Wednesday, May 13, 2015

5.13.2015 Tennessee Civil War Notes



         13, Rumors of slave rebellion in Bradley County

... Last night the negroes [sic] were to have an insurrection -- so it was reported....

Diary of Myra Adelaide Inman, p. 95.

13, Prospects of Enfield rifle manufacturing in Nashville

Nashville, May 13, 1861

To Irby Morgan, Esq., care of Hon. W. P. Chilton, Montgomery, Ala.

Dear Sir: Since writing your yesterday, I have received by express, without any advices, an Enfield rifle, which, I presume, has been sent me by Judge Chilton. It is the most superior arm for a soldier. I do not think it can be improved. It is simple, strong, and light. I scan have them made here just as good as the sample, and I can find all the material necessary right in our own city. Every piece of machinery necessary can be contracted for here also, as well as at any other place in the world, and, if need be, I can certainly get as many workmen from England as I want, or even from Yankeedom.

I will send you samples of our [percussion] caps to-day.

In haste,

S. D. Morgan

How It Was, pp. 168-169.


            13, Correspondence from Col. J. G. Parkhurst to Military Governor Andrew Johnson relative to the arrest of prominent citizens in Murfreesboro

Murfreesboro May 13 1862

To Gov. A Johnson

I have arrested all the persons named[1]. Shall I send them to Nashville or hold them here. [sic] If sent to nashville [sic] I hope they will not be released on bonds. Bonds wont [sic] preserve life nor stop this rebellion. I also hope the two old Heads[2] you have from this city will be forwarded to a Colder [sic] Climate [.]

J. G. Parkhurst

Papers of Andrew Johnson, Vol. 5, p. 387.

            13, Provost-Marshal's requirement for passes for civilians to ride the E T &G railroad


Knoxville, Tenn., May 13, 1862.

J. H. HUFF, Depot Agent, Red Clay, Ga.:

Citizens of your State wishing to visit any station on the East Tennessee and Georgia Railroad south of this place can do so upon your written certificate of their loyalty to the Confederate Government.

W. M. CHURCHWELL, Col. and Provost-Marshal.

OR, Ser. II, Vol. 2, p. 1426.

            13 Kate Carney's thoughts on arrest of political prisoners, small pox and the search for illegal weapons in Murfreesboro

The citizens that were arrested yesterday were sent off on the train to Nashville, including Dr.'s Basket, King, & Robert Wendle, leaving quite a small number of physicians in town, and I don't know what we would do if the small pox should break out, for it [is] already here, we know of two cases among the Yankees, and there is no telling how many more there are that we do not know about. They had these two cases placed in a house on Main St. and gave out they were sick Confederates, thinking the ladies of the place would flock to see them, & sure enough one lady went & was much frightened, as well as shocked when she found what was the matter with them. Some thought the Yankees took that means to spread it through out this place. Cousin Henry Tilford ate dinner with us today. Said he had lost his pass, & they refused to give him another, & that is what he gets for taking the oath. Bettie, Jennie, & I went over to Mrs. Lewis Maney, while there Mrs. Hancocke & Miss Annie Murfree, also Mrs. David Maney & Miss Sallie Belle. We came away soon after the latter arrived, met Helen just at the fence, & persuaded her to return home with us. We then concluded to walk up to see Mrs. Henderson, but we saw about 20 armed ruffians coming down the street, so we concluded to stop in to see Mrs. Pritchet, as we have been intending paying them a visit for some time. We had just started to go when several of those scoundrels came to search the house, I gave them a most scornful look & passed out. They searched every house in town & got a few old shot guns, & an old pistol from here, but should they attempt loading it as it is now, woe be unto them, which I hope they will do. As I saw an officer this evening riding down the street trying to show off, I wished from the bottom of my heart, the horse would throw him & break his neck, & I can't believe it is much of a sin either, but, must we blame the Yankees for trying to show off when some young ladies were out on horse back, also trying to cut a dash, without even an escort. I sent them word they had better mind, or the Yanks would insult them, for, it was the Misses Duffers. I don't know how they took the message, & I don't care. When we arrived at Aunt Tildy Henderson's the soldiers were ransacking her house, pretending to search. She looked very sad, but who could be otherwise here now, for it seems the silver lining to "the dark cloud that hovers" over our land will never be seen. The news came that Norfolk & Portsmouth have fallen into the hands of the enemy & that our gun boat "Merrimack" was blown up by our own people to help it from falling into the hands of the Federals. If something (almost a miracle) is not done soon, we shall have to yield our hearts up to despair.

Kate Carney Diary, May 13, 1862.


            13, "Pa, I think it would be the best to get along with them the best you can." Letter from G. J. Balthrop [C. S. A.] to his father and mother in Montgomery County

Camp near Shelbyville, May 13, 1863

Dear father and mother,

I take the present opportunity to write you a few lines to let you [know] that I am yet in the land of the living. I am well at present, hopeing [sic] when these few lines reach you they may find you enjoying some blessings.

Pa, I suppose the yankees [sic] is treating you all very bad, but I hope they will not be there allways [sic] to do that. I hear the yankees [sic] have made you take the oath. I think by the time they take a few more horses and one or too [sic] more negroes [sic] runs away that you will be left very near lone. [sic]

Pa, I think it would be the best to get along with them the best you can.

* * * *

Pa, if you haven't had the chance to send me some cloths [sic] I want you to send them to me the first chance, for I have to pay from too [sic] to three dollars a plug.

You must excuse bad writing and bad spelling.

My love to you all.

Nothing more, only I remain your son untill [sic] death, from

G.J. Balthrop

W. P. A. Civil War Records, Vol. 3, p. 103.

            13, Military news from Triune; skirmish, mule racing and chicken fighting

Camp near Triune, Tenn. May 13, 1863.

* * * *

Our camp was thrown into ecstasies of delight yesterday morning, by the news that the "Rebs [sic]" were coming, that they had crossed [the] Harpeth [river], directly in front with six pieces of artillery. The First East Tennessee boys had sent out two companies the night previous, and stirred up a "hornets nest" of "Butternuts."

Well, it didn't take long to saddle up the entire regiment, and the boys started off with the greatest glee imaginable, but as soon as they made their appearance the "sneaking cusses" left on a double quick.

The Rebs [sic] are not inactive, even within seven of eight miles of us. A few days ago a party of them came across the country between the Eagleville Pike and Murfreesboro, and laid violent hands upon a number of farmers, and conscripted them. Some twenty or thirty refugees are now at Triune, who have fled to avoid this arbitrary, and, as Vallandigham says, unconstitutional [sic] act.

* * * *

Last Saturday [9th], two jaded-looking mules ran a race over Bostwicks's race-course. Your correspondent timed them "the fasted time on record," for the mule that run the race was thirteen minutes – the stakes were the mules. The winner was actually the looser by winning, as the pair were not worth their fodder.

Lieut. Vandeveer and another officer then tried their horses, but Vandeveer's horse distanced the "little gray" whereby the officer was out some dollars.

Then a chicken-fight [sic] between the 1st East Tennessee cavalry boys – three chickens – the best breed in the county against three belonging to the 2d Minnesota. The cavalry pocketed about one hundred dollars that had previously occupied the pockets of the Minnesota boys.

The gay [sic] officers connected with the Division are getting their hearts ensnared by bushing into society out this way. Some of the girls are real "Tennessee belles." We feel sorry for the "girls they left behind them."

* * * *

The rebels promise us an early visit. Should they dare make an attempt I will let you know immediately

Yours truly,


Nashville Daily Press, May 16, 1863.

            13, Report of Carousing in the Bluff City

The Half of Memphis One Wild Debauch. – Such was the impression made on the streets of the city yesterday. The like has scarcely known for many years. Can we not have a change?

Memphis Union Appeal, May 13, 1863.

            13, A new camp and the discharge of court martial sentence of Captain Sweet, 105th Ohio Volunteers, at camp in Murfreesboro; an excerpt from Bliss Morse's letter to his mother, May 13, 1863

Dear Mother,

….We have moved two miles out on the Readyville pike near a boiling Spring of pure water and air. The old camp was surrounded by a good deal of stench….

* * * *

Last night on dress parade before the Reg[iment]. We heard the sentence of Capt. Sweet of Co. I read and saw his shoulder straps cut off.

The cause of the Court-martial is about this:

It was known that at the battle of Perryville, while a Lieut. He ran from his Co. and Command. Since that time and especially after the forage train was captured he has boasted what he would do [sic] and how he would fight before he would be taken prisoner. Our Com'd Officers in Co. and Reg[iment]. Were a little suspicious of his pluck [sic], yet he was promoted a Capt. Being ranking Lieut. So when the Div. went on the scout to McMinnville and when they were many miles from here the officers of the Reg[iment] thought they would test him one night on picket. They played a ruse on him. Our Capt. Was Div. Officer of the picket guard one night and asked Sweet to go and visit the posts with him. When they were making the rounds they were pounced on by five men, dressed in butternut clothes while yet in the lines. Capt. Sweet was caught and Riker got away after a pretended knockdown [sic]. They blindfolded him – led him around inside the lines – over logs, through cornfields and letting down fences until he thought he was ten miles from camp. They then drew their revolvers on him – told him to tell them [sic] how strong a force was out, how many rations, ammunition, cavalry, cannon, how he liked Col. Hall and everything about Rosecran's army he knew. He answered all of these satisfactory to them. But to make sure he was telling the truth they told him they thought he was lieing [sic] – and was going to shoot him. "O!" said he, "spare my life, take all of my money, watch, and everything but spared [sic] my life [sic], I have told you all I know." They made out a parole which he signed, and agreed to report to McMinnville in eight days. They let him go on these conditions. He ran off a steep bank, lost his hat, and got in camp, told his adventure and escape – refused to do any more duty because of his parole. – told Cols. Tolles and Hall and was going to see Reynolds about it. The Qur. [sic] Master handed him his hat the next morning on the march. He did not know the sell [sic] till he was arrested. He was then court-martialed – found guilty and dismissed in disgrace. The Adjutant read the sentence on dress parade. He was marched under guard before the Reg[iment]. Heard his sentence read and that he "be sent to the lines of the Ohio under Guard."

Then the Adjutant unstitched his straps before the Reg[iment]. While he was cutting off one off Sweet pulled off the other [sic]. The sentence claimed that while [the] act of taking Sweet prisoner was unauthorized, yet the results would have been disastrous were they rebels. It was a tough sight to behold. He felt bad and so did all the boys think it an underhanded game that was played on him.

Diaries of Bliss Morse.


13, Sherman's path in East Tennessee in December 1863

Butler the Beast— Sherman the Brute.

The Outrages of the Latter in East Tennessee .

A correspondent of the Atlanta Register furnishes the following:

The cruilties [sic] and brutalities of Butler, surname the Beast, in New Orleans and elsewhere, have long since attained a world-wide notoriety, and in consequence, his name is held in contempt and abhorrence in every land, and by every people making any pretentions [sic] to decency or civilization. Butler is now the synonym of all that is mean and cowardly, and base and despicable. President Davis, in a lengthy and formal proclamation, declared him an outlaw, and commanded any one into whose hands he might fall, to hang him, like a dog, to the nearest tree. That was all just and proper, and woe to the Beast's head or neck the moment a Southron lays hands upon him. But we are always willing to give the devil his due, and why not do as much for the Beast?— Butler is not a meaner man or a lower species of brute than Sherman. Sometimes I doubt if he be as mean. The only superiority Sherman has over Butler is, he is not quite so cowardly, in one exception of that term. He will go forth with his band of robbers and marauders to their work of rapine and ruffianism. He has been in a few battles, while Butler has never. But in so far as Sherman has enterprise and courage over the Beast, that far he is the more dangerous of the two—can and does more mischief—becomes that much more a beast of prey. The late raid of Sherman in Mississippi is familiar to all, and fresh in the public memory. I will here give publicity to a few of his brutalities in another foray, immediately preceeding [sic] his ravaging expedition to Mississippi, with which the world is not so familiar, and about which very little has yet been said. I allude to his march in the early part of December last to Knoxville.

His whole route from Chattanooga to Maryville, in Blount county, sixteen miles from Knoxville, where he stopped, was an unbroken path of desolation. The track of the tornado; sweeping houses, forest, fences, everything living or standing before it, is not more striking or destructive than that of Sherman and his hirelings along the beautiful valleys of the Sweet Water and Tennessee. The armies of Buckner, Burnside, Stevenson and Longstreet, all of whom had previously traversed the most of the same route, were mere babes of destruction, if we compare their combined effects with the huge proportion of Sherman's desolation. All other Yankee Generals and troops were Christians compared with him and his. Not a fence was left standing, not a pound of meat, or bushel of wheat or corn, or a bundle of hay or fodder remained behind them. He did not divide with the people, taking, of course, the lion's share—but he took all the people had, in the way of provisions. Not a house escaped their ravages—every nook and corner—the most private recess, the very sanctuary of every home felt their polluting touch. Bed cloths, ladies' dresses, childrens' playthings—family relics, the old family Bible, works of art and taste—everything dear and precious, valuable and useful were alike destroyed or appropriated by the vandals. Mothers often saw the last mouthful of the meat and bread of their families taken, and about the only thing in way of subsistance [sic], strange to say, that the demons did not take or destroy, was the mother's nipple in the infant's mouth. How did they resist the temptation?  Remonstrances were met with oaths and curses. At Athens one lady called upon the Brute for protection. He answered, that he had come not to save, but to destroy, that his was a mission not of mercy, but of destruction. He had come to crush the rebellion, and the most effectual way to do it was by starvation. Yes, to starve the helpless women and children, because they could not conquer their husbands and fathers.

At Sweet Water, they entered the dwelling of Brig. Gen. John C. Vaughn, who was then, with his command in the Brute's front, and wantonly destroyed furniture, tore open bed ticks and scattered their contents, stole bed clothing, tore up and carried off the dress of Mrs. Yaughn [sic] right [sic] before her eyes, and cursed and abused her beside. At Philadelphia and Loudon their ravages were similar. Turning to the right at Loudon, they crossed the Little Tennessee river at Morgantown, in Blount county. Here they tore down a number of frame houses and used them in building a temporary bridge. Passing up through Unitia and Louisville, they sacked every house, desolated every farm, stole and destroyed all provisions and forage, carried off every horse, and committed, along the whole route, almost every imaginable, and to any but a Yankee and Vandal, unimaginable outrages. They went to one house between Louisville and Maryville, where the dead body of the mother of the proprietor lay awaiting interment. Not regarding the solemnity of the occasion, or the distress of the family, they proceeded with their usual vulgarity and corseness [sic] to appropriate all the meat and other provisions on the place. At Maryville they remained one night, and during that time went into every house in the place—stole bedding and bed clothing until not enough was left to keep the children warm—took every particle of provisions to be found, searched every room, drawer and trunk, carried off jewelry, clothing, shoes, and in fact, any and every thing they wanted, and much they cared nothing for.—The Brute himself rode up to the finest looking residence in the place, the house of a widow lady, whose husband has been an exile, and had recently died in a strange land, and took possession of the premises. In a very authoritative and dictatorial manner he demanded the lady's keys. She remarked to him that she was in the habit of carrying her own keys. He stormed out at her that her property and life too were in his hands—he could do as he pleased, and would do as he pleased with both, and threatened violence if she did not deliver up the keys. The poor frightened woman was compelled to hand them over; whereupon the infuriated Brute took formal possession of everything, and instituted a search in every part of the house. The next morning, after taking all the flour, salt and other provisions, stealing with his own hands a few little things about the house, and requiring the lady to take the oath, he returned her keys and started, I presome [sic] in search of some other widow's house to destroyPusiallnimous [sic] dog—the mean, miserable villain!  Very brave to lord it over weak women and timid children. Oh, for a thousand cow skins, in the hands of a thousand Southern sons, to lash the back, and, if possible , to extoriate [sic] the very soul of the dastardly whelp who would thus insult and brow beat a woman—and an aged, feeble widow at that!

Another lady, whose provisions, clothing and bed clothes had been stolen, and whose children were hungry and crying for bread, when she had none to give, went at ten o'clock at night to the lodgings of the Brute and requested him to furnish her enough meal or flour to bake her five children some bread, they were hungry and crying and could not sleep without eating. The vulgar animal reminded her of his power—of her dependence upon him—that all property and life were in his hands, &c., &c., required her to take the oath and dismissed her with a pittance of provisions. From Maryville he returned by way of Madisonville and Tellico Plains, committing like excesses everywhere he went.

It is useless, Messrs. Editors, to extend this catalogue any further. The heart sickens, the mind maddens, the blood runs boiling hot, to think of or recount them. Enough is given to demonstrate the brutal instincts of Sherman, and to justify the public sentiment in placing his name alongside that of Butler, in regarding him as an enemy of mankind, a shame and disgrace to the human race, as an outlaw and a Brute. Let him ever after be known, called, regarded, and recognized as the Brute, and let the ban of condemnation, as in the case of Butler, be placed upon his brow. Let him be declared and proclaimed an outlaw, not entitled to the usages of civilized warfare and let him meet the fate he deserves, at the hands of the first Southerner who catches him.

Daily Constitutionalist [AUGUSTA, GA], May 13, 1864.


            13, Surrender terms for Confederate soldiers of McNairy County


Lieut.-Col. WISDOM, Nineteenth Tennessee Cavalry:

COL.: In reply to your request to make an arrangement for the surrender or your command, and the Confederate soldiers of McNairy County, Tenn., you can assemble your command and those soldiers at Corinth, Miss., for parole under the agreement of Maj.-Gen. Thomas, commanding Department of the Cumberland, whose terms are the same as those agreed upon between Gen.'s Lee, Johnston, and Taylor, and Gen. Grant and Canby, and which I am instructed to carry out by the major-general commanding department. You can say to all irregular bands operating upon either the Confederate or Union side, without authority, they will be received upon the same terms, failing to accept which, they will be treated as outlaws. Rations will be furnished for your soldiers and irregular commands during the time required to consummate this arrangement. You will, on returning these men to their homes, say to them that they will be allowed to organize the civil authority of their country. Capt. Rumple, of my staff, is designated as the proper officer to carry this agreement into effect.

EDWARD HATCH, Brevet Maj.-Gen.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 49, pt. II, p. 752.

            13, Location of the archives of the State of Tennessee and books and assets of the Bank of Tennessee determined


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

I have reliable information that G. C. Torbett, president, and John A. Fisher, cashier, Bank of Tennessee, are now at Augusta, Ga., with the books and assets of said bank deposited in the vaults of the Bank of Augusta; also, that J. T. Dunlap, J. E. R. Ray, and Joel A. Battle, are at Augusta, having in their possession the archives of the State of Tennessee, carried off by order of ex-Governor Harris, and all the locomotives and a large number of cars belonging to the Nashville and Chattanooga Railroad. I respectfully suggest orders be sent to the officer in command at Augusta to immediately arrest the above-named parties and seize the property, books, funds, and railroad rolling-stock, and hold subject to the requisition of the Governor of the State of Tennessee.

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

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 49, pt. II, p. 741.

            13, Surrender of guerrillas and comments about Fielding Hurst and his brother-in-law's extortion in West Tennessee

HDQRS. FIFTH DIVISION, CAVALRY CORPS, Eastport, [May] 13, 1865. (Via Johnsonville 15th.)

Maj.-Gen. THOMAS:

I send dispatches to-day from Gen. Canby. Shall have telegraphic communication with Corinth this evening, and shall continue to repair the wires south toward Mobile until I meet the repairers of Gen. Canby; also send a party east toward Decatur until I meet the workmen from Decatur. Many bands are surrendering here under your order, among them one of the worst, Burt Hayes. I learn a Mr. Chandler, calling himself a captain, a brother-in-law of Fielding Hurst, is levying contributions upon the citizens of McNairy County, Tenn., amounting to $50,000. Hurst has already taken about $100,000 out of West Tennessee in blackmail when colonel of the Sixth [Tennessee] Cavalry (Union). What shall I do with Chandler, if he reports to me as ordered? If he does not report, shall I treat him as an outlaw?

EDWD. HATCH, Brevet Maj.-Gen., Cmdg.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 49, pt. II, p. 750.

            13, "Anyone hearing him talk would call him a braggadocio" A Post-War Interview with Nathan Bedford Forrest

[Correspondence of the N. O. True Delta.]


Meridian, Miss., May 13, 1865.

Before the large chimney place of a small cabin room and a group of Confederate officers and men, the room lighted by a small tallow candle, I first saw Lt. Gen. N. B. Forrest, commanding a corps of cavalry in the rebel army. Forrest is a man of fine appearance, about six feet in height, dark, piercing hazel eyes, carefully trimmed moustache and chin whiskers, dark as night, finely cut features and iron gray hair. His form is lithe, plainly indicating great physical power and activity. He was neatly dressed in citizen's clothes of some grey mixture the only indication of military service being the usual number of small staff buttons on his vest. I should have marked him as a prominent man had I first seen him on Broadway, and when I was told he was "Forrest of Fort Pillow," I devoted my entire attention to him, and give you the results of our conversation. My first impression of the man was rather favorable than otherwise. Except a guard of some one hundred Federal soldiers, more than half a mile away, I was, with the exception of another person, the only Yankee in the room, and being dressed in citizen's clothes was never suspected by the landlord.

"General," said I, "I little expected to be seated by this fire with you."

"Why so?"

"Well because your name has been in the mouth of nearly every person for a long time."

"Yes," said he, showing the finest set of teeth I think I have ever seen. "I have waked up the Yankees everywhere lately."

"Now, that you have some time, General, do you think you will put on paper the true account of the Fort Pillow affair."

"Well," said he, "the Yankees ought to know, they sent their best men to investigate the affair."

"But are we to believe their report, General?"

"Yes, if we are to believe anything a nigger says. When I went into the war I meant to fight. Fighting means killing. I have lost twenty-nine horses in the war, and have killed a man each time. The other day I was a horse ahead, but at Salem they surrounded me and I killed two-jumped my horse over a one horse wagon and got away." I began to think I had some idea of the man at last. He continued: "My Provost Marshall's book will show that I have taken 31,000 prisoners during the war. At Fort Pillow I sent in a flag of truce, and demanded an unconditional surrender, or would not answer for my men. This they refused. I sent them another note, giving then one hour to determine. This they refused. I could see on the river boats loaded with troops. They sent back asking for an hour more. I gave them twenty minutes. I sat on my horse during the whole time."

The fort was filled with niggers and deserters from our army; men who lived side by side with my men. I waited five minutes after the time and then blew my bugle for the charge. In twenty minutes my men were over the works, and the firing had ceased. The citizens and the Yankees had broken in the heads of the whisky and lager beer barrels, and were all drunk. They kept up firing all the time, as they went down the hill. Hundreds of them rushed to the river and tried to swim to the gunboats, and my men shot them down. The Mississippi river was red with their blood for three hundred yards. During all this, their flag was still flying, and I rushed over the works and cut the lanyards and let it down, and stopped the fight. Many of the Yankees were in tents in front, and they were in their way, as they concealed my men, and some of them set on fire. If any were burned to death it was in these tents."

"They having a living witness in Captain Young, their Quartermaster who is still alive, and I will leave it to any prisoner ever taken if I have not treated them well. 'You have made some rapid marches, General,' said I. 'Yes,' said he, 'I have five thousand men that can whip any ten thousand in the world. Sturgis came out to whip me once, and was ten thousand strong. I marched off as if I was going to Georgia, and fell upon the head of his column when he least expected me, and with twenty-three hundred men, killed over three thousand, captured as many with all the trains and mules. I meant to kill every man in Federal uniform unless he gave up.'" He spoke of capturing a fort from Col. Crawford, in Athens, Ala., garrisoned by 1,500 men. Said he: "I took him out and showed him my forces, some brigades two or three times and one battery I kept marching around all the time. My men dismounted leaving every fourth man to hold the horses, and formed the rest in front as infantry; and the darn fool gave up without firing a shot."

Speaking of Streight's capture he said it was almost a shame. "His men rode among them and shot them down like cattle. They were mounted on sharp edged saddles and were worn out and he killed several of them himself. Didn't hardly know what to do with them." But the heart sickens as the infamous butcher. He is one of the few men that are general "blowers," and yet will fight. Forrest is a thorough brave-a desperate man in every respect. He was a negro trader before the war, and in "personal affairs," as he called them, had killed several men.[3]

He had a body guard of 120 picked men. These he placed in the rear with orders to shoot any that turned back. I have spoken to numbers of Confederate officers: they speak of him with disgust, though all admit his bravery and fitness for the cavalry service. He has two brothers living one of which is spoken of as being a greater butcher than the Lieutenant-General. He is a man without education or refinement: married to a very pretty wife. Anyone would call him handsome.

Anyone hearing him talk would call him a braggadocio. As for myself, I would believe one half he said, and only dispute with him with my finger on the trigger of my pistol. When I told him I was a Yankee and late upon a prominent general's staff, he looked about him and about his staff for corroborative proof. Volleys of this ready prepared poured forth upon his order. My not being a short hand writer necessarily deprived me the pleasure of a further contribution to this history.

Two young Kentuckians were walking along the road when Forrest came up, called them deserters and deliberately shot them. It appears these young men were on legitimate duty, and one of them under military age. The fathers of these youths are upon Forrest's track, sworn to kill him. Poetic justice demands that he should meet with a violent death. Probably one hundred men h1ave died by his hand. He says "the war is played;" that where he lives there are plenty of fish; and that he is going to take a tent along, and don't want to see anyone for twelve months. What a charming hero he would make for a sensational "King of the Cannibal Islands?"

Bryan McAlister

Louisville Daily Journal, June 7, 1865.[4]


[1] The dozen prominent citizens arrested were: G. T. Henderson, John E. Dromgoole, John A. Crockett, William A. Ransom, L.M. Maney [owner of Oakland Mansion and plantation], John Childress, Dr. King, F.C. Mosby; Dr. R. S. Wendel, James M. Avent, Dr. William T. Baskette, and Thomas Robinson. See Papers of Andrew Johnson, Vol. 5, p. 387. fn. 1.

[2] Most likely Murfreesboro banker William Ledbetter and ex-Congressman Charles Ready who were taken to the state penitentiary in Nashville on May 1, 1862. See Papers of Andrew Johnson, Vol. 5, p. 387, fn. 2.

[3] The following article appeared in 1864:

Antecedents of the Rebel General Forrest and his Family.

A Knoxville correspondent of the N. Y. Tribune writes:

The news of the capture of Fort Pillow by Forrest, and the cowardly butchery which followed of blacks and whites alike, has produced a profound sensation here. The universal sentiment is-"let no quarter be shown to those dastardly butchers of Forrest's command while the war lasts."

These Forrests, the eldest of whom, Gen. Bedford Forrest, has by this and other atrocities obtained such a record of infamy, were all negro traders. There were four brothers-Bedford, who kept a negro pen for five years before the war on Adams street, in rear of the Episcopal Church, Memphis; John, a cripple and a gambler, who was jailor and clerk for Bedford; Bill Forrest, an extensive negro trader at Vicksburg; and Aaron Forrest, general agent to scout the country for his other brothers. They accumulated large sums of money in their nefarious trade, and Bedford won by that and other influences a natural promotion to a Brigadier. He is about 50 years of age, tall, gaunt, and sallow visaged, with along nose, deep set black, snaky eyes, [illegible] and hair wore long. He usually wore, while in the "nigger" trade in Memphis, a stove pipe hat set on the back of his head at an angle of forty-five degrees. He was accounted mean, vindictive, cruel and unscrupulous. He had two wives-one white, the other colored (Catharine), by each of which he two children. His "patriarchal" wife, Catharine, and his white wife, had frequent quarrels or domestic jars.

The slave pen of old Bedford Forrest, on Adams street, was a perfect horror to all negroes far and near. His mode of punishing refractory slaves was to compel four of his fellow slaves to stand and hold the victim stretched out in the air, and then Bedford and his brother John would stand, one on each side, with long, heavy whips, and cut up their victims until the blood trickled to the ground. Women were often stripped naked, and with a bucket of salt water stand by, in which to did the instruments of torture, a heavy leather thong, their backs were cut up, until the blisters covered the whole surface, the blood of their wounds mingling with the briny mixture to add torment to the infliction. One slave man was whipped to death by Bedford, who used a trace-chain doubled for the purpose of punishment. The slave was secretly buried, and the circumstance was only known to the slaves of the prison, who only dared to refer to the circumstance in whispers.

Such are the appropriate antecedents in the character of the monster who murdered in cold blood the gallant defenders of Fort Pillow.

Boston Herald, May 7, 1864.

 [4] PQCW. See also Milwaukee Daily Sentinel, June 10, 1865, in TSL&A, 19th CN.

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