Thursday, November 6, 2014

11.06.14 Tennessee Civil War Notes

        6, Pro-Union sentiment on the Cumberland River near the Kentucky-Tennessee border; an excerpt from a report by Lieutenant S. L. Phelps, commanding the U. S. Gunboat Conestoga

No circumstantial reports filed.

U. S. GUNBOAT CONESTOGA, Paducah, November 6, 1861.

SIR: Yesterday I succeeded in passing with this the channel near the head of Line Island, 2 miles below the Tennessee State line...and proceeded up to within a few miles of Dover, in that State.

* * * *

We remained at anchor up the river overnight and returned here after noon to-day....I observed more manifestations of Union feeling than upon any previous occasion and met with hearty cheers upon the very line of Tennessee. After entering that State, however, we saw scarce anyone, and all the habitations along the river, except one or two in Tobacco Port, were closed and apparently deserted....

S. L. PHELPS, Lieutenant, Commanding, U. S. Navy.

Navy OR, Ser. I, Vol. 22, p. 395.

        6, Installing cannon at Fort Negley, razing civilian residences in Nashville, and civilians killed in Edgefield by friendly fire during the November 5 attack upon Nashville

November Thursday 6th 1862

Thursday 6th before day we ware called out and stacked our arms on the collor line [sic] so as to be ready….this is the coldest morning we have had this season Larg [sic] 64 lb cannon are placed in different places along the breast works several large stone houses are blowed [sic] down today in town in order to full view across the river from the fort lern today that the cittizens [sic] in edge field [sic] a little town across the river whare [sic] the 16th and 60th Ills ware camped fiared on our men in the streats [sic] when they ware attacked by the enemy; the 16th surrounnded [sic] the houses that they ware [sic] fiared on from and set fiar to them and killed five citizens that came out of one when it got two [sic] hot in side [sic] for them to stay: another they killed & that was drove out by the fiar I heared [sic] also that they killed 7 in another house they shot 3 of our men dead in the streets this will probbely [sic] be a lesson to them

John Hill Fergusson Diary.

        6, Confederate deserter in Chattanooga, an excerpt from the letter of Bliss Morse to his mother

….A deserter of the 4th La Reg[iment]'t. came in while our relief was out last night at 1 A. M. He came across the [Chattanooga] creek on a log. . I heard him coming as he came. Their vidette was near by and as he got across he began to cough not knowing where our vidette was, being a little deaf he was afraid our vidette would not hear him coming and he would not hear the command to halt. The vidette in front of me heard him coming – halted him with his gun at an aim. He halted, saying "friend" and came along, pleased to get away. He says there are on very short rations, corn meal, some salt, and very little meat….A private gets eleven dollar per mo. which [he] says [is] worth four dollars. A great coat is 40 dollars, a pair of shoes and other things in proportion….A large plug of tobacco cost five dollars. He says their transportation is very hard. They have to wagon it [sic] eight miles over a miry road. He thinks we need not fear Brags [sic] fighting us here. They don't like our breastworks….

Diaries of Bliss Morse

        6, 1864 - Confederate Miss Luttrel Staves Off a Federal Officer's Advance in Knoxville

The conduct of the loyal women of East Tennessee is no less admirable, than that of male citizens is often reprehensible. If our paper now reached Knoxville we would not shock the modesty of one of the fairest daughters of the city by blazoning her name before the world. But she will hardly know what we have done till the story has grown older, and surely sentiments and deeds like hers will not be forgotten. Her father is a Unionist, the straightest of the sect, and is even the mayor of Knoxville. His two sons are unswerving Southerners, one we know has made many an invader of his State bite the dust. His sister is true to the land of her birth, and has, with all her modesty and elegance, borne the Federal rule with ill grace.

Not very many days ago, an externally elegant Federal officer called on Miss Luttrell, sending in his card. Miss Luttrell was passing through the hall as the negro servant girl handed her the carte de visite. At that instant, too, the Yankee officer entered. Miss Luttrell, turning to black Judy, said, in the hearing of the exquisite: "Here, Judy, this card is yours; attend to your beau!"

The officer, in blank astonishment, stared for a moment in the face of the grinning Judy, and suddenly left in intense disgust.

The cowardly villain sought to avenge himself by insulting Miss Luttrell on the street, whispering audibly as she passed, "You are a d____d she rebel." She bore it till she found the gentlemanly (?) [sic] officer in presence of the commanding general, when she stated that Captain Pike, of Iowa, was in the habit of cursing her when they met. Pike did not deny the charge, but slunk away like a whipped spaniel.

Whether Burnside has the power of disposition to punish such outrages, we are not advised. It is to be presumed that Southern ladies in the midst of Federal armies must quietly endure the visits of officers and men, and though they take negro wenches to the church and theater, it seems they will not endure them in private parlors.—[Knoxville] Register.

Memphis Appeal [Atlanta, Georgia], November 6, 1863.[1]

        6, 1864 - Major-General R. H. Milroy as a "humanitarian," excerpt from a letter to his daughter in Rensselaer, Indiana

....There is a great deal of want and desolation in this country made by war. There are a great many women and children whose husbands and fathers have either been killed, run out of the country, or draged [sic] off in the rebel army. There is hardly a day that I am not applied to by some poor creatures for something to live on. I have had my post Commander to send teams out in the country and collect provisions of rich rebels to feed these poor beings and to collect a tax off business men in town for their relief. [added emphasis] I also send a great many North on the Railroad. A poor woman came to me today whose husband had been run off by the rebels a year ago and has got to Illinois....I gave her transportation on the Rail Road and by Steam boat to her husband in Illinois and gave her money to get provisions, etc. The poor thing burst into tears when I handed her the transportation papers and money and could only say God bless you. You ought to feel very thankful you are not in a country desolated by war and misery, and that you have good clothing, plenty of food and a comfortable home and peace[2]....

Your affectionate father,

R. H. Milroy

Papers of General Milroy, pp. 390-391.


[1] As cited in: See also Daily Richmond Examiner, December 4, 1863 as cited in GALE GROUP.

[2] It would be expected that the General would write thus to his ingenuous daughter, but it seems hardly probable, what with Milroy's spiteful treatment of the native population, that he was capable of behaving as he described in this letter. For example, see his letter to his wife for November 25, 1864.

James B. Jones, Jr.

Public Historian

Tennessee Historical Commission

2941 Lebanon Road

Nashville, TN  37214

(615)-770-1090 ext. 115

(615)-532-1549  FAX


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