Thursday, February 18, 2016



FEBRUARY 18, 1862-1864




          18, Report on Confederate weapons' collection drive in East Tennessee

The Knoxville Register says that Capt. Storms, who had been commissioned by Gov. Harris to collect arms in Blount county, has delivered three wagon loads of guns at the armory in Knoxville, and have several loads yet to transmit. In addition to this he has armed a company, raised in Blount, for the Confederate service. Besides the firearms captured by Capt. Stephens, he also has a two horse wagon load of the most dangerous looking bowie-knives we have lately seen. These arms have been principally taken from disaffected men in Blount county, many of whom, we learn, are now making their way to the mountains to join the Lincoln army.

Memphis Daily Appeal, February 18, 1862.

          18, Nashville's railroad and suspension bridges destroyed by Confederate authorities

It was known to a good many citizens on Monday [17th] that the destruction of the railroad and suspension bridges had been determined on as a military necessity, and this work was expected to have been accomplished Monday night, but for some reason, satisfactory it is presumed, to the authorities, it was not done. The fact became general known on Tuesday [18th], and urgent appeals were made to Gen. Floyd (Gens. Johnston and Pillow having left the city) to spare the suspension bridge, as it was of the highest importance to the people of Nashville to have uninterrupted communication with the other side of the river, from whence, for a time at least, they would have to draw all their market supplies. His uniform answer was, that the destruction of both bridges was regarded as a military necessity, and that it was his imperative duty to put into execution the plans agreed upon.

Tuesday night the torch was applied to the railroad bridge and in a short time all that remained of that splendid structure were the naked pillars and abutments and a few smoking fragments of timber. The precaution had been taken in this instance to prevent the fire-bells giving the alarm, so that the burning of the bridge was witnessed by comparatively few persons, and the event did not arouse the fears of those who had expected general conflagration. This bridge was one of the finest draw-bridges in the country, and was built for the joint use of the Louisville and Nashville and Edgefield and Kentucky railroads, at a cost of about $250,000. The funds to build it were loaned the two companies by the State of Tennessee under the general internal improvement laws….

*  *  *  *

The wires of the suspension bridge were cut about the same time that the railroad bridge was fired, and the morning revealed a complete wreck of this magnificent structure….

Dr. John Berrien Lindsley's Journal, February 18, 1862, TSLA, ed. Kathy Lauder.


                     18, "About 1 A.M. the gunboats at Broadway landing were fired – a brilliant conflagration – fire alarm was given, the people aroused from their slumbers, and great excitement occasioned until the truth was known." An entry from the Journal of Dr. John Berrien Lindsley

Tuesday – About 1 A.M. the gunboats at Broadway landing were fired – a brilliant conflagration – fire alarm was given, the people aroused from their slumbers, and great excitement occasioned until the truth was known.  Mrs. L in great terror waked me up – hurried over to the University had my carriage up – alarmed Dr. Peake and my young assistants very uselessly – then drove to Mr. McGavock's and brought Ma up to my house.  Pa went to Franklin on Monday, and as Ma was by herself we were naturally much frightened at the idea of a general conflagration.  After making a visit to Mrs. L. I took Ma home: it being now not far from day.

From Sunday on there had been a great deal of pressing of all kinds of vehicles: a carriage or wagon of any description could with great difficulty be retained unless guarded by a soldier or two with musket & bayonet.  I made up a guard of some ten or fifteen men from my convalescents; and they proved invaluable in guarding my vehicles and getting me access to the public stores.  I was welcomed by the officials employed in the latter on condition of detailing several of my men to guard their doors and keep out intruders.  The military authorities during the last few days of Confederate reign sadly neglected their duty in respect to guarding the government stores, and thus threw a great deal of additional labor upon the civilians occupied in the various departments. It was a matter of wonder to me that the latter discharged their duties so coolly and faithfully.  With sufficient guards the retreating army could much more readily have been supplied; much larger quantities of stores saved to the Confederate Government; a regular distribution made to the citizens instead of an irregular & disgraceful, as well as demoralizing, pillage & scramble.

During this ante-daylight excursion after Ma, I brought Carroll's other carriage to the University Hospital for the sake of protection; and while he was getting ready made quite a visit to Mrs. Porter's. Good success this forenoon at the Commissary's – secured among other items 50 boxes of star candles[1], also 50 boxes of soap.

Gave directions about consolidating the hospitals – moving the Meredith to the Academy &c.

3 to 5 P.M. at Medical Head Quarters – office work.  Gave the printer copy for a hand-bill – an appeal in behalf of our sick & wounded – Dr. Childers, the clerk and assistant of Dr. Pim; showed to Van & myself that the whole number now could not be much over one thousand.

Went to Ma's with my family for the night.  Children made a row – I did not get much sleep.

Dr. John Berrien Lindsley's Journal, February 18, 1862, TSLA, ed. Kathy Lauder.

18, "Express Agent Fined."

—H. Borden, agent of the Southern Express, was fined six dollars yesterday for carrying on his business without taking out a license. He appealed from the decision of the Recorder, contending that the business in which he is engaged is not one of those requiring a license. It strikes us if the express business has not hitherto been subjected to the operation of the license ordinance, one fine appealed from and decided by competent authority is as effective as the harassing process of inflicting a fine a day. The 550th section of the Code of Tennessee says that the occupations and transactions to be deemed privileges and taxed, and not pursued without a license, are selling at auction, selling on commission, the business of a broker or broker of real estate, granting policies of insurance for companies not chartered by the State, the business of banking, importing or selling playing cards, shaving notes, keeping a race track, theatrical and musical exhibitions, menageries, circuses, legerdemain, keeping a confectionary, or a stallion or jack, and retailing liquors. We do not know under which of the above eighteen heads the business of carrying goods by express is ranked. The city charter gives powers to the Board of Aldermen to license negro traders, livery stables, auctions, grocers, dry goods stores, forwarding, commission, and all other mercantile houses, coffee houses, tippling houses, confectioneries, brokers, insurance offices, hotel keepers, pedlars [sic], bankers, shows, circuses, theaters, and all other places of public amusement, and to tax the same. Also to license drays, carts, hackney coaches, etc., porters and their charges, coachmen, hackmen, etc.

Memphis Daily Appeal, Februay 18, 1862

18, "A Spinning Factory For Sale Cheap!"

Four hundred and eighty spindles, with cards and other machinery annexed, is offered for sale at a reasonable price, either for cash, or on time for good indorsed notes. For further information call on John Brooks, of Lexington, Tenn., or John D. Smith, at Henderson, Tenn., on the Mobile and Ohio Railroad, about 18 miles Southeast from Jackson, Tennessee.

Brooks & Smith.

Memphis Commercial Appeal, February 18, 1862






          18, U. S. Secretary of War E. M. Stanton explains to Major-General Rosecrans why his request for summary execution of deserters cannot be granted

WASHINGTON, D. C., February 18, 1863.

Maj.-Gen. ROSECRANS, Murfreesborough, Tenn.:

GEN.: In your telegram of last evening you ask the power of confirming and promptly executing sentences of death for desertion. You must be aware, general, that no such power can be conferred upon you by the President or Secretary of War. The law is positive that no such sentence shall be executed till approved by the President. The President cannot change this law, and it is his duty, as well as yours and mine, to obey the law. I have advised the repeal of this statute, and there is a bill before Congress for that purpose. It may, or may not, pass. Until repealed, the law must be obeyed. In regard to authorizing you to send officers and armed men into other departments than your own, to look up and arrest deserters, it is believed that such a measure would weaken rather than increase the numbers of your army, besides the risks of conflict between the civil authorities and indiscreet officers sent on that service. The results of sending such parties from the Army of the Potomac, to arrest deserters, have proved that the plan is not a good one. The best way to prevent desertion here has been the sending out of patrols on the roads upon which deserters seek to return to their States. There is a bill before Congress to provide means for arresting deserters, now absent from the army, without sending out military forces for that purpose. Should it not pass, or should it be found ineffectual, other means must be devised.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

H. W. HALLECK, Gen.-in-Chief.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 23, pt. II, p. 75.

          18, Major-General Rosecrans disciplines cavalry officer for committing depredations

SPECIAL FIELD ORDERS, No. 46. HDQRS. DEPT. OF THE CUMBERLAND, Murfreesborough, Tenn., February 18, 1863.

* * * *

XV. By virtue of the authority vested in the major-general commanding by the Secretary of War, Capt. J. Hartley, Fourth Indiana Cavalry, for violating a safeguard and permitting his men to plunder, is dishonorably dismissed from the service of the United States. The crime is by the laws of war punishable with death, and the general commanding regrets that he cannot inflict it. The provisions of General Orders, No. 9, will be strictly carried out in this case.

* * * *

By command of Maj.-Gen. Rosecrans:

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 23, pt. II, p. 76.

          18, Arrest and incarceration of wealthy Confederate sympathizers in Nashville

"By orders of General R. B. Nashville, two wealthy citizens of that place were arrested and confined in the State penitentiary, as hostages for the safe return...of John A. Galty, and T. T. Tabb, Union men held by the rebels at Chattanooga."

Rebellion Record, Vol. 6, p. 47.





          18, Skirmish near Maryville

FEBRUARY 18, 1864.-Skirmish near Maryville, Tenn.


No. 1.-Maj. Gen. Gordon Granger, U. S. Army, commanding Fourth Army Corps.

No. 2.-Col. Edward M. McCook, Second Indiana Cavalry, commanding First Cavalry Division, Army of the Cumberland.

No. 1.

Report of Maj. Gen. Gordon Granger, U. S. Army, commanding Fourth Army Corps.

LOUDON, TENN., February 19, 1864.

GEN.: Col. McCook reports that his scouts met about 30 of the enemy a mile the other side of Maryville yesterday [the 18th] and drove them back, killing and wounding 5. They report a large body of the enemy's cavalry encamped 4 or 5 miles from Maryville, near the Sevierville road.

Col. Jacquess reports this morning from Lenoir's that there are no indications of the enemy between that place and Maryville, and that a citizen who came for 15 miles down the north side of the Little Tennessee River last night says he saw no enemy, and heard of none, but citizens were expecting the rebels and were much frightened.

Reports from Sweet Water corroborate the above.

G. GRANGER, Maj.-Gen.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 32, pt. I, p. 407.

          18, Skirmish at Mifflin

No circumstantial reports filed.

          18, Skirmish at Sevierville

No circumstantial reports filed.

          18, Confederate scouts near Rockford

McCULLOCH'S HOUSE, One Mile above Rockford, on Little River, February 18, 1864--1 p. m.


GEN.: I have the honor to report that I have found no facts confirmatory of the report made to me by the servant, and which I communicated to you last night.

A small rebel scout of 17 men came into Rockford yesterday and remained but a short time. They represented that the force they came from was up at the mouth of Ellejoy Creek. Just as the head of the column reached Rockford the advance guard met another rebel scout of about 15 men coming in from the same direction toward Rockford. They ran at once and made no stand, nor indicated in any way that they were near a supporting force. It is about 4 or 4½ miles up the river road to Kennedy's Mill, at which point the main road from Trundle's Cross-Roads to Maryville crosses the river. From here I will send a scout of 200 up to Kennedy's Mill. I can get better information of their movements at the crossing places of the river than I can by scouting in the direction of Maryville, and can protect my communication with Knoxville. I will not send a scout toward Maryville.

All the information I can get from citizens corresponds with the theory that they are not moving on an expedition, but merely moving in our rear for forage.

An officer I had in charge of a courier line from Motley's Ford to Maryville has reported to me that when he left Col. McCook's headquarters about noon of day before yesterday the river was not fordable; that it had risen 2 feet above the fordable point.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


OR, Ser. I, Vol. 32, pt. II, pp. 422-423.


18, The Cheerless Return of John and Paulina Christian's Children to Slavery in the Memphis Environs


Freedmen's Camp, Memphis, Feb. 18, 1864.

Chaplain Fiske, who has been here for a few months past soliciting funds or aid for freedmen, was with us yesterday, and witnessed the scenes which I have described in this article. By his request I have written it, as his time would not admit of his doing so just now. This is the first instance of this kind in Tennessee; but we fear it will be repeated to an unlimited extent, if the public press and opinion do not at once cry it down.

Yours, truly,

Mrs. Captain Hay

Teacher of Freedmen.


A United States Soldier Deprived of his Family.

Within a mile and a half of the Freedmen's camp, Memphis, Tenn., lives a Dr. Wheaton, who, according to the united testimony of persons formerly held by him as slaves, furnished a substitute for the rebel army, and in various ways aided the rebellion. In June last, two of his slaves, a man and his wife, left him and went to the 21st Missouri regiment, and encamped near by. They went back to get their children, three in number, and the clothing they had left behind, but were driven away by the old Doctor, who heaped upon them curses and all kinds of abuse. Col. Moore then sent them to the Provost Marshal, with the following note:


Headquarters, Fourth Brigade, East Tennessee

June 7, 1863.

Provost Marshal, District of Memphis Tennessee-

In compliance with orders received from Brig. Gen. Veatch, I sent herewith negroes belonging to Dr. Wheaton. You will please hear the man's statement, as he represents to me that his wife was being badly whipped his master. The negro claims the protection of the Federal Government, having come within our lines.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

David More,

Colonel commanding 4th Brigade.

James B. Comstock, A. A. A. G.


The matter was referred by Provost Marshal to Chaplain Fiske, Post Superintendent of Freedmen, and measures were immediately taken to restore to the injured parents their clothing and children. In the meanwhile, Dr. Wheaton procured from Major General Hurlburt  [sic] and Brigadier General Veatch, commanding the post at Memphis, papers which enabled him to hold the children, and forbade officers or soldiers from trespassing on his grounds. Months passed by-the parents remaining in camp were never permitted even to see their children. The father became a volunteer in the 7th Reg't La. Infantry. The 21st Mo. Reg't, which for nearly a year had been obliged to guard the property of Dr. Wheaton, was removed, and his property left unguarded. He had for months boarded a paroled rebel officer, who took turn about with him in guarding his slaves at night m, to prevent their escape. He, too, had left the Doctor; and the father of the children, who had all the time watching an opportunity, felt that the time had come for him to secured the children. The fence around the yard was high, and the gate was always locked. The children were at playing in the back yard, and the father with two other soldiers climbed the fence, seized the children, and departed. Mrs. W. ran to the pickets for help. They were colored soldiers, but seemingly rendered her every assistance in their power, looking eagerly in every direction; but they failed to see the sight which fell upon her wandering eyes. The children were brought into camp to their mother, and there was a happy reunion of the family for months separated. But did not last long. Scarcely two hours had passed when Dr. Wheaton, in his splendid carriage, with a staff officer to the General now commanding the post of Memphis, and three mounted orderlies, came into camp, bringing an order from the General to Capt. H. S. Hay, Superintendent of the camp, ordering him to give up the children to their owner. Capt. Hay gave them permission to search for the, and they paraded through the camp, presenting a scene long to be remembered by those who saw it-an old rebel by the side of a Federal officer, Lieut. Busse, of an Illinois regiment. Let his name stand in history by the side of Gen. Buckland, who ordered the separation of parents and children, for he was eager to find them; but failing to do so, he returned, and stated his case to Capt. Hay, who refused in any way to assist them. The Lieutenant said he would report him to the General, to which the captain replied, "Very well." In these proceedings, no time was lost. They had been gone but a little while, when an orderly rode into camp, brining on order from the General for Capt. H. to report at his head-quarters fortheith. On entering the General's office, the Captain found him seated, and smoking cigars with Dr. Wheaton. He was not invited to a seat, but stood while they leisurely investigated the case, puffing their cigars. In the meantime, Wheaton said, "General, he treated your order with contempt." Capt. H. denied it, and continued to do so as often as he was accused; but General Buckland said he believed it, for his Lieutenant testified to the same thing. Wheaton then asked the General to step aside, to which he readily assented. After a short interview, they returned, and the General gave a verbal order to Hay to report with the children at his head-quarters, by 9 o'clock next morning, and failing to do so, he assured him that he would place him at once in close confinement. Capt. H. assured him that he did not know where the children were, and asked how he could return them; and returned fully persuaded in his own mind to make no effort of find or return them, let come what would. But after consulting with Lieut. Col. Phillips, Superintendent of Freedmen for West Tennessee, it was thought that on the whole to return them. We though best not to inform the parents of the conclusion until morning. A little fire was kindled outside the pickets, and there the mother, with a young babe in her arms had strayed with her children until it was dark. They were then brought into camp, where they spent a happy night together, unmolested in their cabin; but their anguish and indignation can better be imagined than described nest morning, when all their bright hopes were blasted on hearing that they must give up their children. They both expressed a wish to die on the spot, rather than see them returned. "I am a soldier," said the father, "and have I not a right to my own children?" "Don't take on so, Toney," said uncle John, "it's all for the best, but it's hard." The Captain refused to report in person, or with the children, but sent him the following note:-


Head-Quarters, Dets. 7th and 8th La. Inft.

Feb. 18, 1864

General-I have the honor to report those children of John and Paulina Christian (colored,) claimed by one Dr. Wheaton as slaves, found, and they are now held subject to your orders.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

Henry S. Hay, Capt.,

Comm'ng Detachment, &c. Supt. Freedmen

Camp Holly Springs.

Brig. Gen. R.P. Buckland,

Comm'g Post, Memphis, Tennessee

On the back of this note the General wrote:-The within named children will be delivered to Lieut. Busse, A. D. C.

By order of Brig. Gen Buckland

C. W. Duston, A. A. G.

Hd. Qrs. Dist. Memphis, Feb. 18, 1864.


The Lieut. came with a carriage to get the children, but when he saw so many missionary teachers, officers and others gathered around to see the little ones carried away, and heard the m any expressions of sympathy for the parents, he said he was ashamed of the business. The mother, after filling her hands with cheese and apples, left; she could not see them taken away; but when the father stooped down and kissed them affectionately, wiping away his tears, everyone was deeply impressed. Two of the children cried, and protested against being taken away. At the mother's request, I gave them each a copy of the little paper entitled "The Freedmen," and the carriage rolled away. Capt. Elsworth, Adjutant for Gen. Thomas, was here, and took notes. We hope the matter will not end here. It is a wonder to all thoughtful person here how such a man as Dr. W. can keep the good will of all our Generals, and make them tools in his hands for carrying out his plans. QUERY. Why did Judas betray his Lord? It is claimed here that loyal slaveholders in Tennessee can get back their slaves;[2] if so, is a man's loyalty to be tested but the quality of his liquors, and by his pro-slavery Generals?

L. H. H.

The Liberator, March 19, 1865. [3]


[1] Stearin candles – The most common candles – tallow –  were inexpensive, but were very smoky and drooped in warm weather; beeswax candles were better, but more expensive. Stearin, also called adamantine (like stone), was a commercial candle made from animal fat that was mechanically and chemically processed – it had a higher melting point than tallow and a longer burning time.

[2] The Emancipation Proclamation abolished slavery only in territories and states that were in actual rebellion against the Federal government. Inasmuch as West Tennessee, at least, was no longer in rebellion, it might be argued that slavery was not abolished there. If this was the case men such as Dr. Wheaton were legally entitled to property in slaves. It would seem Dr. Wheaton's motivation was more out of spite than any legality. In addition, the racist proclivities of Generals Hurlbut and Vaught may well have played a role in this case. Moreover, this story was published in The Liberator, the principal abolitionist paper in America so its bias must be taken into account.

[3] TSL&A, 19th CN.


James B. Jones, Jr.

Public Historian

Editor, The Courier

Tennessee Historical Commission

2941 Lebanon Road

Nashville, TN  37214


(615)-532-1549  FAX


No comments: