Tuesday, October 14, 2014

10.14.2014 Tennessee Civil War Notes

        14-17, correspondence from Confederate civilians in the Upper Cumberland area asking for assistance to quell Federal guerrillas along the border

LIVINGSTON, October 14, 1861.

Governor HARRIS,

Nashville, Tenn.:

SIR: A late order of Gen.'s Johnston and Buckner, of the Confederate Army, removing the forces from this county and Fentress, and leaving us unprotected, makes it necessary for us to address you again upon the subject of our safety. You are doubtless already informed that some of our troops a few weeks ago visited Albany, Ky., thirty miles distantly from here, and carried off the guns of the Federals there; that shortly after a considerable Federal force from the Federal camp removed to Albany, which is but six miles from the State line, and held it for some days, sending their cavalry frequently for miles into this State, and killing one man, Mr. Saufley, and carrying away on several occasions the property of our citizens. They also insulted women and children, and went to the houses of our strong Southern men at night in search of them, and threatened to shoot the family if they did not tell where the husband and father was. The pickets are formed of the most reckless men, and generally the renegades from Tennessee, and led by the notorious Jim Ferguson, the murderer of Saufley and other Southern men, whose ambition seems to be to shoot Southern men in cold blood whenever he meets them, and it, as we are informed, daily seeking to shoot his own brother because he is in the army here. In addition, we know that particular animosity exists against this county and this town, because they have been the rendezvous of so of soldiers, and the points from which the expedition against Albany went out, and also the asylum of the oppressed Kentuckians. It is known, too, that particular men, our best citizens, in this county and Fentress, are marked out on the black list of the renegades, whose lives and property now lie under the most fiendish threats. We know they are unprincipled; that they are not governed by the laws of war, but a revengeful desire of blood and plunder, stimulated by the unholy competition or ascendancy in taking scalps and plunder as trophies. On yesterday, we learn, the cavalry of Capt.'s Sanders and Bledsoe, marched toward Burkesville, Ky., for the purpose of taking that place and recovering a considerable amount of goods belonging to Southern men, lately purchased in Louisville and brought there. Burkesville is but thirty-five miles from this town and fifteen from the Obey River, the wealthiest portion of our country, and where a large portion of our grain, and our hogs and beef-cattle, fine horses and mules, wagons, &c., are. We could state many other facts to show our condition and the kind of enemy on our border, but would refer Your Excellency to Adjutant-Gen. McHenry, Senator Hildreth, Representative Donaldson, and Capt. Rice, the bearer, for further particulars. Col. Stanton's regiment moved yesterday, and Col. Murray's will to-day or to-morrow, for Bowling Green, and all the cavalry here moves with them. Thus we are left at the mercy of our foes, a portion of whom are still about Albany, Ky., daily scouting along our border, and this, too, after these recent visits to Burkesville and Albany, which have so stirred up our enemy as to cause him to seek the very first opportunity for retaliation. Notwithstanding we have sent out nearly 1,000 fighting men, embracing nearly every man capable of bearing arms who could be spared from home under any ordinary state of the warfare, we are thus driven to the necessity of raising more men to save our homes and property. We have held a calm council, and concluded to call on Your Excellency's known patriotism for aid and protection, and more especially for arms and ammunition, as all the arms worth anything, or nearly so, here have been taken into the army, and were are nearly defenseless. We therefore hope you can send us a regiment (infantry), and a company of cavalry well armed, forthwith. We think it probable Gen. Caswell can spare them. If you cannot send a regiment of infantry, perhaps you can a battalion of cavalry, which would just now be very efficient for scouting. In case neither can be done, we hope you will authorize us to form companies of minutemen, under the act of assembly, so that we may be able to keep some sort of force to prevent raids, and to watch the Camp McGinnis gap, so that the Federals may not have an uninterrupted communication with their friends in East Tennessee, nor be able to march thither before the forces there could be notified of their coming. We can give assurance that the matter will be prudently managed here, under any arrangement you may decide to make, as we feel that our safety is staked. Capt. Bledsoe's cavalry company was expected to remain near Camp McGinnis, but it is gone via Burkesville to Bowling Green, and all the forces, infantry and cavalry, are leaving. Your serious consideration of our condition is most sincerely desired, and will be gratefully remembered by us and this part of the country in this our time of need.






[Sub-inclosure No. 2.]

LIVINGSTON, TENN., October 14, 1861.

Hon. ISHAM G. HARRIS, Governor, &c.:

DEAR SIR: I am compelled to write to you, not through any fear, but out of a high sense of duty to my country and family. We are in danger here of an invasion from the Lincolnite Kentuckians, because, by the order of Gen. Johnston, all our troops here are now removed and we are left without troops, and constant invasion threatened. The troops in leaving here are going through the border counties of Kentucky creating a violent spirit of hatred against them and this country because troops were formed here into regiments. There are no troops between here and Cumberland Gap. Through Fentress is the best road to the East Tennessee and Georgia Railroad. There are armed men, called home guards, in all the border counties, and also two companies of cavalry in Clinton County, Ky., who will pillage and steal anything, murder, rob, &c. Our arms the citizens had here were nearly all given up to the State in the formation of the first regiment. There are not 100 rifles in the county. Governor, send us a regiment of infantry if you can, and until then give us such protection in way of cavalry as you can.

Yours, truly,



BOWLING GREEN, October 17, 1861.

His Excellency ISHAM G. HARRIS,

Governor of Tennessee:

SIR: Gen. Johnston desires me to acknowledge the receipt of letter of this date and its inclosures. The petitions of the citizens of Overton and adjoining counties are founded on a misapprehension of his orders. Col. Stanton's regiment alone has been ordered to this place. Col. Murray's regiment and the cavalry have been directed to co-operate with Col. Stanton in a particular movement, which will occupy him only a few days' after which both Col. Murray and the cavalry will return to their original positions. The knowledge of this fact, the general hopes, will reassure the citizens of that part of the State of his purpose to give them all needful protection.

I am, very respectfully, Your Excellency's obedient servant,

S. B. BUCKNER, Brig.-Gen., C. S. Army.

P. S.-Gen. Johnston further directs me to say that Col. Stanton will be instructed to co-operate with Col. Murray in breaking up the various Lincoln rendezvous in Southern Kentucky, which now menace the citizens of Tennessee, and that he will not be expected to repair to this point until this duty is accomplished. He expects the armed citizens of the locality to join in this movement. After these encampments shall have been broken up Col. Murray, with such re-enforcements as may have been received from the new levies now assembling in the nearest localities, will be directed to locate his force at the best positions for protecting the frontier.



OR, Ser. I, Vol. 52, pt. II, pp. 178-181.

        14, Confederate Conscription in Chattanooga 

Chattanooga, Oct. 14, 1862

The Judge of the County Court and the Enrolling officers of Knox county are required to assemble all persons between the ages of eighteen and thirty-five who are subject to conscription in that county, at Knoxville, Saturday the 25th Inst.

They will report to the Commandant of the Camp of Instruction at Knoxville.

John L. Hopkins, A. D. C. and Supt. of Enrolling officers

Knoxville Daily Register, October 19, 1862.

        14, Continued Confederate efforts at the pacification of East Tennessee Unionists

HDQRS. DEPARTMENT OF EAST TENNESSEE, Knoxville, Tenn., October 14, 1862.

Hon. GEORGE W. RANDOLPH, Secretary of War, Richmond, Va.:

*  *  *  *

Besides the military duties of the department, including the enforcement of the conscript law, I am endeavoring to bring about a better state of feeling toward the Government than has heretofore existed in East Tennessee, and I have strong hopes of succeeding. I informed you of my interview with Mr. Nelson, which resulted in his publishing an address to the people, a copy of which I inclosed to you. Since then I have had interview with other gentlemen, who have heretofore been firm supporters of the old Union, and am encouraged to believe that the most prominent men of the party will soon give public and cordial support to the Government. I send with this copies of letters from Judge Lucky and Mr. N. G. Taylor, both of whom were represented to me as possessing great influence, which they have used to the prejudice of the Government. To-day I had a most satisfactory interview with John Netherland, esp., a prominent and influential politician of the Union party. He is prepared, I believe, to support the Government cordially. I am told that he and Mr. Nelson are the most influential men in East Tennessee, and I have good reason to believe that in a few days they will both be addressing the people in public meetings in various places, urging them to give their hearty and active support to the Government. In my conversation with Mr. Netherland I took occasion to say that I thought the time had passed when such an organization as a Union party could be tolerated in this country. He admitted it without hesitation.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

SAM. JONES, Maj.-Gen.

[Inclosure No. 1.]

JONESBOROUGH, TENN., October 11, 1862.


DEAR SIR: In a pleasant and free conversation with you a few days since on the state of the country, and more especially the condition of things in East Tennessee, among other topics the recent proclamation of President Lincoln came under consideration. I remarked that I thought the act of Congress on which it was predicated and the proclamation itself were totally unconstitutional, and equally abhorrent to my feelings and judgment as they were illegal and mischievous in their design and tendency. I have uniformly entertained and expressed the opinion that it was the duty of our citizens to yield obedience to the constituted authorities of the country. This sentiment I have repeated to all with whom I have conversed. I need scarcely say that the recent act and proclamation of the Federal authorities give additional force and emphasis to these opinions, and that all good citizens should cheerfully yield their support to the Government under which they live and offer no factious opposition to the constitutional enactments and laws of the Confederate authorities. The peace and security of person and property require this of every one.

I am gratified to learn that, while you are exercising the high authority as commander of the Department of East Tennessee, in enforcing the laws of the land it is your purpose to protect every class of citizens with energy and promptness from oppression and wrong. I believe a just and firm administration of the laws upon every one will soon produce a tranquil state of feeling in the public mind.

Should the opinions I have expressed in this brief note be esteemed of any value in aiding you in restoring harmony and quiet you are at liberty to use it in any way you may choose.

Most respectfully, your obedient servant,


[Inclosure No. 2.]

KNOXVILLE, TENN., September 24, 1862.

Hon. NAT. [G.] TAYLOR:

MY DEAR FRIEND: According to promise I pen you a few lines. Your character and position in East Tennessee are now and have been for a long time such as to awaken the liveliest solicitude among your numerous friends that your influence as a Christian minister, a patriot, and a statesman should promptly and publicly be thrown on the side of our oppressed and insulted country. In claiming you to be thoroughly Southern in heart and soul will you assure me in your response that I truly represent you?

Very respectfully, I am, dear brother, yours,

F. E. PITTS.[1]

[Inclosure No. 3.]

HAPPY VALLEY, TENN ., October 2, 1862.

Rev. F. E. PITTS:

DEAR SIR: Your brief note of the 25th [sic] [24th] ultimo was received yesterday. Having assured me you would write me from Greeneville or Knoxville I expected to hear from you, but had hoped to hear something of as well as from you, and that you would have devoted a portion of your letter to yourself and not all of it to me. Protecting that you place a much higher estimate upon the influence I have among my numerous friends than I merit or claim and regarding brevity as the soul of emphasis, I hasten at once to respond to the one solitary question you have propounded to me as clearly, concisely, and comprehensibly as I can. You say, "In claiming you to be thoroughly Southern in heart and soul will you assure me in your response that I truly represent you?" I answer, in claiming me to be thoroughly Southern in heart and soul you do truly represent me and only do me simple justice.

I am, yours, very respectfully,


OR, Ser. I, Vol. 16, pt. II, pp. 945-947.

        14, Letter to Major-General Rosecrans describing depth of Union sentiment and location of Confederate guerrillas in SW Middle Tennessee

COLUMBIA, TENN. October 14, 1863.

Maj. Gen. W. S. ROSECRANS:

DEAR SIR: You perhaps remember me when I last saw you in Cincinnati.

I reside 14 miles from the City. Since I saw you last I have been traveling in rebeldomm [sic] some, and have made some discoveries worth your notice.

I crossed the Tennessee River at Clifton, Wayne County, Tenn., and went from thence to Waynesborough, and from there to Lawrenceburg. In passing between those places until I got to within 8 miles of the latter place I found two-thirds of the people for the Union and no mistake and willing to take up arms for the old flag, and many of them have already done so. When I got within 8 miles of Lawrenceburg, and all the way and in the place, I found all rebels. I staid with one Union man near there, who I found a good and true Union man, who gave me the following: That there was five cotton [factories?] concealed about, and that some of these factory owners had taken an oath to the U. S. Government last year, and ever since that time nearly have furnished G. W. Jones, rebel quartermaster at Huntsville, Ala., with thousands upon thousands of yards of cloth and hanks of thread to sew with, and received in payment therefor captured cotton from the U. S. Government, which was left at the tunnel between Pulaski and Huntsville on the railroad, and besides a large amount of the cotton was loaned by the rebel States to Jeff. Davis' rebel Government, and the bats of cotton was branded, so abundant proof can be obtained to prove this by persons about the tunnel and negroes [sic] that wagoned [sic] the cotton to Lawrenceburg, and the mark on the bags of cotton, and there is some men at Huntsville that would substantiate all this, and all along the road from the tunnel to this place enough testimony can be obtained to confiscate those factories and cotton, that would be enough to pay, 50,000 soldiers for six months' service.

I found no Union sentiment, hardly, at Lawrenceburg; it was nearly deserted, and in a dilapidated condition. The most of the houses, the man told me, belonged to one L. M. Bently, who was a good and true Union man; was in the Nashville Union convention in 1862, in June. Bently was opposed to secession, but a while after the war broke out voted with the secesh; but the man told me he heard Bently say that he had rather lose all he had than the Union should be dissolved, but that he was afraid to say it publicly. I understand that Bently had to go inside your lines for protection. There is a lawyer, C. B. Davis, there; was a secessionist, but now is for reconstruction. There is a man there who pretended to be a Union man and has taken the oath, named Birney Chafin, but is undoubtedly a Southern spy; he has always a number of bushwhackers with him in his house, and I am well satisfied-beyond a doubt; he is the worst man and most dangerous spy the rebels have there. A detective in the shape of a Confederate soldier would reveal he is a rebel spy; his brother is a lieutenant in a bushwhack company. There is one Capt. L. M. Kirk that has a company there, and belongs to Col. Biffle's rebel regiment. Kirk has killed several Union men in cold blood, and is a terror to all Union sentiment. He, as well as Chafin, ought not to live one day. From what I could learn, one-half of that county is for the Union. I went from there to Mount Pleasant. At that place I found nearly all secesh, and much wealth around the place; fine lands, &c.

From there I went to Hampshire; I found nearly all Union at that place; the land is rich and the people well informed. I staid with one Mr. Beard, near Hampshire. I found him a good and true Union man, but I did not tell him my true name. From there I went to Williamsport, on Duck River, and while there I made a discovery that is worth your notice; there were four wagons passed here loaded with cloth and spun thread, under the charge of a rebel soldier and officer named Hampton, but the goods all belonged to one W. J. Porter of the Crescent factory, who was sending these goods to Clarksville to smuggle them in and get family supplies and oil to run his factory, and salt, so one of the wagoners told me, and sure enough on the return of the wagons a friend told me that they had a barrel lard-oil, a barrel salt, and sack coffee, and a quantity of goods. Is it not strange that the commander of the post at Clarksville would allow this for a rebel factory, upholding the rebels with cloth and means, as I have before stated? The wagoners stated they got the goods from a man named Parker in Clarksville; these wagons returned to Lawrence County. While there I learned some other things important; there is a rebel colonel named Dunc. Cooper, who has made up two companies bushwhackers, Capt. F. P. Scot County [sic] told me, and he told me that Capt. Scot and his lieutenants, W. Jobe Boswell and Mr. Flatt and one J. C. Chafin, were the worst men on earth in secretly killing Union men, robbing Union men, stealing horses; and he told me that only thirty days ago they got after a Union man named Bently at Centreville, tried to kill him, and stole twenty bales cotton from him. I understand the same men robbed an old Union man named J. N. Puckett, and he had to run away to Nashville to save his life. They robbed a man named George Evins, in Dickson County, by Bell's Furnace, of 5 head horses and mules; they are a terror to the whole country, and those men ought not to be permitted to live and should be killed by all means. Union men nor Union sentiment cannot exist where they are allowed to stay, and strange to say they are to be prisoners and return here.

There is a Capt. J. Nix, with 13 bushwhackers, near Centreville, on Duck River, and at Centreville I understand the men of property there indorse and uphold this bushwhacking and stealing crowd of bushwhackers, and feed them and keep them there. If you could see this old man Puckett at Nashville, he could tell the names of those rebels that deserve punishment at Centreville. They have a great many fine mules and horses there in county, &c. I saw a man from Charlotte, in Dickson County. He told me that there was some bushwhackers at or near Weems' Springs; that there was about 20 at Pine Wood Factory; that there was one Capt. Andrew Ray, with 30 men, at Mrs. Adams', on Yellow Creek, nearly always there staying and went back and forth to Kentucky to break open stores, and steal horses and mules, and that they had killed 8 Union men on Yellow Creek in cold blood. Capt. Ray had married a wife near Mrs. Adams', a Mrs. Harriet Nichols, and there was a Capt. Thompson, with 35 bushwhackers, below Andrew Brown's, on Yellow Creek, and that a few staid at the head of Yellow Creek, at Williamsville, and all these men are, or nearly so, rogues, bushwhackers, and committing all manner of mischief, and will not allow any farmer to speak out for Union; if so, this is a pretext to seize and steal all his property--a terror to the people, waylaying roads, &c.

This Col. Cooper is now staying, and is likely to stay, on Duck River, between Williamsport and Centreville, and from there to Harpeth, at the iron bridge, back and forth, stealing, killing, &c. By a well-managed affair all these rogues could be caught, these factories and cotton captured.

I request specially and particularly that this letter of mine be strictly confidential, as I have obtained information from Union men and friends, and if I was identified as giving information, or if these men who told me should be found out and identified, they could not live one week in rebeldomm [sic] unprotected.

Very respectfully,


P. S.-I will write you again soon from Nashville.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 30, pt. IV, pp. 363-367.

        14, Informing on Shelbyville’s Pro-Confederate Women


Tullahoma Tenn. Oct 14/64

Maj Genl Milroy

Sir, the government of the United States of America should know and understand its enemies whether male or female. And treason should be made odious in both alike, I am not making war upon “innocent” women; every brave man loves and respects the name of woman, but when she stoops from the high position that beautifies the character of a true woman and seeks alike, with traitors of the male gender, to undermine and sweep away the best government of earth she forfeits her claim to that high regard and becomes the most corrupt and debased of the whole human family. I repeat that I love the very name of woman, but when she unsexes herself she is a fit subject for anything. It is to them in great measure, that this country, so beautifully adapted to higher scenes and more noble purposes is made one vast scene of carnage and blood. And have they repented? No! They are doubly distilled in their phanaticism [sic]. And shall they remain here among the people they so much despise to annoy the loyal people and give information to traitors? We cannot believe it just and we are aware that it is your purpose to reward patriotism and punish treason. These rebel women express a desire to go south or for the return of the gents of their complexion, and surely they should at least have one portion of their wish granted them, the portion that leads their minds and carcasses southward. Who says no? Not he that is tinctured with loyalty. The following is a list of applicants for a journey south and by all means they should not be disappointed in their lofty expectation. MRS. WALLACE of Shelbyville whose husband is a refugee from justice now in the south. She is a most notorious rebel and has sold off all her furniture & etc. and is trying to sell her place and go south. Her daughter and son rejoiced greatly when Blackwell made his raid in Shelbyville. And I think Miss Cunningham and her mother merits [sic] a passport from a letter she wrote which by the way fell into your hands. Her brother is in the rebel army and his father is in the south. Nor would I forget to mention the daughters of Robt Matthews, who hugged and kissed the rebel Gen. Robinson when he and Williams came through Shelbyville and rejoiced when Genl Robinson told them that he was the man who killed Co. Eiford of the 2nd Ky. Their father is in the south and claims that he was the first man who proposed to break up the Charleston Convention in 1860. Blackwell’s wife should also be sent south for her health. There is also a Mrs Fuqua (wife of John Fuqua) who prays that blessings may once more fall upon the rebels. She would not be allowed to “risk one eye” and her husband should be allowed the same privilege. Miss Felicia Whitthorn and her sister, Mrs Thomas, (whose husband is in the south) both shed many tears because they can not get to the promised land. They merit a glance. And I must not forget Mrs. Mary Wooten whose husband is in the South. She wished the earth might open and swallow up the Union army and all of the Union people and also that Blackwell might catch and hang every Union man who was lying out from home. Lee Dalton, Baley Blessing, E.M. Patterson and Pattersons [sic] wife saw four rebels ride up to Mrs. Wootons [sic] house during Forrests [sic] raid and talk with her half an hour and when they left they went immediately to get the news and she swore that she had seen no one. She sends letters and gets letters from the rebel army almost every week.

Who merits a trip south more than Mary Wooton? She is a splendid spy for the rebels and should be sent south. Next comes a Mr Watson (whose given name I do not know) and his wife and daughters who reported John A. Moore in escaping north to prevent the conscription and said John A. Moore a peaceable old man 64 years of age and his son Moses Moore 16 years of age were arrested and sent to Murfreesboro and imprisoned and badly treated for many days. They should not have the honor of living one moment more among loyal people. And justice to humanity and the interest of government requires that they be sent to Brownlow’s next Depot to the infernal regions. Other names could be mentioned but time will not admit.

I am respectfully KD.

Michael Bradley, With Fire and Blood, pp. 82-85. [2]


[1] The Rev. Pitts was the author of A Defense of Armageddon, or, Our Great Country Foretold In The Holy Scriptures, (Nashville 1857).

[2] Michael R. Bradley, With Blood & Fire: Life Behind Union Lines in Middle Tennessee, 1863-65, (Burd Street Press: Shippensburg, Pennsylvania, 2003). As cited from Provost Marshal’s records. [Hereinafter cited as: Fire & Blood.]

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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