Tuesday, March 31, 2015

3.31.2015 Tennessee Civil War Notes

        31, Capture of Union City[1] [see also March 30-31, 1862, Descent upon Union City, above]

UNION CITY, TENN., April 1, 1862.


GENTLEMEN: Perhaps it may not be amiss for me to give you some of the particulars of the Lincolnitish [sic] advent into this City. On yesterday morning at early breakfast time, and before our cavalry had time to finish their morning repast, Mr. Charley Gibbs came in haste from his house and gave information that the enemy were in force making their way to our camps. They enemy were so close upon his heels that neither cavalry nor infantry had time to make any preparation for battle and a general flight took place, and many of the cavalry did not have time to saddle their horses and ran and left them tied. The infantry took to their heels. The flight became general. The enemy fired many volleys of musketry. They had but four pieces of light artillery and discharged them several times. None of our men killed or wounded. Two horses were killed on the field. Lieut.-Col. Tillman deserves a good deal of praise for his endeavors to rally and form his fleeing soldiers. He three times formed two companies of American-born soldier in line of battle away from the field. The Irish element of his command would not and did not form in line of battle, but fled precipitately in such directions as offered the greatest safety to themselves. What went with the cavalry I cannot tell. One wagon and team was taken by the enemy, that I know of. I think about thirty horses and mules fell into their hands. From the best that I could see I think between thirty and forty of our men fell into their hands. The whole affray did not last over one hour or one hour and a half before they all left. The last that I saw of Col. Pickett he was making speed to the field of battle. What became of him and Maj. Woolfolk after they passed me toward the field I cannot tell. The enemy, I think, could not have been over 1,500 or 2,000 all told. The enemy first formed near the railroad in the woods and along the open field on the left of our entire encampment. They moved their cavalry and artillery into the field and began their fire on our men. They advanced and formed in the valley below, between the (our) cavalry and infantry, and would not (did not) ascend the hill or elevation on which our infantry were quartered. They moved north in the valley and field so as to get beyond to the north of our entire encampment. There they formed in line of battle. Their artillery, as soon as they found that our soldiers had not formed in line east of our encampment, moved up to the top of the elevation of which our cavalry were quartered and opened fire again with their cannon, the balls and shells whistling overhead.

Soon the entire encampment was enveloped in one sheet of smoke and flame, the soldier's houses being set on fire by the enemy. The tents of the cavalry were also nearly all burnt to the ground. The railroad cars, say some half-dozen, were at the depot here, and two locomotives, one of which had steam up, the other not. The one that had steam up backed up to the one near the depot and hitched to her and put steam [on] and off they went south. The enemy seeing this turned loose one of their cannon after fugitive train, but they had to elevate their gun so high that the balls did no harm to the train, I think. This brought the enemy down to the depot. They found two cars there still, one a passenger car, and the other perhaps not but was reported to contain clothing for the army. This car was set on fire by the enemy, and after it was well on fire the enemy left. This burning car was loosened from the passenger car and run down on the track to the end of the switch and burnt up the all its contents. After the tents and camps were well on fire the enemy formed in a large body in the valley near where the cavalry had been quartered, and, as I think, held a consultation of some fifteen minutes. Then they all moved off and went back the road they came to Hickman. The position that I occupied at the south side of the field gave me a full view of all that was passing. As Soon as the enemy started to leave the field I immediately went in amongst the burning camps and tried to save as much as possible of the soldier's effects from the flames. I succeeded in saving six boxes of cartridges that had not been opened, and have them, I hope, safe and subject to your order. A great variety of things were saved from the flames by the citizens. I think the enemy took a good many of our arms, but how many I don't know. Tents, soldiers' clothing, arms, and ammunition were destroyed. One case of surgical instruments was rescued in good order by a citizen. A gold watch, I think, was taken by some person. I think I can find out who, if I had orders to do so. If ordered to do so, I will take charge of such effects as the authorities may order. The order must be positive for any one that has any articles to deliver them up. I think that many guns were thrown away by the soldier that may be recovered. There was a great destruction of property by the enemy. All our soldiers must have been left destitute of everything except what they had on. I directed several tents to be taken down before the fire reached them; some were saved. The enemy must have been piloted through to our camps by persons who knew the country well. The telegraph instruments were broken, but not taken away; can soon be repaired, I suppose. Excuse this hasty sketch.

Respectfully, yours.


P. S.-No private property interfered with.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 52, pt. II, pp. 294-295.

        31, Skirmish on the Purdy Road, near Adamsville

MARCH 31, 1862.-Skirmish on the Purdy Road, near Adamsville, Tenn.


No. 1.-Brig. Gen. Lewis Wallace, U. S. Army.

No. 2.-Lieut. Charles H. Murray, Fifth Ohio Cavalry.

No. 1.

Report of Brig. Gen. Lewis Wallace, U. S. Army.


Crump's Landing, Tenn., April 1, 1862.

SIR: I inclose a report of a skirmish between our picket at Adamsville and a small body of the rebels, which resulted unfortunately for us. As the general will see, the officer reporting attributes the misfortune to a deficiency of arms. My opinion is, however, it was partly from that cause and partly from his bad management, having, according to his own showing, but few arms; and the enemy being superior in number and armed with shot-guns, he ought either to have avoided a fight or charged pell-mell. What he says about the deficiency of arms and its effect upon his men I think worthy of attention, and with that opinion I beg to call the general's notice to it.

Very respectfully,

LEW. WALLACE, Gen., Third Division.

No. 2.

Report of Lieut. Charles H. Murray, Fifth Ohio Cavalry.

ADAMSVILLE, April 1, 1862.

SIR: I was yesterday evening intrusted with 28 men from Company I, Fifth Ohio Volunteer Cavalry, and instructed to proceed on the main road from this place to Purdy and relieve the temporary cavalry picket that had been thrown out, under command of Lieut. A. C. Rossman, on the approach of our forces to this place. On reaching the rendezvous of our picket Lieut. Rossman reported that the enemy's pickets had been seen during the afternoon but a quarter of a mile in advance of our own, and that there were suspicious indications that the enemy's cavalry contemplated making a charge upon our pickets. With this information I deemed it necessary to advance all the force under my command, to station the first night relief, and reconnoiter the ground of our outer pickets, with a view to place them in the safest position for the night. When I reached our out pickets I found the enemy were hovering around a neighboring woods in front. I drew in our pickets a short distance, and stationed 4 carbineers and 2 men with pistols below a small hill in the road, where they would be in some measure screened from the enemy, and yet able to discover their approach a long distance on the road. I had just completed this arrangement and wheeled my main force to return when the picket signaled the approach of the enemy's cavalry. I immediately commanded the main force about and ordered the carbineers to support the pickets. The carbineers in the force advanced with the pickets to the brow of the hill and checked the rebel charge. When they reached this position the rebels, who had advanced within a few paces, opened a rapid and severe fire from their double-barreled shot-guns. This our men returned with spirit, nor did a man flinch until they had emptied their carbines and pistols.

I cannot speak in too high terms of the bravery that this little band manifested, as they received the full fire of an overwhelming foe. During this engagement the main force to stand firm below the hill, where they were under cover-the enemy's fire passing 3 or 4 feet over their heads.

When the pickets gave way and fell back on our ranks many of the horses, which were unaccustomed to firing, became restive and produced confusion in our ranks. At the same time the enemy advanced, and our men, most of whom were armed with nothing but a saber, gave way, and a general retreat followed. The enemy pursued about half a mile.

We lost in this engagement 3 men, with their arms (armed with carbine, pistol, and saber), as follows: Sergt. E. T. Cook and Privates William Ledwell and John Pelley. When Sergeant Cook was seen he was riding amongst the rebels, fighting them hand to hand. It is not ascertained if he was wounded before being taken prisoner. Ledwell is supposed to be badly wounded or killed, as his saddle was covered with blood. Pelley is a prisoner, and supposed unharmed. The horses of the captured men by some means escaped and returned to camp with their saddle equipments. Four of our horses were hit; one disabled.

In concluding this report permit me to say that our men will not stand and cope with such a well-armed foe while they themselves are so inefficiently and poorly armed. We have now but 7 carbineers to our company and no cartridges for them. We are in possession of but 28 pistols, and they were long since condemned as wholly unfit for service. They are a spurious weapon, made out of cast iron, and one half of the time will neither cock nor revolve. These facts contribute to discourage our men and chill their ardor.

Every succeeding defeat similar to the present will render our men more timid and the rebels more confident. Every engagement of our cavalry with theirs, under our present poorly-armed condition, must prove disastrous. Our men are brave. They ask for good arms; they deserve them. They say, "Give us good weapons and we will fight to the death."

I am, sir, your most obedient servant,

C. H. MURRAY, Lieut. Company I, Fifth Ohio Volunteer Cavalry.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 10, pt. I, pp. 78-79.

        31, Parson Brownlow's sick bed narrative

Persecution of Parson Brownlow.

His Own Story of His Trials.

The following narrative is from Dr. Brownlow's own lips, and lately dictated by him while lying sick at Nashville, Tenn.

Our reign of terror has been as violent and relentless as ever was experienced in the civilized world.

I will not pause to speak of the several elections held to carry the State out, but will content myself by saying that it was never fairly voted out, but forced out at the point of a bayonet, good men being unwilling to encounter the insults threats, and injuries of the Secesh mob.

The stream of Secession fire commenced pouring through the town of Knoxville upon the East Tennessee Railroad as far back as twelve months ago, thousands of armed troops going toward the Potomac before Lincoln's proclamtion appeared and before the assault upon Fort Sumter.

My house and office were singled out as objects worthy of special assault and battery. The infuriated Southern soldiers, of the lowest morals imaginable, were encouraged by the Secession citizens to put down the flag over my residence and demolish my office. Upon the arrival of every new installment, while awaiting transportation, they surrounded my house, howling like wolves, swearing and cursing like troopers, and blackguarding its inmates without regard to age or sex.

I continued to fight them in every legitimate shape until October 25, 1861, when they seized upon my office, building, press, type and engine, and used the edifice for repairing and preparing guns for their soldiers. On the 6th of November the election for President and Vice President of the Rebel Government, and for members of the Rebel Congress took place.

The Union voters refused to go to the polls, the result of which was that Davis and Stephens obtained no votes of any consequence, and their Congressmen were elected by some 700 votes from the largest districts. Out of 175,000 votes in the whole State, Davis and Stephen received about 25,000, and mighty few of these in East Tennessee-the Sheriffs and their deputies utterly refusing to open polls.

This exasperated soldiers and citizens of the Secesh party, and they determined to hang the leading Unionists. At the same time the Legislature passed a law ordering all Union men to give up their fire-arms of every description, under penalty of fine and imprisonment. This was followed in East Tennessee by the burning of bridges by Union men. Then came the tug of war. On this condition of affairs, at the earnest solicitation of my family and friends, I retreated into the "Smoky Mountains" with a company of ten or twelve Unionists, among whom was a venerable minister of the Gospel, in his 77th year, who had served as an officer in two campaigns, under Gen. Jackson in the war of 1812, fighting not for the "Southern Confederacy," but for the United States of America. This venerable man of God had committed no other offence save that of declaring himself for the Federal Government, under whose flag he had fought and bled. In these mountains, far beyond the limits of civilization, we encamped for days, and nights together, subsisting upon bear meat, will turkeys, and such provisions as we were able to carry with us.

After a time we returned to the settlements, traveling by night and putting up by day at the houses of friends. Meantime the Rebel cavalry were out in pursuit of us with double-barreled shot-guns, with orders to shot us down at sight and capture none of us as prisoners. We separated, and some of our number were captured. They were unable to find me, although I saw their cavalry pass my hiding place in rapid succession at different times. Finally, failing to capture me, the Secretary of War, Benjamin, the Jew, instructed Major-General Crittenden to give me passports and an escort out of the "Confederacy," into the United States lines, on the ground that I was a dangerous man to the South, and keeping up the Union sentient of East Tennessee. General Crittenden addressed me a note saying if I would report myself at his head-quarters within twenty-four hours, he would grant me passports and escorts. I did so promptly the next day, and it was agreed that I should start the next morning, escorted by Captain Gillespie's company of cavalry, into Zollicoffer's lines. But that evening about sunset, Confederate Attorney Ramsey had me arrested by the Marshal on a warrant for treason, founded on the editorials of my paper before the State seceded. I was refused a trial and security, though I offered to enter into a bond of $100,000 for my appearance. Consequently I was thrown into the Knoxville jail on the 6th of December, where I found one hundred and fifty Union men, many of them the best citizens of East Tennessee. We had neither table, bench, chair, nor stool and the provisions furnished were the offal of a miserable old hotel, kept by the Confederate Marshal. While there, they would take out as many as two at a time and set on their coffins, in a cart, and, surrounded by bayonets, carry them to the gallows and hang them. Secession ladies of Knoxville [were] going out to witness the frolic. In one instance, a man by the name of Haun was hung with only an hour's notice. He requested that a minister should come and pray for him. His request was denied with cursing and bitterness. The jails, in the other counties were many of them filled also, and as they became crowded the prisoners were sent off in gangs of thirty and forty at a time to Tuscaloosa for confinement during the war. Their money and fire-arms were taken from them and confiscated in favor of the jailers.

After a confinement of four weeks, I was taken down with typhoid fever. Upon the physician certifying to the commander that my condition was critical, I was removed to a room in my own residence and a double guard placed around me to prevent any intercourse between the Unionists and myself. There I lay eight weeks longer badly salivated, so low as to require assistance in getting in or out of bed. Finding myself at length able to travel, I requested Mr. Benjamin to carry out his promise. Accordingly on the 3d of March I started for Nashville by rail, with an armed guard of ten men, under the command of two Rebel officers of my selection. I will not pause to narrate all the incidents by the way, as I contemplate the publication of all the facts in a more permanent form.

Upon my arrival at Shelbyville, fifty-five miles south of Nashville, I found the Rebel army in large numbers rapidly retreating and greatly alarmed. General Hardee, in command of Shelbyville, refused to let me pass, and held me in confinement ten days, threatening to send me to Montgomery, Alabama, and imprison me there. The Unionists of the town and county were so numerous and enthusiastic in their demonstrations at my quarters that Hardee said this Brownlow demonstration must stop, or he would take him in hand. When shown the flag of truce and Benjamin's pass he excused himself by saying that he didn't wish me to inform General Buell of the amount of stores in Shelbyville. Finally, the army all leaving, excepting Morgan's 500 cavalry, 200 of whom were Texan Rangers, who swore violently that they intended to kill me before I reached the Federal lines. I employed several buggies, stole a march upon them, and went off at a rapid speed on the Knowlinsville [sic] turnpike instead of the usual road to Nashville.

On Saturday, the 15th, I arrived within the Federal lines, seven miles south of Nashville, where Brigadier-General Wood received my flag of truce, and both himself, officers and privates treated me with marked kindness and respect-so much so that I was overpowered and for a moment unable to talk. For the first time in twelve months I felt I was in "the land of the free and the home of the brave."

From the first to last I have put myself under no obligations whatever to the bogus Confederacy. While in jail they offered to release me and guarantee my safety if I would take the oath of allegiance, but I indignantly refused, telling them that they had no Government; that it was a big, brutal Southern nest; never had been recognized by any Government on earth and never would be, and that I would die of an old age in jail before I would disgrace myself by taking any such oath.

In conclusion, I have not had time to speak in detail of the destruction of Union property, the robbing of Union houses, the stealing of Union horses and negroes, and of the various and numerous other enormities perpetrated by these vandals. Suffice it to say that if the Federal Government does nothing more during this war, she owes it to the loyal citizens of East Tennessee to redress their wrongs and to emancipate them from the clutches of their oppressors.

I have never doubted that the Government would crush out this rebellion, but have felt mortified and scourged because the Federals have been so slow in reaching East Tennessee. Where they were wanted most they leave last. The Union sentient of East Tennessee has never yet yielded at hair's breadth, and the approach of a Federal army would be [greeted] with as much enthusiasm and joy as the people of Palestine hailed the announcement "this day is born to your in the city of Bethlehem a Savoir, who is Christ the Lord."

I have escaped from the Philistines and my son with me, to avoid his being forced into the Rebel army. My wide and five little children remain in bondage. When they are to be released and I permitted to return God only knows.

W. G. Brownlow.

Philadelphia Inquirer, March 31, 1862.

        31-April 1, 1862, Proceedings at Paris, Tennessee

On Monday week [i.e., March 31] some thirty of Maj. King's men, under command of Capt. Pell entered Paris and on Tuesday morning [April 1] they hauled down the stars and stripes and hoisted a Confederate flag....on Tuesday night since...the place has remained quiet. Monday last was the regular quarterly court day at Paris, and on Sunday the Federals sent word that they would come to the place that day a thousand strong and raise another flag, have the court organized under their jurisdiction, and compel the officers of the court to take the oath of allegiance.

We presume under the circumstances that no court was held. It will be remembered when the Federals first entered Paris after the taking of Fort Donelson, they received assistance in their proceedings from a man named Warner who had been engaged buying wheat and other produce in that neighborhood. After the Federals retired, Warner was arrested by the secessionist citizens and send down here a prisoner. The Federals threatened that on Monday, when they came to Paris they would hold them as hostages until Warner was released. In consequence of the threats, several citizens, understood to be down in the Federal list, have fled from the place.

Memphis Appeal, April 9, 1862.

        31-April 2, Expedition to Paris

The following report is remarkable not just for its length, but for the information it contains relative to split of Union sentiment in and around Paris. It likewise indicates the real nature of the Civil War in Tennessee, one of constant internecine warfare punctuated by an occasional big battle.

MARCH 31-APRIL 2, 1862.-Expedition to Paris, Tenn.

Report of Capt. William A. Haw, Fifth Iowa Cavalry.

CAMP LOWE, TENN., April 3, 1862.

Pursuant to verbal orders received I started from Camp Lowe, 75 horses strong (including two guides), at noon on the 31st March, 1862, and proceeded toward Paris, taking the road to Paris Landing, and turning to the southeest. I found a very broken and timbered country, with tolerably good roads, often crossed by small creeks; the timber consisting of small oak trees with but little underwood, so that an infantry force would be able to operate as skirmishers.

Cavalry can only fight in the same way. There are but a very few and small places where charges could be made. The whole road is practicable for teams and artillery. About 14 or 15 miles this side of Paris I found a swamp land for the distance of about a mile and a half, where the road forms a dam, at the end of which is a narrow wooden bridge, about 250 feet long, in not a very good condition, but I consider it strong enough to pass light artillery and other trains. This place is able to be held by a most inferior force.

I proceeded farther, until about 4¾ miles this side of Paris, to an open place, about 1 miles long and 1 mile wide, called "Horten's farm," where I passed the night, after sending out pickets at a distance front he camping place. During the night I sent several patrols towards Paris and the south, to scout the country and visit the pickets. Nothing transpired during the night. I have to observe that from the above-mentioned bridge to Paris there will be found more open places where cavalry could charge.

In the evening I received a visit from a neighboring farmer and leading citizen, Maj. Porter, who seemed a little alarmed about our presence, and asked me the favor of extending my protection toward his widowed sister, Mrs. Dobson. I told him and all the countrymen present that I Dobson [i.e. Dawson] never would suffer my men to commit any depredation, and that we, the so-called Yankee troops, were in the country not to molest or harm the citizens, but to assist and protect the peaceable and loyal. Upon his special invitation I went with Maj. Porter to his lady sister, whom I assured in regard to the good conduct of our soldiers.

I cannot complain about any of the people I met with. All showed themselves kind and friendly, but very anxious to hear Northern news. There is no display of feeling favorable to the Union, but a kind of neutrality. We have been asked for papers, to see themselves the difference between Southern and our own statements. Myself and other officers did all in our power of rectify the misstatements of the rebel leaders and editors. It seems to me that the good conduct of our soldiers did very much to give the citizens the opportunity to judge both parties.

I started at about 6 a.m. April 1, 1862, for Paris, and entered town at 7 a.m. in order of battle; occupied the court-house and public square, and passed through the principal streets to show to the citizens the muzzles of our pieces. Then coming back to the court-house, I sent out pickets to avert surprise.

Paris is a small town of about 800 to 1,000 inhabitants, situated upon a little plateau, which is surrounded by steep hollows, of a depth varying on the north and east sides between 20 and 50 feet. On the south and west the plateau is sloping, with steep descents. Against a force not too numerous and without artillery this position, I believe, is tenable for weeks. The Ohio and Memphis Railroad passes the northern limits of the town, and the embankment forms another rampart for the place.

I inquired for the key of the court-house, which was handed to me. I entered it and planted my company flag, the Stars and Stripes of our glorious country, on the top, which was received by my boys with cheers and hurrahs, but by them alone. The citizens (but a small portion of them remain) were gathering in front of their houses viewing the things going on, but their countenances showing that these acts were not indifferent to them.

I had occupied the public square upon which the court-house is erected awaiting the events. By and by people began to gather around the place, then came inside the fence, looking at and admiring our horses, and at last, finding out that the Yankee troops are no "caribs,"[2] they began to converse, first with the boys, then with myself. They seemed at first to have been afraid of their town being pillaged and destroyed, but were highly pleased in learning from me that we did not come for the purpose of molesting them or for destruction of any kind, but in order to protect them. Here I met with several prominent citizens, who professed, not, it is true, to be Union men, but to have had nothing to do with secession. I told them that I planted our banner over their court-house, and wished those who professed to be peaceable citizens to see that our flag was not torn down; that I expected to see it still floating there on my next visit to Paris, and that they might rest assured of being protected by us as long as they did not molest the flag, but should they disgrace that said flag they would be held responsible for their bad acts.

The information I got was that the Southern party was afraid that the Union men would rise in arms to get up a counter-revolution; that a former Congressman, Etheridge, was to help in that undertaking with a force raised in Kentucky. I heard further that several young men spoke out their intention to resist the [Confederate] drafting operations, just going on for the third time; that the second draft brought only 15 men from the country. The officer commissioned to carry out the draft was designated to me as a Mr. Mitchell, captain of militia, residing in town. I paid a visit to this man with a squad of my men, but Mr. Mitchell had preferred to leave town at our approach. I am thinking that his flying away and our presence will do much good in encouraging the young men to persist in their resistance.

Another man, by the name of Van Dyk, was marked to me as one who took a great, if not the greatest, part in arresting a Union guide, who afterwards is reported to have been sentenced to be hung. I could not ascertain that this sentence has been carried out because of nothing having been heard of him since his transportation to Memphis. Van Dyk was arrested.

A third citizen, Mr. [Hiram Frederick] Cummins, an actual member of the rebel Legislature of Tennessee,[3] was reported to me as being concealed in his house, but after a minute investigation he could not be found. During these proceeding I sent out patrols to scout the vicinity from Paris to Humboldt, about 5 miles in advance, who did not find or see anything; on the contrary, reported the country clear of any armed troops.

Regarding rebel forces, I was informed by several individuals, at different places and different times, that--

1. Clay King, with his force, 500 to 600 strong, has been ordered to Lexington, toward the Mississippi, about 55 miles from Camp Lowe.

2. Two companies of independent cavalry, or mounted men, poorly armed and equipped, were stationed at Humboldt, sending out scouting parties toward Paris.

3. The last party of this kind was seen at Paris last Thursday.

4. The troops garrisoned at Memphis were diminishing daily by being ordered toward Corinth.

In my opinion the occupation of Paris by a few companies of cavalry and infantry would do much good to the cause of the Union and strengthen the undecided citizens, amongst whom I found several whom I believe worthy of confidence when they assert themselves to be Union men.

At 3 p. m. I started from Paris, with the prisoner Van Dyk, westward, turning northeard to Camp Lowe, scouted the country about 20 miles, to the farm and tan-yard of a Mr. Ray, where we stopped overnight. Mr. Ray, having been reported to me as being a strong Southern man, tried to refuse us shelter, but seeing my force, he gave way to better feelings and received us with seeming kindness. During the conversation in his parlor his family expectorated strong secession opinions. Notwithstanding, we were treated very well and furnished with all the necessaries. Mr. Ray, according to reports made to me by several individuals, had furnished the Southern Confederacy with boots and shoes manufactured by himself at his own expense, he being a very wealthy man. I inquired into the matter, and ascertained from his own negroes [sic] that on Saturday, the 29th of March, 1862, he sent off a full wagon load of said articles. (Mr. Ray used to abuse his negroes [sic], and they consequently entertain no friendly feelings for him; therefore I would respectfully suggest not to tell him who informed me.)

In the morning of April 2, 1862, I put to Mr. Ray the question frankly and plainly whether he did send off any boots or shoes to the Confederacy. He denied it. He denied even to have had any such intercourse with the rebel party. His behavior, while questioned, was such that my suspicions of his guilt advised me to bring him before my superiors to be judged, and so I did.

From there we started at about 8 a.m., directing our course to Camp Lowe, through a small place called Coynesville, situated about 10 miles west of the above-mentioned camp. This village contains about 300 inhabitants, represented as professing no Union feelings. We passed through. Nobody seemed to observe us nor to care about our presence, but one of my officers told me afterward that two or three citizens had told him that they wished for us to put up the Union flag.

The country from Paris to Camp Lowe, on our way back, as above described, is more broken, timbered, and hilly than the first described. The road is bad and not kept in repair. I crossed no swamps and but a few creeks. I would not, if I could do it otherwise, direct a transportation train by this road. In regard to operations for cavalry, I consider it a very poor terrain from Paris to Coynesville. From here to Camp Lowe I found several open places, but not prairies.

About 6 miles from Coynesville we stopped at the farm of a blacksmith named Oliver, reported as a strong Southern man, who had furnished bowie-knives and forwarded them to the Southern Confederacy Army at his own expense, and that he had expressed himself that he never would be brought to take the oath of allegiance. I asked him if such was the case, but he answered in the negative, saying that he only made a few for his sons and their friends. Our guide, being present, told him that there was no use denying it, because he had done what I charged him to be guilty of. Four sons of his being in the Confederate Army, and his family having professed openly their sympathy for the South in my presence, I thought it my duty to bring him, too, before my superiors.

I feel myself bound to aver that the whole command under my direction did enjoy themselves in doing the duty to be performed and kept up perfect discipline.


W. A. HAW, Capt. Company F, Curtis' Horse.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 10, pt. I, pp. 79-83.

        31, Confederate scout and skirmish near Eagleville [see March 30-31, 1863, Confederate scout from Unionville to Murfreesborough above]

        31, Skirmish near Franklin

MARCH 31, 1863.-Skirmish near Franklin, Tenn.

Report of Maj. Gen. Gordon Granger, U. S. Army.

FRANKLIN, TENN., March 31, 1863.

GEN.: Our cavalry moved out on the Lewisburg and Columbia pike to-day, encountering the rebels some 7 miles out, and, skirmishing for several hours, took 5 prisoners from them. I learn that Van Dorn is still in our front, and that a part of his force is somewhere on a scout. Can learn nothing of rebel movements in any quarter. Orders were given last night for cooking four days' rations for a scout. Jackson, Armstrong, and Cosby were in front to-day.

G. GRANGER, Maj.-Gen.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 23, pt. I, p. 199.

        31, Federal foraging along Cumberland River near Carthage

No circumstantial reports filed.

Excerpt from correspondence between Brigadier-General George Crook and Brigadier-General James A. Garfield

CARTHAGE, TENN., April 1, 1863.

Brig. Gen. JAMES A. GARFIELD, Chief of Staff, Army of the Cumberland, Murfreesborough, Tenn.:

* * * *

I sent boats some 14 miles up the river day before yesterday, foraging, and sent them down below Rome yesterday after wood. Saw nothing of the rebels. Please answer at once.


OR, Ser. I, Vol. 23, pt. II, p. 199.


Jackson, Tennessee, April 5, 1863

Editors Bulletin:

A large and enthusiastic Union meeting was held at Lexington, Henderson county, last Thursday [March 31]. The meeting was called by the citizens of the county, and Major Wilcox [sic], Third Michigan Cavalry, was invited to address them. He spoke for two hours and a half, and was throughout listened to with great attention and enthusiasm. Henderson county is moving in the right direction. More meetings of the kind would do gold. They would lead the people North and South to a better understanding. Major Wilcox has set the ball in motion. Who will push it along?


Memphis Bulletin, April 11, 1863.

        31, R. V. Richardson's Partisan Rangers defeated near Jackson

MEMPHIS, March 31, 1863.

Gen. KIMBALL, Jackson:

[R. V.] Richardson's force was severely beaten and dispersed night before last. Send Lawler, with mounted infantry or some cavalry, to the Hatchie, about Brownsville, to pick them up.


OR, Ser. I, Vol. 24, pt. III, p. 162.

        31, Excerpt from George Kryder's letter to his wife regarding combat in the Middle Tennessee environs

Murfreesboro, Tenn.

March 31, 1863

Dear Wife,


You ask me whether we have had a battle here. We have not had any hard battle yet but we had a good many skirmishes but I have not been killed nor wounded.


George Kryder Papers

        31-April 1, Skirmishes near Eagleville

MARCH 31-APRIL 1, 1863.-Skirmishes near Eagleville, Tenn.

Report of Brig. Gen. James B. Steedman, U. S. Army.


GEN.: I have the honor to report that on yesterday, in a skirmish with the enemy's cavalry, the mounted battalion of the First Brigade had 4 men captured and 3 wounded. The loss of the enemy, it is believed, was fully equal to ours, but we have no means of knowing accurately what it was. This morning, supposing the enemy would increase his force and attempt to draw my men in, I ordered out two regiments of infantry, with a section of artillery, to march across the country from our camp, to strike the Shelbyville pike south of Eagleville, and sent 200 mounted men on the pike. Unfortunately, Col. Walker approached the pike on the north side of Eagleville, immediately in front of a regiment of rebel cavalry, who were frightened off at the sight of the infantry. Had the colonel gone 1 mile farther before he approached the pike, as I directed him to do, the expedition would have been a success, and resulted in killing and capturing a large number of the enemy. Col. Walker is not to blame, however, for the mistake. It occurred from a want of knowledge of the country. As it was, the enemy received an admonition that will make him more cautious in approaching our outposts. Col. Walker pursued the enemy 2 miles south of Eagleville, and returned to camp without loss.

I sent a forage train of 120 wagons down the Harpeth 7 miles, with an escort of three regiments of infantry, a section of artillery, and a small body of cavalry. The expedition returned to camp at 5 o'clock, with all the wagons loaded, without seeing an enemy.

I sent 250 cavalry on the Chapel Hill pike as far as Riggs' Cross-Roads, and the officer in command reports having seen only a squad of 15 or 20 cavalry, who retreated rapidly in the direction of Chapel Hill.

I am, general, respectfully, your obedient servant,

JAMES B. STEEDMAN, Brig.-Gen., Cmdg. Third Division.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 23, pt. I, p. 200.

        31-April 1, Action at Boyd's Landing, Tennessee River, U. S. N. amphibious assault and destruction of a cotton factory[4] [see March 27-April 2, 1863, Expedition, U. S. N., Tennessee River-counterinsurgency above]

        31-April 3, Scout from Lexington to mouth of Duck River


No. 1.-Maj. Thomas Saylor, Third Michigan Cavalry.

No. 2.-Capt. Frederick C. Adamson, Third Michigan Cavalry.

No. 1.

Report of Maj. Thomas Saylor, Third Michigan Cavalry.

LEXINGTON, TENN., April 3, 1863.

CAPT.: On the receipt of the order from headquarters Cavalry Division, date March 30, I immediately moved my command to Lexington; and although I had reliable information relative to the state of affairs this side of the Tennessee River that did not agree with the report received by Gen. Hurlbut, I, on the morning of the 31st instant, sent Capt. Adamson with Companies C and B to scout the country in the neighborhood of the mouth of Duck River, as per instructions. The expedition returned to-day, after a successful scout, in which they captured 14 prisoners, the most of whom were armed, destroying a number of boats, and establishing beyond a doubt the falsity of the report of the crossing of a large body of the enemy to this side.

I herewith send the prisoners captured. For their names and cause of arrest I respectfully refer you to the inclosed report of Capt. Adamson. To-morrow I will send one company in the neighborhood of Huntingdon, to intercept, if possible, McClanahan and his men on their return. I will also in the morning send one company in the vicinity of Decaturville and Mathenes's Ferry, to attend to the small parties roving around in the neighborhood. I succeeded in arresting three of the men of the Second West Tennessee Cavalry, as per order by the man Elliott. I put them in charge of Capt. Hays, with the assurance from him that he would be responsible for their appearance at Jackson.

I am under the impression that the rations for this detachment are far below the allowances, for, after the greatest economy, they fail to hold out for the time intended.

The Union meeting to-day was a success, and very numerously attended. In connection with this report, I would say that a private of Company F, Eleventh Illinois Cavalry, who was wounded at the fight at this place some four month ago, has been left here since, and has suffered severely for the want of proper medical treatment. I think he ought to be removed to Jackson. His name is Thomas Dungan.

I am, very respectfully, yours, &c.,


No. 2.

Report of Capt. Frederick C. Adamson, Third Michigan Cavalry.

LEXINGTON, TENN., April 2, 1863.

SIR: Pursuant to your instructions, I left Lexington on the morning of the 31st ultimo, with Companies C and B, commanded, respectively, by Lieut.'s Wirts and Bingham, to scout the country in the vicinity of the mouth of Duck River, and ascertain the truth of the report as to the crossing of any force of the enemy in that vicinity. Passing through Buck Snort, I reached a point on the Camden road some 8 miles from the river, where I learned with certainty that no force had crossed in that vicinity; but ascertaining that McClanahan had crossed near Rock Quarry with some 30 men, I proceeded in that direction, passing through Howesville, and thence east to the house of a noted secessionist named Conrad. I arrested him and his three brothers on the evidence of Dr. Ganess, who states that they have been aiding and abetting the parties of guerrillas in the vicinity.

In the morning I proceeded toward the river, upon reaching which I sent parties in different directions. One squad of 4, under Corporal [Samuel P.] Harvey, of Company C, met 7 of McClanahan's men, well armed with pistols and carbines (dismounted), going to the river with the intention of crossing. The corporal succeeded in capturing the entire party. We also discovered three large flat-boats, which we destroyed completely, as also a small skiff, and on searching some houses in the vicinity found three shot-guns, two rifles, some belts, several boxes of caps, &c., which had been secreted by the guerrillas. The men captured had been in the direction of Clarksburg, with McClanahan and some 20 more. The rest had gone to Trenton, with the intention of conscripting and seizing horses, &c., as McClanahan had received authority to raise a regiment from Gen. Forrest. All those captured had left their horses some 5 miles east of the Tennessee, at the houses of citizens. I learned from reliable sources that there were parts of two regiments of cavalry (some 600 of Van Dorn's command) at Linden, and scattered in small parties near the river, consequently I did not think it best to run the risk of crossing over to secure the horses. Returning to Conrad's, I found that Lieut. [Melvin] Stillson, whom I had left there with 10 men to scout that vicinity, had met a couple of guerrillas, and after a long chase captured one, with complete equipments, and the horse of the other. I then moved my command toward Lexington, on the Broady's Ferry road, scouting the country thoroughly for some miles on both sides of the road, arresting one man named George Moore, armed with rifle and pistol, and mounted. I also arrested his brother, James Moore. Both of the men bear bad characters, and are strongly suspected of being connected with the guerrillas. I staid for the night at the house of Los. [sic] Moore, and reached Lexington next day at noon, according to instructions. The result of the scout is the ascertaining with certainty that there is no force within 25 miles of the vicinity scouted, excepting some 30 of McClanahan's men, and a squad of 15 who had been robbing in the vicinity of Decaturville; the capture of 9 guerrillas and 5 citizens, 2 horses and saddles, 4 carbines, 4 revolvers, 2 single-barreled pistols, 5 shot-guns, and 4 rifles....

I am, sir, respectfully, your obedient servant,

F. C. ADAMSON, Capt. Third Michigan Cavalry.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 24, pt. I, pp. 487-489.

        31, SPECIAL ORDERS, No. 79 relative to punishment of Memphis attorneys-at-law John Hallum and John J. Sharp

SPECIAL ORDERS, No. 79. HDQRS. SIXTEENTH ARMY CORPS, Memphis, Tenn., March 31, 1864.

* * * *

V. In the case of John Hallum, purporting to be an attorney-at-law, he is convicted of surreptitiously procuring passes and exemptions, and disposing of the same for large sums of money. The fact of his belonging to an honorable profession enhances his guilt.

The flimsy pretense that as an attorney-at-law he had a right to "charge his clients" for services is too transparent a subterfuge to avail him. A lawyer has the right to fees' for professional services. It is no part of the practice of the law to procure fraudulent passes and make merchandise of them.

It is a disgrace to the profession, and would only be indulged in by an unscrupulous pettifogger regardless of reputation and seeking to make money by any dishonorable trick. It is evident that this man knew that the passes in question were obtained by some underhand practice, probably by his confederate in swindling, Cady. No doubt, too, exists that by reason of these base practices suspicion has been thrown in the public mind upon the officers of the Government as participants in this nefarious traffic.

An example's required in this community, and Mr. Hallum supplies the subject.

It is ordered that John Hallum pay a fine to the United States of $1,000, that he be confined sixty days at Fort Pickering, and that he be forever prohibited from directly or indirectly appearing as attorney in any court organized by military authority, and that at the expiration of the sixty days of imprisonment, if the fine be not paid, he be imprisoned until the same is paid.

It is further ordered that a copy of this order be sent to the clerk of the United States court at Memphis, to be laid before the judge thereof at the next sitting, with the request that the name of said John Hallum be struck from the roll of attorneys.

* * * *

VII. J. W. Sharp, attorney-at-law, has been arraigned and tried for the offense of smuggling.

The proof shows conclusively that he bribed sentinels on duty to pass out contraband goods, among which were found eighteen pairs cavalry boots.

The evidence is irresistible, and to the ordinary, guilt of smuggling is added the crime of supplying the enemy with what they most need. The defense sets up the plea that the evidence of colored persons cannot be received. In this the counsel betrays great ignorance. The testimony of negroes [sic] has been always received in courts-martial, both in the Army and Navy. Military courts are governed by military law, and there is no distinction as to competency made in such courts by reason of color. The statutes of Tennessee are in abridgment of the common law, civil and military, and not binding upon military courts.

All persons who understand the sanctity of an oath are competent witnesses. The testimony was properly admitted and the guilt is proven.

It is therefore ordered that J. W. Sharp pay a fine of $1,000 to the United States, that he be imprisoned in the military prison at Alton for three years and until the fine is paid. It is further ordered that the wagon and team of the witness Dickerson be restored to him.

* * * *


By order of Maj. Gen. S. A. Hurlbut:

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 32, pt. III, pp. 206-207.

        31, Confederate destruction of railroad trackage and bridges in Lick Creek and Bull's Gap environs

KNOXVILLE, March 31, 1864.

Maj.-Gen. SHERMAN:

The rebels have all gone from Bull's Gap, and are now beyond Greeneville. They have destroyed the railroad bridge across Lick Creek and the trestle-work near the gap; they have also broken up the railroad to some extent and carried off the telegraph wire. This is all positive and I take it is conclusive as to Longstreet's designs.

J. M. SCHOFIELD, Maj.-Gen.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 32, pt. III, p. 199.

MOSSY CREEK, March 31, 1864.


I have intelligence from scouts and citizens that rebels are certainly all gone, and now beyond Greeneville. They burnt the railroad bridge and the wagon bridge on Lick Creek; have torn up the railroad generally, telegraph wire taken off, trestle burned at the gap. This is all reliable.

I have men who have seen all I send you.

R. A. CRAWFORD, Chief of Scouts.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 32, pt. III, p. 200.

        31, Major-General Thomas informs General Joseph E. Johnston of expulsion of Confederate supporters from within Union lines


Gen. JOSEPH E. JOHNSTON, C. S. Army, Commanding Army of Tennessee, Dalton, Ga.:

GENERAL: I have the honor herewith to inclose you a list[5] of the families fed by the U. S. Commissary at this post, whose natural supporters are now serving in the armies of the Confederate States, and fighting against the Government which is saving them from starvation.

My object in so doing is to propose that you receive these families and provide for them, as they have no claims upon the United States but those prompted by considerations of humanity. Their friends and their sympathies are all with you and your cause, and I cannot but think that your own sense of justice will agree with me that it is your duty to receive these people within your lines and provide for their necessities.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

GEO. H. THOMAS, Maj.-Gen., U. S. Volunteers, Commanding.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 32, pt. III, p. 201.

        31, "Thousands of loyal men and women have lost literally everything but their fidelity to the Union, and are to-day dependent on the army commissariat for food." Northern Aid for East Tennessee

Relief for East Tennesseans.

The fund for the relief of the people of East Tennessee has, throughout the North, reached nearly $100,000; of which sum the penurious Yankees of Massachusetts contribute $71,813. Mr. Everett prints a daily list of subscriptions, averaging about $2,000; and before the first of May, it is highly probable that New England will contribute at least a quarter of a million to the suffering loyalists of East Tennessee. The money comes from all sources; from almost every man whose name is eminent commercially, or politically, or socially, or professionally. It seems to have been a matter of honor among the solid men of Boston to give to this fund.

The agent who was sent out to distribute the first installment of the fund, has returned to New York, and informs the Tribune that he was called on to relieve not mere suffering and want, but absolute destitution. Thousands of loyal men and women have lost literally everything but their fidelity to the Union, and are to-day dependent on the army commissariat for food. Their farms have been ravaged; they need tools, stock, seed, and the means of hiring labor, to resume their cultivation. They have no houses left. They are like a people suddenly planted in the midst of a fertile country, compelled to trust to their own industry, but without any means to make it productive. The charity which they will accept is not to support them idle. What can a few hundred thousand dollars do for the population of half a State? It is to put them once more on their feet, to enable them to live in the country they have nobly defended, to make the territory again capable of feeding the Union armies.

It is to be hoped that the money collected will be appropriated as speedily as possible. We know something of the destitution existing in the mountain regions of this State; we witnessed it, in all its horror, in December last; and it has no doubt increased since that time.

The country is fertile, and the people are industrious; but they have neither animals, farming utensils, nor seed grain; and their farms are unenclosed. This summer they will be protected and they can raise good crops, if they can only get a fair start.

Nashville Daily Union, March 31, 1864.[6]

        31, Editorial correction

The City Night Watch.

To the Editor of the Dispatch:

In your issue of yesterday under the above caption, I notice an editorial of which the following is an extract:

["]The City Night Watch. – Our of the eighteen night watchmen employed by the corporation, only six were on duty Monday night, thus leaving the inhabitants to the mercy of burglars and highway robbers, without warning and with out any show of reason or justice. We are informed that the cause of the insubordination is a strike for higher pay, if this be the fact, we hope every man who thus acted, will be dismissed, and other more trusty men appointed.["]

You were entirely misinformed in regard to the facts stated as above. Instead of six watchmen being on duty Monday night, there were fifteen. Four were absent from sickness and one on account of a death in his family. The absence of the policemen was therefore not in consequence of "a strike for higher pay." One of the policemen, who is a first rate mechanic, resigned on that day, because he had an opportunity to make more by carrying on his trade. Your are so seldom mistaken in your facts that I felt it my duty to give you this information, and to do justice to all concerned.


Note – We take it for granted that we were perhaps slightly mistaken in our statement and it is possible we should have said that there were only six men on duty north of Broad street. We do not know who Mr. H. is, but are willing to believe his statement to be correct: nevertheless, we would have preferred receiving a statement of facts from some one in authority, with his proper name.

Nashville Dispatch, March 31, 1864

31, Conditions in East Tennessee

THE SITUATION IN EAST TENNESSEE.-A Knoxville letter of March 19, says that at least three thousand northern mechanics and laborers are employed in the vicinity of Chattanooga. Immense government warehouses and storerooms are being constructed, one building approaching completion, being nearly three hundred feet in length. The bridge across the river is rapidly progressing, and will be ready for use before the first of May. Two new steamers will be launched in the course of a couple of weeks. The railroad is being put in running order to Ringgold, and trains will be running over it by the first of April. The trains to and from Chattanooga and Nashville run upon time. In regarded to maters near Knoxville we have the following:

"At present the enemy is said to be in force at Jonesboro' distant 98 miles from Knoxville, with a large advance force of infantry under Walker, at Greenville [sic], 74 miles. The weight of the rebel cavalry is at Bull's Gap, which is just 56 miles from Knoxville. Our forces at Morristown, 45 miles, with Gen. Schofield's headquarters at Mossy Creek, with our cavalry advances at Russellville, distant from Knoxville 48 miles. Affairs at Knoxville are progressing finely. The filth of the city has been entirely removed, and the city again presents a fine appearance. As in Chattanooga, the sick are on the decrease, and the later part of this week the Lamar House, which has been used as a hospital since the Federal occupation, will be delivered up to its owners.

The bridge at London, the largest structure of the kind in this section of the country, and which was to have been finished last Monday, was torn all to pieces by the late rise in the river, the Tennessee having swollen twenty-one feet in twenty-four hours. The work of three thousand men for two months was destroyed in one night.-Work has been resumed, however, and the bridge will be built this time with what is known as the Howe truss. Nearly all of the real vicious secessionists of that city have been sent South, male and female."

Farmers' Cabinet, March 31, 1864.

        31, Circumstances in Knoxville and East Tennessee


The Situation in that Section-Deplorable Situation of the People of East Tennessee-Interesting Details of Events Transpiring in and about Knoxville.

Special Correspondent of the Inquirer.

Nashville, Tenn., March 31, 1864. By a gentlemen from Knoxville direct I have news of an interesting nature up to the 26th.

The Rebels are still in strong force in East Tennessee, and at least tweleve thousand men, under Buckner, are mounted. On the 25th a large number of Rebel cavalry came within sight of Morristown, driving in our pickets and a number of citizens.

The bulk of the Rebel force is at Greenville, with a brigade of cavalry at Newport. There are two thousand infantry between Bull's Gap and Blue Springs.

This gentleman says that the Rebels are committing the most unheard-of depredations, robbing everybody of horses and the necessaries of life. They are also enforcing the conscript law upon all releases physically capable of enduring life in the field. He says, "Things are in a most deplorable state indeed. Men, women and children are ragged and dirty and half starved. The people of East Tennessee cannot possibly live through the summer, as there is nothing to eat. Money is more plenty than it was, but there is little use for it, as there is nothing to buy. I cannot select language to describe the distress and ruin which daily presents itself."

A gentleman has a letter from his wife, who is at Greenville. She informs him that "a few families are getting along tolerably well," and adds:-"Longstreet has his head-quarters here, but is at present away. It is said that he will return in a few days. Some of his staff officers are at Milligan's and some are boarding officers and officers' wives are getting along well, at least so far as the necessaries of life are concerned. The luxuries of the land none of us know anything about. Mrs. Mary Dickson is dead. Old Samuel Dook is dead, and so is old Billy Ross' wife and several others.

A gentleman also writes:-"Joseph Powell, Esq., went home some weeks since. He has been arrested and sent to Richmond. Also, has one Alexander ones been sent to the same place. Old Abe Thompson is cutting up a high band-manufacturing bad whisky, and having all those whom he knows to be Union men caught and robbed, at least, and the Lord only knows what becomes of some of them; whether they are murdered outright or sent to some dungeon to terminate their existence by slow deaths, is not known. Sure it is that many disappear and do not return. He sent out a flag of truce a few days ago. George Jones' wife and few others were sent through the lines."

Our informant concludes thus:-"There is not telling when our army will occupy Greenville. A great many farmers in the neighborhood of Knoxville, Morristown, Strawberry Plains, and all along the lines of the railroad, from Lenoir's to Cleveland, are putting in seed, and some of them will, no doubt, make large crops. The great bridge at Loudon, which was to have been finished last week, was completely wrecked by the last rise in the river. The health of the army is excellent."

Philadelphia Inquirer, April 7, 1864.

        31, Detailed Account of Life in a Federal Army Encampment; William Betnley's letter home to his sister in Ohio from Mossy Creek

March 31st 1864

My dear sister….

Maybe thee will be interested in an account of the manner that we spend our time in camp. I will try to give you some idea of my doings. Today is a pretty good sample- I was waked out of a sound nap at 5 ½ o'ck by "drummer call," pulled on my boots & got my traps on, said traps consisting of cartridge box, haversack and rifle. Fell into line for roll call and after the roll is called by the Orderly Sergt. open ranks and the Lt. Inspects every gun and cartridge box, then drill for a few minutes in the Manual of Arms, then break ranks and get breakfast. Which means in this case, a dish of fried crackers with gravy made with flour and water with a cup of strong coffee, not a bad meal when you get used to it. After breakfast comes policing (cleaning up). Then Guard Mounting at 8 ½ o'ck that takes 3 men from a Co. each day and I wasn't one of them this morning. Then we are off duty till 10 o'ck when we have Co. drill for ¼ hour, after this we have nothing to do till 12 p.m. when we have roll call again, then eat dinner. By the way, I had a rare dish for dinner viz. Oyster Soup. I bought a can of dove oysters for only $2.00 which made me an excellent dinner and I have some left for breakfast. This is pretty expensive you will think, but it don't happen more than once a year, for we can't get them often. At 2 o'ck we went on Battalion Drill, lasting till 4 o'ck when we came in and brushed up for Dress Parade which came off at 3 ½ o'ck. I can't tell you how it appears but is a pretty sight to anyone who has never seen a Parade.

After it is over, we get supper, fried crackers. I have just finished a plateful of them with sugar and I feel exactly as if I'd had my supper. We got plenty of rations now. We drew clothing today, I drew a pair of shirts, shoes & blouse and I am well provided for in the way of clothing…

I want thee to write to me often, even if I don't answer them every time in thy name. Be a good girl and help mother all thee can. I know thee will without asking.

Believe me ever, Thy Bro – W.

Bentley Letters.

        31-April 3, 1864, Federal scout from Powder Springs Gap to Cumberland Gap [see April 2-4, 1864, Reconnaissance, Powder Springs Gap to Rogersville and Bulls Gap below]

        31, Skirmish at Magnolia

No circumstantial reports filed.

        31, Beginnings of restoration of civilian rule in West Tennessee

HDQRS. DEPARTMENT OF The CUMBERLAND, Nashville, March 31, 1865.

Maj. Gen. C. C. WASHBURN, Cmdg. District of West Tennessee:

GEN.: The major-general commanding the department desires that as far as is practicable and consistent with the best interests of the service you will endeavor to restore confidence to the people of West Tennessee, and encourage them in any desire they may express to enforce civil laws against the outlaws and guerrillas who infest their counties. To this end you are authorized to occupy and repair the Memphis and Charleston Railroad as far as LaGrange, if you think you have sufficient force to guard it that far. This would interpose a force between the people of West Tennessee and the enemy's territory in Mississippi. Encourage all the counties of West Tennessee to organize their county courts and administer the civil laws, assuring them that they will not be interfered with by the military authorities as long as they conduct themselves in a manner loyal to the Government of the United States; encouraging them also to cultivate their farms, with the assurance that no more arbitrary seizures of private property of any kind, particularly horses, mules, and oxen, will be permitted, and that they will be permitted to carry to market and dispose of at Memphis, Hickman, Columbus, and Paducah whatever products of their farms they may have to dispose of without molestation. If the people of West Tennessee desire to reopen and operate the Memphis and Ohio, Memphis and Louisville, or the Mobile and Ohio Road north of Corinth, they will be permitted to do so, subject to no restriction except that they transport over them toward the south nothing but contraband of war. Say to the people of West Tennessee that it is not designed to oppress them if it can be avoided, and they may pursue their peaceful occupations without fear of being molested, but that it is expected that they will at least make an effort to redeem themselves from their present miserable condition and exhibit to the world that they are worthy of the leniency which has been shown them. It is expected that they will keep themselves well informed of all offensive movements of the enemy in their quarter of the State and inform the nearest military authority promptly of the same; and to avoid sending troops into the interior as much as possible it is expected that the people of each country will take care to preserve peace and quiet within its limits, as it will be held responsible for the same.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

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

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 49, pt. II, p. 169.

        31, Chief of Army Police William Truesdail's investigation relative to the guerrilla raid on Wartrace, February 20, 1865

I…proceeded on Friday March 31st with Mrs Kate Gannoway of Tullahoma to the above mentioned place. After arriving there I was introduced by Mrs Gannoway to a Mrs Thomas Tarpley being introduced as Mrs Kate Gannoway as an active rebel who also has a husband in the Rebel Army as a good Rebel myself I was at once made a confidant as to the secret operations of Rebel sympathizers in that locality. Upon my alluding to Captain Van Houten's being killed by the Yankees at Wartrace Mrs Tarpley at once dropped into a chair & remarked that it was one of the unfortunate moves of the Confederates at the present time and Doctor Simms was really the instigator of the raid into Wartrace, an explanation to my surprise. Mrs Tarpley said that Genl Forrest had some two moths ago sent word to Simms & other past scouts of his between Nashville & Chattanooga to aid in capturing telegraphic instruments for the use of his department. She (Mrs Tarpley) said that Doc Simms thought the proper time had come and had arranged with one of the Tell operators at Wartrace to have everything in readiness on a give[n] day so as to enable the raiders to accomplish their own object without suspicion or danger to any of the parties engaged. Unfortunately however Van Houten the Rebel officer in command of the squad drank a little to [sic] much rot gut and in consequence disregarded the instructions given him Doc Simms which resulted in the death of Van Houten and complete failure of the scheme.

Mrs Tarpley also stated that the same night that Van Houten was killed three of his (Van Houten's) men came to her house to ascertain the road to Mr. Ransoms, a noted secessionist as perhaps (according to their own expression) Head Quarters for all good Rebs [sic].

On Monday April 2d I made business to the Telegraph for the purpose of learning which operator at that post was cognizant of and connected with the above-mentioned raid. I met Mr. Ware in the office and introduce myself and business (pretended) sending a dispatch to some one in Tullahoma and while waiting for an answer the news of Richmond came over the wires he told me of the news whereupon I seemed gloomy and sad over the misfortune which had just befallen the Confederacy. He seemed to sympathize with me and denounced in the most abusive language Maj Genl Milroy Major Billings Provost Marshal & all Officers Commanding in the Sub Dist. He alluded to the arrest of one Mr Elkins in particular & citizens generally threatening what he would do in case he was a citizen and said if Elkins was punished for killing Negroes he would be avenged. I spoke of obtaining a pass to Tullahoma for Mrs Tarpley & Mrs Gannoway when he said he could have them brought on a freight train without any pass and said he was doing a good underground business shipping from eighteen to nineteen persons every day to Nashville & other points on the line of the N&CRR. Just at this moment some one came in and we dropped the subject of passes.

After this I introduced the subject of the raid and asked him is he one of the number captured to which he replied he was and gave a full account of the whole affair, laughed at the good joke on the parties captured and made a good deal of fun about the expression of Mr. Thomas a good deal of fun about the expression of Mr. Thomas [sic] face as he woke up in the night of the raid and found a face as he woke up in the night of the raid and found a rebel standing over him with a revolver drawn at his head demanding his watch & money. While we were conversing Mrs Kate Gannoway and Mrs Tarpley went to the Post Office. Learning the above after they had gone I spoke in a confidential manner to him (the operator) asking if he could [tell?] how it was the Captain (meaning Van Houten) happened to be so foolish as to make such a bold attempt at robbery in Wartrace at that time and he told me that the plan adopted was well arranged and would have a perfect success had they stopped when they had accomplished what they intended to do. Said he had pleasure of removing the instruments from the table and handing them over to Van Houten and also said that even Thomas thought he seemed satisfied in being so fortunate as to get off with his live [sic] was willing to regard the thing as a joke rather severe on them. But when they went elsewhere they made the things so public that he found it necessary to give the alarm to save himself. Said if he had not given the alarm he would have been suspect himself but if they had gone back improper time with the instruments alone to Doctor Simms the scheme would have been a perfect success. The Ladies about this time returned and the subject was dropped. After the Ladies again came in I asked him in case I was unable to get a pass from Gen Milroy for Mrs. Gannoway and Mrs. Tarpley if he would be so kind as to pass them over the road to Tullahoma. He replied that he would secure the passage at either eight o'clock in the morning or at four in the evening. He proposed to Mr. Thomas to send them in the Express car as it would be more comfortable than riding in the freight cars or flats, explaining that Mrs Gannoway was a relative to express Agent in Tullahoma and Mr. Thomas declined saying it was unsafe and he thought it was not proper to do so.

The next day we went to his office between three and four o'clock P.M. for the purpose of securing passage through his agency on a freight train. This took place April 4th. A few minutes before the train from Nashville came alone which he said he would send us on Mrs Elkins and daughter arrived on a freight train from Tullahoma. He (operator) told us that he had sent Mrs Elkins and daughter up to Tullahoma in the morning & then back. We were put on the second train from Nashville by him and came to Tullahoma. No passes were called for by the conductor, before leaving however for Tullahoma the operator spoke of having set traps by which he was going to catch the miserable wharf rats in the shape of Dutch soldiers belonging to the 188th O. V. I. stationed at Wartrace and stated a mode by which he had caught three.

Blood and Fire, pp. 151-153.


[1] Union City changed hands three times during the Civil War, yet it was not occupied for long periods of time by either side. The following account was made by a Confederate citizen of Union City.

[2] Cannibals

[3] In 1863 Cummins enrolled in the Confederate army as a member of Brigadier-General Hylon B. Lyon's staff with the rank of major.

[4] There is reference to this action in neither the OR nor Dyer's Battle Index for Tennessee.

[5] Not found.

[6] As cited in: http://www.uttyl.edu/vbetts.


James B. Jones, Jr.

Public Historian

Tennessee Historical Commission

2941 Lebanon Road

Nashville, TN  37214

(615)-770-1090 ext. 123456

(615)-532-1549  FAX