Saturday, October 11, 2014

10.11.2014 Tennessee Civil War Notes

               11, Confederate spirit among the noble women of Columbia

We learned the other day from a Lieut. Colonel of partisan rangers that when the Federals were driven from Columbia, Tennessee, and our boys entered the town, that the ladies met them with waiving handkerchiefs and joyful countenances, and told them to drive off the vile Yankees. Let them, said they, shell the town if they choose. We had rather, exclaimed the patriotic ladies of Columbia, see the town burned than see it occupied again by Yankee soldiers. All honor to the noble ladies of Columbia. This officer assured us that no troops ever received such welcome as did our soldiers on taking possession of Columbia.-Chattanooga Rebel.

Macon Daily Telegraph, October 11, 1862.

               11, "Housewives."

Meeting some soldiers yesterday morning who seemed remarkably pleased about something, we inquired the cause and found that they had been receiving some of those articles called housewives. Like their namesakes, this article appears to be a very useful innovation and well calculated to supply the place of the fair daughters of Eve, in their mission of sewing on buttons and repairing rents. They were made by the ladies of the North and given to the soldiers through the agency of the Christian Commission. Each one of them contains besides numerous articles, such as pins, needles, thread, etc., a note from the maker to the soldier into whose hands is may fall. We understand that the agent of the Christian Commission has received a large number of them, and we would recommend, not only the soldiers, but our bachelor friends to make an effort to obtain one.

Memphis Bulletin, October 11, 1863.

11, First Lieutenant Robert Cruikshank, 123rd New York Infantry Regiment, letter home to his wife Mary, describing his work of guarding the Nashville and Chattanooga Railroad

Dechard [sic], Tenn.

October 11, 1863.

Dear Mary,-

I will write you a few lines today although I am on duty and it is the Sabbath. Dechard [sic] is on the Nashville and Chattanooga Railroad, about eight miles below Nashville. It is quite a station. A branch road runs from this station to Fayetteville, a distance of forty miles. We are guarding the road so the enemy cannot make raids on it. Our duty is to patrol the road each way several miles to a certain point where we will meet other patrols from other stations. Several trains of supplies pass over the road every day and they are to be protected. This is not hard duty like marching and fighting. This is my first duty since my return. My health is improving.

With love,

R. Cruikshank.

Robert Cruikshank Letters.[1]

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 39, pt. I, pp. 844-857.

               11, Skirmish near Fort Donelson involving the Fourth Colored Artillery (U. S. C. T.)

CLARKSVILLE, October 11, 1864.

Maj. B. H. POLK, Assistant Adjutant-Gen.:

Capt. Flood reports that Lieut.-Col. Weaver and ninety colored troops from Pine Bluff were attacked to-day five miles from [Fort] Donelson by 200 rebels. The rebels were handsomely whipped, with the loss of Lieut.-Col. Sorey, and about 25 men killed and wounded.

Our loss, 1 lieutenant and 3 men killed and 9 wounded.

A. A. SMITH, Col. Eighty-third Illinois, Cmdg. Post.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 39, pt. III, p. 218.


OCTOBER 11, 1864.-Skirmish near Fort Donelson, Tenn.

Report of Lieut. Col. Thomas R. Weaver, One hundred and nineteenth U. S. Colored Infantry.

FORT DONELSON, TENN., October 12, 1864.

I have the honor to report that on yesterday morning at 4 o'clock I left Pine Bluff with a recruiting party of eighty-five men of the Fourth Colored Artillery (Heavy), and when near the house of Doctor Williams, within about five miles of this place, I discovered a force of rebel cavalry in our front, which I have since learned was composed of parts of three regiments under command of Col. Chenoweth. My advance commenced firing as soon as they discovered them, which threw them into some confusion. I immediately moved the main body forward a short distance to a slightly elevated position and formed line near the house of Mr. Sexton, where we were immediately attacked, the rebel cavalry charging up the hill in good style until within fifty yards of our line, when they were met by a volley which sent them back in confusion. They reformed and charged again, but were again driven back. They then began moving a force on both flanks, as the same time keeping up a vigorous attack in front, when, finding that we were being surrounded, I directed my men to occupy the log dwellings and outhouses of Mr. Sexton, which they succeeded in doing, after driving the rebels away from them, but in doing so Mr. Sexton, a peaceable citizen, was killed, my men supposing him to be one of the rebels, as he attempted to escape. The rebels, having dismounted their force, continued the attack on the houses, but were met by a well-directed fire, which soon compelled them to withdraw into the woods. Finding it impossible to dislodge us they attempted to send in a flag of truce, which was instantly fired on, and although the act was a violation of the usages of civilized warfare we believed we were justifiable in doing so, as we had no favors to ask nor none to grant, and knowing the treatment which officers and men of colored regiments have generally received at their hands we believe we will not be censured for firing on their flag of truce. The rebels shortly after disappeared, leaving their dead and severely wounded in our possession. Shortly after we occupied and houses I sent two men to Capt. Flood, commanding at this post, for assistance, which arrived shortly after the rebels withdrew.

Our thanks are due Capt. Flood, his officers and men, for the promptness with which they came to our assistance. The rebels left Lieut.-Col. Sorey, Capt. [Maj.] Garr, and 1 enlisted man dead, 3 men mortally and 4 severely wounded, in our hands, and Doctor Williams informs me that they took at least 7 wounded off with them. We have had 4 of their wounded brought in; the others will die. Our loss is Lieut. Johnston, Company I, Fourth Colored Artillery (Heavy), and 3 enlisted men killed, and 9 enlisted men wounded. The entire command lament the loss of Lieut. Johnston, as he was a most excellent officer and possessing the entire confidence of his men. Our success must be attributed in a great measure to his exertions.

As for the colored soldiers they behaved nobly. There was not a single instance in which they did not surpass my expectations of them.

We brought all our killed and wounded it with us. The wounded are in hospital and are doing well.

Their wounded say they crossed the Tennessee River in the morning with 250 men, and admit a loss of 20 men.

Lieut. Upham, commanding Company D, Fourth Colored Artillery (Heavy), Lieut.'s Wright, Russell O'Healy, and Hill, of the One hundred and nineteenth Colored Infantry, who accompanied the expedition, were conspicuous during the entire fight, and did their whole duty.

Our guide, Mr. Joice, was also mortally wounded and has since died.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

T. R. WEAVER, Lieut.-Col. 119th Colored Infantry, Cmdg.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 39, pt. I, pp. 857-858.[2]


[1] As cited in:

[2] See also:OR., Ser. I, pt. III, p. 218.

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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