Tuesday, December 9, 2014

12.09.2014 Tennessee Civil War Notes

        9, "Soldier's Relief."

A most interesting debate transpired in the Senate yesterday, upon a motion of re-consideration to the vote of a few days ago, rejecting a most necessary and humane measure, that for the clothing and comfort of our volunteers. Mr. Barrow delivered a long and eloquent speech in advocacy of the motion to re-consider, during which he took a general survey of the original bill, its suggestive points and useful features. He took a full length portrait of the soldier, of all times and ages, his hardships and heroism; drew many apropos illustrations from history commented upon the merits of the bill ins dispute, and closed with an eloquent allusion to Keelan, of Strawberry bridge the details of whose gallant defence, he presented with great force. Mr. Barrow's Speech was lengthy, and one of the most able of the session.-He was followed by Mr. Lane, who opposed, upon prudential reasons, the measure, with much precision. Mr. Bumpass closed the afternoon session with an amendment, and a few pointed remarks. As the bill is one of great importance, we may either notice it, editorially, hereafter, or-since they agree with our own opinion-may present some abstract to Mr. Barrow's argument.


Nashville Daily Gazette, December 9, 1861.

9, Skirmish at Brentwood [see December 9, 1862, Reconnaissance toward Franklin below]

        9, Skirmish at Dobbin's Ferry near La Vergne[1]

DECEMBER 9, 1862.-Skirmish at Dobbins' Ferry, near La Vergne, Tenn.


No. 1.-Maj.-Gen. Thomas L. Crittenden, U. S. Army.

No. 2.-Surg. M. C. Woodworth, Fifty-first Ohio Infantry.

No. 1.

Report of Maj.-Gen. Thomas L. Crittenden, U. S. Army.

HDQRS. LEFT WING, December 9, 1862.

COL.: I am this moment in receipt of a note from your headquarters, asking me if Gen. Stanley has come in yet. I presume this must refer to the foraging expedition of Col. Stanley Matthews. As soon as I arrived at camp I sent an order to Gen. Van Cleve to return to me a full report; but it has not yet been sent. As soon as it comes in it shall be forwarded. Eight wagons from my headquarters accompanied the party. They have all returned, well filled, but report that Col. Matthews had a sharp skirmish, having quite a number killed and wounded, but that the wagons were filled and none lost. Since your orderly arrived, the inclosed note from Col. Grose has been received through Gen. Smith. I declined to permit him to attack, for fear it might interfere with the proposed reconnaissances. Should you think differently, advise men, and I will yet direct the attack to be made.

A prisoner, taken by some of our troops and brought to me, reports that the attack was made by six regiments of cavalry, under Wheeler, who fought principally as infantry, being armed with Enfield rifles and navy revolvers; that the regiments are, however, greatly reduced, and do not number, all together, over about 1,500 men, and that this is the only force about La Vergne; also that Bragg left last week for Richmond; that Johnson is in command, and is camped some 4 miles this side of Murfreesborough; that his force numbers about 35,000 men. I will send him to you in the morning.

Most respectfully, your obedient servant,

T. L. CRITTENDEN, Maj.-Gen., Cmdg.

No. 2.

Report of Surg. M. C. Woodworth, Fifty-first Ohio Infantry.


CAPT.: Pursuant to orders just received, I have the honor to report the result of my journey within the enemy's lines, under a flag of truce, to recover our wounded in the skirmish of the 9th. I left our outpost, accompanied by Drs. Russell and Mills, with an orderly and three ambulances, about 10 a. m., on the road passing from the Murfreesborough and to the Chicken pike, about 1 mile beyond the insane asylum.

I passed about 5 miles on the Chicken pike, in the direction of Stone's River, to a house where we had left one of the enemy's wounded-he being too severely wounded to move-which we left on the evening after the engagement. I found that a flag of truce had just removed his body to the enemy's lines. I left the Chicken pike just this side of the burned bridge crossing Stone's River, leaving the road to my left, and passed on about 1 ½ miles, to a house where I had left 6 of our men, who were wounded when the enemy made their last attack on the rear of our train. I found that the enemy had buried one of our dead left upon the field, also one of our wounded, who had died from a wound of the abdomen. I sent the remaining five in two ambulance and passed on about 1 mile in the direction of La Vergne, where I came to the enemy's outposts. I here waited one-half hour for the arrival of a proper officer to receive the flag, when Lieut. Col. William S. Hawkins, of Gen. Wheeler's staff, came and escorted me to the house of Dr. Charlton, where I found one of our wounded, also one of the enemy's wounded, fatally.

They spoke of it as battle rather than a skirmish,[2] and admitted a loss of 8 killed upon the field. The picket at the outpost said they had carried away a large number of wounded, but would not state how many. I took our wounded man in the ambulance, and left their lines to return about 4 p. m. Col. Hawkins assured me they had but one of our men prisoner, a lieutenant of the Eighth Kentucky Volunteers, who was slightly wounded in the back, and that he had been well cared for by their surgeons, and would soon be sent to our lines. The wounded on the field were all from the Eighth Kentucky Volunteers, and had all been paroled the day previous. Col. Hawkins accompanied me about 2 miles from their lines on my return. I saw no force of the enemy this side of their outposts.

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

M. C. WOODWORTH, Surgeon 51st Ohio Vols., Acting Medical Director 23d Brigade.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 20, pt. I, pp. 73-74.

        9, Scout and skirmish near Waverly [see ca. December 7-9, 1862, Reconnaissances from Fort Henry to Duck River on Tennessee River above]

        9, Reconnaissance toward Franklin, and skirmish near Brentwood

DECEMBER 9, 1862.-Reconnaissance toward Franklin, and skirmish near Brentwood, Tenn.


No. 1.-Col. John A. Martin, Eighth Kansas Infantry.

No. 2.-Brig. Gen. John A. Wharton, C. S. Army, commanding Cavalry Brigade.

No. 1.

Report of Col. John A. Martin, Eighth Kansas Infantry.

CAMP NEAR NASHVILLE, December 9, 1862.

SIR: I have the honor to report that, in obedience to orders from headquarters Ninth Division, I ordered the Twenty-fifth Regiment Illinois Volunteers, Lieut.-Col. McClelland, and the Eighth Kansas Battalion, Capt. Block, to proceed on a reconnaissance to the front, in the direction of Franklin, at 2 p. m. to-day. The regiments left at the hour, and I rode with them as far as outside pickets, which had a short time before been fired into by a small body of the enemy. Here I received an order from headquarters to send out another regiment and a section of artillery, and, in obedience, I immediately ordered the Eighty-first Indiana Regiment, Maj. Woodbury, and two pieces of Capt. Carpenter's Eighth Wisconsin Battery to join the reconnaissance, and then went forward to join the force in advance. Col. McClelland had already deployed four companies of the Twenty-fifth and Eighth as skirmishers on each side of the road, and these had engaged in a brisk running fight with the enemy, also thrown out as skirmishers. The latter fell back rapidly, some of them abandoning their guns and clothing in their hasty flight. I directed the battery to move up the road behind the infantry. Capt. Pease, of Gen. Davis' staff, had meantime joined the command, and was doing valuable service in reconnoitering to the right and front.

The whole command then moved forward, the skirmishers keeping up an occasional firing, until we were about 5 miles beyond Brentwood, when a considerable body of the enemy's cavalry was seen in the road about a mile ahead. I had the battery placed in position, and fired several rounds at them. The enemy disappeared in great haste at the first shot. We remained at this point until just before sundown, when, in accordance with our orders, we returned.

From the best information to be obtained along the road, the enemy's force is all cavalry, and numbers 250 or 300 men. We drove them from their camp, finding their camp-fires yet burning brightly when we came up. One private of the Twenty-fifth Illinois is reported slightly wounded. What loss the enemy sustained I was unable to ascertain, although several are supposed to have been wounded.

I am, very respectfully, your most obedient servant,

JNO. A. MARTIN, Col. Eighth Kansas Volunteers, Cmdg.

No. 2.

Report of Brig. Gen. John A. Wharton, C. S. Army, commanding Cavalry Brigade.

HDQRS. SECOND CAVALRY BRIGADE, Nolensville, Tenn., December 10, 1862--6 p. m.

GEN.: I moved a forced reconnaissance yesterday, with a regiment of cavalry and one piece of artillery, on the Owen and Wilson, or Liberty pike. Found the enemy's camp near the junction of that pike with the Nolensville pike. Threw solid shot into their camp and aroused them sufficiently to induce re-enforcements to be sent to their aid. They showed no disposition to follow. The field officers and captains of Howard's regiment desire it [sic] to remain with me, and I am anxious for it to do so. I have never seen Col. [James R.] Howard; the taking of it now would prevent me from picketing properly. Let me know if there is any probability of that regiment, or any other I have, being taken at any time, as I wish to know, on account of distributing clothing and drawing pay.

Most respectfully, your obedient servant,

JNO. A. WHARTON, Brig.-Gen., Cmdg. Cavalry Brigade.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 20, pt. I, pp. 74-75.


The account of Sergeant-Major Lyman S. Widney, 34th Illinois

Tuesday – Dec. 9 – According to orders received last night our Regiment formed on the color line of daybreak this morning under arms and awaiting further orders until 9 o'clock when we were directed to escort a forage train outside our lines. We saw no enemy but loaded the wagons with forage and returned to camp a little before sunset. A Forage [sic] train at the same time from another part of our line did not fare so well as we. It went out on the Murfreesboro Pike found plenty of forage and soon loaded the wagons but just as they started to return Wheelers [sic] Cavalry attacked the guards and kept up a continual skirmish until the train reached the shelter guards and kept up a continual skirmish until the train reached the shelter of our lines. Colonel Stanley Matthews the Commander of the escort distributed his Brigade in four detachments to protect his wagons. One led the way toward camp another guarded the rear while the remaining two walked single file on each side of the road the full length of the train. It is needless to say the mules did noble service for the Government under the persuasive crack of the whip as did the divers themselves under the persuasive "Zip" [sic] of an occasional bullet. Altogether the teams made better time back to camp with their loads than did going out empty. Our loss was 8 killed 30 wounded and some prisoners rather expensive mule feed. [sic] Enemy loss not known.

Diary of Lyman S. Widney

        9, A Robertson County farmer robbed by Confederate guerrillas

Headquarters Camp Dec 9th, 1862

Gov Johnston [sic]

About the first of September the Guerrillas came to my house and took forceable [sic] possession of one Bay Horse valued by my neighbors at One hundred [sic] and Seventy five Dollars—and about the fifteenth of October they took one fine mule from me valued at $200-00 Two hundred Dollars [.] Also the Same [sic] lawless band took from me 2 other mules – valued at 4100-00 Each [sic] (One hundred Dollars each) - $200.00[.] they [sic] also took from me three Rifle Guns-that cost me $75-Dollars and [a] Shot Gun [sic] [that cost me] $20-Dollars[.] They also took one shot Gun [sic] and one Rifle from my son Wm Fallis [sic] worth $20-Dollars each=$40---Dollars[.] they [sic] also took two Guns from James Fallis-worth Ea $20= $40[.] they took my Overcoat worth $15—

[E. P. Follis][3]

Papers of Andrew Johnson, Vol. 6, p. 93

        9, Affair at Cumberland Mountain on road to Crossville

No circumstantial reports filed.

        9, Nathan Bedford Forrest's situation report


[Gen. LEE:]

GEN.: I have the opportunity of sending you a few lines by Dr. Johnson, of Gen. W. H. Jackson's staff.

I have succeeded so far beyond my most sanguine expectations. The news we have from your operations on the Memphis and Charleston Railroad I am in hopes may be confirmed.

I inclose[4] you copy of letter to Gen. Johnston fully explaining the condition of affairs here. Anything and everything I can do shall be done to render the defense of this country and its occupancy permanent.

I would be glad to open a line of communication with you, and if you will send me a courier with statement of courier-line established to the railroad, I will establish a line from this to the railroad to connect.

The enemy are reported as re-enforcing and fortifying at Union City. Therefore apprehend no danger of any advance from that quarter. If, however, they should do so and it becomes necessary to have re-enforcements, I respectfully ask that you will bring with you all the arms, &c., for my command.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

N. B. FORREST, Brig.-Gen[5]., Cmdg.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 31, pt. III, p. 799.

        9, "Ladies Union Benevolent Association."

This excellent and very popular society gives a free reception this evening, to which all friends are cordially invited.

We are happy to state that this charitable institution has procured the hall of the No. 3 [fire] engine house,[6] on the corner of Adams and Second streets, which are fitted up in a style both useful and conformable to the members and others desiring to visit them. The object of this association is, first, the promotion of the social circle, and, to give the proper value to society, as it should and ought to be; to aid the poor and indigent, who have been thrown on the world through their love of country, and otherwise aid all those who are worthy of help from this association. The officers, under whose management the "Ladies' Union" is conducted, are well and favorably known; being ornaments to our first society. The following ladies are the presiding officers for the present term: Mrs. Cooper, President; Mrs. Tagg, Vice-President; Mrs. C.C. Smith, Secretary Mrs. Cobb, Treasurer; Mesdames Beeman, Walcot and Boyle, Directresses. We understand that it is the intention of the ladies to have affair during the Christmas holidays, the proceeds of which will be handed to the poor of our city. They propose also to give several concerts for the same charitable purposes.

Memphis Bulletin, December 9, 1863.

        9, Conflict resolution between use of Negroes as labor force and recruiting officers for U. S. C. T.

PULASKI, December 9, 1863.

Maj. Gen. U. S. GRANT:

In pursuance of your instructions I pressed all the negroes [sic] in this country and put them to work on the bridges, cutting wood for railroad, ballasting up railroad, &c., so as to have it not only ready to run, but also to have material to run it with, which it is now entirely destitute of.

The recruiting officers for colored troops claim the right to open recruiting officers along my line; if this is done I lose my negroes [sic], which at this time would be very detrimental to the service. So far I have refused to allow them to recruit. They have now received positive orders from the commanders of colored troops for Tennessee to come here and recruit. I don't want any trouble with them, and have assured them that when we were through with the negroes [sic] I would see that they go into the service. Unless you order otherwise, I shall continue to refuse to allow them to recruit along my line. Please advise me.

G. M. DODGE. Brig.-Gen.

CHATTANOOGA, December 9, 1863.

Brig. Gen. G. M. DODGE, Pulaski, Tennessee:

Your action in prohibiting the recruiting of negroes [sic] from those you have pressed into service for repairing railroad and providing fuel for trains is approved. Put in arrest any one who disobeys your order.

U. S. GRANT Maj.-Gen.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 31, pt. III, pp. 36-367.

        9, Federal arrest of Confederate partisan as hostage for release of a Union prisoner

HDQRS. DEPARTMENT OF THE CUMBERLAND, Chattanooga, December 9, 1863.

Brig. Gen. GEORGE CROOK, Huntsville, Ala.,:

You will arrest William McDowell, a violent rebel, and hold him as a hostage for Christopher Sheets, a Union man, arrested for his loyalty to the United States Government and now confined by the rebels in a loathsome jail in Southern Alabama. You will treat Mr. McDowell in the same manner that the rebels treat Mr. Sheets, and notify the commander of the nearest rebel force that such action has been taken.

By command of Maj.-Gen. Thomas:

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 31, pt. III, p. 366.

        9, The 10th Illinois Volunteer Infantry in camp near Columbus,[7] Polk County

Today we have every reason to be thankfull [sic] that we are purmited [sic] to remain in camp. As a good days rest will help us all a great deal. I understand from Cap Watters now on J. G. Davises [sic] stafe [sic] that we were ordered to this place and we had to remain here and awate [sic] further orders.

The boys are aloud [sic] to run all over the country and bie [sic] themselves something to eat N. Fancher, Brian Anderson and Myself went out and called in a few houses we wanted to get a little ink but as there is few that uses this article in this Southern country it is hard to find

We came to [a] house where there was an old lady and 4 daughters all grown they were all tolerably good looking expacely [sic] the two youngest. And by there [sic] conversation the two youngest were a little better scooled [sic]. They were willing to bake and do all they could for the soldiers but like all others, knew as well how to charge we set and passed the time away for about an hour dureing [sic] that time a soldier belonging to the 21st Kintucky [sic] came along with his gun in his hand and passed down from the house into the corn field he was hunting a hog or sheep but the provost martal [sic] came rideing [sic] along and called him up he refused to come the provost martal [sic] jumped the fence with his hors [sic], the fellow comenced [sic] to load his gun to shoot him but the provo [sic] gallaped up to him with him revolver cocked and took him prisoner he will be cort [sic] marteled [sic] we drawed some meal tonight two mills are pressed for our use.

John Hill Fergusson Diary, Book 3.

        9, Skirmishing at the Holston River

December ninth, passed through Rutledge and on to Bean's Station. Here our regiment was sent out on the Morristown road to the Holston River. Here we ran upon the rebels; had considerate skirmishing; lost one man. After dark we returned to the station

Rebellion Record, Vol. 8, pp. 317.

        9, New Confederate Military District led by R. V. Richardson


Amid the reverses that have recently befallen the Confederate arms in East Tennessee, it is gratifying to learn that in West Tennessee an army is springing up to resist the invading foe and for the defence of West Tennessee, West Kentucky and North Mississippi to the Tallahatchie river, to be known as the department of West Tennessee, under the command of Col. R. V. Richardson, a brave officer, who has achieved wonders in the Department since its first organization. We are glad to learn that Colonel R. has just been commissioned a Brigadier General in the Confederate service:

Commencing as he did the organization a single regiment, surrounded by Federal troops and cut off from the Confederacy, he has with consummate skill and bravery kept the enemy kept the enemy back, or evaded pursuit when overwhelming numbers were brought against him. Thus beset with ever-harassing difficulties and dangers, Colonel Richardson and his laborious and equally brave coadjutors moved on steadily in organizing first his "invincible Twelfth Regiment," and finally a brigade composed of the following: Twelfth Tennessee, Colonel J. J. Neely's Fourteenth, and Colonel F. M. Stewart's Fifteenth regiments of Tennessee Cavalry, now organized and thoroughly equipped; to which have been added Colonel T. H. Logwood's Sixteenth and Colonel J. W. Marshall's Seventeenth Regiments of Tennessee Cavalry, and four Battalions , commanded respectively by Lieut. Col. C. W. Bennett, Lieut. Col. D. Stewart, Major Samuel Street and Major W. P. Curlee (late Davenport's Battalion). It is hoped and expected that the Confederate government, in establishing this Department, will include within its jurisdiction, the First Battalion Tennessee Cavalry commanded by Colonel Duckworth; the Second Regiment Tennessee Cavalry, commanded by Colonel Bartow, and the Twelfth Mississippi Cavalry, commanded by Colonel W. M. Inge, all to report to Colonel Richardson.

Not only has Colonel Richardson fully organized this effective force and equipped it, for the most part, at the expense of the enemy, but he has while doing so made his name and commands a terror to the surrounding Federal posts. Since June last he has captured from the enemy, according to their own estimates, about six hundred thousand dollars of stores, arms, horses, mules, wagons and clothing; mounting, arming and clothing his men and turning over the remainder to the Confederate Government, along with some nine hundred odd prisoners.

As commander of the Department of the West, Colonel Richardson possesses, in an eminent degree, the confidence of his men and officers under him, and consequently, the old men and youthful striplings are to be found in the ranks now organizing, fired alike by patriotism and [nerving?] for the final effort that is to rid them of the presence of the final foe.

As President Polk's Assistant Adjutant General for the organization for Tennessee troops during the Mexican war, Col. Richardson is possessed of a fund of military information, experience and knowledge that eminently fits him for his present position. The grand objects of his operations have been the maintaining of his ground, holding in check and keeping out of service at other points. Largely superior Federal forces, inflicting permanent injury on the railroads, and interrupting transportation of supplies to the Federal army. All he asks of the Confederate Gov[ernment] is to "be let alone" free to hunt [copy obscured] the enemy in the way that best suits [him] [copy obscured].

Charleston Mercury, December 9, 1863.[8]

        9-13, Skirmishes at and near Bean's Station

RUTLEDGE, December 10, 1863--4.30 p. m.

GEN.: Maj. [William] Cutting reports from Bean's station at 2 p. m. that a portion of the brigade sent toward Morristown took the Russellville branch, and met the enemy at the river; found them in too great force to dislodge, and remains facing the enemy at Moore's Ferry, about 10 miles from Bean's Station, guarding wagon trains. Two strong divisions of their infantry had left there the morning previous. One hundred of the enemy's cavalry have attacked a company of ours on river 6 miles from here. A number of small parties are reported on other side river. Gen. Shackelford is in communication with Willcox, at Tazewell; the road had not been obstructed by the enemy. Willcox is about forwarding supplies and repairing the telegraph.


JNO. G. PARKE, Maj.-Gen.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 31, pt. I, p. 326.


TAZEWELL, December 9, 1863--6.40 p. m.

GEN.: Gen. Longstreet and staff passed Bean's Station yesterday morning about 10 o'clock. Some of his infantry is with infantry passed on the Bean's Station and Rogersville road. They retired from Clinch Mountain late last evening and this morning, leaving two pieces of artillery and one regiment of cavalry; pickets of the enemy are still in the gap. I have no doubt this information is substantially correct.

Very respectfully,

O. B. WILLCOX, Brig.-Gen.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 31, pt. I, p. 400.


HDQRS. CAVALRY CORPS, Bean's Station, December 9, 1863--12.30 p. m.

GEN.: I have just reached this place with my advance. We drove the rebel cavalry for 4 or 5 miles. We found them in position, with artillery planted, at this place, but they left in considerable haste at our approach. A large body of cavalry went down the mountain road. The infantry was passing this point on yesterday until 4 p. m., and from the best information I can get, Longstreet encamped last night near Rock Spring, 4 miles on the Rogersville road.

I have sent scouts out on all the roads, and will feed before moving any farther.

I am, general, yours, truly,


OR, Ser. I, Vol. 31, pt. I, p. 411.


HDQRS. CAVALRY CORPS, Bean's Station, December 10, 1863--3 p. m.

GEN.: I have just received report from Col. Adams, commanding reconnaissance on Rogersville road. He had gone as far as Mooresburg, 3 Miles this side of Red Bridge, when he came up with the enemy in considerable force guarding wagon train. He was then skirmishing with them. He represents that the enemy was dismounted and in a gorge, and that he would withdraw soon, as he could not dislodge him. Col. Adams says that the last of the infantry left Mooresburg yesterday morning; that his cavalry encamped within 1½ miles of the point at which they were skirmishing. His dispatch was sent at 2 p. m. No further news from reconnaissance on Morristown road since Maj. Cutting left.

I am, general, yours, &c.,


HDQRS. CAVALRY CORPS, Bean's Station, December 10, 1863--8.10 p. m.

GEN.: Your dispatch just received. Col. Adams, commanding reconnaissance on Rogersville road, has returned. Not a word from Col. Garrard, commanding reconnaissance on Morristown road, since Maj. Cutting left. Artillery firing reported in the direction of Morristown late this evening. I have just ordered 100 men to go out to forks of road, one-half mile of ford on Morristown road, and to send patrol to the ford to learn something from the reconnaissance. Col. Adams reports that the enemy in considerable force, after he withdrew, came out and occupied the ground he held during the skirmishing. A prisoner from this command, Fourteenth Illinois, who escaped from the enemy last night, says that he marched 21 miles day before yesterday and 9 miles yesterday; that he left the rear of the enemy's infantry last night 3 miles this side of Rogersville; that their train was in front and their cavalry in the rear; that their encampment extended 8 miles. Immediately on hearing from reconnaissance on Morristown road I will report.

I am, general, yours, &c.,


HDQRS. CAVALRY CORPS, Bean's Station, December 10, 1863.

GEN.: I have just received a report from the brigade sent out on the Morristown road under Col. Garrard. He found rebel brigade, under Gen. William E. Jones, at Morristown, occupying the fortifications built by our forces, engaged him, and drove him out of the works and out of the town. The brigade will come back and encamp at the river to-night. We lost several men, but the enemy's loss is reputed much heavier than ours.

I am, general, yours, truly,

HDQRS. CAVALRY CORPS, Bean's Station, December 11, 1863--9.25 a. m.

GEN.: The engagement of Col. Garrard's brigade with Jones at Morristown on last evening was a gallant affair. The enemy held every advantage in the ground, yet our men dashed into their midst and drove them from the fortifications and the town. Between 40 and 50 rebels are reported killed and wounded. Our loss, 6 wounded, none killed. It is thought that the rebels who went via Morristown will move on across the mountains into North Carolina. Col. Garrard had the pleasure of defeating the same or a part of the same command that defeated him at Rogersville. Nothing heard from the enemy this morning.

Yours, &c.,


HDQRS. CAVALRY CORPS, Bean's Station, December 12, 1863--6.30 p. m.

GEN.: The reconnaissance under Col. Graham upon the Rogersville road came upon the enemy at Mooresburg, drove them back about 1 mile into a position from which he could not dislodge them without bringing on a general engagement. He withdrew his troops this side of Mooresburg. A prisoner from Fifty-first Virginia Regiment states that he left the rebel infantry 8 miles beyond Rogersville last night; they had stopped and were foraging. He states that the principal part of the rebel cavalry were at Russellville. The reconnaissance to Morristown, under Col. Pennebaker, found no enemy at that place but found their pickets beyond town, on the Russellville road, and drove them in; came upon line of battle, and they retreated up the road.

I am, general, yours,


HDQRS. CAVALRY CORPS, Bean's Station, December 13, 1863--6 p. m.

GEN.: I would have communicated with you before this to-day, but did not know where the communication would reach you.

In pursuance with your orders, I ordered 200 men to proceed to Morristown this morning, for the purpose of examining telegraph wire. They met enemy's pickets on this side of Morristown, and from statements of citizens in relation to there being rebels in the town and a heavy force at Cheek's Cross-Roads, the officer in command did not attempt to go to the town. Col. Garrard, with his brigade, was sent to Morristown on yesterday [12th], With orders to make Reconnaissance upon the Russellville road. He found no enemy at Morristown, but found the enemy in considerable force at Cheek's Cross-Roads. He says he saw in line 2,000 or 2,500 rebels; he had heavy skirmishing with them. Our loss 4 killed and number wounded. Col. Garrard says the enemy had 5,000 men at that point. It was Wheeler's command, under Martin. A prisoner captured from Third Alabama states that Wheeler's force was at that point. He gives their number at 5,000 or 6,000. I ordered a reconnaissance of 200 men up the Rogersville road this morning. They were attacked and driven in by the enemy, the enemy following up to our picket stand. Col. Wolford's command lost three or four wagons that were on that road foraging. We met them at the picket stand, and drove them back 4 ½ miles.

Prisoners captured from the Fourth Kentucky (rebel) Cavalry stated that there were two rebel regiments, the Fourth and Tenth Kentucky. One of the prisoners stated that the Fourth Kentucky and one battalion of the Tenth were out there, making 600 men. One of the prisoners, who seemed to speak the truth, stated that Longstreet's command was at Red Bridge; that Longstreet's headquarters were 5 miles above Mooresburg; that Ransom's command had gone across the river at Rogersville, but that all of Longstreet's command was on this side of Rogersville. He also stated that all the cavalry, except that we were fighting this evening had gone this morning over to Cheek's Cross-Road; that they were sent down to feel our forces while that movement was being made. The statement in relation to Longstreet's headquarters is corroborated by a citizen who got through this evening, who lives 13 miles above this. Gen. Willcox states that 3 prisoners were brought into his headquarters on last night who belonged to a Georgia regiment--Hood's division. All 3 had written passes up to 2 o'clock yesterday. They stated that their command was 7 miles below Rogersville, and that Bushrod Johnson's command was in the rear. It may be that the enemy is concentrating his cavalry at Cheek's Cross-Roads with the view of attacking me at this point, as he could much more easily attack from that direction than from the road leading to Rogersville. His movements this evening in both directions seem to indicate some such purpose.

I have ordered the troops to stand at arms at 6 a. m. to-morrow. I would suggest that if the enemy was to throw a considerable force of his cavalry over Clinch Mountain, he could seriously damage the trains from Cumberland Gap. If you have leisure, I would ask for you to ride up early in the morning.

I am, general, yours, truly,


P. S.-I have been quite sick for two or three days.

Since writing the above Col. Bond, who was in command of my advance, this evening reports that citizens who have come through since dark report that the cavalry on the Rogersville road was supported by infantry and artillery at Rock Spring, 5½ miles from here.

Since writing the above, Col. Capron reports the rebels on the other bank of the river up and down; that his commissary and 6 of his men were at a mill on the other side of the river this evening; his men, except the commissary, were captured. I would suggest the propriety of an infantry force being moved up to-night to cover the road leading off to Turley's Ford, about 1 mile this side of Rutledge.


December 13, 1863--10 p. m. Gen. FORSTER, Knoxville:

GEN.: I have just arrived, and...I have ordered a force of infantry to march in the morning to the road indicated by Gen. Shackelford. Gen. Potter has pickets at Turley's Ford, at Turley's Mill, and on the road this side of there. The indications are that Longstreet has halted, and probably turned back a portion of his command, possibly all. To-morrow will probably develop his plans.

Yours, &c.,


HDQRS., Bean's Station, December 14, 1863.

GEN.: Since my report on last night, there has been no demonstrations on the part of the enemy. Reconnaissance on Rogersville made before daylight this morning ascertained that the enemy had fallen back from the position he occupied where the skirmishing closed at dark last night. The glare of the enemy's camp fires could be seen 2 or 3 miles from the position he occupied at dark last evening. The patrols on the roads to the river saw nor heard nothing of the enemy.

Respectfully, yours,


OR, Ser. I, Vol. 31, pt. I, pp. 412-416.

        9, Orders for a scout from Gallatin to Carthage and beyond

NASHVILLE, TENN., December 9, 1864---8.15 a. m.


You are hereby directed to have the Second Tennessee Cavalry (Col. Murphy commanding, which has been ordered to Gallatin for duty) patrol the river from Gallatin up to Carthage and beyond, and from Gallatin to this place, keeping a sharp lookout for any attempted crossing of the enemy, and promptly making a report through you to myself if such a movement is discovered. You will be held responsible that this order is faithfully and fully carried out. Acknowledge receipt.

GEO. H. THOMAS, Maj.-Gen., U. S. Volunteers, Cmdg.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 45, pt. II, pp. 126-127.

        9, Confederate occupation of Cumberland City [see December 6 1864-January 15, 1865, Lyon's Raid from Paris Tennessee, to Hopkinsville, Kentucky, with skirmishes above]

        9, "Theatre."

"Aladdin" continues to draw numerous audiences to this time-honored house, and no wonder, for Miss Julia Nelson has won the hearts of all the bachelors, and Harry Everett has won the affections of the ladies. Go and see this spectacle, by all means; the scenery alone is worth double the price of admission.

Nashville Dispatch, December 9, 1864.

        9, "The Acquittal of Mrs. Rowland."

We are gratified to learn that Mrs. Mary A. Rowland, of Dickson county, who was for some time on trial before the Military Commission of this city, has been honorably acquitted, and that the judgment was approved by the Judge Advocate of Maj. Gen. Thomas' Department. She passed through the fiery ordeal of a public trial, and has come out unscathed. She was defended with energy and earnestness by her counsel, Messrs. Smiley and Cantrel.

Nashville Dispatch, December 9, 1864.

        9 "The Situation."

The cold weather yesterday, or something else, caused more than the usual quiet which has prevailed along the line for several days past. There was some skirmishing in front of the fourth corps, on the Granny White pike, growing out of an order to dislodge some Rebel pickets who had taken position nearer to the Federal line than was agreeable. The Rebel pickets were in larger force than was supposed, and repulsed the squad sent to dislodge them. The Union force was re-enforced and, after a brisk little skirmish, drove the Rebels from their position they had occupied, capturing two of them, who belonged to an Alabama regiment. We could hear of no other firing on any portion of the line.

It was reported that several dwelling houses on the "neutral ground" swear destroyed by fire, some by each army. The citizens who resided on the territory between the two armies have suffered immensely from taking and destruction of their property.

Three rebel deserters came into the lines Wednesday and one yesterday, and gave themselves up.

Maj. Gen. Couch, who was recently ordered to report to Gen. Thomas has been assigned to the command of the second division of the twenty-third corps.

Nashville Dispatch, December 9, 1864.

        9, "Howe's & Norton's Champion Circus."

We are happy to state for the information of the lovers of exhibitions of muscular energy and daring feats of horsemanship, that the interruption to their gratification has been removed; the famous trick horses having been returned, all in good order. The mammoth circus is again in full blast. Little Alice, the fairy equestrienne, is the wonder of the circle; no one so young can accomplish so many daring feats with such evident coolness is the astonishment of all beholders; Madame Agnes'' performances on the slack wire is always well received; Master Charles Fish and James Madigan are unsurpassed as graceful and daring riders. Messrs. Lawlow, Aymar, and Davenport, keep the immense throng convulsed with laughter by their grotesque posturing and witty saying, and their jokes are not the stale abortions we were accustomed to hear, but entirely original, and show that they are not only humorous, but educated and refined. Mr. T. R. O. Howe, by his wonderful success in the training of that intelligent quadruped, Gen Grant, has proven himself to be the prince of trainers, and almost convinces us that horses have reason. But what shall we say of Lester, the contortionist, "are you man or demon?" We sincerely doubt whether it is possible for him to be burthened with the calcareous substance denominated bones; whalebone has been suggested, but even whalebone cannot be vent to a right angle without cracking; and comes the right single, isosceles, and all other angles triangle, circles, ovals, oblongs-well, to Trotter's geometry for the balance of his shapes. Trick horse, comic and acting mules, are additional features. We cannot conclude without writing a few words in praise of the splendid cornet band, led by Prof. Peters, that adds so much to the magnificence of the entertainment. In short, if you want to study, go to the Circus; if you want to be astonished, got to the Circus; if you want to laugh, go to the Circus; if you want to-well, go the Circus by all means.

Nashville Dispatch, December 9, 1864.


[1] Confederate reports referred to this as a battle, not a skirmish.

[2] One participant's battle was another participant's skirmish. This points out the confusion caused by what today may be regarded as the imprecise nature of definitions used for military engagements during the Civil War.

[3] The editors of the Papers of Andrew Johnson concluded that he signed his name "Follis" but spelled it "Fallis" in the body of the letter.

[4] See December 7, 1863 above.

[5] The discrepancies regarding Forrest's rank as written from December 7-9, 1863, is confusing. Perhaps he was used to the rank of Brigadier-General and so identified himself this way after he was promoted.

[6] Volunteer fire company engine houses served a social function in antebellum and Civil War Memphis. See: James B. Jones, Jr., "The Social Aspects of the Memphis Volunteer Fire Department," West Tennessee Historical Society Papers, Vol. XXXVII (1983), pp. 62-73.

[7] Columbus was located in the northeast corner of Polk County. According to The History of Polk County, Tennessee 1839-1999 by Roy G. Lillard, the town was located due south of Athens, Tennessee, on the north bank of the Hiwassee river. It was already an incorporated town when Polk County was created in 1840. Thus, it became the first county seat until, through an election, the town of Benton was chosen.

It was a prosperous trading center, being near the grist mill that was built by treaty in the "Cherokee county for the use of the Nation."  With the loss of the Indian trade after the Removal of 1838 and the move of the county seat to Benton, Columbus began its decline, and was "unincorporated" by the General Assembly in 1855. It is said that the Union troops stationed there during the Civil War tore down the last store and built a pontoon bridge across the Hiwassee river.

[8] As cited in PQCW.

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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