Monday, October 24, 2016

COCAINE FIENDS OF NASHVILLE - Early indications of cocaine use in Nashville, Tennessee

Nashville American, October 23, 1899.


Something of the Baneful Habit of Continually Growing in All Cities.


Drug Has Become So Universally Used That It Is Put Up For Customers in Handy Packages Ready for Sale.

Much has been written about the cocaine habit, which has taken hold upon the lower classes in many American cities. There is possibly no habit among the many that are at present instilling their evil effects into the human race that has had the rapid growth that the cocaine habit has. The demand has been as great for the drug that the price has continually advanced, and in time, there is a prospect that the devotees may be cut off from the use for it by the price going to a mark beyond their financial ability. The present wholesale price of it in this section is $6.30 per ounce, which is a rise of almost $1 in the past six months. Nashville has its cocaine fiends as well as almost every other city in the country, and their name is legion. They are found among the negro race especially, the drug has driven morphine out of the business among those of the colored race who addict themselves to the use of such things. The local demand for it is so great that drug firms in the city are now constantly prepared for the run that comes in a day or night. The cocaine is put in in approximately 2-grain envelopes and kept in the vicinity of the cigar stand, where it can be handed out without delay. The 2-grain packages sell for 5 cents, and a first-class fiend will buy and use from seven to ten packages a day. There is one old woman in Black Bottom who has been addicted to cocaine for a good, long period, and her daily consumption is 50 cents worth.

On Saturday night one firm in the city put out for a night trade a supply of eighty packages. When the watches were changed at 6 o’clock in the morning there were only two left. The drug firms in the vicinity of Black Bottom and other localities occupied principally by negroes do a thriving business in cocaine. One Broad street house buys its cocaine in bulk and puts it up in lots of 1,000 packages to supply the trade, having a good-size box which is kept well filled all the time. It is estimated that the retail trade in cocaine in Nashville amounts to $100 per day.

The drug as it goes to the purchaser is in the form of a white crystalline powder. The fiend takes it through the nostrils by snuffing. [sic]The sensation is said to be one not unlike the produced by a small modicum of whisky – that is, the tipsy stage of intoxication. When a belle desires to create a sensation at the hullaballoo, or one of the male contingent desires to give a rough house on a small scale, she or he makes a purchase of cocaine and starts out for a good time. Continued with whisky, cocaine makes a well-developed fiend a hard man to handle when he runs amuck of the law. Among the regular fiends this drug is known as “coke.”

The cocaine habit in Nashville has appeared in the last two or three years. Where retail drug-houses formerly purchased an ounce to run for a month or more, supplying only the prescription trade, a much larger supply is required and larger purchases are being necessitated all the time.

Cocaine is obtained from the leaves of the cuca, a plant which grows on the western coast of South America. It was discovered in 1859 and was first used by surgeons as local anesthetic. Cuca leaves are used by the Indians in the countries in which it grows. They chew the leaves, consuming two or three ounces a day. The result is a powerful stimulation of the nervous system. Fatigue is borne with greater ease and nourishment of the body is not such a necessity.

The cocaine acts as a powerful stimulant to the nerves and a large dose of it tends to produce hysteria. When the fiend is compelled to go without his supply of the drug is nerves are almost in danger of being shattered.
Cocaine was not illegal in the “good old days.” It was common in this day and time to blame or characterize black Americans as the only users of cocaine. This was especially was this true in the Jim Crow South. However, people in white or genteel circles were known to frequent it and even morphine in Nashville and other cities. Recreational drug use and abuse is nothing new. The reporter of this story seems somehow to be quite knowledgeable about the use of cocaine, which perhaps betrays a lack of innocence on his part apropos the subject.

[See: Jones, DRUG ABUSE AND PROSTITUTION IN TENNESSEE HISTORY, (2012). Available on Amazon.]

Monday, June 20, 2016

Notes from Civil War Tennessee, June 20, 1861-1864

Notes from Civil War Tennessee, June 20, 1861-1864.  



20, Major-General Gideon J. Pillow's situation report for military measures taken in West Tennessee, including plans to stretch a chain across the Mississippi River to blockade Federal gunboats, etc.


Memphis, June 20, 1861


Secretary of War, C. S. A.

I have now in the field all the force we can possibly arm. You have here 2,000 flint-lock muskets, which I ask your permission to use. We are in the Confederate States Government, as you know, by a large majority of the popular vote-say 70,000-and our army is a part of the forces of the Confederate States, subject to your orders. I suppose we have 300,000 men in the State who have tendered their services more than we have the means of arming. Can you permit me to issue these arms? I telegraphed you sometime since. In reply you said the President had written to Governor Harris. Governor Harris informs that he has not received any letter from the President. I have my defensive works here nearly completed, and we have on hand in the State about 15,000 armed men, and this force would be materially strengthened if the Arkansas and Tennessee troops were under the same officer, so that the forces of both States could be concentrated upon a threatened approach of the enemy. With these forces united we could advance in a short time to the relief of Missouri. I have applied to the Governor of the State for permission to assume the offensive just as soon as I can be assured of my position here. I am preparing to effectually blockade the river at Randolph by a ship-cable chain, supported by buoys, anchors, &c. This barricade will arrest any fleet of boats that may attempt a descent on the river under my batteries, so that my guns will sink and burn them up with hot shot. I have six batteries, mounting about thirty heavy guns, completed. All my defensive works will be completed this week, and I can be prepared to advance to the assistance of Missouri in a few days. I can dislodge the Cairo forces, and will do it if authority is given for that purpose and I am allowed to use the Arkansas forces. Before assuming the offensive I deem it prudent to strengthen the forces at Union City, as I shall require a portion of that force to go forward. Please answer as promptly as your other engagements will permit, and say if I can be allowed to issue the flint-lock muskets, and if I can advance into Missouri, turning Kentucky, and if the forces at Corinth and Arkansas can be placed under my orders for a forward movement. I send this dispatch by Major [?] Martin, who will apply to you for authority to raise a regiment for the service of the Confederate States. He is a talented and highly accomplished officer and gentleman, and I warmly recommend him as fitted to command a regiment, and hope you will commission him.

* * * *

GID. J. PILLOW, Maj. Gen, Commanding army of Tennessee

P.S. If the President has not yet ordered the [steamer] McRae up, let it be done as promptly as possible. They have an armed steam-tug at Cairo that is sweeping the river above my batteries, seizing all the steamboats, completely controlling everything out of reach of my batteries. They tonight seized the steamer Kentucky, belonging to this city. We cannot approach the Missouri shore, and yet my Government has just approved of my purpose to forward to the relief of Missouri. I must have the support of the Corinth forces and the Arkansas troops. Give me power and I will advance to the relief of Missouri.

* * * *

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 52, pt. II, pp. 112- 113.




20, Sickness, gunshot wounds, death and boils; excerpts from the letter of Federal Surgeon W. M. Eames, stationed in Murfreesboro, to his wife in Ohio

Union Coll. Hospital

June 20, 1862

Dearest wife,

I sit down to write after a hard day's work, to let you know that I am quite well & that every thing is about as usual around the Hospital. We have more [sic] men around us now than ever before since the Division left. In Ward C there is not less than 7 very [sic] men of whom 5 will die I think & they have all come in within the past 5 days except one. One man died last night who came in 6 hours before. He was taken sick on the march to McMinnville & hauled in an ambulance over the hills & back & died the next day. Several others were nearly as bad. One man with a gunshot wound similar to that of Whitney's came in yesterday & I presume we'll have to have his hand amputated. My boil is better. I opened it this morning & got out the core & hope to sleep tonight. It has been the worst affliction I have had for many days.

*  *  *  *

….We have sent away not less than 60 men this week from this establishment….There are at least 20 men in the house dangerously sick, most of whom will not see next week at this time. There are 172 in the house tonight….

William Mark. Eames Papers

 20, Loyalty and ice in Memphis: Pro Quid Pro


The Herald of the 20th of June contains three columns of revelations upon the encouraging developments of "Loyalty" to Lincoln in Memphis, and states that citizens are rebel soldiers are coming to "take the oath"  at the rate of 350 per day. What is strange, however, unlike Lincoln, Seward, and Gen. Scott, they do not take it with ice. Notwithstanding there is a great abundance of ice in Memphis. All these columns of brags are wound up with the following extract from the Memphis Argus:

The Demand For Ice.-Never since Memphis attained the dimension of a city has as little demand existed for ice at present. Some of our dealers in the article have full warehouses, and their daily sales amount to comparatively nothing. One dealer informs us that although at this time last year his sales amounted daily to between and twenty tons, now the scarcely reach a ton. Ice is receiving the cold shoulder this season.

Think of that! With a Federal army in Memphis to aid the consumption. Is it not too plain to be misunderstood, that such is the popular detestation of the Lincolnites in Memphis that the people drink warm river water, rather than cool it with ice brought Northern invaders!

Macon Daily Telegraph, July 1, 1862




20, a wealthy planter's son eschews being drafted in the Confederate army

My son Thomas L. Porter (a conscript) procured a substitute (Near $5,000) [sic] & got a certificate of discharge from the army.[1]

Diary of Nimrod Porter, June 20, 1863.

20, "Schools and Scholars;" some results of the 1862-1863 public school year in Civil War Memphis

During the past week there were several schools examined by the superintendent of the city public schools. These examinations fully attest the efficiency of the present system of public education. The schools situated on the corner of Main and Overton streets, taught by Miss Brown and Miss Hampton, proved very interesting and fully confirmed our previously formed opinion with regard to public schools. The honors of these schools were conferred upon the following named young gentlemen: Of school No. 3, Peter Tighes, Willie Byland, Frank Humphrey, Matt Carter, Walter F. Prescott and James Dennison. The following are the names of the aspiring youths who bore off the honors at school No. 9: Willie Morning, Mike Ducahart, Willie Littering, Pat Fox, Mike Grady, and Tommy Conway. The school No. 11, taught by Miss Mattie Prewitt, showed the most flattering results. The honors of the school were conferred upon the following young ladies for punctuality, scholarship, and deportment: Miss Emma Mallory, Miss Pennie Sannoner, Miss Lizzie Gibbs, Miss Mattie Sannoner, and Miss Cynthia Hill. Miss Yancey's school, No. 1 was examined with the most gratifying results. The following named pupils were the recipients of the honors of the school for their punctuality, scholarship, and deportment: Charles Burdic, Joseph McIlvaine, Charles Rochell, Ross Duncan, James Burk, and Frank Coppel. We have received reports from to other schools, but by some means they have been mislaid. We will publish them, however, as soon as we can have time to look them up.

Memphis Bulletin, June 20, 1863.




20, The story of Ms. Mary Ann Pitman (a.k.a. Lieutenant Rawley, Mary Hayes, "Mollie"), Lieutenant in Freeman's Infantry and Forrest's cavalry, and a Confederate spy and arms smuggler

No circumstantial reports filed.

Excerpt from the Examination of Mary Ann Pitman by Col. J. P. Sanderson, provost-marshal-general Department of the Missouri.

SAINT LOUIS, June 20, 1864.

I resided near Chestnut Bluff, Tenn.[2], and went into the Confederate service on the breaking out of the rebellion. Myself and Lieut. Craig went around and got together enough volunteers to make up a company, which we took into Freeman's regiment. I was second lieutenant in the infantry. After the battle of Shiloh I commanded the company. I took my company then and joined Forrest's command, as first lieutenant, and acted as such under the name of Lieut. Rawley. While with Forrest's command I was a large portion of the time, occupied on special service, much of which was of a secret character and in the performance of which I passed in the character of a female. Whilst so employed I was detailed to procure ordnance and ammunition, and came to Saint Louis as Mary Hays.

The first time I came here, which was during the winter of 1864, I stopped at the Everett House. I had been told that the house of Beauvais would supply ammunition for the Confederates. I went there and met John Beauvais. By means of secret signs, known to those in the secret, I made myself known to him and he recognized me. I told him I desired to see him at the Everett House on business, and he called. When he called I told him what my business was and what I wanted, which was caps. I told him that I wanted arms and ammunition, but at that time clothing but caps. He said he would supply me with anything I wanted and brought me $80 worth, which I took down the river on a boat, the name of which I cannot remember. I landed at Randolph and passed through the Federal lines to Forrest. The second time I came up on the City of Alton to Columbus, and from Columbus to Saint Louis on the Von Phul. I went to the Everett House again, but it was crowded, and then I called at Beauvais' office, after which I went to Barnum's and John Beauvais came up to Barnum's to see me. I again told him what the object of my visit was, and he brought about the same number of caps, two pair of Smith & Wesson pistols, and, I think, six boxes of cartridges. I believe that was all I got at that time. I went down on the Von Phul again to Randolph and passed through the lines to Forrest. I came a third time; came up from Randolph on the Hillman, and again stopped at Barnum's. I again sent for Beauvais, and when he came told him what I wanted, all of which he brought to me. He brought $80 worth of caps and pair or two of fine Colt pistols, officer's belt and scabbard, arms and cartridges for--I have forgotten what pistol. There were three boxes. The second time I came I got a silver pencil and a gold pen, and I got a watch mended--that was the second time--I was thinking it was the last time. I got the last time $80 worth of caps and a pair of Colt revolvers, officer's scabbard and belt, gun, cloak, and leggings.

At these different interviews I made known to Mr. Beauvais that these things were for Forrest's command. The first time he said to me that they were talking of conscripting, and he told me that if they did he was going South; if they I did not, he would not go, for he could be of more service to the Confederacy here than in the South; but if they conscripted he was going, for he never would fight for the Federal Government; that he was a Southern man in principle and always had been. He told me he would do anything in the world for the South, and that his father was as good a Southern man as he was, and would do anything for the South. He asked me about how the times were at the South.

The second time I came up I told him about Forrest and Sherman having that fight, and he was glad to hear it, and rejoiced that Forrest gave him a thrashing. He told me if I came there at any time and he was away on business all I had to do was just to make known to his father who I was, and what my business was, and he would let me have anything I wanted, and if he could not supply it himself he would get if for me. His father would to anything I asked in favor of the South. He also told me that his father belonged to this secret order. I never have seen him but twice. The last time I was at his store after he had been arrested.

On these trips which I made I had no interviews with the landlord of the Everett House, nor did I make known to him my business or character. I had an interview with Barnum and his head clerk, Mr. Morrison, and I think also the second time I made known my character to Barnum, that I was detailed by Gen. Forrest. I knew him because he belonged to the same order as I did. The clerk I just told my business. I discovered in my interview with Barnum that he was in the same secrets as myself. His clerks were not, or, if they were, they would not receive any recognition or give any. Yet they said they were Southern men, and would do all they could for the South. The second clerk had been in the Confederate Army, where he was wounded and then discharged. In going down the river these different trips, I made the porter on the Von Phul acquainted with the secret and he hid some things for me. So did the porter on the Hillman and the clerk on the Hillman. Neither of these men belonged to the same secret order. The clerks on the Hillman and Von Phul to, though, but the latter did not conceal anything from me because the porter did what I wanted, and I did not have to call upon him. He told me I could go up and down on the boat whenever I wanted to, and it would not cost me a cent.

After my capture I had an interview with John Beauvais at his store. When I went in he was in the private office back of the store. I went back and spoke to him, and he got up and went back to the back part of the store. His father was selling some jewelry to a lady. He spoke to me and asked me how I came on, and about how times were in the South, and asked me if I was up on the same business, and I said I was. He said, I am sorry, Mollie[3], that I cannot supply you this time, for, he said, they know just what I have got and my father and I and the clerks are under bonds, and I am not allowed to touch or sell anything in that line, but, he said, if you will go on to Cincinnati you can get what you want there, and as soon as this thing is over you shall have anything you want. I had his picture with me when I was captured. I denied to him that I was at Fort Pillow and that I burned his picture. I did not want to let him know I was captured. The picture I actually burned.

I went to this store the last time under the advice of a Memphis detective with a view to see if he would continue the sale after he was arrested. I landed, on the last trip, at Randolph. When I got there I was not going to Forrest; I was going to send him those things, which I did, by one of his officers, Capt. Wright, and was not going. I was going back to Saint Louis. I had sent him a letter stating that I had procured a large quantity of caps, powder, ammunition, &c.; that I had employed Mr. Williams to bring them down. I was waiting for an order from Forrest to say where he wanted them sent to. There was a large quantity, quite a wagonload. I was not going to Forrest myself at all, but when I got there, the next day after I had sent them as many as Capt. Wright and his brother and a negro boy, which he owned, could carry, I sent word to Forrest I intended to go right back to Saint Louis as soon as I could arrange the business there. I received a dispatch from Forrest ordering me to report at his headquarters, about ten miles from Fort Pillow. He wanted me to take my position in the field, as he said he would rather detail ten of his best officers for this business than lose my services at that time. So I started on a mule and was captured. Somebody told on me. They had something in the papers about my being captured--taking an officer's horse away and threatening to shoot him--which was all false. I was taken from the place where I was captured to Fort Pillow. I was captured about five or six miles from Fort Pillow at the house of Mr. Green, a Southern man. I was there, I think, three days; two or three, I am not certain which.

While I was at Fort Pillow I was standing one day some distance from headquarters, and there was a gentleman came up behind me, slapping me on the shoulder and asked if he had the honor of meeting Lieut. Rawley. I said yes. He said that Forrest was coming here with 4,000 men to take the place and he was going to take it if it took every man he had, and he would learn them how to arrest women--he would teach them a lesson. I did not know the man, though his face looked familiar. He turned right away and I went right into the office at headquarters; a short time afterward he came in. He wanted a pass to go out, and a Tennessee soldier who came with him into the office vouched for his loyalty. As Col. Booth was making out a pass for him, I slapped him on the shoulder, when he turned around and said: "Must I grant this pass, Mollie, or must I not?" I said, "Use your own judgment, colonel; you know your own business best." He issued the pass and the man went out. After the man was gone I told Col. Booth what I had heard; that Forrest was coming in a few days with 4,000 men, and he would undoubtedly take the place if he made the attempt. My advice was to evacuate the fort or re-enforce it at once, for if Forrest did get possession the Federal forces, and especially the officers, would be badly used. He told me, "Mollie, now make your preparation to go to Memphis this evening, for I be damned if he shall have you." He then told the captain of Gun-boat No. 7 to stop the first boat that came down, or sink her. I went to Memphis and the fort was taken the next day or day after--I think the day after.

Before my capture my mind and feeling had undergone a very material change from what they were when I started out in the war as to the character of the Northern people and soldiers and the merits of the controversy involved. I started out with the most intense feelings of prejudice against the Northern people. I regarded all I had heard as to their views, character, and purposes to be true, but my intercourse with such as came into our possession during my service in the Confederate Army, and especially my trip to Saint Louis, convinced me of my error in this respect. I found the Union officers and soldiers not to be the desperadoes which I had been taught to believe them to be. At Saint Louis I found business flourishing, people thriving, and everything so entirely different from the condition of things in the South and from what I had supposed to be that my observations could not help but make an impression upon my mind. While it had not for a moment the effect of inducing even a thought in me to desert the Confederate service, and thus be guilty of a dishonorable act, it had, nevertheless, the effect, as I have already stated, of materially changing my views and feelings. This was the condition of my mind when I was captured, and I accordingly immediately resolved to perform an honorable part and do nothing to discredit or disgrace my name. While satisfied that I had been performing services which placed my life at the mercy and disposal of the Federal Government, I felt it to be my duty to tell the truth and do what I could to atone for the past, and resolved to throw myself upon the Government. I resolved, be the result with me personally what it might, never to return to the Confederate service and continue my former career. I accordingly, immediately on my arrival at Fort Pillow, gave such information as I could to vindicate my personal integrity and show the authorities my determination to act in good faith. Acting under this determination, I at once disclosed such information as I believed to be of important use to the Federal authorities. I informed them, without reserve, of all I had done myself, and also stated to Col. Booth that if he would send me with an officer and adequate force I would be able to place him in possession of Gen. Forrest as a prisoner in a short time. I knew him to be that night within ten miles of the fort, and would have had no difficulty in enabling Col. Booth, by adopting my advice, to have taken Forrest, for I knew him to be away from his command at a place designated, where he was to meet me on my return. He was to have met me there for the purpose of bringing my uniform and horse, which he could not trust to another, so that I might change my female apparel and reassume the character of Lieut. Rawley. Col. Booth seemed to believe me, and was anxious to carry my proposition out; yet he feared and hesitated, and after a considerable consultation with other officers, finally resolved not to venture on it.

After my arrival at Memphis I made known to the officers what I had already disclosed to Col. Booth. Among the rest, I gave them an account of my visits to Saint Louis and the purposes for which I went there, which led them to send me here.

* * * *

Question. Do you know of Treasury notes being furnished to the Confederate Government through the means which this order furnishes for communication between the North and South?

Answer. I have no personal knowledge, but I know that the Confederate Government has usually an abundant supply of greenbacks to furnish for raids and other purposes in which it is necessary to use that kind of money. I know this, because on one occasion it became necessary for me to have some, and I called the attention of Gen. Forrest to it. He told me that in a few days he would have an abundance. A few days afterward I called to see him and he furnished me what I needed. At the same time he showed me a letter, which I read. It was dated at Washington and purported to be signed by one Chase and addressed to Gen. Forrest, in which the latter was informed that $20,000 had been forwarded to President Davis at Richmond for $900 in gold. The letter went on to say that Chase had advised President Davis that he would furnish him with as many greenbacks as he wished at the rate of $4 for $1 in gold. When I read this letter--it being signed by Chase--I was under the impression that it was Chase, the Secretary of the Treasury, but it was only an impression and nothing that Forrest had said about the person. There was an officer waiting at the time to see Forrest, and he told me that at some other time, when more at leisure, he would tell me all about this man Chase; that he was an important man--one of our head and leading men at Washington, and a member of the order. I knew he was a member of the order, for the signs of it were in the letter.

* * * *

OR, Ser. II, Vol. 7, pp. 345-350.


[1] This goes to the expression that the conflict was "a rich man's war and a poor man's fight."

[2] In West Crockett County.

[3] According to Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary, (G.& C. Merriam Company; Springfield Mass, 1981), "Mollie," a nickname for Mary, is also defined as a prostitute, a doll, or a gangster's girl friend. It is difficult to say if the use of Mollie was merely out of familiarity or because of her actually bestowing sexual favors on Major Booth and/or General Forrest. Pitman's story seems to be a cross between Helen of Troy and Mata Hari.

Following his investigation into the secret societies Colonel Sanderson had the following to say concerning Mary Ann Pitman:

"This woman was attached to the command of the rebel Forrest, as an officer under the name of Lieut. Rawley; but because her sex afforded her unusual facilities for crossing our lines she was often employed in the execution of important commissions within our territory, and, as a member of the order, was made extensively acquainted with other members, both of the Northern and Southern sections. Her testimony is thus peculiarly valuable, and being a person of unusual intelligence and force of character, her statements are sufficient, pointed, and emphatic... "

OR, Ser. II, Vol. 7, pp. 951-952.


James B. Jones, Jr.

Public Historian

Editor, The Courier

Tennessee Historical Commission

2941 Lebanon Road

Nashville, TN  37214


(615)-532-1549  FAX


Friday, June 3, 2016

Notes from Civil War Tennessee, June 3, 1861-1865.

Notes from Civil War Tennessee,

June 3, 1861-1865.





          3, Report on Voter Intimidation in Nashville on the Eve of the June 8 Secession Vote and Tennessee's Interference with Kentucky's Commerce

Tennessee.-A short time ago a gentleman of Davidson county addressed two written questions, anonymously, to the Union & American, the leading disunion organ at Nashville. The questions, in substance, were: First, Will the Union men be allowed to discuss publicly the issued in this canvass?, and, Secondly, Will they be allowed to vote in the election? The editor published the questions, and, with considerable circumlocution, gave the author of them and the community distinctly to under stand that both privileges would be refused! [sic] He knew that it was the determination of the Vigilance Committee and the armed and organized troops at their command to crush out Union speaking and Union voting, and he didn't think it worth while to attempt to disguise the notorious fact. The Union speaker would be shot upon the stand in Nashville, and a Union voter, if such a one there be, will be shot at the polls. Nevertheless, the canvass is called a free canvass; and the election will be called a free election; and when the election is over, the disunion authorities will proclaim that all must bow before the majestic power of the popular will. It would really seem as if, when innumerable Vigilance Committees are daily and nightly at work throughout Tennessee expelling Union men and their families from the State, they might venture to permit such as shall be left on the 8th of June to exercise the right of free suffrage, but no, they are afraid, that, notwithstanding the driving of thousands into exile and the turning of the whole artillery of the late Union press of the State against the Union party, secession would still be voted down unless the polls should be girt with secession bayonets.

Tennessee is now upon a war footing. Unquestionably she menaces the Union men of Kentucky, In pursuance of an understanding with the Kentucky secessionists, she stand ready to aid them at any moment in carrying the secession cause in this state by fire and steel. She has called out 65,000 men, and she has 34,000 on drill every day. These 34,000 men are armed with Maynard's rifles, and Sharp's rifles, the Minie ball being used for all of them. A considerable number of the arms were furnished from Montgomery, and 12,000 sabres are from Georgia. Cannon are cast as rapidly as possible at two establishments in Nashville and one in Memphis. Five millions of dollars appropriated by the Legislature for the arming of the State and all the county courts are exercising the authority given them by the legislature to levy whatever tax the please upon the respective counties of the support of the families of volunteers. Twelve or fifteen thousand troops are encamped at Union City, on the immediate border of Kentucky, and seven thousand on the Nashville railroad almost on the Kentucky line, ready to be precipitated upon Louisville at any time at the shortest notice.

In the meantime, Tennessee, having made all these formidable preparations for whatever may ensue, has commenced seizing Kentucky boats and cargoes upon the Mississippi river. Twenty or thirty Louisville steamboats, bound up from New Orleans, have been seized at Memphis by order of Gen. Pillow. Everyone that comes to that point is seized. If any boat attempts to pass, she is brought to by heavy batteries and compelled to remain. Our State can no longer send a boat down the Mississippi and expect her return. Our commerce upon that mighty thoroughfare is annihilated. And yet not a disunion organ or disunion man breathes a world of complaint or remonstrance. When two or three of our boats were brought to at Cairo under order of the U. S. Government, and, after the taking out of a few articles contraband of war, permitted to go upon their way, or disunionists seems ready to burst with fury and yelled forth a thousand fierce interrogatories as to whether Kentucky would submit for even a day too such atrocious interference with Kentucky commerce. They were for rushing to arms at once and sweeping the U.S. troops and the U. S. authority at once from the Illinois bank at the junction of the Ohio and Mississippi. But now, when Tennessee goes a hundred degree further than the U. S. authorities at Cairo have dreamed of going, when she obliterates our whole commerce from the face of the Mississippi, when she brings her batteries to bear upon our boats and takes possession them and keeps possession of them assigning no reason whatever except that such is her own good pleasure of the good pleasure of the miserable vain and strutting despot[1] who is at the head of her military affairs, our disunionists are as dumb as if they had been born without tongues and as submissive as if they had been born without souls.

It seems to us that our people can have no great difficulty in rightly appreciating those miserable disunion politicians, who, whilst approving the utter confiscation, by Tennessee, of the whole of our Kentucky commerce and all of our Kentucky boats upon the Mississippi river, think it a most shocking and horrid and awful thing that there should be the slightest interference, by any power whatever, with the transportation to Tennessee of contraband articles from Kentucky upon the Nashville railroad. In the name of Heaven, which is the more important-the seeping our entire Mississippi commerce from existence or the stopping of a few bacon hams and barrels of flour upon the Nashville railroad?

Louisville Daily Journal, June 3, 1861. [2]

                    3, Tennessee War Tax explained

City Hall, Nashville, June 3, 1861.

In reply to the numerous inquiries to the War Tax, levied by a recent act of the Legislature, I will state that it amounts to 8 cents on the hundred dollars' worth of property.

In other words, a man must own taxable property to the value of ten thousand dollars, in order to pay eight dollars war tax; or property valued at five thousand, to pay four dollars; or property valued at one thousand to pay eighty cents of taxes; or a hundred dollars' worth of property, to pay eight cents. The man of small means, or possessed of a small amount of taxable property, will scarcely feel the additional tax levied for military purposes. A man worth one hundred thousand dollars in taxable property, would pay eighty dollars [sic] of additional tax.

Very respectfully,

A.   Nelson.

Nashville Union & American, June 4, 1861.




          3, "A reign of terror prevailed for three days…" The aftermath of Morgan's May 1 raid on Pulaski

Since the 1st of May our town has been a military camp, having been taken violently by the Federals of the 2nd of May. On account of Morgan's enthusiastic reception by the inhabitants the enemy came in town like demons belching forth oaths too bad to repeat. A reign of terror prevailed for three days, our court-yard which was beautified with grass & forest trees was first destroyed, the trees being skinned by the cavalry horses & the grass trampled down by them, the stores then were broken open around the square, & shops of every description were rifled of their valuables. Mr. Manning who owned a small jewelry shop & by his work upon watches maintained his family principally lost all his valuable instruments, Mr. Scoggin, a good [sic] man & favorite in town, who owns a drugstore, had his store ruined [sic] by the brutal soldiery, all suffered around the square in one way or another. In a different parts of the town, the soldiery entered ladies private apartments, & demanded whatever they wished. I was forced to submit to much [sic] which I scorned myself [sic] afterwards, the only consolation being the hope that the gallant Southern band might one day repay the deeds of the hostile foe. Mr. Ballentine's family suffered most. I visited them during their distress & heard them relate their troubles as they accumulated. Fifty armed [men?] rushed into the hall at one [sic] time, demanding in loud tones a negro [sic] which they suspected the family had harbored. Mrs. Mason, daughter of Mr. B.s, [sic] who was in her room above stairs hearing the loud voices, rushed down the stair-way standing proudly defiant before the infuriated mob demanded of them why [sic] they were there. They answered: "We want that negro [sic]" She replied, we know nothing of a negro [sic] belonging to you. Told to in words of eloquence that they had proved to her since their entrance into the town the character of their mission south-abolition of slavery. But not until the room (in which they suspected the negro [sic] to be concealed) was thrown open to their view did they hush their boisterous clamor. Mrs. B's private premises were over-run, the strawberry bed, cistern & fine flowers being greatly injured. Many of the citizens at their approch [sic] sought safety in concealment. Those who succeeded in eluding their grasp the most conspicuous being Mr. Wm. Martin, have since courted the tyranny which, at first appalled [sic] them. He, finding the Federals in pursuit of him sought shelter in a magnolia tree which shows conspicuously [sic] in his mother's garden. I do not know how he feels toward the tree which have him shelter, but it seems to me I should regard it with a holy reverence [sic]. One of our citizens found a cozy retreat in his wife's wardrobe, which however proved less [sic] secure than the sacred tree. He was found & forced to terms by the relentless foe. After the three days of terror, a garrison was firmly [sic] placed over our town which has encamped upon the square ever since rendering it an unfit place of resort by the ladies, all of whom adhere closely to their rebel principles. The commander Col., Mundy of the 23rd Kentucky finding some noble spirits who refused to yield to his despotic sway, chose to banish them from their homes, contrary to their wishes. The names of those summoned before his majesty are as follows. Ref. Mr. Mooney, Mr. Sheperd, Mr. Winstead (a member of Capt. Flournoy's Co. who came home to recruit his health) Dr. Sumpter, Dr. Edmunson, Dr. Abernathy Major Tom Jones, Mr. Brannan, Mr. Flipin, Mr. Frazier. The three latter accepted his terms I stayed at home, the others refusing, were doomed to exile, the just fate [sic] which he deemed their desert for their rebellious [sic] sentiments. Major Jones paid Owen a visit & fount after much persuasion [sic], a certain leniency in Gov. Andrew Johnson which mysteriously to us, allows him freedom [sic] such as it is.

Diary of Martha Abernathy, entry for June 3, 1862 .[3]

          3, News from Nashville on the Situation in Middle Tennessee


From the Memphis Appeal.

A gentleman who left Nashville about ten days ago, and arrived at Memphis yesterday with great difficulty, gives us some later details than we have before had from that quarter. He says that on the 16th  [April] instant there were but 3,500 troops in and around the city, 800 of which were immediately in the corporation, and the rest in the suburbs. There was, in addition, one regiment at Murfreesboro, and another at Shelbyville, all belonging to Gen Mitchell's division.

Our informant states that a few days before he left the "cotton agent" of the Washington despotism proceeded out to Major Tucker's plantation, some distance from Nashville, on the Murfreesboro road, and stole about twenty bales of cotton in the name of his government, and hauled it to the city. It had been concealed and was discovered by him. But little of this staple however, had been obtained by the Federals since their occupation of Middle Tennessee..

The bogus military governor, Andrew Johnson, has been reduced to the necessity of keeping an armed guard at his door all the time, as a protection to his person. He had issued orders to allow no citizen to appear on the streets after nine o'clock P. M. , and on the night of the f5th instant the public square was filled with parties under arrest, who had violated the despotic order. He has also established a detective policy some of whom dogged the footsteps of our informant with much importunity. The Chief Detective is an unscrupulous Yankee scoundrel, who several years ago occupied the same position at Washington City.[4]

Johnson has been attempting for more than a month to raise a full regiment as a body guard, but has so far succeeded in getting only about eighty Dutchmen to volunteer in that dirty capacity.

The rigor of the despotism continued to grow more severe. The Nashville Banner had been suppressed for refusing to publish abolition sentiments and versions of affairs in general.

Jas. T. Bell, late editor of the Gazette who was arrested some weeks since, had been released after his giving bond to remain in the city.

On the day before our informant left, the news reached Nashville, that Capt. John Morgan was moving upon the city from Lebanon, with a force of  1500 cavalry. Great consternation prevailed among Johnson and his minions in consequence and the full available Federal force was kept under arms all night in anticipation of an attack. [5] About 300 cavalry were kept around Johnson's premises, as a special force to resist any demonstration that might be made upon him. The despot himself is said to have been very much terrified, and had his clothes packed and his papers put up preparatory to a rapid hegira in case of such a necessity.

The people of Nashville are represented to as positively being more hostile in their feelings towards the Lincoln Government than ever. The flagrant outrages of Johnson's minions have exasperated and embittered them beyond the description of words, and they earnestly look forward to the day when swift retribution will be visited upon their persecution by the advancing legions of a triumphant Confederate army.

The Courier (Natchez, MS), May 3, 1862.





          3, Mule drive captured on Gallatin Pike

NASHVILLE, June 3, 1863.

G. GODDARD, Assistant Adjutant-Gen.:

Drove of 175 mules on Gallatin pike captured. Guerrillas crossed the Cumberland at 12.30 p. m. to-day. Stated they would be at Lebanon before dark, where Wheeler would be met with his cavalry division. Cavalry sent from here on both sides of river in pursuit, but have not overtaken them.

R. S. GRANGER, Brig.-Gen.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 23, pt. II, p. 384.

          3, "…I experienced a disagreeable sensation, like screwing up my back…." Fremantle's observations on the Army of Tennessee

3d June, Wednesday.-Bishop Elliott left for Savannah at 6 A. M., in a down pour of rain, which continued nearly all day. Grenfell came to see me this morning in a towering rage. He had been arrested in his bed by the civil power on a charge of horse-stealing, and conniving at the escape of a negro [sic] from his master. General Bragg himself had stood bail for him, but Grenfell was naturally furious at the indignity. But, even according to his own account, he seems to have acted indiscreetly in the affair of the negro [sic], and he will have to appear before the civil court next October. General Polk and his officers were all much vexed at the occurrence, which, however, is an extraordinary and convincing proof that the military had not superceded the civil power in the Southern States; for here was an important officer arrested, in spite of the commander-in-chief, when in the execution of his office before the enemy. By standing bail, General Bragg gave a most positive proof that he exonerated Grenfell from any malpractices.

In the evening, after dark, General Polk drew my attention to the manner in which the signal beacons were worked. One light was stationary on the ground, whilst another was moved backwards and forwards over it. They gave us intelligence that General Hardee had pushed the enemy to within five miles of Murfreesboro', after heavy skirmishing all day.

I got out of General Polk the story of his celebrated adventure with the -- Indiana (Northern) regiment, which resulted in the almost total destruction of that corps. I had often during my travels heard officers and soldiers talking of this extraordinary feat of the "Bishop's." The modest yet graphic manner in which Gen. Polk related this wonderful instance of coolness and bravery was extremely interesting, and I now repeat it, as nearly as I can, in his own words.

"Well, sir, it was at the battle of Perryville, late in the evening--in fact, it was almost dark when Liddell's brigade came into action. Shortly after its arrival I observed a body of men, whom I believed to be Confederates, standing at an angle to this brigade. and firing obliquely at the newly arrived troops. I said. 'Dear me, this is very sad, and must be stopped; so I turned round, but could find none of my young men, who were absent on different messages; so I determined to ride myself and settle the matter. Having cantered up to the colonel of the regiment which was firing, I asked him in angry tones what he meant by shooting his own friends, and I desired him to cease doing so at once. He answered with surprise, 'I don't think there can be any mistake about it; I am sure they are the enemy.' 'Enemy!' I said; 'why, I have only just left them myself. Cease firing, sir; what is your name, sir?" "My name is Colonel --, of the -- Indiana; and pray, sir, who are you?"

"Then for the first time I saw, to my astonishment, that he was a Yankee, and that I was in rear of a regiment of Yankees.-Well, I saw that there was no hope but to brazen it out; my dark blouse and the increasing obscurity befriended me, so I approached quite close to him and shook my fist in his face, saying, I'll soon show you who I am, sir; cease firing, sir, at once.' I then turned my horse and cantered slowly down the line, shouting in an authoritative manner to the Yankees to cease firing; at the same time I experienced a disagreeable sensation, like screwing up my back, and calculating how many bullets would be between my shoulders every moment. I was afraid to increase my pace until I got to a small copse, when I put the spurs in and galloped back to my men. I immediately went up to the nearest colonel, and said to him, 'Colonel, I have reconnoitered those fellows pretty closely--and I find there is no mistake who they are; you may get up and go at them.' And I assure you, sir, that the slaughter of that Indiana regiment was the greatest I have ever seen in the war."

It is evident to me that a certain degree of jealous feeling exists between the Tennesseean [sic] and Virginian armies. This one claims to have had harder fighting than the Virginian army, and to have been opposed to the best troops and best generals of the North.

The Southerners generally appear to estimate highest the northeastern Federal troops, which compose in a great degree the armies of Grant and Rosecrans; they come from the States of Ohio, Iowa, Indiana, &c. The Irish Federals are also respected for their fighting qualities; whilst the genuine Yankees and Germans (Dutch) are not much esteemed.

I have been agreeably disappointed in the climate of Tennessee, which appears quite temperate to what I had expected.

Fremantle, Three Years, pp. 83-86.





          3, "Lewd Pictures"

The display of highly colored daubs and photographs of naked women, obscene groups, etc., in the windows and upon the stands of our stationers, booksellers, and news dealers has become most noticeably common and deserving of public attention and censure. We have long been accustomed to see such, upon a larger plan, hung about the walls of grogshops, club rooms, and places visited only by the male sex, but when they are to be introduced into the street windows and compiled into albums, it is certainly carrying the thing a bit too far-altogether too far. Such pandering to vitiated taste is at least unbecoming many of those who have been guilty of the practice, and in our opinion the city ordinance, prohibiting the publication or sale of obscene books, would apply as well to the sell of obscene pictures.

Memphis Bulletin, June 3, 1864.




          3, Poem, "Lookout Mountain," by Alon. D. Austin

Where Lookout's summit proudly rise

Bathed in the blue atherial [sic] skies,

And glorious immortality

O'er space illimited [sic] by gaze

To yearn for woodland's misty haze

And dream of sad reality


Again I see the bayonet's gleam

On Chickamauga's deadly stream.

The flashing red artillery

The dread battle's sulphur's glare,

The charging shout of loud despair,

Midst the death shots rattling fearfully


How Mission Ridge and Lookout glow,

With camp-fires of the haughty foe;

And rebel flags fly tauntingly

But Grant is marshaling his host

To drive the traitor from his post

He swore to hold, so vauntingly.


Hark, 'tis the bugler's sound I hear!

Ring through the valley shrill and clear,

In wild free notes of harmony.

And now the rattling drum and fife,

It is the signal for the strife,

The strife which leads to victory.


Up o'er yon craggy rock, steep,

The dreadful crash of battle sweep,

And surges on remorselessly,

And now the rebel legions flee,

Before the banners of the free.


Borne by the brave resistlessly,

Bright beams the sun o'er Lookout's brow,

Its rock-ribbed caverns silent now;

And water falls dash musically.

No more the bugles sound will wake

The echoes o'er sweet Luvih lakes [?]

Reposing ever peacefully


Far, far below the shinning plain

Now blooming into life again

Beside the noble Tennessee.

And gallant sons and daughters fair,

Will bless their freedom over thee,

The land of liberty.

Chattanooga Daily Gazette, June 3, 1865.


[1] Gideon J. Pillow

[2] As cited in PQCW.

[3] There is no corroborative evidence to independently verify these terrorist acts in Pulaski to be found in the OR, although that would be expected.

[4] William Truesdail, Chief of Army Police.

[5]The informant had no way of  knowing, but it was actually 325 cavalry on a raid into Federal territory. It reached Lebanon where the Confederate population welcomed them with shelter, food and whisky. They got drunk and when Federal forces arrived on May 5, Morgan's raiders were completely, humiliatingly and unalterably routed, Morgan even losing his favorite horse, a mare, "Black Bess."


James B. Jones, Jr.

Public Historian

Editor, The Courier

Tennessee Historical Commission

2941 Lebanon Road

Nashville, TN  37214


(615)-532-1549  FAX