Friday, January 9, 2015

1.5.2015 Tennessee Civil War Notes

January 5, 1861, "The Effect"

The idea of coercive measures by the Federal Government is having its natural effect upon the Southern mind. All hope of final adjustment of our national troubles being abandoned, the people of the South are preparing for the performance of their next highest duty – resistance to coercion or invasion. By despatches published this morning, it will be seen that the people of Florida, Georgia and Alabama have taken possession of the forts and other military establishments within our borders, and are otherwise preparing for the exercise of that highest of all rights – the right of self-defense. To this evident determination upon their part to defend themselves and their institutions, every true Southern heart will respond a cordial Amen. If collision at arms be inevitable, be the God of Battles upon the side of right, justice, and the South.

Nashville Daily Gazette, January 5, 1861

        5, Construction of abatis ordered in Gallatin environs


Brig. Gen. E. A. PAINE, Gallatin:

The general commanding directs that you cause abatis to be constructed along your lines at Gallatin, and so protect them as to be able to hold the place against any force that may be brought against it.

Have the ground for some distance in front of your abatis cleared, so as to give sufficient range for your fire. If attacked, let the enemy come close before firing.

Instruct the commanding officers along the railroad, at the various stations, to follow the instructions given you above, and to be constantly upon the alert to guard against surprise.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

C. GODDARD, Maj. and Acting Assistant Adjutant-Gen.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 20, pt. II, pp. 301-302.

        5, Skirmish at Lytle Creek

No circumstantial reports filed.[1]


MAJ.: I have the honor to submit, for the information of the general commanding the army, the following statement of the part taken by the cavalry under my command in the advance upon and battle of Murfreesborough:

On December 26 I divided the cavalry into three columns, putting the First Brigade, commanded by Col. Minty, Fourth Michigan Cavalry, upon the Murfreesborough pike, in advance of Gen. Crittenden's corps. The Second Brigade, commanded by Col. Zahm, Third Ohio Cavalry, was ordered to move on Franklin, dislodge the enemy's cavalry, and move parallel to Gen. McCook's corps, protecting his right flank. The reserve cavalry, consisting of the new regiments, viz.,: Anderson Troop, or Fifteenth Pennsylvania Cavalry, First Middle Tennessee, Second East Tennessee Cavalry, and four companies of the Third Indiana, I commanded in person, and preceded Gen. McCook's corps on the Nolensville pike. Col. John Kennett, commanding cavalry division, commanded the cavalry on the Murfreesborough pike. For the operations of this column, and also the movements of Col. Zahm up to December 31, I would refer you to the inclosed reports of Col.'s Kennett, Zahm, and Minty.

On the morning of the 27th our cavalry first encountered the enemy on the Nolensville pike, 1 mile in advance of Bole Jack Pass. Their cavalry was in large force and accompanied by a battery of artillery. Fighting continued from 10 o'clock until evening, during which time we had driven the enemy 2 miles beyond La Vergne.

The Third Indiana and Anderson Troop behaved very gallantly, charging the enemy twice and bringing them to hand-to-hand encounters. The conduct of Maj.'s Rosengarten and Ward, the former now deceased, was most heroic.

On the 28th we made a reconnaissance to College Grove, and found that Hardee's rebel corps had marched to Murfreesborough.

On the 29th Col. Zahm's brigade, having joined, was directed to march upon Murfreesborough by the Franklin road, the reserve cavalry moving on the Bole Jack road, the columns communicating at the crossing of Stewart's Creek.

We encountered the enemy's cavalry, and found them in strong force at Wilkinson's Cross-Roads. Our cavalry drove them rapidly across Overall's Creek, and within one-half mile of the enemy's line of battle. The Anderson Cavalry behaved most gallantly this day, pushing at full charge upon the enemy for 6 miles. Unfortunately their advance proved too reckless. Having dispersed their cavalry, the Troop fell upon two regiments of rebel infantry in ambush, and after a gallant struggle were compelled to retire, with the loss of Maj. Rosengarten and 6 men killed, and the brave Maj. Ward and 5 men desperately wounded. With the loss of these two most gallant officers the spirit of the Anderson Troop, which gave such fine promise, seems to have died out, and I have not been able to get any duty out of them since.

On the 30th the entire cavalry force was engaged in guarding the flanks of the army, in position. Some small cavalry skirmishing occurred, but nothing of importance.

At 11 p. m., the 30th, I marched for La Vergne with the First Tennessee and the Anderson Cavalry. Near that place I was joined by detachments of the Fourth Michigan and Seventh Pennsylvania Cavalry. At 9.30 o'clock on the 31st I received an order from the general commanding, directing me to hasten to the right. I made all possible speed, leaving a strong detachment to protect the trains crowding the road at Stewartsborough and to pick up straggles. Upon arriving upon the right flank of the army, I found order restored, and took position on Gen. McCook's right, my right extending toward Wilkinson's Cross-Roads, occupying the woods about the meeting-house on Overall's Creek.

In this position we were attacked about 4 p. m. by a long line of foot skirmishers. My first impression was that these covered infantry, but I learned soon that they were only dismounted cavalry. We successfully held them at bay for one-half an hour with the Fourth Michigan and Seventh Pennsylvania, dismounted, when, being outflanked, I ordered our line to mount and fall back to the open field. The enemy followed here, and being re-enforced by detachments of the Anderson and Third Kentucky Cavalry, and the First Tennessee, we charged the enemy and put him to rout. The cavalry held the same position this night they had taken upon my arrival upon the field.

About 9 o'clock New Year's morning the enemy showed a line of skirmishers in the woods to our front, and soon after brought a six-gun battery to bear upon my cavalry. As we could not reach the enemy's skirmishers, nor reply to his artillery, I ordered my cavalry to fall back. A part of Zahm's brigade marched this day to Nashville to protect our train. Col. Zahm's report is inclosed. January 2 and 3 the cavalry was engaged in watching the flanks of our position. Upon the 4th it became evident that the enemy had fled. The cavalry was collected and moved to the fords of Stone's River. Upon the 5th we entered Murfreesborough. Zahm's brigade marched in pursuit of the enemy on the Shelbyville pike-marched 6 miles, finding no opposition. With the remainder of the cavalry I marched on the Manchester pike and encountered the enemy in heavy force at Lytle's Creek, 3 ½ miles from town. We fought with this force till near sundown, pushing them from one cedar-brake to another, when, being re-enforced by Gen. Spears' brigade of East Tennesseans, we drove the enemy out of his last stand in disorder. We returned after dark and encamped on Lytle's Creek. Our troops all behaved well. The skirmishing was of a very severe character. The Fourth U. S. Cavalry, which was this day first under my control, behaved very handsomely. Inclosed please find reports of division, brigade, and regimental commanders. Capt. Otis' command acted independently until the 5th instant, when they came under my orders.

* * * *

Respectfully submitted.

D. S. STANLEY, Brig.-Gen. and Chief of Cavalry.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 20, pt. I, pp. 617-619.

        5, Skirmish at Shelbyville Pike

No circumstantial reports filed.

Excerpt from the Report of Colonel Lewis Zahm, Commanding Second Ohio Volunteer Cavalry, January 6, 1863, relative to skirmish on the Shelbyville Pike, January 5, 1863.

* * * *

On the 5th, marched to the front, some 4 ½ miles beyond Murfreesborough, on the Shelbyville road, on a reconnaissance, capturing quite a number of rebel stragglers; pushed a squadron of the Fourth some 3 miles farther, to a point where they could overlook the pike for 5 miles ahead, when they discovered that the enemy had entirely disappeared. The skirmishers of the Fourth had some skirmishing with some of the rebel cavalry. By 7 o'clock was back to camp again. You will observe that my command had fought nearly every day from the time we left Nashville up to this time. They worked very hard, and deserve a great deal of credit for what they have done, as both officers and men fought bravely.

* * * *

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 20, pt. I, p. 638.

        5, Confederate report on retreat from battle of Murfreesborough

No circumstantial reports filed.

CHATTANOOGA, January 5, 1863.

General COOPER:

Retreated from Murfreesborough in perfect order. All the stores saved.

About 4,000 Federal prisoners, 5,000 stand small-arms, and 24 cannon, brass and steel, have already been delivered here.

BENJ. S. EWELL, Assistant-Adjutant Gen.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 20, pt. II, p. 484.

        5, A ride over the Stones River battlefield; an excerpt from Colonel Beatty's diary

I ride over the battlefield. In one place a caisson and five horses are lying, the latter killed in harness, and all fallen together. Nationals and Confederates, young, middle-aged, and old, are scattered over the woods and fields for miles. Poor Wright, of my old company, lay at the barricade in the woods which we stormed on the night of the last day. Many others lay about him. Further on we find men with their legs shot off; one with brains scooped out with a cannon ball; another with half a face gone; another with entrails protruding; young Winnegard, of the Third, has one foot off and both legs pieced by grape at the thighs; another boy lies with his hands clasped above his head, indicating that his last words were a prayer. Many Confederate sharpshooters lay behind stumps, rails, and logs, shot in the head. A young boy, dressed in the Confederate uniform lies with his face turned to the sky, and looks as if he might be sleeping. Poor boy! What thoughts of home, mother, death, and eternity, commingled in his brain as the life-blood ebbed away! Many wounded horses are limping over the field. One mule, I heard of, had a leg blown off on the first day's battle; next morning it was on the spot where first wounded; at night it was still standing there, not having moved an inch all day, patiently suffering, it knew not why nor for what. How many poor men moaned through the cold nights in the thick woods, where the first day's battle occurred, calling in vain to man for help, and finally making their last solemn petition God!

Beatty, Citizen Soldier, pp. 210-211.


An East Tennesseans description of the Stones River battlefield.

On the 5th the regiment [Third Tennessee Cavalry] was ordered to Murfreesboro', and arrived just after that sanguinary conflict had ended. Dead men and horses were piled in heaps over the field, while here and there could be seen detachments of men burying the dead. The air was foul with the stench, notwithstanding the cold weather. In the cotton field, along the fences where shrubbery had been standing and other bushes and trees, the limbs were made white almost like shreds of cotton from being splintered and torn by the balls. It appeared as if it had been impossible for anything living to survive through the hail of deadly missiles which had been passing over the field. To the right, in the woods, great trees where cut down, splintered and torn by connon [sic] balls, while their trunks, near the ground, were left bare and bored into holes by rifle balls.

Knoxville Daily Chronicle, May 10, 1879.

        5, General Joe Johnston's Speech

An Effective Speech. – The Chattanooga correspondent of the Montgomery Mail writes the following description of Gen. Joe Johnston and of a call upon him for a speech: -

Gen. Joseph E. Johnston is in appearance the beau ideal of a soldier. He has been well described as looking like "a game cock trimmed and steeled and ready for the ring." His high cheek bones, thin and firmly closed lips, massive jaws, his iron grey hair closely cropped, his well trimmed Presbyterian imperial a la Napoleon indicate a fighter, his broad and high forehead, his wide and almond shaped eyes of an indescribable color, more nearly sublimely grey than any other color, and flashing our bright beams of almost insufferable light, reveal the profound strategist, the great General. It seems to bore him out for the assembled crowds along the railroad to call him out.

 Scene, a small railroad town, - time 12 M., a house with forty of fifty men, women and children. After repeated calls, Gen. Johnston appeared on the stage.

Gen. Johnston.- My fellow citizens, I would much prefer to see you in the army.

Crowd (very freely) Huzzah for Gen'l Johnston.

Voice in the crowd. – Do you think, General, we'll whip them?

Voice in the crowd. – we give 'em h—ll at Fredericksburg, Saturday.

General.-No sir. We had nothing to do with that fight – none who stay at home had.  It was our gallant soldiers in Va., who achieved that victory. (Exit crowd looking very crest-fallen.)

Fayetteville (NC) Observer, January 5, 1863.

        5-6, R. V. Richardson, First Tennessee Regiment of Partisan Rangers relative to prisoner-of-war issues [see March 6, 1863 General Joseph E. Johnston's opinion of R. V. Richardson's activities below]



SIR: About ten days ago the U. S. forces stationed at Bolivar captured John B. Scarborough, assistant surgeon, and Thomas W. Bass, forage master, of my regiment of Partisan Rangers. They have not yet been paroled, in violation of the cartel. In the case of the assistant surgeon, in retaliation I have captured two surgeons of the U. S. Army, one of whom, Ezekiel O. Buell, surgeon of the Eightieth Ohio Regt. [sic] of Volunteers, I propose to exchange for John B. Scarborough, assistant surgeon. I also propose to exchange Second Lieut. Thomas L. Patton, of Company A, Eightieth Ohio Regt. [sic] Volunteers, for Thomas W. Bass, forage master. In this exchange I give you advantages in giving officers of superior rank for others of inferior rank, and in the instance of the forage master a commissioned officer for a private detailed to act as forage master, but I can afford to be generous to an enemy who violates the usages of civilized war and solemn compact between belligerents.

I have now in my possession Second Lieut. Robert Hill, Company D, and Adjt. James E. Philpott, of Eighth Ohio Regt. [sic] Volunteers, also Surg. Joseph S. Martin, of Seventeenth Kansas Regt. [sic] U. S. Volunteers, whom I intend to hold as hostages for the violations of civilized usages of war and the cartel already committed and threatened against my command. If my surgeon and forage master are exchanged I will parole the other officers named. Capt. A. W. Cushman and Privates John A. Hill, Henry B. Bullard, Thomas Bates, William Johnson, Henry S. Dancey, Spencer B. Shelton, John M. Lewis, Marcus Lott and Cullin McCray, as an escort, are bearers of flag of truce and this dispatch.

Very respectfully,

R. V. RICHARDSON, Col., Cmdg. Regt. [sic] of Partisan Rangers, C. S. Army.

OR, Ser. II, Vol. 5, p. 156.



SIR: I am informed that Forage Master Thomas W. Bass and Asst. Surg. John B. Scarborough, of my regiment, First Tennessee Partisan Rangers, C. S. Army, who have been captured as prisoners of war by the U. S. forces at Bolivar, are now in trial before a military commission upon charges of murder, arson, robbing and I suppose all the black crimes that are customarily committed by your Government. This proceeding is most savage and brutal and a gross violation of every usage and law of civilized war.

I wish to state simply that these men are duly mustered into the military service of the Confederate States by myself acting under the authority and commission duly issued by the Secretary of War under special order of the President of the Confederate States. Thomas W. Bass has been appointed by me forage master and Dr. J. B. Scarborough has been appointed assistant surgeon of the First Tennessee Regt. [sic] of Partisan Rangers, C. S. Army. The Partisan Ranger service is a legally organized branch of the C. S. Army under an act of the Congress of the Confederate States. In my operations I have not violated the laws of war; your army has done it time and again. This pretended trial of Bass and Scarborough is one of the many gross and wanton violations of the military law of nations. If this proceeding is not immediately stopped and these men treated as prisoners of war or if they are punished capitally or cruelly treated as prisoners of war I will retaliate tenfold, and that you may know I have the means to execute my threat of retaliation I refer you to my note of the 5th instant sent to you under flag of truce.

U. S. officers and soldiers have been stealing negroes [sic], horses, mules, money, &c.; they have plundered houses, broken open bureau drawers, searched the person of ladies and insulted women; they have burnt houses and assassinated unoffending men, women and children all over the land, and yet when they have been captured although we had every reason to avenge these injuries they have been promptly paroled except when necessary to retaliate. No unusual trials have been resorted to scare prisoners and extort from them the oath of allegiance to a belligerent government. Your command has pillaged my own premises and grossly insulted my wife and very nearly shot one of my children and have threatened to burn my houses. I wish to notify you and your command that if I can get hold of the demons who have perpetrated these acts or who shall perpetrate them again, or who shall order or execute these threats, I will not treat them as prisoners of war but as outlaws and enemies of mankind. Further if any non-combatant citizen of the confederate States and of West Tennessee shall be captured or their houses burned or other property destroyed I will retaliate by capturing two Union citizens for each Confederate citizen and will take or destroy from Union men and U. S. soldiers and Government twice the amount of property taken or destroyed. My family resides near your army and those also of my relations and friends; for every depredation and insult committed against them I will retaliate upon Union men, Union soldiers and property.

Capt. Albert W. Cushman and escort will bear this note and flag of truce.

Yours, &c.,

R. V. RICHARDSON, Col., Cmdg. First Tennessee Regt. Partisan Rangers, C. S. Army

P. S.-Capt. J. Slaughter Caruthers with escort composed of John Ford, Henry McCain, T. T. Bennet and F. W. Hughes will bear this dispatch under flag of truce.

OR, Ser. II, Vol. 5, pp. 159-160.

        5 – 10, Sergeant-Major Lyman Widney's account of activities in and around Murfreesboro

Monday – Jany –5 Our brigade was ordered to move at noon. We crossed Stone [sic] River on the Railroad Bridge which had been partially destroyed by the enemy making the passage difficult and tedious. Entering Murfreesboro so recently General Braggs Headquarters we found it like one vast Hospital being occupied by the wounded of both Armies perhaps ten thousand in number, as the aggregate loss during the battle was 18,000 killed and wounded. The Confederate left behind only those who were very seriously wounded. We marched through the town and encamped four miles south of it.

Tuesday – Jany - 6 – Contrary to our expectations we remained in camp all day. We pitched our tent and once against enjoyed comfortable quarters after eleven days of exposure. I was kept busy in the Adjutants Office making out reporters and lists of the killed [and] wounded and missing which were required to be sent in as soon as possible to the different Army Departments as well as to the State of Illinois.

Wednesday – Jany - 7 – Arrangements have been made for laying out a new camping ground a short distance from our present location. For this purpose a number have been detailed and at work all day under charge of Captain Parrott.

Wednesday [sic] [Thursday] Jany 8 –our Regiment went out with a forage train this morning and returned every man with his ration of fresh meat. Our supply of Government rations is very short, particularly in meat, so we do not let any opportunity pass for supplying our deficiency.

Friday-Jany-9- The Company Officers are busily engaged in making out payrolls ready for the Paymaster who is expected. James Askey and August Hickman supposed to have been captured, returned to the Company today.

Saturday –Jany – 10 The Regiment was ordered out on Picket duty at 7 a. m. The line is only one half mile in advance of our camp. None of the enemy have so far been discovered near our picket line. No further work has been done at the new camp ground we having received notice that our Division will be moved further to the real.

Diary of Lyman S. Widney.

        5- 31, Life in the Second Tennessee [U. S.] Cavalry camp in Murfreesboro, as told by John W. Andes, "Reminiscences of the Second Tennessee Cavalry."

On Monday, January 5th, the entire army marched into Murfreesboro,' with colors flying, bands playing and drums beating. We found the city almost deserted, the [Confederate] citizens having fled with Gen. Bragg, who, with his army, had retreated across [the] Duck river. During the progress of the battle, he had his headquarters in the court house, from which he could have a good view of the surrounding country, the main battlefield being perhaps one mile away. General Rosecrans' forces were distributed around Murfreesboro' and went into winter quarters. The surrounding country was rich and presented a find field for foraging. Foraging [wagon] trains were sent out daily, and an abundance of corn was procured; but the close proximity of Bragg's forces, especially his cavalry, rendered it necessary to send a heavy squad with each foraging train. The railroad to Nashville, our base of supplies, had been torn up, and we were compelled to live for the most part, on what could be secured in the locality where we were quartered. The troops were living on half rations.

The Second Cavalry was peculiarly unfortunate….our camp equipage had been captured early in the battle of Stone [sic] River. The weather continued cold and disagreeable, and we were without tents. The men suffered greatly. Many of them sickened and died. We had no little picket duty to perform. On the 11th of January we went on a scout to Nolensville, Triune and Eaglesville [sic]. At the latter place we ran on a squad of Confederate soldiers, who were enjoying a fine dinner, and captured them. We then after being of three days, returned to camps in Murfreesboro.' It had turned very cold, and the men having got their clothing wet, their clothes were frozen stiff, and the men were frozen almost to death. The entire month [of January 1863] was a rough one. We were on foraging expeditions and doing picket duty almost constantly, and when in camps were very uncomfortably situated. Our sick list became a large one and our men were dying almost daily. In addition to our other duties, a considerable camp guard was kept up every day. Our camp was upon low ground and we were living in mud and water. The water stood on the ground in our tents, and we had to raise our beds to keep out of it. It was not unusual to find men dead in their tents in the morning. Harvy Karns a member of Company K, was found laying [sic] on his bed in his tent, dead. He had been complaining for a few days, but continued able to go about. This was a very cold and disagreeable [sic] night, and he lay upon a single blanket on the ground. He was taken violently ill during the night and soon died. But it is impossible to describe the sufferings of our soldiers about this time. Hard fare, scanty supplies of clothing and food and exceedingly cold, inclement weather.

Knoxville Daily Chronicle, January 18, 1879.

        5 – ca. June 24, general reminiscences of a member of the 33rd Ohio Volunteer Infantry of garrison duty in Murfreesboro, after the battle of Stones River and the beginning of the Tullahoma campaign

The life of a soldier has its lights and shadows. The campaign just ended [Stones River], though a short one, was attended with many hardships and with the bloody scenes of the battle which closed it, might well be called among the shadows. The lights were to follow. For nearly six long months we may be said to have enjoyed all the comfort which can fall to a soldier's lot. Our camps, located in and about Murfreesboro, were well chosen and soon became things of beauty. The cedar which grew so lavishly about the town was largely used in their adornment, and the streets, on each side of which were planted stately evergreens, gave them the appearance of well laid out villages. Wagon loads of branches were hauled to furnish shade for our tents and in the hot sun of that climate we reposed in our bunks entirely smelted from its rays, while the cool breezes blew through the tents opened wide for their passage. At General Rousseau's headquarters, a large building capable of seating several hundred persons was built entirely of cedar branches and used as a chapel, where nightly meetings were held for such as chose to attend. The commissary departments well stocked with supplies of every description, while well filled boxes from home occasionally added their welcome presence and gave variety to the mess chests. The daily drills, with camp guard and picket duty, were just sufficient to relieve the ennui and give zest to camp life and in the evening the dress parades were given with as much attention to detail as though there were thousands of spectators. Reviews by the commanding general were of frequent occurrence and on two or three occasions we had corps drills under the immediate command of General Thomas. The infantry and artillery of his command made a very considerable army of itself and it was indeed a sight worth seeing when this able soldier took it in hand and, with assistance of his staff, handled it with perfect ease.

It was on one of these occasions that I saw him urge his horse to a gallop and evidently enraged at the stupidity of a captain of artillery, dash up to him and enquire, "d__n you, Captain, why don't you come into battery?" It was such an unusual thing to see him betray any emotion that it attracted general attention in the immediate neighborhood and added much to the captain's embarrassment. Both the officers and soldiers found pleasure in social intercourse and much time was spent in visiting friends in other regiments. Among the latter, I remember noticing one day a large crowd of soldiers congregating together and from curiosity joined them in time to witness a double execution. Two citizens of the neighborhood taking advantage of the unsettled state of the country had been committing depredations on their neighbors, both robbing and murdering, for the little property which the war had left. As the civil law was not in operation, they were tried by military commission, found guilty as charged and their sentence of death approved by the authorities. They stood upon the scaffold protesting against the manner of their condemnation, but it was of no use and together they were swung off under the direction of the provost marshal and there were two guerrillas less amongst us.

A much sadder spectacle was that of a young man who had deserted from our ranks and was taken prisoner by a band of our cavalry in a skirmish with the enemy. He was found fighting against his old comrades and a trial by court-martial fully established his guilt. As he belonged to a batter in Rousseau's division it devolved upon us to witness the execution of his sentence. On the appointed day were all under arms and being marched to an open field were formed in three side of an open square, around which the condemned man, seated in a cart upon a plain wooden coffin, was drawn preceded by a band playing slow music. The coffin was then placed upon the ground in full view and seated upon it blindfolded, was the unfortunate man. A file of six men, placed a short distance off, at a signal from the officer in command fired a volley and without a groan or movement of any kind he sank upon his coffin, a dead man – a warning to all of the fate of deserters.

Waddle, Three Years, pp. 46-47.

        5, Skirmish at Lawrence's Mill

JANUARY 5, 1864.-Skirmish at Lawrence's Mill, Tenn.

Reports of Col. Oscar H. LaGrange, First Wisconsin Cavalry, commanding Second Brigade, First Cavalry Division.


CAPT.: I have the honor to report that the forage detail, Second Brigade, to-day attacked the enemy's picket at Lawrence's Mill, 5 miles east of Mossy Creek, and captured 12 men with their arms and 9 horses, without loss.

Very respectfully,

O. H. LAGRANGE, Col., Cmdg.


CAPT.: I have the honor to report that the scout to Lawrence's Mill has just returned, bringing 1 lieutenant and 11 men prisoners. The battalion reported at the mill had not been stationed there, but at Hunt's Mill, 1 ½ miles from Lawrence's, and had removed before we arrived, leaving a picket, most of which was captured. The nearest rebel force is reported to be at Panther Springs...

Very respectfully,

O. H. LAGRANGE, Col., Cmdg. 2d Brig.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 31, pt. I, p. 66.

5, A love letter from an unknown Federal soldier writing from Nashville, Tennessee, to Ettie.

Nashville Tenn Jany 5th 64

Friend Ettie

I believe I am not indebted to you by way of letter, but for your kindness to me I will write you a few lines. It is quite cool Weather [sic] here now and some snow upon the ground but not enough to make sleighing. I wish I were in Hillsdale today I think I would call around to friend Ettie and go out a Sleighing. I get lonesome sometimes and I not know what to do, if I ever get out of the Service alive I am agoing [sic] to settle down and get married.

What a novel Idea that is, perhaps you will not believe it but I am not joking. I am not quite an old Bach yet but I fear I will be before long.

If you know of some good looking amiable young Lady that wish to change her situation in life, just mention the fact to her, and tell her there is a Soldier in the Army that wishes to marry in less than two years after his time expires in the Army.

On New Year's day about one o-clock I received a verry [sic] nice gift which I appreciated verry [sic] much. It was the only gift that I received, and on that account realize its worth. You have my heartfelt thanks for your kindness and remembrance of a Soldier. Enclosed you will find the likeness of your unknown Correspondent which you will please accept, with the kindest regards.

I am yours verry [sic] truly

Civil War Love Letters.[2]

        5, A Confederate refugees' stop in Shelby County

January, Tuesday 5, 1864

Still cold, cloudy and gloomy, has not moderated at all, it is real dangerous traveling, the ground covered with Ice.

Eddie has on his new suit, ready to leave for camp. Mr. Alexander and old Mr. Jayson are going with him, and we are better satisfied-I would not have him stay any longer for any thing, I am perfectly disgusted at the way in which our soldiers are lying about, shirking their duty. Eddie has everything to make him comfortable for this winter-

Two more of the Bluff City's arrived, got their dinner, warmed, and went on over Nonconnah. Our house still full, we have a gay time picketing for the Yankees, but I expect the boys think they have a gayer one running in the cold at their appearance-As usual we all sat up very late.

Diary of Belle Edmondson

        5, Winter Camp Accomodations at Strawberrry Plains for the 104th Ohio Volunteer Infantry

Strawberry Plain, Tennessee

Jan. 5th 1864

…[I]t has been more than a week since I wrote to you last from Blain's Crossroads. But it has been so cold & disagreeable for the past week or two that I haven't felt like writing when I had time…

We left the Crossroads last Sat. a week ago & reached this place the next day….It rained nearly the whole time & was so cold that we had to keep moving in order to be at all comfortable. We camped near the railroad & cleaned up the ground, ready to pitch tents, but just as we got through an order came for Co. G to pack up and report to Gen. Parke's H.Q. for duty…Soon after we were detailed to guard around Hd. Qtr.'s…The duty is light & we have built a comfortable shanty of boards covered with out tents. Wood is unhandy. We have to bring it from the opposite side of the river which is quite a job. Our Brigade is reported unfit for duty on account of our clothing. We have been looking for clothing from Kentucky for 2 or 3 months but for some cause or other we have been fooled out of it & we are a ragged looking set, I can tell you….

…My fingers are so cold that I can hardly hold my pencil & you will excuse me for not writing much at present…

Bentley Letters.


[1] The Reports of Brig. Gen. David S. Stanley, U. S. Army, Chief of Cavalry, including skirmishes near La Vergne, December 27, at Wilkinson's Cross-Roads, December 29, Overall's Creek, December 31, and Lytle's Creek, January 5 help validate this entry.

[2] As cited in: [Hereinafter cited as: Civil War Love Letters.]

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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