Saturday, March 28, 2015

3.27-28.2015 Tennessee Civil War Notes

        27, Reply from the Nashville City Council to Military Governor Johnson [see March 25, Military Governor Andrew Johnson demands Nashville City Council members take the oath of allegiance to the United States above]

City Hall, Nashville

March 27, 1862.

Gen Andrew Johnson,

Military Governor of the State of Tennessee:

Sir: Your communication of the 25th inst., requiring the Mayor, Members of the City Council, Police and other City Officials to take an oath to support the Constitution of the United States, pursuant to the first section of the tenth article of the Constitution of the State of Tennessee, has been received and duly considered.

We respectfully beg leave to submit the following facts for your Excellency's consideration:

Since we have had any connection with the City Government, which, in some cases, has been for several years, we have never before been required to take any oath than the simple oath of office, to discharge or respective duties faithfully; and upon a reference to the records of the City, running back for twenty-five of thirty years, we find that no former Mayor nor Alderman has taken any oath to support either Constitution of the State of Tennessee or the United States, but the understanding seems to have been that the provisions of the Constitution referred to, applied only to State and County and not Corporation Officers.

We have also consulted some of our blest lawyers upon the subject, and the majority of them are of [the] opinion that we, as Municipal Officers, do not come within the purview and meaning of said section of the Constitution, but that the same applies alone to State and County Officials.

Under the foregoing facts and circumstances, and we having taken the only oath ever taken or required of any of our predecessors, and never having been require to take any oath inimical all to our allegiance to the United States of the State Government, we respectfully ask to be excused from taking the oath sent us, honestly believing that, under the Constitution land our Charter, were are not properly subject to such requirement, and believing that the same was made of under a mis-apprehension of what had been required of us heretofore.

A true copy,

C.M. Hays Recorder

Papers of Andrew Johnson, Vol. 5, pp. 247-248.

        27, Federal capture of Confederate pork [see also March 24, 1862, "The Forty-fifth Illinois Ordered to Save the Bacon at Nichols' Landing" above]

HDQRS. DISTRICT OF WEST TENNESSEE, Savannah, Tenn. March 27, 1862.

Capt. N. H. McLEAN, Saint Louis, Mo.:

The steamer John Raine, sent with two companies of infantry and 40 cavalry to Nichols' Landing after the balance of Confederate pork left there, has returned, bringing in with them from 100,000 to 120,000 pounds that was found. The pork is in good order, and has been distributed between the different division commissaries, with directions to issue it on the first returns sent in.

* * * *

U. S. GRANT, Maj.-Gen.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 10, pt. II, p. 70.

        27, "He died this morning at 4 o'clock and now his body lies in the hall just outside our room." Surgeon William M. Eames describes hospital conditions to his wife in Ohio

Union College Hospital

Thurs. eve. March. 27

Dearest wife,

I am almost alone & very quietly located in my "Office" in the large old building known all over the U. S. as the Union Baptist [sic] College. Rob is with me on the opposite side of the table reading Byron, or the yesterday's paper & of course feeling quite happy. I have on my slippers & dressing gown & am sitting in an arm chair very much like my own at home & the fire burns bright in the fire place[.] Our room is large & high & has for furniture our bed – consisting of a good cedar bedstead[,] a nice husk mattress [sic] & the requisite amount of blankets, pillows, etc. My trunk stands next – then comes the large book case (which once held the books of a secret Society belonging to the Coll.) now used to keep our medicines in. It is quite a fancy article of furniture, & large enough to hold all the medicines we have got or expect to get. There are plenty of chairs etc. for our convenience also a pair of tongs [sic] [.] In one corner are a pile of knapsacks & blankets - some of which – I am sorry to say – had an owner last night – but tonight none – He died this morning at 4 o'clock and now his body lies in the hall just outside our room. We have just got through taking an inventory of his effects & find among them a testament & psalm book & some blank books with a full diary of his travels since he left home in Sept. last[.] He belonged to the corps [sic] of Engineers & mechanics [sic] from Michigan. His only brother died at Bowling Green & his acct. of his death in his diary is very interesting. Poor fellow – he little tho't [sic] that he would so soon follow. I have reason to hope that he was prepared for the great event, tho [sic]; he was insensible when he came here last eve. Another man of the 18th Ohio Reg. is nearly gone in one of the wards of the Hospital & tomorrow there may [sic] be two funerals in this house. – there will surely be one.

I have the whole of the Hospital & have had a very hard job to get it fitted up as well as it is. & I assure you it is fixed up right. When I commenced there was literally nothing [sic] to work with except the old bunks the rebels has used & the empty filthy rooms they had vacated. – rooms in which hundreds of their men had died. Now I have the whole building cleaned (in the three stories) & bunks arranged with either good husk matrasses [sic] – or clean straw, enough to accommodate 75 more patients at a minutes warning. I have two large rooms & more filled with patients & good nurses to attend them & keep them clean & fed them & give them their medicines[.] A cook – wardmaster – general nurse to wait on patients as they arrive & look to the wood & water etc. & Rob. for Steward. I have a wood pile at the back door all chopped & split & three loads of straw in a large entry for filling bed sacks. I have go the yard cleaned up & had several loads of old trash bones etc hauled away; & any quantity of chips etc. burned & it really looks nice all round. I have a guard at the front gate & another at the door, regularly relieved. I have a guard at the front gate & another at the door, regularly relieved. I have got a barrel of pork[,] some fresh beef[,] a barrel of flour – 150 lbs[.] hard bread[,] 119 lbs[.] coffee[,] a barrel of rice & one of potatoes – soap –candles etc[.] etc. All this & much [sic] more I have had to see to & bring about since Sunday morning & work against wind & tide too. For two days we had no places or knives or forks or spoons to eat with & not only enough for four of us to eat at a time. We still have no pails & a score of other articles of necessity too numerous to mention – but they have got to come. I bought with my own money half a dozen brooms to begin cleaning with.

But enough of Hospital. I rather like it & hope to get up the very best [sic] one that has been connected with the Division since the war commenced & think I shall succeed. I presume I shall stay here several weeks & would be safe in directing your letters to me at Union Coll. Hospital Murfreesboro Tenn. [sic] till further notice

If you direct to 21st Reg they would be sure to reach me but not quite as soon….

* * * *

….I count the days every morning till the first of May when I think I shall tender my resignation[.] I'm not certain about it however. If I can stay here & not have too [sic] many patients I can be quite contented. Would like to stay till they have a battle & have a hundred wounded men come in. Then wouldn't I cut off legs. [sic]….

Wm M. Eames

William Mark Eames Papers

        27, Confederate orders for an immediate and secret expedition to neutralize Union population in Montgomery and Huntsville, Scott County


Brig. Gen. D. LEADBETTER, Kingston, Tenn.:

GEN.: If your camp is established near Kingston the town should be taken in charge by the military authorities, liquor establishments closed, and such other measures taken as you may deem necessary for keeping up the discipline of your command.

You will organize immediately and secretly and expedition to Montgomery, and if possible to Scott County and Huntsville. Let your force be as large and effective as you may judge necessary; but it must be so organized as to move lightly and without impediments. The force in that section, as well as I can learn, is not over 600, principally the Tory population of the country. They are reported to have thrown up some defenses 16 miles beyond Montgomery. A rapid march of infantry in their rear may effect something. I give you carte blanche, and will sustain you in any course you may find it necessary to adopt in those counties.

Supplies should, as far as possible, be withdrawn or destroyed in Scott County. All self-constituted Tory organizations summarily dealt with; all the arms removed from that neighborhood. When you find any friends to our cause you may make exceptions in their cases.

In your move on Scott County from Montgomery observe the road to Jamestown. There have been rumors that East Tennessee was to be threatened from that direction. Spare no money in obtaining reliable information by that route from Kentucky. It will give security to your flank in your operations in Scott County. I inclose you a report of Capt. Eblen's.[1] You will find him active, intelligent, and patriotic. He can give you information regarding that country.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

E. KIRBY SMITH, Maj.-Gen. Cmdg.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 10, pt. II, p. 369.

        27, Report on resistance to the Federal Oath of Allegiance by the Nashville Board of Aldermen and City Council

The Nashville Board of Aldermen and City Council have refused to take the oath of allegiance to the Constitution and Government of the United States. The Banner of yesterday contains the proceedings of a joint meeting of the two chambers held on Thursday [27th] evening, from which we copy the following:

Major Rhea, President of the Board of Aldermen, on motion, took the chair. On taking his seat the Chairman stated that a communication had been received by his Honor the Mayor, from Governor Johnson, through his Secretary of State, which was of so important a nature as to require their most serious consideration. The documents were then read as follow:

Mayor's Office, March 27, 1862.

To the City Council-I submit for your consideration the accompanying communication from Governor Andrew Johnson.

Very respectfully,

R. B. Cheatham, Mayor.

Secretary's Office.

Nashville, Tenn., March 27, 1862.

To the Mayor, Members of the Common Council, Police and other officials of the city of Nashville:

GENTLEMEN: In pursuance of the First Section of the Fourth Article of the Constitution of the State of Tennessee, each of you are required to take and subscribe the oath herewith enclosed, and said oath, when taken and subscribed, you will return to this office by Friday next.

Yours, &c.

Andrew Johnson, Governor

Edward H. East, Secretary of State.



State of Tennessee,_______County.

On this the ____day of________1862, personally appeared before me, __________, of the__________, and took and subscribed to the following oath, in pursuance of the First Section of the Fourth Article of the Constitution of the State of Tennessee, which is as follows: "Every person who shall be chosen or appointed to any office of trust or profit under the Constitution, or any law made in pursuance thereof, shall, before entering on the duties thereof, take an oath to support the Constitution of this State and of the United States, and an oath of office." They having already taken an oath to support the Constitution of Tennessee, to wit: "'I_______  ______, do solemnly swear that I will support, protect, and defend the Constitution and Government of the United States, against all enemies, whether domestic or foreign, and that I will bear true faith, allegiance, and loyalty to this and any law, ordinance, resolution or convention to the contrary notwithstanding' and, further that I do this with a fill determination, pledge and purpose, without any mental reservations or evasion whatsoever; and further, that I will well and faithfully perform all the duties which may be required by law, SO HELP ME GOD."

Sworn to and subscribed before me.

A very animated debate ensued, during which it was argued that the proposition was unprecedented and unconstitutional to require officers of the City Government to take such an oath, and a motion was made that the subject be referred to a committee for careful consideration.

Mr. McCann opposed the motion, and desire immediate action. He said such an oath had ever before been required from him, or any member of the City Government, nor was it required the Constitution or laws of Tennessee, as far as could understand them.

The Councilman who first spoke, again urged a postponement.

The Mayor informed the Convention that the communication was handed him by the Secretary of State, about dark on Tuesday [25th] evening, and that he brought it before the Board of Aldermen at their meeting, suggesting the appointment of a Committee to examine into the subject, and an adjournment to Thursday night, to meet the Councilmen in Convention.

The Alderman of the Eighth [ward] asked if such oath was ever before required, and if so, where? He was born in the city of Nashville, and had never heard such an oath before tonight.

President Rhea then stated that by common consent the Mayor and himself were requested to take the advice of the council on the subject, and that they had performed their duties, consulting with some of the best lawyers, all of whom (but one) agree that the Section and Article referred to applied not to officers of the city government. The gentleman expected was not quite prepared to give a definite reply, never having had the subject under consideration. Since 1808, the only oath required of any officer of the city government was a simple oath to faithfully discharge the duties he had undertaken. The Committee, he said, had drawn up an address to Governor Johnson, which, with the permission of the Convention the Clerk would read.

The address being read, the motion to lay over was withdrawn, and councilmen Demonbreun offered a resolution that the address be adopted, which was carried unanimously. [The nature of the debate will suggest the character of the address.] [sic]

A motion was then made that the address be entered upon the record, and a copy signed by the proper officers, be transmitted to Governor Johnson. The Convention then adjourned.

Louisville Daily Journal, March 29, 1862. [2]

        27, Confederate Political and Social Analysis of Circumstances in East Tennessee


[From an Occasional Correspondent.]

Knoxville, Tenn., March 27

East Tennessee, as a great focal centre of interest, no longer presents attractions to our foes. The vast supplies for our armies that were concentrated here, have been removed to localities in which railroad bridges may not be burned by a hostile, ignorant, and deluded population. Were it not that this railway which connects Virginia with the Southwest penetrates East Tennessee, there would be no inducement for our enemies to invade a district of country whose wealth, with its sources, have been destroyed or removed, and whose people for years past have been systematically misled by the most dangerous men ever born upon the Continent.

The South has never produced three such men so widely different in their tastes, habits of thought, and political opinions as T. A. R. Nelson, Andrew Johnson, and William G. Brownlow. Yet, thus differing each from the other as light from darkness, the three have ever concurred blind devotion to the old Federal Government. Of these three, Andrew Johnson, never deemed the superior of Nelson in point of native intellect, is infinitely the most dangerous man ever born in America. With a strong native intellect rude and uncultured, he is yet a deep schemer; his vault ambition is never baulked by considerations of honest and good faith; he is a merciless murderer and enslaver of his race so long as his own political fortunes may be promoted by the invasion and subjugation of the South. He saw all the leading statesmen of Tennessee slowly and unwillingly forced to abandon their adhesion to the old Government, and then the way was open for the prosecution of his selfish schemes. There was no rival of Andrew Johnson before the ignorant, the debased and deluded-a class that ever held the balance of power between the old Whig and Democratic parties in this State, which for a quarter of a century, voted first and one and then with the other political organization. Andrew Johnson never failed at any time to control this element of the population of Tennessee.

Then, Brownlow, the irrepressible, the violent and energetic parson, the haranguer of mobs in churches and at the hustings, the man who spared not the living nor the dead in his denunciations of all who opposed him this man who, perhaps, by his hatred of Andrew Johnson, became an ultra–pro-slavery oracle of the Methodist Church-he, too, found Unionism so strong an element of popular partisan strength in East Tennessee, that he was forced, in his devotion to Henry Clay, and by his antagonism to the Yancey school of politicians, to co-operate with Andrew Johnson. In accounting for the present abnormal condition of East Tennessee, he reckons without his host, who, in making up the balance sheet, does not enter a heavy debit to the once ubiquitous Brownlow's Whig.

In his secluded home, withdrawn from the popular gaze, in his quiet, unpretending isolation, in a little village of East Tennessee, dwells the accomplished orator, scholar and profound thinker, Thos. A. R. Nelson-an East Tennessean in nothing but his apparel. He, too, was borne along by the irresistible current of Unionism which swept over a district of country secluded from the word-whose people were never conscious, in the midst of their simple pursuits of the numberless wrongs heaped upon the South by those who love nothing in the South, except Southern gold. Nelson is a poet and a dreamer, as well as a statesman and orator. There is not a more indefatigable student in the South than Mr. Nelson, and there is not one who, in all the relations of life, is more faultless and more beloved. His weaknesses "all incline to virtue's side" and his chivalrous spirit has never been questioned. In the by-gone history of partizan contests in East Tennessee, Nelson is the only opponent of Andrew Johnson who never cowered before that coarse bully and blackguard. With the omnipotence of virtue, truth, genius and eloquence, as these are embodied in Thos. A. R. Nelson, Unionism found an adherent who could neither be bought nor driven. He has fixed a point beyond which he will not support the domination of Federal authority. Whenever Abraham Lincoln pronounces the doom of African slavery, Nelson will proclaim himself the supporter of the Confederate Government. From this course nothing can deter him; and having fixed his determination, however absurd we may deem it, he will never change it. He declares himself a loyal Tennesseean, and consequently will not raise his hand against his State, in the war now pending.-Such I am told, are the sayings and opinions of the greatest man in East Tennessee.

I am conscious that, in the midst of a fierce struggle, in which our brethren and kindred have involved their lives and fortunes, it is impossible to regard, with any degree of kindness or even justice, the conduct of those who oppose or stand aloof from us. From such prejudices I have sought to divest myself; and in speaking of East Tennesseeans and of their influence upon the fortunes of the country, I would speak truly of men representing and leading the great body of this people. Such, in my estimations, are the three great exponents of popular sentiment in East Tennessee; and such are the leaders of the "hoi polloi."

We need not be surprised that, with such representative men, the people are "unsound" and it is not astounding that such a people and such influence should have begotten such politicians.

For many years past the Yankees have systematically sent into East Tennessee hordes of New Englanders, of whom an infamous Aminibab Stock,[3] Horace Maynard, is the fit representative. They have sent us, too, thousands of Dutch and Swiss who dwell amid the vine clad hills and in secluded valleys. All these are original Abolitionists. The French element in this imported population alone adheres to the fortunes of the Southern Confederacy. Every iron, copper and coal mine in East Tennessee was a den of Abolitionism.

Are you surprised that railroad bridges were burned? Are you amazed when you learn that excesses are committed even upon peaceable people by organized marauding bands of Secessionist, who nominally belong in the army of the South? It is unnatural that a man should hate most that enemy, who, by all laws of nature and community of interest, should be his staunchest friend? Might we not naturally expect that the breach should be thus daily widened, and that the gulf of hate dug by Johnson and Maynard and Brownlow, would soon become unfathomable?

Such are the causes which have produced, even here, a condition of society which has been changed by no persistent scheme of governmental policy. Neither that degree of severity, which annihilates opposition, nor that mildness which begets friendship, has been adhered to. Gross injustice and violence have been done in some instances, and again a degree of clemency has been exercised, which a hostile population ascribe to the disasters, which of late have befallen our arms. Long before the battle of Fishing Creek, I proposed to have Brownlow's paper resuscitated, and if he be as bad a man as represented, he could have been bought; if not, the anti-slavery pronunciamentos of the Northern President, and of his generals, would have made the Whig redivious, the most potent agency which the Confederate authorities could have employed to promote unanimity of sentiment and fidelity to the Confederacy. It seems, however, that the power of the press, which has created our armies, which keeps alive the spirit of resistance to our deadly enemies, is only acknowledged when the genius and skill of some tyro in military excellence is criticized. Without newspapers we might have a very respectable army of generals and commissioned officers; but they would have no men to lead to victory of death. This fact is not generally recognized among titled gentlemen; and, unfortunately, the influence of the same agency upon a misguided people was not acknowledged by the representatives of our government in East Tennessee. The Register at Knoxville has been admirably and ably conducted, but no follower of Brownlow, of Maynard, not of Andrew Johnson, by reason of old prejudices, believes one work that it contains. I would enquire whether it be now too late to redeem the errors of the past? Major General E. Kirby Smith, commanding in East Tennessee, has adopted the policy which I have ever advocated.

The ignorant, deluded victims of designing men are no longer incarcerated while Johnson and Trigg, and General Carter and Etheridge are revealing in the strongholds of Northern armies, amid the golden glories of treason. Violence suppresses, but does not extinguish treason and the entire population of East Tennessee could easily be made, at least, quiescent spectators of a struggle in which violent men would force them to participate. In this connection, I may state that the recent Proclamation of Governor Harris, which caused this people to believe that every citizen needs must join the army, has induced many an East Tennesseean to retire into Kentucky, and the southern borders of that State a wild, raving ignorant, besotted mob, led by renegade East Tennesseeans, seeks an advent to their homes, from which they deem themselves ruthlessly expelled.

I have thus furnished you with a statement of the condition of things in this military district, as nearly correct as I can give it, within the limits of a single letter. There is nothing stated which at one time or another, has not already been given to the public.

The country may rest assured of one fact; that whatever may be the capacity or ability of Gen. Smith of which I know but little he surely possesses a degree of energy and devotion to duty only equaled by that of Capt. Monsurrat, the present commander of this post. If East Tennessee cannot be redeemed by the agencies which these two men will employ, we may even now surrender it to the domination of that foul-hearted Catiline, whose mobocratric eloquence now echoes from our State Capitol through the mountains and valleys of Tennessee.

S. L.

Charleston Mercury, April l2, 1862.[4]

        28, Editorial exhorting reluctant young West Tennessee men to enlist in the Confederate Army[5]

Young Men! You who remain at home, while your more patriotic and chivalrous companions are fighting for their homes and liberties-attend to the following paragraph and take warning:

We wish our stay-at-home young men, and would-be-neutral, if there are any to know that the Federal commanders took all young men they could finding Benton and Washington counties, put arms in their hands, and then placed them in the front ranks and told them they must fight. they [sic] were compelled to take the oath, and informed that if they flinched they would be shot.

Between the two armies the poor fellow are almost sure of death.

Young Man! You have but one life before you! Each day is lost kin [sic] the irrevocable past! [sic] What do you? [sic] Let not a dull regret of a wasted opportunity press you down the balance of your days, with a sense of inferiority! Bitterly may you pray some day to recall the past. It is the only prayer the Almighty refuses inexorably, to answer. [sic]

Will you sit hereafter humbly by and hear it told by others how they rushed to our country's aid in time of peril, and kept her free? Or shall your children in after time, flush with pride and glow with honest patriotism to hear the rustling of the flag under which their father fought, and mayhap bled, to make them proudly free?

Jackson West Tennessee Whig, March 28, 1862.

        28, Description of activities at Purdy and Savannah, Tennessee

Special Dispatch to the Cincinnati Gazette.

Savannah, Tenn., March 28,

Via Cairo, March 29.

….Purdy Court-House is now full of Union men of that place. The latter are fearful of having their houses and all their property destroyed. Squads of rebel soldiers are already seizing all their provisions and everything that can be of use to the army. Owners of cotton are particularly alarmed….A man named Morris, one of the Jessie Scouts, was hung at Savannah on Sunday for horse stealing, and other depredations, from private citizens thereabout.

Chicago Times, March 31, 1862.[6]

        28, Skirmish at a small village near Montgomery, in Morgan County [see March 28, 1862, "Confederate expedition, Scott & Morgan Counties for the purpose of dispersing organized Federal bands" above]

        28-June 18, 1862, Operations against and about Cumberland Gap [see also June 10-15, 1862, Operations in East Tennessee below]

MARCH 28-JUNE 18, 1862.-Cumberland Gap (Tenn.) Campaign.

Reports of Brig. Gen. James G. Spears, U. S. Army, of operations April 23-25, and May 26.


SIR: On to-day I am able to report as to the result of the expedition under Cols. Shelley and Cooper to Woodson's Gap and Powell's Valley,[7] East Tenn.:

The forces under Col. Cooper, 300 strong, and under Col. Shelley, of 200 strong, marched to Woodson's Gap. The former marched his force across into the ridges as directed. Col. Shelley took position in the gap to protect his retreat, if necessary. At 9 a. m. 23d instant Col. Cooper arrived in the ridges of the mountain, and remained there until 9 a. m. next day and returned. No rebel enemies were found in arms. Rumor that a brigade was in Big Creek Gap ascertained and believed to be untrue. The expedition ascertained the fact that 427 of the Union fugitives endeavoring to get to this army were taken by the rebel cavalry to Knoxville, and from thence to Tuscaloosa, Ala.; 200 made their escape to this army; 3 killed and 11 wounded, 6 of whom the expedition brought over. There is one regiment of rebel troops at Clinton, or near there, out of which there is 165 effective men, infantry, and 100 cavalry, and no further re-enforcements at Cumberland Gap that could be heard of. Information of the expedition preceded Cols. Cooper and Shelley, and must have made its way through the public speech of Mr. Thornburgh at Boston. The people of Powell's Valley are very anxious for the Federal army to march over into the valley. Col. Cooper arrested and brought into camp --- Shadwell, a notorious rebel, and who, as there is abundance of evidence to show, has been, up to his arrest, almost daily guilty of treason, and was in the habit of giving the rebel army information as to our whereabouts and movements, which rebel, together with--, who has come into our camp under suspicious circumstances, who can give no satisfactory account of himself, and refuses to volunteer, I send in charge of Col. Cooper to your headquarters for further order on your part.

By order of Brig.-Gen. Spears:

Very respectfully,

D. C. TREWHITT, Acting Assistant Adjutant-Gen..


Camp Pine Knot, May 26, 1862.

The expedition of to-day under Col. Houk has not yet returned. The signal officer, Lieut. McKinsey, has arrived in camp and reports that beyond Gaylor's he and the cavalry, being in advance, were fired upon by the enemy, but in what numbers he is unable to report.

They were infantry and in the brush. Our advance was driven back, the signal officer losing his cap. When our main force got up they fired upon the enemy. The enemy then retreated. What subsequently transpired I am unable to state for want of information, save that our men captured a pick and some other articles, indicating that they are removing the blockade. Reliable information shows the enemy's strength now on Big Creek Gap to be 8,000 strong, with at least four pieces of artillery, and they positively declare their intention to invade Kentucky at this point. They are greatly exasperated, our pickets having killed one of theirs on yesterday. They are said to have 1,500 cavalry coming from toward Knoxville and down from Cumberland Gap. The blockade is now so far removed that it can all be moved and cleared away to Powell's Valley in one day. I have waited patiently here a good while, with an enemy threatening me in front of three times at least of those under my command. They have artillery; I have none. I do think the time has come that some action must be taken, and now is the time to move. You have the artillery and men, and at this point there is no mistake. If reliable information can be relied on, they (the enemy) intend to make the fight. I trust something will be done speedily. The enemy is now in the exact position he was when the former contemplated move was put on foot. Why not now advance? Such move would prevent them from re-enforcing the gap, and we could attack them in detail successfully; after which being done, if deemed advisable, we could move our whole force on Cumberland Gap and fortify out of reach of their cannon, and compel them to fight us from under their cover, or starve them out and compel them to surrender. I have been directed by you to be ready to advance or retreat at a moment's warning. I am sorry to have to say it is an impossibility to comply with the instructions, as we have to subsist and forage ourselves. The transportation is very weak indeed. Much of our forage and subsistence we have to haul twenty miles, and the transportation is frequently gone for two days at a time on foraging and subsistence purposes, so that often if called on to advance or retreat we would have no means of transportation, and the result would be our ammunition, tents, and camp equipage and all would be left, and perhaps lost and fall into the hands of the enemy. I earnestly call your attention to my condition in this respect that such action may be taken as will prevent any great injury resulting on any move that may be made under instructions yet in force relative to my command. I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JAMES G. SPEARS, Brig.-Gen..

P. S.-Since writing the above Col. Houk has arrived. He is pretty well satisfied that the enemy is removing the blockade, and that the enemy who fired on our advance was merely the advance of the rebel force in removing the blockade. No one on to-day was killed or wounded.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 52, pt. I, pp. 14-15.

        27, Skirmish on the Woodbury Pike

MARCH 27, 1863.-Skirmish on the Woodbury Pike, Tenn.


No. 1.-Col. William B. Hazen, Forty-first Ohio Infantry, commanding brigade.

No. 2.-Maj. Charles B. Seidel, Third Ohio Cavalry.

No. 3.-Col. Baxter Smith, Fourth [Eighth] Tennessee Cavalry.

No. 1.

Report of Col. William B. Hazen, Forty-first Ohio Infantry, commanding brigade.

HDQRS. SECOND BRIGADE, March 27, 1863.

GEN.: The cavalry you sent out to-day have had a fight with two regiments of cavalry near Burton's, on the Woodbury pike. Lost 1 officer and 10 men. Considerable loss to the enemy.


Col., Cmdg. Second Brigade.

No. 2.

Report of Maj. Charles B. Seidel, Third Ohio Cavalry.

HDQRS. SECOND BATTALION, THIRD OHIO VOL., CAV., Readyville, March 28, 1863.

DEAR SIR: On the evening of March 27, I was ordered to take my battalion and advance on the Woodbury pike, to observe the enemy's movements, who was reported advancing on to our lines, and, if possible, to check his advance. I had advanced but a short distance on the above-named pike when I ran against a squad of rebel cavalry, numbering about 50 men. I at once attacked them, and in a short time had them fleeing before me. I had driven them about 1 ½ miles, when they were re-enforced. My advance had already engaged them, when I saw a force advancing on my left. I immediately gave orders to fall back. We had retired but a short distance when my advance gave me intelligence I was cut off. I immediately brought my men in line of battle, and at the same time was vigorously attacked by Col. [Baxter] Smith, who commanded in person. We returned their fire, and, knowing that I had no time to lose whatever, gave the command to draw saber and charge, which was bravely done by my men. The enemy received our charge with their pistols, but being too vigorously attacked, fled in every direction. I then having accomplished my object, rallied my men and pursued the fleeing foe, when I saw the enemy's reserve charging down the pike on me; but, taking the offensive with a small number of men, I repulsed his charges three times, and, by falling back carefully, took all my men safely into camp, with the exception of 10 enlisted men and Lieut. [S. J.] Hansey, of Company F, whom, I suppose, were captured by the enemy's reserve. We took about the same number of prisoners, including a major, but being too far from camp and not able to get re-enforcements, were obliged to give them up again.

The enemy's loss must have been very heavy, for I saw as many as 20 horses without riders. The rebel force, to the best of my judgment, numbered about 400 men, while I had only 65 men. My men deserve much praise for their bravery.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

CHAS. B. SEIDEL, Maj., Cmdg. Second Battalion Third Ohio Volunteer Cavalry.



April 1, 1863.

The gallant conduct of the major and his little command is commended. The attention of the general commanding is called to it. The question is raised whether these cavalrymen are altogether treated fairly. Could not an infantry support have saved us the loss of a lieutenant and 6 good men? It appears to me that cavalry patrols in a county of copse and thicket should be used with more discretion than they have been at the post of Readyville.

D. S. STANLEY, Maj.-Gen.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 23, pt. I, pp. 197-198.

        27, U. S. N. begins twice weekly supply convoys on Cumberland River to Nashville

SMITHLAND, March 27, 1863.


If all the light-draught boats are sent below, it will be a difficult matter to get supplies to Nashville, as the river is falling. I will send through two convoys a week.

LE ROY FITCH, Lieut.-Commander.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 23, pt. II, p. 180.

        27, Assault and battery in Nashville

Brutal Outrage-Between 12 and 1 o'clock yesterday morning, two persons claiming to be army wagon drivers, attacked a soldier on Cherry street near Broad, in a most brutal manner, nearly killing him, and about the same time attacked Mr. Bynum, a citizen. Fortunately, an Adjutant and a Lieutenant of the 14th Michigan and Lieutenant. Ingalls of the night police, came to the relief of the unfortunate persons, arrested the highwaymen and conducted them to jail. Their case will be settled by Col. Truesdail....

Nashville Dispatch, March 28, 1863.

        27, A West Tennessee-Confederate-soldier's letter home to his mother in occupied Memphis

Shelbyville, Tenn

March 27th/63

Dear Ma,

I received your letter of March 4 today and was much relived by it, for I had heard several times lately that Woodbine had been completely destroyed. I was also afraid that you were having some difficulty in getting money enough to live comfortably up in Memphis, but I infer now, from the fact of your rebuilding your place on Front Row that you are in no immediate want of money. [8] I am very sorry to hear that you have no gardener now to take care of Woodbine. Charley, I should have thought would have had better sense, but there is no accounting for a fool Dutchman. I think that it would be much better if you could get some other family with cussed [?] gen [sic] Sherman to protect you to move out there again in the course of a month or two. I am afraid that the sickness will be terrible in Memphis this summer and that all families will have to leave, and I would, on account, if I could possibly avoid it, give up the place. It will, I think, be much better than remaining in town. Those guerrilla bands of ours that swarm around Memphis I think caused those people who live around there an immense deal of trouble, whilst they are doing the cause scarcely any good at all. If they were all compelled to join the regular army and to quit prowling all over the country, when they do just about as much harm as the enemy could possibly do, it would strengthen our army at other important points and do us more real service.

I would not advise you to come out of the Federal lines now, as much as I would like for you to be where I could see and hear from you, for you have no idea of how every place is crowded and the difficulty there is in living. Things are bad enough in this section of the country but they are much worse in Mississippi, provisions and everything are enormously high, butter two dollars a pound, eggs three dollars a dozen, and other things in the same proportion. It takes all of our pay to enable us to live at all well. I would advise you to remain where you are, or to go out to Woodbine, in preference to coming out of the lines, for I am afraid that you would suffer more away from Memphis than you would by remaining there. I am strongly of the opinion, too, that before many months we will have possession of every point on the River, that will compel the Federals to leave Tennessee altogether. Everything looks now as if we are going to have a rapid and decisive campaign this summer. Genl Johns[t]on is in command in person now, and he will not remain quiet long. Van Dorn too is doing finely here. He captured about seven hundred Federals day before yesterday, and they can scarcely send a foraging party out now without having it captured. I think we will move forward from this point before this letter will reach you, and I have every confidence that we can now compel Rosencrans [sic] to leave the State.

I am very sorry to hear of the so much sickness in our family, but I hope that by this time you are all well again. You say, dear Ma, that you fear you never will be well again as long as this war lasts. Don't let it trouble you so much, and don't be uneasy about me for I am as well as I can be, and haven't the most remote idea of getting hurt since I came out of the at Murfreesboro fight without a scratch. Ed is in as safe a place too as he could be in, and I fear no danger at Vicksburg. He has a crazy idea of leaving there even if he has to resign he says. I have written to him very plainly on the subject, and don't want to see him leave there at all.

I hope, dear Ma, that you will not let yourself be troubled so, and that when I hear from you again you will be perfectly well. I would be as well satisfied as now, as I could possibly be under the circumstances, if I could only know that you were all perfectly well and living comfortably.

I suppose you have heard before this that Sam is certainly dead. I only heard it yesterday as certain. I saw Jim, who had been to see the Surgeon who had been left with the sick there. Jim is looking better than I have seen him for some time.

Tell Mrs. Doyle that all of "her boys" are as well as can be, and in fine spirits. Jim McKinney has gone to Charleston to run the blockade. He is going to Havana and Europe, I suppose.

I wrote to you that I had recd. the clothes some time ago and am a thousand times obliged for them. I am having a very pleasant time here, for there is any number of ladies with whom I amuse myself considerably, some of them are very passable specimens, and if this place was not so strongly Union in its feelings it would be a very pleasant place to live.

Tell Mr. Proudfit to write to me, and write yourself, dear Ma every chance you find. With all my best love to all I remain

Your affectionate son

John W. Harris

Ask Mr. Proudfit if he knows anything of a Dr. Dromgoole in Memphis. His sister asked me to make some enquiries about him when I wrote Memphis.

Harris Correspondence.

        27, "Not another pill will I swallow except opium. I rather like its effect." Excerpts from the diary of Mary L. Pearre

Three weeks has [sic] passed since I have penned a line. Ruth, May & myself have all been ill, are now convalescent. I have been confined to my room for two weeks & have been well physicked [sic] with quinine, opium & with various powders & pills. Have no faith in M.D.'s [sic] & their stuff. Yet by dent of much persuasive eloquence aided by acute pain the prevailed upon me to be drugged to any amount. I am far from being well yet. Have forsworn [sic] any more dosing. Not another pill will I swallow except opium. I rather like its effect.

While I have been ill, time has kept the uneven tenor of its way. Various events have occurred

Brentwood, six miles from here, was surprised and taken last Wednesday by Genl. Forrest & Starnes. The attack was made just at day. Took 680 prisoners that morning, a wagon train with medicine and supplies of every kind.

About 12 o'clock the Federal calvay [sic] (from Franklin) came into collision on the Hillsboro pike two miles  from here. We were victor again and captured several hundred more bluecoats. Mag says this even has caused me to get well rapidly. Perhaps so. I have been elated since.

Bob Cotton brought me a package of letters he took out of a Yankee tent. They were from a Mrs. Abbie Sears to her husband. It made my heart ache to read her tender loving wifely letters, so full of devotion & passionate longing for his return. Poor thing. Her husband is a prisoner and she as yet is unconscious [sic] of his fate. This is only an incident of war, a mere speck among its accumulated horrors. My hand trembles so I can scarcely write. I would desist could I find a better employment. Am so tired of being sick and seeing those that are sick that I have shut myself up alone though there is no fire and the room is rather damp.

* * * *

How many of us have adopted the motto in all things – if you cant [sic] be – at least seem to be & go on eating "husks" as it were & holding as life's chief good the complete and final subjugation of genuine emotion & substitute in it place an artificial mode of thinking, speaking and eating.

Here I will make an extract. Truly there are two senses in which every search, every combat, may said to be closed. One where the victor grasps his prize or waves aloft his sword in the moment of triumph. The other when bleeding, mained [sic] or dying, the vanquished sinks to earth without the power to arise.

* * * *

Am studying "Phrenology." Just began yesterday….Am rather skeptical in regard to the science.

* * * *

Diary of Mary L. Pearre

        27, "In my opinion in less than sixty days the rebellion will not be half as strong as it now is." Excerpts from Captain Gershom M. Barber's letter home from Murfreesboro

Head Quarters 1st Battalion O. V. S. S.

Department of the Cumberland Generals bodyguard Murfreesboro Tenn.

March 27 1863

My Dear Wife

Your two kind letters of the 15th & 19th are received in yesterday and one today and they bring me worlds of cheer and comfort and renew me up to duty as they show me that loved ones at home are thankful of me and share in my joys and sorrows. I was feeling bad that I did not hear from you and thought you did not care to write only once a week as a matter of forms but your letters show me that you really love and care for me. Oh how I would love to clasp you in my bosom and call you mine as of old. But my poor bleeding country has greater demands before your husband. I must throw my weight into the scale in favor of our union and if necessary my life. I do not pray to meet the enemy but if he comes I shall not shrink from the post of danger. I feel that I have a noble command and one that can do much when so much is to be done and I am determined to bring it up to the highest status of perfection. Our boys are improving rapidly. Today a check has been placed on our progress an order came this morning for me to detail 70 men for a fatigue party to work on the fortifications. This takes men half of our effective force. The reason of this is that the enemy are in force before Nashville and a battle there is immanent [sic] and all the available force is being sent there. Yesterday they demanded a surrender and gave us 12 days to decide. Gen. Rosy asked in reply "if they would not give us 13 days!" Nashville is well fortified and they will meet a warm reception. We are mounting heavy guns in our fortifications in a few days we could give them a storm of iron hail that they have not met before. It is now understood that Vicksburg is being evacuated and that the enemies whole force is being massed against Nashville or Murfreesboro. Today we received the news that General Burnsides has arrived at Cincinnati on his way here with 35000 men to reinforce us. This is now regarded as the pivot if the whole war. In my opinion in less than sixty days the rebellion will not be half as strong as it now is. My position is very agreeable to me although I find plenty to do. I have a horse and a team consisting of six mules for my head quarters. George and I occupy one tent alone and no one else enters without permission. All orders for any portion of the battalion come to me and are reassigned by me to them. This weather has been very warm some portions of the time. Peach trees have been in blossom over a week and the fields are looking quite green. I just now a heavy thunderstorm is raging (9 o'clock) There has been heavy firing on our left most of the day probably soon skirmishing results I have not heard. I must laugh at you for your first efforts at collecting….

* * * *

Barber Correspondence

        27-April 2, Expedition, U. S. N., Tennessee River-counterinsurgency [9]

U. S. Gunboat Lexington, Paducah, Ky., April 2, 1863

I made several landings at places along the route reported to be infested by guerrillas, but found none until we reached the neighborhood of Savannah. Being informed that back of Boyd's Landing, about 4 miles, was a cotton factory owned by and doing work for the rebels, I had determined to destroy it. I therefore landed at Boyd's and sent out an expedition numbering about 200 soldiers and sailors.

* * * *

From what could be learned, the mill was run on shares with the country people. The material went in an indirect way to the rebel soldiers through their friends at home. The books were all clear and contained nothing to condemn the factory, but knowing that the mill did aid, in an indirect manner, the rebels, it was thought proper not to burn it, but to effectually prevent its doing more work, which was done by removing the running gear, pistons, cylinder heads, brasses, and all like portable portions, and placing it on board this vessels [U. S. S. Lexington]. Two mules and a wagon, were pressed to haul the machinery down to the boat, were retained as lawful prizes, as it was ascertained that they belonged to Colonel Cox's rebel [sic] cavalry.

* * * *

A short distance above this landing, and about 3 miles from the river, was reported a plantation owned by a noted rebel, Smith. The boats were landed and an expedition sent out to the place. This plantation was occupied by a man by the name of Dillihunty,[10] and is known to be a rendezvous for guerrilla. Yet this Dillihunty claims to be loyal-has taken the oath-and says he bought the farm of Smith. This may be true, but he had no papers to prove it; has never been molested by the guerrillas, and, in fact, as I have since learned, was at the time raising a guerrilla company. As several men were at the time on his premises, one of which I took prisoner, he having been engaged in the guerrilla service, and as our men were fired at by a guerrilla near his place, the indications were such as to render his position very doubtful; I therefore took from the farm 25 bales of cotton (to be held till he proved his loyalty) and some cavalry horses.

* * * *

Since so many of these guerrillas have been found dead on the battlefield, with the oath of allegiance in their pockets, I am forced to believe no man living with these guerrillas is loyal, though he had taken the oath forty times.

I have given transportation to over 60 refugee families since I have been on these waters, but applications for conveyance out of the river have become so numerous from young men fleeing from the [Confederate] conscript that I have been induced to give the captains of boats instructions to render all the aid in their power to families, but under no circumstances to bring or pass our able-bodied young men. We are in want of men for the gunboats, and if they love the Union better than rebellion now is the proper time to show it. They must either take sides one way or the other. This has already had the effect of sending some 30 or 40 in General Dodge's cavalry and has given the gunboats some 8 or 10 recruits. I deem it high time that some of these loyal refugees were showing some proofs of their loyalty.

* * * *

LeRoy Fitch Lieutenant-Commander

Navy OR, Ser. I, Vol. 24, pp. 63-64.[11]

        27, "If the fugitives now lurking about Memphis could return to their homes in the city and vicinity, and their former owners would receive them and treat them kindly until the final determination of their status, much of the misery and vice which infest the city and vicinage would be removed." Major-General S. A. Hurlbut asks President Lincoln for assistance for a solution to the contraband and farming crisis in West Tennessee and Memphis

HDQRS. SIXTEENTH ARMY CORPS, Memphis, Tenn., March 27, 1863.

ABRAHAM LINCOLN, President of the United States:

SIR: I avail myself of the fact that Mr. Leatherman, a prominent citizen of Memphis, is about to visit Washington, to lay before the Commander-in-Chief the serious difficulties which embarrass the citizens of this region, as well as the army, in relation to negroes. There are within the limits of my command about 5,000 negroes, male and female, of all ages, supported by the Government, independent of those regularly organized and employed as teamsters, cooks, pioneers, &c., and enrolled as such. Most of these, say, from two-thirds to three-fourths, are women and children, incapable of army labor-a weight and incumbrance. In addition, there is a very large number, not less in Memphis alone than 2,000, not supported by the Government, crowded into all vacant sheds and houses, living by begging or vice, the victims of fruitful sources of contagion and pestilence. Pilfering and small crimes are of daily occurrence among them, and I see nothing before them but disease and death. At the same time many valuable farms and plantations within our lines, despoiled of fences from the necessities of a winter campaign, deprived of customary servile labor, stripped of horses and mules, either from the needs of regular service or by marauding guerrillas, lie waste and desolate. The owners are ready to cultivate, but have no labor. It is spring, the time to put in crops, either of cotton or of corn, or, what is not least in a military point of view, those garden vegetables, the free use of which is so singularly beneficial to the health of an army. None of these things are down, except on a limited scale. The land is here, ready, the labor is here, but I know no authority which I possess to bring them together. There are many who point out and desire to hire those who were their slaves. I have no power to permit it, or, rather, none to enforce the contract if entered into. There are no civil or criminal courts, and, hence, the responsibility of the commanding officer, already heavy enough, is enhanced by the want of aid from legal tribunals.

I believe, from careful examination and partial reflection, that the condition of the fugitives would be improved in every respect by causing them to be hired, either for wages or for clothing, subsistence, or an equivalent in the crops, to such persons as would give bond to take care of them, and put them at such work as they can do, and enforcing the contract of hire on the parties. It is, however, not to be denied that a very serious risk must be run in so doing. The spirit of marauding and robbery, which gave rise to guerrilla parties, grows by use, and there is danger that they may be seized and run off to some portion of the South as yet not under our control, or it may be that parties obtaining them may misuse their power over them, although I feel less apprehension of the latter. If the fugitives now lurking about Memphis could return to their homes in the city and vicinity, and their former owners would receive them and treat them kindly until the final determination of their status, much of the misery and vice which infest the city and vicinage would be removed.

In the present anomalous situation of the State of Tennessee--neither exactly loyal or altogether disloyal, but yet wholly deprived of all the machinery by which civil government operates--it is impossible for any one to say whether the state of slavery exists or not. The laws of Tennessee recognize and establish it, but the law is in abeyance; no judges to interpret and administer, no sheriff to execute, no posse to enforce. The State is exempted from the effects of the proclamation, but the military authorities, both from choice and under orders, ignore the condition of slavery. If they come within our lines, we allow them to do so, if they voluntarily go out, we allow; and all this works no difficulty when troops are in the field in their limited camps; but when the lines inclose a vast space of country, or fence in, as here, a great city, this incursion of ungoverned persons, without employment and subject to no discipline, becomes vitally serious. Especially the police and administration of justice are thrust upon officers of the army. The evil is pressing, the necessity for prompt action paramount, both from feelings of humanity to the people around us and to relieve the army from this burden. I have not considered myself at liberty to adopt any course. It is difficult for me to reach my department commander, and it is doubtful whether his pressing duties would leave him time to decide. It was hoped Congress would adopt some plan of the kind. This has not been done. The question is one not purely military, and I respectfully submit to the President the establishment of some general rule by which this difficulty may be overcome.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


OR, Ser. I, Vol. 24, pt. III, pp. 149-150.

        27, "This was the true Southern spirit." A Pulaski Confederate's Verbose Polemic on Confederate Virtues

From Pulaski.

Pulaski, Tenn., March 18, 1862.

Patriotism of Tennessee Ladies-Injustice of Reports-Southern Yankees.

The place suffered severely from the Yankees last year. They burned the South side of the public square, and a number of houses on one of the streets. [12] Several citizens were sent away from their homes and their families, because they refused to take the oath of allegiance to the Lincoln government. The ladies of Pulaski were remarkable for their devotion to our cause. They acted with prudence and discretion, yet with noble firmness. They were not rude and insulting to the enemy, but they utterly refused to recognize them socially, or to receive attentions. When the gentlemen were sent away for refusing to take the oath, the ladies came out in the streets, waved their hankerchiefs, bade them good-bye, and said "God bless you. Tell our brave boys not to come back except with a vigorous army. We are now working for them, and hope to see them soon returning in triumph to their homes." The enemy themselves must have had more respect for ladies like these than if they had been of different characters. They knew they had come as enemies and not friends, as invaders of the country, and they did not expect to find a welcome among those whom they had come to conquer and humiliate. A man of proper feeling, in the Yankee army, had more respect for those who stood by their country its dark and trying hour than for those who, trying to gain favor, were ready to sacrifice principle.

I will here mention an occurrence which took place in one of the towns of Tennessee some months ago. A highly educated, accomplished and beautiful young lady, who withal was truly Southern, had been to several parties. At last she ceased to attend-Some Confederate officers, on one occasion, remarked they had not seen her at the last two parties, and asked her the reason. She replied that she had not gone and not intend to go to any a parties where those who were friends to the Yankees, and who associated with them were invited; that she did not recognize them as associates, and she could not go to parities with them.[13] While it may not be advisable to punish those who have sided with the enemy, and may be the part of wisdom and magnanimity to look over, to a certain extent, their errors and perhaps crimes, yet certainly no true Southerner can be expected to regard and trust as friends those who have taken sides with the enemy in this awful struggle. I should feel, if I were to do so, that my friends who have fallen in this war would appear before me, as did the ghost of Banquo before the guilty Macbeth, and "would not fall down at my bidding."

Here let me remark, lest it be misunderstood, that there is a clear distinction between those who acted under coercion and false motives of policy, and those who acted with the enemy voluntarily and treated them as intimate friends. The latter class are the ones to whom I have alluded and to whom my remarks apply. Your have heard of the noble reply of the wife of a distinguished Senator in Columbia, to Gen. Negly [sic] when he had her husband under arrest. She told him that her husband did not intend to take the oath, and she would rather he would remain a prisoner all his life than to do so.[14] This was the true Southern spirit. I could give many instances illustrating the devotion of the ladies of Tennessee to the Confederate cause. I never heard of a lady refusing Confederate money. They are willing to risk all on our cause. They do not take prize money more than they do the blood of their children. I wish I could say as much for all the men in the country. I must in these letters, which are intended to give a faithful account of the condition of things, say no people in the whole Confederacy are manifesting more whole-souled hospitality than are the people of Tennessee at this time. Every man's house almost is the home of the soldier. They are sharing with them the bread and the meat they need to feed their own families. They make no distinction between soldiers from different States. The Texian [sic] the Mississippian, the Alabamian and the Tennesseean, are alike hospitably entertained, often "without money and without price." They do not return railing for railing, but good for evil and feel that all soldiers who are fighting to defend their homes are their friends. The gallantry of Tennessee soldiers in the field, is only excelled by the hostility of Tennessee citizens at home. Here I will take occasion to say, that often reports as to what was done last year in Tennessee are erroneous, and calculated to produce false impressions. It was stated, for instance, that one of the ablest and most distinguished lawyers in Columbia, who is now a private in our army, was making union speeches. How this report originated I know not. I suppose it was started by some union man who wished to shield himself by [paper torn, words lost] the impression that this truly South[ern man (?)] who rather than take the oath of al[legiance (?)] to the Lincoln Government, was banished from his home and his family, under penalty of being treated as a spy, if ever found within the Federal lines, had joined the union party. Although not subject to conscription, he voluntarily joined our army as a private, and now has the reputation of being one of the best soldiers at Port Hudson.[15]

Another instance I will mention to show how erroneous reports get in circulation, and how little we ought to rely upon mere rumor when it affects character. A distinguished citizen of this place, who has three gallant boys in our army, and who is as true a Southern man as anybody, was reported to have sold cotton to the Yankees, when in fact he sold it for seven cents in Confederate money to men who pledged themselves that the Yankees should not get it, and that it should be used in the Southern factories. The man who sells his cotton for seven cents in Confederate money to be used in Southern factories in preference to taking thirty cents in gold, gives as evidence of true Southern feeling which cannot be mistaken, and which many will not imitate. He refused to take the oath of allegiance to the Yankee Government, but did what every man who remains within the Federal lines if bound to do, so long as he is unmolested and that is, he agreed not to give information or assistance to the Confederated during the time he was in the lines of the enemy. This the enemy, by the laws of war, has a right to require, and this every citizen might do without compromising his principles. Every army, both Federal and Confederate, has the undoubted right to require all those who come in to their lines to not give aid to the enemy during that time, and if our army was in Ohio, we might require this of the citizens of their State and this they would be required to give they continued in the lines of our army. This is however very different from taking the oath of allegiance, or giving aid to the enemy. I have thought proper to state these clear as well established principles in order that what may be innocently done, may not be confounded with improper conduct, and here I will take occasion to remark, that although I have read with great interest the able letter of Rev. B. M. Palmer to Hon. John Perkins,[16] I must differ with him somewhat in opinion (I say so with deference) in regard to those who took the oath under coercion. I have not time now to give the reasons for my opinions, but I am satisfied that many men took that oath who are not morally, mentally, or religiously guilty of any offence. They did it under duress. I have no excuse to offer for those men who of their own free will and accord, aided the enemy, or who through mean spirited avarice discredited Confederate money, and thereby aimed a deadly blow at our cause in its most vital point. Such men may be Southern at heart, but if they are willing to sacrifice their country for money, they deserve the execrations of all true patriots. It is probable Judas Iscariot had no unkind feeling toward our Savior, but he betrayed him for thirty pieces of sliver. Are there no Judas Iscariot's [sic] now?


The Chattanooga Daily Rebel, March 27, 1863. [17]

        28, Confederate scout, Unionville to Murfreesborough

No circumstantial reports filed.

        28,[18] Skirmish at Somerville

No circumstantial reports filed.

        28, A Negro teamster escapes execution during the battle of Stones River, an excerpt from the letter of Amandus Silsby to his parents

March 28

Camp near Murfreesboro, Mar. 28

My dear father and mother [sic]:

….Gen. "Rosy" has not organized any negro regiments, I do not know whether the rebels killed all the negroes [sic] teamsters they were enabled to carry off with them. I saw them shoot two of them. I saw one of the poor fellows make his escape but Sambo [sic] thought a moment before his time was up. Seeing them coming, he tried to escape, but two of the rebels riding up, commanded him to stop! He stood trembling, while one of them asked him what he was doing there with the Federals. "I-I-I- was only go'an 'long wid de a'mee" "Well come along with us, we'll soon teach you what it is to be caught among the Yankees." Shortly after they were obliged to leave Sambo [sic], and Skedaddled [sic] from our cavalry, much to the joy of the negro [sic], who jumping up and down shouted "Go it Bully! Give 'em H__ll!" [sic] I was glad to get away took for it went very much against the grain to hear their boasting talk, which riled my temper considerably….

Silsby Correspondence, March 28, 1863.

        28, Unsuccessful pursuit of Confederates through Middle Tennessee

Franklin, Tennessee

March 28th 1863

Dear Mother,

….I am safe and sound and as well as I ever was. Our regiment has not been in any fight. We were in the chase after the rebels, that whiped [sic] Col. Coburn. They run too fast for us however. After running them 3 days we came back to Franklin and have been in camp here ever since. I do not think we will have any fight here. We are well prepared for them here, as we have a most splendid Fort. I am very sorry that you did not get a letter from me when you were expecting one. Before we left Nashville I had been waiting for a letter from thee. When the order came for us to come here we only had an hour to get ready in, and was ordered to bring nothing but our haver-sacks and canteens. It was some time before our tents and knapsacks came….Some guerrillas, or small band of rebels, had destroyed a rail-road bridge between here and Nashville and consequently cut off communication….


Letters from Private Calvin W. Diggs.


It has been a matter of painful regret that the loyal men of Eastern Tennessee have had no assistance during all their long period of suffering. The Rebels, while they have crushed them down, have had, at the same time, secured to them the fullest use of their only easy avenue from Richmond to the West. It would be a little matter of surprise if the Union feeling in that region were utterly crushed out by the cruelties which they have endured so long. They have borne more than has even been told. Their story will make one of the saddest chapters of the history of the Great Rebellion. It will harrow the feelings and chill the blood, like the narratives of border war, made horrid by the cruelty of wild savages.

But the Union feeling is not yet extinct. It yet lives and troubles the Confederates. Colonel E.D. Blake, of the Rebel Army, commander of conscripts, gives notice in the Knoxville Register that he has received authority from the Rebel Secretary of War, at Richmond, to raise a few companies, to be composed of persons who are not liable to the conscription, in order to enforce the conscript law in Tennessee. These companies are to be used simply for this purpose, and are to receive the same pay as the men in the regular.

Philadelphia Inquirer, March 28, 1863.

        28-April 3, Expeditions from LaGrange to Moscow and Macon, and action near Belmont

MARCH 28- APRIL 3, 1863.- Expeditions from LaGrange to Moscow and Macon, and action near Belmont, Tenn.


No. 1.-Col. Benjamin H. Grierson, Sixth Illinois Cavalry, commanding First Cavalry Brigade, Sixteenth Army Corps.

No. 2.-Lieut. Col. Reuben Loomis, Sixth Illinois Cavalry.

No. 1.

Report of Col. Benjamin H. Grierson, Sixth Illinois Cavalry, commanding First Cavalry Brigade, Sixteenth Army Corps.

LAGRANGE, TENN., April 4, 1863.

CAPT.: I have the honor to report that, in obedience to verbal instructions received from Brig. Gen. W. Sooy Smith, on the 28th of March I dispatched 200 of the Seventh Illinois Cavalry, under Maj. Nelson, to proceed westward toward Moscow, and strike the trail of the party who had attacked the train near Moscow. I at the same time sent a force of 200 men of the Sixth Illinois Cavalry, under Lieut.-Col. Loomis, to proceed toward Somerville; thence westward, with instructions to endeavor to intercept the enemy with prisoners from the train, and form a junction with the expedition under Maj. Nelson.

This latter officer proceeded westward, struck the trail of the enemy, and followed them to Macon, where, although they were but a few miles in advance, and had prisoners, dismounted, he gave up the pursuit, and returned to camp, failing to comply with his instructions to form a junction with Col. Loomis.

The expedition from the Sixth Illinois Cavalry proceeded to Somerville; thence westward, struck the trail of the rebels, overtook and skirmished with them, killing and capturing a number, among the latter Capt. [R.] Burrow.

On the night of March 29, they were attacked while in bivouac by a superior force, under Col. [R. V.] Richardson, and although they were in a manner surprised and a number killed in beds, yet they rallied and drove the enemy from the field, and remained in full possession. For full particulars of this expedition, I refer you to the report of Lieut.-Col. Loomis, herewith inclosed.

* * * *

Col. Loomis returned to camp on the night of the 30th, bringing the first intelligence of the encounter. I immediately started with the effective force of the brigade, about 550 strong. Marched all night, and arrived at the scene of the engagement about 11 o'clock on the morning of the 30th. Having arrived in the vicinity of the place, I sent two companies forward to dash into the place and endeavor to capture any of the enemy who might be there. Upon their approach, about 35 of the rebels fled precipitately. We followed them closely, and succeeded in killing 3, wounding and capturing several more.

Having buried the dead and properly disposed of such of the wounded as could be moved in the ambulances, we proceeded to the plantation of Lewis P. Williamson, and bivouacked for the night.

The following morning the wounded and prisoners were sent back under proper escort, and, dividing the rest of the command into two parties, we proceeded in pursuit of the enemy. Maj. Blackburn proceeded to Mason's Depot, where he captured a quantity of secesh army clothing and trimmings, which were destroyed. With the rest of the force I proceeded westward, scouting the country, and forming a junction with Maj. Blackburn at Concordia.

After feeding, we again started in different directions, and encamped for the night at the plantation of Mr. Montague, north of the Hatchie River, where we found a quantity of cavalry saddles and a shop for the manufacture of the same. The shop and saddles were destroyed, and his son, who was engaged in the business, taken into custody.

The next morning I crossed the Hatchie River with part of my force at Quin's Bridge, and sent the balance eastward to cross at Cannon's Bridge. After crossing the river, the forces were divided into small parties, and scattered over all the by-roads and lanes, with instructions to meet the main column at Macon. The whole force arrived there at almost the same time, having succeeded in capturing a number of prisoners, among whom were the quartermaster of Richardson's regiment and his private secretary, with a number of papers.

While in Moscow a portion of the mail captured on the train was retaken, and the man upon whom it was found resisting when attempt was made to capture him, was killed. He was a member of Porter's guerrilla band.

Having encamped for the night about 3 miles southeast of Macon, we returned to this place, via Moscow, on April 3, arriving about noon.

The expeditions under Lieut.-Col. Loomis and myself succeeded in killing about 20, wounding from 40 to 50, many of them mortally, and capturing about 50. Our loss was 15 killed, 37 wounded, and 2 captured.

When it is remembered that the engagement on the night of March 29 did not last over ten minutes, the desperation of the conflict can be imagined.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

B. H. GRIERSON, Col., Cmdg. Brigade.

Capt. H. ATKINSON, Assistant Adjutant-Gen.

No. 2.

Report of Lieut. Col. Reuben Loomis, Sixth Illinois Cavalry.

HDQRS. SIXTH ILLINOIS CAVALRY, LaGrange, Tenn., April 1, 1863.

COL.: In obedience to your order of March 28, received at 11 a. m., I started at 12 m. with 250 men, with one day's rations, in pursuit of the guerrillas that had temporarily captured that morning a train on the Memphis and Charleston Railroad, between La Fayette and Moscow.

Understanding that the Seventh Illinois Cavalry was to proceed direct to the place of capture and follow the trail from there, I proceeded at once to Somerville, there killing 1 and capturing some 15 suspicious characters and soldiers, and proceeded toward Memphis about 5 miles, and encamped for the night.

On the morning of the 29th, I detailed Companies B and E, under command of Capt. Lynch, to return to camp with the prisoners. A few soldiers from the different companies, who were too much exhausted to pursue the chase farther, accompanied them, amounting in all to 50 men. I here learned that the prisoners captured from the train had passed through Oakland, 7 miles distant, just a night the previous day, and proceeded immediately in pursuit, passing through Oakland and continuing our course to Hickory Wythe; thence north to Murray's Bridge, on the Loosahatchee [sic], where we found some 15 of Col. Richardson's command endeavoring to destroy the bridge; but as we had been in close pursuit for miles, and had ridden very fast, they had not time to do it any damage. Charging upon them at once, after a race of some 5 miles, we captured 7. We then proceeded about 2 miles farther in the direction of Col. Richardson's camp, when we came upon Capt. Burrow, in command of a large part of Col. Richardson's force, drawn up in line of battle, awaiting our approach, intending to give us battle, having notified a citizen living near to remove his family, as "they were about to have a fight there.". As usual, they only awaited the approach of our advance guard, when they turned and fled, giving our weary horses another chase, resulting in the capture of Capt. Burrow and several men, and wounding several others.

We then proceeded to Col. Richardson's camp of the previous day, destroying the buildings used for their purposes, and, after feeding and resting our horses a short time, proceeded on in a northeast course, still hoping to recapture the train prisoners. I was still expecting that the Seventh Illinois Cavalry would overtake me at every moment, not having heard from it since leaving camp. We encamped for the night on the plantation of Mr. Rives, 2 miles southwest of Belmont.

Knowing our close proximity to Col. Richardson's superior force, I posted stronger pickets than usual, having about one-half of my force on guard as picket, camp, and prisoner guards, leaving but about 100 weary, hungry, and sleepy men to rest, who had ridden 50 miles that day, with nothing to eat but meat, and who had been up most of the previous night on guard. Yet, notwithstanding all these precautions, our camp was attacked at midnight by Col. Richardson's force of from 400 to 600, who had eluded the pickets by dismounting and approaching under cover of a small ravine until within a few yards of our camp, when, at a preconcerted signal, they poured a murderous fire on my command, who, aroused thus suddenly, arose, arms in hand, and returned their fire with such obstinate firmness and dreadful effect that within five minutes from the time the attack commenced they were repulsed with heavy loss, leaving us in complete possession of the field, which we held until about 9 a. m. on the 31st, attending to the killed and wounded on both sides, when we started for camp with our prisoners and all of our wounded that could ride, which we reached at about 7 p. m.

Our loss was 52 killed and wounded; Col. Richardson's supposed to have been far greater, himself wounded, his major wounded and captured, his adjutant killed, and several other officers, whose names I have not got, killed, wounded, or captured.

Inclosed I hand you a complete list of the killed and wounded of my command.[19] A close examination of the same, together with the situation of the parties engaged will enable you to realize the character of the conflict while it lasted.

It would be invidious for me to designate the names of any in `particular where all have done so nobly, yet among the fallen I cannot forbear to mention the name of Lieut. Jesse B. Wilson, of Company K, who was among the first to fall while gallantly cheering his men on, telling them to stand firm, but to screen themselves as much as possible behind fences, &c., himself openly standing amid the thickest of the conflict, doing so much to encourage his men. In his fall the regiment loses one of its best officers, the company its leader, and his friends at home a worthy relative and noble citizen.

All of which is most respectfully submitted.

Your most obedient servant,

R. LOOMIS, Lieut.-Col., Cmdg.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 24, pt. I, pp. 481-484.

Excerpt from correspondence from Assistant Sec. of Defense, C.A. Dana to Sec. of War, E. Stanton, relative to the action at Belmont.

MEMPHIS, TENN., March 31, 1863--1.30 p. m.

* * * *

....The attack of 28th [Saturday] near Moscow is punished by Lieut.-Col. [Reuben] Loomis, of Grierson's cavalry, from LaGrange, who was sent by Gen. W. S. Smith with 200 men to pursue the guerrillas. He overtook them Sunday [29th] afternoon, 100 strong, 6 miles southeast of Belmont, Tenn., and after a brisk skirmish they gave way, leaving in Loomis' hands Capt. [Reuben] Burrow, 1 orderly sergeant, and 9 privates prisoners. Proceeding 5 or 6 miles father, Loomis bivouacked, and precisely at midnight [30th] duty, was attacked by Col. R. V. Richardson with 500 or 600 men. After fighting about fifteen minutes the rebels fell back, leaving on the field 2 lieutenants and 4 privates killed, and Maj. [B. B] Benson mortally wounded. The neighboring people report they had 40 or 50 killed and several wounded, including Richardson himself, whose wounds are dangerous. We lost Lieut. Jesse B. Wilson and 7 privates killed and 35 wounded, many of them slightly, including 4 commissioned officers. Wilson fell very gallantly in the thick of the melee, fighting in his shirtsleeve as he had sprung from sleep. The rebels fled from their own camp at 2 o'clock in the morning. Loomis brought in 20 prisoners.

C. A. DANA, Assistant Secretary of War

Hon. E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 24, pt. I, pp. 68-69.

        27, Affair at Louisville, Tennessee

MARCH 27, 1864.-Affair at Louisville, Tenn.

Report of Lieut. Col. Robert O. Selfridge, Assistant Inspector-Gen.

LOUDOUN, March 28, 1864.

Brig.-Gen. Wagner reports that 15 to 20 mounted rebels dashed into Louisville yesterday [27th], captured a Union citizen,[20] and left in the direction of the town of Maryville.

R.O. SELFRIDGE, Lieut.-Col., Assistant Inspector-Gen.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 32, pt. I, p. 629.

        27, Scout from Memphis to Somerville

No circumstantial reports filed.


Col. GEORGE E. WARING, Jr., Cmdg. First Cavalry Brigade:

COL.: You will organize a force of 300 men from your command, well mounted, armed, and equipped, with five days' light rations and a full supply of ammunition, to proceed northeast of this point with a view of operating on the left of Col. Hurst, who is now in the vicinity of Somerville. Select a good officer to go in command and let him report here for further instructions.

Maj. Thompson will start in the morning with such mounted force of the Sixth Tennessee as he can gather up, via Raleigh, with the intention of joining Col. Hurst above Somerville. Let the officer report here as early as possible in the morning.

By order of Brig. Gen. B. H. Grierson:

S. L. WOODWARD, Assistant Adjutant-Gen.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 32, pt. III, p. 169.

        27, Major-General James Longstreet's vision for a spring campaign originating from East Tennessee

HDQRS., Greeneville, East Tenn., March 27, 1864.

Brig. Gen. T. JORDAN, Chief of Staff, Dept. of S. C., Ga., and Fla.:

GEN.: Your latter of the 19th and the general's telegram were received yesterday....a copy of my letter to the President...will explain my proposition for the spring campaign in the West.

The troops in this department are living on half ration of meat and bread, without any good reason to hope for better prospects. Our animals are in the same condition, with the hope of getting grass in a month more. Supplies seem to be about as scarce all over the Confederacy. It seems a necessity, therefore, that we should advance, and this route seems to offer more ready and complete relief than any other. If we had an abundance of supplies it seems to me that we should go into Kentucky as a political move.

If we retain our present position the enemy will, in the course of a few months, be able to raise large additional forces, and when entirely ready he will again concentrate his forces upon some point, and will eventually get possession, and he will continue to proceed in the same way to the close of the chapter. If we go into Kentucky, and can there unite with Gen. Johnston's army, we shall have force enough to hold. The enemy will be more of less demoralized and dishearten by the great loss of territory which he will sustain, and he will find great difficulty in getting men enough to operate with before the elections in the fall, when in all probability Lincoln will be defeated and peace will follow in the spring.

The political opponents of Mr. Lincoln can furnish no reason at this late day against the war so long as it is successful with him, and thus far it has certainly been as successful as any one could reasonably expect. If however, his opponents were to find at the end of three years that we held Kentucky and were as well to do as at the beginning of the war, it would be a powerful argument against Lincoln and against the war. Lincoln's re-election seems to depend upon the result of your efforts during the present year. If he is reelected, the war must continue, and I see no way of defeating his re-enlisted except by military success.

I was under the impression that Gen. Beauregard could bring into the field at least 20,000 men. These, which what we have here, could go into Kentucky and force the Yankee army out of Tennessee as far back as the borders of Kentucky. If the enemy should attack us before Johnston joins us, he would be obliged to do so in some haste, and we ought, therefore, to be able to beat him. If he uses caution we could maneuver so as to avoid battle and make a junction with Johnston, when we could advance to the Ohio.

This, thorough, should be done without delay and before the enemy can have time to being his plans. If he beings to operate I fear that we shall adopt our usual policy of concentrating our troops just where he wants them. Dalton, as you say, would be a more easy point of concentration, but I should have to travel a thorough miles to get there, and should then be twice as far from Louisiana as I am at present. His troops (the general's) would be farther from Louisville at Dalton than they would be at Morganton, N. C., and they would be quite as far from Louisville at Dalton at Dalton as they would be at Greenville or Spartanburg, S. C. From Dalton we should be obliged to march through a country that may not be able to supply the army. My chief objection to Dalton, however, is the time that will be occupied in getting there and getting away from there. One or the other I regard as essential.

You speak of the enemy getting behind us to fortify the Cumberland Mountain passes. This I regard as next to an impossibility. He will be obliged to seek a base before he can anything else, and whilst he is doing Johnston can open ours, and we shall have the mountain passes besides.

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

J. LONGSTREET, Lieut.-Gen., Cmdg.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 32, pt. III, pp. 679-680.

        27, Changes in human nature caused by the war, opinion from a young woman in Cleveland

A lovely day. The sun arose in resplendent glory this morn, auguring a beautiful Sabbath, but how marred is the terrestrial world, we heard not the clear chimes of the [church] bell peel forth, but in its place we are greeted by the oaths &curses of our fellow men. Sad degeneracy of human nature, caused by war! Two East Tennessee renegades here this morn. If this war was only over. Why are we scourged so bitterly? My conscience answers for our sins. Bitter indeed is the chalice. What will be another year hence? I am in hopes the wheel of time will in its revolution bring peace, but my hopes are very shallow. It seems hardly possible....

Diary of Myra Adelaide Inman, p. 241.

        27, "General Orders, No. 17." appointment of Nashville Public Health Officer

Headquarters, U. S. Forces

Nashville, Tenn., March 27, 1864.

I. Pursuant to orders from the Assistant Surgeon General U. S. A., Surgeon L. A. James, 4th O. V. C., is announced as Health Officer for the Post of Nashville. He will be obeyed and respected accordingly,

By order of Brig. Gen. R. S. Granger

Nashville Dispatch, March 30, 1864.

        27, Belle Edmondson's reaction to news of Union City's fall to Forrest

March, Sunday 27, 1864

….Forrest captured Union City Thursday, taking 800 prisoners. God grant he may be successful in all his attempts to gain our lost teritory [sic]. The Yanks as yet have not started after him, oh! heaven keep my Bro safe-All my little household asleep, and I am lonely, oh! so lonely. Staid in Parlor until 10 o'c [sic], Father made us all retire-Mr. Harbut, Mr. Pugh & Jim he took with him-

Diary of Belle Edmondson

        28, Skirmish on Obey's River

MARCH 28, 1864.-Skirmish on Obey's River, Tenn.

Report of Brig. Gen. Edward H. Hobson, U. S. Army, commanding District of Southern Central Kentucky.

CAVE CITY, KY., March 30, 1864.

COL.: I have just received by couriers from Cumberland River the following information: Capt. Watson, of Thirteenth Kentucky Cavalry, fought Col. Hughs on Obey's River in Tennessee; captured 2, killing 3. Hughs' men threw away their guns; left their horses. It is thought by Col. Weatherford that Hughs cannot possibly get out, for the reason that our troops are so disposed and stationed, and will prevent his escape.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

E. H. HOBSON, Brig.-Gen.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 32, pt. I, pp. 644-645.

        28, Report relative to Federal scouts in the Cleveland environs

CLEVELAND, TENN., March 28, 1864.

Brig. Gen. W. D. WHIPPLE, Asst. Adjt. Gen. and Chief of Staff, Dept. of the Cumberland:

I have the honor to report everything quiet. Scouts from my command go to Waterhouse's farm, on Spring Place road, and Red Clay, on Dalton. The enemy advanced his picket 2 miles day before yesterday on Dalton road. His picket is now 3 ½ miles south of Red Clay and at upper King's Bridge.

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

A. P. CAMPBELL, Col., Cmdg. Division.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 32, pt. III, pp. 174-175.

        28, Federal scouts from Mossy Creek to Bull's Gap

MOSSY CREEK, March 28, 1864.


I have scouts just from Bull's Gap; they report rebel infantry nearly all gone, and are daily leaving the country. Cavalry at the gap not thought to be many; also squads of cavalry in all the gaps and roads between Bull's Gap and the bend of the Nola Chucky, 1 mile below the mouth of Lick Creek. They say the citizens told them the infantry are moving to Virginia, and in few days the cavalry will go to Kentucky. Gen. Vaughn had pickets stationed 7 miles below Rogersville on Saturday and Sunday; the cars came to Bull's Gap Friday. The men are said to be deserting by hundreds and going to North Carolina, the roads being so closely guarded they cannot come this way.

R. A. CRAWFORD, Chief of Scouts.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 32, pt. III, p. 174.

        28, Federal orders to Major L. F. Booth to occupy and hold Fort Pillow from attack by Forrest

HDQRS. SIXTEENTH ARMY CORPS, Memphis, Tenn., March 28, 1864.

Maj. L. F. BOOTH, Cmdg. First Battalion, First Alabama Siege Artillery:

SIR: You will proceed with your own battalion to Fort Pillow and establish your force in garrison of the works there. As you will be, if I am correct in my memory, the senior officer at that post, you will take command, conferring, however, freely and fully with Maj. Bradford, Thirteenth Tennessee Cavalry, whom you will find a good officer, though not of much experience.

There are two points of land fortified at Fort Pillow, one of which only is now held by our troops. You will occupy both, either with your own troops alone, or holding one with yours and giving the other in charge to Maj. Bradford.

The positions are commanding and can be held by a small force against almost any odds.

I shall send you at this time two 12-pounder howitzers, as I hope it will not be necessary to mount heavy guns.

You will, however, immediately examine the ground and the works, and if in your opinion 20-pounder Parrotts can be advantageously used, I will order them to you. My own opinion is that there is not range enough. Maj. Bradford is well acquainted with the country, and should keep scouts well out and forward all information received direct to me.

I think Forrest's check at Paducah will not dispose him to try the river again, but that he will fall back to Jackson and thence cross the Tennessee. As soon as this is ascertained I shall withdraw your garrison.

Nevertheless, act promptly in putting the work in perfect order and the post into its strongest defense. Allow as little intercourse as possible with the country and cause all supplies which go out to be examined with great strictness. No man whose loyalty is questionable should be allowed to come in or go out while the enemy is in West Tennessee. The post must be held.

Your obedient servant,

S. A. HURLBUT, Maj.-Gen.

HDQRS. SIXTEENTH ARMY CORPS, Memphis, Tenn., March 28, 1864.

Maj. W. F. BRADFORD, Thirteenth Tennessee Cavalry:

MAJ.: I send to Fort Pillow four companies colored artillery, who are also drilled as infantry, and two 12-pounder howitzers.

These are good troops, well tried and commanded by a good officer. Maj. Booth ranks you and will take command. He has full instructions in writing, which he will show you. I think these troops had better hold the forts, while yours are held for exterior garrison. In case of an attack, you will of course seek refuge in the fortifications.

Keep yourself well posted as to what is going on in the country and keep me advised. I doubt if Forrest will risk himself in the pocket between the Hatchie and Forked Deer, but he may try it. At all events, with 700 good men, your post can be held until assistance arrives.

Your obedient servant,

S. A. HURLBUT, Maj.-Gen.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 32, pt. III, pp. 176-177.

        28, Distribution of Lincoln's amnesty proclamation to Confederates in Tennessee


Maj.-Gen. MCPHERSON, Cmdg. Department of the Tennessee:

GEN.: Obeying instructions from the Secretary of War, dated War Department, Adjutant-Gen.'s Office, Washington, February 14, 1864, I have the honor to inform you that a number of copies of the President's amnesty proclamation, dated December 8, 1863, in small pamphlet form, together with copies of General Orders, No. 64, dated War Department, Adjutant-Gen.'s Office, Washington, February 18, 1864, giving instructions as to the disposition to be made of refugees and rebel deserters coming within our lines, have been ordered to be forwarded to you for distribution, as far as possible, among the rebel armies and inhabitants in your front. The Secretary of War directs that upon receiving the proclamation and order, every effort practicable be made for such distribution by cavalry expeditions, scouts, and other means; and that it be distributed throughout the rebel country in such numbers that it cannot be suppressed.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 32, pt. III, p. 178.

        28, "CLEANLINESS." Public health Orders in Nashville

Capt. Wm. D. Chamberlain, the Chief of the Military Police of this post, has issued a very important order-one which interest every citizen, and which we hope every person will aid the Chief in carrying out. The following is the order we allude to. Read it carefully, and file it away:

Office, Chief of Police

Nashville, Tenn., March 28, 1864

In accordance with Special Order No. 76, dated March 22, it is hereby ordered:

I. That occupants of Stores, Restaurants, and Dwelling Houses, will be required to clean their yards and cellars, and have the offal removed, within forth-eight hours from the date of this order. No garbage or dirt of any kind will be allowed to accumulate on any premises within the city limits.

II. All dirt to be removed in barrels and boxes from the back yards and alleys by the persons occupying the same. No rubbish will be allowed to remain more than twenty-four hours without being removed.

III. Offal, the accumulation of Restaurants, must be removed by the occupants each day (Sundays excepted) before 10 A. M. All ashes and rubbish will be set in barrels on the sidewalk before 10 A. M. each day.

IV. Hereafter occupants of Stores and Houses will be required to have the rear of their premises clean, and the side-walk swept before 9 A. M. each day.

V. Any violation of the above Order will be punished by a fine of Five Dollars ($5,) to be collected by the Provost Marshal.

VI. As cleanliness is one of the first requisites to health, it is hoped the citizens will do all in their power to assist in removing one of the first causes of disease. As soon as a sufficient number of carts can be procured, notice will be given, and the dirt and rubbish removed without cost to citizens.

VII. As it is my intention to remove all filth from the city proper, whether in the shape of dirt, rubbish, or dead animals, all information that would facilitate the above will be thankfully received and immediate action taken in the premises.

Wm. D. Chamberlain, Capt. and Chief of City Police

Nashville Dispatch, March 29, 1864.[21]

        28, Abe Clendening to William Miller relating army life in the Chattanooga environs

Chattanooga Tenn March 28th [1864]

Friend William

I received your letter dated the 20th. I also received the paper you sent me and was very much oblige to you for it. I am well at this time. I have just come from church and have just ate my dinner which was bean soup and now I feel first rate. They was a man preached to day that put me very much in mind of Mr. Meachum as it wear. The 41st came here on the 16th. They stayed all night at the depot on the cars and left next morning for Knoxville. They all seemed to be in good spirits. I got to see all the boys but [C or G] Bailey, he was not at the depot when I got there and I could not wait to see him.

I heard this morning that the Meahcia [Militia] was going to be called out to garrison different places and that the old soldiers were going to the front. If it is true I think it will be a first rate idea.

I received a letter from James Johnson a few days ago, he is very anxious to hear from the Port Clinton girls. If you will let me know. I will send him a letter and tell him and then we will both know. I suppose you are posted especially on the corner. Henry Anglebeck talked about the nice times he had and from his talk I think that the girls made him believe he was about right. But not withstanding his funny ways he is a first rate fellow.

This has been a nice day but we have had some very unpleasant wether [sic]. Last Sunday night it commenced snowing and snowed untill [sic] Monday afternoon and the snow was 14 inches deep and we have had some rain since but it has cleared of[f] now and the grass begins to look green.

Well I have no news to write of much importance so I will close by sending my respects to all who may enquire after me if there be any. Dont [sic] forget to write often, your letters are welcome visitors to me.

Yours truly

A Clendening

Miller Family Papers.

        28, Prisoner of War Exchange Proposal

BRISTOL, TENN., March 28, 1864.


DEAR SIR: About twelve months ago William H. Turley, a citizen of Knox County, in this State, went to Richmond, Va., and got permission from the proper authorities to pass our lines and go North for the purpose of embarking for Europe, where he proposed buying a fast running steamer and engaged in blockade-running from Nassau to Charleston. While in New York he was recognized by a Union man from Knoxville, who gave Gen. Burnside the information, upon which he arrested, taken to Cincinnati, and without trial or notice of charges, sent to Johnson's Island as a prisoner of war, where he has remained ever since, and I learn from exchanged prisoners that they are determined to hold him until the end of the war. He has never been in the army, but has been as efficient in the cause as if he had been. He is a gentleman of wealth and high social position, and a true and sound Southern man. There are prominent Union men, Federal sympathizers, within our lines who, if taken as hostages, could procure his release. I had a conversation with Gen. Longstreet a day or two since on the subject, and he informs me that he is not authorized to make the arrest in such a case without authority from you to do so. I write to ask such authority to be given and the power exercised to make the arrest in such a case without authority from you to do so. I write to ask such authority to be given and the power exercised on behalf of a gentleman who has been imprisoned ten long months already. Seth J. W. Luckey,[22] William H. Maxwell, of Washington, or Charles J. McKinney and A. P. Caldwell, of Hawkins County, all of this State, or either of them, if arrested and held as hostages for Mr. Turley, would effect his release. You may have forgotten me, and will call to your mind the fact that we were in Congress together in 1845-46. Mr. Turley is a son-in-law of mine, hence my solicitude for him. If you wish to know anything else in regard to myself, I refer you to Gen. Henry, Senator, and others of the Tennessee Delegation. You early attention to the subject-matter herein embraced will much oblige your friend.

Very truly and respectfully, yours,


OR, Ser. II, Vol. 6, p. 1108.

        27, Beginning of the restoration of civil rule in West Tennessee, strict limits on Federal army's role

GENERAL ORDERS, No. 40. HDQRS. DIST. OF WEST TENNESSEE, Memphis, Tenn., March 27, 1865.

For the purpose of encouraging the restoration of civil government within this district, and the people to return to their allegiance to the Government of the United States, and to engage in their former avocations of life, it is declared that no aids shall be sent into the country to interfere in any way with the people who are peaceably inclined, except to repel organized forces of the enemy, should any again come within the district. The people of each county are invited to organize civil government in their respective counties, and to establish courts for the dispensing of justice among citizens and the punishment of crimes, and in aid of the civil government so organized it is recommended that a civil posse be organized by the citizens of said counties. On application made and security given by five responsible citizens of any county that no improper use will be made of such privilege, arms and ammunition to a reasonable amount will be permitted to be purchased for the arming of said posses. No horses, mules, or other property will be pressed from any citizens without express authority from these headquarters, and in all cases where it shall become necessary to take private property for public use proper vouchers will be given for the same. All unauthorized foraging is strictly forbidden, and all officers will be held strictly responsible for any infection of this order, and any violation of it will receive the most prompt and severe punishment that military law can inflict. Persons who are engaged in cultivating their plantations and are wanting labor can obtain it by applying to the superintendent of freedmen at Memphis, upon presenting proper vouchers in regard to their character for humanity, and entering into a satisfactory contract with the superintendent to pay and kindly treat laborers so obtained. Refugees whose residence was formerly within this district are encouraged to return to their homes, and any unkind or unjust treatment which they may receive from their neighbors will be promptly atoned for.

By order of Maj. Gen. C. C. Washburn:

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 49, pt. II, p. 107.

        27, Trouble in Bradley County

The Knoxville Whig says that Bradley county, East Tennessee, is literally overrun with Confederate guerrillas and bushwhackers, who are robbing and murdering Union citizens. They shot Wm. Hunter, of Georgetown, but a few nights ago. They cut the telegraph wires, captured a lot of horses and ran them off to Maury county, where they make their headquarters.

Macon [GA]Daily Telegraph and Confederate, March 27, 1865.

        28, Skirmish at Germantown

MARCH 28, 1865.-Skirmish at Germantown, Tenn.

Report of Col. Hasbrouck Davis, Twelfth Illinois Cavalry.

HDQRS. CAVALRY FORCES, Collierville, Tenn., March 29, 1865.

COL.: I have the honor to report that the vedettes of the Eleventh New York at Germantown were attacked yesterday about noon by four men. A skirmish followed, in which 2 or our men were wounded, 1 supposed mortally, and 1 of the enemy was captured. The prisoner is sent by to-day's train to the provost-marshal at Memphis, and I inclose to you a furlough found on his person, which shows Gen. Forrest to have been at West Point on the 15th. The country is well patrolled and no enemy in force found. As the railway progress, the forces shall be disposed as you order. At present we have reached the twin bridges where the First Brigade is encamped, and will probably reach La Fayette on Saturday. Lieut. Denninson was to have been nominated for brigade quartermaster, but as he has been mustered out I cannot make a new nomination till I have seen you. I hope you will suspend action for the present and let the regimental quartermasters supply their regiments as they have been doing. In the case of Temple, about from a report was made yesterday, Lieut.-Col. McQueen informs me that the horse is marked "U. S." and the arms "C. S." I inclose an order which will show the policy adopted by me toward citizens.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant.

H. DAVIS, Col., Cmdg.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 49, pt. I, p. 507.

GEN. FIELD ORDERS, No. 1. HDQRS. CAVALRY FORCES, Collierville, Tenn., March 25, 1865.

In assuming command of the cavalry forces on the line of the Memphis and Charleston Railroad occasion is taken to remind the troops that they are now in a country regarded by the Government as conquered; that a loyal State organization exists, and the inhabitants are under the protection of the Union forces. It is therefore expected that all good soldiers will conduct themselves so as to give no just cause of offense. The fact that the good name of the cavalry is at stake ought to be a sufficient inducement to good behavior, but if further is needed it will be found in the fact the commanding general has ordered all damages done to be assessed against the depredators [sic] when discovered, and in cases where no discovery is made against the whole force. Commanders of regiments will adopt every precaution against straggling. All stragglers will be reported at these headquarters to be placed at work upon the railroad. This order will be read at the head of every company of the command.

By order of Col. H. Davis:

I. CONROE, Lieut., Twelfth Illinois Cavalry, and Actg. Asst. Adjt. Gen.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 49, pt. I, p. 508.

        28, "Operations of the 'Forty Thieves;'" juvenile gang crime in Civil War Nashville

In the career of the juvenile gang of thieves from Louisville, now infesting our city, it was not an unfrequent occurrence for them to pick the pockets of the night police of that city while on their beats. We simply mention it in order to place our guardians of the night on the qui vive. lest the "precious youths" should give some of our worthy policemen such an unenviable notoriety. If one of them ever gets into our work house, we may expect the hear of that institution being "extensively delivered," if not stolen completely, with all its inmates. An instance occurred once in the police court at Louisville in which one of the gang stole the stolen property which had been brought to the Court to convict another who was on trial. The venerable Judge was about to pass sentence on the "incorrigible little thief" before him, regardless of the "stolen evidence" of his crime, and as was his usual custom, took out his pocket handkerchief to wipe his spectacles before adjusting them on the nose of the Court, but judge of his amazement when he discovered that they had been stolen by the accomplice of the one on trial. This amazement than the Court could stand, and an adjournment was ordered immediately, in order to clear the room of thieves. One of them picked the pocket of a local editor on one occasion, while he suppose he was getting an item from the young rascal.

Nashville Dispatch, March 28, 1865.

        28, "Military Commission."

The Military Commission of which Capt. H. C. Blackman is Judge Advocate is still engaged in the trial of G. W. Collier, charged with murder, bushwhacking and guerrillaism [sic]. The accused was formerly a citizen of White county. This case has already consumed two weeks, and is now on its third. About twenty witnesses have been examined. At the conclusion of this case, that of Wm. F. Crutcher, charged with being guerrilla, murder and robbery, will be taken up. The case of Albert Griffith, the recreant chaplain, will be tried before this Court. The Court sits with open doors, and all who feel any particular interest in the cases are admitted, but we would take the responsibility of adding that loungers or loafers who merely wish to kill time have no business at the rooms of Courts Martial or Military Commissions. In this connection we would add we are under many obligations to the officers comprising the different Military Courts in the city for the courtesy extended to our reporter.

Nashville Dispatch, March 28, 1865.


[1] Not found.

[2] As cited in PQCW.

[3] Meaning unknown

[4] As cited in PQCW

[5] This document indicates that some young West Tennesseans had no sympathy for the Confederacy and so refused to enlist. This contradicts the popularly held notion that all of Tennessee's young men flocked to the banner of the Confederacy without question.

[6] As cited in:

[7] Located in Claiborne County.

[8] The family must have been a wealthy one inasmuch as they lived in the city and could rebuild.

[9] Not listed in Dyer's Battle Index for Tennessee or OR. Parts of Lieutenant-Commander LeRoy Fitch's report to Rear Admiral David D. Porter, (commanding the Mississippi Squadron), about this naval expedition are enlightening, not only for the light they shed on a largely unknown aspect of the Civil War in Tennessee, but also because they address the state of the civilian population along the Tennessee River in early 1863.

[10] Also Dillahunty

[11] See also: OR, Ser. I, Vol. 23, pp. 315-318.

[12] August 20, 1862.

[13] A prime example of a brave Southern Belle. No doubt her decision was a blow to Yankee morale. Her patriotic sacrifice was surely a topic of conversation around the camp fire by many a soldier in the Army of Tennessee

[14] One wonders what her husband thought of her remarks.

[15] Port Hudson was the site of the longest siege in American history, lasting 48 days, when 7,500 Confederates resisted some 40,000 Union soldiers for almost two months during 1863. Realizing that control of the Mississippi River was a key military objective of the Union, the Confederacy in August 1862, had its forces erect earthworks at Port Hudson. In 1863, Union Major General Nathaniel P. Banks moved against Port Hudson. Three Union divisions came down the Red River to assail Port Hudson from the north, while two others advanced from Baton Rouge and New Orleans to strike from the east and south. By May 22, 1863, 30,000 Union soldiers had isolated 7,500 Confederates behind 4 ½ miles of earthen fortifications. On May 26 Banks issued orders for a simultaneous attack all along the Confederate perimeter the following morning. The first Union assault fell on the Confederate left wing, which guarded the northern approaches to Port Hudson. Timely reinforcements from the center allowed the Confederates to repulse several assaults. The fighting ended on the left wing before the remaining two Union divisions advanced against the Confederate center. Here the Confederates repulsed the Federal advance across Slaughter's Field, killing approximately 2,000 Union soldiers. Union casualties included 600 African-Americans of the First and Third Louisiana Native Guards. Free blacks from New Orleans composed a majority of the First Louisiana Native Guards, including the line officers. Former slaves commanded by white officers composed the Third Louisiana Native Guards. Led by Captain Andre Cailloux, a black officer, the two regiments made their advance on the extreme right of the Union line. Captain Cailloux was shot down as he shouted orders in both French and English. Another attempt to take Port Hudson failed on June 13, when the Confederates inflicted 1,805 casualties on the Union troops while losing fewer than 200. The Confederates held out until they learned of the surrender of Vicksburg. Without its upriver counterpart, Port Hudson, the last Confederate bastion on the Mississippi River, lacked strategic significance and the garrison surrendered on July 9, 1863.

[16] Two Confederate scholars who argued about the morality of Confederate citizens taking the Federal oath of allegiance. Their points of view can be found in: The Oath of Allegiance to the United States, Discussed in its Moral and Political Bearings, by Rev,. B. M. Palmer, Richmond, Va, 1863..

[17] TSL&A, 19th CN.

[18] Dyer's Battle Index for Tennessee places the date at March 29.

[19] List, omitted, shows 1 officer and 12 men killed, 4 officers and 34 men wounded, and 1 man missing.

[20] There is no evidence to indicate the fate of the Union citizen dragooned by the Confederate forces.

[21] See also Nashville Dispatch, April 10, 1864, and Nashville Union, March 29, 1864.

[22] See: December 17, 1862," News briefs from Confederate Tennessee" above.

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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