Monday, March 16, 2015

3.15-16.2015 Tennessee Civil War Notes

        15, Memphis rabbi sued

Libel Suit.—Among the cases set for trial at the common law court to-day, in one in which the Rev. Jacob J. Peres, lately rabbi of the Hebrew synagogue in this city, sues the members of the congregation of Israel, worshiping there, for libel. Damages are laid at twenty thousand dollars.

Memphis Daily Appeal, March 15, 1861.

        15, Committee established to investigate Memphis alderman on immoral conduct accusations

Aldermanic Expulsion.—At the special meeting of the city council, on Friday night [15th], according to the official report, "a quorum being announced, the chairman took his seat and called the board to order, when the mayor explained the object of the meeting to be for the investigation of charges of immoral conduct preferred against Alderman P. T. O'Mahoney, of the First ward. The opinion of the city attorney was asked in relation to the matter, who decided that the board could not, in its legislative capacity, take cognizance of any such acts as was understood to have been charged against the alderman from the First ward." Against the opinion of the city attorney we cite the authority of the city charter, Art. III, Sec. 3: "The Board may determine the rules of its proceedings, fine its members for absence or disorderly behavior; and with the concurrence of two-thirds of the members elect, may expel a member." We presume the latter words must be construed to mean "may expel a member for cause," and the whole sentence evidently leaves the board the judge of what constitutes a cause sufficient for expulsion.

Memphis Daily Appeal, March 19, 1861.

        16, Memphis' Italian-American population

Our Italian Population.—We learn from an intelligent Italian correspondent that not less than five hundred of his countrymen reside in this city. They are of all classes of society, but everywhere industrious and law-abiding. They have no societies or clubs for Italians only, or any especial place of congregating, but mix themselves with society in general and become good American citizens.

Memphis Daily Appeal, March 16, 1861.

        15, Establishment of military rule in Murfreesboro and environs, excerpt from the diary of John C. Spence

Genl. Mitchel has arrived with his whole command. Takes controle [sic] of things in and about the place. After he had got his army pretty well settled, commences regulating things for the people. He establishes a provost marshal whose duty is to administer oaths and give military passes to citizens. This officer is...O.C. Rounds.

Among other things the Genl. undertakes the repair of the R. Road and Bridges [sic] to Nashville, having a great many mechanics in his army and all the necessary tools at hand. He is not long in getting the road in running order. All army stores and provisions up to this time had to be transported by wagon trains from Nashville.

He thought it was necessary to make a military Gov. [sic] among his other regulations. Col. Parkhurst[1] was appointed and duly inaugurated and commenced his administration. His territory of government was small, but he felt the importance of his position. The reigns began to tighten. The people felt somewhat cramped in their freedom but was still disposed to feel and act in an independent manner.

Goods had became [sic] scarce, but all the business houses were as usual trading on what they had on hand. All, in a manner [of speaking], had sold out.

* * * *

Gen. Mitchel, having completed the R. Road and abridges, started the cars running to Nashville. All other matters pertaining to army arrangements feels now in a condition to make a further south movement. [sic] After having detached about fifteen hundred of his men to hold the post at Murfreesboro, he with the main force takes up the line of march on his way to Huntsville, Alabama....

The Gen. was not altogether well pleased with the inhabitants of this community for the reason they did not shew [sic] a disposition to honor his calling nor that friendship he was entitled to. No invitations to dinners or fine suppers was [sic] tendered to him. All this caused the Genl. to have very little sympathy for the people and at times they thought he was disposed to be a little hard on them.

Well! This is war! Hatred appears the dominant passion now. All the finer feelings are being blinded. As has been remarked, the Gen. is on his way south, where he may find things more genial to his feelings. He is putting down the rebellion....

* * * *

Spence Diary.

        15, Confederate expedition in the Woodson's Gap environs

We left out camp [at Woodson's Gap] soon after dark last night and took the mountain trail on hunt of the enemy. It commenced raining soon after we started and rained all night with a down-pour, and as we had neither blankets nor overcoats, and in fact nothing else except our guns and ammunition, we were drenched to the skin from the start.

The trail was so dim and overgrown with brush, and the night was so dark that the guides were continually getting lost and delayed, and although we succeeded in crossing the top of the mountain and getting some distance down the western slope, day-light came on us before we could reach the enemy, and the expedition was a failure.

We were probably three miles from the enemy when day-light came on us, and so without discovering ourselves to the enemy [sic] we returned to our camps to-day, and are now trying to dry our clothes. It was the hardest and most disagreeable march that I have yet taken during this war. Gen. E. Kirby Smith was in personal command of the expedition.

Diary of William E. Sloan.

15, D. C. Donnohue, Special Agent of the U. S. Department of the Interior writes to the Secretary of the Interior relative to the acquisition of cotton seeds[2]

On board Steam Boat

Near Savanna [sic] Tenn.

March 15, 1862

Hon. C. B. Smith

Secty Interior

Dear Sir,

I am with Genl. Smith's army at this place- have found cotton seed plenty - & will buy them after a battle[3] is fought – I cannot have them brought into the boats until the rebels are either driven off or captured.

Cotton is plenty at from 8 to 10 cents per pound in some instances – they burn it on the approach of our army – The men from this section of the state are principably [sic] in the southern army – I will report from Paducah at the earliest possible day.

Yours Respectfully,

D. C. Donnohue

Letters of D. C. Donnohue[4].

        15, A Federal plan to catch John Hunt Morgan goes awry

Camp Andrew Jackson.

Nashville. Tenns Mar 15th/1862

Dear parents,

Once I take the kindness again "to drop you a few lines" to inform you of the present condition of our health. It is good as usual at this time. I must tell you once more "that our health has never been better than since we left home." Our regiment has been reduced some since our last March (as it was rather a hard one) but it is now recruiting fast again. But little sickness in the Reg: now Last: Wednesday we went on pickit [sic] with the largest regiment that has been taken out yet: gone two days but found nothing: Our was the advance "some Eight miles from Camp. As we was returning back to camp "we met. General. Mitchel. With about 4,000 men going out on a Scouting expedition: takeing with him four pecies of Artillery" & about forty waggons. The idea of so many waggons was rather a strange thing to us" seeing every one with hay & straw in. But this was a plan to catch; Capt. Morgan one of the rebels officers that has been scouting through the country with about forty or fifty men captureing every thing he can get hands on! Now & then takeing some of our men prisoners. A few days ago he ventured to our lines by takeing the clothes off our men & putting them on his" the Capt Morgan dressed in citizens clothes. Some of our teams ventured a little to far & fell in his hands by him approaching them dressed in his citizen suit & walking between two af his own men dressed in our mens clothing. The teamsters made no pretentions to escape thinking our boys were bringing in a prisoner" came up to them presented a pistol & ordered them to surrender then cutting the horses from waggons & placeing our men on "them, made for the Woods"; but this was soon known & the cavalry sent after them! Dureing the night our men came on them getting back all our men but two & takeing five rebels prisioner" also getting all our horses & takeing a number of theirs. But Morgan weapes: for he is sharp. Now for General Mitchels to get him? As I stated before of the number of men & teams that was taken out went the distance of about 12 miles then sending the waggons in front placeing some five or six men in every waggon covered with straw. The infantry was kept back for reinforcement if wanted. After out teams had gone the distance of about two miles they were halted by a man comeing from ambush with one of our men that he had taken prisoner by his side. The teams were all halted: those men concealed in straw sprang out immediately & surrounded them as prisioners finding it to be : capt: Morgan. They was requested to bring a general.. A messenger was sent after one bringing General Mitchel him self: on the reception of Gen. Mitchel by Morgan he presented a flag of truce with the excuse that he was bringing back one of our men that was taken prisioner by them. He was to sharp to ask our own men to surrender for fear of being caught. By demanding a surrender they would had him fast. But all they could do was to send him through our lines & let him go. But we will get him before long. I read your letter dated Feb. 10th glad to hear you was all well; I must close for the present hopeing this will be received in good health & I will write you more the next time! farewell : yours forever. Write again

D.P.S. & D.R.S.

David & Darius Stoker Letter.[5]

        15, A report on the Confederate Zeitgeist in Memphis

Memphis, Tennessee

~ ~ ~

Memphis is now the only large city in Tennessee which is not in the hands of Union troops. It stands on an elevated bluff on the left bank of the Mississippi, at the head of ship navigation, 790 miles by the river from New Orleans, and 240 from Cairo. It is the termination of the Memphis and Charleston Railroad, and is a place of much business activity, being the distributing point for the produce of West Tennessee. The rebellion has probably ruined it. The following extract from a Cairo letter gives an idea of the state of affairs there at present:

The Memphis papers repeat the old catch-words about fighting till every man, woman, and child is killed, and the impossibility of subjugating the South; but abound in rebukes to the people for their lethargy, and implore them to fly to arms. They denounce with great bitterness citizens of Memphis for refusing to take Confederate money, and at the same time paying a premium of 25 per cent. For "Lincoln Treasury notes;" and one of them adds: "We warn these men to make their peace with their Creator, for this city will never be abandoned with them in it!" Even a year of the reign of terror [added emphasis] has not produced "unanimity" in Memphis.

Harper's Weekly, March 15, 1862.

        15, Letter of the brothers David & Darius Stoker to their parents; picket duty, capture of Federals and recapture, Morgan's men wearing Union uniforms, flag of truce, Generals Mitchell and Morgan

Camp Andrew Jackson.

Nashville. Tenns Mar 15th/1862

Dear parents,

Once I take the kindess again "to drop you a few lines" to inform you of the present condition of our health. It is good as usual at this time. I must tell you once more "that our health has never been better than since we left home." Our regiment has been reduced some since our last March (as it was rather a hard one) but it is now recruiting fast again. But little sickness in the Reg: now Last: Wednesday we went on pickit with the largest regiment that has been taken out yet: gone two days but found nothing: Our was the advance "some Eight miles from Camp. As we was returning back to camp" we met. General. Mitchel. With about 4,000 men going out on a Scouting expidition: takeing with him four pecies of Artillery" & about forty waggons. The idea of so many waggons was rather a strange thing to us" seeing every one with hay & straw in. But this was a plan to catch; Capt. Morgan one of the rebels officers that has been scouting through the country with about forty or fifty men captureing every thing he can get hands on! Now & then takeing some of our men prisoners. A few days ago he ventured to our lines by takeing the clothes off our men & putting them on his" the Capt Morgan dressed in citizens clothes. Some of our teams ventured a little to far & fell in his hands by him approaching them dressed in his citizen suit & walking between two af his own men dressed in our mens clothing. The teamsters made no pretentions to escape thinking our boys were bringing in a prisoner" came up to them presented a pistol & ordered them to surrender then cutting the horses from waggons & placeing our men on "them, made for the Woods"; but this was soon known & the cavalry sent after them! Dureing the night our men came on them getting back all our men but two & takeing five rebels prisioner" also getting all our horses & takeing a number of theirs. But Morgan weapes: for he is sharp. Now for General Mitchels to get him? As I stated before of the number of men & teams that was taken out went the distance of about 12 miles then sending the waggons in front placeing some five or six men in every waggon covered with straw. The infantry was kept back for reinforcement if wanted. After out teams had gone the distance of about two miles they were halted by a man comeing from ambush with one of our men that he had taken prisoner by his side. The teams were all halted: those men concealed in straw sprang out immediately & surrounded them as prisioners finding it to be : capt: Morgan. They was requested to bring a general.. A messenger was sent after one bringing General Mitchel him self: on the reception of Gen. Mitchel by Morgan he presented a flag of truce with the excuse that he was bringing back one of our men that was taken prisioner by them. He was to sharp to ask our own men to surrender for fear of being caught. By demanding a surrender they would had him fast. But all they could do was to send him through our lines & let him go. But we will get him before long. I read your letter dated Feb. 10th glad to hear you was all well; I must close for the present hopeing this will be received in good health & I will write you more the next time! farewell : yours forever. Write again

D.P.S. & D.R.S.

Extra. After finishing my letter & in the act of closing it "who steps in our tent but Lieu. Ashbrook of the 17st Ohio Reg. He is well & has been ever since his enlistment. He also requested me to send you his best respects. This is good health. He is within Eight Miles of us in Camp on the Memphis Pike.

David & Darius Stoker Letter[6]

        15-18, Siege of Tiptonville

FLAG-SHIP MCRAE, Tiptonville, Tenn., March 15, 1862.

GEN.: I deem it proper to communicate with you direct as regards the position of my command in this vicinity. My force consists of six gunboats; two of them are ironed over their engines, which protects them from small-arms and light artillery, but affording little protection against heavy guns; all the others are very vulnerable. I feel that the preservation of these boats are of the most importance to our country, and am therefore unwilling to risk their loss or being crippled by the guns of the land forces of the enemy except in the last extremity.

If the gunboats should pass No. 10 I will do the best I can to stop them; in that case I will of course run the risk of loss or capture to keep them back. Nearly all the guns at New Madrid were left behind (as you will have heard from the general commanding) when that place was evacuated; though they were spiked, still my impression is that they could be rendered useful in twenty-four hours, if not less time. Of this you win be a better judge than myself. I think if the gunboats do not or cannot pass No. 10 I will fall back below the lowest point that the enemy can fortify below this place, should they attempt it, if we are unable to prevent it. Our gunboats can and have driven the enemy from the banks of the river, but as soon as they cease their fire they return and fire into the transports as they come up and down. This they did at Point Pleasant, and may continue to do down some miles below this place, when they will be stopped by the nature of the river. The Manassas has been ordered back to New Orleans, as you requested, though from some injury received from a "snag" I fear she will be detained some days in Memphis to repair.

I am not overburdened with ammunition in any of the gunboats, as you may suppose, and do not wish to throw it away without some return from the enemy for it. My crews are all short. I have been kindly furnished by Gen. McCown with some from his command. I merely state these to let you see the difficulties under which I am working.

Any suggestions from you will meet with all attention, and my co-operation will be hearty and to the extent of my ability.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

G. N. HOLLINS, Flag-Officer, Commanding Naval Forces on the Mississippi. [CS]

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 8, p. 184.




It is possible that the enemy, who is moving his whole infantry force from Island No. 10 to Tiptonville, may attempt to cross in force and attack the lower battery, now supported by Gen. Palmer. In that case you will at once march to his aid, leaving only your guns in battery and your sharpshooters in the rifle pits. The enemy's whole force is only about 8,500 infantry, with perhaps two batteries of light artillery; no match for Palmer and yourself united. I send down a full regiment of cavalry to report to you. Send three companies to Gen. Palmer and keep open constant and frequent communication with him and with me. There are two regiments of Michigan cavalry here, many of the companies armed with revolving rifles, who can serve admirably on foot, and can re-enforce you, if necessary, in an hour. It is beyond measure important to maintain the heavy batteries below Point Pleasant. As long as they are there supplies are cut off and there is no escape for the enemy. They cannot get off by land. Below Tiptonville the swamps begin, and it will not be possible to ship troops any lower down than that place. I rely much upon your skill and vigor, which if fairly exhibited for a few days will secure us most important results.

Respectfully, general, your obedient servant,


Brig.-Gen., Commanding.



I judge from what was stated to me by the officer of engineers who came up this morning that the 24-pounder siege gun which was placed in battery last night is too high up the river to accomplish the purpose for which it was designed. I have directed Lieut.-Col. Adams to place the other guns in position about 1 ½ miles below where the other gun is, if a suitable place can be found there. The object is to command Tiptonville and the shore for a half a mile below, so as to prevent the embarkation of troops. It may be that the enemy will attempt to cross and come up on you from below. I send three companies of cavalry to you, to enable you to keep out scouts and keep yourself fully apprised of what is going on for some distance below you. You will use all vigilance, and be ready to support the guns with your whole force if necessary. Keep up constant communication with Gen. Plummer and advise him immediately of any movement of the enemy. He is instructed to move with his whole force to your assistance if necessary. It is of the last importance to the operations here that the battery of the two 24-pounder guns be maintained in its present position, and I will move the whole force from here for that purpose if necessary. If there be no suitable point below the gun in position for the one which I sent down last night you will cause it to be placed in position near the other. But I must impress upon you that it is the landing at Tiptonville and for a half a mile below it which must be commanded by our guns to effect the purpose contemplated. Keep your mounted scouts along the river for at least 4 or 5 miles below you, to watch carefully whether the enemy make any attempt to cross. Their whole force in this vicinity, at Island No. 10 and elsewhere, does not exceed 9,000 infantry, with perhaps two batteries of light artillery; no match for yourself and Plummer united. Write to me regularly and fully two or three times a day.

I am, general, respectfully, your obedient servant,


Brig.-Gen., Commanding.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 8, pp. 622-623.

        15-18, Operations at Gallatin

MARCH 15-18, 1862.-Morgan's operations about Gallatin, Tenn.

Report of Capt. John H. Morgan, Kentucky Cavalry (Confederate).

SHELBYVILLE, TENN., March 19, 1862.

SIR: I have the honor to submit the following report of the operations of a portion of my command on the 15th, 16th, 17th, and 18th inst.:

At about 4 o'clock p. m. on the 15th instant, with Col. Wood and a detachment of 40 men, I left Murfreesborough for Gallatin, having learned that no Federal forces remained at that place. The chief objects of the expedition were to intercept the mail, to destroy the rolling stock on the road, to make prisoners, and to obtain information of interest to the service. Our destination was kept secret, and the command having been sent from Murfreesborough in separate parties by different road to unite at some distance from town, it was impossible that the enemy could be apprised of the movement until after the blow was struck. A citizen of Murfreesborough, whose zeal and loyalty are undoubted, made the necessary arrangement of runners to keep us perfectly posted as to any movement that might be made with the view of cutting us off.

Our first march, conducted mostly at night, carried us about 2 miles beyond Lebanon. Early next morning continued the march, crossing the Cumberland at Canoe Branch Ferry, and reached Gallatin about 4 o'clock p. m.

Leaving the command just outside the town, Col. Wood, myself, and the men, disguised as Federals, entered and took possession. The colonel, myself, and 2 men galloped to the depot and secured the telegraph operator, his instruments, books, &c. Among the papers found are several orders of Gen. Buell's, some is cipher, which please find inclosed. We secured also, a few minutes after, as it came in, and engine and tender, carrying a number of carpenters to repair the road. They were made prisoners, but were released as we left the town. As soon as the citizens were made aware that we were Confederate troops every facility was afforded us to carry out our plans. Upon securing the engine we at once commenced to accumulate all the rolling stock (a large quantity) on the main track preparatory to burning. When this was completed the fire was applied, and in the course of an hour all except the engine was rendered permanently useless. That night, having picketed securely, we remained in Gallatin. The next morning we destroyed the water tank, and taking the engine the colonel and myself proceeded some miles up the road with a view of discovering any approach of the enemy or the mail train. In the mean time 1 first lieutenant and 4 privates of Grider's regiment, on their way to Nashville, were taken by the pickets.

The mail train being some hours behind time, and learning that our presence might have become known, we concluded to withdraw and return to Murfreesborough.

Shortly after leaving Gallatin we learned that a party of 20 of the enemy, in charge of 3 prisoners, were approaching Gallatin by the Scottsville road. It was determined to cut them off. Pushing the prisoners with a guard across the Cumberland we returned to effect the capture. Having taken our position on the road so as to secure the capture of all, and when within a half a mile of them, they were warned of danger by a negro, and fled precipitately to the woods, Capt. Austin, in charge, making his escape on a horse cut from a buggy. It being too dark to follow, we remained, picketing the road until morning. No further opportunity offering, we commenced our march to Murfreesborough, and after traveling about 60 miles reached there about 2 o'clock the next morning.

We were made acquainted just before reaching the latter place that a body of Federal cavalry had ridden through the town the evening before and that the enemy were in large force near by. We remained about 12 miles from town long enough to ascertain their exact locality, and then passed safely through, within 2 miles of their infantry.

We reached Shelbyville about 4 o'clock p. m. to-day, the men and horses a good deal jaded.

Yesterday seven transports passed down the Cumberland, carrying the remnant of Thomas' division. As our party had not entirely crossed we did not fire into them. From all we could learn the enemy has commenced to move. A large body of cavalry was seen on the road to Columbia. It is believed that the enemy have sent a large force down the Tennessee by boats, and will also move in force across the country. It is reported in Nashville that they intend to end the campaign before June. The prisoners will be sent forward in the 3 o'clock train to-morrow. Pursuant to Gen. Johnston's instructions I shall start early to-morrow with my command for Huntsville.

I have omitted to mention that before leaving Gallatin the engine was destroyed, thus leaving but one on the road, another having been broken up by accident a few days before.

I have ascertained beyond all doubt that Love, a man of my command who was taken prisoner in the affair of the 8th instant (since died), was shot after being taken.

The whole country through which we passed turned out in masses to welcome us. I have never before witnessed such enthusiasm and feeling; men, women, and children never wearied in their efforts to minister to [our] wants. All expressed themselves gratified at the presence of Southern soldiers in their midst. A handsome flag was presented by the ladies of Gallatin, and some accompanied us even to the ferry.

Upon our return a number of Col. Bate's regiment were enabled to accompany us.

Deeming it important for the accomplishment of the expedition, I requested Col. Wood to accompany me.

Very respectfully, yours,


OR, Ser. I, Vol. 10, pt. I, pp. 30-31.

        16, Skirmishes near Pittsburg Landing

No circumstantial reports filed.

Excerpt from the Report of Brigadier-General William T. Sherman relative to skirmish at Pittsburg Landing, March 16, 1862.

HDQRS. FIRST DIVISION, Pittsburg Landing, March 17, 1862.

SIR: Last night I dispatched a party of cavalry at 6 p. m., under the command of Lieut.-Col. Heath, Fifth Ohio Cavalry, for a strong reconnaissance, if possible, to be converted into an attack upon the Memphis road. The command got off punctually, followed at 12 at night by the First Brigade of my division, commanded by Col. McDowell, the other brigade to follow in order.

About 1 at night the cavalry returned, reporting the road occupied in force by the enemy, with whose advance guard they skirmished, driving them back about a mile, taking 2 prisoners, and having their chief guide, Esquire Thomas Maxwell, wounded, and 3 men of the Fourth Illinois.

* * * *

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 10, pt, I, pp. 24-25.

        16, Report of Lieutenant Gwin, U. S. Navy, commanding U. S. S. Tyler, regarding a reconnoissance in the Tennessee River

U. S. GUNBOAT TYLER, Pittsburg, March 16, 1862.

SIR: I have the honor to report that, in obedience to your orders, I reported to General Grant at Fort Foote on the 7th instant and remained at Danville Bridge, 25 miles above, awaiting the fleet of transports until Monday morning, by direction of General Grant, when, General Smith arriving with a large portion of his command, forty transports, I convoyed them to Savannah, arriving there without molestation on the 11th.

The same evening, with General Smith and staff on board, made a reconnaissance of the river as high as Pittsburg. The rebels had not renewed their attempts to fortify at that point, owing to the vigilant watch that had been kept on them in my absence by Lieutenant Commanding Shirk.

The same evening, 11:45, stood up the river with the Lexington, Lieutenant Commanding Shirk, for the purpose of reaching Eastport by daylight....

* * * *

The river is, again, very high and rising. The people here have given substantial evidence of the strength of the Union sentiment so often expressed to me before in this vicinity, as very many have enlisted in the different regiments.

The Tyler is lying at Pittsburg for the protection of General Sherman's division, which has occupied that point. The Lexington is lying at Crump's Landing, protecting the division of General Wallace, which occupies that point. Everything is working favorably for the cause of the Union.

Enclosed you will find Lieutenant Commanding Shirk's report.

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

WM. GWIN, Lieut., Comdg. Division of Gunboats, Tennessee River.

Flag-Officer A. H. FOOTE, U. S. Navy, Commanding Naval Forces on Western Waters, Cairo, Ill.


U S. GUNBOAT LEXINGTON, Pittsburg, Tenn., March 15, 1862.

SIR: I have the honor to make the following report of my proceedings since my last arrival in this river:

We reached Savannah on the 5th instant. The next morning received on board this vessel twenty armed men, refugees from Wayne County, Tenn., who asked my protection from the rebel marauding cavalry. Six of these men were from a rebel regiment which has been stationed at Clarksville, and had been told, upon the fall of Fort Donelson, to make the best of their way home. Their arms were those that had been issued at Clarksville. Some of these twenty men have shipped on board of this vessel, and the remainder have enlisted in regiments in General Smith's command.

I then proceeded up the river to take a look at this place, and discovered several flags of truce on the hill. I sent a boat to communicate with a rebel officer at the landing, and received a letter for Lieutenant Commanding Gwin, in relation to exchange of prisoners. No work has been done since the bombardment of the place on the 1st instant by the Tyler and this vessel.

The nights of the 7th and 8th I laid at Craven's Landing, protecting many Union men from [William H.] Robinson's rebel cavalry.

During the 8th and 9th I conveyed about 120 refugees from Craven's and Chalk Bluff to Savannah for safety. On the 9th I paid another visit to Pittsburg, having on board Colonel Worthington, of General Smith's advance. On the 10th I took on board some more arms at Chalk Bluff.

That night I laid opposite Savannah, the transport with the Forty-sixth Ohio Volunteers lying at the town.

On the 11th the U. S. Gunboat Tyler arrived, followed by General Smith with his command in sixty-three transport steamers. At midnight this vessel followed the Tyler up the river to make a reconnoissance....

* * * *

The small arms which I have taken from Craven's and Chalk Bluff belong to Union men, and I have promised that they should eventually be returned to their owners.

I have the honor to be, sir, your most obedient servant,

JAMES W. SHIRK, Lieutenant, Commanding.

Flag-Officer A. H. FOOTE, Comdg. U. S. Naval Forces, Western Waters, Cairo, Ill.

Navy OR, Ser. I, Vol. 22, pp. 666-668.

        16, D. C. Donnohue to Secretary of the Interior C. B. Smith on progress in acquiring cotton seed

Savana,[sic] Tenn.

March 16, 1862

Hon. C. B. Smith

Secretary of the Interior

Washington City, D. C.

I can procure cotton seed – in great abundance – So soon as the country is occupied by our troops – cotton plenty and cheap. Dispatch to me care of Genl. Smith

D .C. Donnohue

Letters of D. C. Donnohue.

        16, Night time skirmish at Black Jack Forest


Report of Major W. D. Sunger[7]

Camp Shiloh, Headquarters First Division, U. S. A.

West Tennessee, March 28, 1862


The expedition set on foot for the purpose of intercepting communication on the Memphis and Charleston, started about six o'clock, on the evening of the sixteenth, and proceeded from Pittsburgh Landing, on the road toward Corinth.

Major S. M. Bowman[8] having the right in command of a detachment of the Fourth Illinois cavalry, eighty-six men, company M, Captain George Dodge,[9] at the head of the column, followed by company I, Lieut. Hopeman commanding, and a part of Company L, Lieut. Merriman commanding; and all followed by a detachment of the Fifth Ohio cavalry, three hundred and fifty men, in regimental order, commanded by Lieut.-Col. Thomas T. Heath; Lieut. Charles Chapin, with a platoon of company L, of the Fourth Illinois, preceded the column as advance guards.

Col. Johnson of the twenty-eighth Illinois, and the undersigned, accompanied the expedition, Lieut. Colonel Heath having the chief command.

The march was conducted with the utmost caution, to guard against surprise, and had proceeded without interruption a distance of about five miles, when at a place known as Black Jack Forest, about nine o'clock, the presence of the enemy was discovered by Lieut. Chapin, across and near the road, with their pieces ready to fire on the advance-guard. Lieut. Chapin, with great presence of mind, instantly discharged his pistol, and was immediately seconded by the discharge of a carbine by one of the men, which had the effect to frighten the horses of the enemy and disconcert his fire, and thereby save the advance-guard from the raking fire of buckshot and balls prepared for them.

Major Bowman, with the utmost promptitude, deployed his entire command into line, and advanced rapidly on the enemy, driving him as far as he could be seen.

After retreating a short distance into the forest the enemy made a stand, partly in front and partly on our right flank. Thus far the only force engaged was company M, commanded by Capt. Dodge, and it is but just to say that this officer, aided by Lieut. Allshouse, conducted this advance upon the enemy amidst all the difficulties of the night-time, and through the forest in a most fearless and gallant style, and that his men behaved with all the coolness and bravery of veterans.

By this time company I, and the remainder of company L, came up in perfect order, ranging in front of that part of the enemy's force which had formed on our right, and within thirty yards of his line. But it was impossible to tell, even at that distance, whether we might not be looking at our friends instead of the enemy, and our fire was reserved for that reason.

We were not, however, long kept in doubt on that subject, for very soon the enemy poured his fire into our ranks and over our heads, making the woods luminous along the whole line, to which a response was made by our carbines, such as caused him to break and run in every direction, leaving us in possession of the field.

Company I received the heaviest part of this fire, and in reply delivered their charge, which first broke the enemy's line.

It is difficult to conduct an action by night, on horseback, and in a forest it is much more hazardous to pursue, under like difficulties, an unrelenting foe in his own country and on his own ground. It was therefore deemed prudent not to pursue. We took two prisoners on the spot. Four of our men were wounded-none severely-and none killed. Two of our horses were killed and several wounded. Our guide, upon whose knowledge of the country we were wholly dependent, was wounded at the first fire, and rendered incapable of going on. The Fifth Ohio cavalry, being in the rear, had no good opportunity of engaging in the action, and were not employed.

We had no means of knowing the amount of the enemy's force, or the full result of the action, until the next day, when it was ascertained, from the concurrently testimony of the inhabitants on the road over which the enemy had passed, and from the prisoners taken, that his force was five hundred strong. It was also ascertained that he imagined himself met by a large force of cavalry, infantry, and artillery; that he fled with the utmost precipitation, without any regard to roads, leaving the evidences of his flight scattered for miles around.

It was further ascertained that he contemplated a night attack on our encampment at Pittsburgh Landing, which design was thus completely frustrated.

We recovered several horses at least four miles from the battle-ground, which had been mire down in a swamp, and abandoned by their riders, in their extraordinary flight.

We could not ascertain the number of the enemy killed and wounded. Nor is it important. The great moral fact is palpable, that a small force of eighty-six cavalry met, on his own ground, five hundred of the enemy's cavalry, and put him to rout.

* * * *

W. D. Sunger, Major Fifty-fifth Illinois

Aid-de-camp to Gen. W. T. Sherman

To Brig. Gen. S. A. Hurlbut, Commanding, etc.

Rebellion Record, Vol. 4, pp. 347-348.


A correspondent writing from Pittsburgh Landing, Tenn., March twenty-first, gives the following account of the affair:

On Sunday last [16th] Major Bowman, with about seventy of his battalion, reconnoitered westward, on the road to Purdy, and when about six miles out overhauled and chased a force of the enemy's cavalry, about one hundred strong, killing an officer by the name of W. R. Roper, and wounding several others. Roper is believed to have been a native of South Carolina, and was in the rebel service at Pensacola, as shown by papers found upon his person. He was shot through the head and died instantly. In this little encounter the rebels fled without firing a shot; consequently nobody was hurt on our side.

The following night [17th] an expedition was started for the purpose of destroying a portion of the Charleston and Memphis Railroad, in the vicinity of Juca [sic] distant from this point some twenty three miles, and thus cut off communication between Memphis and the East. Our force consisted of three hundred and fifty cavalry and a part of Major Bowman's battalion, eighty-six men, the whole under the command of Lieut.-Col. Heath. The expedition was started at seven o'clock in the evening, and intended making the whole journey before daylight the next morning. It appeared that the enemy was at the same time organizing a night attack against our encampment and the transports, which were then disembarking troops at this place, and, as the sequel shows, but for the most unexpected meeting of forces which ensued, there is no telling the injury we might have sustained; for our forces at the boats were in a disorganized state at the time, and were scattered about in a manner quite inviting to the enemy; and had the enemy, with his large force of cavalry, rushed in upon us in the night, the consequence might have been a disastrous stampede of our troops.

The rebel forces, as learned from some prisoners taken, consisted of five hundred cavalry. They rendezvoused at Pea Ridge[10], and advanced on us over the Corinth road, the same road taken by our expedition, and when out about six miles from here the heads of the columns met. It is evident, however, that the enemy had the first notice of the approach of the crisis; for they had halted, were prepared to receive us, and delivered the first fire. The collision occurred at Black Jack Forest, five miles this side of the Mississippi line.[11] The first intimation our forces had that the enemy were upon us, was from a fierce fire into our advance-guard, which wounded the guide and several horses. The advance guard, however, stood firm and returned the fire immediately. Major Bowman instantly threw his command into line of battle, and advanced rapidly, the enemy falling back, firing as he went, while our forces returned the fire with the greatest promptitude. They fell back farther and farther into the forest, and finally seemed to make a stand and when they discharged their double-barreled shot-guns, loaded with buckshot and balls, they revealed, by the glare of their fire, a long line immediately in front and not exceeding sixty yards from us. Their fire was on every occasion returned with the carbines of our cavalry-that is, Bowman's portion of it-which threw their lines into confusion, and they retreated apparently in great disorder, making the wood fairly ring from the clatter of their sabres and trappings as they plunged thorough the thickets, followed by a continuous fire from the carbines of our men. Major Bowman maintained his ground, thinking the enemy might return; but he gave no signs of it, as they clatter of sabres and pattering of their horses grew fainter and fainter until they died entirely away.

The damage on our side was one guide and four soldiers wounded-none seriously-two horses killed and several wounded. Of course we could not tell what loss the enemy had sustained; but it must have been considerable. We took two prisoners, who stated that they saw quite a number of their side fall; but whether they were killed or only dismounted they did not know.

It was finally agreed upon by our force to return with the wounded, as we were then without a guide, and, our plan of advancing upon the railroad being discovered, it might result in our loss, if our men were to advance.

The following day [17th] a small body of cavalry and a force of infantry marched over the same road close to Pea Ridge, where the enemy had kept a considerable force. Upon examining the battle ground in the afternoon, it was discovered that the rebels had left the field in extraordinary haste, leaving their hats, guns, pistols, sabres, saddles, and horses scattered in every direction for six miles beyond; that is some cases the brave cavaliers had dashed their steeds down steep precipices, against the roots of upturned trees, and into swamps, where they remained until extricated by order of the General. In short, it appeared, but the evidence palpable by daylight, and by the concurrent testimony of all the inhabitants in the vicinity of Pea Ridge, that the rout was the most extraordinary ever heard of. The brave, chivalrous, daring rebel cavalry, who never asked anything better than to be pitted against the cowardly Northerners in the proportion of one to five, (being, in fact, more than five to one,) were driven back and frightened out of their wits, and actually destroyed themselves, like the herd of swine who ran down into the sea, "being possessed of the devil."

There is something in the battle of Black Jack Forest, calculated to attract the attention of the reader. In the first place, the meeting of the two forces was wholly accidental; in the second place, it was night-and who eager heard of a night action between two bodies of cavalry? In the third place, the enemy was on his own ground, having selected is own position to begin the fight. Again, the action was a spirited one, carried on for half an hour in the woods, by the light of the moon: and finally, the enemy, five hundred strong, as confessed by themselves, were whipped and put to rout by less than one hundred of our troopers-the balance of our force being out of sight and taking no part in the action.

Major Bowman, the hero of Black Jack Forest, is a New Yorker, a lawyer by profession, and recently practiced in New York City.

Rebellion Record, Vol. 4, pp. 348-349.[12]

        16, D. C. Donnohue to Secretary of the Interior C. B. Smith on progress in acquiring cotton seed

Savana,[sic] Tenn.

March 16, 1862

Hon. C. B. Smith

Secretary of the Interior

Washington City, D. C.

I can procure cotton seed – in great abundance – So soon as the country is occupied by our troops – cotton plenty and cheap. Dispatch to me care of Genl. Smith

D .C. Donnohue

Letters of D. C. Donnohue.

16, "Commanders of all grades will be held responsible for the suppression of this great crime." Braxton Bragg tightens discipline in the Army of Tennessee

Down on the Plunderers.—Gen. Bragg is an officer not to be misunderstood. Here is a general order issued by his command from Bethel:

Bethel, Tenn., March 16, 1862.

With a degree of mortification and humiliation he has never before felt, the Major General has to denounce acts of pillage, plunder and destruction of private property of our own citizens by a portion of the troops of this command, which brings disgrace upon our cause. [emphasis added]Men capable of such acts may swell our numbers, but will never add strength to our armies. They would do us less harm by serving in the ranks of the enemy, and if not prepared to abandon the vicious habits they have unfortunately contracted, had better lay down their arms and retire. Gallant men, not thus demoralized, stand ready to use them, and will do so with that firm reliance on an overruling Providence which a consciousness of right can alone give. The first step towards achieving success is to deserve it.

Commanders of all grades will be held responsible for the suppression of this great crime. Full compensation will, in all instances, be made from the pay of the offenders, and where this fails in its effect, summary punishment will be inflicted. The General will not hesitate to order the death penalty where it may be necessary, and will approve its execution by subordinates where milder measures fail. By order of Major General Bragg.

American Citizen [CANTON, MS], April 5, 1862.[13]

        16-17, Reconnaissance from Pittsburg Landing to Corinth, Mississippi, and Purdy, Tennessee

HDQRS. FIRST DIVISION, Pittsburg Landing, March 17, 1862.

SIR: I have just returned from reconnaissance towards Corinth and Purdy, and am strongly impressed with the importance of the position, both for its land advantages and its strategic position. The ground itself admits of easy defense by a small command, and yet affords admirable camping ground for a hundred thousand men. I will as soon as possible make or cause to be made a topographical sketch of the position. The only drawback is that at this stage of water the space for landing is contracted too much for the immense fleet now here discharging. I will push the landing and unloading, but suggest you send at once here (Capt. Dodds, if possible) the best quartermaster you can, that he may control and organize this whole matter. I have good commissaries, and will keep as few provisions afloat as possible.

Yours, &c.,

W. T. SHERMAN, Brig.-Gen., Cmdg.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 10, pt. I, p. 27.



Steamer Continental, March 16, 1862.

Lieut.-Col. HEATH, Cmdg. Detachment of Cavalry:

SIR: You will take command of the cavalry this day ordered and start on the Corinth road, proceeding continually with advance guard and flankers. When you reach the vicinity of Lick Creek Bridge examine it cautiously, and make disposition as though you designed to picket that point; then proceed up Pea Ridge along the road where the Purdy road comes in by a large plantation. At that point consult with Maj.'s [sic] Bowman and Sanger, and if they advise it, strike for the Charleston and Memphis Railroad, destroy the telegraphic wires and a part of the railroad, and return either by the Hamburg road or by the road you go. I will follow with a strong infantry and artillery force, and be either at the Lick Creek Bridge or Pea Ridge, at which point communicate with me.

Don't hesitate to make the attempt at the railroad unless you have strong evidence of its too hazardous character. The object is worth a desperate effort. I send with you a good guide, and herewith a good sketch of the intervening country.

Trusting to your discretion and wishing you all success, I am, &c.,

W. T. SHERMAN, Brig.-Gen., Cmdg.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 10, pt. I, pp. 25-26.


HDQRS. FIRST DIVISION, Pittsburg Landing, March 17, 1862.

SIR: Last night I dispatched a party of cavalry at 6 p. m., under the command of Lieut.-Col. Heath, Fifth

* * * *

Inclosed please find the report of Lieut.-Col. Heath; also a copy of his instructions and the order of march.[14]

As soon as the cavalry returned I saw that an attempt on the road was frustrated, and accordingly have placed McDowell's brigade to our right front guarding the pass of Snake Creek, Stuart's brigade to the left front to watch the pass of Lick Creek, and shall this morning [17th] move directly out on the Corinth road, about 8 miles, to or towards Pea Ridge, which is a key-point to the Southeest.

Gen. Hurlbut's division will be landed to-day, and the artillery and infantry disposed so as to defend Pittsburg, leaving my division entire for any movement by rail or water.

As near as I can learn there are five regiments of infantry at Purdy, at Corinth, and distributed along the railroad to Iuka are probably 30,000 men, but my information from prisoners is very indistinct. Every road and path is occupied by the enemy's cavalry, whose orders seem to be to fire a volley, retire, again fire and retire.

The force on the Purdy road attacked and driven by Maj. Bowman yesterday was about 60 strong. That encountered last night on the Corinth road was about five companies of Tennessee cavalry, sent from Purdy about 2 p. m. yesterday. I hear there is a force of two regiments on Pea Ridge, at the point where the Purdy and Corinth road comes in from this place.

I am satisfied we cannot reach the Memphis and Charleston Road without a considerable engagement, which is prohibited by Gen. Halleck's instructions, so that I will be governed by your orders of yesterday to occupy Pittsburg strongly. Extend the pickets so as to include a semicircle of 3 miles, and push strong reconnaissance as far as Lick Creek and Pea Ridge.

I will send down a good many boats to-day to be employed as you may direct, and would be obliged if you would send us if possible a couple thousand sacks of corn, as much hay as you can possibly spare, and if possible a barge of coal.

I will send a steamboat under care of the gunboat to collect corn from cribs on the river bank.

I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,

W. T. SHERMAN, Brig.-Gen., Cmdg. First Division.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 10, pt. I, pp. 24-25.

HDQRS. FIRST DIVISION, Pittsburg Landing, March 17, 1862.

SIR: The object indicated by Gen. Smith for me to accomplish is to cut the Charleston and Memphis road, without a general or serious engagement. This is impossible from here, because the ground is well watched and a dash cannot be made. I have tried it twice. The first time defeated by rains, storms, and high water; the second by coming in contact with a cavalry force of the enemy, which was defeated, routed, and dispersed in utter confusion, evidences of which met us at every part of the road beyond the scene of conflict to the extent of our reconnaissance-horses loose and mired in the bottoms, saddles, sabers, shot-guns scattered through the wood and along the several roads and by-paths by which they retreated toward Purdy.

The mode of accomplishing the important object first indicated is this: To advance with considerable display on the Corinth road by a large force as far as Pea Ridge, then dispatch by a good steamer, under convoy of the gunboat, to Tyler's Landing, about 200 cavalry and a regiment of infantry, to make that point at 6 p. m. and to take its immediate departure for the railroad, 19 miles off, at a place called Burnsville. We attempted this, but were defeated by the rain. The small streams have now run out, and I think the plan practicable.

The enemy knows that we have abandoned Tyler's Landing and have concentrated here.

Crump's Landing is a good point also, as there is a considerable force at Purdy. I was well out there to-day, and think there is some mistake about the road being broken to the north of Purdy, for a very intelligent man says he saw the train leaving Purdy for Jackson yesterday.

This road can easily be reached now from here. The difficulty is with the other road, which is watched, because of its great importance. To advance on Corinth in force we should make use of several roads; our troops drag out too long on a single country road.

From Tyler's Landing, Pittsburg, and Crump's, as well as Hamburg, troops could move concentricity [sic] on Corinth or could cross the road at any other point. I am trying my best to find out the strength of the enemy at these points, but thus far am unsuccessful.

I am, in haste, yours,

W. T. SHERMAN, Brig.-Gen., Cmdg.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 10, pt. I, pp. 26-27.

        15, Skirmish at Rover

No circumstantial reports filed.

        15, Skirmish at La Fayette Depot [see March 10-16, 1863, Scout to La Fayette and Moscow above]

        15, Skirmish near Moscow [see March 10-16, 1863, Scout to La Fayette and Moscow above]

        15, Confederate scout and skirmish near Versailles, Rutherford county

No circumstantial reports filed.

HDQRS. WHARTON'S CAVALRY, Unionville, March 15, 1863--4 p. m.

Brig.-Gen. WHARTON, Cmdg. Cavalry:

GEN.: All quiet in our front to-day. The scout under Maj. Bacot has returned. They drove in the enemy's pickets at Versailles, which were stationed 1½ miles from the town, and consisted of one company of cavalry. Citizens report that Gen. Granger's command arrived at Versailles at 3 o'clock yesterday evening; also that Gen. Jefferson [C.] Davis' command arrived there about dark. The scout captured two stragglers from Gen. Davis' command, who reported that their command had gone on to Versailles. Citizens report that they are building a bridge across Harpeth River, and that they intend to go on to College Grove.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

M. H. ROYSTON, Assistant Adjutant-Gen.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 23, pt. II, p. 698.

        15, General Bragg forbids use of negro teamsters for Army of Tennessee ordnance and ambulance trains

CIRCULAR. HDQRS. HARDEE'S CORPS, Tullahoma, March 15, 1863.

By direction of Gen. Bragg, negro teamsters will not be substituted for white drivers in ordnance and ambulance trains.

By command of Lieut.-Gen. Hardee:

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 23, pt. II, p. 698.

        15, Measures by Federal forces to protect public health in Murfreesboro, an excerpt from the diary of John C. Spence

At this time, the army were [sic] receiving large droves of beef cattle. Some of them were fine looking, other had to be killed soon, to keep them from dying. [sic] They were generally kept in lots in and about town. It took about fifty or sixty every day to supply the demand of the army and hospitals. They would drive out that number, [then] shoot them down. When butchered, it generally covered over a half acre ground, the entrails, heads and feet, left lying there-so in the course of time several acres was [sic] covered in this way, and it began to get warm weather. The smell became very offensive.

We began to be apprehensive that it would cause sickness, but as fortune would have it, the authorities took the matter in hand-dug pits, had the offensive [offal] collected up and thrown in and covered up. This caused the atmosphere to improve. Large numbers of horses were shot, such as were very poor, diseased and woarn [sic] out. Here was a fortune lost [sic] to some speculating, enterprising Yankee, in the way of sculls [sic], horns and shin bones.

A system of street cleaning now commenced. Hands were set to work scraping up all the litter that was lying in the streets, gutters and corners, [and] hauled it out of town. Things now begin to put on a more cheerful and healthy appearance....

Spence Diary.

        15, Sol. Street's guerrilla band's activities near Grand Junction [15]

Guerrilla Operations.

Saulstreet near Grand Junction

He Retaliates on Major Smith

We learn that Major Smith, living near Grand Junction, lately made an expedition toward Salisbury, Tenn., and among other places visited was the house of the rebel guerrilla Saulstreet, from whose premises he took sundry articles. This act Saulstreet[16] determined to avenge, and hence, a few nights thereafter, just after Major Smith and his wife had returned from making purchases in Memphis, Saulstreet went to Smith's house, just outside our lines at Grand Junction, and retaliated after the manner described by a correspondent, as follows:

"On the night of the 15th instant [Sunday], or rather in the early gray at the morning succeeding the 15th [16th, Monday], the redoubtable Saulstreet with 40 followers, came down upon the house of Major Smith situated in the suburbs of Grand Junction, and surprised Mrs. Major Smith and family not a little by pummeling upon the door with steel cased sabers and a farther ungallant demand to open the door. The lady long accustomed to war's [demands?] and undaunted by the ominous sounds that made night hideous around her peaceful dwelling, coolly arose, attired herself and opened the door.

"Mrs. Major Smith," said a seedy, stalwart-looking warrior in wild Confederate costume, "be not alarmed; you shall not be hurt. I am Saulstreet and have come with a gallant few to retaliate-to take a little of your private property, not by right of confiscation, but by right of the lex talons, which, you know is fair in war. I do this simply because once on a time, when I was from home, your husband, lady-Maj. Smith came to my house with his men and not only took my wife's wardrobe, money, &c., but threatened to burn the house over her head." "Well," said Mrs. Smith, "what would you have?" "Well, if you have any money we will be very much obliged to you for it." Pointing to a dress that hung on the wall, she told him that all she possed [sic] was in the pocket. The money was secured. "Now, Mrs. Smith, I will have to trouble you for a dress or two for my lady, and do not be alarmed for you shall have all of them-everything I take from you, so soon as the Major shall please shall please to return what he took from Mrs. Saulstreet." Mrs. S. had been to Memphis the day previous and had purchased about $300 worth of fine cambrick for herself and neighbor Bryant; all of this was taken by the guerrilla chief, and several other articles were taken.

The redoubtable and true knightly chivalry then, with a self-complacency and sang froid, as much as to say-"I know all the ropes in this house," demanded where the safe-guard was that she kept there. Mrs. S., with that quick perception of her sex replied: "The guard has been relieved." "Yes," said Saulstreet, "but where is the one that relieved him?" The lady, though she had not prevaricated in the least when she said the guard had been relived-for he had done so daily-scorned to tell a falsehood, even to shield a soldier of her own side of the home-and seeing her ruse was a failure told him, that the sentinel was asleep, in the negro quarters. The guerrillas repaired thither, and were in such a hurry to get away that they would not give the guard time to don his boots and hat, but led him away in frightful dishabille! [sic]

Not a thing was known of this one-horse ride by either by the pickets who were within a half mile of the house, nor the authorities in the Junction till the sun had risen high in the heavens next day, when Mrs. S. told the tale of her misfortune.

The next day-the 16th [sic]-a foraging train went out, accompanied by some cavalry from LaGrange, towards Saulsbury, and, I am told, when within four miles of that place, ran against the same Saulstreet and fifty or sixty of his followers, drawn up in battle array in the timber and across the road. They fired upon the train, but killed no one. The cavalry, somewhat behind at this juncture, came dashing up and charged among them, killing two and capturing two of the gang. They fled in utter confusion in all directions. This true night of chivalry-this paragon of backwoods gallantry, whose name is terrible only to the helpless woman, is a sly old fox, and should be watched with a vigilant eye.

Memphis Bulletin, March 22, 1863.

        15, "Dead Animals"

A friend of ours who was out riding at the outskirts of the city yesterday, informs us that the number of dead horses and mules lying at the suburbs within the city limits is incredible. Near the bayou at the north east part of the city they are especially numerous. Unless removed the effect when warm weather begins to be felt will be dreadful.

Memphis Bulletin, March 15, 1863.

        15, "No drilling is allowed on Sunday…." Excerpts from Gershom M. Barber's letter home from Murfreesboro

Headquarters O.V.S.S

Murfreesboro, Tenn.

March 15, 1863

My Dear Wife,

It is again Sabbath and I am a long way absent from you and our dear little ones. I have thought of home today and you all and gladly would I have stepped into your quiet setting room as of old to spend the Sabbath with you, but it can not be. I am spending it far otherwise although very quietly. No drilling is allowed on Sunday and no duty except what is regarded as strictly necessary to be prepared for an enemy in case of attack and our men have been from home long enough to be a little quiet. On the whole it has been a quiet day in camp. I have a tent wholly to myself except for my boy George (by the way, he returned the day having been on a visit to this cousin who is a Brigadier General near here). This afternoon I took a little walk about the camp and fortifications. Old Rosy, as the boys call him, is making "big preparations" for something here. Every hill for miles around is surmounted by fortifications of the most formidable kind to be mounted with guns of the largest caliber. When all is finished and manned, five hundred thousand men could not take the place. During the last few days there has been a good deal of skirmishing along the lines particularly on the left wing and yesterday quite a number of prisoners and horses, mules etc. were brought in having been captured from the enemy. Today all is quiet along the lines. You perhaps think me exposed to constant danger and death and at any moment to be put into action. We don't know or hear of any fighting as soon as you do there unless there is some general engagement or something occurs in our immediate vicinity. We do not think of danger as much as you do there. We shall not be put into any active duty for several weeks yet until we are drilled. We are placed under the tuition of Gen. Rosy's body guard after that is done General told me he thought of giving us charge of the trains from Nashville to the front over the rail road. In that case I shall have my quarters and remain near the Generals quarters attach officers and men as they are needed. For myself, I could not ask a better place. In case of battle my position would be near the Gen. Where I could receive his orders and transmit them to the men on the line.

….This week I am to have my horse, and can then go and come as I please. My health has never been better and I enjoy the climate very much. The last four days the weather has been fine as you ever see it in May. Grass has started and the trees begin to look green. The last two nights I have slept in my tent without fire. I have got such a good straw bed and bedstead (new one) and a very nice secretary and two split bottom chairs in my quarters so you see I am well fitted up. Good enough for a General….

Barber Correspondence.

        15[17], Hermann Bouk's story of Refugee Hardship in East Tennessee


IT may seem bold and self-confident, indeed, that in the face of the multitude of pamphlets, addresses, essays and treatises, which this war has called forth, I should add one or more to the number. And yet there are some facts connected with my past history and my present position, which may sufficiently account for my appearing before the public just at this time. Born and educated in Germany, I arrived in this country in my twenty-first year, and after having spent twenty-eight years in the North, under circumstances which were especially calculated to endear to me the historic life, and the institutions of the country I had adopted, I lived in East Tennessee till treason there overthrew, for a time at least, the Government of the United States. My attachment to the Union compelled me to leave my home and my family to avoid a dungeon. It was then, when for more than a year I had had to witness the effects of a military despotism, which exalted falsehood, fraud and robbery to the rank of virtues, and rode rough-shod over every one that was unwilling to adopt this creed, that I prayed God that the time might come when I, in some humble way, might bear witness to the fearfulness of the crime, which, by means the most foul, had in that region of country at least, placed at the mercy of villains, the most abandoned, the noble and devoted men of the country. Similar prayers have risen from other lips, but their testimony will only be heard in the day of judgment, for they have sealed their faithfulness with their death. Yet it is not only recollections like these which now impel me to write. When after having fled from my home I at last had reached the lines of our troops which were then stationed near Cumberland Gap, I saw myself surrounded by hundreds of men with whom for years I had mingled at their altars and their firesides, and who like myself had been compelled to leave their homes and families. Impressed with the fact, that my past life would give me an influence in the North, which they could not have, they asked me to do all in my power to induce the men of the North to come to their relief, that they might be enabled with their swords to make their way back to their homes. I promised it, and now while I am about to fulfil this promise, I pray God that He may prepare for my words a ready access to the hearts of my readers. To all this I may add that I am once more standing upon the ground on which first I stepped when I came to this country, that not a few of those with whom I became acquainted in early life are now, when far advanced in years, my honored friends, and that they have expressed a conviction that my extensive acquaintance in Pennsylvania, where for years I have labored as a preacher and a teacher, might enable me to impart information concerning the first workings and the gradual progress of treason in the South. Right or wrong I have acceded to their request, and I would have acceded sooner if my duties as chaplain of a hospital had not been of such a character as to claim the whole of my time.

East Tennessee, which late events have brought into such general notice, is a portion of that elevated region of country which embraces Southern Kentucky, Northern Alabama, Northern Georgia and Western North Carolina. The Cumberland Mountains in East Tennessee reach occasionally the height of 2,000 feet, they are rich in minerals, from their sides leap innumerable springs, flowing through productive valleys and emptying finally into the Tennessee or Cumberland rivers, the climate is magnificent, the scenery grand and picturesque, the population of an agricultural character, having comparatively few slaves. To this region of country I had moved in 1855, I had purchased a farm, planted vineyards and had gathered a small congregation. I had indulged the hope that in the same measure as I was endeavoring to make this home beautiful and productive, my children would resist the temptation to change, and this farm would be an heirloom in my family for many years to come. Beyond my spiritual sphere and these agricultural labors my ambition did not extend, and with but a trifling change I could adopt with regard to myself and my family the beautiful lines of Barry Cornwall:


Touch us gently, Time!

Let us glide adown thy stream,

Gently as we sometimes glide

Through a quiet dream.


Humble voyagers are we,

Husband, wife and children three -

Two are lost - two angels fled

To the azure overhead.


These humble hopes, however, were not to be realized. It is now two years ago when I no longer could resist the conviction that we were standing on the very threshold of a treasonable attempt to break up the Union. At that time I happened to be in the house of one of my neighbors. In the course of the conversation the Union was mentioned by me. "The Union," said he, with a contemptuous smile, "the Union is gone!" I could hardly trust my ears. Here stood a man before me, who was not like myself an adopted citizen, but a native of this country, yet who was ready to obliterate from the family of nations the land which for more than thirty years I had learnt to regard as my own, and which had conferred on me innumerable blessings. "Hear me," said I to him, there was a time when the disciples of the Lord had called blessings upon Him; - the Pharisees asked him to stop his disciples, but the Lord told them that if his disciples were to be silent, the very stones would cry out. "You," added I, "were born in this country, you have Washington and his time handed down to you as a direct inheritance, I am but an adopted citizen, I am but as one of the stones, but as one of the stones I cry out against you." It was at that time that a great Union meeting was held in the vicinity of Knoxville. Horace Maynard was occupied in another part of the State, but Andrew Johnson and other leading Union men were there, and the question was seriously debated whether East Tennessee should take up arms and destroy the bridges in order to prevent the sending of rebel troops from Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama to Virginia. Less extreme measures prevailed, the bridges were not burnt, the troops from the Southern States rushed into East Tennessee, and the Union men of East Tennessee were singly overpowered and disarmed. In the meantime Fort Sumter had fallen and some of the secessionists came to me and asked me to join the Southern Confederacy. "You remind me," said I, "of a good old bishop, when he was led to the stake he was advised to abjure the Savior and save his life. "Eighty and five years, was the answer of the bishop, has my Savior graciously protected me, and should I now forswear him?' So say I to you; thirty and five years has the flag of the Union with the help of God nobly protected me, and should I now forswear it?" The secessionists, however, became so violent in their measures that I found it necessary to go to Washington in order to consult the Hon. Andrew Johnson, who by that time had succeeded in taking his place in Congress, and to find out whether we soon would obtain help or whether I would be compelled to move with my family to the North. When I went to Washington, Tennessee was still in the Union, when I returned it had been taken out by force and by fraud, and I was compelled to find my way through the Cumberland Mountains as best I might. Governor Harris had in vain endeavored to get a convention sanctioned by the people, by the means of which he had hoped to carry the State out of the Union. He had then called an extra session of the Legislature, and that body in violation of the express will of the people had declared an ordinance of separation on the 6th of May, submitting the question of Separation from the Federal Government and of Representation in the Richmond Congress to be voted on by the people on the 8th day of June. Against Separation from the Federal Government and Representation in Richmond, East Tennessee gave a majority of 18,300. It would have been much larger if the votes of rebel troops had not been counted, though under the constitution they had no authority to vote at any election. In this way however the State was forced out of the Union when a majority of her people were utterly averse to any such separation.

Having arrived at home after having past through many trying scenes, I found that my journey to the North had excited attention, and that threats had been made of hanging me as soon as I should return. I, however, had to visit Knoxville. When I entered the court house in that city, I found Judge Humphreys occupied in judging men, who had committed no crime, but in various ways had expressed their partiality for the Union. This is the same Judge Humphreys against whom others as well as myself were cited to bear testimony in Washington a few months ago, and who in consequence of that testimony was deposed from his office. When I had left the court house a friend took me aside, himself a secessionist, and told me that I would do well to leave the city, since in case the soldiers were to learn that I had just come from the North, I in a few minutes might be a dead man. Then came a time of darkness and oppression. The battle of Manassas had taken place, and for four months we were kept in the dark with regard to almost everything, which could have a favorable bearing on the preservation or restoration of the Union. It was during this time that Judge Humphreys held court again in Knoxville, and that he himself told the State's Attorney that he had no right to send Union men to Tuscaloosa unless they were taken with arms in their hands. The State's Attorney, a wretched drunkard, replied that they had only been sent to Tuscaloosa in order to make of them good Southern men. Shortly before this time some of the Union men had secretly combined and had burned certain bridges, in order to put a stop to the thousands of soldiers who were every day passing on to Virginia. Mr. Pickens who is now a Major in the U. S. Army, had taken part in this enterprise and had escaped. In consequence of it, his father, a Senator in the State's Legislature, had been seized and taken to Tuscaloosa. One of my neighbors returned at that time from Tuscaloosa, where he had been imprisoned, sick in body and in mind. He told me that he had left the aged Pickens in good health, but that he could not live, since he was confined with twenty- seven others in a small room, and in the night they were not permitted to open the windows. Pickens died. His wife when she heard it, lost her reason and died ; a daughter being thus suddenly deprived of her parents also cried of a broken heart! It was in this way that the State's Attorney in Knoxville made of Union men Good Southern Men! An acquaintance of mine, the Rev. Mr. Duggan, a highly respectable clergyman, was compelled on a hot day to walk twenty miles as a prisoner to Knoxville, because long before the State had been carried out of the Union he had prayed for the President of the United States. His horse was led behind him, and he, though old and very corpulent, was not permitted to mount it. When he had arrived in Knoxville, he was declared free, and free he soon was, for God took him to himself. That journey on foot had become the cause of his death. A man named Haun had been taken to prison, because he had taken part in the burning of the bridges. The names of the persons who tried him have never been made public. Not until he had arrived at the place of execution did the public learn why he was to be executed. He was asked whether he was sorry for what he had done, he replied, that if placed in similar circumstances he would do it again, and that he was prepared to die. Others beside him were hung, still others were shot down or otherwise murdered. Nor did this spirit of oppression extend to Union men alone. Shortly before I left East Tennessee, a wealthy secessionist named Jarnagan, who lived in my vicinity did not rest, till two companies were quartered in that town, in order to keep down the Union men. Three months afterwards he left his residence, because, as he himself declared, his own friends had robbed him of property worth $3,000, and would take his life if he would not give up all. It was as still worse with Daniel Yarnall, another secessionist, and also one of my neighbors. He had complained concerning the conduct of some soldiers in the Confederate army, and these soldiers had been punished; in consequence of it they went to his house and stripped him. He himself counted forty lashes, and then could count no more. When the workings of this treason first commenced, and I on my missionary tours was passing through the fruitful valleys and over the pleasant hill sides of East Tennessee, and beheld the fields ready for the harvests, and the industrious men and women engaged in their daily round of duties, I asked myself, whether indeed it was possible, that the mad ambition of men would go so far as to desolate these scenes of beauty. It has proved possible indeed! Where but years ago there were all the elements calculated to make a community prosperous, there is now misery and wretchedness the most fearful, and the rule of an armed mob bent upon indiscriminate plunder. Do you see yonder wretch? He has been a drunkard and a vagabond all his life-time, yet he has thousands of dollars in his pocket now, and he rides the most beautiful horse in that whole region of country. I could take you to the industrious farmer from whom he took the horse, and whom he robbed of his money, and who now, together with his wife and children are left in penury! Do you see yonder girl? How beautiful she would be, if it were not for the loss of that eye! That eye she lost in successfully defending her honor against the assault of a Confederate soldier, until her father could come to her aid and slay him. Ah, my reader, you who live here so comfortable and so undisturbed, have little knowledge of what is going on but a few hundred miles from here. I have seen the man of eighty, the oldest and the wealthiest man of a loyal district, who at his age had joined the Home Guards, raise his trembling hands to heaven, and ask God whether there was no curse in store for deeds so cruel. I have heard the gentle woman exclaim that she must have the blood of one of these men, her spirit being maddened to desperation because they had fired a hundred shots at her husband. Who could remain cold at the sight of enormities like these? I have often been asked whether the representations made by Brownlow and others can be relied on. Neither Brownlow nor myself, nor any, nor all of us can give a full record of cruelties which have been perpetrated and are now being perpetrated in the recesses of the mountains and valleys of East Tennessee, or of the sufferings and the deaths through which East Tennesseeans [sic] have to pass in the prisons of the South from want of food, from filth, from absence of ventilation and from degrading work.

After the defeat of the rebels near Mill Spring had taken place, I had to go secretly to Kentucky in order to attend to some private affairs of mine. After my return the battle of Pittsburg Landing had occurred, and Fort Henry, Fort Donelson and Nashville had fallen into the hands of the Federal troops. In consequence of these reverses the conscription law was enacted. There was a place of mustering near my house, where in former times generally some 800 men had mustered; that day only about 50 appeared. Two nights after, almost all the men able to bear arms disappeared, went to Kentucky, and entered the United Army. Then Churchwell, the Provost Marshal of Last Tennessee, a man who has since been called to the Judgment bar of God, issued a proclamation and declared that if these men would come back they should be permitted peacefully to pursue their avocations; at the same time, however, he attempted to seize some of the most influential Union men who had yet staid behind. I was to be one of the victims; by a most Providential combination of circumstances I received early notice of the fact that five men were sent out to apprehend me. I had made up my mind to go to prison. I could not bear the thought of leaving the atmosphere where my wife and my children were breathing, but my wife prevailed on me to go to our friends in the North. Her last words were: "Fear not for me, I trust in God;" I begged her to kiss our children, and I turned into the mountains. Never I trust, shall I cease to be thankful for the gracious manner in which I was shielded from harm in that perilous journey. Six months later my wife and my children arrived in Cincinnati, having crossed the Cumberland Mountains in the rear of the two contending armies, and having made more than 300 miles in an open buggy. We have since removed to this city, where I have been appointed Chaplain of the Turner's Lane Hospital.

Now, after having made these statements, which in a great measure refer to myself, I wish to draw the attention of the reader to certain subjects which are of vital importance to all of us, and on which my past experience, such as I have just described it, may enable me to shed some light. In the first place, then, let me advise every one who reads these pages to turn away from the man, who attempts to persuade himself and others, that the South has been driven into her treasonable course in consequence of the wrong inflicted on her by the North. This, indeed, is one of the falsehoods by which the men of the South have attempted to excuse their treason, but it was not the cause of it. Do you think, I believed them, when they came to me about that time and told me that the men of the North were a set of cowards who would not fight, and that one Southerner could whip five of them at any time? Do you think I believed them when they spoke of drawing the line between the North and the South along the Ohio river, and of erecting an immense fortress opposite Cincinnati, and of battering down that city, whenever the North interfered with slavery? Or do you think I believed them, when they advised me to join the South, because, if the South succeeded, East Tennessee would be a great manufacturing country, and my little property would increase a hundred-fold in value? Of course I did not believe them. I knew too much about my friends in the North to doubt their bravery, and I had seen too much of the want of manufacturing enterprize in the South to indulge the hope that my property would be worth any thing, if the South should gain the ascendency. Just as little did I believe it, when they came to me and told me that they were compelled to rise in rebellion, because the North was resolved to rob the South of their slaves. Had not I listened to the Rev. Dr. Ross and many of the other leaders of the movement? Washington and Jefferson and the men of their time had, indeed, regarded slavery as an evil which would gradually give way under the influence of christianity; but not so these apostles of our own time or of the immediate past. According to them, slavery is the very foundation, on which christianity is resting, take it away and christianity crumbles to pieces; according to them on the existence of slavery depends the cause of freedom, touch that institution and freedom as well as christianity are crushed. Strange doctrines these, you say, yet these are the doctrines which have been taught in the South by divine and layman for more than twenty-five years, and taught for the very purpose, which they now attempt to realize by their treasonable movement, and into which they have been drawn for reasons very different from those which they have made public. It was indeed not abolition nor any other imaginary wrong inflicted on them by the North, which influenced their action, but a conviction of a very different character. With all their boasts concerning the divine character of the institution of slavery, and the spiritual and temporal blessings which resulted from it, they could not conceal from themselves, that in its practical workings slavery in many respects looked very much like a curse. Why was it that these vast multitudes of emigrants were peopling the North, while they kept away from the South? Why, that manufactures and commerce selected the North for their favored home? How did it happen that if you started from Pittsburg on your way to St. Louis, you would see on the right hand side of the Ohio river, flourishing towns and cultivated fields without number, while on the left, nature reigned beautiful but unproductive? It was slavery which was the cause of it, and the time was fast approaching when the South compared to the North would be in a lamentable minority and would lose that influence over the General Government which it had so long enjoyed. Hence the criminal resolve of breaking the Union to pieces, and of founding an aristocratic empire with slavery for its basis, and the prospect of having untold wealth, pouring into its bosom by re-opening the African slave trade. Ah what anguish have we Union men of the South suffered when one and another of these diabolical plans was developed to our view. How vain the hope of being benefitted by the resolutions of Crittenden, or by any other resolutions, when we had learnt that the Union was to be broken to pieces at every cost. Many an appeal reached the South at that time from the great conservative body of the people in the North, calling upon them to be but patient for a few days and they should receive every security for their rights which they possibly could desire. There were many hearts, which bounded with joy and with hope at these appeals, but they met no response in those Southern Senators, who had it in their power to pass the Crittenden resolutions, but who refused to vote, that they might break up the Union. Abolition no doubt has to answer for many things, but it never will have to answer for having brought about this rebellion. The power was rapidly escaping from the hands which had wielded it so long, and that power was to be preserved, though the country should be deluged in blood, and the recollections of a glorious past be given to the winds. Yet there are still those amongst us, who are sympathizing with the South, on account of the wrongs it has suffered at the hands of the North. I assure you that the slaveholders of East Tennessee, who are Union men, do not feel that they need such sympathy. They never have complained that they have lost any of their rights, and they look with utter abhorrence upon this attempt to obliterate from the family of nations, a country which surpassed every other in a spirit of justice and humanity. They are most decidedly of opinion that God would be altogether just, if He should sweep away the institution of slavery, which these men intend to make the foundation of their empire, and if they also in consequence of it have to suffer loss they are prepared for it. It is by the preservation of the Union alone, that they can have security not only for the property which may be left them, but for liberty and life. Shortly before I left East Tennessee, I was in the house of a wealthy slave owner, a devoted friend of the Union. He spoke with tears of this attempt to break up the Union, adding that there was a report that the Government of the United States intended to confiscate the slaves. He did not believe, he said, that the Government would deprive loyal slaveholders of their property, but in case it should be necessary, in order to preserve the Union, he would gladly give up the slaves. Another slaveholder, also one of my acquaintances, who had been robbed of a large portion of his property, and who had been in prison for months, at last reached his home again. "The last dollar," he said to his wife, "the last slave, if but the Union be preserved, and joyfully we will start anew in life." "Think you," said another distinguished slaveholder, a gee from East Tennessee,[18] the other day in the city of New York, in the same spirit, "that for the pleasure of enjoying the company of my wife and my babes whom I have not seen for the last two years, I would not have willingly given all that my negroes are worth, or all that they ever will be worth to me?" Yet though the Union men of the South thank them so little for their sympathy, the sympathizers here are still going on in the same strain. "Pray, sir," said one of them to me but a few days ago, how would you like it, if you had owned two hundred negroes and they had been taken away from you?" "I would certainly feel satisfied," was my reply, "if at that price I had obtained security for the property I might still have, but most of all for my liberty and my life. I have not lost two hundred slaves, but I have lost all the property I owned, and which I valued at six thousand dollars. Yet by giving it up and escaping to the North, I again enjoy the benefits resulting from the Union, and the means of supporting my family."

By facts like these I am readily reminded of others, which it may be as well to mention in this connection. I have very frequently heard of late the assertion, that this is not a war for the Union but for the freeing of the negroes, and gentlemen have told me, that they, indeed, are as much for the Union as ever, but that they are constrained to oppose the administration, because it has now raised issues which are altogether foreign to the original objects of the war. Now in order to meet this objection in a satisfactory manner, I beg the reader to look at the beginning of this war. When the South was going on in taking one aggressive step after the other, and the United States Government still bore it patiently, a gentleman, who is now prominent in the ranks of secession, but who at that time had not made up his mind which way he would turn, expressed great astonishment at this conduct. "The United States," he said, "are a powerful nation, but even for a nation so powerful it seems strange to be so slow in punishing treason:" Ignorant as I then was of the extent of this treason, I gloried in this forbearance of the United States because it was so much in keeping with the spirit it had ever manifested to leave room for the loyalty that might still exist in the South to make itself felt. At a later period, however, the necessity of an energetic movement had become evident, and government and people unanimously declared that they were fighting, and would fight on for the Union and the Constitution. I became well acquainted with this state of feeling, for I was then in the North. But then, again, there came another phase of the struggle. The Federal arms had been sufficiently successful in taking possession of large portions of slave territory, and they had to meet the question, what they should do with the negroes of disloyal slaveholders. The question was finally solved by the proclamation of the President, a document, which is the result of the circumstances in which the disloyalists of the South have placed themselves by their treasonable course. Thus it has happened that thousands, and let me add, I am of the number, while they have at all times opposed abolitionism, and have been in favor of securing the South in all their rights, have now come to feel, that treason has no rights whatever, and that the negroes, if they furnish to traitors the means of support, and of carrying on this war against the Union, should be deprived of these means wherever an opportunity offers, and that they ought to sustain the Government to the utmost in their power, because it is acting in accordance with these views. To illustrate this subject from what may be called the common sense view of it, I beg leave to relate an incident related to me by a clergyman, whose name I shall be happy to give, as soon as he will permit me to do so. He had been invited to deliver a patriotic address in a neighborhood, which was not celebrated on account of its patriotism, and hints had been dropped, that if he did go there he might expect to be handled somewhat roughly. The clergyman however did go. He proposed to stop at the house of an acquaintance who was quite an excitable character. Before entering the house, he heard that one of the agitators on the other side of the question had been there in the morning. He of course then expected a scene of a good deal of excitement, and he was by no means disappointed. Hardly had he entered when his friend rushed up to him, and exclaimed: "Well, sir, it is all over now!" "What is over." "There is going to be a draft." "Well, what of that?" "We will not go !" "But you will be made to go." "What, make fifty thousand men go?" "Ah remember my friend, it is not every one thinks this way. It is only a little corner here of Pennsylvania." "But," exclaimed the other with great vehemence, "I will not fight for the nigger!" "Not fight for the nigger," said my friend. "Well, now, listen to me. Suppose I were a general of the Secessionists, and had fifty thousand troops under my command, and I were standing here, and you were a general of the Union troops, and you had fifty thousand men under your command, and you were standing over there. And now suppose that you had learnt that here back of my right wing I had stored a vast deal of ammunition, and that you knew a way how to get round there and take it away from me, you also knowing that if you did take it, I would have no powder to fire at you, would you take it?" "Certainly!" "And then suppose that you had learnt that back of my left wing I had stored a considerable amount of provisions, and that you had an opportunity of getting hold of it, you knowing that if you succeeded in taking it, I would have to do with half rations and might be very much disposed to give up the fight; would you go and take it?" "Surely I would!" "And then again suppose, that far in the rear of me, there were five thousand negroes constantly at work in order to supply me with the provisions I needed, and that you knew a way how to catch them, and that you knew that if you did catch them, I was sure to give up, for I would have nothing whatever to eat. Would you go and catch them?" "Surely I would." "Well, that is all the Government proposes to do." "Is that all?" "Yes." "Well I am for that!" So it is, my reader, those who declare that the Government is no longer fighting for the Union and the Constitution are far from the truth. We have to accustom ourselves to the thought, that as matters now stand in the South, traitors have no right under the Constitution, and that the safety and the perpetuity of the Union, demand that they should be deprived of every means by which they are aided in their treasonable course. He who opposes the Government in this respect, is aiding and abetting treason, and to arrest such and punish them is the duty which the Government owes to the safety of its loyal citizens and to itself.

And this brings me to another branch of my subject. I have been often asked, what is likely to be the final result of all this loss of treasure and of blood. A similar question, I understand, one of my friends addressed the other day to a prominent individual in Washington. The person thus addressed was silent for a time, and then said with deep earnestness: "Our prophets are dead and I cannot tell." By the prophets he meant those great statesmen Jefferson, Monroe, John Quincy Adams, Andrew Jackson, Clay, Webster and others, who in times gone by have been our political teachers, and who have pointed out to us the course we must take in order to enjoy peace and prosperity. But however interesting and touching this answer may appear, he could have given a better one. He could have said: "Our prophets are dead, and yet they speak." They speak by their example, and by the writings which they have bequeathed to us. Jefferson when he had been elected President said in his inaugural address: "We have called those who are our brothers, and who hold the same principles with ourselves by different names," referring thus mildly to the spirit of party which had been manifested previous to the election. Monroe when he had been President for four years, had so acted in the spirit of the words of Jefferson, that when his re-election was to take place, there was none to oppose him; the whole people formed a great American Union party. When Jackson, the democrat, had to contend against the doctrine of separation as promulgated by South Carolina, there stood by his side, Daniel Webster, the whig, and proved, particularly in his celebrated speech against Colonel Hayne of South Carolina, that the Constitution does not confer the right upon a single State, to cut loose from the Union at its pleasure. And when, on another occasion, again the safety of the Union was imperilled, it was Henry Clay, the whig, who expressed his gratitude to certain democratic members, because in the hour of danger they had set aside all considerations of party, and had aided him in preserving the Union. Nor would I forget John Quincy Adams, who, when he entered upon his presidential career, declared that no man who bore a good character and was fit for the office he held, should be deprived of it from considerations of party, and who acted in accordance with this declaration. Though dead, they speak. They tell us that now as in time of Jefferson there are those, who, though they are called by different names, are yet our brethren, who are holding the same principles with us; they admonish us, that when the existence of the Union is at stake, we for a time at least ought to keep up our party lines less strictly, taking for our platform the Union as our forefathers have done; they speak to those in power and tell them that in the choice of the men they employ, they ought to be guided by merit and not by party considerations, and they speak to those who hold responsible positions under the Government, and remind them that they are bound to carry out the policy of the Government, independent of the fact that their associations of party would lead them in a different direction. It is this ground which the Union men of East Tennessee desire to occupy. When one of our wealthy slaveholders, after months of imprisonment, had returned, he was one day near his house, sitting upon a fence. Some Confederate soldiers were passing by, and one of them called to him to shout for Jefferson Davis. My friend refused to do so. "Are you for Lincoln?" asked the other. "I am for the Union," answered my friend, "and if Lincoln is for the Union, then am I for Lincoln." The soldiers threatened to kill him, but at that time did not do it. The Union is with the Union men of East Tennessee the paramount question. Every other is secondary. They are willing to lose sight of all party distinctions for a time, if the safety of the Union should require it. In this connection, however, I must once more allude to the subject of slavery. As I have already had an opportunity of showing, they are willing to put up with slavery, if that should be most conducive to the welfare of the Union, and they are willing to do without it, if the good of the Union should require it. It was sentiments like these which I expressed the other day in a large Democratic meeting. "Ah," said one of my hearers, "then that is just as Mr. Lincoln says: 'The Union with slavery, if that be best, the Union partly with and partly without slavery if that be best, the Union without slavery, if that be best; the Union any way.' " And they all approved of the doctrine. I hope the time will come when sentiments like these, which were uttered by loyal men in Montgomery county in this State will be generally entertained, and when we all shall feel the importance of that spirit of forbearance, which in past times has guided us safely through so many dangers.

Among the many means which are used to mislead and deceive men, few have been found more efficient than the declaration, which we hear so often repeated, that we want "the Constitution as it is, and the Union as it was." When these words are pronounced by certain individuals they are exceedingly significant. They mean nothing less than that this administration is an abolition administration, that it is the cause of the war, that from the beginning it has carried on the war to subjugate the South and to set the negroes free, that it is a tyrannical administration subverting the Constitution, and that there is no hope for this country unless this administration can be overturned, the war be stopped and the rights of the South be acknowledged. By it they mean to say that they look with approval upon every measure of the Southern leaders, while they have nothing but abuse for the administration and those who sustain it, that they deeply sympathize with Jefferson Davis and his followers, while the men who have been driven from their homes, they regard as traitors to the sacred cause of the South, upon whom they mean to heap public and private insults whenever an opportunity shall offer. Such is the meaning of the words: "The Constitution as it is and the Union as it was," when these words come from certain lips. It is the very essence of treason, busily engaged in stirring up civil war in the North, openly or secretly. When uttered by others it is done more thoughtlessly, and the principal idea connected with them seems the conviction, that we ought to make peace and go on as we did in former times. It would be well, however, if men who make use of these words would fairly determine what they ought to mean. I also say: Give me the Union as it was. "Give it to me, to use the language of a distinguished East Tennesseans, [19] as it was, when Washington to suppress rebellion, sent into Western Pennsylvania fifteen thousand men under the command of his neighbor and friend General Lee..... When Webster and Clay rallied to the support of Andrew Jackson, and sent treason whipped and abashed to its lair. When Millard Fillmore, called to account for the disposition of his fleets in the harbor of Charleston, replied, that he was not responsible for his official conduct to the Governor of South Carolina." Such "as it was" is the Union I desire. Do not speak to me of a Union, such as it was, when James Buchanan connived at the treason which the members of his Cabinet were plotting, or when John C. Breckinridge poured forth treason in the Senate of the United States. If it even were possible to restore such a Union, it would be utterly wanting in the elements necessary for its perpetuity. One of the leaders of Secession in East Tennessee, a young man full of self-conceit and a captain in the rebel army, visited the house of one of our aged Union men, a descendant of one of the revolutionary heroes. "Ah," said the military fop, strutting up and down the room, "you old men may indeed talk of Washington and of his time as you do, but we who are younger have been brought up under different influences, and we follow different teachers." It is even so, and it would be in vain to think of forming a Union with men, who utterly repudiate what to the American patriot are sentiments the most sacred and the most true. The South has to be taught that the falsehoods on which they attempt to erect their slavery empire are not strong enough to serve their purpose, [emphasis added] and whenever they have been taught it, we may have a Union, as it was in the days of this country's glory, a Union, better fitted to bless the world than it ever has been before, because chastened and purified.

And there is still another representation made by designing men, in order to mislead those who are little acquainted with the condition of affairs in the South. It is said that if in consequence of the war the negroes are set free they will come to the North and will bring down the free labor of the North to a ruinous extent. I have lived but six years in the South, and I have seen slavery but in Tennessee, in Georgia and in portions of South Carolina, Virginia and Alabama. As far as my knowledge extends I am fully persuaded that statements such as the one referred to are utterly void of foundation. Let me say to my readers emphatically, that the impressions which many have here in the North concerning the slaves of the South are extremely erroneous. The negroes are attached to the South by many bonds which are not easily broken. The South they regard as their home, they greatly prefer its climate; there many of them have families to whom they are attached, and church relations which they highly value; there they have an opportunity of making a good living, with but little labor, and though many desire to be free and daily pray for the success of the Northern arms, yet there is not one of them, I believe, who would think of coming North after he has obtained his freedom, and is placed in circumstances which will permit him quietly to enjoy it. "I care little," said a wealthy slaveholder to me, shortly before I left East Tennessee, "whether my slaves are set free or not. If they were set free they would not leave me. I would pay them what is right, and they would continue to work my plantation."

Before concluding I may be permitted to make another brief reference to myself. I need not say that Germany is dear to me; in Germany rest the bones of my fathers; there have I lived the beautiful days of my childhood and early youth. In Germany there are now living those who are bound to me not only by the ties of blood, but by ties which reach far beyond the grave. Yet while Germany is dear to me, I have also learnt to love this country during the thirty-five years I have lived here. I love it because it has invited millions like myself to its hospitable shores; I love it because it has extended its protection not only in distant lands or on distant seas, but also in every humble valley and on every retired hillside. There the industrious farmer could quietly attend to his daily avocation, and in the evening return to the circle of his family, as I have done for years, and there under his own vine and fig-tree he could look forward to the time when he would peacefully close his life. When it seemed to be placed beyond a doubt that the Union had ceased to exist, the friends of the South came to me once more, and told me that I could have now no objection to unite with them. I replied, that when I came to this country, I swore allegiance to the Union, that in case the Union had indeed ceased to exist, I did not own allegiance either to the South or to the North, that I would return to my native land and there perhaps after many years, when far advanced in life, I would take my children's children upon my knees, and with streaming eyes I would tell them of a noble land, a powerful Union, of which at one time I was a citizen. [emphasis added] Since I have come North and have once more met with old friends, who with the fire of youth are ready to battle for the Union, which has protected them for so many years, and since I have been brought in contact with so many youthful spirits who go to the field of battle with the same spirit which filled the heroes of the past, I am strongly impressed with the fact that this Union is by no means so near its dissolution as some of my Southern friends seemed to think it was, and with John Adams I am ready to say, "Sink or swim, live or die, survive or perish, the fortunes of this country shall be my fortunes!" I stood the other day on the spot where Melchoir Mühlenburg, the founder of the Lutheran church in the United States, had labored for many years. There at the time of the revolution and on a certain Sabbath he had stood in his pulpit and had preached Christ and Him crucified; he descends from the pulpit, he puts off his gown, and he stands there before his astonished congregation in full military costume. There is a time for preaching, he says, and there is a time for fighting, and my time for fighting has come." Many clergymen are now following his example. I know not what may be in store for me, but I am certain that I am in the path of duty in addressing these words of solemn warning to such as may choose to read them. In what I have written I have briefly traced the misrepresentations by which the leaders of the South have succeeded in deceiving the great mass of the people and the misery which has been the result of it. If the same spirit of deception should be successful here as it has been in the South, then the picture I have drawn of East Tennessee will be reflected in the valleys and on the hillsides of Pennsylvania, we shall have here indeed the constitution as it is, but as it is in the South with its armed mobs, its spirit of indiscriminate plunder and its deeds of violence, and we shall no longer worry about the danger of having the slaves coming North, for we shall be all slaves, ruled with an iron rod by our Southern masters, and by those few Northern sympathizers and demagogues whom anarchy will make masters instead of slaves.

And now, in conclusion, I shall be permitted to make another brief reference to one of our "prophets." It is Daniel Webster, who in closing the speech, in which he proves that the constitution is not a compact between sovereign States, dwells in a strain of touching sadness on the possible future of the United States if the friends of nullification should be able to give practical effect to their opinions. "They would prove themselves in his judgment, the most skilful architects of ruin, the most effectual extinguishers of high raised expectations, the greatest blasters of human hopes that any age has produced. They would stand forth to proclaim in tones which would pierce the ears of half the human race, that the last experiment of representative government had failed .... Millions of eyes, of those who now feed their inherent love of liberty on the success of the American example, would turn away on beholding our dismemberment, and find no place on earth whereon to rest their gratified sight. Amidst the incantations and orgies of nullification, secession, disunion and revolution would be celebrated the funeral rites of constitutional and republican liberty!" I am thankful that it is not my task to trace in detail how much of the ruin which Daniel Webster thus anticipated has actually come to pass. Mine is a more cheerful task. However heart-rending the struggle may be through which we are passing, it is not a hopeless struggle to him who looks higher than the earth for a solution of it. If we see many things passing away which long familiarity has endeared to us, it is that they may be supplanted by higher and better ones. When the city of Geneva, threatened by the Duke of Savoy, the Pope and the Emperor, was reduced to the greatest weakness, its inhabitants still remained undismayed. "Geneva," they said, "is in danger of being destroyed, but God watches over us; better have war and liberty than peace and servitude; we do not put our trust in princes, and to God alone be the honor and glory!" How important the lesson which Geneva then was learning, and how well for us if we prove equally teachable, if we also learn to put our trust more fully in God than we have been disposed to do, fearful as the trials may be through which we may have to pass, we shall not be left without help. But in this respect also our prophets are our teachers. The sentiments with which Daniel Webster closed the speech, I have referred to, and which are conceived in this spirit we are fearlessly to put into action. "With my whole heart I pray for the continuance of the domestic peace and quiet of the country. I desire, most ardently, the restoration of affection and harmony to all its parts. I desire that every citizen of the whole country may look to this government with no other sentiments than those of grateful respect and attachment, but I cannot yield even to kind feelings the cause of the constitution, the true glory of the country, and the great trust which we hold in our hands for succeeding ages. If the constitution cannot be maintained without meeting these scenes of commotion and contest however unwelcome, they must come. We cannot, we must not, we dare not omit to do that which in our judgment, the safety of the Union requires.... I am ready to perform my own appropriate part, whenever and wherever the occasion may call on me, and to take my chance among those upon whom blows may fall first and fall thickest. I shall exert every faculty I possess in aiding to prevent the constitution from being nullified, destroyed or impaired; and even should I see it fall, I will still with a voice feeble, perhaps, but earnest as ever issued from human lips, and with fidelity and zeal which nothing shall extinguish, call on the PEOPLE to come to its rescue."

THE TESTIMONY OF A Refugee from East Tennessee BY HERMANN BOKUM, Chaplain U. S. A.


        15, Witnessing a black religious service in Nashville

Sunday 15th

….So after traveling around until we got tiared [sic] we returned to camp: we came past whare [sic] the darkies [sic] ware [sic] holding meeting I stoped [sic] we stoped [sic] to hear them they preached as good sound toctorin [sic] as any white man: and I never heard heared [sic] abetar [sic] prayers offered up by any minister of the gospel then was offered up by them darky [sic]….

John Hill Fergusson Diary, Book 3.

        15, George Kryder on morale, saber charge, combat, prisoners and foraging in Middle Tennessee

Murfreesboro, Tenn.

March 15, 1863

Dear Wife

It is with great pleasure that I am seated to drop a few lines to let you know that I am well and hearty…. I know that we have men enough to whip the rebels to death if they are only a mind to do so, but there are so many to the north that are trying to discourage the soldiers all they can and if they would try to encourage them instead, this war would be ended long ago for they discourage the soldiers they encourage the rebels and that prolongs the war. But for all their discouraging and disheartening the soldiers I think yet that we can whip them out, for we are going to make another forward movement soon and if the rebels will stand and fight we will whip them so bad that they will not stand to fight our gallant General Rosecrans.

I will now tell you that we just came in from a 11 days scout yesterday. The first day we ran into a rebel camp in a sabre charge and took some 72 prisoners and all their wagons and camp equipment and that we burned all that we could not bring away with us. And after that we scouted around driving the rebels on every expedition and at last drove them across Duck River and then we came back to this place. The 3rd Ohio did not lose a man but the 4th Ind. and the 4th Regular lost a few men.

We lived well all the time we were out. When we wanted meat we would go to the smokehouse of some Rebels and get hams and honey and eggs and potatoes so that we had just as good living as I would ask for. But yet for all that it is not like sitting down to your nice clean table with everything nice and clean. But do not despair for I think that I can get a furlough before long. For the Adjutant General says that all the orderlies shall have furloughs and one from our Company is orderly for Gen. Wood and he says he don't want to go home, and I think I can go in his place. But do not despair if I should not come for if I can I will have my likeness taken and send it to you.

Coming back to camp yesterday we passed the 74th Ind. about a mile to our left but did not have time to go and see Samuel [he](like many other new soldiers) is very tired of the service and that is what is the matter of our Army. If the new troops would pitch in and fight like the old ones do, the rebels would not last long for they say some of our old Regs. like the 3rd and 4th Ohio do not know when they are whipped.

Our Paroled Boys have all come back and we have 58 men in our Company again and today we drew 25 new Carbines. The rebels hate to get in contact with the 3rd Ohio. They say that our short guns shoot wicked.


George Kryder

George Kryder Papers

        ca. 15, The fate of a Confederate Middle Tennessee guerrilla leader

Powell Hardeman, a noted leader of a handful of guerrillas, was captured at Pulaski a few days ago by Col. W. E. Gilmore, whose plantation was visited by Hardeman some months ago and $9,000 worth of property destroyed. He was tried by court martial and sentenced to be hung which has been approved by the General Commanding.

New York Times, March 18, 1863.

        16, Confederate stratagem to raid Murfreesborough and kidnap Major-General Rosecrans[21]

HDQRS. POLK'S CORPS, ARMY OF TENNESSEE, Shelbyville, March 16, 1863.

Lieut. Col. JAMES C. MALONE, Jr., Cmdg. Cavalry:

COL.: You have consulted me as to the lawfulness or expediency (supposing it to be practicable) of capturing and bringing out the general commanding the forces of the enemy, whose headquarters are now at Murfreesborough. It is a very grave enterprise, but if it could be accomplished, it would be attended with important results, especially if you could add to the capture the papers of his adjutant-general's office. As to its lawfulness there can be no doubt, for it is as lawful to capture one man in arms against us as another, nor can there be say doubt as to its expediency, for obvious reasons.

There is but a single point you have to guard against, and that is, that you do not allow his life to be taken, nor, as far as possible, any violence to be done to his person; for, while neither he nor those with whom he is associated in the campaign of extermination in which they are now engaged have a right to claim any forbearance at our hands, still, we owe it to ourselves to be true to our own civilization and to deprive the most critical of all occasions of censuring our mode of maintaining resistance. From the work of assassination we would recoil with just abhorrence. Bold and daring enterprises are in our line, and become those who are struggling against the bitterest persecution and the most merciless warfare. Take him, therefore, and his adjutant-general's papers with him, if you can, and I believe you can.

This will be handed you by my aide-de-camp, Lieut. W. B. Richmond, who volunteers to accompany you on the expedition.

Very respectfully, &c.,

L. POLK, Lieut.-Gen., Cmdg.


Lieut.-Gen. POLK, Cmdg., &c.:

GEN.: I have the honor to acknowledge your letter of March 16, relative to the matter of which I had the honor to speak to you in person on the 14th instant, and I beg leave to say that I approve, most heartily, the sentiments you have expressed therein. As to the point of which you speak, relative to taking the life or doing other violence to the person of Gen. Rosecrans, I approve most fully your views. Far be it from my mind, general, to give this undertaking any appearance of a murderous character. My whole nature recoils from anything in this matter that looks toward assassination or murder. You may rest assured that, should the alternative of taking his life or abandoning the entire project be at any time presented me, I shall most assuredly choose the latter. Nothing short of an active effort upon his part to put my own life, or that of my command, in jeopardy would or could, in my opinion, authorize the taking of his life or injury to his person. This, I take it, we have no reasonable ground to apprehend.

I have the honor to be, general, with great respect, your obedient servant,

JAMES C. MALONE, JR., Lieut.-Col., Cmdg. Fourteenth Alabama Cavalry.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 23, pt. II, pp. 701-702.

        16, Skirmish at Holt's Corners

No circumstantial reports filed.


Chapel Hill, April 16, 1863 Lieut.-Gen. POLK:

GEN.: I wrote you a dispatch this morning, which, through some oversight, was not sent. The enemy came up to Holt's Corners this morning. The picket relief, about 80 strong, attacked them and drove them 3 or 4 miles. Capt. [P. H.] Rice, who was in command, states that their number was about 300. They captured our advance guard, 5 men. This was done by a decoy, which led them into an ambuscade. The officers and men engaged acted very gallantly. The enemy left no dead upon the ground, but the fatality among their horses was severe. Nobody hurt on our side. The enemy are still side of College Grove. When my scouts return I will be able to give you the particulars as to their whereabouts.


OR, Ser. I, Vol. 23, pt. II, p. 775.

        16, A Confederate soldier's observations about his home place in the Cleveland environs

* * * *

There is a camp of Federal troops within a mile and a half of our home, and they sometimes visit our house and the houses of other southern people in the neighborhood and carry off such articles as they like, but the worst enemies by all odds, and the ones for whom our people have the greatest dred [sic] are those who call themselves "homeguards," but who are simply organized bands of bushwhackers and robbers.

Diary of William A. Sloan, March 15, 1863.

        16, Sol Street's guerrilla attack on a Federal forage train foiled by U. S. Cavalry between LaGrange and Saulsbury [see March 15, 1863, "Sol Street's guerrilla band's activities near Grand Junction" above]

Memphis Bulletin, March 22, 1863.

16, Grand Review of the Army of the Cumberland in Murfreesboro; excerpts from the letter of Albert Potter, Fourth Michigan cavalry, to his sister

Murfreesboro, Tenn.

Wednesday Mar 17th

Dear Sis

*  *  *  *

We had a grand review and inspection of all the Cavalry Force in the Department or nearly all by Maj Gen Rosecrans yesterday at 12 M it was a grand sight. The Review was on a large common 2 miles from town. There was one large flag with the Gen'l and then the "star" flags of each Brigadier or Commander of Brigade numbered to show which each commanded and then most of the different Companies had their Guidions. All together made a handsome show with the officers with their full uniforms and white gauntlets and red sashes. Gen Stanley wore a Yellow Sash. The maj gen wore none at all. Rosecrans is a large well-proportioned man, looks about forty five. Is quite bald as I could see when he saluted the Brigadiers. He looks good-natured and benevolent. Has a large Roman nose slightly hooked as he passed us on a gallop with his staff. He said "good morning, gentlemen! I am glad to see you all out this morning." And a little further on "you are the hope of the army. Do you mind that?" and on he went talking along the line and encouraging the men. Mrs. Rosecrans was at the Review also. I was not close to her. She was dressed in black and rode a splendid horse. I believe Gen Rosecrans is the most popular Gen'l in the army of the Union. He has never been whipped and permit me to say he never will be. The army in this department has the prestige of success and victory and we intend to keep our name good. The rumor prevails here at the present that Vicksburg is evacuated and the army moving up to crush us out. How much truth there is in the report I can't tell. We will be ready for them at any rate…..

Potter Correspondence.

        16, Punishment for disobedience of orders, 34th Illinois Infantry, Murfreesboro

Monday, March 16 – Joseph H. S_____ a private of Company G having been tried by Court Martial convicted of disobedience of orders and sentenced to forfeit one months [sic] pay and publicly reprimanded by the Colonel in the presence of the Regiment was compelled to undergo the latter part of the sentence during Dress Parade this evening – when his name was called S____ stepped from his place in the ranks in front and center of the line and stood there with uncovered head while the Colonel reprimanded him.

Diary of Lyman S. Widney

        16, Excerpts from a newspaper report relative preparation of hospitals for Union casualties to trade with the enemy from occupied Memphis



From present indications Memphis promises to become a vast hospital the coming summer. Even now there is not a little preparation for such a consummation. All the large houses, whether hotels, stores or whatnot, have been seized and the occupants forced to leave, and immediately thereafter the work of converting them to hospitals commences. Accommodations are to be made for ten thousand sick and wounded; but it is probable the accommodations will far exceed anything previously calculated upon. Some of these buildings have been fixed up in the most successful manner and the prospect is that all our hospitals will pass as worthy of the name.

The trade of Memphis has been materially affected by recent military regulations. Heretofore, any one from the South who wished supplies could come to the city and get them. But this ruinous policy no longer prevails. Persons can, indeed, get supplies necessary for their comfort; but they must prove their loyalty by taking the oath, and, in addition, swear that the supplies needed are not to be used by parties in the interest of the confederacy. The result is that the wholesale smuggling is stopped, and but little now passes to the enemy beyond our lines. The wonder is that such restrictions were not placed on such articles having a Southern destination. The question naturally arises, "Where has the greater bulk of them gone to?" and there is but one response and that is, to the enemy. This being a fact it is more than ever necessary that, if "trade follows the flag," it should be regulated by wholesome restraints that preclude the possibility of injury to the cause of which the flag is but the symbol. It is said there are hundreds of reputed good Union men making fortunes by running the blockade and conducting a contraband trade; but if it depended upon such to restore peace we should not have it for ages to come. They would never favor peace while they were making fortunes out of war.


The New York Herald, March 16, 1863.

        16-18, Expedition from Jackson to Trenton

MARCH 16-18, 1863.-Expedition from Jackson to Trenton, Tenn.

Report of Lieut. Col. Daniel H. Brush, Eighteenth Illinois Infantry.


SIR: I hereby report that, in pursuance of orders received from headquarters of District of Jackson, on the evening of 15th instant, I started at 6 o'clock the next morning with what men I could mount, and proceeded on the route indicated. In approaching Humboldt on the west side of the railroad, when within 3 or 4 miles, we came near to the middle fork of the Forked Deer River, and ascertained that it was impossible to cross that stream to the west, owing to the destruction of bridges and the highness of the water, and learning from a man direct from Humboldt that no armed rebels were there, I so far departed from the strict letter of the orders as to cross the railroad and proceed to Humboldt on the east side. We had to make a considerable circuit through a very swampy bottom to a ford, where we crossed. On arriving at Humboldt, I had the town surrounded, but found nobody there except citizens and a company of Sixty-second Illinois Regt. [sic] I learned there that the previous afternoon 10 or 12 men, armed, supposed to be rebel soldiers, passed through the town, making no stop and doing no damage to property or persons. It was reported that they had come across two artillerymen in that vicinity, whom they took prisoners and paroled.

From Humboldt I proceeded to Trenton, going up on west side of the railroad. When we reached to place, I caused it to be surrounded, and caused a search to be made, but no rebels were discovered, and I could not learn that any had been there since the Union troops left; everything seemed peaceable and quiet. I was told that a Col. McMurray, formerly in the rebel service, had been discharged and returned to his home, some 8 miles west of Trenton, two or three weeks since, to stay; also that a young man named Bell had left the enemy and gone to his home in the neighborhood. I left Trenton about 6 p. m., taking the road toward Jackson, east side of railroad, and camped for the night 5 miles south of the town. Next day at sunrise we started, and finding the bridges across the middle fork of the Forked Deer had been destroyed, made a detour to the east about 15 miles, to the Spring Creek road. The crossing of the creek there was quite difficult, the bridge being nearly destroyed and the ford deep and muddy. However, we got horses and men across safely. It was reported to me by a man of the vicinity that on last Saturday night a squad of mounted rebels passed the road going west, and passed again going east on Sunday night. The man who told me had not seen them, but said it was the neighborhood report; that some horses had been stolen in the neighborhood, and it was supposed that was the business the men were on. From Spring Creek we took the road to this place, where we arrived about dark.

During the trip two Government mules were found in a man's stable and brought in, to be turned over to the proper officer. The man stated he had taken the mules up on road a short time since, intending to keep them for the Government until he could deliver them. We procured feed for our horses of three different men on the trip, to whom statements were given showing the facts.

Respectfully submitted.

D. H. BRUSH, Lieut.-colonel, Cmdg.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 24, pt. I, pp. 468-469.

        15, Skirmish at Bull's Gap

No circumstantial reports filed.

        15, Skirmish in Flat Creek Valley

No circumstantial reports filed.

        15 [Ides of March], A perilous visit home for a Confederate cavalryman and his brother and friends in the Cleveland environs

We arrived at home this morning before day-light and found our mother and two little brothers well, but they are having a hard time on account of all the robbers plundering them. We learned from our mother at Bro. Jim called at home a few nights ago while passing with his little band of secret scouts, and he came near being captured at our own house. He was standing in [the] rear of the house talking with our mother in low tone when suddenly the enemy made a rush on the house from different directions, as if they had been lying in wait, and they filled the house, searching every room and closet for him, and at the same time plundering the house of whatever struck their fancy. On their approach Bro. Jim dropped back a few steps in the dark and then concealed himself at the corner of the garden fence where he could watch their movements. After they left our mother again came out and found Jim and had some further talk, and he said he could have easily [killed] one or two of the robbers with his revolver and them made his escape, but he feared to do so lest they take revenge by murdering the family and burning the house. He then returned to his comrades who were waiting for him some distance from the house.

Brother Flavel and I did not wait for day light, but we fell back about three fourths of a mile into a dense forest in the hills, and concealed ourselves in a deep hollow some distance from any road, where we knew we would be safe during the day. Three of our comrades are gone to Benton to visit their people, and are to return to us in two days. The other two are Vance and Alex. Hannah (brothers) and they are with us, but to night they aim to cross the Ocoee River to visit their father and mother and their own families, while Flavel and I will visit out own home again.

Diary of William A. Sloan, March 15, 1864.

        15, "Sunday in Nashville"

Sunday dawned clear and pleasant, and the town was alive with pedestrians-citizens and strangers. The churches were well attended during the day, and several funerals took place; that of the Rev. Dr. Ford (whose death cast a gloom over the city), was attended by the Masonic fraternity, and that of Capt. Baughby the Odd Fellows-the body of the latter was not, however, deposited by the side of his first wife, in Mount Olivet Cemetery, as was intended, but in the vault of the City Cemetery, until inquiry could be made as to the cause of his death.

Cleaning Streets is commendable, but we are at a loss to find an excuse for allowing the work on Passion Sunday. It has been said for ages that "cleanliness in next to godliness," not to be preferred to it.

The Widow Beard is recovering, under the constant and generous and skillful treatment of Dr, ------ -------------, aided by the comforts which our charitable friends have enabled us to purchase for her. We left with a kind and good neighbor the wherewithal to continue a supply of the necessaries for the widow and her little children.

Fires added to the variety of accidents; about five o'clock in the evening a fire broke out at the residence of Mrs. Phoebe Ellis, on South Summer street, which was considerably damaged. Another fire broke out about midnight at the residence of Mr. A. C. Farris, on North McLemore street, which was entirely consume, and the adjoining house somewhat damaged.

Some fighting took place during the day; just enough to keep the boys from spoiling. The first took place on the corner of Cherry and Church, between a soldier a member of the Provost Guard. The guard attempted to arrest the soldier, who resisted. A fight ensued for the possession of the guard's musket, which the soldier finally succeeded in capturing and ran up the street with it, much to the merriment of some of Uncle Sam's boys who were standing by. The guard started in pursuit, but was tripped up by a soldier. We heard of no arrests. In Germantown quite a lively engagement took place, between 11 and 12 o'clock [emphasis added] at night, some thirty or forty shots having been fired in the neighborhood of the brewery between those hours, but by whom, or with what effect, we were unable to learn, as all was quiet at "the seat of war" when the Provost guard arrived there.

Thieves and Burglars regarded not the sanctity of the day any more than quartermasters, and plied their vocation vigorously. A man named Ross was knocked down in the bottom north of the Sulphur Springs, and robbed of sixty dollars, the highwaymen escaping. A livery stable on College street near Church, was broken into by three men, but Wm. Rice, one of our efficient night officers, disturbed them will making a selection of plunder, and they vamosed [sic]. Several other interesting affairs occurred, which will be found chronicled in the proceedings of the Recorder's Court.

Altogether, Sunday was rather a lively day in Nashville.

Nashville Dispatch, March 15, 1864.

        15, "Dead Carcasses"

A very wholesome order has just emanated from Lieut. Col. Horner Provost Marshal, forbidding the practice of depositing the carcasses of dead horses and mules within the limits of the city, and requiring that all such dead animals be hauled to a point on the river bank, below the Government corals, and thrown into the river. Any soldier, citizen, or Government employee, leaving any such dead carcass within the city limits, or within one-half mile of the same, or any owner of such dead animal neglecting to have it hauled away, will be arrested and imprisoned.

Nashville Dispatch, March 15, 1864.

        15, The smugglers' progress; a page from Belle Edmondson's diary

March, Tuesday 15, 1864

Anna Nelson and I started to Memphis about 9 o'clock, suffered very much with the cold, stoped [sic] at Mr. Roberts to warm-from there we passed through the Pickets to the Pigeon Rooste Road-found Mr. Harbut's after much searching-did not reach Memphis until 10 o'clock, left out horse & buggy at Mr. Barbier's, went up town-and not one thing would the Merchants sell us. Because we did not live in their lines. I consoled myself with a wheel that could not turn-could not spin-went to see my friend Mrs. Facklen, she went up town and bought the things for me-poor deluded fools, I would like to see them theart a Southerner in such an undertaking as I had. Spent a very pleasant evening with Mrs. Facklen's family-all rebels, and we talked just as we please!-

Mrs. F. and I did not go to sleep until 2 o'c [sic], this being the first time I had seen her since she returned from Dixie. I have finished all my provisions, and will have nothing to do tomorrow except fixing my things for smuggling.

Diary of Belle Edmondson

        15, Zinc Coffins

W. R. Cornelius,

Government Undertaker,

Dealer in All Kinds of Metalic [sic] and Burial Cases and Zinc Coffins.

Will attend properly to the transportation of bodies, or giving any information regarding deceased Soldiers.


Having secured the services of Dr. E. H. LEWIS, of New York, (and more recently from the Army of the Potomac,) for embalming of the dead, by Dr Holmes AMERICAN PROCESS, acknowledged to be the best, and only true process in the United States, will have bodies embalmed when desired.

Principal Office and Ware-Rooms, No. 49 Church Street, Nashville, Tennessee.

Branch houses at Murfreesboro', Tullahoma, Wartrace, Shelbyville, Chattanooga and Stevenson, Alabama.

All communications promptly answered.

Mr. W. R. CORNELIUS is authorized to refer to me. He is a gentleman of integrity, and will perform all that he undertakes [sic] or promises.


Military Governor

Memphis Daily Union, March 15, 1864.

        15, Enforcement of ban on sale of whisky to soldiers in Nashville

In Limbo. – Mrs. Geary and three other women, who have a penchant for selling whisky to soldiers, have been sent to the penitentiary to meditate over the sins of their past lives, and do penance for that of whisky-selling. We hear that Mrs. Geary proposed to compromise with the Provost Marshal, by telling him how much greater was the sin of a certain secesh neighbor, provided he would let her off this time, but Colonel Horton declining, Mrs. Geary kept her peace.

Nashville Dispatch, March 15, 1864.

        15, The fate of pro-Confederate Cherokees


A Treaty of Peace with the Cherokees of North Carolina-Thirty Prisoners, with Tuckaneeche, their Chief, take the Oath of the Great Father at Washington.

Correspondence of the New York Tribune.

Knoxville, March 15.-While riding, a day or two since out on the Marysville road, I came upon three Indians who were slowly wending their way toward Knoxville. One of the party was tall, muscular and swarthy, with the long, black and coarse hair and high cheekbones which everywhere mark the Indian. The other, a man of medium size, with only just enough of the hair and complexion of his comrade to suggest his origin, while his intelligible English grey eyes, and other features of the white race, declared him a half-breed. He wore a little grey Confederate cap, and other clothes commonly worn by the Rebel soldiers. The third and principal personage was an old man bending under the weight of eighty years, supporting himself by a long cane, which he held in both hands, while the other two respectfully waited the slower motion of their old friend.

He wore no covering on his head except a handkerchief wrapped about it like a turban. His features were intelligent, with a pleasing, thoughtful expression, but little furrowed by age. A healthy crop of grey hair covered his head. While I engaged the half-breed in conversation, the old man stood leaning on the top of his staff, and listened very inventively, though seeming to understand but imperfectly what was said. This old man, I learned, was Tuckaneeche, the chief of the North Carolina Cherokees, who had come all the way from his mountain home n North Carolina to see the great Indian-the head of the army of the Union, in Knoxville. The visit, it may well be supposed, was not wholly a voluntary one. A number of his tribe were prisoners of war, detained here, and their liberty depending upon such arrangements and pledges as he and they might be able jointly to make with the military authorities touching their future conduct.

The Indian prisoners captured by the Fourteenth Illinois Cavalry some time since, on account of which has been sent to you, asserted that they were made to believe by the Rebel leaders that they were fighting for the old Government; and gave assurances that if their tribe and chief could be made acquainted with the true state of affairs, they would lay down their arms at once and forsake their old leader, Thomas[22], in a body. It was with the view of coming to some understanding with these people, and, if possible, of securing their friendship, or at least their immune neutrality, that two of the prisoners were permitted to return to their village of its vicinity in the Chilhowie Mountains, in order to explain matters and bring in their chief. Meantime, the prisoners were held as so many hostages for the faithful performance of the mission. The two messengers had to proceed with the greatest caution and address, so as not to be captured while upon their delicate and difficult errand.

Upon learning the situation of his people, the old chief rose up, and, taking his staff and a small supply of food, cheerful undertook the journey. They were over a week on the way.

Tuckaneeche was received by the big Indians in Knoxville with distinguished consideration, General Schofield, commanding the department, General Sam Carter, Provost Marshal-General, and Captain Thomas, his chief of staff, extended to him the kindness which is so well calculated to renew the memory of the ancient good will heretofore and always exercised toward their tribe by the Government at Washington.[23] Why should they fight against their best friends? They say it was altogether a mistake, and that they can prove they hurrahed for Jeff. Davis and the union!  If that be so, they might certainly be forgiven. Let the Indian have the benefit of his own story. Though unwilling to spoil so good a one, I must confess I do not believe more than half of it. The half-breed, with who I spoke freely, and who neither knew me, nor the motive I had for making the inquiry, stated that the Indians were "drug into the fight." He "heard old Thomas tell them, if they didn't fight for the South, there were South[ern] men enough to kill every last Injin of 'em, and they would do it too."

After a true and full explanation of affairs, and the arms, conditions and benefits of the oath of amnesty and pardon which the Great Father in Washington had offered them, they were permitted, jointly and generally to swear perpetual good will to Uncle Sam. The old chief, with a king of Hebraic signature, appended his name and title to the document. Solemnly, pledging that, for himself and his tribe, he would forever bear true faith and allegiance to the Government of the United States, and give no aid, encouragement or comfort to its enemies in any matter whatsoever. The ceremony released some thirty Cherokees from further detention as prisoners of war, but they will not return to their homes until our neighborhood is freed from the presence of Thomas and his pirate Crew. From the most trustworthy information I can obtain, Thomas' Indians have about all deserted him, and his agency for mischief is pretty much at an end. There is no doubt d that the Indians will kept their agreement if it is possible for them to do so, which is the difficult point in the case. As soon as they can be reached by Rebel agents of conscription they will either be shot, or forced into the ranks again. I learn that many of them have been thrown into prison, and that others are wandering in dens and caves of the mountains to escape the Rebel service.

Philadelphia Inquirer, March 28, 1864.

        16, Confederate raid on N&C Railroad, near Tullahoma

MARCH 16, 1864.-Raid on the Nashville and Chattanooga Railroad, near Tullahoma, Tenn.


No. 1.-Maj. Adolphus H. Tanner, One hundred and twenty-third New York Infantry.

No. 2.-Capt. George R. Hall, One hundred and twenty-third New York Infantry.

No. 1.

Report of Maj. Adolphus H. Tanner, One hundred and twenty-third New York Infantry.

HDQRS. 123d NEW YORK VOLUNTEERS, Elk River Railroad Bridge, Tenn., March 17, 1864--5 p. m.

GEN.: I have the honor to make the following report:

The patrol sent out by me on the railroad toward Tullahoma, as reported yesterday, came upon a band of rebels about 3 miles from this post, just as they had thrown a train of cars from the track, had taken the passengers prisoners, and were engaged in robbing them and destroying the train. My men drove the enemy, rescued the prisoners, and saved most of the train. I have this day received information that this rebel force, numbering 110 men, well mounted on horses marked "C. S.," came from the direction of the mountains back of Hillsborough, and retreated in that direction. They murdered several non-combatants (negroes [sic]) and robbed all their prisoners of their money, jewels, and clothing.

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

A. H. TANNER, Maj. 123d New York Vols., Cmdg. Post.


No. 2.

Report of Capt. George R. Hall, One hundred and twenty-third New York Infantry.

ESTILL SPRINGS, TENN., March 17, 1864.

GEN.: I have the honor to report that yesterday (16th) at 1 p. m. I received intelligence of a citizen by the name of Martin Hays, sent by citizen named John P. Hefner, who tends a grist-mill about 2 miles from this post, that a band of rebel cavalry from 70 to 100 and Chattanooga Railroad, and said they were going to throw off the first train of cars from Tullahoma and then blow up the bridge across Elk River.

On receiving this intelligence, I immediately reported it to Maj. Tanner, commanding One hundred and twenty-third Regt. [sic] New York Volunteers, and re-enforced my pickets accordingly, and awaited orders from the major; but receiving no definite orders and awaiting sufficient time for my patrols to return, not having sufficient force here to leave the stockade safe and meet the enemy, I took the engine of the construction train, which was here, and went to the regiment and reported the facts to the major, who immediately sent Company C to take the place of my company (E) and sent my company in pursuit of the enemy.

At 4.45 p. m. I left camp, marching with the main part of my company on the railroad, having a line of skirmishers on each side of the road a reasonable distance in advance. After proceeding nearly 1½ miles I saw a train coming from Tullahoma, and watched in until it ran off the track, and heard the firing on the train. It was about one-half mile in advance of my skirmishers. I then filed to the right into the woods and took the double-quick step in order to flank them, but they had got notice of my approach and commenced a retreat. I came up on their flank, opening upon them, which was returned by them, but made no stand of any account; formed line of battle twice, but as soon as we fired upon them they turned and ran. I pursued them about 1½ miles, when my men became so much exhausted that farther pursuit would have been useless and I returned to the wreck, where I found the cars on fire, but succeeded in extinguishing the fire so that but three cars were burned. The engine was but little injured.

During the fighting, men captured from the cars were recaptured, and in about one hour the remainder of the prisoners came in-7 of the Twenty-seventh Indiana and 2 men of Company E, One hundred and twenty-third New York Volunteers; also Capt. Beardsley, of the Twentieth Connecticut, and Lieut. Williams. All were robbed of everything valuable, not excepting their clothing. Two men of the First Michigan Engineers were wounded; also a citizen by the name of Stockwell-the latter seriously, the ball having passed through the left lung. One negro [sic] was killed and 1 wounded. The prisoners report that the rebels were commanded by Lieut.-Col. Hughs, formerly of the Twenty-fifth Tennessee. The names of the other officers I could not learn. One of my company that is reliable told me that he counted 97 men, while a prisoner, and at the time 15 or 20 were out after the other patrols. The man spoken of above of my company was one of the patrols who were captured. They were armed with carbines and rifles. The last I heard of them they passed the mill about 2 miles from here at dark, apparently in great haste. Two of their men were killed, and 1 seriously wounded. I captured three saddles and one carbine. Had I been a few minutes earlier I could have saved the train, and think killed or captured most of them.

GEORGE R. HALL, [Capt. One hundred and twenty-third New York Volunteers.]

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 32, pt. I, pp. 499-501.

Colonel John M. Hughs, 25th Tennessee Infantry (CS), in his report covering his activities in Middle Tennessee from January 1 to April 18, 1864 was a bit more terse about this fight in his report on his operations in Middle Tennessee from January to April 1864.

Report of Col. John M. Hughs, Twenty-fifth Tennessee Infantry.

DALTON, Ga., April 28, 1864.

SIR: I have honor to submit herewith the following report of my operations in Middle Tennessee:

* * * *

On the 16th March we tore up the Nashville and Chattanooga Railroad near Tullahoma and captured a train of freight cars heavily laden with supplies for the Federal army at Chattanooga. About 60 Yankee soldiers were captured and about 20 Yankee negroes [sic] killed. The train and supplies were burned and the engine destroyed.

* * * *

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 32, pt. I, p. 57.

"Railroad Raid"

Some Confederate cavalry made a raid on the Nashville and Chattanooga railroad, on Wednesday evening, in the neighborhood of Estelle Springs [sic]. There are numerous stories floating about town on the subject, of which this is one: That on Wednesday a body of Confederate cavalry, under Col. Roddy, arrived in the neighborhood above indicated, and throwing out his pickets, tore up a portion of the track; his men then concealed themselves, and the up-train came thundering along, with three other trains close up. The first soon became a wreck, the second ran into the first, and the third into the second, before they could be stopped; the 'confederates in the meantime coming out, firing into the train guard, and capturing a few of them. The engineer of the fourth train "smelt a mice," and put back, while the Confed's [sic] burned the three trains, destroyed the Elk river bridge, and put as if the devil had been after them. A correspondent of the Louisville Journal tells the story thus, in a telegram from Decherd, dated the 16th:

"A band of guerrillas under Colonel (unknown,) attacked the freight train from Nashville, near Estelle Springs [sic] to-night. By displacing a rail the train was thrown off the track and burned. Capt. Beardsley of the 123d New York and seven men have just arrived here on a hand car, having been paroled after being stripped of their clothing and money, watches and jewelry. The Rebels killed three negroes [sic] who were on the train. Two of the band were killed. No losses on our side. They belonged to Roddy's command."

Nashville Dispatch, March 18, 1864.


The account of First Lieutenant Robert Cruikshank, 123rd New York Infantry Regiment, letter home to his wife Mary

Camp 123rd Regt. [sic], N. Y. S. V.

Elk River, Tenn.,

March 24, 1864.

Dear Wife,-

I wish I had something new and interesting to write about, but I have nothing. I do not care for a battle or a long and weary march to furnish items of interest, but sometimes when I take my pen it is difficult to know what to say, for when we are in Camp we know but little outside. We hear little and what we do hear has been told so many times, or told by one to another that when we get it we question its truth. You know by the papers what is going on in both armies before we do, so I cannot interest you in that. What I write must come under my observation and now my resources are small,- only the camp of a regiment doing guard duty on a railroad.

Captain George R. Hall had an exciting time with a band of guerrillas numbering one hundred and twenty on the 16th inst. The patrol not returning on time to Estell [sic] Springs where the Captain and his Company (E) are stationed, he took forty of his men and started out to see what had become of them. When about three miles up the track he saw that a band of guerrillas had wrecked a train and was burning it and robbing the passengers. The Captain charged his company on them at once, retaking the patrol and other soldiers who were on the train whom the guerrillas had taken as prisoners. He then flagged two other trains that were following the one that was wrecked. On this road that is the way they run the trains,- three, one after the other.

The guerrillas charged on Company E, but they beat them off, killing two. The Captain and his forty men saved several men from being taken prisoners, three engines, sixty cars DO [sic] loaded with supplies, and perhaps General Grant as he was in the second train. Geo. H. Edie of our Company was on the first train when wrecked and he lost five dollars in money, a watch, and would have lost his overcoat had not Company E come up when they did. They left him taking it off.

You can see what sort of men the 123rd Regt. [sic] are made of, to attack three of the enemy to one of their number and put them to flight. We have a brave lot of fellows that I believe enjoy such a skirmish. It breaks the monotony of camp life and gives them something to talk about and something to write about.

With love,

R. Cruikshank.

Robert Cruikshank Letters.

        16, A Confederate soldier's observations about his home place in the Cleveland environs

* * * *

There is a camp of Federal troops within a mile and a half of our home, and they sometimes visit our house and the houses of other southern people in the neighborhood and carry off such articles as they like, but the worst enemies by all odds, and the ones for whom our people have the greatest dred [sic] are those who call themselves "homeguards," but who are simply organized bands of bushwhackers and robbers.[emphasis added.]

Diary of William A. Sloan.

        16, First Lieutenant Robert Cruikshank, 123rd New York Infantry Regiment, letter home to his wife Mary

123rd Regt. [sic], N. Y. S. V.

Elk River, Tenn.,

March 16, 1864.

Dear Mary,-

I am very busy every day now. I think we are preparing to move. The Eleventh and Twelfth Corps have been united and are now called the Twentieth. We drill one and one-half hours in the forenoon and the same in the afternoon. This with my other duties, keep me busy every day.

We are having a rainy spell and the mud is deep. I presume we will not move until the roads are better. We are under General Hooker yet and he is at the front and it is my opinion we will go there as soon as the weather will permit. I will write when any orders come.

With love,

R. Cruikshank.

Robert Cruikshank Letters.

        16, "…I suffered horribly in anticipation of trouble." Smuggling goods to the Confederate army through Federal lines in Shelby County; a page from the diary of Belle Edmondson

March, Wednesday 16, 1864

Went up Street directly after Breakfast to finish a little job I forgot on yesterday. At one o'clock Mrs. Facklen, Mrs. Kirk and I began to fix my articles for smugling [sic], we made a balmoral of the Grey cloth for uniform, pin'd [sic] the Hats to the inside of my hoops-tied the boots with a strong list, letting them fall directly in front, the cloth having monopolized the back & the Hats the side-All my letters, brass buttons, money, &c in my bosom-left at 2 o'clock to meet Anna at Mr. Barbie's-started to walk, impossible that-hailed a hack-rather suspicious of it, afraid of small-pox, weight of contrabands ruled-jumped in, with orders for a hurried drive to Cor[ner of] Main & Vance-arrived, found Anna not ready, had to wait for her until 5 o'clock, very impatient-started at last-arrived at Pickets, no trouble at all, although I suffered horribly in anticipation of trouble. Arrived at home at dusk, found Mr. Wilson & Harbut, gave them late papers and all news. Mrs. Harbut here to meet her Bro. bro't [sic] Mr. Wilson a letter from Home in Ky. Worn out. 8 yds. Long cloth, 2 Hats, 1 pr Boots, 1 doz. Buttons, letters, &c. 2 Cords, 8 tassels.

Laura, Beulah & Tippie Dora, all in.

Diary of Belle Edmondson

        16, Cherokee Indians Take Advantage of Amnesty Program

Knoxville, Tenn., March 15.

~ ~ ~

Peace has been ratified with the North Carolina Cherokees. Those recently captures say they were induced to take up arms und the belief they were fighting for the United Stated government.

Two were permitted to go in search of the band and represent to facts to their Chief (Too-kannic.) Thirty of the tribe have since come in and accepted the amnesty.

~ ~ ~

Boston Herald, March 16, 1864. [24]

16-22, "I believe that I mentioned in my last letter that there was some prospect of our seeing more active service this spring and summer and the prospect is now very good indeed." On the March from Knoxville, with stop at Mossy Creek Station

Morristown, Tenn

Mar. 16th 1864

I believe that I mentioned in my last letter that there was some prospect of our seeing more active service this spring and summer and the prospect is now very good indeed. As we already almost within reach of the remnants of Longstreet's Army which will not present a very extensive front in East Tennessee as there is now only one division of his army reported this side of the VA. Line, that is at Bull's Gap, 15 miles distant. Their position is such that we cannot surround them and they will follow the remainder of the army to Richmond when we advance from this place. Which will be soon I think. Maybe you will be interested in an account of our march this far, tho nothing very remarkable has occurred yet to make it different from the other marches.

We were relieved from provost guard in Knoxville. About midnight I was waked suddenly by the rain running under me and found that it had been raining for about 2 hours…Next morning (10th) it still rained till about 10 o'ck when we were ordered to pack up and get ready to march. In an hour we were on the muddy road again but we soon struck the R.R. where we took the track for New Market. We passed the town about the middle of the afternoon and camped near Mossy Creek Station, having marched 14 miles…In the (11th) morning we cleaned our camp. We were ordered to draw rations and prepare to march at daylight (12th) next morning. At 5 ½ o'ck we started again. Our Brigade was in the rear of the column today and we had the advantage of a smooth road. Sometimes where the road was straight we could look ahead and see a line of Yankees as far as the eye could reach. It was a fine sight, I can tell you…We found plenty of company here. Look which way you will, you will see camps and troops standing in line or drilling. Last evening just before sunset we were ordered into position, as the enemy was driving in one outside line of skimishers. We stood in line of battle for about an hour when we went back to our camp. The alarm was caused by a small force of rebel cavalry making a reconnaissance for the purpose of ascertaining our force I suppose. They were easily driven back and everything is quiet again this morning.

We drill 2 hours per day while we are lying in camp. Just to keep our hand in. The whole army here drills in the skirmish drill and it is a pretty sight to see 15,000 or 20,000 blue coats displayed in lines in every direction, marching & counter marching on double quick, their arms glistening in the sunshine. I have seen it hundreds of times, but it always seems new. Our Band is playing a beautiful waltz and I can hardly sit still.

Bentley Letters.

        16-April 14, Forrest's expedition into West Tennessee & Kentucky


March 24, 1864.-Capture of Union City, Tenn.

29, 1864.-Skirmish near Bolivar, Tenn.

April 3, 1864.-Skirmish near Raleigh, Tenn.

9, 1864.-Skirmish near Raleigh, Tenn.

12, 1864.-Capture [Massacre] of Fort Pillow, Tenn.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 32, pt. I, p. 501.

        16-April 14, Confederate conscript sweeps in West Tennessee

No circumstantial reports filed.

Excerpt from a report of Major-General Nathan Bedford Forrest on the Fort Pillow engagement relative to Confederate conscription activities in West Tennessee in April of 1864.

HDQRS. FORREST'S CAVALRY, Jackson, Tenn., April 15, 1864.

COL.: A dispatch of the 9th instant from the lieutenant-general commanding reached me on the morning of the 13th at Fort Pillow.

* * * *

I will leave Col. Duckworth's regiment and Lieut.-Col. Crews' battalion for the purpose of conscripting the State....

* * * *

There was in the fort a large number of [Confederate] citizens [killed at Fort Pillow] who had fled there to escape the conscript law.

* * * *

I have done but little conscripting from being so constantly employed in operating against the enemy.

* * * *

N. B. FORREST, Maj.-Gen., Cmdg.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 32, pt. I, pp. 610-611.


Reports of Nathan Bedford Forrest relative to his Expedition into West Tennessee and Kentucky March 16 – April 14, 1864

DRESDEN, TENN., March 27, 1864.

GEN.: Left Jackson on the 23d. Captured Union City on the 24th, with 450 prisoners, among them the renegade Hawkins and most of his regiment, about 200 horses, and 500 small-arms; also took possession of Hickman, the enemy having passed it. I moved now with Buford's division direct from Jackson to Paducah in fifty hours; attacked it on the evening of the 26th; drove the enemy to their gun-boats and forts; held the town for ten hours, and could have held it longer, but found the small-pox was raging and evacuated the place. Captured many stores and horses, burned up sixty bales of cotton, one steamer and the dry-dock, bringing out 50 prisoners.[emphasis added]

My loss at Union City and Paducah, as far as known, is 25 killed and wounded, among them Col. Thompson, commanding Kentucky brigade, killed; Lieut.-Col. Lannom, Faulkner's regiment, mortally wounded, and Col. Crossland, of the Seventh Kentucky, and Lieut.-Col. Morton, of the Second Tennessee, slightly wounded.

Enemy's loss in Paducah 50 killed, wounded, and prisoners; in all, 500.

Have dispatched Gholson, at Tupelo, to meet prisoners at Corinth and take them to you.

I hold possession of all this country except posts on the river. Think if I can remain unmolested here fifteen days I will be able to add 2,000 men to my command.

N. B. FORREST, Maj.-Gen.


Lieut.-Gen. POLK, Demopolis.

DEMOPOLIS, April 3, 1864.

The following dispatch just received from Gen. Forrest:


Six hundred Federal prisoners will arrive at Ripley, Miss., to-day, en route for Demopolis. Col. Neely engaged Hurst on the 29th of March near Bolivar, capturing his entire wagon train, routing and driving him to Memphis, killing 30, and capturing 35 prisoners, killing 2 captains, and capturing 1.

L. POLK, Lieut.-Gen.

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


HDQRS. FORREST'S CAVALRY DEPARTMENT, Jackson, Tenn., April 4, 1864.

COL.: I desire respectfully and briefly to state that Lieut.-Col. Crews, commanding battalion, met the enemy yesterday morning, and after a sharp little engagement repulsed and drove them back to Raleigh. The enemy's force was two regiments of cavalry of Grierson's command. The fight occurred 15 miles east of Raleigh, on Somerville road. Col. Crews lost 1 man severely and 1 slightly wounded. The enemy had 6 killed and 15 or 20 wounded and 3 prisoners.

In all engagements so far in West Tennessee my loss in the aggregate is 15 killed and 42 wounded. Among the killed Col. Thompson, commanding Kentucky brigade, whose death was reported to you by telegraph. Lieut.-Col. Lannom, of Faulkner's regiment, reported mortally wounded, is, I am glad to say, rapidly recovering.

The loss of the enemy thus far is as follows: 79 killed, 102 wounded, and 612 captured.

I have as far as prudent allowed my troops an opportunity of going home. Am now concentrating and preparing for any move the enemy may make, or for offensive operations, they do not move on me. I feel confident of my ability to whip any cavalry they can send against me, and can, if necessary, avoid their infantry. If permitted to remain in West Tennessee, or rather, if it is not the of the lieutenant-general commanding to order me else-where until driven out by the enemy, would be glad to have my artillery with me, and will send for it, as I could operate effectively with my rifle battery on the rivers. With the small guns I have here it would be folly to attempt the destruction or capture of boats. I am yet in hopes the lieutenant-general commanding will repair and operate the railroad to Corinth, as suggested in a former letter. I, of course, cannot tell what demands are being made on him for troops, but am clearly of opinion that with a brigade of infantry at Corinth as a force upon which I could fall back if too hard pressed, that I can hold West Tennessee against three times my numbers, and could send rapidly out from here all conscripts and deserters for service in infantry. At present it is impracticable, as I am without the transportation necessary to supply them with rations to Okolona through a country already depleted and whose inhabitants are suffering for food. I find corn scarcer than I had thought, but have plenty of meal, flour, and bacon for troops. If supplied with the right kind of money or cotton can furnish my command with all small-arm ammunition required, and I think with small-arms also.

Gen. Chalmers is here, and will be kept in readiness for any move that may be made from Memphis. Gen. Buford's division is above this, and concentrating at Eaton, 10 miles west of Trenton. As I came up here employed a man to get up lead. He writes me that he has from 8,000 to 10,000 pounds at Corinth, which I shall send out as soon as possible, and will continue to get up all that can be had. There is a Federal force of 500 or 600 at Fort Pillow, which I shall attend to in a day or two, as they have horses and supplies which we need. There are about 6,000 troops now at Memphis; all else gone up the river. It is clear that they are concentrating all their available force before Richmond and at Chattanooga. They have attempted to send their cavalry across the country to Pulaski, Tenn. Have driven them back and hope yet to be able to make them take water. I have ordered everything belonging to my command at Columbus moved up to Aberdeen, and Morton's battery up to Tupelo to report to Gen. Gholson, and shall bring it on here unless ordered to the contrary, as the little guns I have are of no use to me. You will please send any orders or dispatches for me through Gen. Gholson, at Tupelo.

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

N. B. FORREST, Maj.-Gen., Cmdg.

Lieut. Col. THOMAS M. JACK, Assistant Adjutant-Gen.


JACKSON, TENN., April 15, 1864.

GEN.: I attacked Fort Pillow on the morning of the 12th instant with a part of Bell's and McCulloch's brigades, numbering 1,500, under Brig. Gen. James R. Chalmers. After a short fight drove the enemy, 700 strong, into the fort under the cover of their gun-boats. Demanded a surrender, which was declined by Maj. L. F. Booth, commanding U. S. forces. I stormed the fort, and after a contest of thirty minutes captured the entire garrison, killing 500 and taking 200 horses and a large amount of quartermaster's stores. [emphasis added] The officers in the fort were killed, including Maj. Booth. I sustained a loss of 20 killed and 60 wounded. Among the wounded is the gallant Lieut. Col. Wiley M. Reed while leading the Fifth Mississippi. Over 100 citizens who had fled to the fort to escape conscription ran into the river and were drowned. The Confederate flag now floats over the fort.

N. B. FORREST, Maj.-Gen.

Lieut.-Gen. POLK, Demopolis.


HDQRS. FORREST'S CAVALRY, Jackson, Tenn., April 15, 1864.,

COL.: A dispatch of the 9th instant from the lieutenant-general commanding reached me on the morning of the 13th at Fort Pillow. Orders were issued at once to have the same complied with.

Brig.-Gen. Chalmers, commanding McCulloch's and Bell's brigades, was ordered to make the necessary preparations for moving to Okolona by way of Abbeville, that being the only route upon which forage could be obtained with facility. Col. J. J. Neely, commanding Richardson's brigade, was ordered to put himself in readiness to report to and follow Gen. Chalmers as early as possible. Brig.-Gen. Buford, commanding one brigade in Kentucky, is ordered to this point, and will be here by Tuesday next (the 19th), when he will follow on also. They will proceed to Okolona and there report to you. I am in hopes to be able to come on at the same time, but am now suffering from exhaustion, caused by hard riding and bruises received in the late engagement. I will leave Col. Duckworth's regiment and Lieut.-Col. Crews' battalion for the purpose of conscripting the State and holding the guerrillas in check. You will please give such instructions as you may desire to my quartermaster and commissary, whom I ordered to remain at Aberdeen, that being a central point. Please communicate your instructions to me or Brig.-Gen. Chalmers at Okolona. Have dispatched by telegraph of the capture of Fort Pillow.

Arrived there on the morning of the 12th and attacked the place with a portion of McCulloch's and Bell's brigades numbering about 1,500 men, and after a sharp contest captured the garrison and all of its stores. A demand was made for the surrender, which was refused. The victory was complete, and the loss of the enemy will never be known from the fact that large numbers ran into the river and were shot and drowned. The force was composed of about 500 negroes and 200 white soldiers (Tennessee Tories). The river was dyed with the blood of the slaughtered for 200 yards. There was in the fort a large number of citizens who had fled there to escape the conscript law. Moist of these ran into the river and were drowned.

The approximate loss was upward of 500 killed, but few of the officers escaping.

It is hoped that these facts will demonstrate to the Northern people that negro soldiers cannot cope with Southerners. We still hold the fort.

My loss was about 20 killed and about 60 wounded. Among the letter I regret to state Lieut. Col. W. M. Reed, commanding George's regiment. He was shot in three places, and it is feared that his wounds my prove mortal. The country can ill afford to lose the services of so good and brave an officer at this time.

There has been no larger force up the Tennessee River than 1,500 Yankees, who came out to Purdy but were driven back to their boats by one regiment, when they went up to Waterloo and thence across the Athens, Ala. A small squad of about 50 cavalry came across the river, but hearing of our force immediately returned.

I have done but little conscripting from being so constantly employed in operating against the enemy. Large numbers of the Tories have been killed and made away with, and the country is very near free of them. Greenbacks have gone down, and are being refused. Could I but stay here a month would have everything in fine condition. Parties have come up and expressed their willingness to take Confederate money. Kentucky could be placed in the same condition had I the time.

In conclusion, I desire to bring to the notice of the lieutenant-general commanding the great want of artillery, and it is hoped that the guns recently captured will be fitted up and put in such a condition as will enable the battery to move with the command. I have been unable to supply my artillery with horses, from the fact that the captured stock is very inferior and has to supply the place of the horses killed in action. The enemy's navigation of the rivers has been uninterrupted from the want of this important branch of the service, and it is to be hoped that the lieutenant-general commanding will give the matter his earliest attention.

I am, colonel, with respect, your obedient servant,

N. B. FORREST, Maj.-Gen., Cmdg.

Lieut. Col. THOMAS M. JACK, Assistant Adjutant-Gen.


HDQRS. FORREST'S CAVALRY, Jackson, Tenn., April 15, 1864.

DEAR SIR: Having an opportunity of sending a letter district to Richmond by a friend who leaves here in the morning, and believing that your Excellency would be glad to receive as information a detailed statement of the condition of things in this section, I have taken the liberty of addressing you this communication. North Mississippi, West Tennessee, and Southern Kentucky, west of the Tennessee River, are free from Federal rule and occupation, except by the garrisons at Memphis and Paducah. There may be a small force at Columbus, but my last advices were that the enemy has or intended evacuating it. They look upon Memphis as being the next point of attack, and are reported as having moved all stores and valuables within their fortifications at Fort Pickering.

I am glad to state that in all the engagements I have had with them since I re-entered West Tennessee we have been successful. The bands of guerrillas, horse-thieves, and robbers which infested this region have been broken up and dispersed, and many men heretofore Union in sentiment are openly expressing themselves for the South. There are yet a large number of men in West Tennessee who have avoided the service, and there is but little prospect for adding to our strength by volunteering. Conscription, however, would, I think, give us from 5,000 to 8,000 men, perhaps more. I have not, from constant marches and active operations in the field, been able to do much in conscripting those subject to military duty but design doing so effectively whenever I can with safety send detachments in all directions to scour the country for deserters and conscripts. My command consists of four small brigades, numbering about 5,000 men, and being in a country entirely surrounded (except at the south) by navigable streams, by which the enemy could gain my rear, it has required constant watchfulness to protect myself against possible movements and act offensively at the same time.

I left Columbus, Miss., on March 16 with Buford's division (without wagons) with five days' cooked rations and 60 rounds of ammunition to the man, and reached this place on the 23d. After resting my horses and preparing more rations moved rapidly northeard against Union City and Paducah; captured Union City on the 24th with over 400 prisoners, 200 horses, and several hundred stand of arms.

While the move of a portion of the command was made against Union City, with the balance I moved rapidly on Paducah, drove the enemy to their boats and fortifications, held the town for ten hours, capturing a large amount of clothing, several hundred horses, a large lot of medical stores for the command, burning a steamer, the dock, and all cotton on the landing. Could have held the place longer, but on account of the prevalence of small-pox in the place thought it prudent to withdraw.

On Monday last I moved against Fort Pillow, and attacked it on Tuesday morning with Chalmers' division. The advance of our troops after getting within the outer works was cautiously and slowly made. The cannonading from the fort and the gun-boats was very heavy and rapid. Having gained the desired position, surrounding the fort with the troops from the river above to its bluff below, a surrender was demanded, which they asked an hour, but were given twenty minutes, to consider. It was held by about 700 white and negro troops. At the expiration of the twenty minutes the fire was renewed, the assault was made, and the works carried without a halt, the men and officers displaying great gallantry and courage. The enemy attempted to retreat to the river, either for protection of gun-boats or to escape, and the slaughter was heavy. There were many Union men who had taken shelter in the fort also, many of whom in their fright leaped into the river and were drowned. It is safe to say that in troops, negroes, and citizens the killed, wounded, and drowned will range from 450 to 500.

My loss is 20 killed and 60 wounded. [Emphases added]

After securing all the stores we could remove and the artillery (six pieces) I withdrew my troops and destroyed all the buildings and the works as far as practicable, burying the dead and removing the wounded. The victory was complete, and the conduct of my troops and the officers commanding them shall meet with due attention land mention in my official report.

I am ordered back to Okolona, Miss., by Gen. Polk with my command to meet, in conjunction with Gen. Lee, an anticipated raid through Alabama from Middle Tennessee. It is my opinion that no such raid will be made from Decatur or any point west of there. Gen. Lee has about 7,000 cavalry, and with our forces united a move could be made into Middle Tennessee and Kentucky which would create a diversion of the enemy's forces and enable us to break up his plans, and such and expedition, managed with prudence and executed with rapidity, can be safely made.

I am gratified in being able to say that the capture of Hawkins at Union City, and Bradford at Fort Pillow, with a recent defeat (by Richardson's brigade, of my command) of Col. Hurst, has broken up the Tennessee Federal regiments in the country. Their acts of oppression, murder, and plunder made them a terror to the whole land. For murders committed I demanded that Fielding Hurst and such of his men as were guilty of murder should be delivered to me, to be dealt with as their offenses required. The demand has been referred to the proper Federal authorities and investigations ordered. Hurst and his command have, as I learn, been sent, in consequence of this demand, to some other locality.

Mr. William McGee, who carries you this, belongs to a Louisiana battery. He is a native of Tennessee, and his relatives and friends are here. He is anxious to change his command and report to me, and if consistent with the good of the service, and it meets your approbation, I should be glad to have him ordered to me for duty, as I am in great need of competent artillerists. They are required to drill and render efficient as speedily as possible the new men with which our batteries are being filled up.

I am, sir, with great respect, your obedient servant,

N. B. FORREST, Maj.-Gen.

His Excellency JEFFERSON DAVIS, President Confederate States of America.

[First indorsement.]

APRIL 28, 1864.

The statement of the strength of this command is very surprising after the verbal reports sent here of the number of men raised in the first visit to West Tennessee. Two of the four brigades were transferred under Brig.-Gen. Chalmers from Gen. Lee's command, one (Richardson's) was raised by him and Col. Bell before Forrest went to the department, and one large regiment and one battalion of five companies were sent by me from the Army of Tennessee, and Gen. Polk has assigned three small regiments of Kentucky infantry. But little is left for the men raised by Gen. Forrest. The movement into Middle Tennessee was, and I consider is still, of the utmost importance.

The breaking up of the marauding bands of the enemy is very gratifying, if it is not to be followed by similar organizations claiming to be in our service. If Mr., William McGee, Gen. Forrest's messenger, belongs to a Louisiana battery, he is employed by the general without authority, and is one of the cases of men enticed from their commands and employed in violation of orders. He should be arrested and sent to his proper command, and Gen. Forrest made accountable for his unauthorized absence.


APRIL 29, 1864.

Adjutant-Gen., for his attention and advice.

J. D.


HDQRS. FORREST'S CAVALRY DEPARTMENT, Jackson, Tenn., April 26, 1864.

COL.: I have the honor respectfully to forward you the following report of my engagement with the enemy on the 12th instant at Fort Pillow:

My command consisted of McCulloch's brigade, of Chalmers' division, and Bell's brigade, of Buford's division, both placed for the expedition under the command of Brig. Gen. James R. Chalmers, who, by a forces march, drove in the enemy's pickets, gained possession of the outer works, and by the time I reached the field, at 10 a. m., had forced the enemy to their main fortifications, situated on the bluff or bank of the Mississippi River at the mouth of Coal Creek. The fort in an earth-work, crescent shaped, is 8 feet in height and 4 feet across the top, surrounded by a ditch 6 feet deep and 12 feet in width, walls sloping to the ditch but perpendicular inside. It was garrisoned by 700 troops with six pieces of field artillery. A deep ravine surrounds the fort, and from the fort to the ravine the ground descends rapidly. Assuming command, I ordered Gen. Chalmers to advance his lines and gain position on the slope, where our men would be perfectly protected from the heavy fire of artillery and musketry, as the enemy could not depress their pieces so as to rake the slopes, nor could they fire on them with small-arms except by mounting the breast-works and exposing themselves to the fire of our sharpshooters, who, under cover of stumps and logs, forced them to keep down inside the works. After several hours' hard fighting the desired position was gained, not, however, without considerable loss. Our main line was now within an average distance of 100 yards from the fort, and extended from Coal Creek, on the right, to the bluff, or bank, of the Mississippi River on the left.

During the entire morning the gun-boat kept up a continued fire in all directions, but without effect, and being confident of my ability to take fort by assault, and desiring to prevent further loss of life, I sent, under flag of truce, a demand for the unconditional surrender of the garrison, a copy of which demand is hereto appended, marked No. 1, to which I received a reply, marked No. 2. The gun-boat had ceased firing, but the smoke of three other boats ascending the river was in view, the foremost boat apparently crowded of the gun-boat was a pretext by which they desired improperly to communicate with her, I at once sent this reply, copy of which is numbered 3, directing Capt. Goodman, assistant adjutant-general of Brig.-Gen. Chalmers, who bore the flag, to remain until he received a reply or until the expiration of the time proposed.

My dispositions had all been made, and my forces were in a position that would enable me to take the fort with less loss than to have withdrawn under fire, and it seemed to me so perfectly apparent to the garrison that such was the case, that I deemed their [capture] without further bloodshed a certainty. After some little delay, seeing a message delivered to Capt. Goodman, I rode up myself to where the notes were received and delivered. The answer was handed me, written in pencil on a slip of paper, without envelope, and was, as well as I remember, in these words: "Negotiations will not attain the desired object." As the officers who were in charge of the Federal flag of truce had expressed a doubt as to my presee, and had pronounced the

 demand a trick, I handed them back the note saying: "I am Gen. Forrest; go back and say to Maj. Booth that I demand an answer in plain, unmistakable English. Will he fight or surrender?" Returning to my original position, before the expiration of twenty minutes I received a reply, copy of which is marked No. 4.

While these negotiations were pending the steamers from below were rapidly approaching the fort. The foremost was the Olive Branch, whose position and movements indicated her intention to land. A few shots fired into her caused her to leave the shore and make for the opposite. One other boat passed up on the far side of the river, the third one turned back.

The time having expired, I directed Brig.-Gen. Chalmers to prepare for the assault. Bell's brigade occupied the right, with has extreme right resting on Coal Creek. McCulloch's brigade occupied the left, extending from the center to the river. Three companies of his left regiment were placed in an old rifle-pit on the left and almost in the rear of the fort, which had evidently been thrown up for the protection of sharpshooters or riflemen is supporting the water batteries below. On the right a portion of Barteau's regiment, of Bell's brigade, was also under the bluff and a rear of the fort. I dispatched staff officers to Col.'s Bell and McCulloch, commanding brigades, to say to them that I should watch with interest the conduct of the troops; that Missourians, Mississippians, and Tennesseeans surrounded the works, and I desired to see who would first scale the fort. Fearing the gun-boats and transports might attempt a landing, I directed my aide-de-camp, Capt. Charles W. Anderson, to assume command of the position against anything that might come by land or water, but to take no part in the assault on the fort. Everything being ready, the bugle sounded the charge, which was made with a yell, and the works carried without a perceptible halt in any part of the line. As our troops mounted and poured into the fortification the enemy retreated flying, no doubt expecting the gun-boat to shell us away from the bluff and protect them until they could be taken off or re-enforced. As they descended the bank an enfilading and deadly fire was poured into them by the troops under Capt. Anderson, on the left, and Barteau's detachment on the right. Until this fire was opened them, at a distance varying from 30 to 100 yards, they were evidently ignorant of any force having gained their rear. The regiment who had stormed and carried the fort also poured a destructive fire into the rear of the retreating and now panic-stricken and almost decimated garrison. Fortunately for those of the enemy who survived this short but desperate struggle, some of our men cut the halyards, and the United States flag, floating from a tall mast in the center of the fort, came down. The forces stationed in the rear of the fort could see the flag, but were too far under the bluff to see the fort, and when the flag descended they ceased firing. But for this, so never were they to the enemy that few, if any, would have survived unhurt another volley. As it was, many rushed into the river and were drowned, and the actual loss of life will perhaps never be known, as there were quite a number of refugee citizens in the fort, many of whom were drowned and several killed in the retreat from the fort. In less than twenty minutes from the time the bugles sounded the charge firing hadceased and the work was done. One of the Parrott guns was turned on the gun-boat. She steamed off without replying. She had, as I afterward understood, expended all her ammunition, and was therefore powerless in affording the Federal garrison the aid and protection they doubtless expected of her when they retreated toward the river. Details were made, consisting of the captured Federals and negroes, in charge of their own officers, to collect together and bury the dead, which work continued until dark.

I also directed Capt. Anderson to procure a skiff and take with him Capt. Young, a captured Federal officer, and deliver to Capt. Marshall, of the gun-boat, the message, copy of which is appended and numbered 5*. All the boats and skiffs having been taken off by citizens escaping from the fort during the engagement, the message could not be delivered, although every effort was made to induce Capt. Marshall to send his boat ashore by raising a white flag, with which Capt. Young walked up and down the river in vain signaling her to come in or send out a boat. She finally moved off and disappeared around the bend above the fort. Gen. Chalmers withdrew his forces from the fort before dark and encamped a few miles east of it.

On the morning of the 13th, I again dispatched Capt. Anderson to Fort Pillow for the purpose of placing, if possible, the Federal wounded on board their transports, and report to me on his return the condition of affairs at the river. I respectfully refer you to his report, numbered 6.

My loss in the engagement was 20 killed and 60 wounded. That of the enemy unknown. Two hundred and twenty-eight were buried on the evening of the battle, and quite a number were buried the next day by details from the gun-boat fleet.

We captured 6 pieces of artillery, viz., two 10-pounder Parrott guns, two 12-pounder howitzers, and two bras 6-pounder guns, and about 350 stand of small-arms. All the small-arms were picked up where the enemy fell or threw them down. A few were in the fort, the balance scattered from the top of the hill to the water's edge.

We captured 164 Federals, 75 negro troops, and about 40 negro women and children, and after removing everything of value as far as able to do so, the warehouses, tents, &c., were destroyed by fire.

Among our severely wounded is Lieut. Col. Wiley M. Reed, assigned temporarily to the command of the Fifth Mississippi Regiment, who fell severely wounded while leading his regiment. When carried from the field he was supposed to be mortally wounded, but hopes are entertained of this ultimate recovery. He is a brave and gallant officer, a courteous gentleman, and a consistent Christian minister.

I cannot compliment too highly the conduct of Col.'s Bells and McCulloch and the officers and men of their brigades, which composed the forces of Brig.-Gen. Chalmers. They fought with courage and intrepidity, and without bayonets assaulted and carried one of the strongest fortifications in the country.

On the 15th, at Brownsville, I received orders which rendered it necessary to send Gen. Chalmers, in command of his own division and Bell's brigade, southeard; hence I have no official report from him, but will, as soon as it can be obtained, forward a complete list of our killed and wounded, which had been ordered made out and forwarded at the earliest possible moment.

In closing my report I desire to acknowledge the prompt and energetic action of Brig.-Gen. Chalmers, commanding the forces around Fort Pillow. His faithful execution of all movements necessary to the successful accomplishment of the object of the expedition entitles him to special mention. He has reason to be proud of the conduct of the officers and men of his command for their gallantry and courage in assaulting and carrying the enemy's work without the assistance of artillery or bayonets.

To my staff, as heretofore, my acknowledge are dire for their prompt and faithful delivery of all orders.

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

N. B. FORREST, Maj.-Gen., Cmdg.

[Lieut. Col. THOMAS M. JACK, Assistant Adjutant-Gen.]

[First indorsement.]

AUGUST 1, 1864.

Respectfully referred to Gen. Cooper, Adjutant and Inspector Gen.

These papers were found among papers of Lieut.-Gen. Polk and forwarded by his aide, Lieut. Gale.

By order of President:

WM. PRESTON JOHNSTON, Col. and Aide-de-Camp.

[Second indorsement.]

AUGUST 7, 1864.

Respectfully submitted to the President, who will not be surprised to see the groundlessness of the misrepresentations so industriously circulated by our unscrupulous enemies respecting the merciless conduct of our troops on that occasion.

J. A. SEDDON, Secretary.

[Third indorsement.]

AUGUST 10, 1864.


It would be well to have the report and accompanying papers published in refutation of the slanders which have been promulgated by the Government of the enemy in relation to the conduct of our gallant and humane soldiers. Instead of cruelty, Gen. Forrest, it appears, exhibited forbearance and clemency far exceeding the usage of war under like circumstances.



HDQRS. FORREST'S CAVALRY, Tupelo, Miss., May 16, 1864.

Maj. Gen. S. D. LEE, Demopolis, Ala.:

GEN.: So much has been said by the Northern press in regard to the engagement at Fort Pillow that, at the suggestion of Col. Brent and others, I have send Judge Scruggs down for the purpose of conversing with, and procuring the statements of, Capt. Young and other Federal officers in regard to the matter. They are survivors of the so-called massacre, and Capt. Young, who received and delivered the correspondence to the demand for surrender, was also with my aide-de-camp, Capt. Anderson, with flag of truce on the day succeeding the capture in delivering the wounded on board the U. S. vessels. I respectfully suggest, therefore, that you furnish Judge Scruggs with such papers as will enable him to make the examination desired, as it may prove important; and inasmuch as the investigating committee appointed by the Federal President have reported, a communication to Confederate authority may be made on the subject, and it is due to my command to place at the command of the War Department all the facts in the premises.

I am, general, very respectfully &c., your obedient servant,

N. B. FORREST, Maj.-Gen.


HDQRS. FORREST'S CAVALRY, Tupelo, June 24, 1864.

Maj. Gen. S. D. LEE, Cmdg. Department, Meridian:

GEN.: I have the honor herewith to inclose you copy of letter addressed to Maj.-Gen. Washburn; also his letter addressed to you or the commanding officer Confederate forces near Tupelo.* I have not in any wise compromised you, and leave the answer to Gen. Washburn to yourself, provided you deem it necessary or advisable to communicate with him further. I deemed it due myself and command to say what I have said to him, but did not think it proper to make any communication over your signature.

I also have the honor to inclose you statements of Capt. Young, who was captured at Fort Pillow, and you can make such use of them as you may deem necessary.+ As my official reports are in the hands of the Department at Richmond I did not, nor do I, consider that I have any defense to make, or attempt any refutations of the charges made by Gen. Washburn. The character and tenor of his letter is also so outrageously insulting that but for its importance to my men-not myself-I should not have replied to it at all.

I shall forward you to-morrow a statement of the capture of Fort Pillow, by giving you a copy+ of communication asked for unofficially by Col. Brent, assistant adjutant-general, and made by my aide-de-camp, Capt. C. W. Anderson.

I have taken pains, also, in my official report made to Lieut.-Gen. Polk, to place all the facts in the possession of the Government in order that they might meet any demands made by Federal authority.

Should you, however, think proper to place in the hands of Gen. Washburn the papers sent you upon this subject, you are, of course, at liberty to use them. As for myself, entirely conscious of right, I have no explanations, apologies, or disavowals to make to Gen. Washburn, nor to any one else but my Government, through my superior officers.

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

N. B. FORREST, Maj.-Gen.


DEMOPOLIS, April 24, 1864.

Maj.-Gen. FORREST, Via Tupelo:

Your brilliant campaign in West Tennessee has given me great satisfaction, and entitles you to the thanks of your countrymen. Appropriate orders in writing will be transmitted you immediately. A movement of the enemy up the Yazoo has made it necessary that a division of your troops should move to meet it. I have ordered the brigade with Gen. Chalmers and another from Okolona to move promptly so as to unite and give to Gen. Adams the support he needs. I have also ordered Morton's battery to join them.

L. POLK, Lieut.-Gen.

JOINT RESOLUTION of thanks to Maj. Gen. N. B. Forrest and the officers and men of his command, for their campaign in Mississippi, West Tennessee, and Kentucky.

Resolved by the Congress of the Confederate States of America, That the thanks of Congress are eminently due, and are hereby cordially tendered, to Maj. Gen. N. B. Forrest, and the officers and men of his command, for their late brilliant and successful campaign in Mississippi, West Tennessee, and Kentucky-a campaign which has conferred upon its authors fame as enduring as the records of the struggle which they have so brilliantly illustrated.

Approved, May 23, 1864.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 31, pt. I, pp. 607- 619.

        15, Matters concerning the surrender of Col. Fielding Hurst's brother-in-law Chandler


Brig. Gen. EDWARD HATCH, Eastport, Miss.:

….Summon Chandler to surrender, and, if he refuses, declare him an outlaw and treat him accordingly, and inform the people that hereafter all illegal bands will be regarded and treated as outlaws. Will direct Van Duzer to place a battery on the line of sufficient strength to answer all purposes.

GEO. H. THOMAS, Maj.-Gen., U. S. Army, Cmdg.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 49, pt. II, p. 791

        ca. 15, Initiation of River reconnaissance above Nashville by U. S. N.

Order of Acting Rear-Admiral Lee, U. S. Navy, to Lieutenant-Commander Fitch, U. S. Navy, acknowledging a copy of order for a reconnoissance above Nashville.

Mound City, March 15, 1865


Yours of the 8th (not found) is received, enclosing a copy of your order to Acting Volunteer Lieutenant Glassford to make a reconnaissance above Nashville at General Thomas's Request. Your instructions seem judicious.

Point Burnside is not laid down upon military maps; please refer to it in connection with some well-known point, as hereafter indicated.


S. P. Lee

Acting Rear-Admiral, Commanding Mississippi Squadron

Navy OR, Ser. I, Vol. 27, p. 102.

        ca. 16, Capture and trial of a Middle Tennessee guerrilla

Powell Hardeman, a noted leader of a band of guerrillas, was captured at Pulaski a few days ago by Col. W. E. Gilmore, whose plantation was visited by Hardeman some months ago and $9,000 worth of property destroyed. He was tried by court-martial and sentenced to be hung, which has been approved by the General Commanding.

New York Times, March 18, 1865.

        16 – 25, A homeward bound Federal soldier's experiences at Strawberry Plains

16th, Felt better this morning. How glad I was – How thankful! Got marching orders before we had breakfast Staid [sic] to eat. Left more clothes at a citizen's to be sent to Knoxville ….Came on through stready rain – Old boot bottom came off – On in cold mud till noon found the brigade in camp here – Walked all afternoon hunting something to eat – Found nothing – Back & cut off my boots *& got an old pair of shoes – Write this by a little smokey [sic] fire at 8 o'clock. Cold – Very – By – By….

17th, Stopped to eat supper – Still in camp – Got breakfast – Went 1½ to carry rations – On parade in evening & had a talk with Mete  -  Warmer – Slept very cold last night – Diarhea [sic] still pretty bad & bowles sore – Prospect of remaining here sometime in the vicinity….

18th, Ordered to strike tents in morning. Expected to march all day – Only came over about 50 rods to R. R. & camped & put up quarters, Went...foraging in afternoon – got supper for [trading] old handkerchief, - & pan of dried peaches & fish hook – Shall try fishing now if we stay – am very weak from diarrhea [sic] – Write this just before going to bed by big light of campfire – boys playing in it…To bed –

19th, Not so well as common – Cold pains in side coming back – Ben Veach came over & staid [sic] till after dinner – Abe took a wake up R. R. Came back & took supper with him & Al. Parade over & have just made me suspenders from gun strap – Had none. Fear I can't stand it –

God save me – am so wicked – The day spent & no thought of Him as should fill me. Was very hot – O how hot this sun is….

20th, Went out after breakfast on bluff & wrote Maggie – Came back to Commissary….Went to town & managed to beg some bread from the peddling women – Came hone – Very hot – Wrote Jim – for suspenders & pills – I have such soreness in bowels – fear they are ulcerated as my Mouth. God pity me – Should have washed today but feel so unwell.

21st, Rained all forenoon – Stayed in tent & read "Annals [of the] Army [of the] Cum[berland]" & Capt. came in. Went afternoon…to town – begged a little bread – got back & wrote Maggie a little before supper – By By little One – So sore bowels & throat – How I long for clear weather.

22nd, Got breakfast – cold – covered up & went to sleep – Went to town – got a biscuit for dinner & picked some greens – Felt very badly after dinner – a little better in evening – diarrhea [sic] bad-throat better. Was at the Capt's last night & had a good sing. Casualty as I came home. Draw half rations – Get hard tack this evening – By God save – at Capt's at night & Sun – Good news came – Stopped & cheered –

23rd, Warmer – Went to town in morning – Got a biscuit & cake – Feel better – God grant me health & bless me – Hope the news is true. Would like some letters now – Talk of going in country…Throat better….

24th, Cool – Went to town in forenoon to trade – got a big [piece of cornbread – lived well today….Orders at night to be ready to march tomorrow morning at 9 o'clock . this is probably my last night here. My the good Lord protect me as I go out & bless me - ….

25th, Got up & got good early breakfast – Packed up everything and am now ready to move – time 8½ o'clock –

Diary of Arthur Calvin Mellette.


[1] John G. Parkhurst (1824-1906), a native of New York and later attorney from Cold Water, Michigan (1849-1861) served as a lieutenant colonel and later as a colonel (1863) of the 9th Michigan Infantry, and was captured at Murfreesboro; upon exchange he was made Provost Marshal of the XIV Corps. Later in life he was a United States Treasury Agent and U. S. Minister to Belgium. As cited in Papers of Andrew Johnson, Vol. 5, p. 377, fn. 1, from New York Times, May 8, 1906.

[2] At the beginning of the war it became apparent to many in the North that since the cotton supply had dwindled it would be good to acquire cotton seed and attempt to grow it in more northern climes. These seeds were to be allocated to various states with the aid of state agricultural societies. D. C. Donnohue was the Special Agent of the Department of the Interior appoint to procure the seed, appointed on February 15, 1862. The original letters are among the Records of the Office of the Secretary of the Interior, Record Group 48, in the National Archives. See: Truman R. Strobridge, ed., "The Letters of D. C. Donnohue, Special Agent for the Procuring of Cotton Seed," Tennessee Historical Quarterly, Vol. 21, no. 4, (1962), pp. 379-386.Hereinafter cited as: Donnohue Correspondence.]

[3] Donnohue was anticipating the battle of Shiloh.

[4] Truman R. Strobridge, ed., "The Letters of D. D. Donnohue, Special Agent for the Procuring of Cotton Seed," Tennessee Historical Quarterly, Vol. 21, no. 4 (1962), pp. 379-386. Original correspondence is found in the Records of the United States Department of the Interior, Record Group 48, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, D. C.. [Hereinafter cited as "Letters of D. C. Donnohue."]

[5] Center for Archival Collections: David & Darius Stoker Letter: MMS 1244,

[6] D.P.S. David & Darius Stoker Letter, Center for Archival Collections, David & Darius Stoker Letter, MMS 1244 ;

[7] Not found. Also listed in Dyer's Battle Index for Tennessee but not identiified in the OR. Sunger is not identified in the OR. There is neither a listing for Black Jack Forest in the OR, nor is there a reference in CAR. Dyer's Battle Index for Tennessee, p. 846, leaves no clue as to where he found this information. There is no reference whatever to a place known as Black Jack Forest in Tennessee. The entry may be referring to black jack oak (Quercus nigra), which grows abundantly in the Southeast. There is, however, a Black Jack Community, Tennessee, located either just south of or abutting the Kentucky border and apparently in both Sumner and Robertson counties. See United States Geological Survey Map 309-SE. This knowledge does nothing, however, to verify the report of this event. There is likewise another community in Tennessee with the name Black Jack, just southeest of Manchester in Coffee County (USGS Manchester Quad).

[8] Not identified in the OR.

[9] Not identified in the OR.

[10] Other reports in the OR identify Pea Ridge as being in Tennessee, but there is no reference that provides information about any combat.

[11] Since this account was written from Pittsburgh Landing it must be concluded that Black Jack Forrest was in Tennessee, although there is no reference to it in the OR. Likewise there is no reference to Black Jack Forest as being in either Hardin or McNairy counties, in Ralph O. Fullerton, ed. Place Names of Tennessee, (Nashville: Department of Conservation, Division of Geology, 1974). The location of the forest seems to have been lost since the war's conclusion. Perhaps it was either burned in a forest fire or completely cut down by loggers later in the nineteenth century.

[12] The source for this account is not given although it appears to be from a newspaper in New York City.

[13] As cited in:

[14] Not found.

[15] Not listed in the OR.

[16] I.e., Sol. Street.

[17] The date is an approximation; only the year 1863 is provided.

[18] The Rev. Mr. Carter.

[19] Speech of tile Hon. Horace Maynard of Tennessee, delivered in the House of Representatives, January 31, 1863

[20] © This work is the property of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. It may be used freely by individuals for research, teaching and personal use as long as this statement of availability is included in the text.

[21] There is nothing in the OR to indicate that an attempt to kidnap Major-General Rosecrans ever took place.

[22] Col. W. H. Thomas' who commanded "Thomas' Legion" comprised solely of Cherokee Indians who fought for the Confederacy.

[23] The Trail of Tears notwithstanding!

[24] As cited in PQCW.


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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