Monday, May 11, 2015

5.9-10.2015 Tennessee Civil War Notes


        9, "Tennessee has taken her position and has proudly determined to throw her banners to the breeze, and will give her strength to the sacred cause of freedom for the WHITE MAN OF THE SOUTH;" excerpts from the "LEGISLATIVE ADDRESS TO THE PEOPLE OF TENNESSEE" May 9, 1861.


* * * *

The election of a sectional President by an unreasoning appeal to numerical superiority, precipitated a crisis in the Government which many wise men anticipated and patriots would have gladly adjourned to another and far distant period. Several of the slaveholding States, upon the happening of this event, commenced preparations for leaving a Union which in their judgments, promised to become an instrument of destruction to the action constitutional rights of the South….A Peace Congress was called for, and anxious to give every evidence of a sincere desire to settle existing difficulties, prudent and discreet men were sent to confer with delegates from other States. The Congress resulted in a failure, as did the faithful efforts of Southern men in the Congress of the United States….It was believed that the masses of the Northern people would do justice to the demands of the South, if not prevented by the arts of their politicians. Subsequent acts prove that the masses are, if possible, more bitter in their hostility to the South than their leaders.

The inaugural address of the newly-elected President, however doubtful in its terms, was charitably construed into a message of peace. It was considered absurd to suppose that any President of a free country would ever venture upon the mad experiment of holding sovereign States together by means of the bayonet. No one not blinded by fanaticism, can fail to recognize the fact that a government based upon the popular will can only be maintained in its integrity by appealing to that powerful and controlling influence. Force, when attempted, changes the whole character of the Government; making it a military despotism, and those that submit become the abject slaves of power….

* * * *

Congress refused to vote a dollar for the prosecution of hostilities against the people of the South; he and his agents got the appropriation by falsehood, pretending that it was needed to pay off the Government debts, and instead of so using it, fails to pay even the maimed and wounded soldier his pension, or the hard-working census-taker his salary, but scatters it among a brutal soldiery, whom he has hired to murder Southern freemen and to desecrate Southern soil

* * * *

Tennessee, ever loyal to the Constitution, has been an advocate for peace, and has struggled to bring together the broken fragments of the Union, yet in the midst of her well-meant efforts, a war is made upon her; every avenue of trade is closed up, and the people are suffering in all the privations of a blockade. Not even provisions, demanded by the necessities of the people, are allowed to be shipped into the State, and property of private individuals is made subject to piratical and illegal seizure. Boats have been plundered of their cargoes by authority of the Government, and when called on for an explanation by the Governor of Tennessee, even the honor of a reply is refused.

* * * *

Tennessee is unarmed, and the first great object was to organize the military and adopt every means of defence within our power, menaced as out country is by armies of alarming magnitude. Our western borders exposed to attack, with life, liberty and property staked upon the issue, it is not time to think of half-way measures. The money and the blood of Tennessee will be called for in no stinted quantities, if it be necessary to protect the priceless heritage of freedom that we possess, and which we hold a sacred trust to our children. The military bill is also submitted with this address to the judgment of our constituents….In conformity with these obligations of duty, the Legislature has prepared two instruments to be voted upon by the people, on Saturday, the 8th of June.

* * * *

In submitting these two grave questions to the popular judgment the Legislature dispensed with all intermediated agencies, preferring to go at once to the great source of all political power – the people themselves….

* * * * *

The military league which has been formed with the Southern Confederacy is also submitted with this address…

* * * *

This league places Tennessee where she deserves to stand – in company with the old States of Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia, whose histories are redolent with the glories of past struggles of liberty….

* * * *

It is painful to reflect that Tennessee has no representation in any national or confederate council; her gallant soldiers will go forth to battle for a common cause, and but for a short time, at least, her voice cannot be heard, only through the ballot box in June.

It is submitted that Tennessee has but one of two alternatives -- either to attempt to maintain a distinct and separate nationality, or to unite with the other States of the South. If you decide on the former, a provision should at once be made for new departments of government….

* * * *

When this body met, it determined to sit with closed doors. We are aware that this mode of legislation is objected to by some. It is the first time in the history of the State that the rule had been adopted, because in that history no case had occurred to call for its exercise. The proceedings of the convent that framed the Declaration of Independence were in secret. The convention that framed the Constitution of the United States, held its secret sessions, and the Senate of the United States not unfrequently sit with closed doors. Those who have taken occasion to condemn us, may be purer than those who framed the Declaration of Independence, and the Constitution of the United States; but we very much doubt whether they will have a greater hold upon public confidence. But the reasons for our course are our best justification: the country was excited, and the public demands imperious. We desired to legislate uninfluenced and unretarded by the crowds that would otherwise have attended our deliberations; but still more important than this, the western portion of Tennessee was in an exposed condition, with no military defence whatever; the towns and counties bordering on the Mississippi river were liable to be assailed at any hour by the armed forces collected at Cairo, and we desired that no act of legislation on our part, would form the pretext for such an invasion, so long as it could be avoided. Our fellow-citizens of West Tennessee, and of Arkansas, are laboring night and day to erect batteries on the river to prevent a descent of the enemy. A duty that we owed to them to the cause of humanity demanded that we should not make our action known till the latest possible moment. If some desired light, while we were at work, we equally desired to save the blood and the property of Tennesseans. Our doors have now been thrown open, the Journals will be published -- every vote is recorded, and he must be a fault-finder indeed who will complain after hearing the reasons that prompted our actions.

We have briefly touched the principal subjects that engaged the attention of the Legislature. Tennessee has taken her position and has proudly determined to throw her banners to the breeze, and will give her strength to the sacred cause of freedom for the WHITE MAN OF THE SOUTH [sic].

R. G. Payne, Chairman of the Joint Select Committee

Edmund J. Wood, S. S. Stanton, J. A. Minnis, G. Gantt, W. W. Guy, Robt. B. Hurt, Benj. J. Lea, Joseph G. Pickett.

White, ed., Messages of the Governors of Tennessee, Vol. 5, pp. 294-300.

          9, An Act to amend the Militia Law of the State, requiring Captains to give notice, and for other purposes


An Act to amend the Militia Law of the State, requiring Captains to give notice, and for other purposes

SECTION 1, Be in enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Tennessee, That section third of an act passed on the 31st of January, 1861, entitled an act to repeal the act of 1857, Chapter 32, abolishing military duty, be so amended that all Captains of companies in this State are required to give at least ten days' notice to their companies, in three public places in their civil district, before any person required to perform military duty in said company shall be subject to be court-martialed or fined.

SEC. 2, Be in enacted, That volunteers in the service of the State, who may be on duty out of the State at the election ordered by the General Assembly on the Declaration and Ordinance of the 8th of June, 1861, shall be entitled to vote in all cases, where, if in the State, they would be entitled to vote in said election, held to afford them the means of doing so, the Captain or officers in command of the company of such volunteers, is hereby appointed and empowered to open and hold the election for the voters of his company. The votes shall be by ballot, and the said Captain shall fortheith certify the result in writing to the Secretary of State, and the same shall be counted as a part of the vote of the State, in ascertaining the result. Before opening said election, the Colonel, or some other field officer of he regiments, respectively, shall administer an oath to the Captains entrusted with holding said election, to act impartially and faithfully, and report the result to the Secretary of State.

SEC. 3. And this act shall take effect from and after its passage.

W. C. WHTTHORNE, Speaker of the House of Representatives

B. L. STOVAL, Speaker of the Senate

Passed May 9, 1861

Public Acts of the State of Tennessee…April, 1861, p. 37. [1]

          10, Rhetorical Approbation for Secession in Clarksville

We trust there is not a heart in Tennessee that will not beat freer, and glow with warmer emotions of patriotism on learning that our gallant State has, through her Legislature, passed an ordinance, declaring her independence of the Black Republic of the North, and she has also entered into a treaty, offensive and defensive, with the Confederate States – both acts to be perfected by an affirmative vote of the people on the 8th of June next. The Legislature has likewise appropriated five millions of dollars for war purposes, and authorized a call for fifty-five thousand troops – twenty-five thousand of that number for immediate service.

This is glorious news, and we tender our individual acknowledgments to the Governor, to the able Commissioners, appointed by him, and to those members of the Legislature who sustained these measures, for their wisdom and patriotism – their devotion to southern rights, and their stern defiance of abolition tyranny and usurpation. However dire the necessity, we cannot, without pain, witness the dissolution of the Union formed by our forefathers, but although the stars that blazoned the old flag, are, to us, lessened in number, they will gain in luster, and the stripes we bequeath, a fit legacy, to the contemptible tyrants and fanatics who have rent in twain the glorious old banner, and gathered its stars into two separate constellations. But the die is cast, and for the honor and safety of Tennessee, let there be but one voice among the people, and that in favor of a separation, now and forever. Let the 8th of June be a day every memorable for the unanimity with which Tennessee proclaimed her independence of the northern despot who seeks the destruction of her rights and the subjugation of her people. Away with delusive hopes of peace and union! Away with timid counsels and clinging sympathies for a once glorious government now perverted into an engine of oppression. Cast out the evil spirit of submission to a base usurper, and let every Tennessean resolve to stand by his State and the South until peace and independence have been won and secured.

Clarksville Chronicle, May 10, 1861.

          10, "…this whole region in a miserable state of unpreparedness, and totally unable to meet an invasion that is imminently threatened by U. S. troops from the North." A Mississippian's fearful assessment and counsel relative to military preparedness in West Tennessee

TRENTON, TENN., May 10, 1861.

Gen. L. P. WALKER, Secretary of War, &c., Montgomery, Ala.:

DEAR SIR: I came to this place my former residence, a few days since from my plantation in Noxubee County, Miss., and found this whole region in a miserable state of unpreparedness, and totally unable to meet an invasion that is imminently threatened by U. S. troops from the North. There are now at Cairo, the southern point of Illinois, 7,000 men, well armed, having field artillery and plenty of heavy guns, and everything indicates that it is being made a strong point-d'appui, or basis of operations, for an extensive invasion of the country below. It is quite probable that in a few days a force of 20,000 or 30,000 men will be concentrated at Cairo, and in all this section there are only a few half-formed companies of volunteers and home guards, mostly without arms of any kind, to meet and repel any attempt at invasion. The defenses being prepared on the Mississippi above Memphis are totally inefficient when the river is down, and it is now rapidly falling. There are at Randolph, the second Chickasaw Bluff, about 1,000 men with two batteries under the bluff, but a force of 1,500 or 2,000 landed a few miles above can easily march around, take possession of the hills that overlook the batteries, and shoot down the men in them like bullocks in a pen. Another fort for the protection of these batteries should be immediately constructed, or they will be of little use. In like manner a respectable force can be landed above Fort Harris and in a few hours be in the city of Memphis, where there are no defenses looking landward. The best defense of Memphis, as well as all points below, on and off the river, may be made at Columbus, Ky. Below the mouth of the Ohio River there is no strategic point of half so much importance, and it should be immediately occupied by a strong force, notwithstanding the neutral position of Kentucky. Self preservation demands it. A strong fort at that place and an auxiliary one at the old Jefferson Barracks at the mouth of Mayfield Creek, eight miles above Columbus, with sufficient garrison in each, would protect the terminus of the Mobile and Ohio Railroad and prevent the passage of any but an overwhelming force. If the Government of the Confederate States should not determine to take and fortify Columbus, then a strong force should be immediately sent to Union City, the intersection of the Mobile and Ohio with the Nashville and Northeastern Railroads, and to the point where the former railroad crosses the Obion River, with field artillery and a sufficiency of heavy guns for several strong batteries. The Mississippi and West Tennessee volunteers should be concentrated at these points. Your Excellency would excuse me for making and urging these suggestions did you know the exposed situation of this region, and the greater imminence of the danger from the recent action of the State of Tennessee and her alliance with the Confederate States of America.

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


OR, Ser. I, Vol. 52, pt. II, pp. 93-94.

          9, Skirmish on Elk River, near Bethel, Tennessee

MAY 9, 1862.-Skirmish on Elk River, near Bethel, Tenn.


No. 1.-Col. John Adams, C. S. Army.

No. 2. -Lieut.-Col. T. G. Woodward, First Kentucky Cavalry (Confederate).

No. 1

Report of Col. John Adams, C. S. Army.

HDQRS. BRIGADE, Camp Foster, Ala., May 10, 1862.

GEN.: Herewith I have the honor to forward a report from Lieut.-Col. Woodward of a skirmish with the enemy yesterday. I shall forward the prisoners over the mountain by the turnpike road to Tuscaloosa, Ala.

Col. Saunders, my aide-de-camp, has addressed a letter to Hon. Charles Gibson and Col. Levi M. Warner, at Moulton, requesting them to relieve my guard and furnish one to accompany the prisoners thence to Tuscaloosa.

The negroes [sic] I shall have tried by a military commission, and, if it is found that any were taken with arms in their hands, it may be necessary to inflict summary punishment; otherwise I shall order them turned over to the civil authorities.

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


No. 2

Report of Lieut. Col. T. G. Woodward, First Kentucky Cavalry (Confederate).


SIR: In accordance with instructions from your headquarters, I started from this point on the 8th instant, at 6 p. m., with 350 men of my regiment and a detachment of 80 men from the Texan Rangers, under command of Capt. Houston, for the purpose of surprising a party of the enemy, supposed to consist of 350 men, in and about Bethel, a small town on Elk River, 32 miles from Lamb's Ferry. Capt. Noel, of this regiment, with 50 men, joined me on the road.

I arrived at Bethel by daybreak, but found no enemy, and learned that no Federals had been there except an insignificant party of stragglers. Ascertaining that Elk River could be crossed at two fords in the vicinity, and that a detachment of the enemy, variously reported as to number, were guarding a trestle work on the railroad on the opposite side of the river, I determined to capture them, and for this with the Texan Rangers, under Capt. Houston, with directions to cross at the ford below the trestle work and cut off the retreat of the enemy in that direction, while the party under my immediate command, crossing at the upper ford, should make the attack from above The movement was entirely successful, resulting in the capture of the entire force stationed at the trestle work, which force was found to be much smaller than had been represented. The enemy, under cover of some buildings, made a gallant defense for about ten minutes, but finally surrendered.

I have as prisoners 2 captains; 2 lieutenants, and 43 non-commissioned officers and privates; also 8 negroes [sic].

Our loss is 5 killed, among them Capt. Harris, of the Rangers, whose loss is deeply regretted, and 7 wounded. Among the latter I regret to include Capt. Noel, a most excellent and gallant officer, seriously wounded in the side. The loss of the enemy in killed and wounded was much heavier.

Capt. Houston is entitled to much credit for the able manner in which he co-operated, and the conduct of the men was extremely gallant and praiseworthy.

Minute particulars will be communicated to you as soon as they can be furnished.

Very respectfully, &c.,


Lieut.-Col., Cmdg. First Kentucky Cavalry

OR, Ser., I, Vol. 10, pt. I, pp. 887-888.


CAMP OF THE TEXAS RANGERS, Lamb's Ferry, on the Tennessee River, May 10, 1862.

Brig. Gen. THOMAS JORDAN, Corinth:

DEAR SIR: A detachment of Rangers and Helm's men had a fight near Bethel, 25 miles from this place, yesterday, killing 17 men and taking 49 prisoners.

* * * *

JNO. A. WHARTON, Col. Texas Rangers

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 10, pt. I, pp. 509-510.

          9, Letter to Military Governor Andrew Johnson from Tipton County citizens appealing for protection depredations committed by Federal troops.

What we complain of is the action of the 15th Wisconsin regiment U. S. A. stationed at Island No. 10. We charge the commander [Colonel Hans C. Heg] and his forces with direct and gross violation of Order No 3 of Maj Genl Halleck. And state that the order [which prevented Federal soldiers from becoming Negro catchers] is not only violated but, that the soldiery have daily and nightly been allowed to prowl around the country persuading and in many Instances forcing off our slaves, especially the women and children, Secreting [sic] them in camp and upon the Island and sending off upon transports large numbers. Nearly all of other citizens have been subject to this loss, some to the number of 10 or 15 and some all they possessed. In many Instances, [sic] the negroes [sic] have earnestly desired to return and when seen by their masters they the owners are driven insulted &c from the camp.-Again the soldiers have visited the houses at night not sparing the lone widow and carry off the negro girls. In one Instance [sic] Lt. Col. [Milton S.] Robinson of the 47th Indiana stationed at Tiptonville went with a lady and had released her maid. They went a few nights afterwards and again carried her off. The commanding officer of said Regt. [sic] Col Heg. [sic] keeps two negroes [sic] belonging to peaceable citizens to wait upon him. We do not wish to believe this policy the policy of the Government. And believing you to be willing to restore peace and prosperity and to protect us who have done no deed of Treason we appeal to your. We refer To the Col. of the 47th Indiana, Col [James R.] Slack, To Lt. Col Robison To Capt. [John T.]. Robison [sic] and others of the 47th Indiana who (we are pleased to say keep the law) know of negroes [sic] in large numbers in Col Hegs [sic] Camp. Earnestly praying Governor that your cause our grievances redressed and protect us in our rights in peaceable [sic] pursuit of our ordinary avocations [sic]....

There is nothing to indicate that Governor Johnson took measures to help these petitioners. Knowing his hatred for slave owners and the planter aristocracy, however, it seems most probable that he did nothing.

Papers of Andrew Johnson, Vol. 5, pp. 371-372.

          9, Military Governor Andrew Johnson's Proclamation Concerning Guerrilla Warfare

[May 9, 1862, Executive Office, Nashville.]

Whereas, Certain persons, unfriendly and hostile to the Government of the United States, have banded themselves together, and are now going at large through many of the counties of this State, arresting, maltreating and plundering Union citizens wherever found;

Now, therefore, I, ANDREW JOHNSON, Governor of the State of hereby proclaim that in every instance in which a Union man is arrested and maltreated by the marauding bands aforesaid, five or more rebels from the most prominent [families] in the immediate neighborhood shall be arrested, imprisoned, and otherwise dealt with as the nature of the case may require; And further, in all cases in which the property of citizens loyal to the Government of the United States is taken or destroyed, full and ample remuneration shall be made to them out of the property of such rebels in the vicinity as has sympathized with, and given aid, comfort, information or encouragement to the parties committing such depredations.

This order will be executed in letter and spirit. All citizens are hereby warned under heavy penalties from entertaining, receiving or encouraging such persons so banded together or in any wise connected therewith.

Papers of Andrew Johnson, Vol. 5, pp. 374-375.

          9, Taking the Oath of Allegiance in Murfreesboro, and excerpt from the Kate Carney Diary

Cousin Will Tilford, Aunt Maney & McFarlin took dinner here today. The latter took the oath today, the former took it some time ago. There was an old lady came here today by the name of Mrs. Jones, that refused to take the oath. Said the Yankees might blow her brains out & bury them before she would take it as she had 3 sons & 7 grandsons in the Southern army. Hurrah! for her.

Kate Carney Diary, May 9, 1862.

          9, Confederate money, Shylocks and patriotism in Memphis

"Refusing Confederate Notes."

The man who would injure the cause of his country, even though to save his own life, is deemed in the impartial of history a Traitor [sic], and his memory execrated by all true patriots. What, then, must be said of those base, abandoned and recreant creatures, disgracing the forms of men, who are not seeking to stab the Southern cause and impair Southern credit by refusing to receive the notes of our Government in payment of their dues? Is it not saying too much to assert that such scoundrels are traitors for a price – that they are deserters [sic], which their cowardly fears falsely whisper to them will be lost should they dare to be loyal and true. Their conduct not only argues a dastardly despair of the success of our arms – an event as certain in the future as the present existence of [the] Deity himself – but it goes farther, and evidences an indisposition to bear any of the monetary sacrifices, small as they will comparatively be, that are to be made in establishing their own liberty.

We learn that there are still a few of these Shylocks about Memphis, and that now and then they dare show their cloven feet. If the Provost Marshal of the city does not issue an order directing all such to be reported to his headquarters for this act of treason, we propose to remedy the matter so far as possible by offering to publish their names in these columns [sic] free of charge, when the fact of their treasonable conduct is properly attested. Let their names be brought forward. The miscreants should be held up to publish scorn and indignation.

Memphis Appeal, May 9, 1862.

          9, Nashville's trotting horse race season begins

The sporting community will be delighted to hear that, notwithstanding the political tempest raging about us, the feats of the turf are to be resumed. The first race of the Spring season will come off over the Nashville Course to-day, under the auspices of the Trotting Association. The track has been put in the best trim, and from the entries made and closed, a good, exciting day's pastime is a sure consequence. To enjoy the opening race, you must be on hand at 2 o'clock p. m., precisely. G'long!

Nashville Dispatch, May 9, 1862.

          9, Newspaper report relative to the death of a true son of the South and hero of the Confederacy in Memphis

A Boy Hero.-We this morning announce the death of Charles H. Jackson, son of Capt. D. F. Jackson, of this city. He boy was only fifteen years and eight months old, yet one year ago he entered as a private in his father's company. Young as were his years, his actions showed a many heart. His fearless bravery won for him the admiration, and his amiable traits attracted the affection of all who knew him.

We have been permitted to see the leave of absence granted him by the surgeon of his regiment, of which the following is a copy:-"Charles H. Jackson, private in company K, 2d Confederate regiment, had his right thigh fractured in the battle of Shiloh while gallantly fighting by the side of his father, Capt. R. F. Jackson. This gallant boy is hereby granted an indefinite furlough." During his agonizing sufferings he always expressed the deepest regret, because, as he said, he could not help his father to raise enough men to take the place of those who fell with him in battle. He bore the suffering from his wound with a hero's patience, and frequently he asked of his physician, Dr. Keller, who paid every possible attention, "Urge my father to hurry back to camp and be ready to fight again; I do not want him to mind my sufferings and lose time here." The boy is dead. Though but a child, there severer was a braver heart or a truer soldier.

Memphis Appeal.

Georgia Weekly Telegraph, May 9, 1862.

          9, Report of Federal mutiny in Clarksville

From Memphis, Sunday A.M. April 27, 1862.


At Clarksville, a mutiny or rebellion has taken place in a Kentucky regiment, owing to their dissatisfaction with the emancipation policy of the Federal Government; and an Indiana regiment being ordered out to suppress it, the former fired upon the latter, killing twenty and wounded a great number – My informant conversed with the gentleman who saw the bodies of the dead.


The Daily Dispatch, May 9, 1862.[2]

          10, Naval engagement at Plum Run Bend [or Plum Point], Tennessee, Mississippi River[3]

No. 1 Report of Brig. Gen. William K. Strong, U. S. Army.

No. 2 Report of Capt. J. E. Montgomery, C. S. Navy.

No. 3 Report of Brig. Gen. M. Jeff. Thompson, Missouri State Guard

No. 1

Report of Brig. Gen. William K. Strong, U. S. Army

CAIRO, May 11, 1862.

The rebel gunboats and rams made an attack on our flotilla yesterday morning. Two of their gunboats were blown up and one sunk. The remainder returned with all possible haste to the protection of their guns at Pillow.

WM. K. STRONG, Brig.-Gen.

No. 2

Report of Capt. J. E. Montgomery, C. S. Navy.

FLAG-BOAT LITTLE REBEL, Fort Pillow, Tenn., May 12, 1862.

SIR: I have the honor to report an engagement with the Federal gunboats at Plum Point Bend, 4 miles above Fort Pillow, May 10:

Having previously arranged with my officers the order of attack, our boats left their moorings at 6 a.m., and proceedings up the river passed round a sharp point, which brought us in full view of the enemy's fleet, numbering eight gunboats and twelve mortar boats.

The Federal boat Carondelet [Cincinnati?] was lying nearest us, guarding a mortar boat, [sic] that was shelling the fort. The Gen. Bragg, Capt. W. H. H. Leonard, dashed at her; the Carondelet [Cincinnati?], firing her heavy guns, retreated Carondelet [Cincinnati?] toward a bar where the depth of water would not be sufficient for our boats to follow. The Bragg continued boldly on under fire of nearly the whole fleet, and struck her a violent blow that stopped her further flight, then rounded down the river under a broadside fire and drifted until her tiller rope, that had got out of order, could be readjusted. A few moments after the Bragg struck her blow the Gen. Sterling Price, First Officer J. E. Henthorne, ran into the same stern-post, and a large piece of her stern. This threw the Carbondale's stern to the Sumter, Carondelet [Cincinnati?]. Capt. W. W. Lamb, who struck her, running at the utmost speed of his boat.

The Gen. Earl Van Dorn, Capt. Isaac D. Fulkerson, running according to orders, in the rear of the Price and Sumter, directed his attention to the Mound City, at the time pouring broadsides into the Price and Sumter. As the Van Dorn proceeded, by skillful shots from her 32-pounder, W. G. Kendall, gunner, silenced a mortar boat that was filling the air with its terrible missiles. The Van Dorn, still holding on the Mound City's amidships, in the act of striking, the Mound City sheered, and the Van Dorn struck her a glancing blow, making a hole 4 feet deep in her starboard forward quarter, evidenced by splinters left of the iron bow of the Van Dorn. At this juncture the Van Dorn was above four of the enemy's boats.

As our remaining boats, the Gen. M. Jeff. Thompson, Capt. J. H. Burke; the Col. Lovell, Capt. J. C. Delancy, and the Gen. Beauregard, Capt. J. H. Hurt, were entering boldly into the contest in their prescribed order, I perceived from the flag-boat that the enemy's boats were taking positions where the water was too shallow for our boats in number and size, I signaled our boats to fall back, which was accomplished with a coolness that deserves the highest commendation. I am happy to inform you, while exposed to close quarters to a most terrific fire for thirty minutes, our boats, although struck repeatedly, sustained no serious injuries.

Our casualties were 2 killed and 1 wounded-arm broken.

Gen. M. Jeff. Thompson was on the Gen. Bragg; his officers and men were divided among the boats. They were all at their posts, ready to do good service should an occasion offer.

To my officers and men I am highly indebted for their courage and promptness in executing all orders.

On the 11th instant I went on the Little Rebel in full view of the enemy's fleet. Saw the Carondelet [Cincinnati?] sunk near the shore and the Mound City sunk on the bar. The position occupied by the enemy's gunboats above Fort Pillow offers more obstacles to our mode of attack than any other between Cairo and New Orleans. But of this you may rest assured, if we can get fuel, unless the enemy greatly increase their force, they will, never penetrate farther down the Mississippi.

I am, with great respect, your obedient servant,


Senior Capt., Cmdg. River Defense Service.

No. 3

Report of Brig. Gen. M. Jeff. Thompson, Missouri State Guard.

CONFEDERATE STATES RIVER DEFENSE SERVICE, Gunboat Gen. Bragg, May 10, 1862--10 p. m.

GEN.: At a council of war held last night by the captains of the fleet it was determined to attack the enemy this morning, to cut out a gunboat which for the past two days has been guarding the mortar boat.

We started at the commodore's signal at 6 a.m. and steamed round the point in front of Fort Pillow. The boat guarding the mortar boat immediately started into the current and ran for the shoal water on Plum Point. The Gen. Bragg, Capt. Leonard, which had the lead, ran rapidly at her (supposed to be the Saint Louis), striking her a glancing blow on the starboard bow and receiving a broadside at 10 feet distance. The Bragg then backed out, and the Sumter, Capt. Lamb, passed on, striking the same boat on the starboard quarter, and continued upstream to strike another. The Van Dorn, Capt. Fulkerson, which came next, went up to the mortar boat and fired into it at 20 yards distance, and, passing for larger game, ran into another large gunboat, and then, unfortunately, ran ashore, where for several minutes she sustained a terrific cannonade until she backed off. The Price, Capt. Henthorne, which was third in the line of attack, went gallantly in and struck a large gunboat, supposed to be the Benton, and also received several point-blank shots. The other boats of this fleet, viz.,: the Beauregard, Col. Lovell, Jeff. Thompson, and Little Rebel were not able to get into the fight, except with their guns, but it is worthy of note that the gunners on the open forecastle and sterns served their guns steadily amid a shower of missiles without one casualty.

The Little Rebel was Commodore Montgomery's flag-ship, and ran about amid the storm as heedlessly as if charmed.

A tiller rope on the Gen. Bragg was accidentally cut, which prevented her from again returning to the charge, and as the difference in speed had opened the gap between our boats so far, and as the enemy's boats were enough injured to repay our attempt and damage fourfold, the commodore hoisted his recall, and we fell back cheering and shouting.

Our loss has been: W. W. Andrews, steward on the Van Dorn, killed, third cook on the Bragg, mortally wounded, and 8 or 10 slightly wounded, among whom is Capt. Fulkerson-a contusion on the hand, more painful than dangerous.

Where all acted so handsomely it would be invidious to discriminate, and I will simply state that the captains and crews of this fleet deserve the confidence which has been reposed in them, and my officers and men acted, as they always have, bravely and obediently.

Yours, most respectfully,

M. JEFF. THOMPSON, Brig.-Gen., Missouri State Guard, Comdg. Confederate Troops on Fleet.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 10, pt. I, pp. 889-891.[4]

          10, Confederate scouts, Bethel to Stantonville to Jackson environs

HDQRS., Bethel, May 10, 1862.

Maj. GEORGE WILLIAMSON, Assistant Adjutant-Gen.:

MAJ.: I have the honor to report that my scouts returned yesterday from the neighborhood of Stantonville, and report the enemy having moved their camp from that place, although their pickets are still there. Everything seems to be going in the direction of Corinth. Two Federal prisoners captured near the railroad yesterday report the same. They are deserters, trying to make their way to Missouri. The scouts have taken quite a number of mules and a few horses which have strayed from their camps. The telegraph wire is mended but the operator in Corinth has not connected with this place. My scouts scour the country for 12 or 15 miles in the direction of Pittsburg and Corinth. No enemy between this [place] and Jackson.

Respectfully, your obedient servant.


Col., Cmdg. [Mississippi Cavalry]

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 10, pt. I, p. 509.

          10, Confederate authorities order Memphians to use Confederate scrip [see also June 6, 1862, "On the occupation of Memphis" below]

Headquarters, Memphis, May 10, 1862

Special Orders, No. 340-The following order, in compliance with orders from Gen Beauregard, is published for the information of the public.

I.                The Civil Governor and Provost-Marshal will arrest all persons who refuse to take Confederate money in ordinary business transactions. No mere subterfuge on the part of the person or persons refusing will suffice to screen the offender from the penalties of the order.

II.             Banks, banking-houses, and all incorporated companies are hereby required to take Confederate notes as currency in the transactions of their business.

III.          III. All persons will distinctly understand that nothing in the least degree calculated to discredit the operations of the Government will not be tolerated, or treated as anything else than what it is-DISLOYALTY [sic]

IV.          A rigid compliance with this order is expected, and will be vigilantly and promptly enforced,

By command of THOS. H. ROSSER, Colonel commanding post

Thomas W. Crowder, Acting Post Adjutant.

New York Times, June 13, 1862.[5]

          10, The wedding of an old family slave[6] in Murfreesboro and the return of a native

Not a more beautiful day could have been selected than this is. It would have been splendid for a bridal one. If we were influenced altogether by outward circumstances, (or appearances) we would be the happiest of happy. Pa is coming home, and we are delighted, but not more so than he is, as he has been a prisoner in the Penitentiary ever since the 15th of last month, away from his family. Ma, Jennie & Helen went over to the depot to meet him. Mr. Christy & Mr. Rickhammer came out to see him. Mrs. Henderson & Mrs. Levi Reeves called this afternoon also, but being very busy preparing the table for Nicie's wedding supper, (she is an old family servant that is to be married) did not see any of them. We have been quite busy all day. The table was set in our dining room, and quite a pretty one too it was. She was married in the front hall by Uncle Brack, their colored preacher. Everything passed off very nicely. Ada & Emma Ledbetter, Kate Marchbanks, & Dick Ledbetter were out and sat until bed time with us. Mr. Buck Duffer was also up here & saw the ceremony performed. Mr. Crossman went to Nashville today.

Kate Carney Diary, May 10, 1862.

          10, "… I think that if I die in the struggle that I will die in a just cause. "An account of Morgan's May 5, 1862 defeat at Lebanon by A. A. Harrison

Wartrace, Tenn.

May 10th, 1862

Dear Wife,

I take my pen in hand to inform you that I am well at present and hope these few lines may find you and the children and all of the rest of the folks well. I rec'd your letter of the 4th of May this evening and was glad to hear that you was getting along so well although it brings the tears every time I get a letter to think that I am so far from you and the children. Yet I think that if I die in the struggle that I will die in a just cause. Our regiment just got in yesterday from Lebanon, Tenn. where they had a desperate fight with a body of rebels under a notorious Ky. robber by the name of Morgan. The rebels were about 800 strong while ours did not amount to more than 600. But our boys whipped them badly, killing seventy odd and took 200 prisoners, 155 horses, 180 stand of arms and chased the balance of them 18 miles. All of the Hardin boys were in the fight except me & John (Vine?) & Wm. Branch & Hugh Patterson. There was one of our company killed and 5 wounded. The one killed was from Spencer Co., Ky. Among the wounded was Wm. C. Smith & Henry Rose both from Hardin. Jo took a splendid pistol in the fight worth about $30. Some of our boys had their clothes shot all to pieces and some had their horses killed under them. Our Col. was shot in the knee. The fight took place about 40 miles from here. When the regiment started the quartermaster could not spare me or I would have went with them. The wagoners had to stay behind too with their teams. There is no chance for me to get into a fight unless the rebels come to our camp to fight which they will hardly do. I don't know how long we will stay at this place but I don't think we will leave here for some time yet. I have just now found some use for Masonry. I have got acquainted with several citizens by that means who would do anything in their power for me. Last week there was one, a Secesh too, came and warned that we would be attacked that night and I told the Col. and he had everything prepared for them which they found out some way and did not come. There was another one of our men got poisoned today and will die tonight and we have to be very careful about eating and drinking about here. I would have wrote [sic] sooner but I waited for the boys to get back from that fight so I could give the particulars. You must write as soon as you get this and write every week if you can for I am half crazy if I don't get a letter every week. Take good care of yourself and the children and kiss them all for me. I never go to sleep without thinking of you and them. So nothing more at present but remaining your affectionate husband until death.

A. A. Harrison

Absolom A. Harrison Correspondence

          10, Federal Sunday School in a stockade; an entry from the diary of Sergeant-Major Lyman S. Widney

Sunday – May 10 – Attended Sunday School in one of the Stockades conducted by Col. Buckner of [the] 79th Illinois who announced that it would be continued every Sunday while we remained. This Stockade [sic] appeared like a queer place for a Sunday School. It is octagon in shape with heavy timbers laid one upon another in layers and thick enough to be impenetrable to bullets. It is lighted by several circles of port holes wide enough to permit a musket barrel to be thrust through. Platforms around under each of the port holes on the inside where the defenders are to stand to load and fire[;] a ditch surrounds the entire structure and a heavy door is ready to be closed against hostile intruders.

Diary of Lyman S. Widney[7]

10, Juvenile delinquency in Memphis; a social consequence of war

Juvenile Criminals.—The introduction into Council of an ordnance [sic] establishing a poor house—an institution greatly wanted in this city—gives opportunity to suggest that some special provision should be made in that institution for juvenile criminals. This class of unfortunates abound in this city to an extent we never suspected until recent events made the fact public. Since the changes caused by the war have crowded our bluff and empty spaces about the city with merchandise, especially sugar, a swarm of young children of both sexes, from four to fourteen years of age, have been habitually stealing all kinds of articles, even navy pistols, from chests at the government landing. Provided with a bag hung around the neck with a string, they will lie down beside a sugar hogshead, coffee sack or box of goods, and availing themselves of holes or cracks, which they will enlarge and sometimes make for themselves, they rapidly fill their bag, take the stolen property home and return and renew their cunning depredations. In some cases the children, when arrested and interrogated, have stated that their parents had sent them out with orders to "go and get something."; If these children are brought before the Recorder what can be done with them?; That officer has power only to fine, if the fine is not paid, as of course in these instances it is not likely to be, the prisoner is sent to the chain gang. There the boys are put into the company of the worst miscreants in the city and become hardened in guilt by the very mode adopted to punish their errors, and the girls must mingle with the lowest of these outcast females, who are the great blot on our civilization. This is evidently to damn yet deeper the already polluted soul. If this be not done, the young culprit escapes punishment altogether, and finding guilt can be indulged in with impunity, evil practices are pursued until all sense of purity, honesty and self-respect is destroyed, and the juvenile criminal grows up to be a curse to society. Society has neglected him, and he punishes society by preying upon it. The young sugar and coffee stealer becomes a pickpocket, a garroter or a housebreaker. After much injury has been inflicted and property lost, the criminal is arrested. Then the public has to pay magistrate's fees, jailor's fees, lawyers' fees, witness' fees, and all the multiplied expenses that accumulate from the arrest to the trial. If, after all the expenses, a verdict of guilty is found, the criminal must go to the penitentiary and be maintained there. Take into consideration the injury and loss one of these criminals inflicts upon society, and it will be evident that if society had taken the juvenile criminal, given him an education, then put him out where he would have been instructed in honest labor, the expense would be much less than is required in the case of a convicted criminal, while the honest man would spend his life in contributing to the possessions of society instead of taking away from them. It is manifestly our interest, to say nothing of higher motives when we find children raised by their parents or guardians in criminal habits, or when we find them homeless and friendless, exposed to every evil influence, take possession of them, put them where they will be taught to fear God, to live uprightly, and to labor industriously. There should be a department in the poorhouse for such children of bitter misfortune, where they can be taught to read, write, and work. We earnestly hope this subject will receive attention, and that a provision will be made to receive from the horrible fate that impends over them, such young people as now come before our magistrates charged with guilt into which they have been driven by vicious parents, or into which they have fallen because they are without home and without friends.

Memphis Daily Appeal, May 10, 1862.




          9, Skirmish at Cumberland River

Dyer's Battle Index for Tennessee.

          9, Skirmish at Schoeppe House

Dyer's Battle Index for Tennessee.

          9, Expedition up Caney Fork [see May 9, 1863, Affair near Caney Fork, below]

          9, Affair near Caney Fork


No. 1.- Brig. Gen. George Crook, U. S. Army.

No. 2.- B. F. Weems, Acting Assistant Adjutant-Gen., C. S. Army.

No. 1.

Report of Brig. Gen. George Crook, U. S. Army.

Carthage, TENN., May 11, 1863.

SIR: I sent a scouting expedition up Caney Fork on the 9th, which captured Col. [Baxter] Smith, his adjutant and one lieutenant, with two privates, all of the Fourth [Eighth] Tennessee Cavalry, of Morgan's command. The expedition was attacked by a body of the enemy, but repulsed them, killing 2 rebels and wounding a third. I send Col. Smith down to-day. No further news from the enemy.





Chief of Staff, Army of the Cumberland.

No. 2.

Report of B. F. Weems, Acting Assistant Adjutant-Gen., C. S. Army.


MAJ.: I am directed by Gen. [J. A.] Wharton to say that he has just received intelligence of the capture of Col. Baxter Smith, of Fourth [Eighth] Tennessee Regt. [sic], and 26 of his men, who were on the other side of Caney Fork from his command, on a scout. It was night, and the Federals crossed the river by transports and surrounded his camp with their infantry before he was aware of their coming. The general thinks that the Federals meditate mischief in that section. Most respectfully, major, your obedient servant,


Acting Assistant Adjutant-Gen.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 23, pt. I, pp. 329-330.

          9, 'THE OATH OF ALLEGIANCE."

The machine has ceased to grind. The gentlemen have closed their labors at the Capitol, and it may now be said that we are all loyal. The authorities may feel themselves highly indebted to Messrs. Knowles, Monahan, and Porter, and many others for kind assistance. The following is the official number of oaths and paroles subscribed to:

          April 22              200       Day order was issued.

           " 23           225    2d day

           " 24            280    3d "

           " 25            320    4th "

           " 26            768    5th "

           " 27            792    6th "

           " 28            974    7th "

           " 29            1078  8th "

          May 1          637    9th "

           "  2             305    10th "

           "  4             457    11th "

           "  5             507    12th "

           "  6             427    13th "

           "  7             547    14th "

           "  8             397    15th "

This sums up a total of 7344, including 731 paroles.

Those who have not reported at Col. Martin's office in any capacity, now lay themselves liable to imprisonment. Those who have registered their names to go South will remain on parole until called for.

Nashville Daily Press, May 9, 1863.

          9, Rosecrans' Retaliation

W. S. Rosecrans--The Dog.

We have some interesting news concerning Rosecrans' course in and around Murfreesboro' and every word is true. By his order, fifty houses have been burned, as a retaliation for rebel raids up the N. and C. and Louisville railroads. Not brave enough to meet our troops in fair combat, he resorts to this inhuman mode of guarding his rear. Winchester (Tenn.) Bulletin.

Natchez Daily Courier, May 9, 1863.[8]

          9, "NOTICE."

All persons having Claims against the Government, arising from the use of cotton bales in the fortifications at Nashville, are hereby notified that they must be filed with the Board appointed for their investigation, on or before the 12th day of May, 1863, after which date no claims can be filed.

By order of the Board.

J. J. Donnely, Captain and Recorder

Nashville Daily Press, May 9, 1863.

          9, "Woe to them when the soldiers gets home."David F. Daihl, 77 Regt. Pa Vol. Co. A to Henry A. Bitner,

May the 9th 1863.

Camp Drake Near Murfreesboro


77 Regt. Pa Vol. Co. A

Mr. Henry Bitner

Dear Sir

It is with pleasure that I seat myself to pen you a few lines to let you know that I am still in old Tennessee and living and in good health and spirits. I have nothing of importance to wright just now no more than we are still working at the fort at this place there are no signs of a battle here soon but it is hard to tell what a day might bring forth but let them know we are ready for them. I believe that if the army of the Potomac would do what is right we would have closed up this fuss before now.

Another thing is the Copperhea[ ds] of the north witch I hear are trying to raise a mass well just let them keep on a little longer and they will see where they will come out. Woe to them when the soldiers gets home.

the soldiers of the Cumber[land] are more united than ever they were and we are the boys that fear no [unclear: noir] that Southern Shiverly can bring against us.

The weather is fine here at present everything looks like midsumer wether is very warm at present but nights cool.

I will now bring my letter to a close with the hope that these few broken lines may find you and wife as it leaves me in good health no more at present but remain your friend

David F. Daihl

To Mr. Henry Bitner

Write Soon

Direct as before

Valley of the Shadow[9]

          10, Observations on Federal forces in Murfreesboro, an excerpt from the diary of John C. Spence

The Federal soldiers here are taking matters quite easy, lying about in the shade eating and drinking. There is quite a mania among them in the way of remodeling their camps. They haul large quantities of cedar brush to ornament their tents, make latice [sic] frame and work the branches in. This destroys a great deal of timber. It appears they came to destroy, it matter[s] not which way.

* * * *

But the greatest excitement here among the soldiers is buying ginger cakes, pyes [sic] and lemonade. May add whiskey, as the effects are seen some times by their being overcome by the article. When this happens, as a punishment, the guilty will have to carry a rail on his shoulder for about two hours each day for two or three days or a headless flour barrel, with the head of the man out at the top, for this length of time. This is for getting drunk, a mode of punishment in the camps by the Yankees. They don't appear to mind it much. Some of them would be willing any time to carry rail or barrel, for a good swig of whiskey.

Some of the boys, as they call themselves, are troublesome, slipping round citizens [sic] gardens and stealing vegetables as they get of any size, onions in particular. They will go to any length to obtain a fiew [sic] onions.

Spence Diary.

          10, "…our Quartermaster to celebrate the occasion rolled out a barrel of whiskey for the boys and the consequence is that many of them are somewhat elevated…." Frank M. Guernsey's letter to Fannie

Headquarters, District or West Tennessee

Memphis May 10th, 1863

My Dear Fannie

It is Sunday again, and I have just returned from a chase after some of the 14th Ills. [sic] boys, they had been troubling some niggers and I took a squad of men and went after them. They ran when they saw us coming but I succeeded in taking one of them and sent him under guard to his Reg[i]m[en]t. [sic] where he will get his just deserts probably.

We are having some very warm weather for this time of year, and the beautiful grove in which we are encamped is now worth a mint of gold to us. In the heate [sic] of the day we lounge about in the shade and pass off time the best way we can sometimes one way and sometimes another. Your welcome letter came to day. I also received one from Judge Wheeler of Berlin and you may bet I was glad to hear from you. Then you do think of me once in a while Fanny, though not more often than I do of you I guess. Perhaps if nothing happens to prevent you may have your wish Fanny, for I am going to try to get a furlough just as soon as the Col. gets back, he is now in Wis. I suppose.

Since writing the foregoing our Reg[i]m[en]t. [sic] presents a scene both comical and sad. We have just heard that Richmond is taken and our Quartermaster to celebrate the occasion rolled out a barrel of whiskey for the boys and the consequence is that many of them are somewhat elevated strange work for a sabbath [sic] day you think; wel [sic] so it is, but Fannie a soldier knows no difference between one day and another, and you can hardly conceive with what joy reports of the success of our arms are received with us soldier boys there are none of us but what the joys and comforts of our homes and the presence of our loved ones are just as dear to as to any of those northern traitors which we have left behind, and we firmly believe that every victory won, every advantage gained is a step towards the soldiers haven of bliss, viz.,: the subjugation or annihilation of these inhuman Rebels, it is hardly to be wondered at then that some of them get jolly. Let them enjoy themselves I say while they can, for the Lord only knows when we may be sent out on another expedition similar to the one we had last fall, then there would be trouble enough.

This evening Glen and myself went out to protect the property and person of a poor white woman living near camp. It was at the same house where that fellow had been that I arrested this afternoon. We stayed until about nine o'clock in the evening and then came to camp. We had lots of fun with a nigger who lives in one part of the house. He was quite a Philosopher. In the course of our conversation he got to speaking of his wife. I asked him how many he ever had. He said he rekoned [sic] about twenty (a few) he said the women were pretty good generally but once in a while they would get the Devil (excuse the expression) into them and there was no getting along with them.

Our Reg[i]m[en]t. [sic] appears to be in luck, there has been another call for troops from Gen. Grant and Gen. Hurlburt has sent one whole Brigade to him. They took Reg[i]m[en]ts. from each side of us and left ours here. I believe I have no very great desire to go to Vicksburg. The climate and the water is very hard on northern troops, though we can stand hardships now. But Fannie I guess I will close as it is late and I am somewhat tired, have been on duty until after nine oclock [sic] this evening. Please excuse this letter for I presume that you will find it a very dull one. My regards to all your people and accept much love for yourself from – Frank

P.S. Fannie you must not get downhearted for this war will soon come to an end like all things else and then I shall come home. I should be very glad to have a picture of you that does you justice. I dont [sic] think the one I have does.

Guernsey Collection.

          10, "Quite a feather in MY cap." Capture of Confederate cavalrymen near Murfreesboro by Lt. Albert Potter, Fourth Michigan cavalry picket

Headquarters Co "H"

Camp 'Park', Murfreesboro

Thursday May 14, 1863

Dear Sister

*  *  *  *

I was out on Picket last Sunday [10th] and had quite a little adventure. Captured 3 Rebels and their Horses and Saddles and arms complete. Quite a feather in MY [sic] cap. Several of the rebs [sic] had been seen for 2 or 3 days back, on the road in front and they nearly all stopped at a home about a mile beyond my videttes. I thought perhaps I could nab them, so I took a Relief, mounted, and went to our outpost a little before Daylight. I then dismounted tied my horse and had seven of my men do the same, ordering the remainder to come to our support if they heard firing. We went down cautiously to the house. I sent a man to the left and right of the road, for you know, we were outside of our lines and did not know what we would come across. We got to the house about daylight, surrounded it. No one there, but, the owners, strong old sesesh [sic], Alexander by name. Presently we saw 3 horsemen come up the road. We secreted ourselves so that if they came to the house we could surround them. They came on, my men ran out in the road in the rear of them – cried surrender. One of them, who had had his gun in his hand all the time, raised it as if to shoot. When quicker than thought my boys fired. One ball struck his hip and came out just below his belt in his abdomen. Another one struck his wrist another one struck his horse. I hollered at the men to stop firing or they would have killed him. I felt sorry for him, smart good looking, if he had not raised his gun the boys would not have fired. He died in a day or two. I expected the firing would draw more of them upon us and when the ambulance came, I took 20 men with me and went down. But no one came in sight. Since then they have kept a fire there all the time.

Potter Correspondence.

10, An appraisal of future Confederate fortunes in East Tennessee


The determination of our military chieftains to retain possession of east Tennessee was never stronger that at present. We are assured that the apprehension which exists that, for some strategic considerations, the army now in East Tennessee, would be diverted temporarily to another point, is without foundation. If the force of Burnside be permitted to pass the mountain barriers and entrench itself along the mountain fastnesses, we shall hereafter find it almost impossible to dislodge it. From such strongholds marauding detachments would constantly come fort the destroy railway bridges, the line of communication between the East and West, and to incited local disturbances among the disloyal population of East Tennessee. Not only would the resources of this region, now invaluable be lost to the South-not only would the production of food and the material of war become impossible, but the grain fields of East Tennessee, hereafter to furnish with bread, bacon and horses, will be desolated.

But beyond all this, there is a consideration affecting the policy of Gen. Johnston, which, if we are not greatly mistaken, renders it absolutely certain that this mount girt district will not be given up. It is hardly probably that Burnside's march towards the Sequatchie Valley, or in the direction of Chattanooga, would be unrevised. If a Federal force, penetrating this region, should reach the points designated, Bragg's position at Tullahoma would be untenable. The enemy would soon be in his rear; his communications with the source of his supplies would be interrupted by Burnside's cavalry; and Bragg would be forced to attack, Rosecrans in his entrenchments, or withdraw into Northern Georgia.

To accomplish this result is, perhaps, the purpose of Gen. Burnside, while his follower proclaim their intention of hanging and slaughtering all the true Southern inhabitants of this district. It follows, therefore, that the abolitionists will not be permitted to establish themselves in mountain strongholds, nor will East Tennessee be surrendered even temporarily, in order to insure a victory at Murfreesboro. The losses to which we would be subjected by the desolation of this district would be too great to justify a maneuver which, after all, might result in a drawn battle, and in that event East Tennessee and our railway would be hopelessly lost.

Knoxville Daily Register, May 10, 1863.

          10, "They formed a line, took each other by the hand & marched into the River." Baptism in the Army of Tennessee; excerpt from the letter of Third Sergeant John R. McCreight, Ninth Tennessee Infantry to his sister from his regiment's position in the Shelbyville environs

From J. R. McCreight

Shelbyville, Tenn., May 10, 1863

Dear Sister,

~ ~ ~

There is still a great deal of religious feeling in the army here and also in Va. A great many have professed and many are inquiring the way. On last Sunday I stood on the banks of the Duck River amid a large crowd and witnessed the emersion of ten soldiers. They formed a line, took each other by the hand & marched into the River. There were a good many Ladies there to witness the scene. After they came out of the water several of the Ladies came up extended a right hand of fellowship with them. There were a great many things in camp life that tends to blunted the sympathies and affections of our hearts, but when I witnessed the above scene I could not refrain from shedding tears. On the evening of the same day in the 13 Reg T.V., the ordinance of Baptism was administered to several by sprinkling. I hope and trust that this good work will go on until the whole army becomes religious and then that long prayed for boone will come (Peace) which we all so much desire….

~ ~ ~

J. R. McRight

Ninth Tennessee, p 155.

          10 Third Sergeant John R. McCreight's, Ninth Tennessee Infantry, feelings about the death of Van Dorn. excerpt from his letter written in Shelbyville to his brother

Shelbyville, Tenn., May 10/63 general

~ ~ ~

Gen. Vandorn was killed the other day by a Doctor. I have forgotten his name – for being too intimate with his wife. No person seems to regret his death, the general impression is that the Doctor was justified in shooting….

Ninth Tennessee, p 157.





          9, Entry in Alice Williamson's Diary, Sumner County

Capt. Nicklen come back today and the "Freed pussons of cullers" commensed [sic] their school today. They were dressed in style with their white swiss hats. The citizens look for the tavern to be burnt every night.

Williamson Diary

          9, A Bolivar school girl's epitome of three months of socializing with Confederate soldiers

Gracious me! Is it possible that I have not written in my Journal for nearly three months! And no wonder, for I have had such glorious times with Confederate soldiers that I forgot [the] and every thing else. The dear fellows were with us a good long while during which time I was never happier. Oh, what delightful times we did have, having company all day and accompanying the soldiers to parties at night. We made a great many acquaintances among them was William Polk, a dashing young flirt (all my suspicions are formed on reports and appearances). Seargt. Major Cleburn, Adjutant Pope, and Lieut. Colonel[,] all of the 7th Tennessee, Capt. Elliot and many other of the 14th. [I] am acquainted with Generals Forrest and Chalmers also. Almost all the respective staffs like the Generals better than all the staffs put together [sic].

Diary of Sally Wendel Fentress.

          10, Initiation of anti-guerrilla operations along Memphis and Charleston and Tennessee & Alabama Railroads

NASHVILLE, May 10, 1864.

Capt. JOHN C. CRANE, Assistant Quartermaster:

SIR: Several messenger report the commencement of destructive operations by guerrillas. I have thought it my duty, as tending very much to protect Government property, and by advice received at the office of the post commander, to make you a report, and to solicit your attention to some considerations respecting them.

A stone, as an intimation of the commencement of operations, was laid upon the track May 4 between Franklin and Spring Hill. But the principal field of their present operations seems to be between Stevenson and Huntsville, on the Memphis and Charleston Railroad, and along the Tennessee and Alabama Railroad. They have since the above date twice fired into trains and in the last instance killed the engineer and fireman. The unfortunate engineer, although mortally wounded, conducted his train out of the reach of miscreants, and died. A messenger has also reported, since I began this communication, that a very alarming attempt was made to destroy the bridge at Elkmont, about forty miles this side of Huntsville. And another has reported that the telegraph wire was cut on Sunday [8th], and a rail laid upon the track to throw off a train, upon the same railroad; and that a considerable quantity of cord wood was set on fire in several places between here and Franklin.

If these miscreant operations are allowed to go on and increase in this ratio, may not some serious impediment soon be interposed to your ability to supply our forces at this important period of our conflict? The military force has been so largely withdrawn that the protection of the roads is entirely inadequate, and its weakness will invite the malicious who prowl in the country. Would it not be an effectual measure to disarm the inhabitants living along the lines of the military railroads where the guerrillas, to a great extent, live and shelter; and could it be in the least degree offensive or injurious to good, loyal men? And would it be difficult or impracticable to execute such a plan? Suppose that an order were issued at your instance requiring all persons living within twenty miles on either side of the Nashville and Chattanooga, and the Tennessee and Alabama Railroads, and perhaps for the same distance on the Memphis and Charleston Railroad, to bring in all their arms, at certain specified points, within ten or twenty days from the publication of the order, and every man to be treated indiscriminately as a guerrilla found in arms or having been secreted after the expiration of that time?

You will know what importance to attach to this report and communication, which I make from the desire to make the passage of the messengers safe, and from the relations of the subject with the preservation of the Government property and with the safe transit of the Government stores.

Please accept this communication as arising from my desire to be of the highest service possible to your department.

I have reported to Mr. Sloan the cause of the needless destruction of two engines near Shellmound, and also of the destruction of property at Stevenson from the want of proper switch tenders and signal men.

Your very respectfully and obedient servant,

C. L. HEQUEMBOURG, Chief of Courier Line, &c.

[First indorsement.]

ASST. QMRS. OFFICE, U. S. MILITARY RAILROAD, Nashville, May 10, 1864.

Respectfully referred to Col. J. L. Donaldson, senior and supervising quartermaster, for his information and action.

JOHN C. CRANE, Capt. and Assistant Quartermaster.

[Second indorsement.]

NASHVILLE, May 11, 1864.

Respectfully submitted to Maj.-Gen. Rousseau, with the suggestion that commanding officers along the line of the roads be required to visit points on the road, weekly, twenty miles above and below their posts, and to warn all persons living near the lines that they will be held to a strict accountability if they do not give warning of the acts and approach of guerrillas in their neighborhood.

J. L. DONALDSON, Senior and Supervising Quartermaster.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 39, pt. II, pp. 20-21.

          10, Affair with guerrillas at Winchester

MAY 10, 1864.-Affair with guerrillas at Winchester, Tenn.

Report of Col. Henry K. McConnell, Seventy-first Ohio Infantry.

HDQRS. SEVENTY-FIRST Regt. [sic] OHIO VET. VOL. INFTY., Elk River, Tenn., May 11, 1864.

SIR: I have the honor to report that the guerrillas at Winchester yesterday morning were those of Hays and Davis, and were from thirty to forty in number. Capt. McConnell drove them from ten to fifteen be moving in this direction his probable route will be by Lexington, Pulaski, and Fayetteville, a distance of more than 100 miles. We are keeping a vigilant lookout in that direction. We lack 20,000 rounds of ammunition of the quantity required to be kept on hand. I received intelligence yesterday of 300 bushels of corn being brought from below to be manufactured into whisky. I can secure the corn by going not more than ten miles. There can be nothing permanently in the way of mapping until we can secure instruments for that purpose. Mr. Gilham, who lives near this post, will be of great use to us employed in secret service. Can he be so employed? There is also a colored man at Winchester who is regularly reporting here, and will also be of service.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

H. K. McCONNELL, Col., Cmdg.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 39, pt. I, p. 15.

          10, Further restrictions on cotton trade in Memphis, General Orders No. 3

HDQRS. DISTRICT OF WEST TENNESSEE, Memphis, Tenn., May 10, 1864.

Maj.-Gen. SLOCUM, Cmdg. District of Vicksburg:

GEN.: I inclose you an order which I have just issued here in regard to trade. If your views should agree with mine I shall be most happy to have your co-operation to break up the wretched system that has contributed so much toward prolonging the war...

C. C. WASHBURN, Maj.-Gen.



The practical operation of commercial intercourse from this city with the States in rebellion has been to help largely to feed, cloth, arm and equip our enemies. Memphis has been of more value to the Southern Confederacy since it fell into Federal hands than Nassau. To take cotton belonging to the rebel Government to Nassau, or any foreign port, is a hazardous proceeding. To take it to Memphis and convert it into supplies and greenbacks and return to the lines of the enemy, or place the proceeds to the credit of the rebel Government in Europe, without passing again into rebel lines, is safe and easy. I have undoubted evidence that large amounts of cotton have been, and are being, brought here to be sold, belonging to the rebel Government. The past and present system of trade has given strength to the rebel army, while it has demoralized and weakened our own. It has invited the enemy to hover around Memphis as his best base of supply, when otherwise he would have abandoned the country. It renders of practical non-effect the blockade upon the ocean, which has cost, and is costing, so many millions. It opens our lines to the spies of the enemy, and renders it next to impossible to execute any military plan without its becoming known to him long enough in advance for him to prepare for it. The facts here stated are known to every intelligent man in Memphis. What is the remedy for these great and overwhelming evils? Experience shows that there can be but one remedy, and that is total prohibition of all commercial intercourse with the States in rebellion.

It is therefore ordered, that on and after the 15th day of May, 1864, the lines of the army at Memphis be closed, and no person will be permitted to leave the city, expect by river, without a special pass from these headquarters after that date. All persons desirous of coming into the city will be permitted to do so, but should be notified by the pickets that they will not be allowed to return. All persons who desire to leave the city to go beyond our lines must do so before the 15th instant.

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

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 39, pt. II, pp. 22-23.[10]

          10, A Tornado in the Nashville environs

"The Great Storm of Tuesday."

The storm of wind and rain which visited our city on Tuesday [10th] evening, we learn, has been particularly destructive in the vicinity of Nashville for miles around. In the region of country skirting the Nolensville Pike, the storm which amounted to a perfect hurricane, in its course uprooted trees, tore down fences, and tumbled over houses to an alarming extent, carrying in its track devastation and ruin to many small farmers and their families, and in some cases loss of life as well as property. Rev. John Rains, living about three miles from the city, near the Nolensville Pike, had his home utterly stripped and ruined -- carriage-house, stable, smoke-house, servants' house, and fencing were entirely destroyed, and his dwelling house is nearly so. Mr. Woodward, in the same vicinity, had his dwelling-house literally torn to pieces, and his wife seriously, if not fatally injured, besides three children badly hurt; the hand of the eldest was so badly crushed as to require amputation of the thumb. Nast. F. Dortch, Mr. McConnico, Mr. Harper, Mr. Lucus, Dr. Whitsitt, and others in the same locality, suffered considerably. Mrs. Aaron V. Brown had a large lot of beautiful timber land destroyed Mr. John Hooper sustained considerable damage, his barn and fencing being destroyed.

In the vicinity of the Hermitage, we learn, a large amount of valuable timber, dwelling houses, etc. were destroyed. Tim. Dodson had his barn, cut house, and fences utterly wrecked. A brick house, on Mill Creek, the property of P. Vickers, is in ruins. The storm traversed a large extent of country Wilson county, doing great damage to fences and out houses. Altogether, from what we hear, this is one of the most disastrous hurricanes that has visited Tennessee for many years.

Nashville Dispatch, May 12, 1864.






          10, Confederate forces under Colonel J. F. Newsom seek to undertake policing mission in West Tennessee after the collapse of the Confederacy [see May 14, 1865, Major General C. C. Washburn demands Col. J. F. Newsom's surrender below]

HDQRS., Jackson, Tenn., May 10, 1865.

Brig.-Gen. MEREDITH, Cmdg., & C., Paducah, Ky.:

GEN.: With reference to the surrender of West Tennessee, which was demanded of me, I desire to make this communication in order that, should that event occur, a full and perfect understanding can be had. I am here under orders from Lieut.-Gen. Forrest for the purpose of collecting the men absent from their commands, and to take measure to break up all bands of robbers and guerrillas, and being the officer highest in rank in the country where my fields of labor are I am in command of the same to a limited extent. As to the surrender of the forces in West Tennessee, I am controlled and bound by the orders and acts of Lieut.-Gen. Taylor, commanding department. His surrender, as a matter of course, includes myself and the District of West Tennessee, and myself and command are bound by that act. I am frank to say that whenever the department commander makes a surrender I shall surrender the forces in West Tennessee under my command. My mission here is more for the protection of the citizens and to break up the bands of lawless men and robbers who infest the country.

Knowing the condition of the people here, and that they need all the protection in my power in order to enable them to live and save what little had been left them, I have directed all my energies and time to clearing the country of lawless and bad men. In behalf of the citizens I ask that none of the men belonging to the command of Col.'s Hawkins and Hurst be sent here. The feeling that exists between soldiers of these commands and the citizens is such that private malice and private revenge might be more the result of such a policy than the restoration of order. For the purpose of a full and perfect understanding on these matters, I am ready to meet and confer with you at such time and place as you will designate, and respectfully ask for such a conference.

I have the honor to be, general, your obedient servant,

J. F. NEWSOM, Col., Cmdg.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 49, pt. II, pp. 711-712.


[1] Public Acts of the State of Tennessee, passed at the extra session of the Thirty-third General Assembly, April, 1861, (Nashville: J. G. Griffith & Co.: 1861.)

[2] As cited in PQCW.

[3] This was one of the few riverine victories for the Confederacy, and certainly the only success of its kind in Tennessee's Civil War experience. The brevity of the Union report contrasts starkly with the elaboration in the Confederate account.

[4] CAR, p. 17, refers to this event a skirmish at "Port Pillow" [sic].

[5] See also: Louisville Daily Journal, May 19, 1862.

[6] Because the marriage was between two slaves it had no legal standing.

[7] Diary of Lyman S. Widney, Sergeant – Major 34th Illinois Infantry, From September 25 to May 25, 1864. Courtesy of Stones River National Battlefield Park, Murfreesboro, TN. [Hereinafter cited as: Diary of Lyman S. Widney.]

[8] As cited in:

[9]Valley of the Shadow.

[10] See also: Memphis Bulletin, May 10, 1864


James B. Jones, Jr.

Public Historian

Tennessee Historical Commission

2941 Lebanon Road

Nashville, TN  37214

(615)-770-1090 ext. 123456

(615)-532-1549  FAX


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