Friday, December 11, 2015



FOR DECEMBER 11, 1861-1864




December 11. 1861


            11, Martial law declared in Knoxville



Knoxville, Tenn., December 11, 1861.

The exigencies of the time requiring, as is believed, the adoption of the sternest measures of military policy, the commanding general feels called upon to suspend for a time the functions of the civil tribunals:

Now, therefore, be it known that I, William H. Carroll, brigadier-general in the Confederate Army, and commander of the post at Knoxville, do hereby proclaim martial law to exist in the City of Knoxville and the surrounding country to the distance of 1 mile from the corporate limits of said City.

By order of Brig. Gen. William H. Carroll:

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 7, p. 761.

            11, Tennessee Adjutant General Washington Curran Whitthorne[1] to General A.S. Johnston relative to difficulties in raising volunteers in Tennessee

EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT, Nashville, Tenn., December 11, 1861

Gen. A.S. JOHNSTON. Cmdg. Western Department

The Governor in calling for the militia of the State in obedience to your wishes stated that he preferred and was anxious to organize a volunteer force in lieu of the militia. Not only from the increased length of service, but in every other view of the question, was this force the desirable one. In order to secure every man who was disposed to volunteer, he authorized volunteers to be sent forward to rendezvous in squads. Again, it not unfrequently happens that full companies, by voluntary assent of its members, are made and reported to the Governor, and as such accepted and ordered to rendezvous, but when marching orders are being executed some of these members decline, from sickness or other reasons, to come forward, thus reducing the company below the minimum required by law. In both cases the men are here, or rather at rendezvous. The officers appointed to muster under existing orders from you do not feel at liberty to inspect and muster these incomplete organizations, and hence the force is without any controlling authority, there being no authority in the State laws to hold them, the only power being to return them to their homes, recognize them as militia, and govern them accordingly, a result to be avoided if possible. Beside the disastrous influence of a return home, we could only secure a force inferior in time of service. The Governor has proposed that these troops be mustered in. If squads, then consolidated into companies as soon as it many done. [sic] If near in number to a full organization, that such time be allowed to bring up the absent as will insure a perfect company, and on failure that their organization be ignored, and that then they shall be treated and consolidated as squads. If allowed to remain without being sworn in, then, because of the utter absence of military or other authority to detain them, it is apprehended that their numbers will be decreased by voluntary absences, some returning home, others seeking service in regular mustered troops. In fact, to speak frankly, the Governor has serious apprehensions, if some such expedient is not adopted, that his high hopes of filling your call with twelve-months' volunteers will be wrecked, and the state of things involved in very serious embarrassment to him and the service. He is aware that the course suggested by him is one involving a great deal of labor upon the part of the inspecting officer, as well as his constant attendance at rendezvous. Beyond this no very serious objection can be offered to it. On the other hand, infinite trouble, expense, confusion, annoyance to both Governments, and possibly a harassing failure in securing the desired number of volunteers. A strong illustration so conceived is laid before the general. A full company is accepted and ordered to rendezvous, and in full in its numbers reached there, but then and there a sufficient number to reduce it below the minimum refuse to be sworn into service. The oath cannot be forced. Shall the seventy who remain be disbanded and sent home? In such a case is it not better for all interests-State, local, public, and Confederate-that the seventy [companies] be mustered, time given to fill up (and if the company fail, to have it filled by proper details), or in any other practicable way secure the seventy, than to send them all home to breed discontent or become dissatisfied? True, they might join other companies; but volunteering is built upon and sustained as much by association of men from same neighborhoods, and the fact that they make their own immediate officers, as from other considerations. But without argument, the state of affairs now existing to some extent, and which will by possibility continue from day to day, is submitted to the general by the Governor, assuring him of his determination to co-operate with him to the extent of the power with which he is clothed, asking, however, every assistance that it may be possible for the general to grant. He request that you will give such orders as the emergency of the case may require, and that if the plan proposed by him be not approved, some other equally safe and efficacious [system of raising troops] be adopted. He requests this and an early answer, to the end that the disastrous and unfortunate result which a strict adherence to the letter of the law and instructions heretofore given would surely bring about may be averted.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 52, pt. II, pp. 235-236.

            11, Letter from John F. Hays to Mrs. Benj. * * * *[sic]

Cleveland, Tenn., Dec. 11, 1861

Dear Mrs. Benj:

My family are all well and getting along in the same old way.

I had to go to Red Clay yesterday to hold an inquest over the body of a man who was shot by another. You will see all the particulars by the time you get this letter.

Elizabeth sends her love to you and says she would like to see you very much.

Since the [Confederate] Military Authority have taken charge of East Tennessee they have arrested a great many men, and from appearances are not near done yet. Day before yesterday about twenty left for Tuscaloosa, Ala., to be held as prisoners of war until peace is made, among the number were Dr. Brown, Seaf Bradford, Charley Champion, Steve Bairs, Wm. R. Davis and his brother-in-law Gamble Marlow, Jno. Anderson and his son Tom Cate the school teacher, Winslow, Jack Boone, old Esq. Bean and others.

They had no trial, but were arrested as prisoners of war and taken off. They are liable to be exchanged for Southern prisoners in the North, but we can't think such will be the* * * * [sic]

I have been told several times that I do not believe I am to be arrested, because as I understand, nobody but such as burned the bridges, took up arms or encouraged the taking up of arms against the Confederate States are to be arrested, and make some false statement against me to the military commanders I shall not be lugged [sic] into this thing. I am innocent to any charges against me concerning this bridge burning rebellion. I have been a Union man, but not such as that, and no honest man can endorse what these East Tennessee fools have done. I am sorry for the ignorant who have been duped into it.

It looks like everybody is going to volunteer in this county [illegible] and everywhere but in Polk County. There, I learn, all is quiet.

Give my respect to the Judge and all his family

John F. Hayes

W. P. A. Civil War Records, Vol. 2, pp. 34-35.

            11, Execution of a bridge burner in Knoxville

Bridge Burner to be Hung.

One of the bridge-burners, convicted by the Court Marshal [sic], now in session here, will be hung today near Camp Sneed, on the railroad, just west of the Marble Works. Considerable curiosity was manifested by the public yesterday at the sight of the gallows which was being erected. A number of people visited the place in the afternoon, under the impression that the execution would take place yesterday [sic].-Knoxville Register, 11th.

Men are required to pay dearly in this county for the sport of bridge burning. The price, however, is by no means too extravagant.

Nashville Daily Gazette, December 13, 1861.

11, Cow's hair and cotton

A New and Useful Article.

We published an editorial paragraph, a few weeks ago, stating that we had received a specimen of cotton and cow's hair spun together, and recommending the subject to the consideration of our readers. We have since received a specimen of cloth woven from this mixture. It is heavy and exceedingly strong—well calculated for warmth and wear—a very good substitute for wool, and, if lined, a good substitute for blankets. The article is manufactured by a lady of Wartrace, Tenn., and is suitable for military uniforms, &c. Indeed, we are informed that one company of Tennessee volunteers has already been uniformed with it.

The manufacture of this cotton and cow hair cloth is another evidence of what our people are doing in the way of aiding in the work of independence; and it gives us pleasure to notice these evidences. It is only necessary for manufacturers to be satisfied with "living prices," and to make their business known by a judicious and liberal system of advertising, to succeed in the various useful enterprises which they have inaugurated.

Daily Constitutionalist [AUGUSTA, GA], December 11, 1861.


December 11, 1862


            11, "…and by an order of General Forest [sic] wee [sic] have to uniform ourselves; "Lieutenant A. J. Lacy's letter to his wife

State of Tennessee

The 11th 62 [sic]

Murray [sic] Co [sic] December

My Very Dear and most affection [sic] wife

I seat myself this beautiful morning to write to you to let you know that I am reasonably well at this time, hoping that these few lines will find you enjoying good health

Wee [sic] are camped 1 mi from Collumbia [sic] on the north side of Duck River. Goods of all kinds is very costly here. Boots is worth from 30 [sic] to sixty dollars a pair. I expect that wee [sic] will leave here before many days but where wee [sic] will go to I can not tell.

Elisabeth I got my blanket stole a few days ago and I am left rather slim in the blanket line but still I don't suffer with cold in camps like I expected to before I left home. I would like to see you all one time more in life [sic] Here Elisabeth is a belt and buckle that I send to you and here is a half a paper of pins that I sent to you and Mother and I also send you this lady s [sic] box with a thimble a pare [sic] of smawl [sic] scissors and several other trick [sic] suitable for a lady's use[.]

I have all my provision to by [sic] now and by an order of General Forest [sic] wee [sic] have to uniform ourselves.

Capt [sic] Woolsy has bought cloth at 50 dollars to have him a coat made. I have to spend a right smart [sic] of money here. I drew $267. I drawed [sic] up to the 21 day of October 1862 here. Father I have not sent you anything yet sher [sic] I will send you one hundred and sixty dollars in Confederate money and I want to pay L G [sic] off. I owe him 82 dollars. I have sold my watch. I want you to keep some clothing ready for me at anytime if you can for I don't know when I might sent [sic] for them.

I am in hopes that I can get to come home a gaints [sic] the 1st of April. I want you all to remember me I often think of you all[.] When I am far away from you in a distant land.

Father I believe that I could beat Capt Woolsy for an office in our Co[.][.] I dont [sic] want you to say anything about it[.]

I must close for the present

A J Lacy to Miss Margaret E. Lacy

When this you see remember me

Write to me evry [sic] chance Write write write [sic]

Lacy Correspondence.

            11, Confederate conscript duty in Bradley County

Our company is again ordered to Bradley County to take up the conscripts. It is hard to tell why we were not allowed to remain there for that work when we were ordered there before.

* * * *

Diary of William E. Sloan.

            11, Jefferson C. Davis' short sojourn in Knoxville


President Davis passed this city on yesterday, on his way to Middle Tennessee. He made a short address to our citizens at the railway station, which was received with enthusiasm by the fortunate few who heard it. We have heard various versions of his remarks in reference to East Tennessee, but from the most accurate source we have had access to , he said in substance, that he had "heard it reported that East Tennesseeans were disloyal, but he was loth [sic] to believe that the land which owned a Jackson, a Coffee and a Carroll, could give birth to men who would prove recreant to their country." The President is seemingly in fine spirits. We have not the slightest doubt that he is delighted with Lincoln's message among other things, and then, he is confident of his capacity, in conjunction with that of Gen. Johnston, to restore the condition of things, of twelve months ago, in Mississippi and Tennessee.

President Davis proposed, if circumstances permit, to spend a day in Knoxville on his return to Richmond. Should he do so we anticipate the happiest results from his personal observations and communication within a people of whom, in his official capacity, he must have received such diverse impressions. We infer he is not much frightened by Burnside's operations, nor does he anticipate great danger from Gen. Cox's movements in Northwestern Virginia.

Knoxville Daily Register, December 12, 1862.

            11, Movements of the President of the Confederate States of America while in Tennessee

The War in Tennessee

Movements of Jeff. Davis

We take the following from the Philadelphia Press:

Nashville, December 11-Jefferson Davis has arrived at Murfreesboro; from Knoxville. Prisoners taken by our outpost guards to-day and deserters say that he made a great speech at Knoxville, the burden of which was that the troops had but little to fear from a "fire in the rear," as the reports about Union feeling in Eastern Tennessee were greatly exaggerated.         

At Murfreesboro' he added the rebels, telling them that the critical moment in the history of the Confederacy had arrived, and he relied upon their valor and patriotism to sustain her now more strongly than ever before. He said he had left the (NL) in Virginia in the hands of that able general, Robt. E. Lee, which was the best he could do. In the Southwest his presence was most needed now.

It is said that Davis is going to concentrate all of his troops on the west bank of the Mississippi for a desperate struggle. He is going to Arkansas to see Generals Hindman and Holmes.

I learn to-night that the energy is moving up in front in great force, intending to bring on an engagement. The rebels are strongly posted at Nolensville and Triune, and from present appearances a battle cannot be displayed much longer. We are fairly prepared, and sanguine of victory.

The Baltimore Sun, December 16, 1862.


December 11, 1863


            11, General Thomas, in Chattanooga, endorses U. S. Army Signal Corps

HDQRS. DEPARTMENT OF THE CUMBERLAND, Chattanooga, Tennessee, December 11, 1863

Capt. P. BABCOCK, JR., Acting Chief Signal Officer, Army of the Cumberland:

CAPT.: Learning from you that, complaints have been made that the signal corps has not proved as serviceable as there was reason to hope it would, I cheerfully comply with your request to express my opinion of its usefulness. For some months after an assignment of officers of the corps was made to my headquarters not much was done, simply because there was no field for operations. During the pursuit of Bragg in Kentucky in the fall of 1862, several opportunities offered for testing the usefulness of the signal system, all of which not only clearly established its practicability, but its great usefulness.

The corps was reorganized at Nashville in the fall of 1862, and commenced operations with more system than at any previous time. During the battle of Stone's River the officers of the corps with me were very efficient in conveying messages by flag. After the battle and whilst the army was encamped near Murfreesborough an opportunity was offered for thoroughly testing the usefulness of the system, and resulted in the conclusion that a signal corps was one of the essential organizations of a well-appointed army.

Stations were established at Murfreesborough, Readyville, Triune, La Vergne, and Franklin. Triune and La Vergne were both about 12 miles from Murfreesborough. Readyville about 8 and Franklin about 4 miles from Triune. Messages could be transmitted from one station to the other with the greatest celerity and frequently communication was had between headquarters at Murfreesborough and the above-named stations by signal when there was no other means of communication but by sending a force to protect the messenger.

When Van Dorn attacked Franklin re-enforcements were directed how to move to give the greatest assistance to the garrison by message sent from Murfreesborough to Triune by signal. Repeated instances of its great usefulness occurred at Murfreesborough, also on the advance toward Bridgeport, particularly at Hoover's Gap during the engagement at that place. Before crossing the Tennessee daily information was received at headquarters of the operations of the different detachments of the army on the north side of the river and in the direction of Chattanooga through the signal line.

The corps was also equally useful after the army crossed the Tennessee and until its concentration at this place after the battle of Chickamauga.

Since our arrival here the value of the system has time and again been most clearly demonstrated by the great amount of information of the movements of the enemy, obtained and transmitted to headquarters by its aid, which could not have possibly been obtained by any other means in time to have been of use.

During the recent battle here the officers of the corps rendered most valuable service by observing and signaling information of every movement of the enemy within the range of their telescopes.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

GEO. H. THOMAS, Maj.-Gen. of Volunteers, Cmdg.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 31, pt. III, pp. 377-378.

            11, Federal reconnaissance ordered, Pulaski to Lexington, to protect Union families

HDQRS. SECOND DIVISION, SIXTEENTH ARMY CORPS, Pulaski, Tennessee, December 10, 1863.

Lieut. Col. J. J. PHILLIPS, Comdg. Ninth Illinois Infantry, Athens, Ala.:

COL.: You will send three or four squadrons from your command to Lexington, through Rogersville, to co-operate with Col. Rowett, who leaves here at daylight to-morrow morning, December 11, 1863, with eight squadrons, on the Lexington and Lamb's Ferry road, for the purpose of making a reconnaissance in the vicinity of Lexington, and protecting Union families who desire to obtain refuge inside our lines. Col. Rowett will doubtless encamp at Lexington to-morrow night, December 11, 1863, at which place your force will join him, and he will then proceed to scour the country in every direction, obtaining all information possible, picking up what prisoners he can from the enemy who may be scattered throughout the country, and aiding Union families to make their escape to our lines.

By order of T. W. Sweeny, brigadier-general commanding:

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 31, pt. III, pp. 372-373.

            11, Bridge construction and scouts along the Ocoee

HDQRS. ARMY OF THE TENNESSEE, Athens, December 11, 1863--9 a. m.

Gen. JEFF. C. DAVIS, Columbus:


* * * *

I am doing all I can to get you some sugar, coffee, salt, and shoes, and hope I will succeed....In the mean time [sic] finish your bridge, scout up the Ocoee and forward, grind all the meal you can, collect good hogs, sheep, and beeves, and generally take care of yourselves. I want all the geographical information possible for immediate and future use, especially of the river and country between Columbus, Cleveland, and Charleston.

Yours, truly,

W. T. SHERMAN, Maj.-Gen., Cmdg.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 31, pt. III, pp. 376-377.

11, "…oh my Dear parents you have a son buried beneath the sod of Tennessee but He rests in Jesus…." The letter of James Vascoy, 12th Indiana regiment, to his parents announcing the death of his brother Jacob[2]

Athens Tennessee

Dec….11th A.D. 1863

Dear Parents,

It is with a sad heart that I take my pencil in hand to let you know that Jacob is dead. You will doubtless think in strange of me not writing to you sooner as I suppose that you will hear of the Battle and probably of Jacobs [sic] death before this letter will reach you. Our circumstances has been so it was impossible for me to send a letter. On the twenty the of last month we (the 15th A.C.)[3] crossed the river above Chatanooga and advanced on the enemy. driving them without much fighting until we drove them to Missionary ridge there we stoped for that day and early on the morning of the 25th we formed in line and advanced on them our Brigade on the extreme right of our Corps,. We marched in line of Battle about a mile when we came to a fence which was at the edge of the woods. and in range of the rebels batteries on the ridge then we was ordered to ly down. and we lay there a short time when the rebels make a charge on our right down the hill then we was ordered forward right out in an open field where they had 16 pieces of artilery firing on us and also was exposed to their riflemen. Jacob and I clumb the fence together and marched up side by side and after we had advanced about 900 yards there was a musket ball struck Jacob in the left Breast passing square through him. He fell by my side. I droped my gun and by the aid of another man. managed to get him back to a ditch which was close where he fell there he pitched into the ditch and the man that was helping me left me there and the ditch was so deep and narrow that I could not get him out and all I could do was to hold his head out of the water. there I remained 15 minutes the shot an shell tearing the ground up all around me and I could look and see the rebels charging one line after another, down the hill on our boys who were about 200 yards ahead of me and there oh, my God what were my feelings. there I lay my Dear Brother that I knew could not live long. and I did not know how soon our men would be repulsed and I would be forced to leave him die on the Battle field. I saw some men close by. I hollowed at them and they came and assisted me in getting him off of the field to where I got him in an ambulance and took him to a Hospital. I felt to thank God when I arrived at the Hospital. it was then night sundown I got some straw and laid him on. and after a long time I got a Surgeon to examine him and he told me that he must die. and it was about 15 minutes afterward that the lord released him from his sufferings He died at 10 oclock and was wounded at noon. from the time that he was wounded he suffered intencely But that God he died a Happy man. Shortly after he was wounded he told me. yet while he was on the field that he had to die I spoke to him about this soul and he did not seem at first to be satisfied to die but shortly the lord powerfully blessed him and he was enabled to shout although he suffered intencely. He took from his pocket a Testament and gave it to me and told me to read it and meet him in Glory. He also told me to tell his wife to train up his children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord and met him in Heaven. He then wanted to see Aaron and I sent for him But he did not come until a few minutes after his death. I thank God he has gone to Heaven oh my Dear parents you have a son buried beneath the sod of Tennessee but He rests in Jesus. and will rise at the last day to meet us in Glory if we but prove faithfull. The next morning Aaron and I Buried him. nicely to what all soldiers that fell there was although we had no coffin we dug a Vault and lined it with boards and then enscribed his named on the tree that we buried him under. and by; this time the Regiment had passed and gone and I had to start in a hurrah to overtake them which I did that might We Drove the rebels down to Ringold Georgia where after a pretty hard fight they was completely routed and then we was ordered to reinforc Burnsides at Knoxville and we marched a far as Maryville which is 15 miles from Knoxville, where we heard that Burnside had routed Longstreet and we started back to Chatanooga to get supplies for we had been subsisting on the Country every since the fight and now we have to go back as far as this place which is about 50 miles from Chatanooga. and no rations yet  We are doing tolerably well. We are laying by today on account of the rebels burning a Bridge across the Hiwassie river. Well, my Dear parents I feel almost lost and without friend since the death of Jacob. but I hope that I shall be more faithfull now to my God and Country. Our Com. Lost 2 killed and 7 wounded the Reg lost about 100 killed and wounded it was an offal hard Battle as doubtless you have heard our Orderly sergeant was in the Battle of Shiloh and several other hard battles and he said that he never was in as hot a Battle as was this. I hope I shall never be called to witness another such Battle. I have not had an opportunity of sending mail since the fight and have not now but I will write this letter and as soon as we get to Chatanooga I will send it as I know you will be uneasy about me. I don't know what to do with Jacobs things he lost nearly all of them on the battle field and I did to. What few things is left I will sell and the money to his wife as soon as I can I will write a letter and as soon as pay day I will send all money coming to him. I will collect all that is coming to him and send it by mail or express. You can inform her of the affair and I will write her a letter the first opportunity I have. We had our Captain badly wounded, that I have not herd [sic] from him since the fight also another man of the company was seriously wounded in the left eye. Well father I will not write any more now and as soon as I can I will write a few more words and send this so no more at present.

[James Vascoy]

Vanscoy Correspondence

            11, Official designation of Federal positions during the siege of Knoxville


Headquarters Army of the Ohio

Knoxville, Tenn., Dec. 11 [1863]

General Order, No. 37.

In order clearly to designate the positions occupied by our troops during the recent siege, and in token of respect to the gallant officers who fell in defence of Knoxville, the several forts and batteries are named as follows:

Battery Noble.-At loop-holed house south of Kingston road, in memory of Lieutenant and Adjutant William Noble, Second Michigan volunteers, who fell in the charge upon the enemy's rifle pits, in front of Fort Sanders, on the morning of November twenty-fourth.

Fort Byington-At College, after Major Cornelius Byington, Second Michigan volunteers, who fell mortally wounded, while leading the assault upon the enemy's rifle pits, in front of Fort Sanders, on the morning of November twenty-fourth.

Battery Galpin-East of Second Creek, in memory of Lieutenant Galpin, Second Michigan volunteers, who fell in the assault upon the enemy's rifle-pits, in front of Fort Sanders, on the morning of November twenty-fourth.

Fort Comstock-On Summit Hill, near the railroad depot, in memory of Lieutenant-Colonel Comstock, Seventeenth Michigan volunteers, who fell in our lines during the siege.

Battery Wiltsee-West of Gay street, in memory of Captain Wiltsee, Twentieth Michigan volunteers, who was mortally wounded in our lines during the siege.

Fort Huntington Smith-On Temperance Hill, in memory of Lieutenant-Colonel Huntington Smith, Twentieth Michigan volunteer infantry, who fell at the battle of Campbell's station.

Battery Clifton Lee-East of Fort Huntington Smith, in memory of Captain Clifton Lee, one Hundred and Twelfth Illinois mounted infantry, who fell in the fight of November eighteenth, in front of Fort Sanders.

Fort Hill-At the extreme eastern point of our lines, in memory of Captain Hill, of the twelfth Kentucky cavalry, who fell during the siege.

Battery Fearns-On Flint Hill, in memory of Lieutenant and Adjutant Charles W. Fearns, forty-fifth Ohio mounted infantry, who fell in the action of November eighteenth, in front of Fort Sanders.

Battery Zoellner-Between Fort Sanders and Second Creek, in memory of Lieutenant Frank Zoellner, Second Michigan volunteers, who fell mortally wounded, in the assault upon the enemy's rifle-pits in front of Fort Sanders, on the morning of November twenty-fourth.

Battery Stearman-In the gorge between Temperance Hill and Mabrey's Hill, in memory of Lieutenant Willilam Stearman, Thirteenth Kentucky volunteers, who fell near Loudon, Tennessee.

Fort Stanley-Comprising all the works upon the central hill on the south side of the river, in memory of Captain C. B. Stanley, Forty-fifth Ohio volunteer mounted infantry, who fell mortally wounded in action near Philadelphia, Tennessee.

Battery Billingsley-Between Gay street and First Creek, in memory of Lieutenant J. Billingsley, Seventeenth Michigan infantry, who fell in action in front of Fort Sanders, November twentieth.

Fort Higley-Comprising all the works on the hill west of the railroad embankment, south side of the river, in memory of Captain Joel P. Higley, Seventh Ohio cavalry, who fell in action at Blue Springs, Tennessee, October sixteenth, 1863.

Fort Dickerson-Comprising all the works between Fort Stanley and Fort Higley, in memory of Captain Jonathan Dickerson, One Hundred and Twelfth Illinois mounted infantry, who fell in action near Cleveland, Tennessee.

By command of Major-General Burnside

Rebellion Record, Vol. 8, p. 261.

            11, Report on the conditions of Longstreet's Corps near Rogersville

From the Army of Tennessee. From Our Special Correspondent.

Near Rogersville, East Tenn.,

Longstreet's Corps, Dec. 11, 1863.

…To one subject I would call your attention. Thirty-five hundred men are to-day barefooted, without other means to protect them from the inclemency of the season than the rags they may strip from their backs. When you remember that the weather is so cold that water freezes in ten minutes after nightfall—that the icicles which fringe the mill-races are as thick as a man's body, and that the poor soldiers are driven to the extremity of cutting up the reeking, bloody hides of slaughtered beef to form a temporary pair of moccasins, which may last only ten or twelve hours of marching at best, you can imagine somewhat of the sufferings to which our brave troops are exposed. They are useless to the service in their present condition, and unless Government or people can afford relief promptly, few among them will ever again be in condition to take their places in the ranks of our country's defenders.

F. G. de F.

Richmond [VA] Whig, January 5, 1864. [4]

            11, Destruction in Tennessee and Kentucky Border Lands

[From the Louisville Democrat.]

The Devastations of War in Kentucky and Tennessee.

The devastations of war, so often depicted by poets and historians, and to which we are little disposed to give entire credit, have been more than realized in the border counties of Kentucky and Tennessee. – The burned villages and desolated fields are often looked upon as extravagant figures of speech in which the writes love to indulge, or as sports of the imagination which the story-teller uses to garnish his narratives with, in order to arouse the sympathies and indignation of his hearers. -  Yet it is no fable in this case. It is not only common to find burned and deserted villages along our Southern border, but it also strange to find a village that has not suffered from the torch of the incendiary. We know of several little towns that a few years ago numbered their thousands of inhabitants, with neat little village churches, and handsome court-houses and public buildings, which are no heaps of blackened ruins, or rows of empty shattered buildings, with an inhabitant or two prowling about the places that once were homes. The fields now lie wasted and uncultivated from the want of labor and the insecurity of the crops; - nothing is safe from destruction, and the once peaceful dwellers are now either struggling in the ranks of the contending armies or refugees, gaining a scanty subsistence from the charity of the world. For miles the only persons to be met are the dangerous guerrillas, or here and there some hardy mother, with her troupe of little white headed children, who yet still brave the dangers of the boarders, and are protected from violence and plunder by her cheerless poverty. – the men, however, have pretty much all disappeared in the manner we have described, and left only the reckless desolation and ruin of shattered homes behind them.

In the quiet little churches, where the innocent loveliness of girlhood used to meet to hear the weekly sermon, the cavalryman stables his steed, and the once pure white-washed are stained with vulgarity. The trim, precise, but unostentatious pew have been burned for fire wood; and the cushioned, carpet pulpit has, alas! been converted into a manger.

The broken shutters hang useless from the store windows. The store-keeper and the stock are both gone, and with them the idlers that lounged upon the goods boxes in summer, and in the tavern bar in winter. The vine-covered porches, and the neglected garden spot give an air of exceeding desolation of the deserted homes, as forlorn as the one as the once  described by Hood:

"The beds were all untouched by hand or tool;

No footstep marked the damp and mossy gravel,

Each walk was green, as is the mantled pool,

For want of human travel.

~ ~ ~ ~

The startled bats flew out, bird after bird;

The screech-owl, overhead, began to flutter,

And seemed to mock the cry that she had heard,

Some dying victim utter"

Newark Advocate (Newark, OH), December 11, 1863.[5]



December 11, 1864


            11, Capture of Ben South, Thomas E. Tutt and Echo on Cumberland River by  C. S. General Lyons [part of Hood's offensive on Nashville}


Brig. Gen. W. D. WHIPPLE, Chief of Staff:

GEN.: The following copies of telegrams just received are furnished for the information of the major-general commanding:

CLARKSVILLE, December 11, 1864.

Fleet empty boats left last night for down the river. The boat Ben South, some two hours in advance, it is reported, burned by Gen. Lyon's force at Cumberland City, some twenty miles below this post.

I. P. WILLIAMS, Capt. and Assistant Quartermaster.

CLARKSVILLE, December 11, 1864.

Courier just in from Fort Donelson reports capture of two-boat Echo, and destroyed; also steamer Thomas E. Tutt, loaded with grain and troops, coming up, taken and destroyed at Cumberland City.

I. P. WILLIAMS, Capt. and Assistant Quartermaster.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

J. L. DONALDSON, Brevet Brig.-Gen. and Chief Quartermaster.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 45, pt. II, p. 145.

            11, Conditions in Maury County resulting from the march of Hood's army

….The Southern Army has done me great damage the five days they were here. They have taken 140 acres of corn, burned 30,000 rails, mostly cedar, cut and destroyed over 25,000 trees that will average over 2 feet across the stump, took 30 fattening hogs that would average 250 pounds each, took two horses and the Otey [a neighbor] filly worth $1,000.00 in gold, took off 5 or 6 head of cattle, the English beeves among the best.

We are trying to get in enough wood to keep warm. The snow is three inches deep frozen into a sheet of ice. This may well be called the cold Sunday. My son Thomas stayed all night with me. It was a sad time, with him rejoining the [Confederate] army today. The parting hear heart rending. [sic] I am not able to describe it, it speaks for itself in silence.

Diary of Nimrod Porter.

            11, "The Poor of the City."

The committee appointed by the City Council to supply the wants of the poor of the city have gone to work in earnest, and it will be seen by the card of Capt. Wm. Driver[6], chairman of the committee, published in this morning's Dispatch, that they have already received contributions in money from citizens amounting to $1,654. Capt. Driver instituted a faithful search on Friday for flour, and found only four barrels in the city for sale. This fact show how low the supply of breadstuffs has run down in the cit. There was a heavy demand at the bakers yesterday for bread, and they were unable to supply it, and many a poor family will to-day suffer for the want of bread. In this emergency Capt. Driver applied to Gen. Thomas for the loan of fifty barrels of flour, and the General generously gave the committee authority to draw that amount from the commissary, and to-morrow morning the committee will be ready to distribute fifty pounds to each poor family in need of it. Those making application will be required to get the alderman of their ward to certify that they are needy and worthy, when the Mayor will give them an order for the flour. Gen. Thomas has further aided the committee in their laudable work, by granting them the use of one card a day on the Louisville and Nashville Railroad to bring in supplies and they have already sent an order to Cincinnati for flour, and will also order corn meal, hominy, pork, etc. These will be furnished to the poor of the city at actual cost. The committee have also made arrangements for a supply of wood, which will be furnished the poor at cost.

The usual supplies of produce are almost wholly cut off. The country people are afraid to bring their produce to market because their horses are impressed, and they complain of the difficulty of getting passes. Every facility and protection should be extended to people to induce them to bring in their produce. The wants of the people could be greatly relieved in this way.

Nashville Dispatch, December 11, 1864.

            11, Excerpts from the journal of Maggie Lindsley describing the Nashville environs in the shadow of Hood's army

Things grow monotonous – are they to remain thus all winter I wonder! Two large armies lying here at Nashville looking at each other, and doing nothing more valorous than destroying what is fleet of the once beautiful regions about them! Yesterday's paper states that the damage done in the last few days to property on the opposite side of the city amounts to between half a million to a million dollars – all those lovely homes on the Franklin pike, Mr. Putnam's-what merry times we girls have had in that dear old house!) – Mr. Berry's, Mr. Duncan's, etc. are utterly ruined I am told. Mrs. A. V. Brown's is Chatham's headquarters. The rebels are conscripting every man and boy in their lines. It is whispered that the Nichols have Harry and Mr. More secreted in their house altho' [sic] the rebels are constantly there, but as the older boys are officers, there is not much trouble in hiding these two I imagine!

No engagement yet, but cannonading from our forts all the while – no return from the enemy. We go to sleep to the cannon's roar, we awaken to it. Hood certainly is only "fooling" as the children say-he cannot mean to be the attacking party-why don't [sic] General Thomas attack him! It is said that General J.C. Brown was again wounded at Franklin.

*  *  *  *

We had quite an excitement this morning, occasioned by an order from General Wilson that our pasture across the lane should be taken as a mule corral, and accordingly a thousand mules, and their drivers came! Captain Osburne had about 30 guards here at the time – and ordered them to shoot at the gate the first man or mule that went in. After many threats, and much disorder the mules were driven back, tho [sic]' whether we are rid of them remains to be seen. Even the poor Negroes are being turned out of their homes everywhere by private soldiers. Such is General Wilson's discipline!

*  *  *  *

Journal of Maggie Lindsley.





[1] Whitthorne served in the Tennessee senate, 31st and 32nd sessions, 1855-57, representing Maury, Lewis, Hickman, and Dickson counties; he served in the House, 33d, 1859-61. He was thus well connected, a politico. He was appointed assistant adjutant general of the Provisional Army of Tennessee, with rank of Lt. Col. Then adjutant-general of the State, 1861-1865. He was a lawyer. When Tennessee fell he served as a volunteer and aid on the staffs, successively, Generals W. J. Hardee, Samuel R. Anderson, and Marcus J. Wright. Held prisoner at Columbia at the close of the war until pardoned by Johnson. Served as a Democrat. In United States S. H of R, 42d Cong., 1871-1883, and United States Senate April 16, 1886 to March 3, 1887, to fill vacancy caused by resignation of Howell L. Jackson. Again in United States H of R, 50th and 51st, 1887-1901. Died at Columbia, September 21, 1891. Couldn't serve due to political disabilities by act of Congress approved July 15, 1870.

[2] All spelling and punctuation original.

[3] Army Corps.

[4] As cited in:


[6] The Nashvillian who gave the U. S. flag the sobriquet "Old Glory."


James B. Jones, Jr.

Public Historian

Editor, The Courier

Tennessee Historical Commission

2941 Lebanon Road

Nashville, TN  37214


(615)-532-1549  FAX


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