Saturday, February 28, 2015

2,28.2015 Tennessee Civil War Notes

        28, State of General P.G.T. Beauregard's health

JACKSON, TENN., February 28, 1862.

Gen. S. COOPER, Adjutant and Inspector Gen., Richmond, Va.:

I am in despair about my health-nervous affection of throat. Bragg ought to be sent here at once. I will, when well enough, serve under him rather than not have him here. Re-enforcements are arriving.


OR, Ser. I, Vol. 7, p. 912.

        28, Excerpts from a letter by Surgeon William M. Eames (U. S.) to his wife in Ohio, relative to conditions in Nashville after a week of occupation

Camp 4 miles beyond Nashville, Tenn. Feb. 28

Friday 11 A. M.

Dearest wife,

You see by the above date that we have got through the rebel city of Nashville & are now we are encamped on a pleasant hill on the road to Murfreesborough where the rebel army is supposed to be fortifying-about 40 miles from here. It is a very fine spring-like day & the last day of the winter months tho [sic], we have had no weather like winter for a long time. The weather seems like what we get in May & the grass is springing up green & the buds begin to swell. The birds sing gaily among the trees & our camp begins to look cheerful once more. For the past few days we have had very hard times & the men have been sick & discouraged & everything has had a gloomy aspect, owing to rainy weather-want of good ratios & tents to sleep under. It has rained at least half the time & the men have been drenched & soaked, & have had to wade thro, deep water & then lie down on the damp ground with no covering but the cloudy or cold regions above with nothing to cook their scanty food in & I have often been pained to see them toasting their slice of stinking ham on a stick as their only supper or breakfast with sometimes a little parched corn-roasted on the cob. The bridges have all been destroyed by the rascals: our teams of course hindered with all the cooking utensils, provisions -- tents, bedding, etc. The Cumberland River is high above the banks & now fills many cellars &covers the houses even to the eaves. The river runs past the city with a deep angry current but our men are now all carried over & nearly all their teams which have kept along with the Reg[iment] [sic] since we left Bowling Green. Our team with 4 others was sent back from B. to Munfordville for provisions & we have not seen them since consequently we are without means of transportation save what we can carry in the room of two men in one of our ambulances. Our boxed of medicines were left & nearly all our necessary articles but we still keep along. I have not been in Nashville much except to pass through it on our way out here-But I saw enough of it to conclude that it was at least half union in sentiment & that very many were heartily glad to see us come to relieve them from the southern tyranny which has so long ruled over them. I saw the public square in which Amos Dresser received his whipping & the very beautiful State House & many buildings with a yellow flag flying-revealing the fact that they were occupied as Hospitals. I suppose there are many hundreds of poor secession soldiers-sick & wounded now in the city besides 200 of our own soldiers who were wounded at the fight at Fort Donaldson [sic] & then captured & brought here where they were recaptured by our men. We took vast quantities of rebel stores with the city-estimated at more than 2 million dollars worth.-including all kinds of provisions &camp equipage-tents, etc., four steam engines (Locomotives) & several passenger cares & freight cars. Large quantities of rebel arms-some finished & some in their workshops partly done-Cannon in their foundries & tons of shot & shell & other ammunition-medical stores-etc. etc. besides three steamboats-one of which the rebels burned after we had got possession of it. [1] Our army here is now very large & every day increasing. Nelsons [sic] division came down on the Ohio & up the Cumberland on boats the day we came into the place. He first raised the Stars & Stripes over the capital building. After it had waved a short time a citizen[2] of Nashville came to him & requested that the flag he owned[3] should be raised in its stead. He said he had used his flag to sleep on all the time since the reign of terror commenced & now he wanted the same flag to wave over the State-house-& it does. Long may it wave.

....Two of [General U. S Grant's] gunboats are here & they are ugly looking customers. Not less than a dozen large size Steam boats are lying at the wharves or engaged in carrying over troops & wagons. Several Regts [sic] of Cavalry & Batteries of Artillery are here, but our Division is still ahead of all & we can look out on the enemies [sic] country just beyond us. Their pickets came up close to our lines & two nights ago they commenced firing on our pickets & lost three of their men. We have taken several prisoners & more are being found every day in the city. I am quite well today & have but little diarrhea [sic]. Appetite first rate. Rob is also well & all the rest of my crowd.

* * * *

Yours as ever,

Wm. M. Eames

William Mark Eames Papers[4]

28, A Brief Newspaper Report on the Arrival of the Tennessee Legislature and Nashvillians in Memphis after the Fall of Fort Donelson

On the day they left for Memphis, the Tennessee Legislature arrived, having sojourned to that place from Nashville. They were to convene on the following day to discuss the important question, "What shall we do, considering the circumstances which surround us?" One thousand persons arrived from Nashville on the same day. The gold and silver, or all that could be got, a panic of colossal dimensions had seized the rebels, which was a great consolation to the loyal citizens.

State Confederate Scrip was of no value whatever.

Louisville Daily Journal, February 28, 1862. [5]

        28-April 8, Operations at Island No. 10

FEBRUARY 28-APRIL 8, 1862.-Operations at New Madrid, Mo., and Island No. 10, and descent upon Union City, Tenn.


(February 28- March 23, 1862, activities in Missouri.)

March 15-April 7, 1862.-Siege and capture of Island No. 10.

March 30-31, 1862.-Descent upon Union City, Tenn.

April 8, 1862.-Garrison of Island No. 10 surrendered at Tiptonville, Tenn.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 8, pp. 76-77.[6]


FEBRUARY 28--APRIL 8, 1862.-Operation at New Madrid, Mo., and Island No. 10. &c., and descent upon Union City, Tenn.

Report of Col. James D. Morgan, Tenth Illinois Infantry, commanding brigade, of operations March 12-13.

HDQRS. FIRST BRIGADE, FOURTH DIVISION, Camp near New Madrid, Mo., March 15, 1862.

In compliance with the order of Gen. Stanley of this date, I herewith make report of the part taken by my brigade in the action at the trenches before New Madrid on the night of the 12th and during the 13th instant:

At 5.30 p. m. March 12 I received orders from Gen. Paine, commanding Fourth Division, to report at Gen. Pope's headquarters with my brigade at sundown and there await further orders. Reporting at the hour indicated, I received order from Gen. Pope to march my brigade, consisting of the Tenth Illinois, under Lieut. Col. John Tillson, and six companies of the Sixteenth Illinois Volunteers, commanded by Col. R. F. Smith [and to whom I am much indebted for prompt and efficient aid], under the direction of Col. Bissell, chief of engineers, and Maj. Lothrop, chief of artillery, to such point as they might designate near New Madrid and assist in erecting such works as they thought proper to construct. We arrived near the ground at 9 p. m., when the Tenth Illinois, by order of Col. Bissell, was thrown forward as skirmishers to secure the line of proposed operations, in securing which we reached the outer line of the enemy's pickets, who fired and withdrew. Moving cautiously forward beyond their, abandoned pickets post, two companies, A and B of the Tenth Illinois, were thrown yet farther forward as front and flanking skirmishers and pickets guard, with strict orders to return no fire if fired upon, which order and a similar one to the whole command was implicitly obeyed, although we were repeatedly fired upon during the night by the enemy's pickets, who occupied a line not more than 400 yards from our own line of operations. Six companies of the Sixteenth Illinois and the remaining eight companies of the Tenth Illinois were detailed as working parties, under the direction of Col. Bissell, serving the entire night, officers and men working with a will. By daylight four siege guns had been placed in position and trenches and rifle-pits constructed sufficient to protect the whole command. Soon after daylight our pickets were called in and our first gun fired, which was immediately returned, and thence during the whole day the firing from the rebel fortifications and gun-boats was kept up with spirit and determination. Their guns were well served, aim and range accurate. At sundown the firing ceased, when the men, although wearied with labor and loss of rest, cheerfully and with spirit worked to extend and strengthen the line of defenses. Company E, of the Tenth Illinois, and part of two companies of the Sixteenth Illinois were advanced as pickets with instructions to watch and report the movements of the enemy in front. They reported continued movement and stir of the enemy during the entire night, both in the fort and on the gun--boats and steamers, but whether they were being re-enforced, were strengthening their position, or purposed an evacuation of the place could not be ascertained. A violent rain set in at 11 o' clock, continuing almost without intermission the balance of the night. About 4 a. m. I was relieved by Gen. Stanley, with order to return to camp. In conclusion I will only add that great credit is due to officers and men for the promptness and coolness with which the works were constructed and defended. I have to mourn the loss of a valuable and efficient officer, Capt. Lindsey H. Carr, Company H. Tenth Illinois, who was killed while on the picket-line early on the night of the 12th. Private Blockson, of Company G, Tenth Illinois, was slightly wounded.

I am, with much respect, &c.,

JAMES D. MORGAN, Col., Cmdg. First Brigade, Fourth Division.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 53, pp. 453-454.

        28, Uncertainty on how to proceed with three female Federal prisoners

HDQRS. COMMANDANT OF PRISONERS, Camp Chase, Ohio, February 28, 1863.

Capt. H. M. LAZELLE, Assistant to Commissary-Gen. of Prisoners, Washington.

CAPT.: I have the honor of addressing you for the purpose of asking information on several subjects:

*  *  *  *  *

2. There are three female prisoners here, sent from Nashville by order of Gen. Rosecrans. They are charged with aiding the rebels and carrying contraband articles across our line. The evidence against them is here. We have poor facilities for female prisoners. What shall be done with them? Shall their cases be turned over to Special Commissioner Galloway for investigation?

Very respectfully, captain, your obedient servant,

EDWIN L. WEBBER, Capt., Cmdg. Prisoners.

OR, Ser. II, Vol. 5, pp. 305-306.

        28, "These sweet-smelling, kid-glovey [sic], band-boxy [sic], tea-cakey [sic], ottar-of-rose exquisites, are as plentiful as gnats around a vinegar jug." A Confederate war correspondent's observations on the Army of Tennessee in winter camp at Tullahoma and news of Williamson county

.…we whittle away time over stale jokes and stray rumors. Toward the close of the evening we are regaled with a piece of tombstone literature, in Gen. Bragg's happiest style, announcing that some fleet-footed lieutenant's gilt has been torn from his collar, for leaving the battle-field at Murfreesboro before the balance of us. Now and then the Provost Marshal, or as a friend calls him, the Provoke Marshal, [sic] perpetrates a practical joke, by conscripting a camp follower, and commanding him to the graces of a Springfield musket and knapsack.

Our army is again in good fighting trim, and the ranks swell rapidly filling up by the influx of absentees. I suppose it is better clothed, equipped and fed than ever before. The country is bountifully supplied with game, but the boys are forbidden to shoot, for fear of hitting some General's aid. These sweet-smelling, kid-glovey [sic], band-boxy [sic], tea-cakey [sic], ottar-of-rose exquisites, are as plentiful as gnats around a vinegar jug. But you must not construe my expression into any reflection upon the usefulness of this necessary appendage of our Gipsey-life [sic]. It is true they dangle a dress sword gracefully, run handsome horses in dashing stile [sic], and smile most daintily at the ladies, yet is no less true, they can tell the ragged, weather beaten fellow that foots it with his gun and heavy knapsack, exactly what he ought to be. You can thus very readily appreciate the field and scope of their usefulness, and the necessity of taking every precaution to protect them from the weather and disagreeable inconvenience[s] of camp life, and to guard against the rudeness of bringing them in contact with unmannerly soldiers, and everything calculated to grate harshly on their tender sensibilities.

I have conversed with several intelligent and creditable gentlemen from Williams on county in the last few days, and they bring melancholy tidings of the fate of her gallant people. The country is being desolated. The abolitionists are burning and destroying houses razing fences, stealing horses, shooting cattle and hauling off all the provisions in the county, not even leaving many families meat or bread enough for a single meal. They have broken up the wagons, hoes, and plows, and destroyed the harness, and ever thing that can be employed in cultivating the earth. The officers boldly proclaim that the people shall not raise another crop. Citizens are robbed of their money, and their hoses pillaged of every article of wearing apparel, and bed clothing, and their furniture and table were broken and ruined by the heartless scoundrels. I was informed of three instances of my acquaintance, fair, modest, virtuous young women being ruthlessly violated by the hellish ruffians. These are not pictures woven by fancy, nor the creation of vague rumors, but facts attested by authorities that cannot be questioned. If retributive justice is no myth of fancy, it surely is time now for an exhibition of its power. When the men of the country are torn from their homes to fight for the Government, that Government should take some retaliatory steps to protect their helpless families from the hands of the incendiary and ravisher.

"Cry Havock [sic], and let slip the dogs of war."

Chattanooga Daily Rebel, February 28, 1863.[7]

        28, "At every step I could see the ruins that followed upon the tracks of the infernal Yankees." An Alabama cavalryman's impressions of Middle Tennessee

Letter from "Horse Marine"

Hd'qrs 51st Ala. Cavalry,

On advance picket near Murfreesboro, Tenn., Feb. 28, 1863.

"Hello mister, whose company do you belong to?"

The voice was sharp and proceeded from an old woman in a cabin on the Shelbyville and Murfreesboro turnpike. Reining in my horse I informed the old lady that I belonged to company ___, Morgan's Reg.

"Well I declare, do you belong to Mr. Morrigan? I'm hearn [sic] of him, but I wanted to know if you had hearn of my son John. He belongs to Mr. Wheeler's company, and seeing you belong to the calvary [sic]  thought you must know where he was."

Informing the old lady that I could give her no information as to the whereabouts of her son John, I was about to proceed when she halted me again:

"Well mister, if you see John, or Bill, or Aleck, or Sammy, tell 'em I'm well."

I asked her who John, Bill, Aleck and Sammy was.

Raising her hands in holy horror, she exclaimed: "Why Lor' me, don't you know my boys? Why, I thought every body in the settlement knowed them. Bill he belongs to Mr. Brackenridge's Company; Aleck, he belongs to Mr. Cheatom's Company, and Sammy, he belongs to Mr. Bragg's Company.

Informing the old lady that I would deliver her messages to her sons the first time I met them, I rode on. At every step I could see the ruins that followed upon the tracks of the infernal Yankees. Fences destroyed, houses burned, stables destitute of horses and mules, corn cribs emptied, negro cabins desolate, beautiful yards and gardens laid waste, hogs, sheep, stock of every description, all gone; and all this done by whom? By Western troops! troops from Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois--States that some Southern men advocate taking into an alliance with us! May my bones lay bleached upon the plains when such an alliance takes place! Talk about New England vandalism!--Of all the low down, mean, thieving, unprincipled, cruel vandals in this war, Ohio produces the worst. The men in Congress and out of it at home may desire and advocate any kind of an alliance with such a State as Ohio, will please remain quiet, and stay home or go to Ohio and stay there; and the soldiers in the field, led on by their gallant leaders will fight this war through until our complete independence is won.


Southern Confederacy [Atlanta, Georgia], March 5, 1863. [8]

        28, Rounding up contrabands in Nashville: an excerpt from the diary of John Hill Fergusson

the day has been very pleasent [sic] and warm we had inspection and mustered for pay at 9 oc [sic] this morning after we returned from inspection I had orders to start imidieutly [sic] after dinner with 30 men taken 10 from co. G, 10 from co. F, 10 from co. K and gather up all the contribans [sic] we could find without passes showing that they ware [sic] in the service of the governmint [sic] we ware [sic] all over Nashville and brought in 22 darkies [sic] we had a right good time & the boys all seemed to like the business the best kind [sic]….

John Hill Fergusson Diary, Book 3.

        28, Confederate news and opinion from Middle Tennessee

Correspondence Mobile Advertiser & Register.


Knoxville, Tenn., Feb. 28, 1863

Messrs. Editors:

Although a stranger to you, I have concluded to give you a short description of the doings of the Federals under Gen. Rosencranz. It seems that officer has utterly forgotten his former courtesy and gentlemanly bearing toward the female sex, and his regard for the rights of private citizens. While at Shelbyville a few days ago, one of our Major Generals informed me that an order had been issued by the Federal General at Murfreesboro, that his soldiers should not take upon themselves the trouble to cut wood for fire use while fence rails could be had. Consequently, the fences for miles round are fast disappearing. The Federal cavalry have orders to visit every citizen's house within Federal lines in Tennessee, to press all the meat and forage they find, and destroy all farming and cooking utensils they can find. They openly proclaim to the citizens that the intention of the Federals is to prevent of Tennessee from raising a crop this year, if not longer. These lawless vagabonds who do not face our cavalry in the fields are thus scouting the country and robbing the people. They set fire to fences, barns, and even the trees in the fields in order to complete their work of desolation. The women are insulted, their wardrobes taken away, and in many instances they are forced to take their persons articles of clothing, which some scoundrel takes a fancy to carry off with him. One instance is mentioned where a highly respectable lady was entirely stript  [sic] of all her clothing and forced to march in front of a Yankee regiment while on "dress parade." I could you the lady's name, but will not through respect for her. Her husband is a prominent secessionist, and was away from home when this occurred. He has since that time been fighting Yankees on his own hook, and does not let a day pass without taking the life of at least one Yankee in gratification of his revenge. Gen. Rosencranz is said to be rude and insulting to all ladies who come to him for any redress of grievances.-The Northwestern soldiers in his army are said to be discontented, and their greatest prayer is of "[peace on any terms." The Federals are in a critical situation. They have no railroad facilities from Nashville to the army, and are compelled to transport supplies by wagon trains; the rains have been so heavy and continuous that the turnpike is worthless. A gentleman who passed over that route four days ago says the pike cannot be traced except by the bridges across the creeks and branches. It is all one big mud-hole for two hundred yards wider.

There is no doubt of the fact that thirty thousand reinforcements for Gen. Rosencranz have arrive at Nashville, but it seems he cannot order them forward on account of the state of the roads. It requires all the wagons at his command to haul subsistence for the army now at Murfreesboro. Another reason I suppose why those Regiments at Nashville are not ordered to the front is the thickening aspect of the clouds rising in Kentucky and he Northwestern States. Rosencranz knows that if Kentucky should rise in her might, (and there are now strong symptoms of such an occurrence,) with Van Dorn and Wheeler, and Forrest, Morgan, Wharton and others in his rear, he and his army would be lost to Abraham Lincoln. He is therefore in a position that he no doubt deems a very embarrassing one.

In the present state of the roads he cannot advance. He might go on the turnpike to Shelbyville, but he could not make a decent fight after he got there. Whenever a piece of artillery or a gun carriage would get off the pike it would stick in the mud and be captured. And if he got whipt (as he certainly would be) his army would soon be entirely  "gobbled up" by the 20,000 gallant cavalry of Gen. Bragg's army. To give you an idea of the state of the roads in and about Murfreesboro and Tullahoma, I saw empty wagons at Wartrace (between the two armies) with four mules trying in vain to pull them out of the mud. I have been in the army since the war began, and have never yet seen such bad roads.

Gen. Bragg's army is in fine condition, and I know the fact that his army is larger now than when he fought the battle of Murfreesboro. In my judgment there is not prospect of battle on this line for some time, for even if the roads would permit the Federals to advance, I think Rosencranz is too prudent a General to attack such a stronghold as Gen. Bragg has chosen. As to flanking our position the ting is impracticable, even with good weather. Ma. Gen. Donelson, has taken command of this department, and Lieut. Gen. Kirby Smith has gone West.

The conscript law is being enforced in Tennessee. Brig. Gen. Pillow is at the head of the conscript bureau, and is doing the country noble service. You will soon hear of our cavalry, "making a spoon or spoiling a horn"

Macon Daily Telegraph, March 12, 1862.

        28, Jefferson Davis advises leniency for East Tennessee Unionists to promote agricultural cultivation

FEBRUARY 28, 1863.

For more than a year the general views expressed have been acted on. Often warned that the clemency shown was unjustified, the hope was still entertained that it would avail. Even now it is not proposed to mete to them a harder measure than is elsewhere provided, but if we are to have the hostility of the class called in East Tennessee Union men, it were better they should be in the ranks of the enemy than living as spies among us and waiting for opportunity to strike.

The commanding general of the department will, I am sure, be as lenient as is proper, and mindful of the need we have that the fields be cultivated.

J. D.

OR, Ser. IV, Vol. 2, pp. 370-371.

        __, Expedition and skirmish on the Cumberland River [no date given]

GALLATIN, February__, 1863.

Lieut. F. S. BOND:

I sent a report, two days ago, about the expedition. Twelve boats were destroyed a skirmish was fought, several horses secured, &c. Today I had the news that seven boats were again collected at Carthage, and that Morgan is to-day passing across his cavalry and artillery. I doubt it, but shall know during the night.

E. A. PAINE, Brig.-Gen.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 23, pt, II, pp. 33-34.

        28, Skirmish at Dukedom[9]

Report of Brig. Gen. Hugh T. Reid, U. S. Army, [Cairo] March 1, 1864:

Col. Hawkins telegraphs me that, hearing of a guerrilla party robbing on the Paducah railroad, he sent out a detachment on Saturday [27th] last, which, just before daylight Sunday morning, found a squad of rebels at Dukedom and dispersed them, capturing 1 prisoner, 4 horses, 4 loaded revolvers, 1 carbine, and the hats of perhaps the entire party.

H.T. Reid, Brigadier-General, Commanding

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 32, pt. I, p. 485.

        28, Federal program of small pox vaccination in Memphis, excerpt from SPECIAL ORDERS, NO. 32[10]

Headquarters, District of Memphis

Memphis, Tenn., Feb. 28, 1864

* * * *

VII. In consequence of the increasing prevalence of Small Pox, through the influx of foreign population and contrabands in the city, it is hereby ordered,

That physicians be appointed in each ward, by the city authorities, whose duty it shall be to visit all of this class, each in their respective wards, and vaccinate all found without well marked scars.

Every contraband shall have the certificate of some one of these physicians thus appointed, that he has been vaccinated, and has a well marked scar otherwise be liable to arrest, until he has been properly vaccinated. The city authorities will see that a proper Pest House will be established without the city limits, for the treatment of all cases sent by the ward physicians thus appointed.

Surgeon Geo. M. Hayes, 2d Iowa cavalry, and Surgeon in Chief, District of Memphis, is charged with the supervision and execution of this order.

By order of Brig. Gen. R. P. Buckland

Memphis Bulletin, March 4, 1864.

        28, Enforcement of Enrolled Militia in Memphis, General Orders, No. 6


Headquarters 1st Brigade Enrolled Militia, District of Memphis, Memphis, Tenn., Feb. 26, 1864.

The following order is published for the benefit of this command and all whom it may concern:

Headquarters, District of Memphis, Memphis, Tenn., Feb. 26, 1864

Special Order No. 38 [39?]

* * * *

III. Colonel John McDonald, commanding 1st Brigade, Enrolled Militia, District of Memphis, will proceed immediately with the execution of General Orders, No. [2?] from his headquarters of date January 20, 1864, and approved these headquarters the same date, by arresting every male resident of Memphis who has not complied with the requirements of said order.

Colonel McDonald is here by empowered to fine each person whom he adjudges guilty of willful non compliance with said order from ten (10) to one hundred (100) dollars, according to the nature of the delinquent's offense-the moneys so collected from said fines to constitute a fund for the purpose of meeting the contingent expenses of the militia of this district.

Col. McDonald will keep an accurate record of all fined collected by placing in his record the amount of each fine received, with the name of the party paying the same. HE will also make a return on the first day of each month to these headquarters of all fines so collected, and of the source from whence received.

All persons so arrested who refuse to pay the fine imposed upon them by Col. McDonald will cause to be confined in Irving Block Military Prison until their fines are paid.

By order of Brig. Gen. R. P. Buckland.

Memphis Bulletin, March 1, 1864.

        28, "Oh, just and merciful Savior, give us peace, and our independence." Belle Edmondson's prayer for the Confederacy

February, Sunday 28, 1864

Cloudy and raining all day, much colder than yesterday. Anna Nelson and myself went to Mrs. Morgan's-I went to take those letters to Cousin Campbell Edmondson, he left for Dixie, and will see that they are safely forwarded. Met a great many persons there, all in fine spirits, topic of conversation our glorious Victory, which was added to this morning by news that Sherman was in full retreat for Vicksburgh-had not reached Canton, and we were confident of ruining the whole army as Lee with his Cavalry force was between him and Vicksburgh-Spare so much bloodshed of the bravest and best of our Sunny South-Enlighten the minds of the miserable Yankees, of their sinfulness-drive them from our south! Oh, just and merciful Savior, give us peace, and our independence-

I received a letter from Dr. Moses and Maj. Price by Mrs. Facklin, through them heard from my friend Maj. Maclean, with Gen. Price.

Laura and I sat up late tonight, I slept all evening. Still raining-12 o'clock sleeting, very cold-

Diary of Belle Edmondson

        28, Fire on the mountain

A cloudy day with a little rain, but not cold – the atmosphere, thick with smoke for the mountains have been on fire all around us. The weather has been windy and dry, the valley full of smoke – the sun and moon looking at their rising and setting like globes of blood. Last night the fires were in lines clear across one or two mountains – these running up to the summit – looking like the lines of the army….

War Journal of Lucy Virginia French, February 28, 1864.

        28, Some impressions of a Union soldier on the march from Murfreesboro to Shelbyville; excerpts from the correspondence of George F. Cram

….Last Wednesday morning our brigade left Nashville under orders to report to Maj. Genl. Hooker at Lookout Valley….Arriving at Murfreesboro, we took the Shelbyville Pike because it led through the best watered country. Tomorrow we shall reach Tullahoma….

* * * *

Today's march was especially cheering to us as we passed through the most loyal section I have seen in the South. Many of the home we passed were decorated with Union banners and at almost every gate groups of men and women stood waving their handkerchiefs to cheer us on. I remember one little girl in particular, who came out with a beautiful flag and as she unfolded it we gave her three rousing cheers. Passing through S[helbyville] it seemed as though every girl I town was waving her handkerchief to us. I shall long recollect our passage through that loyal town.

* * * *

The country we passed through today is flat and low, good for farming. Many loads of cotton passed by us on their way by Nashville. The rebel fortifications here at Shelbyville amounted to simply a few rifle pits. We have passed by many soldiers' graves in the past two days. It seems almost as though this whole country was covered with the graves of our brave boys. I can never pass lightly by one of them, but always think that there is some Mother mourning a dead soldier boy.

* * * *

Letters of George F. Cram

        28, "There is the same old evil disposition among the rebels, the same hate, but they fear more and hide." Report on guerrilla activity near Carthage

Carthage, February 28, 1865.


A band of guerrillas pass quite often from a point on Obey River, some eight miles above Celina, going west. Their track is near the State line. How far they go west I am unable to say, but they generally pass beyond the Louisville and Nashville Railroad. The band numbers from fifteen to sixty men, or that has been the report for the last few months. They have different commanders. Sometimes Capt. Benett, at others Maj. Jones or Magruder. For a long time they have not gone east of the point mentioned on Obey River. Generally on their return to Obey River they bring goods of various kinds and hide them away among the hills. Yesterday I had a long conversation with H. D. Johnson, of Overton. I know he is in communication with Hughes, Gatewood, and others. He has a son with the rebel Col. Dibrell, formerly of Sparta. Johnson says the rebels will be in this section of country in considerable force late in the spring, or so soon as it shall seem the rivers will not rise suddenly and remain full any length of time. There is the same old evil disposition among the rebels, the same hate, but they fear more and hide. If any one doubts, let him become for a time a rebel and go among them, where he is not known to be other than what he seems.

Very respectfully,


OR, Ser. I, Vol. 49, pt. I, p. 784.


[1] The Minna Tonka. See above.

[2] William Driver.

[3] The original "Old Glory."

[4] William Mark Eames Papers, TSL&A Civil War Collection, XI-M- AC. NO. 91-036, MF 1306, mfm 1302. [Hereinafter cited as : William Mark Eames Papers.]

[5] As cited in PQCW.

[6] There are a total of forty-four reports on the siege and surrender of Island No. 10. It is not essential to present them all here.

[7] An abbreviated version of this article is found in: Galveston Weekly News, March 25, 1863

[8] As cited in:

[9] Dukedom is located in Weakley County, close to the Tennessee-Kentucky border.

[10] Not found in the OR.

James B. Jones, Jr.

Public Historian

Tennessee Historical Commission

2941 Lebanon Road

Nashville, TN  37214

(615)-770-1090 ext. 123456

(615)-532-1549  FAX


Friday, February 27, 2015

2.27.2015 Tennessee Civil War Notes

        27, Letter from Levina A. Martin [Graysbury, Washington County] to her husband James Martin, location unknown, relative to conditions at home and new role for women in husband's absence

Graysbury Teenn [sic] Feb [sic] the 27 1862 [sic]

Dear James I received your letter dated the third the first of this week & was happy to hear from you one time more[.] it [sic] being the third letter I have received from you I never heard from you while you was at Tuskaluso [sic]

We are all well at present except Mother[.] she [sic] is very poorly & has been sick for the last five weeks not able to get out of the house since she was first taken her disease is Diptheory [sic] & Rhumatic [sic] pains their is a great deal of Sickness [sic] in this Country [sic] & Several [sic] has died Sudenly [sic] Frank Mahony fell dead at pleasant grove [sic] last Friday a week ago also Isaac Collet was found dead a short time ago Old Samuel Sherfey fell from a horse & died the next day Salley McAll is dead also John & Rollen P. Mury Severe Baskets little boy fell in the creek a few days ago & was drowned & a great many more that I will not name[.]

You want to know wat [sic] has become of me since you left well me & the children has been at paps [sic] the most of the time[.] Green Pain came over & went home with him & stayed two week [sic] I also took Virgey to Doc Mahoney & kept her their a wile [sic] for him to doctor her but I dont [sic] see that he done her any good[.] she is as lame as ever[.] She want [sic] to see you very bad[.] John is fat & saucy with as curley [sic] a head as Jesse Duncan ever had[.] Your hourse [sic] is not got well yet[,] he has not been fit to sue any Since [sic] he got hurt & I dont [sic] know whether he ever wil [sic] be again or not[.]

you [sic] want to know what has become of your goods note & accounts[.] I sold some of the good[s] for the money & the rest was taken away from my house & that is as far as I can tell you about thim [sic] we collected Something about three hundred dollars in Money but had to pay it out again so I hav [sic] not got but three dollers [sic] now[.] Your accounts [sic] is nearly all Settle [sic] by note & I woulden [sic] give much for them the way things is here at present for we are looking for hard times in East Teenn [sic]

the [sic] excitement is very high hear [sic] at this time God only know what one more week my [sic] bring[.] you [sic] said you was looking for a petition their [sic] has been one sent about six weeks ago to Jefferson Davis the President of the Confederate States of America but we have not heard anything from it yet[.] I wrote to you on the 27 day [sic] of last month & told you all about it in the letter but I did not direct it to the Care [sic] of the Capt [sic] of the post but I want you to get some person to go to the Post office in the Town & get the letter I wrote to know about W. Sqibbs & your dealing what he was to giv [sic] per bushel for those round peaches he thinks 62½ and I contend for 75 also the butter he thinks 12½ & I think it was 15 cts per lbs[.] writ [sic] to me & tell me about it[.] W. H. Swaney is at work at Birtse on his mill So [sic] I will have to bring my letter to a close by begging you to writ [sic] me as soon as this comes to hand please excuse haste & look over mistakes so no more but remain

Your affection [sic] wife untill [sic] death

Levina A. Martin

W. P. A. Civil War Records, Vol. 1, p. 134.

        27, Report of Flag-Officer Foote, U. S. Navy, regarding the condition of affairs in and near Nashville

CAIRO, February 27, 1862.

SIR: I have the honor to forward a communication just received from Lieutenant Commanding Bryant, the substance of which I have just telegraphed.

The captain of the steamer who brings the dispatch says that 6 miles below Nashville there was a battery on a high bluff which had mounted 15 guns, but several of them were thrown into the river before the Cairo arrived. He also reports that a strong Union feeling was manifested in and near Nashville, and that Governor Harris, after vainly attempting to rally the citizens and others, left on Sunday morning for Memphis. He also states that the gunboats are the terror of the people at Nashville and at all points on the Cumberland River, and that on hearing of my arrival, supposing that the gunboats would proceed immediately to Nashville, the army retreated panic stricken. The unusual high water of the river, enabling the boats to ascend the river, was providential.

I have the honor to be, in a hurry, your obedient servant,

A. H. FOOTE, Flag-Officer, etc.

Hon. GIDEON WELLES, Secretary of the Navy, Washington, D.C.


GUNBOAT CAIRO, Nashville, Tenn., February 25, 1862.

SIR: Uncertain that my letter of the 23d reached you, I repeat that I departed from Clarksville for this point by the request of Brigadier-General Smith, commanding at Clarksville, and arrived here this morning, preceding seven steamboats, conveying an army commanded by Brigadier-General Nelson. The troops landed without, opposition.

The banks of the river are free from any hostile force. The railroad and suspension bridge here are destroyed.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

N. C. BRYANT, Lieutenant. Commanding.

Flag-Officer A. H. FOOTE, Commanding Flotilla, Western Waters.

Navy OR, Ser. I, Vol. 22, pp. 639-640.

        27, A "most formidable weapon" in Carter county

The Knoxville Register has the following:

Jas. P. Taylor, of Carter county, a son of Rev. N. G. Taylor, has invented a most formidable weapon in the shape of a rifled carbine, which may be discharged forty times per minute. The loads are contained in slides which move from right to left—every pull of the trigger presenting a fresh load to the barrel. As many of these slides, containing ten or fifteen loads, as can be conveniently carried on the person, may be successively and rapidly discharged. The gun was exhibited in our office yesterday, and was also submitted to the inspection of Col. Leadbetter and others military gentlemen. We have not heard the opinion of others, but from our limited mechanical knowledge we think it may, with little information, fulfill the expectations of the inventor, and be made the most efficient and destructive weapon known to modern warfare. The inventor is but seventeen years of age and this first effort of his inventive genius certainly gives promise of great future usefulness.

Mr. Taylor has taken steps to obtain a patent for the inventor. He may congratulate himself that the war which stimulated him to this exercise of his genius will also secure him the benefit of it—for if he were in the old Union some Yankee would be sure to steal it, and make a fortune out of it. The gun which Mr. Taylor exhibited here was made, after his model, by L. L. Lewis, on Watauga river, in Carter county.

Natchitoches [LA] Union, February 27, 1862.[1]

        27, News from Tennessee; an excerpt from the New York Herald

~ ~ ~

A despatch received at St. Louis yesterday from Fort Donelson, says that a boat just arrived from Clarksville reports the evacuation of Nashville. The Union citizens of that place sent a boat to Clarksville, which towed one of our gunboats for their protection. The rebels, with Governor Harris, retreated to Murfreesboro'. And the latter worthy, it appears, burned all the State documents before leaving. General Grant has declared martial law over West Tennessee, with the understanding that when a sufficient number of citizens of the State return to their allegiance, and show a desire to maintain law and order over the territory, all military restrictions shall be withdrawn.

Postal facilities are now extended to Clarksville, and the mail bags will follow the flag of the Union into Tennessee.

The Murfreesboro' papers contain a fierce war speech of Governor Harris. The previous rumors of Governor Harris' desertion of the rebel cause in its extremity, may have originated in a statement made in Chicago by parties who arrived from Fort Donelson, to the effect that General Grant had an interview with Governor Harris near Clarksville, and that the Governor stated that, if General Grant would cease hostilities for three days, he would have the American flag floating from every fortified place in Tennessee.

The more recent accounts, above alluded to, however, go to show that Governor Harris remains unchanged in his treasonable sentiments and purposes.

~ ~ ~

New York Herald, February 27, 1862.

        27, William Driver, "Old Glory," Nashville before and after its fall

A letter from a Salem Shipmaster at Nashville.

Rejoicings of a Staunch Union Man.

The following letter from an old Salem shipmaster to his daughter in that city, we copy from the Salem Register. The patriotic of the "old salt" so long held under, evidently boils over at the glorious advance of the Federal army:

Nashville, Tenn., Feb. 27, 1862.

Dear M.---Thank God! The flag of the Union now floats over our proud, deluded Capital. On Tuesday, the 25th, Brig. General Nelson's wing of the army, in fifteen transports, escorted by one gunboat came up to town without firing a gun. The Ohio 6th, the first to land, hoisted their beautiful flag on our State House. A few moments, or about an hour later, I carried my flag, "Old Glory" as we have been used to call it, to the Capitol, presented it to the Ohio 6th, and hoisted it with my own hands on the capitol, over this proud city, amid the Heaven shaking cheers of thousands-over this proud city, where, for the last eight months, I have been treated with scorn and shunned as one infected with the leprous spot.

My dear child! How shall I tell you all my sorrows during that fearful period? My soul filled with scorn while insult upon insult poured upon me. God of my Fathers! It was the desert passage of my life. No pillar of cloud by day, no fire by night to guide me, I groped along in anguish, in sorrow, but not despair. No! no! I always hoped, although against hope, that this hour would come. Again and again have I told these deluded men, in the hour of madness, "Gentlemen, I will yet hoist my flag, 'Old Glory' over your proud, fallen Capitol – then, gentlemen, I am ready to lie down with my Fathers of the Heroic Age." That hour has come! With my own hands, in the presence of thousands, I hoisted that flag where it now floats, on the staff which has trembled with the flattering of Treason's hated banner. My child! My loved one! and you my brothers and sisters. S___,T__,J___,G___, and H___, I am satisfied? I am now willing to go hence to God, for I know he is about to give my people rest.

For the last ten days I have scarcely slept at all. The Texan Rangers had been told I had a flag and intended to hoist it, and they swore to burn me in my house if I did not give it up: but a bunch of Union friends, and  _____of our city watch, saved my house and flag. The later I had made into a comfort early in the insurrections, and have kept it on or under my bed ever since, no child of mine knowing where to find it.

I should have told you that Buell's pickets were within sight of our town two days before the arrival of Nelson's brigade.

So much for the surrender of the town. Would to God I could give some cheering report of its people-that I could tell you of the hopes of future love and peace-but I cannot. In all this vast city of 27,000 souls, but one Union flag waves. That is my own, "Old Glory." Mr. _____ hoisted one yesterday morning, but took it in before noon. Sullen silence and looks of hate are seen on almost every face. Our women are worse than the men. As I passed Zollicoffer's house, with a guard of the Ohio 6th, and my flag, one woman, a wealth one, called out "look at Old D., the traitor," and then went up a hiss and yell from a dozen more. I tellyou, as I have often before, the Union men of the South are slaves without arms, and palsied with long oppression. The Government has no hope of help from them, as far as Middle Tennessee is concerned.

Buell's force has been crossing the Cumberland and moving on the Murfreesboro' road for two nights and days. The traitors are retreating Southward, cowed, half clad, half starved, and not paid at all: and yet, with all this, if they get a chance they will fight like devils. They make their track a desolation, burning every bridge, every tavern on the way. The two bridges on the Cumberland at our city, costing $600,000 dollars, are destroyed by Floyd's, the brigands and robber's order. Mad insane blind on rolls the retreating army of Bowling Green, a terror to friends more than foes. God knows where they will stop.

I must close for the present, as the boat leaves now.

Farewell, loved one! May God keep you, is the prayer of your father.

W. [illiam] D. [river]

Let my old town rejoice with us, fore we do rejoice.

New Hampshire Sentinel, March 20, 1862.

        27, "Interesting Incidents and Details of the Fort Donelson Victory."


The Correspondent of the New York World furnishes the following:

On the Sunday morning after the surrender, Major Mudd, of the Illinois Cavalry, had been out scouting to see if the road out from the camp. Returning he met for or five men in citizen's dress, whom he hailed, and, on being told they lived but a short distance from the place, passed on. He had hardly gone twenty steps before the cowardly miscreants turned and shot him in the back. He had just strength enough to ride into camp, where at all accounts he was dangerously ill.

The rebels at Donelson had a line of telegraph from one side of the fort to another, so that they could send from one wing to the other (three miles) instantaneously. What causes some surprise, too, is the fact that they were able to learn more about the fight at Norfolk and Richmond than at Cairo, notwithstanding that a squad of our cavalry could have cut their wire running up the west bank of the river to Clarksville..


One of the grandest sights of the whole siege, and which only comes once in a century, was the triumphal entry into the fort on Sunday morning.

Not only did the whole camp pour out, but the wounded and the teamsters, not indeed always shouldering muskets but carrying them in the ranks, poured into the fort from three sides in regular order; marching over to the main fort, a brigade at a time stacking arms, and after a few minutes survey filling out for the next brigade. The sight from the highest point in the fort, commanding a view of both river and camp, was imposing.

The Boston Herald, February 27, 1862.[2]

        27, Frank M. Guernsey's letter to Fanny relative to sickness

Navy Yard Memphis, Tenn.

Feby 27th, 1863

My Dear Fanny

I have just received a letter from you of quite late date (Feby. 20th) and as I have not ambition enough to do any work, I will answer it. The Adjutant has gone away on an expedition against the Rebs [sic] and has left me chief cook and bottle washer, with lots of work on my hands.

I am taking things very easy however and do not intent to fret myself. I have been on the sick list lately; or at least very near so. I am around and doing duty simply because I will not give up and be sick. We have had very bad weather here lately, it has rained almost every day for some time excepting to day which is very pleasant, you may guess what kind of going we are having, the mud is a little less than two feet deep on a level, but I dont [sic] go out much so that it does not trouble me but very little.

There is very little news of any account here. Everything is very quiet, though our camp was somewhat excited this morning. We received orders to have part of our Regmt. [sic] fall in and proceed up the river to attack a camp of Rebels, we sent out three companies on board a tug boat. I was obliged to stay behind as I am hardly in shape to do much fighting. The boys were all very anxious to go, and have a fight. They may not meet the enemy but if they are to be found they will find them I commenced this letter yesterday but had not time to finish it so I will do it now. The expedition has returned. They found no enemy but captured a small quantity of medicine. They were rather disgusted with the way their fight turned out. Fanny if you chance to see Glen please tell him that Lieut. Patten was brought into camp last night by a file of soldiers. Patten was a Lieut. In our Regmt. [sic] but deserted some time since while we were on the march, he came to Memphis; and when next seen was with a band of Rebels that were captured yesterday. His punishment will probably be severe as he has not a friend in the Reg[iment]. We all feel that he has brought a disgrace on our Reg[iment]. and are perfectly willing that he should suffer for it. Fannie, I hope ere this reaches you that your Mother may have recovered from her sickness. I understand that it has been very sickly north this winter. The last I heard from Almond Sister Lottie and her little Cora were both very sick with the Typhoid fever. I have not heard lately how they are and am feeling quite anxious about them. I suppose they will write soon.

I am begining [sic] to get sick of this kind of a life, and am longing for spring to come so that we can go into active service in the field. This being cooped up here in the City with the same old routine of duty to do day after day, soon becomes irksome. There is a lack of excitement and every thing gets stale. I like the excitement of a brisk campaign (in good weather) chasing the Rebels or being chased by them, though it is the most please to chase them of the two.

Fannie wouldn't I like to just step in and receive that greeting you described so well in your last. I guess you would find one who could return in fourfold if I am not mistaken.

March 17, 1863

I guess Fannie you will be supprised [sic] in the difference of the dates on this sheet. The fact of the business is I have been pretty sick since the foregoing was written. I have had a run of the fever but am now convalescing. It has been only a day or two since I have been able to sit up much so you see I am very weak yet. I will write again in a few days. good by [sic], write soon, love to all and accept much yourself

Yours affectionately

Frank M. G.

Guernsey Collection.

        27, Skirmish near Bloomington, on the Hatchie River

FEBRUARY 27, 1863.-Skirmish near Bloomington, on the Hatchie River, Tenn.

Report of Brig. Gen. Alexander Asboth, U. S. Army.


GEN.: Col. Wolfe, commanding at Fort Pillow, reports that Capt. Moore, Second Illinois Cavalry, reached, on the 27th ultimo, at daybreak, with 200 mounted [men], the principal camp of the rebel Col. [R. V.] Richardson, in the neighborhood of Bloomington, on the Hatchie. The rebels, however, started on the previous day to the southeast, leaving only 8 men to guard the camp and collect conscripts. This guard was taken, with all the property in their charge, 27 horses and mules, wagons and commissary stores, and the camp, with several large buildings and comfortable quarters, entirely destroyed.

ASBOTH, Brig.-Gen.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 24, pt. I, p. 422.

        27, Expedition from Fort Pillow

No circumstantial reports filed.

        27, A Concert at the Athenaeum, Columbia, Tennessee

Columbia, Tenn., Feb. 27, 1863,

A concert was given last night at the Atheneum [sic] for the benefit of sick soldiers, under the direction of the Rev. Mr. Smith, principal of the Young Ladies' Seminary of this place, and was attended by such distinguished guests as Generals Van Dorn, Forrest, W. H. Jackson and Frank C. Armstrong. Notwithstanding a heavy shower prevailing, the attendance was large and the Atheneum [sic] crowded. The programme was a selection of some of the finest instrumental and local music from the Italian and English. The "Bonnie White Flag"—a beautiful piece and piece of beautiful composition was freely sung and loudly applauded. Casta Diva, sung by Mrs. Leigh, from whose pretty lips the musical words flowed in perennial and entrancing strains, was one of the finest pieces it has ever been our lot to listen to. And Vivra, as sung by Mrs. Leigh and Miss Smith, (daughter of the professor) thrilled every bosom with quick and joyous pulsations, leaving [?] a harmonious chorus, drawing each bosom in consonance with the other by the "concord of sweet sounds," which enraptured every one present. The grand final chorus of "Hallelujah," by Handel, as performed by Miss Thomas on the organ, accompanied by their pianos, their harps, and several string instruments and cymbals, and sung by the whole coterie, was magnificently grand, and produced a fine effect.

The "Chevalier" and a Tribute to Gen. Sydney Johnston, original compositions by Lieut. Col. Hawkins, were admirably read by that gentleman and greeted with much applause.

The ladies who participated in the concert role were all dressed in most admirable taste and indeed with no little extravagance, and made the finest display of feminine apparel and attire we have seen in the South since the commencement of hostilities. Perhaps it is due to ladies further South to say that these fair belles of Columbus, have been enabled to dress better and more tastily than their Confederate sisters further southward, from the fact that they have been able during the Yankee occupation of their country, to select such articles of dress and virtue, as others were unable to procure on account of the blockade.

Most of the ladies who took part in the ceremonies were from the Ladies' Seminary of this place, under the charge of the Rev. Mr. Smith, one of the most accomplished and agreeable of gentlemen, and whose suavity of manner and perfect politeness we have never seen equaled. The Seminary is one of the first in the South, and is perhaps better filled up, more plentifully supplied with musical instruments, and more thoroughly adapted for the accomplished education of young ladies, than any now open in the country. It is a matter of great pleasure to us that the young ladies of this establishment pay much attention to that sweetest of instruments, the harp, which is rapidly taking the place in our households once occupied by the pianoforte. Miss F. F. Smith, one of the graduates of the establishment, and the daughter of the Professor, handles the sweet-toned instrument to perfection itself, and elicits from it such sweet and perfect harmony, as to draw the whole soul forth, and hold it entranced.

* * * *

Mobile Register and Advertiser, March 8, 1863.[3]

        27, Chattanooga Daily Rebel editorial on the state of affairs in Middle Tennessee

The Situation in Tennessee. – We have news from Nashville. By a careful computation of reliable parties there are fifteen thousand inmates of Federal hospitals in that city, with a tendency to increase. There are at present forty-two large hospitals, and all are crowded to overflowing. Besides these are boarding houses, which are also full of officers, either sick or wounded.

A late letter to the Cincinnati Gazette, says "the condition of the army of Middle Tennessee cannot be said to be very hopeful, or promising; officers in the greatest abundance are all on leave, and as for the soldiers, why the hospitals are stuffed with them."

The citizens of Nashville suffer greatly from the overbearing insolence of the enemy. Now that Andrew Johnson has been stripped of the power, that is [sic] been perfectly overshadowed by the military he has become especially kind and courteous. He is, it is generally believed, trimming his sails to suit the Northwestern breeze. He offers his assistance freely to "his suffering fellow-citizens," and professes to be very much aggrieved by the brutal course of the Yankee officers. Fire wood is very scarce, and the poor would suffer, but the bond between the rich and the poor, who are true and loyal, has dissipated all distinctions of formality, and one Southern family helps another, freely and at all times.

"The families of our soldiers are not in want. Mitchell, the commandant of the post, is represented as a Kansas ruffian out and out. The "daily dirty Union" is preaching the most foul and extreme abolitionism. There are only one division and two or three battalions of cavalry now in the city besides artillerymen and bands employed on the fortifications, numbering in all about ten thousand men. Eight thousand more are at Franklin, and the main body near Murfreesboro'.

[Chattanooga Rebel, 27th ult.]

Daily Morning News, March 2, 1863.[4]

        27-ca. 28, Guerrilla harassment of U. S. N. patrol on Tennessee River

No circumstantial reports filed.

Excerpt from the Report of Lieutenant-Command Fitch U. S. Navy, regarding naval operations on the Ohio, Cumberland and Tennessee rivers, August 23, 1862-October 21, 1863

* * * *

On [February] the 27th...I again made a trip up the Tennessee with the Lexington, Robb, and Silver Lake, taking with me Colonel Graig [Chauncey W. Griggs] and 150 soldiers from Fort Heiman.

During this trip up we fell in with several guerrilla parties and succeeded in capturing some, together with their horses and muskets.

* * * *

Navy OR, Ser. I, Vol. 23, p. 316.

        27, Engagement at Middle Fork of Pigeon River at Hodsden's house

No circumstantial reports filed.

First Cavalry Division, commanded by Col. Edward M. McCook, Second Indiana Cavalry.

From Returns of January 1864.

* * * *

January 27, at daylight Campbell's (First) brigade was advanced across Middle Fork of Pigeon River at Hodsden's house, driving the enemy from their strong position west of Big East Pigeon to the east bank of the latter fork, Col. LaGrange's (Second) brigade being sent to the left on Stafford's road, which intersects Fair Garden road about 2 miles from Fair Garden. Enemy's new position was a strong one in the timber, and with their largely superior numbers (being two divisions Morgan's and Armstrong's, under command of Gen. Martin, chief of cavalry) they made stubborn resistance to the advance of the division, but they were steadily driven with great loss, and at the intersection of the Stafford and Fair Garden roads detachments of Second and Fourth Indiana Cavalry, led by Col. LaGrange, completed the rout that had already begun by a dashing saber charge, capturing two 3-inch rifled Rodman guns, the battle-flag of Gen. Morgan, his body-servant, and a large number of prisoners, and sabered several of the cannoneers and supports. The regimental colors of the Thirty-first Indiana Volunteer Infantry and a silk American flag in the possession of the rebels were also recaptured. Morgan's rebel division was thoroughly broken, routed, and dispersed. Division captured 112 prisoners, 11 being commissioned officers, 2 of the latter being regimental commanders. The enemy left a large number of dead and wounded in our hands, and their loss must have been over 350. Our casualties, 28 killed and wounded; no troops but those of the division were engaged.

* * * *

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 32, pt. I, pp. 34-35.

        27, Patrols from LaGrange and Collierville to Coldwater, Mississippi, and patrols from Germantown to Olive Branch, Mississippi

MEMPHIS, January 27, 1864.

Col. A. G. BRACKETT, Collierville, Tenn.:

Send patrols from LaGrange and Collierville as far as line of Coldwater, and from Germantown to Olive Branch. Report me any information they may obtain, particularly the state of the roads.

B. H. GRIERSON, Brig.-Gen.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 32, pt. II, p. 240.

        27, Skirmish near Knoxville

Report of Lieut. Col. Benjamin P. Estes, Thirteenth Kentucky Infantry.

HDQRS. THIRTEENTH KENTUCKY VOL. INFANTRY, Five Miles from Knoxville, Tenn., January 28, 1864.

SIR: I have the honor to report to you that, on yesterday, January 27, at 2,30 p. m., a body of cavalry, supposed to be a full battalion, made a charge on my right, driving in my outposts and capturing 1 corporal and 4 privates, who are still in the enemy's hands. My reserves on the right and center were compelled to fall back; that on the right, resting between the Strawberry Plains and Miller roads, was driven within 200 yards of my camp.

In consequence of my isolated position, the like circumstance will occur so often as the enemy see proper to make an attack, unless cavalry patrols are sent out in my front on these roads to defect the advances of the enemy and warn me of their approach.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

B. P. ESTES, Lieut. Col., Cmdg. 13th Kentucky Vol. Infantry.

Report of Maj. William W. Wheeler, Twenty-third Michigan Infantry.


COL.: I have the honor to report that the picket of my regiment, stationed on the Strawberry Plains road, was attacked yesterday p. m. (27th) at nearly 2 o'clock by a cavalry force of the enemy, numbering between 150 and 200 men, and driving in with a loss of 1 man mortally wounded and 1 corporal and 5 men prisoners. The enemy was enabled, through cover of woods, to form line of attack very near to our advance sentinels without observation.

Four of the 6 prisoners lost by us were on post as sentinels, and as often as the enemy attacks so often shall we lose the greater portion of our sentinels, unless mounted men may patrol the roads to points beyond the view of infantry sentinels and patrols. A large force of the enemy, probably 400 or 500 men, was held in his reserve. Many of the enemy were carried back on the saddles of their comrades.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

W. W. WHEELER, Maj., Cmdg.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 32, pt. I, pp. 151-152.

        27, Skirmish at Kelley's Ford [see January 26-28, 1864, Operations about Dandridge above]

        27, Skirmish at McNutt's Bridge [see January 26-28, 1864, Operations about Dandridge above]

        27, Engagement, Fair Garden [see January 26-28, 1864, Operations about Dandridge above]

        27,"A Salt and Battery"

A grocer, on Front row, had a pet joke, which he has been in the habit of getting off at least once a week for some months past. He offers to give a two hundred pound of salt to a man who will carry it the length of his store, without setting it down. He always wins the wager, for the man who carries the salt will have to set it down at last. It was a mere catch in the words of the proposition. A darkey [sic] came up with him yesterday, however. He went into the store, looking unusually green, and soon was picked out for a victim of his joke. Coffee [sic] shouldered the "Salina," and after carrying it down through the store, hung it up on a hook [sic], thereby winning the sack fairly, as he never "set it down" at all. The merchant paid the forfeit, and then offered to give a monstrous cheese to the darkey [sic] if he could butt it off the top of a barrel with his head, when it was set up edgewise. The negro [sic] did not wait a second invitation, but ran a tilt at the "Western reserve" immediately. The cheese was spoilt [sic], the centre of it being soft and decayed. The human battering ram went clear through it, and was the most damaged looking customer afterward you ever saw. He withdrew his forces in dismay.

Memphis Bulletin, January 27, 1864.

        27, "They Stole the Child Away."

'Tis a wise child, they say, that knows its own father, and 'tis a wiser father that knows his own child. Yesterday, while a gentleman who lives on Beal street, was at tea, one of his older children rushed into the dining room with the astounding announcement that a soldier had carried off the baby. The mother was wild with alarm in a moment, and started off in pursuit. She soon overtook the kidnapper, and laid hold of her offspring with tenacious grasp. The father arrived on the scene in another moment, and then there was a fuss, you may bet. The soldier claimed that a colonel stationed at the fort had lost the child a day or two previous, and commissioned him to look it up. He swore particularly to the identity of the little urchin in his arms, and stoutly refused to give it up even if he had to fight for it. No one knows, however, better than a mother what is bone of her bone and flesh of her flesh. She did not in this case feel convinced of the truth of the soldier's words, but held on to her infant as the grim king of terror is supposed to maintain his grasp on a deceased Ethiopian. [?] Finally, the soldier was given in custody to a guard, and two officers sent to the lady's house to ascertain as nearly as possible the true history of the disputed youngster.

Subsequently the kidnapper was released on parole, whereupon he straightaway went into a doggary [sic] and committed so many outrages he got himself shot in the ankle, and will perhaps be a cripple for life in consequence.

Memphis Bulletin, January 27, 1864.

        27, Major-General W. T. Sherman's advice to Brigadier-General R. P. Buckland concerning the governance of Memphis

HDQRS. DEPARTMENT OF THE TENNESSEE, Memphis, January 27, 1864.

Brig. Gen. R. P. BUCKLAND, Cmdg. District of Memphis:

DEAR GEN.: As I am about to leave and you are to remain, I desire to express to you personally the confidence I have in your integrity, judgment, and good sense. You know how much stress I have put on honesty in the character of an U. S. officer. Merchants naturally make gains; it is their calling; but an officer has a salary and nothing else, and if you see by an officer's style of living or any external symptoms that he is spending more than his pay, or if you observe him interested in the personal affairs of business men, stop it and send him to some other duty. Do not let officers settle down into comfortable homes, but make camps and collect in them all the floating mass and send them to their regiments.

Make an order that all officers arriving at Memphis, to remain over twenty-four hours, must call at your headquarters and register their names and business, and all soldiers must do the same.

You can confer in the most friendly spirit with the people here and in the country. Assure them that if they act in good faith to the United States we will fully reciprocate. They must, however, act. Good will of itself is of no value in war.

As an army we will the care of all large hostile bodies, but cannot undertake to do the work of police. We have heretofore done too much of this, and you can in your own way gradually do less and less of it till finally the city and county authorities can take it all off our hands.

Memphis, as a military depot, must be held with the tenacity of life. The fort must be impregnable, the river secure, and the levee, and incidentally the town, or so much of it as gives storage and offices; but if these are at all in danger move them to the cover of the fort. Encourage the militia in all manner of ways. I know the poorer classes, the workingmen, are Union, and I would not mind the croaking of the richer classes. The power is passing from their hands and they talk of the vulgarity of the new regime, but such arguments will be [lost] on you. Power and success will soon replace this class of grumblers, and they will gradually disappear as a political power.

Let the Treasury officers regulate the trade, and only interfere so far as to prevent the enemy getting supplies of arms, powder, shoes, &c. If the intercourse between town and country be too free it will enable you in like manner to keep your spies well out. They can keep you advised of the movements of Forrest, Newsom, and others, but I think after we get in motion these fellows will break for a safe country.

Gen. W. S. Smith will move with a heavy force of cavalry to sweep these parties away, but some may let him pass and try to feel Memphis for plunder. You might assemble your brigade at Germantown and let it move toward the Tallahatchie at the same time with Smith, and when he has made a good start they should return to some point, say the Nonconnah, and act as a guard, but you can act best when you observe the effect of our move. You might have a few spies at Panola and Grenada all the time. Keep this brigade as strong as you can, ready in case I order it to move to Grenada in connection with a force to ascend the Yazoo.

Encourage the influx of good laboring men, but give the cold shoulder to the greedy speculators and drones. The moment these accumulate so as to trouble you conscript them. In like manner, if gamblers, pickpockets, and rowdies come, make a chain gang to clean the streets and work the levee.

Gen. Hurlbut still commands your corps, but will be mostly in the field.

Truly, your friend,

W. T. SHERMAN, Maj.-Gen.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 32, pt. II, pp. 238-239.

        27, Confederate Soldiers Abandon Longstreet's Command in East Tennessee

No circumstantial reports filed.

NEAR DANDRIDGE, January 30, 1864.

Gen. S. COOPER, Adjutant and Inspector-Gen., Richmond:

I have received the following in a letter from Gen. Martin:

Nearly a hundred men, part of the First Alabama, the remnant of a North Alabama battalion, consolidated with the First Alabama,[5] left, officers and all, for home night of the 27th….

*  *  *  *


OR, Ser. I, Vol. 32, pt. II, p. 634.

27, Scout on Lamb's Ferry and Lawrenceburg roads ordered

HDQRS. SECOND DIV., SIXTEENTH ARMY CORPS, Pulaski, Tenn., January 27, 1864.

Col. MADISON MILLER, Eighteenth Missouri Inf. Vols., Cmdg. Third Brig.:

You will throw out a scouting party of mounted men on the Lamb's Ferry and Lawrenceburg roads without delay. Scouting parties will be thrown out on the same roads from this place. Instruct the officers in command of the parties sent out by you of this fact. These parties must not go too far, but must gain all information in their power; the same to be forwarded to these headquarters or to headquarters Left Wing without delay. You will also keep out small patrols on each of the above-named roads day and night. The same will be done from this place.

By order of T. W. Sweeny, brigadier-general commanding:

LOUIS H. EVERTS, Capt. and Assistant Adjutant-Gen.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 32, pt. II, p. 236.

27, Federal patrol from La Grange

HDQRS. COMPANY E, SEVENTH ILLINOIS  CAVALRY, La Grange, Tenn., January 27, 1864.

Adjutant Seventh Illinois Cavalry:

SIR: In pursuance of orders from regimental headquarters this day to patrol the road to Coldwater with 15 men, I proceeded at 10 o'clock this day on the Holly Springs road, 5 miles from this place; discovered 4 rebels to the left of the road near a cotton-gin. They being so far in advance pursuit was useless. Following the road to Hudson's lane, we discovered about 15 or 20 mounted men to our left and rather to our rear, in line. From the appearance of the tracks in the road in front and to the left of the road we were on I judge that there was a column of near 100 in the immediate vicinity. I was informed that there were 75 at that point yesterday, and at the present time 500 men encamped at Coldwater. Thinking it not prudent to proceed farther, we returned to camp.

The roads are in good condition generally. The information I consider reliable.

Very respectfully,

JOHN ETHERIDGE, Second Lieut. Company E, Cmdg. Expedition.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 32, pt. II, p. 242.

        27, Major General W. T. Sherman transfers rolling stock of the Memphis and Charleston Railroad to the Nashville and Decatur Railroad


Memphis, January 27, 1864.

I. The Memphis and Charleston Railroad will be broken up and the cars, locomotives, and all machinery that would be useful to the Nashville and Decatur Railroad will be sent by steam-boat to Nashville and delivered to the agent of Mr. Anderson, superintendent of the railroads in this military division.

II. Two locomotives and ten box cars will be retained in Memphis for use in supplying the picket station out on the road.

III. The expenses incurred in the execution of this order will come out of the funds now in the hands of the quartermaster of the road; but in case they are insufficient Capt. Eddy will provide transportation and  funds to complete the change.

IV. Gen. J. D. Webster will superintend the execution of this order, and make any further directions necessary to carry out its objects with as much celerity as possible, and having completed the business will rejoin the general commanding wherever he may be.

By order of Maj. Gen. W. T. Sherman

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 32, pt. II, p. 243.

        27, Letter to Brigadier General S. P. Carter asking protection Federal depredations committed in East Tennessee

KNOXVILLE, TENN., January 27, 1864.

Brig. Gen. S. P. CARTER:

DEAR SIR: You have in one of your orders or addresses to the people of East Tennessee urged the farmers to plant large crops and promised protection to them, but at present their existence is threatened by the destruction of their fencing and the taking of their family supplies of provisions; therefore we ask of you to state to us whether we can still ask of you protection for our family supplies. If the army needs all we have let us know and we will leave the country. The soldiers in our neighborhood are robbing smokehouses and taking the corn and seed oats, even when your safeguard is shown; and even colonels in command when informed of it say their necessities are of such a character that they are compelled to take them. Deal with us as you please, but let us know the worst.



OR, Ser. I, Vol. 32, pt. II, p. 245.

27, Newspaper report on Confederate troop withdrawals in West Tennessee

Movement of Rebel Troops in West Tennessee.

Cairo, Feb. 26-The Memphis Bulletin this morning says that the rebel leaders lately issued orders to have all the detachments of their troops in West Tennessee, together with such conscripts as they have gathered, sent south without delay, and we have reason to believe that the larger portion of the rebel forces lately about Memphis have already gone. Their destination will be Mobile.

~ ~ ~

Baltimore Sun, February 27, 1865.


[1] As cited in:

[2] PQCW

[3] As cited in:


[5] Alabama troops, along with Tennessee and Mississippi soldiers, had been leaving the Confederate army since early January 1864, at least according to Union Brigadier-General G. M. Dodge's report:

PULASKI, January 6, 1864.

Maj. R. M. SAWYER:

*  *  *  *

Wheeler and Wharton have been ordered back from East Tennessee, and Roddey is guarding north bank of Tennessee….There is great desertion in Tennessee, North Alabama, and Mississippi troops.

G. M. DODGE, Brig.-Gen.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 32, pt. II, p. 35.

James B. Jones, Jr.

Public Historian

Tennessee Historical Commission

2941 Lebanon Road

Nashville, TN  37214

(615)-770-1090 ext. 115

(615)-532-1549  FAX