Wednesday, June 17, 2015

6.17.2015 Tennessee Civil War Notes


          17, A British war correspondent's observations of Memphis, Gideon J. Pillow and the Southern army

It was 1:40 P. M. when the train arrived at Memphis. I was speedily on my way to the Gayoso House, so called after an old Spanish ruler of the district, which is situated in the street on the bluff, which runs parallel with the course of the Mississippi. This resuscitated Egyptian city is a place of importance, and extends for several miles along the high bank of the river, though it does not run very far back.

The streets are the same at right angles to the principal thoroughfares, which are parallel to the stream; and I by no means expected to see the lofty stores, warehouses, rows of shops, and handsome buildings on the broad esplanade along the river, and the extent and size of the edifices public and private in this city, which is one of the developments of trade and commerce created by the Mississippi. Memphis contains nearly 30,000 inhabitants, but many of them are foreigners, and there is a nomad draft into and out of the place, which abounds in haunts for Bohemians, drinking and dancing saloons, and gaming-rooms. And this strange kaleidoscope of negroes [sic] and whites of the extremes of civilization in its American development, and of the semi-savage degraded by his contact with the white; of enormous steamers on the river, which bears equally the dug-out or canoe of the black fisherman; the rail, penetrating the inmost [sic] recesses of swamps, which on either side of it remain no doubt in the same state as they were centuries ago; the roll of heavily-laden wagons through the streets; the rattle of omnibuses and all the phenomena of active commercial life before our eyes, included in the same scope of vision which takes in at the other side of the Mississippi lands scarcely yet settled, though the march of empire has gone thousands of miles beyond them, amuses but perplexes the traveler in this new land.

The evening was so exceedingly warm that I was glad to remain within the walls of my darkened bedroom. All the six hundred and odd guests whom the Gayoso House is said to accommodate were apparently in the passage at one time. At present it is the headquarters of General Gideon J. Pillow, who is charged with the defences of the Tennessee side of the river, and commands a considerable body of troops around the city and in the works above. The house is consequently filled with men in uniform, belonging to the General's staff or the various regiments of Tennessee troops.

* * * *

On hearing of my arrival, General Pillow sent his aid-de-camp to inform me that he was about starting in a steamer up the river, to make an inspection of the works and garrison at Fort Randolph and at other points where batteries had been erected to command the stream, supported by large levies of Tennesseans. The aide-de-camp conducted me to the General, whom I found in his bedroom, fitted up as an office, littered with plans and papers. Before the Mexican War General Pillow was a flourishing solicitor, connected in business with President Polk, and commanding so much influence that when the expedition was formed he received the nomination of brigadier-general of volunteers. He served with distinction and was severely wounded at the battle of Chapultepec and at the conclusion of the campaign he retired into civil life, and was engaged directing the work of his plantation till this great rebellion summoned him once more to the field.

Of course there is, and must be, always an inclination to deride these volunteer officers on the part of regular soldiers; and I was informed by one of the officers in attendance on the General that he made himself ludicrously celebrated in Mexico for having undertaken to throw up a battery which, when completed, was found to face the wrong way, so that the guns were exposed to the enemy. General Pillow is a small, compact, clear-complexioned man, with short gray whiskers, cut in the English fashion, a quick eye and a pompous manner of speech; and I had not been long in his company before I heard of Chapultepec and his wound, which causes him to limp a little in his walk, and gives him inconvenience in the saddle. He wore a round black hat, plain blue frock-coat, dark trousers, and brass spurs on his boots; but no sign of military rank. The General ordered carriages to the door, and we went to see the batteries on the bluff or front of the esplanade, which are intended to check any ship attempting to pass down the river from Cairo, where the Federals under General Prentiss have entrenched themselves, and are understood to mediate an expedition against the city. A parapet of cotton bales, covered with tarpaulin, has been erected close to the edge of the bank of earth, which rises to heights varying from 60 to 150 feet almost perpendicularly from the waters of the Mississippi, with zigzag roads running down through it to the landing-places. This parapet could offer no cover against vertical fire, and is so placed that well-directed shell into the bank below it would tumble it all into the water. The zigzag roads are barricaded with weak planks, which would be shivered to pieced by boat-guns; and the assaulting parties would easily mount through these covered ways to the rear of the parapet, and up to the very centre of the esplanade.

The blockade of the river at this point is complete; not a boat is permitted to pass either up or down. At the extremity of the esplanade, on an angle of the bank, an earthen battery, mounted with six heavy guns has been thrown up, which has a fine command of the river; and the General informed me he intends to mount sixteen guns in addition, on a prolongation of the face of the same work.

The inspection over, we drove down a steep road to the water beneath, where the Ingomar, a large river steamer, now chartered for the service of the State of Tennessee, was lying to receive us. The vessel was crowded with troops – all volunteers, of course – about to join those in camp. Great as were their numbers, the proportion of the officers was inordinately large, and the rank of the greater number preposterously high. It seemed to me as if I was introduced to a battalion of colonels, and that I was not permitted to pierce to any lower strata of military rank. I counted seventeen colonels, and believe the number was not then exhausted.

* * * *

Our voyage….was slow; nor did I regret the captain's caution, as we there must have been fully nine hundred persons on board; and although there is but little danger of being snagged in the present condition of the river, we encountered now and then a trunk of a tree, which struck against the bows with force enough to make the vessel quiver from stem to stern. I was furnished with a small berth, to which I retired at midnight, just as the Ingomar was brought to at the Chickasaw Bluffs, above which lies Camp Randolph.

William Howard Russell, My Diary, North and South.[1]

          17, Rebel Flag Flies in Nashville

Raising the Confederate Flag on the Capitol of Tennessee

[From the Nashville Union, June 18]

Last evening at 5 o'clock, an immense number of ladies and gentlemen assembled at the capitol to witness the hoisting of the flag of the Confederate States. Proudly it floated over our beautiful capitol, and under it we again feel ourselves a free and independent people. Tennesseans remain under no colors controlled by tyrannical powers and leaders whose every step is marked by usurpations. The heavens favored us with a breeze that our flag, in full length, should waive over the joyous throng whose hearts beat happily in its triumphant power. The beautiful women were there, ready at all times to manifest their patriotism, and whose appreciation of independence and constitutional freedom nerves us on in victory in every contest with the vandal hordes who dare pollute our southern soil.

And for them will our brave boys

"Fight till the last armed foe expires."

Gen. Wm. M. Moore, of Coffee county, and Robert Gibson, of Nashville, both soldiers of the war of 1812, were deputed by Hon. J. D. R. Ray, our gallant secretary of State, to throw the colors to the breeze for the first time over the capitol of the proud State of Tennessee. In doing so Gen. Moore acknowledged the honor of the duty assigned him, having in 1812 carried the flag of the old Union triumphantly throughout that war, remarking that "the one we now raise is to perpetuated in our posterity all the blessing bequeathed to us by our revolutionary fathers."

A salute of eleven guns, by the efficient artillery corps of Captain A. Rutledge, from two pieced of cannon, was fired in honor of the eleven States that have so [illegible] declared their independence, and which was responded to my the applause of the vast concourse of our free and determined people. The interest of the occasion was greatly due to Cap'. Rutledge and the Dunlap Zouves, which could not fail to stir every heart.

Capt. William Ewing, of Williamson county, was called for, and responded with his accustomed flow of eloquence. He was followed by Hon. R. G. Payne, of Memphis, the orator of the occasion.

Memphis Daily Appeal, June 20, 1861.


          17, Military orders relative to prohibition of liquor sales, protection of Union flag, possession of firearms. restrictions upon lewd women and theft in Memphis


Office Provost Marshal

Memphis, Tenn., June 17, 1862

For the purpose of better preserving the peace and good order of the city of Memphis, the following orders are announced for the information of all parties concerned; and it is made the duty of the Provost Guard to see that they are obeyed:

I. The guard stationed in the various parts of the city will use the utmost vigilance to discover the parties who are in the habit of selling intoxicating liquors in defiance of orders. Persons found guilty of a violation of the order relating to the sale of liquors, will be at once arrested, his liquors confiscated, his place of business closed, and the offenders reported to headquarters and punished to the extent of military authority. This order applies on steamboats as well as in the city.

II. The practice too often indulged in by evil disposed persons of insulting and using violence toward loyal citizens will no longer be tolerated under any circumstances. Union citizens who have placed the American flag over their houses will be protected in this manifestation of their loyalty to the Government; and hereafter the Provost Guard are instructed to shoot down any one who may attempt to remove the flag or molest the owner of his premises.

III. No citizen, except the Police force of the city, will hereafter be allowed to carry any firearms or other weapons, and when so found they will be promptly arrested and placed in close confinement upon bread and water. The members of the Police are required to report themselves immediately at this office, and register their names, stating the number of the ward where they perform police duty.

IV. Lewd women are prohibited from conversing with soldiers while on duty nor will they be allowed to walk the streets after sunset. Any one of the class indicated who shall violate this order will be conveyed across the river, and will not be allowed to return within the limits of the city.

V. Some unknown person representing himself as "Capt. J. K. Lindsey, Co. K. 43d Ill. Vol.," has committed several depredations by entering private houses and taking private property, giving a receipt for the same, under the pretense that he is acting by authority of the Provost Marshal. No such officer is in this army. No orders are issued to take private property from the citizens, and on a repetition of these outrages it is hoped the fact will be speedily reported to our office, that justice may be done and the guilty punished.

John H. Gould

Captain and Provost Marshal, J.R. Slack, Col. Commanding

Memphis Union Appeal, July 7, 1862[2]

          17, Operation orders for the repair of the Memphis to Charleston Railroad, relative to Federals paying for forage and remuneration for the destruction of property by "disloyal" natives


Brig. Gen. J. W. DENVER, Comdg. Third Brigade, Moscow:

GEN.: The general [i.e. Major-General William T. Sherman] is unwell, but has read your letter. He directs me to say that you can use discretion in making the repairs, but that in forage and provisions the usual custom must be adhered to, viz.,:., give vouchers payable after the war on proof of loyalty. You can explain that the people on the road having permitted the destruction of property must now put up with the inconvenience of our presence while repairing the injury.

Continue to use every precaution against surprise and to learn all that is possible about the country and roads.

* * * *


The train from Bolivar arrived last night, but brought no mail or news of any kind. When the regular trains will arrive it is impossible to say, but it will be soon.

* * * *

I have signed the requisitions.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

J. H. HAMMOND, Assistant Adjutant-Gen.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 17, pt. II, p. 13.

          17, "Let us give our troubles into His keeping…." Martha Abernathy's letter to her husband after his banishment from Pulaski by Federal authorities

My dear Husband,

In parting with you, I feel that without the aid of the Spirit I should be wholly unable to bear up under so [sic] a trial [sic]. Let us give our troubles into His keeping, & feeling that we have acted according to principle, I know He who tempers the wind to the shorn lamb will surely shield us from harm. Chastening even worse than this may come, but if it does 'twill be for our good. Taylor says there are virtues to cultivate under all circumstances. It is my duty & shall be my pleasure to find out what are appropriated & needful on the present occasion. Self-denial is one; patience another fortitude another, & just now above all others prudence [sic]. In the midst of this gloom hope speaks & tells me it will not be long ere this trial will be over. Bear up my dear one, & let not anxiety about me & the little ones wear you away. I shall, in cherishing your memory, make it my chief care to see to the welfare of our children & as far as possible protect them from any calamity, which my rashness may bring upon them. My time shall be spent in thinking of you, & praying for your welfare. Be careful of your health as far as you can, consistent with duty [sic], & when in your lonely hours, give pine to see us & to know our condition think that God who cares for His own will watch over us, & in all trouble, if we rely upon him will surely shield us from harm. O dearest One, I feel sad to see you so distressed to leaving your little lambs. I know the parting is next to death but be consoled with the thought that you are right, I that your action this day [sic] will be an invaluable legacy for the dear little ones. If you never return how proudly will I speak to them of this act [sic], & I will teach them to love you & to cherish your memory for it. It will teach them to prize above all other things earthly, an untarnished name. You say you want me to train them for usefulness here & for Heaven hereafter. Be assured I'll remember your request & with Heaven's help, will do all I can to make them lovers of truth & right [sic]. Give your heart to Our Father, so that living or dying, you may reach the reward which is in store for all who abide by His will & who obey His precepts. Pray for me! O I need your help in this trying hour. Good-bye, I hope, wait & pray [sic].

Your affectionate wife,


Diary of Martha Abernathy

          17, Smoky Mountain Epsom Salts

Epsom Salts.—Messrs. Sensabaugh, Mingus and Long sent us a specimen of Epsom Salts manufactured by them from a cave in Smokey Mountain, between N. Carolina and Tennessee. They are now making 300 lbs of Epsom Salts, and 400 lbs. of Alum daily. The salts are said to be superior to any heretofore sold in the South, and the Alum is equal. The manufacturers say they will be able to supply the whole Southern Confederacy with these necessary articles. Any one interested can take the Salts sent us, and try their effects.—Augusta Chronicle.

Weekly Columbus [Georgia] Enquirer, June 17, 1862.[3]

          17-July 17, 1862, The Military Governor vs. the Nashville Provost Marshall: the battle for law enforcement authority in Nashville

NASHVILLE, June 17, 1862.


There is much I would like to say in reference to the management of affairs in Tennessee since I received the State. I left my position in the Senate not for the purpose of obtaining place and emolument, but to give whatever aid I could in mustering my adopted State to the former position in the Union; this has been my sole object in accepting my present position. I was assured by the President of the United States and Secretary of War that I should be sustained in my efforts to do so, and I was authorized to call upon you for adequate force to carry out all measures deemed necessary and expedient. I have not done so for the reason that I did not wish to be importunate or to manifest a desire to exercise power. I will say this much: this palace has been left to a very great extent in a defenseless condition, thereby keeping alive a rebellious spirit that could otherwise have been put down by this time.

Since I have been here there has been a constant struggle between staff officers, provost-marshal, and brigadier-generals left in command, which has paralyzed all the efforts of Union men in bringing about a healthy and sound reaction of public sentiment. I have now to ask of Gen. Halleck, without going into detail or specification, that he will remove some of these impediments. Capt. O. D. Greene, a staff officer, who has been assuming much more that either you or Gen. Buell would have done or even allow, should be ordered elsewhere, and I earnestly hope that there will be a change of provost-marshal of this place and one appointed who is not in direct complicity with the secessionists of this city and a sympathizer with the master-spirits engaged in this rebellion. [emphasis added] General, if it were left to me, I could suggest the arrangements that ought to be made for Tennessee, and which would aid, as I believe, in successfully carrying out the designs of the administration and yourself. In claiming to understand the peculiar position of affairs in Tennessee I do not wish to be considered vain or egotistical. I am willing to place my reputation and all that is sacred upon the part I am called to act. I therefore ask you, general, to sustain me in these requests and in taking the action I recommend. Rest assured that any orders or demands you may think proper to make will be implicitly obeyed and carried out. The demonstrations which have been made upon Lower East Tennessee, causing the people to manifest their Union feelings and sentiments and then to be abandoned, have been crushing, ruinous to thousands. I trust in God that when another advance is made upon that section of the State our position may be maintained, at least until arms can be placed in the hands of the people to defend themselves against their relentless oppressors. I hope Gen. Thomas and his division may be sent in that direction. Gen. Thomas I believe to be truly brave and patriotic, and his sympathies and feelings are for that people.

Please let me hear from you at the earliest practicable moment. I earnestly hope that you will concur with me in the views I take and be pleased to give me the solicited aid.

Very truly,

ANDREW JOHNSON, Military Governor.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 16, pt. II, pp. 36-37.


CORINTH, June 21, 1862.

Gov. ANDREW JOHNSON, Nashville:

The enemy is driven out of all West Tennessee. East Tennessee will soon be clear of the rebels. Obstreperous women in and about Nashville you can easily manage. The regeneration of the entire State is not far off.

I shall call Gen. Buell's attention to your complaints of Capt. Greene, the provost-marshal, and others. If he does not afford a remedy soon I will.

H. W. HALLECK, Maj.-Gen.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 16, pt. II, p. 22


CORINTH, June 21, 1862.

Maj.-Gen. BUELL:

Governor Johnson complains bitterly of Capt. Greene, assistant adjutant-general, the provost-marshal, and others, at Nashville and asks that they be removed. I hope you will inquire into this, as it is not the first time that such complaints have been made. None but undoubted Union men should be in office in Nashville.

H. W. HALLECK, Maj.-Gen.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 16, pt, II, p. 44.


CORINTH, MISS., June 22, 1862.

Maj.-Gen. BUELL:

You know everything about Gen. Boyle that I do; deal with him as you may deem best.

Capt. Greene and the provost-marshal at Nashville are very much complained of by Governor Johnson, and he demands that both be removed. Perhaps it would be best to make some change. I leave it, however, for you to determine.

H. W. HALLECK, Maj.-Gen.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 16, pt. II, p. 47


HDQRS., June 22, 1862.


Has any charge of disloyalty been made against Col. Stanley Matthews and Capt. Greene? I should have no hesitation in believing such a charge frivolous and absurd. It is difficult to make inquiry without knowing the matter complained of.


OR, Ser. I, Vol. 16, pt. II, p. 48.


Nashville, June 23d 1862

Lt. Col. W. McClain

Acting Provost Marshal,

Dr. Sir

I am in receipt of your reply to my enquiries of this date. The property occupied by Major Thurneck's family does not come within the scope of an order dated May 7th '62 purporting to be by authority of General Buell in regard to the occupancy of houses in this city by officers &c. It is not property occupied as "Quarters." Maj. Thrurneck is individually [responsib]ble as a citizen for everything pertaining to the premises, and no one has a right to interfere with his possession thereof unless it is necessary for governmental purposes. I am not aware that this property is needed for Government use, and must therefore ask you to suspend the execution of the allege order until General Buell can be consulted by despatch or otherwise. Maj Thruneck's wife, as I am advised is confided to her bed by sickness with is a further reason for the suspension of action in this matter especially so when it is not claimed that the property is for public use [.] I wish to make no question of authority with Capt. O. D. Greene or anyone else-and desire simply to call your attention to the reasons I give herein for the suspension of this order. For information as to the authority under which I act I ask your attention to the enclosed copy of my commission & copies of letter & order of Gen; Buell[.]

Very Resp'y Your obt svt

Andrew Johnson Mil Governor

Papers of Andrew Johnson, Vol. 5, p. 503.


Nashville Tenn. July 10, 1862

His Excellency A. Lincoln

Last night I received despatches from Genl Boyle Commanding in Kentucky stating that a raid by a cavalry force of 2000 has been made into Ky & asking me to send one or two Regts to his relief-This morning I have 3 more dispatches from the same source asking that troops be sent immediately as the raid is of magnitude[.] Capt O D Greene, Ass't Adjgt Gen; of Buell's staff who exercises command over the troops here so far as to order them where ever he wished refuses to take notice of these despatches & afford the necessary relief for Kentucky & Tennessee-This attack is aimed at the highway the Louisville & Nashville R. R. which should be protected by all means as necessary for the safety of this place and all middle Tennessee.

This Captain Greene has not only refused to cooperate with me but has used his position of Ass't Adj't Gen'l in locating the troops here directly in opposition to enemy view & with great damage to the cause. Right [sic] in the face of these important dispatches an order sending away nearly all the force from this place, is persisted in-I consider the policy which has been pursued by Buell's adj't Genl here in y absence of Buell's a most decidedly determntal [sic] to the public interest-My opinion is that he is at this time in complicity with the traitors here & shall therefor have him arrested & sent beyond the influence of rebels and traitors if he is not immediately removed

*  *  *

Mr. President since I have reached this place there has been a struggle  & a contest going on between the provost Marshall's Brigadier Generals & Staff officers of Genl Buell which has retarded the reaction development of Union sentiment here-

All I ask is to be sustained by the President & I will sustain the President-Please send me an answer immediately as it is highly important...that Capt. Greene shall not be allowed to damage the cause we are laboring to maintain-

With great respect

Andrew Johnson-

Papers of Andrew Johnson, Vol. 5, pp. 549-550.


NASHVILLE, TENN., July 10, 1862.

His Excellency ABRAHAM LINCOLN, President:

Capt. Greene, professing to act by authority of Gen. Buell, who has not been here since March, defies my authority and issues orders nullifying my acts. He has since my dispatch to you of this afternoon put Lewis D. Campbell, Sixty-ninth Ohio Volunteers, and provost-marshal, under arrest, because he obeyed an order I issued to him as provost-marshal, and has appointed a provost-marshal in whom I have no confidence. I was informed by dispatch from Secretary of War that the Sixty-ninth Ohio was ordered to report to me. I desire an order from you at once reinstating Col. Campbell and a transfer of Capt. Greene to some post beyond the limits of this State. This change must be made as necessary to our successful operations here. The commission I hold, as I conceive, give me full and ample power to appoint a provost-marshal, yet I prefer the order from you. I must have the means to execute my orders or abandon the undertaking.

With great respect,

ANDREW JOHNSON, Military Governor.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 16, pt. II, p. 48.


NASHVILLE, July 12, 1862.

Maj.-Gen. BUELL:

Some time since I gave permission to the family of A. S. Thurneck to occupy the house owned by Col. Heiman, of the rebel army. Capt. Greene, of your staff, issued an order to the provost-marshal, Col. Matthews, to put the family out. I notified Col. Matthews that the house was so occupied by my authority, and Matthews took no further action. Col. Campbell, of Sixty-ninth Ohio, was appointed provost-marshal and received the same order, but he refused to comply with it, upon my notifying him that the premises were in my possession as Military Governor of Tennessee, and that I had a right to hold the same. Col. Campbell was put under arrest by Capt. Greene and lieutenant-colonel of Sixty-ninth made provost-marshal.

Capt. Greene issues the same order to him, and, notwithstanding my earnest protestation against any interference in a matter belonging exclusively, as I conceived, to the Military Governor, the order was executed. These orders purported to be your commands. I cannot believe it possible that such is the case. I desire to know from you if you gave orders to the provost-marshal to take out of my possession property I took charge of as Military Governor. If not, I respectfully ask that the provost-marshal be directed to put me in possession of said premises again. Please give an early reply. I will add that these premises were not needed by Capt. Greene for any public use.

ANDREW JOHNSON, Military Governor.

WAR DEPARTMENT, July 12, 1862.

Capt. GREENE, Nashville, Tenn.:

The President having been informed that you have put under arrest Col. Lewis D. Campbell, who was acting under authority of Governor Andrew Johnson as provost-marshal, he directs that Col. Campbell be immediately discharged from arrest. He also orders that hereafter you abstain from interfering with or resisting any order of Governor Johnson or with any officer acting under his authority. The President also directs that without delay you turn over your command to the office next in rank, and leave the city of Nashville and report yourself in person to Gen. Buell.

By order of the President:

EDWIN M. STANTON, Secretary of War.

WAR DEPARTMENT, July 12, 1862.

Gov. ANDREW JOHNSON, Nashville, Tenn.:

The President authorizes you to appoint a provost-marshal to exercise the jurisdiction and authority of that office under you within the city of Nashville. He has ordered Col. Campbell to be released from arrest and that Capt. Green turn over his command to the officer next in rank without delay, and leave the city of Nashville and report himself in person to Gen. Buell. The President hopes this will be satisfactory to you and that you will use efforts to prevent any disputes or collision of authority between your subordinates and those of Gen. Buell.

EDWIN M. STANTON, Secretary of War.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 16, pt. II, p. 135.


HDQRS., Huntsville, July 29, 1862.

Maj. SIDELL, Nashville:

Col. Campbell was put in arrest by Capt. Greene. Who released him? Gen. Buell did not authorize or intend his release. Answer.

JAMES B. FRY, Chief of Staff.

NASHVILLE, July 29, 1862.

Col. J. B. FRY:

Your dispatch asking about the release of Col. Campbell from arrest came so quickly after I had sent a dispatch to you stating that charges had been preferred against him that I am in doubt of your having received my second dispatch. It was, however, that the charges to which I refer are for offenses committed very lately. In answer to yours I transcribe what follows, being a dispatch from the Secretary of War.


OR, Ser. I, Vol. 16, pt. II, p. 228.

          17-19, Expedition from LaGrange, Tenn. to Holly Springs, Mississippi[4]

All the action in this expedition took place in Mississippi, but the mission originated in Tennessee.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 17, I, p. 9.


          17, Engagement at Beech Island [a.k.a. Beech Creek Island], Tennessee River, U. S. N. disperses Rebel force [see June 14-25, 1863, Counter insurgency expedition on Tennessee River by U. S. N. above]

          17, Affair at Wartburg [see June 14-24, 1863, Sanders' Raid in East Tennessee above]

No circumstantial reports filed.

          17, Affair at Montgomery [see June 14-24, 1863, Sanders' Raid in East Tennessee or June 17, 1863, Affair at Wartburg above]

No circumstantial reports filed.

          17, Skirmish on Obion River [see also June 17-18, 1863, Attack on transports near Memphis below]

No circumstantial reports filed.

          17, Confederate State Convention, Winchester

The Dispatch of yesterday contains a report on the proceedings of this body, which met at Winchester on the 17th inst. The report, we suppose, is taken from the Chattanooga Rebel. It was the original purpose of the leaders of the Convention to meet in the Capitol, but owing to some disagreement with Gen. Rosecrans, about room, rent, board, etc., this place was abandoned.

The committee to report a basis of representation consisted of Messr. F.C. Dunnington, James M. Quarles, M.C. Galloway, A.S. Colyar, Lieut. M.C. Lowe, Robert McNelly, John M. Faris, J.C. Warner, E.S. Cheatham, Colonel S.S. Stanton, Sterling R. Cockrill, and Col. Daniel F. Cocke.

The committee on credentials consisted of Messrs. D.N. Kennedy, Dr. Gillespie, Maj. J.D. Porter, J.O. Griffith, and Dr. Edmonson.

"All loyal citizens of the State" present were invited to act as delegates from their respective counties. Some of the counties around Nashville were represented by the parties named below:

Sumner-Capt. Thompson, L.G. Stewart, Capt. Saunders, L. Charlton, W. Trousdale, Geo. W. Winchester, Dr. J. M. Head, Dr. Brown, M. Calgy, W.T. Harris, S.C. Bowers.

Robertson-E. S. Cheatham, W. R. Huchenson, J.A. Long, Captain from the army:

Montgomery-Jas. M. Quarles, D.N. Kennedy.

Cheatham-D.C. Parque

Davidson-Frank Battle, John A McCampbell, R.A. Cartwright, C. D. Elliot, Joel A. Battle, J. T. Dunlap, John A. Fisher, Jno. Overton, B. F. Smithy, G. P. Henry, Geo. B. R. Johnson, Jas. E. Patterson, Dr. W. B. Maney, E. H. James, W. E. Yeatman, Cat. W. S. Ewing, Col W. S. Hawkins, S. R. Cockrill, J.B. Clements, Jno. S. Johnson, G. P. Smith, Wm. P. Martin, Isaac Litton, Leon Trousdale, Mr. D. A. Nolen, Jno. Griffith, Geo. S. Bolling, E. G. Rowe, W.J. Turbeville, Warren Jackson, Jno. Shane, Richard McCann, Geo. S. Litton, A. P., Skipwith, W. O. Hundley, Stephen Bowers, Thos. Sharpe.

Williamson-L. S. Woolridge, W.H.S. Hill, Jno. ML Jordan, E H. Peebles, Colonel F. C. Cooke, Lieut. R. T. Edward

Rutherford-Lieutenant. J. W. Peyton, Reese K. Hanson, J.T. Wells, T.D. White, Lt. R. L. Rowland, Wm. A. Ott.

Wilson-W.A. Randy, R.L. Caruthers, E. Pugh, proxy, T.H. Bostick, Major Lowe, L.G. Mars hall, proxy.

The Convention proceeded to ballot for a candidate for Governor.

The following gentlemen were put in nomination:

General Samuel R. Anderson, Hon. Robert J. Caruthers, Colonel John H. Savage, Colonel James E. Bailey, Gen. W.C. Whitthorne, Colonel Wm. H. Stephens, Gen. Wm. B. Bate, and Hon. Andrew Ewing, Gen Barrow was not nominated! [sic]

The first ballot stood as follows: Bailey 17 ½, Caruthers 16 ½, Stephens 13, Whitthorne 12 ½ Bate 7, Savage 6, and Anderson 1 ½.

Anderson, Stephens, Savage and Bates [sic] were then withdrawn.

The second ballot resulted as follows: Bailey, 27 ½, Caruthers, 24, 12-43 [sic] Whitthorne 15 ½ and Bate 5.

Gen. Whitthorne was withdrawn, and the third ballot resulted for Caruthers 32, 23-60 [sic] and Bailey 33, 37-00 [sic]. On motion of Mr. E.S. Cheatham, the nomination of Judge Caruthers was made unanimous.

Colonel A. W. Campbell offered the following resolution which was unanimously adopted:

Resolved, That this convention most cordially endorses the wise and patriotic administration of our present Executive, the Hon. I. G. Harris, and tender to him our heartfelt thanks for his untiring devotion to the interests and honor of the State, and the fidelity with which he has discharged the important trust the people have confided to him.

Governor Harris was present and responded "thanking the delegates for the expression of appreciation of his services." The convention then nominated the following gentlemen as candidates represent the several districts in the Rebel Congress: 1st, Joseph B. Heiskell; 2d, Wm. G. Swan; 3d, A. S. Colyar, of Franklin; 4th, Col. John P. Murray, of Warren; 5th, H.S. Foote; 6th, E.A. Keeble; 7th, James McCullom, of Giles; 8th, Dr. Thomas Menees; 9th, J.D.C. Atkins; 10th, John V. Wright; 11th, D. M. Currin.

We must brand the cool ignoring of General Barrow's claims by the convention as the vilest of ingratitude. It was a flat insult, and if we were Barrow, as thank Heaven we are not, we would not be chiselled [sic] out of a circuitous office and a fugitive salary, and a perambulatory capitol, in that style. We would bolt, secede, rebel, and fight for "our rights." Not nominated! [sic] And this after the General's pathetically eloquent address to the public from Winchester, published in our columns some weeks ago. Is he not General [sic] Barrow? Is he not General Washington [sic] Barrow. Is he not one of the illustrious triad who sold Tennessee to Parson Hilliard and Jeff. Davis? And then to be slighted in this style!

* * * *

Oh the way that they've treated you General Barrow,

It makes us indignant clear down to our marrow!

But be still, o muse! and let us contemplate the eulogy passed upon that great and good man Isham G. Harris, commonly known as King Isham Garbroth Harris. The truth of the resolution would have been more fully appreciated had it been a little more specific. "Untiring devotion to the interest and honor of the State," means his selling the State to the Confederacy after it had refused to join the concern by a vote of 65,000, [sic] and then running off when danger appeared, and leaving the people to weather the storm alone; and "fidelity to important trusts," refers to the scientific manner in which he robbed the children of Tennessee of their $2,000,000 school fund.

Nashville Daily Union, June 28, 1863.

          17, Orders to sweep western Shelby County and capture guerrillas in Raleigh environs

MEMPHIS, June 17, 1863.

Lieut. [HENRY] SACHS, Comdg. Detachment 3d U. S. Cavalry:

You will proceed, with 50 men, detailed by Col. Morgan, on the Raleigh road to the house of Fletcher Taylor, about 2 miles this side of Raleigh. The negro guide will point out the road and the house of Taylor. You will, if possible, surprise and capture a squad of guerrillas, who, it is reported, will be at Taylor's to-night. From that point you will sweep the country to the west of Raleigh, and capture, if possible, citizens named Hurd and Dr. Forrest, who will be pointed out by Mr. Tripp. You will attack and break up any gang of rebels or guerrillas that you may hear of within convenient range of your route, and return and report to these headquarters.



OR, Ser. I, Vol. 24, pt. III, p. 417.

17, Confederate spin on the murder of General Van Dorn at Spring Hill, Tennessee

Editors Register and Advertiser:

We, the undersigned, members of the late Gen. Van Dorn's staff, having seen with pain and regret, the various rumors afloat in the public press in relation to the circumstances attending that officer's death, deem it our duty to make a plain statement of the facts in the case.

Gen. Van Dorn was shot in his own room, at Spring Hill, Tennessee, by Dr. Peters, a citizen of the neighborhood. He was shot in the back of the head, while engaged in writing at his table and entirely unconscious of any meditated hostility on the part of Dr. Peters, who had been left in the room within him, apparently n friendly conversations scarcely fifteen minutes previously, by Major Kimmel. Neither Gen. Van Dorn nor ourselves were suspicious in the slightest degree of enmity in the mind of Dr. Peters, or we would certainly not have left them one together, nor would Gen. Van Dorn have been shot, as we found him five minutes later, sitting in his chair, with his back towards his enemy.

There had been friendly visits between them up the date of the unfortunate occurrence.

Gen. Van Dorn had never seen the daughter of his murder but once, while his acquaintance with Mrs. Peters was such as to convince us, his staff officers, who had every opportunity of knowing that there was no improper intimacy between them; and for our own part, we are led to the belief that there were other and darker motives from the fact that Dr. Peters had taken the oath of allegiance to the United States Government, while in Nashville, about two weeks previously-as we are informed by refugees from that city-that he had remarked in Columbia, a short time before, "that he had lost his land and negroes in Arkansas, but he  thought he would shortly do something which would get them back," and finally, having beforehand torn down fences and prepared relays of horse, he made his escape across the country direct to the enemy lines.

Such is the simple factor of the affair, and we trust that in bare justice to the memory of a gallant soldier the papers that have given publicity to the false rumors above alluded to-rumors alike injurious to the living and to the dead-will give place in their columns to this vindication of his name.

W. M. KIMMEL, Maj., & A.A.G.



R. SHOMAKER, Aid-de-camp.

Dallas Herald, June 17, 1863.

          17-18, Attack on transports, near Memphis[5]

JUNE 17-18, 1863.-Operations on Mississippi River, near Memphis, Tenn., and attack on transports.


No. 1.-Brig. Gen. Alexander Asboth, U. S. Army.

No. 2.-Col. Colton Greene, Third Missouri Cavalry (Confederate).

No. 1.

Report of Brig. Gen. Alexander Asboth, U. S. Army.

COLUMBUS, KY. June 18, 1863.

The steamer Platte Valley was fired into yesterday 15 miles this side of Memphis by artillery, 5 balls passing through the boat, killing 3 men and wounding several. About 300 rifle shots also struck the boat. The steamer Golden Era attempted to pass the battery at the same time, but was compelled to return to Memphis.

No boat can proceed at this juncture unless under convoy of a gunboat. I applied yesterday for a gunboat, but have received none. Ellet's Marine Brigade would be well employed between here and Memphis. Dr. Smith, from Dresden, Tenn., reported to the commander at Clinton, Ky., 3,000 rebels approaching Feliciana, Ky.

Our scouts crossing the Obion engaged the enemy, but had to fall back. No direct report received from the two captains engaged and in command of the scouting parties. I have 300 rebel prisoners; some officers of rank, and dangerous characters. A number have been tried by military commission and sentenced to be executed. I desire to send those who are under sentence to Saint Louis or Alton, pending the orders of the general commanding on proceedings already forwarded, and request your approval. The 800 men promised me by Maj.-Gen. Burnside are by no means sufficient, considering my large river line, much reduced force, and the reported near approach of heavy rebel forces. Please refer to my telegrams of 15th instant.

ASBOTH, Brig.-Gen.

No. 2.

Report of Col. Colton Greene, Third Missouri Cavalry (Confederate).


MAJ.: On the 17th instant, Col. [Leonidas C.] Campbell moved down to the river and fired into Memphis several times without reply from the enemy. He then moved above, and attacked a large transport during the night, crippling her badly and doing much damage. The boat was forced to the other bank, where she moored, being too much crippled to proceed. During the day he attacked the large steamer Ruth. She replied with a 12-pounder rifled piece, and then withdrew to the east bank and shelled our force for three hours. Soon after a gunboat came along and shelled the woods for several miles. Nobody was hurt on our side. Col. Campbell reports that our guns are entirely too light to do much damage. The boats were out of range on the east bank of the river. It is his opinion that with 12-pounder pieces the enemy could be seriously damaged. He reports forage and subsistence in abundance in Crittenden County for a brigade for a month. If the enemy's communications are to be embarrassed, we must have heavy guns.

* * * *

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

COLTON GREENE, Col., Commanding, &c.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 24, pt. II, pp. 507-508.


          17, Belle Edmondson's prayer for pro-Union Mrs. Perkins' daughter

May, Tuesday 17, 1864

Oh! most miserable day-Mrs. Perkins almost made me mad at her deep distress-Poor, poor Nannie, my heart aches for her, would to God I might be the medium through which all could be made happy-Miss Em is so widely different in her political feeling, there will never be any happiness, I fear, with poor Nannie. May God guide the dear child, keep her firm to the cause she has espoused, may she never have her pure, noble Southern feelings polluted with Yankee treachery or tyrany [sic]-keep her firm and true to her noble Brother Dashiell and his Country rights-she dreams not, but oh! my heart trembles and bleeds for her in this great trial and affliction….

Diary of Belle Edmondson

          17, School Outing

School Picnic. – The annual pic-nic[6] of Mr. R. Dorman's School took place yesterday [17th] at the residence of Mr. W. F. Bang, about two miles north from Edgefield, one of the most lovely spots in this county. The scholars accompanied by their teachers, left the schoolrooms about nine o'clock, and marched in procession to the opposite end of the bridge, where carriages, buggies and wagons, were awaiting them. Soon after reaching the ground, the boys and girls assembled around a platform, on which were seated the lovely girl who was selected as the Queen of May, her Maids of Honor, and others intended to participate in the exercises, which were exceedingly interesting and instructive, and consisted of singing, addresses by Misses Delia Driver, Sarah Coltart, Selina Hinton, Mary Henderson, Bettie and Laura Wilkerson, Fanny Gower, Annie Reyer, Augusta Larcombe, Laura Bailey, Rebecca Walker, Nona Glasier, Georgie Rowand; Masters Jos. Walker, J. M. Dolin, John Marrow. Not the least interesting event of the day was the presentation of Master Oscar Hill, on behalf of the scholars, of two superbly bound Bibles, one to Mr. Dorman and the other to Miss Dunham. The address was delivered in the most admirable manner, and was full of sublime sentiment. We regret our inability to publish the address entire, with the reply of Mr. Dorman, but on our return to town we found all our space occupied The rain put a sudden stop to the genera fun, and interfered somewhat with the dinner, but all were brought safely home, but the constant kind care of the teachers. We regret to say that Charlie Walker met with a painful accident on the ground, but he will probably recover from it in a few days.

Nashville Dispatch, May 18, 1864.

          17, Union railroad construction, homeguard depredations, Confederate guerrillas and smuggling in the Union City environs; an excerpt from the report of Brigadier General Henry Prince

HDQRS. OF DISTRICT, Columbus, May 17, 1864.

Maj. Gen. C. C. WASHBURN:

GEN.: I have finished the railroad to Moscow, because it is so often difficult to cross the Little Obion, and I can complete to Union City in four days, but am in no haste to begin that part for reasons already given. It is evinced that the road will pay from Union City here if we take the cotton and tobacco which will be offered for freight. My impression is decidedly against taking it, and I shall follow this policy, which is indicated by the orders you have issued for Tennessee, till I receive new instructions from you, if I can. The depredations committed on Union people by the force I sent out under Col. Moore were by the citizens mounted by Gen. Brayman's Special Orders, No. 45. I took away their horses and arms the day after they returned and revoked their permits. They knew the Union people, and selected them for annoyance according to my best information, which is confirmed from all different quarters. There is a force of guerrillas centering at Boydsville on the Tennessee line. Their object is to cover smuggling, I suppose, and I ought to have mounted men to disperse and catch them. A good squadron of cavalry would be very useful here. In the absence of it, I am trying to get up mounted infantry, but my force is limited. I have not latitude for selection or detail of officers, and horses are wanting. The steamer W. W. Crawford is suspected of smuggling.

* * * *

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

HENRY PRINCE, Brig.-Gen. of Volunteers.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 39, pt. II, pp. 34-35.


          17, Newspaper report on news from Memphis


Rebel Guerrilla Chiefs in the City-They Have a Nice Time of it with Their Friends-The "Sultana" Disaster.

Special correspondence of the Inquirer.

Memphis, Tenn., June 17, 1865.

Club-footed Forte, the guerrilla leader, who killed six of the Twelfth New York Cavalry after they surrendered in April last, near Germantown, on the Memphis and Charleston Railroad, is not at this house (the Gayoso), having a good time of with his friends, who are numerous. The notorious Jeff. Thompson is also here.

Of the solders lost on the Sultana, five were found yesterday on the Arkansas shore, above this place. Over one thousand of the entire number have been picked up and buried. The hull of the vessel is now above the water.

Nineteen hundred negro children are now in school here, and learning well. Some of the negro regiments have from two to five hundred men that can read.

The negroes generally work pretty well when they are certain of being paid.[7][emphasis added.]

Philadelphia Inquirer, June 23, 1865.

[1] William Howard Russell, My Diary, North and South, (Boston: T.O.H.P. Burnham, 1863). [Hereinafter cited as: Russell, My Diary.]

[2] Also referenced in Memphis Union Appeal July 2, 1862. Not referenced in OR.

[3] As cited in:

[4] All the action in this expedition took place in Mississippi, but the mission originated in Tennessee.

[5] Referenced as an affair in Dyer's Battle Index for Tennessee.

[6] Even the Civil War did not stop this annual event, although the weather did.

[7] Doh!


James B. Jones, Jr.

Public Historian

Tennessee Historical Commission

2941 Lebanon Road

Nashville, TN  37214


(615)-532-1549  FAX


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