Monday, November 24, 2014

11.23-24.2014 Tennessee Civil War Notes.

        23, Confederate March against Unionists in Doe River Cove and Occupation of Elizabethton

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["] The expedition which entered Carter county on Saturday [23rd] last, under Maj. Ledbeter, of Stovals Georgia regiment, on marching to Doe River Cove found no enemy, the insurgents having disbanded. They had camped at that point several days, and their wooden tents were still standing. They were burned, a pen of corn taken possession of, and a few other eatables, when they returned to the line of the insurgents, Capt. McCellan's cavalry company being determined to take possession of and occupy Elizabethton, the county seat. This he performed without opposition, and he is at that point. A few prisoners have been taken and sent to Knoxville on various charges.["]

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Memphis Daily Appeal, November 29, 1861. [1]

        24, William Farmer, at Camp Tyree Springs to his Mother in Robertson County

Nov 24 1861

Camp tiry [sic] Springs Dear Mother [sic] I seat myself this gloomy Sabbath morning to write you a few lines to let you know that I am well and hope when these lines reaches [sic] you they [are?] find you the same. I have nothing to write that will interest you. I have heard that the malitia [sic] of our old native county[2] was cald [sic] out into active service. I don't know if any [news] that ever hurt me as bad in all my life to think that the brave sons of tennessee [sic] would stand back and be drafted. Mother you ought to feel proud that your only son was now in the army for if he ever gets back it will be the Enilist [sic] that in his name but oh the Maltiia [sic] will be remembered till the latist [sic] generation I have som [sic] near relations in the Mal[itia]. I hear of some men running to the Powder mill from every direction[3] why don't they come to enl[ist] [with Capt.] Birdwell['s]. Co. and go with the roberstons [sic] [county] boys that will stand to them to the last Gate[?]. I rec[k]on I will have to close write to me soon and write all about the affairs at home.

TSLA, Anthony, Martha Farmer Anthony Collection.[4]

23, Newspaper report relative to an attack on East Tennessee by Confederate forces near Fish Springs, Johnson County

Attack on Tories in East Tennessee.

A band of tories about seventy in number, under an outlaw names Taylor, were attacked on the 23d [of December, 1862[5]] in Johnson county, Tennessee, by forty of our men, under Colonel Folk.[6] A letter says:-

The tory cavalry and infantry were parading in a field near the Fish Springs[7]. Colonel Folk ordered his men to swim the river and charge them. The Tories seeing this, abandoned their homes and took shelter upon the summit of a huge ridge. Folk's men were then dismounted, and charged up the ridge, completely dispersing the tories. All of their horses were captured. Four of the tories were killed, and a number wounded and captured. They captured were immediately hung, by order of Colonel Folk. Taylor was killed.

Richmond Dispatch.

Philadelphia Inquirer, January 23, 1863.

        24, Report of murder of Negroes by Confederate forces at Harpeth Shoals and the Murfreesboro road


It is reported that the negroes employed as cooks, etc., on the steamboats recently captured near the shoals by the guerrillas, were butchered in the most brutal manner by their captors, who dragged them aside and cut their throats. Our informant states that they "stuck them as if they had been hogs." And yet these rebels talk of the horrors of negro insurrections, while they perpetrate atrocities which wild Congoes or Fejee cannibals never exceeded. Why if anything could inflame the slaves to insurrection, it would be the cowardly and barbarous murder of these fellows on the Murfreesboro road, and at Harpeth Shoals.

Nashville Daily Union, January 24, 1863.

TSLA, Anthony, Martha Farmer Anthony Collection.[8]

        24, Skirmish in front of Columbia

No circumstantial reports filed.

Excerpt from the Itinerary of the Artillery Brigade, Third Division, for activities from November 3, 1864 to January 12, 1865.

November 24.-Marched at 2 a. m. nineteen miles to Columbia; arrived at 1 p. m. Batteries A and G, First Ohio Light Artillery, were placed in positions southwest of Columbia, on line of Second Division, Fourth Army Corps; Sixth Ohio Battery and Bridges' (Illinois) battery placed in position south of Columbia, covering Pulaski pike on line of Third Division, Fourth Army Corps.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 45, pt. I, p. 67.

Excerpt from the Itinerary of the TWENTY-THIRD ARMY CORPS for the period November 5, 1864 to January 31, 1865.

Thursday, November 24.-Moved at 4 a. m. for Columbia, Cox marching at 2.30 a. m. and Stanley about 3.30 a. m., Cox reaching Mount Pleasant pike, two miles south of Columbia, in time to check Forrest's advance.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 45, pt. I, p. 70.

Excerpt from Third Division Itinerary for actions from November 1, 1864 to January 31, 1865.

November 24.-Moved to Columbia, and reached there just in time to check the enemy as they drove our cavalry into town.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 45, pt. I, p. 76.

Excerpt from the Itinerary of the 5th Division for activities from November 4, 1864 to January 15, 1865.

November 24.-

* * * *

....From Columbia the division was actively engaged protecting the flank of the infantry column in its retreat toward Nashville; participated in the battle of Franklin, Tenn.; charged two divisions of rebel cavalry, driving them about three miles and across Harpeth River.

* * * *

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 45, pt. I, p. 87.

        24, "The Refugees."

From the Chattanooga Gazette, Nov. 22.

The number of these poor people arriving in our city continues large. They arrive here without being able to bring any food with them to subsist upon, and very little household stuff. A couple of beds, or mattresses, a few blankets, some cooking utensils and a chair or two generally comprise their whole supply the comforts of life. The great body of the refugees have arrived here during the last two weeks and in that time we have had the worst weather that has visited Chattanooga for years, cold rains falling every day and making the streets almost knee deep in mud. At first, the arrival were so numerous that all could not be accommodated in the camp, and as the cars in which they came from Georgia were need, they were compelled to move their things out of them and do as best they could for the time; many of them stopped between the tracks, just where their baggage was put out, others found places in the different warehouses and houses along the railroad and in the car shed and building in the depot yard. At present, nearly all of them are gathered into a camp around the "Refugee House," on the railroad, near the depot. During the week ending Saturday, Nov. 19th, the following number were received and reported at the camp.

Men, 596; women 1,115; children, 1,690; total, 3,401. During the same time the following have been sent North to Nashville: men 225; women, 312; children, 544; total 1,081. The number remaining in camp on Saturday [19th] night was 4,330. The whole number of rations issued to them during the week amounting to 14,496. Several of them have died after their arrival here, some of whom suffered from exposure, but we understand that the deaths are not near so numerous as might be expected from the privations which they are unavoidably forced to endure. Everything done by the military authorities than can be done to relieve their distresses, but it is impossible to relieve all suffering. Many of the poor creatures were sick before they left their homes, and the recent wet weather has caused many of them to shake with the ague. The cold of Sunday night, and yesterday was so great that no amount of fire-living almost in the open air as many of them are compelled to do-will keep them warm. Some are despondent and gloomy, while others take the matter philosophically and even verrily [sic], making light of their discomforts. In one of the buildings in the depot yard we saw one group composed of two young men, six women and ten or twelve children, huddled together amid a pile of beds and quilts, and appearing to have a fine time, shouting and laughing over their troubles.

A woman from Calhoun, named Thomas, died in the building in the depot yard known as the "Repair Shop."

On Sunday night the number of refugees reported in the camp was 4, 198. Every effort is being made to send the North, or give employment to the males of the different families, many of them engaging as wood choppers in the Government service on the railroads.

Nashville Dispatch, November 24,1864.


[1] As cited in PQCW.

[2] Robertson county.

[3] Apparently these men were anxious to avoid the draft by taking on essential war work at the gun powder factory in Robertson county.

[4] Anthony, Martha Farmer, Collection of Farmer Family Papers, 1838-1889, Microfilm No. 1466, Tennessee State Library and Archives. Box 1, folder 11.

[5] This date is an approximation. It might well have been November 23, 1862.

[6] Lieutenant-Colonel George N. Folk, commanding the Seventh North Carolina Volunteers, was ordered on October 13, 1862 by Confederate army officials in Knoxville, Tennessee, to "break up and suppress an organization of tories from North Carolina and such other hostile bands as you may find." While a full report was to be made it was either lost, never made, or not included in the Official Records. See: OR, Ser. I, Vol. 16, pt. II, p. 940.

[7] Perhaps a geographical mistake was made. There is today a Fish Creek community on the south side of Watauga lake, then river, located just across the lake from Johnson County, in Carter County, on SR 67. While a Tennessee Historical Marker might be a fitting testament to the affair it is extremely unlikely the Tennessee Historical Commission would approve such a marker.

[8] Anthony, Martha Farmer, Collection of Farmer Family Papers, 1838-1889, Microfilm No. 1466, Tennessee State Library and Archives. Box 1, folder 11.

James B. Jones, Jr.

Public Historian

Tennessee Historical Commission

2941 Lebanon Road

Nashville, TN  115

(615)-770-1090 ext. 115

(615)-532-1549  FAX


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