Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Notes from Civil War Tennessee, May 17, 1861-1865.


Notes from Civil War Tennessee,

May 17, 1861-1865.




          17, Pre-Secession Violence in Memphis: Two Men Hung and One Tortured by the Vigilance Committee

Chicago Men Hung in Memphis.-It seems to be pretty certain that Mr. Horton, well known sporting circles in this city, and who used to drive a pair of black horses about our streets, what hung by the rebels at Memphis for the crime of being a Northern man. Horton was a Douglas Democrat.

Sampson Kennedy, son of the late Alderman Kennedy, and a printer by trade, was also hung by the rebels in Memphis, for the crime of expressing his sentiments.

Dan Hoge, formerly of Chicago, was whipped, tarred and feathered, otherwise mistreated, and sent, more dead than alive, from Memphis to Cairo.-Chicago Dem.

Milwaukee Morning Sentinel, May 17, 1861. [1]

17, "Victor Emmanuel II of Italy and the Confederate States—twin sisters of freedom." Flag presentation to the Memphis Italian-American volunteers

Italian Flag Presentation.

We have little space for the details of these frequent and interesting ceremonies—flag presentations—but in the case of the presentation that took place yesterday at Jackson's Mound, Fort Pickering, in which Mrs. Montedonico, Mrs. L. Rocco and Miss Mary Panisi were the donors, and the Italian military company the recipients, there is an interesting peculiarity, the parties being the countrymen of the incomparable Garibaldi and of the other heroes whose unconquerable determination has made Italy free. The address on the part of the ladies was as follows:

["] We present to you gallant soldiers, the highest gift that woman can donate to bravery. We give you this flag, well knowing that in your hands it will be carried on to victory, and while under your care it will never be tarnished. While it waves on the red battle field it will unfold to you the smiles of mothers, sisters, wives and sweethearts, and when you return it shall be treasured as the ensign of victory and honor. Guard and defend it forever. ["]

J. A. Signaigo, Esq., replied in the following suggestive words:

["] Ladies: Allow me in behalf of the Italian Bersaglieri military company to return to you our most sincere thanks. The presentation of this flag is an honor that will never be forgotten by us. This moment is an oasis in the desert of a soldier's life. But, be assured, that when the hordes of northern Vandals shall dare to invade the sacred soil of the Confederate States, the home of our adoption, this flag will be one of the foremost, among the first in defense of our mothers, our sisters, our wives, our sweethearts, and of our homes and firesides; and never will that flag be struck, until every man who battles beneath its folds shall have died defending it to the last. The remembrance of the fair ones who presented it will be an incentive to lead us on to victory; it will be to us what the white plume of Henry of Navarre was to his soldiers, the beacon that will lead us on to honor and to glory. The cause of the Confederate States is the cause of every honest Italian who glories in the immortal names of Cincinnatus, Rienzi, Garibaldi, and last and greatest of them all—the first soldier of Italian independence—the darling of the Italian nation—Victor Emmanuel II. Italy and the Confederate States—twin sisters of freedom. Liberty's youngest born—the cause of one is as the cause of the other; they are battling for the same great end—the right of man, against two of the most desperate tyrants that ever disgraced God's favored countries. The despised Francis Joseph, of Austria, and the drunken sot who not disgraces the office that the immortal Washington, Jefferson, and Jackson once graced and dignified—the American hero who revels in the halls of the old nation while the country is convulsed in the flame of civil war. Ladies, we swear to you that while the Confederate States remain, and they will live forever, "we wave the sword on high, and swear with her to live for her to die." Ladies, again we thank you for your generous present. ["]

Memphis Daily Appeal, May 18, 1861.

          17, Editorial concerning unsettling conditions in Tennessee

Distress and Terror in Tennessee:

The Louisville Journal says:

We have reason to know that the prostration of business in Tennessee and the consequent depression and oppression of the people are deplorable. We have personal knowledge that landed property in one of the chief cities of that State, for which five thousand dollars was but lately offered, cannot now be sold for five hundred. We doubt whether two hundred in cash could be obtained for it. Men who live in hired houses cannot pay their rents. The payment of debts is to be arrested by legal enactment. Distress is universal. Right in this condition of affairs, the Tennessee Legislature passes a bill to raise five million dollars to sustain the State in its secession. Where a citizen of Tennessee has hither paid a State tax of $100, he is now to be called on by the tax gatherer for certainly eleven-times that amount – probably fifteen or twenty-fold. But such taxation cannot be borne, for the people of the State have not the means of bearing it, and if their lives were at stake, they could not obtain the means. So they must consent to see all their possessions annihilated and their families made beggars and outcasts, or else they will have to set promptly in motion the fiery wheels of another revolution.

As illustrative of the character of the tyranny established over souls in Tennessee, we may mention one circumstance out to the thousands which the Tennessee papers would not dare to mention. One of the first gentlemen of our city, a substantial man whose word none would question, was recently in that state on business. He repeated to us yesterday a conversation he held with a native Tennessean, a Union man, who depreciated secession as a deplorable blunder and a terrible crime. The two gentlemen were alone in a bar room, no other person being probably within a mile of them, yet the Tennessean lowered his voice almost to a whisper as if he fancied the very walls had ears to hear and tongue to repeat.-"Lately," he said, "I thought I was worth eight or ten thousand dollars; now I am worth nothing. I owe a sum of money, and I carefully laid every dollar in my power for the purpose of meeting my obligation and saving my property, but all I had was taken from me. They have raised military companies in; my neighborhood, and, although my opinions  were known, they levied upon me as they did upon others, whatever they pleased, and I had to furnish the required amount or be spotted and pursued – probably be driven  out of the State as an abolitionist."

Daily Cleveland Herald (Cleveland, OH), May 17, 1861.[2]




          17, Free Market Food Distribution in Memphis

Free Market.—At the free market yesterday 576 persons, members of soldiers' families, were supplied with the following provisions: 1400 pounds flour, 30 bushels corn meal, 600 pounds bacon, 117 gallons molasses, 15 bushels peas, 70 pounds soap, 2 bushels salt, 550 pounds sugar.

Memphis Daily Appeal, May 17, 1862.

          17, Franklin post master to Military Governor Andrew Johnson relative to the arrest of a recalcitrant rebel

Franklin Tenn [sic] May 17/62

Judge P. G. S. Perkins who was arrested by Col. Campbell [Union commander at Franklin] and forwarded to your city a few days ago deserves strict treatment. He is prety [sic] badly diseased; morally as well as politically. I am informed that he stated in a confectionary [sic] in this place in regard to the oath of allegiance that he expected we would all have to take it but that he would not consider it binding at all[.] [sic] Not withstanding [sic] such remarks have been verry [sic] common in Rebeldom [sic] in the last twelve or fifteen months I trust that no man holding a responsible position will be permitted [sic] to pass at par into [sic] the United States who entertains such views [.] Yours Respectfully

A. W. Moss [Post Master]

Papers of Andrew Johnson, Vol. 5, p. 401.

          17, Federal Provost Marshall's orders to cease depredations in Columbia environs

Headquarters, Provost Guard

Columbia, May 17, 1862

TO: Commandant of Company detachments belonging to the Provost Guard

Complaints have been made by worthy citizens to the effect that members of the Provost Guard as well as other Soldiers have been in the habit of entering the backyards and kitchens of...citizens and making too free with their servants and in some instances have committed depredations of a serious nature-This is entirely contrary to orders already issued, and the commandants of said companies and detachments will be held to account for the same. All men belonging to the Provost Guard are ordered to arrest all soldiers who may be caught in the act of entering any house or yard, unless under orders from their headquarters. And the neglect of any member of the Provost guard to make such arrests shall be death with for neglect of duty.

Thos. H. Green, Captain & Provost Marshall

Records of the Adjutant General's Office

          17, Divine Services in the Stockade

Another interesting Sunday School was held in the Stockade and also Divine Service. I examined the structure more closely than last Sunday. It is built of heavy logs about three feet in diameter and 15 feet high. Standing upright side by side with the lower end planted firmly on the ground. The sides are hewed perfectly smooth and made to fit closely together. The form is thus. Between each upright timber loopholes are provided to admit the barrell [sic] of a musket. The whole is covered with heavy logs and a heavy layer of earth and considered cannon proof.

Diary of Lyman S. Widney

          17,"… come back to the Union."

Wanderers from the fold of patriotism, who have gone from the protecting shadow of the flag of your country, come home, oh, come home! Thousands of your fellow citizens, your relatives, your neighbors, stand with outstretched arms and eater eyes, tearfully awaiting your return. Do you not hear the clansmen of the Union rallying once more along the hills of Tennessee? Breaks not on your ear the familiar strains of Yankee Doodle, and Hail Columbia, and the Star-spangled Banner? Do you not behold the same old flag which floated over Lundy's Lane, and Lake Champlain, and Monterey, and Chapultepec, and Buena Vista, flying at the head of triumphant legions and victorious navies? does not your hearts warm within you at the recollection of a thousand holy and patriotic memories? come back to the Union. Desert the black flag of a falling and ignominious rebellion. Fly from the rebel camp as from a city cursed with the leprosy or the plague.

Nashville Daily Union, May 17, 1862.

          17, Two Types of Rebel Women in Nashville

In speaking of rebel women in our paper, we refer almost exclusively to that class which indulges in impertinence and insult to Union men and soldiers in the street. Such conduct is coarse, ill-bred and essentially vulgar. We believe such women are rare in the city. We know that among the ladies who sympathize, mistakenly, with the rebellion are many of pure and warm and gentle hearts, who indeed deserve the name of ladies. Such we ever treat with the highest respect.

Nashville Daily Union, May 17, 1862.




          17, Summer and Social Life in Confederate Camps in Middle Tennessee

Camp Near Shelbyville,

May 17th, 1863.

It is well that war cannot divest life of all its merry charms. At the same time, we cannot advocate a reckless disregard for the animosities incidental to this trying hour in our national [illegible] Little fear do we entertain, however, that the Southern heart, whose purity and patriotism predominate, shall fall into the error of either extreme. Our association for several months with the people of Tennessee has materially changed the sentiments of many of the latter, not only in regard to our earnestness of purpose, but also in regard to our manner of warfare, which has been represented as most savage and diabolical by Brownlow, Johnson, and other traitors. As proof of this social affiliation, we point to the parties, pic-nics and gatherings which occur frequently in the vicinity of camps. These entertainments are characterized not alone by the delicacy of the viands and sweetmeats, but, if the judgment of some of my (perhaps) infatuated friends is to be relied on, a rarer feast is spread where gazelle eyes and ruby lips and cherry cheeks disport in glorious profusion. A certain degree of license is due their tastes, I must acknowledge in view of their feeling proximity to those batteries of winsome smiles, bewitching glances, and winning graces, but as observer can testify how charmingly Tennessee ladies entertain their gallants. In speaking of pic-nics, May parties, held under the grand oaks, on the moss-covered rocks, these gorgeous halls of Nature, one is naturally led to admire the beauty and the magnificence of the scenery offered at every turn from the river's banks to the picturesque slopes overlooking the sunlit vales. The artist, Summer, had painted for us a rich panorama. From a congregation of time-honored oaks crowning an eminence in front of our regiment where lazy sentinels bask in the sunbeams, a sweeping view commands the outstretched landscape, and holds the Fish Creek, now losing itself in a bed of green, soon to emerge on a reedy path towards the placid current of the river. Beyond this stream, which is a gem-set pencilling in [illegible] pasture, fields and orchards arise in graceful bounty, then gently sloping to the river's brink the scene is lost in a swelling mass of "banks and brass," and mountain verdure. To the left and front the eye can wander and linger long, delightfully, amid fields and forests, houses and meadows. I feel that I cannot do justice to this lovely scene, and when, adding unto its magnificence, a gorgeous sunset heightens and intensifies the glory of the view, I would fain retreat for description behind an expressive shrug of the shoulders and a muttered, "ver plaisant," as that Frenchman did who could only explode a fraction of his pent up admiration in such superlatives a "grand! superb! magnifique!"

Mobile Register and Advertiser May 24, 1863.[3]

                    17, "…I assure you that there is very little enjoyment in camp but I hope that this cruel war will soon end that we may be turned loose and permitted to return to our friends and relatives who are waiting so anxiously for our return." Confederate A. J. Rice, in Wartrace, to his cousin, Mary L. Paine

Wartrace, Tennessee

May 17, 1863

My Dear Cousin,

I received your very kind letter day before yesterday and as we had to move our encampment I had to postpone writing until today. We have left our Brigade for a while and moved nearer town and our Regiment does all the guarding about town. I have not heard anything from the Yankees for some time except that they have sent all their tents and heavy baggage to the rear and I expect there will be something done down here before long. We are sending all our sick off to Chattanooga. Our men are laying the track from here to Bellbuckle a distance of five miles and I expect we will advance soon. The track has been torn up ever since our retreat from Murfreesboro. There is a Yankee deserter comes [sic] in nearly every day [sic], but we don't get to talk with them unless we are guarding them. Some thinks that we will fight down here soon and some thinks that we won't fight down here for some time to come.

Hab is camped out near Fairfield but I have not seen him since we left Tullahoma. I have not heard from home for nearly a week. I am looking for a letter this evening. Cousin Mollie I wish I was with you all today. We would certainly enjoy ourselves, but I assure you that there is very little enjoyment in camp but I hope that this cruel war will soon end that we may be turned loose and permitted to return to our friends and relatives who are waiting so anxiously for our return. It may be soon or it may be a long time. But I hope that the time will come when we can all meet and spend a happy time together as we have done in days that are past. and gone and I am fearful never to return. I have not been at home since I wrote to you nor do I expect to get home soon. Today is very dull in camp for since we have moved off from our Brigade we have had no preaching in the Regiment. There is a big protracted meeting going on in our Brigade and has been for over two months. There has been a good many conversions. I don't know how long it will go on, but I am in hopes that it will be a general thing throughout the army, for there is a great deal of wickedness going on in the army. There has been some depredations done down here by our men down here [sic]. Some four Artillery men went to a man's house down here the other day and knocked him down and took all his money and some eggs and butter and milk and they have all been arrested and chained down awaiting their trial. I expect they will go up for ninety days. There is [sic] also two or three men in the guard house for murder and I expect that they will be hung is a short time. God speed the time when all such men will be hung as high as the hayman. I am glad to hear that Jo got off as easy as he did. I never want the cut throats to get a hold of me.

I want you to write to me as soon as you may get this for I am always glad to hear from you.

Give my love to all. I remain

Your True Cousin, Andrew

Write soon and address:

A. J. Rice

Johnson's Brigade

Cleburne's Division

Wartrace, Tennessee

PS Please excuse confed[erate] paper [money] for it is the best that I can do at present.

Write soon,


TSL&A Civil War Collection[4]

          17, Skirmishes on the Bradyville Pike

MAY 17, 1863.- Skirmish on Bradyville Pike, Tenn.

Report of Maj. Gen. John M. Palmer, U. S. Army.


CAPT.: For several days parties of rebels have come out on the Bradyville road from Dug Hollow, and then come up to Youry's, 3 ½ miles from camp, and have told the people they were very anxious to see the Yanks at Cripple Creek. I determined several days ago to give them a dash as soon as I was ready.

On yesterday I rode out with my escort to Youry's. I had 20 men. This morning [17th], well satisfied that "the loyal citizens" had given them information of movements, and that they would be watching for me, I started at 7 o'clock with two companies of Tennessee cavalry, 60 men, my escort, 25 men, and 6 volunteers from Cruft's officers, and rode out on the same road. When I got to Youry's, I was told that 80 of the Third Georgia Cavalry, under Lieut.-Col. [R.] Thompson, had been there an hour before. I pushed on, taking the left-hand road, with the hope of reaching the Bradyville pike between them and their camp. We reached the pike, turned toward Murfreesborough, and had not proceeded more than a quarter of a mile when we perceived them in a lane, apparently uncertain whether we were coming or not. We did not wait to fire, but went at them at full speed. We came on them under a quick fire, but they broke when we got within 100 yards. We pursued them a mile, and have 18 prisoners. I do not know how many were killed or wounded. The enemy, after they reached the woods, rallied, and fought well, but they had no sabers, and only inflicted a few slight wounds. Five is the whole number wounded on our side. We had 2 or 3 horses ruined, but we took a number.

* * * *

All quiet in front.

Very respectfully,

J. M. PALMER, Maj.-Gen., Cmdg.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 23, pt. I, p. 333.

          17, Scout from LaGrange

No circumstantial reports filed.

          17 GENERAL ORDERS, No. 113, relative to Army of the Cumberland cavalry command staff and instructions on communication with infantry commands and vedettes

GENERAL ORDERS, No. 113. HDQRS. DEPT. OF THE CUMBERLAND, Murfreesborough, Tenn., May 17, 1863.

I. To economize our cavalry, brigade and division commanders will detail from the infantry regiments under their command: For orderlies at brigade headquarters, 1 non-commissioned officer and 4 privates; for orderlies at division headquarters, 1 non-commissioned officer and 9 privates. The quartermaster's department will provide horses, and the ordnance department equipments, to mount men so detailed. To each corps commander will be assigned one company of cavalry for escort and orderly duty. All other cavalry in this army will report at once to the chief of cavalry for duty.

II. Cavalry grand guards and vedettes will, when the army is together, be posted and controlled by the chief of cavalry, with approbation of the general commanding. When cavalry is serving with detached infantry commands, cavalry pickets will be controlled by the senior cavalry officer present, with the approval of the commanding officer of the post, expedition, or detachment. The cavalry commander will detail an officer of the day for each cavalry brigade, who will report daily to the infantry commander whose front he is to cover, for such orders as he may wish to give; he will then post his guard, after which he will report fully to his cavalry commander the orders he has received and the disposition of his guard; he will be responsible for the vigilance of the cavalry pickets under his control, and will order such patrols as may be necessary and his force will permit; he will have a perfect understanding with the infantry officer of the day, informing him of the position of his guards, and arranging for speedy communication with the infantry pickets, in case of alarm.

III. Cavalry guards will not be allowed to straggle in and out of the infantry pickets, but will be required to present themselves at the picket line in a body, and to march in regular order to and from their camps and stations.

IV. Cavalry officers of the day, wearing the insignia of their office, will be permitted to pass the pickets by day and (giving the countersign) by night. Officers of the day should always carry the order placing them on duty as such upon their persons during their tour of duty.

By command of Maj.-Gen. Rosecrans:

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 23, pt. II, pp. 336-337.

          17, "Fannie I commenced this thinking it would prove a very dull letter, and I think I have succeeded in making it so beyond all my expectations…." Frank M. Guernsey's letter to Fannie

Memphis, Tennessee

May 17th, 1863

My Dear Fannie

Well, here I sit as usual in my tent, with pen poised over an unwritten sheet trying to think of something to write which will interest you, but the attempt is futile my ideas are as few and far between as hen's teeth and then there is no news to help me in the least, so you see I am in what the Frenchman calls a "fix"

I believe when I last wrote you our regiment was celebrating the Fall of Richmond [sic] which like all other news from that quarter has turned out to be a Hoax, [sic] but hoax or not some of our boys had a jollification over it, which was very evident from their red eye and the way their hair pulled the next day there was a greate [sic] excitement here for several days as the news was very meager and we all hoped for the best result. Genl. Webster offered to bet his coat and strapes [sic] that peace would be declared in sixty days. I hoped it might be so, but I failed to see it in that light. I am confident that we have got our three years to spend in the service or rather two years and two months from this date our affairs are not progressing as well as I should like to see. Genl. Grant has called for more troops and Genl. Hurlburt [sic] has sent him one Brigade. We had a great time when they left a number of the 14th Ill [sic] deserted and were roving around the city. I was out with a squad of men for three successive nights and captured five of them. a [sic] squad of our men found two of them in an alley and ordered them to halt they started to run and the Corporal ordered his squad to fire one ball took effect in the arm of one of the men nearly cutting it off, the other was unhurt. .They begin to find out that the 32nd cant [sic] be fooled with and they are loved and feared accordingly.

The Colonel has returned from Wis where he has been spending a couple of weeks and Fannie when the opportunity offers I am going to try and get a furlough. I think if I tell him that there is a certain little black eyed lass who says that I must [sic] come and how she will jump up and down if I do, that he can hardly resist the appeal and will let me come to get rid of me but still the chances of my coming are very slim, and perhaps the next letter I write you will be to announce my failure, but I shall live in hopes until I find there is no use.

I received a letter from Mrs. Richmond a few days since she was well, she had not received my last letter and gave me a little scolding for not writing. She said she loved me just as well as she ever did, and should welcome me home as warmly as "that little black-eyed Fannie" and I believe she will, provided I bring no disgrace with me. She is a good Sister and I love her dearly. I was always her favorite and she mine, she is very anxious to see me as soon as the war closes and I think she will have a chance if nothing happens to prevent. Fannie I commenced this thinking it would prove a very dull letter, and I think I have succeeded in making it so beyond all my expectations, and I think the sooner I relieve your patience the better you will be pleased, so I will close by sending my best regards to all your people and much love and a big kiss to you good by and may God bless you is the prayer of your own – Frank

Guernsey Collection.




                    17, Nashville School Outing

School Picnic. – The annual pic-nic of Mr. R. Dorman's School took place yesterday [17th] at the residence of Mr. W. F. Bang, about two miles north from Edgefield, one of the most lovely spots in this county. The scholars accompanied by their teachers, left the schoolrooms about nine o'clock, and marched in procession to the opposite end of the bridge, where carriages, buggies and wagons, were awaiting them. Soon after reaching the ground, the boys and girls assembled around a platform, on which were seated the lovely girl who was selected as the Queen of May, her Maids of Honor, and others intended to participate in the exercises, which were exceedingly interesting and instructive, and consisted of singing, addresses by Misses Delia Driver, Sarah Coltart, Selina Hinton, Mary Henderson, Bettie and Laura Wilkerson, Fanny Gower, Annie Reyer, Augusta Larcombe, Laura Bailey, Rebecca Walker, Nona Glasier, Georgie Rowand; Masters Jos. Walker, J. M. Dolin, John Marrow. Not the least interesting event of the day was the presentation of Master Oscar Hill, on behalf of the scholars, of two superbly bound Bibles, one to Mr. Dorman and the other to Miss Dunham. The address was delivered in the most admirable manner, and was full of sublime sentiment. We regret our inability to publish the address entire, with the reply of Mr. Dorman, but on our return to town we found all our space occupied The rain put a sudden stop to the general fun, and interfered somewhat with the dinner, but all were brought safely home, but the constant kind care of the teachers. We regret to say that Charlie Walker met with a painful accident on the ground, but he will probably recover from it in a few days.

Nashville Dispatch, May 18, 1864.

          17, Belle Edmondson's prayer for pro-Union Mrs. Perkins' daughter

May, Tuesday 17, 1864

Oh! most miserable day-Mrs. Perkins almost made me mad at her deep distress-Poor, poor Nannie, my heart aches for her, would to God I might be the medium through which all could be made happy-Miss Em is so widely different in her political feeling, there will never be any happiness, I fear, with poor Nannie. May God guide the dear child, keep her firm to the cause she has espoused, may she never have her pure, noble Southern feelings polluted with Yankee treachery or tyrany [sic]-keep her firm and true to her noble Brother Dashiell and his Country rights-she dreams not, but oh! my heart trembles and bleeds for her in this great trial and affliction….

Diary of Belle Edmondson

          17, Union railroad construction, home guard depredations, Confederate guerrillas and smuggling in the Union City environs; an excerpt from the report of Brigadier General Henry Prince

HDQRS. OF DISTRICT, Columbus, May 17, 1864.

Maj. Gen. C. C. WASHBURN:

GEN.: I have finished the railroad to Moscow, because it is so often difficult to cross the Little Obion, and I can complete to Union City in four days, but am in no haste to begin that part for reasons already given. It is evinced that the road will pay from Union City here if we take the cotton and tobacco which will be offered for freight. My impression is decidedly against taking it, and I shall follow this policy, which is indicated by the orders you have issued for Tennessee, till I receive new instructions from you, if I can. The depredations committed on Union people by the force I sent out under Col. Moore were by the citizens mounted by Gen. Brayman's Special Orders, No. 45. I took away their horses and arms the day after they returned and revoked their permits. They knew the Union people, and selected them for annoyance according to my best information, which is confirmed from all different quarters. There is a force of guerrillas centering at Boydsville on the Tennessee line. Their object is to cover smuggling, I suppose, and I ought to have mounted men to disperse and catch them. A good squadron of cavalry would be very useful here. In the absence of it, I am trying to get up mounted infantry, but my force is limited. I have not latitude for selection or detail of officers, and horses are wanting. The steamer W. W. Crawford is suspected of smuggling.

* * * *

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

HENRY PRINCE, Brig.-Gen. of Volunteers.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 39, pt. II, pp. 34-35.




          17, Archives and $600,000 to be returned the State of Tennessee


Mobile, Ala., May 17, 1865--11.30 p. m. (Received 19th.)

Maj. Gen. GEORGE H. THOMAS, Nashville, Tenn.:

Mr. Frank C. Whitthorne[5] goes to Macon, Ga., to-morrow morning to receive from the officer or agents in charge of the same, all the archives and $600,000 in coin, belonging, to the State of Tennessee, to be conveyed under his charge to the capital of the State. I have furnished him with a pass and safe-conduct within and through my lines, and directed that be furnished with all necessary facilities and escorts. I have to request that like instructions be given of officers, within the limits of your command, in order that his important mission may be conducted speedily and safely.

E. R. S. CANBY, Maj.-Gen., Cmdg.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 49, pt. II, p. 824.

          17, Observations made by an ex-Confederate soldier from the Army of Tennessee while on his way home to the Dyersburgh environs; conditions in Greeneville

....By 6 oclk [sic]. [sic] everything was ready to move but no order was given until about 7 oclk [sic]. [sic] when everything was put in motion for Greeneville. We soon crossed the Nollychucky [sic] River a tolerable wide shallow stream. The road runs through a pretty hilly country though we passed several fine farms with splendid residences-when within half a mile of town we come [sic] to where the yanky [sic] troops were encamped said to be about 2000 about one half of whom were negroes [sic] sort who were nearly all in line clos [sic] on the side of the road where we passed and some of them cursed us as we passed along though we generally said nothing to them. The white and black Yankees [sic] mixed freely and conversed together hail fellows well met [sic]. We passed through Greenville [sic] where white and black of both sexes were mixing freely[6]-The town ins rather in bottom being surrounded by hills on every side and is a place of some size especially when the sourrounding [sic] Country is taken into consideration here is the home of Andy Johnston [sic] President of the U. S. we [sic] passed through town about one mile and encamped until further orders., Among the yankies [sic] here there are several deserters from the Confederate Army among them I spoke to.-Evening Clouded [sic] up but awhile after dark Cleared [sic] off-We set up until 10 oclk [sic]. T. W. Jones and myself slept together [sic].

Fielder Diaries.












[3] As cited in: http://www.uttyl.edu/vbetts.

[4] TSL&A Confederate Collection, mfm 824-3, Accesson no. 1576, Box 11, folder 11.

[5] Frank C. Whitthorne is identified as the telegraph operator for Forrest's Cavalry on April 6, 1862 and 6 April 2, 1864. See: OR, Ser. I, Vol. 32, pt. II, p. 435 and Ser. I, Vol. 32, pt. III,. p. 735. Whether or not this was the same person is not known.

[6] That there was mixing of races in Greeneville as well as a general social change there, is further reinforced by the following letter from President Andrew Johnson to Major General G. H. Thomas regarding the president's residence there:

September 4, 1865, EXECUTIVE OFFICE, Washington, D. C., Pres. Johnson to Maj. Gen. G. H. THOMAS, in Nashville, Tenn.:

I have information of the most reliable character that the negro troops stationed at Greeneville, Tenn., are under little or no restraint, and are committing depredations throughout the country, domineering over, and in fact running the white people out of the neighborhood. Much of this is said to be attributable to the officers, who countenance and rather encourage the negroes [sic] in their insolence and in their disorderly conduct. The negro soldiery take possession of and occupy property in the town at discretion, and have even gone so far as to have taken my own house and inverted it into a rendezvous for male and female negroes [sic], who have been congregated there, in fact making it a common negro brothel. It was bad enough to be taken by traitors and converted into a rebel hospital, but a negro whore house is infinitely worse. As to the value of the property, I care nothing for that, but the reflection that it has been converted into a sink of pollution, and that by our own forces, is, I confess, humiliating in the extreme. The people of East Tennessee above all others are the last who should be afflicted with the outrages of the negro soldiery. It is a poor reward for their long and continued devotion to the country through all its perils. It would be far better to remove every negro soldier from East Tennessee, and leave the people to protect themselves as best they may. I hope you will at once give instructions to every officer in command of negro troops to put them under strict discipline and reduce them to order. I also hope, as suggested in a former dispatch, that you will relieve that part of the State from negro troops as soon as practicable. If they are not needed for the public service in your department, let them be sent where they are, or, if not needed at all, it would be better that they be taken to the proper points and mustered out of service, and thereby reduce the enormous expense of the Government. Cannot instructions be given Gen. Gillem to attend to and see that proper discipline and order are without delay restored and enforced?


OR, Ser. I. Vol. 49. pt. II, p. 1109.



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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