Tuesday, November 11, 2014

11.14.1014 Tennessee Civil War Notes

        11, Knoxville placed under Confederate martial law

KNOXVILLE, November 11, 1861.

Gen. S. COOPER, Adjutant and Inspector Gen.

SIR: My fears expressed to you by letters and dispatches of 4th and 5th instant have been realized by the destruction of no less than five railroad bridges--two on the East Tennessee and Virginia road, one on the East Tennessee and Georgia road an two on the Western and Atlantic road.

* * * *

I have had all the arms in this City seized and authorized Maj. Campbell to impress all he can find in the hands of Union men who ought now to be regarded as avowed enemies for the use of the new companies. I felt it to be my duty to place this City under martial law as there was a large majority of the people sympathizing with the enemy and communicating with them by the unfrequented mountain paths, and to prevent surprise and the destruction of the commissary and quartermaster's stores.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

W. B. WOOD, Col., Commanding Post.

OR, Ser. II, Vol. 1, pp. 840-841.

        11, Blackface entertainment for sick Confederate soldiers

Tennessee Minstrels.—On Monday night [11th], banjo and bones, breakdown and melody, black faces and fun, will, after a long interval, make their appearance at Odd-Fellows' Hall. The proceeds will be devoted to the wounded soldiers at the Overton Hospital. There must be a big crowd on hand—the occasion demands it. For once the people must go and laugh for charity. The band intend having a season, giving three or four concerts a week.

Memphis Daily Appeal, November 17, 1861.

        11, Confederate sympathizers in Nashville urged to attend to familial matters

We don't wish to interfere in the domestic relations of secession husbands? but really we can't help warning them that they had better stop hunting up their 'Southern Rights," and keep a sharp look-out after their marital rights, which their loving spouses have nearly monopolized at present. Had they not better take the first evil which our correspondent complains of into their own hands, and correct it before they become the helpless slaves of a petticoat government?

[For the Union.]

There are two matters of importance, now that it is hoped a new regime will commence, that should be looked to.—First, that no officer will permit a married lady to visit his quarters, seeking favors, either for herself or friends. Let her husband come. These "heads of families" are getting to be the smallest part of the family, and the woman plays the husband, and owns all the property. Let the orderlies at the door make the enquiry, whether the lady be married? If so, turn her back, and tell her to send her husband. Secondly, leave no enemy in the rear—this is essential—otherwise, our Generals and army will make a bad job of it. The presence of the wife at the quarters of an officer is an evidence of the disloyalty of the husband, and an enemy in the rear is a spy and guerrilla.

Nashville Daily Union, November 11, 1862.

        11, "Stop the Niggers!" [sic]

We confess frankly, to having no sympathy with rebels whose negroes [sic] are leaving them, and who are crying and howling over their losses. During the last Presidential canvass, the disunion speakers everywhere cried out that if Lincoln were elected, the negroes [sic] would all be free, and the negroes [sic] were listeners to their teachings. Ever since the war began, these rebels have taught the negroes [sic] and the people, that the negroes [sic] would all be free as soon as Lincoln's army came in. The negroes [sic] supposed that these leaders knew, and have taken them at their word, and struck for liberty!

Who is to blame, the rebels, the negroes [sic], or the army? The answer is easy. Before the war the slaves felt, and the Abolitionists knew that under the Constitution and laws, slave property was secure, and no man dare molest it. But setting aside the Constitution and the laws, they have no claims upon either and no right to any protection of their persons and property.

Brownlow's Whig and Independent Journal and Rebel Ventilator, November 11, 1863.

        11, Excerpt from a letter from John Kennerly Ferris, surgeon, Army of Tennessee, to his wife in Coffee County

Camp Before Chattanooga

Wednesday, November 11, 1863

* * * *

We are camped in sight of Chattanooga & the Federal camp & right at the foot of Lookout Mountain. Our pickets & the Federal pickets stand in sight & speaking distance of each other but never molest each other, but on the other hand are as friends as though they belonged in the same Army & now & then trade with each other, exchanging coffee for tobacco; & they would be carried on extensively, but it is against orders for them to talk to each other. So they have to be a little sly. There is no fighting going on except shelling, which is carried on to a limited extent every day. Our men throw shell into the Enemy Camp [sic] & into Chattanooga from the top of the Mountain [sic] & the Enemy in return throw shell into our batterys. [sic] Besides, both sides now & then shell each other's pickets.

Food &clothing are both pretty scarce with the Army now, & I fear we shall suffer for both before very long. In fact, we do to a limited extent now. We can buy nothing at all to eat, & all are very scarce of clothing, especially shoes, socks & blankets. There are a good many men in the Army now without the sign of a shoe on their feet, & I know of but few who can say they sleep warm; & if things do not get better, I know a great many will desert this winter, & some are now deserting.

* * * *

We have not drawn any meat of any kind since day before yesterday, & Sam is cooking some peas without any grease for dinner or supper, just as you choose to call it, for we only eat twice a day. I am nearly barefooted both for shoes & socks, but I think I will get shoes before long &, as for socks, I have no idea when I will get any, & I only have one pair, which are cotton & full of holes & heels & toes all gone.

This is rather hard, but I would not mind it if it was not for you. I could bear anything cheerfully if I knew you was [sic] comfortable & happy, but this I do not know. I fear you are all liveing [sic] had & having a troublesome time with troublesome Yankees. I wish I could hear from you & know how you are getting along, just as to seeing your, I do fear & expect it will be a long time for just now the prospect for us getting Middle Tenn. back seems very gloomy. Yet I cannot help but hope for the better, if I am disappointed.

The Civil War Diary of John Kennerly Farris.[1]

        11, "Amusements in Nashville."

The army correspondent (Y. S.) of the Cincinnati Gazette writes from this city, under date of 21st inst., as follows:

Nashville us undoubtedly becoming one of the greatest places for amusements in the country. Both the old and new theatres [sic] are each night filled almost to suffocation, and unless a visitor takes time by the forelock and goes early, he can obtain neither sitting nor standing room. I regard this rage for playgoing at Nashville as among the extraordinary developments of the present extraordinary time. A Northern theatre-goer can have no adequate idea of the crush and jam which always takes place in this city on every night of exhibition, both inside and outside the theatres [sic]. It makes no difference as to the state of the weather; it matters not what may be the news, military or civil; the crowd is always anxious, crushing and great. If Hood were to bring up his ragged legions to Nashville tonight, and hurl his shells and cannon balls into the heart of the city, it would have no effect in diminishing the numbers of the fast throng rushing to see "the play."

This immense patronage enables the proprietors to procure the best talent in the country, and the boards are always trodden by some brilliant "star." Messrs. Duffield & Flynn, who are managing at one and the same time three threatres in three cities-Cincinnati, Louisville and Nashville-display an energy and perseverance in their peculiar business which would insure them brilliant success in any walk of life. Since I have been in this city they have placed upon the state successively Mam'selle Zoe, Ed. Adams, and the "Boniface and Newton Alliance," and their entire programme for the winter is equally brilliant. Their stock company is certainly above the average, and they have so thoroughly refitted their theatre that it looks as good as anew. Every individual connected with the management of this establishment, from the proprietors to the prompter, seems to have been selected with special reference to his business capacity, and to the intelligence and courtesy of a gentleman. Mr. C. C. Adams, the Treasurer, was personally known to your correspondent as an officer in the army. He served there with enlightened fidelity; and now that his period of enlistment has expired, I am glad to see him in so comfortable a position as that of Treasurer of the Nashville Theatre.

Nashville Daily Times and True Union, November 27, 1864.

        11, Confederate Demonstration near Russellville


Warrensburg, November 11, 1864--5.30 p. m.

My entire command is encamped around this place. I arrived here at 1 o'clock. I met no enemy. I have sent 250 men to the rear at Russellville to make a demonstration on the gap. The creek is past fording, but think I can ford it by 12 o'clock to-night. I had to swim the parties that I sent to-day over the creek. One of my scouts met a scout of the enemy in the rear of Russellville, capturing 3 and running the others into the gap.

I am, very respectfully, &c.,


OR, Ser. I, Vol. 39, pt. I, p. 895.


[1] Shirley Farris Jones, transcriber, John Abernathy Smith, ed., Letters to Mary: The Civil War Diary of John Kennerlly Farris (Winchester, Tenn.: Franklin County Historical Society 1994). [Hereinfater cited as: The Civil War Diary of John Kennerly Farris.]

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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