Thursday, November 27, 2014

11.27.2014 Tennessee Civil War Notes - - Happy Turkey Day!

        27, Skirmish at Mill Creek

NOVEMBER 27, 1862.-Skirmish at Mill Creek, Tenn.

Report of Gen. Philip H. Sheridan, U. S. Army.

HDQRS. ELEVENTH DIV., FOURTEENTH ARMY CORPS, Camp on Mill Creek, November 27, 1862.

MAJ.: This morning I directed a reconnaissance in force in the direction of Nolensville, under the direction of Col. Schaefer, supported by two regiments and a section of artillery, under Col. Greusel. I inclose herewith their instructions. Col. Schaefer found the enemy's pickets 2 miles in my front; drove them in until they were supported, a short distance beyond Mill Creek, by a section of artillery, and about 2,000 cavalry. These he drove without difficulty to Nolensville, and then turned to the Edmondson pike, leaving Col. Greusel to cover his rear.

These commands have returned to camp. Col. Schaefer reports having killed several of the enemy; the body of only one was recovered. There were no indications of infantry, nor any determined resistance of cavalry. The colonel captured some rebel flour at Mill Creek. I know of no engagement at La Vergne. I learn by a note from Gen. Sill that he sent a party there, and Col. Schaefer reports about twelve artillery shots in that direction. The crossing of Mill Creek, on the Nolensville road, is not bad; the bridges have been burned; 3 prisoners were captured. The cavalry was Texas Rangers, commanded by Wharton.

I have the honor to be, major, your obedient servant,

P. H. SHERIDAN, Brig.-Gen., Cmdg.


HDQRS. ELEVENTH DIV. FOURTEENTH ARMY CORPS, Camp on Mill Creek, November 26, 1862.

Col. NICHOLAS GREUSEL, Cmdg. Third Brigade:

COL.: The general commanding directs that you take the Thirty-sixth and Eighty-eighth Illinois Infantry, and follow in the rear of the command of Col. Schaefer, on the Nolensville pike, to -morrow morning at 4 o'clock. On arriving at Concord Church, or at the crossing of Mill Creek, you will take up a position to assist and cover the movements of Col. Schaefer. One section of Barnett's battery without caissons will be directed to accompany you. You will take your position on Mill Creek, if possible, watching the La Vergne road; also the Nolensville road and the valley on the opposite side of the creek till 12 o'clock m., and threaten the enemy who are encamped at or near Nolensville, so as to prevent them from attacking with their full force the command of Col. Schaefer. You must maintain your position, if possible, at that point until the hour indicated, when you will slowly return toward camp. The general does not consider it prudent to cross Mill Creek, unless it would be as a feint to relieve Col. Schaefer from any attack which might be made in force against him; then it would be to cross over a portion of your infantry only, as the crossing is very bad. In case Col. Schaefer should meet with a large force of the enemy, he is directed to fall back; in which case you will fall back also.

The general commanding trusts to your good judgment in the execution of the foregoing instructions.

I have the honor to be, colonel, your obedient servant,

GEORGE LEE, First Lieut. and Acting Assistant Adjutant-Gen.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 20, pt. I, pp. 22-23.

        27, Confederate guerrillas kidnap Unionist citizens near Troy, Obion County

UNION CITY, November 28, 1862.

Brig.-Gen. SULLIVAN:

I have reliable information that three of the most prominent Union citizens of this country were last night captured at or near Troy, in this county, a town noted for the treason of its inhabitants. They were captured by guerrillas, who infest the Obion Bottom, near that town, and are daily carrying off Union citizens and robbing them of their property, especially their horses.

Troy is a hot-bed of traitors; not a Union man living in the town. The 3 men captured have been our main stand-by for five months past, one of whom is Col. Bradford. I propose, if it meets with your approval, to give the authorities of the town notice that if the 3 men captured are not returned in five days that I will burn up the town. Gen., as unwell as I am, if you will give me the command at Trenton, which is a central point, I will have this country from the Memphis and Ohio Railroad to the Hatchie cleared of the last guerrilla in it before the return of my papers, as I know every district of the country. This will be a pleasure to me, as I have done so once before.

THOS. W. HARRIS, Col. Fifty-fourth Illinois.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 17, pt. II, pp. 365-366.

        27, Confederate conscript sweep along the Hatchie River

TRENTON, November 27, 1862--11 p. m.


My scouts report to-night from Cageville that 200 to 250 of Jackson's and Falkner's cavalry are at or near Bend's Ferry, on the Hatchie, enforcing the conscript act.

JACOB FRY, Col., Comdg. Post.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 17, pt. II, p. 364.

        27, Excerpt from a letter by Dr. U. G. Owen, Surgeon for the 4th Tennessee, at camp in Normandy, to his wife relative to clothing

I have succeeded in getting two pairs of pants, one coarse & one fine pair, and swapped off my Yankee overcoat & got a large fine grey one two capes on it. I gave 35 dollars to boot but got fine large overcoat. I am well fixed except shoes. I want you to have me a pair of boots made pay cash down for the put them in your carpet bag & lock them up. I want a pair worth 35 or 40 dollars I must have another pair of boots for this winter. I will be in the mud & snow until May next. I will not need the shoes if I get the boots. I want high tops water proof heavy sole if they cost 45 dollars. 5, 1, march 1946, p. 72

Dr. U. G. Owen to Laura, November 27, 1862.

        27, A. J. Lacy on military pay and his likeness

State of Tenn.

Rutherford Co

November the 27th 1862

Dear Father and Mother

I seat myself this morning to write to you. I have nothing of importance to write to you. I had my likeness drawed [sic] before I left Cookville [sic] and sent it by Carral Ballard and Roofus [sic] Oins to Mr Oins. I allowed they would send it to you.

We are camped 3 mi west from Murfreesboro. Our Co. will draw money today I suppose. Our regiment is to be inspected today.

I wish to be remembered by you all. Tell Elisabeth that I would like to see her. This letter is to taken by old Mr[.] Hardy. I must close. So no more for the present.

ANDREW J. Lacy 3 Lt in Capt Woolsy Co

Diberals [sic] Reg[iment][.]

8th Tennessee Cavalry

Wm Lacy and Family

Lacy Correspondence.

        27, "In every corner, up and down every avenue and alley, from 'morn to noon, from noon to dewy eve,' it is nothing but tramp! tramp! and Yank! Yank! Yank!" A Young Woman's Description of the Changes in Occupied Nashville


One of the editors of the Chattanooga Rebel has received a letter from a young lady of Nashville, from which the following paragraphs are extracted:

"Nashville is not what it was, believe me. You may walk a whole morning and never meet a familiar face. The ladies never go in the streets except accompanied by some escort or in carriages. How many of them are in black! How many houses are in mourning! You do not know, you cannot know the mental suffering we experience every day. The old haunts, which used to be so lively, are now deserted and dark; no lights at night, nor music, nor notes of laughter! Why, I haven't smiled in a month. Whenever the strings of my heart vibrate, the face is not wreathed with dimples—the eyes are full of tears."

"Many of our young ladies have gone, like the last roses of summer. But still many yet are here. They, without an exception, detest everything that ever looked like a Yankee. Some reports got out, I hear, about one or two having received the Federal officers. It is positively not so, except those of Union families, who are now few and far between. These latter we systematically cut. One of them was lately married to a Tennessee Federal officeholder, which greatly shocked her friends to 'Lang Syne." But we consider her dead; have buried her, mourned over her, and are fast forgetting her. The Yankee officers have at last discovered that there's no use 'knocking at the door,' and have collapsed into a magnificent indifference, which is as amusing as acceptable.

* * * *

"Oh, the bewildering Yankees! Behold them, my friend, behold them in their dirty blue coats and filthy whiskers. They walk as if they thought the sky was made in honor of the color of their cloth; they walk by as though the streets, the houses, 'the earth and air, and all that in them is,' belonged to them. In every corner, up and down every avenue and alley, from 'morn to noon, from noon to dewy eve,' it is nothing but tramp! tramp! and Yank! Yank! Yank!"

Mobile Register and Advertiser, November 27, 1862.[1]

        27, Federal deserters humiliated in Nashville

Novel Spectacle.—Yesterday morning, about nine o'clock, about fifty Federal soldiers were marched from the Capitol under a heavy guard, clothed in old-fashioned women's nightcaps, and conducted through the streets to the bridge, and thence through Edgefield beyond the lines, to be there set adrift. They were supposed to consist of deserters, skulkers, etc., and were thus treated as an example to others similarly disposed.

Nashville Dispatch, November 27 1862.

        27, Nashville City Council's resolution to remove blacks

Negroes in Nashville.—We are glad to see that the Board of Aldermen has adopted a resolution having for its object the removal of an intolerable nuisance, viz., the numerous vagabond negroes in our midst. We would not pretend to estimate the number of blacks, of both sexes, and of all ages and sizes, now in our midst, but we can say, without fear of contradiction, that hundreds of them are constantly engaged in plundering our inhabitants, dealing in whisky, and eating rations intended for the soldiers. Most of them are well dressed, in Federal uniforms, and all represent themselves as belonging to "the service," the majority as "belonging to the staff" of some one of the Generals located in Nashville or vicinity. The resolution of Alderman Mulloy makes it "the duty of Mayor Smith to wait upon Gen. Rosecrans to request his assistance in removing them from our midst, or remedying the evils our community is suffering," etc. We have no idea that any relief will be obtainable in their removal, but one thing can be done, and that is—Make officers responsible for the good behavior of their servants, and of all negroes belonging to their regiments, and give the Police authorities the power to arrest and set to work all stragglers found about the city. This plan, we think, would work well, and would perhaps receive the sanction of the military authorities.

Nashville Dispatch, November 27 1862.

        27, Cracking down on Confederate soldiers on leave without permission in Knoxville

HEADQUARTERS, Department of E. Tenn.

Knoxville, Nov. 27, 1862

General Orders No. 11.

I. Officers visiting Knoxville, or now in the town, will report to the commandant of the Post their names and the nature and duration of their absence from their commands, and by what authority so absent.

II. Attention is directed to the following General Order No. 31 (Headquarters: Department E. Tennessee, Knoxville, May 9th, 1862,) which will be enforced by commanding officers. "All leaves of absence and furloughs except upon certificates of disability, have been revoked by order of the President and with the exception stated, neither will be granted for a longer period than twenty four hours, unless with the approval of the Maj. General Commanding."

By command of Brig. Gen. H. Heth.

Knoxville Daily Register, December 14, 1862.

        27, Activation of National Guard in Morgan, Campbell and Scott counties


I. The National Guard of Scott, Morgan, and Campbell Counties are hereby called into active service for thirty days, and will report to Capt. Reynolds at Kingston, Tennessee

* * * *

By command of Maj.-Gen. Burnside:

EDWARD M. NEILL, Assistant Adjutant-Gen.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 31, pt. III, p. 260.

        27, Skirmish at Sparta [see November 26, 1863, "Skirmish at Sparta," above]

No circumstantial reports filed.

        27, Skirmish at Cleveland

Report of Col. John C. Carter, Thirty-eighth Tennessee Infantry, Hardee's Corps, Army of Tennessee, relative to the affair at Charleston, November 30, 1863[2].


CAPT.: I have the honor to report that on November 24, I was left in command at Charleston, Tennessee The Thirty-eighth Tennessee Regiment, Lieut.-Col. Gwynne commanding, having an effective total of 215; portions of four companies of engineer troops, Capt. McCalla commanding, having an effective total of 112: 17 effective cavalrymen, commanded by Maj. Shaw, and 44 effective men belonging to Capt. Van Dyke's cavalry company, constituted the force under my command.

On the morning of November 26, Col. Long's cavalry brigade of Federal troops were moved from Cleveland, Tennessee, against our position. Our troops were formed on the north side of the Hiwassee River, for the purpose of protecting the bridges across the stream. After a struggle of more than an hour, the enemy were driven back, with slight loss. We did not suffer. The bridges were saved.

On November 29, I received from Gen. Bragg an order to Lieut.-Gen. Longstreet... By this order...Longstreet was ordered to fall back immediately upon Dalton, Ga., or to retire to Virginia. I immediately telegraphed to Gen. Longstreet, stating that unless he intended to fall back upon Dalton, there was no necessity to hold my position longer. The dispatch was sent at 3 p. m. Had I been informed by Gen. Longstreet that he did not intend to use the bridges at Charleston, I should have left for Dalton on the night of the 29th. I could have reached the place with safety. The enemy were at Cleveland in heavy force, yet by moving on the old Federal road, I should have left them far to the right. Gen. Longstreet replied to my telegram, asking for information, and led me to suppose he might retire from Knoxville by way of Charleston. I immediately replied, giving him what information I could, and again stated that my position was becoming very critical, and that unless he intended to use the bridges it was entirely unnecessary for me to remain longer at Charleston.

I received instructions from Gen. Longstreet when the enemy was on all the roads between me and Dalton. I was ordered by him to destroy the bridges when I retired. I waited on the north side of the Hiwassee River until the enemy came up. Four thousand infantry, distinctly seen and counted, in two lines of battle, with cavalry on the flanks, were moved against us. Six pieces of artillery opened upon us a heavy fire, and I was informed that about 800 cavalry were crossing the river below. I immediately ordered the wagons and troops, preceded by a small cavalry force, to move rapidly on the Riceville road. I and my staff remained in Calhoun, on the north side of the river, until the skirmishers of the enemy reached the bridges. They found the bridges destroyed. The troops of the enemy were still passing through a defile in a range of hills on the opposite side of the river. I waited until I had seen about 6,000 soldiers debouch upon the plain before us. I then, with the remainder of the cavalry, followed our wagons and troops, leaving 3 men behind to watch the movements of the enemy. These men subsequently reported that the enemy were at least 15,000 strong, and that they had with them more than fifteen pieces of artillery. Our men reached Riceville a very short time before the enemy's cavalry did, having marched more than 7 miles within an hour and a half.

We continued our march, moving as rapidly as possible, and at Sweet Water took the cars for Loudon. I reported to Brig.-Gen. Vaughn, commanding at that place.

I am glad to say that during the march we lost nothing. I started from Charleston with 50 barefooted men, yet only 12 of them were left behind.

The supplies in the hands of the post commissary were loaded in a car, which was placed on the north side of the river. Knowing as I did that we might be compelled to retire at any hour, I kept an engine for the purpose of taking a car off when necessary. Mr. Wallace, the president of the East Tennessee and Georgia Railroad, repeatedly ordered the engine to Loudon; but conceiving that it would be much more useful to the Government where it was, I took the liberty of keeping it. On the night of November 29, 1863, he informed me by telegraph that the engine at Charleston was unserviceable and that if I would send it to Loudon he would send me by 8 o'clock next morning a serviceable one in its stead. I had the engine thoroughly inspected by those who should have been familiar with the machinery, and their opinion was that its power of locomotion might be at any time entirely destroyed. Under such circumstances, I sent Capt. Day, post assistant quartermaster, on the engine to Loudon, with instructions to bring back by 8 o'clock next morning (this was 8 o'clock at night) a serviceable engine from Loudon.

I left Charleston at 3 p. m., on November 30, 1863. Up to that time no engine reached us, and I subsequently learned that none was ever sent to us. Knowing that the supplies must necessarily fall into the hands of the enemy, I ordered them to be distributed among the citizens. Though I regretted very much the loss of the supplies, yet I am certain had they been taken to Loudon they would have been lost there, for a quantity of quartermaster's and commissary stores were destroyed at that place because there was no transportation for them. I took in my wagons as large a quantity of the supplies as I could.

I take great pleasure in acknowledging the service performed by Capt. Van Dyke and his company. With 40 men he covered our entire front, and executed with promptness and efficiency every duty assigned him. There were eight roads leading from the south side of the river to our position. Under such circumstances it was unsafe to have the picket posts stationary. It was necessary that the whole cavalry force should be a constant patrol.

I placed the cavalrymen of Maj. Shaw's battalion under command of a captain, and ordered him to establish communication with Dalton, Ga., via Spring Place, by couriers. I sent a number of dispatches to Col. Brent, assistant adjutant-general, Army of Tennessee, and to yourself, by this courier line, but I had not intelligence at all from the Army of Tennessee, except what I received (the order previously mentioned) sent by Gen. Bragg to Lieut.-Gen. Longstreet.

* * * *

To the soldiers I give all the praise. They manifested, as they have always done, unflinching courage and devoted patriotism.

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

JNO. C. Carter, Col., Cmdg.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 31, pt. I, pp. 537-539.

        27, Skirmish at Gillespie's[3]

Dyer's Battle Index for Tennessee.

        27, Execution of Sam Davis as a spy[4]

        27, Brigadier-General G. M. Dodge explains the rationale for army foraging and anti-guerrilla activities in Middle Tennessee

HDQRS. LEFT WING, SIXTEENTH ARMY CORPS, Pulaski, Tennessee, November 27, 1863.

Col. HENRY R. MIZNER, Cmdg., Columbia:

I regret that any of my soldiers should have been guilty of acts in violation of the laws of war. When officers and men are not designated, it is almost impossible to fasten it upon the guilty parties. I will endeavor to do so in this case. My orders are that my troops shall live upon this country (my trains are supplied by stock from it), but that it must be done in an orderly and legitimate manner. I propose to eat up all the surplus, and perhaps the entire crops in the country, take all serviceable stock, mules, horses, &c., so that when we leave here no rebel army, if it should ever get here, can live a day. These people are proud, arrogant rebels, who beg our protection, but wish to be allowed at the same time to oppose our armies and our Government. The hands of all Federal officers should fall justly but heavily upon them, so that they should respect us-not from love, for they never will do that, but from fear of the power of our Government. Now I propose, so far as I can, to let these people know that we are at war; that we are in a country of rebels, and that they must support my command, respect and obey my orders, and that all they possess belongs legitimately to the U. S. Government. If they bring it to me freely I propose to pay for it, not that it is their right, but that it is cheaper for us and for the Government. If I go after it I never pay. I never ask them to take the oath, but treat them as they act. Every rebel takes the oath to save his property. I know no Union man in this country unless he openly declares and shows by his acts that he is willing and ready to shoulder a musket in our cause. My soldiers know the penalty of any violation of orders; they also know what is proper and right, and if detected in wrong-doing will be punished to the extent of the law.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

G. M. DODGE, Brig.-Gen.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 31, pt. III, pp. 261-262

        27, "Condition of the Contrabands at Nashville."

The correspondent of the Cincinnati Commercial, writing from this city on the 20th instant, says:

There is another dark subject upon which light is wanted-the contrabands. Thousands of negroes [sic] came into our lines when Nashville was first included in them. Each movement of our army increased the number of contrabands, until their name is legion. The army is full of them, and they are to be found in every possible position where labor for an army is required. These blacks [sic] enlist in the colored regiments, and fill them up a soon as recruiting is opened. The mulattoes [sic] keep aloof, and in but rare instances are to be found in uniform and cross belts. The cause of this I cannot affirm; the fact is remarkable. Meanwhile, what becomes of the families of these colored soldiers? They are scattered about everywhere, homeless, shelterless, and left to ship for themselves. Many of the women and grown girls are used as laundresses, cooks, scullions, etc., in hospitals, but they do not receive a cent of wages. Surgeons possessing humanity and a sense of justice have tried in vain, for months, to procure payment for these wretched by necessary people, for the drudgery of camps and hospitals can not be done without them. It is a fact that may of the women now laboring in the hospitals have hardly sufficient clothes to cover their nakedness, and they would absolutely starve but for the food they procure while at work. I have been requested again, and again, by the best surgeons here, to give publicity to these facts, which press themselves upon the most careless and indifferent observer. Is it any wonder that these poor creatures "forget Christ"-like the old deacon when he kissed the pretty young girl-and steal? And who shall blame them? The shirts, drawers and hose of the patients, and the sheets and other bedding of the hospitals are heavily taxed by these people, purely out of self-protection, and it is high time the matter was taken up and justly disposed of. While seeing as the Medical Directory of the post, Dr. Wm. Clendenin had the papers of the different hospitals so arranged as to include payment for the colored laborers, and yet not conflict with any existing regulation: but when he was relieved no one took sufficient interest in the matter, and it fell to the ground, where it still lies, a crying evil among a great many others. Some of the surgeons contemplate making a public appeal in behalf of the poor colored people, since their efforts to have them paid by the Government have failed.

Nashville Dispatch, November 27, 1863.

        27, "Row at the Circus;" members of the 5th Kentucky cavalry see the elephant

A number of soldiers belonging to the 5th Kentucky cavalry, made a charge upon the circus on Friday night [27th], creating considerable alarm. The guards stationed they interfered, and a general fight ensued, in which guns and pistols were freely used, resulting in the death of a corporal of the Provost Guard, and the wounding of one of the cavalrymen. We are informed that all the members of the company engaged in this disgraceful affair have been placed under arrest by the proper officer, and that the guilty parties will be punished as they deserve.

P.S. The name of the Corporal who was killed is Davis, an estimable young man. We also learn that one of the cavalrymen was killed and one wounded; one of the circus men was also wounded.

Nashville Dispatch, November 29, 1863.

        27, Assault on Fort Loudon

No circumstantial reports filed.

Excerpt from the January 15, 1864, Report of Colonel E. Porter Alexander, C. S. Army, Chief of Artillery, on operations of the artillery of General Longstreet's corps in the Knoxville Campaign, relative to the assault on Fort Loudon, November 27, 1863.

* * * *

On the was decided to assault Fort Loudon, the ground being very favorable for an approach on its southwest bastion, and the ditch in front of it being of small dimensions, as was seen by the enemy's soldiers frequently passing in and out of this bastion by crossing the parapet and ditch with great apparent ease.

This assault was determined on the 23d, and a ferry prepared, troops and guns crossed, and everything in readiness for the 25th. Owing to the approach of a re-enforcement of two brigades, under Brig. Gen. Bushrod R. Johnson, whose assistance would be most valuable in the assault, the attack was postponed to the 26th to allow it to come up.

On the evening of the 25th, Brig.-Gen. Leadbetter, chief engineer Army of Tennessee, arrived at headquarters, and favoring an attack upon another quarter of the town, it was postponed another day to allow a reconnaissance. This developing no such favorable ground, the attack on Fort Loudon was again ordered for the 27th. It was intended that the attack should be preceded and covered by a heavy bombardment of the fort by every one of our thirty guns, some of them being arranged also to fire as mortars.

The 27th was such a rainy and foggy day that the artillery could not be used, and there being little prospect of the weather improving soon, the attack was ordered by the infantry at daylight on the 29th, the artillery being ordered to open just before day on the fort as a signal, and to fire on it for a few minutes, and then over the enemy's approaches to it as long as the fort resisted. The attack was accordingly made in this manner, the artillery fire being directed by the flashes of the enemy's guns in the darkness until the flashes of our own muskets were seen under the parapet, and after that a slow random fire was kept up to the rear of the fort until daylight. This showed our men retreating, unsuccessful in the assault, and our fire was again turned on the fort to keep down its fire upon the retreat, which was fully accomplished.

* * * *

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 31, pt. I, pp. 478-479.

        27, Southern comments on Confederate spirit to the presence of the Federal army during the siege of Knoxville


Army correspondence of the Atlanta Register.[5]


Interesting Details by Bird.

Loudon Tenn., Nov 21, 1863


The tyranny he [General Sanders] that he has exhibited since his short domination of East Tennessee should d—n his name to infernal infamy. But our tired veterans have endured it patiently, ever confident of the return of the Confederate soldiery.

By a special order of this young Nero every rail was to be burned from around the splendid farm of Mr. Lenoir, and he has been rendered penniless. Mrs. Lonas, an aged lagged of seventy-three winters, was murdered, because she simply asked a Yankee to leave enough cabbage heads to make seed the ensuing season.

Mr. And Mrs. Walker, bending under old age, of near four score, were driven from their homes and everything destroyed. Not an item left in the way of clothing, ware or subsistence, because of their Southern principles.

These are only a few of the outrages committed by the hated foe. The conduct of the officers in Knoxville was revolting to civilization, such as walking arm-in-arm with the negro wenches of Col. Luttrell and others.

Severs instances have occurred in the city, in which there officers would send their cards to these wenches' young mistresses, wishng to call on them at a certain hour. With true Southern scorn they would send these negroes to the parlor to entertain their lordships, disdaining the idea of ever speaking to abolition thieves.

Brownlow became very indignant at the young Southern ladies of Knoxville and vicinity, because they would not walk under the Federal flag, and wrote an article advocating their arrest. But this did not intimidate them n the least. Their boldness only increased. They sang their national airs with more enthusiasm, being confident that the day was not far distant when they should be redeemed form the thralldom of the enemy

Thousands of negroes infest Knoxville who has become more insolent in their insults to the Southern citizens than the abolition soldiery. A great many have joined the army.


Macon Daily Telegraph, November 27, 1863.

        27-28, Small pox and vaccination, starving refugees, confederate prisoners of war, cowards and African American troops: the news from Murfreesboro and Short Mountain environs

Redoubt Johnson

Murfreesboro Tenn.

November 27/63

Fother [sic] and Mother

I received a letter from you a few days Since [sic] and have neglected answerin [sic] until now[.] My health is good and hoping these lines will finde [sic] you all well[.] Capt nut [sic] Started [sic] this Morning [sic] for Chattanooga to his Regt Lieutinant [sic] pool [sic] is commanding our company not the mail trane [sic] has not come threw [sic] to day[.] the word is now that wee [sic] have had another hard fight near Chattanooga I seen [sic] fifteen hundred Rebel [sic] prisoners to day Just [sic] from the battle field the cars halted here a few minutes to wood and water they are the Ragidest [sic] looking Set [sic] you ever Saw [sic] they are gone on to Nashville [sic] i [sic] Suppose [sic] there will bee [sic] More [sic] of them threw [sic] from all accounts[.] Wee [sic] have not learned any of the particulars yet Concerning [sic] the fight[.] there [sic] was a Nigro [sic] Regiment [sic] passed here this forenoon going on to the front I suppose[.] Some folks are opposed to arming them but i [sic] think it is only by those that are too big a Cowards [sic] to fight them Selvs [sic] [.] If [sic] an man would rather Soldiers [sic] than to See [sic] a negro [sic] at it down here is the place for him[.] Cowards are the greatest men to talk that wee [sic] have and know Just [sic] about as little for my part[.] i [sic] Say Make [sic] use of any and Every Measure [sic] that will crush the rebellion[.] let [sic] any man bee [sic] Jamed [sic] about over the Country [sic] as I [sic] and thousands of others have and he will Say the Same [sic] that is my notion about things[.] there [sic] is families pasing [sic] here all the time going north[,] they are the poorest people you Ever Saw [sic] [.] Some of them are going with a one horse wagon and some in ox carts and Some [sic] on foot[.] they [sic] Say they have nothing more to live on here[.] I seen a man to day that had Come [sic] from Short Mountain that is up South East of here near Mcmimille [sic] he Said [sic] he was Just Starved [sic] out and Couldent [sic] get away from here and he said [sic] there was any amount of families where he come from Suffering [sic] for Something to Eat [sic] and couldent [sic] get away[.] the [sic] Men [sic] are in the Reble [sic] army and they are left to do the best they can[.] Wee [sic] have had no new cases of Smallpox [sic] in the company[.] the [sic] ones that had it are well again it is not about Sunset and Supper is about Rready So I will quit for the present[.]

Saturday Evening Nov. 28/63

yours [sic] of the 22[nd] is before me now I received 4 letters to day….Wee [sic] had a very heavy rain here last knight [sic] and this Morning [sic] [.] it [sic] has turned very Cool and Still drizling [sic] the river is tolerable high I [sic] have not Seen [sic] any paper today I [sic] dont [sic] know what the news is you wanted to know if I [sic] had been vaxinated [sic][.] i [sic] was vaxinated [sic] last Spring [sic] [.] My arm was Sore [sic] all Summer [sic] and then it only left a blew Spot [sic] [.] the [sic] doctor Said [sic] it wasent [sic] the rite kind of Stuff [sic][.] there [sic] is a good many in the Company [sic] now that are vaxinated [sic] I [sic] believe I [sic] will try it agan [sic] and See [sic] what it will do[.] one [sic] of our boys Come [sic] back from the hospittle [sic] to day[;] he has Just [sic] got over the Smallpox [sic][,] it has left a good many marks on him[.]….

J. H. Jones

Letter of James Jones, 57th Indiana Infantry.

        27, Skirmish at Lawrenceburg

Dyer's Battle Index for Tennessee.

        27, Skirmish in front of Columbia

No circumstantial reports filed.

Excerpt from the Journal of the 4th Army Corps.

November 27.-8 a. m., sent word to division commanders that they would not move to-day, but must be prepared to receive orders to cross the river to-night. Pioneers are working on the road at the river crossing at the pontoon bridge and on the other side of the river, and the trains will be worked over if possible this morning. The rain has now ceased. 1 p. m., in accordance with instructions received from Maj.-Gen. Schofield, directed division commanders to send all wagons to the north bank of the river at once. 3 p. m., received Special Field Orders, of which the following is a copy[6] 3 p. m., sent orders to division commanders to move to-night across the river in the order-First, Gen. Wood; second, Gen. Kimball; third, Gen. Wagner; and for Gen. Wood to start at 6 p. m.; the pickets to be withdrawn to the outer line of works at 6.30 p. m., and to the inner line at 7.30 p. m., and from this latter line toward morning. Gen. J. A. Smith has not yet been heard from. It is not yet known whether he has reached Nashville. The forces of this corps withdrew, in accordance with instructions, at the hours indicated, without being followed by the enemy. The last of the corps crossed the river at midnight. The rain has ceased; it has not rained since daylight. It is now decided by Gen. Schofield to destroy the pontoon and railroad bridges across Duck River after the pickets have crossed to the north side, as it will be impossible to protect them and the fords both above and below Columbia. Deserters from the enemy, just in, report that the last of Hood's infantry arrived at Columbia this evening; that Hood now has 40,000 infantry strong and from 10,000 to 12,000 cavalry. Our force at present: Fourth Corps, about 15,000, and Schofield's (Army of the Ohio), about 10,000, with about 3,500 cavalry. Our forces are increasing rapidly each day by the addition of recruits arriving from the North, from 300 to 350 per day.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 45, pt. I, p. 146.

        27, Skirmish at Centreville

Dyer's Battle Index for Tennessee.

        27, "The Street Railroad."

We hear that a special meeting of both Boards of the City Council is to be held on Monday, for the purpose of considering the memorial of the South Nashville Street Railroad Company, and for such other business as may be brought before the meeting. We have long ago expressed a decidedly favorable opinion in regard to the benefits of properly constructed and managed street railroad; but at the same time we like to see the City Fathers consider the matter carefully, and act upon it advisedly. The bill now before the City Council is by no means complete; it passed its first reading by resolution "subject to such regulations and restrictions as the City Council may from time to time adopt." A resolution of this kind would have no effect in securing the right to the City Council to "regulate," etc. If members wish to reserve this or any other right in connection with the road, it must be expressed in the bill. The bill granting the right of way ought to define, as explicitly as possible, the duties of the company to the corporation and the citizen; provide for the grading and keeping in repair the portions of the streets used by the company; the amount of fare to be charged; the hour of starting the cars in the morning, and of running at night; the amount of license to be paid for each car; the penalties for neglecting to comply with the laws made for the government of the company, etc. This requires time and study to make the compact so complete as to present dissatisfaction and litigation in [the] future. We hope every member will come prepared to speak on the subject, and after all is done that is deemed necessary, pass the bill and let us have a street railroad.

Nashville Dispatch, November 27, 1864.

        27, "The country is full of guerrillas." Increased Guerrilla Activity Associated with Hood's Advance

HDQRS. FIRST Brig., SIXTH DIV., CAVALRY CORPS, MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI, Hardison's Mill, Tenn., November 27, 1864--3.30 p. m.

Brig.-Gen. JOHNSON,

Cmdg. Sixth Division Cavalry, Mil. Div. of the Mississippi:

GEN.: My scouts on the Shelbyville road have reported that they ran on to a small squad of the enemy, supposed to be Sam. Hardison's guerrilla band. Capt. McDonell, in charge of the scouting party, reports that he went out on the Shelbyville road to Chapel Hill and took the Nashville pike north two miles, where citizens informed him that a gang of thirty rebels passed last night. Citizens in that vicinity report that Col. Miller, with one regiment of rebels, passed within six miles of Chapel Hill, moving northward, at 8 o'clock last evening. Col. Miller's regiment, Eleventh Tennessee (rebel) Cavalry, was raised in that neighborhood. The country is full of guerrillas. The scouts further report coming upon a deserted rebel camp, supposed to have been 150 strong. There had been at Lawrenceburg three rebel scouts inquiring after Capt. Thompson's command. Rumors gathered from citizens say Forrest is working round on the south side of the river, but in what direction could not be learned; also that a brigade of cavalry and a corps of infantry were expected to reach Lewisburg this morning. It may be proper to mention a rumor also, that Hood's command is crossing the river below Columbia and moving on Nashville.

Very respectfully,

HORACE CAPRON, Col., Comdg. First Brig., Sixth Cav. Div., Mil. Div. of the Miss.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 45, pt. I, pp. 1097-1098.

        27-28, Skirmishes at Shelbyville, excerpt from a letter by Major-General R. H. Milroy to his wife in Rensselaer, Indiana

November 28, 1864

....My forces at Shelbyville 18 miles from here were attacked last night and some videtts [sic] captured. They were again attacked this morning and the enemy repulsed....It is rumored that Hood is pressing North rapidly....The Chief of my Union Bushwhackers got badly wounded a few days ago....

Papers of General Milroy, p. 397.

        27-28, Confederate scout between Duck River and the N&CRR to Shelbyville [see November 28, 1864, Skirmish at Shelbyville below]

        27-28, Union Intelligence Concerning Confederate Scouts and Guerrilla Squads in the Chapel Hill environs prior to the Attack at Franklin



Hardison's Mill, Tenn., November 27, 1864--3.30 p.m.

Brig.-Gen. JOHNSON,

Cmdg. Sixth Division Cavalry, Mil. Div. of the Mississippi:

GEN.: My scouts on the Shelbyville road have reported that they ran on to a small squad of the enemy, supposed to be Sam. Hardison's guerrilla band. Capt. McDonell, in charge of the scouting party, reports that he went out on the Shelbyville road to Chapel Hill and took the Nashville pike north two miles, where citizens informed him that a gang of thirty rebels passed last night.  Citizens in that vicinity report that Col. Miller, with one regiment of rebels, passed

within six miles of Chapel Hill, moving northward, at 8 o'clock last evening.  Col. Miller's regiment, Eleventh Tennessee (rebel) Cavalry, was raised in that neighborhood.  The country is full of guerrillas.  The scouts further report coming upon a deserted rebel camp, supposed to have

been 150 strong.  There had been at Lawrenceburg three rebel scouts inquiring after Capt. Thompson's command.  Rumors gathered from citizens say Forrest is working round on the south side of the river, but in what direction could not be learned; also that a brigade of cavalry and a corps of infantry were expected to reach Lewisburg this morning.  It may be proper to mention a rumor also, that Hood's command is crossing the river below Columbia and moving on Nashville.

Very respectfully,


Col., Comdg. First Brig., Sixth Cav. Div., Mil. Div. of the Miss.



Hardison's Mills, November 27, 1864.

Capt. E. T. WELLS,

Asst. Adjt. Gen., Sixth Div., Cav. Corps, Mil. Div. of the Miss.:

CAPT.: I have the honor to report that Capt. McDonnell has just returned from a scout on the Shelbyville pike as far as Chapel Hill.  He reports that he went two miles up the Nolensville pike, and learned from citizens in that vicinity that a rebel scout of thirty men passed them yesterday

evening, and that the Eleventh Tennessee (rebel) Cavalry, under Col. Miller, passed six miles north of Chapel Hill, toward the Chattanooga railroad, about 8 o'clock last night.  This regiment was organized in the vicinity of Chapel Hill. My scouts to Lewisburg report coming upon a deserted camp of the enemy near Cedar Springs, which citizens state had been left about an hour before, supposed to have been about 150 strong.  At Lewisburg there had been three rebels scouts inquiring for Capt. Thompson's command. Rumors from citizens say that Forrest is moving on the south side of the river, but in which direction could not be ascertained; they also say that a brigade of cavalry and a corps of infantry was expected in Lewisburg this morning. The enemy drove in a small picket left on a side road, while this scout was out; other than this, none was discovered. It may be well to mention the rumor, as it has come through various channels, that Hood's main army is not before Columbia, but is crossing the river lower down, and moving on Nashville through Centerville.

Very respectfully,

HORACE CAPRON, Col., Cmdg. Brigade.

Since the within was written the Sixth Illinois Cavalry passed down the Shelbyville pike toward Chapel Hill, and I gave the commanding officer the information herein contained.

Very respectfully,

HORACE CAPRON, Col., Cmdg. Brigade.


Near Columbia, Tenn., November 28, 1864.

Maj. J. A. CAMPBELL, Asst. Adjt. Gen., Army of the Ohio:

MAJ.: The following extracts from dispatches received during the night are forwarded for the information of the general commanding:

Gen. Croxton's pickets, who are stationed at the fords above Huey's Mill, report "that they hear rumors that rebel infantry are moving on the opposite side of the river toward the mouth of Cedar Creek, and that they intend crossing them where the Lewisburg pike crosses Duck River."

Col. Capron reports that a scout on the Shelbyville pike has just returned; it went "two miles up the Nolensville pike, and learned from citizens that a rebel scout of thirty men passed there yesterday evening; that the Eleventh Tennessee (rebel) Cavalry (Col. Miller) passed six miles north of Chapel Hill, toward Chattanooga railroad, about 8 p. m. November 26. Citizens say that Forrest is moving on the south side of the river, but the direction could not be ascertained; also that a brigade of cavalry and a corps of infantry were expected in Lewisburg this morning. Rumors from various channels concur in saying that Hood's main army is not before Columbia,

but is crossing the river lower don, and moving on Nashville via Centerville."

These are nothing but rumors obtained from the country people; no reliable information, other than that obtained from the prisoners, who are sent herewith, has been obtained from south of Duck River. The scouts sent to Shelbyville have not yet returned, and no reports have been sent in from the parties at the fords on the upper river.

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

J. H. WILSON, Brevet Maj.-Gen.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 45. Part I, pp. 1098-1099.


[1] As cited in:

[2] Failed technology, in this case in the form of an unrepaired locomotive, hampered a Confederate withdrawal

[3] Most likely Dyer meant "Gillespie's Landing," however OR shows no reference to a skirmish there on this date.

[4] Neither Dyer's Battle Index for Tennessee nor OR reference this event, yet is part of an allegory of Confederate selfless denial and fealty associated with Tennessee's Civil War experience. He was considered a spy because he had some sensitive information on his person and he was not in the uniform of the Confederate army. Yet there is some data probably relative to Davis:

HDQRS. LEFT WING, SIXTEENTH ARMY CORPS, Pulaski, Tennessee, November 20, 1863.

Maj. R. M. SAWYER,

Assistant Adjutant-Gen., Department of the Tennessee:

I herewith inclose a copy of dispatch taken from one of Bragg 's spies. He had a heavy mail, papers, &c., and Capt. Coleman is pretty well posted. I think I will have him in a day or two. We have broken up several bands of mounted robbers and Confederate cavalry in the last week, capturing some 5 commissioned officers and 100 enlisted men, which have been forwarded. I also forward a few of the most important letters found in the mail. The tooth-brushes and blank-books I was greatly in need of, and therefore appropriate them.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

G. M. DODGE, Brig.-Gen.

[Inclosure No. 1.]

IN FRONT OF CHATTANOOGA, November 11, 1863.

[Mrs. Dan M. Nelson].

MY DEAR NANNIE: I have written over and over and still receive no reply. Don't know whether you ever received any of my letters or not. The "underground mail" is so uncertain, perhaps you never received any of them. I would keep you pretty well posted if all my letters reached you. As it is, I would have to reiterate a great deal to keep you well informed as to passing events. Nothing direct have I heard from you since June; however, I hear indirectly occasionally. I am well at present with exception of cold. We still occupy our same position since the battle of Chickamauga.

Don't know how long we will remain here. There is a move going on in East Tennessee which may materially change affairs in a few days, unless the enemy is re-enforced sufficiently to give us battle. Gen. Longstreet will operate from this way, while Gen. Jones will co-operate with him from beyond Knoxville. Here I will give you a little news; perhaps you may hear of it before this reaches you, or get the Yankee accounts of it. Gen. Jones captured, a day or two ago, 850 Yankees, 1,000 head of mules and horses, and 150 wagons. (This is official.) I am fearful the enemy has been so heavily re-enforced we will be unable to gain and hold any permanent foot-hold in Tennessee. My opinion is we will fall back as soon as Sherman with his re-enforcements reaches Chattanooga. We have been re-enforced since the battle, but not near so much as the Yanks. I am sorry to say there is a want of harmony among our generals at present and ever since the battle. All are down on BraGALEGROUP - TSLA 19TH CN  ; want him removed. I can see for no other cause than to be promoted themselves. I am no part of a general, nor a judge of one; do not consider BraGALEGROUP - TSLA 19TH CN   a No. 1 general, but think he is the best in this department. Gen.'s D. H. Hill and Polk have been relieved of command since the battle, also Gen. Cheatham. I understand Gen. B. R. Johnson is made a major-general and will command Cheatham's division. Gen. Breckinridge commands Hill's corps and Hardee commands Polk's corps. I went up on the point of Lookout Mountain yesterday to take a view of both Armies and the surrounding country. It was the most sublime scene I ever witnessed; could see the whole Yankee army and ours almost at the same sight. My eyes had not grown weary of such a magnificent sight when we were greeted by a shell from a Yankee battery on Moccasin Point, just across the river. They shelled our battery on the Lookout Point about one hour. They soon shelled my old friend Alf. Davis and myself off the point. I remarked to him when he heard the whistle of a shell, did he not love to hug the ground better than his wife? He replied, "them things" would make any one get down on the ground. Dan. White was sent from the hospital near the battle-field a day or two ago, the first time he has been moved since wounded. He went to RinGALEGROUP - TSLA 19TH CN  old, Georgia. He had not improved much; was perfectly helpless. It will be a long while, if ever, before he will be well. Low Weakly died at Atlanta, in hospital, from a wound received in the knee in the late battle. He died on the 23d of October. Ferril Edwards left us a week or so ago. I expect he is at home ere this.

It seems all the Middle Tennesseeans [sic] are going to desert. Have you made my clothes yet? You must make them a great deal larger than any you have ever made me, for tight clothes don't last. Have my overcoat cut military style, to come below the knee, and cape as long as the arm; frock some larger and longer than the jeans one you had made last fall; and pants a good deal larger in the body and leg than my old pattern; boots, No. 10. You must have my clothes ready to send at any time-you may have an opportunity when least expected. Send them as soon as you can, for I am nearly out of clothing and barefooted. Vi White as well. I understood the Yanks had taken your riding animal, which I was sorry to hear; I thought so much of her. Do not let them get my old filly and colt. Tell old Gabe, I will "walk his log," if he gets too intimate with them Yanks when I come home. Will Shelton said he thought Frank had come home. Col. Searcy, James D. Richardson (Correction from General Index.) and all the boys well. The army is in better health than I ever knew before. How is our little children? Tell them howdy and kiss them for me. You must name the last. When I wrote to you I proposed the name of Sallie Ann, but use your own discretion. Have you paid Mrs. P. that money due her, also a little note that Maxwell has on me? Dock is well, and says he intends to stay in the army as long as I do. I presume you heard of the death of Jesse Sikes-died with typhoid fever near Decatur, Ala., some two months ago. I will inclose a paper in another envelope and send with this. Write when you can. My respects to your father and mother and family. Tell Lew, if the army gets back there, to pass himself for under age, for if Leonard Pebbles joins he will regret it in less than two months.

Your affectionate husband,



You must keep me a pair of boots on hand all the time. If you send out one pair, buy another. Also pair shoes. Send me a pair of suspenders on my pants, overshirts, drawers, socks, &c. Get me a light-colored hat; the one I have is wearing out. My advice to your pa [sic] is to put wheat and shelled corn enough in his house to make him bread, for if the Armies pass through there they will take it all.

[Inclosure No. 2.]

GILES COUNTY, Tennessee,

November 19, 1863.


Provost-Marshall-Gen., Army of Tennessee, Chattanooga:

DEAR SIR: I send you seven Nashville, three Louisville, and one Cincinnati papers, with dates to the 17th, in all eleven. I also send for Gen. BraGALEGROUP - TSLA 19TH CN   three wash balls of soap, three more tooth-brushes, and two blank-books. I could not get a large-sized diary for him. I will send a pair of shoes and slippers, some more soap, gloves, and socks, soon. The Yankees are still camped on the line of the Tennessee and Atlanta Railroad. Gen. Dodge's headquarters are at Pulaski. His main force is camped from that place to Lynnville. Some at Elk River and two regiments at Athens. Dodge has issued an order to the people in those counties on the road to report all the stock, grain, and forage to him, and says he will pay or give vouchers for it. Any refU. S. A.l to report he will take it without pay. They are now taking all they can find. Dodge says he knows the people are all Southern, and does not ask them to swear to a lie. All the spare forces around Nashville and vicinity are being sent to McMinnville. Six batteries and twelve Parrott guns were sent forward on the 14th, 15th, and 16th. It is understood there is hot work in front somewhere. Telegrams suppressed. Davis has returned. Greig is gone below. Everything is beginning to work better. I sent Roberts with things for you and Gen. B., with dispatch. I do not think the Feds. mean to stay here. They are not now repairing the main points on the road. I understand part of Sherman's force has reached Shelbyville. I think a part of some other than Dodge's division came by Lynnville from the direction of Fayetteville. I sent Billy Moore over in that country, and am sorry to say he was captured. One of my men has just returned from there. The general impression with the citizens

is they will move forward soon some way. Their wagon train has returned from N. Davis tells me the line is in order to Somerville. I send this by one of my men to that place. The dispatches sent you on the 9th, with paper of 7th, reached Decatur on the 10th at 9 p. m. Citizens were reading the papers next morning after breakfast. I do not think the major will do to forward them from reports.

I am, with high regard,


OR, Ser. I, Vol. 31, pt. III, pp. 208-211.

According to Valor In Gray, pp. 1-10, Sam Davis was awarded the Confederate Medal of Honor on August 17, 1977.

[5] Before the occupation of the city in September 1863, this paper was published in Knoxville.

[6] Not found.

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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