Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Notes from Civil War Tennessee, May 10, 1861-1865.

Notes from Civil War Tennessee,

May 10, 1861-1865.




          10, Rhetorical Approbation for Secession in Clarksville

We trust there is not a heart in Tennessee that will not beat freer, and glow with warmer emotions of patriotism on learning that our gallant State has, through her Legislature, passed an ordinance, declaring her independence of the Black Republic of the North, and she has also entered into a treaty, offensive and defensive, with the Confederate States – both acts to be perfected by an affirmative vote of the people on the 8th of June next. The Legislature has likewise appropriated five millions of dollars for war purposes, and authorized a call for fifty-five thousand troops – twenty-five thousand of that number for immediate service.

This is glorious news, and we tender our individual acknowledgments to the Governor, to the able Commissioners, appointed by him, and to those members of the Legislature who sustained these measures, for their wisdom and patriotism – their devotion to southern rights, and their stern defiance of abolition tyranny and usurpation. However dire the necessity, we cannot, without pain, witness the dissolution of the Union formed by our forefathers, but although the stars that blazoned the old flag, are, to us, lessened in number, they will gain in luster, and the stripes we bequeath, a fit legacy, to the contemptible tyrants and fanatics who have rent in twain the glorious old banner, and gathered its stars into two separate constellations. But the die is cast, and for the honor and safety of Tennessee, let there be but one voice among the people, and that in favor of a separation, now and forever. Let the 8th of June be a day every memorable for the unanimity with which Tennessee proclaimed her independence of the northern despot who seeks the destruction of her rights and the subjugation of her people. Away with delusive hopes of peace and union! Away with timid counsels and clinging sympathies for a once glorious government now perverted into an engine of oppression. Cast out the evil spirit of submission to a base usurper, and let every Tennessean resolve to stand by his State and the South until peace and independence have been won and secured.

Clarksville Chronicle, May 10, 1861.

          10, "…this whole region in a miserable state of unpreparedness, and totally unable to meet an invasion that is imminently threatened by U. S. troops from the North." A Mississippian's fearful assessment and counsel relative to military preparedness in West Tennessee

TRENTON, TENN., May 10, 1861.

Gen. L. P. WALKER, Secretary of War, &c., Montgomery, Ala.:

DEAR SIR: I came to this place my former residence, a few days since from my plantation in Noxubee County, Miss., and found this whole region in a miserable state of unpreparedness, and totally unable to meet an invasion that is imminently threatened by U. S. troops from the North. There are now at Cairo, the southern point of Illinois, 7,000 men, well armed, having field artillery and plenty of heavy guns, and everything indicates that it is being made a strong point-d'appui, or basis of operations, for an extensive invasion of the country below. It is quite probable that in a few days a force of 20,000 or 30,000 men will be concentrated at Cairo, and in all this section there are only a few half-formed companies of volunteers and home guards, mostly without arms of any kind, to meet and repel any attempt at invasion. The defenses being prepared on the Mississippi above Memphis are totally inefficient when the river is down, and it is now rapidly falling. There are at Randolph, the second Chickasaw Bluff, about 1,000 men with two batteries under the bluff, but a force of 1,500 or 2,000 landed a few miles above can easily march around, take possession of the hills that overlook the batteries, and shoot down the men in them like bullocks in a pen. Another fort for the protection of these batteries should be immediately constructed, or they will be of little use. In like manner a respectable force can be landed above Fort Harris and in a few hours be in the city of Memphis, where there are no defenses looking landward. The best defense of Memphis, as well as all points below, on and off the river, may be made at Columbus, Ky. Below the mouth of the Ohio River there is no strategic point of half so much importance, and it should be immediately occupied by a strong force, notwithstanding the neutral position of Kentucky. Self preservation demands it. A strong fort at that place and an auxiliary one at the old Jefferson Barracks at the mouth of Mayfield Creek, eight miles above Columbus, with sufficient garrison in each, would protect the terminus of the Mobile and Ohio Railroad and prevent the passage of any but an overwhelming force. If the Government of the Confederate States should not determine to take and fortify Columbus, then a strong force should be immediately sent to Union City, the intersection of the Mobile and Ohio with the Nashville and Northeestern Railroads, and to the point where the former railroad crosses the Obion River, with field artillery and a sufficiency of heavy guns for several strong batteries. The Mississippi and West Tennessee volunteers should be concentrated at these points. Your Excellency would excuse me for making and urging these suggestions did you know the exposed situation of this region, and the greater imminence of the danger from the recent action of the State of Tennessee and her alliance with the Confederate States of America.

I have the honor to be, with highest respect, your obedient servant,


OR, Ser. I, Vol. 52, pt. II, pp. 93-94.




          10, Confederate physician's bravery and workers' donation for wounded soldiers

Bravery of a Surgeon-We are informed by soldiers who participated in the battle of Shiloh, that Dr. W.C, Cavanaugh, Surgeon to the second Tennessee (Colonel Walker's) regiment, displayed much bravery upon the battlefield. He extracted balls on the field and made those who tried to "play of wounded" go back to their posts. All who saw Dr. Cavanaugh speak in the highest praise of him.

The employees of...Winn & Co., (saddle & harness factory) handed Mr. Lofland, treasurer, six hundred and seventy dollars yesterday for the benefit of the wounded soldiers [of Shiloh].

Memphis Argus, April 10, 1862.

          10, Confederate report on five day scout, Hickman to Union City to Dresden, relative to strong Union sentiment in West Tennessee and difficulties with independent companies

HDQRS. CAVALRY, Trenton, Tenn., April 10, 1862.

Maj. GEORGE WILLIAMSON, Assistant Adjutant-Gen., Corinth, Miss.:

MAJ.: I have just returned from a five days' scout in the direction of Hickman; remained one night at Union City, and thence toward Dresden. The enemy's cavalry did not make their appearance. I found everything quiet on my line. The Union feeling throughout the upper country is very strong, and the management of these men is one of the most delicate and perplexing of all to me. Our Southern friends beseech me not to interfere with the Union men, since they will be certain to report them, and thereby bring down a retaliation on the part of the Federal troops much more harsh and severe than any that we could have the heart to show our enemies. I have therefore determined not to arrest any Union sympathizers unless known to be aiding and abetting the enemy.

I have made a reconnaissance of the country above this, and am of the opinion that there is no line nearer to the enemy than the one from Dresden through this place across to Dyersburg to be convenient to a telegraph office. There seems to be but little disposition displayed by the citizens of Weakley and Obion Counties to sell provisions and forage to the Confederate Government, since they invariably refuse to take Confederate notes in payment.

The Obion bottoms are at present almost impassable, which will prevent my forming a new line above this point. I can guard the line, however, by sending out from time to time strong scouting parties to operate in the country about Union City and Dresden.

The independent companies attached to my command are an expense to the Confederacy and do very little service, since they are not acquainted with the country. I would respectfully recommend the merging of all these companies (with the exception of Dillard's) into one, and have the election of company officers, then muster them into one, and have the election of company officers, then muster them into service for the war, and if they do not wish to do this, discharge them. They are now a heavy expense for the service rendered. Capt. D. G. Reid, with a squad of 15 men, is operating on my line under the authority of Gen. Beauregard, and I would state for the information of the general commanding that he is doing great damage to our cause. He is reported to me by good citizens to be engaged in taking horses from Union men on the line and near Dresden, thereby causing the Union men to retaliate upon our friends; in fact, I consider the party a nuisance, and have the honor to request his removal from my line.

I was sufficiently near Island 10 on last Sunday and Monday to hear the firing, which was very heavy. I presume you have heard the result; it is reported by parties from there that one gunboat ran by the island on Friday night and two more on Sunday night; our batteries were abandoned and spiked Monday and the infantry force surrendered on Tuesday morning; a good many poor made their escape and are coming in here daily.

Capt. Neely's company arrived here to-day; Haywood's company not yet arrived. I would respectfully request that Capt. Robertson's company be ordered here at once, as I need them very much. I have lost the copies of my order and my report of the Union City affair, and would like to have copies of both sent me. For the present my headquarters will be at this place.

I am, major, with high respect, your obedient servant,

W. H. JACKSON, Col., Cavalry.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 10, pt. II, pp. 407-408.





          10, Observations on Federal forces in Murfreesboro, an excerpt from the diary of John C. Spence

The Federal soldiers here are taking matters quite easy, lying about in the shade eating and drinking. There is quite a mania among them in the way of remodeling their camps. They haul large quantities of cedar brush to ornament their tents, make latice [sic] frame and work the branches in. This destroys a great deal of timber. It appears they came to destroy, it matter[s] not which way.

* * * *

But the greatest excitement here among the soldiers is buying ginger cakes, pyes [sic] and lemonade. May add whiskey, as the effects are seen some times by their being overcome by the article. When this happens, as a punishment, the guilty will have to carry a rail on his shoulder for about two hours each day for two or three days or a headless flour barrel, with the head of the man out at the top, for this length of time. This is for getting drunk, a mode of punishment in the camps by the Yankees. They don't appear to mind it much. Some of them would be willing any time to carry rail or barrel, for a good swig of whiskey.

Some of the boys, as they call themselves, are troublesome, slipping round citizens [sic] gardens and stealing vegetables as they get of any size, onions in particular. They will go to any length to obtain a fiew [sic] onions.

Spence Diary.

          10, "…our Quartermaster to celebrate the occasion rolled out a barrel of whiskey for the boys and the consequence is that many of them are somewhat elevated…." Frank M. Guernsey's letter to Fannie

Headquarters, District or West Tennessee

Memphis May 10th, 1863

My Dear Fannie

It is Sunday again, and I have just returned from a chase after some of the 14th Ills. [sic] boys, they had been troubling some niggers and I took a squad of men and went after them. They ran when they saw us coming but I succeeded in taking one of them and sent him under guard to his Reg[i]m[en]t. [sic] where he will get his just deserts probably.

We are having some very warm weather for this time of year, and the beautiful grove in which we are encamped is now worth a mint of gold to us. In the heate [sic] of the day we lounge about in the shade and pass off time the best way we can sometimes one way and sometimes another. Your welcome letter came to day. I also received one from Judge Wheeler of Berlin and you may bet I was glad to hear from you. Then you do think of me once in a while Fanny, though not more often than I do of you I guess. Perhaps if nothing happens to prevent you may have your wish Fanny, for I am going to try to get a furlough just as soon as the Col. gets back, he is now in Wis. I suppose.

Since writing the foregoing our Reg[i]m[en]t. [sic] presents a scene both comical and sad. We have just heard that Richmond is taken and our Quartermaster to celebrate the occasion rolled out a barrel of whiskey for the boys and the consequence is that many of them are somewhat elevated strange work for a sabbath [sic] day you think; wel [sic] so it is, but Fannie a soldier knows no difference between one day and another, and you can hardly conceive with what joy reports of the success of our arms are received with us soldier boys there are none of us but what the joys and comforts of our homes and the presence of our loved ones are just as dear to as to any of those northern traitors which we have left behind, and we firmly believe that every victory won, every advantage gained is a step towards the soldiers haven of bliss, viz.,: the subjugation or annihilation of these inhuman Rebels, it is hardly to be wondered at then that some of them get jolly. Let them enjoy themselves I say while they can, for the Lord only knows when we may be sent out on another expedition similar to the one we had last fall, then there would be trouble enough.

This evening Glen and myself went out to protect the property and person of a poor white woman living near camp. It was at the same house where that fellow had been that I arrested this afternoon. We stayed until about nine o'clock in the evening and then came to camp. We had lots of fun with a nigger who lives in one part of the house. He was quite a Philosopher. In the course of our conversation he got to speaking of his wife. I asked him how many he ever had. He said he rekoned [sic] about twenty (a few) he said the women were pretty good generally but once in a while they would get the Devil (excuse the expression) into them and there was no getting along with them.

Our Reg[i]m[en]t. [sic] appears to be in luck, there has been another call for troops from Gen. Grant and Gen. Hurlburt has sent one whole Brigade to him. They took Reg[i]m[en]ts. from each side of us and left ours here. I believe I have no very great desire to go to Vicksburg. The climate and the water is very hard on northern troops, though we can stand hardships now. But Fannie I guess I will close as it is late and I am somewhat tired, have been on duty until after nine oclock [sic] this evening. Please excuse this letter for I presume that you will find it a very dull one. My regards to all your people and accept much love for yourself from – Frank

P.S. Fannie you must not get downhearted for this war will soon come to an end like all things else and then I shall come home. I should be very glad to have a picture of you that does you justice. I dont [sic] think the one I have does.

Guernsey Collection.

          10, "Quite a feather in MY cap." Capture of Confederate cavalrymen near Murfreesboro by Lt. Albert Potter, Fourth Michigan cavalry picket

Headquarters Co "H"

Camp 'Park', Murfreesboro

Thursday May 14, 1863

Dear Sister

*  *  *  *

I was out on Picket last Sunday [10th] and had quite a little adventure. Captured 3 Rebels and their Horses and Saddles and arms complete. Quite a feather in MY [sic] cap. Several of the rebs [sic] had been seen for 2 or 3 days back, on the road in front and they nearly all stopped at a home about a mile beyond my videttes. I thought perhaps I could nab them, so I took a Relief, mounted, and went to our outpost a little before Daylight. I then dismounted tied my horse and had seven of my men do the same, ordering the remainder to come to our support if they heard firing. We went down cautiously to the house. I sent a man to the left and right of the road, for you know, we were outside of our lines and did not know what we would come across. We got to the house about daylight, surrounded it. No one there, but, the owners, strong old sesesh [sic], Alexander by name. Presently we saw 3 horsemen come up the road. We secreted ourselves so that if they came to the house we could surround them. They came on, my men ran out in the road in the rear of them – cried surrender. One of them, who had had his gun in his hand all the time, raised it as if to shoot. When quicker than thought my boys fired. One ball struck his hip and came out just below his belt in his abdomen. Another one struck his wrist another one struck his horse. I hollered at the men to stop firing or they would have killed him. I felt sorry for him, smart good looking, if he had not raised his gun the boys would not have fired. He died in a day or two. I expected the firing would draw more of them upon us and when the ambulance came, I took 20 men with me and went down. But no one came in sight. Since then they have kept a fire there all the time.

Potter Correspondence.

10, An appraisal of future Confederate fortunes in East Tennessee


The determination of our military chieftains to retain possession of east Tennessee was never stronger that at present. We are assured that the apprehension which exists that, for some strategic considerations, the army now in East Tennessee, would be diverted temporarily to another point, is without foundation. If the force of Burnside be permitted to pass the mountain barriers and entrench itself along the mountain fastnesses, we shall hereafter find it almost impossible to dislodge it. From such strongholds marauding detachments would constantly come fort the destroy railway bridges, the line of communication between the East and West, and to incited local disturbances among the disloyal population of East Tennessee. Not only would the resources of this region, now invaluable be lost to the South-not only would the production of food and the material of war become impossible, but the grain fields of East Tennessee, hereafter to furnish with bread, bacon and horses, will be desolated.

But beyond all this, there is a consideration affecting the policy of Gen. Johnston, which, if we are not greatly mistaken, renders it absolutely certain that this mount girt district will not be given up. It is hardly probably that Burnside's march towards the Sequatchie Valley, or in the direction of Chattanooga, would be unrevised. If a Federal force, penetrating this region, should reach the points designated, Bragg's position at Tullahoma would be untenable. The enemy would soon be in his rear; his communications with the source of his supplies would be interrupted by Burnside's cavalry; and Bragg would be forced to attack, Rosecrans in his entrenchments, or withdraw into Northern Georgia.

To accomplish this result is, perhaps, the purpose of Gen. Burnside, while his follower proclaim their intention of hanging and slaughtering all the true Southern inhabitants of this district. It follows, therefore, that the abolitionists will not be permitted to establish themselves in mountain strongholds, nor will East Tennessee be surrendered even temporarily, in order to insure a victory at Murfreesboro. The losses to which we would be subjected by the desolation of this district would be too great to justify a maneuver which, after all, might result in a drawn battle, and in that event East Tennessee and our railway would be hopelessly lost.

Knoxville Daily Register, May 10, 1863.

          10, "They formed a line, took each other by the hand & marched into the River." Baptism in the Army of Tennessee; excerpt from the letter of Third Sergeant John R. McCreight, Ninth Tennessee Infantry to his sister from his regiment's position in the Shelbyville environs

From J. R. McCreight

Shelbyville, Tenn., May 10, 1863

Dear Sister,

~ ~ ~

There is still a great deal of religious feeling in the army here and also in Va. A great many have professed and many are inquiring the way. On last Sunday I stood on the banks of the Duck River amid a large crowd and witnessed the emersion of ten soldiers. They formed a line, took each other by the hand & marched into the River. There were a good many Ladies there to witness the scene. After they came out of the water several of the Ladies came up extended a right hand of fellowship with them. There were a great many things in camp life that tends to blunted the sympathies and affections of our hearts, but when I witnessed the above scene I could not refrain from shedding tears. On the evening of the same day in the 13 Reg T.V., the ordinance of Baptism was administered to several by sprinkling. I hope and trust that this good work will go on until the whole army becomes religious and then that long prayed for boone will come (Peace) which we all so much desire….

~ ~ ~

J. R. McRight

Ninth Tennessee, p 155.

          10, Third Sergeant John R. McCreight's, Ninth Tennessee Infantry, feelings about the death of Van Dorn. excerpt from his letter written in Shelbyville to his brother

Shelbyville, Tenn., May 10/63 general

~ ~ ~

Gen. Vandorn was killed the other day by a Doctor. I have forgotten his name – for being too intimate with his wife. No person seems to regret his death, the general impression is that the Doctor was justified in shooting….

Ninth Tennessee, p 157.




          10, Initiation of anti-guerrilla operations along Memphis and Charleston and Tennessee & Alabama Railroads

NASHVILLE, May 10, 1864.

Capt. JOHN C. CRANE, Assistant Quartermaster:

SIR: Several messenger report the commencement of destructive operations by guerrillas. I have thought it my duty, as tending very much to protect Government property, and by advice received at the office of the post commander, to make you a report, and to solicit your attention to some considerations respecting them.

A stone, as an intimation of the commencement of operations, was laid upon the track May 4 between Franklin and Spring Hill. But the principal field of their present operations seems to be between Stevenson and Huntsville, on the Memphis and Charleston Railroad, and along the Tennessee and Alabama Railroad. They have since the above date twice fired into trains and in the last instance killed the engineer and fireman. The unfortunate engineer, although mortally wounded, conducted his train out of the reach of miscreants, and died. A messenger has also reported, since I began this communication, that a very alarming attempt was made to destroy the bridge at Elkmont, about forty miles this side of Huntsville. And another has reported that the telegraph wire was cut on Sunday [8th], and a rail laid upon the track to throw off a train, upon the same railroad; and that a considerable quantity of cord wood was set on fire in several places between here and Franklin.

If these miscreant operations are allowed to go on and increase in this ratio, may not some serious impediment soon be interposed to your ability to supply our forces at this important period of our conflict? The military force has been so largely withdrawn that the protection of the roads is entirely inadequate, and its weakness will invite the malicious who prowl in the country. Would it not be an effectual measure to disarm the inhabitants living along the lines of the military railroads where the guerrillas, to a great extent, live and shelter; and could it be in the least degree offensive or injurious to good, loyal men? And would it be difficult or impracticable to execute such a plan? Suppose that an order were issued at your instance requiring all persons living within twenty miles on either side of the Nashville and Chattanooga, and the Tennessee and Alabama Railroads, and perhaps for the same distance on the Memphis and Charleston Railroad, to bring in all their arms, at certain specified points, within ten or twenty days from the publication of the order, and every man to be treated indiscriminately as a guerrilla found in arms or having been secreted after the expiration of that time?

You will know what importance to attach to this report and communication, which I make from the desire to make the passage of the messengers safe, and from the relations of the subject with the preservation of the Government property and with the safe transit of the Government stores.

Please accept this communication as arising from my desire to be of the highest service possible to your department.

I have reported to Mr. Sloan the cause of the needless destruction of two engines near Shellmound, and also of the destruction of property at Stevenson from the want of proper switch tenders and signal men.

Your very respectfully and obedient servant,

C. L. HEQUEMBOURG, Chief of Courier Line, &c.

[First indorsement.]

ASST. QMRS. OFFICE, U. S. MILITARY RAILROAD, Nashville, May 10, 1864.

Respectfully referred to Col. J. L. Donaldson, senior and supervising quartermaster, for his information and action.

JOHN C. CRANE, Capt. and Assistant Quartermaster.

[Second indorsement.]

NASHVILLE, May 11, 1864.

Respectfully submitted to Maj.-Gen. Rousseau, with the suggestion that commanding officers along the line of the roads be required to visit points on the road, weekly, twenty miles above and below their posts, and to warn all persons living near the lines that they will be held to a strict accountability if they do not give warning of the acts and approach of guerrillas in their neighborhood.

J. L. DONALDSON, Senior and Supervising Quartermaster.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 39, pt. II, pp. 20-21.

          10, Affair with guerrillas at Winchester

MAY 10, 1864.-Affair with guerrillas at Winchester, Tenn.

Report of Col. Henry K. McConnell, Seventy-first Ohio Infantry.

HDQRS. SEVENTY-FIRST Regt. [sic] OHIO VET. VOL. INFTY., Elk River, Tenn., May 11, 1864.

SIR: I have the honor to report that the guerrillas at Winchester yesterday morning were those of Hays and Davis, and were from thirty to forty in number. Capt. McConnell drove them from ten to fifteen be moving in this direction his probable route will be by Lexington, Pulaski, and Fayetteville, a distance of more than 100 miles. We are keeping a vigilant lookout in that direction. We lack 20,000 rounds of ammunition of the quantity required to be kept on hand. I received intelligence yesterday of 300 bushels of corn being brought from below to be manufactured into whisky. I can secure the corn by going not more than ten miles. There can be nothing permanently in the way of mapping until we can secure instruments for that purpose. Mr. Gilham, who lives near this post, will be of great use to us employed in secret service. Can he be so employed? There is also a colored man at Winchester who is regularly reporting here, and will also be of service.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

H. K. McCONNELL, Col., Cmdg.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 39, pt. I, p. 15.



          10, Further restrictions on cotton trade in Memphis, General Orders No. 3

HDQRS. DISTRICT OF WEST TENNESSEE, Memphis, Tenn., May 10, 1864.

Maj.-Gen. SLOCUM, Cmdg. District of Vicksburg:

GEN.: I inclose you an order which I have just issued here in regard to trade. If your views should agree with mine I shall be most happy to have your co-operation to break up the wretched system that has contributed so much toward prolonging the war...

C. C. WASHBURN, Maj.-Gen.



The practical operation of commercial intercourse from this city with the States in rebellion has been to help largely to feed, cloth, arm and equip our enemies. Memphis has been of more value to the Southern Confederacy since it fell into Federal hands than Nassau. To take cotton belonging to the rebel Government to Nassau, or any foreign port, is a hazardous proceeding. To take it to Memphis and convert it into supplies and greenbacks and return to the lines of the enemy, or place the proceeds to the credit of the rebel Government in Europe, without passing again into rebel lines, is safe and easy. I have undoubted evidence that large amounts of cotton have been, and are being, brought here to be sold, belonging to the rebel Government. The past and present system of trade has given strength to the rebel army, while it has demoralized and weakened our own. It has invited the enemy to hover around Memphis as his best base of supply, when otherwise he would have abandoned the country. It renders of practical non-effect the blockade upon the ocean, which has cost, and is costing, so many millions. It opens our lines to the spies of the enemy, and renders it next to impossible to execute any military plan without its becoming known to him long enough in advance for him to prepare for it. The facts here stated are known to every intelligent man in Memphis. What is the remedy for these great and overwhelming evils? Experience shows that there can be but one remedy, and that is total prohibition of all commercial intercourse with the States in rebellion.

It is therefore ordered, that on and after the 15th day of May, 1864, the lines of the army at Memphis be closed, and no person will be permitted to leave the city, expect by river, without a special pass from these headquarters after that date. All persons desirous of coming into the city will be permitted to do so, but should be notified by the pickets that they will not be allowed to return. All persons who desire to leave the city to go beyond our lines must do so before the 15th instant.

By order of Maj. Gen. C. C. Washburn:

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 39, pt. II, pp. 22-23.[1]

          10, A Tornado in the Nashville environs

"The Great Storm of Tuesday."

The storm of wind and rain which visited our city on Tuesday [10th] evening, we learn, has been particularly destructive in the vicinity of Nashville for miles around. In the region of country skirting the Nolensville Pike, the storm which amounted to a perfect hurricane, in its course uprooted trees, tore down fences, and tumbled over houses to an alarming extent, carrying in its track devastation and ruin to many small farmers and their families, and in some cases loss of life as well as property. Rev. John Rains, living about three miles from the city, near the Nolensville Pike, had his home utterly stripped and ruined -- carriage-house, stable, smoke-house, servants' house, and fencing were entirely destroyed, and his dwelling house is nearly so. Mr. Woodward, in the same vicinity, had his dwelling-house literally torn to pieces, and his wife seriously, if not fatally injured, besides three children badly hurt; the hand of the eldest was so badly crushed as to require amputation of the thumb. Nast. F. Dortch, Mr. McConnico, Mr. Harper, Mr. Lucus, Dr. Whitsitt, and others in the same locality, suffered considerably. Mrs. Aaron V. Brown had a large lot of beautiful timber land destroyed Mr. John Hooper sustained considerable damage, his barn and fencing being destroyed.

In the vicinity of the Hermitage, we learn, a large amount of valuable timber, dwelling houses, etc. were destroyed. Tim. Dodson had his barn, cut house, and fences utterly wrecked. A brick house, on Mill Creek, the property of P. Vickers, is in ruins. The storm traversed a large extent of country Wilson county, doing great damage to fences and out houses. Altogether, from what we hear, this is one of the most disastrous hurricanes that has visited Tennessee for many years.

Nashville Dispatch, May 12, 1864.




          10, Erstwhile Confederate forces under Colonel J. F. Newsom seek to undertake policing mission in West Tennessee after the collapse of the Confederacy

HDQRS., Jackson, Tenn., May 10, 1865.

Brig.-Gen. MEREDITH, Cmdg., & C., Paducah, Ky.:

GEN.: With reference to the surrender of West Tennessee, which was demanded of me, I desire to make this communication in order that, should that event occur, a full and perfect understanding can be had. I am here under orders from Lieut.-Gen. Forrest for the purpose of collecting the men absent from their commands, and to take measure to break up all bands of robbers and guerrillas, and being the officer highest in rank in the country where my fields of labor are I am in command of the same to a limited extent. As to the surrender of the forces in West Tennessee, I am controlled and bound by the orders and acts of Lieut.-Gen. Taylor, commanding department. His surrender, as a matter of course, includes myself and the District of West Tennessee, and myself and command are bound by that act. I am frank to say that whenever the department commander makes a surrender I shall surrender the forces in West Tennessee under my command. My mission here is more for the protection of the citizens and to break up the bands of lawless men and robbers who infest the country.

Knowing the condition of the people here, and that they need all the protection in my power in order to enable them to live and save what little had been left them, I have directed all my energies and time to clearing the country of lawless and bad men. In behalf of the citizens I ask that none of the men belonging to the command of Col.'s Hawkins and Hurst be sent here. The feeling that exists between soldiers of these commands and the citizens is such that private malice and private revenge might be more the result of such a policy than the restoration of order. For the purpose of a full and perfect understanding on these matters, I am ready to meet and confer with you at such time and place as you will designate, and respectfully ask for such a conference.

I have the honor to be, general, your obedient servant,

J. F. NEWSOM, Col., Cmdg.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 49, pt. II, pp. 711-712.


[1] See also: Memphis Bulletin, May 10, 1864


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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