Saturday, July 25, 2015

7.25.2015 Tennessee Civil War Notes


25, A note of thanks to the Southern Mothers

To the Southern Mothers.

With a heart overflowing with gratitude, I take great pleasure in bearing testimony to your motherly care, extended to the sick whom I recently brought to your rooms. Your noble deeds elicit my admiration. Be assured that your noble acts in the cause of freedom and humanity, will place your name in high esteem. You will be cited to daughters of succeeding generations, as examples of greatness and goodness worthy their imitation. Go on in your good work; you will cheer the suffering soldier, who is so unfortunate as to be taken sick, in camp, far from home. More especially let me express my unbounded thanks to Mrs. Mary E. Pope, secretary of the society, for her motherly care extended to Messrs. Barham and Bell, whom she so willingly and kindly took to her own private residence. Long may she live as a bright star of greatness and goodness, to nerve the brave soldier on to "victory or death." In memory's recesses will she ever live, as a kind and good mother.

Dear mothers, I wish you success and long life; you are exerting an influence that will animate and encourage all of us who have left our homes and firesides, that we may protect you and your daughters, or die in the attempt.

Hoping, should I become sick, that I may fall into your safe hands, I beg you to accept my most grateful remembrance.

W. B. Dickinson, Jr. 13th Regiment,

Randolph, Col. Wright, com. C. S. A., July 25, 1861..

Memphis Daily Appeal, July 30, 1861.

          25, Instructing Memphis Police on Proper Constabulary Etiquette

The Police.-It was with pleasure we yesterday remarked that our newly organized policed indicated great improvement. The vigilance committee and officers are determined to take such steps as shall render them efficient in the performance of their duties. The maintenance of the public peace, the prevention and detection of crime, and the protection of persons and property, are among the responsible duties with which the police are entrusted. In discharging duties so important a more than usual staidness of demeanor and control of temper are required. The requisite of a policeman's active duties is like that of a soldier's-prompt and implicit obedience to lawful orders from those in authority. Sobriety, including an entire absence from drinking places, except when called by duty, as essential. From an address delivered sometime ago by a chief of police to his men, we copy the following, which is well worth of observance. "Under all circumstances and on occasions you must observe a prudent, gentlemanly and obliging behavior. In dealing with persons of every rank and condition   in life you must at all times be firm of purpose but kind and conciliatory in temper and disposition. Even to those charged with criminal offenses, you must be guilty of no [illegible] rudeness or unnecessary harshness. Remember always that a happy mixture of resolution, courage and civility constituted a high degree of excellence in every sphere of duty, and are marked characteristics of a good police officer. The habit of smoking while on duty cannot be permitted, not will you be allowed, while on duty, to hold conversation with any one except in relation to matters appertaining to your official duties; and, even in such cases, your conversation should not be protracted beyond the time proper for the accomplishment of the matter in hand. While on duty on your beat, you must not enter any house, either public or private, unless required to do so for the performance of some official duty. In your intercourse with persons with whom your official duty may bring you in contact, you must refrain from using profane, vulgar or indecent language. Whenever called on to exercise official power, do it boldly, decidedly, yet with becoming coolness and moderation, preserving always perfect self-command and control over your temper, and taking no heed of remarks made by excited bystanders, irritating though they be. Cultivate a habit of close observation. Persons especially who are known to be of bad repute, or whose behavior may be such as to awaken suspicion, should be objects of constant watchfulness, that they may know and feel that they are observed by you and that it will be difficult to offend with impunity, or transgress the law and escape detection and consequent punishment. Loitering and lounging on the streets and corners will not be tolerated, but every officer must constantly patrol his beat, observing closely all passers-by, in order that a facility in observing and detecting the evil disposed may be acquired. A proper degree of vigilance and unceasing watchfulness should render extremely difficult the perpetration of crime within the limits of an officer's beat. Where depredations are matters of frequent occurrence within a beat, it furnished ground for a reasonable presumption of negligence, intention, or incapacity on the par of those who may have it in charge, while on the contrary the absence of crime is to be taken and considered as proof of activity and capability. You will be expected to be attentive to the mater of cleanliness of person and dress, and required at all times to preserve a near and officer-like appearance."[1]

Memphis Daily Appeal, July 25, 1861. [2]


JULY 25-AUGUST 1, 1862.-Expedition from Holly Springs, Miss., to Bolivar and Jackson, Tenn.

Report of Col. Joseph Wheeler, commanding Cavalry Brigade.

HDQRS. CAVALRY BRIGADE, Holly Springs, Miss., August 1, 1862.

GEN.: I have the honor to report that on the 19th ultimo I received orders to relieve Gen. Chalmers in command of the Cavalry Brigade. I learned from him that part of the brigade had been ordered to select some point in Mississippi to recuperate their horses and the balance were then marching by regiment toward Tupelo. Every possible exertion was used to intercept the command and order it back toward Holly Springs; but on account of the regiments being much separated it was impossible to concentrate sufficient force to accomplish any object before the 25th ultimo, at which time I started toward Tennessee with parts of Jackson's, Wade's, Pinson's, and Slemons' regiments--in all about 1,000 men.

On my first arrival at Holly Springs, in accordance with instructions, I called upon Gen. Villepigue for some infantry to aid in attacking the garrison at Grand Junction [Tenn.] and destroying the railroad above that place; but as the enemy left Grand Junction on the night of the 23d and 24th ultimo, the same night our troops left Abbeville, I ordered the infantry to return as soon as they had created the impression that a general advance of our forces was intended in the direction of West Tennessee. The enemy left about 200 bales of cotton at the Junction, which was destroyed the next day.

My plan was to menace the enemy at Bolivar, burn the railroad bridges between that place and Jackson and above Jackson, then concentrate at Wellwood and attack Jackson, destroying the stores and cotton at that place. Before reaching Bolivar by about 10 miles Col. Jackson's regiment was ordered back by Gen. Villepigue, leaving me with but 500 men. All the ferries over the Hatchie River had been destroyed by the enemy, which obliged our troops to swim or ford.

While driving in the enemy's pickets on the northeast and south of Bolivar we so thoroughly shut them in as to enable us to send out a large number of squads of men to burn cotton which had been seized or purchased by the enemy. This we continued to do during the entire expedition, burning in all about 3,000 bales, a great part of which had been sold to the enemy and much of which had been transported to their strong posts; but so great was their alarm that they allowed us to burn cotton undisturbed almost within sight of their intrenched positions.

I sent a man into Bolivar before attacking their pickets to inform the commanding officer that a large force was advancing, which so increased their alarm as to cause Gen. McClernand to re-enforce Bolivar from Jackson and Humboldt with about 3,000 men and to call for further re-enforcements from Corinth, which were promptly sent to him, and also to keep their troops under arms for more than two days and nights. A few hours after the Federals had passed from Jackson to Bolivar the railroad bridge and telegraph wire across Clover Creek were burned and the Federal guard kept at bay by a detachment under Col. Pinson, and the next night we so succeeded in drawing off the enemy as to enable another detachment to drive off the guard above Jackson and burn a high trestle work for a distance of 20 yards at a point about 8 miles above the said place. The telegraph was also destroyed a considerable distance. In this we were aided by a company of 23 Partisan Rangers under Capt. Henderson, who reported to me for duty as I entered Tennessee. In crossing the river this detachment was attacked by the enemy and at first thrown into confusion, but they soon rallied and drove the enemy from the field.

In this engagement some men and horses were taken by the enemy, but they were recaptured by us in an engagement the following morning, at which time we thoroughly defeated the enemy, capturing 40 prisoners, with their arms and horses. We also attacked the enemy near Middleburg, drove them from the field, capturing prisoners, horses, arms, wagons, and 300 bales of cotton en route to Bolivar. The cotton was burned and other property brought to our lines. We also captured the block-house and destroyed several large railroad trestles and tore up the railroad for many miles.

Having received orders from department headquarters to return with all the command except one small regiment, I was obliged to abandon my intention of making a demonstration upon Jackson, and therefore returned immediately by way of Somerville to this place, arriving on the evening of August 1. With but 500 cavalry, much worn and jaded by previous service and privation, we penetrated some 70 miles behind the enemy's lines, destroyed the railroad bridges in his rear, and met him in eight separate engagements, in all of which, except the skirmish of Capt. Henderson, he was thoroughly defeated, many of his horses and men being killed, wounded, or taken prisoners by our troops, who were only prevented from continuing their pursuit by the close proximity of large bodies of the enemy.

With respect, your obedient servant,

JOS. WHEELER, Col., Comdg.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 17, pt. I, pp. 24-25.


          25, Anti-guerrilla actions (cavalry) on Elk River [see July 25, "Federals ordered to occupy Fayetteville," below]

          25, Federals ordered to occupy Fayetteville

FAYETTEVILLE, TENN., July 25, 1863.

Col. LONG, Cmdg. Second Brigade, Second Division, Cavalry:

Maj.-Gen. Sanely directs that you immediately move your command to this place, and occupy it until further orders, and directs you to send the battalion of the Fourth Regulars now in your command to report fortheith to their regiment at Salem. I am ordered with my command to Salem, to intercept Gen. Forrest some place this did of the Tennessee River. I will march at 3 a. m. to-morrow. I have ordered the colonel of the First Ohio to remain here in possession of the town until you arrive, with his regiment and detachment belonging to the different regiments of your command, numbering near 300. I think it advisable for you to move early in the morning for this point direct. Your provision train awaits your arrival here.

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


WINCHESTER, July 25, 1863.


In anticipation of Forrest's move, I have ordered Mitchell to Salem and Long to Fayetteville. Will start at once to Nashville. Any orders you have please send to Maj. Sinclair, at Winchester. Have ordered Mitchell to take command of all the cavalry. Bragg occupies the railroad all the way to Atlanta.

No word from Long yet. Have cavalry hunting bushwhackers on Elk River.

D. S. STANLEY, Maj.-Gen.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 23, pt. II, p. 558.

          25, Forrest's cavalry conducts foraging expedition in Sequatchie County

WINCHESTER, TENN., July 25, 1863.


Communication from Gen. Van Cleve, just received, in substance reports that Forrest is preparing for a raid on McMinnville; needs cavalry. Conscripts and deserters, and many citizens, heretofore rank secessionists, are coming in daily. Says some old sinners of pride wish me to send an armed force and bring them in, that they may not appear to have yielded voluntarily.

Word from Sequatchie Valley, evening of 22d, by a man who lives 9 miles above Dunlap: Saw 50 of Forrest's pickets in the valley on the 21st, and 12 miles from Chattanooga; saw 400 cavalry arming; about 1,600 head of cattle toward Chattanooga.

FARRAR, [Operator.]

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 23, pt. II, p. 556.

          25, Army of Tennessee terminates retreat in Chattanooga

HDQRS., Cowan, via Winchester, July 25, 1863--9.30 p. m.

Brig.-Gen. GARFIELD, Chief of Staff:

SIR: The following information is from a rebel lieutenant who delivered himself up at Stevenson, and was forwarded to me:

Bragg and his entire army is in and about Chattanooga. He is fortifying all the surrounding points in and about that City. Gen. Hardee and personal staff was ordered some time ago to report to Gen. Johnston. Gen. A. P. [D. H.] Hill has taken command of Hardee's corps. The pontoon bridge that was at Kelly's Ford is now across the river at Chattanooga, and it is reported that Forrest's command, which was at Waldron's Ridge, north of river has crossed over this bridge to south side, and that Wheeler's force, which was at Trenton, has crossed over to take his place.

The officer has a very accurate sketch of the country between Bridge-port and Chattanooga; also of the river, extending back some considerable distance. I will send you a copy of it. I will also furnish you with a sketch of the different points on which batteries have been erected at Chattanooga. The enemy are fortifying at Knoxville, and Loudon Bridge also.

Bragg's map,[3] now being made, embraces the following points: Chattanooga, Atlanta, Montgomery, Tuscaloosa, Decatur, bounded north by the Tennessee River. I will increase my force at Stevenson and Anderson.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

P. H. SHERIDAN, Maj.-Gen., Cmdg.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 23, pt. II, p. 557.

          25, Measures taken to decrease deaths of officers in the Army of the Cumberland from Confederate sharpshooters

GENERAL ORDERS, HDQRS. DEPT. OF THE CUMBERLAND, No. 174. Winchester, Tenn., July 25, 1863.

I. In order to prevent the disorganization of the army its officers being picked off by the enemy's sharpshooters, the following badges of rank are recommended and permitted to be worn as undress uniform in all portions of this army when serving in the immediate vicinity of the enemy: Officers of all grades are authorized to wear single-breasted blouses directed in the Army Regulations, for the badges of rank worn on the epaulette. The rectangle of the shoulder-strap being too conspicuous on the field of battle, need not be worn. Second lieutenants will wear a single bar on the right shoulder only.

II. No private horses will be sent beyond the limits of the department without a special permit from the provost-marshal-general.

By command of Maj.-Gen. Rosecrans:

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 23, pt. II, p. 558.

          25, One White County woman's observations about the war on the Tennessee Cumberland Plateau

....the Yankees are getting pretty close. There were two Mr. Bakers [sic] at Mrs. Wms.' [sic] getting away from what they called the Bushwhackers. From all I can learn it is a part of Stokes' regt. [sic] who have got in there by some means and are after the Southern soldiers, &c., and being away from the Generals, they do as the Southern soldiers do a great many times, take revenge on those who happen to be of the opposite party. There are great tales told of what they are doing, but I have not heard of anything yet half as bad as Jack Ber[r]y's [sic] capers, who belongs to Hamilton's command,[4] nor even as bad as some of the recruiting officers and men done. [sic] The truth is each side, when it gets a little the advantage and gets of the opposite party trodden down a little, crows a little too big, and when the trodden party gets a chance to, [it] retaliates rather severely.

Diary of Amanda McDowell.

          25, The case of Mrs. Judd, a Tennessee woman imprisoned for spying

MILITARY PRISON, Alton, Ill., July 25, 1863.

Col. W. HOFFMAN, Commissary-Gen. of Prisoners, Washington, D. C.:

COL.: At the urgent request of Mrs. Judd,[5] one of the female prisoners confined in this prison, I forward herewith for your consideration the inclosed papers in relation to her case.[6] With regard to this woman I am of the opinion that if she should be released on parole to go to the State of Minnesota, where I understand she has friends and connections, she would remain there and give no further trouble.

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

T. HENDRICKSON, Maj. Third Infantry, Cmdg. the Prison.

MILITARY PRISON, Alton, Ill., July 26, 1863.

Col. W. HOFFMAN, Commissary-Gen. of Prisoners:

OR, Ser. II, Vol. 6, p. 150.

          25, Release of two female Tennessee Confederate spies

MILITARY PRISON, Alton, Ill., July 25, 1863.

Col. W. HOFFMAN, Commissary-Gen. of Prisoners, Washington, D. C.:

COL.: I have the honor to report... Two of the female prisoners, Mrs. Nicholson and Mrs. Hyde, were released to-day, the former by an order from Brig.-Gen. Hurlbut, commanding at Memphis, Tenn., remitting unexpired sentence, and the letter by parole to Nashville, Tenn., by order of Gen. Rosecrans.

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

T. HENDRICKSON, Maj., U. S. Army, Commandant of Prison.

OR, Ser. II, Vol. 6, pp. 152-153.

          25, "The Right Step."

General Granger, commanding this Post, issued the following order on the 22d instant:

I All citizens are forbidden to carry fire arms on the street, concealed or openly.

II. All soldiers not on duty are prohibited from carrying fire arms when in the city or away from their camp.

III. The patrols will arrest all persons found armed in violation of this order.

The pressing necessity for some such proclamation, and its rigid enforcement, has long been felt by the people of this community, and we hope to see a healthy and lasting reform grow out of it. At no times since the reclamation of our once fair city from Confederate authority, has the prevalence of crime been so wide-spread as within the past few weeks. During this period three of four lives have been lost by the wantonness of soldiers, and the infinite number of less serious occurrences have taken place, while lawlessness has at all times reigned in certain localities. The people have, consequently, felt alarmed and insecure, both in their persons and property, even in daylight, while pursuing their customary avocations or engaged in the duties of home; and at night the fears have banished sleep from their eyes and kept them perpetually distrustful of their safety. This universal apprehension of harm was not silly, the amplest causes existed; fractious soldiers, rowdies, and insolent negroes [sic] have defied the day and night, with their hideous presence, and often (to our knowledge) heaping indignities upon helpless and respected non-combatants of both sexes, and at other times, as everybody are aware, creating brawls and disgracing the city by their crimes and vulgarities. These are facts, however disgusting they may appear, and we hail with congratulation the above order from General Granger, and add the hope that it may not turn our to be purposeless. Its strict application will abolish the evils so palpably existent, and place the citizens under the aegis of that real [sic] protection which they have a right to claim. For the insulting looseness and debauchery, of the soldiers, we do not know where to fasten the responsibility. It is evident that General Granger and Colonel Spaulding, Provost Marshal, understand the true relations of the military to the civil populace. They has so acted, without exception since their accession to their present positions; and by the wisdom of their official direction, they have no doubt lessened the amount of crime and misbehavior which would have been committed in the absence of rigorous administration. To that class of men, then, who are to be found in all armies-ready to exercise the innate meanness of their nature whenever occasion offers, and for ever seeking out the occasion that will inflict the grossest insults-belongs the responsibility (which they are too base to feel) of disturbing the peace and good order of our city, and impairing the security of unoffending men and women. We are glad to believe that men of this character are few in the regiments now garrisoning this place; but these few have of late made themselves so conspicuous in everything criminal that they have appeared as legions. Let the regimental officers unite in carrying out the General's order, and exert themselves, as true soldiers should, in maintaining good order and discipline in their commands, and we shall soon witness a becoming gentility in the men, and feel that our city is not in the possession of anarchists. It requires no ordinary exertion to keep within the bounds of decency, and propriety, a large body of men, in a strange country and for warlike purposes; and the commander who is successful in such an effort is justly entitled to all the honor of a conqueror. May General Granger, seconded by energetic under-officers [sic], prove himself such a conqueror, and forever silence the pen of complaint, which we have in duty been constrained to wield this morning.

Nashville Daily Press, July 25, 1863.

          25, Report of Confederate atrocity in Roane County

Doings of the Chivalry in East Tennessee-Cold-blooded and Horrible Murder.

William Magil, Esq. an old and respected citizen of Roane county, East Tennessee, who served in the war of 1812, with Jackson, and participated in the battle of Horse Shoe, was as a matter of course, an uncompromising Union man. He had three sons in the First East Tennessee Infantry, and had been cut of from Saunders' command in his late raid and requested him to show them the way to Robert Taylor's, which he readily consented to do, being anxious to aid Union soldiers. He stepped back into the house to get ready to go with them, but on returning to the door found they were gone.

These pretended Union soldiers proved to be one Wm. Elbin, a resigned Confederate Captain, Frank Welcker, another resigned Captain, John Duncan, a rebel soldier, and one Foes Fleming, a brother of a certain John M. Fleming, whose arms were to have fallen from their sockets before he would swear to support the so-called Confederacy. These men proceeded to Kingston and reported Esquire Magil to a squad to Louisiana cavalry, who proceeded the next day to his house, and finally found the man ploughing in the field. They tied his hands behind him, drove him some two hundred yards up a hollow, and shot and killed him, and left him lying with his hands still tied. Here is a deliberate murder. And for what? Simply because he was a Union man, and proposed to show those whom he supposed were Union soldiers, the road to a neighbor's house. This is Southern chivalry. Southern Chivalry to assume to be Union soldiers, that they may have a pretext to murder an old men eighty odd years of age. Southern chivalry indeed, has become to mean that all that is wicked, and dishonest! This is only one case out of hundreds. Robbery, arson and murder are things of common occurrence in East Tennessee. We imagine God can scarce withhold the thunderbolts of Justice, and a visitation of his wrath upon these Demons [sic] in human shape! Yet bleeding, oppressed, and murdered East Tennessee, fails to move the compassion of the authorities of the nation, so much as to have the country occupied by our armies, and the people relieved from such scenes.

We call upon the sons of this old man, three of whom are in the Union army, to remember these murderers, and the infamous wretches who practiced a fraud upon their father in order to get a pretext for taking his life. We ask them to pay this debt with four-fold interest. In the name of God, and common loyalty and patriotism, how long is East Tennessee to suffer in this way.

Nashville Daily Press, July 25, 1863.

          25, Skirmish near Gallatin[7]

Fight Near Gallatin-Four Rebels Killed and One wounded.

We learn that on Saturday last [25], while a small squad of Federal soldier were passing from the Cumberland river to Gallatin, they were fired upon by a party of rebels in ambush, without doing any danger, however. The fire was returned, and four of the rebels were killed, and the other mortally wounded and taken prisoner. It is not known who the assailants were, or to what command they belonged. The Federals were a detachment of Col. Lowe's 5th Iowa cavalry we believe.

Nashville Daily Press, July 28, 1863.

          25, Marital troubles in Nashville

CRIME CONTINUES - The Provost Guard have in the past two days arrested some forty or fifty soldiers and citizens, mostly for drunkenness and dissolute conduct. They are kept always on the look-out, and manage to bring to punishment the majority of the debauchees. Among those nabbed on Thursday were E. A. Dykeenan and Jeremiah Flynn, of the 2d Illinois Battery who were ordered to remain in jail for ten days in company with those ornamental and useful contrivances, ball and chain.

Nashville Daily Press, July 25, 1863.

          25, Confederate Conscription in Nashville environs

REBEL CONSCRIPTION IN DAVIDSON. – We learn from a trustworthy source that, within the last forty-eight hours, two citizens of this county have been forcibly taken from their homes and carried off as subjects of the rebel conscription law. Their names are David McGavock and _______ Harding, (a son of Gen. W. G. Harding,) living on or near the Lebanon pike, about six miles from the city.

Nashville Daily Press, July 25, 1863.

          25, "Conscripts cannot be got from the region held by the Yankees, and soldiers will desert back to their homes in possession of the enemy." Generals of the Army of Tennessee petition for increased conscription and an end to vocational exemptions

ARMY OF TENNESSEE, Near Chattanooga, Tenn., July 25, 1863

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

SIR: We, the undersigned officers of the Confederate Army, being deeply impressed with the belief that unless the ranks are speedily replenished our cause will be lost, and being thoroughly satisfied that there is enough of able-bodied young men out of the service to accomplish that object, would earnestly implore the President of the Confederate States to take prompt measures to recruit our wasted armies by fresh levies from home. The wisdom of the Executive must decide whether this can better be done by calling upon the respective States for enlarged quotas of troops or by assembling the Congress of the Nation so to modify the exemption provision in the conscript bill as to increase the Army without interfering with the great interests of the country. The whole system of exemption is based upon a false assumption. It is assumed that none of the machine of society, necessary for its comfort and convenience in a state of peace, is to be disturbed amidst the mighty upheaval of a great revolution. Thus, for example, we find multiplied rather than diminished rural post-offices and printing presses, which and doubtless to the comfort and convenience of the people, but contribute nothing to our success in arms. In like manner there is an enormous disproportion between the absolute wants of the people and the number of "shoemakers, blacksmiths, tanners, wagon makers, millers and their engineers, millwrights, skilled and actually employed at their regular vocation in said trades" the agents and employes of the different bureaus, departments, railroad and telegraph companies, &c.

We have been pained to notice that all those vocations are crowded which afford exemption, while the ranks of the Army are daily becoming thinner. To their lasting reproach upon their manhood, hearty vigorous young men, rather than take the field, eagerly seek fancy duty which could be performed by women or disabled soldiers.

But we especially deplore that unfortunate provision of the exemption bill which has allowed more than 150,000 soldiers to employ substitutes and we express our honest, conviction that not one in a hundred of these substitutes is now in the service. In numerous instances fraudulent papers were employed, in others diseased men were presented and accepted but to be discharged; in still more cases vicious and unprincipled substitutes were bought up but to desert at the first favorable moment.

Another heavy source of depletion to the Army cannot be passed over. The friends of timid and effeminate young men are constantly besieging the War Department through Congressional and other agents, to get soldiers in the Army placed upon details or transferred to safe places. The aggregate loss to the Army from this cause alone is most enormous.

We do know certainly that the detailed and exempted men under forty-five exceed a quarter of a million of men; and we think that the Army can be increased a quarter of a million without more suffering and inconvenience to the country than is to be expected in such a life and death struggle as we are engaged in. Certainly there should be no choice between temporary discomfort to society and the loss of battles, territory, posts, garrisons, and even independence itself.

Certainly the sum total of misery would be less, if we even resorted to a levy en masse and thus could drive back the invader, than by allowing ourselves to be beaten in detail and our soil everywhere to be overrun. In the vain hope of saving the people at home from transient annoyances and privations we are endangering the liberties of the country.

Lastly, we would respectfully but earnestly urge prompt action. With every inch of territory lost, there is a corresponding loss of men and the resources of war. Conscripts cannot be got from the region held by the Yankees, and soldiers will desert back to their homes in possession of the enemy. Some do so from disaffection, some from weariness with the war, and some to protect their families against a brutal foe. From these combined causes the occupation of our soil weakens us in men as well as in the means to feed and clothe our troops.

Early and vigorous measures to recruit our wasted ranks may save us further loss of men and resources, and possibly the existence of the Southern Confederacy itself.

Very respectfully, your obedient servants,

H. D. Clayton, brigadier-general; Wm. B. Bate, brigadier-general, Provisional Army, C. S.; P. R. Cleburne, major-general; Jno. C. Brown, brigadier-general, Provisional Army, C. S., M. P. Lowrey colonel, commanding Wood's brigade; Alex. P. Stewart, major-general; L. E. Polk, brigadier-general; St. John R. Liddell, brigadier-general; J. M. Withers, major-general (signed by request); T. J. Churchill, brigadier-general; D. H. Hill, lieutenant-general; L. Polk, lieutenant-general; Z. C. Deas, brigadier-general; O. F. Strahl, colonel, commanding brigade; John C. Carter colonel, commanding brigade; Preston Smith, brigadier-general; A. M. Manigault, brigadier-general, Provisional Army, C. S.; Braxton Bragg, general, C. S. Army.

OR, Ser. IV, pt. II, pp. 670-671.


          25, First sinking of the U. S. S. Undine[8] near Clifton

Navy OR, Ser. I, Vol. 26, pp. 489-490.

          25, Some Federal activities in the Cherry Creek community environs, White County

....Well, the Yankees are getting warm sure enough. They carried off Dee and Marg Bradley yesterday and some folks are not so sorry for they were a scandal to decent females. They burnt Chancy Ferguson's house yesterday, and some others. I am afraid that fire will be a long time going out.

Diary of Amanda McDowell.

          25, Letter from Joseph H. Proctor, 1st Lt., Co. A, 12th Tennessee Cavalry in Pulaski

Friend Mercer:[9]

I am a soldier; one who has been in the "war" ever since the Fall of 1862. I have acted in more than one capacity since I came into the service of the United States. I have tried to fulfill all my duties and obligations as a soldier should, and now everything is going well, and we have driven the enemy from out country, guided by our gallant leaders.

I am an East Tennessean. I have been driven from my home and family, and have been prohibited the enjoyment of my family, my fond companion and children, ever since I enlisted in the service of my country. I was at my home, for the first time since I enlisted, about the first of May, 1864. I found the country perfectly devastated by the wanton cruelty of traitors and rebels. I found on my way at Knoxville, as I went home, persons of all classes, men and boys of all ages, from the upper part of East Tennessee, who would tell you that they had been driven from their homes by rebels and traitors, and they seemed to be in a quandary what to do. I frequently had time to pause and listen to the ideas some had of the past, in connection with some of the very momentous ideals some have also of the future.

The question arises to every sane mind, what should be determined on. The time has passed when men should begin to think. The war has been in progress over three years. The loyal people of East Tennessee have the fruits of a terrible rebellion before their eyes in the shape of devastated homes and rights. The serpentile [sic] coils of a rebel horde have for years been biding you tighter and more tight, until having you in their power, physically, for the time, they have nearly crushed all the vitality that, by the rights of God and man, are, or, let me say, should have in you.

I have, while I was in Knoxville, frequently heard the question asked: (John, or William) what are you going to do; are you going over the mountains? Over the mountains! My friends [there is far too?] much going over the mountains; too much folding of hands to sleep, during there great, this terrible rebellion.

Should East Tennesseans [sic]-those who have more reason to fight than any portion of God's people-flee their homes, hang around from corner to corner, asking what shall we do? Let me beseech you, in the name of God, to take up arms and fight for your country. Aye, I will not say for your country; I will make it smaller-your own homes and fire-sides, your mothers, wives and children. Leave my home, give up my title deed that God, by my industry, has given me, to a horde of thieves and cut-throats? Now, let me say to you, my home is in East Tennessee, and I have there a living wife and children, and I left them and my home to fight this accursed rebellion, and, if it was necessary, I would sign my name to a roll that would bind me to fight such rebels through all time, and, if I could, through all eternity.

I would suggest to you, as you cannot stay at home to, out and follow the banner of some brave East Tennessean. I was going to say, for instance, Col. Kirk, or Col. Fry, or some other brave and patriotic leader. Follow them, or some other of such principles in arms, and in less than six months there will not be a rebel in arms left this side of the Gulf States. If you do this, Tennessee will soon appear as she once did, one of the most beautiful countries in the world. You will then have a deed worth holding; you will them be enabled to enemy freedom as we never have enjoyed it before in the full sense.

Ask me no more what shall we do. The case is plain enough. The robbers have stolen our property, and all we have to do is fight and get it back, killing all who are the holders thereof.

Very respectfully,

Your obedient servant,

Joseph H. Proctor

1st Lt. Co. A, 12th Tenn. Cav.

Nashville Daily Times and True Union, July 29, 1864.

          25, Letter from William F. Testerman, on Remembrance stationery, to Miss Jane Davis. Testerman was a first lieutenant in Company C of the 8th Tennessee Cavalry

Gallotin [sic], Tenn. July 25, 1864.

Dear Miss,

I again take the opportunity of Droping [sic] you a few lines in answer to your kind letters which I received a few days ago one bearing date June "23" the other June the "24" it was a plesure [sic] to me to have the honor to receive a letter from as charming a young girl as the one whos [sic] name was asscirbed [sic] at the bottom of each of them I was glad to hear that you was well but I was more glad to hear you express your mind as fully as what you did this note leaves me well and I truly hope that this will find you in good health I can't say anything to you by letter more than what you have heard from my letters before. Jane I hope the time will soon come when I can get to see you again I can write many things to you but if I could see you I could tell you more in one minute than I can rite in a week The letters that you wrote to me has proved verry [sic] satisfactory to me if you will stand up to what you told me in your letters I will be satisfied which I have no reasons to Doubt but what you will but if you was to fail it would allmost [sic] break my heart for you are the girl that I am Depending upon and if it was not for you I would not be riting [sic]by my candle to night as you wrote to me that many miles seperated [sic] us in person if my heart was like yours we would be united in heart you kneed [sic] not to Dout [sic] [.] Though we are fare apart at present my heart is with you every moment for I often think of you when you are asleep when Travailing the lonesom [sic] roads in middle Tenn [sic] The thought of your sweet smiles is all the company I have I trust that you are cinsere [sic] in what you have wrote to me. Your sparkling blue eys [sic] and rosey [sic] red cheeks has gaind [sic] my whole efections [sic] I hope for the time to come when we shall meet again then if you are in the notion that I am we can pass off the time in plesure [sic] [.] My time has come for sleep and I must soon close I want you to rite to me as soon as you can for I will be glad to hear from you any time. Direct your letters as before and dont [sic] forget your best friend so I will end my few lines but my love to you has no End remember me as ever your love and friend. Excuse bad riting [sic].

William F. Testerman to Miss Jane Davis

Civil War Love Letters.[10]

          ca. 25-26, Guerrilla activity in DeKalb County

"Brutal Murder by Guerrillas in DeKalb. Gallant Conduct of Lieut. . Blackburn. Death of two Notorious Cut-throats, Kearsey and Neely."

A most shocking and wanton murder was committed a few days ago, by a party of "Southern Chivalry" under the lead of two great scoundrels, Pomp Kearsey[11] [sic] and Neely, on the waters of Clear Fork, a few miles above Liberty, in DeKalb county. The guerrillas went to a house where a young Mr. Clark, son of one of our well-known citizens, was staying, dragged him out, and shot him to pieces. Young Clark's sole offence was that he was a strong Union man, and that was enough to arouse the malice of the hell-hounds.

On the following day (ca. 26) Lieutenant Blackburn, a well-known and brave young officer, formerly of Stokes' Tennessee cavalry, but now commanding an independent company, started in pursuit of the guerrillas, overtook them, and killed seven of the twelve who composed the party, among whom were the two head men, Pomp Kearsey, and Neely, whose depredations and villainies of all sorts have long made them the terror of the county. Lieut. Blackburn piled the seven bodies in a wagon and hauled them off towards Liberty. The sister of Kearsey sent to him and asked for the body to bury it, but Lieut. Blackburn sent her worked that he intended to show the bodies to the rebels in Liberty, to warn them of the fate which awaited all friends and protectors of guerrillas.

Nashville Daily Times and True Union, July 28, 1864.


          25, Military posse in Perry, Wayne, Hardin, Hickman, Williamson and Maury counties

NASHVILLE, TENN., July 25, 1865.

Maj. Gen. JOHN E. SMITH, Memphis:

Send a force of 100 cavalry to hunt down and destroy a band of guerrillas now raiding over the counties of Perry, Wayne, and a portion of Hardin, and who make their headquarters in south part of Hickman County and near Williamsport, in Maury. Your force will remain west of the Tennessee and co-operate with a like force which Gen. Johnson will send out to scout the east of the river.

W. D. WHIPPLE, Brig.-Gen.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 49, pt. II, p. 1090

[1] The fact that this admonition was printed indicates that the Memphis police demonstrated few of the qualities mentioned in this article.

[2] As cited in PQCW.

[3] Maps not included in original report.

[4] According to Major-General George H. Thomas, in his March 18, 1864 report to Major-General William Tecumseh Sherman, Hamilton was one of a number of pro-Confederate guerrilla leaders on the Tennessee Cumberland Plateau:

"Stokes' Fifth Tennessee Cavalry at Sparta, operating against the guerrillas, who, under Hamilton, Ferguson, Carter, Murray, and Hughs, have infested that country since the war commenced."

OR, Ser. I, Vol 32, pt. III, p. 90.

[5] See also OR, Ser. II, Vol. 5, pp. 619-624.

[6] In view of the final action of the Secretary of War, the inclosed statements referred to were omitted.

[7] This skirmish is listed in neither the OR nor Dyer's Battle Index for Tennessee.

[8] The U. S. S. Undine was caught on a snag and sunk in the Tennessee River just off Clifton on July 25, 1864. By August 15, however, she was raised "and got afloat by the exertions of her officers under circumstances which reflect great credit on her commander." It would later be sunk by forces under the command of Nathan Bedford Forrest in what was perhaps one of his command's most stellar performances.

[9] Unidentified.

[11] Regardless of political leanings. bushwhackers in Cannon County were known to attend dances, in or out of uniform, dancing together till morning. "Beardless Pomp Kersey is said to have attended one of these dances dressed as a girl and to have danced with his arch enemy, Will Hathaway, who was much taken with the supposed maiden's charms." It may not be going too far to suggest that one or both of the men were gay. See: Robert L. Mason, ed.Joy Bailey Dunn ed., Charles W. Crawford, assoc. ed., Cannon County (Memphis State University Press; Memphis, 1982), pp. 56-58. Mason puts Kearsey's death at July 23, 1864, but provides no source to back his claim. Pomp was buried in the Melton Cemetery at Mechanicsville, Tennessee.


James B. Jones, Jr.

Public Historian

Tennessee Historical Commission

2941 Lebanon Road

Nashville, TN  37214


(615)-532-1549  FAX