Wednesday, December 17, 2014

12.17.2014 Tennessee Civil War Notes

        17, Confederate soldiers die from disease in Jackson environs

….Some 17 of the soldiers have died lately, typhoid or camp fever and measles.

Robert H. Cartmell Diary.

        17, "Donations to the Southern Mothers"

The Southern Mothers very gratefully acknowledge the following donations in money and hospital supplies, and would again tender their thanks to the butchers of both markets for their liberal contributions of met:

From Mrs. J.M. Tomeny $25; Mr. Henry Wade $25; Mr. J. H. Van Culin $10; Mrs. Lucy White $10; Mrs. Powell $5; from Helena, Arkansas, by Q. K. Underwood, $50; G. N. Candee, $50; C. DeLeach $30; Jones, Brown & Co., $10; Ben May $10; Taylor & McEwen $5; J.W. Page $5; J. Boro & Co., $50; Rev. C.F. Collins, $5; from the Iron Molders of Memphis, $195; [1] Tennessee Minstrels, $77; Shelby Rifles, 2d Tennessee regiment, $50.

Liberal donations of hospital supplies have been received from the following persons: Mrs. Barham Bobo, Panola county, Miss; Soldiers' Aid Association, Florence, Ala.; Confederate Aid Society, New Orleans; Louisiana Relief Association, by E.D. Fenner; Soldiers' Aid Society, Tensas Parish, La.; Mrs. R. W. Wallace, Como, Miss,; T. Shepherd, Des Arc, Ark; Black & Byington, Mrs. W. S. Pickett, Burnett, Hendrix & Walker, Mrs. J. Lomeny, Mrs. Pearson, Mrs. Sam Tate, A.H. Montgomery, Col. White, Mrs. Bullock, Mrs. Morehead, Mrs. Molloy, Mrs. Bass and Mrs. J. H. Allen, Mrs. Niles Merriweather, H.L. Herkleroads, Mrs. Potts and Mrs. Merrill, DeSoto, Mississippi.

Memphis Appeal, December 17, 1861.

        17, Ambrosial Oil for sale

Planters, attend to your interest, by buying a dozen bottles of Ambrosial Oil. It has restored many a rheumatic negro [sic], and saved many a planter a large doctor's bill. It is a southern preparation and demands your attention.

Memphis Appeal, December 17, 1861.

        17, "Incendiarism in Hawkins County."

A friend at Whitesburg writes us, Dec. 13th [?] that-

Last night Mr. James Headerick's and Mr. Bernard Headerick's barns and cabins were both burned by incendiaries. They both live about one mile south of St. Clair, Hawkins County. They are good Southern men and good citizens, and this destruction of their barns and cabins leaves them without one blade of [illegible] to feed their stock. When will we get rid of these treasonable incendiaries?

Knoxville Register.

Nashville Daily Gazette, December 17, 1861.

        17, "Wanted."

Immediately, 10,000 bushels of Corn delivered at Race Track, or at our Pork House, to feed Government cattle and hogs, for which we will pay the highest market price in cash.

E. M Bruce & Co.

Nashville Daily Gazette, December 17, 1861.

        17, Confederate News from East Tennessee

From East Tennessee.

The following items are from the Knoxville Register of the 14th:

Capt. Smith, of McMinn county, reported himself to headquarters in this city on the 11th instant, at the head of as find a company of men as we have yet seen in the service of the  Confederate States.

More Prisoners.-Capt. Phillipps, with his company of cavalry, last night brought in from Hancock county several prisoners, among the one deserter, who had joined Dr. Byrd's company.

John Black, of Anderson county, who has been in correspondence with the enemy, was also brought in yesterday by Capt. Clark's company of minute men.

Another Raid into Scott County.- There was on yesterday [13th] a rumor current on the street, that Capt. Bradley, of Anderson county, and thirty four of his men, had been taken prisoner by a large body of Lincolnites, in Scott county, Tennessee. We have been unable to learn of the particulars of this affair, and merely give the rumor as an item of new, without vouching for its correctness.

Court Martial.-The general court martial, convened in this city some days since, by Brigadier-General Carroll, for the trial of the bridge-burners, still continues its session.

There are idle rumors attributed of its action in two or three cases, but, inasmuch as the proceeding of the court are known only to he defendants and their counsel, these rumors may be pronounced with foundation We may remark, however, that this court acts promptly, and there is no complaint of the law's delay in its proceedings.

Incendiarism in Hawkins County.-A friend at Whitesburg writes us, Dec. 12th, that last night (11th) Mr. Jas. Readericks and Mr. Barnard Hedrick's barns and cribs were both burned by incendiaries. They both live about one mile south of St. Clair, Hawkins county. They are both southern men and good citizens, and this destruction of their barns and cribs leaves them without one blade of roughness to feed their stock. When will we get rid of these treasonable incendiaries!

Rebellion in Upper East Tennessee.-The following note from Gen. Carroll has been handed us for publication:

"The rebellion in Carter and Johnson counties is thoroughly, and I think, permanently suppressed. For or five hundred of the insurgents have taken the oath of allegiance in the Confederate States, and are coming daily under Col. Ledbetter's proclamation. A good many are volunteering in our army.

"They say the insurrection was not to protect the bridge-burners, but to defend themselves from the violence, it was said, our soldiers threatened. After the insurgents had assembled, a letter was read to them, purporting to be from Andy Johnson, at Greeneville, who had with him 15,000 troops. Now they declare they can no longer be deceived, and will henceforth by loyal citizens of the Confederate States."

Memphis Daily Appeal, December 17, 1861[2].

     17, Simultaneous execution of Jacob and Henry Harmon on the gallows in Knoxville, an excerpt from Brownlow's journal

Two more carts drove up with coffins in them and a heavy military guard around them. This produced in our circle of prisoners great consternation, for we did not know certainly who were to hang. They, however, came into the jail and marched out Jacob Harmon and his son Henry, and hung them up on the same gallows! The old man was a man of property, quite old and infirm, and they compelled him to sit on the scaffold and see his son, a young man, hang first; then he was ordered up and hung by his side. They were charged with bridge-burning, but protested to the last that they were not guilty. I know not how this was; but the laws of Tennessee only send a man to the penitentiary for such offences.

Brownlow, Sketches, pp. 318-319.

        17, 29, General Orders No. 11 issued, relative to expulsion of Jews from the Department of the Tennessee[3]

LAGRANGE, November 10, 1862.

Gen. WEBSTER, Jackson, Tenn.:

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

U. S. GRANT, Maj.-Gen.

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



Holly Springs, December 17, 1862.

The Jews, as a class violating every regulation of trade established by the Treasury Department and also department orders, are hereby expelled from the department within twenty-four hours from the receipt of this order.

Post commanders will see that all of this class of people be furnished passes and required to leave, and any one returning after such notification will be arrested and held in confinement until an opportunity occurs of sending them out as prisoners, unless furnished with permit from headquarters.

No passes will be given these people to visit headquarters for the purpose of making personal application for trade permits.

By order of Maj. Gen. U. S. Grant:

JNO. A. RAWLINS, Assistant Adjutant-Gen.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 17, pt. II, p. 424.


PADUCAH, KY., December 29, 1862.

Hon. ABRAHAM LINCOLN, President of the United States:

General Orders, No. 11, issued by Gen. Grant at Oxford, Miss., December the 17th, commands all post commanders to expel all Jews, without distinction, within twenty-four hours, from his entire department. The undersigned, good and loyal citizens of the United States and residents of this town for many years, engaged in legitimate business as merchants, feel greatly insulted and outraged by this inhuman order, the carrying out of which would be the grossest violation of the Constitution and our rights as good citizens under it, and would place us, besides a large number of other Jewish families of this town, as outlaws before the whole world. We respectfully ask your immediate attention to this enormous outrage on all law and humanity and pray for your effectual and immediate interposition. We would respectfully refer you to the post commander and post adjutant as to our loyalty, and all to respectable citizens of this community as to our standing as citizens and merchants. We respectfully ask for immediate instructions to be sent to the commander of this post.




OR, Ser. I, Vol. 17, pt. II, p. 506.


WAR DEPARTMENT, Washington, January 4, 1863.

Maj.-Gen. GRANT, Holly Springs, Miss.:

A paper purporting to be General Orders, No. 11, issued by you December 17, has been presented here. By its terms it expels all Jews from your department. If such an order has been issued, it will be immediately revoked.

H. W. HALLECK, Gen.-in-Chief.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 17, pt. II, p. 530.

        17, U. S. Cavalry Scouts from Tennessee River to Lexington Environs

JACKSON, December 18, 1862--2 a. m.

Maj. Gen. U. S. GRANT:

The following was received from our cavalry scouts sent out yesterday:

Capt. O'Hara who went out at daylight yesterday, reports that the enemy are crossing the Tennessee at Wright's Island in considerable force. At noon yesterday 3,000 infantry, 800 cavalry, and six pieces had crossed and were still crossing. O'Hara had 70 men; fell back to where I now am, at Buck River, 5 miles southeast of Lexington.

When first seen the enemy were 10 miles from the Tennessee. Their pickets are now within 6 miles of me. I have sent out two companies of Col. Hawkins' to reconnoiter. I will keep you as well informed as possible. Intended to push on in the morning. I believe they are going on the Bolivar and Clifton road.

I have now 450 men. Our pickets are now in slight of the enemy's.

R. G. INGERSOLL, Col. Eleventh Illinois Cavalry.

JER. C. SULLIVAN, Brig.-Gen.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 17, pt. II, p. 429.

        17, A night at the Nashville theater; an excerpt from the diary of John Hill Fergusson, 10th Illinois Volunteer Infantry

….the morning very cold and windy N. Fancher and My Self [sic] went up town about 9 o'clock with some coffee to traid [sic] for a coffee pot we got 35 cts….we went to the theater in the evening it was 25 cts  each, the pirfurmince [sic] acted was king Henry the 2nd it was very interesting but the wind up play was better then [sic] the first it was [about] a gentleman how[4] [sic] was aposed [sic] to wemen [sic] and brought his son up to the age of 18 in perfect ignorance of wemen [sic] he had never saw one nor even [knew] that such a thing ever existed he made a contract with a gentleman in the ciup for him and his son to live with him whare [sic] he could have an opertunity [sic] of giving [sic] his son a good education [sic] this gent in the city ad a lovely dater [sic] she was to be  she was to be locked up in his room when he was at liberty in the house no woman was to be seen by him only the old lady and she was as crass as 2 sticks [?] there was no danger of him falling in love with hir [sic]  the girl happened to be out side and was lamenting what a pitty it was that Such a lively young man should be kept in ignorance of a woman the young man happened to rais [sic] the window and look out and for the first time in his life beheld a lovely girl in all the splendure [sic] that could adorn the human frame! He opened the door and run [sic] out but the girl got out of sight before he came out the 2 old men and old woman run after him and catched [sic] him the expected [sic]  what he saw and wanted to know of his father what it was he seen [sic]  he said he never seen anything in his life that looked so pritty [sic]  his father told him it was a burd [sic] a kind of buzzard and take care of them they ware a queer kind of burd [sic], they would betray him and leed [sic] him astray they took him into the house when they thought the girls [sic] door was locked up and all was safe they let the young man run around out side again he was not satisfied he wanted to hunt up the pretty burd he seen [sic] the young Lady was as anxiouis to see him as he was to see hir [sic] she had a way of opening [sic] her door from the in side so she slipped out and watched the young man running around keeping condealed behind the cornors [sic] at last he got his  eye on hir [sic] again and rant to catch the burd [sic] but she run all around when he found he was not likely to catch hir he get some corn and scattered it down for hir [sic] and said hear pritty [sic] bird [sic]  eat some corn she stoped [sic] running [sic]  then waited some she stood and looked at him for a short time thentold him she was no burd then he wanted to know what she was that looked so pritty [sic]  he said the first time he saw her he felt all over he did not know how she went on to explain what she was and that wemen [sic] ware [sic]  for men to love by this time the 2 old men and old woman  came running out in an aful [sic] fix and no sooner a past[?] then the ware [sic] in each others arms as tight as again there grips and fall back in there sick buts [sic] that concludes to gave it. [sic

John Hill Fergusson Diary, Book 2.

        17, News briefs from Confederate Tennessee

Nashville, Dec. 17.


The Murfreesboro Rebel Banner[5] of the 17th, the Chattanooga Rebel of the 10th, and the Atlanta Intelligencer of the 9th have been received. The Murfreesboro paper has the following:

"The Confederate Court at Knoxville has indicted Chancellor Seth [J.] W. Luckey[6], of the First District, for treasonable and disloyal conduct. Indictments were found against sundry parties for conspiring to circulate counterfeit Confederate notes, including Kennedy Rogers, alleged to have been until recently Aid to the Federal General Geo. W. Morgan. The parties are said to have done a big business in Claiborne and Campbell counties."

During the same session decrees were issued in four hundred cases under sequestration laws embracing over a million dollars of property. Among the cases are Andrew Johnson, Horace Maynard, and John Coffee Childs, the Whetmore estate in Bradley County,[7] and Ducktown Copper mines


Brig. Gen. W. H. Carroll has resigned.


The Chattanooga Rebel significantly says it is the general impression that no battle is imminent at Nashville.

Jeff. Davis left Chattanooga for Mobile, Tuesday evening by special train making a speech at the depot. He is accompanied by Gen. Joe Davis and Col. Fitzhugh, secretary, traveling unostentatiously. The Rebel devotes over three columns[8] of fulsome trash about his visit West. Going to Murfreesboro he had a narrow escape from destruction by a railroad accident. The axle broke while the train was driving along the tremendous bluffs, and the train jumped the track. The passengers were badly jolted, but nobody hurt.


Louisville Daily Journal, December 19, 1862.

        17, Skirmish at Blain's [today Blaine's] Cross Roads

BLAIN'S CROSS-ROADS, December 17, 1863.

This morning the enemy advanced in small force on Gen. Sturgis' pickets, but nothing serious since then; but few shots have been fired, and those at long range.

* * * *

JNO. G. PARKE, Maj.-Gen.

* * * *

BLAIN'S CROSS-ROADS, December 17, 1863--4 p. m.

The enemy has not made any serious demonstration on the Rutledge road up to this time; since noon they have been pressing the brigade. Spears stationed at Stone's Mill, Richland Church, about 2 miles on our right, where the river road crosses Richland Creek. They may be massing on the river road, but Gen. Granger thinks it would be risky for them to attempt this move. Still, if this be so, we may be forced to fall back on the line of Flat Creek. Gen. Sturgis will send a division of cavalry to occupy the line of Richland Creek. I regret that Elliott has been able to cross but one brigade. He is now at Strawberry Plains, and will get over as soon as he can. I am glad to hear you are coming up.

JNO. G. PARKE, Maj.-Gen.

BLAIN'S CROSS-ROADS, December 17, 1863--11.30 p. m. Yours of 8.25 just received. By the river road, I mean a road parallel to the Rutledge road, and the north side of Holston--one of the many roads not indicated on our map.

The point where this road crosses Richland Creek (Stone's Mill) is still held by Spears' brigade. I have reason to believe that there was no infantry appeared against him this evening. The last report from there was all quiet. In fact, the enemy's advance had retired and were followed by our skirmishers. How far they pursued I cannot say. No report yet made. I presume not far. My impression about Longstreet massing on the river road was not confirmed by the observations from our signal mountain. No large camp fires were visible, nor large smokes seen in our front on either road a sundown. In fact, I am now inclined to believe that there is nothing but cavalry in our immediate front. Shall I send an ambulance to Strawberry Plains for you? There is a very good one here that Col. Babcock, of the Ninth Corps, has suggested to send.

JNO. G. PARKE, Maj.-Gen.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 31, pt. I, pp. 329-330.


Excerpt from the Itinerary of the Ninth Army Corps, October 20-December 31, 1863, relative to skirmishes at Blain's Cross Road, December 17, 1863

* * * *

December 16, 12 m., the Second Division halted within 2 miles of Blain's Cross-Roads, formed line of battle, and remained in that position during the afternoon, our cavalry skirmishing with the enemy half a mile in advance of our line during the whole afternoon.

December 17, the cavalry was withdrawn from our front, the enemy's sharpshooters following them up to our infantry line, when slight skirmishing commenced, without any loss.

* * * *

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 31, pt. I, p. 341.

        17, Travelogue of Middle Tennessee Cities by a Philadelphia War Correspondent

From Chattanooga to Nashville.

Nashville, Tenn., December 17, 1863.

Army life, at best, at least in Dixie, is by no means attractive. The railroad between Chattanooga and this city, in its "palmy days," was not the ranking road in the country, as regards comfort and facility. What them must be a trip between the two above mention cities. I'll tell you, and give you a history of the towns and scenery upon the road and contingent to it. "Traveling on a rickety roads, in box cars, in war times." That's the take. It's a two days' trip. You embark at Chattanooga at daylight, upon a boat bound for Bridgeport. The railroad between the latter named place and Chattanooga will be in running order in a couple of weeks. The distance will then be just twenty-seven miles; but, owing to the monstrous curves in the river, the distance by water is about sixty miles. Well this is about a day's sail, or "float," not sail, that's mythical. There are now three steamers now plying between Bridgeport and Chattanooga, the Dunbar, the Chattanooga and the Paint Rock. I came down upon the Paint Rock, the most commodious arrangement of the arrangement of the three. I won't attempt a description of the superb cabins of the Paint Rock, its magnificent tables. The gallant captain, his gay clerk and jovial crew.

Ah, nor would it be mean, after acting as ballast for twenty four hours, and presiding at the festive board, to complain, especially when I am reminded of the [brevity?] of the captain, who often responds, "Gentlemen, you can get something to eat when you arrive at Bridgeport." But that captain was a good fellow because he took us safely to Bridgeport, which is quite a town….

~ ~ ~.

Nineteen miles from Stevenson [Alabama] is Tantallon. A place of no merit in itself. It is located at eh foot of the Cumberland mountain grade, and from which upon the ascent ranges at one hundred and sixty feet per mile to the center of the of the tunnel. This latter point is five hundred and thirty feet above Tantallon. The tunnel is two thousand two hundred and twenty three feet in llentgh, twenty feet high and about fourteen feet wide it penetrates through solid rock and required three years' time in its construction.

Cowan. The next town towards Nashville is Cowan, twenty-three miles from Stevenson and eighty-three from the capital. It was named after Mr. Cowan, a planter, residing in the vicinity, and is located at the foot of the western slope of the Cumberland mountain. Beautiful mountain scenery delights the eye of the tourist looking toward the North, East and South.

Decherd. Two miles further on is Decherd. This was the nearest that General Buell's headquarters ever got to Chattanooga, although a large portion of the army encamped for several weeks over Battle Creel. About twenty miles from Chattanooga, Decherd. Decherd is a little struggling village, and was named after one Peter Decherd, and laid out in 1858. It is but a short distance from the State line at which point the plateau rises some eight hundred feet above the plain below, and is about fifteen miles wide. From its brow a magnificent project stretches far away in the distance.

Allisonia, is the next town, thirty-five from Stevenson. Its location is a fine one, and had not misfortune not overtaken it, Allisonia would have been one of the most flourishing post villages in the middle section of the State. It is situated on Elk River, a point at which the waterpower is very superior, and said to be unsurpassed by any in Middle Tennessee. The place was laid out in 1850 It was an important station on the railroad before the Rebellionl and at one time had an immense cotton factory, which cost, including the machinery, towards a quarter of a million of dollars, but which was destroyed by fire some eight years ago.

Estelle Springs, is the next place, and although nothing is to be seen but three houses, a bevy of junk men and hungry-looking women and a score of young ones, Estell Springs used to be considered quite a town, and was the favorite resort, on account of the springs of sulphur, chalybeate and freestone waters, of the citizens for many miles around.

Tullahoma, Tullahoma, before the war, was one of the most flourishing towns east of Nashville. It was important as a railroad station, on account of its being on the intersecting point of the McMinnville and Manchester Railroad, which extends to the former point, a distance of thirty five miles. Tullahoma is just forty-three miles from Stevenson, and seventy from Nashville. It is situated in Coffee county, of the bank of Rock Creek and was laid out in 1852. The location is on the first bench of the Cumberland from which the railroad has a descending for five miles to Duck River. This place has long been noted for its purity and excellence of its chalybeate freestone waters. Tullahoma will always be remembered in connection with General Rosecrans campaign. Here it was that Bragg had determined to forever close the gates to a further Federal advance into Middle and East Tennessee. But the Army of the Cumberland hurried the Rebel force hurled the Rebel force from its vaunted impregnability, and, scattering Bragg's army like lost sheep, matched triumphantly on, surmounting all the obstacles which nature had interposed, while the artificial structures of the hero of defeats were passed along unheeded by the indomitable soldiers of the Union.

Normandy, Wartrace, Bell Buckle, Osterville and Christiana are all small and, at the present time, unimportant towns situated between Tullahoma and Murfreesboro'. The surrounding country is agreeable diversified in surface, highly productive, liberally watered and extensively cultivated. All of the ground partly between the two above-mentioned ground nearly between the two above-mentioned towns was fought over by Rosecran's Army, and at Bell Buckle and Liberty Gaps especially quite lively encounters took place. Although Bragg has been eternally damned and tortured by the upstarts of the entire Confederacy, the Army of the Cumberland can attest that he obstinately contested every foot of Federal advance, until he and his army came near surrendering in the Tennessee River. It is questionable whether a superior to Bragg can be found in the Rebel service.

Murfreesboro. I need not say much about Murfreesboro, as the nettle of Stone River celebrated the town. IT is the capital of Rutherford county, and distant from Nashville thirty-two miles. It is a handsome town, situated upon a beautiful plain, and situated upon a beautiful plain, and surrounded by a healthy and fertile country. From the year 1817 to 1827 it was the capital of the State, when the State House was consumed by fire and the seat of government subsequently removed to Nashville. Prior to the Rebellion it contained a population of three thousand. The first public speech in favor of Secession of Tennessee was made in Murfreesboro, but the town has been slightly paid for that. Bragg and his army encamped here and hereabouts for two months, when, after a great battle upon its outskirts. Rosecrans and his army took possession, and  [equated?] in and around the town six months, Hundreds of buildings were torn down for fire-wood, with such things as fences [illegible] ornamental trees, etc., perished without consideration.

The churches, public edifices and large warehouses were turned into hospitals and commissary storehouses, while the elegant residences of runaway traitors were quickly converted into quarters for general officers and their staffs. It is now a garrison, the town being overlooked by the finest and most complete earth fortification in the country, at present under the command of General Van Cleve. Sam Reads, the father-in-law of John Morgan, resides here, and is a quiet, law-abiding citizen. His house for a long time served as headquarters for a number of Rosecrans staff officers. Murfreesboro is notorious for the lack of loyalty. The epidemic of treason first raged here, and is by no means eradicated, although many of this most boisterous and influential Secessionists are in favor of peace.

Passing Smyrna, a post village ten miles from Murfreesboro' the traveler soon arrives at Lavergne.

At one time a beautiful village, fifteen miles from Nashville. It was here that General Negley whipped General Anderson,[9] and took two regiments prisoners, all the enemy's artillery and several hundred casks of flour and corn. During the battle of Stone river the citizens of this place aided Generals Wheeler and Wharton in their attacks upon the supply and ammunition trains being near to the front, and otherwise made themselves odious to our soldiers. For their pains an indignant Ohio regiment burned the town. There is the last town on the road until Nashville is reached, and the reader can consider himself will posted in regard to the towns and scenery between Chattanooga and Nashville.

Philadelphia Inquirer, December 17, 1863.

        17, Action at Holly [a.k.a. "Hollow"] Tree Gap[10]

No circumstantial reports filed.

Excerpt from the Report of Major-General Henry D. Clayton, C. S. Army, commanding division, of operations November 20-December 27, 1864, relative to Hollow (a.k.a. Holly) Tree Gap, December 17, 1864.

* * * *

....About 2 o'clock at night it [i.e., Holtzclaw's brigade] was halted seven miles from Franklin and bivouacked until 5 o'clock. Daylight on the morning of the 17th found us in position at Hollow Tree Gap, five miles from Franklin, Stovall's brigade and a section of Bledsoe's battery being upon the right and Pettus' brigade upon the left of the road, and the other two brigades in rear. About 8 a. m. the enemy's cavalry made their appearance, driving in our own cavalry in a most shameful manner, a few pursuing them even through the line of infantry and cutting with their sabers right and left. A few shots from the infantry, however, drove them back, with the loss of a stand of colors. About 9 a. m. they again advanced upon this position, when we succeeded in capturing about 100 men, with their horses, and another stand of colors. At about 10 a. m. we were withdrawn from this position and crossed Harpeth River a few miles from this place. After some slight skirmishing we were relieved by Maj.-Gen. Stevenson's division. For the particulars of the capture of seventy-five officers and men of Holtzclaw's brigade, and a like number from Gibson's brigade, I refer to the reports of their respective brigade commanders. For this occurrence I think no one to blame but our cavalry, who, all the day long, behaved in a most cowardly manner. It is proper, however, that I should make one bright exception to this general remark: I refer to the case of Col. Falconnet, commanding a brigade, who, when about to cross the Harpeth River, seeing the enemy charging upon Gibson's brigade, drew his revolver, and gathering less than 100 brave followers, dashed upon the enemy, more than twenty times his number. After having been relieved, as above stated, by Gen. Stevenson, the division was moved on slowly, halting occasionally so as to keep within a short distance of his command. Six miles south of Franklin, the division being at a halt in the road, I learned that the enemy were moving around Gen. Stevenson. I immediately placed my command across the road, Stovall's brigade, Col. R. J. Henderson commanding, on the right, Gibson's in the center, and Holtzclaw's, Col. Bushrod Jones commanding, upon the left. Hearing considerable firing in the rear I ordered Col. Jones to move Holtzclaw's brigade forward in line of battle, keeping his right resting on the pike, so as to render any assistance that might be necessary to Gen. Stevenson. Having given some general instructions to Gen. Gibson as to keeping out skirmishers and scouts, I directed him to take command of the two brigades, and with my staff rode up the pike to communicate with Gen. Stevenson. Upon coming up with Col. Jones I learned that the enemy in large force was forming upon his left as if for the purpose of charging. I then rode forward and informed Gen. Pettus, whose brigade was near by, of the disposition I had made for his support, and started back to where I had left Gen. Gibson with the two brigades; when in about 100 yards of the left of Gen. Gibson's command, which rested upon the pike, I saw a column of cavalry moving obliquely and just entering the road a few paces in my front. An infantry soldier of my command, recognizing me (it being then quite dark), ran up to me and whispered, "They are Yankees." Turning my horse to the left, so as to avoid them, I moved rapidly to the right of Gen. Gibson's line, and after narrowly escaping being killed by several shots fired at me through mistake, I communicated the information to Gen. Gibson, who promptly wheeled his brigade to the left and delivered a volley which scattered the enemy, killing many of them. I then, at the suggestion of Gen. Gibson, moved back these two brigades behind a fence, in order to better resist a charge and also for greater security against firing into our own men. This position was scarcely taken when the enemy again began to move from the left upon the pike in our immediate front. Demanding to know who they were, I was promptly answered, "Federal troops," which was replied to by a volley, killing several and again driving them off, leaving a stand of colors, which was secured. The enemy having finally retired and the firing having ceased, I communicated my intentions to Gen. Stevenson and moved off my command.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 45, pt. I, pp. 699-700.

        17, Action at Franklin

No circumstantial reports filed.

Excerpt from the Report of Brigadier-General James T. Holtzclaw, C. S. Army, commanding brigade, of operations November 20-December 27, 1864, relative to the action at Franklin, December 17, 1864.

* * * *

....At 11 p. m. [16th] I halted four miles from Hollow Tree Gap, remaining until 3 a. m. [17th], when I moved inside of the gap and halted in rear of Pettus' brigade. At daylight our cavalry stampeded, ran through the gap, and formed a mile in the rear. I sent, by direction of the major-general, a regiment up the hollow to the left of the gap. The enemy passing to the right induced the withdrawal of the brigades from the gap. I was unable to communicate with a portion of the regiment sent out, the enemy dashing in in force between us. I moved in rear of the brigade in line of battle to within one mile of Franklin, where I passed the brigade of Gen. Gibson, drawn up to support a section of artillery. I hurried across the river and formed on the southern bank, in Franklin. By the time I had formed, the enemy's cavalry pursued Buford's cavalry division, driving it in confusion into the river. They were repulsed by Pettus' brigade, in the works north of the river, and the section of Bledsoe's battery, in my line on the south, not getting in musket-range of my command. The portion of the regiment I had detached in the morning and could not communicate with passed around the hills to the left of the pike, running five miles to get there. They came into the pike just at the position taken by Gen. Gibson, exhausted with running around the enemy's cavalry. Without notice to myself or authority from the major-general, Brig.-Gen. Gibson ordered this detachment of about seventy-five men to remain and cover the battery. Then withdrawing with the battery he withdrew his brigade, while my small detachment, in obedience to his orders, held the position, covered the retreat of himself and the section. As a matter of course they were overwhelmed by the enemy's cavalry, 2,000 or 3,000 of whom had surrounded them, three officers and five men only escaping. I went into line next just outside of the trenches of Franklin. The enemy's cavalry dashed up to within 300 yards of my line, firing carbines and pistols. Three or four volleys drove them back. I then marched back in line, halting every few hundred yards until I passed through the gap south of Franklin. Moving on with the division I was ordered into line about six miles from Franklin just before dark. Just after I had formed another of the many cavalry stampedes from Chalmers' division occurred. In trying to get them out of my line and formed on the left I received a severe contusion on the ankle, so painful as to prevent my doing anything for several hours. I retired to seek medical aid, a fight with the enemy's cavalry occurring shortly after. My brigade acted under orders of the major-general. I need not, therefore, speak of its operations in that affair.

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OR, Ser. I, Vol. 45, pt. I, pp. 706-707.

        17, Action at West Harpeth River

No circumstantial reports filed.

Excerpt from the Report of Lieut. Gen. Stephen D. Lee, C. S. Army, commanding Army Corps, of operations November 2--December 17, 1864, relative to the action at the West Harpeth River, December 17, 1864.

COLUMBUS, MISS., January 30, 1865.

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Early on the morning of the 17th our cavalry was driven in in confusion by the enemy, who at once commenced a most vigorous pursuit, his cavalry charging at every opportunity and in the most daring manner. It was apparent that they were determined to make the retreat a rout if possible. Their boldness was soon checked by many of them being killed and captured by Pettus' (Alabama) and Stovall's (Georgia) brigades and Bledsoe's battery, under Gen. Clayton. Several guidons were captured in one of their charges. I was soon compelled to withdraw rapidly toward Franklin, as the enemy was throwing a force in my rear from both the right and left of the pike on roads coming into the pike near Franklin and five miles in my rear. This force was checked by Brig.-Gen. Gibson with his brigade and a regiment of Buford's cavalry under Col. Shacklett. The resistance which the enemy had met with early in the morning, and which materially checked his movement, enabled us to reach Franklin with but little difficulty. Here the enemy appeared in considerable force and exhibited great boldness, but he was repulsed, and the crossing of the Harpeth River effected. I found that there was in the town of Franklin a large number of our own and of the enemy's wounded, and not wishing to subject them and the town to the fire of the enemy's artillery, the place was yielded with but little resistance. Some four or five hours were gained by checking the enemy one mile and a half south of Franklin and by the destruction of the trestle bridge over the Harpeth, which was effected by Capt. Coleman, the engineer officer on my staff, and a party of pioneers, under a heavy fire of the enemy's sharpshooters. About 4 p. m. the enemy, having crossed a considerable force, commenced a bold and vigorous attack, charging with his cavalry on our flanks and pushing forward his lines in our front. A more persistent effort was never made to rout the rear guard of a retiring column. This desperate attack was kept up till long after dark, but gallantly did the rear guard--consisting of Pettus' (Alabama) and Cumming's (Georgia) brigades, the latter commanded by Col. Watkins, of Stevenson's division, and under that gallant and meritorious officer Maj. Gen. C. L. Stevenson--repulse every attack. Brig.-Gen. Chalmers with his division of cavalry covered our flanks. The cavalry of the enemy succeeded in getting in Stevenson's rear, and attacked Maj.-Gen. Clayton's division about dark, but they were handsomely repulsed, Gibson's and Stovall's brigades being principally engaged. Some four or five guidons were captured from the enemy during the evening. About 1 p. m. I was wounded while with the rear guard, but did not relinquish command of my corps till dark. Most of the details in conducting the retreat from that time were arranged and executed by Maj.-Gen. Stevenson, to whom the army is much indebted for his skill and gallantry during the day.

I cannot close this report without alluding particularly to the conduct of the artillery of my corps on the 16th. Sixteen guns were lost on the lines. The greater portion of them were without horses, they having been disabled during the day. Many of the Carriages were disabled also. The noble gunners, reluctant to leave their guns, fought the enemy in many instances till they were almost within reach of the guns.

Maj. Gen. Ed. Johnson was captured on the 16th. Being on foot he was unable to make his escape from the enemy in consequence of an old wound. He held his line as long as it was practicable to do so. The Army of Tennessee has sustained no greater loss than that of this gallant and accomplished soldier.

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Yours, respectfully,

S. D. LEE, Lieut.-Gen.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 45, pt. I, pp. 689-690.

        17, "Brutal Murder of Soldiers"

Several soldiers and officers of the First Tennessee Cavalry, who were in the fight at Franklin and were wounded, were at their homes on furlough, and were captured the other day in Hancock county. Lieut. Stapleton was taken out, and after his boy was pierced with several bullets, his brains were beaten out by the rebel soldiers with the butts of their guns. Lieut. Fox was also captured and taken off and his fate is not known. This is the treatment our wounded soldiers receive when captured by these wild beasts, these devils incarnate, these murderers, thieves and assassins and imps of hell. And yet, when we capture these most diabolical bushwhackers, they are treated as prisoners of war, and are, after a time, exchanged as prisoners.

The rebel citizens, who have promising [sic] sons in the rebel service give information of certain Federal soldiers being at home and cause these raids into their neighborhoods. When next our Tennessee troops into those sections, we hope they will have the manliness to hang the guilty rebels as they come to them, and apply the torch to what they have in the way of this world's goods. We have all been fooling with these incarnate devils, and the sooner we cease to trifle with them the better it will be for our families and our country.

Brownlow's Knoxville Whig and Rebel Ventilator, December 17, 1864.

        17, Federal orders to clean the Nashville battlefield of the dead and of weapons

HDQRS. DEPARTMENT OF THE CUMBERLAND, Granny White Pike, December 17, 1864.

Brig. Gen. JOHN F. MILLER, Cmdg. Post of Nashville:

GEN.: The major-general commanding directs that you send a regiment over the field of yesterday to bury the dead, collect the artillery, small-arms, and other material captured from the enemy. Teams sufficient to haul twenty-three pieces of artillery will be required, that being the number captured yesterday.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

WM. D. WHIPPLE, Brig.-Gen. and Chief of Staff.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 45, pt. II, p. 244.

        17, Hood's army's retreat after the battle of Nashville, the view of one Maury County resident

Hood's army is leaving Nashville and falling back, the Federals in pursuit after a great defeat, many of his men killed, many taken prisoner. The wagons of the Southern army have been passing all night going south. They are camping all around hunting everything[,] some are wounded. There is not much left for them or his neighbor in the country. They are the worse [sic] looking and most broken down looking set [of soldiers] I ever laid eyes on. [emphasis added]

Diary of Nimrod Porter, December 17, 1864.

        17, Capture of Louisiana Confederates and Battle Flags near Brentwood

Battle Flags Captured. – General Jas. F. Knipe, of the 7th cavalry division, made a lucky hit on Saturday [17th] afternoon, near Brentwood, capturing two flags belonging to the fourth and thirtieth Louisiana cavalry, together with about two hundred and fifty prisoners, including twenty commissioned officers, the brigade musicians, and two sets of musical instruments, one of silver and the other of brass. The flag of the 30th Louisiana was faded and torn, red cotton ground, with blue cross, and twelve silver bullion stars on the cross. That of the 4th Louisiana, commanded by Col. Hunter, who was also captured,) is a magnificent one; the ground is of red bunting, with a cross made of heavy blue silk, the border of yellow twilled silk, twelve gold stars being upon the cross. The flag bears the following inscription: "Jackson, Port Hudson, Baton Rouge, and Shiloh."

Nashville Dispatch, December 20, 1864.


[1] It is worth emphasizing here that this segment of the Memphis working class contributed more than any other. It is often believed by many people that the only working class in the antebellum South was Negro slaves. Certainly these iron workers contributed to assist soldiers, most of whom came from their class, not those of the city merchant or yeoman farmer or plantation owner. It is an expression of class consciousness on the part of these workers.

[2] As cited in PQCW.

[3] Major-General U. S. Grant's orders to expel Jews from the Department of the Tennessee were preceded by his orders of November 10, 1862.

[4] Fergusson seems often to have spelled "who" as "how."

[5] This particular issue of the Murfreesboro Rebel Banner apparently is not extant.

[6] See: March 28, 1864, "Prisoner of War Exchange Proposal," below.

[7] Unknown.

[8] The particular issue of the Chattanooga Rebel apparently is not extant.

[9] OCTOBER 7, 1862.-Skirmish near La Vergne, Tenn. See above.

[10] This was probably the first rear-guard action during the Army of Tennessee's retreat from the Battle of Nashville.

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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