Sunday, February 8, 2015

2.8.2015 Tennessee Civil War Notes


The voting tomorrow, although not at all decisive of the fate of this State, is of such importance to it, that the native Tennessean will do well to permit nothing but his own knowledge of the situation of the State, its requirements, and its honor to influence his vote. Sit down, Tennessean, to-night, reflect coolly and calmly on the lessons and teachings of your life; forget parties, sects and everything but your wife and little ones. Consider their [sic] needs and those of the business by you feed, clothe and lodge them; be guided wholely [sic] and solely by your own [sic] judgment. Heed no papers, heed no debates; if read you must, read State statistics, not political diatribes. Remember that though you have but one vote, it may turn the scale in your district; vote not lightly, nor above all abstain from voting. These are dread times to vote in; let the family prayer ascent to-night for the State ere you vote for it to-morrow. Heed not silly threats of either Union papers or secession papers, striving for private ends. Marked [sic] you can be; but, Tennessean, mark him that dares to mark you, or threatens to mark in your own home. You, standing on your own soil, God over you with the dread thunder of civil war muttering in his hand heed not the press a jot; heed not the political clique or the debating office-seeker; heed no threats, which are but insults; stand up, judge the needs of your State that gave you birth-room by your own knowledge of them; and with your wife, mother and children in your mind, as in your heart, cast your vote, and be sure whatever its effect here, the recording angel will mark it in the ledgers of that republic where contention enters not.

Memphis Daily Argus, February 8, 1861.

        8, "Another Political Demonstration – Minute Men Torchlight Procession."

This has emphatically been a week of political demonstration. Two torchlight processions for the Union forces have already taken place, and this evening the advocates of secession make the last public demonstration prior to the election to-morrow [sic] for delegates to the State convention. The "minute men and the friends of the South: will form on the west front of [the] Exchange building at eight o'clock, and under the direction of W. R. Hunt, chief Marshal, assisted by numerous assistants, take the following route: Out Poplar street to Main, down Main to Union, out Union to Desoto, thence to Vance, and to Shelby, up Shelby to Union, out Union to Main, up Main to Madison, out Madison to Second up Second to Market, out Market to Front row, down Front row to Exchange building, where a number of speeches will be made. Parties on horseback are requested to meet at Whitney's stable, on Main street, thence proceed to Exchange building, and form the rear of the line. Messrs. A. H. Douglas, J. M. Crews, J. J. Wicks, T. J. Finnie, J. F. Strange, C. W. Frazer, W. W. Walker, J. H. Edmonson, Dr. W. C. Cavanaugh, J. Brett, J. Logwood, T. J. Foster, Capt. J. Hamilton, Dr. J. H. Erskine, J. A. Williamson and Col. Tilman have been appointed marshals to escort the ladies who may join the procession. We presume there will be a large turn out, as immense preparations have been made to secure one.

Memphis Argus, February 8, 1861.

        8, Destruction of Memphis & Bowling Green Railroad bridge over Tennessee River near Fort Henry by U. S. N.

U. S. Gunboat Carondelet

Fort Henry, Tennessee River, February 8, 1862.

Sir: I have just returned from destroying the bridges of the Memphis and Bowling Green Railroad (up this river), where I was instructed to proceed by General Grant on the 7th instant. Colonel [J.D.] Webster, with other officers, and two companies of sharpshooters, accompanied me to do the job.

We found the place deserted by rebel troops, who left their tents, wagons, etc., some of which we brought here.

* * * *

Most respectfully, your obedient servant

H. Walke, Commander, U. S. Navy

Navy OR, Ser. I, Vol. 22, p. 575.

        8, "My anxiety about Frank is intense;" apprehension about the future in Nashville

Nashville Feb 8th 1862

Dear Bettie

I received your letter of the 2nd this morning. I am glad to hear Rebecca is well but sorry Mr Kimberly is suffering with rheumatism. I have nothing to write you this week dear Bettie but painful news. Fort Henry has been taken by the Federal troops with a loss on our side of three or four killed and eighty taken prisoners. Our men retreated in good order, saved their guns I am glad to say, instead of throwing them away as in the disgraceful stampede of Fishing Creek. Our field pieces however we were obliged to leave. My anxiety about Frank is intense. He is at Fort Donelson (11 miles from Fort Henry) where a desperate battle is hourly expected. It is thought they may now be fighting there. The battle must be a hard fought and decided one but it is believed we have the force and bravery concentrated there to be victorious. That we may have, and I pray God that we may repulse them or Nashville is gone. Nashville is thought by many of our most reliable people to be in imminent danger. If they come and we can't defend ourselves we are prepared to welcome them to a pile of ruins, our people would immediately fire every place that could afford them quarters or in any way benefit from them. If they come I hope to be able to entertain a large number. I would with pleasure give each a cup of coffee and I think it would be the last any of them would ever drink. I think Nashville [is] in great danger and have wished very much to send your portrait together with the two of Henry to Chapel Hill, but Mr. Sehon advised me not to do it, as it could not be done but with great difficulty, and probably in the present disturbed and burdened State of the roads they could not reach Chapel Hill safely.

I can think of nothing but dear Frank and his danger. Ma is nearly crazy about him and on her account I have to appear hopeful but I feel more gloomy than I have ever felt about the war. It is seriously believed that Gen Johnston will soon order from Nashville to some safer point all the Government Stores, the Quartermasters stores, the Ordnance and Commissary's, when of course Mr. Sehon will have to go. But I should regret that only on account of the circumstances being such as to render it impossible to retain the supplies in Nashville. As far as I am personally concerned I would thank Heaven that I could leave Nashville to go any where upon the face of the habitable globe that I could board until the war is over and we can go to housekeeping. As long as Mr. Sehon is in the Army and may any moment have to leave it is useless to think of commencing housekeeping. I have been so dissatisfied that Mr. Sehon determined to risk it and rent a house, but on mentioning to some of his friends his expectations, he was told [by] men of influence & other officers that it would ruin him in the estimation of the officers in the Army, that it would look to them as though he was determined to settle down with no expectation of being ordered away. He told me this but was still willing to do any thing to make me feel satisfied. Of course I say nothing more about housekeeping as I will never do any thing that will make me feel that my course has done my husband an injury, but daily I become more restless and dissatisfied. In comparison with myself I consider you blessed in having a home of your own. I would I assure you joyfully exchange circumstances for the war.

You ask if your enema [sic] is safe. Yes perfectly and if you are willing to trust it by express I will send it to you. Tell me in your next about the vaccine matter. I do not know that there is any in Nashville, but I will try to get some from one of the physicians."

Your affectionate sister

A.[nnie] M. S.[ehon]

Kimberly Family Correspondence

        ca. 8, Seizure of wheat and flour by U. S. S. Tyler at Clifton

Excerpt from the Report of Lieutenant. Gwin, U. S. Navy, commanding U. S. S. Tyler, regarding the cruise of that vessel on the Tennessee River, February 6-10, 1862, relative to the seizure of wheat and flour at Clifton, ca. February 8, 1862


* * * *

Learning that a large quantity of wheat and flour was stored in Clifton, Tenn., intended, of course, to be shipped to the South, a large portion of it having been bought for a firm in Memphis, on my way down I landed there and took on board about a thousand sacks and 100 barrels of flour and some 6,000 bushels of wheat. I considered it my duty to take prevent its being seized by the rebels or disposed of in rebel country.

* * * *

Wm. Gwin, Lieutenant Commanding.

Navy OR, Ser. I, Vol. 22, p. 634.

        8, Letter of John F. Couts of Clarksville to his brother Cave Johnson Couts in California

John F. Couts Clarksville Feb. 8, 1863

To: Cave Johnson Couts

My dear Brother,

I have been thinking of writing for a long time, but fearing you never would get the letter, knowing too that any letter has to be perused by a Yankee [sic] before it poped [sic] into the mail that I had but little heart to write & beside of any thing was written which they considered contraband the letter would be suppressed.

We have no mail to this place & I hope never will have, at least a so called [sic] Lincoln mail. I shall send this letter to Russellville or Louisville to be mailed.

We have been under the Federal & Confederate government alternately since the fall of Fort Donelson, at present under Federal rule. Col. Bruce from Lexington Ky. [sic] is our present federal commander, and is a brother-in-law to the celebrated John Morgan of Ky. & both from the same place. Morgan is one of the most terrible fighters you have ever read of and has never lost a battle[1] notwithstanding the many lyng [sic] Yankee newspaper reports of victory over the "guerrilla" John Morgan. The Yankees call nearly all our cavalry "guerrillas." I would like to have you extended notice [sic] of John H. Morgan, but you are doubtless familiar with his many so-called raids into Ky. & Tenn.

He is at present at Tullahoma about 45 miles from Murfreesboro under Gen. Bragg. Quite a number of young men from this place belong to his command. John B. Dortch is Capt. and Geo. B. Hutchinson (son of old Squire H) is a Lieut. in his command.

Poston was taken prisoner at Fort Donelson on Feby. Last and remained in prison at Camp Douglas near Chicago for seven months, he was thence sent to Vicksburg for exchange & is now under Gen. Price in Mississippi.

I have not seen him since Nov. 1861. I had a letter from his Col telling me he was one of the very best soldiers he ever saw. I am very anxious to see him.

We have declared an everlasting and eternal separation from the Yankee [sic] nation. This I do assure you is as certain as the waters of the Mississippi flow the Gulf. [sic]

Their treatment to us has been so fiendish, savage & brutal, where ever [sic] they have had us in their power, that no civilized nation on earth would ever blame us (particularly if they know what we do) for declaring eternal separation.

Let what will come, whether weal or wo [sic], you may rest assured that the separation is final. They may raise & arm Negro Regiments. They may try to excite insurrections. They may murder, in cold blood, many of our wives &children, but we are prepared to stand all this, and to fight them until the last one of us is exterminated before we will ever submit to the Tyrant that at present occupies the "White House."

He has boasted of his 20,000,000 free white people and his ability to subjugate our 8,000,000, but with all his boasting & with the great preponderance of population in his favor, and with the finest equipped army & the best Navy in the world, he is at the end of two years not half so near conquering us as the first 6 months of his effort so to do. I would tell you something of our personal trials & sufferings but I scarcely know where to begin.

Julia lost two of her negros [sic], Bailey and Anderson, they doubtless may join one of "Lincoln's" negro regiments & return for her murder. These are all the negros [sic] that have left the family.

George has turned out to be one of the worst drunkards you have ever saw [sic] and affords his sisters no comforts or protection what ever. He made a first rate soldier whilest [sic] he was in our Army in Virginia, but since his return he is a much worse drunkard than you can imagine. I do most heartily wish I had sold out & gone home with you, but then I had no idea of any such trouble, nor did I believe the Yankees were half so mean.[2] I have seen much said in some of the Eastern Papers, about a grand California Cavalry Co., that arrived at N. York & reported themselves to Old Lincoln for duty. They purport to have some from San Francisco. I think I have some idea of what sort of men they are. I see your Legislature is having quite a squabble over the election of a Senator. I hope they may elect a good & true Democrat. You must write me if ever you get this letter & tell me what you are doing about your cherished object in establishing your fine Republic of California, New Mexico & Oregon. This would be one of the best countries of the world. Uncle Cave is quite well & believes confidently that the Confederate Government is a fixed fact. His three boys are in the Army & all have been wounded, "Hick" quite severe in the foot. You must both write & write often….

"Toni" has been in the army in Texas for more than a year. I do not know whether he is living or not. His Col. (Young) was killed. I wrote you a long letter some time last year but do not know that you ever rec'd it, and if replied to yours was never rec'd, for we have had no mail here for a long time. We have many exciting rumors in town today….

We however have no confidence in any move they [i.e., Federal forces] may make & rely solely on our own strong armed [forces?] in the maintenance of our independence. There is no use in talking about republican form of Government, the Old Union, the old Stars and Stripes, Constitution etc., for the Abolitionist[s] have destroyed all & never on earth was any government so bankrupt as that Lincoln gov't [sic] now is. Your gold is now worth 160 at N. York and billions of indebtedness hanging over them, which is daily increasing at the rate of 3,000,000.

You are aware that the present is the first Abolition Congress that has ever been in session since the foundation of this government, and will most assuredly be the last.

Your bro. John

Winds of Change, pp. 54-57.

        8, Depredations committed in Warren County environs by Morgan's command

Morgan's men are behaving badly here, and Morgan himself is losing character by the way they go on stealing--pressing--burning etc. There the old farmers say they had quite as leave have the Yankees in here. They have torn up a great deal, but still I feel secure to what I would if there were Yankees about us.

War Journal of Lucy Virginia French, entry for February 8, 1863.

        8, "Circumstances have been such that I have been unable to write to you before today."

Feb. 8, 1863

Camp 2 miles South of Murfreesboro

My dear father,

Circumstances have been such that I have been unable to write to you before today. You have probably noticed my name among the "missing" in the papers since the – "six days fight near Murfreesboro." The way I came to be missing was this-During the march from our old encampment to Murfreesboro, it was nothing but a continual rain day & night, so that we were wet through. The roads were full of mud and slush, so the four days before the fight my feet were wet soaking all the time. The night before the battle all that was left of my shoes, gave way so that I had to go it barefooted. On Tuesday morning we started on to commence the battle. Co's [sic] A & F were deployed into like as skirmishers behind us some little distance was the regiment we marched through a cotton field & then through a strip of woods; in that manner. When we emerged from the wood, our whole army drew up into line of battle. While there, the captain told me to go and stay with the wagons, till I could get a pair of shoes, and a new gun (for my gun had the misfortune of having the tube broken off, the day before.) But I, thinking I could get a gun better by "hanging around" behind some of the regiments, stopped the "15th Mo" which was supporting our regiment. There was however but little done on Tuesday. I spent the night there. Next morning I was woke up by the firing of a cannon, & in a short time the engagement became general. Securing a gun I started to find my regiment, when to my surprise [sic] I found a portion of the right wing at right angles to the position they occupied the night before, facing toward the rear, at the same moment firing was to be heard down the pike, in the direction from which we came. The firing ceased a moment & then opened with renewed vigor & from the boom of the shells as they burst overhead and all around. The whole air seemed to vibrate with the crying of the balls all about. Just then there came a rush of men from the corn fields, soldiers from the all regiments almost, some with guns and some without. I asked one of them what the matter was, "The matter is we are most completely whipped," says he. Just a moment after a solid shot struck one of them carrying away his leg. Just then the cavalry rode by, and I asked one of them, what had become of Gen. Sills Brigade? (He was then the commander of our Brigade.) He replied that they had changed their position, and the direction that I was then going, would take me right amongst the rebels, but to prevent being taken prisoner, I had better follow them. So I did, but it was hard work to walk barefoot over the icy ground, (for it had turned cold during the night, after the rain ceased.) & ran great risk of being run over by wounded horses, that were dashing madly about with their harness dangling at their heels. Numbers of men were struck down around me. The balls hissed around so that it was a wonder to me I was not hit. Arriving at the wagons, the cavalry stopped and formed into line of battle. "My feet paining me, for they were numb with cold, one of the teamsters to me to get into his wagon, which I did, just then an officer roe along and ordered the wagons to drive further down the line where they could be better protected but on starting they got into a panic, & if you ever saw a sight it was then. The ground was strewed [sic] with pots & kettles, pants, camp stoves, tents, & boxes. In their hurry they drove over guns, crushing them, every one of which cost Uncle Sam at least $20. Our cavalry fled, closely following the wagons galloped the Texan Rangers cheering& shouting to the teamsters to halt. Another moment & they were alongside the wagons shooting them down from the backs of their horses and mules. The driver of the wagon I was in fell dead from his horse. One of the butternuts seized hold of the horses heads & stopped them. I jumped out and was taken prisoner by them. We were conveyed to the rear, and the teams started towards Murfreesboro. One of them [i.e., Texas Rangers] rode by with the stars and stripes on his shoulder, (a handsome silk flag, with gold fringe,) which he had just captured. Ten minutes more another shout & the 4th Regular Cavalry came dashing down in hot pursuit of the Rebels, who seeing [that] they were about to lose their prisoners, commenced shooting them down. Thinks I, if thats [sic] your style you may count me out, so I started on the run towards our lines, & so did a number of others. One fellow fired his pistol at me twice but luckily missed me. Another moment & our cavalry were up with us. The rebels turned to Skedaddle [sic] but found the East Tennessee cavalry [sic] coming down on them from the other side, so that they were compelled to stand. "Draw sabres! Give them hell!" and for once I had a chance to see a cavalry charge. I met a couple of men from the 24th Wis., I asked them were the Reg[iment]'t was, they replied they did not know. I having found two shoes, (not mates) put them on, and proposed that we should go and find it. But they preferred staying where they were, so I started on alone. Shortly after I met a fellow from my own company, who told me that the Reg[iment]'t was "all cut to pieces, and what were not taken prisoners were scattered." All I met sang the same tune, so I gave it up. Stopping at a spring near a hospital (every house for miles around was converted into one,) a cavalry man told me that the Medical Director wanted to see me, so I went up to the house, where he told me he had the authority to take any person he came across and employ him as nurse in the hospital. There I have been for more than a month [sic]. My first employment was helping dig graves and bury the dead. I helped bury eight. Afterward I was put into the rooms to take care of the wounded. Most all that had a limb amputated died. While I was there the doctors had no time to report the names of the nurses to their regiments, not even the whereabouts of all the wounded, neither had I a chance to write. Thus I came to be placed on the list of the missing. I have got my dismissal papers from the hospital and arrived in camp….

Your affectionate son,

Amandus Silsby

Silsby Correspondence, February 8, 1863.

        8, Federal reconnaissance and skirmish on the south side of the Cumberland River near Clarksville

No circumstantial reports filed.

CLARKSVILLE, February 9, 1863.


From cavalry reconnaissance made on south side of river yesterday, we find enemy gone to Columbia. We captured 8 with their horses, wounding 1 man severely.

S. D. BRUCE, Col., Cmdg. Post.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 23, pt. II, p. 52.

        8, Federal hospital improprieties exposed in Nashville

Military Hospital No. 6.

The following communication makes some statements in reference to the above named Hospital which ought to be investigated. Of course we know nothing of the truth of the charges, but as the Hospital is a public institution, and the author has left us his name, as a responsible person, the matter ought to be looked into:

No. 6 Hospital, Nashville, Tenn.

Thursday, Feb. 5, 1863.

Mr. Editor:--With your permission, and through the columns of your paper, (in behalf of the Nurses, and part of the Wardmasters in the above named Hospital,) I would ask the proper authorities: What is the cause of the said Wardmasters and Nurses having to subsist wholly upon "bread and coffee, and bean or vegetable soup, with an occasional piece of meat which is simply warmed—not cooked—through?"

 In the soup the Nurses occasionally find a "bean," which affords considerable gratification to the finder, while others feel slighted.

It is folly to describe the wrong doings connected with this Hospital; but an examination by the "proper Authorities" will find, to their utter astonishment, that the Nurses—"soldiers"—are not getting as good nor substantial living as the negroes that are loitering about the kitchen, doing little or nothing and getting their regular sleep, while the Nurse is obliged to lose sleep and do considerable disagreeable work, and live principally upon bread and coffee.

 What becomes of all the "Potatoes," "Butter," "Eggs," "Onions," "Canned Oysters," "Apples," and a whole host of other things too numerous to mention? All of these things are seen coming into said Hospital, and having a fair opportunity of knowing that the Nurses do not get any of them, nor do the sick get the half.

Will not some kind "Authority" attend to this matter? Forbearance ceases to be a virtue.

One Interested.

Nashville Daily Union, February 8, 1863.

        8, Editorial relative to the deprived population of Nashville

The Poor of Nashville.—Before this unrighteous war burst like a storm-cloud over our once happy land, one source of [illegible] pride to the citizens of Nashville, was the proud fact that the poor and needy of our now war-torn city were always kindly remembered and generously succored in the dreary season of winter. From time immemorial, the noble duty of seeking out and ministering to the wants of the poor has been performed by our less ill-favored townsmen with a cheerfulness and fidelity which no terms of praise can quality. Who does not remember the herculean labors of the lady managers of our Orphan Asylum, and the disinterested charity of our societies, churches, and business men, in times when kind words and good deeds, were more potent than the physician's skill to save life and health? Were Nashville depending alone upon her boast of charity for a warm corner in the heart's affection of posterity, she would have no cause to envy the rest of the world—she still would glitter and shine the brightest orb in the firmament of good deeds. As it is, the very angels will applaud the acts of godliness to which the hearts and fortunes of our citizens have contributed, and of which the suffering poor were the objects.

In these unfeeling times, when the war god has obliterated in man almost every fine feeling and noble thought, and self reigns with an iron rod in the hearts of many, it is peculiarly gratifying to note that the poor, whom we "always have with us," are not altogether forgotten. With the half or most of our population, fled, an embargo upon trade existent for a year past, the idleness of the remaining populace, and the consequent undermining of fortunes, the indigent class of our community has been largely multiplied; and, necessarily, the provision for their relief this winter is much more limited than in former times. Then, the generosity of our fellow citizens, prosperous themselves and actuated by feeling, was taxed amply enough to embrace every case of actual privation; now, that the home contributions,--from the causes specified,--are insufficient to meet the demands of hunger and nakedness, outside bounty must be sought, and therefore the hand of comfort cannot reach all who are deserving. But we believe the united efforts of private persons and the civil and military authorities have resulted in keeping the demon of starvation from our midst. Every want has not been supplied, it is true, but those whose conditions were most aggravated have experienced relief. If we consider the present extraordinary crisis of Nashville, with its high prices of provisions, even a partial relief of the distress among the humble classes must have enlisted the most strenuous exertions. Hence, the agents in this work of mercy deserve our highest commendation and the grateful remembrance of every good and true citizen.

The passing winter will be preserved in the memory of the people of Nashville as the synonym of care, vexation, and hard-living. While the wants of many have been made public and satisfied, scores of families, who formerly delighted in their ability to render assistance to the poor on all occasions, have been reduced to the most painful extremes. Around hearthstones not long ago the glowing pictures of happiness and plenty, may now be seen gathered shivering, hungered children, and parents racked with anguish, straining their heart-strings to resist despair; larders always heretofore plentifully filled, now scarcely afford a single meal, and the anxious father despondingly awaits the return of uncertain to-morrow to provide a morsel for his little ones.

This is no fancy sketch; the biting coldness of this week gives it a painful and vivid realization; and observation, if not experience has prompted us to present it here. Fearful, indeed, is the responsibility weighing upon the authors of this accursed war whose fury is yet unabated. Sincerely do we pray for the return of peace with its reinstatement of industry, of trade, of commerce and their thousand attendant blessings.

Nashville Daily Union, February 8, 1863.

        8, Scouts to Tuckaleechee and Wier's Cove

HDQRS. FIRST CAV. DIV., DEPT. OF THE CUMBERLAND, Maryville, Tenn., February 9, 1864.

Brig. Gen. E. E. POTTER, Chief of Staff:

GEN.: Scouting parties to Tuckaleechee and Wier's Coves develop the fact that all the rebels in those localities left there day before yesterday.

A reconnaissance ordered yesterday on the main Sevierville road discovered that no rebels were upon that road expect some very small straggling parties who came to the cross-road to Knoxville. Day before yesterday a party of 100 came to the Knoxville cross-roads, and, crossing to, returned by the Knob road.

I have moved my division this morning to Motley's Ford, and shall establish courier-lines between that place and Maryville and to Loudon.

I forward herewith report of the "effective force," officers and men, present for duty, and serviceable horses.

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

E. M. McCOOK, Col., Cmdg.

P. S.-I judge from movements my scouts report that the enemy's force is probably withdrawing from the vicinity of Sevierville. I will send out a scouting party to-day in order to ascertain. I leave one regiment of Col. Garrard's division here with Gen. Beatty.

E. M. McCOOK, Col., Cmdg.

OR, Ser. I, Vol., 32, pt. II, p. 356.

        8, Reconnaissance on the main Sevierville Road [see February 8, 1864, Scouts to Tuckaleechee and Wier's Coves above]

        8, Scout near Maryville[3]

FEBRUARY 8, 1864.-Scout near Maryville, Tenn.

Report of Maj. Joseph B. Presdee, Second Indiana Cavalry.

[MARYVILLE, TENN.,] February 8, 1864--9 p. m.

COL.: In pursuance to orders, I took charge of a scouting party toward Sevierville.

I scouted on the Knob road as far as the house of Mr. Rogers, about 18 miles from Maryville and on the main Sevierville road, 2 miles beyond the crossing of the Knoxville road, also about 18 miles from Maryville. I also scouted the country between these two roads, but heard nothing of the enemy with the exception of 4 stragglers. There were 26 at Wyland's Mills yesterday, and 100 within 3 miles of Mr. Goddard's (7 miles from Maryville) on Saturday, stealing horses and committing other depredations. These last came in by the Knob road. None of them appear to have come farther on the main road than the Knoxville crossing, however.

About 150 or 200 went on the Knoxville road (I think on Saturday [6th]) toward Knoxville, returning at night with 14 or 15 Federal prisoners, said to be a picket-post captured near Knoxville.

Very respectfully,

J. B. PRESDEE, Maj., Cmdg. Second Indiana Cavalry.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 32, pt. I, pp. 391-392.

        8, "To Liquor Dealers" -- General Orders No. 7

The attention of Liquor dealers is called to the following:

General Orders, No. 7

Headquarters U. S. Forces

Nashville, Tenn., Feb. 8, 1862 [sic]

I. Until further orders all establishments for the sale of liquor, wholesale or retail, are permitted to re-open on giving bond, with good security, not to sell to officers, soldiers, or Government employees [sic], to observe faithfully all Military Police regulations that are now or may be issued by the Commandant of the Post, and to report all violations of the same coming to their knowledge.

Every house giving such bond will be taxed ten dollars [sic] per month, which tax shall constituted a fund for the maintenance of a special detective police force, to aid in the strict execution of the orders regulating the sale of liquors.

This bond will be given to the Provost Marshal, who shall determine the amount, and furnish the holder with a bonded copy of instructions to be conspicuously posted in his place of business.

This order shall not be construed to open the sale of whisky.

By command of Brig.-Gen. R. S. Granger.

Nashville Dispatch, February 11, 1864.

        8-ca. April 1, 1864, Federal conscript sweep and impressment of mounts, Fort Pillow environs

No circumstantial reports filed. [4]

The 14th arrived at Ft. Pillow on February 8, 1864, and was virtually annihilated at the battle of Ft. Pillow on April 12, 1864. Their efforts netted them enough conscripts to form another entire company sometime before the debacle at the fort. The precise date for the beginning and conclusion of the recruiting and impressment activities is difficult to know, but the approximation seems reasonable.

Report of the Adjutant General, pp. 646-647.

        8, "FROM NASHVILLE." The Aftermath of Hood's Failed Invasion

Effects of the War on Tennessee-Destruction of Property Through Hood-Restitution -- Death's Doing Since Dec. 15-A Good Sanitary Exhibit for 1865-A Parting Word.

Nashville, Tenn [sic], Sunday, Jan 29, 1865.

The citizens of Nashville will long remember Hood. The sense of the injuries inflicted on them and their city by his recklessness and folly will have more than a passing poignancy. Before Hood came on his quixotic errand, the condition of the city was anything by seemly and desirable. It had long ceased to challenge praise from visitors of the ground of its beauty. The marring hoof of war had trodden too deeply for that. But it retained, in spite of three or four years incessant trampling of iron heels, many bright signs to show what it had been in it palmiest day. A number of its fairest edifices, lying without and around the city, had been but slightly touched by war's deforming fingers. And though the citizen, as speaking to the stranger of Nashville now, and contrasting it with Nashville as before the war, sighed as some old Trojan, exclaimed, "Ileum fit" [sic] might do, there were yet attractive points, here and there, to greet the eye, and give assurance that the city's former claims to admiration were not placed a little too high.

Hood's coming, and the effects it brought, made the little remnant less. The huge gaping trench and rifle-pit cordon around the city, stands a hideous disfiguration. It will stand thus for long, for these ghastly cuts, like those upon animate bodies, require time to cure. Right through many a smiling yard and fruitful garden, as the summer showed them, these remorseless gulches too their way, the fences on every side being town down, and wept in to aid and finish the defences. Houses on the outskirts stood in all directions, and stand yet, bare of post or picket, as if a fence were thought a superfluity, and the people loved to have all things in common.

Many fences were carried away by the soldiers and burnt for fuel, on the biting cold days just before the battle. It was a "military necessity" for which it would be hard to blame the brave fellow who were shivering on the icy ground, and found nothing else to warm them. Even a part of the cemetery fence as demolished, as all would have been by the troops in their strait, had not the most energetic measures been restored to, to protect it. Hood's forces around the city kept fuel from getting into it, and hence the pressure. A considerable section of Nashville, adjacent to the cemetery, is lying fenceless to-day.

Outside of the city limits, the havoc and desolation are more strikingly seen. Not only are the fences utterly swept away, but in many instances houses are burned or partially demolished by shells. From a stand-point half a mile beyond Fort Negley, and in the direction of the Franklin Pike, along which the most desperate fighting of the two days took place, the eye takes in numbers of houses that once lay nested in the bosom of tasteful shrubbery or rich forest growths, now denuded and bare as if planted in the heart of some Western prairie. I rode out to the house of Mrs. A. V. Brown, two miles and a half from the city, and just beyond the first line of rebel rifle-pits. The pits remained just as the rebels left them, and very artistically finished structures they were. They ran in front of Mrs. Brown's house, which, with the fences around it, were not molested, though reported at one time burned. A strong rebel guard kept the premises from harm, and the family did not leave the house during the battles, nor while the rebels lay around. It is marvelous that the fast-falling shells from our forts and batteries did the house no injury, while others in its vicinity were dismantled. It has been Mrs. Brown's singular good fortune to find protectors in both belligerents during all the rebellion. The sister of Gen. Pillow and the widow of one of our former Cabinet officers, her relations, added to her amiable and benevolent character, and the charms of her hospitable home, have seemed to make loyal and rebel rival each other in acting toward her the part of friends and guardians. Mrs. Ackland's house, also, one of the most elegant in Nashville, situated just within our lines, and the headquarters of Gen. Wood during the battle of the 15th and 16th of December, enjoyed similar immunity. Some others near the battle-ground, and with shot and shell flying all around them, had an equally fortunate escape.

The destruction of property, however, was immense all around the city. It would be hard to write down the sum accurately in figures. Greater values were absorbed and sunk through the last abortive struggles of Hood than the rebellion ever inflicted on the State before. A good deal of these parties will seek to recover from the Government. Where private property was taken from Union citizens for the purposes of the Government, a claim may be put in, and a competent tribunal will decide how far restitution shall me bade. It will be a slow process, and a difficult one, to decide truly between the many and conflicting claims which by and by will press upon the proper court. This will prove one of the troublesome sequels to the rebellion. The greater matter settled, however, the lesser ones will adjust themselves in due time.

The number of deaths in the various hospitals here since Dec. 15, is a trifle under 1,300, far the greater part have been wounds received in battle. The soldier's cemetery contains a total of 11,500 of our heroic men, who devoted life for the country-a number equaling the entire population of many pretentious towns. This is but a fraction of the stupendous necrology that this dire rebellion has written up; and what an appalling picture does war present looked at in this aspect. To counterbalance this, the gains from the struggle must be great indeed. And they will be. Given the death of slavery alone, as the fruit of these frightful throes, and who will say that all these sacrifices have not been amply repaid?

The Winter [sic] mortality among the black people and the enlisted soldiers in colored regiments is large. It has averaged for this month and part of December, twenty deaths a day. Fifteen of these are from contrabands, about five from soldiers. The cold weather is hard upon the half-clad, half-fed and half-housed blacks, who have sought the asylum of the city in crowds. With all the considerate aid the Government can give them the condition of many is wretched enough. Freedom however, they sigh for, and will have when attainable; any lowly and suffering lot as freeman, in preference to slavery, though the chains may sit easily in some exceptional cases. The colored soldiers have good care in the hospitals provided for them. The numbers brought in wounded show how gallantly they performed their part in the recent battles. But wintry exposure in the field, affects them more than it does those of the more fortunate race. They suffer more from sickness proportionably [sic], and sickness seizes them with [a] stronger and more tenacious grasp. Field service, however, in the sultry season deems to harm them less. Their claim to being good soldiers, to rendering signal service to the cause they love to fight in, is established beyond dispute.

The Sanitary Commission's work for this department during the year ending Jan. 1, 1865, deserves a glance. The number of articles distributed among our soldiers in hospitals and in the field, for this period reached the total of 1,021, 433-one bushel, one pound, one gallon, and so on being counted as one article. There were disbursed 150,000 pounds of canned fruit, 114,655 pounds crackers, 72,823 pounds condensed milk, 35,446 bushels of potatoes, 25,484 bushels of onions, 36,397 bottles of wine and liquors, 51,854 gallons of pickles, and other articles of highest value to the needy soldier, on a like liberal scale. The streams of the people's show, have continue to flow to with the steady and unimpeded current. [sic] It is one of the most marvelous spectacles that the eye has witnessed. It is a splendid record that will challenge praise from the coming ages, in behalf of a great Christian people, whose sentiments and acts proved them worthy of the trust which God devolved upon them.

Your correspondent, assigned to another department, closes with this letter the series addressed to the Times from Tennessee, but of fifty-two letters written since June of 1863, not one has failed to reach its destination, nor to appear in due time to afford perchance a transient interest to some of your many readers. A twenty months' observation from a very interesting standpoint has enabled me to aid a little, I hope, in illustrating certain phases of the war, its effects on the border states, and especially Tennessee, the steadiness with which the great principles involved in the issue have advanced, and the sure and probably speedy triumph to crown the struggle for Union and Freedom. It has been pleasant to speak words of hope and good cheer in regard to the brightening future through the columns of a paper which, and has been, in full accord with the grand progressive movements of the age, and has hopefully stood by the righteous cause of nation unity and a sorely tried Government in the darkest hours. The worst danger is overpast [sic]. The nation will live. Its path, like that of the just, will grow brighter and brighter. And to have contributed something to his august and inestimable result, will be to the humblest helper a life-long glory and joy.

C. V. S.

New York Times, February 8, 1865.

        8, Guerrilla Terror in Bradley and Polk Counties, Tennessee; a Plea for Relief

[For the Chattanooga Daily Gazette]

Cleveland, Tenn., February 8, 1865.

J. R. Hood, Esq.:

Dear Sir: Allow me through your valuable paper to make a few brief statements of loyal people in upper Georgia and lower Tennessee. You may include Murray and Whitefield counties in Georgia, and Bradley and Polk in Tennessee.

No man, not having been a witness of the suffering of these people can form an idea of the extent of their sufferings. The men are now nearly all run from home some of them attempting to leave have been caught and brutally butchered. A man named Johnson was caught and after shooting him they cut his throat last week about five miles west of Red Clay. He is yet unburied, an attempt was made to bury him, and while the attempt was being made the rebels came upon them and killed one of the party, who was a member of the 5th Tennessee, stationed at this place.

Last week about four hundred of the odds and ends of creation were camped near Red Clay, robbing, stealing and threatening to murder every Union man in the country. Instances of the most brutal treatment to loyal men and women could be mentioned if necessary. They have drove off nearly every horse, cow and ox in the land were [sic] they have been. In some cases they took off the last pound of meat and nearly all the corn the citizens had – taking the men's wagons [sic] and teams to haul off their bacon and corn in. In addition to this they captured every negro man, woman and child they could get hold of, and took them off. They got five women and children from one man, in all some eight or ten negroes in the immediate neighborhood of Red Clay.

They left there where they were encamped last week (about four hundred in number,) and are now back to repeat the case. The alarm is given here almost every day, and the people [word illegible] into the worst excitement that the rebels are going to attack the place. They have robbed some of our best citizens within three miles of this post. This state of things exist in the whole country above named. What is to be done? These people are as loyal a set of men as the sun ever shone upon.  They have clung to the stars and stripes through the whole rebellion. They are now dying by degrees because they are Union men. Our town is full of them – some with their families, others have left their wives and little ones behind them in the hands of a merciless enemy and have fled to the "city of refuge."  Their corn all gone – their meat all gone, and in many cases their milk cows have been taken. The women and children in this position are forced to do their own milling and get their fire wood simply by carrying their [turne?] upon their backs, and now their cry is "Will the authorities do anything for us?" Can anything be done for us? Are we to be left along thus, to be murdered by degrees? Some say let the citizens defend themselves. This is nothing less than mockery. Rob them of their arms – make arms and ammunition contraband, tell them to help themselves. One good regiment of cavalry could chase these cut throats out of the country. These suffering people ask at the hands of the authorities speedy relief. If not relieved soon, relief will be unnecessary. They are now many of them stripped of every thing to eat, and not even a hope for another crop. Starvation is the only chance if reliefs don't come soon.


Most respectfully,


P.S. Since writing the above, I have been informed by a reliable gentleman, that these brutes say that they intend to remove from the country all the Southern people, and then burn out and kill every union men [sic] who dare remain. That they themselves intend to remain in the country, as long as they please, and do as they please.

M .

Chattanooga Daily Gazette, February 10, 1865.


[1] It seems Mr. Couts overlooked the disastrous defeat Morgan suffered at Lebanon, Tennessee, on May 5, 1862. See above.

[2] Mr. Couts hadn't volunteered for service with the Confederacy. Perhaps he was too old, suffered a physical disability or was needed at home to supervise twenty or more slaves. The latter seems most probable.

[3] Dyer's Battle Index for Tennessee refers to the town as "Marysville."

[4] This entry is not referenced in the OR. This kind of activity is generally referenced only in a passing manner. The 14th Tennessee Cavalry (U. S.) had been assigned to Fort Pillow "to use all diligence in recruiting and mounting. For the latter purpose we were authorized to impress horses from both the loyal and disloyal, giving vouchers only to those who might furnish unmistakable evidence of their loyalty to the Government of the United States."

James B. Jones, Jr.

Public Historian

Tennessee Historical Commission

2941 Lebanon Road

Nashville, TN  37214

(615)-770-1090 ext. 115

(615)-532-1549  FAX


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