Thursday, October 30, 2014

10.30.2014 Tennessee Civil War Notes

        30, An Act to amend the law respecting Bowie Knives and other weapons

SECTION 1. Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Tennessee, That all laws forbidding the importation, manufacture, selling or giving away of Bowie Knives or other weapons and all laws prohibiting the carrying of pistols, Bowie knives, or other weapons, openly or unconcealed, be suspended during the existing war.

EDWIN A. KEEBLE, Speaker of the House of Representatives

EDWARD CHEATHAM, Speaker of the Senate

Passed October 30, 1861.

Public Acts of the State of Tennessee for 1861-1862, p. 26. [1]

        30, "The Rambler."

There is a kind of knowledge that men cannot get from books. It must be obtained from intercourse with the world, from mingling with men and mixing with society.

No place is better suited to any man than a city. The country serves to study nature. There all is fresh-the trees are standing as nature formed them, the meadows smile with rural verdure, the little streams laugh along their many courses; all is natural, and all is beautiful.

It is otherwise in the city. There nature has surrendered to art. Green trees, and vernal meadows and smiling lawns give place to huge piles of brick and mortar. The melody of sweet birds is exchanged for the rumbling of drays; the whizzing of steam, the buzz of commerce, and the varied tones of hurried and busy men. The city is a great human hive. Comers and goers, buyers and sellers, strangers and friends, natives and foreigners, soldiers and civilians, greet the vision whithersoever we turn our eyes.

This morning I felt wearied with books, and determined to take a walk, and, by way of variety, to study one chapter of men. I was soon on Main street, the principal thoroughfare of this growing city, where I entered at once upon the task I had assumed.

Look! Everybody is in a hurry. No one walks except the aged and infirm. Everybody runs. Hurry is the work; On, on is everybody's motto. Truly this is a fast age. People live fast, they travel fast, they come rich or poor fast, and they die fast.

Why is that tall man, who is engaged in leading that dray, so profane! He interlards every sentence he utters with some horrid imprecation. He swears as if he had notes before him. His oaths are new-fangled and far-fetched, and they are truly grating "to ears polite." I am told that profanity is by no means uncommon in the city. It is heard not only in the streets, but at the hotels, on the boats, in the cars, on the wharf, at the depots, in business houses, and even in the private circle. And the little boys see, are imitating their seniors, cursing and swearing almost before they can articulate words with distinctness. IS this a characteristic for Memphis, this far-famed Bluff City, the expected capital of the Confederate States? Is this the city known far and wide for the number and character of its churches and Sabbath schools? Is this the city on which Providence has bestowed so many advantages? Then, why is it so profane? Why is the disgusting habit tolerated by the city authorities? Would that not only Memphis, but the entire South, while shaking of the vassalage of the North would be divorced from all vice and stand forth in virtue, peerless among the nations of the earth!

There is a female in tattered rags, leading a sickly looking child along the pavement: I see that she is weeping. Some sorrow is brooding over her, or perhaps, some care or pressing want is gnawing, like a canker work, at her heart. How easily it is to be virtuous and honest, when free from temptation; but it is quite a different thing when loved ones are crying for bread, or shivering with cold. Many a man looks with horror upon one that will steal a loaf of bread to keep his wife and children from starving, who could not himself withstand strong temptation. His wife rolls in her carriage, or moves like a queen, in her comfortable mansion. Wealth has poured upon her its abundant stores. Her table is crowded with fish, and flesh, and fowl, and whatever else the market can furnish, or her fancy crave. She worships at fashion's shrine, and is, at least, a professed worshiper at the shrine of the cross. Might not a change in her circumstances, bring about a change in her husband's standard of morals! Let down that braided hair; exchange that costly silk for the coarsest of epparedy [sic] strip those delicate little fingers of the jewels that now sparked upon them; let that little hand, so soft and fair, be stained with exposure to cold, let that loved and lovely wife want for bread, and might not her doting husband rebel against the conventionalities of live, and, at least, feel strongly tempted to take by force what he could not otherwise obtain?

Here come several men in uniform. They are soldiers, and belong to one of the regiments camped near the city. They have left home to fight for their country, and are now only awaiting orders from headquarters to march. Two of the four are intoxicated, and can scarcely move along the street. The other two are striving to get them away from the drinkshops, and out to their camp. How disgustingly noisy they are! They are in a sad condition to meet the Yankees. The foe in whose hands they now are, slays more than those who come with sword and bayonet. His attacks are more to be dreaded. Mighty heroes have fallen before him. He who subjugated almost the entire civilized world; who supplanted kings and bartered empires; who left behind him whithersoever he went, the marks of desolation and ruin. Left at last under the attacks of this insidious fore. Then let other beware.

But, this study, as well as that of books, wearies me. I musts return to my room, It is said that "variety is the spice of life," and I will seek something of this, by studying and then walking, and by walking, and then studying. I wish to wander along the streets on Sabbath evening, and jot down whatever I see that my interest the reader.

Memphis, October 26, 1861

Memphis Appeal, October 30, 1861.


        30, Skirmish at Leeper's Ferry on Holston River

No circumstantial reports filed.

HDQRS. NINTH ARMY CORPS, Near Lenior's, Tenn., October 30, 1863.

Lieut. Second Brigade, Cavalry Division:

COL.: The general commanding corps desires that you will please send immediately one company of your command to the vicinity of Leeper's Ferry, about six miles up the river from the mouth of Little Tennessee River. A slight skirmish has taken place there to-day. You will please resist, or give orders to this command to resist, all attempts on the part of the enemy to cross the river, watching it well on both flanks of the ferry. Any information of importance will at once be communicated to these headquarters.

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

NICOLAS BOWEN, Assistant Adjutant-Gen.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 52, pt. I, p. 485.

An account of the fighting by a member of the Twenty-seventh Kentucky Mounted Infantry

October 30, 1863, Colonel Pennebaker moved up to Leaper's [sic] Ferry with out brigade. Sent two companies across the river, and beyond Unecia[2] on scout-company D, of the Twenty-seventh Kentucky and one company of the Eleventh Kentucky mounted infantry, Captain Hammer commanding. They were attacked by a brigade of rebels, and after two hours' fighting, Captain Hammer fell back to the river in perfect order, and none of his men hurt. The rebels now began to close in, confident of capturing the two companies, but we began to reach across the river with our long-ranged Enfield rifles, and held them back until Lieutenant-Colonel Ward crossed over with three companies, A, H, and C. We had but one small ferry-boat to cross in. Captain Pulliam with our company, B, got in the boat and started across, and when we were about half-way across, the rebels rushed down and poured a heavy volley into the boat, killing one man. The Captain received order to go back to the shore, which we did under a perfect shower of bullets. The rebels made several bold attempts to captured the companies across the river, but our continued volleys from both sided of the river were too hot for them. On one of their bold attempts t lay hands on their prize, Lieutenant-Colonel Ward, who is always found in the thickest danger, not knowing but he would be overpowered, told the color-bearer, Sergeant John Defever, a young man of seventeen years, to never let the flag fall into rebel hands. When the moment grew more threatening, the Sergeant furled the old worn flag and plunged into the rapid Holston, and while bullets dimpled the water he swam with the flag safe across. About sundown we were by the Eighth Michigan and One Hundred and Twelfth Illinois cavalry. The rebels, thinking we were too many for them, fell back. The companies across the river returned one at a time in a little ferry-boat till all were over. Then we straightened up and went into camp, and we do not think we ever saw a much darker night, and raining very hard, and had been all the evening.

Rebellion Record, Vol. 8, p. 314.

        30, Initiation of Federal anti-guerrilla sweep, Murfreesborough to Shelbyville, Tennessee, to New Market and to Athens Alabama


Nashville, Tenn., October 30, 1864.

Col. CAPRON, Cmdg. Brigade:

COL.: I am directed by Maj.-Gen. Thomas to say that he wishes you to move with your three regiments early in the morning to Athens [AL], via Murfreesborough, Shelbyville, and New Market [AL]. On your arrival report to Brig.-Gen. Croxton. Capture and kill all guerrillas in the country over which you pass. Should you hear of any body of them near your line of march detach a sufficient force to overpower and capture them.


R. W. JOHNSON, Brig.-Gen.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 39, pt. III, p. 525.

        30-31, Skirmish at Bainbridge and Brown's Ferry[3]

No circumstantial reports filed.

NASHVILLE, TENN., October 30, 1864--9 p. m. (Received 2 a. m. 31st.)

Maj.-Gen. HALLECK, Chief of Staff:

Gen. Granger reports the enemy gone from his front, moving off toward Tuscumbia. He sent out a force to follow up the rear of the enemy as he moved off, capturing some prisoners. He reports....hearing firing down the river, at about the rate of eight shots per minute, continuing for about fifteen minutes. It is probably Gen. Croxton opposing the enemy at Bainbridge, as he reported last night that he had learned, from a reliable source, that the enemy intended crossing at that place...

* * * *

GEO. H. THOMAS, Maj.-Gen.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 39, pt. III, pp. 513-514.

CHATTANOOGA, October 31, 1864.

Maj.-Gen. SHERMAN:

Gen. Granger telegraphs from Decatur at 4.30 this p. m. that couriers report enemy's cavalry at 12 m. to-day on west side of Elk River at ford on Athens and Florence road; that enemy made his appearance opposite Brown's Ferry at 9 this a. m. and attacked our pickets; also that Gen. Croxton reports that the enemy has crossed at Bainbridge and captured small portion of Second Michigan and Eighth Iowa Cavalry. The cannonading last night was at that place. They are reported crossing in force at Shoal Creek and pressing Gen. Croxton back.


OR, Ser. I, Vol. 39, pt. III, p. 541.



[1] Public Acts of the State of Tennessee Passed at the First & Second Sessions of the Thirty-Fourth General Assembly, For the Years 1861-1862, (Nashville, 1862), p. 26. [Hereinafter: Public Acts of the State of Tennessee for 1861-1862.]

[2] Unidentified. Possibly Unita in Loudon county.

[3] Both Long, Almanac and Dyer's Battle Index for Tennessee fail to mention this event.

James B. Jones, Jr.

Public Historian

Tennessee Historical Commission

2941 Lebanon Road

Nashville, TN  37214

(615)-770-1090 ext. 123456

(615)-532-1549  FAX


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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