Thursday, January 29, 2015

1.29.2015 Tennessee Civil War Notes

        29, "Working Men Read."

A correspondent of the Union and American[1] talks in the following plain and sensible terms to the working classes of the South. Let every mechanic, farmer, and all others interested in the prosperity of the South read and reflect:

An effort is being made in Tennessee to array the working classes against their more wealthy neighbors. The attempt runs on this wise: "The rich men of the South own the slaves -- they are the nabobs of the land -- they are interested in slave property -- the poor people are not personally interested [in slave property] -- let rich men do the fighting if collision must come -- if the rich were deprived of their negroes [sic], we would be on a level, and there would be more equality in society." Specious, but most fallacious arguments. I undertake to say that the laboring classes of the South are as much or more interested in the question [of slave property (?)] that agitates the country than the rich. It is a fact, first, that most of the slaveholders in Tennessee are among the laboring classes. There are only, comparatively, a few extensive slaveholders in the State. A large proportion of those who own negroes [sic] have from one to a half dozen slaves, while a few hold them in large numbers. The small farmers in the country have one or two or three servants each to aid them in cultivating the soil. With these slaves they and their sons toil in the same field, and feel no degradation. The abolition of slavery would seriously affect large numbers of this class.

Secondly. It is a fact that large slaveholders usually have wealth over and above their slaves. They generally own large tracts of land, stock of various descriptions, bank stock, money, etc., so that if their slaves were gone they would soon become landholders of the country, and would hold the poorer whites as tenants at will; and being proprietors of the soil they would soon prescribe the terms and conditions on which men without means should till the land.

Thirdly. The emancipation of slaves, and the flooding of the country with free blacks, would reduce the price of labor, and thus materially injure the prospects of white laborers. Who does not know that the price of labor in the South is above the wages at the North?[2]

Fourthly. The policy of the abolitionist is to drive out slave labor, so that our "sunny South" may be overrun with hordes of free laborers from the North and foreign countries, that they may reap the advantages now enjoyed by industrious working men at the South.

Fifthly. The policy is to make black men equal to white men, in all respects. They require that the free negro shall vote with the white man send his children to the same school; sit in the same pew at church; eat at the same table; sleep in the same bed; move in the same social circle; work in the same shop or field in equal rank, and finally, as advocated by some, intermarry, and thus become one race by amalgamation. Now, I ask the working men of Tennessee if they are ready to indorse all these sentiments? Are they willing that their children shall become the cstlers [sic],[3] shoe blacks, carriage drivers, washer women and become servants of wealthy land lords, the rich merchant the lordly bankers of the country, while they themselves shall be put on a level with free blacks?

It is a fact that no man can gainsay, that in the free States, especially in the older and more aristocratic, that as the rich grow richer the poor become poorer, and that property creates castes in society.

Let the working people of the South look well to their own interests, and not suffer themselves to be deluded by cunning politicians. This is the advice of One Raised at the Handles of the Plow.

Nashville Daily Gazette, January 29, 1861.

        29, John Bell's speech in favor of the Federal Union



WILL TENNESSEE GO OUT?-The Knoxville (Tenn.) Whig says:-"This is the question propounded in other States, and in letters coming here from other States. When answered by Secessionists, the answer, Yes, Tennessee is certain to go out. Now, we take the liberty to say that Tennessee will not go out; and farther, that not one Secessionists can be elected to the State Convention, out of the thirty countries of East Tennessee. Mark this prediction. But if there should be enough of Disunionists chosen in Middle and West Tennessee, to rush the State madly out of the Union, East Tennessee will secede from the Southern Confederacy, and organize an independent Mountain Republic. Meanwhile, Middle Tennessee must remove the bones of ANDREW JACKSON to this end of the State, as his grave and tomb-stone are perpetual protests against Disunion. Should Tennessee go out, if any one will repair to the Hermitage and keep watch, the bones of the old Hero will be heard to rattle in their coffin at the rude and unholy spectre of Treason before the eagle eye and iron will of the stern old Warrior and Statesman, when, in the exercise of his authority as Chief Magistrate, in 1832, he throttled the monster in South Carolina.

MR. BELL'S SPEECH.-The Nashville Patriot, of the 23d inst., thus gives an account of the speech of this patriotic Statesman in that city, in behalf of the Union:-"His speech was one of the most eloquent and powerful of his life. It was characterized by the loftiest patriotism, and made a deep and lasting impression upon his hearers. MR. BELL still has hopes of the Republic. He does not believe that the time has yet come for the destruction of the Union. He does not believe that the tree of our liberties, planted in the dark days of the Revolution, and watered by some of the bet blood of our country, is yet to fall before the axe which is uplifted for its destruction. Let us hope that there is true prophecy in his words, and that the dangers which threaten the union may be turned aside by the strong arm of the people, guided and sustained by that Omnipotent Power which fashions and controls the destinies of all nations. We are quite sure it accomplished much good last night, and that its publication and distribution among the people would do much to strengthen their patriotism and inspire them with fresh hopes of the preservation of the Union.

Philadelphia Inquirer, January 29, 1861.

29, Report on Widespread Alarm in Paris

~ ~ ~


The greatest excitement prevails at Paris, and the inhabitants are fleeing from certain destruction of Henry county in which Pairs is situated, is perfectly bare of military force, having sent two regiments into the field. Besides, the adjoining county is said to contain a large number of Union men.

Colonels J. Cook and Cummins, together with their families, and several hundred negroes, all from the neighborhood of Paris, arrived in the city last night, and represent that the greatest apprehensions exist in that vicinity. The prudent people are all moving their negroes off as there is said to be nothing in the way, except their cowardice, to prevent the Federals from coming over and possessing the railroad and the country in the vicinity. We cannot believe, however, that such an impression is correct, for as Generals are too sagacious to permit so valuable an artery as the Memphis and Ohio railroad to remain in an exposed condition.

~ ~ ~

Paris was in a perfect ferment of excitement yesterday, and many, anticipating an immediate descent of the army which the deemed themselves utterly powerless to resist, were preparing to leave with negroes and other property for various points southeard. Mr. Wise informs us that one gentleman alone endeavored to obtain transportation on the train for seventy negroes fearing they would fall into the hands of the Federals.

~ ~ ~

Philadelphia Inquirer, January 29, 1862.

        29, Passage of Moccasin Gap, capture of Confederates on Blountville Rd.[4]

No circumstantial reports filed.

Excerpt from the Report of Brig. Gen. Samuel P. Carter, U. S. Army, January 9, 1863.

Upon arriving at Estillville, at 10 p. m., [30th] we were told that a considerable rebel force was in possession of Moccasin Gap, prepared to resist our passage. I could not afford to lose time. The Michigan battalions were dismounted, and, under command of Lieut.-Col. Campbell, a portion were deployed and move through the gap. Being unacquainted with the ground, and having to guard against an ambuscade in this strong pass, which could have been held by a small force of determined men against greatly superior numbers, we advanced with great caution. It was midnight ere the rear of the column had passed through. The enemy, deterred, by the resolute advance of our brave men, fled toward Kingsport, East Tenn. (as I afterward learned), without firing a gun. A rebel lieutenant and several soldiers, with their arms, were captured on the south side of the gap, on the Blountville road.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 20, pt. I, pp. 89-90.

        29, Skirmish at Huntingdon

No circumstantial reports filed.

        29, Skirmish at Wilkinson's [a.k.a. Wilkerson's] Crossroads[5]

No circumstantial reports filed.

MURFREESBOROUGH, TENN., January 3, 1863.

On December 26 we moved from Nashville in three columns. McCook's corps by Nolensville pike; Thomas' from its encampment on Franklin pike, via Wilson pike; Crittenden's on main Murfreesborough pike. The left and center met with a strong resistance, such as the nature of the country permits-rolling or hilly routes, skirted by cedar thickets, farms, and intersected by small streams, with rocky bluff banks, forming serious obstacles. McCook drove Hardee's corps 1 ½ miles from Nolensville, and occupied the place. Crittenden reached within 1 ½ miles of La Vergne. Thomas reached the Wilson pike, meeting with no serious opposition. On the 27th, McCook drove Hardee from Nolensville, and pushed reconnoitering division 6 miles toward Shelbyville, and found Hardee had retreated toward Murfreesborough. Crittenden fought and drove the enemy before him, occupying the line of Stewart's Creek, capturing some prisoners, with slight loss. Thomas occupied the vicinity of Nolensville. On the 28th, McCook, completed his reconnaissance on Hardee's movements. Crittenden remained, awaiting the result and bringing up trains. Thomas moved on to Stewart's Creek. On the 29th, McCook moved into Wilkinson's Cross-roads, 7 miles from Murfreesborough, the end of a short pike, the road rough, through rolling country, skirted by bluffs, covered with dense cedar thickets, tops open timber. Crittenden pushed the enemy rapidly, saved all the bridges, and reached a point within 3 miles of Murfreesborough, his advance driving all their outposts to within sight of town. Thomas, with two divisions, closed up with Crittenden, and took position on the right. On the 30th, McCook advanced on Wilkinson pike....

* * * *

W.S. Rosecrans, Major-General

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 20, pt. I, p. 184.

        29, Skirmish at Lizzard, between Murfreesborough and Triune[6]

No circumstantial reports filed.

HDQRS. LEFT WING, December 28, 1862--12.30 a. m.

Col. J. P. GARESCHE, Chief of Staff:

COL.: Col. Murray, commanding the detachment which was detailed to go to Lizzard's, has just returned. He reports having come upon the enemy at the ford, 2 miles in advance of our outposts, in such force that he judged it unsafe to attempt to pass. Their fires extended largely to the right of our camp. They had been all day this side of the creek as patrols, and to-night were signaling with blue lights.

Most respectfully, your obedient servant,

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

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 20, pt. II, p. 261.


HDQRS. DEPARTMENT OF THE CUMBERLAND, Camp near La Vergne, December 29, 1862--1 a. m.

Maj.-Gen. THOMAS, Cmdg. Center, Stewartsborough:

GEN.: Gen. Crittenden reports that the regiment of cavalry sent down to Lizzard's had just returned, having encountered the enemy in such force at the ford, 2 miles in advance of our outposts, as to think it imprudent to go on. Their fires extended considerably to the right of our position, and they had been on this side of the creek during the day. Under these circumstances the general wishes you to throw out at once a strong picket of cavalry, supported by at least a regiment of infantry, along that road on this side of the creek, directing them to keep a sharp lookout and themselves concealed. In the morning he wants a strong infantry and cavalry reconnaissance pushed forward in that direction.

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

J. P. GARESCHE, Assistant Adjutant-Gen. and Chief of Staff.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 20, pt. II, p. 270.


HDQRS. DEPARTMENT OF THE CUMBERLAND, Camp near La Vergne, December 29, 1862--1.45 a. m.

Maj.-Gen. McCOOK, Triune:

GEN.: I am directed by the general commanding to inform you that a regiment of cavalry which was sent down this evening from Stewartsborough toward Lizzard's had been obliged to return, leaving meantime the enemy in such force at the fords at Stewart's Creek, 2 miles in advance of our position, so as to make it imprudent to go in. Their camp extended a considerable distance to the right of our extreme right, and they signaling with blue lights. The general wishes you to be on your guard, therefore, and desires you to throw out infantry scouts upon the roads leading from the Nolensville pike toward Murfreesborough, and which flank your march. Pray keep me advised of your movements, progress, and whereabouts. It is more than ever important that your dispatches should give the hour when and locality where you write.

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

J. P. GARESCHE, Assistant Adjutant-Gen. and Chief of Staff.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 20, pt. II, p. 266.


HDQRS. RIGHT WING, Three Miles from Wilkinson's Cross-Roads, December 29, 1862--3 p. m.

Col. GARESCHE, Chief of Staff:

The rebels appeared in strong force in my front, but retired. I think they came out to burn the bridge over Overall's Creek. I will not go beyond Wilkinson's Cross-Roads until further orders. I send you notes from Stanley and Sheridan, which will be of importance to you. They are undoubtedly in force, and intend to fight at Stone's River. You are now in about half hour communication of me. I have had Zahm and three regiments of cavalry on the Franklin road. Two of my divisions have already passed Lizzard's, and Johnson, my reserve, left one brigade at Triune, and on in charge of the ammunition train; consequently he has but one brigade. I can, if you wish, picket that road by a brigade of infantry, but Zahm will sleep there to-night. I will have all up to Wilkinson's Cross-Roads, snug, and wait your orders.

A. McD. McCOOK, Maj.-Gen., Cmdg.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 20, pt. II, pp. 267-268.

        29, Federal situation reports relative to results of Forrest's raid.

COLUMBUS, KY., December 29, 1862--10 a. m.

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

Col. Ihrie, of Gen. Grant's staff, came through last night from Trenton. Officers are arriving by land. Report no forces west of railroad. Road reported complete to Dyer, and telegraph communication and trains running all the way down, as before. From best information the enemy have left or are concentrating. I think the former most probable.

THOS. A. DAVIES, Brig.-Gen.

HUNTINGTON, TENN., December 29, 1862--8.06 p. m.

Maj.-Gen. GRANT, Hdqrs. Thirteenth Army Corps:

I reached Huntington before the rebels knew I had left Trenton. I have Forrest in a tight place, but he may escape by my not having cavalry. The gunboats are up the river as far as Clifton, and have destroyed all the boats and ferries. To escape, Forrest must pass as far south as Savannah. My troops are moving on him in three directions, and I hope for success.

JER. C. SULLIVAN, Brig.-Gen.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 17, pt. II, p. 505.

        29, General J. C. Sullivan reports on cooperation of U. S. Navy gunboats in attempting to threaten Forrest's retreat from West Tennessee

HUNTINGTON, TENN., December 29, 1862--8.06 p. m.

Maj.-Gen. GRANT, Hdqrs. Thirteenth Army Corps:

I reached Huntington before the rebels knew I had left Trenton. I have Forrest in a tight place, but he may escape by my not having cavalry. The gunboats are up the river as far as Clifton, and have destroyed all the boats and ferries. To escape, Forrest must pass as far south as Savannah. My troops are moving on him in three directions, and I hope for success.

JER. C. SULLIVAN, Brig.-Gen.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 17, pt. II, p. 505.

        29-30, Skirmishes near Murfreesborough[7]

Report of Major-General W.S. Rosecrans on the Stones River Campaign.

HDQRS. DEPARTMENT OF THE CUMBERLAND, Murfreesborough, Tenn., February 12, 1863.


* * * *

From November 26 to December 26 every effort was bent to complete the clothing of the army; to provide it with ammunition, and replenish the depot at Nashville with needful supplies; to insure us against want from the largest possible detention likely to occur by the breaking of the Louisville and Nashville Railroad, and to insure this work the road was guarded by a heavy force posted at Gallatin. The enormous superiority in numbers of the rebel cavalry kept our little cavalry force almost within the infantry lines, and gave the enemy control of the entire country around us. It was obvious from the beginning that we should be confronted by Bragg's army, recruited by an inexorable conscription, and aided by clans of mounted men, formed into a guerrilla-like cavalry, to avoid the hardships of conscription and infantry service....The enemy, expecting us to go into winter quarters at Nashville, had prepared his own winter quarters at Murfreesborough, with the hope of possibly making them at Nashville, and had sent a large cavalry force into West Tennessee to annoy Grant, and another large force into Kentucky to break up the railroad.

In the absence of these forces, and with adequate supplies in Nashville, the moment was judged, opportune for an advance on the rebels. Polk's and Kirby Smith's forces were at Murfreesborough, and Hardee's corps on the Shelbyville and Nolensville pike, between Triune and Eagleville, with an advance guard at Nolensville, while our troops lay in front of Nashville, on the Franklin, Nolensville, and Murfreesborough turnpike. The plan of the movements was as follows: McCook, with three divisions, to advance by Nolensville pike to Triune. Thomas, with two divisions (Negley's and Rousseau's), to advance on his right, by the Franklin and Wilson pikes, threatening Hardee's right, and then to fall in by the cross-roads to Nolensville. Crittenden, with Wood's, Palmer's, and Van Cleve's divisions, to advance by the Murfreesborough pike to La Vergne.

* * * *

The movement began on the morning of December 26. McCook advanced on the Nolensville pike, skirmishing his way all day, meeting with stiff resistance from cavalry and artillery, and closing the day by a brisk fight....

Crittenden advanced to La Vergne, skirmishing heavily on his front, over a rough country, intersected by forest and cedar brakes, with but slight loss.

On the 28th [27th] Gen. McCook advanced on Triune, but his movement was retarded by a dense fog.

Crittenden had orders to delay his movements until McCook had reached Triune and developed the intentions of the enemy at that point, so that it could be determined which Thomas was to support.

McCook arrived at Triune, and reported that Hardee had retreated, and that he had sent a division in pursuit.

Crittenden began his advance about 11 a. m., driving before him a brigade of cavalry, supported by Maney's brigade rebel infantry, and reached Stewart's Creek, the Third Kentucky gallantly charging the rear guard of the enemy, and saving the bridge, on which had been placed a pile of rails that had been set on fire. This was Saturday night.

McCook having settled the fact of Hardee's retreat, Thomas moved Negley's division on to join Crittenden at Stewart's Creek, and moved Rousseau's to Nolensville.

On Sunday [28th] the troops rested, expect Rousseau's division, which was ordered to move on to Stewartson, and Willich's brigade, which had pursued Hardee as far as Riggs' Cross-Roads, and had determined the fact that Hardee had gone to Murfreesborough, when they returned to Triune.

On Monday [29th] morning, McCook was ordered to move from Triune to Wilkinson's Cross-Roads, 6 miles from Murfreesborough, leaving a brigade at Triune. Crittenden crossed Stewart's Creek by the Smyrna Bridge and the main Murfreesborough pike, and Negley by the ford 2 miles above; their whole force to advance on Murfreesborough, distant about 11 miles. Rousseau was to remain at Stewart's Creek until his train came up, and prepare himself to follow. McCook reached Wilkinson's Cross-Roads by evening, with an advance brigade at Overall's Creek, saving and holding the bridge, meeting with but little resistance. Crittenden's corps advanced, Palmer leading, on the Murfreesborough pike, followed by Negley, of Thomas' corps, to within 3 miles of Murfreesborough, having had several brisk skirmishes, driving the enemy rapidly, saving two bridges on the route, and forcing the enemy back to his intrenchments.

About 3 p. m. [29th] a signal message coming from the front, from Gen. Palmer, that he was in sight of Murfreesborough, and that the enemy were running, an order was sent, to Gen. Crittenden to send a division to occupy Murfreesborough. This led Gen. Crittenden, on reaching the enemy's front, to order Harker's brigade to cross the river at a ford on his left, where he surprised a regiment of Breckinridge division and drove it back on its main line, not more than 500 yards distant, in considerable confusion; and he held this position until Gen. Crittenden was advised, by prisoners captured by Harker's brigade, that Breckinridge was in force on his front, when, it being dark, he ordered the brigade back across the river, and reported the circumstances to the commanding general on his arrival, to whom he apologized for not having carried out the order to occupy Murfreesborough. The general approved of his action, of course, the order to occupy Murfreesborough having been based on the information received from Gen. Crittenden's advance division that the enemy were retreating from Murfreesborough.

Crittenden's corps, with Negley's division, bivouacked in order of battle, distant 700 yards from the enemy's intrenchments, our left extending down the river some 500 yards. The Pioneer Brigade, bivouacking still lower down, prepared three fords, and covered one of them, while Wood's division covered one of them, while Wood's division covered the other two, Van Cleve's division being in reserve.

On the morning of the 30th, Rousseau, with two brigades, was ordered down early from Stewart's Creek, leaving one brigade there and sending another to Smyrna to cover our left and rear, and took his place in reserve, in rear of Palmer's right, while Gen. Negley moved on through the cedar brakes until his right rested on the Wilkinson pike, as shown by the accompanying plan. The Pioneer Corps[8] cut roads through the cedars for his ambulances and ammunition wagons.

The commanding general remained with the left and center, examining the ground, while Gen. McCook moved forward from Wilkinson's Cross-Roads, slowly and steadily, meeting with heavy resistance, fighting his way from Overall's Creek until he got into position, with a loss of some 135 killed and wounded.

Our small division of cavalry, say 3,000 men, had been divided into three parts, of which Gen. Stanley took two and accompanied Gen. McCook, fighting his way across from the Wilkinson to the Franklin pike, and below it, Col. Zahm's brigade leading gallantly, and meeting with such heavy resistance that McCook sent two brigades from Johnson's division, who succeeded in fighting their way into the position shown on the accompanying plan, marked A,[9] while the third brigade, which had been left at Triune, moved forward from that place, and arrived at nightfall near Gen. McCook's headquarters. Thus, on the close of the 30th, the troops had all got into the position, substantially, as show in the accompanying drawing, the rebels occupying the position marked A.[10]

* * * *

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 20, pt. I, pp. 189-191.

        29-31, Wheeler's Raid around Rosecrans, Middle Tennessee

HDQRS. CAVALRY, Near Fosterville, Tenn., January 26, 1863.

COL.: I have the honor to report that my command-consisting of the First Alabama Cavalry, Col. [William W.] Allen; Third Alabama, Maj. [F. Y.] Gaines; Fifty-first Alabama, Col. [John T.] Morgan; Eighth Confederate, Col. [W. B.] Wade, and two Tennessee battalions, under Maj.'s [D. W.] Holman and DeWitt C. Douglass, together with [Capt. J. H.] Wiggin's battery-was, on the 26th ultimo, stationed at Stewart's Creek, on the Murfreesborough and Nashville pike, and about 10 miles northeast of Murfreesborough. My line of vedettes, forming a continuous line, extended from a point east of Stone's River, on my right, crossing the Nashville and Murfreesborough pike about 10 miles from Nashville, and extending to a point about half way from said pike to Brentwood, the posts of the pickets and grand guards being at favorable position on the avenues of approach and at points varying from 300 to 1,000 yards in rear of the line of vedettes. Gen. Pegram's brigade was stationed on the right and Gen. Wharton's brigade on the left of my line.

About 7 o'clock on the morning of December 26, [1862,] the enemy advanced in large force, driving in our vedettes. On arriving at the front and seeing the extent of the movement, I ordered up the entire command and deployed it in line of battle. We engaged the enemy during the entire day, falling back about 3 miles. We also engaged the enemy during the 28th and 29th ultimo, killing and wounding large numbers, meeting but very slight ourselves.

By the evening of the 29th we had reached the line of battle of our infantry and had placed my brigade on the extreme right of the line.

At midnight, pursuant to orders from Gen. Bragg, I proceeded with my command, re-enforced by Col. [James E.] Carter's regiment, to the enemy's rear.

By daylight on the 30th we had reached Jefferson, and soon after met a brigade train, with all the equipage of one brigade. We attacked vigorously, drove off the guards, and destroyed the train, baggage, equipage, &c., also capturing about 50 prisoners. We then proceeded toward La Vergne, and captured a party of Federals out stealing and gathering stock, and soon after overtook and captured a small foraging train.

About noon we arrived in the vicinity of La Vergne and formed it filled with soldiers and large trains parked in the fields surrounding the place. We immediately charged in three columns, completely surprising the guards, who made but slight resistance. We immediately paroled the prisoners, amounting to about 700, and destroyed immense trains and stores, amounting to many hundred thousands of dollars. We then proceeded to Rock Spring, attacked, captured, and destroyed another large train. We then marched on Nolensville without opposition, capturing large trains, stores, and arms, and about 300 prisoners. We slept for a few hours 5 miles from Nolensville, and at 2 o'clock the next morning proceeded to the left flank of our army, having made a complete circuit of the enemy's rear. On arriving the line was engaged. We pressed on and attacked enemy on the Murfreesborough and Nashville pike, just north of Overall's Creek. After a brisk engagement we moved across the creek and made an attack, on the enemy at that point, driving him for 2 miles and successfully engaging him until dark, when we fell back to the left of our line, where we remained during the night.

In this latter engagement Col. Allen and Lieut.-Col. [James D.] Webb were wounded.

Early on the morning of January 1, I proceeded, pursuant to directions from Gen. Bragg, with my own and Gen. Wharton's brigade, to the rear of the enemy. We attacked a large train near La Vergne, dispersing his guards, and captured and destroyed a large number of wagons and stores. We also captured one piece of artillery. Toward evening we received orders to return, and we regained our position on the flanks of the army by 2 o'clock on the morning of the 2d instant. We remained in position that night and next day, engaging the enemy at every opportunity.

At 9 o'clock that evening I proceeded again to the rear of the enemy, according to directions from Gen. Bragg, and succeeded next morning in capturing a number of horses, wagons, and prisoners. About 2 p. m. we attacked a large ordnance train at Cox's Hill, heavily guarded by cavalry and infantry, and succeeded in driving off the cavalry guards and in breaking down and upsetting a large number of wagons. The enemy's infantry being in such force (quite treble our numbers), we were prevented from destroying the train, but succeeded in preventing its making any further progress that day. By this time we received orders to immediately return to the army, which order was obeyed, we reaching our former position on the left flank of our army about 4 o'clock next morning. We here learned that the army had fallen back, and about 9 o'clock that morning we crossed Stone's River and took position in front of Murfreesborough.

About 3 p. m. the enemy advanced to the river and commenced a brisk skirmish with artillery and infantry. After dark the enemy retired a short distance, and our pieces in front of Murfreesborough were unmolested during the night.

At daylight on Monday, the 4th [5th] instant, we fell back to a point on the Manchester pike about 3 miles from Murfreesborough. About 1 o'clock the enemy advanced, and after a short skirmish we fell back half a mile a favorable position. Here we formed line of battle in conjunction with Gen. Pegram's brigade, in a very favorable position, behind fences, entirely obscured from view. About 3 o'clock the enemy advanced with a brigade of infantry and artillery in line of battle, with heavy force of cavalry on their flanks. When they arrived within about 250 yards, we opened on them a heavy fire of small-arms and artillery with excellent effect, killing and wounding large numbers. After an engagement of about thirty minutes they turned off and left the field, and have not since advanced any farther from Murfreesborough on this road.

* * * *

Very respectfully, colonel, your obedient servant,

JOS. WHEELER, Maj.-Gen. and Chief of Cavalry.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 21, pt. I, pp. 958-960.

        29-31, Operations about La Vergne

Report of Capt. Joseph A. S. Mitchell, Second Indiana Cavalry, of operations near La Vergne, December 29-31.

NASHVILLE, TENN., January 2, 1863.

SIR: I have the honor to report that, in accordance with your order, I reported to Capt. Otis, chief of couriers, on the 29th ultimo, and that on the same date, by his direction, my men were posted on the Nashville and Murfreesborough road as couriers, commencing 9 miles from Nashville, and extending to the headquarters of Maj.-Gen. Crittenden.

On the 31st ultimo, at 3 p. m., the enemy made a raid upon La Vergne, at which point I had made my headquarters, capturing from my command 1 lieutenant and 13 men, and making it necessary for two other courier posts to abandon their stations to prevent capture, all of which I immediately reported to Maj.-Gen. Rosecrans the same evening. The places of my men were supplied from another command, and I proceeded to this place to collect the few men who still remained of my company. Those who were at Gen. Crittenden's headquarters having been sent here as an escort with his headquarters train, I collected 17 men for duty and reported to Brig.-Gen. Mitchell, commanding the post, and, by his command, I have placed them as couriers between Nashville and La Vergne.

I have to report, besides the loss already mentioned, 15 Government horses, 10 mules, 2 wagons, all of the equipage, tents, &c., of the company, 15 Colt's revolving pistols and holsters, 11 Colt's revolving rifles, 14 saddles, bridles, and halters, besides all of my own private baggage and personal effects.

Since occupying the present line, I have to report 1 man killed while bearing a dispatch.

I am, most truly, your obedient servant,

J. A. S. MITCHELL, Capt., Cmdg. Company.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 20, pt. I, p. 626.

        29, Patrols south of Collierville and East to Moscow

No circumstantial reports filed.

MEMPHIS, TENN., January 29, 1864.

Col. A. G. GRACKETT, Collierville:

Enemy are reported moving north. Keep patrols well out south and east as far as Moscow. Watch the bridge at Moscow for a day or two by patrols. Notify Col. McCrillis to do this when you have left. The First Alabama are at LaGrange and will come through to-morrow by wagon road. Notify Germantown to be vigilant; cavalry from the north are daily expected at Moscow.

B. H. GRIERSON, Brig.-Gen.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 32, pt. II, p. 258.

        29, Candidates announce for local elections in Union occupied Davidson County


For County Trustee.

We are authorized to announce T. H. McBride as a candidate for the office of County Trustee at the ensuing March election.

For Criminal Court Clerk.

We are authorized to announce CHARLES W. SMITH as a candidate for the office of Criminal Court Clerk of Davison County, at the election in March next.

For Sheriff.

WE are authorized to announce KINDRED RAY as a candidate for Sheriff of Davidson county, at the ensuing March election.

We are authorized to announce JAMES M. HINTON as a candidate for re-election to the office of Sheriff of Davidson county, at the ensuing March election.

We are authorized to announce WILLIAM WILSON as a candidate for Sheriff of Davidson county as a candidate for Sheriff of Davidson county, at the ensuing March election.

We are authorized to announce E. P. Fort as a candidate for Sheriff of Davidson county, at the ensuing March election.

Nashville Dispatch, January 29, 1864.

        29-February 7, 1864, Correspondence relative to depriving disloyal citizens of army rations in Tullahoma


Shelbyville, Tenn., January 29, 1864.

Lieut. Col. H. C. RODGERS, Asst. Adjt. Gen., Twelfth Corps, Tullahoma, Tenn.:

COL.: During Gen. Slocum's stay in this place, I mentioned to him the fact of there being "special permits" given to disloyal citizens of this place to purchase necessary supplies for themselves and families.

I find on inquiry that the following-named citizens have such permits and are daily purchasing supplies, viz.,: Mr. R. M. Wallace (wife of cashier of Branch Bank of Tennessee, who upon the entrance of the U. S. forces into this place decamped with all the funds of the bank), Miss M. Mathews, Miss Ann Wallace (daughter of Mrs. R. M. Wallace), Miss V. Mathews, Miss Felicia Whitthorne.

All of the above have permits granted by Lieut. Col. Robert Galbraith, late commander of this post. I would respectfully submit that it seems to me there is not benefit to be derived by a citizen of this place from taking the oath of allegiance to the U. S. Government and giving heavy bonds, if they can just as well get all the benefits without it and be at any time ready to show our enemy that they have been consistently his friend.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

S. H. STURDEVANT, Lieut. Col. and Commissary of Subsistence, Twelfth Corps.

[First indorsement.]

HDQRS. DEPARTMENT OF THE CUMBERLAND, Chattanooga, February 3, 1864.

Respectfully referred to Maj. Gen. H. W. Slocum, who will direct the commissary at Shelbyville to stop the rations of these people.

By command of Maj.-Gen. Thomas:

WM. McMICHAEL, Maj. and Assistant Adjutant-Gen.

[Second indorsement.]


Respectfully referred to Maj.-Gen. Slocum, commanding Twelfth Corps, and attention called to the indorsement of the department commander.

By command of Maj.-Gen. Hooker:

H. W. PERKINS, Assistant Adjutant-Gen.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 32, pt. II, pp. 258-259.

        29-February 12, 1864 First Lieutenant Robert Cruikshank, 123rd New York Infantry Regiment, excerpts from letters home to his wife Mary, events in the Chestnut Ridge, Boons Hill environs, written February 2-12, 1864, covering events from January 29, 1864 to February 12, 1864 [see February 13-21, 1864, First Lieutenant Robert Cruikshank, 123rd New York Infantry Regiment, excerpts from letters home to his wife Mary, war events in Lincoln County, written February 13 – 21, 1864 below]

Boons Hill, Lincoln Co., Tenn.,

February 2, 1864.

Dear Wife,-

It is now five days since we left Elk River. As I wrote you we had an order, we left that place on the morning of the 29th of January at 7 o'clock, marched as far as Chestnut Ridge, a distance of fifteen miles, and encamped for the night at 3 o'clock p. m. The day was warm and pleasant.

The next morning, the 30th, we marched at 6 o'clock. It rained all forenoon but being well provided with rubber blankets and ponchoes [sic] we did not get wet. We marched as far as within four miles of Fayetteville and camped at 5:30 o'clock P. M. marching about twenty miles.

The morning we marched at 6:30 o'clock, passing through Fayetteville and went into camp at Boons Hill at 6 o'clock P. M., marching about twelve miles. During the day one man, a Dr. Smith, was arrested on suspicion of harboring guerrillas. Nothing was proven against him so he was released. Some guerrillas were seen at a distance and some mounted men with us gave chase but captured none.

The officers and my Company are quartered in a large brick building which had been used for school purposes. We are having a fine time living mostly on the country.

February 1st a wealthy and influential man, a Dr. Wood residing at this place, was arrested today for taking part in guerrilla warfare. He has been sent to Nashville where he will be tried for the same. There is a large band of them here and our business is to break them up.

Feb. 2nd. I have not had a chance to send this out so will keep on writing until I do so. I do not know when that will be but it will be in readiness at short notice.

Feb. 3rd. we have had good success today, have taken several prisoners and found considerable evidence against guerrillas. One man by the name of McAfee has escaped. His personal property has been confiscated and teams are bringing it to Camp [sic]. We have not been attacked by the enemy yet.

Feb. 4th. Nothing was accomplished today in our work.

Feb. 5th. I was called up this morning at one o'clock and sent out with my own Company and a detail from other companies to search some houses. We went out three miles and searched three of them. At the first house there were three women and two bunks of children, but no men. At the second there were four women and three bunks of children, but no men. At the third there were three women, two boys and no men. We got back to Camp [sic] at daylight, traveling seven miles. We secured no guerrillas, but one by the name of Lemon was captured this afternoon. He is a very large, strong man, almost a head taller than the largest men in our Company.

Feb. 6th. Nothing of note transpired today.

Feb. 7th. A patrol went out at one o'clock this morning. They came onto two of the enemy who would not surrender and were fired upon, but they made their escape.

They were only a short distance from our picket line when first seen. The whole Camp [sic] were called up and we stood by our arms until daylight. A man by the name of James Clark came in this morning. He said he could not go into the army as he had nineteen children and wife to support. He had lost two. The youngest was five months old and he did not know where the end was.

Feb. 8th. Two boys were seen today by the patrol skulking in a piece of woods. They arrested them and brought them in. Their names were West and they were about 20 and 22 years of age. They were brothers. Colonel McDougall obtained more information from them than he had got before. The younger one was frightened and told him all. The band, when they had robbed a man, would tie the victim to a tree and make these boys shoot him, the younger doing most of the shooting. He implicated a planter residing not half a mile from our camp. The Colonel sent Lieutenant Rice to arrest him and bring him in. He then gave Lieutenant Rice an order for his wife to give him a certain sum of money that he had in his house, both Confederate and greenbacks. This money was taken from a man who had been robbed and murdered only a few weeks before. He had gone into the place to buy mules. The Colonel wanted this money as evidence against him. The amount both in Confederate and greenbacks corresponded with what the West boy said he had for his portion of the spoil. This man is kept under close guard. Lemon's hands are kept tied behind him at night, with two guards watching him all of the time. We have our Camp [sic] strongly fortified.

Feb 9th. I was Officer of the Guard today and had to punish a Company E man by tying him up by the thumbs. He was a returned deserter and I did not dare to put him on an important picket post and he refused to go to another as this was his post when counted when the guard was formed. He stood it about two hours but had to obey in the end. Feb. 10th. Very quiet all day. Feb. 11th. A men from beyond Elk Creek, a stream about four miles from Camp [sic], reported that a squad of guerrillas were to ford the stream and take the right hand road running parallel with the creek. The one they were to come on ran at right angles to the other and led to this place. I was ordered by Colonel McDougall to take forty of my best men and go out to the creek, starting about six o'clock P. M., then to post my men and lay in ambush and after they had come across the stream to capture them if I could and bring them in. I went out and found the roads and creek as mapped out, except that the road running parallel with the creek was several rods from it, which was an advantage to my plan to capture the guerrillas. I posted one fourth of my men close by the creek with orders to keep out of sight under the fence (all the roads being well fenced) until the enemy had passed, then to rise up and form across the road and not to fire unless they turned on them and if they did, to hold them. The enemy would be mounted. As soon as they had formed across the road they were to call to the enemy to halt. I then placed the rest of the men in the other forks of the roads with instructions to keep hid under the fences and as soon as they heard the men by the creek call, "Halt," they were to form across the roads, heading off their advance. Then I posted a vidette out further on each road so the enemy could not come onto us and surprise us. I now had all my men all posted, ten men in each fork of the road, there being four forks. About one o'clock in the night the vidette on the road leading to the Camp[sic] reported to me that he could hear cavalry passing between us and Camp [sic]. We remained at our posts until four o'clock, then started for Camp [sic].

On the road to Camp [sic] about a half a mile from where we were during the night there was a house and a bridle path crossed the road near the house. I inquired of the people if there had been any cavalry who had passed there during the night. They said that upward of seventy had crossed the creek above where we were and had passed on the bridle path through the woods. I said nothing but did I not rejoice that they did not come our way! Think of attacking seventy of those desperadoes where they would have had a dozen shots to our one! Had they come our way there would not have been many of us left to tell the tale.

We got back to Camp [sic] at daylight the morning of Feb. 12th. During the day teams from Fayetteville came in for forage, bringing our mail. There were seven letters for me, four from you, two from brother Will, and one from Aunt. They will keep me in good spirits for a long time. Ella's photograph is good.

We have good board here, fresh pork and beef, mutton, chicken, turkey and sometimes goose.

I must close so as to send this letter to Fayetteville by the teams that return today.

Ever your affectionate husband,

R. Cruikshank

Robert Cruikshank Letters[11]

        29, Guerrillas obstruct trains from Cleveland to Charleston[12]

No circumstantial reports filed.

CHARLESTON, January 29, 1865.

Maj. S. B. MOE:

I go now with both trains flagging against train No. 2 from Knoxville. If I can get operator at Athens I will notify you, otherwise will send dispatches by courier. The guerrillas obstructed the track between every train near Cleveland, but did not show themselves.


OR, Ser. I, Vol. 49, pt. I, p. 610.

        29, Editorial in support of petition to President Lincoln to restore Tennessee to the Union

One of the excellent moves set on foot by the late Nashville Convention was to appoint a committee of  gentlemen from the several divisions of the State to go to Washington and ask the President to withdraw his Proclamation declaring Tennessee a State in rebellion. The Committee are now at the National Capital, and if they do not succeed we shall always think the justice of their mission demands that they should. And we believe such a proclamation will be issued by the President immediately after the election of the 22d February, and before the inauguration. This opinion is based on the belief that the new Constitution will be ratified by an immense majority. If it is not ratified, of course the President and country will understand that Tennessee clings to the military league and the Ordinance of secession of 1861, and to the putrid carcass of the dead negro. Then the State will be in rebellion indeed, and the President, if he were to declare otherwise, would simply be appending his name to a falsehood. Even if he were to lend himself to such an act of falsehood, no supposes that Congress we might sent to Washington would find the door of our National Legislature shut in their faces, and our long-suffering people would for another twelve stand shivering in the cold, while they now have it in their power, by rallying for the new order of things, to set their state machinery in motion and again make headway on the high avenue to prosperity and peace.

Chattanooga Daily Gazette, January 29, 1865.

[1] There is no copy of the Union and American available for this date.

[2] His reference to the ratio of slave workers to free workers and wages was not a new one. For example, on May 19, 1831, the Nashville Republican and State Gazette featured a letter advocating the hiring of free mechanics, not slaves, to do construction work in Nashville. The fact that there were too few honest white mechanics in the capitol city was because "the influence of slavery may be mainly referred to as the source of this evil."

May 4, 1849, Nashville. A letter was printed in the Daily American which complained that journeymen mechanics weren't getting as much pay as before because "Property holders complain that they are 'taxed to death'" and therefore must hold their houses and slaves at a rate sufficient to enable them to make a percentage on capitol so invested. The city's free and white working classes, said the letter, were usually renters and hirers and therefore they are in the end forced to bear all the burdens of taxation. "Only a few mechanics make over $10 a week and most with families not even one half that," the mechanics' advocate wrote.

May 5, 1849, Nashville. Yet another letter appeared in the Daily American complaining that "It is these capitalists that advance or hold up rents and keep wages down." White free masons had to compete with slave masons rented out by their owners at much cheaper wages. In many cases "white workmen are discharged and negroes employed..." The work of slaves was, according to the letter, shoddy and put free white masons out of work in Nashville. Slave owners and capitalists argued the letter writer, "will soon have nothing but themselves, their money and their negroes to look after-they are working a system which will surely drive off white mechanics and laborers because [slaves] work [for] so low [a wage] that they cannot afford to pay proper wages to a good journeyman."

[3] Most likely "coster," or "coster-monger," a British term for a hawker of fruits and vegetables

[4] The only mention of this event is found in the January 9, 1863 Report of Brig. Gen. Samuel P. Carter, U. S. Army, on his raid into East Tennessee.

[5] While it does not explicitly provide verification, the following excerpt from the Reports of Major-General William S. Rosecrans, U. S. Army, commanding Army of the Cumberland, with congratulatory resolutions, orders, etc., seems to indicate that there was a minor skirmish at Wilkinson's Cross-Roads December 29, 1862.

[6] While there were No circumstantial reports filed concerning the skirmish at Lizzard (or Lizzard's) the correspondence indicates such an event did take place there, although no direct reference is made in any case.

[7] This excerpt from his lengthy report divulges information regarding these two days of skirmishes. There were no other circumstantial files reported.

[8] Combat engineers.

[9] Not found.

[10] Not included in the report.

[11] As cited in The chronological sequence of these letters seems best approached this way. Inquiries to, however, could not settle the question: "Is this one letter or excerpts from many letters?" Internal criticism concerning dates lead to questions about the letters authenticity, yet at the same time the events described appear to be the kinds of things that did take place in and around Lincoln County in 1864. There is no mention in the OR for Robert Cruikshank, nor of the specific events his letters chronicle.

[12] Not listed in the Official Records General Index.

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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