga to await orders; also the regiment stationed at Knoxville, unless it is in a good state of discipline. Complaints have been made to the President that the colored troops in East Tennessee are perfectly lawless. In executing this order of the President I want the people of East Tennessee to remember that I have no troops to send into that section of the State.

GEO. H. THOMAS, Maj.-Gen., U. S. Army, Cmdg.


KNOXVILLE, September 8, 1865.


Your telegram received and will be observed. You can assure the President that the reports that have been made to him about the colored troops at Greeneville and Knoxville ar untrue. This I know from personal observation. The one here is as well behaved a regiment as there is in the service.

GEO. STONEMAN, Maj.-Gen., U. S. Volunteers.


EXECUTIVE OFFICE, Washington, September 8, 1865.

Maj. Gen. GEORGE H. THOMAS, Nashville, Tenn.:

Your dispatch has been received. In withdrawing the colored troops from East Tennessee, I would send them where they are needed and nowhere else. If there are too many of them in the service, it would be better to have them mustered out. In the event of an insurrection it is feared that the colored troops, so great in numbers, could not be controlled. It is believed that there are mischievous persons acting as emissaries inciting the negro population to acts of violence, revenge, and insurrection. This should be carefully looked to, and all conflicts between the whites and blacks should be avoided as far as practicable. There would be no danger of this kind if this description of persons could be expelled from the country whose business it is to excite and originate discontent between the races. If there were a sufficient number of white troops instead of colored to protect the country it would exert a much better influence upon the people. I think I shall have Mississippi added to your department. If the Southern States can be encouraged, I have no doubt in my own mind that they will proceed and restore their government within the next six or seven months, and renew their former relations with the Federal Government. You can do much in the consummation of this great end. The whole South has confidence in you, and any move you make in that direction will inspire confidence and encourage them in the work they have undertaken.


OR, Ser. I, Vol. 49, pt. II, pp. 1110-1111.


[1] He probably meant at Denmark Lane, September 1, 1862 There is nothing further in the OR indicating that there was any kind of "fight in the streets of Denmark" for this date. Perhaps General Dodge made a mistake in his dates and was referring to the September 1, 1862, Skirmish at Britton's Lane, near Denmark (see above). Dyer's Battle Index for Tennessee lists a skirmish at Big Creek Gap for September 4, 1862, but Big Creek Gap is in East Tennessee. Moreover, the OR has no mention of a fight of any kind at Big Creek Gap on September 4, 1862. Nevertheless, it is listed here-perhaps it was a skirmish following the skirmish on September 1.

[2] Marshall Winfield, ed., "The Diary of Williamson Younger," West Tennessee Historical Society Papers, No. XIII, 1959, pp. 55-77. [Hereinafter cited as: "Younger Diary."]

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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