Friday, November 7, 2014

11.10.2014 Tennessee Civil War Notes

        10, "The City Yesterday;" the nervous aftermath, in Memphis, of the Engagement at Belmont, Missouri[1]

There was much gloom and anxiety in the city yesterday, and hundreds of hearts were aching in painful suspense to know the fate of loved friends, who were in the battle of Columbus. It was expected that the steamboat Kentucky, which was due the previous day [8th], had been detained to bring down a portion of the wounded, and that she would arrived in the course of the day. From morning into night, crowds, a large portion of which were ladies, waited in sad expectation at the landing, straining their eyes for long, weary hours, to catch a sight of the expected boat; but the boat did not come. It is presumed, of course, that the roll call has made known at Columbus who are killed, wounded, or missing; and to the fearing, tearful waiters it appeared cruel and thoughtless in the extreme that no word of official intelligence should be sent from Columbus-no list arrive[d] of the name of the killed, wounded and missing. There may be some reason for the delay which we do not know, but the suspense that exists is sadly painful. The stores on Main street were generally closed, the daily 'Change[2] did not meet, the criminal court adjourned-all were desirous of being ready to testify their regard for the dead, to give their help to the wounded, and to manifest their deep sympathy with those whose friends had fallen in the fatal strife. Crowds awaited the arrival of the train from Columbus. On its arrival it was found that a number of bodies of the dead had been sent on from Columbus, but all went down the Mobile road for Mississippi, that number came here. [sic] They were reported as the bodies of First Lieut. Rhea, Second Lieut. Middleman, private Miles, and John McCalley, and Matthews, of the Fayette Rifle Greys, and Frankland Stockings, and Henry Burnett, of the Macon Greys, and the son of Esq. Ferrar, of Hernando Plank Road. We are not positive as to the accuracy of the list. The public were prompt in offering contributions, and liberal sums were received in the course of the day in addition to the $1275 subscribed at the meeting on Friday night. Persons in moderate circumstances pressed forward, as well as the wealthy, to offer their money in aid of the wounded. The committee appointed at the meeting, Messrs. Walker, Lofland, Ferguson, Merrill and Patrick were industriously at work. The Overton Hotel was secured as a hospital, thirty-six rooms were cleaned and fitted up with two and three beds each, some of the rooms being yet without fire grates. Mr. Cubbins, with a vigor that shows what a man can do when his heart is in it, had fifty grates put up between two o'clock in the afternoon and dark. The beds were fixed with clothing and comfortables [sic] made. The place was made a government hospital, and placed under the care of Drs. Keller and Fenner as surgeons, with R. Brewster, Esq., as dispensing druggist. A physician's office, an operating room and dispensing room were prepared, and a crowd of ladies were waiting ready to offer their kind services, to soother the suffering and console the dying. All was prepared, doctors, nurses-all were waiting, but not a word from Columbus to tell then when the sick would arrive, or whether they would come at all. What circumlocution office, red tape, routine formality, and official conventionalism could be at work could not be guessed, but many whose services will be greatly required, were kept waiting in vain expectation for want of what a few words flashed over the wires would supply. By this evening the cooking apparatus will be put up, and scarcely to detail necessary to the full operation of a surgical hospital will be wanting. We learn that the hospital of the Southern Mothers is at present not more than a third filled, and those in the ward are generally doing well, and that institution is preparing to render a large share of assistance. Our citizens will certainly spare no toil and no expense to render every aid to the suffering soldier, and to show the estimation in which they hold the brave men who stand in the battle field ready to lose life and limb for their country.

Memphis Appeal, November 10, 1861


Eight negro men wanted to attend the rooms of the wounded. Please let me have them.

J. M. Keller, Surgeon

Memphis Appeal, November 10, 1861.

        10, Major-General U. S. Grant forbids the use of railroads to Jews in West Tennessee

LAGRANGE, November 10, 1862.

Gen. WEBSTER, Jackson, Tenn.:

Give orders to all the conductors on the road that no Jews are to be permitted to travel on the railroad southward from any point. They may go north and be encouraged in it; but they are such an intolerable nuisance that the department must be purged of them.

U. S. GRANT, Maj.-Gen.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 17, pt. II, p. 337.

        10, "No man can tell how he will feel to be shot at untille [sic] he has the trial of it." Lieutenant A. J. Lacy, Eighth Tennessee cavalry, describes recent events in Williamson County to his wife Elizabeth in Jackson County

Williamson Co Tenn [sic] November the 10th 62

My dear and most affection [sic] wife

This beautiful morning I have the pleasure of writing to you once more to let you know that I am well this morning and I hope these few lines will find you enjoying the same good blessing. There is [sic] many things that bears upon my mind but still it will be but few things that I will mention in this letter.

Times is verry [sic] hard here. Wee [sic] received a letter yesterday that gave to our utmost sorrow and grief the awful news of our friend being cut to pieces so at Perryville, Ky. General Forrest has a large force of cavalry. Our major was appointed. He is by the name of Forrest. A brother to General Forrest. I have just been on drill. Wee [sic] have been drilled by Major Forrest.

Wee [sic] had a fight the other day and I never got hurt but I cant [sic] tell what was the reason for our co received the fire of one whole Yankee reg [sic] in an open field. My dear wife this is 2 fights that I have been in and come out save and I would be very [sic] glad to see you and tell you how the canon did roar and bullets whistle. No man can tell how he will feel to be shot at untille [sic] he has the trial of it. I dont [sic] care for it as mutch [sic] as I thought I would for when I hear the cannon roar it makes me feel like shooting. I must close for I have to take 15 men and go on picket. Give my love and respect to all my friends. Tell Father and Mother that I want them to remember me.

And also Loften and Marget [sic] write to me my friends. I have not heard a word from home since I left.

Remember me,

A J Lacy Nolensville, Williamson County

Lacy Correspondence.

        10, SPECIAL FIELD ORDERS, No. 75, relative to the jurisdiction and authority of the chief of the secret police in East Tennessee


November 10, 1863.

I. R. A. Crawford, of Greenville, Greene County, Tennessee, is hereby appointed chief of secret police in East Tennessee. He is fully empowered to employ under his command and order as many men as he may deem necessary for said service, and at such pay as their service may be worth in his estimation.

He is empowered to make requisitions for clothing, horses, equipments, arms, and ammunition, as well as all other necessaries that said service may require, and the same shall be furnished accordingly.

He is fully empowered to arrest and hold for examination all persons who may in anywise be in complicity with the enemy, or any person or persons suspected guilty of treasonable or disloyal conduct toward the Government and laws of the United States; also to seize from all such persons such property as he may deem necessary for the good of the service.

He is fully empowered and strictly enjoined, with the men subject to his order and command, to closely watch the movements of the enemy, and to immediately report the same to these headquarters, and to use every available means in his power to prevent any surprise of our forces by the enemy.

He is fully empowered to employ and send agents into the lines of the enemy for the purpose of finding out the strength, movements, and designs of the enemy, and to report the same to these headquarters.

He is artillery to make his headquarters at such points as may be, in his judgment, most advantageous to said service, and to give orders upon the Government for such supplies as may be needed, and the same shall be paid.

All requisitions for money for any purpose necessary for this service must be made to the major-general commanding this department.

* * * *

By command of Maj.-Gen. Burnside:

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 31, pt. III, pp. 111-112.

        10, Social change, recruiting Negro soldiers in Murfreesboro, an excerpt from the diary of John C. Spence

An order is out for recruiting negro soldiers at this place, and put them in [a] camp of instruction. Although the Yankees profess not to press them into service, they operate about this way-on Sunday evening a file of soldiers repair to the church door and stand as the negro men come out. They take them in possession, put them in confinement and any other they see about the streets.

They are taken through an examination, such as will make soldiers are retained, the others are let off. They want devilish looking and able bodied negros [sic] for this purpose.

When a sufficient number is obtained, [they] are put in squads under drill by some qualified Dutchman.

Passing one morning by one of the churches or barracks, a squad was being drilled by a Dutch officer, who could not speak english [sic] plainer than he should, is marching the negros [sic] up and down the room. Say to them, ["]Marsh! lep-lep (meaning left foot) [sic]. No! te odder foot!-lep! lep! to odder fot you po tam fool! If you tont lep when I tells you, I'll prake mine sword over you tam wolly head! Halt! Marsh! Now, lep! lep! gis see! You got de odder foot. Take tat mit your tam nonsense ["] (strikes him with the side of his sword). [sic]

Such is about the start with them at first. In a short time they get in the way of keeping the step in marching and manouvering [sic]. To every appearance make a pretty good Yankee soldier when they are dressed in the "Loyal" blue, but whether they can be made to stand powder and led is another question. Should not be willing to trust a chance with them, to go through difficulty. [sic]

Now and then [I] hear some of the younger [black] chaps talking among themselves. ["]Bill! I'm quine to jine the rigiment next week! What you quine to do in the rigiment? Quine to fite de Reb [sic]. Sesesh!["] [sic]

They appear as impudent and as confident of what they will do in the army as many of the "Old Veterans," as the Yankees call the old soldiers that has [sic] been serving some time.

At this time there are a greater number of negros [sic] coming within the lines than usual, men, women and children. Almost every vacant house is filled to overflowing, seeking their freedom. The fact is the owners generally [are] more disposed to get clear of them, have become so trifling that they wont [sic] do any thing [sic] at home but eat and sit about, seeming to have lost all energy, if they had any.

Tis hoped the Yankees will get their satisfaction of them before they get through with their phylanthopie [sic] feelings for the negro [sic].

There are many now getting rather tired. They say the negros [sic] are a lazy indolent set of creatures and wont [sic] work without some one [sic] after them, driving, but why they continue to persist in their freedom is an enigma. They are not willing they shall be allowed to go in their section of [the] country to live [sic]. The fact is they have poor people enough, already there. If they come here themselves to live, their wages will of course, be cut down by having so many more to contend with for employment.

Their argument now is with slavery. In this land a poor white man would have no chance to live. They are not willing to put themselves on an equality with the negro [sic] as a slave. Where can be the difference? When they are in competition in labour, both of them working for the most they can get, possibly at a less rate than if one was in the usual servitude.

Spence Diary.

        10, Scout near Memphis

NOVEMBER 10, 1864.-Scout near Memphis, Tenn.

Report of Capt. Eldred Huff, Fourth Iowa Cavalry.

HDQRS. SECOND Brig., SECOND DIV., CAVALRY CORPS, Memphis, Tenn., November 11, 1864.

Maj. M. H. WILLIAMS, Actg. Asst. Adjt. Gen., Cavalry Corps, Memphis, Tenn.:

MAJ.: Agreeable to the orders of Col. Karge, of the 10th instant, I have the honor to report that I ordered out a scouting party on the evening of the 10th instant, with orders to examine minutely the premises indicated in Col. Karge's orders and other placed in that vicinity. The result was the capture of 5 prisoners, supposed to be robbers. I ordered them sent to the Irving Block. Inclosed I send Capt. Huff's report of his doings.

Your obedient servant,

J. H. PETERS, Lieut.-Col., Cmdg. Detachment Brigade.


HDQRS. FOURTH IOWA CAVALRY, Memphis, Tenn., November 11, 1864.[3]

I submit the following report regarding my proceeding last night: I moved at 7 p. m. from regimental headquarters on the old Raleigh road. When about three miles and a half from the pickets I crossed over the Germantown road. Came back to within half a mile of the house designated in your order. Dismounted one platoon of men and sent them around in rear of the house. I then charged up in front with the other platoon. The rebels, six in number, attempted to escape by the rear, when the dismounted men fired upon them; they then turned to the front, when we fired upon them. Seeing they were surrounded they ran into the house, except one, whom made his escape. I then ordered those men out of the house and proceeded to search it; found one gun and one Colt revolver. I brought the men to camp and by your order sent to the Irving Block prison.

Respectfully, yours,

E. HUFF, Capt., Fourth Iowa Cavalry, Cmdg. Scouts.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 39, pt. I, p. 902.


[1] The "Engagement at Belmont," Missouri, fought on an island in the Mississippi River on November 7, 1861. It was a draw.

[2] Business or Cotton Exchange.

[3] An error was most likely made in the dates of the first and second report.

James B. Jones, Jr.

Public Historian

Tennessee Historical Commission

2941 Lebanon Road

Nashville, TN  115

(615)-770-1090 ext. 123456

(615)-532-1549  FAX


No comments: